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Why is the American Right obsessed with UFOs?

Is there more out there? Credit: Getty

December 28, 2023 - 11:00am

A fascination with UFOs is en vogue for US conservatives. Tucker Carlson has recently led the discourse, this week speaking in a Breaking Points interview about his belief in UFOs, not to mention the involvement of parts of the US government (and the Vatican) in the ensuing cover-up. This followed comments made on the Redacted podcast shortly before Christmas, when he was asked whether there were any stories he was afraid to cover.

Carlson mentioned two. The first was the 2020 election; the second was what he called “the UFO story”. Indeed, he said he was so disturbed by some of the things he’d heard he won’t even tell his wife about them. To date, he hasn’t told his viewers either — or at least not in full. Unsurprisingly, the details that might allow one to engage with this topic like any other are frustratingly incomplete. 

It isn’t just Carlson teasing us. For instance, the Christian conservative author Rod Dreher said in response to Carlson’s comments that “I had zero interest in this stuff until three months ago, and then… it got real crazy, real fast.” At the time of writing, Dreher is yet to expand on his tantalising comments.

Joe Rogan is another influencer on the Right (though he would likely resist that label) who’s taking UFOs seriously. The same goes for some of his podcast guests, including the tech investor and dissident physicist Eric Weinstein.

Nor is it just the controversialists willing to put their heads above the parapet. For instance, the super-rational and widely respected economist Tyler Cowen contributes articles on the potential UFO threat to national security, while New York Times columnist Ross Douthat openly — and open-mindedly — engages with the available evidence.

There simply isn’t an equivalent level of engagement on the British Right. Former PM Boris Johnson mentioned UFOs in an article last week, but was unwilling to reveal much having had access to British state secrets. All readers learnt was that “there is no evidence whatsoever […] to suggest that alien lifeforms have ever existed.” Never mind, then.

Of course, the US Right is not entirely in agreement on the matter. For instance, while Cowen takes a cautiously logical approach, Carlson inclines toward a supernatural explanation: “there’s a spiritual component there that I don’t fully understand.” Nevertheless, there’s a lively debate among American conservatives that does not exist among their British counterparts. And so, unless we get some firmer evidence about the UFOs themselves, the more interesting question concerns the gulf in attitudes between the US and the UK. 

It could just be that Britons are too small-minded for the biggest issues. Yet at least some of the explanation lies in the extraordinary polarisation of US politics. Large parts of the American establishment are now controlled by ultra-progressives organised into rapidly expanding activist-bureaucracies. From the point of view of conservatives (and old-fashioned liberals), it might as well be an alien invasion. 

It’s not too much of a stretch to suppose that, subconsciously, this metaphor might manifest itself as elements of literal belief. In any case, the American Right needs to be aware of a danger to which those facing unreasonable opponents are always exposed. When the other side goes mad, the problem isn’t only their state of mind, but what it might do to yours.


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

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Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
6 months ago

