Illustration for article titled Ufology Flies Over The Ivory Tower

What can you do with a PhD in UFOs? Martin Plowman is about to find out. This Saturday, the University of Melbourne will award Plowman Australia's first-ever graduate degree in ufology. Do you wish you could write your thesis on flying saucers? Click through to see just what such a course of study entails.Plowman, whose studies focus on culture and communication, has traveled around the world to investigate claims of extraterrestrial activity. But rather than attempt to determine the veracity of these claims, Plowman merely documents them and examines how culture and contemporary scientific understanding impact how people attempt to explain these phenomena:

"Having a look at it, I realised this was a whole world unto itself," he said. "It had rules, and ideas and history and it hadn't been looked at much, so my enthusiasm [for UFOs] came back and I thought this is a story that I want to look at."


He also discusses the experiences of people coming to terms with alleged alien abductions:

"They seem like something has happened to them…The first time you meet an abductee, as they are called, it can be quite confronting because they are trying to come to terms with it. They don't know what it is either, and it is something that can stay with people a long time."


We'll get to see the culmination of Plowman's research this November with the release of his book, High Strangeness: Uncertain Confessions of a UFOlogy-ologist. Dr who? Why, it's Martin Plowman, PhD UFO [The Age]

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