Saturday, July 12, 2014

Skeptics vs. Believers: Let’s Do the Math on UFOs

It seems every time I peruse a website addressing the UFO subject, I see articles from skeptics that usually begin with a title such as “Is this a UFO, or a tractor?” This just seems like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course it’s a tractor. Or a balloon. Or Jupiter. Or swamp gas!

The fact is that most all who are interested in the subject would agree that all but a few percent of sightings reported are explainable as some kind of natural object or phenomena. So do we really need an article that exemplifies that well known fact? Of course it is a tractor. It’s just a tractor that looks a lot like a space ship when seen in the right light.
  • Let’s Get Serious
Most agree that about five percent of sightings are unknown. That being the case, the believers are beginning this struggle with the odds looking pretty bad for our side. Of all UFO cases, skeptics can write about 95 percent of them, while believers are stuck with a measly five. Doesn’t seem fair, somehow. Nevertheless, the result of this inequity is that the believers research the hell out of their five percent, while skeptics just point out tractors and planets and swamp gas and usually act superior.

Stanton Friedman has a very good formula that defines skeptics at his website. And though the “Father of Roswell Ufology” is pretty savage in the way he treats skeptics, they are usually no less so in their treatment of believers. But Stan can cite decades of research on one incident, which obviously leads to expertise. Most skeptics spend very little time researching one incident, comparatively speaking. But then, that’s what happens when you only have five percent of the total with which to work.

But seriously, with all the new science happening and the building consensus that we will find life outside this planet, isn’t it time to quit talking about swamp gas? A good first step in this process would be if the mainstream media would become less snarky on the subject. Is it any wonder that true experts tend to avoid mainstream news shows? James Fox, an otherwise well respected UFO researcher, learned this lesson when he agreed to star in Chasing UFOs on the National Geographic Channel. He seemed more surprised than anyone at the final cut made by the network, which as usual made a mockery of the entire subject. James found out that he was appearing in just one more show where people run around at night with fancy equipment, but this one just features more profanity. How many more “___ Hunter” shows do we need anyway?
  • This Subject Deserves Better
Don’t get me wrong, skeptics are valuable and being skeptical is usually wise. But, being skeptical just for the sake of it, is just foolish. Ditto with believing beyond reason. Just as with any subject, there are extremes on both ends of the spectrum. But at this time, and probably due to good disinformation campaigns, most Americans seem to view the subject with embarrassment. They fear being perceived as a UFO believer. And they feel this way even though many polls find that a majority of Americans believe UFOs exist.

What a weird paradox. We have been trained well by the mainstream media, who cannot broach the subject without wearing smirks on their faces and acting as if the whole subject is beneath them and worth derision and ridicule. Yet these are the same media who devoted weeks to coverage of Anna Nicole‘s death and whether or not to tube-feed Terri Schiavo. The same media who spent all day watching O.J. Simpson being driven in his getaway car at a blazing 35 mph, puts something as potentially life changing as extraterrestrial visitation at the end of the newscast with the puppy stories and other weird news. In fact, The Huffington Post will publish this under “Weird News.” My question is, why is this subject “weird”? It seems to me that it is of extreme national security concern that unknown objects are invading our air space, messing with our nukes, and our military seems powerless to intervene. If people really are being abducted and experimented upon, is everyone alright with that?

These are questions that deserve serious, well-funded study. But presently, it is a very rare scientist who does not do his research on UFOs by paying his own way. Virtually no one receives grants for funding, like those who study more traditional subject matter. And while there is no doubt in my mind that greenhouse gasses will gravely wound civilization if left unchecked, it will take years. And that can be seen asa