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UFO Fact Or Fiction Essay, Research Paper

Unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, as they’re fondly called, are

one of the century’s most intriguing and controversial mysteries. Since

ancient times, UFOs of all types have been accounted for. More today than

ever, hundreds of thinkers, theologians, and scientists have tried to

answer why there are or whether there aren’t UFOs. According to some, the

speculation that UFOs are alien spacecrafts from another world is an

absurd and foolish proposal. Others vehemently disagree and assert that

extraterrestrial life is not only possible, but such life forms may be

superior, technologically advanced beings who visit our Earth regularly.

Are these “flying saucers” a figment of our imagination? Or, are they

a genuine reality we prefer to dismiss because we fear the scary truth

that we are not the only master race? Are we hesitant because society

dubs such “immature” psycho tantamount to subscribing to belief in ghosts?

These are a few of the many pertinent UFO questions the mature individual

must address.

One of the most popular theories that support and explains the

existence of alien beings is the ancient astronaut theory. This theory

contains three main schools of thought. The first states that aliens bred

with our primitive forebears thereby creating modern man. The second is

quite similar. Aliens performed genetic engineering on apes thereby

creating the Homo Sapiens and man’s intelligence. The third, and least

accepted, is that colonists from another galaxy came to Earth, mated with

the primitives and established a high level of culture, before being

destroyed by some natural catastrophe. And upon this catastrophe and

destruction, we build and grow (Fitzgerald 1). Berossus, a Babylonian

scholar, may have been the first astronaut historian. He said that ”

animals endowed with reason” bestowed the Sumerian culture before 3000

BCE. The Sumerians, along with their cultural inheritors, the

Babylonians, never referred to such beings as gods. Rather they were

depicted as “disgusting abominations,” a description only deserved by

uninvited alien visitors (2).

One step further takes the astronaut theory and surmises that with

it, we can understand the later religious cultures, such as the Hebrews

who are thought to have borrowed much of Sumerian practice. Such

religions and secret societies, with their elaborate and complicated

rituals may actually be “preserving from a previous epoch fragments of an

esoteric and little understood knowledge, just as the Egyptian, Hebrew,

and Mayan priests guarded in their temples the inspired word of their

self-possessed creators (3).” Alien originators may have set down certain

rites which became confused over the years, resulting in the various

ancient religions; aliens being the source of our notion of God. This

also may explain how miles long designs, only viewable from the air, were

created in ancient times. The only rationalization for the possibility of

such designs is that the ancients had assistance from the sky, namely

extraterrestrial assistance. Many UFO theorists, astronomer Morris Jessup

being the forerunner, go even further: not only were pre-Biblical and

Biblical times full of Alien intervention, but he contends that the UFO

phenomenon is the missing link between Biblical supernatural accounts of

miracles and established, contradicting science. Jessup explains that

“nothing is supernatural and nothing is outside nature (12).” He

continues that the Bible is full of UFO accounts, depicted by various

descriptions: angels, the revelation on Mt. Sinai, the burning bush, and

Elijah’s levitation to heaven. Jessup says the Bible is a physical

record, not a collection of divine revelation “although the miracles of

this and all religions invite rational and physical explanation, if we

grant the ‘existence of spatial intelligence (13).’” Another thinker,

Brinsley Trent, follows the theme of extraterrestrial interpretations of

the Bible and claims that the Garden of Eden was, as many ancient texts

point out, not the underground, but in the Underworld – i.e. outside the

orbit of earth, meaning Mars. When the Great Flood occurred, Noah built a

great “boat,” a spaceship, and landed on Earth (Life 16). However,

Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan warns that this ancient astronaut theory and

the “saucer myths” represent a compromise “between the need to believe in

a traditional God and the contemporary pressures to accept the

pronouncement of science (Fitzgerald 5);” therefore, according to Sagan,

the proposition that aliens exist and the astronaut theory should be


Many theorists assume the Bible is a totally separate entity and

don’t associate or contradict the UFO phenomenon with the well established

theological belief system in the supernatural. Wilhelm Reich, for one, a

noted Austrian psychoanalyst, claimed to have witnessed various UFO crafts

and believed that these aliens are hostile. Such aliens wish to rob Earth

of orgone, a “cosmic life energy allegedly present in air, water, and all

organic matter (Life 52).”

He proceeds to say that saucers run on this orgone energy, hence exhuming

a bluish color due to “orgone exhaust.” Moreover, orgone exhaust is

“deadly orgone (Life),” causing sickness in people and creating parched

desert where ever the crafts land. The Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung,

totally differed. He theorized that all “people can tap into…(a )

collective unconciousness-an area of the unconscious that…contains

information derived from the experiences of the human race as a whole

rather than the individual…This storehouse contains universal symbols

called archtypes…that present themselves spontaneously in dreams or

visions…evoking strong imaginative response…One such image was the

mandala, a disk shaped symbol that represents completion…[hence UFOs are

not] real objects, but rather mandalas…visioned by people looking

for…equilibrium (53).”

