Page 5 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - August 2019
P. 5

UFOs Exist, That Doesn’t Mean Aliens Do 5

              Academic Says UFOs

             Exist, But That Doesn't

                  Mean 'Aliens' Do

                     Daniel W. Drezner

          The term "UFO" automatically triggers derision
          in most quarters of polite society.
                 One of Christopher Buckley's better
          satires, "Little Green Men", is premised on a
          George F. Will-type pundit thinking that he has
          been abducted by aliens, with amusing results.
          UFOs have historically been associated with
          crackpot ideas like Big Foot or conspiracy
          theories involving crop circles.
                 The obvious reason for this is that the
          term "UFO" is usually assumed to be a synonym
          for "extraterrestrial life." If you think about it,
          this is odd. UFO literally stands for
                                                         Department's Advanced Aerospace  Threat by getting pilots on record. What is interesting
          "unidentified flying object."
                                                         Identification Program, which was tasked with about this latest news cycle, however, is that
                 A UFO is not necessarily an alien from
                                                         cataloguing UFOs recorded by military pilots. DoD officials are not behaving as  Wendt and
          another planet. It is simply a flying object that
                                                         DoD officials confirmed its existence.          Duvall would predict.
          cannot be explained away through conventional
                                                                 Though this story generated some               Indeed, Politico's Bryan Bender reported
          means. Because UFOs are usually brought up
                                                         justified skepticism, it represented the first time last month that, "The US Navy is drafting new
          only to crack jokes, however, they have been
                                                         the US government acknowledged the existence guidelines for pilots and other personnel to
          dismissed for decades.
                                                         of such a program.                              report encounters with 'unidentified aircraft,' a
                 One of the gutsiest working paper
                                                                 Then, there were the reports last significant new step in creating a formal process
          presentations I have witnessed was Alexander
                                                         November about Oumuamua, "a mysterious, to collect and analyze the unexplained sightings
          Wendt and Raymond Duvall presenting a draft
                                                         cigar-shaped interstellar object [that] fell - and destigmatize them."
          version of "Sovereignty and the UFO."
                                                         through our solar system at an extraordinary           My Post colleague Deanna Paul
                 In that paper, eventually published in the
                                                         speed," according to New York's Eric Levits.    followed up by reporting that "Luis Elizondo, a
          journal Political  Theory,  Wendt and Duvall
                                                                 Oumuamua's shape and trajectory were former senior intelligence officer, told The Post
          argued that state sovereignty as we understand it
                                                         unusual     enough     for   some     genuine that the new Navy guidelines formalized the
          is anthropocentric, or "constituted and organized
                                                         astrophysicists to publish a paper suggesting the reporting process, facilitating data-driven
          by reference to human beings alone."
                                                         possibility that it was an artificial construction analysis while removing the stigma from talking
                 They argued that the real reason UFOs
                                                         relying on a solar sail.                        about UFOs, calling it 'the single greatest
          have been dismissed is because of the existential
                                                         `Again, this prompted skeptical reactions, but decision the Navy has made in decades.'"
          challenge that they pose for a worldview in
                                                         even those skeptics could not completely rule          What appears to be happening is that
          which    human     beings   are   the   most
                                                         out the possibility that extraterrestrial activity official organs of the state are now
          technologically advanced life-forms:
                                                         was involved.                                   acknowledging that UFOs exist, even if they are
                 UFOs have never been systematically
                                                         `Then, on Monday, the New York Times came not literally using the term. They are doing so
          investigated by science or the state, because it is
                                                         out with another story by the same reporters who because enough pilots are reporting UFOs and
          assumed to be known that none are
                                                         broke the 2017 story:                           near-air collisions so as to warrant better record-
          extraterrestrial. Yet in fact this is not known,
                                                              The strange objects, one of them like a keeping.
          which makes the UFO taboo puzzling given the
                                                         spinning top moving against the wind, appeared         They are not saying that these UFOs are
          ET possibility.... The puzzle is explained by the
                                                         almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March extraterrestrials, but they are trying to
          functional imperatives of anthropocentric
                                                         2015, high in the skies over the East Coast. Navy destigmatize the reporting of a UFO.
          sovereignty, which cannot decide a UFO
                                                         pilots reported to their superiors that the objects    Still, the very fact that this step has been
          exception to anthropocentrism while preserving
                                                         had no visible engine or infrared exhaust taken somewhat weakens the Wendt and Duvall
          the ability to make such a decision. The UFO
                                                         plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet thesis. This was always a two-step process: (a)
          can be "known" only by not asking what it is.
                                                         and hypersonic speeds.                          Acknowledge that UFOs exist; and (b) Consider
                 When  Wendt and Duvall made this
                                                                    "These things would be out there all that the UFOs might be ETs.
          argument, there were a lot of titters in the
                                                         day," said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super            In recent years, the US national security
          audience. I chuckled, too. Nonetheless, their
                                                         Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 bureaucracy has met the first criterion.  What
          paper makes a persuasive case that UFOs
                                                         years, and who reported his sightings to the happens to our understanding of the universe if
          certainly exist, even if they are not necessarily
                                                         Pentagon and Congress. "Keeping an aircraft in great powers meet that second one?
                                                         the air requires a significant amount of energy.
                 For them, the key is that no official
                                                         With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air About the Author:
          authority takes seriously the idea that UFOs can
                                                         is 11 hours longer than we'd expect."....              Daniel  W. Drezner is a professor of
          be extraterrestrials. As they note, "considerable
                                                                   No one in the Defense Department is   international politics at the Fletcher School of
          work goes into ignoring UFOs, constituting
                                                         saying that the objects were extraterrestrial, and  Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
          them as objects only of ridicule and scorn."
                                                         experts emphasize that earthly explanations can
                 In recent years, however, there has been
                                                         generally be found for such incidents.
          a subtle shift that poses some interesting                                                                  XZBN Radio Host
                                                         Lieutenant Graves and four other Navy pilots,
          questions for their argument.                                                                             GWILDA WIYAKA
                                                         who said in interviews with The New York Times
                 For one thing, discussion of actual UFOs
                                                         that they saw the objects in 2014 and 2015 in               Is On A Mission.…
          has been the topic of some serious mainstream
                                                         training maneuvers from Virginia to Florida off      Mission: Evolution Radio Show
          media coverage.
                                                         the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, make          Listen In At
                 There was the December 2017 New York
                                                         no assertions of their provenance.
          Times story by Helene Cooper, Ralph                                                                   or Visit Her Show Website at
                                                                 The Times reporters broke new ground
          Blumenthal and Leslie Kean about the Defense                                                 
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10