For instance, while Cowen takes a cautiously logical approach, Carlson inclines toward a supernatural explanation: “there’s a spiritual component there that I don’t fully understand.”
Well, there would have to be. Our current understanding of physics rules out any form of faster-than-light travel, which makes voyages between even relatively close star systems impractical, so if extraterrestrials are visiting us (presumably Tau Ceti doesn’t have a Krispy Kreme), then, barring a radical revisitation of the fundamental laws of physics, then to get here they must be using magic.
Now, of course, I’m not willing to rule out that some better, more thorough understanding of physics might permit faster-than-light travel; right now we’re stuck with two facets of the underlying theory–quantum mechanics and general relativity, two great tastes that don’t taste great together–but eventually, provided it’s within our scope of comprehension, we might figure out the underlying theory that describes both phenomena and perhaps that will allow us to travel to the stars.
At the same time, my own belief is that there is no sound materialist reason to presume that human intelligence is adequate to fully comprehend every aspect of the universe. In fact, assuming a naturalistic explanation for our origins, I would be shocked if it was. If you rule out religious sentiment, then the conclusion is that the universe was not made for man, and man was not made for the universe. We evolved on the grasslands of Africa; the idea that, by sheer happenstance, we evolved brains and mentalities capable of fathoming the secrets of existence in their entirety seems mind-bogglingly improbable to me.
Therefore, it is possible, and indeed I believe likely, that there may be whole swathes of nature that we do not grasp and cannot grasp–ever. Imagine trying to explain to a grasshopper how a jet aircraft stays in the sky. You couldn’t do it; it would be beyond both of you. It may be that the deeper mysteries of the universe are like that. One day we may wake up and discover that science has hit a wall–that no further discovery is possible, because we’re simply not wired that way.
“Ah, but,” you say, “we’ll just make ourselves smarter!” Here’s the thing: at the moment, our understanding of our own minds is quite rudimentary. Look at the state of psychology. It’s entirely possible that the technological breakthrough needed to make us smart enough to further our own neurological development as a species may be on the other side of that wall I mentioned. In other words, we might be able to conceive of making ourselves more intelligent, but we might not be able to actually do it.
What this leaves, of course, is considerable scope for what has traditionally been called the “supernatural”. By this I mean simply phenomena of an uncanny and inexplicable nature that we cannot grasp because it is beyond our comprehension. And perhaps interstellar travel falls into that category. Aliens might be visiting us, but we may never figure out how they’re doing it. Personally, I don’t think it’s very likely, as there is, as yet, no evidence. If, as the conspiracy theorists would have it, the US government has a downed spacecraft at Area 51 or Wright-Patterson Air Force Base or wherever, that would literally be the most important scientific discovery since Newton’s laws. Hundreds of scientists would be working on it, and even if they were working on it in secret, some hint that faster-than-light travel is possible would have percolated out into the wider scientific literature, because even the most quotidian of papers they would publish would be premised on faster-than-light travel as a fact. But there is no hint. Universally, the underlying attitude is and has been since the 1920s that faster-than-light travel is impossible. So, no, I do not consider it very likely that aliens have been visiting us.
It’s an enormous universe, though, with millions of galaxies, and it seems like a waste of real estate if it were entirely unpopulated. There could be a very nice species of intelligent sphagnum moss five galaxies over and we’d never know it, unfortunately. It’d be nice to think that somewhere else in the universe, somebody else is having this precise same debate. Maybe they’ll come to different conclusions than we do; maybe one day they’ll come and visit us. Or, hell, who knows–maybe one day we’ll go and visit them.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago

there may be whole swathes of nature that we do not grasp and cannot grasp–ever. 
That, to which I would add, what’s wrong with this being true? The arrogance of believing that we know everything about everything does not turn belief into fact. Some things we do not know. Some may not be knowable in any conventional sense. The element of discovery is part of what makes the human experience interesting.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago

Interesting thoughts. You mention evolution, and that’s another thing science can’t explain. The continual increase in complexity from an abiotic planet to us defies statistical mechanics, which says complexity should decrease. Charles Darwin’s theory that natural selection is driving it all is bunk. Design is coming from somewhere.

We know-it-all humans don’t know it all. We have made great strides in understanding our world, but as Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein both humbly noted, using different analogies, we still really know almost nothing.

D Glover
D Glover
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

That’s a complete misunderstanding of natural selection. Everything that lives tries to make copies of itself. Genetic copying is very accurate, but given the vast amount of data the occasional mistake is inevitable.
The mistakes are called mutations. Many mutations are neutral and have no effect. If a mutation does change something that is usually deleterious and the mutant dies unlamented. There’s a lot of death in nature.
Very rarely a mutation will improve its bearer in the only way that counts; the ability to breed. If a mutation passes 1% in the population we start calling it a polymorphism.
Design is not coming from ‘somewhere’, the appearance of design comes from huge numbers of maladapted organisms dying.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Thank you. Evolution and natural selection are so misunderstood. Your explanation of how mutations work is spot on.

0 0
0 0
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Trouble is we have yet to create the code in which natural selection is supposed to improve the code, perhaps it was seeded by an alien?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

