Are UFOs & Ufology In Decline? If So—Why?

Why is Ufology on the decline?

  • Pre-Millenial tension has subsided

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Preoccupied with terrestrial problems (war, terrorism, the economy)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No-one watches the X-Files anymore

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No cases of significance in the last few years

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Too many recent hoaxes

    Votes: 3 20.0%
  • Realisation it will never be proven with photos and video alone

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The visitors are lying low for some reason

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • They’ve finally realized it’s all bollocks

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • UFOs are probably secret military stuff, and the military ain't talkin'

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • The internet has killed discussion groups off, by and large

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • All/some of the above

    Votes: 7 46.7%

  • Total voters
Dingo667 said:
It comes and goes in waves. I recon hardcore UFO-lovers still are the same interested as before, however sometimes the "public" gets drawn in [like in the 90's], but it seems that once the novelty is over, people go back to be interested in something else.
I am personally glad all the fuss has ended. Couldn't stand all this tounge in cheek joking on TV shows or even news.
This is the case with many things. You could say that ghosts are "out", no programs as of late. However people still see them.

UFO's will be back with any new news. Maybe a chupacabra caught alive or similar. Its just dormant...

Doesn't Sci-Fi have a show called "Ghost Hunters" going into it's third season?

But yes, this stuff does go in waves. Wait until the next big sighting flap in the US and we'll be back in the thick of it again.
I don't think Ufology is dead - just rather stagnant. I would say that ghost hunting and cryptozoology are equally stagnant, but because they've been around for a lot longer, people have got accustomed to the status quo in those fields.

If you look back at the early Ufological literature of the 1950s, most writers were predicting that the mystery of UFOs would be solved by the end of the decade, just as the 'scientific' ghost hunters of the Victorian era were convinced that they would soon obtain absolute proof of the existence of the afterlife.

Although 'final proof' of UFOs was not forthcoming, there were still plenty of new theories being advanced during the following decades to keep the debate alive. UFOs were secret aircraft. UFOs were from outer space. UFOs were Ultradimensional. UFOs were from the future. UFOs were psychic projections. And so on. Each new theory could be applied to the 'classic' cases of the past to put a fresh perspective on them and revive flagging interest. Then along came the new practise of hypnotic regression and with it a whole new belief system based around the Greys.

But since the mid-1980s, no major new theories have been added to the debate. And although there are always plenty of new cases to discuss, none have generated any convincing physical evidence, and the debates surrounding them tend to be carbon copies of the debates we were having 20 years ago. It was Venus. No, it was a spaceship full of Greys. No, it was sleep paralysis. And so on and so on - the same old arguments you've read a thousand times already. It's hardly surprising that people are losing interest.

Ufology probably also suffers from being inextricably linked (at least as far as the mainstream media are concerned) with conspiracy theories. You don't get mediums claiming that the government is covering up evidence of the afterlife, or cryptozoologists claiming that the FBI silences Bigfoot witnesses, but plenty of Ufologists seem convinced that there is a worldwide conspiracy to cover up 'The Truth'. This relentless paranoia probably dissuades many people from taking Ufology seriously, even though those same people may quite happily keep an open mind about poltergeists or lake monsters.

Lastly, I wonder if we don't expect a higher standard of evidence from Ufology than we do from other 'Fortean' fields - and are therefore proportionally more disillusioned when that evidence isn't forthcoming. When a bunch of Cryptozoologists spend a couple of weeks blundering around the jungle hunting for some legendary monster and come back with no more to show for themselves than a collection of tall tales and some snapshots of ambivalent footprints, we pat them on the back and tell them what a great job they've done. When a group of Ufologists go out to investigate a case and come back with nothing more than some burnt vegetation and some snapshots of ambivalent 'landing marks', we tell them to stop wasting our time and go out and find some proper evidence.
How about this for a thought-experiment - could those events and apparitions which SEEM to be alien visitors actually be PREQUELS-TO, or PREDICTIONS OF eventual contact?

There's a historical precedent for this. When the Spanish first explored the Mississippi Valley in the 1540s the Indians with whom they met informed the explorers of a nasty paranormal visitor they'd endured several years before - a certain "Mr. Badthing." Mr. Badthing was a creature right out of Paranormal lore - he'd emerged from a hole in the ground and was armed with a short "wand" or tool with which he easily lopped off Indians' arms and legs and then just as easily RE-ATTACHED them again. (Several Indians who'd ecountered Mr. Badthing displayed to the Spaniards scars which they claimed were left over from these operations.)

