14 October 2018


It is a wonderful experience to get the opinion of a very selective group of people at an international level and get them together giving answers to just 8 questions referred to the Unusual Aerial Phenomena.

We give a big thanks to all those colleagues who are answering our survey and we are very pleased to present to you their ideas. We hope that what they say would be useful to you in your own work with the U.A.P. and that their criteria would help to shape your own one.

We continue today the publication of the answers of these colleagues, and we are doing so in the order they were received.


He was born in City Bell (Province of Bs. As.), Argentina. Graduated in Psychology, and Doctor in Social Psychology -summa cum laude- from the J. F. Kennedy University. Postgraduate in Systemic Therapy, and Family and Community Mediation, by the University of Buenos Aires. Architect, Urbanism, and Planning orientation graduated from the University of Belgrano, where he studied the Master in Research Methodology. For years he worked as a university professor within the framework of an anthropological vision and worked in assistance and research institutions.
 His interest in UFOs starts with the rise of astronautics and space, to define his line of research as a psychology imbued by the social. He focuses his interest in the psyche and human behavior. His purpose has been to carry out a task of clarification of the reports presented and learn what these episodes reveal.

In the field of ufology, he developed a pioneering activity characterized by a scientific or rational approach, including a laureate doctoral thesis on the UFO phenomenon. His work is very extensive. It covers from the global study of casuistry (starting with the first catalog of sightings, essays on the historical-cultural development of the phenomenon, analysis of the waves, of the journalistic information, of the psychological evaluation of the witness and its report, etc.) , up to the investigation of classic cases and high strangeness, exposed in the monograph The Identified.

It has six published books, offering different and complementary visions, defined by the evolution of the investigative process. In his first book, "Evidence of the UFO phenomenon", he presents the distinctive features of the phenomenon, as links in a chain. The challenge was to baste them all, in search of an answer. In "The UFOs and their occupants" he offers the cases of the highest strangeness (EC3), occurred in Argentina, giving the keys to interpreting what these stories mean and the phenomenon as a whole. It will be followed by a project of several years, partially materialized in the monograph titled "The Identified", imposing himself to travel all corners of the country, interviewing witnesses and investigating in situ where the vast repertoire of reports referring to the Argentine casuistry on UFOs with occupants was produced.

In "UFOs - Pilgrims of Silence", after a detailed examination, he proposes a research method based on the so-called experiential ufology (of direct experiences), where -without adhering to any explanatory attempt- he formulates the systematic and behavioral study of the perceptive stimuli, testing their presumed responsiveness. It is followed by "Unusual Aerial Phenomena - A Biopsychosocial Approach", the first work that an Argentine university publisher dedicates to the problem, in which it presents UFOs as an eidetic phenomenon, that is, with a social and discursive existence, while at the same time approach us decidedly to the investigation of the human percipient and the environment in which these events are reported.

Faced with the need to investigate the genesis of this unique phenomenon that bursts into the culture of the twentieth century, he makes a contribution to the thematic historiography, through the "Biographical guide of Argentina ufology - the first twenty-five years (1947-1972)" , a condensed biographical record of ufologists and a description of the bibliographic material published in that period, with an annex where it examines the social plot in which the flying saucers  appear, taking into account the public and journalistic repercussion that the news had during 1947 in Argentina and other South American countries. A retrospective glance, far from the context in which the facts have been developed.-

1. Do you use the acronym UFO or other designation, and if so, why?

The word in Spanish "OVNI", equivalent to the English denomination "UFO", used by the United States Air Force, was adopted for the first time in Castilian speech at the proposal of the director of the Argentine Aeronautics Library, Vice-Commodore Juan José Güiraldes, in a series of three articles written by Army Captain (R) Jorge Milberg, favorable to the extraterrestrial hypothesis, for the National Aeronautics Magazine, between April and May 1955, under the title "Believe or not believe", and in the translation of the book of Major (R) Donald E. Keyhoe "Flying saucers from outer space", edited for the Argentine Aeronautical Collection, of the Argentine Air Force.

