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Evaluating Youth Interest in UFOs


Paranormal Novice
Is your speculation about the interest of youth in UFO based on perception or a survey?

My perception is that the interest is not lacking. Without a random survey of young people, I'm not sure we can conclude that there is a lack of interest.

Just my two cents.

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
jeudi said:
Is your speculation about the interest of youth in UFO based on perception or a survey?

My perception is that the interest is not lacking. Without a random survey of young people, I'm not sure we can conclude that there is a lack of interest.

Just my two cents.

Is your perception based on our contact with lots of people in the field? Just curious. On the other hand, if you have evidence otherwise, feel free to post it. Would you care to reveal your age? :)


I'd like to offer one theory as to why many young people might not be interested in UFOs. Now, I have not studied this, but I'm going by general experiences. I'm placing the blame on science. Let me explain. Back in the middle ages the church pretty much told the people what the truth, as they saw it, was and because most of the people were uneducated, they believed what they were told. Those who questioned the church's teachings were censored or worse. (Copernicus)

Fast forward. The church doesn't wield the kind of power they once did because science has trumped many long held beliefs. I see science as being a kind of new church and scientists as being the new priests. Now, before I get flamed, let me say that science is good and has taught us many things, but I think too many people have come to rely on what the guys in white labcoats tell them and if the general consensus among scientists is that there's no extra terrestrial life, then that's the end of the discussion. I work with a young man who puts all of his faith in science. If it can't be proved through science, it's not true or doesn't exist, is his standard line.

I think that a lot of people are being brought up with that same logic and the fact that people who question mainstream scientific thinking are often ridiculed and labeled as wackos (see any parallels to the early church here?) doesn't help the situation.

Anyway that's just a theory. And just for the record, I'm a Christian and I believe in extra terrestrial life.


Skilled Investigator
In my humble opinion, science is not to blame at all. In fact who listens to scientists? Scientists have been branded as on the "lunatic" fringe in the public eye throughout history. More recently depicted in Hollywood movies as wild haired madmen. Creators of Frankenstein and the A bomb.

No, it is merely the fact that youth can no longer stare up at the heavens and see the stars. Simple as that! Can't see the stars, can't imagine or speculate what might be going on out there. Throw on top of that a healthy dose of proagandist terrorist and economic fear from increasingly right wing governments and you have a youth with no speculative imagination and a determination to "fit in" to the current paradigm for fear of their future.

Further, the world has ever been forced to suffer under the yoke of religious dogma. Man is the centre of creation. Man is supreme under God. A peculiarly egocentric and paternalistic point of view. This outdated view of humanity cannot tolerate the existance of extraterrestrial intelligence for it would destroy the very foundations of its' belief systems. With whatever power it has left to it, it is fighting tooth and nail to subvert fundamental scientific exploration and rational thought lest this endeavour push God right out of the picture. UFOs and the paranormal are particularly easy targets. "A word in your ear..." the Archbishop said to the Governer... Oh no, it is not scientists who are to blame...

PS: Sadly, I am no longer one who could be described as a "youth". I do hope however that one of "those" beings will grace the presence of this forum in the future. Tragically, if the contention is true that youth are no longer interested in UFOs, that may be a forelorn hope.

Best wishes,


I have to disagree with you on a few points. The first is the question, who listens to scientists? A lot of people do. I work with an individual who proudly states "if science can't test it, measure it or prove it, then I don't believe in it". I think there are a lot of people out there who share that sentiment and I feel sorry for them because these are people who hold themselves up as being intellectual, when in fact they're nothing more than closed minded drones.

Second is the assertion that extra terrestrial life is somehow incompatible with the notion of God. While that may be true in some belief systems, it's not true for all. If you take the basic premise that God created the universe and all life in it, then how would life on other planets negate the existence of one creator? The simple fact is, it wouldn?t. There are many Christian denominations that accept the possibility of life on other planets, as they should. I think we've considered ourselves to be the center of creation simply because it's all we know and so far, it's all we can really study.

And as far as things such as the paranormal pushing God out of the picture, what is religion if not paranormal? I find it amazing that so many people willingly accept ghosts, demonic possession, mythical creatures, UFOs and such as distinct possibilities, but when it comes to a man being raised from the dead, well, that's just silly.

As far as youths and their apparent lack of interest in UFOs, it could simply be a case of too much X-Box.


I'm 55 and remember being excited about the prospects of UFO's as a kid. I read the Adamski books, was an avid Frank Edwards fan. I'm not trying to open a can of worms here, but maybe the question here should be why are the baby-boomers so interested in UFOs? I think the boomers were and are a unique group born in a point history which allowed them to pursue their visions and ideals. Are generations X and Y as involved with their imaginations? It seems to me that the culture I see developing around me is one which doesn't examine things too closely--one which is quick to pigeon-hole an idea or a person and push on to something else. I don't blame a generation for that. Part of it is media/information overload. "Deal with it quickly and move on."


