Jung On Signs in the Skies: A Jungian Perspective on UFOs

… somebody lifted the iron lid that has been clamped down over my head from without and in came the question: what do you think about the Flying Saucers?—This is the thing that carried me away as soon as I had finished the other work,… Ever since I have been busy on this new errand. It is most adventurous and has carried me further than I ever expected. But please keep this news under the hat. Otherwise people get funny ideas about my senility.

I don’t know why these unpopular things have this uncanny attraction for me….

Jung (1957)[1]

It is not presumption that drives me, but my conscience as a psychiatrist that bids me fulfill my duty and prepare those few who will hear me for coming events which are in accord with the end of an era.

Jung (1958)[2]

… psychologists who are conscious of their responsibilities should not be dissuaded from critically examining a mass phenomenon like Ufos, since the apparent impossibility of the Ufo reports suggests to common sense that the most likely explanation lies in a psychic disturbance.

Jung (1958)[3]

We have here a golden opportunity of seeing how a legend is formed, and how in a dark and difficult time for humanity a miraculous tale grows up of an attempted intervention by extra-terrestrial ‘heavenly’ powers—and this at the very time when human fantasy is seriously considering the possibility of space travel and of visiting or even invading other planets.

Jung (1958)[4]

It depends on us whether we help coming events to birth by understanding them, and reinforce their healing effect, or whether we repress them with our prejudices, narrow-mindedness and ignorance, thus turning their effect into its opposite, into poison and destruction.

Jung (1958)[5]

In his 1957 letter to Esther Harding, part of which is the first quote above, Jung makes it seem as if his interest in Ufos began soon after he finished work on his essay “God, the Devil and the Human Soul,” for The Atlantic Monthly.[6] But in reality he had gotten interested in the reports of “flying saucers” over a decade earlier,[7] and had had friends and family collecting any materials they could find on the phenomenon.[8]

Initially Jung had heard about lights in the sky over Sweden in 1943,[9] during World War II, but the war made an investigation impossible. Likewise with the reports of “Foo fighters” over Germany in 1945.[10] It would only be after the war that Jung was able to take up focused study on Ufos and his letters over the years, e.g. to Beatrice Hinkel, a New York analyst and former analysand,[11] and to Fowler McCormick, a friend, traveling companion and source for Ufo-related books and reports,[12] describe the development of his ideas. In this essay we will consider Jung’s ideas and theories about Ufos, in the context of his time and our own. We will also consider Jung’s views about the reality of Ufos, the importance he put on the phenomenon of the Ufo, and what conclusions we might take away from his warnings.

Ufos in the Context of the Time

In the Context of the 1950’s. Jung wrote his essay on Ufos in a tumultuous time. World War II had just ended, leaving most of Europe in a state of devastation and exhaustion. Before any real recovery began it became clear that the future would be riven by the rivalry between the West and the Soviet Union, in the split that got labeled the “Cold War.”[13] Emotional tensions were high.[14] Both domestic and international situations seemed to present high-stakes threats all the time.[15] McCarthyism in the United States led to what Jung called “… deep and anxious apprehensions…”[16] in the American public. The global political situation induced fears[17] and created a world in which Jung felt “… we might expect all sorts of funny things,”[18] since “… our psychic equilibrium has been something of a problem.”[19] Conditions seemed so perilous that even strongly non-religious people began to ask themselves fundamental questions.[20] Then, while Jung was writing his essay on Ufos, the Russians launched Sputnik, the first satellite to go into space,[21] and the “space race” was on.

In the Context of the 20th Century. The 1950’s were only one interval in the longer time span of the century, and Jung was aware of its general tendencies and features. As I have noted many times in previous essays on this blog site, Jung did not appreciate many of the features of the 20th century. It was, he said, a “split-minded” age,[22] a time of “rootless intellectualisms”[23] characterized by fragmentation, confusion and perplexity,[24] “when we have so few serviceable or credible ideas.”[25] To Jung the 20th was a century full of “…bleak, shallow rationalism that offers stones instead of bread to the emotional and spiritual hungers of the world,…”[26] a time when people were “… uneasy and dissatisfied and insecure and now under modern political conditions… naturally afraid also…”,[27] a time of “crass undervaluation of the psyche,”[28] and of “widespread anxiety and insecurity,”[29] a time when “thoughtful people”[30] felt “… a tremor running through the foundation of our world.”[31] If we are honest, we will have to admit that the first decade of the 21st century hasn’t been much better.

