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Tuckerfan
2010-Sep-22, 05:19 AM
Seems they've been tampering with our nuclear weapons. (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS166901+15-Sep-2010+PRN20100915)
Witness testimony from more than 120 former or retired military personnel points to an ongoing and alarming intervention by unidentified aerial objects at nuclear weapons sites, as recently as 2003. In some cases, several nuclear missiles simultaneously and inexplicably malfunctioned while a disc-shaped object silently hovered nearby. Six former U.S. Air Force officers and one former enlisted man will break their silence about these events at the National Press Club and urge the government to publicly confirm their reality.

One of them, ICBM launch officer Captain Robert Salas, was on duty during one missile disruption incident at Malmstrom Air Force Base and was ordered to never discuss it. Another participant, retired Col. Charles Halt, observed a disc-shaped object directing beams of light down into the RAF Bentwaters airbase in England and heard on the radio that they landed in the nuclear weapons storage area. Both men will provide stunning details about these events, and reveal how the U.S. military responded.The date is Sept. 27th. I wonder if they'll be as "professional" as Hoagland was when he spoke there in the early 90s (he found it suspicious that his slides were out of order and upside down). :rolleyes:

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-22, 06:48 AM
And, of course, Robert Hastings is among the speakers.... :)

Gillianren
2010-Sep-22, 06:53 AM
They should put "researcher" in quotation marks.

Strange
2010-Sep-22, 07:04 AM
What does "several nuclear missiles simultaneously and inexplicably malfunctioned" mean? In what way malfunctioned? How would they know? Were they trying to launch them at the time??

More seriously, I assume missiles have some sort of test/diagnostic functions built in to the control systems. But are these continially monitored or did they just happen to be checking them when they "failed"?

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-22, 11:53 AM
Checkout the Hastings thread we had some time back...

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-22, 01:46 PM
Might I suggest the following links regarding the Malmstrom missile shutdown incident:

http://www.realityuncovered.net/

There are several links (the last four blog postings in "the latest news" with a fifth to come) as RU is going down and dirty with the help of James Carlson to demonstrate that a lot of what Hastings is selling is a lot of nonsense and very false claims.

As a side note, I had summarized Carlson's long-winded booklet "American's Credulous" in SUNlite 2-2 (http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/SUNlite2_2.pdf) (pates 11-14)

JayUtah
2010-Sep-22, 02:37 PM
We had a protracted discussion about "the Bobs." The thread in which Robert Hastings himself participated is here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/78952-UFOs-and-Nukes?highlight=ufos+and+nukes).

Basically, the missiles were being constantly monitored for readiness. They went offline simultaneously due to what was later discovered to be an obscure commonality in the test system itself. Hastings, Salas, et al. try to hand the world a different story by omitting a lot of relevant detail. One of the relevant details they tried for a long time to omit was the fact that Salas was not on duty at the station in question, contrary to his claims. When he got caught, he suddenly "remembered" he was actually elsewhere and wasn't an actual witness to anything. Keep in mind that Capt. Salas, as a high-ranking military officer, is in the category of witnesses Leslie Kean considers "highly reliable."

And yes, Hastings has no skill or credentials as a researcher. His research method appears to be:

1. Hear story.
2. Believe story.

Am I the only person who thinks it's amusing that Salas' claims here are contradictory? "The military has ordered me not to discuss this. I'll be at the National Press Club on Sept. 27 to discuss it." Far from "breaking his silence," he's been on the UFO lecture circuit for a number of years. Seems like if the military were really interested in anything he had to say, they've had plenty of opportunity to arrest him.

jrkeller
2010-Sep-22, 03:10 PM
And yes, Hastings has no skill or credentials as a researcher. His research method appears to be:

1. Hear story.
2. Believe story.


I almost burst my sides when I read that.

Eta C
2010-Sep-22, 04:01 PM
Keep in mind that Capt. Salas, as a high-ranking military officer, is in the category of witnesses Leslie Kean considers "highly reliable."

Actually, Captain is not a high rank in the Air Force (or Army and Marine Corps). It's the O-3 level and outranks only Second Lieutenant and Lieutenant in their rank classification. Confusion comes in when one confuses an Air Force Captain (O-3) with a Navy Captain (O-6). As an O-6 Navy Captains are one step below Rear Admiral and can legitimately be called high ranking.

I guess the point is that Air Force Captains are a dime a dozen and that Salas' rank alone doesn't give him any authority.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-22, 05:02 PM
...

Actually, Captain is not a high rank in the Air Force (or Army and Marine Corps).

That's right; I momentarily thought O-6 instead of O-3.

I guess the point is that Air Force Captains are a dime a dozen and that Salas' rank alone doesn't give him any authority.

Right, he's not "high-ranking" in Kean's taxonomy, however he is in Robert Hastings mind, where even E-2s and E-3s are said to be credible because of their rank.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-22, 05:03 PM
I almost burst my sides when I read that.

That's because you don't have Robert Hastings' 30 years' experience hearing and believing stories.

captain swoop
2010-Sep-22, 05:09 PM
If it's done like in the British Forces you retire 'one rank up' so someone claiming the rank of Captain would actualy have served as a Ltnt.
No self respecting ex officer would use Captain. In the old Sitcom 'Are You Being Served' the pompous, self important 'Floor Walker' Stephen Peacock uses the rank 'Captain' before his name to try and give himself some importance.

Jim
2010-Sep-22, 05:14 PM
Originally Posted by JayUtah
And yes, Hastings has no skill or credentials as a researcher. His research method appears to be:

1. Hear story.
2. Believe story.

I almost burst my sides when I read that.

Hey, at least it's a considered, methodical, stepwise approach.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-22, 06:40 PM
No self respecting ex officer would use Captain.

But in this case the claim requires it. If the claim is "Ex-military officers describe UFO encounters in their respective units," then identifying the witness as Capt. Robert Salas, USAF (ret.) gives the proper credential. It would probably be pretentious in American society to continue using the title of an O-3 military rank long after one's service is complete, but here we need to know from what basis the claim is being made. Otherwise a listener would legitimately ask, "Who is Bob Salas and why should I care?"

Now all that having been said, we take special issue with some of Salas' claims. In general, holding an officer's rank in the military enables one to make certain claims about military procedure, specific military operations that one may have participated in or known about, perhaps priviliged information pertaining to the relevant unit, and so forth. It may establish certain beliefs about his character at the time of his commissioning, i.e., that government would repose a certain amount of trust in him.

However, it doesn't make him a more reliable witness in the sense that his memory and perception are somehow magically enhanced. And more specifically, it does not make him any better witness to events he wasn't present for. Salas wants to talk about Malmstrom, but he wasn't involved with the noted events there. His rank especially doesn't qualify him to testify to things he did not witness.

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-22, 07:29 PM
I think this interview with Eric Carlson (one of two actual witnesses of the Malstrom Airforce Base incident) speaks volumes about Robert Hastings methods:

http://www.realityuncovered.net/blog/2010/09/an-interview-with-malmstrom-afb-witness-eric-carlson/


Ryan: Finally – I would like to give you an opportunity to share whether you were ever contacted or interviewed by Hastings, Salas or any other Ufologists before, and your perspective on the stories that they’ve put out there about the events that occurred at Echo Flight and Oscar Flight.

Eric: I was contacted by both Salas and Hastings and would neither confirm or deny anything they told me. I really didn’t want to get involved in a ****ing contest with either. Hastings told me he had written a book and I told him that sounded interesting. He sent me a copy and while I cannot attest or comment on anything other than the Malmstrom incident I found that particular incident full of errors. A producer for some UFO TV series contacted me one time and a reporter from the Great Fall newspaper also contacted me one time. There were no follow-ups from either.

Ryan: This is interesting! Hastings only called to talk to you after he’d written the book? Or was he calling you while he was writing his book in order to confirm information he’d learned from Salas?

Eric: Hastings called after he had written the book. I don’t know what his motive was.

eburacum45
2010-Sep-27, 12:37 PM
Aliens 'hit our nukes': They even landed at a Suffolk base, claim airmen (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1315339/Aliens-hit-nukes-They-landed-Suffolk-base-claim-airmen.html#ixzz10ia2l3Iw)



Colonel Charles Halt claims to have seen a UFO at RAF Bentwaters, near Ipswich, one of the few bases in the UK to hold nuclear weapons. The sighting is said to have taken place 30 years ago. First he saw the object firing beams of light into the base then heard on the military radio that aliens had landed inside the nuclear storage area, he said.

This is Col Halt of the famous Rendlesham case. The guy who recorded the date of the sighting incorrectly.
I believe, although I cannot prove, that the 'object' he saw 'firing beams of light' down was in fact the planet Venus, observed through a Starscope light amplifier. Over the intervening years he has somehow forgotten that he was using the Starscope. Alternately he may have been using ordinary binoculars, as suggested by Ian Ridpath.
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham3.htm

Dr David Clarke of Sheffield has a different explanation; see here
http://www.uk-ufo.org/condign/rendsec.htm

The other detail mentioned is richly strange and amusing. Apparently he 'heard on the military radio that aliens had landed inside the nuclear storage area'. As the deputy base commander, he should surely have received a more detailed report about such a breach of security than just an overheard radio report. He did not mention this apparent breach in his report, made a few days later. Presumably it did not happen.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-27, 04:50 PM
Actually, the object he reports shooting beams down was the bright star Sirius. Look up in your planetarium program the southwest sky between 3 and 4 AM on the 28th of December 1980 (or any year for that matter). Sirius is there and probably was scintillating wildly as always. He even states on the tape that after a little while, it was getting lower in the sky. A good example of a star setting (it set around 5AM). Venus did not rise until about 6AM.

The RU blog has a recent posting about Walt Figel. Apparently, Figel is telling a story that Hastings does not want people to hear. Figel is in Virginia but was not "invited" to the dog and pony show by Hastings even though Hastings claims Figel confirms that UFOs shut down Echo flight!

JayUtah
2010-Sep-27, 05:16 PM
Figel is in Virginia but was not "invited" to the dog and pony show by Hastings even though Hastings claims Figel confirms that UFOs shut down Echo flight!

Hm. Given the controversy over what Figel said, it seems indeed odd that Hastings would go to such lengths to arrange a press event and not have Figel come set the story straight. If Hastings is correct, then Carlson is calling Figel a liar and Figel should be well motivated to take advantage of such an opportunity to clear his name.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-27, 06:39 PM
The problem is, Carlson has been communicating with Figel for the past year and Figel is saying a lot of things to Carlson that Hastings does not want the media to hear. The RU blog has the whole story. IMO, Figel got caught up retelling old sea stories with Salas and Hastings. However, when he looked at how they interpreted his conversation, he tried to make it clear they were not being accurate. Of course, that never stopped Hastings and Salas as they kept perpetuating their little charade.

eburacum45
2010-Sep-27, 07:13 PM
Actually, the object he reports shooting beams down was the bright star Sirius.
Yes, you are right, it was Sirius. Ian Ridpath identified it correctly; my memory was playing tricks. Venus is still below the horizon at that time. Sirius is famous for scintillating wildly; Venus has a much more steady light.

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-27, 07:18 PM
The problem is, Carlson has been communicating with Figel for the past year and Figel is saying a lot of things to Carlson that Hastings does not want the media to hear. The RU blog has the whole story. IMO, Figel got caught up retelling old sea stories with Salas and Hastings. However, when he looked at how they interpreted his conversation, he tried to make it clear they were not being accurate. Of course, that never stopped Hastings and Salas as they kept perpetuating their little charade.

A recent interview with Figel (writing to James Carlson)l:

http://www.realityuncovered.net/blog/2010/09/the-malmstrom-afb-missileufo-incident-part-ii/


James

I guess you must have posted something somewhere that got Hastings attention
He did call and we did speak for a bit, so did Salas.
You should know that both calls were very cordial as was ours.

However, I think you guys have a ****ing contest going that I would rather not get in the middle of. I have no vested or financial interests in UFOs and actually not even a passing interest in them. Guess I am different from most people. But, I could really care less about the subject.

I reasserted that I personally never did see a UFO at any time.
I do not personally “believe” that UFOs had anything to do with Echo flight shutting down that year.
I repeated that I never heard about an incident at November or Oscar flight and have no knowledge that they ever happened and that I doubted they did.
That is obviously a personal opinion as I can not prove the negative.

I repeated that Colonel Dick Evans was at the alternate command post at Kilo which is in the same squadron as November and Oscar and he never mentioned anything about a shutdown at either of these two flights.

If it did happen, I personally don’t know anything about it.

One of their books said I had a personal log – I did not.

The only log I ever filled out was the official log that all flights kept and that I do not and never did have a copy of that log. Obviously I can not remember what I wrote that morning.

One of the books says that the flight shut down in “seconds” – that is not an exactly accurate statement.

It obviously took some time for your dad and I to run the appropriate checklists and make all the calls that we had to make to the command post and maintenance. We were near the end of the checklist when the second missile shut down and shortly threafter the rest of them followed suit.

That sequence of events took several minutes not seconds, but that is all a very minor point in fact and doesn’t change the facts of the overall sequence of events that morning.

I told him that when someone mentioned UFOs, I just laughed it off as a joke and assumed someone was just kidding around. I never took it seriously.

I also told them that no one from any UFO office in the Air Force ever interviewed/deriefed your dad and/or me and that I do not remember ever signing any papers about anything.

In fact, I told them that until he mentioned it, I did not even know there was an office that monitored sightings of “UFOs” in the Air Force.

captain swoop
2010-Sep-27, 07:24 PM
The other detail mentioned is richly strange and amusing. Apparently he 'heard on the military radio that aliens had landed inside the nuclear storage area'. As the deputy base commander, he should surely have received a more detailed report about such a breach of security than just an overheard radio report. He did not mention this apparent breach in his report, made a few days later. Presumably it did not happen.

Is this in ref to the 1980 'incident'?

By 1980 the 81st TFW was operating A10s, they aren't Nuclear Aircraft.

Even if the Igloos still had Tactical Weapons in them in 1980 if anything had landed inside the perimeter of the store then people on the base would have heatrd a bit more than some radio chatter, there would have been bullets flying.

'Top Gear' is filmed there now.

Garrison
2010-Sep-27, 07:37 PM
Is this in ref to the 1980 'incident'?

By 1980 the 81st TFW was operating A10s, they aren't Nuclear Aircraft.

Even if the Igloos still had Tactical Weapons in them in 1980 if anything had landed inside the perimeter of the store then people on the base would have heatrd a bit more than some radio chatter, there would have been bullets flying.

'Top Gear' is filmed there now.

So the facility was taken over by strange creatures after all...:)

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-27, 08:02 PM
Just saw (too late to view), that CNN Breaking News gave a live coverage of the Hastings/Salas press conference.

PetersCreek
2010-Sep-27, 08:24 PM
If it's done like in the British Forces you retire 'one rank up' so someone claiming the rank of Captain would actualy have served as a Ltnt.

Nope, we don't do that over here. We retire at the last rank earned, which would make me: [PetersCreek], MSgt, USAF (Ret)...but most folks (myself included) don't routinely use our ranks post retirement unless we're in certain lines of business still associated with the military or when we're accessing our benefits.

As for the expertise of the officer corps, it can vary greatly depending upon the specialty in question. For instance, a fighter pilot can likely tell you a great deal about tactics, aircraft performance, and what almost any given switch in the cockpit does, at least in basic terms. He or she is far less likely to tell you what happens behind the control panels or inside the "black boxes". That is something that I, as an enlisted person, would have been able to tell you with far more authority...at least within my narrow specialty. So, one can't really give testimony any more weight based soley on the witness holding a commission.

Or to put it in fewer words: Dentists are doctors. If one said my leg had to come off, I'd look for much more than just the "Dr." in front of his name.

Tensor
2010-Sep-27, 09:17 PM
. For instance, a fighter pilot can likely tell you a great deal about tactics, aircraft performance, and what almost any given switch in the cockpit does, at least in basic terms. He or she is far less likely to tell you what happens behind the control panels or inside the "black boxes". That is something that I, as an enlisted person, would have been able to tell you with far more authority...at least within my narrow specialty.

Ahhhhh, the old "Replaced stick-throttle interconnect. Ops checked good" Tensor, Msgt, USAF(Sep).

rainless
2010-Sep-27, 10:10 PM
And yes, Hastings has no skill or credentials as a researcher. His research method appears to be:

1. Hear story.
2. Believe story.


Wow... I think I kinda like this guy!

There's a bit of the long-term pothead mixed with a little of the old-guard caffeine junkie.

He's got paranoia and fear mixed with self-righteous conviction.

I think I want to subscribe to his newsletter!

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-28, 06:39 AM
Here is the CNN coverage: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/27/ufos-showed-interest-in-nukes-ex-air-force-personnel-say/?hpt=T2
Nothing new, as far as I can tell...

captain swoop
2010-Sep-28, 08:17 AM
Nope, we don't do that over here. We retire at the last rank earned, which would make me: [PetersCreek], MSgt, USAF (Ret)...but most folks (myself included) don't routinely use our ranks post retirement unless we're in certain lines of business still associated with the military or when we're accessing our benefits.



Only officers do it over her, not 'Other Ranks' or Warrent Officers. I am still an Ex Killik not a PO

tnjrp
2010-Sep-28, 10:16 AM
Here's two more vids on the subject for the U-t00b afficionadoes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7voVPsPLT1M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7w_FOVbCBc

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-28, 12:01 PM
Here is a long video on the event: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/ybenjamin/detail?entry_id=73276

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-28, 01:45 PM
I saw one clip where Salas claimed to have letters from Eric Carlson with the implication they verified UFO activity at Echo flight. It takes a lot of nerve to twist the truth of the matter in front of the media. So much for telling the truth.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-28, 02:22 PM
It takes a lot of nerve to twist the truth of the matter in front of the media.

No, at this point it would take more nerve for him to say, "Sorry, I made the whole thing up and I've been lying for years while taking honorariums to speak at UFO lectures and on talk shows." That gang is way too far deep into it now to do anything but press boldly onward, digging themselves in deeper. Although I do agree with you that it's simply unconscionable to suggest that your most outspoken critic is still somehow on your side.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-28, 04:52 PM
He was referring to Eric Carlson, who thinks about this case the same way his son does. James is the critic. His father could care less from what I could tell although he is disgusted by Hastings and Salas.

JustAFriend
2010-Sep-28, 09:06 PM
Well the date has come and gone.
No new stories... just repeats of stuff I've seen for years.
No new "startling evidence".
No "great revalations".

....but it is interesting that this happens at the same time NBC is putting on "The Event"
about a group of aliens interred in Alaska for 60years after their saucer crashes.

I smell a viral marketing campaign that didn't come off as planned....

Swift
2010-Sep-29, 12:59 PM
Wow... I think I kinda like this guy!

There's a bit of the long-term pothead mixed with a little of the old-guard caffeine junkie.

He's got paranoia and fear mixed with self-righteous conviction.

I think I want to subscribe to his newsletter!
rainless,

Please don't speculate on other people's mental health or possible drug habits. Let's keep the debate to what they say, not why. Thanks,

pepiboy32
2010-Sep-29, 07:42 PM
i would love to know how much hastings has paid those ex-military guys for turning up and spilling the beans.

JayUtah
2010-Sep-29, 07:49 PM
He was referring to Eric Carlson, who thinks about this case the same way his son does. James is the critic. His father could care less from what I could tell although he is disgusted by Hastings and Salas.

Yes, I realize Eric is the quiescent father and James is the outspoken son. But the meat of James' case is the testimony from his father. As I understand the positions today, the Bobs allege that Eric is lying to James and that he "really" confirmed their version of the events earlier. James has asked for proof, but after a number of months it has been forthcoming.

In short it seems that the Bobs have promised evidence that Eric Carlson and Walt Figel are now lying, and that they really did once confirm what the Bobs say, but they haven't actually provided any. In light of James' longstanding demands for that evidence, it seems quite disingenuous for them to repeat the same promises without being willing to deliver. "I have evidence in my possession that says you're wrong and I'm right, but you don't get to see it," is just about the worst thing you can do for credibility.

Brad_Smith
2010-Sep-29, 09:54 PM
What of Gordon Cooper's claims? Would you consider them legitimate?

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-29, 10:06 PM
From what I recall, Gordon Coooper claimed many things including seeing a UFO landing that was filmed. J. Oberg had an article about it:

http://www.zipworld.com.au/~psmith/cooper.html

The UFO landing just does not sound credible to me.

Tensor
2010-Sep-29, 10:10 PM
What of Gordon Cooper's claims? Would you consider them legitimate?

Check here ( http://www.zipworld.com.au/~psmith/cooper.html)

edit. Astrophotog beat me to it.

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 01:54 AM
I have been a dis-believer in the alien visitation theory all my life. It never made much sense to me and the reports I was aware of didn't seem credible to me, at least as far as the conclusion "alien visitation" was concerned.

Recently, I have read some of the debunker threads here on BAUT and that caused me to look further into the details of some cases. I have also considered the main arguments JayUtah and James Oberg and others usually bring up (credibility of witnesses being a major one, especially pilots as witnesses).
I am also reading Leslie Kean's book that is making headlines and I have watched as much as I could find on the Sept 27 news conference which is the topic of this thread.

All of this research is making me a believer in the validity of the alien visitation hypothesis.

National Press Club event of Sept 27:
Most of the people who spoke out seemed pretty level-headed and honest to me. I don't see what most of them have to gain by speaking out in that way and putting their reputation on the line. Some characters seem a bit shady (Robert Hastings for example) and I wouldn't take their word for it if it was only them speaking out.
Their arguments and accounts are a lot more convincing to me than what the people here on BAUT and Oberg come up with. There are a lot of fanatics in both camps, probably more in the believer camp than in the debunker camp but some posters here and also Oberg certainly come across as very fanatic in their dis-belief. Not convincing at all. Especially their fanatic and categorical dismissal of witnesses. The often cited Oberg article regarding the credibility of pilots as witnesses is just a whole lot of hot air with hardly any substance. Sure, people make mistakes at times, but according to the debunker fanatics they make ONLY mistakes. That is just ridiculous and someone arguing along those lines looses credibility in my book real fast.

Gordon Copper:
The above cited Oberg article regarding Gordon Cooper is another of Oberg's hot air balloons. He hardly says anything about what Cooper said but focuses on what UFO believers make out of his statements. How is that relevant as far as Cooper himself is concerned? I have seen a few interviews with Cooper and he comes across as very credible. MUCH more credible than that Oberg clown.


Leslie Kean's book "UFOs- Generals, Pilots & Government Officials Go On the Record":
This book is another reason I am converting from a dis-believer to a believer. I find especially interesting the discrepancy between the Belgian sightings as described by Wilfried De Brouwer (who was chief of operations of the Belgian Air Force back then) and what you read here on BAUT about them. He debunks the debunkers in a very convincing way. I have seen an interview with him and he appears as a typical (ex-)military no-nonsense kinda guy. I appreciate his accounts and also the surprisingly honest way the Belgian air force handled the cases back then (there were many more or less related cases in the so-called "Belgian UFO wave").
The book is available as a pdf combined with radio interviews with Leslie Kean if you know where to look (usenet and probably also torrents). I was impressed by her conduct in the radio interviews. She comes across as very level-headed and honest person and only speaks about cases she has researched herself. That download is well worth the search.
And again - Oberg's pitiful attempt at debunking the entire book by resorting to his pet-theory that pilots are the worst witnesses is just a sad story of an old man who apparently has little but hot air left in him.


