Astronomy

Ufos a Scientific Point of View



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For more than half a century we have been hearing accounts of alien visitation, the UFO phenomenon, predominantly centered in the USA. No incident of such has become more notorious than one alleged to have taken place near Roswell, New Mexico in 1948. Did some mysterious aliens crash land a space craft there? And has the United States government for some reason conducted an effective conspiracy to withhold information about the Roswell incident and other reported instances of alien visitations from the public?

Four years after the Roswell incident, in 1952, the United States Air Force established a special top secret investigation to study the UFO phenomenon with respect to a strategic threat it posed for the U.S. Would the United States government invest millions of tax dollars to research something that didn't exist? Does this in it self, not seem to suggest that somebody in the Air Force had reason to believe that UFO's are indeed a reality, and pose a threat to the security of the country? And can we not conclude that the upper echelons of the Air Force would never approve funding of a project that did not have merit? Why else then might the USAF have started the project code named "Blue Book" in 1952, and continue to fund it through 1969? Is project Blue Book not scientific evidence that UFO's do exist and have been landing on earth? Well, although it all sounds pretty compelling, the answer is no, it is not evidence, it is simply conjecture based on circumstantial evidence. Perhaps Blue Book was simply a ruse cooked up by the AF to detract attention from more important things going on near Roswell, and maybe a scam that far outplayed any expectations set for it. From the perspective of science, confirming the existence of UFO's will require a much higher standard of proof in the form of intrinsic evidence that can withstand the rigors of skeptical scrutiny.

As Dr. Carl Sagan, certainly a well credentialed scientist put it with respect to the UFO phenomenon, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," and unless I have missed something in the last twenty-four hours, no such evidence has yet been brought to light by UFO enthusiasts to date, only rumors, hearsay, and the kind of conjecture I have demonstrated above. Skepticism is the mothers milk of true science. There are lots of people who go around proclaiming scientific proof of things, but quite often such purported scientific claims can hardly pass the smell test, let alone the rigorous scrutiny of real scientific endeavor. Interestingly, there are real scientists addressing and doing credible scientific investigation of extraterrestrial intelligence and related phenomenon. Here in Northern California, the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) organization, is building a sophisticated radio-telescope array at the Hat Creek observatory. No they haven't found anything out there yet, but if any body ever does find anything approximating intelligent life beyond earth, my money is on these scientist to get the job done. And when and if, they do find something out there, you will be able to hear about it on every TV channel, and the front page of every news paper; as it will be the most significant discovery of all time.

Does this author therefor imply that UFO's don't exist? Hardly, science is no more capable of offering intrinsic proof that UFO's don't exist than UFO enthusiast have been at providing any that they do. It is an enigma which remains unresolved. The problem for science is the fact that proponents of UFO existence theories often extend the bounds of known scientific intelligence into super natural dimensions unsubstantiated by any known laws of physics or chemistry. If any extraterrestrial spacecraft have visited Earth, it's origin must have been some distant galactic coordinates, well beyond the vicinity of our own solar system. There is just to much available scientific evidence which overwhelmingly demonstrates that within our own back yard of the cosmos, we are alone. The next closest equivalent to our own solar system is the Alpha Centauri triplex of stars, 4.3 light years away, but it is not one that would support a congenial world where life could evolve; like our own little blue planet. But even getting to Alpha Centauri in the fastest spacecraft man has ever built would take about 25,000 earth years. Furthermore, making the trip would pose insurmountable obstacles for any technology we currently have or can conceive of. Of course, UFO proponents get over such technical hurdles by suggesting that alien cultures, being more advanced than we humans, have learned how to use "warp drive" to travel faster than the speed of light, developed exotic materials, or can simply defy the laws of quantum mechanics by popping through worm holes in the space/time continuum, instantly materializing anywhere within the 100,000 light year expanse of the galaxy they wish to visit. This is the stuff of science fiction not science fact.

So how then do we scientifically account for all the reported UFO sightings and stories of alien abduction? Well, the fact is, that about 90% of such sightings have been explained as the result of natural or man made phenomena. In the case of the remaining ten percent, there is not enough evidence to draw any scientifically credible conclusions. You can convict and sentence to death a person in this country on the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence and hearsay testimony, but science requires a higher burden of proof; beyond a reasonable doubt is not good enough for science. The certainties of scientific fact must be undisputed and supported by evidence that has been scrutinized by any and all. Simply proposing a theory such as Darwin did on evolution or Lematre did for the primeval atom, does not in it self constitute factual observance. Every nuance of such theories must be examined to the fullest and every claim tested under all possible conditions. Evolution and the quantum singularity are facts today, not because Darwin or Lematre said so, but because hundreds of other scientists devoted their lives and their intellect to finding the intrinsic evidence, the proof positive which establishes with certainty that life has evolved on Earth; and that the universe as we know it to exist now, in its incipient form was the result of a massive transformation of energy into matter. And these fact stand, because no one who disagrees with them has been able to produce a shred of evidence that can refute the existing conclusions drawn by science, or offer any plausible alternative explanations. Should we demand any less stringent requirement of proof with respect to purported instances of UFO sightings and alien abduction?

Enthusiast will argue that such evidence does exist, but that the United States government for some unknown reason has conspired to withhold this information from the public. So why the secretive project Blue Book? It is a reasonable question that needs to be answered, and one that this author has pondered at great length. Indeed, it is a part of the UFO mystery that we have applied man years of investigative research to unravel, and one for which some quite plausible answers can now be offered. Unfortunately, the publisher who owns the rights to the book that will illuminate the truths uncovered about project Blue Book and some other equally interesting facets of governmental covert activities, would be absolutely livid were I to disclose any of its' details here. For the moment, science continues to await the revelation of any intrinsic evidence in support of the many purported theories of alien visitation to this planet and the UFO phenomena. But one day soon, science may be able to declare with certainty, whether it is all a hoax, or maybe that we are not so all alone after all.

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