Madness and UFOs
I’ve often succumbed to the idea, and written about the idea here, that some (many?) UFO sightings and the reports of them derive from a kind of madness: psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, et cetera.
Not all UFO events derive from addled minds, of course, but a number of them can only be explained by madness, madness as defined by Michel Foucault in his oeuvre [Madness: The Invention of an Idea and Madness and Civilization, et al.] or Thomas Szasz [Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences], and Andrew Scull’s Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity.
The idea that madness (insanity) is isolated and peripheral to human behavior is tackled by various writers and groups for whom the matter is paramount.
For instance, this comes from The British Journal of Psychiatry :
“Our ideas about the intrinsically pathological nature of hallucinations and delusions are being challenged by findings from epidemiology, neuroimaging and clinical research.
Population-based studies using both self-report and interview surveys show that the prevalence of psychotic symptoms is far greater than had been previously considered, prompting us to re-evaluate these psychotic symptoms and their meaning in an evolutionary context.”
More can be read HERE.
Then there is this: http://www.livescience.com/5082-insane.html
And Wikipedia (for those of you without books on the topic) offers this:
Some of the classic flying saucer and UFO sightings could easily fall into the madness category….
All of the contactee tales of the 1950s: Adamski, Fry, Angelucci, et al.
Ken Arnold’s sighting.
The Betty/Barney Hill “kidnapping”
Lonnie Zamora’s interpretation of what he saw in Socorro 
The Travis Walton “abduction”
The Robert Taylor/Scotland encounter
And all of the European sightings (especially in France and Italy) of the 1950s
And many others, including those from ancient times such as the Ezekiel vision or Constantine’s cross in the sky.
There are gradations of madness, as one can see by reading from the links provided above.
Today’s ufologists or UFO buffs have a smidgen or palpable tinge of madness that is evident in their book writings or commentary online in internet venues or rapture at UFO conferences and gatherings.
Jung wrote about the dislocation of sanity in the modern age [Modern Man in Search of a Soul, The Undiscovered Self, et al.] and cites the reasons for the dissolution of mankind’s mental acuity.
Freud also touched on the “madness” in his Civilization and Its Discontents.
Recently, as I was in situ at a University of Michigan football game, I was struck by how “insane” U of M fans were, during the game, something that is pronounced at NFL games also.
Persons (not just students at college games), entrenched in their fandom for a team go bonkers as if they are on the contest fields themselves, empathetic to the point of physical and mental transmogrification with the players.
Various mad crimes are ubiquitous.
Then there are the election cycles, not just here in the States, but in South America and Europe, not to mention ISIS and the turmoil in the whole of the Middle East.
Madness is rampant in human society, so why wouldn’t people see things in the sky or on the ground that they attribute to (alien) extraterrestrial incursions?
The “visions” are created and embraced by persons hoping for salvation by something since God has hidden His face (as Richard Friedman and also Gerald Schroeder have noted in their books).
Yes, UFOs may be delusionally induced, but is that the extent of the phenomenon?
I don’t think so, but there isn’t much to provide an alternative explanation, and the feeble attempts to provide an explanation for UFOs have come to naught; themselves (the explanations extant) as mad as anything we have come to see as insane.