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dirty_g
2010-Aug-10, 12:23 AM
http://www.cracked.com/article_18690_5-ufo-sightings-that-even-non-crazy-people-find-creepy.html

Here is an article on Cracked.com about UFO sightings, they like to do lists of things and write tongue cheek. Some swearing.:clap: Entertaining!

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-10, 01:46 PM
#5 Chiles-Whitted - It has long been proposed this was a fireball sighting. It bears a remarkable resemblence to the Zond IV incident where people mistook re-entering space debris for a rocket ship with windows. (see Condon study)http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/rocket.htm

#4 Green fireballs - There is no evidence presented that these were nothing more than bright fireballs that were green. The Peekskill fireball was recorded on video by over a dozen people and it showed green colors. The meteorite it produced demonstrated that Green fireballs are not so unusual to place them in some sort of special category. The Green fireball story became part of UFO lore because the AF was interested in them for a short period of time (fearing they were some sort of Soviet device). Once they determined they were random and probably just bright green meteors, they dropped interest in the subject.

#3 Gorman Dogfight - There were tests done with a lighted balloon and a TBM avenger in Cuba (which had a similar incident). They pretty much replicated what Gorman described. Ed Ruppelt in his book wrote that Gorman chased a lighted balloon.http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/balloon.htm

#2 Washington DC sightings - I discussed this in another thread. The Condon study and Bordon-Vickers pretty much concluded it was anamolous propogation conditions that caused the radar returns. The remaining "lights in the sky" were just stars and other lights that were mistaken by various excited individuals.

#1 Valentich disappearance - The sole testimony this was a UFO event are the transmissions by the pilot, who died during the incident and disappeared without a trace. One can draw all sorts of conclusions about this but one can not use it as evidence of alien spaceships.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-10, 06:11 PM
#4 Green fireballs - There is no evidence presented that these were nothing more than bright fireballs that were green. The Peekskill fireball was recorded on video by over a dozen people and it showed green colors. Absolutely. Many fireballs have a green colour- not because they contain copper, as some have suggested, but because they ionise the oxygen in the air with the heat of their passage, making it glow with a colour similar to the green colour observed in an aurora., which is also caused by ionised oxygen.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-10, 08:17 PM
#5 Chiles-Whitted - It has long been proposed this was a fireball sighting. It bears a remarkable resemblence to the Zond IV incident where people mistook re-entering space debris for a rocket ship with windows. (see Condon study)http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/rocket.htm

Looking at what is written on this site and by using my own admittedly meagre knowledge of the ways of the world especially compared to some of you guys on here, allow me to reply to this. The UFO beside them apparently had windows which a meteor (fireball) does not. A meteor I presume would also not fly alongside a craft steadily for 10 - 15 seconds either. It would be travelling much faster and zip off rather quickly. Also lastly I would say in 1948, did they have spacecraft parts falling back to earth? Nope. I'm not saying "It was an ALIEN!!! WOOO" But a fireball steadily flying quite close to a plane as opposed to thundering past (especially since this was a 1948 commercial plane) would not ring true with me. Would a mirage of maybe a ship on the ocean be a more plausible explanation (it had windows at two levels).

NickW
2010-Aug-10, 08:27 PM
But a fireball steadily flying quite close to a plane as opposed to thundering past (especially since this was a 1948 commercial plane) would not ring true with me.

If there was some distance between said fireball and the plane it would appear to last longer then if was right next to the plane.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-10, 08:36 PM
#2 Washington DC sightings - I discussed this in another thread. The Condon study and Bordon-Vickers pretty much concluded it was anamolous propogation conditions that caused the radar returns. The remaining "lights in the sky" were just stars and other lights that were mistaken by various excited individuals.

The AP conditions causing it is certainly IS a strong possibility indeed even if it happened twice, a week apart (as this can happen anyway with AP). I would not be quick to dismiss claims of a pilot and several ground observers and say what they all saw was a few stars and "other lights" (what does other constitute??). Yes a few people at night I'm with at times will say "Look at that star, it's moving" and I will explain no it isn't. But even so if the pilot saw them zipping past him then I doubt they were stars (unless he just entered warp factor 6).

Again I'm not saying these are all aliens, BUT I do think the explanations we sometimes can give people who think every light in the sky is E.T can be pretty thin. I like to think that in nature there are just things we do not have a full understanding of yet and sometimes we just have to shrug our shoulders and say "What the heck was that?"

Interested in reading any responses.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-10, 08:37 PM
If there was some distance between said fireball and the plane it would appear to last longer then if was right next to the plane.

Then if it was at a distance it may of been a pretty damned big fireball with windows indeed. Let me put it like this, they saw windows or at least some good detail on it. To see detail to the point that they saw some apparent windows on it would of meant they would of had to of been close to it to see it well or that it was very large and far away. I've seen a fireball before as well. It's VERY bright with a lovely tail of light behind it as well. They didn't report a tail of light behind it and both had said they had seen meteors before. Either they all told a good lie or it was some very strange kind of fireball.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-10, 09:12 PM
Meteors can last a lot longer than a few seconds. The Peekskill fireball was tens of seconds long so it is possible for a fireball to last 10-15 seconds.
Did you read what Dr. Hartmann wrote and what the witnesses stated? Maybe this picture will help. It is two drawings made by witnesses who saw the Zond IV incident.

http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/Zond4.jpg

Compare those with Chiles-Whitted's drawings. They are very similar.

BTW, it does not have to be space debris. All it takes is a meteor breaking up to give this effect. If you read Hartmann's discussion on the case in the Condon study http://files.ncas.org/condon/text/s6chap02.htm#S3 you might see this.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-10, 09:14 PM
Meteors zip right past pilots. They appear close but are really far away. Also, a plane flying at hundreds of miles per hour flying past a relatively stationary light (i.e. a lit weather balloon) in the air can make the light appear to zip by.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-10, 09:15 PM
The UFO beside them apparently had windows which a meteor (fireball) does not.
If you read the Zond IV report (http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/rocket.htm), you will see this description;

It was shaped like a fat cigar, in my estimation. I was impressed that it seemed of considerable size, the size of one of our largest airplane fuselages, or larger...It appeared to have square-shaped windows...
They were looking at re-entering debris. If the witnesses in the Zond case could see windows in a fireball, so could the witnesses in the Chiles-Whitted case.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-10, 09:32 PM
Then if it was at a distance it may of been a pretty damned big fireball with windows indeed. Let me put it like this, they saw windows or at least some good detail on it. To see detail to the point that they saw some apparent windows on it would of meant they would of had to of been close to it to see it well or that it was very large and far away. I've seen a fireball before as well. It's VERY bright with a lovely tail of light behind it as well. They didn't report a tail of light behind it and both had said they had seen meteors before. Either they all told a good lie or it was some very strange kind of fireball.

Each fireball is unique. I have heard and read dozens of reports made by people claiming it wasn't a meteor but it turned out to be so. A bright fireball that breaks up is different than an ordinary fireball. The "airship effect" (see Hartmann in the link I gave above) gives the impression of windows attached to a dark object. This is not unusual and I can give examples of bright meteors being reported as such. Here is one. On November 16, 1999, a bright fireball was observed over the midwest and eastern US. http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/1999/ast17nov99_1/

The average time duration of the reports I saw was about 10-20 seconds in the report. No meteorites were found. Here are a sample of some of the UFO reports that were filed for this known source.


1. From what we could tell as it glided over the treetops, it was in my estimation at least 60 feet long and narrow. Cigar shaped, traveling about 20-25 feet in the air at about 20 mph. When we first saw it, my father recalled the meteor shower expected in 2 days, but as it went by, we realized it was too close to the ground, and definitely not fading. It also traveled in a steady straight line with respect to the horizon. The lights themselves were almost like white light. Some seemed stationary on the object while others streaked by with the continuous movement of the object, sort of like a trail along side. It was like a long skinny bus moving through the sky.

2. It first apeared like a large plane with a row of windows. I thought it was a plane atempting to land on the highway. As it grew closer i realized the object was to large to be a plane. In addition it had no flashing lights or landing lights. It was very long in length, possibly 200' to 500' feet. It had a row of what apeared to be windows yellow orange in color, with several lights in the front and rear the same color. It seamed to slow as it got closer to my truck, almost directly in front, about 1/4 mile away. It dipped down behind some trees, and dissapeared.

3. I noticed how black the sky was and a few stars and saw something shaped like a rectangle, like the size of the windows on this form that we use to fill out information. I was traveling about 70 MPH and saw this shaped traveling in the sky along side of the car. I thought it was a shooting star, but it didn't have a tail and it was airborne too long. It never disappeared in the sky!!!! As I slowed down, the object got closer and I was able to see it much clearer. This object had several windows that were seperated by some kind of bar and very bright lights. I was stunned by what I saw and pulled off the road to get a better look, but The craft disappeared.

These are all reports filed with the National UFO reporting center made by witnesses who claimed they know what they saw but what they saw was not exactly what they described. As best I could tell at the time (and still) was it was classified as a meteor and not re-entering space debris (as I originally suspected when this happened). Truly and unusual meteor. What it demonstrates is that there are bright fireballs that are capable of generating reports of cigars with lighted windows.

NickW
2010-Aug-10, 09:44 PM
To see detail to the point that they saw some apparent windows on it would of meant they would of had to of been close to it to see it well or that it was very large and far away
And how many times on this very forum have we seen examples of how the mind can play tricks on you by forming patterns in chaos when none exist? Or how people are just really bad at determining distance, angle, and speed of an object? This doesn't sound any different.


They didn't report a tail of light behind it and both had said they had seen meteors before.

There are people that didn't report seeing Venus at dusk, but it was there shining all along, and they got confused by what they saw. Just because there was a difference on what was reported and what other explanations there might be, doesn't make the reporter right.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-10, 10:19 PM
There are people that didn't report seeing Venus at dusk, but it was there shining all along, and they got confused by what they saw. Just because there was a difference on what was reported and what other explanations there might be, doesn't make the reporter right.

I like all the responses posted, very interesting. I'm very open minded to explanations myself so don't worry I won't shrug them off as nonsense like a good many would. I do however fail to see how pilots confuse Venus with a UFO. It's pretty much stationary in the sky (obviously it moves in the course of the night, but not that quickly). I'm sure many would be familiar with it after racking up a good few hundred flight hours. How do they actually think ths is a UFO? Seems beyond me that a trained pilot would think "Oh my god it's a UFO". Yet they do. It's quite frankly bizare.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-10, 10:24 PM
Another thing, ok so it's a metoer which looks like it has windows etc. Also it's far away as well not right next to them. How does it still apparently seem to stay next to them for 10 - 15 seconds. Even at a good distance away surley it would still zip by due to the sheer speed the damned thing is moving. These things move at (and this is pulled from a wiki answer so please feel free to correct me) 44 miles per second on average that is apparently (158,400 MPH) once they hit the Earths atmosphere. That is pretty damned fast and seems to me to be too fast to seem stationary even at a distance, plus would it not be falling in a downward arc and not apparently flying horizontally along? Please correct me on my quotes here again. I'm always eager to learn more.

NickW
2010-Aug-10, 11:00 PM
Seems beyond me that a trained pilot would think "Oh my god it's a UFO". Yet they do. It's quite frankly bizare.

The problem is the word "trained". People here that work and automatically think that person would be good at observing everything. It would be like saying a trained astronomer thought something underwater was strange and couldn't be explained by natural means, only because he/she might not have the training to identify what it was. It know it is a generalization, but it happens all the time with police officers as well.

NickW
2010-Aug-10, 11:12 PM
That is pretty damned fast and seems to me to be too fast to seem stationary even at a distance, plus would it not be falling in a downward arc and not apparently flying horizontally along? Please correct me on my quotes here again. I'm always eager to learn more.

I don't know about the speed, but downward arc would have to defined by the orientation of the pilot observing it.

Also, I found speeds that range from 11 to 72 km a second:


Observations have shown that meteoroids penetrate the atmosphere at velocities ranging from 11 to 72 km (7 to 45 miles) per second.

http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/meteor.html

I guess the whole point is that there are to many explanations to explain the observation, which makes the whole alien thing bottom of the bucket.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-10, 11:15 PM
Another thing, ok so it's a metoer which looks like it has windows etc. Also it's far away as well not right next to them. How does it still apparently seem to stay next to them for 10 - 15 seconds. Even at a good distance away surley it would still zip by due to the sheer speed the damned thing is moving. These things move at (and this is pulled from a wiki answer so please feel free to correct me) 44 miles per second on average that is apparently (158,400 MPH) once they hit the Earths atmosphere. That is pretty damned fast and seems to me to be too fast to seem stationary even at a distance, plus would it not be falling in a downward arc and not apparently flying horizontally along? Please correct me on my quotes here again. I'm always eager to learn more.

Think of the distances involved. We are talking about objects that are 50-70 miles away. Not to mention an earth grazing meteor tends to enter the atmosphere at much lower speeds.

EDIT: A minimum speed for a meteor I have seen is about 7 miles/sec. At a distance of 70 miles, such a meteor would move at roughly 6 degrees per second (assuming my math is correct). Ten seconds of travel is only 60 degrees, which is a good chunk of the sky but not all of it. However, a meteor seen low in the sky is much farther away. They could be well over a 100 or more miles away, slowing the angular speed down further.

This all would give the impression the meteor was flying very slowly by them the same way various people on the ground thought the meteor was flying at extremely slow speeds in the example I gave. It would not matter if you were in a plane flying at a 150 mph or standing still. The angular speed would be the same and the apparent slow speed would be the same.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-10, 11:55 PM
The thing is, some people just don't want to believe the simple answers. Mundane and prosaic? Oh, sure. But you know, people do mistake Venus for an alien spacecraft. The evidence I've seen suggests that Jimmy Carter's reported UFO (and my understanding is that he never said it was aliens) was Venus, based on when and where he reportedly saw it. It sounds silly. However, the simple explanations usually do, even when they turn out to be true.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-11, 12:22 AM
Venus is one of the biggest IFOs on the list and is continuously misidentified by various people including so-called "trained observers". Carter's sighting is a good one. I list several others here (http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/Venusufo.htm).

chrlzs
2010-Aug-11, 07:41 AM
I do however fail to see how pilots confuse Venus with a UFO.

Can I suggest you take a look at a case involving the Mexican Air Force? In brief terms, there was quite a kerfuffle over some 'FLIR' footage taken by pilots of the M.A.F., showing what they referred to as UFO's. When I first saw said footage, I was simply flabbergasted. The objects were OBVIOUSLY not moving, and were almost certainly on the ground, to my untrained eye! And sure enough:
Alcione.org (http://www.alcione.org/FAM/REFERENCE_DATA.html)
(That links to a lengthy, but quite fascinating and very thorough, debunking)

Now, maybe that case reflects more on the M.A.F. training and perhaps a lack of knowledge of the limitations of their equipment, but let's face it, those things were on the ground, and they still thought they were UFO's. Venus is, at least, in the sky...

dirty_g
2010-Aug-11, 10:39 AM
This all would give the impression the meteor was flying very slowly by them the same way various people on the ground thought the meteor was flying at extremely slow speeds in the example I gave. It would not matter if you were in a plane flying at a 150 mph or standing still. The angular speed would be the same and the apparent slow speed would be the same.
But (and I'm really trying to not be antagonistic here) if this meteor was 100 miles away then they would of not seen that much detail on it or it was "frigging huge Mr Bigglesworth."

eburacum45
2010-Aug-11, 11:10 AM
No, it was probably a smallish mass broken into even smaller parts during re-entry. What you see in a meteor fireball is usually the envelope of heated air around the object. This envelope of heated air glows brightly and can look quite a bit larger than it really is.
Here's the Peekskill fireball
http://www.michaelbloodmeteorites.com/PeekskillFireball.gif

Each of the component parts of this fireball was maybe the size of a refrigerator or smaller, but the glow was clearly visible from tens of kilometers away.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-11, 11:54 AM
But (and I'm really trying to not be antagonistic here) if this meteor was 100 miles away then they would of not seen that much detail on it or it was "frigging huge Mr Bigglesworth."

The normal meteors you see at night are no bigger than a grain of sand and you are seeing them from 50-70 miles away! Imagine what a rock the size of a basketball or bigger can produce based on this. A fireball that breaks up into pieces on re-entry can produce quite a light show (see Peekskill videos). Each individual fragment would produce its own source of light. 6-12 pieces would give the effect necessary described by the witnesses.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-11, 01:35 PM
#5 Chiles-Whitted - The Zond IV comparison is interesting, and the drawings almost seal the deal. Except for a few problems.
Chiles and Whitted were decorated and respected pilots, not some random group of surprised individuals. Now I'm not saying pilots are infallible, but I'll take the word of a decorated and respected aviator like Chiles or Whitted over the word of a scientist with an axe to grind any day of the week. Has baut had a thread on flaws in the Condon report?


But a fireball steadily flying quite close to a plane as opposed to thundering past (especially since this was a 1948 commercial plane) would not ring true with me.

The way cracked.com's report is worded, it makes it sound like the UFO pulled alongside and they studied it for several seconds. Cracked's report then goes on to say "It wasn't some vague flashing light that zipped past". I guess they got it half right. It wasn't vague but it did zip past.

So what did happen? TOTAL observation time start to finish was estimated to be 10 - 15 seconds. During that time the pilots became aware of the object, determined that it was closing on them at high speed, made a hard left turn to avoid a collision, witnessed the object passing about 700 feet to the right of their DC-3, which was then being buffeted by turbulent air and in the last second or two Whitted observed the object enter into a steep climb. That doesn't sound like space debris to me.


Would a mirage of maybe a ship on the ocean be a more plausible explanation (it had windows at two levels).
They were flying from Mobile, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. Last time I flew that, I didn't see an ocean.


The problem is the word "trained". People here that work and automatically think that person would be good at observing everything. It would be like saying a trained astronomer thought something underwater was strange and couldn't be explained by natural means, only because he/she might not have the training to identify what it was. It know it is a generalization, but it happens all the time with police officers as well.

As a pilot, it's not that I am "trained" to be good at observing everything, it's more like I am trained to avoid hitting other aerial objects so your hypothetical astronomer can can go on to misidentify underwater objects after I get him to his destination.



I guess the whole point is that there are to many explanations to explain the observation, which makes the whole alien thing bottom of the bucket.
It's not the number of explanations, that makes the whole alien thing bottom of the bucket. In the same way so many people call every light in the sky et, it seems to me you are too quick to dismiss this case simply because someone said et. Let's dig a little deeper.


Think of the distances involved. We are talking about objects that are 50-70 miles away. Not to mention an earth grazing meteor tends to enter the atmosphere at much lower speeds.

EDIT: A minimum speed for a meteor I have seen is about 7 miles/sec. At a distance of 70 miles, such a meteor would move at roughly 6 degrees per second (assuming my math is correct). Ten seconds of travel is only 60 degrees, which is a good chunk of the sky but not all of it. However, a meteor seen low in the sky is much farther away. They could be well over a 100 or more miles away, slowing the angular speed down further.

This all would give the impression the meteor was flying very slowly by them the same way various people on the ground thought the meteor was flying at extremely slow speeds in the example I gave. It would not matter if you were in a plane flying at a 150 mph or standing still. The angular speed would be the same and the apparent slow speed would be the same.
In post 11, you list three encounters which seem to fit the concept you outlined here. While all described relatively slow moving objects, one element is missing. Namely, the fact that none of the witnesses in your cases expressed the opinion that the object was about to hit them.

The "apparent slow speed", which in this case was actually said to be apprently high speed was enough to cause the pilots to bank sharply to the left away from it.

Chiles sees an object to the right front of the plane. So far so good. He points it out to Whitted and speculates it is some new army jet. They continue to watch, but in just a few seconds the object now appears to be on a collison course with the DC-3. They bank hard to the left and the object goes by them at an apparent distance of 700 feet. They are buffeted by turbulence. Whitted looks back and observes the UFO as it goes up in a steep climb.

These guys had seen meteors many times during their careers. This was no meteor.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-11, 01:55 PM
Meteors are a very variable phenomenon. Chiles and Whitted could not claim to have seen every possible combination of size, velocity and entry angle, and every possible way in which a meteor could disintegrate. In order to claim that they would probably need thousands of years of flying experience, not decades.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-11, 02:14 PM
They continue to watch, but in just a few seconds the object now appears to be on a collison course with the DC-3. They bank hard to the left and the object goes by them at an apparent distance of 700 feet. Of course it is totally impossible to estimate the distance of an unknown object unless you know the size (or the size of something behind it).


Pilots are trained to take evasive action if they think something might hit them, for obvious reasons. Here's an experienced pilot taking evasive action to avoid a distant fireball.
http://www.zipworld.com.au/~psmith/pilot-ufos.html

The accompanying Tornado pilot was so convinced that they were on collision course with the lights -- apparently nine were seen -- that he 'broke away' and took 'violent evasive action'. The formation of UFOs continued 'straight on course and shot off ahead at speed -- they were nearly supersonic. In fact it was the re-entry of a Gorizont/Proton rocket body on 5/11/1990, tens of kilometers away.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-11, 04:45 PM
Chiles sees an object to the right front of the plane. So far so good. He points it out to Whitted and speculates it is some new army jet. They continue to watch, but in just a few seconds the object now appears to be on a collison course with the DC-3. They bank hard to the left and the object goes by them at an apparent distance of 700 feet. They are buffeted by turbulence. Whitted looks back and observes the UFO as it goes up in a steep climb.

These guys had seen meteors many times during their careers. This was no meteor.

1. From what I recall of reading the original reports (I will look it up again when I get the chance), there was no mention of turbulence. This entered the story some time later.

EDIT: You can find the original statements by the pilots here: http://www.nicap.org/docs/chiles/chiles480724docs2.htm

Note what Whitted stated: "We heard no noise nor felt any turbulence from the object"
Chiles added "There was no prop wash or rough air felt as it passed".

So, you can drop the idea there was turbulence.


2. You say that it could not be a meteor as an absolute and that you know they had seen fireballs before. What makes you so sure? There are a number of cases where pilots swerved to avoid meteors/fireballs (see Klass UFOs Identified and Randles danger in the air).

NickW
2010-Aug-11, 04:53 PM
it seems to me you are too quick to dismiss this case simply because someone said et. Let's dig a little deeper.


If I dismissed the cases, then I wouldn't even put them IN the bucket. Looking at the observations and explanations of KNOWN phenomena put it at the very, very bottom of it.

NEOWatcher
2010-Aug-11, 04:55 PM
... it seems to me you are too quick to dismiss this case simply because someone said et. Let's dig a little deeper...
How? What can we compare it too?
That's the main problem, we would love to dig deeper and find out exactly what a phenomenom is. But there are 2 major stumbling blocks:
1. We can only dig deeper with methods known to work on phenomenom that is known to us.
2. A sighting is gone, we can't go back and verify what was seen.

As part as 1. We have overwhelming evidence of phenomenom that are unrecognized or misidentified. So; the most common place to start is with stuff we know and compare.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-11, 09:39 PM
Meteors are a very variable phenomenon.
Ok.


Chiles and Whitted could not claim to have seen every possible...
I see no evidence where they claim to have seen every possible...



In order to claim that they would probably need thousands of years of flying experience, not decades.
They didn't claim that, so your point is?


Of course it is totally impossible to estimate the distance of an unknown object unless you know the size (or the size of something behind it).
ATC has called out unknown objects to me many times. Since I fly without TCAS, I very much appreciate their efforts.
As a pilot, your are required to make judgements continuously. It is not necessary, well at least it hasn't been necessary so far for me to know the exact distance or the exact size of a target before taking a prudent course of action.


Here's an experienced pilot taking evasive action to avoid a distant fireball.
http://www.zipworld.com.au/~psmith/pilot-ufos.html
In fact it was the re-entry of a Gorizont/Proton rocket body on 5/11/1990, tens of kilometers away.With all due respect, the National Enquirer? Is this the level of scientific inquiry you want to hang your hat on?


1. From what I recall of reading the original reports (I will look it up again when I get the chance), there was no mention of turbulence. This entered the story some time later.

EDIT: You can find the original statements by the pilots here: http://www.nicap.org/docs/chiles/chiles480724docs2.htm

Note what Whitted stated: "We heard no noise nor felt any turbulence from the object"
Chiles added "There was no prop wash or rough air felt as it passed".

So, you can drop the idea there was turbulence.Maybe we can, maybe we can't.

This is a great example of one problem I have run into many times. Namely, getting the story straight. Too many times, I have seen details either added or omitted by people on both sides of the UFO fence. Here we go again, but first, since I am new to this forum, let me state that I am not a professional UFO investigator. I am not a believer in ET, at least not beyond the fanciful stories of Mr Spielberg.

I do believe there is life "out there", somewhere. The sheer scope of what astronomer's have found and continue to find makes it all but certain at least in my mind. On the other hand, for the exact same reason, I find it hard to believe we have been visited. However, if we were visited I suspect the visits would be very similar to the visits some of my pilot brethren have paid to our neighbors here on Earth. In other words, in the same way we can spy on our neighbors undetected, I suspect ET would employ similar tactics. Since ET would require vastly superior technolgy to reach us in the first place, any sightings would necessarily be spectacular and dramatic, at least that is my take.

My primary interest in UFOs springs from my interest in aviation. I do believe many sightings are conventional or at least semi-conventional aircraft. Before I rubber stamp this case and toss it into the bin, I would prefer to at least get all the information and read a competent analysis of the same if it exists.

The Chiles' statement to Mr Shannon was recorded more than a week after the event. Since this is not the first accounting, the most I can do here is try to track down earlier accounts. If they match up, then I would be interested to know the source of the turbulence addition.

As a pilot I place a lot of weight on the turbulence detail, if that detail is fabricated, I am deeply concerned.



2. You say that it could not be a meteor as an absolute and that you know they had seen fireballs before.
As an absolute? No. The only absolute I am aware of comes to me via René Descartes. What I "know" about this case comes from the writings I have seen. I have never met either of these gentlemen. Of course, I bring my own experiences in the world of aviation to this or any other pilot report.



What makes you so sure? There are a number of cases where pilots swerved to avoid meteors/fireballs (see Klass UFOs Identified and Randles danger in the air).I have heard of Klass, I can't say I have read every word he ever published, but this is the guy that originally claimed most UFO sightings were ball lightning. As for Randles, I do not have any of her books. Besides being an author and director of investigations with BUFORA, what are her credentials? I see where her publishers claim she studied studied physics and geology. Hey I did to. You were asking what makes me "so sure", well there you go. I think I will check out her 2005 tome Breaking the Time Barrier: The race to build the first time machine. I didn't know there was a race. Did we win?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I see where Ms Randles first published in 1979. From the mid-eighties on, I have only revisited the UFO topic infrequently. That is probably why I haven't heard of her.

Since stumbling into this forum, I can safely say I have read more about UFOs in the last few days than I have in the last 10 years! The advent of digital cameras pretty much ended my interest in photo cases. Frankly, I'm at the point where I will need to see a saucer land on the White House lawn in person, before I become a believer.

You seem to have all the answers astrophotographer. Why do you spend time trying to debunk UFO sightings? Were you a believer at one time?

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-11, 10:54 PM
How? What can we compare it too?
That's the main problem, we would love to dig deeper and find out exactly what a phenomenom is. But there are 2 major stumbling blocks:
1. We can only dig deeper with methods known to work on phenomenom that is known to us.
So, right off the bat we have a problem at least from my perspective. As a pilot, I expect sightings to be physical objects that are intelligently controlled. In other words, aircraft and maybe the occasional spacecraft. If I don't consider the possibility of advanced craft, then I am stuck waiting for "official" announcements. What fun is that? I am reminded of a story, I read some time ago involving the F117A Stealth fighter.

The F117A came to us via an ultra-secret secret project that started in 1975. First flight was in mid 1981 and a distorted photo was released by the Pentagon in late 1988 as I recall. However, there was a man operating outside the cloak of government imposed secrecy who took multiple daylight images of this unusual black UFO before the distorted photo was released! Interestingly, he was not current on U.S. military aircraft, but figured if he could observe it and photograph it during daylight hours, then it must be a known aircraft. At any rate, when the fuzzy Pentagon photo came out, he realized he had something special and shortly thereafter his images were published.

Hopefully, my memory of this event is clear and if you have heard of this please point me towards the magazine that published the story as time has erased that detail and I would like to read it again.

The take away, for me at least, was the following:

a. Some observers witnesses and photograph unusual aerial objects without becoming hysterical. (See "Excitedness effect" - Condon Report for the skeptics take on this)
b. Some observers see unusual aerial objects without thinking ET has arrived.
c. Some observers DO NOT come forward with their stories until someone else has come forward first. (Condon Report wants us to discount reports made in this manner)
d. Sometimes people see what they say they saw. (Condon Report wants us to believe it is a balloon, swamp gas, Venus, and one of my favorites a mirage! LOL)

If this man's UFO photos were released today, or during the time of the Condon Report, or Project Blue Book, I have no doubt that in the absence of U.S. Air Force corroboration he would have faced scorn and ridicule. Tell me I'm wrong!

One other item: Much has been made at least in this thread about the "windows" of the Zond IV fireball.

The Condon Report notes this feature in 3 out of 78 ZOND IV reports filed. Hmm...Sounds more like a spurious detail than anything else.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-12, 12:28 AM
As a pilot, I expect sightings to be physical objects that are intelligently controlled.

There's your first mistake. Many, many sightings can be explained by things not intelligently controlled. Arguably, quite a lot of them aren't even physical objects, though of course Venus is, just not one terribly handy to people sighting it.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-12, 12:42 AM
There's your first mistake. Many, many sightings can be explained by things not intelligently controlled. Arguably, quite a lot of them aren't even physical objects, though of course Venus is, just not one terribly handy to people sighting it.Mistake? In phrasing yes.

The correct wording should be: "As a pilot, I expect aerial sightings to be physical objects that are intelligently controlled."

Sorry for the confusion.

I'll go out on a limb here, just for fun, and say the vast majority of pilots expect aerial sightings to be physical objects that are intelligently controlled. Quick, someone do a poll.

Honestly, if I thought there was an excellent chance I was going to share the airspace on a regular basis with uncontrolled objects...Yikes, I guess I would have to stay on the ground!

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-12, 12:47 AM
You seem to have all the answers astrophotographer. Why do you spend time trying to debunk UFO sightings? Were you a believer at one time?

Not to get personal on this but I accepted a lot of things at face value when I was younger. I loved watching the "Ancient astronaut" shows in the early 70s. As time passed and my astronomical experience showed me how people misinterpreted these things, I developed a more skeptical attitude. When I became involved in a UFO discssion group long ago as a skeptic, I was told not to discuss things I knew nothing about. I love a challenge and read tons of books on both sides of the fence on the subject. I have a pretty good size library on the subject.

Just to point out what I was trying to emphasize was that pilots have felt they were on a collision course with a bright meteor in the past. Randles mentions one case of British airliner in her book (We are rearranging the house right now and I can not locate the book but when I do, I will try and give you the details) and Klass points out a case of June 1969 over St. Louis in his book. The Klass description was photographed by a ground observer (it is on the cover of my copy) so there is no doubt it was a meteor. He wrote the following about it in his Skeptics UFO newsletter 46:


The flight crew of American Airlines’ eastbound flight #112, flying at 39,000 ft. on June 5, 1969, around 6 p.m., had a similar encounter with a squadron of four UFOs coming out of the east which appeared to be on a near-collision course. The brightness of the four objects was also assumed to be a reflection of the sun off metal objects. This “squadron of UFOs” also was reported by the flight crew of an eastbound United Airlines jetliner, flying at 37,000 ft., eight miles behind American, and also by an eastbound Air National Guard fighter pilot, flying at 41,000 ft., four miles behind United. The military pilot reported that the squadron of UFOs appeared to execute a climbing maneuver—seemingly to prevent a mid-air collision.

This 1969 incident would have become a classic “unexplained multiple-pilot UFO case” but for an alert newspaper photographer in Peoria, Ill., named Alan Harkrader, who managed to take a picture of the UFOs. Harkrader’s photo (see below) showed that the squadron of UFOs was really a fragmenting meteor- fireball. When a meteor enters the atmosphere at a speed of roughly 10,000 miles per hour, it electrifies (ionizes) the air and creates a long, luminous teardrop-shaped object. Meteor fragments generate similar luminous tails. (Harkrader’s photo shows only two objects, but he told me that while winding the film in the hope of getting a second shot, another fragment broke off and fell into trail. The incident occurred in broad daylight but Harkrader stopped-down the lens aperture to enhance contrast.) Analysis of Harkrader’s photo, which showed a nearby electric power line, plus numerous reports from ground observers, enabled the Smithsonian Center for Short-Lived Phenomena to determine the approximate trajectory of the fireball. Despite the fact that two senior airline flight crews and a military pilot believed that they had nearly collided with the squadron of UFOs near St. Louis, the Smithsonian scientists determined that the fireball trajectory was approximately 125 MILES NORTH OF ST. LOUIS.

