UFO Cover-Ups. No, Not Really.

Thought, without the data on which to structure that thought, leads nowhere.
— Victor J Stenger.

It gets a bit tedious to hear self-professed UFO experts going on and on about military personnel claiming that this planet is a regular destination for aliens from outer space.

A real space craftOne name regularly trotted out is that of Edgar Mitchell, one of only twelve astronauts to have actually walked on the Moon. He is, as most people know, one of the most prominent promoters of the idea that the US government knows about alien visitation but that they are leading a cover-up to prevent the public from knowing about it. What he has not done, of course, is to prove any of his claims.

The believers, of course, tout him as being someone who must know “the truth.” That, in itself, is a logical fallacy – the appeal to authority: the fact that he is a famous astronaut is supposed to somehow increase his credibility. But that is a false assumption. An extraordinary claim like alien visitation has no special validity because of who makes the claim – however prominent he or she might be, or however highly experienced or qualified they are.

There is an interview with Edgar Mitchell here. He is saying that there is a cover-up, but he offers no evidence other than the fact that some people told him that they had alien encounters. Or, to be more specific, he says:

“After my space flight, I was contacted by descendants of the original Roswell observers, including the person who delivered the child-sized coffins to the Air Force to contain alien bodies. Another was one of the children of the deputy sheriff who was patrolling traffic around the site.”

Now hang on a minute. Mitchell’s information comes from the descendants of the alleged original witnesses? And the children of the deputy sheriff? How accurate are their memories decades later? And how can their stories be corroborated?

He also says:

There was also a military officer who was a friend of the families not involved in that particular operation, but who did share office space there. They all seemed credible with their stories that the bodies found were alien.

Oh, right. An unnamed military officer, a friend of the families not involved…” But he did share office space. And they seemed credible.

You might see a slight problem developing here if I link to this article about UFOs, written by amateur paranormal researcher Mike Hallowell. The problem is this: he quotes, among many names he presents in his article, Edgar Mitchell as an authority. What he does not make clear is the fact that Mitchell, in turn, quotes descendants of alleged original witnesses, who, in their turn were told the stories from the original witnesses, supposedly. Mitchell also relies on the say-so of someone he says “shared office space” with someone else (unidentified, of course, just like the unidentified military officer).

So do we have, at long last, proof of extraterrestrial visitation? Mike Hallowell thinks so, because Edgar Mitchell (among others) says so.

Edgar Mitchell thinks so, because descendants of the original alleged witnesses said so.

The descendants of the original alleged witnesses believed it because they were told it.

And don’t forget the mystery military officer who supposedly shared an office with someone.

What more proof do we need?

Another interesting point: Mitchell was also asked in the above article:

Have you ever seen a UFO yourself?

His reply is illuminating, for someone who is convinced of the existence of UFOs:

I consider myself fairly well informed, although I have not seen one personally. I’m not out there looking — I’m pretty busy. [Emphasis added.]

So Mitchell has not seen a UFO, he relies on second and third hand information, he has no evidence to offer other than hearsay, and some commentators offer what he says as evidence?

I can see why I’m sceptical.

(Additional note: Although UFO stands for unidentified flying object, it is the term used by believers to mean Alien Spaceships From Another Galaxy. If they mean that, then they really should use the term ASFAG. At least it is unambiguous, and does not allow leeway for them to wriggle out of their big claim later when a “UFO” turns out to be just a Chinese lantern or something else just as banal.)

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4 responses to “UFO Cover-Ups. No, Not Really.

  1. I said some time ago I’d try my best not to post on this page, but sometimes the dire nature of its contents makes it hard to resist.

    Edgar Mitchell, respected astronaut and scientist, has claimed in interviews that our planet has been visited by extraterrestrials. Such a claim cannot be allowed to go unchallenged by UFO sceptics, of course, so our blogger gets to work straight away in an attempt to demolish Mitchell’s assertion. He links to an interview with Mitchell and then states;

