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The Bad Astronomer
2002-Feb-13, 09:40 PM
I was quite chagrined to find out that a couple of student groups here at Sonoma State University (where I work) have invited a UFO True Believer here to give a talk. The guy's name is Robert Hastings. A web search on his name yielded lots of info, including specific references to the talk he usually gives at colleges, called "UFOs: The Hidden History" or some such. He is being paid $1700 to speak here.

I decided to write a letter to the school newspaper about it. The beauty of this is that my letter will come out two days before he gives his talk. It'll be interestign to sit in on the talk and find out what people say.

Below is what I wrote to the newspaper:

This Thursday, February 21, a man named Robert Hastings will be here at SSU giving an invited talk called ďUFOs: The Hidden HistoryĒ. According to his claims, the United States government has been involved in a massive conspiracy, covering up huge amounts of information about the reality of alien spaceships buzzing our nuclear missile silos and military bases.

Right.

He has been making this claim for years, it turns out. He gives this lecture quite often at college campuses (reportedly making between $1700 and $2000 a pop), which is basically him lecturing to a slide presentation. The slides show one government document after another, indicating, in his opinion, that politicians know that space aliens are very interested in our nuclear capabilities.

Iím sure his talk will be well attended, as well as at least marginally interesting. I also suspect it wonít even have a glancing blow at reality.

Letís face it: our government couldnít conspire to keep Monica Lewinsky a secret for a year, and only four people on the planet knew about Bill Clintonís White House shenanigans. How could they hope to have thousands of politicians keep their mouths shut about aliens?

In previous lectures, Hastings has claimed he has uncovered over 10,000 pages of documents with information about UFOs. That sure sounds like a lot! However, Iíll note that a typical aircraft accident investigation report can run for 200 pages or more (I found one that reported about a plane that overran its runway at landing; the report was 230 pages long). Suddenly, 10,00 pages about an alien invasion force doesnít sound like so much.

And why would aliens care about our nuclear weapons? Certainly an interstellar traveler would consider our most powerful bombs nothing more than quaint firecrackers. Mind you, the amount of energy it would take to cross galactic distances dwarfs our planetís entire nuclear arsenal. Also, a spaceship that can move that fast would have no problems dropping rocks on enemy worlds; even a modest asteroid a few hundred meters across could wipe out all life on this planet if it impacted at, say, a thousand kilometers per second. Even that is a snailís pace compared to a spaceship at full throttle. A nuclear weapon really is just a firecracker compared to that.

When listening to people talk about UFOs, itís worth a moment of your time to question what they are saying. Is there another interpretation? What are the speakerís references? Has he given you the whole story, or at least enough to make an informed decision about whatís happening? Does he have real evidence, or could it be faked?

If you attend Mr. Hastingís talk on Thursday ó and I encourage you to ó donít just sit there and absorb what heís saying. Think about it, use some critical reasoning. Question everything he says. In the end ask yourself this: is it more likely that thousands of government officials from many different nations have, for the past 60 years, successfully covered up their knowledge of aliens flitting about our missile silos, or is it just possible that Mr. Hastings may be sincere, but mistaken?

*******************
Dr. Philip Plait is a staff member of the Physics and Astronomy Department at SSU. He also runs a website called ďBad AstronomyĒ (http://www.badastronomy.com) where he debunks misconceptions about astronomy.


_________________
Phil Plait
The Bad Astronomer
http://www.badastronomy.com
badastro@badastronomy.com

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Bad Astronomer on 2002-02-14 11:24 ]</font>

Kaptain K
2002-Feb-13, 11:56 PM
You Go BA!!

ljbrs
2002-Feb-14, 01:04 AM
Love it! Of course, *true believers* will never be dissuaded. Keep it up. Perhaps a few people will begin to think rationally (which is a few more than would have been there otherwise).

Will March (when your new book is promised to reach me by AMAZON.COM) ever, ever come fast enough???

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ljbrs on 2002-02-13 20:05 ]</font>

DStahl
2002-Feb-14, 06:14 AM
Good luck! Maybe a bunch of students could be recruited to pass out copies of Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit at the door?

After sending a UFO-debunking letter to my local paper I was accused by another letter-writer of spreading disinformation for the ever-shadowy authorities...I got teased a bit at work about all the money I must be making from my "CIA work!"

Don Stahl

ChallegedChimp
2002-Feb-14, 11:04 AM
Good shot across the bow BA.

Even a dumb monkey like me knows that if the aliens were amongst us, we'd most likely never know it.

