My e-mail is frequently larded with interesting nuggets, such as this revelation:
“The aliens are in touch. Whenever I prefer my computer, they underline certain strange words in the screen . It is an email.”
Possibly. Then again, possibly the correspondent should turn the spell-check off on his word processor.
It really is as predictable as a sitcom that is low-grade but each day I arrive at my office comprehending that before quitting time, I will get a minumum of one telephone call or e-mail from someone who has news so startling, it will rock the whole world like Mick Jagger on tour. Generally, these individuals are writing or ringing to report something strange within the sky or an oddity in a photograph. Occasionally they inform me that smooth-skinned beings from another world, clearly overstepping the bounds of polite behavior, have abducted them for some hours of malicious molestation.
These correspondents, most of whom are patently sincere, mostly desire to share incontrovertible evidence of alien presence or influence. A few claim to allow us a breathtaking theory of physics that renders all graduate-level courses when you look at the subject obsolete.
Either could be understanding of a high order. Either would affect the trajectory that is future of. I should feel flattered that someone wants me to be one of the primary to know.
Over the years, I’ve dealt with 1000s of such communications, and I suppose it’s inevitable that I’ve become slightly jaded by the stories — that are largely repetitive. It’s hardly a secret that I’m skeptical of declarations that the aliens are on trips on our world.
Still, I try to answer every one of these mails and phone calls because, after all, it’s not a violation of physics to visit in one star system to some other. Difficult that I erect a shield against considering possible new evidence as it is, I resist the temptation to become so hardened in my skepticism.
Indeed, an mind-set that is inflexible one of the two principal arguments created by the UFO community to explain why mainstream scientists are doubtful of these claims: They lament that pointy-headed scientists just won’t go through the evidence. And so I take that as a caution.
Their other argument, that the best evidence is being hidden because of the government, is silly. It implies a world-wide conspiracy of governments, as well as an uncanny alien power to ensure that essay writers all evidence of their presence is exclusively collectible because of the military or secret federal agencies.
But i must say i do endeavor to keep an open mind. In the end, anyone can make a discovery that is scientific. And when that someone is outside of the cozy halls of academe, and unburnished by both professional credibility and a wall of framed sheepskins, how do they generate their case? Unlike the research establishment, they neither know — nor would know — how to deal with the refereed journals which are the billboards of science.
So they plead their case to someone they might have heard of or can easily find, like me.
However, I would like to offer an FAQ service for people who would call or write with extraordinary claims. They are things to avoid, or at the very least be familiar with, before you reach for the phone or open your laptop:
1. Do not assure me which you have unique proof of aliens on the planet. Everyone says that. It really is a flag that is red. So just let me know what the evidence is.
2. Don’t ask me to travel to begin to see the evidence. Write it up, or photograph it.
3. Don’t expect us to “finish the analysis for your needs.” Newton didn’t ask someone else to function the details out of classical mechanics once he saw an apple fall.
4. If you have mysterious objects in photos, check with a photographer friend first. All the supposed “otherworldly craft” I’ve seen on photos are either candidates that are good airplanes or are well-known camera artifacts, such as for example internal reflections when you look at the lens. If your evidence isn’t any more than a bright blob in a photo, it is totally ambiguous and won’t convince anyone.
5. Remember that you can find organizations that focus on investigating UFO sightings and events that are similar. MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network) has a button on its home page where a sighting can be reported by you. Most academic and research organizations are unlikely that will help you much. They do not have the full time, money or background that is requisite.
6. Don’t send e-mails to any or all you are able to think about, like the current occupant of the White House, the Pentagon, NASA and all the experts you have seen on TV — unless it gives you satisfaction to pad their spam folders.
7. If I sound skeptical, please don’t tell me “I’m sure the thing I saw!” all you see is filtered during your visual system (imperfect) and your brain (also imperfect, despite what your mom told you). Witness testimony is the worst kind of evidence in science.
I do not promise to be convinced, but I really do make an effort to listen.