New Site on the Block

Hot on the heels of my shrugging my shoulders about there being little new in the ufological sphere, I recieved notice that a post at a new website The Invisible Night School had linked to an early post of mine at Skunkworks.

The site, the brainchild of Luis Cayetano, Nick Coffin-Callis, Leah Prime, Campbell Moreira, and Sparks, describes itself as follows:

The Invisible Night School is a consortium of lay-researchers and scholars analytically exploring UFOs and UAPs, high strangeness, and the cultural and social implications of the phenomenon.

The Invisible Night School (aka #TINS) is a cross-platform, multi-media initiative: we regularly host Twitter Spaces for informal salon-style discussion, livestreams on YouTube with special guests, and “blackboard” sessions for individual- and small-group projects.

Sure to disappoint those whose sole concern is solving the UFO Mystery, The Invisible Night School at least piques my interest, maybe yours, too. Checkitout.

The conversation with Luis Cayetano continues…

Luis Cayetano has again been kind enough to engage me in conversation and give me free reign to improvise further thoughts on a wide range of topics, consciousness, UFOs, technology, society, the Enlightenment, conspiracy theory, and so on and so forth.

It’s a long one, clocking in at just over two-and-a-half hours, and, despite my preparatory efforts, the sound quality of my end was not as clear as could be and should have been. Nevertheless, we were able to orbit, touch on, and dig into a number of interesting topics and questions, including how fictions become truths, the UFO-as-fetish, problems in interpreting the symbolic dimension of the phenomenon, among many others.

Thanks again to Luis Cayetano for producing the interview and its YouTube incarnation. You can hear it, here.

Bryan Sentes and Luis Cayetano in conversation

Luis Cayetano (“Ufology” is corrupt) kindly conducted a wide-ranging, freewheeling chat with me about UFOs, ufology, and the UFO mythology, among many, many other things.

Cayetano’s questions, prompts, and curtness allowed me free reign to opine and reflect on topics usually passed over or still to be addressed here at the Skunkworks. This format sometimes saw (heard?) my verbal energies outrun my reflective faculties, but I’m grateful to Luis for the opportunity to explore the field in this way. I may not have been my most eloquent or pithy at all points, but I was, at least, I think, coherent.

Because of technological limitations, viewers/listeners will be treated not to two hours of looking at us yack but to a montage-commentary, often funny and wittily commenting on what’s being said. Thanks to Cayetano for going through the trouble.

You can see the interview, here.

Chance Harmonies

I wear it as a badge of honour that the perspective I take here at Skunkworks is unique.

I am aware, nevertheless, of at least some whose interests are close. There’s the second, more theoretical, part of M. J. BaniasThe UFO People: a curious culture (glowingly reviewed by no less than Thomas E. Bullard, here). Gittlitz is, to my knowledge, the only person to reflect on the pertinence of Marxism to ufology (he is presently promoting his new book I Want to Believe: Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse Communism). Recently, too, I became aware of Luis Cayetano, whose website “Ufology” is corrupt” is concerned more with the social, political, and psychological aspects of ufology than with UFOs themselves, a description that could be applied to what goes on here; however, Cayetano’s stance is much more vehemently skeptical and dismissive (along the lines of what one reads at author Jason Colavito’s blog).

Occasionally, however, I chance across the likeminded. Among these, I was happy to encounter Doug Johnson, who recently published the article “Decolonizing the Search for Extraterrestrials” in Undark. Here, in much the same way that I criticize certain unconscious colonialist strains in ufological discourse, Johnson shines a light on the same orientation in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Johnson’s article is thorough, unmasking the colonialist language of space exploration, the indifference of SETI researchers to Indigenous perspectives, conflicts between SETI research and Indigenous peoples (e.g., the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii), and the speciesism and Eurocentrism that underwrite speculations about “intelligence” and “civilization”, longstanding themes here at the Skunkworks.

You can read the article—which I urge you to do—either by clicking on its title, above, or at the link just under the picture, below.