The online magazine Zócalo has published an article of mine entitled “How the Industrial Age Fuels Over Belief in UFOs.” In it, I discuss the ways in which modern technologies helped spark interest in the possibilities of strange and amazing inventions and their eccentric inventors.
Veteran UFO researchers Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos and Wim van Utrecht have just published a new book that presents and analyzes an array of UFO photographs taken in Belgium from 1950 to 1988. For those interested in UFO images and in considering how the scenarios surrounding identified flying objects can inform how we make sense of unidentified objects, it’s well worth your time. And here’s a big plus – it’s available to download for free via academia.edu.
Just days before the announcement in The New York Times about the secret government program to collect data on UFO sightings, I was interviewed by historian Michael Robinson for his podcast “Time to Eat the Dogs.” We talked about the history of UFO sightings, changes in claims of alien contact, and my approach to the subject. You can check out the interview here or on iTunes here.
Michael himself has written some fascinating histories. His first book is The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (2006) and his most recent is entitled The Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists, and the Theory That Changed a Continent (2016). And check out some of the rest of his interesting interviews.
article about the work of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program in the United States. Financed by the Defense Department to the tune of $22 million and housed within the Pentagon, the program (2007-2012) documented “sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift.” Video included.The New York Times have published an
This past spring I had an opportunity to visit with historians involved in The Hidden Persuaders project at Birbeck, University of London. While there, I talked with colleagues about the ways in which the UFO phenomenon became a subject of interest for many researchers in the human sciences during the Cold War.
The Hidden Persuaders project is a fascinating collaborative venture, examining forms of persuasion and “brainwashing” – both real and imagined – in the Cold War and the role played by psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychoanalysts in evaluating and developing techniques designed to alter people’s perceptions and views. Their website is well worth the visit!
An interesting article by Les Carpenter that demonstrates that sometimes one sees what one wants to see.
The Wellcome Collection – a free museum and library “exploring health, life and our place in the world” and funded by the Wellcome Trust – has recently posted a small review of the history of sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a “sleep disorder in which the body is temporarily immobilised at the moment of waking or the moment of falling asleep. It is a minor, yet common, body/mind malfunction that upwards of 50% of the population claims to have experienced at least once in their lifetime.”
UFO researchers are likely most familiar with the phenomenon as it relates to claims of alien abduction. Social scientists and clinicians have often argued that individuals claiming to have had such experiences were in fact experiencing a bout of sleep paralysis that, after the fact, was transformed into a story of extraterrestrial assault.
Check out the site for some interesting video footage as well.