In the world of academia, Northern Kentucky University philosophy professor Dr. Robert Trundle realizes his beliefs are not exactly widely embraced. “Shunned” is the word he sometimes uses.
The title of his forthcoming book is, in part at least, in response to what he calls “the cowardice and vanity of a sizeable percentage of American professors.” Scheduled for release early next year, it’s called “Is ET Here? No Politically, but Yes Scientifically and Theologically” (EcceNova Editions, Victoria, British Columbia).
Dr. Trundle, 60, occupies an almost monastic office on the second floor of NKU’s Landrum Hall. It’s a room about 10 by 10, and every available square foot is piled high with texts of one sort or another. I was careful not to touch off an avalanche when I sat among the stacks the other day and asked him to boil his book down to its basics.
So what does he mean by that title? Do beings from places other than this planet walk among us?
“Yes, I believe contact was made 50 years ago, and I believe beings from other planets are here now, mainly to study us”, Dr. Trundle said. “Does ET exist from a political perspective? No, because the government is afraid of the culture shock and public panic. For the government to acknowledge the existence of extraterrestrials here would be to admit it can’t protect us from them. Scientifically, I argue that thousands of well-regarded witness accounts cannot simply be dismissed. I’m talking about pilots who have come forward even though it’s meant they’ve had to undergo psychiatric exams as a direct result.”
At the very least, he said, we can’t use current science as the standard for excluding the possibility of a more advanced science:
“For example, science says it’s impossible to travel at the speed of light. If it were possible, it would take four years of traveling at the speed of light to get to the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri. Given our current technology, it would probably take us 50,000 years to get there, plus or minus. Based on that, the scientific establishment somewhat blithely dismisses the existence of extraterrestrials. It’s like saying if we can’t do it, they can’t do it either”.
Dr. Trundle’s book is not an easy read, but it’s an intriguing sampler of UFO lore, sightings and documents, including this Freedom of Information Act version of a March 22, 1950, FBI memo stating in part:
“An investigator for the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico, circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter each, occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall.”
It’s a subject Dr. Trundle has been chasing for years. His grandfather, president of the now-defunct Trundle Engineering Co. in Cleveland, was fascinated with extraterrestrials and, when he died in 1954, left Robert a small collection of books about UFOs. His first article to the effect that ETs are here, entitled “Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Challenge to Theology, Physics and Metaphysics,” was published in 1994. His second book, “Illustrated News of the Unbelievable,” was co-authored with George Filer, a retired Air Force intelligence officer.
Dr. Trundle paints a virtual “Men in Black” picture of the ET scene in which several species are visiting the earth, most in a human form. But why?
“There are benign scenarios in which they might be seen as anthropologists coming here out of curiosity”, he said. “Then there is a more threatening scenario, which is that they’re studying to see if the earth is habitable. An even more worrisome possibility is that they have a hybrid program of sexually mating with humans to strengthen their species”.
No doubt about it. Dr. Trundle would have an easier go of it if he stuck to Socrates.
“But I’m trying to apply the truth in the way Socrates called for it to be applied to everyday life,” he said.
He’s convinced he’s right. All he’s lacking is cold, hard proof.
“If I had that, it would be the most astonishing event since the resurrection of Christ.”