A UFO book gathering interest and momentum at the moment is ‘UFOs OVER ROMANIA’. In the west, little is known about its author, Dan D. Farcas PhD. With that in mind, I recently took the opportunity to interview Dan in order to try and learn a little more about his interests and how he became involved in UFO research in his home country of Romania.
RL: How and when did you first become interested in the UFO phenomenon?
DF: I should split the question into two. I’ve always been interested in extraterrestrial issues, but only relatively lately into UFOs. When I was 8 or 9 years old, one of the things I used to play at with my younger brother was to draw our imaginary adventures in a primitive type of comic book. I still have some of them. Most of these adventures took place in outer space, travelling from one planet to another. At the same period of time, I started to write a book on astronomy. In the forties, in Romania, there were no such books available.
When I was 25-35, I published several science fiction short stories, mainly on space travel and contacts with aliens. In these stories, I felt it was quite normal for an alien to appear suddenly, in human form, in an earthly environment, but I still had doubts about UFOs as extraterrestrial vehicles.
I published some popular science articles about extraterrestrial civilizations and, around 1980, I was invited to write a book about this topic. On this occasion, I thought it is normal to inform myself on the UFO phenomenon. Only then, I discovered, by reading some good books, how many well documented cases exist and how important they are.
The book, entitled “De ce tac civilizaţiile extraterestre” (Why cue the extraterrestrial civilizations), published in 1983, was a small bestseller. Then many people asked me about UFOs, so I continued to inform myself more seriously, and published a lot, especially after 1990.
RL: Have you ever had a personal experience with ‘high strangeness’?
DF: I have the memory of several “night visits”, before the age of 5 years. I argued then that they were not dreams. The only thing I remember now is a green hand disappearing behind my bed, somehow in to the wall. I even gave a name to this apparition, something like “that with the hand”.
I had also, in this period, some unexplainable phobias. I felt a terror if I get a glimpse of certain common objects. These reactions have disappeared with time.
RL: Has being an academic aided you in your research of the UFO phenomenon?
DF: I was trained in mathematics, physics and astronomy at a university level. This helped me not only to understand the size and structure of the universe, or what means spaces with more dimensions, but it also gave me a strong sense of sizes, such as differences between thousands, millions and billions of years, or light years. I noticed that, for many, this often means only “very much”, leading to serious confusions.
On the other hand, academic training in such domains, gives you a higher censorship toward certain facts that you hear reported. Among other things, this made me sceptical for a long time, that UFOs may be spacecraft. Of course, life has forced me, in many fields, to go beyond the dogmas learned in school.
Finally, the academic education and my life experience helped me to understand the limitations of some instruments considered “taboo” in our culture. I understood the limits of the scientific method, of the mathematics and logic. All these have relevance in investigating the UFO phenomenon.
RL: Whilst compiling your research for your new book UFO’s OVER ROMANIA you will have read many eye witness reports, did any one account stand out to you and why?
DF: For this book I used, mostly, investigations made by people that I have known and I had confidence in, but I gave also many pages to the cases that I investigated personally over the last 20 years. There were, on the one hand, strange accounts of military pilots, and on the other hand, unexplained encounters of just ordinary people. I was impressed most by the sincerity of all the witnesses and by their desire to find an explanation for what had happened. With the stories from civilians, I was most impressed by the mixture between the classical UFO lore and some characters or features I knew before only in folkloric or religious realms.
But to understand all the things that surprised me, I think it’s better to recommend reading the book, with all those stories.
RL: Has the language barrier been an obstacle in sharing Eastern European UFO reports?
DF: The language barrier is a very serious one. It was partially overcome in technical fields in which international cooperation is mandatory and where you use a limited vocabulary; but it is still a problem in many other areas, including ufology.
The ufological literature, in Romanian language, and about Romanian cases, is not very extensive, but even so, there are many interesting cases and developments which are not known abroad. The situation is, I think, similar in other Eastern European countries.
RL: You are the chairman of ASFAN. What is this organization?
DF: In 1998, Ion Hobana, a well known writer and ufologist, Harald Alexandrescu, astronomer, and myself, took the initiative of creating the Romanian Association for the Study of Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (ASFAN), as an organisation of well established specialists in various disciplines relevant for active involvement in UFO research. It was and has remained the only non-governmental and non-profit organisation in Romania, with legal personality, dedicated exclusively to ufology. The legal permission for the establishment of ASFAN was obtained at the Court of the City of Bucharest on September 28, 1998, taking into consideration the approval of the Ministry of Research and Technology and that of the General Mayor of Bucharest. The offices of ASFAN were established in the building of the “Admiral Vasile Urseanu” Astronomical Observatory of the Municipality of Bucharest, Boulevard Lascăr Catargiu 21, Bucharest, property of the City.
