UFOs & Society
"Society" means the greater human context that we all live
in every day. In modern, 21st century societies, the broad aspects of
society are mostly represented by organizations of one kind or another.
Organizations are built by money, power, and connections. Walk around your
city and look at the buildings. Why are they there? Some organizational
power built them. Was it a governmental organization, business
organization, religious organization, nonprofit organization, or, perhaps,
a powerful private individual? What?
Each of these organizational forces has some relationship to
UFOs. Let's take a look.
- Governmental Organizations. These divide
into military and non-military.
Military organizations are
tasked with maintaining the national security of the U.S. Anything that
threatens this must be responded to. Would mysterious things in the sky
be a possible threat? Most folks would say "yes." Thus, the military
should have a deep relationship with UFOs, and, in fact, it has had
throughout the history of the UFO and still does
Non-military organizations are the governmental
organizations that make laws, enforce laws, take care of societal
infrastructure like roads, sewers, etc., take care of the welfare of the
middle class and poor, etc. (You are right. We forgot the rich. The
government takes care of the rich the best, of course.) Does the UFO
affect any of these things? Hardly at all, with maybe one exception: the
various non-military governmental intelligence organizations such
as the FBI, CIA, NSA, and others, and sometimes the law enforcement
organizations at the federal, state, and local levels.
naturally expect the national level intelligence organizations to be
involved for two reasons: it is their job (1) to keep tabs on threats to
the national security (just as the military does) and (2) to monitor how
the public is responding to the UFO phenomenon, just like the FBI and
CIA monitored (and tried to disrupt sometimes) the various anti-war
groups during the Vietnam War era (with their COINTELPRO
Why UFOs? If the alien abduction phenomenon is real
(and ufologists certainly believe it is), then a federal law is being
broken. It is against the law to kidnap people and, in fact, the FBI is
charged with investigating kidnappings. However, as a matter of fact, no
UFO abductees report their experiences to law enforcement because they
hardly understand what has happened to them in the first place. So,
ufologists believe that the FBI has never launched an investigation
because a UFO abductee has requested it. However, many ufologists
believe that the FBI has probably kept tabs on abductees sometimes and
has certainly kept tabs on the various UFO groups over the years.
- Business Organizations. America is all
about business. The vast majority of large buildings are devoted to
business interests. Something around 200 of the largest corporations
control more than half of the U.S. economy. Could businesses be involved
with UFOs? By and large, of course, they are not with one large
exception. These are the corporations that do black budget research and
development for the U.S. They deliver military and aerospace products
The black budget is that part of the total U.S.
budget every year that is devoted to completely secret projects of one
sort or another. The F-117A Fighter and B-1 Stealth Bomber, for example,
were two projects paid for by the black budget. A good introduction to
the black budget is Tim Weiner's Blank Check. No one knows for
sure, but something like $40 billion a year was spent in the 1980s on
the black budget according to Weiner. Even your Senate Intelligence
Committee does not know what goes on and how much is spent. See
magazine article for more.
Could corporations working in the
black budget area of government be secretly dealing with the UFO
situation? Of course they could. And the information about this in the
UFO subculture literature runs the gamut from reasonably credible to
wildly credulous. There is not much doubt that the black budget secret
protectors routinely run disinformation programs in the UFO subculture
to keep things stirred up and confused. See Gregory Bishop's Project Beta for
documentation of a UFO disinformation campaign waged against a rather
credulous, but well-intentioned professional engineer, the late Paul
Bennewitz. Some UFO researchers like Tim Good, J. Allen Hynek, and Linda
Howe have reported being involved in what later turned out to be
government intelligence run disinformation operations.
- Religious Organizations. These are
represented in the U.S. mostly by Christian groups of various beliefs
and practices. The two primary categories are the Catholics and the many
Protestant groups, which divide roughly along liberal and conservative
cultural lines. Essentially, the Catholics and mainline Protestant
groups of a liberal bent are silent on the UFO. They do not officially
or unofficially preach, write, or even think about UFOs. Ufologists
believe that there is no material, special involvement of UFOs in this
group of Christians. Conservative Christians (mostly fundamentalists and
evangelicals—the "born-agains"), on the other hand, have thought about,
occasionally preached about, and often written books about UFOs.
