Saturday, May 16, 2009

Extraterrestrials, where are they?

Just a few thoughts that came in my mind while heading back home..

They keep asking people, whether they believe in extraterrestrials. If they'd ask me about, I would consider this question misleading. Do they ask if I believe in the existence of extraterrestrials? Or if I also accept that we have been definitely visited by them either in the ancient or modern times?

When the question is raised, I think that a yes would be misunderstood as saying that you are also endorsing the whole ufo/alien trend and all the neomythology that comes with it. While you might just wanted to say that you believe in the almost certain possibility that intelligent life might have evolved somewhere else in this enormous universe. If you said no because you (mis)understood something else or wanted to avoid the trap, someone would jump out of his place blaming you for being close-minded or egoist to accept that there is someone outside earth that could be more evolved than you. Which last argument is also a lame explanation of the motives for someone to not believe. Why would any self-centered person care for something so distant and uncertain outside his close neighbourhood? I don't think this is the reason for disbelief.

A little more complete and proper question would be "Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life in the universe?". And there I would answer (as most of us will) that yes, it is quite possible (billions of stars and galaxies, blah blah blah). And then there comes the real questions to ponder about "Do you believe that some of them may have visited us?". "Do the thousands of stories and witnesses account for intelligent extraterrestrial beings experimenting secretly on us or anything or are they all paranoia and disinformation?". And there is where I would say at best that I simply don't know, yet I am very skeptical about them.

Don't get me wrong, I used to be a UFO-nut, I still enjoy reading the latest news about any strange phenomenon out there but through the years I have become more and more skeptic. I have endorsed the possibility that many of the strangest stories, even the most seemingly credible ones, could be something very trivial or stupid. It can't be all wrong, I said once. How can one mistake the planet venus for a UFO? I usually put myself in the eyes of others and think that I certainly wouldn't be confused to think something like that and that the other guy does not seem very stupid either. Yet, I recently remembered of certain occasions on different places and times when someone told me that there is something strange with a bright star in the sky and even considered it to be a stable UFO in the sky or something. Or those winter days when the venus was so bright that I noticed it and wonder why is it so bright? But the idea that it's anything else than a star never passed in my mind. While it happens with few other people I know, even if later they seemed to be joking but said it was so bright that they weren't sure if it's a star or some kind of UFO at first. But hey.. I only perceived a star. Nothing else passed in my mind! Not even as a joke..

With things like these, I reconsidered all these UFO stories and thought that even the more credible and famous ones could not be exactly serious. It might be far fetched, I am not sure, I sound like someone who disregards anything but as long as I read more on the subject the more skeptic I become. Of course I didn't become exactly that kind of skeptic that says this is all bullshit and leaves the place, because I have an interest in anything weird. But it's my lost patience on the subject (60 years of ufology and yet the same stories and wannabe-evidence) or absurdness of the matter that keeps me a little off. From time to time I come back, read some random stories and watch some videos with blury far away lights that can be anything but proves nothing, although my questions are more skeptical each time. Still, the best answer to the last question is that I don't know and I don't think we might learn anything in another 60 years..

Another misleading thing they ask is whether I believe in UFOs. UFOs as unidentified flying objects. Hell yes, there are a lot of things out there in the sky that people can't identify. I believe that there are things out there we have not yet identified. Yet another question people frequently misunderstand though.

UFOs != alien spaceships

Do not use the term UFO to define this narrow view because the term means that it's everything not yet identified. It could actually be an alien spaceship, a secret military plane, advanced human technology, some strange meteorological phenomena, living entities in the sky or anything else you can imagine. For some, it could also be venus, swamp gas, a common aeroplane, a falling star, a satellite or the lights of a disco or anything else ordinary that common people might have misread. For these people, what they have seen remains unidentified even if it could be something trivial. Although, maybe the best definition is that it's the aerial phenomena that even science can't currently explain. When a skeptic brags that he doesn't believe in UFOs what does he mean? That he can already explain everything that might be happening right now in our skies? Or maybe he got also confused by the misleading question and regarded UFOs as flying saucers and only?