At the end of the day I can only offer my personal opinion (based on impressions of witnesses and plausibility of stories) - as do all the others here, even if the fanatics want to make you believe their opinion had anything to do with "science". Which, of course, it does not.

My own research (which I do not claim to be scientific because it isn't) is turning me from a dis-believer into a believer.
I can only suggest you do the research for yourself.
Don't listen to the fanatics on either side, especially not the likes of Oberg and the usual and compulsive suspects here on BAUT (who seem to have nothing better to do than posting the same stuff over and over and over again).

Are ALL witnesses deluded or even lying? Is that a plausible explanation?
Why are there so many retired military folks speaking out in the last few years (check out the X-Conference press releases on youtube for 2009 and 2010)?
As much as I despise those people in their cold no-nonsense approach to killing their fellow humans, that same approach seems convincing in the context of their many accounts of UAP sightings.
Why are there so many people with good credentials speaking out and saying that the alien visitation hypothesis has merit (e.g. Michio Kaku, John Podesta, Nick Pope, Edgar Mitchell, Gordon Cooper, etc)?
These people have reputations to loose, especially in the current climate where such reports are usually ridiculed.

Swift
2010-Sep-30, 02:26 AM
<snip>
All of this research is making me a believer in the validity of the alien visitation hypothesis.

AdamL,

Just so you are aware, by the rules of this board, that makes you an advocate of a non-mainstream idea. That's fine, but it requires you to follow particular rules in the ATM/CT forums. If you have not done so, I strongly urge you to review the Advice for Conspiracy Theory Supporters (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/86593-Advice-for-Conspiracy-Theory-Supporters).

You have gotten off to a good start by presenting evidence for your idea. Please be prepared to answer questions put to you and to present other information. If you are not prepared for this, or do not wish this obligation, you should say so.

If you have questions about these rules, please contact myself or another moderator (the best way is by Reporting this post).

Tensor
2010-Sep-30, 03:41 AM
Don't listen to the fanatics on either side, especially not the likes of Oberg and the usual and compulsive suspects here on BAUT (who seem to have nothing better to do than posting the same stuff over and over and over again).

Well, when the ETH believers actually present some hard physical evidence that ETH is actually occurring, instead of presenting the same old tired examples over and over again, then you may see some different stuff posted here. After all, there was a question posted about Cooper. Why wouldn't the article about Cooper be referenced? I find the evidence by Oberg compelling. Do you have any evidence, other than your incredulity, that they are not making mistakes?


Are ALL witnesses deluded or even lying? Is that a plausible explanation?

And the hard physical evidence to show they are not deluded or lying is what?


Why are there so many retired military folks speaking out in the last few years (check out the X-Conference press releases on youtube for 2009 and 2010)?
As much as I despise those people in their cold no-nonsense approach to killing their fellow humans,

You know them well enough personally to come to that conclusion, do you? Your evidence that those that are speaking out are cold no-nosense killers is, what?


that same approach seems convincing in the context of their many accounts of UAP sightings.
Why are there so many people with good credentials speaking out and saying that the alien visitation hypothesis has merit (e.g. Michio Kaku, John Podesta, Nick Pope, Edgar Mitchell, Gordon Cooper, etc)?
These people have reputations to loose, especially in the current climate where such reports are usually ridiculed.

Saying the ETH has merit and providing the hard evidence that it actually is occurring are two different things. Again, where is the hard evidence?

NickW
2010-Sep-30, 03:57 AM
Are ALL witnesses deluded or even lying? Is that a plausible explanation?

Yes, it is a plausible explanation for some of them. As has been pointed out many times on this board, peoples recollection of accounts can often be skewed by outside influence or a misunderstanding of what they are seeing. That doesn't make then liars.

Gillianren
2010-Sep-30, 03:58 AM
"They seem like honest guys" does not a compelling argument make.

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 05:10 AM
I find the evidence by Oberg compelling.
I don't. Not at all.


Do you have any evidence, other than your incredulity, that they are not making mistakes?
No, I don't. I just reckon that a fighter and/or test pilot needs to have his wits together flying these babies and furthermore I reckon it took considerable guts for Cooper to speak out like that. I reckon something really shocked or seriously surprised him and he wants to know what's going on. So much so that he took the plunge into the cold water of almost certain ridicule. Not hard evidence but compelling to me.


And the hard physical evidence to show they are not deluded or lying is what?
If it were just a few red-necks obviously trying to draw attention to their parts of the woods, okay, it might be worthy of consideration. But the sweeping assumption that ALL are lying or deluded is just too far-fetched to even consider given the sheer number and different characteristics of witnesses. This argument is not worthy of a serious discussion and I will not respond to it any further.


You know them well enough personally to come to that conclusion, do you?
No. I don't know them and I base my judgment entirely on my judgment of human characters.
Do you know them and have a better basis for your judgment?


Your evidence that those that are speaking out are cold no-nosense killers is, what?
They are professional military personnel. They are trained to kill and to follow orders or give orders without question.
That attitude to me is cold and no-nonsense.


Saying the ETH has merit and providing the hard evidence that it actually is occurring are two different things. Again, where is the hard evidence?
I don't have any. And I don't hear any of the people I referred to saying anything different. Many of them claim, however, that especially the US government (or other entities in charge) have such evidence and they demand it to be made public. Given the nature of the people in the US government that argument makes much sense to me. Is it true? I don't know but I do think so.

I am just operating on a hunch here and I freely admit it. And so are you if you are honest.
I was a dis-believer until very recently - until I did research into the matter and the arguments. And that research has given me enough indications to change my stance on the subject.
And I am not set on the ETH. I am very convinced, however, that something is going on that demands serious investigation. That's all I am saying. No more. No less.
And with serious investigation I certainly don't mean sweeping (and downright stupid) "arguments" ala "they are ALL lying and/or deluded".
As far as I can tell there is no hard evidence available in the public domain to prove or dis-prove the ETH. So, don't ask me for it.

Gillianren
2010-Sep-30, 05:17 AM
No, I don't. I just reckon that a fighter and/or test pilot needs to have his wits together flying these babies and furthermore I reckon it took considerable guts for Cooper to speak out like that. I reckon something really shocked or seriously surprised him and he wants to know what's going on. So much so that he took the plunge into the cold water of almost certain ridicule. Not hard evidence but compelling to me.

Even knowing all sorts of things about human misperception? And, again, where's the evidence of guts?


No. I don't know them and I base my judgment entirely on my judgment of human characters.
Do you know them and have a better basis for your judgment?

We know human characteristics better. We know how perception and memory work. You, clearly, do not.


They are professional military personnel. They are trained to kill and to follow orders or give orders without question.
That attitude to me is cold and no-nonsense.

How many military personnel do you know?


I don't have any. And I don't hear any of the people I referred to saying anything different. Many of them claim, however, that especially the US government (or other entities in charge) have such evidence and they demand it to be made public. Given the nature of the people in the US government that argument makes much sense to me. Is it true? I don't know but I do think so.

How long did Watergate and Iran-Contra remain secret? How much work did it take for the Soviets to spy on the Manhattan Project?


I am just operating on a hunch here and I freely admit it. And so are you if you are honest.

Wrong. We are operating under basic scientific principles. Since there is no evidence other than eyewitness testimony, there is no real reason to believe the testimony. We know how the human mind works under these circumstances. You don't, or at least you're clearly trying to claim that all the research and study into how the subject is wrong.


I was a dis-believer until very recently - until I did research into the matter and the arguments. And that research has given me enough indications to change my stance on the subject.

You have researched poorly, if that's the case.


And I am not set on the ETH. I am very convinced, however, that something is going on that demands serious investigation. That's all I am saying. No more. No less.
And with serious investigation I certainly don't mean sweeping (and downright stupid) "arguments" ala "they are ALL lying and/or deluded".
As far as I can tell there is no hard evidence available in the public domain to prove or dis-prove the ETH. So, don't ask me for it.

Since there is no evidence after serious investigation--which has been done--there's no reason to assume any validity to the ETH.

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 05:22 AM
We know human characteristics better. We know how perception and memory work. You, clearly, do not.
I don't think you realize - not even remotely - how presumptuous, insulting and also desperate and pitiful that sounds.
If that is the level of your "argumentation" we are done.

NickW
2010-Sep-30, 05:22 AM
If it were just a few red-necks obviously trying to draw attention to their parts of the woods, okay, it might be worthy of consideration. But the sweeping assumption that ALL are lying or deluded is just too far-fetched to even consider given the sheer number and different characteristics of witnesses. This argument is not worthy of a serious discussion and I will not respond to it any further.

I guess you didn't read what I said above. Also, just to let you know, you don't get to choose your discussion now that you have been classified as a "proponent". Just a heads up.


I am just operating on a hunch here and I freely admit it. And so are you if you are honest.
I was a dis-believer until very recently - until I did research into the matter and the arguments. And that research has given me enough indications to change my stance on the subject.

No you weren't. You were always a believer, you just hid behind your "skepticism". If a press conference, of all things, with the people that have been debunked for YEARS, was enough to make you a believer......


And I am not set on the ETH. I am very convinced, however, that something is going on that demands serious investigation. That's all I am saying. No more. No less.

Yeah, we haven't heard this one before.... SOMEONE is hiding SOMETHING. IT has to be THEM. We HAVE to do more "investigation". Usually that is just talk to more people and end it there. If you call that "investigation", then I have no help for ya.


And with serious investigation I certainly don't mean sweeping (and downright stupid) "arguments" ala "they are ALL lying and/or deluded".
As far as I can tell there is no hard evidence available in the public domain to prove or dis-prove the ETH. So, don't ask me for it.

Again, no one here said they are all liars, or are all deluded. You keep trying to put those words in peoples mouths when they weren't said. Its a blatant mis-characterization of the argument. Oh, and by the way, we will ask for evidence because you keep saying that "something is going on that demands serious investigation".

Fooglmog
2010-Sep-30, 05:49 AM
AdamL, I think that a lot of what you're saying has merit. Or, at least enough merit that the questions deserve a less cavalier dismissal than the one that's being offered here. However, I do have a question that I'd like to hear your response to.

I understand that there is little disagreement on the subject that between 90% and 95% of all UFO reports are either identified or determined to be fraudulent. I've heard this point raised both by those who support UFO theories and those who dismiss them, so I hope we can accept it as a reliable fact. Your argument is premised upon the idea that the sheer number of reports precludes the possibility that all the individuals involved can be delusional/lying. Yet if we can establish that 90%-95% of these reports are definitively inaccurate, why is the remaining 5%-10% such a large number of people that they can't also all be incorrect?

To put that a different way. You're telling me that it's implausible that 1,000,000 people a year (or whatever the number is) making these reports is so large that they cannot all be mistakes. Yet I can tell you definitively that at least 900,000 (or whatever 90% of the number of reports is) people did definitively make that mistake. Why is a 10% increase in the number of mistakes made implausible?

To me, this seems like a strange argument to make.

Van Rijn
2010-Sep-30, 05:52 AM
If it were just a few red-necks obviously trying to draw attention to their parts of the woods, okay, it might be worthy of consideration.
But the sweeping assumption that ALL are lying or deluded is just too far-fetched to even consider given the sheer number and different characteristics of witnesses. This argument is not worthy of a serious discussion and I will not respond to it any further.


That's a straw-man argument anyway. I don't think anyone is arguing "ALL are lying or deluded." People can simply be wrong. There's a recent case of a New Jersey hoax (some guys were putting flares on balloons and later admitted to it) where the media darling was a pilot, who was shown around as a credible witness. He was convinced he wasn't seeing something mundane, but he simply wasn't familiar with what flares on balloons look like.

PetersCreek
2010-Sep-30, 05:52 AM
I They are professional military personnel. They are trained to kill and to follow orders or give orders without question.
That attitude to me is cold and no-nonsense.

As an Air Force veteran of more than 20 years I find your characterization to be profoundly ill-informed. While combat personnel train to keep level heads under stress (with the goal of keeping them from getting blown off) exceedingly few are "cold no-nonsense" killers in my experience. Taking fighter pilots as an example...and I worked with many...listening to even a few cockpit tapes (combat or training) will dispel the notion that those airmen are in the least bit cold. As far as honesty goes, I think our military is as professional as they come. As individuals, however, they do err. They can misperceive, misremember, or otherwise mistake details...especially when the events being described don't seem to conform to their normal experiences. Some have character flaws. Some of those even have problems with the truth. They're people after all.

Van Rijn
2010-Sep-30, 05:55 AM
And I am not set on the ETH. I am very convinced, however, that something is going on that demands serious investigation. That's all I am saying. No more. No less.


Okay, how would you suggest it be investigated? Do you have some new ideas?

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 06:10 AM
As an Air Force veteran of more than 20 years I find your characterization to be profoundly ill-informed. While combat personnel train to keep level heads under stress (with the goal of keeping them from getting blown off) exceedingly few are "cold no-nonsense" killers in my experience. Taking fighter pilots as an example...and I worked with many...listening to even a few cockpit tapes (combat or training) will dispel the notion that those airmen are in the least bit cold. As far as honesty goes, I think our military is as professional as they come. As individuals, however, they do err. They can misperceive, misremember, or otherwise mistake details...especially when the events being described don't seem to conform to their normal experiences. Some have character flaws. Some of those even have problems with the truth. They're people after all.

I understand why you as an AF veteran would see it that way and I respect that.
However, from where I am standing, these flying machines and basically most military gear has one primary purpose: to serve as a weapon. A weapon to kill humans.
No argument or rationalization can distract from that fact.

I am sure you and your buddies are good and decent people and have found ways to cope and desensitize yourselves.
But I am not desensitized from that fact and I call it as I see it: you and your buddies have been trained to kill. And the more detached you are the more effective you are.
That's all I was trying to say.
But, really, that entire discussion is off-topic and I have no intentions to have a discussions with you or anybody else about the pros and cons of the military apparatus.

captain swoop
2010-Sep-30, 06:12 AM
AdamL. I am Ex Military. I operated Air Warning Radars on various Royal Navy Ships. I have operated them with real Air Threats, real Argentinian Aircraft trying to sink Real SHips. Real Russian Aircraft trying to sneak up on us etc. I can say I don't think any credible Radar Data has ever been presented to support an Alien Spaceship.

What if I could find 1000 ex military who say that there are no Alien Spaceships for each one of those that say they saw an unidentified 'thing' that could be an Alien Spaceship?

Just because someone is ex military doesn't mean they know anything about Alien Spaceships or how to identify them. It's not part of anyones training to spot Alien Spaceships.

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 06:28 AM
What if I could find 1000 ex military who say that there are no Alien Spaceships for each one of those that say they saw an unidentified 'thing' that could be an Alien Spaceship?

I'd say: so what?
That does not prove or dis-prove anything and you know that, don't you?
I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who have never spoken to a person with Down's Syndrome (or take any other rare illness).
Does that prove it does not or can not exist?

PetersCreek
2010-Sep-30, 06:38 AM
But, really, that entire discussion is off-topic and I have no intentions to have a discussions with you or anybody else about the pros and cons of the military apparatus.

The point of my response wasn't to take this thread off topic. My point is, your characterization is inaccurate and I think it skews your perception of the testimony provided those few former military personnel. Oddly enough, you seem to want to dismiss my 'desensitized' experience, in favor of your own caricature of the military. This tack is one often taken by ET proponents (whether you are one or not): the military service of their witnesses is offered up as a validation of their testimony, while those of us who dispute or question their stories are dismissed based on our service, sometimes with accusations of blind loyalty or even complicity.

Van Rijn
2010-Sep-30, 06:44 AM
AdamL, do you have any answer to my questions? See:

http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/107908-Ex-Military-Personnel-to-Speak-at-National-Press-Club-About-Aliens?p=1797511#post1797511

tnjrp
2010-Sep-30, 06:48 AM
I don't think anyone is arguing "ALL are lying or deluded." People can simply be wrongIn fact quite a few people can be wrong at the same time, and being wrong in a specific way can be contagious.

A Finnish example I've heard fairly recently was about a bunch of folks obseving some searchlights at a distance. Pretty soon the crowd, all of whom didn't know each other (as I recall the "UAP" was observed from an open-air restaurant in late summer), was mostly convinced something extraordinary was happening and reportedly they even got angry with someone who maintained they were seeing searchlights...

Tedward
2010-Sep-30, 06:51 AM
Question for some ex service if I may. I have always assumed that a military person would be more interested in threat/no threat, how to deal with it? Be it on a radar screen or in the eyes of a pilot or a soldier in the thick of it. This I think is part of the human psyche anyway. Fight or flight etc but training builds on that.

But I have also wondered where the instant ability for someone in the military to be instant alien identifiers.

Tedward
2010-Sep-30, 06:55 AM
In fact quite a few people can be wrong at the same time, and being wrong in a specific way can be contagious.

A Finnish example I've heard fairly recently was about a bunch of folks obseving some searchlights at a distance. Pretty soon the crowd, all of whom didn't know each other (as I recall the "UAP" was observed from an open-air restaurant in late summer), was mostly convinced something extraordinary was happening and reportedly they even got angry with someone who maintained they were seeing searchlights...


If I may add. Watching the wind turbine story evolve in the UK I saw the same thing to the point that one or two people came forward with some really wild stories. It was was everything from ET crashing into it to RAF drones to top secret US planes to giant space aliens. It was a bolt failure in the end that caused the blade failure to fall on another and an unrelated fireworks part not far away and people put 1+1=3.

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 06:56 AM
The point of my response wasn't to take this thread off topic. My point is, your characterization is inaccurate and I think it skews your perception of the testimony provided those few former military personnel. Oddly enough, you seem to want to dismiss my 'desensitized' experience, in favor of your own caricature of the military. This tack is one often taken by ET proponents (whether you are one or not): the military service of their witnesses is offered up as a validation of their testimony, while those of us who dispute or question their stories are dismissed based on our service, sometimes with accusations of blind loyalty or even complicity.

To clarify my point regarding military personnel as witnesses:
1. Their training is designed to help them remain calm in stressful situations, more so than most other occupations (with the exceptions of pilots in general maybe).
2. Many of those who have spoken out were sworn to lifelong secrecy, whether implicitly or explicitly.
3. For them to speak out they risk:
a) serious repercussions because of breaking their silence.
b) a quiet retirement (virtually all of them are retired).
c) their reputation in general.
d) public ridicule - as is apparent here and in the media in general.

Just try to put yourself in their position. They have their service behind them and a quiet and relatively well-paid (and in their personal perception probably well-deserved) retirement ahead of them. The time of active "duty" is over and plenty of time to chill and go fishing or whatever. Why risk that?
If I was in that position, I would have to have very good reasons to speak out. Very good reasons indeed. That is what separates military personnel from most other occupations, especially point a)

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-30, 07:12 AM
Initially when Greer's Disclosure Project came off the ground, I though about the same as you AdamL. However, when coming down from the 30'000 foot view and zooming in, things began to look differently.

Greer has his own agenda, though, and Edgar Mitchell complained about being quoted as approving his book. Some of the persons were highly unbelievable. But, when looking closely, - no smoking gun case.

It seems to me that Hastings has started out with the biased view that ufos are checking on nuke sites, and just wants to gather a catalog of anecdotes, without critically trying to disprove any of them - which must be done when investigating.

The Belgian UFO case was certainly interesting, but did any photo ever arise other than the blurry triangle photo? Are you aware of smoking gun evidence?

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 07:16 AM
Okay, how would you suggest it be investigated? Do you have some new ideas?

No.

As an interesting side note, here's what Wilfried De Brouwer has said about the investigations of the Belgian "UFO wave":
"In 1990 the Air Force stated on several occasions that it had no explanation for the numerous sightings. Today, persistent skeptics, who make a point of publicizing their positions, have come forward with a theory that these were helicopters. At the time of the UAP wave, the Belgian Air Force was working with civil aviation authorities and had more than 300 aircraft - including helicopters - several ground radar stations, 500 pilots, more than 300 engineers, 100 controllers, and thousands of technicians, etc., but we were not able to find the answer.
Even so, a few unqualified debunkers claim to have found the answer..."
From the Leslie Kean book.

Tedward
2010-Sep-30, 07:20 AM
AdamL. You mention serious repercussions. Now I understand that if someone pipes up over the way a bit of kit works that is sensitive, still in service and you will certainly be a naughty boy or girl. Bit like saying our cruise missiles work by xyz etc that is not in the public domain. But what slap on the wrist has been given to people you say ET is out there and buzzed the missile base?

Strange
2010-Sep-30, 07:26 AM
To clarify my point regarding military personnel as witnesses:
1. Their training is designed to help them remain calm in stressful situations, more so than most other occupations (with the exceptions of pilots in general maybe).

That is a good point. Although, I'm not sure it makes them any more able to identify something strange. I am also not convinced that it makes their memory of events any more reliable than anyone elses (i.e. not very).


2. Many of those who have spoken out were sworn to lifelong secrecy, whether implicitly or explicitly.
3. For them to speak out they risk:
a) serious repercussions because of breaking their silence.
b) a quiet retirement (virtually all of them are retired).
c) their reputation in general.
d) public ridicule - as is apparent here and in the media in general.

I find this unconvincing. In particular a). Serious repercussions is often brought up as a reason for keeping quiet, but there is no evidence of action against those who do. By now, no one should be worried about that.

The others are less clear cut.

b) Quiet retirement: Plausible. Maybe those who speak out don't want a quiet retirement but maybe there are others who do.
c) & d) Reputation and riducule: this could be balanced against the fact that these people get to appear at UFO conferences, on TV, write articles and books.


If I was in that position, I would have to have very good reasons to speak out. Very good reasons indeed. That is what separates military personnel from most other occupations, especially point a)

I'm not sure why any of these apply more to military personnel than other people. Surely anyone could suffer from repercussions? And why shouldn't a military person feel he has very good reasons to speak out, very good reasons indeed?

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 07:28 AM
Initially when Greer's Disclosure Project came off the ground, I though about the same as you AdamL. However, when coming down from the 30'000 foot view and zooming in, things began to look differently.

Greer has his own agenda, though, and Edgar Mitchell complained about being quoted as approving his book. Some of the persons were highly unbelievable. But, when looking closely, - no smoking gun case.

It seems to me that Hastings has started out with the biased view that ufos are checking on nuke sites, and just wants to gather a catalog of anecdotes, without critically trying to disprove any of them - which must be done when investigating.

The Belgian UFO case was certainly interesting, but did any photo ever arise other than the blurry triangle photo? Are you aware of smoking gun evidence?

Can't really say much about Greer, I don't know yet what to make of him. That's why I didn't mention him.
Not sure if Hastings is trustworthy, when I see him some alarm bells go off...
No alarm bells with most of the other speakers at the news conference, though.

