Seems like every generation has got to come up with its own name for Stuff What We Don’t Know What It Is Up In The Sky (SWWDKWIIUITS – but that’s just plain too hard to pronounce) Flying Saucers, UFOs, UAPs, Floating Discs, Other Worldly Vehicles (OWVs)…you know, things otherwise known as Sun Dogs, Lenticular Clouds, Swamp Gas, St. Elmo’s Fire, Venus, Migratory Birds, Dirty Glasses, Blimps, Weather Balloons and Aliens who want to steal our gold, our water, our women and, bizarrely enough, even our politicians.
Science Fiction’s engagement with UFOs has been a rocky road. If you want to learn how that came to be, just watch Back to the Future (Part 1); Mostly the fault of a former editor of Amazing Stories, one Raymond A. Palmer (First Fandom, comic book hero), Ray recognized that pseudo-science and fear of the unknown sold more, better and faster than anything resembling reality and he quickly transformed Amazing Stories into a vehicle for such fare, incidentally greatly increasing its circulation.
Bob Guccione would replicate that approach with OMNI magazine in the 80s, folding an entire section devoted to woo-woo into the middle of that magazine.
To this day, much of the general public mistakenly identify SF fans as “Flying Saucer People” (rooftop in Los Angeles scene in Independence Day, anyone?) and the genre may never completely divorce itself from that association.
However, Science Fiction is, or should be, about basing stories on real science and if that is anything close to resembling getting down to truth and reality, then today’s Congressional hearing on the recently released files concerning UAPs and recordings supposedly demonstrating capabilities far beyond human ken, ought to be an interesting diversion.