A New Look to the ETH

Luis R. González
Magonia 17, October 1984

As everyone else, when I first introduced myself to the UFO environment I was immediately trapped by the ETH. After years of struggle I now think I have succeeded in putting it back where it belongs: within the realms of myth and fantasy. Nevertheless, I am used to being wrong, so just in case, I would like to offer some ideas for an ‘improved’ ETH that could be more acceptable.

Objections to the classic ETH can be summarised as follows:
    A. It is highly unlikely that extraterrestrial beings could visit Earth precisely now, during the microscopic era of our Earth’s history when it happens to be inhabited by a civil-ized species just developing space travel. Consider for instance the immense distances involved, the light barrier, the energy requirements, etc.
    B. UFO evolutions are an apparent defiance of what we term ‘Laws of Nature’. Besides, the lack of any convincing hard evidence after 30 years of research points to a non-material explanation.
    C. The great variety of shapes and sizes, details of design, etc., both of UFOs and the beings associated with them, would demand a wide variety of different civilisations and planets of origin, increasing the improbability of A. Besides, how can you explain the irrational behaviour described, particularly those misleading messages?
    D. UFO phenomena seem to be linked to several other phenomena of earthly origin. As Hilary Evans said [1], we can find several amazing ‘connections’ between UFOs and psychic phenomena, SF and folklore, BVM visions, geophysical activities, etc.
    E. Last but not least, it is now generally (and ashamedly) admitted that about 90% of UFO cases have conventional explanations, and not only that, but to make things worse, UFO and IFO cases are virtually indistinguishable.
At the same time, any ‘improved’ ETH must avoid those complex, all-embracing, non-falsifiable theories (Valleé’s ‘Control System’, Keel’s ‘Ultraterrestrrals’, etc.) or resorting to Clark’s Third Law (“any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic”) in order to explain the anomalous characteristics displayed by UFOs.

Well, I think that just introducing some minor adjustments into the classic ETH will give us a convincing ‘nuts & bolts’ explanation to counteract those ‘all-in-the-mind’ fashionable theories. I would like to thank our sympathetic sceptics for simplifying my task.

My suggestion is simply as follows: Suppose that several centuries ago (but not too many, in order to avoid embarrassing discussions about ‘space-gods’, I do not suffer from ‘Danikenitis’) just one world-ship, with a population of between 100,000 and 1,000,000 extraterrestrials [2] entered our solar system and stopped at the asteroid belt, near enough to Jupiter’s hydrogen for its fusion drive system, and safely away from those ‘intelligent’ beings contaminating the third planet. They are self-sufficient and are not interested in settling on a new planet, even less if they have to fight for it. On the other hand they do not want to continue their long voyage so they begin a careful plan to cope with the moment when our meeting will be unavoidable. Regarding our violent attitude, and their small number, they really must prepare extremely well this ‘ultimate encounter’ perhaps, in Leo Sprinkle’s words “awakening our space consciousness”.

How does this theory resist or assimilate the objections lodged? Let us see.

First, I have to acknowledge E, above, for drastically reducing the number of ‘real’ UFOs Really, 70,000 landings a year [3] were too many to cope with! A more reasonable estimate of 100 – 500 per year, the bulk of them unnoticed or unknown to ufologists, will be appropriate. The problem of ‘UFO-IFO indistinguishability just shows the success of their plan.

Objection C is explained away by E. Surely if we were able to sort out ‘the wheat from the chaff’ this apparent heterogeneity will become very much homogeneous. As far as UFOs are concerned we many also be misguided by our present technology, centered on standardisation and mass-production to reduce costs. Computer technology introduces us already into a new era [4] of personal and computer-tailored products, each one different from another. Genetic engineering allows us to tamper with our own genetic code and (in the near future) develop useful modifications added to those Mother Nature gave us (an African pygmy and a tall Swedish blond are quite different indeed, even to our terrestrial eyes:). The misleading messages and irrational behaviour are likely to be a ‘contamination’ from IFO data. Another idea, considering their small number, is that it would be highly recommendable for them not to reveal the truth, and to reinforce intentionally the irrational components.

The astrophysicists proposing objections along A will (or indeed have [5]) accepted as possible just one visit of a world-ship, on a long journey of thousands of years, during our history. And the technology needed for such a voyage and ship is almost withing our present capabilities [6]. Other ‘illegal’ characteristics exhibited by UFOs are also becoming acceptable as scientists learn more and more: ‘invisibility to radar’, see STEALTH, US Airforce project; ‘sudden stops and right-angle turns’, see advanced avionics, etc. There has been some material evidence, but it has been quickly rejected because it had no ‘unknown properties’. This is stupid: Any alien space-craft will be built with similar (or the same) alloys as an American or Russian one. Elements are the same all over the Universe.

Finally, the connections discovered with several other phenomena may only be the effect of engulfing a real phenomenon (UFOs) with the imagery that forms the ‘dark side of the UFOs’ [7]. Besides, it is quite possible that some of the sightings have geophysical explanations (not ‘real’ UFOs).Well, I hope it will be enough, I almost convinced myself:! In any case, my last argument will be irrefutable: we need the ETH. If UFOs were explained and psychologists, sociologists, geo-physicists, etc. take over, what are we poor ufologists going to talk about?


  1. EVANS, Hilary, The Evidence for UFOs, Thorsons 1983.
  2. SAN, Maurice G. de, Hypothesis on the UFO Origin, UPIAR Monograph, 1978.
  3. Idem, p.35.
  4. TOFFLER, Alvin, The Third Wave.
  5. SAGAN, Carl and SHKLOVSKII, I.S., Intelligent Life in the Universe.
  6. O’NEILL, Gerard, The High Frontier; Human Colonies in Space.
  7. KEUL, A. G. ‘The Dark Side of the UFO’, in UPIAR IV no. 1, 1980/