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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

UFO Sightings. Storming Area 51. Is it Time to Believe?

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

On Detroit Today, Stephen Henderson and guests share UFO stories and express skepticism about extraterrestrial origins.

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Earlier this week, the U.S Navy confirmed a series of videos of UFOs, or unidentified flying objects, are indeed the real deal. More than a million people this week signed up for the tongue-in-cheek Facebook call to “Storm Area 51.”

And, here in Michigan, there’s a UFO conference happening in Houghton Lake

It seems the stars are aligning for a conversation about UFOs.

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John Tenney is an archivist and researcher at Weird Lectures here in Detroit. 

The reality is, most people who have had a strange experience, the experience itself doesn’t need to be qualified and quantified,” says Tenney. “It’s almost like a spiritual experience or an awakening. It’s an archetypal happening that changes the person’s fundamental reality and how they look at reality. And I think that’s the important part of the experience itself.”

Tenney says there’s a problem with the way the media treats these stories. He says in recent years, because of things like drone technology, there are many things in the skies that most of us do not understand and that reporting them can be important. 

That does not mean aliens and flying saucers,” he says.

Don Lincoln, a physicist and senior scientist at Fermilab, America’s pre-eminent particle physics laboratory, says he’s highly skeptical of any extraterrestrial origins of these objects. Lincoln is an author and public speaker, and wrote the book Alien Universe: Extraterrestrial Life in Our Minds and in the Cosmos.

We know enough about physics and chemistry to think it likely that life does exist on other planets,” says Lincoln. “Whether or not that life is then complicated and complex enough to make a craft that will travel through interstellar space and then, a second step, that they’re actually coming here, that’s far more problematic.”

Lincoln says he doesn’t want people to think he’s simply being dismissive.

We’re in the business of discovering new things, blazing frontiers of knowledge, trying to understand stuff that nobody knows,” he continues. “Nobody would be more fascinated than I if we were able to demonstrate that these unidentified lights in the sky were extraterrestrial craft. That would be amazing. The problem is, the standard to say that has to be high. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And a light in the sky, while fascinating, it’s a big jump from there to E.T.”

David Liens, program coordinator of Detroit Storymakers and at WDET’s resident UFO enthusiast, also joins Detroit Today to share his personal experiences with these lights in the sky.

I’m not trying to say that aliens necessarily exist because I’ve seen UFOs, but I’ve definitely seen unidentified flying objects in the sky,” says Liens.

Click on the player above to hear the full conversation on Detroit Today about UFOs.

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


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