are they really out there?
The answers are out there.

UFO Theories, How Real Are They?
by Carmen Tassone

efore going into my essay on unidentified flying objects (UFOs), I'd like to share something I stumbled upon while researching this subject.  The website this excerpt came from claimed it was a partial translation of a personal journal found on one of the alien beings recovered from the crash site near Roswell, New Mexico.  I don't put much stock into its authenticity, but I thought it interesting and wanted to share it with you all.



513224.90 233.4.2 12.13  

     It makes me laugh, although not very loudly, when I hear the things they say about me and my kind.  Not because what they say is offensive or inaccurate, but rather because they have no idea what or who we are.  And although I know myself to be far superior, far more advanced than they, when I observe them with or without their knowledge, I am humbled by their ignorance, but only because I know I am no better or no worse than they.
     Nevertheless, I would like to reassure them somehow that my world and their world are, in fact, one in the same.  We are not from the past or the future, nor are we from another universe or another dimension, but rather we are from the very same physical present as they, and we too wrestle with our daily problems as they do with theirs.
     We can be seen when we wish, but due to the humans' inability to utilize their intellect as originally designed, and for our mutual protection, a barrier between our worlds exists.  Yet, every so often we find it necessary to contact them, but unfortunately their fallacies and misconceptions are byproducts of their flawed imaginations and their inability to comprehend our existence.
     Someday we may reveal ourselves to them, but not until they have gained enough knowledge about themselves, the world around them, and how they fit into the grand scheme of life.  In recent times, we have made great strides to assist them, as well ourselves, but mental and physical delusions on both our parts have prevented progression towards the opening of their minds to our presence.
     I truly wish it possible to let our presence be known, but the Assembly of Elders maintains the humans are not yet ready, and some even say "They will never be ready!"  But I think differently.  I have spoken with some of them.  One human even asked me why we do not just show ourselves.  He seemed to understand and his mind was weak, but yet strong enough, I believe, to make the transition, but my kind distrusts the human race completely.  They think the human reaction would be unpredictable and the humans would eradicate both our races.  Humans have destroyed entire nations for less.  Even I find their taste for war and brutality repulsive.  At best, our discloser may make them feel their lives meaningless, but this is just not so.  They do serve a very important purpose--the survival of my race.
     Since the beginning, our bodies have never developed a natural immune system, and because of this, we have had to rely on the humans for serums and cures for our diseases.  Yes, we can duplicate what we extract from their bodies, but when we encounter a new strain or illness, we must revisit them.  Even our human cultivations prove futile since they are unable to produce the necessary vaccines.  For these reasons alone, most fear we would be misunderstood by the humans.
     And rightly so.  The humans are living incubators for our race and hold the key to our survival.  They would not understand their place in this world.  And they could not and would not accept the role of second fiddle to a higher form of life, especially to a species much more fragile than they.  If we did disclose ourselves to the humans, many fear we would open ourselves to an onslaught of attacks and hostilities.  And inevitably, we would be forced to protect ourselves and possibly destroy the very essence of our own life.  I suppose, ultimately we must wait until they are ready, but I fear that time will never come.



One need only look to find them.