    “… but he offers no evidence other than the fact that some people told him that they had alien encounters. Or, to be more specific, he says: ‘After my space flight, I was contacted by descendants of the original Roswell observers, including the person who delivered the child-sized coffins to the Air Force to contain alien bodies. Another was one of the children of the deputy sheriff who was patrolling traffic around the site.’”
    “Now hang on a minute”, says our sceptical blogger; “ Mitchell’s information comes from the descendants of the alleged original witnesses? And the children of the deputy sheriff? How accurate are their memories decades later? And how can their stories be corroborated?
    He also says: ‘There was also a military officer who was a friend of the families not involved in that particular operation, but who did share office space there. They all seemed credible with their stories that the bodies found were alien.’ Oh, right. An unnamed military officer, a friend of the families not involved…” But he did share office space. And they seemed credible.”
    And so on. The gist of the author’s argument is that Mitchell’s information was gleaned second-hand, and therefore cannot be corroborated. Fortunately, Sceptic lays out what he patently sees as a list of non-sequiturs to support his scepticism:
    “So do we have, at long last, proof of extraterrestrial visitation? Mike Hallowell thinks so, because Edgar Mitchell (among others) says so.”
    “Edgar Mitchell thinks so, because descendants of the original alleged witnesses said so.”
    “The descendants of the original alleged witnesses believed it because they were told it.”
    “And don’t forget the mystery military officer who supposedly shared an office with someone.”
    For someone who delights in referring to me as an “amateur” in my field of research, Skeptic really needs a reality check – and a few lessons in, well, a lot of things, actually. Let’s look at some a live radio interview with Mitchell on Kerrang Radio . Let us see if Skeptic is correct, and that Mitchell’s belief in the UFO phenomenon (and the ET hypothesis) really is based on nothing more than hearsay.
    First of all, here’s a link to the transcript of the entire interview: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/exopolitics/conversations/topics/722
    So, what does Mitchell tell us?
    1) He has been privileged to be allowed “in on the fact” that we have been visited by ETs.

    2) The UFO phenomenon is real and it has been covered up by our governments for quite a long time.

    3) That he and his colleagues have been “BRIEFED” on the phenomenon.

    4) That he has been associated with “MILITARY CIRCLES” and “INTELLIGENCE CIRCLES” who KNOW what lies beneath “the surface of what has been public knowledge; that, yes, we have been visited.”

    5) That he has been “INVOLVED” in “MUCH OF THIS WORK” and has been “DEEPLY INVOLVED” in certain “COMMITTEES” and certain “RESEARCH PROGRAMMES” with very credible “SCIENTISTS… INTELLIGENCE PEOPLE”, who know the truth.

    6) That there has been “quite a bit of CONTACT” going on.

    7) That a number of other contacts are real and have been “ON-GOING”

    8) That this contact is well known to “those of us who have been BRIEFED and BEEN CLOSE TO THE SUBJECT MATTER.”

    9) That certain “serious organisations” are moving towards “PUBLIC DISCLOSURE”.

    10) “That there are “pictures…of these little people that look strange to us.”

    11) That other Apollo personnel know of the existence of UFOs and the reality of the ET phenomenon.

    Now according to Skeptic, Dr. Mitchell is making these claims solely on the back of statements made by descendants of the original witnesses of the Roswell incident. As anyone can see by reading the above extracts from just ONE radio interview, this is clearly not the case. Skeptic, of course, must have heard the KERRANG! interview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhNdxdveK7c) when he cherry-picked bits and pieces of research. If he hasn’t heard the interview, which has attracted worldwide attention, then in my opinion his research standards are nothing short of execrable. In fact, if one listens to the interview one will be enlightened to the fact that Dr. Mitchell talks more about his own briefings and secret research work on the phenomenon than he does about the Roswell incident itself.

    I have no problem with Skeptic’s denial of the UFO phenomenon and/or the ET hypothesis. He is entitled to his opinion. What I do have a problem with is his selective presentation of the overall testimony of Dr. Edgar Mitchell. By carefully picking small segments of his testimony, and ignoring larger segments of the same, he tries to give the impression that the good doctor’s belief in UFOs and ETs is based on little more than gossip. If you don’t take my word for it, listen to the KERAANG! interview yourself, and then decide who the “amateur” researcher is.

    I had the privilege of working for a magazine some years ago, for which Dr. Mitchell was a scientific consultant. I have a little more personal knowledge of the man, then, than Skeptic does. I can state without hesitation that he is a man of integrity and honesty. He is also intelligent – way too intelligent to make all of this stuff up.

    Skeptic, I think, has to either stick to his original assertion, or he has to stake a further claim that all the additional evidence provided by Mitchell, about his personal involvement with governmental UFO investigation, is nothing but a huge fairy story. It isn’t. It’s true. But Mitchell is either telling the truth, or he’s lying. I say he’s telling the truth. Skeptic’s only other option is to trot out once again his fantastical idea that Mitchell may have been subject to a cover-story to hide a secret government project.

