Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Professor Says UFO Studies Should Be Taught At Universities

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the alien-grading-curve dept.

Education 311

New York anthropology professor Philip Haseley wants young people to get the best education possible, and part of that education, he says, should be about UFOs. Haseley thinks universities should offer classes on UFOs and other unexplained phenomena from space. "[A sighting] happens to millions of people [around the world]. It's about time we looked into this as a worthy area of study. It's important that the whole subject be brought out in the open and investigated," he said. I want to believe the truth is out there in 500 words or less.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

sound good to me (1)

axor1337 (1278448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834164)

I would take that class

Re:sound good to me (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834196)

I would take that class

And I would take your money. Next year we can come back and see who learned more.

Re:sound good to me (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834386)

I would take that class

And I would take your money. Next year we can come back and see who learned more.

Well, right off the bat, you'd learn that people taking UFO classes don't have much money.

Re:sound good to me (1)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835250)

Actually that would be an interesting idea, permitting is not taught by some UFO nazi like Brad Steiger (author of: The Philadelphia Experiment) who believes there's an underground civilization living under the poles based on the fact that icebergs are made of fresh water, which must be coming from underwater rivers and if there are underwater rivers there are people there (logical, huh?).

My main concern would be that the religious community would not be taking lightly the teaching about UFO in school. You know, anything that could get you a little more open minded and open to the idea that we don't know everything could be a risk for a religious society.

Re:sound good to me (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835346)

If OP actually gains a better understanding of the UFO phenomena, then he has learned more.
If it turns out to be a complete waste of time, then he has learned to be more careful with his wallet, and you have learned that it is still easy to take people's money through an intriguing premise.

If you haven't learned that from FREE ICONS SAVERS PRON WAREZ GETRICHNOW schemes, then perhaps I see the humor.

Otherwise, your question is surely rhetorical. Or perhaps I just got 'WHOOSHED'.

Re:sound good to me (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834370)

I would too if he actually got us a UFO to study. Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable.

Re:sound good to me (2, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835006)

Why do UFOs always show up in front of some hick in south dakota or kentucky? why don't the aliens ever land on the mall in DC or on top of the Effiel tower? Hell, I'd be convinced if they just landed on a pyramid like in stargate.

I think the closest thing to the above I've ever seen actual footage of was some weird lights above mexico city or something of the sort. Weird lights? I'm sure it was probably just the US and Soviets playing games or something of the sort. I'm not convinced.

Re:sound good to me (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834474)

I had this class. In my university, the history department had some classes in secret societies and conspiracies. We discussed the history and psychology of these events and how they've migrated from supernatural to scientifically based as our culture changed from dependence on one to dependence on the other. It was very interesting, though the mythology on Masonry and the Illuminati and such were far cooler than the UFO stuff IMO.

It was a good class and I agree that it should be a history elective.

Re:sound good to me (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834922)

Did you read the good old "Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and Governments of Europe"?

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834186)

Nothing wrong with teaching stuff like the Drake Equation. But alien abductions?

Bette make that the... (1)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834228)

Flake Equation! [xkcd.com] ;)

Re:Well (3, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834268)

Looking at tuition costs can make one feel like they've been probed in the ass so why not learn about others who have felt the same way?

Re:Well (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834880)

If you go to a Catholic college, the faculty will be happy to assist with the anal probing demonstration.

Oblig. xkcd (3, Insightful)

mibe (1778804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834222)

Re:Oblig. xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834454)

HAHAHAAHAHA, you posted an xkcd reference. +27 INFROMATIF.

Re:Oblig. xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834566)

HAHAHAAHAHA YOU'RE A FAG!

Re:Oblig. xkcd (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834772)

gb2/b/

Why not? (4, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834224)

Some schools teach creationism. Some teach actual theology. Why should alien abduction be treated any differently? Teach the controversy!

Re:Why not? (4, Funny)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834358)

"Why should alien abduction be treated any differently? Teach the controversy!"

