UFO Skeptics: Are Geeks Divided?

Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures

Henry Hanks reports on an apparent disconnect between sci-fi geeks and belief in UFOs and other unexplained phenomena, at CNN’s GeekOut blog:

I was surprised, leading up to this weekend’s top grossing movie, “Men in Black 3,” that paranormal phenomena such as UFOs, the Roswell Incident and, yes, the mysterious Men in Black themselves were conspicuously missing from the zeitgeist.

When the popular sci-fi franchise launched 15 years ago, it was all anyone could talk about. The first “MIB,” along with “Independence Day,” “The X Files” and “Roswell,” brought aliens and government cover-ups their biggest pop culture moment in a generation…

The divide between some science fiction fans and paranormal believers is very real and hard to bridge, according to Timothy Green Beckley, author of “Mystery of the Men in Black: The UFO Silencers.”

“Science fiction and UFO people as a rule do not mix,” he said. “With very few exceptions, UFO buffs and sci-fi fans seem to have little in common. To a lot of UFO buffs, ‘they’ have already landed. To sci-fi fans, it’s all in the imagination until they are informed otherwise by their Spocks and Mulders. UFO buffs would never go to a sci-fi convention and a good majority of sci-fi fans would walk across the street if there was a flying saucer convention going on,” he said. “Me? I like it all.”…

[continues at GeekOut]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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9 Comments on "UFO Skeptics: Are Geeks Divided?"

  1. I like both a good sci-fi story and a good UFO tale.  

     I need more convincing, however, when it comes to claims that aliens have already been here, or are still here.  I’m not saying they’re not.  I’m just saying it’s not proven to my satisfaction.

  2. Hadrian999 | May 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

    geeks are the most divided bastards in the world, the subsets have subsets that have subsets, look at sci fi, you have new star trek vs. old star trek vs. star wars vs. Babylon 5 vs. BSG vs. old BSG, gamers you have pc vs. console, all the fans of different consoles hate each other then you have casual vs. hard core, you have modern gamers vs. retro gamers. geeks fucking hate each other

  3. It’s because the word UFO has become irreparably associated with alien space-craft, despite the lack of evidence. Sci-fi fans tend to lean reasonable while true-believer UFO types tend to be strung out on faith. There’s not much crossover at all. 

    If you present a reasonable person with the actual evidence of unexplained aerial phenomena. you could convince them that there’s something unexplained but you’ll lose them if you make the leap of faith to alien spacecraft.

  4. I’m a sci-fi fan and I’m skeptical of claims of extraterrestrial visitation. I’d love to see a kitchen table English explanation of how UFO believers think interstellar travel works. In sci-fi, it’s just a narrative device.

    • StillAtMyMoms | May 30, 2012 at 12:00 am |

       Ever heard of cryptoterrestials?

    • Gravity wave generators contract spacetime in the direction desired.

    • There’s no evidence that there in interstellar travel involved. While many “UFO believers” take it on faith that interstellar travel is involved, fewer UFO investigators do, and the big names (Vallee, Keel, &c) generally don’t buy that these things have traveled in interstellar spacecraft at all. Keel leaned rather heavily on the idea that if such things are indeed from other planets they must be taking a shortcut, while Vallee played with the idea that these beings (while clearly nonhuman) are either a byproduct of human group psychology or some parasitic terrestrial organism that has mastered some kind of psychedelic or hypnotic technique as a defense mechanism.

      By the way, pedantic note: “I am skeptical of X” does not (and should never) mean “I do not believe X to be true”. One should remain skeptical of all things at all times, because skepticism is a state of flexibility with regard to belief in favour of evidence. One who is “no longer skeptical of X” will, a priori, not cease to consider X no longer a tenable hypothesis after it has been refuted on the grounds of some evidence against it.

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