If you – I mean the ABC – paid Kerrin Binnie money to present a story on UFOs you – the ABC – wasted your money. Instead of a story on UFOs you got a story on naturally occurring phenomena. Naturally occurring phenomena are not UFOs, not in the sense used by Kerrin Binnie. If you wanted a story that discusses the true nature of UFOs in the skies from New Zealand to Queensland then you really wasted your money, unless of course you really did only want a story that dismisses the reality of UFOs as purely naturally occurring phenomena, then you got what you paid for.
The next time you commission a story about the true nature of UFOs, let me suggest you do not ask Professor Hughes. Why, because he is not a UFO researcher, he is an Astrophysicist, and the two activities are not the same thing. The former concerns the study of machines or craft if you will that can manipulate time and/or space and are generally referred to as UFOs, while the latter concerns the study of the physics of the universe or the properties of space. If you wanted ‘expert opinion’ on the nature of UFOs then you should have spoken to someone who studies the subject – Robert Hastings – not someone who doesn’t.
The study of UFOs is not really concerned with the existence or not of machines / craft that can manipulate time and/or space, though a subfield of ‘Ufology’ is concerned with the origin of such craft, the existence of such craft has been firmly established. The existence of such craft has been known for a very long time. Professor Hughes is a skeptic – in my opinion – and is therefore not in the business of exploring the reality of said craft. And probably won’t accept the reality of such craft until one actually lands in his front yard and the pilot steps and asks for a cup of tea. The study of UFOs – machines that can manipulate time and/or space – is actually belittled by the ‘expert opinion’ of people like Professor Hughes whose aim is to explain away the true nature of UFOs as nothing more than naturally occurring phenomena like ball lightning.
To explain a UFO sighting as nothing more than ball lightning is not merely demeaning of the study of UFOs, it is demeaning of the people who have actually seen such craft and/or have had physical contact with such craft and its pilot and/or occupants. Let me say that by using Professor Hughes’ explanations about UFOs, as Kerrin Binnie has done, to explore the true nature of UFOs in an ABC programme, demeans yourself and by extension, the ABC. I know there are many skilled journalists working for the ABC, so why didn’t you use someone with greater skill and sensitivity to the subject? This story made me question not only Kerrin Binnie’s ability to do research, and by extension the ABC, but the ABC’s credibility as a producer of reliable and accurate programmes on the subject of UFOs.
I want to suggest to the ‘invisible’ UFO community that it change the system it uses to classify UFOs. I want to make a suggestion about a new system of classifying UFOs, one that should help those who wish to write on the subject.
What I propose is this: instead of accepting any eye-witness accounts of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) as unidentified flying objects (UFO), let’s just call all sightings or eye-witness accounts ‘someone saw something’ until after it has been investigated and either confirmed as either UAP or UFO or simply unexplainable. Let us not forget that the scientific study of the universe, nature and reality are but relatively young fields, very little is actually known and/or understood, though what we do know and understand may seem substantial. We also know that what people refer to as UFOs do in fact exist, that they are not the result of psychological events or simple hoax, that the existence and reality of UFOs has been verified. Professor Hughes has unwittingly participated in confirming the existence of UFOs by accepting that people really see things or at least saw something, even if his participation was only to explain them away as naturally occurring phenomena e.g. ball lightning, swamp gas, etc.
I therefore propose that naturally occurring phenomena are not UFOs but misidentified identified phenomenon – naturally occurring phenomena, meaning whatever was misidentified as a UFO is in fact something that has already been identified by someone, probably a scientist/researcher of some kind. UFOs remain unidentified in the true sense of the word.
I do not believe the main concern of UFOlogy today is with verifying the existence of UFOs, that has already been done. The main concern of UFOlogy today is with elucidating the nature and origin of UFOs. This is the goal of UFOlogy today. It is also about increasing and strengthening its credibility and value as a ‘scientific’ endeavour, this must be part of UFOlogy’s mission statement, anything else is a waste of time and energy because investigating anything else keeps UFOlogy outside ‘science’ and inside mythology.
Because if the ‘expert opinion’ of Professor Hughes and others like him on the ‘true’ nature of UFOs is readily accepted before the ‘expert opinion’ of UFO researchers then UFOlogy is hampered by its lack of ‘Hughesness’; that is, UFOlogy doesn’t have what Professor Hughes has, whatever that is. If UFOlogy’s aim is to convince the world that the ‘true’ nature of UFOs is non-terrrestrial – not of this world – then it’s going to have a hard time of it, be impossible to achieve because of the nature of the phenomenon. The general public, with the help of a ‘disinterested’ media, is convinced more by skilled media and other cultural institutions than by a motivated but seemingly powerless-to-convince UFOlogy.
Such a yarn about the media and cultural institutions feeds right into the disposition of the conspiracy theorist. The conspiracy theorist is convinced that the powers-that-be can and do control everything, especially the minds of the general public. If that is true, UFOlogy may as well give up the serious investigation of UFOs because it won’t ever be convincing in its explanations of the phenomenon, as sometimes is the case, because it will never be as powerful as them, whoever they are. Besides, UFOs are piloted or at least controlled by intelligent people from another world, and therefore, in the end, it is they who are responsible for convincing the world of their existence not UFOlogists. And if extraterrestrials don’t want to do that or are not ready to do that, well, who are we to say that they should have done it yesterday?