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The Main Issues Facing UFO Research in the 21st Century


UFO Research has a number of strands, several of which have evolved to the point where one can see one phase of this activity ending and another replacing it. It is timely for us all – researchers and the interested public, to pause, see where we are at and where we might go from here. We will consider the matter under a number of headings.

1. The Proof phase is ending.

The evidence relating to the UFO phenomenon is now at the point that reasonable scepticism is no longer possible. Consider the list:

1.1 In the early 50’s Donald Keyhoe (“Flying Saucers from Outer Space”, Henry Holt, NY 1953) was able to publish 41 official US Air Force reports on UFO sightings, including simultaneous radar, air visual and ground visual sightings, in the public domain. This very important disclosure has been allowed to slip out of public view.

1.2 During the intervening decades numerous highly placed officials from a number of countries have made statements to the effect that the UFO/ET phenomenon is real. For example, in the 1950’s General McArthur warned cadets at West Point Military Academy that they might have to wage war against invaders from other worlds and in the early 1990’s the Belgian Air Force released radar video footage of one of their jets chasing a large triangular UFO and obtaining a radar lock on it before it abruptly moved away.

1.3 Each year millions of UFO sightings have been reported globally. Many of the more detailed incidents have been carefully investigated and reported. There is now a vast body of literature on the subject through which these cases are held on public record. Furthermore the incidence of sightings in the general population is so high (about 6%) that virtually everyone has a friend or relative that has experienced an unambiguous UFO sighting. Instances of special significance to me include the “Gill” sightings of New Guinea in 1959 and the Tully incidents of the 1960’s.

1.4 Together with the incidence of sightings, there have also been reports of encounters with UFO occupants of the “contactee” type, encounters of the “abduction” type and distance or telepathic communications, some of which have the form of “channelled” communications. These incidents have been much more controversial amongst UFO researchers than sightings, but they are also very important as a potential source of information about ETs. George Adamski and Daniel Fry of the US and Frank Howard of Australia are of particular significance to me.

1.5 As if to close the circle with Donald Keyhoe, Steven Greer has assembled about 400 witnesses prepared to testify about their involvement as military personnel or other servants of the US government, with UFO sightings, radar tracking, crash retrievals, back engineering of ET technology and evidence of ET bases on the moon.

Greer’s work may be seen as picking up Keyhoe’s early efforts, and together with all that has emerged during the intervening decades, as sketched out above, we can say that the case for the reality of the UFO phenomenon has been adequately established. The question: “Is it real?” has been answered in the affirmative. This, however is merely a first step which every UFO researcher has to take at some stage in their personal study of the subject. Other steps must follow.

2. The Cover-up is likely to continue

One of the cherished hopes of many researchers (me included) has been that at some point officialdom will cave in under the weight of evidence and “reveal all”. We are nowhere near the point where this event is at all likely. ET technology gives a relative military and economic advantage to those who have it, an advantage which diminishes the more this technology is shared around. Furthermore, ET technology is bound to have a potential for destructive application far exceeding that of present nuclear weapons. Who has the courage and foresight to let this genie out of the bottle and get around the obvious dangers? Disclosure will not come about until we no longer need it. Until we can take it in our stride and use it constructively.

Some (including Greer) hold that “free” energy based on ET technology will help us protect the terrestrial environment better. Not however if it can also be used to literally blow up the planet. We have free energy right now. Solar energy for example is abundant and free. Everyone knows this. If the money devoted to just the “peaceful” uses of nuclear energy had been committed to developing a solar energy power system suitable for mass application, we could be benefiting from it right now. It is not technology we need to solve our problems so much as a radical change of heart.

3. How Change Comes About

A number of changes during the 20th century and before reveal to us how change comes about. If we look at such things as alternative medicine (as perceived in the West), the environmental movement, belief in reincarnation, near death experiences, acceptance of the UFO phenomenon, we see the same trend. These matters receive general acceptance amongst the people, but our various institutions – governmental, religious, social, academic, scientific, economic or political contribute almost nothing to that process, and are typically their most vehement adversary.

If we observe how the present views and beliefs of our institutions came about, we generally discover a similar process. Certain views and beliefs become prevalent in society at large and they eventually penetrated into its institutions, which then champion these views and beliefs. Thus it comes about that we can have a whole generation of scientists for example espousing erroneous notions about say the nature of life in the universe, or the possibility of convenient, cheap and rapid interstellar space travel and communication, because they are trapped in the mindset of yesterday, and resist the truths of today.

Looking a little further back into our history, there is a span of about half a millennium during which the sun was recognized as being the centre of our solar system, stars were recognized as being other suns very far away in space and subsequently many of these “stars” were recognized as being galaxies of stars, like our own Milky Way.

