Page 11 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - September 2021 Edition
P. 11

No Reason To Conclude Aliens In UFOs                                                                                          11

             Sure UFOs Exist. But

             There’s No Reason To

         Conclude That Aliens Are

                    Flying Them

                    by Marc Kaufman

        It seems to happen with some regularity.
        Claims that Unidentified Flying Objects are
        visiting us have captured the public imagination
        once more and a big reveal is expected soon.

        That will come, oddly, from a government
        report required to be released by the end of June
        that will supposedly detail the many sightings
        made by high-flying military pilots and
        unexplained detections by satellites.   The
        requirement was added to the Covid relief
        package that was passed by Congress in
        December and orders the Department of
        Defense and the Office of the Director of
        National Intelligence to release their
                                                         recommendations about a next grand               on the show.
        unclassified findings on the subject, information
                                                         observatory for the 2030s.
        that has been apparently collected for decades.
                                                                                                          What’s more, various political and intelligence
                                                         Two of the four concepts being considered —      figures have hinted that there is much more
        In terms of national defense, these reports could
                                                         LUVOIR and HabEx— have as a primary              unclassified and also highly classified material
        indeed be meaningful.  If other nations are
                                                         mission the study of exoplanets and their        about UFO sightings.
        sending drones or satellites of some sort (true
                                                         habitability and potentially whether they are
        UFOs) to get close to and study  American
                                                         home to some form of extant life.                All these fuzzy photos and firsthand accounts
        assets, then that’s important news.
                                                                                                          make for good stories,  but science they are not.
                                                         The report to be formally released later this    When it comes to real findings about
        But, of course, the UFO drama is
                                                         month comes after four years of government       extraterrestrial life, that is the very
        overwhelmingly about something else:   The
                                                         acknowledgements of unexplained sightings        interdisciplinary realm of astrobiology,
        claimed presence of intelligent aliens that are
                                                         and will be the most direct and substantive U.S.  planetary  science,    geochemistry,    radio
        scoping out Earth for reasons ranging from awe-
                                                         government account of what officials call        astronomy and more.
        inspiring or extremely worrisome.
                                                         unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) ever
                                                         made public.                                     To be science requires a method that includes an
        The report — which sources say concludes that
                                                                                                          ability to replicate a finding, as well as a
        there is insufficient evidence to confirm or
                                                         It must by statute include “detailed analysis of  hypothesis that can be confirmed or refuted.  If
        conclusively rule out extraterrestrial UFO
                                                         unidentified aerial phenomena data and           a finding by its very nature cannot be
        sightings —  will no doubt be widely consumed
                                                         intelligence” collected by the Office of Naval   disconfirmed  — and nobody will ever have
        by a population with many “UFO believers.”
                                                         Intelligence, the FBI, and the Unidentified      evidence about the alleged presence of aliens in
        After all, a 2019 Gallup poll found that 33
                                                         Aerial Phenomena  Task Force. (This is a         this flying objects — then it isn’t science.
        percent of  American adults said that alien
                                                         program the Department of Defense created last
        spacecraft from distant planets and galaxies
                                                         summer to “detect, analyze and catalog UAPs      We’ve just gone through a period when science
        have been visiting us.
                                                         that could potentially pose a threat to U.S.     was often disregarded in favor of belief, and I
                                                         national security.”)                             see this UFO craze as a  continuation of that.
        I find all this to be not only unfortunate but also
                                                                                                          Unless, that is, the flying objects can be
        misguided and potentially damaging.   The
                                                         The report will likely provide details on several  determined to be spy assets of another nation.
        moment will pass with no intelligent aliens
                                                         UFO sightings by Navy pilots that were
        identified, and then will return again some time
                                                         reported in the New York Times in 2017, and      The many people skeptical of alien UFO reports
        in the future for another round.
                                                         later declassified by the Pentagon.  The pilots  point to the ways that a very fast-flying jet pilot
                                                         reported breathlessly about the shape of the     can “see” something that is a common optical
        he potential damage is to the very real, very
                                                         aircraft — often referred to as Tic-Tac or cigar-  space illusion or a radar-confounding collection
        challenging, very cutting-edge science being
                                                         shaped — and were alarmed by high speeds and     of objects.  And what looks like a UFO can be a
        conducted around the world that seeks to
                                                         abrupt stops they identified, with no apparent   natural phenomenon or an entirely benign flying
        identify actual signs of actual extraterrestrial
                                                         propulsion systems identified.                   object.
        life in the cosmos, or at least to know what to
        look for when we have space telescopes and
                                                         Another Navy pilot reported being met by what    And then there’s this logical question:  If all
        instruments with the necessary power.
                                                         seemed to be a strange object hovering in        these alien space ships are circling the Earth,
                                                         restricted airspace off the Atlantic Coast.  The  why don’t some of them land or otherwise make
        And I’m concerned that a focus on UFOs
                                                         pilot told “60 Minutes”  that he was stunned     their presence known?
        imagined to be carrying intelligent alien life
                                                         because there was no exhaust plume, no visible
        takes away from the hard-won seriousness of
                                                         engine and all the makings of something secret   This line of thought circles back to the famous
        their enormous and so compelling scientific
                                                         and maybe dangerous.                             “Fermi Paradox.”
        effort.   This is especially true now that the
        scientific search for extraterrestrial life is on the
                                                         The same spacecraft is seen by various Navy                             (Continued on Page 12)
        front burner for the National  Academy of
                                                         pilots almost every day, pilot Ryan Graves said
        Sciences,     which     will    soon     make
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