Originally posted by Majorion
When myself and others mock Bassett, Greer, and the similar types in the ufo community, we do it for good reason. Being that these people are nothing
more than charlatans,
All of us need to be careful when wielding the word charlatan.
Lets imagine for a moment that you felt UFOs were all misidentifications and other mundane observations. Now lets pretend for a moment you saw a very
strange maneuvering light that made 90 degree turns, changed various colors and was roughly the angular size of a tangerine at arms length. After
observing this bizarre phenomenon and escalating through possible explanations, eventually you arrive at the conclusion that it's a genuine unknown.
However as a rational individual you don't jump to the conclusion that what you observed was a "craft." You further rationalize it would be even
more of a leap to say it was an "alien spacecraft." So due to this observation your position changes from UFO-skeptic to UFO-advocate.
You also contact the government to ask for meteorological data and they suggest you witnessed a lighted-radiosonde. Though helpful you realize the
suggestion is incorrect based on size and maneuvers. However rather than conclude "conspiracy" you assume the person was trying to help think-up a
down to earth explanation.
A "foul up" if you will.
Several months later you see this same bizarre object in the sky, performing the same maneuvers, but this time it gets much closer, within 2000 ft,
lands, and looks very much like a craft! You also see "people get out" that have a somewhat bizarre'ish shape to them and their height looks wrong.
These people spot you, quickly run back to their craft and dart off.
At this point, as an observer, the UFO no longer represents an "unknown" it represents a craft flown by someone. Still as a rational thinker using
only what you've seen to guide your judgment, you conservatively assume the craft was a manned secret test flight by the United States Air Force &
that the officers flying the craft were in some form of flight-suit. At this point you no longer advocate that UFOs represent unknown phenomenon, but
rather that some UFOs, if not all, are unknown military crafts.
Based on the governments response you conclude that some small "cover-up" is underway to hide our secret aircrafts, but not to the degree others
like Stanton Friedman suggest (a "cosmic watergate").
Several months pass and again at the same spot, the craft lands, but this time the occupants walk up to you. They're 4' tall and have over-sized
heads. Also the proportions of their legs and arms to the rest of the body aren't human. These humanoids amazingly somehow speak English or maybe
they don't speak at all, was it telepathy? After this brief conversation the little guys walk back to their craft and exit earths atmosphere,
departing to who knows where.
At this point you're fully converted. You now fully believe that some UFOs are in fact extra-terrestrial in origin.
You contact the military to let them know that our territorial airspace has been violated by what appeared to be friendly creatures from another
world. The military ridicules you. You try calling other different branches of the government, you submit FOIA requests for radar data, and the
government continually subverts your attempts to get information. At this point you go from the "foul-up" hypothesis to the "conspiracy cover-up"
You contact the press. They tell you to see a shrink. After questioning what you saw, you decide to go talk at a UFO group to locate other people who
have experienced the same thing. The strange part is these people give dramatically different stories. Many say the ETs were intruders who abducted
them, conducting tests against their will. You start to suspect some of these people are schizophrenic and that others are simply making up stories,
if only because there accounts don't match up with your experience.
So now your position is some UFOs are ET and the ETs are friendly.
This is known as "personal escalation of explanation."
Now lets pretend as a fully converted believer you try to talk with an acquaintance about your experience. Most people aren't going to believe you
because your subjective reality has no objectively measurable basis. So you submit yourself to polygraphs and other various truth tests, but people
still don't buy it.
You write a book. Trying to get the word out to as many people as you can. Detractors start to accuse you of trying to make a profit off your
See where I'm going?
To call a person a charlatan without knowing how the person got from "here" to "there" is assuming
"any one of us knows the truth
and their public attempts are doing anything but damage to the goal of some possible disclosure and this subject taken more
In the minds of these people they know the truth and they're trying to communicate it. Are these people nuts? Maybe. Are they telling the truth?
Since there's so much uncertainty we shouldn't make it our goal to rip these people a new one. Rather we should accept them as a part of our cause,
BUT we should communicate to them that they need to advocate a PUBLIC
position that's acceptable to the lowest common denominator 'UFO
advocate.' We didn't go from algebra to calculus overnight. We need baby steps.
However to call these people liars, charlatans, and other nasty things is akin to me walking in to a church and telling the pastor and his followers,
"Your belief is garbage. You're all stupid and nuts!"
To question a persons beliefs is an exercise in futility. You'll burn yourself out on it.
[edit on 2-6-2009 by Xtraeme]