With his keen insight Jung understood the psychological background of modern persons. Given our spiritual emptiness, it seemed quite logical to him that people would have “… an insatiable hunger for anything extraordinary.”[32] It made sense to him that, in this time when “our belief in metaphysical explanations had grown enfeebled,…”[33] we would look to the skies and see “all sorts of signs and wonders,”[34] or anticipate some sort of “miraculous intervention.”[35] But Jung also saw these responses from people all over the world as part of something much larger: they were signs of the end times.[36]

In the Context of the Turning of the Era. Before going further, I have to note that Jung did not use the word “era” in the casual way we usually do. By era, he really meant “aion,” or aeon, that 2,000-year-long interval he termed the “Platonic month” that results from the axial precession of the equinoxes.[37] By his calculation Jung felt that we were approaching that momentous time when the age of Pisces would give way to the age of Aquarius, and for this, he is commonly regarded as the originator of the term “new age,”[38] and might be considered the father of the whole New Age movement.

While many “New Agers” wax rhapsodic about all the wonderful energies going around, Jung was not so sanguine. He understood that the transition from one age to another was marked by “spiritual distress,”[39] “eschatological conceptions,”[40] like the coming of the Apocalypse,[41] fears of the destruction of the world, claims of the appearance of the world redeemer,[42] prophets of doom and prophets of new religions[43]—not at all a time of fun and games! But exactly the sort of time when one might expect to hear about wonders in the sky, miraculous apparitions, and visions of archetypal images of “gods”[44]—simple, round, oval or cylindrical forms that are mandalas,[45] archetypes or symbols of totality,[46] deliverance, and wholeness,[47] symbols of the Self[48]—all of this compensatory[49] to the unconscious anxiety and dis-ease that goes along with the transition between aeons.

It made perfect sense to Jung that our time would hear of reports of signs in the skies, of people being carried off in wondrous crafts,[50] dealings with angels,[51] and numinous experiences that leave people feeling hopeful.[52] Having experienced disappointment or despair from human institutions rooted in the old aeon and its faltering ways, it is only natural that people would hope to find solace from heaven. Jung told the Basel Psychology Club “… In our world miracles do not happen anymore, and we feel that something simply must happen which will provide an answer or show a way out. So now these Ufos are appearing in the skies…. Now, suddenly, they seem to portend something because that something has been projected on them—a hope, an expectation… the expectation of a savior.”[53]

Without any conscious awareness of the momentous change underway in human history, recent generations have been experiencing many of the feelings and signs that accompany the shift from one aeon to another. Keenly intuitive as he was, and able to read so well the psychic undercurrents of his time, Jung understood what was really going on in the phenomenon of the Ufo, and he felt a duty, as a psychologist, to alert people to what it all meant.

It is not presumption that drives me, but my conscience as a psychiatrist that bids me fulfill my duty and prepare those few who will hear me for coming events which are in accord with the end of an era.[54]

To fulfill this duty meant confronting the very complicated, difficult question “Are Ufos real?” Jung’s answer baffled many, including the media[55] and individuals who tried to discuss the phenomenon with him.[56] He satisfied only the few who knew what he meant when he said “The psyche is real.”[57]

The Psychic Reality of Ufos

“The Psyche is Real” is the title of an essay on this blog site.[58] In it I discussed what Jung meant by the term, and how it presents a challenge to the widespread materialism of our culture. By “materialism” I refer to the belief that something is “real” if it is tangible—if we can touch it, cut it, weigh it, put it through the gas chromatograph or analytical chemical spectrometer, smell it, taste it, or work with it in some physical way. The psyche obviously is not “real” in this sense, and therefore, given the bias of “scientism,” the current knowledge base[59] of our society, it is trivialized or dismissed as “fantasy.”

Jung knew better. He knew better from many decades of personal experience working with the psyche in its myriad manifestations in his own and his patients’ dreams, active imaginations, meditations, synchronicities and collective events. His empirical history of the psyche led him to state “The psyche is not an arbitrary fantasy; it is biological fact subject to the laws of life.”[60]

Part of the problem most people have in understanding Jung on this point is that, as he himself admitted, the “psyche has its own peculiar reality.”[61] It does not behave in all instances according to the familiar laws of physics: It “relativizes” space and time,[62] for example, and shows up in ways that often go unrecognized by the conscious mind. It takes a psychologist—someone trained in the ways of the psyche and alert to its possible manifestations in the world—to spot instances of its “breaking through with projected contents…”.[63]

In the global phenomenon of the Ufo Jung recognized such a breaking through. It was an undeniable fact that people all over the world were reporting Ufo sightings.[64] No one could deny this. Some governmental authorities, like the U.S. Air Force, responded to these “rumors” by setting up bureaus to investigate the reports.[65] While the military and others focused on trying to determine the physical reality of Ufos, Jung focused on the undeniable reality of the “rumors”[66] themselves and recognized their psychic significance.

