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Pelican +‎ -ist. Coined by Jerome Clark in reference to claims that Kenneth Arnold’s 1947 UFO sighting was pelicans.


pelicanist (plural pelicanists)

  1. (chiefly ufology, derogatory) Someone who attempts to explain away UFO reports by ascribing to it any explanation, however illogical.
    • 2000 November 22, “Blue Resonant Human” (username), “::: Should Saucers Spin? :::”, in alt.alien.research, Usenet:
      Kottmeyer and others who use the psychosocial hypothesis constantly produce evidence to support their ideas, whereas the ETH proponents can produce only cranky ideas about magnetic, anti-gravity or interdimensional saucers, accompanied by a constant whining about "sceptics" and "debunkers" (not to mention "armchair ufologists" and "pelicanists").
    • 2006 September 12, “LordOfThyNight” (username), “The Usual Purple Tinged Hyperbole About UFOs”, in The Paranormal & Ghost Society, Usenet:
      Meanwhile, those of us who’ve experienced UFOs in various ways are called mentally ill, intellectually challenged, spiritually needy, liars, drunks, drug users, attention getters, drama queens, and more. Those all are worse than being called a thug, skeptibunkie, or Pelicanist. (Pelicanist is a term coined by UFO researcher Jerome Clark.)
    • 2009 November 29, “Tom Booth” (username), “For Serena,”, in, Usenet:
      As opposed to... Skepticism of the pelicanist flavor perhaps ?