UFO Researchers Eat Their Own Kind
Yesterday, while researching a story for Technorati, I clicked through to the ufology blog authored by Paul Kimball. My heart sank as I absorbed the proceedings there. Here’s an excerpt from my contribution:
Reading this thread, I’m reminded of what I consider to be ufology’s biggest Achilles’ heel – bigger even than the limelight-hogging crackpots, bigger than mainstream media’s default “offbeat news” approach to the phenomenon and bigger than whatever sway the military-industrial complex may be holding overall.
It’s simply this: We eat our own. Rather than instruct, we eviscerate.
Articulate, well-informed, confrontational, a lawyer by training, Kimball deals with visitors to his blog as I imagine he might deal with hostile witnesses, and this, I’m sorry to say, sets a tone. And I’m sorry to say it not because I disapprove of lively discourse; a spirited exchange of ideas can be an energizing, productive exercise if the folks involved leave their nunchucks at the bar.
Rather, I was disheartened by Kimball’s blog because pro forma punking is altogether too common among UFO researchers at every level. So are head-butting, tire-slashing, bitch-slapping and nut-kicking.
The page I visited yesterday read like a fight club transcript. Visitors were calling each other “idiot” and “lame ass” and “jackass” and my feeble attempt to lower the temperature of the room was met with dismissal.
"Yes, yes, all very good to get along, but...," Kimball replied, adding, "he's lucky that ridicule is the only thing he's getting."
Fortunately, there does exist in the field a contingent of researchers who are as even-tempered as they are credible and articulate. George Knapp, Angelia Joiner, Richard Dolan, Leslie Kean and David Jacobs are just a few names that leap immediately to mind.
Others have simply gone 'round the bend, making their contributions increasingly suspect. And I agree that it’s best that they retire.
I do not, however, agree that they should retire to Hell, there to spend eternity choking on their own swollen tongues.