Lovecraft wrote often about "aliens on Earth" in a fictional manner, and much of what he wrote has seeped into Fortean and cult interpretations.
Unless one counts the 1890's reports, it has been nearly 2/3 of a century since the modern flying saucer phenomenon swept the Cold War world. Surely we have learned something since then?
In fact there is a lot we know, but not what we might have suspected. Beginning shortly after the WWII victory in Europe by the allies, an immediate cold war began inciting rampant paranoia in the United States not seen again since shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Unbelievably vast sums of money were expended to create clandestine organizations - most who did not even know each other existed - and they immediately set about to create spectacularly frightening and innovative technological marvels.
We also learned that humans are remarkably observant and equally poor at interpretation of those observations. Many of the clandestine airborne objects were sighted and reported setting off a frenzy in the government. Some thought this evidence that the Soviets were ahead in technology, not understanding they originated from sister, yet clandestine, organizations. Others were shocked that defense strategies were impotent to see or stop “something” that thousands were seeing. Retaliation was not analysis, but threats to civilians to shut up, and later to discredit vocal individuals with ridicule or with other socio-psychological techniques.
However, once the threat was perceived as relatively non-existant, a second wave of “cover-up” began. First, recruiting scientific types to counter observations and reports, then to coerce media to ignore or ridicule observations, and finally to simply ignore any reports.
Thousands of amateur civilians began to suspect something was strange, and since true scientific inquiry was marginalized by government pressure, they began to take their own reports and go down numerous blind alleys. Often, psychologically impaired individuals muddied the water, but by the 21st century some answers were forthcoming. Freedom of information acts also assisted in discovering that the intelligence agencies were mostly clueless as well for most of this time.
Humans experience complex reactions. An ordinary object perceived through extraordinary circumstances prompts layers of interpretation by the brain. A candle seen through a greasy window does not look much like a candle, but under usual circumstances we know it is a candle. But not when we are tired, have experienced collateral trauma of some sort, or are in a dream-state, or influenced by disease, or drugs, adrenaline, or other chemical modifications.
As hundreds of thousands of reports flooded into amateur organizations, they quickly began to see a wide range of phenomenology that did not fit well into “alien invasions”. Some did try to categorize a plethora of alien species based on innumerable reports, but one may as well categorize things based on dreams and nightmares. This is not the first time organizations faced this problem. Scholarly, but paranoid clergy once tried the same thing with demons, fairies, and in other cultures, other categorizations. This, in turn, corrupted the input because people began to read written descriptions of other reports and reinterpret what they experienced through those filters. A sort of cult-feedback loop happened, well-known to folklorists. Instead of reporting what they experienced, they put on a primary filter using language extracted and influenced by those who were actually taking the reports.
It took a great while to recognize this, and again, true academic and scientific researchers were unavailable due to self-exile. Real examination of this phenomenology might have made theses and jump-started careers, but no, they ran. A notable exception was Carl Sagan who tried for a short time, until he also seemed to either become exasperated or began to feel marginalized by colleagues and perhaps worried it might impact his career and income.
In any event, our world may have indeed been invaded by some aliens. There seems some solid evidence that alien microbes are here, and maybe at least once or twice a ship or probe may have landed. But with all the hoopla we would never know it for certain, and the leaders of our governments might be the last to know. It has taken most of sixty-years to begin to divide the paranormal experiences from the real experiences. When real experiences are uncovered, and examined carefully, a large number of these have been found to be clandestine government objects, devices, and activities - most by errant sub-contractors with the military quick to cover it up. Other observations have been found to be meteors, space debris disintegrating in the atmosphere, electrical or electro-magnetic effects, and so forth. This validates the keen observation ability by humans, and documents how poorly we can interpret phenomenon out of our ordinary experience. These same observations have been attributed to aliens, conspiratorial agents, ghosts, alternate-dimensions, devils, visions, deities, or angels.
It should be about time for experts and professionals to assist those who labor part-time as amateur investigators. Yet even as investigators close in on answers, our government is broken and dysfunctional, and professionals (such as scientists) are more than ever marginalized and fearful for their positions.
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