Wednesday, January 31, 2007

FATE Magazine
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Never has it been harder to do good research
At the 1992 MUFON conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the esteemed Dr. Jacques Vallee offered:
“I am probably the only person who doesn’t know what UFOs are. Most Ufologists know (or think they know) that UFOs are spacecraft vehicles, in other words, spacecraft from another planet… In the meantime, the vast majority of scientists and technologists continue to regard all this as complete nonsense… Never has the situation been so clearly polarized. Never has it been harder to do good research.”
Fifteen years later find no improvement. UFOs are still alien spacecraft. Lake monsters are plesiosaurs. Families of hairy “missing links” frolic in the uncharted wilds of Ohio and Michigan woodlots. Mothman was an owl.
And most scientists continue to regard all this as complete nonsense.
A pioneer in forensic science, Dr. Hans Gross (1847-1915) warned his investigators against taking statements at face value because of the way the senses can be deluded by not always being able to immediately detect the true meaning of the phenomena under observation. One of his most important cautions to investigators, and one that is essential today, was to avoid the preconceived idea of a solution before the facts were collected and analyzed.
We must always work to suppress our need to be absolutely certain and our tendency to seek the effortless solution to a problem. Now and then the solutions may be simple, but usually they are not.
I am reminded of the words of Alfred Mander:
“Thinking is skilled work. It is not true that we are naturally endowed with the ability to think clearly and logically — without learning how, or without practicing. People with untrained minds should no more expect to think clearly and logically than people who have never learned and never practiced can expect to find themselves good carpenters, golfers, bridge players, or pianists.”
Which brings me to the Managing Editor of FATE magazine. David “The Amazing” Godwin is the best thing to happen in a long time. He is, indeed, a candle in the darkness. We need his thoughtful commentary more than ever.
You go Godwin!
I can almost hear the “Rocky” theme playing in the background.
Yours in research,Robert A. Goerman
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”–Theodore Roosevelt
“Every contact leaves a trace!”–Edmond Locard
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 at 8:20 AM and filed by Robert Goerman. Follow comments here with the RSS 2.0 feed. Post a comment or leave a trackback.
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