    But we’ll see what Skeptic himself has to say. At the very least, though, he owes Mitchell a huge apology for asserting that his belief in UFOs and the ET hypothesis is based on nothing more than second-hand testimony of the Roswell witnesses or their descendants.

    It is Skeptic, remember, who asserts, “He is saying that there is a cover-up, but he offers no evidence other than the fact that some people told him that they had alien encounters.”

    But according to Skeptic it could be the US Government which is hiding the REAL truth from Mitchell. But Skeptic offers no proof of this, so now the boot is on the other foot, and it is HE who is alleging a possible cover-up without providing any proof of it. One law for the skeptic, and another for the decorated lunar astronaut and scientist, it seems…
    Oh, REALLY, Skeptic. I expected better than this, even from YOU…

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  2. Mike,

    It took only one man — just one — Edward Snowden, to blow the gaff on secret American surveillance of people across the world, causing worldwide repercussions. He is now in hiding because the Americans want to prosecute him for revealing secret information. But he actually provided the evidence to prove his claims and NO ONE DOUBTS HIM.

    I’ll just repeat that: NO ONE DOUBTS HIM.

    Here’s some information on that:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

    Various astronauts and military personnel just have claims about UFOs that they can’t support. And given the thousands of people working in the space industry, don’t you think at least one of them would leak something that could be tested and examined? Something that would blow the lid off the whole UFO business in the same way that Snowden did with the information he had and revealed?

    As for Edgar Mitchell, he is someone I admire and respect for his actual achievements, and I do not doubt his integrity and honesty. But he has not proven his claims of extraterrestrial visitation with empirical evidence. Honest people can believe things but be wrong.

    You yourself used to believe that psychic mediums can contact the dead. Now you don’t (along with most of the paranormal claims you have ever made). And if you don’t now believe it, then you have to acknowledge that you were wrong – although that doesn’t imply that what you used to believe and write about it was in any way dishonest. Anyone can express an honestly held belief that happens to be false and they won’t be lying unless they know that what they say is false. Sceptics have been telling you for years that psychics do not contact the dead, and now you agree with them. Instead of asking me to aplogise to Edgar Mitchell, YOU should apologise to all those sceptics – especially the ones whose right to free expression of honestly held opinions you have suppressed with the threat of legal action beause you couldn’t supply objective evidence to support your nonsensical claims. (A psychic communicating with the dead is a nonsensical claim, isn’t it?)

    There’s some intersting information about Edgar Mitchell here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Mitchell

    One part in particular is of interest here, the reference to the US government filing a lawsuit against Mitchell when they found he was in possession of a camera used on the Apollo 14 mission and which he had put up for auction. He claimed it was a gift from NASA, but he had to return it and give up all claims to it to avoid prosecution. All he had to do was to provide evidence that NASA had gifted the camera to him (some relevant paperwork or deed of gift) and the matter would have ben resolved. He made the claim, but could provide no evidence to support it.

    And there’s that awful word again – EVIDENCE. I have no reason to think Mitchell would actually steal the camera, but he had to give it up because he had no evidence that it had been given to him by its owners, NASA – even if they actually did but then reneged on the deal, or if the whole thing had just been some kind of misunderstanding.

    It’s a simple concept really – if you make a claim, then be prepared to back it up with the relevant evidence. No amount of personal belief, faith or hearsay will do. Your list of eleven claims that Mitchell “tells us” is worthless as evidence; anyone can make a claim, but without supporting evidence they are still just claims.

    The rest of what you say is your usual misinterpretation of what I actually said. Try to provide evidence instead of blather. And while you’re doing that, think about being open with your Shields Gazette readers and telling them that you no longer believe the stuff you used to write (and why you no longer believe it). You now write from an Islamic perspective, so I think you owe it to your readers to make the point clear and unambiguous.

    http://www.shieldsgazette.com/

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  3. You talk about Dr. Mitchell and the lack of evidence for his claims. But that wasn’t the real thrust of my last comment, was it? It was about the false claims YOU made about Dr. Mitchell; specifically that his testimony regarding UFOs was based on nothing more than second-hand tales. I proved you wrong, showing that Dr. Mitchell specifically claimed to have been involved in governmental and military UFO research himself. So as usual you simply avoided my specific rebuttal and tried pin the same flaws on me. It’s all you ever do.

