When I was in grade school, my teacher brought up the topic of UFO’s in a class lecture and discussion. I forget which grade and teacher. Either way, it was an unusual discussion for grade school. The one thang that stuck with me from that discussion is a frank consideration as to the possible origins of UFO’s. There are 4 possibilities.
Extraterrestrial (commonly called ET) – This is normally the first thang people think of when they consider the possible origin of UFO’s. From what I’ve see, most people that believe in UFO's pretty much assume they are occupied by intelligent creatures from other planets. In abduction cases, the victim normally associates their experience with beings from other planets doing experiments on us lowly humans.
Terrestrial – People who view themselves as more practical tend to consider UFO’s as something common and terrestrial. Normally they associate sightings as misinterpretations of common Earth objects (natural or human-made). If you see an unusual craft in the sky doing incredible maneuvers, then it’s a new government spy plane or similar device. Many times, sightings are shoe-horned into preconceived notions about what the sighting could be. I’ve often seen a person trying to give “practical” explanation for a UFO sighting that sounds as ridiculous as they imagine UFO believers to be. It’s practical to try to rule out other possibilities when analyzing and observing something, but it’s just goofy to try too hard. Sometimes a sighting really is unexplained until further evidence can be found.
Ultraterrestrials (can be known as UT, not because they live in Utah) – This is one idea that is much less commonly known or considered. An ultraterrestrial would be an advanced being that is from Earth, but is generally hidden from view. This means that there are beings on our world that are so far advanced beyond humans, they are able to hide their existence from us, only popping out once in awhile in UFO’s for reasons only known to them. Since humans occupy so much of our planet, and have such a firm grip on our 3 dimensional perceptions, it is generally considered very unlikely anyone could be hiding from us right under our own noises. However, as far as evidence goes, there’s not much difference between this concept and that of extraterrestrials.
Fake – Of course, these ideas are all based on the idea that UFO’s are real in one way or another. It is not hard to completely discredit most UFO encounters (real, imagined or misinterpreted) as simple overstatements or outright fakes. Certainly, a lot of 20th Century mythologies are being revealed as hoaxes these days. Loc Ness Monster and Bigfoot are the two biggest examples of that. Pretty heavy discussion for grade school, huh?
If this discussion occurred today, it may have been a bit longer, as new possibilities have been considered.
Metaterrestrial – This New Age style notion is similar to that of ultraterrestrial. The belief is that UFO’s are from higher or spiritual beings from Earth, but that they exist on some other plane of existence, astral plane or other dimensions. For reasons only known to them, they pop into our plane of existence in the form of UFO’s once in awhile. This is slightly easier to believe than ultraterrestrials because it offers an explanation on how these higher beings can generally hide from us.
My own contribution to this discussion is a bit more bizarre than the other 5 possibilities I just laid out.
Future Evolved Terrestrial Tourist and Scientists (or FETTS for short) – Far in the future, humans will eventually evolve into some higher form of ourselves. The new future human species is starting to send tourists and scientist back in time to both enjoy and study their species’ past (that’s us), much in the same way our modern tourists visit ancient ruins or our modern scientist study prehistoric hominid bones. They fly around in their UFO’s over our cities to take in the sites of a world that must surely be nearly prehistoric to them. Their scientists conduct the occasional abduction to make comparisons between modern DNA and their future DNA to determine our evolutionary course, and to do psychological tests to figure out how they evolved their superior mega-brain and thinking ability from our puny primitive ape brain and mind. Every once in awhile, they get bored and fry a cow or activate a crop circle.
Despite the fact that I’ve come up with this crazy alternate scenario, I don’t really have a strong opinion about the UFO phenomenon. I do think of a lot of encounters are misinterpretations of what really is going on, but this doesn’t account for many instances that are well documented and don’t have any explanations; and I’m not talking about the mythological accounts of Roswell. There are sensible unexplained events that are often abducted by the UFO mythos believers.
So what are UFO’s? Eh, don’t really care. I just think it’s strange that I had this kind of discussion in grade school.