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The Decline of Ufology: Decades of Fraud, Frustration and Failure?

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posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:18 PM

“...the field of Ufology has failed to produce one concrete example of alien visitation, from any dimension....The basic appeal of Ufology for the masses is that it is a belief system, rather than a field of scientific investigation....After a generation of flying saucer stories with no conclusive result, the burden of proof remains squarely on the UFOlogists....”

Ian Ridpath, Flying Saucers Thirty Years on - New Scientist July 14th 1977

The truth hurts and of course Ufology started a long time ago in an age much different to today.

Ufology Through the Decades

It all begins with a trip aboard the flying saucers of the 1940s and 50s. During the early years of the ‘atomic age’ and the Cold War - suddenly strange objects were being seen with regular occurrence in our atmosphere.

In June of 1947 Kenneth Arnold reported seeing rapidly flying objects with convex shapes in the skies around Mt. Rainier. In interviews he explained how their movement was ‘like saucers skipping on water’, without ever comparing their actual shapes to saucers. But the term “flying saucer” had been coined and it soon became part of popular culture. Flying Saucers were being spotted all over the world not long afterwards.

Then human like aliens from the nearby planets landed in remote areas and spoke to completely random people about the damage we were doing to our environment and how we must change our ways. However no concern over biological cross contamination seemed to be given during these meetings. Many of the ‘space brothers’ not only needed no breathing or protective apparatus but had also taken the time to learn our languages so they could invite their Terran siblings aboard their interplanetary spaceships.

Once it became apparent that nothing human like inhabited our planetary neighbours the aliens morphed into little spindly grey folk from further out in the galaxy (although it is never really clear from where). Saucers were upgraded into sleek black triangles. In the 1980s aliens came to abduct us in the night as we slept. They would steal our genetic material using a medical technology decades behind what we now possess. Crop circles and cattle mutilations became part of the ‘alien’ narrative along the way. Government cover-ups, Men in Black, crashed saucers, aliens in antiquity and New Age philosophy are all now staple ingredients for us to mull over too.

Ufology has given us some truly fantastic and entertaining stories, thousands of photos and videos, many quotes (and misquotes) from various prominent people, stacks of documents released from national archives around the world, news reports and books on the subject. The mountain of ‘evidence’ grows ever higher. However, high as that pile now seems, no one has found a ‘smoking gun’ amongst it all as yet.

It is commonly accepted that many UFO sightings are simple misidentifications of natural events or manmade objects in the sky. Unfortunately deception and fraud play a part in this field too. The job of sorting the wheat from the chaff was difficult enough in the early years now it is a monumental task.

So what of the last seven decades of UFO research?

Here’s what one of our fellow ATS members had to say about Ufology back in 1979 around its' half way point.

Ufology is still struggling to achieve scientific and popular respectability, so it is perhaps understandable that public pronouncements of ufologists would be primarily in the persuasive rather than expository vein. It can thus be observed that all the traditional tricks of the Madison Avenue advertising executive's trade are followed: appeals to authority ("Jimmy Carter saw a UFO"; "our heroic astronauts have seen UFOs"); assertions of the consequent ("the Universe is so large that other civilizations must exist out there!"); the bandwagon appeal ("Most Americans now believe in UFOs''); the conspiratorial appeal("The government knows all about it but is hiding the truth"); and the salvation appeal ("The people from space will come to bail us out of our self-indicted miseries"). It is not necessary at first to examine the actual validity of such statements.

What is important is to recognise them for what they are: tactics of illogical persuasion.

...ufologists in general ...have preferred instead to continually recirculate and embellish the same stories. The authenticity of UFO reports, as portrayed in the popular press, therefore remains highly questionable -and justly so. .....

Such a problem with the "disproof" of UFO evidence points to yet another major weakness of the philosophical foundations of Ufology. The burden of proof, which customarily lies with the claimants of super normality (or, in a criminal trial, of the guilt of the accused, who is "innocent until proven guilty"), has been shifted to the sceptics, who are in the case of UFOs required to disprove the evidence. In the Carter-UFO and the astronaut-UFOs, it was the sceptics who investigated and solved the cases - while ufologists assumed the cases were authentic until proven otherwise (and most still believe so).

