Professor of History and Bioethics
Penn State University
Greg Eghigian is Professor of History and Bioethics at Penn State University, specializing in the history of science and medicine. He has written extensively about the ways in which scientific and medical institutions have understood and treated those deemed mad, abnormal or delinquent. His most recent book is The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health. He serves on the editorial boards of the periodicals Psychiatric Times and the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences and he is co-founding Editor-in-Chief of the scholarly blog h-madness.
More recently, Eghigian has turned his attention to the history of the UFO and alien contact phenomenon, research for which he has received funding from NASA, the American Historical Association, the American Philosophical Society and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. His global history of UFO and alien encounters should appear soon with Oxford University Press. He is presently working on a new book that chronicles the history of the alien abduction phenomenon.
UFOs and Alien Contact in the Shadow of Deception
Deception has always haunted the modern UFO phenomenon. Flying saucers that appear and suddenly disappear. Strange figures intimidating witnesses to remain silent.Government denials. Spies planting disinformation. Humanoids that seem to hide their true purpose. Aliens able to erase and manipulate memories. Hoaxers, pranksters and ballyhoo. Social scientists and debunkers questioning the recollections of experiencers.This lecture will explore the role of deception in the making and unmaking of UFO and alien contact episodes and discuss what it might tell us about how to go about studying the phenomenon.