UFO (page 3)
Although many scientists close their minds securely against any suggestion that UFOs may have come from outer space, it is now generally accepted that some very strange sights have been seen.
Regardless of devout skeptics maintaining a campaign of ridiculing and trying to prevent attempts to investigate such phenomena scientifically, after every attempt and effort to explain UFO reports in ordinary terms, there remains an inexplicable residue, evidence that something extraordinary does occasionally happen.
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In 1969 Cornell University held a symposium on UFO phenomena, organized by two astronomers, Thornton Page and Carl Sagan, under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. One of the most interesting papers was given by a sociologist, Robert L. Hall , who having pointed out the possibility of "hysterical contagion" (which no doubt has been responsible for the wilder anecdotes of those who claim capture by little green men) concluded that it could not have been responsible for such a widespread world pattern of UFO sightings, and that if UFOs were not real, either social scientists or physicists had much to explain.
Carl Sagan himself appeared not to deny that something curious was going on; but did not believe that UFOs could come from other civilizations in the universe (although he conceded that there was probably intelligent life on a number of other planets). However, his argument depended on the supposition that earth's scientists know everything there is to be known about the possibility of inter-stellar travel, which may not be so.
Contactee groups have arisen since 1947, centered around claims, memories, or perhaps experiences of having been kidnapped and manipulated by aliens; some of these have been sincere, others simple cons or hoaxes. Another variety of this movement focuses on the channeling of messages from extraterrestrials by clairvoyants. Some members of these movements subscribe to conspiracy
theories that the U.S. government is in cahoots with aliens in order to obtain otherworldly technology. This type of activity has helped give rise to the paraphysical theory about UFOs: that the phenomena are real, at least psychologically, but not extraterrestrial. Instead, they arise from the archetypal level of the mind and share continuity with other kinds of legends of strange beings and things that fly.
The verdict on UFOs remains open. Although some scientists suggest that the great distance between our solar system and the nearest celestial objects which could possibly support life is too great for travel between them to be possible, others take the view that man may not yet be aware of every physical force in the universe, and that space-travel using some form of presently unknown energy might be possible. It is certainly true that a minority of properly recorded UFO sightings remains inexplicable.
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Sources: Article is scheduled to be reviewed.
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