Those 'Normal' UFO Witnesses

ISGP section: UFO press reports index

The Washington Post
July 20, 1975

DES MOINES (UPI) - Most people who say they have seen flying saucers, cigar-shaped airships and "humanoids from outer space are perfectly normal, according to a University of Wyoming psychology professor.

However, Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle said, "traditional scientific methods do not provide evidence considered to be proof of the existence of the UFO phenomena."

He presented a paper on the subject to a group of about 150 unidentified flying objects investigators at the annual Mutual UFO Network conference during the weekend. MUFON is a non-profit corporation composed of persons interested in resolving the UFO phenomenon by combining their talents, research and investigative efforts.

Sprinkle said evidence suggests that most persons who report seeing unidentified flying objects "are 'normal' persons who perceive and report 'abnormal' phenomena."

He said the characteristics of UFO witnesses show a wide range in age, education, occupation and cultural backgrounds and the UFO evidence they have presented is "a deluge, not a delusion." Sprinkle said evidence doesn't support the hypothesis that UFO reports are submitted only by persons who have psychopathical problems.

The testimony of UFO witnesses indicates they are convinced of the reality of their experiences, he said.

"Because of the unusual claims of the UFO percipients, and because of the announcements of public and-or military officials, many persons have hypothesized that UFO reports are being generated by 'kooks and cultists,'" Sprinkle said.

"There is sufficient evidence to convince the UFO witness that something unusual has been perceived, " he said. "However, there may be insufficient evidence in the view of the skeptical person who has not perceived the UFO experience.

"The evidence is insufficient at present to determine if UFO observers are puppets or prophets. However, the paradox of UFO investigators may continue to be frustrated in their attempts to 'prove' the existence of flying saucers."

Sprinkle said, "If UFO phenomena continue to be perceived by individuals who are unable to present proof of their experience, should we accept our situation as a predicament? If so, then we must learn to tolerate our situation."

He added a bit of his own thoughts about UFO's.

"If we learn too soon of the purposes and powers of the UFO occupants, we may react with child-like fear of their purposes and child-like dependence upon their powers," Sprinkle said.