PDA

View Full Version : Sovereignty and the UFO



A.DIM
2011-Mar-25, 01:56 PM
This paper (http://www.ufoskeptic.org/wendt_preprint.pdf) is an interesting argument from an unusual angle regarding UFOs and the ETH. The "UFO taboo" is not really a new concept, but the authors present it as a political and sociological problem, matters of state and science, and an "epistemology of ignorance."

The brief section "Proving Our Ignorance" leads me to wonder who here outright rejects the ETH as possible answer for some UFOs, commiting a Type II statistical error?

Poignant final statements, I think: "... if academics' first responsibility is to tell the truth, then the truth is that after 60years of modern UFOs, human beings still have no idea what they are, and are not even trying to find out. That should surprise and disturb us all, and cast doubt on the structure of rule that requires and sustains it."

shadmere
2011-Mar-25, 02:07 PM
By definition, if we know what they are, they aren't unidentified anymore. They're simply "flying objects."

So of course every UFO is unidentified. The ones we identify are always mundane. A person can say, "but what about the ones that aren't identified?" but that doesn't really mean anything.

There will always be unexplained phenomena. I don't mean that there will be phenomena that are mystical or alien or anything other than mundane. I mean that we can't observe everything perfectly, and that throughout the course of time, some things will be only partially observed. We might see a mirror tied to a helium balloon by a child, but be too far away to see the balloon itself. So we have a simple balloon that has to be labeled "unexplained," because we don't actually know about the balloon.

By definition, this is a "UFO." But it could be explained by so many reasonable things. We don't know that it's a balloon, but why would we decide that "magic" or "aliens" is more likely than a balloon?

Strange
2011-Mar-25, 02:25 PM
The brief section "Proving Our Ignorance" leads me to wonder who here outright rejects the ETH as possible answer for some UFOs, commiting a Type II statistical error?

It is a possible explanation as is, say, some as-yet unknown natural phenomenon. It is just really, really unlikely without some other reason to accept it other than "something was unidentified".


human beings still have no idea what they are

That implies an assumption, perhaps unjustified, that they are all examples of one phenomenon.

moog
2011-Mar-25, 02:57 PM
... who here outright rejects the ETH as possible answer for some UFOs ...

Not many I would guess.
Personally I see the ETH as an extremely remote explanation which would require some extraordinary evidence.
Is there any? Because the big argument from ignorance is evidence of nothing except that humans make poor observers.

Oh, and here is a nice video of 4 UFOs ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LVC7gYGSaE

Skyfire
2011-Mar-25, 03:31 PM
Oh, and here is a nice video of 4 UFOs ...

And I have seen something almost identical at New Year .... which happened to be 5 (there were 5 in the group I saw) chinese lanterns rising and gently sailing through the sky on the midnight breeze ....

What these are we don't know, but I think the chinese lantern explanation fits this quite well based on what I have observed previously (and bearing in mind the poor quality of YouTube videos) .... but then, perhaps someone has other ideas ....

Jason Thompson
2011-Mar-25, 03:36 PM
"... if academics' first responsibility is to tell the truth, then the truth is that after 60years of modern UFOs, human beings still have no idea what they are, and are not even trying to find out. That should surprise and disturb us all, and cast doubt on the structure of rule that requires and sustains it."

Why should it 'surprise and disturb' us? The fact that something is unexplained does not mean efforts were not made to explain it, but if the available data were simply insufficient then what conclusion can you expect to be drawn?

The problem is that people who go heavily towards the idea of UFOs as some kind of alien phenomenon seem to have trouble drawing the distinction between there being a simple explanation and the ability to find that explanation. Someone suffering an infected wound today might have samples taken, cultured, analysed by various microbiological methods, and find a particular strain of bacteria is responsible. He can then be prescribed antibiotics to deal with the infection. Someone dying as a result of the same infection in a wound sustained in the Battle of Hastings still died from the actions of that particular strain of bacteria on his system, even though the concept of bacteria was unknown at the time. The fact that no-one knew about micro-organisms back then, never mind possessed the tools to identify them, does not mean that his infection was caused by some alien or bizarre phenomenon: they simply lacked the information necessary to identify the root cause and act accordingly.

So it is with UFO sightings. When all available evidence on an incdent is collected, if it does not point conclusively to any firm conclusion what else can be reasonably concluded other than 'it was unidentified and remains so'? This is neither surprising nor disturbing: it is a sound conclusion.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Mar-25, 05:05 PM
I was too tired to mow the lawn, so I read the first dozen pages. I should have mown the lawn.

What a load of waffle trying to sound like scholarship trying to shift the burden of proof and wag the dog! Although I was amused at the approach of using a statistical term as a stick to beat people who disagree. "You don't think that light in the sky could have been an alien? Hah! You've just made a Type II statistical error and I win five pounds*!"

If there is a taboo about favouring the ETH as an explanation for UFOs, it's the taboo against wasting time and resources on something that is extremely unlikely to yield the results you're hoping for. It's possible - or at least conceivable - that somebody buried a chest full of gold coins in my back garden but there is not enough evidence to compel me to go digging for it.

How can you do a systematic study of a "phenomenon" that is not itself systematic or regular in any sense? If someone in a remote location saw a strange light moving about for a short time, then that's all we know. We could visit that remote location and hope it returns, but if it doesn't, then we've got nothing to go on except for the observer's description (which we have to take on faith). As Jason put it, "It was unidentified and remains so," and that is the only sane thing we can say.

The article also suggests that we should try harder to see if things are of alien origin. Well, if there was evidence that something had actually landed, it's highly likely that we would indeed investigate. We're interested in finding meteorites; we certainly wouldn't lose interest or go into denial if the meteorite turned out to be part of an alien spacecraft. But it hasn't happened.

But if a UFO turned out to be in the control of living aliens, then why should we make any effort to check if they actually are aliens? After crossing light years of space, if they want to announce themselves, they'll do it; if they want to remain hidden, we can suppose they can do that too!

In conclusion, it seems clear that there is no evidence for alien visitation. But I wonder if there is sufficient "no evidence" to outweigh wishful thinking.

*Eight US dollars.

Gillianren
2011-Mar-25, 05:28 PM
I, personally, don't think we should favour the ETH when considering the origin of mysterious sightings in the sky. We should consider the probabilities, and based on actual evidence, the probabilities favour mundane explanations. Everyone who goes outside or even looks out a window sees things in the sky every single day. "But they're not UFOs"? Of course not! Because we identified them with mundane explanations. Millions of things identified as mundane every single day. Therefore, it is simple logic to assume that anything we see in the sky and can't identify is just something we could if we had more information.

Skyfire
2011-Mar-25, 05:49 PM
Everyone who goes outside or even looks out a window sees things in the sky every single day. "But they're not UFOs"? Of course not! Because we identified them with mundane explanations. Millions of things identified as mundane every single day. Therefore, it is simple logic to assume that anything we see in the sky and can't identify is just something we could if we had more information.

Absolutely! That was my point with my example. I have seen something previously that gives me a plausible explanation for what is seen in the video linked above. I am certainly not saying that is what they actually are, but it is a good 'fit' in my mind, based on previous experience. However, I am aware that there are still limitations such as the video quality seen on YouTube, lack of much other visual reference information on the video etc etc ....

Garrison
2011-Mar-25, 07:30 PM
This paper (http://www.ufoskeptic.org/wendt_preprint.pdf) is an interesting argument from an unusual angle regarding UFOs and the ETH. The "UFO taboo" is not really a new concept, but the authors present it as a political and sociological problem, matters of state and science, and an "epistemology of ignorance."

The brief section "Proving Our Ignorance" leads me to wonder who here outright rejects the ETH as possible answer for some UFOs, commiting a Type II statistical error?

Poignant final statements, I think: "... if academics' first responsibility is to tell the truth, then the truth is that after 60years of modern UFOs, human beings still have no idea what they are, and are not even trying to find out. That should surprise and disturb us all, and cast doubt on the structure of rule that requires and sustains it."

I think you'll find that the truth is that after 60 years the UFO believers haven't come up with one credible sighting worthy of serious investigation. Could some UFO turn out to be an alien spacecraft? Yes. Has there been any evidence produced to show that such a craft has visited Earth? No. This is just another appeal for the suspension of disbelief by the UFO crowd.

R.A.F.
2011-Mar-25, 07:53 PM
I think you'll find that the truth is that after 60 years the UFO believers haven't come up with one credible sighting worthy of serious investigation. Could some UFO turn out to be an alien spacecraft? Yes. Has there been any evidence produced to show that such a craft has visited Earth? No. This is just another appeal for the suspension of disbelief by the UFO crowd.

I could not have said this any better myself....thanks...


Oh, and A.DIM, the idea of aliens visiting Earth, now or in the past, is an extraordinary idea requiring extraordinary evidence before acceptance...


...if you disagree, I'd like to see your reasoning...either that or a retraction of your statement.

kamaz
2011-Mar-25, 08:16 PM
The brief section "Proving Our Ignorance" leads me to wonder who here outright rejects the ETH as possible answer for some UFOs, commiting a Type II statistical error?


In the 1950s, there were some incidents which involved UFO tracking by military radars. I was convinced that these reports were reliable and ETH was a likely explanation. Until one day I read a book on radar systems and realized that these cases could be explained by equipment artifacts and intentional jamming (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106643-Did-UFOs-buzz-the-white-house-1952).

ETA: Before you ask, the book did not discuss UFOs at all, and the reason I was reading it had nothing to do with UFO also. Rather, the book was heavy with maths and I saw UFO-like behavior arise from basic equations in certain circumstances. The immediate result was a sleepless night I spent wondering why I was believing in ETH in the first place.

Garrison
2011-Mar-25, 08:33 PM
In the 1950s, there were some incidents which involved UFO tracking by military radars. I was convinced that these reports were reliable and ETH was a likely explanation. Until one day I read a book on radar systems and realized that these cases could be explained by equipment artifacts and intentional jamming (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106643-Did-UFOs-buzz-the-white-house-1952).

This isn't an uncommon experience I suspect, there are lots of superficially intriguing UFO stories that a reasonable person will reject when further evidence becomes available. The true believers of course generally start talking about disinformation and cover ups at that same point...

kamaz
2011-Mar-25, 08:35 PM
Another example of this are the so-called triangular UFOs. There are reports of black triangular crafts, having a light at each vertex, and moving noiselessly across the sky. The problem here? NOSS satellites are visible with naked eye and fly in triangular formations...

kamaz
2011-Mar-25, 08:39 PM
This isn't an uncommon experience I suspect, there are lots of superficially intriguing UFO stories that a reasonable person will reject when further evidence becomes available. The true believers of course generally start talking about disinformation and cover ups at that same point...

What I am getting at here is that I have so far accidentally stumbled upon satisfactory explanations of two different UFO classes. This leads me to think that other classes of UFO likely also have explanations which do not involve ETH.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Mar-25, 09:09 PM
I think you'll find that the truth is that after 60 years the UFO believers haven't come up with one credible sighting worthy of serious investigation. Could some UFO turn out to be an alien spacecraft? Yes. Has there been any evidence produced to show that such a craft has visited Earth? No. This is just another appeal for the suspension of disbelief by the UFO crowd.

Excellent succinct summary.

kamaz
2011-Mar-25, 11:24 PM
In the defense of ETH proponents (hey, I used to be one :) ), it is not irrational to consider ETH once you rule out terrestrial explanations.

The trap is that some valid explanations (radar artifacts, NOSS) require specialist knowledge and so they are never considered. People don't know about them, don't consider them, and having exhausted all other options turn to ETH.

Garrison
2011-Mar-25, 11:42 PM
In the defense of ETH proponents (hey, I used to be one :) ), it is not irrational to consider ETH once you rule out terrestrial explanations.

The trap is that some valid explanations (radar artifacts, NOSS) require specialist knowledge and so they are never considered. People don't know about them, don't consider them, and having exhausted all other options turn to ETH.

For a lot of people that's true but there is a strand of UFO believer who seem to dismiss any plausible alternatives out of hand and skip straight on to alien spacecraft.

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-25, 11:51 PM
For a lot of people that's true but there is a strand of UFO believer who seem to dismiss any plausible alternatives out of hand and skip straight on to alien spacecraft.

Oh, yes. Like one fellow we had here.

"Look at this picture! It's an alien spacecraft!"

"Er . . . that looks like a picture of dots in the sky above a park. Birds would be a more likely explanation."

"No! Impossible!"

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-26, 12:53 AM
The brief section "Proving Our Ignorance" leads me to wonder who here outright rejects the ETH as possible answer for some UFOs, commiting a Type II statistical error?


In the history of the board, I can think of one or two that would outright reject the possibility (in at least one case, it was for religious reasons). I'm not aware of anyone posting currently that would do so. The common position, as you should be aware, is that it is a possibility, but an extraordinary one.

chrlzs
2011-Mar-26, 02:29 AM
A 'type II' error..? :confused: How about the primary logical error... What are the most likely explanations? Aliens? Fairies? Subterraneans? Multidimensional entities?

