- WASHINGTON -- Aliens may
be right under our noses -- we're just not smart enough to see them.
- That was the message last week from UFOlogists at a symposium
hosted by The George Washington University,
in Washington, D.C.
- Speakers at the meeting, "The Potential for Interstellar
Travel and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena," reviewed the evidence for
UFOs, from eyewitness reports and photographs to radar blips and chunks
of molten metal.
- The speakers also insisted that UFOlogy is a science,
not a superstition, and called on the scientific community to quit ridiculing
them and instead join them in the search for extraterrestrial life.
- "Scientists," said Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., director
of the California Institute for Physics and Astrophysics, are more closed-minded
on the subject of UFOs than the general public. Many of them have little
or no respect for UFOlogy."
- Dr. Haisch, who studied to be a priest before becoming
an astrophysicist, said many scientists are repelled by UFO stories because
they attract mystics and religious leaders, who have a lousy track record
for promoting scientific inquiry.
- "Many scientists," Dr. Haisch said, "may
still be reacting to the (Catholic) Church's cruelty toward scientists
back in the 16th century."
- But today's theologians may help resolve some of the
questions raised by UFO discoveries, said Dr. Haisch.
- "Religion," said Dr. Haisch, "may deepen
our insight into UFO phenomena. There may well be deeper things at work
than what we've already touched upon."
- But UFO skeptics, whom the UFOlogists prefer to call
cynics, believe UFOs are strictly a religious phenomenon.
- "Everyone wants to believe in something greater
than themselves," said Pat Linse, co-founder of the Skeptics Society.
"It's a part of human nature."
- Linse, who believes that UFOlogy is a retelling of the
Christian myth, also said the U.S. military secrecy has also encouraged
the faith of UFO believers.
- "If you've ever been to Roswell, New Mexico,"
Linse said, "with all of these strange aircraft flying around, you'd
see that it's not such a great leap to start believing in UFOs."
- The speakers at the GWU symposium seemed to take their
inspiration from a more recent, American myth, however. Many dotted their
presentations with images and references to the spacecraft and species
of Star Trek.
- But UFOlogists said they are serious about finding real
scientific evidence of visits to Earth by extraterrestrials.
- And that evidence may be lurking just outside the range
of our current sensors.
- "Aliens," said City University of New York
physicist <http://www.mkaku.org/>Michio Kaku "may be here now,
in another dimension, a millimeter away from our own."
- Dr. Kaku theorizes that the universe exists in 11 dimensions,
of which scientists have identified only four.
- But scientists, said Dr. Kaku, may also want to take
another look at the UFO evidence in our own dimension.
- Dr. Kaku said a galactic civilization capable of visiting
Earth would have to be as advanced as Star Trek's Borg, and would likely
use nanotechnology to visit Earth.
- "We're always looking for space ships," Dr.
Kaku said. "But what if they are using nanoprobes to explore Earth
- Dr. Kaku asked astrophysicist Jacques Valle, Ph.D., to
consider reexamining Valle's samples of UFO fragments for microscopic structures
he might have overlooked.
- Physicians, Dr. Kaku added, should also be allowed to
examine self-described alien abductees for traces of alien DNA.
- "If we could find a piece of nanotechnology,"
said Dr. Kaku, "or alien DNA, we would nail this to the wall. There
would no longer be a debate."
- But a search for UFOs down to the microscopic level will
take resources that UFOlogists do not have.
- "Scientists," said Stanford University physicist
Peter Sturrock "are not being encouraged, supported or funded in their
- Dr. Sturrock, who has received funding from philanthropist
Laurance Rockefeller, said that UFOlogists would gain greater respect if
reputable academic journals opened their editorial pages to their research.
- Universities also discourage research by not granting
tenure to scientists who go out on a limb to study UFOs, said Dr. Kaku.
- "It's a good idea," Dr. Kaku said, "to
start asking these questions only after you get tenure."