The Forlorn, Fringe Status of Ufology – UFO Conjecture(s)

Madness, as in insanity, has been a consistent Rich Reynolds theme of late and, well, for some time–eleven years, at least. In this first of four examples Rich laments his and others’ addiction to “the triviality of ufology,” arguing that it’s a pretty worthless pursuit compared to the exigencies of everyday life. In Madness and UFOs and Madness, Generally Rich clarifies that he is concerned not solely with UFOs at all, but with general human madness, “now and since time immemorial.” So the madness of UFOs and those who chase them and try to pry open their secrets is just part of that global madness but directed towards a particularly inconsequential part of human existence. This, Rich avers, may be due to some mental quirk that affects the field from ardent skeptics to far-out believers. For an example of a “mad” UFO case, Rich advances A Tale Told by an Idiot? (As Shakespeare Might have Put It). Another interesting humanoid tale from a 1970s popular UFO magazine forms the basis for Reynolds’ point about the “inherent madness at the base of the UFO ‘reality’ or mythos, as skeptics have it.” That the story itself was a hoax doesn’t matter to Rich’s theme, as it’s all part of the UFO world. On the matter of the doubting branch of ufology, Rich asks What are UFO Skeptics Afraid Of? Seems that UFO skeptics “are a little nuts when it comes to UFOs”–in this being similar to their believing brethren–but plagued by a special form of anxiety about the subject that compels them to try to lower that anxiety by using even “rancid, or defensive” skeptical explanations. Reynolds finds these attempts often humorous and, it would appear, at least a little pathetic. (WM)

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