31 January 2010

Are UFOs for Real?

We meet the most interesting people while out walking the dog. An internationally known concert pianist. A marriage and family therapist. A lifestyle and weight management consultant. And today, a cabinet maker who put me onto this video of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper recounting his UFO sightings, while in the air, on the ground, and in space (the voiceover narrator is Jonathan Frakes):

Gordo is no spring chicken. Are we seeing the effect of a few TIAs (transient ischemic attacks, aka mini-strokes) which may have altered his memories, or did he decide to embellish his experiences a bit for what seems to be a paid interview, or is he for real?

First of all, the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton studied UFO experiencers, and found them to be psychologically normal, and truthful. They are not nuts, and they are not lying. But just because you are sane and telling what you believe to be the truth doesn't mean you can't be mistaken. Second, there are people who have made reasonable arguments that even if Extra-terrestrial Intelligent beings exist, they would probably have so little in common with us that neither we nor they would notice each other, and even if we did, we would have nothing in common we could talk about. As in this article, for example.

But if UFOs really do exist, and if they actually buzz us from time to time, how in the Universe did they find us, and why would they bother? Then again, we have explored every place on earth we could get to, just because we could. And some of us now go to the ends of the earth as tourists just to see the wildlife.

All that, however, leaves the question of why so much secrecy? How could all the governments of the earth manage to collude successfully to keep official records of such encounters from the global public? And why would they continue to bother? The most parsimonious explanation is that there is nothing to hide.

Still, I wonder. If I look up at the sky and smile, will I wind up on Google Earth, or some more distant image archive?

1 comment:

motheramelia said...

I have often wondered why so few people are "blessed" with UFO sightings?