Due to be released in November, Dr. Diana Walsh-Pasulka’s second book on the UFO subject is to me is a portrait of the UFO phenomenon as manifested personally among those who are interested in the subject. In this way, it is more of a teaching text than a narrative, as her first volume, American Cosmic was. It examines personal truths about the direct experiences of those who do not get on the news or attend UFO conventions, and how this can tell us more about these encounters on an individual level, where I believe the best understanding of this mystery lies. It also stands as a snapshot of where the subject stands right now; how it is seen and internalized by witnesses, how it is mediated by those with agendas or misunderstandings, and how it might be eventually accessible to all to help us evolve and survive.
Diana spent many months talking to the people she profiles in Encounters. The result is a deep dive into not just the UFO subject, but a real look at the mindsets and approaches to those interested in examining this mystery. Her portrait of space psychologist Iya Whiteley is particularly fascinating, and reveals how carefully listening to the reports and emotions of astronauts and pilots not only saved countless lives, but could also revise the database on UFO reports. The “overview effect” experienced by many astronauts is particularly useful in this regard.
We talked about the need of the humanities and the sciences to look at the UFO subject on equal terms, and the importance of the oral transmission of information, rather than the written word, which is widely used and respected, especially in the space program. And surprisingly, the use of the technique among “invisible college” scientists and academics.
We also discussed another of the researchers in the book, who looks at AI not so much as a threat, but a chance to engage in a learning dialogue with a vast intelligence, and her view that it is an alien intelligence from the future, helping us to evolve into our next incarnation as a human species.
We end with quote from “Tyler D,” character from her first book and his advice about the UFO subject, which was that “We are not meant to figure it out.”