The current problems the world faces -- from Brittany Spears' new haircut to thermonuclear bombs -- fade into insignificance alongside the questions raised by UFOs.
Peter Jennings' report presents both sides of the controversy, which, at times, seems more a war of words and prejudices than a rational exchange of opinions. Most of the prejudice seems to lie with the one or two thorough-going skeptics who argue, aptly enough, that eye-witness testimony is liable to be faulty. They will settle for nothing less than physical evidence, of the sort one of them calls "a wheel assembly, a ball point pen from their dashboard." (Joke.) Fine, but it demeans the other side by trivializing their position. It's not a serious way of addressing the question, because there's no reason to believe -- if UFOs actually are extraterrestrial -- that they will be so accommodating.
But -- and here's what I mean when I say the skeptics are more prejudiced than the "believers" -- the skeptics assume that the believers are convinced that UFOs are from some distant planet. The problem is that none of them takes that position. The skeptics have closed minds, while their opponents do not. And having an open mind is the essence of science, though you don't need to be a scientist to have an open mind. You just have to avoid being colossally arrogant.
I don't recall any of the believers claiming that the things they witnessed were definitely flying saucers from outer space. The most common opinion among them was simply that what they saw was a UFO because it was "unidentifiable",it was "flying," and it appeared to be an "object." But I'm afraid my opinion may be biased because of some personal experience a long time ago with something that was no explainable in any terms we know. I wouldn't call it an "object" though, just a "thing" in the sense of something that was there.
Many of the scientists make a common logical error by trying to show something like interstellar travel is impossible according to what we know. (I was a behavioral scientist myself for many years.) Interstellar travel is impossible, they say, because Einstein proved that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, and so it would take at least 70,000 years to reach the nearest star. This kind of conclusion is what's known as "theory dependent." It assumes Einstein's theory is correct and that nothing new about light or its speed will ever be discovered. If that assumption is wrong, then so is the conclusion. It's an elementary mistake and they should know better.
In the end, who knows what these things are? Maybe not objects at all but thoughts in the mind of God. Anyone interested in looking at some reports written by the witnesses themselves should check out nuforc.com, the National UFO Reporting Center. NURFORC consists of one man, some tape recorders, and a few telephones. It's a small enterprise but he happens to be the only person in the USA at the moment who is recording UFO sightings and investigating any.
The two-hour TV program is comprehensive, easily understood, and essential viewing for anyone who's curiosity extends beyond his body sheath.
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