Belief is a powerful and frightening force. It defies evidence, logic, and reason. It is not to be trusted. A prime example of that was brought to my attention by the site, which offers many such ponderances.

An hour south of Washington, DC, mysterious rings have been observed floating above the King's Dominion amusement park. Visible for up to 15 minutes, they seem to hover in place and then move on their own accord. They're unlike any aircraft built by man. They're so unique, that they've been reported by CNN. One witness, Deena Smith, wondered if it was the end of the world. A UFO investigator says that it's similar to a UFO seen in the 50's.

And yet, we have everything we need to solve this mystery. It's popular in American culture to consider all opinions as equally valid. This is actually not true... the right to have an opinion is allowed to all, but not all opinions are informed or should be weighed evenly.

In this case, we have a ring, floating above a ride that features an artificial volcano. Inside the volcano is a mechanism for creating smoke rings. Park officials have confirmed this. People have observed smoke rings emanating from the ride. We understand the laws of physics well enough to be able to describe and predict smoke ring behavior, especially on the apparently windless day shown in the video.

And yet despite this, people still believe this object is an alien craft or a sign from "God." And of course the media, in the interest of covering "both sides," gives equal weight to opinions that are uninformed, illogical, and based on emotion.

There are no two sides here. This is a completely explained phenomenon, well understood, and made by human intent. Why believe anything different?