Interview-Alternate Perceptions Magazine, June 2016
An Interview with:
Dr. Robert Davis on UFOs, quantum physics, the paranormal, and the Near-Death Experience
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 Neuroscience 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 neuroscience.
Brent Raynes: Bob, it's always a pleasure to chat with you. Last year, we did an interview following the publication of your book, The UFO Phenomenon: Should I Believe? Needless to say, you do believe, and a few years ago you even had your own sighting out at Arizona's famous UFO "vortex" in Sedona. This is not what some people expect to hear from someone who has a Ph.D in neuroscience. What is your response to those skeptics?
Bob Davis: First off, thank you for inviting me to be interviewed and for your valuable extensive contributions to the study of this most intriguing phenomenon.
Skepticism is healthy. And, in fact, my position on the UFO phenomenon is that of an agnostic. That is, based on a thorough and objective analysis of the UFO evidence, I am unable to firmly commit to a belief in either the existence or the nonexistence of intelligently controlled UFOs of non-earthly origin. I simply do not know. I am certain, however, that highly unusual aerial events have occurred that are very difficult to explain. That is, this phenomenon is real. And this position does not exclude the possibility that some unexplained UFOs are operated by a form of intelligence from somewhere other than Earth. It simply means that my scientific based education and professional background has trained me to form conclusions based on studies using established scientific protocol and verified by different independent research investigations. However, if skeptics conduct an extensive review and analysis of the UFO evidence, it would be difficult to dismiss the overwhelming credible evidence that UFOs are real. However, the questions related to the “who”, “what” and “why” of the phenomenon remain unanswered. This aspect of the phenomenon is what I am skeptical of since I do not have the answers, and as far as I’m concerned, no one does. Be skeptical but maintain an open-mind to all possibilities.
Brent Raynes: In recent weeks, I discovered that you're on the Board of Directors and part of the Research Team of the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters (FREE). This is most noteworthy to me as not only are you involved in the research and investigation of credible seeming physical type encounters with apparent advanced alien craft of unknown origin, but now you're seriously looking into experiencers who are sharing claims of encounters with non-human beings! And not only that, but these encounters are described as manifesting on a variety of different levels of reality, from physical, apparitional, paranormal, visionary, out-of-body, or what have you. It's a most complex, controversial, perplexing and challenging area of exploration. You and others on the board are even seriously examining this evidence in terms of the quantum holographic theory of consciousness, comparing also these experiences to spiritual transformational events and near-death experiences. In fact, you're even working on a book, due out sometime in 2017, looking into the evidence and possible science behind the NDE.
How did you become personally involved in such a deeply controversial issue?
Bob Davis: I have always been interested in the UFO phenomenon. And when I observed 2 orange orbs in the night sky in Sedona, AZ in 2012, I became motivated to write a book on the UFO phenomenon (my website is: theufophenomenon.com) which addresses this book and my upcoming book on life after death, which will be published (Schiffer Publishing) early next year.
After appearing on numerous shows discussing the UFO phenomenon, members of FREE invited me to join their organization. Since then, I have researched aspects of the phenomenon which seem to link UFOs with consciousness which may be explained by theories of quantum physics. My research in UFOs led me to my new book on life after death. Like UFOs, immortality is a highly mysterious concept which also addresses aspects of consciousness and quantum physics. Thus there is a common thread to both UFOs and life after death. In fact, while many consider death the definitive end, there exists controversial anecdotal, theoretical, and experimental evidence to suggest otherwise. This controversial and tenuous evidence exists in the form of NDEs, past life recall, studies in consciousness and physics, apparitional experiences, and ESP and non-locality, among others. These areas of study drive my instinctive sense of curiosity, and UFOs and life after death are as mystifying as it gets. And since quantum physics tells us that we must consider consciousness to understand the nature of reality, and that a higher information field of consciousness in the universe exists, I find myself left wondering how such concepts may serve as a foundation to explain the possibility of life after death and UFOs. Theories in quantum physics, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, which attempt to explain aspects of consciousness will certainly be refined as scientific principles of the brain, consciousness, and physical universe evolve. And I want to be along for the ride and to possibly contribute towards our search to better understand the UFO and immortality issues.
Brent Raynes: What is FREE up to, what is your role, and what does FREE hope to accomplish?