What about Bigfoot and Loch Ness? Can't leave them out, that's discrimination!

Re:Why not? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834956)

What about Bigfoot?

Tall, hairy, screams, and has big feet. It is hardly enough for a ten minute lecture, unless you can get a basketball major to put on the suit and chase through the lecture hall. The frat houses will have all the old quizes on file which makes proper testing hard.

Re:Why not? (1)

squinty_s (1738438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835374)

Actually, the high school in my district has a class that teaches myths and legends. It just so happens that they go over Bigfoot, UFO's, Fairies, ghosts, etc. interesting class. Its taught as "this is what has been recorded in stories and lore in the past, whether its true or not is not in question".

Re:Why not? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834446)

Some schools teach creationism. Some teach actual theology. Why should alien abduction be treated any differently? Teach the controversy!

I suspect parts of first two groups you mention might actually have a problem with UFO studies (obviously false)...the conclusions from which could hit a bit too close to home.

Re:Why not? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834972)

There are UFOs in the Bible so why not teach this?

Re:Why not? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835308)

That would actually be a reasonable minor if you were doing archeology, anthropology, theology or that thing that's a bit like anthropology but without any manky old bones whose name escapes me right now.

Re:Why not? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835332)

Everything in the sky was a UFO back then.

Because it's almost certainly not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834540)

Any intelligent species which has the technological capability to travel across the galaxy at will (think about that for a second) also has the capability to avoid the slightest trace of detection. If they've been here, mark my words, we don't know about it.

Furthermore, if they do have the ability and desire to study us, they probably wouldn't even have to come here to do it. At that level, they can probably just push a button and instantly know everything about us, from clear across the galaxy.

You've got to put this into perspective, and realize what kind of technological level we're talking about. They're not flying here in spaceships, that's for sure.

Re:Because it's almost certainly not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834820)

Any intelligent species which has the technological capability to travel across the galaxy at will (think about that for a second) also has the capability to avoid the slightest trace of detection.

[citation needed]

Re:Why not? (0, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834840)

And racism classes.
And child porn appreciation classes.

Re:Why not? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834938)

Is this going to rightly attacked as bad science or anti-science as much as Creationism is?

UFO deserve to be studied (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834968)

They were certainly an important phenomenon especially in the 70s, so it can be expected that some people are not too familiar with them nowadays. Yet, they are responsible for some very important [youtube.com] , memorable [youtube.com] , and fascinating [youtube.com] things from that period, and can still be observed around the world even today. I suggest that anyone with a slightest interest in such things does some further research into this topic.

Re:UFO deserve to be studied (2, Funny)

ryantmer (1748734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835410)

They were certainly an important phenomenon especially in the 70s

Other things that were popular in the 70s: these [wikipedia.org] . Coincidence?

Re:Why not? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835294)

Yeah.

You may as well have put "evolution" in your list. Except it wouldn't go well with the typical slashdotter. Or, even more appropriate... how about philosophy or psychology or behavioral sciences or sociology? Metaphysics? Homer? Plato? Aristotle? Shakespeare? Victorian literature?

All of the above have had less of an effect on society and history than "theology" or "creationism" (both of which were meant to refer to, I assume, those topics as written of in the Bible)...

I know it was a joke, but it's interesting that the joke tends to be focused towards one particular belief set, because it's not fashionable to harp on certain disputed areas - like behavioral "sciences" or philosophy (since they are "respected" areas now).

*grabs troll/flamebait mod by the horns* ;)

Crazy people are the subjects of many studies... (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834246)

Why should UFO believers excluded. Why people believe weird and irrational things should be studied.

Re:Crazy people are the subjects of many studies.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834590)

Psychology, neurology, philosophy. (To name but three.)

Are UFOs believers somehow special, that they should be studied in isolation from the fields which already examine our beliefs?

