When many people hear of a stranger seeing an unidentified flying object swooping down from space and entering their field of view, some people immediately make a number of assumptions about them. But when you look at the statistics about individuals who actually see UFOs, you learn they are no different than any other people. So if there are no differences between people who see UFOs and people who see other more accepted phenomena – like ball lightning, why is the public so apt to “shoot the messenger” and stigmatize their experience?
Picture it. You’re standing outside of your house in the middle of the night letting your dog or cat outside after it starts acting particularly strange. You look up at the sky and you spot an unusual glowing object that seems quite out of place against an otherwise picturesque and serene night filled with stars. It’s as though everything you’ve ever known is suddenly thrown into disarray, and you are left only with a sense of wonder that you may be witnessing the only fleeting proof of a far vaster and more populous universe than you ever thought you could live with. But that knowledge carries with it a terrible price. You have just joined the scores of others who witness UFOs and later have to live with the social repercussions. You have a choice. You can join one of two groups. Either you can find yourself standing among the others who have witnessed an unexplained aerial event in their lives and come forward fearlessly with their story, or you can put a lid on the experience and live out the rest of your days in denial that it ever happened.
But those who do come forward often describe their experiences in realistic and candid terms. Often these descriptions only serve to further ostracize them by mainstream media sources. Following the standard formula seems to earn witnesses the standard level of derision, but any level of deviation from the accepted narrative seems only to offend some even more.
And yet despite this, the common thing that statistics have shown throughout history is that the UFO phenomenon is one that affects every type of person. There is no one category that sees UFOs more than any other. According to a 1997 Gallup poll, one in nine people will likely see a UFO at some point during their lives. And yet despite this, the official numbers also state that only a little under half of people actually believe in extraterrestrials. And many of those who do see UFOs are distanced from the rest of society as “crackpots.” What percentile will witnesses and believers have to reach before this and other phenomena are more accepted in today’s society? There is hope, it appears that though the UFO phenomenon is commonly seen as a rare and truly unusual experience, public perception from recent mass sightings has moved it more into the mainstream than ever before. Perhaps that is all we need before disclosure finally happens.