The extraterrestrials may have finally done it: zapped Nick Pope’s brain!
Who is Nick Pope? He is a former British Ministry of Defense’s UFO Investigator (1991–1994), his work being analogous to that of the U.S. Air Force’s defunct Project Blue Book (1952–1969). Pope came to conclude that “intelligent extraterrestrials are visiting the Earth.” His reasoning:
“While around ninety-five percent of sightings could be explained in terms of misidentifications of known objects and phenomena, there were hard core cases that defied any conventional explanation and involved craft capable of speeds and maneuvers beyond the capabilities of our own technology.” (See his Position Statement in Ronald D. Story’s The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters, 2001, 434–35.)
In other words, Pope is making a classic argument from ignorance—a logical fallacy that basically states, ‘We don’t know (what some UFOs are); therefore we do know (they are extraterrestrial craft).’ Pope assumes five percent of unsolved cases are unexplainable, whereas they are simply unexplained. New, more accurate data might well reveal the explanation. Allan Hendry, former investigator for the Center for UFO Studies, wisely observed (in his The UFO Handbook, 1979, 6), “We only get to study reports of UFOs—not the UFOs themselves,” the reports being notoriously fraught with misperceptions and mistakes.
For example, claims that some UFOs travel at incredible speeds can result from mistaken guesstimates of an airplane’s size and its distance from the viewer, and assertions that they make right-angle turns may be due to a plane’s leveling off from its rapid ascent angle (Hendry 1979, 63).
Although “promoted” out of his office, Pope continued his interest privately, becoming drawn to such UFO-related subjects as animal mutilations, crop circles, and alien abductions. He went public with his book, Open Skies, Closed Minds (1997).
He should be working on a sequel, Open Mouth, Insert Foot, after some comments he made to the UK Daily Mail, June 7, 2012 (to which UFO skeptic Major James McGaha alerted me). Pope warned that the Olympic Games would be a prime opportunity for a saucer invasion, adding: “Aliens may possess weapons, or advanced technology we’ve no idea of. Aliens may have invisibility, a death ray, teleportation, force fields and other things we can’t even guess at.” (Online at https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2155885/Keep-eye-skies-saucers-Olympics-Games-warns-MoD-UFO-expert.html). Could the aliens also have a beam that saps one’s critical-thinking ability? If not, what on earth happened to Nick Pope?