UFOs, ETs and the New Age: A Christian Perspective -- By: Doug Potter
CAJ 1:1 (Spring 1998) p. 1
UFOs, ETs and the New Age:
A Christian Perspective
(This paper was presented at the 1997 National Conference on Apologetics, Cults and Other Religions.)
Terms, Statistics And Reality Of UFOs
The term “flying saucer” was first used by the media to describe the sightings of unusual disklike objects that began to be reported in the late 1940s. Eventually the term “unidentified flying object,” or “UFO,” was used. This term was originally used to indicate that the object did not appear to be a known phenomenon or aircraft. Over time the terms have come to refer to extraterrestrials (ETs) and their spaceships. The term “UFO community” is often used to denote individuals linked by a common belief that some UFOs sighted were occupied alien spaceships from distant planetary systems.
A Gallup poll in 1978 and 1981 showed that most North Americans believe flying saucers exist and are controlled by beings from another world. A more recent Gallup poll, in 1990, revealed that about 14% or 12-15 million (one in every 10) Americans claim to have seen UFOs. A recent Time poll revealed that 34% of Americans believe intelligent beings from other planets have visited Earth. Of those, 65% believe a UFO crashed at Roswell and 80% believe the U.S. government is involved in a cover up.1 It is estimated that six UFOs per hour are sighted world wide. Besides this, there are over 2000 cases of encounters with landed UFOs and around 700 instances where physical effects have resulted (e.g., burned trees or grass). UFOs have been intercepted and fired upon by jet fighters, and UFOs have given off electromagnetic charges causing engines and electrical devices to break down.
Famous people have seen UFOs. Some of these include Christopher Columbus (explorer), Andrew Jackson (president), John Gilligan (state governor), James McDivitt and Gordon Cooper (astronauts), and Jimmy Carter (president). No doubt, heightened public interest is also seen in the popularity of movies. Some of these include Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1970s), ET (1980s), Independence Day, the 7th highest grossing film (1990s). This summer it was Men In Black and Contact (1997). Some popular TV shows that deal specifically with UFOs include Star Trek, Sightings and X--Files which emphasizes the paranormal and the slogan: “The Truth Is Out There.” The subject of UFOs is also popular in books. A search of books in print reveals over 250 book titles concerning UFOs.
Beginnings Of The UFO Phenomenon
The UFO phenomenon allegedly dates well back into ancient times. The caution concerning ancient reports by Samuel Rosenberg, in an officially spo...
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