C. G. Jung Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky (Online Study Group)

Facilitators: Sean C. Hill, Ph.D., and Rick Vaughn
Dates: Sundays May 15, 22, 29 & June 5 and 12
Time: 7 PM to 9 PM Central
Location: Virtual sessions will meet via Zoom
Maximum Participants: 12

*10 CEs are available for participation in this study group. CE-seeking participants must apply separately for CEs here.




Jung is quoted in the preface of Flying Saucers saying, in 1958, “As the behavior of the press is a sort of Gallup test with reference to world opinion, one must draw the conclusion that news affirming the existence of UFOs is welcome, but that skepticism seems to be undesirable. To believe that UFOs are real suits the general opinion, whereas disbelief is to be discouraged. This creates the impression that there is a tendency all over the world to believe in saucers and to want them to be real, unconsciously helped along by a press that otherwise has no sympathy with the phenomenon. This remarkable fact in itself surely merits the psychologist’s interest. Why should it be more desirable for saucers to exist than not? The following pages are an attempt to answer this question.”

Jung, in the introduction, states, “As a psychologist, I am not qualified to contribute anything useful to the question of the physical reality of UFOs. I can concern myself only with their undoubted psychic aspect, and in what follows shall deal almost exclusively with their psychic concomitants.”

This study group will focus on all of Jung’s ideas in the book and apply them also to current stories, artwork, and films that have occurred since its publication in 1958.

Jonathan Young, Ph.D., is a psychologist who assisted mythologist Joseph Campbell at seminars and was the founding curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives. He is also a consultant and commentator for the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens series.  On May 29, Dr. Young will give study group participants a PowerPoint presentation on Archetypal Aliens, discussing scenes from the popular 2016 sci-fi movie Arrival.

Scene from the feature film Arrival


Participants will need to purchase a copy of C.G. Jung’s Flying Saucers. Rick recommends the Routledge edition (ISBN 9780415278379), which is available here.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand Jung’s view on the modern myth and symbolism of UFOs
  2. Use Jung’s perspective to interpret dreams and visions that include UFOs and alien beings
  3. See the psychological value of UFO themes in forms of entertainment (fiction, art, documentary, TV shows, and films)
  4. Understand how the split in consciousness of our age can generate the appearance of a uniting symbol such as the UFO
  5. Appreciate how the UFO symbol can assist in the integration of the personality

Sean C. Hill, Ph.D., is Dean of Student Support Services at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois, where he also holds tenured faculty status in psychology. Sean received his Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago in research methodology/human development. His scholarly interests are race, identity, chaos, complexity, and Jungian perspectives. Sean especially enjoys applying these frameworks to popular culture. He has presented at several conferences including the Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures, Winter Chaos Conference, Film and History Conference, DePaul Pop Culture Conference, and Conference of Research in Jung and Analytical Psychology. Sean authored “Toward Conceptualizing Race and Racial Identity Development within an Attractor Landscape” published in SAGE Open in 2017.


Rick Vaughn headshot Rick has been in an intensive study of Jungian thought since 2011 including two years of analysis with a Jungian diplomate analyst.   He has been a video producer of more than 40 Jungian presentations and is a Jung Society of St. Louis Board member.  He is also a teacher of music video for Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL.