“Do you believe in UFOs?”


Los Angeles Air Raid
Image by QXZ via Flickr

Reading Leslie Keane’s important and potentially game-changing book “UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record” reminded me of the question “Do you believe in UFOs?”.

This question, asked of me whenever my interest in the subject comes up in conversation, is a frustrating one to answer, because it demands that you ask the questioner if what they are really asking  is “Do you believe that some unidentified flying objects are extraterrestrial craft?”. “UFO”, you see, has changed meaning in popular culture to refer to alien spaceship, not, inexplicable aerial phenomena.

It then gets more complicated still, because the theories explaining the origins of that inexplicable 10% of sightings of (apparently) intelligently-controlled structured craft not of human design have moved on since pop culture labelled them merely “extra-terrestrial”, that’s to say nuts and bolts spaceships from other planets.

Today’s ufology embraces, not just that, the  “ETH”, the Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis”, but now, thanks to investigators like Jacques Vallée, the “Inter-Dimensional Hypothesis” and “Crypto-Terrestrials” that blur the boundaries between traditional flying saucery and paranormal/spiritual phenomena.

So, if you ask me the “Do you believe…” question, expect a pedantic, long-winded answer.

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