Flying saucers. Did you know the story behind this term? Kenneth Arnold never used the term flying saucer specifically, he just said in his report that the objects moved like saucers skipping across the water. I have read somewhere else that the shape wasn't exactly like a saucer as we know it today but more like a boomerang (but maybe I am mistaken because wikipedia states otherwise). Nevertheless, the interesting fact in that notion is that suddenly the mass media publicized the term and people around the world started observing saucer like shaped disks in the skies. An outburst of UFO events occurred where everyone thought he was watching flying saucers. Did the hysteria of the mass media produced such an effect? This was the start of modern ufology. And where are we now?

I want to believe. Seriously!


IQXS said...

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Atrueoriginall said...

Space Junk = Crashed UFO

It is a very serious issue right now and we already know that they're intelligent enough to recognize the dangers currently with debris still falling from the two satellites crashing, etc.

If I were them, I would have backed off as well.

Consequently, I feel that there are no legitimate sightings being reported and haven't been for quite some time.

Optimus said...

Thanks for your linking.

Space junk that can be mistaken for crashed UFOs especially after the recent satellites collision, interesting, I didn't thought about this (even if it was a bit obvious).

Atrueoriginall said...

I didn't mean that we're seeing space junk and thinking it's UFOs, I meant that aliens wouldn't be flying around currently with all of the satellite debris still out there.

In other words - if space junk hits them since it's currently such a high risk, they could be looking at a crashed UFO (their own) so they're not taking risks and most likely parked somewhere.

My header picture I used in yesterday's post pretty much explains it better.

Optimus said...

Ok, I misunderstood. But wouldn't they (or maybe not) have such a technology that it would make it easier to prevent this?

Atrueoriginall said...

Oh sure absolutely - but, we're talking thousands of bits and pieces and NASA said that some are the size of a cornflakes.

They also said that if one didn't burn up completely and was the size of a cornflake and hit someone - it could kill them. So imagine the impact in space above the atmosphere - cornflake size or not.

That's a risk that they wouldn't take simply because that's the way they think. They're not going to traverse space without having stringent rules on safety.

Check out these two addresses. They tell the story quite well. Whenever NASA uses the words 'evasive maneuvers' I'm sure aliens use words that sound more like "no way". The risks we take are ours and isn't that just like 'us' to do so.

Increase in space junk over time with a decrease in UFO sightings over time.
Space Junk

Sovereign77x said...

I believe the fascination with UFO's stems from the human need to feel connected to something larger than ourselves. In an age where science has discovered so much we need to believe the universe is still full of wonderful mysteries waiting to be explored. I believe that for many, ufology offers an alternative to more traditional forms of religion (i.e. the belief in something greater without physical evidence). The belief that one has seen a UFO, or perhaps even been abducted by aliens, causes a person to feel "chosen" or special. That being said, just because many sightings may result from delusions of grandeur doesn't mean that some aren't legitimate. I've actually heard some pretty compelling stories from people I know and respect.

On the subject of abduction, many of these experiences are actually the result of a phenomenon called "nighttime paralysis". This condition can temporarily render a person paralyzed upon waking from sleep (actually, the body is already paralyzed during sleep, but control is not immediately restored upon waking). I have suffered from this myself on occasion, and it can be very disturbing. In severe cases, some people even hallucinate. In past centuries these hallucinations might have appeared as demons that would sexually defile a person (the Incubus and Succubus). In our modern, scientific age we see aliens instead (who perform all manner of disturbing experiments). All of this is just a potent manifestation of the feeling of helplessness a person experiences while in this state. For most people, it is truly just in their heads.

Overall, I too am very skeptical of UFO sightings and abduction claims. But I leave a little bit of room for new evidence to persuade me otherwise.

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