This word comes from the criteria used by the USAF commissions in their research programs which tended to pragmatically eliminate reports to conventional identification categories. Thus, there remained a residual category of reports of cases for which no explanation had been found. In the case of an essentially technical task, the lack of identification placed these unusual episodes out of the focus of interest. The purpose was to identify the phenomena reported, on the presumption that something new might be found or that it would pose a risk to national security, and not specifically to dedicate itself to the scientific task of examining that set. Over the years, due more to public pressure and commissioned by the U.S. Air Force, the subject would be derived to the University of Colorado.

For many years the original popular expression of "flying saucers", translated throughout the world, had been used. However, it downplayed remained seriousness and requiring a more appropriate and formal speech, it extends until to impose by itself the acronym OVNI (UFO), already applied by official commissions, although the social sub-significance acquired from the beginning remains. In effect, this aseptic voice is not at the popular level. Surveys indicate that, in general, when talking about UFOs they are referring to "manned extraterrestrial ships", or its variants; assigning even purposes or objectives. (monitoring, help, exploration, etc.).

The frequent use allows me to nominalize, in the 70s, the acronym U.F.O. for "
ufo". In the same way that had been words like radar, laser, AIDS, and others.

A definition, however, must explain what the term means, and not what it does not mean; there are too many things that
do not mean that a negative definition can cover all of them. It is about finding an operational labeling where they are not introduced speculative or conjectural elements, nor subscribe to any of the explanatory hypotheses conceived. And make it clear that it is focused on the witness.

To that effect, I have proposed the following preliminary definition:

"It is the stimulus that originates a report on the observation of a phenomenon (object or lights) seen in the terrestrial sphere that, by its appearance or dynamic behavior, can not be identified by the human percipient in conventional or known terms".

The most appropriate technical expression is "unusual aerial phenomenon". Let's see the scope of each term:

Phenomenon, as any manifestation that is expressed in consciousness, of any nature. In philosophy, the phenomenon (of the Greek: appearance, manifestation) is the aspect that things offer before our senses; that is, the first contact you have with things, in what is called experience.

Aerial, adjective that has its origin in the Latin word aereus and that makes mention of that belonging or relative to the air. By extension, it will be used to name the environment in which these phenomena usually develop.

Unusual, an adjective that comes from the Latin inusuālis; prefix in privation or negation and from the Latin usuālis which means usual. It is said of a fact, event, occurrence, element or a particular thing that is not usual, frequent, ordinary, customary, habitual, common, normal or current.

I do not agree with the widespread word "anomaly", applied to this matter. Although something strange, rare, unusual, etc. can be interpreted as anomalous, as abnormally (outside the norms, of the norm), in the epistemological field of the sciences, the term is applied in a strict sense , according to the theory of Thomas Kuhn, exposed in his work “The Structure of Scientific Revolution”. There he explains that the perception of an anomaly understood as a fact that puts into question fundamental aspects of knowledge, inaugurates a stage of crisis that can lead to a scientific revolution.

Although not all anomalies cause serious conflicts, the word "anomaly" is too excessive to define or designate "UFOs", as there are no concrete indications
, still less proven, that they are outside the norms of science. The laws do not stumble or are in trouble to explain the observations. Not all momentarily unexplained phenomena are anomalies. Most of the difficulties faced by scientific researchers are settled with the tools and processes of the paradigm (set of valid theories, accepted and in force).

In the event that, in the set of reports on unusual observations, an anomaly that generates a crisis is detected, scientists will then have to dedicate their efforts to test different methods and develop new theories to solve the crisis, establishing a new model or paradigm.

In short, in ordinary terms, I use the acronym U.F.O., but when I apply it in a technical or scientific framework, I usually use the term unusual aerial phenomena.

2) Have your idea about UFOs changed along the time?

