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UFOlogists

UFOlogy purports itself to be the study of unidentified flying objects, and as such, touts itself as a science. In reality, however, UFOlogy is as much of a science as the study of sea monsters or Bigfoot. This does not stop prominent figures in the movement from proclaiming themselves or certain "founding fathers" as "the Galileo of UFOlogy" or comparing them to Albert Einstein. The "data" of UFOlogy is a voluminous collection of anecdotes about lights in the sky, various structured craft, abductions, alien sightings, "contact" cases, and more recently, telepathic "channeling" of aliens. Very rarely does a UFOlogist have access to a piece of a craft to run tests on, and when they do, test results are often unimpressive.   UFOlogists position themselves at odds with "skeptics" and "debunkers" (most often scientifically-minded people, including skeptical believers, who want the proof to be more convincing and demonstrative than some inconclusive test results and bad photographs of blips, blobs, and so on, or obvious hoaxes), claiming that these individuals are sent by the government to discredit the movement. Conspiracy theories about cover ups are rife in the movement, usually concerning famous crashed saucer events that may or may not have happened, secret bases, and cabals within the government that also somehow operate above its authority. (These picked up noticeably after the revelations surrounding the Watergate scandal, and some people are waiting for the other shoe to drop about the rest of the US government's wrongdoing, although a reasonable person would argue that one need not look to UFOs to find plenty of fodder for such speculation.)   The true irony of this situation is that UFOlogists could find the truth they seek if they just looked in the right places. The Stenza have been abducting random people for several hundred years, and in recent decades many of those taken are reported missing by their family, friends, and coworkers. The curious details in the reports are subtle, but can be woven into a good pattern that would get the "mainstream" to take notice. Additionally, there are reports of a periodically appearing and disappearing blue police box, into which people sometimes disappear. The box appears in the archaeological and artistic record dating back millennia. However, instead of focusing on either of these two angles, UFOlogists prefer to weave tales of government conspiracies (either by or against aliens), malevolent and benevolent aliens as the story and the sales figures require, and possibly paranormal craft and creatures.

Culture

Major language groups and dialects

Most UFOlogy is conducted in American English, with allowances for British and Australian English where appropriate. There are non-English-speaking people who sometimes get involved in the movement, usually as famous contactees or abductees or writers, but these individuals also have a very good grasp of the English language, or develop it with time in the movement.

Common Myths and Legends

The most wide-spread myths in the UFOlogy movement involve crashed saucers (also commonly called "discs", after the original term for a UFO, "flying saucer", resulting from a misrepresentation of the words of the first person to have a sighting in the modern sense), and cover-ups by the United States government. The structure can vary in complexity from "there is a craft in a base that the Air Force is trying to study but not getting very far on" to "there is an ongoing exchange program between the government and space aliens, as part of a cooperative galactic/intergalactic effort of some kind." Sometimes the mythos includes enemies, from "all the aliens are after us" to "some are good and we're in the middle of a war zone" to "all the aliens are the good guys and are trying to help us fight the government or other powers that be". Sometimes aliens are omitted altogether, in favor of communists or Nazis or underground robot people. And all of that assumes the objects are nuts-and-bolts craft built by some power other than human nations.   The other major "theory" is that UFOs are paranormal: fairies, angels, demons, figures of other religions, and so on.   But, this is less mythologically potent than the ancient astronaut theory, which posits the following: in its most basic form, aliens visited Earth a long time ago and were misunderstood to be divine beings, thus sparking all the world's religions. Any piece of archaeological evidence, if even slightly weird, can be twisted into this "theory". It also has serious implications for what it has to say about the world's pre-Christian, pre-European people, which has turned a lot of mainstream people off the theory in recent years. (It's also a gateway into other conspiracy nonsense about the governmental elites in the US, but that is best left alone.)

Ideals

Gender Ideals

Although in theory anyone could enter the field of UFOlogy, such as it is, the average, arguably stereotypical, UFOlogist is a middle-aged or older white man. Outsiders and critics have noted this, with Nat Atrella going so far as to state in Debunked that  
...it seems as though UFOlogy is the field of choice for people with boring lives, who lack concerns, who want or need something to be emotionally charged over, and so something must be made up. UFOlogical mythos presents the average American as under attack by external forces, one of the many artificial, marketable things in their lives that attempt to give it the fast-track version of meaning.
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