I finally put my story into words. I know it's long but it covers as much as I could without writing a book. I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable.

Background
I am a BIC, 5th generation, “Happy Valley” (Utah County) Mormon from a family of 10 kids (I am 4th oldest, and the oldest boy). My GG-Grandpa is William Clayton on my mom’s side and my GG-Grandpa on my dad’s side was proxy baptized in the St. George Temple for the founding fathers of the USA. Both of them were polygamist (I have no idea which wives I descended from, but like it matters). I served a full time mission, married in the temple, and have 3 kids ages 1, 4, and 6. Also I was a full tithe payer and word of wisdom follower.

Pre-mission Activity
I participated in the primary, young men, and enjoyed my youth in the church. 6 months before my 19th birthday, I decided that I needed to know the church was true before making a commitment to serve 2 years. So I did what I had never done before, and that was to read the whole book of mormon and then pray as Moroni suggests. I read it within a couple of weeks and then prayed. I stayed on my knees for a long while waiting for a confirmation that it was true. The answer I finally heard/devised was “You’ve always known it was true so why are you asking?” WTF I was too naïve to recognize that this was myself answering my own question in the way I wanted it answered.

Mission Experience
So with that conviction, I read the BofM 2 more times as well as Jesus the Christ in the remaining months before my mission. As a missionary I was very obedient and was troubled by missionaries who were there for the wrong reasons instead of a having a conviction and desire to share the “happiness” of the gospel with the world. I served in Chile, Santiago West mission from ’98-’00. When I got to my mission, I wrote an extensive letter home about my disgust for how people were being baptized by the thousands here without being converted and would rarely if ever attend church before, or after their baptism.

My parents gave this letter to the MTC which resulted in a phone call from SLC GA’s to my mission president. This ended with my being chewed out by my mission president. In his words, he said “you have damned this mission”. Luckily his time was up and was replaced 2 months after I got there. During his reign, as many as 1300 people were baptized per month in our mission. When I left the mission under my new MP, we were only baptizing ~150 or so per month, which I felt was a much better pace for the activity level of the wards there. Most wards I served in had anywhere from 500 to 1000+ members on the roles but rarely over 60 people in sacrament meeting (usually only around 30-40).

So I served my 2 years, not having been a big baptizer as I would only baptize people I felt really were converted and I often spent time trying to reactivate members so that the wards would then be strengthened to the point that converts would be sustained after joining the church. I now regret that I re-activated an RM in my last area, as he would probably would have been better off not being brought back into activity and servitude.

Temple Marriage
When I came home from my mission, I felt the strong urge to be married within a year of my return. This pressure most likely came due to my dad having been married in about that time frame after he returned and because the church says not to wait and put off marriage or families for schooling or anything etc. I dated many different women from my singles ward. I was called into the elders chorum presidency of this ward and felt like that may have upped my “righteousness” level to have better luck wooing the women. The way I met my wife was due to there being two Chilean sisters in this ward so we were instant friends since my mission was to their homeland, and one of them worked with my wife at BYU. Since I always complained to this Chilean friend about my dating woes, she said she would bring her friend from work to meet me.

We met, fell in love, got engaged after 5 weeks, and married 6 ½ months later in 2001 at the ages of 19 and 22. We faithfully popped out our first kid 9 months later since the church used to condemn birth control and also putting off child rearing. This was really hard on my wife as she really wanted to go to UofU for an accounting degree but being the controlling TBM that I was, would not allow us to deviate from the decreed path of the church. I now wish we hadn’t been so TBM and would have followed the ways of the world and got our education and stable careers first.

Beginning signs of doubt
A few years into our marriage, we got into wanting to live a healthier diet of whole (raw) foods (all fruits and vegetables). I had remembered a talk from Boyd K Packer that said that we should not take any gospel principles to extremes, and the word of wisdom was specifically mentioned. This drove me to reject this diet and so I turned away from it and my wife became vegetarian instead of a natural fooder. I realize now seeing how beneficial this diet would have been, why wouldn’t the church see the light of better health through stricter observance of the WofW? Of course now I recognize that with the church not being true they only push the WofW enough to create an identity but not so much as to drive the masses farther away.

