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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 16

Believers & Skeptics Clash At Scientific Conference

From: Loren Coleman <lcoleman.nul>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2007 19:56:33 -0400
Archived: Sun, 16 Sep 2007 09:38:10 -0400
Subject: Believers & Skeptics Clash At Scientific Conference

Source: The Canadian Press


Sat Sept 15, 2007

UFO Believers And Skeptics Clash At Scientific Conference In

EDMONTON (CP) =97 There were no laser blasts in the battle between
believers and non-believers at a UFO conference in Alberta this
weekend, but plenty of sharp words were fired between the two

Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist who maintains that some
UFOs are alien spacecraft, told nearly 200 delegates during the
conference's opening lecture Friday night at the Telus World of
Science in Edmonton that journalists and scientists are ignorant
of the evidence supporting the fact that interstellar travellers
have visited.

Friedman, who believes government covered up an alleged
discovery of alien wreckage and bodies in Roswell, New Mexico in
1947, said that many eyewitnesses of UFOs are silenced by a
"laughter curtain" and fear ridicule if they report their

But Jaymie Matthews, an associate professor of astronomy at the
University of British Columbia, argued that while he and other
scientists have spent years searching the universe for Earth-
 like planets that would support intelligent life, none have
been discovered yet.

"As an astrophysicist, I want there to be aliens here," Matthews
told the crowd in his own lecture that followed Friedman's. "I'm
not convinced."

Delegates such as David Beatty, a commercial pilot, expressed
disgust that believers get marginalized.

"I'm sick and tired of the press covering (UFOs) as just
something drunks saw on a beach," Beatty said after hearing
Friedman speak.

Beatty said he's seen several things through a cockpit window
that he couldn't explain, including a bright orange ball that
drifted across the sky once during a flight over Atlantic

But his friend and fellow pilot Ray Morley, who is also a
delegate at the two-day conference, said he's never seen
anything unusual in two decades he's been flying.

"That doesn't mean I think he's crazy," Morley said, gesturing
to Beatty.

Other delegates at the event, which is bills itself as a
science- based UFO conference, include people who analyze UFO
sightings from across Canada and the United States.

Friedman, who said he took classes at the University of Chicago
with the late astronomer Carl Sagan, a noted non-believer in
alien visitors, argues scientists often make too many
assumptions based on limited information.

He said it was foolish to claim there are too few planets in the
universe capable of supporting intelligent life, or that it
would take too long to get from their planet to ours, because he
said we just don't know.

Friedman also poured cold water on the argument that an alien
landing like Roswell would too big to cover up. He said
thousands of people worked on the Manhattan project to build the
first atomic bomb, but it stayed a secret until one was dropped
on Japan.

"There are still things that are classified from the First World
War," Friedman said. "Governments can find reasons if they want
to cover something up."

Matthews acknowledged that scientists are not always perfect,
but took exception to Friedman's claim that non-believers were

Matthews, who observes stars through a Canadian telescope that
orbits the Earth, said he and other astronomers are looking for
planets that aren't too close to their stars, which would make
them too hot, or too far away, which would make them too cold.

Sometimes he comes close to finding the right type of planet,
only to be disappointed. Despite this, he remains hopeful.

"I believe we will have one Earth-like (planet) in the next few
years," he said.

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