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Do you think that UFOs exist?

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Years ago, I thought that although UFOs should exist somewhere in the Universe, the probability of them having visited Earth recently was so low that it could be considered irrelevant. A few years ago, I saw something flying through the sky that I could not explain in conventional terms and, like many people to whom this happens, I did as much research about the subject as I could. It is a very interesting subject and takes into account many aspects of human life and society. Was it military or was it made by someone else? It wasn't natural and if it was high enough to be in orbit, it was too big to be anything made on this planet.

Should you decide that you want to do some research of your own, I will not taint your opinion with my views. Much of what there is, you can find on the Internet or in local libraries but it takes a few years to come into contact with some of the more esoteric material such as particular television programs containing filmed events.

During your search, you will come across the opinions of people to whom almost anything is evidence of alien conspiracies and others who claim that everything that we see in the sky is explainable as an astronomical event or man-made. The two views, although opposite, are at extremes and therefore fairly useless - the balanced discussion in the middle forms the most informative material that you will come across.

There are some basic rules that will let you take with a pinch of salt the extensive discourses of the saucerheads and the debunkers:

  • Investigations into UFO incidents are normally investigations into something that is not there anymore. The only evidence that is left is the effects on the surroundings. These effects include:
    • Eyewitness accounts (listen to them all so that you do not miss anything but look for similarities as well as differences);
    • Physical effects on trees, plants, surfaces such as gravel, sand, soil, rock;
    • Manmade records (referring to the technology rather than faking) that are normally (through the laws of probability) made from a distance and therefore show tiny blobs or dots in the sky rather than hexagonal shapes sitting on the ground with beings walking around:
      • Photographs - moving and still (beware of fakes and experts that make claims);
      • Video footage (beware of artefacts that make things look three dimensional); and,
      • Sound recordings.

      One artefact of the lens is that an out of focus light will appear the same shape as the iris in the lens although this does not mean that the UFO was not that shape to start with and that it was in really IN focus;

      Another artefact is that of compression. The UFO video below is compressed so that it can be downloaded quickly (as are the audio files). This has the effect of losing data and can cause effects of its own (areas of colour, straightening of shapes (usually into rectangles)). Look at each frame and imagine how the poor compression algorithm has had to struggle with the original image.

  • Don't think that an objective sceptic's view is balanced by the view of one of the extremes - be aware of what someone thinks that they can gain from what they are saying;
  • You cannot make a decision unless you have familiarised yourself with all of the evidence, disregarded everything that you should disregard and taken into account all that you should take into account (nor can anyone else - always be wary of people who can apparently come to decisions on very little evidence. Ask yourself why are they able to do it (or if they are able to do it));
  • Statements from trained witnesses (Police, Military, experienced observers (amateur astronomers, aeroplane enthusiasts, meteorologists and so on)) are usually the most reliable;
  • Events that are witnessed by a number of people, preferably in different places, are the most reliable (different reports does not necessarily mean that the event was a trick, it could mean that there were more than one event);
  • Statements from debunkers are of little or no value unless they saw it themselves along with other people (in which case, they should not be trying to debunk it);
  • Absence of (corroborative) evidence is not evidence of absence:
    • Most people do not look much above the level of the horizon (there is no need to in normal life) so the remark of 'if they were real, more people would see them' does not hold water;
    • Lack of a RADAR return is not evidence of absence (we have stealth planes now).
    • Lack of sound is not either (the object that I saw did not make a sound).
    • Our basic understanding of the laws of physics is changing slowly but surely. We can now explain things that only a few years ago were science fiction. Do not be so arrogant as to think that just because we have no explanation, it cannot happen. This sort of thinking would still have the Earth at the centre of our planetary system.
  • If you have to pay for the information, it will be tainted. When looking on the Internet, look for things that are free.
  • Adopt the Fortean approach. Listen with an open mind and adopt a scientific method of assessment.

Download your own seti@home screen saver.
If you want to find out more on the web, try looking at a search engine such as . . .

Crow and Raine Home Page which has a variety of material on it (including some of the above);
United Kingdom UFO Network Home Page which has a free e-zine out every two weeks or so;
Art Bell Home Page Live link on Broadcast Com;
Sightings on the Radio Real Audio Live link or Home Page ; or,
NASA Real Audio or NetShow Live TV link to NASA or Home Page.

If you have had any unusual sightings and you think that you should share them with me you can contact me via e-mail with UFO Sightings Page in the subject line.

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