THIS ST. LOUIS UFO CASE SHOWS THAT EVEN EXPERIENCED PILOTS WHO BRIEFLY SEE SOMETHING WHICH IS UNFAMILIAR CAN HAVE FLAWED RECOLLECTIONS OF WHAT THEY OBSERVED.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-12, 12:54 AM
The Condon Report notes this feature in 3 out of 78 ZOND IV reports filed. Hmm...Sounds more like a spurious detail than anything else.

It does not matter that it was one report out of 78. It demonstrates that there are people who do misperceive such events as a "cigar with windows". The three witness reports I gave for the November 1999 fireball demonstrates this does happen. I can also site several rocket re-entries that produced similar reports.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-12, 12:57 AM
So, right off the bat we have a problem at least from my perspective. As a pilot, I expect sightings to be physical objects that are intelligently controlled. In other words, aircraft and maybe the occasional spacecraft.

Why do you expect it to be? I can see at the moment you are flying your craft, you want to avoid any potential hazards but does that expectation continue after the fact? If a birght fireball causes you to swerve your craft to avoid it, do you continue to believe that you may have seen a spacecraft or some "intelligent" object?

vonmazur
2010-Aug-12, 01:06 AM
Actually the fires were on the sea, oil rig burning off excess gas....I think they debunked this on TV, but due to CRS syndrome, I cannot say where or when...

Dale

eburacum45
2010-Aug-12, 08:39 AM
Chiles and Whitted could not claim to have seen every possible (type of meteor)

I see no evidence where they claim to have seen every possible...
Good. Then your claim that "These guys had seen meteors many times during their careers. This was no meteor." is nothing more than a pair of causally unconnected sentences, then?

Do you claim that they were sufficiently familiar with all types of meteor that they could not have made that mistake? Are you prepared to continue defending that claim, by, for instance, describing when and where they had both seen a bolide disintegrate into a string of apparently connected lights? If not, you cannot claim 'it was no meteor'.

Of course it is totally impossible to estimate the distance of an unknown object unless you know the size (or the size of something behind it).

ATC has called out unknown objects to me many times. Since I fly without TCAS, I very much appreciate their efforts.
As a pilot, your are required to make judgements continuously. It is not necessary, well at least it hasn't been necessary so far for me to know the exact distance or the exact size of a target before taking a prudent course of action. So do you agree or disagree that the distance to an unknown object of unknown size cannot be estimated without reference to other objects of known size? If you agree, then you will understand that avoiding an object of unknown size and distance is the 'prudent course of action', whether the object is 700 feet away or 70 miles.

Strange
2010-Aug-12, 09:11 AM
The correct wording should be: "As a pilot, I expect aerial sightings to be physical objects that are intelligently controlled."

And isn't that part of the problem. Perhaps people will tend to interpret unknown (or misperceeived) sightings in terms they are familiar with: a pilot is likely to think "craft"; an astronomer is likely to think "meteor"; a religious person might think "angel"; etc.

The trouble is, pilots are often cited as "expert" witness - after all they spend a lot of time up in the air, they are highly trained, etc. But that just means their perceptions may be distorted in a particular direction.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-12, 09:24 AM
With all due respect, the National Enquirer? Is this the level of scientific inquiry you want to hang your hat on?
The Tornado pilot's account did not come from the National Enquirer, but from Tim Good's book, quoted by Jim Oberg (one-time member of this forum, as it happens)

Here's quite a detailed report on it
http://www.ufonet.nl/nieuws/tornado/index2.html
From the transcription


637C:"To avoid a collision course [unintelligible] with 637 about a minute ago, we've broken starboard to avoid it."
==snip==
Dutch Mil:"603, you have any indication about the distance?"
603:"It's almost impossible to say because of the uh, the apparent size of it. It looks absolutely enormous and passing about, ooh, a mile or two miles ahead of us. But, uh, it's very difficult to judge."
Dutch Mil:"Roger."
637C:"And Dutch, 637 Charlie, possibly it's a B-2? It's difficult to tell the range but it got pretty close to us."

NEOWatcher
2010-Aug-12, 12:26 PM
So, right off the bat we have a problem at least from my perspective...
Yes; and that problem is you taking my statement out of context.
I said 2 problems. Your example has a picture that can be analyzed.

Besides that; your example was about someone publishing a picture. I see no evidence that those pictures lead to any kind of investigation or insights based on the picture. It was after the fact that the two were linked.
Besides, there were many people outside the "cloak of government" that were already speculating on advances like that. In other words, working with known information.


If I don't consider the possibility of advanced craft, then I am stuck waiting for "official" announcements. What fun is that?
Fun? You're putting amusement over security?


As a pilot, I expect sightings to be physical objects that are intelligently controlled. In other words, aircraft and maybe the occasional spacecraft.
Yes; assumptions are necessary for collision avoidence, and trying to identify what it is during that avoidence is an advantage. But; once you're safe, the identification has nothing to do with piloting.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-12, 02:12 PM
I can see at the moment you are flying your craft, you want to avoid any potential hazards but does that expectation continue after the fact?
I'm not sure I understand your question here, but I will take a shot. Yes, that expectation continues after the fact. I'll give you an example. On a clear summer day, what pilots call "severe clear" I was operating a single engine airplane near a controlled airport that did not have radar. I had been cleared to transition the airspace by the tower. A minute or so into this, another aircraft was cleared through the same airspace, at my altitude, but in the opposite direction. ATC advised me of the traffic and I reported we (the co-pilot and I) were looking. Neither of us actually saw the traffic at that time. Rather than bore you with the details of what we were doing, suffice to say we were doing pilot stuff as well as scanning the sky for that traffic. 30-45 seconds go by and ATC calls again with the same traffic advisory. I still don't see it, so I report, "were looking". Another 30-45 seconds go by, ATC calls a final time. Keep in mind that between calls, ATC is calling the other guy to see if he sees me. Each time the other pilot reports "no joy", in other words he doesn't see me. On that final call, I, but not my co-pilot detect what I later describe as a subtle change in the tone of the controller's voice advising me of the opposite direction traffic. At this point, I do a quick scan (no joy) and within a few seconds request an altitude change, which is immediately approved. I initiate a descent, and go back to the myriad other tasks at hand. A few seconds after that, a small craft flashes directly over my head. We missed each other by 300 feet. I report to the controller that the traffic is no longer a factor. My co-pilot never saw it.

The take away for me was that it is quite a bit more difficult to see something coming head on as opposed to an oblique angle. I avoided the hazard and yes I do have expectation that should the situation present itself again, I will avoid the hazard again. Hopefully, in a more timely manner.


If a birght fireball causes you to swerve your craft to avoid it, do you continue to believe that you may have seen a spacecraft or some "intelligent" object?
From reading threads on this forum, I see a lot of people advocating the simplest answer. The simplest answer, is an intelligent object. I have seen craft that I could not identify, because they were at the limit of what I could resolve. I never once felt they were anything but intelligently controlled. At the same time, I never felt they were controlled by ET. So to answer your question directly, I would most likely believe it was an intelligently controlled aircraft in distress. Aviation history is replete with accounts of aircraft going down in flames. If I took action, to avoid it, then most likely I would know what it was.

Maybe that is not the answer you were looking for, but on a daily basis pilots are not worried about stuff from space hitting their aircraft.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-12, 03:40 PM
Good. Then your claim that "These guys had seen meteors many times during their careers. This was no meteor." is nothing more than a pair of causally unconnected sentences, then?
Hold up there. They reported they had seen meteors many times during their careers, not me. As I stated in a previous post, I have never met these gentlemen.

As for the phrase "This was no meteor": Re-read what came before that phrase. I could have just as easily said this was not the Goodyear blimp. Since no one is making the extraordinary claim that the pilots banked to avoid a Goodyear blimp some 50-100 miles in the distance, I didn't feel it necessary to rule the blimp out as a possible answer.



Do you claim that they were sufficiently familiar with all types of meteor that they could not have made that mistake? What you are suggesting sounds nonsensical to me. How could anyone be familiar with all types of meteors. You stated in post #25:


Meteors are a very variable phenomenon. Chiles and Whitted could not claim to have seen every possible combination of size, velocity and entry angle, and every possible way in which a meteor could disintegrate. In order to claim that they would probably need thousands of years of flying experience, not decades.I would like to meet the man or woman that has seen every possible combination of size, velocity, and entry angle, and every possible way in which a meteor could disintegrate.

Do I think they made a mistake? At the end of the day, they survived the encounter whatever it was.
I accept the word of these gentlemen at face value. I am not prepared to accuse them of lying, incompetence, or anything else at this time.

As I have previously stated, I would like to read more about this case before I jump to any conclusions. I suspect, although I am not ready to make the claim so don't ask me, that it may not be possible to get a satisfactory answer.



So do you agree or disagree that the distance to an unknown object of unknown size cannot be estimated without reference to other objects of known size? If you agree, then you will understand that avoiding an object of unknown size and distance is the 'prudent course of action', whether the object is 700 feet away or 70 miles. I do recall hearing about and seeing some sort of contraption attached to the front of a B-2 stealth bomber, which at the time was said to increase the radar signature of the plane supposedly to assist controllers in tracking the plane. It was said that without the contraption, the B-2 would appear to be the size of a small bird. At this time, I do not know the degree of precision that can be achieved with modern tracking equipment.

Visually speaking, I would say most people can not accurately judge distance. I know when I first started out, I would call the tower and say I was 6 miles south of the field and they would correct me saying something like: "Radar contact 5.8 miles south of the field." As you gain experience, it becomes easier to judge those distances.

On the other hand, I once saw a UFO at long range apparently hovering near the interstate, as I was driving to Montgomery, Alabama. It was a clear day, and it was roughly the size of an eraser on a pencil held at arms length, when I initially spotted it. How far away was I when I initially saw it? Hard to say but I would guess 15-20 miles.

Was it Venus? Note: I have not specified that I saw Venus, so that must be it, right?


Perhaps people will tend to interpret unknown (or misperceeived) sightings in terms they are familiar with: a pilot is likely to think "craft"; an astronomer is likely to think "meteor"; a religious person might think "angel"; etc.You are getting out of my expertise. A psychologist would probably have some ideas on this topic. I am not going to be of much help on this as I tend to believe the professionals. For example, when my doctor says I need to lower my cholesterol, I tend to believe him.



The trouble is, pilots are often cited as "expert" witness - after all they spend a lot of time up in the air, they are highly trained, etc. But that just means their perceptions may be distorted in a particular direction.So, if an astronomer reports some new find, I should discount his statement because his perception is probably just distorted in a particular direction. That doesn't ring true to me.

Here is a question. What do you do if an astronomer claims he saw a UFO? Do you claim he saw an airplane?


The Tornado pilot's account did not come from the National Enquirer, but from Tim Good's book, quoted by Jim Oberg (one-time member of this forum, as it happens)

Here's quite a detailed report on it
http://www.ufonet.nl/nieuws/tornado/index2.html
From the transcription
Oh, ok. The link you gave in post #26 took me to a site referencing the National Enquirer.

I'll check out the new link ASAP.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-12, 04:50 PM
Yes; and that problem is you taking my statement out of context.
I said 2 problems. I didn't feel the need to address the 2nd problem as I happen to agree with you, but to be clear, in the absence of information a sighting is gone, we can't go back and verify what was seen.

We can speculate, but we can not be absolutely certain.



Your example has a picture that can be analyzed.


Bingo! That is why I used that example.



Besides that; your example was about someone publishing a picture. I see no evidence that those pictures lead to any kind of investigation or insights based on the picture.

Correct, it did not lead to an investigation. The photographer was not familiar enough with the topic to recognize he was looking at something unusual.

The insights, at least the ones I listed, are not based on the picture. They are based on the case taken as a whole and compared to aspects of various cases as published in the Condon Report.

Which insights did you not understand?



It was after the fact that the two were linked.

It had to be that way or I would have chosen another case.

If he didn't have the pictures, people would have said he saw Venus, or swamp gas or some other such nonsense.

The fact that he had the pictures along with government corroboration prevented him from becoming the object of scorn and ridicule.

It is a fact that the U.S. military has used various explanations (also known as lies) to hide the operations of secret aircraft.

If he had come forward with nothing but a story...well you know how that works.



Besides, there were many people outside the "cloak of government" that were already speculating on advances like that. In other words, working with known information.

What people were speculating on is irrelevant. In point of fact, one company came out with a plastic model kit based on the speculation.

They got the color right, but that is all.

http://www.fantastic-plastic.com/TESTORS%20F-19%20STEALTH%20PAGE.htm



Fun? You're putting amusement over security?

Not at all.

The fun is in the speculation, not in the actual revealing of secrets that put lives in danger.

On the other hand, look at the Mantell UFO encounter to see an example of how secrets get people killed.

I will leave it to the readers to decide whether preserving that secret was worth it.



Yes; assumptions are necessary for collision avoidence, and trying to identify what it is during that avoidence is an advantage. But; once you're safe, the identification has nothing to do with piloting.
I think we are in agreement here and we have come full circle.

Once the piloting is done, let the speculation begin.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-12, 11:51 PM
Do you claim that they were sufficiently familiar with all types of meteor that they could not have made that mistake?
What you are suggesting sounds nonsensical to me. How could anyone be familiar with all types of meteors. With respect, this is your suggestion, not mine. I am very well aware that they cannot have seen all types of meteors. Therefore your claim 'This was no meteor' cannot logically follow from your observation that they had seen meteors many times during their careers. As this is the 'Proving Grounds' section of the forum, are you prepared to accept that it may have been a meteor, or back up that claim?

Incidentally, note that I am not claiming that it definitely was a meteor, although that looks increasingly likely.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-13, 12:00 AM
I am not prepared to accuse them of lying, incompetence, or anything else at this time.Failing to correctly identify a relatively rare kind of fireball is not lying, nor is it incompetence. Like the Tornado pilot, Chiles and Whitted took avoiding action to avoid an apparently possible collision. They did their job correctly.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-13, 12:09 AM
From reading threads on this forum, I see a lot of people advocating the simplest answer. The simplest answer, is an intelligent object.

No you misunderstand. What is considered is what could be the MOST LIKELY source and not "the simplest". There is evidence in the case of Chiles-Whitted that it could have been a bright fireball. We have case studies showing pilots seeing fireballs and re-entering space debris as craft of some kind and attempting to avoid it. The duration is not too long and the pilots description (as well as the one passenger who claims to have seen it) seem to be consistent with a bright fireball. There really is nothing that positively rules out the fireball explanation. Since there is no evidence that such a craft they described existed it is most likely that the source of the report was a bright fireball. The least likely explanation is they did see a "rocket ship" from another world (since none existed here on earth in 1948). Until better evidence is presented (and I doubt there will be any forthcoming for this case), then one can say it was probably a meteor.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-13, 06:47 AM
Do you claim that they were sufficiently familiar with all types of meteor that they could not have made that mistake?



What you are suggesting sounds nonsensical to me. How could anyone be familiar with all types of meteors.


With respect, this is your suggestion, not mine.

No sir. You are now doing what you accused me of doing in Post# 41

Let's review the context. In Post # 24



Chiles sees an object to the right front of the plane. So far so good. He points it out to Whitted and speculates it is some new army jet. They continue to watch, but in just a few seconds the object now appears to be on a collison course with the DC-3. They bank hard to the left and the object goes by them at an apparent distance of 700 feet. They are buffeted by turbulence. Whitted looks back and observes the UFO as it goes up in a steep climb.

These guys had seen meteors many times during their careers. This was no meteor.

This description of the event, correct or not, does not lend itself to a meteor explanation, unless of course someone asserts that a meteor some 50-100 miles away can cause turbulence that would buffet an airliner.

Regardless, in Post #25 you said:


Chiles and Whitted could not claim to have seen every possible combination of size, velocity and entry angle, and every possible way in which a meteor could disintegrate. In order to claim that they would probably need thousands of years of flying experience, not decades.


I now see that your focus was on the last two sentences of my post and did not include the paragraph that came before it.

At that point, you have my statement out of the proper context.

When I initially read Post #25, it seemed to me that YOU were asserting that I had claimed that Chiles and Whitted had claimed...(I'm truncating here)

I did not challenge the logic of your statement, but I did respond to it in Post #30, wherein you can see evidence that I agree with you.

To your statement (partially truncated):



Chiles and Whitted could not claim to have seen every possible...


I responded.



I see no evidence where they claim to have seen every possible...

If Chiles and Whitted did not claim it, then I can't either.

One other thing, before I deal with Post #45.

In Post #27, astrophotographer informs us that the "turbulence" entered the story some time later.

After several paragraphs, I replied: "As a pilot I place a lot of weight on the turbulence detail, if that detail is fabricated, I am deeply concerned."

Translation: Meteor explanations are back on the table.

Now to Post #45



I am very well aware that they cannot have seen all types of meteors.


As I suspected. :)



Therefore your claim 'This was no meteor' cannot logically follow from your observation that they had seen meteors many times during their careers. As this is the 'Proving Grounds' section of the forum, are you prepared to accept that it may have been a meteor, or back up that claim?

Hopefuly the foregoing has cleared this up.




Incidentally, note that I am not claiming that it definitely was a meteor, although that looks increasingly likely.

I don't know about "increasingly likely". I may be onto some testimony (not new) that you may find compelling in the other direction, or maybe not. Stay tuned.


Failing to correctly identify a relatively rare kind of fireball is not lying, nor is it incompetence. Like the Tornado pilot, Chiles and Whitted took avoiding action to avoid an apparently possible collision. They did their job correctly.

We are in agreement here. :)

Regarding the Tornado pilot: In Post #26 you gave us this:



Pilots are trained to take evasive action if they think something might hit them, for obvious reasons. Here's an experienced pilot taking evasive action to avoid a distant fireball.
http://www.zipworld.com.au/~psmith/pilot-ufos.html

"The accompanying Tornado pilot was so convinced that they were on collision course with the lights -- apparently nine were seen -- that he 'broke away' and took 'violent evasive action'. The formation of UFOs continued 'straight on course and shot off ahead at speed -- they were nearly supersonic."


There were a couple airliners whose crew witnessed this fireball. One Captain, who previously experienced a re-entry, stated that this one looked different.

Regardless of how it looked, neither airliner took evasive action as far as we can tell.

Yet, the Tornado pilot took "violent evasive action"'.

I think there are several possible answers here.

1. The Tornado pilot(s) in all likelihood did not have the flight experience of the airline pilots.
2. The Tornado is a Mach 2+ interceptor. Even at cruise speed, he is faster than the airliners, and at least 4x faster than Chiles and Whitted. My point is if the Tornado is going to take evasive action, he must react much quicker than Chiles-Whitted.
3. As an interceptor, the Tornado is not nearly as nimble as you might imagine. Again, more time
pressure to react.

I keep pointing to experience because I still feel like Chiles and Whitted are getting the short end of the stick here.
Chuck Yeager said experience was the thing that kept him alive when so many of his test pilot buddies were killed.
We should not be discounting it.

Earlier I teased some new information.
I'm still checking on it, but it appears there were several military personnel that witnessed what Chiles-Whitted reported.
The problem is they saw the object 30 minutes to 1 hour before Chiles-Whitted.

My question is this. What would be the max flight time for a fireball type phenomenon?

Is 30 minutes to an hour out of the question? I'm thinking it is, but correct me if I am wrong.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-13, 08:33 AM
No you misunderstand. What is considered is what could be the MOST LIKELY source and not "the simplest". Understood.



There is evidence in the case of Chiles-Whitted that it could have been a bright fireball.
Agreed. 3 reports out of 78. In my estimation barely significant, but present nonetheless.



We have case studies showing pilots seeing fireballs and re-entering space debris as craft of some kind and attempting to avoid it.


But at the same time, we have pilots observing that same phenomenon and not attempting to avoid it.



The duration is not too long and the pilots description (as well as the one passenger who claims to have seen it) seem to be consistent with a bright fireball.

By carefully emphasizing certain data points, I see how you can draw this conclusion.
I'm forced to look at the totality of the data.
The passenger really didn't see much from what I have read as the duration of his observation was much shorter than the pilots. I can agree his account seems like a fireball. The pilots on the other hand described a craft. I have already addressed the Condon Report information. Turning back to the Gorizont/Proton UFO case. While there are some similarities, there are differences as well. For example, where are the windows? Where is the canopy/cockpit area Chiles described? Where is the probe like feature sticking out the front? I will agree it seems to be consistent with a fireball with the proviso that it is consistent provided we ignore certain data.



There really is nothing that positively rules out the fireball explanation.
That is what I am now trying to figure out. I'm looking for documents that predate the ones you linked to earlier.
I think we all know that memories become selective as we move forward from the actual time of the event. The interview you referenced was a week or so after the fact. I'll keep digging.



Since there is no evidence that such a craft they described existed it is most likely that the source of the report was a bright fireball.
I disagree. The Project Sign investigators did not believe it was a meteor. They had reasons for believing what they believed, regardless of what you or I think of their explanation. Eventually they were forced to change their report and call it a fireball. It is said, this incident was so contentious that it led to the closure of Project Sign.



The least likely explanation is they did see a "rocket ship" from another world (since none existed here on earth in 1948).
Why does it always have to be from another world? How about a V-2?



Until better evidence is presented (and I doubt there will be any forthcoming for this case), then one can say it was probably a meteor.
Looking at the record, one can say quite a few things.

A lot of information was classified coming out of WW2. I do know, the U.S. was very much interested in space. I'm wondering if a V-2 rocket launch could have been observed by ground personnel and later by Chiles-Whitted.

How about some other aircraft, possibly in distress, or using an afterburner.

By employing science by proclamation as was done in this case, the powers that be, effectively short circuited the whole investigative process. In fact, I am surprised that the original weather balloon explanation failed to gain traction. It seems like the government was either indifferent or maybe it was a cover-up. Given that the Cold War was under way one could argue the Most Likely reason for the changing explanations is a cover-up.

captain swoop
2010-Aug-13, 11:44 AM
At the end of the day there is no evidence that we are being visited by Spaceships from a different planet.
Call me when someone has some.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-13, 01:55 PM
That is what I am now trying to figure out. I'm looking for documents that predate the ones you linked to earlier.
I think we all know that memories become selective as we move forward from the actual time of the event. The interview you referenced was a week or so after the fact. I'll keep digging.

I am already ahead of you on this. The original news reports mentioned the turbulence. This is something Chiles and Whitted would later deny mentioning. The reports I cited came from their personal reports where they could not be misquoted (this does happen in the press). When Dr. MacDonald interviewed them, he asked about the turbulence question and they again stated there was no turbulence.


I disagree. The Project Sign investigators did not believe it was a meteor. They had reasons for believing what they believed, regardless of what you or I think of their explanation. Eventually they were forced to change their report and call it a fireball. It is said, this incident was so contentious that it led to the closure of Project Sign.

None of the original sign investigators was an astronomer and there was nothing to draw upon. When Hynek looked at it, he suspected it was a possible fireball. The incident DID NOT close down Sign.


Why does it always have to be from another world? How about a V-2?.

No V-2s being launched at night in the area. V-2s were only being operated out of New Mexico. One might suggest it was a soviet rocket but that is something of a stretch from what we know now.



Looking at the record, one can say quite a few things.

A lot of information was classified coming out of WW2. I do know, the U.S. was very much interested in space. I'm wondering if a V-2 rocket launch could have been observed by ground personnel and later by Chiles-Whitted.

How about some other aircraft, possibly in distress, or using an afterburner..


However, there were no jets using "afterburners" in 1948 that I am aware of and certainly not airborne in the vicinity (as Sign probably would track them down).



By employing science by proclamation as was done in this case, the powers that be, effectively short circuited the whole investigative process. In fact, I am surprised that the original weather balloon explanation failed to gain traction. It seems like the government was either indifferent or maybe it was a cover-up. Given that the Cold War was under way one could argue the Most Likely reason for the changing explanations is a cover-up.

I am not sure where the weather balloon line came from. Are you now discussing Roswell?

eburacum45
2010-Aug-13, 06:04 PM
I keep pointing to experience because I still feel like Chiles and Whitted are getting the short end of the stick here.
Chuck Yeager said experience was the thing that kept him alive when so many of his test pilot buddies were killed.
We should not be discounting it. Absolutely not. A key feature of experience must be the ability to respond to entirely new situations; if this was a rare type of linear, disintegrating fireball they had not seen before, then taking avoiding action was an entirely appropriate response; so was reporting it. If there were objects in the sky that might pose a collision risk, not reporting them would be negligent.

The feature that screams 'meteor' to me is the strange ' burning magnesium' colour of the lights seen 'inside' the 'craft'. Burning magnesium flares inside the ship? That certainly isn't any Earthly ship, and it seems doubtful that extraterrestrials would be burning magnesium on board. What were they doing in there- welding?



I'm still checking on it, but it appears there were several military personnel that witnessed what Chiles-Whitted reported.
The problem is they saw the object 30 minutes to 1 hour before Chiles-Whitted.

Walter Massey, a ground crew member at Robins AFB saw something similar on that day; he gave the time as an hour earlier. Another aircraft crew, Perry Mansfield and C Kingsley, saw 'an unusual meteor' at an approximate time of 0230, maybe 15 minutes before Chiles-Whitted (but that depends on how accurately they remembered the incident, or alternately how approximate 'approximate' was in this context).

Massey may have misremembered the time by an hour for some reason, if he really did see anything and wasn't just 'jumping on the bandwagon'. But a bright fireball of this kind should have been seen by a number of people, if it was a fireball, so I tend to think he did see something, if not necessarily at the time he remembers.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-13, 10:24 PM
wasn't the same object (or at least a very similar object) reported a week or month before? So either it's a UFO flying about the place checking out on the planet or a meteor shower with many meteors which look similar (being made from the same celestial body) coming down to Earth or it's some kind of weird test craft. Ho hum. Glad the OP has generated a good bit of debate, been a great read.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-14, 12:55 AM
wasn't the same object (or at least a very similar object) reported a week or month before? So either it's a UFO flying about the place checking out on the planet or a meteor shower with many meteors which look similar (being made from the same celestial body) coming down to Earth or it's some kind of weird test craft. Ho hum. Glad the OP has generated a good bit of debate, been a great read.

I am unaware of a similar report of this kind. Perhaps you can present more information.
BTW, July and August are usually full of many meteor showers. Starting in late June (Ophiuchid/sagittarid radiants) and ending around mid-August (Kappa Cygnids), there are quite a few meteor showers (In addition to those mentioned there are the multiple Aquarid radiants, the Alpha Capricornids, and Perseids) that have been known to produce fireballs. Of course, it could just as easily have been a sporadic meteor (no meteor shower) like the November 1999 fireball apparently was. Two fireballs over a week is not unusual.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-14, 08:28 PM
I am unaware of a similar report of this kind. Perhaps you can present more information.

It's on the cracked.com report. Quoting the end of the report "Then, strangest of all, they found out that the same object (right down to the two rows of windows) was spotted in the Netherlands. Well, they probably just heard about the Chiles-Whitted sighting and wanted to jump on the bandwagon, right? Only if they had a time machine: it was reported a month earlier. What the hell?"

eburacum45
2010-Aug-15, 09:12 AM
I would only recognise this earlier sighting as being the same object if it included the bizarre magnesium lighting, so without full details I would have to reserve judgement.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-15, 09:18 AM
Well it was similar (according to the report), but yes without a photograph to verify if they were similar or indeed the same we cannot be sure. It is a strange coincidence that about three meteors all with the same window effect on them were spotted in a short period of time.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-15, 02:11 PM
Well it was similar (according to the report), but yes without a photograph to verify if they were similar or indeed the same we cannot be sure. It is a strange coincidence that about three meteors all with the same window effect on them were spotted in a short period of time.

The source of this information was from the Ruppelt's book. The Hague reported does mention windows but none of the other reports from that time did. The possibility that two bright fireballs could produce this effect in two diferent places around the world is not unlikely. I suggest you go through the NUFORC database and wade through that quagmire. I have and a lot of reports made of meteors, stars, and satellites tend to repeat themselves with the same descriptions by very excited people who think they saw a genuine UFO.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-15, 11:53 PM
The source of this information was from the Ruppelt's book. The Hague reported does mention windows but none of the other reports from that time did. The possibility that two bright fireballs could produce this effect in two diferent places around the world is not unlikely. I suggest you go through the NUFORC database and wade through that quagmire. I have and a lot of reports made of meteors, stars, and satellites tend to repeat themselves with the same descriptions by very excited people who think they saw a genuine UFO.

Was not saying that it is not possible to happen but seems strange to me, but I see your point. I've seen fireballs before (not many mind you). My main question here is this..... People have reported these objects in detail enough to presume they were close enough to see actual detail on them. You guys say, in laymans terms, "It's not uncommon for meteors to look like this". Fine not a problem. I therefore come back again to the point then that they must of been pretty close in order to see these things in a detail, as they can see individual patterns (the appearance of windows) on the meteor. So if it was that close and a meteor surely it would be falling downwards and not seem to be travelling more or less in a straight line horizontally. If they saw such detail on a meteor that was about 30 -100 miles plus away I would of thought its a pretty big if not utterly huge meteor (one big enough in fact to cause local if not global destruction). So therefore by my admittedly simple deduction it was not far away as they saw such detail on it. So why at a close range was it not in a falling motion if it was a meteor. On videos of metoers on youtube (and there are plenty) they always fall to earth when they get close, they don't travel in a straight line and then shoot off elsewhere out of sight.

pepiboy32
2010-Aug-16, 07:40 AM
Venus is one of the biggest IFOs on the list and is continuously misidentified by various people including so-called "trained observers". Carter's sighting is a good one. I list several others here (http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/Venusufo.htm).

regarding the carter incident, why do you assume that his recollection of,`location in the sky´, `approximate time of observation´ and´`apparent angular size´ is reliable when (as it says in the article) he got the date so badly wrong?

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-16, 01:34 PM
regarding the carter incident, why do you assume that his recollection of,`location in the sky´, `approximate time of observation´ and´`apparent angular size´ is reliable when (as it says in the article) he got the date so badly wrong?

Well, Sheaffer's work verified that people saw the object in the west and the meeting set the time of the observation. Any other values of apparent angular size, angles of elevation, etc. can not be considered that reliable. I only mention them because UFOlogists tend to be sticklers for details such as this and use them to say "it could not be Venus because of too large an angular size or that Carter placed it in a position of the sky that disproves Venus.". Basicially, we can state that Carter and the crowd saw a light in the western sky on the given date and time (as determined by Sheaffer's investigation). Beyond this, it is difficult to accept much of anything else being that reliable.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-16, 01:41 PM
Was not saying that it is not possible to happen but seems strange to me, but I see your point. I've seen fireballs before (not many mind you). My main question here is this..... People have reported these objects in detail enough to presume they were close enough to see actual detail on them. You guys say, in laymans terms, "It's not uncommon for meteors to look like this". Fine not a problem. I therefore come back again to the point then that they must of been pretty close in order to see these things in a detail, as they can see individual patterns (the appearance of windows) on the meteor. So if it was that close and a meteor surely it would be falling downwards and not seem to be travelling more or less in a straight line horizontally. If they saw such detail on a meteor that was about 30 -100 miles plus away I would of thought its a pretty big if not utterly huge meteor (one big enough in fact to cause local if not global destruction). So therefore by my admittedly simple deduction it was not far away as they saw such detail on it. So why at a close range was it not in a falling motion if it was a meteor. On videos of metoers on youtube (and there are plenty) they always fall to earth when they get close, they don't travel in a straight line and then shoot off elsewhere out of sight.

A meteor does not "fall downward". They go in every direction (even up). A "horizontal traveling" fireball is not unusual. I have seen many (including the first fireball I ever observed, which casted shadows on the ground).
As for proximity, the witnesses of Zond IV and the November 1999 fireball were not that close yet they saw windows and details that did not exist. You can not use proximity based on details that were perceived. In the Zond IV case, one witness swore they saw the hull of the craft and it appeared riveted together. The debris was not that close, so she misperceived this detail.

JayUtah
2010-Aug-16, 02:35 PM
...yet they saw windows and details that did not exist.

This is a very common perceptual phenomenon. People unconsciously manufacture details that are consistent with the initial interpretation of what they're seeing. The mind tries to build a coherent picture of the observations.

Peter B
2010-Aug-16, 03:35 PM
#1 Valentich disappearance - The sole testimony this was a UFO event are the transmissions by the pilot, who died during the incident and disappeared without a trace. One can draw all sorts of conclusions about this but one can not use it as evidence of alien spaceships.

