With the pace of life at the speed of thought, it’s no secret that today’s civilizations face stress in their lives unknown in simpler times.
And so it is with ufologists. One of them, John F. Schuessler, of Morrison, Colorado, has even written a paper on managing the unique stress that might plague a typical ufologist-beyond the stress of job, family, health, illness, death, divorce, finances everyone faces at one time or another.
He’s identified at least 12 sources of stress that could arise from the study of UFOs, ETs and other unexplained phenomenon: Dealing with too many UFO reports; too few UFO reports; lack of access to the latest tools for detection and identification of UFOs; lack of the necessary funds to travel and conduct extended investigations; lack of time; debunkers; critics; employers/employment; “experts” and their egos; communications; government cover-up; and public appearances.
–Too Many UFO Reports: “If you live in an area where UFOs are frequently reported, you may feel over-worked and under appreciated. A single UFO incident can take hundreds of hours to properly investigate and document…There is a simple solution to this problem. It is called teamwork–sharing the workload.” by recruiting and working with other investigators.
–Too Few UFO Reports: “Some areas of the world seem to have very few UFO reports. “The stress caused by this situation may be relieved by using the time to study past cases, get familiar with the history of ufology in your area, to establish contacts with the police, weather, military and business officials, and to develop a well-stocked field investigators kit.”
–Lack of Access to the Latest Tools: “Lacking the proper tools to do the job is a very frustrating situation. It is also frustrating to know that most military installations, national laboratories, private laboratories and universities have tons of equipment capable of providing the answers we are seeking and we have no way to get them involved in the investigation.” Again, team up with other investigators, says Schuessler . In fact, teamwork, and joining organizations such as the Mutual UFO Network, Skywatch, National Institute for Discovery Science, or other groups can help overcome many of the other stressors ufologists face.
–Critics and debunkers: “No information or data supplied by the ufologist is ever good enough for them. Truth, honesty, ethics and things like that are foreign to their way of operating,” Schuessler says of debunkers, adding that provocation of others is their nature, rather than a quest for answers. “Don’t play their game. It takes two to make a game and if you do not respond to their provocation, then they do not have a game. They lose and you are not stressed,” he says.
Critics are another matter, he says; they base their views and comments on their own belief system, “and the world is full of critics.” The answer? Be optimistic (critics are pessimists) and maintain you cool and convictions don’t abandon your research.
–Experts and Their Egos: “A lesser, yet still significant source of stress for ufologists comes from the so-called experts. Many experts are so wrapped-up in themselves and their findings that they belittle the work of others,” says Schuessler. Many are admired, credentialed, and respected in their fields. “Just remember that the experts are people too. They are on the same journey as you. Work with them and learn from them, but don’t turn them into idols,” he says.
–Government Cover-up: “A 1997 public opinion poll showed that 82% of Americans believe the government is hiding evidence of intelligent life in space and a 1996 poll showed that 49% of Americans believe the government is concealing UFO information,” notes Schuessler. When ufologists attempt to learn more through the government’s recognized technological assets,” they are usually given the idiot treatment. Is there any wonder they are stressed about it,” he says. “Yelling about “government cover-up” isn’t going to help much either. The cover-up has been going on for fifty years and is pretty well entrenched. If you are going to make headway on this problem, then concentrate first on improving the quality of your investigations and the depth of your documentation. Don’t allow your results to languish in your file cabinet. Get the information out to the public,” through affinity organizations and other means, he says.
–Public Appearances: For anyone, we’re told, public speaking is a common stressor. “It exposes you to an unknown audience, unusual questions, and unknown outcomes. Unfortunately for any ufologist with a fear of public appearances, it is still important to do it. It is a part of the communication process that exposes more and more people to the details of the UFO mystery,” says Schuessler. Thankfully, “the more often you appear, the easier it gets. If you want to improve more quickly, then join a local Toastmaster’s Club or take some courses at a local educational institution,” he says.
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