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Ufology at a Crossroads - Science vs. Publicity and Entertainment

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posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 01:31 PM

With UFOs and UAPs having garnered much attention recently on MSM and other channels, I think it is now the right time to talk about what would need to change in ufology in order to really make a difference, especially given the fact that 70 years of research and pondering have brought about rather modest results.

It's true that TTSA brought attention to the subject through marketing stunts and the network they created. All that publicity and news coverage creates the impression that things are moving forward at a great pace. However, not everyone in the UFO community is convinced that this "progress" is beneficial for the field. A lot of the involved statements are vague or unclear, chains of custody are indicated but not revealed and many experts don't see anything unusual in the material presented.

And when following the money trail, quite a few highly dedicated individuals suspect that this entire circus is aimed at creating value for a select few (thus the publicity, news coverage and government involvement) in order to be able to extend contracts or sign new ones, increase budgets, sell books, speak at conventions or create entertainment products. Some others even contemplate the possibility of an elaborate hoax.

Now don't get me wrong, research and advancement in any field comes at a cost and someone always has to pay. But is this current hype really it? In terms of having a positive impact on Ufology in the long run? Will there be enough good research and science involved? Of course, there will always be the publicity and entertainment part of UFOs as well, I mean people love stories and speculation, but maybe the scientific side has been hiding in the shadows too much over the past decades?

As we all know, ufology went through similar phases several times over the past 70 years. There were extended periods of publicity, lots of news coverage, "scientific" investigations, government involvement and so on. The best that can be said about the current situation is that a new investigation is on the way with a new taskforce to be set up in order to explore the phenomenon.

* * * * * * * * *

But this is exactly why I believe ufology now stands at a crossroads: will this new investigation be more about securing contracts, getting publicity and helping all those who work in the entertainment sector in the name of ufology? Is the public maybe even intentionally being deceived for some other purpose? Or will there be a serious focus on actual data and research with all the "transparency" needed to turn ufology into a true scientific discipline, or at least into a sub-discipline of an existing scientific domain?

The data is there after all, in hundreds of previous reports, or as some say: "there's gold in the old cases". Unfortunately, most of this data is extremely unorganized. How many hours are lost because certain details of a report need to be cross-referenced and searched for again and again in various places on the web, in books, magazines, articles etc? In over 70 years of ufology, there is no scientific archive or online database that allows researchers to easily find sources, sighting reports and filter the data according to appropriate criteria (e.g. year of sighting, colors, lights, shapes, sounds, electromagnetic effects, testimonies, number of witnesses, time of day, location, credibility etc.).

Larry Hatch made an attempt with his excellent U*Base, others have also tried to organize some of the available information, but shouldn't ufology be able to launch a really scientific UFO/UAP database on a much grander scale (also see here for some related musings)? People at CERN know quite well how to do this, for example, and they know why it's essential for them. How else should they identify significant elements in their data amidst all that noise?

Speaking of databases, in the age of bigdata, something like this would make it possible to connect the dots more efficiently and possibly find correlations/similarities in cases where maybe nobody suspected them?

To cut a long story short: I would be interested in knowing what everyone on here thinks about the current situation, the upcoming investigation (incl. the resulting report) and whether you think this will be real science with solid and verifiable data or rather a big juicy "nothingburger". And it would of course also be great to learn how you feel about the future of ufology in general.

Thanks for your input!

P.S.: I just fear that we might end up like the poor guy below, unless ufology starts organizing all its data scientifically and making it available to a wider academic community

Further Reading:
1. Scientific American: ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’ Deserve Scientific Investigation
2. No Longer in Shadows, Pentagon’s U.F.O. Unit Will Make Some Findings Public
edit on 7-8-2020 by jeep3r because: formatting

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 01:49 PM
a reply to: jeep3r

Hopefully we get to see some decent analysis on the data they have.

Case studies like thisnone from Nimitz encounter, would be great.
270 pg case study

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 02:06 PM
Academia and UFO woo don't mix; It's best left to the rockstars and AM radio charlatans.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 02:21 PM
a reply to: olaru12

Thanks for your opinion and indeed, it seems like the usual suspects are in control.

On a more serious note, I think people like James McCampbell (link) did a good job early on by looking at things with a scientific mindset. Due to a lack of UFO-related academic communities at the time his findings were of course never distributed in scientific journals, unfortunately.

But maybe there is a chance that this will happen at some point, it's not impossible I would say.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 02:31 PM
a reply to: Macenroe82

Thanks for the link, I guess a lot will depend on the approach they choose for their analysis. I believe a single case will not amount to much, but let's see what they come up with.