    And you’re right, of course. I have changed my understanding on a number of things, and yes, as you say, I now see things from an Islamic perspective. I make no apologies for that, but you can’t just stop there. You then have to embroider your statement with nonsense. It’s what you do:

    “The rest of what you say is your usual misinterpretation of what I actually said.”

    Of course. You just can’t be bothered to point out where.

    “Try to provide evidence instead of blather.”

    Which I did, of course, with the Kerrang! interview. I proved categorically through the words of Dr. Mitchell himself that your allegations about him were completely false. (Quick, Skeptic! Go to “Switch and Bait” mode and talk about something else! Like his religion! That should divert his attention!)

    “And while you’re doing that, think about being open with your Shields Gazette readers and telling them that you no longer believe the stuff you used to write…”

    But that’s just not true, is it? I mean, first of all, I HAVE been open about my Muslim faith and announced it in the media at the outset – including the Shields Gazette, as it happens.

    And I it simply isn’t correct that I “no longer believe the stuff I used to write”. I have changed my views on a small number of issues, one of which is whether it is possible to talk to the dead. And how do people know I’ve changed my views? Because I’ve openly publicised those changes in the media. I’m sorry Skeptic, but this is ridiculousness bordering on hilariousness. You accuse me of not being open about the changes in my perspective with Gazette readers, but the only reason people are aware of those changes is because I published them in the media, including the Shields Gazette!

    Anyway, you make it sound like a wholesale abandonment of everything I ever believed. Which it isn’t.

    “Sceptics have been telling you for years that psychics do not contact the dead, and now you agree with them.”

    But that’s not the real issue, is it? I still have no doubts whatsoever that psychics and mediums are talking to something or someone. I just no longer believe it to be the consciousness of a deceased person. I don’t deny the phenomenon, merely the identity of one of its participants. You go further, and deny the reality of the phenomenon altogether, which is a much bigger step.

    “Instead of asking me to aplogise to Edgar Mitchell…”

    But why shouldn’t you? You made specific statements about him which were wholly incorrect, have offered no evidence to back up your assertions about him and haven’t rebutted a single one of the points I put forward proving you wrong. You certainly OWE him an apology, but he isn’t going to receive one, for apologising, as we’ve known for years, just isn’t your thing. Bait and Switch is your thing – and that’s why you’re trying to cover up your need to apologise to Dr. Mitchell by suggesting that I need to make one on a wholly unrelated issue to my readers. So, in the Bait and Switch, just what is it I should apologise for in your opinion? Let’s see:

    “YOU should apologise to all those sceptics…”

    For what? Changing my mind about the nature of a small number of paranormal phenomena? I’ve never been dishonest. At worst I’ve expressed opinions about the nature of certain phenomena and then later adjusted my perspective regarding them. Have you never done that? Changing one’s mind, and then being honest enough to openly admit it, is a sign of integrity, not dishonesty. Better that than spout false allegations and then NOT have the backbone to apologise for them later, despite being proved wrong, don’t you think?

    “…especially the ones whose right to free expression of honestly held opinions you have suppressed with the threat of legal action beause you couldn’t supply objective evidence to support your nonsensical claims.”

    Firstly, I have never threatened “legal action” against anyone simply because they chose to exercise their “right to free expression of honestly held opinions”. What sort of nonsense is that? What I do take offence at is the publication of completely inaccurate and fraudulent statements regarding myself and/or my professional abilities, and if people reserve some perceived “right” to slander and malign others without any evidence whatsoever then they should not spit their dummies out if they get taken to task for it. I am as supportive towards the right of free speech as anyone else – but draw the line when people publish outright lies about others. The Law recognises the difference, too, thank goodness, unlike some. Unfortunately, there are some extremely arrogant people out there who think that the alleged possession of academic qualifications gives them the right to say anything they want about those they see as less well educated, and that the perceived lack of intelligence of their victims makes them fair game regardless of whether the allegations are true or not. (I hope no one takes offence at my use of the word “alleged”; it’s just that I like to see proof when people make claims that I suspect to be false. I mean, there’s nothing wrong in that, is there?)

    And let’s look at your second piece of nonsense; that I’ve also threatened legal action against others because I – and I quote – “couldn’t supply objective evidence to support [my] nonsensical claims”. It would be fascinating to see how that would work in practice. According to you, then, I’ve a) made claims that others think are nonsensical, and then b) tried to take legal action against THOSE SAME individuals because I couldn’t back up the claims I’d made! Amazing.

