I was watching a program on the discovery channel a few days ago about strange atmospheric phenomena. There's one where pilots have been seeing for decades and for decades scientists dismissed it as delusions. Forgot what it's called, but it's upside down lightning where the lightning strikes upward instead of down. But because of the air is a lot thinner up there, the lightning dissipates a lot faster so it glows up a large volume.
No wonder the public perceives skeptics and scientists as denialists. Speaking as a skeptic myself, I see a clear difference between being a skeptic and being a denialist. A skeptic doesn't accept a claim at face value, but he keeps his mind open. A denialist just dismisses the claim as some kind of delusion.
This is also why I don't call climate change deniers as "skeptics". They will deny climate change regardless of what evidence they see. They just deny.