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We Don’t Ask You To Believe, We Ask You To Think


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La Commissione 31.10.2020


The Frontiers of Ufology: Models for a New Discipline

Diego Antolini
1) What is Ufology Today?
I think that Ufology in general is the same as it was during its unconscious beginning in the early 60s (The Alcyone Era, as it was called by Ufologists), since there were many people who shared the common desire to seek answers to a mystery which, still today, remains unsolved.
However, changes are inevitable, and the same goes for Ufology as well as for the other disciplines.
The early years represented a kind of “superficial” investigation; in other words, a very basic system not moved by the idea to thinking of strategies, but rather, a race to give the only possible answer that made some sense to the phenomenon – UFOs and Aliens must come from Outer Space!
Somewhere along the line, though, we have finally come to the understanding that things were not as neat and clear-cut as it seemed at first sight; certain elements dealt more with our individual perception, with our needs, our beliefs and desires, rather than with the Space Aliens.
A good deal of scientific studies upon ourselves, earthlings, as well as upon our surrounding environment – discoveries which had not been previously considered due to ignorance, bias, or conscious determination to ignore them – brought about a nominal viewpoint in the subject, widening our perceptions about what the phenomenon could really be, what could have brought along, and what its ultimate meaning was.
Ufology today is the result of this ripening process; a subject which is ever more popularized by those who no longer intend to accept the phenomenon ad litteram, but attempt to peel it out layer after layer, systematically, in order to examine what is hidden behind, and with a degree of subjective mind that didn’t exist before.

2) In Contemporary Society What has Changed on the Concept of UFO?
Media, Hollywood, the Space Era, the computer in each house, the arrival and the subsequent rise of a 360 degrees, multi-faceted “UFO Mystery” have contributed, during the 60s and the 70s, to offer the opportunity to see the phenomenon under a different light. How much actually has been consciously absorbed by the public, on the other hand, is yet to be determined.  
Starting the early 60s, the Space Era has changed its competencies, and it took off with an important determination. This led the general public to be interested toward all things connected to space and space travels, in particular the younger generations.
In the same token, as the space race peaked, the serious study on the flying saucers was carried on with a particular energy. Since the early 60s the sightings of UFO and the “entities” were slowly increasing, giving the phenomenon a different magnitude compared to the previous decades. The media were fast to take advantage of this, and began to present – in a quite Spartan way – the most spectacular sightings and reports of witnesses right on the first pages, both at local and national level. The bizarre nature of these stories has certainly contributed to promote the subject to the public interest, offering them a wider comprehension of what was presumably happening.
During the “Alcyone Era” hundreds of books about Ufology were published, all of them more or less following the same imprinting. On top of this booming, the USA released the “Close Encounters of the III Kind” movie, which turned the UFO phenomenon into a worldwide myth.
The movie used a fairly considerable number of incidents, reports, and experiences that were known to the public, including – perhaps for the first time – the evidence of how easy is for the witness to fall into a total obsession which modifies his life and the life of those around him.
The name of Whitley Strieber entered the ufological chronicles at the end of the 80s, when the book “Communion” came out, and not so much for the content, but for what appeared on the front cover: the face of a non-human being that later became the icon for the possible alien presence on Earth as abductors of humans: the “Greys”, a name universally known today. They not only were identified with the alien presence on Earth but, even more so, were impressed upon the human psyche through the work of advertising agencies that used that image to sell products, from skateboards to alcohol, until the socially unacceptable commercial that showed a group of Greys smoking a cannabis while the caption read: “Take Me To Your Seller”.
The Personal Computer in every house has had an immense impact upon society; it has offered people all over the world instant access to millions of ufological websites that swarm the net. This seemingly positive information process turned out to be a double edge sword in terms of quality and content. Too many sites, in my opinion, are full of nonsense while others promote beliefs which lack of factual evidence and objective analysis.
The last ufological theme that left somewhat a mark upon the social consciousness was the popular TV series of the 90s, “The X-Files”. This unusual show has undoubtedly offered a temporary praise to a subject that was dimming and, insomuch as it happened after “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, has introduced a long-lasting image which was synonym of all paranormal phenomena.
Despite all of these influences, however, the decline of Ufology was at that point obvious to the experts. The “exchange” in terms of sightings and witnesses’ experiences was slowing down to a less frequent pace, and the sales of UFO books followed suit. This led to a reverse trend on the part of the publishers, which now carefully selected what to publish.
At the end of the 90s and closing to the new millennium, the books on UFOs and Aliens needed something different and spectacular (or a well known name that signed off the publication), so to capture the attention of the public again.
The indissoluble fact was that the conscience and the interest of the public upon such mysteries as UFOs and Aliens were diminishing. This might be the best answer to the question on how the contemporary society’s point of view has changed!
Personally I find that bookstores are a good barometer for specific social interests; on this basis it seems that a certain Mr. Dan Brown could have unwillingly began the “Alcyone Era” of a kind of mystery much more terrestrial and totally different. How much of this can be grasped by the society today, only time will tell.
3) The Ufologist: Scientist or Philosopher?
It is an interesting question, and also one that could stir an infinite amount of words and assumptions. I personally believe that this widely depends upon how we perceive matter, and to what degree we see or respond to the work of those who operate in it.
The definition of the word ‘Science’ means (among other things) every field of knowledge based upon the systematic observation of facts; a knowledge or a capacity based on study, experience, practice, etc. According to these definitions it appears obvious that Ufologists are consequently called out to describe ourselves as scientists!
In reality, the majority of us is not in the least formed at a scientific level, nor are they employed in any of the scientific disciplines.
Under such circumstances it is perfectly acceptable to adopt the position which took the BUFORA, and remit all ufological efforts upon scientific and/or objective principles.
This stands as a methodological compromise which is effective and acceptable, and I really wish that such method could be utilized by the whole global ufological movement.
Under the philosophical aspect, I think that we find ourselves unconsciously infringing the territory of philosophy, every once and then, either as mere fans of the discipline, or as more seriously involved persons. The point is that, to investigate or study the phenomenon means ultimately to commit to use scientific-based procedures as natural part of the investigation, and that this leads at one point to produce some sort of speculation.
As many are aware of, moreover, to speculate upon a certain topic – and under the right conditions – can lead to a wider debate which steps inevitably into the philosophical ground. When this happens, how much oil has been burnt only for the fact of having innocently crossed the philosophical threshold?

4) Alien Interference: Abductions and Contactees
This is undoubtedly the most controversial and the heaviest problem of all, both under the ufological and the scientific perspectives. It represents the crisscross and the soul of Ufology, insomuch as the principal question that marks the line between two opposite spheres is. On one hand, we have systems of absolute faith; on the other, we have, curiously enough, systems of faith equally absolute!
Despite all the anomalous objects reported, photographed or filmed, they alone will never constitute a phenomenon. Abducted people or direct witnesses, you call it the way you want, add up flesh around these elusive aerial bones for believers, giving thus tangible substance to the phenomenon. To the skeptical and the down-to-earth folks, such people represent the basis of a system of faith which has never been proved: the abducted are in fact the passport that offers both sides the immediate access to the inside of a phenomenon otherwise distant and remote.
On one side they symbolize the possible, the potential, the desired, the hope, and, in some cases, the dream. On the other side, they stand as the way for the sanctuary of human psyche, torches that can light up a secret passage toward the hidden chamber which could, in the end, unravel the universal mechanism behind the psychology of the abducted.
In many ways the first “Contactees” had the best word within the ufological subject. They were simply unconscious and unsuspected spectators who for a brief period of time could rest upon the threshold of the bizarre without ever crossing it. They could be offered a paper-flavored cake, be fooled making them believe they had an intercourse with an “Alien” woman, or having quick encounters with good-hearted beings from the Galactic Council; but, they were never subject to medical procedures used by our friends, the omnipresent Greys!
Curiously enough, the abduction scenarios began mysteriously to dim toward the end of the 90s, and with the beginning of the new millennia is basically ceased. Now it looks as though the abduction cases are reported in retrospect rather than as actual events. Why? Such question has remained unanswered on the part of Ufology until now.