How did he spot this? What led Jung to think there was some psychic reality to all the talk of Ufos? Jung noted that Ufos were seen in many different places around the world, in widely different cultures, by different types of people, by both genders, young and old. While reactions to the sightings varied (some people feeling fear, others awe, others surprise) people everywhere wanted to believe in Ufos and wanted them to be real.[67] Even people who had not personally seen a Ufo wanted them to be real. As a psychologist Jung found this fact very interesting: a shared response to similar events that transcends cultures and personal differences bespeaks some sort of eruption from the collective unconscious.[68]

An eruption from the collective unconscious? To the psychologically unsophisticated these words might seem like Jung was saying that the whole Ufo phenomenon was a sign of madness or psychological instability. No. While Jung did wonder about the “conscious and unconscious mentality” of Ufo eye-witnesses,[69] and felt it would be good for psychologists to examine them,[70] he never regarded them as crazy.

By “eruption” Jung meant “projection.” Projection—the “expulsion of a subjective content into an object”[71]—or seeing outside oneself something that actually lies within—is how Jung interpreted the Ufo phenomenon. The “something” here could be our “collective but unacknowledged fear of death,”[72] an unconscious desire for salvation or deliverance from the anxieties of outer reality,[73] an unrecognized capacity for wholeness, or one’s individuation.[74] The round, oval or cylindrical shapes of the Ufos, mentioned earlier, would be perfect carriers of such projections.[75]

To be sure, the average Ufo eye-witness would deny he or she was doing any such thing. That is the nature of projection: It is involuntary and unconscious, “… a spontaneous answer of the unconscious to the present conscious situation,…”[76] and, given the tendency of the psyche to strive for balance, such projections would be compensatory.[77] That is, they would try to balance the fears and anxieties people feel by offering an experience that was inspiring, uplifting and numinous.

It made perfect sense to Jung that

In the threatening situation of the world today, when people are beginning to see that everything is at stake, the projection-creating fantasy soars beyond the realm of earthly organizations and powers into the heavens, into interstellar space, where the rulers of human fate, the gods, once had their abode in the planets.[78]

Jung saw Ufos as archetypal symbol carriers of the “gods,”[79] a phenomenon that had become an “impressive legend”[80] and “living myth.”[81] By “myth” Jung did not mean “a false story,” which is how our culture often defines “myth.” To Jung myths were “original revelations of the preconscious psyche,”[82] and carriers of great depth and vital meaning. So he put great store in Ufos. They were a very important feature of our time, a feature that certainly had psychological reality.

But did Ufos have physical reality? Perhaps because he recognized them as so important, this aspect of the Ufo phenomenon bedeviled Jung, and he admitted that, because of the physical evidence—the photos and radar reports—Ufos could not be “disposed of” simply as psychological artifacts.[83]

The Physical Reality of Ufos

Jung took up the question of the physical reality of Ufos with multiple disclaimers: The physical realm was the turf of physicists, astronomers, material scientists and military authorities, not psychiatrists.[84] He felt he was “… not qualified to contribute anything useful to the question of the physical reality of Ufos.”[85] He was “only competent to advise on the psychic side.”[86] He also admitted that the question brought up all sorts of negative reactions: the idea of Ufos seems “incredible,”[87] a “preposterous… offense to human dignity,”[88] a “bizarre”[89] idea that taxes “our understanding and credulity to the limit.”[90] “Every man who prides himself on his sound common sense will feel distinctly affronted.”[91] And he wondered to Esther Harding (and probably many times to himself) why he found such “unpopular” things so attractive.[92]

In the case of Ufos, this is particularly interesting, since Jung never saw a Ufo himself.[93] As an empiricist who determined truth from his own experience, Jung must have been very skeptical of the idea that Ufos had any physical reality. He repeatedly said as much: in 1954, in his written interview with Georg Gerster;[94] in 1958, in his statement to UPI,[95] in his essay on Ufos,[96] and in his presentation to the Basel Psychology Club.[97]

As I noted above, Jung wondered about the psychology of those who had seen Ufos, but, because some of these eye-witnesses were people known to Jung,[98] people he had analyzed and trained in analytical psychology, people who were at that time practicing analysts, he could not dismiss them as psychologically naïve or unaware of when they might be projecting. So what were these trusted friends and colleagues actually seeing?

