Posted on February 13, 2011


By: Demetrius (Co-Founder of the OCPRS, Toronto Canada)

As most people are aware, UFO stands for “Unidentified Flying Object.” There are sightings of UFOs worldwide – of strange lights, and of objects. UFOs are considered paranormal, but how so? The reason is largely due to how these lights and objects are unidentified, and there is no rational explanation that can apply universally to every such sighting. Most people have come to believe these lights and objects to be spacecraft from other worlds. In addition to UFO sightings, alien abductions and alien contact is also reported. The fact of the matter is that UFOs are not what they appear to be.

Largely a 20th century phenomena, UFOs have fuelled the imagination and desires of humanity. Like all mysteries, there are various explanations offered. The most dominant belief arising from UFOs is that they are spacecraft from another planet. Although there is little more than a belief in such “theories,” many eye-witnesses claim that the lights or objects they see are indeed spacecraft. Here, the conclusions are based solely on beliefs formed from pre-conceived ideas used to understand what was observed, and not the reality of the circumstances. In some cases there do exist rational explanations to what is otherwise an unusual event. There are naturally occurring phenomena which may explain what people are seeing. Some examples are irregular weather events such as sprites, which are electrical discharges similar to lightning. Other unusual weather anomalies are Lenticular clouds that take on a shape similar to the “flying saucer.” Meteors have also been mistaken for UFOs. Aircraft, weather balloons, satellites, and other man-made objects are other examples. These rational explanations could account for the lights and objects recognized as UFOs. Misperception is not uncommon in many cases of UFO sightings, and there are even rare cases of mirages – called Fata Morgana – that may also occur. However, not all cases can be rationally explained. Despite whether or not UFOs can be explained, the belief in aliens from another world visiting the earth in spacecraft remains the most popular “theory” circulated among UFO enthusiasts.

Science fiction has helped shape the belief in aliens visiting the earth, but more importantly has promoted the belief beyond what the unidentified lights and objects ever could accomplish alone. Moving beyond science fiction literature, there emerged sensationalistic theories about extraterrestrials visiting the earth in the ancient past, such as Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods. Although his theories were restricted to examples from the ancient world, it was the UFO phenomena of the 20th century that inspired his comparative examples, and not the so-called historical evidence that he presents. The UFO phenomenon inspired Daniken to create a belief system of his own design. It was never the historical evidence that suggested UFOs existed throughout human history. He was not alone, and the idea continued to be promoted time and time again. A much more recent example of this can be found in Fingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock. Other theories branching off from such books attempt inclusions such as biological evolution and technological advancements owed to visitors from another planet. Here, the UFO phenomena are not only extended beyond sightings of unidentified lights and objects, but have influenced a belief about humanities origins, technological developments, and sense of purpose. One such example can be found in Jim Marrs’ book, Rule by Secrecy, where he writes: “not only is humankind not alone in the universe but nonhuman intelligences most probably had a hand in our creation.” Of course, this is in direct opposition to Christian beliefs concerning God and creation. What remains certain is that the lights and objects regarded as UFOs have inspired both wild fantasies and beliefs for people of the 20th century.

The influence of UFO phenomena over humanity is much more real than most people would like to admit. On October 30, 1938, the Columbia Broadcasting System aired a radio show adaptation of H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel, War of the Worlds (narrated by Orson Welles). The show was broadcast as radio news announcements, reporting an invasion by aliens from Mars. People took the reports seriously, believing them to be authentic news announcements, and mass hysteria quickly followed. The New York Times newspaper headlined the incident and the mass panic that it caused. Many people today believe that people were less sophisticated in the 1930’s. What is interesting about this event is that the earliest reports of UFO sightings did not occur in the United States until 1947. Although UFO sightings could not have influenced this particular event, what remains evident is how susceptible people were to the science fiction promoted during the early part of the 20th century. If anything, the 1938 radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds should have made people much more sceptical about UFO sightings that began to occur in the following decades. It did not.

