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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 13

Close Encounters Of The Scientific Kind

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 14:11:32 -0400
Archived: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 14:11:32 -0400
Subject: Close Encounters Of The Scientific Kind

Source: Vue Weekly - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


Wednsday, September 12, 2007

Close Encounters Of The Scientific Kind

Joel Kelly

Despite its perceived association with kooks and conspiracy
theorists, there is an active and fascinating field of research
that uses UFOs and extraterrestrial life as a jumping point,
which is the focus of a conference on UFOs held this coming
weekend at the Telus World of Science

Dr Jaymie Matthews, a researcher at the University of British
Columbia, will deliver a keynote talk on his work on extrasolar
planets=97the search for planets outside our solar system=97at the
conference. His findings could point us to other planets very
similar to Earth, a good starting point for any search for
sentient life. However, don't count him in with those who think
Elvis was really abducted just yet.

"Well, if there is life elsewhere, they are almost certainly
going to be living on planets possibly like our own," he
explained. "But the fundamental reason we do this work is to
teach us more about our own backyard. We study distant worlds
that seem exotic because they teach more about our own sun.
We're putting our own solar system in context."

Frank Florian, conference organizer and director of Space
Sciences at the science centre, says that too often reports of
UFOs are ignored as fantasy, and in doing so many people miss
out on the chance to learn more about atmospheric phenomena=97even
if the UFO turns out to be something easily explainable.

"I think sometimes people just get the wrong impression of UFOs.
I wouldn't say it's outright negativity, but some people just
scoff it off and laugh," he said.

The field does have its fair share of controversial figures=97the
conference will also feature talks from Stanton Friedman and
Jesse Marcel Jr, two prominent figures associated with the
alleged UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. Friedman, in
particular, was the first civilian to document the now-famous
incident and maintains that the US government holds alien
spacecraft and remains in custody.

Matthews is skeptical of UFO researchers who claim to have
uncovered a far-reaching alien conspiracy.

"It's not that scientists are against the idea of life being
elsewhere, it's just that there is a lack of convincing
evidence," Matthews said. He attributes the popularity of belief
in alien visitors to the fact that UFOs have become entrenched
in our collective culture.

"If you look at the Weekly World News, you'd think we were the
Grand Central Station of the universe," he said. "It's part of
our collective consciousness that ET is already here."

Part of the issue may be that we just don't look, well, up,
enough, according to Matthews. "It's not part of our lives to
look up into the skies," he explained. "They don't understand
what they're seeing, and I can't interpret it based on their

"I just don't see the evidence," he repeated. "Extraordinary
claims require extraordinary evidence. Anyway, it doesn't make
sense to me why governments want to cover it up. Governments are
horrible at keeping secrets."

"If there's anyone in the world who would want to meet an alien,
it's an astronomer," he concluded. "I would love these aliens to
come and talk to me." V

Fri, Sep 14 & Sat, Sep 15
Who's Out There?
UFO Conference
Telus World of Science
Visit telusworldofscienceedmonton.com for more info

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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