UFOs and Religious Phenomena
Some areas, for example, the study of UFOs and religious phenomena (e.g., phenomena produced by saints such as levitation and stigmata, healings in places such as Lourdes, and apparitions of the virgin Mary), are generally considered by parapsychologists not to be part of their field. Nonetheless, we need to be aware that there are many connections between parapsychological phenomena and these phenomena.
There is a literature of UFO sightings and close encounters that shows that these experiences are associated with a previous history of psychic experiences, or with experiences that started after the encounter For example, see K. Basterfield, (2001), Paranormal aspects of the UFO phenomenon: 1975-1999. Australian Journal of Parapsychology, 1, 30-55.
As seen in Herbert Thurston's The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism (edited by J. H. Crehan. Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery, 1952), many religious phenomena, such as levitation, and luminous effects seem to be parapsychological phenomena. The same may be said about a variety of ESP phenomena in the lives of Catholic saints, some of which are similar to cases studied by parapsychologists, as discussed by Rhea A. White in 1982 (An analysis of ESP phenomena in the saints. Parapsychology Review, 13(1), 15-18). Furthermore, many of the saints said to have experienced a phenomenon such as stigmata and levitation, also experienced other manifestations presumably related to ESP and PK. The area of religious phenomena has been discussed recently by Lisa J. Schwebel in her book Apparitions, Healings, and Weeping Madonnas: Christianity and the Paranormal (New York: Paulist Press, 2004).