UFO Conjectures

Friday, February 24, 2017

All the UFO explanations, but one gets a subliminal endorsement.

Copyright 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.

In the Official UFO magazine issue I noted previously [October 1976] is an article by Richard Hall, an eminent “ufologist”: Spaceships or Specters? (Categorizing the Unknown) Page 22 ff.
Mr. Hall enumerates all [sic] of the possible “explanations” for the UFO phenomenon, which I try to do here but appear to be a slacker after one reads Mr. Hall’s piece.

(I tried to find the whole article online but was unsuccessful; maybe Terry the Censor can find it, he’s a whiz at digging up internet archival stuff.)

The Hall categories (from which I’ll only provide title categories, not the content) are:

Deluded Observer Hypothesis
Secret Device Hypothesis
Little-Understood Atmospheric Phenomenon Hypothesis
Space Animal Hypothesis
Secret Terrestrial Society Hypothesis
Terrestrial Deceit Hypothesis
Psychic Projection Hypothesis
Ancient Earth Astronaut Hypothesis
Extraterrestrial Hypothesis [ETH]
Time Travel/Other Realms Hypothesis
Supernatural Hypothesis

Hall writes, “Although these hypotheses range from the mundane to the exotic, some clearly are more plausible than others.” [Page 23, Official UFO, October 1976]

I won’t try to encapsulate Mr. Hall’s remarkable erudition in outlining the pros and cons of each category, listed by him (above).

But a bias shows up in his last words for the article:

“ … the answer to this question [‘are we s different from them as ants are from humans?’] will determine our entire future relationship to any visitors from the universe.” [Italics mine]

See, even the most objective UFO buff (ufologist) is geared to see UFOs as ET devices.



  • Good afternoon,

    Many ufologists are doing the mistake to think that there is a unique explanation (often called the "Grand explanation") for all unexplained UFO reports, as if each report described the same phenomenon. Richard Hall was doing the same mistake at that time in his article by attempting selecting only one hypothesis from the 11 presented.

    The truth is very different: unexplained UFO reports at large are so disparate that it is virtually impossible that they have all the same original stimulus.

    Hypotheses 1 and 2 (delusion and secret military devices) explain certainly a number of cases.

    Hypothesis 3 (unknown natural phenomena) is my own field of research : it may explain some reports describing phenomena having unique characteristics, but obviously not all reports.

    The other hypotheses are very hard to test since we honestly have no idea for many of them about what kind of observable phenomena they can produce.

    The fact that we only have eyewitness reports where we don't know how to separate the objective(real) and the subjective (interpreted and imagined ) parts doesn't help either as we have nothing quantitative to analyze.



    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Friday, February 24, 2017  

  • I cannot find online, nor do I have personally, a copy of that issue. Sorry.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Monday, February 27, 2017  

  • I have the article and magazine, Terry...

    I just didn't want to take the time to type all that material.....(for the niggardly comments it might get).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 27, 2017  

  • I agree that it is a mistake to look for one explanation. But the huge array of possible causes strongly suggests the definition of UFO is much too loose to be useful. For instance, the MUFON database and YouTube are clogged with reports of distant points of light and blurred images. Somehow, such valueless reports, based entirely on ignorance, are used to promote the illusion of a robust and pervasive phenomenon (MUFON issues a monthly email that tabulates sightings by shape and region, with no indication if even one report has any evidentiary value).

    The ambiguity of the reports allows any enthusiast to fit evidence into their pet theory, however outlandish and untestable.

    As the ETH is the most prominent theory, I'd like to see buffs do an analysis of all reports of clearly delineated, structured craft that have multiple types of corrobotration, not just one type of "witness." For instance, eyewitness reports that are accompanied by photos or film that unambiguously describe and show a non-human craft. There might be a few interesting cases that meet these criteria; if so, these cases should then be used to go find that craft. But after tossing out uncorroborated reports and demonstrated hoaxes, I suspect the number of unambiguous cases might be zero.

    If the ETH fails to be demonstrated by UFO reports, then buffs can move on to the next theory, and the next, and so on.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Monday, February 27, 2017  

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