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Unmarried white men most likely to believe in UFOs

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
I found the following article interesting. (Original here: http://news.discovery.com/human/paranormal-beliefs-superstition.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1)

It's that time of year again. Ghosts, goblins and other spooky characters come out from the shadows and into our everyday lives.

For most people, the thrill lasts for a few weeks each October. But for true believers, the paranormal is an everyday fact, not just a holiday joke.

To understand what drives some people to truly believe, two sociologists visited psychic fairs, spent nights in haunted houses, trekked with Bigfoot hunters, sat in on support groups for people who had been abducted by aliens, and conducted two nationwide surveys.

Contrary to common stereotypes, the research revealed no single profile of a person who accepts the paranormal. Believers ranged from free-spirited types with low incomes and little education to high-powered businessmen. Some were drifters; others were brain surgeons.

Why people believed also varied, the researchers report in a new book, called "Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture."

For some, the paranormal served as just another way of explaining the world. For others, extraordinary phenomena offered opportunities to chase mysteries, experience thrills and even achieve celebrity status, if they could actually find proof.

"It's almost like an adult way to get that kidlike need for adventure and exploration," said co-author Christopher Bader, of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. "Other people are sitting at home and renting videos, but you're sitting in a haunted house that is infested with demons."

"These guys who are hunting Bigfoot are out chasing a monster," he added. "I could see the real appeal in going out for weekend and never knowing what you might find."

There is no hard data on how common it is to believe in the paranormal, which Bader and co-author Carson Mencken define as beliefs or experiences that are not fully accepted by science or religion.

But trends in television programming offer a sense that there is a widespread interest in mystical phenomena that is becoming more common. In the 1970s and 80s, Bader said, there were maybe one or two paranormal-themed shows in the TV line-up. Today, there are dozens, including programs about ghost hunters, psychic kids, haunted homes and even possessed pets.

Plenty of scientists have put energy into debunking paranormal claims. Bader and Mencken wanted to look instead at what drives people to believe.

They started with two nationwide surveys that interviewed a total of more than 3,000 Americans about their beliefs, experiences and interests.

When the scientists broke down the results, they found that people who are moderately religious are most likely to believe in the paranormal. This could be because they are open enough to believe in the unknown, but not so rigid in their religious beliefs to reject mysterious experiences altogether.

The numbers also showed that different types of paranormal entities appeal to different demographics. Women, for instance, are most likely to believe they live in haunted houses. College graduates are most likely to have out-of-body experiences. Unmarried white men are most likely to believe in UFOs.

Bigfoot hunters were perhaps the most surprising group, Bader said. They defied all stereotypes of paranormal pursuers who wear flowing clothes and commune with spirits.

Instead, they were very serious, extremely conventional and often highly professional. In fact, their beliefs contradicted their lifestyles so much that many of them were plagued by anxiety, which drove them even further to stick to their beliefs.

"Their friends and family consider them kooky," Bader said. "Everyone is saying they're nuts. So, they have a real aggressive style and seriousness of purpose. They want to prove everyone wrong."

For one hunter, the search began one day when he was out in the woods and, he swears, he saw Bigfoot cross his path.

"Imagine the stress that would put on your life," Bader said. "You consider yourself a normal, smart guy, and you think you just saw a giant monkey walk in front of you. Now, you have to fit that into your life."

"These are not people trying to explain a crazy world," he added. "They are trying to prove to themselves that they aren't crazy."

Regardless of the person or the phenomenon, paranormal experiences are purely quirks of the human brain, said Michael Shermer, executive director of the Skeptics Society, an educational organization, and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine.

Whether it's hearing creaks in an old house or watching dots move randomly on a computer screen, he said, people tend to look for patterns and meanings in everything.

"The default condition in brain is that all patterns are real," Shermer said. "It's just what we do."
post #2 of 47

I am an unmarried white guy who believes that Uncle Erik may be an agent of a secret government agency spreading disinformation about UFO's and the paranormal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(gonna be keep'n an eye on him................)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Budgie - 10/30/10 at 1:55pm
post #3 of 47

Haha budgie

 

 

> "These are not people trying to explain a crazy world," he added. "They are trying to prove to themselves that they aren't crazy."

 

Well, maybe they just are? biggrin.gif

 

I wonder how long it will take until someone mentions cables. Oops.


Edited by xnor - 10/31/10 at 6:19pm
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

"Their friends and family consider them kooky," Bader said. "Everyone is saying they're nuts. So, they have a real aggressive style and seriousness of purpose. They want to prove everyone wrong."

"These are not people trying to explain a crazy world," he added. "They are trying to prove to themselves that they aren't crazy."
 


Remind you of any particular group of people? 

 

I'll give you a hint... they really like music...

