The prospect that UFOs are spaceships manned by extraterrestrials shouldn't be automatically dismissed; the problem is that frauds such as Romanek serve as convenient straw men for a mass media eager for simple explanations. Thus "UFO" almost always denotes "alien spaceship," rather than a merely unidentified object. (Some researchers, painfully aware of the need for greater perceived objectivity, have argued that the term needs to be replaced with something even more innocuous.)
Ultimately, those familiar with ufology's carnivalesque trappings will find The Pitch's article at least mostly astute, while those encountering the subject for the first time will simply laugh. And with the UFO lecture circuit dominated by Romanek and his ilk, I can't entirely blame them.
*Readers can find UFO researcher Kevin Randle's rebuttal to Plait's editorial here.
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