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Phenomenology of UAP

  24 April - 12 June 2024
6:30-9:30 pm EST

Below, interested students and members of the Society can learn about our online course offering by philosopher, scholar of phenomenology and Advisory Board member Dr. Kimberly S. Engels.

all courses are 125 USD or 50 USD for 3 months

Planet and Moon

Course Description

This 8 week course will introduce the phenomenological method as a tool for studying UAP.  The course will begin by introducing phenomenology as conceived by founding figure Edmund Husserl. Next, we will transition to differentiating mythical or cultural UFOs from the phenomenal UAP. We will then study different types of UAP encounters: from seeing nocturnal lights, to encounters with perceived entities and different dimensions of reality. We will use Husserl’s method of bracketing to suspend assumptions and preconceptions about what appears. We will then use eidetic reduction to ask what the unique and essential components make the phenomenon or the experience unique from all other kinds of phenomena or experiences. We will use Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception to study the emotions, bodily sensations, and responses of experiencers. Last, we will use Sartre’s phenomenology to understand the role of human value and meaning that is ascribed to the experiences. We will examine close encounters of the first through fifth kinds, as well as draw comparisons and contrasts with other classifications of extraordinary encounters. The course will feature literature from philosophers Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre as well as leading UAP researchers such as Jacques Vallee, John E. Mack, Thomas Bullard, Kenneth Ring, Peter Gutilla, and Michael E. Zimmerman.

No no matter what your time zone, or your schedule, we encourage you to enroll! For the benefit of any student who can't attend live, the Society will record the sessions and make them available to students (once video processing is complete - generally, two to three days).

Night Sky with Stars

Weekly Topics 


Week 1: Intro to Husserlian Phenomenology 

Week 2: The Mythic vs. Phenomenal UFO

Week 3: Lights in Sky, Discs, and Close Encounters of the 1st Kind

Week 4: Phenomenology of Close Encounters of the 2nd Kind 

Week 5: Phenomenology of Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind

Week 6: Phenomenology of Close Encounters of the 4th Kind

Week 7: Phenomenology of Close Encounters of the 5th Kind

Week 8: Phenomenology of the Impossible

Dr. Engels discusses her course.

Phenomenology Course Promo Vid
Engles Discuses Her Course
Anchor 1
New Moon

Kimberly S. Engels is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Molloy University and past president of the North American Sartre Society. She received her PhD from Marquette University, where she first studied phenomenology. Her UAP research interests lie in the lived conscious experience of individuals who report UAP encounters. 


Ongoing Course Content Access

Access to the video lectures and other course content for Dr. Engels's Fall 2023 philosophy course - Phenomenology of UAP - will be made available on an ongoing basis to interested students by registering below. Tuition for the course grants access to the content for two months, covering the 8 weeks during which the course was originally offered.

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