E.T. Enigma – “High Strangeness” or “Sufficiently Advanced Technology”

In UFOlogy, there exists a battle of ideologies. Two camps as-it-were. They are not divided by race, religion, color, politics, or sexual orientation. Nothing as grand as those examples but a modest distinction of sourcing. One side firmly believes that all UAP/UFO cases are examples of spacecraft from some far off inquisitive planet. Advanced alien technology is what we are seeing. The other side has a wider view of what is possible in our believed Multiverse over the other. They believe that the UAP/UFO enigma has several different sources. Interdimensional and possibly Intra-Universal origins are not off the table. It comes down to either if you believe that all UAP/UFO’s are nuts and bolts spaceships or that UAP/UFO’s origins come from far more bizarre places than 94 billion light-years of real estate can accommodate.

The major reason for this divide is what has become to be known as “high strangeness”.  The more one contemplates and studies the UFO phenomenon, the more paradoxical it becomes.

The term “high strangeness” can be attributed to Dr. J. Allen Hynek who addressed the United Nations on the subject of UFOs on October 27th, 1978.

“Mr. Chairman, there exists today a world-wide phenomenon. Indeed if it were not world-wide I should  not be addressing you and these representatives from many parts of the world. There exists a global phenomenon the scope and extent of which is not generally recognized. It is a phenomenon so strange and foreign to our daily terrestrial mode of thought that it is frequently met by ridicule and derision by persons and organizations unacquainted with the facts.

I refer, of course, to the phenomenon of UFOs… Unidentified Flying Objects. Which I should like to define here simply as “any aerial or surface sighting, or instrumental recording (radar, images, etc) which remains unexplained by conventional methods even after competent examination by qualified persons.”

Lifting J. Allen Hynek’s definition from his book, “The Ufo Experience”,

“The Strangeness Rating is, to express it loosely, a measure of how ‘oddball’ a report is within its particular broad classification. More precisely, it can be taken as a measure of the number of information bits the report contains, each of which is difficult to explain in common sense terms.”

Especially puzzling are the reported strange alleged UFO encounters of various kinds by people from diverse occupations and educational levels from all corners of the world, which appear to defy logical explanation.  The phenomena consist of reports of strange flying physical craft that demonstrate an ability to suddenly appear and disappear, change shape, accelerate at a tremendous speed, and to merge and split apart.

Such reported incidents suggest that the UFO phenomenon’s maneuverability may defy laws of gravity and inertia, which seem illogical given our current understanding of scientific principles and physical laws. Additionally, among a group of people, some may see a UFO while others don’t, some report gaining psychic ability after a UFO encounter, and some believe to have telepathic communications with the UFO occupants, among other incidents characterized as incidents of “high strangeness.”

While bizarre UFO incidents may lend hints to their possible nature or origin, a number of UFO theories have been proposed which include the extraterrestrial, extradimensional, atmospheric phenomenon, paranormal manifestations, advanced secret technology, a manifestation of a psycho-cultural phenomenon, and time travel to explain the nature and origin of this perplexing phenomenon.

I believe the high-strangeness aspect has more to do with how our brains perceive these events than it does with the events themselves. Lacking the appropriate frame of reference, our brain does its best to fill in the gaps of understanding for the events it’s witnessing. It only makes sense that the results are imperfect.

I think that the distinction of if they are of our Universe and our comfortable dimensions or from the dark unknown recesses of hyperdimensionality is ultimately unimportant. I do not believe we are in a position to discern the originating location of this phenomenon. We may never be able to source this enigma. Even if the extraterrestrial tells us where they are from, why would we think they are being truthful? How could we ever truly understand their motivations?

The field of UFOlogy, in my opinion, does not need to seek to source outside our known Universe. I do not think that most people that might care have an appreciation for Arthur C. Clarke’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”. Think about that for a moment. You may have heard the famous quote before but have you really thought about it?

I believe that all that humans have experienced can be explained by advanced technology and advanced evolved extraterrestrials.  No need to think they are from dimension 9 or some far off yet connected multiverse.  One must ponder just how fragile and incomplete our mind’s perceptions are.

Let’s consider how diverse and incomprehensible extraterrestrials may be.

The external world of physics has thus become a world of shadows. In removing our illusions we have removed the substance, for indeed we have seen that substance is one of the greatest of our illusions ~ Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington

Bacteria are entirely incapable of comprehending us.  In fact, they are not capable of being aware of us at all.  They inhabit the same space we do, even living inside our bodies as symbionts, but they are entirely incapable of being aware of us.  Consider ants, which are far more complex than bacteria and are separated from us by only 500 million years of evolutionary development.  They too inhabit the same space. They can be affected by our actions.  They can see us, eat the food we drop on the ground, crawl all over our picnic tables, but they aren’t really aware of us.  They are entirely incapable of understanding any message we might try to send to them.  We have come to understand the chemical signals ants use to communicate with each other, and we can lay down trails for them to follow, etc., so basically we humans are able to speak an ant’s language, but still, we cannot convey to them any concept of what we are because ants lack the brains to comprehend what we are.

So, contemplating deep time and considering just how long of a head start an alien race may have, it is obvious that aliens out there would likely be so much more advanced than we would be incapable of comprehending them even if we were living right in front of them on their picnic table.  They could even learn to speak our language, as we have with ants, and it wouldn’t do much good. But really, the difference is even more extreme than the rate of biological evolutionary development would suggest.

Most people are probably familiar with cargo cults.  For those who are not: cargo cults exist on some remote islands in the Pacific.  During WW2, the American and Japanese militaries established bases on some remote islands that had little to no previous contact with developed civilizations.  When the war ended, the bases were abandoned.  The natives on the islands had seen technologies that they did not understand.  The lights and flying machines appeared to them as magic.  Now, some of the people on these islands have adopted rituals that mimic the movements of air traffic controllers and radio operators, hoping that they can call down cargo from the sky.

These people are separated from us by only 8,000 years of development (the time it took from the establishment of the first agricultural civilizations until the present day) and yet they couldn’t understand what they saw, and they worship our technology in a religious manner.

 8,000 years is far less than an eye-blink on the billions-of-years timescale of the head start that some planets had on ours.  It took 8,000 years for us to appear as gods to other humans – how much longer would it take before we would recede from their ability to understand altogether?  Maybe 100x that amount of time?  But consider also that the rate at which technology is developing is increasing exponentially.  So, with technological development beginning 3.4 billion years ahead of ours, the gap between us and an alien race would not be just the gap between bacteria and us, but conceivably exponentially greater.

This vast disparity of advancement that a billion year or so head start gives, is why I do not believe one must grasp onto the interdimensional or trans-Universal explanation. All the strange behavior and events can be accounted for when you open your mind, fire it up, and consider the deep possibilities.

There is no magic in the Universe. It seems like to me that when a ufologist brings up the interdimensional or trans-Universal hypotheses, it sounds like they are referring to magic. No need for such a profound obfuscation. No need for all that Multiverse stuff. Our own Universe will provide more than sufficient enough examples of high Kardashev scale winners to amaze and confound our limited senses.

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