Originally Posted by Denton
The level of uncritical belief displayed in many of the posts of this thread, though not unsurprising (given the general culture of which we are all a part), is quite disturbing. We live in a scientific age, though there is just as much magical thinking present in our society as there seems to have been at any other time in history (at least we don't burn "witches" any more, though apparently some will still allow their religious beliefs to override their senses to such an extent as to choke their 3 years-old grandchildren
in order to exorcise demons). Give up your childish superstitions, your conspiracy theories, and other forms of silliness. Life is really so much better: escape to reality
I've never seen anything in the sky that I could not identify very easily. I live in an area (near a mountain chain) where altocumulus lenticularis (wave) clouds are common, and some people have said that they look like "alien spacecraft" (!)... but having, to my knowledge, never seen an alien spacecraft, I wouldn't know. How common cloud formations get misidentified as "nuts and bolts" craft remains mystifying. People commonly misidentify Venus (or one of the other brighter planets) as a UFO, although it is hard to imagine how, except perhaps when in motion, the relatively changing position of (Venus) could make it appear that *it*
is in motion. Some people (with a UFO obsession) have been known to claim that a perfectly commonplace, identifiable object, such as a Boeing 747 coming in to land at an airport, is an alien spacecraft. Really. I kid you not.
UFO reports are so commonplace, to the point of there being 10s of thousands of reports each year... and these do not include sightings that people don't even want to talk about or report, on account of ridicule (and other factors). 98% can be explained by mundane, or everyday reasons, and some as more unusual natural phenomena. But... there remains that 2% or so, a small minority that remain "unidentified". That does not mean to say that they are "alien" of course, just merely "unknown". Do you not think it is worthwhile that the "unknown" aspect of the field should be investigated with scientific rigor, without preconceptions, without the stupid baggage that has grown up around the subject? Even if we don't find out what people are apparently witnessing, such a study could provide potentially invaluable data on human psychology, at least. Unfortunately, the scientific community won't go there, and for reasons that appear to be somewhat unscentific... such as the fear of being "laughed at", or the fear of trashing one's career. What a shame, and a sad reflection on the state of science, where fear trumps inquiry.
The subject interests me for sure. But I have come to no conclusions either way. Re. alien spacecraft, I tend towards skepticism, mostly on account of the bounds imposed by relativity; the statistical likelihood of life existing outside our solar system doesn't even count taking the time/distance factor into consideration. However....I would love to see a real
investigation, done with pure science in mind (kinda rare these days). Unfortunately, science relies on such things as "repeatability".. and UFO sightings tend not to conform. But an unbiased investigation, I guess is daydreaming and idealistic, in an age when unbiased investigations are less than fashionable, and when science now tends to be pursued only when there's a profit motive. But to trash the UFO subject, just for what it is, and conclude, without inquiry, that everyone who sees a "UFO" is lying, mistaken or hallucinating etc. by default, is not a scientific approach. Considering that many of the true "unidentifieds" are witnessed by observant people, such as pilots, police officers, military people etc... one would have thought that their eyewitness testimony is worth more than just a casual brush-off. And, when a solid radar return shows something behaving abnormally, like a sharp 90º turn without deceleration, then I believe that its worth looking into it... rather than burying one's head in the sand and lumping the entire subject alongside what's available on Fox Channel, or the Weekly World News.