Something around 20 books entirely about UFOs have been written by
conservative Christians. The invariable interpretation of UFOs, of
course, is that they are part of the Satanic realm. UFOs are not
materially involved with conservative Christians more than with anyone
else, ufologists believe.
Other religious groups in America, such
as the Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews, do not think, preach, or
write about UFOs with the possible exception of the Tibetan Buddhists.
Because their religion is so heavily meditation-based, they may have
insights into UFOs that other practitioners do not.
have looked at the various UFO-related religious cults over the years,
such as the Unarius Society, the Raelians, and the Heavens Gate cult,
but none of these cults seems to have any insights into or knowledge of
UFOs greater than what ufologists themselves do. The UFO ideas of these
cults stem mainly from the channeling (mediumistic) practices that most
of these cults engage in. Ufologists do not believe that the channeling
phenomenon, whatever its reality status might be, offers any special
knowledge of or insights into UFOs.
In the 1950s, various people
(George Adamski, Truman Bethurum, Daniel Fry, Dino Kraspedon, and later
in the 1970s and 80s, Billy Meier) claimed special face-to-face contact
with the "UFO people." Almost all ufologists reject the claims of
knowledge and experience of these "contactees." Much of their factual
information has turned out to be incorrect and much of the rest of it
cannot be verified at all easily.
- NPOs (Nonprofit Organizations). Nonprofit
groups are mainly educational, recreational, civic, or charity related.
Some examples are the National Rifle Association, the National Grange,
the Benevolent & Protective Order of the Elks, the American Red
Cross, the Ford Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the
American Chamber of Commerce. There are something well over one million
nonprofit organizations in America today.
not found that any of the large nonprofits are involved with the
UFO in any way, especially any material way. The nonprofits do not study
UFOs nor do they distribute money to UFO organizations trying to study
UFOs. UFO research and advocacy groups are, of course, organized as
nonprofits themselves. MUFON, for example, is a 501(c)(3)
However, it is quite possible that some of the
large charitable organizations, such as the Ford Foundation or the
Rockefeller Foundation, have secretly funded UFO-related projects, but
this is not known to the UFO research community if true.
- Educational Institutions. Considering the
mission of educational institutions, this sector of society has been
woefully inadequate in the eyes of ufologists, especially the
institutions of higher learning—the colleges and universities of the
U.S. By rights, there should be free and open study of this widespread
phenomenon, but you will look in vain to find any longterm study of UFOs
at any of America's colleges or universities. The reasons for this are
complex and are addressed elsewhere on this site.
be organized as a multi-disciplinary study probably centered in
departments of anthropology and archeology since UFOs seem to be deeply
involved with humankind, probably since earliest times. Another
candidate department might be astronomy/astrobiology. The study must be
multi-disciplinary because the UFO has biological, medical,
psychological, apparent psychical, physiological, geological, and
religious aspects among others. Despite this reality, you cannot major
or minor in UFO studies in any accredited institution of higher learning
Much to the detriment of basic human knowledge, the
academic establishment has failed miserably to do its duty to
intellectual integrity and especially to the tens of thousands of people
who are UFO abductees. Ufologists hope, and work everyday toward this,
that academics will eventually realize the error of their ways and
openly and honestly study the most important subject ever to face
Interestingly, primary and secondary education does a
better job of handling the UFO problem than the institutions of higher
learning. UFOs and the world of the paranormal are scary, exciting
subjects to many grade schoolers, so you find that there are many
juvenile books devoted to the paranormal. UFOs are especially well
represented, perhaps because of the relationship of UFOs to outer space
and space travel, which many children are interested in. Of the 1500 or
so books in English about UFOs, perhaps around 100 are juvenile books.
UFOs are not often the subject of study in grade school or secondary
school, but occasionally teachers use the subject to entice children
into improving their reading skills or, sometimes in a science class,
into increasing their investigatory and critical thinking
By and large, educational institutions are silent on
UFOs. Perhaps this will change for the better in the near future.
