31 August 2010, JellyBean @ 9:30 am

If we trust pilots to carry us through the air safely, and to guard our nation’s skies, then why can’t we trust what they tell us about their encounters with unidentified flying objects?

That’s the question posed by investigative journalist Leslie Kean in her new book, “UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record.” It’s a compelling question — but is it a good argument for the existence of something truly unexplainable?

The book’s main themes are the extraordinary stories of strange aerial encounters in Europe, South America and even the United States. In these stories, investigators have failed to pinpoint phenomena to explain the sightings. And because the primary witnesses are pilots, the accounts are considered more credible than run-of-the-mill UFO reports. But are they really?

Kean asserts that pilots are the best describers of aerial phenomena. “They represent the world’s best-trained observers of everything that flies,” she writes. “What better source for data on UFOs is there?… [They] are among the least likely of any group of witnesses to fabricate or exaggerate reports of strange sightings.”

This may sound like a plausible assumption, but others who have studied the raw evidence disagree. Experienced UFO investigators realize that pilots, who instinctively and quite properly interpret visual phenomena in the most hazardous terms, are not dispassionate observers. For pilots, a split-second diagnosis can be a matter of life or death — and so they’re inclined to overestimate the potential threats posed by what they see.

Read the full article: MSNBC

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