- Tonight at 8:00 p.m. E.D.T. on Fox News Channel, there
is to be a discussion of recent UFO sightings. The program will repeat
at 11:00 p.m. E.D.T., the program is called 'The O'Reily Factor'.
- From UFO UpDates - Toronto <email@example.com From:
Lan Fleming <firstname.lastname@example.org 2-26-00
- What a travesty it was, too.
- Fox News made it sound as if they were going to report
on the Illinois sightings, but they pulled the old bait and switch routine.
- O'Reilly interviewed the author of "Rare Earth,"
which is a book claiming that ET civlizations are unlikely. You can guess
what this guy's opinion was of this case and every other UFO case that
- That would have been fine with me if they had someone
else on the show as well, preferably an eyewitness as the promos seemed
to promise. But this guy peddling his book was the only person interviewed.
- O'Reilly asked him about the police officers who saw
the object, and he just said they ought to "move on". O'Reilly's
response to that was, essentially, "duh".
- Another sterling report from 'Your Fair and Balanced'
news station. _____
- (Note - Thanks to Michael Ramsey for securing this transcript
of the O'Reily program. )
- From Michael Ramsey <email@example.com 2-29-00
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Wendy Blair <email@example.com
- <Show: THE O'REILLY FACTOR <Date: February 24,
2000 <Time: 20:00 <Tran: 022407cb.256 <Type: Show <Head: Back
of the Book: Are They Coming from Outer Space? <Sect: News; Domestic
<Byline: Bill O'Reilly <Guest: Prof. Peter Ward <Spec: Astronautics
and Space; Science
- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS
FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
- BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the Back of the Book Segment
tonight: Are they coming from outer space?
- On January 5th of this year, Millstadt, Illinois, police
officer Craig Stevens says he saw a large triangular object floating through
the sky. Three other policemen confirmed the sighting. UFO investigators
are now checking it out, and one theory is that the object was a stealth
- Joining us now from Seattle is Peter Ward, a professor
of geological studies at the University of Washington, and author of the
book "Rare Earth."
- So, Professor, you know, these sightings come -- continue,
and the -- you've got this cop, and he says he saw this thing, it was a
UFO, and three other cops say, "Yeah, we saw it, too," caused
a lot of excitement in the Midwest, and when you hear this, what do you
- PROF. PETER WARD, "RARE EARTH" AUTHOR, UNIVERSITY
OF WASHINGTON: Well, the U.S. government for the last 50 years has supposedly
been hiding things in hangars. U.S. scientists for the last 50 years have
been looking into these supposed sightings, and we as a group have decided
to move on, and that's what I suspect that these people in the Midwest
ought to do, is move on.
- O'REILLY: Have you ever heard of a scientist who does
believe in UFOs, extraterrestrials? Is there anybody around with any authority
that does believe?
- WARD: I'd probably get in trouble if I say that there
is. I know of no one, actually, certainly in my circles and the people
that I associate with and work with. No.
- O'REILLY: All right. So, in the academic world, UFOs
have been totally debunked. Is that fair, though? There's a lot of phenomena
out in the sky. I mean, we've had astronauts say, "Hey, we saw something
really weird." We've had policemen all over the place. I mean, I
talked to one woman -- and a very, very honest, credible woman who I've
known for years - - say, "I saw something in Nova Scotia, and it changed
my life." Do you just discount these things?
- WARD: Well, what I've tried to do in our book "Rare
Earth" with Don Brownlee -- we -- we haven't tried to say, "How
often is there intelligent life in the universe?" and, obviously,
if it's a UFO, it's being driven by something with intelligence. We've
asked the question "How often are there even worms or very lowly animals
in the universe?" and a lot of information in the last five years
suggests that there's not much out there. Bacteria, yes, but evolved creatures
-- worms, jellyfish, bunny rabbits -- not too many.
- O'REILLY: In our solar system, right?
- WARD: Not just our solar system. In the universe.
