Following the science through space, I am apprised of reports of many flying saucers, cigars, orbs, Tic Tacs, and otherwise-shaped objects of questionable aerodynamic design. Like everything else in popular science, these evolve over time. UFOs of the 1930s could barely break the sound barrier; UFOs today can beat orbital velocities. The enthusiasm for successive sightings has been raging, all this time; perhaps I should admit to reading George Adamski at a young and impressionable age. He wrote Flying Saucers Have Landed (1953), and rode to the moon and back (and later to Saturn) with his alien friends.

My suspicions of this author were not announced at age eight, but several years later I checked back on him and discovered to my satisfaction that he was a nutjob. His hoaxes of the 1940s and 1950s were getting obvious by the 1960s; he was in the mainstream tradition of “progress” which goes quickly out-of-date. Adamski flourished in the glory days of the FBI, which despatched agents to remind him that his claims of confirmation by various government agencies were entirely false, and legally actionable. Despite this, he persisted.

Generally, the true believers in UFO cults persist. This continues inevitably when the United States Air Force is officially confirming sightings of objects which disobey the physical laws of at least this universe, perform right-angled turns at spacecraft speeds, whip into oceans without splashing, and crash into the ground without leaving wrecks (and yet, they sometimes disturb the vegetation). These have been plausibly reported by seasoned (earthly) pilots, and sometimes leave traces on the instrumentation, including unsatisfactory photographs. I do not doubt the USAF, or rather, not frequently. Its pilots are not, typically, true believers in UFOs.

Adamski was, like the overwhelming majority of UFO enthusiasts, also much interested in the occult. This describes some millions of “space man” believers, in every country, especially Brazil. The link is educational. We are dealing with occult phenomena, which, in contradiction of sceptical post-Christianity, are quite real but not (in the physics sense), “physical.” For demonic beings — fallen angels, as it were — have been visiting the earth and actually dwelling among us for as long as we (humans) have been here. And like angels, specifically, they are not subject to the physical laws, which put a crimp on our technology.

One is unwise to interact with such demons, however. It never ends well.