For the first 6+ years of marriage, I would say we had a good mormon marriage, but it wasn’t what I had hopped for. Because of the taboo and inhibitions the church programs into us about sex, that was never something that was fully explored and enjoyed by either of us. Due to this and a few other hang ups, we ended up in marriage counseling a couple of times. I had thought then and now that if this is the true church, why do so many mormon marriage struggle with sex and many other aspects of creating a healthy relationship while having the “true gospel”?

In September of 2007, I decided I was ready to adapt to the vegetarian lifestyle, which wasn’t that difficult since my wife had already been one for 5 years at that point. I credit this act with giving me more power over my life and the choices I make. At the beginning of 2008, a spark was ignited in my marriage and my wife and I started making real efforts to increase the level of pleasure in our intimacy. We bought and started reading the book “And they were not ashamed” by Laura Brotherson, who is a mormon marriage counselor. This book gave us the permission to fully explore our sexuality and lead us to look for other books on marital intimacy. It also introduced me into metaphysical type beliefs due to a search on Tantra sex. At this same time, we also decided that we wanted to pursue having our calling and election made sure (2nd anointing) as spoken of in D&C 132. We fasted and prayed to begin our journey to purify ourselves to achieve this. So keep in mind that starting at about this time (February 2008), we were praying for this blessing.

To keep a long story from becoming longer, I’ll just say that this lead to me discovering many things in our world that I was blinded to previously, which blindness was definitely in part due to the LDS church trying to keep its members kept in a dreamland. I came to grasp the corruption in government, the 9/11 truth movement, the conspiracies behind terrorism, the New World Order/North American Union plots, the truth behind the Federal Reserve/IRS and many other atrocious stuff. At first, this stuff scared the crap out of me. I then started thinking that the 2nd coming was definitely approaching and so I started praying that me and my family would be worthy to escape to the New Jerusalem.

The conspiracy stuff started weighing on me too much so I turned away from it in May and started to look for positive influences against the secret governments etc. This is where my unexpected leave from the church really begins. I came across evidences of UFOs and Aliens and their cover-up that has been pushed by the world governments for the past 70 years or so. At first I couldn’t fit in a belief in extraterrestrials with my gospel beliefs. I kept reading my scriptures daily as well as personal and family prayer during this time so as to have the spirit guide me in my search of truth.

The more I looked into ETs, the more evidences to their existence was uncovered. Of course just in the past month (July/August) two NASA astronauts have come forward testifying to their existence so disclosure is already starting to occur. Anyways, I came across a documentary called “The Legend of Atlantis, it’s time to wake up” (find it on youtube/google) and this presented to me a history and purpose of this world that fit much more easily into what we know from science. That being the world is not 6000 years old, and that humans have been here much longer than that along with many other things that matched what I had studied previously about the illuminati and a one world government and such. This movie also got me into thinking that God was not the being as presented by the mormon church, that God is pure consciousness and everything exists because God exists and provides his consciousness to make it so (quantum physics plays into this theory).

Exiting Mormonism
Now I was armed with the possibility that the church isn’t true, and this allowed me to question things that I had never really questioned about the church, god, Jesus, or life as presented by the mormon perspective. I came across an online community called Ashtar Command that follows the ET movement. From the good people of that site, I was told that I did not need a savior and that we are perfect beings as we are, that this life is just to gain experience to further our pathway through reincarnation and eventually a graduation from reincarnation once we learned all of the lessons we needed to learn and come to love and accept all people as they are, and give everyone the same free agency to live how they feel is best.

