Last week was Parliamentary half-term and I was away. But not far enough
to escape the stories about the UFO’s which were supposed to have
appeared over my house more than 10 years ago.
I never saw them though the newspaper reports at the time made it clear
that others thought they had. Now I learn, to my astonishment, that the
RAF investigated the reports but found no evidence of these alien
That certainly does not surprise me. I am a UFO sceptic.
Not because I think I know everything about the natural world. I am
quite prepared to accept that I don’t. Long before former US Defence
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in a very different context, put forward his
doctrine of “unknown unknowns” I was very conscious of the limits of my
Moreover the possibility that there are other worlds in the universe on
which life, in one form or another may exist, seems a very reasonable
one to me. And if it does exist, it seems equally reasonable that these
creatures, whoever they are, should make some effort to reach other
worlds, as human beings from our own planet have done. Nor is there
anything inherently unreasonable in the thought that they might be much
better at it than we have been and could succeed in their efforts to
All this seems perfectly plausible to me. What I don’t understand is
why, if they have indeed succeeded in this extraordinary effort, they
wouldn’t want to make themselves known to us. There have, after all,
been many alleged sightings of UFO’s in different parts of the world.
Why should they be so shy as to want to keep themselves unknown?
That’s the question I find very difficult to answer and until someone
can provide a convincing answer – or some incontrovertible evidence that
these visitors really do exist and have come among us – I shall remain a
sceptic and take stories that they came to get me with the largest
available pinch of salt.
Now, on a happier note, for another arrival. My daughter, Larissa, has
just given birth to a baby boy. And though he’s very small, just 4lb
15ozs, mother and baby are both doing well. Sandra and I are thrilled
and I can see that any thoughts I had of an idle retirement will go out
of the window and never return!