Wading Into Ufology like an INTJ
Thursday April 25, 2019
So, we INTJs can be pretty open, as a personality type, to fringe areas of human concern like UFOs and Ufology. See: Openness to experience for one example of how this trait is measured.
Personally it’s unthinkable to imagine growing up as an INTJ kid without a talent for finding every library’s UFO book section, and feeling that intuitive connection to the question of “what kind of mysterious stuff is out there”. Metaphorically it rises up through the INTJ consciousness as an attractive and chaotic spectre.
And I think chaotic is an important word to consider. To explore Ufology is to open yourself up to chaos, in that you immediately begin to upset traditional mental paradigms.
“Sometimes,” my coach told me, “you have to stir up a little chaos, see what happens.” And we’re good at that. INTJs stand out in their level of comfort with the idea of stirring up the current thought process or accepted body of theory with something new, sensational, and mostly unknown. It makes others feel uncomfortable? Sorry, life is like that; humanity is like that. Get used to it. It’s part of growth.
INTJs even take that further and predict that chaos is in our future, and furthermore we tend to say, “it’s OK, we can plan for it and harness it,” and this can really freak other people out. Because how can you really know that?
Moving one letter away in personality type, and yet still managing to shift over to a different psychological world in many ways, our friends the ISTJs are a great example of a type that does not particularly enjoy chaos and future-intuition or prospective intuition. Individuals differ, but as a group, definitely.
You know who’s a great fictional ISTJ? Agent Scully. She’s a fantastic counterpart to Agent Mulder’s shattered-ideals ENFP pursuit-of-truth persona.
In The X-Files, Agent Scully is Mulder’s interface to the government. She’s assigned to him, and she reports about him.
This makes sense because the government and especially the military, judiciary, and law-enforcement aspects of government are famously compatible with ISTJ psychology. You can even say that most of these groups generally have an ISTJ psychology, no matter which individuals of whatever personality types work within them.
So, circling back to the non-fiction world: You know who I think might be a great real-life military ISTJ, who’s also one degree away from Ufology?
In the BBC World Service podcast, Witness History episode titled UFO Sightings: The Rendlesham Forest Incident (story starts about 35 seconds in), you can hear the account of one Lt. Colonel Charles Halt, USAF.
Colonel Halt went to investigate a possible UFO. He brought along a geiger counter and a tape recorder. He took measurements and made recordings. Nice work!
As I’m listening to this, I’m excited. He took these measurements—great! That’s helpful. “It must be under some type of intelligent control…” very interesting idea…
And what’s the Colonel’s take on the whole thing? I mean, as a first-person observer?
Guys, let me just say that his take on this is so ISTJ.
A direct quote:
“There’s no doubt it was something beyond anything we know or understand. […] I have concerns, but I don’t think we can do anything about it. I think this is beyond us.”
“So: Quit worrying about it.”
Sorry Colonel, WHAT did you just say? Did you just talk about increased radiation levels, a craft of unknown origin, a floating red eyeball-like object?
And then did you tell us to quit worrying about it?”
A theory, but maybe not a crackpot one: The Fear of Chaos Model
First: Let me just be clear that I’m not worried one bit, Colonel. Why worry in the face of such potentially valuable information?!
Second: This is where I’ll announce my UFO cover-up theory.
I don’t think there’s a grand conspiracy to cover up UFOs. I think it’s far, far more likely that world militaries and governments cover up UFO-related information out of this exact psychology, this “there’s nothing we can do, it’s beyond us” idea.
“Sure, it’s something radical, but it seems so beyond us, and really guys—what can be done?” Shrug.
The coverup happens because there’s no value proposition to the subjects involved. There’s no intuitive “prospecting” at work on their end, just a whole lot of introversion (in the “new and strange stuff drains your energy levels” sense of Jungian introversion) and fear of chaos.
See? That’s also a coverup. Especially where INTJs, and NT types in general are concerned. Because we can do something with that information. But at the same time, we can’t guarantee that it won’t upset the SJ / Stabilizer organization and cause any kind of chaos.
Well: For these and other reasons, we INTJs and NTs in general don’t typically run the military or match well its organizational psychology. So as a result there’s this natural, psychological information dam regarding the prospective / intuitive field of UFO research, and I think that’s the coverup, if there is one.
It’s simple to explain, it’s based in organizational and individual psychology, and I believe far more effective a thought-model than the “behind-the-scenes conspiracy” stuff.
To clarify regarding ISTJs
“Marc, so you’re saying that ISTJs are behind a world UFO coverup?” Sweet Jesus No. I’m saying that a specific psychology can cause a coverup of certain information, no matter the type of the individuals who are covering things up, or just preventing exploration-motivation from spreading within an organization.
I have lots of ISTJ friends, and I’d hate for them to be painted with a “wow you guys lack imagination” brush or worse. The fact is, they’re all different. Really what I’m aiming at here is group and organization psychology. I’ve witnessed it first hand; I’ve been a part of it. Keep your head down, stay on track, don’t deviate, and deliver what everyone expects you to deliver—stability. Some things we just leave untouched.
INTJs and INTJ groups of course build their own “information dams” too (though not generally with topics like science fact/fiction).
Phew. That was pretty fun to write. I have other theories on this stuff but I’ll bet you guys would hate to hear them. Really out-there stuff…
By the way, the US Navy just announced new rules for reporting UFOs. Let’s see how things unfold from here.
BTW, about passion and capacity →
Where is humankind headed? The coiling accountability crisis →
How can I work less like an ESFP? And how can I get out more? →
A common sequence of interest-energy for me →
What NOT to do when keeping a journal →