The Indians expressed hoped that the Spaniards would protect them from any further visit from Mr. Badthing.

My guess is that if the Spanaiards had not been planning for years to visit the New World, and had they not actually arrived, Mr. Badthing would never have appeared.
I think it's probably because anything with "Unidentified" in the title probably has a short life span once it's been "identified". Not the best 'ology' to go into since expertise is an oxymoron.
Maybe the new X Files movie will revive interest in the subject some what lol.
It is usual to say that ufology is dead, because supposedly of lack of data. But ufology is still there. And much data and physical evidence has been gathered for decades. Part of the problem is that evidence is useless, if we don't have any paradigm to analyze it. Even having plenty of data at our disposal doesn't mean that we would be nearer of a solution. Poltergeists leave plenty of physical evidence. And yet, we still don't know anything about what they are, and many people still don't believe in them. The same can be said about animal mutilations. There are many well recorded "miraculous" recoverings, some linked to UFOs. Where did this lead us? To nowhere, we have no better understanding of the way they work, and why they are linked with other phenomenons. The problem with evidence of paranormal phenomenon, is that it is only fragmentary. True, it is often disturbing, and can't be explained in mundane ways. But it says nothing or little of the nature of the phenomenon itself. When a UFO leaves a puddle of molten lava (an unexplainable fortean event), it reveals to be steel, not what we should expect from theories about UFO propulsion. The weird and "illogical"behaviour of UFO and other paranormal phenomenons doesn't help either.

And we judge these domains only in oversimple oppositions. Usually in dual terms, nobody listening to proponents of alternatives. They are there, but don't exist mediatically. At the time of the spiritist controversies of end XIXth-beginning of XXth century, it was either "all is spirits of the dead" either "all is hoax". Now, with UFOs, we have a similarly simplistic situation: all alien exploring earth in their flying saucer or all fake (hallucinations/hoaxes). It prevents any serious debate, polluting it with clichés. But we shoudn't be restricted to those, things are far more complicated. For example, I believe that people genuinely report some hairy giants in rural North America. But I am aware that there is no room for a prehistoric survivor roaming the forests of Canada and USA. Nonetheless, this gives me no right to infer that the witnesses are hallucinating or misreporting. We fall too often in this kind of logical lapse. An other trap is to draw a sharp distinction between "acceptable" sightings and weird ones. Such dividing seems legitimate at first, but it reveals to be arbitrary.

But I'm afraid that the biggest problem is that no solution can be drawn, no matter the quality of the gathering of evidence. Those phenomenons are far too advanced for us. That doesn't mean that no study should be conducted. But they're not made easy by the fact that the phen. stay deliberately out of reach, preventing even a partial and effective study (like Jacques VALLEE put with his theory of three levels of camouflage). This situation is rather frustrating. It lead some people to give up; others to embrace PSH (more or less the same), others to esoterism. While some nuts-and-boltists were rushing ahead, which explains the success of conspiracy theories, notably Roswell. The prospect of finding an unquestionable proof of the existence of flying saucers in a USAF hangar is much more appealing than chasing a ghostly and elusive phenomenon.
i personally beleve that most people have read about much of the ufo phenomonon
but got sick of the whole,theyll land next year etc stuff
it seems that the sightings/storys lead nowhere
all they ever are in effect are storys
and alot of circumstantial hearsay.

i still read about them but dont really care if its aliens,earth spirits,or whatever
personally i think the whole phononm could be explained but some kind of time shift.

this i think has helped me remain interested.
TinFinger said:
....most sick of the whole theyll land next year etc stuff

Oh, God, YES!

But that also includes a LOT of us who consider ourselves Forteans and Paranormalists.

I still remember the well-known and highly-respected political commentator Ralph de Toledano (I believe it was he) appearing on the old WE, THE PEOPLE television program around 1949 (I was seven or eight years old) and authoratatively proclaiming that he had received word from the very highest Federal Government sources that "flying saucers" were definitely a United States secret weapon. He added that all would be revealed "within six months."

It wasn't the last time I got fooled.
Are the Extra-Terrestrial and Ultra-Terrestrial (earth-originated) explanations for the UFO phenomenon neccessarily mutually exclusive?

