That’s a big difference between you and someone like Nickell, you easily believe and he tries to find evidence.
This thread serves as evidence that UFO belief is akin to religion. Never mind the absurdity of the belief, never mind the complete lack of empirical evidence, those who want to believe are going to stick to their beliefs. Showing where they are wrong just makes them believe even more strongly and attack those who point out where their thinking is wrong.
If you guys are referring to me, then both of you are wildly adrift. Not to mention making unwarranted assumptions. Not to mention being bloody insulting.
As far as UFO’s and other anomalies are concerned, I’ve met with both wild-eyed believers who think every odd-shaped cloud is an alien spacecraft, and those who call themselves skeptics but who are really closed-minded True Believers in the “materialist-science-has-explained-everything” paradigm.
I belong to neither group. I’m simply a scientist (B.Sc.Geology, M.Sc.Oceanography) with an inquiring mind and a healthy degree of skepticism - by which I mean, for example, that I regard both the existence of “Ogopogo” and Joe Nickell’s pseudo-explanation of Ogopogo sightings as otters swimming with their heads underwater with equal skepticism. If you call the otter story “evidence” then you have a great deal to learn about science, my friends.
I don’t “believe” that UFO’s are alien spaceships. But neither do I give much credence to “official” pseudo-explanations such as swamp gas, Venus, hot-air balloons and “hallucinations” for many sightings. As far as I’m aware, sightings of Venus rarely cause conjunctivitis, and hallucinations don’t often cause car engines to malfunction.
And, yes, I’ve had my own UFO sighting - a green glowing disc, full-moon sized. No, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an alien spaceship. Neither was it the moon (it moved), searchlights reflecting off clouds (no clouds), a balloon, any kind of aircraft I’m familiar with, ball lightning, a meteor - and I wasn’t on drugs at the time (well, maybe a drop of caffeine). And, yes, I’m fully familiar with the pseudoskeptic’s mantra, “eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable”, but if anyone tries to hit me with it, all I can say is “I was there; you weren’t”. I can offer no “explanation”; all I know is, on that day in 1974, something strange happened.
One thing I’m certain of; we don’t, yet, know everything. We need to remain open to the possibility that the Universe still has the potential to surprise us, and not facilely dismiss every anomalous occurrence as wild-eyed credulousness.
Yes, the universe still has the ability to suprise us, and it probably always will. The example of “Ogopogo” is slightly flawed because as of now there is no strong evidence that the thing in the lake is a cryptoid; going by “skeptical inquiry” it’s more likely to be some mundane lake fauna. Joe Nickell might be very wrong about the otters, but at this point it seems more realistic to investigate the possibility of whatever is known to live there, rather than claim ” who can figure it out? it’s gotta be lake monsters”. You’re right that materialist science hasn’t explained everything, but it has explained a lot.