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Location: Mothership -> Ufo -> Updates -> 1996 -> Dec -> 'Flying Saucerology' - Europe Vs. The USA

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'Flying Saucerology' - Europe Vs. The USA

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From: egs@netcom.com (Edward G. Stewart)
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 14:33:16 -0800 (PST)
Fwd Date: Sat, 21 Dec 1996 04:53:41 -0500
Subject: 'Flying Saucerology' - Europe Vs. The USA


From: FS@platillos.net (Mario Belmondo)
Newsgroups: alt.alien.research,alt.ufo.reports,
            alt.alien.research,alt.paranet.ufo
Subject: FLYING-SAUCEROLOGY :Europe vs the USA
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 06:48:41 GMT
Organization: Twics Co. Ltd., Japan


--FLYING-SAUCEROLOGY IN EUROPE is different from Flying-Saucerology in
the USA...
----------------------

Does a European Flying-saucerology exist? National differences, languages
and specificities often make one think it does not. But if considered
against the Unitedstatian Flying-saucerology("ufology") as a background, a
common European=20
framework does appear.=20

Both Flying Saucers as a modern phenomenon and Flying-saucerology were
born in the USA in the late '40s, and imported to Europe around 1950.
Unitedstatian
and European
Flying-saucerology have followed similar patterns for years, the USA
usually leading
towards a scientific Flying-saucerology. Now this pattern has
apparently BROKEN down,
as Unitedstatians seem to follow new media FASHIONS which look very
much like typical
themes of the Fifties (contactees, photo repeater cases, Flying
Saucers crashes,
cover-ups) and which have NO ANALOGY here in Europe, where
flying-saucerologists=20
got more and more involved in a revisionist approach centered on the
IFO
problem and HUMAN SCIENCES.

 Cultural and historical reasons demonstrate that the two Atlantic
sides have been moving along  EXCEEDINGLYdifferent lines.

 Where are we,flying-saucerologists?

Does a European FSology really exist? Will a flying-saucerological
Europe soon exist?
If you look at what is published in Flying-Saucers journals and
bulletins around the
Continent, you may easily answer "No!": differences and specificities
are
quite consistent. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES and The "language barrier" are
a main
reason: out of 18 West-European countries, as many as 14 different
languages are spoken, and often local FSologists are not able to
understand
other languages than their own one. Also historical differences may be
easily found: some national flying-saucerologies have had a leading
role, often
because their languages were widely spoken all around the world (just
think
of France and Great Britain) and more intense exchanges helped them to
keep
an international-wide view fo the Flying-Saucer problem and research.
Others remained
more closed upon themselves, either as of input or as of output, and
their
contribute has been very small (or at least very little known abroad).
Specific
national areas of interest may be found for given periods of time: for
example sky-watching was well-diffused in the UK in the '60s, in
France and
Italy in the '70s, in Scandinavia in the '80s; the "Ummo" issue is
rarely
affecting non-Spanish FSologists; humanistic FSology was peculiar of
small
British groups in the early '70s, while a heavily revisionist wave hit
France in the late '70s. The earthlight debate has barely passed
British
boundaries. Even specific UFO/IFO types may be found: the lighted
toy-balloons are said to cause as many as 31% of German sightings in
the
last twelve years (and very few Flying Saucer landings are reported
from that
country...how come? ETI do not like Germans??), while an epidemics of
"laser-beams" has been produced all over
Italy in the last few years; French contactees look very different
from the
Italian ones, and if only you consider "UFO abductions"around Europe
yo
will find very different situations as of both quantity and quality of
reports...This seems to be,essentialy,a CULTURAL US PHENOMENON AND NOT
A REALITY. Our purpose here is to show that, aside from all
above-mentioned
(and other) differences and specificities, European national ufologies
do already have something in common; something quite consistent and as
essential as a methodological approach may be. In order to understand
it, we will take the liberty of single it out by contrast, and the
trick will be looking at European vs.Unitedstatian Flying-saucerology,
which are TOTALLY different.=20

The modern F.S phenomenon was born in the USA,  in 1947,
and only later was it "imported" to Europe, where the first real
MOC(Flying-Saucers) sightings wave was that of 1950. Some Italian
flying-saucerologists even (jokingly) say that flying saucers arrived
to Europe as part of the "Marshall plan",as well as chewing gums,
rock'n'roll music and all the US invasion we were
FLOODED since we became a province of the Empire...

Flyingsaucerology itself was undisputably born in the USA: any history
of Flying-Saucers can but include as
classic names as Arnold, Mantell, Keyhoe, Lorenzen, Ruppelt, APRO,
NICAP and so on.

