Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Classification System Expected to Force Recognition of UFO Phenomena

Bigfoot, Giant Monster Fans Thrilled!

SPI LOS ANGELES, CA - A new UFO classification system created by Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, cable T.V. host of "Ancient Aliens" and internationally known UFOlogist is expected to finally force the U.S. federal government and the Department of Defense to recognize the solid foundation currently supporting the study of flying saucerology.  That, at least, is the primary intention of its designer, who insists "it was so much easier than I thought it would be!  I honestly didn't think there was a solution at all."
According to Tsoukalos, "one of the major problems UFO proponents have when it comes to inspiring interest among government functionaries -- most of whom tend to favor the more skeptical side of the issue -- is the integration of terminology that we've been forced to adopt.

"Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is for an eyewitness to something so extraordinary to stand by his claim?  I'd be a millionaire if I got a nickel every time a witness is forced to insist, 'I don't care what you think; I know what I saw -- I know EXACTLY what I saw,' only to have some annoying little skeptic come back with, "y'know, I don't think you do, 'cause if you did, you wouldn't be telling everybody that you saw a UFO, which by definition is something unidentified.'  That pretty much ends the discussion right there, and the eyewitness looks like a freaking idiot.  How do you think that makes us feel?"
The solution to this problem, however, eluded Tsoukalos for many years.  Originally, he thought the solution was an easy one:  get rid of that obnoxious "U" and resolve the matter by convincing everybody to accept the designation "FO", for "Flying Objects."  Unfortunately, the USAF and other groups affiliated with the federal government, both legislative and executive, insist that it can't be done, because it would imply the existence of flying objects acting with impunity, flattening crops, mutilating livestock, practicing medicine without the license to do so, and -- possibly their worst act of interference -- disturbing our sleep patterns, and that the U.S. government had, in fact, purposely licensed them to do so.  After all, the provision of safe skies through the proper licensing of flying objects is one of the primary functions of the FAA.  What surprised Tsoukalos the most, however, was the level of very real enmity originating with UFO proponents.
According to Tsoukalos, "That seemingly insignificant 'U' is incredibly important to UFO proponents, because these days, a great many of the sightings that we find so convincing are simply not flying.  Some are underwater, some are on the land, some are just plain weird -- like buildings or carved out numbers on huge granite slabs or pyramids or giant faces on Mars or big, black monoliths that we've discovered on the Moon.  As long as that questionable little 'U' was part of the designation, nobody was required to limit the associated field of inquiry to 'Flying Objects' alone.  Take out that secretive or unexplainable element, and all of a sudden, you're forced to abide by the standard definition alone.  It's the ambiguity of the term that apparently makes it so universal in character.  Without it, there's a huge, associated class of sightings that are no longer conclusively associated with anything, let alone flying saucers.  And that means many of the arguments that favor the E.T. hypothesis are no longer affiliated with the phenomena itself.  And without the E.T. hypothesis, what's the point?  Seriously, why even bother looking for a solution?  If we're talking about just another top secret aircraft being tested by Boeing or whatever, who really gives a damn?  A dozen guys in Russia and China, and maybe some manga publishers in Japan, but that's it.  Game over as far as I'm concerned.  Game over as far as most UFOlogists are concerned."

The whole issue, it seems, revolves around the mystery of the subject, not its identification.  As long as the world continues to see flying saucers as "unidentified," than the world -- including the USAF and the ever-elusive U.S. Congress -- is willing to consider almost any solution whatsoever.  A UFO could be a flying jellyfish that falls into the ocean and glides away.  It could be a mountain-sized pyramid on the dark side of the moon that might actually fly away someday ... or not.  It could be anything, because its primary characteristic is the fact that it's unidentified."  It could even be another planet that nobody has ever seen before, but excites us anyway due to its sneaky freaky potential.
"Psychologically, the human race doesn't like leaving things undefined, so it's generally willing to accept any identification imposed, as long as that identity possesses some form of internal logic; if it makes even a little bit of sense, it's accepted as gospel," insists Tsoukalos.
"I know it sounds oddball," he opined, "but whenever we call something 'unidentified', we're suddenly able to identify it as literally anything.  Which is really great.  At least, it's great until you want some jerk in a uniform to believe you when you say, 'I know EXACTLY what I saw!'  When that happens, when you start to specify, you kind of want to crawl under a rock and disappear when somebody calls you on it -- and they always do.  It occurred to me last week while I was watching TV, that those folks looking for Bigfoot in the middle of Dallas, Texas probably feel the same way.  And so I pondered on that for a bit.  And since I was watching the History Channel, I got all sorts of inspirational ideas that had nothing at all to do with history, which was exactly what I needed at that particular time.  Thank God for profit-oriented cable!  I would have never gotten this lucky on PBS."

The inspiration that Tsoukalos found himself tuning into resulted in the inclusion of more ambiguity than most UFO proponents are normally inclined to rally behind.  According to Tsoukalos, it's within that characterization of the issue that its true genius really shines. 

"Since 1947, there has been an average of roughly 1,500 UFOs reported every year.  It's a commonly accepted supposition that anywhere from five to ten percent of those 1,500 UFOs cannot be reasonably explained as the product of relatively commonplace circumstances.  That's not much.  We're talking about 75 to 150-sightings per year, around the world that cannot be explained.  Even then, it doesn't mean 75 to 150 flying saucers; it means 75 to 150 incidents that cannot be immediately explained.  That's not a very convincing number to someone who's inclined to suspect such reports in the first place. 
"If we want government functionaries with their wallets packed with all those military resources that we all know can solve the UFO problem in a relatively short amount of time, we're going to have to produce something a little more dramatic than 75 to 150 UFO reports a year, most of which will never be properly investigated, and will very likely be forgotten by everybody except these 14-guys I happen to know who collect such reports on the internet.  Well, the solution to that little problem, my friends, lies within our classification of UFOs -- specifically, that big, old capital 'U' at the beginning of the UFO story."

And therein, according to Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, lies the genius of ambiguity.

The first widely accepted UFO classification system was introduced by Dr. J. Allen Hynek in the 1960s.  These were the Close Encounter designations, all of which assume as a factual starting point a physical close encounter based primarily on the objective observation of a UFO by a human witness, a witness who, like most humans, is generally governed by internal, subjective thought structures.  It's a weak system in that it also assumes honesty is characteristic of the witness, who in turn acknowledges the unidentified aspect of the object.  It is flawed as a result of its specificity being undefined -- a flaw that makes identification impossible, and a thorough investigation either meaningless or a complete waste of time.
Dr. Hynek admitted as much shortly before he died when he concluded to his own satisfaction that UFOs are completely explainable in the context of military, experimental or private aircraft.  And all of those "remarkable yet impossible in that context" characteristics typical of such incidents are entirely due either to misidentification or to the barely observed and poorly described elements of such objects mistakenly applied to the issue by error-prone eyewitnesses.  Hynek's newly applied point-of-view tended to place the insurmountable weight of evidence for the E.T. hypothesis in the "eyewitness didn't understand what he was looking at" column, the repercussions of which could have abolished for all time the hope of humanity that our little planet was under examination by some alien equivalent of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's "United Federation of Planets".  Tsoukalos, like so many UFOlogists well-prepared to contemptuously ignore the opinions of those handicapped with an extensive background in organized science and education, bluntly refused to even consider such an option, proving to his own satisfaction that the opinions of highly educated men and women were not only unnecessary, but were downright inconveniently detrimental to those of an ignorant man with a powerful conviction.

Tsoukalos, however, was not entirely outclassed by the obstacles that a skeptical world-view had seemingly placed before him.  Unlike most UFOlogists, he had noticed something untenable about Hynek's Close Encounters system that the swamp-gas maven had neglected to explain:  his system makes it all too easy for educated men and women to dismiss any sighting or incident almost immediately upon the mere suggestion of identity, one that requires little to no proof to be instantly adopted by skeptics and believers alike.  The suggestion of identity in such a context is every bit as exact as the actual identification when the only standard necessary to assert is the possibility of any common origin.  Like "it must have been flares," for example.

