Striving for truth and the scientific method.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, postulated that "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
This, of course, is a dangerous dictum in the hands of the wrong people for it allows all sorts of crackpots to attribute impossible interpretations to perfectly logical, if not totally understood, phenomena.
Ideally, we should be open-minded when dealing with such phenomena as UFOs and TLOs. Most zealots demand of others a broad-minded view, yet they are often as close-minded as the scientists they disparage, rejecting as "conspiracy" any theory or expression that does not support their own.
There is always a danger of going too far the other way, of accepting as fact things that are really only popular beliefs, or of parroting imaginative and theatrical explanations for phenomena that are really appallingly mundane.
Yet a point can be made for Holmes' dictum. There does come a time when evidence in favor of a conclusion becomes overwhelming and it would be perverse not to admit it, even if it does not support one's own theory.
It would be as foolish to reject out of hand the existence of UFOs as to embrace their existence without question for it is that very debate that will ultimately uncover the truth of the matter. After having eliminated the impossible relative to UFOs and TLOs--viz. that all reports of all such craft and crew result from improper recognition of aircraft, manic delusion or hallucination--we are left with the initially improbable but ultimately inevitable conclusion that UFOs, TLOs and "Flying Saucers" do, indeed, exist.
It would be irrational to disagree with the validity of the argument that something is there, even if it ultimately proves to be not exactly what many of us now believe (or hope) it is.
While I cannot with certainty state that "Flying Saucers" from other worlds are traversing the skies of planet Earth on a regular basis, I would be surprised if they were not. Similarly, while I cannot state with certainty that hundreds or thousands of people appear to have been abducted and carried off in craft of some sort, the corpus of evidence and testimony indicates that they have been and, again, I would be surprised if they have not. Certainly I would have no confidence in expressing the opinion that neither of these events have ever occurred or that they are not now occurring regularly on a worldwide basis.
I have some theories, based upon sound evidence and first hand knowledge, about the nature of many of the craft commonly referred to as "Flying Saucers" and UFOs. My theories are not particularly popular with some UFOlogists who steadfastly claim all UFOs are from other worlds or other galaxies and that all UFOs must, of necessity, be crewed by alien beings who came to this planet to harvest us as food after having agreed to an evil covenant with 12 well-intentioned but inordinately short-sighted members of America's political and scientific communities.
In dealing with the phenomena of UFOs, we should make every attempt to reserve judgement until all the facts have been presented. Certainly, we should approach our investigation objectively rather than subjectively; that is, not assign to UFOs attributes they may not possess (portholes, crew, sounds, lights or flight characteristics). We need to maintain an open mind while avoiding the pitfall of having someone come along to put things in it.
I am convinced the UFO and TLO phenomenons will eventually succumb to the scientific method. In the case of UFOs, we require hard evidence, the best of which will be excellent quality irrefutable photographs, video tapes and motion pictures, preferably with raw sound.
Statements by former military employees are useful only as supplements to photographic evidence. Eye-witness accounts from sightings, contactees or abductees is interesting narrative but proves little without the hard evidence of pictures.
If the government is trying to hide UFOs from other worlds or simply trying to protect secret aircraft, they can publicly deny their complicity and that's the end of it. The burden of proof falls upon the serious UFO researcher, whether he believes UFOs are real nuts and bolts machines or whether he believes the UFO experience is more of psychological or parapsychological origin.
Fanatic mysticism and wild, unsubstantiated claims will never prove or disprove the existence of craft we know as UFOs. Irrefutable photographs, if anyone is lucky enough to ever obtain any, may not be enough to prove the existence of even a single alien spacecraft if the government is determined to deny it.
But the more high quality intelligence information we obtain, the better will be our case, regardless of whether the information supports or refutes our best pet theories.
We must remember that none of the current ideas about UFOs are inherently impossible, however, when all the evidence is presented, only one theory will be shown to have been based upon sound evidence gleaned from scientific methods objectively performed.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, void of poetic license, absolute, literal, word-for-word, however improbable (or unpopular), must be the truth of the matter. It is for that truth that we all should strive even if the pursuit ultimately robs some of us of stature and status.
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The New York Times, January 17, 1994
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