In 1995 networks from all over the world aired what was believed to be an alien autopsy. The seventeen minute film footage was supposedly taken in 1947, Roswell, New Mexico. The film was said to be military in origin. Networks broadcasting the alien autopsy reported high ratings of viewers. The film footage remains a matter of speculation, but is most likely a hoax. The owner of the alien autopsy film – Ray Santilli – admitted that there are only portions of the film that are authentic, but did not specify which portions were reproductions. Despite this confession on his part, millions of people were astonished by the alien autopsy. Many people regarded the alien autopsy as evidence to extraterrestrial life. The entire story behind the alien autopsy is owed to UFO phenomena. What both the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast and alien autopsy reveal, is that regardless of truth, people are easily influenced by UFO phenomena. In his book Passport to Magonia, Dr. Jacque F. Vallee explores the affects of UFO phenomena in order to understand their potential purpose. In his book he writes: “it is possible to make large sections of the population believe in the existence of supernatural races […] in the plurality of inhabited worlds, by exposing them to a few carefully engineered scenes, the details of which are adapted to the culture and superstitions of a particular time and place.” The previous two examples are better understood through Dr. Vallee’s assessment of UFO phenomena. Of course, Dr. Vallee explored what he considered objective and legitimate UFO sightings, and not simply rumours. In addition to influence, Dr. Vallee notes a vital reason for such occurrences. In another book authored by Dr. Vallee, The Invisible College, he writes: “What takes place through close encounters with UFOs is control of human beliefs.” Here, the purpose is also applied to the previous examples, but also broadens an understanding of the potential source of UFO phenomena – religion.

New Age spirituality has been influenced by UFO sightings, as well as having helped shaped explanations for UFO phenomena. In his book, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, Fr. Seraphim Rose discusses the source of UFO phenomena, and in doing so provides an answer explaining why UFO phenomena occurs in Christian terms: “Perhaps never since the beginning of the Christian era have demons appeared so openly and extensively as today. The ‘visitors from outer space’ theory is but one of the many pretexts they are using to gain acceptance for the idea that ‘higher beings’ are now to take charge of the destiny of mankind.” What Fr. Seraphim Rose is saying here is not much different from Dr. Vallee, except of course, he is boldly identifying demonic manifestations as the source and cause of such influences on humanity. This is not a matter of religion trying to justify itself against what is seemingly a “scientific” phenomena. Clearly, explanations for unexplainable UFO phenomena have little to do with science. Having many similarities to demonic manifestations known throughout Christian history, UFOs are just as ambivalent in their appearances, as are other forms of paranormal phenomena. Demonic manifestations and UFOs share a similar purpose. It could be for this reason that an 11th century monk – St. Symeon the New Theologian – warned, “rarely look into the sky out of fear of the evil spirits in the air who cause many and various deceptions in the air.”

All this now brings us to New Age spirituality, from which UFO phenomena finds its strongest voice. Largely inspired by the unidentified lights and objects that have come to be defined as spacecraft piloted by extraterrestrials, various quasi-religious and spiritual movements emerged: Aetherius Society, Heaven’s Gate, Industrial Church of the New World Comforter, Raëlism, Nation of Islam (NOI), Scientology, Unarius Academy of Science, Universe people, Order of the Solar Temple, Ashtar Galactic Command, and the Outer Dimensional Force etc. Within each of these UFO cults there exists a mythos describing and including UFOs, extraterrestrial contact, and a “divine” or “spiritual” teaching or message. Although each of these UFO cults is seemingly distinct from one another, they all promote the same ideas contrary to the true spirituality found within Christianity. These groups are the product of UFO phenomena. To believe that UFOs have little or nothing to do with humanities spirituality is naïve. Even on a secular level, atheism can and has become a part of UFO phenomena, whereby the origins of mankind are owed to extraterrestrial activity rather than owed to God. Regardless of how each person tries to look at UFO phenomena, the outcome is the same.