Which of those, of many possible examples, is *more* likely than any other unknown and unproven phenomena, or simply misidentification or hoaxes and memories enhanced by the years or the nature of the investigations and publicity...? (ad infinitum)

A.Dim, may I ask, what are your favorite examples that strongly suggest the ETH - in other words that *clearly* point to an extra terrestrial presence, and why?

As for that 'poignant' final statement..

the truth is that after 60years of modern UFOs, human beings still have no idea what they are
There are VERY few cases that defy earthly explanations. And for those, the ETH is not high on the 'other candidate' list imo - again, if you dispute that point, please be specific.


and are not even trying to find out.
What complete and utter tripe. A.Dim, if you agree with that statement, what is it exactly that is not being done?

I tried to read some of that paper, but frankly, it is loaded with unsubstantiated statements and unwarranted 'conclusions'. He also uses well-known 'techniques', like his mentioning of various events (eg Roswell), at the same time dismissing them as unable to be proven - so... why bring them up? Is this meta-analysis at its finest???

It completely ignores the other equally possible explanations, such as the above fairies, etc - all of which have exactly equal 'proof' of existence... If that article was ever subjected to a proper peer review process, it would be given the scorn it deserves.

Just as an aside, I took a look at Alexander Wendt's bio (http://psweb.sbs.ohio-state.edu/faculty/wendt/Wendt.pdf), and it mentions absolutely nothing about ufo/alien/meteorology/aerial phenomena research, other than this single article. What are his credentials (or Raymond Duvall's) in those areas? What about in the area of the psychology of human perception?

And I note this all seems to link back to a book that was recently published, and has another thread here on BAUT... - may I ask how you came across the paper, A.Dim?

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-26, 05:21 AM
From the first paragraph of the linked article:

"UFOs have never been systematically investigated by science or the state, because it is assumed to be known that none are extraterrestrial."

HUH?

How many problems can you see with that statement?

It sounds like he's dismissing all government and private UFO investigations. Scanning through the paper he does specifically dismiss the Condon report. Just for show, he says. I suspect some of the private investigators won't be too happy to hear that they're being dismissed as well.

It's also quite a claim that all investigators assumed that UFOs couldn't be extraterrestrial, or that that would be the only reason they would be investigated. If someone posted that here, I'd ask if they were joking.

It's interesting that he assumes that extraterrestrial origin would be the only reason to investigate UFOs.

Then there's the issue that people often don't realize they're seeing Venus or other extraterrestrial objects, and that this is a common source of UFO reports. Oh, I know what he means, but it's clumsy writing.

Anyway, that's just one sentence. My hands are tired, so I won't comment further.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Mar-26, 07:45 AM
He also uses well-known 'techniques', like his mentioning of various events (eg Roswell), at the same time dismissing them as unable to be proven - so... why bring them up? Is this meta-analysis at its finest???

Is there a name for this technique?

I suppose if you have no evidence whatsoever, you can always cite numerous things that slightly or superficially resemble evidence in the hope that your would-be convert will think, "Wow! Some of those must be aliens!" It's like the argument that goes, "Well I understand that most sightings were misidentifications of mundane phenomena, hoaxes and so on, but surely not all of them?"

On other sub-topics: Because of board rules, I can't go into details on this point. But I note that the article has a very western bias when considering sovereignty from a religious perspective.

A point others have made well: there will always be flying objects that remain unidentified. And I think we can be sure that there will continue to be flying objects that remain unidentified even after we've made contact with actual aliens. (If it ever happens, of course.)

I mowed the lawn, by the way.

Strange
2011-Mar-26, 10:06 AM
Is there a name for this technique?

Apophasis?

Paul Beardsley
2011-Mar-26, 10:30 AM
Apophasis?

Thanks for teaching me a new word!

But I see apophasis as entirely constructive, whereas the approach used in the article is more like "throw mud at the wall in the hope that some will stick". The article is trying to persuade casual readers that UFOs are aliens rather than encourage people to think about what they might really be.

Strange
2011-Mar-26, 01:51 PM
But I see apophasis as entirely constructive...

I was thinking more of a candidate saying things like, I want this election to be based on policies not personalities so I will not mention the unsubstantiated allegations that my opponent has been involved in acts of moral turpitude. But maybe that is paralepsis (sp?).

Garrison
2011-Mar-26, 03:48 PM
I believe there is a word that encompasses all these techniques; 'ufology'. :)

Luckmeister
2011-Mar-26, 05:15 PM
It's difficult to counter a person's "desire to believe." I think we're genetically wired and culturally predisposed to take interest in a "mystery" and treat it as either a wonderous discovery or a dire danger but seldom as anything in the mundane middle. It seems to be a carryover from early humans' survival trait selection.

A guy came to my house yesterday to buy an item I was selling. He was in his 50's, a Boeing engineer and seemed well educated, but he brought up the subject of UFO's and out went logic and objectivity. I had to be cautious as he had not paid me yet, so I politely brought my experience at BAUT to bear and we had a long discussion.

He condescendingly talked to me as though I was not "enlightened" to today's reality. He told of his personal "lights in the sky" observation and complained that I was prematurely judging ET visitation as impossible. I stopped him there and explained the scientific stance that his belief is possible but highly unlikely with the burden of proof on his outrageous claim rather than on my disproving the possibility.

The discussion concluded with my stating my curiosity as to why he felt such a strong need to believe. He started to launch into spiritual ideas he had woven into his ETH and I lost interest in continuing the exchange. He was a Coast-to-Coast radio fan -- I was not surprised.

kamaz
2011-Mar-26, 06:12 PM
I had to be cautious as he had not paid me yet [...] He started to launch into spiritual ideas he had woven into his ETH and I lost interest in continuing the exchange.

You've left out the most interesting part: did you complete the transaction? :)

A.DIM
2011-Mar-27, 01:33 AM
By definition, if we know what they are, they aren't unidentified anymore. They're simply "flying objects."
So of course every UFO is unidentified. The ones we identify are always mundane. A person can say, "but what about the ones that aren't identified?" but that doesn't really mean anything.
There will always be unexplained phenomena. I don't mean that there will be phenomena that are mystical or alien or anything other than mundane. I mean that we can't observe everything perfectly, and that throughout the course of time, some things will be only partially observed. We might see a mirror tied to a helium balloon by a child, but be too far away to see the balloon itself. So we have a simple balloon that has to be labeled "unexplained," because we don't actually know about the balloon.
By definition, this is a "UFO." But it could be explained by so many reasonable things. We don't know that it's a balloon, but why would we decide that "magic" or "aliens" is more likely than a balloon?

Well, you’re correct in that any sufficiently advanced tech would be indistinguishable from magic, but it’s not that the ETH is any more likely, only that it is a real possibility. Yet, to even consider such reality, by state or science, is taboo. It threatens humans’ anthropocentrism and sovereignty: socially; politically; scientifically; etc.

A.DIM
2011-Mar-27, 01:43 AM
It is a possible explanation as is, say, some as-yet unknown natural phenomenon. It is just really, really unlikely without some other reason to accept it other than "something was unidentified".
That implies an assumption, perhaps unjustified, that they are all examples of one phenomenon.

The ETH may be “really, really unlikely” but considering how important the answer to that question it’s certainly a puzzle why even the remotest possibility doesn’t warrant more seriousness by state or science. SETI is accepted on the remotest of possibilities, although finding aliens so far away doesn't really threaten humans' sovereignty or modern rule. Of course, part of the taboo is that UFOs are near tantamount to God in that science cannot know the unknowable (how do we go about studying UFOs?!), and because of that there’s no reason to consider them real; it’s not in the purview of science. And so the authoritative state and science position is that they aren’t ET. I daresay they might as well not even be “objects.”

A.DIM
2011-Mar-27, 01:47 AM
Why should it 'surprise and disturb' us? The fact that something is unexplained does not mean efforts were not made to explain it, but if the available data were simply insufficient then what conclusion can you expect to be drawn?
...
So it is with UFO sightings. When all available evidence on an incdent is collected, if it does not point conclusively to any firm conclusion what else can be reasonably concluded other than 'it was unidentified and remains so'? This is neither surprising nor disturbing: it is a sound conclusion.

Indeed the only conclusion to draw is one of skepticism: we don’t know, scientifically, whether or not some UFOs are visiting ETi, no matter how unlikely it seems. But that’s the authors’ point isn’t it? Were state or science to “officially” acknowledge such a possibility, it would undermine their sovereignty of modern rule.

Garrison
2011-Mar-27, 01:48 AM
Well, you’re correct in that any sufficiently advanced tech would be indistinguishable from magic, but it’s not that the ETH is any more likely, only that it is a real possibility.

A real possibility for what? There is a large difference between a general acceptance of the ETH and the suggestion that in any particular recorded UFO case it is a viable explanation. Unless you have some particular incident you would like to bring up?


Yet, to even consider such reality, by state or science, is taboo. It threatens humans’ anthropocentrism and sovereignty: socially; politically; scientifically; etc.

Or having studied the subject in the past state and science have concluded there is nothing useful to be learned from the mass anecdotes and bad photos that make up the greater part of the UFO canon, that there is simply no evidence to support the notion that extraterrestrials are visiting the Earth. On the other hand A.DIM you seem to take it as read that there is something in the in the UFO phenomenon that is worthy of study, so perhaps you can enlighten us as to what that might be?

A.DIM
2011-Mar-27, 01:56 AM
.... How can you do a systematic study of a "phenomenon" that is not itself systematic or regular in any sense? If someone in a remote location saw a strange light moving about for a short time, then that's all we know. We could visit that remote location and hope it returns, but if it doesn't, then we've got nothing to go on except for the observer's description (which we have to take on faith). As Jason put it, "It was unidentified and remains so," and that is the only sane thing we can say.
...
But if a UFO turned out to be in the control of living aliens, then why should we make any effort to check if they actually are aliens? After crossing light years of space, if they want to announce themselves, they'll do it; if they want to remain hidden, we can suppose they can do that too!

Yes, I think you’re getting it. The ETH solution to some UFOs threatens the sovereignty of modern rule. Unlike other threats, any acknowledgement by state or science that some UFOs could be ETi undermines their sovereignty.
As the authors state: "Specifically, our intent is to highlight and engage critically the limits of anthropocentric sovereignty... through the phenomenon of the UFO..."

Garrison
2011-Mar-27, 01:57 AM
Indeed the only conclusion to draw is one of skepticism: we don’t know, scientifically, whether or not some UFOs are visiting ETi, no matter how unlikely it seems. But that’s the authors’ point isn’t it? Were state or science to “officially” acknowledge such a possibility, it would undermine their sovereignty of modern rule.

And it's twaddle, we have had at least one US President state he saw a UFO, we have been saturated with Roswell and Area 51 tales for decades. In the real world we have SETiI we have Kepler searching for other Earths. If some government did admit that in some UFO case that it could have been a flying saucer for all they know it would be 5 minutes on the evening news and then everyone would go back to watching 'The X-Factor'.
The reality is that as it stands there is nothing that is going to rock the world to its foundations, however much the believers might like to think otherwise.

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-27, 01:57 AM
Well, you’re correct in that any sufficiently advanced tech would be indistinguishable from magic, but it’s not that the ETH is any more likely, only that it is a real possibility.


If you're going to argue "indistinguishable from magic" how do you determine what is a real possibility and what isn't?


Yet, to even consider such reality, by state or science, is taboo.


What reality?

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-27, 01:58 AM
The ETH may be “really, really unlikely” but considering how important the answer to that question it’s certainly a puzzle why even the remotest possibility doesn’t warrant more seriousness by state or science.


How would you study it? What would you do that hasn't been done?

A.DIM
2011-Mar-27, 02:02 AM
A 'type II' error..? :confused: How about the primary logical error... What are the most likely explanations? Aliens? Fairies? Subterraneans? Multidimensional entities?
Which of those, of many possible examples, is *more* likely than any other unknown and unproven phenomena, or simply misidentification or hoaxes and memories enhanced by the years or the nature of the investigations and publicity...? (ad infinitum)

A.Dim, may I ask, what are your favorite examples that strongly suggest the ETH - in other words that *clearly* point to an extra terrestrial presence, and why?

As for that 'poignant' final statement..
There are VERY few cases that defy earthly explanations. And for those, the ETH is not high on the 'other candidate' list imo - again, if you dispute that point, please be specific.

What complete and utter tripe. A.Dim, if you agree with that statement, what is it exactly that is not being done?

I tried to read some of that paper, but frankly, it is loaded with unsubstantiated statements and unwarranted 'conclusions'. He also uses well-known 'techniques', like his mentioning of various events (eg Roswell), at the same time dismissing them as unable to be proven - so... why bring them up? Is this meta-analysis at its finest???

It completely ignores the other equally possible explanations, such as the above fairies, etc - all of which have exactly equal 'proof' of existence... If that article was ever subjected to a proper peer review process, it would be given the scorn it deserves.