No, I understand natural selection. You have outlined the neo-Darwinist theory of evolution that posits that complexity can increase through endlessly repeated iterations of random genetic mutations and natural selection. But in the 164 years since Charles Darwin published his theory not a single example of that kind of evolution happening has been found in any organism.
Why? Statistical mechanics and systems theory can explain it, but they require knowledge most people don’t have. So let’s look at a thought experiment that might help those without a strong math background to understand the problem with the theory.
Let’s take the Wright Flyer, thought to be the first airplane to sustain powered flight just over 120 years ago. Imagine that copies of the Wright Flyer are made as accurately as possible, but occasionally errors are made.
The planes that perform the best are copied more often, so any errors that degrade performance die out and any errors that improve performance proliferate. Let’s say the iterative process continues for a million years.
What will be the result? My belief is that we will end up airplane that doesn’t fly at all, because errors that degrade performance will build up. But that’s a conclusion that takes some knowledge and thought to reach.
What should be obvious to everyone, though, is that at best the design of the Wright Flyer will be optimized but will never become more complex. It will be limited by the initial design, with no more functions than were present at the beginning. Even billions of years of random changes and performance selection would never evolve a Wright Flyer into an F-35 fighter jet. Not even an eternity would do it.
To increase complexity of a system requires a design change, which can only be done with knowledge and creativity. Random change will never work. Not even artificial intelligence can make a change to design. It requires real intelligence.
Where do the design changes in biological evolution come from? No one knows. James Shapiro argues in his book Evolution: A View from the 21st Century that nature is a genetic engineer. That seems as good a guess as any.

Last edited 6 months ago by Carlos Danger
D Glover
D Glover
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

 not a single example of that kind of evolution happening has been found in any organism.

If you challenge bacteria with penicillin nearly all of them die. Out of a thousand bacteria there might be ten with slightly, randomly, mutated genotypes.
990 bacteria are dead, and nine mutants are also dead because their mutation was neutral with regard to anti-biotics. One mutant has the particular biochemistry to avoid death by poisoning and it survives. And divides.
We know this happens because there are many antibiotic-resistant bacteria around now; MRSA for example. That’s evolution happening.
Aircraft design is completely different because the designer can do a clean sheet design. A Wright flyer doesn’t gradually morph into an F-35. It’s a discontinuous process.
We’re the result of a continuous process, and that’s why we retain faults like the appendix, or the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

Last edited 6 months ago by D Glover
Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics comes from the discontinuous process of horizontal gene transfer, not the continuous process of neo-Darwinian evolution. It’s a classic example of natural genetic engineering that James Shapiro has long used. Repeated iterations of random mutations and natural selection cannot explain it.

Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldredge, Barbara McClintock, Carl Woese, Lynn Margulis, and others have shown the clear mark of discontinuous processes like endosymbiosis, horizontal gene transfer and recombination in evolutionary history. The evolution of prokaryotic cells into eukaryotic cells clearly involved discontinuity that Charles Darwin cannot explain. Natura non facit saltus, he said, but it does.

During the pandemic we saw discontinuous evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Its furin cleavage site came from either human insertion or recombination. There’s no evidence it came from neo-Darwinian evolution. The Omicron variant also appeared in one discontinuous leap.

The Wright Flyer certainly did gradually morph into the F-35 fighter jet. Any complex system must be developed in a trial and error process over time. But novelty comes only through design, not from accumulated random errors, whether in biology or technology.

In human evolution, that can be seen in several different ways. One is the many homeostatic processes in our bodies. These processes need three components, a sensor, a controller, and an actuator. Without all three components, you don’t have anything. But no random mutation is going to give you all three at once.

The problem of novelty in biology remains unsolved. Charles Darwin’s theory might be molded and stretched to explain an organism going from version 1.1 to 1.2 (though I don’t think it explains even that). And maybe even from version 1 to 2. But it can never explain the creative design leap needed to go from 0 to 1.

D Glover
D Glover
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

I thought that Gould & Eldredge’s theory of ‘punctuated equilibrium’ had been pretty well discredited amongst evolutionary theorists.
Also, a biplane does not gradually morph into a jet fighter. You have to throw out the blueprints and start on a blank sheet. Gloster Gladiator 1939 – Gloster Meteor 1944: completely different.
A gene for antibiotic resistance can jump between bacteria via horizontal transfer, but didn’t it occur in the donor by mutation in the first place? I know you want to say that a supernatural power put it there, but why would he do that? And wouldn’t he be even harder to explain than life?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Punctuated equilibrium is more an observation than a theory. You are right that evolutionary theorists think they can explain it using neo-Darwinist theory. I don’t buy their explanation.

You’re also right that a biplane does not morph into a monoplane. There is a discontinuity in that design feature. But every new aircraft is based on a previous aircraft. You can trace the evolution through many generations from the Wright Flyer to the F-35 fighter jet. The latter is far from being a blank sheet design.

