DiscoverThe Ezra Klein ShowA serious conversation about UFOs
A serious conversation about UFOs

A serious conversation about UFOs

Update: 2020-06-1117
Share

Description

You may have been following — I hope you are following — the New York Times's recent UFO reporting. Videos that the Navy confirms are real show pilots seeing and marveling over craft they can't explain. And as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, those videos “only scratch the surface” of the Pentagon's UFO research.


UFOs are one of those topics that it’s hard to take seriously because they’re covered in kitsch and conspiracy. But there are those who take them seriously, which means approaching the question with humility. The history, frequency, and consistency of these events point toward something that merits study. But the explanations we force onto them — from religious visitations to aliens — confuse us further. We’re working backward from beliefs we already have, not forward from phenomena we don’t understand. 


Diana Walsh Pasulka is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. In 2019, she published a fascinating book called American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology, in which she embeds in the world of UFO research and tries to understand it using the tools of religious scholarship. The results are revelatory in terms of theory but also in terms of the things she sees, learns, and is forced to confront.


Sometimes it's healthy — and, to be honest, fun — to train our attention on what we can't explain, not just what we can. In this episode, we do just that.


Book recommendations:

Passport to Magonia by Jacques Vallee

Authors of the Impossible by Jeffrey J. Kripal

UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record by Leslie Kean



Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com

Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.

New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)


Credits:

Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld

Researcher - Roge Karma

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Comments (2)

Elvis Kelvin

woow

Jun 15th
Reply

Gracie Haak

this was a super interesting episode, loved the guest. she seemed like one of those people who has so much info and fascination in their brain that it's hard to pin down, which always make for fun interviews.

Jun 15th
Reply
00:00
00:00
x

0.5x

0.8x

1.0x

1.25x

1.5x

2.0x

3.0x

Sleep Timer

Off

End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

A serious conversation about UFOs

A serious conversation about UFOs

Vox