In a short, paid for and picked up at Walmart instant, "what the heck is that?" turns into "dammit! fooled by Venus once again."  And once that accursed variable of "unidentified" can no longer be applied as an exact measure of the target's reality, any real, fully validated investigation becomes almost immediately irrelevant.  The flying object, after all, is no longer "unidentified".  Amazingly, the accuracy of that identification is completely meaningless as well.  After all, the only standard of value is "yes" or "no", as measured in terms of "black" or "white" without any consideration of probability, which, as the world knows, is a withering and changeable field of gray.
Dr. Hynek's classifying system itself is flawed in that it requires very little investigation to close out any given case file as fundamentally insignificant.  It was basely apparent to Tsoukalos that any classification system that required so little examination to dismiss a case in its entirety would eventually require the dismissal of the phenomenon making such a system necessary.  In this case, such an assumption means getting rid of the E.T. hypothesis, an act that Tsoukalos was certain would set the science of UFOlogy back centuries.  But what could be done?  There seemed to be no easy solution within easy reach.  How exactly does one redefine a UFO for classification without applying specificity?  The question was maddening.

Fortunately, there was no shortage of UFOlogists attempting to solve the problem Tsoukalos had focused on.  In the mistaken belief that you can prove anything as long as you've got numbers on your side, UFOlogists fell in love with statistics decades ago, which suggests that they like to classify things, putting them in lists and reorganizing their appearance on a spreadsheet for the benefit of mankind.  Or something like that ...
As a general rule, UFO classification systems tend to evolve from the disappointingly limited variables of the type proposed by Dr. J. Allen Hynek to far more specific and extensive systems, numerous examples of which seem to crop up every year.  As a general rule, everything becomes more complex, but is more complex necessarily better?  It never occurred to Tsoukalos that problems of the sort he had been working himself into a lather over for some years could be significantly affected by simply changing how you looked at it, which is essentially what an increase in complexity brings to the table, unless you've decided to change the standards of classification as well.  It's a point of fact that point-of-view, Tsoukalos was learning, can oftentimes affect the very definition of this inter-galactic phenomenon he had always considered undefinable.  Sometimes, he was starting to believe, you have to look underground if you want to see the stars.

"Check this out.  There's a guy named Rosales who goes nuts over humanoid sightings.  How many people really care much about a figure spotted in the distance who looks vaguely kind of human and is probably human, but may not be, because we didn't get a real good look?  You'd be surprised -- probably millions, because they can excite people by the names you use to describe them.  There's Bigfoot, lizard men, giants, kangaroos, elves, Hobbits, leprechauns, Eskimos, brownies, faery folk, pygmies -- even something called a Long-legged Warbler.  Can you imagine?  And those are just the legendary ones that most people consider to be figments of our imagination!  And these aren't just a bunch of humanoids in the literature of man; they're also anomalies -- every single one.  And who's to say they aren't associated in some way with UFOs, which are also anomalies?  They could be.  They all inhabit the unknown terraces of our universe.  So what happens if we list them all and add every sighting to our UFO database?  All of a sudden, the number of possible associated anomalies swells.  Hell, it more than doubles the number of contacts that need to be investigated every month.  It's beautiful! 
"When everybody else is trying to center in on the specific aspects of an unidentified anomaly, only Rosales was saying, 'why are we looking at the flying saucer?  Is it really that important?  Why don't we look at all the stuff that's far more interesting and then we can establish our suspicions that they might actually be related to UFOs later?  Who really needs a UFO when you've got all that other stuff to look at as well?"  

Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
When young Tsoukalos came across the work of Albert Rosales, he immediately recognized it as a necessary step to remedy the many pro-skeptic flaws he had noted in the classification systems he had hitherto studied.  Rosales' work clearly pointed to a hidden prejudice common to nearly all UFO reports -- a prejudice that forced all those interested in throwing some light on the topic of UFOlogy to adopt a point-of-view that was aggressively alien to the conclusions they were most interested in reaching.  UFO proponents, through no fault of their own, were being forced to adopt a skeptical point-of-view or risk becoming the often obvious targets of accusations that included failure due to irresponsible scientific behavior, the use of nonsensical applications of logic, denigrating and insulting prejudice directed at both education and nature, and -- often the most wounding accusation of all -- the poorly calculated and common reliance on mere stupidity to establish a valid conclusion, all of which, Tsoukalos was certain, was primarily the result of the poor classification systems then in use.  What Rosales had done, that only Tsoukalos, apparently, had noted, was to associate often unrelated aspects of the UFO sightings under examination with the primary incident everybody else was looking at in order to center attention away from the UFO itself.  Tsoukalos saw this as the methodology of genius most necessary to realize his own self-importance while rescuing the field of UFOlogy from its own suicidal use of Hynek's Close Encounters analysis.
The more Rosales attended his suspicions, the farther he wandered from the flying saucer itself.  Rosales was very clear about his intent:  "I am currently engaged in attempting to catalog most reported encounters with humanoids, entities, beings, little men, giants, MIB, creatures, amphibians, reptilians, grays etc.  So far I have over 10,000 cases in my files, many known, many not so well known.  I have translated many from all corners of the globe.  I think this study is vital for future researchers and for UFO historians."
To some extent, Rosales was also unconcerned with "the truth," an allegedly spontaneous factor that Hynek, ever the tactician, was forced to accept as unquestionable.  "I obviously do not believe every single story," Rosales insists.  "But I believe all stories must be told.  Many are first hand reports, others are just anecdotes, but all are included."  This was a point-of-view that Tsoukalos thought was absolutely delicious.  He, too, didn't much enjoy trying to tell the difference between a true tale of some import and a bucket of cow spit.  He wanted to leave that unimportant bit of muffin doggerel to those very few UFOlogists who might someday expose themselves in court.  Frankly, he doesn't care much about "the truth" either.

