Are there UFOs? Yes, there are flying objects we can’t easily identify.
Are they alien? Not so fast.
Aliens is one possibility, but it’s not the only possibility and shouldn’t be our first choice when considering an unknown phenomenon.
We humans have a long history of jumping to conclusions. For thousands of years, this resulted in superstitions and traditions that lead to bizarre beliefs. To this day, people avoid black cats, think bad luck comes in threes, and avoid anything with the number 13. As irrational is these sentiments are, they’re persistent.
Science has given us the means of removing our natural biases and flawed intuition about the world around us, giving us a clear (or at least clearer) view of reality. Science has shown us we can’t trust our own senses. The sun doesn’t rise each day—Earth turns. Even scientists need to be “double blind” to avoid any bias.
If you’re not familiar with the term “double blind,” it arose from trials comparing new drugs with harmless placebos. Although patients didn’t know who got the real drug and who didn’t, they were able to read subtle, unintentional clues from researchers and this influenced the outcomes. It became necessary to “blind” even the researchers handing out the drugs. So when giving pills as part of a trial, even the researchers don’t know who gets what until after the experiment concludes.
The point is—science cannot identify genuine results without first eliminating any human bias. When our natural tendency is to jump to the spectacular, this becomes extremely difficult.
When it comes to UFOs—Unidentified Flying Objects—also known as UAPs—Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon, our first concern needs to be eliminating our own bias to ensure we’re seeing clearly.
To the credit of those involved in the recent 60 Minutes special on this, they considered (1) advanced US technology (2) advanced foreign technology and only lastly (3) alien technology.
So what are these things?
1, 2 or 3?
Being unidentified, we don’t know and shouldn’t guess.
Honestly, that’s the conclusion we can reach. They could be 1, 2, 3, or 4, 5, 6, as there may be other possibilities we haven’t yet identified.
One of the claims in this video is that UFOs/UAPs were observed on an almost daily basis over the Atlantic. This is good for science. It means we can make multiple observations. More data leads to better analysis. Let’s get a look at these things through a dedicated spectroscope and figure out their composition. Let’s get some focus on this and collect detailed information so we can form a proper hypothesis. If UFOs/UAPs are really visible on a daily basis, the guys at JPL are going to love this. It’s a lot easier than spending decades planning missions to Mars, Europa, Enceladus and Titan to look for microbes. And it would be a great way to silence the critics like me.
Science loves converging lines of evidence. Take evolution as an example, there are multiple converging lines of evidence that support the theory of evolution—the fossil record, the phylogenetic relationships between species at a genetic level, the ability to observe evolution both in the lab and in the wild, etc.
When it comes to UFOs, we expect to see converging lines of evidence. So far, we have eyewitness testimony of extremely competent, trusted military aviators, video and radar imaging. That’s a great start.
For me, the most compelling point so far is when the pilots discussed the object disturbing the ocean as that’s showing an interaction with the physical environment.
A lot of these sightings defy physics, which is not something that should be taken lightly. An acceleration of 700 gees or descending 80,000 meters in seconds is going to have a physical effect on the environment. We may not be able to measure much on the craft itself, but we should be able to observe clear physical effects within the atmosphere.
When an airplane breaks the speed of sound, it generates a sonic boom occasioned by a vapor cone. Regardless of the alien technology, any UFO that suddenly accelerates beyond the speed of sound is going to cause something similar in the air around it. This is an unavoidable consequence of moving through our atmosphere. So far, we haven’t seen any evidence of this, leaving a significant question about what is actually being observed.
Another factor to consider is these things are showing up on the video and radar of a fighter jet, but they’re not showing up in orbit, where we are tracking space debris with considerable care and our most advanced technology.
The US Air Force and various other space agencies in different parts of the world are ALL tracking space debris. We’re looking for nuts and bolts up there—literally. Anything that could potentially interfere with a space mission. We’re tracking half a million objects in a variety of orbits, looking at debris down to about two inches in length, but we haven’t detected anything the size of a UFO.
Our ability to use radar from a ground installation and satellites is more advanced than anything in a fighter craft simply because it doesn’t need to be minimized to fit into a high-performance jet. Oh, and this is run by the Department of Defense. Orbital debris is taken very seriously.
Someone might argue that UFOs are dark and intended to fool our instruments. The problem here is they’re not fooling the instruments on fighter craft. Even if a UFO was pitch black, we would see them in outer space as we’re constantly looking for asteroids that might pose a threat to life on Earth. We wouldn’t see a completely dark UFO, but we would see it occult or block out distant stars. Imagine someone walking in front of the porch light. As soon as a shadow blocks the light, you know someone’s there. We don’t see this. If we did, it would raise alarm bells around the world.
Again, like the space debris, asteroid tracking is conducted by multiple space agencies in various countries. This is a great opportunity for converging lines of evidence, but… crickets.
As the analysis video below shows, these pilots are used to intercepting fast-moving objects and expect large velocities. When they see something almost stationary against a moving background, it causes an illusion of perspective that can fool even the most experienced fighter pilot. That and issues with the optics themselves are the best answer to this phenomenon. Seriously, check out the video, it’s awesome.
Another thing that bothers me about UFOs is their size. They’re roughly the size of the fighter jets observing them. That doesn’t seem like a comfortable ride across the galaxy.
At the moment, the odds are this is either US tech, foreign tech or simply mistaken sightings. There’s no compelling evidence UFOs or UAPs are extraterrestrial in origin.