Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Science of Ufology

The Science of Ufology
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By Robert Salas

Bob Salas We are, by nature, curious about our physical world. And, we try and satisfy that curiosity by what we consider scientific means. Doing science in ufology and getting it disseminated to the public is necessary and important if we hope to get the media attention this subject deserves. Our observations of the objects and their occupants, is phenomenal to all of us. Somehow we must try to explain what we are experiencing, in our own words, and in a way that is ‘acceptable’ to the populous as a whole. Saying, “out-of-this world” just doesn’t cut it anymore. We need to employ the scientific approach.

One could argue that since the time of the first observations of unexplained aerial phenomenon, we have been trying to understand the science behind what we saw. Unfortunately, the science we know simply does not seem to have answers for what we have observed in the UFO phenomena. Ball lightning, swamp gas or the planet Venus does not explain our collective experiences. Certainly, by July, 1947, when the first non-human bodies, recovered from the Corona, New Mexico crash site, were first seen by doctors at Roswell Army Air Force Base they knew there was some organic biology that they did not understand. And, when engineers inspected the wreckage of that craft at Wright Patterson AFB and found no visible means of propulsion or control, they also knew they had something more to learn about physics.

For me, it is a fact that our government and others’ have access to the physical evidence of extra-terrestrial craft and beings. I have no doubt that many scientists, worldwide, have studied the physical evidence and developed hypotheses to try and explain this ‘new’ science. Of course, these studies have been done in secret and their results hidden from the public for some unknown reasons. I suppose it is reasonable to assume that some of this newly discovered science and its technological applications have bled into the public and not so public domains. We may, for example, indeed have some alien technology flying in our modern civilian and military aircraft. However, I ask, is it right that this new science should be understood by just a few or for just the applications decided upon by a few? You may reply that ‘right’ has nothing to do with it. And, you would be correct. When it is placed under the huge umbrella called national security, apparently, the public rights have no standing.

Scientific American Magazine - February 1998The secrecy surrounding the real science being done was highlighted in a February, 1998 article, “Scientists in Black,” published in Scientific American magazine. It points out that some scientists are enlisted (seduced) to investigate a particular topic or hypothesis by our government’s offering of the use of classified data. However, any studies or analyses that are accomplished by use of that data would, necessarily be classified. Although that article was written over 12 years ago, there is no reason to believe it does not reflect today’s reality. Because many government agencies are funded to acquire and analyze scientific data, certainly this symbiosis between science and classified ‘black’ projects has continued, unabated. The fact that government agencies control much of the latest scientific data that could have any remote connection with national security means that much of the development and dissemination of cutting edge science and technology is government controlled. And, more and more, that means it is classified.

Dr. James McDonaldThis puts those of us, who are trying to apply some science to the UFO phenomena at a distinct disadvantage. Scientists who might take an interest in this subject must consider the fact that they would probably lose government funding for their own programs if they did venture into our world. Such was the case with Dr. James McDonald. McDonald was both a true scientist and had an abiding interest in the UFO phenomenon. That effort cost him dearly in his scientific career and in his personal life (see reference1 ). Many serious researchers in this field find themselves scrambling for research funding. While this makes the science of ufology more problematic, it does not mean that we cannot still pursue it. There have been some noteworthy attempts to do this kind of science.

Dr. Roger Leir has artifacts removed from alleged abductees that have been analyzed. One analysis2 identified many anomalies. Some of these anomalies are: isotopic ratios of various element isotopes vary significantly from those found on earth, the presence of carbon nanotubes, the high level of magnetism and the high incidence of non-metallic inclusions in the metal. The analysis concludes that the artifacts are of manufactured, non-terrestrial origin.

Dr. Bruce Maccabee has performed an analysis of an acceleration of a UFO using video taken in 1995. His extensive and professional analysis3 calculated an acceleration of a startling 15,900 ft./sec2! That is equivalent to a G-force of 500G!

Recently, Lloyd Pye published a genetic study4 of the 900 year old Starchild Skull, non-human appearing skull discovered in 1930. This DNA analysis was done by geneticists Dr. Malhi and Dr. Eshleman. A small fragment of the nucleotide sequence of the skull’s DNA showed an amazing 17 differences to the comparable human DNA sequence.

