Archives On The Air 73: UFO Psychology—Leo Sprinkle Papers

Oct 24, 2018

Photograph of a UFO or a natural phenomenon from Dr. Leo Sprinkle's research files, undated. Box 14, Leo Sprinkle papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

Have you wondered about the psychology of UFO conspiracies?

Dr. Leo Sprinkle was a Professor of Psychology at the University of Wyoming. In the 1970s he did research into explaining who UFO spotters are.

Photograph of Dr. Leo Sprinkle in his office from a newspaper article about Sprinkle and his work, undated. Box 14, Leo Sprinkle papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

Sprinkle took a rare path into psychology. He studied parapsychology – the study of extrasensory perception and pre-cognitive dreams.

Sprinkle worked with other scientists to untangle whether UFOs are from outer space, or if UFO spotters are simply witnessing some natural phenomenon.

Sprinkle examined the social and behavioral side of people who have spotted UFOs to prove that UFOs may be an earthly or mental occurrence. Yet the press never seemed to get his theory correct.

Have you seen a UFO? Maybe Sprinkle’s research has your back. Take a look at the academic side of UFO sightings in the Leo Sprinkle papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.