Earlier this summer, the U. S. Director of National Intelligence released a nine-page report that chronicled 144 encounters between military pilots with unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAP. Many of these extraordinary objects defy scientific explanation. What are the fantastical possibilities for UAP? Have pilgrims from other planets, or other dimensions, ventured to our own? And how do we as Christians apply a biblical worldview to these possibilities?
Introducing guest Colin Samul
Reverend Samul has been the pastor of Great Basin Reformed Presbyterian Church since April of 2019. He is originally from the Detroit area, where he was converted in 2005. Soon after his conversion, he felt the call to ministry and began to pursue his education for the ministry. He graduated from Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, MI in 2009 and subsequently moved to Sacramento, CA, where he attended City Seminary. After receiving his M.Div. in 2016, he served as pulpit supply in the RCUS. In 2018 he assisted the core group of GBRPC in petitioning the RPCNA for a Church plant in the Reno Area, while working with the Pacific Coast Presbytery to establish the work until he received the call to Pastor the congregation in early 2019. He is husband to Shanna, and the proud father of their four children; Mele, Evangeline, Leland, and Lilyanna.
- Colin has appeared on other podcasts to talk about UFOs’ spiritual implications.
- Zack and Colin join forces on “UFO Twitter” to represent a Christian perspective.
- No matter their explanations, UFOs (or UAP) represents a challenge to biblical faith.
- Read Zackary Russell’s July 1 article: New Intelligence Report Exposes Shocking Alien Phenomena: Human Humility.
1: What says the Pentagon report about unidentified aerial phenomena?
- The Pentagon created a task force specific to UAP.
- They examined 144 military UAP encounters since 2004.
- Of these, 143 have no explanation. Eighty involved multiple military sensors.
- Eighteen of these UAP encounters are firmly classified as Other.
- This means unusual movement patterns and acceleration abilities.
- This also refers to “signature management,” that is, cloaking or stealth.
- These eighteen objects were truly extraordinary.
- They defied our best sensors and our best scientific theories.
- We need better equipment and better science to identify these objects.
Questions we discuss:
- What is clear in this report and what is vague?
- How does this report stand apart from previous governmental communications about UFOs?
- Why is the Pentagon even interested in this?
2. How might we explain these phenomena?
- Prosaic: these are human or natural occurrences
- Mental: these are neurological, psychosocial, or remotely induced incidents
- Physical: these are extraterrestrial or “cryptoterrestrial” appearances
- Extradimensional: these are non-physical, perhaps spiritual, causes or beings
- Other: we can’t even classify these events under the first four categories
3: How can Christians start sorting these issues by the Scriptures?
Previous Fantastical Truth episodes in this series:
- 22. How Do Christians Discern UFO Accounts in Light of Scripture?
- 47. Why Do Some People Long for Escape to a Galactic Community?
- 63. Did God Create Aliens and Would Jesus Need to Save Them?
Fictional works we reference:
- The Facade, by Dr. Michael Heiser
- “The Illustrated Man,” by Ray Bradbury
- The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell
Questions we explore:
- If aliens are real, do humans alone reflect the image of God?
- If UFOs are supernatural, what does this imply for us?
- How could aliens factor into God’s plan?
- Would Jesus visit alien planets?
- Should Christians send missionaries to alien civilizations?
Articles we discuss:
- Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program
- Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena
- Project Launched to Look for Extraterrestrial Visitors to Our Solar System
- Intelligent Life Really Can’t Exist Anywhere Else
Recent Navy UAP encounters:
Fantastical flowchart of possibilities:
Credit to Berlinghoff Rasmussen
Stephen S. replied to episode 13:
After listening to this podcast I was wondering about talking animals or even nature itself talking after the creation is redeemed. I think of the talking serpent in the garden, Balaam’s talking donkey, and Jesus said the rocks would cry out in praise if others didn’t. Will there be talking animals after our resurrection? A part of me hopes so.
- See Randy Alcorn’s article “Might Some Animals Talk on the New Earth?“
Next on Fantastical Truth
Last month the Ark Encounter attraction, by Answers in Genesis near Cincinnati, announced they would build the Tower of Babel! Not a replica, of course (we already have too much cultural confusion), but an exhibit. I’m looking forward to this. After all, they’ve already built a version of Noah’s ark itself, and in our next episode, we’ll talk to Tim Chaffey, who’s not only a biblical apologetics expert but one of the creative architects of Ark Encounter.
Sponsor: James R. Hannibal’s The Paris Betrayal from Revell Books
After an intelligence operation in Rome goes sideways, Ben Calix returns to Paris to find his perfectly ordered world turned upside down. A hit man ambushes him at his flat. French SWAT tries to hem him in. This is a severance. The Director has kicked him out into the cold. But why?
To find answers, Ben must seek the sniper who tried to kill him, the spymaster who trained him, the doctor who once saved his life, and the teammate who killed the woman he loved. And in the midst of this search, scouring Europe for his contacts, he must still try to stop a world-altering attack.
“Hannibal once again displays his dazzling prose and ability to keep even the more experienced readers guessing. Another gripping, high-octane book from one of the best thriller writers in the business.”
—Simon Gervais, bestselling author of Hunt Them Down
Explore the best Christian-made fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond, and apply these stories' meanings in the real world Jesus calls us to serve.