After more than seven decades of UFO study, there remains no clear consensus on whether there even is a phenomenon. Micah Hanks, writer, podcaster, and researcher of history, archaeology, science, and unexplained phenomena joined guest host Richard Syrett (Twitter) to discuss the UFO question. Hanks' research has allowed him to look into not only at the UAP problem itself, but also at the various sectors — governmental, academic, and media which have examined it over the years, along with the societal and cultural influences on each of these.
"Scientists are starting to take this very seriously, historians are starting to look deeper back into the history books and trying to understand how long this phenomenon has been present, and... the U.S. military has also shown its interest in this phenomenon," Hanks reported. He admitted the phenomena is difficult to study in a scientific setting because of the "ephemeral" nature of sightings and lack of physical evidence that could be subject to laboratory examination. "That's always been the problem when it comes to the UFO issue," Hanks suggested, noting the objects often move too quickly to be captured in photos or on video, and also are difficult to detect with military-level sensory equipment.
The majority of data that has been collected about UFOs are stories from people, he continued, adding when you have enough eyewitness accounts, consistencies arise with regard to the appearance and function of UFOs. "We have to at some point say... there are trends that emerge, there are correlations that we might make... and this does seem to point to a broader phenomenon," Hanks explained. He also commented on AI-powered software, such as ChatGPT, and if such programs and the machines powered by them could one day be self-aware. "We've got to make very careful, informed, and ethical decisions as we design these sorts of machines that... are capable of thinking very much like humans do," Hanks warned. He also pointed out that current AI-based programs often provide fabricated information, so despite their great promise, they cannot yet be trusted as authoritative sources.
Open Lines followed in the latter half of the program. Bruce in Boston, Massachusetts, told Richard about his sister, who is a stage-4 cancer survivor of 14 years. According to Bruce, his sister has a fox that visits her backyard. She brings out eggs and rolls them toward the fox, he explained, noting the little animal picks them up gently in its mouth and then runs off to the woods. Jim from Portland, Oregon, commented on artificial intelligence. "I'm more impressed with human beings than artificial intelligence, especially if you want to problem solve," he said. Jim shared information he learned after reading Diary of an American Exorcist by Msgr. Stephen Rossetti. Demons can manipulate emails, Jim revealed. "We'd have to watch out for that," he added. Joe in the Bronx suggested it would be fascinating to teach artificial intelligence how to have lucid dreams. They could give humans feedback on their lucid dreams, he suggested.