My best guess on each count ... This subject is really interesting and doesn't cost anything since we cannot formulate any realistic course of action (in either case) other than to continue minding our own buisness.
1st Possibility:They are yet to be discovered natural phenomenon. They are figments of people's imagination. Or outright lies. Or ... they're just not real.
Meaning: They are not people from outer space.
2nd PossibilityThey are genuine aliens.
Enrico Fermi made the first quantifiably meaningful statement about life on other planets when he said "Where are they?" in reference to back of the envelope calculations which anyone with an interest can make. Like, if the average distance between stars is about ten light years and the Milky Way is about 100,000 light years across and the speed of alien craft is 1/100 to 1/10 of light velocity, how long would it take for an advanced civilization to colonize the entire galaxy?
Well, the answer is 1 million years is very fast indeed and 100 million years is quite slow. Think each new colony sends out more than one but less than two new expeditions on average to colonize new stars. (If each new colony sends out two expeditions the galaxy would be clogged with more spacecraft than there are stars in only 37 x 10 light years = 370 light years; or, 37(doublings) x 1000 (years to get to another star, at 1/100c) x 1000 (years to develop the capacity to send another expedition) = 37,000,000 years.)
[For those interested
Of course, the previous calculation is very conservative at 1/100c and 1000 years to get going again. We also have to consider that if two ships were sent out from the early colonies, those expeditions would have to go much farther to find a star not taken by someone else already. Also, we must speculate that there are many, many such initial civilizations so that they needn't colonize the entire galaxy. If there are, say, 1,000,000 places where colonization begins from then you begin to see why Fermi said "Where are they?". If we are an average planet in the middle of all of this we ought to have been visited already given that colonization times are on the order of tens of millions of years and that life has been on this planet for hundreds of millions.
Because I believe in the finality of the conservation laws, it won't be necessary to go into "other dimensional" type beings. There aren't any. And if some of the alleged things they do appear to be impossible, my answer would be "You can fake that, you know".
So my answer to What are UFOs and where do they come from? is advanced craft from elsewhere (in outer space).
They may want to make some minor adjustments in our historical process in order to avoid a 'stillbirth'.
Why don't they land and talk to us? ... because ... When would you try to talk to the indigenous occupants of the new planet? These people have a perspective on events that is born of perhaps millions of years of experience. Maybe they should try talking to the apes? How about cavemen? Oh, ... maybe they should just bust right in when we're about to figure out everything on our own? (sort of like putting the last piece of the puzzle in when someone else has done all the work). No, they'll just leave us alone.
Their presence is well documented but in such a way that it is subject to disinformation counter measures. If you want people to see you and not see you at the same time, you must confuse the heck out of the situation and this is made easy by our willingness to delude ourselves into thinking they are not here. Most people don't want them to be here. Their existence does not fit into the limited philosophy of twentieth century man.
Can we 'force' their hand somehow? ... Forget about it. All been tried before. They have their own agenda over which we have no control and ... Newsflash... it's not because we are technologically behind them. We are philosophically behind them which is far more important because it makes us blind by comparison.
Can we pick up their radio transmissions? ... I doubt it. If I was a spaceman I'd code my transmissions just as a sort of privacy matter. If everyone can hear what you are saying you lose part of your individuality (assuming that that would be of importance to them).
Now, the interesting part . . .How do they work?
Since the laws of physics are eternally valid and there are no new basic laws left to be discovered (they still need to be understood), we can conclude that the phenomena displayed is simply the perfection of known laws applied to technology.
The small discs are shuttles, not interplanetary craft. The long haul ships are the large, cigar shaped ones. They have this shape to travel through an interstellar medium which is not actually a perfect vacuum. There are plenty of atoms and sundry dust particles out there which could do damage if allowed to strike the hull at velocities of perhaps as much as 1/10 light velocity.
These craft will never approach close enough to light velocity to take advantage of time dilation because this option is closed by technical problems (well known by the scientific community). You simply can't get enough fuel of any imaginable sort to propel that sort of bulk. Near light velocity is reserved for particles only (one at a time). Suspended animation is a better route or reconstruction on arrival (whatever that may come to mean).
Where do you get the volunteers? ... Place an add. There will never be a shortage of volunteers to do anything which gives meaning to an individuals' existence. If we could presently send people to other planets never to return, you would have to beat the takers off with a truncheon.
As for the small disc shaped craft, here we have a case of form following function.
