Wow, this topic morphed into a very heated argument at times since I last read it, and has begun encompassing a lot more than simply, "are we alone?"
I think people are debating two different things. 1) The possibility or even reality of life elsewhere, which I don't think many people doubt. And 2)
the conclusion that, based on that, UFOs and abductions must therefore be the result of extraterrestrial visitation. It's the second issue that people
disagree so fervently on.
In an attempt to cool the rhetoric, I want to try to share my own opinion on the latter point in a more comprehensive way than my earlier post. My
opinion - and mind you, this is only an opinion - is divided between UFO phenomena and the abduction phenomenon.
In the case of UFOs,
it is that there is sufficient evidence for the extraterrestrial hypothesis to be feasible.
But I have yet to see
compelling proof of that reality. We have to look at what we know with certainty, and what we know with certainty - even without outright proof of an
ET origin - is compelling on its own.
We know that credible military and commercial pilots have made good sightings that are corroborated with radar in many instances. We know that in a
significant number of those sightings, the objects seen were estimated by the pilots (and confirmed by radar) to be traveling well in excess of any
aircraft publicly known about anywhere on Earth at the time of the sighting, yet much slower than the slowest meteors recorded. We know that various
countries' air forces have attempted interception of these objects on numerous occasions. We know that pilots attempting to intercept or evade them
have described them as following their aircraft, and appearing to be intelligently controlled. And we know that the USAF and CIA both took an
extremely keen interest in UFOs, and engaged (admittedly if you read the relevant memos and other documents that we can confirm are real and not
potentially fraudulent) in a public campaign of debunking sightings while at the same time carrying out their own, more intensive investigation, and
stifled public knowledge thereof.
Now, while none of that proves the extraterrestrial hypothesis, it does give people room to speculate. For instance, if they are experimental
terrestrial aircraft, then why have the few countries who might - speculatively - have been secretly capable of such feats at the times of the
sightings in question attempted to intercept their own (or their allies') secret projects?
One might presume based on this that they were an external and unknown threat, and that this leaves only an extraterrestrial intelligence as the
source. However, I would say that we need to keep compartmentalization in mind. Is it possible at all that there could have been a project so secret,
with so few people knowing of it, that the USAF and other air forces wouldn't know about it, to the extent that they would attempt interception? I
would say that it is conceivable, yes. Especially in the early and middle days of the Cold War. It would also explain the continued secrecy
surrounding UFOs despite a clear public thirst for and ready acceptance of the phenomenon (and the possibility of the ET hypothesis, incidentally.)
People are ready to hear the truth, and yet secrecy remains. Perhaps this is because it is in fact a secret terrestrial project, the exposure of which
might compromise a secret advantage.
On the other hand, there is little indication of such technology ever being deployed in a military context. If it is a terrestrial project, why isn't
it being used? Perhaps it only has intelligence gathering applications. Or perhaps it's one of many developmental test platforms that has yet to come
to applications fruition. Or, yes, perhaps they're extraterrestrial in origin. Herein lies the problem. We reach a point where the evidence suggests
several distinct possibilities, but then gives up no further secrets, and offers no certain proof of any of those possibilities. Which is why I remain
undecided and skeptical.
In the case of abductions,
I have an even more skeptical opinion. On the one hand, I fully concede that even if you exclude known mental
illness and other sketchy factors, and even if you restrict yourself to the few investigations conducted by credible scientists or psychologists (and
you do, in my view, have to winnow your sample down to those cases, because of the high number of times that abductee groups have morphed into
quasi-cults and channeling, the number of times implants have been claimed recovered and analyzed by labs, but those labs and data are never
disclosed, etc.) and even when you attempt to control for experiences happening during sleep or in bed (which, again, I do believe you must exclude if
you're serious about it, because as much as believers detest this explanation, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic experiences are
explanation,) you are still left with a surprising number of people having remarkably similar experiences.
edit on 1/1/2013 by AceWombat04 because: Correction, grammar.