One’s answer to the question, “should I believe in the UFO phenomenon? often results from what we wish to believe, the approach used to interpret the evidence, and possibly even a touch of one’s “gut feeling.” Achieving an appropriate balance is not an easy task, and adopting an agnostic approach may even present a greater challenge when trying to decide if you “should believe.” Unfortunately, conclusions of the UFO evidence may reflect an error in inductive inference, evidenced by people who seek out and assign more weight to information or evidence that confirms their belief. Consequently, if we believe what we wish, we cannot objectively interpret evidence and may actually perceive opposing evidence to be weak in principle and resist revising our beliefs. In other words, if I hope or believe that some UFOs are extraterrestrial, I may lack objectivity when interpreting UFO evidence.
Driven by our instinctive sense of curiosity, we all like a good mystery to solve, and the UFO phenomenon is as mystifying as it gets. Ideally, a solution to a phenomenon should be derived from verifiable replicated results and associated conclusions from controlled independent scientific investigations. Unfortunately, the often controversial and predominate anecdotal nature of available evidence to study makes it difficult to apply this idealized approach for research purposes. Despite decades of official studies and individual research endeavors, we are far from solving this mystery. So, “should I believe?” Or, maybe I should ask, “What should I believe?” Well, I believe strongly on the basis of existing empirical evidence, that something very unusual in our skies defies explanation. This extraordinary mystery, and its associated potential important implications, begs for a newly developed organized research initiative to effectively study the phenomenon. I say this because I do believe UFOs exist, as evidenced by apparent physical objects in the sky that cannot be logically explained. My position as a UFO agnostic does not apply to the existence of UFOs but rather to its nature and origin. It is one thing to demonstrate that UFOs exist, but it is entirely another to determine the “who,” “what,” and “why’s” associated with the phenomenon. And for that, I don’t pretend to have a clue. Accordingly, after a methodical review and analysis of the existing evidence, I am not convinced one way or another as to whether UFOs are extraterrestrial, from another space-time, or a natural and/or manmade phenomenon.
Are the extraordinary claims of UFO encounters of various kinds symptomatic of mass hysteria brought on by cognitive hardwiring from countless hours spent with Star Trek, science fiction books and movies, and the Twilight Zone? Can there be a sociological or psychological explanation for the alleged UFO encounters, or is the documented testimony of UFO experiences by highly credible commercial and military pilots, military and government officials, and thousands of citizens worldwide sufficient to conclude that NHI has visited Earth? While many UFO researchers admit that conclusive proof of NHI visiting Earth exist, others remain skeptical enough to contend that the continued failure to provide undeniable, verifiable evidence means that other life forms have not visited our planet. Admittedly, it is hard to suppress the instinctual human trait to want to believe in something, and there is some degree of temptation to want to believe that the 5-10% of unexplained UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin. But while they may in fact be from somewhere other than Earth, I need that elusive “smoking gun,” or at least some highly potent gun powder, that provides undeniable proof for me to firmly “believe” they are governed by NHI.
Collectively, the reported testimony of UFOs experiences from credible witnesses, the diverse range of proposed theories to explain the many extraordinary UFO claims, combined with the government and NASA’s, official denial of extraterrestrial visitation of our planet, contribute to a confused public who yearn for answers. While there is no dispute that many people believe their UFO experiences of various types to be real events, the “high strangeness” or non-natural phenomena often associated with such encounters present a major obstacle for science to adequately address.
The UFO skeptics are firmly entrenched in the belief that the phenomenon can be explained in several ways: 1) natural phenomena such as meteors, atmospheric, etc. 2) psychological, as manifested by confabulation, hoaxes, the psycho-cultural hypothesis, hallucinations, and mental disorders), and 3) physical objects in the form of satellites, advanced technology, weather balloons, and space debris. Can these reasons account for all UFO sightings? Maybe they can, but part of me can’t ignore the remote possibility that some UFOs are operated by an alien intelligence. But while this emotional based thought may lead to erroneous conclusions, critical thinking should prevail before one firmly believes that a reported UFO incident such as Roswell N.M (1947), the Phoenix Lights (1997), Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England (1980), Washington D.C. (1952), among others, provides indisputable evidence that NHI has visited Earth. It is difficult to ignore these extraordinary albeit controversial incidents, and the authenticity of compelling accounts by experienced military pilots and personnel, government officials, and astronauts, who have officially disclosed their UFO encounters through The Disclosure Project, and/or The Citizens Hearing for UFO Disclosure to members of congress. Such testimony is hard to firmly discredit as examples of confabulation, confirmation bias, or just plain delusions. And while they help to support the notion that UFOs may be physical craft from another world, we cannot be certain that the strange moving object in the sky represents a visitation from another solar system, or a natural and/or manmade phenomenon, among other possible, yet to be discovered phenomena.
Are intelligent beings visiting earth, or is an atmospheric or meteorological phenomena responsible for the small percentage of unexplained UFOs? Whether it is plasma or beings in physical craft from another planet or dimension, natural phenomena, or something yet to be discovered, the perplexing and compelling evidence clearly indicate that one or more phenomena exist in our skies, minds, or both.
There seems to be only two ways for the phenomenon to be realized. The easy route will be for the intelligence (if present and willing) governing the UFOs to announce their presence to the world. The more difficult, but likely required route will be to establish a governance structure dedicated towards providing leadership to facilitate a multidisciplinary scientific research initiative, with sufficient support and resources, to study the phenomenon. Until either outcome is realized (if ever), the mystery will remain as a source of speculation, skepticism, and debate. We simply cannot continue to passively anticipate that the phenomenon will eventually announce its nature and origin to the world. We need to establish plans, set goals, and aggressively investigate this astonishing mystery in a proactive manner. After all, how much more do we know about the phenomenon today than we did decades ago? I think very little having any significance. Consequently, newly developed scientific based approaches, which offer the greatest potential to define the nature and origin of the phenomenon, must be applied to better understand a significant issue of our time.
Upon reviewing the evidence, it is difficult to not conclude that many people have and will likely continue to experience inexplicable UFO encounters. Many UFO researchers contend that the compelling witness testimony of observed UFOs by highly credible witnesses from different locations, and confirmed by radar, appear consistent in showing the phenomena under intelligent control and maneuverability that appear to counter laws of inertia and gravity. While there is no doubt that many witnesses to UFO events have seen something extraordinarily strange that defy logical explanation, there is no irrefutable evidence that what they have seen is, undeniably, a physical craft under intelligent control from another solar system and/or space-time.
Despite decades of investigative research, the UFO evidence fails to provide convincing rationale and justification, at least to the scientific community, to support the common belief that an alien intelligence is operating UFOs and interacting with humans. And while no guarantee can be made that a new scientific study will provide conclusive answers to the many questions associated with the UFO phenomenon, it is imperative that we apply the same level of commitment to achieve this objective as we did to step foot on the moon. If we can, at the very least, facilitate an organized multidisciplinary research initiative to investigate the UFO phenomenon, then Neil Armstrong’s statement upon first stepping foot on the moon that this is, “one giant leap for mankind,” would also apply to this important concern. In fact, that first manned lunar landing may pale in comparison to the potential outcomes incurred by our greater understanding of the UFO phenomenon and contact with alien intelligence (if “they” exist).
So, should I believe? Before you answer this question, keep in mind that there exists a thin line between the existence of the phenomenon and one’s belief or hope that unexplained UFOs are not from Earth.
After all, remember Carl Sagan’s position that “somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known.”