 

...and cables...

post #5 of 47

Ah, Michael Shermer.  Haven't read him since college.  Should dust off some old books.  Along w/ some Michio Kaku.  

post #6 of 47

THere's plenty of evidence that UFOs exist. The authorities at this airport in China closed the airport down because of a "UFO". It's what's responsible for UFOs that's up for debate. http://abcnews.go.com/International/video/ufo-over-chinese-airport-prompts-probe-11172511

post #7 of 47

When discussing beliefs, I always keep in mind why the beliefs are held and the effects. Many religions serve the purpose of enforcing good moral conduct, but that is not to say things don't sometimes go sour. Like that Leonard Cohen song Jazz Police, "Jesus taken serious by the many, Jesus taken joyous by a few". Likewise, belief in UFO's is not inherently bad, a minority of believers have a pragmatic and healthy view of UFO's, others are neurotic about it. I think this applies also to cables. It takes some mental effort and physical experimentation to get over the fear that you are being abducted by aliens, and it takes some mental effort and physical experimentation to stop thinking super expensive cables are automatically better than, say, cheap but good DIY cables.

 

Besides believers, there are the critics. I am always amused when certain kinds of critics dismiss UFO's when I know they haven't looked at the sky for years, they spend most of their lives indoors and in cars. But of course there are critics who I consider to be rational, but I think they are as rare as rational believers.

post #8 of 47

Funny thread.

 

 

 

post #9 of 47

The aliens seem obsessed with the United States of America.

 

They are continuously abducting US people and flying their spaceships around them.

 

Those of us in the rest of the world are feeling rather left out.

 

Why aren't we interesting enough to be abducted and experimented on?

 

Why don't the aliens want to fly their spaceships through our skies?

 

It is true that occasionally the aliens do seem to pay us a visit but it is very infrequent compared to the huge amount of time they spend studying the USA.

post #10 of 47

I always found one aspect of alien abduction stories curious and troubling.  Apparently, I am not alone:

 

post #11 of 47

I am single and I think all this UFO talk is crazy. I don't believe any of it.

 

I am not white though.

post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

The aliens seem obsessed with the United States of America.

 

They are continuously abducting US people and flying their spaceships around them.

 

Those of us in the rest of the world are feeling rather left out.

 

Why aren't we interesting enough to be abducted and experimented on?

 

Why don't the aliens want to fly their spaceships through our skies?

 

It is true that occasionally the aliens do seem to pay us a visit but it is very infrequent compared to the huge amount of time they spend studying the USA.


I don't know where you came up w/ that notion.  There are plenty of goofballs all over the world who have reported sightings.  You should read some of the remarks of Russia's former Defense minister.  Though the plethora of US sightings are related to the US Air and Space program which is the largest and most secretive in the world coupled w/ a population that just loves to seek attention and blab about everything.  The US just pervades all forms of media for obvious reasons.  I venture to say if we lived in a country where saying the wrong thing would get you killed and put your organs up for sale sightings would diminish dramatically.  

post #13 of 47

Could it be that unmarried men in general have a more open view point of the Universe and Existence vs. a married man who is more likely to have a shared view point of his mate?

 

After all most women in general do not believe in UFO and Alien beings.

 

 

There are many, many other factors at play.

 

In the mean time chew on this.

 

This is a image of the Bimini structures found underwater around the Bahama islands.  At the time this structure was above water only cavemen walked the Earth and had no abilities to build anything nearly as structured as this.  People who are too fearful to face a reality outside of their limited thinking quickly say, then it must be a natural formation.

 

bim_road1.jpg&t=1

The above is nearly 300ft long.

 

 

underwater1.jpg

 

Natural structure or not?

 

post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynobot View Post

Could it be that unmarried men in general have a more open view point of the Universe and Existence vs. a married man who is more likely to have a shared view point of his mate?

 

After all most women in general do not believe in UFO and Alien beings.

 

 

There are many, many other factors at play.

 

In the mean time chew on this.

 

This is a image of the Bimini structures found underwater around the Bahama islands.  At the time this structure was above water only cavemen walked the Earth and had no abilities to build anything nearly as structured as this.  People who are too fearful to face a reality outside of their limited thinking quickly say, then it must be a natural formation.

 

bim_road1.jpg&t=1

The above is nearly 300ft long.

 

 

underwater1.jpg

 

Natural structure or not?

 


I saw the program on Bimini.  That's just natural geologic cleavage due to the molecular structure of the rock.  There is no other evidence of structures or facilities suited for human or bi-pedal use.  It is pretty cool though.  I forget the name of the rock but in 7th grade Geology you could tap this rock and it would cleave at 90 degrees.


Edited by Anaxilus - 11/29/10 at 10:18am
post #15 of 47

I think the whole single white male UFO thing is because UFO meetings are a good place to pickup gullible chicks........................very gullible chicks. biggrin.gif

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