Thursday, December 28, 2006

Forget theories and hypotheses for a moment. What do I know (or think I know) about UFOs?

I've come up with two (count 'em!) statements that, when pressed, I feel generally comfortable asserting as "fact" (insofar as "facts" go when dealing with such a slippery phenomenon). They're admittedly vague and certain to elicit disagreement. Regardless, I think they're backed by the available evidence.

1.) UFOs represent a form of nonhuman intelligence.

That is, they sometimes behave in a manner that smacks of deliberate intent and awareness of their surroundings. This could be due to some symbiotic relationship with the human psyche, alien pilots, or something stranger.

Lest you think I'm conceding that the UFO enigma can be chalked up to some form of collective hallucination, here's my second assertion:

2.) The UFO phenomenon, in at least some instances, is physical.

Please note that I'm not excluding possible "psychic" or extrasensory aspects; it's conceivable that UFOs can operate as both "objects" and as paranormal influences.

Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But given the data accumulated since the dawn of the "modern" UFO phenomenon, I don't think my contentions violate the oft-cited "extraordinary claims" maxim (which, while well-intentioned, suffers its own share of epistemological maladies).

That's it -- no third contention (at least for now) . . .

6 comments:

W.M. Bear said...

The UFO phenomenon, in at least some instances, is physical.

Mac -- How solid IS the "physical" evidence, really? I take it that you are NOT including photos in this category, since, I have to say, EVERY SINGLE UFO PHOTO I've seen -- with the possible exception of certain ones that seem likely to be of experimental aircraft (black triangles, etc.) -- strikes me as at least fakeABLE. And all the "testimony" or derivative arguments to the contrary notwithstanding, I'd have to exclude UFO photos from my own list of plausible evidence if I were researching the field, I think. Again, I'm far from being an expert on the subject (interested amateur pretty well describes me) but I have yet to read anything that's convinced me that there IS genuine physical evidence of UFOs. (Along with photos, the sort of evidence where someone CLAIMS to be holding up a chunk of alien material retrieved from a site -- or a "probe" retrieved from a person, or "hair of the alien"! -- just doesn't do it for me. I'm not sure what would. Probably something at least corroborated by a respectable scientist in a relevant field (like, say, metalurgy?) Mere "reputability" as a researcher in the UFO field or member of the UFO fraternity doesn't quite cut it with me either. I don't necessarily DISbelieve someone like this (I don't have anyone in particular in mind at this point and am certainly open to suggestion) but don't think this can by any stretch be considered "physical proof" of UFOs. Just point me to an online source and I'll be happy to return with a sceptical verdict!

Mac said...

WMB--

No, I didn't even consider photos (although there are a few that are most likely authentic depictions of UFOs). I had in mind Hynek's close encounters of the second kind, such as higher-than-normal radiation and soil that's been chemically altered.

Taken as a whole, the data almost overwhelmingly indicates physicality. By itself, that doesn't mean that UFOs are anything necessarily esoteric -- but the behavior of the phenomenon begs an unconventional explanation.

Anonymous said...

WM, at the very least I think(personally) that you have to accept Dr. Allen Hynek's trace evidence cases as beyond the norm, if not flat out evidence of something going on.

Anonymous said...

Oh...ummm...yeah..."Always read the current replies before opening your mouth." Sorry. What Mac said. ;-)

mister ecks said...

i agree with both points wholeheartedly, even if it's next to impossible to "prove" the first contention.

Anonymous said...

So the first statement pretty much rules out:

- time-travelling humans
- advanced (current) human technologies

Is this a natural CTH bias, or do you have reason to believe this?