I note the article linked in the OP mentions the theory that Valentich got disoriented and flew the plane upside down, and the lights he saw were the planes own lights reflected off the water. The article then goes on to dismiss this without explanation, even though pilot disorientation at night does occur.

The Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentich_disappearance suggests that prolonged inverted flight in Valentich's aircraft is impossible as it's a high wing plane with gravity feed for the fuel.

At first reading this seems to rule out the upside down flight theory. But read the transcript, and you find that the lights appear and disappear several times, and at one point Valentich says he's "orbiting" the lights, suggesting the plane never spends a long time inverted. Also, one of the last things he says is that the engine is "rough-idling". If this means what I think it does, that suggests the plane has finally spent long enough inverted for it to affect the fuel flow.

So I still see no problem with the idea that Valentich got disoriented that he rolled the plane upside down several times, and finally crashed.

Incidentally, the article says "...he was close enough to the ocean that he could have wound up crashing there..." Talk about trying to hide the obvious - Valentich was flying from Melbourne to King Island in the Bass Strait (the waterway which separates Tasmania from mainland Australia). Does flying over the ocean only count as being "close" to the ocean?

pepiboy32
2010-Aug-17, 02:32 PM
Well, Sheaffer's work verified that people saw the object in the west and the meeting set the time of the observation. Any other values of apparent angular size, angles of elevation, etc. can not be considered that reliable. I only mention them because UFOlogists tend to be sticklers for details such as this and use them to say "it could not be Venus because of too large an angular size or that Carter placed it in a position of the sky that disproves Venus.". Basicially, we can state that Carter and the crowd saw a light in the western sky on the given date and time (as determined by Sheaffer's investigation). Beyond this, it is difficult to accept much of anything else being that reliable.

the NICAP form from sept 18th 1973 mentions all of these things, but also mentions other points that sheaffer seems to have conveniently overlooked.

carter mentions that the object came close then moved away again twice.

he estimated the distance of the object to be 300-1000 yards.

he has also mentioned that the object changed colour (white to blue to green and back to white again)


whtever carter saw that night, it certainly was not venus - that is OBVIOUS to anyone who does any SERIOUS research.
maybe sheaffer should try the swamp gas explanation... its just as plausible.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-17, 04:02 PM
And none of that can be based on misremembering?

Garrison
2010-Aug-17, 04:12 PM
the NICAP form from sept 18th 1973 mentions all of these things, but also mentions other points that sheaffer seems to have conveniently overlooked.

carter mentions that the object came close then moved away again twice.

he estimated the distance of the object to be 300-1000 yards.

he has also mentioned that the object changed colour (white to blue to green and back to white again)


whtever carter saw that night, it certainly was not venus - that is OBVIOUS to anyone who does any SERIOUS research.
maybe sheaffer should try the swamp gas explanation... its just as plausible.

Well since you haven't provided any outside link for the NICAP report I'll just have to ask you on what basis did Carter estimate the distance? Indeed how did he judge it was coming closer or moving farther away?
And in my personal opinion an underlying problem is that it all comes back to eyewitness testimony once more, and even when they are trying their best to be honest and accurate people's recollections just aren't very reliable.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-17, 04:54 PM
the NICAP form from sept 18th 1973 mentions all of these things, but also mentions other points that sheaffer seems to have conveniently overlooked.

carter mentions that the object came close then moved away again twice.

he estimated the distance of the object to be 300-1000 yards.

he has also mentioned that the object changed colour (white to blue to green and back to white again)


whtever carter saw that night, it certainly was not venus - that is OBVIOUS to anyone who does any SERIOUS research.
maybe sheaffer should try the swamp gas explanation... its just as plausible.

I dislike your tone and I think your accusation that Sheaffer overlooked these items is without merit. Considering the length of time between the report and the event (where Carter could not even get the date or time of year correct), I really have to question the estimates given. However, if you read Allan Hendry's handbook, you will discover that people underestimate the distance to stars and meteors all of the time. Atmospheric effects can make a planetary/stellar object appear to come close and receed and scintillation effects (even on planets) can make a planet change colors. It is OBVIOUS you have not done any SERIOUS research on the subject if this is your argument. All one has to do is look at the case histories of Venus and you will see the same mistakes made over and over. I suggest you start with case #37 in the Condon report, which you can read here http://files.ncas.org/condon/text/case37.htm

They report the same types of effects that Carter did. The object appeared to move away and follow these police officers as well as change in apparent size.

captain swoop
2010-Aug-17, 09:15 PM
As for estimating distance, how did he do it? If you don't know what an object is you don't know how big it is.

pepiboy32
2010-Aug-18, 12:01 PM
I dislike your tone and I think your accusation that Sheaffer overlooked these items is without merit. Considering the length of time between the report and the event (where Carter could not even get the date or time of year correct), I really have to question the estimates given. However, if you read Allan Hendry's handbook, you will discover that people underestimate the distance to stars and meteors all of the time. Atmospheric effects can make a planetary/stellar object appear to come close and receed and scintillation effects (even on planets) can make a planet change colors. It is OBVIOUS you have not done any SERIOUS research on the subject if this is your argument. All one has to do is look at the case histories of Venus and you will see the same mistakes made over and over. I suggest you start with case #37 in the Condon report, which you can read here http://files.ncas.org/condon/text/case37.htm

They report the same types of effects that Carter did. The object appeared to move away and follow these police officers as well as change in apparent size.

he cherry-picks the points that support his theory... and ignores the points that dont. when ufologists employ this tactic, the skeptic/debunker community slate them for it. in this instance, the boot is on the other foot so to speak so, why is my accusation without merit?

Garrison
2010-Aug-18, 01:27 PM
he cherry-picks the points that support his theory... and ignores the points that dont. when ufologists employ this tactic, the skeptic/debunker community slate them for it. in this instance, the boot is on the other foot so to speak so, why is my accusation without merit?

I think some of the above posts have explained that. Without some frame of reference estimating size and distance of an object in the sky is impossible. The optical illusion of Venus or other lights in the sky moving closer and further away has been documented in other cases, and the changing colours might be either poor recollection or some sort of atmospheric effect. Purely as a layman I think it would be quite reasonable to put those claims aside without some corroborating evidence.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-18, 01:36 PM
he cherry-picks the points that support his theory... and ignores the points that dont. when ufologists employ this tactic, the skeptic/debunker community slate them for it. in this instance, the boot is on the other foot so to speak so, why is my accusation without merit?

Because of what I stated. You stated that Sheaffer ignored these attributes that Carter described that supposedly made it impossible for his UFO to be Venus. I pointed out you were wrong because case histories (that Sheaffer documents in his book) have shown that people have made these kinds of descriptions before when filing UFO reports that turn out to be Venus. Why is Carter's report any better than the multiple police officer case I pointed you towards and why are you apparently ignoring it? You proclaimed that debunkers/skeptics don't do any serious research but it seems you have yet to do so.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-18, 02:43 PM
I think some of the above posts have explained that. Without some frame of reference estimating size and distance of an object in the sky is impossible. The optical illusion of Venus or other lights in the sky moving closer and further away has been documented in other cases, and the changing colours might be either poor recollection or some sort of atmospheric effect. Purely as a layman I think it would be quite reasonable to put those claims aside without some corroborating evidence.

Shoot, it happened to me the other night while stargazing. I just knew what it was.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-18, 03:14 PM
I am already ahead of you on this. The original news reports mentioned the turbulence. This is something Chiles and Whitted would later deny mentioning. The reports I cited came from their personal reports where they could not be misquoted (this does happen in the press). When Dr. MacDonald interviewed them, he asked about the turbulence question and they again stated there was no turbulence.

I read the reports you cited. I found the earlier news report. The one I have is very difficult to read. Yes papers often misquote. I have not read the MacDonald report yet, but since you have, ok. Do you know whether the newspaper(s) interviewed the passenger? I read he reported high vibration. Perhaps that is where turbulence entered the narrative.



None of the original sign investigators was an astronomer and there was nothing to draw upon. When Hynek looked at it, he suspected it was a possible fireball. The incident DID NOT close down Sign. The Estimate of the Situation was not warmly received by the higher ups. While investigations continued at AITC, the lack of support from General Vandenberg and others certainly seems to have taken a toll on the staff's enthusiasm for their jobs. Thus Chiles-Whitted could be said to have "led" to the closure of Project Sign, which is all I said.

Dr Hynek was the consultant astronomer of Project Sign.




No V-2s being launched at night in the area. V-2s were only being operated out of New Mexico.
None that we know of were launched. On the other hand, if one had been launched and nearly brought down a passenger airliner, I suspect the powers that be would not be keen on letting the public know. Regardless, the V-2 was not the only rocket we had at that time.




One might suggest it was a soviet rocket but that is something of a stretch from what we know now.
If you mean launched from the Soviet Union, I would say no. The V-2 type had a range of only 200ish miles. These were the early days of rockets.




However, there were no jets using "afterburners" in 1948 that I am aware of and certainly not airborne in the vicinity (as Sign probably would track them down).
I am not sure who was first with what, I do know the British had been interested in this technology for years and the Germans had considered afterburners for the ME-262, although it never came to fruition.

What we do know is that the third prototype of what would later be designated the Vought F6U Pirate, was powered by a Westinghouse J34-WE-30 afterburning engine. The first flight occurred on 10 November 1947!

I am not sure why you are so certain there was nothing “airborne in the vicinity”. Please explain.




I am not sure where the weather balloon line came from. Are you now discussing Roswell?The OP’s cited article states the military dismissed the report as a weather balloon. I read that explanation came from the Pentagon and was quickly withdrawn.

I am not talking about Roswell. If we discuss Roswell, we should start a new thread.








The feature that screams 'meteor' to me is the strange ' burning magnesium' colour of the lights seen 'inside' the 'craft'. Burning magnesium flares inside the ship? That certainly isn't any Earthly ship, and it seems doubtful that extraterrestrials would be burning magnesium on board. What were they doing in there- welding? The light was described as having the brilliance of a magnesium flare, not the color of one. Chiles and Whitted described three kinds of light. Bright white in the windows, blue glow running the length of the fuse, and red/orange flame exhaust. I have seen various footage of meteors, both day and night, I have never seen this effect with a meteor. Are you aware of any footage illustrating this 3-color type of effect?

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-18, 04:55 PM
I am not sure why you are so certain there was nothing “airborne in the vicinity”. Please explain.

I am assuming (maybe wrongfully) that the USAF would have looked into the matter of any advanced aircraft in the area. Certainly, it would be of interest to check these items.


What we do know is that the third prototype of what would later be designated the Vought F6U Pirate, was powered by a Westinghouse J34-WE-30 afterburning engine. The first flight occurred on 10 November 1947!

First flights by prototypes are done at a test area and not flown on joy rides at night. The first flight as an operational jet did not occur until 1949.


The light was described as having the brilliance of a magnesium flare, not the color of one. Chiles and Whitted described three kinds of light. Bright white in the windows, blue glow running the length of the fuse, and red/orange flame exhaust. I have seen various footage of meteors, both day and night, I have never seen this effect with a meteor. Are you aware of any footage illustrating this 3-color type of effect?

You can go through the Perseid photo gallery at Spaceweather.com. In the meteor photographs such as this one:

http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/perseids/images2010/13aug10/Marco-Verstraaten1.jpg

You will see the meteor's path exhibit different colors (red green and white) on many of them. It depends on the meteor. The Peekskill was blue and then green as it made its passage. Look at the AMS fireball tables at: http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireball/fireball_log2010.htm

An example is fireball 479 on August 15th. There are seven reports (one is suspect based on the time being off from the others) and all describe the colors slightly differently. "Yellow/Orange to white", "Green with orange fringe", "blue-white hot green", "white center with orange tail", "red and yellow", "white", "red flames with yellow trail". There is good evidence they were all observing the same fireball but all gave different descriptions of the color. Additionally, they all described multiple colors. Trying to make sense of colors in a bright meteor is difficult at best and each observer is going to see it a certain way.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-18, 07:03 PM
I am assuming (maybe wrongfully) that the USAF would have looked into the matter of any advanced aircraft in the area. Certainly, it would be of interest to check these items.
Project Sign looked at 225 flight schedules, both commercial and military.
They concluded that one flight was in the vicinity of Chilles-Whitted.

Perhaps USAF did look into the situation and was less than forthcoming.



First flights by prototypes are done at a test area and not flown on joy rides at night. The first flight as an operational jet did not occur until 1949.
The first flight most certainly occurred in a test area, however, Chilles-Whitted happened 8.5 months later! There certainly could have been a military ferry flight at night 8.5 months after the first flight. What better way to hide an aircraft, than to operate at night!

First you told me we didn't have this type of aircraft. Now that I have shown you we did, you change tactics and try to ridicule the USAF by characterizing the proposed activity as "joy rides at night".

Your characterization is puzzling. It reminds me of debunkers like Klass, who frequently ignored the data and instead attacked anyone and everyone in an attempt to obfuscate. This has and continues to have the effect of stymieing scientific inquiry. Why make that characterization now?



You can go through the Perseid photo gallery at Spaceweather.com. In the meteor photographs such as this one:

http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/perseids/images2010/13aug10/Marco-Verstraaten1.jpg

You will see the meteor's path exhibit different colors (red green and white) on many of them. It depends on the meteor. The Peekskill was blue and then green as it made its passage. Look at the AMS fireball tables at: http://www.amsmeteors.org/fireball/fireball_log2010.htm

An example is fireball 479 on August 15th. There are seven reports (one is suspect based on the time being off from the others) and all describe the colors slightly differently. "Yellow/Orange to white", "Green with orange fringe", "blue-white hot green", "white center with orange tail", "red and yellow", "white", "red flames with yellow trail". There is good evidence they were all observing the same fireball but all gave different descriptions of the color. Additionally, they all described multiple colors. Trying to make sense of colors in a bright meteor is difficult at best and each observer is going to see it a certain way.

Ok, great. We have the color thing. Although I should note that where you say:

"...each observer is going to see it a certain way.", is one of the things that made Chilles-Whitted stand out to investigators, ie: The fact that the case had two pilots with nearly identical descriptions. :)

Anyway, I guess what I need to see now, is a video with the elements described by Chilles-Whitted.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-18, 11:33 PM
First you told me we didn't have this type of aircraft. Now that I have shown you we did, you change tactics and try to ridicule the USAF by characterizing the proposed activity as "joy rides at night".

Reread what I wrote. I stated "that I am aware of". From what I could discover there were no jets with afterburners flying around in 1948. So far, you have managed to produce one that was in the test prototype stage that would not be flying around at night outside the test areas. This is why I mentioned the word "joyride" because that was what it would have to be (a rogue pilot taking it out for a spin) unless somebody authorized they fly a prototype outside of test area. Demonstrate that anything outside the prototype stage was flying about at night in the US that did use afterburners and I will consider it a possibility. Additionally, if you want to quote me or suggest I have motives by my comments, I suggest you get it right.


Your characterization is puzzling. It reminds me of debunkers like Klass, who frequently ignored the data and instead attacked anyone and everyone in an attempt to obfuscate. This has and continues to have the effect of stymieing scientific inquiry. Why make that characterization now?".

You have ignored what I have presented simply because you are more willing to look at the case as if the recollections of CW were 100% accurate. I recalll another name in JREF taking the same approach. As I pointed out to him, the instant you use the word "debunker" in this manner, you demonstrate you are something of a UFO proponent with a strong believe they represent somethng exotic. The word debunker is for a person who exposes false claims. If you want to demonize my opinions, you are free to do so. However, do not misquote me or suggest motives for what I write. It does not help your argument one bit.


Ok, great. We have the color thing. Although I should note that where you say:

"...each observer is going to see it a certain way.", is one of the things that made Chilles-Whitted stand out to investigators, ie: The fact that the case had two pilots with nearly identical descriptions. :)

Anyway, I guess what I need to see now, is a video with the elements described by Chilles-Whitted.

Sure, I produce photographs and testimony that mirrors what CW mention and you want to see a video of a fireball that EXACTLY replicates what CW saw. If I did produce a video of fireball breaking up with a three colored effect, would that be enough or would you move the goal posts?

Several of the witnesses in the fireball case I just listed had similar color descriptions but not all. Your contention was that I needed to provide evidence of a three-color effect. I don't have video but I have the exact same kind of testimony you are relying upon and they do show multiple colors being reported in bright fireballs. Additionally, these observers did not have the comfort of talking about the event just after happened and therefore contaminating their observations. If you want to believe they saw an alien spaceship or something else exotic just say so. Meanwhle, I am perfectly satisfied that it was most likely a fireball unless you can present better evidence that it wasn't. There is nothing in their descriptions that has not been used before or since to describe observed fireballs.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-19, 07:19 PM
This is why I mentioned the word "joyride" because that was what it would have to be (a rogue pilot taking it out for a spin) unless somebody authorized they fly a prototype outside of test area.
Demonstrate that anything outside the prototype stage was flying about at night in the US that did use afterburners and I will consider it a possibility.

I have seen nothing to indicate that the terms “"joyride" or “rogue pilot” pilot are appropriate to the discussion at hand. I suspect your unfortunate use of these terms is due to a misunderstanding of what constitutes a flight test area.

Let’s talk about “test areas” for a minute.

A modern day view might include places like the Nellis Air Force Range. This range has a total of 4,687 square miles and is well suited for testing aircraft away from population centers. Modern day movies from The Right Stuff to Independence Day have popularized this conception of test areas. Here’s the reality. Every time a NEW plane goes up, the pilot to one degree or another is participating in a test flight. The “test area” then is wherever the aircraft is operating.

The Vought XF6U-1 (prototypes) was built at Vought’s factory in Stratford, Connecticut. The first prototype was trucked out to Muroc (now Edwards AFB), but the second prototype was flown to Muroc. Thus the “test area” for this aircraft extended across most of the continental United States. I have also seen reports that some flight tests were conducted out of a civilian municipal airport in Bridgeport, Texas!

So far I have no reports that would put a XF6U-1 in the area of CW. However, two aircraft were tested at NAS Patuxent Naval Air Test Center, Maryland, following their stint at Muroc. It is not much of a leap to envision an evaluation flight down to NAS Pensacola and out over the Eglin Gulf Test Range.

You seem to also take issue with the fact that I have produced only one example.
Let me clear that up for you. Vought was not the only company interested in afterburners.
As another example, consider the Allison J33 engine. A variant, known as the J33-A-35 was commonly used in the Lockheed P80 and T-33. A less known variant of this engine is the J33-A-33, which had an afterburner. The P-80 first flew in January 1944. The T-33 first flew in 1948. At this time, I do not know whether the J33-A-33 made it into a P80 or T-33 variant, but it seems likely.



You have ignored what I have presented simply because you are more willing to look at the case as if the recollections of CW were 100% accurate. I have not ignored what you have presented. In point of fact, I have acknowledged that the meteor explanation is a possibility. You on the other hand, seem to have ruled out every other possibility. You were not even aware that aircraft with afterburners operated during the time of CW. You apparently believed that such aircraft operated only in remote test areas, a notion I have no doubt extinguished with this post.





As I pointed out to him, the instant you use the word "debunker" in this manner, you demonstrate you are something of a UFO proponent with a strong believe they represent somethng exotic.
That is your interpretation. Irrelevant in this discussion as I have already stated that I suspect it was a conventional aircraft or rocket.



The word debunker is for a person who exposes false claims.
I have no problem with debunkers provided they are not "debunking" using illegitimate tactics like the ones described by Patrick Cooke in his article “Debunking the UFO Debunkers”.

Unfortunately, the most vocal debunkers seem to have been allergic to actual investigation.



If you want to demonize my opinions, you are free to do so.
Not at all. I merely want to point out other potential explanations.




Sure, I produce photographs and testimony that mirrors what CW mention and you want to see a video of a fireball that EXACTLY replicates what CW saw. If I did produce a video of fireball breaking up with a three colored effect, would that be enough or would you move the goal posts?

Several of the witnesses in the fireball case I just listed had similar color descriptions but not all. Your contention was that I needed to provide evidence of a three-color effect. I don't have video but I have the exact same kind of testimony you are relying upon and they do show multiple colors being reported in bright fireballs. Additionally, these observers did not have the comfort of talking about the event just after happened and therefore contaminating their observations. If you want to believe they saw an alien spaceship or something else exotic just say so. Meanwhle, I am perfectly satisfied that it was most likely a fireball unless you can present better evidence that it wasn't. There is nothing in their descriptions that has not been used before or since to describe observed fireballs. If you want to hang your hat on the fireball explanation you are of course free to do so. I see problems with that explanation. However, if we ignore the other witnesses, explain away inconsistency in the timeline of the various sighting reports, and disregard new information then yes the meteor explanation must be correct.

If you produce a video of a fireball with WINDOWS and a three color effect it would certainly bolster your claims. Would it be enough? Enough for what? To prove the CW case? As a method of inquiry, science is great. In fact, that is what I have argued for in most UFO cases. However, I do not look to science to prove UFOs are real. At one time, science had us believing the Coelacanth was extinct. Some uneducated fishermen dispelled that notion.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-19, 07:28 PM
Almost forgot.

While writing the proceeding post, I wanted to look-up some background info on Muroc AFB.

My Google search term was "muroc afb". The second entry was MUROC AFB INCIDENT, which led me to this:

http://www.nuforc.org/Muroc.html

Enjoy!

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-19, 09:27 PM
I have not ignored what you have presented. In point of fact, I have acknowledged that the meteor explanation is a possibility. You on the other hand, seem to have ruled out every other possibility. You were not even aware that aircraft with afterburners operated during the time of CW. You apparently believed that such aircraft operated only in remote test areas, a notion I have no doubt extinguished with this post. .

Actually, you have not. You have made a lot of claims but no dates have been given and when the actual afterburner was added to the craft. I am not eliminating it, I am listing it as "unlikely" for various reasons. The main one being that Sign probably would have identified it as such (unless their investigations were just worthless) and the other being that there is no record of an aircraft of such type flying in this area at night. For it to move up the ladder to a possibility, you need to present something better than a prototype aircraft that was flying at Muroc.


If you want to hang your hat on the fireball explanation you are of course free to do so. I see problems with that explanation. However, if we ignore the other witnesses, explain away inconsistency in the timeline of the various sighting reports, and disregard new information then yes the meteor explanation must be correct.

If you produce a video of a fireball with WINDOWS and a three color effect it would certainly bolster your claims. Would it be enough? Enough for what? To prove the CW case? As a method of inquiry, science is great. In fact, that is what I have argued for in most UFO cases. However, I do not look to science to prove UFOs are real. At one time, science had us believing the Coelacanth was extinct. Some uneducated fishermen dispelled that notion.

Exactly what do you mean by "windows"? Are you suggesting that I have to a have fireball that looks exactly like what they drew? I don't see that happening since it is a perception issue just like all the other fireball cases I have presented. However, the three color effect can be seen in the Peekskill footage. The head is a bright geen, while the middle and some of the fragments are white and the trailing tails are yellowish-red.

http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/meteoriteguide/images/peekskill_lg.jpg

pepiboy32
2010-Aug-19, 10:07 PM
Because of what I stated. You stated that Sheaffer ignored these attributes that Carter described that supposedly made it impossible for his UFO to be Venus. I pointed out you were wrong because case histories (that Sheaffer documents in his book) have shown that people have made these kinds of descriptions before when filing UFO reports that turn out to be Venus. Why is Carter's report any better than the multiple police officer case I pointed you towards and why are you apparently ignoring it? You proclaimed that debunkers/skeptics don't do any serious research but it seems you have yet to do so.

when have you ever saw venus go-white blue green white? (btw... i´ve seen sirius do it on regular occasions) ?????

my gripe is that, most of these ´mis-sightings´arent venus... but they arent ET either... but as soon as a ´conventional´explanation is ´reached´ the skeptic/community shout ´case closed´ - astrophotographer... you really need to re-open some of the cases that you claim are closed.in other words re-open that mind of yours. (which btw i admire, and is essential in the current climate) dont just accept the first rational explanation (give it the same riggorous examination that you do to the rest) gl.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-19, 11:03 PM
As an additional note on the jet with an afterburner theory on this, have we any evidence that any jet aircraft has ever been misperceived as CW described? Would a small jet fighter be misperceived as a large craft with no wings and double rows of windows? Exactly what part of the craft would create the "window" effect?

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-19, 11:13 PM
when have you ever saw venus go-white blue green white? (btw... i´ve seen sirius do it on regular occasions) ?????

I am not sure of your point. Exactly when did Carter say this? However, I have seen Venus shift colors before and scintillate quite readily (the effect you describe for Sirius). It depends on atmospheric conditions and the observer.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-20, 12:56 AM
As an additional note on the jet with an afterburner theory on this, have we any evidence that any jet aircraft has ever been misperceived as CW described? Would a small jet fighter be misperceived as a large craft with no wings and double rows of windows? Exactly what part of the craft would create the "window" effect?

I really don't mean to sound cheeky here but ummm.... the windows of the craft would look like windows? I get your point though especially the no wings part.

To carry on with this IMO rather good debate we have going here on the possibility of this craft I think we are all agreed that this was on ET having a jolly trip in his spaceship (why would ET have a craft that seems to be burning up in the first place?). For the record I DID see a flying saucer once (at least that is exactly what it looked like to me and my mother) it wasn't that exciting at all to look at. Nothing like a huge burning ball of multi colours. I am leaning towards the fact that it could indeed be a meteor due to the fact that as astrophotographer says, "What kind of small jet fighter could be confused as a large craft with no wings and a double row of windows"? Meteor seems more plausible at this stage.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-20, 02:28 AM
I really don't mean to sound cheeky here but ummm.... the windows of the craft would look like windows?

A double row of them?

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-20, 10:26 AM
Actually, you have not. You have made a lot of claims but no dates have been given and when the actual afterburner was added to the craft.


I thought I gave you the date on the XF-6U.

First flight was 10 November 1947.

Here is the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_F6U_Pirate

I have not saved all the sites I have looked at, but I started with the one above and went from there.



The main one being that Sign probably would have identified it as such (unless their investigations were just worthless)...
Given that the investigators' original conclusion was extraterrestrial spacecraft, then as a non-believer is it not a given that their investigation was worthless or at the very least seriously flawed?



...and the other being that there is no record of an aircraft of such type flying in this area at night. For it to move up the ladder to a possibility, you need to present something better than a prototype aircraft that was flying at Muroc.
That is problematic. Aircraft in the civilian world do not have logbooks the way say ships do. I can't speak for the military on this point. I would think there would be extensive documentation of individual test flights, but there may not be much or anything for a "ferry" flight. Regardless, I know of no source on the internet where we can view and read such records for any military aircraft, much less one that operated some 60 years ago.



Exactly what do you mean by "windows"? Are you suggesting that I have to a have fireball that looks exactly like what they drew? I don't see that happening since it is a perception issue just like all the other fireball cases I have presented. However, the three color effect can be seen in the Peekskill footage. The head is a bright geen, while the middle and some of the fragments are white and the trailing tails are yellowish-red.
The examples you referenced were random people observing from the ground. Three out of 78 say there were windows. One of those that "saw" windows also saw rivet construction. How ridiculous does that sound? If his or her eyes are that good, then he or she should have just given us the N number and then we could positively ID this airplane.

This case really isn't about what CW saw or didn't see. It's about the treatment of the case by officials. Once the ET spacecraft explanation was shot down (no pun intended), the meteor explanation became the official cause. Keep in mind, CW was 20 years before Zond IV. So for 20 years based on apparently nothing, we have the meteor explanation.

Then comes March 3, 1968 and since 3 out of 78 people described windows we can believe in the meteor explanation. It gets worse. The debunker, equipped now with the The Zond IV incident as reference can explain away not only CW but any UFO sighting provided the object is in motion and has a glow or windows or both and he or she can explain it without even conducting any significant investigation (ie: from his or her easy chair at home).

Look, you said you believe it was a meteor. I say fine. I am not trying to change your mind. I am trying to make you aware of other possibilities. You seem to be well read when it comes to UFO stories (both for and against), but I submit you need or anyone else for that matter needs to have some idea of the types of aircraft and rocketry that could have been operating at the time of the incident in question. I have stated repeatedly now, I think a meteor is a possible explanation. When evaluating a UFO case, if I refuse to consider astronomical explanations and confine myself only to rockets or airplanes, then surely I have made a mistake. Is the reverse not true for you?

I looked at your Peekskill photo. In comparing it to the footage, it is clear that the photo highlights the red in a way not seen in the footage. It is equally clear in both your picture and the footage that this in no way looks like any aircraft of a type familiar to me. Nor do either look anything like what CW described. I will continue to keep an open mind and will continue to wait for further information to support the claims that have been made.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-20, 11:00 AM
As an additional note on the jet with an afterburner theory on this, have we any evidence that any jet aircraft has ever been misperceived as CW described? Would a small jet fighter be misperceived as a large craft with no wings and double rows of windows? Exactly what part of the craft would create the "window" effect?Small versus large? I thought we covered that when it was said you can not judge size and distance for unknown objects. No wings?
That one is easy. Take a look at an F-104. Very little wing and virtually invisible at any significant distance. In fact, airliners frequently look like nothing more than metallic tubes due to the way the sun reflects off of them and hides their wings. To see this effect, observe aircraft slightly above the horizon.

A quick note on perception. It has been argued that some sightings are Venus and in some cases this has been based on two things: The direction the observer was looking and the fact that Venus was not noticed by the observer. The former is fine. The latter is specious. I can assure you, if I see ET, I will not notice the position of Venus, Mars, or Jupiter! Even if the moon is full and visible in the daytime sky, I will likely not notice it either.

Isn't it interesting how when you describe what you saw, details are often dismissed by debunkers due to what they call the "excitability effect". However, if you fail to take note of and document things like the presence of Venus you are scorned and ridiculed despite the fact that you were excited. :)

One more thing: In Post #80, you seem to be saying that a video demonstrating what CW saw will not be forthcoming as it is a perception issue. I saw a UFO book sometime ago, perhaps you have it, that illustrates with photographs how conventional aircraft have been misidentified as UFOs. Perceptions or in this case misperceptions can be illustrated with photography. Just saying.....

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-20, 11:28 AM
I thought I gave you the date on the XF-6U.

First flight was 10 November 1947.

That was not what I asked. When was the afterburner added? It was not initially on the first craft.

http://www.voughtaircraft.com/heritage/special/html/sf6u2.html

The afterburner was apparently added some time later after it was in Patuxent River MD and then it was only added to the first prototype. The same Wiki link states that the craft did not become operational until March 1949.


Then comes March 3, 1968 and since 3 out of 78 people described windows we can believe in the meteor explanation. It gets worse. The debunker, equipped now with the The Zond IV incident as reference can explain away not only CW but any UFO sighting provided the object is in motion and has a glow or windows or both and he or she can explain it without even conducting any significant investigation (ie: from his or her easy chair at home).

BTW, you use the 78 number but it is misleading. According to Hartman, Only 30 reports filed contained enough detail to be analyzed. We have no idea what was in the other 48 fragmentary reports. Also, you ignore the data that 7 of these 30 reporting the debris as a rocket, cigar, or saucer shape.

Additionally, it is not only Zond IV that produced this effect. I already gave you an example of a fireball in 1999 that produced several reports of this type. I am sure I can find others in the NUFORC database with similar descriptions and match them with known fireballs. Case histories are important in understanding how people can misperceive ordinary events as something else.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-20, 11:31 AM
One more thing: In Post #80, you seem to be saying that a video demonstrating what CW saw will not be forthcoming as it is a perception issue. I saw a UFO book sometime ago, perhaps you have it, that illustrates with photographs how conventional aircraft have been misidentified as UFOs. Perceptions or in this case misperceptions can be illustrated with photography. Just saying.....

However, your requirement is to have a video/photograph that shows a double row of windows all lined neatly up with a cigar shape and rocket exhaust clearly displayed. I am not certain how one can create that for you in a video of a fireball since it is the witness who perceives the shape and aligns the windows neatly.

captain swoop
2010-Aug-20, 01:19 PM
Why would an experimental prototype be flying around randomly at night with it's experiemental afterburner in operation?
With an Afterburner fuel is used at a remarkable rate and is reserved for take-off and some combat use, unlike the movies it isn't kept running for more than a few seconds at a time even on modern fighters*. In the F6U it was used because the Westinghouse J34 had such low power the performance of the aircraft was sub-marginal even with the Afterburner to help with take off.
only 30 were produced, the rest cancelled and they ended their days as experimental aircraft and then targets.

