UFO Conjectures

Sunday, April 30, 2017

UFOs: The Ascent and the Decline

Copyright 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.
A few of you may be familiar with Oswald Spengler’s magnum opus The Decline of the West, an important book that has lost its cachet in academia but remains pertinent in a number of ways.

And of course you know about Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

No, I’m not going to drag you through either book but they, along with a few others, tell us how empires, countries, and cultures rise and fall or decline, to the point of irrelevancy.

The UFO phenomenon is like that: it rose, reached heights of relevancy, but today is in decline, if not dead.

I know that many reading this still maintain that UFOs are integral to societal existence.

They aren’t.

UFOs are at the fringe of relevancy. Advocates say no. The Anomalist gang says no. Some of my UFO pals say no.

But the view or opinion that UFOs remain significant is delusional.

Flying saucers rose to prominence in 1947, as you all know. They peaked in the following two decades of the 50s and 60s, then started a slow but palpable descent.

Today, UFOs are the scum on the pond of civilization.

I maintain an interest because I’m soaked in flying saucer or UFO lore, a drenching that most attuned here are also besotted by.

But lest you misunderstand my stance, let me say (write) that one has to look at the UFO mythos in the same way that Gibbon and Spengler looked at the phenomena that interested them, a dead civilization and a dead cultural milieu: the UFO and its current Weltanschauung.

Nothing more, nothing less.

UFOs are archaeological.

That some try to coat UFOs with an ET patina doesn’t bring them back to life as a viable alternative to things that truly matter, and we all know what those things are, or we should know.

Don’t be put off by my dour position, as stated above and known by regulars who visit this blog, no matter its incarnation.

I’ll try to provide substantive musings, bolstered by artifacts of the UFO mythology as usual, and I hope some of you will continue to tag along for the ride.

RR

6 Comments:

  • First, what is relevant, significant, or "integral to societal existence" is neither clear nor simple. If we judge by clicks, then the lives of celebrities are relevant and significant, but hardly "integral to societal existence". On the other hand, the quantum theory that underwrites the operation of modern-day electronics is "integral to societal existence" but hardly significant, if significance is determined by its presence in general consciousness.

    Second, it strikes me as curious that someone as familiar with psychoanalysis as yourself doesn't wonder if the UFO mythos hasn't become, since its heyday from 1947 ("flying saucers") to, say, just to be arbitrary, 1987 (alien abductions)(both these had their presence in the media, the public sensorium) marginal, because quotidian and inconsequential (!) as dreams, i.e., something not particularly anomalous at this time, something "everyday", such that its imagery and themes are IMmediately apprehended (e.g., I saw two cartoons first thing this morning playing off an understanding of what Martians or ETs "are"). That "scum on the pond" as you call it, like a slip of the tongue, for example.

    From a sociological or cultural studies perspective, the "UFO" is part of the data, a sign if you will, or, as you might have it, a symptom. Google it, YouTube it, check out IMDb, or read this review from the NYT linked below. If psychoanalysis teaches us anything, it's that what seems most marginal is precisely for that reason illuminative of the centre.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/science/ufo-sightings-book.html

    By Blogger Bryan Sentes, at Monday, May 01, 2017  

  • That something impacts individuals, Bryan, is not indicative of what represents the Weltanschauung, something you know better than anyone.

    What is marginal is marginal, and UFOs are certainly that.

    One can't project -- as "psychoanalytics" continue to tell us -- a personal (or small group) view on society or, more importantly, humanity.

    This was addressed by the great Freud in his Moses and Monotheism, which you are familiar with I know.

    Your selective observation of a few UFO related things, this morning or any morning, is merely a reflection of your current state of mind -- you were brought back into the UFO milieu by my posting that mentioned you.

    Otherwise you'd be doting on things, at Facebook, philosophical or poetical.

    UFOs and ufology are in decline, phenomenologically and in everyday reality. You know this.

    And I appreciate your devil's advocate position here. That's why I mentioned you in my psychedelic post, to get input from a truly academic personality.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 01, 2017  

  • Rich -

    Welcome back... and I will say this about UFOs, they seem to make good television (or rather they get a lot of play on the cable), but then you have to fill all those hours with something.

    I will note also, as Karl Pflock and I used to discuss, it almost seems as if the pilots and crew of the saucers finished their observations and have gone home. We just don't seem to get the same sort of robust sightings that we did decades ago. I've thought of it as an anthropologist finding a primitive tribe. For months the anthropologist is there, he or she is bringing in friends to study the primitives, testimony is collected, artifacts are collected, pictures are taken, and when the study ends, the anthropologist and all the equipment and friends leave... no more sightings of the strange people from another part of the world. So, maybe the aliens finished their study and went home leaving UFOlogy in a state of decline and decay.

    By Blogger KRandle, at Monday, May 01, 2017  

  • Or Kevin, the UFO visitors have become remote observers of us wee humans, using their craft as "drones" of a kind, refusing to confront or encounter peoples who are flummoxed when face-to-face with them.

    (But, of course, I'm not an ET believer, but UFOs have to come from someplace or came from someplace.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 01, 2017  

  • Rich, I took the liberty to read some of your postings back in 2007. Your thesis then is pretty much the same as now with the exceptions that you were somewhat timid back then but more resolute in you present day opinion.

    Last week there was a major news article concerning the exponential growth of UFO sights in New York state propagated by "research" conducted by a married couple and compiled in a book.

    Now, our two authors may have had interesting data to share, but the story went nowhere. Basically nobody gives a good tinker's damn. UFOs are too passé...shit relegated to night time radio and a plethora of cable news outlets that would just as soon run a worthless hour long infomercial selling colonics, worthless vitamin supplements or telling you why your current vacuum cleaner "sucks" in a negative way.

    As far as our two "learned" authors mentioned above, perhaps their research data was only one or two rungs ahead of MUFON's usual "scientific" prose...meaning the bar was extremely low to begin with so why would the general public bother.

    History is considered a liner series of chronological measurements with an occasional return loop here and there. What of UFOs and their study/impact on humanity, if any?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, May 01, 2017  

  • UFOs are so fringe, Tim, that I am loath to mention them outside this venue.

    The problem lies in the delusional-like stances that many UFO buffs take: that UFOs still resonate with media and the public and that UFOs are ET craft.

    We (you and I, and a few others) are in the midst of a psychotic belief-system, where rationality is nowhere to be found.

    I try to stick with the residue of something that fascinated me way back when, when I was younger and stupider and the "phenomenon" had cachet. UFOs were an exciting mystery, made banal now by all the chicanery and huckterism, as you note.

    (It seems that the Anomalist has decided to sideline me because I try to speak the truth and present a dour attitude by doing so.)

    It's sad that UFOs, as a topic, has come to this, but there it is.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 01, 2017  

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