Matthew Reddin

UFOs: The Truth Is Out There, and We Don’t Care

(Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash)

Back in the 1990s, we wanted to believe in UFOs. In 2021, we’re closer than we’ve ever been. Yet, the vast majority do not care.


Back in 2018, before all this recent … unpleasantness … you may have stumbled onto one of these  headlines: “Pilots report seeing ‘very fast’ UFO above Ireland,” CNN reported. “If it wasn’t aliens, what was it?” The Washington Post asked.

Flash forward to the present day, and you have a credible, calm, rational, and smart former US President speaking on the matter to James Corden. If he’s keeping one eye open, then it must have some measure of credence, right?

Cabot Phillips from the Daily Wire recently tweeted about it.



He went on, “The former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence literally said the crafts we’re seeing are ‘far beyond anything that we’re capable of … There’s nothing we could build that would be strong enough to endure that amount of force and acceleration.’ ”

But because we’re in an era of perennial doubt, counter-point, and conspiracy theory, it’s not a point that can be left well enough alone. Someone with the online moniker “Kyle Plant Emoji” quote tweeted Phillips’ assertation with the comment, “Because it’s not a big deal, it’s military propaganda … Do you know how many fucking nerds have dedicated their entire lives specifically to SETI? … Notice how none of those people are freaking out? … We should not just ignore but fully reject that we were recently visited by aliens.”

Mr. Plant Emoji has four times the Twitter following as Mr. Phillips, so the cosmic ballet goes on.

The US Government seems to be taking the notion of UFOs seriously, at least at the moment. One may see this as being the actualization of decades of post-Roswell theory coming to fruition. Many among us would like there to be intelligent life somewhere out in space, for as Eric Idle sang, “There’s bugger all down here on earth.”

This current discourse, such that it is, is hardly going to find a unified opinion. We can’t agree on anything, including whether or not we should get vaccinated for dree after the worst pandemic in a century. Because there could be nanobots in the serum to be activated by 5G towers so Bill Gates can control us on behalf of the lizard people.

Doubt is usually a healthy thing. If the government – apropos of nothing – suddenly starts pointing to the skies in wonder, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were hoping you’d look too, so as to not look at what other sneaky undertakings are going on. Kind of like how a government starts bellowing about how they want to power homes in the Hunter Valley with natural gas so that we don’t keep looking at how they covered up a sexual assault to win an election. It’s the little things.


Doubt is usually a healthy thing. If the government – apropos of nothing – suddenly starts pointing to the skies in wonder, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were hoping you’d look too, so as to not look at what other sneaky undertakings are going on.


What are thought to be UFOs can actually be commercial or military jets, weather balloons, cloud formations, a comet, or Venus (under certain atmospheric conditions, the planet can appear as a fast-moving, bright halo). Some photographers have even confused insects flying around a camera lens for alien aircraft.

You know who always wanted there to be UFOs? Steven Spielberg. He made one film where they looked to be dangerous, but weren’t, and then made another film where they were not only adorable but proved no less than Freud wrong by showing us that all love isn’t necessarily sexual. No small feat there.

But Spielberg himself is full of doubt these days, given that a sizeable proportion of the people in the world carry cameras with them in their pockets every single minute of the day, and the number of UFO sightings hasn’t increased with them. It’s a reasonable point he’s postulating – once there were more sightings, commensurate with the number of cameras people were walking around with – now, everyone’s got a smartphone, and the sightings have not increased with the technology.

Backing this up is Peter Davenport, director of the Seattle-based National UFO Reporting Center, who says the number of reported UFO sightings have actually “fallen significantly in recent years.”

Much of the discourse is along the lines of X-Files era advertising pabulum: “I want to believe.”

“No serious astronomer gives any credence to any of these stories,” astrophysicist Martin Rees said in 2012.

So, if you believe in extra-terrestrial life, good for you. If you don’t, good for you. If the government, for so long downplaying UFOs since Roswell as being satellites and weather balloons, suddenly starts to be less declarative in their denials, that’s … something. But there may be something else at play. And even if the truth is revealed, not everyone’s going to believe it.

There are, after all, people who think that not only was the moon landing fake, but the moon itself is a projection.


Matthew Reddin

Matt Reddin has been writing nonsense about film, TV, books, music, and live theatre for a touch over 20 years. He’s gone from the halcyon days of street press in Perth, to regional dailies, national magazines, and major metropolitan newspapers. Now, in between bouts of sporadically yelling at clouds, he vents his creative spleen at

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