(Responding to Ben Wolford: Seeing a UFO ruined Dale Spaur’s life)
Phillip Klass wrote that when we reach the point where we identify 97–98 percent of UFOs, we will be forced to write them off. I don’t buy that.
I don’t buy the aliens either, but I think we dismiss sightings too easily one way or another. Until science deems UFOs worthy of study without filters, we will never explain the phenomenon. We may find the explanation is embedded within our collective psyche. We may find a new principle of physics.
I’ve seen two UFO’s. The didn’t resemble each other in the least. The fact that I’ve seen two makes me less likely to accept the idea that I saw an alien spacecraft or even that they were the same phenomenon. This is born out by the fact that when I could follow strange objects I spotted long enough (often saucer shaped), a change in perspective revealed them to be planes.
A friend of mine saw a UFO, and I believe him when he says he wasn’t under the influence of mind-altering substances. His, however, was a glowing moth hovering in his yard. On the moth part he is most insistent. He once told me my life is spent waiting for my own UFO experience.
I never told him about the ones I saw because, quite frankly, they prove nothing to me. I saw two objects I couldn’t identify but the odds that I would experience something twice that few people do tells me only that I watch the skies more carefully than others.
What needs to happen is for scientists to create an agreed set of conditions for observation and evaluation, and trying to strip away prejudice and focus on what observers saw is the first step.
That being said, UFOs continue to be a delightful cultural gift, provoking both thought and entertainment. The X-Files returns to TV time and again. The big screen loves UFOs, with classics such as Close Encounters, off-beat films (like my personal favorite Liquid Sky), and hokey storylines such as Independence Day. I write stories in a series called I Was Abducted by Aliens in a Former Life. Before aliens the sightings inspired stories of angels and fairies. One of Jung’s most accessible books, Flying Saucers : A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, explores the role of UFOs and the unconscious.
What we lack is real science, or even a willingness to open series venues of investigation. Until then we’re stuck with junk science, crackpot theories, and governments torn between the desire to defend themselves and weaponize. Until then, any speculation about UFOs will be little more than faith-based conjecture.