The articles by Hynek and Condon are both dedicated to the topic of UFOs and their public perception. Despite the ten-year gap between the publications of both pieces, the general idea of the authors is the same – subjective experiences ought to be considered with caution. However, the implications of the articles are different: whereas Condon dismisses UFOs as a linguistics nuisance, Hynek suggests that a different yet unknown phenomenon may explain them.
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Condon bases his argument on the study of the word “spectre”. The author writes about visual apparitions, which were also assumed to be extraterrestrial in the seventeenth century, but were later proven to be a physical phenomenon (Condon, 1969). In essence, he offers the same explanation to the UFO hypothesis. Condon concludes that the observations of UFOs are drastically different and are not worthy of further study.
Hynek is also skeptical of UFO’s extraterrestrial origin, however, he believes that this phenomenon should be studied. The author attributes differences in descriptions to subjective experiences. Subsequently, as the modern science is based on prioritizing objective reality, there are no significant breakthroughs regarding UFOs (Hynek, 1981). He believes that more emphasis should be put on the subjective perception, which will allow the science to explain currently incomprehensible phenomena.
Altogether, I believe that Hynek makes a qualitatively better argument. It is known that language differences may influence the way people memorize events and later report on them (Kenny Coventry, 2011). Without the consideration of subjective perceptions, such a correlation could not have been established. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that the analysis of personal accounts is worthwhile because it may uncover new dimensions about human nature or natural phenomena.
Condon, E. U. (1969). UFOs I have loved and lost. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 25(10), 6-8. Web.
Hynek, J. A. (1981). UFO’s: It’s time for a scientific approach. The Christian Science Monitor. Web.
Kenny Coventry. (2011). On language and perception [Video]. YouTube. Web.
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