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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 14

Edmonton Conference Takes A Scientific Look

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 08:44:59 -0400
Archived: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 08:44:59 -0400
Subject: Edmonton Conference Takes A Scientific Look

Source: The Canadian Press - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


September 13th, 2007

Edmonton Conference Takes A Scientific Look At Whether We're
Alone In The Universe

EDMONTON (CP) =97 After spending years laboriously searching for
the faintest speck of evidence of life elsewhere in the
universe, astrophysicist Jaymie Matthews says he wants far more
than most to believe that aliens live among us.

"If they've come here, it means they've gotten here from a
planet around another star, and that's my life's passion - I
spend my life studying the light, the photons, coming from these
distant suns, with telescopes, with instruments," said the
University of British Columbia professor. "If I had the chance
to go there and visit one, see it close up, and confirm or deny
ideas I've had and expand upon them - hey, I'm first in line."

Researchers who study sightings of unidentified flying objects
will get the chance to try to convince Matthews and members of
the public that aliens have already made contact at a conference
starting Friday called "UFOs and Intelligent Life in the
Universe: Who's Out There?"

Speakers at the Telus World of Science include people who
analyze UFO sightings from across Canada and the United States,
as well as Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist who has
lectured on the issue for 40 years.

"There's an enormous amount of evidence with which most people,
especially the noisy negativists, as I call them, aren't
familiar," says Friedman. He cites physical traces collected
from the ground after sightings of flying saucers and instances
where many people in planes and at airports all saw the same
unidentified objects.

But Matthews, the self-professed "party-pooping scientist" of
the bunch, says he has heard these arguments before and is going
into the conference a little like Daniel into the lion's den,
ready for a tussle.

"I think it's important for me to convey the scientific
perspective for this, and I will not be hiding my skepticism
about what the other speakers are presenting," he said, adding
with a laugh that his stance might not make him the most popular
person there.

"But really I'm the only person that's presenting the
'scientific' perspective in this."

These divergent opinions are exactly what Frank Florian,
director of space science, and others at the Telus centre were
after when they came up with a sort of "science on the edge"
series that will soon become a regular feature.

"We have to realize that science is an evolving thing. It's not
static - we're always learning new things," he said, adding the
science centre staff will stress such critical thinking at the

"Science doesn't have all the answers, and any scientist that
says we know everything already, they're not going to be doing
good science."

Florian said they're expecting about 200 people to take part in
the two-day conference. Various polls have suggested that many
Canadians - ranging from 40 to 60 per cent - believe we're not
alone in the universe. Even Matthews acknowledges that most
astronomers, himself included, believe life exists elsewhere in
the universe - they just don't believe it has made its way here

Another speaker, Winnipeg's Chris Rutkowski, tries to walk the
line between the divergent opinions held by Matthews and
Friedman. He helps compile a yearly UFO sighting count for
across Canada, and while he hasn't found any definitive evidence
for aliens, he isn't ready to discount the more than 5,000
reports they've compiled over 20 years.

Between three and five per cent of the reports can't be
explained, he says.

"These reports are not necessarily proof that the aliens are
invading, but it is definite proof that there are some very
puzzling cases that deserve further investigation and study."

This won't be the last look the centre takes at a controversial
topic from a scientific perspective, said Florian.

They're planning similar seminars on topics such as ghosts and
Bigfoot over the next year, in which they'll bring together both
believers and those who say the science isn't there.

"We just want to take a look at these things from a scientific
perspective, and just say 'What if?' "

"We really want people to scrutinize this stuff."

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