The old quote about those not knowing history who are doomed to repeat it is just as relevant to the study of UFOs as any other subject. For many years now, Chris Aubeck has been chronicling the history of strange objects seen in the sky to show that the phenomenon is much older and more pervasive than most people think.
Chris told me that the very term “flying saucer” was in common usage in the English-speaking world starting in the late 19th century. It referred to clay targets used for trap and skeet shooting, and he argues that the press had a ready-made phrase when Kenneth Arnold reported his sighting in 1947, and which may have affected preconceptions of witnesses and the press afterwords.
In 2003, Aubeck visited Dr. Jacques Vallée at a speaking date in Portugal and asked him to collaborate on a book he was going to call “Return To Magonia.” Vallée at first said “no,” but called him a few months later and agreed to co-author what would become Wonders In The Sky. The book examines reports of strange objects seen in in the sky from antiquity to the late 19th century and weeded out accounts that were hoaxes and misidentifications of natural phenomena by combing through historical records of people, places, weather, and astronomical data. A deluxe edition has been announced.
Since Wonders, Chris has co-authored two other volumes: OOPARTs: Ojetos Fuera De Su Tiempo (Things Out Of Time) (Spanish only) and Return To Magonia: Investigating UFOs In History. We talked about both books and how the use of historical records explained many events that have been attributed to paranormal, unearthly, or mysterious origins have turned out to be false or easily explainable. In Return, Aubeck and co-author Martin Shough picked a top 20 of UFO cases throughout history and found some that were explainable and others that remain unidentified.
Chris has lived in Spain since age 19 and we talked about the convoluted and sometimes harrowing series of events that led him to adopt that country as his home. His next project is an examination of the history of beliefs about extraterrestrial life.
A very fun and informative interview which I enjoyed thoroughly. I hope you will too.