Blogging UFOs: If UFOs are Indeed Buzzing about in Our Local Skies, Why Wouldn’t We Pick Up Radio Signals of their Interspaceship Communications?

This morning I thought of a rather strong presumptive reason not to believe that UFOs are really visiting Earth: The total lack of radio communication between alleged alien spaceships. You would think that aliens, like humans, would communicate over radio frequencies, so why aren’t they?

Am I missing something here?

It does no good to say that the aliens might not have ears to hear things, for presumably they would still at least need to send images and textual messages between them, right?

Isn’t it the presumption of SETI (for example) that alien civilizations, however advanced, will presumably send at least some of their communication signals via radio waves (as we do)? In other words, why don’t we intercept the alien Internet and observe them on their alien cell phones Twittering and texting? I mean, if they’ve got spacecraft, and hands for steering them, and fingers for pushing spacecraft console buttons (like we do), why don’t they have cellphones?

I’m not trying to be flippant. I recognize that alien abductees claim that the aliens they encounter seem to communicate to them via some sort of mental telepathy, but does this then mean that, to be a believer in UFOs, one must logically couple that belief with the belief that aliens are communicating with one another via channels that are telepathic? Isn’t that a rather large leap of faith? That would add a whole new level of difficulty to believing the ET hypothesis. In other words, without the added telepathy hypothesis, it would seem that our solar system should be buzzing with local extraterrestrial radio communications. Afterall, if ETs need giant lights on their spaceships and big eyes to look around and interpret light waves, why don’t they need to interpret audio waves, or to send radio signals (at least some of the time) to communicate information among themselves? I’m just not sure that telepathy is an adequate retort to this question. It would seem to be an ad hoc  rationalization after the fact—a dubious explanation to salvage an already fantastic hypothesis.  

And this raises a larger issue. For me, one of the most serious problems of the extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFO phenomena is what it does to science. To believe the standard UFO narrative would seem to have to hypothesize a civilization so far in advance of our own that it can do things that would seem to us, based on our current knowledge, to be not just wildly improbable, but perhaps even physically impossible:

  • Aliens can span the stars and perhaps even galaxies via time travel
  • They can move in and out of dimensions
  • They can communicate mind to mind without voice or radio waves
  • Effortlessly and silently, they can levitate and hover

Isn’t this another way of saying that they might just as well be fairies, angels, or demons? I admit that it is not logically impossible that some far-advanced civilization has figured out how to be magical or occult to us even as they are, in fact, obeying the physical laws of the universe. It may be that the aliens are to us as we would appear to, say, ancient Romans: a horrifically magical and occultic group of beings. Of course, we know about ourselves that we never actually violate any physical laws, but we could certainly perplex ancient Romans with our technology. Romans would certainly see us as possessing occult knowledge, and the aliens may seem this way to us also, without the least violation of the highest science.

But it’s hard to embrace the alien hypothesis without throwing out everything you think science knows about how the universe works. It’s a complete paradigm shatterer of a great deal of slow gathered and hard won scientific knowledge. And so it becomes self-referential and circular to fully embrace it, for it’s hard to imagine, once you believe it, how you would disconfirm it. It’s not, to put it politely, a conservative hypothesis. Instead, it’s more akin to a religious leap, an all-encompassing worldview that, in its explanatory framework, appears to embrace evidence, science, technology, and human reason. But in reality, it makes all four of these things highly problematic.

UFOlogy makes sense in parts, and seemingly has inspirational views of science and the human future, but it has enormous difficulties as an intellectual whole. And so those parts that do make sense—for example, the often compelling eyewitness testimony of UFOs—have to be balanced, by any sensible person, with the glaring difficulties of sense that UFO belief draws you into.

Like Freudianism, conservative Christianity, or any other self-referential and closed intellectual system, you’ve got to, in certain crucial ways, believe in UFOs a priori  and then make the world fit your belief. In other words, you have to find the explanation so intuitively compelling and pleasing that you simply embrace it whole and abandon what the conventionally secular scientific and legal world would embrace as sound avenues of reasoning and proper evidence. The UFO hypothesis is not a conservative or falsifiable hypothesis, and it is not a simple “Occam’s razor” type of explanation. It is only superficially simple: “People think that they’re seeing alien spacecraft because they are.” In fact, the more I think about it, the more I have come to feel that it begs as many questions as it answers.

Still, I’d like to believe that we’re being visited by aliens. If true, how cool is that? But the reality is that the extraterrestrial hypothesis has enormous problems with coherence. And unless a UFO unmistakably and very publicly manifests itself to humanity, and the aliens in it explain themselves to us, it appears to me that UFOlogy will continue to have difficulty breaking into the realms of respectable university-level discourse, especially among scientists, who are an especially skeptical and unforgiving lot. It is true that government scientists, in a very classified program, may know more about UFOs than the rest of us, but this is positing another level of speculation, and what they might know, they ain’t talking about. In the civilian realm, whatever bits and pieces of eyewitness testimony and brief and spectral sightings UFOlogists document, reasonable people will still have to have strong doubts concerning the “ET saucers” hypothesis.

