Thursday, July 03, 2008

Chile: The Dying Days of Ufology

Chile: The Dying Days of Ufology
By Raul Núñez, IIEE

Last month was a truly bad one. Patricio Varela died, Luis Altamirano was hospitalized, in short...a month best forgotten, focusing instead on what lies ahead. There is nothing else one can do in the brief space and time that have been allotted to us to live and experience life as sentient beings.

I honestly believe that a generation of ufologists is gradually disappearing in Chile. There will be no replacement in its quality, and I don’t even get the impression that it will endure very long. In brief, I get the feeling that ufology, as many of us originally interpreted it, is slowly dying. Just like that. Ufology is in its dying days and it is necessary to acknowledge this. This thought applies not only within the confines of Chile, but to many other countries as well. What are the reasons for this? One of the main reasons, without any doubt, is the development of the Internet, which has revolutionized the world of communications, causing news to reach us in a matter of seconds. This is fantastic, but it has also brought about the demise of the researcher of yesteryear, the one who kept his hopes burning and incurred the sacrifice of traveling to feel the essence of the events that transpired. Today, we are faced by the hundreds of names of “on-screen researchers” who dub themselves “great searchers” and become “deans” or senseless communicators. Many of them have never gone out of their way to learn the facts of a case and parade their egos across Internet-based mailing lists and groups.

This occurs not only in ufology, but in the world of journalism as well. Countless cases are reported, “as told to...” through “phone interviews” and a series of similar situations. Many of these stories are published without ever visiting the scene of the events. Why do we mention this? Only because between the years 2004 and 2006 we discovered a few dozen UFO cases that received a good deal of attention in their time, and that important Southern Chilean tabloids had not visited the sites where the cases occurred. These “professionals” had written everything from their desks, without getting their feet wet, without experiencing the cold, yet nonetheless took pleasure in dismissing the eyewitnesses when we visited their newsrooms to ask for more information, in an effort to revisit the cases. We were able to confirm this with the protagonists of these cases, who told us that they were never visited by a newsman who asked them questions directly.

These cases shall be published on this website ( soon, and we regret having to say that these journalists are very famous today and well known in these circles. They have refused to acknowledge this serious omission, which has created a sense of mistrust in this professional guild, a negative image of [Chilean] ufology, among those who are truly interested in getting to the bottom of things.

If the Internet, according to our line of thought, has represented a significant breakdown in ufology, there are other reasons for this crisis that we shall analyze little by little. We shall also remark on the renewal and endurance of the “Contactee” phenomenon, which is ongoing and has replenished itself with new characters that are utterly ignorant of the overall history of this complex and controversial discipline. All of them, of course, are in direct contact with extraterrestrials that invariably endow them with healing properties, various powers, and many photos of their spacecraft – levels of achievement that long-suffering ufologists have never reached in so short a period of time.

Not to be tiresome, but last month was exhausting and only a personal, non-transferable reflection by each of us can lead to an understanding of those persons who have devoted ourselves to this way of life – called ufology – for so long. It has brought us much heartache, but great joy as well, and it is a shame that UFOs, which can still be seen and let themselves be seen, still lack a serious, scientific explanation, or at least one that justifies so many years of involvement. For this reason, we know that the last romantics of the 21st century face an uphill climb; yet we respect them and appreciate all of their efforts.

It is for this reason we believe that those who are taken away from us, or are experiencing serious health concerns, deserve to be remembered. A humanitarian regard toward them is indispensable, if we wish to maintain our status as “civilized human beings.”

Yet we will keep discussing ufology...while it lasts.

(Translation (c) 2008, S.Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Raul Núñez)