The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis for the UFO phenomenon should be taken seriously.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/23/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 971 times Debate No: 42820
Debate Rounds (5)
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This is my first debate here, and I thought this topic would be fun.

I'll be arguing "pro," that it makes sense for science to look seriously at the UFO phenomenon, and to take the extraterrestrial hypothesis seriously for the following reasons:

1) The stakes are high. If even one report of the phenomenon is attributable to extraterrestrial visitation, overlooking it would be a tragedy to science and humanity.

2) It would seem logical to assume that our galaxy may well be inhabited by other intelligent beings. If so, they have likely been here much longer than we have, and it would not be inconceivable that they have explored and/or colonized much of the galaxy.

3) Our electromagnetic emissions and atomic detonations would likely be quite detectable by any such civilization, and may spark their interest.

4) There are reports of sufficient quantity and quality by sufficiently qualified and credible witnesses that given items 1-3, the possibility that such occurrences may be genuine encounters with extraterrestrial craft and/or entities cannot and should not be discounted by rational scientists.


Thanks to my opponent for offering an interesting topic, and I hope I can offer you a good debate.

With respect to my opponent opening statements. I would gather that he will be trying to prove why we should take UFO sightings as serious science as some of these sightings come from "sufficiently qualified and credible witnesses". As such it is my opponents burden of proof to provide evidence for these sightings.

In statement 1 you said the stakes are high. I think everyone would agree with that, but we need verifiable scientific evidence. It is necessary that this evidence is presented before science takes this seriously otherwise it falls outside of the scientific method.(1) If their is a phenomena and we attribute it to a UFO, then we need evidence of a UFO to make this claim valid.

Further I would like to ask my opponent the following questions. In the second statement my opponent stated that it is logical to assume that if other intelligent beings exist "they have likely been here much longer than we have, and it would not be inconceivable that they have explored and/or colonized much of the galaxy." This is a statement that has no evidence, and as such I would like my opponent to present the evidence for this. I see no reason why it is logical to assume that if other intelligent life existed that they would be an older civilization than us.

My opponent also stated that "Our electromagnetic emissions and atomic detonations would likely be quite detectable by any such civilization, and may spark their interest." Absolutely, and this is why the SETI project has been around since 1969 and has not come up with anything similar.(2,3) We are searching for alien life and we have not found it, so why would an alien race find our signals?

I hand the debate back to my opponent.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting my challenge.

I've had to edit this quite a bit to get it under the character limit, so hopefully there are no glaring errors or omissions. I apologize if there are.

I would like to start by addressing the question of the likely relative age of our civilization to that of a hypothetical civilization originating extra-terrestrially.

Our Sun is believed to be 4.6 billion years old(1). The average age of stars in our galaxy is believed to be 6.3 billion years(2), with the oldest known star in our galaxy (Methuselah) being nearly as old as the universe itself is believed to be, at around 13 billion years (3).

This means that if our planet is taken as typical (taking about 1 billion years from the time the solar system formed to the first appearance of life, and then another 3.6 billion years, punctuated by a few mass extinction events, finally producing an "intelligent" species), then the odds are that an intelligent species evolving in another star system would have appeared about 1.8 billion years ago, on average.

Even if it turns out that 3.6 billion years is a relatively short time to go from single cell to star flight, the mere fact that we have been a space-faring organism for a bit more than 19,000 DAYS would imply that were we to encounter another space-faring entity, the odds are astronomical that they would be much older than us. If you assign a number to each grass plant in a well-established yard and select one that has just sprouted this morning, the odds are that if you randomly select another one, it will be much older than the first.

Now I'd like to address your third paragraph in which you brought up SETI and it's inability to detect recognizable and repeatable patterns in electromagnetic radiation such as we suspect would be produced by civilizations similar to our own.

It is certainly possible that there are no other civilizations to be detected. This doesn't seem likely, however, given the ubiquity of complex organic compounds in the universe(4) and given that a recent analysis by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics of data collected by the Kepler space telescope, concluded that we should expect about 6% of red-dwarf stars in our galaxy to have "Earth-sized planets in the 'habitable zone,'"(5).

Since about 75% of the 100-400 billion stars in our galaxy are red dwarfs, if this analysis is correct, we should expect that there are between 4.5 billion and 18 billion habitable planets around these stars. Of course this only takes into account red dwarf stars and also ignores the possibility of habitable moons, or of habitable planets/moons outside the "habitable zone" via volcanic or radioactive heat (such as what may make moons like Europa, Ganymede, and others in our solar system potentially habitable).

In any event, we should expect A) that the ingredients of life are everywhere, and B) conditions that would allow life to appear should exist in at least 4 and a half billion planets in our galaxy. The next question is how common is the formation of life given the confluence of these two factors in one place? Unfortunately, we can't be sure. Which is a good place to talk about Enrico Fermi.

Enrico Fermi was an atomic physicist who, after considering what seemed like the near certainty that intelligent life must exist in our galaxy, famously asked, "where are they?"

Here are some possible answers to that question:

A) They don't exist. Or are extremely rare. We're wrong to suspect that life can form and/or progress so easily into intelligent species, or such species do not last long beyond finding a means allowing for their own self-destruction. We are unique, or exceedingly rare.


B) They exist but do not employ electromagnetic radiation in the same way we do (or only use it briefly or sporadically).


C) We have simply not recognized information that does exist in the electromagnetic radiation we've analyzed, or such information makes use of multiple frequencies or frequencies that we're not paying enough attention to.


D) One or more space-faring civilizations have already colonized or at least explored our galaxy and perhaps established "listening posts," and is/are aware of our civilization, but does not openly contact us. If this is the case we must either assume that A and/or B and/or C is also true, or that the civilization(s) has/have the ability and desire to isolate our civilization from others who employ electromagnetic radiation in similar ways to us.

It does seem reasonable to assume that if any "advanced" civilizations have emerged from the billions of possible worlds in our galaxy with a desire and ability to explore and colonize the galaxy, that by now, our galaxy should have been colonized at least a hundred times over or so.

By way of explanation for that statement, here's an interesting summary of the results of a predictive model of hypothetical galaxy colonization by Thomas Hair and Andrew Hedman:

"The authors work with an algorithm that allows modeling of the expansion from the original star, running through iterations that allow emigration patterns to be analyzed in light of these prospects. It turns out that in 250 iterations, covering 250,000 years, a civilization most likely to emigrate will travel about 500 light years, for a rate of expansion that is approximately one-fourth of the maximum travel speed of one percent of the speed of light, the conservative figure chosen for this investigation. A civilization would spread through the galaxy in less than 50 million years.
These are striking numbers. Given five billion years to work with, the first civilization to develop starfaring capabilities could have colonized the Milky Way not one but 100 times. The idea that it takes billions of years to accomplish a galaxy-wide expansion fails the test of this modeling." (6)

In light of such possibilities, maybe we should consider that the answer to Fermi's question is "D) They're here." At the very least, instead of asking "Where are they?" and leaving off there, maybe scientists should start by asking "Are they here?"