No smoking gun evidence regarding the Belgian cases. There were MANY cases, according to Wilfried De Brouwer:
"Of the approximately 2000 reported cases registered during the Belgian wave, 650 were investigated and more than 500 of them remain unexplained... The findings were exceptional. More than 300 cases involved seeing a craft at less than 300 meters (1000 feet), and over 200 sightings lasted longer than five minutes. Sometimes observers were right underneath the craft."
Leslie Kean book

PetersCreek
2010-Sep-30, 07:33 AM
To clarify my point regarding military personnel as witnesses:
1. Their training is designed to help them remain calm in stressful situations, more so than most other occupations (with the exceptions of pilots in general maybe).
2. Many of those who have spoken out were sworn to lifelong secrecy, whether implicitly or explicitly.
3. For them to speak out they risk:
a) serious repercussions because of breaking their silence.
b) a quiet retirement (virtually all of them are retired).
c) their reputation in general.
d) public ridicule - as is apparent here and in the media in general.

Just try to put yourself in their position. They have their service behind them and a quiet and relatively well-paid (and in their personal perception probably well-deserved) retirement ahead of them. The time of active "duty" is over and plenty of time to chill and go fishing or whatever. Why risk that?
If I was in that position, I would have to have very good reasons to speak out. Very good reasons indeed. That is what separates military personnel from most other occupations, especially point a)

1. Their training is designed to help them remain calm in stressful situations, more so than most other occupations (with the exceptions of pilots in general maybe).

I would say "calmer" but that is essentially true. However, that level of calmness is a result of acclimation to the kinds of situations expected. That's why training tends to be as realistic as possible/practical. The fact remains that none of them are trained to identify ET craft. If they thought themselves to be in such a situation I wouldn't have the same expectation of calmness as any other 'day at the office', so to speak.

2. Many of those who have spoken out were sworn to lifelong secrecy, whether implicitly or explicitly.

Explicitly. There is information I cannot discuss but it's so esoteric, few would sit still long enough to listen. What has not been demonstrated, is that any of these people have divulged classified information.

3. For them to speak out they risk:
a) serious repercussions because of breaking their silence.

As mentioned above, only if they divulge classified information. Has any veteran been prosecuted for their public statements about purported alien visitations? I honestly haven't heard of a single case.

b) a quiet retirement (virtually all of them are retired).

Perhaps they don't want a "quiet retirement". They wouldn't be the first to chafe at the lack of action or excitement in their 'retirement years'.

c) their reputation in general.

If they have one they value. They also wouldn't be the first to sacrifice whatever reputation they had for 15 minutes of fame.

d) public ridicule - as is apparent here and in the media in general.

Celebrities are skewered in the tabloids daily, yet they don't flee from the profession. Some folks seem happy with whatever attention they can get, even if some (or most) of it is negative.


They have their service behind them and a quiet and relatively well-paid (and in their personal perception probably well-deserved) retirement ahead of them. The time of active "duty" is over and plenty of time to chill and go fishing or whatever.

You have an odd perception of what military retirement is for most veterans. A 20-year career puts most folks in their late 30s to mid-40s at retirement, after which, they usually move on to another career. My retirement check helps with the lion's share of the mortgage only, so I still have a full time job that leaves less time than I would like for pursuits like fishing or chilling. Some do opt for the quiet life. Others seek challenges, excitement, and action in their post-retirement careers, such as law enforcement, aviation, private security, acting (George Kennedy was a USAF retiree), and even politics.

You seem to assume only certain motivations and desires where many others may exist.

Strange
2010-Sep-30, 07:38 AM
Gordon Copper:
The above cited Oberg article regarding Gordon Cooper is another of Oberg's hot air balloons. He hardly says anything about what Cooper said but focuses on what UFO believers make out of his statements. How is that relevant as far as Cooper himself is concerned? I have seen a few interviews with Cooper and he comes across as very credible. MUCH more credible than that Oberg clown.

I read this article really hoping that there would be something to it, the way Oberg starts out is very positive. Unfortunately, in summary:

1) Cooper himself denies the first sighting attributed to him.

2) The second case has definitively identified as a weather baloon and Cooper said " I didn't get to see anything personally, it was all second hand evidence really."

3) The third is less clear cut, but the inconsistencies and the fact that not one other person who was there remembers UFOs flying around for two days, makes it rather weak.

Incidentally, Cooper also said "If any UFO information is being suppressed it's certainly not by the U.S.. Air Force, because I was at a high enough level to know about it."

So overall, I found that unconvincing and dissapointing.

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 07:52 AM
@ PetersCreek:
Yes, I understand what you are saying regarding retirement. There are of course many approaches to that part in one's life which are very dependent on the different personalities. And human nature and statistics would imply that there would be some seeking fame and/or money from coming out that way.
However, have a look at the speakers and their demeanors. Most of them seem rather shy and unaccustomed to the limelight. I doubt they were looking for fame or money.
But can I be sure? No, I cannot.
As I said earlier: I am operating on a hunch, nothing more but nothing less. My experience with my hunches has been pretty good so far (but of course I have been way off at times).
I am just put in a position here as the guy with all the answers.
I don't really care much about that particular rule of yours because I am not making any serious claims, whatever you guys may think.
I am just sharing my hunch, which was prompted by Brad_Smith's question regarding Gordon Cooper and the hot air balloon by Oberg that was cited in response.
I just felt this thread needs a different perspective. That's all.
I may get out of this discussion at any point - as I see fit, according to my rules and preferences.

Fooglmog
2010-Sep-30, 07:54 AM
Hey AlexL, I made a post which is on the second page of this thread. You probably didn't read it because (being a new member) my posts are delayed if they contain specific key words. Would you mind taking a look at it and responding? It's more on topic than the more recent discussion in this thread and addresses something which you brought up that no one else has really challenged yet.

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 08:13 AM
I read this article really hoping that there would be something to it, the way Oberg starts out is very positive. Unfortunately, in summary:

1) Cooper himself denies the first sighting attributed to him.

2) The second case has definitively identified as a weather baloon and Cooper said " I didn't get to see anything personally, it was all second hand evidence really."

3) The third is less clear cut, but the inconsistencies and the fact that not one other person who was there remembers UFOs flying around for two days, makes it rather weak.

Incidentally, Cooper also said "If any UFO information is being suppressed it's certainly not by the U.S.. Air Force, because I was at a high enough level to know about it."

So overall, I found that unconvincing and dissapointing.

Well, that is not what Cooper said in the interviews I have seen. One was just a few days ago [i.e. my seeing of the interview, not the interview itself, since he is dead] in a documentary I came across. It looked rather recent, he looked like he was in his late 60s or early 70s.
I may have deleted it but I'll have a quick look and see if can quote what exactly he said. I do remember that there was no ambiguity in his statements at all. He was definitely convinced he saw something very unusual and out of this world.

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-30, 10:37 AM
No smoking gun evidence regarding the Belgian cases. There were MANY cases, according to Wilfried De Brouwer:
"Of the approximately 2000 reported cases registered during the Belgian wave, 650 were investigated and more than 500 of them remain unexplained... The findings were exceptional. More than 300 cases involved seeing a craft at less than 300 meters (1000 feet), and over 200 sightings lasted longer than five minutes. Sometimes observers were right underneath the craft."
Leslie Kean book
Have you looked at Tim Printy's web page on this case?
http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/Belg.htm (http://home.comcast.net/%7Etprinty/UFO/Belg.htm)
Seems pretty well-balanced to me. While not excluding alien spaceships, he states there is no conclusive evidence.
He concludes:

It seems that many of the events that took place in Belgium in 1989-1990 were simply misperceptions of ordinary objects. One can not conclusively state that no alien spaceships were seen during this period but a vast majority of the sightings can be explained, including the most spectacular parts of the "wave". The writings of Meessen indicate that he was in search of evidence for a UFO but could not find anything that can be considered significant evidence backed by visual observations. He did find two tracks that he considered unique when examining the radar data but these tracks were not extremely unusual and could have been unidentified aircraft. There were no UFO reports to match the tracks and the tracks do not perform beyond the means of known aircraft. If this is the evidence of alien visitation during the period, then it is very weak. Looking at the data being presented there appears to be nothing to indicate that anything closely resembling an alien spaceship was actually seen during the wave. There are tantalizing reports but these do not seem to stand up under close scrutiny.

gzhpcu
2010-Sep-30, 11:07 AM
Well, that is not what Cooper said in the interviews I have seen. One was just a few days ago [i.e. my seeing of the interview, not the interview itself, since he is dead] in a documentary I came across. It looked rather recent, he looked like he was in his late 60s or early 70s.
I may have deleted it but I'll have a quick look and see if can quote what exactly he said. I do remember that there was no ambiguity in his statements at all. He was definitely convinced he saw something very unusual and out of this world.
I found this interview with Gordon Cooper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvPR8T1o3Dc

Think Gordon Cooper is pretty clear that he believes in alien spaceships.

Swift
2010-Sep-30, 01:24 PM
Originally Posted by Gillianren
We know human characteristics better. We know how perception and memory work. You, clearly, do not.
I don't think you realize - not even remotely - how presumptuous, insulting and also desperate and pitiful that sounds.
If that is the level of your "argumentation" we are done.
AdamL,

I find nothing insulting in what Gillianren said, I find much insulting in your comment. But even if her comment was insulting, you do not on this forum respond back in kind, you report the post and let the moderators deal with it.

You also do not get to chose whose questions you answer, so you are most certainly not done.

I have given you enough warnings about your behavior on this board, this is the last warning you will get. Your next rule violation will result in an infraction.

Tensor
2010-Sep-30, 02:09 PM
No. I don't know them and I base my judgment entirely on my judgment of human characters. Do you know them and have a better basis for your judgment?

Yes, I was in the service for 16 years.


They are professional military personnel. They are trained to kill and to follow orders or give orders without question. That attitude to me is cold and no-nonsense.

Is this one of your hunches? If it is, it's wrong. I was never trained to kill and following or giving orders without question wasn't and isn't something that occurs in the military. As demonstrated by the Nuremberg trial,"I was only following orders" isn't a defense for any type of heinous act. I was trained to react to certain conditions and defend myself if I or my unit was attacked.


I don't have any. And I don't hear any of the people I referred to saying anything different. Many of them claim, however, that especially the US government (or other entities in charge) have such evidence and they demand it to be made public. Given the nature of the people in the US government that argument makes much sense to me. Is it true? I don't know but I do think so.

I am just operating on a hunch here and I freely admit it. And so are you if you are honest.

Actually, being honest I will admit to we don't know what UFOs are. We do know that the majority of reported UFOs are usually identified as a mundane cause, usually seen in strange conditions. That leaves the last few that are truly unidentified.

In my case, I see those last few as an inability to identify the mundane cause of the sighting. Since a overwhelming majority are misidentification, it seems reasonable to me that the rest are the same. Most UFO enthusiasts, however, see those last few, not as unidentified, but as ETH. The actual hard evidence of which is totally lacking.

I also find the claim that the US government is hiding something rather amusing. This presupposes that it is only in the US that ETH has landed in UFOs, ignoring the sightings in all the other countries of the world (you mentioned the Belgian sighings). Or, are all the other countries are just as complicit in hiding the truth about UFOs. In which case, does the argument about the nature of the people in the US government apply equally to all the other countries? Or maybe, the other countries are just the ones that are lying or deluded. The ETH argument requires hunch, upon hunch, upon hunch all be correct. Whereas, the dismissal of the ETH idea is simply, there isn't any hard evidence, with the caveat that I'll be more than happy to change my stand, as soon as I see some hard evidence.



I was a dis-believer until very recently - until I did research into the matter and the arguments. And that research has given me enough indications to change my stance on the subject. And I am not set on the ETH. I am very convinced, however, that something is going on that demands serious investigation. That's all I am saying. No more. No less.

Again, other than hearsay, what is the evidence that brings you to that conclusion?


And with serious investigation I certainly don't mean sweeping (and downright stupid) "arguments" ala "they are ALL lying and/or deluded".

I don't think that anyone seriously says that all the people are lying or deluded. Misidentification is not considered the same as deluded. And while misidentification of that minority of Unidentified objects may seem stupid to you, the evidence points to that cause(as most of the others are of that cause).


As far as I can tell there is no hard evidence available in the public domain to prove or dis-prove the ETH. So, don't ask me for it.

Then this quote:

All of this research is making me a believer in the validity of the alien visitation hypothesis.

means you are quite prepared to accept the validity of something, without actual hard evidence. You're right, that isn't scientific.

Oh the other hand, I am quite prepared to say there is no evidence of ETH, because, as you say, there isn't any. Actually, dismissing the current claims for ETH due to lack of evidence, with the idea that I will accept it when evidence becomes available is scientific (despite your claims otherwise).

AdamL
2010-Sep-30, 02:28 PM
AdamL, I think that a lot of what you're saying has merit. Or, at least enough merit that the questions deserve a less cavalier dismissal than the one that's being offered here. However, I do have a question that I'd like to hear your response to.

I understand that there is little disagreement on the subject that between 90% and 95% of all UFO reports are either identified or determined to be fraudulent. I've heard this point raised both by those who support UFO theories and those who dismiss them, so I hope we can accept it as a reliable fact. Your argument is premised upon the idea that the sheer number of reports precludes the possibility that all the individuals involved can be delusional/lying. Yet if we can establish that 90%-95% of these reports are definitively inaccurate, why is the remaining 5%-10% such a large number of people that they can't also all be incorrect?

To put that a different way. You're telling me that it's implausible that 1,000,000 people a year (or whatever the number is) making these reports is so large that they cannot all be mistakes. Yet I can tell you definitively that at least 900,000 (or whatever 90% of the number of reports is) people did definitively make that mistake. Why is a 10% increase in the number of mistakes made implausible?

To me, this seems like a strange argument to make.

I think you are making a very good argument regarding the numbers.
My argument was not based on the numbers alone but the part that was is not valid. Good catch!

When you look at the content of the 95% that are quickly explained it is usually people seeing bright dots of light (Venus, ISS or something like that). Given the contemporary lifestyle where people usually sit in from of the TV in the evening and rarely outside watching the night sky it is easy to see how that is possible.

The cases mentioned in the news conference and in the Leslie Kean book are nothing like that at all. In Belgium for example there were quite a few people who saw a sizable craft fairly close by. De Brouwer mentions 300 meters or less, some saw it right above them. The number of sightings where people see actual objects is big enough to make the "explanation" that all of them are delusional clearly nonsensical, ridiculous even.
As I said in an earlier post, De Brouwer reports that in Belgium alone there were 500 reports that were investigated but not explained.

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-30, 02:39 PM
The number of sightings where people see actual objects is big enough to make the "explanation" that all of them are delusional clearly nonsensical, ridiculous even.

No one here is saying that all of them were delusional...why are you?

CJSF
2010-Sep-30, 03:28 PM
Somehow, I find the various comments from "ETH" proponents that military personnel are trained to "follow orders without question" to be more telling of political biases and motives than anything else. No one I know who has served in the military resembles any sort of programmed killing robot that many ETH proponents seem to think they are.

CJSF

Gillianren
2010-Sep-30, 04:19 PM
My dad was a twenty-year man. He ended his career as a recruiting sergeant. My boyfriend just got out quite recently, and he has no particular interest in doing what anyone says without questioning it if it's anything more complex than "would you take out the trash, please?" His older brother just got out after a full twenty years, and his whole family is worried about how he's planning to survive on just retirement pay. Though he's not, so that's something. Honestly, from what I can tell, very few twenty-year men then go on to quiet lives fishing.

I was blunt. It may have come across as a little ruder than it was intended. However, there were some direct questions in my post which, under board rules, must be answered. That their implications argue strongly against the ETH has never bothered anyone who claims it before.

slang
2010-Sep-30, 04:34 PM
Is this one of your hunches? If it is, it's wrong. I was never trained to kill and following or giving orders without question wasn't and isn't something that occurs in the military. As demonstrated by the Nuremberg trial,"I was only following orders" isn't a defense for any type of heinous act. I was trained to react to certain conditions and defend myself if I or my unit was attacked.

It is frigging ridiculous. I spent more time in classes learning what we were not allowed to do, how to give first aid, basic survival, and several other things than I ever spent at the shooting range or learning how to (dis)assemble my weapon. Most of the other time in training was just basic physical exercise. If that's learning how to be a killing machine, then each olympic athlete with a college degree is a trained killing machine.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-30, 04:35 PM
To clarify my point regarding military personnel as witnesses:
1. Their training is designed to help them remain calm in stressful situations, more so than most other occupations (with the exceptions of pilots in general maybe).
2. Many of those who have spoken out were sworn to lifelong secrecy, whether implicitly or explicitly.
3. For them to speak out they risk:
a) serious repercussions because of breaking their silence.
b) a quiet retirement (virtually all of them are retired).
c) their reputation in general.
d) public ridicule - as is apparent here and in the media in general.

Just try to put yourself in their position. They have their service behind them and a quiet and relatively well-paid (and in their personal perception probably well-deserved) retirement ahead of them. The time of active "duty" is over and plenty of time to chill and go fishing or whatever. Why risk that?
If I was in that position, I would have to have very good reasons to speak out. Very good reasons indeed. That is what separates military personnel from most other occupations, especially point a)

Have you even explored their testimonies? Have you seen that Salas and Halt are being less than truthful? It does not take a lot of digging on the internet to find out. Oh btw, they aren't just showing up to tell their story. They are out their selling books. I suggest you look at the link I posted for the Reality Uncovered blog and speak to some people who were at Malmstrom before you put a halo over Salas' head.

Swift
2010-Sep-30, 04:36 PM
I have a suggestion for all who have questions for AdamL. I noted that in some posts, questions were among a lot of other discussion. It might be helpful, if you have specific questions you wish AdamL to answer, that you somehow call them out. And, if you have already asked questions that have not yet been answered, you might wish to restate the specific questions, and maybe reference your original post.

This is just a suggestion, not a warning or moderator command.

Thanks,

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-30, 04:39 PM
My dad was a twenty-year man. He ended his career as a recruiting sergeant. My boyfriend just got out quite recently, and he has no particular interest in doing what anyone says without questioning it if it's anything more complex than "would you take out the trash, please?" His older brother just got out after a full twenty years, and his whole family is worried about how he's planning to survive on just retirement pay. Though he's not, so that's something. Honestly, from what I can tell, very few twenty-year men then go on to quiet lives fishing.

I spent 22+ on subs. I am still working trying to pay the mortgage. My retirement pay is very helpful but I certainly can't live off of it.

sts60
2010-Sep-30, 04:41 PM
Given the nature of the people in the US government that argument makes much sense to me. (bolding mine)

What exactly is that supposed to mean?

NEOWatcher
2010-Sep-30, 05:00 PM
The cases mentioned in the news conference and in the Leslie Kean book are nothing like that at all. In Belgium for example there were quite a few people who saw a sizable craft fairly close by. De Brouwer mentions 300 meters or less, some saw it right above them.
If it was a very rare natural phenomenon or very rare combinations of factors, then why would would "quite a few people" make a considerable difference?
If they never saw that effect, then how would they recognize it or even relate enough to it to explain it properly?


The number of sightings where people see actual objects is big enough to make the "explanation" that all of them are delusional clearly nonsensical, ridiculous even.
Who said they are "delusional"?


As I said in an earlier post, De Brouwer reports that in Belgium alone there were 500 reports that were investigated but not explained.
So, what does this prove?

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-30, 05:05 PM
No smoking gun evidence regarding the Belgian cases. There were MANY cases, according to Wilfried De Brouwer:
"Of the approximately 2000 reported cases registered during the Belgian wave, 650 were investigated and more than 500 of them remain unexplained... The findings were exceptional. More than 300 cases involved seeing a craft at less than 300 meters (1000 feet), and over 200 sightings lasted longer than five minutes. Sometimes observers were right underneath the craft."
Leslie Kean book

Hmmm.....I suggest you read a bit more about the Beligan UFO "wave" and De Brouwers embarrassing involvement. The F-16 chase was pretty much explained after a study was done in the early 1990s by Salmon and Gilmard. Many of these "unexplained" sightings have been explained but were left on the list in order to inflate numbers. Kean's book was written from one point of view. Why are you blindly accepting what was written there and not bothering to look a little farther?

Gillianren
2010-Sep-30, 05:07 PM
Quite right, Swift, so here are mine.


Even knowing all sorts of things about human misperception? And, again, where's the evidence of guts?

Specifically, on that latter, where's the evidence that anyone has ever suffered major negative ramifications--mere mockery is insufficient--from "coming forward" with UFO claims? Is there evidence anyone has been prosecuted? Forced to be silent after coming forward?


How many military personnel do you know?

I believe this has been answered and is zero.


How long did Watergate and Iran-Contra remain secret? How much work did it take for the Soviets to spy on the Manhattan Project?

To which I would add, "Do you understand why this is relevant to any cover-up?"

Tensor
2010-Sep-30, 05:44 PM
Fair enough Swift, here's mine.

I also find the claim that the US government is hiding something rather amusing. This presupposes that it is only in the US that ETH has landed in UFOs, ignoring the sightings in all the other countries of the world (you mentioned the Belgian sighings). Or, are all the other countries are just as complicit in hiding the truth about UFOs? In which case, does the argument about the nature of the people in the US government apply equally to all the other countries?


I was a dis-believer until very recently - until I did research into the matter and the arguments. And that research has given me enough indications to change my stance on the subject. And I am not set on the ETH. I am very convinced, however, that something is going on that demands serious investigation. That's all I am saying. No more. No less.

Again, other than hearsay, what is the evidence that brings you to that conclusion?

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-30, 06:34 PM
Specifically, on that latter, where's the evidence that anyone has ever suffered major negative ramifications--mere mockery is insufficient--from "coming forward" with UFO claims? Is there evidence anyone has been prosecuted? Forced to be silent after coming forward?

A very good point. Nobody is stepping in and prosecuting anybody concerning national security secrets being revelaed when it comes to all these UFO stories.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-30, 06:35 PM
Fair enough Swift, here's mine.

I also find the claim that the US government is hiding something rather amusing. This presupposes that it is only in the US that ETH has landed in UFOs, ignoring the sightings in all the other countries of the world (you mentioned the Belgian sighings). Or, are all the other countries are just as complicit in hiding the truth about UFOs? In which case, does the argument about the nature of the people in the US government apply equally to all the other countries?

Don't forget the alien's role in all of this. They are just as guilty of being part of the cover-up. A public landing display (like in the day the earth stood still) would be sufficient.

Strange
2010-Sep-30, 07:17 PM
Don't forget the alien's role in all of this. They are just as guilty of being part of the cover-up. A public landing display (like in the day the earth stood still) would be sufficient.

Well, if AdamL is correct about this:

Given the nature of the people in the US government that argument makes much sense to me.

I guess that means that aliens run the government. It all begins to make sense.

stoic
2010-Sep-30, 08:12 PM
I'm not current or ex military, but it's my understanding that if an unknown event were to believed to be systematically disabling our nuclear arsenal, it would be a very big deal indeed. I'm supposing if this were to happen - or if it had happened during the height of the cold war - it almost certainly would have been blamed on the Russians and would have at least resulted in a system wide alert status change.

Questions I'm hoping those more familiar with military protocol and culture will answer:

A) Is my supposition accurate? If not, what would have been the the more likely result?

