Bert Olivier
Bert Olivier

On UFOs and (psychogenic) perception

The recent declassification of previously secret documents by the FBI, and the availability of these on their so-called Vault website, have given the public access to, among others, the documents pertaining to the UFO “incident” at Roswell in the US, dating back to 1947. The incident in question involves, not merely sightings of “flying discs” — of which there were unbelievably many, as recorded in these documents, especially between the late 1940s and the 1960s — but the discovery of one of these “spacecraft” that supposedly crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in July of that year.

The newly released files confirm that the disc-like craft that had crashed, contained three humanoid figures, about four feet tall, with heads that were disproportionately big for their small bodies. Even the clothes they were wearing are described, and if one googles “Roswell incident”, or “Roswell aliens”, or “Roswell alien autopsy”, you get to sites where a film, supposedly taken by one of the people involved with the autopsy carried out on (at least) one of the “aliens” may be viewed. The number of hits registered on those sites are an index of the interest generated by these “sensational” revelations.

The question is: what are we to make of it? After decades of denial on the part of US military authorities and the FBI, to be suddenly confronted by newly declassified documents that confirm, not merely the sighting(s) of UFOs, but actual, non-fictional “close encounters of the third kind” (á la Spielberg), that is, staring (dead) alien visitors in the face, as it were, puts the cat among the pigeons, to say the least. It is probably the case that the “evidence” could have been faked, constructed, and yet, the lingering doubt remains, that it could be authentic. (In the “alien autopsy” film available on YouTube, the “alien’s” feet look distinctly human, although the head, face and ears look non-human; but they could have been doctored to look that way.)

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe that we are the only “intelligent” creatures in this vast universe of billions of galaxies. Like Giordano Bruno of 16th-century Nola, Italy, before me, I believe in the likelihood (for him, the certainty) that other planets are populated by creatures similar to, but also different from, us. Bruno paid with his life for uttering this belief when he was burnt at the stake, probably largely because of the ecclesiastic-political situation of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation at a time when the Roman Catholic Church was determined to eradicate all signs of so-called heresy (as if any person or institution has sole access to truth), and because he framed his “belief in aliens” in terms of a philosophical-theological argument.

We know, he said, that an effect is always commensurable with its cause. (For example, when finite “causes” like adult birds reproduce sexually, they produce the “effect” or result of chicks of their own species, and it is unlikely that they would produce a human being). Similarly, Bruno argued further, an infinite cause, to wit, God, cannot be expected to produce a finite effect or result, and hence, the universe and everything in it, being the “effect” of God’s creative act, must be similarly infinite. From this it further follows, he pointed out, that there must be innumerable worlds, similar to ours, where “rational” creatures like ourselves live. Unfortunately the church “authorities” did not like the tenor of his argument, and confined poor Bruno to the flames.

In Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture (1997), professor of English, Elaine Showalter, provides some sound advice on the phenomenon of UFO sightings and “alien abductions” that seem to proliferate in contemporary society, especially in America. In brief, Showalter argues that these widespread beliefs contribute to so-called “hysterical epidemics”, and that our media-saturated society, where electronic communications enable isolated individual experiences (even if they are pathology-induced) to balloon into widespread panics of epidemic proportions, fantastical stories (partly constructed as narrative hypotheses to make sense of psychological phenomena), are easily “amplified by modern communications and fin-de-siécle anxiety”. In other words, in a society where there are many sources of psychological problems, it should not be surprising that individuals avail themselves of stories circulating in cultural space to try and understand their own troubles (which could include phenomena like sleep paralysis and a variety of sexual conflicts).

Is that all there is to it, though? Are UFO sightings, and prolonged exposure to what was allegedly (in the light of recent FBI declassification of previously confidential documents) visible evidence of alien creatures and their spacecraft, in the case of the Roswell incident, to be dismissed as psychogenic phenomena — that is, experiences “produced” by collective psychological dispositions, combined with the availability, in cultural space, of micro-narratives which are subsequently blown up into epidemic proportions? I would tend to lend credence to such an explanation of individual claims regarding “close encounters of the third kind”, but when a relatively large number of people claim to be privy to a shared, documented experience of this kind, it strikes one that something else is at stake.

