Former NASA Physicist Says U̳F̳O̳s Could Be A̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ Spacecraft And Science Must Take It Seriously
Today, July 2, is World UFO Day and Kevin Knuth, a former NASA researcher and current professor of physics at the State University of New York at Albany, explains why he thinks some UFOs could be craft from other worlds. and how the scientific establishment has been negligent about it.
During a NASA conference on the subject of extraterrestrials that I attended in 2002, a participant who disagreed with our moderate opinion loudly said, “You guys are the ones who don’t. They have no idea what’s out there!” The moment was awkward as this statement sank into silence. And it is that humans fear aliens visiting Earth, and until now orthodox science has seized on the vast cosmic distances to deny the possibility of interstellar travel. But this last notion is very limited, since it depends on the paradigms of our incipient knowledge about astronautics.
I have always been interested in UFOs. It is certainly exciting to think that there may be other civilizations out there. But even more exciting to me is the possibility that interstellar travel is technologically achievable.
In 1988, during my second week of graduate school at Montana State University, I discussed UFO-related cattle mutilations with several students. A physics professor heard us and joined the conversation. He told us that he had colleagues working at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, where they had reported cases of UFOs disabling nuclear missiles. At the time I thought this professor was baiting us, but now, decades later, I was shocked to see a press conference showing several former military personnel, including personnel from the aforementioned base, describing similar incidents in the 1960s.
But this is obviously not limited to the United States, countries like Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, France, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom have been declassifying their UFO documents since 2008. The remembered COMETA report (1999), for example, made by a group of scientists and soldiers from France, concluded that 5% of UFO sightings were unexplained. For this category of “unexplained”, the best hypothesis proposed was that the observed objects were of extraterrestrial origin. In addition, they also accused the US government of covering up fundamental evidence in this regard.
UFOs as taboo for professionals
The scientific method requires that hypotheses be testable and reproducible. Close encounters with UFOs cannot be controlled or repeated, which makes their study very challenging. But the real problem, according to my point of view, is that the UFO subject is a taboo.
While the general public has been fascinated with UFOs for decades, governments, the scientific establishment and the mass media have essentially declared the whole thing to be human observational errors or far-fetched natural phenomena, denying or omitting any evidence. pointing to an extraterrestrial origin. This fact moves the subject away from serious scientific study and instead into the convenient and swampy field of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.
Declassified document describing the sighting of a UFO in December 1977 in Bahia, Brazil.
I think UFO skepticism has become a kind of religion with an agenda. They deny the extraterrestrial possibility without supporting evidence while providing stupid explanations that reinforce the popular notion of a conspiracy. This does nothing good for science or the way it should be conducted.
The mass media amplify this skepticism by publishing information in a sensational and derisive manner.
Why don’t astronomers see UFOs?
I am often asked that question. To the derision of whoever formulates it, astronomers have YES sighted UFOs. In 1977, Peter Sturrock, a Stanford University professor of space science and astrophysics, sent out 2,641 questionnaires about sightings of unidentified flying objects to members of the American Astronomical Society. In exchange, he received 1,356 responses, of which 62 —4.6%— were positive regarding the fact of having been able to witness or record an unexplained aerial phenomenon. This percentage is similar to the 5% of UFO sightings that —according to the COMETA report— remain unexplained —although other studies such as the little-known Special Report No. 14 of the Blue Book Project reaches up to 21%).
As expected, Sturrock concluded that the reliability of these witnesses was very high because they were skilled observers of the night sky. It is noteworthy that 80% of the astronomers who responded said that they would be willing to study the UFO phenomenon if there was a way to do it (without being ridiculed). The questionnaire also revealed that younger scientists were more likely to openly support the study of UFOs.
In short, UFOs have been sighted through telescopes. I myself know of a case experienced by an amateur astronomer in which he observed a strange guitar-shaped object moving across the field of view of his telescope. Sightings like this are featured in the book Wonders in the Sky, in which the authors compile numerous observations of unexplained aerial phenomena made by astronomers and published in 18th and 19th century scientific journals.
I think that these times are ideal to open the issue to society and state that we are not alone. We need to at least face the possibility that some of the strange sighted objects that seem to defy the best planes in our arsenal and any prosaic explanation are, in fact, visitors from other worlds.
If we are being visited, that would represent a great opportunity to increase our level of knowledge and technology, as well as to reconfigure our place in the universe.