Suddenly it clicked, the world made sense. My mormon blinders had been removed. The church couldn’t be true because if God truly exists, it would make sense that he would not have a one true religion as said religion would never have the ability to reunite all of his children. Religions tend to separate people, cause judgment, promote disempowerment and so forth. I remembered some of the words of Jesus, that the two greatest commandments were to love god, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus said to be One, if you can’t be One, you can’t be his. He said He was the pathway. What I now believe he meant is that he provided the example of living a perfect life, by loving and accepting all people for how they are, flaws and all. He hung out with the “sinners” because he knew that’s where the real, non judgemental, fun people were. He was hated by the Pharisees because he didn’t hold to their religion. He was an apostate troublemaker like many of us exmos!

So this epiphany took place May 30th, 2008. I bore my testimony at the beginning of May in fast and testimony meeting that I “knew” Thomas S. Monson was a prophet, and that the church was true (I also bore my testimony almost every month of 2008 before May except April). I had read my BofM that very morning and nearly everyday since my mission. I was considered by my sister to have a special calling for the last days because of my understanding and righteousness. So I woke up May 30th as a somewhat troubled beginning to doubt mormon and ended the day wearing new boxers sans garments, feeling a freedom and peace I had never felt so strongly before.

My bishop showed up at my house about a week later because my coworker tattled on me about no longer believing the church and because I no longer wore the magic underwear. He was shocked that I went from a very TBM to non-believer in such a short period of time. He felt that maybe I had never had a strong testimony to begin with or that I hadn’t had a very strong or convincing spiritual experience. That was not the case as I had many “spiritual” experiences bearing testimonies, singing religious tunes, and such (I now consider them emotional experiences). This is a testament of how weak the mormon foundation really is. It’s a hollow, shallow, illusion and very easily rocked. That’s the true reason IMHO that TBMs are scared of exmos/antis, they know they could easily doubt their faith if they ever questioned it.

Soon after that, mid-June or so, I decided to find out why the LDS church couldn’t be true. I had accidentally found this site back in April when researching about the temple endowment online so I went there first (exmormon.org) to see what all the fuss was about. It didn’t take long (minutes to hours) to find out why the church isn’t true and that it’s not the nice institution it makes itself out to be.

I told my TBM family about my leaving the church during the last week of June (just after returning from a Family Reunion). They accepted it a lot better than I expected. Most of them still approach me the same friendly way when I visit, but ignore the big elephant in the room. However, when I do try to bring anything up regarding the church or my new beliefs, their true mind control/stop-think becomes evident as they are so closed to it all. I spoke to my stake president in his office twice before submitting my resignation on August 1st (a new beginning for me, also emphasized by the solar eclipse that day). He was very nice and non-condemning and even understanding and in agreement with many of my qualms regarding Mormonism. His immediate questions were whether I had been offended, or committed any serious “sins”. I explained to him about the “Double Bind” that exists in the church. When asked what troubled me most about the church, I told him it was due to the masking of information, concealing it from the public and more importantly, TBM eyes.

So now I am out, just waiting for my confirmation letter from Mr. Dodge’s office. My wife is now non-believing as well, ditched her Gs over a month ago(end of June 2008), and recently asked to be released from her callings. Hopefully she'll share her feelings and story in the future. My wife and I take notice that we still “feel” the “spirit” that we felt in the church. In fact we both feel like we have greater spiritual feelings than before.

I want to thank and congratulate everyone who frequent exmormon sites for being here, and being a most needed resource for finding truth and counsel while exiting Mormonism. It’s been an amazing and unexpected ride. I never set out to disprove my religion, I was just open to new beliefs and possibilities and that lead me out and made all of the difference.

 

DISCLAIMER:

I should probably add a disclaimer to my story that points out that I am much more skeptical now to the alien or conspiracy stuff, mostly due to attending the Exmo Conference and hearing about cult mind control and in turn reading Steven Hassan's first book.  So rest assured.  I am very much a skeptic on much of that stuff now, though some of it has validity (aliens, conspiracies, etc). 

 

I still hold a belief in a god like being/higher consciousness etc, but I am now using much more discernment, reason, logic and substantial evidence before following any other belief system, including aliens.  However, I wouldn't have ever escaped had it not been for those things so as crazy as much of my story sounds, that's how it went down and I thank god/universe/spaghetti monster etc for guiding me out of that cult and helping me avoid other cults. Thanks for your concern.