The philosopher, Feuerbach, once remarked — against Descartes’ famous “I think, therefore I am” — that “truth begins with two”, implying that a knowledge-claim can only be given credence when it has been confirmed by at least one other person. Supposing that the “smoke” of the FBI Vault-documents is authentic, there seems to be “fire”. A famous UFO-sighting case in the Eastern Cape of South Africa seems to make the same point.

Some years ago, I received a phone call from a UFO-research centre somewhere in the United States about this case. How they got my name remains a mystery to me, but the connection was simply that the centre was informed of my acquaintance with one of the families involved in this sighting, the “file” on which the research centre had apparently re-opened because of the documentation that existed. As it turned out, I could not tell them anything they did not already know, which included the following.

In the late 1970s, if I recall correctly, a group of high school boys were waiting on a hill in the Groendal Wilderness area near Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape, for a parent, Mrs Simpson, to fetch them by car after a day’s hiking. It was late afternoon, and suddenly they witnessed a huge, shiny, spherical object descending on a hill opposite them. To their astonishment, white-clad figures emerged from this object and moved around among (or, as they later discovered, above) the bushes surrounding it for some time before re-entering it, and the object taking off and disappearing in the sky. Naturally, when Mrs Simpson turned up, the boys excitedly told her what they had witnessed. And, as may be expected, she initially rejected the story as a schoolboy prank, or at best a fantasy they had concocted on the basis of seeing something like a floating weather balloon.

However, she was eventually constrained to believe her own son, a serious boy who was not given to frivolity of any kind, probably because he suffered from an incurable disease (which later took his life while he was in his early twenties), and accompanied the boys to the spot where they had seen the object and “people” dressed in white. There, to her astonishment, they found that the bushes had been crushed, and that there were deep indentations in the ground where the “craft” had landed. Moreover, the bushes were too high for the “people” from it to have been visible, had they been walking on the ground, from which the boys and Mrs Simpson concluded that they must have, somehow, moved “on top of”, or “above”, the typical Eastern Cape fynbos and “spekboom”.

To validate their discovery, they contacted the University of Port Elizabeth, which sent scientists from the Faculty of Natural Sciences to investigate. The most astonishing aspect of their findings was that, when they checked the deep indentations in the ground, their measurements indicated that whatever had caused them, weighed (if I remember correctly, having read the account some time ago) at least 60 tonnes — a feat impossible for the boys to perform.

I doubt whether the apartheid government at the time had the capability to perform a landing and departure with a “craft” of the kind witnessed by these schoolboys, and the fact that a US research agency, which had ferreted out my acquaintance with the Simpsons, took the trouble to call me from the US because they had re-opened the file on this Groendal-sighting, confirms that it represents something of importance. Add to this that there have been more than 30 independent sightings in the Groendal Wilderness area, and one’s curiosity (and puzzlement) is exacerbated.

The words that Shakespeare put in Hamlet’s mouth, in the face of what purports to be his father’s ghost, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than we have dreamed of in our philosophies”, pretty much sum up my feelings about UFOs. If humans — or more specifically scientists and philosophers — believed that the “state of knowledge”, at any given time, was all there is to know, there would be no reason for science or philosophy to continue in their quest for knowledge. In this sense, the sciences and philosophy are open-ended. And that means that the question of UFOs and “alien” life continues to be of interest.

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  • Mike Franklin

    No one stops to ask… why in all the history of research and discovery, we have now arrived at a time, a moment when a single subject creates so much official rebuke. The only other time when this occurred was when science was threatening faith… when we were about to discover that our world was not flat.

    There is fear that is generated when approaching a great unknown that is really no so much unknown as it is just denied. There are narrow minds and fearful hearts that cannot withstand the rigor of discovery and change. They will, out of that fear, fight to maintain what offers comfort.

    If UFOs are nothing more than swamp gas, Chinese lanterns, Venus and Mars… there would not be that fear nor this assembly of the fearful forwarding so much blind denial.

    I suggest that the best evidence for UFOs being real is simply in that great effort to deny them.

