Xenology: An Introduction to the Scientific Study of Extraterrestrial Life, Intelligence, and Civilization

First Edition

© 1975-1979, 2008 Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Xenology: An Introduction to the Scientific Study of Extraterrestrial Life, Intelligence, and Civilization, First Edition, Xenology Research Institute, Sacramento, CA, 1979; http://www.xenology.info/Xeno.htm


Chapter 3.  The Aliens Among Us


"These {‘ancient astronaut’} books may be pitiful stumbling efforts in the morasses of technical and historical scholarship... but as religion they are worthy of respect as picture-language wrestlings with the deep matters all persons face -- or evade -- in the stillness of the heart. On this level their scientific and historical failings may not matter so much."
          -- Ronald Story, in The Space Gods Revealed (1976)1870

"I saw a disk up in the air,
A silver disk that wasn’t there.
Two more weren’t there again today --
Oh how I wish they’d go away."
          -- Men’s room graffiti, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (1967)

"Where are they?"
          -- Enrico Fermi (1943)

"I am sure they saw something."
          -- Albert Einstein17

"Further extensive study of unidentified flying objects probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby."
          -- Dr. Edward U. Condon (1968)17

"By 2100 A.D. on Earth, three species of cetacean had been recognized as intelligent and admitted to the United Nations. Their lawsuit against the former whaling nations had not been resolved, and in fact never was. The cetaceans enjoyed the legal gymnastics too much ever to end it."
          -- Larry Niven, in "At the Bottom of a Hole" (1966)548



Closely paralleling the historical development of xenology has been the widespread but unverified conviction that aliens already are, or have been, visitors to Earth. Despite the pseudoscience cults and charlatans frequently associated with "ancient astronaut" and "flying saucer" theories, the hypothesis that intelligent extraterrestrials might have played some role in the evolution or emergence of human civilization is fascinating and certainly warrants critical study.


Last updated on 6 December 2008