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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jun > Jun 15

UFOs And Scott Van Wynsberghe

From: Chris Rutkowski <canadianuforeport.nul>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 15:24:31 -0500
Fwd Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 21:01:09 -0400
Subject: UFOs And Scott Van Wynsberghe

Master Knapp:

The editor of the Post has said that  a substantially-edited
version of my letter may appear in the Post tomorrow or Monday.


From: canadianuforeport.nul
To: letters.nul
Subject: Re: UFOs and Scott Van Wynsberghe
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 11:29:02 -0500

Letter to the editor, re: Sixty Years Later, We're Still Alone
(15 June 2007)

In response to fellow Winnipegger Scott Van Wynsbeghe's
editorial about aliens and UFOs, I should like to clarify some
misconceptions about the search for extraterrestrial life and
the perceived connection with UFOs.

As Scott correctly points out, the term "flying saucer" was
coined by a journalist, not Kenneth Arnold, the witness to the
observed object in 1947. But it has been the media which has
carried the ball, continuing the association between UFOs and
aliens ever since, demonstrated effectively in Scott's article.

The reality is that people around the world continue to observe
and report unusual objects in the skies overhead, many of which
do have prosaic explanations. Scott notes a value of 88% of
Canadian UFO sightings in 2006 as the percentage of cases that
are explained, citing my own research. As clearly categorized in
The Annual Canadian UFO Survey, this value is actually the
combination of explained cases, cases with possible explanations
and those with insufficient data to allow explanations. In fact,
the Survey goes further to note that even of the 12%
"Unexplained", only as few as 1% are allowable as higher-quality
cases without simple explanations. So, the scenario could be
described as worse than Scott posits.

However, even these few do not automatically mean that aliens
are invading Canadian skies. They are simply cases of
unidentified objects seen over Canadian airspace, sometimes by
seasoned skywatchers like air traffic controllers and pilots.
The issue of aliens and bug-eyed monsters is absent from the UFO
reports themselves, but injected by journalists with their own

As for his 10 reasons to dismiss the possibility that aliens are
visiting Earth, few have any bearing on that possibility at all,
and all are trivial to the problem of UFOs.

1. "Humanity has yet to detect a single, extraterrestrial
civilization." First, this is not surprising, since our
technology is only now capable of detecting planets around even
the nearest stars. And the Drake equation, which Scott notes can
show there is only one intelligent civilization in the galaxy
("us"), can be easily tweaked to show there is actually less
than one... which may explain a lot more than Scott would allow.

2. "People have always seen too much in the night sky."
Thankfully. That's how modern astronomy was born from ancient
astrologers and magi.

3. "Human perception is shaky." Indeed. But we still trust
pilots to land us safely on runways and police still rely on
eyewitnesses to convict criminals.

4. "Almost all UFO sightings are explainable." So? Is it more
likely that aliens would be sending hundreds or thousands of
spacecraft to visit Earth every year, or just a few?

5. "Unexplained sightings may not be unexplained at all." And
that's why we re-analyze case reports for all possible
explanations, including military activities. It's likely that
many are secret projects of one kind or another, but that's
interesting in itself. Would a secret spy plane be flown over
downtown Toronto for observation by civilian witnesses?

6. "Nor is there a government conspiracy to conceal alien
visitations." What's Scott's military clearance? How would he
know if there was or was not a secret such project? Either our
government and military are effective, competent and capable of
clandestine operations - or they aren't.

7. "There are no alien abductions." But there are many people
having sessions with clinical psychologists and therapists every
year about what seem to be such abductions. If they aren't
really happening, then perhaps the medical profession should be
more concerned about a psychological condition that may be
affecting a significant percentage of the population.

8. "UFO activists are their own worst enemies." Indeed. And all
politicians are crooks because some are.

9. "The study of UFOs is riddled with fraud and hoax." So is
cancer research, but we still fund it because we know most
researchers are serious scientists.

10. "UFOs are just an overgrown offshoot of science fiction."
Perhaps the "aliens in flying saucers" concept is the sibling of
science fiction, but not the reality that people since historic
times have been observing and recording sightings of unusual
objects in the sky.

In the end, if UFOs are not a physical phenomenon, then they are
at the very least a psychological or sociological one, and in
any case they should be taken seriously and studied in detail.

As for the possibility that there are extraterrestrial
civilizations elsewhere in our galaxy, that's another debate
altogether, that may have nothing to do with UFOs.


Chris Rutkowski
Ufology Research


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