My first written essay, very modest, is called "False interpretations." There I present various journalistic reports that were easily explained: balloons, astronomical bodies, etc. The attitude of separating the noise to isolate the signal, which would properly be a genuine phenomenon, was always present in my years of research.
I always inquired from different viewpoints, perspectives. Freedom of thought should not be limited for such a complex and challenging phenomenon. What's there, after the "unidentified"? Going all the way to nothing is a long process.
There are ideas that have not changed. The search for research methods, rigor, and intellectual honesty have been constant.
The testing of the extraterrestrial hypothesis was the first impulse, which is still valid. All the others were added to it without preferences The exploration of the truth about the factual and eidetic realities is the main engine of the investigation.
The perception that there is a human component has been a first finding, as obvious as it may seem. Humanization reaches a point where I notice a kind of territory in common with this phenomenon that is described so frequently. The construction that the witness makes of his vision is decisive. The unconscious, theoretical concept, which actually becomes an instance -with a certain autonomy- to which the conscience is hardly attainable or definitely inaccessible, is revealed in formations such as dreams and other manifestations. We have to travel through the controversial collective unconscious and Jung's archetypes and find traces in the psyche that correspond to UFOs. It was a path that led me to put the witness and the human being in general at the center of my research in the focus of my investigation: to notice how much of the human is in the word, in the perception, in the psychic processes that unfold around the observations. The framework that is woven and deployed in all its forms, erecting a volatile and mutable model. The psychosocial dimension became unavoidable. I got my Ph.D. with honors in that area, being the first Argentinian doctoral thesis addressing the issue.
An important change was to go from perceiving a universe that exploded with life, to a certain distant or cosmic solitude. It was then that I produced a point of inflection and sentenced that from so much looking at the sky, we have forgotten who was watching
Happily, my ideas about UFOs have changed as the investigations were developed and counted with greater precision. The varied approaches, multidisciplinary, allowed me to have a global vision, as a whole, which includes not only the physical or natural sciences but predominantly the humanistic ones.
In that regard, I went defining my line of research as a psychology imbued with the social. From a rational perspective, I focus my interest on psychism and human behavior, through the analytical and contextual study of unusual experiences. As a psychologist, my purpose is to carry out a task of clarifying the reports and learn what those episodes reveal about human nature.

3) Should the UFO investigator become an expert in IFOs?

Every researcher requires a foundation of support, that is, a technical or scientific formation –even if he is an amateur-, rigor, and dispassion, a broad culture, a huge curiosity, and vocation to undertake the task.
In the early days of ufology, and even later, amateur UFO researchers used to be convinced that they had enough evidence to support ETH. Their work was concentrated in looking for probative elements of such a hypothesis, or lucubration. Their perception was focused on one segment of the problem: the unidentified. To do this, they gathered those data or references that supported their belief, relegating or neglecting the evidence to the contrary. It was necessary to convince an incredulous, distrustful or indifferent public about the unusual presences.
However, the naïve look at the novelty that prevented them from understanding that the UFO phenomenon comprises the totality of casuistry, and that from all of them you learn, gave way to a broader vision that redefined the role of the UFO researcher, to transform it into an expert versed in IFO.
The task is the identification of unusual lights or objects. And they must be honest in this. Of course it won’t be their purpose to become  encyclopaedists, but they must be sufficiently educated and have the necessary experience to deal with phenomena with many edges, and usually traversed by multiple disciplines (physics, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology, medicine, psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.) .- 

4) If there were still some unexplained phenomena, what could they be?

