Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jerry Clark and the CTH

In what is surely one of the most ironic posts at UFO Updates in some time, as well as one of the most pretentious (which is saying something), Jerry Clark pounds away on Mac Tonnies' "cryptoterrestrial hypothesis". In doing so, he says very little about Mac's theories, but an awful lot about himself - none of it good.


Could Clark be protesting too much? Your call.

25 comments:

Paul Kimball said...

Mac:

Some interesting reading:

http://www.magonia.demon.co.uk/arc/90/tenuous.htm

And a little about Clark's history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Clark

Paul

mister ecks said...

for Clarke i imagine this is just more needless stirring of the pot interfering with the noble quest of "serious" (read: humorless) pro-ETH UFOlogy.

as a former acolyte of john keel who abandoned his "youthful indiscretions" for "saner" lines of fortean inquiry (ha!), i wouldn't be surprised if theories such as the CT hypothesis rub Clarke the wrong way, having espoused similarly "out-there" (by mainstream UFOlogy) ideas in his earlier career, which as a convert to "serious" UFOlogy he has renounced.

catty armchair psychoanalysis aside, i don't really buy into the ct hypothesis myself, though i like it as a thought-experiment. it does leave a lot of questions, but so does the ETH!

mister ecks said...

ha, paul beat me to the punch

wearethemetrons said...

no, not too much: just the right amount.

as with the "pile of sand on Mars", the "alien autopsy film is someone with progeria", so now with the "cryptoterrestrial hyppopopamus"- crackpot speculation that is based on nothing but sci fi retreads and grasping-at-straws-hoping-to-find-something-to write-about.

hey maybe the japanese progeria balloon victims are from a race that lives under the astrodome and who built the face on mars in order to help mac with his noisy neighbors?

there must be a book in there somewhere.....

Paul Kimball said...

W:

That's hilarious - defend Jerry Clark, who has made a fair bit of change and earned his rep from writing book after book about a subject which most people think is pretty kooky, i.e. UFOs and the ETH, by attacking Mac as a guy just on the make to score some quid off a book deal.

Puh-lease.

Paul Kimball

Paul Kimball said...

ME:

as a former acolyte of john keel who abandoned his "youthful indiscretions" for "saner" lines of fortean inquiry (ha!), i wouldn't be surprised if theories such as the CT hypothesis rub Clarke the wrong way, having espoused similarly "out-there" (by mainstream UFOlogy) ideas in his earlier career, which as a convert to "serious" UFOlogy he has renounced.

I normally eschew "catty psychoanalysis", but...

Bingo.

Paul

wearethemetrons said...

the point is not how "out there" a hypothesis is - the point is "show me the evidence". Is there even one single solitary piece of evidence for the crytoterrestrial hippopotamus?

mister ecks said...

yeah but he's dismissing it without giving mac a chance to fully elaborate on his theories. now, based on what mac's speculated so far, i don't personally find the ct hypothesis very credible, but i find a lot of the other competing theories lacking as well. it's no worse than the idea that humanoid aliens regularly visit earth, and at least gives a rationale for the alleged ufo occupants secrecy and interest in human reproduction.

eventually, yes, it does come down to evidence. but most UFO evidence is anecdotal at best to begin with!

wearethemetrons said...

if people would just read Jung and Vallee and take it from there, most of the bullshit would be pruned away and some real progress could be made. Muddying the waters with Japanese mutants and crypto colonies under the astrodome doesnt help much.

mister ecks said...

muddying the waters can be so much fun, though! if it wasn't, ufology most likely wouldn't be around at all!

we're dealing with a phenomenon that is by its very nature confusing and elusive. i doubt that "pruning through" everything is going to get us closer. the "bullshit" is essential to how the phenoenon is experienced, in my opinion. the "noise" might very well be essential to understanding the "signal".

i do agree with you on the vallee/jung line, though.

Anonymous said...

When someone starts off with "Over the course of my long career", they've lost me from the get-go. I don't respond well to arguments from authority. Looking forward to the book!

Carol Maltby said...

I've been really saddened by Jerry Clark's bullying and personal attacks on you at UFO Updates recently. He's one of the few posters there whose postings I always open. My overall impression of him from that forum (I don't have any of his books) has generally been that he is articulate, objective, and thoughtful.

This sour and bitchy series of tirades from him is quite out of line. I wonder if something is happening in his life that's throwing him off balance like this and affecting his judgement.

"It helped, of course, that my involvement in anomalistics stretches back to the 1950s." [SNIP] "One path is for grown-ups, the other for perpetual adolescents."

I thought this meant he was some really, really old geezer, so I was stunned to see from the Wikipedia article that he is only six years older than I am. So he was at most 14 himself in the fifties. Having been a young researcher himself, you'd think he might have some empathy to spare for people who weren't even conceived until a couple of decades after he got his head start.

