Ever wondered if there is life beyond the stars? Ever seen something in the night sky you can’t quite explain? Now you can get even closer to the truth than ever before with Wheaton’s new club – the extra-terrestrial research society founded by sophomore Benjamen Fields ’22.
Fields is studying physics and astronomy and has had a lifelong obsession with extraterrestrials and UFOs since he was five years old,.
“I’ve had a lifelong obsession with the subject,” Fields said. “More importantly, the subject has a critical importance to the future of our species, I think it’s one of the most important questions. Are we alone? I think the answer to that question has the potential to completely alter human civilization on a fundamental level. I personally think for the better,” he added.
Fields hopes that he can help to both legitimize the field and contribute real research by working with other members of the club to conduct investigations. Members can either simply learn more about the subject, or become active members and engage in the various projects the club will pursue. Club-goers will choose the extent to which they will interact.
The club also does projects like art installations. Like the most recent one consisting of what certain species might look like on newly discovered planets. Fields also plans to do sky watching trips with the group to visually search the skies for unidentified flying objects.
In the context of stigma around the topic, Fields believes the area of study has become more legitimized than ever. “Even the New York Times publicly announced the Department of Defence had a secret UFO program. We’re living in a golden age as far as the legitimacy of the subject and I want to ride that wave to the top,” Fields said. “There really isn’t much of a stigma anymore. If you ask most people today they just might say that there probably is life out there,” he added.
According to Fields, he had some of his own UFO sightings. In his astronomy class, Fields and other classmates were using a telescope to map craters on the moon. Until suddenly several classmates become frightened and screaming at the large object in the sky. “Once you saw it, it was unambiguous, it was structured, solid, gun-metal black, four big circular white lights down either arm, and it was in a V or chevron shape and was moving painfully slow, at around 15 mph” Field said. He later went on to get a FOIR (Freedom Of Information Request) from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) wanting evidence on radar of what he saw. According to him, After weeks of back and forth, they eventually gave him the data, but it was the wrong time because the FAA failed to translate from pacific to universal time.
Fields emphasized that he does not want people to view him as a preacher on a mission trying to convert people to believe in aliens and that if he did so he would be doing the area of study massive disservice. “I want the truth, I want science, I want evidence, I don’t want a new religion out of this that doesn’t help anyone. I’m not some ideological preacher standing on a pulpit trying to get people to believe in aliens,” he said.
If you would like to make contributions to the ongoing mystery of life on other worlds, flying objects, and other mysterious phenomena involving extraterrestrials or simply learn more and engage your curiosity, please drop by on Fridays at 4 p.m. in Knapton Lecture Hall. As always, watch the skies.