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Thread: UFO Sightings Down?

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Obviously not. That is not the question. The question is does the person have a solid background and track record in his field? Any scientific background? Peter Sturrock iss an emeritius professor of applied physics at Stanford University, much of his career has been devoted to astrophysics, plasma physics, etc.
    Let's assume "yes". That means when he talks about the development cycles of stars or the dynamics of the Sun's corona (if those happen to be in his specialty) you'd probably do well to listen to him. Does that make him in any way, shape, or form more qualified if he talks about F-18 fighter HUD video clips, ATC radar data, or abductions stories? If we're talking about the same guy, he's 95 years old. How current is he in his specialties anyway?

    The question you ask about his background is meaningless if you don't at the same time provide which of his views, opinions or statements should be valued on the merits of his background (and considering his age, probably in which historical context).

    I don't know much about this guy, but he's been talked about in this forum before, several times. You may correct me if I'm wrong, but a quick look tells me that his main contribution is doing surveys about statistics of UFO reports within certain demographics, he disagrees with some published investigation reports, and thinks some UFO incidents might need further investigation. What does that have to do with astro or plasma physics?

    Again, what does any of this have to do with the topic of this thread, that apparently number of UFO sightings decline?
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  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Let's assume "yes". That means when he talks about the development cycles of stars or the dynamics of the Sun's corona (if those happen to be in his specialty) you'd probably do well to listen to him. Does that make him in any way, shape, or form more qualified if he talks about F-18 fighter HUD video clips, ATC radar data, or abductions stories? If we're talking about the same guy, he's 95 years old. How current is he in his specialties anyway?

    The question you ask about his background is meaningless if you don't at the same time provide which of his views, opinions or statements should be valued on the merits of his background (and considering his age, probably in which historical context).

    I don't know much about this guy, but he's been talked about in this forum before, several times. You may correct me if I'm wrong, but a quick look tells me that his main contribution is doing surveys about statistics of UFO reports within certain demographics, he disagrees with some published investigation reports, and thinks some UFO incidents might need further investigation. What does that have to do with astro or plasma physics?

    Again, what does any of this have to do with the topic of this thread, that apparently number of UFO sightings decline?
    A person`s background shows what he has achieved in life, and is indicative of his mental powers. Someone who has studied astrophysics and made his mark is not a mental lightweight. It shows his approach and mental capacities. He is knowledgeable in science. Someone intelligent and competent is flexible enough to analyze other fields. His opinions weigh more than those of an actor or banker.

    This was a diversion, but the reactions show why the amount of UFO sightings is in decline: the ridicule factor. Much more today than in the days where news sources were printed sources. Today, news is instantaneous, and so are the reactions. Face it: the UFO question is subject to ridicule.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    This was a diversion, but the reactions show why the amount of UFO sightings is in decline: the ridicule factor. Much more today than in the days where news sources were printed sources. Today, news is instantaneous, and so are the reactions. Face it: the UFO question is subject to ridicule.
    As is every subject online. "Reading the comments" will net you not much of value. So? UFO witnesses got ridiculed before the internet, it was just done in person instead of in a public forum.

    The recent spike in conspiracy theories shows that ridicule factor is not always a deterrent to the spread of hard-to-believe anecdotes.
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  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    This was a diversion, but the reactions show why the amount of UFO sightings is in decline: the ridicule factor. Much more today than in the days where news sources were printed sources. Today, news is instantaneous, and so are the reactions. Face it: the UFO question is subject to ridicule.
    I really wonder how true that is. I have had people tell me they saw UFOs (and ghosts and other things), and I never ridiculed them. I tried to make it clear that I have never seen any of those things and tend to think that there could be other explanations. If somebody expects me to say "Wow, that's great, then I believe too," and feel they are being ridiculed if I don't agree, then so be it but it's not really my problem. I would think that the ridicule is more aimed at people who put up websites saying that UFOs exist and listing lots of evidence that seems unconvincing to others.
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  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    This was a diversion, but the reactions show why the amount of UFO sightings is in decline: the ridicule factor. Much more today than in the days where news sources were printed sources. Today, news is instantaneous, and so are the reactions. Face it: the UFO question is subject to ridicule.
    Ufologists have spoken as such for decades at this point, and quite frankly I would consider it to be one of their calling cards. Stanton Friedman literally made a career specifically out of it. However, it is utter nonsense. Honest skepticism is not ridicule and certainly not so when public opinion and pop culture generally embrace many aspects of ufo culture quite readily.