     Intriguing as the above passage may sound, it is highly unlikely that some alien being wrote this before crashing its spacecraft on some remote ranch in New Mexico.  However, I've always tried to keep an open mind to the mysteries of UFOs.  Personally, the thought of traveling to another world or being visited by aliens from another planet has fascinated me.
     Before I go any further, I must confess; the above passage wasn't something I found on the Web.  Instead, it was something I wrote to prove a point.  Our imaginations are very powerful, and it allows us to visualize and dream up anything to make sense or even make nonsense of the world around us.  But no matter how down-to-earth or how out-of-this-world an idea may be, our imaginations can not override reality.  I suppose everyone has his or her own beliefs about this topic, and though I remain open-minded to the existence of UFOs and alien beings, I'm also skeptical because of the reality factor.
     While researching different hypotheses on this topic, I've realized I hold a similar opinion on this matter as that of Jacques F. Vallée.  UFOs may not be physical objects, and they could be natural or artificial phenomenon, but in either case, explanation is beyond our current comprehension.  In another words, we don't have a clue, so anything is possible.  But alas, we are left with only our hypotheses and conceptions as transitory reasonings or comforting denials to the existence of UFOs.
     I feel Vallée's approach to this phenomenon is practical and his hypotheses are plausible because he doesn't discount much.  He keeps an open mind to all possibilities.  However this all holds true only if such things do actually exist.  In any case, what separates him from most other ufologists is the fact that he employs a scientific approach to his research.  He doesn't let mythical or exploitations of others to skew his findings and conclusions.
     I found several of Vallée's hypotheses intriguing, but his "informational universe" metaphor in particular perked my interests.  In an interview conducted by 60GCAT, he said "In a universe viewed as 'informational events' you should expect coincidences, telepathy, time travel, multiple realities--all those things that seem impossible in the 4-D energy universe." (60GCAT)  Such a hypothesis where reality is the software that drives the universe, he claims anomalies such as UFOs and the paranormal could easily be explained and would be considered unusual if they did not occur.  I feel Vallée's hypotheses are legitimate and credible because he uses scientific data and theorems to conduct his research.  I think trusting a gut feeling or following an intuition is fine for writing fiction, but neither has a place in science, no matter how plausible an idea may be.
     In this same vein, I found that Dr. Richard J. Boylan's conspiracy theory of UFOs could only be construed as pure fantasy.  I say that because he does not provide corroborating evidence to support his hypotheses.  For example, in a 1995 paper entitled "UFO Reality is Breaking Through," Dr. Boylan claimed dark forces in the United States government, military and its secret agencies were covering up the existence of extraterrestrial spacecrafts and beings.  He also insisted a "sophisticated positive disinformation campaign" was being conducted to confuse and convince the public to believe the Roswell incident and other UFO sightings have never taken place. (Boylan)  Both are remarkable accusations, however he fails to provide any proof to support his claims.
     Throughout his paper, Dr. Boylan intertwined what could be considered fact with what seem to be creatively crafted pieces of fiction.  I'm sorry, but I feel his claim that a football-field-size disc floating above a Soviet Air Defense Headquarters building for several hours would have made the evening news at some point or another.  In an interview conducted by SpiritWeb in 1997, Dr. Boylan tried to clarify his claims by explaining the American people are not aware of such happenings because the US government has placed an extraterrestrial blackout on the nation's news media. (SpiritWeb)  He suggests we should look to the Internet and foreign correspondents to gain insight on the UFO phenomenon.
     What's more, he wrote, "The extraterrestrials also appear to be doing their share by employing a four element Game Plan to reveal their presence." (Boylan)  Apparently, the first element is to increase awareness to their existence; the second element is to increase abductions of humans; the third element is to increase scientific acceptance; and the forth element is to increase governmental leaks about their presence. (Boylan)  Again, I ask where is his proof and I find none.
     While Dr. Boylan's research seems genuine and authentic, and his conspiracy theory may even have merit and be legitimate, he lacks credibility because he fails to cite his sources and gives no means to verify his claims.  For instance, his claim of alien hybrid children can't possibly be confirmed, specifically because he says, although these children are half-human, they are unable to survive in our planet's atmosphere. (SpiritWeb)  Nor can he provide evidence that high-level government and military officials have been orchestrating a fifty-year-old cover-up of Roswell and Area 51.  To me, just because these officials refuse to disclose what they feel is sensitive information, doesn't mean aliens have landed (or crashed) on our planet.  It is possible that these officials are simply unwilling to reveal secrets that could cause our nation harm.  Not that I put much faith in the government or the military, but these officials are most likely trying to protect secrets about some new weapon, technology, aircraft, etcetera.  But that doesn't prove or lead to a logical conclusion that these secrets are extraterrestrial in nature.
     It seems to me, we humans usually grow suspicious when something is not clearly explained, and we tend to let our imagination takeover for us, and sometimes, we let it get the better of us.  I think it's only natural for us to try to fill in the missing pieces with what we believe will lead to an acceptable explanation, albeit out-and-out wrong or completely unsubstantiated.  I also feel "the conspiracy theory" is an easy avenue to take when roadblocks keep us from gaining information we seek.
