the official site of Michael Shermer

top navigation:
photo

Shermer on Larry King Live with the UFOlogists

broadcast July 2007 | comments (84)

A couple of times a year, in between his celebfest of stars, Larry King hosts the UFOlogists who regale the talk show king with an endless parade of blurry photographs, grainy videos, and breathless tales of government coverups and conspiracies. This night Larry included a couple of skeptics: Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine and Buzz Aldrin, of Apollo 11 fame, who described his own UFO experience during his trip to the moon (it turned out to be one of the rocket panels carried out with them).

topics in this broadcast: , , ,

84 Comments to “Shermer on Larry King Live with the UFOlogists”

  1. 73Steve Says:

    Dr. Shermer makes an important point: Trained observers are not necessarily reliable. By the way, what is a trained observer anyway? I’ve been a military and airline pilot since 1984. I’m sure the UFOlogists would consider me a trained observer. But, I’ve never had any training in the skills of observation. Neither has anyone else I know. Is there really such a thing as a trained observer?

  2. Fuqface Says:

    The fact that a frm gov. can sit there and say ” I think it was from another world” because it was big and on the news is disturbing but, not surprising.

    Friedman: 40 years of work with no physical proof. SAD :(

    Haven’t we wasted enough time on this debate? Until “UFOlogists” come up with physical proof they shouldn’t be allowed to sit next to credible personalities (Buzz/Shermer).

  3. Toliver Says:

    Good job, Michael! Michael should bring in the “Dewey Wins!” newspaper headline next time.

  4. Allen Says:

    What surprises me most is the tenacity of the ufologists! To cling to a belief based on hearsay so ferociuosly is acceptable for children; it is sadly comical, however, when a panel of adult “experts” assert without question and without evidence that aliens have visited earth. I think the argument has progressed far beyond asking for/providing evidence as the believers are too heavily invested in their belief to believe otherwise. If believers were given a personal guided toured and shown that there are no aliens at Roswell, they would simply respond with “conspiracy”. If the 2 old men from England who started the crop circle craze back in the ’80’s were to invite them into their living room, have chat and an ale and explain how this crazy thing got started, they would cry “lier”. If the young guys were to explain how they started the Phoenix Lights hoax, the credulous would say, “yeah maybe the first one, but what about all the others?” If Michael Shermer were to accurately point out that our current image of Aliens was derived from early ’50’s science fiction b-movies, they would simply reply with “and where do you think think the writers of those early movies got their image of aliens, mister smarty pants? That’s right, they (the writers)were the first abductees!” And around and around we go!

    My point is this: believers are unresonable as they cannot accept that they may be wrong. They don’t understand science and are not open to debate on any issue regardless of the lack of evidence. They don’t understand the difference between anecdotal and empirical evidence or, if they do, the benefit of their belief outweighs the benefits of accepting it as nonsense. We, as scientists and skeptics, must cease the debate with the claimants. Unfortunately, the deck (within the context of the debate) is always stacked against the critical thinkers – people want to believe in the magical and, when they do, devolve into unreasonable creatures from the 14th century. In this case, Michael Shermer was the lone critical thinker against this panel of experts. Unfair, but he clearly held his own. Speak up, stand up, challenge the nonsense, but don’t subject yourself to a debate with people who are absolutely unreasonable.

  5. Karl Says:

    Shermer was cut off time after time, but Buzz Aldrin had enough respect from the others that they let him talk. I thought that he was very convincing.

  6. Nova Says:

    I am not a scientist, but I found the comments by Michael Shermer to be absolutely logical. I think the fact that many people saw something is reasonable but translating these observations into scientific fact, no matter how alluring…now that sounds like thinking from another planet, one not as advanced in its thinking as Earth.
    Emotion is not fact and aggressive emotion doesn’t convince many people. The calm logic of Mr Shermer would incline me to listen carefully to what he says.

  7. sittingbytheriver Says:

    I have seen a UFO personally. It was daytime, morning actually, with a clear blue sky. A silent elliptical object, with a reflective silvery surface, moving smoothly across the heavens.

    I never thought it might be an alien spacecraft. Just because something is unidentifiable doesn’t mean it is a spaceship from the far reaches of the universe. LOL

  8. Allen Says:

    I agree with Nova that it is reasonable to expect that the believers have indeed seen or experience something. It is also reasonable to expect that they can neither explain nor understand what they saw or experienced. The unreasonable aspect is their unwillingness to accept the possibility that what they saw was both explainable and of this world. Then, of course, there are those who claim to have seen only to reap the benefits of their 15 minutes of fame by exploiting the gullibility of the masses and the collusion of the media in their charade.

