While the subject of alien visitation is a fairly recent one, as science expands its knowledge of what lies beyond our planet, the question takes on increasing relevance. Though most people still consider the whole subject of UFOs mostly nonsense, there are reasons to take the prospect that we are not alone seriously, at least for those who wonder about what really exists out there in the vast expanses of the cosmos.
10. Cattle Mutilations
One of the more bizarre elements surrounding this controversy of whether aliens are here is that of cattle (and sometimes horse) mutilations which, even if they are not a byproduct of alien visitation, are certainly a curiosity. Science assumes such mutilations to be the work of predators and scavengers, of course, but for those farmers and ranchers who have dealt with predation all their lives (and presumably know it when they see it,) such explanations frequently fall short.
The fact is that in many cases, it’s unclear what has removed certain organs from a choice piece of livestock with surgical precision, drained it almost entirely of blood, and left the carcass often miles from the nearest road. Is it aliens and, if so, why would they do such a thing? Who knows, but it certainly would make for an interesting psychological study if a race out there was trying to learn how we react to unusual phenomena like mutilations or …
9. Crop Circles
Another form of physical evidence of alien visitation may be crop circles, especially those whose intricacy and complexity would be nearly impossible to match by human hoaxers. Of course, most crop circles are man-made (there are even clubs that try to outdo each other by producing ever more creative designs) but these are usually easily discernible from “real” crop circles, largely due to the physiological differences between the two. What differences are those? In “real” crop circles, stem nodes are usually deformed (stretched) and sometimes show evidence of microwave burns, both of which would be extremely difficult for a hoaxer to replicate.
Of course, none of this demonstrates they are the work of extraterrestrials (another theory that seems to be gaining traction is that they are the product of “plasma vortices” or some other as-yet-unknown physical phenomena) but it might be something an advanced civilization might try on us, just to see how we react to it.
8. Alien Abductions
Clearly stories of people being abducted by aliens remains the most controversial “evidence” for alien visitation out there, but a handful of such stories do seem credible enough that we must at least examine the prospect objectively. Naturally, science explains all such reports—at least those they don’t dismiss as outright hoaxes—as the result of sleep paralysis, an overwrought or fantasy-prone imagination, or even psychosis, but that explanation doesn’t work in those cases in which supposed “abductees” report unusual scars or puncture marks or when tiny foreign objects of uncertain origin are removed from their bodies.
Debunkers point out that a large number of abductees are considered “eccentric” personality types, which admittedly doesn’t help their cause, though it does ask the question as to whether eccentric people are prone to being subjects for abduction or is their eccentricity a byproduct of having been abducted?
7. The Ubiquitous Nature of Life
While not evidence of alien visitation, the question of whether it is possible that there is intelligent life like our own out there somewhere among the stars must be answered first, for without first determining that such a possibility is even possible there is no further room for discussion. After all, if Earth is the only planet among 300 sextillion stars on which life exists, the prospect of alien visitation becomes a moot point. Once it is accepted that intelligent life is not only likely but even a near certainty, however (as most scientists have come to believe), then the prospect that we may be candidates for visitation must be at least considered.
6. Curiosity as a Universal Constant
One question that science ponders is that if there is intelligent life out there, what possible incentive would it have to travel the great distances between the stars just to bother us? The answer, of course, is why wouldn’t they or, more precisely, how could they not? If curiosity is an element of sentience, it makes sense that any race that evolved to the point of perfecting interstellar travel would naturally be curious about what’s “out there” and would endeavor to find out.
In fact, if intelligent life is fairly rare throughout the galaxy, then we’d certainly be one of the main attractions, just for our anthropological value if nothing else. As such, the case can be made that if there is intelligent life out there and if it was capable of traveling between the stars, then it’s a sure bet they would want to check us out—at least from afar.
5. The Possibility of Interstellar Flight
One of the main objections to the idea that aliens might be visiting us is that darned speed of light thing. Considering the tremendous distances between the stars (the closest star system to our own—Alpha Centauri—is 4.3 light years away, or 24 trillion miles), the prospect that an alien race would travel for hundreds or even thousands of years just to visit us seems preposterous.
Of course, that’s assuming we know absolutely everything there is to know about the universe and there is no way to circumvent Einstein’s pesky constant. However, if there is a way to get around it (and we just haven’t figured it out yet) then the argument that the distances are too great to traverse becomes academic and we need to get back to watching the skies.
4. Eyewitness Accounts
While it is always easy to dismiss eyewitness accounts, it’s less simple to do so when the reports come from qualified observers like police officers, airline and military pilots, and even astronauts. That’s not to say that even a trained observer can’t make a mistake, but when one considers the sheer volume of highly reliable witnesses who have reported UFOs over the years, it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore them all.
Unfortunately, the press and many media outlets tend to concentrate on those more eccentric witnesses out there (especially if their story is particularly outlandish) rather than on the professionals, but then “crazy” people always make for more interesting stories. That being said, it should be noted that despite the fact that 95% of all UFO sightings can usually be explained away by natural causes, misidentification of known aircraft, or are a hoax, the 5% that can’t be so easily dismissed amount to literally thousands of reports.
3. Physical Evidence
Sometimes it appears that UFOs will leave physical (or “trace”) evidence of having landed, usually in the form of a scorched patch of earth, “landing gear” or skid marks, and, on rare occasions, even radioactivity. While any of these elements could, supposedly, be hoaxed by a determined hoaxer (though the radioactivity part might be a bit daunting) several sites have been investigated by qualified scientists (famed UFO researcher J. Allen Hynek among them) who often came away impressed with the physiological evidence they encountered. Not exactly proof of alien visitation, perhaps, but the fact that reports of trace evidence go back over a century argues for some sort of physical phenomenon being present.
2. Photographic Evidence
Hearing a story about a UFO is one thing, but capturing one on film is quite another, for it gives both believer and skeptic alike an opportunity to scrutinize something tangible rather than just listen to another uncorroborated account. Of course, much UFO footage is so blurry or indistinct as to be practically worthless, while some of it is obviously hoaxed (made all the easier nowadays with the advent of CGI software), but there are some photos and video evidence that is so compelling it forces one to wonder if there’s not something going on after all.
Of course, no photo or video footage will ever be considered definitive—especially in this age of Photoshop and video manipulation—but some truly defy easy explanation and need to be taken seriously.
1. Radar Evidence
While anyone can simply make up a story, and almost anyone with a bit of expertise can fake a photo or a few seconds of film, not even the best hoaxer can create a fake radar return! This is what makes those rare cases in which a UFO is tracked on radar among the most compelling evidence for their existence available, for they demonstrate like nothing else could that they are solid objects and not mere cockpit reflections or a too-bright Venus being mistaken for an otherworldly craft.
Perhaps the most famous case of a UFO being repeatedly tracked on radar came from Belgium in 1990 when, over the course of several hours on the evening of March 30, several unknown objects were detected on radar, chased by NATO fighters (which also obtained radar targeting locks on the objects before they sped away at high speeds) and was witnessed by an astonishing 13,500 people! Skeptics have tried to explain all of it away as a weather anomaly combined with mass hysteria, but it’s a losing cause.
Jeff Danelek is a Denver, Colorado author who writes on many subjects having to do with history, politics, the paranormal, spirituality and religion. To see more of his stuff, visit his website, Our Curious World.