I believe that there have always been, and there will be phenomena that, in the eyes of the witnesses, whatever their skill, expertise or technical, intellectual, physical or psychic aptitude, will not be explained. Here comes the so-called the residue fallacy and the Ockham's razor.
Regarding the residue fallacy: "The subterfuges of the statistics include diverse fallacies and some paradox that another. The best known is the so-called "waste fallacy". Many statistical samples contain a percentage of data that does not fit or have no explanation. This statistical "waste" is usually small and tends to be neglected. The problem is that sometimes the waste is used as evidence of something without there being a real basis for such a conclusion. That's why it's a fallacy. A well-known case is that of ufology, which "argues" that if about 5 percent of UFO sightings do not receive an explanation, this is a "proof" that UFOs exist "- Source: Blog" Público ", Spain, The tricks of statistics.
Regarding Ockham's razor: "in its simplest form, the principle of Ockham (or Occam) indicates that explanations should never multiply causes unnecessarily, since the simplest explanation is probably correct, following the so-called principle of economy, principle of parsimony or simplicity. By the way, a common mistake is to call it "Ockham's or Occam's razor", as a synonym for shaving, when in fact the expression "strickle" refers to a kind of wooden stick or roller that was formerly used to scrape (level, smooth, equalize) the content of the container used to measure cereals and grains, and also used in the manufacture of tiles and bricks. In the same way, its object is to make up the paste that is poured into the racks or mold, removing the excess with the strickle. "
The hypotheses, conjectures or assumptions can be grouped into three categories: a) One or several physical phenomena still unknown; b) A social psychological phenomenon, driven by real observations of rare objects and molded by different interpreters; and, c) A non-human intelligence.
It is common to believe that there is a unique and genuine phenomenon, and not - as I suspect - a heterogeneous variety of events of a different nature.

5) How do you consider this issue in general? What do you think about the whole subject?

The issue proposes three fundamental stages to begin its study:

1) The recognition of the phenomenon as a problem, which due to its "unidentified" condition requires a positive and satisfactory identification, that is: a solution or response;

2) Recognize the importance of the problem, whatever its nature; and,

3) Conduct comprehensive technical and scientific research focused on the identification of reported phenomena (technical work). And, at the same time, in an academic, university environment, delving into the unexplained reports, which include both the observer and the phenomenon perceived, and their contexts, tending to achieve a solid and safe knowledge (scientific work).

Encouraged by this interest capable of providing genuine knowledge about unusual aerial phenomena, I advocate:

1) That the study should be framed in a rigorous methodology, examining the problem in a systematic way from a totalizing perspective.

2) That the researchers be adequately taught and trained in this activity.

3) That the sole and exclusive purpose of the investigation should be the resolution of the problem and not that of invigorating a certain system of pseudo-scientific, philosophical, political or religious beliefs.

4) That the dissemination of studies be maintained within the framework of seriousness that the hierarchy of scientific work imposes on it.

Ufos (in lowercase, substantive, as a social phenomenon that has become and not as a technical acronym that gave rise to the word) have become a myth modeled by the culture of the different periods in which it travels, by the go and coming from information, from half-way information and even from rumor. Nothing invalidates his inexorable reality. The contradictions are substantial parts of the phenomenon.

It also happens that after surprising for some time, it acquires a certain familiarity and loses its substantial part, the fascination. Said as a metaphor, it is like a virus that must mutate, transform itself to subsist, to remain. It is an amorphous mass. It is nourished of everything: a mythological being, a forged document, a shaman, a ufologist well disposed to publicity.

In my opinion, UFOs have become a cultural object, a product of popular confusion that tends toward a collective construction stimulated by events of a different nature. I consider it unlikely that they are extraterrestrial ships, as there is no proven scientific evidence to support this hypothesis.

However, I encourage the possibility of finding in the set of reports, indications of some original and novel phenomenon. And as bold as it may be, the contingency of finding ourselves facing an intelligence of a non-human nature.-

6) Is it possible to do something effective to bring the truth to the public and to change the mind of those who still proclaim or believe that extraterrestrial beings are living with us on Earth?

The most effective that can be done to bring the truth to the public is to work with technical-scientific foundations, prudence, honesty and transparency. Afterward, critical judgment or clinging to a fascinating plot will remain.
Changing the mentality of those who proclaim or believe that extraterrestrials cohabit the planet Earth, and infinity of variant, is a complex issue. For most, there is a weak concern or an ill-founded idea. For such cases, interest and learning is required. In some others, strong adherence to a particular belief system covers more psychological, existential issues. It is their point of support. It is not about logic and reflection. Instruction is not enough, there is a demand that goes beyond scientific knowledge and reason.
Anyway, it's about educating people. From the psychology, it is doing it for health. In the due circumstances, it is necessary to expose our disagreement with many of the arguments used to sustain varied speculations, sometimes, as impregnable dogmas of faith. I am convinced that we must move, then, towards a scientific ufology, founded, worthily recognized.
I reject sectarian preachers or unscrupulous merchants. Because I intend a serious ufology, without concealment. Because I am comforted by the idea of ​​stirring up the intellectual stagnation to which ufology is prone, in order to encourage new inquiries and establish a firm basis for discussion, without claiming possession of some alleged absolute, unappealable truth. And because I recognize myself as a demystifier, because I try to remove the mantle of obscurantism and deception that disfigures reality.