  9. Bob Says:

    Allen described Michael Shermer as “the lone critical thinker” but I submit that Buzz Aldrin was effective in discussing the probabilities of these events all happening in the last 60 years and in summation when he characterized the whole discussion as a continuation of the previous night’s show on illusionists.

  10. Allen Says:

    You’re absolutely right Bob. My apologies to Mr. Aldrin for overlooking his contributions to the cause! And he was such a gentleman.

  11. Bill Says:

    Right on Bob, i think Michael and Buzz were very effective.

    I do have to ask (being from the UK) how do you guys across the pond watch tv when there are adverts on every 3-4 mins!!!!! i thought it was bad here but a 2 hour movie must take about a week to watch with all the advertising going on!!!

  12. Edward Henry Says:

    I’ve seen two UFO’s in my life, so I’m not as dismissive of the subject as Michael and Buzz. However, I don’t automatically attribute what I saw to anything other than what they were: Unidetified Flying Objects. I was in the Air Force and I was a private pilot and I’m absolutely convinced that what I saw were not convential aircraft. That doesn’t mean they were not from this world, which most likely they were. I just don’t have an explanation for them. There are too many reports of objects in our skies for me not to think that something is happening in our air space for which we do not have an explanation. Perhaps the military or the defense industry have that explanation and aren’t going public with their projects at this time. Like Michael and Buzz, I want a scientific explanation. Unlike them, I don’t think the so called UFO Community should be belittled and dismissed so out of hand. I would love it if there were a full scale scientific investigation into the subject would commence. Perhaps then we could get to the bottom of it all, one way or the other.

  13. Kevin Geyer Says:

    Hey Michael, why are you wasting your time with these fanatics? You will never convince them that their beliefs are specious but that is not your burden. The obligation of proof is upon the claimant and their “evidence” is lacking. I wish you would tackle something more cogent like the global warming hoax and the political climate scams that are about to destroy our economy.

  14. John Vezina Says:

    Interesting how much emotion is expressed in these comments by both sides of this issue. The issue is not resolvable without physical evidence, I think. As for government cover ups, well, we’ll never know. Also, it’s not likely Area 51 or other military installations will start hiring tour guides any time soon.

    Having said that, people have undoubtedly seen some pretty weird stuff that defies conventional explanation. Even before modern times and before aircraft, ancient peoples have written and painted about very similar objects.

    Governments can keep secrets a long time, especially if they seed our culture with disinformation.

  15. Allen Says:

    Do the math. Think about the size of the universe or just this galaxy. Try, with a finite mind, to comprehend the infinite. Think for a moment how truly large the universe is. Then scale down to the our local planet. Think of the number of people that would have to be involved in a government cover-up and the odds that tens of thousands of people would or could remain silent for over 50 years. Think of the odds that no one, ever, would actually retain a single piece of physical evidence of an alien or their space caraft. Try to imagine how a small “flying saucer” could traverse light years of empty space or, if they traveled here in a “mother ship”, what the oddds would be that, given the thousands of telescopes trained on the night sky, that it would never be detected. Think for a moment why we have never received any radiosignals from anywhere in the galaxy that would be consistent with intelligent life. And if we did, how they could be covered up for so long. Always think of the math. And when you have done that, apply Occam’s Razor. Without exception, even when the object is “unexplanable” within a current context, our only reasonable assertion must be that whatever we saw, regardless of how other-worldy we imagine it to be, is that it originated on this planet. I think it’s okay to say, “Wow! That was cool! I have no idea what I just saw”. And then extrapolate (based on the odds) that the only reasonable explanation is that it is from here and that I simply lack the necessary tools to make sense of what I saw. Think how cool it is that even in this age of technology we can still be amazed at what this earth has to offer!

  16. Matthew Says:

    I’ve seen a UFO, you’ve seen a UFO, we’ve all seen a UFO. I doubt any of us have seen an extra-terrestrial spacecraft. When did UFO = aliens from outer space? Why can’t it be left at “unidentified”? Because people have imaginations and like to speculate. Why do we have imaginations? Evolution spared those with an imagination because it leads to innovation and advancement. Evolution further spared those with confidence in their beliefs, for practical (action-oriented) and social (charismatic) reasons. It is difficult to learn to distrust one’s own mind, which skepticism requires. Beleiving in the fantastic feels good, it has the ‘WOW’ factor, that’s why we watch movies. We pay to suspend our belief and imagine.

