What studies say about UFO conspiracies

This was posted at Marginal Revolution yesterday.

. What does the math say about the plausibility of conspiracy theories?

10% of Americans believe the world is flat?
That explains a lot.
(Not about the world…)

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What secret ?

Seems to have been plenty of people saying this stuff over a longish period of time.

If it’s real then it’s a badly kept secret.

Even my motor mechanic knows

I don’t know, because I don’t spend enough time on the interweb.

My Zoomer daughter says so.

In the first comment to the linked article in the OP there is a link to this:

The author of the linked article agrees in comments that 10% is likely too high but the actual number is likely in the “tens of thousands”

Whatever the actual number might be it’s an estimate but the method used based on whatever assumptions are used seems intuitively correct.

the odds someone in on a conspiracy will flip, then multiplies the chance they’ll flip by the number of people who know the truth, times the number of years.

The use of the word conspiracy in the context of the existence of UAPs is inaccurate because although they are beyond our comprehension, there is documentary evidence they exist. The conspiracy aspect relates to the intentions of whoever or whatever controls them because they are unknowns.
Conspiracy proponents merely spout off theories to make sense of subjects they are incapable of understanding. To paraphrase Bertrand Russell, an ignorant man must first translate everything he hears into something he can understand.

David Grusch is claiming that:

“the U.S. federal government maintains a secretive UFO (or UAP) recovery program and is in possession of “non-human” spacecraft along with their “dead pilots””

That’s the specific UFO conspiracy that the linked article in the OP addresses.

Also this:

Grusch has claimed the Vatican (and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini) was in on it, and also that there is a crashed UFO in a foreign country so large they built a building around it. Others have speculated that the Chinese and Russian militaries have their own programs. This seems exceptionally hard to believe given the number of people involved, and the many ways that the secrets could leak.

Anyway, the article isn’t about specific conspiracies’, but rather it’s a method to evaluate how plausible the claims are based on a simple mathematical formula. The Grusch statements is used as an example problem.

It’s not a good example. If it’s only one man’s unproven claims, it’s possibly an individual delusion or possibly the truth. It hardly qualifies as a conspiracy, which by definition requires cohorts who share the same fantastical beliefs.

Mr Grusch claims there is a conspiracy

Is that claim a conspiracy ?

With whom is he conspiring ?

We are discovered, stop the probing and beam me up !

Here’s a table showing some results using this method.


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That table was made by the Illuminati.