*The Blackbird did use its afterburners for long periods.

eburacum45
2010-Aug-20, 02:52 PM
The light was described as having the brilliance of a magnesium flare, not the color of one. Chiles and Whitted described three kinds of light. Bright white in the windows, blue glow running the length of the fuse, and red/orange flame exhaust. I have seen various footage of meteors, both day and night, I have never seen this effect with a meteor. Are you aware of any footage illustrating this 3-color type of effect?I've only ever seen one 'bolide', that is to say fireball significantly brighter than any star or planet. This was a daylight sighting thirty years ago, and as far as I can remember it there were four distinct colours visible; white, yellow, orange-red and an apparent smoky trail which could be described as black.

The white colour in my fireball may have been simply yellow which was over-bright, so that my retina could not discern the colour accurately. This can happen if a point source is too bright, and may explain the separation of the blue and white colours in the Chiles-Whited case. If the meteor segments were significantly hotter that the one I saw, the brightest segments could have appeared white, while slightly dimmer segments could have had a bluer appearance.

Of course my recollections after all this time may be inaccurate. I think I saw a smoky trail, for instance, but that might have been a contrast effect, or simply a false memory after all these years.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-20, 04:23 PM
I can't speak for the military on this point. I would think there would be extensive documentation of individual test flights, but there may not be much or anything for a "ferry" flight. Regardless, I know of no source on the internet where we can view and read such records for any military aircraft, much less one that operated some 60 years ago.

The military documents everything. However, you do generally have to file an FoIA request, and it will come to you in dead tree format. If you can get it. You might consider, however, the possibility that people have actually read the documentation.

captain swoop
2010-Aug-20, 04:31 PM
All flights are logged, it's important to keep a record of how many hours an aircraft has flown and how many hours use the engine has, how many starts it has, uses of afterburner etc. Even the number of brake applications are logged so that suitable servicing can be performed. Even civil aircraft log their flight times and engine hours. This is even more important on an experimental aircraft.
As well as the individual aircraft log a pilot somewhere will havew filled in his own log book and a flight plan will have been filed.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-20, 06:43 PM
That was not what I asked. When was the afterburner added? It was not initially on the first craft.

http://www.voughtaircraft.com/heritage/special/html/sf6u2.html

The afterburner was apparently added some time later after it was in Patuxent River MD and then it was only added to the first prototype. The same Wiki link states that the craft did not become operational until March 1949.

I see the confusion now.

The third prototype (XF-6U) was fitted with an afterburner and first flew on 10 October 1947.

The first prototype which was trucked to Muroc first flew on October 2, 1946.

Prototypes #1 and #2 were transferred to Patuxent River MD after one year of flight test at Muroc. That puts us into the October 1948 time frame. Then prototype #1 received a new Westinghouse J-34-33 engine which had an afterburner. At that time, prototype #1 was redesignated as a F6U-1 and it becomes afterburner equipped service aircraft (ie: non X plane).

The first production F6U-1 then took flight in July 1949.

Here's a link.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f6u.htm

Vought is one company of several working on afterburning aircraft. I mentioned Lockheed, but there was also North Amrican and others as well as the British who worked with afterburners several years before we did as their flight programs were more advanced than ours at that time. The early American designs were based on British tech and right now I can not rule out the possibility of an exchange of hardware which would have put British aircraft/engines in the U.S.

My point remains the same. We know the tech was here, we don't know whether it had anything to do with CW or not.



BTW, you use the 78 number but it is misleading. According to Hartman, Only 30 reports filed contained enough detail to be analyzed. We have no idea what was in the other 48 fragmentary reports. Also, you ignore the data that 7 of these 30 reporting the debris as a rocket, cigar, or saucer shape. Here's an analysis for you. Out of 30 reports, 27 did not contain enough detail about windows to be analyzed. In other words, since 27 didn't mention windows we will discard them and now we have a total of 3 reports we can "fully" analyze and I am happy to report that 100% of those reports contained windows. I think you get the point. Ignoring 62% of the reports right off the bat does not not make me feel all warm and fuzzy, but I have already noted as have others that the Condon Report is devoid of any scientific merit. What did you expect from a group that had already decided on the final conclusion before they looked at the data?



Additionally, it is not only Zond IV that produced this effect. I already gave you an example of a fireball in 1999 that produced several reports of this type. I am sure I can find others in the NUFORC database with similar descriptions and match them with known fireballs. Case histories are important in understanding how people can misperceive ordinary events as something else.

No doubt you can find more "evidence" to support this thesis. Personally, I feel this explanation works best with the so-called classic cases. IMO, this same tactic if applied to more modern cases will result in known exotic aircraft being labeled as meteors. Great if you are the CIA or USAF with something to hide. Not so great, if you are interested in learning the truth.

As I indicated in my previous post, an explanation that is in fact so vague that it can be used to explain away virtually any sighting is neither compelling nor convincing.


I just finished an article on Houdini and it occurs to me that if a magician's effects were convincing to only 3 to 10% of his audience, he would starve to death, but for a UFO debunker 3 to 10% is incontrovertible proof! The fact that some people buy into the debunker's explanation is just amazing to me. On the other hand, it seems that a lot of people buy into the ET explanation with very little evidence as well. Maybe all of this is just par for the course.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-20, 07:05 PM
All flights are logged, it's important to keep a record of how many hours an aircraft has flown and how many hours use the engine has, how many starts it has, uses of afterburner etc. Even the number of brake applications are logged so that suitable servicing can be performed. Even civil aircraft log their flight times and engine hours. This is even more important on an experimental aircraft.
As well as the individual aircraft log a pilot somewhere will havew filled in his own log book and a flight plan will have been filed.

I agree with most of what you said when we are talking about experimental military aircraft during test flights.

In the civilian world, flight plans are not always filed and while some pilots log every hour in their personal log, some only log enough hours to document currency.

The aircraft logs I have examined deal with issues like inspections, squawks, damage, repairs, weight and balance etc. I have never seen one that listed every flight, every brake actuation, etc.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-20, 09:07 PM
A double row of them? maybe he had blurred vision from a vodka he was drinking (ok I just made that bit up)

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-21, 12:33 AM
Here's an analysis for you. Out of 30 reports, 27 did not contain enough detail about windows to be analyzed. In other words, since 27 didn't mention windows we will discard them and now we have a total of 3 reports we can "fully" analyze and I am happy to report that 100% of those reports contained windows. I think you get the point. Ignoring 62% of the reports right off the bat does not not make me feel all warm and fuzzy, but I have already noted as have others that the Condon Report is devoid of any scientific merit. What did you expect from a group that had already decided on the final conclusion before they looked at the data?


1. Are you stating that Hartman simply threw out those reports because he did not like them and that he lied to the scientific community when he stated they were incomplete for analysis? If so, present your evidence of this.
2. What evidence do you have that the group had decided on a final conclusion before they looked at the data?
3. What evidence do you have that the Condon study was "devoid of scientific merit"?

I am sure these claims can probably be traced back to the UFO proponent writings about the subject which is mostly based on their biased opinions.

The National Academy of Sciences must have thought a bit different about the Condon study because they did not conclude the study was "devoid of scientific merit". They stated:

It is the unanimous opinion that this has been a very creditable effort to apply objectively the relevant techniques of science to the solution of the UFO problem.

I am sure you will now state that they were part of the cover-up and conspiracy as well.

captain swoop
2010-Aug-21, 01:23 AM
I agree with most of what you said when we are talking about experimental military aircraft during test flights.

In the civilian world, flight plans are not always filed and while some pilots log every hour in their personal log, some only log enough hours to document currency.

The aircraft logs I have examined deal with issues like inspections, squawks, damage, repairs, weight and balance etc. I have never seen one that listed every flight, every brake actuation, etc.

It would depend on what aircraft you are talking about. If I was about to buy a used Kingair or Lear I would want a pretty comprehensive log.

Point is at that time there were very few aircraft with Afterburners, they wouldn't be flying around at random at night, if they were the odds on one passing close with it's afterburner lit are so small that there is more chance it was an alien spaceship.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-21, 06:36 AM
It would depend on what aircraft you are talking about. If I was about to buy a used Kingair or Lear I would want a pretty comprehensive log.
You would likely get an extensive maintenance log. If you wanted to know about every trip the aircraft ever made, you would need to consult the log books of every pilot and as I previously stated even then you might not be able to account for every flight hour.



Point is at that time there were very few aircraft with Afterburners,
The issue was not how many. The issue was whether we had aircraft with afterburners. I have supplied information on what Vought and the U.S. Navy was doing. I will leave it to others to figure out what other manufacturers and the USAF was doing.



they wouldn't be flying around at random at night, if they were the odds on one passing close with it's afterburner lit are so small that there is more chance it was an alien spaceship.

Interesting. Perhaps you could supply evidence to support your claim while I work on a response for astrophotographer.

I do know that the USAF initially operated the F117A at night to maintain secrecy, but I do not believe that fact increase the odds that UFO sightings during that time were alien spaceships.

captain swoop
2010-Aug-21, 05:26 PM
I am not claiming that a secret aircraft was tootling around in the dark at just the moment the aircraft went past, what evidence do you want me to present? A whole number of more likely reasons have already been posted in this thread.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-21, 11:21 PM
I am not claiming that a secret aircraft was tootling around in the dark at just the moment the aircraft went past, what evidence do you want me to present? A whole number of more likely reasons have already been posted in this thread.

I thought he was asking you to present evidence there is more chance it was an alien spacecraft than a experimental craft? or even that the odds are greater that it is a alien craft than a human controlled craft. :neutral:

captain swoop
2010-Aug-23, 12:13 PM
To be honest I can't take the idea that we are being visited by alien spaceships seriously a all. Not once has any evidence been presented in any of the threads we have had on BAUT.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-23, 04:21 PM
I wouldn't say there's more chance, because I don't believe there's realistically any that we've been visited by alien spacecraft, and the plane in question did exist. I will agree, however, that there was little enough chance of interacting with the plane in question that there wasn't a chance of it by any reasonable standard. The argument in the other direction relies on "could have" a little much.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-24, 02:24 PM
1. Are you stating that Hartman simply threw out those reports because he did not like them and that he lied to the scientific community when he stated they were incomplete for analysis? If so, present your evidence of this.
Nowhere have I said Hartman lied.
I think Hartman should have followed up on the other 48 cases (field investigation anyone?). The Zond IV reentry occurred during the committee’s tenure. Unfortunately, Hartman was content to ignore 62% of the reports.



2. What evidence do you have that the group had decided on a final conclusion before they looked at the data?
Look at the WAY Dr. Condon became head of the project.
Consider the requirements of the project as explained in the contract signed between USAF and University of Colorado regarding objectivity.
Then consider the various comments Condon and Low made publicly.
Consider the USAF’s motivation for funding this project, then take a look at the letter Col Hippler wrote to Robert Low and Low’s subsequent response.
Also consider the field work Dr. Condon actually performed.
Add all this up and you tell me does it sound like Dr. Condon was serious about this project? Do you think Condon and Low remained objective throughout the project?



3. What evidence do you have that the Condon study was "devoid of scientific merit"?

The National Academy of Sciences must have thought a bit different about the Condon study because they did not conclude the study was "devoid of scientific merit". They stated:

It is the unanimous opinion that this has been a very creditable effort to apply objectively the relevant techniques of science to the solution of the UFO problem.


The National Academy of Sciences President at the time was Dr. Frederick Seitz.

Seitz was a long time friend and student of Dr. Condon.

Seitz wrote the following to Dr. Alexander H. Flax, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force:

"The Academy accepted this task because of its belief in the importance of making available to the Government and the public a careful assessment of the scientific significance of UFO phenomena which have been variously interpreted both in this country and abroad.

The NAS panel was headed by Dr. Gerald Clemence.

To get a feel for the rigor the Clemence Committee applied in making their endorsement, let’s look at the subject of secrecy.

Condon said this in the Conclusion section: It has been contended that the subject has been shrouded in official secrecy. We conclude otherwise. We have no evidence of secrecy concerning UFO reports.

The NAS panel stated: We accept this finding of the study.

If we look at Case #30, we can see that a concerted effort was made to hide information from the Condon Committee. The case revolves around a rumored multi-UFO sighting during an X-15 flight. An investigator made numerous attempts to get to the bottom of the rumor but was stymied by USAF personnel. The final disposition reads like this: Attempts to investigate the rumor were met with evasion and uncooperative responses to our inquiries by base information.

This example is indicative of the way the NAS panel reviewed Dr. Condon’s conclusions rather than the actual contents of the report, much less the actual study.

Dr. Condon was told about other reports received by NICAP that had been submitted to Project Blue Book, but which do not now appear in Blue Book records.

None of this is surprising when you consider Dr. Condon’s words just two days after the contract with the Air Force was signed. When asked about governmental secrecy he said:

"Maybe they are [misleading us] . . . .". "I don't care much." (Rocky Mountain News, November 5, 1966).

I think people have this idea that the Condon Report was completed then submitted for peer review to NAS. It simply didn’t work that way. NAS spent all of 7 weeks reviewing the Condon Report. They didn’t review the study itself. It appears they reviewed Dr. Condon’s conclusions.

I guess it was a good thing that scientists actually tried to replicate the work of Fleischmann and Pons, otherwise the US Department of Energy might have come to an NAS style conclusion regarding cold fusion!

If NAS had for example pulled cases from Blue Book and NICAP they would have seen the differences between the actual reports and what Condon published in his report. Frankly, I would like to see the papers and memos generated by the Clemence Committee. I want to see that they made “a careful assessment”, but alas all of that appears to have been destroyed.


The Condon study is important because of the impact it had on the study of the UFO phenomenon. If you are interested in this topic, I would suggest you start with Wikipedia to get some background information on the players, then read the report and NAS’s review, then turn to the material I have listed below.

As an aside, I got a kick out of the Hoyt and Klass papers, albeit for very different reasons. :)

Dr. Thornton Page's Review of The "Condon Report"
http://www.cufon.org/cufon/tp_revue.htm

An Analysis of the Condon Report on the Colorado UFO Project by P.A. Sturrock
http://www.ufoskeptic.org/sturrock/toc.html

The Condon Report and UFOs Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, April 1969 by J. Allen Hynek
http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/bas1.html

Facts About Unidentified Flying Objects published by NICAP
http://www.cohenufo.org/nicapcondon.htm

Kirtland AFB Case November 4, 1957
http://www.cohenufo.org/authorsc.html#Anchor6855

The UFO Report: Condon Study Falls Short Scientific Research, April 14, 1969
http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/sr2.html

UFOCritique: UFOs Social Intelligence, and the Condon Committee by Diana Palmer Hoyt
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05082000-09580026/unrestricted/UFOCRITIQUE.pdf

The Condon UFO Study: A Trick or a Conspiracy? by Philip J. Klass
http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/siklass.html

REVIEW OF THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO REPORT ON UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS BY A PANEL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/nascu.html

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-24, 04:54 PM
Nowhere have I said Hartman lied.
I think Hartman should have followed up on the other 48 cases (field investigation anyone?). The Zond IV reentry occurred during the committee’s tenure. Unfortunately, Hartman was content to ignore 62% of the reports.

You implied it. However, we do not know what was in these 48 reports. You are assuming that they did not mention windows. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. However, you can not state that only 3 out of 78 reports only saw windows. It is not being accurate unless you can demonstrate the other 48 did not make this observation. The source of the UFO reports was already identified. There was no need to waste money going to all these 48 individuals and ask them about what they saw.


Look at the WAY Dr. Condon became head of the project.
Consider the requirements of the project as explained in the contract signed between USAF and University of Colorado regarding objectivity.
Then consider the various comments Condon and Low made publicly.
Consider the USAF’s motivation for funding this project, then take a look at the letter Col Hippler wrote to Robert Low and Low’s subsequent response.
Also consider the field work Dr. Condon actually performed.
Add all this up and you tell me does it sound like Dr. Condon was serious about this project? Do you think Condon and Low remained objective throughout the project?

Have you read Dr. Roy Craig's book on the Condon study? I think you would find it informative. Dr. Low's "trick" memo statement was made before the study was even authorized and when he was in another department. Additionally, his desire to emphasize psychological investigations was pretty much ignored as it was the physical aspect that was investigated. As for the Hippler letter, there is nothing there unless you like to create conspiracies.


The National Academy of Sciences President at the time was Dr. Frederick Seitz.

Seitz was a long time friend and student of Dr. Condon.

Seitz wrote the following to Dr. Alexander H. Flax, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force:

"The Academy accepted this task because of its belief in the importance of making available to the Government and the public a careful assessment of the scientific significance of UFO phenomena which have been variously interpreted both in this country and abroad.

The NAS panel was headed by Dr. Gerald Clemence.

To get a feel for the rigor the Clemence Committee applied in making their endorsement, let’s look at the subject of secrecy.

Condon said this in the Conclusion section: It has been contended that the subject has been shrouded in official secrecy. We conclude otherwise. We have no evidence of secrecy concerning UFO reports.

The NAS panel stated: We accept this finding of the study.

If we look at Case #30, we can see that a concerted effort was made to hide information from the Condon Committee. The case revolves around a rumored multi-UFO sighting during an X-15 flight. An investigator made numerous attempts to get to the bottom of the rumor but was stymied by USAF personnel. The final disposition reads like this: Attempts to investigate the rumor were met with evasion and uncooperative responses to our inquiries by base information.

This example is indicative of the way the NAS panel reviewed Dr. Condon’s conclusions rather than the actual contents of the report, much less the actual study.

So, are you implying that the NAS lied in their conclusions or is it just some vast conspiracy? This does not answer my question of how it was "devoid of scientific merit".




If NAS had for example pulled cases from Blue Book and NICAP they would have seen the differences between the actual reports and what Condon published in his report. Frankly, I would like to see the papers and memos generated by the Clemence Committee. I want to see that they made “a careful assessment”, but alas all of that appears to have been destroyed.


The Condon study is important because of the impact it had on the study of the UFO phenomenon.

I have read many of these. The UFO proponents argument (which occupies most everything in your list - no surprise there) is not an unbiased opinion and is slanted towards their (and apparently your) beliefs. Dr. Craig wrote that both Dr. MacDonald and Hynek seemed to be attempting to gain control of a future UFO government entity that would study UFOs after the Condon study was finished (hoping for a favorable outcome). As for its impact on studying the UFO phenomenon, what has it stopped? I have yet to see anybody stop studying UFOs. In fact, if you read the conclusions by Condon, he ENCOURAGED the study of UFOs.

Scientists are no respecters of authority. Our conclusion that study of UFO reports is not likely to advance science will not be uncritically accepted by them. Nor should it be, nor do we wish it to be. For scientists, it is our hope that the detailed analytical presentation of what we were able to do, and of what we were unable to do, will assist them in deciding whether or not they agree with our conclusions. Our hope is that the details of this report will help other scientists in seeing what the problems are and the difficulties of coping with them.

If they agree with our conclusions, they will turn their valuable attention and talents elsewhere. If they disagree it will be because our report has helped them reach a clear picture of wherein existing studies are faulty or incomplete and thereby will have stimulated ideas for more accurate studies. If they do get such ideas and can formulate them clearly, we have no doubt that support will be forthcoming to carry on with such clearly-defined, specific studies. We think that such ideas for work should be supported.

Some readers may think that we have now wandered into a contradiction. Earlier we said that we do not think study of UFO reports is likely to be a fruitful direction of scientific advance; now we have just said that persons with good ideas for specific studies in this field should be supported. This is no contradiction. Although we conclude after nearly two years of intensive study, that we do not see any fruitful lines of advance from the study of UFO reports, we believe that any scientist with adequate training and credentials who does come up with a clearly defined, specific proposal for study should be supported...

Therefore we think that all of the agencies of the federal government, and the private foundations as well, ought to be willing to consider UFO research proposals along with the others submitted to them on an open-minded, unprejudiced basis. While we do not think at present that anything worthwhile is likely to come of such research each individual case ought to be carefully considered on its own merits.

This formulation carries with it the corollary that we do not think that at this time the federal government ought to set up a major new agency, as some have suggested, for the scientific study of UFOs. This conclusion may not be true for all time. If, by the progress of research based on new ideas in this field, it then appears worthwhile to create such an agency, the decision to do so may be taken at that time.

Why is it that UFOlogy has not done anything since the Condon study was completed? Why is it so easy to criticize Condon but so hard to create a proposal to generate real data that allows UFOs to be studied scientifically? Is it Condon's fault (which seems to be the standard UFO mantra) or is it UFOlogy's?

EDIT: The bottom line of why UFOlogists hate what happened with the Condon report is that it took any hope away from government funding to study UFOs. Hynek, Keyhoe, and MacDonald all wanted some of the government pie for their interest but it did not come to be thanks to Condon's recommendation. I can imagine how much money would have been wasted on the "department of UFOlogy"!

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-24, 09:35 PM
If we look at Case #30, we can see that a concerted effort was made to hide information from the Condon Committee. The case revolves around a rumored multi-UFO sighting during an X-15 flight. An investigator made numerous attempts to get to the bottom of the rumor but was stymied by USAF personnel. The final disposition reads like this: Attempts to investigate the rumor were met with evasion and uncooperative responses to our inquiries by base information.

Actually, I think your description of the incident is a bit over the top. First of all, when the Malmstrom missile shutdown occurred, the USAF was very cooperative and allowed Dr. Low to examine the files to determine if UFOs were involved. Dr. Low had the necessary security clearances that some others of the team did not. Therefore, if there were issues of security, Dr. Low would deal with them because he was authorized to do so.
As for the X-15 "rumor", let's examine the case. When they initially asked about it, they were told there were no X-15 flights on the day in question. When they could not get more details, they went through the chain of command and finally got a response (you seemed to overlook this as well as the information they obtained that there was no X-15 flight that day). The reason for the difficulty may have to do with the subject of UFOs and the base information officer. He is getting calls from a group of people (who he may not be aware of) asking about UFO rumors. Maybe out of arrogance or just a desire to buck the system, he does not respond to them because he feels it is a waste of his time. Maybe he had better things to do like play golf. They just met up with somebody who really did not want to play ball until he was directed to by the upper chain of command. Important to note is that in none of this is there the claim of the information being classified so your claim regarding this being an example of a classified UFO sighting is false.

EDIT: Reading Dr. Craig's account of the events clarified it somewhat. After all of this transpired and the Pentagon had gotten the elusive DOI to respond, Craig asked Dr. Low to investigate when he was in LA. Dr. Low stated he talked directly to the information officer and the officer confirmed that there was no UFO event for the date in question. Of course, Craig pursued the other end and contacted the source, which produced the closing end of the comments in the Condon Report. Craig closes with, "Was there actually a UFO incident at Edwards AFB on September 1, 1967? I doubt it. But, even yet, I cannot be certain."

dirty_g
2010-Aug-24, 10:56 PM
I for one must say I do believe that the USAF WOULD withhold information on secret test flights to anybody asking without the clearance, it was the cold war at the time and especially at a time like that they wouldn't go about telling a UFO investigation team about any test flights. I think Torngarusk is trying to basically imply that the Air force was not helpful in these studies (why would they be) and I certainly would not have a problem with that, i'd be more concerned if they went all out telling them everything in the middle of a cold war. He is not implying that they were covering up aliens at all, though astrophotographer, I think you are implying that he is hence the "The UFO proponents argument (which occupies most everything in your list - no surprise there)" is the reason your having this debate with him now. Call me out if I am wrong but that sentence really makes me think your saying he is a "UFO's are Aliens!" guy. In fact i'm quite amused by the thread now as it's more of an argument over whose rational explanation is correct. We have to remember though that Governments do withhold information and have most certainly done it plenty of times before and will continue to do so. Yes i still think it's more likely to be a meteor (even though it's a slow one at that).

Gillianren
2010-Aug-24, 11:11 PM
Yes, governments do tend to withhold information when they can. However, they're seldom successful at it this long.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-25, 12:16 AM
You implied it. However, we do not know what was in these 48 reports.

I guess I will have to be like Robert Low and deny your interpretation of my statement.
I can tell you this, for what it's worth.
If I thought he lied, I would have said so.



You are assuming that they did not mention windows.


Wrong. I have assumed nothing. Maybe some of those reports mentioned windows, maybe they didn't. Those reports should have been followed up at the time of the initial report. Regardless, McDonald was able to follow-up on reports much older than the Zond IV reports Hartman decided to ignore.




Have you read Dr. Roy Craig's book on the Condon study? I think you would find it informative.
Ok, I'll read it.



Dr. Low's "trick" memo statement was made before the study was even authorized and when he was in another department. Yes, I know. Your point?



Additionally, his desire to emphasize psychological investigations was pretty much ignored as it was the physical aspect that was investigated.
That's what I have read.




As for the Hippler letter, there is nothing there unless you like to create conspiracies.
I will come back to this.




So, are you implying that the NAS lied in their conclusions or is it just some vast conspiracy? This does not answer my question of how it was "devoid of scientific merit".
I feel certain NAS reviewed Dr. Condon’s conclusions.
I feel equally certain the Clemence Committee did not perform the “careful assessment” that was promised to Dr. Flax by Dr. Seitz. I see no evidence of it. If you have evidence to the contrary, please present it. I will happily read through the Clemence Committee’s notes and journals.



I have read many of these. The UFO proponents argument (which occupies most everything in your list - no surprise there) is not an unbiased opinion and is slanted towards their (and apparently your) beliefs. My beliefs are not the issue. I am interested in discussing the facts. Do you think you can stick to the facts and drop the veiled attacks?



Dr. Craig wrote that both Dr. MacDonald and Hynek seemed to be attempting to gain control of a future UFO government entity that would study UFOs after the Condon study was finished (hoping for a favorable outcome).
I agree with this assessment. What are you trying to say?




As for its impact on studying the UFO phenomenon, what has it stopped? I have yet to see anybody stop studying UFOs. In fact, if you read the conclusions by Condon, he ENCOURAGED the study of UFOs. The Condon Report shut down Blue Book. No one disputes that. Since as you say the Condon Report encouraged the study of UFOs, kindly supply us with a list of government funded studies. I would like to read them.




Scientists are no respecters of authority. Our conclusion that study of UFO reports is not likely to advance science will not be uncritically accepted by them. Nor should it be, nor do we wish it to be. For scientists, it is our hope that the detailed analytical presentation of what we were able to do, and of what we were unable to do, will assist them in deciding whether or not they agree with our conclusions. Our hope is that the details of this report will help other scientists in seeing what the problems are and the difficulties of coping with them.

If they agree with our conclusions, they will turn their valuable attention and talents elsewhere. If they disagree it will be because our report has helped them reach a clear picture of wherein existing studies are faulty or incomplete and thereby will have stimulated ideas for more accurate studies. If they do get such ideas and can formulate them clearly, we have no doubt that support will be forthcoming to carry on with such clearly-defined, specific studies. We think that such ideas for work should be supported.

Some readers may think that we have now wandered into a contradiction. Earlier we said that we do not think study of UFO reports is likely to be a fruitful direction of scientific advance; now we have just said that persons with good ideas for specific studies in this field should be supported. This is no contradiction. Although we conclude after nearly two years of intensive study, that we do not see any fruitful lines of advance from the study of UFO reports, we believe that any scientist with adequate training and credentials who does come up with a clearly defined, specific proposal for study should be supported...

Therefore we think that all of the agencies of the federal government, and the private foundations as well, ought to be willing to consider UFO research proposals along with the others submitted to them on an open-minded, unprejudiced basis. While we do not think at present that anything worthwhile is likely to come of such research each individual case ought to be carefully considered on its own merits.

This formulation carries with it the corollary that we do not think that at this time the federal government ought to set up a major new agency, as some have suggested, for the scientific study of UFOs. This conclusion may not be true for all time. If, by the progress of research based on new ideas in this field, it then appears worthwhile to create such an agency, the decision to do so may be taken at that time.
I gave you specific areas that are troubling about this entire business. You respond by cutting and pasting Condon's conclusions? :(



Why is it that UFOlogy has not done anything since the Condon study was completed?
Lack of funding?



Why is it so easy to criticize Condon but so hard to create a proposal to generate real data that allows UFOs to be studied scientifically?
Proposals were made to Condon from inside the project and from the outside. He ignored them. All he had to do was separate the noise (ie: obvious hoaxes, cases with little information) from the hard cases (ie: multiple witness, multiple radar targets, aircraft intercept, etc, etc) and then focus on the hard cases. Why did he choose the “kook cases” to investigate personally? I don't know.



EDIT: The bottom line of why UFOlogists hate what happened with the Condon report is that it took any hope away from government funding to study UFOs. Hynek, Keyhoe, and MacDonald all wanted some of the government pie for their interest but it did not come to be thanks to Condon's recommendation. I can imagine how much money would have been wasted on the "department of UFOlogy"! All the names you have mentioned supported the study, right up until the time they realized that Condon and Low were not objective. No one had been happy with the Air Force’s efforts, not even the Air Force. The guys you mentioned believed an honest study would lead to more studies. It is reasonable to expect they would be a part of subsequent studies as they were experts on the subject. Instead, what the got was two men (Condon and Low) who really had no interest in the subject. Low was interested in cashing the check and furthering his career. Well, at least he got paid. On the other hand, Condon got in because the government asked him to do it. As far as I can tell, most of the team knew very little about the subject.
Maybe that is why they floundered around so long. At any rate, Col Hippler set them straight when he told them the Air Force expected an anti-ETH conclusion. What else is there to say. The study cost the Air Force $500,000+ but they got the reported they wanted. You want to call it a conspiracy, fine, just don’t call it science.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-25, 01:56 AM
Actually, I think your description of the incident is a bit over the top.


Really? It came straight from the Condon Report. Here is case #30.

South Pacific
Fall 1967
Investigator: Staff
________________________________________

Abstract:
A civilian employee at an AFB confirmed an earlier report that base personnel had made an UFO sighting, although official sources denied that such an event had occurred.

Background:
A rumor was relayed to this project by a source considered to be reliable, reporting in the fall, 1967, six UFOs had followed an X-l5 flight at the AFB. It was suggested that motion pictures of the event should be available from the Air Force.

Investigation:
Before initiating a field investigation, Project members checked by phone with Base Operations for confirmation of the rumor. There was no log book record of an UFO report and no X-l5 flight on that day. The last X-15 flight had been 8 days previously and the last recorded UFO report submitted to the base had been a month before.

The rumor persisted, however, with indications that official secrecy was associated with the event. If reports of the event had been classified, no record would appear on the operations log. Although there apparently was no association with an X-15 flight, a responsible base employee (Mr. A), who wished to remain anonymous, had reassured our source that there was a sighting by pilots and control tower operators. Mr. A had left the AFB for temporary duty elsewhere. His replacement, Mr. B, was unable to obtain details of the event but was quoted as saying that there apparently was something to it because "they are not just flatly denying it."
_______________________________________

Mr. A was contacted by telephone at his temporary assignment by a project investigator. He said he actually did not know too much about the incident, since all the information had been turned over to the public information officer, who was the only one at the base who could discuss it. According to Mr. A the information had come to his desk; his action was to pass it on to the PIO.

Attempts to learn more about the reported event from the PIO were met with apparent evasion from that office. The Director of Information was reportedly unavailable when phoned. He did not return calls. On one attempt to reach him, the investigator indicated to a PIO secretary that he would prefer to replace the call when the Colonel was in, rather than to speak with a lieutenant who was available at that moment. The secretary's response was "Well, the Colonel is busy this year - but you'd still prefer to wait until next Monday?"

On Monday, the Colonel was again unavailable and once again did not return the call. A request was then made through the Pentagon for determination of whether or not an UFO event had in fact, occurred at the base on the day specified. A Pentagon officer, transmitted a request to the base Director of Information that he telephone the project investigator and clarify this situation. This resulted in a telephone message, left by an assistant to the Director of Information, that there was no UFO event at that base on the day in question.

Mr. A was contacted later, after his return to the base, and asked for clarification of the incident. He responded only that the Director of Information had told him to "stay out of that."
Conclusion:

Although it is true that the report of this incident was never more than a rumor, it is also true that project investigators were not able satisfactorily to confirm or deny that an UFO incident had occurred. Attempts to investigate the rumor were met with evasion and uncooperative responses to our inquiries by base information.




As for the X-15 "rumor", let's examine the case. When they initially asked about it, they were told there were no X-15 flights on the day in question.

Agreed.



When they could not get more details, they went through the chain of command and finally got a response (you seemed to overlook this as well as the information they obtained that there was no X-15 flight that day). The reason for the difficulty may have to do with the subject of UFOs and the base information officer. He is getting calls from a group of people (who he may not be aware of) asking about UFO rumors. Maybe out of arrogance or just a desire to buck the system, he does not respond to them because he feels it is a waste of his time. Maybe he had better things to do like play golf. They just met up with somebody who really did not want to play ball until he was directed to by the upper chain of command.
No need to make up a bunch of garbage, just read the report.

