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If you have not yet had the privilege of reading Barry Downing's book The Bible and Flying Saucers, then here is a chance to get a sneak preview of the issues that Dr. Barry Downing has labored for 40 years to provide to all that will take the time to understand one of the greatest enigmas of the ages,,,the following is just a sample of the skillful and scholarly approach to UFOs and the bible.

Jim Cunningham

 Jim Cunningham

 

 The Bible and Flying Saucers by Barry Downing (Intro)

 

photo
Dr. Barry H. Downing

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE MARLOWE EDITION

 It has been more than a quarter of a century since The Bible and Flying Saucers was first published.
The year 1997 marks the 50th anniversary of the "discov­ery" of flying saucers, what the Bible would call the Jubilee year, the year of liberation. On June 24, 1947, civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold spotted 9 UFOs from his plane while flying over the Cascade Mountains in the state of Washington. He later described the flight of the UFOs as looking "like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water." From this descrip­tion came the term "flying saucer."
  It has been difficult for the public to come to believe that UFOs are a scientific problem, and even more difficult to begin to ask the question: Are UFOs also a religious prob­lem, and if so, what kind of problem?
 Why has it been so difficult for humans to deal with UFOs? The standard answer, from the American government and many scientists, is that UFOs are difficult because they don't really exist. At least, they do not exist as visitors from outer space. They may be weather balloons, or swamp gas, or Venus, or ball lightning—natural phenomena which the average per­son finds difficult to identify by sight.
But, so the orthodox view goes, the popular press and TV programs have fed our space age mentality with the idea that UFOs are visitors from outer space, and so we have created the modern UFO myth.    A person out driving at night sees Venus, and calls in a UFO sighting. It happens. Serious UFO researchers know that many UFO sightings turn out to have conventional explanations.
But there are many sightings—the Arnold sighting being an example—which are not so easily explained away. Arnold saw 9 UFOs flying in formation, at an estimated speed in excess of 1600 miles per hour. Weather balloons, swamp gas, Venus and ball lighting do not provide a satisfactory explanation for this sighting, and for thousands of other sightings throughout the world.
Suppose that UFOs really do exist, as some kind of intel­ligent reality from another world. Why is it that 50 years later we still do not understand this reality? There are at least two important answers to this question: 1) The UFO re­ality does not want to be understood, at least, not on our sci­entific terms, and 2) the United States government, and other governments of the world, know UFOs are there, but are confused and frightened enough by whatever it is that UFOs are, that it seems to be wise political policy to lie to the public.

UFOs, the government and science

That our government has lied to us about UFOs has been argued almost from the beginning. When I first published The Bible and Flying Saucers in 1968, writers such as Donald Keyhoe and Frank Edwards were sure our government was lying about UFOs. Serious UFOs researchers such as Dr. Jacques Vallee have sometimes argued that the government is not so much guilty of a "cover-up as a foul-up," but I think the evidence in favor of cover-up is compelling.
UFO researchers such as Lawrence Fawcett and Barry Greenwood ran the "Freedom of Information Act Maze," writing to the correct address, naming documents correctly, to produce their book of formerly classified government UFO documents Clear Intent: The Government Coverup of the UFO Experience (1984). Fawcett and Greenwood were so successful in gaining UFO information this way, that our gov­ernment asked for, and received, a court order to block the re­lease of many documents in the name of national security. Exactly how are UFOs a national security issue? Who are the bad guys out there now? Why shouldn't we be told more? At this point, I know of no certain answers.
We do not know what our government knows, we just know they know more than they are telling. Some UFO researchers, such as Stanton T. Friedman and Don Berliner, in their book Crash at Corona: The U. S. Military Retrieval and Cover-up of a UFO (1992), argue that our government has in its possession one or more crashed UFOs, and probably the bodies of the begin to ask the question: Are UFOs also a religious prob­lem, and if so, what kind of problem?

