James T Abbott

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    Credibility

    What makes for a credible report of a UFO sighting or other related event? It’s a question which puzzles ufologists and skeptics alike.

    If a police officer sees something unidentified in the air, is their testimony more (or less) credible than that of a retired army sergeant? Is a report from a twelve year old girl on her way home from school less credible than one from a twenty-year old male motorbike fanatic? If a family of three testify to seeing a UFO is that more or less credible than a similar statement from three construction workers who see an object from the top of a newly built house?

    Credibility is one of those things at which the skeptics have been throwing bricks for decades. They say, effectively, that no-one’s testimony is more credible than anyone else’s because everyone can make mistakes.

    I'd argue with that because there are professionals who are trained to observe. If an experienced airline pilot tells me he's seen a strange thing I will take that very seriously - and doubly-so if the report is corroborated in some way. Same goes for a police-officer or someone in the front line of the military. It doesn't mean that other reports are not credible - merely that certain types of report must be accorded higher levels of credibility than others.

    What do you think?

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