B) Assuming my supposition is at least somewhat accurate, if this kind of alter status change were to happen, would there be public record of?

Questions I'm hoping AdamL and others can answer:

C) Assuming something did happen that systematically disabled parts of our nuclear arsenal, do you believe targeting officers such as Salas would be the command level likely to know the whole story?

Fooglmog
2010-Sep-30, 09:10 PM
I think that AdamL's assertion about witnesses being either deluded or liars has been treated unfairly in this thread. To me, it seems to have some merit. Though we do need to define terms a little bit.

From my reading of what AdamL has written, he doesn't seem to be addressing all UFO cases. I believe he's only addressing the unresolved ones. This is an important distinction, because the majority of the cases which are really just "mistakes" are in the 95% of cases which have been resolved.

Now, there's certainly a large number of stories out there which are incredible enough to defy natural explanation. Accounts in which detailed observations of UFOs have been recorded which are extraordinary enough that it seems unlikely to be a case where Venus, a Bird, or a known Aircraft was simply misidentified. In these cases, the suggestion that the individual making the observation must either be "delusional" or "lying" seems reasonable if you entirely reject the possibility of the UFO phenomenon being the result of some unknown physical object.

I see no problem with this. However, AdamL then makes two jumps in logic for which he has not provided sufficient evidence.

First, he's implied that all (or at least a large majority) of the 5% of cases which are unresolved fit into this category of detailed unexplainable observation. We do not know this to be a fact. It seems to me that AdamL came to this conclusion (in the case of the Belgian sightings) because there were a couple stories related by a Belgian general which did fit into this category, followed by a statement that there were "500 unresolved cases". Maybe all of those 500 cases were incredible accounts where the observer (if nothing extraordinary does exist) must either be lying or delusional. But then, maybe 495 of those cases are actually "I saw a light in the sky, it seemed to be moving" where the person couldn't remember what direction they were facing and so it couldn't be definitively established that they were seeing a specific star/planet.

This needs to be established. I am willing to accept that there are stories where the observer must have: a) Seen Something Extraordinary b) Be Delusional c) Be lying. However, we can't assume that all unresolved cases fit this category until we've done the research to demonstrate its truth. Now, I don't believe AdamL has done this research. To me, it seems that he's trusting the credibility of the Belgian General in that he's is reliable enough that if he tells a couple extraordinary stories, then says there's 500 other unresolved stories, that those stories are in a similar vein to those he's spoken about. I have no problem with this as a basis of belief, we choose to believe things based upon the perceived credibility of who we hear it from on a regular basis. However, it's not scientific and doesn't convince me because I have not been exposed to the general in question and so cannot vouch for his credibility.

Therefore, this is a leap of logic. To demonstrate that there is a large number of extraordinary cases (where the observer must be lying/delusional if nothing remarkable took place) we need to sample a large selection of the unresolved cases and classify them as extraordinary or not. Based upon such a sample, we could extrapolate how many of the unresolved cases are likely to be extraordinary and come up with a rough total number of cases in which the individual must either be "delusional" or "lying".

The second leap of logic is in the assumption that this number is so large that it is not plausible that so many people could be delusional or lying, when we haven't established the total sample size. Sticking with the case of Belgium, which has a population of over 10 million people, I'm not convinced that it's implausible to suggest that 500 individuals (assuming that there's one observer per case and that we can establish that 100% of these cases is extraordinary) being delusional of liars is implausible. I'd require medical precedents and case studies to demonstrate that to be the case. Of course, if all 500 cases are instances where the observers were members of the Belgian Air Force, which only has a strength of about 8600, I may accept that 500 delusional/lying individuals stretched credulity.

Anyway, this whole debate rests on those two points. How many reports can we demonstrate to be extraordinary? What size group are the reports coming out of? What percentage of that group are we willing to plausibly accept as being liars or delusional?

Once someone (and it won't be me) does that research, we'll be able to reach a conclusion here. But most people in this thread seem to be doing nothing but blowing hot air at AdamL rather than cutting to the heart of this issue. He's provided you with an argument that can be quantitatively disproved... so stop wasting everyone's time by discussing ex-stringencies and actually deal with what he's saying like he's an intelligent person (which he certainly seems to be) instead of just dismissing him like a six year old who doesn't understand how the world works.

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-30, 10:00 PM
Anyway, this whole debate rests on those two points. How many reports can we demonstrate to be extraordinary? What size group are the reports coming out of? What percentage of that group are we willing to plausibly accept as being liars or delusional?.

The problem with the "extraordinary" category is it is based solely on eyewitness testimony, which can be very unreliable. The witnesses do not have to be lying or delusional. They coudl simply have seen an astronomical event, a plane, a laser light show (in the Belgian wave this did happen), a balloon, or something else and then let their imagination take hold. If they want it to be "Extraordinary" a plane that turns off its landing lights could be interpreted to have "zipped off at thousands of miles per hour", which would be "extraordinary". Or perhaps a bright fireball was observed and the witnesses felt they saw a dark object behind the bolide breaking up (this has been discussed in another thread recently). Certainly that would be extraordinary as well. The witness is the key and the mind can play tricks on observers who are unfamiliar with what they have seen. After 30+ years of astronomical experience, I can attest to how people misinterpret such things as I have seen them do it while I was there (I.E. that plane is just sitting there and flashing its lights - Sirius low in the sky scintillating).

Tensor
2010-Sep-30, 10:00 PM
Anyway, this whole debate rests on those two points. How many reports can we demonstrate to be extraordinary? What size group are the reports coming out of? What percentage of that group are we willing to plausibly accept as being liars or delusional?
I think there is one other point you are seeming overlooking. How many reports have any actual physical evidence for a ETH to be possible?


Once someone (and it won't be me) does that research, we'll be able to reach a conclusion here. But most people in this thread seem to be doing nothing but blowing hot air at AdamL rather than cutting to the heart of this issue. He's provided you with an argument that can be quantitatively disproved... so stop wasting everyone's time by discussing ex-stringencies and actually deal with what he's saying like he's an intelligent person (which he certainly seems to be)

I have. I've asked him if there is any known hard physical evidence that points to the ETH being the solution to those 5% (or whatever that percentage is). He has stated that he knows of any such type of evidence. ALL the evidence for anything other than misidentification, error, or lying is either hearsay or film (or video) that provides no conclusive evidence. That is disproof, unless you have something else.


...so stop wasting everyone's time by discussing ex-stringencies and actually deal with what he's saying like he's an intelligent person (which he certainly seems to be)
instead of just dismissing him like a six year old who doesn't understand how the world works.

Care to provide an example of us treating him like a six year old? How about addressing his sweeping negative statements about people with no evidence, or his insulting tone in this thread (examples upon request)?

astrophotographer
2010-Sep-30, 10:04 PM
C) Assuming something did happen that systematically disabled parts of our nuclear arsenal, do you believe targeting officers such as Salas would be the command level likely to know the whole story?

The answers are right in the documents associated with the Echo flight shutdown. A noise pulse created the shutdown and the "rumor of UFOs" was investigated but found to be not related to the event. BTW, Salas was not on Echo Flight. He changed his story twice on that account. At first he was on Echo, then he was on November, and finally he was on Oscar. While there are the records for the Echo flight shutdown and the subsequent detailed investigation, there are no records of Oscar flight experiencing anything of the sort. In fact, Walt Figel and Eric Carlson (who were part of the Echo flight shutdown) state that no such thing happened at Oscar flight (or any other flight for that matter). Salas is telling some tall tales to sell his book "Faded giant".

Garrison
2010-Sep-30, 11:12 PM
This needs to be established. I am willing to accept that there are stories where the observer must have: a) Seen Something Extraordinary b) Be Delusional c) Be lying. However, we can't assume that all unresolved cases fit this category until we've done the research to demonstrate its truth.



You've missed what is probably the largest category, honest mistakes. People misinterpreting common sights or seeing something unusual/unexpected and assigning the label 'UFO' to it with a clear connotation of 'alien spaceship. In the common category would come stars, birds, blimps, etc. In the latter category I would put the triangular UFO sightings that took off in the 1980's, which by and large turned out to be what, at the time, were exotic stealth aircraft.

AdamL
2010-Oct-01, 12:10 AM
AdamL,

I find nothing insulting in what Gillianren said, I find much insulting in your comment. But even if her comment was insulting, you do not on this forum respond back in kind, you report the post and let the moderators deal with it.

And of course you are absolutely right, Swift! How could I have missed it!? It should be completely obvious that I was insulting Gillianren and not the other way round! I bow down in deep admiration for your awe-inspiring deductive skills, which - clearly! - are far superior to mine! Thank you for showing me the righteous way again!


You also do not get to chose whose questions you answer, so you are most certainly not done.
Yes, of course, Master. Thank you again for giving direction to my life!


I have given you enough warnings about your behavior on this board, this is the last warning you will get. Your next rule violation will result in an infraction.
Please, oh Master, hear the plea of your unworthy devotee: Please, please! I hope you will find it in the kindness of your heart to not infract me! I hardly slept at all, lying awake in terror, imagining the consequences of your possible infraction. Please, oh Master, have mercy with this unworthy and troubled soul!

AdamL
2010-Oct-01, 12:22 AM
And to all of you kind participants:

Your scientific honesty and far superior intellects have clearly shown me the errors of my ways, and especially of my thinking!
Your incredible and thoroughly undeserved kindness and tolerance - clearly sharpened and refined by your long-term character-strengthening military service - has melted my heart. And in that state of vulnerability I was finally able to clearly see the extent to which I have derailed from the righteous path of unwavering devotion to the scientific establishment and your (and maybe mine if I am worthy??) gurus Phil Plait, Jay Windley and James Oberg!
I pray that their shining light of scientific honesty and superior intellect will guide me for the rest of my unworthy life and not let me derail ever again from the righteous path of worship!

Thank you all!
I may never be able to repay the debt I owe you all!

PetersCreek
2010-Oct-01, 12:37 AM
AdamL's last two posts have resulted in a 3-day suspension.

Fooglmog
2010-Oct-01, 03:48 AM
I think there is one other point you are seeming overlooking. How many reports have any actual physical evidence for a ETH to be possible?
I didn't overlook it. Or, perhaps it's truer to say that I deliberately overlooked it -- just as I did a dozen other subjects that relate to UFOs but aren't pertinent to this thread. All I tried to do was give a critical analysis to the merits of the arguments that AdamL said had begun to change his opinion. From my understanding of what AdamL wrote, physical evidence was one of the primary reasons for his change of opinion. Did I miss something? I confess that I skimmed sections which were posted between when I submitted posts and mods approved my posts... so I may have missed the reference.


ALL the evidence for anything other than misidentification, error, or lying is either hearsay or film (or video) that provides no conclusive evidence. That is disproof, unless you have something else.
That's not disproof, that's a lack of proof. I agree that the burden of proof is on those who believe the ETH and that the preponderance of evidence is currently weighted against them. But that's a long way from disproof. Let's be careful about the language that we use here.


Care to provide an example of us treating him like a six year old?
Yeah, sure thing. I believe that when dealing with people who we view as our intellectual equals we attack their ideas. When we view people as our intellectual inferiors we attack their manner of expressing them or whether they have the knowledge base which gives them the right to express an opinion.

AdamL raised the argument that military service members are reliable witnesses due to their training. This may or may not be the case, but a large portion of the responses didn't address whether or not this is actually true. Instead, many responders chose to simply state that he didn't have the background to know what he claimed.

For example, this post:


You know them ((military service members) well enough personally to come to that conclusion, do you? Your evidence that those that are speaking out are cold no-nosense killers is, what?

You see how this doesn't actually address whether or not it's true? This is very similar to how our society frequently treats juveniles... we don't address why we believe they're incorrect, we tell them that they don't have the experience to form a well grounded opinion.


You've missed what is probably the largest category, honest mistakes.
I didn't miss this at all. I spent a large portion of my post speaking to this. In the section you quoted, I was speaking very specifically about instances where the recorded observations are detailed enough that "honest mistakes" become highly unlikely. The thrust of my post was in determining how many of the unresolved cases are detailed to this extent, and how many are cases where honest mistakes are likely but simply unproven. I thought I was entirely clear about this... am I mistaken in thinking that?


The problem with the "extraordinary" category is it is based solely on eyewitness testimony, which can be very unreliable. The witnesses do not have to be lying or delusional. They coudl simply have seen an astronomical event, a plane, a laser light show (in the Belgian wave this did happen), a balloon, or something else and then let their imagination take hold. If they want it to be "Extraordinary" a plane that turns off its landing lights could be interpreted to have "zipped off at thousands of miles per hour", which would be "extraordinary".
My problem with this statement is that none of those situations are ones that I consider extraordinary. When I say "extraordinary", I'm speaking to cases like the Valentich disappearance where a description was given that is detailed to an extent that one would have to be either a liar or delusional to get that level of detail from seeing a scintillating star.

Some portion of UFO reports do come from liars and the delusional. I have no problem with the assertion that, if we reject the ETH and similar CT explanations, there is a level of detail where we can reject the possibility that it's a simple mistake and confirm that the reporter is a liar or has been deluded.

Now, I want to determine what portion of the 5% of cases that are unresolved meet this criteria. Once we've done that, we can examine whether the number of such cases is so large that it's implausible for so many people to be delusional or lying, which was AdamL's original argument.

Tuckerfan
2010-Oct-01, 04:21 AM
I found this interview with Gordon Cooper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvPR8T1o3Dc

Think Gordon Cooper is pretty clear that he believes in alien spaceships.
Read his autobiography. Cooper claims to have worked with people who were being given advanced technology by aliens.

astrophotographer
2010-Oct-01, 01:44 PM
I didn't miss this at all. I spent a large portion of my post speaking to this. In the section you quoted, I was speaking very specifically about instances where the recorded observations are detailed enough that "honest mistakes" become highly unlikely. The thrust of my post was in determining how many of the unresolved cases are detailed to this extent, and how many are cases where honest mistakes are likely but simply unproven. I thought I was entirely clear about this... am I mistaken in thinking that?.

How can you be sure that these "recorded observations" are NOT honest mistakes? That is my point. You can't say, "this observation is reliable because of the person involved" without considered the potential for human error.

Tensor
2010-Oct-01, 03:41 PM
I didn't overlook it. Or, perhaps it's truer to say that I deliberately overlooked it -- just as I did a dozen other subjects that relate to UFOs but aren't pertinent to this thread. All I tried to do was give a critical analysis to the merits of the arguments that AdamL said had begun to change his opinion. From my understanding of what AdamL wrote, physical evidence was one of the primary reasons for his change of opinion. Did I miss something? I confess that I skimmed sections which were posted between when I submitted posts and mods approved my posts... so I may have missed the reference.

He has admitted that there is NO physical evidence. So, I don't see how that would change his opinion to believing ETH has validity. As for the reasons, there is this from post #47:


I am just operating on a hunch here and I freely admit it. And so are you if you are honest.

Here he claims that he is operating on a hunch, nothing based on physical evidence. My whole basis for dismissing the ETH idea is simply that there is no physical evidence, despite his claim that I would be honest to admit to operating on a hunch. (more on this later)


That's not disproof, that's a lack of proof. I agree that the burden of proof is on those who believe the ETH and that the preponderance of evidence is currently weighted against them.

Let's be honest, there is no actual evidence, other than hearsay and inconclusive video.


But that's a long way from disproof. Let's be careful about the language that we use here.

I will cop to misusing this term. Mea Culpa.



Yeah, sure thing. I believe that when dealing with people who we view as our intellectual equals we attack their ideas. When we view people as our intellectual inferiors we attack their manner of expressing them or whether they have the knowledge base which gives them the right to express an opinion.

AdamL raised the argument that military service members are reliable witnesses due to their training. This may or may not be the case, but a large portion of the responses didn't address whether or not this is actually true. Instead, many responders chose to simply state that he didn't have the background to know what he claimed.

For example, this post:

You know them ((military service members) well enough personally to come to that conclusion, do you? Your evidence that those that are speaking out are cold no-nosense killers is, what?

You see how this doesn't actually address whether or not it's true? This is very similar to how our society frequently treats juveniles... we don't address why we believe they're incorrect, we tell them that they don't have the experience to form a well grounded opinion.

If you reread that post, you will see I wasn't disputing whether or not military members were reliable witnesses, I was disputing his claim they were cold, no-nonsense killers. Whether it was pertinent to his claim or not can be argued, however, he brought it up, and feeling those I knew in the military were not cold no-nosense killers, I wondered where he came by that claim.

AdamL has claimed to be from the Netherlands. I have 16 years of service in my country's military. I had three uncles who served in WWII and refused to talk about what they had to do on the battlefield because it bothered them to have had to do what they did. I didn't tell him he didn't have the experience, I asked him for his evidence that those speaking out were cold no-nosense killers, when just about everything I've experienced in the military and life disputes it. How exactly is that treating him like a juvenile?

It also, I feel, goes to his claim of operating on a hunch. If he is from the Netherlands, how does he know those in the US military are cold no-nosense killers, a hunch? If that is the case, and we can show his hunch on this to be wrong, doesn't that lend credence that his hunch concerning the ETH or the government hiding something ideas are also wrong? That operating on a hunch may not lead him to the correct conclusion?

I would also point out you completely sidestepped the issue of commenting on AdamL's behavior, while commenting on the respondents. Is there a specific reason for that?

JayUtah
2010-Oct-01, 08:46 PM
...

That's not disproof, that's a lack of proof. I agree that the burden of proof is on those who believe the ETH and that the preponderance of evidence is currently weighted against them. But that's a long way from disproof. Let's be careful about the language that we use here.

I agree wholeheartedly. We have not falsified the ETH except in those cases where a satisfactory affirmative refutation obtains. The scientific falsifiability of that hypothesis is one of my frequent talking points. Nevertheless it is prudent, when constructing the question as a scientific investigation, to set the null hypothesis as, "Aliens have nothing to do with some particular UFO report." Failing proof to the contrary, we are confident in holding the null hypothesis as the default. But only as the default. UFO proponents seem to think the presumption constitutes a conclusion to which skeptics have unfairly leapt.

Yeah, sure thing. I believe that when dealing with people who we view as our intellectual equals we attack their ideas. When we view people as our intellectual inferiors we attack their manner of expressing them or whether they have the knowledge base which gives them the right to express an opinion.

Not exactly. "Intellectual equal" is a loaded definition. If someone has not served in the military, it does not matter that he may be highly intelligent, highly educated, and highly qualified in his own field of experience; he is simply far less qualified to speak with authority on what the military is like, compared to those who have served. Intelligence is not so one-dimensional, and we're talking about domain knowledge, not intelligence.

People who have the appropriate domain knowledge can often make cogent or plausible arguments that may nevertheless be wrong. Hence they can be argued more directly and specifically upon their merits. For example, two people who are both familiar with the psychology of perception and recollection may have a disagreement fueled by considerable knowledge of the field.

However, someone who lacks that familiarity is more likely to argue from the basis of preconception, intuition, and stereotype. When he does so, it is quite appropriate to identify those as the (faulty) basis for an argument. "Trained observers are not likely to make a mistake," is a common claim. It has no basis in fact, and those who have engaged in the appropriate study are within their prerogative to say that, and to ask whether the proponent has studied the relevant science.

"...[W]hether they have the knowledge base which gives them the right to express an opinion," is also very loaded. First, statements like "trained observers are more reliable eyewitnesses," are not opinions; they're testable allegations of fact. A belief expressed contrary to fact is simply wrong.

Second, there is a difference between the right to express an opinion and the privilege of having that opinion taken seriously. The right of self-expression is largely universal. However credibility must be earned. If someone asserts a belief that we suspect or discover is not well-informed, then it simply isn't likely to be respected. Everyone has the right to be heard. Not everyone has the right to be believed.

Third, some opinions naturally require expertise in order to be credible. "I think Lady Gaga is a great artist," is a wholly subjective opinion. It's a statement of one's personal preference. In contrast, "The Apollo lunar module is a rather impractical spacecraft," is less subjective. It expresses judgment, so could be considered an opinion; but the strength and credibility of the judgment relies in large part upon whether the proponent has rigorous subject-matter expertise in manned spacecraft design.

AdamL raised the argument that military service members are reliable witnesses due to their training. This may or may not be the case, but a large portion of the responses didn't address whether or not this is actually true.

It has been a very common thread of argumentation in this thread and other recent threads that operational training does not improve observational reliability. Do we really have to repeat the discussion every time?

Instead, many responders chose to simply state that he didn't have the background to know what he claimed.

It's perfectly valid to point out that someone who has no experience with some specific training is not especially qualified to assert what that training is likely or intended to accomplish.

I didn't miss this at all. I spent a large portion of my post speaking to this. In the section you quoted, I was speaking very specifically about instances where the recorded observations are detailed enough that "honest mistakes" become highly unlikely.

Having a large amount of reported detail does not preclude honest mistakes.

Some portion of UFO reports do come from liars and the delusional.

Undoubtedly true, but from my point of view as a skeptic I believe that number to be relatively small. Hoaxes are frequently discovered or admitted to. We count those in the "solved" pile.

I have no problem with the assertion that, if we reject the ETH and similar CT explanations, there is a level of detail where we can reject the possibility that it's a simple mistake...

I do have a problem with it. Level of perceived, recalled, and reported detail does not determine the accuracy of the report.

...implausible for so many people to be delusional or lying, which was AdamL's original argument.

AdamL's original argument seems like a straw man. Anytime a skeptic objects to taking an eyewitness account exactly as offered, his objection is written off as having unfairly characterized the witness as a liar or crazy. AdamL routinely characterized this as "our" position, even when we were only referring to ordinary problems in human perception and specifically disavowed the "liar or delusional." UFO fanatics do this to try to paint their critics as unreasonably closed-minded.

Fooglmog
2010-Oct-01, 09:19 PM
How can you be sure that these "recorded observations" are NOT honest mistakes? That is my point. You can't say, "this observation is reliable because of the person involved" without considered the potential for human error.
I'm not suggesting that the specific observations are "reliable" in any way -- quite the opposite, in fact. I've been extremely clear on this point. I am simply of the opinion that, at some point, observations are detailed enough that the only explanation (other than accepting their reliability) is that it's a lie or a delusion. Read about the Velentich Disappearance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentich_disappearance) for a good example of this. If this is a case where all he saw was a scintillating star and made a mistake, I think the details he added are clearly the result of a delusion or are lies.

To say that I haven't "considred the potential for human error" is ridiculous, because a delusion is by definition a human error.


He has admitted that there is NO physical evidence. So, I don't see how that would change his opinion to believing ETH has validity.
You just made my argument. Physical evidence had nothing to do with his determination that UFOs are likely. I was addressing the merits of the arguments that did change his mind, not bringing up every argument against UFOs. This is why I did not deal with physical evidence.


Let's be honest, there is no actual evidence, other than hearsay and inconclusive video.
I won't argue against this, because I suspect it to be true. However, I can't join you in making this statement because I've heard about a number of "physical evidence" claims that I simply have not looked into. I assume that they have rational explanations, because every other piece of "physical evidence" that I've looked into has had a rational explanation, but I am unwilling to state definitively that there is no evidence while I know of claims that I have not researched.