Let's assume that the day when we make contact with inter-stellar civilizations is rapidly approaching (at least in historical terms), for the first time in millions or indeed billions of years.

Might not Earth's Ultra-Terrestrial entities (fairies, elementals, kobolds and all the rest) in some way REACT to that approach?

And might not the paranormal phenomena associated with the UFO enigma BE that reaction?
as ive said i like the timeshift idea
it could explain loads of ufo/paranormal stuff
especially as its one thing we now very little about ,so its no leap of the imagination to expect it could do odd things
TinFinger said:
as ive said i like the timeshift idea
it could explain loads of ufo/paranormal stuff
especially as its one thing we now very little about ,so its no leap of the imagination to expect it could do odd things

One theory is that the Universe is self-correcting. Thus if some kind of glitch takes place (temporaral or other) a "miracle" or other paranormal event restores equilibrium.
But then again, one could also say that it's all a bit overly exotic... ;)
Not at all; one formulation of this concept is the 'Chronological Protection Conjecture', which suggests that the Universe itself conspires to prevent time travel and in particular paradoxes caused by time travel.

Stephen Hawking proposed the name for this conjecture, but it has been suggested many times before. ... conjecture

In science fiction the story End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov gives one plausible mechanism for chonological protection; a universe with time travel is unstable and full of acausal events. History is constantly rewritten and no-one knows if they are on their arse or their head.
Eventually history is rewritten so that no method of time travel is ever discovered, anywhere, at any time; this is the only stable configuration for a causally coherent universe, and it is the only one that survives.

The Chronological Protection Conjecture in action could look a lot like a paranormal phenomenon, and there are other related possibilities, like Novikov Consistency, which would also seem very strange to the observer or protagonist.
This thread reminded me of a story in the Copenhagen Post from 2002 about SUFOI, the Danish UFO organization:

Meanwhile, Kim Møller Hansen, who runs a privately financed set-up called SUFOI tells us that, sadly, his membership is still on the decline, having dropped from well over 2,500 paid-up subscribers in the mid-1980s to under 700 today. What SUFOI does is collect and investigate reports of UFO sightings. 'The trouble is,' Kim explains, 'Danes just don't see flying saucers any more. In its heyday, our organisation would receive reports of Martian landings two or three times every month, or spaceships hovering on the horizon, or even meetings with aliens. This just doesn't happen any more.' We ask Kim why he thinks this is. 'People have become more sceptical, and our mission has always been critical rather than an intent to sensationalize,' the UFO expert explains. 'Whenever we receive a report we always try to analyse it in terms of a known natural phenomenon, which quite often makes the individual who is claiming the sighting angry. I guess in a sense you could say SUFOI is a victim of its own success.'

This, of course, is one explanation. Another could be that we don't see alien spacecraft, because the little green guys simply don't visit us any more. As they trawled the universe during the final few decades of the last millennium in search of intelligent life-forms with which to communicate, they probably checked us out and decided to move on. We ask the SUFOI boss if, more recently, there have been any sightings since the last general election and he informs us that there have not. An item of information that is greeted with enthusiasm when we pass it on to our Minister of Integration, Refugees and suchlike, Bertel 'Jörg' Haarder, when we meet up with him later in the day. 'Hah!' Jörg crows triumphantly, his deeply furrowed death's head erupting into the passable imitation of one engaged in a smile, 'there's the proof that this government's new immigration policies are working even better than we had hoped!' the Refugee Minister exclaims.
A.P.R.O - R.I.P.

I well remember the late Coral and Jim Lorenzen's Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (A.P.R.O.) which listed several dozen high-powered physicists and chemists and other scientists on its research committees, all striving to prove that those weird and funny lights in the sky were interstellar spaceships.

If only that tremendous brain trust had been brought to bear on the entire field of the Paranormal!

Had that been the case A.P.R.O. (ANOMALOUS Phenomena Research Organization?) most likely wouldn't be extinct today.
But perhaps by trying to prove that UFOs were ET spacecraft, they were shooting themselves in the foot - or, at least, giving themselves a far too narrow remit? You can throw alot of brains at any given subject, but if you're barking up the wrong tree to start with you're going to stay barking for a very long time ;)
Jerry_B said:
You can throw alot of brains at any given subject, but if you're barking up the wrong tree to start with you're going to stay barking for a very long time ;)
Woof! Woof! Woof!
Jerry_B said:
But perhaps by trying to prove that UFOs were ET spacecraft, they were shooting themselves in the foot - or, at least, giving themselves a far too narrow remit?