- Powerful Individuals. Rich and powerful
people occasionally are involved with UFOs, but this is rare. The
recently deceased Laurance Rockefeller had quite an interest in the
phenomenon in the 1990s and did devote some of his millions to further
research. The ufology community thanks Mr. Rockefeller for this. A Las
Vegas land developer, Robert Bigelow, has spent some serious money in
this field and has encouraged and helped developed some important
scientific and scholarly work by funding his National Institute for Discovery
Sciences. This work is now, unfortunately, suspended. Ufology thanks
Mr. Bigelow. Joe Firmage, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, spent some
money in the 1990s in an effort to alert the world to the alien
intelligence phenomenon, which he loosely connected to UFOs. But he
basically got ridiculed for his efforts and he is now gone from the
field. UFO author Whitley Strieber spent some serious money in the field
and still participates some in the field. The ufology community thanks
Mr. Strieber for his kind efforts in helping ufology.
our own government in the past and a number of rich folks recently have
spent big money on extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) study, but it has
been the wrong kind. This is the ETI figment of the SETI imagination.
SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) is the name of a fringe
field of scientific study. The problem with SETI is that the only ETs
interested in Earth seem to be UFO ETs, and the SETI cultists dismiss
UFOs out of hand as products of overheated imaginations. But consider
this: no SETI scientist has ever read more than five of the top one
hundred UFO books by ufologist scholars and scientists. Their prejudice
against UFOs is so great that they haven't even done the first thing
that any honest scholar or scientist does when faced with a new area of
knowledge: read the relevant literature.
Because SETI scientists
use ordinary science and are many times affiliated with academic
institutions, they seem like legitimate scientists doing legitimate
scientific work—at least to the ignorant rich folks who support them
like Paul Allen, Steven Spielberg, David Packard (Hewlett Packard),
William Hewlett (Hewlett Packard), Gordon Moore (Intel), and others.
SETI efforts have spent millions of dollars over 30 or more years and
have nothing to show for it; whereas, in 50 years, ufology has spent,
perhaps, a half million dollars from the pockets of people like you and
me and has built up a sizable body of knowledge that convinces any
reasonable person who peruses it that some UFOs are indeed flying
saucers (whatever those are). At the very least, any rational and
unprejudiced person would be convinced that UFOs must be studied in
academia now and long into the future for the ultimate good of
- Art World. This societal force has mostly a
cultural interest in UFOs. Some in the serious art world are fascinated
by the bizarre and outré, and they fancy that UFOs are part of that.
Most of the visual art that is readily available to the public, however,
is produced by experiencers themselves or graphic artists who happen to
be close to the UFO subculture for some reason. See Jim Nichols and William McDonald. A number of
European Renaissance paintings show oddities that can be interpreted as
evidence of UFO activity. See Matthew Hurley's The Alien
Chronicles. And, additionally, ancient astronaut researchers
point out various archeological artifacts that can be interpreted as ET
related. See, among many others, the works of Zecharia Sitchin.
roll musicians have been occasionally attracted to the topic of UFOs and
there are many songs featuring UFO/flying saucer lore. See Michael
Luckman's Alien Rock.
- Sports World. American society has a
sizable contingent of people involved in the world of sport. To be sure,
this is mainly dominated by big business interests today, but it still
qualifies as a separate part of our society. As you might expect, the
sports world has no material relationship to UFOs. Only very rarely are
UFOs even mentioned in the sports world. The "UFO people" don't seem to
care about sports—American style, anyway! And the world of sports and
sports figures don't seem to care about UFOs! But consider this UFO
sports oddity: during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the grand finale
featured a blacked out stadium into which was lowered a model of a
flying saucer. This was sponsored by Levi Strauss, the makers of the
jeans. Levi Strauss went on to advertise with more alien-themed
advertising in the 1980s and 1990s!
- The People. This is where all the action
is. The great mass of regular people in America and around the world
bear the brunt of the UFO phenomenon. The UFO phenomenon happens to
them. It is an experience. Many are convinced that it is real. But for
many of them (the abductees and some experiencers who generally are
especially close to the UFO), just what kind of reality it is, is
virtually impossible to get a grip on. Since there is no establishment
acknowledgment of the UFO subject, the people are left to deal as best
they can with what is happening to them. Luckily, a very small, but very
dedicated group of Americans and citizens in other countries around the
world (ufologists) have diligently studied UFOs for over 50 years now.
