Science Fiction and Ufology

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Quote:...It was 1974, and a twenty-seven-year-old Bertrand Méheust was rummaging through the library of his family’s loft when he came across an old science-fiction novel, Jean de la Hire’s Roue fulgurante (The Lightning Wheel). The cover featured a flying disc-shaped machine surrounded by a halo of light. He opened the book. The story began with the heroes being lifted into the humming sphere by a beam, losing consciousness, and awakening to find themselves in a brightly lit room. This was by no means a great work of literature. Indeed, the few pages Méheust read in the attic struck him as rather incoherent.

Then he saw the publication date: 1908. This stunned him. The date was so shocking because it was (and still is) widely assumed that the “flying saucer” did not appear on the cultural scene until 1947, when American pilot Kenneth Arnold sighted his nine silver disks. The first widely publicized abduction, we might also recall, did not occur until 1961, when Barney and Betty Hill reported their experience of “losing” two hours on the road and later remembered, under hypnosis, being abducted by aliens on board a spaceship. But here was a set of strikingly similar images and an abduction story in 1908, and in a forgettable science-fiction novel no less. How could this be?

...The focus of the work is a series of elaborate demonstrations of the historical coincidences that appear to exist between the narrative and visual frames of the UFO experiences of the second half of the twentieth century (1947 to the present) and the science-fiction stories of the first half of the twentieth century (1880–1945). Flying discs accompanied by buzzing noises, harmful or healing beams of light zapping people, abductions via levitation or teleportation, large-headed dwarves or humanoids, physical examinations on board a spaceship in a lighted room—point by point, detail by detail, Méheust demonstrates with texts and glossy pulp-fiction art how the later encounters “realized” or reenacted the earlier sci-fi scenes, and this down to astonishing details. Rhetorically, Méheust is mischievous here. So, for example, he will present three encounter stories without telling the reader which ones are “fictional” and which ones are “real” until a few pages later. Through techniques like this, he shows, over and over, that it is simply impossible to tell the difference between fiction and lived reality within the two sets of stories.

Kripal, Jeffrey J.. Authors of the Impossible (p. 208). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.

Quote:He can also juxtapose a few panels from a French comic book from 1945, this one involving an odd globe-shaped spaceship with little men hopping from its portal, and a strikingly similar drawing based on a real-life UFO encounter from 1967. To employ the language of the British psychical researcher Hilary Evans, what we appear to have here is neither exactly fiction nor pure fact. It is “faction.”

Kripal, Jeffrey J.. Authors of the Impossible (p. 208). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.

Will try to dig into the details here. From what I gather the experiencers would be unlikely to have read the fictions Méheust is looking at...but that might be possible. Also there could be lose commonalities, or perhaps there have been cases that were less publicized that inspired some of the science fiction.

Or perhaps Kripal is correct that the "neighbors" or "visitors" are clothing themselves in fictions from an earlier time...also maybe the fiction is precognitive?

I suspect we may just not get a clear answer, just as the visitations by a Harlequin figure by those on DMT have not to my knowledge ruled out the DMT users already knowing others on the drug saw such entity/entities.

@Typoz - this is what I was talking about when I mentioned Super Psi type explanations extending to Ufology. I think there is an old Skeptiko interview about this, will try to find...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-06-14, 10:38 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 3 times in total.)
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(2023-06-14, 10:36 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Will try to dig into the details here. From what I gather the experiencers would be unlikely to have read the fictions Méheust is looking at...but that might be possible. Also there could be lose commonalities, or perhaps there have been cases that were less publicized that inspired some of the science fiction.

Or perhaps Kripal is correct that the "neighbors" or "visitors" are clothing themselves in fictions from an earlier time...also maybe the fiction is precognitive?

I suspect we may just not get a clear answer, just as the visitations by a Harlequin figure by those on DMT have not to my knowledge ruled out the DMT users already knowing others on the drug saw such entity/entities.

@Typoz - this is what I was talking about when I mentioned Super Psi type explanations extending to Ufology. I think there is an old Skeptiko interview about this, will try to find...