 Why has it been so difficult for humans to deal with UFOs? The standard answer, from the American government and many scientists, is that UFOs are difficult because they don't really exist. At least, they do not exist as visitors from outer space. They may be weather balloons, or swamp gas, or Venus, or ball lightning—natural phenomena which the average per­son finds difficult to identify by sight.
But, so the orthodox view goes, the popular press and TV programs have fed our space age mentality with the idea that UFOs are visitors from outer space, and so we have created the modern UFO myth. A person out driving at night sees Venus, and calls in a UFO sighting. It happens. Serious UFO researchers know that many UFO sightings turn out to have conventional explanations.
But there are many sightings—the Arnold sighting being an example—which are not so easily explained away. Arnold saw 9 UFOs flying in formation, at an estimated speed in excess of 1600 miles per hour. Weather balloons, swamp gas, Venus and ball lighting do not provide a satisfactory explanation for this sighting, and for thousands of other sightings throughout the world.
Suppose that UFOs really do exist, as some kind of intel­ligent reality from another world. Why is it that 50 years later we still do not understand this reality? There are at least two important answers to this question: 1) The UFO re­ality does not want to be understood, at least, not on our sci­entific terms, and 2) the United States government, and other governments of the world, know UFOs are there, but are confused and frightened enough by whatever it is that over us the way we used to believe the angels of God con­trolled and directed human destiny.

  Of course, I wonder more than that. I wonder if what we now call the UFO reality, and what the Bible calls the angels of God, are not the same reality. If this is true, then we hu­mans have a lot of thinking to do: thinking about God, about the nature and destiny of the human race, about the relation of the UFO reality to all that humanity has been, and will be. In fact, in a universe that scientists believe is well in excess of 15 billion years old, we have to wonder how biological life on earth "evolved," if it evolved. Or has the development of life on earth as we know it been directed? Is the earth the labo­ratory of some kind of Higher Reality? This would mean that life on earth is not the result of "pure evolution," as many sci­entists have argued from Darwin to the present. Nor does the biblical story of creation in Genesis tell us the whole story.
  For more than twenty years I have been an advisor in the­ology to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), of Seguin, Texas, directed by Walter H. Andrus, Jr. I also serve on the board of directors of the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR), of Washington, D.C., chaired by Richard Hall. These inde­pendent UFO groups have approached UFOs with the stan­dards of scientific research guiding the process—gather evidence, build a thesis, let others test your results. As a the­ologian I have been invited to be part of this scientific process because it is obvious to most scientific UFO researchers that there are several religious dimensions to the UFO problem.
  What are the religious dimensions to the UFO problem? More than 400 years ago, the Roman Catholic Church labeled Galileo a heretic for suggesting that the earth rotated around the sun. Recently, Vatican leaders have wondered if we were to meet aliens from another world, would we have to baptize them? Religion and science have been in this kind of tension for hundreds of years. The space age, and stories of UFOs, have raised many new questions for religion, and not just Judeo-Christian religion. It has also raised questions for Hin­duism, as Dr. Richard Thompson has well illustrated in his book Alien Identities (1993).

  In March of 1977 I published an article in Ancient Astro­nauts magazine entitled "UFOS and Religion: Were the An­cient Astronauts Mistaken for Gods?" In this article I suggested that even within the Judeo-Christian tradition, my tradition, there are several interpretations of the religious di­mension to UFOs. UFOs may be 1) a modern religious myth, 2) perhaps ancient astronauts landed and primitive people mistook them for angels or gods, 3) UFOs are messengers of a New Age higher truth, and are moving humanity toward a Utopian world, preparing to welcome us as space brothers and sisters, 4) UFOs are demonic, and 5) UFOs are angels from the God of the universe.

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1. 07-11-2008 12:29

a "higher" kind of nature
I find it amusing when scientists say the supernatural does not exist. They also tell us that 90 percent of the universe is made of dark matter, which we cannot detect but somehow is a "higher" kind of nature. The implication is that everything has a natural explanation, once we figure it out. Perhaps angels use nature itself as their advanced technology. Scientists think we can improve on nature, but how true is that? Medicine seems to work so well only because we have already worsened nature by abusing the enviroment and creating epidemics wars and accidents.
Registered
PeterK

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