Do you believe in flying saucers? Are there craft from other worlds entering our atmosphere? Are there secret explanations behind sightings that remain classified as Unidentified Flying Objects?

For the present it is a matter of each individual’s belief, says this science writer who has spent months of research to prepare a series of articles which will appear each Monday in The Journal.

Perhaps his efforts will help you decide.

Life In Outer Space?

Minneapolis Star Science Writer

The Edmonton Journal
Tuesday, December 27, 1966

Men often have wondered whether there was other life in the universe.

And if there was other life, was there intelligence? Were we alone? Was life an accident that had happened only on our planet, or was it intelligence that had been the accident? Did we stand alone as the possessors of the ability to think and plan and wonder, although other life existed?

In recent years, most scientists have agreed that there must be life elsewhere and, perhaps less often, that there must be intelligence as well.

Cannot Guess Alien Mind

Many science fiction authors have spun tales about first contact, that instant in time when man and an alien intelligence first stand face to face. Today, if it is true that UFOs are spacecraft from somewhere other than earth, manned by intelligence, we may stand on the verge of that first contact.

We cannot guess what that moment might bring or what it might mean to the human race. We cannot guess because we do not know what motives, what emotions, what particular brand of ethics or what thought processes are contained within the alien mind.

That the first contact with an alien intelligence, if it ever comes, will be a pivotal point in the affairs of mankind cannot be questioned. It could spell our doom; it could mean the opening of an era of co-operation that would bring us untold benefits.

The question, of course, is whether the UFOs are visitors from space?

If they are, then their existence presents one of the most important problems ever faced by man; if they are not, the human race is experiencing the greatest psychological binge in history.

USAF Findings Rejected

The U.S. Air force has said that there is no evidence of extraterrestrial spacecraft. Among those who believe in UFOs, there is a tendency to suspect the air force findings and write them off completely. Among many believers, there seems to be a compulsion to be “against” the air force, portraying it as knowing the truth (that the UFOs are visitors from space) but denying this knowledge to the public. This secrecy is ascribed either to a fear that the public, once knowing the truth, will panic, or simply as a secrecy for its own sake.

Anyone who attempts to examine the UFO situation objectively finds himself facing questions to which there are no good and solid answers. There are “ifs” and “buts” connected with every facet of the situation; almost nothing can be written without qualification.

Ball Lighting Said Cause

Dozens of sightings at Exeter, N.H., indicated that UFOs had an affinity for power lines. (Some persons said that perhaps UFOs even caused the great blackout in Northeast U.S. a year ago.) The sightings stood for a time as one of the most convincing pieces of evidence in support of the existence of UFOs.

But less than a year later Philip J. Klass, a senior editor of the Aviation Week and Space Technology, writing in the magazine on Aug. 22, 1966 speculated that many of the low altitude UFOs, such as those seen at Exeter, might be a special form of “ball lightning,” a phenomenon which is associated with high-tension lines.

His premise seems sound. He does not disprove the presence of great numbers of UFOs at Exeter, but he casts a big “if” into a situation where at one time the UFOs seemed the most reasonable answer.

The evidence that the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) cites that all the UFO occupants so far sighted have been humanoid would appear to run counter to the improbability of parallel evolution on planets. Man, as he exists, is a product of evolution. The failure of any single event along the long chain of events that resulted in the rise of man could have prevented his rise. Yet, we are asked to believe that another chain of evolution on another planet also resulted in the emergence of a man-like creature, also endowed with intelligence.

Studying Earth For Years?

If there are aliens and they are humanoid, does it mean that evolution is a more rigid less fluid process than we have believed? Is there some law of nature which says that something man-like will arise, perhaps under a wide variety of environmental circumstances, and see that it will be intelligent?

If there is any validity to the idea that many ancient writings were attempts to describe things we now call UFOs, then the evidence would seem to be that the UFOs have been observing earth for thousands of years. This seems too long a time to make much human sense. If the UFOs had any concern with earth, that concern should have been settled centuries ago.

One explanation is that earth has been under long term observation and that the observers have made regular inspection trips (to see how the human race was coming along?) That would account for the ancient sightings. When the dawn of the industrial revolution indicated human progress, says this line of reasoning, the observation patrols may have become more frequent, resulting in more sightings. With the development of nuclear weapons and space travel, the patrol might well have gone on a permanent basis.

Good Year For Sightings

The trouble with all of this reasoning is that it is human reasoning. Given the hypothesis that UFOs carry alien creatures, we are assigning to these creatures human motives and reactions.

This seems to be a good year for the UFOs. U.S. Air Force Maj. Hector Quintanilla, head of Project Blue Book, says that 646 sightings had been reported to his office during the first seven months of the year. This compares with 168 sightings during the same period in 1965.

If APRO is correct in the assumption that the UFOs are deliberately trying to attract our attention, then why don’t we try to establish contact with them, find out what it’s all about?

Transmission Of Signals

The answer, of course, is that this would require an effort greater than any private group might be willing or able to assume. A simple suggestion is that a few radio transmitters or, in a pinch, only one begin transmitting a signal pattern in the hope that it might be answered by the UFOs. If this didn’t work, other simple methods of signaling might be tried.

But the air force, which doesn’t believe in UFOs, is not about to do it. Nor is any other governmental agency.

There have been an incident or two reported that make it seem likely that the UFOs would respond to a contact attempt. The most convincing of these dates back to June 26, 1959, when Rev. William Booth Gill, a missionary in New Guinea, and 37 other witnesses waved to man-like creatures which they saw through the windows of a hovering UFO.

The creatures waved back. For a time it appeared that the UFO might land and the occupants come out to meet the group. When it didn’t, reported Mr. Gill, “we were all very disappointed.”

Witnesses Lying?

It is evidence such as that given by Mr. Gill that shakes some of the natural skepticism out of one. Would an ordained priest of the Church of England make an untruthful report? It doesn’t seem likely. Could 37 other witnesses, all of whom supported Mr. Gill’s statement, be lying or perhaps suffering from mass hallucination? Again, not likely.

Could 70,000 people, standing in the rain at Fatima, Portugal, Oct. 13, 1917, witnessing what to them was a divine miracle as they watched a spinning disc-shaped object which may have been a UFO, have suffered mass hallucination? Could 70,000 people, all seeing the same thing, all labor under delusion?

These people, perhaps, are fortunate. They have the answer; they know what to think.

How about the many people who say, substantially, after they have seen a UFO, “I used to be a skeptic, but not any longer!" How about tough, hard-bitten police officers trembling, faces white, after they have seen a UFO?

To the man who is yet to be convinced, either one way or the other, there is no ready answer. There aren’t enough data to provide an answer.

End of Series


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