The Close Encounter classifications that Rosales naturally married his humanoid studies to widened the scope of both databases considerably.  He wasn't merely looking at the Encounters alone as Hynek did; he was trying to hunt down a whole new type of animal, one that Hynek wasn't really interested in looking at.  Rosales' classifications included contacts in which "an entity or humanoid is seen inside or on top of an object or unidentified aircraft", "is seen entering or exiting a UFO", "is seen in the immediate vicinity of a UFO", "is seen in the same area where UFOs or unknown objects have been reported", "is seen alone, without related UFO activity", is seen as a result of "direct contact or interaction between a witness or witnesses and a humanoid or entity, either involuntary, as a result of a forced abduction, or as a voluntary contact", is seen in association with "a report of an alleged crash or forced landing of a UFO with recovery of its occupants, or when an anomalous entity is captured or killed either by a witness or military personnel", is seen in association with "a 'psychic' contact between entities or humanoids, but during which the entity or humanoid is not necessarily seen" (which is definitely The Saucerologist's favorite classification), and (finally, and encompassing almost every anomaly imaginable), is seen during "an incident in which the situation is so uncanny that it doesn’t fit any of the previous classifications", allowing the hypothetical eyewitness to make whatever claim his little heart desires.  This, of course, for the very first time, allowed Tsoukalos the opportunity to focus his unflagging attention on EVERYTHING.  And that in turn gave him the freedom he was craving to call everything ANYTHING.  And he really liked the taste of that!
The farther away Rosales got from UFOs, the wider the scope of his database was allowed to grow.  Of course, Rosales was still trapped within the self-imposed borders his system couldn't possibly escape:  the whole humanoid mythos.  Tsoukalos had a few ideas of his own that would allow for a complete escape from the bounds of data, but well before he was able to integrate those ideas into a very real system of organized anomalies, his research made it clear to him that another UFOlogist had already beaten him to the punch, so to speak.  The classification system designed by Jacques Vallee as proposed in his books "Confrontations", and "UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union", changed the whole world of data, and suddenly, the flying saucer became just one more little variable in a Fortean universe of everything unexplainable.  Few critics, however, understood the position Vallee had forced himself to foster.  From a mathematical viewpoint, he was still forced to adopt such abrasive rules of data in order to impose limitations on the statistical measures he was attempting to harness.  This is because Vallee's classification system, like Hynek's, makes a number of assumptions originally designed to force the inclusion of all imaginable variables, yet nonetheless replicating the same flaws as Hynek's system:  he assumes that not only are UFO witnesses honest, they are also accurate.  He doubled down on the "Merciful Heavens!" column only to find himself accused of blindly preserving statistical obscurity, a charge that, sadly, is fundamentally correct.  Vallee's habitual insistence that all reports are accurate and all witnesses truthful has provoked a whirlwind of scorn throughout all of the world excepting that within the bounds of UFOlogy -- which by then, he wasn't even discussing anymore.  He was accused of everything from tweaking his denominators to adjusting his self-worth in order to debase the ultimate quality of his ill-gotten claims.
Given the lengths Vallee has been forced to observe in order to explain the diversity of the sightings recorded, he should probably be forgiven for his eventual decision to chronicle so many incident case files and UFO reports that have been almost impossible to confirm or properly analyze.  His book, "UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union" very clearly falls into this category, as do most UFO incidents that have ever occurred in China.  By accepting such diverse and eclectic claims without any application of doubt in regard to the worthiness of his witnesses, however, Vallee's work in turn forced Tsoukalos to "widen the net" insofar as the diversity of claims he needed to consider.  The goal, at first, was not the development of a realistic database, it was the development of a flawless classification system -- one that would for the first time work for the UFOlogist.  The system had to come first; the data itself was a secondary concern.  From Tsoukalos's point of view, Vallee was on the right track.  It didn't concern him at all that others might see this as a handicap.  According to Tsoukalos, "we were already handicapped.  I didn't give a damn about poor data at all.  I still don't.  It simply isn't important.  I doubt it ever will be."  Where Vallee's classification system represented a form of brilliant suicide, Tsoukalos was determined to create an integrated afterlife.

