Congress is continuing to have more hearings about UFOs. In this episode, we took a closer look at the religious component to alien encounters. It is important for Christians to give some thought to this issue, as it is going to continue to be in the news and many of our friends and family are trying to make sense of their experiences.
Krista was joined by guest co-host Melissa Dougherty as they talked with show guest, Kenneth Samples, co-author, Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men.
Discussion with Ken Samples
The government has acknowledged the existence of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomenon (UAPs), aka UFOs!
Many people, especially Christians, have a lot of questions about this topic, such as:
Why are we bringing this up now [in the government & media]?
Have we always known about this? How do we make sense of this as Christians?
Our friend and colleague, Kenneth Samples from Reasons to Believe, came on to help us understand this unique topic. Ken is a philosopher, theologian, author of many books, and former researcher at the Christian Research Institute with Dr. Walter Martin.
Here are the highlights of our discussion:
**Special note: There is a sound glitch at minute 44:58 thru 45:39 on the video stream where you cannot hear Melissa's question. The audio podcast has been corrected for anyone who wants to hear the complete question.**
What are your thoughts on UAPs/UFOs? Are they real or are the hoaxes? Is there credible evidence for flying saucers?
**Important to note that there is a distinction between extra-terrestrial intelligence (ie SETI or Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and the UAP/UFO phenomenon!**
There are three broad explanations for what UAPs/UFOs may be:
1. Very Skeptical View/easiest view: Just a mis-identified phenomenon or natural things like ships or stars; hoaxes; images/radar could be mis-read (90%-99% could be explained this way).
2. Very Invested Theory: the extra-terrestrial view--maybe there are highly intelligent space aliens from another galaxy and they have traversed incredible distances and we are seeing physical craft and physical aliens; popular theory, but lots of challenges!
3. Interdimensional hypothesis/theory: small percentage of UAPs/UFOs appear to operate from a different dimension/paranormal/demonic
What kinds of credible experiences are there that can't be explained away?
Military pilots have seen strange phenomena that seem to defy the laws of physics (ie craft that make sharp turns, disappearing and reappearing). Most of these anomalies can be explained naturally, BUT some are possibly interdimensional and, additionally, some phenomenon can be traced back to the occult (demonic/malevolent). In fact, the first UFO religion came out of a séance/spiritualism. People that dabble in the occult or who are heavily involved, tend to see phenomena like this!
Video clip from former Director of National Intelligence: https://www.foxnews.com/video/6242779113001
What are the different types of "alien encounters"?
1. First kind: A close observation, within approx 500 feet, but no trace of physical effects
2. Second kind: There IS some kind of physical effect, such as broken tree limbs, scorched ground, car engine malfunction
3. Third kind: Observers identify particular beings within the craft
4. Fourth kind: Close encounter that would result in a "contactee" experience
Jacques Vallée is an important voice in the conversation! Vallée is a French scholar, computer scientist, astronomer, and ufologist.
He is a legitimate scientist with similar conclusions to what Ken and his colleagues found regarding the possibility of UFOs/UAPs being interdimensional and connected to religious/paranormal phenomenon.
What is the relationship between UFOs/UAPs and religion?
There is definitely a connection between UFO/UAP religions and the occult/demonic realm. Scientists have found a relationship to spiritualism and theosophy ("cosmic wisdom") where methods such as channeling, psychic means, telepathy, and other occultic practices are used. Many of the UFO religion ideas/practices came out of the occult/seances.
Where does discipleship fit in? How do we navigate these issues with our children?
Warning: Parents need to be aware of the dangers of this seemingly innocent and intriguing topic, particularly for teen boys!
First, an explanation of definitions:
"Contactee": supposedly get revelation from UFOs--generally positive experience, long-term experiences, given revelation, usually ends in some type of religious group
"Abductee": usually negative experience, often a single episode, experimentation (can even have physical evidence on the body), often ends in a change in personal beliefs
Remember: the internet can lead us into a whole host of pathways! We need to use discernment and be cautious. As Christians with a Biblical worldview, we know there is a spiritual realm that is demonic, deceptive, and anti-Christian and we need to be thoughtful and careful and help our children walk through these issues. There are people who have been damaged mentally, psychologically, spiritually, and even physically, and this is not a topic to play around with!
Can this topic be used as a bridge to talk with non-Christians? Definitely! Some talking points may include:
**God is the creator of all things and He called or spoke or brought all reality into existence from nothing (creation ex nihilo).
**Could God have created beings in other worlds? As Thomas Aquinas said, it could be possible, but not likely.
**Christian intellectuals have thought about these ideas for centuries! This is not new!
**The Christian worldview can account for another set of data (spiritual dimension to UFOs/UAPs) that the Naturalist worldview cannot.
Ken's book: Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men:
Ken has a brand new book coming out soon called "Clear Thinking in a Messy World." Keep your eyes out for it to come out in 2024!
Check out a previous episode with Dr. Mark Clark on this topic (co-author of Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men):
Science fiction book series mentioned by Melissa:
The Facade (Book 1) by Michael S. Heiser:
Be sure to follow Melissa Dougherty's content at https://www.melissadougherty.co/ or on her popular YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MelissaDougherty/featured
Connect with the Guest:
Ken Samples is a Senior Research Scholar at Reasons to Believe.
Check out all the talented authors and scientists who defend the Christian faith at Reasons to Believe! And be sure to check out the many resources available in their store!: https://reasons.org/
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