Apr 19 2007
Why Should Anyone Be Interested In UFOs?
Actually, there isn’t really any obvious reason to care about the UFO subject, which is why most people don’t, at least not very much. Only a small percentage of the population know about the most famous cases, and usually just the most recent ones. What is really interesting though, is that almost anyone perks up when the subject is mentioned in a relaxed setting. Why is this?
One good reason is that UFOs speak to the maverick that lives in the back of most of our minds. They are outside every ontological barbed-wire fence that the authorities have staked around our psyche. Along that fence are guard towers filled with fundamentalist skeptics, most academics, some of the news media, and others who consider themselves no-nonsense types. When something truly unexplained flies over our heads (or digs under the fence) we are told to laugh or look away. No one with a working brain really likes to be told what to think, so some of us look and wonder. The UFOs (and whatever causes them) are cheerleaders urging us along an intellectual evolutionary path. At least, that’s what I like to think.
There are very few other things in our existence that have the power to do this. Some esoteric spiritual philosophies, such as Zen Buddhism, Western Occultism and Sufism offer a chance to look inward for answers. Another path that offers this in a quick and sometimes dangerous way are psychotropic/ psychedelic drugs. Some use a combination of these to seek personal truth.
The study of UFOs, if taken in its entirety, produces some of the same results. An endless cataloging of cases for its own sake is little more than hobbyist pornography, but looking deeper for patterns and trends sometimes opens the door to not only a deeper appreciation for the subject, but a peek from the outside of our own current views of existence and its obvious limitations. Why can’t we agree on what causes UFO sightings, or what controls the phenomenon? A few authors have already pointed out that there is little or no evidence that UFOs are interplanetary craft piloted by aliens from other star systems. Still, the hardcore believers continue to dance to this enticing tune.
What is interesting is the myriad of other possibilities. This opens up a whole Pandora’s box (from the fundamentalist skeptic point of view) of forbidden ideas: time travel, manifested thoughtforms, apparently unknowable existences, intelligences other than corporeal humanity, etc. What these ideas all have in common is that there is currently no way to measure them or “prove” their claim to existence. It seems that the UFOs are urging us along–trying to open new pathways in our species’ tunnel vision.
When some of these new ideas and viewpoints take hold, it is almost certain that the intelligence behind the UFOs will change its modus operandi yet again, and always remain beyond the current understanding. Almost 60 years after Kenneth Arnold saw those silvery thingies skipping above the peaks of the Cascades, most people are still thinking along the same “aliens from other planets” path. There are a few (like John Keel, Jacques Vallee, Whitley Strieber, Michio Kaku, Gregory Little, Keith Thompson etc. etc.) who have listened to the UFOnauts and more importantly to their possibly inscrutable message.
Sometime in the future, when the old guard dies out and cutting-edge science shows us incontrivertible evidence that “unbelievable” things are possible, we will realize some of the things that the UFOs have been whispering in our ears for millenia. The world will change in spite of neanderthals like James Randi, Joe Nickell, and Penn and Teller. Most people like new ideas. They’re exciting and affirm that we’re here for more than just a few decades of meaningless toil or materialistic acquisition.
Try that theory at your next party.
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