Every year hundreds of thousands of reports of unusual sightings and alleged abductions flood the Internet and social media. Organizations such as the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) inundate the UFO community with reports that thousands of UFOs are being documented each month. If only 1% of these sightings were both reliable and credible, it would appear, on the surface, that at the very least thousands of extraterrestrials are visiting planet Earth. That is not the case.
It is alleged that several species of extraterrestrial origin have visited our planet in the past or continue to visit today; and, in some conspiracy claptrap, are walking amongst us in disguise, are collaborating with select government factions, and have even created a human-extraterrestrial hybrid to gradually populate earth with their species. Why they are here, if that is the case, is beyond the scope of this book–for our purpose is only to investigate whether or not they can exist.
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.
In our X-Files reboot world, it’s hard to take ufology, the study of UFOs, seriously. The problem, at its core, is less scientific than sociological. The community that believes in the proximity of extraterrestrial life has long had a fraught relationship with logic and reason. Antonio Paris’s job is to bridge the divide between those who want to believe and those who demand proof. As the head ofAerial Phenomena Investigations, Paris has spent the last five years working with a former NASA engineer and a journalist to uncover both evidence and its absence. Paris, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, also works as anastronomer at St. Petersburg College in Florida. He spends a lot of time looking up, but even more time looking around.
It bears saying — precisely because it doesn’t go without saying — that Paris is not a crank. In a sense, he’s exactly the opposite. He exhibits the rare ability to keep belief close and doubt closer. It is this trait, coupled with the thoroughness of his work, that has enamored him to the scientific community, which embraces him with open arms. Paris spoke with Inverse about dueling with investigative and scientific pistols at a time when most other Ufologists are stuck on Area 51.
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. — John Adams, 1770
Four Years of UFO Investigations – What We Learned:
An unidentified flying object (UFO), in its strictest sense, is an unfamiliar anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object. Technically, “UFO” refers to something that cannot be identified; unfortunately, in contemporary popular culture, the term has become synonymous with extraterrestrial spacecraft. However, decades of investigations, research, and analysis from a cadre of UFO investigators, including the United States Air Force, have established that most UFO sightings are either hoaxes or misidentifications of man-made terrestrial objects and natural phenomena. Evidence of extraterrestrial life remains elusive as ever.
The lack of physical and scientific proof beyond a reasonable doubt has pushed UFOs to be regarded along with Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the chupacabra, and leprechauns: subjects nestled together in the occult section of your local bookstore or library. This unfortunate occurrence, in my opinion, is a direct result of a once-worthy subject being hijacked by a convergence of armchair UFO investigators, conspiracy theorists, hoaxers, and people taking occasional cheesy photos of alleged extraterrestrials or flying saucers.
In early 2011, in an effort to revive and revolutionize Ufology, we decided to investigative UFO phenomena. First, to clean up Ufology, we needed to remove the extraterrestrial element from the equation and approach the phenomena from a nuts-and-bolts perspective. Second, we needed to create a well-proven investigative process to make sense of the data. Therefore, we developed the Aerial Phenomena Investigations Guide. With our new vision regarding Ufology, we went on to create a new UFO research group made up of like-minded professionals. Our vision, which we knew would get initial pushback from mainstream Ufologists, was to recruit UFO enthusiasts willing to respectively set aside the extraterrestrial hypothesis and approach the phenomena from a nuts-and-bolts perspective.
In the middle of 2011, we began to attend dozens of UFO-related meetings and conferences throughout the United States, specifically in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., areas. As we expected, the premise behind most, if not all, of these UFO meetings and conferences were centered around the following:
- Conspiracies about the alleged Roswell UFO crash.
- Secret “world government” efforts to hide proof of extraterrestrial evidence from the public.
- Occasional hearsay of a deathbed confession from a retired military or intelligence official claiming first-hand knowledge of extraterrestrials.
- Setting aside all known laws of physics to argue for inter-dimensional portals that allow beings from other parts of the universe to travel to our planet at free will.
At none of these UFO meetings or conferences thus far, however, could people provide proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, to substantiate these claims. In the end, we came to realize most, if not all, of these stories were just folklore with an added touch of hysteria and pareidolia.
Today, four years later, the API mission has not changed. Our goals are to conduct a systematic search for facts in order to determine whether or not a UFO sighting or alleged alien abduction can be attributed to a man-made object, natural phenomena, or a hoax. Our team accomplishes this by conducting aggressive investigative research and analysis; then, we assimilate, evaluate, and interpret a variety of reports on aerial phenomena. Throughout every investigation, we consider information derived from all credible sources and integrate it into our analytical process. API sets a high standard to obtain and provide proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a UFO or an alien abduction is of extraterrestrial origin. After four years of conducting hundreds of thorough UFO investigations, we found no proof of extraterrestrial visitation. Nevertheless, the results of API’s investigations do not mean that extraterrestrial life does not exist or, for that matter, that extraterrestrial life has not visited our planet. We identified most of the UFOs as terrestrial objects, closing very few cases in the “unidentified” file.
On 06 March 2015, UFO investigators from the United Kingdom forwarded a photo of an alleged UFO. According the investigators, the photo was taken in Plymouth, UK, in January 2012. A thorough analysis by Aerial Phenomena concluded the photo was nothing more than a traditional lens flare. The investigation was closed as resolved.
Remain Anonymous: No
Field Investigation Requested: yes
Date of Sighting: 07/11/2014
Time of Sighting: 5 pm
Duration of Event: approx 30 minutes
Location of UFO: Phoenix Arizona USA near Granada Park
Shape of Object: Saucer
Case Closed as Man-made Object.
Final Report: 14-077-FB1-Phoenix (Antonio)