All too often, the battle in a classic controversy such as “Do UFOs exist?” has been conducted from the extremes: enthusiasts to the left, dogmatists to the right.
Amongst the turmoil of claims and rebuttals of this debate, Bernard Haisch demonstrates positive skepticism in action. His level-headed website UFOSkeptic.org – “an information site on the UFO phenomenon by and for professional scientists” – opens with the following definition:
One who practices the method of suspended judgment, engages in rational and dispassionate reasoning as exemplified by the scientific method, shows willingness to consider alternative explanations without prejudice based on prior beliefs, and who seeks out evidence and carefully scrutinizes its validity.
Should professional scientists concern themselves with UFO phenomena?
When Prof. Peter Sturrock, a prominent Stanford University plasma physicist, conducted a survey of the membership of the American Astronomical Society he found that astronomers who spent time reading up on the UFO phenomenon developed more interest in it.
If there were nothing to it, you would expect the opposite. The fact of the matter is, there does exist a vast amount of high quality, albeit enigmatic, data.
Politics and secrecy
Haisch does not claim to be an insider, but has concluded that there is remarkable information in existence. He has learned that it would be possible to maintain long term secrecy on this subject, and why this might be justified. Do certain mass sightings originate from SCI programmes, and has anything emerged from them?
Are UFO phenomena real?
Haisch feels it likely that something, “not merely delusional, but real and important” is behind the UFO phenomenon.
“I propose that true skepticism is called for today: neither the gullible acceptance of true belief nor the closed-minded rejection of the scoffer masquerading as the skeptic.”
Advances are made by answering questions.
Discoveries are made by questioning answers.
– Bernard Haisch
The Klass Files
Archive of skeptic Philip J. Klass’s UFO newsletter at CSICOP.
– Criticism of Klass by Kevin D. Randle
– Criticism of Klass by Travis Walton (YouTube; 34:30 – 37:30)
The Crop Circle Making Competition
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s scientific research offers a balanced approach to crop circle investigation. (PDF)
Did aliens establish a primitive postcode system in ancient Britain?
“Ancient monuments align with every postcode in the UK, suggesting powerful extraterrestrial influences at work.”
Matt Parker, The Guardian, April 21, 2011
– More on Ramsey Theory here.