  • http://www.johnbalexander.com John Alexander

    Who knows not history, etc, etc. In reality there was not much “newly declassified” in The Vault and the documents certainly do NOT validate Roswell. For a more accurate picture I recommend UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies and Realities

    The bottom line:
    – Some UFOs are real
    – There are many highly qualified witnesses
    – They are supported by multi-sensory data of physical objects
    – Statistically the probility of sentient life elsewhere in the universe is a near certainty
    – What is needed is create an environment in which top quality scientists can study these phenomena with fear of ridicule or loss of livilhood

  • Enough Said

    Thanks interesting read. Years ago I read “The Mammoth Book of UFOs” by Lynn Picknett. She documents a huge amount of information and lets you draw your own conclusions.

  • Maria

    I found Showalter’s book very thought-provoking. One of the things it stresses, is similar to what one learns from Ricoeur and Lacan, among others, namely, that the genre of/for self-understanding that comes most “naturally” to human beings, is that of narrative. All of us are constantly open to being interpellated by a narrative (and nowadays, narratives, plural) which offers us the best terms in which to make sense of our lives. But more than alien abductions and UFO-sightings – expressions of the “Sehnsucht zum ganz Andere” (Horkheimer) – it is the prefabricated narratives readily available, courtesy of those powers that control the mainstream media, into which the vast majority of people, aptly termed “consumers”, buy. The latest of these are the leftover, anachronistic feudal narrative of “Will and Kate”, with its medieval ring, and the familiar American hero-narrative of “the hunt for Osama”, both of which offer solace to people otherwise left rudderless in a confusing, complex world.

  • Kwame

    I think there is a natural resistance to the idea of UFO’s amongst humans, largely due to fear and the fact that most belief systems don’t give an open platform for people to percieve differently.

    Contrary to what most people would think, I believe if you take a closer look at the past narrative in some of these religions, you will find that the UFO phenomenon is also captured. A good example are the descriptions by Ezekiel of what could be a ‘spacecraft’ or a ‘flyingsaucer’ in todays language, as well as the many visual sightings of ‘light’ or a ‘bright star’ from the sky by Moses, Abraham, Buddha etc.

    On the other hand, there is increasing evidence that is independent and simultaneous from the worlds military, NASA, scientific researchers and archeology that not only are we not alone, but we’ve in interacted with other beings i.e the great pyramid of Egypt, Nazca lines of Peru, the stoneheads of Easter Island etc.

  • http://www.mufonla.com Steve Murillo

    I am 100% certain that UFOs and their occupants are real. Unfortunately, the document that the author of this article is referring to, and is the cornerstone of his argument,was a proven hoax. This document has been in circulation since at least the late ’80s, and was first exposed by researchers such as Bruce Maccabee.

    Steve Murillo
    State Section Director
    MUFON LA

  • http://www.newstime.co.za/columnist/PaulWhelan/5 Paul Whelan

    It helps perhaps to remember that all societies have had their psychological problems: it comes of all being alive and trying to live together. It is only over the last 100 years or so, when he have started to look at the matter more scientifically, that it has become fashionable to believe our troubles are uniquely terrible and demanding.

    There have, therefore, always been ‘wonders’, generally observed in the sky.

    Perhaps Showalter also brought out – I haven’t read the book – that our narratives are not only there to help us try to understand our troubles but to furnish us with a solution to them.

    500 years ago people commonly believed in ghosts, witches, fairies and prophecy. These beliefs were there not only to provide explanations for human misfortune, but supplied at the same time a practical answer.

    You could burn the witch or exorcise the evil spirit within her by invoking a greater Power. Milkmaids could blame the fairies for upsetting the milking pail. Prophecy could tell you which guy to marry (or not to marry).

    Ghosts gave you answers, with all the assurance of the supernatural behind them.

    It is very apt that Bert quotes Hamlet. Hamlet talked to the ghost of his father because he desperately needed some information for the unbearable loss of his father, and the ghost duly gave it to him.

    Look where that ended up for everyone.

  • rity

    “If humans — or more specifically scientists and philosophers — believed that the “state of knowledge”, at any given time, was all there is to know, there would be no reason for science or philosophy to continue in their quest for knowledge”.

    Thank you Bert. You have provided me with a perfect answer to all the arm chair scientist I have come accross in my quest to proof that there is indeed an invention that would impact on the renewable energy sector. I have seen and witness a functional Magnetic Electric Generator in Japan, but our local scientist still believe this technology can never come to fruition; why? science tells them that we can “never” create perpetual motion. I rest my case. Watch the tablobs when we launch a pilot test in South Africa soon. The success of this invention is built on the premise of “perpetual motion” or better “efficient rotational mechanism. You will be invited when we launch our pilot in Durban.