 

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On crop circles, I think some are probably fake, but the majority, especially the really complex ones that include precise mathematics and geometry can't be faked by a bunch of dudes with some rope and planks. You may find this site interesting: http://www.divinecosmos.com. David Wilcock tries to backup most of his research with actual science and witnesses instead of just heresy etc. I don't have any proof that ETs exist of myself but I have to agree that the evidence from some people is pretty compelling.
We already know that many crop circles were made by people - they've done it for us in daylight, on video, to show how they did it.

Given that, I'd just invoke Occams Razor.

Which explanation requires the fewest number of unlikely assumptions?

That creative and intelligent people have figured out how to make the remainder of crop circles...

OR

That not only does an entire alien civilization exist on another world, but beings from this world have traveled the incomprehensible distance to visit our planet and doodle in our wheat fields. (And they love spring break in Europe, when students are out of school and traveling... that's when most of the circles seem to appear...)

The first explanation only requires us to assume that some blokes got clever.

The second explanation requires us to introduce an entire civilization, a whole world populated with billions of intelligent beings who have developed advanced technology.

In other words, I've noticed that with the UFO stuff, proponents tend to work backwards. They start with the crop circles and then work backwards, arriving at the aliens. It's a bit like starting with a quarter under my pillow and ending up at the tooth fairy.

Stepping back, it's obvious that they're introducing something unbelievably large and complex - a whole other world full of technology and intelligent beings for which there is no real evidence.

Stepping slightly off topic:

I did a paper awhile ago on the likelihood of intelligent life like ours in the universe. Assuming intelligent life would require a certain set of base circumstances (a star that remains stable long enough for life to develop and evolve, a planet that remains stable long enough that life is never completely obliterated by cosmic rays or a stray asteroid, enough complex chemicals for organic life to form, etc. etc.) the odds, in my estimation, are low. The odds that any two civilizations would arise at roughly the same time, and close enough to each other that they could discover each other and develop the technology to meet face to face, are almost nill.

So, again, given a choice between some clever guys who have figured out a few tricks to make these things (and again, we already know they can because they've admitted to it and demonstrated it on video) I see very little reason to make the leap to one of the most unlikely explanations imaginable.

That being said, if they ARE out there, they can TOTALLY abduct me. How friggin cool would that be?
I understand how it would be difficult to think the possibility of life outside our Earth is impossible given all the prerequisites. But when you consider the size of the universe as we know it...then try to consider the size of it as it is or may be...it's hard to think we are alone. Having said that I don't personally believe we've encountered ET or ETs have found us. But I wouldn't be surprised if they are there.

Thanks for info on crop circles...and good luck with the abduction thing! IF it happens you better come back to post on here about it! :)
Oh, there's certainly intelligent life out there in the universe. Guaranteed. The question is: Are they close enough to know we exist?

Probably not.

That has nothing to do with the aliens themselves, it's just plain physics and math. It doesn't matter how old, advanced, or strange these beings are, they still have to deal with the same universe we do - the speed of light, the force of gravity, etc. They couldn't spot us unless they're fairly close, and the odds that any two civilizations will rise up that close to each other at about the same time (our own civilization is only a few tens of thousands of years old... a blip compared to the history of the universe) are fantastically unlikely.

Even if they could spot us, there's still no known way they could GET here. Again, that has nothing to do with the aliens or their technology... it's just physics.

Ok, well, we could say that the aliens have figured out some super-amazing technology that lets them warp through space or whatever. And that's fine... except that we're just making stuff up now.

Inventing explanations for why there is no evidence is not evidence. It's the same thing as saying, "We don't have the gold plates anymore because an angel took them away." It's circular reasoning, it assumes that angels and gold plates are real. So to the believer, it makes sense. But to the outsider, it just sounds like an excuse.

