Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, October 2021
Like a dog chasing its tail? Can we do better?
by: Brent Raynes
Check out Nashville’s upcoming Strange Realities 3-day conference October 15-17, with many noted speakers covering a wide variety of controversial, unique, and high-strange subject matter like the paranormal, cryptozoology, conspiracy beliefs, ufology, the occult, etc. There will be such acclaimed presenters as Allen Greenfield, Tim Binnall, Serial Azkath, Josh Cutchin, Timothy Renner and more, including this column’s Brent Raynes!
Here’s a group of us discussing some of what’s coming:
Like a dog chasing its tail? Can we do better?
I've been a bit side-tracked of late and not necessarily dealing just with paranormal and UFO-related studies, writings, research and such, which most readers here are interested in naturally, but something else that affects us which can be summed up as simply life in general. We're all living and breathing humans engaged in that mutual process, the social, family, economic matrix of daily existence.
No matter what distractions and side roads I may travel down in my life, I'll always strive, as long as I'm able, to continue my 'alternative perceptions' journey. I must confess how here lately my own personal roof-brain chatter [as Joseph Chilton Pearce called it] has been mulling things over and I've been wondering how effectively I've dealt with the 'alternative' over the last (as of this point in time and space) 54 years and 9 months.
As a long-time student of ufology and the "paranormal" and what not [there's a lot of moving parts to this stuff] I occasionally get feeling a little frustrated. You all know the expression of a dog chasing its tail? Well at times I know I struggle to engage the readers of my monthly column Reality Checking in Alternate Perceptions, trying to say something new and thought-provoking and not rehashy, but yet all too often I feel as though I'm pointing out and trying to find new creative ways of communicating things I've already written before. Maybe different wordings and different evidence, but the overall message remains pretty much the same. Of course, for some readers who may not have been previously exposed to such data or ideas, or with whom it hasn't yet sunken in with, it may be useful and may not seem like "old hat," so I do continue onwards.
It's a challenging process for a controversial and complex field like what we're engaged in to evolve to a point of scientific respectability. Look at the evolution of astrology to astronomy, or alchemy to chemistry. Half a century ago, John Keel called ufology "an infant pseudoscience." I know great people who are working hard to move the needle forward on this, but still the mainstream movement remains disappointingly much the same.
Ever feel like the more you learn the less you know? I've heard a good number of people in this field say that. I've expressed it myself. However, I do feel that we are learning a good deal more than we realize. We're also, if successful in our journey, unlearning a lot of things too that are not serving us well in this endeavor. Separating the proverbial signal from the noise, or the wheat from the chaff as its more popularly known. Keel wrote that ufology was bogged down in too much "cult literature" that wasn't serving the science effort well at all, and even that ufology should be better served as a branch of parapsychology. Of course, either branch would be best served with an indepth and objective focus on the mechanics of consciousness and physics. There's certainly a lot to unpack there, both known and theoretical, and no single person can be a specialist proficient in all of the complex and challenging components of such bizarre phenomena as have been reported globally for so many years.
When I first entered ufology as a young man, a very wet behind the ears teenager of 14, I thought back then how 20 years had been an awfully long time to have studied such a thing without arriving at a more substantial and provable basis of understanding. Yet from Kenneth Arnold to today, "official ufology" continues to remain unresolved. Of course, as many "ufologists" realize historical data shows how such phenomena have been reported going back centuries and centuries. Were Ezekiel and Enoch what today we'd call UFO "experiencers"? Abductees?
Perhaps I'm editorializing too much here. However, we all have a voice to share in this and other matters of life. We all have a potential contribution that we can make, and should make, if able, in this field, or in any field or endeavor that we care about and feel that we can make a meaningful and helpful contribution or difference.
Certainly everyone could use a good Ghost Hobby or two, or however many they can handle. Say what?! What am I talking about?! Just check out my interview in this issue with my long-time friend and colleague Dr. Gregory Little and see his recommendations on Ghost Hobbies. And don’t feel embarrassed if a Ghost Hobby is a term you’re not really familiar with. I wasn’t either. And, by the way, it may well not be what you’re thinking. LOL!
It’s something we should all have in our lives though! I think many readers of this magazine already have it, or at least a start in that direction. But if you need a slight nudge in the right direction, definitely check out Greg’s interview.
This is always a part of my journaling that I don’t look forward to, but I always want to recognize, remember, and honor those of our friends and fellow researchers in this field who joined us in questioning, pondering and researching life’s mysteries.
In this column, I want us to remember William “Scott” Freeman of Jefferson City, Missouri, who passed away on Monday, September 13, 2021, at the age of 48. A graduate of Drury University, he received a master’s degree in art-history from Southern New Hampshire University and was a history professor at Columbia College. He had many interests and hobbies, like reading, archaeology, historical architecture, fossils, boxing, hunting, fishing, and the two that brought us and others into contact with him which was his interest in the paranormal and UFOs. I have learned that he was working on a book to be entitled “Of Gods,” that revolved around the witch trails. Unfortunately, it appears it was uncompleted. He leaves behind his wife Angela (Sullins) Freeman, of 27 years of marriage, and son Skyler and Avrey Freeman, all of Jefferson City. He is deeply missed by many family and friends.