Just as an aside, I took a look at Alexander Wendt's bio (http://psweb.sbs.ohio-state.edu/faculty/wendt/Wendt.pdf), and it mentions absolutely nothing about ufo/alien/meteorology/aerial phenomena research, other than this single article. What are his credentials (or Raymond Duvall's) in those areas? What about in the area of the psychology of human perception?

And I note this all seems to link back to a book that was recently published, and has another thread here on BAUT... - may I ask how you came across the paper, A.Dim?

I came across this paper on UFO Skeptic website; I don’t know to which book you’re referring.

But it appears you’ve missed the point entirely. The authors don’t argue in favor of the ETH as solution to some UFOs. Rather, theirs is a political science analysis of modern rule and sovereignty, and the threat such a solution poses; Hence the “taboo.” Perhaps if you read the paper you might’ve realized that? And I don’t suppose it being published in Political Theory, a mainstream, peer reviewed journal would make much difference either? Oh well, it’s not a question of which explanation is more likely, it’s a matter of UFOs-being-ETi hasn’t been disproven, scientifically, while state and science can make no official decision about the possibility. It would undermine the very question of human sovereignty and modern rule.

Personally I have no “favorite” evidence, nor do I think there’s any conclusive evidence.
I consider the question much like Fermi and others, starting with simply the ingredients, number of stars, size and age of the universe. Coupled with diffusion modeling and keeping in mind the copernican principle (nothing special here), we should expect to find evidence, so “where is everybody?” Along with that, humans have become a space faring civilization exploring other worlds, in the blink of an eye, and so I see nothing precluding the possibility that a more advanced intelligence could do so. I also keep in mind that any ETi traversing interstellar distances must be vastly more advanced than Earthlings. So much so we have no idea what they might look like, reinforcing the notion that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Garrison
2011-Mar-27, 02:07 AM
I came across this paper on UFO Skeptic website; I don’t know to which book you’re referring.

But it appears you’ve missed the point entirely. The authors don’t argue in favor of the ETH as solution to some UFOs. Rather, theirs is a political science analysis of modern rule and sovereignty, and the threat such a solution poses; Hence the “taboo.” Perhaps if you read the paper you might’ve realized that? And I don’t suppose it being published in Political Theory, a mainstream, peer reviewed journal would make much difference either? Oh well, it’s not a question of which explanation is more likely, it’s a matter of UFOs-being-ETi hasn’t been disproven, scientifically, while state and science can make no official decision about the possibility. It would undermine the very question of human sovereignty and modern rule.


Simply repeating that same mantra doesn't make it true. Governments and scientists have studied the UFO phenomenon and found nothing, just how long would you have them keep searching for? What new approaches do you think they should take?

Gillianren
2011-Mar-27, 04:28 AM
Yes, I think you’re getting it. The ETH solution to some UFOs threatens the sovereignty of modern rule. Unlike other threats, any acknowledgement by state or science that some UFOs could be ETi undermines their sovereignty.

I really have no idea how. I think your definition of "sovereignty" must be different from mine. How is the possibility that some sighting somewhere might possibly someday be an alien dangerous to the rule of any government's law?

chrlzs
2011-Mar-27, 04:46 AM
I came across this paper on UFO Skeptic website; I don’t know to which book you’re referring.
The current thread - "UFOs Generals.." (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/113666-UFOs-Generals-Pilots-and-Government-Officials-Go-On-the-Record) - this article is quoted in that book, I understand.


But it appears you’ve missed the point entirely. The authors don’t argue in favor of the ETH as solution to some UFOs.
Are we reading the same article?? And here's how *you* introduced it:

The "UFO taboo" is not really a new concept, but the authors present it as a political and sociological problem, matters of state and science, and an "epistemology of ignorance."
If they are not arguing for the ETH, what is the problem, and why would they call it ignorance? I would quote multiple sections which allude to their clear implication that some UFO's are of ET origin, but the PDF doesn't seem to allow capture and I'm too lazy to OCR it.


Rather, theirs is a political science analysis of modern rule and sovereignty, and the threat such a solution poses; Hence the “taboo.”
And why would that be an issue unless there were aliens? I could write an equally fascinating tome about the threat leprechauns pose to our economies...


Perhaps if you read the paper you might’ve realized that?
Perhaps you have missed the basic premise. Why would the article exist unless the authors thought there was a very significant chance of ET origin? Indeed, the fact that it was written indicates they do NOT accept subterraneans, elves, leprechauns, fairies, multi-dimensional entities. I want to know how they have eliminated those, or how, statistically, they feel they are less 'likely'. Drake equation perhaps?


And I don’t suppose it being published in Political Theory, a mainstream, peer reviewed journal would make much difference either?
Never heard of that one, and frankly, it is hardly in the realm of those journals that are relevant to BAUT. I also note that PT's most read article appears to be.. this one! hmmm. In what way does that journal deal with such issues as I raised? I'd love to see the reviewer's comments...


Oh well, it’s not a question of which explanation is more likely, it’s a matter of UFOs-being-ETi hasn’t been disproven, scientifically, while state and science can make no official decision about the possibility. It would undermine the very question of human sovereignty and modern rule.
Of course it hasn't been disproven - how *could* you possibly disprove it? Just like Van Rijn's elf...


Personally I have no “favorite” evidence, nor do I think there’s any conclusive evidence.
So, then, leprechauns *are* just as likely. But I bet you wouldn't post a similar article about them.. :)


I consider the question much like Fermi and others, starting with simply the ingredients, number of stars, size and age of the universe. Coupled with diffusion modeling and keeping in mind the copernican principle (nothing special here)
I dispute that! My problem with Fermi, Drake, etc, is firstly that we are indeed working from a single data point. Our current theories about the origin of life, our complete inability to re-create life ourselves, and our complete lack of any evidence from our investigations of our nearest planets, the failure-so-far of SETI, etc, etc... all point very very strongly to the fact that there is indeed something *very* special here.


we should expect to find evidence, so “where is everybody?”
Indeed. My simple theory is that the probability of life is vanishingly tiny. Just look at our knowledge of the basic ingredients, of DNA, of the conditions when earth was formed - yet we haven't even got close to creating it. Then the probability of it developing into sentience is vanishingly tiny. The probability of it developing technology is vanishingly tiny. The probability of it developing technologies suitable for interstellar/galactic travel before it either wipes it self out or the planet gets hit by an asteroid... The probability of all this happening in synchronisation with us.. The probability of it *wanting* to travel beyond its system... etc.

I think those famous equations are hideously optimistic, quite apart from them being based on that single unreproducible data point. Then when you then add in the tyranny of distance/time....

So, imho, we *may* encounter aliens, but we also *may* encounter that monkey holding the complete works of Shakespeare...

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-27, 06:18 AM
The ETH may be “really, really unlikely” but considering how important the answer to that question it’s certainly a puzzle why even the remotest possibility doesn’t warrant more seriousness by state or science.

What is so special about this particular idea? Alien visitation is hardly unique as a possibility that, based on the evidence, is now considered very unlikely but that could have huge repercussions if true. For instance, any number of claims about psychic powers. If, say, telekinesis existed, it would require new physics, and could lead to amazing insights and perhaps new technology. Some people swear it's real, there has been serious research going back decades, but there still is no good evidence.

Or, what about perpetual motion (or these days, "over unity") machines? Claims for these go back centuries. Again, these could revolutionize energy production if real, would require new physics, but would you expect a lot of resources go into testing them?

Luckmeister
2011-Mar-27, 07:05 AM
You've left out the most interesting part: did you complete the transaction? :)

Yes, he bought the item and our conversation ended amicably but I doubt he has much desire for further discussions with me. :lol:

Paul Beardsley
2011-Mar-27, 11:22 AM
Yes, I think you’re getting it. The ETH solution to some UFOs threatens the sovereignty of modern rule. Unlike other threats, any acknowledgement by state or science that some UFOs could be ETi undermines their sovereignty.
As the authors state: "Specifically, our intent is to highlight and engage critically the limits of anthropocentric sovereignty... through the phenomenon of the UFO..."

Yes, I think you’re getting it.

I don't know what the "it" is here.

The ETH solution to some UFOs threatens the sovereignty of modern rule.

That's certainly not what I said or thought. We live in a world where powerful and influential people think that natural disasters are divine punishment; compared to that, the idea that aliens have been passively observing us for decades is small potatoes*.

As the authors state: "Specifically, our intent is to highlight and engage critically the limits of anthropocentric sovereignty... through the phenomenon of the UFO..."

Well leaving aside the fact that the article is clearly an attempt to cast ETH skeptics in a bad light, what does this really mean? A certain proportion of UFOs will remain unidentified - but we already know this.

As to the "nothing special here" claim, how many times do you have to be reminded that we have no evidence to support this view? (And indeed what little evidence we have so far tends to point the other way.) And how many times do you have to be reminded that humans got 12 men on the moon, and then the human species pretty much gave up on manned space exploration?

Even assuming we're not special, how can you say that other species will be a space-faring race like us when we clearly aren't one? (At least not at the present time.) And even assuming they continued to advance so that they could cross interstellar space with ease, why would they choose to appear in our skies in a way that is indistinguishable from mundane phenomena?

No matter how many imaginative assumptions you make, no matter how many way-out chains of reasoning, no matter how sophisticated (or otherwise) your consideration of human motives, the fact remains that there is zero convincing evidence that aliens are (or have been) visiting us.

*Po-tah-toes in the US.

Donnie B.
2011-Mar-27, 11:50 AM
*Po-tah-toes in the US.

Not in any part of the US I've ever lived in or visited.

Garrison
2011-Mar-27, 11:53 AM
Personally I have no “favorite” evidence, nor do I think there’s any conclusive evidence.


And here's the basic problem. You appear to support the authors view that there is some 'taboo' that prevents a serious study of the UFO phenomenon. The alternative viewpoint is that the decision not investigate any further is a purely pragmatic one based on the results of past investigations and the inadequacy of the evidence available.
To support the taboo viewpoint you and the authors must be able to point to cases where the available evidence (gathered by that veritable army of enthusiasts who even manage to get their own TV specials despite the 'taboo') suggests an investigation is warranted but has not been carried out. If you really cannot offer such a case then this 'taboo' is nothing more than the believers claims of government conspiracy to deny them evidence dressed up in academic language.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Mar-27, 01:34 PM
Not in any part of the US I've ever lived in or visited.

Do you mean the song lied???

Paul Beardsley
2011-Mar-27, 01:35 PM
And here's the basic problem. You appear to support the authors view that there is some 'taboo' that prevents a serious study of the UFO phenomenon. The alternative viewpoint is that the decision not investigate any further is a purely pragmatic one based on the results of past investigations and the inadequacy of the evidence available.
To support the taboo viewpoint you and the authors must be able to point to cases where the available evidence (gathered by that veritable army of enthusiasts who even manage to get their own TV specials despite the 'taboo') suggests an investigation is warranted but has not been carried out. If you really cannot offer such a case then this 'taboo' is nothing more than the believers claims of government conspiracy to deny them evidence dressed up in academic language.

A perfect summing-up, I would say.. A.DIM, I'd like to see you address Garrison's post or retract.

R.A.F.
2011-Mar-27, 02:34 PM
A perfect summing-up, I would say.. A.DIM, I'd like to see you address Garrison's post or retract.

What can I say?....I agree completely.

Moose
2011-Mar-27, 03:23 PM
If you really cannot offer such a case then this 'taboo' is nothing more than the believers claims of government conspiracy to deny them evidence dressed up in academic language.

And let me clarify for you, A.DIM, that supporting (or implying support, as you've done) for a CT claim places you within the boundaries of Rule 13. The claim is (or appears to be) that there's some sort of conspiracy of silence surrounding UFOlogy. As you know, making a claim (or advocating for a 3rd party claim in the CT forum) requires you to support that claim as best you can... or retract it.

You are expected to begin doing so now.

kamaz
2011-Mar-27, 04:47 PM
part of the taboo is that UFOs are near tantamount to God in that science cannot know the unknowable

In my view, ETH is a rehash of the old God of the gaps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps) fallacy. While religious adherents have long ago observed that this argument is self-defeating, ETH proponents have not. The parallels are obvious, but in order to avoid discussing religion, I will explicitly frame the argument as "alien of the gaps":

This fallacy argues that if something cannot be explained scientifically, it should be attributed to aliens. But, as our understanding expands, the gaps shrink, and so does the number of alien visitations. If we take this to a logical conclusion, we note that it's likely that one day we will be able to explain all currently unexplainable phenomena without relying on aliens.

Of course, this does not preclude the existence of aliens. It however demonstrates that, barring other hard evidence for existence or non-existence of aliens, the gaps in understanding cannot be used in support of the existence of aliens.

kamaz
2011-Mar-27, 05:07 PM
You appear to support the authors view that there is some 'taboo' that prevents a serious study of the UFO phenomenon.

