Sprinkles from the Left

The Left appears skeptical that documented UAP activity can be attributed to aliens, with many preferring more conventional explanations.

A number of reports — including an investigation by The Drive, based on Freedom of Information Act requests — suggest that UAPs are interacting with U.S. ships with alarming frequency. Such incidents are potential national-security threats, yet pilots seem reluctant to discuss them for fear of being stigmatized. As a report from the Senate intelligence committee warned last year, there’s also no standardized way to report or analyze them. The committee called for the creation of an interagency process, involving representatives from across the military and intelligence agencies.

Such an approach — formal, bureaucratic, extraordinarily dull — is precisely what’s needed. It should lend sobriety and legitimacy to any findings, while ensuring that various parts of the government are sharing information. If necessary, it should also allow for a coordinated response…

With trust in the U.S. government once again at a low ebb, misleading the public with regard to UAPs would be a serious mistake.

Editorial Board, Bloomberg ($)

There’s a school of thought that says interplanetary ambitions are ridiculous when we have so many terrestrial crises. I disagree. I believe our unsolved problems reflect a lack of unifying goals more than a surfeit of them. America made it to the moon in the same decade it created Medicare and Medicaid and passed the Civil Rights Act, and I don’t believe that to be coincidence.

A more cohesive understanding of ourselves as a species, and our planet as one ecosystem among others, might lead us to take more care with what we already have, and the sentient life we already know. The loveliest sentiment I came across while doing this (admittedly odd) reporting was from Agnes Callard, a philosopher at the University of Chicago. “You also asked how we should react,” she said over email. “I guess my preferred reaction would be for the knowledge that someone was watching to inspire us to be the best examples of intelligent life that we could be.”

Ezra Klein, NY Times

We know the consequences of embracing bad science and replacing facts with conspiracy theories and pseudoscience… We have a good idea what will happen, and we shouldn’t let enthusiasts of space ghosts have the run of Washington to steer money and policy in the direction they want. If they insist UFOs are a national security threat, then the national media must take them at their word. No more chuckles. No more rhapsodies about mystery. We must hold Team Space Poltergeist to the levels of skepticism, seriousness, and scrutiny it pretends to demand. Quite literally, the future depends on it.

Jason Colavito, The New Republic

Sprinkles from the Right

The Right appears skeptical that documented UAP activity can be attributed to aliens, with many preferring more conventional explanations.

What much of the recent news coverage fails to mention is that “Unidentified Flying Object” does not mean either “alien spacecraft” or even “extremely advanced drone.” And the videos disclosed so far all have obvious potential terrestrial explanations…

If it flies like a duck, is the size of a duck, and quacks like a duck . . . it probably isn’t an alien spaceship or ultra-advanced drone from a foreign power. But headlines such as “U.S. Navy Pilot Spots UFO” generate more clicks than “Pilot Sees Goose on Infrared Camera.”

Andrew Follet, National Review

The most compelling UFOs, those UFOs which lack conventional alternative explanation after exhaustive investigation, give credible indication of being highly advanced, intelligently controlled vehicles. The government’s confidence that these most compelling UFOs are vehicles versus amorphous “things” takes root in data returns from multiple sensor platforms. These platforms include satellite, sonar, radar, full-spectrum electromagnetic, and trained military observer witness reports (such as Air Force and Navy ground and flight crews)…

The intelligence community’s first responsibility is to gather and corroborate information that can be used to inform the nation’s national security leadership.

Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Which brings me to the second reason I doubt that extraterrestrial beings have anything to do with the apparent outwitting of American military personnel, which is that it is too convenient, not just for politicians but for the rest of us. As I write this there are millions of Americans who are homeless or addicted to drugs or both, people who are mentally ill, the elderly, the homebound, the handicapped, untold thousands in so-called “detention facilities,” and goodness knows how many unborn children who, as far as the rest of us are concerned, might as well be from outer space. In a decadent society it is easy to project our anxieties about the planet and its inhabitants into the black void. Somehow we find it easier to imagine teeming colonies of millions sharing their moon boxes with vaguely hominid gray monsters or six-footed insect beasts or even insensate archaebacteria than we do making San Francisco a place fit for human habitation again. We indulge ourselves with golden visions of interstellar tourism even as we accept that the science fiction future that awaits us looks a great deal more like WALL-E, with its obese screen-addicted masses being entertained by the devices they cannot escape than, say, The Empire Strikes Back.

Matthew Walther, The American Conservative