You have to see it to believe it, the old adage goes – yet our entire history is chronicled through the texts and spoken stories of those before us. But as we become more capable (and indeed skeptical) the sources of our information are further scrutinised, in fact the careers of modern journalists hang precariously on the sources of their information and the credibility of their witnesses as do millions of criminal sentences. Of course, in the era of fake news, a good portion of the population will question even the most plausible of tales. But why is it that the most interesting stories are the hardest to prove?
Think about the Bible, a book that has survived thousands of years of variations, translations and Chinese whispers, today millions of people live their lives on the back of what a handful of trusty eyewitnesses recorded. Even without the miracles performed, the most insignificant of facts such as the existence of a man named John who lived in a particular area at a particular time – alone would be difficult to back up. Upload Files
How can this information be treated as infallible and yet the first hand accounts of those who believe to have seen or interacted with life forms that aren’t from our planet are quickly thrown aside as nonsense?
UFO sightings skyrocketed after 1947, often thought to be kick-started by pilot Kenneth Arnold, who claimed he witnessed nine unidentified flying objects during his flight over Washington. The media reported this incident at the time, which skeptics believe is the reason the population garnered a collective consciousness of extra-terrestrials, thus explaining the rise in incidents. But what about the flip side of this? what if this sighting awoke us to something that had been staring us in the face all along?
Over 80% of what we perceive is detected by our vision, which dominates our sensory input. The very existence of the world around is based on the fact that our eyes pick up the light reflected from the objects around us and our minds translate that information into objects that exist in three dimensions. But this is not an entirely flawless system. When the first ships docked in the America’s, the natives who were there could not see them at all. Though this seems highly implausible it is to do with the limitations of our perception. Because these people had never encountered anything close to the vessels that were now standing right next to them – their brains had no reference for what they were seeing, thus it rendered the ships invisible to the viewers. This is where the phrase ‘ships not seen’ is derived, illustrating that we cannot always detect what is immediately in front of us. So, does this mean that the UFO sighting didn’t cause a burst of spontaneous imaginations but instead began to seep the idea of plausibility to the public, enabling their minds (and eyes) to perceive things in their environment that they could not before? It also begs the question, what else is in front of us that we cannot see?