Why? Because we have tentative observational data, supported by technological measurement, that appear to suggest that apparently technological objects of unknown origin occasionally maneuver within our atmosphere.

And so to the cases...

I will confine myself to a few cases that I have some familiarity with and find personally difficult to explain prosaically, all of which involve two or more credible (by my reckoning) eye-witnesses with confirmation by technological means (mostly radar) of aerial phenomena that appear to be under intelligent control and exhibiting characteristics that would seem to rule out human-operated craft.

Unfortunately, I've had to use one-line summaries here accompanied by links to more in depth info.
(I've used extensively here as they tend to have decent summaries).

1. Two UFOs observed visually by experienced combat air crew and tracked concurrently on air and ground radar.

2. "From October 1989 throughout 1990, hundreds of reports of lighted objects, frequently described as enormous and triangular in shape were recorded in Belgium." Air and ground radar tracking.

3. Lakenheath 1956: UFO tracked by ground and aerial radar, with ground and air observations and aerial maneuvering in response to military aircraft.

4. Air Force RB-47 with six officers followed for 700 miles by UFO

5. Air and Ground radar tracking of large ufo over alaska, "confirmed by FAA Division Chief."

6. Several UFOs seen and tracked by multiple aircraft and ground radar.

7. Two F-4Us dogfight with UFO over Tehran.

8. Sheriffs and 100 witnesses see UFOs over Lake Erie. Tracked by ground radar.

9. "F-86 intercepts and shoots at saucer-shaped UFO"

10. US Naval Reserve flight has near miss with large UFO

Bonus Cases (since I have a few characters left after editing...) These are cases I know little about or that do not satisfy all of the requirements I set above, but that seem interesting enough to include:

11. "The Malmstrom Air Force Base UFO/Missile Incident"

12. Kapustin Yar Incident involving Soviet nuclear site

13. F-89 with crew of 2 vanishes after intercepting UFO

14. The Coyne army helicopter case

15. SU-22 fires on, has dogfight with UFO

16. "The Sea Fury Incident"

I will leave off here as I'm afraid I might be overwhelming you with reading material.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to debate me on this issue. I look forward to your response.


(2)Strangely, I haven't located any solid source for this number, but I do find it referenced quite a bit, and apparently this figure once appeared at this link:
I also found a reference to the figure 6.3 billion years at this link (under the Time Life section):






Thanks to my opponent for an interesting opening argument.

Just to clarify, I do not doubt that it is impossible for life to exist on another planet orbiting a star somewhere in the extremely vast universe. I was just wondering what you rationale was for assuming that another intelligent culture would have to be older than us. I thank you for taking the time to give me the rationale for this, and while I agree it is plausible it is not a definitive answer. For example your rationale does not bring into the calculation that mass extinctions could happen more frequently in an earlier universe as the universe is expanding and so in the earlier universe there would be more chances of collisions.(1) This means the chances for an older civilization are about as likely as a civilization that is the same age as ours, but this is my perception of what would happen.

However, lets leave this for another debate and rather discuss the sightings as this is the core element of the debate. My opponent has put multiple links to multiple cases, and I am sure it will be impossible to reply to them all. As such, I will go through the arguments from the first to last as space permits. However, I should also add that the first case actually represents thirty individual sightings during the Korean war. As such I am not ignoring the other links, but I am not sure which evidence my opponent wants my to address.

Case 1 presents the 30 individual cases of pilots that encountered UFOs during the Korean war.(2) The first sighting (sub case 1) refers to a September 1950 sighting. Firstly, I think it is important to note that this was a single person reporting this and was not verified by anyone else involved in the flight sortie. There were 9 people in this flight sortie and only 1 observed anything, and as such it should not be held credible as it was a war situation and this is known to cause stress as well as post traumatic stress.(3) The fact that the radar was jammed is not surprising, as radar jamming techniques existed long before the Korean war and again this story is only coming from 1 of the 9 people present and only 1 of the 3 planes.(4) Additionally, the disorder the pilot felt, the images he saw etc. can all be explained by a deprivation of oxygen to the brain.(5) So in closing, I think this event by 1 person in a group of 9 can easily be explained through psychiatric trauma, oxygen loss or radar jamming.

Case 1 sub case 2 March 10, 1951. I think this case is nothing special to write about, as a flash of light could be anything during a war. This is even recognized as such and is labelled unidentified, as it could have been either: flak, a flare, or a meteor.

Case 1 sub case 3 July 1, 1951. Again this case in nothing special. Flashes of light in the middle of a war, not surprising. Additionally, this was all in Seoul airspace at the same time and so its not strange that 4 different pilots flying at the same time observed it.

Case 1 sub case 4 is just labeled Fall 1951, this should be reason enough to doubt it with no specific location and date or time. Its a war and these people are pilots, this is very suspicious. The sentences starts off "More than 14 U.S. Navy ground and airborne radar sets tracked a UFO which circled over the U.S. fleet", however this is not true what the radar on the ground said to the one airplane non-pilot was this "I reported the target to the ship and was informed that the target was also held on the ship's radars, 14 in number and for us to get a visual sighting if possible." So the target was 14 in number, not radars on the ground. So it seems that a non-pilot "Lt. Cmdr. M.C. Davies, U.S.N (Lt. Cmdr. is navy not air force)" was confused and disorientated, or maybe he is just been misinterpreted.

Case 1 sub case 5 Jan 29, 1952 2300 and 2324 Korean Time Wonson & Sunchon. Immediately, I have to doubt the validity as the author states it was one B25 that observed this "UFO" for 5 minutes. If it was one sighting then the distance the B25 traveled was between Sunchon and Wonsan (approx 100 km) in 5 minutes which is 490 mph, this is much faster than the reported 144 mph.(6,7) So we can conclude that it was separate sightings which follows from the reading the text accurately. Maybe it should also be added, that the "UFO" fired upon the second aircraft which is expected from enemy during a war. Also these sightings are not so strange as this could happen in a war due to stress as I pointed out before.(3) This is even noted in the text as follows "Capt. Fournet for Air Force public relations use he states, "The sightings mentioned, although of a different nature, as is usual, are not abnormal occurrences in the combat theatre. During World War II over both Germany and Japan, combat crews reported sightings of a multitude of these types of objects which could not be identified or explained."