Theres too much other entertainment like DVD, Video Games, Sat TV etc. Its hard to compare with those of us that grew up when there wasn't as much entertainment.


Hey all, Im 26 and have had an avid interest since I was probably ??? well to be honest as long as I can remember. I even have pictures I drew of flying saucer type craft when I was 4 or 5 years old. By the age of 13/14 I was reading everything I could get my hands on regarding this whole area.

So my feeling on this is that as usual the truth lies somewhere in between what you guys are saying. That is, surely science and religion play there role at keeping people towing the line so to speak. But it does also seem to me that the current under 21 youth generation really aren't much different from any other. What I mean by this is that if any of you out there over 50 say, had x-box tech and all that high-tech all absorbing stuff, along with the current political climate you'd probably turn out just the same.

It just strikes me in my perception that there is a lot of 'youth bashing' lately. Not sure but it seems to me a short step from there to the old grumpy man that pokes his stick at the kid on his skateboard. A lack of understanding and compassion in other words! I hope you all see what I mean by this.

One more thing, we all see what we look for.....

And to be honest, along with perhaps 1 or 2 other friends open to this, I was pretty much alone in my passion and interest in this area, so its probably always a marginal thing.

Be happy all :)


Skilled Investigator
When I talk to the younger generation, I'm not surprised if they haven't heard of some of the real UFO research or incidents. They are jaded from the get-go by television. Look, for example, at the X-files or any 'real' sensationalizing show about paranormal. The Batman show used to say it at the end: "Tune in NEXT week, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel". The media UFO plot is always the same marketing MO: "Are we being visited by Aliens? Look at these amazing photos and blurry video tapes! Tune in next time and we MIGHT have an answer."
Kids nowadays are used to science providing an answer in 30 seconds or less, usually involving a product that will cure their problems, which, thanks to commercials, are simple ones: sex, sex, sugar, sports, prescription drugs, TV...
Tell them that there are aliens among us, and they want to know if that will help them get a girlfriend. (And this is the 13 year olds)
Sure, there are some kids out there who are different (probably on the secular homeschool lists--now THERE'S a narrow bandwidth, eh?), but they have to first learn to ignore their teachers (the lab coat proxies), and if they do that, they are put on Ritalin.


I'm not aware of any surveys that single out youth.

The young have always seemed more interested in the profound. At the very least, as interested in numbers as adults.


Skilled Investigator
I know this thread is kinda "stale" (over a month since the last post), but I still find it an interesting question.

I do believe that ufology is "stale" and not attracting sufficient numbers of new "young" investigators.

I think this is because:
1) The abduction phenomena is widely perceived to be purely psychological, and made the term "UFO" synonymous with "nut case".
2) The number of "good" sightings seem to have diminished mightily; even if this is merely due to poor treatment in the media, the effect is the same as if the phenomena had ceased.
3) Good information on this phenomena is still hard to find. Yes, there's *lots* of excellent historical information on the internet but how to find it? It's drowned out in the roar of...ahh..."dubious" information.

I believe that the phenomena is real, and it appears to occur in waves/flaps. I am hopeful that we are due such an "event"...if 1947 or 1952 happened again with today's technology...hold on to your hat! ;D


i just registered and this will be the first message i post.

Im an 18 year old biology major in college, and from my own experience, its not just a lack of interest in ufology, but an over dumbing down of science in school. This dumbing down in textbooks, classes, and in the media really does make science fare less interesting than it actually is.

From what i have heard, many who show an interest in ufology, devlope an interest as a child. I dont belive that the comic books that many of claim got you interested in ufology, no longer existed.


Devil's Advocate
Before I begin, I'd just like to say I'm loving the Paracast! I've been going throught the archives like a junkie! Great Show!

Okay, now to the subject at hand. I'll just toss in my two cents. I realize 31 isn't exactly "youth" territory but my brain seems to be stuck at the mentality of a teen most days, so who knows...

I'd tend to agree with much of what's already been said but add that the lack of general interest can be summed up in one word: Glut.

There's just so much more sci-fi on tv and in the culture now. And images of Greys are ubiquitous, to the point of kitcsh. In other words, kids aren't likely to see it as a realistic concept, simply another blip in massive onslaught of trends and "culture".

I don't think it's correct to assume that there's very little interest in UFOs and other paranormal phenomenon in today's youth, however. On the contrary I think there's a great deal of interest but NOT as a real topic for genuine discussion. The very concept of these things being "real" is thoroughly laughable to most people.

One other factor of importance to consider is the instant gratification of today. Those of us who can remember when microwaves were "new" still marvel slightly at the idea. Kids today have never known different. And as a trend it gets worse all the time; high-speed internet, video on demand, TIVO, etc not to mention the increasingly ridiculous capabilities of cell phones. Given a backdrop like that, one can hardly be surprised that kids today aren't going to be impressed by some blurry photos from 50 years ago (photos they could easily recreate in Photoshop in under an hour) or any story that contains the words ALLEGED, REPORTEDLY, SUPPOSED or ACCORDING TO. And to be honest I can't blame them. It's all or nothing now. Give them proof, REAL PROOF or don't even bother mentioning the subject because speculation is pointless and American Idol is on in five minutes.


Paranormal Novice
Ell said:
Hey all, Im 26 and have had an avid interest since I was probably ???

It just strikes me in my perception that there is a lot of 'youth bashing' lately.

One more thing, we all see what we look for.....

And to be honest, along with perhaps 1 or 2 other friends open to this, I was pretty much alone in my passion and interest in this area, so its probably always a marginal thing.

For my first post here I will reply to another who has only posted once.

I'm in line with the above statements I've quoted. I'm also 26 years old.

I think the general problem with the youth today is the lack of available information. For a generation that has been born into their non-reality, and been made into just another cartoon aspect of modern culture, their appeal and mysticism is surely lacking to those of my parents generation and older. The older generation then gets just as jaded as the kids are apathetic, because of the insane amount of work the old-timers in the UFO research community have done. My generation in general has less appreciation for hard work I think, though someone like John Greenwald may be a curious exception.

For another thing, the youth are less interested in discovering the nature of the saucers. As others have pointed out, they have no interest in the illustrious back story of Los Angeles battles, Life magazine cover stories (I want that Marilyn issue in large poster format framed, anyone???), Betty Hill, Church Committee, Gulf Breeze, whatever.

For a nation that watched Geraldo episodes with our mothers about Satanic Ritual Abuse when we were single-digit ages, and weaned on the modern fantastical ET images with great movies like ET and CEIII and Independence Day (see below), our perception of reality is so out of whack and predetermined by pop culture that truth/disclosure/whatever is nill in our lives. My peers aren't fighting for the same things because our fates are a little late dawning on us, I THINK.

Anyway, I don't see the point in complaining about the youth. There will always be important work done throughout all the generations, some people are driven and others are not. Some people work hard but need to be told what to do, and lacking that they can fail. Part of the blame needs to be placed on the previous generation that ostensibly should've been imparting values upon us.

On September 11, 2001, we all got the day off after it happened. Out of idle behavior, a friend and i went to the local mega-mall. In Best Buy, this actually occured: I was standing watching the news on their big-screen TVs on display. The news was not set to every TV their, obviously. Just one big TV with CNN or something showing video footage of the towers collapsing. On an adjacent TV, movie trailers were playing. Will Smith's debut on the alien-propaganda scene was shown as buildings were being blown to bits in Independence Day. Right next to the twin towers collapsing. It was so surreal and strange I just started laughing, which earned me a severe look of scorn from an older woman standing near me and also watching. She didn't confront me, nor I her certainly, but come on. Innocent people die like that in wars every single day all year long. I think it's all just special effects spectacles to us at this point. Death is all around us, in video games, movies, music. Natural as the sun in the sky. It won't matter until it's personal.

When CNN starts showing the first alien spacecraft landing, the people will just eat it up in the same way. Another Alien Autopsy. Maybe they'll even forget about it a week later when their favorite coked-out popstar gets arrested again. I don't know, but the lack of available information, as mentioned earlier, along with an abundance of controlled information being disseminated yields poor results for critically thinking young minds.

I'm sure there will be hope, though. Don't ask me why.


Skilled Investigator
I'm speaking based on country here. New Zealand youth would only have a interest based on media and pop culture. My generation, I'm in my 30's, just caught the tail end of the ufo sighting's in nz, now days the sightings in nz are very far and in between, In my opinion are mostly misidentifaction. It would be a massive leap for the nz population to take the topic out of jokes and laughs let alone the youth.


spontaneously combusting since 1988
I'm 20 and i can safely conclude that there is not a SINGLE person i know younger, older, or the same age that is genuinely a UFO fanatic. I have a couple of mates who like a good yarn about paranormal stuff once in a blue moon bout thats about it. Quite frustrating actually.


Skilled Investigator
Just listening to the epz sep 07 08, and listening to this I can completely understand why the youth have stuff all interest in this topic. This stuff is so old hat, now days the youth have visualised multi dimensional being's back, forward, up, down ,round and round for years and years. Ufo tech is fast becoming so dated, its pretty easy to see that our own tech is on a path to surpass what ever the ufo tech is over the next 200 to 500 years, I'm pretty sure any inter realm traveling we do it will include rock music and cooler clothes.


Paranormal Maven
I wonder why youth seem uninterested in the Paranormal/UFO's.

My children care not a wit about any of it.

I've personally witnessed numbers of people completely disinterested in an obviously weird aircraft hanging in plain view...some seemed to be annoyed at my pointing the thing out.


Skilled Investigator
Well, sad to say too....there are SO many fake (or seemingly fake) pictures and videos of ufo's anymore, can't blame people for being so nonchalant/non-interested in it.....

In the same vein tho: Perhaps REAL footages can be easier released to the public that way.....hmm.

If you desensitize people so much to it, then if/when confronted with a real ufo/et, etc...they won't freak out as much.....:cool: