May 7 2019
This outline is a general offering for academic institutions in case they have noticed that the field of study formerly known as “ufology”, and previously in the hands of both amateur students and rarely journalists, academics and scientists, has gained a small foothold of respectability recently. For this outline I will characterize this study focus as Cosmic Pluralism Studies:
~Contextual and Comparative Examination and a Pre-20th Century Historical Survey
~~~Basic survey of astronomy, physics, chemistry, genetics, anthropology, world history, sociology, psychology, and technology developmental history.
~~~Signs of unidentified and unusual aerial phenomena indicated in primary historical records pre 20th century (openly published or private like letters, church records, ship captain logs, etc) and including artistic visual representations going back 10s of thousands of years.
~~~Comparative analysis of contemporary ufo encounter reports with the folklore and mythology of other times and cultures. Examine the stories of endogenous peoples encountering otherworldly interventions and interactions. Survey of “ancient aliens” claims and possible supporting evidence. Survey of the work of contemporary academics in religious studies who have looked at visionary and paranormal religious phenomenon in comparison to ufo events reported. (Jeffrey Kripal, David Gordon White, Diana Walsh Pasulka, Thomas Bullard, etc)
~~~Specific cases pre 20th Century of close encounters of the first through fourth type. Up through the airship sightings of the late 19th century.
~~~The “cosmic pluralism” philosophical and literary expressions, beginning with the 6th century BCE debate among Greek philosophers.
~20th Century Emergence of a Mystery
~~~Survey of close encounter types 1 through 4 prior to World War 2 in the 20th century.
~~~The Foo Fighters of World War 2 and the Ghost Rockets of Europe afterwards.
~~~The emergence of UFOs in 1947 as a public object of attention.
~~~Patterns of Reported Military/UFO encounters.
~~~Advent of attention to close encounters of the third kind.
~~~The emergence of close encounters of the fourth kind cases.
~~~Survey of focus on government coverup issues.
~~~Disinformation and advent of dark side visions.
~~~Delusions and hoaxes in contactee cult movements.
~~~Hypotheses attempting to explain ufos.
~~History of civilian ufo investigations.
~~~Commercial pilot/ufo encounters.
~~~Physical trace evidence.
~~~Survey of case databases developed by civilian-based organizations or individuals.
~~~Addressing the High Strangeness and Oz Factors in UFO Cases.
~~~Survey of the 38 scientific study papers contracted by DOD’s AATIP effort.
Incomplete; in development
May 12 2019
A civilian-based field of study eventually called “ufology” came to life just a few years after the press highly profiled ufo sightings in coverage that began in June 1947.
Aside from individual academics and scientists who participated as investigators and expert consultants to these groups and efforts focused on ufo studies, this field of study largely stayed outside the walls of academic organizations.
The UFO subject is a popular one in entertainment mediums and today even seems to have provided new story foundations (for a small segment of the population) that spawn newly forming religious and political expressions that reflect fears and hopes.
While popular as easy entertainment and fodder for a small percent of us to create new forms of religious expressions, the public-at-large basicly ignores this issue. Even now, as of May 2019, after big ufo-related news has been breaking thru the pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico since late 2017.
While we all still appear to be generally ignoring this subject except when enjoying some exciting entertainment presentation, a majority of Americans (54%) feel UFOs are real and a plurality (45%) feel that extraterrestrial visitation is, and has been, happening here.
In one of its long history background articles in 2018, the New York Times described the work of a CIA- commissioned science advisory panel in early 1953. The dramatic UFO events in June 1952 drew major public attention and created great unease which the government would covertly address by using entertainment and press contacts to help instill a societal atmosphere of ridicule and denial around the subject.
Today, the constraints on our addressing this as a society could be a result of very dramatic human-based stories simply oberwhelming our attention.
The main focus in this course of study will be on the very small percentage of reported ufo sightings and encounters that remain truely puzzling despite a wealth of documentation available to flesh out a picture of what happened in a concrete sense, but without the necessary understanding of the context and meaning.
Of course attention will ne directed to misidentifications, hoaxes and other factors that cloud the picture.
Basicly, we dont know what is going on here BUT we can discern some hints of answers from suggestive clues coming from many cases.
The poll numbers cited above are from the 2015 IPSOS survey and basicly represent the leading impression people have today when looking at ufo reports: these events suggest extraterrestrial visitation.
Just a couple of months after the ufo subject garnered widespread public attention in June 1947, Gallup conducted a poll that asked “what do you think these saucers are?”. The ET visitation hypothesis didnt even get a 1% response. Instead:
33%, don’t know
29%, imagination, optical illusion, mirage, etc
15%, US secret weapon
3%, weather forecasting devices
1%, Russian secret weapon
9%, other explanations
Decades later, several hypotheses are commonly suggested by the small number of people devoting significant attention to this subject. The extraterrestrial visitation hypothesis seems to have the most adherents but over the years several others have gained a foothold in the so called “ufo community” of “ufologists” (the latter a loose term for an uncrendentialed field of study).
Beginning in the 1960s, people started theorizing about a “paranormal/occult” basis for ufo events. Extraterrestrials were not involved; instead the beings behind it all are “ultraterrestrials”, inhabitants of unseen-by-us dimensions.
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