MERCHANTS AND SCHOLARS


What I am going to say is not circumstantial. It has been a very deeply rooted concept among the people that during 50 years made up one of the pioneer and leading Latin American institutions dedicated to the investigation and study of the unidentified flying objects: the Uruguayan C.I.O.V.I.

This is a concept that I wrote in my book “Elements of Ufology” (Montevideo, ed. Mano a Mano, February, 1989, 102 pages).  I initiated the Preface of the book with these words: “A Ufologist is someone who does not live on the UFOs but for the UFOs”.

We have scrupulously separated those who seriously, scientifically, with great devotion and dedication –and many times with scarce resources—dedicated their lives to the investigation and study of anomalous aerial phenomena, and those who unscrupulously, with as clear interest in making money and without any respect to the truth or the other people, have been miserable merchants of the U.A.P. subject.

We have always taken seriously the results of the investigation, the criteria and ideas of those who have been real scholars dealing with the matter. They sometimes could be wrong, but they will be always honest.

The merchants have never deserve our attention except to denounce them as such. They do not deal with circumstances and cases that deserve a serious consideration. The material they use is notoriously spurious and in the best case, totally distorted of the reality as to give them the benefit of the doubt.

They have been historically the greatest enemies of a respectable consideration of the UFO subject. 

It is to them that the rest of us owe a very important role in the instillation of the idea that UFO equals extra-terrestrial spaceship.

It is because of them that the issue has been a despicable one among the most respectable scientific and technological circles.

In the CIOVI experience, --and surely in the experience of other serious and responsible investigators-- the only way to have the attention and to get the cooperation of scientists and technicians to analyze some cases, is to draw a clear cut line between the merchants and the scholars.

Between those who use the issue of the Unusual Aerial Phenomena to make business, and those who with intellectual honesty and respectability, try to find the truth whatever it could be, but without absolutely any economical interest behind. 

I urge all those who are members of this Group, to adhere to this fundamental concept.

It is –after all— a moral principle.

As well as a contaminated sample is of no use to the analyst in the laboratory, we can not use contaminated  information or allow to contaminate the environment within which we want to develop a serious approach to the U.A.P. Otherwise, we would be undermining our efforts and making null and void our possible conclusions.

Milton W. Hourcade – Virginia, August 10, 2008.

1 comments:

Massimo Teodorani said...

Dear All,

I totally agree with this post by Milton Hourcade. I would like to add here some considerations of mine, which – of course – represent only my personal pondered opinion.

Merchants of ufology – in addition to showing a clear aptitude to dishonesty - are probably the major source of disinformation in this very delicate matter, and the main obstacle to scientists and serious scholars. I would like also to stress: not only merchants but also “cultists” are an extremely dangerous source of pollution in this specific field. Not-a-few pseudo religions (namely: *organized cultist sects*) have been created under the flag of “ufology”, and I know three of them that I do not mention now. This is devastating for people and mostly for the youth’ thinking freedom. Who is protecting these sects, who did create them and who does allow them to have so much power and wide diffusion?

Therefore a rational approach to UAP’s study is strongly emphasized. But “rational approach” doesn’t mean only reassuring people that UAPs are simply and systematically badly interpreted prosaic phenomena. It means to accept the main aptitude to scientific exploration which, in addition to rationality and the appropriate scientific method of approach (mathematical and experimental/observational), demands a healthy open mind, to be harmonically matched with a healthy scepticism as well. When this balance is not producing the correct equilibrium, then we go against scientific exploration and in favour of a double-faced and/or alternate-faced form of fideism. Science and “scientism” are not the same thing, and the history of science itself - which progresses due to the merit of single geniuses and not of an elephantiac conservative infrastructure - taught this in more than one chance. What makes something *scientific* is just “rigour plus innovation”, on the contrary we have only sterile accountancy.

Rigour is the primary prerequisite, and it is the starting point of a proper screening of UAP cases. Intelligent rigour, not blind rigour. Therefore completeness and minutiae are of fundamental importance, in the attempt to match the observed reality and not to build up a useful and simplistic (even if logic) map of a much more variegated territory. Occam razor? Not sufficient alone to build up a scientific scenario of explorative character.

Apart from the huge majority of cases that can be explained prosaically indeed, some of the investigated problems regarding UAPs still maintain a challenge towards us and our standard science. If we want to progress in science we need to accept our limitations. UAPs and the anomaly in general, is “possibly” an ideal way to make our science expand. Have we a sufficient quantity and quality of courage to repudiate old tradition in favour of a true and possibly radical scientific innovation, which in case is deducible from raw data that have been aseptically and completely processed? But this is just one possible nugget out of 10.000 stones, among which it is possibly hidden.

