The UKs most popular daytime TV program decided to allocate a whole 10 minutes for an issue which needs several hours to even scratch the surface of -Â The ET Contact and UFO issue. Despite the time constraints -Â something more was demonstrated – insofar as the invited ‘rational’ academic failed to make any significant headway in attracting interest for his views.
Present for the session were UK contactee and speaker at the 2011 Leeds Exopolitics UK conference Brigitte Barclay. Police detective Gary Heseltine and Professor from Goldsmith’s College in the “Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit” – Chris French.
In recent years there’s been a notable shift in the format of both mainstream treatment of the issue and also the more specialised documentary style programs such as UFO-Hunters made for the History Channel.
The latter series, along with its follow-up series Ancient Aliens, was one of the History Channel’s highest rated series viewing wise and simultaneously ended the TV formula ofÂ featuring a mandatory “Rent-A-Skeptic” – often utilised at the end of a discussion to trivialise and debunk the evidence found as well as the experience of those directly interfacing with the wide array of UFOlogical phenomena involved.
The daytime TV show, which can be seen in the video above, is part of the slower media forms to react to this shift -Â hence the use of Chris French – one of a handful of British skeptics that areÂ wheeled-out to counter what by now is an over-whelming set of evidence and testimony for the reality of intelligent life interacting with this planet. However -Â even when a program features such an old modality, it seems to now do more damage to the skeptics and debunkers case than ever. UK personalities such as MoD national Archives commentator and ‘Folklore’ academic Dr David Clarke, Professor Chris French or British author and regular debunker Andy Roberts [who once claimed a serving police officer hallucinated a double-decker bus]Â now appear increasingly desperate in justifying their rather mundane position. To a more aware, internet savvy culture, it really seems as if the regular skeptics are caught in some strange time-loop where their mantras of “it was venus!” andÂ “little green men” makes them look somewhat ignorant and perhaps even foolish.
As Yorkshire police sightings database operator Gary Heseltine amply demonstrated, even in a 10 minute slot it’s not hard to challenge the skeptical line -Â especially when it’s an inflexible approach as we find so often with the TV skeptics. Additionally, as can now be seen by regular news coverage of the issue, the majority of the population have a growing interest in this area even if they’re not fully sure what’s going on. My prediction is that we’ll continue to see the trend expanding where rational discussions of this issue can take place without the need for the classic, hired debunking line. There’s a difference between useful skeptical enquiry in this topic and debunking via ridicule and/or for the sake of pushing people away from a necessary field of enquiry.
In reality, whether it’s the type of testimony from someone like Brigitte who’s experienced an event first hand, a collection of statistics such as the PRUFOS database or national security episodes such as nuclear missile bases being temporarily rendered ineffective by hovering craft – only one of these situations has to be “real” for the skeptical line to collapse.
Note: – Popular TV shows as we’re all aware can often be re-viewed on the channels associated website. It appears that just this section in the video above was removed from the ITV “replay” website -Â you can essentially watch the whole show [and poor me just has to make sure this was the case] but it pretends that the UFO discussion section never took place.
When they lose,Â they edit.
This recent article from the Editor of The Columbia Tribune adds a similar theme to the shift that we can see taking place -Â the decline of the ‘giggle factor’. It’s worth pointing out that we could add an additional 1000 quotes from well respected historical personalities…
UFO â€˜non-gigglersâ€™ are in good company
Editor, the Tribune: During some 40 years of study and discussion of the UFO phenomenon, I have encountered numerous academicians, politicians, social activists, journalists and others who have seriously ridiculed any mention of the serious investigation of the problem. Such ridicule was frequently demonstrated by what UFO researchers call the â€œgiggle factor,â€ including self-satisfying smirks, rolled eyes and occasional outright belly-laughs. On the other hand, non-gigglers, and their views on the matter, include:
- â€œUnknown objects are operating under intelligent control. â€¦ It is imperative that we learn where UFOs come from and what their purpose is.â€ â€” Adm. Roscoe Hillenkotter, former director of the CIA
- â€œThe evidence points to the fact that Roswell was a real incident and that indeed an alien craft did crash, and that material was recovered from that site. We all know that UFOs are real.â€ â€” astronaut Edgar Mitchell
- â€œOf course it is possible that UFOs really do contain aliens as many people believe, and the government is covering it up.â€ â€” Professor Stephen Hawking
- â€œThe possibility of reduced-time interstellar travel by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations at present, or ourselves in the future, is not fundamentally constrained by physical principles.â€ â€” physicist Harold Putoff
- â€œIt is quite strange that while our best modern physics and astrophysics theories thus predict that we should be experiencing extraterrestrial visitation, any possible evidence of such in the form of a subset of UFO reports is ignored or ridiculed.â€ â€” astrophysicist Bernard Haisch
Article: David Griffin -Â david[AT]exopolitics.org.uk