Like ghosts, this is getting harder and harder. (5, Insightful)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834250)

Reasonable-quality audio/video recording equipment is becoming nearly ubiquitous, being embedded in cell phones.

Yet the only "footage" that is available is grainy and poor quality.

As the quality and availability of audio/video recording equipment grows, one would expect the quality of "sighting" recordings to increase, but they aren't.

I think that's very telling.

Re:Like ghosts, this is getting harder and harder. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834298)

...one would expect the quality of "sighting" recordings to increase, but they aren't.

I think that's very telling.

It is telling. What your post tells me is... they got to you too. (sigh)

Re:Like ghosts, this is getting harder and harder. (4, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834410)

That's because of the nature of an Unidentified Flying Object. It flies through the sky but is too far away or obscured by other things (weather, buildings) to be identified. UFO's will always remain UFO's no matter whether they be nature-made, man-made or alien-made phenomenon.

Rationality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834900)

Seriously you want to be rational about UFOs? Saying that they obviously exist because some flying things have not been identified?

You must be new here.

that was a very spiritual statement of yours (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835040)

i am moved by the religiosity of that thought: "a ufo is free forever"

this emotional moment has changed my life. i need to spread the word, start a movement

Re:Like ghosts, this is getting harder and harder. (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834608)

My wife would love to bitch slap this guy when I tell her about this. She has a PhD in astronomy/astrophysics and has taught classes on extra-terrestrial life, including the Drake Equation. With the increase in the general population of increasingly high definition video cameras, there should be good footage by now of UFOs. THERE ISN'T.

GET A LIFE, PEOPLE!

People don't realize how vast the distances involved are. They'll say "man didn't go to the moon", which is a piddly quarter million miles away, yet they think aliens are capable of covering interstellar/intergalactic distances with the blink of an eye.

Re:Like ghosts, this is getting harder and harder. (1)

Jahava (946858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834688)

Reasonable-quality audio/video recording equipment is becoming nearly ubiquitous, being embedded in cell phones. Yet the only "footage" that is available is grainy and poor quality. As the quality and availability of audio/video recording equipment grows, one would expect the quality of "sighting" recordings to increase, but they aren't.

The aliens and ghosts are clearly reacting to advancing and increasingly-available technology by reducing their exposure and appearing in locations that whose obscurity is proportional to our gains in sensor clarity. Those bastards.

I think that's very telling.

They're clearly way smarter than we originally thought. Spooky!

Re:Like ghosts, this is getting harder and harder. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834742)

That is what I've always thought. If there are so many UFO sightings, then why isn't there a SINGLE clear picture of one? It doesn't even have to be a video, just a clear, still shot.

While I certainly believe in aliens, I don't believe in aliens visiting us. My belief is that all alien species fall into one of two groups: a) a species that isn't advanced enough to reach Earth and b) a species that is advanced enough to reach Earth, but by extension of that level of advancement, would have absolutely zero interest in visiting Earth.

Bullshit (1, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834806)

The video quality has been improved ever since video cameras became commonplace.

YET, now there are people who reject ufo footages because 'they look too clean'.

make up your mind first.

if you cant trust anything, just go check Soviet ufo files. they are open, and history channel even ran a documentary with footage from within them. some of the footages are very very out of the ordinary. you can find them on youtube too.

No it isn't, it is actually increasing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31835256)

Why didn't you even Google this:

http://www.google.no/search?q=increase+in+ufo+sightings&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rlz=1R1GGGL_en___NO343&client=firefox-a

Top hits:
Report - Massive increase in UFO sightings in 2009, tracking group ...
Huge rise in British UFO sightings - Telegraph
End Times Prophecy News: UFO Sightings Increase
UFO Sightings Increase in China - UFO Evidence
Massive Increase In UFO Sightings The Daily Llama

Oh yeah, I forgot.. This is /. We don't need to research anything. Our spine will actually tell us the Truth!