I wish to take a break from these rebuttals at this point to make the following statement before I continue. Honestly, after reading these first five cases I am doubting the validity of the author, as he does not seem very proficient in the English language. He misinterprets things how he wants i.e. 14 radars and 1 aircraft for 5minutes, when it meant 14 enemy and 2 different aircraft. I do not deem this as a credible source at all, as it has been shown the author either has bias, is a liar, or is not proficient in the English language.

Continuing, in case 1 sub case 6 February 23, 1952. No further information is given besides it was unidentified, so I think this is a void example as it could have been a balloon.

Case 1 sub case 7 February 24, 1952. The aircraft in question got illuminated by a spotlight from another plane. This is not surprising as spotlights were used on planes during the Korean war.(8,9) I don't find this evidence remarkable at all, as the plane could have been illuminated from the ground and then by another aircraft, or even a friend playing a mind game on another squadron mate.

Case 1 sub case 8 March 29, 1952. No further information is given besides it was unidentified, so I think this is a void as in sub case 6.

Case 1 sub case 9 May 10, 1952. This is classified as a balloon sighting, so not sure why it is even in the evidence for UFOs.

Case 1 sub case 10 May 15, 1952. This sighting is dubious as it lasted for 3-5 seconds, and the object was moving at an estimate of between 1,200 to 1,500 mph which is double the speed of the aircraft. It should also be noted that the visibility was only between 10-12 miles and the aircraft was estimated to be 20 miles away and one third the altitude. So how did these pilots see something 20 miles away clearly in visibility that was between 10 and 12 mph?

Case 1 sub case 11 May 15, 1952. This case sounds strange as I am not sure why the whole sighting is considered to be at "approximately the same altitude as the airplane during the 15 - 25 second-long sighting". This aircraft was supposedly moving at 4 times the speed of the airplane in question and then descended downwards (which if it was moving at that speed would have crashed into the ground within 4 seconds) however the pilot says he saw it descend to 1000 to 200 feet below him and disappear into a haze. Seems this could probably be related to altitude sickness or some kind of trauma.

Case 1 sub case 12 May 26, 1952. This sighting was at night, and the pilots even talk about a glare from a searchlight of a plane which was blinding so they could not determine what type. Surely then this bright light observed that followed the plane could just be attributed to a searchlight on a plane.(8,9) What's interesting is the author who then talks about presuppositions "The conclusion of the Deputy for Intelligence stated above illustrates once again the lengths that people will go to to ignore obvious facts that do not agree with their presuppositions." Yet, the author is the one with presuppositions as he has already decided that any report from the air force is lies and not facts.

I think in all these cases, it is important to remember that the Korean war was a very bloody conflict which was the first cold war conflict. What happened at that point was a new era of warfare (especially air warfare see citation 9) and multiple sightings could be attributed to new aircraft and stress of this new warfare.(10)

In closing again I want to reiterate, I do not think this information is credible as the author has like I said earlier either a bias, is a liar or is not proficient in English. Additionally, it should be noted that most of the sightings which seem like they could be "UFOs" all occur at night or changing light when it is well known that human sight is worse at night or during changes between dawn and dusk.(11)

I hand the debate back to my opponent, and again I apologize that I could not get to all your evidence due to the character limit.


Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for taking the time to go through at least part of the information I presented and give it some consideration. This is further than many people are willing to go in a debate on this topic.

First, I apologize for making an error with link #1, which I'll clarify below, but before I get to that, I'm not sure I agree that it is unimportant to this debate that, statistically, were we: a 19,000 day old space-faring culture, to make contact with another space-faring culture, we would very likely be the less advanced of the two, given that such a civilization would likely be millions of years older than ours, again, statistically speaking (as you pointed out, this isn't a "definitive answer," but I think unless Con can present a plausible argument for why the average hypothetical civilization we would make contact with would be around 19,000 days old as well, then we should defer to the experts in the field who have an overwhelming tendency to espouse the notion that, as Carl Sagan put it, "The chance of receiving a signal from a civilization exactly as advanced as we are should be miniscule. . .The most likely signal would come from a civilization much more advanced." (Contact, p. 77 - also see refs (1) & (2), as well as ref (3), by Michio Kaku which I include simply as relevant to our discussion)

In originally typing out my list, I had summarized each event I intended to reference much more thoroughly, but after editing for length and removing extended summaries, I forgot that the link to item 1 pointed to an entire chapter instead of to the actual event I intended to reference, which unfortunately was the only one Con didn't provide an argument to, citing that it was classified as a balloon. I really wish I hadn't made the mistake because I would rather debate the merits of that case and some of the other more interesting ones I had referenced. Again, I apologize.

As Con wasn't able to get to the other 9 main cases I presented, I would like to take issue with some of the arguments he made in dismissing the author and the validity of a few of the reports ("sub-cases") from the link to Case 1. Again, with the exception of sub-case 9, these weren't intended for consideration in this debate.

First, upon reaching sub-case five, Con indicated his doubt in the "validity of the author," stating "I do not deem this as a credible source at all, as it has been shown the author either has bias, is a liar, or is not proficient in the English language." As I hope to show below, I think that Con misunderstood a few things from some of the reports and took this to mean that the author was misleading us somehow.

The author of the book is Richard F. Haines, Ph.D. He is a leading expert on how factors of vision, perception and cognition influence how the human body and nervous system interfaces with aeronautical and astronautical technologies. As such, he may be among the most qualified people on earth to scientifically study UFOs. From 1967, he worked on the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and other NASA programs, as well as extensive aeronautical work at NASA and served as Chief of the Space Human Factors Office at NASA-Ames, as well as doing consulting work for NASA after his retirement from Government work in 1988. He has also spent about 40 years collecting and analyzing sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena by pilots(4). You can see an interview with Haines, discussing this subject here: (If you'll forgive the manipulative music and cutaways added to the interview, I think you'll find that he is quite rational and uses scientific language and reasoning in his discussion of the subject.)

