No. 73: Jan-Feb 1991
Regardless of what mainstream science thinks of them, UFO observations continue to pile up -- by the tens of thousands! In fact, like the crop-circle events, UFO reports are increasing in number and strangeness. It doesn't matter that the UFOs and their alleged occupants may be physically real. There are tens of thousands of people who think that they have observed something strange -- even after all hoaxes and misinterpretations of natural phenomena have been culled out. Most of those who are willing to accept UFOs as valid phenomenon think they are real hardware piloted by extraterrestrials.
J. Vallee, a computer scientist and prolific writer on the subject, demurs, and he gives five reasons why:
"(1) Unexplained close encounters are far more numerous than required for any physical survey of the earth; (2) The humanoid body structure of the alleged 'aliens' is not likely to have originated on another planet and is not biologically adapted to space travel; (3) The reported behavior in thousands of abduction reports contradicts the hypothesis of genetic or scientific experimentation on humans by an advanced race; (4) The extension of the phenomenon throughout recorded history demonstrates that UFOs are not a contemporary phenomenon; and (5) The apparent ability of UFOs to manipulate space and time suggests radically different and richer alternatives."
If not extraterrestrial hardware, what are the UFOs? Vallee has three suggestions: (1) they are "earth lights" a la P. Devereux; that is, an unappreciated terrestrial phenomenon that impresses mental images on the minds of observers; (2) They are artifacts of a "control system" operated by a nonhuman intelligence or, perhaps, a Gaia like manifestation of supernature (of which we are a tiny part) that is trying to modify our behavior; and (3) They are apparitions caused by entities ma nipulating space and time; viz,. time travellers from our own past and/or future. (Vallee, Jacques F.; "Five Arguments against the Extraterrestrial Origin of Unidentified Flying Objects," Journal of Scientific Exploration, 4:105, 1990.)