Saturday, June 15, 2013

Where do you fit into the scheme of things?

Hi all,

Following on from a previous post,"Where did your interest come from?" (click here to read) my thinking then progressed to "Which type of interest do you have?"

Offhand I thought of the major approaches to our subject, which I had come across, e.g. scientific ufology; skeptical. I then recalled that I had once read a much more detailed and thoughtful list in a book by US folklorist Eddie Bullard.

So, off I went to find my copy of "The Myth and Mystery of UFOs," by Thomas E(ddie) Bullard, published in 2011 by The University Press of Kansas. Lawrence, Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-1729-6.

In the introduction to the book, Bullard has a section titled "Approaching the problem" which sets out ten different approaches to the phenomenon. I found it an excellent list, and I think you will too, so I present it here for your edification.

1. Scientific ufology:

"For this group UFOs are a phenomenon accessible to rational inquiry. These people pursue in-depth case investigations, critical examination of evidence, comparison of collected data and rigorous research projects to determine if any UFO reports describe an unknown phenomenon." (p.15.)

2. Explorers:

"A larger and more impetuous group than the scientific ufologists explorers care about evidence but only insofar as it supports their beliefs." (pp15-16.)

3. Interested followers:

"This group consists of the consumers rather than the producers of ufology." (p.16.)

4. Activists:

"They regard the existence of UFOs and their extraterrestrial origin as established facts and care only about the implications of alien visitation." (p.16.)

5. Specialists:

"The people who concentrate on one aspect of ufology are sometimes helpful and sometimes harmful to the field." (p.16.)

6. Interlopers:

One type of specialist enters the UFO field for a while, promotes some special interest, and then leaves." (p.16.)

7. Skeptics:

"To counterbalance the believers, there are the disbelievers, the skeptics and debunkers who attack UFOs as a social delusion. (p.17.)

8. Critics:

"The critics who do not reject UFOs as a philosophical creed nevertheless expect convincing evidence and continue to doubt because they have not found sufficient reason to change their minds." (p.17.)

9. Experiencers:

"...the people who claim to have witnessed UFOs." (p.18.)

10. Insiders:

"...an individual who claims privileged information about UFOs." (p.18.)

End note:

There is obviously a spectrum of interest, so where do you fit into the scheme of things?

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