Date: Sun Aug 08 1993 11:06:00 To: ALL Subj: About Knapp UFO - Our readers respond 07/16/9

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Date: Sun Aug 08 1993 11:06:00 From: SHEPPARD GORDON To: ALL Subj: About Knapp UFO ------------------------------- Our readers respond 07/16/93 THE LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL Real evidence To the editor: George Knapp's recent diatribe (July 11, letters) against Review-Journal columnist Rafael Tammariello's "semi-annual anti-UFO column" deserves further comment. Knapp complains that Tammariello's "oft-recycled vitriol" is getting old, while Knapp continues to rehash the same old so-called "evidence" during his TV sweeps-week UFO specials, which also usually occur semi-annually. While I'm sure Tammariello does not need me to defend him, he probably won't answer Knapp until George's next UFO expose, so I'll take the time to do it for him. Knapp goes on to compare the American public's fascination with UFOs with the fact that NASA spends $10 million a year searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. This is like comparing kumquats with oranges. SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is a scientific search using sophisticated listening devices to search for signs of life in the universe. This does not mean and cannot in any way be construed to mean that we are being visited by UFOs and that the government is covering up "what it knows." Carl Sagan, a major proponent of SETI, believes there has been no scientifically verifiable evidence of alien visitation. These positions are in no way inconsistent. Knapp then cites as evidence for UFOs the fact that the government has refused his requests for information. Would Knapp admit that it is possible that the government just doesn't have anything more to give? It's also just possible that he is being ignored, not refused. Why is it more likely that we are being visited by space aliens than the chance that there's no new information? More "evidence" cited by Knapp for UFO existence is that major universities are studying the topic. This, of course, does not prove anything. Using that logic, I could contend that because someone is a university professor, he or she must be sane. But I've been to college and had professors that without tenure would be holding signs on street corners reading, "Need Government Grant for Food." Finally, Knapp's last piece of "evidence" is that because we can't find out what is going on at Area 51, it must therefore be a UFO graveyard. I'll admit that Area 51 is a somewhat mysterious place but Knapp continues to tie it to UFOs. Remember, UFO means Unidentified Flying Object. Not alien spaceship. I, too, have seen a UFO but I don't believe it came from Pleiades or Andromeda. And I believe there is other life in the universe, but until real, verifiable proof is presented, I will not waste time listening to testimonials from UFO abductees and their financially motivated shills. George Knapp can go on uncovering the big government conspiracy and no one will stop him. Local TV stations should be ashamed presenting his "evidence" as news. It's not news, it's hearsay. And until he presents some real evidence, Knapp and his ilk will be responded to by those of us who do not just take the word of others regarding claims of the paranormal. ART CHEVALIER Las Vegas


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