Friends and colleagues have urged me to write something about UFOs, because the topic is hot again and I’m sort of the space alien reporter on staff. This refers not to where I’m from, but to the kind of stuff I used to write about. I wrote a book (“Captured by Aliens,” 1999) that was primarily about the scientific search for extraterrestrial life and included a long section on UFO mythology. I’ve been to Roswell. I wrote about the mass suicide of the 39 Heaven’s Gate cultists who thought they would be transported to a spaceship trailing comet Hale-Bopp. I’ve interviewed people who think their bodies have become inhabited by aliens from the Pleiades.
But I’m wary of returning to that strange universe, because anything I write is guaranteed to be unsatisfying for everyone involved. My strong suspicion is that the number of UFO sightings that involve actual