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05 December, 2007

The sharks of ufology

Although I'm a newcomer to the paranormal blogosphere, I've read widely on paranormal subjects for twenty years or more. My special interests include unusual entities, ghostly vehicles and aircraft, time-slips, and of course, UFOs. During those twenty or so years, I've come to see a rather sinister side to ufology. I'm not referring to the craft or entities reported by witnesses, but the often sinister agendas pursued by certain individuals within the field of ufology.

I try to keep an open mind as to the origins of UFOs, alien abductions, etc. I have no choice but to do so, as I have no answers, only questions, the origins of which lie in my personal sightings of anomalous objects.

Ufological research is a path which must be cautiously trodden. By its very nature, the subject is often populated by vulnerable individuals. Some are vulnerable because they have been traumatised by real, or seemingly real experiences, which have terrified and bewildered them. Others involved in or attracted to the subject, are vulnerable because they may be suffering delusions or hallucinations caused by physical or mental infirmity. Another vulnerable group in the picture, are those who are seeking some kind of spiritual enlightenment or salvation, some kind of hope for the future of mankind. Most people in the groups I describe, are wounded in some way. Wounds bleed, in this case figuratively, rather than literally. What happens when blood spills into the ocean? Sharks pick up the scent and begin to circle.

The sharks of ufology come in a number of guises. First of all, there are the out-and-out hoaxers. They spin elaborate tales of bogus UFO or alien encounters, or claim to have had special access to privileged, top secret information. Their usual motivations are attention-seeking and/or money-making. What's the harm in a hoax, I hear you ask?

Surely, any deception perpetrated for personal gain, at the expense of another, is sinister? Deception, by its very nature, is an insult to its intended victims. It's the deceiver saying to the intended victim, 'I'm smarter than you, sucker'. Faked UFO experiences waste precious time and resources that could be spent investigating genuine incidents. They also make a mockery of any genuine experiencers, and get them tarred with the same tainted brush in the eyes of the public. If Johnny X lied about his UFO experiences, Johnny Y must also be lying - that's the critical conclusion a lot of people will reach, especially when the subject under scrutiny is already controversial.

A second breed of shark swims with the hoaxer sharks. These are the parasitic enabler sharks. Let me use a hypothetical example to show you what I mean. A story starts to circulate in ufological circles, about how Jeremiah Jockstrap, a Welsh sheep farmer, was out tending his flock one night, when a UFO landed on the hillside, and aliens popped out and gave him the first of many important messages for the world. The aliens allegedly return many times, and he shoots a few images of the craft. The claims and images are examined closely by expert ufologists and scientists, and quickly dismissed as a load of sheep's droppings. The discredited Jeremiah, left to his own devices, would quickly vanish from public view.

However, the parasitic enabler sharks now swim into the picture, and encourage Jeremiah Jockstrap to continue with his tales, even though they probably know he's lying. They may even help him to embellish his yarn. Why? Because they know that if they re-package the Jeremiah Jockstrap story and go for the hard sell, some of life's naive and vulnerable true believers will be completely taken in by it all. The parasitic enabler sharks are virtually blinded by the dollar signs that light up in their eyes. Before long, a whole industry of books, DVDs, lecture tours and other money-making ventures, springs up around Jeremiah Jockstrap and his phony encounters. Once the wheels of that industry start turning, the hoaxer and his parasites find it very hard to step off that wheel, and keep feverishly spinning around on it, sweeping along for the ride all true believers with closed minds and open wallets.

A closely allied species to the parasitic enabler shark, is the cultus shark. The cultus shark likes to present the so-called contactee as a messianic visionary, a prophet, a great oracle. The cultus shark is the most dangerous predator to cruise ufological waters. The cultus shark is both brainwashed and a brainwasher. He or she deceives himself, as well as others, that the contactee, the holder of all life's great secrets, is the one, true, divine link between this planet and divine entities from the heavens. The cultus shark exploits both the fake contactee and their unwitting followers, to satisfy its own financial and megalomanic desires. The cultus shark wants to be seen as the new Messiah's right hand man or woman, whilst in reality, pulling all the messianic puppet's strings. The whole scenario deteriorates into that age-old cliche of the blind leading the even more blind. Unquestioning belief suffocates logic, and the madness of the UFO cult is born. Serious, responsible research into the UFO phenomenon, is then unfairly tainted by the heady stench of the cult, a stench which is very hard to shake off.

Despite its desire for control, the cultus shark almost always falls under the spell of the monster it helped create. Even when told, in no uncertain terms, that the myth has been exploded, the cultus shark clings rabidly to the lingering detritus, instead of letting go and meekly swimming away. The desire to control and exploit proves irresistible, so the cultus shark continues to hawk its mythos, knowing that some weaker link in the food chain will continue to feed its desires. It remains blind to the fact that it's as a much a victim of its own deception as any other person swept along in its wake.

Beware the sharks of ufology. They're lurking amongst the explorers, pioneers, philosophers, scientists and other legitimate denizens of the ufological world. Your best defence against them is to keep your mind open, accept NOTHING at face value, and don't be afraid to explore possibilities. Hold opinions, but hold them loosely, and be prepared to sometimes set them free, if they no longer sit comfortably in your hands. In ufology, there are many, many times more questions than answers. If someone seems to hold all the answers, beware - it will almost certainly be shark-speak, designed to exploit and ensnare you. Having no answers is preferable to trusting false answers - don't be the krill that the sharks suck up in their wake.


PA 5 December 2007 at 10:18  

Great article, see this kind of activity a lot on the net, I've never been one to follow into it, that's probably why I know barely anyone in the online paranormal world and why they don't know me.

Dustin 5 December 2007 at 15:49  

Not sure I've ever heard it said more comprehensively.

Everything you say there I've seen over the years. It's amazing how the same things keep happening over and over until there's such a recognizable pattern.

Anonymous,  6 December 2007 at 12:50  

Very, very well put. This is my gripe as well. I've seen it all but I could never put it to words without naming names, so you've prepared this extremely well. This, bow down and worship those who are making a mockery of ufology exists. The Hall of Shame is weak in comparison to the real problems out there. Our trek is mostly futile as it is and then to add insult to injury helps nobody.

Great article!

Dragonstar 10 December 2007 at 21:24  

Excellent, well-reasoned article. Should be read by everyone interested in the subject.

Siani 14 December 2007 at 02:44  

Thanks for the kind comments, everyone. I appreciate them.

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