Feb 28 2011
UFOMystic Exclusive Interview With Greg Taylor
Darklore is an anthology of Forteana, hidden history, the paranormal and esoteric science. Bringing together some of the top researchers and writers on topics from outside of mainstream science and history. Among the contributors to the journal have been UFOMystic bloggers Nick Redfern and Regan Lee, as well as the late Mac Tonnies. What follows is an interview with the editor of Darklore as well as the author of The Daily Grail blog, Greg Taylor.
Richard Thomas: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Greg. How did you first become interested in the UFO phenomenon and the paranormal in general?
Greg Taylor: Hi Richard, thanks for having me. I’ve had a lifelong interest in science and history, and for some reason a particular leaning towards the ‘outer edges’ of both…topics at the fringe of science and history fascinate me. I guess that’s the story with most Forteans though, there just seems to be something that burns within to seek out the strange and anomalous.
In my younger years I was actually very skeptical of the UFO genre, my logical side just couldn’t grok the ‘high strangeness’ of many cases. Over the years though I’ve actually become more interested in those high strangeness cases than the more prosaic, “lights in the sky” sightings. It probably wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I really looked further into the literature and history of the subject. Although I retain a fairly healthy dose of skepticism about the topic, which I think is a necessary tool when exploring UFO literature and sightings reports.
Richard Thomas: What is your current view on the UFO subject, are you a “nuts and bolts” theorist or do you think something more paranormal might be going on? And what is your opening on UFO Disclosure?
Greg Taylor: I guess you could say that these days I actually favour a mingling of the two, along the lines of Clarke’s Third Law that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. If there are alien races out there visiting us (and that’s still a big ‘if’ in my book), then my thinking would be that they would likely be thousands to millions of years in advance of us technology-wise. I don’t think we can even comprehend what that technology would be like, but perhaps some UFO/contact cases give us a possible manifestation that we can learn something from. If that’s the case, my ‘wild guess’ would be that it involves manipulation of consciousness in some manner (as I’m not afraid to speculate that consciousness could be an intrinsic and fundamental quality of the cosmos).
But I also think that investigation of “UFO sightings” shouldn’t be framed by any particular theory…I think there’s actually a wide range of disparate events that get mistakenly lumped into the one ‘UFO genre’, when they cover everything from disinformation from intelligence agencies and mistaken identification by witnesses, to secret government craft, anomalous weather/earth phenomena, and altered states of consciousness.
I don’t think there’s going to be any sort of Disclosure event. I think it’s become quite clear that most levels of government are as perplexed as the general public by the phenomenon, and if there is a secret group that knows far more about it then there seems to be no reason why they should suddenly start letting the public in on it.
Richard Thomas: How did The Daily Grail first come about and why did you pick that name for your website?
Greg Taylor: The Daily Grail came about in 1998 when I got tired of visiting dozens of websites to find out the latest news on topics at the ‘edge’ of science and history. I thought to myself that someone should create a website that would cover all of that news…then decided I may as well give it a shot myself.
The name came, as many ideas do, out of nowhere…it just popped into my head and fit well (at the time I was reading and writing a lot about historical mysteries, including the ‘Priory of Sion’ – which would later become a household name through Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code – and so the ‘Grail’ was – and remains I think – a natural fit).
Richard Thomas: I noticed that you linked to Paul Kimball’s UFO documentary Best Evidence on The Daily Grail, in your view what are the top ten best UFO cases? And do you agree with Paul’s decision not to include the Roswell crash?
Greg Taylor: I wouldn’t consider myself qualified enough in the UFO genre to put forward a top ten of best cases that any reader could rely on. Certainly, I think Paul’s documentary covers a large number of the best cases based on evidence and reliability of witness testimony, and Leslie Kean’s recent bestseller also gives some insight into why sightings like the Iranian case have stood the test of time thus far. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of some of the cases that have a high-profile with the general public, such as Roswell (not a fan meaning in terms of it being something out-of-this-world; I still think the actual history and sociology of the case is fascinating). So I certainly agree with Paul (and his survey group) in that case. It’s also interesting – and educational – to note that even some of the more perplexing cases may yet turn out to have a prosaic explanation that just hasn’t been considered as of yet…so we should be careful to hold up any case as ‘proof’ that UFOs are alien technology or paranormal events.
In short, I consider the UFO phenomenon an unsolved mystery. And as I said earlier, that mystery consists of various, sometimes unrelated phenomena. I think “true believers” go too far in proselytising on behalf of ET visitation, and I also think that many self-described “skeptics” (who are actually just another form of “true believer”) do a disservice to science and the growth of human knowledge by dismissing many of these cases and ridiculing those who study them.
Richard Thomas: You’re also the editor of the excellent Darklore journal, in volume II the now sadly late Mac Tonnies contributed an article called “The Ancients Are Watching”, what are you’re thoughts on the alternative explanation for UFOs involving an ancient machine intelligence Mac speculated about in that article?
Greg Taylor: I’m open to all intelligent speculation, that’s part of the fun of being a Fortean – we’re happy to roam around embracing some of the stranger ideas out there, without necessarily believing them. And Mac’s article, as with much of his output before his untimely and tragic passing, is wonderful Fortean speculation.
On that idea though, it’s interesting to note that many scientists have seriously thought about the possibility. We’ve seen how far our technology has come in the last 150 years. What would the technology of an alien civilisation 1 million years ahead of us be like? As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think we can even conceive of that sort of thing…for example, 100 years ago there was no way of framing the concept that we could actually be living in a simulation, but in the present day the growth of computers and virtual reality has led to many books and movies (e.g. ‘The Matrix’) making the idea a valid and ubiquitous speculation.
Richard Thomas: Who do you think have been some of the your best contributors to Darklore so far, and what do you look for when considering an article to include in the journal?
Greg Taylor: I certainly can’t single out any contributors, they bring a wide variety of styles and discussion topics to Darklore – from fun historical explorations of the Contactee movement in Adam Gorightly’s “Sex, Drugs and UFOs”, to Geoff Falla’s Fortean investigation of earthquake lights and in the most recent issue, Martin Shough’s authoritative review of the ‘Flying Saucer’ case that started it all, the Kenneth Arnold sighting.
In considering articles, it mainly comes down to the simple question, “would I like to read this”? And for me, I like intelligent articles written by true Forteans – that is, people that love these topics at the edge of science and history, but also retain plenty of skepticism and don’t take themselves or the topic too seriously.
Richard Thomas: Thanks Greg, anything else you would like to mention and how can readers contact you to find out more about The Daily Grail and Darklore?
Greg Taylor: Thanks Richard, I can be reached through the contact form at The Daily Grail, though please understand I get a lot of email and so can’t always respond to minor queries.
As a final word I’d just like to encourage readers to support the good writers and investigators out there in Fortean fields. So much of the media and internet coverage of these topics is dominated by people that don’t deserve to have their opinions heard (or money lining their pocket). That was one of the rationales behind Darklore: to try and help publicise the work of ‘the good guys’ out there, and also to hopefully give them a bit of compensation for their efforts by paying a decent royalty from book sales.
And try to avoid being a believer, of either persuasion (UFO ‘believer’ or ’skeptic’). The truth lies somewhere in between those poles (okay, “the truth is out there” is still a better slogan I guess).
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