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Why Do People Believe in UFOs?: A Discovery News Trash Piece

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posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 04:25 PM
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I couldn't let this one go by without at least a couple comments, and I'm interested to hear how others on this forum view the story.

Why Do People Believe in UFOs? - by Ray Villard, Discovery News

Is this guy uninformed or deliberately obtuse? I'll just pick out some of my favorite passages and throw the rest out to you.


Contrary to conventional wisdom, people of all levels of education like to believe in "weird things," says Michael Shermer of the Skeptical Inquirer. Shermer wrote that people tend to seek or interpret evidence favorable to existing beliefs and ignore or misinterpret evidence unfavorable to those beliefs.


True statement, although this happens with people who don't believe in UFOs as well as those who do and has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of UFOs - which the author of this article automatically equates with alien visitation.


Likewise, any two people can see a blob of light in the sky, one thinking it is the planet Venus and the other person predisposed to interpreting it as a space vehicle under alien control.


Also true, but again the fact that some people misinterpret mundane phenomena as something extraordinary has nothing to do with those cases - which number in the hundreds if not thousands - in which enough information is available to rule out all conventional explanations for what is reported. Of course, the author of the article ignores these facts, maybe because they are unfavorable to his beliefs (see Shermer quote above).

Yeesh. It makes my skin crawl to read people pontificating on subjects which they have obviously prejudged without taking time to evaluate for themselves.
edit on 11-8-2012 by Orkojoker because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 04:31 PM
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One could relate the same points to people who are very religious. They see a shape in their toast and they feel it HAS to be a sign from god. For this man to say these things is going against all that is known about our universe. There is no possible way we are the only living organisms in the entire universe it just CANNOT BE.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 04:32 PM
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well, when the blob of light starts moving around the sky, defying the laws of gravity and is videotaped by average people with no incentive to lie, i wouldn't call that predisposition.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 04:43 PM
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I don't "believe in evolution" because to me it is a fact, not a theory. I think the theories start where the speculation and contradicting evidence occurs (example: aquatic ape theory; mermaids). Find connections and the evidence begins to fit like a jigsaw puzzle, but good luck sharing that with someone until enough folks have come to a similar understanding.

So for me in my reality - I can't possibly "believe in UFOs" because I have seen (the allusion: unidentified object) some magnificent things in the sky.
It is a fact, in my world, that there are balls of light that are capable of maneuvering in ninety degree angles at very fast speeds.
So the above is a Fact.
The "theo-ry" or "belief" lies in my speculation of what I think they are.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 04:43 PM
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Good article.

I used to believe in UFOs. When I was 10 years old!

There's not a single shred of real evidence for UFOs or aliens.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by DaTroof
 


Good luck with that, maybe one day someone will hold your hand and show you all of the evidence of "Unidentified. Flying. Objects."

Until then, just keep stifling that inner child that used to have a much broader perspective on reality.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by Orkojoker
 


What this dips$%t is basically saying is that everybody including Military personnel,pilots,police officers,presidents, and everybody else throughout the years that have witnessed UFO's are delusional and are wanting to believe in something "weird". I guess every UFO sighting ever is witnessed by delusional people?? Has this guy ever thought that maybe, just maybe there just might be some substance to this phenomenon?
Or that's it's just one big conspiracy that involves thousands of people all over the world who are witnessing/have witnessed the same thing?? Yeah that really makes a lot of sense doesn't it?? What this guy is actually doing is putting down and discrediting every pilot,military personnel,police officer and everyone else that has witnessed UFO's. Pilots especially are trained to identify what's in the sky. There have been HUNDREDS of pilots all around the world that have witnessed UFO's throughout the decades yet I'm going to take some dumb a*#'s word that it's all an illusion and that these people want to believe in something "weird"??? I absolutely can not stand these kind of people. They are a plague to our society and it's people like this that prevent us from growing and understanding more about UFO's. It's this kind of attitude that has shaped the general public's way of thinking towards UFO's. As long as there's tools like this in the world, there's always going to be bickering between both sides which drives the wedge even further. A great way to distract us from the truth. Bottom line, many people are afraid of what they do not understand. And as we all know, people do weird things when they are afraid.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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I believe in UFOs because people see flying objects that are unidentified. Therefor they exist.