Uh. There has been serious study of the UFO phenomenon. The results were that some of the cases have been explained away, but the others have not. The ETH proponents point at the unexplained cases and say Aliens!.

A fundamental problem with the unexplained cases is that several explanations can be proposed, and there is no evidence that would make ETH the preferable theory. An UFO can be extra terrestrial in origin; it can be a secret military aircraft; it can be a hallucination. The matter is unsolvable unless: (1) someone catches one and we see what it is, or (2) someone formulates a UFO theory which makes ex ante testable predictions, and we see actual UFOs behaving as predicted by the theory.

Garrison
2011-Mar-27, 05:14 PM
Uh. There has been serious study of the UFO phenomenon. The results were that some of the cases have been explained away, but the others have not. The ETH proponents point at the unexplained cases and say Aliens!.

Well since this is what I wrote in the sentence right after the one you quoted:


The alternative viewpoint is that the decision not investigate any further is a purely pragmatic one based on the results of past investigations and the inadequacy of the evidence available.

I'm left wondering how you could think I was implying that there hadn't been?

R.A.F.
2011-Mar-27, 05:14 PM
...as our understanding expands, the gaps shrink, and so does the number of alien visitations.

For instance, the "aliens of the 1950's" were generally discribed as blond haired, nordic "types", wearing "ski suits", and their planet of origin was Venus.

Nowadays, I imagine very few actually think that aliens are from Venus given the conditions there...which is a direct consequence of scientific investigation/understanding.

Luckmeister
2011-Mar-27, 05:36 PM
This fallacy argues that if something cannot be explained scientifically, it should be attributed to aliens. But, as our understanding expands, the gaps shrink, and so does the number of alien visitations. If we take this to a logical conclusion, we note that it's likely that one day we will be able to explain all currently unexplainable phenomena without relying on aliens.

I certainly hope so but I'm actually afraid it's going the other direction. I would estimate that about 15 of the last 20 average citizens I've talked with recently, where this subject has come up, are in the ETV (Visitation) camp. I'm expecting to watch the first politician become elected solely on the platform that he or she vows to uncover the "truth" in this giant UFO coverup we're being subjected to. This modern example of mythology seems like a spreading disease and I'm sick of running into it wherever I go (even if I stay at home).

Gillianren
2011-Mar-27, 06:20 PM
I went to an Ostara ritual yesterday at a Pagan group my best friend's mother is a member of. You have to remember that this is the kind of place where one of the announcements was that the community center we were in would be having a "Paranormal Expo" the next Saturday. On the other hand, I had a very nice conversation with one of the other women about UFOs and how the real answer is so often "people don't look up." She told me that she had, in fact, seen a spaceship once. She'd seen something she couldn't explain, had brought out her telescope, and by the time she'd set her telescope up, whatever-it-was was gone. So she did a little research.

Yup. Spaceship all right. Discovery.

Hlafordlaes
2011-Mar-27, 06:44 PM
I certainly hope so but I'm actually afraid it's going the other direction. I would estimate that about 15 of the last 20 average citizens I've talked with recently, where this subject has come up, are in the ETV (Visitation) camp. I'm expecting to watch the first politician become elected solely on the platform that he or she vows to uncover the "truth" in this giant UFO coverup we're being subjected to. This modern example of mythology seems like a spreading disease and I'm sick of running into it wherever I go (even if I stay at home).

I often wonder how much TV and movies, especially since the advent of realistic CGI, do to perpetuate myths of all kinds, making everything from ghosts to ET to monsters seem real. At least that's the effect it seems to have in my highly-unsupported-by-research view.

Luckmeister
2011-Mar-27, 07:02 PM
I often wonder how much TV and movies, especially since the advent of realistic CGI, do to perpetuate myths of all kinds, making everything from ghosts to ET to monsters seem real. At least that's the effect it seems to have in my highly-unsupported-by-research view.

That has been my view as well. I also feel the scientific accomplishments so realistically portrayed have the effect (with some people) of making real science appear pale and uninteresting in comparison. That's too bad; real science should be more interesting because .....well .....it's real!!

Skyfire
2011-Mar-27, 07:48 PM
Personally I have no “favorite” evidence, nor do I think there’s any conclusive evidence.

As far as I am aware there is no evidence, or certainly nothing that can really be called significant, let alone conclusive. Maybe others will comment on this?


I consider the question much like Fermi and others, starting with simply the ingredients, number of stars, size and age of the universe. Coupled with diffusion modeling and keeping in mind the copernican principle (nothing special here), we should expect to find evidence, so “where is everybody?” Along with that, humans have become a space faring civilization exploring other worlds, in the blink of an eye, and so I see nothing precluding the possibility that a more advanced intelligence could do so.

Yes, that's the point. The possibility is quite an exciting prospect. However, trying to use a statistical analysis by counting the number of stars, the chances of life, etc etc, where people are trying to predict the probability that ET exists out there somewhere, when all we have to go on is a sample of one - Earth - the 'results' (if that's what you call them) are meaningless.


I also keep in mind that any ETi traversing interstellar distances must be vastly more advanced than Earthlings. So much so we have no idea what they might look like, reinforcing the notion that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I tend to think that due to the advancement of science and technology that may not be quite the case. My example would be imagine bringing someone forward 200 or 300 years to today. Yes, to them much (or most?) of today's world would seem like 'magic'. However, a science and technology savvy person from today jumping 200 or 300 years into the future may see things and would at least think, "I don't see or understand how all this works, but obviously it does, therefore I have a lot of science and technological knowledge to catch up on!" I would think that at least we would understand that things have moved on, thus it is our knowledge and understanding that is lacking. Just my thoughts on this ....

Luckmeister
2011-Mar-27, 08:30 PM
I tend to think that due to the advancement of science and technology that may not be quite the case. My example would be imagine bringing someone forward 200 or 300 years to today. Yes, to them much (or most?) of today's world would seem like 'magic'. However, a science and technology savvy person from today jumping 200 or 300 years into the future may see things and would at least think, "I don't see or understand how all this works, but obviously it does, therefore I have a lot of science and technological knowledge to catch up on!" I would think that at least we would understand that things have moved on, thus it is our knowledge and understanding that is lacking. Just my thoughts on this ....

Yes but keep in mind that with your example we're still looking at development within our species in the future. Advanced alien technology may be much farther removed from what we can recognize or understand.

Gillianren
2011-Mar-27, 09:26 PM
I tend to think that due to the advancement of science and technology that may not be quite the case. My example would be imagine bringing someone forward 200 or 300 years to today. Yes, to them much (or most?) of today's world would seem like 'magic'. However, a science and technology savvy person from today jumping 200 or 300 years into the future may see things and would at least think, "I don't see or understand how all this works, but obviously it does, therefore I have a lot of science and technological knowledge to catch up on!" I would think that at least we would understand that things have moved on, thus it is our knowledge and understanding that is lacking. Just my thoughts on this ....

Honestly, I think even the average person from a couple of hundred years ago would be able to figure out a lot of modern technology as well as the average person of today understands it.

captain swoop
2011-Mar-27, 11:37 PM
Quite right, I was going to comment that a science and technology savvy person from 200 or 300 years agp would be able to work things out. Think of Watt, Davey, Faraday etc.

Jason Thompson
2011-Mar-28, 07:41 AM
I agree. Since we all gain an education from a starting point of total ignorance, I see no reason why someone from 200 or 300 years ago should be unable to comprehend today's technology were it to be explained to him. There seems to be this strange perception that people from the past were somehow stupid, but in fact knowledge developed as technology improved. People also tend to forget what was known when. Quantum physics, still seen today as cutting edge, nearly incomrehensible, ultimate modern physics, is over a century old now.

tnjrp
2011-Mar-28, 08:21 AM
For instance, the "aliens of the 1950's" were generally discribed as blond haired, nordic "types", wearing "ski suits", and their planet of origin was Venus. Nowadays, I imagine very few actually think that aliens are from Venus given the conditions there...which is a direct consequence of scientific investigation/understanding.Indeed one can note a certain amount "evolution" in the folklore surrounding the so-called UFO phenomenon. Hardware improvements (with fairly little apparent benefits in regards to performance, it seems), attributed place of origin moved to other star systems etc. There appears to be a bit of trend now in Finnish UFO circles (and to some extent globally, I understand) to dispense with the paranormal "nutz and boltz" alien spacecraft hypothesis entirely and instead embrace the all-out supernatural in regards to the ultimate nature of these visitations.

Skyfire
2011-Mar-28, 12:00 PM
Quite right, I was going to comment that a science and technology savvy person from 200 or 300 years agp would be able to work things out. Think of Watt, Davey, Faraday etc.

Yes, actually, I will concede that is probably correct.

However, maybe we (mankind of the modern era) would have a little more acceptance - of something we could only perceive as 'magic' - to actually be achieved by some method we haven't yet discovered, or possibly believe to be unachievable due to our current understanding of physics and science. I would suggest our 'perception' has been slanted/skewed/altered (not sure the best one to use) by - ironically - the increase in and our general love of Sci-Fi etc....! In many films, programmes and books our knowledge and understanding of science is somewhat suspended and we accept the idea of things such as warp drives, hyperspace travel, wormholes, telekinesis, teleporting, etc etc .....

Now, I am not saying that all, or even any, of these things may or will become possible, but all (I think) seem to be shown as not possible with current science and physics knowledge (I feel a correction may be pending!!). However, if we move forward to a future some hundreds of years hence, or ET arrives and shows us one or more of these 'impossible' things, we would accept it was done by a better knowledge of science and physics than we currently understood. Hopefully we would be very keen to try and learn 'how stuff works'!

Jason Thompson
2011-Mar-28, 02:02 PM
Were state or science to “officially” acknowledge such a possibility, it would undermine their sovereignty of modern rule.

Would it? Why?

The possibility is officially acknowledged, in the same way that space pixies and magic elves are. It is all covered by the 'we don't know what it is' response. A list of what it might be would be so long as to be absurd. If one were to be compiled someone somewhere would no doubt wonder about something that had been left off.

NEOWatcher
2011-Mar-28, 02:49 PM
Would it? Why?
Ditto that question.


The possibility is officially acknowledged, in the same way that space pixies and magic elves are.
Actually, the possibility is just a bit above pixies and elves.

Some governmental agencies have used ET as a possibility in disaster planning.

For most, it may be only as a mental exercise, but if they are trying not to acknowledge ET, then why use that concept in the first place?

And; if the government were trying to avoid the intelligent ET concept, why would they keep trying to find other types of ETs?

neilzero
2011-Mar-28, 02:53 PM
I've noted a distinct anti-ET bias in this thread. Not so much that I am an ET believer, but I feel a need to add balance to the thread. ET are a reasonable assumption, but ET visiting, or living on Earth is not very reasonable. 1% probability perhaps. We may never know for sure.
Our society spends big bucks analyzing some other things that are neither useful nor probable, but have invested very little in the UFO phenomena. Do we need to know? Will we be better off if we know? Perhaps not. Still it could be important =1% perhaps. Can some of you suggest some methods that might bring us closer to the truth about ET on Earth? How about a million humans pointing their camcorder approximately straight up each evening for 6 hours? Could a computer program be devised at reasonable cost to search 42 million hours of video per week? Where two or more recorders, a meter or more apart spot the same object, we can determine it's altitude, location, speed and an approximation of it's size. For accurate timing WWV could be recorded on one of the audio tracks. Operator chatter on the other audio track. The precise altitude, longitude and latitude of each camera is a bit more challenging, but GPS supplies that data plus or minus a few meters. Determining the varriation from straight up may be difficult, as camcorders typically do not record stars. Do any of the newer camcorder replacements record the brighter stars? Neil

NEOWatcher
2011-Mar-28, 03:10 PM
I've noted a distinct anti-ET bias in this thread. Not so much that I am an ET believer, but I feel a need to add balance to the thread. ET are a reasonable assumption, but ET visiting, or living on Earth is not very reasonable. 1% probability perhaps. We may never know for sure.
I wouldn't say anti-ET. The issue here is determining the probablility. You state 1%, but I would be interested in your reasoning behind that 1% probability. In other words, how would they do it when you put together things like physics, the time element, how there are so many sightings, but nothing clear, let alone physical evidence.


Our society spends big bucks analyzing some other things that are neither useful nor probable...
I'd like to see some examples. Sometimes it's the analysis that is the goal rather than the item being analyzed.


How about a million humans pointing their camcorder approximately straight up each evening for 6 hours? Could a computer program be devised at reasonable cost to search 42 million hours of video per week?
I would think we would just end up with millions of pictures of fuzzy objects but with a better idea of where they are.

Besides, there's plenty of observatories doing just that.

Jason Thompson
2011-Mar-28, 03:30 PM
1% probability perhaps.

I doubt that. 1% is not an insignificant number. 1% of all the people on Earth is still the entire population of the UK, for example.


Our society spends big bucks analyzing some other things that are neither useful nor probable,

Such as?


but have invested very little in the UFO phenomena.