Please tag: woo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834254)

"(A sighting) happens to millions of people (around the world). It's about time we looked into this as a worthy area of study."

It's worthy because the ignorant masses don't know what they're looking at? The vast, vast majority of sightings can easily be explained away by experts in the relevant fields. How about teaching classes in the fields relevant to determine just what these things are instead of begging the question? What a crock of shit. I'm all for listening to the sky, but studying OMGWTFBBQUFO is nothing but a bunch of brain-dead woo.

Bring 'Em On! (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834646)

There are broader social implications to UFO sightings. How common are UFO sightings? What impacts do UFO enthusiasts have on broader society? How have UFO sightings changed over time, and what can that tell us about the phenomenon. It is possible to debunk almost anything by explaining it away, but it's important to know that explications are merely hypotheses and do not represent a scientific endeavor in themselves.

Like most (all?) college courses, this class would be a bunch of meaningless bullshit. But it seems unfair to exclude this particular field of study simply because many academics thumb their noses at it. I say bring on the "UFO Studies" graduates!

Re:Bring 'Em On! (1)

AkkarAnadyr (164341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834866)

Don't forget the 'chupacabra', a bigfoot-ish phenomenon that seems to appear mainly in Hispanic communities, and not elsewhere.

I'd be happy to research and discuss the cross-cultural aspects of such phenomena, if the school will pay my retainer for monthly lectures.

Religion Studies (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834266)

I took a class in religion studies in college. UFO or other paranormal theories would fit right in there.

Re:Religion Studies (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834500)

They would fit. But I would expect a lot of controversy with that approach.

Re:Religion Studies (5, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834554)

(T)he first really strange stories I remember hearing were Bible stories. And these stories were completely amazing: about parting oceans, and talking snakes. And people really seemed to believe these stories. And I'm talking about adults. Adults, who mainly just did the most mundane things imaginable: mowing their lawns and throwing potluck parties; they all believed in these wild stories. And they would sit around and discuss them in the most matter-of-fact way. So in a way I was introduced to a special local form of surrealism at an early age and so there was always a question in my mind about what's actually true and what is just another art form.

-Laurie Anderson

--
BMO

Re:Religion Studies (1, Interesting)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834616)

Similar arguments were made by the Ptolemaic churches attempting to discredit Aristotle.

The UK acknowledges the phenomenon: Ministry of Defense [www.mod.uk]
So does Mexico [rense.com]
oh, and so does the FBI [fbi.gov]
and the CIA [cia.gov] .

UFO's are not just some hoojum bullshit. There is a serious phenomena of unexplained activity/objects, and rigorous scientific endeavor would get much more credibility if this area was at least explored from a rational and logical standpoint in educational institutions without all the hooting and hollering, even if what we discover is against our rational and logical assumptions.

and if your really interested, check out the NASA video of the STS-75 [youtube.com] incident. Watch the video, and then read what NASA [nasa.gov] conveniently doesn't discuss.

Re:Religion Studies (2)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835188)

What is that video suppose to be of? It looks like a video of an actual experiment. The site lists many experiments performed on the tether and talks about the data gathered. It would seem to be an extreme close up of a crystal or something with dust and/or ice floating around.

Re:Religion Studies (2)

tibit (1762298) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835440)

LOL re STS-75 "incident". Those are not UFOs. Think about what the illumination was when this stuff was being filmed. Assuming it was filmed through the front windows, they likely had side light through the side windows, and this would be classical dark field visualization of dust. Large-enough dust particles will behave exactly like this in weightless environment. Small ones will do Brownian motion, larger ones will move in apparently straight lines. Besides, this video suffers from bad overexposure and is focused for infinity (or so one hopes) -- anything that's nearby will be big and blurry. Exactly like the dust, ekhm, UFOs, seen floating around.

Re:Religion Studies (1)

dcw3 (649211) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835504)

I took a class in religion studies in college. UFO or other paranormal theories would fit right in there.

