On UFOs and (psychogenic) perception
by Bert Olivier
The recent declassification of previously secret documents by the FBI, and the availability of these on their so-called Vault website, have given the public access to, among others, the documents pertaining to the UFO “incident” at Roswell in the US, dating back to 1947. The incident in question involves, not merely sightings of “flying discs” — of which there were unbelievably many, as recorded in these documents, especially between the late 1940s and the 1960s — but the discovery of one of these “spacecraft” that supposedly crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in July of that year.
The newly released files confirm that the disc-like craft that had crashed, contained three humanoid figures, about four feet tall, with heads that were disproportionately big for their small bodies. Even the clothes they were wearing are described, and if one Googles “Roswell incident”, or “Roswell aliens”, or “Roswell alien autopsy”, you get to sites where a film, supposedly taken by one of the people involved with the autopsy carried out on (at least) one of the “aliens” may be viewed. The number of hits registered on those sites are an index of the interest generated by these “sensational” revelations.
The question is: what are we to make of it? After decades of denial on the part of US military authorities and the FBI, to be suddenly confronted by newly declassified documents that confirm, not merely the sighting(s) of UFOs, but actual, non-fictional “close encounters of the third kind” (á la Spielberg), that is, staring (dead) alien visitors in the face, as it were, puts the cat among the pigeons, to say the least. It is probably the case that the “evidence” could have been faked, constructed, and yet, the lingering doubt remains, that it could be authentic. (In the “alien autopsy” film available on YouTube, the “alien’s” feet look distinctly human, although the head, face and ears look non-human; but they could have been doctored to look that way.)
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe that we are the only “intelligent” creatures in this vast universe of billions of galaxies. Like Giordano Bruno of 16th-century Nola, Italy, before me, I believe in the likelihood (for him, the certainty) that other planets are populated by creatures similar to, but also different from, us. Bruno paid with his life for uttering this belief when he was burnt at the stake, probably largely because of the ecclesiastic-political situation of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation at a time when the Roman Catholic Church was determined to eradicate all signs of so-called heresy (as if any person or institution has sole access to truth), and because he framed his “belief in aliens” in terms of a philosophical-theological argument.
We know, he said, that an effect is always commensurable with its cause. (For example, when finite “causes” like adult birds reproduce sexually, they produce the “effect” or result of chicks of their own species, and it is unlikely that they would produce a human being). Similarly, Bruno argued further, an infinite cause, to wit, God, cannot be expected to produce a finite effect or result, and hence, the universe and everything in it, being the “effect” of God’s creative act, must be similarly infinite. From this it further follows, he pointed out, that there must be innumerable worlds, similar to ours, where “rational” creatures like ourselves live. Unfortunately the church “authorities” did not like the tenor of his argument, and confined poor Bruno to the flames.
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