    As we both know, you’ve made claims about me that are inaccurate. I’ve challenged you over these issues, but you ignore my rebuttals because there was simply no substance to your allegations. Like the assertion that I’d made a specific claim in my column many times over the years. Remember that one? My, how you embarrassed yourself. And we’re all still waiting for you to provide the proof you promised. Quite a trick for someone who obsesses over the importance of providing evidence. But there’s good news for you, because if you are correct YOU can now take legal action against ME because YOU made unsubstantiated claims! No doubt you’ll now accuse me of twisting or misinterpreting your words. Well, they’re here on this page for all to see. I find it ironic that there are anonymous cowards who trumpet their own right to free speech, and yet lambast others who see the world differently to them for exercising their own right to speak freely.

    “A psychic communicating with the dead is a nonsensical claim, isn’t it?”

    Not at all. I simply believe it to be an inaccurate one. Unlike you, I don’t use ridiculous hyperbole and declare things to be “nonsensical” just because I don’t agree with them. Sometimes claims are nonsensical. Other claims may just be inaccurate due to misreading the evidence. There’s a huge difference.

    Finally, I’d like to take another look at your claim that I, “…now write from an Islamic perspective, so I think you owe it to your readers to make the point clear and unambiguous.”

    I’m currently working on two book manuscripts, both regarding historical and theological aspects of Islam. I’ve discussed Islam in newspaper columns and other media also. I’ve also hosted my own breakfast show on an Islamic radio station.This alone should knock on the head any idea that I’m trying to hide my spiritual and theological leanings under a bushel.

    But what about my actual reversion to Islam itself? Am I coy about that? No, just the opposite. Yesterday I buried my elderly father, who, like myself and some others in my family, was a Muslim. The traditional Janazah or Prayer Service was held outside of the mosque, publicly, in the street, to which anyone, without restriction, was invited. I spoke openly about my father and what had prompted him to embrace Islam. He was a kindly, gentle man who loved his faith. A large crowd gathered for the service, and they, along with the scores of people walking along Ocean Road, had no trouble at all seeing me speak or identifying me as a Muslim also. If I’m trying to be disingenuous with the readers of my column, most of whom live in the very same Borough, then I can hardly think of a worse way to keep the secret, can you?

    I would have thought that openly admitting to being a Muslim in the media and writing/broadcasting about Islam would have been sufficiently clear and unambiguous, but perhaps I’m overestimating the intelligence of some of my critics. My readers, I believe, are not so cerebrally challenged.

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  4. Mike,

    Calm down, dear.

    My post was about Edgar Mitchell, not you. But you’re trying to play the victim again and going completly off topic.

    I’m not going to waste my time going over all of the old ground that you keep churning up, but I will address some of your points:

    You say:

    “You talk about Dr. Mitchell and the lack of evidence for his claims. But that wasn’t the real thrust of my last comment, was it? It was about the false claims YOU made about Dr. Mitchell; specifically that his testimony regarding UFOs was based on nothing more than second-hand tales. I proved you wrong, showing that Dr. Mitchell specifically claimed to have been involved in governmental and military UFO research himself. So as usual you simply avoided my specific rebuttal and tried pin the same flaws on me. It’s all you ever do.”

    You proved me wrong about Edgar Mitchell making claims – by proving that he made claims?

    In the interview I quoted, Mitchell said that he had not seen a UFO and that his information came from others. That is not evidence – and certainly not proof – of anything. As you say, he CLAIMED to be involved in UFO research. Now all we need is the testable evidence of alien visitation. Where is it?

    The Kerrang! interview you mention is neither here nor there. There are lots of people who appear on radio and TV making claims. I’ve watched those ghastly programmes like UFO Files, Ancient Aliens and so on where people CLAIM to have been abducted by aliens or even being in direct contact with them. Does an appearance in the media really validate those claims? Some people think so, but they are wrong.

    You say on your website:

    “Jinn theory is not a minority view. It is shared by over one and a half billion people on this planet. All I’ve done is to express it as a explanation for paranormal phenomena as well as believe in it as part of my faith as a Muslim. And I’m not the only one. A growing number of Muslims are openly suggesting that the Jinn are responsible for a wide range of paranormal phenomena, including apparitions, cryptids and UFOs. The more one studies Jinn theory the more sense it makes as a comprehensive explanation for what non-Muslims call “the supernatural”.”