Thus, the conspiracy theorists promote the idea that there are extraterrestrial beings who live here on Earth, even with underground bases, and that the US government knows this, but it is kept top secret, for fear of what would happen if the news came into the public domain. This current is not new. Egyptian hieroglyphs, reptilian rulers, men in black and descendants of extraterrestrials make up the menu that stokes the belief. In this regard, one can be convinced of the existence of extraterrestrials and their presence on the planet, but when it comes to earthly matters (non-spiritual, concerning the faith) it is necessary to exhibit evidence. As long as there is none, there is no demonstrable reality and it lacks value.

In the same vein, the abductions, or kidnapping by the supposed aliens, is one of the most notable issues, to which the subsequent implantation of micro-systems and the genetic manipulation of the alleged abductees has been added for a few decades through generations, tending to a new race.

This lucubration, originating in the United States, comes from the hand of the developments on computing and genetic engineering, with a somewhat paranoid component: the control and programming of the human species. It is no longer, as in the 50s or 60s, the ETs that were there, in view of the witnesses; nor extra-sensory (telepathic) contacts, accompanied by a rich production of books and allegorical films. The extraterrestrial is neither distant nor near, it is inside the head, in the mode of a modern demonic possession of worldwide reach.

As a psychologist working in mental health, I observe some of the dangers that this collective nonsense entails: feelings of persecution or strangeness, depersonalization, loss of reality judgment, experience of influence (bodily and psychic), fear or anxious expectation, and all a set of sensory, volitional, affective and thought-course disorders. The groups of abductees, who proliferated a few years ago, only reinforce the belief and generate a certain disturbance.

It also constitutes the potential for some nefarious saucerian sect, alienated and capable of complying obediently with what the ETs "taught" it. Although without the bait of the saucer, remember J. Jones or D. Koresh. Hence, my concern goes beyond whether or not there are UFOs, whether the experience of contact is real or not, but the damage that may occur in the minds of the adepts.

In short, these stories represent for most people a vulgar knowledge that does not disturb them neither they try to discover and for others, moved by faith in aliens, are a point of support for their existence. Their dogmas are usually very consolidated in the psyche. We must reflect on the reason for the vital need that a subject has to believe in that existence and, if necessary, give him a containment and subjection to reality, and if it is appropriate, how he could be dispensed of it. Or replace it. In other words, occupy the space that abandonment would leave to a belief that is judged harmful; a belief that does not usually come from an intellective, rational process, but from an affective, emotional need.

7) Do you think SETI and similar searches are valid activities?

