That Fuzzy Blob Is Not a UFO

Science writer Mick West examines alleged UFO sightings. He finds that they almost always have far more obvious explanations.


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"I'm kind of unpopular in the UFO community because…I have a bit of a negative outlook, and they prefer things to be aliens," says science writer Mick West. "All the UFO videos we have are blurry, and it's not because alien spaceships are blurry. It's because when you zoom in, you see that it's not an alien spaceship. At least so far."

West is the author of Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect, and he runs a popular YouTube channel where he takes a detailed look at alleged UFO sightings, finding that phenomena thought to be visitors from another planet almost always have far more obvious explanations.

In recent years, the UFO craze has migrated from the grocery store rag the Weekly World News to The New York Times, Time, Politico, and Forbes, and the government has sunk considerable money into studying the issue.

"The government knows more about everything that it's willing to tell us," West told Reason. But "it's dubious that it knows anything about UFOs being aliens."

Photo Credit: Illustration: Lex Villena; DoD, Rawpixelimages; FABIANO/SIPA/SIPA USA/Newscom; Gene Blevins/Polaris/Newscom; Richard Mroczynski/Red Dot/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Bill Clark/Newscom; Brittany A. Chase—Department of Defense via CNP / MEGA / Newscom; Bob Knopes/Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group/Newscom; White House via CNP/Newscom; B.E. "Gene" Forte—CNP; Newscom; Glasshouse Images/Newscom; Carl Simon/United Archives/CarlSimon/Newscom; Benjamin E. "Gene" Forte—CNP/Newscom; Robert Knudsen—White House via CNP/Newscom; NASA via CNP/Newscom; Arnie Sachs—CNP/Newscom; Reed F W Mirrorpix/Newscom; Emw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; S E Brendel, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; imageBROKER; JL KURTZ UPI Photo Service/Newscom; Larry MacDougal iPhoto Inc./Newscom; Jack Kurtz UPI Photo Service/Newscom; Ввласенко, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Ir. Tony Hartono, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; soron616, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Albert Cooper Mirrorpix/Newscom; PHILIPPE MISSONNIER/DPPI/Icon SMI 547/PHILIPPE MISSONNIER/DPPI/Icon SMI/Newscom; Mick West, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons;, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Jud McCranie, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Peter Nussbaumer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Jud McCranie, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Silas Stein/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; Internet Archives; penske666 from United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via; Wikimedia Commons; Courtesy, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Photograph Collection, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arlington, Texas.", CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons; Trevor Paglen, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Music Credits: "A Moon Walk - Instrumental Version," by Yehezkel Raz via Artlist; "Memories," by Stanley Gurvich via Artlist; "Odd Numbers," Curtis Cole via Artlist; "Little Fire," by Palm Blue via Artlist; "Quiet Pull," by Palm Blue, via Artlist.

Written and narrated by Natalie Dowzicky; edited by Regan Taylor; audio post-production by Ian Keyser; camera by Isaac Reese.