The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of The UFO Community.

By Anthony Sharp, March 2014

Anthony has recently become an Associate Director of UFO*BC, and we welcome his enthusiasm and wit. He enjoys writing and "stirring the pot" a bit to encourage discussion. We look forward to more commentary from him. He is living in Prince George and can be reached at

The UFO phenomenon inspires three basic types of reactions from average people, believers, sceptics/disbelievers, and mischief makers.

Believers/witnesses were often called crack-pots or Sci-Fi nuts and until recently have been targets of unceasing ridicule and scorn from the scientific community and by some who seem to get perverse pleasure in debunking everything with an almost sadistic joy. Even decorated Military personnel, Police, well known and respected Government officials and most importantly, famous astronauts who were bold enough to come forward and tell of an encounter have, in the past, been met with gruff doubt and in some cases, retribution in one form or another from colleagues or superiors. It is no wonder that many encounters are never reported from fear of being profiled as some sort of wing-nut. But yet some take that risk and come forward anyway. There are of course, some people who will make things up for either financial gain or fame, but this type of person does considerable harm in the form of giving the debunkers ammunition to gleefully point a finger and crying foul. It puts what could be considered authentic experiences from honest people, in doubt.

The sceptics or disbelievers have a right to their opinion and thought process. I myself don't believe in heaven or hell and think television evangelists should be aired on the comedy network instead of the Vision channel. No one will make me believe otherwise and no amount of anecdotal evidence will change that. I am entitled to an opinion just as zealots have the right to theirs. If, after I expire, I find myself in front of a figure in white robes surrounded by angels playing their harps welcoming me into heaven, I will probably become a believer at that point. Highly unlikely, but something I will never ever know for sure until its my time. But being a stubborn sceptic/disbeliever is perfectly normal and expected. Don't believe in Bigfoot? Your not alone... I don't either.

Full time debunkers enjoy almost complete immunity. They can anonymously or openly, blast venom and whip up dissent and doubt and cruelly disseminate and rip into every detail and seem to have 'a plausible answer' to everything. "The lights were Venus", "It was swamp gas", "You live near an airport", and on and on. Professional debunkers remind me of the bullies in grade school, always sneering and picking on smaller kids because they seem to instinctively know that all the other kids find it more fun to taunt and laugh at someone and side with the group out of sheer pack cruelty, or from fear of becoming the next target if they side with the bullie's victim. Indeed, this attitude carries on into adulthood and we have an inherent desire to side with the majority, even if its the wrong thing to do. Personally I find it to be utterly infuriating to listen to a die-hard debunker sit there with a condescending tone of voice and half smile on their face, relentlessly pointing out inconsistencies and sowing seeds of doubt. This is beyond just a simple opinion as debunkers, more often than not, cross the line and engage in verbal personal attacks against a person's character in order to rally support for themselves. To me its very obvious who the attention seeker is, and its not the person coming forward with a story of a sighting or encounter. Debunkers know they are safe from ridicule, just as the schoolyard bully knows he/she is safe from being picked on from all the other kids. I think full time die-hard debunkers are nothing more than s*** disturbers. I would like to make it clear that I am not against debunkers per-say. A sharp mind and keen intellect will point out the obvious and offer a valid explanation, and that is welcomed. Its the perpetual head shakers I have a problem with, the bullies of the paranormal. I often wonder how much a debunker would like it if the tables were turned and the spotlight of attention, doubt and ridicule were focused on them. Probably not at all.

But sadly even when debunkers are caught with their foot in their mouths, it seems to get whitewashed and ignored. One famous example of this is a scientist who was, and still is considered to be one of the greatest minds of his time and is considered to be the father of modern chemistry, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier of Paris France. In the year of 1772 some local villagers were claiming that a rock had fallen from the sky out of nowhere. He visited the village and told the folk there with forceful scorn that, "There are no stones in the sky therefore no stones can fall from the sky." In his journal he complained of the superstitious mutterings of peasants, and his stubborn consensus was shared by the worlds scientific community until we learned that yes indeed rocks do fall from the sky. Today we know of them as meteorites. But this embarrassing historical fact is overlooked by the scientific community. Sound familiar? I can quote dozens upon dozens of instances of pre modern, highly regarded scientists/debunkers ending up looking far sillier than the person who made the initial report of an occurrence. Come to think of it I can name a dozen modern ones too.

But even the stiff neck scientists - bully debunkers of yesterday and today don't do anywhere near as much damage to our ever evolving understanding of the still touchy subject we now call ufology as the next category of person, the hoaxer. The ultimate liars and attention seekers. Hoaxers think its funny to cause a stir, but I find them to be pathetic and the polar opposite of funny. Stamping out crop circles and/or taking credit for all the crop circles ever made, tampering and altering photos and videos and posting them as real, or creating CGI videos (computer generated images). The hoaxer is the worst of the worst and if I could, I would turn the spotlight of attention on them until they squealed for mercy and would never do it again. A delusional person claiming to have been visited by aliens that needed fresh underwear and haircuts that shared a bucket of strawberry ice cream with them before being taken on a tour of Pluto, is amusing and forgivable. A hoaxer on the other hand, sets in motion all sorts of negativity and makes any future UFO research difficult to say the least. One fact is certain. A person who has had experienced something more than simply seeing a distant ball of light in the night sky will never become a sceptic or hoaxer afterwards, they will remain believers forever. But, the disbeliever or hoaxer will quickly switch sides in a heartbeat if they were to have an experience say, like Travis Walton and his six companions did. An extreme example but you get my point.

In my first paragraph I quoted "until recently" and "in the past...". What I mean by that, is that it is no longer "the mutterings of superstitious peasants" that currently report strange phenomenon. Nowadays the list of witnesses is getting more impressive by the day. Top scientists, astronomers (Carl Sagan to name just one) respected theorists, retired military and police, Government officials, Prime Ministers and Presidents, and respected and trusted astronauts that have had their own individual experiences can no longer be ignored and placed in the "wing-nut" file. I think we are closer to full disclosure than we thought would be possible. In fact it has already begun. But that's for another day.

Anthony Sharp

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