I am a little disappointed in Neil deGrasse Tyson. He has long pointed out the very correct truth that many astronomers, including professionals and avocational astronomers, have spent a lot of time looking at the sky, and have failed to find Aliens flying about. This suggests that there are not aliens flying about. Recently he added to this the observation that the UFOs recently discussed in the media and subjected to a certain amount of government scrutiny seem only to be seen by Navy pilots in remote areas, which leaves him with no interest in making them a subject of research. I agree with his observation, but in fact, his statement about UFOs can be easily reformulated as a hypothesis that fits nicely with his own area of expertise as an actual scientist (as opposed to the part of his professional activates that are more about science outreach and education).
I am a little disappointed with Ari Melber, though his transgression is forgivable since he is a law expert and not a UFO expert. He makes the same mistake as NdGT when he distills the range of possible explanations for UFOs to three possibilities, apparently presented as exhaustive: 1) they are natural phenomena (but not natural Aliens); 2) they are associated with secret non-Alien technology of some kind; and 3) Aliens.
Obviously there is another explanation that is not quite “natural phenomenon” because that usually means swamp gasses or lights formed by some geological process: they are an artifact of the mode of observation. A smudge on the windshield or lens, as it were, but presumably a somewhat enigmatic or at lest inobvious smudge.
(I’m leaving aside the explanation that they are a hoax perpetuated by a number of loosely connected Navy pilots, on the assumption that the recent Government Report would have ruled that out.)
Many of these things — some of the most important recent examples of these things — are seen with some sort of seeing technology, and the light energy that this technology collects is then processed by some more technology. I can not offer a detailed idea of how these technologies would produce a smudge on the lens of some sort, and this is not the appropriate time to do so. But I am suggesting that the technology produces an artifact that we mistake for a UFO. I would guess that the Government Report, which I admittedly have not read, has not addressed this issue, or some reporter or another would have mentioned it by now. Assuming they read the Government Report.
Here is what I would do. I’d catalog the optical or energy grabbing equipment (the “eyes,” which may be as simple as the window of a jet or the lens of a sighting device) of military vehicles (mainly jets?) into meaningful categories, and I’d catalog the processing machines (the technology that makes the HUDs of the aircraft work etc) into meaningful categories, and see if there is a subset of these devices, by specific technology, manufacturer, or whatever, that is producing the UFO signals, as opposed to others that do not.
That won’t provide an answer to what these UFOs are, but it would generate thought that might lead to this. I said this was a hypothesis, and I do not use that term lightly. My null hypothesis is that the observations are distributed randomly among the various visualization technologies used by all aircraft. If that is falsified because a biased subset of the technology produces UFOs, then the next step of research is warranted.
And this might interest Neil deGrasse Tyson, since his own early PhD (and other) research, which looked at solar flares and magnetics, required a deep and detailed understanding of machines that see things, other than the human eye. This should be something he would find interesting.
Unless, of course, he has made some deal with the Aliens to through us all off the scent…
The Ari Melber piece is here: