Revolver Map



Monday, May 16, 2011

Ufology's Sacred Cow

I mentioned recently how I have gotten an offer to get an article of mine published in a UFO magazine. In order to get a better feel for how best to write this article I decided to head to my local bookstore and thumb through some of the other UFO magazines that are out currently on the newsstands. Since my girlfriend is my unofficial editor she also grabbed a few of them and we began to look through them together. We were flipping through the pages of a magazine that is currently out on the stands, which I will not be naming, and we began to notice something that seemed pretty odd at first. Just about every article in the magazine was about the Roswell UFO crash.

My girlfriend, who is only interested in these Fortean topics to humor me (that’s not fair she is interested in them but simply isn’t as obsessed with it as I am), was quite confused by why this topic was being given such a big presence in the magazine. As she said this it got my mind to wondering. Why indeed was Roswell almost literally in every single article? I think the answer is really quite simple and also sad.

Roswell is one of Ufology’s Sacred Cows. From the Wikipedia article a sacred cow is ‘something else that is considered immune from question or criticism, especially unreasonably so’. Hmm yeah I think that is an excellent definition of Roswell’s position in modern day Ufology. It seems to be that for many people Ufology lives or dies on Roswell. Many in the field hold the case with such high regard that it is unlikely to get a real dialogue going about what may have actually occurred on that ranch in 1947. Roswell’s importance in ufology is such a strange thing. I mean let’s be honest about the case, it happened over 63 years ago. At this point it is unlikely that anything can be definitively decided as to what happened that fateful night.

For many outside of the UFO ‘field’ (if such a thing even truly exists) Roswell seems to be the easiest target to attack Ufology’s credibility. After all, when you are over 60 years removed from the event it is really easy for a legend to be born. And sadly many of your better known Ufologists are very quick to jump to the defense of this case. But I think that’s the problem. Again for so many it’s as though if you can prove Roswell somehow you can by association prove all of Ufology as true. This doesn’t really seem to make any logical sense, however. Why do we need this one case in order to prove that there are UFO’s that are spotted all over the world literally every day of the year? Somehow proving Roswell was an Extraterrestrial event doesn’t give Ufology the credence it may deserve.

Therein, I think, lays the problem. For the Ufologists who have made their careers out of the Roswell Crash, the case seems to be the Holy Grail for the ETH. After all, at least as the common story goes; there were bodies that were recovered that night that didn’t look at all human. Since they didn’t appear to be human they must therefore have been Extraterrestrial. The most popular version of the Roswell case bolsters the ETH. Ufologists, many who already know the provenance of the UFO’s, see Roswell as the cornerstone for the theories they are trying to prove.

There are so many problems with this, but the main one is that I honestly believe that we are wasting time, money, and energy on a case that we can never truly prove. Weather balloon, alien spacecraft, mogul balloon, Japanese Biological Weapon, really it doesn’t matter at this point in time what happened on that ranch. Well at least not to the degree that the case has been elevated. At best Roswell should have been just another nail in the coffin of people denying that there is an unusual phenomena going on, rather than a Sacred Cow that is damn near deserving of our respect and veneration. It is high time that we move on, put this case down in the UFO history books and look at the sum of the whole rather than just the parts. Well that is all for today, maybe next time I will take down the Sacred Cow of the Alien Abduction Phenomena, namely the Betty and Barney Hill case. Until next time this is Fortean Philosopher Tony, saying I really could go for some beef now for some reason.

PS If anyone wishes to disagree please feel free to write a comment.


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