Jung’s approach is quite debatable. However, as shaky an argument it

may sound, it’s as viable as those who welcome the notion that aliens do


Other more common and more understood theories explain that aliens

are well intentioned visitors who wish to observe their human

contemporaries for purely scientific purposes. However, British

astronomers Sir Martin Ryle and Sir Bernard Lovell both warn that we must

regard all other life in the universe as potentially a fatal threat to

humankind and, in effect, discourage the effort to communicate with such

beings (Referring to the many attempts to communicate with aliens via

powerful satellite dishes.) (Fitzgerald 7).

With all the theories in mind, we come to the next issue. What are

people, in reality, seeing?

Kenneth Arnold was a normal businessman in Idaho. As an upstanding

and reputable citizen and an expert on flying, Arnold was believed when he

said that he witnessed a ship zoom back and forth at an approximated 1,350

miles per hour. This incident provoked a considerable amount of national

debate and gave birth to what historians termed the “modern flying saucer

era.” There were sightings before the Arnold case. However, following

it, there was a myriad of reports and calls. Although many were hoaxes,

not all were. And most of those who have claimed to have witnessed UFOs

swear that in no way could they be anything but an alien spaceship.

Simply due to the fact, as in the Arnold case, that these crafts maneuver

in such humanly impossible speeds and in gravity defying manners.

At one moment the UFO is spotted hovering over a house and one second

later can be seen 25 miles away. People also have described the crafts as

huge cigar shaped buzzing objects or the more popular silent, metallic

type saucers. These reports include interference with television signals

and the halting of car ignitions. Such claims, as Bob Bletchman, in an

interview explained, are the best evidence due to their testimonial

consistency. When you have hundreds of people on an individual basis,

from all backgrounds, depict the same scenario, time and time again, there

is little room to doubt their truthfulness. People even assert that

they’ve seen the pilots: described anywhere between two inch bees to Nazis

(Fitzgerald 3) to little green men with six fingers.

An eerie complement of UFO sightings are these strange and exact

circular patches of parched, bent, but not cracked vegetation. Such

mysterious circles are believed to be the place of the saucers’ landing.

Even more interesting, the circles can’t bear any vegetable growth for

many years afterwards (Life 125).

Many allege that not only have they been visited, but kidnapped too.

One of my main research sources, a curious, but perhaps crafty David

Jacobs, Ph.D., took 60 men and women who claimed abduction and put them

under hypnosis in an effort to document and establish whether all this

mumbo jumbo is true.

Although generally most abductees remember nothing but the fact that they

were abducted, hypnosis proved to uncover many layers of lost memories.

Through these hypnotic sessions, Dr. Jacobs claimed to have found many

reasons the aliens “gave” for such abductions: scientific research,

crossbreeding and general observance of the human condition. He also

“discovered” many underlying messages from the aliens: They mean no harm.

They care and respect humans and do only that which is necessary. His

book sounded very convincing, but perhaps too convincing. Through careful

reading, I began to realize that this Dr. Jacobs is full of bologna.

Session after session, Dr. Jacobs fabricates his “patients’” conversations

with the aliens. However, the conversations sound too repetitive in

personality and too sensational in respect to the aliens’ response. In an

effort to sound very natural, Dr. Jacobs picks up an almost artificial

grammatically incorrect tone of voice. For example: “Mm-hmm, but fast,

not slow…like whizzed by (Secret 69),” and “I just sink to the bottom

and start to breathe (189),” and “inside out, yeah (211).” These are just

a few quotes of the literally hundreds of repetitive speech patterns in

his book. I get the feeling this “Dr.” Jacobs is trying to make a

believable, sensational story by feeding the reader what we’d like to

hear: Kind aliens, cross breeding, scientific experimentation, etc.

(Although I found fault with one of my primary sources, it by no means

typifies the value of other such publications. Each book must be valued

on its own.)

Using super high-tech computer photograph analyzers, scientists were

able to determine the validity of the widely known Trent photos. In

Oregon, 1950, a Mrs. Trent was feeding rabbits in her backyard when she

saw a huge metallic disk, silently gliding through the air. She called

her husband to fetch a camera and managed to get two shots. These two

shots were scrutinized by the U.S. Air Force and a variety of other

investigators. The 1969’s skeptical Condon Report stated: “The simplest,

most direct interpretation of the photographs confirms

precisely what the witnesses said they saw (Life 138).” Later on, a

William Spaulding of the Ground Saucer Watch Inc., put these Trent photos

under intense computer scrutiny and came out with the same conclusion: It

was no hoax (Life).