Fact: The Director of Information was called repeatedly. He would not return calls.

Fact: When the investigator told the PIO secretary he wanted to talk to the Colonel, the response was “Well, the Colonel is busy this year - but you'd still prefer to wait until next Monday?"

Fact: The following Monday, the Colonel was called again, and again he was unavailable and once again he did not return the call

Fact: A request was made to the Pentagon to try to clarify the matter. The Pentagon requested the DOI call the project investigator.

Fact. DOI did not call project investigator. Assistant to DOI left message to resolve the situation.

FACT: Conclusion: Although it is true that the report of this incident was never more than a rumor, it is also true that project investigators were not able satisfactorily to confirm or deny that an UFO incident had occurred. Attempts to investigate the rumor were met with evasion and uncooperative responses to our inquiries by base information.

If there was nothing to it, the whole matter could have been resolved quickly and easily with one phone call. Your suggestion that the PIO secretary was unaware of who was asking is possible, but after being informed, the secretary’s comments are puzzling, however if you are asserting that the Colonel was unaware of who and what was going on, well I don’t buy that for a second, but please present you evidence. Regardless, one primary charge in the literature is that Condon's conclusions often fly in the face of the actual events as reported by his own investigators. Take a look at the Kirtland case and then tell me the Condon Report accurately reported on it.



Important to note is that in none of this is there the claim of the information being classified so your claim regarding this being an example of a classified UFO sighting is false.

It WOULD BE important to note, if I had said this was an example of a classified UFO sighting.

I used this case as an example of USAF secrecy.

The X-15 issue had been put aside, but there was still the issue of whether a sighting had occurred “by pilots and control tower operators” (2nd paragraph under Investigation).



EDIT: Reading Dr. Craig's account of the events clarified it somewhat. After all of this transpired and the Pentagon had gotten the elusive DOI to respond, Craig asked Dr. Low to investigate when he was in LA. Dr. Low stated he talked directly to the information officer and the officer confirmed that there was no UFO event for the date in question. Of course, Craig pursued the other end and contacted the source, which produced the closing end of the comments in the Condon Report. Craig closes with, "Was there actually a UFO incident at Edwards AFB on September 1, 1967? I doubt it. But, even yet, I cannot be certain."

I don’t know what to make of this. You say the elusive DOI (ie: the Colonel) responded. The record says an assistant responded. Where is your information coming from? I’ll have Craig’s book in a few days. If that is the source, then it seems Dr. Craig’s memory is suspect.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-25, 01:59 AM
I feel equally certain the Clemence Committee did not perform the “careful assessment” that was promised to Dr. Flax by Dr. Seitz. I see no evidence of it.

It is your claim that they did not perform a careful assessment, yet you provide no evidence to back up that claim. It is your opinion.


My beliefs are not the issue. I am interested in discussing the facts. Do you think you can stick to the facts and drop the veiled attacks?

Because you did not present any facts. You presented people's interpretation of what they thought about the study. The same can be said for your opinion about the NAS review. It is your opinion that they misled everyone and essentially lied when they did not do a "careful assessment" as promised. You don't provide any real evidence. You only provide us with one case, which really had nothing to do with official secrecy.


Lack of funding?

You interpret the Condon study as shutting down funding. I see no evidence presented to draw this conclusion. Can you list all the proposed studies that have been rejected since the end of the study and why? Was funding available prior to Condon? What about the "Fund For UFO Research"? At one point they claimed they had raised $700,000 for UFO research. I guess that was wasted chasing old cases and declaring them "unexplained". Robert Bigelow has tried to fund UFO research several times in the past decade. It was wasted money.


All he had to do was separate the noise (ie: obvious hoaxes, cases with little information) from the hard cases (ie: multiple witness, multiple radar targets, aircraft intercept, etc, etc) and then focus on the hard cases. .

All cases experienced during the report were investigated. Those that could not positively be explained were left unexplained. However, just because they were "unexplained" does not mean they were good cases. Some of them were just "insufficient information". If somebody says they saw a spaceship and you can't positively explain it, you have to say "unexplained" unless you want to call the person a liar. The study was not going to do that and went to great lengths to avoid this kind of statement. Meanwhile, some of the good cases covered in the Condon study have since been shown to not be so good. Bentwaters-Lakenheath is a good example. Dr. David Clarke and others demonstrated that the stories told to Condon and MacDonald were not that accurate.
http://www.drdavidclarke.co.uk/Laken.htm



Maybe that is why they floundered around so long. At any rate, Col Hippler set them straight when he told them the Air Force expected an anti-ETH conclusion. What else is there to say. The study cost the Air Force $500,000+ but they got the reported they wanted. You want to call it a conspiracy, fine, just don’t call it science.

I believe you mean this section since you provide no quotes (i.e. facts).

This brings us to the second item. When you have looked into some sightings and examined some Blue Book records and become acquainted with the true state of affairs, you must consider the cost of the Air Force program on UFOs, and determine if the taxpayer should support this for the next decade. It will be at least that long before another independent study can be mounted to see if the Air Force can get out from under this program. If the contract is up before you have laid the proper groundwork for a proper recommendation, an extension of the contract would be less costly than another decade of operating Project Blue Book.

I see nothing "expecting" an "anti-ETH" conclusion. He appears most concerned about funds and spending a lot of taxpayers money continuing to study UFOs. It would not require an "anit-ETH" solution to accomplish this. All Condon had to do is point out that there is no threat and the USAF could then drop Bluebook.

If you feel that the study was "unscientific" that is your opinion. However, I have yet to see you identify why it was "devoid of scientific merit". All I have seen is conspiracies being suggested, which are the same conspiracies that UFOlogists have been repeating over the past 40 years since the study was completed.

BTW, when the Sturrock panel was given a one-sided presentation of "best UFO cases", they concluded:

It was clear that at least a few reported incidents might have involved rare but significant phenomena such as electrical activity high above thunderstorms (e.g., sprites) or rare cases of radar ducting. On the other hand, the review panel was not convinced that any of the evidence involved currently unknown physical processes or pointed to the involvement of an extraterrestrial intelligence.

That sounds a lot like what Condon had stated 30 years prior. The panel took a small shot at Condon though:

The panel also reviewed some of the conclusions advanced in 1968 by Dr. Edward U. Condon, director of the Colorado Project. He asserted that "nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge," and that "further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby." While agreeing with the first conclusion and its extension to the present, the panel considers that there always exists the possibility that investigation of an unexplained phenomenon may lead to an advance in scientific knowledge.

EDIT: This is a panel of independent scientists which was fed scientific studies of UFO cases done by UFO scientists the way UFOlogists want it done. Despite this they still could not get them to come to an ETH conclusion! What makes you think that Condon would have been able to come to an ETH conclusion (that the NAS would have acccepted) even if he wanted when the evidence can not and will not support it?

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-25, 02:00 AM
I for one must say I do believe that the USAF WOULD withhold information on secret test flights to anybody asking without the clearance,
Condon had clearance. Low had clearance.



I think Torngarusk is trying to basically imply that the Air force was not helpful in these studies (why would they be) The USAF agreed to help from the very beginning.



He is not implying that they were covering up aliens at all, though astrophotographer, I think you are implying that he is hence the "The UFO proponents argument (which occupies most everything in your list - no surprise there)" is the reason your having this debate with him now. Call me out if I am wrong but that sentence really makes me think your saying he is a "UFO's are Aliens!" guy.
I haven't looked at this stuff in quite some time, but my conclusions haven't changed.
If you asked me a month ago what I remembered about the Condon Report, I would have told you I thought it was bogus. Now, astrophotographer is forcing me to become an expert on it. That's fine. Maybe he will change my opinion. We shall see.

I'll discuss the facts with anyone, but I have no plans to write a book or join the UFOs are real and ET is among us lecture circuit. :)




In fact i'm quite amused by the thread now as it's more of an argument over whose rational explanation is correct. We have to remember though that Governments do withhold information and have most certainly done it plenty of times before and will continue to do so. Yes i still think it's more likely to be a meteor (even though it's a slow one at that).
I have been amused by the topic for 35+ years. I particularly like when Stanton Friedman waves around a massive stack of CIA documents from his latest FOIA request on UFOs, and the documents are 98% redacted, and then his critics say the government has nothing to hide. :clap: That's priceless!


Yes, governments do tend to withhold information when they can. However, they're seldom successful at it this long.

It seem that the military and CIA is very good at keeping secrets. The rest of the government, not so much. :)

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-25, 02:06 AM
I used this case as an example of USAF secrecy.

Was it really USAF secrecy or just the case of somebody who did not want to be bothered by UFO "nonsense"? As noted, a call up the chain of command got the response. If it were a USAF secret, the chain of command would have told the team it was classified as secret. That was not the case.


I don’t know what to make of this. You say the elusive DOI (ie: the Colonel) responded. The record says an assistant responded. Where is your information coming from? I’ll have Craig’s book in a few days. If that is the source, then it seems Dr. Craig’s memory is suspect.

The assistant responding is the same thing as the DOI responding. Who do you think told the assistant to call? My guess is this was his way of avoiding the embarassment of having to contact the investigators and explain why he was not playing ball with them. Additionally, Low talked to the Colonel and got the same response.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-25, 02:36 AM
I have been amused by the topic for 35+ years. I particularly like when Stanton Friedman waves around a massive stack of CIA documents from his latest FOIA request on UFOs, and the documents are 98% redacted, and then his critics say the government has nothing to hide. :clap: That's priceless!

You are out of touch. A great many of these NSA (not CIA) documents were released some time ago (thanks to Phil Klass). Nothing unusual in these documents. No surprise there.

http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/phenomena/klass_nsa_000113.html

Gillianren
2010-Aug-25, 03:13 AM
It seem that the military and CIA is very good at keeping secrets. The rest of the government, not so much. :)

How long was the Manhattan Project kept secret? How long did it take before the CIA's assassination attempts on Fidel Castro became common knowledge? Come to that, how long did it take Castro to find out, which was much faster? How much was on the news on a regular basis in the '80s about CIA involvement in Iran-Contra?

dirty_g
2010-Aug-25, 03:55 PM
The USAF agreed to help from the very beginning. Is your response to my post saying your implying the air force was not helpful. Before this though you posted a thread about a Colonel who would not return calls and was seeming to evade the investigators even after a call from the pentagon telling them to be helpful and return calls. Therefore logically they were not helpful? So you must be implying they were not that helpful? I don't have a problem with it but that is basically what you seem to be saying, right?

R.A.F.
2010-Aug-25, 04:41 PM
I particularly like when Stanton Friedman waves around a massive stack of CIA documents from his latest FOIA request on UFOs, and the documents are 98% redacted, and then his critics say the government has nothing to hide. :clap: That's priceless!

Nothing to hide regarding alien UFO's...certainly there are "some things" that the government must keep secret...it's just that believers want those "things" to be alien UFO's.

...and forgive in advance my insult, but someone who makes misrepresentations such as above is usually from the "believer" camp.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-25, 05:07 PM
If I remember correctly, unredacted copies of those documents exist and have been released. Stanton Friedman apparently knows it, too, and is just waving the redacted versions to prove his point. If you have to resort to such intellectual dishonesty, you don't have a valid point.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-25, 09:30 PM
Nothing to hide regarding alien UFO's...certainly there are "some things" that the government must keep secret...it's just that believers want those "things" to be alien UFO's.

...and forgive in advance my insult, but someone who makes misrepresentations such as above is usually from the "believer" camp. But he is talking about the fact that the government hides details on test flights and probably other subjects, or at least that's my interpretation of what he is saying. As far as I can tell he is not saying they are hiding information on UFO's? So what are you saying? You seem to be essentially agreeing with him that they have "Nothing to hide so far as UFO's". He is not talking about UFO's, just test flights, which was his whole argument in the first place.

On another point, I said it before, I'm surprised that it has gotten into a lengthy conversation, not about the possibility of what a particular sighting was, but actually more about disproving somebody else's rational explanation. Then as all these threads go it boils down to is the government hiding information about certain things or being a bit obstructive (well obviously all governments do withhold information on things they can deem sensitive). I suppose what does not help at all for anybody sitting on the rational side of the fence is that in the past the official explanation has been put out (no not JUST Roswell), then retracted and a different explanation put out. It is most likely all innocent indeed, but it does cause a bit of distrust of authority in general. Oh well hey hum.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-25, 10:00 PM
On another point, I said it before, I'm surprised that it has gotten into a lengthy conversation, not about the possibility of what a particular sighting was, but actually more about disproving somebody else's rational explanation. Then as all these threads go it boils down to is the government hiding information about certain things or being a bit obstructive (well obviously all governments do withhold information on things they can deem sensitive). I suppose what does not help at all for anybody sitting on the rational side of the fence is that in the past the official explanation has been put out (no not JUST Roswell), then retracted and a different explanation put out. It is most likely all innocent indeed, but it does cause a bit of distrust of authority in general. Oh well hey hum.

The problem with the military is the same as any other large organization. Sometimes, the right information is not given to the person who is asked a question. Usually a call to a base about UFOs gets you the base Public affairs officer(usually a low to mid-grade officer), who may or may not be interested in any UFO nonsense. He/she might answer questions to the best of their knowledge but sometimes that information is flawed. As a result, when they make an error, they are called liars and part of the cover-up instead of it being a simple mistake.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-25, 10:37 PM
On another point, I said it before, I'm surprised that it has gotten into a lengthy conversation, not about the possibility of what a particular sighting was, but actually more about disproving somebody else's rational explanation.

Welcome to the wide, wonderful world of how science works. It doesn't matter if an explanation is rational. It matters if the evidence supports it, which is slightly different.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-25, 11:55 PM
Welcome to the wide, wonderful world of how science works. It doesn't matter if an explanation is rational. It matters if the evidence supports it, which is slightly different. I suppose without having a video or even photograph of the main subject here we would not get to the bottom of this case then as both explanations are the proponents own views and can not be verified. It is a shame.

JayUtah
2010-Aug-26, 05:19 AM
I suppose without having a video or even photograph of the main subject here we would not get to the bottom of this case then as both explanations are the proponents own views and can not be verified. It is a shame.

This is the issue with a lot of UFO sightings. There simply isn't enough information to make an informed judgment or to meaningfully test hypotheses. That's why they remain unidentified and unsolved. For some reason, some people seem to think that when this happens, the likely cause must necessarily be something fantastic or extraordinary.

dirty_g
2010-Aug-26, 08:07 AM
This is the issue with a lot of UFO sightings. There simply isn't enough information to make an informed judgment or to meaningfully test hypotheses. That's why they remain unidentified and unsolved. For some reason, some people seem to think that when this happens, the likely cause must necessarily be something fantastic or extraordinary. Though in this thread it's about if it's a Meteor or a Test flight. Marvellous.

Torngarsuk
2010-Aug-27, 12:07 AM
It is your claim that they did not perform a careful assessment, yet you provide no evidence to back up that claim. It is your opinion.

Because you did not present any facts. You presented people's interpretation of what they thought about the study. The same can be said for your opinion about the NAS review. It is your opinion that they misled everyone and essentially lied when they did not do a "careful assessment" as promised. You don't provide any real evidence

Apparently you thought I was going to present “smoking gun evidence”.
I think you are confused. I did not work on the NAS panel (at least I don’t think I did).
I did not conduct or participate in any way in any of these investigations. I have not published any books or attempted to publish a book. If you are looking for anything other than commentary from me, then you need to look elsewhere. I can read the extant literature. I can give you my assessment of other people’s assessments. When my assessment is in conflict with your assessment of other people’s assessments, then we can go back and forth and try to come to some sort of resolution.

Unless of course, you are claiming first hand knowledge of these events. Do you have first hand knowledge of these events or are you just giving us the opinions of other people and your assessment of their opinion?




You interpret the Condon study as shutting down funding. I see no evidence presented to draw this conclusion.

So when are you going to supply us with the evidence of all the subsequent government funded studies I previously asked you to supply.

Answer: You are not, because the Condon study effectively shut off any future government sponsored studies.



Can you list all the proposed studies that have been rejected since the end of the study and why?

I have no doubt there would be proposals from academia if they thought there was a chance of getting funded.



Was funding available prior to Condon?

Yes and no. Prior to Condon, there were government funded projects: Project Sign, Robertson Panel. Were there government funded projects based in the civilian world before Condon? No. That was one thing that made the Condon study different.




What about the "Fund For UFO Research"? At one point they claimed they had raised $700,000 for UFO research.

What about it? Are you claiming they were funded by the government? Submit your evidence.



Robert Bigelow has tried to fund UFO research several times in the past decade. It was wasted money.

You are really reaching now.

Bigelow is a multi-millionaire. He earned his fortune in the hospitality industry.
In America, we believe people should be able to spend their wealth in whatever way they see fit, provided it is legal. In as much as Bigelow does not control the government’s coffers, it is irrelevant how he spends his personal fortune.



All cases experienced during the report were investigated.

Not true!

NICAP quit sending cases to Condon, due to the lack of objectivity displayed by Condon and Low.




I believe you mean this section since you provide no quotes (i.e. facts).

Umm, quotes do not equal facts.




This brings us to the second item. When you have looked into some sightings and examined some Blue Book records and become acquainted with the true state of affairs, you must consider the cost of the Air Force program on UFOs, and determine if the taxpayer should support this for the next decade. It will be at least that long before another independent study can be mounted to see if the Air Force can get out from under this program. If the contract is up before you have laid the proper groundwork for a proper recommendation, an extension of the contract would be less costly than another decade of operating Project Blue Book.





I see nothing "expecting" an "anti-ETH" conclusion. He appears most concerned about funds and spending a lot of taxpayers money continuing to study UFOs. It would not require an "anit-ETH" solution to accomplish this.

The last paragraph certainly shows the casual reader the true intent behind the Air Force funding. The USAF wanted to get out of the UFO business. It is as simple as that. The notion that they wanted a scientific study is absurd. They wanted a study that would appear to be scientific and that is all.

As for the “anti-ETH”, conclusion: In the preceding paragraphs Hippler gives us HIS reasons why UFOs are not extraterrestrial. He goes as far as making the extraordinary claim that “No one knows of a visitation”. I find it curious that he thinks a Lt. Col in the USAF is in a position to know everything every other agency knows. He should have said that he was not aware of a visitation if that is what he meant.

From the tone of the letter, two things seem clear:
1. The USAF wants to cancel Blue Book.
2. The Air Force does not want to read about et.

Regardless, your interpretation of this letter, a couple things are clear:

1. Low should have never asked the USAF for their expectations during the “progress meeting”. He should have conducted a scientific study no matter the outcome.

2. Condon had his marching orders and was going to get in step with Air Force expectations.

During a lecture to scientists in Corning, New York just three days after receipt of the Hippler letter Condon said this: "It is my inclination right now to recommend that the government get out of this business. My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I am not supposed to reach a conclusion for another year."



If you feel that the study was "unscientific" that is your opinion. . However, I have yet to see you identify why it was "devoid of scientific merit".

A key proviso in the Colorado/USAF contract called for the following:

“The work will be conducted under conditions of strictest objectivity by investigators who, as carefully as can be determined, have no predilections or preconceived positions on the UFO question."

Klass called objectivity “vitally important”.

Condon lost his objectivity if he ever had it to begin with regarding UFOs, science went out the window as a result.





All I have seen is conspiracies being suggested, which are the same conspiracies that UFOlogists have been repeating over the past 40 years since the study was completed.


The word conspiracy has a very negative connotation usually implying something evil, unlawful, treacherous, etc.

There is another definition: any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

Based on previous comments by:

Project Blue Book chief Lieutenant Colonel Robert Friend: should be handed over to a civilian agency that would word its report in such a way as to allow the Air Force to drop its study.

Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force Edward Trapnell to Dr. Robert Calkins of the Brookings Institute: should find a civilian committee to study the problem and then have them conclude it the way the Air Force wanted.

Francis Archer, scientific advisor to Blue Book to Major General Dougher at the Pentagon: I have tried to get Bluebook out of ATIC for 10 years.

I would say a conspiracy was afoot: ie: any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.


Was it really USAF secrecy or just the case of somebody who did not want to be bothered by UFO "nonsense"? As noted, a call up the chain of command got the response. If it were a USAF secret, the chain of command would have told the team it was classified as secret. That was not the case.


You are now stating your opinion as fact. My opinion is if there was a secret to keep, the USAF most certainly would not have said it is a secret.

For example:

Investigator: Was there a UFO incident on such and such date?
USAF Rep: That is a classified secret.

LOL!



The assistant responding is the same thing as the DOI responding

Not the same at all.

Think plausible deniability.

This was a high profile study.
Your ignorance, arrogance, and “bucking the system” explanations sound rather silly in the face of a request from the Pentagon.
The Colonel was directed by the Pentagon to make contact.
He found a way to do it while maintaining deniability.



Is your response to my post saying your implying the air force was not helpful. Before this though you posted a thread about a Colonel who would not return calls and was seeming to evade the investigators even after a call from the pentagon telling them to be helpful and return calls. Therefore logically they were not helpful? So you must be implying they were not that helpful? I don't have a problem with it but that is basically what you seem to be saying, right?

You used the phrase: “why would they be” (helpful)

I was merely saying they (USAF) had agreed to help.

As we see, in at least one case they were less than forthcoming.

The base in question had had a UFO report about 30 days before the “UFO event” in question.

They were supposed to forward those reports to Blue Book.

Astrophotographer's suggestion that a high ranking officer who routinely dealt with UFO reports was somehow ignorant of the high profile Colorado study is a bit much.

His suggestion that the DOI Colonel's actions are the result of arrogance in the face of a Pentagon request is very hollywood-esque, unfortunately we are not talking about Colonel Nathan R. Jessup here!




It seems my comment on the 156 NSA documents (not CIA documents, thanks astrophotographer) has stuck a nerve.

Let’s see if I can clear this up.



In fact i'm quite amused by the thread now as it's more of an argument over whose rational explanation is correct. We have to remember though that Governments do withhold information and have most certainly done it plenty of times before and will continue to do so.


Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS) under FOIA tried to get CIA UFO documents.
With the help of federal judge Gerhard Gesell, CIA released a few documents indicating that other agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) had documents. Eventually the NSA documents came out.

The point of my original comment was to illustrate what dirty_g had already said (ie: the government withholds information).

I incorrectly identified the documents as CIA, because the original documents informing us of their existence were of CIA origin. The contents of the documents, is not germane to the question of whether the government can keep a secret. Sorry folks no conspiracy.

At the risk of starting another ruckus, anyone that thinks the government can’t keep a secret for a LONG time should study the OXCART program. The story begins in 1957 and extends to the 2007 CIA declassification! That is 50 years folks!

Most, but fortunately not all, of the people with first hand knowledge are dead! Certain parts of the government are very adept at keeping secrets.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-27, 01:49 AM
You are not, because the Condon study effectively shut off any future government sponsored studies.

And why should tax payer money be spent studying UFOs? I think it would be a tremendous waste of funds. Condon saw that. I am curious what you think a government organization for studying UFOs would accomplish?



Bigelow is a multi-millionaire. He earned his fortune in the hospitality industry.
In America, we believe people should be able to spend their wealth in whatever way they see fit, provided it is legal. In as much as Bigelow does not control the government’s coffers, it is irrelevant how he spends his personal fortune.

My point in this (as well as the FUFOR reference) is that UFOlogists have no idea on how to study UFOs even when they have money. Why should the government (or any institution funding scientific studies) desire to allocate money to a group of people that are just going to throw it away on things like researching old UFO cases that produce no results.


NICAP quit sending cases to Condon, due to the lack of objectivity displayed by Condon and Low.

However, all cases that were presented to the project were investigated as much as possible. Just because NICAP picked up their toys and left did not mean people stopped submitting UFO reports.




Umm, quotes do not equal facts.

Actually, they do when you are discussing what a person stated. It is a fact that this is what Hippler stated. Going deeper by looking for hidden meaning behind those words is not presenting facts.





The last paragraph certainly shows the casual reader the true intent behind the Air Force funding. The USAF wanted to get out of the UFO business. It is as simple as that. The notion that they wanted a scientific study is absurd. They wanted a study that would appear to be scientific and that is all.

That is your interpretation. As I stated, I see a man interested in making sure the study is accomplished correctly so they can make an informed decision about funding Bluebook (or some other organization). There is nothing in this statement that says he expects an anti-ETH answer or demanding they not be scientific.


As for the “anti-ETH”, conclusion: In the preceding paragraphs Hippler gives us HIS reasons why UFOs are not extraterrestrial. He goes as far as making the extraordinary claim that “No one knows of a visitation”. I find it curious that he thinks a Lt. Col in the USAF is in a position to know everything every other agency knows. He should have said that he was not aware of a visitation if that is what he meant.

So, he was writing an informal letter and it was his thoughts on the subject. He bases this on what he knew. Scientists did not report any visitation. The USAF did not report any visitation. Exactly, who had been reporting "visitation"? Nobody, that's who. So far, history has shown that his statement was accurate. Again, I see nothing in this where he demands or expects an Anti-ETH conclusion as you claim.


From the tone of the letter, two things seem clear:
1. The USAF wants to cancel Blue Book.
2. The Air Force does not want to read about et.

These are clear because that is what you want to believe. Did the USAF want out of investigating UFOs? Probably. It was a waste of their budget and resources. It accomplished nothing other than being a whipping boy for UFO groups. However, this does not mean that the study was told to do this.


Investigator: Was there a UFO incident on such and such date?
USAF Rep: That is a classified secret.

That is eseentially what happened at Malmstrom so don't laugh.


Your ignorance, arrogance, and “bucking the system” explanations sound rather silly in the face of a request from the Pentagon.
The Colonel was directed by the Pentagon to make contact.
He found a way to do it while maintaining deniability.

Not ignorance or arrogance at all. It is a very likely scenario. Why are you so set against it? There are no indications of any UFOs ever reported at this time involving X-15 flights. What other reason would he have not to respond. The final straw is that there was a response the instant the Pentagon told them to respond. When you can demonstrate an actual UFO event happened on the date in question involving an X-15 flight, then I will agree it was classified. However, saying there was something secret when there is no evidence that it happened (other than a simple rumor) is just taking a leap of faith.



The base in question had had a UFO report about 30 days before the “UFO event” in question.

They were supposed to forward those reports to Blue Book.

However, the investigators were asking about a specific event on a specific date. They were not asking about UFO reports that were filed days, weeks, or months before.

I am assuming you are discussing the 30 July 1967 incident at Edwards. Your comment states they were "supposed" to forward this report with the implication they did not. If this is the case you are referring to, why not tell the whole story. It was sent to the Condon study and appears in the Optical and Radar Analyses of field cases (seection III chpt 5)! If it went to Condon, it made it to bluebook.

1306-B. Edwards AFB, Kernville, Calif., 30 July 1967, 2217-2400 LST. Weather: clear, calm, warm (83°F). Two civilians reported observing one or two blue, star-like objects that appeared to circle, bob, and zigzag about a seemingly fixed star; these objects "instantly disappeared" about 1 hr. 45 min. after sighting. Edwards AFB RAPC0N radar picked up "something" at about 2230 LST "for several sweeps." Blip seemed to be moving south at about 50-60 mph. There is no apparent connection between the radar and visual reports. The visual UFO did not appear to move at 50-60 mph. Data, including weather data, on this report are insufficient to form an opinion. The most likely possibility seems to be that the visual LJFO consisted of the direct image plus one or two reflected images of the "fixed star" that the observer reported. What may have produced the reflected images remains conjectural. For example, a turbulent layer of air with strong temperature contrasts could produce images similar to those described by the witnesses. The instantaneous disappearance of the UFOs is consistent with an optical phenomenon. As for the radar "track", a blip appearing for only "a few sweeps" could be almost anything: noise, AP, or possibly a real target flying near the lower limits of the radar beam.

Jim
2010-Aug-27, 02:11 AM
... If you are looking for anything other than commentary from me, then you need to look elsewhere. ...

... the Condon study effectively shut off any future government sponsored studies.

NICAP quit sending cases to Condon, due to the lack of objectivity displayed by Condon and Low.

... The USAF wanted to get out of the UFO business. It is as simple as that. The notion that they wanted a scientific study is absurd. They wanted a study that would appear to be scientific and that is all.

From the tone of the letter, two things seem clear:
1. The USAF wants to cancel Blue Book.
2. The Air Force does not want to read about et.

2. Condon had his marching orders and was going to get in step with Air Force expectations.

Condon lost his objectivity if he ever had it to begin with regarding UFOs, science went out the window as a result.

Project Blue Book chief Lieutenant Colonel Robert Friend: should be handed over to a civilian agency that would word its report in such a way as to allow the Air Force to drop its study.

Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force Edward Trapnell to Dr. Robert Calkins of the Brookings Institute: should find a civilian committee to study the problem and then have them conclude it the way the Air Force wanted.

Francis Archer, scientific advisor to Blue Book to Major General Dougher at the Pentagon: I have tried to get Bluebook out of ATIC for 10 years.

You start by saying you are merely commenting, but then seem to make several claims of fact. Please provide sources or state that these are merely your opinions/interpretations.

(Also, try to reduce the snark. I refer you to Rule #2.)

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-27, 03:35 AM
The word conspiracy has a very negative connotation usually implying something evil, unlawful, treacherous, etc.

There is another definition: any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.

Based on previous comments by:

Project Blue Book chief Lieutenant Colonel Robert Friend: should be handed over to a civilian agency that would word its report in such a way as to allow the Air Force to drop its study.

Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force Edward Trapnell to Dr. Robert Calkins of the Brookings Institute: should find a civilian committee to study the problem and then have them conclude it the way the Air Force wanted.

Francis Archer, scientific advisor to Blue Book to Major General Dougher at the Pentagon: I have tried to get Bluebook out of ATIC for 10 years.

I would say a conspiracy was afoot: ie: any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.


If you are going to quote Randle (http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/2007/03/hippler-letter.html), give him credit unless you are Kevin Randle. However, let's get some of these statements set in the proper context:

1) Friend was the head of Project Bluebook 1958-1963. He was not involved with the selection or the conduct of the Condon study.
2) Trapnel was a special assistant for public affairs in the early 1960s. To the best of my knowledge he did not have anything to do with the Condon study.
3) Archer wrote his letter on April 1, 1960. This played no role in the selection or the conduct of the Condon study.

So, all of these people made the observation that bluebook was a waste of taxpayers money. You act like this is news of some kind. If this "conspiracy" was in place in the early 1960s, why wait until many years later? Why not get a rubber stamp before that?

That being said, I have yet to see any solid evidence presented by you that Condon and his group received outside pressure to reach an anit-ETH conclusion.

EDIT (In bold): Dr. Craig states that this was not the case. According to him at the briefing in January 1967 (for which he quotes the transcript), the following comments were made:

Hippler: "You see, first of all, we (USAF) have not charged you, and you have not promised, to prove or disprove anything."
Dr. Ratchford: "I think the only thing that we are really asking you to do is to take a look at the problem, first of all, and the on the basis of what you determine recommend what the AF should do in the future".
Hippler: "I don't think we want any recommendation from you unless you feel strongly about it." (p. 235 of Roy Craig's UFOs: An insider's view of the official quest for evidence)

It does not sound like they were demanding/expecting an anti-ETH conclusion.

As far as the Anti-ETH conclusion (which you seem to think was the wrong conclusion) is concerned, can you present any evidence or single case you think supports the idea that UFOs are ET? If not, doesn't that mean that the conclusions of Condon are correct? If you do have a case, then present it.

NEOWatcher
2010-Aug-27, 12:09 PM
At the risk of starting another ruckus, anyone that thinks the government can’t keep a secret for a LONG time should study the OXCART program. The story begins in 1957 and extends to the 2007 CIA declassification! That is 50 years folks!
You risked it, now please explain it.
There is a difference between keeping a secret, and declassifying documents. My understanding of OXCART is that it was the development of the A-12 at Area 51.
A-12, and Area 51 have been known to exist for decades. The design of the A-12 have been known for decades.
The secret has been out for decades, only the original documents have not been out.

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-27, 01:45 PM
A key proviso in the Colorado/USAF contract called for the following:

“The work will be conducted under conditions of strictest objectivity by investigators who, as carefully as can be determined, have no predilections or preconceived positions on the UFO question."

Klass called objectivity “vitally important”.

Condon lost his objectivity if he ever had it to begin with regarding UFOs, science went out the window as a result.

