Screaming to the Heavens
Engaged with theists as I may occassionally be, I must confess:
At the end of the day, the foundation of my demand for skepticism and rational discourse has been built in the face of people like this:
While they may not be as directly dangerous as certain theistic groups may be (that means you, Muslims!), UFOlogists threaten the image of astronomy and, in cases where it bleeds into other conspiracy junk, science as a whole by marrying it to psuedo-scientific methods of 'study'. They prop-up the old stereotype of the mad scientist, essentially assuring that it will always be present in the public eye as a real tenet of the actual field itself, and immediately weakening the credibility of organizations like SETI that practice legitimate attempts at finding / contacting other civilizations that may be out wandering in the void.
These absolute imbeciles and manipulators take advantage of people who (like myself) have episodes of sleep paralysis in order to harvest testimonials toward their cause, unfairly masquerade as legitimate psychiatrists in order to reinforce the hallucinations some people have attempted to get treatment for and charge some of the most poorly funded and understood institutes of science, like NASA and SETI, with being involved in a malicious conspiracy.
There are some people of immeasurable patience that spend their free time doing nothing but yelling radio signals into the void and straining to hear so much as a single whisper back, and never being rewarded. There are some people (like myself) that really, really need to think that, somewhere, the precedent has been set: somebody else has figured it out, left their native stomping ground, and is floating freely among the stars. Because if it hasn't, that's a rather grim omen (even if I won't be around to see how it ends for the human race, I'd like to think it's a happier ending than what tends to be predicted). There are some people who, once or twice a year, get together for drinks with old friends, ask each other, "Why isn't anyone answering back? They are out there, aren't they? They must be, somewhere," and share some tears over the issue.
The dreams and pursuits of such individuals are cheapened and diminished by every fraud, hoax and ignorant claim reported to the media and government agencies. The scope of the damage is easy to take stock of when one takes a look at how government spending is done, and how the ambitions of NASAs programs has shrunk. The western world's premiere agency for space venture has become, effectively, a shuttle service for network T.V. satellites. I think it's a real problem when the seat of our distant future is looked at as little more than a joke.
Flying saucers are bunk. If you think you've seen an alien spaceship, let me tell you this straight up: you haven't. If you think there are crop circles that were not manmade, you're incorrect. If you think the ancient world had contact with aliens, and that's how they built such huge structures, you're naive of history and the physical power of slavery. If you believe you've been abducted, you need to consult an actual, accredited physician and psychologist, who can properly diagnose you. If you think the government and NASA are out to get you and 'in league' with the alien menace, you need to seriously consider turning yourself over to a mental health institute who can treat your schizophrenia and paranoia.
We're trying to find some friends from out of town, but chasing after a face on mars, having to debunk arguments that the moon landing was a conspiracy and dealing with a constant barrage of footage of natural phenomena, weather balloons and other aircraft does nothing to further the cause. If UFOlogists want to be taken seriously, then they should act seriously, and consider their claims before they run around shouting them.
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."
- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940