Carol Maltby

W.M. Bear said...

Mac -- Can we assume then that Jerome Clark does not take kindly to the CTH? It's a bit hard for me to understand WHY he is reacting SO strongly (and, I have to agree with Carol, not terribly reasonably). My guess is that he simply has a lot invested in the ETH (or some version thereof). BTW, I believe that Clark is specifically incorrect in wildly connecting your ideas with previous ones re Lemuria, etc. From reading the excerpts from your book that you've posted on PB, the CTH strikes me as being, at the very LEAST, highly original (although, as always, I confess to being a rank amateur in this whole area).

Mac said...

Is there even one single solitary piece of evidence for the crytoterrestrial hippopotamus?

Every bit as much evidence as there is for the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis, Vallee's "multiverse" or Keel's "superspectrum." Take your pick.

Mac said...

Chris--

When someone starts off with "Over the course of my long career", they've lost me from the get-go.

My first reaction is either to roll my eyes or vomit. Maybe both.

Looking forward to the book!

That makes two of us! :-)

Carol--

This sour and bitchy series of tirades from him is quite out of line. I wonder if something is happening in his life that's throwing him off balance like this and affecting his judgement.

Yeah, but in the end who cares? I certainly don't.

Carol Maltby said...

I care, because he's another human being.

I care, because flame wars don't help anything or anyone online, least of all subjects which are already highly contentious.

If there is any incontrovertible evidence for thinking that UFO and alien phenomena come from somewhere off-planet, and that this evidence clearly rules out any beings coming from on or below the earth's surface, I'd sure like him to get on with it. I think we'd all prefer that to the hatchet job he's presenting.

Your presence on that list is usually inobtrusive, somewhat reserved, and focused on information. There's zero reason to blow up at you. As Paul says, it seems to be more about Jerry than it is about you.

wearethemetrons said...

Every bit as much evidence as there is for the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis, Vallee's "multiverse" or Keel's "superspectrum." Take your pick.

many of the visitors have said where they are from (not that this proves anything), but i dont recall any visitors saying "we're from under the astrodome" (or words to that effect).

i'd say the liklyhood, in descending order is:

1)the visitors are eruptions/projections of human consciousness. as such, they are no more or less "real" then we are (see Buddhist madhyamaka analysis)

2)interdimensional travellers, used to be known as "spirits" "angels" or "demons"

3)humans from the future

4)EBEs

5)cryptoterrestrial hippos

Mac said...

Metron--

OK, how's this? You work on a book all about your own ideas and I'll heckle you on *your* blog. Does that work? :-)

Mac said...

Carol--

I care, because he's another human being.

I've always been -- gasp! -- a Jerry Clark fan. He's an eminent Fortean historian and not a dumb guy by any means.

So while his snobbish attitude is indeed disconcerting, I don't think he's going through any sort of crisis in the conventional sense. My perception is that, for whatever reason, he simply doesn't like his beliefs challenged by (relatively) young upstarts.

wearethemetrons said...

OK, how's this? You work on a book all about your own ideas and I'll heckle you on *your* blog. Does that work? :-)

thats just my point- im not writing a book and expecting people to pay money to read my amateur bullshit- im just posting it free on the internet.

if you are trained and do original field work, then you may be considered a professional and may or may not have professional findings to publish. If you just read stuff on the internet and other peoples books then you are just like everyone else, free to put your BS on a blog or post it for free for all to read since that is a fair reflection of its value. But if its just hot air anyway, expect that there's a chance someone may call you on it, like what just happened on UFO updates.

Carol Maltby said...

Mac, could you do a little recap?

How do you perceive "cryptoterrestrials" as differing from "ultra-terrestrials"? And ETs, while we're at it?

In what ways do your speculations on this diverge from Jacques Vallee and Keith Thompson (in his Angels and Aliens phase)?

Mac said...

Metron--

The irony here is that I've already blogged a significant bit of the manuscript. Reading it is, of course, totally free. (Thanks to Google Books, even the completed product can be read online; the same goes for my Mars book.)

Carol Maltby said...

I picked up a copy of Illumined Black at a thrift shop up here in the mountains last week!

Mac said...

Carol--

Oh no. Any good things you might think of me will certainly wither once you're finished reading it.

The good news is that a comic artist is in the process of adapting one of the stories into graphic form, so it's enjoying some new life.

Anonymous said...

wearethemetrons: that's why it's called the CTH (as in hypothesis, Tonnies isn't even calling it a theory) --

I think it's a fresh idea. True, it's based on "old" ideas that others have also theorized about, but it's not mere rehashing, which makes it interesting and worth considering.

And anything in this field, with the exception of cold hard bits of machinery and the like to "prove" the existence of UFOs, is all some form of speculation. Which is perfectly fine.