Part 2 of 2 for this series. For Part 1, click here.
We must begin by examining how we culturally "understand" the UFO phenomenon, as objective reality is fundamentally unreachable.
The Cultural UFO
When we examine the existence of an object, a physical UFO, and a subject, an intelligent other piloting said UFO, we slam into a wave of ideological constructs. We, as creatures of the social world, are entrenched in cultural messages, experiences, values and ideas. There is no way for us to see or experience an objective base reality. Similar to Pokémon Go, we view the world through a screen that presents us with an augmented reality. The difference is that we cannot shut the game off. In simple terms, there is no place one can stand to see actual unfiltered, uncultured, unsocial, un-ideological truth. Science, like all other human endeavours, is also trapped in this ideological prison. We perceive the Wendt and Duvall object/subject dualism of the UFO then in purely cultural terms, void of any actual objective truth.
UFOs are undecidable, much like the in-game Pokémon, as they both exist and do not exist. In “official” popular culture, the mainstream, UFOs, as Hynek repeatedly reminds us, “do not exist because they cannot.” To the general public, UFOs are not real because they are told they are not real. The ideologically constructed state of UFOs, fashioned by governments and the human need/desire for anthropocentrism, is that they do not exist. However, people have reported seeing UFOs from far away and up close, being aboard them, etc. An entire subculture has been born out of the UFO phenomenon. To a certain minority, UFOs do exist. Scientists have yet to prove that UFOs do not exist, and UFO believers have not been able to prove that they do; we are left in a quagmire of ideology. Scientists, stuck in their own potent ideological dogmatism, typically fall back upon the social construction known as “common sense” in regards to the UFO question, but possess no actual evidence to disprove their existence. While the onus may be on the UFO believer to prove the existence of UFOs, for a scientist to state that UFOs (or an intelligent other for that matter) do not exist is a scientific error. What occurs instead is a curious pseudo-theological debate over which ideology is believed to be more true.
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
-Theseus, A Midsummer Nights Dream
An Augmented Existence
The recent explosion of Pokémon Go into popular culture brings with it a wave of interesting cultural and social ideas (I’m sure you’ve seen the countless memes). The object of the game, for the uninitiated, is to catch little creatures using a device called a Poké Ball, which is a sort of technological “non-cage” cage. Anyway, the entire game operates using your smartphone and its camera. As you look at your screen, you see the world around you, except it is filled with various Pokémon creatures and objects. It is known as augmented reality; the game places virtual “things” into your everyday, regular, boring, non-Pokémon world.
If we draw a comparison between the augmented reality of the game to our own ideological and social reality, we are greeted by a strange dualism in that the Pokémon both exist and do not exist simultaneously. In a general sense, one who is actively playing the game can “see” the Pokémon all around the augmented reality. When a player is not actively playing, the Pokémon are “non-things” with no presence, but they still exist within the augmented reality all around them. With the game switched off, the augmented reality created by Nintendo is still present within the infrastructure of the internet and the connections between millions of players who are roaming around actively playing the game.
To put it simply, the Pokémon in Pokémon Go dwell in two simultaneous states; they exist and they do not exist.
So how is this related to UFOs and Ufology? Surprisingly, the similarities are significant, and those similarities shape how UFOs are perceived by “official” popular culture and the UFO subculture.
The above thirteen minute interview with Richard Dolan has been circling the Ufological world. Published by Earth Mystery News on July 6th, Dolan presents his interpretation of the day after Disclosure, its effects, as well as some interesting political rhetoric concerning American foreign policy. One very interesting point in the interview occurs when Mr. Dolan posits that any disclosure would have to be forced out by, or at least, fully controlled by the public. His concern is that the current political powers will package the disclosed information, and feed it to the public however they saw fit.
Dolan refers to a shadowy elite group who desire and work to keep the public in check. The people are controlled by, to quote Adam Smith, the “masters of mankind,” the elite who maintain all for themselves and none for the rest. If there does exist a cabal of controllers, how then can we have “honest disclosure?”