The Future of UFO research

The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP), an organization involved in UFO research, affirmed that the occurrence of “significant UFO events” has dropped notably over the past 2 decades. In addition, they said that this trend  has become so extreme that the UFO debate now focuses on only a handful of events, including claims that flying saucer crashed at Roswell in New Mexico in the 1940’s.

The same organization noted too a change in the nature of reported sightings and added that over the past 30 years classical sightings have been largely displaced by claims of UFO abductions.

A comparison has been made. While in 1972 UFO crashes were unknown or disregarded, in 2012 they effectively dominate the subject.  Assap added that the subject become influenced by conspiracy theories whose implications take ufology into extreme and alarming directions.

By contrast, Nick Pope told the Sunday Telegraph that there is a future for the subject. He stated that “There’s a quantity versus quality issue here”.

Channel 4 News Science Editor, Tom Clarke, explains why UFO watchers should not give up hope just yet.

It is perhaps inevitable that ‘traditional’ UFO enthusiasts would have to abandon the faith. The little green men in flying saucers and unexplained lights in the sky just have not stood up to scrutiny. The same advances in science and technology that made them seem plausible have failed to confirm they exist.

But to me it seems a shame that the UFO hunters may be giving up at a time when we are closer than ever to finding life in other worlds.

Rather than hearing cries from distant aliens, radio telescopes found equally incredible messages from beaming pulsars and the faint echoes of the big bang itself.

In 1992 the idea of planets beyond our solar system – so called extrasolar planets – was purely theoretical. But now astronomers are now finding real lost worlds almost everywhere they look. As of the beginning of this week 843 planets in 665 planetary systems have been discovered… and counting.

Few of these planets are suitable for life as we know it, but many are close. Just last month an Earth-sized planet was discovered orbiting our nearest neighbouring star Alpha Centuri. And statistically, the odds of a world similar to ours aren’t bad at all.

Based on data from NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope there could be 500 million Earth-like planets in our galaxy alone.

Estimates of the number of galaxies in the universe vary quite a bit, but we are talking hundreds of billions – you get the general idea. What’s more, the chemicals that make up the likely building-blocks of carbon-based life are being found in the furthest reaches of space.

This summer, Danish scientists discovered sugar molecules just floating in space around a star 400 light years away. And now too, we have unprecedented power to reach out and find life directly.

This week the Mars curiosity rover began the rather odd task of sniffing for methane on the surface of Mars. Detecting it could indicate the presence of belching bacterial life-forms within the soil.

So far, not a whiff. But the truth is out there.

So, what is your opinion about this subject?

Source: Channel 4

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