When it comes to the question "Are we alone in the universe?" astronomers say there are so many stars, some of them must have planets with intelligent life. UFOlogists say there have been so many sightings that at least some with the most reliable witnesses should be taken as true visits by extraterrestrials. But neither argument has convinced people who really want to be sure the answer is "No, we are not alone." People want proof, and probabilities are not proof.
On Wednesday, May 9, 2001, the Disclosure Project (www.disclosureproject.org) had a press conference (www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpAPxdjXLCQ) at the National Press Club. One of the witnesses was Sergeant Clifford Stone, who claims the military has identified 57 alien species. Other witnesses claimed that reproductions of alien spacecraft were now being built by defense contractors.
So why didn't this news conference end the "Are we alone?" debate? Because...
Secondhand stories are also not proof to everyone, even if they are fairly detailed and reported by national media. Some people will need to see physical evidence, no matter how good the story is. The Roswell incident is one case that has many witnesses and details and got more publicity than the Disclosure Project press conference. The story of the crash at Roswell that was shown on Unsolved Mysteries had multiple witnesses and claimed there were actual alien bodies. But any evidence was lost. The report on Unsolved Mysteries did not end the debate, so why would this conference?
The whole story cannot be a figment of Sergeant Stone's imagination, since the Disclosure Project has more witnesses (Their web page claims over 400 witnesses) telling other parts of their story. Their whole story is that the government has captured and reverse engineered alien technology without telling the public. This does not mean the story is true, it just means the story is detailed to the point where it is real or the Disclosure Project is perpetrating a hoax. People still debate weather or not things like global warming or the moon landings are real or hoaxes. Not to mention debating the truth about the government's reports on the Kennedy assassination and 9/11. Some theories or reports get extra energy from people who are skeptical of what the government tells them. A January 1999 BBC poll (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/254277.stm) said 50.2% of Britons believed in extraterrestrial life, but 80% believed the government would not tell them if it knew. Stranger yet, a CNN poll taken in 1997 (www.cnn.com/US/9706/15/ufo.poll) found 80% of Americans believe the government is hiding evidence of extraterrestrial life, but only 54% believe that intelligent life exists outside Earth. So more people believe in the cover up than in the intelligent life?
I agree with astronomers that say we are unlikely to be alone, based on the number of other stars there are. There are probably many more than 57 alien species. It's not clear how the government classifies aliens. This YouTube video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIDNUmtVdAY) shows sketches of several different aliens, but are they all different species? Some could even pass as human, as Clifford Stone said in his comments. Dr James Harder, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, says many UFO abductees claim there are 57 members of the Galactic Federation while under hypnosis. (www.ufomind.com/misc/1998/nov/d08-001.shtml) So that makes two sources for the number 57, which could, if these reports are true, be the number of alien species who are exploring our part of the galaxy. The press should investigate the Disclosure Project and see if there is any link to Dr Harder, or did they come up with the same number independently. Maybe both are fans of the Machurian Candidate. But it is discouraging that the press hasn't found the issue interesting enough to make an effort to cover it.