However,The road towards a scientific flying-saucerology was shown
through Jacques Vall=E9e,a French!
And afterwards by Hynek,a Unitedstatian of Slavic origin.

In Europe,Jacques Vall=E9e,Pierre Gu=E9rin and Aim=E9 Michel started
Flying-saucerology.

So Flying Saucers arrived in the USA in 1947, the "contactees" in the
early '50s, the "soft" and psychical CE's in the late '60s, and the
extraordinarily grotesque "abductees" epidemics in the mid-'70s.

.Do you remember, the 1958-1964 period is often called the "Dark
Age" because of the lull in USA F.S sightings, even if great waves
occurred at the same time in Europe and South America. In a word,
North-America was the reference mark and a sort of ideal country for
flying-saucerologists(and psychiatrists alike!!!) all around the
world.

It is perhaps in USsia(the USA)that you find the biggest concentration
of psychiatric cases by square centimetres!!

 If something had to happen, it was there:the Great Empire of Mass
Media Indoctrinment.

 We could easily speak of a "mythical role" of the classic USA
flying-aucerology, up to at least the mid-'70s.

WHAT ABOUT EUROPE ? At that point, something began to change. It may
have been on the "scientific FSology" side (since 1977 it was France
who lead the way, thanks to the civilian scientific study of F.S by
the  GEPAN); but we believe it may be better traced in the different
consequences of "paraphysical" FSology. While John Keel and Jacques
Vall=E9e looked like unheard voices in North-America, (where the
predominance of ETH has never been
seriously questioned by Flying-saucerologists students), they
obtained,on the other hand, a GREAT success
among the European FS intellectuals, expecially in France and
Great-Britain.

The French and the British went,hand in hand,for once,as nations of
the Intellect vs the USsian children guarding dirty cows,instead of
using the brain!

 It was only small groups, at first, but slowly they grew and
heavily influenced the whole national scene. For example, the English
"MUFOB" (now "Magonia") team did not remain a voice calling in the
desert:

the "humanistic turn" they gave to what was then called the "new
ufology" was later amplified by popular authors like Jenny Randles,
which on turn gradually influenced a whole generation of British
Flying-saucerologists, to a point
that now it's RARE to find "true believers" in foreign spaceships
among the
best known and most active FS investigators in the UK.=20

As another example,Vall=E9e's influence (expecially "The Invisible
College") pushed French Flyingsaucerology ,in the mid-'70s towards,
parapsychological overtones (just think of Pierre Vi=E9roudy,
Jean-Jacques Jaillat, Jean Giraud) and this on turn had a
major effect upon the sudden "change of mind" of Michel Monnerie and
the other "nouveaux soucoupologues" which in the late '70s turned
abruptly to skepticism. They passed over, but the effect was that a
new generation of
French "soucoupologists" is no longer committed to "believing" but
maintain an
"open- mind" position which helped VERY MUCH in approaching the
scientific
milieu. Well, the revisionism was a "tendence" in or around 1980, and
you may find examples in the USA, too: Allan Hendry, Richard Haines
and Alvin Lawson, or even the "MUFON UFO Journal" publishing skeptical
articles by CSICOP members like James Oberg. But it was a different
"revisionism", less "ideological" and more "pragmatical" (think of
Monnerie vs. Hendry on the IFO issue), and we will see that it's
important.

 Indeed, some differences between the two sides of Atlantic were quite
visible as early as 198O.

You'll have surely read or heard the "American
Empire" (as a cultural concept) is in a crisis of decadence(extreme
violence,mass ignorance,media brainwashing,etc). The Unitedstatian
model is no longer a model of civilisation but,on the contrary, a
model of what you SHOULD NOT do in a civilised society.USsia became an
Oligarchy with a few enlightened people at top posts and a hord of
Barbarians(raised by the media and the movies)being manipulated
cleverly by the Oligarchy...and ENCOURAGED to stay as damned idiots as
possible in order not to contest the governing Oligarchy!

 Because we do not have yet such an Oligarchy and hords or uncivilised
ignorants,Europe LEFT by the tangent while the USA started, again,a
regressing hysterical merry-go-round.