In short, the ET hypothesis is such an enormous paradigm shift that the evidence for it must be, for reasonable people, overwhelming and compelling. Otherwise, there is little warrant for such a shift. Short of a very public UFO crash, a monolith discovered on the moon ala  Kubrick’s 2001, or some other similarly spectacular and mind-boggling event, it is unlikely that UFOlogy is going to have all that many highly educated adherents. How can it? The UFO movement precedes the historical discontinuity that would fully justify it. Roswell may be the metaphorical voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way for a paradigm shift!” And some might believe early the voice of those preaching about what happened in the New Mexico wilderness. But the Big Event, the clear discontinuity obvious to everyone, has not yet come. A saucer must be lifted up.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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5 Responses to Blogging UFOs: If UFOs are Indeed Buzzing about in Our Local Skies, Why Wouldn’t We Pick Up Radio Signals of their Interspaceship Communications?

  1. There are various theories as to how aliens could communicate with us and believe it or not, radio waves is at the bottom of that list. I would imagine that radio waves are archaic in their eyes.

    SETI has other possibilities that appear in their articles but aren’t mentioned very often since SETI depends on funding and so they keep the other possibilities under hat.

    Here’s a short article on communication via neutrinos.
    Alternative Alien Communication

    If you want more answers, resort to science articles. Daily Galaxy and Wired Science both write about aliens and occasionally on communication possibilities.

    Then again, put paranormal possibilities in the back of your mind while seeking info.

  2. santitafarella says:

    Atrue:

    I’m coming at the whole UFO issue as the kid at the parade evaluating the Emperor’s new clothes. Is he actually wearing any? I’m raising simple questions, and taking a first time close look at evidence that I’ve never explored before. I didn’t know, for example, that the radio issue has alternative explanations (short of telepathy). Thanks for the link on that.

    —Santi

  3. santitafarella says:

    Atrue:

    I hope you have the time or inclination to respond to a couple of questions. You said in a previous comment at another post that you had an abduction experience. If you’ve written about this somewhere, and have a link to it, could you please share it? I’d also like to ask you a couple of hard questions about it. These are the questions I would ask myself if I had such an experience:

    1. Do you think it could be brought on by cultural suggestion?
    2. How do you reconcile your experience with what you know is the standard scientific paradigm (which is, that aliens can’t get to earth from other solar systems etc.)?
    3. Was the experience, for you, properly basic (ala philosopher Alvin Plantinga)? In other words, do you treat the experience as direct knowledge, just as you would treat your experience of a table as direct knowledge? Or is it more spectral than that, like a dream that you had?
    4. If it was spectral, do you think it might well have been a spiritual (as opposed to a literal) experience?

    Lastly, I really liked the film featuring John Mack titled “Touched.” I assume you know it. Does the film reflect your experience?

    —Santi

    • My experience is ongoing even today. I am both an abductee/contactee but have not been abducted since October 1988. I’m really tired of hashing about my experiences since they are so “out there” and most cannot swallow them anyway. This I know so I post very little about them.

      “1. Do you think it could be brought on by cultural suggestion?’

      Absolutely not. Previously to my experiences I had absolutely no interest in aliens and/or UFOs. As a matter of fact, the only time I ever saw anything on aliens previously were the movies, ET, the first Star Wars and Close Encounters. That was it. I had no inkling that people were seeing UFOs.

      My abductions I ignored and never confronted. A denial kind of thing on my part but it still never led me to seek any kind of information. Ya know, when something like that happens to you, you don’t dwell on it if you can’t understand it or figure it out. Instead, you dismiss it and go forward.

      Besides watching those three very, very old movies, my husband had mentioned that he experienced a UFO in Long Beach, CA while working on his car in the early 60’s. That would make him late teens, early 20’s. He’s not one to fabricate or lie, (good man) and so I took him at his word but that was it for aliens.

      I didn’t even have internet until the fall of 2002. It wasn’t until then that I saw how unbelievably big it all was and how many individuals were involved.

      I was seeking for other people in my particular position but realized that their experiences were all pretty ‘out there’ too and nobody was believing anything they had to say so I pretty much remained low-key as do most of us.

      I forgot that I had posted the “Experiencers” link previously and posted it again today on another blog post of yours. Me silly. Anyway, I updated it today with some information I had on another blog of mine so go check it out again – beyond the videos. I did some explaining in there about the videos that I should have done ions ago.

