What is behind the decline in UFO sightings? | UFO


This month, the top two online UFO reporting sites – the National UFO Reporting Center and the Mutual UFO Network – both have documented sharp declines in sightings around the world. The declines started around 2014, when reports were at a peak. They have since drastically reduced at 55% of this year’s combined total, many UFO interest groups have folded, and many previously classified government documents have been disclosed.

Do these declines reveal that interest in UFOs is becoming an oversight on the human cultural radar? Perhaps the tradition of UFOs and aliens is more like a reflection of human culture, tied to the space age, driven by the conquest of new existential frontiers.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the term UFO (unidentified flying object) and some of the phenomena that surround it – kidnappings and impossible technologies – are relatively recent. Prior to the 1940s, reports of sightings of objects in the sky were extremely rare. Centuries of recorded history give no clear indication of such activity. Then, at the dawn of the space age, during the Roswell conspiracy era, UFO culture was born, spawning everything from Space Invaders to the X-Files.

Possible answers to the reasons for decreasing observations are varied. A key factor, however, may be that more people simply don’t care anymore. As we are used to being inundated with wild assertions produced by politicians, media, and advertisers, a UFO’s next report is no more raw than long-range weather forecasts.

Before the personal video, photographs were the basis of the UFO evidence. Video evidence, at the height of the 1990s UFO mania, was considered by many to be even more substantial. Amateur videos shining objects in the sky, as mysterious as they seemed real, made the cut for television appearance – they were meant to be taken seriously and they nurtured an audience hungry for wonder, aided by a healthy dose of conspiracy theory.

According to cultural historian Stuart Walton, “Belief in UFOs is definitely in decline, with many more that could be classified as paranormal. Part of the reason is that the technology to provide evidence documentaries of such matters are now widely available to anyone with a smartphone, and the alleged evidence on YouTube seems extremely grated. “

He adds: “It is not so much that belief can exist without proof; it is that it must categorically avoid proof in order to remain belief. Paradoxically, we are in the process of proving a negative hypothesis with UFOs: there never has been.

Indeed, indisputable evidence that intelligent life is coming to Earth could be the biggest news of all time. Yet after thousands of anecdotal, photo and video reports have accumulated over decades, what are we to conclude? With the greatest balance between skepticism and “wanting to believe”, all that can be said with confidence is that certain objects, appearing in the sky on film or video, appear unidentifiable.

In addition, the government’s disclosure of his own video footage does not help maintain belief. Joseph Baker, professor of sociology at Tennessee State University, said: “It’s actually better for UFOs when ufologists can claim that ‘the powers that be know everything and hide it from us’ rather than see that the government seems to have basically the same information about UFOs as a public: namely grainy, inconclusive visual evidence. “

However, perhaps the decline in reported sightings only signifies the end of current trends in ufology. After all, from the 1940s onwards, aliens were originally characterized as saviors who could help humans transcend the paranoia of the nuclear annihilation of the Cold War; particularly marked at the time, after two world wars. But after events like Watergate and the Vietnam War fueled distrust of the government, UFOs came to be viewed more as a possible threat, and some came to believe that their existence was verified in secret military documents.

Sharon Hill, a researcher on the paranormal and pseudoscience, says, “Ideas about UFOs and aliens continue to evolve as we project our social and cultural ideas onto them. Since we don’t have a single, simple explanation for all of these claims about the decline in sightings, the future view of ufology seems rather open. I don’t think it’s dead, just changing.


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