Richard Dolan, Nick Redfern and Peter Robbins: So Now What?

There is no doubt that more than ever, the study of UFOs and related phenomena is in need of definitive change. I had a roundtable discussion with Nick Redfern, Peter Robbins and Richard Dolan about what forms that might take.

As many know, the so-called “Roswell Slides” and the fallout from that episode reminded some that eagerness and the will to believe should never trump even a normal amount of research. Nick criticized the method of release of the slides as clumsy and secretive. Richard maintained that the information was controlled by Adam Dew, the producer who located the slides, and not the researchers.

I brought up the subject of egos, media, and the rush to be first with information and how that should change. Peter suggested that UFO study should be an academic pursuit with the same checks and balances inherent. He uses his own conscience as a guide. Rich talked about peer review, of which he is skeptical because of the lack of standards in the field to begin with. Nick said that we can’t peer review a phenomenon that many people can’t even agree exists. Nick went on to talk about peer pressure and how it shouldn’t affect UFO study.

How do we get rid of UFO=ET? It’s one of many theories, but always takes center stage. Richard acknowledged that no one theory accounts for all the data. Nick and I argue that other theories (such as those incorporating interdimensional and psychological approaches) should get more time.

Is the emphasis on degreed professionals needed? Peter offered that it is, but they also need backing for their work, but agreed with Nick and I that we don’t need to require people to be officially trained professionals to do good work.

Nick wants to see more alternate viewpoints represented in conferences, such as psychedelic drug studies and occult issues. He also mentioned that almost all researchers have had other weirdness and synchronicities enter their lives. Richard mentioned Mike Clelland and his alternate views on the abduction phenomenon and his upcoming book. He also pointed out that we come from a materialistic culture and that determines the direction of research and agreed that it should and will change.

How do we categorize witness testimony? The instrument (humans) which we use to record and report things is fallible, and some of the answers are encoded in the questions. Rich called this a “psychological approach.” My point was that everything with UFO witness testimony is “psychological.” Mundane things like direction and speed may not be, but Nick and I were concerned with UFO reports, how they are gathered, and what categories they are placed in.

Nick brought up the fact that people see what they expect to see in different eras, which suggests a phenomenon that adjusts it appearance as some sort of control system.

The take away from this show is something like this: People who have integrity will continue to contribute, we should ignore or refute bad research and thinking and any new techniques/ theories will come from outside the establishment. Get to work.

Show suggested by Michael Reynolds and Radio Misterioso listeners.

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5 Responses to Richard Dolan, Nick Redfern and Peter Robbins: So Now What?

  1. Chris Anderson says:

    This was inspirational! I really appreciated the encouraging call to adventure by Peter Robbins, as well as Richard Dolan underlining the sheer obsession that should drive any endeavor, as opposed to ego needs. And lastly, I definitely lean more on the occult/paranormal interpretive angle, and as usual Nick Redfern gave a good shout out to this POV. I would appreciate seeing this get more attention as well. Thanks Greg for the show.

  2. dia sobin says:

    Hi Greg!

    I’ve just listened to this show, and wanted to tell you I really enjoyed it. In a sense, it was just a re-hashing of the Top 10 Things a Ufologist Ought to Know, but this is important.

    I think at one point the “societal” aspect of Ufology was brought up, but I think an overlooked side of the “societal” issue, is the cultural side of it. The culture is now very open to “science fiction” in all its myriad forms… which is good… and I think y’all have helped bring this about. But, moreover, it is the cultural aspect of anything which ultimately pushes the scientific envelope a little further. To modify the culture is to modify the future… which sort of brings us to my second point.

    I know Rich Dolan mentioned that there was no “living” to be made in Ufology, but (he continued) the important thing was that there was a compulsion involved and a passion. I think this is very important, too. Regardless if one is making any obvious major impact on the collective or not, it’s important to be true to one’s nature and experience… and in the end, it’s probably the best “work” any individual can do. So, while those of us seemingly toiling out on “the edge” while reaping little reward – and this goes for you too, Greg – hardly “makes sense” in the general framework of the “American Dream,” I still think, as Rich does, that our attempts at challenging the populist views are important, and have a purpose. If not in an obvious sense, then in a sense which is not comprehensible as we can’t see “the whole picture” at any point in time.

    Lastly, y’all mention Jacques Vallee… and synchronistically, while listening to the show, I came across two files of mine that are closely related to your discussion, and both contain quotes from Vallee.

    The first is below… synchronistically, once again, found via a link in a Bruce Deunsing post (his post link has been, unfortunately, lost, but I’ll see if I can find it).

    “UAP – The Need for a Unified Approach –
    The framework we present here is based on such an apparent contradiction, because we will argue that UAP can be thought of both as physical and as “psychic”. We hope that it will prove stimulating as a unified approach to a puzzling phenomenon that presents both undeniable physical effects suggesting a technological device or craft and psychic effects reminiscent of the literature on poltergeists and psychokinetic phenomena. Here we use the word “psychic” in the sense of an interaction between physical reality and human consciousness.
    The feeling of absurdity and contradiction in these two aspects is not worse than scientific puzzlement during the particle/wave or more recently, quantum entanglement and multi-dimensional transport controversies. The contradiction has to do with the inadequacy of our language to grasp a phenomenon that defies our attempts at classification.”

    Also, there is this quote from Vallee’s “Anatomy of a Hoax” that seems relative to another issue in your discussion:

    “Beyond the basic need for an open mind and a rational attitude I can offer six tentative guidelines that I have found useful in my own approach to such stories.
    1. Disregard self-described experts.
    2. Disregard the media.
    3. Look for logical flaws.
    4. Identify and remove irrelevant drama.
    5. Discover and test independent sources of information.
    6. Disregard any claims of secrecy.”

    I am very aware this comment is too lengthy… and I apologize. I guess I’m feeling “chatty” today. BTW, this day is, or, would’ve been, Mac Tonnies’ 40th birthday… so, maybe it’s appropriate we touch base!


    • dia sobin says:

      You know, Greg, I don’t know when this comment went up, but it certainly didn’t go up the day I put it up… because I gave up trying to post it altogether after several failed attempts. And I’m sorry to see it here now. The typo’s are appalling! I’m mortified!
      Oh well… 😉

      • Greg says:

        I fixed the typos and spelling.
        These are helpful and relevant points. I especially resonate with the Vallee guidelines, and would change “Identify and remove irrelevant drama” to “all post-hoc drama,” meaning after the event.

        …although in the drama may lie part of the answer. Oh well.

        • dia sobin says:

          Oh, thanks for the editing, Greg! 🙂

          Re: drama… Yeah, that conundrum… taking us back to the idea of the narrative again.

          Re: guidelines #3… “Look for logical flaws.”
          Hah! Now there’s a can of worms! 😀

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