UFOlogists invariably make their stand on the same worn patch of ground when asked what is the best evidence of UFOs: the many unexplained sightings by “intelligent and credible” people, such as aircraft pilots, are the evidence. Naturally, a UFO to UFOlogists can mean just one thing: an extraterrestrial vehicle.
Here is an eyewitness reports of UFOs that were seen near Stephenville, Texas in January of this year, taken verbatim from the front page of the website of the National UFO Reporting Center (http://nuforc.org/):
Flashing strobes, silent, flames out the back side and jets chasing it!
On 1-8-2008 at 6:15 pm CST. my friends and I was watching the sunset when several strobes or flashing lights coming from the east at about 3500 foot agl heading west toward Stephenville, TX. Estimated speed was about 2000 to 3000 mph.
The strobes made several changes of flash patterns and configurations. The flight duration lasted about 3 minutes. The front two strobes was about 1/2 mile a part and the back ones was about 1 mile back from the front strobes. The back side of the flashing lights came to a vertical flashing.
Then there was 2 separate vertical flames about 1/4 mile apart for several seconds and the craft was gone.
We never head ANY noise from the craft! They headed west towards Abilene, TX.
Then about 10 minutes later here came the craft again with 2 jets chasing. They were headed east towards South Ft. Worth, TX, at about 4000 ft. agl. The jets were unable to catch and went off into the distance at FULL throttle.
I am a pilot and have been fling for 30 years and have never seen anything like this. I also fly several times a week in the area. The craft is NOT from around these parts!
The witnesses are 1. ((male name deleted) 254-((number deleted)), rancher/trucker 2. ((male name #2 deleted)) 254-((name deleted)), delivers mail for the U.S. Postal Service 3. ((male name #3 deleted)) (myself) 254-((number deleted)) or cell 817-((number deleted)) owner of a large transportation/trucking firm.”
Is this evidence of a UFO? In the literal sense, yes it is; this was an flying object that could not be identified by these observers. Does that make it an alien spacecraft? Not necessarily. To their credit, the NUFORC organization does not offer any explanation one way or another, but the implication is there; if not in this report, then among the many thousands of others cataloged throughout their website. A website that is, it should be pointed out, just one of hundreds of UFO-themed sites on the Internet.
The credibility gap that afflicts UFOlogists comes from their basic misunderstanding or willful refusal of scientific methods or critical thought. Science is not democratic or a matter of faith; something is not true simply because a large number of people believe it is. If that were the case, there would be no difference between science and religion. And the lack of a rational, conventional explanation for something is not proof of an irrational or unconventional explanation. This is a logical fallacy sometimes called a negative proof: A UFO must be an alien craft because there is no proof that it is not.
Personally, I would welcome proof of extraterrestrial life and an irrefutable revelation that our planet has been visited by intelligent alien life. I suspect, as many others apparently do, that these things are true. But a strong inkling is not the same thing as certain knowledge. Our abilities to determine that one way or the other are increasing almost exponentially; it is hard to accept that the answers to a phenomenon witnessed by so many should still elude an explanation. When the UFOlogists and conspiracy theorists decide to come out from the shadows in which they so stubbornly dwell, perhaps then we will find it.