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  • Peter Joffe

    What is the use of declassifying ‘secret’ material if no-one believes it anyway? Osama bin Laden is dead and this is and was never ‘classified’ and yet many people think that the Americans rigged the whole event for political purposes? “We are not alone” appears to be what we all have suspected but how did these space travellers get here as even in the 21st century, ‘modern man’ cannot travel at more than a ‘galactic snails pace”. Did the Roswell investigators look at the ‘warp engines’ in the flying saucers or did they get any worth while technology from the wreck? Are these ships powered by thought which is faster than light? When we talk about light years of distance it not like going down to the shops to by another comic! How long will it take before we can travel at super light speed, because even light speed is too slow to explore the universe. We need James T. Kirk and his Starship Enterprise travelling at Warp 10 plus, where from Earth to the planet Vulcan took 3 and 1/2 minutes.

  • http://www.thoughtleader.co.za Jeremiah Kure

    Unfortunately the most compelling evidence of extra terrestrials activity on earth is all tied to historical civilisations and the monuments that survived them – e.g. pyramids, stonehenge, etc. The recent crop circles aside, there has been nothing in recent times to jolt humanity’s awareness regarding these “encounters of a third kind”.

    If we stopped bickering over resources, etc., devoting our time and energies instead to our lofty inclinations, it is quite conceivable that humanity could evolve quite rapidly into a deeper level of spiritual awareness to an extent where we became aware of another realm to our existence. After all we only use a minute portion of our brain – which by design, is capable of so much more.

    When the Lord Jesus was taken up in what believers refer to as the Ascension, it is said that he ascended to the heavens in a great cloud. Heaven could well be another planet (undetectable by human astronomy) as much as it is another realm.

    All that said, I still mistrust the UFO phenomena in that as much as it certainly confirms that we are not alone, it does not necessarily mean that those who travel in them are for us.

    Keep in mind that in the spiritual realm, there are good and bad forces. Ultimately, it is up to God who knows everything to reveal all the things that we are curious about at a time of His own choosing.

  • The Praetor

    I was listning to a radio program, where someone called in and reported that they saw a UFO in the sky the night before, and the two presenters were actually ridiculing the person, who was vey embarresed.

    In my view the sighting of UFO’s are very common, but go unreported for this very reason. and why I refuse to elaborate on my own sighting.

    In fact, denying that it even exists, does great damage to the person experienced it first-hand, as they start doubting their very sanity, or it bothers them for them for the rest of their lives, as they try and make sense of what exactly they saw, and what it means, and the fact that nobody believes them.

    In courts of law, people have been condemned to death, by people’s eyewitness accounts, yet we would rather ridicule or disregargd the eyewitness accounts of millions of people, which include trained aviation personel.

    Instead of making light of these accounts, we should in fact take account of every reported sighting, in order to study the phenomana thoroughly, and not be caught with our pants down…declaring, ‘we didnt know!’, when the truth eventually dawns on humanity.

    The Praetor

  • george ormondy

    I wonder why now 9th of may 2011 there are still people who do not belive that the ailiens are here and have been for centuries. With all the proof /mountains of proof by people of great credibility /pilots, astranuats,police, army, doctors,airline staff its endless( i feel sorry for for the IGNORANT MASS WHO DO NOT BELIVE.

  • Policat

    The practice of space travel in the realm of current human technology certainly mitigates against the possibility of us being visited by ET’s.
    The immensity of the universe and incomprehensible distances (Voyager 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 at its current velocity of 61,5000kmh is only 0,0018 of a light-year from out sun at present. It will take another staggering 73,000 thousand to reach the nearest star Proxima Centauri were it travelling in that direction.) even when only considering our own Milky Way galaxy, places serious doubt on the ability of an alien species as depicted in the photos showing the human like forms published in the Roswell incident, accomplishing a journey of this nature. I am not even taking into account the dangers of exposure to prolonged terms of space radiation and weightlessness. Any form of interstellar travel as a practical means of deep space exploration has yet to be evolved here.
    Nevertheless recent discoveries are gaining ever growing support that life started on earth almost as soon as it cooled down billions of years ago. Astrobiologists are also taking enormous strides in showing that life is ubiquitous in space and it will only be a matter of time before they will confirm that we are not alone, albeit that our neighbours might only be single celled organisms.
    According to the Drake equation there is intelligent life out there but as Fermi’s paradox points out “Where are they?”
    So, however much one would like to

