Early in 2022, Mike Cifone (who has a Ph.D. in philosophy of science) founded the Journal of UAP Studies and the Society for UAP Studies in an effort to provide the UAP community with a serious academic infrastructure. In the first half, he joined George Knapp to discuss interdisciplinary debate and dialogue in the UFO field. "We haven't yet convinced the mainstream community that there is a solid core of empirical data" for UFO cases, where a small (3-5%) number of incidents defy conventional explanations, he remarked. Cifone seeks to gather some of the best minds and scholars to look at this data and offer analysis and interpretation, though not necessarily researchers who are known in the field or those who have a vested interest in the topic.
Among the cases he cited as genuine mysteries were the Nimitz 'Tic Tac' UFO, Japan Airlines Flight 1628, the Levelland TX 1957 incident, and the Coyne helicopter sighting of 1973. The "distinction between manufactured craft and a sort of...natural organism or phenomenon of nature-- maybe that's blurry," Cifone said, adding that we have to be sophisticated enough to analyze cases that present a whole host of possibilities. He finds it significant that the recent ODNI intelligence report to the US Congress on UAP, listed numerous incidents as unexplained. "That's got to mean something really important," given all the tools they have at their disposal, he commented.
In the latter half, author and UFO researcher Chris Aubeck explored how we came to believe in UFOs and aliens through research into vintage archives. For his new book, he drew from centuries of scientific speculation, serious claims, folklore, science fiction, and hoaxes to weave together a history of humanity's interest in alien visitation. The idea of aliens also repeatedly crops up in literature, philosophy, and religion, he noted. During much of the Middle Ages, the Church almost prohibited talk about the possibility of life beyond Earth, but in the year 1277, a bishop in Paris decided we shouldn't put limits on God's creativity and that life might exist out in space. By the 17th-18th centuries, there was serious speculation about whether we were being visited by delegations from such places as Mars and the Moon, he detailed.
Leading scientists in the 18th century made somewhat preposterous assertions that there could even be life living on the sun, including the astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel, who discovered the planet Uranus. Aubeck mentioned how the famous French author Victor Hugo in the 19th century, participated in spiritualist practices, and at one point, had a conversation with a being from Jupiter. "It was an amazing time...there was this idea that anybody could have a chat with a Martian or Venusian just by sitting around a table and joining hands," he said. Aubeck also talked about the 1561 celestial event in Nuremberg, odd spheres that descended to ground level, and ancient accounts of flying craft in China and India.
George Knapp shares items of recent interest, including an article about a planned new space telescope, called the Habitable Worlds Observatory:
- NASA unveils initial plan for multibillion-dollar telescope to find life on alien worlds
- ExxonMobil Accurately Predicted Today's Global Warming Decades Ago, Study Finds
- Traveling Faster Than Light Would Mean Experiencing Multiple Timelines Simultaneously
- Former Director Of National Intelligence Undermines Efforts To Downplay Unusual UFO Cases
- Spy agencies report hundreds more UFO sightings since 2021
- Yellowstone National Park's lead wolf biologist retires after 28 years