Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Skeptical UFO Investigator, Part 1.

This post is a companion to the talk I gave at Balticon 47, and is for people who would rather not watch the video, or would like more more details not in the video.

I've been investigating UFOs for over a year now, and plan to continue. Rather than explain exactly why this is, I am going to try and show you, one bit at a time. Much of the interest is driven by the human element, but perhaps not all of it.

As I have explained before, I don't know whether the Earth has ever been visited by non human intelligences from elsewhere, and I think it's highly unlikely that anyone else does either. I am skeptical we would know it when such an encounter was happening, though right in front of us. Our perceptions of such events would be fragmentary and distorted, and we would likely interpret them as magic, or supernatural.

Encounters of that very sort have been recorded all through human history, and continue to this day. Puzzling, often frightening, and frequently life changing events take place every day. Many of these, it turns out, are due to known bugs in the human perceptual and conceptual machinery, and others are merely hoaxes. UFO investigation has a more than 60 year history, and the truth continues to elude. I want to know why this is.

Let's go and have a look, I say, and let's see for ourselves what is going on.  Woody Allen once famously said that 80 percent of life is just showing up.  Let's show up where the saucers are seen and look for whatever patterns are there.