     Now I'm not saying conspiracies and cover-ups don't happen, they do.  But until someone provides some hard evidence to support these claims, we are left to trust individual beliefs of what may or may not be happening around us, and for me that just isn't enough.  I don't want to be unrealistic, but I also don't want to just take what people say as proof, especially when their claims are so outlandish.  For instance, if Dr. Boylan has such an intimate affiliation with extraterrestrials, why doesn't he supply some concrete proof of their existence?  I mean, since he claims to know so much about these alien beings, who better than he to provide proof that will settle the debate once and for all.  I would think the scientific community and the world at large would be grateful for whatever he could offer to support his claims.
     Then again, after watching his interview with SpiritWeb, I don't believe it is possible for him to do so, simply because his claims are so outrageous and frankly, unbelievable.  And though he seemed to actually believe the things that he was saying to be true, it also seemed to me as though he was simply making stuff up as the interview progressed.  At the conclusion of the interview, I could only shake my head in disbelief and wonder how many unsuspecting people have been deluded by this man's apparent fabrications.
     Although Boylan and Vallée are two renown proponents of the UFO phenomenon, the methods in which they developed their hypotheses are completely different.  Vallée uses a scientific approach to help research and explain his ideas and conceptions of the UFO phenomenon, while Boylan bases his hypotheses on the information he gathers from individuals who claim to have encountered extraterrestrials.  According to Boylan, he has never had an encounter himself, so most of the information he collects comes from people whom he hypnotizes, but even I know the problems created when using hypnosis in research.  The information is not credible or reliable because our memories are not always accurate and can easily be manipulated or influenced, and this is something I learned in a basic psychology class.  Because our memories can be altered or swayed, the scientific community and our judicial system do not put much faith in hypnosis, especially when trying to recover lost memory.  And I'd have to agree with Vallée when he said such investigative techniques may taint the evidence pool that could potential resolve the UFO mystery.  (60GCAT)  So if it is true that hypnosis can change our memories, who's to say Dr. Boylan isn't knowingly or unknowingly implanting or encouraging these extraterrestrial encounters in the minds of his subjects.
"They're Here" by Jim Nichols      Now, to satisfy the need for some tangible proof of UFOs, I turn to Professor Peter A. Sturrock at Stanford University and the four-day workshop he directed in the fall of 1997.  The workshop allowed a panel of nine scientists to examine physical evidence presented by eight UFO investigators.  What was presented included: "photographic evidence; luminosity estimates; radar evidence; interference with automobile functioning; interference with aircraft equipment; apparent gravitational or inertial effects; ground traces; injuries to vegetation; physiological effects on witnesses; and analysis of debris." (Sturrock)  During the four days, hope was high that a confirmation would finally be reached on the existence of UFOs, and the news media swarmed around the spectacle awaiting word.  But by the end of the workshop, Professor Sturrock indicated "the panel concluded that a few reported incidents may have involved rare but significant phenomena such as electrical activity, but there was no convincing evidence pointing to unknown physical processes or to the involvement of extraterrestrial intelligence." (Sturrock)
      Meaning, the ufologists came up empty.  None of the evidence proved the existence of UFOs or alien beings from another planet.  So does this mean UFOs don't exist?  Well, maybe; but maybe not.  Peter Lloyd, a software developer, believes eighteenth century philosopher George Berkeley's metaphysics model may help put believers and non-believers on the road to understanding the UFO phenomenon.  According to Lloyd, it was no surprise Sturrock's scientific panel concluded the way they did because extraterrestrials and their ships may not be physical.  Lloyd claims the workshop was inherently bias "toward the Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) that some ufos are tangible vehicles from another planet" and might have come to a different conclusion if they had consider Vallée's hypothesis, which suggests extraterrestrials and their vehicles may be "projections from an alternative domain" and could be simply intangible in nature. (Lloyd)  I do agree with Lloyd in that Berkeley's metaphysic model, Carl Jung's collective unconscious, and Jacques F. Vallee's suggestion that extraterrestrials may be from another world can provide scientists and researchers an adequate means to study and possibly explain the UFO phenomenon; that is, if they actually do exist.
     Although this doesn't directly relate to the validity of UFO research, I'd like to say I was happy to see Peter Lloyd use the word "hypothesis" instead of the word "theory" in his essays on UFOs.  I say this because I've learned that a theory can't be established until a hypothesis has consistently and repeatedly been verified, and I don't believe we are anywhere near such a level of acceptance as of yet.  As I see it, any hypothesis on the matter of UFOs need not prove their existence, but rather provide consistent and meaningful guidance to base a tentative theory or concept that, if verified, could explain the UFO phenomenon.  So, ufologists are really only presenting their hypotheses and not theories, which gives them plenty of latitude and could explain why there are so many incredible claims from so many professed UFO researchers.