Although I have some disagreements with con about his analyses of sub-cases 1-3 (esp. 1, I feel that an argument about it would require some understanding of human radar and radio jamming capabilities in 1950, and because these cases fail to meet other criteria I set forth), I will not go into it. I would like to take issue with Con on sub-cases 4 and 5 however.
Con seems to have misunderstood what Lt. Commander Davies (correctly identified by Con as being a Naval rank, as opposed to an AF rank, although I don't understand how this is relevant, as it isn't referred to as an Air Force rank anywhere that I can see) reported, saying that he believes what Davies meant was that "the target was 14 in number." I can only see one reason why Con may infer this as it simply isn't what Davies said ("I reported the target [singular] to the ship and was informed that the target [singular] was also held on the ship's radars [plural], 14 in number . . ." I assume that Con may be suspecting that a ship would only have one radar set, which is not necessarily the case. So although Davies was very clear in his report about what was singular (target) and what was plural (radars) on multiple occasions in the report, I am surmising that Con believed Davies to have mis-stated and meant that there were 14 targets, simply because con doesn't think a ship would have 14 radars. I may be misunderstanding, as I failed to understand what con meant in some of the arguments I'll get to below. I truly mean no offense to Con, I am simply indicating what I was and wasn't able to understand and what I suspect has led to what I see as Con's misunderstanding of Davies' report.

Haines indicates that Davies served on a carrier at this time and was an experienced pilot, a fact which con seems to have missed as he refers to Lt. Commander Davies as a "non-pilot." It should be noted that naval ships, especially aircraft carriers, have (and had at the time) multiple air radar systems. including SC and SK air radar(5), height finding radar(6), fire control radar(7), and others, with redundant sets of some types (e.g. Essex class carriers, in use at the time, had 21 radar sets on board according to this wikipedia entry (see right column) In any case, I don't think a Lt. Commander and pilot with 4,000 hours experience needs to have his testimony questioned in terms of number of targets vs. radar sets. As far as the vagueness of the date of the report, it was filed by Davies in 1957, six years after the event, when Davies was an instructor at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville (8), so it is understandable that he was unable to provide a date. But again, this case fails to meet certain criteria (we only have the testimony of one witness and no other documentation, that I know of, and although the witness seems credible, and may have seen a genuine UAP, there isn't enough data to make this case worthy of debate).

In sub-case 5, Con seems to have misunderstood a number of points as well, and/or I have. Though I appreciate his effort, I am not seeing what Con's analysis of the distance between Wonson & Sunchon and how long it would take to fly that distance has to do with the report, which only mentions Wonson & Sunchon as descriptors for the general vicinity in which the events took place. Con does mention that the event may have been two events, which I take to mean, events inspired by separate phenomena, because indeed, the reported events did occur to two separate air crews. I do not see how airspeed and travel times factor in to that though, unless maybe con is assuming a constant rate and direction of travel for the phenomena. I really am not sure what con is getting at, but I don't know where he gets the number 144 mph, which doesn't seem to appear in the text. I also want to mention that nowhere in the text does it say the UAP fired at an aircraft. It says the UAP was observed shortly after the aircraft began taking flak. Con may be unaware that flak refers to explosions of shells from a particular kind of ground-based, anti-aircraft cannon, with a very distinctive audio and visual signature and is very easy to distinguish from machine gun fire originating from other aircraft.

I'm also unsure why Con feels that confirmation by the US Air Force that sightings of this type are "not abnormal," and that "a multitude" of similar sightings of "objects that could not be identified or explained" being reported by aircrews over Europe and Asia in World War II, somehow bolsters his case.

I won't go into the other sub-cases mostly because I am running out of space, but again, I thank Con for taking the time to look them over and give his thoughts.

I do want to touch on Case 1 (re-designated "sub-case 9" due to my error). The events, as reported, by the pilot, his radar operator, and written up in the conclusion by Brig. General Banliff do not describe a weather balloon, but at least two separate objects, both tracked by at least one radar set, and one apparently achieving a 20 G acceleration to 6,420mph. The pilot in his signed statement, the radar operator in his, the radar itself (verified as functioning properly both before and after the flight), all agree on this point, and as the Deputy for Intelligence points out, "this rate of acceleration is much more than the human body can stand for more than a fraction of a second."

Not a smoking gun of course, but one of hundreds of reports that (esp. taken together) deserve to be looked at seriously in light of what available data tells us about the prospects for intelligent life in the universe. Occam's Razor may more easily cut away prosaic explanations in some of these cases than the extraterrestrial hypothesis, which is consistent with current, reasoned scientific speculation.



Thanks to my opponent for an interesting response . Regarding the reference error, no problem I just wanted to address your information so the error is not problematic if anything it made me more dubious of the UFO claims.

Regarding the date of civilizations, I understand what you are saying. However, we should remember that without the dark ages we as a civilization would be 500 to 600 years ahead in technology so we have no idea what that 600 years would have meant.(1) But to put it in perspective, we would have put someone on the moon at least in the 18th century. This is why I point this out, as exploration of science does not have to with civilization age but technology and science. As such a civilization that developed at the same pace as ours, but did not go through a dead period of 600 years in terms of science and technology, would be far more advanced than us but still the same age. Also, again I am not saying its impossible that alien life exists outside of our solar system. However, I am pointing out that the age of such a life form is something we cannot know.

Regarding Dr Haines, I agree I may have been misreading so I will attempt to answer you questions regarding this to make myself more clear. I just want to say that Dr Haines has a clear bias, as he assumes everything to be a cover up, this is why I mentioned that similar sightings of this type were reported by aircrews over Europe and Asia in World War II. It reverts back to the fact that multiple of these cases can easily be explained by war stress, oxygen deprivation or instrument failure, and not the immediate UFO jump. I also watched the Youtube clip, and have to say this very important statement. Sounding rational does not make you right, as can be attested when considering Bill Maher and his anti-vaccine stance.(2) Interestingly, my opponent drops sub cases 1 to 3 from my second round argument as it does not fit the criteria and I applaud that. But,at this point lets note that Dr Haines who is meant to be "most qualified people on earth to scientifically study UFOs" thought it was not necessary to drop. In other words these cases are considered credible by Dr Haines, and this is more evidence as to why I say he has a bias.

Regarding sub case 4, I gather is been dropped despite my opponents lengthily response. In response I will gladly drop the rank question of Lt. Commander Davies as I misread that he was actually a naval pilot. However, regardless as you say there is no corroborating information for this case and so it is a personal account that can get dropped due to lack of evidence. With respect to the 14 radars, I still believe the text is ambiguous and so it is good this case is getting dropped as I do not agree with your analysis.