  • guido habets

    I was talking about the FBI files to my neighbour who started to laugh about it and in a way ridiculed me.So most of the peolpe still think aliens are something of a hollywood movie although a visit to you-tube will tell a different story.There is a lot of evidence and Steven Greer is figthing for years now to have an official discloser by the goverment about ufo’s visiting the earth.Please watch his presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0oLJNfs_rM&feature=player_embedded .High ranking militairy/ NASA officials already testified about the UFO’s with the media present. The question is why didn’t we see his presentation on tv or in the papers? The conference was packed with reporters and cameras of most of the US TV channels and still nothing appeared in the media or on TV. It is mostly the official media and news reporters who ridicule it. Even now that the FBI files were opened weeks ago this is the first article I found in the official news/papers, on the other hand the in-official news report on the internet is full of it.
    So the question stays; how independed is the official news report and do the reporters investigate or write down in the papers what they are told

  • Policat

    The practice of space travel in the realm of current human technology certainly mitigates against the possibility of us being visited by ET’s.
    The immensity of the universe and incomprehensible distanceseven when only considering our own Milky Way galaxy, places serious doubt on the ability of an alien species as depicted in the photos showing the human like forms published in the Roswell incident, accomplishing a journey of this nature. I am not even taking into account the dangers of exposure to prolonged terms of space radiation and weightlessness. Any form of interstellar travel as a practical means of deep space exploration has yet to be evolved here.
    Nevertheless recent discoveries are gaining ever growing support that life started on earth almost as soon as it cooled down billions of years ago. Astrobiologists are also taking enormous strides in showing that life is ubiquitous in space and it will only be a matter of time before they will confirm that we are not alone, albeit that our neighbours might only be single celled organisms.
    According to the Drake equation there is intelligent life out there but as Fermi’s paradox points out “Where are they?”
    So, however much one would like to believe in presence of extraterrestrial UFO’s, the theories of von Danicken, ancient civilizations, Rosewell, etc. the reality is that it will always be an enigma unless there is a public announcement to the contrary.
    Please ignore previous posting.

  • lyle douglas harpell

    I Am the creators son. My fathers come from two different parts of the galaxy. There are three known species in the galaxy….my fathers and mankind. I represent all three species because I hold all three dna. That makes me the only one of my kind in the universe. We were created to put back the balance after the great war of my fathers. Now that we understand dna there is nothing more for us Im this world. It is time to come home for earth is not your home it is your birth place. The fallen ones rule this world…they are my fallen fathers. Contact me at 1508 princess street appt 603 Kingston Ontario Canada. K7m 3e8.

  • Siobhan

    I find the reasoning of Dr. Michio Kaku persuasive with regard to UFOs. Dr. Kaku worked on multi-universe hypothesis and the mathematical proof that supports it. The result of the research is that there are at least 11 dimensions to “reality”. We have no means of exploring them beyond the capacity of reason and imagination but anomalous events such as UFO sightings suggest that life forms from other dimensions may interpenetrate and become visible to us by crossing the threshold that otherwise separates us. One of the most compelliing arguments for this point of view is the vast number of sightings from all over the world over (long before Roswell and subsequent efforts at “debunking”) in which two primary characteristics of UFOs have been observed: they travel silently and suddenly disappear from view and then pop up a vast distance from the original point of visibility.

    The other persuasive evidence of a physical nature comes from NASA’s own 24/7 real time video feed from the space station. A visit to the NASA website repays the curious with some major food for thought about our “neighbours”.

    The question I find interesting is: do they perceive us or any of our “technology”? Or are we as elusive an enigma to them, occasionally intruding ourselves into their dimensions as for instance when we dream?

  • Naas

    Judging by the responses, Bert’s views on UFOs are feasible. Well done, Bert, with another well-written and thought-provoking article. My own experiences with UFOs extend to four sightings, although, sometimes, when sharing the stories, I often get some blank stares!

