The Times - They
Aren't A Changing
By Jim Hickman <>
(with apologies to Bob Dylan)

As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.", I'm constantly amazed at the way things remain the same in Ufology. I was reading some ancient UFO articles written back in the late '40's and 50's. I wanted to share some of what I read with you.
One interesting quote by -Captain Edward J. Ruppelt of Project Bluebook: "The Air Force has never ruled out the possibility that we are being visited from outer space. It says only that it has no evidence to support this possibility."
This is a strange thing for the head of our saucer program to say in public. He goes on to say, "My own opinion is that either the saucers are interplanetary or they do not exist. I do not believe that there is enough evidence at hand to choose between these alternatives. You can argue either case indefinitely, and in the end you will have only an opinion." Sound familiar? I think we are still in debate on that one today. Dr Carl Sagan told a symposium back in 1968 that Interstellar flight at nearly the speed of light is not impossible, even with present principles of science. "If we are being visited by representatives of extraterrestrial life, just sticking our heads in the sand would be a very bad policy. If there are other technical civilizations, any random one is likely to be vastly in advance of us. It is unlikely there is any other civilization in the galaxy that is as backward as we are." Quite a change from the normal line of "aliens do exist, but just they can't come here". Why the change?
Another report from Don Keyhoe states that: Intelligent beings might conceivably exist on Mars or Venus. It speculated on the possibility that a civilization on one of those planets might have begun its technological advance thousands of years before ours did, and that the people of that civilization might now be interested in watching our own advance - out of scientific curiosity, perhaps, or out of fear of future aggression. "Such a civilization might observe." Said the report, "that on earth we now have A-bombs and are developing rockets.. We should expect at this time above all to behold such visitations." Yet, we are now out of the "cold war" and we possibly might have passed the "L test" required in the Drake equation, If we have, why are we still having visits from our UFO friends? For those who aren't familiar with Drake, here's some info.
The Drake Equation The famous Drake Equation gives the number of intelligent civilizations able to communicate within our own galaxy. N=R*fs*fp*ne*fl*fi*fc*L
R is the average rate of star formation in the galaxy, equal to about 20 stars per year (i.e. recent HST observations of M16 showing star formation sites).
fs is the fraction of stars that are suitable suns for planetary systems, approximately 0.1 (most stars belong to spectral type M and are probably too small, whereas a few, such as O and B stars, are too short-lived). The circumstellar disk around Beta Pictoris is evidence of planetary formation.
fp is the number of suitable suns with planetary systems, now thought to be around 1/2 (i.e. 51 Pegasus discovery), a value that has made scientists optimistic about the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy
ne is the mean number of planets that are located within the Continuously Habitable Zone (assuming liquid water is necessary for life)
fl is the fraction of such planets on which life actually originates (given enough time primative organic substances will be synthesized into DNA and RNA, recent detection of the amino acid Glycene in the ISM by radio observations) fi represents the fraction of such planets on which, after the origin of life, some form of intelligence arises (evolution probably occurs wherever life arises, and intelligence has survival value fc is the fraction of such intelligent species that develop the ability and desire to communicate with other civilizations (they construct radio telescopes or laser systems)
L is the mean lifetime (in years) of a communicative civilization (because it depends on the NATURE of the race of intelligent beings it is the most uncertain factor in Drake's Equation) His equation gives us from 10,000 civilizations to millions now that we know there are other planets out there.
Back to Keyhoe, "The truth is, there is no longer any reasonable doubt that alien spacecraft are visiting the earth. The statement may sound startling at first, but when you think about it, it actually becomes quite mundane. It is not much more startling than the statement that, if you stand on a street corner, sooner or later somebody will pass by. In the light of recent scientific calculations, it seems likely that several million of them have planetary systems, and at least some of these planets must support life. It would be arrogant of us to suppose that we are the only intelligent beings in the galaxy, and just as arrogant to think that we are the first to develop space travel. Civilizations far older than ours may have orbited their first satellites when human-kind was just learning to light fires. Such a civilization would eventually send its astronauts out to explore nearby space, and if they found a planet that harbored intelligent life - a planet such as our own - they would undoubtedly hang around and study it at length."
I have heard theories covering everything from an alien wild animal park to a "freak show". For unknown reasons we are being visited. I think we are being watched, for signs of intelligence. If so they are still watching. (In my humble opinion). "A full explanation of the 'flying saucers' seems due," said Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana in a letter to NICAP on June 5, 1963. Said Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin in 1963: "The very fact that so many inexplicable incidents have occurred is reason enough for a thorough investigation." Many other members of congress, of both parties, have also made strong statements in support of public hearings. hmm, today we are trying to get public hearings too! Thanks to the hard work of ufologists worldwide, we are still where we were in 1963! As I said the time's they aren't a changing.
I'm going to finish off this report with a quote from Don Keyhoe that still fits today's ufology: "Sooner or later the truth has got to come out. A secret this big, with such enormous implications for all of humanity, cannot possibly be kept forever. Congressional hearings are almost bound to be held eventually - probably within the next year. The basic finding of these hearings - that we are indeed under surveillance of some kind by visitors from the universe - will undoubtedly startle and frighten many people throughout the world. But it shouldn't surprise you at all. The facts, the evidence, are before you right now."


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