What do we have to gain? Everything.
I think that is important but it's only the secondary reason. The primary reason no one is posting is because they (falsely) believe the topic isn't very important.
But I don't create threads often and when I do it's usually about something that is important but overlooked. And this topic is important.
I do belive there is something to be gained, not in the practical application of marine operational skills, but in the art of seamanship. Unfortunately this softer side of our craft is often overlooked and underappreciated.
I read constantly. I complete an average of 2 books a week, and untill I became an author myself, all of the books I read were nonfiction. After writing my book I was invited to join a group of bestselling authors (most of them were also nonfiction writers... all were of acclaim) and what suprised me most about these men of science and fact was how much fiction they read. It didn't take ore I was confronted by one author (a guy I've long admired) about the lack of fiction on my goodreads.com reading list.
I've always enjoyed reading fiction but I stopped because what ai enjoy the most is learning. I take a personal satisfaction in learning everything from how to tie a new knot to understanding how geopolitics influences the shipping industry. Call it strange (I admit it is) but I get a real thrill out of those lightbulb moments you get when reading serious books.
The confrontation started with me defending my case. Sure, fiction is enjoyable, but I find great enjoyment in nonfiction as well. The author I admired replied "Yes, so do I, which is why I write nonfiction, the other reason I write about true events is because I am not talnted enough to write fiction."
He said it boils done to the fact that both fiction and nonfiction teach you about the world around us.... both teach you the what and how of the matter BUT those are secondary in importance to the question why!
Take the el faro for example. There will undoubtedly be a book written about her sinking and it will undoubtedly be nonfiction. In reading it you will learn a great deal about the survivability of large vessels in adverse weather conditions yet the most important question won't get answered at all.
If you want answers to that question you need to turn to fiction and the best book to answer it is Typhoon by Joeseph Conrad. Now THAT book not only gives you a peak into the possible mindset of Davidson and gets us close to answering the "why" but also contains a large amount of how and what! It teaches you about catgonstowage and barometers and watchstanding techniques and a host of other userfull stuff.
And, because it's enjoyable, you also retain the information much better than had you spent that time reading the weather section of one of the most brilliant but boring books ever published: Bowditch.
What does all this have to do with UFO's? Well Probably the single most important skill in the Art of seamanship has always been (and continues to be despite the fact it's rarely ever practiced any more) the telling of good sea stories.
You see, no one will believe you if you tell the UFO story flat, with just the facts, but if you spin it into a yarn, if you embellished it nuggets of both your knowledge as a Master and practical information then the reader would be better off.
Another thing happens when telling good sea stories... there is no expectation for the story to be true - so it won't get dismissed as B.S. (It's "just" a story - BUT those of us who have sailed as master - those of us with decades of experience will know that every word of the story is true (and all the best fiction stories are true!) and we will learn how a brave (you have to be brave to tell that story and braver to tell it well!) experienced colleague handles the most unexpected circumstances. And that (plus honing our own yarns) is the art of seamanship at its finest.
But, as I said in the beginning, no one responded because they don't see the importance of UFO's or they didn't see it for what it was (an opening inviting you to tell a good sea story) or simply never thought much about it.
I only know one person who understands this point fully and that's my friend Dr. Colin Dewey at CalMaritime who I first met when we, to the dismay of most of the attendees, spent 30 minutes on the topic of maritime fiction during a discussin of the future of navigation at a Nautical Institue meeting. He gets it but, looking at the humanities budget at his school, I doubt that the rest of the administration fully understands.
And if you don't believe - that good fiction is more important than nonfiction - well just remember that this entire post is just a yarn.
P.S. One important caveat is that you need to read good maritime fiction - of which there is very little being published today - you will be fully entertained but will learn little except misinformation and bullsh!t reading bad maritime fiction (e.g. Clive Cussler)