If you reread that post, you will see I wasn't disputing whether or not military members were reliable witnesses, I was disputing his claim they were cold, no-nonsense killers.
I realized you were doing that. That's what my problem is. Whether or not they're actually "cold, no-nonsense killers" is tangential to his overall point. You're free to disprove it, but in merely questioning his basis for saying it you're trivializing the overall point without directly contradicting it.

If in your original post you'd done what you did in your most recent one, and provided directly contradictory evidence (ie. the information about your uncles) along with asking for the basis of his belief, I'd have no problem with it.

I recognize that I'm dealing with minutia here, and that it's a strange concept if you've never considered it before but it's a subtle strategic difference that I clued into when I was actively debating in high school years ago. If you give contradictory evidence and then ask for the basis of your opposition's argument, you seem respectful (and your arguments have to be better to win). If you simply question the basis of your opposition's argument, you undermine their credibility (you don't need better arguments to win, you just need to appear more credible and confident in the rest of the discussion).

I recognize that this is a reaction no one else would have, but I have a highly negative reaction when someone takes the latter course if their arguments are better. To me it seems very patronizing because it suggests that "they're so obviously wrong that I don't need to address their point of view". If you can win it on the merits, argue it on the merits. If you can't win it on the merits, you're probably wrong... in a formal debate that doesn't matter -- but if it happens here you may want to reconsider your opinion.


If that is the case, and we can show his hunch on this to be wrong, doesn't that lend credence that his hunch concerning the ETH or the government hiding something ideas are also wrong? That operating on a hunch may not lead him to the correct conclusion?
I suppose so... but since it's not a direct proof (ie. since this hunch is wrong, then it follows that this other hunch must also be wrong), and since very few people consider a hunch to be a definitive argument -- I wouldn't waste my time trying to convince anybody that hunches can be wrong. But, if you read what I just wrote, you'll note that my issue was with the fact that you didn't, as you say, "show his hunch to be wrong" originally -- you just questioned his basis for saying it.


I would also point out you completely sidestepped the issue of commenting on AdamL's behavior, while commenting on the respondents. Is there a specific reason for that?
Yeah, a few reasons:
1) Forum rules ask us to report poor behaviour, not respond in kind.
2) None of the poor behaviour was addressed to me.
3) His behaviour has no impact on whether or not his ideas have any merit.
4) During my first few posts, I was still at the point where everything I wrote had to be approved by a mod. If I attempted to speak to his behaviour, the discussion would likely have moved well past the specific instances I was addressing before my post appeared.
5) I can see why he could believe he was treated unfairly in this thread. It doesn't justify how he behaved, but I can understand it.
6) Most importantly, I think that it would be counter-productive in shifting his opinions away from ETH. The ETH has some merits, otherwise it would not convince anyone. By focusing on those merits, and then explaining why I'm not convinced by them, I can present views that contradict his opinion without being viewed outright as someone who needs to be disproven and opposed at every turn. As soon as I address his behaviour, I am no longer viewed as "fair" or "objective" to any degree. I would therefore lose the ability to get him to objectively look at the reasons why I disagree with him and (perhaps) be convinced that his conclusion was premature.

If you look at post #78 you'll see one of the few times (perhaps the only time) in this thread that AdamL simply accepts an argument disproving one of his key tenets. He attempts to minimize the importance of that argument, but that's irrelevant. He accepted a view that contradicted his own. This was a direct result of my approach.

Having done that, my follow up posts sympathized with how someone could reach the dual conclusions that an observer would have to be "lying or delusional" to give some of the reports that are out there, and that there's so many such reports that it's implausible for them all to come from liars and the deluded.

After sympathizing, I questioned. How many of the unresolved reports are in the category where the observer must have been lying/delusional? and how many could be simple mistakes where they simply could not ascertain definitively that there was a plane in the area where a light was seen?

Is the number of reports in the former category so large that it really is implausible that they could all be lying or delusional? What percentage of the population does that mean we think are lying or deluded? Are we sure that's unreasonable?

I'm sorry that I had no desire to turn AdamL into a chew toy. I'm sorry that some here thought they could use me as a chew toy because I expressed sympathy for AdamL's point of view. I simply would prefer to convince someone who disagrees with me, than attack them in order to gain prestige within the group of people that already agree with me.

Garrison
2010-Oct-01, 09:36 PM
I'm not suggesting that the specific observations are "reliable" in any way -- quite the opposite, in fact. I've been extremely clear on this point. I am simply of the opinion that, at some point, observations are detailed enough that the only explanation (other than accepting their reliability) is that it's a lie or a delusion. Read about the Velentich Disappearance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentich_disappearance) for a good example of this. If this is a case where all he saw was a scintillating star and made a mistake, I think the details he added are clearly the result of a delusion or are lies.


I have seen it suggested that Valentich possibly had drug connections and was working as a courier. Such circumstances might explain the embellishments. No proof of course but as an alternative to alien spacecraft, stoned/faked his disappearance/both, seem more reasonable.

Fooglmog
2010-Oct-01, 09:57 PM
JayUtah,
You made your last post while I was writing mine. I think that my response to tensor and astrophotographer actually addresses most of what you said, but I'm going to provide a brief response to each point all the same.


Failing proof to the contrary, we are confident in holding the null hypothesis as the default.
I hope you see that we fully agree here. I was responding to a specific instance in which the word "disproof" was used inappropriately. Tensor courteously admitted the mistake.


If someone has not served in the military, it does not matter that he may be highly intelligent, highly educated, and highly qualified in his own field of experience; he is simply far less qualified to speak with authority on what the military is like, compared to those who have served.
That's not what I was getting at though. I wasn't saying that qualifications don't matter. I was saying that a lack of qualifications does not equate to an incorrect conclusion. Therefore, some argument beyond "You don't have the qualification to know that" ought to be given if you're howing respect for the person you're addressing.


"...[W]hether they have the knowledge base which gives them the right to express an opinion," is also very loaded. First, statements like "trained observers are more reliable eyewitnesses," are not opinions; they're testable allegations of fact. A belief expressed contrary to fact is simply wrong.
Yes, it's testable. So, again, why assume they're wrong because of a lack of qualifications? If they're making an assertion that's been demonstrated to be wrong, post a source to that demonstration and move on. It's a lot more courteous and effective.


It has been a very common thread of argumentation in this thread and other recent threads that operational training does not improve observational reliability. Do we really have to repeat the discussion every time?
No. But you do need to address it every time. A statement like "This issue has been thoroughly addressed in LINK. If you have any new arguments to put forward on the subject, please do so there" is not unreasonable. If it's an argument that's been addressed, than it's easily torn down. There's no sense in ignoring it or refuting it poorly because that makes it seem valid. Address it quickly and move on.


Having a large amount of reported detail does not preclude honest mistakes.
In some cases I think that it does. Details and conclusions may not be correct, but you simply do not get cases like the Valentich case (or the missile case that this thread is about, for that matter) without someone lying or being deluded.


Undoubtedly true, but from my point of view as a skeptic I believe that number to be relatively small.
I expect so too. Which is why establishing this fact is important, because if we can establish that the number where lying or delusions are necessary is small, we undermine AdamL's premise that the number is so large that it's implausible that they're actually all lying or delusional.


I do have a problem with it. Level of perceived, recalled, and reported detail does not determine the accuracy of the report.
I don't believe any of them to be accurate. If I believed even one of these extraordinary reports to be accurate, that would make me an ETH believer.


AdamL's original argument seems like a straw man. Anytime a skeptic objects to taking an eyewitness account exactly as offered, his objection is written off as having unfairly characterized the witness as a liar or crazy.
So what's wrong with determining the number of cases where an individual would have to be "a liar or crazy" and then making a numeric determination as to whether that number is high enough for the suggestion that they are such to be implausible? If the number is low, we've effectively undercut AdamL's entire line of reasoning.

Fooglmog
2010-Oct-01, 10:06 PM
I have seen it suggested that Valentich possibly had drug connections and was working as a courier. Such circumstances might explain the embellishments. No proof of course but as an alternative to alien spacecraft, stoned/faked his disappearance/both, seem more reasonable.

I've seen that argument. I don't actually buy it, because there's no evidentiary basis (that I've seen) for believing that he had drug connections. But if it is true, you just demonstrated my point in relation to that case.

If his sighting was a result of being stoned, then this is a clear case where the sighting was the result of a delusion.
If his sighting was part of a faked disappearance, then his radio broadcasts were a lie.

The drug theory fits perfectly into my assertion that this case was either a result of a lie or a delusion.

slang
2010-Oct-01, 11:17 PM
To say that I haven't "considred the potential for human error" is ridiculous, because a delusion is by definition a human error.

Just for my clarification: consider this image (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grey_square_optical_illusion.PNG). In the way that you use the word delusion, is a person who at first glance considers square A to be a different color than square B deluded?

astrophotographer
2010-Oct-01, 11:45 PM
I'm not suggesting that the specific observations are "reliable" in any way -- quite the opposite, in fact. I've been extremely clear on this point. I am simply of the opinion that, at some point, observations are detailed enough that the only explanation (other than accepting their reliability) is that it's a lie or a delusion. Read about the Velentich Disappearance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentich_disappearance) for a good example of this. If this is a case where all he saw was a scintillating star and made a mistake, I think the details he added are clearly the result of a delusion or are lies.

What evidence do we really have in this case? Nobody says it was a "scintillating star" but what other possibilities can be explored? Before you declare it extraordinary, you have to do a lot better than a radio communication from a pilot who was flying at night over the water. Many pilots have died getting disoriented at night. Look at JFK JR.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-01, 11:45 PM
Just for my clarification: consider this image (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Grey_square_optical_illusion.PNG). In the way that you use the word delusion, is a person who at first glance considers square A to be a different color than square B deluded?
One thing I'll guarantee, 100% of all highly trained military pilots will see the squares as being different.:D

Fooglmog
2010-Oct-01, 11:59 PM
No, that's not a delusion.

The perceptual error which that image demonstrates is akin to someone seeing an airplane heading towards them at night and mistaking it for a stationary object. I would classify that as an "honest mistake".

Garrison
2010-Oct-02, 12:15 AM
I've seen that argument. I don't actually buy it, because there's no evidentiary basis (that I've seen) for believing that he had drug connections. But if it is true, you just demonstrated my point in relation to that case.

If his sighting was a result of being stoned, then this is a clear case where the sighting was the result of a delusion.
If his sighting was part of a faked disappearance, then his radio broadcasts were a lie.

The drug theory fits perfectly into my assertion that this case was either a result of a lie or a delusion.

Sorry but for some reason I thought you were actually saying this story had some merit as a potential ETH case.

Fooglmog
2010-Oct-02, 12:18 AM
What evidence do we really have in this case? Nobody says it was a "scintillating star" but what other possibilities can be explored?
Isn't that the point though? The conventional "mistaken identity" explanations have been explored and found not to satisfy the facts. The other possibilities that can be explored are that it was a delusion or a lie.

Before you declare it extraordinary, you have to do a lot better than a radio communication from a pilot who was flying at night over the water.
I do not need anything more, because I'm not claiming that an extraordinary event took place. I'm claiming that an extraordinary report exists. That extraordinary report has a limited number of explanations. Mistaken identity, delusion, lies, or actual extraordinary event are the only possibilities that I can think of. There seem to be no working theories in this case which are able to identify a likely culprit for mistaken identity. Therefore, I suggest that the other possibilities become a strong possibility.

Many pilots have died getting disoriented at night. Look at JFK JR.
JFK JR did not report seeing anything extraordinary.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Oct-02, 12:24 AM
No, that's not a delusion.

The perceptual error which that image demonstrates is akin to someone seeing an airplane heading towards them at night and mistaking it for a stationary object. I would classify that as an "honest mistake".
Which is how skeptics classify the vast majority of eye-witness reports, honest mistakes with many well-documented possible causes.
Rather than, as the UFO-are-aliens believers (which I'm not trying to imply you are) keep twisting it to in order to make skeptics look nasty, delusional lies.

Tensor
2010-Oct-02, 01:49 AM
To say that I haven't "considred the potential for human error" is ridiculous, because a delusion is by definition a human error.

So are simply honest mistakes. Delusion and honest mistakes are however, normally distinct categories.



You just made my argument. Physical evidence had nothing to do with his determination that UFOs are likely. I was addressing the merits of the arguments that did change his mind, not bringing up every argument against UFOs. This is why I did not deal with physical evidence.

Sorry, if AdamL is going to argue for the ETH idea, he has to account for the fact that there is no physical evidence. That is part of science.


I won't argue against this, because I suspect it to be true. However, I can't join you in making this statement because I've heard about a number of "physical evidence" claims that I simply have not looked into. I assume that they have rational explanations, because every other piece of "physical evidence" that I've looked into has had a rational explanation, but I am unwilling to state definitively that there is no evidence while I know of claims that I have not researched.

And that may be a difference between us and how we argue a point. I am willing to state that there is no conclusive physical evidence, until that time that some is produced. Precisely because, as you say, every other piece of "physical evidence" was not actual evidence. Similar to how I am more than willing to state the sun will rise toward the East tomorrow morning. Is it possible it won't, of course. However, based on current evidence, it will.


I realized you were doing that. That's what my problem is. Whether or not they're actually "cold, no-nonsense killers" is tangential to his overall point. You're free to disprove it, but in merely questioning his basis for saying it you're trivializing the overall point without directly contradicting it.

Again, we'll agree to disagree. He made a statement, I asked for evidence to back up that statement.


If in your original post you'd done what you did in your most recent one, and provided directly contradictory evidence (ie. the information about your uncles) along with asking for the basis of his belief, I'd have no problem with it.

And if he had given reasons for his statement, other than making a flat statement, I would have given contradictory evidence. As it was, he made a flat statement, I wanted to know what he based that opinion on. How and what evidence I was planning to use to refute him was going to be based on how he arrived at the basis for his statement, as I have other evidence I can use.


I recognize that I'm dealing with minutia here, and that it's a strange concept if you've never considered it before but it's a subtle strategic difference that I clued into when I was actively debating in high school years ago. If you give contradictory evidence and then ask for the basis of your opposition's argument, you seem respectful (and your arguments have to be better to win). If you simply question the basis of your opposition's argument, you undermine their credibility (you don't need better arguments to win, you just need to appear more credible and confident in the rest of the discussion).

Well, I don't have a problem attacking the credibility of the person making a statement, if that person doesn't have the background or knowledge to make a statement. We can both present our statements, but who's statement is stronger is based on the credibility of the statement.


I recognize that this is a reaction no one else would have, but I have a highly negative reaction when someone takes the latter course if their arguments are better. To me it seems very patronizing because it suggests that "they're so obviously wrong that I don't need to address their point of view". If you can win it on the merits, argue it on the merits. If you can't win it on the merits, you're probably wrong... in a formal debate that doesn't matter -- but if it happens here you may want to reconsider your opinion.

I simply wanted to know where the basis for that statement came from. I ask for evidence a lot here (and did in my private job, before retiring). You are the first to tell me asking for evidence is patronizing. Of course, you will find that most engineers or those working in an engineering field aren't bothered by debate niceties in asking for evidence. It's part of what they do.


I suppose so... but since it's not a direct proof (ie. since this hunch is wrong, then it follows that this other hunch must also be wrong), and since very few people consider a hunch to be a definitive argument -- I wouldn't waste my time trying to convince anybody that hunches can be wrong.

Yet, he was more than willing to consider that his hunch had merit. You might note that I didn't say a bad hunch on military people would automatically discredit his hunch on ETH, only that it lent credence to the idea that his hunch on ETH is wrong. And over the years, a large number of ATM and CT proponents have based their ideas on a hunch or "that's the way that makes sense" basis.


But, if you read what I just wrote, you'll note that my issue was with the fact that you didn't, as you say, "show his hunch to be wrong" originally -- you just questioned his basis for saying it.

As I said, his claim: "He lives in the Netherlands". His claim: "US Military people are cold no-nosense killers". I don't see how asking for how a person in the Netherlands can claim the background knowledge to make a sweeping statement about the people in the US military can be an issue. I don't see how you can have a problem with me, a person that statement refers to, with asking for evidence.



Yeah, a few reasons:
1) Forum rules ask us to report poor behavior, not respond in kind.
None of the poor behavior was addressed to me.

Well, then why did you address what you considered the other posters’ bad behavior that wasn't addressed to you?.


3) His behavior has no impact on whether or not his ideas have any merit.

And the other poster's behavior does have an impact, how?


4) During my first few posts, I was still at the point where everything I wrote had to be approved by a mod. If I attempted to speak to his behaviour, the discussion would likely have moved well past the specific instances I was addressing before my post appeared.

Yet, again, you had no problem speaking to the other posters behavior. How were the two different?


5) I can see why he could believe he was treated unfairly in this thread. It doesn't justify how he behaved, but I can understand it.

Did you note his comments in post #42? Do you know that Jim Oberg is a member here? Do you realize that Post #42 is his first post in this thread? Exactly what in posts prior to Post#42 would lead you to believe that he was treated unfairly enough to make the comments he did?


6) Most importantly, I think that it would be counter-productive in shifting his opinions away from ETH.

And you believe it's productive to bring up other posters behavior and ignore his, why?

I’d consider your whole reasoning here rather weak. All of your points can be applied equally to AdamL and to other posters, and yet, you only spoke to other posters behavior. Can you see how that may seem (but not necessarily is), suspicious.


The ETH has some merits, otherwise it would not convince anyone. By focusing on those merits, and then explaining why I'm not convinced by them, I can present views that contradict his opinion without being viewed outright as someone who needs to be disproven and opposed at every turn.

Again, we disagree. Experience here shows convincing the proponents of ETH that their idea has no merit isn't likely. A majority identify so much with the idea, any opposition to the idea is viewed as an attack on the person. Feel free to look around several ATM or CT threads to verify this. I prefer to focus on showing how the proponents claims have no merit.


As soon as I address his behaviour, I am no longer viewed as "fair" or "objective" to any degree. I would therefore lose the ability to get him to objectively look at the reasons why I disagree with him and (perhaps) be convinced that his conclusion was premature.

And I addressed his behavior, where? As for the rest, you question other posters behavior, then when questioned about it, you seem puzzled on why you're not considered fair?


If you look at post #78 you'll see one of the few times (perhaps the only time) in this thread that AdamL simply accepts an argument disproving one of his key tenets. He attempts to minimize the importance of that argument, but that's irrelevant. He accepted a view that contradicted his own. This was a direct result of my approach.

I suggest you go and look up the rest of AdamL's posts. I'm of the opinion that we were not going to convince him of anything. Lurkers, however, were another story.


Having done that, my follow up posts sympathized with how someone could reach the dual conclusions that an observer would have to be "lying or delusional" to give some of the reports that are out there, and that there's so many such reports that it's implausible for them all to come from liars and the deluded.

snip...

I'm sorry that I had no desire to turn AdamL into a chew toy. I'm sorry that some here thought they could use me as a chew toy because I expressed sympathy for AdamL's point of view. I simply would prefer to convince someone who disagrees with me, than attack them in order to gain prestige within the group of people that already agree with me.

I had no problem with your number of reports approach (I didn't address it as I had nothing to add). As I said, I don't see it as an attack, only as a request for information. Its not always about convincing the proponents. Through the years it's become quite apparent that a large majority of proponents here are not going to change their opinions, no matter what or how the arguments are presented. For many lurkers, we can and have shown where the proponents ideas, or how they arrived at them, are faulty.

Fooglmog
2010-Oct-02, 03:07 AM
There's no new or interesting arguments in that post until you get to the section of "Why I didn't correct him", so I'm ready to let that section of this discussion rest. I've made my arguments and stand by them and do not believe that they will be greatly strengthened by more repetition.

I will, however, address your later comments.


Well, then why did you address what you considered the other posters’ bad behavior that wasn't addressed to you?.
Because this isn't a simple litmus test. If offensive behaviour is addressed to me, I will address it. If it is not addressed to me, I may or may not choose to address it based on a number of different factors.


And the other poster's behavior does have an impact, how?
Because the criticism I offered to others was that they were not dealing with the merits and merely dismissing the position. Obviously this would have an impact on a discussion about merits.


Yet, again, you had no problem speaking to the other posters behavior. How were the two different?
I did not address anyone specifically or any specific instance until asked for examples. I addressed the over all theme of the thread. I didn't have a concern that the over all tone would change before my posts appeared... I did have a concern that we would have moved past specific instances before my posts appeared.


Did you note his comments in post #42? Do you know that Jim Oberg is a member here? Do you realize that Post #42 is his first post in this thread? Exactly what in posts prior to Post#42 would lead you to believe that he was treated unfairly enough to make the comments he did?
No, I didn't know the Oberg was a member here. You are also correct to suggest that this reason for my lack of response does not apply directly to post #42. However several of the other reasons do.


And you believe it's productive to bring up other posters behavior and ignore his, why?
Because he is the one who I disagree with. Him I have a desire to convince. Bringing up his behaviour does not help this. Bringing up the behaviour of others, however, may help with this if it creates an atmosphere in which he feels less need to act defensively.


Can you see how that may seem (but not necessarily is), suspicious.
Seem suspicious of what? Being in cahoots with AdamL? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?


And I addressed his behavior, where? As for the rest, you question other posters behavior, then when questioned about it, you seem puzzled on why you're not considered fair?
I never claimed to have addressed his behaviour. I was speaking hypothetically and certainly not in the past-tense. I also didn't say I was puzzled at your views. I simply stated that AdamL would not view me as fair or unbiased if I'd done as you suggest.


I suggest you go and look up the rest of AdamL's posts. I'm of the opinion that we were not going to convince him of anything. Lurkers, however, were another story.
Yet I did convince him of something, by his own admission. Post #79. If your target audience was purely lurkers, I understand why you spoke the way you did. However, if you wish to refute the suggestion that you were patronizing him -- admitting that you had given him up for a lost cause who could not be convinced by reason is not a good approach.

Tensor
2010-Oct-02, 03:25 AM
There's no new or interesting arguments in that post until you get to the section of "Why I didn't correct him", so I'm ready to let that section of this discussion rest. I've made my arguments and stand by them and do not believe that they will be greatly strengthened by more repetition.

Same with me, I willing to agree to disagree there.


I will, however, address your later comments.

I have a reply, but feel we need not clog this thread any longer. Are you amendable to taking this to PMs?

Fooglmog
2010-Oct-02, 03:30 AM
Yeah, we can take this to PMs.

The fact that you want to must mean that you think I have something worth saying... I'm flattered. =)

Gillianren
2010-Oct-02, 06:18 AM
The thing is, claiming that all US military personnel are no-nonsense killers is also a personal attack. It says things about more than a few members of this board, who are ex-US military (I think we even have at least one current serving member of the US military, though I think he's, you know, serving somewhere). It says things about the friends and loved ones of others. If he said that all tax accountants were conniving cheats, would it be reasonable to ask why he thinks that, or should we provide anecdotal evidence from our own experience first?

As with the ETH stuff, his is the claim and his is the responsibility for providing evidence.

captain swoop
2010-Oct-02, 08:16 AM
Discussing the response or lack of same to other posters bad behaviour is not a good idea. Stick to the OP

AdamL
2010-Oct-06, 08:43 AM
@Fooglmog:

Despite the fact that we rarely agreed on the issue at hand, I appreciated your posts, especially your honesty and I responded in kind to you.
I sense in you an inquisitive spirit with an honest and open mind, all of which are very alien concepts to the BAUT collective.
There are of course individual differences, but as an entity the BAUT collective comes across as dense and narrow-minded as christian (or other religious) fanatics.

I believe you sense that as well and I can almost hear your sighs of disbelief in between some of your lines in your responses.
You are way too honest for the BAUT collective. Scientific honesty is simply not appreciated at BAUT.

I'd predict that your active participation will slowly come to an end, given what you see around here...

Good luck.

Tedward
2010-Oct-06, 08:53 AM
a) serious repercussions because of breaking their silence.



Forgive me if I have missed the reply. I have asked once already. What repercussions have there been to date?

Swift
2010-Oct-06, 01:11 PM
Forgive me if I have missed the reply. I have asked once already. What repercussions have there been to date?
You'll have to wait two weeks for a response from AdamL, who has been suspended again - it happened to be for behavior in another thread, though it could have been for his last post here too.

gzhpcu
2010-Oct-06, 01:23 PM
John Kelly of the Washington Post went to the conference.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/27/AR2010092705099.html

His conclusion? The cookies offered were good.... :) Otherwise: Hmmmmm...



When my turn came, I addressed my question to Charles Halt, who in 1980 was the deputy commander at a U.S. base in the east of England. On Dec. 27, he was summoned to a forest near the base by a security team who had spotted strange lights. "Off in the forest was a bright glowing object," he said, "like a red, blinking eye dropping molten metal."

Was I right in hearing him say that he'd had a camera? What became of the photos?

The film came back fogged, he said.

Hmmm.

JayUtah
2010-Oct-06, 04:48 PM
His conclusion? The cookies offered were good.... :) Otherwise: Hmmmmm...

So the caterer apparently has more real-world credibility than the Bobs. I'm not surprised.

I'm always amused at the cloak-and-dagger descriptions of classification and security warnings that appear in these stories. They read like a bad spy novel. "You didn't see nothing," etc. That's not how it works. Because obligations of secrecy are taken so seriously, the briefings are clear and explicit. They don't happen ad hoc in the midst of the occurrence, phrased as a glib warning from a single superior. Those who impose obligations want to make sure those who are to be bound by them are acutely aware of the exact nature of the obligation and the consequences for breaking it.

And the consequences of violating a secrecy obligation are not shadowy, ambiguous innuendo as depicted in these stories. The military doesn't harass you undetectably behind the scenes. Instead the MPs arrive, arrest you, and take you away in handcuffs to a suitable military prison. These are duly appointed officers of the U.S. military acting in strict accordance with their mandate; they have nothing to fear. According to the Bobs and their colleages, the military is quaking in their boots, utterly unable or unwilling to enforce the security policy of their service branch. The notion that these witnesses are "bravely coming forward" or "ending their years of slience" without repercussion is ludicrous, unless they're simply lying about having kept a legitimate military secret all this time.

Eric12407
2010-Oct-19, 10:34 AM
To claim that all of these participants are either delusional, lying, or trying to sell books is just plain ludicrous ....

You debunkers have really topped yourselves this time ....

For you .... there will never be a credible witness or event ... that is patently obvious.

Strange
2010-Oct-19, 11:22 AM
To claim that all of these participants are either delusional, lying, or trying to sell books is just plain ludicrous ....

You debunkers have really topped yourselves this time ....

For you .... there will never be a credible witness or event ... that is patently obvious.

There were plenty of other witnesses who claim nothing happened and, in some cases, that these people weren't even present. To claim that all of these other participants are either delusional, lying, or trying to sell books is just plain ludicrous ....

For you, the only credible witness will be the one who says what you want to believe ... that is patently obvious.

Peter B
2010-Oct-19, 11:26 AM
To claim that all of these participants are either delusional, lying, or trying to sell books is just plain ludicrous ....
In addition to the above, there's also mistaken. People make mistakes all the time.


You debunkers have really topped yourselves this time ....

For you .... there will never be a credible witness or event ... that is patently obvious.
If an alien spacecraft was to land on the Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of a crowd of 80,000 people, or some similar highly public venue, I'd be inclined to accept the reality of the alien visitation.

But while sightings seem to be lights seen through a forest at night, dodgy interpretations of radar data and the like, I'll continue to be skeptical.

Swift
2010-Oct-19, 03:07 PM
To claim that all of these participants are either delusional, lying, or trying to sell books is just plain ludicrous ....
Why? Why is that ludicrous (and yes, that is a direct question)? I don't think any of us are claiming those are the only possibilites ("mistaken" is also a possibility), but why is it ludicrous that a couple of people might be "delusional, lying, or trying to sell books". There is certainly lots of evidence that people can be one of those three things.


For you .... there will never be a credible witness or event ... that is patently obvious.
I can only speak for myself, but yes. Short of Peter B's cricket match example, I am not going to take a few eyewitness accounts as the proof of the visitation of Earth by ETs. Such a claim is an extraordinary claim, and it requires extraordinary evidence to support such a claim. Physical evidence that can not be explained by Earthly mechanisms is the sort of evidence that is required.

Tedward
2010-Oct-19, 04:06 PM
To claim that all of these participants are either delusional, lying, or trying to sell books is just plain ludicrous ....

You debunkers have really topped yourselves this time ....

For you .... there will never be a credible witness or event ... that is patently obvious.

For me the credible witness needs to be established then the evidence needs to be deemed credible.

One event sticks in my mind, watching the story unfold over the wind farm windmill that came apart due to mechanical failure, and that was the number of people that claimed they could give it credibility and the theories were many when the obvious was dismissed and ignored.

astrophotographer
2010-Oct-19, 04:53 PM
To claim that all of these participants are either delusional, lying, or trying to sell books is just plain ludicrous ....

You debunkers have really topped yourselves this time ....

For you .... there will never be a credible witness or event ... that is patently obvious.

What makes you think they are not lying? We know that Salas has a story that shifts with the wind. The instant he discovers something that does not agree with his story, he changed it.

His original story was he was on Echo flight. Then he found out he wasn't. So he changed it to November flight because it was mentioned in the history in conjunction with Echo flight (security teams had been sent there). Then he discovered he wasn't on November flight either. He finally discovered he was on Oscar flight after contacting an old friend. There is no record of any shutdown of missiles at Oscar.
Another example of Salas' shifting story is that he originally stated his Oscar flight shutdown happened at the same time as Echo. Of course, he was stating it was dark outside but the Echo flight shutdown happened in the morning after dawn. So, he changed the date to match a UFO sighting that happened in Montana on a night over a week later. He does not mention that this was many miles away from Oscar flight (over a hundred if I recall correctly).
At the press conference, he stated Figel and Carlson (the Echo flight crew) confirmed that a UFO was involved in the shutdown. However, that is not true. Reality Uncovered has talked to both men and they deny any UFO involvement with the Echo flight shutdown. Figel went as far to mention that Dick Evans, who was in charge of the 10th missile squadron (Oscar flights squadron), stated no missile shutdown happened at Oscar flight.

So there you have it. Either you can blindly believe Salas, who has told a story that is not based on anything but his memories (that are obviously flawed) and some very vague references that can not be confirmed or you can ask questions that are probing and intelligent. Obviously, Hastings simply believed Salas blindly because it helps him promote himself. BTW, Salas and Hastings DO have books they are trying to sell, so that is potential source of motivation that CAN NOT be ignored.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-19, 05:37 PM
For me the credible witness needs to be established then the evidence needs to be deemed credible.

I'm quite the opposite--I want evidence to back up what the witness says; without the evidence, it's still just hearsay. If the evidence is credible, the witness is credible.

Garrison
2010-Oct-19, 06:17 PM
Also even if there was an actual indisputable alien visitation tomorrow that wouldn't automatically validate every light in the sky, radar blip, and abduction story of the last 60 years.
In fact I would feel rather sorry for any aliens who did land because their entire time would be spent explaining they were nowhere near Roswell, they don't even know what a cow is, and they most assuredly did not stick any probes where the sun don't shine. Of course that wouldn't stop the lawsuits...

Tedward
2010-Oct-19, 06:26 PM
I'm quite the opposite--I want evidence to back up what the witness says; without the evidence, it's still just hearsay. If the evidence is credible, the witness is credible.

Clear as mud aint I ;)

I meant more as a reply to Eric12407. Especially after watching the thread (the other long one) develop on here.

But yes, I take your you point. Good job I am not a lawyer or detective.

astrophotographer
2010-Oct-19, 06:31 PM
Also even if there was an actual indisputable alien visitation tomorrow that wouldn't automatically validate every light in the sky, radar blip, and abduction story of the last 60 years.
In fact I would feel rather sorry for any aliens who did land because their entire time would be spent explaining they were nowhere near Roswell, they don't even know what a cow is, and they most assuredly did not stick any probes where the sun don't shine. Of course that wouldn't stop the lawsuits...

I would find it amusing if such a landing did occur, what would happen if the aliens stated that this is the first time they visited our planet and that no other aliens have visited here before. Would UFOlogy groups cry conspiracy and accuse the aliens of lying?

JayUtah
2010-Oct-19, 10:24 PM
...

To claim that all of these participants are either delusional, lying, or trying to sell books is just plain ludicrous ....

If that's what we were doing, it would be ludicrous. But we are not.

There exist ordinary problems with perception, interpretation, and recall. Every human being is susceptible to them to one degree or another, and they cannot generally be altered by training. The vast majority of originally unidentified sightings, which are later identified as misperceived ordinary objects, attests to the reality and extent of this condition. To cite these effects while dealing with eyewitness testimony is not to call the witness deluded. But UFO enthusiasts always accuse their critics of dismissing problematic testimony unfairly by rewriting the dismissal in terms of loaded words such as "delusional."

The only participant who has been singled out for lying is Robert Salas, and the documentary history of his dishonestly has been presented. You've provided no rebuttal to it. I disagree with the others, but I have no information that they are lying.

In at least two cases, Hastings and Salas, it is no secret that they are trying to sell books. Their activities along those lines are well documented. Hastings' attempts here to promote his book rather than engage in critical review were especially ham-fisted. Unfortunately when one embarks on a commercial venture whose financial success increases the more one's story is believed, that raises the suspicion of bias.

For you .... there will never be a credible witness or event ... that is patently obvious.

No, sorry, you don't get to portray your critics as irretrievably closed-minded when they (a) provide reasons for disbelieving your present claims, (b) are willing to discuss those reasons with you, and (c) have not yet been presented with any better evidence. Simply because we have rejected the feeble case presented so far does not mean we will reject future, as-yet unknown evidence.

You're simply crying sour grapes because your case is unconvincing. You don't seem interested in why it's unconvincing.

Rowen
2010-Oct-21, 02:54 PM
I'm replying to the duplicated thread in this one, in order to answer the poster's question regarding what I make of this.

Eyewitness testimony can never be trusted
This a major failing of most, if not all, UFO conspiracies. Humans simply can't be trusted to see things correctly, not to interpret sightings with the most sensational idea possible, remember correctly and not to outright lie. In the courts, as imperfect as they are, eyewitnesses carry little weight unless followed up with hard evidence that removes reasonable doubt.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
This has been stated before so often I know, but it bears repeating every time these stories come out. Shutting down of missiles can have a few different causes; chiefly malfunction. Regarding the evidence, eyewitnesses means nothing unless there is hard evidence. Are there any pictures of these red lights? If so, how do they know they're responsible? Is there any other data that connects the red lights to the power loss? The extraordinary evidence is not there.

Occam's Razor
Nuff said.

Rowen
2010-Oct-21, 04:07 PM
I would find it amusing if such a landing did occur, what would happen if the aliens stated that this is the first time they visited our planet and that no other aliens have visited here before. Would UFOlogy groups cry conspiracy and accuse the aliens of lying?

Without a shred of doubt.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-21, 05:34 PM
Eyewitness testimony can never be trusted

I wouldn't say never. I would say that it is generally less reliable than people think it is, and I would say that it should only be looked at once the known failings thereof are taken into consideration, but never?

Fazor
2010-Oct-21, 06:15 PM
I would say, "Eyewitness testimony [should] never be implicitly trusted." But perhaps that's what was meant. I've given my spiel on eye-witness testimony before, and more qualified people have already contributed that to this thread, so today, I'll spare the rehash and instead offer a recent anecdote:

A few weeks ago, I was driving home with Tara. We passed a person who was walking near the road (traveling from the shopping district back to a residential area across a field.) Me and Tara at the same time said, "Is that a man or a woman?!" They were only seen from the back, had long hair, and we only got a quick glimpse before we passed a row of trees that blocked the person from view.

There was just something androgynous enough about the vision that it sparked the same though in both me and Tara.

Now to the real point; I said, "I think it was a man, but it was hard to tell because that green tank-top looked more like a girl's shirt." Tara replied, "That wasn't a green tank-top. It was a grey 'wife-beater'."

This was like 10 seconds after the event, so the effects of memory-over-time hadn't even kicked in yet. We just both perceived two totally different shirts. I'm not sure who was right, though I assume I was, since I always am.

Rowen
2010-Oct-21, 06:20 PM
I wouldn't say never. I would say that it is generally less reliable than people think it is, and I would say that it should only be looked at once the known failings thereof are taken into consideration, but never?

Yeah, you're right... not never. Okay, how about... eyewitness testimony alone cannot be trusted?

Rowen
2010-Oct-21, 06:29 PM
Now to the real point; I said, "I think it was a man, but it was hard to tell because that green tank-top looked more like a girl's shirt." Tara replied, "That wasn't a green tank-top. It was a grey 'wife-beater'."

This was like 10 seconds after the event, so the effects of memory-over-time hadn't even kicked in yet. We just both perceived two totally different shirts. I'm not sure who was right, though I assume I was, since I always am.


You know your wife was right. That's how it works. ;)

But yeah, similar incidents have occurred between my wife and I and have yielded similar results.

I don't know, maybe it's related to the way the human brain stores memories. I read a paper someplace (I wish I still had it to reference) that reports that when a memory is stored the brain pulls other memories to associate with the new one. Of course, this supposedly happens seamlessly and we don't notice it consciously.

Fazor
2010-Oct-21, 06:40 PM
I don't know, maybe it's related to the way the human brain stores memories. I read a paper someplace (I wish I still had it to reference) that reports that when a memory is stored the brain pulls other memories to associate with the new one. Of course, this supposedly happens seamlessly and we don't notice it consciously.
We're not married, so I get to be right still. I haven't given up the right to be right yet. ;)

I skimmed an article yesterday that said a study showed that a surprising event near (up to within about 24 hours!) another event helps to recall the mundane one. But I suppose my only point in mentioning it is that it seems pretty apparent that a lot of factors contribute to how we store, retrieve, and percieve memories. And these are going to varry from person to person.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-21, 06:42 PM
Yeah, you're right... not never. Okay, how about... eyewitness testimony alone cannot be trusted?

Assuredly true.

astrophotographer
2010-Oct-21, 06:45 PM
Yeah, you're right... not never. Okay, how about... eyewitness testimony alone cannot be trusted?

That seems more appropriate. However, I think it is a degree of plausibility of the testimony that determines how much weight to give it. If a witness states they saw an aiplane last night, you would not question it because you see dozens if you look up. If he said he saw a B-2 bomber, you would say "cool" but wonder if they really saw the B-2 bomber especially if you did not live near a military base. If he says he saw a huge massive triangle hundreds of feet across hovering over him beckoning him to come aboard, you begin to seriously question the testimony as being accurate. The more exotic the testimony, the more additional evidence needs to be presented to confirm that testimony.

Fazor
2010-Oct-21, 06:57 PM
That seems more appropriate. However, I think it is a degree of plausibility of the testimony that determines how much weight to give it. If a witness states they saw an aiplane last night, you would not question it because you see dozens if you look up. If he said he saw a B-2 bomber, you would say "cool" but wonder if they really saw the B-2 bomber especially if you did not live near a military base. If he says he saw a huge massive triangle hundreds of feet across hovering over him beckoning him to come aboard, you begin to seriously question the testimony as being accurate. The more exotic the testimony, the more additional evidence needs to be presented to confirm that testimony.

That might be how you react to different testimony, but none of that has any bearing on how true the testimony is. That's more of a triage effect; why bother 'investigating' or 'cooberating' a mundane claim that doesn't really affect anything? But a fantastical claim that could change how we view the universe? Of course you're going to want to investigate that.

Rowen
2010-Oct-21, 08:13 PM
That seems more appropriate. However, I think it is a degree of plausibility of the testimony that determines how much weight to give it. If a witness states they saw an aiplane last night, you would not question it because you see dozens if you look up. If he said he saw a B-2 bomber, you would say "cool" but wonder if they really saw the B-2 bomber especially if you did not live near a military base. If he says he saw a huge massive triangle hundreds of feet across hovering over him beckoning him to come aboard, you begin to seriously question the testimony as being accurate. The more exotic the testimony, the more additional evidence needs to be presented to confirm that testimony.

Exactly. That makes sense. Extraordinary claims, yadda yadda.

Rowen
2010-Oct-21, 08:26 PM
That might be how you react to different testimony, but none of that has any bearing on how true the testimony is. That's more of a triage effect; why bother 'investigating' or 'cooberating' a mundane claim that doesn't really affect anything? But a fantastical claim that could change how we view the universe? Of course you're going to want to investigate that.

Truth is subjective and that's why those like us investigate or suspend belief until evidence is given. But the original premise was how reliable eyewitness accounts are without any other evidence, not the truth of the claim. Of course at the point a claim strains probability and logic we will insist upon the evidence to determine the truth. This is why I put nearly no value in eyewitnesses, with or without evidence. I find myself going back to what I said originally, before I restated for astrophotographer. The only value I see for an eyewitness is to kick off investigation and the search for evidence. Once that evidence is found, the eyewitness is pretty much useless, anyway as the evidence is now there.

JayUtah
2010-Oct-21, 11:32 PM
...

Truth is subjective...

I disagree, but I'd like you to expand on what you mean by this statement.

Truth is objective. Something happened or it didn't. It happened a certain way or it didn't. Our knowledge of these occurrences may be incomplete. Our artifacts from these occurrences may be contradictory. Our perception and recording of them may be humanistically flawed and biased. But the truth of what really happened exists out there regardless of what we believe or think we saw.

But the original premise was how reliable eyewitness accounts are without any other evidence, not the truth of the claim.

Sure, and that's a fruitful topic of discussion. However UFO believers typically say, "The claim is true because the witness is reliable." They don't see what we see wrong with that line of reasoning.

Of course at the point a claim strains probability and logic we will insist upon the evidence to determine the truth.

Agreed. If the witness reports, "I saw it fly away at what must have been 10,000 miles per hour," we cannot necessarily take that at face value. "What other things have you seen before that go 10,000 miles per hour?" is a good question. "Did you hear a sonic boom?" is another.

Witnesses often provide time estimates. Experimentation shows that the typical witness is wildly inaccurate at estimating times, especially when excited. Hence when UFO enthusiasts say, "Scientists computed the speed of the departing object at around 10,000 mph!" we have to go back and look at the estimates (i.e., wild guesses) of time and distance.

UFO enthusiasts thrive on illogic like that. In the real world contradictory or improbable testimony is automatically suspect. In the UFO world, it's keenly sought. As the records bear out, humans have an uncanny knack for misperceiving the ordinary. Objectively speaking, the ordinary happens far more frequently -- by definition -- than the extraordinary. Hence when all we have is extraordinary eyewitness claims, it's simply more likely to be a misperception.

This is why I put nearly no value in eyewitnesses, with or without evidence.

That's as may be. Unfortunately in the UFO world there is tremendous emphasis placed on eyewitness testimony. Leslie Kean's latest book is all about eyewitness accounts. The press conference we're talking about is all about eyewitness accounts. When you grab your typical UFO believer, he's not excited about the documentary evidence and physical artifacts. Instead he says, "How can you dismiss the thousands -- nay, millions of UFO reports?"

The only value I see for an eyewitness is to kick off investigation and the search for evidence. Once that evidence is found...

That presumes evidence will be found. In happenstance investigations, luck plays a big part in whether we get good evidence. Despite all our cleverness and our best efforts at instrumentation and surveillance, some small percentage of happenstance events will remain "unexplained," because good confirmatory or falsificatory evidence lacks. It is these orphaned instances, however few in number they turn out to be, that remain "evidence of UFOs" in some people's minds.

Most UFO fanatics are happy saying, "Yes, yes, that one was a weather balloon." But there's always, "What about this one that isn't a weather balloon? You can't identify it, therefore it's an alien."

...the eyewitness is pretty much useless, anyway as the evidence is now there.

No, in a real investigation you never throw out eyewitness testimony altogether. Eyewitness evidence often provides the narrative sequence and can confirm theories that emerge from examining physical artifacts. I remember once developing a theory about an industrial accident. It required a switch shorting and operating a door motor. I recorded the sound of the door motor running and played it for the two people who were in that vicinity. One of them, without knowing what it was, said, "Yeah, I remember hearing that sound." That hadn't been part of his initial statement.

Artifacts, documentary evidence, circumstantial evidence, expert opinion, and eyewitness testimony are all useful forms of evidence, all with limitations and other unique properties. A useful theory to explain some happenstance event has to answer all that evidence in some way.

Rowen
2010-Oct-22, 03:37 AM
I disagree, but I'd like you to expand on what you mean by this statement.


Yeah, I did drop the ball on that one, didn't I. What I meant is that the human mind perceives it's own version of truth. But the brain is both a flawed wondrous tool. The truth we perceive is distorted by those flaws. Ever wonder why the deeply religious insist that their faith is the ultimate truth?



Truth is objective. Something happened or it didn't. It happened a certain way or it didn't. Our knowledge of these occurrences may be incomplete. Our artifacts from these occurrences may be contradictory. Our perception and recording of them may be humanistically flawed and biased. But the truth of what really happened exists out there regardless of what we believe or think we saw.


It's our perception of it that can change from human to human. Why do you think humans argue and fight with such ferocious dedication in defense of something like religion? Because to them it is truth. To you and I, truth is truth regardless of human intervention. We believe that humans do not effect truth, it just is. But, even saying this, think of the double-slit experiments. If we are so right that all truth is so dreadfully objective, why then does the photon only decide on one slit or the other when we measure it? This is because for some reason, humans affect the truth on at least that level.



Sure, and that's a fruitful topic of discussion. However UFO believers typically say, "The claim is true because the witness is reliable." They don't see what we see wrong with that line of reasoning.


People don't want to believe that those they like, love and trust can stretch the truth knowingly and unknowingly. It is really difficult for some to accept this. I didn't want to think that my brother would fabricate his experiences in the paranormal to get me to believe in its value... but he did and I accepted that, because that's what most of us are.



UFO enthusiasts thrive on illogic like that. In the real world contradictory or improbable testimony is automatically suspect. In the UFO world, it's keenly sought. As the records bear out, humans have an uncanny knack for misperceiving the ordinary. Objectively speaking, the ordinary happens far more frequently -- by definition -- than the extraordinary. Hence when all we have is extraordinary eyewitness claims, it's simply more likely to be a misperception.


