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against Vallée's “Five Arguments Against The Extraterrestrial Origin of Unidentified Flying Objects” & an initial attempt at rational ufological speculation

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The following reflections were written in the form of a draft of an article, where I attempt to revisit the thinking of Vallée in an effort to move decisively but not entirely dismissively beyond him. This post can be read in part as a commentary of this paper in which he argues specifically against the ETH.

of the matter of mind and matter: UFOs and 'psychical' effects

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I t was already a challenge to the research and study of the UAP phenomenon to produce “physical” evidence for it. This is surely the first task of any science: to show that a phenomenon not only (and simply) exists but is something that is amenable to investigation. And therein lies the very methodological, epistemological and even ontological crux of the matter (as it were): is there a ‘there’ there that is investigable? The answer to this question is, upon reflection, no simple affair. Indeed, in answering it without deeper reflection, one is likely to be reliant upon certain presuppositions, and extending largely tacit paradigmatic assumptions, which have already determined the answer before it is given. Yet, we have to start somewhere , and make some assumptions, and see where that leads. When and where those assumptions break down —that’s when we start to notice them, and are forced to reconsider. It is not all a purely conceptual affair, after all. There is some there al

Interlude no. 2: on the ‘gnostic’ tendency in Vallée (and in UAP theory more generally)

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T here is a great tendency among some who have steeped themselves in the many puzzling, eerie, bizarre, disturbing, even scary UFO reports that exist to see at work a structure of reality not generally accessible to us—at least not as a matter of course. As with so much in the UFO literature, this immediately leads to a schism: believers, readily accepting of the reports of “high strangeness” in connection with the UFO experience; and those keen on dismissing such as tall tales, hallucinations, misperceptions mythologized, and so on with the usual (and predictable) litany. The whole schism is predictable. But what about the curious, those who wonder … surely outright credulity is wrong, but so is a skepticism born not from a close engagement with the reported facts, but more from a desire to uphold convention (as deeply buried as it might be, as we have elsewhere suggested)? There is always Socrates’ question to Euthyphro, which we had earlier conjugated for our present purposes—one

On the enigmas of UAP theory (part three)

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I am becoming convinced, the more I contemplate the matter, that Vallée’s thesis constitutes, in fact, a very flawed “third way” between the believers and the debunkers. A scholar such as David Halperin merely dreams of what Vallée, whom he all but dismisses, has actually accomplished (albeit, again, in a very flawed way). We are not quite ready, or indeed scarcely even capable of accepting Vallée’s thesis, because to do so would require two things: one from us, the other from Vallée himself. It would require relinquishing both materialism and spiritualism or idealism, and with it the reigning intellectual paradigms that govern science (on the one hand) and religion and spirituality (on the other). Given that science and religion cling to these ideologies—wrongly, we should add—their existing historical forms are challenged existentially by the rejection of these intellectually debilitating standpoints (debilitating does not mean fruitless). But that is what we owe to the spirit o