At the recent Roswell UFO festival, Frank Kembler presented his evidence from a small artifact he recently found at the debris site of the 1947 crash near Roswell. He also had his artifact analyzed by an accredited metallurgical laboratory. His artifact (AH-1) also showed a significant difference in isotopic ratios from that found on earth.

Artifact (AH-1) Analysis
These are just some examples that could be presented to scientists anywhere in the world for their consideration of the fact that we have had extra-terrestrial visitors. Some of these studies should be repeated to show consistency of the results. All that is needed to demonstrate, scientifically, that we are dealing with a real, observable phenomenon is a relatively small amount of funding. However, serious funding sources will not likely come forward unless and until, the entire subject of UFOs is, once again, taken seriously.

We can all help. Even if we only have a passing interest in the subject of UFOs, we don’t have to dumb down the scientific aspect of the phenomenon. Too many times, the phenomenal aspects of this subject are emphasized in a way to make them too ‘other worldly’ or inexplicable. To move forward, we must at least try to describe these amazing experiences so we can at least claim we are trying to take the scientific approach to explain them to the rest of the world.

  • ¹ Druffel, Ann, “Firestorm”, Wild Flower Press, 2003
  • ² Colbern, Steve, “Analysis of Object Taken from Patient John Smith”, 25 January, 2009
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  1. I agree with the sentiments about the study of UFOs being scientifically relevant. Most of the finest studies remain unknown to many in the field and we can only guess at what remains classified and hedged away through ‘need-to-know.’ People like Sturrock (Professor of Astronomy) and Teodarani (Professor of Astrophysics) have generated some highly suggestive findings from publicly available data; imagine what they could do with actual funding? They’ve not only identified behavioural patterns, but Sturrock has provisionally identified what direction in space we could focus on.

    We could also celebrate some of Vallee’s earlier analyses; Cashman, Shough and Swords have been publishing good studies as recently as last year. Thomas Tullien’s recent review of Minot is a good contribution too. Collectively, these people have proven the UFO phenomena exist in a way we don’t understand and merits officially funded study. They all have academic clout and credibility and make it difficult for others to dismiss their work. In that light, they are corner stones of ufology.

    That said, I wouldn’t hang my flag on the masts of Leir or Pye. Neither of whom brings credibility to the field and one of them actively detests scientists and science. Rather, the NICAP approach favoured by MacDonald is still the best way, in my opinion; Straight scientists being funded to provide evidence that can be peer-reviewed and shared with the public.

    The ‘damned’ problem is that such a good job continues to be done drowning out and marginalising the ‘good stuff.’ Silence and ridicule combined with bad-apples and hoaxes further cripple our chances. For those who already accept the subject has scientific merit, nothing changes. For those who laugh and reject the science, nothing changes. It’s like driving in circles with a busted clutch.

  2. Mornin' "K,"

    Thanks for taking time to make "cogent" commentary (as usual).

    Science of course is the key to unlocking the door to the mysteries of Ufology, and the layperson often overlooks (or isn't cognizant of) the fact that the very first step in scientific method is "the observation of a phenomenon."

    The underlying problem re "drowning out and marginalising the ‘good stuff'" (IMHO) is the ignorance of the subject matter, and this is permeated by the media.

    The sad fact of the matter is that the collective mindset of industrialized nations, (speaking generally) in this instance–pertaining to Ufology, is the direct result of media input.

    With few exceptions today's news media doesn't' give credence to the subject matter, and reporting of UFO events is subjected to the "giggle factor." This behavior or "conditioning" if you will, establishes the status quo, and molds the public mindset.

    This pattern has passed through generations and breeds ignorance; ironically it's a (sociological) phenomenon unto itself.

    In further antinomy, groups that are representative of (supposed) serious scientific research re Ufology, continue to shoot themselves in the foot by associating the field with "nonscientific" endeavors or minutiae.

    Moreover, the same groups assist in dumbing down the public at worst, and or missing opportunities at best (to educate the public) by participating in cockamamie, "B-movie-like" reality style serials.

    At the end of the day, yes "science is key"; however, overall presentation and delivery is is equally important.



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