Stephen Braude chairs the Philosophy Dept. at The University of Maryland. He also happens to study and investigate paranormal activity, exposing charlatans along the way- in addition to making note of those extraordinary people and instances which logic or science cannot properly explain. Such is the case of The Gold Leaf Lady who manifests "gold leaf" (actually brass) on her skin, a condition science cannot explain (the amount needed to manifest this anomaly would be lethal inside one's body).
Braude's assertion is one that serious "UFOlogists" have opined for decades. He accuses many scientists of "intellectual cowardice," and of "criticizing without evidence." Fortunately, a handful of scientists and academics do not retreat from the unknown, among them: astrophysicists Jacques Vallee and Allen Hyneck (the latter was head of Project Bluebook- which he quit in disgust) and former embattled professor of the Harvard Psychiatric Dept., Dr. John E. Mack.
Make no doubt, many pilots and some scientists do talk behind closed doors, but the professional and financial pressure to not go there is phenomenal. Scientists and professionals lose grants, prestige... careers.