Regarding sub case 5, I agree with my opponent that it was two separate events. However the text says in a very misleading way that "Three crewmembers (tail, left, and top gunner) of a B-29 reported a five-minute encounter with a light orange colored sphere which shot away at an angle." This sentence implies one aircraft, and so if this is the case the airspeed of the aircraft becomes very important and that is why I brought it up. The speed of 144 mph I mentioned comes from the text where they say their speed was 125 knots which can be converted.(3) With respect to the word flak, yes I know it traditionally means from anti aircraft exploding shells, however it should be noted that this term has been used far more liberally in the military than just to reference anti-aircraft exploding shells.(4, 5) It should be noted that if this aircraft was receiving flak that the lights/objects seen can be explained through war stress, explosions etc. However, I agree that this is not relevant evidence and as such we can drop it, again Dr Haines however did not think it worthy of dropping.

Now to the evidence my opponent wanted me to address and which I snubbed in my second round argument as been easily explained by a balloon sighting. This is case 9 in full and why I snubbed it " May 10, 1952 Korea, Project Blue Book monthly summary for the period 1 - 10 May 1952 includes a single entry for a sighting on May 10th by a military observer that was evaluated as BALLOONS. No other information is available."

I think my opponent is referring to the following case which I posted in round 2, so I will post my response here again.

Case 1 sub case 12 May 26, 1952. This sighting was at night, and the pilots even talk about a glare from a searchlight of a plane which was blinding so they could not determine what type. Surely then this bright light observed that followed the plane could just be attributed to a searchlight on a plane.(7,8) What's interesting is the author who then talks about presuppositions "The conclusion of the Deputy for Intelligence stated above illustrates once again the lengths that people will go to to ignore obvious facts that do not agree with their presuppositions." Yet, the author is the one with presuppositions as he has already decided that any report from the air force is not reliable.

I believe the major contention my opponent has though comes from the acceleration speed of the "UFO". However, again I state here that the pilots observed glare from the "UFO" and as such how do we even know if their depth perception is correct to come up with those values. Additionally, this whole sighting lasted only 14 seconds according to the pilots observations in war conditions at night with glare from searchlights. These variables are enough to cast serious doubt on this account.

This case is meant to be corroborated by ground radar, however the report by Brig. General Banliff even states "No information has yet been received from the ground controller at Bromide as to the returns plotted or the length of time that object was held in contact by the ground radar." So, I think it is safe to say that this was only witnessed by the crew, and so we have lost one source of information. This means in effect this information about acceleration is only obtained from one radar by one person.

In closing my opponent talks about intelligent life in the universe. However, this debate is about an intelligent civilizations spacecraft and NOT about intelligent civilization. With respect to spacecraft I believe there is no credible evidence for this as presented so far. As I have characters left let me address some more of the links from round 1 of the debate.

The Belgium spottings of the triangles shaped flying aircraft is interesting as only ground observations were observed and there are reasons for the sightings such as stealth fighters flying at that time.(8) Importantly, even though these objects were chased by F16's importantly no pilot EVER saw any of these objects and the radar observations can be explained by so called "rare meteorological phenomenon." Maybe, it should also be noted this was near the end of the cold war, so it could have been Soviet Russia testing new planes beyond the classified stealth fighters or other US Air Force planes.(9)

I think it is important to realize that just because multiple people believe something, and have claimed to see something it does not make it rational. This can be thought of in terms Cottingly Fairies which were photographed and claimed to be real by some people back in 1917 to 1920.(10) Even though these pictures have been discredited, there are still people that claim that they have seen fairies.(11)

Regarding the LakenHeath-Bentworth incident, the pilots say that the object was stationary and that all the information reported is overblown.(12) In fact from Wikipedia the "aircrews both stated that the radar contacts obtained were unimpressive and that no 'tail-chase', or action on the part of the target, occurred. They also asserted no visual contacts were made."(13) Considering this is a Wikipedia link and the related link are broken, I have included a Youtube interview. The interview is with two of the pilots explaining what they saw. Interestingly these pilots and the interviewer state the report of the Americans was overblown and that the British report said this was a complete non case, as there was not even any thing to observe.

I cant wait to hear my opponents response to these rebuttals and as such I hand the debate back to my opponent.

Debate Round No. 3


Thank you for your thoughtful response. You brought up some good points, but I'm still not convinced. :)

Just a few words re: your thoughts on the hypothetical missing dark age: First, if we were to represent the age of the universe with a wooly mammoth, the six hundred years in question would represent something like the eye on a flea on one of it's hairs (or if not that, something similarly small), so worrying over whether or not our civilization had a dark age, when we're talking about the odds being very good that other civilizations have been around for millions if not billions of years longer than we have, is, I think, kind of moot. Besides, the fact that we did have a dark age, makes it MORE likely that they're "ahead" of us " though by very, very little " not less. I take your meaning that it's about the age of a technology, not necessarily a species, but we're talking about a very long timescale and a (pardon the pun) potentially astronomical number of intelligent species. The data would seem to suggest that by now, the galaxy should be up to its armpits in star-faring cultures " or at least very well could be. I'm simply suggesting that in spite of not being able to detect them (or at least not reliably(1)) via electromagnetism, maybe it makes sense to examine reports of "ufos" more carefully than we have in the past.

In response to your third paragraph, I would have agreed if you had said, "can be explained by war stress, oxygen deprivation or instrument failure," but when you add the word "easily" to that, I have to disagree. Experienced combat air crews deal with stress and even occasional O2 deprivation, I'm sure(though they wore masks for that(2)), but to suggest that this causes them to experience hallucinations of metallic or glowing balls that fly for miles in formation with their bombers and that they all share the hallucinations, pushes credibility more, in my opinion, than that they saw something that science is at a loss to easily explain. These were reported very commonly by Allied, German and Japanese crews(3), and each government believed (wrongly, all but conspiracists now believe) them to be a secret technology in use by their enemies. We can try to attribute it to St. Elmo's Fire or some such phenomenon, but we lack any solid evidence linking the two, and the reports from the airmen, in many cases seem to suggest intelligent behavior, or behavior/appearance inconsistent with this explanation.

As for Haines, I would be skeptical of anyone who told me they knew of an unbiased scientist. I would not call Haines particularly biased though. Like all scientists, he operates from within a set of beliefs. Scientists spend years building careers and egos around their version of a story, and will fight dearly, even against logic, when anything contradicts that version. This is called cognitive dissonance(4). Everyone suffers from it. It is what you accuse Haines of, and, as you point out, it is what Haines accused the Deputy of Intelligence of (rightly, one might add, if one supposes that in his conclusion he states essentially: 1) the radar tracked an unexplainable phenomenon 2) the radar was functioning properly. 3) the radar must not have been functioning properly). Don't get me wrong. I'm all for being skeptical, but what I'm getting at when I say science should be taking these things seriously isn't "scientists should believe that without a doubt the radar set in question was functioning perfectly and they were chasing an extraterrestrial craft." What I'm saying is, scientists should not dismiss anything simply because it seems improbable based on their beliefs. Scientists should accept that the radar may have been at fault, but they should also accept that the crew may have actually witnessed a phenomenon worth considering, and worth looking at as part of a body of evidence. Making a judgement either way in a case like this, is unscientific. Pursuing possibilities until they have been exhausted is what should happen. If you don't reach a conclusion, fine. Add it to the pile.

