I was about 8 or so when I had my first ride in a UFO.
My family and I took off from Jacksonville and arrived in Detroit one horrible winter night with my Dad stuck in Florida with the airplane he flew us all down with grounded by the weather. But just because I didn't know at the time if I was in a DC-8 or a 707 does not mean I was picked up in an extraterrestrial vehicle. I was in an Unidentified Flying Object, a UFO.
Now, some of you will moan "but, that's not the same thing!" Really? How is it, exactly, that all discussion of UFOs has become centered in popular discourse a mantric recitation of flying saucers and barking dogs? Like so many other terms in our discourse, nothing else matters but what is popular.
Now if we were to think of the phenomena that the term UFO suggests, what do we often imagine? Most people think they are "visitors from another world." Could be, but there is no hard evidence for it.
AHAH, the fans cry, "they" are hiding the evidence! Really? Why would "they" do that? What purpose would be served? Secret technology? How? The US government can't keep its own secrets, let alone the secrets of another civilization.
After this we shoot off into the "government conspiracy" and "end of civilization as we know it" directions, and we aren't talking about even identifying the phenomena.
Now see where this is going? No longer talking about the possibly of extraterrestrials, we now chide "them" for keeping things secret.
Based on what evidence? We don't know if there really are extraterrestrials, we can't show that anyone is in contact with any such beings, but we "all know" that "they" are hiding the truth.
Now the UN wants to make contact? Really? When did the UN stop being "they?"
Whoever it was that said that UFOs will be recognized as real (whatever that means) when one is hanging in the Smithsonian was absolutely right. Our discourse has strayed so far from the primary issue of extraterrestrials (first, prove they exist) that an extraordinary proof will be necessary. Until that happens we're just wasting energy.