It seems clear that we are long past a single, singular idea of flying saucers, interstellar spaceships, or even “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena” as an answer to this question, yet we remain in the realm of the unknown. So far.
Repeatability is a fundamental cornerstone of the scientific method, and the fact that the experience of encountering a “UFO” has consistently eluded the repeatability which is rightfully demanded by objective analysis in and of itself constitutes a problem – and could quite possibly be an inherent characteristic of the experience itself.
When the aperture of the lens of time is spread, what exactly constitutes repeatability on the scale mandated by the scientific method, the method of the observable? What is the nature and timeline of that observation?
Unexplainable experiences and perceptual phenomena have been a part of the human condition for as long as we can recall, resisting our gaze all the while. Who’s to think that’s going to change?
There’s no shortage of activity occurring outside our visual spectrum or beyond our day-to-day collective experience: we co-habitate with bears and badgers and sharks and snakes, with gamma rays and infrared radiation and so much more swirling around us, but we don’t necessarily see it every day (or even at all). At least I hope not!
But what has been seen, consistently, in our own modern era and for a long time before that, are identifiable characteristics of UFOs which lie beyond our capabilities: instantaneous acceleration, low observability, positive lift, transmedium travel, and hypersonic velocities, often yielding biological effects.
So what constitutes an observer? Is the UFO experience possibly a manifestation of what has been described as supernatural, or religious, a control system spanning culture, time, and territory, as proposed by Jacques Vallee?
Is what we see visually and via classified government-level sensor systems a security threat, not only to our own country but to our allies and enemies as well, as Ryan Graves has said?
Or is looking at the totality of the UFO phenomenon, to quote Jeffrey Kripal, “to study pretty much everything”?
I live in New Hampshire, home to some of the weirdest shit around. We’ve got skee ball, we’ve got fry doe, we’ve got UFOs, and we’ve most definitely got plenty of non-human intelligence. But it has become increasingly clear to me that there’s an even greater and higher strangeness out there, a whole lot more than just the vestiges of these experiences, the six observables.
Whatever the answer is to the question I posed at the top, it’s a big fucking story. Buckle up, buttercup.