TALK of UFOs is often dismissed as fanciful, but at one Australian university at least, it has entered the realm of academia.
Melbourne University will this Saturday confer the first Australian doctorate of philosophy in ufology, the study of unidentified flying objects, upon Martin Plowman, a culture and communication student.
Science fiction buffs would be quick to realise that those who don’t quite catch his name will be able to quip: “Dr Who?”
Mr Plowman is writing a book on the subject that is due out in November. First-hand experience of UFOs has eluded him and he maintains a healthy scepticism about their existence.
Often people have mistaken comets, aircraft or birds for UFOs, he said, but “when I meet someone who says they’ve seen something strange, that’s fair enough because maybe they have. I don’t know what it is, though”.
Someone he met in Melbourne claimed to have been kidnapped by Martians. “They seem like something has happened to them,” Mr Plowman said. “The first time you meet an abductee as they are called, it can be quite confronting because they are trying to come to terms with it … it is something that can stay with people a long time.”
The last abduction claim in Melbourne was 15 years ago; Kelly Cahill claimed to have flashbacks of being taken by strange creatures at Narre Warren, Mr Plowman said. – canber