Part Three, eh? Time to depart from the semi-sane ground of actual UFO data and spew forth shameless speculation about what might be going on. Well, folks: Crap Detectors at Full Power!! Shields to Maximum!! Ready or not.......
The first speculation that I heard about the "endless variety" phenomenon for close encounter craft design was the equally "endless variety" of extraterrestrial civilizations. That theory said: there are a lot of different folks out there, and it seems like a lot of them are visiting Earth. The concept is that a very large number of worlds all have their Henry Ford Model ZZZZZZZ UFO makers, and the changed craft designs identify those different worlds.
I don't like it. Maybe you do, but not me. Hundreds of thousands of different civilizations seem a bit much to me. And just one guy per civilization? I would think that we'd have rather large clusters of cases with identical craft, but I, at least, find no support for that in the case pile. Fell free to disagree of course. Not for me.
The second "explanation" for the design differences in all these cases [that I can remember anyway] is the "the craft are designed differently with different tasks in mind." Well, OK, sort of. Steamshovels should look different than Limousines than Tanks than Race-cars. But this just won't cut it. I'm even more sure of that than about hypothesis #1.
The reason is that I've done simple analyses of things like Car-Stop incidents, and the cars get stopped regardless of the shape, details, color, beam, or anything at all of the craft. The form of the craft seems to have nothing to do with it. The form in fact seems like an outer shell of misdirection surrounding what is actually going on. So, no good for me.
If not #1 or #2 then what? The lightbulb is only slightly above dim here, but we can at least stumble "Out Proctor". The following commentary will definitely be Out Proctor [i.e. so crazy as to be only marginally conceivable], but not "All-The-Way-Fool" [i.e. that I'm convinced of any part of it]. We're Out Proctor quite a bit on this blog, but All-The-Way-Fool is rarer, like when I could not avoid the apparent Fact of a Real Nessie, BUT a non-physical/biological one, and therefore was stuck with a folkloric paranormal spirit type theory.
So, what's Out Proctor on this topic??
The slightly agreed-upon hypothesis of at least a handful of UFOlogists is that the constant meddling with design is a ploy to break down our human search for patterns in the data. We have seen over and over again how difficult finding such patterns is. The intention of the altered designs would be therefore to maintain a general covertness in the phenomenon, while allowing all the "in-your-individual-face" overtness that any ET agenda might want. I believe that this hypothesis, though not able to be tested scientifically, could be seen as sufficiently dealing with the variation-of-structure enigma to be a "keeper", as far as a reasonable thought is concerned.
That theory might also be seen as amenable to any hypothesis of what the alien agenda might be, as long as some overall covertness is deemed important. So whether you want to be relatively non-interfering explorers, or relatively non-interfering meddler societies, or relatively non-interfering social, psychological, political game players of some kind, the craft variation to break patterns is an idea that can serve.
But is there another way of looking at it? Doubtless hundreds. But one way intrigues me until I get some real negatives about it.
I asked a friend about this element of UFOs the other day. He looked at the panels and said: What it reminds me of is Art. What he meant was an outbreak of INDIVIDUALITY in the production of the specific piece of technology that was that individual's personal device. Ernest Callenbach's ECOTOPIA had the idea that a person's private automobile would be craft-customed to the desires of the owner, by the owner. That concept leads, whether based on a real concept of ET civilization or not, to some interesting lines-of-thought.
We've tended to think about UFOs as the products of great systemic agendas of space powers, who have come great distances with some iron-willed purpose. Almost an Industrial-Military vision of those home worlds. But "Art?". THAT's Freedom. What if? Just what if? Could some "individuals" just simply be here?
The idea of an advanced civilization which honors the individuality of its citizens by granting and maintaining a liberal amount of freedom shouldn't be automatically rejected as unthinkable. Almost all Americans hope [sometimes against all data] that the USA and our tired old Earth will end up that way. So maybe. If so, what "flavors" of a free society might there be?
For discussion sake, let's take the pragmatics of money and technology out of the discussion as useless misdirections. Our imagined societies will have the means to travel --- maybe expensive but not prohibitive. What sort of civilizations might they be coming from?
One can imagine a society so liberal that it permits radical freedom. Such a world would be pouring forth all manner of "behaviors" into the Galaxy and upon our world. UFOs do a lot of things, but I don't see that. There are very strange incidents occupying the Whacked-Out dump baskets of our files which could be interpreted that way, but very few credible ones. That would be a UFOlogy like Ford Prefect's remark in The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy when he mentioned ET teenagers putting on weird hats and "strutting around in front of people making Beep-Beep noises". That is not the UFOlogy that we have.
But we could have visitors coming from freedom-oriented societies, whose actions were restricted by either technological limitations or by policy limitations.
Some would attribute the preponderance of designs based upon radial symmetry as an indication of a technological limitation or at least a technological advantage. That in fact seems a perfectly good idea to me. If one adds to that a policy limitation: one only gets a permit to come if one can indicate a useful role in whatever the over-all exploratory agenda is, or at least a range of proposed activities which does not contradict that over-all agenda, THEN the variations of behavior shrink quite nicely into what [I believe] the case experiences have to show us. This sort of vision would be VERY upbeat. The civilization would be a benign one towards its own citizens, honoring freedom. The persons coming would be serious and "mature" persons, possibly involved with research, and the home civilization would have a well-thought-out and mainly non-interfering program of interest.
I asked two UFO-savvy friends what they saw in the UFO data mountain which violated the general idea. Chupracabras was the first word out. OK, but I don't believe that that concept is real, and don't buy the alleged UFO connection anyway. So, right or wrong, that "problem" doesn't bother me.
Mass Abductions and the mistreatment of Abductees was the second word out. Well, there's a bunch of assumptions there able to be debated [see John Mack], but [and I'm not going to go into it] I do not find the MASS part of mass abductions at all convincing either. Betty and Barney, fine. Buff Ledge, Stanford,KY, fine. The gigantic avalanche, no.
Deliberate harming of humans by craft? Well, we did a whole series of CE2ps here, and there was VERY little evidence for that. Even the one deliberate action [paralysis] does not result in long-term effects. Neither wild freedom individuals harming humans nor individuals systematically harming humans under some mass agenda seem [to me] to be going on.
So, Out Proctor we've been. Whether all this craft-design variation is "just" the required psychological dissonance of a great rigid agenda, or the product of allowable individuality among responsible explorers, the two models seem simplistically OK with the data, at least to me.
Throw in a spicy dash of local Tricksterisms and you have a very interesting if unprovable world.
May the Advancement of Civilization never leave Art or the Artistic Soul behind.
Till the next time, folks, whenever that may be.