Why is it that teenagers no longer seem to get involved in looking for UFOs, as we did when we were young? Your ideas are welcomed, and we'd like to also hear from those under 21, if they're listening.
Perhaps it would be useful to examine the environment that we grew up in and the reasons behind our own interest in the subject matter.
I'll try and outline a few of the things that influenced my UFO interests as I grew up and then perhaps see where we are today:
- I was a child of the 1970's and 1980's and grew up in England
- I saw Star Wars episode 4 in 1977 - I was 6 years old and the idea that this whole 'space adventure' happened "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." had a profound effect on me
- Although I wasn't really old enough to appreciate the significance of the 'recent' moon landings, after seeing Star Wars, I became fascinated by the idea of space travel, technology, robots and aliens
- My earliest recollections of 'serious' UFO discussion in the media were tackled in the 1980's TV series "Arthur C Clark's Mysterious World" - there was plenty of UFO and alien sightings discussed on that program (as well as 'Bigfoot' and other such subjects)
- Around the same time (early 1980's) a weekly magazine, "The Unexplained", was on the newsagent shelves in the UK - my best friend and I were avid readers
- The movie "E.T." came out - I think I was 11 years old when I saw that
- The internet didn't take off until the late 1990's, so when I was growing up, the local library was the greatest source of information and looking back, I think a well illustrated book has a greater impact on the reader than the 'fleeting' activity we call 'web browsing'
- From the mid-1980's onwards, my interest moved away from UFO's and into Science Fiction - of course many 'alien' scenarios are explored in those sort of stories
- My Sci-Fi interest lead me to such great films as "2001: A Space Odyssey" - I have a lot of sympathy with the ideas expressed in that movie
- I didn't see "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" until the late 1980's - I still find some scenes in that film to be 'unsettling', but am convinced that there is a grain of truth in the 'landings' scenario
- It wasn't until the mid-1990's that I read Whitley Strieber's books "Roswell" and "Communion" that my interest in the UFO subject was sparked again - incidentally, I haven't slept properly since reading the book "Communion" in the 1990's. Some find the follow-up movie laughable - I can happily watch the goriest/scariest horror movies, but I find Communion just too terrifying to watch (BTW, I'm not suggesting that I'm an abductee)
- Throughout the 1990's I read quite a few books of varying quality on the subject, but I was basically isolated in my interest - the internet hadn't yet 'arrived' in the UK and the various UFO groups scattered around the country seemed to be solely focused on investigating 'sightings'
- Some time later, I found out that a colleague at my (then) place of work had a similar interest in the subject - we attended a few conferences around 2000 - Dr. Stephen Greer was speaking at one of the conferences and his promise of 'Disclosure' renewed my determination to get 'some answers'
I think in today's world, kids are growing up suffering from 'information overload' - when I was a kid, the cinema was 'treat' for the whole family to enjoy. We probably went to the cinema 2 or 3 times a year. The cinemas around at that time were basically converted music hall theatres - multiplexes didn't take off over here until the 1990's.
Satellite TV didn't arrive until 1990's either - growing up, the whole UK had 3 TV channels and 2 of those were run by the BBC.
Nowadays, kids have access to the internet, watch hundreds of TV channels, go to the cinema twice a month, play online games - they have so much to occupy their minds, they don't have time to think about the fundamental questions about 'life on earth' and 'who we are'.
Also, my recollection of UFO discussions in the media in the 1970's and 1980's is that they were generally 'open-minded' in their approach to subject - whereas today's 'UFO documentaries' are primarily either 'debunking' or 'sensationalising' the subject. There is no sensible debate in the mainstream media.
Perhaps it's worst than that. Perhaps todays kids are so used to having their opinions 'handed to them on a plate' that they are no longer capable of independent thought...