    It is a mistake to believe something simply because you want it to be so, or because you fear it. I want but one thing: TRUTH (or fact / objectivity / skepticism / critical philosophy depending on your definition)

    The unexamined life is not worth living ~ Socrates

  17. Tom Di-Grazia Says:

    At 11 pm on the evening of September 11, 2001 in Melbourne, Australia, I saw on TV the second airplane crash into one of the Trade Centre buildings in New York. Within minutes of the first plane having crashed into the first building, millions of people around the world were watching on their TV sets what was happening.
    In the days, weeks and months that followed most of the people on this planet saw the event broadcast over and over again.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Aliens who, judging by the many reports in the last 60 years, regularly visit our planet were to just simply ‘ HOVER ‘ above the central business district of one of the many greatly-populated cities of this world, like New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris etc., for only an hour or two during day hours, instead of during the night, so that WE ALL would be able to see clearly at least their Great Space-Ships if not the Aliens themselves in the flesh. No doubt all of those people who were unfortunate to miss the ‘ LIVE ‘ performance would subsequently see it on their TV sets, replayed over and over again, just like the 911 event in New York in 2001.

    Alas, our alien cousins are extremely shy, and prefer to visit us only at night when they feel safer to be seen only by a small number of ‘ select ‘ people ; preferably those who believe in them.

    Yes, I am certainly convinced, on Statistical Probability alone (astronomers estimate that there are more than 100 Billion Galaxies) that there is life in other parts of this Universe, including intelligent life at least as intelligent as humans on this planet, notwithstanding scientists telling us of the Great Fortuitous circumstances that brought about Life to begin and Evolve on this planet over the last 4,500 million years.

    However, as to the Probability of one Super-Intelligent civilization travelling to another part of the universe to find Life, let alone finding another intelligent civilization, I am inclined to think that such a Probability is very close to Zero, and there are therefore other explanatioins for the UFO’s that people continue to see. But I could be Very Wrong ………………….

    Tom Di-Grazia / Melbourne / Australia

  18. P. Aznavwrian Says:

    To my astonishment arguments are heavier than facts; valid testimonies are neglected; evidences are absent and so the feast works very well. To discuss this kind of matters much more time is requiered: to debate in order, to let the testimonies extend in detalis, to call all sorts of parts interested, and so on and so forth. Mr. Shermer disappointed me because of his narrow minded comments on any thing that was affirmed by the rest of the panelists: many things are truthts yet to be verified in Mr Shermer´s criterions, yet they are commonly accepted by the scientific community as part of hard science facts whose demonstrations are just formal abstractions that make sense within the prevalent paradigm. This doesn´t mean that I expect that every “testimony, sighting, or allegedly collected materials and apparitions” should be taken as “good valid evidence”; that is also a plainly stupid approach. Is any body working something in between? building up the collection of arguments to filter good from hoaxed or false evidence, of any sort? I think this is needed, otherwise we will be in the middle of these kind of persona attempts to “win” the discussion, but not in the firm ground of the kind of judmental argumentation actually needed for such an “elusive” collections of phenomena.

  19. Mitch Says:

    I like many others, have extensive time in the air(I’m an airline captain with more than 15,000 hrs). Unlike many others, I realize that it doesn’t matter what one believes or what one wishes to be true. Reading a book or watching a movie is evidence for the gullible. Eye witness reports, photos, and video are suspect at best. Shermer and Aldrin are right. Show us all some hardware. To hitch their wagon to speculation makes these UFOligists look rather silly.

  20. Wyrd One Says:

    Alot of people are very invested emotionally with different ideas that Science does not embrace. Skeptics always point out that there is a lack of evidence surrounding these ideas whether it’s Alien Abduction/Visitation, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, ESP or somewhat less loopy ideas like the JFK conspiracy. This emotional investment makes it hard to admit that what they believe is wrong. At a certain point for some people it becomes almost a religion. When Michael Shermer goes on a program like this he is speaking to those people who haven’t made up their minds yet. The believers are not likely to be convinced but it should never be thought of as a waste of time. In my youth I ardently believed in Ancient Astronauts. I would argue any time any where and I was convinced I won every one of those arguments. Today I am a skeptic. “I got better” to quote Monty Python (several times in the Holy Grail!) It is a good idea when saying “there is no evidence” that you explain why – as several people here have – in order not to seem pretentious to the people you want to reach. Eventually those truly interested will arrive at the truth if they have their minds open and their “thinking caps” on. This has been a wonderful discussion thread and I enjoyed reading it. Thanks to all!

