Belief in UFOs and extra-terrestrials is fast becoming the high tech religion for the new millenium. We are witnessing more and more reports of UFO sightings, hearing reports of abductions, and seeing many extreme and bizarre New Age UFO cults emerge.
Firstly, we will ask the question – Do UFOs actually exist, or are they just a fantasy, a product of the mind? Secondly – If they do exist then what exactly are they? Thirdly, we will ask – Who or what are behind them? And finally, I will go into detail as to what I personally feel about this subject, as a Christian, and will examine what I believe the Bible has to say on the matter.
Do UFOs actually exist?
So do UFOs actually exist? In the mind of those in the film industry there is no doubt to this question. UFOs and aliens exist on the big screen and small screen alike in such things as: Independence Day, The X Files, Dark Skies, Men in Black, Mars Attack, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And recently there is the renewed interest in the film Star Wars, even though it was originally shown about 20 years ago. Then there is everyone’s favourite Star Trek, where you can boldly go where no man has gone before and join Captain Kirk, and Spock and the crew to encounter a wide assortment of colourful life-forms in a Universe that is chock-a-block with alien life. Certainly, in the world of Science Fiction UFO’s not only exist, but are here to stay.
But what about reality? Do UFOs really exist? The modern UFO era began in 1947 when a man by the name of Kenneth Arnold witnessed 9 disk shaped objects flying at tremendous speeds over Washington. A reporter coined the phrase “Flying Saucer” and the phrase stuck. It appears that after Arnold’s sighting the flood gates opened and UFOs were appearing almost everywhere. And today, the sightings continue, as well as the interest in the subject. I can guarantee you that if you were to go into almost any newsagent’s today and take just a cursory glance at the publications on offer you would see magazines on UFOs and aliens.
But although there is a lot of current interest and alleged sightings, the phenomenon is by no means a new one. Throughout history strange objects and lights have appeared in the sky. The video ‘UFOs: The Hidden Truth’ makes these observations:
- 1500 years ago the ancient Egyptians recorded strange sights in the skies.
- Both Greek and Roman literature have references to ‘fiery shields’ in the sky.
- In the year 323 B.C. Alexander the great and his army were harassed by 2 unidentified flying objects. Most of the men fled, although some of the more courageous ones stood their ground and tried to fight them and hit them with their bow and arrows.
- In 1492, just hours before Christopher Columbus discovered land, it is recorded that he witnessed a bright flying object flying from the sky into the water and then exiting to return to the sky again.
In addition to the historical record there is also the testimony of many seemingly reliable witnesses. For example:
- Edmund Haley, of Haleys Comet fame, watched a light in the night sky that was so bright that it lit up the sky so brightly that he could even read a text by it.
- In WWII British aeroplanes flying over Germany encountered strange lights in the sky and thought that they were a new breed of enemy aircraft and nicknamed them ‘Foo Fighters’.
- American presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagen have spoken of seeing UFOs.
And the list goes on: astronauts, radar specialists, policemen, FBI agents. Are we really to believe that all these people are actually liars? I don’t think that it is really fair to say that all of these people are lying. However, about 90 percent of the reported sightings can be explained without seeing little green men around every corner. But we are still left with a percentage that remain as a mystery.
If they do exist then what exactly are they?
So, if they do exist, what exactly are they? Some, of course, are simply hoaxes, intentionally designed to deceive. For example: blots stuck on windows, then photographed, radio controlled objects, etc. Some are later identified as natural phenomenon Many of the mysterious sightings in the sky that people past ages have encountered can possibly be explained by such things as aurora’s, fireballs, flocks of birds. Probably one of the most notorious things to fall into this category is the planet Venus. Other sightings can be explained as airships, searchlights, and even laser-light shows at rock concerts. Military aircraft is another explanation. There is mounting evidence that new generations of remarkable military aircraft have been regularly misconceived as UFOs before the existence of their technology is officially confirmed. For example, reports of triangular UFOs in Belgium between 1989 and 1991 are now widely believed to have been operations by American stealth jets. This would also be confirmed by the fact that a lot of UFOs are sighted near secret military bases. However, there are a percentage which are simply unexplained.
Are they from outer space?
Many astronomers and physicists believe that UFOs and their occupants do not come from outer space. Extra-terrestrial believer’s assume that alien visitors can travel through space at the speed of light. But in more recent years many scientists and ufologists alike have recognised that there are problems with this theory.
