Posts Tagged ‘uber-skeptics’
Another post on my Orange Orb blog about the mysterious boxes on Oregon beaches: Stonefield, Bray’s Point. With video clip from someone who believes the whole thing is a hoax, and isn’t afraid to say so.
I’m very curious about this case of the keening boxes on Oregon beaches. For one thing, it’s an excuse for me to get out to the coast — research, you know.
I never thought for one moment that these glowing, screeching, impossible to open boxes buried deep in the sands contained aliens. Or came from UFOs.
The story goes: boxes, heavy, impervious to tools, glowing, weird noises, appearing on beaches said to be heavy with UFO activity. Who can resist a story like that? I’m interested in the story as a story, the insistence of those telling the story that there’s UFO affected activity afoot, that residents have been awakened to terrible wailing noises, and all the rest of it. Persistence in the telling is what intrigues me. ~ rest at Orange Orb.
Full disclosure: I haven’t read the book.This is not a book review; it’s about the idea of the book’s premise, from what I’ve been gleaning so far. From what I’ve been reading about Pilkington’s book Mirage Men, the thesis is that UFOs are creations of our government. There are no “real” UFOs; just machines and stories about encounters made by man to confuse its citizenry and mask secret operations.
This is old news. But beyond this simplistic “revelation” about UFOs is the fact the government has been getting away with murder, both figuratively and literally, using UFOs as a convenient smoke screen. Isn’t anyone curious about what’s been hidden from us? Put aside “beliefs” about UFOs, they exist, they don’t exist, aliens are real, aliens are fantasy — just forget all that for now. Ask yourselves what is it the government is doing behind those flying saucers are here! scenarios.
A danger with books like this is that the mainstream culture will think it’s been offered an explanation for all those crazy UFO stories, and move on. Even some within the fringes who study UFOs will accept this. Including those “new thugs” that pose as UFO investigators or researchers but are part debunker-skeptic, part dilettante. Meanwhile, the government continues to perform often illegal maneuvers around us, and no one’s questioning that. In fact, stepping beyond the line of questioning will get you quickly slapped with a Tin Foil Hat sticker and you’re shoved over to the kook side. Mention chemtrails and it’s all over.
Okay, Pilkington and fans, UFOs don’t exist. Forgetting obviously that UFO means unidentified object and not alien from mars in a flying saucer … oh never mind. Sigh. Yet we still have, say, spheres showing up in our skies — these have been photographed dozens of times over — what are they? Whose are they? What are they doing? What about the video of a sphere I saw years ago, taken by a local witness, that seemed to disappear but upon close examination was till there, merely cloaked to near invisibility? What was the thing spraying onto the residences — and people! — below; for spraying some kind of mist like substance it was. Doesn’t anyone want to know about those kinds of things?
Let’s take my own missing time experiences, that occurred within a UFO context. And let’s say, for argument, that this “UFO context” was government created. If so — missing time, UFO — then that means our government was doing something obviously immoral, unethical, and illegal. Which is frightening. For that means, if it’s not UFOs, not mental abberation (shared by two people, two and possibly three, different times), then what was it? Why the persistence of a UFO based setting? WHERE WERE WE FOR ALL THOSE MISSING HOURS??!!
But see, now we’re entering MILAB territory, which is paranoid kook fringe fantasy, so no one is going to listen to that, because UFOs don’t exist, the government just uses that to . . . you see how this all becomes a circling back of absolutely no answers at all, while maintaining cover-ups? In typical cosmic joker trickster fashion, the idea of the government using UFOs as a cover for their shadow projects is a cover for the government’s covering up . . . because not many are questioning beyond the initial cover.
R.S. Lancaster, a popular uber-skeptoid on the JREF, started the “Stop Sylvia Browne” movement some time ago. That was some project on Lancaster’s part; lots of threads and posts about the neccessity of stopping Browne for the good of humanity; he even started a website devoted to his hatred of Browne: StopSylviaBrowne.com
For whatever reason, boredom, greener skeptic pastures, who knows, Lancaster has now put his energies into stopping medium James Van Praagh.
