The Truth is Right Here: The UFO Phenomenon

with Professor Jeffrey Kripal

Tuesday 8th February 2022

7:00pm – 8:30pm (UK time) via Zoom

THIS SESSION IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF THREE, EXPLORING THE IMPOSSIBLE, THE UNSAYABLE AND THE MAGICAL. These talks explore how we can speak about experiences which seem to defy the rules of our everyday lives, and which certainly challenge our capacity to find adequate language in which to convey their truth. Three experts in their fields of paranormal research, Platonism and astrology will consider the ‘impossible’ questions of UFOs, the ineffable, unspoken heart of Platonic thinking, and how Jung’s concept of synchronicity underlies both astrology and magic. 

About the session: On the surface it might seem as if UFOs are limited to science fiction, but when you really start to unpack these phenomena, it’s easy to see that they play a significant role in the story of humanity. They’re some of the most powerful experiences people ever have in their whole lives. To quote a tagline from “The X-Files” TV series, “The Truth Is Out There” — or, in the Archives of the Impossible, it’s right here. Let’s explore it.

I don’t claim to know exactly what supernatural phenomena are, but I am convinced they really happen. They’re part of our world, and they have what humanists call ‘historical agency,’ which means they change things — they matter. People react to them differently. People build religions and become political around them. People deny them, people affirm them, people create mythologies, people write movies and books. These things have agency and they’re very much a part of history. That’s really what I’ve been trying to say for about 11 years now, and what I want to bring into a multi-disciplined academic discourse.


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Professor Jeffrey Kripal, is the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religion and associate dean of humanities at Rice University, Texas, is trained as a historian of religions, and this is the lens through which he studies the paranormal. He has given over 100 lectures and authored several books on the intersection of these topics, including Authors of the Impossible (2010) , Seriously Strange (2012), The Super Natural (2017), The Flip (2019)

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