Early this month I suggested to my good friends Seriah Azkath and Josh Cutchin to record a Where Did the Road Go? roundtable, because I felt the need to take some things out of my chest, and I thought it would be a good idea to bounce these ideas off with them.
It is no secret that I’ve been very critical and skeptical of Tom DeLonge and his (former) To the Stars partners, who irrupted into the UFO scene like a tornado in 2017 promising a new era of government disclosures, and even the possibility to invest in a company that would seek to develop an actual freaking man-made flying saucer –yes, that was actually a thing they promised during their launch campaign, which their hardcore fans have brainwashed themselves to forget!
After the New York Times’ 2017 bombshell that revealed the secret AATIP program, the new young enthusiasts that joined the ranks of the UFO community began to take control of the conversation in social media. They worked as echo chambers for every new tidbit of ‘revelations’ thrown here and there by Luis Elizondo or Chris Mellon, while heavily criticizing everyone who dared to point out how, in the past, former Intelligence officials offering to share government secrets always ended up disappointing or misleading researchers.
The slow crescendo of the UFO bubble eventually burst when the DoD released their UAP Task Force’s preliminary report, which was predictably devoid of any Earth-shattering admissions that UFOs are in fact evidence of an advanced non-human presence in our planet –the only thing the report said, is that they could not dismiss this possibility entirely.
So, while we keep hearing rumbles of bills being considered in order to create a ‘permanent UFO desk’ in the government –as if THAT would be a failproof solution to the mystery, right Britain?– I feel the atmosphere in social media surrounding the UFO issue has changed dramatically. There’s a sense of “is this it?” among the younger folks who probably thought by now the United Nations would be welcoming the first alien delegations while our civilization would be on a fast track to a Star Trek-like utopia. Meanwhile the grizzled members of the UFO community (including yours truly) were doing our best to refrain from shouting “WE TOLD YA SO” to these naïve youths, simply because deep down we remember when WE were in their shoes…
One developing trend in the community, which I feel is indirectly fueled by the current collective sense of frustration, is the organization of revisionist ‘witch hunts’ of old ‘classic’ UFO cases –such as the famous Travis Walton abduction. Now here I want to make clear once again that I have nothing against the researchers who, for whatever reason, decided to take a new look into these reports –even though I seriously question their judgment when they choose to ally themselves with fundamentalist skeptics who seek nothing but to undermine the reality of the UFO phenomenon in its entirety.
But, as a result of this, I kept witnessing a troubling rise of nasty negativism against ANYTHING that has even the slightest whiff of high strangeness –in other words, anything that seems stranger or less convincing than the ‘canon’ stories sanctioned by the new leading figures in UFOlogy (e.g. the Tic-Tac Navy sightings)– had to be eliminated in order to be taken seriously by the Status Quo. It doesn’t matter the Navy reports have only the testimony of the pilots and some crappy grayscale videos to back them up, because ‘Zondo sez there’s more evidence supporting these UFO encounters hidden within the vaults of the Pentagon, and that should be good enough for us… right?
Which is why I felt compelled to raise my voice and remind the UFO community how we risk throwing away the high strangeness data at our own peril, and that it is a lose-lose bet anyway: we won’t gain an iota of the highly coveted veneer of respectability UFOlogists are so obsessed with, and we on the other hand may end up losing an important piece of the puzzle our predecessors might have overlooked in the process.
This, no doubt presents a problem: Do you then ACCEPT at face value any cockamamie UFO story you read or hear about online? Of course not! The solution is in trying to use a neat little tool taken from the toolbox of Phenomenology, called ‘making the cut’. And if you want to know more about this I’d suggest you either give a listen to our little roundtable; or better yet, grab a copy of The Super Natural by Whitley Strieber and Jeff Kripal.
PS: Happy birthday, Seriah!