Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ten Things You Might Not Know About UFOs

Medieval rendering of UFO
Over the past 60 years an entire mythology has built up around the subject of UFOs in America.

A mythology is a cycle of important, interconnecting stories that we come to believe or at least value because they tell us something important about ourselves and our place in the world.

Often, people who have seen a UFO or who are invested in UFOs and believe something important is going get angry when anyone talks about 'UFO mythology'. That's because mythology is devalued in modern culture, and is often understood as 'a bunch of untrue stories made up to explain something'.

That is not the definition of mythology I accept. In a sense, a mythic cycle is made up of stories that are more real than simple physical reality. UFOs can be physically real, and we can still attach a mythology to them, and in fact, we have.

Here are a few things you might not know about UFOs, because they are not part of the cultural mythology attached to them:
  1. UFO means 'unidentified flying object', not 'spaceship from another planet'. In fact, some researchers would like the axe the term 'UFO' altogether and use 'UAP' instead. 
  2. 'UAP' stands for 'Unidentified Aerial Phenomena' and is preferable in a sense because we don't really know for sure if unidentified sky sightings are objects.
  3. UFOs can be found in ancient, medieval, and modern art.
  4. Small 'eye idols' resembling gray aliens were common in Sumeria, the oldest known civilization in the Middle East, and were associated with the Goddess.
  5. Roswell is not even mentioned in the earliest UFO investigations (i.e. Project Blue Book, etc.) and did not become a topic of popular interest until the publication of The Roswell Incident by Charles Berlitz and William Moore in 1980.
  6. Bigfoot and other cryptids have been sighted in conjunction with UFOs. 
  7. Jacques Vallee and other ufologists have suggested that Marian apparitions (such as at Fatima and Medjugorge) are consistent with UFO close encounters.
  8. US intelligence agencies routinely use UFO groups as training grounds for new agents, purposely providing disinformation and setting one faction against another.
  9. The US is the only nation with a modern air industry and/or military that publicly claims to have no interest in investigating UFOs.
  10. In 1999 France published The COMETA Report, officially titled UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare for? The opening statement includes the following quote: 

“The accumulation of well-documented sightings made by credible witnesses forces us to consider from now on all of the hypotheses regarding the origin of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, and the extraterrestrial hypothesis, in particular.”

I would summarize these 10 points this way: UFOs are not easy to understand (hence the term unidentified), they have been around for thousands of years, if not longer, there is broad agreement among nations that they are a serious concern, and last, but by no means least, the US is a bad player in terms of coming to an understanding of what is going on.

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