This question Jung could not answer and he was left to conclude that “I am utterly unable to explain the Ufos’ physical nature. I am not even sure that it is a matter of machines; they could be anything, even animals, but I would not dare to contradict statements as to their physical reality.”[99] After more than 10 years of research, all Jung could conclude was that “something is seen, but one doesn’t know what.”[100] Jung recognized the “what” could be something material, or something psychic. In his statement to UPI, he added that “Both are realities, but of different kinds.”[101]

That Ufos might be physically real and that they might be psychically real are two hypotheses Jung entertained when he began his Ufo investigation. He also had a third hypothesis that he considered briefly in the last few paragraphs of his essay.[102] This hypothesis stated that Ufos were both psychically and physically real, and therefore were an example of a synchronous event, i.e. an event in which an outer reality coincides in a meaningful way with an inner reality. The outer reality would be the Ufo and the inner, the unconscious content that got projected out in the form of symbols of wholeness, taking the form of mandala shapes, which the flying saucers seemed to have.[103]

The Importance of the Ufo

Some important points in Jung’s writings on Ufos come from his reflections in his interview with Georg Gerster.[104] In his written exchanges with Gerster, Jung considered some of the possible implications if Ufos turned out to be of extra-terrestrial origin. He writes:

If, … the extraterrestrial origin of the Saucers should be confirmed, this would prove the existence of intelligent interplanetary communication. What such a fact might mean for humanity cannot be imagined. But there is no doubt we would find ourselves in the same critical situation as primitive societies confronted with the superior culture of the white man. The reins of power would be wrenched from our hands, and,… the lofty flights of our spirit would have been checked and crippled forever.

            Naturally, the first thing to be consigned to the rubbish heap would be our science and technology. What the moral effects of such a catastrophe would be can be seen from the pitiful decay of primitive cultures taking place before our eyes. … we would have been ‘discovered’ and colonized—reason enough for universal panic![105]

I think Jung is making some assumptions here that might not be warranted. First, it might not be the case that extra-terrestrials (ETs) are on the same level of consciousness that we are, i.e. they might not be aggressive, fixated on power-as-domination, or interested in colonizing space/Earth. Just as their technology would be superior (proven by their arriving here at all) so it just might be that their moral level is superior, i.e. they are wiser, more integrated, more aware of the true nature of power-as-dominion, rather than domination. In other words, the way we have treated native peoples for the last 500 years—with our cosmic vanity,[106] aggression, greed and lust—might not necessarily be how ETs would treat us.

Secondly, more and more people these days are coming to recognize that power is not a zero-sum game. Jung seems to assume that, if ETs have a superior technology, then they will have the power and we won’t, that only one “side” can have the power. This is what is meant by power as a zero-sum game, and it certainly has been how our world has interpreted power relations between the technologically-advanced societies and the “primitive” societies, but I don’t believe this is the way reality has to be, and I am not alone in this belief.[107] True power is like love: the more we empower others, the more power there is in the world.[108] If ETs have so advanced technologically as to be able to travel through the Universe, maybe they also have advanced spiritually, to recognize the true nature of power. Also, if ETs had a lust for power, or the desire to colonize Earth, wouldn’t you think they would have done so by now? Reports of Ufos have been around for hundreds, even thousands of years,[109] without any documented instances of colonization taking place.

Thirdly, rather than check or cripple our “flights of spirit,” ETs might become an inspiration for us. This seems to have been the case with some instances of human-ET encounters. Jung himself cites the case of Orfeo Angelucci,[110] whom Jung dismisses as “naïve,” in his desire to spread the word about the inspirational experience he had in his meeting with ETs in the California desert. Jung interpreted Angelucci’s experience as a projection.[111] OK. Maybe it was, but does that mean it could not also have been something that really happened to the man?[112] It certainly transformed his life. Jung eludes to this fact in his reference to Angelucci experiencing the “individuation process” in an unconscious way. Angelucci is not an isolated case. Reports of Ufos have grown in number in the decades since Jung’s death in 1961, and in many of these reports, the witnesses speak of how the experience was life-changing, in positive, spiritually-meaningful ways.[113] I think the Ufo phenomenon is offering all of us (even those who have not personally seen a Ufo) the opportunity to expand our vision of reality and of what is possible. It does not have to be a negative experience or cripple our imagination.

