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The Synthetic Paradigm
by Michael R. Schuyler
Although technically UFOs are simply unidentified objects in the sky, alien beingsand UFOs go hand-in-hand. They are at the heart of the study of Ufology. It is agiven that UFOs can often be explained as natural phenomena, and it is certainlypossible some of the better sightings are of experimental or secret militaryaircraft. Few who study the issue would openly deny that, yet the world ofUfology inevitably deals with the possibility of aliens, beings from afar who, forreasons of their own, are visiting our planet.However, the idea that aliens are visiting us from another world is beset by anumber of problems that to many people appear to be insurmountable. The studyof this possibility is long on speculation, but short on theory. It is long on belief,but short on fact. It is long on anecdote, but short on evidence. Beyond theseissues, however, it is saddled with an even bigger one. There is no extant theorywhich sufficiently explains the presence of alien beings on the Earth. Given thelaws of physics as we know them, how could they possibly get here at all?There are basically two theoretical paradigms which purport to explain theirpresence. Though they are not mutually exclusive, proponents of one generallydo not like the other one. Historically they have been given several names, thetwo theories have come to commonly known as the Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis(ETH) and the Inter-Dimensional Hypothesis (IDH). The former is often called the“Nuts & Bolts Theory.”But there is more. Within the study of UFOs there has emerged a large groupwho believe UFOs are part of a larger reality, one that involves religion,reincarnation, and the ideas of heaven and a Supreme Being. Though beset withthe vagaries of cults and hoaxes, the beliefs associated with these groups arenot so very much different from mainstream religion around the world.It is the intent of this paper to suggest a synthesis of these ideas that, along withthe more religious beliefs alluding to the same reality, can form a basis forexplaining all observations and point the way to establishing advanced scienceand religion as two explanations for the same Reality. Indeed, the idea is that ata sufficiently advanced level, religion and science reveal the same reality.Although this idea is not new and has even been purported as coming from ETsthemselves, there has as yet been no decent explanation put forth that couldshow how this idea could possibly be true.
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We will briefly summarize the various opposing ideas before attempting to placethem in context with each other to come up with the Synthetic Paradigm, whichcan unite all these ideas into a single theory, a single theory of Reality that isconsidered palatable by science and religion alike.
ETH: Nuts & Bolts
 The ETH is a rationalistic, scientific paradigm that postulates physical worldspopulated by physical beings who travel about physical space in advancedphysical machines with very fancy attributes like warp drives or anti-gravity powerplants. These beings have evolved on other planets orbiting other stars and havedeveloped civilizations capable of inter-stellar flight. They are subject to andutilize the same rules of physics we have learned. In essence they have becomewho we want to become, space-faring races exploring the universe in Star Trekfashion. In so doing, they have found us. Although our future may have tricordersand robots and very advanced science, it’s not much different than our own, justmore advanced. It’s certainly rational to believe life could have evolved on otherplanets and that it could have evolved beyond where our science stands today.The ETH hypothesis began in the fifties along with the advent of the UFO issueitself. It reflects the culture and literature of its time. Authors such as RayBradbury were writing ‘rockets into space’ novels, such as the compelling“Martian Chronicles” (Bradbury, 1950) and Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” series(Asimov, 1951). As we turned our interest into space travel, we simply assumedwe would use a brute force method to get there. Indeed, we still do. The SpaceShuttle and the International Space Station use a strictly Nuts & Bolts approachto space travel.Although the Nuts & Bolts approach has been proven to work within the solarsystem for travel to other planets and moons, the biggest problem with the ETHfor travel outside the solar system is the Speed of Light. This has been proven byexperiment time and time again. It cannot be ignored. As far as we can tell, it is apart of the structure of the Universe. This built in speed limit to the Universemeans that it would take an inordinate amount of time to traverse greatdistances. Space faring civilizations could very well traverse relatively shortdistances, perhaps to a relatively close nearby star system, but inter-Galactictravel would require races far different than we are prepared to admit today. It iseasy to speculate that there is a way to circumvent the Speed of Light with WarpDrives, wormholes, or bending space, but these speculations today amount toliterary devices. They are not backed by science or mathematics. Perhaps in thefuture these problems will be overcome, but today, the only way to keep the ETHviable is to ignore the Speed of Light altogether or make up a device, such as awarp drive, that could, speculatively, get around it.It is true that a couple of recent experiments report the Speed of Light has beenbroken (Anderson, 2007) This is based on measuring a couple of photons
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bouncing off prisms three feet apart. It may be that this experiment opens up atheoretical avenue that leads to a breakthrough. But this is just an isolatedexperiment. It would need to be replicated many times and be supported by anew theory to become viable. Until and unless this happens we are stuck with theSpeed of Light and Special Relativity as proven theories, along with theirlimitations.
IDH: The Inter-Dimensional Hypothesis
One way to ignore the Speed of Light is to suggest that it does not apply becausewe need not encounter it. Rather than bang our heads against the wall, why notwalk through the door instead? The Inter-Dimensional Hypothesis came aboutpartially as an explanation for how the Speed of Light might not matter, but alsobecause of physical observations.One observation is that the sheer number of UFOs seem to defy the idea that afew space faring races are stopping by the Earth for a visit. Secondly, UFOsoften appear to defy the laws of physics as we know them. Not only do theymove and turn at speeds which would guarantee death of any being composedof protoplasm, they also appear to wink in and out of existence at will. Althoughcloaking devices could be hypothesized to account for part of this behavior, theirability to ignore the laws of inertia seem to defy explanation.One suggestion to account for this is that UFOs are not from far flung starsystems at all, but are “from here,” meaning they are not ‘extra-terrestrial’ at all. Ifthey are literally ‘from here,’ they have hidden their infrastructure well. If they arefrom here, they’ve been camping out in small numbers for a long time.The strangest reason, however, results because there are many, many storiesabout UFOs that show them to not behave as a rationalist would expect them to.Allen J. Hynek called this the “high strangeness factor.” (Hynek, 1972, p.22-26)UFOs and perceived “aliens” do not always behave in an entirely rationalmanner. Even a dyed-in-the-wool rationalist has to admit that there are strangeand paranormal-type attributes to many UFO stories and encounters that gobeyond fear and misinterpretation. Whitley Strieber saying how he saw deadrelatives in company with aliens is an example (Tischler, 1995). Otherwiserational people report instances of telekinesis, telepathy, and evenstraightforward communications which indicate not space travel, but inter-dimensional travel.One of the earliest proponents of what we now call the Inter-Dimensionalhypothesis is Jacque Vallee. In his book “Passport to Magonia” (Vallee: 1969) heequates UFOs to stories of fairies, visitations by the Virgin Mary, etc. he suggeststhese visitations have happened for centuries and that they are interpreted byindividuals within the context of their own cultures. John Keel is another earlyadapter of the IDH as described in “The Mothman prophecies” (Keel, 1976).
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