In general, the institutions which champion today’s beliefs were in their past the most bitter enemy of those very beliefs, and are today the most resourceful and remorseless enemy of the very ideas and beliefs which they will eventually champion at some future time.

Knowing this, we can estimate the time needed for change to come about. If a particular change requires just one step, it can penetrate institutions in possibly two generations – one to be accepted in society at large, and another to replace the “old wood” in the relevant institutions. However, if the change is more complex, and requires several steps, it will takes longer. With the UFO phenomenon there are at least three steps. The first is coming to terms with the fact of life in the universe, the second to invent a social structure which can safely use the knowledge and power implicit in the first and the third is to make some progress in this new direction. Clearly we need to be in it for the long haul. We have been at it for half a century. It may well take half a millennium.

4. The Important Role of the UFO Phenomenon

From what has been said above we can see the challenge of the 21st century. It is to make the world safe enough so we can benefit from, and not be destroyed by the tremendous promise of ET contact. A century of intense UFO activity has brought us to where we are today. If UFOs were to go away, never to return, the process of change which they are fostering would stop, and this episode would become a historical curiosity in a future society that failed to reach cosmic maturity, or maybe failed altogether.

Consequently, although the time has come to change gear as it were, it is vital that we continue the groundwork of investigating analysing and recording UFO sightings, contacts, encounters and communications. Indeed we need to do these things even better than before, because the new emphasis is about the meaning rather than the reality of the phenomenon.

Through the UFO phenomenon, ETs can speak to us, and we to them, and this can help keep us on track, and also to recognize those of our ideas and beliefs which have passed their use by date. This contact allows us to discover and build the new science, new philosophy, new society and perhaps new spirituality which we are going to need to create the new and better world.

5. New Research

In the past it has been a practice to investigate rather than analyse. When the facts of a sighting or encounter were established and placed on record, the research process tended to stop. Sometimes similarities between independent cases would be noted. The analysis was left to the “experts” and these experts were conspicuous for their absence. They will continue to be conspicuous for their absence for the same reason that the cover-up will also remain, and the time has come for UFO researchers to pick up this work. Fortunately there has been a privatization of laboratory expertise, and some is now available for money. This is one avenue of solution. In other respects, unusual instruments are becoming more readily available, as for example with image processing and the analysis of genetic material.

UFO researchers will need to extend themselves into fields of expertise, UFO Associations will need to attract individual experts into their area of interest. In short we must begin to consciously build what will eventually become a new branch of learning. “Cosmo-society” will ultimately become a branch of learning and study every bit as fruitful and useful as any other of the major fields of human endeavour.

A subject close to my interests is “UFO Physics” – understanding UFO propulsion and related matters. There is already a growing body of literature in this area, a notable contribution being Paul Hill’s “Unconventional Flying Objects” published posthumously by his wife Julie through Hampton Roads in 1995.

A branch of learning from which trained professionals have been more willing than any other to look at UFO matters is the behavioural sciences, and this needs to be encouraged further.

It is no good waiting for experts in various fields to come to UFO Research and pitch in. It does happen, and that is most important, but too few come. We need also to encourage people with an established commitment to UFO study to go and acquire new expertise.

We need a new orientation amongst the rank and file of the supporters of UFO study, and this is a willingness to encourage, support and welcome the contributions of people with expertise. For the general public who have not taken the time to study the subject, or do not feel competent to do so, it is the opinion of sincere people with some expertise, who have studied the subject carefully, which gives them a dimension of assurance which is presently denied them by the cover-up.

6. Keeping the Faith

The new science and technology of our future is not to be introduced into our society by the disclosure of secret government knowledge. It is going to be reinvented by people on the fringes of established science and technology who can draw inspiration from both ET and higher sources in a slow, “controlled” process. This is the phase which we are now entering. As we embark on this venture, we are confronted by the very same questions which faced the people maintaining the UFO cover-up. Where will this take us? Are we risking the destruction of our civilization through the misuse of the new power this can give us? The plain answer is that we do not know, and have no way of knowing before we actually do something.

To resolve this impasse, we need to look beyond the ET phenomenon. “ET” here means other physical beings and cultures engaged in living their lives as we are engaged in living ours. They may and do interact with us, but we expect them to mind their business and us to mind ours. They are not available as our saviours although they may be willing to help us along.

Throughout history, people of discernment have always looked to Divinity for the confidence they needed in order to even take on the challenges of the unknown. When we confront the challenges of creating the new science and technology of the new world with all the unknowns and dangers which that entails, we do well to do something similar. I call this “keeping the Faith” and mean by that that just as we are willing to help another where we can, so we accept that there will always be present when needed, a higher power and intelligence which will help us. This does not mean that we can now recklessly rush into inventing whatever comes to hand and for whatever application, but that we proceed with care and courage, always cultivating that openness which ensures the right guidance. This I think is the true meaning of the phrase “In God we trust” printed on the US one dollar bill.