There's no doubt that Vallee had taken a prodigious leap toward the solution Tsoukalos was looking for.  He introduced the inclusion of anomalies that are not associated with UFOs in the standard methodology humans are most used to collating.  To maintain an organized structure limited to UFO contacts, he lobbied to include anomalies that have been observed an insignificant number of times during UFO incidents.  One example would be those anomalies that do not have lasting physical effects, such as amorphous lights or unexplained explosions.  Other anomalous reports might be those in which witnesses experienced personal interaction with entities in the reality of the entities themselves.  They would include near-death experiences, religious miracles and visions, and many cases of out-of-body experiences.  Vallee wanted to include as well anomalies with lasting physical effects, such as some poltergeist phenomena, apports (materialized objects), and areas of flattened buffalo grass where buffalos never roam.
Vallee even included and tracked various maneuvers by UFOs that are accompanied by a sense of transformation of reality for the percipient, as well as maneuvers that result in witnesses suffering permanent injury or death.  Vallee's intention was to encompass the full range of phenomena one finds in modern literature.  He acknowledged that UFOs are related in significant ways to other anomalies, and was very careful to select those that were described in the case files, regardless of import to the case itself.  He clearly stated his reasoning for all to understand:  "It is the rule, rather than the exception, to find significant UFO sightings preceded or followed by other anomalies, notably the poltergeist variety."  Since he first designed his system, UFO research communities all over the world have adopted it.  Tsoukalos, however, still saw the same flaws that were typically part of Hynek's classifications.  It was impossible to step away from the errors, because they were part of the rational system defined by the mathematical impetus of group dynamics.  Whatever the depth of his examinations, the system to classify them always favored the viewpoint of skeptic reasoning.  In some way he had not yet realized, the process of UFO assessment itself was working in some mysterious manner against the very best minds of theoretical UFOlogy, and he couldn't grasp what the issue was, nor why it weighed so heavily on the self-determined core of scientific saucerology.
During a lecture intended to interest and then draft the efforts of the children in his neighborhood to watch the skies and track the movements of lights therein, an unfortunately irresponsible attempt to create his own twisted version of Arthur Conan Doyle's "Baker Street Irregulars", a group of children the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes used to gather intelligence, Tsoukalos found himself unwittingly frightening the children by declaring that it was quite possible that ghosts were most probably a UFO-related phenomenon.  When two of the children started crying, he tried to bring them back into reality and calm them down somewhat, by declaring, "no, no children, it's just another little phenomenon -- ghosts might not even be associated at all; it could be anything, even werewolves for instance, or maybe vampires like Count Dracula.  It's just unknown phenomena that we're talking about.  How many of you know what a demon is, or a djinn?  We're just talking about things we don't yet understand." 

Unfortunately, the younger children in his audience knew exactly what he was talking about, and they didn't even need a dictionary.  Within days, Tsoukalos was being watched by neighborhood groups and even found himself trying to organize a defense against claims of child abuse, molestation and the sexual misuse of a vampire.  His protestations and pleas of innocence to the parents of those children he had attempted to employ were just as successful as his attempts to explain his needs to the children had been, and he was forced to abandon both his attempts to build an intelligence apparatus from the ubiquity of children at play and his home when an anonymous ally told him how many of his neighbors had been visiting gun shows and shooting ranges and how he had become the center of their focus.  It was a punch to the gut, and he ran -- he ran long and hard and about 1,209 miles far.  He had failed even to define the terms of his theoretical musings. 

