How many times has someone asked you if you "Believe" in UFOs or Bigfoot , etc? I get it a lot , mostly because a lot of people think I am skeptical of these phenomena. Nothing could be further from the truth and many who have known me over the years are taken back when I question a report or news story about a potential discovery pertaining to sighting and what someone believes it to be. In my opinion, we can believe as long as we do not allow personal belief systems to interfere with our investigation or understanding of a phenomena. If I believe in extraterrestrials it does not mean I am going to accept that every lens flare or sighting of Venus is actually alien in nature. It also does not mean I am going to go out of my way to prove an unconventional report was simply a weather balloon or ball lighting. If it can legitimately be explained away in all aspects , this should be no more than common sense. Likewise, if there are holes in the explanations they can not simply be ignored because they do not fit the way we want or need them to.
What do we know and what do we think we know? These are two essential questions that we need to answer in order to arrive at any sort of actual conclusion regarding an unknown event or phenomena such as UFOs or cryptid sightings. In order to better understand this we first need to break the statement down into separate parts. The first part deals with what we know. This sounds simple enough but it is not and it is this first part which often causes the confusion in sighting reports. Simply put, we know what we know, this means we know what we have learned or been taught. We are the product of our learning, our teachers have endowed upon us the curriculum and vestments of knowledge. We learn basic fact from an early age, we learned that the sun rises and sets daily and we know that when it rises, day comes and likewise we learned that when the sun sets, night has come. We learned these things, we were taught these things either by someone or by observation but we learned them and confirmed them, thus we know these things to be true.
Regardless of whether we think or believe the sun may rise at midnight, we “know” this can not and will not happen. Knowing and believing are not the same thing.
What is meant by “What do we think we know”? When we think we know something that suggests an uncertainty and this then will fall under “belief”. Belief is not knowing, that may sound simple but this is where the problem arises with witness accounts. A good eyewitness account will not be swayed by a belief system, it will be dictated by hard factual data and it is this area where the problems tend to arise. In order to get a useful report and gather actual data then only facts must be adhered to. Did the sighting occur in the night or day? Easy to answer as we “know” the difference between night and day or at least I would hope so. Was the object or creature moving at abnormal speed? Easy to answer as we have a reference to speed and how fast or slow most conventional objects or animals move. Was it a UFO or a UAP? Unidentified Flying Object or Unknown Ariel Phenomena are just that, unidentified and unknown and one more important qualifier, they are flying or airborne. These are things we can for sure know. Is it an alien space craft? To answer this would deal with reliance on ones belief system and veer from fact into speculation, unless the witness somehow actually knew this to be true.
For ages there have been accounts of what today we might consider alien visitations or contact , many countries and cultures accept the fact that alien visitation has occurred in the distant past or that strange creatures roam the woods but this view is not accepted or held as fact by everyone and so what may be fact to some is debated and argued by others as speculation, misinterpretation or outright lies. Science tells us that in order for something to be proven it must be verified by independent observation. Yet we have thousands of witnesses who tell of sightings that seem to follow a pattern. We have descriptions of so called aliens that seem to date into antiquity, carved and painted on walls of temples and caves. We have effigies of creatures said to be living in the forest and tales from ancient and independent tribes telling us that they witnessed strange phenomena but we can not for some reason accept these accounts as anything more than fantasy and legend because they threaten the paradigm of what we know or rather , think we know.
Today more and more resources are being turned toward the dark where the creatures hide, researchers are using sophisticated radar and infrared cameras to locate any trace that could prove once and for all that these so called legends may be confirmed as fact much sooner than previously believed. Astronomers are making more and more discoveries of extra solar planets, they are discovering water on planets once thought barren and dry increasing the likelihood that life has originated elsewhere in the universe and could in fact be much older than humanity. In recent years we have witnessed a change in the air when it comes to the acceptance of UFOs, aliens and cryptids. For example, recently multiple news sources ran a story about how what at first we thought was nothing more than a rouge asteroid or comet entering our solar system, may have actually been an “alien probe”. Twenty years ago the very notion would have been ridiculed by academia. Yet today it must be accepted that there are things that we do not know which are quickly becoming things we will in time know and understand and given more time we will likely come to accept and know these once obscure things as facts. Just as we now know the sun rises and sets we will one day likely also learn that we are not alone in this universe.