Well, other than Orson Wells War of the Worlds, how have UFOs been involved in shaping any actual events on planet earth? Weather you believe in some diety(s) or not, you can't deny the impact religion has had on society. Not so much for UFOs. My college freshman daughter just signed up for religion for next semester, and I have no problem funding the expense. If it was UFOs, she'd be looking for a different source to cover the costs.

I can do it in three words. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834270)

You are retarded.

It might be a "neat" elective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834272)

...but I suspect that this isn't a course you want to reference on your resume, unless you're applying at MUFON.

I do wonder how many professionals (CIO/CTO's, at least) actually believe in little green men?

Isn't that basically what the history channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834302)

is for anymore?

It doesn't sound crazy (3, Interesting)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834306)

A rigorous scientific and professional approach would be far better than an amateur approach any day. Otherwise we deny the phenomenon entirely, or rely on amateur people who keep finding traces of them anywhere they look. You know they saying: "To a person holding a hammer, every problem is a nail."

Re:It doesn't sound crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834786)

You are correct of course, but you are also missing an important point.

No rigorous scientific study has ever found anything of interest in these claims of extraterrestrial visitations. If they had, such courses would already be offered at multiple universities.

You would think a religion for atheists... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834312)

...would be widely embraced on campus. And much of the "truth is out there" stuff is little more than a religion.

The cultural phenomenon of the UFO is worthy of study, as is the SETI type stuff from the science end.

UFO is an acronym (5, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834328)

UFO doesn't mean aliens, space visitors, or conspiracies.

It means: Unidentified Flying Object.

If you see a condensation trail high in the sky, you know that there is something creating it, but if it is too high for you to see, it is unidentified. It is flying. It is an object. You have just witnessed a UFO. There is nothing ridiculous about it at all.

If this class focuses on the spotting of things you don't understand, and the process in which you go through to try to discover it's identity, then I'm all for it. A class that pushes students to come up with multiple possible theories and find ways to research them, to prove or exclude them, and to report on their findings.

Seems like an awesome class idea to me.

-Rick

Re:UFO is an acronym (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834902)

From his quotes, he doesn't come off as a guy trying to disprove UFO sightings as alien encounters. Instead, he seems desperate to prove them.

If he's teaching students to prove instead of attempt to disprove, he's doing it wrong... And let's face it, even if he's doing it right, as soon as they spread the course to other Uni's, those courses will be led by crackpots.

Re:UFO is an acronym (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835168)

This guy seems to be a true believer, however. This sounds eerily like the "teach the controversy" issue with creationists. He cannot find evidence strong enough to convince the scientific community, so he is wanting to take his case directly to the public, where it will be viewed with a more credulous eye.

Podunk professor (3, Insightful)

ZipprHead (106133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834336)

Podunk professor from community college in remote town close to Canada has crazy ideas and other news at 11.

Seriously this made the front page of /.? This could be on the Onion!

Re:Podunk professor (2, Funny)

SmackTheIgnorant (985978) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834580)

No, The Onion would have a cover story like: "Guest speakers at university speak out against their oppression to include Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, Vampire, The Boogie-man, God, and other fictional characters"

With so many sightings (around the world)... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834346)

I’d think they could get an actual picture of a UFO for TFS.

(The picture came from here [googleusercontent.com] – translated from Dutch to English.)

Learn anything? (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834390)

Nope, despite a masters degree in UFO studies, they're still unidentified flying objects.

Voluminous != Worthwhile (2, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834460)

"We know people who think this is a nonsense subject. And we'll refer you to voluminous literature and facts about UFOs."

Seriously? These guys do understand that "voluminous" literature doesn't equate to "quality literature", right? There are tomes and tomes on dragons at your local library, but I don't think many of us would consider "Draconic Studies" a worth academic pursuit.

Re:Voluminous != Worthwhile (2, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835362)

but I don't think many of us would consider "Draconic Studies" a worth academic pursuit.