  21. Paul Says:

    I’m starting to think that most of the people that have problems with the UFO theory have not done their research on it and just lapped up the opposing argument. I had a heated debate with a skeptic (of which I am too, I enjoy E-skeptic and agree on most of it except when it comes to UFO’s) and he made it very clear to me that he didn’t have to look into UFO’s to know it’s bunk. I think that’s the most telling, and of course I’m still great friends with him. We will just never ever agree on UFOs.

    I heard one argument that UFO’s are like God, no evidence. I don’t know what planet that guy is on but there is MUCH more evidence for ET’s then the invisible sky daddy.

  22. Wyrd One Says:

    Anyone who is a true skeptic ought to understand the problem we have with what passes for evidence in the UFO community. Eyewitness testimony is all there is. There is no physical evidence. Why does the UFO community turn to Government Conspiracy? To account for this lack. Saying we haven’t done our research if we disagree with you is ridiculous. You have no idea how much research any of us has done. Assumption is the mother of all foul-ups and assuming your research is better than others is just wrong. Agreeing to disagree with your opponents is all well and good until you call them ignorant. There may be some people who just regurgitate what they’ve heard others say but you won’t be able to determine that from a two paragraph posting.

  23. micahd Says:

    as always, pseudoscience can be debunked with a combination of critical thinking and the scientific method. thank you dr. shermer for being the voice of reason against the growing irrationalism of our society.

  24. micahd Says:

    notice how the ufologists consistently try to force a false dilemma: either the stories are true or the eyewitnesses are lying. they completely leave out the possibility that the eyewitnesses are mistaken due to things like confirmation bias, expectation effects, and a host of other well understood psychological phenomena. once you recognize that the psychological research has well established the fact that humans are very poor observers, you weaken the case for such radical claims. but ufologists and other pseudoscientists who understand next to nothing of the psychological research and scientific method completely fail to understand this.

  25. Arnold Klein Says:

    I don’t know if anyone has ever been to the UFO Museum in Roswell. But I will share my experience. I thought Roswell would be a quaint little town with a gas station and a museum… okay, maybe it would have a restaurant.

    Roswell New Mexico is a town of 50,000 and is the Mozzorella Cheese Capital of the world.

    If you really want proof that Roswell has never been visited by Aliens simply go to the Museum. Depending on the High School you went to, it is either one step up or one step below your typical high school science fair. I suspect the technology on display at most of today’s high schools is 10 times better than what you will find in the museum. One step into that edifice convinced me that we certainly have no evidence that aliens visited Roswell and if that is the best evidence for all UFO explanations there probably has any Aliens visitors to our planet.

    On another note. Roswell does have a great Art Museum that has a recreation of Robert Goddard’s laboratory with actual instruments and models of rockets he used in his tests. It is a shame that this worthwhile part of Roswell gets buried in the basement of a museum while the tourists flock to the UFO Museum on main street. A bit ironic that so much science lies in the basement of a museum and the UFO stuff lies in a barely refurbished old movie theatre. Wait a minute. Maybe it is not ironic but fitting… in a sort of 1950’s horror movie sort of way.

  26. Laura Says:

    I really enjoyed Buzz Aldrin’s contribution to this discussion. I admit to listening to C2C because it’s usually interesting what people believe in and why.
    However, I have always been skeptical for the very reasons that Buzz pointed out.
    I like Shermer’s demeanor and approach to dealing with the true believers. Many skeptics are so condescending and cynical that it ruins these discussions. Call it the softer side of skepticism, a term borrowed from the Truth-driven Thinking podcast.
    I am very impressed with Michael Shermer. Glad this video is available on the site.