IMO looking at hundreds or even thousands of cases with sufficient data and checking for correlations between such sightings would be a promising approach. But hey, maybe that's exactly what they're going to do...

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 02:42 PM
The military government does not want us to know the facts.

ET does not want us to know the facts.

As long as it remains that way we will never get all the facts.

We will only get snippets here and there, and those snippets will still be debated as to whether they are facts or not.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 02:58 PM
a reply to: spiritualarchitect

Well, that would be heaven on earth for all the charlatans and those making a quick buck in ufology.

But some reports are hard to dismiss, that much we already know. The 1994 Ariel school encounter, for example. Something very unusual happened. Multiple witnesses saw it. John E. Mack and others investigated the case without finding any good explanation but not questioning the sincerity of the witnesses.

So what did they experience? I have no idea, but maybe other cases will fill in the gap. More data mining is needed.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 03:04 PM

originally posted by: jeep3r
all the charlatans

Most of those work for the military-government.

originally posted by: jeep3r
and those making a quick buck in ufology.

Which also includes so-called skeptics who also work for the military-government.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 03:56 PM
Unfortunately, scientific-based examination of the UFO phenomenon has produced few if any results over the last 70 years. The only thing that has possibly been accomplished is that people are no longer ridiculed for seeing "flying saucers," and local news has cut back on playing the "X-Files" theme during sighting reports. Am I forgetting anything? Because everything else might just as well be taken directly from newspaper articles in 1947 because it has changed that little over the decades.

The problem with the entertainment aspect is that I don't find this recent crop of saucer chasers all that entertaining. They tease information but don't come up with anything substantial. Might as well watch that "Oak Island" treasure stuff. And even mocking the people who film balloons is getting old.

UFOs are kind of limited to case studies and very little hard science can be applied to them. Attempts to do that have generally left researchers baffled.

So I don't know. Maybe we all just chill until something definitive happens, if ever, since it doesn't matter what we do, just what the phenomenon does.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 05:03 PM
I've done some minor investigation on my own and I've come to the conclusion that UFOs, much of the paranormal phenom, quazi religion, crytpids, skinwalkers, almost everything is all related somehow. Cosmic tricksters playing a cosmic game of wack a mole.

edit on 7-8-2020 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 10:16 PM

originally posted by: olaru12
I've done some minor investigation on my own and I've come to the conclusion that UFOs, much of the paranormal phenom, quazi religion, crytpids, skinwalkers, almost everything is all related somehow. Cosmic tricksters playing a cosmic game of wack a mole.

Fragments of experimental code that still linger in the programming created for various pre-production versions of our simulation that never made it past beta testing. Maybe one where time is all mixed-up so you still have lingering things from the past, early hominds, or even from the future, so you get sea monsters and dragons, Bigfoot, and humanoid aliens all fighting each other. Then someone decided that was just too silly.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 10:34 PM
a reply to: jeep3r

Folks interested in Ufology need to understand the concept of the glass ceiling. It’s a sociological term that means stagnation of a social group in relationship to the mainstream.

Forget the political and social implications and just transfer that stagnation concept to ufology and you’ll get my point.

Ufology has been at the glass ceiling since its first few years.

Whatever this phenomenon is all about, it has been standardized by specific events that are outside the human technological capacity to understand. Since day one nothing has changed save certain peoples now and then gain enthusiasm in Ufology over the years and create a little interest and then peters out or gets government infiltrated and co-opted.

Why do they peter out?

Because of that ufo glass ceiling of standard events and nothing really new coming up outside of the standard ufo intermittent sightings.

And the exotic theories which come in and out of ufology like a bad cold

Bottom line, ufology is just where it was in 1947-- its modern beginning-- and that’s the reason its stagnant.

Sure, there will always be people trying to make a buck out of Ufology.

As there will always be new Ufology enthusiasts to come along and claim they have the answer to the mystery.

posted on Aug, 7 2020 @ 10:50 PM
In terms of the science, well, the problem there is that science like anything in Western civilization needs a financial reason to truly peruse something effectively.

The technology to understand it is not there and neither is the incentive to get the funds to accelerate technological advances to try to understand it.

TTSA uses fear not economics to try to get the people excited enough to give some money to the cause but the cause there is self-promotion and profit hiding behind the cause of fear.

