Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
If you’ve followed national news lately, you might have noticed there is growing coverage of unidentified flying objects. This has come from newly declassified Navy videos that some interpret as showing UFOs, as well as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio saying the government can no longer dismiss UFO sightings.
I find this renewed interest in aliens a bit funny because I’ve turned into a UFO-skeptic after being convinced they were real for most of my childhood and adolescence. In fact, I’d say I was obsessed with aliens.
It all began when I was about 10 years old, and my family and I were visiting friends in Wisconsin. A group of us kids were watching one of those science channels, and on this night the channel showed a program on alien abductions. One person after another recounted how they were sleeping in their beds when aliens came into the room and took them back to their spaceship for an examination.
The people were powerless to stop them, and even reported that they were unable to move. The accounts were very similar, and even their descriptions of the aliens matched: hairless gray figures with big black eyes and small slits for a mouth and nostrils.
These people were complete strangers, and yet they were telling the same story. How could they coordinate this lie? It must be true!
I must say that watching that show was the worst mistake of my life, because I didn’t get any sleep that night. How could I when I just learned aliens are about to whisk me away and insert a tracking device up my nose?
The specter of alien abduction continued to haunt me for many years after that. And yet, I wanted to learn more about these aliens. Where are they from? What do they want? How long have they been visiting earth?
I checked out every book on aliens I could find. By the time I was a teenager, I had become an authority on extraterrestrials. The number of people reporting alien abductions was simply too large and their stories too consistent for there to be any other explanation than that these were beings from another planet.
But I started having doubts.
One book I read was called “The Day After Roswell,” a reference to reports of a crash landing of a mysterious craft near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. The government has claimed it was a weather balloon, but others (like me when I heard about this) believe the government covered up a crashed UFO. The author of “The Day After Roswell” claims first responders on the scene not only observed aliens but even brought one of them to a hospital for treatment of its injuries before it died.
When I told this to my friends, most of them thought it was crazy. They felt I was being credulous, and asked me why I thought these UFO-believers were more reliable than the many skeptics who had supposedly debunked their claims.
As I got older, the skeptics’ arguments started making more and more sense. The objects in the sky had natural explanations after all. Even the reports of alien abductions had natural explanations, too. For instance, I learned there is a medical condition where a person can partially awake from sleep so that while they are conscious, they cannot control their body, and thus feel paralyzed as if they are under some outside force.
People in earlier times blamed this not on aliens but on evil spirits. Furthermore, the consistent reports of aliens with big black eyes might just be us remembering an image of our parents from our infancy when our vision is blurry. The shadow cast in the eye socket would appear as a large black blob, like the eyes reported on aliens.
Lastly, I think the most convincing piece of evidence against aliens is that, while the resolution of cameras has improved over time, and the number of people carrying cellphones equipped with cameras has exploded, our videos of UFOs are no better than they were decades ago.
What are these aliens afraid of?