  27. Jeremy Says:

    I thought Michael did a good job, considering the restraints of the show format. I reject the notion that he “laughs off” or otherwise dismisses UFO claims – he consistently and emphatically emphasized the requirements of science in terms of evidence. As he said repeatedly, witness accounts etc are good starting points, but cannot be used to come to a conclusion. Physical evidence is what is required. Many of the guests cite unusual and difficult-to-explain occurrences. But on what basis can any conclusion be made? We can’t assume “aliens” when we have yet to establish they even exist! Michael says we need something physical to come to a conclusion. But after 62 years of sightings and claims, not a single piece of physical evidence, whether in the form of a piece of a spacecraft or an alien corpse, has been produced as confirmation of an alien visitation.

    And, instead of simply “brushing off” claims he doesn’t believe in, he asks a basic question, one that the UFO proponents never satisfactorily answer: Why would governments hide knowledge of such visitations? It is a given – and Michael says this – that government lie. But why lie about this?

    People like Stanton like to cite some possible reasons here, but one presumption almost always comes forward, and that is the “government” is the AMERICAN government, as if aliens have a focus on America as being the only “government” around. Which is more than a little weird. But even if we assume that the American government has some compelling reason to hide this knowledge and lie about it, which is certainly within the range of possibility (and something nearly impossible to disprove thus guaranteeing the perpetuity of the debate until an actual alien is produced), why would aliens landing in, say, Warsaw or Santiago be subject to the same obsessive government secrecy as the presumed aliens who landed in Roswell or elsewhere in America? In other words, the whole premise that “government” would want to hide knowledge of confirmed alien contact is that EVERY government on the planet where aliens might have landed would have identical incentives to hide this fact. I personally find that hard to believe. Given the fact that places like Roswell have bent over backwards to promote their alien “connection,” one can just imagine some town or state or country leaping at the chance to cash in on tourism to see the alien artifacts. But that hasn’t happened, has it?

    Further, the Fermi paradox asks the question: If aliens are out there, why haven’t they visited? While those like Stanton say they have visited, these “visits” are always by aliens who have some presumed incentive to remain hidden. But why? If we are to presume some sort of Star Trek-style “Prime Directive” on non-interference in cultures, why are we only being visited (to extend the Star Trek analogy) by peaceful non-intrusive Vulcans and not warring, expansionist Klingons or Romulans? And this isn’t just in the present time, but over the perhaps BILLION years advanced civilizations may have existed in our galaxy (given what we know about stellar evolution and the time needed for civilizations to expand through the galaxy with slightly advanced technology, several million years)? Yet we have no sign of any alien artifacts, nor any sign that life on this planet is nothing but indigenous.

    In the end, it is not that Michael is being some sort of curmudgeon by demanding physical evidence. He is simply requesting some sort of evidence which would establish as fact one of the great mysteries of our time – whether we are alone in the universe – and to acknowledge that such proof would mark one of the great watersheds in our history.

    Which is why we need a LOT more than we are getting from people talking about sticks with hieroglyphics and unidentified objects in the skies.

  28. Alison R. Says:

    Rutgersjaffo wrote, “Look, I am not saying I believe every single person who claims to have seen a UFO, but they aren’t ALL lying or mistaken.”

    There were over 1,000 sightings recorded last year in Canada, over 400 so far this year in Britain. And the U.S.? Over 5,000 resorts. That’s just three countries representing one single year. Many of these people witnessed a sighting from different times during the calendar year, which implies different UFOs. So even if only half were to believed, it would appear we are being inundated with different alien crafts hundreds of times a year….each and every single year. The credibility is shot here. Logic would imply that the vast majority (or more likely, everyone) are mistaken. Reason would be that even if an extra-terrestrial society could overcome the physics of such a visit, it would be a rare occurrence, not something reported multiple times around the world, every single day.

  29. James Pettit Says:

    This comment is addressed to all those who have voiced their reactions to the Larry King episode on UFOs.

    If you are genuinely interested in this issue, then I recommend that you read Richard Dolan’s book, “UFOs and the National Security State”.

    Of the many books on UFOs which I have read, this one is by far the most scholarly and serious in tone. I only wish that Skeptic magazine would see fit to review it (pardon me if the magazine has already done so).

  30. Dee Says:

    @Jeremy – Thank you – a very sound, logical (albeit still somewhat anecdotal to be fair) assessment of the “government conspiracy” aspects of alleged UFO Cover-ups. It is one of the more balanced perspectives that I’ve read on the topic…

    Now for my personal ramble…

    I think if a person remains truly unbiased – neither science, or religion or so-called “pseudoscience” for that matter, has an answer to the question of aliens or non-terrestrial (or perhaps terrestrial, but non traditionally understood) forms of life. No matter how vehemently you argue EITHER side of this debate, the simple fact is the “unknown” remains unknown until it becomes known. I’m not trying to be cute either – really think about that for a moment.

