Tuesday, May 7, 2019

It's Not the Topic, It's the Presentation

The controversy surrounding the Form DD1910 story gives us an opportunity to observe fundamental and chronic challenges within the UFO community. I contend these challenges are part and parcel of what hampers the genre's struggle for wider acceptance and credibility.

Established communities such as those consisting of academics, scientists, critical thinkers at large, and professional researchers and journalists do not reject the work of UFO writers solely because the work is about UFOs and related fringe topics. They reject it if it does not respect and conform to the guidelines which qualify such work as professional and credible. 

To emphasize, please: The UFO community collectively claims to seek acceptance from other genres, while failing to recognize research protocols established by those genres, or even recognizing the importance of best research practices. Many UFO buffs then unreasonably complain their voices are minimized and not respected.

2017 International UFO Congress Researcher of the Year,
Tom DeLonge
We could detail the particulars of the DD1910 story - which is important and some researchers have done a fine job doing so - but in a broader sense, it's more a symptom of the problem. The UFO community historically fails to recognize such basic fundamentals as how facts are established. We collectively assign credibility where it has not yet been earned or maintained, and avert from the consequences of doing so. This is self-evident to qualified experts and those who adhere to professional protocols.

It is our responsibility to present news stories and research in coherent, succinct, and fact-based manners. This includes sourcing material, providing evidence in timely manners which support assertions, and primarily relying on such procedures to form assessments as compared to relying on trust. Failing to do so carries consequences. That has long been - and will long continue to be - the case.

5 comments:

  1. Jack, TTSA has an abundance of people with science bonafide's who are listed on its website with all sorts of grandiose TTSA titles. And yet on TTSA's SEC filing it lists itself as an entertainment corporation.

    No real mystery here. No real science either. TTSA's true purpose is hiding in plain sight.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Expect the next big TTS hype to be about meta-materials. The co-opted fanbase on social media will be aware that certain information is being held back. They will attack researchers like yourself by baiting you into making certain comments. All to make you look foolish.

    Then at a later date a piece of paper will suddenly be produced out of George Knapp's secret stash to prove you all wrong.

    Sadly Knapp is showing his true colors by supporting their game in this way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jack, you make some excellent points. TTSA, as well as other UFO groups, complain that their claims are not taken seriously. But they keep making claims that don't check out. Anyone who wants to be taken seriously must do better than that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'll second Robert. Jack, you make some excellent points. When I was first getting to know the UFO field, '94, '95, I soon saw the very problem you mention: that UFO researchers often seemed unaware that there are protocols in place in scientific fields, with both acceptable and faulty ways of going about discovery of previously unknown truths. How did I see that? Not because I'm smarter than UFO researchers, but because, at the time, I was executive producer of media projects at an institute of epidemiologists. Over the years, I worked alongside the scientists to design research studies and write grant proposals to the National Institutes of Health. This involved close application of protocols, agreed-upon rules of the research game, and I had to learn them. Ufologists could learn them, too. If they did, they'd find that the scientific community would have far greater respect for their findings than they now do.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the thoughtful and pointed comments, all. I appreciate your interest and insights!

    ReplyDelete