London: UFO enthusiasts in the UK have admitted that aliens may not exist after all, citing the declining number of `flying saucer` sightings and lack of "compelling evidence" to prove the existence of extraterrestrial life.
Enthusiasts admit that a continued failure to provide proof and a decline in the number of `flying saucer` sightings suggests that aliens do not exist after all and this could mean the end of `Ufology` the study of UFOs (unidentified flying objects) within the next decade.
Dozens of groups interested in the flying saucers and other unidentified craft have already closed because of lack of interest and next week one of UK`s foremost organisations involved in UFO research is holding a conference to discuss whether the subject has any future.
Dave Wood, chairman of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (Assap), said the meeting had been called to address the crisis in the subject and see if UFOs were a thing of the past.
"It is certainly a possibility that in ten years time, it will be a dead subject," he was quoted by the paper as saying.
"We look at these things on the balance of probabilities and this area of study has been ongoing for many decades. The lack of compelling evidence beyond the pure anecdotal suggests that on the balance of probabilities that nothing is out there," Wood said.
"I think that any UFO researcher would tell you that 98 per cent of sightings that happen are very easily explainable. One of the conclusions to draw from that is that perhaps there isn`t anything there. The days of compelling eyewitness sightings seem to be over," Wood added.
He said that far from leading to an increase in UFO sightings and research, the advent of the internet had coincided with a decline.
Assap`s UFO cases have dropped by 96 per cent since 1988, while the number of other groups involved in UFO research has fallen from well over 100 in the 1990s to around 30 now.
Among those to have closed are the British Flying Saucer Bureau, the Northern UFO Network, and the Northern Anomalies Research Organisation.
Wood added that the lack of new developments meant that the main focus for the dwindling numbers of enthusiasts was supposed UFO encounters that took place several decades ago and conspiracy theories that surround them.
"When you go to UFO conferences it is mainly people going over these old cases, rather than bringing new ones to the fore," Wood said.
"There is a trend where a large proportion of UFO studies are tending towards conspiracy theories, which I don`t think is particularly helpful," Wood said.
The issue will be debated at a summit at the University of Worcester and the conclusions reported in the next edition of the association`s journal, Anomaly.