An exchange on HuffPo about the Chicago O’Hare UFO sighting of a few years ago.
First the skeptic, then the advocate:
“Google produces nothing on this except some hearsay rumors…Look, I don’t mean to be nasty, but just as there’s such a thing a mass hallucination, there’s such a thing as mass misinterpretation. Years ago in a little place called Tickfaw in southeast Louisiana, someone claimed to have sighted the Virgin Mary in the sky over a certain piece of farmland. Soon thousands of people came to that piece of farmland. Some harmed their eyes by staring into the sun looking for the Virgin. Some, using cheap cameras, caught cross-shaped refraction from the sun through the plastic lenses and offered this as evidence that something holy was going on. It came out later that the farm was owned by a man in New Orleans who also ran a bus tour company, which company also brought most of the faithful up to Tickfaw to witness the “miracle.” And it also turned out that it was one of this man’s relatives who had the original “sighting.” Yet hundreds of people to this day will tell you it was all legit, and they were there.”
“But what you describe wasn’t a mass hallucination, was it? It was an attempt by many people to have a vision, arriving at different times, each of them trying to have a vision, and they each tried and they each saw different things, or different versions of whatever they thought was holy. That’s a far cry from people in an airport seeing the same object at the same time. I can’t believe you honestly thought there was any comparison, or that what you cited was even an example of a mass hallucination. If that is what a mass hallucination is (people seeing different things at different times), then there doesn’t even seem to be such a thing as mass hallucination.”
Here’s another back and forth. The skeptic is really trying hard to make sure that people don’t believe what people see.
Advocate: Lack of photos and lack of physical artifacts suggests that we’re dealing with something that is outside of the perception of mechanical objects, but within the perceptual ability of people, and oddly enough, radar. Don’t take the blurry photos as a failure — take them as an indication that they’re not the same kind of objects that are usually photographed.
Skeptic: Let me see if I’ve got your meaning here… Lack of evidence that something exists is evidence that it exists. Blurry photos are evidence that the subjects of these photos are not something ordinarily photographed, even though we photograph everything from viruses in a supermagnifying electron microscope to extremely distant galaxies via the Hubble Space Telescope?
Advocate: No, you’re forgetting the first evidence: the experiential evidence. If it were not for that, there’d be no contradiction to explore. The contradiction is that people see these things, but there’s crap as far as photos are concerned. Since this contradiction has been running for, what, fifty years now, it seems to indicate something of the nature of the things being seen. Either that they’re in people’s imagination, or they’re something that doesn’t photograph well. First possibility is easy to embrace, second possibility takes patience since we may need different technology to record them. You bring up electron microscopes — good example. My guess — and it is only a guess, of course — is that the entire experience of aliens and UFOs is more interdimensional than interstellar, but I’m wise enough to appreciate that we don’t even have the language prepared for such theories, let along the technology to peer into other worlds that may sometimes be touching ours. Have to have patience for the equivalent of the electron microscope to be discovered. Until then, we just have to note there’s a contradiction, and wonder why that is.