Perhaps it is a coincidence but on March 22, 2008, a renegade alignment of "thinkers" calling themselves the RRRgroup (although known by some critics as the "KKKgroup") wrote a blog (together?) entitled "Death(s) will clean the UFO palate."
They begin by stating,
"When ufology’s old-guard passes on – Dick Hall, Stan Friedman, Kevin Randall, John Schuessler, and even the 60ish Jerry Clark to name a few – taking hangers-on and sycophants with them (and you know who they are), the UFO palate will be cleansed."
The RRRGroup then mention others who "include Paul Kimball, Nick Redfern, Greg Bishop, and Mac Tonnies."
I found such statements outrageous, incredible, and unwise. I said, partially, in a comment directed to the RRRGroup:
Every "new" generation sees themselves as having the "real" solutions or the next best outside-the-box suggestions. Of course, it will only be something you will reflect upon when the next generation after you, the new group of "Young Ones" start nibbling at your aging heels....
It's always been that way, and it will continue so into the future.
But calmness is rare and, instead, dark days are afoot when people like these young bloggers feel it is cool to expound on the positive value in the forthcoming deaths of their elders, mentors, and older writers.
It is now with some concern I reflect that on April 2, 2008, a week and half after these words were written by the RRRGroup, Rupert Sheldrake, 65, of London, while speaking at the "10th International Conference on Science and Consciousness" at the La Fonda Hotel, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was attacked by a much younger man.
Sheldrake had just taken a break at 3:00 p.m., when Hirano Kazuki, 33, of Yokohama, Japan, stabbed Sheldrake in the leg.
The Santa Fe New Mexican described the wound in graphic detail: "Sheldrake had a 2- or 3-inch cut on the front of his left thigh, just above his kneecap, causing blood to spurt some 8 inches into the air as he lay on his back."
A statement of probable cause quoted witnesses to the stabbing as saying the man, Hirano Kazuki, had a knife in his hand, pushed people out of the way as he approached the stage where Rupert Sheldrake was speaking and tried to get onto the stage. According to the statement, Kazuki tripped as he tried to stab Sheldrake in the chest and stabbed him in the left thigh instead.
Sheldrake's keynote address was entitled "Memory and Morphic Resonance," and his workshop was "Fields of the Mind: Experimental and Research and Practical Intuition," according to a catalog on the conference.
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake studied biochemistry at the Clare College, Cambridge, UK, graduating with a double First Class honors degree. He was a Frank Knox fellow at Harvard, studying philosophy and history. He returned to Cambridge where he gained a Ph. D. in biochemistry and was a Fellow at Clare College. He was a Research Fellow of the Royal Society.
In recent years, Sheldrake has been an intellectual writer of some note on the topics of animal and plant development and behavior, telepathy, perception and metaphysics, which skeptics and critics have called "pseudoscience." Writers like Jerome Clark, Greg Bishop, and Nick Redfern, the same ones whom the RRRGroup mentioned, have noted Sheldrake's thoughts with favor. Sheldrake's material is marginal to ufology, although central to some Fortean thoughts, but overlaps, no doubt, have occurred.
Getting into the mind of the Japanese stabber seems to be key. But who knows why this individual attacked Sheldrake? Amazingly, people can read articles and watch visual presentations which stimulate their future actions, as I document throughout The Copycat Effect. When statements about how the "deaths" of certain researchers will result in "cleaning the palate" are added to the blogsphere, can anyone say who is reading them and what impact they might have?
What is known about Hirano is that he had been attending the "10th International Conference on Science and Consciousness." Other attendees said he had been acting oddly. They said he confronted Sheldrake earlier in the week, telling Sheldrake that he heard voices and saw demons. Another featured speaker at the conference told the man he was 'full of negative energy' and counseled him to 'calm down,' reported Evan Mecham, an attendee from Broomfield, Colorado.
Hirano is being held on a $200,000 bail.
Sheldrake is expected to fully recover, physically.