EXCERPTS

SELECTED THOUGHTS FROM THE VOLUME


“Although adherents insist they are on a quest for ‘truth,’ their insistence they already ‘know’ such truth undermines attempts by UFO researchers and investigators to understand the true nature of the phenomenon.”

“UFO zealots cannot be convinced to become more scientific in their approach, largely because they are faith-based and religious in nature. They operate on preconceived notions and a set of beliefs that preclude rigorous analysis. Their worldview is clearly metamodernist, accepting any and all claims and statements without critical examination.”

—CHRIS RUTKOWSKI

“If these experiences are what they seem to be, then it should be no surprise that they [UFO experiencers] can come across like fanatical zealots.”

“This weirder stuff gets ignored because some folks feel a need to be taken seriously. I would love to be taken seriously too, but I also feel a need to honestly share what’s happened to me.”

“This is an esoteric mystery and it requires esoteric methodologies to peel back its secrets.”

—MIKE CLELLAND

“The UFO Mythological Zone… is the gap between fact and belief, what we see and what we want to see, what we experience and how we interpret it.”

“People are forming highly personalized variations of the one core belief—the belief in a UFO reality. All else is up for individual interpretation via the UFO mythological zone. In the absence of facts, many people simply choose what they want to believe.”

—LORIN CUTTS

“We might consider that understanding someone’s point of view doesn’t necessarily equate to agreement.”

“A great deal of completely inaccurate—and often, at best, unverified—information is widely accepted, then spread as if it were reliable. We then tend to form beliefs and make up our minds about things which haven’t actually been adequately explained. People subsequently not only reject revisions and corrections, but tend to embrace beliefs even more tightly when those beliefs are shown to be incorrect.”

—JACK BREWER

“From materialism’s ashes, a new model of reality will arise wherein the scientific establishment accepts the completely intangible, wholly interiorized phenomenon of human consciousness can manifest measurable effects in our physical world.”

“Moving beyond materialism is about honestly confronting the fact that we know nothing for certain about UFOs, yet choosing to be inspired rather than frustrated by this realization, leading to a type of non-dogmatic gnosticism.”

—JOSHUA CUTCHIN

“I can respect, communicate, and interact with people who do not share my own ideas.”

“Modern skepticism can, I think, be summarized in many instances as an ideology, around which a social movement has been built—one that, today, also runs tangent with atheism—and as a paradoxically evangelical attitude about the supremacy of science above all other forms of knowledge.”

—MICAH HANKS

“I advocate for a multi-theory interpretation of the UFO phenomenon. I don’t think there is any one explanation that accounts for all the data. I think there are a number of things going on simultaneously.”

“Human belief in alien Others creates cults, religions, and social movements of significance… it is clear that a wide variety of human agencies have manipulated the superstitions and myths surrounding stories of contact with non-human entities—folklore has been weaponized as a means to various ends.”

—SMILES LEWIS

“What the Roswell Slides episode did was to expose the serious flaws common in standard ufology research practices… We were told that the evidence had been subjected to expert analysis, but the promoters themselves were the ones deciding which experts were qualified, only presenting findings supporting their existing beliefs that the body in the Slides was something non-human.”

“By pooling our resources, we each had the best available data, access to the counsel of our peers, and the inspiration and encouragement to keep trying to find the truth. Groups can be great tools, but they have their limitations. Each of us must remain objective, seek the best evidence and ask challenging questions, whether as part of a team or as individuals.”

—CURT COLLINS

“There is no future for ufology, and UFO discourse as a whole, in the mainstream. If a grandiose extraterrestrial contact event occurred tomorrow, and the UFO question was forced into mainstream ideology, ufology would die an instant death as the entire subject would become quickly negotiated into the general sciences, and therefore into capitalist ideological structures. If we assume that the status quo is maintained, and there is no public announcement regarding extraterrestrials, ufology will remain where it is.”

“Many of my colleagues in ufological circles would argue that it is essential for UFO discourse to move away from the theological, and towards the scientific method. I would agree with them; however, the razor cuts both ways, and the ideological mechanisms of the sciences can be as dogmatic as the religious tenets of the UFO believers.”

—MJ BANIAS

“Empires bloom and crumble to dust, and yet the mystery of the UFO lingers still—for it perhaps is not a puzzle meant to be unlocked by a consensus, but confronted and dealt with by each and every one of us when the proper time comes.”

“I have successfully turned my lifelong obsession for UFOs into my personal alchemy, encouraging myself to pursue questions I know full well are without easy answers, and to grow both intellectually and spiritually for it. To assume one is certain of the phenomenon’s true origins and intentions at this stage is beyond arrogant—it is childishly naive.”

—RED PILL JUNKIE

“While I can appreciate and respect a ‘nuts and bolts’ approach to the phenomenon, the one clearly tangible vehicle central to any UFO story is the human witness. To ignore certain aspects of the experience that are described as ‘paranormal’ by the people who witness them is an act of folly.”

“By cherry-picking reports and ignoring or being unsympathetic towards cases of high strangeness, researchers are losing valuable pieces of information and data that could work towards a greater understanding of the experience as a whole.”

—SUSAN DEMETER-ST. CLAIR

“To even scratch the surface of the UFO enigma, we must move past the mentality that we are dealing purely with nuts and bolts, past the notion that the key to the UFO phenomenon lies in physical analysis.”

“Instead of watching a phantom war between realists and dreamers, perhaps we might benefit from standing, if only for a little while, with one foot in each camp.”

—RYAN SPRAGUE

“How much do we bring to the dance during a paranormal encounter? In other words, how much of the UFO experience is the result of our subconscious minds trying to make sense of unexpected, startling, and/or frightening input, and leaving us with an insane placeholder when it can’t decide on anything else?”

“UFOs and anything walking out of them are never expected and always strange. In the act of first experiencing the event, and then, more importantly, in remembering it and telling the story about it to ourselves and others, we are adding many layers of cultural baggage and other input that help us to make sense of the experience. In so doing, we are taking ourselves step-by-step away from our original impressions.”

—GREG BISHOP

“If we are to better know the UFO then we must learn first how to disentangle ourselves from the hallucinatory nature of seeing and accept that much of what is reported in closer encounter events is so very strange because it is beyond the borders of what can be witnessed.”

“In longing to make contact with the alien Other, we can destabilize ourselves in ways that are not always healthy in how we endure our lonely existential hours… To dare to know the song the siren sings is to sink oneself into a void of self-design. The pursuit of the UFO mystery offers much of the same. There is a danger in surrendering the ego and identity, and so the call of the UFO may simply be one that is mirroring something much simpler to us. Do not try to penetrate the mystery, for that is not the way, but learn about yourself and what you are at the edges of the capacities of your biology.”

—ROBERT BRANDSTETTER