The Hell! I Missed This Too!

Somehow I’ve been totally oblivious to all sorts of interesting UFO information through the years. I never even paid attention when this Mexico sighting of UFOs (captured by Mexican pilots using infrared camaras) made the media rounds in 2004.

This whole experience of taking an interest in UFOs over the past few weeks, and then finding a labyrinth of stuff that’s making me terribly confused, is a reminder of just how easy it is to “bias filter” out things you think you already know about, or think are crap.

What else am I missing? I’d add that this sighting would not have been obtained but for infrared equipment on board the plane. It’s really creepy to think that UFOs could be hiding in other dimensions, or in other light spectrums, and then occasionally coming out from behind their curtains to astonish us.

Are we really not alone?

Thinking about UFOs feels (to me) like standing before a bottomless and abysmal horror. You could get totally lost in researching it and not be sure what (if anything) you’ve really discovered at the other end of your efforts. Some of the serious UFO researchers (like Jacques Vallee) find the subject only barely decipherable, “an enigma wrapped in a mystery.” I too am sensing that the phenomenon is real, but not fully absorbable. It has a frustratingly spectral quality. When skeptically approaching UFOs, you don’t know what’s real, what’s crazy, or what might be “crazy real.” It really seems that the way the phenomenon manifests itself taxes the limits of the rational, and of human comprehension.

Still, I’m going to continue to try to tackle this subject at least a bit further—but, to echo Lear, this way lies madness?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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7 Responses to The Hell! I Missed This Too!

  1. nycjeff says:

    James McDonald thought he could sort it all out in a summer. Firestorm by Ann Druffel is worth a read on McDonald’s efforts.

  2. Grad Student says:

    Santi

    “You could get totally lost in researching it and not be sure what (if anything) you’ve really discovered at the other end of your efforts.”

    Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco is totally apropos here.

    -Grad Student

  3. santitafarella says:

    NYC Jeff:

    James McDonald? I don’t know who that is. One more UFO angle or personality to learn about? Did he start casually, and end in the bat house?

    —Santi

  4. santitafarella says:

    Grad Student:

    As is Pynchon and DeLillo. Time to read them again.

    —Santi

  5. nycjeff says:

    Santi,
    He was a professor at University of Arizona.
    From what I can tell he was ufology’s best chance at some sort of real progress.
    Ann Druffel wrote a book on him called Firestorm.
    http://www.amazon.com/Firestorm-James-McDonalds-Science-Voyagers/dp/0926524585/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252982528&sr=8-12
    The book’s a little long, but reading it certainly made me wonder how things would have been different if he had lived longer (he committed suicide), because from reading the book, its interesting to see how little things have changed.
    Tim Binnall also did an interview with Ann Druffel this season.
    -jeff
    sorry for the late response to your response.

  6. fahrusha says:

    The UFO phenomena is real, no one, no one knows exactly what it is, though many poseurs will tell you they do. Get on I-Tunes and download old episodes of the Paracast podcast for an interesting and intelligent look at the phenomena.

  7. santitafarella says:

    Fahrusha:

    In the summer of last year, my dad, who is a UFO fan, got me watching some of these YouTubes, and for a few weeks I found them quite interesting. Unfortunately, my research rather quickly lead me to the conclusion that the “evidence” for UFOs is poor, and I continue to think of those advocating their existence as engaged in pseudoscience. The above video, for example, turns out to be the product of oil drilling platforms releasing fire. The infrared camaras are pointing downward through clouds into the ocean over the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a trick of perspective.

    —Santi

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