5) Technology and Science: Help or Deception for the Ufologist?
Science and Technology have provided over the years an ever-growing help to Ufology in many ways: what science learns, often links directly to our subject, while the obvious benefits of technology toward Ufology are represented by this interview which is done via e-mail. The web has brought Ufology in every house just with a click of the mouse. Ufology has gained unprecedented benefits from the Internet, the first of which is an immediate and global accessibility to up-to-date information. Digital images have helped Ufology, in particular with regards to the Internet.
Science has given Ufology a unique contribution in terms of the comprehension of that which was mysterious before: the geophysical, atmospheric, and energetic environments that surround us, and their interaction with us. Specifically, it gave the comprehension of the human condition under a psychological level, and of the mechanisms that govern the reason, and the way in which we perceive things.
If we speak of technology in terms of concealed development, deployment, and final application, then we are dealing with such a completely different game that is played entirely through the rules of deception.
Not knowing what officially exists or doesn’t exist in every specific area of technological development, in particular from a military standpoint, has helped to create a number of odd “UFO Sightings”. I also suspect that a certain number of visual experiences has resulted from occult psychotronic experimentation. In fact, the BUFORA has investigated upon quite a few of these cases in recent years with a shade of suspect, leaning toward the “fabricated” hoaxes direction.

6) Alien Icon, a Sociological Issue?
There is in effect a theory according to which the UFO/Alien phenomenon is just the ultimate manifestation of ancient human events such as superstition, cultural beliefs, habits or needs which have their roots well planted in the antiquity.
My idea is that we are always very cautious and, consequently, feel uneasy toward all that goes beyond our immediate ability to comprehend and control; The result of these superstitions was the rising of rituals that, in time, have become cultural facts, cultivated or enhanced locally, and then to an ever wider spectrum, following the developments of our social influence, until diversifying and expanding over the years.
Archaeology unearths symbols, artifacts, and particular kind of structures all the times; they are all seemingly representative of strange and obscure rituals, clearly risen from equally obscure belief systems originated in the Paleolithic Era, and then carried on through the Mesolithic and the Neolithic phases of human history (even though these two latter periods have left indications of what truly motivated some of those beliefs). Therefore under a certain aspect, perhaps, the archaeological evidence alone suggests that there could be a bit of substance in that theory.
The problem is that the UFO phenomenon, unlike other examples such as vampirism, doesn’t represent the link for a belief system; instead, it has the habit to leave evidence that are scientifically measurable and irrefutable; this has been done so – sometimes even in a spectacular fashion – in the past sixty years. It is because of a consistently, tangible evidence that a belief system could rise.
This “reversed” mechanism makes it extremely hard to attribute the UFO phenomenon to the only sociological cause, and independently by how far we want to project our own ideas out there.
7) Objective Reality and Sensory Perception: What Are We Looking For in the Sky?
There are no doubts that the accounts of dis-identification and ill-interpretation of the vast majority of alleged UFO sightings put this question in perspective. Everybody, Ufologists included, can be fooled regardless the circumstances; therefore it is not the witness to be blamed when a harmless object or an environmental effect becomes a potential UFO. Many and diverse mechanisms are behind such misperceptions, and yet they are often very interesting, the more so when a subsequent investigation leads to the medical, psychological, and scientific sectors.
Psychology, in particular, has become an essential resource of information to the objective Ufology, relating thoroughly on how the mechanisms and the complex processes through which we perceive certain things work; why they work like that; and to where such perceptions are taking us.
Visually we can register only 20% of what we see, while our brain fills in the remaining 80% “void”.
More simply, then, our eyes do not deceive us, but the eyes of the mind do. Other psychological factors can influence an alleged sighting, typically when the witness happens to have a previous knowledge of the matter via sightings, direct experiences, or reading.
A good example of visual deception and psychological influence coming from my personal experience is when a witness asked me to analyze an image. This showed a white/silvery object in the shape of an old shoemaker tool; it hovered above a Scottish lake. It took us two weeks to study and manipulate the image before getting an answer. At the same time my fiance’ and colleague at the BUFORA (Judy Jaafar) was helping me with that. We were both disturbed by the fact that the image had up to that moment thwarted all our attempts to identify the object and, moreover, we were led to believe that it could truly be an anomaly. This implied, for two objective persons as we both are, to compromise our normal attitude toward Ufology.
When the answer finally arrived, it came totally unexpected. I was staring at the picture when Judy entered the room bringing coffee. As she sat down next to me, I told her that it could have been “anything, from a true UFO to a damn Seagull” – and that’s what we instantly figured out it really was! The bird had been captured in an odd position, with a faraway, blurred building spliced with the animal to create a fantastic effect.