And yet the rules of science are clear: extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. The thesis of Ufology is an indictment against the ability of contemporary science to explain the Universe, and it must prove such an indictment as every other such proponent must prove it: the need for a modification of our current model of reality must be established beyond reasonable doubt.

Where is the "Ufology" movement likely to be after another 30 years? Perhaps new evidence will finally appear which can stand up to scientific scrutiny. Perhaps self-styled ufologists will establish truly scientific standards of evidence, will accept the burden of proof, will produce "falsifiable" theories, and will seek to formulate their science on positive rather than negative logic. Perhaps something significant will come out of this after all.

“The Failure of the Science of Ufology” - James Oberg, New Scientist Magazine Oct 1979”

It seems Mr. Oberg’s final positive note of hope on where Ufology could be in 2009 did not come to pass. It is also difficult to argue against his criticisms of Ufology back in 1979 being equally valid today.

>>>continues below

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posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:19 PM
The Frustration & Failure

To this day there is still no formal (or even informal recognition) of how and what makes you a ‘ufologist’ . I will confidently predict there never will be one. The field is left wide open for anyone to declare they are a ‘ufologist’. Once they do so who is to say that they aren’t one?

As “ologies” go, Ufology is much closer to astrology than biology (and no, if you put them both together you don’t get astrobiology).
Thus it remains a ‘fringe’ topic. The field has been broadly divided into the ‘believers’, the ‘sceptics’ and the ‘de-bunkers’. All three groups are seemingly unable to find much common ground to take the subject forward and it has been that way for a long, long time.

The believers cannot understand that the evidence they see as conclusive proof of ET is nowhere near good enough for the sceptics (and mainstream science). The sceptics keep asking for convincing and conclusive proof which is never provided. The debunkers take apart every case and dismiss it all as nonsense. The arguments go round and round in circles.

What Jim Oberg may not have foreseen were the developments that then occurred in Ufology post 1979. Roswell, dismissed as a non-event for 30 years, was about to become the world’s best known UFO case and Ufology , already splintered by this time was about to fragment into even more pieces.

Real Life Mirage Man : Richard Doty

Shortly after Roswell’s revival came the poisoning of the waters by a certain Richard Doty. A special agent for the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His passing of false information about alien contacts on to Paul Bennewitz, in attempt to cover up top secret technology, eventually turned the poor man insane. The close interest (and interaction) of the intelligence community in Ufology has also become common knowledge in recent years even if the reasons why remain somewhat unknown.

The abduction phenomenon increased exponentially during the 80s/90s but seems to have (almost) disappeared. So too, the rather spurious, claims that Crop circles are something created by aliens. At the tail end of the 1980s up popped Bob Lazar and Area 51 became another add-on for Ufology.

The 1990s did see a re-kindling of interest in the UFO topic as trust in our governments reached a low point. But then it all seemed to slowly blink out with the Phoenix Lights in the spring of 1997.

Since the turn of the century only a handful of cases have been given serious attention and they tend to be of the ‘mystery lights in the sky’ variety. The Disclosure and Exopolitics movements became prominent during the first decade of the 21st century with the intent of forcing “UFO Disclosure” by bypassing and ignoring things like providing proper evidence. Their attempts have been similarly bypassed and ignored by successive governments.

A number of international governments have disclosed their UFO files in the past decade or so. Alas, because none of these files featured clandestine agreements with alien species, revelations about a secret human space program or alien bases on the back side of the moon then this ‘disclosure’ is dismissed as deception.


Because it is not the disclosure these groups have claimed is the real truth. The problem is that this vision of the truth may not actually exist.

Perhaps the Exopolitics movement should direct their attentions to forcing the aliens to disclose their own presence? If there is an ‘alien’ interaction on earth then, the secrecy and cover up must primarily come from the aliens themselves.

But here we are in 2015 and Ufology can barely tell us what UFOs aren’t , never mind telling us what they actually are.

The Fraud

Unfortunately there have been people who felt the need to create stories of alien contact, or hoax UFO photos, videos and documents for a number of differing reasons? As stated earlier, Richard Doty, a special agent for AFOSI has been involved in such practices.