‘The Hidden Truth’ notes the following: First, there is the problem of time. What if we suppose that UFOs come from some distant star in our own Galaxy? Travelling from the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, which is 25 trillion miles from the earth, in terms of the speed of light, it would take more than four years and three months to travel from this star to the earth. Travelling from a nearby star system at more realistic speeds than the speed of light, say the speeds that our own space rockets travel if UFOs were to travel 1 million miles a day it would take them 70, 000 years to travel to earth. And that’s only from a nearby star system. Other stars are thousands of times further out in space. Then there is the question of energy. It is estimated that a space ship, carrying ten people, and travelling 5 light years to and from a nearby star system at 70% of the speed of light would consume 500, 000 times the amount of energy consumed in the U. S. in one year!
There is also another difficulty with the idea of space travel nearing light speed. Outer space is not an empty waste. The fact is that throughout space there is debris scattered everywhere in the form of cosmic gas, dust and particles. Any spacecraft would encounter them, and at low speeds brush them harmlessly aside. But at near light speed, it will smash into them with devastating results. Even leading UFO authorities themselves recognise the difficulty with space travel. The British journal ‘ Flying Saucer Review’ is widely recognised as the leading UFO publication world-wide but an official statement by its editor Gordon Crayne is very revealing: “There seems to be no evidence yet that any of these craft or beings originate from outer space.” And respected UFO investigator, Arthur C. Clarke has stated: “One theory which can no longer be taken very seriously is that UFOs are interstellar spaceships.” (Arthur C. Clarke, New York Times Book Review, 07/27/75).
So if it is unlikely that these things are from outer space, then where exactly do they come from? Dr J. Allen Hynek who until his death, was the world’s leading authority on UFOs eventually abandoned the idea that these craft were of a tangible quality as we would understand it, calling it “the nuts and bolts theory”. In 1976 he said: “There are just too many things going against this theory. To me, it seems ridiculous that super intelligence would travel great distances to do relatively stupid things like stop cars, collect soil samples, and frighten people.” (Jacques Vallee, Revelations, p. 290). After 30 years of serious UFO research, Hynek finally adopted the theory that UFOs are from another dimension, or a parallel reality (Bob Larson, UFOs and the Alien Agenda, p. 93).
Who or what are the beings that are behind them?
So, aside from the objects in the sky that can be explained, who, or what, are behind the proportion of these strange objects in the sky that remain unidentifiable? Many people these days claim to have actually met the beings that are behind them; and n most cases people say they have been taken against their will. These days, when the word ‘Abducted’ is mentioned a lot of people instantly think of ‘Alien Abduction’. The most common and notorious offender in abduction cases, is popularly referred to as ‘the grey’. In fact, it has been said that alleged abductions are so common place in America that it has been said that if you ever see a UFO the chances are that it is either coming from or going to an abduction!
As we have seen, records of lights in the sky can be traced back thousands of years but talk of alien abductions appears to be very much a product of the modern age. The earliest recorded abductions come from around the 1950’s but it appears that it was during the 1980’s that reports of such things seem to have really ‘took off’ (if you will excuse the pun!).
But even before the spate of alleged abductions occurred, between 1945 and 1947 the US science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, which enjoyed widespread popularity, had fictional aliens who were kidnapping humans in much the same way as the stories that were to come later and be presented as fact.
Under hypnosis people recount terrifying experiences of alien abduction. But it should be noted that the practice of hypnosis is highly controversial. In this form of regression therapy, the patient reveals what they subjectively believe to be true, not necessarily objective truth itself. Even experts in the UFO field will admit that hypnosis is an unreliable and controversial practice in these matters. The question also has to be asked, how much can a person who is under hypnosis be influenced by the person who is asking the questions? Most people these days have a pretty good idea impressed upon them by the many stories of alien abduction that circulate. So it would be relatively easy for people to already have images of what they believe alien abduction to be in their minds already. So this can account for some of the abduction stories that we hear about.
Another explanation (which can also account for some of the UFO sightings as well) is that some people are simply lying. This should not surprise us. The Bible speaks of people who will come and exploit others with stories that they have made up (2 Pet. 2.3). And these days anyone can come along and claim to have been abducted and it is hardly questioned. In a society where people have been indoctrinated by the X-Files and similar programmes, people will believe anyone who has an extraterrestrial story.
A Christian Evaluation: The Occult Connection
Nevertheless, we cannot explain all of the encounters that people have as being hatched on a hypnotists couch or deliberate lies. As a Christian, I believe that much of the unexplained phenomenon that appears, along with alien abductions does have an intelligence behind it, but it does not originate from other worlds. As was pointed out earlier, some experts have suggested that some of the things that we hear about could possibly be from another dimension. When we start talking like this it is very easy to like a link with spiritual things. Christians have long spoken about another realm of existence running along side our own world. This spiritual dimension helps to explain the uncanny ability for UFOs and aliens to suddenly appear and disappear. The Bible goes into great depth about the spiritual world, and as well as revealing God to humanity, it also speaks of the enemies of the human race, Satan and demons. These are spiritual, and intelligent beings who are in opposition to God and humanity, and to seek to draw people away from God and the salvation He offers in Jesus Christ. I believe that the demonic and occultic aspect is clearly evident in this subject when we examine the following connections:
- Obsession, which sometimes leads to individuals damaging themselves. Remember the Heaven’s Gate cult?