For the 21 founding members (demanded by the law at that point in time), highly skilled individuals were selected: mathematicians, astronomers, engineers, specialists in radar, aeronautics, meteorology, photo-imaging, informatics, medicine, as well as interdisciplinary oriented personalities. The main aim was to have a multidisciplinary and pluralistic approach to the phenomenon. The initial elected board was: chairman Ion Hobana (1931-2011), Vice-chairman myself, and executive director Harald Alexandrescu Ph.D., mathematician and astronomer (1944-2005). Since 2011, I am the chairman.
At the beginning, ASFAN organised, for three years, public lectures on a monthly basis. A more complex, one day UFO Conference was organised in May 2014. We had also several other public encounters and actions. ASFAN members were invited to appear on virtually all of the main Romanian TV channels and radio stations for debates on current UFO events and related issues. Unfortunately, the funding and the time available for the members was always very limited, so the achievements of ASFAN were much lower than had been hoped, and in time most of members became inactive with no one to take their place.
ASFAN received and examined written reports, photos, video footage and other UFO data (far from all cases). The most interesting ones are available (in Romanian) on the website of the organization. There are no printed UFO publications in Romania, but some ASFAN members have or had permanent UFO columns or articles published in Romanian popular science magazines.
Ion Hobana kept in touch with many ufologists worldwide, he participated in international conferences and invited to Romania several ufologists from abroad. Other ASFAN members tried to maintain these contacts, making new ones too, with several UFO research organisations and specialists abroad.
RL: In UFOs OVER ROMANIA you discuss ‘hypercivilizations’. Could you just expand on what this is?
DF: In our Galaxy (the Milky Way), there are around 200 billion stars. Around 30 billion planets can host life. More and more specialists admit that the basic components of life are travelling throughout space, “infecting” immediately all appropriate planets upon contact. In ideal conditions, in three-four billion years of undisturbed evolution, the random game of mutations and the subsequent changing of the environment could produce on such a planet a complex life system, as we see on our Earth and, in some cases, even a “technological civilisation”, that means intelligent beings capable of building spaceships to travel to other inhabitable planets.
As I estimated that, in the history of our Galaxy, could come into being a number of technological civilizations, of which, only a few hundred survived the childhood diseases that we face now on Earth, and still exist. But these civilizations have not arisen simultaneously. The first may have been born a billion years ago, or even earlier. Therefore in our Galaxy, the surviving civilizations have appeared, most likely, one in a several million years. So, they are far apart from us not only in space, but also in time.
What will become of our civilization (if it will survive) over millions (or billions) of years? How would the inhabitants of a civilization that has outstripped us with millions of years look like? It is impossible for us to imagine. We can accept however that they have been transformed into something else, beyond our understanding; into something we can name as a “hypercivilization”.
If somebody considers that we were too optimistic and the intelligent beings are much scarcer, we should add that our Milky Way is only one of at least 150 billion, more or less similar, galaxies of the Universe accessible to our instruments. And we have strong reasons to believe that there are other Universes too, maybe “parallel” ones, maybe from other states of matter, or parts of a “Multiverse” etc. Therefore it is almost absolutely sure that in the Cosmos there are hypercivilisations.
School and science fiction, but not only, set our minds on patterns ignoring completely the possibility of hypercivilizations. There is a primitive extraterrestrial hypothesis, which assumes that all cosmic civilizations are more or less at the same level with us. Therefore it nurtures some false preconceptions as: very long and difficult cosmic voyages, landing on the lawn of White House, equal rights, conversation, invasion, intervention, aid, and so on.
This primitive view is completely implausible. If hypercivilizations exist (and they exist, with a probability of 99.999999…%) they exploited, in the smallest detail, our Galaxy, millions of years ago, so they have known, for a long time, about our existence. A difference of millions of years, or even hundreds of millions, is as huge as between us and a lizard or even an ant. If an entomologist would propose to study an anthill, he will try to disturb, as little as possible, its life. He could of course make experiments, examining or modifying some ants, or even taking them in remote laboratories, trying to create new “races” and so on, but will not “present credentials” to the queen of the ants. If the entomologist have the technology, he will create some robot ants, sending them in to the hill and watching from a safe place, for example “on the computer screen”, the data transmitted by them. Hypercivilizations might treat us in a similar way. Therefore no settlement, no destruction, on one hand and no official contact, conversation or substantial help, on the other hand, are to be expected from highly advanced cosmic civilisations, even if they are here now.
