UPDATED MAY 2013
Premodern Ufology (Pre-1947)
Pre-Modern Ufology is a catchall phrase for everything relevant to ufology that took place prior to 1947. When placing Premodern Ufology into a historical context it roughly parallels the various periods used by Mainstream historians some of which are outlined below:
  • Machine Age (1880-1947): Part of the Late Industrial Age characterized by major advances in engineering including mass production, hydroelectric dams, atomic weaponry, heavy machinery, and the maturity of propeller driven aircraft. Notable UFO sightings during this period include Ghost Aircraft, Ghost Rockets, and Foo Fighters.
  • Age of Enlightenment (1650-1800 ): Also called the Age of Reason was a period marked by the spread of rational thinking, skepticism and intellectual interchange that opposed superstition, intolerance and some abuses of power by the church and the state.
  • Age of Discovery (1400-1650): The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration, was a period starting in the early 15th century and continuing to the 17th century during which Europeans explored Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. The UFO sighing recorded by navigator Christopher Columbus on October 11, 1492 falls within this period.
  • Medieval (400-1400 AD): Medieval ufology spans the period between Classical Antiquity and the Age of Discovery.
  • Late Antiquity (100-700 AD): A transitional period between Classical Antiquity and the Medieval.
Modern Era of Ufology (1947-2027)
The Modern Era of ufology began during 1947 and is generally held to coincide with the UFO flap of that year, the most famous sightings of which were the Kenneth Arnold sighting of June 24th and the Roswell Incident in early July. It is important to note that the Modern Era in Ufology does not cover the same span as the Modern Age in mainstream history, which begins much earlier around the 15th century following the Medieval Period and ends aound 1800. To avoid confusion between the two time periods, the various subdivisions of the Mainstream Modern Era are outlined above.
Golden Age (1947-1957)
The Golden Age of Ufology refers loosely to the first decade of the Modern Era (1947-1957) during which time flying saucers captured the imaginations of a wide cross section of society, particularly in the USA. The mysterious objects made newspaper headlines, the first popular books on the topic were published, civilian investigative groups sprung up and flourished, and official investigations were being carried out by the USAF. The idea that UFOs could be craft from another world was also received with a relatively open mind because the schism between the debunkers, deniers and skeptics on one side, and the eyewitnesses and believers on the other, had not yet settled firmly into place.
Early Modern Era (1947-1972)
The Early Modern Era refers loosely to the first 25 years (1947-1972) of the Modern Era during which time the words UFO and ufology were coined, jet aviation matured, the space race culminated with the Moon landings, and the first significant investigations into the UFO phenomenon were undertaken by both private and governmental agencies, in particular the USAF. The Early Modern Era is important in ufology studies because it was a time when people in general had become reasonably well educated compared to the generations before, and although we had developed aircraft and rocket technology, witnesses were reporting craft that far exceeded the technology of the time. Since then the gap between our own exotic technology and UFOs has been steadily closing. Today there may be secret projects that can mimic the appearance and some of the performance characteristics of UFOs. For example black triangle UFOs and B2 bombers are strikingly similar in appearance.
Postmodern Era (2027-)
As events from 1947 fade from living memory the Modern Era will come to an end. Based on current life expectancy estimates, the end of the Modern Era is anticipated to happen around 2027. At that time, ufology will enter the Postmodern Era. Other factors besides memory will most likely help to demarcate the transition. For example, scientific advancements in computing, physics, engineering, communications and astronomy, particularly the ongoing discovery of planetary systems around other stars will have a definite influence on how people view the plausibility of the ETH. If in the meantime, sufficient scientific evidence of the reality of alien visitation is obtained or disclosed, the Modern Era will immediately shift into the Postmodern Era. If disclosure is the driving force then we might call this new period the Era of Disclosure, or perhaps, if the aliens are still visiting Earth, we might even name it after them.