It is alleged that several species of extraterrestrial origin have visited our planet in the past or continue to visit today. In some conspiracy claptrap they even are said to be walking among us in disguise and collaborating with government factions, having created a human-extraterrestrial hybrid to populate Earth with their species. Why they are here, if that is the case, lies beyond the scope of Aerial Phenomenon’s mission, for our purpose is solely to investigate whether or not they can exist.
The UFO community claims that there are dozens and perhaps hundreds of alleged extraterrestrial species. It is important to note, however, that reports of alleged extraterrestrials are predominantly the result of single-witness accounts, hearsay, and hoaxes. According to the scientific community, academic experts, governments throughout the world, and many legitimate UFO organizations, there is no physical proof or incontrovertible evidence that extraterrestrials exist or have ever visited Earth.
By Antonio Paris
Rather than applying science and logic to defend the extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFO phenomena, the UFO community addresses the issue through emotions and confirmation bias. Ufologists have a predisposition to favor information, no matter how fantastic, that confirms their beliefs or assumptions. They display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively or when they interpret it in a biased way. This inclination is especially prominent at UFO conferences when emotionally charged stories of alleged alien abductions and government conspiracies are presented. Those who support the extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFO phenomena, moreover, tend to interpret ambiguous and anecdotal evidence as supporting their existing position. This is often the result of media sound bites, social media, and UFO organizations’ claims that they are “scientific” entities. When confirmation bias is coupled with pareidolia, apophenia, and illusory correlation, the end result is belief perseverance, which contributes to overconfidence and strengthens beliefs even in the face of contrary evidence. Moreover, belief in the extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFO phenomena did not develop into self-validating structures all by themselves. They are the direct result of the UFO community leaders’ often modifying and revising their agenda to conform to the prevailing culture of their memberships. A clear example of this occurred when the UFO community was faced with a serious institutional crisis regarding the U.S. government’s explanation for the 1947 Roswell incident. Rather than accepting the proven fact that the UFO was actually a balloon under the auspices of Project Mogul, the UFO community conveniently resorted to claims of a government coverup.