For Purposes of Illustration Only
Now, after the Nimitz encounter in particular, it is beyond reasonable dispute that Unidentified Flying Objects, as objects, are real. To appreciate the ubiquity of their presence through time, one need only watch James Fox's The Phenomenon and read Jacques Vallee's "Passage to Magonia" or Richard Dolan's "UFOs and the National Security State." Their forms, their manifestations, evidence both great variety in the details and pronounced patterns of consistency, across cultures and countries. They may be classic discs or balls, or triangles or "tic tacs." They may be silent or they may emit a humming noise. They are often accompanied by bright and multi-colored lights. They can hover, move slowly, and move faster than any craft that could carry a human pilot, because the pilot would be torn apart by G forces. Most interesting is the variety they exhibit in size. Some are only two or three feet in diameter, but reports exist to the effect that they can be a mile wide, or "as big as ten aircraft carriers." The Phoenix Lights triangular craft was reported by hundreds of people to be of such a scale, and flying very low so that estimation of its size was not difficult.
Jacques Vallee, after a lifetime of research into the phenomenon, posits that these are not extraterrestrial at all, but rather visitors from another dimension that can overlap physically with Earth, or visitors spilling over from some form of Jungian "mind-at-large." He believes that, in effect, "the Other" that they manifest can take virtually any form it wants, and tailors its appearance to cultural conditions that prevail in time. In 1897 in the US, it was lighter than air craft, which were in their infancy then; in 1917 it was "the miracle at Fatima."
Once having embarked on this train, it must be said, it is difficult to know where to get off when credulity is strained -- face-to-face encounters with other life forms, abductions, crash and creature retrievals, medical, including in-breeding, experiments, implantations of devices and, to my mind among the most ubiquitous and disturbing, so-called cattle mutilations that leave animals cored out at the anus, genitalia and eyes, and yet leave no signs of blood whatsoever, nor any signs that the animal has been approached on the ground. These are disturbing in large part because they suggest that our little friend ET, after phoning home, became bloodthirsty in a most non-metaphorical sense. Could we be next?
And why are they hiding "in plain sight," as Ross Coulthart would have it?
If their goal is not to rescue us from ourselves, nor to stop us in our nuclear tracks for the sake of other species including their own, nor to cultivate us as we cultivate farm animals, but rather just to leave us gobsmacked and terrified for reasons that are beyond our ken, why not take a different form altogether?
For purposes of illustration only, that might be a Canada goose, with a wingspan of five Boeing 747s, honking its way over downtown Indianapolis on a clear September evening for long enough for the good and sober citizenry to pull out their devices and photograph/film it. Immense not human-scaled so as to be impossible, but a goose not an eagle or a vulture or a dove, over Indianapolis and not Washington, D.C., just to eliminate all interpretation, all symbolizing, to the extent possible, because symbols lend meaning to a phenomenon, and the true object may be to convince us that in fact there is no meaning within our frame of reference. Within their frame of reference, the meaning is inscrutable to us. That is part of what is meant when we characterize something or someone as "alien."