It is a common myth that only "crazy people" are interested in UFO phenomena.
However, UFO investigator Nick Redfern (the hardest working writer in Forteana) has recently written a piece that focuses on two of the "significant voices," as he terms them, that have weighed in on the UFO discussion.
Those who are well-read in UFO matters have doubtless heard mention of highly-credentialed individuals who have openly expressed connection to the subject. Astronaut Gordon Cooper went on record with his own sightings and his belief that UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin, Senator Barry Goldwater claimed to have been denied access to Roswell wreckage at Wright-Patterson, AFB, and there is also President Ronald Reagan's well-known interest in the subject. What I did not know of were the remarks of Sir Victor Goddard and Sir Hugh Dowding.
Goddard was the British Air Ministry’s first Deputy Director of Intelligence. As Redfern writes, Goddard was also outspoken on UFOs but there is one aspect that makes him unique. The theories he embraced were not so much in line with the extraterrestrial hypothesis but more akin to spiritual ones of the kind put forth by John Keel. To quote:
“…while it may be that some operators of UFO are normally the paraphysical denizens of a planet other than Earth, there is no logical need for this to be so. For, if the materiality of UFO is paraphysical – and consequently normally invisible, UFO could more plausibly be creations of an invisible world coincident with the space of our physical Earth planet than creations in the paraphysical realms of any other planet in the solar system.”
As I said, this is doubly intriguing. Not only do we have a highly-regarded, highly-credentialed professional giving a positive consideration of UFOs, but his theories depart from the norm (for UFO standards) and explore territories that are far more open-minded.
Sir Hugh Dowding commanded the RAF's Fighter Command during World War II. Here is what he had to say about the evidence for UFOs:
"They have been tracked on radar screens and the observed speeds have been as great as 9,000 miles an hour. I am convinced that these objects do exist and that they are not manufactured by any nation on earth. I can therefore see no alternative to accepting the theory that they come from some extraterrestrial source."
A perhaps sad fact of society is that the opinions of certain people count more than those of others. There are many reasons for this, e.g. education, wealth, position, etc. I try to be more egalitarian in my thinking but it's the truth and UFO research is no different. The field advances further when someone in science or government asserts an opinion based on experience or evidence than it does with the voice of someone else. The more people like Dowding, Goddard, Gordon Cooper, and Barry Goldwater we can get to speak positively on the matter, the better.
But the different theories supported by both Dowding and Goddard served as another reminder for me. Sometimes, the field of UFO research can be so polarized and exclusionary. I am not saying that those two aforementioned men were that way, rather I am referring to the different camps of theory they spoke of.
Different theories of UFO origin are beneficial and along with skepticism, should be generating healthy and vigorous discussion. Instead, there are those researchers who...for reasons that pass understanding...cling vehemently to old paradigms and refuse...sometimes as condescendingly and as dismissively as a narrow-minded skeptic would...to consider another thought.
If we can't have civil, respectful discourse amongst ourselves, how can we emanate intelligent views and expect respect from others?
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