2002-Feb-14, 12:52 PM
<a name="20020214.6:19"> page 20020214.6:19 aka Name Drop's
On 2002-02-13 18:56, Kaptain K wrote: To: 6 CABAN 15 PAX
Boo..
this message will be updated later
8:00 A.M. Yeah its "_LATER_"
<a name="_LATER_"> line name _LATER_

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: HUb' on 2002-02-14 09:32 ]</font>

2002-Feb-14, 12:58 PM
<a name="20020214.6:23"> page 20020214.6:23 aka Police State U
On 2002-02-13 20:04, ljbrs wrote: To: February 14, 2002
Boo2 .. This 2 may also be updated..
OK lemme thin
Sonoma State University
http://www.sonoma.edu/pubs/newsbytes/
http://www.sonoma.edu/UAffairs/buzz/
http://www.sonoma.edu/UAffairs/cal/
Thin'N , again 8:06 A.M.
http://www.pp.pdx.edu/AUX/CSO/calendars.html
I did not X.pect the UFO to appear on day 1 myself

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: HUb' on 2002-03-06 10:46 ]</font>

2002-Feb-14, 01:09 PM
<a name="20020214.6:30"> page 20020214.6:30 aka PST
On 2002-02-14 01:14, DStahl wrote: To: 6:30 A.M. PST
8:07 A.M. it may be that Cressmans already been
eliminated? I do NOT know ? his links not working
http://www.dailyemerald.com/ this take you to Daily's
http://www.dailyemerald.com/pages/archive/
and that to the archives once there finding NEWMANS up2U
um the one in Oregon, Naturally, are you following?
http://www.uoregon.edu/~anthro/faculty/CMAcv.html ? missing?
http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/ once there find Daily Emerald (link Later) see lines above ?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: HUb' on 2002-02-14 09:41 ]</font>

Russ
2002-Feb-14, 02:21 PM
Hey Phil:

I'm outraged! When are they going to pay you $1700 to put on a talk about the real stuff? Or at least a rebuttal! If you would like me to raise a stink on your behalf lemee know. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

2002-Feb-14, 02:46 PM
<a name="20020214.8:11"> page 20020214.8:11 aka wheres EndRun now
On 2002-02-14 09:21, Russ wrote:
Hey Phil:
<a name="20020306.9:01"> _line 20020306.9:01 aka U 2 F O
I'm outraged! When are they going to pay you $1700 to put on a talk about the real stuff? Or at least a rebuttal! If you would like me to raise a stink on your behalf lemee know. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif
really I was not expecting ... any UFO visiter the first day 9:03 A.M.2-3-06HUb'
[/quote]
Ok NBC national news ? I guess its the HOUSE
hearings from the Dallas chearleaders about
big E? or could it be..{ no not ...} {oh my}

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: HUb' on 2002-03-06 10:10 ]</font>

Wiley
2002-Feb-14, 03:59 PM
On 2002-02-14 09:21, Russ wrote:
Hey Phil:

I'm outraged! When are they going to pay you $1700 to put on a talk about the real stuff? Or at least a rebuttal! If you would like me to raise a stink on your behalf lemee know. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif



Yeah. Good idea. The BA v. Robert Hastings debate. Now that would be worth $1700.

"Let's get ready to RUMBLE"

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Feb-14, 04:24 PM
I was appalled at the amount he charges for this. But "what the market will bear" and all that. If colleges want to pay that, then they will.

I'll be interested to see what happens at his talk, two days after my OpEd comes out. I have been corresponding with noted UFO debunker James Oberg, and he's been a big help. I have lots of ammo to use next Thursday. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Incidentally, my local town newspaper ran a short piece about the talk, and said that Hasting's document show "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that UFOs exist. There was no by-line on the article, so I don't know who wrote it. I suspect they cut-and-pasted somethign from a Hastings press release. Either way, I'll be writing that paper tonight too.

Another Phobos
2002-Feb-14, 05:17 PM
Bravo, B.A.! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Chip
2002-Feb-14, 06:00 PM
All the best Phil!

I think I found one of Hastings' government suppressed photos of a secret UFO base (http://ellensplace.net/hubcaps.jpg). (Though I have a suspicion that his pictures are not as focused as this one.) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

(It's good to have a sense of humor about these guys, but $1700.00! What does a real science lecturer get?)

Anyway, your letter is great, and wonderfully timed! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Feb-14, 06:34 PM
On 2002-02-14 13:00, Chip wrote:

(It's good to have a sense of humor about these guys, but $1700.00! What does a real science lecturer get?)


Well, some get that much, and more. I don't ask for that much (yet, heh) but if a talk includes travel, hotel and food it can easily top that much.

hullaballo
2002-Feb-14, 08:39 PM
Now The BA and this guy going at it,, THAT I would pay money to see!

DJ
2002-Feb-14, 08:40 PM
I paid a lecturer over $6000 to discuss his ascent of Mt. Everest.

The funny thing is that even though he addressed a room full of information technology professionals, he caught their attention. That normal squeaking of chairs, coughing, rustling of agendas, etc. that you hear during every silent moment of a speech or lecture -- it just wasn't there. I looked around, they were all completely transfixed. Absolutel silence!

Oh, and of course, there was a message in there for them too. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Perhaps Mr. Hastings does just such a thing as well. So at $1700, he's a bargain.

