I absolutely believe in the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects, known by the initials, UFOs.
A UFO is something out there in the sky (usually) that has not been identified. The term “UFO” does not mean “flying saucer,” or “spaceship.” It is something seen, or perceived to be seen, but not yet understood. And maybe never understood.
I have seen such phenomena myself: “Oh, look up there!” “Yes, I see it.” “What is it?” “I have no idea.” That is a UFO.
A whole cottage industry has sprung up around Roswell, NM, which is, to a UFO believer, the very Mecca of the UFO faithful. Certainly, great mystery surrounds Roswell, but great mystery surrounds many places on the planet.
I do believe in some things I have never seen. I believe that there is gold at Fort Knox, KY, although I highly doubt that I will ever really know the truth. Maybe all the gold is not in Fort Knox at all. Maybe it’s all in a bank in Beverly Hills in somebody else’s name (a nod to Larry Gatlin and his 1979 hit record).
There are, in my view, two types of aliens in the cosmos. The first is temporal/cosmic aliens. That is, flesh and blood inhabitants of other planets who have planted their feet, or whatever they walk on, on the Earth. What I do not believe is that temporal aliens have ever visited this planet.
I am aware that thousands of people, maybe many more, have purported to have seen or had encounters with aliens but I simply do not believe it. I don’t believe that aliens were responsible for “planting” humanity on this planet, nor do I believe that they have had any influence whatsoever.
The reason? Distance, time, and ability. As I said in my January 18, 2023 column regarding the closest possible habitable planet, “How far away is 4.2 light years? It doesn’t sound like a long way off. But the distance is actually 24,689,699,219,682.11 miles. That’s over 24 TRILLION miles. And how long would it take to travel this distance? Remember that there’s no such thing as ‘warp drive,” hyper-drive, spore drive, wormhole travel,‘ or any of that other sci-fi stuff. And even though some are saying that warp drive is possible, it isn’t a reality in the present era.
“So, with modern space technology, the time it would take to travel to Proxima, if it even exists at all, would be 6,300 YEARS. The New Horizons space probe sent to Pluto was, at launch, estimated to take 9 years, 5 months, and 11 days. Whenever a manned spacecraft leaves Earth for Mars, the journey will take 7 months one-way. Six thousand years ago, the plow was just being invented. Go 300 years beyond that and that’s how long it would take to get to Proxima. It’s just not do-able.”
Yet, some of the “science” and “learning” channels on television carry shows about “ancient aliens” as though they were documentaries. No, it’s just wild speculation fueled, I imagine, by flights of fancy and over-exposure to science fiction movies, TV programs, and novels. Are there beings on other planets? I have no idea and I don’t think it matters because, if there are, we will never encounter them.
I do, however, believe in “spiritual aliens,” beings not of this world who have visited in some fashion and do have influence. I am a Christian and I believe the Bible and the teachings of historic Christianity so I am a believer. While I don’t believe in “Encounters of the Third Kind,” I do believe in encounters of the God kind.
Josh McDowell, author of over 150 books, wrote “Evidence that Demands a Verdict,” which has been rated as one of the most important evangelical books of the post-World War II era. I do believe that there is plenty of evidence in the spiritual type of “alien.” Who, by the way, are not strangers to this world but created it.
I am well aware that belief in both cosmic and spiritual “aliens” requires faith. Whatever evidence one may have, faith is still required. For me, and nearly two billion people around the world, faith in the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – has been where faith has been placed for over 2,000 years.
UFOs? Yep, I believe that thousands of people have seen something they could not explain. I do believe in mystery and am comfortable with it. Aliens from another planet? Nope, just on the screen and in the books.
[David Epps is the Rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King (www.ctk.life). Worship services are on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and on livestream at www.ctk.life. He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South (www.midsouthdiocese.life). He may be contacted at email@example.com.]