I missed this last night. How do you determine that Condon "lost his objectivity"? What evidence do you have other than a quote where he voiced his opinion that what he had seen so far was not very compelling? As I stated previously, Dr. Craig's point of view on this clearly shows the problems Condon had but that the study did go as planned and was objective. So far, all I have seen you do is make claims based on what UFO websites and books told you. Your opinion about it being "devoid of scientific merit" and "lacking objectivity" is based on what you want to believe and not based on any real facts. The content of the report says otherwise. The National Academy of science panel saw this. Each case was investigated to the fullest capability of the investigators. When they could not solve the case, they said so. In some cases (such as the McMinnville photos and the 1957 Lakenheath event), they even suggested it might involve actual unidentified craft (Note: since the study, the McMinnville photographs were shown to have some flaws that point to a potential hoax and the 1957 Lakenheath event did not exactly happen as described). If that is not "objective", I am not sure what was. Condon's conclusions that nothing scientific has been learned by studying UFOs and that nothing could be learned by studying UFOs have been shown to be accurate over 40 years after the fact. Can you point to one scientific accomplishment achieved by studying UFOs since the Condon study? I think not. That in itself, says volumes.

Condon was right. The government should not waste its time studying UFOs. If you think they should be, tell me how you would spend a $1 billion dollar budget studying UFOs?

astrophotographer
2010-Aug-27, 02:06 PM
You risked it, now please explain it.
There is a difference between keeping a secret, and declassifying documents. My understanding of OXCART is that it was the development of the A-12 at Area 51.
A-12, and Area 51 have been known to exist for decades. The design of the A-12 have been known for decades.
The secret has been out for decades, only the original documents have not been out.

According to this website (http://www.unrealaircraft.com/gravity/sr71.php):


In 1963 it was realised the program could not remain secret for ever, and in November, US President Lyndon Johnson was briefed. He directed the preparation of a formal announcement for release in the new year. The existence of the A-11 was revealed by the President on US television on 29th February, 1964. He announced that the USAF posessed a new high-speed, high altitude reconnaissance aircraft capable of speeds of over 2,000 mph (3219 km/h) and altitudes of over 70,000 ft (21335 m.) - the U-2's early ceiling. Only profile photos, revealing little of the aircraft's plan form, were released, of an aircraft showing a buzz number of FX-934. Johnson named it as the A-12.

I guess the A-12's secret existence lasted about 7 years and not 50.

EDIT: The SR-71/Oxcart was so secret that it appeared on the cover of a comic book in October 1967!

http://www.ufopop.org/fullimage.php?cid=1960/FlyingSaucers03.jpg

Van Rijn
2010-Aug-27, 10:49 PM
I guess the A-12's secret existence lasted about 7 years and not 50.

EDIT: The SR-71/Oxcart was so secret that it appeared on the cover of a comic book in October 1967!

http://www.ufopop.org/fullimage.php?cid=1960/FlyingSaucers03.jpg

I always liked that plane. I had an SR-71 toy sometime in the early '70s. I'm pretty sure I was aware of it at least by '70. I think that certain details of the plane remained classified for much longer (such as its operational limits), but I too am missing the point of this claimed example of successful government secrets.

Garrison
2010-Aug-27, 11:25 PM
I always liked that plane. I had an SR-71 toy sometime in the early '70s. I'm pretty sure I was aware of it at least by '70. I think that certain details of the plane remained classified for much longer (such as its operational limits), but I too am missing the point of this claimed example of successful government secrets.

In the early 80's you could buy a model of the ultra secret 'stealth fighter'. Now granted they had the name and design wrong but it was pretty much common knowledge it existed and people did see the real thing, though most of them seem to have decided it was a UFO.
Here's a link to a page about the model, including more on the history. I think this shape has been used as the inspiration for advanced aircraft in a number of films and games:

F-19 (http://modelingmadness.com/reviews/mod/us/leef19.htm)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Aug-28, 07:21 AM
EDIT: The SR-71/Oxcart was so secret that it appeared on the cover of a comic book in October 1967!

http://www.ufopop.org/fullimage.php?cid=1960/FlyingSaucers03.jpg
Those aren't SR-71's, they're (Y)F-12 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_YF-12)'s, a not-so-classified fast interceptor version which some think were made, at least partially, as a cover for the A-12 reconnaissance version and its descendant R-12(SR-71).
When making a visually unique super-secret spy plane, it makes quite a lot of sense to make a not so secret fighter version, since that way accidental sightings will be explained easily by misidentification.

chrlzs
2010-Aug-28, 07:54 AM
FTR, the SR-71 first flew in 1964.

I had a model of it, made by Revell - in 1969.

I kid you not, and this is verifiable. Here ya go:
http://gregers.7.forumer.com/a/merlinjones-revell-172-lockheed-sr71-blackbird_post11432.html

Scroll down to the pics of the box, and have a little chuckle - "Secret U.S. Spy Plane", huh...?

(That's not me by the way, but I remember the box...)

dirty_g
2010-Sep-10, 12:21 AM
Looks like Torngarsuk has taken a leave here. Shame, as the arguments here were quite well presented between the two main proponents in this argument (they both actually looked at a lot of evidence and presented a good few reports or direct us where to go). He did state many of his own opinions without clearing up if they were fact or not though (but I found it rather easy to distinguish which was which I didnt find it hard to tell). I do think both sides went snarky mind you and not just him. I leave myself wide open here but it does feel at times that if your not in with the "IN" crowd then you can feel the pressure. Compared to a great many of the posters on here that make outrageous comments, this guy actually seemed a bit more level headed and willing to research his claims. I think it can be frustrating when you come up against a brick wall though. On a side note I think my laptop may die in a moment.... oh dear.

manxman
2010-Sep-10, 11:13 PM
If you are going to quote Randle (http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/2007/03/hippler-letter.html), give him credit unless you are Kevin Randle. However, let's get some of these statements set in the proper context:

1) Friend was the head of Project Bluebook 1958-1963. He was not involved with the selection or the conduct of the Condon study.
2) Trapnel was a special assistant for public affairs in the early 1960s. To the best of my knowledge he did not have anything to do with the Condon study.
3) Archer wrote his letter on April 1, 1960. This played no role in the selection or the conduct of the Condon study.

So, all of these people made the observation that bluebook was a waste of taxpayers money. You act like this is news of some kind. If this "conspiracy" was in place in the early 1960s, why wait until many years later? Why not get a rubber stamp before that?

That being said, I have yet to see any solid evidence presented by you that Condon and his group received outside pressure to reach an anit-ETH conclusion.

EDIT (In bold): Dr. Craig states that this was not the case. According to him at the briefing in January 1967 (for which he quotes the transcript), the following comments were made:

Hippler: "You see, first of all, we (USAF) have not charged you, and you have not promised, to prove or disprove anything."
Dr. Ratchford: "I think the only thing that we are really asking you to do is to take a look at the problem, first of all, and the on the basis of what you determine recommend what the AF should do in the future".
Hippler: "I don't think we want any recommendation from you unless you feel strongly about it." (p. 235 of Roy Craig's UFOs: An insider's view of the official quest for evidence)

It does not sound like they were demanding/expecting an anti-ETH conclusion.

As far as the Anti-ETH conclusion (which you seem to think was the wrong conclusion) is concerned, can you present any evidence or single case you think supports the idea that UFOs are ET? If not, doesn't that mean that the conclusions of Condon are correct? If you do have a case, then present it.

Same old same old.


In fact, just three days after that letter was received, Condon delivered a lecture to scientists in Corning, New York telling them, "It is my inclination right now to recommend that the government get out of this business. My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I am not supposed to reach a conclusion for another year."



Same old same old.

slang
2010-Sep-10, 11:44 PM
In fact, just three days after that letter was received, Condon delivered a lecture to scientists in Corning, New York telling them, "It is my inclination right now to recommend that the government get out of this business. My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I am not supposed to reach a conclusion for another year."

What's wrong with that remark? Is that not the exactly correct answer one should give, when one's conclusion may depend (formally or not) on information not yet received, but expected within a year? Say, reports from sub-committees, or something similar?

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-11, 05:47 PM
Same old same old.


In fact, just three days after that letter was received, Condon delivered a lecture to scientists in Corning, New York telling them, "It is my inclination right now to recommend that the government get out of this business. My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I am not supposed to reach a conclusion for another year."



Same old same old.

Context is always important. Condon did not state " I am not supposed to reach THAT conclusion for another year". Had he done that, it would indicate he had already made up his mind. Instead he stated "A conclusion", indicating he had not determined the final outcome. All he was doing at that point is voicing his opinon. Perhaps he should not have publicly but, scientists, like everybody else, do have opinions about something. IMO, he had the right attitude about UFOs. As I have stated several times in this thread, exactly what would a government agency involved in investigating UFO reports have accomplished? NOTHING, that is what. It has been over 40 years since this study was done and numerous other studies by various other countries and UFO groups have shown that it is a waste of time, manpower, and money. Nothing gets accomplished other than stamp collecting UFO reports. Have any great scientific achievements been accomplished by studying these reports? Not that I am aware of and it is not because of lack of money as I pointed out. I, for one, am happy that a "department of UFO investigations" was never formed in the US government and that my tax dollars were spent elsewhere.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Sep-11, 05:55 PM
Such a department makes sense when it's expected that the UFO's they're investigating are possibly enemy spy planes.
Once that possibility drops below interesting, there's no rational arguments for continuing.

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-11, 07:57 PM
Same old same old.


In fact, just three days after that letter was received, Condon delivered a lecture to scientists in Corning, New York telling them, "It is my inclination right now to recommend that the government get out of this business. My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I am not supposed to reach a conclusion for another year."



Same old same old.

Unless you have evidence to the contrary to present, it was exactly as astrophotographer posted...a waste of time and resources. Condon had it right.

Same old, same old?? Hardly

Gillianren
2010-Sep-11, 08:15 PM
Well, same old same old. People get mad if those seriously looking at UFOs and the ETH follow the evidence--and realize there isn't any.

kamaz
2010-Sep-11, 08:39 PM
In fact, just three days after that letter was received, Condon delivered a lecture to scientists in Corning, New York telling them, "It is my inclination right now to recommend that the government get out of this business. My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I am not supposed to reach a conclusion for another year."


Translation:



My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I still have to bill them next year somehow.

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-11, 08:52 PM
Translation:

Your "translation" is unconvincing...

HenrikOlsen
2010-Sep-11, 08:52 PM
Actually, the translation is "My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But it's a job I'm paid for so I have to do it right."

Garrison
2010-Sep-11, 09:02 PM
Well, same old same old. People get mad if those seriously looking at UFOs and the ETH follow the evidence--and realize there isn't any.

I find it fairly damning that the quality of evidence isn't any better today than it was in the 50's. We have a myriad of government and civilian satellites monitoring the world, we have CCTV on every street, and practically everyone has a mobile phone with a camera, and yet we're still left with lights in the sky and blurry blobs; leaving aside the fakes and hoaxes.

Eric12407
2010-Sep-13, 12:40 PM
I find it fairly damning that the quality of evidence isn't any better today than it was in the 50's. We have a myriad of government and civilian satellites monitoring the world, we have CCTV on every street, and practically everyone has a mobile phone with a camera, and yet we're still left with lights in the sky and blurry blobs; leaving aside the fakes and hoaxes.


Oh there's lot of evidence out there .... it's just being ignored.

Here's a good start .... go over the info in this book written by Leslie Kean ...
UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record

Of course ... you'll discount every one of these testimonies as well. In fact you will accept no amount of evidence no matter how compelling or interesting. Such is the function of this forum ...

eburacum45
2010-Sep-13, 12:47 PM
Well, rather than simply stating that these witnesses have good testimony, why not present the best ones so that we can discuss them? The top five most convincing will do.

Eric12407
2010-Sep-13, 01:01 PM
Well, rather than simply stating that these witnesses have good testimony, why not present the best ones so that we can discuss them? The top five most convincing will do.

There's no point .... anything regarding ufo's will be dismissed out of hand. This forum is useless ... it's simple a debunking site ...

If there is no scientific inquiry after hundreds of thousands if not millions of eye witness accounts ... science has FAILED .....

Science is not serving the needs of humanity in this most important of affairs ....
It has been discredited ..... at least in this part of the world ....

Strange
2010-Sep-13, 01:13 PM
If there is no scientific inquiry after hundreds of thousands if not millions of eye witness accounts ...

But the testimony of witnesses has been investigated many times. Sadly, no evidence of extraterrestrial influence has been demonstrated. You can't blame science for not producing the results you want.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-13, 01:49 PM
There's no point .... anything regarding ufo's will be dismissed out of hand. This forum is useless ... it's simple a debunking site ...

If there is no scientific inquiry after hundreds of thousands if not millions of eye witness accounts ... science has FAILED .....

Science is not serving the needs of humanity in this most important of affairs ....
It has been discredited ..... at least in this part of the world ....

Oh come now.....if the cases you claim are so good, they should stand up to scrutiny. The problem is, I read some of the book (not all yet but I am familiar with all the cases mentioned at this point), and some of these cases have perfectly logical explanations (Cosford, Rendlesham, Arizona 1997, Beligum 1989-90 are a few). The book is an awful attempt at an emotional appeal for "believe this witness". Science would still believe in all sorts of things if they adopted this philosophy. Instead science demands evidence and good arguments from that evidence. All we get from these UFO stories is bad anecdotal evidence, poor data, and a claim of a mystery that some of these individuals are not interested in solving. It is bad science or not science at all.

I agree that if you think one case is truly compelling, that you present it for discussion. Whining about this being a "debunker" forum is just an excuse for the poor evidence these cases represent.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-13, 02:00 PM
...

Oh there's lot of evidence out there .... it's just being ignored.

Yes there is, but not by the side of the debate you think.

Here's a good start .... go over the info in this book written by Leslie Kean ...
Of course ... you'll discount every one of these testimonies as well.

I don't have to. Kean presents no new sightings and no new information on the sightings she reports. Her line of reasoning is that the supposed reliability of the eyewitnesses in question should compel additional attention. The premise of that argument has already been dealt with by science, but UFO enthusiasts routinely ignore those findings. Further, she pads her list of "reliable" sightings with some such as the Phoenix Lights and Pres. Jimmy Carter's sighting, which have conclusive explanations. In other cases she simply ignores much of the non-UFO research in her rush to make then "unexplainable." Finally, although she claims to be an independent researcher, her acknowledgments and credits read like a Who's Who of the UFO "researchers."

In fact you will accept no amount of evidence no matter how compelling or interesting.

The problem is exactly that UFO fanatics want evidence that's compelling and interesting, while scientists generally want information that is reliable, accurate, and testable. Jimmy Carter's sighting, for example, is not compelling or interesting. He looked in the direction of Venus and saw a bright light in the sky. Wow. The Belgian sightings are remarkable only if you assume that three unconnected events are, instead, somehow connected. They have considerable "wow" factors for people who are predisposed to believe in alien visitation, but that doesn't count.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-13, 02:31 PM
...

There's no point .... anything regarding ufo's will be dismissed out of hand.

No, you're just posturing now. You tell us there is compelling evidence for your beliefs. The very first words out of people's mouths here are "Please show us this evidence." But now you're unwilling to present it; you'd rather poison the well against any legitimate criticism that might be offered. Maybe this approach, and not some evil predisposition on our part, is why you aren't taken as seriously as you'd like to be.

If there is no scientific inquiry after hundreds of thousands if not millions of eye witness accounts ... science has FAILED .....

Wow, the number of sightings keeps increasing. Now it's in the millions. You seem to be making some sort of "strength in numbers" argument, but such an argument fails unless you can demonstrate (not merely suggest) some sort of commonality among them. If one person sees a fast-moving small light at night, and another person sees a gray face in the window, and a third person sees a white sphere hovering in the daytime, you can't assume they're related. They have vastly different phenomenology.

The three UFOs I've seen in the past couple years have similarly varied phenomenology. One was a silver cigar shape, seen in the daytime. One was a diffuse, stationary light. One was a set of fast-moving blue lights. Can I lump them together simply because someone might hypothesize an extraterrestrial origin for all of them? Can I lump them together because science "has no explanation" for them? As a matter of subsequent investigation, they were (1) a runaway model blimp, (2) a departing airliner in a fog bank (3) RC model aircraft. What was common to all of them is my initial inability to identify the object. And that is, so far, the only commonality science has been able to find in UFO sightings.

Science has investigated many of these sightings. Out of some representative samples, roughly 19 out of 20 could be explained in terms of the eyewitnesses' misidentification of ordinary phenomena, often astronomical objects. The remaining cases simply presented too little information to permit any further examination. Science further investigates the notion that eyewitness testimony is reliable in reporting the details or facts, and the notion that certain people by virtue of their occupation are automatically more reliable witnesses. These are staples of the UFO-enthusiast methods, which rely on premises such as, "If it had been an ordinary object, these highly-reliable witnesses would have detected it."

The problem seems to be that you want science to confirm your beliefs, not to inquire after them. That's not the way science works.

Science is not serving the needs of humanity in this most important of affairs ....

I wouldn't go so far as to call UFOs the "most important of affairs." There are more pressing concerns, in my opinion. But the search for extraterrestrial life indeed receives a considerable amount of resources. It's just not a search in the way UFO enthusiasts want it carried out.

captain swoop
2010-Sep-13, 03:36 PM
The problem seems to be that you want science to confirm your beliefs, not to inquire after them. That's not the way science works.

This I think is the most telling statement.
It is common to a lot of believers in all kinds of 'fringe' areas, not just Ufology.

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-13, 05:25 PM
I agree that if you think one case is truly compelling, that you present it for discussion.

I also would be interested in case(s) where the evidence is convincing.

Well, Eric??

Garrison
2010-Sep-13, 05:52 PM
Oh there's lot of evidence out there .... it's just being ignored.

Here's a good start .... go over the info in this book written by Leslie Kean ...
UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record

Of course ... you'll discount every one of these testimonies as well. In fact you will accept no amount of evidence no matter how compelling or interesting. Such is the function of this forum ...

If all they are is testimonies, and testimonies being recounted second hand by an author, then they have very little value. Have you attempted to access the source material this Leslie Kean used to verify the accuracy of the versions in the book? Or have you simply taken them at face value because they suit your beliefs?

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-13, 06:32 PM
Oh there's lot of evidence out there .... it's just being ignored.

Here's a good start .... go over the info in this book written by Leslie Kean ...
UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record

Of course ... you'll discount every one of these testimonies as well. In fact you will accept no amount of evidence no matter how compelling or interesting. Such is the function of this forum ...
This sounds much like the type of persons in the Disclosure Project compiled by Steven Greer. I read it and was not convinced. Did you read it? If so, anything that convinced you and why?

Gillianren
2010-Sep-13, 06:43 PM
Science is not serving the needs of humanity in this most important of affairs ....

I think evidence that aliens are buzzing us and leaving no better evidence than fuzzy photos and confused eyewitness testimony is very unimportant indeed. As unimportant, honestly, as alien life on the other side of the galaxy. Aliens which interact with world events? That would be important. Your undoubted response would be that they're going to, but you can't know that based on available evidence. You can't know anything based on available events, even if you postulate that all those unexplained sightings can be explained by aliens. There isn't enough to tell you anything worth anything.

Don J
2010-Sep-13, 07:18 PM
UFOs enthousiasts should take into account this statement made by Phillipp Klaus ,

THE UFO CURSE:
No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today. You will never know any more about what UFOs really are, or where they come from. You will never know any more about what the U.S. Government really knows about UFOs than you know today. As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse.

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-13, 07:27 PM
UFOs enthousiasts should take into account this statement made by Phillipp Klaus ,

THE UFO CURSE:
No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today. You will never know any more about what UFOs really are, or where they come from. You will never know any more about what the U.S. Government really knows about UFOs than you know today. As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse.

Small correction, it was Philip J Klass. http://www.bautforum.com/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=106669

Don J
2010-Sep-13, 07:48 PM
Small correction, it was Philip J Klass.
Right.Thanks for the correction.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-13, 09:52 PM
...

Oh come now.....if the cases you claim are so good, they should stand up to scrutiny.

Indeed, but UFO enthusiasts simply write off most brands of "scrutiny" as knee-jerk debunking or overwrought skepticism. I've noticed the kind of scrutiny they typically want is just enough straw-man consideration of prosaic causes to render it "investigated" yet "unexplainable."

The book is an awful attempt at an emotional appeal for "believe this witness".

I couldn't have said it better. Kean argues a "soft" line of reasoning for the supposed reliability of pilot testimony: we trust these people with our lives and $100 million aircraft, etc. She states, without justification, that pilots are experts on everything that flies. This is simply not true. My pilot training tested my ability to identify known aircraft types and to estimate distance reliably. That's because in the busy airspace around my city it's crucial to know the difference between a Bombardier regional jet at 3 miles and a Boeing 767 at 7 miles. We have an international airport, two municipal airports, and an Air Force based all clustered together in the same region constrained by geology. At no time did any instructor say, "This is what a wayward weather balloon looks like," or "Here's what a rocket launch looks like." I certainly was not trained to recognize everything that flies.

Luckily we don't have to infer that level ability from training and experience. We can measure the pilot's ability directly. And it turns out that pilots as a group, contrary to claims, are at times actually worse than the general public at carefully observing and interpreting things they aren't immediately familiar with. The NTSB reports are chock full of pilot misperception. And in the years following the first recognition of perceptual errors in official incident reports, cognitive science has done a very good job of characterizing this behavior and identifying likely cognitive causes. It's difficult for UFO fanatics to dismiss these findings as overskepticism because the accompanying research isn't aimed at UFO reports. It's aimed at the general problem of eyewitness testimony, which applies to several fields of investigation where results count. It can't be written off as a lame attempt to "explain away" UFO sightings.

Why are pilots worse? Ironically it's because of training. Training can take the form of general instruction, the classroom imparting of domain-specific knowledge to those who'll need it. But training, especially in the military, is often also rote repetition and drilling. This procedure is meant to train the operative to act instinctively. It produces predictable and decisive decisions in timely circumstances. A pilot who sees Venus emerge unexpectedly from behind a cloud is mostly likely to interpret it knee-jerkedly as an oncoming aircraft, and -- fearing a mid-air collision -- will bank his airplane out of the way, perhaps even violently, purely out of instinct. His subsequent interpretations of the relative motion of the celestial object are colored by that initial misidentification.

But that initial action is what we train on in order to safeguard the airplane and its passengers. You want the pilot to react defensively when presented with the initial signs of a threat. There's no problem if he turns to avoid Venus -- a little embarrassment and some rattled nerves. But there's a huge problem if he fails to turn while deciding whether it's Venus or an MD-80, and it turns out to be an MD-80. Kean's notion of what pilot training is meant to accomplish, is entirely fanciful. You don't train pilots to be analytical and contemplative. You train them to do the safe thing without taking too much time to think about it.

Combat pilots, in addition to evasion, are taught to engage aggressively. You make the enemy predictable by putting him on the defensive as quickly as possible. Hence pilots "engage" a celestial object and tend then to interpret subsequent relative behavior as evasion or dogfighting. Kean seems to think this is evidence that the UFOs are intelligently-controlled vehicles whose little gray pilots know who they're tangling with. If Kean had consulted any psychologists, which it appears she didn't, she would have learned about what the literature variously calls "wish fulfillment" or "threat fulfillment," in which the context in which stimuli arise colors the reading of actual fact. People literally do see what they fervently desire or fear. A pilot scrambled to an intercept under the qualification, "This is not an exercise," will be more likely to interpret any questionable maneuver as a "dogfight," and will even report untrue facts (unconsciously) that support that interpretation.

As I summarized in the Michio Kaku thread, Kean seems to completely disregard the 19 out of 20 reports that she considers "solved," and focus entirely on the "unexplainable" ones. Now from an initial perspective, that's not unreasonable. She's focusing on the subset of data that presents and interesting problem, not the straightforward majority that doesn't merit a book. However, in that majority you find evidence that undermines her premise of infallible pilots. And if you take away that premise, her book is nothing more than a few rehashed UFO sightings mixed liberally with a lot of dubiously relevant anti-government paranoia.

Further, Kean sets herself up as a non-partisan, independent reporter. But her one-sided approach to much of the evidence, plus the suspicious presence of Budd Hopkins as one of her principal advisors leads me to suspect that this book is largely just a pseudo-legitimized front for some of the usual authors. I don't believe she is as independent as she argues.

Instead science demands evidence and good arguments from that evidence.

Even from eyewitnesses. "It zipped away at what I'd estimate was 10,000 mph." No, that's not reliable eyewitness testimony. How far away was it? How do you know? How big was it? How do you know? What did you use to estimate the speed? (Nobody has practical experience with 10,000 mph speeds.) And so forth. Since about 1990 we've changed the way we interview eyewitnesses in forensic investigations in order to account for more perceptual pitfalls. UFO researchers completely ignore this issue.

All we get from these UFO stories is bad anecdotal evidence, poor data, and a claim of a mystery that some of these individuals are not interested in solving.

Sometimes we even get fabricated evidence. Thankfully we as a species remain reasonably adept at discerning fabricated evidence from honest claims, but the fact that fabrications are being made speaks to the extent of the bias operating from the pro-UFO camp. And in the presence of such bias, as a whole, we have to treat claims skeptically. People who want fervently for there to be smoking-gun evidence of alien visitation are simply not going to be dispassionate interpreters of the evidence.

The rhetoric then descends into the reversal of some maxim. In the Apollo hoax arena, the maxim is "I believe Apollo was faked because I dislike and distrust the government." Hoax believers then project the reverse onto their critics: "You defend Apollo and believe it is real, therefore you like and trust the government." They don't comprehend that a defense of Apollo is simply on the basis of fact; not a negation of their motives. Similarly the UFO crowd says, "I believe UFOs are alien spacecraft because I believe aliens are real." The reverse, the disputation, reads out therefore, "You don't believe UFOs are alien spacecraft, therefore you deny the existence of aliens."

Be careful dismissing anecdotal evidence categorically. In an investigation of some general trend, it has limited value. If you have a report here and there that reads, "My Craptronics headset cuts out periodically," you can't necessarily consider that evidence of a design flaw on the part of Craptronics. Conclusions drawn on the basis of a supposed failure rate need to have a more solid statistical basis.

But while investigating some happenstance event, anecdotal testimony is highly pertinent. "My [Craptronics] headset cut out and I didn't hear the evacuation order," is likely relevant to some particular incident. We may only be interested in why some section didn't evacuate as ordered and thereby suffered injury. We aren't necessarily interested in the overall reliability of the Craptronics product at that moment.

It is bad science or not science at all.

The science of investigating happenstance events is not as cut-and-dried as, say, astronomy. That's because forensics includes a lot of luck. We require copious paperwork and instrumentation in some circumstances in order to investigate failure later. If we're lucky, that paperwork is kept consciously and correctly. But often it's the first thing we eliminate when production pressure mounts.

Sometimes a witness's head was accidentally turned in just the right direction and he provides the key bit of evidence that validates an hypothesis. Sometimes, when a row of lights "disappears" suddenly, you can find documentary evidence of Aileron Airlines flight 666 that executed a missed approach and had to fly in the little-used contingency pattern, and you can interview the captain, who just might remember definitively when he turned off his landing lights. Sometimes you're not so lucky -- "I heard a crash, but I didn't see what happened," and "The lights just suddenly vanished." Therefore forensic science accepts that some number of occurrences simply will not be solved.

The UFO crowd latches onto this circumstance with the premise that if it were truly an ordinary occurrence, we should be able to identify it as such and there would be nothing remarkable about it. That's just simply not true. Then follows the supporting argument that the phenomena in the "unsolved" cases are so remarkable that an extraordinary explanation is demanded. "Ordinary human aircraft can't just vanish; it had to be some alien spacecraft because aliens are the only ones who could have that technology." Or maybe someone just switched off the landing lights. Or, "The light slowly receded until we couldn't see it anymore." Yep, Venus will do that. Again we turn to the rejected majority to see that what once manifested extraordinary phenomenology really did have an ordinary -- if perhaps improbable -- cause.

Whining about this being a "debunker" forum is just an excuse for the poor evidence these cases represent.

Agreed. Many proponents of fringe theories are generally unaccustomed to just how unsupported their claims are, and what standards generally prevail in other fields of investigation.

slang
2010-Sep-13, 10:54 PM
If there is no scientific inquiry after hundreds of thousands if not millions of eye witness accounts ... science has FAILED .....

Well, then, how should that scientific inquiry be done? What, exactly, do you expect? Please be specific.

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-13, 10:59 PM
Many proponents of fringe theories are generally unaccustomed to just how unsupported their claims are, and what standards generally prevail in other fields of investigation.

I "blame" the proliferation of pseudo-science television shows...at least partially. It just seems that every week there are more and more uncritical ghost/UFO/paranormal shows on TV...ya can't swing a dead cat without hitting one. :)

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-14, 07:08 AM
I "blame" the proliferation of pseudo-science television shows...at least partially. It just seems that every week there are more and more uncritical ghost/UFO/paranormal shows on TV...ya can't swing a dead cat without hitting one. :)
But it seems to be human nature: sensationalism sells. Why are tabloids so successful? It is what people want to hear.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-14, 03:17 PM
But it seems to be human nature: sensationalism sells. Why are tabloids so successful? It is what people want to hear.

Very true. But sensationalism didn't used to be the only thing on sale. Used to be you could count on television channels such as History Channel to produce programs that were actually about history, and Discovery and Science Channels to produce programs about scientific investigation. If you wanted Nostradamus and chupacabras you could always watch Fox. I see youngsters all the time these days spouting fearful claims about 2012 that the learned on so-called science channels on television. If they want to make a buck by going low-brow, at least change the name of the channel so it doesn't mislead people into thinking they're being educated.

At least for the History Channel this isn't a gradual shift either. The reformatting occurred after a change in upper management. I was involved in producing some skeptic-oriented programming that was green-lighted under the previous management. After the changeover, it was abruptly canceled with no explanation. I conclude that the reach for the sensational was premeditated.

Fazor
2010-Sep-14, 04:22 PM
Admittedly, "Ice Road Physicists" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-14, 04:37 PM
Admittedly, "Ice Road Physicists" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Neither does "Bigfoot's Heart-Healthy Chili Recipes," for which there would probably also be a market, but we have to draw a line somewhere. I don't mind reality TV shows. In many cases they give us glimpses into lifestyles we would otherwise not be able to experience. They're compelling, attractive programming. But I oppose pseudoscience marketed as science, under color of reputations earned by prior high-quality programming. "Does the Bible Predict 2012?" and "Secret Occult Weddings of the Luftwaffe" are just blatant pandering.

Fazor
2010-Sep-14, 04:42 PM
You do know I was joking, right? I can't stand that History shows "reality" shows under the guise of "Making history every day!" And I can't stand all the "MonsterQuest", "Ghost Hunters", "Alien Psychics who solve Crime", etc shows. It's ridiculous, and the main reason why I almost never watch anything on 'History'.

And my g/f is probably tired of me complaining about all these made-up titles people have, like "Paranormal EMP Expert" or "Unicorn Wrangling Expert". Mostly I'm just annoyed that I haven't figured out a way to just make something up and call myself an expert at it, and end up with my own TV show.

Gillianren
2010-Sep-14, 06:04 PM
I'm old enough to remember when TLC still stood for "The Learning Channel."

Garrison
2010-Sep-14, 06:20 PM
I "blame" the proliferation of pseudo-science television shows...at least partially. It just seems that every week there are more and more uncritical ghost/UFO/paranormal shows on TV...ya can't swing a dead cat without hitting one. :)

I believe 'Swinging A Dead Cat and Seeing What You Can Hit' is an exciting new show coming to the History Channel this autumn... :)

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-14, 06:40 PM
I believe 'Swinging A Dead Cat and Seeing What You Can Hit' is an exciting new show coming to the History Channel this autumn... :)

No. It would offend cat owners world wide and start a controversy. They wouldn't want that.

Don J
2010-Sep-14, 07:00 PM
If there is no scientific inquiry after hundreds of thousands if not millions of eye witness accounts ... science has FAILED .....

Science is not serving the needs of humanity in this most important of affairs ....
It has been discredited ..... at least in this part of the world ....

There was at least one scientist who tried very hard to convince the US gov with the result that his personal life and carreer was totally ruined to the point he comitted suicide.
James E. McDonald

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_E._McDonald

more
http://www.ufologie.net/bio/mcdonaldref.htm

Garrison
2010-Sep-14, 08:14 PM
There was at least one scientist who tried very hard to convince the US gov with the result that his personal life and carreer was totally ruined to the point he comitted suicide.
James E. McDonald

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_E._McDonald

more
http://www.ufologie.net/bio/mcdonaldref.htm

Tragic but he seems to have been one of those who wanted to believe there was something exotic in the UFO phenomenon, and and given the poverty of the evidence for anything except the mundane explanations that wasn't likely to end well.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-14, 10:00 PM
This I think is the most telling statement. It is common to a lot of believers in all kinds of 'fringe' areas, not just Ufology.

