Will Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena have an ontologically-shocking explanation?

Metaculus
★★★☆☆
1%
Exceptionally unlikely
Yes

Question description

In July 2023, the US House of Representatives will hold a hearing related to unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP).

The hearing will be held by the House's Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs and will include testimony from former U.S. military and intelligence community personnel who claim to have come in contact with craft that defy physics and known flight capabilities or have even seen evidence of "non-human intelligence."

The hearing follows an official, inconclusive report on Unidentified Ariel Phenomena submitted to Congress by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in 2021. It comes in the context of the recently-proposed UAP Disclosure Act of 2023.

On LessWrong, a thread titled UFO Betting: Put Up or Shut Up gathered 200 upvotes and over 160 comments, with multiple LessWrong users betting the UAPs will ultimately have a prosaic explanation. Most prominently, Eliezer Yudkowsky bet $150,000, to win $1,000, that UAPs have a prosaic explanation that is not ontologically-shocking.

This question resolves based on the outcomes of those bets. Here are the resolution criteria agreed upon by LessWrong users who made these wagers:

Two Worlds: All-ufos-are-ultimately-prosaic, and Not-all-ufos-are-ultimately-prosaic. I win the bet if we come to believe we likely live in the latter world. I win the bet if the ufo story ultimately gives us LW's a significant ontological shock. I win the bet if the ufo story ultimately causes the LW community to stop, melt, and catch fire. I've found it difficult to precisely nail down how to phrase this, so I hope its clear what kind of criteria I'm trying to get at.

Examples of things where if we come to believe at least one of them likely explain >0 ufo/uap cases, then I win the bet:

  • Aliens / Extraterrestrials - Biological - Machines (Von Neumann probes, for instance)
  • Actual magic/spiritual/paranormal/psychic phenomenon - This explicitly does NOT include merely advanced "mentalist" type things / show magic ie, things like ESP, astral projection, demons, god(s), angels, ghosts, remote viewing, fairy's (actually anomalous, not just new kind of bird), etc. Basically, the kinds of things that standard atheist materialists would reject as not being real.
  • Time travel, ie, future human activities (or otherwise)
  • Leftovers of an ancient civilization
  • Some other unknown non-human advanced civilization on earth
  • Matrix Glitches / The simulators have a sense of humor
  • Some other explanation I'm missing that's of a similar level of "very weird"
  • Merely advanced "normal" human tech would NOT count (+2 gens stealth aircraft/drones, advanced holograms/spoofing, etc). What WOULD count is if the story is significantly weird enough to cause ontological shock. example: Secret Manhattan style project with beyond next gen physics, that we had back in the 60's

Important Note: The bet resolve in my favor if we think that one of the "weird hypotheses" is likely (>50%) true, NOT that we are confident in which specific explanation is true. Essentially, the bet resolves in my favor if we agree with the statement: "Whatever these most perplexing ufo/uap cases represent, they are likely something beyond our current paradigm"

Indicators

IndicatorValue
Stars
★★★☆☆
PlatformMetaculus
Number of forecasts120

Capture

Resizable preview:
1%
Exceptionally unlikely

In July 2023, the US House of Representatives will hold a hearing related to unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP).

The hearing will be held by the House's Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs and will include...

Last updated: 2024-05-29
★★★☆☆
Metaculus
Forecasts: 120

Embed

<iframe src="https://https://metaforecast.org/questions/embed/metaculus-18075" height="600" width="600" frameborder="0" />