I have just been re-reading an excellent article written by Adelaide researcher Keith Basterfield. It is titled "Paranormal aspects of the UFO Phenomenon:1975-1999" and was published in the "Australian Journal of Parapsychology" Volume 1 number 1 pages 30-55. As it is difficult to locate this article I am going to summarise it for you as I believe it makes some important points about the relationship between UFOs and the paranormal, which are still very relevant today.
In the introduction, Keith points out that between the 1960's and the mid 1970's, there was a general reluctance by global UFO researchers to acknowledge that close encounter witnesses/abductees reported paranormal episodes.
It wasn't until 1977 that Jacques vallee wrote "In recent years, too, the report of paranormal events in connection with close encounters with UFOs seems to have become the rule rather than the exception." (Vallee, J. "UFOs:The Psychic Solution" St Albans. Panther. Page 27.)
Also, in 1977, APRO's the Lorenzens wrote "It has been noted by Dr Sprinkle and others that in some close encounters, and especially in on-board experiences, UFO precipients seem to acquire heightened extrasensory perception powers after their experiences." (Lorenzen, Coral & Jim. 1977. "Abducted!" New York. Berkley Medallion. Page 157.)
In the period 1979-1981, US researchers including the likes of D Scott Rogo, Jerome Clark, Richard Haines, Ann Drufel; and UK researchers Jenny Randles and Peter Warrington all commented on the subject of the paranormal and UFOs.
Rogo and Clark noted that some witnesses claimed to have "...developed psychic abilities after chancing upon alien craft." (Rogo, D Scott & Clark, Jerome. 1979. "Earth's Secret Inhabitants." New York. Tempo. Page 39.)
Dr Iris Maack, US researcher wrote "...psi awareness among abductees is very common." (Gansberg, Judith & Gansberg, Alan. 1980. "Direct Encounters." New York. Walker & Co. Page 128.)
In 1983 English parapsychologist Hilary Evans went further by stating "...there are indications in many cases that there exists some kind of psychic link between the witness and the UFO or its occupants...There are many cases in which the psychic or parapsychological link is central to the events and an essential element of the evidence." (Evans, H. 1983. "The Evidence for UFOs." Wellingborough. Acquarian. Page 49.)
1987 saw Eddie Bullard in the USA complete details of 300 global abduction texts. One of his comments was " Too many witnesses related occurrences more often identified with parapsychology than ufology, yet these same witnesses described abductions as valid as any others." (Bullard, T E. 1987. "UFO Abductions: The Measure of a Mystery." Mount Rainier, Md. Fund for UFO Research. Page 152.)
By 1988, Jacques Vallee's thinking had advanced. "The key to an understanding of the peheneomenon lies in the psychic effects it produces (or the psychic awareness it makes possible) in its observers..." (Vallee, J. 1988. "Dimensions." Chicago. Contemporary Books. Page 179.)
Also, in 1988, English researcher Jenny Randles' thinking was that "Another feature which this and many other cases turned up was that, the witnesses who had experienced abductions had an incredible history of what they believed to be psychic phenomena. This was usually so extensive and important that this may be no mere coincidence but a crucial clue to the understanding of why they subsequently went through an abduction." (Randles, J. 1988. "What we know about British Abductions" "International UFO Reporter." Jan/Feb 23(1):5-7.)
Austrian psychologist Alex Keul and British UFOlogist Ken Phillips published a study in 1993 which involved 100 subjects. Included in the findings was "...the strongest and most persistent characteristic to emerge is that the overwhelming majority ...of witnesses surveyed gave a high incidence of self-reported ESP phenomena..." (Phillips, K W. 1993. The Psycho-Sociology of UFOlogy. In Barclay, D & Barclay, T M (eds) "UFOs:The Final Answer?" London. Blandford. Page 45.)
Keith Basterfield himself attended the Abduction Study Conference held at MIT in Boston, USA in 1992 and presented a paper on the relationship between UFOs and the paranormal. Several participants including David Gotlib, Don Johnson, Joe Nyman and John Carpenter confirmed that their case research had turned up a high incidence of psychic phenomena among abductees.
1997 saw a book published in the UK in which English researcher Peter Hough and Moyshe Kalman, cited work by Mark Glover of the UK who looked at the relationship between paranormal, mystical and anomalous experiences. "Two of the main conclusions were that UFO experiences and paranormal experiences are strongly related..." (Hough, P. & Kalman, M. 1997. "The Truth about Alien Abductions." London. Blandford. Pages 88-89.)
In the discussion section of his article, Keith looked at the question of "...whether the psychic experiences preceded or followed a witness' interaction with the UFO phenomenon?" After examining the work of 15 different researchers, Keith noted that "...11 of the 15 indicate quite clearly that the psychic events only followed after the UFO experience."
Keith then examined a second question "...does the UFO phenomenon happen only to people who are already psychic?" A number of researchers including Kenneth Ring, Jenny Randles and James Harder provided responses on this question. Ring, for example stated "...an individual who as an adult reported UFOs is more likely to have a childhood history of psychic experiences." (Ring, K. 1992. "The Omega Project." New York. William Morrow. Page 137.)
A third question, about the type of paranormal phenomenon experienced by UFO witnesses revealed the full gamut of (non-UFO) paranormal experiences.
In the conclusion to the article, Keith explores potentially useful areas for further investigation.
It's a very useful article, and completely still relevant today. I have checked with Keith and if you'd like an MS Word version of the full article, send him an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org and he will send you a copy as an email attachment.
Well, dear readers, do you think there is a connection between UFOs and the paranormal? If so, what?