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Your Paracast Newsletter — September 6, 2020

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The Paracast Newsletter
September 6, 2020

Explore the State of UFO Research and More with Canada's Chris Rutkowski on The Paracast!

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall are joined by Canadian UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski for another session of cutting-edge discussion on the subject. He also hangs around for a further discussion on After The Paracast, an exclusive feature of The Paracast+. During this interview, Chris talks about the ongoing personality conflicts in the UFO field and how he's tried to stay above the fray, and he also responds to Gene's question about how the nature of sightings has changed over the years based on his years of research. Chris is a science writer and educator with degrees in astronomy and education. Since the mid-1970s, he’s also been studying reports of UFOs and writing about his investigations and research. He is also the author of a number of UFO books that include, "When They Appeared: Falcon Lake 1967: The inside story of a close encounter."

J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: Ufology Society International (USI) - Explore the UFO Phenomenon

Chris Rutkowski's Blog: Ufology Research

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on September 6: Longtime Canadian UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski returns for Part II of the interview that began on the September 6, 2020 episode of The Paracast. There a heavy focus on UFOs seen by children, his debates with the late Professor Michael Persinger over whether distant earthquakes can somehow influence or cause paranormal encounters. He also continues the discussion about the state of UFO research, and whether any of the current personalities in the field can serve as a major spokesperson on the subject in the tradition of Dr. J. Allen Hynek. Since 1989, Chris has compiled sighting reports into the “Canadian UFO Survey.” The survey is made publicly available in an attempt to promote the dissemination of information across the field of Ufology.

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Have UFOs Taken a Hike? Not Quite!

By Gene Steinberg

In talking to long-time Canadian UFO expert Chris Rutkowski for this weekend’s episode of The Paracast, I was again impressed at his level-headed approach to the subject. He doesn’t waste our time musing about cosmic conspiracies to hide the truth from the public. He is mainly focused on hard data and drawing realistic conclusions about what we are seeing.

So when I asked the question about the focus of this column, I felt Chris would be the perfect resource. You see, he has also compiled thousands of reports of UFO sightings in Canada, and has a pretty good idea about the sort of phenomena being reported over the years.

From time to time, you see, some have suggested that the “real” UFOs left us long ago. What we are seeing can, in large part, be identified as conventional aircraft or phenomena. Regardless, sightings persist.

Chris isn’t saying we have nothing to investigate, so when I talked with him about this, he did point to some major changes in the sort of reports he gets. So, for example, UFOs that leave trace evidence — the kind that the late Ted Phillips investigated for many years — aren’t part of the current picture. We aren’t seeing entities, such as “grays,” near landed flying saucers taking soil samples, the sort of scenario that was employed to great advantage as a plot device in Stephen Spielberg’s 1982 sci-fi blockbuster, “ET: The Extraterrestrial.”

Compare the sightings of a few decades ago to the ones we have now. If UFOs are a constant presence, why should anything change in their behavior?

But why shouldn’t things change? After all, if we are genuinely being visited by physical beings from other planets, should we really expect their surveillance of Earth be a constant?

And even if one or more extraterrestrial races has decided we are no longer worth their attention, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others to take their place?

Regardless, it’s doubtful we would be able to necessarily understand ET’s motivations in visiting us, even if they were genetically similar. Or even that what we are seeing is what is actually there.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that we are accurately describing what appears before us. Well, I shouldn’t say “we,” since I haven’t had any sightings of clearly unidentified aircraft.

I understand leaving imprints in the soil and such, and wonder why that behavior is of another era, at least when it comes to the sightings we read about. From a logical point of view, if a physical aircraft lands, there ought to be something left behind, assuming some sort of physical landing gear.

Then again, none of the trace evidence I’ve heard about actually confirms the presence of something that didn’t originate on Earth. So even if something is left behind, it’s not leaving evidence of materials that we aren’t able to duplicate.

Soil samples? Does ET really need to assign crews of grays to grab some as part of their survey of this planet? And if they do, how often does the act have to be repeated? Indeed, if you consider the experiences of Earth scientists and engineers with the Mars Rover, why would it even be necessary to waste resources to send crew members to perform such rudimentary tasks? It could easily be done by some sort of machine. Besides, why would it be necessary to even engage in this practice in a place where Earthlings can see them? Those samples could easily be acquired far more subtly, assuming our visitors do not wish to attract attention.

Or maybe they do.

But it doesn’t mean that UFOs aren’t repeating themselves. Take those Naval UFO encounters that have been disclosed in recent years, which include radar and visual encounters, similar to those during the classic UFO era of decades ago.

On the other hand, a major point of interest in the Pentagon’s UFO study is whether what pilots are seeing might actually represent aircraft from other countries invading our airspace. Indeed, that has long been the major concern about the presence of unknown flying objects, that other countries that do not wish us well are engaging in such practices.

If such aircraft represent alien visitors — aliens being from other planets and not from other countries — that might represent less of a potential threat. After all, UFOs have been around for decades at least, possibly centuries. If they had plans to take us down, that could have been accomplished long ago without the danger of a war with modern weaponry. They wouldn’t have to fire a shot to take control, and our puny weapons of ages past wouldn’t cause much damage.

Assuming, of course, that we have long been dealing with a physical phenomenon that we are interpreting accurately.

I suppose that’s the easiest interpretation because it doesn’t have to assume technology much more advanced than ours; well, except for being capable of interstellar travel. Even then, it doesn’t take much imagination to envision gigantic mother ships requiring multiple lifetimes to travel here from another star system. Or maybe something faster.

Consider the classic sci-fi film, “Forbidden Planet,” where the crew is put in suspended animation for the long trip, and is awakened as they approach their destination. On the other hand, the story takes place in the 23rd century — same as Star Trek, to which “Forbidden Planet” is regarded as a major influence — and spaceships are capable of faster-than-light travel.

But regardless of the cause, the nature of the UFO phenomena has had a major cultural impact, or has been heavily influenced by our culture.

Surely the presence of UFOs, even if they don’t actually represent an extraterrestrial visitation, has helped inspire our own search for the presence of life in outer space, and the development of airships to take us to the stars.

Few doubt that the universe is inhabited, and as private industry continues its work, human pilots will, before long, be making their way again to the moon, then beyond.

Is that what UFOs are all about? To inspire us to think about humanity’s future, the imperative to leave Earth and “boldly go where no-one has gone before”?

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