Serious Dialogue on UFOs | Letters | Chicago Reader

Serious Dialogue on UFOs 

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To the editors:

In response to Mr. Hall's letter in your January 3 issue, I'm glad to see that there is finally some serious dialog about UFOs in your otherwise fine paper. Normally, even in a publication of a liberal slant such as yours, one expects the kowtowing to the mainstream, reactionary scientific establishment, which disallows rational discussion of mystical or spiritual phenomena like UFOs.

Mr. Hall certainly has the right idea about what we can expect from the higher intelligences that regularly visit this planet. Is it coincidental that our bungling, intellectually repressive government also neglects our space program? Of course not. Strieber and Steiger et al aside, it is self-evident that any civilization enlightened enough to attain viable interstellar travel must function on a fundamentally different basis than ours and thus have much to offer us. Indeed, they may be the only hope we have left for continued survival as a race.

It is a sign of the fashionable cynicism of our times that the mass media, on the whole, neglect the body of UFO evidence and refuse to take the phenomena seriously. The public is either fed "wacky" stories in the Star or Weekly World News, pompous and poorly researched pseudoscience TV specials on PBS, or amateurish parodies on Saturday Night Live or collegiate shows.

Last Monday, in fact, I saw the latest and most offensive entry in the dubious genre of underinformed UFO parody, on public access cable. The show actually featured one legitimate and well-known UFO expert, Mr. Robert Erwood, but aside from that was completely offensive and valueless. Public access cable is the epitome of degenerating moral and esthetic standards of our public discourse. Shows like the one I saw last Monday--I believe it was entitled "This Week in Joe's Basement"--are of no value to our culture and inexcusable even as "free speech."

In conclusion, I must applaud Mr. Strong and Mr. Hall for their well-formulated views--although I, of course, tend to side with Mr. Hall. I hope that the public will continue to seek to be better informed on spiritual issues, so we can prevent the inmates from running the asylum.

Harry Goffmekler

S. Woodlawn

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