Many are dedicated to finding the facts, searching for the truth, and practicing general journalistic standards in the study of all things UFOs, but somewhere along the way many authors switch their focus from non-fiction to fiction. Why is it that so many immersed into the field of UFO research are drawn into the world of fictional writing?
There's an obvious parallel between science and science fiction; at times the lines of fiction and non-fiction are blurred. Many believe science fiction is based on true-to-life events or have some basis in reality. Or has Hollywood infiltrated our collective consciousness so much that we are inclined to believe what sounds unbelievable to many, is believable to us?
Were films like "Close Encounters" and "E.T." based on real events and used as part of a slow acclimation of the idea of aliens to the public? If this is the case, then why do we have years of angry alien invasion films?
Hollywood has been spreading UFO awareness through years through works of fiction, as UFOs, aliens and all things outer space have become integral parts of pop culture. Films about UFOs were allegedly encouraged by the government to likely get the public’s mind off the real sightings that were increasing. The public was to be entertained and this was “camouflage through limited disclosure” as described in the book “The Day After Roswell” by former Pentagon official Col. Phillip J. Corso who worked close on U.S. government projects regarding reverse-engineering alien technology from the Roswell crash.
Whitley Strieber was successful fiction writer before his publishing his non-fiction abduction account "Communion." Strieber even pondered in his books if his horror fiction writing was influenced by his repressed memories, emotions and fears that stemmed as an experiencer.
"People who author books tend to enjoy writing, and it makes sense for an author to write about topics for which he or she has a genuine interest, passion, and/or specialized knowledge," said Rogue Planet's Jason McClellan. " If an author has an affinity for UFOs, it stands to reason that UFOs may be the subject of works authored by this individual, whether fiction or non-fiction."
Ryan Sprague used his playwright and theatrical experience when working on his book "Somewhere In The Skies" by using a narrative approach to a non-fiction work.
"Playwriting is a tricky beast because you must always hop from point of views in your characters to give them the voice and meaning they deserve.," said Sprague. "Therefore, when I decided to write the book, I wanted to infuse that approach into each UFO witness and experiencer. That's why most of the book is verbatim in respect to the witness testimony I was given. Their words made up their stories, and in essence, helped craft a character around them to an outside observer and reader. While my plays and films may be fictional in a sense, I strive for as much truth with each of them to present the most authentic representation of what was seen, heard, felt, and essentially, experienced in that moment in time."
Tom DeLonge's "Sekret Machines" book franchise is split into two parts; a non-fiction trilogy written by Peter Levenda, and a fictional component authored with A.J. Hartley. The fictional series came first, and DeLonge has teased potential film adaptions of this series, as well as a non-fiction documentary. With "Sekret Machines" and the paranormal-based "Strange Times" fictional franchise, it appears that DeLonge and To The Stars are buying into this slow disclosure through fiction and non-fiction multi-media. Both aspects of "Sekret Machines" are quite good, but you'd hope this doesn't blur the line.
"When we look at the UFO phenomenon as a whole, from simple but curious lights in the sky to full blown encounters of high strangeness, we need to ask ourselves what do we mean by 'non-fiction' or 'fact.' If we tie something like 'fact' to 'Truth,' then this all hinges upon a reality that we can totally understand or know in some objective sense," said researcher MJ Banias. " UFOs naturally blur this line. What objective test can we apply to a UFO event that delineates between fact and fiction? Do we trust physical traces which always come back 'inconclusive?' How about radar tracks of objects that accelerate to impossible speeds or simply vanish and reappear at will? UFOs, simply put, are both fact and fiction simultaneously. They attach themselves to no reality we currently understand, therefore, to make claims of 'Truth' about them is impossible. As a writer then, no matter how objective or truthful, when one writes about UFOs, they naturally are writing both non-fiction and fiction simultaneously."
-By MIKE DAMANTE