The following article is reprinted from California UFO Magazine, Vol. 2 Issue 3. SCIENCE V
The following article is reprinted from California UFO Magazine, Vol. 2
SCIENCE VS. SPIRIT:
LET'S CALL A TRUCE
by Jim Speiser
Let's get one thing straight: I don't believe in channeling, crystal
power, pyramid power, Space Brothers, or Semjase. I don't have an Akashic
Record (or cassette, for that matter). I put no stock in Shirley 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 basis 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 spiritually oriented, who seem to have mystically achieved
certainty of various aspects of the phenomenon, where I have achieved mere-
ly excited interest.
Since the very 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 Meier. 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 ourselves from it in the eyes of the public, the media,
and the academic community. Our attempts at gaining recognition within the
scientific establishment have been 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 his nose is hanging around.
Recently, however, it appears that some of our attempts at dicho-
tomizing have taken on a more vitriolic tone, as characterized by cor-
respondence that has appeared in CALIFORNIA UFO. One writer representing a
major organization claimed that the magazine would never sell as long as
it included "unfounded 'contactee' garbage." An ad appearing in the back
of the same issue was printed without the group's name, for fear of "guilt
It seems to me that such entities as this magazine and the National
UFO Conference are appropriate forums for many different points of view,
and have stated so from the outset. Whether we like it or not, contactees,
channelers, etc. are part and parcel of the larger sociological phenomenon
we lump under "UFOs." Certainly, there are elements of fraud and huckster-
ism in both camps, and it is our responsibility to make every attempt to
weed these out and point them out as such. But there are many on the
"spiritual side" who are sincere, honest individuals merely guided in
their search for the truth by _internal_, rather than _external_, evidence
-- and regardless of whether their professions of faith are products of
self-delusion or wishful thinking, they are entitled to fair treatment in
any publication 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 activities in modern society, known as
"fag-bashing," wherein a certain element of Cro-Magnon knuckledraggers
feels compelled to beat the daylights out of homosexuals, in order to
reinforce (mainly to themselves) their own masculinity.
I should think scientific Ufology would have matured to the point
where we can be comfortable enough with our own ufological "machismo" that
we can at least tolerate the existence of those whose epistemology is more
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 committing.
Further, much as we left-brainers are loath to admit, there is a
strong possibility that some of the answers to the UFO question lie 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.
To subscribe to California UFO, write them at:
1800 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank