From the descriptions in the letter show that he does, to an extent, make use of the scientific method in his research, except that he does not have a set hypothesis. A hypothesis must be a prediction; you cannot say that I predict I will find the truth, since it would defeat the purpose of having an hypothesis (because you are looking for the truth in a particular topic).
Its research cannot be a Science by itself, though it can be classified under the Social Sciences. Take quantum mechanics for example. It is vastly different from many elements of conventional Physics, but it is still classified under Physics because it explains the particle/wave like behaviour of matter. Likewise Umbrellaology, as described by the letter, studies the colour of umbrellas and other things related to umbrella and the local population, and so it can be classified under Social Sciences. The difference between Umbrellaology and Quantum Mechanics is that the study of umbrellaology is about umbrellas in relation to people, making it a Social Science, whereas Quantum Mechanics is a study that deals entirely with the natural sciences, irregardless of human interaction.
Therefore, umbrellaology can be classified under a science, but a whole new category of science as a whole cannot be made for it.
Also, I would like to expand on my comments about “Truth”. I am not satisfied with what one source tells me, so I like to check with different sources to confirm the claims of the first. If I find conflicting opinions, then I will analyse all the sources, and make a judgement and decide which argument/claim seems more logical. Along the way, I question and challenge the claims made by each source; I pay no attention to the number of people who have accepted the claim, true or not, as it is a distraction to proper reasoning. To give an example, I am still skeptical of the mass numbers/atomic masses of the elements on the periodic table, since the relative atomic mass is said to be the weighted average of the element on earth relative to 1/12 of a carbon-12 isotope. What happens if we go to a second earthlike planet and find out the weighted average of say oxygen is 15 or 17? (Most would be shocked to hear that I would even bother questioning the periodic table).
I am shocked to hear that some would prefer to listen to people of authority and take their words to be the truth. Although it is not reality, I probably would not accept something that is surreal. But then again, that’s just me – I question and challenge every claim/statement. Though some might think that this is a method of trying to destroy every idea, its not really about that. As much as I ask Why, I also ask Why Not?
“Ignorance is bliss” is a trite dictum, I insist on changing it to “Clarity and understanding is bliss”.