Ufos Essay Research Paper Andrea JuberaMay 8 — страница 2

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research analogous to that of astronomy or the other sciences? As Goldin urged us to do on behalf of NASA’s research: write, call, visit your representatives and senators. NASA funds astronomical research because the American people want this; even if most of it is too private for public consumption, the highlights such as Hubble images and first extra-solar planets do make the newspapers and people read with interest about what their tax dollars are paying for. But there is a second key ingredient that really needs to come first, and all the grassroots lobbying will come to naught until this second point that Goldin made to the astronomers is translated into action in the most extreme cases of ufology. Given a mandate to support such research, who decides what exactly will be

done? Goldin reminded the astronomers that it is their responsibility to come up with NASA’s equal orders for the start of a new century. The community of astronomers must reach consensus on prioritizing projects, and he made it clear that those investigators whose projects may not make the cutoff, owing to fiscal limitations, are still obligated as members of the research community to support those that are selected. Community census and support of an agreed-upon plan, even by those who lost in the proposal competitions, is necessary. Without that, the money would eventually stop flowing (William Dudley). There is a probable roadblock for ufology. There in Bernard’s view, is the principal reason civilian government money has never started flowing, or even trickling. There

are many possible factors in this ranging from sincere and professionally motivated difference of opinion, to lack of understanding of scientific methods, focus on personal aggrandizement rather than objectivity, paranoia, etc. To be fair to the principals of objectivity and comprehensiveness one must also acknowledge the possibility that the disarray of ufology may be partially driven by official or semi-official disinformation, or even, taking the view of the respected researcher Jaques Vallee, by the UFO phenomenon itself (Dudley). But even if those darker possibilities were true, it would still be possible to press ahead if a leadership and a position could be agreed upon, at least a dependent one, a provisional one to get started, one that can be reevaluated after things get

going. Someone has a better chance at arriving at a destination even if they drive the car in the wrong direction and has to turn around, that even if no one is ever selected to start the car and pull out of the driveway. Bernard states he has no desire to become a ufology leader, nor is he here to recommend to you in who such leadership should be vested. His message is simple but down-to-earth even in today’s budget climate because it is meeting a demonstrable request of the American public and has the professional structure, status and behavior to effectively translate that command into funded programs. The public mood is in fact more and more open to new ideas and is certainly happily interested in the possibility of other intelligent life in the universe, including the

possibility of evidence for such right here under our noses. It is thinkable that this could be turned into a public mandate for government-sponsored UFO research. But that can only happen if ufologists can somehow follow the successful example of the astronomical community (William Dudley). This is difficult. Ph.D’s are not conferred by respected institutions as they are in astrophysics. But there are things that can be done to start the process. Genuinely scholarly papers can be written, which the Journal of Scientific Exploration would consider, for example. Note that Bernard is not trying to solicit papers; the Journal is highly selective and turns down more articles than are accepted. Journal articles are one way to interest mainstream scientists. In fact, eliciting the

interest of mainstream scientists is a key factor in raising the level of UFO respectability. This is extremely difficult in the present environment of confusion, but this could change. A 1977 poll of American astronomers, published in JSE, showed the following. Out of 2611 questionnaires 1356 were returned. In response to whether the UFO problem deserved further study the replies were: 23% certainly, 30% probably, 27% possibly, 17% probably not, 3% certainly not. Interestingly, there was a positive correlation between the amount of reading done on the subject and the opinion that further study was in order. Professional researchers would be likely to lose interest if there was complete lack of credible data. This shows a surprisingly high level of potential interest that could