UFOs are physically real. But they are embedded in a
matrix of deception and irrationality. This book explains how and
why. Cases are presented along with theories from anthropology.
The case studies include: John Keel’s mothman, Budd
Hopkins’ investigation of the abduction of Linda Napolitano (Cortile),
Ralph Steiner’s “Sandy” case, and Linda Moulton Howe’s report on the activities
of Richard Doty, among others.
Gerald Haines’ report on CIA activity is assessed.
The U.S. Air Force report on Roswell was prepared
under the direction of Colonel Richard L. Weaver. The author corresponded
with him. Weaver admitted that, years before he started the report,
the CIA had confronted him with questions about activities of AFOSI Special
Agent Richard C. Doty. Doty showed documents to civilians which stated
that the U.S. government had an agreement with extraterrestrial aliens.
Weaver’s report carried no mention of Doty.
This book draws from the writings of John Keel and
Jacques Vallee. Both understood that UFO phenomena have much in common
with mythology. Reports of UFOnauts are very similar to accounts
of elves, demons, fairies, leprechauns and the like.
Keel and Vallee did the bulk of their writing in
the 1960s and 1970s, before some significant findings in anthropology and
folklore were developed and effectively disseminated. The concept
of liminality, and ideas from French structuralism, are directly relevant
to UFO phenomena. Some of that work was briefly telegraphed in Peter
Rogerson’s amazingly neglected article “Taken to the Limits” (Magonia,
1986, No. 23, pp. 3-12). Patrick Harpur’s Daemonic Reality
(1994) is in the same direction.
European psycho-social theorists tend to discount
the physical reality of UFOs. I do not. UFOs are real, but
they are extremely problematic for science. I address “high strangeness”
cases. Ufologists often are reluctant to take them seriously, because
they embarrass ufology. But they are a key to understanding the UFO
Ufologists often bemoan the hoaxes that plague the
field. This is understandable, but an error. Hoaxes have significant
benefits, and investigators need to understand them.
Establishment science ignores the UFO problem.
Very little funding is available for research, and there is a “giggle factor”
surrounding the topic. These are not accidents but rather important
clues to the nature of UFOs.
The Trickster and the Paranormal
addresses all of these issues, and more.
For a decade the author has been a contributor and
loyal non-subscriber to Saucer Smear, the most glorious zine in
ufodumb. Its editor, James Moseley, the clown prince of ufoology,
is an exemplary trickster figure—a believer, a grand hoaxer, and a debunker,
all in one.