Once upon a time....
When flying saucers made their significant impact in 1947, they did so at a time when the world was encrusted with fears of an atomic/nuclear war. The U.S.S.R. was seen as the possible culprit of that war and perhaps the source of those flying disks, UFOs.
Those initially interested in flying disks were the military or those connected to the military, such as Donald Keyhoe.
But somewhere along the way, in he very late 40s and 50s, the UFO interpretation switched from a military origination to an interplanetary origination.
Why did that happen?
It wasn’t just the outlandish movements and strangeness of the flying disks, but anecdotal testimony from persons who seemed to have been confronted by creatures and craft that defied human or Earthian creativity.
There was no, and there has been no, definite evidence to show that UFOs come from outside this Earth, just a spate of circumstantial detritus that is easier seen as extraterrestrial than in any other way.
Ufology has assumed the same kind of mantle as that of other “ologies” – astrology, graphology, demonology, et cetera.
Those invoking a pseudo-scientific approach to the phenomenon are quacks, and have no credentials that allow their prognostications. Yet, there they are, presuming to co-opt the study of UFOs with a charlatan’s zeal and calumny.
UFOs defied classification once the military orientation got lost in the outer space interpretation of the things.
No one living today is smart enough to tackle the UFO conundrum if indeed UFOs do come from places outside this Earth’s sphere.
But even if UFOs have originated from military sources in this country or others, who in the UFO community is capable of discerning that possibility? No one. The UFO investigators are deficient in their ability to accrue evidence, even palpable evidence, of a military explanation for the crafts seen by witnesses who are notorious for their distorted observations.
And if UFOs are a phenomenon of nature that is not understood, who among ufologists has the acumen to ferret out that inscrutable phenomenon? No one. Ufology is replete with amateurs who are self-appointed experts, without portfolios of any serious kind.
When the Keyhoe era shifted to mavericks with delusional agendas, many still rampant to this day, the whole UFO field became glutted with tyros who have never seen a flying disk themselves nor experienced, first-hand, any immediate aftermath of a sighting; all checking out the events well after anything worthwhile might be determined.
The Keyhoe years were subsumed by UFO mavens steeped in science fiction or cultish religiosity. And the residue of that warped mob is still intact today, 50 years after the strange objects became obviously overt.
Culling material from governmental archives, accumulating witness testimony, and rehashing the raft of information about UFOs that is the foundation of the phenomenon’s longevity will not, cannot, resolve the mystery.
But egos are at stake, and the purpose of some ufologists’ lives have to be salvaged, After all, some have spent their whole existence delving into the phenomenon, losing money, family ties, and a normal sensibility about life. They now need an imprimatur or else they will go to their graves with nothing to show for their Don Quixote-like quest.
Yes, once upon a time, flying saucers were grist for serious study or concern. That is no longer the case, and hasn’t been for many years now….