While doing radio last week, a caller to the show came up with one of the most pathetic questions I have ever been asked. It went like this: "We know for sure what happened at Roswell, so does it really matter if we never get the proof?" Aside from the fact that anyone asking such a ridiculous question should be knocked to the ground (preferably solid concrete), there's the matter of what goes through the minds of people who ask such stupid questions. Yes, of course it matters! Variations on that question - some almost completely identical - have reached me before, and I have answered them before. But, let's try and put it to rest, once and for all.
Putting things in perspective, no we don't actually know for sure what happened outside of Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947. That much is obvious from the fact that there are multiple theories for what happened. They include: a weather-balloon, a spacecraft from another world, crash-test dummies, a secret U.S. military experiment, surgically altered children flown to the United States from Russia and on the orders of Josef Stalin, an atomic device dropped in the desert by mistake, a Mogul balloon, a time-machine, and an early rocket test with chimpanzees on board. Of course, there can only be one answer to the Roswell riddle. Maybe the answer is in that list above. Or, perhaps, there is yet another answer to the mystery - one that we have failed to ever consider.
Everyone - to varying degrees - has a belief in something. After all, every religion on the planet is based on belief. We can't prove there is an afterlife (although, I am inclined to think that something survives death, but pearly gates, harps, a horned devil and a pitchfork: nope), so we can choose to either believe or disbelieve. Or, we can simply not care. But, right now, we don't have proof of life after death. We have beliefs concerning life after death. And we have hopes. Then, there's Bigfoot. I have spoken to dozens of credible people who claim to have seen the creatures. Based on their words, I am convinced that there is a real Bigfoot phenomenon. But, I don't have proof. Neither does anyone else. I wouldn't be writing these words if we did. So, yes I believe that the creatures exist, whatever they may be. I could say the same about the Loch Ness Monsters, too. And, Roswell. But, here's the important thing: I'm not content with just having a belief. I want the definitive answers. You should, too. The caller, apparently, couldn't care less.
Taking the approach of the caller referenced in the first paragraph of this article is stupid and lazy. Having a belief in something - even a strong belief that is widely held - doesn't mean that you have the answer to the mystery. It means exactly what it is: a conclusion that satisfies someone, but which has no solid proof to support it. Being sure that you are correct in your beliefs may provide comfort, but it can be a dangerous thing, particularly so if it turns out that you are wrong.
In recent years - and far more in the domain of Ufology than in the field of Cryptozoology - I have seen this trend increasing. Namely, that it's perfectly okay to go with one's gut when it comes to trying to find a conclusion to genuinely intriguing cases like Roswell - and with nothing else. But, a word to everyone (including me): by all means, have your beliefs. The human race has had them forever and a day; that situation is unlikely to ever change. There's nothing wrong with that (providing your beliefs don't harm anyone else). But, keep things in perspective: knowing something and believing in something about Roswell (and about everything else of a paranormal nature) are two very, very different issues.