Sagan had already been denied tenure at Harvard, a sci-fi screenwriter reflects, and he couldn’t afford to take more chances. So, it is suggested, he pretended to be much more skeptical than he really was:
Writer Bryce Zabel recalls a dispute with Sagan on the topic in a parking lot 40 years ago, during the Voyager 2 flyby — which changed Zabel’s career…
[And that, according to Zabel, was what emerged.]
Sagan was denied tenure at Harvard for being, according to Zabel, a little too “out there.” But today, Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb openly discusses his thoughts on ETs and UFOs in popular science venues. And, in what sounds like a helpful move, NASA is seeking standards for ET life claims, rather than just denying or avoiding them altogether.
Perhaps all unidentified aerial phenomena are due to rare natural events. But the only way to honestly evaluate that is to start with the premise that they might — in principle — not be natural events. The need to simply “debunk” is not so much part of science as it is a social phenomenon: the Ingroup vs. Outgroup. Continually proving that one is a member of the Correct group is hardly the spirit that advances science.News, “The UFOs Carl Sagan was convinced of but couldn’t talk about” at Mind Matters News
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The surprising role that dolphins have played in the search for ET. Dolphins, with their apparent alien intelligence, have been seen by scientists interested in ET as a stand-in. The discovery of dolphin intelligence supported the view that intelligence might evolve in unexpected places among life forms without hands.
The UAPs (UFOs) are “not caused by any U.S. advanced technology.” And that’s all the Pentagon probably really knows. Some, including physicist Mark Buchanan, hope we never find out if it’s aliens or not.