The vast numbers of reports filed and investigated would seem to contradict that assertion.

R.A.F.
2011-Mar-28, 03:41 PM
I've noted a distinct anti-ET bias in this thread.

The only "bias" I see here is against accepting extraordinary ideas without credible evidence.

Garrison
2011-Mar-28, 07:51 PM
I've noted a distinct anti-ET bias in this thread. Not so much that I am an ET believer, but I feel a need to add balance to the thread. ET are a reasonable assumption, but ET visiting, or living on Earth is not very reasonable. 1% probability perhaps. We may never know for sure.

The bias on this thread, if you want to call it that, has not been against the ET Hypothesis but against the notion put forward by the OP that the reason why governments and scientists refuse to invest more time and effort in studying the UFO phenomena is a taboo, a fear that if the they find a an actual alien visitation their power base would crumble. I favour the view that the likely reason for no further investigation being carried out is the lack of results from past efforts and the poor quality of the available evidence.


Our society spends big bucks analyzing some other things that are neither useful nor probable, but have invested very little in the UFO phenomena. Do we need to know? Will we be better off if we know? Perhaps not. Still it could be important =1% perhaps. Can some of you suggest some methods that might bring us closer to the truth about ET on Earth? How about a million humans pointing their camcorder approximately straight up each evening for 6 hours? Could a computer program be devised at reasonable cost to search 42 million hours of video per week?

We have 60 years worth of sightings, don't you think we might be able to derive the truth from those? If that isn't enough, well what exactly is stopping one of those groups that does investigate UFO's, MUFON for example, from organizing such a campaign? In the age of Facebook and Twitter, and with so many apparent believers in alien visitations they could create such a campaign readily enough. Does the fact that none of theses groups seems interested in such systematic efforts perhaps tell us something about the UFO phenomenon?

JeffD1
2011-Mar-28, 11:20 PM
A guy came to my house yesterday to buy an item I was selling. He was in his 50's, a Boeing engineer and seemed well educated, but he brought up the subject of UFO's and out went logic and objectivity. I had to be cautious as he had not paid me yet, so I politely brought my experience at BAUT to bear and we had a long discussion.

He condescendingly talked to me as though I was not "enlightened" to today's reality.

A common trait for pretty much all conspiracy theory believers.


He told of his personal "lights in the sky" observation and complained that I was prematurely judging ET visitation as impossible.

So once again the 'I don't know what that is' became 'it must be ET', a leap of logic that is as astounding as it is erroneous.

My own 'lights in the sky' story;(dialogue to the best of my recollection)
I was 13 in 1969 and about a dozen of us neighbourhood kids were on the field of our local school which borders on a forested area and is block from streetlights by the houses nearby. It offered a great place just to stare up at the sky and this night was clear, still and cool in late Sept. As we gazed up all jabbering to each other as 13 yr olds will do we all saw one 'star' moving accross the sky. Of course someone called out that it was a UFO to which I replied, 'no, probably a military satellite' (there were few communications satellites then). Then this satellite did a strange thing, it changed direction about 30-40 degrees very quickly. It never streaked out as a meteor would, and continued until it was lost past the trees to our west. The UFO believers then said 'see, can a satellite change direction instantly?' to which I answered 'yes' though I did not know if I was right but 13 year olds don't back down. Later I reasoned that the sat was 100+ miles away and that it need only look 'instant' from our POV

Point is that although many of my friends either jumped to the UFO conclusion and others simply saw the contention as more fulfilling/interesting than my more mundane explanation, we were only 13 years old. This man who visited you is displaying all the logic of a 13 year old and not much more.


I stopped him there and explained the scientific stance that his belief is possible but highly unlikely with the burden of proof on his outrageous claim rather than on my disproving the possibility.

Indeed just as he might balk at the idea that his extrodinary contention requires the burden of proof more than your mundane one so did the contention of my 13 year old compatriots rather than my more mundane explanation. OTOH of course we were 13


The discussion concluded with my stating my curiosity as to why he felt such a strong need to believe. He started to launch into spiritual ideas he had woven into his ETH and I lost interest in continuing the exchange. He was a Coast-to-Coast radio fan -- I was not surprised.

Mixing theology/spirituality with ufology, quite the dispassionate observer wasn't he.

Did you get paid?

The ETH is a fancy way of packaging a gross arguement from ignorance to make the contention seem more likely than it can be shown to be.

Is there the possibility of intelligent life on distant planets that have developed a level of technology greater than ours that makes of possible for them to traverse the great distances involved? Yes!

Is there a possibility that Earth has and is being visited by life from distant planets? Yes!

Is there sufficient evidence that either of these is true? No! So at this time it remains less probable.

eburacum45
2011-Mar-28, 11:26 PM
Recent cases which have more than eye-witness testimony to go on have been investigated quite efficiently- for instance the Mexican Oil Flare case. Other recent UFO movies have been examined and show fire lanterns or flares dropped by aircraft. So the authors seem to be in error when they state that sightings are not investigated; if there is good evidence to back up the eyewitness reports, it is very often possible to determine what caused the sightin in the first place.

But eyewitness reports alone, unsupported by corroborative evidence, are much more difficult to examine scientifically - such reports are often very subjective and prone to distortion, due to optical illusions, misperceptions, and tricks of memory. Not to forget the small number of cases which are deliberately exaggerated or invented.

Garrison mentioned social media, such as Facebook and Twitter; these can be used to gather data, but they also can influence eyewitnesses and distort their accounts over time. Some witnesses are encouraged by feedback through social media to elaborate their accounts far beyond the bounds of usefulness, or sometimes to change their own recollections to match those of other witnesses.

Eyewitness accounts need to be studied with the sort of tools used by psychology - and that field is itself often the subject of criticism because of lack of scientific rigour.

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-28, 11:45 PM
Actually, the possibility is just a bit above pixies and elves.


It depends on what you're talking about. If the claim is "indistinguishable from magic," I don't see why pixies or elves should be considered any less likely. The only distinction I can see is what might be more culturally acceptable. If you don't invoke magic, and are talking just about the possibility of ETI, it's another matter. A.DIM specifically invoked magic, so it is an issue for this thread.

Skyfire
2011-Mar-29, 12:26 AM
It depends on what you're talking about. If the claim is "indistinguishable from magic," I don't see why pixies or elves should be considered any less likely. The only distinction I can see is what might be more culturally acceptable. If you don't invoke magic, and are talking just about the possibility of ETI, it's another matter. A.DIM specifically invoked magic, so it is an issue for this thread.

Well, taking the assumption that someone actually saw something (lights in the sky, a moving/flying object, or whatever) I would suggest it probably could be placed (just) above the pixies and elves idea. However, of course, there is still much more likely to be a mundane explanation that just isn't determined at present. It's still a very long way indeed from being shown to be an ET related spacecraft!

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-29, 12:38 AM
Well, taking the assumption that someone actually saw something (lights in the sky, a moving/flying object, or whatever) I would suggest it probably could be placed (just) above the pixies and elves idea.


Obviously, those are pictures of elves flying on dragons.

You also seem to be missing the point. Again: Magic was specifically invoked in this thread. Once you make that leap, what useful distinction is there between elves, spirits, dragons, magical other-dimensional aliens, or whatever?

Don J
2011-Mar-29, 03:36 AM
By definition, if we know what they are, they aren't unidentified anymore. They're simply "flying objects."

So of course every UFO is unidentified. The ones we identify are always mundane. A person can say, "but what about the ones that aren't identified?" but that doesn't really mean anything.

There will always be unexplained phenomena. I don't mean that there will be phenomena that are mystical or alien or anything other than mundane. I mean that we can't observe everything perfectly, and that throughout the course of time, some things will be only partially observed. We might see a mirror tied to a helium balloon by a child, but be too far away to see the balloon itself. So we have a simple balloon that has to be labeled "unexplained," because we don't actually know about the balloon.

By definition, this is a "UFO." But it could be explained by so many reasonable things. We don't know that it's a balloon, but why would we decide that "magic" or "aliens" is more likely than a balloon?

If the UFO phenomena was so simple to explain when it begin to be widely spread in the modern era ie (about sixty years ago) there will be no need for the multiple projects to study it.
For example Project Sign in 1948 which concluded that that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin.Of course that conclusion does not make the autority in charge of the national security very happy... it was lilke saying we cannot do anything about the situation.After other studies and reports which ended with Project Blue Book they concluded that the UFO phenomena ie the (cases that remained unexplained by mundane explanations) was not a threat to national security...Ouf!

http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc726.htm


Summary: There is reliable testimony that in August, 1948, the Technical Intelligence Division at Wright-Patterson and Project Sign, decided to make a formal Estimate of the Situation. The Estimate was a top secret document that contained unexplained sightings by pilots, scientists, and other reliable witnesses. The report concluded that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin.

eburacum45
2011-Mar-29, 04:54 AM
Back in the 1940's and 1950's, the idea that UFOs were extraterrestrial seemed to be quite reasonable. Before the planets and moons of our Solar System were photographed by space probes, it seeemd entirely possible that intelligent life could exist elsewhere in our neighbourhood.

But as the decades have worn on, better images of our solar system have shown it to be a very inhospitable place. Better radar systems have also failed to show fleets of invading spacecraft, and no physical evidence of extraterrestrial visitation has appeared (so far). There has been an (entirely justified) swing in opinion against the extraterrestrial hypothesis (in official circles at least).

Basically the people behind Project Sign did not have enough data to go on, so they seem to have made the wrong decision.

Gillianren
2011-Mar-29, 04:58 AM
For example Project Sign in 1948 which concluded that that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin.

On what evidence? Initial studies get contradicted by better evidence all the time. It's how science works.

Skyfire
2011-Mar-29, 10:50 AM
Obviously, those are pictures of elves flying on dragons.

Well, yes, ..... or maybe dragons and dragon-riders who have 'gone between' and got here from Pern ....


You also seem to be missing the point. Again: Magic was specifically invoked in this thread. Once you make that leap, what useful distinction is there between elves, spirits, dragons, magical other-dimensional aliens, or whatever?

Seems I need to go back and re-read the thread. I hadn't really grasped that point I think....

NEOWatcher
2011-Mar-29, 01:14 PM
It depends on what you're talking about. If the claim is "indistinguishable from magic," I don't see why pixies or elves should be considered any less likely...
Taken out of context of my post, I can agree. But; my post was about how they are treated by the government.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Mar-29, 03:42 PM
Well, you're correct in that any sufficiently advanced tech would be indistinguishable from magic, ...
People who use that quote often don't know where it came from and how it applies.

A lot of our everyday tech right now is indistinguishable from magic. Every day people point at a screen with a magic wand, causing it to watch and listen to people who are often dead and definitely are far away. They carry a little box which, if they know the correct spell for the person (i.e. if they press the right spots in the correct sequence), lets them talk to people on the other side of the world. 99.9% of them wouldn't be able to tell you how that happens.
That's technology which is indistinguishable from magic.

A craft capable of maneuvering at 2000 g in any direction without any noise and without soupifying the crew (to take a simple example) isn't technology indistinguishable from magic, that IS magic.

kamaz
2011-Mar-29, 05:30 PM
Then this satellite did a strange thing, it changed direction about 30-40 degrees very quickly.

I saw the ISS rise in the West and set in the South. Does it mean it turned?

kamaz
2011-Mar-29, 05:36 PM
We have 60 years worth of sightings, don't you think we might be able to derive the truth from those?

We also have hundreds of years of observations of ghosts, and we still lack hard scientific evidence for them. Does it stop people believing?

On top of that, haunted houses are in fixed locations, while UFOs appear in random places. That fact alone makes the study of supposed ghosts orders of magnitude easier.

kamaz
2011-Mar-29, 05:44 PM
Project Sign in 1948 which concluded that that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin.

And by sheer coincidence, this was just after rocket pioneers have experimentally demonstrated that spaceflight is physically possible!

Garrison
2011-Mar-29, 05:48 PM
We also have hundreds of years of observations of ghosts, and we still lack hard scientific evidence for them. Does it stop people believing?

On top of that, haunted houses are in fixed locations, while UFOs appear in random places. That fact alone makes the study of supposed ghosts orders of magnitude easier.

Are you saying then that we can't draw any conclusions from those decades of sightings? If so could you please explain your reasoning?

Garrison
2011-Mar-29, 05:59 PM
On what evidence? Initial studies get contradicted by better evidence all the time. It's how science works.

I looked up the Wiki for Project Sign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Sign), and yes it's a Wiki and it's not exactly the full files but this doesn't fill me with hope about the quality of their work(my bold):


As Swords notes, "The project members reasoned that they had several dozen aerial observations that they could not explain, many of them by military pilots and scientists. The objects seemed to act like real technology, but their sources said they were not ours. The flying fuselage encounter (Chiles-Whitted) intrigued them. The Prandtl theory of lift indicated that such an odd shape can fly, but it would need some form of power plant advanced well beyond what we could build (e.g., nuclear)[9] Sign personnel generally accepted that the more reliable witnesses were describing accurately what they'd seen. Given that there was no evidence that either the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. had anything remotely like the UFOs reported, Sign personnel gradually began considering extraterrestrial origins for the objects. The result was the legendary Estimate of the Situation.