“Keeping the Faith” means that people of goodwill, embracing “Goodness” as a guiding principle of their lives reach out to people of a similar inclination from other worlds to create a cosmic community based on goodwill, and in the process we are also taking the safest, surest course in the evolution of our society.

7. The New World is for all

At the moment we have an “old” world and the seeds of a new one in our contact with ETs. The new world, must be for all, and only those who helped to build it can be part of it. The cover-up can not be a permanent institution in this new world. Our society as a whole needs to change and evolve at every step of the way, and this has to be real. It means that the entire population is actively working towards this goal and people are prepared to do this for the whole of their lives.

On Earth, civilization has reached great heights a number of times in the past, and then has collapsed again. Anthropologists have generally held the view that the further they go back in time, the more primitive the societies of that age. This is indeed so to a certain point, but then the trend reverses. Many ancient “mysteries” testify to this fact.

Today we again face the danger of our civilization self destructing. How is this to be averted? At every stage of our development there will be a particular and relevant answer to this question. One of these answers is going to have to be that at every stage, those individuals who are able and willing to derail our progress, are either persuaded to change, prevented from interfering, or removed from our world. In particular, the reincarnation of souls into the new world will not be or remain open to those willing to be part of such destruction or unwilling to contribute to the common good.

If the new world is to be for all, then the work is for all too. Indeed it is the striving and commitment which creates a society able to maintain as well as enjoy the new world.

8. Going Back to School

There is ample evidence that ET bases exist on and in the Earth as well as the moon. There may also be bases on other solar planets and moons, and in solar space. Given the nature of ET Technology, bases could be maintained anywhere except perhaps in the sun itself. In short, ET is living right next door to us. We are not and never were alone in the universe. Furthermore, we can safely assume that whatever knowledge or technology we can use constructively is there waiting to be given to us. We do not need to shoot down UFOs or capture and interrogate their occupants. Whatever we are able to use responsibly is there, waiting to be given freely.

This means that our whole civilization has to be willing to go to “school” again. Not school as we might understand it, but in the sense that we are in primary school compared to probably most of the ET civilizations at these bases. Our society and our institutions have sensed this from the very start and it has put their egos out of joint. Probably 90% of the scepticism, denial, ridicule and misrepresentation of the UFO phenomenon, and the cover-up, is because of this bruised ego.

9. The Way Forward

9.1 During the phase of UFO Research, which I think is now closing, the emphasis was on the vehicles, rather than their occupants. Contacts were largely ignored, and even abductions have had no significant impact, because the abducting ETs engage in little if any communication.

9.2 During the next phase, we need to pick up what was abandoned so long ago – the occupants of the UFOs need to become the centre of our focus. One can see a UFO in the sky without understanding how it works, but can one relate to an ET without understanding him or her? This, I think is a major obstacle, and many of the contactees recognized it. George Adamski established a “school” of Cosmic Philosophy, Daniel Fry an Association for Understanding, and Frank Howard presents a highly detailed and very coherent cosmic perspective in his works. There has been a tendency to debunk such efforts as “cultish” or platitudinous or non-scientific, often without good reason, simply because, I think, the debunkers were very uncomfortable about relating to ETs.

9.3 The model which UFO research might adopt for relating to ETs was already tried out in the early 1950’s and reported by George Hunt Williamson in “The Saucers Speak”. Here, a group of ETs and a group of humans were in regular communication by radio mainly but other means as well. The mere fact that it happened (and there are other similar cases usually involving single individuals or small groups) allows us to assume that it might well happen again if there is a good enough reason. However, new contact can not just be a repetition of what was done in the past. We have to study all the available information concerning all kinds of ET/human contact of the past, and set up an approach appropriate to our times, able to take the ET/human relationship further.

9.4 In working towards ET contact, we do well to let history teach us its lessons. One of these is that the controversy which has dogged contactees and contacts in the past, is due largely to the intrusion of the cover-up agents who want very much to be the only channel of communication with ETs. Many genuine and sincere contactees (if not all) were discredited through the secret actions of cover-up agents who were well versed in what was going on, and were quite willing to pose as ETs, and pass on “messages” or requests calculated to get the contactee into difficulties. Many of the disreputable contactees and channellers doubtless owe their existence to the same agents. The lessons of history are that we need to learn to distinguish the genuine from the false, and be forever on guard against intrusion by secrecy agents and disinformation.


By focusing almost exclusively on UFO sightings, UFO researchers have been able to take the easy way and bypass the difficult issues and decisions. By focusing on the ET/human interaction, this is no longer possible. We have to worry about keeping our civilization on track while maintaining a heady pace of change, and we need to be and remain very discerning and alert. We must also become thoughtful students of UFO related history. From here on it will be harder than it might have been in the past. Are we ready for it?

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