The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Thursday, December 5, 2013

;Wonders in the Sky;: Why we've always been obsessed with UFOs - Nonfiction - Salon.com

 



Unexplained sightings date back thousands of years and span the globe. What does that say about us?

By Michael Humphrey
UFO skeptics take note: Strange flying objects have been haunting our planet for much longer than many people think. Over 3,000 years ago, in the Egyptian Nile Valley, a man reported looking into the sky to see a "shining disk" descend and tell him to build a new city. On Sept. 11, 1787, in Edinburgh, Scotland, a group of people reported, "a fiery globe larger than the sun" moving eastward in a horizontal direction and dipping below the horizon before exploding behind a cloud. Eight years later, in the Quangxi province of China, a "large star" rose and fell three times, followed by another star that "crashed in a village." 
According to Jacques Vallee, the French-born astronomer and co-author (with Chris Aubeck) of the hypnotic new book "Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times," these stories are important not only because they show that flying things have been capturing our imagination for centuries, but because of what they say about our most cherished beliefs and deepest fears. In the book, Vallee and Aubeck list 500 claims of sightings, in chronological order, between the years 1460 BC and 1879, and argue that the commonalities -- references to light, round shapes, erratic flight and terror in the observer -- offer us real insight into human behavior and our need to find explanation for things we cannot explain.
Salon spoke with Vallee from his home in San Francisco about our religious connection to UFOs, the controversy surrounding his own work -- and our endless cultural obsession with flying objects.
Your book calls "alien contact" humankind's oldest story. How so?
I'm not the only one saying that. If you look at the body of scholarship in anthropology and the history of religions, they talk about the idea that the soul is a human space capsule. Certainly the "Book of the Dead" in Egypt, the Bible, the writing of the mystics, in poems of ancient China, and the "Vedas" in India, the contact between man and creatures, entities, divinities, who travel from space is the main story. This includes humans traveling with them and humans being "abducted," to use a modern term. There is a very rich literature exactly about that; it's the oldest story.

Image result for ancient ufo sightings

Why is the idea of ancient UFO sightings a controversial one?
Most UFO believers believe the phenomenon began in 1947, when a civilian pilot named Kenneth Arnold saw several objects that he described as behaving like saucers skipping on water. And he saw them from his plane flying over Mt. Rainier in the state of Washington. And that was the beginning of the flying saucer era in the media.

NASA's Anomalies above the Moon - UFOs captured on film during the Apollo Program

Uploaded by on Mar 11, 2011
This presentation is a simple compilation of some more anomalous photographs and 16mm DAC film footage that I have archived during my years of research and investigation looking into the activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
I came to a point where I wondered when the phenomenon had begun, and I found a lot of material describing objects that seemed to behave the same way [as UFOs] and entities [resembling aliens] that dated back to the Middle Ages. At that time they were called angels or demons or leprechauns or elves or fairies and so on. So I published a book called "Passport to Magonia" that caused something of a scandal with the believers, because I was shaking that idea that UFOs were a recent phenomenon.
Why did you cut off your research at 1880?
We wanted to cut off the chronology at a point where the modern world hadn't happened yet, ideally at the Industrial Revolution. And we couldn't quite do that, but we got to 1879 which was a time when there were no dirigibles, no airplanes, no CIA, no Air Force, no SR-71s, no secret prototypes, no Area 51 and all of that. I mean, people could certainly be fooled by meteors and comets: They didn't know what comets were; the Aurora Borealis hadn't yet been explained. Some of the cases where people describe a serpent in the sky that destroys villages, we suspect, were tornadoes. But those are fairly easy to screen out. And what you're left with is something very consistent from culture to culture.



"Wonders in the Sky": Why we've always been obsessed with UFOs - Nonfiction - Salon.com


Darkbird18 is deep within the UFO project with the Ancient Alien program on the History Channel. This article talk some more about our possible connection with being not from this world and how they may still be in contact and may one day come back?

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