And why not? I think the class would be a good one as it discusses the differences between red, blue, green, yellow, white, etc dragons.

One has to know ones enemy before they can defeat the enemy.

Anthropology (5, Interesting)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834482)

I think a class that studies those who believe in UFOs would definitely be worth of an anthropology class.

Who are the believers? Why do they so strongly believe they saw a UFO? What is the cultural basis behind this belief? What are the equivalents in other societies? Ghosts? Evil spirits? Angels? A study of the people would be very interesting.

I think this anthropology professor might even be qualified (if biased) to teach such a class.

Re:Anthropology (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834644)

This. UFOs could be useful to study as a psychological or anthropological phenomenon. That's about as far as I'd want to take it in a college curriculum, though.

UFO University (1)

ThePangolino (1756190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834486)

The think that should be studied here is the the people that are seeing such UFO's rather than studding something that is UNINDENTIFIED yet. Btw, I am curious to know. Do they [ufouniversity.al] have something to do with such idea?

I agree (3, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834502)

I think this guy is right. There should be a class on this. I even have a name suggestion:

Anthropology 150: The UFO Phenomenon as a Study in Mass Delusion

Reverse Study (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834542)

Get a copy of Jane's aircraft guide and some of those silhouette flashcard that fighter pilots use to train. If it's not in the book or on the card, it's not a bird/bug/bat, and it flies, it's a UFO by definition.

Clouds? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835162)

Parachute? Kite? Weather Balloon? Lightning? Auroa... auraoa... pretty lights in the sky?

Lecturer or Professor? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834550)

Which is it? One place the article says one, another it says the other. They are not the same thing.

There's a place for it . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834552)

They could teach it under Abnormal Psychology.

Also needed (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834560)

We seriously need to be able to calculate the impact on Global Warming that is caused by these UFO's. We need to force them to buy Carbon Offsets to make up for the damage they are causing the enviornment! They probably don't even use florescent lights! They had better be getting at least 35 miles to the gallon too!

Actually a good idea (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834574)

but perhaps not for the reasons he's suggesting or the outcome he wants.

I think that the study of UFO's *societal* genesis and spread could be quite interesting, as part of some sociology thing. But as a serious study into their existence? I think not. Weren't there no UFO sightings before space movies? And if so, did they just happen to co-arrive?

It's been done (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834576)

UFOs have been put under plenty of scientific scrutiny, and absolutely nothing has ever stood up to the test. The very best results these fools can come up with is the occasional statistical outlier that they fixate on as proof that "it couldn't have happened by accident." The simple fact is, if there were any basis to this nonsense at all, it would have been proven true a long time ago. By the way, the same applies to ghosts, bigfoot, telekinesis, and prayer.

ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834584)

its amazing how many comment and make snap judgments without actually reading about the subject. Read Flying Saucers and Science by Stanton Friedman. He is an ex-propulsion scientist who worked on Project Orion. There are mountains of evidence despite other claims of there being none.

I, for one... (0, Redundant)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834586)

...welcome our new anthropologic overlords.

Correction: (1)

brianleb321 (1331523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834658)

Crazy Professor Says UFO Studies Should Be Taught At Universities.

Long past due (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834738)

France, britain, russia already opened their secret ufo files to public. in some countries like mexico, ufo matters have never been a matter of 'national security' and were hush hushed. It is only united states that still hush hushes serious incidents, confiscates serious footages, and regularly invokes 'experts' to ridicule and demean any person that comes forth with anything ufo related. (including former usaf notables).

it is evident that something is happening. especially in mexico. tens of thousands of people film various objects in the sky while commuting on crowded roads. entire neighborhoods watch objects in the sky for hours.

first of all, it is BEYOND stupid to ridicule, hush-hush, write off these incidents as this or that, without ever getting one's ass off the chair. It is a scientific rule to go out and research, and try to find the real cause. Not retorting 'swamp gas', 'weather baloon', 'mass hallucination by 5000 people', 'my fart' and so on without lifting a finger. It is contradictory to the process of knowing, and learning.

