UFO spotters endure endless jokes about their experiences. But even people who debunk the very notion of UFOs take them seriously. "No one should make fun" of Stephenville's UFO spotters, says Theodore Schick of Muhlenberg College, a liberal arts school in Allentown, Pa. They "had a real experience that's out of the ordinary." But Schick and experts in physics and human psychology say the experiences have scientific explanations.
Schick and others offer valid insight into the process of observation, and they could very well be right. But the assumed definition of "scientific" that pervades this article excludes the very existence of nonhuman technology. Such a consummately unscientific stance bolsters the shopworn argument that unusual phenomena such as UFOs remain the domain of "belief." In other words, the debunkers appear to be saying, we'll never know certain things about our universe because we'll always be at the mercy of flawed perception and the subsequent application of wishful thinking.