Let's explain that.USsian FSology now Strieber's "Communion",
Hopkins' alien abductors, Gary Kinder's book about the Swiss contactee
Eduard Meier, the  "cosmic cover- up" of MJ-12, the Gulf Breeze
photo repeater case: don't we Europeans stand bewildered and
astonished at the US FSology seemingly getting back to what it was in
the Glorious Fifties? Here are AGAIN those noisy contactees (now
"abductees"!!); a new kind
of George Adamski nurturing endless controversy about his wonderful
yet UNBELIEVABLE "scout-ship" pictures; Flyingsaucerologists crying
for "government cover-up"; and all that SHIT!=20

As seen from Europe, USA fsologists seem to
have entered a time machine and got 30 years back. Moreover, they are
presently debating about things (which are the central issues there)
we have no parallel with, here: in Europe you're bound to find no
saucer
crashes, very few abductions (except perhaps in the UK), smaller
Government cover-ups (would you imagine the Italian government
successfully trying to conceal anything?). In that sense, we said: it
looks like the circle has closed down and it's back to square one.

 Well, it's not exactly repeating
the past, of course, it's on a "different level": as of cover-ups,
they've got a powerful instrument as FOIA, and it's no longer question
of the Air Force debunking the Flying-Saucer reality but the President
himself establishing a Majestic-12 group who exactly knew they were
space foreigners and even got their
corpses!!!!!! it's no longer simply examining Adamski's photos through
the magnifying lens, now we have sofisticated photo analysis
techniques confirming Meier's or Gulf Breeze pictures; contactees'
evidence is no
longer an ETI pancake but odd body scars and ghost pregnancies. Times
have changed of course and it all is up-to-date in the '80s, so let's
say
that such more than a circular pattern it is somewhat a helicoid path:
the
"first generation" ETH was good for accounting Daylight Discs in the
'50s.

Now that there are no more FS reports you don't even need a
trigger-sighting, not even a time-lapse: you need nothing more than a
VAGUE paranoid and hysterical fear for rightfully suspecting a
suppressed ETI abduction memory!=20

At the
same time, European FSologists seem to follow very different lines of
search, as you may read in most Old Continent's Flyinf-Saucers
journals. As of Europe,
the real big difference between the '50s and the '80s is, we believe,
that
then FSologists "knew" the truth and what the saucers were, while we
presently think we don't know any longer.=20

Early FSologists were not so much
researchers as they were public educators trying to persuade people of
the
ETI spacecrafts' reality. How many investigation reports dating back
from
the '50s can be found in your files? Most "classic" cases are to be
found
only in books , but hardly do they include those data which
are presently required from the average investigator. (And yet, if you
have
to judge from some recent pieces of investigative work, some USsian
colleagues have forgotten all what Hendry and Haines and Fowler did
teach
and preach as of field investigation methodology.) Another major
feature of
the "new" European ufology is that we no longer consider IFOs as
"false
FS". Indeed IFOs have become a conceptual reality in Europe and are
presently acknowledged as a part of the problem, whereas our overseas
colleagues still regard them as little more than products for the
dust-bin:
identify and eliminate them. A widely diffused concept here is that
the
same proportion of 9 to 1 points to their importance and they're as
interesting and instructive, too. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT ? So it
seems as
if we have sort of two Flyin-saucerologies, as Jenny Randles recently
put it: a "Gringo"one, concentrating almost exclusively on grotesque
abduction reports, FS "crashes" and Government "cover-ups"; and an
European one, more concerned with
IFOs and PSYCHOLOGY .
How could it happen? In this we cannot blame the
language barrier! It's true, most American ufologists cannot read
other
languages,(but this is THEIR fault!)but they can always read the
British authors.
 And anyway we can
read them and still can follow them, but we didn't ANY LONGER because
they are hysterical and paranoid,a reflection of the past PURITANS on
their boats...

 So we took our own road. Some socio-flyingsaucerologist may say the
European "son" reached maturity (at 40 years old it's nearly time!)
and now wants to kill the
Yanqui "father", but it would be ludicrous (though the afore-mentioned
self- styled  Italian sociologist did say something to that effect in
order to explain some recent local polemics). Indeed basic attitudes
of
USsian and European FSologists towards each other do not differ much
from
the average man's attitudes: The average USsian,created by the USsian
Oligarchy, tend to think Europeans are much too
complicated in their abstract reasoning, in "behind-ology" and with
their noses up to the sky instead of being pragmatical in their
approach to reality. And Europeans tend to think of USsians as
GULLIBLE, NAIVE,
SUPERFICIAL,HYSTERICAL ,ARROGANT,PARANOID and fascist people,
 unable to see farther than the end of their nose and to
detach themselves from the face value of things.