These branches have to be established in universities and colleges, and their research should be conducted just like how we research any other thing.

Re:Long past due (3, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835232)

Project Blue Book
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Blue_Book [wikipedia.org]

The US did research it and did publish what they found. Of course they covered stuff up because the UFOs are classified aviation programs by USAF, CIA, USN and who knows what other TLA.

Re:Long past due (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835424)

no, even project bluebook participants afterwards said that (long afterwards) the project was to satiate the media and the public and thwart any further inquiring eyes to the matter.

search 'soviet jets chase ufos' in youtube, and watch the footage. and then tell me if the world has that kind of technology even now, leave aside then.

An opinion that differs from the others (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31834800)

I'm shocked at how closed minded so many of you are. A lot of things sound ridiculous until you start learning about them. Here on slashdot we have tons of comments from people who have absolutely no knowledge of an area that are just dismissing it because it doesn't fit into their limited view of reality. I am not a "believer," but I sure as hell am not a pseudo-skeptic debunker either.

I have dedicated many hours to studying these things, so let me say a few things. I'm going to stick with abduction phenomenon, because I find that to be the most fascinating and the most controversial. First off, it happens to people from all walks of life. It even happens in cities. It happens to police officers, soldiers, teachers, and software engineers. It tends to "run in the family," meaning if a parent of yours had had the abduction phenomenon you are likely to as well. The stories that the vast majority of people report tend to greatly overlap in descriptions of things they saw, equipment used on them, etc. Most people that do report it are embarrassed and many are very disturbed and emotional about what has happened to them. They don't usually want any publicity. People who this happens to repeatedly often just want it to stop happening. In other words, the great majority of cases aren't people seeking attention.

You may think that maybe this can all be mental phenomenon that perhaps people are genetically predisposed towards, but you'll have to look at the physical scarring that often occurs, the implant studies, the many cases that have had lots of witnesses, the cases where many people were abducted, etc.

A funny thing about this phenomenon is that it doesn't fit into any category very well. The more you study it the less sense any theory makes. People start proposing ideas like maybe these aren't physical beings but inter-dimensionals (whatever that means.) Some have noticed similarities between historical accounts of demon abduction and fairy abduction. Some people speculate on the motives of the beings. All we can really tell from studying this is that there is definitely some phenomenon occurring, it is extremely disturbing and embarrassing to the people that it happens to, it often has physical effects, and it we don't yet have any model that can explain it.

I know I'm not going to sway anyone's opinion with the little things I have time to write here. If you are willing to at least consider that something really is happening to people I suggest you find some books. Since the study of these things is not allowed to be discussed openly by scientists or at universities there are a lot of nuts that end up writing and lecturing about these topics. Many of them are the attention and money seeking people exploiting the phenomenon for their gains. Luckily there are some good people as well and some scientists that have risked their careers by exploring these things. It is hard to make suggestions as many authors have good and bad areas, but as an introduction I'd recommend Budd Hopkin's book "Missing Time."

I should point out. (3, Insightful)

zerospeaks (1467571) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834832)

"It's about time we looked into this as a worthy area of study." They did. And after millions of dollars and decades of research they concluded that it was a waste of time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Blue_Book [wikipedia.org]

Re:I should point out. (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835320)

It is worthy as a topic in a psychology or sociology class, but otherwise:
[profressor]: What is that in the sky? [student]: I don't know. [professor]: Very good! You get an 'A.'

Make it part of a broader class on self-deception (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31834992)

Others have suggested this would go well with a religion class, but I really wish everyone had a class at some point on why people are biased to believe dumb things because of our biological tendency to recognize patterns even if they're not there and how you can combat that tendency in yourself. Commercial advertising tactics would play a big part of this, as would religion/cult tactics, new age anything, 'audiophiles,' fan death, etc. UFOs fit right in.

