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Phillip Klass Falls But Does Not Fail

Posted on August 14, 2005 in Folly Watch Milestones

square015UFOologists danced when a great man clutched his chest and fell. “At last evil has been punished!” Phillip Klass, the best and the most determined of the debunkers, died at the age of 85.

Believers in UFOs and extraterrestial abductions don’t follow any one party. They cross the spectrum. Some voted for Bush in the last election. Some for Kerry. Some supported the war in Iraq. Others opposed it. Michael Shermer, the author of Why People Believe in Weird Things, refrains from calling these people “kooks”. Instead, Shermer assert, they suffer from a lack of thinking skills. No one taught them how to measure things critically.

I am mentally ill and I have turned a cold eye to UFO sightings ever since I read Klass’s “UFOs Identified”, a painstaking evaluation of several popular “sightings”. Inspired by Klass, I created several photos using a pie tin that many people took as the genuine article. These experiences made me very suspicious and subsequent assertions have only confirmed my skepticism. The point I want to make here is that even sufferers of bipolar disorder divide on the existence of UFOs, further confirming the Shermer Hypothesis. These are delusions: they are, like Holocaust Denial, Creationism, and Intelligent Design just bad reasoning.

UFOology is a product, I think, of boredom. We have no lands to explore, no gaps in the map to fill. When we did, the imaginative told us stories of men with no heads and faces on their chests. “Here there be dragons” went one legend. But we got there and found none.

In his will, the Great Debunker bequeathed this:

To UFOlogists who publicly criticize me…or who even think unkind thoughts about me in private, I do hereby leave and bequeath THE UFO CURSE: No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today. You will never know any more about what UFOs really are, or where they come from. You will never know any more about what the U.S. Government really knows about UFOs that you know today. As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse.

And I so I wait and watch, confident that the curse will be fulfilled. Except in cases where people realize that they have no proof.

Thanks to Majikthise for the news and to gordo who shared the “curse of Klass” in the comments there.

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