 Of course such stereotyped images are rough and inadequate, but they
nonetheless contain a grain of truth. The practical (pragmatical)
culture of Americans as opposed to the more theoretical,civilised,
European one is reflected by the difference between some
"revisionist" authors like Richard Haines and Allan Hendry, there, and
Jenny Randles or the French "new wave", here. That is well illustrated
by some
recent Budd Hopkins' reasonings, on the line "we don't need abductions
theoricians, but abduction investigators: come and do the hard work
instead
of philosophising from your comfortable armchairs". It's true: it
would be
good for some FS philosophers to get involved in field investigations
and
"touch" the phenomenon. On the other hand, it would actually be NAIVE
to go
interviewing witnesses without a CAREFUL background training, unless
you
just want to get easy confirmation for YOUR OWN beliefs. Ironically,
abduction researchers, who refute any psychological implication for
"their"
percipients, seem to be unaware that they're involving themselves (and
their percipients, alas) in that same socio- psychological GARBAGE
they
claim European colleagues are getting muddled into. The different part
played by the mass media in the U.S.A. and in Europe is also HIGHLY
relevant.
Media attitude towards people and people's attitude towards media seem
to
be very different, if you look at newspapers and TV. Just as an
example, we
are told USsians are fond of finding their names in the local
newspaper,
while in Italy, for example they're AFRAID of that and usually DO NOT
want
their names to be published. And the media treatment was probaly the
cause
of the great success of Whitley Strieber's "Communion" in America,
while at
the same time it received a very COLD reception in Europe (in Italy
but
ALSO in Great Britain!). We also think that it's significative that
USsia claims to be in a lull of sightings since 1973 or so. That would
explain
why you have to resort to: - alleged crashes which took place back
forty
years ago; - "invisible (INDEED) epidemics" of hilarious and naive
abduction=20
cases without any
conscious UFO sighting; - bedroom visitors once kept outside any UFO
report
catalogue or file (do you remember Bloecher-Webb's CE-III class E: no
UFO
seen in correlation with entity!!! Pure delusion...); - tons of
reports (and photos)
 from a
single "repeater" witness (Mr "Ed" or Billi Meier, that's basically
the
same). Abductions seem to mark the FINAL separation, in that they are
to
become the American ufology. They undoubtedly constitute the highest
grotesque report. Are
we sure that a solution to the UFO enigma may come  from the study of
such imaginary ETI kidnappings. What are we to do of such
intrinsecally
un-studiable things as Hopkins' intruders: there is no proof or direct
evidence, the intruders keep a constant control of the situation, it's
substantially a transcendent reality. At this point we can only
either: -
wait for the "contact"(VERY UNLIKELY), or - arm ourselves and watch
 the skies for shooting
down the "ETI", or - conclude that "we're property" or already
"colonised" and retire ourselves from FSology =E0 la Aim=E9 Michel. If you
want
to call it "-ology"... Will we arrive at having no contact point at
all
between the Atlantic? In at least two fields it may well be the case:
- the social
level: a different public has got different interests (remember:
Strieber)
and a different way to see the phenomenon and its students; - the
ufologists themselves; think of Hopkins: doesn't he, too, look for a
"different" UFO experience: hypnosis-INVENTED instead of investigated.
(We
always wonder: perhaps we too would, if we tried; but would that still
be
ufology or something else?). WHO IS RIGHT ? On the other side, our
USsian
friends might well ask us what we are talking about and conclude that
indeed we are no longer FSologists; and they may be right, since we no
longer study what most of them mean by "UFO". (But can they correctly
say
they study Flying-Saucers, when they actually are on the trail of ETI
spacecrafts
they "modestly" hide behind the more scientific-sounding "UFO" label?)
Somebody here arrived to claim that perhaps we should say we study
"unusual
aerial phenomena" (not "anomalous", since some are not intrinsecally
exotic). But at this point, perhaps we do have different objects of
study.
In a certain sense, there are also similarities between present USsian
and European avant-garde ufologists: UFO sightings are just the
proverbial
tip of the iceberg both for for American abduction researchers and for
the
European socio-psychological "new FSologists". But those are different
icebergs: the first is a massive genetic test campaign by ETI
intruders,
the second is just one facet of a multifaceted "modern FOLKLORE"
phenomenon. Thus, in the least, what we see emerging are two different
models of ufology, two concepts of reality, each of them possibly
being the
correct one (if one is to be). Well - you could say - where's the
problem?
It's you who said each national UFO community has its own "concept of
ufology", so what? What we want to emphasize is a danger: that we
Europeans
and them USsians are beginning to go in opposite directions, and (what
is
worst) they seem to go down a dangerous way even they can't imagine
where
it will lead them. As a first result, it has rehabilitated the lies of
contactees,
though in a new form, so that they are now accepted (and promoted) by
FSologists, who even believe they act in a scientific manner (how can
you
oppose Philip Klass when he notes that Budd Hopkins' concept of
"skepticism" is so broad that he feels he cannot refute anything?). We