    (I’ll just add a note here: one and a half billion people living on a planet of seven billion people IS a minority view. The other five and a half billion non-Muslims are the majority, and they don’t believe in the Jinn.)

    You’re free to believe anything you want to believe. “Jinn theory,” however is not a theory in the scientific meaning of the word; at best it is a hypothesis that is so far unproven. Anything can “make sense” within any given framework, and I’m sure the world is adequately explained to the satisfaction of the followers of every religion on Earth. It’s amazing how many “true religions” there are, and how they so starkly disagree with each other.

    You say:

    “And you’re right, of course. I have changed my understanding on a number of things, and yes, as you say, I now see things from an Islamic perspective. I make no apologies for that, but you can’t just stop there. You then have to embroider your statement with nonsense. It’s what you do: ”

    You say you have “changed your “understanding” on a number of things.” I disagree: you have merely swapped one set of beliefs for another. UFO’s? The Jinn. Mental illness? The Jinn. Strange happenings in Essex? The Jinn. You’re entitled to your beliefs, but you should acknowledge that they are beliefs based on faith, and not claim them as facts unless you can prove your claims.

    When I said you should be open with your Gazette readers, that was what I was alluding to. Many of your readers believe that a psychic can communicate with the dead, for example, and no doubt some of those will be people who believe in spiritualism and might even be members of local spiritualist churches. Your own belief is that “the dead are asleep until the resurrection,” and therefore communicating with the dead is not possible. That is one of the things you have not addressed directly in your column. Of course, telling your readers they cannot contact their deceased loved ones will probably alienate more than half your Gazette readership immediately.

    Saying that you have been open with your readers is disingenuous. They know that you have converted to Islam, yes, but you have not given much more information than that. Your given name is the name you use on your Gazette column, not your Islamic name. Readers will not get very far if they want to know more about your Islamic beliefs unless you give them that information. (I won’t give your Islamic name here; it’s up to you if you really do want to be open with them. Your Muslim “brother” Sura 72 might agree with me.)

    I don’t suppose that many of your readers are bothered by your conversion to Islam (I’m not), but they will be bothered if you start telling them that whatever they believe about the paranormal is wrong if their belief contradicts your religion. Your recent columns are becoming more and more non-commital. You aren’t directly denying, say, the existence of ghosts as the spirit embodiment of the deeceased, but you are also not offering your Islamic interpretation either. Again, you would lose another section of your readership if you did so. But I might be wrong; you have been called an idolator on the internet by your Islamic brethren for having held such beliefs in the past yourself, so try accusing your Gazette followers in the same manner and see what happens.

    The same goes for any alleged paranormal occurrence that your readers believe, but which you do not. You say on your website:

    “Innovation against the accepted teachings of Islam as found in the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is a serious error in our religion. You can’t be a Muslim if you don’t accept those two sources of information as authentic, so if an aspect of Jinn Theory is incompatible with the teachings of my faith, then that aspect of Jinn Theory goes out of the window, plain and simple.”

    And that’s what I was getting at. Start telling your Gazette readers what they don’t want to hear and see how long your column lasts. They, like you, will not accept anything that contradicts their cherished beliefs.

    So go ahead: be completely open with your readers and start putting them right about their non-Islamic beliefs. You might lose your column, but I’m willing to take that risk.

    One more thing: I have not made any false or fruadulent claims about you. When you have challenged me on those alleged points, I have provided the evidence or proof to support any statements I have made. I did so a while ago and you still owe Brian the thirty pounds you promised to cough up for him to donate to a charity of his choice. Of course, you appointed yourself as judge and jury.

    I’ll mention once more that my post was not about you, it was about the fact that people accept extraordinary claims on the say-so of others. Whether aliens are here or not is independent of who makes the claim – however high up or prestigious a position the person holds. By all means reply to this comment, but again, I have to insist that you address the subject of the post; don’t make it an off-topic personal rant against me.

    SPOOKY ADDENDUM:

    It looks like your Gazette readers are starting to notice the difference between what you write now and what you used to write. There’s a critical letter in tonight’s Gazette from one of your readers complaining about your “…bizarre rants about God, atheism etc.”

    http://www.shieldsgazette.com/opinion/your-letters/it-s-spookily-agenda-led-1-6077395

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