Added to that is the intel community in America who has been charged since the early fifties to debunk ufology. So, we have myriad hoaxes and FAKE events and the hype, hysteria and obsession within the ufo community, in some cases supported by the IC, and in other cases supported by standard human foiblles.

They don’t want to admit they DON’T KNOW and don’t have the capacity to know.

The irony is that they admit they really don’t know and it’s the obsession of certain folks in the UFO world who wants to believe the government does know without any solid proof of that being the case.

Another irony is that the ignorance of ufological phenomena actually support its growth.

Ignorance here is truly bliss, since then we all can hide behind ignorance

posted on Aug, 8 2020 @ 08:27 AM
I encourage the scientific investigation of UFOs and other areas of the unknown, but...

UFOs are just one such flavor. Check the first FATE magazine from 1948. It's famous for covering flying saucers seen by Kenneth Arnold and others, but it also carried features on ghosts and the supernatural. Nothing's different today, and UFOs are often packaged alongside Bigfoot, Skinwalker Ranch, Atlantis other mysteries, real, imagined or manufactured.

There's a huge appetite for unexplained mysteries and the entertainment aspect of things will persist.
edit on 8-8-2020 by CardDown because: spelling

posted on Aug, 8 2020 @ 11:20 PM
a reply to: CardDown

As long as you get the right people interested like Goldwater, Podesta, or even ol Bill Clinton - I think they shows are doing their job. It would be interesting to know to what lengths Podesta went to, seems Bill gave it a half hearted attempt, but too busy chasing skirts..

Im not sure about appetite, the built in ridicule of UFOs has probably done the most to keep things under wraps. On top of the general apathy of the public, even something tangible like our economy/debt spiraling out of control has met with virtually no concern whatsoever.

Until something is caught in high def, it probably wont go anywhere. With this latest show tonight, maybe cell phone cameras and airline pilots are the best bet. Many of them had the same feel as this Portuguese Air Force sighting.
edit on 8-8-2020 by 111DPKING111 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 9 2020 @ 07:15 AM
What actually is 'ufology'?

A dictionary definition is "the study and investigation of unidentified flying objects".

UFO studies by both governments and private organizations have been carried out down the years. Many UFO cases have been solved beyond reasonable doubt. Some remain 'unknown' and lacking enough data to resolve. Not one has to date been proven to be an alien spacecraft.

But the ET hypothesis remains the one rabidly pursued and pushed. Even blaming cattle mutilation, crop circles and human abduction on these guys from outer space. Cases are often debunked but then revived again a decade or so later. From MJ-12 to alien autopsies. In the 21st century many UFO personalities have even started venturing into the even more spuriously linked realms, like remote viewing, new age/occult beliefs and spirituality. None of which has anything to do with the science of identifying unexplained things flying in the sky.

Ufology has a huge credibility problem. There are no rigorous standards and qualifications to enter the field and no collective objective. After 70 years and much speculation, not one case has been proven to involve 'aliens'.

All we have is a mish-mash of American intelligence personnel constantly polluting the subject, an entertainment industry built around UFOs and the bunch grifters sucking money from gullible people.

Which in essence describes TTSA's business model.

edit on 9/8/2020 by mirageman because: ...

posted on Aug, 9 2020 @ 11:52 AM
How many times over the years have we heard some politicians, will a slight giggle, say they want to solve the UFO mystery.

Nothing ever happens. The Clintons, Podesta, then Obama and a few Republicans over the years, and that FAKE (retired congresspeople) hearing they had a few years ago with all the USUAL SUSPECTS Ufologists telling their USUAL spiel to old and retired congresspeople.

If Laurence Rockefeller, who claimed interest couldn’t get nothing done then who can?

Its frustrating to have unknown events without solutions.
BUT folks will just have to accept uncertainty until or if something certain unfoldeds.

Often we go into wishful thinking, with screwball theories and such as saying the government knows but won’t tell. Nonsense. There is no real proof the government knows any more than us.

Nixon taking Jackie Gleason on a secret base to view an alien is the kind of proof folks rely on.

posted on Aug, 9 2020 @ 12:47 PM
Any transient observation with no or very little sensor data is hard to pin down with absolute certainty.

This can be seen in the Project Blue Book data, where they made subcategories to indicate the certainty of their identifications (`known’, `probable’ `possible’):

Of the 1,593 reports that had been analyzed by Project Blue Book, and we had studied and evaluated every report in the Air Force files, we had been able to explain a great many. The actual breakdown was like this:

_Balloons_ .....................18.51%
Known 1.57
Probable 4.99
Possible 11.95

_Aircraft_ .....................11.76%
Known 0.98
Probable 7.74
Possible 3.04

_Astronomical Bodies_ ........14.20%
Known 2.79
Probable 4.01
Possible 7.40

_Other_ ........................4.21%
Searchlights on clouds, birds, blowing paper, inversions,
reflections, etc.

