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A Reasoned Interpretation

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posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 03:28 PM
Greetings fellow ATSers. I haven't posted or contributed to many discussions here in recent months. This is because (and this is not to point the finger at any culprit) it seems to me the level of discourse has taken a disappointing downturn as of late. True Believers have gotten more fanatical and Skeptics have gotten more dismissive. Interactions between these two polarized factions have largely degraded into bickering over trivia, and the Big Picture lost beneath the static. For this reason I am compelled to offer a perspective on the "alien" issue deriving from neither skepticism nor fanaticism, and instead from reasonable, even-handed analysis. Please bear with me.

I have a reputation among my friends, the dubious honor of being "the kook". This is all well and good. I don't mind, because what they view as really out-there is simply the willingness to examine the issue without judgment.

When the topic comes up and people ask me if I "believe in aliens", they will be sorely disappointed if they're hoping for a short, concise answer. The truth is, that question can't be answered, because it doesn't mean anything. To believe in aliens as a religious person believes in the divine is a philosophically misguided and intellectually lazy position to take. The existence of aliens isn't a matter of belief. Either they exist or they do not. I for one refuse to declare positive or negative belief, as solid evidence is so scant. Also, there are multiple questions hidden inside the apparently simple "do you believe in aliens?".

-One is the question of the sheer existence of life beyond Earth, the question of whether LIFE, that is to say a self-replicating and evolving chemical reaction, has arisen elsewhere in the universe. To this I tend to say "almost certainly". Life is opportunistic, and we live in an infinite universe full of opportunities. There are guaranteed to be suitable cosmic petri dishes scattered about any galaxy. For Earth to be the one and only planet in an infinite universe to harbor life is so statistically improbable as to offend the sensibilities of any thinking mind. Of course there is life elsewhere.

And if life exists, it evolves. It is probable that out of the worlds harboring life, some subset has developed biological complexity comparable to life on Earth. And as intelligence has proven to be a generally favorable evolutionary tactic, it is probable that some subset of complex life is as intelligent (defined here more as cunning than as wise) as our species. By this logic, there are almost certainly a number of technological civilizations in any galaxy.

-But this is not what most people mean when they ask "do you believe in aliens". Life elsewhere is irrelevant to them if it hasn't also come here. Beyond the basic question of whether aliens exist is the more pertinent question of whether their technology is sufficiently in advance of ours that they have figured out interstellar travel and visited Earth. To this, I say "maybe". I refuse to declare a stance on this matter, mostly because people insist on approaching it like a theological debate. The simple FACT is: evidence is lacking. Yes there are tantalizing archaeological clues hinting that ancient civilizations may have been visited by aliens. But whether this constitutes evidence is arguable. By this logic, every painting of the crucifixion is evidence of the divinity of Jesus. Art and history = hearsay. Humans lie, our senses misinterpret, our models are subject to fallacy. I usually say that anything created by human hand and mind in the distant past is inadmissible. You may call it a clue, but calling it evidence is a stretch.


posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 03:58 PM
-continued from above-

-So what about UFOs? Often when people inquire as to belief in aliens, they also ask about belief in UFOs. Both questions are ridiculous, for the reason that terms are left undefined. Of course I believe in UFOs. I have seen UFOs. I have not, however seen an alien spacecraft. People usually don't seem to understand this, but if you can positively identify something as an alien spacecraft, it immediately ceases to be a UFO. One of two defining characteristics of a UFO is that it is unidentified. Once you identify it, the UFO label should be dropped.

As to the nature of UFOs:

Any UFO claim lacking photographic evidence or independent corroboration can be dismissed, because there is no way to distinguish such a claim from a lie.

Most admissible claims, those backed by evidence or corroboration, can be identified by analysis as mundane objects -- aircraft, balloons, flares, chinese lanterns, etc.

Those objects defying immediate identification are probably hoaxes.

Those verified as not being hoaxes probably have a more exotic yet still earthly origin, i.e. experimental aircraft or other black military project.

Those remaining must be of truly exotic origin, either alien spacecraft or something else.

If you have ever seen something in the sky that you were unable to identify, you have proof of UFOs. UFOs obviously exist. This has nothing to do with alien spacecraft.

-Then there's the question of the abduction phenomenon. This begins to get into much hairier territory, because there is virtually never any evidence or corroboration to support any given incident. Still, some people are obviously experiencing something. When people ask me if I believe in alien abduction, I am always hesitant to answer. I usually say I believe that abductees truly believe they were abducted. Of course some portion of abductees are simply liars and attention seekers, but the phenomenon is widespread enough that there must be something going on.