    However, I do not object to hearing varying arguments for either side, nor do I reject hard evidence, to the best of my own understanding when presented (sorry, 2+2 will always equal 4, not lemon). It seems to me the heart of this issue, like so many today, is that one side MUST be right when neither side of the debate can lay claim to having evidence and or knowledge that specifically answers the question. Right now, all we do know is that the majority of our determination on the topic of extraterrestrial life comes from the sheer LACK of empirical evidence that it does exist, based on our current abilities and understandings. Period.

    An athlete will tell you the world is best served by exercise and general focus on the physicality of fitness. A doctor will tell you that the answers to life’s dilemmas lie primarily in balanced eating, exercise and regular “maintenance” (checkups,etc.)… Academics will offer the perspective that a healthy life without the benefit of a good knowledge base (education) is no life at all and therein lie the solutions to the world’s problems… Scientists will favor an emphasis on evidence and reverse engineering (which is largely what all scientific discoveries are based on) for their take on the “meaning of life” stuff. And of course, religion or spiritual experts will tell you that a focus on things of the soul/spirit or faith in things not measured by the others mentioned, is the only solution to the terrible evils we foist on one another.

    I think we have only to raise our heads up a bit, look around to realize we are simply infants in a billions of years old (to our current understanding) universe, and it is likely that there are MANY puzzles out there that don’t have “answers” that we understand yet. So I tend to land in this camp:

    I do believe that sentient, or self-aware, life exists outside of our current species and outside of our current understanding. IN fact, everything we’ve learned thus far, infants that we are, indicates this is highly likely. Whether it comes from what we call the stars or universe, or whether it comes from new understandings of the states of existence and life itself is pretty much wide open…

    And sorry – science is just ONE aspect of our understanding. Be of good cheer people – there’s LOTS and LOTS more to discover out there yet and standing on one side of line and holding our breath or yelling really loud in an attempt to force the person on the other side of that line we’re right and have THE TRUTH for everyone just don’t work yet. Hasn’t worked for as long as we’ve existed as a matter of fact. But yet we keep doing it – go figure.

    Maybe its okay that some people believe in little gray aliens (or Nordic-like ones, or the brain-sucking ones, or the shimmering light ones) and its okay that some don’t.

    Ironically, to me, scientists are no different than religious leaders. In religion you have those who are “called” to be our spiritual leaders – and unlike the rest of us poor schmucks, have something special about them (they claim directly and divinely given to them by a particular god or spirit or whatever) to help enlighten the rest of us and “save us from” *shudder* ourselves.

    Science is the same – apparently these guys have access to “knowledge” (i.e. their overinflated estimation of their particular brand of ‘intelligence’) that the rest of us poor, ignorant, dark-age living saps don’t, and it is their job, particularly those in the role of skeptic, to help inform, elucidate and rebuke those of us who are really ‘nice, simple, folk’ but just don’t “get it”. (And they often do it with a very condescending, but well-intentioned pat on the head ta boot!)

    Frankly, I’ll take my chances with a willingness to understand that science, academics, physicality and spirituality all play a pretty important role in my day to day life and that while we’re all seemingly interdependent, I can think for myself and my OWN experiences and archaeology (past) coupled with new adventures will define who I am. Right or wrong is completely subjective, beyond our instinctive desire to continue to exist individually and as a species. And if I chose to believe in the possibility of aliens or insist that they are are just the figments of a deluded imagination, I’ll still continue to eat, breath, poop and pee and I’ll still die.

    Btw, can someone name just ONE discovery from the annals of science that has actually benefited humanity as a whole (benefited as in with only good stuff without an equalizing number of side-affects or resulting causalities to mitigate the ‘benefit’ and that drastically changes the resulting equation that has existed as long as our species has: born > live > die)? JUST ONE with empirical evidence please.

  31. btothetwizzle Says:

    The majority of photos are inevitably going to be grainy because if you spot a UFO, take out your cellular phone or any type of camera to point at it at a large sky to catch something so far in the distance, 9/10 it’s not going to look like a crystal clear Hollywood type photo/video worthy enough to get co-signed by a hardcore Skeptic.