8) Do We Need to Re-think Ufology? What the New Models Can Be?
Ufology in itself shouldn’t truly need to be re-thought. There wouldn’t be that much to re-think anyway, for the very phenomenon dictates the direction in which to proceed, thanks to the unique quality of each case or report.
The way we Ufologists get close to the matter, however, needs to be addressed under a number of levels, the highest of which ought to be that of establishing a universal consistency and investigative quality. At the moment, whoever is interested to the phenomenon can basically prepare and promote himself as “investigator”, “Ufologist”, without having the basis to carry out the requested endeavors (procedures, protocols, etc); and, certainly, they do not follow the suggested codes of behavior. All they need is a computer, the ability and the persistence in creating and maintaining a UFO Website.
So it happens that a normal individual can pry into the other persons’ lives, acquire potentially any problem that a witness, or his/her family, may have, and carry on a case toward his/her own personal theory or belief system that he/she already possesses, leaving behind nothing but confusion and chaos which, ultimately, cast a negative light upon Ufology.
Somewhere along this line, we really need to think of a European standard of investigative and procedural formation. It means vigilance over the subject or, more specifically, over all subjects that involve field investigation and research. After all, one can’t drive a car without first obtaining the driving license. Why, then, the investigative Ufology should be different?

9) Are We Really Ready for The Aliens’ Arrival?
The logical and objective answer should be: let’s first establish that the Aliens really exist, before worrying whether or not to be ready for their arrival.
Despite the seventy plus years of investigative efforts, there is no real evidence which confirms their existence, and for this reason I find the question about us being ready for them or not meaningless.
10) What Are the BUFORA Activities?
The BUFORA (British UFO Research Association) keeps working as it always did, under a ufological perspective, but recently at a much lower gear. In view of the changes of circumstances related to Ufology, we have put ourselves in stand-by; which means we are free to distribute the requested structure of directorate and its associated protocols. Other changes include the dissemination of our traditional lecture programs in London, the end of our long-term subscription system and, finally, the end of our BUFORA journal print in favor of the launching of a website where to publish articles, etc.
The truth is that, with regards to the subject itself, we have diminished a portion of our preceding activities, and turned over a major focus upon the active investigation and field operations such as sighting reports, giving support to confused and frightened witnesses, and analyzing the photographic material.
Moreover, we have encouraged interested inquirers to subscribe our Investigation Education Program, in the hope that potential Ufologists may benefit from an informed, logic, and objective approach to the subject. Were we to feel guilty of anything in these days, that would probably be the fact of not having promoted our institute as we did in the past, and of not having updated our website regularly. Nevertheless, we will be here until the phenomenon – whatever it may be – will continue to exist, and we will keep on utilizing scientific and objective principles, in the attempt to contribute to a definitive knowledge of the true nature of the UFO phenomenon.
14/05/2017 16:43:32
The Valmalenco Files - First Disclosure 9
The Valmalenco Files - First Disclosure 8