All of that said, Con makes a valid point that in this case, the ground radar operator apparently did not go on record or was not included in the investigation and report. Although I do not see any reason to doubt that the radar in fact tracked these objects, I will agree to dismiss the case on that basis.

Which brings me to Con's argument against Haines, which I object to simply because in his book, Haines nowhere confines himself to reports that must conform to the criteria that I've set forth for this debate. Although, in my view, many of the reports in his book come from highly credible witnesses, we should remember that he is simply providing a catalog of reports of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena from the Korean War, which means they were reported as such, not that Haines necessarily believes they were all truly unexplainable, or that he necessarily expects readers to.

Belgian sightings: I do not feel that the phenomena, as reported, match well with stealth aircraft beyond very general shape. In terms of commonly reported behavior and the specifics of shape, size, lighting, and surface detail, the triangular objects reported, are quite different from anything currently known to exist in any nation's air force. And let's not forget this was 24 years ago. These objects were reported in great detail by, as the linked report mentions, thousands of witnesses, including "military and police officers, pilots, scientists and engineers."

When a professor of physics describes a "large triangular craft" hovering silently over a field with three powerful beams emanating from large circular surfaces near the corners of the triangle, then turning and silently flying along a road, and when this is confirmed by military police who followed the object and multiple civilians who all describe the same thing, a rational person shouldn't just dismiss it as a stealth fighter, because nothing about it sounds remotely like a stealth fighter. One should ask oneself what on earth these people may have seen. And if one cannot think of anything on earth that matches what has been described, one must consider the possibility that it may have originated elsewhere. Not accept it as fact mind you, but include it as a possibility (along with whatever else you want to include as a possibility: mass hallucinations, a conspiracy of liars, mind control, top secret fusion-powered anti-gravity devices, swamp gas). I'm saying that as far as we can ascertain, intelligent life may be ubiquitous, so dismissing that possibility as an explanation for a given report by credible witnesses (especially when there are thousands of similar reports from credible witnesses) is illogical, unless we conclusively show that the report did indeed have a more conventional explanation.

Fairies: If fairies were tracked on radar and reported by thousands of pilots (or naturalists might be the appropriate analogy), and if it was logically consistent with current scientific thinking about how the universe works that we might very well logically expect fairies to be here, (even in spite of not having reliably detected them, and only having the word of a few thousand naturalists to go on) I might think that possibility was worth considering, too. As it is though, I agree with you that fairies are not a rational thing to assign any considerable likelihood to.

Lakenheath: I'll agree that there is some inconsistency between both the official Blue Book and Condon Committee reports and the testimonies of the radar operator and watch supervisor and dozens of other witnesses on the ground and in the air on the one hand, and the recollections of Brady and Logan on the other, and there could be a number of reasons why Brady and Logan would either remember things differently or report them differently, 40 years later. One way or another, it seems someone is either misremembering or even misrepresenting the details of what happened after the aircraft encountered the UAP, and we don't know who or why. But Brady and Logan admit to at least observing an unknown object they were vectored to by radar. They disagree about what happened after that, which is interesting, but it is also interesting that a number of things happened prior to that which were observed by radar and simultaneously observed visually that don't seem explainable as meteors or anomalous propagation or other conventional factors. In short, I find the data collected immediately after the incident to be more interesting than what is recalled by two participants forty years later. I do think what they have to say should be a part of the discussion and should be considered, but we must also consider that what they are saying does not line up in some respects with the official reports, and could be in error somehow. And taken as a whole, I think the data we have, including the testimony of these RAF pilots, strongly suggests that something, although occasionally stationary, was in the sky, traveling at unconventional speeds and exhibiting unconventional maneuverability. Could there be another explanation? Sure. Is there? The fact is, we simply do not know, and are unable to present a reliable explanation that explains all the data (from multiple radar sets and multiple eye witnesses) in the case. It is therefore illogical to rule out that there was indeed something traveling at unconventional speeds and exhibiting unconventional maneuverability, that we are at a loss to explain. Again, it would be illogical to say that it certainly was that as well. The appropriate scientific stance is that, in this case, we are dealing with an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. Unless it is identified, well, it isn't.



Thanks to my opponent.

Lets me just say, I think this debate seems to me to be heading to a point of what evidence is acceptable to convince either of us of UFOs existence. I affirm I have not seen any credible evidence, yet my opponent deems some of the evidence presented as credible. However, it seems though we disagree we can at least be rational and this is truly a good way for us to proceed.

Regarding your comments relating to the chances of another civilization, I meant without the dark ages they would be more advanced and I apologize if this came across wrong so I do agree with you on this hypothetical point. However, regarding taking UFO reports and examining them more carefully, I would say that is exactly what is happening. The difference is that the conclusions that the air-forces, scientists, military advisors, NASA etc. are coming to is not the conclusion that UFO believers want to hear.

Now let me turn to some important points that need to be addressed. The following statements in your rebuttal I have to take exception with.
(a)"but to suggest that this causes them to experience hallucinations of metallic or glowing balls that fly for miles in formation with their bombers and that they all share the hallucination, pushes credibility more, in my opinion, than that they saw something that science is at a loss to easily explain."
This is demonstrably false from all the reports I have read, there are never glowing balls flying in formation with the aircraft in question. Also, the pilots do have differing reports of events, with even pilots and co-pilots/navigators not agreeing on the events. Again these "sightings" can be explained by war stress, oxygen deprivation or instrument failure.
(b) "These were reported very commonly by Allied, German and Japanese crews(3), and each government believed (wrongly, all but conspiracists now believe) them to be a secret technology in use by their enemies."
Why are the governments wrong, the fact is this is a biased assumption based on facts that UFO believers want to believe the government is covering something up like Area 51.(1) Interestingly, these sightings were at night and always following aircraft so how accurate are these pilot sightings for something behind them. Additionally, see point (a)
(c) "Making a judgement either way in a case like this, is unscientific. Pursuing possibilities until they have been exhausted is what should happen. If you don't reach a conclusion, fine. Add it to the pile."
I agree that's why these cases are explored by various agencies and have been shown to not be attributed to aliens.

