At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

WHAT IS A UFO?






Well, we all know that - or do we?  Ask the man in the street and, very often, he will tell you its a vehicle piloted by beings from outer space.

Now, I am no ufologist, but there can be no doubt that sometimes UFOs impinge on cryptozoology and other aspects of the paranormal; but that definition is not sufficient.  Strictly speaking a UFO is any celestial object that cannot be identified by the onlooker.

UFOs could be explained in any of the following ways, some involving the paranormal, some not.  Many cryptozoologists like to distance themselves from anything to do with UFOs or the paranormal, on the grounds that a "paws and pelts" explanation for cryptids is acceptable scientifically, while anything involving UFOs is not.  I would disagree.  We cannot say where the boundaries of scientific possibilities occur, though many would hold they know.  This, I fear, is not due to knowledge or common sense, but due to a lack of imagination.

Anyway, putting all this to one side, let us have a look at what possible explanations for UFOs we can consider:-

     (a) UFOs are objects misperceived or ehose nature is misjudged            by witnesses.  [I feel this may explain a great many UFO
           sightings].
     (b) UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft, manned by beings from 
           outer space.  [This, known as the ETH hypothesis, is a 
           particularly popular explanation among American 
           ufologists].  A variant of this theory is that they do not
           actually contain extraterrestrials, but are robotic machines
           that were originally dispatched by extraterrestrials.
     (c) UFOs are ultraterrestrial, having their origin in another 
           dimension or universe.  [This is not so strange as it may 
           seem.  The possibility of the existence of other universes
           is now receiving serious attention from physicists].
     (d) UFOs are in fact secret aircraft used by an earthly 
           government or governments or even by non-governmental
           organizations.
     (e) UFOs are sent out by technologically advanced races 
           beneath the sea or under the earth's surface.
     (f)  UFOs are hallucinatory.
     (g) UFOs are projections or holograms.
     (h) UFOs are the result of hoaxes.

There may be other possibilities which have not occurred to me.  Of course, the explanations in this list are not mutually exclusive.  It is quite possible that a number of them are true.  But I do not see any of them as being less scientific than the hunt for cryptids.  It is just that, for some of us, UFOs are harder to believe in than unknown animals.  This, however, does not obviate the possibility that they indeed exist and the cryptozoologist should not scorn - or spurn - cryptozoological cases in which they make an appearance.
      


Due to some computer glitch which is beyond my competence to fix, there is a gap here.  The next item is below.












No comments:

Post a comment