Quite a body of good, solid information has been developed despite the
severe handicaps of scant time and money. But all ufologists know that
much, much more work needs to be done. There are probably generations of
work left to be done on understanding just what kind of strange
phenomenon UFOs are.
- News and Entertainment Media. Another great
disappointment to ufologists has been the mainstream news media — print
and TV — over the years. The generally poor coverage of the mainstream
news media (New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc.,
and ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc.) during the last 50 years has been an
object of study itself by ufologists. The best study is Terry Hansen's
The Missing Times.
Essentially, the problem is that the mainstream news media take their
cues on how to handle a subject from the various establishment sources
of information. If the scientific establishment speaks on UFOs (no
matter how ill-informed or downright silly), it is accepted as truth by
the news media. If the U.S. Air Force speaks on UFOs (no matter how ill-informed or
downright silly), it is accepted as truth.
One must remember
also that the news media today are increasingly controlled by big
business. Thus, the news media are less and less independent as the
years go by. Real investigative reporting takes time and money, and,
anyway, the results of the investigative reporting might get you in
trouble with the government, or military, or other big businesses. So
why rock the boat? Where is the profit in that?
On the other
hand, the big media corporations also increasingly control the
entertainment media. Here UFOs are safe to treat because the question of
their reality is not an important issue. And treat them they do! The
public is introduced to all kinds of UFO research information because
the public gets to decide for itself by itself whether it is real or
not. No one is forcing the public to confront the issue as real or not
real as would be the case if Sixty Minutes or the NBC Nightly
News with Brian Williams treated the subject seriously.
kinds of UFO alien and science fiction alien-themed shows are launched
every year as the big corporations hope to capture your dollars. Some do
pretty well like Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third
Kind and Taken TV series. Some don't like Spielberg's
Artificial Intelligence: AI. Some ufologists think that a sort of
UFO education program is being run on the American people and the people
of the world, too, to some extent because a few prominent ufologists
were specifically told this by people they had reason to believe were
connected to the world of government intelligence agencies. Timothy Good
is one such ufologist. For an intriguing look into the possible
connections between the world of the intelligence establishment and the
entertainment media, see Bruce Rux's Hollywood Vs. the Aliens.
- Criminal Element. Like it or not, every
society is plagued by certain people who want to do harm to people or
property. The people who break laws come from all walks of life from the
most powerful and educated to those much less fortunate. Ufologists
believe that the criminal element is not involved with UFOs to any
appreciable extent at all. Usually people break laws to gain some
financial reward — at least the rational among them anyway. This is true
for the street criminal as well as for the corporate boardroom variety.
These people do not care about UFOs and are not materially involved more
than any other group of people. Despite this, there are possibly some
people who break laws over UFOs. These people work for the intelligence
agencies of the U.S. The laws broken are civil rights laws mostly. The
reasons, of course, for this criminal behavior are murky at best because
intelligence agency operations can always claim motivations based upon
national security. The national security excuse has covered a host of
sins down through the history of 20th and 21st century America, just
like it has for all powerful countries.
Of the eleven areas of society briefly examined above, the
government — especially military, religion, education, the people, and the
news and entertainment media are involved with the UFO at some important
level. Unfortunately, this is mostly negative because the powerful
individuals in these areas of society see the UFO as a problem and not as
an opportunity, with the exception of the entertainment industry. This
short-sighted attitude has created a big problem for the people in the
U.S. and around the world who come into close contact with the UFO
phenomenon. UFO experiences are very mind-bending for close encounter
experiencers, and they need all the help that an enlightened society can
give them to cope effectively with their experiences.
Perhaps in the next fifty years, the U.S. government will
come clean with the American people and the ignorant scientific and
scholarly establishment will join ufologists in a longterm, serious study
of UFOs. But today, we can only hope for a favorable turn of events such
as the following. There is an outside chance that the phenomenon itself
will inadvertently (or not) force the hand of our various societal
establishments, and then we will begin the process of all finally knowing
as a society some fundamental truths about the UFO phenomenon and human