You’re also right that a plasmid with genes for antibiotic resistance has to come from somewhere. But from where? You can’t just assume that the genes came from accumulated mutations. That’s what you have to prove. No one can.

People talk about proofs of neo-Darwinist evolution in antibiotic resistance, or peppered moths, or Darwin’s finches, But none of those show the evidence needed of random mutations accumulating over time due to natural selection to produce a new function.

I don’t want to say that a supernatural power created the design we see in life. As you say, that theory has big problems of its own. I’m just saying neo-Darwinist theory is bunk. It violates the most basic principle of our natural world — that random changes lead to disorder, not increased complexity.

We need to lay that neo-Darwinist theory to rest and try to understand what is really going on.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

There is no solution to the macro- vs micro- evolutionary debate. Yes, antibiotic resistance is real. Yes, if you throw grey rabbits into the snow, in 4-5 generations they will all be white.

Mr. Glover, you (and other neo-Darwinists) believe there’s a straight line from that process to turning a mouse into a horse into a dolphin. But you can’t demonstrate it because the timescales are too long. Since modern science is the demonstration of theory’s correspondence with reality via experiment, your debate is philosophical (ala Aristotle) not scientific (al Bacon). Arguing about “scientific” evidence either way is pointless.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
6 months ago

I marvel, endlessly at one simple idea: without thumbs with which to make things, intelligence would find expressions that we could never comprehend. Even here on earth there are creatures (whales, crows and ravens, etc) who may be singing poems of heartbreaking beauty, or stories of Genesis…but we’ll never know.

George Wells
George Wells
6 months ago

I read recently that some whales have been discovered to have individual names (used by the whales). I look forward to whale speech being deciphered further. Perhaps with a Large Whale Language Model. (I’ve just looked it up and it seems this is happening).

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
6 months ago
Reply to  George Wells

So is it the model that’s large, or just the whales? I mean, would it apply to narwhals as well?

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
6 months ago

The universe is verrry big indeed. And the good Lord keeps his experiments remote from one another so they can’t cross contaminate.

Gregory Toews
Gregory Toews
6 months ago

Modernity is perplexed and irritated that we keep behaving as though we’re not purely material beings. Surely a material brain, by definition, can’t conceive of immateriality, or even the illusion of it.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
6 months ago
Reply to  Gregory Toews

If you put your mind to it you can.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
6 months ago

You need to strike free the iron bonds of Scientism to free your mind.

Ian_S
Ian_S
6 months ago

Conservatives like to talk about all kinds of stuff, from cars to crafts to inexplicable events. UFOs fit into that eclectic, almost hobby-driven interest. Leftists, on the other hand, are a dour and moralising group who are monomaniacally obsessed with their social justice revolution.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
6 months ago

When people sense that once reliable sources have become tainted – such as the MSM, the government etc – then they naturally wonder how far the lies extend. Second, because the now dominant left is essentially a grand conspiracy theory – “It’s all the fault of those damned wreckers,” and for “wreckers” read “bourgeoisie”, “white males” and other demonised minorities – its habits of suspicion and paranoia will inevitably spread to the right. Third, there is a strong political-religious tendency among American conservatives in particular which is feeding into the British and European branches of the movement, and this encourages speculative, fantastical and even wishful modes of thought. Note, I say “political-religious”; sober, traditional, apolitical religion serves as a prophylactic against such dangerous tendencies. In short, our feet are slowly leaving the ground. How to counter this malign development? Focus on point one: the obvious lies and open hostility to reason, truth and logic now running riot on the left. Let us not give way at any point to the left’s repulsive intellectual vices. And let us sustain the healthy division between politics and religion which served the west so well from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

Saigon Sally
Saigon Sally
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Excellent sentiments very well articulated; I am taking notes.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
6 months ago

Whatever arises from the phenomenon referred to as UFOs, or UAPs, i very much doubt the debate in the UK differs from the US because we’re “too small-minded” to engage in it.
There may well be cultural effects at play here, but UFOs are also a world-wide phenomenon. A typically British attitude might well be “well, let’s wait for some real evidence to emerge” rather than engaging in speculation which then becomes part of someone’s ‘truth’. If the Truth is Out There, let’s see it.
In the meantime, it’s also just as useless to speculate along the lines of “there can’t possibly be extraterrestrial aliens” which was the common view within the mainstream scientific community until fairly recently.