YES! That's EXACTLY the point I THOUGHT I was making.
At a time when the second man on the moon admits that they were followed by a UFO on their way, I don't think it is right to say that UFOlogy is dead!
Of course the Discovery program didn't include the subsequent analysis of that UFO, and the most likely conclusion (that it was part of the faring that connected the Service Module to the Saturn IV-B booster). Slightly dishonest, I think.
Old TimeRadio: "Might not Earth's Ultra-terrestrial entities (fairies, elementals, kobolds, elementals and all the rest) in some way REACT to that approach?
And might not the paranormal phenomena associated with the UFO enigma be that reaction?"

It goes slightly off-topic, but another hypothesis is that paranormal phenomena surrounding UFOs is a natural by-product or side-effect, like the e.m. effects. But with both, there is a huge difficulty. All the paranormal phenomena have the same basic behaviour: they are all ostentatious to the point they are alluring, and they are elusive. UFOs, ghosts, poltergeists, BHMs, BVMs, chupacabras or other apparitions all behave in this way. They like to make them plainly visible, but never leave any definitive proof of their existence. As it is said in the topic "Ghosts and Cameras", there seems to be some kind of barrier or interdiction that stops paranormal phenomena to leave substantial proof. If there is a cameraman in a poltergeist-infested house, the polt will always manifest at the opposite of his camera. The same happens with UFOs. All evidence left is either unconvincing, either ambiguous.

If there were many different sources reacting to or in conflict with each other, the situation would be very different. That one non-human intelligence follows a rule of non-contact (at least, non dirrect contact) is easy to understand. But this is much less easy if they are many. There is no reason that different intelligences would not behave in different ways. So, it seems that those phenomenas come from the same source. Or they are monitored by the same one. There is very good case in favour of something like Jacques VALLEE's control system. Now we're back to the topic, because this didn't help to maintain ufology in good health, as many ufologists realized that the matter was a bit more complex than nuts-and-bolts spacecrafts.
The trouble with Vallee's 'Control System' is that one might as well call the Control System 'God' and the UFOs 'miracles'.
And many call it "Satan" and the UFOs "devils". But those people are unable to tell why and how we should distinguish between "devilish" and "angelic" manifestations, other than upon pure arbitrary. I remember having such a discussion with some Jehovah's Witnesses, I let you imagine the expression on their face. They couldn't cope with this logic-in fact, they couldn't cope with their own logic!
So, I think the best we should do is to not ascribe this control system to one of our preconceptions, religious, belief in space aliens or else.
All the paranormal phenomena have the same basic behaviour: they are all ostentatious to the point they are alluring, and they are elusive. UFOs, ghosts, poltergeists, BHMs, BVMs, chupacabras or other apparitions all behave in this way.

Because they share characteristics doesn't mean that they share a common origin, or that any particular type of phenomenon has single cause.

A UFO could be psychological in origin: a misidentifcation of an aircraft, bird, or meteorological or astronomical event; it could be a spacecraft or time machine, or something from another level of the existence. It doesn't have to be one thing, or the same thing every time, so there doesn't have to be an overall controller for all paranormal phenomena since they have so may possible origins.
What we are saying here is basically that all those phenomena [ghosts, ufo's etc] are only looked upon from our viewpoint. We "see" ufo's and ghosts, we "hear" strange noises, we "feel" etc.
However if you haven't invented a hearing aid yet, then a deaf person might never know what a sound is.

The other strange thing is that many ufo's have been witnessed, photographed and caught on film. Some mediums do seem to have genuine contact to the netherworlds etc but none of these things are being treated the same way some "worldly" theories are [i.e no serious research, no funding, public slander etc].
So maybe they are all far more tangible than we might think.
Analis said:
And many call it "Satan" and the UFOs "devils".

I think it's a great mistake to equate all Paranornal Phenoma = evil or all UFOnaut-types = Evil.

But if there ARE discorporeal intelligences on the Earth, or in the Universe, and at least some of those non-physical entities are malignantly-incluned towards Humanity, "demons" works as well as anything else.