Regarding Cognitive Dissonance, I agree Haines and every scientist/person can be guilty of this. However, lets look at the facts the largest proportion of scientists do not agree in UFOs even after all the years and all the sightings. Scientists follow information and take it seriously if it is good evidence. So far the evidence is lacking and so it is not too be believed. Remember, billions of people worldwide believe there is a god, and there is no proof for a god.(2)

The Belgium Sightings peaked over 2 nights between 30 and 31 March 1990, so this could be attributed to mass hysteria effect similar to the Salem witch trials.(3) I think it may also be important to put a picture here that is attributed to the UFO in this Belgium debate here. As you can see the picture is extremely poor quality.

<a href=; width="328" height="185" />
Picture source.(4)

Now if I had not said this was a "UFO" what would you have thought? More likely than not you would think its a UFO as I mentioned it, but this is called confirmation bias.(5) Not surprisingly, this photo above was taken before the mass sightings of the same UFO and the photographer admitted in 2011 that this photo was a hoax. This together with cognitive dissonance is in fact what people attribute to the famous case of the sun movements witnessed at Fatima in Portugal on 13 October 1917 and witnessed by upwards of 30,000 people (upper limit 100, 000).(6) Here, is another picture of a "UFO" with a higher resolution.

<a href=; width="298" height="186" />
Picture source.(7)
Actually, this is just a cloud, but I am hoping it made you think twice.

I am glad my opponent agrees with me about fairies not been rational. I think this is strong evidence for mass delusion and cognitive dissonance playing a role in people seeing what they want to see i.e. UFOs. This is why I brought this point up in the previous round.

The Lakenheath incident, I am glad my opponent agrees with my analysis that there are huge discrepancies. Additionally, I want to highlight again that the reports from the British who actually observed the stationary object (pilots) vary a lot from the Americans who did not observe the object (radar). It is also important to point out again, that the object was stationary, and could have really been anything even a reflection. I agree with my opponent, that the pilots could be mistaken, but there report has not changed in all the years. It is again that the British and the American report are different and as such should be reason enough to dismiss.

In closing, my opponent says we should not discard the UFO possibility unless there are other rational explanations. These explanations are what I have tried to show. These explanations are what various agencies and air forces have shown. Theses are the explanations that the UFO community refuses to accept.

I hand the debate back to my opponent.


Debate Round No. 4


I'll start with the photographs my opponent provided demonstrating that people can hoax photographs and that lenticular clouds look vaguely similar to some reported UFOs. I do not dispute either of these assertions.

As for Con's objection to my statement about foo fighters: I suggest my opponent look into them if he is interested as there are thousands of cases from WW2 to present of unknown objects interacting with aircraft, often for long periods as described by Army Air Major William D. Leet: "'My B-17 crew and I were kept company by a 'foo-fighter,' a small disc, all the way from Klagenfurt Austria, to the Adriatic Sea. This occurred on a 'lone wolf' mission at night, as I recall, in December 1944.'" (1)

Many of the descriptions involve evasive action taken by the pilot with the "objects" maintaining formation for several minutes, and many do not involve "following behind" as in this case reported by a B-29 crew over the Indian Ocean: "A strange object was pacing us about 500 yards off the starboard wing. . . it appeared as a spherical object, probably five or six feet in diameter, of a very bright and intense red or orange. . .It seemed to throb or vibrate constantly. . .I went into evasive action, changing direction constantly, as much as 90 degrees and altitude of about 2,000 feet. It followed our every maneuver for about eight minutes, always holding a position about 500 yards out and about 2 o'clock in relation to the plane. When it left, it made an abrupt 90 degree turn, accelerating rapidly, and disappeared into the overcast." (1)

Descriptions such as this, with details of the object and it's relation to the plane through a series of described maneuvers, seem to rule out most factors other than that there was something actually there. It is obvious from any detailed analysis of available evidence that my opponent's characterizations of the evidence are based on an extremely limited sample and a-priori assumptions about the rest. But again, not to minimize these, but I was hoping to get to the other presented cases with supporting evidence.

Re: Con's statement: "scientists follow information and take it seriously if it is good evidence."
I agree that this would be ideal, but I disagree that this is the case. As he himself agreed "every scientist/person can be guilty of [cognitive dissonance]." A scientist is unlikely to examine the evidence for UFOs precisely because they have made a-priori assumptions, as my opponent has (I say this only because he seems at least somewhat unfamiliar with the topic he is arguing against. I would assert that to take a position without information is evidence of pre-existing bias). I do not blame him, however. The vast majority of scientists are also completely unfamiliar with the subject and if asked, will dismiss it, with simplistic blanket explanations, as my opponent has, like lack of oxygen or war stress, or mass hysteria, that in many cases are simply not adequate to explain the reported observation. This is of course quite understandable, as UFO "believers" are often horribly unscientific and irrational in their presentation of the evidence and their argument for it, often giving just as simplistic and blanket explanations without backing them up. It seems that the media and the government have also done their part in many cases to create a taboo around the subject. I will talk more about this in a moment.

My opponent closed by saying that he (and/or "various agencies and airforces") has given valid explanations covering (I must assume he means) EVERY case of unidentified flying objects and that the "UFO community" refuses to accept these explanations. This is demonstrably false, as thousands of UFO reports analyzed by governments around the world, including the U.S. government, have been determined to be of unknown origin. That said, as my opponent points out, there has been a consistent pattern among agencies of the US government to downplay the validity of the reports in general. I submit, that at least in large part, this can be demonstrated to be based on intentional deception.

We know that to begin with, the US government took UFO reports very seriously(2) (3) and then changed it's official stance, in spite of the fact that it continued to take the phenomenon seriously in secret, as evidenced by a number of declassified documents, showing that the air force and other agencies continued to investigate UFOs even after "officially" closing Blue Book(4).

J. Allen Hynek was the Scientific Advisor to Project Blue Book and a member of the Robertson Panel. He was highly skeptical of UFO reports to begin with. During his work with the project, he publicly debunked reports (most of us may know him as the originator of the "swamp gas" explanation). He later became a whistle-blower, stating that Blue Book was meant to intentionally misinform the public about UFOs. He came to take the phenomenon very seriously after failing to find plausible explanations for a number of compelling cases, often involving military pilots.