Of course the existence of the 'Estimate of the Situation' hardly supports the thesis of the paper A.DIM originally posted, unless the US government collapsed into anarchy in in 1947-49 and I've simply never heard of it?

kamaz
2011-Mar-29, 06:01 PM
Are you saying then that we can't draw any conclusions from those decades of sightings? If so could you please explain your reasoning?

I'm saying that in case of both phenomena, scientific research has failed to show evidence of their supposed nature. Of course, we can draw conclusions from all the nulls and negatives. However, it should be obvious that no amount of nulls and negatives will stop the public from believing in such phenomena.

ETA: To make it clearer. A lot of people believe in different paranormal phenomena. Most of these beliefs are around longer then the beliefs in UFOs. If people could be convinced by a sufficiently large amount of nulls and negatives, they would have given up on certain paranormal beliefs long ago. The fact that they didn't indicates that there is no hope that ETH supporters can be convinced by continuing lack of evidence for alien visitation. This is because amount of non-evidence for these phenomena exceeds the amount of non-evidence for UFOs alien visitation.

Garrison
2011-Mar-29, 06:39 PM
I'm saying that in case of both phenomena, scientific research has failed to show evidence of their supposed nature. Of course, we can draw conclusions from all the nulls and negatives. However, it should be obvious that no amount of nulls and negatives will stop the public from believing in such phenomena.

ETA: To make it clearer. A lot of people believe in different paranormal phenomena. Most of these beliefs are around longer then the beliefs in UFOs. If people could be convinced by a sufficiently large amount of nulls and negatives, they would have given up on certain paranormal beliefs long ago. The fact that they didn't indicates that there is no hope that ETH supporters can be convinced by continuing lack of evidence for alien visitation. This is because amount of non-evidence for these phenomena exceeds the amount of non-evidence for UFOs alien visitation.

So basically you're agreeing that there are pragmatic reasons for governments not to launch large scale new investigations rather than a 'taboo' created by fear of the consequences as claimed by the paper A.DIM posted?

Gillianren
2011-Mar-29, 06:44 PM
I think what he's saying is that all the studies done haven't convinced anyone yet and probably will continue not to convince people. People believe what they want to.

Garrison
2011-Mar-29, 07:12 PM
I think what he's saying is that all the studies done haven't convinced anyone yet and probably will continue not to convince people. People believe what they want to.

Which is certainly true but I was unclear whether Kamaz was saying that people choose to avoid drawing conclusions from the 60 years of recorded UFO sightings or that drawing any conclusions from the data is impossible.

And just to be clear my conclusion would be that there is nothing in the existing record which would warrant any large scale government sponsored investigation, which is why they are not currently, as far as I know, being undertaken rather than the 'taboo' concept put forward in the paper linked by A.DIM. I'm not closing out the possibility, remote as it is, that one of those sightings is of an actual alien spacecraft, just that we have no way of telling because of the paucity of evidence in those cases that remain unexplained.

Don J
2011-Mar-29, 07:22 PM
On what evidence? Initial studies get contradicted by better evidence all the time. It's how science works.

The question is rather on which -basis- they arrived to the ET hypothesis ?It was determined that no Earth nation was in possession of such tehnology...
Simply put, that was the reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability, and actions which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.

Note that the objects in question were metallic disc shaped flying objects and Rough Cigar Shapes

Here an example of a top secret document released by FOIA about they used as basis for their study.

http://www.project1947.com/fig/1948air.htm

Note that the observation and photographs taken On 7 July 1947 by William Rhoads of Phoenix,preceded the observations made by Kenneth Arnold... describing similar object(s).ie a disk-like object with a round front and a square tail in plan form

Garrison
2011-Mar-29, 07:50 PM
The question is rather on which -basis- they arrived to the ET hypothesis ?It was determined that no Earth nation was in possession of such tehnology...
Simply put, that was the reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability, and actions which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.

Note that the objects in question were metallic disc shaped flying objects and Rough Cigar Shapes

Yes but all of thst appears to have rested on at least one questionable assumption. To repeat a small part of my previous Wiki quote:


Sign personnel generally accepted that the more reliable witnesses were describing accurately what they'd seen.

Based on what we now know about the reliability of eyewitness testimony that's a fairly large question mark over their evaluation.


Here an example of a top secret document released by FOIA about they used as basis for their study.

http://www.project1947.com/fig/1948air.htm

Note that the observation and photographs taken On 7 July 1947 by William Rhoads of Phoenix,preceded the observations made by Kenneth Arnold... describing similar objects.

Two pictures of fuzzy blobs with nothing to give any reference for scale or distance? This is the quality of evidence they were working from? And weren't these pictures in fact submitted to the Airforce some weeks after the Arnold sighting?
Oh and if you had looked down at appendix D you would have noted that the shape Rhodes and Arnold described is shared by a number of experimental aircraft. Yes wildly unlikely that either of them could have see such an aircraft flying but compared to the notion of aliens from (as we now know it would have to be) another star system, well I'm going with the Go229 on that one.

NEOWatcher
2011-Mar-29, 08:21 PM
Sign personnel generally accepted that the more reliable witnesses were describing accurately what they'd seen.
Thier description may have been accurate, but what about perception of what they described? This statement can be said of anyone who can clearly and consistantly describe what they think they saw.

Garrison
2011-Mar-29, 08:32 PM
Thier description may have been accurate, but what about perception of what they described? This statement can be said of anyone who can clearly and consistantly describe what they think they saw.

Which is the exactly the point. The Sign people were making a faulty assumption about the reliability of eyewitness testimony that fed into a faulty conclusion, that the witnesses had seen extraterrestrial craft.

Gillianren
2011-Mar-29, 08:50 PM
The question is rather on which -basis- they arrived to the ET hypothesis ?It was determined that no Earth nation was in possession of such tehnology...
Simply put, that was the reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability, and actions which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.

Yes, but that's operating from several faulty assumptions, not the least of which is that eyewitness testimony can ever be completely reliable.

kamaz
2011-Mar-29, 09:34 PM
So basically you're agreeing that there are pragmatic reasons for governments not to launch large scale new investigations rather than a 'taboo' created by fear of the consequences as claimed by the paper A.DIM posted?

Yes!


Which is certainly true but I was unclear whether Kamaz was saying that people choose to avoid drawing conclusions from the 60 years of recorded UFO sightings or that drawing any conclusions from the data is impossible.

I'll try to be even more precise here. If the working hypothesis is alien visitation, then an UFO sighting can be classified as:

- positive -> we have identified the object as an alien spacecraft
- negative -> we have identified the object as something else
- null -> we have no idea what we saw.

The data, as it stands, contains precisely zero reliable positives (no physical proofs of aliens), some unreliable positives (someone claims he saw an alien), a lot of negatives (radar artifacts, misidentification, whatever) and a lot of nulls.

From this I conclude that there is no evidence supporting alien visitation. Also, in broader sense, there is nothing in the data which would hint particularly at aliens behind the unexplained events. However, I have to stress that the data do not justify rejecting ETH: there is no physical prohibition against alien visitation and there are unexplained events which alien visitation would explain.

From the same data other people conclude that we are dealing with alien visitation, because they incorrectly, automatically ascribe nulls into the positive category: if it is unexplained, then it is an alien. They basically commit a non-sequitur. But because of that, it does not matter how many observations you give them, because you are always going to have nulls, and they will always incorrectly interpret nulls as support of ETH.

kamaz
2011-Mar-29, 11:40 PM
The question is rather on which -basis- they arrived to the ET hypothesis ?It was determined that no Earth nation was in possession of such tehnology ...


Only if you discount (or disprove) the claims about Germans building UFOs during WW2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_UFOs . Also note, that people involved in such research would be imported into US (or USSR) in 1945 and their work classified.

Of course, there is no hard proof for that. But, the Nazi UFO theory requires two assumptions as minimum:

1. the UFO is physically possible.
2. it can be build using 1940s technology.

On the other hand, the ETH requires assuming that:

1. the UFO is physically possible.
2. the aliens have sufficient technology level to build one
3. the aliens exist
4. the aliens are interested in us
5. the aliens have interstellar drive

Barring some kind of proof either way, ETH is not the best explanation and far from being the only explanation.

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-30, 05:36 AM
Taken out of context of my post, I can agree. But; my post was about how they are treated by the government.

That wasn't clear to me from reading your post.

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-30, 05:48 AM
Only if you discount (or disprove) the claims about Germans building UFOs during WW2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_UFOs . Also note, that people involved in such research would be imported into US (or USSR) in 1945 and their work classified.

Of course, there is no hard proof for that. But, the Nazi UFO theory requires two assumptions as minimum:

1. the UFO is physically possible.
2. it can be build using 1940s technology.

On the other hand, the ETH requires assuming that:

1. the UFO is physically possible.
2. the aliens have sufficient technology level to build one
3. the aliens exist
4. the aliens are interested in us
5. the aliens have interstellar drive

Barring some kind of proof either way, ETH is not the best explanation and far from being the only explanation.

Like the time traveler option (which makes as much sense as the FTL drive option for ETs).

Or perhaps Atlantis was real (a former advanced civilization).

Or maybe dinosaurs did evolve, and are still here.

I'm not seriously suggesting any of these either, but I also don't see why they should be considered as less likely possibilities.

tnjrp
2011-Mar-30, 06:12 AM
I'm partial to Molemen from Earth's core myself.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Mar-30, 07:26 AM
Elves! Elves, I tell you! Conspiring with pink unicorns to corrupt our precious bodily fluids.

tnjrp
2011-Mar-30, 07:50 AM
Van Rijn must be in cahoots with them! Let's burn 'im!

captain swoop
2011-Mar-30, 07:54 AM
Dinosaurs are still here, and they fly. I have seen them.

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-30, 08:12 AM
And it's thought they cause a fair share of the UFO reports. Spooky, isn't it?

Swift
2011-Mar-30, 03:23 PM
Elves! Elves, I tell you! Conspiring with pink unicorns to corrupt our precious bodily fluids.

Van Rijn must be in cahoots with them! Let's burn 'im!
Let's try to keep the silly stuff in check folks. It still appears there is some serious discussion going on here; let's not overwhelm it.

Thanks,

Normandy
2011-Mar-30, 05:47 PM
This paper (http://www.ufoskeptic.org/wendt_preprint.pdf) is an interesting argument from an unusual angle regarding UFOs and the ETH. The "UFO taboo" is not really a new concept, but the authors present it as a political and sociological problem, matters of state and science, and an "epistemology of ignorance."

The brief section "Proving Our Ignorance" leads me to wonder who here outright rejects the ETH as possible answer for some UFOs, commiting a Type II statistical error?

Poignant final statements, I think: "... if academics' first responsibility is to tell the truth, then the truth is that after 60years of modern UFOs, human beings still have no idea what they are, and are not even trying to find out. That should surprise and disturb us all, and cast doubt on the structure of rule that requires and sustains it."

Those little green men threads are becoming boring. Another crackpot article that joins nicely to recent closed thread on crackpot book about so called generals and UFOs. Why are you waisting your time on that garbage in the first place? I said this many times in the past. Those authors are probably missquoting people or inventing names and titles to make stories more plausable. It is time to move on.

Garrison
2011-Mar-30, 06:20 PM
I think the people who wrote the 'taboo' article are vastly overestimating the public reaction to the revelation that some UFO sighting was an actual alien visitation, assuming we are talking about the kind of UFO cases that actually exist and not the eponymous landing on the Whitehouse lawn. We know there already plenty of people who believe that governments are covering up evidence of aliens, so being the politician who comes out with the truth might actually strengthen them rather than overthrow the system.

Don J
2011-Mar-30, 07:21 PM
Only if you discount (or disprove) the claims about Germans building UFOs during WW2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_UFOs . Also note, that people involved in such research would be imported into US (or USSR) in 1945 and their work classified.

Of course, there is no hard proof for that. But, the Nazi UFO theory requires two assumptions as minimum:

1. the UFO is physically possible.
2. it can be build using 1940s technology.

On the other hand, the ETH requires assuming that:

1. the UFO is physically possible.
2. the aliens have sufficient technology level to build one
3. the aliens exist
4. the aliens are interested in us
5. the aliens have interstellar drive

Barring some kind of proof either way, ETH is not the best explanation and far from being the only explanation.
So we are in agreement than as determined by the study mentioned the reality of the flying saucers as real object was established.

http://www.project1947.com/fig/1948air.htm

The point in litige was about their origin not about their physical reality.

Garrison
2011-Mar-30, 08:02 PM
So we are in agreement than as determined by the study mentioned the reality of the flying saucers as real object was established.

