SPECULATIONS OF A UFO KIND
(Investigator 15, 1990 November)
We seem to have reached a point where it has become downright
disreputable of anyone with the slightest reverence for scientific
principles to demonstrate even the merest whiff of enthusiasm for UFO
phenomena. In fact, in some circles, if you want to avoid being thought
of as someone with considerably less than average intelligence, or
overwrought due to an undisciplined imagination, it is best to avoid
the subject altogether.
This judgement, according to alternative schools of thought might, in
the fullness of time, well turn out to be premature, if not dangerously
Even Dr Allen Hynek, respected scientist and professional astronomer
(and thus not easily fooled) admitted, after a twenty year official
investigation into the matter that he was hard pressed to find
scientifically viable explanations for some of the incidents and events
that he came across. Nonetheless, as far as I can discover, even he
avoided the radical step of associating UFOs with alien intervention.
I personally have never seen a UFO. Nor do I know anyone who has seen
one. I do not even know anyone who knows anyone who has seen one.
Strangely, even perhaps significantly, it appears that the bulk of
those with such "first hand" experience were people who had previously
shown no interest in the phenomenon and/or were not scientifically
Like everyone else, I have of course read about UFOs, although due to
the absurd nature and ridiculously sensational presentation of most of
the so-called encounters not in great depth. And, like most of us, I
have grave misgivings when it comes to equating them with investigators
from light-years-distant realms. There has never been the slightest
trace of tangible evidence to support such a claim. Only anecdotal
Those of us with even a modicum of astronomical knowledge have the
advantage of being able to appreciate — if only in a minor way some of
the incredibly complex mechanics and physics involved in interstellar
travel. The realization of the daunting magnitude of energy
requirements and life-support systems, and the evident application of
scientific principles that clearly do not coincide with our
understanding of universal laws (the speed of light for example) surely
justifies a little cynicism.
Nor, fortunately, do we, with our awareness of the prevailing
conditions, (however scanty at this point) fall into the trap of
imagining that we are being coldly appraised by scrutineers from Venus
or Mars or indeed anywhere else in the solar system.
Nevertheless, in spite of the absence of tangible evidence (in the form
of artifacts or alloys completely alien to us) we cannot dismiss the
whole thing out of hand. To entertain the idea of off-planet visitors
may be a laughable concept to most of us (little green men — whatever
next), but unless we insist on adopting the attitude that we are the
only intelligent beings in the universe — which would be the height of
ludicrous egocentricity — such visits are, sooner or later, as
inevitable as mankind eventually homing-in on a planet of another sun.
And we don't hear much jeering about that notion. When you think about
it, any alternative civilization has only to be a mere thousand years
ahead of us in technological expertise to have the capacity to visit us
before we visit them. In short, to beat us to the punch.
One of the strongest arguments against UFOs being alien spacecraft is
the apparent reluctance on the part of their occupants to make
themselves known. Assuming for one wild moment that they exist at all,
there could be good reasons for this. They may, for example, simply be
afraid of us. We are, after all, for the most part, a quarrelsome,
violent, greedy, suspicious, disease-ridden, ecologically uncaring lot,
highly skilled and short-fused in administering death and destruction
at very short notice, and in the reverse situation we too, might be
reluctant to become too intimately involved.
On the other hand, let us imagine, perhaps their intelligence
exceeds ours by a factor of many hundreds: in which case, they may
regard us as being so ecologically primitive as to not be worth
bothering with beyond recognising us as interesting biological
specimens. They may have ants more intelligent than us!
Alternatively (or additionally) they may be carrying out a planned
investigation program and the reason for the long delay (at least 40
years) could be that they are conditioned to time scales vastly
different to ours. If, for instance, they came from a planet where a
day is as long as one of our months and their average life-span is
therefore over 2,000 years, forty years or so would be to them equal to
less than two years within our bracket of reference. Quite acceptable
as a preliminary fact-finding mission. After all, when human
interstellar pioneers make their first planet-fall they are hardly
likely to be so imprudent as to swoop in, indiscriminately pick out a
landing spot and start handing out mirrors, beads and fish-hooks, all
within the first five minutes.
Nothing of the sort. There will have to be a time consuming period
spent in gathering data, and agonising over what to do for the best.
Especially if the natives are capable of nuclear and biological warfare
and are restless to boot. And it wouldn't be any use appealing to Head
Office for advice. An answer, for what it would be worth, wouldn't
arrive for a minimum of nine years or so.
But all this is pure speculation. Apart from a few dedicated
(misguided?) afficionados and those making a fast buck out of it we
don't believe in UFOs, do we? Nor do we think that they represent the
technical achievement of an alien culture, do we? Perish the thought. I
just hope that we're right.
The older I get the greater becomes my reluctance to leap to conclusions.
In the face of present evidence few of us seriously think that the
phenomenon we know as UFOs justifies the slightest credence.
Nevertheless, we cannot afford to be too loftily, dogmatically certain
about anything. History is strewn with "certainties" that didn't come
off. It wasn't all that long ago that scientists were convinced that no
man-made machine would ever fly, much less carry hundreds of
passengers. And less than 500 years ago the Earth was not only flat, it
was the centre of the universe and dare let anyone disagree with these
immutable and well-known constants.
Perhaps we should indulge ourselves with a little open-minded mental
flexibility, and not rule out the possibility that some of those
manifestations so dear to ufologists are not the result of
gross-over-imagination after all. And that that weird assortment of
cigar-shaped, saucer-shaped, many-hued, infinitely different
apparitions may just be a clever smoke-screen hidden with in which is
the real thing.
We shall, in the utmost certainty (always presuming that we curb our
enthusiastic proclivity for self destruction) visit "them" at some time
in the future: let us not be so absolutely and positively certain that
"they" won't get here first ... or that they are not here already
Copyright (c) 1990 Vic Lloyd