From ridicule to reason: how ufology became reality


“If you’re not curious it’s because you’re not paying attention to the news,” says Catherine James, a 26-year-old graphic designer from Manchester who has always believed in aliens, flying saucers and little men. green. But the difference today is that after decades of keeping it to herself, she’s no longer shy about expressing it. “People are more open than ever,” she shares.

Meanwhile, if you had told academic Dr. Diana Pasulka 15 years ago that she would one day write a book on UFOs, becoming a preeminent voice in the region, she would have laughed. “I would have said you were crazy” she said Stylist on a call from Wilmington, NC, where she lives. “Because the perception I had was that these people were eccentric. “

Pasulka is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina and, from what I can understand, a deeply rational person. Yet she spent 10 years integrating into curious UFO communities for her 2019 book. American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology. First, as a skeptic exploring the belief in UFOs as a new form of religion, then, tentatively to begin with, joining the growing number of people who contemplate the troubling question: what if we weren’t alone?

You’ve probably heard a lot about aliens lately. Last month, the Pentagon released a report confirming the existence of a UFO program within the US Department of Defense, as well as 144 reports of UFO sightings made primarily by military aviators between 2004 and 2021, including much the US government is unable to explain.

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