I’VE had an enthusiastic response to last week’s column on the UFO phenomenon.
The vast majority of it was supportive, but one Gazette reader wasn’t happy.
In an extremely aggressive manner, they suggested that anyone who was broad-minded enough to believe in the existence of UFOs was a crank.
Well, I’ve a few questions I’d to put to those who aren’t just content with denying the existence of UFOs, but also vilifying those who do.
The universe is a big place, and as far as I’m aware, we earthlings haven’t yet explored every nook and cranny of it.
How the sceptics can then say that there isn’t life in outer space is beyond me. How could they know?
Have we been visited by more advanced lifeforms from other worlds?
The only cogent (but not necessarily correct) argument I’ve ever heard is that the vast distances between star systems would make travelling to them impossible.
Well, NASA and other bodies have been looking at several theoretical possibilities as to how this could be accomplished for some time.
The general consensus seems to be that it would be at best difficult, and at worst impossible.
Of course, as our knowledge of the sciences advances, history tells us that what seems impossible today may simply be difficult tomorrow, and what is difficult today may prove to be as easy as falling off a log next week.
Any pronouncement that interstellar travel will never be possible is very presumptuous indeed.
Whether we have actually been visited by extraterrestrial life is another matter, of course. Again, how do the sceptics know?
Were they personally present at every alleged UFO sighting or alien encounter?
No; therefore they simply have no way of establishing that the witnesses were either mistaken, hallucinating or lying.
If interstellar travel is possible, then it is highly likely that a number of advanced civilisations have engaged in it and visited other worlds, including ours.
Seen in this light, it actually makes more sense to believe in UFOs than not to.
Sceptics (well, the rabidly cynical ones, anyway) are the first to shout, “Where’s the evidence?” when confronted with an alleged paranormal encounter.
They’re missing the point. How many sceptics out there have evidence that they ate breakfast yesterday? None, more than likely, but we’d have no reason to disbelieve them.
They might even have the eyewitness testimony of their spouse who shared breakfast with them.
Sceptics would argue that eating breakfast is a mundane event which is perfectly believable, while claiming you’ve seen an extraterrestrial craft and its occupants is not.
Actually, what this demonstrates is not that UFO sightings are false, but that the sceptics just don’t possess the vision to accept they might be true.
The witnesses were there at the time, the sceptics were not, so whose testimony would it be more logical to believe?
I can sympathise with moderate sceptics who do not accept the existence of UFOs, but who at least reached their conclusions after a period of sober reflection and research.
Unfortunately, the rabid sceptics out there aren’t satisfied with this, and for some reason feel the need to decry those who claim to have seen UFOs as cranks and those who believe them as idiots.
Why? Let me tell you; Deep, deep down they’re scared. They’re scared that we really have been visited by alien lifeforms, and so enter a state of denial which they reinforce by launching vicious, personal attacks on anyone who thinks differently.
That way, they can kid themselves that there are no UFOs and therefore there’s nothing at all to worry about.
If the only way they can maintain their shaky stance is by heaping abuse on those who think differently, then I pity them.
* Got an eerie story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org