In the first figure the small disc within the central hub has two purposes. 1. Attitude control (if the outer disc is rotating then to change orientation requires another disc to conserve angular momentum ... one disc goes one way and the other another). 2. Fuel ... newsflash ... these babies are wind up toys. Energy is stored in the inner rotating disc (this is effective for short range and doesn't polute the vicinity).
The second figure is an airfoil. Yeah ... a chopper blade. But it may also be magnetic.
As a magnet, the polarity of the each successuve blade is reversed so as to repel ground material or air. Spread out evenly, the force would not harm someone underneath. The frequency is probably varied continuously to take advantage of the optimum push off. This is off the shelf stuff (our shelf) which they have perfected to the extreme limit.
The third figure represents a pod shaped craft which works by the electric wind method. The air is stripped of electrons and the resulting plasma is pushed off of.
Not shown are conventional blast mechanisms, e.g. chemical and nuclear rockets (dirty propulsion). This is the fundamental mechanism of interplanetary propulsion. You might want to throw in some gravitational sling shot effects as well. [No ... I don't mean chemical for interplanetary.]
InertiaThese beings are reported on numerous occasions to have levitated people into their craft or themselves, etc. If true, they have the ability to accelerate every cell of a body simultaneously so that there are no inertial effects, e.g. if you mounted small engines all along the side of a rocket, the hull would experience no stress from the resulting acceleration.
Stunned peopleThis is amazing. People see the occupants of UFOs and are paralyzed. They don't even get zapped by some ray. These people are paralyzed with simple fear (like a deer in your headlights).
Crop circlesI don't believe high school students make crop circles ... I think they are made by college students as they seem to be getting too sophisticated and may require some computer assistance. A circle made by a ufo would not have those well defined edges unless they were made by ufo occupants mimicking the college students ... hah!
When the face was first noticed, my initial reaction was that further examination was required. But the likelyhood of its being an artifact is low enough that a separate, special mission was unwarranted. So another look must be married to some other purpose such as a global survey.
(In fact, I thought in terms of "global survey" as the conjunctive at the time. So it must have occurred to others as well.)
Decision input = probability of success x +or- cultural impact cost of projectAs you can see the probability of success is admittedly small but the cultural impact would be great (a 9 or 10 on the 1-10 scale). Whether it would be positive or negative is open to debate. The cost will be high but will be very low if "piggybacked" on some other necessary project.
It would also be discrete since the CIA, etc. would want to keep any knowledge of extraterrestrials from the public until a determination of its positive or negative impact was made. The downloaded images of the face can be doctored or deleted if necessary.
Many rock formations resemble faces. You will have them pointed out to you by tour guides all over the country (above ground and under). The reason for this is clear enough. At 1-10 meters there are an awful lot of features to observe and because strata are generally in inches to feet layers, those that weather unevenly produce profiles that look like anything you might imagine.
Clouds have similar properties but are changing constantly so that many more formations appear. You are certain to see things resembling other common objects if you wait just a little while.
But at the kilometer range (the general size of the face) there are far fewer formations resembling anything. Obviously, just as there are fewer large craters on the moon than small, there are fewer familiar large features of any other type. In fact, I know of no feature anywhere in the solar system on a kilometer scale that resembles anything familiar.
There's just this here ... face.
If the face is an artifact, what is its meaning?
Since I accept that the UFO phenomenon is genuine, it is puzzling. Why leave such a calling card if one is here already? What was different, say, millions of years ago when the face was made? Possibly an observational base was set up there so as not to interfere with evolution on Earth and was later abandoned. But why leave any vestige? Why not obliterate all traces if one wishes not to be seen?
Another possibility is that the UFO phenomenon is false and the face is a calling card left for us when we develop far enough to be able to use information buried beneath it. Certainly such a formation would last a long time. But then why not just put a big "X" on the moon by moving boulders around? Such an artifact would last even longer there.
Lastly, maybe there's nobody anywhere and the "face" is what most people would be comfortable with ..... a random construction of wind, wave and wonder.
"There exists a wide range of rational people, who, based on their own judgement, with due regard to the former discussion, believe that the Earth is under a sort of benevolent observation by aliens who have probably been around for millions of years just watching the thing grow.".......(My statement)
If they believe this in spite of the total lack of evidence, they are not "rational people," by definition. .............. (The reply)
Why do we accept the word of others anyway ?