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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Mar > Mar 16

Re: UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole - Clark

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2004 09:30:52 -0600
Fwd Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 08:13:53 -0500
Subject: Re: UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole - Clark

>From: Terry W. Colvin <fortean1.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>,
>Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 17:51:39 -0700
>Subject: UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole

>Source: The Observer - London

>http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1168923,00.html >

>March 14, 2004

>UFO Spies Vanish Into Black Hole

>Now you see them...

>Mark Townsend
>Sunday March 14, 2004
>The Observer

>Andy Roberts, author of UFO books and former magazine
>contributor, said the public's fascination with mysterious
>flying objects had faded. 'Ufology is really a thing of the last
>century. The end of the X-Files series didn't help, and there
>has been a decline since the televised alien autopsy of the mid-
>1990s. Basically it was a hobby that broke into the
>mainstream... Ultimately there was only a hardcore following,'
>said Roberts.

This is, of course, sheer twaddle. If history teaches us
anything, it's that (1) you can always get a credulous
journalist to repeat nonsense and (2), more important, there is
no way to extrapolate from ufology's current state what its
future will be.

Interest in UFOs was first pronounced dead in August 1947.
Flying saucers were already being referred to in the past tense
by the second or third week of the month before.

As I learned while researching my encyclopedia, UFOs and
ufologists have been pronounced dead practically since the
beginning of either. I don't except myself from this
foolishness. In the October 1983 issue of Fate, in a piece
titled "Requiem for the UFO Age," I declared that ufology had
gone the way of the dodo. This was, remember, less than four
years before it entered yet another boom period. Nonetheless, a
New York Times reporter phoned me within days of the piece's
appearance for my "authoritative" word on the death of ufology.
He listened as avidly and credulously as the Observer reporter

I was to learn only later how often over history UFOs have been
pronounced the product of last month, last year, last decade, or
- now, as witness the pearls of wisdom in the above quote --
 last century.

Where the question of ufology's vitality or lack of same is
concerned, many variables are in play. For one example, the
1958-1964 period, when many deemed ufology a dying enterprise,
ended with major waves which brought new vitality. Beyond that,
public attention is fickle, and in recent years there has been
much to distract it, not the least of it a world that seems to
grow more dangerous and violent by the day. Moreover, in recent
years there have been no dramatic breakthroughs or controversies
to excite outsiders or to draw new people into the field. Still,
the phenomenon itself is not dead, and as long as it remains,
the potential for new developments - or at least interesting new
sightings - remains.

Dead? Probably not. Sleeping? More likely. And in any event, the
state of ufology's health at any given moment has nothing to do
with the questions our subject, whether robust or anemic in
popular perception, confronts. Ufology or no, those remain.

Jerry Clark

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