Conspiracy theories, irrational fears of “the government”, and the belief that Earth is constantly being visited by “unidentified flying objects” (UFO’s) from outer space are as American as apple pie. Needless to say, all of these contain just enough actual facts that they’re not outright dismissable - even though it basically just takes about ten seconds of thinking about them to get there anyway.
Take UFO’s, for example. It is one thing to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life. We know that our own galaxy contains at least one civilization - even though we’re working very hard on changing that by making life on this planet impossible - so if you assume the existence of one civilization per galaxy that leaves you with as many civilizations as galaxies, namely billions (and potentially, an infinite number, even though that is just an academic point). You could also consider the existence of more than one civilization per galaxy, basing your estimate on the number of stars etc.
It is quite the leap, though, from scientific considerations of extraterrestrial life to the idea that our planet is constantly being visited by spaceships, most of which look like kitchen utensils, and none of which bothers to actually say hello. If you feel like it, you can then add some of the other ingredients of American apple pie to the mix. For example you can claim that “the government” keeps all the evidence of aliens under wraps.
If you talk to people who try to convince you of these “theories” you can’t escape the feeling that those people’s common sense has gone on vacation. For a while, I thought I should really make an effort to listen and to try to refute the arguments, but it turns out that the proponents of UFO’s actually do not follow any kind of reasonable arguments. They’re actually doing what has become popular in the Republican Party: The truth is what you believe in, and if anybody dares to point of blatant inconsistencies or outright falsehoods, you just ignore it and keep repeating what you just said. So you get to experience a little bit what it must be like to talk to aliens: You just can’t get through, and it’s all a bit absurd.
In any case, this article explains how you can create your own UFO photos quite easily. Enjoy!
PS: If you believe in UFO’s and you feel like you really have to tell me how wrong I am don’t bother. I’m not going to respond to your emails.