Carl Jung answers questions on UFOs
To Charles B . Harnett
Dear Sir, 12 December 1957
Your interest in the hitherto unquenchable lore of Ufos meets with my full approval.
The story is a most fascinating mental symptom of our time-if anything.
I answer your questions1 in the following way:
- I do not believe and do not disbelieve in the existence of Ufos.
I simply do not know what to think about their alleged physical existence.
- The information at the disposition of the public is so scant that one just does not know enough to decide with certainty about the physical existence of Ufos.
The only tangible fact seems to be the radar echo, but I am informed by experts on radar that such observations are not beyond reasonable doubt.
It is very difficult in spite of all the reported visual observations to obtain reliable photos.
To my knowledge it has never been seriously attempted to examine the psychology of the UFO-witnesses thoroughly, i.e., with all the modern means of personality analysis.
The question whether those witnesses are under the influence of certain unconscious contents has not even been raised.
- As it is questionable in how far Ufos are physical facts, it is indubitable that they are psychological facts.
They have a definite and very meaningful psychology.
I have made it the object of a psychological research, the results of which I have laid down in a little book that is soon to appear.
Its German title is: Ein moderner Mythus von Dingen, die am Himmel gesehen werden (Rascher Verlag, Zurich).
An English translation is forthcoming in 1958.
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.
- This question is answered by the above.
As concerns the physical reality, many people are already too eager to confirm it by every available means.
I am only competent to advise on the psychic side.
There I think it would be a definite step forward if a competent psychologist would take the trouble to examine the conscious and unconscious mentality of Ufo-witnesses, in order to learn something about the possibility of the Ufos being psychic projections of unconscious contents.
- No special comment.
C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 403-404.