What started this all was the news that JVP was to appear in Grants Pass, Oregon on June 25th. I was startled to find that such a rabid skeptoid lives not far from me! Apparently Lancaster lives around the Salem area and can’t tolerate a woo visiting his state spreading that woo that he do.
Lancaster writes letters and joins the JVP message forum, back and forths ensue, you know, the usual non-productive fanatic skeptic in your face routine. What’s scary about all this isn’t the expected skeptoid response to a medium, or even a few attempts at engaging the woo of the day in “debate,” and so on. No, it’s not that, it’s the incredible depth of the … what do we call this? Obsession, certainly, stalking? Harassing? Investigation? Whatever it all is, it’s very intense. It’s creepy and pathological.
There are several separate threads, or “chapters” devoted to Lancaster’s attacks on JVP. I think this is all of them but there might be others, but in any case, you get the idea:
StopJVP – RSL in JVPLand – All Chapters?
StopJVP – RSL in JVPLand – Chapter 2: Q&A
StopJVP – RSL In JVPLand – Chapter 6: Grant’s Pass?
StopJVP – RSL In JVPLand – Chapter 7b: Pink Panther Answer?
StopJVP: RSL in JVPLand – Chapter 5: The Two Jameses
StopJVP – RSL in JVPLand – Chapter 8: Epilogue
In the last thread (”Chapter 8: Epilogue”) Lancaster comments how, after spending weeks on pro JVP message boards, exchanging emails and posts with JVP, he’s ready to wrap up. Part of this summation includes the StopJamesVanPraagh website:
“I know that when I open StopJamesVanPraagh.com it will upset many of them, and that saddens me – but not enough to keep me from going ahead with it.
In a deliscious moment of irony, of kettle calling pot black, of point! zoom! right over your head!, of sigh, this just sums it all up doesn’t it, Lancaster posts, on the JREF:
One of them [poster on JVP message forum] posted in one of my threads “I can’t help but notice that you show such PRIDE when you use the word “skeptic.”
I guess that I do. It’s an odd concept to them, since, more often than not, the word “skeptic” to them has meant “insufferable know-it-all jerk.” I’d like to think that I showed some of them that “skeptic” can sometimes mean something else, but perhaps, with my “Pink Panther” question, I just confirmed their earlier definition!
I was surprised to find that the skeptibunkies at the JREF have created a thread devoted to the McMinnville UFO Fest.
Among the expected and usual, is this comment from “kittynh” (who likes to play UFO researcher; explore the history, if you have the inclination) on Travis Walton:
TRAVIS WALTON is still raking in money on the UFO thing?
Yeah, he and all other UFO researchers and witnesses are rolling in the dough, as we all know. That’s how we can afford our secret underground tin foil encased villa in the Mediterranean.
“Gord in Toronto” reassures fellow skeptics that:
The UFO folks are “Mostly harmless”* and it’s not likely that you’ll be inducted into any cult.
Of course there were a few members who posted this infamous link to the Trent UFO sighting (of which the McMinnville UFO conference/fest is in homage to) that rabid skeptoid Robert Sheaffer “debunks” the Trent case. Sheaffer is not only among the most loathsome of skeptics, he’s a raging misogynist.
As I posted on UFOMystic a week or so ago, (A Ha! I Knew It; Skeptics Infiltrate McMinnville UFO Fest) the skeptics do intentionally infiltrate the McMinnville UFO conference, as no doubt they do all over the country at various UFO conferences. I hadn’t heard any skeptic questions asked during the Q&A this time, but I did leave while they were still taking questions at all three presentations. So it’s possible I missed something skeptoid wise. I know in years past they asked ponderous, pedantic and generally stupid questions, though entertaining.
Besides the skeptics not being overt this year, I also missed the religious zealots who like to sing and shout at UFO conference attendees. Maybe they were there and I missed them or maybe they decided to cool it this year; don’t know.
