Who doesn’t like UFOs?!
Think Close Encounters of the Third Kind:
But Are They Real?
David Kestenbaum of This American Life says: U-F-No!
Not long ago, in an extremely rare moment of bipartisan unity, Republicans and Democrats came together to discuss UFOs, now called unexplained aerial phenomena or UAPs by the military. It is the first Congressional meeting on the topic since 1969.
David listened into the hearing along with Mick West.
Mick West is a British science writer, skeptical investigator, and retired video game programmer. He is the creator of the websites Contrail Science and Metabunk, and he investigates and debunks pseudoscientific claims and conspiracy theories such as chemtrails and UFOs. Wikipedia
This short episode of This American Life is a curation of their discussion of the Congressional Hearing while they listened to military officials present a report to Congress that includes about 400 incidents, which is up from 143 assessed in a report released about a year ago.
Mick explained a lot of the unexplained aerial phenomena as camera artifacts such as these:
Scott W. Bray, the deputy director of Naval intelligence, told lawmakers there is no evidence of aliens, and they still haven’t uncovered anything “nonterrestrial in origin,” although there remain incidents they can’t explain.
That Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Real
Despite lacking physical evidence that proves the reality of UFOs (other than other explanations such as camera artifacts, mylar balloons, and contrails) that does not mean there isn’t something very real going on. Indeed, this unexplained phenomena is as old as man’s ability to articulate his experiences to others. What makes humans extraordinary on this planet is our shared ability to perceive and share physical reality through words, symbols, and ideas. Human beings also share the ability to perceive and make sense of inner realities. Indeed, mankind’s most spectacular ideas and inventions originate from this inner dimension of being.
Carl Jung is best known for his theories of the human subconscious and the idea he termed the Collective Unconscious. Through his practice as a psychiatrist, he came to believe humanity shares a subconscious mind that stores the memories of all human beings, dead and alive, that are available to us through images, visions, dreams, and other phenomena humans experience, especially at times of stress, trauma, life and death.
Jung wrote a book about UFO and paranormal phenomenon. Here are two summaries of this book:
While Jung is known mainly for his theories on the nature of the unconscious mind, he did have an interest in the paranormal. In this essay, Jung applies his analytical skills to the UFO phenomenon. Rather than assuming that the modern prevalence of UFO sightings are due to extraterrestrial craft, Jung reserves judgment on their origin & connects UFOs with archetypal imagery, concluding that they have become a "living myth." This essay is intriguing in its methodology & implications as to the nature of UFOs & their relation to the human psyche. -- GoodReads: Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies
In the threatening situation of the world today, when people are beginning to see that everything is at stake, the projection-creating fantasy soars beyond the realm of earthly organizations and powers into the heavens, into interstellar space, where the rulers of human fate, the gods, once had their abode in the planets.... Even people who would never have thought that a religious problem could be a serious matter that concerned them personally are beginning to ask themselves fundamental questions. Under these circumstances it would not be at all surprising if those sections of the community who ask themselves nothing were visited by `visions,' by a widespread myth seriously believed in by some and rejected as absurd by others.--C. G. Jung, in Flying Saucers Jung's primary concern in Flying Saucers is not with the reality or unreality of UFOs but with their psychic aspect. Rather than speculate about their possible nature and extraterrestrial origin as alleged spacecraft, he asks what it may signify that these phenomena, whether real or imagined, are seen in such numbers just at a time when humankind is menaced as never before in history. The UFOs represent, in Jung's phrase, a modern myth. -- GoogleBooks Summary
Jung maintained throughout his life that man’s inner life, dreams, images, visions is real and carries a reality, a gravity that can be felt in our lives each and every day.
Sources for Images Above: Myth CraftsCarl Jung and UFOs: Ancient Alien Art – Myth Crafts; Brill[PDF] Judaism and the UFO; with Emphasis on the Vision of Ezekiel; Cambridge University PressTrauma, flying saucers and the art of Ionel Talpazan | Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences | Cambridge Core; Saatchi ArtUFO 0361, 2019, mixed media on canvas, 40x50cm Painting by Marc Jung | Saatchi Art; GoodreadsOwlseyes (O’Porto, Portugal)’s review of Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies; Princeton University PressFlying Saucers | Princeton University Press
Reality Is Strange | We Need Inner Astronauts Now More Than Ever
Perhaps we need more inner astronauts willing and able to go where no man has gone before, equipped with abilities to chart our inner space, just as we do our outer space. Indeed, inner space may be far vaster than the universe, which may be a little phenomena of this vast inner space that we do not understand very much at all.
In a time of so much crisis, we need to learn how to better articulate inner weather and dangerous patterns just as we have learned to watch and predict weather patterns and identify dangerous patterns such as Hurricane Ian.
There have been many dangerous and horrible natural disasters this year, including devastating floods in Pakistan, acute heat waves and historically lower water levels in rivers throughout Europe, and increasingly bigger and deadlier fires worldwide (see 2022 International Wildfires: As of Sept. 8, the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) estimates that within European Union countries, between 2 million acres and 2.1 million acres have burned).
There is also dangerous and deadly inner weather that is sweeping the world. It travels on currents of propaganda, misinformation, lies, and conspiracy myths. Hurricane Putin is meaning the entire world with his threats of nukes, sabotaging his own pipeline (a play he used to get into power when he had apartment buildings blown up and blamed it on Chechen separatists), and the death, destruction, and torture of Ukrainians. His maniacal invasion of Ukraine rides on his strangle hold on power in Russia allowing him to infect and propagate a collective homicidal psychosis among his people. His and other strong arm actors in our world are distracting us and contributing to our collective failure to mitigate climate change while we still can.
Can you tell which pictures that are Putin’s hurricane of devastation and death and which are Ian?
Images above from: Sky NewsUkraine war: Images taken by Sky News team reveal devastating aftermath of war | World News | Sky News; Tampa Bay TimesAbsolute devastation’: Hurricane Ian decimates Fort Myers Beach; ABC NewsWhat’s the cost of damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure amid Russia’s invasion? – ABC NewsVisit; The Sun DailyRescue efforts continue as Florida takes stock of Hurricane Ian devastation; BBCUkraine war: Images reveal scale of destruction in Mariupol – BBC News; The News-PressAerial video shows devastation on Fort Myers Beach after Hurricane IanWatch… on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022; USNews.comRussian Carnage, Destruction Revealed in Newly Liberated Ukrainian Territory; southernminn.comIan lashes South Carolina as Florida surveys devastation | State | southernminn.com; University of Nevada, RenoUkraine, horror of the past, terror to the future | University of Nevada, Ren; Charisma NewsSharks in the Streets, Houses Floating Away as Ian Leaves Mass Devastation — Charisma NewsVisit; Common DreamsCivilians ‘Paying the Highest Price’ for ‘Utter Devastation’ of Ukraine: UN Official; Independent.ieIn pictures: Hurricane Ian causes devastation as it swamps parts of Florida – Independent.ie
Charting A New Future
I think Future Islands nailed the idea of unidentified phenomena, either being external or internal, in their beautiful song Like the Moon:
Without better abilities to navigate our inner spaces, we will probably destroy our planet and ourselves right along with it.