It is also clear that the Condon Committee had similar objectives. A letter(6) from the C.C. Project Coordinator, Robert Low discusses his misgivings about the project:
"One has to approach it objectively. That is, one has to admit the possibility that such things as UFOs exist. It is not respectable to give serious consideration to such a possibility. . .The simple act of admitting the possibilities just as possibilities puts us beyond the pale, and we would lose more prestige in the scientific community than we could possibly gain by undertaking the investigation. . .The trick would be, I think, to describe the project so that, to the public, it would appear a totally objective study but, to the scientific community, would present the image of a group of nonbelievers trying their best to be objective, but having an almost zero expectation of finding a saucer."
It is also clear that project head Edward Condon was biased about the subject, quoted by the New York Times referring to it "a bunch of damned nonsense."(7)

When the Condon Committee released their 1,000 page report, scientists and media rarely looked beyond Condon's conclusion, which said more or less that studying UFOs was without scientific merit. Those who did, including the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics(8), were often strongly critical of Condon's conclusion, which did not reflect the conclusions of many of the report's authors, who concluded in about 1/4 of the cases that the phenomenon did not correlate with conventional explanations. In the Bentwaters case even concluding that "the most probable explanation. . .[is] a mechanical device of unknown origin."

Prior to BlueBook and the Condon Committee was a secret 1953 CIA study known as the Robertson Panel. One panel member, Dr. Thornton Page, wrote that "our job was to reduce public concern, and show that UFO reports could be explained by conventional reasoning."(6) This is backed up by what Hynek claims in video 2.

The panel's recommendations were not publicly released (until recently), but they suggested that through an "educational program". . ."the national security agencies take immediate steps to strip the Unidentified Flying Objects of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired."
They suggested this be done in part through "debunking" UFO reports by manipulating the media:
"The 'debunking' aim would result in reduction in public interest in 'flying saucers' which today evokes a strong psychological reaction. This education could be accomplished by mass media such as television, motion pictures, and popular articles. . . The report went on that "business clubs, high schools, colleges, and television stations would all be pleased to cooperate in the showing of documentary type motion pictures if prepared in an interesting manner. The use of true cases showing first the 'mystery' and then the 'explanation' would be forceful."(9)
But did anything happen with these recommendations? Apparently.
Dr. Page wrote in a letter about Walter Cronkite's 1966 UFO special: "I. . . helped organize the CBS TV show around the Robertson Panel's conclusions."(10)

But whether there is a conspiracy isn't central to my argument. Let it suffice that there is a taboo(11).

The main thrust of my point remains. To summarize:
1) As Fermi and others have noted, and most scientists have had no qualm with, it is not illogical to assume that our galaxy has been fully colonized by intelligent entities by now.
2) There is ample evidence (a tiny portion of which I have presented, very little of which my opponent has addressed) that at least some cases of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena cannot be adequately explained. (I am not impressed by the blanket explanations that Con has put forth to explain a very large number of reports, largely by highly experienced, well-trained, methodical, aviators and operators of supporting equipment. I accept that anomalies of perception occur, but with thousands of such reports, these explanations strain believability.)
3) Given 1, it is not unreasonable to question whether some portion of 2 may be the result of activities by 1.

I thank my opponent for an enjoyable debate and hand it back to him for the last word.



Firstly I want to thank my opponent for a stimulating debate, I have really enjoyed it.

With respect to the information regarding Foo Fighters. It is important to point out that this is not credible as Foo Fighter was just another name assigned to UFOs in World War 2. Most of these cases can be explained away just as any other case presented for the Korean War. What is interesting is that we have to look to World War 2 (1939 to 1945) or the Korean War (1950 - 1953) to find multiple mention of these UFOs by pilots. Yet in later wars with improved technology like the Persian Gulf War (1990 to 1991) and Bosnian War (1992 to 1995) there is no mention of UFOs by pilots. Seems that technology and UFO sightings have a co-dependant relationship, with improved technology leading to less unexplained phenomena. In effect, how many of the so called UFO sightings should we discard as just poor technology or misunderstood at the time. This statement ties in with the my opponent opinion that I have a preconceived bias. I would say this is not true, I have looked at the information supplied an have simply looked for alternative natural explanations to these sightings other than "I do not know hence alien."

I want to add an analogy here, the scientific world was against the quantum theory (Einstein denied it until he died) but it was shown to be correct. The quantum theory is applied to day in science by all scientists, so proof does get accepted by scientists. The fact that UFOs have not been accepted shows the evidence is lacking. So let me reiterate again, governmental agencies and scientists have analyzed the data, they just do not come to the same conclusion as UFO proponents.

Regarding a government cover up and the documents that have been released which purportedly prove a government cover up let me say the following.(1) If the government was covering something up, why would they release classified documents that countered their stance. Unless these documents are nothing special and don't amount to evidence for UFOs.

Regarding the Youtube videos presented I would like to make the following comments. With respect to the Utah sightings here are some possible explanations other than its a UFO. The film quality is really bad hence it could (a) be just film defects, (b) the objects are very far away and (c) it looks like something, but it could be birds as it was described.(2) Funny how Hayneck only started speaking out once his project (Project Blue Book) was cancelled, some may call this sour grapes.(3)

With respect to the Condon report and the head of the report, my opponent states he has a bias. This is not true if anything the head of the Condon report and the other scientists involved were just been skeptics, like every scientist is when studying a new phenomenon they do not understand. I think more credence should be given to these scientists than armchair scientists who already have a bias in favor of rejecting official governmental reports as "its all a cover up".

Finally, my opponent has summed up his argument for the evidence of UFOs in three points. Point 1 regarding the possible existence of life on another planet. I agree this is a possibility, and in fact even said so much in my round 2 argument. However, I reject point 2 of the argument as there is not ample scientific evidence to believe the existence of UFOs. Like I have said and I will say again, if it was real scientists would have accepted it by now but they do not. The reason for this is that the evidence is lacking. If point 2 of the case fails then point 3 becomes irrelevant.

In closing, every case presented during this debate has a natural rational explanation other than its alien spacecraft. For this reason I think the more rational position to hold on UFOS, is they do not exist.

Again thanks to my opponent for a stimulating debate and now over to the voters.

Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Kreakin 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro has provided some very rational arguments as to why Extraterrestrials should be considered when UFO's are witnessed, unfortunatley they do not amount to proof of alien life exsisting or visiting Earth. The BOP lies with Pro and without it he is unable to prove why his resolution should be taken seriously.As Con mentioned, this is like trying to prove that God exsists (but with more math available). Con also pointed out there are issues with credibility of the witnesses and many other possible reasons for these sightings. Therefore whilst I believe that Pro may well in time be proven correct, at this time the debate goes to Con as the resolution could not be proven. This debate was very much a empiricist vs rationalist conundrum for me. Thank you to both for sides for an interesting read and a difficult vote!