Someone (perhaps Doty?) also created a whole collection of MJ-12 documents claiming extra-terrestrial contact and the formation of a secret group to oversee the ‘alien’ problem. The result of which seems to have been to further muddy the waters of Ufology during the 1980s.

Sadly people like Stephen Greer have duped the public and delivered nothing. Going back in time George Adamski and Billy Meier were accused of faking stories, photographs and film. Ray Santilli, 20 years ago, was involved in promoting a hoaxed ‘alien autopsy’ and the advent of the internet has seen hundreds of videos created simply for kicks and clicks.

For further details see IsaacKoi’s excellent compilation : The most popular UFO videos : The real stories behind them

Of course recently we had the debacle of the Roswell slides. Someone (probably with eyes on financial gain) decided that a picture taken in a museum of a mummified child could be passed off as an alien with the most tenuous of back stories. So called experts mulled over it for months, keeping the pictures out of the public domain but happily promoting them as a photos of a “Roswell” alien.

We have certain people ‘professionally’ involved in Ufology and financially dependent upon it. I’m sure many entered the subject with the best of intentions. But once they become a ‘name’ and start making a career out of ‘ufology’ they have a problem. Actually solving the UFO/alien mystery could seriously damage their careers. So they choose to perpetuate the UFO mythology, ignore certain hard facts, and generally avoid adding anything that may remove some of the less robust cases from the mountain of evidence.

We can’t trust the government and we can’t even trust some of those involved in promoting the topic so where does that leave Ufology today?

>>>continues below
edit on 25/10/15 by mirageman because: edits

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:19 PM
Ufology Today

It all seems rather stuck in a depression. The era of ‘Classic’ UFO reports are long gone. There are very few significant UFO events from the 21st century worth serious investigation. Youtube videos of a light in the sky or CGI UFOs are aplenty. But they are actually tuning people out from bothering to even take a look. The noise is overwhelming as the signal gets weaker.

The internet has killed the UFO Magazine industry and is rapidly diminishing the book market too. Numbers at conferences are dwindling because there is little new to discuss or sell to an ageing conference audience.

That all said the satellite and cable media seem to love UFOs . On TV there has been a glut of recent programming from various production companies. Although now there seems to be a blurred line between whether the modern UFO show is a serious documentary featuring real research or just entertainment with licence to freely stretch the truth.

Various talking heads all tend to tread this fuzzy, vague line whilst appearing on late night talk radio shows and TV shows like Hangar One. A show where entertainment is king and there is absolutely no critical or scientific analysis of the MUFON files or the ‘evidence’ presented in these shows.

It’s a similar story with podcasts and talk radio shows on UFOs. Some are actually better than others, but you often have to take a lot of what is said with a pinch of salt.

Arguably the finest recent achievement of modern day Ufology was the debunking of the ‘Roswell slides’. Even though it was ultimately a negative achievement it showed there are people out there willing to put their time in to take us where the evidence goes and not where the cash flows.

Unfortunately it didn’t get us any closer to the truth. However it did reveal that a number of so called researchers were nothing more
than either fools or modern day P.T. Barnum type characters.

Of course many who believe in the ETH (Extra- Terrestrial Hypothesis) choose to ignore some of the inconvenient facts in their favourite cases because they want their beliefs reinforced and not challenged. With a dearth of interesting modern cases the old favourites are rebooted and remixed for us. Often with a new revealing morsel of information added each time the tales are retold to keep us hooked and confused.

The dataset remains forever bloated with misleading information. And with a reluctance to deconstruct our old favourites the cold, dirty bath water cannot be thrown out in case the baby disappears down the drains with it.

In the meantime mainstream science continues to make new and interesting discoveries out in the cosmos. Science is on the cusp of confirming that ET exists (perhaps as microbes or maybe something more significant) . Ufology is little closer to the truth than it was back in 1952 and has instead embraced being a part of the entertainment business rather than becoming a serious scientific pursuit.

If science proudly announces “We are not alone” then will it signal an end to the polarisation of views within the UFO topic and a renaissance of sorts?

