I believe it possible that an advanced, technological civilization may have found ways of traversing interstellar distances without violating physical laws. However, after more than 25 years of research and investigation, I do not see any incontrovertible evidence of this.
My opinion is that if UFOs are not physical phenomena, they definitely are sociological or psychological phenomena. In either case, they are worth scientific study, because they have, at the very least, permeated the minds and imagination of the populace, if they are not physical phenomena.
I first met modern-day contactees in the 1970's. In the late 1980's, abductees began seeking my help in understanding their experiences. I and my colleagues in UFOROM (Ufology Research of Manitoba) have been actively investigating a broad spectrum of reported experiences since 1975. Although many cases are intriquing and a small percentage are unexplained, they do not offer conclusive proof of extraterrestrial visitation.
I am interested in bridging the chasm between "believers" and "debunkers" in an attempt to catalyse rational discourse on these topics. I know that, deliberately or otherwise, incorrect information has been propagated by individuals who have made "names" for themselves in these fields of study. Because of some training in deconstructionist educational theory, I am critical of published research and popular interpretations of the phenomena.
Some choice bits:
Can a ufologist ethically advise/counsel/treat an abductee without referral to a professional psychologist or psychiatrist? Probably not. It would seem that it might be unwise to counsel abductees because of the possibility that they may have underlying psychological problems, and most ufologists are not trained to deal with this. Certainly some of the people who have come to me with abductee/contactee experiences have had such problems, and I would suspect that it is more pervasive than is usually acknowledged... Although most abductees seek help from ufologists, it is increasingly apparent that ufology is ill-prepared to deal with them. An abductee case is far more complicated than an ordinary sighting of a UFO... It is usually recognized that UFO investigators do not investigate UFOs, but the reports made by the witnesses themselves. Already, ufology is once-removed from pure scientific investigation and could be considered more analogous to memorate studies by anthropologists. Abduction cases are even more humanistic; there is often no definite "time" of an event, and it might not "take place" in a precise location. They are extremely subjective and may represent something beyond our investigation. This is why psychologists are more suited to abduction studies. Researchers have often found that abductees have emotional and psychological problems that may or may not be directly related to their experiences. Some appear to have a history of sexual or domestic abuse, and others exhibit symptoms of stresses within their lives. (It has been suggested that because of such backgrounds they are "chosen" or otherwise sensitive to abduction-like encounters, or that lifelong abductions are the cause of the psychological problems.) Regardless of the cause and effect, however, an abductee seeking help from a UFO buff is asking for trouble. Simply put, few ufologists have the therapeutic tools and expertise required to properly unravel an abductee's experiences within a framework of personal problems. (p. 232-234)
After more than ten years of studying alien abduction stories and working directly with abductees, I can only state that there is a great paucity of true and incontrovertible scientific data upon which to build any useful theories. I believe that the scientific community has fallen very short in its view of the phenomenon. If there is no physical component here, then at the very least there is one that has components within the field of sociology and psychology. In any case, alien abduction accounts should not be dismissed. Enough people are affected by Alien Abduction Syndrome that it is time for science to overcome its stigma of avoiding UFO witnesses and abductees. It is no wonder that UFO buffs and abductees take no notice of scientists' and debunkers' flippant attitudes. Why should they?Rutkowski has for years been asking hard and informed questions about a variety of UFO-related subjects, and has been offering real answers, always with the realization that there is no one answer, and that the questions may in many cases just lead to more questions.
I have great compassion for abductees. During the course of my research, I have met many fine people, outstanding individuals who are genuinely bewildered by their experiences. They have sought help because they are having trouble coping with their memories and emotions, and have received a scattershot response from clinical professions unfamiliar with the phenomenon and unsure of diagnoses, procedures, and methodology. In the absence of clinical assistance, abductees have turned to self-proclaimed experts in a variety of fields who really have no more answers than anyone else. The creation of cultish groups acting independently and reinforcing abductees' fears and anxieties does little towards helping those in need.
My advice for abductees is: Don't give up. There are some dedicated and sincere individuals out there who are willing to listen. Social workers, counsellors, and medical professionals are slowly becoming aware that AAS is a real problem. You're not alone.
Above all, don't believe everything you read.(p. 252-253)
That's not a bad thing, however - rather, it is the sign of a good UFO researcher, one who is interested in the truth, wherever it may lead, and even if it challenges their existing opinions.
Beware of people who offer you definitive answers about a subject like the UFO phenomenon. They may be many things, including sincere in their own way, but they are not truth-seekers.
Instead, seek out people like Rutkowski, who in his own way follows in the tradition of Hynek, Vallee and McDonald, and who respresents the best that ufology has to offer.