are
told by linguists that US English and English as languages are getting
slowly
apart and that in the next 100 years they won't be able to understand
each
other anyway. It looks as if such a process has already gone up to a
good
distance, since we seem NOT to talk about the same things. What we
fear is
that we arrive at a complete BREAK, at having incommensurable
FS realities. And we are near to that. Indeed, while we express our
astonishment at the recent US developments, our overseas friends
don't seem able to cope up with our criticism and only try to DEMONISE
us
as "debunkers of a new kind", (and that's the way some Italian
old-styled
FS-buff described us). But that's wrong: we are not "negative
believers"
of the CSICOP kind, and Michel Monnerie was writing ten years ago, and
a
very different approach has developed since. It seems difficult to
explain
to USsians that European Flying-Saucer research has EVOLVED to a point
were it's no
longer similar to a black-and-white battlecamp between the goodies (us
believers) and the bad guys (them debunkers): more and more often you
may
find ufologists holding very different ideological positions living
and
working together without just trying to bite each other. Indeed, it's
only
tolerance for different opinions, and none of us should feel entitled
to
possess "the Truth": we're all searching for answers, and we've not
yet got
them. And here lies the hopeful solution: a greater tolerance for each
others' opinions. Are we prepared to understand that FSology itself
may be
influenced by SOCIOLOGICAL differences and so it is legitimate that
each
one has its own kind of ufology? THE WAY AHEAD Even if in reality such
extreme opposition as we have painted may not exist, but its
representation
has served us to get aware of ourselves: a conclusion we feel entitled
to
reach is that a European FSology already exists de facto, because of a
common substratum of "modus operandi" and style of reasoning, as
opposed to
the USsian one. A different course of history in the last fifteen
years
left its mark, and european FSologists are now ideologically nearer to
each other and more distant from the USsian way. It looks as if we can
no
longer expect the USsia to show us the way, and we no longer have that
importing channel at work across the Atlantic. Indeed we are already
walking on our own legs, even if nobody tells it as it is, and we all
still
speak of "ufology" as if it was one and only, while at the moment we
do
have two ufologies. We only need better contacts and exchange, and
here
it's up to us to define what and how to do to improve it. But since
our
affinities are more "ideological" (or better: methodological), we feel
that
the common ground for a European Flyingsaucerology has to be searched
in these
issues, rather that in some sort of "federation". Personally, from our
own
experience in organising Italian ufologists, as well as participating
in
some previous attempts to build international structures, we don't
believe
international federations may succeed. But we are ready to take part
in
such a scheme, if it can be useful, and we're prepared to share our
experiences with others. Those same structural differences in national
scenes probably render a European federation too big and complex a
thing to
handle. The very different national organisations render it difficult:
some
countries have one national centre, others do not even have a national
federation but only local groups and researchers; if you choose to
have
organisations represented (as in PICUR), you may find rivalries within
each
country; if you choose single individuals (as in Hynek's World UFO
Association) they may not grant local adoption of common strategies or
methodologies. Moreover, just think of travel difficulties (how many
times
a country was represented abroad by a now inactive individual without
any
following, whose only merit was to be there!). A more flexible
approach is
to be adopted if we want to get to an international cooperation going
beyond an exchange of publications and information, by establishing
common
standards (as PICUR tried, but perhaps it was too early), while at the
same
time respecting each other's specific interests or local situations.
In
that, we at Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici have got an uncommon
experience
of putting together all and any (serious) attitude: total skeptics
akin to
Robert Sheaffer, doubters =E0 la Lawson, agnostics like Haines, true
believers in ETI visitors, supporters of hallucinatory theories, all
them
have come to live together within CISU; as well as pure researchers
and
public educators, field investigators and sky- watchers all found
their
place within a common framework where we only agreed on a "minimum
common
denominator" of what all of us engaged to do. A closer relationship
and
interfacing between private UFO researchers is not only useful, it's
needed
if we want to get on towards a solution for the UFO problem. Europe as
a
whole has got a great potential of men, of ideas, of data and of
experiences. Let's try and put it all together.

All the best.

--

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ed Stewart - egs@netcom.com - |	So Man, who here seems principal alone,
"There is                     |	Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown.
 Something Going On!" ,>'?'<, | Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal,
 -Salvador Freixedo-  ( O O ) |	'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
------------------ooOO-(_)-OOoo------- Alexander Pope, Essay on Man -------=
=20


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