From MUFOB volume 3, number 2, April-May 1970
One useful by-product of the multiple editorship of a periodical is the scope which it offers for internecine strife when things get a little dull! The gentle exchange of pleasantries between the Associate Editor and Science Editor of the bulletin is a case in point which in fact serves a useful purpose because it demonstrates a frequently occurring phenomenon in the literature namely that much apparent discord is the result of misunderstanding.
In the article “Advance or Retreat” (Vol. 2, No. 6, Nov-Dec 1969) two passages appeared, viz: “If…the evidence for extraterrestrial visitation disrppears that will be the end as far as this commentator is concerned?” and “The extraterrestrial hypothesis must be staunchly adhered to as the fundamental precept.”
In his counter article entitled “A Look at the Alternatives” (Vol 3, No. 1, Jan-Feb 1970) my colleague John Rimmer disputes these conclusions and decides, quite rightly that even in the acknowledged absence of “les extraterrestres” there are still plenty of interesting aspects (to him) of our subject which can be profitably explored. Whether one wishes o explore these other facets in depth is really a matter of one’s personal tastes and interests.
The big landing “flap” of 1963 illustrates this point quite well, since it provided a great deal of informtion about not alien space vehicles, but meteorology – a subject of considerable interest to the writer in his capacity as a geologist and
Most of those mysterious and much-publicised holes in the ground — the “craters” at Charlton, Cockburnspath etc.turned out to be the results of the discharge of lightning in open country. a subject about which very little was known previously and which owed its further elucidation to its appearance in the context of UF0 investigation. Equally it may be that advances in other fields, of no special interest to the writer, will come about in a somewhat similar manner.
However it does seem to him that all this is becoming too far a cry from the unidentified flying objects which, as indicated by the name of this Bulletin. are the things we are supposed to be investigating.
If they have been investigated out of existence, in any tangible sense, well and good end we must “resign ourselves to the investigation of natural and man-made phenomena and realign our thinking accordingly.” If one wishes to broaden the field to include the realms of the occult and what have you there is no reason why one should not do so, whilst recognising that there are already other organisations in being to cater for such matters. The question is, are ufologists, in fact admitting that they are dealing with fantasies and figments of the imagination — after disposing of human artefacts and natural phenomena?
It would very much appear so if I understand my colleague aright; but it seems rather ironical tc jettison the UFO, at a time when eminent professional astronomers have been converted to the idea of a universe stuffed full of highly intelligent beings.
Proof of this highly interesting state of affairs is, of course, quite lacking.