Recently, David Biedny referred to the Paranormal as no different than, "...any other form of Entertainment." I was already accepting the idea that many people were and still are turning their collective backs on the Paranormal until the comment, "Ufologists eat their own," (not verbatim) was directed at Paul Kimball. That comment coupled with Biedny's thoughts ---all too readily solidifying the contempt for the field---makes me feel like it's time I put my two cents in.
All of a sudden, it has become popular to denigrate the field. Now everyone from every corner of the field is turning their back and turning up their nose. When did this start exactly? Who was the first person to knock down a domino? And why is it that the Ghost Hunting Field isn't following suit?
In fact, even the Cryptozoologists are separating themselves from the negativity, which has me considering a new field in which to focus my time and energy. But everytime I entertain the thought of leaving Ufology, I think about all the other people walking away and I start to see Ufology as this once full house that is now almost empty and on the verge of collapse.
The researchers who were the foundation aren't doing their job. The researchers who furnished this great house of Ufology have left dust in their place. You would think younger researchers would rally together and proclaim this a small blemish on the field that can be easily fixed. But no, instead half of them are growing weary with the backstabbing, the lack of viable information and worse, the fallen (once) heroes of the field.
It is now acceptable for Ufologists/Paranormal researchers and investigators to talk shit about the field with no consequence. And why should there be? It's not a 'real' field of study. It's just a hobby for rejects. It's one of those fields you 'fall' into when you're a kid, dabbling with the occult and getting your ass kicked in the school yard for being a little too smart.
It's the red-headed stepchild of Science. The Paranormal is where all the freaks go when they want to feel special. I get it now. It's reject central. So if you make it out of freakdom---if you write a book, or two---if you start a successful blog---if you get a TV Show/Radio Show---you become too cool to be in the Paranormal field. You just have to get out and spread your wings.
I so totally get it now!
The problem is, I don't think many of you should be allowed to walk away so easily. In fact, I think some of you should be held accountable for what you have done. This is the Paranormal Fields version of Arthur Andersen. There is plenty of fraud in the field, committed by the people who 'supposedly' helped to build it in the passed few decades.
Some cases that were absolute bunk were given too much attention. Other cases weren't explored enough. Some researchers backed fraudulent claims and hoaxers and even created hoaxes. I am not going to waste time naming names, because frankly, right now I just don't give a shit. But I am trying to make a point, and the point is the people who started this shit need to clean it up.
It has become acceptable to just walk away from the field and turn a blind eye at what previous generations have done to a field that could have gained more respect, if not for certain people's inclination to share the spotlight and make shit up as they went along. Ufology/The Paranormal could have been something more. And it's not like I didn't see it gaining ground.
Heck, the Vatican said, 'Yes, there might be ALiens!' And then their are various projects enacted for Disclosure, like the Freedom of Information Act. And no, we didn't exactly figure out what happened at Roswell, but everyone and their mother has heard about it. Alien Invasion films are usually blockbusters. Little kids follow the adventures of Invader Zim and every other animated Alien.
And why? Because Ufology/The Paranormal broke ground somehow. The field slowly but surely seeped into the Global subconscious so that many more people believe in other life in the Universe. More people report UFO sightings. More people talk about their Haunted houses. More people want to know about Life after death, and that curiosity is why shows like 'Medium' and 'The Ghost Whisperer' have ratings.
The fact that some researchers have been on Larry King and that NOVA and the History Channel cover UFOLOGY (no matter how biased, warped or critical it may all be) is enough to confirm we have come a long way baby and we are making great strides. But somehow, somewhere, people started getting weary and greedy and dispassionate. Fine. I am not saying no one has the 'right' to walk away.
That was never point to begin with. My point is, clean up your shit on the way out. And once you are gone, stop talking about it. We don't need your bad vibes, and we certainly don't need any more ill repute because the only thing you can find to talk about is how much Ufology/The Paranormal sucks. Because it doesn't. It is just another outlet for solving the mysteries of this world we live in. Until someone can definitively give us all the answers, I suggest we stop acting like one method or one particular field is more important and respectable than the other.
Because at the end of the day, whether you leave UFOLOGY/The Paranormal behind or not, it's still a part of your legacy. The shit storm you left behind will haunt you.
*Disclaimer: This is not a personal attack on Biedny or Kimball. I just wanted to cite how the two of you got the ball rolling on my decision to write this. Thanks.