Conclusion: Our Choices

Finally, we have to take exception to Jung’s statement that we would have reason to panic. In fact, the whole Ufo subject presents us with choices. We can choose to believe Ufos are psychically real (for which I think Jung makes a very strong case). We can choose to believe Ufos are physically real (which is easier to do if you have seen one for yourself).[114] We can choose to regard Ufo reports as synchronistic events. We can choose to believe in the reality of extra-terrestrial beings. We can choose to regard these beings as malevolent threats to our world and life as we know it, or we can choose to regard them with open-minded curiosity, perhaps wonderment, maybe even friendliness.[115] We can, in other words, choose not to panic. We might even choose to try to learn from this whole business, to choose “… to construct a new world model closer to the idea of the unus mundus,”[116] as Jung put this option.

And herein lies what is, for me, the core importance of Jung’s essay. The phenomenon of Ufos, taken as a whole, is a sign to us that we, as a race, have been projecting our wholeness, wisdom, deliverance and salvation out on to something “out of this world.” We have not been recognizing and living out the fullness of our being, our own power, our own individuation and our capacity to come together as “one world.” As long as we continue like this, we will remain like primitive man, in being vulnerable to the loss of our power, because we will have already projected it outside. Jung was trying to warn us about this: It is dangerous to project our power. This is why he raised the question in his essay on Ufos of whether we would allow ourselves to be robbed of our individual freedom.[117]

Recall one of Jung’s statements quoted at the beginning of this blog essay:

It depends on us whether we help coming events to birth by understanding them, and reinforce their healing effect, or whether we repress them with our prejudices, narrow-mindedness and ignorance, thus turning their effect into its opposite, into poison and destruction.[118]

Jung is reminding us that we need to understand what is going on now in our world—the  crucial nature of this transitional time we are living in—so that we can seize the manifold opportunities in this special time and enjoy their “healing effect,” their capacity to change and grow us into an awareness of our true power and ability. We can use the visions of Ufos as indications of inner realities, so as to take back these projections we are putting “out there,” in physical reality and in outer space, and integrate them into our “inner space.” Jung knew we have both the ability and the need “to reach a new physical as well as spiritual basis beyond our actual conscious world…”[119] but we have to make the choice to do so.

We have the wisdom, the capacity and the power to remain free, to become whole, to achieve individuation. We don’t have to seek rescue from “star beings” or look to the heavens for our salvation. We need only to look in the mirror and do our inner work.


Bair, Deirdre (2003), Jung: A Biography. New York: Little, Brown & Co.

Basel Psychology Club (1977), “At the Basel Psychology Club,” Jung Speaking, ed. William McGuire & R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Boynton, Robert (2004), “In the Jung Archives,” The New York Times Book Review (January 11, 2004), 8.

Carman, Harry, Harold Syrett & Bernard Wishy (1961), A History of the American People, 2nd ed., 2 v. New York: Alfred Knopf.

Davis, Charles (1974), Temptations of Religion. New York: Harper & Row.

Eisler, Riane (1987), The Chalice & the Blade. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Hagberg, Janet (1984), Real Power: Stages of Personal Power in Organizations. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Hannah, Barbara (1976), Jung: His Life and Work, A Biographical Memoir. New York: G.P. Putnam.

Harman, Willis (1988), Global Mind Change. Indianopolis: Knowledge Systems.

Jung C.G. (1971), “Psychological Types,” Collected Works, 6. Princeton: Princeton University Press

________ (1959), ”The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,” CW 9i. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1970), “Civilization in Transition,” CW 10. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1969), “Psychology and Religion: West and East,” CW 11. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1975), Letters, ed. Gerhard Adler & Aniela Jaffé. 2 vols. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Kofman, Fred (2006), Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values. Boulder CO: Sounds True.

Lindbergh, Charles (1977), “A Visit from Lindbergh,” Jung Speaking, ed. William McGuire & R.F.C. Hull. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

MacLaine, Shirley (2007), Sage-ing While Age-ing. New York: Atria Books.