See why I have mentioned twice previously about human perception?



That presumes evidence will be found. In happenstance investigations, luck plays a big part in whether we get good evidence. Despite all our cleverness and our best efforts at instrumentation and surveillance, some small percentage of happenstance events will remain "unexplained," because good confirmatory or falsificatory evidence lacks. It is these orphaned instances, however few in number they turn out to be, that remain "evidence of UFOs" in some people's minds.


I think at the root of all this, the UFOs, paranormal, ESP etc, is fear and hope. I don't have any support, as this is only suspicion, but fear is a very powerful motivator. All animals either evolve a healthy sense of fear or they become extinct. Pushing the envelope a little further I wonder where the source of that fear would be? But we also have this thing called hope. Animals have hope. Take a look at your dog as you eat a hamburger and you can see him licking his chops and stare. Well, can't say with absolute certainty that it is hope in that dog's eyes, but it is very convincing, which is why I brought it up. The two seem to me to be closely connected in the context of this conversation.

So in effect what I am saying here is that perhaps our rooted fears play with our hopes and produce all sorts of creativity. Some create music, some literature, some sculpt... and some create the UFO. In all this there is a need for them that is being satisfied with the UFO belief. Like religion, it is their choice, whether we think it is right or wrong.

I can't believe how close this sounds like I am backing up the UFO enthusiasts. I assure you I am not. I am merely trying to understand.

JayUtah
2010-Oct-22, 06:28 PM
...

Yeah, I did drop the ball on that one, didn't I. What I meant is that the human mind perceives it's own version of truth.

That's what I thought you meant, but I wanted to make sure.

In my investigative activities I have to respect both definitions. Yes, there is an objective truth out there hoping to be discovered. But people think and act based on their perception, which to them has the value of truth.

But the brain is both a flawed wondrous tool.

Both as an investigator and as an engineer I need to pay close attention to our emerging "user's manual" for the human brain. Knowing how people think and act helps us determine whether human behavior contributed to some failure. And on the positive side of that, it helps us design machines that interact better with the weird ways in which we know the brain operates.

All animals either evolve a healthy sense of fear or they become extinct. Pushing the envelope a little further I wonder where the source of that fear would be?

It's the notion that the rustling in the bushes may either be a bunny rabbit or a velociraptor. Running from a bunny seems silly, but keeps you alive. Failing to run from a velociraptor means you get eaten. Michael Shermer believes conspiracism and paranoia may be genetic holdovers from this survival trait.

But we also have this thing called hope.

Irving Biederman has found evidence that UFO hysteria and conspiracism may have deeper neurological roots, and actually more tangible payoffs than just abstract hope. He argues that we experience neurologically measurable pleasure when we conceive of things like deeply-held earth-shattering secrets. This is what he argues compels UFO believers to continue theorizing about massive government coverups and wide-scale alien visitation.

Rowen
2010-Oct-23, 05:46 AM
@JayUtah:
It just seems to me that UFOlogy is more like a religion now. The references you provided reinforce that suspicion. Both religion and UFOs are borne out of deeply rooted fear and need. Followers of both seem to need something in their lives to grasp onto, as if as an anchor. Both hold onto their respective beliefs for dear life and logic is not relevant, but faith is. How often have we all heard both insist that we need to have an "open mind". Every time I hear those two words warnings start sounding in my head. So, maybe there is something to that. I saw a documentary some years back that discussed alien visitation claims of today compared to demon visitations of centuries ago. The premise was that EM interference from the Earth's magnetic field causes the phenomenon of both UFO abductions and demon visitations. They placed a subject in a shielded room, and subjected him to a series of EM waves of differing kinds until they produced exactly the same feeling in the subject as those claims detailed. After, the subject was amazed just how real it all felt, including hallucination. I can see there being similar forces at play with the claim that nuclear missiles were disabled by aliens. My point is, for some it may not even be their fault. They saw what they saw.

R.A.F.
2010-Oct-23, 04:17 PM
I would find it amusing if such a landing did occur, what would happen if the aliens stated that this is the first time they visited our planet and that no other aliens have visited here before. Would UFOlogy groups cry conspiracy and accuse the aliens of lying?

If there ever is first contact this scenario is exactly how I imagine it will play out....and perhaps the aliens will be lying. I know I'd be embarrassed trying to explain the apparent irrational actions of a "supposed" advanced civilization. :)

Rowen
2010-Oct-23, 04:20 PM
Perhaps a portion of UFOlogers would take the xenophobic stance and accuse the aliens of lying anyway, demanding that they leave and never come back.

R.A.F.
2010-Oct-23, 04:27 PM
I was of course "kidding" a bit at the end of my last post....if the aliens stated that this was their first visit, it would instantly make all the alien UFO proponents look very foolish.

slang
2010-Oct-23, 11:56 PM
Of course not, RAF. It would only mean that all the other aliens could not be detected by the "outed" aliens either. So they must be even more advanced. ;)

I've been wondering what the significance is of the National Press Club (NPC) in this matter. I had a quick look at their site, and it seems to me they would even invited Bozo The Clown if, for some reason, he made the news in a significant way. Why did this even hit the international news? Because the NPC likes to see itself exposed, publicity 'n all that?

Rowen
2010-Oct-24, 12:10 AM
This is something that still perplexes me a little. The belief that any exposure is always good, even the bad exposure.

What makes international news carrying this more of a shock than NPC? As far as I've seen over the decades is all news agencies being untrustworthy as sources. The credibility of news agencies big and small has been slipping steadily. Heck, the Gleise 581 g story about 100% chance of life spread like a plague, and it became obvious that they cared more about selling the news than how wrong the public would take the story. This is no different.

pepiboy32
2010-Oct-24, 04:10 PM
i think that when unknown craft appear at military sites and begin to interfere with nuclear missiles, then the most likely explanation is that we are dealing with an advanced civilisation.
people can try and discredit the witnesses as much as they like, but the weight of evidence is overwhelming. can anyone suggest a more LIKELY explanation?

Rowen
2010-Oct-24, 04:59 PM
i think that when unknown craft appear at military sites and begin to interfere with nuclear missiles, then the most likely explanation is that we are dealing with an advanced civilisation.
people can try and discredit the witnesses as much as they like, but the weight of evidence is overwhelming. can anyone suggest a more LIKELY explanation?

Because you specifically asked for an Occam's Razor argument:

Scenario 1 - Nuclear missile malfunction at the same time that test aircraft fly overhead (aka coincidence). Simple rules of probability come into play.
Scenario 2 - Same as above, except that there's no test aircraft and one eyewitness claims to have seen 3 red lights and says something to the tune of "Oh my god, did you see those three red lights?!". His/her friend(s) don't actually see them, but because it is their friend they agree that they saw them too. After that they can no longer go back on their support for fear of insulting their friend and/or colleague. Rumour spreads like it always does and others take up the story of seeing three red lights and simple peer pressure takes over after that. Tada! Overwhelming eyewitnesses evidence!

Evidence never lies, but can be both misunderstood and completely fabricated by people. I experienced fabricated testimony before many, many times.

Garrison
2010-Oct-24, 05:07 PM
i think that when unknown craft appear at military sites and begin to interfere with nuclear missiles, then the most likely explanation is that we are dealing with an advanced civilisation.
people can try and discredit the witnesses as much as they like, but the weight of evidence is overwhelming. can anyone suggest a more LIKELY explanation?

Sorry but what evidence are we talking about? All we seem to have is a story told by a couple of people who are shaky on the details, in what way is that overwhelming? Or do you have documents, pictures, film, radar reports that corroborate the accounts?

Kinetic
2010-Oct-24, 05:17 PM
i think that when unknown craft appear at military sites and begin to interfere with nuclear missiles, then the most likely explanation is that we are dealing with an advanced civilisation.

Yes, ours. If such a thing ever happened.


people can try and discredit the witnesses as much as they like, but the weight of evidence is overwhelming. can anyone suggest a more LIKELY explanation?

Underwhelming more like. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The testimony of a few people whose stories do not match hardly fall into that category.

Rowen
2010-Oct-24, 05:38 PM
I would like to use a recent example of how powerful an idea, no matter how silly, can be to the larger group simply by suggesting it. Gleise 581 g. Simply saying there was a 100% chance of life there, even as personal opinion, was powerful enough to convince a whole lot of people that there really was life there, even a civilization. Conversations spread to how soon we can get a spaceship there and even crazy assumptions that Gleise 581 g was planet Reach from Halo or Pandora from Avatar. The human mind has a beautiful capacity for imagination. This capability helps us achieve great things. But it also helps us get things so totally and completely wrong.

Strange
2010-Oct-24, 06:01 PM
i think that when unknown craft appear at military sites and begin to interfere with nuclear missiles, then the most likely explanation is that we are dealing with an advanced civilisation.
people can try and discredit the witnesses as much as they like, but the weight of evidence is overwhelming. can anyone suggest a more LIKELY explanation?

What about the greater number of witnesses who say nothing happened? You can try and discredit them as much as you like but the weight of evidence is overwhelming ... nothing happened.

Luckmeister
2010-Oct-24, 06:41 PM
can anyone suggest a more LIKELY explanation?

It's easy to come up with a number of earthly explanations, all of which are more LIKELY than alien visitation. Please take the blinders off and think about it.

Selenite
2010-Oct-24, 07:40 PM
i think that when unknown craft appear at military sites and begin to interfere with nuclear missiles, then the most likely explanation is that we are dealing with an advanced civilisation.
people can try and discredit the witnesses as much as they like, but the weight of evidence is overwhelming. can anyone suggest a more LIKELY explanation?

Well, we had the recent incident of a computer virus interfering with the Iranian nuclear weapons program. It's been attributed to human beings. Yet, you never hear UFO proponents suggesting that aliens are responsible for that sort of sabotage, although it would be far more subtle then obviously floating a ship over a silo. Could it be that when unknown craft appear at military sites that we are dealing with fellow human beings? Wouldn't be the first time.

eburacum45
2010-Oct-24, 08:41 PM
Could it be that when unknown craft appear at military sites that we are dealing with fellow human beings? Wouldn't be the first time.
I'm not convinced any craft, known or unknown, were involved. So far I haven't seen a first hand account of such a sighting which cannot be explained by anything other than an actual craft. Do you have any particular example in mind?

JayUtah
2010-Oct-25, 05:13 AM
...

It just seems to me that UFOlogy is more like a religion now.

I agree entirely, for the reasons you cited and more. We probably can't go into great detail on that point without running afoul of the rules against discussion of religion. But I've noted those parallels for years.

How often have we all heard both insist that we need to have an "open mind".

Right; when said like that, it's a plea for a suspension of disbelief -- often when the disbelief is entirely justified.

Turning the tables is fair game: "Are you open-minded enough to consider that what you really saw was just a flock of seagulls?" The whole UFO phenomenon, in my judgment, is just an elaborate exercise for closing one's mind to the richly varied experience of the real world.

In the larger scope this suspension of disbelief and appeal for "open-mindedness" alludes to the basic premise of many pseudosciences: that their practitioners are inherently more attuned to the vibrations of the universe, or some such hogwash. This supposedly enables them to heal intuitively, to "see" principles of physics that their mainstream compadres cannot, and to commune spiritually with all life terrestrial and alien. This stands in contrast to panicky "sheeple," evil-overlord government officials, and bumbling mainstream scientists who must use crude education and experimentation to make headway.

They placed a subject in a shielded room, and subjected him to a series of EM waves of differing kinds until they produced exactly the same feeling in the subject as those claims detailed.

I saw the same program. I recall that the field strengths in question were significantly greater than any you'd encounter in nature, but the qualitative result is encouraging. The notion that there are ways to induce UFO and abduction scenarios deterministically as vivid and lucid hallucinations means the typical "what else could it be?" indirect argument really has no teeth.

I can see there being similar forces at play with the claim that nuclear missiles were disabled by aliens.

Granted, but I don't think that's what's happening with the Bobs. In my opinion their behavior is more congruent with coolly calculating charlatans than with genuinely mistaken or confused witnesses.

JayUtah
2010-Oct-25, 05:23 AM
...

i think that when unknown craft appear...

No evidence that any such thing occurred. According to the Bobs, other people (whom they've been unable to find and who have not come forward) saw lights -- not craft.

...and begin to interfere with nuclear missiles

No evidence that any such thing occurred. The cause of the missile failure was determined and corrected. It had nothing to do with outside interference. The Bobs simply ignore this fact and hope you won't find out about it.

...the most likely explanation is that we are dealing with an advanced civilisation.

And if there were prima facie evidence of that cause, you could begin to make an argument for it. I can make exactly the same argument in favor of invisible elves. You keep falling into the classic UFO-believer trap of indirect argumentation. It does not and never will establish some particular declarative proposition.

people can try and discredit the witnesses as much as they like, but the weight of evidence is overwhelming.

Yes, the weight of evidence is overwhelmingly against the one witness -- including the testimony of other witnesses. You're simply cherry-picking what story you want to be true and ignoring the preponderance of evidence.

can anyone suggest a more LIKELY explanation?

Yes, the one suggested by the documentary and the preponderance of eyewitness evidence. The missiles were taken offline by the effects of an electrical fault in the shared test bus. Subsequently one person tried to spin the events into a profitable UFO story, including concocting the story of UFO sightings at the guardhouse.

JayUtah
2010-Oct-25, 05:27 AM
Perhaps a portion of UFOlogers would take the xenophobic stance and accuse the aliens of lying anyway, demanding that they leave and never come back.

Actually the root of UFO belief is suspicion in the behavior of government and other authority. So what likely will happen is that the UFO believers will accuse the U.S. government of fabricating or staging all the "false" UFO sightings in order to discredit UFO believers, and thus to keep knowledge of the One True Race™ of aliens secret.

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 12:37 PM
Actually the root of UFO belief is suspicion in the behavior of government and other authority. So what likely will happen is that the UFO believers will accuse the U.S. government of fabricating or staging all the "false" UFO sightings in order to discredit UFO believers, and thus to keep knowledge of the One True Race™ of aliens secret.

lol. I stand corrected.

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 08:43 PM
Yes, ours. If such a thing ever happened.



Underwhelming more like. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The testimony of a few people whose stories do not match hardly fall into that category.

Any claim requires evidence.

Any claim that goes against current scientific dogma, needs a greater weight of evidence.

Evidence is just evidence, theres nothing extraordinary about it, either its evidence or not.

And also Sagans quote is logically flawed, as a claim against current dogma does not need anymore evidence than has already been submitted.
Sagans quote does not allow for current dogma to be made redundant by another unconnected discovery, leaving what Sagan calls an extraordinary claim the only current solution, so as you see when you regurgitate his rubbish without any critical examination, you just inadvertently advertise your mindset.

Sagan was talking marijuana induced utter garbbage, La Place was far more insightful.

Strange
2010-Oct-25, 08:52 PM
Any claim requires evidence.

Any claim that goes against current scientific dogma, needs a greater weight of evidence.

Evidence is just evidence, theres nothing extraordinary about it, either its evidence or not.

And also Sagans quote is logically flawed, as a claim against current dogma does not need anymore evidence than has already been submitted.
Sagans quote does not allow for current dogma to be made redundant by another unconnected discovery, leaving what Sagan calls an extraordinary claim the only current solution, so as you see when you regurgitate his rubbish without any critical examination, you just inadvertently advertise your mindset.

Sagan was talking marijuana induced utter garbbage, La Place was far more insightful.

And your point is? (In terms of the topic of the thread.)

It seems to me that no evidence is still no evidence.

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 08:55 PM
Any claim requires evidence.

Any claim that goes against current scientific dogma, needs a greater weight of evidence.

Evidence is just evidence, theres nothing extraordinary about it, either its evidence or not.

And also Sagans quote is logically flawed, as a claim against current dogma does not need anymore evidence than has already been submitted.
Sagans quote does not allow for current dogma to be made redundant by another unconnected discovery, leaving what Sagan calls an extraordinary claim the only current solution, so as you see when you regurgitate his rubbish without any critical examination, you just inadvertently advertise your mindset.

Sagan was talking marijuana enhanced garbbage, La Place was far more insightful.

I disagree completely. Let's say that I claim that all objects on Earth fall with an acceleration of 9.81 m/s^2. This is not really that extraordinary of a claim because we can test that easily and ordinary evidence can either confirm or deny it. But if I say that a rock on Earth falls and creates invisible ferries on the way down, then that is an extraordinary claim and, thus, extraordinary evidence is needed.

If 4 nuclear missiles lose power and I say, "Sir, 4 nuclear missiles have just lost power", that is not an extraordinary claim and ordinary evidence is all that is needed. However, if I say, "Sir, 4 nuclear missiles have just lost power at the same time 3 alien ships hovered over them" then by garr, I'd had better have some pretty extraordinary evidence.

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 08:57 PM
Yes semantics is all anyone can answer with, when they see how illogical his statement was.

Garrison
2010-Oct-25, 08:57 PM
Any claim requires evidence.

Any claim that goes against current scientific dogma, needs a greater weight of evidence.

Evidence is just evidence, theres nothing extraordinary about it, either its evidence or not.



Any claim that seeks to overturn the current status quo must supply compelling reason to do so, the evidence must be extraordinary in the sense that is compelling and cannot be explained within the existing framework. Simply piling up unsubstantiated eyewitness testimonies or blurry pictures of lights in the sky is not extraordinary evidence for alien visitation and it never will be.

Garrison
2010-Oct-25, 09:00 PM
Yes semantics is all anyone can answer with, when they see how illogical his statement was.

And slurs appear to be all you can offer in place of evidence. if you have something tangible to offer to support the alien hypothesis then please present it but don't expect anyone to be swayed by another round of 'take my word for it' testimony.

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 09:02 PM
Any claim that seeks to overturn the current status quo must supply compelling reason to do so, the evidence must be extraordinary in the sense that is compelling and cannot be explained within the existing framework. Simply piling up unsubstantiated eyewitness testimonies or blurry pictures of lights in the sky is not extraordinary evidence for alien visitation and it never will be.

And also Sagans quote is logically flawed, as a claim against current dogma does not need anymore evidence than has already been submitted.
Sagans quote does not allow for current dogma to be made redundant by another unconnected discovery, leaving what Sagan calls an extraordinary claim the only current solution, so as you see when you regurgitate his rubbish without any critical examination, you just inadvertently advertise your mindset.


The bolded above is the part of my quote you left out, otherwise your reply has no absolutely no merit, as you knew when omitting it from the quote..

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 09:04 PM
And slurs appear to be all you can offer in place of evidence. if you have something tangible to offer to support the alien hypothesis then please present it but don't expect anyone to be swayed by another round of 'take my word for it' testimony.


No logical refutation, so str8 in with the insults, well done,

Strange
2010-Oct-25, 09:06 PM
Yes semantics is all anyone can answer with, when they see how illogical his statement was.

Huh? Could you explain what "semantics" means?

And does this mean there were aliens involved or not?

Garrison
2010-Oct-25, 09:07 PM
And also Sagans quote is logically flawed, as a claim against current dogma does not need anymore evidence than has already been submitted.
Sagans quote does not allow for current dogma to be made redundant by another unconnected discovery, leaving what Sagan calls an extraordinary claim the only current solution, so as you see when you regurgitate his rubbish without any critical examination, you just inadvertently advertise your mindset.


The bolded above is the part of my quote you edited out, otherwise your reply has no absolutely no merit, as you knew when editing the quote..

I chose to cut out what I saw as a redundant and rude part of your post, if you think I did anything wrong by doing so click the black triangle.

Garrison
2010-Oct-25, 09:12 PM
No logical refutation, so str8 in with the insults, well done,

You posted a slur about Dr. Sagan, and I asked you for evidence, where's the insult? But again if you believe I've broken the rules you know what to do.

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 09:18 PM
Yes semantics is all anyone can answer with, when they see how illogical his statement was.

Definition: slur verb, a disparaging remark or a slight
What was quoted above could be taken as a disparaging remark or a slight.


And slurs appear to be all you can offer in place of evidence. if you have something tangible to offer to support the alien hypothesis then please present it but don't expect anyone to be swayed by another round of 'take my word for it' testimony.

This was indicating your disparaging remark or a slight. If that was insult then...


No logical refutation, so str8 in with the insults, well done,

Is also an insult.

Insulting is never a good thing. But responding to a perceived insult with an insult is not good either.

The point being, he didn't insult.

Definition semantics noun, the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.

Semantics is important here, FYI.

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 09:21 PM
No slur, sagan was a self confessed pot-head, do you really want the proof posted for all to see.
Garbage has more use than sagans quote in real life, it can be recycled, sagans quote will always be illogical garbage as stated.

La Place was the closest, even his version was logically flawed for the same reason sagans was.

Refute that instead of mud slinging and semantics.

PetersCreek
2010-Oct-25, 09:21 PM
Enough. If you encounter rudeness, insults, or slurs, report the post(s) and leave it at that. Do not continue to argue them in-thread. If this off topic bickering continues on either side, infractions will follow.

Strange
2010-Oct-25, 09:23 PM
La Place was the closest, even his version was logically flawed for the same reason sagans was.

Can you clarify what, exactly, of La Place's work you are referring to. It is not very clear.

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 09:24 PM
No slur, sagan was a self confessed pot-head, do you really want the proof posted for all to see.
Garbage has more use than sagans quote in teal life, it can be recycled, sagans quote will always be illogical garbage as stated.

La Place was the closest, even his version was logically flawed for the same reason sagans was.

I do not see how Dr. Sagan's alleged use of marijuana has any bearing on the validity of his quote about extraordinary evidence. Please explain.

LaurelHS
2010-Oct-25, 09:26 PM
Teal life, eh?

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 09:26 PM
Can you clarify what, exactly, of La Place's work you are referring to. It is not very clear.

The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 09:27 PM
Teal life, eh?

Better than a gray life.

LaurelHS
2010-Oct-25, 09:28 PM
Sorry about that. It was silly.

Strange
2010-Oct-25, 09:30 PM
Evidence is just evidence, theres nothing extraordinary about it, either its evidence or not.

But if that evidence proves something [currently thought of as] extraordinary, would the evidence be considered extraordinary, almost by definition?


Sagans quote does not allow for current dogma to be made redundant by another unconnected discovery, leaving what Sagan calls an extraordinary claim the only current solution

But then the new (unocnnected) discovery would also be counted extraordinary. As was the case with, say, relativity.

But the extraordinary rapidly become ordinary.

Garrison
2010-Oct-25, 09:30 PM
The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.

In which case do you believe the evidence for some UFO sightings being alien visitations(or some other exotic phenomena if you wish) meets that definition?

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 09:31 PM
The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.
Definition extraordinary adjective, beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established
Definition strange adjective, unusual, extraordinary, or curious; odd; queer

So, if we take the definitions and look at them they mean the same thing. They are synonyms. Thus Dr. Sagan's quote is simply an updated version of Laplace's

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 09:32 PM
Sorry about that. It was silly.

Lol. no need to be I was playing with it. tension needs to be eased anyway.

Strange
2010-Oct-25, 09:32 PM
The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.

