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The rantings and ravings of superstar theologian, Joe Vee


Whither Ufology ?

If you'e been around the esoteric block, then you certainly recall Ufology's resurgence during the 1990s. Encompassing television, the radio, and comprising a good portion of websites during the internet's innocent heyday, Ufology, one felt, was on the brink of something big. Things reached their zenith with the Phoenix lights sightings in March of 1997. Now, if you didn't catch the original coverage of this event on the news (some months later), or Art Bell or various internet message boards, or indeed the mighty Paranet Continuum hosted by Michael Corbin, then it is almost impossible to relate just how significant the Phoenix lights were or at least seemed back then. The general sentiment, among believers, was that with so many lights for so long of a duration with so many witnesses either some government agency's hand would be forced, someone would disclose something, or, at the very least, the evidence would be so compelling so as to create a burgeoning new Ufology movement and firmly persuade the public to the reality of the phenomenon.

Of course, none of these things happened. And, if you recall when the story broke, you're probably still bewildered the phrase Phoenix lights is relatively obscure, even in esoterica. Brief flames of a resurgence in Ufology proved to burn themselves too quickly, leaving us the pit of smoldering embers we inherited at the beginning of this decade. Don't get me wrong, the story itself was and still is huge; all in all, the Phoenix lights case is the most important in Ufology history, eclipsing both Roswell and the Washington, D.C. flap, if only for record of the event. March of 1997 should have dictated the direction of Ufology for at least the rest of the decade. This should have been the one event that helped organize an otherwise ragtag and incredulous field. Researchers ought to have put their investigative powers to work on a case that, more than likely, is teaming with FAA and military information at some subterranean point just waiting to burst into the daylight. Furthermore, the research undertaken thus far proves itself the product of lackluster individuals purveying shoddy investigative techniques and standards. Let me be blunt, the Phoenix lights case was and is the biggest possible ball thrown into Ufology's court and Ufology not only dropped the ball, it seems, in retrospect, Ufology failed to pick the ball up to begin with!

Flash forward ten years later, and Ufology desperately grasps in the dark for its saving grace-the first three months of the year being spent doing such. When Peter Davenport first reported the sighting of a UFO at Chicago O'Hare Airport, I for one didn't think it added up to much. Yet, for some reason or another, Ufologists were chasing this incident with the rabidity they ought to have chased the Phoenix lights ten years ago. We had impassioned promises from Sam Maranto this (apparently huge) incident at Chicago O'Hare could force discloser. Peter Davenport has been pimping this story out to the media and Newsweek even features him in an interview regarding this incident.

Let's just compare Phoenix to Chicago. The Phoenix lights appeared over a large geographic region for a reasonably long period of time and accrued a healthy array of witnesses and video footage. The video footage cannot be undervalued, as one can compare the eventual dismissal of the event with footage of the phenomenon. The Chicago sighting lasted for a relatively shot duration, among only a few witnesses, and, to date, no video footage documenting the event exists.

The triumph of desperation over logic continues its warpath. A couple of sightings across the country and suddenly we're in the biggest UFO flap in recent history. May I ask, compared to what? If you mean in the last five years, props to you. If you mean in the past ten years, well, that's not so accurate. And now the French government is "disclosing" it UFO files. I would caution anyone before we get in an orgy over disclosure. Unless Ufology wants to loose what little credibility it has, Ufologist must retain the original standard for disclosure. Disclosure does not merely entail a release of government files (by any government) detailing UFO sightings and investigations. A full revelation of the identity of the beings behind the phenomenon, where they come from, what their purpose is, and tall tales of hidden technology that could bring us to paradise on earth are intimately bound to disclosure as a Ufological concept; any pretensions of disclosure when these aspects are missing denigrates Ufology and its Ufologists to a pack of snake oil sales men trying to work a dog and pony show. All the French government files disclose is "well, it's not hidden technology, it's not salvation from the stars, and it's certainly not cosmic ecology" What is it? Yup, you guessed it, a phenomenon in our present reality comprised of some explanation but often times perplexing and at times unexplainable.

While UFOs refuse the loss of there compartment in the human mind, Ufology, over the past decade, after a fifteen year long movement from one strength to another, proves itself inept at handling the phenomenon. The disclosure paradigm, built steadily over a fifteen year period, and receiving an incredible catalyst (the X-Files) contributing to its launch into a broader consciousness, in retrospect, ought to have asked a foundational question: if whatever behind this phenomenon traverses the universe for operations on earth, why would they need to wait on the United States government for disclosure? While it seems simple now, no one in the Ufology community thought then, and rarely thinks today, if the omnipotence accredited to the United States government over the phenomenon was appropriate or indeed feasible; if UFOs really were what Ufology claimed, it seems only the power of God could tame them and control the revealing of the phenomenon to the public, otherwise, the phenomenon by necessity not be comprised of independent agents. For Ufology's survival a transition from the disclosure paradigm to a phenomenological approach has a potent imperative. Aside from its ineptitude, the disclosure paradigm of the 90s demonstrated the volition behind the phenomenon acts with complete autonomy, from either the government or the limited constructions proposed by Ufologists.

Tales of salvation from the stars, cosmic ecological activism and advanced technology hidden by a nearly godlike government are, ultimately, not only impossible to prove, there are scant numbers of men and women who can genuinely claim they'e seen anything to suggest the possibility. Conversely, strange things have been and will always be seen. We'll always see strange things in the sky and strange creatures trawling about the earth. So long, I suspect, as we do not have some catastrophe which plummets us back to medieval times, UFOs will always have a place in popular human consciousness. In turn, Ufology will always have some necessity. Whether or not Ufology will (ever) have credibility, well, that's another issue entirely.

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