Funny how UFO issues are like buses ... you wait for ages for one to turn up and then two arrive almost at once.
Well, that’s one cliche out of the way.
And here’s another one. UFOs are always flying saucers.
Working on the newsdesk on Sunday I had an email from a bloke in Dalton absolutely convinced he had seen a UFO in the Wakefield Road area.
“It was of the typical classic shape of a disk with a dome on top,” he said.
I replied if he’d got any photos or video and he said: “I tried to put the camera on but I was shaking so much I couldn’t hit the right button and another app came up. As this was happening I’m now stood in my driveway and the UFO sort of wobbled from side to side then made a sudden turn right as if to follow the road upward and in half a sec it shot off into the distance and disappeared like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
He was absolutely convinced and so was a woman in the audience to see comedian and actor Ben Miller who told him she’d seen a UFO in the skies over Marsden Moor 27 years ago, but again she hadn’t been able to take a photo.
And this backs up the thrust of what Ben was saying. People are fascinated by UFOS but he feels they see what their minds want them to see based on what others claim to have spotted.
Or to put it more clearly, after the first UFO was spotted in 1947 there was a spate of other sightings worldwide. He said this phenomenon is known as ‘priming.’
“I would love it if UFOs exist,” he told a sell-out audience at Huddersfield University. “Unfortunately there is no evidence and you have to go on the evidence.”
But he did give the UFO community some hope, adding: “It’s not crazy to think that aliens might come to visit us in spaceships. But I don’t think we could cope with contact with an alien civilisation. I don’t think we are ready on all sorts of levels.”
Ben’s well known for his sketch show Armstrong and Miller, chasing dinosaurs in Primeval and catching a never-ending succession of crafty murderers in Death In Paradise.
But behind that lurks a serious, scientific side. He studied solid state physics at Cambridge University and did a thesis entitled Novel quantum effects in low-temperature quasi-zero-dimensional mesoscopic electron systems.
The event at the university was a relaxed affair with Ben in conversation with Huddersfield journalist and writer David Barnett.
Pushing his latest book The Aliens Are Coming – dubbed the ‘exciting and extraordinary science behind our search for life in the universe’ – he reckons life will be found in space within the next 10 years.
But don’t expect a fleet of spaceships to pop up over Meltham.
It’ll be far more basic ultra-tough cells along the lines of how life started on Earth.