SSE Talks


2008 Dinsdale Award Lecture
Apr 14, 2009 at 10:56 PM EST | J. Clark


Jerome Clark


The long debate about the existence or nonexistence of extraordinary phenomena, from supernatural entities and fantastic monsters to mystery airships and UFOs, has long been predicated on an unexamined literalism. Either these things exist, it is presumed, or they are the products of error and deception. To a degree, this is a defensible approach. Beyond that, however, the frame of reference is woefully inadequate, failing to explain vividly felt encounters with otherworldly beings and beasts which over all of history human beings have experienced, even as no compelling evidence of their presence in consensus reality has ever emerged. Clark’s lecture discusses anomalous events vs. experience anomalies, which – though epistemologically unrelated –have a curiously parasitic relationship, and calls for a radical new understanding of the strange occurrences that have plagued, infuriated and fascinated human beings at all times and places.


Jerome Clark has been interested in anomalistics all his life. He is the author of nearly 20 books on the subject, including the multi-volume UFO Encyclopedia (1990- 1998), and has won a number of literary prizes, including the Benjamin Franklin Award (twice) from the Publishers Marketing Association for lead titles in the Popular Science and Environment category. He has been an editor of International UFO Reporter for more than two decades and has served on the board of the Center for UFO Studies for as long. He worked on the editorial staff of the popular paranormal monthly Fate between 1976 and 1989. Recently, he returned to the magazine as book-review editor. Besides his work in ufology and Forteana, he is a music critic and songwriter who has had songs placed with popular country and folk performers including Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Seldom Scene, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and others. He lives in southwestern Minnesota.




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