Once more information comes available these could well turn out to be IFOs. (Identified Flying Objects) and if not they remain UFOs. There is no other explanation.

People who decide that UFO means anything else are ignorant. Ray Villard, the author of this piece even says:

"The survey did not specifically equate UFOs with flying saucers or little green men, however."

So maybe we should not be so critical.

He does mention that "belief in haunted houses, ghosts, and demonic possession slightly exceeded belief in UFOs." Again we cannot define these subjects easily. Are ghosts supposed to be the earthly remains of dead humans. If so why do we always see them fully clothed? Why do people never report seeing dead dinosaurs or creatures that came before them?

These are things that are difficult to prove exist.UFOs however do until the facts prove otherwise.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 05:36 PM
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Originally posted by DaTroof
Good article.

I used to believe in UFOs. When I was 10 years old!

There's not a single shred of real evidence for UFOs or aliens.


That's just what you would say, illuminatis!


Originally posted by pluginkid
reply to post by Orkojoker
 


What this dips$%t is basically saying is that everybody including Military personnel,pilots,police officers,presidents, and everybody else throughout the years that have witnessed UFO's are delusional and are wanting to believe in something "weird".


Yes, just as delusional as the thousands of people who believed in leprechauns and fairies, including highly educated scholars, Kings, and generals. (Or maybe fairies are just really tiny Grays with wings and sparkles? Of course!)

Or the millions of people who believed in sucubi, incubi, vampires, and werewolves. Including just as many highly educated people.

Not to mention that back then, these people had nothing to gain by claiming they saw one, and could often face not only social ridicule, but be sentenced to death for being involved with unnatural powers!

And what about all the people, lead by highly educated political leaders, militia leaders, religious leaders, in agreement with entire towns who executed thousands of innocent women for being witches?

But I guess all those people were obviously stupid, and the ridiculous things you believe, with exactly as much evidence as was used against the witches, are totally reasonable.

The crops went bad, how else do you explain that! Sure, it *could* be something else, and maybe 99% of witch sightings are just normal people, but it's that 1% that are unidentified and might really be witches we have to worry about!

Well, obviously the witches were just reptilians from Alpha Draconis, what with their natural crop-destroying technology, and their obvious reasons for wanting to cause trouble in a struggling town of about 100 people. It all makes sense! Of course!



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 05:49 PM
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I, for one, like to go outside, and look at all the people.

I go outside and sit at outdoor cafes, drinking coffee or tea, and I look at all the aliens and count them.

All zero of them.

At night, most nights, I watch the sky.
I look through my telescope or enjoy the stars with my naked eyes.
I often take trips out into the wilderness, far from light pollution, alone, taking only what I can carry, venturing miles and miles away from all civilization.
I see stars. I see planets. I see satellites.
I sometimes, when one is in the sky, will see a comet.
I see shooting stars, and even the occasional fireworks display of a brilliant bolide.
Sometimes I see aircraft.

Interesting meteorological phenomenon is often a joy to see with Lenticuar cloud formations, lightning storms, the Aurora Borealis (when I'm far enough North), and many other a display.

Close enough to military bases, or spending time in Florida, I've watched/seen rocket/missile launches, and on some occasions, I've even seen junk fall from old satellites going out on a funeral pyre.

Never once, not a single time, in all the years I've watched the sky, never, ever, have I ever seen anything that could not be attributed to something unidentified, or that could not be identified.

Sure, there is indeed a UFO phenomenon.
Often, however, whatever is reported is simple mistaken identity or ignorance to such identities.
Other times, when it comes to eye witness reports, details get skewed, exaggerated, or embroidered during translation in telling from one person to another like the Chinese telephone game.
Further, there's the simple unreliability of eye witness testimony by itself, not to mention witness contamination, or sympathetic collusion in multiple witness cases, all usually done unwittingly, subconsciously, without overt or conscious desire toward deception.
Sometimes 'investigators' (quotations intentional) will lead witnesses with poor dialog and questioning techniques.

Still, even so, even when a pilot (a trained observer always so well respected in the UFO phenomenon) doesn't send his Air Canada flight full of passengers into a steep dive to avoid colliding with ... Venus, or when respected and trained observers like veteran police officers aren't in hot pursuit of ... the moon, or a lighthouse ... there is still a phenomenon of unaccountable incidents.

