Stanton Friedman, a former nuclear physicist and icon in the UFO world for being the first civilian to investigate the 1947 Roswell crash, said ufology is a topic that deserves more respect.
"It's time that we started getting the facts in hand," he said.
In the social media age, Friedman said, he sees people more willing to come forward to report sightings, though "the fear of ridicule is the dominant factor."
"'Don't bother me with the facts; my mind's made up,'" he added. "That's been the past attitude of the nasty naysayers."