    Besides such sightings, I find it hard to believe that the only living things in the universe are found on Earth – just does not make sense to me.

    The whole thing is worthy of further research.

    Thanks again Bert.

  • http://necrofiles.blogspot.com Garg Unzola

    “Not until the empirical resources are exhausted need we pass on to the dreamy realms of speculation.” ~ Edwin Hubble.

  • Andysor

    Wow… Crackpot articles tend to attract a lot of crackpot comments.

    First of all believing in UFOs (on earth) does not equate with believing in extraterrestrial life; the same for the converse.

    I subject UFO sightings to the same test and thought process as spirits, ghosts, Bigfoot, Uri Geller, ESP etc. — The burden of proof and Occam’s Razor.

    They come up short.

  • Bartholomew Doos

    So-called Bert says: “The newly released files confirm that the disc-like craft that had crashed, contained three humanoid figures, about four feet tall, with heads that were disproportionately big for their small bodies.”

    Well, one document claims that someone from the Air Force told someone in the FBI that a spacecraft crashed, had three humanoid occupants, etc. There is no evidence that “Guy Hottel” existed, and the name of the supposed USAF officer is blacked out.

    Bert, could you please explain how one isolated bit of heresay counts as “confirmation”?

  • Bartholomew Doos

    Oh, and maybe you could explain why you distort Shakespeare. Hamlet’s words to Horatio are:

    “And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy…”

  • Julius Gavin

    Interesting perspective on human thought. Experiments with DMT(“God moecule” or hallucinogen) showed 62% of participants saw little green men , Jesus, St. Michael,etc..Maybe we are limited to perceive stimuli in preordained patterns.
    All history speaks of some controlling force involved in our destiny. The essenes spoke of the archon- the great dimiurge. Writers such as Jacques Vallee, John Keel, others report of a “source of control” that has existed outside man’s immediate perception influencing him in ways to control his mind and culture. Ufos may well be the latest expression of this control.
    Hynek and others leaned toward travellers from other dimensions or timelines.
    The question is why???? Yogananda and other mystics always said that we were but “food for the moon”. Darkness was on the back side of the moon and fed off our energy.
    Are we all just mooing out there?!?

  • http://intothefaerywoods.blogspot.com Juliano

    This is a fascinating subject that can really change the sorry game that has been imposed on planet Earth, all other species, including humans by a control-freak warmongering mindset. As I see it they seek to control nature and consciousness, and this includes their so-called war on drugs, which of course includes all the psychedelics, vegetation and substances, AND our consciousness about extraterrestrial craft and beings, AND possibly secret technology they secretly hoard which could completely transform life for all people, and they pretend this is about ‘national security’!
    Also we should be aware that the elite in control is into the occult and magick. This is hidden in plain sight, but you can find its signature all over the 9/11 attacks etc etc. They would though have ‘the public’ belief that the three main ideologies are traditional religion, atheism, and scientific materialism. They depend on people being unaware of this in the same way they depend on people being unaware of their propaganda techniques, because they work on our unconscious. I am pointing this out because the real enemy is not aliens, but this mindset that many radical feminists have shown to the the patriarchy. It is a mindset which divides reality into conceptually opposing ‘things’, and usually then claims one thing is superior to the other, such as male versus female, light versus dark, life versus death. Also oftn they will get RID of one ‘side’ such as the physicalists try and get rid…

  • http://intothefaerywoods.blogspot.com Juliano

    part 2—consciousness.
    I am interested in this word used in the above essay–“psychogenic”. This is the idea that when we experience this phenomena it must come from the collective unconscious. Even such ‘wild’ thinkers like Terrence McKenna put out that idea, and he would get a bit irate to hear UFO researchers talking about real solid steel-like craft, as though this idea offended his view of reality being ‘strictly DMT-like’
    I know this idea came from Jung, but was surprised to find an article the other week which has Jung claim he really DID think there were actual spaceships and beings—so there, lol.
    Our situation is completely like the Galileo story of the ‘telescope’. To LOOK. There exist many of the pseudsceptic mindset who will not look, not even at videos, and I am sure would not even trust their own eyes. As I usually say to them ‘if a UFO landed on your head and an alien leant over and looked you in the face you would not accept the reality of it, and most likely would attack *yourself* as being mad,