No I think what is agreed is that they made a series of bad assumptions, starting with assuming that what people thought they saw and what they actually saw were the same thing, that is the Sign investigators assumed that human perception was the same as reality, which many studies in the years since have shown is far from the truth.


http://www.project1947.com/fig/1948air.htm

The point in litige was about their origin not about their physical reality.

Which was part of the problem, the Sign personnel seem to have decided they were dealing with actual craft even before they had studied the evidence, and to quote from the Wiki again:


Historian David Michael Jacobs argues that, overall, Project Sign’s personnel did an admirable job. However, Jacobs has also stated, "[Project Sign's] main problem was that the staff was too inexperienced to discriminate between which sightings to investigate thoroughly. Because of unfamiliarity with the phenomenon, the staff spent inordinate amounts of time on sightings that were obviously aircraft, meteors or hoaxes." [19]

Frankly based on the case information you've presented that seems a plausible conclusion.

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-30, 08:17 PM
So we are in agreement than as determined by the study mentioned the reality of the flying saucers as real object was established.


I think it's agreed that many UFO reports are due to real objects: Birds, insects, Venus, airplanes, flares on balloons, etc.

kamaz
2011-Mar-30, 08:22 PM
So we are in agreement than as determined by the study mentioned the reality of the flying saucers as real object was established.


That depends how you define a flying saucer.

Reality of disk-shaped aircraft is not in dispute: we know that at least one such design was built: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_VZ-9_Avrocar

Reality of aircrafts performing impossible (for an airplane) maneuvers is not directly confirmed, and at least some sightings are false (radar artifacts!). On the other hand, there are documented attempts to build such an aircraft. That makes their existence plausible; if people were trying, it is likely that someone has gotten it right.

I have no way of judging the veracity of your report. It may be an intentional disinformation, for example.



The point in litige was about their origin not about their physical reality.


I'd say that these questions are orthogonal. I'm pointing out that existence of the craft does not automatically imply its extraterrestrial origin.

I have seen physical devices which looked sci-fi enough to be claimed as extraterrestrial. Except that they originated from a certain French lab :)

Garrison
2011-Mar-30, 08:48 PM
That depends how you define a flying saucer.

Reality of disk-shaped aircraft is not in dispute: we know that at least one such design was built: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_VZ-9_Avrocar

Reality of aircrafts performing impossible (for an airplane) maneuvers is not directly confirmed, and at least some sightings are false (radar artifacts!). On the other hand, there are documented attempts to build such an aircraft. That makes their existence plausible; if people were trying, it is likely that someone has gotten it right.


And even if it were the USAF that achieved, it they wouldn't necessarily share that with those personnel working on Project Sign, indeed they might be perfectly happy to have their top secret project mistaken for an alien spacecraft.

kamaz
2011-Mar-30, 09:47 PM
And even if it were the USAF that achieved, it they wouldn't necessarily share that with those personnel working on Project Sign, indeed they might be perfectly happy to have their top secret project mistaken for an alien spacecraft.

My point exactly.

Don J
2011-Mar-31, 04:16 AM
I think it's agreed that many UFO reports are due to real objects: Birds, insects, Venus, airplanes, flares on balloons, etc.
Interesting point.However i doubt that that explain the first case submitted ....
Excerpt from
http://www.project1947.com/fig/1948air.htm



During observations of weather balloons at the Richmond Bureau, one well trained observer has sighted strange metallic disks on three occasions and another observer has sighted a similar object on one occasion. The last observation of unidentified objects was in April, 1947. On all four occasions the weather balloon and the unidentified objects were in view through the theodolite. These observations at the Richmond Bureau occurred several months before publicity on the flying saucers appeared in a U.S. new spaper.

eburacum45
2011-Mar-31, 12:46 PM
One observer who saw an unexplained aerial phenomenon through a theodolite in that decade was Charles B Moore, who was associated with Project Mogul. Although I have no clue what Moore saw, it is interesting that his testimony concerning Mogul is one of the most important pieces of evidence for a mundane explanation for the Roswell myth.

One thing I'm not too clear on- how would an observer using a single theodolite obtain a height value for an object of unknown size?

NEOWatcher
2011-Mar-31, 12:48 PM
Interesting point.However i doubt that that explain the first case submitted ....
Excerpt from
http://www.project1947.com/fig/1948air.htm

On all four occasions the weather balloon and the unidentified objects were in view through the theodolite.
Sounds like an anomoly in the viewing equipment. No reports of seeing it without the theodolite?

A.DIM
2011-Mar-31, 01:25 PM
And let me clarify for you, A.DIM, that supporting (or implying support, as you've done) for a CT claim places you within the boundaries of Rule 13. The claim is (or appears to be) that there's some sort of conspiracy of silence surrounding UFOlogy. As you know, making a claim (or advocating for a 3rd party claim in the CT forum) requires you to support that claim as best you can... or retract it.

You are expected to begin doing so now.

Thanks for the clarification, Moose, and apologies for the slowness in my response.

The authors’ stance is that of agnosticism; they repeatedly state there’s no direct evidence for the ETH, and that they do not presuppose any UFOs are ET. Theirs is an analysis for political theory, examining the limits of anthropocentric sovereignty and modern rule, through sociology and ontology. There is nothing which regards any conspiracy. To the contrary: “We are not saying the authorities are hiding The Truth about UFOs, much less that it is ET. We are saying they cannot ask the question.”

Now, is there a UFO “taboo?” Well, it seems the ignorant masses accept the idea that ETs are piloting some UFOs while science and state seemingly can do nothing more to find out if that’s the case, let alone take the idea seriously. They authoritatively dismiss and debunk any such claims as hoaxes, misidentifications, unidentified natural phenomena, unknowns… suggesting every instance must be something other than ETi, leaving it to the ignorant masses to “prove it.” As the authors point out, “The question today is not “Are UFOs ETs?” but “Is there enough evidence they might be to warrant systematic study?” By demanding proof of ETs first skeptics foreclose the question altogether.”

Yes, I think it's "taboo" to suggest some UFOs could be ETi, as it calls in to question Science’s ability to explain reality and State’s ability to protect against threats (not to mention ontological threats the idea poses); in other words, it challenges their sovereignty. The Brookings Report supports this view, I think. Additionally, IMO, the fact that the ETH with regard to UFOs is sequestered to ATM / CT in a "defend or there's no discussion" stance, reinforces the idea there's taboo; it's more about debunkery than discovery, even while the ETH has not been disproven scientifically. I mean, SETI works on some extraordinary assumptions too, yet such an idea is not only taken seriously but is allowed considerable speculative discussion, in the mainstream no less.

So, in the end, I found the paper an interesting argument and thought it might elicit good discussion. I dare say this thread is a good example of what the authors are arguing but I don't expect to change anyone's mind as to whether there exists a "taboo."

I suppose I'll retract and thank you all for taking the time.

Jason Thompson
2011-Mar-31, 02:10 PM
“The question today is not “Are UFOs ETs?” but “Is there enough evidence they might be to warrant systematic study?” By demanding proof of ETs first skeptics foreclose the question altogether.”

By assuming that the demand for proof comes first, the authors skip the very question they have asked. No-one demands proof of ETs before investigating whether a UFO might be of extra-terrestrial origin. What they demand is the very evidence that they might be to warrant more serious investigation. An inability to identify something, or some spurious eyewitness testimonies do not qualify.


Yes, I think it's "taboo" to suggest some UFOs could be ETi, as it calls in to question Science’s ability to explain reality

How?


and State’s ability to protect against threats (not to mention ontological threats the idea poses)

How?


the ETH has not been disproven scientifically.

Science cannot disprove, only prove. It is impossible to prove a negative. Until there is sufficient evidence of ET there is nowhere for science to go on the issue.

Strange
2011-Mar-31, 02:49 PM
The authors’ stance is that of agnosticism; they repeatedly state there’s no direct evidence for the ETH, and that they do not presuppose any UFOs are ET.

And yet they use the fact that no research has confirmed the ETH as proof that research is taboo? It is not as if research has not been done, it just hasn't been done to their satisfaction (i.e. to reach the conclusion they want).


Theirs is an analysis for political theory, examining the limits of anthropocentric sovereignty and modern rule, through sociology and ontology. There is nothing which regards any conspiracy. To the contrary: “We are not saying the authorities are hiding The Truth about UFOs, much less that it is ET. We are saying they cannot ask the question.”

Which is functionally equivalent to saying their is a conspiracy (dressed up in fancy sociological language). And just as wrong.

Whenever people use the "why won't scientists investigate" argument, what they really mean is "why won't scientists confirm what I believe".


Now, is there a UFO “taboo?” Well, it seems the ignorant masses accept the idea that ETs are piloting some UFOs while science and state seemingly can do nothing more to find out if that’s the case, let alone take the idea seriously.

The trouble is, when science or "the state" takes the idea seriously and does some research, they either find a mundane cause or are unable to identify a cause (i.e. a UFO). The authors imply that scientists would only be doing their job properly if they found evidence of ET. (So much for their "agnosticism.) Unfortunately, there just doesn't seem to be any such evidence. And what does it matter if "masses accept the idea"? If they accept the idea despite the lack of proper evidence, then it is irrelevant.


They authoritatively dismiss and debunk any such claims as hoaxes, misidentifications, unidentified natural phenomena, unknowns… suggesting every instance must be something other than ETi

That is some seriously woolly thinking. Some percentage are unidentified (I'm not sure how it can be an "unidentified natural phenomena" because how would you know it was a natural phenomena if it were unidentified?) or unknown (how is that different from unidentified?). I don't see how saying "we don't know what that was" counts as authoritative dismissal or debunking. It is still possible that some of these are ET - it is just really, really unlikely and there is no evidence to leap to such a conclusion.


, leaving it to the ignorant masses to “prove it.”

So why haven't they? Perhaps because there is no evidence for them to use, either.


As the authors point out, “The question today is not “Are UFOs ETs?” but “Is there enough evidence they might be to warrant systematic study?” By demanding proof of ETs first skeptics foreclose the question altogether.”

As already pointed out, no one demands proof before investigating. That would be pointless. Whenever investigations have been done they either identify something or they don't. In many cases there just isn't enough prima facie evidence to even justify an investigation.


Yes, I think it's "taboo" to suggest some UFOs could be ETi, as it calls in to question Science’s ability to explain reality

That is just backwards. Surely, leaving things as "unidentified" would call into question science's ability? Luckily science doesn't care about such things, otherwise it would make up an explanation.


and State’s ability to protect against threats

Again, whenever the military investigate, they either identify it or say "we don't know what it was but it doesn't seem to be a threat to national security so we don't care" (see recent NZ Air Force thread). The authors argument only makes sense if you assume that (a) there are ETs, (b) they are a threat and (c) they would be unbeatable. That is an awful lot of unfounded assumptions to base a conclusion that "the state" feels too threatened to consider the idea.


(not to mention ontological threats the idea poses)

What ontological threats? What does that even mean?


in other words, it challenges their sovereignty

How, exactly?


it's more about debunkery than discovery, even while the ETH has not been disproven scientifically

I assume by "disproven" you mean the hypothesis hasn't been falsified. True enough. There is pretty much zero evidence both for or against it. So I don't really see why it should be taken seriously.


I mean, SETI works on some extraordinary assumptions too

Such as? I think the probabilities of detecting anything are incredibly low for all sorts of practical reasons, but looking doesn't require any particular assumption beyond the idea that an alien civilization might be transmitting RF signals. Not so extraordinary.


yet such an idea is not only taken seriously but is allowed considerable speculative discussion, in the mainstream no less.

Why not? It is not claiming anything, just looking.

R.A.F.
2011-Mar-31, 03:06 PM
I don't expect to change anyone's mind as to whether there exists a "taboo."

That's the whole "point", A.DIM...you expect us to believe something when there has been no evidence presented for the "something".

Present evidence for this "taboo" and you will change others minds.

Gillianren
2011-Mar-31, 05:38 PM
The authors’ stance is that of agnosticism; they repeatedly state there’s no direct evidence for the ETH, and that they do not presuppose any UFOs are ET. Theirs is an analysis for political theory, examining the limits of anthropocentric sovereignty and modern rule, through sociology and ontology. There is nothing which regards any conspiracy. To the contrary: “We are not saying the authorities are hiding The Truth about UFOs, much less that it is ET. We are saying they cannot ask the question.”

How does that correlate with the fact that, well, they have? There have been governmental and military studies of UFOs. Therefore, what these authors must be complaining about is the fact that those studies don't get the results they want. The only other option is that they aren't aware of these studies. Neither of these bode well for their research capabilities.


Now, is there a UFO “taboo?” Well, it seems the ignorant masses accept the idea that ETs are piloting some UFOs while science and state seemingly can do nothing more to find out if that’s the case, let alone take the idea seriously. They authoritatively dismiss and debunk any such claims as hoaxes, misidentifications, unidentified natural phenomena, unknowns… suggesting every instance must be something other than ETi, leaving it to the ignorant masses to “prove it.” As the authors point out, “The question today is not “Are UFOs ETs?” but “Is there enough evidence they might be to warrant systematic study?” By demanding proof of ETs first skeptics foreclose the question altogether.”

