Swamp gas? Weather balloons? Ball lightning? Flying saucers? Unidentified flying objects have been in the news for decades and sightings are on the rise again: the problem with them is that they are, by definition, unidentified. According to Sergeant Clifford Stone, though, a fair few of them are alien spacecraft, home to travelling emissaries of other races who visit our planet.
Speaking at a conference given by The Disclosure Project back in 2001 and recently made popular on YouTube, Sergeant Stone revealed that he was aware of 57 alien species when he stopped working on top-secret government projects. Now, the Disclosure Project isn't some fly-by-night (excuse the pun) organisation peopled by individuals with crazy eyes and bad hair who want to hold hands across the Universe. Started by physician Steven Greer, it's been around for fifteen years and is very serious in its attempts to reveal allegedly hidden information about our off-world friends. It gets most of its witnesses and speakers from either military or government backgrounds.
Bear in mind that these are people with absolutely normal, if not distinguished, careers. They're intelligent, reasonable and probably quite capable of holding their own in a border war, let alone a conference room. So why do we not believe them and continue to ask "Are we alone?"
Well, the thing is that they're not talking about something normal, like politics or house prices. Extra-terrestrial life isn't a subject that often comes up in conversation when you're buying your groceries or picking the kids up from school. Most of us are familiar with the most famous occurrence of alleged visitation at Roswell and have an opinion on the matter. Many of us have also heard of the more recent events at Rendlesham in the UK or of the Phoenix Lights in the USA. But until someone actually produces a saucer or invites E.T. to dinner, there's only ever opinion on the subject, so all the information, disinformation and misinformation just adds up to a great big pile of evidence, with no actual proof either way.
These people, who declare themselves believers, are immediately viewed with skepticism and relegated to the ranks of 'oddballs'. If the government conspiracy theories are false, that's perfectly reasonable. On the other hand, if the theories are true, then our reaction just goes to show how effective the disinformation has been throughout our lifetimes. The funny thing is that if these same people were testifying in court as eye-witnesses to a theft, we'd believe them: the subject matter is the only difference.
Personally, quite apart from all the conspiracy theory involving various governments, I have one concern. If there are 57 alien species flitting across space, could this be a sign that the Heinz Company knows something we don't? They started using their 'Heinz 57' slogan back in 1896, even though they made more than 60 varieties of soup at the time. Was this some kind of intergalactic invitation to all those alien races to stop by for lunch? Inquiring minds want to know.