Meier, C.A. ed. (2001), Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Mutwa, Credo (1996), Song of the Stars. Barrytown NY: Barrytown Ltd.

Wink, Walter (1992), Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

[1] Jung, “Letter to Esther Harding,” 30 May 1957; Letters II, 362.

[2] Collected Works 10, ¶589. Hereafter Collected Works will be abbreviated CW.

[3] Ibid., ¶617.

[4] Ibid., ¶614.

[5] Ibid., ¶731

[6] This essay appeared in the Monthly’s November 1957 edition and later became a section of The Undiscovered Self; “Letter to Esther Harding,” 30 May 1957; Letters, II, 362, note 2.

[7] CW 10, ¶731; cf. Bair (2003), 568-9 and 830, note 50.

[8] Aniela Jaffé, Jung’s last secretary, described Jung’s collection on Ufos as consisting of books, technical writings, photographs, news clips, letters, reports of dreams, and Jung’s own notes; altogether the material “filled several bookshelves and 5 or 6 large files;” quoted in Bair (2003), 830, note 50.

[9] CW 10, ¶599.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Written on 6 February 1951; Letters, II, 3-4.

[12] Written on 22 February 1951; Letters, II, 5-6.

[13] “Letter to Beatrice Hinkel,” 6 February 1951; ibid., 3.

[14] CW 10, ¶608.

[15] Ibid., ¶610.

[16] CW 18, ¶1443.

[17] Ibid., ¶1431.

[18] “Letter to Beatrice Hinkel,” 6 February 1951; Letters, II, 3.

[19] CW 10, ¶617.

[20] Ibid., ¶610.

[21] The first Sputnik was launched on October 4, 1957, the second on November 3 of that year; Carman, Syrett & Wishy (1961), II, 783.

[22] CW 10, ¶622.

[23] Ibid., ¶701.

[24] Ibid., ¶804.

[25] Ibid., ¶725.

[26] CW 18, ¶1442

[27] Basel Psychology Club (1977), 390.

[28] CW 10, ¶655.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid., ¶679.

[32] CW 18, ¶1442.

[33] Basel Psychology Club (1977), 391.

[34] CW 18, ¶1442.

[35] Ibid.

[36] CW 10, ¶589.

[37] Ibid. For a more detailed discussion of Jung’s concept of the Platonic month and axial precession, see the essay “Preparing for the Great Attunement,” posted in February 2012 to this blog site.

[38] Boynton (2004), 8.

[39] CW 18, ¶1442.

[40] “Letter to H.A.F.,” 16 January 1959; Letters, II, 477.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] CW 10, ¶589. Jung cites the rise of Christianity as an example of a new religion developing at the beginning of the age of Pisces.

[44] CW 10, ¶622.

[45] Ibid., ¶618.

[46] Ibid; ¶618 & 622.

[47] Ibid., ¶624.

[48] Ibid., ¶s 621 & 693

[49] Ibid., ¶622 and CW 18, ¶1442

[50] CW 10, ¶603; cf. “Letter to H.A.F.,” 16 January 1959; Letters, II, 477.

[51] “Letter to H.A.F.,” 16 January 1959; Letters, II, 477.

[52] Basel Psychology Club (1977), 391.

[53] Ibid.

[54] CW 10, ¶589.

[55] Neither the Flying Saucer Review nor the APRO Bulletin understood the distinction Jung made between psychic and physical reality; see CW 18, ¶1431, note 1.

[56] E.g. Charles Lindbergh, in his 2 August 1959 meeting with Jung. In his retrospective account years later Lindbergh expressed surprise that Jung seemed to regard flying saucers as real, and after a brief discussion (in which Lindbergh brought up his conversations with US Air Force officials who assured him that Ufos were not real), Jung seemed to lose interest in the topic. Lindbergh seemed not to realize that in saying to him “There are a great many things going on around this earth that you and General Spaatz don’t know about.” Jung was essentially ending that conversation. Lindbergh (1977), 407-8. Based on my reading of Jung and his opinion of airmen (stated in CW 10, ¶647), I can only hypothesize about what happened in this meeting. Jung stated in his Ufo essay that airmen are not introverts and while flying they cannot be introspective, so he probably received the visiting famous Lindbergh with the assumption that Lindbergh was not an introvert. Then Lindbergh began to cite all his conversations with various officials about the non-reality of Ufos, and this likely confirmed for Jung that Lindbergh was an extravert, and therefore unlikely to get the distinction between physical and psychic reality. Another consideration is Jung’s age (he was 84) and the fact that, as he got older, he lost patience with those who were unfamiliar with his works; Hannah (1976), 345.

