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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Definition of Insanity?

I have often heard that an unofficial definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same task yet expecting a different out come each time. As an example jumping off a roof hoping that eventually you will be able to fly. Well I have recently decided that I must be insane. I have related a few times on this blog that I on occasion frequent the forums over at AboveTopSecret (ATS). The only topics that I tend to gravitate and respond in are typically the UFO/Alien topics. I mean 'go with what you know' right?

Well with that in mind I went to a thread entitled 'UFOs are Alien: Evidence!'. Now I just couldn't resist going in to that thread and reading what evidence was going to be offered. I was really excited, not because I thought the evidence was going to be particularly compelling (turns out I was right), but because I knew it was going to be eye roll worthy. The original poster opens with this phrase:

A new theory emerged, that the flying discs (that we call UFOs) are all made by our Governments. It is true that our Governments are now able to replicate 'UFOs', but the originals belong to extraterrestrial beings.

Before photography was invented, humans had the cave paintings, cuneiform depictions, written texts and spoken tales of UFOs and extraterrestrial beings.

I think this is pretty good evidence that UFOs are mainly of Extraterrestrial origins. Long before we were able to use 'anti-gravity' flying vehicles, our ancestors witnessed them in the skies.

As far as posts go on ATS its about par for the course. I wasn't entirely sure what the author was trying to convey. I thought that basically he was saying that because we had strange cave paintings and other such early human images of strange things, that they must by definition be ET. Knowing me as you probably do by now, especially if you have been reading this blog for some time, I responded with the well reasoned (of course I might be biased) post below: (Also keep in mind I was posting from work so my initial response was a little short)

Well just because there might have been advanced technologies in antiquity does not necessarily make it ET. It could just as likely have been an advanced human civilization that is currently unknown or suspected to have existed (think Atlantis or Lemuria).

Great response right? I know I'm a genius. All joking aside my point was that simply because we find depictions of what we interpret to be 'flying objects' on rock walls or whatever, doesn't necessarily somehow indicate an ET presence in our prehistoric Earth. Well it wasn't long until the original author was ready to offer a rebuttal. His response:

                        Why, because ETs don't exist?

Now, I don't think that I'm 'in' Ufology the same way that say Greg Bishop, Nick Redfern, or Paul Kimball are. But I imagine that response was akin to being called a disinfo agent or a skeptic/debunker. I have to be completely honest, I was a little flattered. I don't think that is what my response had said, or to be more accurate it wasn't what I was trying to imply. Much like with my posts on here about the UFO phenomena, I just don't think you necessarily have to shout ET every time something strange is brought up. Which brings me to my reply to his question:

No but you don't necessarily have to evoke the 'ET' meme in order to explain things like ancient cave paintings. In his book Supernatural Graham Hancock explores the possibility that rock art was created while under the influence of hallucinogens such as ayahuasca. That wasn't to say that what they were seeing wasn't 'real' but that it didn't exist in our realm of 'reality'. Of course the likelihood of their being ET intelligences in our universe is almost an inevitability. And I am even a fan of the Paleo-contact Theory. However I feel that there is far too much emphasis on the ET part of the ETH. For instance perhaps the technologies that were witnessed by our ancestors could have been of the Cryptoterrestrial civilization that was proposed by the late Mac Tonnies. Sometimes I fell that people need to be more willing to think outside of the 'ET' box. Just my 2 cents.

That isn't anything you haven't heard me say on this blog a million times (bit of hyperbole there for you). And it has gotten to the point where I have said it on ATS to where I almost blue in the face. The original author of the thread (as of now when I am typing this) has yet to reply to my response. Perhaps he gave up, or he wasn't going to change his mind anyway. Which brings me to the point of this post. I have repeatedly stated on ATS my views and opinions on the UFO phenomena and its possible origins to absolutely no avail. And after my final response in this thread here:

Yeah it was the works of Jacques Vallee and John Keel that really got me to open my mind to the multitude of possibilities that may exist out there. You're right in that some UFOs could or even probably are an ET presence of some form or another. The problem as I see it though is that we have been thinking that it was Aliens for over 60 yrs now in this field (you know at least the majority Vallee and Keel notwithstanding) and yet we haven't really learned anything at all. For reasons like that I was really attracted to Mac Tonnies' book, which of course was just an option and even he didn't necessarily believe that was the 'Answer'. Because whatever the ultimate 'answer' ends up being it will likely be something so far beyond our current comprehension that we may have to evolve more to even hope to understand it.

I have decided that I'm not really learning anything from that website, at least not by contributing anyway. I'm not arrogant enough to think I have the right answers or anything. I just hope that I am at least looking at this phenomena with the right attitude. I think that one reason I haven't won any fans over on that site is that I refuse to be pigeonholed. I'm not a believer, but at the same time I'm not a disbeliever. I am simply a Fortean Philosopher. To me the answer, if we can ever even find it let alone understand it, probably lies somewhere in the middle of the believer/disbeliever dichotomy.

And so for the foreseeable future I am done with that website, I don't begrudge the people that would go to it and I still would recommend those that are interested in Alternative News/Views check it out. Just be advised that the UFO/Alien part suffers greatly from the True Believer vs Pseudo-Skeptic thing that much of the Ufological 'field' suffers from. So as always I am left with posting my rantings and ravings here, listening to the few good podcasts that exist out there (RadioMisterioso and Binnall of America), and talking on Twitter to the one person I consider to be friend in this 'field', Paul Kimball. Thats all my bitching for tonight, so until next time I will leave you with a (probably) familiar Charles Fort quote.

“I conceive of nothing, in religion, science or philosophy, that is more than the proper thing to wear, for a while."


Paul Kimball said...

Hi Tony,

ATS, like all such message forums, is about the worst place to look for either truth or enlightenment. As you say, the vast majority of what you're going to get is the true believer vs. true disbeliever merry-go-round. You're well served to ignore it all, and stick with blogging, writing articles, and listening in to any podcasts that you consider worthwhile... which seems to be what you're doing! :-)

Keep up the good work!


Tony Morrill said...

Thanks Paul, that really means a lot coming from you. I can honestly say that I've learned more from listening to and reading your stuff, or Greg Bishop's, Nick Redfern's, and probably especially Tim Binnall's. Because it was through Tim that I first learned about all you guys and your stuff helped shed the True Believer cloak I used to wear

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