UFOs: What’s 60 Years Accomplished?

By Tim Printy

“Unless we develop drastically new ideas and methodologies for the study of the baffling UFO cases and the human context in which they occur, we will watch the next thirty years of UFO report gathering simply mirror the futility and frustration of the last thirty years.” (Allan HendryUFO Investigator’s handbook, p. 285)

It is interesting that we are now just past that thirty year mark Allan Hendry had commented about in his book. As he predicted, UFOlogy’s process is the same and no advancements have been made. UFOlogists collect UFO reports and conclude that UFOs must be some form of craft under “intelligent control”.

Although they never state “who” is controlling these “craft”, there is always the implication that they are alien spaceships. What has UFOlogy done to demonstrate this is true? Peter Sturrock thought the evidence had improved because he invited some scientists to examine the best evidence gathered in the first fifty years of UFOlogy. To his dismay, Sturrock discovered that the scientists were not overly impressed by the presentations or the data. The panel actually wrote that there still was no evidence of anything extraordinary in these reports and suggested other possibilities. Among their critique were comments about current investigations suffering from low standards of research. They also noted that investigators needed to be more willing to evaluate rival hypothesis objectively. While Sturrock trumpeted the fact that the panel felt that Condon may have been hasty when he stated that science will learn nothing from the study of UFOs. It was a hollow victory at best. The panel agreed with Condon that nothing has been learned from studying UFOs, which is the biggest issue here.

The past thirty years of UFOlogy has been wasted chasing grand conspiracies. These are essentially the same conspiracies that were being chased in the first thirty years by UFO groups! Has new and reliable evidence surfaced that clearly demonstrates that a conspiracy exists? So far, the answer is no. I am sure UFOlogists might disagree with me here and point to some vague statement, produce blacked out documents, or even mention MJ-12. None of these prove anything other than the government is concerned about secrets that may or may not have anything to do with covering up the truth about

UFOlogy has also spent time chasing various crashes of alien spaceships. Despite many stories from various locations, not once has a scrap of any of these craft survived to be examined. That is unless you believe the government conspiracy angle. In that case, anything is possible. You can create something out of nothing. All it takes is for a bright meteor to appear in the sky and have a few people state it was a spaceship that was immediately whisked away by the US military. It is interesting that this is the only endeavor that the US government seems to be good at performing. They hide everything and not one government document that has surfaced to date demonstrates that anything exotic has ever been recovered. Still, the stories keep coming in and are readily accepted by UFOlogists. Even if no scraps of material have ever been recovered, UFOlogists trumpet they have thousands of cases of “trace evidence” from UFO landings. Too bad most of these “traces” are analyzed by amateurs and not by any scientific organizations setup for the study of such samples. The lack of any scientific results says a lot about the “trace” evidence. There may be some anomalies in the soil but they, like most UFO reports, are not completely inexplicable.

Then there are the abduction stories, which can be explained as sleep disorders. When the PBS program NOVA asked for any abduction evidence back in 1990s, UFOlogists took a pass. They could have presented implants or other items they claim proves their case. Instead, they appeared to fear having their evidence tested.

This brings us to the various UFO “coin collectors”, who collect UFO reports as if they were precious artifacts. The major problem with all these cases is they really do not mean much. Sure, some are really interesting and may not be satisfactorily explainable. However, that does not mean the reports are accurate or, in some cases, even happened. There is always room to question each case.

What does UFOlogy expect to do in the future? I have read MUFON has gotten a lot of money to create special teams to go to a UFO event and gather evidence. I am not certain what this will accomplish since there are no cases to date that seem to have produced such evidence. I personally think the money will be wasted and nothing will be accomplished. It was also my impression that MUFON already had specially trained groups in each state and they certainly can reach an area within hours of news of a UFO crash or landing. Why would another team of “experts” be necessary? Does this mean the present organization and investigator “training” is completely worthless? What they should do with the money is establish all sky video coverage the same way amateur astronomers are doing with meteors. Remember, UFOs are stated to be solid craft which are, in some cases, immense in size. To increase resolution, multiple cameras (vice one with wide angle lens) can be used with lenses that only cover a selected section of the sky. If done properly, the whole sky will still be covered. Video recordings with low light cameras from several locations could produce actual data that can be analyzed by everyone! The cost would not be too significant and three stations a few miles apart per major city would be a start. Additionally, they can be made mobile so focus can be put on areas of increased UFO activity. Even if no UFOs are recorded, one can use the videos to determine the source of UFO reports from that area. Of course, that means they would be used to debunk UFO sightings. I don’t think UFOlogists would be interested in that kind of research.

As Hendry noted, UFOlogy needs to fix itself. Attacking the problem the same old way, will get you the same old results. This is exactly what UFOlogists continue to do in their quest for evidence. Does UFOlogy really have the wisdom to produce real data for scientists or are they just interested in perpetuating a mystery? Is it easier to sell books, fill convention halls, and appear on Larry King than it is to gather data that can be quantified and measured? The world wonders…..