Keith Basterfield was recently in Brisbane to present a talk titled ‘Paranormal aspects of the UFO
“Australian researchers, among others, have failed to come to grips with the apparent link between the UFO phenomenon and the paranormal” was the opening statement from Keith.
Section one of the talk reviewed the views and perspectives of a range of Australian, American and English researchers between 1975 and 1999. Interestingly, it was French born UFO researcher Jacques Vallee and American astronomer J. Allen Hynek who were two of the earlier proponents of the need to incorporate the paranormal into discussions about the UFO phenomenon. In addition, a number of parapsychologists, e.g. D. Scott Rogo, also called for the same study to occur. In Australia, Mark Moravec compiled an excellent collection of 88 such Australian cases as early as 1981. Others to comment have included Raymond Fowler, Hilary Evans, Jenny Randles, Eddie Bullard and Kenneth Ring.
Section two provided details from five Australian abduction experiencers. Paranormal episodes described by them included apparitions; unusual cold breezes; doors closing by themselves; automatic writing; poltergeists; out-of-body experiences, and near-death experiences.
Section three explored a number of questions. The first of these was, “is the timing of paranormal episodes and UFO close encounters/abductions a coincidence?” A review of 15 authors who commented on this question revealed that 11 out of 15 clearly indicated that the psychic events followed after the UFO experience, and 4 out of the 15 that these experiences occurred both before and afterwards. This majority implies that the advent of various psychic experiences is somehow directly related to the UFO experience.
The second question discussed was “does interacting with the UFO phenomenon happen only to people who are already psychic?” Keith pointed out that Kenneth Ring’s work included a finding that an individual who as an adult reported UFOs, is more likely to have a childhood history of psychic experiences. Jenny Randle’s research came to the same conclusion.
“What is the frequency with which psychic effects are reported by close encounter witnesses?” Responses from researchers varied from Vallee’s “seems to have become the rule”, through Randle’s “56% of the witnesses”, to Keith’s own 1996 survey where 89% of the respondents to a survey agreed with the statement “I feel I am more psychic than before the event.”
Keith called for both UFO researchers and parapsychologists to start to question witnesses about their UFO/paranormal experiences and then to publish the results.
“Notwithstanding the need for further inquiry, it is apparent to me that it is necessary to expand our field of research. It is no longer simply a matter of studying the UFO phenomenon in isolation” said Keith.
Keith closed by posing the question “Are the UFO phenomenon and the paranormal both simply aspects of the one grand, higher level phenomenon? If so, what does this do to the concept, so dear to our hearts, that UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft?”
Keith would be very pleased to hear from readers who have had both a UFO close encounter/abduction and paranormal experiences. He may be contacted via GPO Box 1894, Adelaide, South Australia 5001.