We can't say these incidents are aliens. We haven't seen any aliens.
Any talk about aliens is always anecdotal, and thus fairly easily dismissed.
We, however, do indeed have some odd incidents and occurrances in the sky.
We call them UFOs.
What are they?
We still don't know.
People like to think they're alien piloted aircraft, but, we have zero real evidence for such.
These UFOs could very well be natural phenomenon we as of yet understand.
These UFOs could be a terrestrial animal, like bigfoot; undiscovered, and as of yet explained.
These UFOs could very well be aliens, but, we don't have any evidence to really support this do we?
These UFOs could be all these things too, and not just one thing.

For the majority of the time, however, UFOs are false positives, and fraudulent constructs of fantasy.
Sure, there's the rare instance that could very well be a ture positive, but, "unexplained" still doesn't mean visitors from another planet.

All in all, people do indeed like to believe in something fantastic, even in spite of and contrary to all logical and sensible evidence to the contrary.
Yes, there's some interesting cases, but, still, for the most part, we as of yet have no real conclusions regarding what unusual cases there are. What they are, we still don't know.





edit on 11-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 06:12 PM
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Astronomer J. Allen Hynek is universally regarded as the most important scientist in the history of Ufology. He has even been called the "Galileo" of UFO research.

Hynek's defenders have remained at the surface, claiming that his position on UFOs evolved over the years from skeptic to believer. Such a simple transition is unlikely. For years, Hynek had access to classified Air Force UFO reports. Many of those reports were unusual and unconventional as Hynek himself stated years after the fact and the Air Force official explanations for many of these were clearly absurd.

Hyneks remarks and insights, provided years after the fact, remain of value to the UFO researcher. But the careful reader must remain mindful of Hyneks history in this subject. It is a history that, depending upon which character flaw was his correct one, leads any serious researcher into a stance of wariness regarding J. Allen Hynek.
keyholepublishing.com...





edit on 11-8-2012 by greyer because: link



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 06:16 PM
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I have no problem at all believing that other intelligent life exists, aside from what's on this planet. I also have no problem imagining that they've developed enough understanding to overcome the staggering difficulties of space travel.

My problem is understanding whey they'd want to come here. That's like wanting to vacation in east Jersey...

~Heff



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by Orkojoker
 


I agree with the article for the most part.

I particularly see this happening on ATS a fair amount:



...people tend to seek or interpret evidence favorable to existing beliefs and ignore or misinterpret evidence unfavorable to those beliefs.


A lot of people searching for confirmation of their beliefs rather than searching for the truth. Also, OP, I believe the article did take into account people who don't believe in UFOs. They conceded confirmation bias occurs in real science as well.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 06:43 PM
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Yes, just as delusional as the thousands of people who believed in leprechauns and fairies, including highly educated scholars, Kings, and generals. (Or maybe fairies are just really tiny Grays with wings and sparkles? Of course!) Or the millions of people who believed in sucubi, incubi, vampires, and werewolves. Including just as many highly educated people.

"Thousands" huh?? OK, assuming you might be right about these "educated scholars,kings and generals" all believing in fairies and leprechauns. I think it's safe to assume that these folks probably dated back to a really long time ago, correct? I think it's also safe to assume that people from that era were MUCH more naive then today and believed in all kinds of things that we now know are just crazy. There's also no accurate footage,pictures or documentation (that I'm aware of) of fairies and leprechauns. That's obviously not the case with UFO's. There is tons of documented cases regarding UFO's that have yet been explained. Obviously you haven't looked into UFO's. If you had, you wouldn't be comparing them to fairies and leprechauns. So are you saying that every military personnel,pilot(commercial and air force), police officer,Astronaut,(Not to mention two of our presidents) from all around the world were all delusional? It was all just a figment of their imagination? What about mass sightings? Are all of those people seeing the same delusion?? For you to even compare UFO sightings to fairies,leprechauns,vampires and werewolves is just absurd and ridiculous. I see where you getting at but it just doesn't fly with me. I have studied UFO's for a long time and there is absolutely no way you're going to convince me or the other millions of people that believe in UFO's that it's a delusion. Just like there is no way we are going to convince you they are real. So there really is no reason to debate this with you any longer but if you're going to try and debunk UFO's, you gonna have to do better then fairies, leprechauns,vampires and werewolves



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 06:44 PM
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Why Do People Believe in UFOs?
In my opinion, that↑ is a ridiculous question.





