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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Apr > Apr 30

Re: SETI Summary

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 11:52:55 -0500
Archived: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 07:37:06 -0400
Subject: Re: SETI Summary

>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 15:19:53 +0100
>Subject: Re: SETI Summary

>>From: Eleanor White <ewraven1.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:46:38 -0400
>>Subject: Re: SETI Summary

>>>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
>>>Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 15:36:55 +0100

>>Subject: SETI Summary


>>>we can summarize that i) SETI never had a valid reason for its
>>>existence; and ii) SETI has only been used to cover-up, deny or
>>>divert attention from ongoing phenomena.

>>I think there is a good chance SETI has produced some very
>>worthwhile data, and that such data was never intended to be
>>made public, so the project looks to _us_ like a bust.

>Yup, didn't mention that. There is the chance it started out
>'for real', as Drake/Sagan et al seemed genuine early on, only
>later getting swallowed up by `the system'.

>Which might account for that radical change in Sagan - from
>early honesty and open-mindedness to later cynical (and
>sometimes unscientifically `abusive') behaviour and writings.
>That change has always worried/intrigued me.

Well, it shouldn't. The answer is in Sagan's career, and he was
nothing if not a careerist.

His early championing of intelligent ET life -- even without
UFOs -- caused him huge trouble in his early professional days
when he was an ambitious, upcoming astronomer. This, remember,
was in a period when ETI was widely considered toxic, tantamount
to little green men (an often-used phrase to ridicule scientists
who dared express sympathetic interest). Consequently, his
elders held him in low regard, and he suffered assorted
humiliations at their hands.

Sagan already had his hands full pushing his UFOless ETI heresy.
Championing UFOs on top of that would have placed him far beyond
the pale. (It did that even for Allen Hynek, a prominent, well-
established astronomer, when he eventually came out to defend a
hated phenomenon.) As the saying goes, it's not hard for
somebody to believe -- or to disbelieve, in this case -- if his
living depends upon it. Sagan was reasonably sincere in
disbelieving in the existence of ET-related UFOs (though one
imagines the occasional late-night doubt about the course he'd
chosen to take). It's also true that skepticism was convenient
for him, his career, his respectability, and his income.

Jerry Clark

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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