Reason to Believe
Learn What the Experts Say about UFOs



 
Reason to Believe
Learn What the Experts Say about UFOs

 
UFO studies indicate that between 5% and 20% of reported sightings remain unexplained, and as such can be classified as unidentified in the strictest sense.

Since this appears to be a fact within the UFO field we need to concentrate on this 5-20%.


Reason to Believe is one of the tapes in a four-volume documentary set that examines the scientific evidence behind UFO sightings.

Beginning with the fateful day in 1947 when a pilot reported nine glowing objects "flying in formation" over Mount Rainier, this episode chronicles the controversial history of the "age of flying saucers."


What are these mysterious objects? Aliens from another planet? Illusions? Aircraft from secret military operations?

Learn what the experts say — then make up your own mind — about the evidence that simultaneously quells old myths and raises new questions.

The first publicized sightings were usually referred to using the term mystery airships, which were commonly seen and described as such during the latter part of the 19th century and the early 20th.

The term foo fighters was used by American fighter pilots during World War II to refer to UFOs.

The first widely publicized U.S. sighting, reported by private pilot Kenneth Arnold in June 1947, gave rise to the popular terms "flying saucer" and "flying disc", of which the former is still sometimes used, even though Arnold said the most of the objects he saw were not totally circular and one was crescent-shaped.

In addition, the infamous Roswell UFO Incident occurred at about the same time, which only served to further fuel public interest in the topic.

In addition to UFO sightings, certain supposedly related phenomena are of interest to some in the field of ufology, including crop circles, cattle mutilations, and alien abductions and implants.

Some ufologists have also promoted UFO conspiracy theories, including the alleged Roswell UFO Incident of 1947, the Majestic 12 documents, and UFO disclosure advocation.

Skeptic Robert Sheaffer has accused ufology of having a "credulity explosion". He claims a trend of increasingly sensational ideas steadily gaining popularity within ufology. Sheaffer remarked, "the kind of stories generating excitement and attention in any given year would have been rejected by mainstream ufologists a few years earlier for being too outlandish."

Likewise, James McDonald has expressed the view that extreme groups undermined serious scientific investigation, stating that a "bizarre 'literature' of pseudo-scientific discussion" on "spaceships bringing messengers of terrestrial salvation and occult truth" had been "one of the prime factors in discouraging serious scientists from looking into the UFO matter to the extent that might have led them to recognize quickly enough that cultism and wishful thinking have nothing to do with the core of the UFO problem."

In the same statement, McDonald said that, "Again, one must here criticize a good deal of armchair-researching (done chiefly via the daily newspapers that enjoy feature-writing the antics of the more extreme of such subgroups). A disturbing number of prominent scientists have jumped all too easily to the conclusion that only the nuts see UFOs".