 
 
 

Originally posted by Hefficide

I have no problem at all believing that other intelligent life exists, aside from what's on this planet. I also have no problem imagining that they've developed enough understanding to overcome the staggering difficulties of space travel.

My problem is understanding whey they'd want to come here.

I basically feel the same way about that, except for the 'why' part. Not disagreeing with you, but I just think it is more likely that they don't have a choice to decide whether or not they should come here.

Even if there actually are others out there, I figure that there is a good chance of them not knowing that we exist either.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 07:09 PM
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We can't say these incidents are aliens. We haven't seen any aliens.

Nobody is claiming they are or not aliens. That isn't the point. UFO meaning "unidentified flying objects" could be anything.The fact of the matter, there are unexplained sightings all over world and have been for an incredibly long time. Now I agree with you, a LOT of sightings are in actuality planets,stars, satellites,flares,etc. I'm not denying that. But that doesn't discredit all of them. My girlfriend and I saw a UFO in Arizona back in 09 that was in fact a UFO. Meaning it was not planets,stars, satellites,flares,etc. It was an amber orb that hovered in a stationary position for about 15 minutes then multiplied into six different orbs. All in a perfect straight line. They changed shape and colors then with a blink of a eye, the six orbs transformed back into the original orb and shot off into the sky. Not only did we see it but several cars were pulled over off the Highway watching the very same thing. No drugs,lack of sleep, nothing. Explain that? I have yet to see a flare accomplish what we saw that night.Not even close. Now I'm not saying it was "Aliens" but it was indeed a UFO. These type of sightings happen every day all over the world.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 07:13 PM
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reply to post by pluginkid
 


As I said in my last post, it could very well be natural phenomenon we as of yet have any understanding of.
We don't know what these phenomenon are.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by pluginkid
"Thousands" huh?? OK, assuming you might be right about these "educated scholars,kings and generals" all believing in fairies and leprechauns. I think it's safe to assume that these folks probably dated back to a really long time ago, correct?


They date back to even to such ancient times as the 1960s and '70s. There are even photographs taken by people who "had nothing to gain." Of course, further stories date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Not much before that, since those two particular ones originated in Europe around that time.



I think it's also safe to assume that people from that era were MUCH more naive then today


Right, people from the 20th century simply did not have access to education of any kind. Especially well-off individuals like military officers, politicians, and royalty.



and believed in all kinds of things that we now know are just crazy


As opposed to now...


There's also no accurate footage,pictures or documentation (that I'm aware of) of fairies and leprechauns.


Photos: 1917
www.lhup.edu...
www.lhup.edu...
www.lhup.edu...

associated story:
www.lettersofnote.com...

Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, known for his stories involving deductive logic, fell for this. As did many experts who authenticated the pictures.

This is just one of the more famous ones, there were dozens of big hoaxes like this in the late 1800s - early 1900s taking advantage of educated people's beliefs in them.


Obviously you haven't looked into UFO's.

Naturally, my actual graduate degree in theoretical physics makes me totally unqualified to do any actual scientific analysis, especially if I come to a conclusion that disagrees with you!


So are you saying that every military personnel,pilot(commercial and air force), police officer,Astronaut,(Not to mention two of our presidents) from all around the world were all delusional?


I am saying they were wrong. You do realize we have hundreds of thousands of scientists whose sole job is to take extremely detailed scientifically accurate pictures of the sky right? And they've been doing this for a century? And not once has anyone published data in a scientific journal containing anything like actual scientific evidence for any alien spacecraft?

Oh, right, because they would be "ridiculed" for doing something like that. Because we don't hand out prizes for shocking new discoveries or anything.


there is absolutely no way you're going to convince me


Ahh, yes, the mark of a True Scientist!



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by Moduli

Originally posted by DaTroof
Good article.

I used to believe in UFOs. When I was 10 years old!