Or will it finally be the death of Ufology?

edit on 25/10/15 by mirageman because: typo

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:34 PM
So many real lives have affected in a negative way by the lies that have been told.

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posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:44 PM
Defense of the status quo tarted up as a "critique" of Ufology.

Big yawn.

There's way too much of this on ATS in recent years.

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posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:50 PM
a reply to: Moresby

How about pointing out where he's mistaken?

The frauds far, far outnumber the legit mysteries, and a dispassionate observer has no issue admitting that. Doesn't mean there aren't mysteries, it means not all of them are.

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:50 PM
All I can say is ufology has become swamped with disinformation and ridicule. For many it is an embarrassment they don't want to be associated with. This anger me because there is no doubt in my opinion we have and are being visited by extraterrestrial life.

The fact is life today is hectic. People have become swamped by paying bill and working to earn money for crap they don't need. They are bombarded with useless information constantly which eventually creates a state of shut down. People can't filter out the crap anymore so they just shut down and bury their head in the sand. That'd why public opinion is one of mass ridicule of those involved.

Amongst all the disinformation and crazy stories there just needs to be 1 single bit of proof. It doesn't need to be a smoking gun huge piece of proof. Just things like implants, reliable sightings etc. I don't care about the fake stuff. I just care about the important fact that we aren't the only species on this planet.

Ridicule of you want. I don't care. Because either know this the same way I know I'm alive and breathing.

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:51 PM
a reply to: mirageman

As always.... great informative thread mirageman

In regards to your final question...

I believe UFOlogy will continue to exist so long as the military industrial complex continues with their black world technology.

IMHO there is a whole other (unknown) entity above government, that is 99% of the real unexplained UFOlogy!
edit on 2015-10-25T17:52:31-05:00201510bpm3110pm3131 by combatmaster because: (no reason given)

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posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:51 PM

originally posted by: Moresby
Defense of the status quo tarted up as a "critique" of Ufology.

Big yawn.

There's way too much of this on ATS in recent years.

I could say that your comments are flippant and add nothing to the thread and there is far too much of this on ATS too.

But perhaps you'd care to respond in more detail?

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:54 PM
you beat me to the post.

i was going to make just the same thread after collecting all the frauds that have capitalized on poor souls over the past 6 decades.

its gotta be frustrating for those who asked for little proof or scientific debates when these people came about>> Billy Meier, von daniken, Grier, all the conventions, Icke, all the straight to DVD movies which believers helped make, Ancient Aliens, Jaime Mussan, Cooper, George Adamsky, thirdphaseofmoon, black knight satellite, Aliens on the moon which feed on our souls, underground ET secret bases, ... the list goes on. all have been bunk! (ill add NASA as fraud too, for waisting tax payer' money year after year)

and a simple search here on ATS reveals the yearly 'Imminent' disclosure dates... or the day of 'awakening' or something...

in a day and age where not even the governments around the world can keep their dirty laundry a secret anymore, nonetheless, UFO enthusiasts will argue its a cover up; the only cover up the government would not be able to directly control if ETs wanted to show themselves. this cover up managed to somehow remain covered up.

UFOLOGY is DEAD. you would have to be a complete moron to have the same attitude about UFOs in 2015...
edit on 25-10-2015 by odzeandennz because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 05:55 PM
UFO lore was what first got me into the whole 'conspiracy' shebang. i was mildly obsessed with the subject to begin with (dozens of books, videos, late nights eating up each and every ufo-related tidbit). now, though i still firmly believe in the ETH, i no longer really give it much thought. too much repetition, too little meat on the bones, too many CGI vids, too much of a muchness. but i have seen them and i just quietly accept that, without some new and revelatory piece of evidence to confirm it, the ETH must remain, in popular culture at least, a hypothesis. but i'm cool with that.