The arising of a technological civilization could be a very rare event in our Galaxy, occurring probably once in several millions of years. So it is normal for us to be of interest to the higher intelligences. But they will forbid any aid. This is not, only, because of human aggressiveness and xenophobia, making from all new technology new weapons, nor only to avoid a “cultural shock”, which could virtually destroy all our social, scientific, religious, economical, political, military and cultural structures. I suppose they have also some other reasons for that. Hypercivilisations could wait (and maybe harvest even now) our original ideas, viewpoints, creations (in art, science, philosophy, ethics etc.), or something else, produced as a result of millions of years of our independent evolution. And all that expected crop could be destroyed by a premature contact. Some old, apparently absurd, stories may be an indication of such an attitude: the punishment for the apple of the forbidden tree of knowledge, the chaining of Prometheus, or the fallen angels (from Book of Enoch), thrown into a pit full of fire, because they were taught earthlings different skills.
The higher intelligences may gather and store our lives in a kind of virtual reality; this could explain: channelling, “xenoglossia”, “walk-ins”, “reincarnation”, ghosts, etc. In such a super-memory it is possible to travel in the past, without changing the real past, or to see scenarios of the future (sometimes apocalyptical), without accepting fatality.
Of course, all the above is not a proof that the hypercivilisations are the explanation for everything strange and particularly for UFOs. It is only one hypothesis; but one which cannot be easily discarded. And we can speculate even further, supposing for example that the spiritual world was before, or that the material world is only a kind of a great virtual reality and so on. Also, the whole Universe (or rather the “Multiverse”) could be much older and much more complex than the part we can observe with our instruments. Was there something before the “Big Bang”? What is beyond the limits of our closed Universe (maybe in another dimension or another reality, maybe in a spiritual state of matter)?
RL: In your opinion, how do we keep moving forward with UFO research?
DF: UFOs exist! To understand them, first of all, we have to collect facts, focusing on the sincerity of the witnesses and on the honesty of the ufologists, avoiding: tricksters, deception, exaggeration, inventions, misinterpretation of natural phenomena, or of man-made vehicles, as well as deceptive mental phenomena.
In the same time, we have not to forget the great distance from reality to the stories reported about it, interposing (unconsciously!) images seen elsewhere, perhaps in a dream, screen memories, all embellished, filtered, rearranged in a logical and socially convenient order, to match beliefs or prejudices, self delusions, wishful thinking, compulsions or even sexual fantasies, all deeply embedded into the subconscious. These mechanisms are acquired starting with our earliest moments of life and continuing with language, family, religion, environment, social pressure, school, science, media etc. This can change completely what we perceive. Of course, that does not mean the witnesses have not seen anything! Behind their stories, most (if not all) of them went through real and strange experiences.
The scientific method brings additional issues. Science admits only truths that: persist over time and can be inspected by any interested person, possibly in an experiment. Often science also demands that the observations be quantifiable. But, around us, there are so many phenomena which do not meet these conditions. Sometimes we are “culturally hypnotized” to not see them.
Science often speaks of “laws of nature”. We do not know any of these laws, but only the laws of Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, etc. which are “falsifiable”, as underlined epistemologist Karl Popper. So statements like: “it was scientifically proven that X can not exist”, or “that Y must exist”, have no logical foundation. An example is that classical: “it is scientifically impossible, therefore please do not bother me with alleged facts”.
Ufology can not be entirely a science; it can not bring abductions in to the laboratory, nor can it present a UFO, on demand, to any sceptic. But the fact that ufology is not a science does not diminish its importance and also it would be desirable to not diminish its respectability. When people from different countries, cultures and religions, with different backgrounds and occupations, are reporting the same story, with dozens of details that are consistent – despite the fact that these persons have never known each other and have not read any of the dedicated UFO literature – that means we face no more a fantasy or pure coincidences but a real phenomenon. Applying appropriate statistical operations, ufology can try to strip the primary perception of observations by the many cultural veils placed on it, even if this endeavour will never be perfect.
In conclusion, UFO research should concentrate on: gathering as more testimonies as possible, developing methods of removing cultural filtering, and using good statistical instruments.
Another issue is that science is not the only way of knowing, even if it claims that. Science, religions, folklore, paranormal studies, ufology etc. touch, each by its own means and in its “light zone”, an extremely complex reality; and often one part denies the truths of the others. To overcome this limitation, we all must learn, in a pluralistic approach, to respect all truths, as long as we cannot refute them, by obvious facts, not only by theories. Therefore we all should accept the truths of others, even if they contradict our own truths. And we should remain always open to dialogue. It is the only way to ascend to the higher truths we are searching for.
RL: Dan, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and good look (luck?) with your new book UFOs OVER ROMANIA.
For more information about the book, visit: flyingdiskpress.blogspot.co.uk
The book can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Thank you for your excellent interview with Dr. Farcus. I am reading UFOs over Romania now. The author’s English is charming and not a barrier at all. The Publishers and editors and author did a wonderful job.