Friday, July 13, 2012

Ufological Appearances

If there's one thing that pisses me off about UFO conferences, it's when the organizer tentatively asks me something along the lines of: "So, what are you going to wear for your lecture, Nick?"

Granted, it doesn't happen every time. But, it certainly does 4 or 5 times per year. And it gets asked because I hate suits, they are not me, and I won't dress like I'm going to a bloody funeral just because I'm speaking on stage about aliens. It's total bollocks.

But certain gig organizers - who know I'm hardly a fan of suits - think it's somehow going to detract from what I'm saying if I lack a tie, and - instead - turn up in black t-shirt and black jeans, which is complete and utter crap!

The fact is, however - as you can see from this shockingly awful photo above - way back in 1998, when this picture was taken, even I donned a suit and tie now and again.

For a mercifully very short while, I was under that mistaken and idiotic belief that tie and suit on stage while talking about aliens = credibility.

But, I remember, at the time, one of my mates saying to me something like: "Nick, why the hell are you wearing a suit? You never wear a suit!"

No I didn't, aside from a year or so when - around 97/98 - I did, to my utter regret. And it's to my regret for two reasons:

1. I hate suits. I hate ties. Simple!

2. I find it utterly laughable that there are people who think if you wear a suit to talk about aliens, UFOs, abductions, crop circles etc, that dressing like a bank-manager-meets -a-funeral-director is somehow going to add to credibility.

Get real! This is Ufology! Outside of our community the subject has barely any credibility - and a suit won't change that!

The fact is that unless we can deliver the ufological goods (a definitive smoking-gun, a bit of alien DNA, the accelerator pedal from the Roswell craft, or...well, the list goes on), no-one outside of our little community is going to pay any attention to us, no matter what we wear!

But whole swathes of Ufology think it does matter! Amazing! No, actually. It's amazingly dumb. Evidence, and only evidence will ever legitimize Ufology for the vast majority of the people and the media.

It matters not a bit what you wear to talk about your particular area of research. Why? Because of the very fact you are talking about UFOs!!!

And that's why the 1998 Nick of above doesn't exist anymore (thankfully he barely existed for a year or so), and the Nick of just about every year before 1997 and after 1998 (and as shown in the 2011 photo below) does exist.

If you're a UFO researcher or author and you get asked to do a lecture, fine. And if you like to wear a suit and tie on stage then fine; wear the damn things. But don't wear them because you think it's going to somehow advance and help the ufological cause.

Anyone who disagrees, please line up for a good punch in the face to knock some sense into you.


  1. To be honest, you could pull off being Grant Morrison's doppleganger.

  2. I had to Google him to see who he was, but I see what you mean! LOL

  3. But you look sooooo great in . . . oh, never mind. You'll just tell me to piss off.

  4. Oh, man, it's a race between Grant Morrison and Alan Moore over who's more influential and weird in comics. Check out The Invisibles; in the mid-1990s, he was writing a version of The Matrix before Laurence Wachowski ever considered he might be a woman in a man's body.

    A lot of what he writes about also dovetails with some of your and Mac Tonnies' subjects as well as Philip K. Dick (aliens as ancient archons who've inflected everything from Christianity to medieval folklore to voodoo), and he bases much of his material on personal experience. However, he's completely open to the suggestion that any such esoteric experiences could be as much in one's head as out in the world; it's the response to such experiences that count. There's a great documentary about him called "Talking with Gods" that's a good intro to his work.

    He's working on a film right now about aliens vs. dinosaurs -- aliens visiting the planet millions of years ago and encountering massive, damage-prone dinosaurs.

    As long as I have the comment box, always wanted to thank you for that MonsterQuest episode when you looked for the mothman in Wisconsin. I grew up just south of where you were looking; used to bike to that spot in Trempeleau all the time, and climbed the same bluffs. My wife and I watched in rapt nostalgia.

    1. Hey M:

      Yeah, it was very cool getting to go to Trempeleau. There was a lot of weird stuff going on there.

  5. I don't mind wearing a suit once, maybe twice a year. But I would literally turn mental if I had to wear one every single day!

    That's why I decided to study design.

    There was this job I had when I was indeed forced to wear a tie to work. They gave me the usual 'people treat you how you look' stupid mantra, but I showed them: I wore this campy alien-themed tie a friend of mine gave me >:)

    PS: You should learn more about Morrison, Nick. You'd be surprised.

    1. RPJ:

      I guess the fact that I hate comic books and superhero stuff means I hardly ever cross paths with people who work in that field.

      But from what mxyzptlk said too, I will take a look.

      I just find superhero stuff boring. In saying that, I have to confess I've never read any comics since I was a kid, and the last superhero thing I ever watched was that Batman film with Michael Keaton (early 1990s?).

      I've never seen any of the Spiderman, Hulk, Fantastic Four etc films.

    2. The good news is, at least with The Invisibles, there aren't any super heroes.

  6. In that suit I wasn't sure if you were attending a funeral or applying for the Birmingham City managers job ;-)

    1. Neil,

      LOLOL, that's exactly why I dont wear them!!

  7. Nick you look so sad in that suit photo, like a pet that has been dressed in some ridiculous get up to be photographed. I always feel a suit to be a badge of slavery - it marks one as invested in the corporate ideology. The paranormal is a field where new fringe ideas emerge from some of the most imaginative people, so why wear a uniform? It sends a contradictory message.

    What or who do you mean by 'whole swathes of UFOlogy think it does matter'.... I'd love you to name names

  8. Hiya Nick. Do you think it's partially because ufology has always tried to overcompensate for its inherent insanity by appealing to science and wearing suits?

    Sort of like, "We're not mad. We wear suits ffs!"

    When we're part of a subject area that the rest of the world either doesn't care about, or sniggers at, maybe some think the power of a suit can protect them from ridicule?

    "Take me seriously you bastards! Can't you see the suit I'm wearing?"

  9. Hey Kandinsky:

    Yeah, that is definitely a lot of it. Appealing (or, in some cases appeasing) to the scientific world, the mainstream media, etc is definitely a very big part of all this.

    I see people - sometimes very well known ones - in the field, who DO respond with embarrassment when they meet people for the first time and tell them they do UFO research.

    I don't get that though. No-one should ever care - or be swayed - by what others think, in any aspect of life.

    But, the suit angle is definitely one used time and again when that "I know what I'm talking about, I have a nice red tie and I've even ironed my jacket and polished by shoes!" attitude surfaces.

  10. CJ

    LOL, you probably are correct re me feeling sad that day! I'm not going to name names, but I can tell you that it's chiefly the old-guard of Ufology and conference organizers.

    And I think in part is stems from the frustration of not being taken seriously by the mainstream media and science

    They want to play with the "big boys" but the "big boys" laugh at them, so they figure they have to do something to change that.

    Which usually means to compromise who a person is by trying to appeal to the people they want to get in with - and looking like they are running for political office and delivering lectures with nicely-times pauses to encourage applause etc is how it's done.

    My view is this: don't compromise, do what you want and if people don't agree with what we do or think, well so what?

    I can quite happily go through life not worrying about what this person or that person thinks of me, or worrying about what this news network thinks of me, etc etc.

    When people compromise in this situation, it's a sign of weakness and being unsure of their own character. Which is tragic and pathetic.

    Now, as I said in the post, if people wear suits because that's how they like to dress, that's fine. But, doing it try and make talking about anal-probes look less ridiculous? Well, that IS ridiculous!