[57] CW 11, ¶757; cf. CW 18, ¶1445.

[58] Posted in September 2010.

[59] Harman (1988), 101.

[60] CW 10, ¶656, note 8.

[61] Ibid., ¶655.

[62] Ibid. By “relativizing” time and space, Jung was referring to the fact that past, present and future seem to mean nothing in the psychic realm: we can have dreams, for example, that foretell the future, and the psyche can behave in non-local ways, e.g. a mother sees her son wounded in battle in a dream, wakes up and learns hours later that he was in fact wounded at the exact time of her dream. For more on the curious nature of the psyche and its relation to quantum reality, see Meier (2001).

[63] CW 10, ¶609.

[64] “Preface to the 1st English edition,” CW 10, p. 309.

[65] Ibid., ¶756.

[66] Jung used the word “rumor” frequently in referring to Ufos; see CW 10, ¶s597, 598, 607, 616, 731, 756 and 785.

[67] “Preface to the 1st English edition,” CW 10, p. 309; cf. “Letter to Charles Harnett,” 12 December 1957; Letters, II, 403.

[68] CW 10, ¶609.

[69] “Letter to Charles Harnett,” 12 December 1957; Letters, II, 403.

[70] Ibid.

[71] CW 6, ¶783.

[72] CW 10, ¶696.

[73] Ibid., ¶624.

[74] Ibid., ¶621.

[75] Ibid., ¶s 622 & 634.

[76] CW 18, ¶1431.

[77] CW 10, ¶622; cf. CW 18, ¶1442.

[78] CW 10, ¶610.

[79] Ibid., ¶622.

[80] Ibid., ¶625.

[81] Ibid., ¶614.

[82] CW 9i, ¶261.

[83] CW 10, ¶782.

[84] “Preface to the 1st English Edition,” CW 10, p. 309.

[85] CW 10, ¶594

[86] “Letter to Charles Harnett,” 12 December 1957; Letters, II,  p. 403.

[87] CW 10, ¶595.

[88] Ibid., ¶606.

[89] Ibid., ¶786.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Ibid., ¶604.

[92] “Letter to Esther Harding,” 30 May 1957; Letters, II, 362.

[93] CW 18, ¶1448.

[94] Ibid., ¶s 1431, 1434, & 1444.

[95] Ibid., ¶1445.

[96] CW 10, ¶625.

[97] Basel Psychology Club (1977), 390.

[98] E.g. James Kirsch, former analysand and student of Jung, who reported to Jung his sighting of a Ufo in Guatemala; “Letter to James Kirsch,” 29 April 1958; Letters, II, 433.

[99] “Letter to Charles Harnett,” 12 December 1957; Letters, II, 403.

[100] CW 10, ¶591.

[101] CW 18, ¶1445.

[102] CW 10, ¶789.

[103] Ibid.

[104] CW 18, ¶s 1431-1444.

[105] Ibid., ¶s 1438-1439.

[106] I.e. the “ontological arrogance” that assumes our Western worldview, values, standards etc. is somehow privileged or superior to others’ worldviews; cf. Davis (1974), 28-47, and Kofman (2006), 97-131.

[107] Cf. Hagberg (1984), Eisler (1987), and Wink (1992).

[108] Hagberg (1984), ix.

[109] CW 10, ¶589. Ufos were sighted as far back as ancient Egypt. Jung describes medieval and Renaissance sightings in ¶s 757-766.

[110] Ibid., ¶s 791-802.

[111] Ibid., ¶795.

[112] This would be the interpretation using Jung’s third hypothesis.

[113] Cf. MacLaine (2007), 125,147,150, 151,166 & 169; cf. Mutwa (1996), 131,145-7.

[114] I have seen a Ufo, late one night on Mount Desert Island, Maine, as I was driving home. It was a bright light, moving far too fast to be any sort of airplane, and it turned at sharp angles. I observed it for about 2 to 3 minutes before it vanished.

[115] Jung urged us to be open-minded; CW 10, ¶731.

[116] CW 10, ¶780

[117] CW 10, ¶718.

[118] CW 18, ¶731.

[119]“Letter to Miguel Serrano,” 14 September 1960; Letters, II, 593.