After reading these two articles on the New Jersey UFO hoaxers and their sentencing, it really made me realize how sometimes the skeptics make themselves look even more foolish than some of the most “out-there” believers. One of these numbskulls is actually a science teacher, and you’d think this guy would know better. For one, sending flares up into the night sky is the essence of stupidity and irresponsibility. Secondly, they did this purposely, knowing that people would call 911 to report what they were seeing. And thus clogging the phone lines and preventing people who really needed help from getting through. Thirdly, I can’t even begin to explain how unscientific it is to disprove something by hoaxing it yourself. What does it prove, exactly? That people are going to notice and report strange lights in the sky that don’t belong there? Didn’t we already know that? Did this science teacher really think that his little performance would prove to the world that every UFO sighting was a fake? Does dressing up in a gorilla suit prove that every Bigfoot sighting, going back thousands of years in Native American history, was all a hoax? Does putting a sheet over you and moaning prove that every ghost story ever told is false? I’m all for approaching these things with a skeptical mind. But fanaticism of any form, whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, just makes you look plain goofy.
Also, this science teacher should lose his job over this. He put lives at risk, acted irresponsibly (and was stupid enough to post his exploits on video all over the internet), and is not really setting a good example for his students, either from a scientific or a moral standpoint.