The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

UFO Wars

“In the land of Languedoc, a big star and five small ones were seen in the sky. These, as it seemed, attacked and sought to fight the big one, which they followed for half an hour.” (1395 account, reproduced by Jacques Vallee, Wonders in the Sky)

Back before I started questioning the extraterrestrial hypothesis in this blog, I assumed that many UFOs represented a long-duration observation project by our interstellar neighbors—a project of “deep anthropology,” probably automated and having a very long-term security aim. I suggested that “they” aren’t particularly worried about us now, and don’t particularly care to make contact, let alone save us from ourselves; they just want to gather lots of data to enable prediction and control down the long road, when and if we ever become players on the interstellar stage. Only then would their automated defenses kick into gear if we posed any kind of threat.

One problem with this argument is that many UFOs seem way too big and visible to be information-gathering probes. Just extrapolating from our own surveillance technology, it seems far more likely that such probes would be very small and very stealthy. We’d probably never even know they were here. What purpose would be served by a huge black triangle, or a massive disk or sphere? Why do they need to be brightly lit?

There’s another possibility that makes more sense of the physical form (and size and visibility) of some of these objects, one that I had failed to consider (and am probably the last to consider—I’m not claiming originality here). It is that the UFOs witnessed by humans aren’t probes but are precisely the defensive technology I mentioned—but that they aren’t here to defend against us.

The wide variety of UFOs suggests a wide variety of origins. If our species is the object of casual interest by multiple extraterrestrial civilizations or their technology, then it makes sense they’d each establish a military presence here as part of their defensive insurance policy, each perhaps to ensure that some alliance is not ultimately struck between our advancing race and one of the other ET groups. Any emerging civilization (and there are probably gazillions) is bound to be “contested territory.” Each advanced race will send their weapons because the others have sent their weapons.

There are numerous historical accounts of UFOs seeming to skirmish with one another. If UFO waves are “maneuvers” on the part of different alien factions, staged for each others’ benefit, it would explain their visibility as well as their seeming senselessness. We are bystanders to a game that long precedes us, and whose rules we have zero clue about.


I am a science writer and armchair Fortean based in Washington, DC. Write to me at eric.wargo [at]

3 Responses to “UFO Wars”

  • I just discovered your blog and have been reading it for just a short time. I am just learning that I am not the only one with this idea.

    Did you write any articles on the Anunnaki as candidate cryptoterrestials?

    What about Tonnies? did he ever mention the Anunnaki?

  • Welcome, John!
    I’ve never heard of the Anunnaki–and I don’t recall Tonnies writing about them (but you could search his site, Posthuman Blues). Who are/were they?