Diana Pasulka is a faculty member at the University of North Carolina, and she wrote American Cosmic. She states that faith in the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects and intelligent life from other planets is so strong that it’s almost like a religion. Her book is about the widespread belief in UFOs and extraterrestrials and looks at how religions and myths are born and how individuals cope with experiences that they cannot explain.
In an interview, Pasulka was asked why aliens are very popular with a lot of people. She replied that religions often believe in intelligent but supernatural and nonhuman beings that would come down from above. But there is a difference between belief in intelligent life from other planets and belief in traditional religions. As a student of the history of the Catholic Faith, she notes that Catholics believe that Jesus can perform miracles and that the Virgin Mary appeared to specific individuals. However, there’s a distinction with people who believe in UFOs. When there’s a scientist such as Ellen Stofan, formerly employed at NASA as their chief scientist, who states we will find alien life on other planets and she’s not referring to intelligent alien life, there are people who misinterpret what she said and believe she’s referring to intelligent extraterrestrials. Because there’s a possibility that intelligent inhabitants of other planets exist and that existence can possibly be proven, faith in aliens is solid among those who believe. This faith is so strong that it can be called a new kind of religion.
Pasulka was then asked what the secret university is. She explains that the secret university is a concept that originated from Francis Bacon, a British philosopher from the 1600s. It refers to the activities of scientists who questioned and disputed the dogmas of the established religion. This concept was revived by two contemporary researchers, Jacques Vallée and Allen Hynek. Hynek, who died in 1986, was in a TV show in the History Channel. Vallée used to work on ARPANET as a computer scientist and is an astronomer. These two scientists started calling themselves the secret university when they started believing in extraterrestrial and inter-dimensional life. They formed part of an assemblage of scientists who knew one another. However, they are not well-known outside their circle and who researched extraterrestrial sightings and phenomena during their free time. When told that the modern incarnation of the secret university seemed strange, Pasulka agreed. She did not expect to encounter this when she started writing her book. She almost stopped several times because it all seemed so unusual to her. When she began her book, she was a nonbeliever who did not have any interest in extraterrestrials. She was surprised when she started communicating with scientists who believe in intelligent life from other planets.
One very unusual thing she noticed was these researchers did not communicate with one another in the same manner as in past decades, like in the 1970s. They tend to be secretive in their research and usually do not collaborate. She has talked with several of these scientists, and she notes that they are all intelligent and well-educated and work at well-known agencies and research institutions. When asked for details about some of the scientists she has talked to, Pasulka mentions two. One is a materials scientist who was part of the team who worked with NASA and is a founder of several technology companies. The second scientist is head of at least two laboratories and is a faculty member at one of the best universities in America. What more did Pasulka have to say? Stay tuned, and watch for the conclusion of this blog, next week!