In his latest blog, Robin Hanson writes
There have been over 100K UFO sightings reported worldwide since 1940. Roughly 5% or so are “strong” events, which seem rather hard to explain due to either many witnesses, especially reliable witnesses, physical evidence, or other factors.
Yet, I am not aware of a single UFO encounter that can't be explained by one of:
Importantly, Hanson's post did not include a link to the "Wikipedia of UFO encounters" listing all 100k UFO sightings and which 5000 he considered most credible.
Where is that Wikipedia?
This site claims to list over 90000 UFO sightings:
Site has no valid https
UFO sightings turn out to be explicable as distant planes, celestial bodies, lighthouses, birds, balloons, satellites, or superior mirages like 9 times out of 10, sometimes requiring great investigative efforts to determine that. Robin Hanson seems to be claiming to have cases he can point us at that are of higher quality than average.
The David Fravor event in particular doesn't seem to me like an unreliable eyewitness, the object was seen with human eyes, with the cameras on the planes, with the radar on the plane, and with the radar on the ship. I have no idea what to think of his account in particular. Either he (and all the pilots there with him that day and all the people on the ships who saw stuff on the ship radars) are lying for some unknown reason, or there are aliens on Earth. In which case their behavior makes absolutely no sense to me, either completely hiding themselves, or full outright reveal would make sense to me, but this weird "let humans have sneak-peaks but never any actual proof" is just weird.
I think this is evidence that should increase our p(aliens), but not enough evidence to make the claim "either all are lying, or aliens are real".
It's also evidence of something like "they are wrong but honest"; "the instruments bugged"; "something about reality we don't get which is not aliens" etc
My impression has been that we mostly just have David Fravor's word that most of those independant lines of evidence exist. Have there actually been interviews with, e.g., the ship radar operators where they describe seeing things that were only consistent with the UFO story?
In which case their behavior makes absolutely no sense to me, either completely hiding themselves, or full outright reveal would make sense to me, but this weird "let humans have sneak-peaks but never any actual proof" is just weird.
For whatever it's worth: Jacques Vallée highlighted how the baffling & seemingly nonsensical nature of these encounters is one of the few constants. One I recall (off the top of my head — I was told this one, I have no idea how to offer references here) was a report of some ship landing in a farmer's field and then pe... (read more)
Interestingly, in European folklore demonic spirits are afraid of salt.
It sort of makes sense if they occasionally. need to get some probes down on the surface to collect detailed information - that is after all exactly what we do on other planets - and they have a high level objective of avoiding interference, but realize that some humans will believe in UFOs without any evidence, and others will not even believe if their governments admit and provide compelling evidence, and thus they have some significant operational leeway.
Regardless the most compelling 'evidence' for UFOs is simply the high prior probability that aliens ... (read more)
I'm pretty sure we've figured this one out already: It was probably a navy optical and radar spoofing technology, being tested. Creating an optical effect through focused lasers has supposedly been possible for a while, and the details of the reports are 90% consistent with it just being a glowing image, and the remaining inexplicable details sound to me like the kind of overinterpretation that's inevitable when a person has a brief encounter, in frenzied glimpses, with a type of thing they didn't realize existed.
The radar readings are harder to explain, b... (read more)
Things that go away when we get better cameras
The video speaks about the military approaching the object after they first identified it on the radar. That's not something that just disappears with better cameras.
I am aware of this one video of a blurry blob showing up on radar. What I am not aware of is 5000 UFO sightings with indisputable physical evidence.
Where are the high resolution videos? Where are the spectrographs of "impossible alien metals"? Where are the detailed studies of time and location of each encounter trying to treat it as an actual scientific phenomena?
Basically, where are the 5000 counterexamples to this comic?
The best evidence that addresses both your claims would probably come from the military, since they have both state of the art sensors+ reliable witnesses. The recent surge in UFO coverage is almost all related to branches of the military (mostly Navy?) so the simple explanation is, it's classified to varying degrees. My understanding is that there is the publicly released stuff which is somewhat underwhelming, then some evidence Congress and the like has seen during briefings, and then probably more hush hush stuff above that for non civilians. The members of Congress who were briefed seem to have continued making noise on the topic so presumably there is more convincing evidence not yet public.
I have no idea where Hanson got those figures from, but from your post it seems like you would be able to rule most civilian sightings out anyway because there is no such thing as a perfectly reliable human witness, and to date camera and sensor quality available to the average person is actually pretty poor (especially compared to government/military hardware).
A little smidge of insight about what kinds of things they discuss behind closed doors can be seen here. Former ATIP guy Lou Elizondo (a government worker who was responsible for collecting and investigating reports, for a time) says he's seen some wild stuff that wasn't released but idk whether he's making it up or what.
https://magnusvinding.com/2023/06/11/what-credible-ufo-evidence/ Is a good roundup of the reports taken most seriously
Nit: your last word should be "credible", not "credulous".