- O'REILLY: OK.
- WARD: The universe is a very lowly place.
- O'REILLY: But how far have we been able to penetrate
in the universe? I mean, we -- we -- there are still places that our technology
can't bring us, correct?
- WARD: Well, that's true, and maybe this is a failure
of imagination on our part, but a lot of new information doesn't come from
looking out into space. It's looking at the rock record on earth, fossil
record, and other -- paleontologists tells us an awful lot about how difficult
it was on the planet for the evolution of life, and this planet appears
to be in a very benign part of our solar system and especially our galaxy.
- O'REILLY: So because we had such a difficult time evolving
over mil - - was it billions or millions of years?
- WARD: Oh, billions of years.
- O'REILLY: Billions. OK. That you -- you don't believe
that another planet could replicate what we did.
- WARD: Well, there are so many planets. There's 400
billion stars in our solar system, and Carl Sagan didn't invent billions
and billions for nothing. These numbers are huge. So to say that there
is not another earthlike planet is crazy. However, to say that we could
travel in a spaceship and never find one is probably also crazy. Maybe.
- O'REILLY: All right. So somewhere out there...
- WARD: Way out...
- O'REILLY: ... way, way out there...
- WARD: Way out there.
- O'REILLY: ... there could be people going on spring
break right about now.
- WARD: Well, maybe not people. But yes. Yes.
- O'REILLY: Well, you know, whatever they are.
- WARD: Whatever they are.
- O'REILLY: Why -- why do people want so much to believe
in UFOs, because it's a huge, huge industry, as you know. Look at "The
X Files." And I -- I mean, people just can't get enough. Why?
- WARD: I -- because we want them to be there. We want
there to be something less -- maybe less mundane than our own lives or
our own existence, and yet in -- the more I look and the older I get, I
realize this planet really is pretty unique, at least in this solar system
and probably in the cosmos.
- O'REILLY: Do you get angry when people like Whitley
Strieber make a lot of money writing books that they've been captured by
aliens and all of this stuff? Does that anger you?
- WARD: No. It makes me laugh, but what I do get angry
-- having written this book, in the last couple of weeks, we've gotten
a lot of press about it. I get really angry and almost threatening e-mails
and phone calls from people saying, essentially, "You've taken by
toys away. How dare you."
- O'REILLY: Oh, don't worry about the threatening e-mails,
Professor. We -- we're very used to that here. You have to take that with
good humor. If they're interested enough to write you, that -- that's a
compliment. But there are people who get very emotional about UFOs and
aliens and all of that, right?
- WARD: Oh, there -- there certainly are. There certainly
- O'REILLY: Have you ever analyzed that and why they --
they're tied in? It's got to be more than just their -- look, you -- you've
got to be a moron to be bored these days with the computer, right? I mean,
just turn it on and...
- WARD: Well, that's...
- O'REILLY: You know, come on. There's got to be a reason
why we want there to be so -- you know, some space guy to come down.
- WARD: Well, let's ask the chief of SETI. I was debating
him last night, and here's a person who really wants there to be aliens
because he spent 150 million bucks looking for them.
- O'REILLY: Who's this?
- WARD: Seth Shostak down in the Puerto Rican Arecibo
Radio Telescope. He's the head of the SETI Institute. They are looking
and are soliciting money, and I -- personally, I subscribe to the idea
we should look. I just don't think we ought to spend a lot of money doing
- O'REILLY: Does this guy believe there are aliens out
there waiting to come down?
- WARD: Oh, his job depends on it, so I...
- O'REILLY: Yeah, so -- this is a huge industry. We've
got to talk to this guy, so we'll book him, too.
- All right, Professor. Thanks very much.
- WARD: Sure.
- O'REILLY: And we hope everybody's not depressed that
the aliens -- because I don't -- I've never seen them anyway, but I have
seen a lot of politicians who I have very strong suspicions about.
- WARD: Thank you for having me.
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