Given that it is a translation, it doesn't sound very different from Sagan's version. Sounds like he was paraphrasing Laplace.

PetersCreek
2010-Oct-25, 09:33 PM
Once again, this meta-discussion is off topic. If any of you want to argue Dr. Sagan's quote, take it to a new thread. You can even request a split of posts from this one. But I've already assessed one infraction since posting my warning above. I'd rather not award more.

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 09:33 PM
Given that it is a translation, it doesn't sound very different from Sagan's version. Sounds like he was paraphrasing Laplace.

Haa! Beat you to it. :P

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 09:34 PM
But if that evidence proves something [currently thought of as] extraordinary, would the evidence be considered extraordinary, almost by definition?



But then the new (unocnnected) discovery would also be counted extraordinary. As was the case with, say, relativity.

But the extraordinary rapidly become ordinary.

Almost by definition just doesn't fix the logical flaw as previously stated and re quoted.

And what particular definition of extraordinary, you find extraordinary about a claim others will most certainly not do so.

Its semantic illogical garbage.

Rowen
2010-Oct-25, 09:37 PM
Anyway, my point stands. If you claim that boiling rocks in iodine raises the dead, you better have some pretty amazing evidence to back that up. Ex-military personnel claiming that UFO's were responsible for nuclear missile malfunction is a pretty amazing claim and all they have is eyewitness accounts which cannot hold up in any logical consideration.

Strange
2010-Oct-25, 09:38 PM
...

OK. So what do you have to say about the topic of this thread: are you saying aliens were involved, not involved, more evidence is needed, we have enough evidence?

captain swoop
2010-Oct-25, 10:05 PM
Keep to the Op please, there have been 2 warnings posted already. Next time it's infractions

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 10:25 PM
I would find it a captivating experience being in the company of anyone one of you, and these people involved in this below in the link, as you try and handwave their alleged experiences away..

It even fits jay whindleys criteria of sonic boom.


In the Australian incident, a number of people at Marlinja, population 112 and 730km south of Darwin, have described how they saw flashing red lights and a huge boom shatter the still of the outback night last Sunday.

"The ground felt like it was shaking, so we ran inside and shut the doors."

Ms Dixon said the UFO hovered above the homes for what seemed like a couple of hours.

"Then the light in the house became so bright, it was like we were sitting in a football stadium," she said.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/ufos-invade-australia-uk/story-e6freuy9-1111116752158


in link above about multiple guard eye witness and mobile phone footage from military base.


The ministry of defense have the police helicopter footage, the radar records and the mobile phone footage.

so far refused to comment, funny stuff.
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0625/ufo.html

JayUtah
2010-Oct-25, 10:37 PM
...

...as you try and handwave their alleged experiences away.

Much as I'm sure I'd enjoy your argument proving that these were aliens and not Nargles.

It even fits jay whindleys criteria of sonic boom.

Nope. First, the experience they describe would not warrant a sonic boom because they don't describe motion that would result in one. In fact, the witnesses claim the objects hovered. Second, a sonic boom is a singular event, not a sound that gets louder and louder.

As with most UFO accounts, all we have are stories. In two hours of noise and light, no one thought or had the means to record any of this to prove their claims or for later analysis? No photographs? No videos? No audio recordings?

JayUtah
2010-Oct-25, 10:48 PM
in link above about multiple guard eye witness and mobile phone footage from military base.

No, your article refers to several unrelated incidents. There is no corroborating evidence for the story from Australia.

In the video I saw, the "flickering" UFO was clearly being caused by the pixelation attendant to the poor digital zoom of the phone. That's a typical stunt for The Sun to pull; they're not a very reliable reporter of fact, especially where UFOs are concerned.

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 10:49 PM
Jay Utah.

Sorry i used your proper name, its the only one i could remember, even then i wasn't sure i spelt it right.

Never claimed there was anything other than their alledged experience.
The soldiers incident is corroborated by radar and police helicopter footage, aswell as mobile phone footage,and ofcourse those multiple pesky military eye witnesses.

JayUtah
2010-Oct-25, 10:51 PM
You spelled it wrong, but I took no offense. I don't mind people using my proper name here; I retain my user ID here for historical reasons -- it was the one I first used when the Bad Astronomy forum was first set up. It has more of a reputation than I do.

Garrison
2010-Oct-25, 10:52 PM
in link above about multiple guard eye witness and mobile phone footage from military base.


The ministry of defense have the police helicopter footage, the radar records and the mobile phone footage.

so far refused to comment, funny stuff.
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0625/ufo.html

Well in this case possibly because an explanation was offered up by an independent party a couple of weeks later? And coincidentally it was being discussed in the CT forum earlier this evening:

Chinese Lanterns (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7474160.stm)

manxman
2010-Oct-25, 11:22 PM
Then the phone footage / Polic helicopter footage / radar records , will show Chinese lanterns and the eye-witnesses were mistaken.

You know more about this story than i, and i cant be bothered to check the wind direction etc, i just dont care enough.
So where can we view or check these minor details.
Or are the ministry of defense still hanging on to them for safe keeping.

JayUtah
2010-Oct-26, 02:30 AM
You know more about this story than i, and i cant be bothered to check the wind direction etc, i just dont care enough.

So a minute ago you were ripe to accuse everyone else of handwaving. Now you're handwaving.

Tedward
2010-Oct-26, 07:35 AM
Re military link. I live in South Wales and missed them (again, I always miss them even when I am star gazing) but the report seems to indicate Shropshire is close to us or part of us, which it is not. The report seems to have got its events n a muddle as well as geography?

And I see Mr Pope gets a mention.

Tedward
2010-Oct-26, 07:49 AM
so far refused to comment, funny stuff.


Snipped for this. Many departments including the military refuse to comment on many many press stories. It happens almost every news day that I listen to. Something happens, department refuses to comment. I think this is more to do with they have not looked at what is being asked and do not want to to live with a comment that will come back to bite them. Now I know you will seize on this but I think it pervades across the board in the various departments and even companies not associated with government. Pervades as in it becomes the norm whatever the request and in this, case unless the clamour becomes too much, it will get the short shrift it deserves.

captain swoop
2010-Oct-26, 08:39 AM
The ministry of defense have the police helicopter footage, the radar records and the mobile phone footage.

Funny how any evidence like pictures and video that is supposed to be conclusive gets spirited away.

gzhpcu
2010-Oct-26, 10:46 AM
Consider: Ever since the Arnold sighting in 1947, people have been talking about "flying saucers". Here we are in 2010, and still no one single sighting with "smoking gun" evidence. What does that tell you?

Tedward
2010-Oct-26, 10:59 AM
Aliens don't smoke guns?


sorry, I'll get me coat.

astrophotographer
2010-Oct-26, 01:43 PM
The ministry of defense have the police helicopter footage, the radar records and the mobile phone footage.

so far refused to comment, funny stuff.
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0625/ufo.html

What are they supposed to say? The military usually does not comment without some sort of hard evidence. If they say something wrong, they have to correct it. If they simply say "no comment", they don't have to issue any correction. If they discover what caused a sighting (as in the case of the 1997 Az videos -10PM flares), they can then state what it was (it took 4 months to discover the cause in that case). This is not rocket science. To imply a conspiracy because the military does not comment is just wild speculation and unscientific.

Strange
2010-Oct-26, 01:47 PM
The ministry of defense have the police helicopter footage, the radar records and the mobile phone footage.

Presumably they only have a copy of the mobile phone footage. I wonder if a copy is available anywhere...

eburacum45
2010-Oct-26, 01:49 PM
It didn't take long for the BBC to find the party responsible for the Chinese lanterns filmed by that squaddie in Shropshire. But some explanations take longer to find; some explanations are never found. Does that mean that the few remaining unexplainable cases prove the extraterrestrial hypothesis? Not at all; they are just unexplainable given the available data. Like Jack the Rip.per, some cases will remain unexplained forever.

eburacum45
2010-Oct-26, 01:52 PM
Presumably they only have a copy of the mobile phone footage. I wonder if a copy is available anywhere...
The squaddie's phone footage is available here
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1336870.ece

Strange
2010-Oct-26, 02:36 PM
The squaddie's phone footage is available here
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1336870.ece

Ah, good. So not "spirited away" then :)

NEOWatcher
2010-Oct-26, 04:37 PM
...Like Jack the Rip.per, some cases will remain unexplained forever.
So; he's an alien?

Tedward
2010-Oct-26, 04:54 PM
Ah. Did not look at the Sun link. So the Sun got the Geography right and the other one did not. Looking at that spirited away vid, plane?

eburacum45
2010-Oct-26, 06:16 PM
So; he's an alien?According to Star Trek, he was:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_in_the_Fold

tnjrp
2010-Oct-27, 06:03 AM
According to Babylon 5, he was spirited away by the aliens.

Which documentary do you want to believe? :shifty:

Eric12407
2010-Oct-27, 07:43 AM
Consider: Ever since the Arnold sighting in 1947, people have been talking about "flying saucers". Here we are in 2010, and still no one single sighting with "smoking gun" evidence. What does that tell you?

It tells me your consciousness for whatever reason will not accept an expanded paradigm of reality ... for there is ample evidence of many things flying around our planet that need scientific scrutiny.

It is this type of attitude that hinders the progress of humanity .... hinders, but does not stop it ... for we all must and will change ..

tnjrp
2010-Oct-27, 08:05 AM
It tells me your consciousness for whatever reason will not accept an expanded paradigm of reality ... for there is ample evidence of many things flying around our planet that need scientific scrutinySo in fact you do agree with gzhpcu that there, as of yet, is no "smoking gun" evidence for whatever it is that the explanation for these phenomena is under your "expanded paradigm of reality"?


It is this type of attitude that hinders the progress of humanity .... hinders, but does not stop it ... for we all must and will change ..Just as long as we agree that "making **** up" isn't progress tho.

AdamL
2010-Oct-27, 11:34 AM
...if the aliens stated that this was their first visit, it would instantly make all the alien UFO proponents look very foolish.
How soothing it must be to live in your world! One that is not disturbed by such nuisances as logic and reason!
Obviously, if one alien race told us on their first visit they had never been to Earth before, it follows "instantly" that no other alien race could have possibly been here before.
Jolly good, R.A.F. Jolly good!

AdamL
2010-Oct-27, 11:36 AM
It tells me your consciousness for whatever reason will not accept an expanded paradigm of reality ... for there is ample evidence of many things flying around our planet that need scientific scrutiny.

It is this type of attitude that hinders the progress of humanity .... hinders, but does not stop it ... for we all must and will change ..

I agree with you 100% !
The thing is, though, that the vast majority of the BAUT collective are not distracted by logical thinking or let alone an open mind when it comes to anything beyond their little pouch of "mainstream" beliefs.
They have their fixed little world views to which they are religiously committed.
That is not going to change. You cannot argue with religious believers. Don't waste your keystrokes, Eric12407!

They hand you generalizations like witnesses are inherently not trustworthy.
And they don't get tired citing Occam's razor, as if it was some scientific law or even a logical principle. Of course, it is neither! It is nothing but a (reasonable) recommendation.
Wikipedia correctly states "In the scientific method, Occam's razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic, and certainly not a scientific result."
Even if there is a possible simple explanation, it does not mean that a more complicated one can be ruled out without looking at the evidence.

But I am starting to argue. Arguing with the BAUT collective is futile. Many here don't know the first thing about scientific honesty.
Again: Don't waste your keystrokes, Eric12407!

NEOWatcher
2010-Oct-27, 12:03 PM
Please explain to me how to research these sightings.
I don't think anyone says that the witnesses are not trustworthy. The only comments are that their statements do not match what we do know or what we are able to research.
We are left with someone saying "I saw something". What trail of information can you follow from that?

The way I see it is "Ok; you saw something. Now what?"

AdamL
2010-Oct-27, 12:28 PM
Please explain to me how to research these sightings.
I don't think anyone says that the witnesses are not trustworthy. The only comments are that their statements do not match what we do know or what we are able to research.
We are left with someone saying "I saw something". What trail of information can you follow from that?

The way I see it is "Ok; you saw something. Now what?"

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all-approach.
Be reasonable. Be neutral. Be scientific, i.e. be agnostic (as in not knowing) and don't approach it with your mind already made up.
Multiple witnesses seeing a clearly defined object in close proximity (there are many such cases) have a different weight than a single witness seeing some light in the sky.

Thousands of people reporting virtually identical abduction incidents cannot all be explained by some magnetically induced brainwave anomaly. That is just ludicrous and has nothing to with science.
Their suffering is real. Even die-hard (pseudo-)skeptics acknowledge that. How likely is the "explanation" that they are ALL delusional or magnetically induced brainwave anomalies?
Whatever the explanation may be (I am not necessarily saying that they MUST be real alien abductions), don't be ludicrous and accept the "experiments" from some idiot who places huge magnetic helmets on some people's heads who then - sometimes! - feel a vague and indistinct "presence in the room" as evidence for very clear and precise abduction reports. This just as an example how not to do it.

AdamL
2010-Oct-27, 12:33 PM
I shall be banned soon. Check out the movie "John Mack - Experiencers (2004)".
Available for sure on usenet and possibly on youtube.

Swift
2010-Oct-27, 12:46 PM
How soothing it must be to live in your world! One that is not disturbed by such nuisances as logic and reason!
Obviously, if one alien race told us on their first visit they had never been to Earth before, it follows "instantly" that no other alien race could have possibly been here before.
Jolly good, R.A.F. Jolly good!

I shall be banned soon. Check out the movie "John Mack - Experiencers (2004)".
Available for sure on usenet and possibly on youtube.
Guess what AdamL... I'm not going to ban you, or even infract you, just to prove you wrong.

But if you make any further statements saying another member is without logic and reason, you will get your wish.

Now, if you wish to have an logical, polite discussion of this topic, then demonstrate your logic.

Swift
2010-Oct-27, 12:49 PM
By the way, this thread is getting completely off the topic of the OP. We don't need a generic UFO/ET thread. If you have posts relevent to the OP, post them. If you have other thoughts about UFOs, take them to a new thread.

manxman
2010-Oct-27, 12:53 PM
Aye thats how people who cannot be bullied and insulted into submission around here are treated adam, respond ib kind and you will be infracted of the boards.

These forums are not really about education in its purest form, only re-education to the baut collective mind, a collective mind controlled by so few.

these people use any method to discredit, and smear, without ever having to back up their refutations and complete handwaves, it amazes me why any rational thinking person would even want to try and discuss anything here in a serous manner, when the rules here are so blatantly biased and so biasedly applied to those who go against the baut collective.

Swift
2010-Oct-27, 12:57 PM
Aye thats how people who cannot be bullied and insulted into submission around here are treated adam, respond ib kind and you will be infracted of the boards.

These forums are not really about education in its purest form, only re-education to the baut collective mind, a collective mind controlled by so few.

these people use any method to discredit, and smear, without ever having to back up their refutations and complete handwaves, it amazes me why any rational thinking person would even want to try and discuss anything here in a serous manner, when the rules here are so blatantly biased and so biasedly applied to those who go against the baut collective.
If this place is so terrible, well, its a big Internet, with plenty of room for everyone.

Our rules are clearly stated, if you do not wish to follow them, that is your decision.

One of our rules is that you should not debate moderation in-thread - You either report the post, send a PM, or start a thread in Feedback. If you break this rule again, you will be infracted.

astrophotographer
2010-Oct-27, 01:37 PM
Multiple witnesses seeing a clearly defined object in close proximity (there are many such cases) have a different weight than a single witness seeing some light in the sky.

Pick your best one, create a topic on it (so as not to derail this one), present the "evidence" and then we can discuss it like rational people. You are the one claiming that these events exist so if you do not present the case, it demonstrates you may have your doubts about its reliability.

R.A.F.
2010-Oct-27, 02:52 PM
Obviously, if one alien race told us on their first visit they had never been to Earth before, it follows "instantly" that no other alien race could have possibly been here before.
Jolly good, R.A.F. Jolly good!

Yeah..that should have been stated differently...such as..."If we had first contact and the aliens told us that they were the first visitors to this planet..." (and of course if they are to be believed.:))

Does that make it clearer??

slang
2010-Oct-27, 03:40 PM
Yeah..that should have been stated differently... [...]

And of course, originally, it was, from just a few pages back. But if one considers posting here a waste of keystrokes, then most likely actually reading what is posted is probably also considered a waste of precious rods and cones. There's scientific honesty for yah. *shrug*


I would find it amusing if such a landing did occur, what would happen if the aliens stated that this is the first time they visited our planet and that no other aliens have visited here before. Would UFOlogy groups cry conspiracy and accuse the aliens of lying?

JayUtah
2010-Oct-27, 05:13 PM
...

Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all-approach.

Marginally true, nevertheless there is a framework of proven techniques for investigating happenstance occurrences with the aim of discovering the likely causes. We use those techniques in forensic investigation. UFO research rarely follows them.

Be reasonable.

What exactly do you mean by this?

Be neutral.

What exactly do you mean by this? It can mean many things in the context of investigation, not all of which are appropriate to investigative methodology.

Be scientific, i.e. be agnostic (as in not knowing) and don't approach it with your mind already made up.

Well you're already in contradiction. The hypothetico-deductive process of scientific reasoning requires a null hypothesis. This is not a "mind made up," but it is a default hypothesis that is considered to hold presumptively unless the tested hypothesis is shown to hold.

Multiple witnesses seeing a clearly defined object in close proximity (there are many such cases)...

Such as?

Thousands of people reporting virtually identical abduction incidents cannot all be explained by some magnetically induced brainwave anomaly.

In the context of UFO argumentation, it most certainly can. UFO propositions are always indirect: "It must be aliens because we've eliminated all the ordinary, natural ways." Well if it can be shown that you haven't, then your argument fails. Too bad. If you don't like it, don't deploy an indirect argument -- they're ridiculously easy to construct, and therefore ridiculously easy to refute.

Showing that something as simple as a magnetic field can reliably and predictably produce observations as complex as detailed "abduction" scenarios is highly significant, because we all live in an EM-rich environment.

Further, there is quite a disparity in abduction reports. Claiming they're all "virtually identical" is not accurate.

That is just ludicrous and has nothing to with science.

Please explain exactly what is unscientific about it (i.e., by some means other than ipse dixit). And please explain what is scientific about any of the arguments offered in favor of the hypothesis that it's abduction by aliens.

Their suffering is real.

Appeal to sympathy. The gravity of the effect is not proof of the hypothesized cause.

Even die-hard (pseudo-)skeptics acknowledge that.

Why wouldn't we? We're human. Unfortunately it's irrelevant to the line of reasoning that attempts to establish a particular causation.

How likely is the "explanation" that they are ALL delusional or magnetically induced brainwave anomalies?

Much more so than that they are all being spirited away by aliens who manage to leave no trace.

JayUtah
2010-Oct-27, 05:27 PM
...

These forums are not really about education in its purest form, only re-education to the baut collective mind, a collective mind controlled by so few.

The Conspiracy Theory section is not about education. It is about testing ideas for strength. That intent is very clearly spelled out in the rules and very clearly pointed out to new posters. You seem to want BAUT to be some sort of coffeehouse chat, but that's not why most people are here.

The sort of scrutiny that is applied to ideas here is no different than what mainstream scientists have to endure under the name of peer review. Scientific findings that expect to be respected must first run the gauntlet of the most energetic and rigorous attempts to find fault with it.

Pseudoscientists such as UFO researchers are generally unfamiliar with those methods and generally unwilling to submit to them. But then they expect their theories and ideas to be received with the same degree of credibility. The genuine ability to withstand rigorous scrutiny is what creates credibility. You and others want a shortcut.

these people use any method to discredit, and smear...

Nope. As a quick perusal of the banned-posters log will confirm, the regulars here -- including the skeptics -- are not immune from the rules.

The methods we use are facts and sound reasoning. UFO researchers typically quote the facts selectively. Bringing other facts to bear, such as the results of subsequent investigations that are ignored by the UFO faithful, finds the real answers.

Most pseudoscientists are completely unfamiliar with sound reasoning, either from a philosophical standpoint or a scientific standpoint. These principles of reasoning are not some ad hoc religion, but are the time-tested inherent properties of cogent lines of reasoning. We didn't invent them; we just recognize them.

For example, as I mentioned above, the typical UFO line of reasoning is indirect. It holds up the ETH as a default that is supposed to hold when some number of competing explanations fail. It is inherently illogical, but no UFO proponent seems to recognize this. Why? Because their belief is not arrived at rationally; the line of reasoning is backfilled against a predetermined conclusion.

...the rules here are so blatantly biased and so biasedly applied to those who go against the baut collective.

The rules correctly place the burden of proof upon the claimant. This is to forestall the typical pseudoscientist's tactic of proposing a farfetched hypothesis and then requiring it to be disproven.

The rules also enjoin against other commonly used tactics for evading a meaningful test of ideas. Pseudoscience tries to create only the semblance of rigor, while avoiding its substance. The inability of pseudoscience generally to prevail under BAUT rules is why pseudoscience ultimately fails to prevail in life. Sooner or later every idea is held accountable.

Garrison
2010-Oct-27, 06:53 PM
Please explain to me how to research these sightings.
I don't think anyone says that the witnesses are not trustworthy. The only comments are that their statements do not match what we do know or what we are able to research.
We are left with someone saying "I saw something". What trail of information can you follow from that?

The way I see it is "Ok; you saw something. Now what?"

And in the context of this thread that the witness in question wears a uniform doesn't add one bit of useful information. When the evidence in most cases seems to consist of a 'take my word for it' tale what exactly are you supposed to investigate? How in fact would you tell a 'real' case from all the misinterpretations and outright lies?

NEOWatcher
2010-Oct-27, 06:58 PM
And in the context of this thread that the witness in question wears a uniform doesn't add one bit of useful information...
It does make me think of another point.
If this person is involved in the same government that apparently covers these things up, then wouldn't they be the best candidates to find the researchers and detect whether or not they are "shills"?

JayUtah
2010-Oct-27, 07:02 PM
That dichotomy has always bothered me: (1) High-ranking military officers are trustworthy enough that their claims should be vigorously investigated. (2) High-ranking military officers are covering up the truth about UFOs.

Garrison
2010-Oct-27, 07:50 PM
That dichotomy has always bothered me: (1) High-ranking military officers are trustworthy enough that their claims should be vigorously investigated. (2) High-ranking military officers are covering up the truth about UFOs.

And none of those in group 2 ever cross over to group 1, or if they do they neglect to bring any of those super secret files with them.

Jim
2010-Oct-27, 07:51 PM
No dichotomy, Jay. It's really very simple and logical.

Those in Group 1 agree with me. Those in Group 2 do not.

PetersCreek
2010-Oct-28, 01:54 AM
The sidetracks/metadiscussions have ranged far enough afield to constitute a hijack. This is the Conspiracy Theories forum. Back to the OP, please.

Swift
2010-Oct-28, 02:48 AM
Since various people ignored my warning and Peterscreek's, I have moved Eric12407's ideas about UFOs to their own thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/108936-Eric12407-s-UFO-thread).

This thread is for the particulars of the OP, not everything about UFOs. Any more sidetracks and there will be infractions.