As people who know me well will be aware, my views on the nature of the UFO phenomenon have radically changed over the years. Back when I was in my twenties, I was of the opinion that UFOs (the truly unknown ones) were extraterrestrial. As in definitely extraterrestrial. As I slid into my thirties, however, my thoughts slowly began to change (something which also happened for a few friends of mine in the field, too). And as many people will also know, my views - today - are far closer to those suggested by John Keel. Namely, that we're dealing with something that co-exists with us and which masquerades as ET. It's not enough for me to say "My views have changed." There are the reasons why my mind has altered since my early thirties (or thereabouts). And, there are several reasons, rather than just one.
There's the nature of the entities themselves: they practically overemphasize who, or what, they claim to be. Take, for example, all those "soil-sampling" aliens of the 1950s and 1960s. You know the ones: someone is working in their field, or driving down a stretch of road, when they encounter a couple of diminutive aliens collecting specimens of local plants, flowers, and vegetables. ET on a scientific mission, right? No, not in my view.
We only have to take a careful look at such cases (and there are more than a few on record - here's a link to a number of classic cases) to see that these "incidents" are clearly stage-managed. It's a game, a scenario that has nothing to do with real soil-sampling, but everything to do with trying to emphasize the ET meme. Are we to believe that, time and time again, aliens are so stupid that they can't collect a few of those aforementioned samples without having their cover blown? Of course, they could easily avoid us! But, here's the deal: they want to be seen. It's not an accident. It's carefully planned. And it's designed to plant an image of "ET scientists" in the mind(s) of the witness(es).
It's much the same with the way in which - in both Contactee and Abductee cases - the aliens aren't just keen to tell us which planet, star-system, or galaxy, they're from. They're more than a bit too keen to do so. Once it was Venus and Mars. Then, it was Zeta Reticuli. Or is it the Pleiades? The problem is not so much where they claim to come from. Rather, it's their eager insistence on letting us know where they're from - and time and again. There's another issue, too. Over the decades, we have allegedly been visited by long-haired Space Brothers, stacked Space-Babes, black-eyed and large-headed dwarfs, bipedal reptiles, praying mantis-type creatures, and...well...the list goes on and on. But, they all seem perfectly comfortable with the Earth's gravity, temperature, oxygen levels, etc. Doesn't that strike you as a bit odd?
And there's also the fact that many UFO encounters are far more visionary in nature than of a "nuts-and-bolts" type. Tales of Contactees heading out to isolated and desert-based locations, and meeting very human-like entities, abound. They're not at all unlike multiple accounts that one can find in numerous religions. In fact, they're near-identical. Lives are radically changed, and people find themselves on new paths. Gods, angels, demons, the "little people," and - today - aliens: it's all one and the same. A force that we presently don't understand and which impacts upon us - and manifests before us - in a fashion that is relevant to the people of the particular era in question.
Of course, there's nothing new about all (or any) of this: it mirrors the work of the likes of Terence McKenna, Jacques Vallee, and the aforementioned John Keel. I don't fully deny the ET angle of the UFO controversy. Maybe, they really are just inept plant collectors. But, I can say for sure that, every year, my views that we are dealing with something much stranger than ET grow stronger. Inter-dimensional? Time-Travelers? An ancient terrestrial race that exists alongside us? I don't know. But, ET? Probably not. The main reason: the phenomenon works too hard to come across as alien. As McKenna said: "We are part of a symbiotic relationship with something which disguises itself as an extra-terrestrial invasion so as not to alarm us."