So OF COURSE if aliens could break the laws of physics they could travel to earth whenever they want. Duh. But that isn't a reason to think they're here, or that they're doing such a thing. This would be the argument from final consequences fallacy: "Aliens with amazing technology could travel to earth, therefore they are."
Looking back over the past 100 years at how far we have advanced, it's not difficult for me to fathom how far a civilization 10,000 to 1,000,000 years older than ours could have advanced. They could have developed technology that can bend space and time such as a worm whole to travel from one place to another in relatively little or no time, or technology that places an electromagnetic field around their ships that eliminates or decreases the effects of both gravity, mass and inertia so that the difficulty of arriving at light speed is overcome etc.

Have you seen "The Disclosure Project" at http://www.disclosureproject.com ? If not, I would invite you to listen to these government, military, and corporate witnesses of both alien technology and aliens themselves in a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC back on May 9th, 2001 (I embedded this video in my other thread on "changing how we look at things"). I would be interested in your thoughts regarding their coming out and the risks to their careers and reputations for doing so.
Cool, I plan on watching it. (Although, just being honest, you've already hinted at a fallacy: There are lots of reasons people may express beliefs that could risk careers and reputations while still being wrong about those beliefs. Joseph Smith was arrested and killed - that didn't make him a prophet.)

But just to comment on your first statement, all you're doing is speculating, right? We can make stuff up, but that isn't evidence. Thinking about what aliens could or could not do doesn't make them any more or less likely to actually be around. It's kind of like thinking of explanations for how Santa could get around the world in a single night. Time travel? Magic? Think of whatever you want, but he's still fictional... So it doesn't really contribute to the reality of the existence of alien visitation to just think of ways they might get here until we actually know they're here.

Besides, we don't even know if it's possible to make wormholes, alter gravity, etc. etc. For all we know, these are limitations of the physical universe. They might not be, but what we know now says that there is no practical or conceivable method for traversing the stars. Maybe with advanced technology there is a way, but again, that's just speculation. We can come up with a list of "maybe's" a mile long, but that still wouldn't be evidence.
Thanks for watching it. I understand the fallacy you speak of based on Joe Smith's own fallacy :-) You are right that without verifiable evidence this is all just speculation. However, here's one inventors device (Searl Effect Generator or SEG) that both creates essentially free perpetual energy and also an inverse gravity field that can be used in his Inverse Gravity Vehicle (IGV): http://www.searlsolution.com/technology.html

You'll likely find that whenever anyone has an invention that would eliminate the need for controlled energy sources like Oil, Coal, Fossil fuels etc, there will be much controversial information regarding both the inventor and their device as well as evidence of said inventor being bribed or even killed to shut him up. Anyways, just more stuff for you to pick apart and point out the fallacies of :-) At least it's fun going back and forth eh?
Watched the vid.

Let's first establish that eye-witness testimony is next to useless in science. That doesn't mean that these people didn't see what they say they saw, it just means that in terms of evaluating evidence, it can't go very far.

But there were several comments like these at the beginning:

"We must trust their word now."
"It is irrational not to accept the testimony of these witnesses."

That makes me uncomfortable already.

And this is why:

People misinterpret things. Even pilots, doctors, air traffic controllers, whatever. We are all human and subject to optical illusions and the like.

Examples:

1. Two pilots were at an airport walking down the tarmac when they both spotted an orb hovering in the sky. They stared at it in astonishment. Then it seemed to zip across the sky, instantly stop, change direction, and shoot the other way. It was moving at incredible speeds and covering incredible distances. As they were both watching in astonishment it then moved IN FRONT OF a tree that was a few dozen feet away.

Oops.

It was an optical illusion. It was a small fluffy seed floating in the wind. It wasn't big and in the distance and moving very fast. It was small, very close, and drifting casually. But the brain misinterpreted it until it moved in front of the tree and the brain re-did the math.

2. Another pilot was driving home late at night through an empty stretch of highway that cut through farms and fields. He noticed something out of the corner of his eye and he turned. Off in the distance he spotted a large glowing saucer of light, shooting over the field, 10 feet off the ground, keeping pace with his car. He started to speed up, and the saucer kept pace. It was following him. This went on for several miles and he was really starting to freak out. Until he noticed the fence posts.