McMinnville, Oregon UFO: Festivals and Hoaxes
Cross-posted at my blog <a href=”http://www.theskeptoidzone.com/”>Snarly Skepticism and Unofficial JREF Watch</a>
Getting ready for the McMinnville, Oregon UFO Fest this weekend. I hope to do my first podcast from there — prerecorded, not live, but a podcast nonetheless — with guests Erik Stitt and Deirdre O’Leavery of Instellar Housewife. Both are writers for UFO Magazine’s blog, as well as having their own sites.
Here’s a PDF of a collection of McMinnville related pieces I’ve written, including on one McMinnville Festival I attended where Richard Dolan was the presenter.
In my previous post about Oregon columnist Bob Welch’s piece on praising The Lord before partaking of bison, wild cow, nutria, lemon peppered cougar and bear, I mentioned that Welch had written a column about Bigfoot. The column is reprinted on the Bigfoot Encounters website, with comments about Welch’s column. Here it is, from March of 2002:Bob Welch: Tall, tall tales equal Bigfoot The column, inspired by Welchs reading Bigfoot at 50: Evaluating a Half-Century of Bigfoot Evidence. in theSkeptical Inquirer. Welch basically follows the uber skeptic mindset concerning Bigfoot and basically parroting their stand on Bigfoot. Commenting that one almost wants to be a “dreamer” and believe in Bigfoot, it just can’t be:
But you can’t.
Why not? Because the idea is so bizarre? Nope. Bizarreness shouldn’t preclude belief in something. People believe in all sorts of bizarre concepts, from God to gravity to Oregon’s home football uniforms.
No, the real reason you can’t believe is because most of the “water-tight” evidence leaks like your 25-year-old gutters. To wit:
And then he lists the skeptic response of, basically “no evidence” and quotes skeptic Benjamin Radford.
Otters have been seen off the Oregon coast. We’re not supposed to tell anyone though, according to Sea otter sighting raises stir, questions Some biologists prefer the rare sightings be kept quiet in Eugene’s Register-Guard.
The confirmed sighting of a sea otter in Depoe Bay last month generated wild excitement. The species, after all, was thought to have been extinct in Oregon for a century — even by wildlife experts.
But the creature seen lolling in the surf as he munched on a crab wasn’t actually the first confirmed sighting in 103 years. It was just the first one about which the media went and blabbed all over tarnation.
The people who knew about previous otter sightings had kept their mouths shut.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologist Roy Lowe knew sea otters had resurfaced in Oregon from time to time, despite the failed attempt to reintroduce a thriving population here in the 1970s. He just preferred that the fact be kept as quiet as possible.
“We’re aware of a number of sightings of individual otters over the years,” Lowe said. “We haven’t published those sightings.”
About eight years ago, we sat in a lovely cozy restaurant in Gold Beach and watched otters in the Rogue River. River otters, not sea otters, although the river otter hangs out on the coast, so I’m not sure exactly of the difference. I’m not a marine biologist, I just fantasize I’m one.
This secrecy from authority as to the otter’s existence has another layer. Understandably, the news the otter is webbily afoot is to protect the otter from those who would do it harm. But I’m reminded of stories about the existence of creatures in areas where they supposedly don’t exist: wolverines, Roosevelt elk, and Sasquatch, in Oregon, where the locals have long been aware of the existence of these creatures, because they’ve seen either evidence of their existence by way of tracks, smell, scat, etc. or have actually seen the creatures. Yet denial continued to come from the authority, who, in many cases, would not come to the area (s) in question to look for themselves. All right, to be fair, about Sasquatch…that’s possibly a whole other area. The point is, people who live in an area, and are familiar with the flora and fauna, are aware of what’s occurring around them.
Of course, all these creatures: otters (sea or river), wolverines, elk in unexpected places, and Sasquatch, are probably just owls, since that’s really what people are seeing when they think they’ve seen something that shouldn’t be there. And even if it is there and not an owl, shhhh…we’re not going to talk about it, remember?