2-47. A Failure of Curiosity


Recently, there was an “unexplained” sighting at the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum in Titusville. In their small library, a security camera caught a “glowing orb” floating around the room, as if under its own volition. This has happened twice, suggesting that the phenomenon is real.

What could it be? Predictably, the president of the museum said “We can’t explain it, nor can the fella who put in the system for us.” When some of the museum’s staff members suggested that it might be dust, it was pointed out that the air conditioning was off at the time, so there was nothing to blow the dust around.

But rather than explore further, President Charlie Mars reinforced his own idea of what was causing the phenomenon. Mr. Mars said:

There are many items in here that were brought in by people who are no longer with us. They could be coming back to check on it.

Later, he added:

We have had a number of things like this (occur) in the past 10 or 12 years that we didn’t have an explanation for.

Finally, in what seems like the height of curiosity, Charlie adds this:

We love having something come in unexplainable. It gives us a chance to interchange with each other and talk about what it could possibly be.

Except that’s not the height of curiosity. It’s the opposite.

I’m positive that as someone who’s responsible for a small museum, Charlie Mars is someone I’d like to have a beer with. But it saddens me that a person who runs a facility dedicated to exploration, isn’t willing to explore. At one point he suggests that it could be the ghost of Neil Armstrong, who apparently would rather haunt a minor museum than the Kennedy Space Center, Houston Mission Control, or the Moon itself.

Could it be a ghost? Sure. Could it be an alien? Equally likely. How one can tell the difference between the two is beyond me. What it most likely is is an insect. There have been many videos displaying exactly the same phenomenon, and the culprit was shown to be insects. I’ve even made my own.

Security cameras are focussed to the distance, as they’re mounted high and trying to capture as much of the room as possible. Objects within a few feet of the lens are fuzzy. When the insect flies far enough away not to be fuzzy, it’s too small to be picked up by the lo-definition camera.

That’s a far more likely explanation than anything else, and just a little bit of curiosity would have shown that. It’s true that the media wouldn’t have picked the story up then, but there really wasn’t a story to pick up.

Occams Razor is a mental tool that says that the simplest explanation is most likely to be the correct one. It’s also a tool for the curious.

Now maybe a curious person can invent a security lens that will focus at any distance. Or perhaps another can invent a better bug trap.

Here’s a video showing the alleged ghost.

Here’s the antidote from Captain Disillusion.


Ghosts on the moon?

Ghosts on the moon?

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