    To the point of your OP: I don't believe ufo sightings are declining at all. I might very well argue the opposite. I think that traditional ufo organizations are simply receiving fewer reports as the years go on due largely to social media use. Posting a video or picture or anecdote via snapchat, facebook, twitter or reddit is a bit more intuitive than filling out MUFON forms.

  6. #96
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    One part of the problem is that UFO is equated to extraterrestial spaceship. The term is indirectly tainted and biased. Unidentified aerial phenomena is better.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    One part of the problem is that UFO is equated to extraterrestial spaceship. The term is indirectly tainted and biased. Unidentified aerial phenomena is better.
    Agreed, though I remember that the idea that "UFO" meant "alien spaceship" went way back, well before the internet. It has long been a pet peeve of mine that UFO discussions are immediately assumed to be about spaceships.

    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    This was a diversion, but the reactions show why the amount of UFO sightings is in decline: the ridicule factor. Much more today than in the days where news sources were printed sources. Today, news is instantaneous, and so are the reactions. Face it: the UFO question is subject to ridicule.
    The internet factor is interesting. Pre-internet, on a lot of perhaps "fringe" subjects, (like various claims about UFOs, ancient aliens, advanced ancient civilization,
    ESP, perpetual motion machines, pyramid power, and various other things I can remember from back then) it was very hard to find proper scientific evaluation of the claim. There would more than likely be a highly credulous book advancing an argument, maybe some magazine articles and a TV special doing the same thing with no room for skepticism, and on the other side, maybe a book would be written with a skeptical view, but those usually didn't sell well and were hard to find. NOVA would occasionally do a skeptical episode. And sometime (I think in the '80s) a skeptic magazine started up that would cover some incidents, but you had to pay (at the time, for me) a fairly decent fee to get it.

    But for the most part, I might hear a story about some incident, but usually with little detail, or a very biased article with a bit of detail, and no easy way to check it.

    Researching something yourself often would amount to doing original research and trying to contact the people involved in a claimed incident. You pretty much had to do the work of an investigative reporter.

    Then the internet and especially the web came along, and it started to be possible to find people with more information on a claim, as well as experts that could properly evaluate it (for instance, an archaeologist could point out problems with some of the ancient alien claims)

    Yes, sure, it's easier to criticize on some sites at least, but it is also easier to discuss and scientifically evaluate claims. Unfortunately, a lot of UFO claims fare poorly, which doesn't give it a great reputation. So I think it's harder to get away with something without getting called on it today vs. pre-internet. That only has limited efffect though: Lots of things have been shown to be nonsense, but many people still believe in them (and I'm thinking of a lot of subjects besides UFO related ones).

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  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post

    And sometime (I think in the '80s) a skeptic magazine started up that would cover some incidents, but you had to pay (at the time, for me) a fairly decent fee to get it.
    Also, just remembering, but there was a magazine that came out that promoted, in a semi-serious way, lots of those claims. Omni. I was a big fan, but alas lots of the stories were a bit out there and, as you said, would probably have been easier to dismiss with the Internet around.
    As above, so below

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    This was a diversion, but the reactions show why the amount of UFO sightings is in decline: the ridicule factor. Much more today than in the days where news sources were printed sources. Today, news is instantaneous, and so are the reactions. Face it: the UFO question is subject to ridicule.
    I don't believe that is a factor. Seeing the ridiculous stuff that people post online in a wide variety of social media, or do on any of a million reality TV programs, I think ridicule is much less of a factor than it was decades ago.
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  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Also, just remembering, but there was a magazine that came out that promoted, in a semi-serious way, lots of those claims. Omni.
    I used to read it. It was the History Channel of its day, at times, but fun to read.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
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  11. #101
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    It made a brief comeback--of sorts
    https://omnimagazine.com/

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