It is a theme of astrobiology "The peculiar thing - says the biologist Javier Yanes - is that, without having yet found any trace of living beings outside the Earth, there is no evidence that astrobiology has any reason to be. It seems natural that science studies that whose existence we have evidence of, but unlike other disciplines, astrobiology is based on a belief, the widespread faith among humans that there is something alive out there. Even the need to think that we are not alone. And since the absence of proof is not proof of absence, it is impossible to refute the existence of extraterrestrial life. In other words: from Popper's approach, the study of extraterrestrial life has a difficult fit as a scientific proposition. " Of course, it is fascinating that there is a search for extraterrestrial intelligence, like that of the SETI Institute in California. That scientists point radiotelescopes at a multitude of precise coordinates in the sky to try to detect any radio signal that reveals an intelligent origin is a captivating challenge. But, until now, the news is not favorable. There are no signs, nor as a remote possibility, of intelligent life. The expectation wakes up as long as their radio telescopes seek intelligent life in the closest red dwarf stars, or perhaps in other possibilities.
What would happen if a signal is detected and it is answered, is to enter a conjectural field. In any case, the scientist takes the challenge. The sensation of the cosmic emptiness encourages the hope of finding another civilization at some point. The answer to the eternal question would come from the hand of science and technology.
Find out if we are alone or if, on the contrary, there are other planets that harbor intelligent civilizations is an issue that intrigues many people and that the novel and the cinema has exploded on numerous occasions.
However, it is reasonably suggested that a more developed civilization would eventually destroy or make the inferior disappear. The most palpable example is the conquest of America, and the disappearance of native peoples. Of course, they are other times, but the destructive nature of man has not changed. The story is written in blood. And he does not object to his own house, his planet. Hence, as has also been said, a civilization must be intelligent enough not only to develop technology, but to survive it. Hope that the youngest and future generations know how to take advantage of the possibilities of science to make our civilization last a long time.
In the opinion of the British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, alerting our presence to aliens and trying to contact another intelligent civilization not knowing what intentions they will have towards humanity, may involve certain risks. The debate about the probabilities of life outside the Earth, and if there is one, of the convenience of trying to locate it, remains open.
Even when the issue is far from over, I continue with moderate interest the attempts of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and I am excited about the idea of ​​finding ourselves one day with the long-awaited news.-

8) What is your idea about multiple universes?

It is a fascinating hypothesis for physics. It touches science and fiction. Basically, it is explained like this: the three dimensions that we perceive -and through which we move- are called real or "not compact" and they are long, wide and high, since we can move forward and backward, to the right and the left, up and down. 
Now, the mathematical equations that sustain the string theory, also called Theory of Everything is a theoretical scheme to explain all the particles and fundamental physical forces of nature in a single theory.
The String theory states that all particles are, in reality, tiny strings that vibrate at a certain frequency. It replaces the concept of elementary particle with the string in its unifying character, considering all the subatomic elements –photons, neutrons, quarks, neutrinos, etc.-  as different manifestations of a single primordial element called "string" which is not verified in a universe of 4 dimensions (3 spatial and 1 temporal), but only in one of 11 dimensions (10 spatial and 1 temporal). Then there is the concern about where the other 7 "hidden" or compact spatial dimensions are.
It has been tried to find these hidden dimensions by means of the Large Hadron Collider, better known as "The Machine of God", but so far without result. Gravitational waves have also opened the possibility of detecting them. The investigation continues. After all, it may be possible to determine if such hidden dimensions really exist, or it is a chimera.
Prof. Rubén Novella argues that, “if it were to be proven, it would explain many facts and phenomena that astonish, such as certain flying objects that, suddenly, have disappeared without a trace. According to their hypothesis, these objects "can displace in any of the 10 spatial dimensions, but they are only observable when they travel through the 3 real dimensions, disappearing from our sight when entering any of the hidden dimensions. Indeed, in order to pass from a real dimension to a hidden dimension -according to quantum mechanics- it is necessary that the object possesses a great kinetic charge, which means, in the case of UFOs, that it reaches a speed comparable to that of the light".
In short, feeding the imagination of the creators of science fiction for decades, the notion of universes or parallel worlds refers to the existence of several universes or relatively independent realities. It is interesting to note that this concept seems to have a scientific basis, since the development of quantum mechanics (which deals with the study of the material world at the microscopic level), the search for a Theory of Everything (that explains and connects all known physical phenomena) ) and other hypotheses of current physics have made glimpse the possibility of the existence of multiple dimensions and parallel universes forming a multiverse (a universe composed of multiple universes) .-
Do these theories, even without proof, have to do with the UFO phenomenon? At the moment, the scaffolding that supports both issues is weak and its connection is fortuitous. The eventual confirmation of parallel universes would not be enough to explain the UFO appearances that have not yet been resolved, but it would open a fertile field for the imagination. Let's give time to the advance of research and firmness to found scientific knowledge.-

Next and last publication: the answers of Thomas Tulien (U.S.A.)

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