The UFO “Zone"
In revisiting some classic UFO events, I notice that the persons involved (the witnesses) were all engaged in activity that was almost somnambulistic or they were in that daydream moment that comes upon people who are either engrossed in what they’re doing to the point that their movement and thought processes are almost automatic or unconsciously stimulated.
It seems that while in the performance of their activity, they’ve shut down their consciousness to an extent that they are moving and acting by sheer routine.
A number of UFO or flying saucer episodes involve this semi-conscious behavior that, for some reason opens the door to perceptions that would never occur in a fully waking state.
The mental process mimics that found in Cosmic Consciousness (as defined by Bucke) minus the revelatory elements in such transcendent occurrences.
For example, Kenneth Arnold’s iconic sighting of nine strange objects flying near Mt. Rainier came while he was flying, solo, in a routine manner – a flight experience devoid of a need for attention or full awareness.
The process functions inside the psychiatric-defined mechanism of “sensorium.”
Not to make too much of the effect let me state that some UFO accounts appear to generate an entry into a “zone” that is not necessarily delusional but a “zone” in which a percipient sees UFOs or interacts with creatures attendant to UFOs, both possibly real but from another reality.
I choose to see such activity as hallucinatory (or delusional) but physical remnants seem to undercut such an explanation.
That is, while such accounts strike one as part of the panoply we name as hallucinations or mental aberrations, the possibility is that such events are actual happenings wherein the persons involved have stepped over into a place that one might call The Twilight Zone.
The somnambulant-like condition make allow a person to perceive a reality that exists in a plane of reality that parallels their usual reality, but only fleetingly.
Other “sightings” that seem to fall into this Twilight Zone category would include the 1954 Rosa Lotti interaction in Italy, the 1961 Betty.Barney Hill “abduction,” the 1967 Michalak/Falcon Lake event, the 1973 folie à deux Pascagoula encounter, the 1979 Robert Taylor episode in Scotland, and others.
Of course, not all UFO sightings or events fall into the “zone” category I’m highlighting here, but there are enough – see Jose Caravaca’s litany of odd UFO encounters – to allow the conjecture that, perhaps, some flying saucer sightings or UFO encounters involve a transient perception of another reality or other realities: one’s mental state opens the door to such perceptions, as Aldous Huxley recounted in his “The Doors of Perception” (which was served up as part of a drug-induced experience) but which I see as an occasional neurological glitch opportuned by the routine mental state(s) I note above.
(Ghost encounters would be accounted in a likewise manner, but that’s for another time and other persons to delineate.)