_Hoaxes_ ........................1.66%

_Insufficient data_ ..........22.72%

_Unknowns_ .....................26.94%

By using the terms "Known," "Probable," and "Possible," we were able to differentiate how positive we were of our conclusions.

(Source: Ruppelt’s book)

(Note that the `Unknowns' are different from the `Insufficient Data' category: In spite of sufficient data, the Unknowns did not fit any of the other categories).

What Blue Book failed to do, is break down the Unknowns along the same pattern:


_Unknown natural event_………...

_Classified technology_………...

_Extraterrestrial technology_…………….

They could simply use Occam’s Razor on the Unknowns, as they did on the rest: If several hypotheses fit the data, the simplest one is probably the right one.

I have no doubts that a considerable amount of the 700 Unknowns would land in the `Possible extraterrestrial technology’ category, simply because the data does not fit any of the other categories (which means Occam’s Razor only leaves one alternative to choose from).

The Nimitz Tic-Tac is an example. Based on the eye witness reports is was not psychological, not a natural event, and not classified technology (way too fast, without any signs of a propulsion system based on Newton’s third law). So, it lands in the `Possible extraterrestrial technology’ category.

At the same time, I have no doubts that none of the Unknowns would provide irrefutable evidence of extraterrestrial technology, since it is almost impossible to pin down any of the observations with absolute certainty (even a sighting of an aircraft, balloon, or astronomical body, as the data above shows: most are `possible’ or `probable’).

Until we have a solid case with correlated data from multiple sensors or even a piece of hardware, the only viable scientific conclusion is:

Some UFO’s possibly point to extraterrestrial visitation.

This was the conclusion of the French Cometa Report and should have been the conclusion of Blue Book and Condon. But Condon and Blue Book did not dare to go where the data led them.

I think today, most modern day scientists who are familiar with the data would agree with this conclusion.

Now it’s simply a matter of waiting for a case with correlated multiple sensor data or – better still – a piece of hardware.

Until that time the only thing left is to stare at the stars now and then, and wonder... is anybody out there …?

posted on Aug, 9 2020 @ 01:04 PM
a reply to: jeep3r

Regarding the need for a public database, it's interesting to note that, about a year ago, TTSA announced "The VAULT: The World’s Most Comprehensive UAP Intelligence Tool":

The VAULT’s functionality will include the collection, storage, search, and analysis of information regarding all events, eyewitness accounts, and data recordings that could shed light on anomalous advanced technology and capabilities world-wide.

In connection with this database TTSA is collaborating with SkyHub who are developing a crowd-sourced network of smart trackers that will detect anomalous events and feed them into a cloud storage system. The hardware would look something like this:

The ultimate goal of SkyHub is to build and host "a worldwide, digital UFO database that anyone can access [...]". I couldn't find any detailed specifications for their database but more info might be available at the SkyHub respository at GitHub.

I'm not sure what to think of this, but it looks like these devices and the Vault will involve sales and donations and therefore be an integral part of the TTSA business model.

Apart from this being another revenue source, "local airspace surveillance" also seems to be of interest here. And considering the "threat factor" that's constantly being advertised, one could think that this is more about detecting swarms of enemy drones than addressing classic UAP/UFO phenomena.
edit on 9-8-2020 by jeep3r because: text

posted on Aug, 9 2020 @ 01:37 PM
Its like, over and over and over we have the exact same experience, in some form or another, as did Kenneth Arnold had in 1947.

Why would we expect anything to come from this since it never has but a eye witness to a UFO.

I just watched UNIDENTIFIED last night, they had an orgy of the show, literally showing all of them from last year to last nights new show. I watched the new show.

And there the same old thing. Witnesses seeing crafts that exhibit what Zondo and TTSA call one of the 5 observables.

It’s the SAME thing as Arnold in 47, nothing new, nothing different, same old phenomena witnessed, and so its established we can’t do anything about witnessing a craft doing one or more of these 5 observables.


What NEW approach can be done?

I’m getting to the essence of this issue and no one can even come up with anything NEW!!!!

But me.

I have for a while said they should apply their vaunted AI to Ufology

Maybe some have done this but go ahead and google ufology and AI

You don’t get much

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