Before studying the nugget we need to know extremely well the stones. That’s the reason why a (interdisciplinary) scholar of this matter must – also as a moral duty towards citizens - maintain her/his feet on the ground from the beginning to the end of an investigation. The first datum to ascertain remains always this: does an anomaly exist indeed or not?

But all of this can be constructively achieved by whom, in addition to verifying the existence or absence of the anomaly, is also able *to search for it* and its physics and is humbly able to consider the entire spectrum of possibilities, after using her/his own machete in the forest in order to go on straight ahead. Of course all of this *cannot* be fulfilled by whom uses her/his own machete to cut everything (after all it’s so comfortable to do so) that doesn’t enter inside her/his own realm of psychologically and/or socially accepted concepts (and this regards “inter-subjective consensus too”). A possible science of UAPs, which now very difficultly attempts to become a reality, should be intended as the potential science of what is conceivably NEW. Therefore the reminders of old caryatids of epistemology are certainly absolutely necessary but not fully sufficient for the final scope. If really behind the UAP phenomenon a “new physics” hides inside, we must be open to what is NEW to us, if it ever exists.

The best/only way to judge something as “new” in the sense of true scientific interest, is to be able to examine meticulously the data, in terms both of selection of data of true importance and of extremely careful analysis of the data that have been selected for a proper study. Speculation and/or work hypotheses are obviously legitimate (whatever they are), if they are coherent, logic and realistic in themselves: but they must come only from the data themselves and not before the data.

What can be considered as a “datum” within the UAP study? Two types, typically in this very peculiar environment: a) witness “data”, b) data acquired by measurements obtained using appropriate monitoring instrumentation.

My personal opinion is that witness “data” used alone brings to no science, not even if they are processed statistically. This kind of data must be a starting point to bring to on-site verification, if these verifications are possible (such as prints and/or remnants on the ground or on biological bodies, or “laboratory areas” where UAP phenomena are particularly recurrent). On the contrary these data are scientifically sterile. Of course this is none’s fault. Just very few scholars of classical “ufology” are working very well due to their seriousness, rationality and well applied method. But if the UAP work stops here we still do not have a science, in spite of the high value of those scholars: this precious value must be spent well and not wasted.

Here we are working in the most difficult field ever. But there is no escape to the fact that we have to find out a way to turn witness data collection into data that are obtained from quantitative measurements of whatever nature.

And finally, a fundamental role for a UAP scholar: to be able to unveil a possible deceptive nature of the phenomenon (whatever its origin).

The fact that a UAP phenomenon can be effectively measured during its flight may bring to six possible results:

1) a prosaic natural or artificial phenomenon;

2) a natural phenomenon whose physics we need to understand more in-depth;

3) an artificial phenomenon that is a deliberate hoax;

4) an artificial phenomenon that comes from new and still covered military technology;

5) an artificial phenomenon of true exogenous nature;

6) an artificial phenomenon whose scope is deception of humanity (a good way to trigger and create new pseudo religions and aberrations - for instance - with a consequent damage, manipulation and destruction of human psycho-social stability and human independent thinking and self-determination) and whose origin can be human and/or not. This is a weapon at all effects.

I would like to stress my suspect that point 6 is qualitatively (even if not statistically) probably the most important one, and that *science and its methods* are potentially able to unmask it. Several attempts have been done so far, with maybe a few results. Too few so far. In this light we should consider ourselves a Service to our society, as opposed to the merchants and other aberrations (also of opposite nature).

Thanks for your kind attention. All of this obviously represents only my way of seeing things in this specific matter, but I assure you that it is driven by a multi-faceted investigation lasted many years. An investigation *not only* limited to the identification of poorly known natural phenomena or to the ETV hypothesis, which at the present time for several reasons I consider of (over)secondary importance compared to point 6. I might suspect that hypothesis described by point 6 represents both a *strategy* and the consequence of a possible *new physics* maybe involving a sophisticated form of mind-matter interaction too. If we’ll not accept to examine scientifically and in a disenchanted way certain “esotic” possibilities, then we’ll be so coward to delegate them to whom historically and atavically practices “the irrational” together with its court of cultists and merchants. Science *has a duty*, not to the academia, but to the entire people of the world and their security.

_______________________________________

Dr. Massimo Teodorani, Ph.D.
Astrophysicist and Science Writer
Via Catalani 45 - 47023 Cesena (FC) - ITALY
E-Mail: mlteodorani@alice.it
Skype: dr.massimo.teodorani
Tel. 0039-0547-21891 / Cell. 0039-347-1918329