IONS' founder, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, was recently in the news because he stated on a British radio show what he's been saying for years: That UFOs are real. For some reason, this time his comments caught the attention of the news media, including a New York Times blog.
The Times comment was notable because it reflected the mainstream (in this context meaning something like "serious and sober") media's stance on this topic: UFOs are fodder for news of the weird, which includes anything outside a very thin slice of acceptable topics.
There is plenty of evidence to support Mitchell's opinion that UFOs should be taken seriously. As with any complex topic, it takes some dedicated homework to find and digest the relevant literature. But once that is done, it is difficult to go away without the opinion that something interesting is going on. Whether "it" is ET I still find to be debatable, but that there is a genuine mystery afoot, is clear.
Unfortunately, as long as topics like UFOs and psi are associated with high giggle factors, no mainstream reporter is going to jeopardize his/her career by sounding too sympathetic when discussing these topics publicly. So the status quo is likely to persist.
But I often hear the private opinions of scientists and reporters, including those from august universities like Harvard and newspapers like the New York Times, so I know that there are far more people in prominent positions who privately are keenly interested in these topics. Far more than is suggested by how these topics are reported in public. But it takes courage to expose the elephant in the room, and few have been willing to exercise that courage, especially when the price to pay could be one's career.