Common indeed. But depending on which flavor of fringe theory you're discussing, the approach to mainstream science can be complex and even contradictory.

In ufology and the free-energy movement, mainstream science is regarded often as complicit with the Powers That Be in suppressing the truth. Free-energy claimants accuse science of neglecting free-energy research in order to pursue its hegemony over energy policy, and of debunking free-energy claims solely as a matter of unfair competition. Ufologists accuse mainstream science of negligent disinterest in what they determine to be extraordinary phenomenology. Yet both movements try to appeal somewhat to mainstream methods. UFO enthusiasts have little toy "research" organizations that masquerade as scientific investigative bodies, often with figurehead leaders who have (or had) some mainstream credibility. Free-energy enthusiasts go after patents, and stage demonstrations purportedly with full scientific rigor.

The Moon hoax crowd tends to skirt past mainstream science. They quote its findings on, say, radiation or some such isolated point, but fail to grasp that these sciences universally accept Apollo as a genuine achievement. Their approach seems to be that mainstream science secretly confirms their beliefs.

Cryptozoologists seem to align more with the mainstream and see themselves both of equal value and employing roughly congruent methods. They feel that because mainstream zoologists discover new species that were previously unknown or only rumored to exist, there is hope for Bigfoot and Nessie. Hence they aren't looking so much to mainstream science for validation.

Alternative physics advocates tend to consider themselves "above" mainstream science, feeling the latter to be blocked by staid, uncreative thinking. Validation from the mainstream is sometimes sought; but the theorists consider themselves superior and generally don't feel that validation is necessary.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-14, 10:38 PM
...

You do know I was joking, right?

Yup; it was funny.

I can't stand that History shows "reality" shows under the guise of "Making history every day!"

Agreed. As I said, I have little problem with reality shows -- they're just not a substitute for what those channels used to show.

Selenite
2010-Sep-15, 01:13 AM
*Sigh* I must be getting old. I can remember when MTV had music....and when The History Channel had history. :(

The ironic thing is I can recall just a few years back when politicians and talk show hosts were stridently advocating pulling the remaining financial plug on PBS, because THC and it's cable ilk had proven that quality science and history programming could be amply provided by commercial television. Certainly PBS isn't perfect, but given the non-historical drivel aimed at the lowest common viewing denominator that has invaded much of History's program schedule in the last few years I'm glad they're still around.

Gillianren
2010-Sep-15, 01:56 AM
My local PBS station even does a better job at playing classic American movies than AMC. In that they show at least one a week, commercial free and in its original format.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Sep-15, 02:03 PM
Oh there's lot of evidence out there .... it's just being ignored.

There's no point .... anything regarding ufo's will be dismissed out of hand.
It's almost funny how old the claim that disbelievers will disregard any evidence is, it's even in the Quran (see Al-Qamar).

The problem is that the UFO believers apparently can't take a step back and look at the quality of the evidence that has actually been presented so far.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-17, 01:21 AM
There was at least one scientist who tried very hard to convince the US gov with the result that his personal life and carreer was totally ruined to the point he comitted suicide.

As Garrison has said: tragic indeed. However, McDonald's approach to the UFO phenomenon is not especially scientific. Yes, he has legitimate credentials as a physicist. Yes, he was for many years a practicing physicist studying mainstream topics, including while pursuing his UFO studies. But the thing that most makes something science is not whether or not it comes out of a scientist's mouth, but whether it's reasoned according to acceptable scientific principles. McDonald was an ardent supporter of the extraterrestrial hypothesis and managed to alienate (no pun intended) a great number of scientifically-minded people by pooh-poohing their legitimate objections and following after popular pseudoscience instead. No, it didn't necessarily have to result in suicide, but not everyone is emotionally equipped for substantial rejection.

The alienation may either be a cause or a symptom. But his rhetoric included the notion that everyone else was being unscientific, dismissing ETH/UFOs for what he deemed flimsy reasons. Only he and a few courageous colleagues (i.e. at NICAP and APRO) possessed both the scientific skill and the moral fortitude to do the right thing. It's hard to argue that one remains a scientist when one endeavors so greatly to set oneself apart from the bulk of the scientific community. He characterized everyone else with the typical "'Swamp gas?' Bah, humbug!" attitude and ignored the meaningful critique.

And the straw-man approach continued to work well for him. He supported the ETH not by proposing any sort of scientific test for it, but by proposing to rule out some small number of competing hypotheses. Some were never serious contenders, but dismissing them makes one appear thorough and open-minded. Others are very serious contenders (e.g., psychological phenomena, a là threat-fulfillment) but are simply laid aside because the few unnamed psychologists McDonald claimed he consulted didn't consider them worthwhile.

To his credit, he approached eyewitness accounts of aerial sightings with full understanding of the difficulty in assessing size, speed, distance, angular values, and so forth. But then he set all that understanding aside when dealing with my pet parsimony example: the alleged hypersonic flight of UFOs without any apparent atmospheric effect (e.g., sonic boom). McDonald could offer only speculation about how such thing could occur. Very well, it doesn't take a physicist to imagine magical alien technology for which no suitable principles of operation can be described. But he still clung to the ETH for that rather than consider that it was probably (although unprovably) one of those times when the witness couldn't gauge speed or distance accurately. In the real world, when one estimate of speed produces an answer that would lead us to expect secondary effects that we then fail to observe, we go back and revisit the estimate. We don't invent magical spacecraft. McDonald's views on this question were practically anti-scientific.

He gave us other examples of the same old rhetoric. "These are highly credible witnesses." But according to my standards of credibility, some aren't. He appears to have chosen some anecdotes because, if taken entirely at face value, they are sensational and "defy explanation." But the stories are being told by teenagers etc. who have no special credibility. And McDonald acknowledged that, saying he wished he had better witnesses. The moral is not to promise your reader credible witnesses and then deliver witnesses whose credibility you yourself doubt. In quite a few cases, McDonald simply sat and accepted an extraordinary tale without corroboration simply because the witness seemed sincere and because he could think of no reason to distrust him.

And even the best of witnesses get the facts wrong, without malice or deficit. It's simply the nature of eyewitness testimony. But McDonald assured his readers that his experience interviewing UFO witnesses gave him enough discernment to know good witness from poor. Nevertheless the "credible witness" premise is simply a thin coat of paint over the ad hominem fallacy, which has no part in a scientific investigation.

He insinuated also that extraordinary phenomenology demands an extraordinary explanation. This too is a staple of UFO rhetoric, but not necessarily a scientific perspective. I have personally seen how the conflation of two or more relatively prosaic causes can produce an unexpected effect. Hence I don't buy the argument that because something seems extraordinary, it must therefore have a supernatural explanation.

Yet McDonald's argument echos that of Eric12407: how can conscientious scientists keep ignoring all of this dramatic eyewitness testimony? But that's a straw man. The hypothesis under test is whether UFOs are alien spacecraft, not whether the testimony is dramatic. McDonald believed that UFOs were alien surveillance vehicles occasionally flown by humanoid occupants, and he admitted there was simply no way to test whether that was true. Like all other UFO researchers, he fell into the trap of believing that a vigorous elimination of a few competing straw men would somehow substantiate the specific affirmative ETH for which he admitted there was no direct proof. His "proof" lay solely in the extraordinary phenomenology supposition.

But surprisingly he rejected some reports from APRO precisely because they were too farfetched. That is, he expected his colleagues in the mainstream to be impressed by nothing more than astounding claims, when he himself rejected claims he did not investigate simply because they were too astounding. Then on the other end of the spectrum, he discounted sightings that were not dramatic enough by having reporting organizations cull them. In contrast, the mainstream researchers who studied UFOs employed different filtration criteria: they generally considered whether some eyewitness report had corroborating evidence. That is, they assessed the a priori solvability of the problem and concentrated on cases that were likely to provide data by which to confirm or falsify some given hypothesis, regardless of the prominence in the phenomenology. Whereas McDonald's approach seemed geared toward an ad hoc set of cases with an appropriate amount of emotional impact, yet little "meat" for analysis.

Some of McDonald's writings seem fond of insinuating causal chains that are purely speculative. He connects a flurry of dissimilar visual-sighting claims with automotive failures. He speculates that some hugely powerful magnetic field is responsible, and in typical ufology fashion asserts that only aliens could make such a magnetic field. (Mind you, there's no evidence that any magnetic phenomenon at all was involved; McDonald simply piles speculation on top of more speculation.) In the real world that completely fanciful causal chain would be dismissed immediately. Later when indentations are discovered in a farm field, they're immediately written into the story as imprints from a spacecraft's landing gear. This, to McDonald, constitutes corroboration, but those kinds of speculative connections occur only in ufology -- not in real science. You don't get to claim three points of corroboration simply because you've separately attributed each of three separately unexplained effects to the same purely hypothetical cause.

And finally, McDonald relied heavily on what has become a standard practice: criticizing one's critics. Rather than showing how the extraterrestrial hypothesis best explains the data, or how the ETH might be tested scientifically, he spent considerable energy trying to undermine his critics by showing how allegedly biased they were.

Was he a scientist? Yes. Was his approach to UFOs scientific? No.

Don J
2010-Sep-17, 04:34 AM
He gave us other examples of the same old rhetoric. "These are highly credible witnesses." But according to my standards of credibility, some aren't. He appears to have chosen some anecdotes because, if taken entirely at face value, they are sensational and "defy explanation." But the stories are being told by teenagers etc. who have no special credibility. And McDonald acknowledged that, saying he wished he had better witnesses. The moral is not to promise your reader credible witnesses and then deliver witnesses whose credibility you yourself doubt. In quite a few cases, McDonald simply sat and accepted an extraordinary tale without corroboration simply because the witness seemed sincere and because he could think of no reason to distrust him.(snip)
.....
But surprisingly he rejected some reports from APRO precisely because they were too farfetched. That is, he expected his colleagues in the mainstream to be impressed by nothing more than astounding claims, when he himself rejected claims he did not investigate simply because they were too astounding. Then on the other end of the spectrum, he discounted sightings that were not dramatic enough by having reporting organizations cull them. In contrast, the mainstream researchers who studied UFOs employed different filtration criteria: they generally considered whether some eyewitness report had corroborating evidence. That is, they assessed the a priori solvability of the problem and concentrated on cases that were likely to provide data by which to confirm or falsify some given hypothesis, regardless of the prominence in the phenomenology. Whereas McDonald's approach seemed geared toward an ad hoc set of cases with an appropriate amount of emotional impact, yet little "meat" for analysis.


Well he cite some good cases with "meat" for analysis here one ,among other.

http://www.ufologie.net/htm/rb47.htm#events

Also discussed including the other cases here
http://dewoody.net/ufo/Science_in_Default.html

about the RB 47 case, Mac Donald point out.


The incident is most inadequately described in the Condon Report. The reader is left with the general notion that the important parts occurred near Ft. Worth, an impression strengthened by the fact that both Crow and Thayer discuss meteorological data only for that area. One is also left with no clear impression of the duration, which was actually over an hour. The incident involved an unknown airborne object that stayed with the RB-47 for over 600 miles. In case after case in the Condon Report, close checking reveals that quite significant features of the cases have been glossed over, or omitted, or in some instances seriously misrepresented. I submit that to fail to inform the reader that this particular case spans a total distance-range of some 600 miles and lasted well over an hour is an omission difficult to justify.

peterf
2010-Sep-17, 05:17 AM
Was he a scientist? Yes. Was his approach to UFOs scientific? No.

wow. what an attitude!
do you really never get tired of all your posturing here?

JayUtah
2010-Sep-17, 05:41 AM
Yes, the whole article is just a dig at the Condon report and at Blue Book. It gushes with the sort of "evil debunker" rhetoric that would be highly off-putting to someone who proposed to study the subject thoroughly.

Yes, McDonald included the "famous" UFO cases in his analysis. He'd be suspiciously remiss to do otherwise. But when he had discriminatory power over his evidence, he chose those with effective "wow" power.

The Air Force investigated this and couldn't solve it and said so. Condon investigated it and couldn't solve it and said so. But McDonald, with his supposedly superior powers of investigation, his intricate reporting of detail, his supposed lack of overskeptical bias, couldn't solve it either. The difference between those researchers and McDonald is that they're willing to let it remain unsolved, while McDonald throws out the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

He writes such things as, "Unfortunately, that kind of casual ad hoc hypothesizing with almost no attention to relevant physical considerations runs all through the case-discussions..." when talking about skeptics, but then feels it appropriate to write in his own favor, "[Fast-moving UFOs] should produce sonic booms. This remains inexplicable; one can only lamely speculate that perhaps there are ways of eliminating sonic booms that we have not yet discovered; perhaps the answer involves some entirely different consideration." Really? And he expects that double standard to be taken seriously?

He goes on and on about how negligent and slipshod all other investigations have been. But in the end, his explanation for various "inexplicable" things is little green men and magical aircraft. For all his additional detail and erudition, his explanation is just as ludicrous or more as all the radar, plasma, and swamp-gas explanations that were considered and rejected.

McDonald chides Condon for leaving detail out of his report. Yet McDonald knew there was additional material Condon saw, considered, but chose not to put in the report. Apparently those omissions were unjustified. Then McDonald goes on to write, "I have in my files many pages of typed notes on my interviews, and cannot fill in all of the intriguing details here." So while McDonald is allowed to omit material for brevity, Condon is not. We must simply trust McDonald to have fairly summarized and reported the data.

Now the goal here is not to drag James E. McDonald's reputation through the mud for the sake of it. The problem you've brought up is why McDonald's work was rejected, why he was isolated and alienated from the scientific community. The UFO enthusiasts seem to want to believe it's because everyone else is such a die-hard skeptic and is too predisposed against extraterrestrials to give the matter serious thought. You need to consider also the possibility that McDonald was wantonly one-sided in his analysis and behaved in a manner quite likely to alienate his would-be colleagues. The question is whether he himself was taking an appropriately scientific approach while all the time criticizing others for their supposed non-scientific misconduct.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-17, 05:48 AM
do you really never get tired of all your posturing here?

It is my opinion that James E. McDonald did not take a scientific approach toward the study of UFOs. I've written a lengthy post giving the reasons why I consider his approach unscientific. If you'd like to address those reasons individually, I'd be happy to discuss them with you. If you're just going to whine about the fact that I've disagreed with your beliefs, then you're probably at the wrong forum.

Now that you're back, I'd like you to answer the two questions I put to you. [edit: The poster was banned while I was writing this and therefore obviously cannot respond. I leave the question open to anyone who would care to discuss it.] They are right to the point, discussing the scientific scrutability of the extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFOs. I'll repeat them here.

1. I propose that the null hypothesis in such an investigation should be, There is no connection between UFOs and alien visitation. Please explain why that would be an inappropriate null hypothesis for this investigation, from a scientific standpoint.

2. I propose that the hypothesis under test should be, UFOs are alien spacecraft. Or if you like this better, Some particular UFO is/was an alien spacecraft. Please describe how one would falsify either of those hypotheses from a scientific standpoint, using data that is now presently available or data that is likely to become available after a practicable investigation.

tnjrp
2010-Sep-17, 06:31 AM
Those are good questions and hence I'm bookmarking this thread in hopes of seeing one or more of "the extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFOs" proponents answer them in a serious and considered manner. Obviously if anybody has any other hypothesis (time travel? exotic lifeforms? demons and angels are probably out of the question because of the FUA) I'd appreciate seeing their input as well.

eburacum45
2010-Sep-17, 05:38 PM
I think McDonald's main mistake was that he took eyewitness accounts as being more accurate than they were. In the RB47 case he took the accounts of two witnesses as accurate, many years after the event; on the other hand Roy Craig, who investigated the case for Condon, attempted to obtain the film and wire recirds of the case (which apparently didn't exist). Without good records of that kind, the details of the sighting remain subject to witness memory errors and confabulation; effects which McDonald did not seem to consider significant.

And a lot of UFO proponents nowadays still accept eyewitness testimony too easily, even today, even though a number of studies seem to indicate that such testimony is not really all that reliable.

Don J
2010-Sep-17, 07:57 PM
I think McDonald's main mistake was that he took eyewitness accounts as being more accurate than they were. In the RB47 case he took the accounts of two witnesses as accurate, many years after the event;
Mc Donald mention that he have discussed the incident with all six officers of the crew:
mentioned here
http://dewoody.net/ufo/Science_in_Default.html



on the other hand Roy Craig, who investigated the case for Condon, attempted to obtain the film and wire recirds of the case (which apparently didn't exist). Without good records of that kind, the details of the sighting remain subject to witness memory errors and confabulation; effects which McDonald did not seem to consider significant.
excerpt from
Astronautics & Aeronautics July 1971
UFO ENCOUNTER 1
Sample Case Selected by the UFO
Subcommittee of the AIAA
http://www.ufologie.net/htm/aiaa1971.htm

During the study by the University of Colorado group, the case files were not located due to an error in date.
....
Subsequently, James McDonald has been able to locate the case files, to correct the date of the flight and to draw additional information from the files as well as from personal interviews with the crew. At the request of the UFO Subcommittee, he describes the case in the following article. (snip)
The aircraft Commander, Lt. Colonel Lewis D. Chase, USAF (Ret.), has confirmed the accuracy of this report in a letter to the Subcommittee.

eburacum45
2010-Sep-17, 08:50 PM
There still appears to be no film or electronic recordings available from this flight, so the accounts of the crew are not sufficient to tie down the characteristics of this event.

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-17, 09:18 PM
The aircraft Commander, Lt. Colonel Lewis D. Chase, USAF (Ret.), has confirmed the accuracy of this report...

Accurate in what way??

JayUtah
2010-Sep-17, 09:27 PM
...

Those are good questions and hence I'm bookmarking this thread in hopes of seeing one or more of "the extraterrestrial hypothesis of UFOs" proponents answer them in a serious and considered manner.

Not to be cynical, but don't hold your breath. In the past month or so I've put those questions to three UFO proponents who advertised themselves to be either scientists, scientifically-minded, or interested in the scientific viewpoint. One ignored the questions altogether, and the two others flatly informed me there was no obligation for them to answer anything. There was even a protracted discussion on whether it was appropriate to have a null hypothesis!

The one theme that pervades all of James E. McDonald's writings, and is echoed across the intervening decades by other authors, is the notion that mainstream science needs to drop its perceived bias and pay serious attention to UFO sightings. Very well, the questions I pose are the first step in how science would do so. They aren't rhetorical traps. They're intended as serious questions. A response like, "I don't think we should have a null hypothesis; it's inappropriately dismissive," isn't a serious answer. Neither is, "You can't prove that aliens don't have some sort of magical ability to defy causation." More learned criticism would point out that the hypotheses I wrote above do not fully partition the outcomes, hence a better formulation of the null would be UFOs are not alien spacecraft. That leaves appropriately open the questions of abduction or other supposed effects of alien visitation (e.g., exopolitics) that are not connected to some particular aerial sighting.

I sense that what UFO advocates really want is for science either to lower its standards or to change its methods to accept whatever argument or evidence they care to prevent. That desire would be incompatible with their request to be taken seriously by the mainstream -- to be taken seriously requires adhering to the standards. And it raises a new questions about UFO proponents' disdain for mainstream science -- maybe the mainstream isn't as pig-headed and staid as claimed, but rather simply reluctant to compromise their rigor simply because of a noisy, disillusioned minority.

The approach McDonald suggested in his statement to Congress is simply scientifically invalid. No point in sugar-coating it. When he confessed that he could present no evidence for the ETH but had instead concluded it by "process of elimination" (i.e., falsifying a handful of prosaic straw men), he essentially lost the battle. His method is flawed, not his diligence. No amount of handwaving at debates over radar echoes, and no amount of discrediting Klass, Condon, or any other researcher, is going to support his particular affirmative proposition.

Consider the hypothesis My car is in my garage. And my garage is closed and locked, with no windows. You can't inspect the contents of my garage directly. The null hypothesis would be My car is not in my garage. How to study that scientifically? Well, you could check the parking lot of my work, my church, my usual haunts, the grocery store, the street around my house. If you find my car at my theater's parking lot, you can effectively say you have falsified the alternative hypothesis: my car cannot be in the garage because you have affirmed instead that it is someplace else. That affirmative falsification carries a burden of proof, but you can satisfy that by reasonably identifying my car in some location that is not the garage. (We naturally discount supernatural pseudoexplanations that would allow my car to be in both places.)

However, if you conduct a thorough search of the environs and fail to find my car, you may not conclude by default that it "must" be in the garage. It could simply be in a place you haven't looked -- a random street miles away, or some other person's garage where it remains unobservable, or even on the lunar surface. The latter is highly improbable and astronomically expensive to achieve, but within the realm of possibility. If the affirmative-rebuttal schema fails (as it often does in happenstance investigations), you may not hold the alternative hypothesis confirmed, or even necessarily meaningfully tested.

Yet this is what UFO proponents tend to do. Because we naturally gravitate to the affirmative-rebuttal schema in paranormal cases, we often convey the impression that it's the only pertinent method. Hence UFO enthusiasts say, "Okay you're so smart, you tell us what those people saw. You can't? Ha ha! We win." The smart proponents stand pat and say, "The sighting defies explanation by ordinary means." Technically true, but the implications of it are not so startling to science as they are to tabloid readers. Lots of happenstance stuff we suspect to be ordinary still defies explanation because we lack data. And although proponents may stand pat on paper, they lean toward the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

What the scientist really wants to do is drill a hole in my garage wall and gather pertinent data to test the hypothesis more directly. If he manages to obtain a clear view of the garage interior, he will be in a better position to answer the question. If the garage is empty, he can assert that the alternative hypothesis is false; the null holds. If some car is observed there, he may propose to examine it further to identify it as my car. (The non-emptiness of the garage merely moves the investigation to the next question of determining the identity of the car.) If he can see my VIN or license plate, he could reasonably conclude that it's my car.

Yes, while investigating accidents and certain other kinds of happenstance events, we have to consider the case of deliberate fraud. If I investigate an industrial accident, I may consider that the best-fit explanation would be, say, loss of hydraulic pressure in a poorly-maintained machine. If the field inspector notes that pressure and fittings were up to spec, I would still have to consider the hypothesis that someone refilled the machine and mopped up the spilled fluid before the field inspector got there. In natural science investigations we generally don't have to think of that. Mother Nature presents us with very hard problems, but she never outright lies to us. Sadly humans do.

The analogue here is that in the worst case some UFO reports really are hoaxes or tall tales. There are people out there who are trying to fool us because they are simply that desperate to validate their beliefs. McDonald allowed this, but simply asserted he had a sixth sense to let him know when people are lying or playing to the UFO fanatics. However, he didn't personally investigate all the cases he considered valid and unexplained. So he extended that sixth sense to his agents and correspondents, not because he had any evidence they had any such intuition, but because he needed it to be true in order to include their claims in his writings.

How does science fare in that situation? How would it look in a peer-reviewed physics paper to have the principal investigator say that he could just personally sense the presence of neutrons based on his long experience with elementary particles? How would that be repeatable by some other physics team who didn't have such an eminent and sensitive researcher on their staff? McDonald's alleged ability to sniff out and reject unreliable eyewitness testimony makes his approach scientifically irreproducible. That too is going to be unpalatable to the mainstream.

But the more common analogue, in the slightly better case, is that a "reasonable" explanation requires us at some point to stop considering farfetched, speculative hypotheses that would be extremely hard to test. Going back to the garage scenario -- yes, someone could have made an exact replica of my car, right down to the door-dings and the empty energy-drink cans on the backseat floor. But is that really the best answer to explain the data? Parsimoniously speaking, it's simply more likely that it's my car.

In the "best" case the analogue says that there will always be some empirical uncertainty. If the scientist through his drilled hole sees a car that superficially resembles mine, he can defensively say that to the best of his ability to observe and measure, the hypothesis is confirmed. That doesn't mean that better methods later may not later produce observations that don't fit the hypothesis and force us to refine our thinking. The conscientious scientist will report that finding but only accompanied by a statement of the pertinent conditions so that others may understand the extent to which he intends his claims to hold.

This empirical uncertainty is where McDonald seems to find himself with respect to psychological phenomena. He simply wrote them off as an unproductive avenue of explanation, on the basis that the unnamed psychologists he consulted told him so. But in the 30 years or so since McDonald wrote that, we've made leaps-and-bounds discoveries in psychology that redefine how we look at observation, perception, memory, and interpretation. These transcend the basic problems of perceiving distance, time, and motion that McDonald allows. In those discoveries we've been able to find more affirmative alternatives for some UFO sightings.

But bear in mind that McDonald's approach is admittedly indirect. He holds the ETH -- no matter how farfetched -- because he believes that's what remains after other hypotheses are boiled away. We have to believe it because what else is there? Flawed as it is, that approach still relies on a vigorous and exhaustive falsification of competing hypotheses. If the competing hypothesis is, "The witness is telling a tale," then a falsification, "I can tell when people are not being sincere," is inadequate. If it is, "The witness is mistaken," a strong falsification would not be, "I have no reason to doubt the witness." If the competing hypothesis is, "Psychological factors can produce the illusion of extraordinary phenomenology out of ordinary occurrences," then it's not enough to say, "I don't think so." In short, McDonald has done a poor job of falsifying his alternatives.

A poor investigative model further executed poorly is simply not going to recruit scientists to your cause.

The falsifiability of the hypothesis Some particular UFO is/was an alien spacecraft is a sticky wicket not easily avoided. Yes, we can falsify it in many cases by affirming some other cause, but how to falsify it non-affirmatively? A different and equally perplexing question is how much time, effort, and money to expend looking for additional evidence. So we have qualitative and quantitative concerns. For example in the RB-47 case, what could we possibly hope to uncover with additional investigation? It would be largely pointless to interview the crew again (and again and again). It would be of limited value to try to find the aircraft (which is probably long gone) or a facsimile, or to try to duplicate the radar environment with all its antique equipment (which undoubtedly behaves electronically differently decades hence).

That's why I present the problem of falsifiability in certain terms: what data do we have now? What data could we conceivably hope to get? If the UFO proponents have to throw up their arms and say that it's simply not practical, affordable, or likely fruitful to get more data on the Texas RB-47 incident, then they have to quit giving mainstream scientists a hard time for not wanting to pursue it. And they have to realize that "defies explanation" isn't as strong a statement under those conditions as they hope it to be.

UFO proponents couch the question of mainstream attention in glittering generalities. "Science needs to pay more attention to this." "How can science ignore such dramatic occurrences?" It's not too much to ask what they legitimately hope to accomplish? Otherwise it's just science-bashing for no good reason.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-17, 09:55 PM
For example in the RB-47 case, what could we possibly hope to uncover with additional investigation? It would be largely pointless to interview the crew again (and again and again). It would be of limited value to try to find the aircraft (which is probably long gone) or a facsimile, or to try to duplicate the radar environment with all its antique equipment (which undoubtedly behaves electronically differently decades hence).

That's why I present the problem of falsifiability in certain terms: what data do we have now? What data could we conceivably hope to get? If the UFO proponents have to throw up their arms and say that it's simply not practical, affordable, or likely fruitful to get more data on the Texas RB-47 incident, then they have to quit giving mainstream scientists a hard time for not wanting to pursue it. And they have to realize that "defies explanation" isn't as strong a statement under those conditions as they hope it to be.

This is the sticking point I have with how UFOlogists spend their time,money, and collective efforts. They collect stories about these UFOs and investigate some but it is long past the point of the observation. One can rarely get any more data when re-interviewing the witness for the umpteenth time (If the witness tends to think he saw an alien spaceship, I have seen some alter their observations to fit that scenario as time passes). What UFOlogy has always needed was a proactive approach (using video stations with low light cameras in order to record these UFOs and gain data to analyze scientifically) and the technology (a three station system probably would run about 20K USD) exists today to do so (See SUNlite 2-4 http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/SUNlite2_4.pdf page 24). However, they choose not to do it. I can only assume this is because they see no hope of success (yet hundreds of UFO reports are collected each month by MUFON/NUFORC) or find it too much of an effort to accomplish. So, they are stuck in the past looking at the RB-47 case, Roswell, Rendlesham, etc.etc. for some little nugget that they think will prove it is an alien spaceship. This approach has failed for 60 years and will continue to fail because UFOlogists want others to do their work for them.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-17, 10:00 PM
...

Mc Donald mention that he have discussed the incident with all six officers of the crew:

Yes, he says he interviewed all six crew members, some multiple times for a total of nine interviews. The question is how accurate those recollections were. We find within the testimony, for example, evidence that the crew engaged in group interpretational exercises at the time. We're supposed to believe that these people accurately recalled, many years later, all the details of a 600-mile flight. Yes, they will produce details during the interview, because that's what witnesses tend to do. Whether those details are the accurate, conscious recollections of what happened is actually highly doubtful under these circumstances.

The lack of objective records is important. If I understand the evidence correctly, the supposed three "channels" of authentication are (1) visual sightings of the crew, (2) interpretations of onboard ECM and ELINT readings, and (3) ground-based radar. But (1) and (2) are not independent channels -- they both come to us through the recollection and interpretation of the crew. And unless I've misread the evidence, (3) is also presented as the crew's recollection. That's not independent.

The aircraft Commander, Lt. Colonel Lewis D. Chase, USAF (Ret.), has confirmed the accuracy of this report in a letter to the Subcommittee.

Tautological. The report was prepared substantially upon his information. All he can confirm is that McDonald reproduced his claims without any distortion of his own. It doesn't answer the question of whether the recollections of Chase and his crew were accurate when delivered to McDonald.

The reason you interview all six crew members is that each one is able to testify to details unique to his experience. One person (i.e., Chase) cannot be expected to confirm all that with any confidence. If he had the power to confirm the testimony of his crew, then you'd only have to interview him. There is a very small limit to how far Chase's confirmation can validate the total volume of eyewitness testimony.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-17, 10:51 PM
...

One can rarely get any more data when re-interviewing the witness for the umpteenth time.

Actually, according to the research, one often gets more data (i.e., more detail) after umpteen interviews, but it's unconsciously fabricated data. Each time you tell a narrative, that exercise compels your brain to spackle a few more cracks. You incorporate what "must have been the case" along with the details that you actually remember correctly. This is why we rush to interview witnesses immediately after the event.

What UFOlogy has always needed was a proactive approach...

That's what we do in the real world. Transportation accidents, for example, have to be investigated as happenstance events. We have discovered over decades of doing so scientifically that we would be able to consider some common hypothesis or another if we only had some datum X. So in the future we arrange to collect datum X on all subsequent transports. In the air carrier industry we have extremely onerous requirements for record-keeping during the manufacture and maintenance of the equipment, and we arrange technically for as many parameters as possible -- both in the air and on the ground -- to be recorded and preserved just in case they are needed. We don't know what vehicle will crash at any one time, so we instrument each transport heavily in order to refine our ability to transport safely over time.

There are security cameras everywhere now, recording everything. This is yet another proactive approach taken in the real world when results matter. As you insinuate, actions speak louder than words. I see no credible proposals for expanding our ability to understand UFOs coming from the ufology camp. I see merely vacuous calls for someone else to do something.

I can only assume this is because they see no hope of success...

I'm less charitable. I see it as an approach aimed not at solving a mystery, but rather at padding the list of "unsolvable" sightings. Don't mistake the calls for additional scrutiny as genuine interest in solving the cases. UFO enthusiasts tend to apply a double standard. Any skeptical hypothesis has to be rigorously established. If Klass or Condon suggest, for example, some "radar anomaly" then they're called upon to show in great detail just how such an anomaly could arise. McDonald especially was fond of pointing out how "absurd" some of those claims were, because he was professionally qualified to determine that radar just doesn't work like that. But let some skeptic ask how something can move at 10,000 miles per hour without a sonic boom, or how (or why) it would generate a magnetic field of megagauss strength, and he's told that speculation is sufficient and he should be more open-minded. If speculative answers of one sort are rejected and equally (or more) speculative answers of another sort are accepted, it's hard to believe that the call for answers is sincere.

Even if they don't explicitly embrace the extraterrestrial hypothesis, the clear expression is that there's "something out there" that is assumed to be astounding and earth-shattering simply because its phenomenology is preserved as remarkable.

This approach has failed for 60 years and will continue to fail because UFOlogists want others to do their work for them.

Again I'm less charitable. I don't believe ufologists seriously believe that the mainstream will ever take them seriously and do work on their behalf. I tend to see it as a perpetuation of a largely political debate intended to drive a wedge further between the mainstream and the fringe. The rhetoric sets up a dilemma whereby the "apathy" of the scientific community is proven by their lack of interest in UFOs. The real reason for their disinterest is the non-scientific approach, but only those well versed in scientific methodology can really understand it. Ufologists hand the public an easier-to-believe reason for why scientists ignore them.

