UFO Theorists maybe out to lunch, but they're living high off the hog

First off: I'd just like to say that I wish there actually were aliens out there (it's the same with angels, God, buried treasure and the Tooth Fairy, but those are subjects for another day). And who knows? Maybe there are. Statistically, given the knowledge available to us in the twenty-first century, I actually believe that extra-terrestrials almost certainly exist. But believing and knowing are two completely different things. That's where the 'almost certainly' bit comes in.

The stories that we've seen and heard on the media about extra-terrestrial visitors and UFOs often appear quite believable and compelling - and so who am I to burst the alien-believer bubble? They're either believer-bubble or unbeliever-bubble, right? It's just that, one way or another, those same stories when viewed under the stark light of evidentiary logic never seem to contain that definitive nugget of proof that might turn the less credulous amongst us into no-messing-around true believers. There always seems to be that lingering aftertaste of doubt.

The problem lies with the fact that humans are the ones telling the stories, not the aliens. Let me tell you something about humans - and I don't mean any insult to my own species - but humans will say anything for any number of reasons that might suit or compel them at any given moment. I'm not saying that humans don't tell the truth, because, more often than not, they do. Well . . . maybe it's more like fifty-fifty. But it's just that without any corroborating evidence or a top-of-the-line polygraph machine to support their statements, a listener has no way of knowing if what's being said is true.

People can have all sorts of reasons for saying something. These are just a few:

  1. What they are saying is the truth
  2. There is some sort of profit to be gained
  3. They are not compus mentus
  4. They are congenital liars
  5. They are part-time liars (this is a frequent-flyer)
  6. They are mistaken (this is a big one)
  7. They are being tortured (It could happen, but probably not on a UFO show, I hear you say)
  8. They have been misinformed
  9. They are playing a prank
  10. They are perpetrating a fraud

All of these points should be applied and considered when watching and listening to the high-priests of Alienville as they pour praise on their lord and master, Erich von Däniken (whom I admire as an original thinker, by the way) and spout forth with their highly-profitable sermons of space visitation, alien abductions and UFOs.

Admittedly, even such allegedly level-headed, political luminaries as Eisenhower, Truman and Nixon have been reported to have had some form of indirect association with aliens or their technology. Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter actually claimed to have seen UFOs. Perhaps even more compelling are the UFO sightings attested to by trained pilots, police officers and military personnel etc. who have everything to lose by telling their 'wild and woolly stories' to their comrades and superiors. As far as I'm concerned, the jury's still out on the alien thing, but if they have been coming to Earth for thousands of years - as some aficionados claim - does it not stretch the bounds of plausibility that no tangible evidence is available for us ordinary folk to see and touch and consider?

One concept that is worth considering when it comes to the conveyance of information:

Mysteries are not necessarily logical; are open to broad interpretation; they can stir the imagination; and, more often than not, are deemed to be quite interesting.

Explanations, on the other hand, are usually quite logical; they are open to a narrow interpretation; they do not require any imagination; and are often deemed to be somewhat boring.