Friday, November 5, 2021

Seeking Truth at a Circus

JFK Jr. or somebody
    You got rats on the west side, bed bugs uptown, or at least it frequently seems so in the UFO subculture. Let's take a look at why cynicism is often justified and the genre continues to be about as appealing to self-respecting academics as a town full of money grabbers. Shadoobie. 


    Anjali staked her claim to ufology immortality when she arrived on the scene with a DC press conference. She proceeded to inform the world, or a few dozen of us paying attention, that she knew where some alien-like higher life forms were hanging out, and that she would assemble a team of researchers to document it. Anjali essentially called next on Disclosure.

Absurd on its face, that such circumstances could be occurring without significant attention from the FBI and similar intelligence agencies, the narrative was quite disjointed in many ways. The story relied heavily on a lot of mumbo jumbo about digging into a mountain to access beings who aren't entirely physical and so on and so forth, but these are not really the most problematic aspects of the Anjali saga. 

Arguably more concerning is that the story was embraced by many, some discussing it as potentially true, while others used it as an easy target of severe criticism. The common denominator from one extreme to the other, as represented on various UFO podcasts and video channels, was often the apparent means to increase one's popularity and reach by carrying on about Anjali.

Mental Health Issues

    Anjali's story is not particularly unique in its enabling by hypnosis conducted by Barbara Lamb. This should be a serious red flag, as should the fact symptoms of emotional trauma and various psychological conditions are virtually indistinguishable from behavior commonly exhibited and even celebrated in the UFO subculture. 

UFO enthusiasts, and particularly those who subscribe to beliefs contact is occurring with intelligent non-human beings, heavily avert from the psychological implications. This might be considered particularly hypocritical, in the manner the mental health field is ignored and rejected much in the same way ufologists complain their perceived field of study is not taken seriously. The fact of the matter is, at the very least, a percentage of people reporting such circumstances as portrayed by Anjali are confused for any number of reasons, all of which are further inflamed by the UFO circus. A circus, I might add, consisting in part of deluded people and those who ride their coattails.

Four Years

      December 2021 will mark four full years since chronic UFO sensationalists Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal got their AATIP story published in the Times. Much of the key elements of the piece remain unconfirmed (The DIA states the estimated completion date for AATIP- and AAWSAP-related FOIA requests is Dec. 30, 2022). Moreover, TTSA did not achieve its extraordinary stated and implied goals. I am extremely confident if four years ago we asked anyone swooning from the story what they hoped would be the status at this point in time, they would not have said they'd just love if Elizondo were still suggesting more patience is required.

Nonetheless, a contingent of UFO Twitter accounts, bloggers, and so on continue to at least feign ongoing enthusiasm. A competent argument can be made the rhetoric is substantially less a representation of popular opinion (or reality) as much as a successfully executed public relations campaign that effectively created minor social media influencers. 

Adding insult to injury is the fact some of the former TTSA personnel continue to be referenced as experts and invited to participate in activities in which they appear entirely unqualified. The history of ufology includes numerous circumstances of incorrectly labeling research as scientific. In at least some instances this is an attempt to gain otherwise unearned respect. We would be wise to hold claimed scientific investigation up to the rigors of transparency and measurable progress its definition demands.

Lil' Help?

     UFO investigators and trend setters have long claimed to want acceptance from the scientific community, but their actions suggest otherwise. They frequently engage in activities and cultivate followings that virtually ensure rejection from respected science professionals. 

It is my understanding the current psychological paradigm does not recommend confronting severely traumatized and confused people with contradictions that may be serving as mental coping mechanisms. Such dynamics would be more widely understood by a community if it spent a fraction of the time it invests in searching for truth on YouTube actually consulting the work of qualified professionals. The point being it's not a wise endeavor to take up the hero's journey of playing along with Anjali or any number of people with similar stories, and academics with sincere interests in valuable and responsible research are quite aware.

Likewise, self-respecting researchers who value career paths and integrity are going to minimize involvement with grandstanding personalities whose assertions lack substance. It's not the topic of UFOs in itself that causes the much discussed stigma, it's also largely due to organizations such as TTSA treating the situation more as a political campaign than ever publishing anything of value. 

Similar may be said about self-described journalists who are more aptly described as UFO cheerleaders. Intelligent and capable scientists, historians and researchers are simply not going to take up residence in the crosshairs. 

So, you may ask, if so much of it is hype and sensationalism, why follow it at all? That is a reasonable question and one with which the subculture may one day catch up, but mostly hasn't yet. There are a number of reasons your attention and beliefs are prized, and the reasons change from one player to another. The reasons are subject to change from one specific instance to another as well. These, and the implications spanning from war games to spy games and grifters to emotionally damaged people, may be the only answers ever to be conclusively mined from the UFO circus. 


  1. Excellent summary.

    "...chronic UFO sensationalists.."


    "...successfully executed public relations campaign that effectively created minor social media influencers..."

    Yup..which segues into..
    If I see one more flipping interview about the Tic Tac video I will scream.
    The Photo with Tom (Bongs) DeLonge as "Researcher of the Year" sums up the idiocy perfectly...

  2. I see a lucrative career for cult deprogrammers in this field.

  3. Jack, excellent observations on the ‘UFO Circus’.
    Wish you’d try getting on Curt Jaimungal’s YT interviews
    “ Theories of Everything.”

    1. They dont want common sense and logic..they want people to babble on about ET and "disclosure is imminent"...the vast majority of punters want McUfo lite..thats the problem.

  4. Thanks for your interest, guys. Much appreciated.