|By Robbie Graham |
Silver Screen Saucers
"We in the UFO field have constructed many roads to UFO truth, but we tread them in vain. They lead nowhere..."
‘UFOlogists’ speak a great deal about the ‘truth’. The truth is out there, they tell people, and it must doggedly be pursued for the benefit of all mankind. But rarely are ‘UFOlogists’ truthful with themselves.
First off, there’s no such thing as a ‘UFOlogist’, and anyone who refers to themselves a such is clinging desperately to their own slim sense of self worth. There is no such thing as a UFOlogist because there is no such thing as UFOlogy – at least not in any meaningful sense. If “ology” refers to a branch of knowledge or learning sprung from organized research (which it does), then UFOlogy is a broken twig. The UFO subject has produced thousands of dedicated researchers over the years (none of them ‘UFOlogists’) and thousands more books, but few have made any significant contribution to our ‘knowledge’ of the UFO enigma.
While many UFO researchers undoubtedly would consider their vocation/hobby a selfless one, I regard my own obsession with the subject (and it’s fair to say that I am obsessed) to be hugely self-indulgent. I have dedicated the past several years of my life to the study of UFOs (and specifically to Hollywood’s depiction of the phenomenon), but to what justifiable end I cannot say. I find the world around me to be enchanting, but also deeply troubling and alienating. UFOs offer me an escape into the unknown and unknowable; this appeals to me beyond my means to express. I want so much to be part of something greater than myself – to expand my experiential boundaries through otherworldly knowledge – that I have wilfully removed myself from the world I would see changed and blinded myself to the truth I have sought all along. Ironic.
I want to back up a little. By saying UFOlogy is non-existent I’m not suggesting that UFOs cannot be not a subject of serious study. Some researchers can indeed speak with authority on certain aspects of UFOs (e.g. their official history as recorded in declassified government documentation; their media representation over time; and even the essential physical and behavioural characteristics of UFOs and their alleged occupants). However, when it comes to understanding the underlying nature of this multifaceted phenomenon, its origins and its purposes, we are, all of us, clueless – awash in a sea of speculation and petty ideological feuds.
We in the UFO community consider our cluelessness (if we consider it at all) as a point of departure in a bold, Fox-Mulder-like quest for the ‘truth’, but in reality we fear it may be perpetual. Meanwhile, those in the corridors of power with secret access to UFO information fear that they too are clueless despite having spent trillions of dollars over seven decades to find a satisfying answer to the UFO question. Their fear in this regard is justified; for clearly, in the grand scheme of things, they are as clueless as the rest of us (even having hands-on access to craft and bodies will not come close to bringing ‘UFOlogical’ enlightenment to the primitive 21st Century enquirer).
Our obsession with UFO truth speaks to an insatiable yearning on our part to grasp the essential meaning of our universe and to fathom our purpose within it – and beyond it, even. Surely, higher external intelligences can provide us with the answers we seek and, in so doing, make us whole; make us one. UFO ‘Disclosure’ – the official acknowledgement that we are not alone in the universe – will, we insist to all those who will listen (but mostly to ourselves), open the floodgates for cosmic understanding. The inherent implication of this notion is that, absent a Disclosure event, humanity will remain perennially in the shadow of its own ignorance and forever at the mercy of its basest instincts. Only UFO Disclosure can save us; or, at least, Disclosure is the closest solution to hand to save us from the sinking ship of human civilization. This is delusional.
Shocking though it may seem to the UFO obsessive, there are other, more useful, sources of knowledge and wisdom available to us, other paths toward enlightenment. I swear I used to know this, but my awareness became diffuse through time in the static of my own paranoia, self-importance and escapist longings.
While it is my belief that we are indeed interacting with non-human intelligences, I also recognize that the UFO phenomenon serves as an externalisation of our hopes and fears about our own species and about ourselves as individuals. In this sense, UFOs are a distraction. Not one so egregious as The X Factor and twerking pop stars, perhaps, but a distraction nonetheless. We need to let go of UFOs. Or, at least, I do.
The ancient Chinese text The Tao Te Ching advocates that we should seek not to know, but to un-know; to empty our vessels of rigid certainties, and, in so doing, find enlightenment in a state of ‘un-knowing.’
I can state with a high degree of confidence that I will never lose interest in UFOs, and, for the foreseeable future, at least, I will continue to study and write about the phenomenon, but I will do so having let go of it – with the recognition that I will never come close to understanding it, and that ‘truth’ is to be found not in a flying saucer, but within a more Earthly vessel. My recognition in this regard will seem painfully belated to the many readers who experienced similar ‘awakenings’ long ago. In truth, my re-evaluation of the UFO field and of the phenomenon itself has been occurring privately for some time, but only now have I reached the point where I am comfortable with expressing these thoughts publicly, for what little they are worth.
We in the UFO field have constructed many roads to UFO truth, but we tread them in vain. They lead nowhere. If there is an ultimate truth to be found, it is most assuredly not ‘out there.’ When it comes to the big picture concerning UFOs, if only we allow ourselves to know that we know nothing, the universe may yet reveal itself to us. Or not.
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