This also shows that the authors don't understand how science works. In order to determine that something is an alien spacecraft, we must have a definition of the terms met by the words "alien spacecraft." There must be a definition the unidentified can fit in order to be identified. We know things are birds because they have feathers and wings. They are living creatures. Similarly, a living creature with fur and wings cannot be a bird but is instead a bat. The proposal here is to take the perfectly sound scientific premise of "we don't have enough information to identify that" and wedge in something with unknown boundaries.


Yes, I think it's "taboo" to suggest some UFOs could be ETi, as it calls in to question Science’s ability to explain reality and State’s ability to protect against threats (not to mention ontological threats the idea poses); in other words, it challenges their sovereignty. The Brookings Report supports this view, I think. Additionally, IMO, the fact that the ETH with regard to UFOs is sequestered to ATM / CT in a "defend or there's no discussion" stance, reinforces the idea there's taboo; it's more about debunkery than discovery, even while the ETH has not been disproven scientifically. I mean, SETI works on some extraordinary assumptions too, yet such an idea is not only taken seriously but is allowed considerable speculative discussion, in the mainstream no less.

Okay, how about this? I concede it's possible and always have. I don't think it's true, but the fact is, that's because no one has ever shown any evidence to support the claim. There have been investigations, no matter how much you care to tiptoe around it. We have had one brought to us which supports the ETH, and it's been shown to have operated on faulty methodology. It has been pointed out to you that no one has to rely on Them to do the investigating, that a determined group of ETH believers can do the research themselves. How come that hasn't happened? How come it hasn't produced the kind of positive results which are apparently the only ones your "agnostic" authors will accept as valid?


So, in the end, I found the paper an interesting argument and thought it might elicit good discussion. I dare say this thread is a good example of what the authors are arguing but I don't expect to change anyone's mind as to whether there exists a "taboo."

So you're disappointed that people are asking for evidence before they'll accept an unknown entity as an answer preferable to "we don't know." You're disappointed because your faulty premise of "but They never do studies!" isn't being accepted as wholeheartedly as you accept it. You're disappointed because no one accepts the unsupported premise that a serious discussion of the ETH would bring the world's governments crashing down.


I suppose I'll retract and thank you all for taking the time.

Well, that is easier.

Garrison
2011-Mar-31, 07:28 PM
So, in the end, I found the paper an interesting argument and thought it might elicit good discussion. I dare say this thread is a good example of what the authors are arguing but I don't expect to change anyone's mind as to whether there exists a "taboo."

I suppose I'll retract and thank you all for taking the time.

It would make for an interesting discussion, and in fact it has. The pity is that you have proven unwilling to engage in any sort of meaningful dialogue with people who have proven they are willing to engage on the subject.

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-31, 07:35 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Moose, and apologies for the slowness in my response.

The authors’ stance is that of agnosticism; they repeatedly state there’s no direct evidence for the ETH, and that they do not presuppose any UFOs are ET. Theirs is an analysis for political theory, examining the limits of anthropocentric sovereignty and modern rule, through sociology and ontology. There is nothing which regards any conspiracy. To the contrary: “We are not saying the authorities are hiding The Truth about UFOs, much less that it is ET. We are saying they cannot ask the question.”


Which doesn't make sense in light of the questions that have been asked, so the obvious conclusion is that the article was written by ET believers for ET believers.



I suppose I'll retract and thank you all for taking the time.

Well, that's sad. I was hoping you'd answer some of the questions that have been asked, like:

How else would you study this issue? What would you do that hasn't been done?

If you want to argue for a taboo as opposed to the practical limits of research, you should show why a taboo is the more reasonable option.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Mar-31, 07:44 PM
I dare say this thread is a good example of what the authors are arguing

I dare say this comment is a good example of a parting insult made by someone walking out of a roomful of reasonable people prepared to engage in reasoned debate.

Garrison
2011-Mar-31, 07:51 PM
Interesting point.However i doubt that that explain the first case submitted ....
Excerpt from
http://www.project1947.com/fig/1948air.htm

Well the thing is how can you evaluate the likelihood of any given explanation given the sparse information? How would you go about eliminating possibilities when faced with only the witness statements to go on?

Van Rijn
2011-Mar-31, 07:55 PM
How does that correlate with the fact that, well, they have? There have been governmental and military studies of UFOs. Therefore, what these authors must be complaining about is the fact that those studies don't get the results they want. The only other option is that they aren't aware of these studies. Neither of these bode well for their research capabilities.


They seem to be aware of the studies. While at the beginning of the article they say, "UFOs have never been systematically investigated by science or the state, because it is assumed to be known that none are extraterrestrial," later in the article they mention and dismiss them, ". . . official inquiries, like the 1969 Condon Report, which have the appearance of being scientific but are essentially "show trials" systematically deformed by a a priori rejection of the ETH."

ETA: If this isn't an obvious example of article/author bias, I don't know what would be.

Swift
2011-Mar-31, 08:41 PM
<snip>
So, in the end, I found the paper an interesting argument and thought it might elicit good discussion. I dare say this thread is a good example of what the authors are arguing but I don't expect to change anyone's mind as to whether there exists a "taboo."

I suppose I'll retract and thank you all for taking the time.
A.DIM,

In your last two paragraphs you say you have a good example of what the authors are saying but then counter "I suppose I'll retract". That is not a sufficient response to a very explicit instruction from moderator Moose.

You will either really be the advocate of this idea or you will explicitly retract the argument. You may not kind of do both and neither and think you can get away with not following the rules of the CT forum. Pick a side and stick with it. Your very next post will do that or you will be infracted.

kamaz
2011-Mar-31, 09:08 PM
Yes, I think it's "taboo" to suggest some UFOs could be ETi, as it calls in to question Science’s ability to explain reality and State’s ability to protect against threats (not to mention ontological threats the idea poses); in other words, it challenges their sovereignty.

There is a simpler explanation of that. To understand it, please answer the following question: how can you prove ETH? In other words, please describe a research program aimed at verifying ETH.

You will quickly notice that the major problem is that UFOs appear in random places at random time and behave unpredictably. Of course, one could conceive UFO traps, but since in principle we don't know what an UFO is, then we have no idea how to make a working UFO trap. If you assume that aliens would be actively avoiding the capture, then the problem becomes essentially unsolvable.

Should we try an all-out approach such as immediately firing surface-to-air missiles at each and every radar contact without a transponder?

Garrison
2011-Mar-31, 09:48 PM
They seem to be aware of the studies. While at the beginning of the article they say, "UFOs have never been scientifically investigated by science or the state, because it is assumed to be known that none are extraterrestrial," later in the article they mention and dismiss them, ". . . official inquiries, like the 1969 Condon Report, which have the appearance of being scientific but are essentially "show trials" systematically deformed by a a priori rejection of the ETH."

ETA: If this isn't an obvious example of article/author bias, I don't know what would be.

I doesn't seem to match up with the definition of agnosticism I familiar with.
I see this paper as an attempt update the 'government cover up' theory for the Wikileaks era. That is it's become increasingly hard to argue that the government has managed to keep some deep dark UFO's secrets when so many others are exposed on the internet. Better to argue they have no evidence, because they are too afraid to look for it.

Van Rijn
2011-Apr-01, 01:10 AM
A correction note - I corrected a quote in my previous post (the article can't be copied and paste so I had to do it by eye). It should read "UFOs have never been systematically investigated by science or the state . . ."

Don J
2011-Apr-01, 03:25 AM
One thing I'm not too clear on- how would an observer using a single theodolite obtain a height value for an object of unknown size?

By knowing the size of the weather balloon and also his altitude.

there is more details in APPENDIX "C"



"During April 1947, two employees of the Weather Bureau Station at Richmond, Virginia reported seeing a strange metallic disk on three occasions through the theodolite while making PIBAL observations. One observation was at 15,000 feet when a disk was followed for 15 seconds. The disk appeared metallic, shaped something like an ellipse with a flat bottom and a round top. It appeared below the balloon and was much larger in size. The disk appeared to be moving rather rapidly, although it was impossible to estimate its speed. The other observations were made at 27,000 feet in like manner."

captain swoop
2011-Apr-01, 08:57 AM
How does he know the disk was at the same distance as the balloon? If he doesn't knowwhat it was it could have been any size or distance.

Jason Thompson
2011-Apr-01, 08:57 AM
By knowing the size of the weather balloon and also his altitude.

That does not help with identifying the height or size of an unknown object. If I am observing a 747 I know to be travelling at 40,000 feet altitude, how does that help me identify an unknown object in the same field of view? In other words, if it has no recognisable features that allow me to determine its size, how do I tell whether I am looking at a mile-wide disc at 300 miles altitude or a foot-wide disc at 300 feet, both of which would appear to be the same size as I observe them?

Gillianren
2011-Apr-01, 05:27 PM
After all, I can see a 747 and a crow at the same time and appearing to be the same size in the sky, but they aren't.

A.DIM
2011-Apr-01, 05:34 PM
A.DIM,

In your last two paragraphs you say you have a good example of what the authors are saying but then counter "I suppose I'll retract". That is not a sufficient response to a very explicit instruction from moderator Moose.

You will either really be the advocate of this idea or you will explicitly retract the argument. You may not kind of do both and neither and think you can get away with not following the rules of the CT forum. Pick a side and stick with it. Your very next post will do that or you will be infracted.

Indeed, and I'm not striving for infractions. As I pointed out, there is no conspiracy in their argument, neither are they saying UFOs are ETs, only that the possibility exists, and is largely ignored by science and state. It’s political theory, analyzing the limits of human sovereignty and modern rule.

Skeptics contend the authors are “believers” advocating the ETH, essentially calling them liars while ignoring the author’s own words. They say there is no taboo or threat to sovereignty, that systematic studies have been conducted. However, the Condon Report was the last official study and it's conclusions are questionable (how many others have there been?), while the Brookings Report supports the idea that sovereignty and modern rule could be undermined by the discovery of visiting ETi (of course, history has shown what happens when less advanced meet more advanced cultures). SETI supports the view that although an extremely remote possibility, such a discovery is worthy of serious scientific inquiry. And there are fair arguments for why we should’ve experienced visitation (Fermi et al) but any such suggestion some UFOs could be ET is ridiculed, debunked, discredited or left as unknown and ignored because they must all] be mundane (or possibly faeries). Never is an “unknown” suggested as potentially being ET, proof is required first.

My position is the ETH remains a valid possibility for some UFOs and cannot be ruled out; like SETI, the remote potential for such a discovery warrants more seriousness and persistent systematic study. However, as I’ve said before, if ET is visiting Earth I doubt we’ll know it by any efforts of our own. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try though; it’s at least as purposeful as SETI. I don’t know what more could be done to study the phenomenon so I understand the “what more can we do?” problem, but I leave that up to those smarter and more involved than I. Further, I think yes, human sovereignty and modern rule are threatened by the potential of visiting ET. Suggesting otherwise, in my view, is ignoring lessons from history and borders on denial. And the fact that discussion of this paper, which is expressly agnostic on the ETH, with a unique focus and perspective (political theory) and published in a peer reviewed journal, is allowable only in the CT forum speaks to a “UFO taboo.” Of course, these are my opinions while others obviously disagree. The result is, as the authors also discuss, a division into believers and nonbelievers, much as it is with the topic of “god,” which puzzlingly, is also taboo.

In the end, the only “side” I’ll take, since the ETH has not been disproven and there is no conclusive evidence supporting it, is simply we don’t know (but how could we?). It’s the proper skeptical view, I think. But it seems best to more simply not ask the question and ignore it, which is rather the paper’s point.

Now, shall I defend my “side” further? Are there questions unanswered? I will. Although, I proffered a retraction and it went unaccepted. I’m skeptical however, that any amount of continued discourse will change people’s minds, but I wouldn’t expect it to. We know where the community stands on this paper and I have no further argument.

Swift
2011-Apr-01, 06:20 PM
I am temporarily closing this thread. Frankly, I'm not sure what should be done with it.

Swift
2011-Apr-01, 07:51 PM
This paper (http://www.ufoskeptic.org/wendt_preprint.pdf) is an interesting argument from an unusual angle regarding UFOs and the ETH. The "UFO taboo" is not really a new concept, but the authors present it as a political and sociological problem, matters of state and science, and an "epistemology of ignorance."

Upon further consideration, this thread will remain closed.

According to our Advice thread, the reasons for a CT thread are: advocating of a CT, help in responding to a conspiracy believer, and "the critical analysis of websites that advocate specific astronomy and space related conspiracies". This thread is none of those, it was started by A.DIM to discuss a paper in which "the authors present it as a political and sociological problem, matters of state and science, and an "epistemology of ignorance." Even if you include UFOs in CTs (which we generally do), this paper does not appear to clearly advocate a covered position.

If anyone would like to convince the moderators to reopen this thread, Report this post and state your reasons.