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:00 PM

originally posted by: RoScoLaz4 too many CGI vids,

even 3d artists have lost interest. i remember when it was all a craze and an accomplishment in the 3d circle to make a convincing UFO hoax... they dont even care anymore either it seems. hehe.

to add this:

- i also noticed a shift in the aesthetics in ET hunting. the same lot is now focusing on obscure mars pictures, or distant star anomalies, even Jupiter's moons to Ceres; More plausible causes for ETs, yet still foolishly and blindly accepting far fetched theories. the medium has changed so to speak, but the genre is still the same.
edit on 25-10-2015 by odzeandennz because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:09 PM
a reply to: mirageman
At the end of the day there are intelligents beyond the stars its just that we yet won't know and i doubt the other intelligance would want to meet a still evolving species like our self..

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:09 PM
a reply to: liteonit6969

....Amongst all the disinformation and crazy stories there just needs to be 1 single bit of proof. It doesn't need to be a smoking gun huge piece of proof. Just things like implants, reliable sightings etc.....

This is something Ufology has failed to deliver time and time again. Despite 60+ years of opportunity. There is still a lot of evidence to dissect. But instead Ufology has morphed into an entertainment industry.

There are people chasing the truth but their work is often sidelined by the 'star names'. It's interesting how the Roswell slides fiasco was still followed by interviews with the likes of Richard Dolan and Don Schmitt (or people not directly involved) on major 'paranormal' radio shows with little comment from the people who actually debunked the slides.

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:21 PM
The term 'flying saucer' existed long before Arnold's sighting. Apparently Arnold's sighting is the first that became popular but there were more before his sighting. Jim Marrs in Alien Agenda gives an account of the first us of 'flying saucer' back in the 19th century. I don't have the book with me at the moment.

Whoever is behind ufos is deliberately keeping everything obscure and full of contradictions. They calibrate, exactly, people's level of belief. They make themselves visible just enough to keep people interested but not enough for proof or for a smoking gun. All this is carefully calculated.

Edit: first use of 'flying saucer' expression;
edit on 25-10-2015 by EnPassant because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:25 PM
a reply to: odzeandennz

- i also noticed a shift in the aesthetics in ET hunting. the same lot is now focusing on obscure mars pictures, or distant star anomalies, even Jupiter's moons to Ceres; More plausible causes for ETs, yet still foolishly and blindly accepting far fetched theories. the medium has changed so to speak, but the genre is still the same.

I'd liken it to ghost hunting. Another 'paranormal' subject that was commercially exploited. Except that there is no movement to force governments to disclose that the spirits of dead people have become ghosts. Nor is there a global cover up to keep the existence of ghosts a secret.

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:28 PM

originally posted by: EnPassant
The term 'flying saucer' existed long before Arnold's sighting.

No - the phrase was born out of Arnold's description.

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:31 PM
a reply to: mirageman

well said.
good to see reason, though scarce, is still alive.

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:32 PM
UFOlogy has been stuck for awhile now. It's time to try something new besides relying on guys from the 50's military who
while had valuable insights 50 yrs ago ( maybe) are sorely irrelevant today.

We have better testing for alleged landing sites, more high tech surveillance equipment and more people looking than ever before, so where's the hold up?

is it the time and $$ needed?
do we just not really care anymore?
are we that lazy?

There is something to the idea the ET's themselves are keeping this on the down-low. What's the point tho? Everyone is talking anyways. Currently having a mini-flap here in western pa....or an alleged mini-flap.....LOL No real military bases here so I'm not inclined to say it's training maneuvers.

Mirage man's right tho, it's 2015 and we have a big handful of squat.
( said by a rabid belieeeever)

posted on Oct, 25 2015 @ 06:44 PM
Ufology in the US has been divided and conquered. Too many extraterrestrial craft were downed and recovered and expediency was needed immediately to cover their trail. If anyone had information that was even close to being correct or that would lead to further uncovering of facts, the controllers would come out of the woodwork. During the latter part of world war 2 and into the fifties people who reported the craft were vilified and deemed untrustworthy by the government and media immediately; and neighbors and acquaintances by proxy. The government might have performed too good a job, so much so that if the aliens landed now, there may be no one calling the media due to apathy or whatever else reason lurking in a younger person's mind of today.

I believe the UFO community has been diced to pieces and flushed.

Now as to why, no firm solution has gelled but I have my suspicions.
edit on 25-10-2015 by NightFlight because: corrections, etc.

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