In our X-Files reboot world, it’s hard to take ufology, the study of UFOs, seriously. The problem, at its core, is less scientific than sociological. The community that believes in the proximity of extraterrestrial life has long had a fraught relationship with logic and reason. Antonio Paris’s job is to bridge the divide between those who want to believe and those who demand proof. As the head ofAerial Phenomena Investigations, Paris has spent the last five years working with a former NASA engineer and a journalist to uncover both evidence and its absence. Paris, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, also works as anastronomer at St. Petersburg College in Florida. He spends a lot of time looking up, but even more time looking around.
It bears saying — precisely because it doesn’t go without saying — that Paris is not a crank. In a sense, he’s exactly the opposite. He exhibits the rare ability to keep belief close and doubt closer. It is this trait, coupled with the thoroughness of his work, that has enamored him to the scientific community, which embraces him with open arms. Paris spoke with Inverse about dueling with investigative and scientific pistols at a time when most other Ufologists are stuck on Area 51.