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UFOs Replay History: Rogan, Keating, and “Things Seen in the Skies”

Photo: Congress investigates UAPs, by U.S. House Committee On Oversight and Accountability, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Our astrophysicist friend Brian Keating from UC San Diego was on the Joe Rogan Experience — for three and a half hours, much as philosopher of science Stephen Meyer was recently. I’ve listened to the whole thing. Very interesting! And with shout-outs to Dr. Meyer on a couple of points that Dr. Keating offers for consideration: that religious faith prepared the way for modern science by teaching the intelligibility and order of nature, and that what really got Galileo in trouble was challenging not the Bible but Aristotle, who had in effect (but not literally) been embraced as a saint by the Catholic Church. Watch and listen here on Spotify.

From Another World, or Our Own?

The conversation is very wide-ranging, as you won’t be surprised to learn given Rogan’s famous curiosity. One thread concerns UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena), which Congress and NASA have been investigating. Those are what we used to call UFOs. Do they originate from another world, or our own? Rogan assumes the existence of alien intelligence somewhere, though he thinks the current game of footsy being played by the government with UAPs “smells like bulls**t.” Keating is skeptical of the whole thing and argues that it’s probable we’re the only intelligent organisms in the cosmos, since the extraordinarily special conditions on Earth that permit lives like ours are unlikely to be replicated elsewhere.

Rogan and Keating make observations that rang a historical bell for me. Are UAPs alien, or American? Or Russian, or Chinese? There are many leaked videos now, if not very high-quality ones. The problem is that the phenomena, as if weightless, do things with their acceleration that are physically impossible and would kill any pilot and probably incinerate the craft. They take roundish shapes, including like a “Tic Tac” candy. 

They are clustered mainly around the United States, and mainly over or nearby military facilities. The people reporting them are disproportionately drawn from a trusted demographic — military and commercial pilots. UAPs are interested in our jet aircraft. It seems noteworthy, offers Keating, that this is going on as the world is having palpitations about the possibility of nuclear war with Russia.

Is it all some ultra-sophisticated government PSYOP to distract us from — whatever the government would want to distract us from? Rogan seems to lean in that direction. Keating points out that such a thing would require a conspiracy too vast to keep secret. Something here smells very wrong, that’s for sure.

Replaying History

Adding to the conundrum, I would add, is that we are replaying events of the 1940s and 1950s. I’ve been rereading psychologist Carl Jung’s book on the subject, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, written in 1958. Jung got interested in UFOs around 1946, shortly after the development of the atom bomb. The UFOs were showing up in many visual sightings — and as blips on radars, not images in videos. Every other detail matches. 

Jung writes, “Initial attempts to explain the UFOs as Russian or American inventions soon came to grief on their apparently weightless behavior.” The crafts, or whatever, “behave not like bodies but like weightless thoughts.” “Their acceleration is such that if anything resembling a human being were steering them he would be instantly killed.” They are “round,” “cigar-shaped or cylindrical figure[s] of various sizes.” 

“Most of these stories come from America.” Witnesses are sober types, “mostly…people who don’t believe in them or who regard the whole problem with indifference.” “Airfields and atomic installations in particular hold a special attraction for them.” “Our airplanes seem to arouse their curiosity.” They appear to have something to do with “the latent emotions connected with the imminence of war,” when “the whole world is suffering under the strain of Russian policies.”

What Are They? Human Technology? 

No, not human, because they do impossible things. Alien technology? Seemingly not, because ditto, among other reasons. Government PSYOP? But the phenomena are exactly the same today as they were in the 1950s. Only the name has changed. Surely government techniques would have evolved somewhat in the course of seventy years. Psychic projections? But they appear on video (and radar). 

Jung conjectured that they could be both projections and real physical phenomena — an instance of what he called synchronicity, or a “meaningful coincidence.” He offered further spiritual and psychological guesswork, citing the Sanskrit word mandala, which means circle, and Medieval beliefs that the soul assumes a “round” shape. 

Who knows? It’s fascinating and troubling to think that there is something going on in the skies for which we don’t have even the beginning of really credible explanation. Anyway, do check out the conversation between Brian Keating and Joe Rogan. It will repay the investment of time. See an excerpt here: