UFOs, ETs, and the Millennial Imagination

Robert Pearson Flaherty

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 UFOs, ETs, and the Millennial Imagination

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The proliferation of the atomic bomb was paralleled by the emergence of another unique development—fascination with unidentified flying objects (UFOs), extraterrestrials (ETs), and objective planetary escape. The publicity of the UFO factor since 1947 coupled with the threat of imminent annihilation, stoked a fury among global millennialists and witnessed the establishment of worldwide neo-millennial organizations, preaching salvation via extraterrestrial means. The explanations for this are many: one theory claims earth to be an abode and under observation of extraterrestrial superbeings that are the original progenitors of humankind who keep visiting periodically to enhance human faculties. A marked tendency is observed to demythologize scriptures and contextualize them against backdrops of objective realities. The Raelian movement exemplifies this trait as founder Claude Vorilhon, claimant to extraterrestrial contact, extensively decrypted the Holy Scriptures as he claimed was done for him by Elohim, an extraterrestrial higher being (not God).

Keywords: unidentified flying objects; extraterrestrial; Raelian movement; annihilation; global millennialists; Holy Scriptures

Article.  10863 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies

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