UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) have had some silly associations in the past, making it very hard for anyone studying them in the science community to be taken seriously. Anyone claiming to have seen or been abducted by aliens in the past would have had their stories scrutinized by scientists and mental health professionals.
One article written by Joseph P. Laycock for conversation.com states ‘During the 1950s, people started reporting that they’d made contact with the inhabitants of these craft. Frequently, the encounters were erotic.
For example, one of the first “abductees” was a mechanic from California named Truman Bethurum. Bethurum was taken aboard a spaceship from Planet Clarion, which he said was captained by a beautiful woman named Aura Rhanes. (Bethurum’s wife eventually divorced him, citing his obsession with Rhanes.) In 1957, Antonio Villas-Boas of Brazil reported a similar encounter in which he was taken aboard a ship and forced to breed with a female alien.’
Fear of mockery
Because of these associations with UFOs and aliens, members of the science community in earlier decades preferred not to show any interest that could be perceived as an obsession or mental health issue with alien phenomena. In recent decades, professionals increasingly prefer to use the term UAP (unexplained aerial phenomena) rather than UFO (Unidentified Flying Object).
In June 2021, the ‘Pentagon released a highly anticipated report on unexplained aerial phenomena (UAP), … which found more than 140 instances of UAPs that could not be explained. Old video footage of a 2017 US Navy encounter with UAPs resurfaced in the press.
The Navy encounter with UAPs wasn’t the only strange thing to happen in 2017. Many scientific observers were intrigued by Oumuamua, ‘the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system‘, discovered by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 telescope.
In July 2021, Harvard theoretical astrophysicist Avi Loeb had successfully co-founded the Galileo Project with $1.755 million of private donations. The Galileo Project is a project ‘which aims to develop an artificial-intelligence-powered network of telescopes that can search for evidence of technological alien civilizations on or near Earth.’
Astronomer Avi Loeb says aliens have visited, and he’s not kidding.— Scientific American (@sciam) February 1, 2021
In conversation with @LeeBillings, the Harvard University professor explains his shocking hypothesis—and why he believes science is in crisis. https://t.co/rTMSx5S7U4 pic.twitter.com/hEon2Y6U6w
It’s not the first-time big money has been put into searching for Alien life. In July 2015, it was reported that Yuri Milner, a Russian entrepreneur, had ‘launched the biggest and most expensive search for alien life ever,’ his $100 million project called Breakthrough Listen was backed by ‘famous scientists, including Stephen Hawking and Frank Drake.’
The study of UAPs and the search for aliens is now an area of work that credible scientists and professionals are increasingly prepared to recognize as a legitimate occupation. Even in the 2016 elections, Hilary Clinton promised that she would reveal the truth about UFOs if she were electedreveal the truth about UFOs. Some reporting analysts speculate that this was a strategic move on Clinton’s part to have something in common with ‘kooky voters.’.
It’s OK to believe in aliens now
You don’t have to be kooky and eccentric to believe in aliens these days. According to Pew Research Center survey, ‘about two-thirds of Americans (65%) say their best guess is that intelligent life exists on other planets
If you believe in aliens, you share the same belief as some strong intellectual physicists, such as the great British physicist, the late Steven Hawking, and even a Harvard professor Avi Loeb believes in aliens. So much so that in a recent interview with the Guardian, Avi Loeb said, ‘we may be mere months away from seeing the first image detailed enough to provide incontrovertible evidence that UFOs are alien spacecraft.‘
With the investment Loeb has received for the Galileo Project and a large team of scientists with a vast globe-spanning network of cameras and telescopes supporting him, Loeb explained in his recent interview with the Guardian he aims to ‘capture a high-resolution image of a UFO within the next two years.’
His project is called the Galileo Project because, at first, the scientific community thought Galileo was mad. Loeb hopes that the scientific community will take his research into aliens seriously.