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UN Fortean Force

Any time, any place, any phenomena.
  [vote for,

Strange things happen all the time - rains of fish, winged kittens and mass hysteria - at any place. This would be have a world-wide force that is ready to investigate the strangest global fortean events on an immediate response basis.

They would not only investigate the large more public disaster but they would also be the focus for crytozoology and a possible international first response in the case of the arrival of a need for alien diplomacy.

Fully equipped with a range of wierd science equipment, that has to include a foldable airship and bat shark repellent, they are people who stand at the edge of reality.

Aristotle, May 15 2001

An Alien Man-Beast in india? http://www.ananova....tory/sm_293395.html
The story that inspired this crazed suggestion. [Aristotle, May 15 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Fortean Times http://www.forteantimes.com
The originial phenomenologists. [Aristotle, May 15 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Potential UN Fortean Force Recruits http://www.atlantic...lenrob/compan3.html
Former members of UNIT, these people would be invaluable to such a task force. [Aristotle, May 15 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The truth is out there http://www.disclosureproject.org/
Does this mean your idea is baked? [globaltourniquet, May 15 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Bat Ray http://www.odc.ucla.edu/html/batray.html
What [gravelpit] meant. [angel, May 15 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

More News on the Monkey Man http://www.ananova....tory/sm_294723.html
Police have issues pictures, someone has been attacked by mistake and people start to describe his powers. [Aristotle, May 15 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

CSICOP http://www.csicop.org/
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. (I think they'll be happy to do Aliens and Rains of Frogs, too.) [jutta, May 15 2001]

JREF http://www.randi.org/
The James Randi Educational Foundation, due to the Randi challenge a little more focused on claims by people, rather than on abstract "phenomena". [jutta, May 15 2001]

Deaths start to be attributed to the Indian man-beast http://www.ananova....tory/sm_297691.html
The Fortean Force would have been in India by now, working with the the police and local experts. [Aristotle, May 15 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

CSICON http://www.rawilson.com/csicon.shtml
Committee for the Surreal Invetigation of the Normal [mystic2311, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       The UN Beekeeping people are working for substainable farming, apparently. The UN Fortean Force would be seperate but get involved if people are alarmed by bees forming patterns that are interpreted as the face of christ, messages from aliens or a sighting of Elvis.
Aristotle, May 15 2001

       I'll vote for this, but I had really hoped for a UN peacekeeping force armed with Fortean weapons--frog-rain precipitators, cryptic vision inducers, and--dare we think it?--custard.
Dog Ed, May 15 2001

       I think this is a terrible idea. For two reasons, based on two opposing possibilites:   

       ONE (the most likely possibilty): strange phenomena are false, hoaxes, misunderstandings, exaggerations of natural phenomena. In this case, such a force would serve to legitimize the new-age industry that is making millions on these false claims.   

       TWO (unlikely, but I think a possibility that these well-meaning Disclosure Project* folks are totally missing, and potentially to all of our collective ill): This stuff is real, there are extra-terrestrial forces in contact with our planet, and this inquiry will discover it. This would be tragic, as I see it. If this stuff is really going on, then the governments of the world that know about it also know why it's so vitally important that the public does not know. They are suppressing the truth for a good reason, like for the sake of all of our livelihoods. It's like when you ask your wife to be honest with you, and after years of badgering her about it she finally gives in and tells you something you find out you really didn't want to know. Let's stop annoying the government with our damn curiosity, and trust that they know what they're doing keeping this stuff secret. I mean, some secrets, yeah, they shouldn't be keeping, but this one is so socially pervasive that there has to be a good reason....   

       (if you really want to know the truth, join the government and find out for yourself why you can't tell anyone, you know... take the red pill)   

       *see link
globaltourniquet, May 16 2001

       Phenomenology is all about collecting evidence and being open minded rather than dismissing it out of hand. They are effectively being good scientists and looking at all the evidence, even that which apparently contradicts existing theories. People are prone to repeating phenomena, as evidenced by sighting of little people, gods, Chritian religious figures and aliens as the thing most expected unatural thing to be seen changes over time.   

       Would they deal with single sitings in cereals bowls? Probably not unless people started making pilgrimages to see it. Would they deal with manic man-beasts in urban India and mysterious great cats in rural Britian? Yes, because things that apparently odd can hinder convential investigations as you need a broad range of experts, scientists and investigators.   

       All done in the most heroic way possible, of course.
Aristotle, May 16 2001

       "Fully equipped with a range of wierd science equipment, that has to include a foldable airship and bat shark repellent,"   

       Do you mean shark repellant bat spray, as endorsed by Adam West or is this designed to ward off the sting-ray group of sharks (whose name has "bat" in it somewhere, I think - bateroidea?)   

       Either way, I'd love to join.
gravelpit, May 16 2001

       The Adam West variety, of course ...
Aristotle, May 16 2001

       [gravelpit]: Myliobatis californica (but nothing to do with bats - see link).
angel, May 16 2001

       Looking at the Disclosure Project, it is different as it assumes that strange recorded phenomena is due to aliens. A proper phenomenologist approach would be to look for weird, disturbing sightings but not pre-judge what you will find. When you collect evidence and eye-witness accounts enough people will have made these judgements already.   

       Besides if the American government *is* involved in an alien conspiracy other governments would leak it because the US is not very popular at all right now.
Aristotle, May 16 2001

       This is not at all an issue of lack of investigation; it's purely a media phenomenon.   

       CSICOP exists. The JREF exists. What doesn't exist is a media or a public that is interested in explainable events. As long as the audience pays more attention to (and money for) "weird", badly researched events, the media will continue to present them to us - less work for them if all they need to do is parrot press releases from charlatans.
jutta, May 16 2001

       PeterSealy [...the paying public can better tell the difference between hard facts and weird science than it either admits or is given credit for]:   

       I disagree, sorrowfully. Thanks to my coworkers I often catch Art Bell's radio talk show, Coast to Coast, which showcases all manner of charlatons and kooks. There is money to be made selling videotaped courses on "remote viewing" and psychic awareness, books unveiling global conspiracies, magnetic healing devices, etc ad nauseum. There is precious little money to be made revealing these hoaxsters, however, and so professional charlatons proliferate while the debunkers remain (mostly) part-time amateurs. I think large numbers of people have been convinced, for instance, that the US government is spraying chemicals from jets for some sinister purpose--the white lines in the sky aren't normal contrails anymore, they're "chemtrails." NASA is controlled by a secret elite whose agenda is to explore an immense city in the Cydonia region of Mars...those lost spacecraft were *not* lost, they actually landed in Cydonia to further this secret mission...and so forth. Gaaah.   

       As per jutta's links, James Randi and CSICOP attempt to debunk some of the fakers, but IMHO the damned fakers sprout faster than Hydra heads. But...I rant. I will stop.
Dog Ed, May 16 2001

       These CSICOP and JREF would good resources for a UN Fortean Force but I see it as a responsive force to deal with panics and problems. If an earthquake happens, if human rights violations occurr or if anelection needs to be observed the international community is prepared to respond. But who looks out for "alien man-beast" attacks, which already in Indian has caused a suicide (see first story) and a mob assault (see 2nd story) through fear.   

       It would be a bit like DC's Doom Patrol, who deal with problems too surreal for other superhuman teams.
Aristotle, May 17 2001

       It's not CSICOP, it's CSICON. The Committee for the Surreal Investigation of the Normal. They have discovered, for instance, that there is no "average man."
mystic2311, Dec 05 2003


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