Are UFOs a genuine phenomenon?

I believe so, and I'll explain why it is not something that should draw ridicule. After all, there is more evidence of the existence of UFOs than there is of god and yet belief in the former is seen as weird and belief in the latter is seen as perfectly normal.

Having read Lesley Kean's book on the subject it's hard not to be persuaded about the existence of UFOs and that is where I draw my main conclusions from, but I intend to address some of the wider issues people put forward about it.

Are they not just secret military test vehicles?

If there is evdience there why don't governments just say so?

Why haven't the alien life forms revealed themselves to us?

A friend told me about some bizarre and inexplicable lights in the sky near his home a few years ago and about his developing interest in UFOs. I saw this phenomenon myself some time later but from a much further distance. My attention was drawn to a book by American writer Leslie Kean who wrote a serious book about the subject which became a bestseller in the United States.

Some UFO sightings are possibly some unknown atmospheric phenomenon similar to ball lighting. However, there is evidence of solid objects in the sky which perform feats of manoeuvrability way beyond anything that conventional aircraft can achieve. And we’re not talking a slight advance on conventional technology but a phenomenal step-change. For this reason it is simply not plausible to suggest they are secret military test aircraft. Any advance in technology today is not made by some maverick genius working in isolation in the manner of, say, Leonardo Da Vinci. So many millions of people are engaged in science today that if some major advance in aeronautics is made then many other people would at least have an inclination as to how it works even if they were not as advanced. If the US military have invented an aircraft that can hover silently for hours and then shoot off instantly at 10,000 miles an hour and then completely disappear then scientists would at least be able to say “ah yes, it works using this principle”. But they can’t. No-one has the slightest clue how such a craft could work and it is ridiculous to suggest that a handful of scientists who all work for the US military are so far ahead of anyone else. The Stealth bomber took 40 years of work and the first designs were made by the Nazis shortly after the invention of radar itself. If it took 40 years to develop something that now seems as elementary as a stealth aircraft it cannot be deemed plausible that aircraft performing feats like these UFOs can be man-made. Sometimes “conventional” explanations are more ridiculous than just accepting that things really do exist.

Is it really so crazy to believe the we have been visited by an alien lifeform? If it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light through 'wormholes' or whatever, then I believe the chances that we have been visited are more than 99%. All it would take is one civilisation in the nearest few galaxies to be a mere hundred thousand years ahead of us in technological development. If it is possible to travel faster than light then we will probably figure out how to do it in the next five hundred years. In a hundred thousand years time we will probably have visited every habitable planet in the galaxy and the nearest few galaxies as well. Given this, is it not beyond the realms of possibility that this has already happened to us?

The flip side of this is that if the only conclusion we can reach regarding the strange objects in the sky is that they are of extra-terrestiral origin, then it means it must be possible to travel faster than light - so we ought to think harder about how to do it. It would mean that humanities future really does lie beyond Earth, the Moon and Mars. As someone interested in the world around me and in the future of humanity I find that concept very exciting. It will not happen in my lifetime of course but it is good to know that a future somewhat akin to Star Trek might actually come true one day (I don't specifically believe in reincarnation but I'm very open-minded and would like to believe my consciousness will return one day to inhabit another physical form).

Given the evidence for the existence of these solid objects in the sky why, then, it is the case that society as a whole has not embraced their existence? Why is belief in them still subject to ridicule?

This is because the human mind has an ability to ignore and dismiss things that are outside a presently understood framework of ideas. When Corpernicus first established that the Earth went round the Sun it took society a couple of hundred years before it was understood and accepted by the majority of people. Why did it take people so long to grasp when the evidence was clear? The explanation for this is simple when you look at the perception of UFOs today. UFOs are outside the commonly-understood nature of things and so people dismiss the idea, rubbish it, ignore the evidence and generally don’t care about it. If it took 200 years to accept that the Earth goes round the Sun then it will probably take a similar length of time to appreciate the existence of UFOs. Perhaps by the end of this century people will have accepted it. One thing I have learned in trying to get people interested in my analysis of Piers Corbyn, for example, is that people generally come to an issue with an opinion and are less interested in actually looking at the facts.

Evidence does exist of UFOs but governments are just as mystified as everyone else. It may be true that Roswell really was a weather balloon, but this can not be an ongoing explanation for some of the amazing objects in the sky that have been witnessed.

Why haven't the extra-terrestrials revealved themselves to us? I believe, simply, that they are merely hinting at their existence and will not reveal themselves definitively until we have figured out their existence for ourselves and have come to terms with it. It would appear that they are not a threat and have a long-term interest in our development. They probably have strict rules on interference in the development of a civilisation like the Prime Directive in Star Trek, which is little different to our own non-interventionist position on issues like the situation in Syria.