Of those people who truly experienced something, I suspect most can be explained by sleep paralysis with hypnagogic hallucination. I have experienced this phenomenon myself. It was intensely frightening, very confusing, and gave me some insight into the abduction phenomenon, as my experience included many details common to alien abduction accounts. I think the vast majority of abductees were probably experiencing this. Sleep paralysis has been happening to people for as long as there have been people. It is a universal phenomenon, and one which is easily imprinted with the mythos of the culture. In past eras it was interpreted as demonic possession, religious rapture, communion with the fey realm or the spirit world, etc. Today it's aliens.

My final call on alien abduction (until evidence to the contrary is presented) is that all cases can be explained either as misinterpretation of hypnagogic hallucination or as simple lies. The senses and the mind are easily fooled and not trustworthy.


posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 04:16 PM
-continued from above-

-But I think the central question that people are usually asking when they ask "do you believe in aliens?" is the question of a government coverup. Are human governments involved with alien civilizations? Is there trade of technology occurring? Do the aliens have our collective back if the world goes completely to hell in a hand basket? On this issue, I am completely on the fence. There has been quite a bit of whistleblowing over the last couple of decades, all adding up to a pretty damning picture of government involvement in alien affairs, so belief in this facet of the topic comes down to how much you choose to trust the whistleblowers.

What we know: the government does a lot of things without telling the populace about them. The government has no reservations about enacting completely twisted and unethical projects under the noses of (and sometimes on members of) the unwitting public, e.g. the MK Projects. The government sinks billions of dollars every year into black budget projects. Certain technologies have emerged over the last few decades as the inevitable trickling down of technologies from black budget projects into the private sector. Also, the government is perfectly comfortable with injecting calculated disinformation into the mainstream in order to stymie or confuse speculation into areas they're uncomfortable with.

So: while on one hand it is possible that our governments are involved with alien civilizations, and it's possible some of our emerging technologies have been reverse engineered from theirs, and it's possible they're lying and covering all this up, it is also possible that the entire alien story is itself a massive disinformation campaign simply designed to obfuscate the truth, whatever the truth may be.

-In summary-

-It is almost certain life exists elsewhere in the universe.

-If life exists elsewhere, a subset of that life is very likely complex and intelligent.

-If intelligent, civilized life exists elsewhere, there is some chance it is visiting Earth.

-UFOs exist, without a doubt.

-Some subset of UFOs may be the spacecraft of those visiting aliens.

-Our governments may or may not be involved with them. We can't say for sure.

-Aliens are probably not abducting and anally probing unwitting humans. Most abduction accounts are probably misinterpretation of sleep paralysis with hypnagogic hallucination.

-Our governments are not telling us the whole truth on the matter, whatever that truth may be.

-If that truth includes a relationship with alien intelligences, it is impossible to tell if the story people do know is the leaked truth, or a calculated disinformation campaign.

-Until aliens show themselves openly or the government discloses what it knows, all conversation on the subject is mere speculation.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 07:22 PM
Nicely put together take on the alien UFO subject. I don't have much to add other than I'm on the fence about the whole abduction phenomenon, for me it's widespread enough that I can't attribute all of it to misinterpretation or lies, most of it sure but a few cases leave me wondering if there really is something to it, most notably the Hill case. Otherwise I've got to pretty much agree with everything you said, well done.

posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:45 PM
reply to post by MillionEyedMask

Don't get me wrong, I'm not getting on your case. But you did run off a bit with your extra long post and you really could have it said in just 3 sentences which have been posted many times by myself and others.

The reality of UFOs cannot be contested as there is sufficient circumstancial evidence good enough to present in a court case.

The reality of aliens has not been established due to no evidence whatsoever and all that exists is hearsay, not good enough for a court case.

The reality of alleged alien abductions is not even up for discussion since the reality of aliens has not been established.

It took you 3 pages to say the above.

I'm dismissing the reality of aliens interacting with humans because we don't know what an alien is and the ETH is just that, a hypothesis.

I'm dismissing the reality of alien abductions because I've been a UFOlogist/enthusiast since 1957 and I've seen the movement grow and how it has changed always driven by media and I know how the gullible accept any authority to convince them of whatever is being presented. Aliens abduct people in books, movies, and television and, sure enough, here come real humans alleging what they saw is happening to them. Humans created aliens and alien abductions. No evidence for either.

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