Philip Klass will have been dead sixteen years this August, but his spirit lives on. If you haven’t heard of him, Philip J. Klass was a senior editor of Aviation Week & Space Technology for over three decades; he was also a leading skeptic who published a number of books, most notably UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game and UFOs: The Public Deceived.
UFOs are in the news again, and this time the proof is irrefutable, so we are told. Everyone from the usual mystics to CNN to Tucker Carlson has weighed in on this.
We had the original 1947 flying saucer sighting by Kenneth Arnold; we had “contactees” like George Adamski; we had actual forgeries like the MJ-12 Saucer Crash Documents; and we had masses of photographs, films too, some outright fakes, but most were either misinterpreted or simply dots in the sky. Now though, we have the real McCoy, absolute proof, radar, good quality photographs, and the testimonies of pilots. We also have the spirit of Philip Klass, dedicated skeptical researchers who have taken a closer look, and are roaring with laughter.
American military pilots are among the most physically fit, psychologically well-balanced, and level-headed of people, yet even they have been known to mistake the planet Venus for an unidentified craft that happens to be tailing them. There are also natural phenomena that can have an other worldly appearance. This magnificent apparition is a sun dog photographed in Canada, November 2017. It doesn’t take much nous to realise this is simply natural beauty, even if you haven’t seen anything like it before, but not all such natural phenomena are so obviously natural.
The pilots who claimed and undoubtedly believed they were chasing low flying UFOs were in fact chasing – wait for it – birds. That’s right. Think about it, if you see a bright object in the sky, one that doesn’t appear to be moving, how can you tell if it is a planet or a star? And if it is moving, either in the sky or close to the sea, how can you tell how fast it is moving or how distant it is without another frame of reference?
What though of those pyramid shaped UFOs? There is an embarrassingly simple explanation for that, it is something called bokeh, a phenomenon well-known to photographers, it means the lens is out of focus. The objects concerned are probably regular aircraft.
And what about the other claims pilots have made, about seeing objects close up doing impossible manoeuvres, or diving into the sea? As is almost always the case, the more incredible claims have no such compelling evidence, like good quality film. This doesn’t mean the pilots are lying, but it is likely they have misinterpreted what they saw. The bottom line is we should wait for compelling evidence before we rewrite the laws of physics. Although many people would like to believe we have been visited by aliens in the past and are still being visited by them, the distances involved all but rule that out. The nearest stars to the Solar System are over 4 light years away; as far we know, no alien spacecraft could bridge that distance in a reasonable time span, that is if we are not alone in the Universe.
The question we should be asking isn’t are we being visited by aliens, but why has the mainstream media ignored these reasonable and far more plausible explanations? If you are over 18, you probably know the answer to that one already.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.