Dominic A
Dominic A
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“which was the common view within the mainstream scientific community until fairly recently”

Mmmmaybe – I once watched a 1970s Open University lecture where some classic wide-lapelled, bell-bottomed boffins, in pursuit of an answer to the Alien Life question, filled a blackboard with complicated equations; ultimately producing a probability answer of ‘1’!

Fairly uncontroversial once you take into account the numbers – 400 billion planets in our galaxy; a trillion further galaxies…..

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
6 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I once watched a 1970s Open University lecture where some classic wide-lapelled, bell-bottomed boffins, in pursuit of an answer to the Alien Life question, filled a blackboard with complicated equations; ultimately producing a probability answer of ‘1’!
The “1” would, of course, be us.

Dominic A
Dominic A
6 months ago

Ah, and who is this ‘us’ you refer to…..are you part of an alien ‘us’ living amongst us earthlings? Enquiring minds want to know!

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
6 months ago

This subject is not a particular focus of the American right. In the Congressional hearing featuring whistleblower David Grusch, he received a respectful, serious reception from everyone along the spectrum from AOC and Jamie Raskin on the far left to Matt Gaetz and Tim Burchett on the far right, with moderates like Dem Jared Moskovitz aggressively taking up the charge. And Chris Cuomo, reborn on NewsNation, seems now to be a believer.
Your insinuation at the end that this is a form of “madness” is insulting and it’s stupid. Do some research before launching an insinuation like that. Watch James Fox’s “The Phenomenon” and “Moment of Contact.” Read Ross Couthart’s “In Plain Sight” and Jacques Vallee’s “Passport to Magonia.” Listen to respected scientists and philosophers like Bernardo Kastrup, Diana Pasulka, James Madden, Garry Nolan and Kevin Knuth. Then come back and tell us all that it’s bullshit. This is real and it’s the biggest story in the history of the world.

Last edited 6 months ago by Joe Donovan
Buena Vista
Buena Vista
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

It’s quite enjoyable that many of the responses in here are light-years better than the article.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
6 months ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

Yep. Precisely why I subscribe.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

I’d believe that this is real if anyone had any evidence. But they don’t. It’s all just talk.

Saigon Sally
Saigon Sally
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

What do you mean by evidence? I watched in blank amazement what could only be a UFO, turned and said to my son, did you see that? Yes, he said, what on earth was it? There is no ‘evidence’ of what we saw as plain as daylight and yet we both saw exactly the same thing. There are no natural phenomena to explain what we saw and no human machine could perform the feat we saw.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Saigon Sally

I’m referring to evidence you can show me. Not something you say you saw.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

Let’s just hope the dĂ©nouement is not a Black Swan event that leads to social collapse.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

Diana Pasulka is a religion scholar. I highly doubt that factual knowledge about UFOs and the nature of the universe are a regular part of theology PhD programmes. Gary Nolan is an immunologist; again, an educated individual but not an expert in anything that’s relevant to the subject. The same goes for Madden who is a philosopher. The only one who has subject-matter relevant knowledge is Knuth, a physicist. Kastrup is another philosopher with a focus on metaphysics, and whilst he is undoubtedly very intelligent, I beg to differ that his opinions are worth more than anybody else’s. Having attained a number of degrees myself, I am not inclined to extend expert status to anybody who is in possession of a PhD—especially if said degree has no connection to the matter at hand. I for one will wait for actual physical evidence; but I am a Brit, and not prone to accept anything without proof.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago

Must everything in life be viewed through the prism of right and left? And why is people being curious about something suddenly cause for chin-rubbing and hand-wringing concern? People of all stripes have been interested in this subject for a long time. I suppose they could spend their time trying to convince us that men really can get pregnant or that American cities are served by letting criminals run loose or what we really need right now is to mire ourselves in a second war, but they choose this topic instead.
Maybe it’s worth asking “how come” instead of reflexively falling back on a political binary. Maybe there’s something there; maybe they’re crazy. Or maybe it’s a welcome distraction from being lied to about our govts and watching the economy head to some sort of landing as the currency is debased.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago

Tucker Carlson is not the entirety of the right. No one I listen to or read on the right is talking about UFOs in any kind of substantiative way. I’ve seen an essay here and there, bit not much beyond that.

