Â Cross posted at rinderpest.com.Â
Well, as you all know, I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of days. I was at The Amazing Meeting 5.5 conference in Florida over the weekend, sponsored by the James Randi Educational Foundation, and drank so much whiskey at the conference parties, it took me until today to be able to form complete sentences again.
But my typing fingers seem to be working again, so let’s get back to some alien space craft ridiculousness, shall we?
While I was gone, a new twist in the Texas UFO story surfaced. Seems the air force recanted its earlier denial of having fighter jets in the area where locals reported a UFO, and admitted that they did indeed have a some planes in the air at the time.
From what I gather, it looks as though this change in their story is either in response to the overwhelming hype surrounding the incident that exploded in Stephenville back on January 8, or it’s simply a matter of the air force spokespeople involved not having clearance to report the fighter jet activity when initially asked.
Or it could very well be a combination of the two.
However, if the military’s admission was meant solely to put an end to the hullabaloo, they didn’t think it through very well. I sat across the aisle from some fellow Texans on the plane ride home from Florida who were very vocal that the reversal by the air force was proof that the government is covering something up.
Covering something up? The government?!?!
It amazes me how many of the same people who rail against the government for its incompetence, have the temerity to think it can nonetheless cover up something like alien visitation.
“Oh, the government can’t balance the budget, conduct a proper humanitarian effort in New Orleans, or stop desperate people from crossing its borders, but it can hide a race of beings that possess the intelligence and technology to cross lights years of space to visit us.”
On the other side of things, knowing what we know about how slow the various government agencies work, especially in post-9/11 America and in a time of war, it seems more plausible to assume the military officials who were initially asked about the sighting were simply not in a position to offer information at that time. The default position is most likely “no military activity” until they are cleared to say, “Yes there was military activity. What the folks of Stephenville saw were such and such aircraft practicing such and such maneuvers”.
Incidentally, while in Florida, I happened to catch theÂ Larry King Live show discussion about the Stephenville sightings. Michael Shermer of Skeptic Society fame was the voice of reason on the panel, and he did a solid job of presenting the rational side like he always does.Â Our friend, Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer, was asked to be on the panel, but was of course the emcee at TAM 5.5, and therefor unable to participate.
It didn’t matter though, the show went about as expected. Larry is infamous for believing every whacko thing to come down the pike, and he loves to jam pack his panels with mostly creduloids. To his credit, though, he will sometimes invite a good scientist or a good skeptic to join in, though I suspect he has no clue how science and skepticism work. He’s never demonstrated that he does. I don’t even think his suspenders are connected to any pants. I think they’re just straps that hold his ancient ass in his chair.
But there are a couple things I can say for certain after watching that broadcast. Most people abandon critical thinking faster than the speed of sound, and Larry King remains the creepiest thing on TV.
At any rate, if there are any further developments in this story, I’ll do my best to keep you posted.