Billionaire Richard Branson Finds Existence of UFOs to be "Extremely Unlikely" Despite Recent Evidence
Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson remains skeptical in the face of mounting UFO reports released by government and military personnel, according to an interview published July 16th by The Hollywood Reporter.
“Sadly, when you look closely you'll find that there's another explanation for all of them in the same way that in the Bermuda Triangle there's another explanation for all the mysteries [there]," Branson said. "There's no question that there are millions of other civilizations out there, but none of them are within reach of Earth and therefore, my instinct is: extremely unlikely.”
The 68-year-old billionaire’s disbelief is at least partly due to the secrecy surrounding the subject.
“I can't understand why these UFO discussions are always behind closed doors and done in secrecy. It just creates even more suspicion. If people had really discovered a UFO, you can't keep things secret in this day and age, it would be everywhere. And so I don't think there's any credible sightings yet. It would be wonderful if it were true," he said.
Branson’s statements are controversial, but not unexpected from someone who has only a surface understanding of the field, according to investigator Tobias Wayland.
“I absolutely understand his skepticism, I really do,” Wayland said. “I think that most people who’ve never spoken to witnesses or otherwise investigated the UFO phenomenon—never mind actually seeing one for themselves—can be forgiven for repeating what mainstream sources have been telling them their whole lives, at least to a certain point.”
“Maybe Mr. Branson hasn’t checked the news lately, but UFOs are absolutely everywhere these days,” he continued. “Those who have actually studied the history of the phenomenon would understand that that’s nothing new, either; the cat’s been out of the bag since at least 1947 for anyone paying attention.”
“And the idea that government secrecy is something new that somehow disproves the phenomenon seems not only counterintuitive, but flies in the face of what we know about how our government operates,” Wayland added. “From MK Ultra to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, the government has a long, shameful history of keeping secrets. Being secretive doesn’t mean they’re not up to something.”
Recent public interest in governmental disclosure of knowledge surrounding UFOs has been on the rise since 2017, when news broke of the Pentagon’s secretive UFO project—known as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP).
Most recently, five Navy pilots reportedly told the New York Times that unidentified flying objects were an “almost daily” occurrence from the summer of 2014 through March 2015; two of the pilots, Lieutenant Ryan Graves and Lieutenant Danny Accoin agreed to go on record about their experiences with both the New York Times and for the History Channel UFO docuseries Unidentified: Inside America’s UFO Investigation—a project created in tandem with To the Stars…Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA), a public benefit corporation created in 2017 to study UFOs. The pilots’ testimony prompted several senators to request and receive private briefings on the encounters.
The narrative built from those accounts is not without controversy, having received some pushback from researchers in the UFO community. That argument stems mostly from the seemingly cyclical nature of the government’s public interest in UFOs, and the associated disinformation therewith.
It is unclear at this time if the president’s statements reflect anything other than a general disinterest in the subject.
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