    Another main argument for skeptics on this subject is that what was seen could have been ‘x’, but what if ‘x’ has limitations or qualities that what was seen definitely does not? It should go without saying, but that would rule out ‘x’ as the object that was seen. With a large portion of UFO cases, you can repeat this process until the object could only be identified as either: a) A government craft with technology that the general public is not aware of yet, or b) A craft not from this world controlled by ‘y’.

  32. Mr. Smith Says:

    I am a big admirer of Mr. Shermer having read three of his book and many issues of Skeptic magazine. There really is a lot of nonsense that is believed by way too many people. A large amount of it fits into the New Age belief category and that of UFOs. There is a lot of crazy stuff out there regarding UFOs and aliens that people believe without questioning it. The field is full of hoaxes and plain lies. Having said all that I do believe that many UFO cases are indeed credible as is encounters with so called aliens. I don’t agree that there is no evidence. There are way, way too many credible witnesses to dismiss it all as nonsense. It is also understandable to me why governments would want to cover up what they know, and yes they are capable of doing it to a certain degree. Of course they have not been totally successful at this otherwise all the information we have now would not even be available. As to the UFOs, aliens and where they come from is debatable. Many believe they are interdimensional as opposed to interstellar. And just because we human beings haven’t figured out how to make traveling billions of light years away doesn’t mean it is impossible. For a long time no one believed such a thing as airplanes and flying around the world would be possible much less human beings travelling to and walking on the moon. The universe (and others which may exist) is a much, much stranger place than any of us could possibly imagine. It is true that anything is possible but at the same time many things are unlikely. And just because they are unlikely does not guarantee they are impossible. I agree with Mr. Shermer on so many things and have great respect for him. I am grateful that people like him exist and are doing what they do. I have always felt the same way about the late great Carl Sagan but this does not mean I don’t disagree with them on certain issues. I obviously do. I am also aware I could be wrong. Honestly, I hope all the stuff about UFOs, alien encounters, abductions, etc. are not true as I find it all way too disturbing! Contact with alien species is not necessarily a totally good thing, or it could be both good and bad considering what the truth is. I am always willing to listen to both sides of the argument whether it be about UFOs or the existence of God. I have no proof that they do or do not exist; just opinions. It is good we have believers and non believers and that many (though not all) are willing to discuss and debate these issues like logical, rational human beings. That I am very grateful for but keep in mind it is very doubtful that we human beings are the crown of creation and have all the answers.

  33. Mr. Smith Says:

    “The famous photos of Maj. Jesse Marcel and Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey with some of the debris show that was they found is entirely consistent with a crashed balloon train (over 600 feet long) from Project Mogul.” Well if the government wanted to cover something up it makes sense that they could easily concoct a photo like that to prove one thing and disprove another. What that photo shows is not necessarily what crashed. I keep reading here how difficult it would be for the government to keep alien spacecraft and actual aliens secret; that people talk and secrets leaked. Duh! Well that is exactly what has supposedly happened. Insiders have indeed talked and secrets have indeed been leaked..supposedly. I add that word as I personally don’t have any proof one way or another. What I am saying is that the believers have been reporting for a long time that information has indeed leaked out, lies exposed, and secrets told. Those that mention the difficulty of hiding all this by the government, NASA, or whomever seem to totally ignore this! The cover up has NOT been successful. All so called evidence is not just anecdotes. To say so is simply not true. The point I am making is that simply dismissing all of this as cosmic woo woo is a terrible insult to all the very intelligent and credible people that do believe. And these include (gasp!) actual scientists, military personnel, commercial and military pilots, politicians, sincere investigative journalist and more.

  34. Howard Haraway Says:

    First of all,I will admit I am not the sharpest tack in a box,so my grammar might be suspect.This comment is for ALL the Ufologist who attack people like Michael Shermer,and Seth Shostak.These two men work their entire lives trying to answer the most important scientific questions of our times,and you don’t think they would jump all over Alien/UFO’s if they knew the phenomena was real? I am a skeptic,however I’d love to be proven wrong,and I’m sure Shermer,Shostak,and all other Skeptics would to as well.These guys would be so happy to be given first dibs at communicating with an ET. Skeptics are not against the thought of Intelligent life visiting us,it’s just that the proof has yet to beconvincing,and for good reasons.You already know them. Distances between celestial bodies.I’d love to meet these to men,go to a nice pub,sit there all day drinking great beer,and picking their brains.