Not saying that Unidentified Flying Objects don't exist (obviously they do), but rather what conclusions you choose to draw from that.

The one real UFO contact case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31835080)

I invite you all to begoin your FREE study of the only scientifically proven, still ongoing (more than 68 years!) UFO contact case, the Billy Meier case in Switzerland. If extraterrestrials are coming her ein UFOs, there has to be a reason for it. And the reason isn't to give us lights in the sky to chase, it's to help us assure our own future survival.

The scientific information in the Billy Meier UFO case is in itself so extraordinary, for its accuracy and for the fact that Meier has published it years, even DECADES, in advance of "official" discovery that I can't think of any university that wouldn't want its students, and teachers, to have an opportunity to learn about, and question, it thoroughly. And my presentations on the material have run as long as four hours; there's no shortage of it. For the knee-jerk naysayers, we've defeated every challenge from the top international professional skeptics. Check it out: www.theyfly.com

Michael Horn

so what's the matter with that... (1)

Jodka (520060) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835086)

The issue is poorly framed because she real sources of controversy are not whether "UFO studies" is taught but whether it is taught be skeptics or believers and whether it is publicly or privately funded.

For instance, your position might be to both endorse publicly-funded skepticism of alien encounters and to permit privately-funded teachings alien encounters. Then it is misleading to frame the issue as being for-or-against UFO education.

Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31835090)

At Temple University, since 1994, they had an UFO class taught by David Jacobs, Ph.D

.

A lot of credentialed people have crazy stories (2, Insightful)

frog_strat (852055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835114)

I think this topic demands some rigorous scientific study. You look at the number of govt / intelligence / military industrial people / astronauts coming out with these "I want to say this before I die" stories, and it makes one wonder. Either they are lying, crazy, or telling the truth. I find it hard to believe they are all lying or crazy.

Skip Michael Horn (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835238)

He's part of the problem. But here's the "Official UFO Quiz" to test yourself on what you do know. http://www.scribd.com/doc/13586254/The-Official-UFO-Quiz [scribd.com]

Michael Horn is a tireless, fast-talking promoter of Billy Meier who will argue with you endlessly trying to make you believe that the Billy Meier photographs are real. Actually, the pics have been proven fake many times. They've used garbage can lids, models, and props. They've lifted pictures from books--one of a dinosaur to 'prove' Billy traveled back in time. Besides being fake, it's about the silliest story you could ever read. If you want to make UFOs a laughingstock subject, this is the way to do it.

Horn can talk all he wants, but the fact is, he's flat out busted.

Why not (0)

turbotroll (1378271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835388)

After all, many universities already teach homeopathy and other forms of quackery and pseudoscience, so why not add ufology to the list?

Essential (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835436)

...in psychology and sociology courses. If they want to see crazyness and mass hysteria in action, is a perfect real world example. Probably would be useful in advertising related careers too. Why manipulate people when they can perfectly manipulate themselves?

Anyway, i would put it in the same course as religion, probably those kind of "wonders" are the kind of things that started most current religions, attribute what you cant recognize or understand as an act of gods, ghosts or aliens is cultural, next ones could be mutants, murphy fields, time machines or quantum entanglement.

Exercise in Futility (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 4 years ago | (#31835464)

If governments have not come to any solid conclusions over this long period of time, it is very unlikely a university course will have anything significant to contribute. Except a raging debate between the skeptics and the true believers.

I had a class on UFOs back in the late 70's (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31835518)

It was at Temple, and actually given under the History department. The prof was David Jacobs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Michael_Jacobs [wikipedia.org]

He seemed pretty reasonable back then. His position was that there was enough unexplainable stuff going on that something weird was happening that warranted further investigation.

From the Wikipedia page on him, it seems he's gone a little more extreme on the subject these days.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?