My point is that dismissing anything usual out of hand because common sense tells you it cannot be real is sad.
There are any number of ideas one could come up with based on things that are known to exist so resorting to things that are not known to exist is sadder.
Going from "we have absolutely no clue what it was or even if it was a thing" to "therefore aliens" is just delusional. (I'm not saying you are doing that, but plenty of people seem to.)
First of all I agree, idle speculation for no reason is pointless in a science context but you seem to be asserting there is no evidence when in fact there is. The evidence might not be good enough to assert aliens are visiting the earth but I think there is enough evidence to suggest an unknown phenomena is at work in at least some of these sightings.
Not more than a couple centuries ago anyone who claimed rocks fell from the sky was treated about the same way someone who claims to see a UFO.
Yeah... again you avoid the point.
Your original remark was "Visual sightings are interesting, in fact the some of most high strangeness are often visual but visual alone is not reliable, Eyewitness testimony is the worst kind of evidence..." - as soon as there are multiple sources then the picture changes.
What I was pointing out is that, essentially, radar - on its own - is no more reliable than an eyewitness.
I agree, although i would like to think that radars which would be the first indication of a missile strike would be reliable.
When it comes to UFOs the evidence is just not solid enough to support an extra-ordinary claim
Hence probability makes me favour the ordinary explanation (i.e. it's all misidentification or lack of identifiable features), even though it's not enough for me to totally exclude the extra-ordinary option
In the sighting I I listed earlier you had two radars reporting the same thing, one military and one civilian, hundreds if not thousands of people saw them, they interacted with both civilian and military airplanes and they were photographed as well. I know this is not proof but it is evidence that something happened in Washington, DC in 1952.
Now I will say upfront that I am not a UFO believer, I think it's an interesting phenomena, probably has several causes that are mistakenly lumped together.
For some reason many people think there is only two possibilities, witnesses are mistaken or witnesses are lying.
I would like to ask what would make up evidence of alien space craft visiting the Earth? What do you think is the best reason they are not visiting the Earth?
At no time have I asserted that aliens are visiting the Earth, all I am saying is there is one or more unknown phenomena that are being asserted as evidence of aliens in one context or another. When I quote sightings it's not to convert anyone but to show the phenomena isn't quite as ridiculous as some would have you believe.
Even if the UFO phenomena turns out to have nothing to do with aliens I think it is still interesting due to the effect it has on our citizens, at the very least UFOs represent a factor in the human mind that causes us to have similar hallucinations.
I think we are lucky enough to live when an actual mythology is forming, we get to watch how and why people started believing in things like gods, or aliens, or fairies and elves. The connection with the supernatural, at least on peoples minds, is obvious. The contactee movement of the 1950s is so like religion it's easy to see things like angels and demons coming from the people who asserted these things. It's just that in modern society we tend to see technology when our ancestors saw the supernatural in the unknown...
There is a good UFO video that makes it fairly easy to see that not everything being associated with UFOs belongs in the same category and both the ridiculous and things that make you scratch your head and wonder just what was that.
Now at the risk of being accused of argument from authority J. Allen Hynek, an Astronomer that was hired by the USAF to debunk UFOs started out as a staunch skeptic and didn't think there was anything to UFOs but years later he came away believing that UFOs were not of this Earth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Allen_Hynek
When Project Sign hired Hynek, he was skeptical of UFO reports. Hynek suspected that they were made by unreliable witnesses, or by persons who had misidentified man-made or natural objects. In 1948, Hynek said that "the whole subject seems utterly ridiculous," and described it as a fad that would soon pass.For the first few years of his UFO studies, Hynek could safely be described as a debunker. He thought that a great many UFOs could be explained as prosaic phenomena misidentified by an observer. In his 1977 book, Hynek admitted that he enjoyed his role as a debunker for the Air Force. He also noted that debunking was what the Air Force expected of him.
Hynek's opinions about UFOs began a slow and gradual shift. After examining hundreds of UFO reports over the decades (including some made by credible witnesses, including astronomers, pilots, police officers, and military personnel), Hynek concluded that some reports represented genuine empirical evidence.
Another shift in Hynek's opinions came after conducting an informal poll of his astronomer colleagues in the early 1950s. Among those he queried was Dr. Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the dwarf planet Pluto. Of 44 astronomers, five (over 11 percent) had seen aerial objects that they could not account for with established, mainstream science. Most of these astronomers had not widely shared their accounts for fear of ridicule or of damage to their reputations or careers (Tombaugh was an exception, having openly discussed his own UFO sightings). Hynek also noted that this 11% figure was, according to most polls, greater than those in the general public who claimed to have seen UFOs. Furthermore, the astronomers were presumably more knowledgeable about observing and evaluating the skies than the general public, so their observations were arguably more impressive. Hynek was also distressed by what he regarded as the dismissive or arrogant attitude of many mainstream scientists towards UFO reports and witnesses.
Now if we are going to discuss UFOs lets not make assumptions about ones intelligence based on nothing but beliefs... I think it would be interesting to break down sightings we have records of and discuss them in detail, some really are incidents of high strangeness.