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No UFOs

Entry 322, on 2006-05-08 at 16:27:10 (Rating 2, Skepticism)

A recent report released in the UK has concluded that UFOs are not visitors from other planets. The report was done in extreme secrecy by the UK Department of Defence, and was only released to an academic recently as a result of a request under the Official Information Act. Comments on the report indicated surprise at how open minded it was, so only extreme conspiracy theorists would suggest it was a cover-up or biased in a significant way.

This confirms my thoughts on UFOs. Under the wider meaning of the term - unidentified flying objects - they obviously exist, but just because an object is unidentified and flying doesn't mean it is a UFO under the narrower meaning - alien visitors from other planets.

There are several types of encounters with UFOs (using the loosest meaning of the term). They range from actual contact with aliens to unusual sightings of objects in the sky. There are many types of phenomena which most people are unaware of, and even what many people would think of as experienced observers (for example airline pilots) can be fooled by. When these are investigated there are always sensible alternative explanations. I'm not saying these alternative explanation have to be true, the UFO *could* be a real alien visitor, but Occam's Razor tells use to accept the simplest and least controversial explanation - that's just common sense.

But what about the actual physical evidence? The crashed spacecraft at Roswell, abductions by aliens, the list goes on. Again, when investigated, these turn out to be slightly less convincing than the UFO enthusiasts would have us believe. For example, there is no doubt that the Roswell incident was a crashed US balloon, yet the stories of aliens and advanced alien technology persist.

If the UFO supporters aren't prepared to admit when they are wrong, or to stop denying overwhelming evidence against their beliefs, they just can't be taken seriously.

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Comment 1 (196) by Anonymous on 2006-05-13 at 22:27:01:

So if UFOs aren't visitors from other planets then what are they?

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Comment 2 (197) by OJB on 2006-05-14 at 10:22:10:

Here's a partial list I created...

Conventional aircraft, experimental and secret aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, weather balloons, unusual clouds, inversion layers, meteors, the Sun, stars, planets, comets, distortions caused by atmospheric conditions, birds, plasma/ball lightning, reflections off stationary objects, delusions, hoaxes.

I'm sure this isn't complete. I need to create a complete list some time. I'll need to some research on this.

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