Monday, November 19, 2007

Linda Moulton Howe and the Zorgy "Hall of Shame"

(Added November 21st: Comments now closed, thank you.)

I can't help but think, as cliché as this will sound, that there’s a bit of sexism involved in including Linda Moulton Howe in Paul Kimball’s Zorgy Award category: 2008 Hall of Shame.

Kimball asks for nominations for various categories; people send in their choices, and the voting begins. Here are the candidates for the Hall of Shame category:
Alfred Webre
Frank Scully
Richard Doty
Frank Scully
Philip Corso
Linda Moulton Howe
Silas Newton
William Moore
Ray Santilli
Frank Kaufmann
Gerald Anderson
Michael Horn
George Van Tassel
George Adamski
Ed Walters
Dr. Seth Shostak
Jaime Maussan
Kal K. Korff
William Cooper
Bob Lazar

The context -- a Hall of Shame -- implies something heinous, dishonest, etc. Being gullible, which I acknowledge Linda Howe often is, hardly qualifies for this category.

Compare her name with the list of others: really? Do you mean to tell me that, when compared with the others in the long list of candidates, Linda Moulton Howe is (so far) coming in second, with Bob Lazar in first place?

Ray Santilli, admitted hoaxer. Richard Doty, Silas Newton,Kal Korff, all deserve to be in that category. William Moore and Richard Doty, who admitted to playing with Paul Bennewitz’s sanity, and Linda Moulton Howe, in the same category?! Give me a break.

The Contactees, Adamski, Van Tassell, do not belong either. It is far too simplistic to dismiss them as kooks or hucksters, doing so does UFO research a real disservice. But that argument is for another time. (See Vintage UFO for a bit more on this.)

Is it because Howe charges for access to her Earth Files site? On that I’m fairly neutral although I do have problems with researchers holding evidence and data hostage for a fee. (On the other hand, that’s what an author does in a sense.) True, John Greenwald, Peter Davenport, etc. don’t charge fees; they ask for donations but make available their research regardless. I haven’t paid to access the Earth Files site, and I doubt I will. Whatever your opinions on this may be, the question remains one of context; is this really cause to induct her into the hall of Shame?

I hesitated in writing this, because I can predict all too well the kind of knee jerk responses of some: that this is whiny chick stuff, defend ones own gender, expecting special treatment, and all the rest. To that I say: feh!

Howe has won several awards for her work, including three Emmy awards and one nomination, a Station Peabody award, and awarded the Encyclopedia Britannica Award for Journalistic Excellence. She’s made several documentaries. And of course, her work concerning cattle mutilations helped set the stage for further research by others.

This isn’t about my agreement with Howe on things, or believing that she, or any woman, is immune to criticism. So don’t even go there.

The point is the context. If one believes Howe is somehow more deserving of an award for being “shameful,” than a Richard Doty or a William Moore, that says more about them and UFOlogy than it does Howe.

23 comments:

Lesley said...

Paul Kimball alone decides on hall of shame and fame, they are not decided by nomination like the other categories.

Actually I don't understand why either of the front runners in the shame category are ahead of the likes of KKK, Doty, Ray Santilli and others. I have to say that it makes no sense to me. Whether Lazar lied about his background or not those ufos were flying around area 51 when he said they would be. So he knew something, somehow. Being gullible I would guess is not the reason LMH is there. There seems to be lots of people within ufology that just don't like her and I think it is for personal reasons more so than her research or anything she has said or done regarding ufology. Just MO.

R. Lee said...

Hi Lesley,

Whether it's sexism, or merely not liking her, what bothers me is the glibness of throwing people into such a category.

Having a lot of those people, including Howe, in with the same bunch as Doty and Moore, who were literally criminal in their actions, is unethical, at best.

R. Lee said...

Lesley,
Oh, and thanks for the clarification! I just assumed that category was run as the others . . .

Lesley said...

Well, I am sure Paul probably would tell us dozens of reasons that he thinks she should be included in that category. What really gets me is that people are voting for her instead of the real crooks that you mentioned. I think it shows that they are voting based on personal issues and not by who really deserves to be a hall of shamer. I guess that is to be expected which would go back to your point about who should be included on that list.

richelle said...

The other day she was actually "winning." And I looked at one of the past years, and she came in like 2nd for best ufologist. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the whole recent drones fiasco--I have to admit her driving the thing into the ground like it is king-ufo-shit-smoking-gun was pretty annoying, and listening to her several times on coast to coast I actually wondered if this would be her undoing. But--hall of shame?

R. Lee said...

I think Howe was too gullible with the drone thing as well; as she's been with other things. However, the point is the context. I don't care if others like her or don't, or what they think of her research -- my point is, that she's hardly of the same ilk as Santilli, etc. and certainly no where near Moore or Doty. Good god, what is wrong with people?

Just shows the lengths some will go to in this field to air their petty dislikes of another.

graylien said...

Seth Shostak shouldn't be in there either, because he's not a Ufologist. Or a fraud.

Alfred Lehmberg said...

I agree. LMH has no business on this list.

She's a fine woman who is on the cutting edge of all the weirdest crap and she's been made a target because of her sincerity.

Her only fault is that she may have more courage than discretion.

I've always seen her as a female "me"... forgetting I'm without her education, experience, and intelligence.

Sail on Ms. Howe!

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dmduncan said...

I disagree with you about Adamski. He deserves to be on the list. HIGH on the list. If there was a position higher than #1, he would deserve to be in that position on the list.

www.keyhoereport.com/

R. Lee said...

dmduncan,

I disagree; there's more than mere silliness or hoaxing/fraud going on with the Contactees, including Adamski.

Paul Kimball said...

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. As are all the people who voted and will vote. But I think it's a bit much to say that my opinion that LMH belongs in a Hall of Shame is somehow "unethical" - your words, not mine.

Howe belongs on the list, in my mind, for the simple reason that she is about as gullible as they come. At some point, when you get so many things wrong, and charge money for it, you should be ashamed.

But that's just one opinion, and it has nothing to do with LMH being a woman. She shouldn't be singled out for that, obviously - it's irrelevant. Similarly, however, she shouldn't be given some kind of free pass for it.

Paul Kimball

Loren Coleman said...

The rumors and realities of the charges that there is a George Adamski child molestion history qualify him for any such list, of couse, if true. But the guy's dead, although his victims may live on.

However, I think we all look at the worth of such lists in our own way. For example, I refused to post notice of another new poll that is overwhelming in its wall-to-wall vile against everyone. It was a completely "pick out your enemies" poll.

The Zorgy list seems to deal more with hall of shame behavior in contemporary times for me, so I voted for the one person on the list whom I thought had done the most damage to cryptozoology. That wasn't LMH.

For others' voting choices, I think bitter experiences come out of past interactions, and to each their own, as they feel it.

In general, I have more fun voting on polls about the strengths and to positive side of people. But that's just me.

Unfortunately, I think the outcome of this whole discussion here will be more negative attention to LMH and more votes for her in this section of the Zorgy's.

Joseph Capp said...

Dear Lee,
I believe Paul Kimball himself should be in the Hall of shame. His attack against the O'Hare witnesses even before there was an investigation was shameful behavior. He indicated in a remark that Walter Haut wanted money from him for an interview (an off handed remark Haut made to Kimball who was probably boring Haut to death).

He is ready in a minute to lump everyone who is in the UFO field into one basket if they make a mistake. This is also what has been done in the News Media by the neo cons. You make a mistake and you are reduced to the lowest caliber person. For me making a mistake is not the same as deliberately lying or misleading to make money. Howell has done tremendous work. She has done more research in one year then Kimball has done in his lifetime. She has been mislead but every UFO researcher has been mislead including Stanton F. The real shame in all this is that Kimball seems unable or unwilling to make that distinction. So I think he is the one misleading. I really believe he does is not in any way want to help the UFO field. He just wants to poke holes in it.
Joseph Capp
UFO Media Matters
Non-Commercial Blog

R. Lee said...

P. Kimball,
I have nothing against the Zorgy's -- anyway, how could I? It was a blast to have been nominated and come in third place last year.

As I said in the OP, my issue is with the inclusion of people, such as LMH, in with the same bunch as Doty, Moore, etc. Let's see, we have professional mind fuckers, literally, and a gullible, shameless self promoter. (not that there's anything wrong with that last part.) In that context, as I stressed, it seems bizarre that LMH is coming in second (when last checked) over people like Doty and so on.

Yes, it is unethical, IMO. Simple as that. I just find it astounding others who've voted for her agree that she's worse than Moore, Doty or a few others in that same category. And THAT is the point. The only point.

But, that's why we have blogs. We all have opinions, that's quite clear. :)

R. Lee said...

Loren,

If my little post here causes people to vote for LMH in this context, that says quite a bit about them; it simply shows, sadly, how petty people are.

R. Lee said...

Loren,

If my little post here causes people to vote for LMH in this context, that says quite a bit about them; it simply shows, sadly, how petty people are.

nolocontendere said...

I'll bet this is why so many people picked Linda in that category, and I myself have been guilty of it in the past - they didn't actually see the "shame" and the votes cast were actually supposed to be a positive choice.
Why she was put in that category is beyond me.

AB5SY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Capp said...

Dear Ab5sy,
I would like to know specifically who's work Linda Howe stole. Who's work did she put her name on. This is a terrible accusation of plagiarism. Put your money where you mouth is.
If it is true I certainly will put it on my Blog. So AGRSY it up to you: "Where is the Beef"
Joe Capp
UFO Media Matters
Non-Commercial Blog

Paul Kimball said...

and a gullible, shameless self promoter

That's my opinion of Howe, to the proverbial "T". It's an opinion shared by more than a few researchers, so I'm not alone.

Having said that, I voted for Adamski.

PK

Paul Kimball said...

Or, in the words of Wendy Conners in 2003 at UFO Updates:

"People on this List actually continue to take Linda Moulton-
Howe's research seriously?

Unbelievable.

She aligned herself with Art Bell and that, in itself, makes her
research suspect.

Look. She did a good job once with the Mute situation. It's been
downhill for her on the slide of sensationalism and yellow
journalism. That happens to one-hit wonders.

Get the stars out of your eyes. Wake up!"

Joseph Capp said...

Dear Paul,
I will wake up when you give me specifics on what she did. I read the MUFON jounals on some of the bad research she conducted and I have to say Linda acutually went to the places she said she went. She interviewed the people she said she did and was led astray by some military types, gullible yes, shameful no not at all.
I hope I am around when you make your mistakes I promise you I won't call you names though, but to be honest , I will laugh a little to myself.
JC
UFO Media Matters

Paul Kimball said...

Joseph:

I make mistakes all the time. The difference between Howe and I is that I can admit them, learn from them, and usually avoid making them again.

As the old saying goes, "fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice, shame on me".

LMH is well past twice.

Paul