The following article is reprinted from California UFO Magazine, Vol. 2 Issue 3. SCIENCE V

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The following article is reprinted from California UFO Magazine, Vol. 2 Issue 3. ------------------------- SCIENCE VS. SPIRIT: LET'S CALL A TRUCE by Jim Speiser Let's get one thing straight: I don't believe in chann eling, crystal power, pyramid power, Space Brothers, or Semjase. I don't h ave an Akashic Record (or cassette, for that matter). I put no stock in Shi rley MacLaine. As a so-called secular humanist, I don't even believe in God . My belief in the possibility that UFOs represent an extraordinary potential leap in our knowledge is based on a plethora of highly compelling evidence, and on the lack of cohesive logical arguments to the contrary. This belief basi s places me squarely in the empirical "nuts-and- bolts" camp of Ufology. I am, of course, aware that there are others whose belief is more spiritua lly oriented, who seem to have mystically achieved certainty of various aspe cts of the phenomenon, where I have achieved mere- ly excited interest. Since the ve ry early days of contactees and credible professionals tackling the UFO issue, it seems these two camps have been at odds with one another, but never more so than now, in an era that sports both Bill Moore and Billy Me ier. Those of us in the empirical camp have in the past regarded "spiritual " Ufology as something of a nuisance, and have strug- gled to separate o urselves from it in the eyes of the public, the media, and the academic community. Our att empts at gaining recognition within the scientific establishment have bee n thwarted by our inability to fully a- chieve this perceptual schism. It's been rather like trying to get a date while your little brother who picks hi s nose is hanging around. Recently, however, it appears that some o f our attempts at dicho- tomizing have taken on a more vitriolic tone, a s characterized by cor- respondence that has appeared in CALIFORNIA UFO. One writer represen ting a major organization claimed that the magazine would never sell as l ong as it included "unfounded 'contactee' garbage." An ad appearing in th e back of the same issue was printed without the group's name, for fear of "guilt by association." It seems to me that such entities as this ma gazine and the National UFO Conference are appropriate forums for many di fferent points of view, and have stated so from the outset. Whether we like it or not, co ntactees, channelers, etc. are part and parcel of the larger sociological p henomenon we lump under "UFOs." Certainly, there are elements of fraud and huckster- ism in both camps, and it is our responsibility to make every at tempt to weed these out and point them out as such. But there are man y on the "spiritual side" who are sincere, honest individuals merely g uided in their search for the truth by _internal_, rather than _external_, evidence -- an d regardless of whether their professions of faith are products of self-d elusion or wishful thinking, they are entitled to fair treatment in any p ublication that assays to cover the gamut of thinking and theorizing in the areas of UFOs and extraterrestrials. This attempt at total burial of our spiritual side puts me in mind of one of the more reprehensible acti vities in modern society, known as "fag-bashing," wherein a certain element of Cro- Magnon knuckledraggers feels compelled to beat the daylights out of ho mosexuals, in order to reinforce (mainly to themselves) their own masculinit y. I should think scientific Ufology would have matured to the poin t where we can be comfortable enough with our own ufological "machismo" tha t we can at least tolerate the existence of those whose epistemology is mor e mystically derived than our own. While still decrying their credulity, we can at least acknowledge their rights to freedom of speech. Continuing to bash them, in order to reinforce (mainly to ourselves) our own legitimacy, is to engage in the same sort of witch-hunting we accuse our skeptical detractors of co mmitting. Further, much as we left-brainers are loath to admit, th ere is a strong possibility that some of the answers to the UFO question li e in the metaphysical realm. The problem arises when such theorizing is represented to the public as legitimate, evidence-based Ufology. It then becomes more be plenty of room in that sucker for all of us. -------------------------- T o subscribe to California UFO, write them at: 1800 S. Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035


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