Paranormal Science

Is there a scientific explanation for UFOs?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. People have long reported sightings of UFOs, which, by their very definition, are unidentified flying objects. They are also quite often untestable and unexplainable by scientific method, which is humanity's best tool for separating reality from fantasy. It all hinges on something called the null hypothesis, which means the burden of proof is on anyone making a positive claim. So whether you're claiming that ghosts, aliens or a new breed of lemur exists, it's up to you to drag hard, testable evidence into the unforgiving light of rigorous scientific testing and evaluation. It's up to "ufologists" to prove that the UFOs they're seeing are real. So far, despite countless sightings around the world, no one has come forth with evidence beyond fallible eyewitness accounts, imperfect footage and conspiracy theories regarding government cover-ups.

    The sky is full of interesting phenomena, such as shooting stars, twinkling planets, the aurora borealis and more, many of which are still under investigation as to the exact science behind how they work. Could there be some natural phenomenon in our atmosphere that people mistake for UFOs? If so, then there likely is a scientific explanation, but it's probably weather or astrology related, which might be disappointing to those who want to believe in UFOs.

    As further proof that most UFO sightings have a scientific explanation, you could look at the Project Blue Book study performed by the U.S. Air Force between 1948 and 1969. They investigated around 12,000 UFO sightings, and discovered that 11,917 were actually things like satellites, weather balloons, natural phenomena or hoaxes [source: United States Department of Defense]. While the government shut down the project in 1969, private organizations continue to study UFO sightings.

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