Aidan O
Aidan O
6 months ago

As other commenters have mentioned, it’s a bipartisan topic of interest in the U.S., and the reason that people are ‘obsessed’ with it is that this time, it appears that there really are some very important facts that the American public have a right to know about. And that brings us to the primary difference here: Americans care about their rights to an extent that most UK citizens simply don’t get.
And really, setting aside how outlandish it might seem on the surface, if it turns out that government—and quite possibly private companies also—have had access to alien technology for decades, who won’t be interested in that?

Last edited 6 months ago by Aidan O
David Kingsworthy
David Kingsworthy
6 months ago

Any issue that piques the interest of American conservatives very quickly becomes untouchable by the Left and soon gets pigeonholed as another right-wing conspiracy theory. It doesn’t matter the truth or the breadth of the appeal, this is the way of it at the moment.

Emre S
Emre S
6 months ago

This article omits that parts of the American establishment have been pushing this UFO story for a while now releasing official videos showing UFOs, alongside insider whistleblowers keeping this topic alive.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago

It’s fun to discuss topics like alien life. There’s no evidence either way so we can all speculate to our heart’s content. Just like the whole fuss about artificial intelligence taking over the world. What fun to debate that!

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
6 months ago

Another example of a media ‘everyone’; everyone is wearing, everyone is eating, everyone is talking about. It just means ‘the best I can do with this is namedrop 2 or 3 people you may have heard of’ and inflate them to ‘everyone’.

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago

Uhm….. it isn’t a Right wing thing.

The media is obsessively pushing this ludicrous UFO scam as a distraction technique.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago

I have to wonder if Tucker and others aren’t just full of crap, and making these wild claims of being profoundly moved by what they’ve seen that they don’t bother to explain further in an effort to get viewers who might not otherwise tune in and expand their listener base. Wouldn’t be the first time someone made stuff up out of whole cloth to sell some new gizmo or hype a miniseries. That could also explain why it’s more prominent in America. There really is not much Americans won’t do to make a buck.

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve Jolly
Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

As to aliens (the ones from outer space, not Mexico), Tucker Carlson is indeed full of crap. Whether he is naively so or intentionally so is hard to tell. I too would guess the latter.

Matthew Waterhouse
Matthew Waterhouse
6 months ago

The author might want to get up to speed on bipartisan efforts in Congress to get to the bottom of reports from whistleblowers and insiders about the reality of non human technology and its cover up by government and contractors. Senate Majority Leader Schumer even drove an amendment to the National Security Bill, demanding that such technology be released and secret files declassified. Unfortunately, these parts of the bill were blocked by Congressmen representing areas with heavy influence from big time aerospace companies…

David Morley
David Morley
6 months ago

It is generally now accepted that previous bouts of UFO hysteria were a manifestation of subconscious fears of communist invasion.

In the American context it might be a disguised longing for the second coming.

In any case, it’s not without precedent.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
6 months ago

I’ve been wondering about this too. Dreher has actually said quite a bit other than that “tantalizing comment”. He believes it’s a coordinated effort to prepare us for a new religion. We’ll see. Rod is a good man and a good writer, but he sometimes goes off half-cocked. However he was 3-5 years ahead of the curve with both Benedict Option and Live Not By Lies, and people with good track records should be taken seriously.

the book I would recommend to all here is called American Cosmic. It’s written by a comparative religion professor not a UFO-believer, which makes it extremely useful. She totally discounts “aliens from Alpha Centuri” and finds a spiritual element (with evidence and examples) in the UFO movement as well. This is what pushed Dreher in that direction. Whether you end up believing her or not, the book is very good.

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
6 months ago

Test.

Geoff W
Geoff W
6 months ago

I understand the writer to be saying that it’s the progressives’ fault that the American Right is stupid.
This marks a new intellectual low for this website. I’m glad that my subscription ends tomorrow.

Emre S
Emre S
6 months ago
Reply to  Geoff W

Given this is meant to be a classically liberal publication, you’re bound to hear things you’ll disagree here by definition.

Geoff W
Geoff W
6 months ago
Reply to  Emre S

Indeed. But there’s a difference between arguments which I can respect intellectually while disagreeing with them, and arguments which – in this instance because they adhere to the blame-the-progressives-for-everything line (for Tucker Carlson believing in UFOs, FFS!) – are intellectually beneath contempt.
I used to enjoy the Spectator for the first kind of arguments, but had to cancel my subscription when I saw that viciously anti-Semitic below-the-line comments were left unmoderated.