That failure, however, showed Tsoukalos what elements he desperately needed to include in his own classification system.  He had been taken to task by the parents in his neighborhood, and was forced to explain his ramblings while on the run, literally.  He caught himself screaming at one particularly energetic father of three, "it's not just werewolves, and not vampires, it can be anything, please!  Stop grabbing at my face!  I never said flying saucers full of demons were coming to get anybody -- I was trying NOT to talk about flying saucers at all, can't you see that?  It can be anything, anything at all, anything you want it to be; you just gotta look at the world a little harder!" 
Anything at all ...
"Do you have any idea how many standard anomalies are reported each year?  Thousands.  Even tens of thousands.  Do you know why?  Two reasons:  humans are not half as smart as we think we are, and as a species, we dearly LOVE making lists!  We'll list anything on a bet, but we go list-crazy when we come up against an anomaly we can't properly define.  I say we should classify all anomalies and add them to the UFO sightings database.  Who's to say they aren't associated?  Every zoologist in the world insists that you investigate an animal sighting first, and classify it second! 

"We should add every anomaly imaginable to our UFO listings.  Let someone with more money than MUFON's yearly budget investigate it first and then tell us whether or not it's associated with UFOs.  Why are we all working in the dark?  Why do we insist on classifying a UFO sighting before we do anything else?  Only suckers organize their working procedures in a manner that defunds their investigation before it's even started!  That's not how you lobby a government to take on a commitment.  That's not even how you run your home budget!  Does anybody in your family classify lasagna or pizza as something that's deadly poisonous before first determining whether it is or not?  Do you avoid eating pizza and lasagna simply because you've assumed for years that Mexican food isn't good for you, that it maybe gives you bad gas or something even though you've failed to honestly investigate the matter first?  Hell, no!  Sounds idiotic, doesn't it?"
Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, you see, had finally taught himself how to lecture on the run, and he was now very much in tune with his potential (and by far most influential) audience, the paranoid, and besieged believers in government conspiracies and Bigfoot (that's right, children) and the Loch Ness Monster, and the Illuminati, and the Great Sea Serpent, and mermaids, and the giant octopus, and all of it together, and he put his thoughts and opinions and desires in the simple yet inelegantly detailed terms that any government flunky would be sure to understand:
"I know this young man in his twenties, and he told me that his parents have been trying to get him certified as a disabled entity so that he can collect social security payments.  They heard something silly about it somewhere.  Who knows where..." and he was talking in the now, the altogether, and he's on stage and he's telling people exactly what they need to hear...
"His mother drives him to all of his appointments, and fills out all of his paperwork, so he doesn't have to do much except go see the doctor, and certify his existence at whatever Social Security field office is next on his list." 

And he truly loves it, telling people who need to know how troublesome the world can be, how energetic and electric man needs to become if he wants to survive on this weird Earth, in a strange little village without walls, in a universe where it pays to get drunk first and then work out the quirks and the kinks in the system that they'd never understand, and could never reason with or become influential with or even for God's sake observe just a pinch full of the fish and the frogs and the strange forever stuff dropping and bouncing out of the sky.

"At one time or another, this young man has tried to substantiate bipolar disorder, alcohol addiction, addiction to OxyContin, the inability to maintain social functioning, the persistent inability to concentrate, ADHD, repeated episodes of decompensation, excessive fatigue, short term and long term memory loss, Benedryl addiction, various retention disorders, autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, the desire for a sexy looking kitchen, the need to scream in anger at the universe and its far too general inhibitions, bouts of depression, manic incapacitation, anxiety, blurred vision, severe headaches, numbness in his extremities ..."

... and all the words just start running together, which is fine, he thinks, because none of it makes any sense anyway -- it doesn't have to, because the perfect classification system for the perfectly imperfect human race doesn't demand sense, it just demands that you open up your head in some weird, backwards, Neanderthal brain surgery clinic where all of the patients are being taught to recognize the unreal and the irresponsible and the worthless and putting it all into the flying saucers, along with that panoply of stolen youth and gangrenous education.

