UFOs, anomalistics, and “wild science”

Anyone following the news on UFOs, or UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) — news that may be hard to miss, since the New York Times, The New Yorker, 60 Minutes, CNN, and most other major media have covered it in recent months — knows that an important government report is about to be released. (What’s more interesting is that science media are reporting on it, too.) Here are a few thoughts in anticipation of that report. Many things are reported and believed to exist, which remain scientifically unsupported: ghosts, poltergeists, encounters with spiritual beings, experiences that appear to cross or at least blur the boundaries between life and death, sightings of creatures unknown to science (Nessies and sasquatches and the like), and so on. Reports of UFOs, or as they’re now sometimes called, UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena), tend to fall into this same grab-bag. A social scientist might consider them to be part of the unformatted “plasma” of reality that may be “out there,” but remains scientifically unmapped, unclaimed, and “untamed”; which means that we’re not sure which reality bin to slot them into — material, fantastical, fictional, folkloric, or some other kind. Evidence of personal and collective human encounters with…

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UFOs, anomalistics, and “wild science”

Updated: June 9, 2021 — 10:29 pm