Don J
2010-Sep-18, 03:46 AM
This is the sticking point I have with how UFOlogists spend their time,money, and collective efforts. They collect stories about these UFOs and investigate some but it is long past the point of the observation. One can rarely get any more data when re-interviewing the witness for the umpteenth time (If the witness tends to think he saw an alien spaceship, I have seen some alter their observations to fit that scenario as time passes). What UFOlogy has always needed was a proactive approach (using video stations with low light cameras in order to record these UFOs and gain data to analyze scientifically) and the technology (a three station system probably would run about 20K USD) exists today to do so (See SUNlite 2-4 http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/SUNlite2_4.pdf page 24). However, they choose not to do it. I can only assume this is because they see no hope of success (yet hundreds of UFO reports are collected each month by MUFON/NUFORC) or find it too much of an effort to accomplish.

Well the proactive approach you suggest is proposed in the Cometa report. see part 2

http://www.ufoevidence.org/newsite/files/COMETA_part1.pdf

http://www.ufoevidence.org/newsite/files/COMETA_part2.pdf

slang
2010-Sep-18, 10:58 AM
Well the proactive approach you suggest is proposed in the Cometa report. see part 2

Can you post a summary, please? "part 2" is a 57 page document..

JayUtah
2010-Sep-18, 03:11 PM
...

Well the proactive approach you suggest is proposed in the Cometa report. see part 2

Part 1 is simply a compendium of commonly-cited UFO cases. The report again asserts the disproved premise that pilot reports are automatically more reliable because they belong to the "aeronautical world" (pt. 1, pg. 9; cf. pt. 2, pg 35).

Part 2, pg. 30 describes using a defense-oriented aerial surveillance system with both an optical and radar component for the "surveillance of UFO-type light phenomena." However at the time of the writing the system had not yet actually been built, and I find no evidence of its use subsequently in UFO research.

There is no description of a system dedicated to the systematic search for UFOs. The system described above is clearly identified as having a public defense mission and is speculated to possibly play a role in UFO research. The context of this description (part 2, ch. 6) is the use of the French public apparatus to investigate UFO reports reactively, not a description of any systematic strategy to collect data that is not connected to some reported sighting. I don't see any proactive strategy described here.

In fact, the entire report describes the typical, unproductive reactive approach that has been followed by UFO investigative panels heretofore. It proposes to

(1) collect UFO reports (pt. 2, sec. 6);
(2) attempt to explain the reports (pt. 2, secs. 6-8);
(3) speculate that the extraterrestrial hypothesis might best explain the 4-5% that remain unexplained (pt 2, pg. 63).

Part 2, sec. 8 is especially ludicrous. The report takes Corso's claims as genuine and chastises the public for its previous hubris in rejecting claims that later came to be proven true. The entire second half of part 2 is simply a diatribe on the extraterrestrial hypothesis and government cover-up.

There is no mention made of how to test the extraterrestrial hypothesis scientifically. The entire approach here is clearly to amplify the number of Type D (i.e., conspicuously unexplained) sightings and attempt to explain them speculatively as the work of space aliens.

slang
2010-Sep-18, 04:26 PM
Thanks, Jay.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-18, 07:26 PM
Well the proactive approach you suggest is proposed in the Cometa report. see part 2

Cometa is over a decade old. I have yet to see anybody follow through on whatever they suggested as a "proactive" approach.

My complaint about UFOlogy/UFO groups is they have had money at their disposal several times to invest in "proactive" UFOlogy. Recently MUFON was given funds by Bigelow for conducting UFO research. It was spent on "STAR teams" investigating UFO events and that was all as best I can tell. Had they used that to buidl a monitoring system of some kind (even if it was only in one location), they would still have something for their money spent. The system would still be up and operational. The tossing away of cash towards efforts that have shown to have no merit (other than creating a stamp collection of UFO stories), is typical for UFO research.

However, as I pointed out, the system I suggest would not cost a signficant amount. For the price most people spend on a new car, a group of individuals (i.e. A MUFON organization/UFO club) could invest in such a project. Considering that I invested over this amount in my astronomy hobby (and I know others who spend that much on a single telescope!), it should be no great effort. Surely, not all UFOlogists are "paupers" (I know of several that have doctorates and work in highly paid professions) and some make a great amount of money off their research by selling books and lecturing. Why can't they invest their money and time for such an effort? What is stopping them?

eburacum45
2010-Sep-18, 10:03 PM
The Night Sky Live project caught an image of this UFO back in 2005
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050208.html
the phenomenon appears to have been a rocket fuel dump, but it took some determined detective work by the Asterisk forum to figure it out.

There don't seem to be many cameras active in the Night Sky Live network, these days; to me the images are a little tricky to interpret. Small or fast-moving UFOs would probably be difficult to find using a system like this. The human eye is good at finding small lights in the sky; it's the interpretation of those lights that is the real problem.

The advantage of recorded data is that it can be investigated after the event at length, but it has its drawbacks, too.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-19, 01:00 AM
Agreed but if we are to believe many of these witnesses, we are not talking about small lights at night. Many claim the object was hundreds of feet across and flying low. That would be easily recorded and there would be no mistake to its identity.

Don J
2010-Sep-19, 06:38 AM
Part 1 is simply a compendium of commonly-cited UFO cases. The report again asserts the disproved premise that pilot reports are automatically more reliable because they belong to the "aeronautical world" (pt. 1, pg. 9; cf. pt. 2, pg 35).


But when the report made by the pilot and copilot is backed by radar detection like mentioned in part 2 page 7 - radar visual cases worldwide - state that 21 % of the observations reported by pilots were backed by radar detection.That seem to provide some evidence of the physical reality of the phenomena observed.

For example the case cited in part 1 page 9 -Air France Flight 3532 (January 28 1994)

eburacum45
2010-Sep-19, 10:18 AM
Sometimes radar confirmation is reported by the witness or by other parties, but when examined the radar record does not actually confirm the event. For instance the Guernsey sighting in 2007 was originally reported as being confirmed by radar, but later investigation determined that there was no radar detection. But Leslie Kean still gives this event as an example of a case of radar confirmation (here (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38977500/ns/technology_and_science-space)).

In other cases, such as the Belgian UFO flap, anomalous radar detections occur which do not resemble the visual sightings in any way, but they are lumped together because of a rough coincidence in time. So radar cases need to be examined with some discrimination.

captain swoop
2010-Sep-19, 11:03 AM
Seperate radar and visual detections that are many miles apart and seperated by short periods of time are lumped together to produce a 'UFO' that moves at fantastic speeds and

Garrison
2010-Sep-19, 12:41 PM
Sometimes radar confirmation is reported by the witness or by other parties, but when examined the radar record does not actually confirm the event. For instance the Guernsey sighting in 2007 was originally reported as being confirmed by radar, but later investigation determined that there was no radar detection. But Leslie Kean still gives this event as an example of a case of radar confirmation (here (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38977500/ns/technology_and_science-space)).

In other cases, such as the Belgian UFO flap, anomalous radar detections occur which do not resemble the visual sightings in any way, but they are lumped together because of a rough coincidence in time. So radar cases need to be examined with some discrimination.

I wonder how many radar anomalies occur that go unreported because they don't happen to coincide with a UFO sighting? Are such things even logged?

eburacum45
2010-Sep-19, 01:01 PM
Anomalous propagation does occur quite frequently. If we have cases where radar returns don't coincide with the visual sighting, then the returns may well be unconnected, random events caused by AP and other effects. If so, there is a reasonable chance that some of the cases where the radar coincides spatially with the visual phenomena are also random events, but of a rarer kind.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-19, 05:03 PM
If you ever read the Stephenville UFO report, they presented data from various radar returns from the FAA data. They showed "random contacts" in the hundreds (if not thousands). Some were obviously due to simply AP. I am sure most radar operators barely notice them since they appear briefly and then vanish.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-19, 06:35 PM
...

But when the report made by the pilot and copilot is backed by radar detection...

Coincident radar detection as interpreted by UFO researchers is never what it's cracked up to be.

In any case you missed the point entirely. The point was that this group's concept of witness reliability is still based in vastly outdated notions. They describe all these supposedly cutting-edge procedures that they're going to use for testing photographs, soil samples, etc. But there is not a single mention of any methods to evaluate the psychological factors of eyewitness testimony. No mention of how their interviewers will be trained in the now-standard techniques used in law enforcement and incident response to calibrate eyewitness testimony.

The authors of the paper say they're interested in solving UFO cases. But they don't seem very interested in the techniques used in other fields to refine one's ability to solve unexplained happenstance occurrences. We're interested, for example, in determining the cause of transportation accidents. They bear some resemblance to UFO sightings in that they offer us a compelling mystery and that they restrict our view of the evidence to that which occurs in happenstance. On the one hand we arrange for a more proactive stance by instrumenting transports in order to produce more evidence in the case of an accident. We also develop techniques to retrieve more reliable information from the evidence we have.

But I'm puzzled at the reluctance of UFO researchers to adopt a similar policy. They seem to want to perpetuate the mystery, not solve it. No matter how much peer-reviewed science strikes down the myth that pilots are somehow more reliable witnesses, we're still told we have to take pilots' reports more seriously and more literally than others because they're special. That means we're less allowed to consider that the witness was simply mistaken, and therefore less allowed to consider one of the important alternatives to the extraterrestrial hypothesis. Since the ETH is an indirect conclusion, the strength with which other alternatives are falsified is extremely important. Hence the UFO researchers bear the burden to prove pilots are as reliable as they claim. They bear that burden typically with anecdotal evidence -- "I've worked with pilots and I find them to be reilable." However, that proposition is soundly undermined by statistical quantifications which show pilots are not any more reliable witnesses than the general public.

...state that 21 % of the observations reported by pilots were backed by radar detection.

I'm not sure what argument you're trying to make. If you're trying to say that radar agreed with pilots 21% of the time, then being wrong 4 out of 5 times does not impress me as extremely reliable.

If you're trying to tell me that two independent forms of evidence are better than one, then I agree -- provided you can establish a commonality by some means other than supposition. However that's orthogonal to the claim I cited from the paper. The paper argues that pilots by themselves are more reliable witnesses than the general public, which is a property that would be measurable independent of whether some happenstance report were corroborated. The question is whether pilots are more reliable witnesses than hair stylists, not whether someone else saw what happened.

Don J
2010-Sep-19, 07:52 PM
...state that 21 % of the observations reported by pilots were backed by radar detection.

I'm not sure what argument you're trying to make. If you're trying to say that radar agreed with pilots 21% of the time, then being wrong 4 out of 5 times does not impress me as extremely reliable.

The citation goes like this in part 2 page 7 7.5.3
of the 489 report cases in the -cometa- report 101 were radar / visual cases (21%)
of the 363 cases in the Blue Book report ,76 were radar / visual cases (21%)


If you're trying to tell me that two independent forms of evidence are better than one, then I agree

That is the point I tried to make
[/quote]


-- provided you can establish a commonality by some means other than supposition.

in those reports there may be something you can find which may satisfied your criteria.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-19, 08:08 PM
...

That is the point I tried to make

Okay, but it's irrelevant to the point I was making, which was that pilots are not more reliable witnesses, despite what COMETA claims. Do you have any response for my contention that COMETA is basing its assessment on an unfounded premise?

JayUtah
2010-Sep-19, 08:09 PM
in those reports there may be something you can find which may satisfied your criteria.

I said, provided you can establish a commonality by some means other than supposition. You -- or by reference, your sources -- bear the burden of proof. Please identify, if you wish, some radar/visual case where the commonality among visual and radar sources is established by some means other than supposition.

captain swoop
2010-Sep-20, 12:04 AM
I wonder how many radar anomalies occur that go unreported because they don't happen to coincide with a UFO sighting? Are such things even logged?

It depends on the weather, Some days it was hard to pick out real contacts at long range, even with Moving Target Indication. If you think have a positive contact you pass it to the plot and mark it . If it's still there after a few more sweeps and looks like an inbound the Plot can mark it as a target and keep it tracked. If it comes within a certain range it will go in the log.

Don J
2010-Sep-20, 03:26 AM
I said, provided you can establish a commonality by some means other than supposition. You -- or by reference, your sources -- bear the burden of proof. Please identify, if you wish, some radar/visual case where the commonality among visual and radar sources is established by some means other than supposition.
in post 201 I pointed out
the case cited in part 1 page 9 -Air France Flight 3532 (January 28 1994)

http://www.ufoevidence.org/newsite/files/COMETA_part1.pdf

tnjrp
2010-Sep-20, 05:56 AM
Some days it was hard to pick out real contacts at long range, even with Moving Target Indication. If you think have a positive contact you pass it to the plot and mark it . If it's still there after a few more sweeps and looks like an inbound the Plot can mark it as a targetand keep it trackedThis bears a repeat as there seems to be a widespread belief that radar is very reliable (as in, almost never produces a false contact) and easy to decipher. According to my admittedly very limited experience, this is far from being the case.

chrlzs
2010-Sep-20, 09:04 AM
I made the mistake of downloading that... After just a few pages it was very clear this was nothing like a properly researched and unbiased 'report'. It reads like a magazine article, and the first few pages seem dedicated to making excuses for allowing a non-scientific approach, and dismissing logic in favour of wild guesses and suppositions.

Eg, the very first sentence:

It is not looked on highly in certain scientific circles to be preoccupied with phenomena that are deemed to come under the heading of popular mythology, or that are, at any rate, outside the realm of popular science.

What a ridiculous way to introduce a topic! Gems such as this follow:

.. a well known astronomer described a scientifically acceptable verson of the extra-terrestrial hypothesis.
And neither the astronomer nor his report was named or cited, nor was there any justification of this comment or explanation of the context in which it was made.


.. the accumulation of well-documented sightings made by credible witnesses forces us to consider .. all the hypotheses regarding the origin of .. UFO's, and the extra-terrestrial hypothesis in particular.
Emphasis mine.

FORCES us???? Give me a break. and why the ETH IN PARTICULAR?

Maybe there is some useful stuff in 'Case 1', but by the time I got to the quotes above, in just the first few pages, I was dry-reaching and could not proceed...

tnjrp
2010-Sep-20, 10:19 AM
And neither the astronomer nor his report was named or cited, nor was there any justification of this comment or explanation of the context in which it was madeNor yet, I presume, what this "scientifically acceptable version of the extra-terrestrial hypothesis" might be?

HenrikOlsen
2010-Sep-20, 12:16 PM
One can rarely get any more data when re-interviewing the witness for the umpteenth time.

Actually, according to the research, one often gets more data (i.e., more detail) after umpteen interviews, but it's unconsciously fabricated data. Each time you tell a narrative, that exercise compels your brain to spackle a few more cracks. You incorporate what "must have been the case" along with the details that you actually remember correctly. This is why we rush to interview witnesses immediately after the event.
I have observed this time and time again when hearing someone telling the story of something that happened while I was there, to a third person, their retelling is almost invariably different from what I remember.
Typical shifts are who they said what to, and shifts from wanting to do something to doing it and so on.
This in less than a day after the event.

BTW, I'm not taking a stand on whether it's my memory or the storyteller's that slipped, it's likely both, but in different directions.

tnjrp
2010-Sep-20, 12:29 PM
I have observed this time and time again when hearing someone telling the story of something that happened while I was there to a third person, their retelling is almost invariably different from what I remember.The fact hasn't escaped the science community either. For example the Danish professor and science populizer Tor Norretranders notes that
Long after presentation, an unconscious information processing has discarded information, so that we see a simulation, a hypothesis, an interpretation
The problem with the eyewitness testimony, and often moreso than usual with UFO reports, tends to specifically that the person who experienced something interprets what he experienced in addition to or possibly even instead of simply explaining what s/he observed.

eburacum45
2010-Sep-20, 12:46 PM
The Air France Flight 3532 case referenced by COMETA is intriguing. A brown, or reddish-brown, object variously described as 'a banking plane', a 'bell' or a 'lens'. In my experience the colour brown is quite an unusual colour for an object in the sky; contrast effects usually darken it to black, or at night, a luminous brown object brightens to yellow or orange.

I did however see a strikingly brown and quite unusual object in the sky once; as a passenger on an airplane flying over the North of England I saw a very strange, vertical, dark brown cylinder hovering over the Pennines, above a layer of stratus clouds. After a few moments of confusion I recognised it as the concrete top of the Emley Moor transmitter, one of the tallest structures in the world. The raw concrete colour was either darkened by contrast or by rainwater (probably both).

Now I come to think of it there are numerous concrete structures in France that might have poked briefly above a layer of stratus to appear as a brown unidentified object; the top of a cooling tower for instance, which could conceivably look like a bell or lens from different angles. If the radar contact was spurious (as seems likely, judging by the unfeasibly size large estimate of 800 feet, estimated presumably by taking the distance to the apparent trace and the angular diameter together) then a concrete structure seen at a variety of angles seems quite possible.

Or it might even have been just an unidentified plane and a spurious radar contact.

------------------
This page gives a lot of detail about this supposed radar-visual sighting, showing that some of the details are more than a little garbled.
http://www.ufologie.net/ufology/af3532rt.htm
In particular the radar trace is mostly to the right of the heading of the airbus, in contrast to the captain's statement.

I note also that the pilot's estimation of the location of the UFO is directly above Paris, where an 800ft OVNI might have been seen by other witnesses if conditions were right.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-20, 02:13 PM
in post 201 I pointed out
the case cited in part 1 page 9 -Air France Flight 3532 (January 28 1994)

...in which it is merely supposed that the radar data and the visual sighting pertain to the same phenomenon. Please provide a case, if you'd like, where the radar and visual information correlates by some means other than supposition.

eburacum45
2010-Sep-20, 02:31 PM
Note that the UFO in the Air France Flight 3532 case was not seen in a location that corresponds with the unidentified radar trace. Instead, if the Captain's account is correct, the UFO was seen a long way to the west of the trace, and the trace has been extrapolated to coincide with the direction of the sighting. Or to put is another way, a random unidentified trace was found, and then extended until it crossed the direction of the observed phenomenon, giving a patently ridiculous distance and size for the object.

Even if it were cloudy, so that the Parisians in the streets below couldn't see this 800ft monster above their heads, another pilot should have noticed it in this particularly crowded airspace.

From http://www.ufologie.net/ufology/af3532rt.htm, once again;

As it appears, although the visual-UFO and the radar-UFO are both indicated as "the object", this drawing shows that the visual UFO does not correspond to the radar-UFO. The visual UFO is indicated to be at 25NM while the radar-UFO passes at 1 NM of the Airbus. The visual UFO is indicated as being stationary at the approximate clock position 10:30 or 45° on the left in front of the plane while the radar-UFO is indicated as starting from somewhere on front at the right of the plane, not stationary but moving in straight line perpendicular to the trajectory of the plane, passing in front of the plane at 1 NM and continuing towards the left.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-20, 03:10 PM
This page gives a lot of detail about this supposed radar-visual sighting, showing that some of the details are more than a little garbled.
http://www.ufologie.net/ufology/af3532rt.htm

And if you continue to read, you'll discover that even the Air France pilot disagrees that the radar track correlates. But it is indeed amusing to watch Jean-Jacques Vélasco tap dance his way through all the objections. He speculates the UFO was emitting a jamming signal to make the radar fail to correlate to the visual description. And I especially love how the one UFO fanatic then accuses skeptics of manipulating the photos of COMETA's presentation to make it appear that the data do not correlate. And another rationale says the radar data must be correct since it is relatively objective; the fault must lie with the visual observation -- that's right, one of these supposedly infallible pilots made a mistake. And somehow this is supposed to be a case that strongly confirms the reliability of pilot sightings?

Much like the Belgium case, this is clearly one in which UFO fanatics are trying to shoehorn misfit radar information into a "multiple source" scenario. Sorry, folks, it doesn't fit. And I can't imagine under what tortured definition this qualifies as science.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-20, 04:27 PM
Even if it were cloudy, so that the Parisians in the streets below couldn't see this 800ft monster above their heads, another pilot should have noticed it in this particularly crowded airspace.

Indeed. At midday over Paris, smack dab in the middle of six airfields within a 20 km radius of the alleged sighted position, there should have been a number of airborne witnesses. (It's unclear on the chart what TCA boundaries apply.) For comparison, consider the tragic demise of Alaska Airlines flight 261 (MD-83, loss of elevator control) near Los Angeles, which was witnessed by other air carrier pilots who, under ATC direction, were able to maintain easy visual contact with the distressed aircraft over water during their normal flight operations around LAX airport. We're supposed to believe that an object estimated at several hundred meters in size and opaque (visible from an estimated 40-50 km away) was not seen by any other pilot.

The incident pilot stated he used altocumulus clouds as a reference for estimating the object's altitude at approximately 10,000 m. However, that type of cloud rarely forms above 7,000 m. Hence the pilot's claim amounts to an ability to detect accurately that an object was up to 3,000 m higher than the cloud cover below it, at a range of 40-50 km. That is not especially credible. It is more likely this sighting was of a smaller object nearer to the Air France airplane.

Garrison
2010-Sep-20, 05:43 PM
This bears a repeat as there seems to be a widespread belief that radar is very reliable (as in, almost never produces a false contact) and easy to decipher. According to my admittedly very limited experience, this is far from being the case.

That was the reason I originally asked the question(and thanks for all the replies), I suspected that the UFO enthusiasts were overstating the value of radar reports.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-20, 05:57 PM
Regarding the comments made by both HenrikOlsen and tnjrp, it is certainly true that eyewitness testimony alters over time, and in some cases loses factual detail. As I mentioned in another thread, the factors that affect eyewitness testimony would easily occupy their own thread and are the subject of several books, much academic research, and of novel interest to forensic investigators.

However we find also that subsequent retellings sometimes add detail. A great of this new detail is non-factual. The prevailing theory holds that a witness presented with fragmentary, conflicting, or confusing stimuli applies a scenario-construction cognition. This construct then both filters incoming sensory data and generates new sensory data. Details that don't fit the scenario are altered or omitted. Details that fit or enable the scenario are "remembered" even if they did not occur; for example if the witness hears what he believes is a gunshot, he may "see" the suspected assailant holding a gun as he runs away, even if the assailant had none and the sound was not a gunshot. All that an more falls under the category of witness interpretation.

As I mentioned earlier, operational training does not generally improve the reliability of the witness along those lines, because training (more often than not) fills the operatives' heads with predetermined scenarios in order to condition their reflexes.

Normally these factors involving interpretation and perception must be controlled in an interview by means of carefully-worded and -ordered questions designed to guide the witness back to his unfiltered sensory stimuli. Further the interviewer must maintain a certain demeanor. For example in a forensic investigation of failure, system operators will naturally be defensive in an interview, fearing that they will be held somehow at fault. Hence any line of questioning that attempts to separate interpretation from observation may be construed as an attempt to "trip up" the operator and compel him to give inculpatory evidence, or at best to undermine his credibility. Similarly emotional factors apply in interviews between witnesses and UFO investigators.

A different mode of alteration occurs when a witness gives testimony to the media or to his buddies. Here we find a propensity to embellish the story for greater emotional impact. This is different because it is a conscious embellishment written off as a "little white lie." We find that people want to exaggerate the enormity, gravity, or significance of events with which they were associated. This is why professional investigators take media reports with a large grain of salt.

I don't see any evidence that COMETA or any other UFO club takes these factors into account. They pay slight lip service to some of the problems of eyewitness testimony, but not enough to convince me they are interested in that as an explanation for "unexplained" sightings.

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-20, 06:35 PM
A different mode of alteration occurs when a witness gives testimony to the media or to his buddies. Here we find a propensity to embellish the story for greater emotional impact. This is different because it is a conscious embellishment written off as a "little white lie." We find that people want to exaggerate the enormity, gravity, or significance of events with which they were associated.

But of course. It's much more exciting to have witnessed a football stadium sized "spaceship" than to admit you were "fooled" by the planet Venus.

A personal example of the "white lie syndrome", involving how my Dad would embellish true events...

When I was about 8 years old, I attended a week long "camp". About 3 days into the week I got very homesick and had my parents come up to get me.

Now in my Dad's "version" of this story, as told to my children, I came home early because I was bitten on the nose by a deer.

Another one (from about the same age) involved a thunderstorm while visiting Missouri, I had never witnessed a thunderstorm before, so when lightning struck about a quarter mile away, I was startled and fell down a short flight of stairs.

In my Dad's version, the lightning hit me in the foot causing me to fall down the stairs.

My Dad delighted in telling these stories even though I would openly contradict him as he told them, he simply liked to stretch the truth a bit for a "better" story, and now that he's gone, these stories are fondly remembered.


Please forgive me for going so far off topic...just been thinking about my Dad lately, and the phrase "little white lie" brought back those memories.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-20, 09:13 PM
I made the mistake of downloading that... After just a few pages it was very clear this was nothing like a properly researched and unbiased 'report'.

Far from it, although in Don J's defense I'm not sure he presented it as such. He cited it merely to substantiate the allegation of a the needed proactive approach that astrophotographer and I were discussing, upon which I shall elaborate below. Clearly this white-paper describes little more than a pseudoscientific attempt to amass the semblance of evidence for the authors' pet theory -- an extraterrestrial explanation for UFOs.

I think there has been some misunderstanding of what I intended by a proactive approach. It isn't simply a machine for looking at the sky, whose products may be employed to discuss some particular UFO sighting. By a proactive approach I mean some means of collecting data on aerial phenomena that isn't connected to some happenstance report. The system Astrophotographer describes could be purchased for minimal capitalization costs and operated with minimal ongoing costs. UFO organizations are generally happy to provide the world with a list of UFO "hot spots" that could serve as initial deployment locations. Funds allowing, a duplicate unit could be installed in a "cold spot" to provide a statistical control. Such a system provides an objective, constant, empirically controllable means of systematically observing the sky.

Otherwise the response of MUFON, COMETA, and other self-chartered organizations is purely reactive. They wait until someone says they saw something, then they retrospectively attempt to explain it (or more likely, conspicuously fail to explain it) based on happenstance evidentiary footing. When these organizations conspicuously support the extraterrestrial hypothesis, they create fertile ground for accusations of bias, cherry-picking, and circular reasoning. Mainstream science is simply not impressed with the typical process of collecting anecdotes and then speculating.

A proactive approach means devising a means of generating new observations, rather than relying upon the vagaries of happenstance. It means generating a knowledge base of applicable phenomena (aerial, psychological, physical).

Forensic investigation is almost exclusively concerned with happenstance occurrences. Transportation accidents are the most conspicuous, but we investigate a number of incidents according to similar methods. For flight accidents, for example, we proactively maintain a great deal of information about the behavior of an airplane in normal flight. This is so we can accurately distinguish abnormal operational modes. We proactively acquire a huge volume of documentary evidence about each individual airplane, most of which is never needed. We do this so that in case of an incident involving the airplane, we will already have collected an accurate picture of the airplane's history. Commensurately a great deal of knowledge is available about how human senses work, but UFO enthusiasts are largely disinterested in it. We have available a means to systematically acquire baseline data regarding what may be seen in the sky, but UFO enthusiasts never pursue that.

Real science recognizes when there's a gulf between what we know and what we need to know in order to test hypotheses. And then it arranges to begin acquiring that information. If an astronomer realizes that he could test certain hypotheses if he had correlated infrared and x-ray data, he writes a proposal to collate existing data (if available) or to design some instrument to collect it. If an engineer realizes that he could rule out certain crash hypotheses if he can record amperage spikes on the AC bus, he arranges for that data to be collected on all airplanes. If a building guard realizes he could track down thieves more effectively if he systematically surveys the exits, he'll arrange to install cameras and video recorders. These are examples of proactive approaches. UFO enthusiasts don't seem interested in developing data to test the extraterrestrial hypothesis. They seem only interested in amplifying the reactive song-and-dance that lets them say, "How can you keep ignoring all these credible sightings? It must be ETs because we can't explain it any normal way."

peter eldergill
2010-Sep-20, 11:05 PM
But of course. It's much more exciting to have witnessed a football stadium sized "spaceship" than to admit you were "fooled" by the planet Venus.



Stadium Sized spaceship? Luxury! I can see the Monty Python skit writing itself here :)

But seriously, I hadn't thought of it that way before. Thanks

Pete

worktroll
2010-Sep-21, 04:54 AM
Pardon me for coming in with possibly unverifiable input, but I was living in Victoria, Australia at the time of the Valentich disappearance.

At the time, there was considerable rumor - surfacing in the less reputable press - that Valentich had been involved with drug couriering, and quite possibly for good reasons needed to 'disappear'. The radar coverage of the time was not good enough to follow a light aircraft (possibly with inactive transponder) at low level, and it would have been quite possible for Valentich to turn back northward and land at one of any number of rough landing strips along the Shipwreck Coast.

I was suprised to find this one at Cracked's #1, given the lack of witness evidence (unlike others). Obviously my assertions cannot be proven, but I suspect other people living in the area at the time may remember the same details.

slang
2010-Sep-21, 07:18 AM
Welcome to BAUT, troll! (gosh, never thought I'd say that!) Thanks for your input. And I assume cracked.com compiles their lists more for entertainment value than scientific rigor. Which is fine, entertainment is important too. :)

Gillianren
2010-Sep-21, 07:39 AM
Some of their lists are quite good; I haven't checked out who writes what, but I tend to assume that's a major issue in these things. This one was far from their best.

chrlzs
2010-Sep-21, 08:50 AM
Pardon me for coming in with possibly unverifiable input, but I was living in Victoria, Australia at the time of the Valentich disappearance.
I was in South Oz at the time, but had lived in Victoria for most of my childhood. I can also offer supportive anecdotal 'evidence'..


At the time, there was considerable rumor - surfacing in the less reputable press - that Valentich had been involved with drug couriering, and quite possibly for good reasons needed to 'disappear'.
I can certainly verify that - the rumour was very widespread, and I'm sure I can remember this being mentioned in a TV documentary (so it must be true..). It was also thought to be rather strange that such a young pilot would be doing solo night flights over Bass Strait, even in good conditions. And there was also, if I recall correctly, the question of the alleged persons he claimed he was picking up - did they ever come forward?


All very suspicious... but I'd be happy to be pointed at contradictory evidence.

tnjrp
2010-Sep-21, 09:30 AM
And I assume cracked.com compiles their lists more for entertainment value than scientific rigorOne might assume that of several (other) UFO related sites, actually...

More seriously. Some (not many) Cracked lists seem to go about being ironic/satiric in an exceedingly subtle way. If they are that at all.

eburacum45
2010-Sep-21, 09:43 AM
Although I've heard the rumour, it is unsupported, defamatory, and does little or nothing to explain the sighting Valentich appears to have had before disappearing; so I tend to ignore it.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-21, 10:02 PM
But of course. It's much more exciting to have witnessed a football stadium sized "spaceship" than to admit you were "fooled" by the planet Venus.

Or by a flock of seagulls, which quite honestly is the peculiar source of a great many UFO reports in my area. "I know what a seagull looks like, and that wasn't a seagull," is not an unreasonable premise. But not every real-world manifestation of seagulls conforms to the canonical expectation. Sure, there is great reluctance to trade notoriety for seagulls, or for Venus. So while talking to the media, to coworkers, or to grandchildren there is often an urge to make stories more exciting than they really are. And we call these "white" lies because they're spoken without malice. Nearly all the time, the deception is relatively harmless.

The problem is that in the eyes of UFO enthusiasts, that propensity falls under their category of lame dismissals. "Debunkers always accuse UFO witnesses of lying." Well, occasionally witnesses do lie -- even people who are otherwise quite honest. And we have to consider that when evaluating "extraordinary" eyewitness claims. It ranks right up there with, "Debunkers think UFO witnesses are crazy or hallucinating," when we allude to psychological or perceptual factors that affect everyone more or less equally and are simply part of being human.

NEOWatcher
2010-Sep-22, 01:25 PM
Or by a flock of seagulls...
Every time I see one of those, I run, I run so far away. Run all night and day. I can't get away... :shifty:

NerfTW
2010-Sep-26, 03:37 PM
Welcome to BAUT, troll! (gosh, never thought I'd say that!) Thanks for your input. And I assume cracked.com compiles their lists more for entertainment value than scientific rigor. Which is fine, entertainment is important too. :)

Cracked is very much a humor site. If you read their lists long enough, you'll notice the same incidents being used for conspiracy lists and the real explanation. I seem to recall this occurring on the same day once. Almost any time they post a conspiracy or creepy unexplained events list, they leave out major details, even when they clearly know them, due to other articles that give the real cause.

The lesson here being that you should not be taking lessons from a humor site.