By: Kyle Dempster
As I dive deeper and deeper into UFO research and lore, one question stands out to me over and over again. It’s a question that has me jumping with excitement when I hear people finally, seriously bridge the subject: “How much credibility is needed to warrant humans to seriously, academically, and scientifically research the UFO phenomena?”
If you’re anything like me, you may have been raised on a diet of UFO shows. X-files, History Channel, Discovery channel. All of these ‘90s icons were blasting the idea that aliens could be out there - not only out there, but already here. Through pop culture, we have created a symbiotic relationship with the idea of extraterrestrials, while at the same time laughing at any serious attempt to study the unknown. Asking why this happens might be a separate article on its own, but for now, let’s focus on what it would take to make some people believers.
In 2020, we all know there are some seriously strange fringe beliefs on the internet. We see political manipulation left and right, it’s becoming harder for people to tell the nature behind what they are seeing and reading… then we have UFOs.
UFOs have always been up against an overwhelming doubt. Most people (myself included many times) look at a picture first attempting to disprove it before believing it. Usually, I’d say that’s a fantastic trait. Doubt and skepticism are healthy if it prevents blind faith. It’s also very much channeling the ideals of the scientific method.
Here’s the big problem with being too skeptical with UFOs: if we refuse to dig deeper because we are waiting for something compelling to appear in our laps, that’s a fool's wish. IRL example, if you smell gas in your house, you should investigate as soon as you smell it instead of our current, “We’ll wait for the explosion. The house blowing up will be enough proof to warrant me looking around.” That’s crazy logic, right?
At the same time we laugh at the idea of exploring new concepts, we tell people that do bring evidence forward that they did a bad job at collecting it or that they are crazy - you can see how we are literally burning the bridge while standing on it, right?
Some people will need physical proof, but that hasn’t stopped us before. Come to think of it, we probably believe in more things that we have never seen in person than we believe in things we touch daily. What’s more real - germs on the countertop or the Eiffel Tower? I haven’t seen or touched the latter, but I have touched the former. How about planets? Radiation? Wind? All examples of things we cannot touch or see with the naked eye, but we believe the photos and documentation presented to us.
In fact, I’d posit that it’s our curiosity and lack of understanding that pushes us to explore, to begin with. That’s human nature. If we don’t know something, we want to know more. We learn and grow our civilization by doing just that. So, I ask, why does that stop when it comes to UFOs?
Why is curiosity not enough? This is where I think the disinformation from the government comes into play. I’ve heard accounts that the government started hiding UFOs as a way of keeping Cold War hysteria in check. We’ve all probably heard the age-old, “National security means not everyone can know everything.” But if we are to believe this, we are talking stuff from the 1940s here… that can’t be declassified still?
I wrote this article not knowing the answers to my own questions. I pose them to all of you, the patrons, the listeners, when will the evidence be enough? Are we just too overwhelmed by everything?
I’m working on putting together some steps to help people collect evidence should they be lucky enough to see a UFO of their own. I hope these help you in the future, and I will keep working on them for a future post!
What to do if you see a UFO?
Get to relative safety. Your personal safety must come first, so make sure to take any appropriate means. This also signals that if you are driving, you should pull off the road where appropriate.
Calm yourself and focus. Often times, people get rightfully caught up in the moment. Seeing something amazing really stuns you. Remember to keep calm so you can record as many details as possible. Also, make sure to stabilize yourself for the upcoming recording
Recording. We are lucky to have so much technology in the palm of our hands. If possible, use your phone to record the craft.
Keep reference points in the frame (treelines, powerlines, houses, etc.) as this will give scale to the object
Include details orally (relative location, date, time, distance, shape, behavior, etc.)
Make sure to keep the object in the frame throughout the video. Some of the most compelling videos have been discredited because the camera strayed too far away from the object allowing for human interference
Quadruple save that recording! Now that you have caught something cool, make sure to back up your finding through multiple methods:
Send it to a friend and ask them to save it
Save it to your local hard drive on your PC/Mac
Save it to a secure cloud network
Save it to a flash drive that is NOT located in the same house as your PC
Write down details of your encounter including all the details from above.
As I am concluding writing this piece, a post from just this week reminds us to take a moment to try to rule out obvious ‘tells’ when spotting the paranormal. Looking at the Goodyear Blimp video: I saw the headline, I knew what I would be looking at, but I was still surprised how UFO-like the blimp looked in the video. I could easily see why people were getting confused, so let’s break that down:
One of the biggest tells is the blinking lights in the corners of the craft, these are very human and very FAA. Blinking lights are added to planes, radio towers, etc. to avoid low visibility collisions. The next big tell is the sign on the side. Not every video made this easy to see, and in some, it could have looked like a light from the bottom of the craft.