Carl Jung and UFOs: A Debunker of Dubious Intellect

by Paul Schroeder   

Book Review

Flying Saucers : A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies (Paperback)

The first English edition was in print, published in 1959.

“Flying Saucers, A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies”, is controversial psychoanalyst C.G. Jung’s floundering attempt to somehow embrace the UFO phenomenon with a logic that simply does not exist in the UFO realm.

Like some who have actually seen UFOs and who have had bizarre alien encounters with non-human intelligences, Jung cannot wrap his mind around this widely reported worldwide experienced singularity of reality.

Reading this book, seeing his thoughts emerge on paper, one can see the real struggle that he had intellectually with indigestible experiences of high strangeness with aliens; his explanations seem stranger and weirder than some of the actual phenomenon itself!

Jung holds that alien UFO technological craft which morph into different shapes, wink out and reappear and transport human abductees are a mere projection of mankind’s “collective unconscious”.

He states that although secularized Western Civilization’s Everyman has lost belief in any paranormal God of Christianity/ Judaism that, nonetheless, the human psyche has a religious, myth-making function which is unconscious in nature and which cannot be turned off.

Jung’s seems clearly baffled when he postulates that at our core, even in especially “rational” or especially atheistic modern thinking human beings, is a deep, secret religious longing.

A “conflict occurs”, he claims, because the conscious mind has rejected God; the “collective unconscious” ‘compensates’ for this by projecting illusions, hallucinations of UFOs as well as hallucinations of the alien beings who pilot them.

To Jung, the global phenomenon of reported UFOs and their alien beings is a mere ‘projection’ of our unconscious desire; we ‘create’ an ersatz psychological substitute for God. We are still looking ‘up’……

Jung further also goes on to connect people who see UFOs and the abduction phenomenon with the universal anxieties they have that were created by World War II and the Cold War.

Somehow, human fears are transformed, become reduced into projections of flying saucers, in his words, “a modern myth of things seen in the sky”.

Had Jung meant all this on a sheer symbolic level, he would have made more innate horse sense.

UFO observations, though non-religious by nature, DO encompass a similarity to the “spiritual” or semi-religious dimension, in many tangential ways:

Part of the phenomenon does involve astral abductions; one’s body is left behind in a car, or in bed, and one’s spiritual essences are extracted, ‘vibrated’ out of one’s body..

One reports seeing one’s body receding below as one is ascending into an overhead craft..

One’s astral essences do maintain all of one’s personality traits and idiosyncratic fine judgmental qualities.

As well, some power seeking abductees do surely assume the role of purported prophets who bring messages of occult truth and shaman like salvation from the aliens, who in effect become like new gods.

There IS a strong connection between the ideas of abductees and those native to the ideas of Theosophy.

And there ARE strong similarities between the predatory spiritual treatment of abductees by aliens and the too easily dismissed ancient notions of demonic possession.

However, Jung goes much further than such symbolic associations by connecting UFOs to his personal more contentious idea about a LITERAL collective unconscious, its “projections” and its “archetypes”.

To his mind, a flying saucer is an archetype, compared to the mandala, its round shape a universal symbol of’ wholeness’.

Jung is always however sufficiently unclear as to whether he regards these psychic projections in some sense real, or whether they are to his thinking sheer internal, subjective illusions.

He does not elucidate whether he sees UFOs as hallucinations, or if they may then exist as physical entities.

Jung leads one to believe that he sees the supernatural in a literal sense, but that he would never say this explicitly, because of his trained “scientific” pretenses.

He may have in some way seen himself as a psychological prophet of the occult’s salvation or seen himself as its apologist.

The rest of the book is even more far-fetched; Jung makes more highly subjective and idiosyncratic analysis of some dreams and paintings that do in some way deal with UFOs.

Jung painfully squeezes all kinds of “mythological” symbolism from them and finally in this book goes on to

review the quasi-religious musings of an abductee, Orfeo Angelucci, whom he calls “naïve”.

The similarities between the messages received by Orfeo from aliens, to certain religious notions, are indeed somewhat striking.

But, The Collective Unconscious? !

A better explanation is that “naïve” Orfeo had been reading Theosophical literature…

I can’t say I was convinced by any of the contents.

“Flying Saucers”, gives one a glimpse of how Jung approached UFO paranormal experiences as quasi-religious phenomena, as he painfully could not accept or understand these experiences at face value.

If I were able to write him an angry letter, it would say:

Dear Carl,

You’re so completely “all wet” that you may as well be a fish and not at all a thinking human being; I have for years, personally had contact, seen these entities and their craft mentioned by so many other abductees the world over, and seen them eyeball-to eyeball.

You’re an educated P.H.D. trained to be simple minded, and one with gall to preach such reasonable logical nonsense and horseapples, to ME, of all people.

I know, for a certainty, having passed many psychiatric and neurological medical exams, that I am not schizophrenic, not mentally ill, hallucinating, paranoid or suffering brain lesions for having experienced these alien beings and seen their craft; without question, these encounters clearly contradict everything that you (and I )have ever learned or been told by clearly uninformed others.

You cannot see your UFO nose on your face and thus assert that it’s UNIVERSALLY not there but a projected mental image from that conflict.

Others, who know better, assure you that your UFO nose, contrary to your opinion, is UNIVERSALLY, in fact, actually there.

To persist in such logical pseudo scientific assertions, to a person like me who has both seen UFOs and aliens, is an inane attempt to contradict / explain away my direct experiences of such things.

Such persistence is a waste of time and energy and one surely of disinformation; it reveals some crippled faculties of understanding for other’s experiences far different from and beyond your own clearly limited experiences .

Convince others who may argue as to whether their own UFO nose IS or ISN’T really there; I and others who are abductees, hold ourselves up as a mirror to you.

Our written accounts of our experiences demonstate how useless your pseudo logical analysis IS, in the face of these, our contrary experiences.

We hold our UFO noses high up in the air, in indignation at your clever notion that we imagined it all.


Paul Schroeder

If you would like more information on this book or wish to purchase it from, simply click on the book’s title. Flying Saucers : A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies

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