In World War Two, Allied and Axis air pilots witnessed these eerie

luminous balls that would either chase planes or zip in and out of the

planes’ courses. Such oddities were to be eventually called “foo

fighters.” World War Two was a time of secrecy and great inventions.

Instinctively, the allies thought they were some kind of high tech German

innovation. Naturally, too, the Germans thought vice versa. Therefore,

nothing of an extraterrestrial nature was ever reported (Life 26), at

least officially.

There are countless reports where U.S. air force personnel

witnessed a flying saucer and reported it; only to be told that it was

probably a jet or weather balloon. Despite the fact that Project Blue

Book (a government UFO investigation) yielded a 1,465 page scientific

report containing charts, photographs and analyses, worth about a half

million dollars in research, the government stated in a 1969 news release

that due to lack of any “significant” conclusions, UFO research would be

terminated. Most fans of the research only read the introduction and

conclusion sections of the report. Unfortunately those sections were

written by an enthusiast of the U.S. Air Force: and hence embraced their

policy of denial and falsehood (Life 118). Consequently, the government’s

decision to halt research was accepted with little protest or suspicion.

Yet, the question whether the government is holding back vital UFO

information is still very strong. Many contend that the U.S. government

is doing so in an effort to ensure national safety and prevent potential

mass hysteria by publicizing the existence of alien beings.

In 1947, in New Mexico, one of the most famous and potent pieces of

evidence literally befell the United States. “Barney” Barnett, and some

local archeological students found shriveled and broken up pieces of shiny

metal and scattered dead bodies all over. A few days later, the army had

quarantined the area, shipped everything away, and told the witnesses that

it was their “patriotic duty” to keep the incident a secret. Nonetheless,

Barnett and the students went public about it (Life 74). To this day,

hundreds of reports and books detail this famous “Roswell incident” and

claim that the government, again, is hiding undeniable proof of alien


The Viking mission to Mars in 1976 is another prime example of the

government’s policy of non cooperation and denial. The Voyager had taken

two pictures of a rock form of a human face on Mars’ surface. Before a

1992 Observer voyage to Mars, many requested NASA to take high resolution

photos of this “Face” to determine whether it is really a three

dimensional rock formation. NASA responded in the negative, although the

government gave NASA an extra $90 million for the exact purpose of seeking

out Martian life forms. NASA gave a stupid explanation, claiming that the

1992 Observer was only photographing meter long objects, which the “‘Face’

could be a candidate target. However, there are no plans to tailor the

mission to assure that the ‘Face’ is imaged (Boyce).”

In a letter, Bob Bletchman cynically responded: “How can NASA not tilt

the camera to possibly answer the most profound question ever asked, ‘Are

we alone?’ (Bletchman)”

Nevertheless, many scientists maintain that the many UFO sightings

may simply be meteorites, some type of atmospheric phenomena, or high

tech, saucer-like airplanes used by the military. One factor that greatly

contributes to UFO skepticism is created by the thousands of UFO hoaxes

made each year. A prime and famous example of such hoaxes occurred in New

Mexico, 1963. Paul Villa claimed that UFO aliens had become so friendly

with him that they agreed to pose their ship for a camera shot. Using the

same high-tech computers as was used for the Trent photos, scientists

revealed a tiny wire that was used to suspend the “UFO” in the air (Life


Although it’s very easy to scoff at the thought of Martians and

flying saucers due to the subject’s emotional sensationalistic attributes

and attractabilty to the fantasizer, one can not simply dismiss the

possibility. There is too much evidence and too many good and honest

people out there who can give testimony. Too often, we hear of the many

government cover-ups and attempts to keep things concealed. Although the

government tries hard, they can’t keep it a secret forever. Little by

little, as more incidents occur and as more is leaked out, the world will

know that we are not alone.

It should be noted that this report by no means begins to even

scratch the surface of the UFO mystery. Not only are thousands of books

written on each issue, but each individual case is worthy of whole books

on its own. It therefore follows that this paper was a simple over of an

overview of the massive topics and subtopics that follow.

Bletchman, Bob. National Board, International Mutual UFO Network.

Bletchman, Bob. National Board, International Mutual UFO Network. Letters.

Connecticut: 1988

Boyce, Jacobs. Discipline Scientist, Planetary Geoscience, Solar System

Exploration Division, NASA. Letter. Washington, D.C.: 1988

Editors of Time-Life Books, eds. The UFO Phenomenon. Virginia: Time-

Life Books, 1987

Fitzgerald, Randall. The Complete Book of Extraterrestrial Encounters. New

York: Collier Books, 1979

Jacobs, David M. Secret life. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1992

Works Consulted

Fact or Fiction: The Roswell Autopsy. TV Program. N.p.: n.p., 1997.

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