Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sometimes the only proof is belief

I was thinking about an article I read I while back, and I don't remember who wrote it or where I read it, but the point the writer wanted to get across was that he thought UFOlogists should stop putting so much emphasis on the Roswell incident. He thought that by putting so much emphasis on the Roswell incident - by way of books, lectures, and the internet - UFOlogists were running the risk of losing any credibility they may have if the Roswell incident was ever proven to not have been an ET UFO crash. But after I thought about it, the question that came to my mind is how would anyone ever prove that the Roswell incident wasn't an ET UFO crash? The official story says that it wasn't a crash, but many people believe the official story is a lie, therefore, it doesn't constitute proof that an ET UFO didn't crash in Roswell, New Mexico back in 1947. Back in the 1990's, the government declassified documents relating to Project Mogul, a top secret project that existed from 1947-1949 that was tasked with operating high altitude spy balloons to spy on Soviet atomic bomb tests. With the declassifying of Project Mogul documents, the government essentially issued a new official story about Roswell, saying the original official story wasn't quite the whole truth. It was a balloon that crashed, according to official sources, but it wasn't a weather balloon - it was a spy balloon that they were testing. They claimed they had to keep the 'truth' about the spy balloon a secret because they didn't want the Soviets to know they were using balloons to spy on them. The Project Mogul story sounds plausible considering the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union was going on. But a lot of people still don't believe that story. Some people think that story is still just a cover up. So if some people are not going to believe whatever the official story is, how is it ever going to be proven to not be true? What could they ever do or say that would convince everyone that it wasn't an ET UFO that crashed in Roswell? Personally, I'm not convinced that the Roswell incident was an ET UFO crash, but I'm not conviced the official story is true either. But I really don't know how anyone is going to prove that it wasn't an ET UFO that crashed in Roswell as long as people still believe they are hiding the truth.

So what about the flipside of this, what if the government admitted that it was an ET UFO that crashed in Roswell and that they retrieved the wreckage and bodies and reverse engineered the technology? If that were to occur, I imagine there would be many UFOlogists that would laud that disclosure as proof the Roswell incident was an ET UFO crash and proof of ET life. But would it be proof? If the current official story doesn't constitute proof now, why should it constitute proof then? It seems to me the proof is in the belief. Currently, many UFOlogists believe the official story is bogus. If the government were to tell them something that sounds more like what they already believe to be true, then I think they would most likely accept that official story as proof.

But would it be enough proof? If an official story only constitutes proof sometimes, can it ever be considered solid proof by itself?

So now we've come to a new question. How could they prove that it actually was an ET spaceship that crashed in Roswell? If the official story doesn't count as proof that it wasn't an ET UFO now, why should the official story suddenly count as proof that it was an ET UFO if the story was changed to admitting it was an ET UFO?

At this point, someone might say something like, "Well, hopefully they'd have pictures of the wreckage being recovered, or better yet, video footage."


That's the famous picture of Jesse Marcel holding what is allegedly the 'balloon' that crashed at Roswell. Many people think the picture was staged though. But if that picture isn't proof that it was a balloon, why would a picture (or video) of a spaceship being recovered be considered proof? Who's to say that a picture of a spaceship wasn't staged (or photoshopped)?

Now, at this point, someone might say something like, "Well, hopefully they could put some of the wreckage or one of the bodies on display."

But what if the wreckage was faked? What if the body was created in some geneticists lab to look like an alien? How would you really know for sure that it was real?

Now, at this point, someone might ask something like, "Well, why would they go to all that trouble to fake that?"

Well, what if they admitted to finding a crashed spaceship, but they didn't tell the whole story. What if the official story stated that a spaceship crashed, they recovered the wreckage, reversed engineered what they found, claimed they used that technology to build the SR-71, and they are not sure why the spaceship crashed and had no further contact with the aliens. Some people might accept that. Maybe it sounds like what they already thought might have happened. But what if that isn't exactly how it went down. What if what really happened was that they shot down the spacehship, arrested the aliens, brutally tortured them for information, and succeeded in pissing off the rest of the alien species who then proceeded to start abducting people for DNA samples to conduct experiments on creating human-alien hybrid super soldiers with appetites as big as a cow's for a future invasion of the planet earth (and this is just a 'what if' scenario, I'm not actually throwing that out there as a legitimate suggestion of what might have happened). What if the aliens succeeded in invading earth because no one was prepared for the invasion because no one bothered to keep pressuring the government for a full disclosure because they already believed they had been given a full disclosure? So that might be a reason they would fake having an alien spaceship - telling people something they will believe so they will shut up and quit asking about it. I mean, if they lied about it for decades, how would you ever really know for sure when they were telling the truth?

But I'm only using the Roswell incident as an example. This post isn't about whether or not the Roswell incident was a balloon, a spacehship, or something else. The point of this post is that proof oftentimes consists of something that confirms what someone already believes to be true. Have you ever dismissed something you heard simply because it contradicted something you already believed to be true? Have you ever known or known of someone who dismissed something they were told because it didn't fit with what they already believed to be true?

And if you have never actually experienced something or investigated it for yourself, then how can you personally say that you know for sure it is true? Is it because 'most' people think its true? Is it because someone with a PhD said so? Is it because CNN or FOX reported it?

As Marcus Aurelius said, "The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if they know nothing about the subject." We should be careful to assume that something is true because 'most' people think it is true. We also shouldn't forget that someone who is well educated and has credentials can still be wrong about something. What if they are merely repeating something their college professor taught them? What if their professor was merely repeating something that they were taught? What if what they were taught was never true in the first place? What if it was just assumed to be true because it had been 'known for a long time'? And what if the news reports were reporting information that was inaccurate? What if the were just reporting something outlandish in attempt to boost ratings so they could charge more money for ads?

Not all proof is necessarily based on belief though. If you went to a pool and someone told you the water was cold, if you didn't believe them, you could just get in and see for yourself if it's cold. Once you've stepped in, you have solid proof as to whether or not the water is cold because you've experienced it. Prior to that, all you had was word of mouth. You could have just chosen to believe what you were told and not bothered to get in the water at all.

Maybe this is why parents sometimes get frustrated when their children get in trouble because they did something they were told not to do. Perhaps the children didn't believe their parents when they were told that they could get in trouble. Sometimes children may just have to experience something for themselves to get the proof they need to avoid getting into the same kind of trouble again.

But proof doesn't always come from your own personal experiences (and sometimes even certain experiences can be misleading). Sometimes the only proof available to you is something that confirms (or fits with) what you already believe to be true.

I guess 'proof' can be a personal preference.

Hopefully I've proven my point here. I'd like to believe that I have. J

4 comments:

  1. Hey Jeff;
    Yeah, this is the conundrum that is ghost hunting and UFO hunting and Bigfoot hunting. I run with a pack that says you must "believe" in ghosts and I don't sit well with the pack because belief is part of faith and has no place in the world of physics and science. It's treated more like a religious predisposition than a study of the paranormal. I enter groups of other hunters who know just what types of ghosts there are and why they do what they do and how they couldn't make it to the light..blah, blah, blah. That's a whole legend based on what? That's religion, that's not science. Huge difference. Of course, I believe in gravity because I live with it every day (and as I age, more than ever--hee hee). I do believe in unexplained phenomenon but to take it from slamming doors and voices and footsteps to souls of the departed unwilling to leave their home is a huge jump into a whole legend. I believe in the phenomenon. I do not necessarily believe it is a soul who hates that I'm redecorating. So, UFO hunters really could back off the way they approach UFOs by dumping the "it's aliens" line and simply saying "it could be any number of things--let's see what fits." So long as they keep bringing up Roswell and saying that UFOs are alien driven, they're entering a near-religious zealotry about UFOs. No, we really don't know what those crazy things that show up in the sky are, nor do we know what the semi-transparent figure we saw in the living was, but we must stop using legend and folklore to explain the natural world and start coming up with ways to test everything, not just one thing, or we'll miss the possibliities. Loved this post, as always. I could shoot the breeze with you all evening about some crazy subject or other. You're a complex human being and a great blogger.

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  2. I try not to assume to much about UFOs. I know they are there, I've seen a couple myself, but I don't automatically assume that it's an ET. I don't assume that it's not an ET either though. I've heard people say that they saw something and then say it wasn't something of 'ours' or something from earth. I'm thinking, how can they be sure it wasn't something of ours? What if it is just a top secret aircraft? Military technologies can sometimes be far ahead of what is available in the consumer market. Some of the technologies that we know the military has available to them are pretty amazing, but who knows how advanced some of the top secret technologies they may have are.

    But I do think there are ET's out there, so I definitely don't rule out the possibility that there are ETs zipping around in our skies. My guess is that at least some UFOs are ET. Maybe most of them are. But I don't automatically assume that every UFO is an ET.

    Thanks for the compliments too! I hope my post didn't sound like a criticism of belief and faith though...I didn't intend it to be. I wasn't writing from a critical perspective, just making an observation. We all have things we believe in and faith in something.

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  3. Religous belief is only one aspect of belief--the word can also simply mean to be convinced. There's a middle ground between blind faith and staunch refusal to utter the word believe.

    The biggest problem facing paranormal research today is not belief, but fear of hypothesizing. Do I know Bigfoot is a hominid? No. Do I believe it based on the evidence currently available? Yes. Could I be wrong? Of course! But that's no reason to be wishy-washy and steer clear having an opinion. Half the fun of research is pulling together the clues to form an opinion.

    Lisa A. Shiel
    author of Backyard Bigfoot

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  4. Excellent points Lisa! I totally agree with you there.

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