Interview-Alternate Perceptions Magazine, June 2015
An Interview with:
Robert Davis, Ph.D,
Author of The UFO Phenomenon: Should I Believe?
by: Brent Raynes
Robert Davis, Ph.D is an internationally recognized scientist in his field, and served as a professor at the State University of New York for over 30 years. He graduated with a B.A. and M.A. from the City University of New York and with a Ph.D in Hearing Science and Audiology from The Ohio State University. Dr. Davis has published over 40 articles in scholarly journals and several book chapters on various topics in clinical audiology, the effects of noise on hearing, and auditory neuroscience. He has also lectured on these topics at national and international conferences and was awarded several major grants to fund research in the hearing sciences.
His research and investigation into the UFO phenomenon convinced him that the phenomenon remains unresolved, is a source of considerable debate among millions worldwide, and is a very important concern unfortunately ignored by the general scientific community. He advocates for the need to advance our understanding of the phenomenon through the development of a governance structure to provide the necessary leadership, direction, and related resource support, both human and fiscal, for a multidisciplinary team of leading scholars to study the phenomenon.
Dr. Davis has written a book on the UFO phenomenon, entitled The UFO Phenomenon: Should I Believe?
Brent Raynes: It's great to see a person with a Ph.D joining the ranks of people taking a serious interest in the UFO enigma. Sadly most scientists tend to ignore this subject. As a scientist who does take a serious interest in this matter, what would you like to say to those who don't?
Robert Davis: For decades, we have debated the meaning of extraordinary anecdotal evidence such as this. That is, is this an illusion, advanced military technology, or a craft governed by non-human intelligence (NHI) from another star system or space-time? Does compelling witness testimony and other forms of UFO evidence, as bizarre as it seems, suggest that the phenomenon is an important concern serious enough to warrant greater consideration by the scientific and political community? I believe so! Rationale to justify heightened concern and the need for an organized multidisciplinary scientific effort to rigorously study the UFO phenomenon includes: 1) the similarity of UFO experiences by credible witnesses worldwide, 2) simultaneous radar and visual sightings, 3) multiple witness sightings, 4) declassified government/military UFO documents, 5) inexplicable aerial maneuvers, 6) compelling commercial and military pilot testimony of UFO encounters, and 7) reported activation and deactivation of nuclear missiles at missile sites in the U.S. and Russia.
If I believe that the UFO phenomenon is governed by NHI from another solar system or space-time, am I using scientific or pseudoscientific thinking? If I concur with this conclusion, in the absence of a scientific based analysis of the evidence, it would be inconsistent with the scientific method and reflect a pseudoscientific interpretation. That is, a pseudoscientific approach, characterized by the use of contradictory and uncorroborated beliefs and claims, may bias our interpretation of evidence which may lead to erroneous conclusions. To the skeptic exposed to only anecdotal UFO evidence, an informed conclusion cannot be reached with sufficient confidence without experimental analysis and verification of tangible evidence. So should we adopt a skeptical approach to the subject given the numerous compelling accounts of UFO sightings and incidents?
The UFO skeptics are firmly entrenched in the belief that the phenomenon can be explained in several ways: 1) natural phenomena such as meteors, atmospheric, etc. 2) psychological, as manifested by confabulation, hoaxes, the psycho-cultural hypothesis, hallucinations, and mental disorders, and 3) physical objects in the form of satellites, advanced technology, weather balloons, and space debris. Can these reasons account for all UFO sightings? Maybe they can, but part of me can’t ignore the remote possibility that some UFOs are operated by an NHI intelligence. But while this emotional based thought may lead to erroneous conclusions, critical thinking should prevail before one firmly believes that a reported UFO incident such as Roswell N.M (1947), the Phoenix Lights (1997), Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England (1980), Washington D.C. (1952), among others, provides indisputable evidence that NHI from another solar system or dimension (space/time) has visited Earth. It is difficult to ignore these extraordinary albeit controversial incidents, and the authenticity of compelling accounts by experienced military pilots and personnel, government officials, and astronauts, who have officially disclosed their UFO encounters through The Disclosure Project, and/or The Citizens Hearing for UFO Disclosure to members of congress, among other forums and UFO research investigations. Such testimony is hard to firmly discredit as examples of confabulation, confirmation bias, or just plain delusions. And while they help to support the notion that UFOs may be physical craft from somewhere other than Earth, we cannot be certain that strange moving objects in the sky represent a visitation from another solar system, dimension, or a natural and/or manmade phenomenon, among other possible, yet to be discovered phenomena.
Brent Raynes: While well over ninety some odd percent of UFO sighting reports turn out to have natural, normal explanation, what of the remaining unidentified percent most intrigues you?
Robert Davis: A few related UFO incidents which intrigue me most pertain to the activation and deactivation of nuclear missiles at military bases in the US and Russia. For instance, a remarkable incident similar took place at a nuclear missile site in the Ukraine in October 1982. A tremendous flying disc activated several nuclear missiles, which were ready to launch. George Knapp, an investigative reporter secured documents that revealed the Soviet Ministry of Defense acknowledged the object hovered for two hours at a height which prevented attack from planes or missiles. The activated missiles went into “countdown mode” despite the fact, according to the Minister of Defense, that nobody entered the launch code sequence needed for takeoff. After 15 seconds, the missiles deactivated. Following the incident, Major Mikhail Kataman, a guidance system expert, officially stated for the record that the missiles’ security systems were disabled by a “powerful electromagnetic pulse.” A similar incident occurred in a Minot Air Force base incident in the U.S in which several missiles were “activated” and then “deactivated” by a UFO. Additionally, in August 1973, the test launch of a Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenburg Air Force base was closely monitored by a UFO on radar and tracked at an altitude of around 400,000 feet as it hovered close to the missile’s nose cone. The object, estimated to be ten feet high and forty feet long, was tracked by two separate radar systems which also picked up at least three other unknown objects in that area. Radar picked up an inverted saucer-shaped object to the right and above the descending nose cone and watched it across the warhead's trajectory to a point which was below and to the left of it.
Another incredible UFO encounter, considered to be one the most significant incidents, the crew of an F-4 jet was chased by a UFO that moved at incredible speeds and disabled the plane's instrumentation. One of the pilots, Yaddi Nazeri, estimated the UFO velocity at 2-3,000 mph. At a Washington D.C. press conference on November 12, 2007, sponsored by the Disclosure Project, Jafari said that the main object released four objects, one he tried unsuccessfully to fire on, another followed him back, and one landed on the desert floor. Details of this UFO incident may be found in the Chapter: UFO Evidence. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency provided an evaluation of this event:
This case is a classic which meets all the criteria necessary for a valid study of the UFO phenomenon: a) the object was seen by multiple witnesses from different locations ... and viewpoints, b) the credibility of many of the witnesses was high (an Air Force general, qualified air crews, and experienced radar operators), c) visual sightings were confirmed by radar, d) similar electromagnetic effects were reported by three separate aircraft, e) there were physiological effects on some crew members (i.e. loss of night vision due to the brightness of the object), and f) an inordinate amount of maneuverability was displayed by the UFOs.
Brent Raynes: What drew your interest to this controversial mystery? Did you perhaps have your own encounter?
Robert Davis: As a research scientist, I find the unexplained intriguing, and for some unknown reason the UFO phenomenon has stimulated my interest since childhood. Maybe this connection evolved from the “flying saucer” hype and Star Trek episodes back in the 60’s. I believe this phenomenon presents unique topics of debate, hypotheses to test, and research challenges that once adequately addressed may have potentially important implications for science and society. The motivation to write my book entitled: The UFO Phenomenon: Should I Believe?, which may be found on Amazon, evolved after witnessing two orange orbs in the night sky in Sedona, Arizona, back in 2012. One orb moved from behind another, and after remaining stationary for several minutes, and then each disappeared. It is difficult to say with certainty if these orbs were governed by a natural weather incident or to the remote possibility of non-human intelligence. Regardless of the nature of such orbs, commonly observed worldwide, it more than caught my attention and intrigue which compelled me to research the issue and write this book.
Brent Raynes: Is there any certain theory or explanation that you feel particularly drawn to?
Robert Davis: A paradox exists when we evaluate the evidence of the UFO phenomena which, if true, suggests UFOs are capable of mitigating gravity and inertia, and of modifying space-time. An alternative explanation is that we may be dealing with an unknown phenomenon capable of producing these bizarre events in people’s minds, or both. While it would be a giant leap to claim to know the nature of the phenomenon, as many ufologists contend they do, the answer will evolve from the work by researchers who study the source of reported cases of the UFO phenomena and “high strangeness.” Until the nature and origin of the phenomenon is established (if ever), hypotheses will continue to be proposed to explain such reports, but will remain only as hypotheses associated with probabilities, until an organized UFO study is begun to more seriously investigate the phenomenon using several multidisciplinary based research approaches.
Although the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) has remained the predominant explanation for UFOs, some UFO researchers have abandoned it in favor of the extra-dimension hypothesis (EDH) which implies that beings coexist with us in a parallel reality. I believe that one possible “strange” hypothesis include parallel universes, or other time-like dimensions beyond the space-time reality we ascribe to, or could the strangeness of their behavior be explained on the basis of differences between the time-space continuum of UFOs and us? Thus, I have been leaning towards the possibility that the phenomena may be explained by the EDH. Some tentative opinions and evidence to support the EDH is addressed below:
Within the abstract field of quantum physics, the branch of physics dealing with physical phenomena at microscopic levels, the controversial existence of alternate realities has been promoted as a possible explanation for the UFO phenomena. Though theoretical in nature, the EDH may help explain the accounts of missing time and time distortion among other forms of “high strangeness” often experienced in a close UFO encounter.
Based on his experiences investigating hundreds of UFO reports as a scientific adviser to several studies undertaken by the U.S. Air Force to scientifically analyze UFO-related events, a leading astrophysicist Dr. J. Allen Hynek was in a unique position to provide keen insights of the ETH and EDH. According to Hynek, there is “sufficient evidence to defend both the ETH and EDH hypothesis.” Evidence for the ETH include radar and physical-trace cases, while evidence to support the EDH included the aspect of “materialization and dematerialization,” “telepathic communication,” the “kinematic behavior of UFOs,” “levitation of cars or persons,” and the “development by some of psychic abilities after an encounter.” Further, in a paper presented to the Joint Symposium of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Hynek wrote: I ask you to explain – quantitatively, not qualitatively – the reported phenomena of materialization and dematerialization, of shape changes, of the noiseless hovering in the Earth's gravitational field, accelerations that – for an appreciable mass – require energy sources far beyond present capabilities – even theoretical capabilities, the well-known and often reported electro-magnetic interference effect, the psychic effects on percipients, including purported telepathic communications. Additionally, Hynek stated, I hold it entirely possible that a technology exists that encompasses both the physical and the psychic, the material and the mental.
Some have accepted the EDH, as an alternative to the ETH, since an anti-gravity or speed-of-light travel required as part of the ETH, seem implausible. The EDH may also be more suitable to some since it circumvents the debatable issue pertaining to the necessary use of propulsion as the EDH holds that UFOs are devices that travel between different realities or parallel universes. According to principles in theoretical physics, a parallel universe or different dimension can be manifested via traversable wormholes that connect two different universes, having two different locations, times, and dimensions. In other words, an alternate reality may coexist with our own. A few physicists have speculated that the shape-shifting UFOs may represent the energy change occurring around the UFO as it moves between dimensions. For example, a 3-dimension cross section of a 4-dimension tube would appear spherical. That is, it would appear as a different shape in our three dimensional space as it moved. Related to this concept is the “multiverse” theory which attempts to resolve a mathematical contradiction between two theories in physics: quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity. Leading theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking, in his book, The Grand Design, proposed that one can have different “universes” in one ultimate existence, a “multiverse.” This theory proposes that the universe can be explained in terms of very small strings that vibrate in invisible dimensions. According to physicist Dr. B. Green, "there are a couple of multiverses that come out of our study of string theory, i.e., there are many entities allowed for by the theory.” This implies that we may be “living in one dimension while other surfaces with other beings on it exist out in space.” Could this theory, or an alternative theory that explains the existence of the “multiverse,” explain the physical force responsible for causing and regulating the UFO phenomenon? Therefore, I believe that one possible “strange” hypothesis include parallel universes, or other time-like dimensions beyond the space-time reality we ascribe to, or could the strangeness of their behavior be explained on the basis of differences between the time-space continuum of UFOs and us?
Additionally, Dr. John Mack, a leading psychiatrist at Harvard University and recipient of the Nobel prize, who was initially skeptical of the alien abduction phenomenon (AAP) eventually believed it to be a real event. Based on research with 200 abductees, Mack addressed themes of spirituality and modern worldviews as the foundation of the AAP and concluded that the AAP was valid, but not directly related to the physical universe. He stated: It belonged to the spiritual realm: a different plane of reality, accessible only through a widening of conscious perception. There was nothing to suggest that their stories were delusional, a misinterpretation of dreams, or the product of fantasy. None of them seemed like people who would concoct a strange story for some personal purpose.