When it comes to intriguing quotes of the UFO variety made by famous and influential individuals, there are certain ones that very often spring to mind. I'm thinking, for example, about things like (a) US President Ronald Reagan's comments about how an alien threat would unite the Human Race; (b) the profound words of NASA astronaut Gordon Cooper, who went on record as stating: "I believe that these extraterrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets, which are a little more technically advanced than we are on Earth;" and (c) US Senator Barry Goldwater's statements about being denied access to the alleged "Blue Room" at Wright-Patterson, Air Force Base.
There are, however, far less well known statements of a UFO nature that have been made by equally important - and historically significant - figures. British Air Marshal Sir Victor Goddard was a very well respected figure, both before and during the Second World War. Indeed, in 1935 he became the British Air Ministry's first Deputy Director of Intelligence.
Given Goddard's standing, it is illuminating to note that he made a number of positive and highly-perceptive statements attesting to his belief in UFOs. He also made a number of intriguing comments suggesting that the UFO phenomenon was one somehow linked with what many would call the "spirit world."
Certainly, some of Goddard's statements came very close to the kinds of areas that so dominated the mind and research of the late John Keel, author of such books as The Mothman Prophecies and Operation Trojan Horse. As evidence, consider the following from Goddard:
"...while it may be that some operators of UFO are normally the paraphysical denizens of a planet other than Earth, there is no logical need for this to be so. For, if the materiality of UFO is paraphysical - and consequently normally invisible, UFO could more plausibly be creations of an invisible world coincident with the space of our physical Earth planet than creations in the paraphysical realms of any other planet in the solar system."
He continued: "Given that real UFO are para-physical, capable of reflecting light like ghosts; and given that also that - according to many observers - they remain visible as they change position at ultra-high speeds from one point to another, it follows that those that remain visible in transition do not dematerialize for that swift transition, and therefore, their mass must be of a very diffuse nature, and their substance relatively etheric."
Consider, too, the following from Goddard: "The observed validity of this supports the para-physical assertion and makes the likelihood of UFO being Earth-created greater than the likelihood of their creation on another planet. The astral world of illusion which - on physical evidence -is greatly inhabited by illusion-prone spirits, is well known for its multifarious imaginative activities and exhortations.
"Seemingly some of its denizens are eager to exemplify principalities and powers. Others pronounce upon mortality, spirituality, Deity, etcetera. All of these astral exponents who invoke human consciousness may be sincere, but many of their theses may be framed to propagate some special phantasm, perhaps of an earlier incarnation, or to indulge an inveterate and continuing technological urge toward materialistic progress, or simply to astonish and disturb the gullible for the devil of it."
Profound words. And they do not stand alone.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, who commanded the British Royal Air Force's Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain in 1940, made some equally thought provoking comments on the UFO issue: "More than ten thousand sightings have been reported, the majority of which cannot be accounted for by any 'scientific' explanation, e.g. that they are hallucinations, the effects of light refraction, meteors, wheels falling from airplanes, and the like."
Commenting on the matter of evidence for the presence of a real UFO phenomenon, and offering his own theories on the nature of the phenomenon, Dowding added: "They have been tracked on radar screens and the observed speeds have been as great as 9,000 miles an hour. I am convinced that these objects do exist and that they are not manufactured by any nation on earth. I can therefore see no alternative to accepting the theory that they come from some extraterrestrial source.
"I think that we must resist the tendency to assume that they all come from the same planet, or that they are actuated by similar motives. It might be that the visitors from one planet wished to help us in our evolution from the basis of a higher level to which they had attained. Another planet might send an expedition to ascertain what have been these terrible explosions which they have observed, and to prevent us from discommoding other people beside ourselves by the new toys with which we are so light-heartedly playing."
He concluded: "Other visitors might have come bent solely on scientific discovery and might regard us with the dispassionate aloofness with which we might regard insects found beneath an upturned stone."
Of course, at the end of the day, opinions and theories are simply that - opinions and theories - no matter who offers them. Nevertheless, as all the above demonstrates, if you have a personal interest in UFOs, and wish to make a public comment or several on the subject, you will be in very good company!