There's not a single shred of real evidence for UFOs or aliens.


That's just what you would say, illuminatis!


Originally posted by pluginkid
reply to post by Orkojoker
 


What this dips$%t is basically saying is that everybody including Military personnel,pilots,police officers,presidents, and everybody else throughout the years that have witnessed UFO's are delusional and are wanting to believe in something "weird".


Yes, just as delusional as the thousands of people who believed in leprechauns and fairies, including highly educated scholars, Kings, and generals. (Or maybe fairies are just really tiny Grays with wings and sparkles? Of course!)

Or the millions of people who believed in sucubi, incubi, vampires, and werewolves. Including just as many highly educated people.

Not to mention that back then, these people had nothing to gain by claiming they saw one, and could often face not only social ridicule, but be sentenced to death for being involved with unnatural powers!

And what about all the people, lead by highly educated political leaders, militia leaders, religious leaders, in agreement with entire towns who executed thousands of innocent women for being witches?

But I guess all those people were obviously stupid, and the ridiculous things you believe, with exactly as much evidence as was used against the witches, are totally reasonable.

The crops went bad, how else do you explain that! Sure, it *could* be something else, and maybe 99% of witch sightings are just normal people, but it's that 1% that are unidentified and might really be witches we have to worry about!

Well, obviously the witches were just reptilians from Alpha Draconis, what with their natural crop-destroying technology, and their obvious reasons for wanting to cause trouble in a struggling town of about 100 people. It all makes sense! Of course!


Another perfect example of muddled thinking, confusing issues and unjustified inferences.

Here's an interesting question: How many cases of simultaneous air and ground radar sightings in conjunction with air and ground visual confirmations have there been of leprechauns and faeries? How about of witches?

The point is that, by engaging in sloppy thinking and confusing the issues, you're simply assuming that what is true of one phenomenon is true of another. Any reasonably educated person would know better.

And please do not offend the intelligence of anyone here by claiming that your analysis is 'scientific'. What you are engaging in is not science. It is scientism in conjunction with poor critical thinking.

I'd also be interested in knowing which books in the UFO literature that you've read.



posted on Aug, 11 2012 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter
Here's an interesting question: How many cases of simultaneous air and ground radar sightings in conjunction with air and ground visual confirmations have there been of leprechauns and faeries? How about of witches?


The same as the number of alien spacecraft.



And please do not offend the intelligence of anyone here by claiming that your analysis is 'scientific'. What you are engaging in is not science. It is scientism in conjunction with poor critical thinking.


Random speculation and "I don't know therefore aliens" is not scientific thinking. You would not know actual science if the fate of Humanity depended on it.



I'd also be interested in knowing which books in the UFO literature that you've read.


I would be interested in knowing what actual math and science textbooks anyone here has read. I'm going to guess the answer is zero, unless you count crackpot pop-science and mysticism books as "science" of course.

Show me some actual scientific evidence. Claims from people who "don't have a reason" to lie and crappy photos are not scientific proof, and you would not find any scientist in any field using that as proof for anything ever.

Show me actual scientific evidence! Do a legitimate statistical analysis. Fourier analyze spectra carefully taken through filters to determine material composition of a "UFO" and show it's abnormal.

Use actual science to triangulate the actual position of a "UFO"; this is easy, you can even do it stereoscopically. If the ancient Greeks 3000 years ago could calculate how far away the Moon and Sun were using that technique, you can do it for something in the atmosphere! Do this vs. time and study the kinematics.

Spectroscopically analyze RF or IR or UV or Gamma ray or any other emissions and show me it's abnormal. Measure the blackbody spectrum from a UFO.

Do anything! Just one actual scientific measurement. I was capable of doing any of these properly in high school, they aren't hard. Things like this are the bare minimum you need to do to actual science. To do good science you need to go far beyond these kinds of things.

Do this properly and the entire scientific community will believe you. If it's so obvious, this should be easy to do. Instant Nobel Prize for you and international acclaim. It's not even hard, the beginnings don't use anything beyond a good high school background in math and science.

But guess what? No one has ever attempted to do any of these kinds of things correctly. Ever. And none of you ever will.
edit on 11-8-2012 by Moduli because: (no reason given)



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