I authored the following editorial on the Spaced Out Radio website on October 16., 2019. Many thanks to Dave Scott and Gail Shirk for posting it!
COOPERATION AND CONFLICT IN THE UFO COMMUNITY
Conflict in the UFO community is nothing new. It has been a continuing feature of the UFO scene since the modern UFO era began in 1947, while cooperation has been informal and sporadic. I have always felt that the UFO community is like a political party in exile. We have a vital interest in an outcome, with no power to bring it about.
Exiled parties have a history of backstabbing, betrayal and viciousness, and the UFO public is certainly no exception.
The UFO subject is a very difficult one. In my quest for greater knowledge and understanding, I prefer to use the term Rational rather than Scientific. It’s hard to do real science when you don’t know where, when or how you are going to see a UFO. This field requires patience, a long term view, and a tolerance for ambiguity. We should accept these conditions, even embrace them.
At the same time, some believe that if UFO researchers just straighten up and fly right, establishment science will come on board. I think that’s quixotic. Of course researchers and investigators should act professionally. But it will make little or no difference as to whether the science establishment will participate. Mainstream science will not get involved until there is a clear signal from an authority that UFOs are real and must be taken seriously. Let’s get off that particular bandwagon of self criticism and concentrate on doing our own work as best we can, with the capabilities and the resources that we have.
A quality I continually find missing in the UFO scene is courtesy. In this field we often disagree and become frustrated with one another. But we should behave with an attitude of courtesy and respect. That goes not only for how we treat individuals, but groups and organizations as well. Merely acting out of what one believes is “The Truth” while ignoring courtesy only creates more division, unpleasantness, rancor and discord. Any fool can criticize and mock others. We need to treat each other with kindness, not animosity.
There are no ready answers in this field. Resolution of the UFO issue could be beyond our society’s capabilities at his time. It could literally be hundreds of years before we have a better understanding. No individual, group or organization should be blamed for not having “Answers”. Conflating UFO issues into political agendas (world peace, medical panaceas, alternative energy, climate change) just adds to the confusion. The most we can hope to accomplish at this point in time in our efforts is to learn more, to move the ball forward.
So, how can we accomplish this? We can study field investigation and conduct investigations in a professional way, and carefully document our findings. We can engage in historical research and attempt to dig deeper. We can volunteer to help one or more groups with a mind to advance knowledge, rather than just promote ourselves. Above all – we should study the UFO phenomenon rationally rather than emotionally.
Let’s find ways to cooperate with one another rather than create conflicts. The UFO problem is difficult enough without causing more division.