Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Matt Graeber: Knowing, Not Simply Believing
Time to set the record straight.
In a previous post, "Voodoo Skepticism," I talked about Matt Graeber's articles in the online magazine, SUNlite. Matt examined various UFO cases with a psychological slant, showing how the mindset and experience of the witness could connect symbolically with the details of the sighting.
While an interesting approach, I didn't really buy into Matt's angle, at least all of the symbolism. To me it was "voodoo" -- mainly because too much of psychology/psychiatry, the Freudian stuff, is voodoo.
But that's my opinion. I did screw up assuming that since Matt's article appeared in SUNlite -- Tim Printy's spiritual successor to the late Phil Klass's Skeptical UFO Newsletter -- that he was a UFO researcher who ended up becoming a skeptic as the result of disappointments along the way with his research. Thus my "Voodoo Skepticism" title.
Matt emailed me and through our correspondence I've learned that he's not an all-out skeptic, just a careful researcher. Let me quote from one of his emails:
"I haven't an answer for the UFO enigma, and my researches merely ask different questions about it. I think knowing what MAY have affected the observer(s) is something that has been long ignored, primarily because it is not exciting and is believed to be skeptical and restrictive to the ETVH. This is a bias which has long existed in UFOlogy. I would rather know that something may have influenced a sighting, than simply accepting anecdotal accounts and the word of shoddy investigations and embellished UFO stories as book fodder.
"I'd rather know than simply believe, because the enigma is not a matter of faith for me, it is something to learn about."
I have no argument with Matt on taking the psychological approach if it's used as a tool to dig out what may have affected witnesses. To me the human mind, the subconscious, is too messy to definitely break down into symbolic connections with any sort of certainty.
Once again, opinion. But getting back to the facts: Matt isn't a skeptic in the sense of a diehard cynic. He's a critical researcher with an open mind, unlike skeptics who completely categorize the whole field of ufology as garbage.
My assumption that Matt was a skeptic was voodoo reading-between-the lines.
Posted by Ray Palm (Ray X) at 12:58 AM