There are simply far too many high quality sightings of structured technological vehicles of some kind (some with electromagnetic interaction on radars and one with ELINT gear), to plausibly claim that the total phenomenon is of some sort of hallucinatory manifestation of the collective subconscious fueled by media and other cultural influences. At the risk of becoming repetitive, the following is a (very partial) list of cases. 

Just a sampling of some of the better older data:

– The 1947 Kenneth Arnold sighting
Except for the WWII “foo fighters”, this begins the modern era of UFOs. A good analysis is at http://www.martinshough.com/aerialphenom...lysis2.pdf . There do not seem to be any valid optical, geometric, geographical, psychological or other reasons to doubt the major features of Arnold’s sighting as reported and they are internally consistent. The analysis results in a range of 16-20 miles, a minimum length of 70-90 feet, and a speed of 890 to 1200 mph. Arnold described the objects as trimmed-off in the rear thin shiny “saucer-like” discoids reflecting sunlight blindingly like metal at certain angles.
– The Chiles-Whitted Case – Montgomery, Alabama, United States – July 24, 1948
– The Nash-Fortenberry Sighting (aircraft encounter with formation of UFOs) – Virginia, United States – July 14, 1952     Vehicle maneuvers indicate pilot response delays
– The RB-47 UFO Encounter – Gulf Coast Area, United States – July 17, 1957          Radar, ECM and ELINT evidence
- The Levelland, Texas case - November 2-3, 1957
– Socorro / Zamora UFO Incident – Socorro, New Mexico, United States – April 24, 1964
– Coyne Helicopter Incident – Mansfield, Ohio, United States – October 18, 1973
– “Dogfight over Tehran”, the 1976 Iranian Air Force Incident, a multiple pilot/ground/radar/visual/EMI signal case. Details at http://www.nicap.org/760919tehran_dir.htm .
– The Cash-Landrum Case – Huffman, Texas, United States – December 29, 1980    Radiation burns
– Japan Air Lines Flight 1628 Over Alaska – Alaska, United States – November 17, 1986
– Belgium Triangle UFO Sightings – Belgium – October, 1989
– Illinois Triangle UFO Sighting (by multiple police officers) – Illinois, United States – January 5, 2000
(This post was last modified: 2023-06-15, 02:33 AM by nbtruthman. Edited 2 times in total.)
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(2023-06-15, 02:26 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: There are simply far too many high quality sightings of structured technological vehicles of some kind (some with electromagnetic interaction on radars and one with ELINT gear), to plausibly claim that the total phenomenon is of some sort of hallucinatory manifestation of the collective subconscious fueled by media and other cultural influences. At the risk of becoming repetitive, the following is a (very partial) list of cases.

I think this very much depends on who these entities are and what they are, as well as our relationship to this wider reality.

But on the balance - no, I also don't think these phenomena are just humanity's collective dream. This idea brings up too many issues that are related to the Super Psi issue.

edit: I should note I have yet to even try to find a translation of Méheust from French so I don't want to put words in his mouth.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-06-15, 03:16 AM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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Quote:Beginning with the popular 1957 Vilas Boas and 1961 Betty and Barney Hill cases, UFO researchers began to formulate modern ‘nuts-and-bolts’ theories for encounters with spaceships and their occupants from other planets (the so-called ‘Extraterrestrial Hypothesis’).[296] But Vallée, in Passport to Magonia, drawing from the descriptive observations of Evans-Wentz (as well as Kirk before him), theorized that abduction stories and reports did not begin with the Boas and Hill cases, but were modern versions of the ancient human contact with otherworldly consciousness that often took the shape of religious, occult, and even folkloric fairy-like experiences.[297]

Vallée also gives credit to Charles Fort (in his The Book of the Damned) as the person who ‘uncovered anomalous sightings by astronomers in records dating back to the nineteenth century [as well as] stories of celestial wonders...in the archives of medieval writers and even [in those of] Roman historians’ that were written well before Kenneth Arnold’s 1947 ufo sighting.[298]  Vallée’s earlier work led him to the hypothesis that the present day UFO sighting-contact-abduction phenomenon operates as a kind of global ‘thermostat’, which is responsible for orchestrating the evolution of human consciousness through the millennia.
- Robin Jarrell, UFO Abductions as Mystical Encounter:  Faerie Folklore in W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Jacques Vallée, and Whitley Strieber
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell



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