UFO Conjectures

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ufology Used for The Hero's Journey?

The Atlantic (magazine), April 2015, has an article by Gideon Lichfield entitled “Solving the Riddle of Near-Death Experiences" [Page 76 ff.]

I’m not going to highlight the NDE material but, rather, point to this excerpt from the piece:

“… The hero’s journey, or quest narrative, [is] the structure that the American writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell identified and named the ‘monomyth’ in 1949. The quest underlies just about every form of storytelling, from religious myth to Greek epic to Hollywood blockbuster to memoir. In [the] structure, a protagonist is shaken out of his normal way of life by some disturbance and – often reluctantly at first … strikes out on a journey to an unfamiliar realm. There he faces tests, battles enemies, questions the loyalty of friends and allies, withstands a climactic ordeal, teeters on the brink of failure or death, and ultimately returns to where he began, victorious but in some way transformed.

The hero’s journey is so pervasive in storytelling … because it is so aspirational. It offers the possibility of an escape from something that holds [one] back, and a transformation into something better.”

My original thought was to example noted UFO witnesses or abductees who’ve used the monomyth to further their observation or experience.

But then I thought I’d apply to monomyth to those who’ve made ufology the vehicle or modus for their quest.

That is, who in the UFO community, past and present can you cite who seems to be using or used the “hero’s quest” to transform their life from a mundane existence to one that seems significant or transformational?

Among UFO witness or event experiencers I’d cite George Adamski, Betty Hill, Travis Walton for example, but I’m looking for those who aren’t in that category; that is, not a UFO experiencer, per se, or witness to the phenomenon.

I’m wondering who might be noted as using ufology as their map for a hero’s quest, a hero’s journey.

Campbell, offers, in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, a retinue of persons we might all agree contain the “Hero” sobriquet rightfully.

But since Mr. Lichfield, in his Atlantic piece, applies the hero’s quest to persons who say they’ve had a near-death experience, diminishing the monomyth thereby, I think we might try to apply the terminology to those who, in ufology, use the idea, because of its assumed universality, as their modus for fame or a transformational legacy.

I won’t name names myself but hope some of you might think this through and provide a few names of those whom you think use the mantle or idea of the “hero’s quest” in their pursuit of the UFO explanation, or even the Roswell explanation, by itself.

(Those interested in Near-Death experiences would do well to seek out the Atlantic/Lichfield piece, which is online I think.)


For those who like the idea of conspiracies, invisible colleges, and mysterious societies

Chapter 75 of Umberto Eco's book