Another optical illusion.

He was seeing the reflection of his headlights on the wire fence.

3. A crowd in Europe left a bar and noticed a large craft hovering over the city. It was shaped like a triangle with lights on each tip. It floated noiselessly. Several people took photos and video with their cell phones. It quietly drifted away and disappeared.

A few days later, we learned that a few blocks away there had been a wedding ceremony. They were using chinese lanterns made of thin paper and candles. They float like miniature hot air balloons, and they're often tied together. Part of the ceremony is releasing them and letting them float away.

Three lights loosely tied together was misinterpreted as being one single triangular shaped object. The brain sees the three points of light and "fills in the blank" and thinks it's looking at a single object.

Plenty more examples of this sort of thing can be found here:

http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/astroufo1.htm

My point is that when someone says, "I saw..." we can't always be sure that what they're describing is what was actually there. They may believe they saw a huge craft speeding around the sky, but that might not be what it was.

Compounding this, people's memories change. We see something we don't understand, we tell the story about what we saw, we start to build on the memory in our minds, and decades later a wierd light on the horizon has turned into a full-blown metallic craft.

I was surprised at how many of these witnesses were talking about events 40 and 50 years ago.

Stories evolve, not just within ourselves over time, but when it's passed from person to person. I tell you about a light I saw, and you tell someone else about a UFO a friend of yours saw, and he tells a friend of his about the aliens YOU saw (because he misremembered the story) and on it goes, each person embellishing just a bit. Because that's what humans do.

Eye-witness accounts are dangerous for this reason. That's why we need something objective that everyone else can look at and study for themselves.

****

I understand that this press conference was meant to just be an announcement, a "Hey, listen to us, we have something to say." That's fine, if that's all it is meant to be.

But that also means we can't pretend like the video is actually presenting evidence. It's only presenting testimony that evidence exists - it's not evidence itself.

(And speaking of testimony, almost every witness ended with "And I am willing to testify under oath that these things are true..." which sounded a lot like "I know the church is true..." Just something that made me chuckle a little bit. We can testify all we want, that doesn't make something true. It doesn't mean they're lying, either. It just means they're mistaken.)

****

Most of these people didn't have much to offer. Many of them are just stating that they saw a blip on a radar or read several reports that other people had filed.

I was surprised at how many of them mentioned that a friend or collegue shared a story with them of something that they saw... meaning that the story is now getting to us third-hand, and is now even less credible. (Donna Hare worked as a design illustrator for NASA and spoke to a guard who told her that one time he was asked to burn some photos but not look at them and when he sneaked a peek, he was knocked out. I mean... really? Not only is this story coming from a security guard to an artist to us, but it doesn't even make sense. If the images are that sensitive, why ask some security guard who shouldn't see them to dispose of them? How much more likely is it that she was fishing around for UFO stories and he decided to pull her leg?)

****

With all of that said, there were a few very interesting stories. Captain Salas, for example, talked about how a UFO was reported over their military base, and at about the same time, 10 of their nuclear warheads were disabled. The fact that the warheads went offline is not disputed.

But we can break it down a little bit.

Salas himself didn't see the UFO - it was a "red light" that was reported to him. So we don't know what it was.

I googled a bit and also found out that the day before this event, the base had experienced a power outage. Salas says that the outage couldn't have effected the missiles. Maybe that's true, I don't know. But you then have to ask... is it more likely that there was some kind of electrical problem, (or some other simple explanation) or did aliens fly across the galaxy to temporarily shut off missiles that were just sitting in their silos. (Which we just turned back on a few hours later, anyway.)

This report reminded me of another UFO report I read about recently that took place at a military base in the UK. The military and police were involved and made reports. Unexplained lights were seen in the forest. UFO sightings were confirmed. Even a landing site was photographed.

But it all turned out to be mundane misinterpretations of, among other things, a lighthouse.

