ALIEN RADIX: The Shape of Things That Come

ALIEN RADIX: The Shape of Things That Come
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Sunday, June 30, 2013


UFO Believers Are a Mixed Bag

by Charles Tromblee

Although there is not a lot of technical and scientific material about UFOs and their occupants, there is an overabundance of material on mankind’s reaction to the subject; e.g. what will happen to earth if a mass landing takes place, or future changes in our culture due to simply knowing that we are not alone.  Plus, there is also much material in which no reaction presented at all, such as a book which merely presents a collection of sightings, or it presents more data on a particular UFO incident from history. Usually, no conclusions are presented. No one learns much of anything from this type of material. Other books take the paranormal and spiritual path to the subject, and some of these authors are quite popular, much to my surprise.

Recently, I picked out a UFO book from our local library’s card catalog. This book was The UFO Phenomenon: Fact, Fantasy, Disinformation, c 2009, by John Michael Greer. It was selected by its title and without my knowing that the author is a UFO skeptic, and it is has been my policy to not read material by skeptics because I have been there, done that, and concluded that they had nothing more for me to learn. Mr. Greer, not to be confused with Dr. Steven Greer, is an excellent writer, and is very well versed on the subject of UFOs. I was impressed.

The part of his book that I liked the best was the categorization of UFO believers. He has studied UFOs so much that he created 11 categories (aka “hypotheses”) which are pretty much mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive; i.e. there is no overlap in these categories, AND the categories encompass 100% of all believers. Mr. Greer broadly defines the whole group of believers. For him, at one end of the believer spectrum of this whole group includes those who believe that they are extraterrestrial structured objects, and at the other end, those who believe in UFOs because they have UFO hallucinations in their heads. Until he wrote this book, this had probably never been done before. Reading this book may change some of your own UFO beliefs. For example, I have greatly reduced my opinion of the size of the abduction phenomenon as a result, but still remain a firm believer in the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis.

Please see the table in this article for a bit more of what each of these categories are. With an apology to Mr. Greer for piggy-backing on his good work, here are his 11 categories.

UFO believers can be categorized by 11 different hypotheses:


In addition to these 11 hypotheses, he has added a twelfth hypothesis, the “Null Hypothesis”, which is essentially the group of non-believers who are of the opinion that all UFO sightings are caused by perceptual and psychological causes. I have taken the liberty of dividing the hypotheses into “corporeal” (of the nature of a solid body; tangible) and “non-corporeal” groups. The 3 groups in the center column would believe that a UFO could manifest itself as a non-physical apparition or as a solid object, depending on the desire of the entity (e.g demon, angel, ultraterrestrial,…) at the time. Hence, a UFO could be either corporeal or non-corporeal.

This table could also have been made into a Venn diagram, except for the fact that I have no idea as to the relative population in each category. For example, I would imagine that the Zoological Hypothesis would have almost no people in it, yet the Null, Anthropogenic, and Extraterrestrial Hypotheses would have quite large Venn areas assigned to them. Another problem with making this into a Venn diagram would be that almost none of these categories would have any overlapping area; i.e. as stated previously, they appear to be mutually exclusive.

Only a couple of these hypotheses have any evidence to support them, and one of them is the ETH. By inspection of these categories, one might logically conclude that some of these categories should have zero people in their ranks. After all, rational human beings could not possibly believe in some of this stuff. I would have concluded that had I not experienced a shock first hand. In about 2005, I attended a MUFON meeting in which a well known PhD ufologist presented some of his UFO material. As this guest speaker talked about his beliefs, I sat in the audience wondering  whether this guy was crazy or just another charlatan. No one could be buying into this, so how had he become so well known? He had a good presentation style, however, and after all, he was a PhD. (Later I learned he was a Doctor of Divinity). Part of his style was to periodically involve the audience by asking them questions. One of his questions was to ask how many of them believed that the earth is hollow. I was astonished to see half of this large audience hold up their hands! This guy is still around and even has acolytes. Yikes!

It is easy to see from these categories what a diverse group UFO believers are. When a survey says that 1/3 of the earth’s population believes in UFOs ( or ½, or any other fraction), we can now all realize that these believers have UFO opinions that are as diverse as night and day. The 1/3 is really broken down into eleven much smaller sub-categories. No wonder UFO believers are always disagreeing with one another. No wonder no unified program ever emerges from within the ranks of the believers to break through the veil of secrecy.  And sadly, no wonder such little progress is made. The next time you attend a UFO meeting or conference and wish to talk to the person next to you, be cautious. Even if he/she is not a government spy, he/she might still have beliefs that are surprisingly divergent from your own.

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