Emre S
Emre S
6 months ago
Reply to  Geoff W

Spectator comments section is a cesspit. I’ve cancelled my sub for exactly that reason myself.

David Simpson
David Simpson
6 months ago

Consider the possibility that these phenomena are not alien, or novel, but aspects of physical reality that have been here all along – life forms, possibly intelligent, that have developed in other parts of the spectrum of physical reality that we do not have an inkling of eg ball lightning and other plasma phenomena. See https://www.robert-temple.com/books2.html

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
6 months ago

“Controversialists,” as the writer terms them, are very smart people with enormous audiences who dare venture into subjects the national oligarchic plutocrat-owned left media don’t. If UFO sightings are rare or even unknown in Britain it might be because aliens don’t regard it as having consequence. My mother bought a book about UFOs more than 70 years ago. The pictures showed the same flying saucer shape we see today, flat on the bottom with a domed top. My wife and I were driving to S.F. from the airport a few years back and saw the exact same kind of object overhead dawdling westward toward the ocean, clearly meant to be seen by the thousands of people on the freeway. The newspaper had a small story on an inside page the next day. These sightings ceased being big news a long time ago.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
6 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

As previously stated, UFOs are a worldwide phenomenon. They’ve been depicted in different cultures since the dawn of history; rock carvings, ancient Indian and Chinese texts, the Bible (burning bushes anyone?), Greek myths, usually as what’s known as “misunderstood technology”. UFO sightings in the UK aren’t uncommon, although rarely reported in the MSM.

Last edited 6 months ago by Steve Murray
Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
6 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Utterly bonkers!!!

j watson
j watson
6 months ago

Nut-jobs on the Far Right believing in Little Green Men as well, no doubt as the Tooth Fairy, isn’t really that much of a surprise. Psychologists reported for decades that those believing in conspiracies tend to need closure (less able to handle complexity and uncertainty) and also want to be ‘unique’. The latter is classic narcissism.
Social media has then helped turbo-charge this sense ‘I’m part of a special brethren that has this special knowledge’. Good grief.
One born every day though and fodder for the Grifters out there.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Perhaps the group that wants to put tampons in men’s rooms is not equipped to judge anyone else’s nuttiness.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Ah, but you’re engaging in the same black and white thinking as those who advocate for tampons in the men’s lavatory. I am quite well equipped to judge crazy beliefs and behaviours on all sides, and my condemnation of one side does not mean automatic approval of the other. What happened to rational thought and logic?

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
6 months ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Beware of the left brain prison. If it holds you at present, try to break free.

j watson
j watson
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Bit of a niche issue that AL, but I guess it upsets you.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

And the alien thing isn’t a niche issue? You’re no less ridiculous than he is.

Andrew R
Andrew R
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

“Psychologists reported for decades that those believing in conspiracies tend to need closure (less able to handle complexity and uncertainty) and also want to be ‘unique’. The latter is classic narcissism”.

Indeed, so true. Like those that believe we are all oppressed by a white patriarchal, heteronormative hegomony. Pure solipsism, it’s also a perfect description of the “Loony Left”… and no I don’t believe in little green men.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Each side has utter nutters, and I don’t want to be lumped in with either lot. I am a classic conservative who can be convinced by evidence and facts. Not the alternative information presented as factual in some circles today, but information that can withstand critical analysis and questioning. The gulf between me and the far left is just as wide as the one between me and far right conspiracy theorists who espouse the view that the British Royal Family are actually lizards from outer space!
Yes, it’s fun to speculate about extraterrestrial life forms, but I will wait for solid evidence before I make up my mind. Also, there is a difference between acknowledging the likelihood that life, perhaps intelligent, perhaps not, exists elsewhere in this vast universe, and that said life has decided to planet-hop and to pay us a visit.

David Morley
David Morley
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

I find myself agreeing with you and JW on this. There is conspiratorial thinking on both left and right, and strong evidence that belief in conspiracy theories is related to narcissism.

j watson
j watson
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Loons at both ends of the spectrum AR I v much agree.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Is any of it any more ludicrous than believing that men can become women? Actually, I’d have thought that the existence of alien intelligence is somewhat more plausible.