As human beings, we are naturally curious. We want to know what, when, where, and eventually, by whom and why.
When there is something we do not know when we are confronted with a mystery - or what seems to be such - our senses are sharpened, our minds are accelerated, and we are ready to discover, interrogate and finally investigate.
There are multiple circumstances, situations, and reasons why we might not bother, worry or try to investigate something.
For us, specifically, to investigate the allegations that some people make, of having seen some phenomenon in the sky that they found strange and for which they had no explanation.
We could also remain calm or indifferent. After all, if they consider seeing something strange, whether or not it is not our business, it is not something of our business.
But if we acted so inconsiderately, we would cease to be who we are and, above all, we would not be satisfied with ourselves.
We like to find out and know what happened, what it is about, what is said, and that is what begins to happen in an investigation protocol that will include the interrogation of witnesses, the taking of information, the analysis of it,
contrasting it with the possible variants that explain the seemingly strange, consulting experts in different disciplines as determined by what happened, to finally try to achieve a solution to what was observed.
That task is essentially the identification of the unidentified, which, by the way, does not mean unidentifiable.
Indeed, sometimes identification is not simple or easy. There are cases in which such identification is not possible, because the described phenomenon challenges the possibilities considered exhaustively.
I consider that the investigative task has to be approached with great humility, with a clear awareness that we do not know or know everything, and that - as often happens in Astronomy - we have to be willing to be surprised and challenged by something that completely dislodges us of conventional explanations.
But it is also true that - using the scientific method - which forces us to apply a systematic doubt to what the witnesses interpret they saw, the experience in this particular field of knowledge indicates that it is possible to achieve an explanation for 99% to 99.5% of reported sightings
The essential problem with witnesses is that they generally faithfully describe what they saw - and that greatly helps researchers - but the interpretation that culture and society give them for what they observed, makes it strange for them to finally not It is such.
That is why a logical doubt must be applied to what the witnesses declare. Because it is also proven that human beings are fallible and that at the level of criminology, it is known how much witnesses are confused or mistaken.
I frequently watch a TV show titled “Forensic Files” and I have a case of a serial killer, whose witnesses say he drives a white van, and that the individual is white.
It turned out that the murderer was black and drove a gray car.The police for a while was disoriented in their efforts to find the white van driven by a white individual.
It was other factors, and not the statements of witnesses, that contributed to finding the criminal.
And, when all the aspects that make up a case have been gathered, and the case is analyzed, Ockham's standards must be applied. That principle attributed to the Franciscan monk William of Ockham (c.1287-1347) of England, which states that the simplest solutions tend to be more correct than the complex ones.
To explain a case you have to go from the simplest to the most complex.We can never affirm with intellectual honesty and security, that what a person saw was an extraterrestrial spacecraft, if we have ruled out alternatives before that, to explain what was observed.
On the contrary, if we apply Ockham's standards, we will surely find a logical, rational and demonstrable explanation, which will be located much earlier than the most extravagant.
Just as we do not take a race to jump on a ladder and stand on the fifth step, the scientific procedure forces us to go up the stairs step by step, and not jump to fantastic conclusions but without factual grip, because finally, this is not valid.
On the other hand, the task of identifying aerial and/or spatial phenomena involves communication between peers, and the verification by others, that the procedure applied and the solution arrived is correct.
This is how science is done. The name of this noble activity is no longer "ufology," but "aerospace identification."
Of course, the broader scope of this task is directly related to the physical aspect of observable phenomena. But that does not ignore those cases in which psychological factors predominate, even without the presence of something physical.
It is, therefore, a complex task that has to take into account the multiple factors that converge on something with a high level of strangeness, which will descend from that level as the investigation is processed.
Milton W. Hourcade
Iowa City, December 10, 2019.