"...schizoaffective disorders, various other personality disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, depth perception problems, and even more of the schizophrenic, paranoid and other functional psychotic disorders.  The primary difficulty that he faces, however, has nothing at all to do with the alleged symptomology of his supposed disabilities.  The clear fact is that he has never in his entire life held down a real job, like normal adults do, and therefore he has limited means to collect on any Social Security benefits in the first place.  Not that it matters.  Every interview he has, both legal and medical, begins exactly the same way."
It begins in sadness and terror and the ribald jousting of pathetic gardeners with their tubes of secret fertilizers and unbending Neapolitan joy suddenly turning into ancient aliens with their energy sticks and bouillon cubes and their majestic spacecraft that mankind in this forever dream of ours can only imagine in the dark and during the ghostly days ... 
"He admits right at the start that there's really nothing much wrong with him.  He's just a very, very lazy man with parents who are simply not very bright.  He apologizes for taking up their valuable time, but he's nonetheless going to have to insist on turning in all of that paperwork and seeing the whole process through to its already predetermined outcome. 

"The truth is, as long as he keeps his appointments, meets with all the doctors and psychologists and continues to file all the necessary bullshit paperwork that his Mom has already filled out for him in advance, his parents are going to continue letting him use the family car whenever he wants it."  That's all.  It's all for the car, and the need to move faster than the poor schmuck in front of you.  That's all it's ever been. 

"Look, the point I'm trying to make here is an easy one.  This young man's primary goal is to persuade his parents to let him use the car whenever he wants.  Now, in order to reach that goal, he has to throw in from his side of the equation a whole bundled package full of absolute crap.  By doing this, he is given unfettered use of his Mom's 20-year old station wagon."

Don't kid yourself; sacrifice is always easy.  Getting someone to notice it is hard.

"Well, our primary goal is to get the attention of the federal government long enough to  stop their petty whining about 75-150 UFO sightings a year not being sufficient for them to sacrifice the time and the money necessary to finance and carry through a proper by God investigation.  To meet that goal, we're also going to have to toss in a whole boatload of crap in order to up the ante.  And this new classification program will accomplish that.  While its success may very well depend on a lot of unexplained symptoms that are quite probably not even associated with our fundamental concern -- the necessity for a more robust system of well-funded UFO investigations -- that association can't be summarily dismissed by skeptics without a more robust system of well-funded investigations.  Hell, it's impossible for us to lose!"
When your bottom line has no bottom line, there's no such thing as the bottom of the barrel.  There's also no such thing as raising the bar for everybody's anybody.

"Plus, we gain the gratitude of all those folks who are lobbying for a proper investigation of all those other strange and unexplained anomalies, things like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, or even the existence of werewolves in Wyoming.  And I assure you, as long as we don't go around freaking out a bunch of silly little kids who probably wouldn't amount to much of an intelligence gathering organization anyway, I really don't think it's possible for anybody to lose.  We just report everything and call it a UFO.  We're very nearly doing that now just among ourselves." 

When NOTHING is ever identified, the vulnerability and the cruelty and the selfish unreasoning fascism of the capital 'U' disappears.  It's the only fool-proof UFO classification system that there is.  Every other system that anybody has ever come up with has always favored the skeptics.  This one, for the first time in history, does not.  The only way anybody will ever know EXACTLY what it is that they saw is by putting every fish in the ocean in a great multi-setting blender -- the kind they make dreams and daiquiris with.  Plug it into a nuclear powered generator, flip the switch to ON, and when nothing is left except seafood puree, clam jelly, sea monkey stew, and shark fin soup, start passing out the celebratory paper cups, telling everyone, "it's fish."  Welcome one and all to the study of statistics by the Dixie Cup Corporation, Ltd.  Welcome to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  Welcome to sweet mother entropy.

When your database includes everything in the ocean, nobody will ever fault you for insisting before God that you know EXACTLY what you saw.  "It's fish ..."  Smile for the camera.

"It's an absolutely brilliant solution and absolutely everybody profits!  All I've got to say is Hallelujah!  Somebody better hurry up and toss me a copy of 'Ripley's Believe It or Not' before this crazy hazy inspiration goes to waste!" 

We are on a roll, people; the sudden increase in speed is not due to an influx of energy, and things don't always appear closer in the mirror; sometimes by God they are closer, and it usually happens while you're standing cold and alone in the middle of a poor judgment decision.

"It's fish ..."

This is a Saucer Press International Publication