     I would like to end my essay here by saying, since the universe is so vast and contains so many galaxies and stars, it would be hard to believe that in 14 billion years our planet is the only one with life on it.  I also believe it would be pretty arrogant of us to think otherwise.  So the question of life elsewhere is really irrelevant; we are not alone.  So, the real question is can a life form actually trek across the cosmos to reach our solar system.  Maybe or maybe not, but just because we haven't figured out a way to do so, doesn't mean some other form of life has or hasn't.
     Lastly, to answer the question of "UFO theories: How 'real' are they?"  I feel they are not real in the sense that they are extraterrestrial in nature, because current extraterrestrial hypotheses are only concepts and ideas offered as alternative explanations to the UFO phenomenon.  Now I don't want to sound completely naive; I do believe something may be happening, because there are so many stories about UFO sightings, but they could just be secret experimental aircraft.  For example, the F117 stealth fighter and the B2 stealth bomber are not conventional aircraft that at some point before their public unveiling had to have been test flown, and could have been mistaken for UFOs.  These are just two aircraft that we know of, so it is highly probable that there are more being produced, tested and thought unidentified.  Again, I'd like to think of myself as having an open-mind to the world around me, but I am lastly and foremost a realist.  Explanations maybe out there, but the hard part is trying to find and prove them accurate and extraterrestrial--our own crafts do not count.


 Works Cited:

         60GCAT. "The Alienist - Jacques Vallée Part 2." Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen. 1995. Online. Available: http://www.conspire.com/val3.html. 25 March 2000.

          Boylan, R. "UFO Reality is Breaking Through." Richard J. Boylan Ph.D. 1995. Online. Available: http://www.abcfield.force9.co.uk/reality.htm. 25 March 2000.

          Lloyd, P. "Metaphysics of ufos." Peter B. Lloyd. 1999. Online. Available: http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~ursa/philos/ufo1.htm. 26 March 2000.

          SpiritWeb. Richard Boylan - "SpiritWeb: Scientist & Cosmic Culture Ambassador." SpiritWeb Org. 2000. Online. Available: http://www3.eu.spiritweb.org/Spirit/richard-boylan.html. 26 March 2000.

          Sturrock, P. "Physical Evidence Related to UFO Reports - Abstractc." Professor Peter A. Sturrock. 1998. Online. Available: http://www.jse.com/ufo_reports/Sturrock/1.html. 26 March 2000.