Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mars Attacks!

This is serious. OK, the title of this post is not serious, but the content is. There have been two new reports of UFO sightings that seem to be more credible than most, both occurring in the U.S. and both reported by seemingly credible people. The first was reported in the Chicago Tribune and was the most-read story on the Tribune web site for four days. The sighting took place at O'Hare airport on November 7, 2006, and was described by several United Airlines employees who claimed that "a flying saucerlike object hovered low over O'Hare International Airport for several minutes before bolting through thick clouds with such intense energy that it left an eerie hole in overcast skies."

The second story, reported in WorldNetDaily, concerns a retired Air Force pilot in Arkansas. Here's what he describes:
"At first I thought they were landing lights from an aircraft. As I continued to observe them they began to slowly disappear, then suddenly one reappeared, followed by two, then three. On at least one occasion four or five appeared. Each time they would slowly fade and eventually disappear. This occurred several times and when they would reappear they might do so in differing numbers and in different positions, sometimes in a triangular shape, sometimes stacked on top of each other, sometimes line abreast, et cetera. When the objects appeared they might stay illuminated 10 or more minutes."

Why am I writing about these two reports? I'm not exactly sure of the reasons, but these two stories seem to be about something more than people's wishful thinking or their minds playing tricks on them. I try to be skeptical about anecdotal evidence, including reports about bigfoot, chupacabras, Nessie, near-death experiences, and UFOs. Eye-witness accounts tend to be extremely unreliable for forensic purposes, since people lie or are suckered by their own minds all the time. It is fact that what we "see" is not an accurate representation of physical reality, but an amalgam of physical reality and our own mental construction.

With this in view, however, I still think these two reports may prove to be important. We will see. If they drift or plummet into oblivion, you won't remember what I said about them here. If they amount to something, don't worry, I will remind you of my prescient remarks.