Try a New Hypothesis, Sherlock
by Guest Blogger,
Tyler Kokjohn, PhD.
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
— Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes’s sage scolding reminds us not to fall easy prey to unwarranted assumptions and the limits of human imagination. It, or something similar, is often invoked to defend the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) as the best explanation for UFO observations. Unfortunately, little thought has been given to the bias inherent in using this technique. It may work well provided the roster of potential possibilities is complete. However, attempting to establish the ETH represents the best explanation presumes a thorough working knowledge of all the possibilities and the application of reliable methods to assess them. It is not clear either of these conditions have been met. But what constitutes the so-called best proposition is telling; it is the hypothesis that fits specific preconceived notions regarding what seems sensible. That approach is risky because Nature is not obliged to function in ways humans will comprehend easily. Worse, some facts simply defy common sense. For example, while our eyes tell us it is clear the sun revolves around our flat Earth, science ultimately overruled those illusions.
ETH proponents have invoked this validity establishment approach because after decades of hard work, they have failed to bring forward sufficient definitive evidence to achieve a direct confirmation. Note that this exclusion argument only certifies the ETH as the ‘best’ proposition to investigate while not advancing that investigation. Unfortunately, after knocking down some straw men, the bottom line is we have circled back to the same place and face the same nagging doubts about the ETH. Rationalizing is a subtle, but sure sign a hypothesis needs to be retooled or abandoned.
Investigating UFOs is challenging, so is it fair to criticize researchers who are doing their best against a frustrating target? Hard evidence is clearly in short supply meaning all opportunities to secure it should be seized immediately. Ufology’s greatest failing is a persistent and almost universal studied indifference toward doing that. Multiple opportunities to obtain hypothesis-confirming hard evidence have been and continue to be ignored.
Some scrupulously overlooked opportunities to investigate readily accessible evidence
On September 2, 2009, Major George Filer offered for sale a medical device, ‘flu lights,’ he claimed prevented or cured influenza infections in humans as well as dogs and cats (Filer’s Files #36-2009). The source of this amazing new medical technology – testimony from alien abductees explaining they had been cured of ailments after exposure to blue or green lights employed by aliens. This purported influenza cure/preventative measure, unknown to medical science, would constitute an astonishing example of an alien technology transfer to humans. And priced at only $50 this miracle cure was also a true bargain. An influenza pandemic was emerging in 2009, so the Major must have felt it necessary to get his flu lights on the market with all due haste. Now, nearly 5 years after the crisis, neither he nor anyone else has yet come forward with a report on what would be nothing less than a lifesaving medical breakthrough and paradigm shattering discovery. The Holy Grail for ufology and medicine literally in hand and no one tests it, publishes any further information about the technology or details its amazing history? Welcome to ufology.
Dr. David Jacobs and other abduction researchers have presented numerous, detailed accounts of missing pregnancies and creation of human-alien genetic hybrids. It is now clear that during gestation mother and fetus exchange cells which may persist for years or decades after birth or termination of the pregnancy (M. Barinaga, “Cells Exchanged During Pregnancy Live On,’Science, 21 June 2002 [296:2169-2172]). Powerful new genetic analysis methods now enable investigators to perform prenatal examinations of the fetal genome after a simple blood draw from the mother (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120704182127.htm) In the event of an alleged missing pregnancy, it may still be possible to recognize such hybrid cells for decades. Whether or not the hybrid baby is removed by aliens and taken to an inaccessible location, these mothers are known to the investigators and represent a potential source of critical hypothesis corroborating genetic data.
Abduction investigators have revealed varying degrees of direct personal involvement in the phenomenon with one claiming she knows the identities of hybrids and another asserting on an episode of Future Theater (18 May 2013) that she was employed by aliens as a “breeder.” Robert Sheaffer reported from the 2014 UFO Congress that one featured speaker revealed she has seven alien grandchildren (http://badufos.blogspot.com/2014_02_01_archive.html). These situations have afforded these investigators the unique opportunity to acquire and test samples at their leisure. A human-alien genetic hybrid might be detected with the simplest of genetic tests requiring only that the subject spit into a tube and the investigator mail it off to a commercial facility to await the report. Possibly the easiest opportunity in all history to collect what could be the most scientifically significant samples of the century and not one of them seems to have bothered.
It is important to recognize that these are not fleeting situations transpiring by dark of night at unpredictable times. These sources of critical evidence are readily and conveniently available to the investigators. However, despite the ease of collection, the most direct pathways to uncover substantive proof of nefarious alien intervention on our planet and provide concrete evidence strongly supporting the ETH have been ignored and left to lie fallow.
The best way to investigate any hypothesis is to actually investigate it. In contrast, ETH proponents devise arguments to disguise and rationalize failure. Reduced to defending a hypothesis because of the consistent inability to marshal convincing supporting evidence, it is astonishing they have so long, so diligently and uniformly refused to explore the obvious opportunities available to reach what should be their supreme goal. Worse, the experts or opinion leaders never demand investigators get this job done or even note these glaring discrepancies.
It is time to break the futile cycle of ufology. Try a new hypothesis, Sherlock. You certainly haven’t investigated the one you like.