Some 25 years or so ago I was playing basketball with 4 or 5 friends in my backyard when, almost simultaneously, this bright light caught our attention. It seemed to be hovering high in the sky, maybe a thousand feet, and not making a sound. Then it began to move, and so did we, as only teenage basketball players can. We sprinted after it till we reached a vantage point where it could not escape our view. From that hill overlooking the Hudson River we watched as it slowly went out over the river, turned, and with an amazing burst of speed followed the river south and out of sight. Throughout the event none of us ever heard any sound nor saw any other lights but the bright one that had stopped our game so abruptly. So convinced that what we had seen was a UFO we all agreed to report the sighting to a local chapter of NICAP (National Investigating Commission for Aerial Phenomenon, or something like that). And we did, the next day. The man who took our reports was very professional and when we were through he gave us some tips on what to look for should we ever have another encounter. Sorry, but I've long since forgotten what they were. For many years after I held a firm belief that UFOs were real and that I had seen one. I have recounted this true story for two reasons, one, to show that I would be the last person to scoff at anyone who said they saw a UFO. And two, to say that I now believe what I saw HAD to be something else! (Still a UFO but not extraterrestrial).
I have come to this conclusion not because the years have dimmed the memory of the event, for they have not. It was such an exhilarating experience I doubt I will ever forget it. It's just that when one takes an objective look at the probabilities you find the long shot of all time. In a nutshell, while the probability of the existence of alien life is astronomically high, the probability that any of them have come here is just as low. For a more convincing explanation of this idea (which by the way is his, not mine) read chapter 28 of Carl Sagan's book entitled THE COSMIC CONNECTION. I'm sure anyone interested in UFOs will enjoy reading the whole book.
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