      “How do you reconcile your experience with what you know is the standard scientific paradigm”

      I don’t and I can’t. It’s impossible to know. I understand thoroughly how science says we cannot travel faster than the speed of light so it would be virtually impossible for them to have come such distances. Considering that the closest habitable planet we’ve discovered thus far in a habitable zone is Gliese 581d makes it virtually impossible.

      But, we have to consider their technology. If they’re just a few hundreds of years older than us (which they’re probably not) then their technology could possibly provide travel greater than the speed of light. And, if they’re millions of years old than us (which they could be) then their technology would be unfathomable. Totally, and entirely unfathomable. Put them in the middle of those time spans and again we’re talking about civilizations that are possibly capable of anything we cannot yet grasp.

      For all we know, everything they could be doing could be remote. Seriously. We sent interstellar Voyager out into space and look how far out into space it went. They could be doing the same thing with just objects (we call UFOs) and setting up repeater stations along the way for transmission. They could be watching it all on cameras built upon such a vehicle even as it does it’s thing.

      The beings inside such apparatus could be that of spiritual beings and not a body as they travel, leaving a body in stasis for when they need it. Who knows? Nobody. It’s all out there to think about and it’s all theoretical but just the same, it is a possibility if they are as old as we think they are.

      Back to my experiences, they are certainly more contactee than abductee these days. This does exist, it really does exist and I am of sound mind.

      What they do with me is ugly. I’ll give you addresses, which may explain it somewhat and then I guess you have to figure out for yourself why they did and are doing what they do.

      Everybody’s gig with them is a little different and mine’s the absolute pits. And, rule of thumb is that once you view this you’ll write me off anyway because it’s just too “out there” for a non-experiencer to believe. Been there tooooo many times.

      I’ll tell you beforehand that you have to be able to accept the paranormal aspects before you even think about accepting the alien possibilities because that’s how they live. I’ve had everything under the sun happen to me and both human and aliens working together.

      Please read but do not re-post my information anywhere. I like it right where it is and there’s nothing worse then having people see it on the internet and then come in my forum to tell me I’m a crazy person. lol

      My screen name in there is alien_contactee. I use Atrueoriginall as well but only in certain posts.

      I waited a few days to post these in the comments area so that your traffic would have subsided since like I said earlier, I’m not into sharing so much since, like I said, unless you’re an actual experiencer, they’ll be hard to swallow.

      You’ll be going into my forum.

      Some contactee experiences
      Malevolent experiences
      Awake state visions

  4. santitafarella says:

    Atrue:

    I do not think it is logically or physically impossible for you to have had the experiences that you speak of. If aliens tens of thousands of years ahead of us in technology did things on Earth, I have no doubt that they could appear in any bizarre fashion that they chose to.

    My difficulty is the gulf between the experiencer and the non-experiencer. It is like the gulf between, say, mind and matter in the universe. Some things are such huge disjunctures from all experience that has gone before that they are not explainable in the old terms. I think that, given the intensity of your experience, that you would be a fool to live over here, on the non-experiencer side of reality. But likewise, I would be a fool to step over into your reality absent the experience.

    Once you’ve had the experience that you have characterized, and are convinced that cultural suggestion does not answer to the stimulus that you know, you pretty much have to live in that reality. The universe, for whatever reason, chose you to be over in a reality inaccessible (so far) to me.

    For a non-experiencer like me, my “knowing” of things comes through:

    1. my conventional common sense experiences
    2. what witnesses tell me that they’ve seen
    3. what experts in fields tell me is possible
    4. physical evidence

    For me, if I’m to be a reasonable person, I have to have all four of these things functioning to absorb from someone else an extraordinary claim. The dilemma of the ubductee/contactee is that you’ve only got one thing: your testimony. Thus, the gulf between you and the average walking around person is going to be huge. As you say, you know this.

    But I still think that you should tell your story as fully as you can. First, for your own health. Keeping things hidden from others, or feeling shame, definitely raises (statistically) your chance of suicide. Second, by telling your story fully people who haven’t had your experience can think about how to make it fit their existing paradigm, and should physical or expert opinion finally swing in the UFO believers’ favor, they can process it better. It becomes less of a leap.

    My view right now is that you’re reasonable and justified in your experience because you KNOW it via direct encounter that goes far beyond conventional explanations. Likewise, it is reasonable of me to withold judgment and doubt and note my skeptical observations until I have the experience myself, or physical evidences of UFOs unambiguously present themselves to human collective witness.

    I have more to say, but I have a class to teach this evening. Please keep the dialogue open with me. I enjoy talking to you and respect your thoughtfulness. I certainly do not think you’re crazy. You’ve had an experience that gives you something more to chew on than the average person.

    Later, I’ll tell you a Thomas Jefferson anecdote that I think is important here. Perhaps when I get home this evening, or tommorrow.

    —Santi

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