Tuesday, July 5, 2011

San Diego Man Seeks to Spread the UFO 'Gospel'

Add another one to our "to be played in the movie by Jeff Bridges" list.

Over twenty years after snapping a photo that appears to show a small fleet of unidentified objects, Mike Orrell continues to believe that this is the work of extraterrestrial life forms. At first I thought this was going to be a standard "I'm not sure what I saw, but I saw something and I believe we aren't alone in the universe" sort of UFO believer, but it turns out he has much more specific ideas about the life forms in question, their nature, and their intentions toward the human race:
He’s explored connections between the objects in his photo and relics from ancient cultures and believes there are higher levels of civilization out there. He thinks something cataclysmic will happen to our planet next year. And that UFOs will transport the worthy to safety.

“I’ve been given a great gift that I have been trying to share,” he said. “I believe I was chosen to spread the UFO gospel and to my dying day that’s what I’m going to do.”
I know what you're thinking: "This guy must have one very understanding girlfriend." Yes he does:
Spielvogel, his girlfriend, said Orrell has “a big heart” and is passionate about trying to help mankind. A lab assistant in a cancer-research facility, she thinks the stuff about the world ending next year “is pretty far out there,” but she also doesn’t think we’re alone.

“I believe the universe is so big there’s got to be other things besides us,” she said.
At the end of the article, it's time for the skeptic to chime in with the standard skeptic viewpoint, which I think in this case carries a lot of weight:
“It’s the manifestation of deliberate ignorance,” he said. “Our culture has developed to the point where we choose to believe what we want to believe.”
Given the strange image we are confronted with, I think it's very reasonable and understandable to speculate the possibility of extraterrestrial visitors. After all, these dots could be just about anything, and alien spacecraft fall under the "just about anything" category. However, given the flimsiness of the evidence, it seems that drawing any sort of conclusions is a matter of wishful thinking. Ideas aren't correct just because they're attractive or reassuring.

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