Bob Davis: FREE has provided a working environment for scientists, lay investigators, and first-hand experiencers of non-human contact to enter into collaboration and to foster ongoing conversation between diverse parties addressing some of the most profound, but often unacknowledged mysteries that confront human society today. FREE has 11 academic professors, scientists and researchers undertaking the first ever long term comprehensive research study on the UFO related Contact Phenomena-- The FREE Experiencer Research Study. Our research study focuses on individuals who have had any type of UFO related “Contact” with a “Non-Human Intelligent Being”. No one has ever attempted this type of academic research study. Our study is comprised of 2 quantitative surveys totaling 600 questions, written responses to 60 open ended questions, and a structured comprehensive interview. We have received over 2,000 responses to our surveys. The objective of our study is, for the first time, to have extensive statistical and cross tabulated data and qualitative data on the phenomena of UFO related Contact. We expect to complete various peer reviewed academic publications and books by the Spring of 2017. All of our summary data is available to the public on our FREE website, EXPERIENCER.ORG
Members of FREE firmly believe that all of the various “Contact Modalties” (ET Contact, NDEs, OBEs, Spirit World Contact, Channeling, Shamanic Journeys, Mystical Meditations, Remote Viewing, etc) are interrelated under a new and undisclosed “Physics of Consciousness”, quite possibly Dr. Edgar Mitchell’s version of the Quantum Hologram Theory of Consciousness. FREE is initiating comparative studies among these various “modalities of contact” and we are comparing and contrasting individuals that have had contact experiences with non-human intelligence via these diverse modalities of contact. Using both quantitative and qualitative research approaches with those who claim to have had contact with non- humans beings, we hope to better understand the nature which governs and regulates this phenomenon.
FREE is also focused on providing a series of support programs for Experiencers of UFO related contact which for many can be very traumatic. Thus FREE plans to establish several Education Programs which include the FREE Website, Out of the Closet Experiencer Videos, Educational Workshop Roundtable Videos, International Experiencer Conference, “Awakening to Contact” TV Show and a FREE College Lecture Series:
I serve on the FREE Board of Directors, and Research Team. Thus my role is to help provide leadership in the areas of governance and experimental studies in the UFO related Contact Phenomena
Brent Raynes: In this program, are there certain key areas that you perhaps feel most drawn to in this comprehensive data gathering process that's being undertaken?
Bob Davis: The aspect of reported positive behavioral transformations by those who experience contact is most intriguing. Over 70% of the respondents claim to become more: 1) sensitive to the needs of others, 2) spiritual, 3) environmentally conscious, 4) psychic, and 5) understanding of everything, among other positive changes. I am very curious as to the reason(s) for such pronounced changes in perspectives, and beliefs. I am also interested in the mode of communication (telepathy) used by non-humans often reported as part of their experience. Researching these components may further our understanding of consciousness and the principles which govern our physical universe. Such findings may have significant implications on both an individual and societal level.
Brent Raynes: Do you have your own personal pet theory that seems to perhaps more strongly than others draw you in?
Bob Davis: Above all, theories in quantum physics, such as, the “multiverse” and “quantum hologram” - the possible existence of alternate realities or dimensions which co-exist with ours, which if valid, may provide the means by which consciousness exists apart from the brain. And the UFO phenomenon may be one line of evidence, among others, which supports this concept. If valid, it may have implications for the continuation of consciousness after death. In fact, the majority of respondents in our study say they no longer fear death. And about 35% report having a NDE. I can’t help but wonder if there is a connection between such reports and its relation to the consciousness-brain distinction. I don’t ascribe strongly to any one theory. However, the controversial theories in quantum physics and associated unexplained behavior of subatomic particles (i.e., the act of observation may alter and create reality), and non-locality (i.e., obtaining information beyond our senses) may hold the key that helps to unlock certain elements of the mysteries of UFOs and consciousness.
Brent Raynes: What impact do you think FREE's final survey and research results will have?
Bob Davis: Above all, it will help inform humanity of the importance and validity of this phenomenon. By doing so, it may facilitate research of this phenomenon by mainstream science. Unfortunately, ufology is considered a pseudoscience by most scholars which is unfortunate since it should be a significant area of study by those within many disciplines. The ridicule factor, however, inhibits researchers to do so. It may also encourage ufologists to shift focus away from their never-ending “nuts and bolts” analysis, which does very little to help understand the nature of this phenomenon, to aspects of study being conducted by FREE. There is no guarantee that FREE will provide the answers to this phenomenon. But I strongly believe research must address the phenomenological elements of those who have experiences with this phenomenon. This approach may contribute needed evidence which may serve as a needed foundation for continued research by others. Collectively, the evidence obtained over time by both FREE and other researchers, may help us to better understand the underlying answers or hints as to the who, what, and why’s associated with this and other related phenomena.