- Spiritualist type groups and ‘Channeller’s’ who give similar messages as those who profess to receive messages from the dead, but rather than professing to be departed human beings the impression is made that messages from space beings are being received and given instead. The Bible absolutely condemns all contact with such spirit beings and identifies them as ‘familiar spirits’, in other words spirits who have extraordinary supernatural knowledge. Interestingly, in more recent years, New Age Channellers have taken to not only giving messages from aliens, but also channelling images of them as well.
- The nauseating stench which abductees often speak of. This appears to be a similar smell which those who have come into contact with demons also speak of smelling.
- The spiritual dimension is further seen in the many instances were people have ‘out of the body type experiences’ and ‘altered states of consciousness’ as in occultic practices.
- Many of the philosophies and practices that the ‘aliens’ promote and encourage people to get involved in have long been understood as belonging to the realm of the occult. Things such as telepathy, levitation, meditation, hypnosis, reincarnation and the teaching that human beings are god’s. Despite what some may think today, all of these beliefs and practices actually stand in opposition to biblical Christianity.
- Often those who have had experiences with aliens suffer from severe personality disorders akin to what the Bible would describe as “demon possession”.
- Many abduction accounts describe horrifying acts of evil being inflicted on abductees. Things such as physical and mental abuse, torture and rape often seem to accompany the experience.
- Another common, and very revealing, theme that would suggest occultic activity is also seen in the type of messages given from those who claim to have had alien encounters. Often the messages, that are past on from the aliens to abductees and those who profess to channel messages, are anti-Christ in their content and attempt to lower the person of Jesus Christ.
It is also worth considering the implicit biblical connection between evil spirits and UFO related phenomena:
- Satan is described as an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14).
- Jesus said of him: “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning” (Luke 10:18).
- Before he was cast out of heaven Satan’s name was ‘Lucifer’ which means ‘light bearer’ or ‘shining one'(Isa. 14:12).
Activity in the sky
- Satan is described as the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2).
- The Bible warns us to be on our guard against “spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
- The Bible also warns that the coming of the Anti-Christ will be in “accordance with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders.” (2 Thess. 2:1-12; Rev. 13:11-14).
The Bible tells us that the reason that Jesus came into the world was to destroy the works of the evil one: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:7).
Reality and certainty in Jesus Christ
In the blockbuster science fiction film Independence Day, as a 15 mile wide long UFO hovers over the whitehouse, the American president says: “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe has finally been answered”. The truth is that we are not alone in the Universe, but this wasn’t discovered on Independence Day. No, the question of whether we are alone in the universe or not was answered 2000 years ago, on Christmas day, when God Himself came to earth in the historical Person of Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us that it is our sin that separates us from God and that everyone of us have sinned (Romans 3:23). But “…God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Christ came and died on a cross to take the punishment for our sins. He came to this earth and took on the flesh of a man in the greatest act of self humiliation that the world has ever seen, something that no alien would do, or indeed could do. After is death on the cross Jesus rose again and conquered death to give us a hope for eternity beyond the grave. It is no use waiting for “extraterrestrial saviours” to come and save us because it is just not going to happen (as we have seen, the beings that masquerade as aliens are more interested in tormenting humanity). But you can have an assurance with God today and your sins can be forgiven if you will turn to Him, through Christ, in repentance today. Salvation is not something you earn, it is the free gift of God received by simple trust and acceptance in the Person of Jesus Christ. And He not only wants to give you confidence in the next life, but also an abundant life in the here and now. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), and “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
In summary and conclusion: About 90 % of the UFO and alien phenomena can be easily explained, a fact that knowledgeable UFO believers themselves will freely acknowledge (For eg. Nick Pope holds this view). The percentage that cannot be explained in natural terms, I feel, as a Christian, that there is unquestionably some sort of connection with the world of the occult. All the evidence seems to suggest this. I believe that Satan, the great deceiver of humanity, is bringing fourth a mass deception and is using the idea of UFOs to lead people away from the hope that God offers in Jesus Christ.
Even if actual extraterrestrial life existed somewhere in the Universe this would not be a threat to Christians, as some have suggested. Rather, it would reveal more of the creativity of the God they serve. Such life need not even be ‘intelligent’ life either. But even if other intelligent beings did exist, would it really deliver the answers to such problems as loneliness, purpose, identity, fear and death? In contrast, relationship with God, in Christ, does and has been proven to work in the lives of countless millions throughout the ages.