There have been thousands of reported UFO sightings, alien sightings and alien abductions over the years and many people not only believe that extra terrestrials exist but that they have visited earth, in fact according to a Gallup poll one third of Americans believe aliens have visited earth. There is a huge community of enthusiasts on the internet reporting on sightings and offering their own usually ridiculous explanations about the aliens, some of them claim to have identified a number of species and to know things about their social structure and what they want here on earth but it reads like cheap unimaginative sci-fi.
When faced with obviously faked or even just unclear footage believers choose to interpret it as genuine because they want to believe. The level of belief among some enthusiasts is akin to religious faith in it´s stubborn refusal to logically examine the evidence. Applying the idea of Occam´s razor that the simplest explanation is probably correct it should be obvious that a hoax or unknown man made craft, or perhaps even a weather effect is far more likely as an explanation of a UFO sighting than an alien craft.
While it is certainly possible and perhaps even likely that we are not the only life in the universe it is distinctly unlikely that we are being visited by aliens. The case for aliens visiting earth is leant weight by the fact that many respected people have reported sightings and I don´t doubt that many of them believe what they are saying, although there are plenty of attention seeking liars out there too, but I do think in all probability they are mistaken about what they have seen.
The vast majority of UFO sightings if investigated can be explained. The UFO community seem to be fixed on the idea that there is a government conspiracy to cover UFO´s up. There has been much talk about Roswell and the plausible government report that they were testing crash dummies airdropping from high altitude has been rejected. In fact every time the government release a report on their UFO or alien investigations people refuse to believe it. None of the governments of the world have ever found any evidence of aliens visiting earth and if they did why would they cover something like that up? I´ve yet to hear a good reason for this. I also think the enthusiasts are giving the government an awful lot of credit if they really believe that they are capable of covering something like this up, if we really have been visited by aliens and the government knows about it then the information will undoubtedly come to light, the government are rubbish at cover ups and conspiracies. It also seems likely that if aliens visited and wanted us to know about them there wouldn´t be anything the government could do to stop it, they can´t even stop humans from exposing things and committing all sorts of crazy acts so how the hell are they going to effectively stop aliens with advanced knowledge?
While some believers have quite plausible stories the volume of reports is staggering and inevitably there are many deeply silly ideas about aliens. My personal favourites are cattle mutilations, abduction stories and the retarded idea that aliens built the pyramids. Why would an advanced race of beings (they would have to be advanced to even travel to earth) arrive here and then carve up cattle? Why would they abduct people and probe them and then put them back again? If they have been doing these things how have they managed to leave absolutely no evidence behind?
Cattle mutilations have been reported several times along with mutilations of sheep and horses. These can all more easily be explained by predator attack or in cases where the animals have been surgically carved by psychotic human attack. People commit atrocious acts all the time I find it far more plausible that a disturbed human cut up an animal than the idea that an alien travelled light years across the void in order to do it.
Abduction stories are great and largely a product of the latter half of this century, interestingly there are very few earlier accounts of alien abduction; they coincide quite neatly with our sudden fascination for science fiction. Mentally deranged or confused people and attention seekers tell stories of being picked up in an alien spacecraft and subjected to all kinds of probes and tests and then returned. No-one else ever sees them being taken or returning and they never have any physical evidence of their encounter that they coudn´t have caused themselves or that some other person couldn´t have visited upon them. The typical abduction story was developed early on and subsequently people have adhered to the same basic structure. Now even supposing there was some truth to it why would the aliens continually do the same procedure on multiple people over a period of years, wouldn´t they have found whatever it was they were looking for by now? Some of the accounts have hilarious details like being shown around the spaceship or exposed to a hybrid alien-human child, yeah I´m sure advanced aliens would want to find a way to breed with inferior creatures and given the fact most species on earth can´t cross breed what is the likelihood that we could breed with an alien? It reminds me of the whole Independence Day scenario where computer software is uploaded to defeat the alien mother ship, Apple and Microsoft aren´t even compatible on earth so I´m kind of doubting that one. Abduction stories always have the same elements and they seem to be similar to stories of demonic visitation and even out of body experiences which makes it far more likely there is something common to human brain chemistry which allows for a strange event and different people interpret it in different ways according to their personal beliefs.
The idea that aliens built the pyramids is especially annoying because it belittles our ancient civilisations; it is an arrogant modern view where people simply cannot believe that ancient cultures built those structures so it must have been aliens. There have also been attempts to link aliens with the lost city of Atlantis; none of these ideas have any supporting evidence whatsoever.
In reports of encounters the aliens are almost always humanoid, why would they be humanoid? Doesn´t that just betray a lack of imagination, I mean sci-fi shows and films make aliens humanoid because it is cheaper to realise on film, a human actor with some make-up can play an alien, there is no fundamental reason they would be humanoid in reality.
With UFO sightings believers often point out aerial manoeuvres which would be impossible for our aircraft to make but if you watch some of the footage you have to wonder why an alien ship is coming here just to zoom around in a cloud and then disappear again. How come all of the footage is blurry? If they regularly visit why has no one ever gotten a clean look at them or a convincing piece of evidence?
Flying saucers are also a pretty daft idea and it is amazing how many of these tapes of UFO´s feature a saucer shaped object even although it would be an incredibly inefficient shape for flying which would require massive amounts of energy to propel itself. It´s also not a very practical shape from the inside, even if you accept that perhaps aliens have technology which flaunts the laws of physics as we know them wouldn´t they build a nice practical cube rather than a saucer? It´s actually an extremely dated view of what an alien spacecraft might look like which has embedded itself in popular culture.
A few respected professionals have come out in support of alien theories of visitation and even abduction but it is worth pointing out that the most prominent ones have a clear vested interest in spreading the idea, they write and sell books on the subject and they get paid to appear on television shows talking nonsense about aliens. I have no problem at all in believing that they would trade their reputations for riches, people from all walks of life have been doing that for years.
Aliens do not visit earth, if they ever do I suspect we´ll know all about it and there has to be a decent chance they will exterminate us all for being arseholes. There is nothing wrong with speculating about aliens, it´s a fun topic but people who claim to be an authority on the subject, people who classify alien races and talk about the visits as though they are unassailable fact are annoying idiots. Of course there´s always the possibility that I´m an alien or a government stooge trying to throw them off the scent because their knowledge is so accurate.