Should I dismiss this past event as a mistake in perception, only because evidence is lacking?
Your choice of words is interesting. Why "dismiss" the event at all?
Why not "accept" the event as a mistake in perception, only because evidence is lacking?
Personally, I would take what I knew about the event and compare it with what I knew about reality. If it made sense and fit in... I would think the event to be "normal." If it doesn't make sense and fit in... I would think the event to be similar to a whole bunch of other things that don't make sense or fit in to me... things I don't know much about.
There's no reason to dismiss any event because evidence is lacking.
What we do know, though... is that it's foolish to cling to a personally preferred explanation for an event when evidence is lacking.
Have you never not understood anything else before? And then you learn how it was done and have an "ooohhhh... I see now..." moment? What makes you think it's impossible for such a thing to happen for this event?
It sounds to me like you're just in the first stage... you currently do not understand the event. You simply haven't reached the second stage... learning how it was done.
That's not a reason to start creating replacements for how it was done out of thin air... Knowing that you'll likely never get to "learn how it was done" is not a reason to go along with imaginary answers either...
The presence of a co-witness can often contaminate memories. When witnesses confer about an event they can end up agreeing on an incorrect narrative. Research has found that 71% of witnesses changed their eyewitness accounts to include false components that their co-witnesses remembered.
Now... did this happen? Of course.. we can't say. Because we can't test it. But it does mean that saying things like "but... there were 3 of us!!!" does not add any validity to your explanation for your story.
The only thing that can add validity to your explanation is testing it and processing the results. But... we can't test it. Therefore... we can't add validity to your explanation for your story.
Continually trying to add validity when you can't... only serves to show that you have a pre-programmed bias. It does not show that you are interested in getting towards the accurate truth.
I suppose there is no way I could challenge that statement.
This is the point you need to fully understand. You can't challenge any of these statements. You can't challenge my statements.. you can't challenge your own statements. You can't... because we can't test it.
Maybe one day we'll learn what happened... but most likely not. Until then, you can choose to believe in whatever explanation you prefer.
Just try not to act like you can add validity to your belief when it is obvious that you cannot... this will only serve to lead you down the trail towards inaccuracy. Well.. I suppose you need to figure out if "accuracy" if something you care about. Obviously if you're more worried about "losing your faith" than "being accurate"... then you should focus more on your faith.
Figure out your balance. Is "having faith" important to you? Or "being accurate"? What about "having faith in something that is accurate"? What percentage of your mind is focused on the faith part vs. the being-accurate part?
Figure that out... and you'll be able to calm your worries over these situations. You won't feel like you have to show or prove anything to anyone.