You can read about it here:

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4135

Even if we take Salas and some of the other more compelling reports at face value, and assume that things went down more or less the way they say they did, we STILL can't make the HUGE leap to visiting alien beings. We can only get as far as the "Unexplained" part of UFO. It's one thing to say "I don't know what that is." But quite another to continue on and say "So it must be from another planet."
Hey Jon, thanks for taking the time to see the press conference and look into this further. You again make very valid arguments which help me to keep a more balanced look as I continue to investigate this myself. Thanks for taking the time on your response too.
his evidence is strong. Due to prior experiences however, I know that people will go to great lengths to try to make people believe what they have to say is true when it is not. There is something I do like about him though...then again, plenty of people liked JS...lol. Will I always be this paranoid and indecisive? Thanks for the info.
Good question. That's something I had to think a lot about.

But for one thing, Salas isn't really giving great evidence. If you look at the similar report I linked to, you can see the side-by-side comparison of the original report on file as it happened then (years ago) and the current story being told by the people involved.

The story has changed. Details have been added. The event has become more elaborate.

So I'd really like to see what was originally reported that night, what the guard actually told him back then... not what Salas now remembers what the guard said, decades later.

But even if the story was exactly the same, it's still a second hand report... of a light. And we already know that people can misinterpret and perceive things. We're just taking the guys word for it. Of all the things that could potentially explain whatever the guard says he saw, alien visitations is one of the least likely. I mean, as long as we're at it, why not an angel?

This is a serious question. What is preventing us from saying that the guard saw an angel, and that it was the angel that disabled the missiles? It's an explanation that still fits all of the evidence presented, right?

That's why the conclusion that it is aliens is so unfounded. If we can't even distinguish between aliens and angels or anything else we care to make up, then we have no reason to make any conclusions about this.

It's not paranoia or indecisiveness to be skeptical of these claims. It's being honest and sincere about our search for truth. If leaving Mormonism teaches us anything, it should be that:

1) Ideas can be wrong. People can make up whatever they want.
2) People would still believe in those ideas.
3) Conviction and sincerity do not make something true. People can believe in something with all their heart, they might still be wrong.

So we have to test ourselves, our knowledge, and our evidence to figure out what is most likely true. "It feels right" is not a test. Be skeptical of things. Doubt is good for you! If something is true, it will withstand your scrutiny and your questions.
Ha, good timing....

http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/09-04-01.html#feature

I just saw this article about how a couple of guys hoaxed a big UFO sighting in New Jersey earlier this year. They include links to video about the news coverage and people interviewed. It was really interesting watching the people they interviewed and how some of them immediately leapt to alien visitors as an explanation... as if the only explanation for strange lights HAD to be aliens. One of the people they interviewed was a pilot, and he was just as clueless as everyone else.

But the REALLY interesting thing was how even just hours or days after they sighted the lights and were now being interviewed on television, they were misremembering what they saw. The pilot insisted that the lights shot away... they didn't.

But in the excitement of spotting a UFO and being on TV, it seemed his memory was already starting to change. We know this happens, it's been explored in various studies. We start to convince ourselves that we experienced something that we think everyone around us expects us to experience. He's giving an account of a UFO he spotted, and he knows that his story ought to convey what he thinks the reporter and the viewers want to hear.

He's probably not lying. It's just a bit of psychology.

This is how a lot of the "feeling the spirit" thing works, too. We're told that if we're righteous and earnest and have an open heart and pray sincerely, we will feel the spirit. If we go to church, we will feel the spirit. If someone prays for us to help us, we'll feel the spirit. We subconsciously convince ourselves that in these various circumstances we're expected to feel a certain way... and so we do. And then we share the experience with others, which solidifies the memory. Sharing it with others makes it "real." We feel it and believe it, but the entire thing took place in our heads.

And the pilots memory of some balloons "shooting" away into the distance also took place in his head.

Makes you wonder about reports where we have to rely on a 30 year old memory of something someone else said.

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