A SURVEY AMONG U.A.P. INVESTIGATORS AND SCHOLARS - PART XV


It is a wonderful experience to get the opinion of a very selective group of people at an international level and get them together giving answers to just 8 questions referred to the Unusual Aerial Phenomena.

We give a big thanks to all those colleagues who are answering our survey and we are very pleased to present to you their ideas. We hope that what they say would be useful to you in your own work with the UAP and that their criteria would help to shape your own one.

We continue today the publication of the answers of these colleagues, and we are doing so in the order they were received.


Jerome Clark is a longtime American ufologist, former editor of Fate and of CUFOS'

International UFO Reporter, who has written some 25 books dealing with anomalies and

fringe beliefs.  These days he is a regular contributor to the London- based Fortean

Times.  The third edition of his award-winning UFO Encyclopedia was published in two volumes by Omnigraphics in late August.


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 1) Do you use the acronym UFO or another designation, and if so, why?

I see no reason to abandon UFO, a perfectly serviceable name. I never use "UAP" or anything comparable because no one has demonstrated a need for such.

2) Have your idea about UFOs changed along the time?

 Yes. Over the course of a long career in ufology, I have undergone an intellectual evolution in my understanding of the UFO phenomenon.  In my late career I have come to a synthesis which cuts across the usual distinction between nuts-and-bolts and so-called paranormal approaches.  I believe that both are valid, but they are separate issues addressing different questions and unrelated sets of data.  This explains, for example, why there is no abduction equivalent to, say, the RB-47 case, nor will there ever be.  Such reports have no fundamental relationship to each other, only a surface one that makes it appears as if they are generated by something we call UFOs.

3) Should the UFO investigator become an expert in IFOs?

I'm not sure what an IFO "expert" (or a UFO "expert" for that matter) is, but obviously one should be able to disentangle genuinely puzzling reports from those that only appear to be.

4) If there were still some unexplained phenomena, what could they be?

Anomalous, beyond current knowledge, and probably more than one phenomenon.  Likely, there is an event phenomenon (exemplified in CE2s and radar/visuals), and there is an experience phenomenon (high-strangeness episodes which while highly anomalous are unprovable in any scientifically meaningful sense, are related to centuries of supernatural traditions, and are perceived in ways that reflect a culture's sense of the otherworldly.  In my view the two aspects are related only in superficial appearance.

5) How do you consider this issue in general? What do you think about the whole subject?

 I think it is important, likely to lead to significant advances in knowledge, but it will not be taken up by science in our lifetimes.

6) Is it possible to do something effective to bring the truth to the public and to change the mind of those who still proclaim or believe that extraterrestrial beings are living with us on Earth?

I'm not sure what the "truth" is supposed to be here.  I do think, however, that UFOs merit serious, adequately funded scientific study.

7) Do you think SETI and similar searches are valid activities?

Maybe.  I'd like to see a good chunk of that funding go to research into the most anomalous UFO reports.

8) What is your idea about multiple universes?

Not being a physicist, I have no useful opinion on the matter.

Next  publication: answers from Ignacio Cabria (Spain)

A SURVEY AMONG U.A.P. INVESTIGATORS AND SCHOLARS - PART XIV




It is a wonderful experience to get the opinion of a very selective group of people at an international level and get them together giving answers to just 8 questions referred to the Unusual Aerial Phenomena.

We give a big thanks to all those colleagues who are answering our survey and we are very pleased to present to you their ideas. We hope that what they say would be useful to you in your own work with the UAP and that their criteria would help to shape your own one.

We continue today the publication of the answers of these colleagues, and we are doing so in the order they were received.





Jan Aldrich
 
BA- History University College, University of Maryland

Various military courses in meteorology, security and intelligence, leadership and management



1996-2018 US Postal Service, Officer-in-charge, clerk

1967-1994 US Army, Safety manager, Assistant Adjutant, Security and Intelligence (Security Manager and/or Classified Document Custodian) in nuclear capible units, meteorological instruction, meteorological operations, supply and arms repair.  Served in section of three men to Chief Enlisted Instructor for Meteorology and Sound operations to  Special staff assigment on the staff of a major subordinate command, Southern European Task Force.

Aldrich is a meticulous historian of the UFO subject. His works are internationally recognized. 
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1) Do you use the acronym UFO or another designation, and if so, why?


Since my interest mainly concerns the history of the subject, I use the acronym UFO.  Unfortunately in the United States the acronym in popular culture equates to extraterrestrial space ship.


2) Have your idea about UFOs changed along the time?

Certainly my views have changed as has my approach.  Since I am more interested in the history, what UFOs are has become secondary.  Rather how do individuals and institutions react to the subject.  It does not matter what UFOs are or if they exist, Keyhoe, the military establishment, amateur groups do exist, these are the things which can be studied in an historical context.  I have no personal theory about UFOs.  Other peoples' beliefs and interactions are my interest.

3) Should the UFO investigator become an expert in IFOs?

Probably.  Such an investigator should at a minimum know where to find information on known phenomena and activities.

4) If there were still some unexplained phenomena, what could they be?

Probably with the unexplained incidents, there could be a number of various and rare phenomena.  I am reminded of a physics experiment which I was hired to work on in college.  Bombarding a target with high energy protons.  The results were varied depending on the interactions, Lambda particles, electron-positron pairs, and other particles.  So unexplained UFOs could involve multiple unexplored answers such as insects, arachnids, rare electrical phenomena, grazing or satellite velocity meteors, unusual aircraft and lighter than air configurations, and maybe more exotic explanations like ET, etc.

5) How do you consider this issue in general? What do you think about the whole subject?

It is akin to various phenomena which in the past were disregarded due to having no ready explanation.  Transient Lunar Phenomena, meteors causing flashes on the moon.  Now any space scientist will tell you today, well of course, we know that meteors hit the moon.  However, historically until it was viewed by more than one reliable observer, such was not taken seriously by many.  Ball lightning was completely explained as after images or other means for decades--effectively debunked.

6) Is it possible to do something effective to bring the truth to the public and to change the mind of those who still proclaim or believe that extraterrestrial beings are living with us on Earth?

I am not concerned with beliefs, except to chronicle their origins and evolution.

7) Do you think SETI and similar searches are valid activities?

I am not sure about searching for radio waves from other possible ET civilizations.  A sufficiently high technical civilization might communicate by some other means.

8) What is your idea about multiple universes?

An idea like others with no physical evidence.  So it is a theoretical construct with no obvious way yet to test the theory.

Next publication: answers from Jerome Clark  (J.A. Hynek CUFOS)