DJ

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DJ on 2002-02-14 15:41 ]</font>

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Feb-14, 10:07 PM
On 2002-02-14 11:24, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
Incidentally, my local town newspaper ran a short piece about the talk, and said that Hasting's document show "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that UFOs exist.

I just sent in a letter-to-the-editor, and was told it'll run next week. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Russ
2002-Feb-14, 10:18 PM
On 2002-02-14 13:00, Chip wrote:

(It's good to have a sense of humor about these guys, but $1700.00! What does a real science lecturer get?)

Given the number of times I've seen one listed as a speaker, I bet it's about $3.95 /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif I've heard Sagan used to get as much as five hundred on Johnny Carson. I'll count on Phil to break the Kilobuck barrier. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Feb-14, 11:03 PM
Talk shows have a stipend they pay guests, and it usually isn't much. Sagan commanded many thousands when he gave invited lectures. I did an interview for a show on Pax TV (more on that next month, heh) and they gave me a nominal fee for my time. Enough for a nice dinner out, but that's about it.

Most famous people know that the real money is on the lecture circuit. Newscasters, for example, can get tens of thousands of dollars to give a single speech at an event. A lot of newscasters do that for groups that actually get reported about in the news, so conflict of interest issue come up quite a bit!

Russ
2002-Feb-15, 03:55 PM
On 2002-02-14 18:03, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
Sagan commanded many thousands when he gave invited lectures.


When I was in college Sagan & Kip Thorne were both speakers in a series called the "C. P. Snow Lectures". It was my impression that they were not paid all that much. Of course this was 30 years ago and they were just across the valley at Cornell at the time.

Sagan was very down-to-earth and asked to be called Carl. He went to the campus pub for a beer & chat after the lecture. VERY interesting conversation.

Thorne was much the same, right down to the trip to the pub and VERY interesting conversation. The prime difference was that Kip seemed to be lost in thought about other things the whole time. During his lecture and even when answering questions or talking about his work, he seem to be applying only about 10% of his thought capacity to the conversation. Given the quality of the lecture and conversation, it says alot about Kip's brain capacity. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

2002-Feb-15, 04:05 PM
<a name="20020215.9:30"> page 20020215.9:30 aka no ~ant
On 2002-02-15 10:55, Russ wrote: To: 7 ETZNAB 16 PAX

On 2002-02-14 18:03, The Bad Astronomer wrote: too

its true enought, i cannot keep up and
MUST `Seed. however it occurs to me THAT
If there was a "READ" from date
or a read "NEW"
maybe it could speed reading up
by skipping over what happened
yesterday.. or something
9:34 A.M. no plan to update this 1

Russ
2002-Feb-15, 04:26 PM
On 2002-02-15 11:05, HUb' wrote:
<a name="20020215.9:30"> page 20020215.9:30 aka no ~ant
On 2002-02-15 10:55, Russ wrote: To: 7 ETZNAB 16 PAX

On 2002-02-14 18:03, The Bad Astronomer wrote: too

its true enought, i cannot keep up and
MUST `Seed. however it occurs to me THAT
If there was a "READ" from date
or a read "NEW"
maybe it could speed reading up
by skipping over what happened
yesterday.. or something
9:34 A.M. no plan to update this 1

Will some one who is more proficient at HUb'ese please translate this for me? HUb' is one of my favorite posters here but he lost me this time.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-15, 07:02 PM
I think HUb' is overwhelmed by the number of posts to the BABB and wishes that there was some sort of utility that would allow him to read the most recent messages, and forget the rest. Of course, he's reading the board without a GUI, I guess, so there's a problem there.

Argos
2002-Feb-16, 09:23 AM
On 2002-02-15 11:26, Russ wrote:
Will some one who is more proficient at HUb'ese please translate this for me


Have patience. HUb' is transmitting his posts from a starship in a one-way trip to the stars. He forgot the down-to-earth English.

The language of the space travellers (HUb'?) (http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/02/15/space.language/index.html)

Argos
2002-Feb-16, 09:41 AM
I think that people like us have to fight this UFO riff-raff without clemence until they're down. Enough is enough. 1700 bucks for a handful of lies?

College people wouldn't have to go through this. I think it's time for the universties be more cautious about what they offer for their students.

(*)By the way, I'm available for a lecture on important matters like the existence of the Presbyter John, the flatness of the earth and healing through leech therapy. The price? Any 2000 dollars will make my day. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-02-17 04:22 ]</font>

2002-Feb-19, 02:11 PM
<a name="20020219.7:31"> page 20020219.7:31 aka Russ?
On 2002-02-15 11:26, Russ wrote: To: 2-2-19 7:31 A.M.



On 2002-02-15 10:55, Russ wrote: To: 7 ETZNAB 16 PAX
1: First & 4MOST move to top of page 1 for a while
2: mostLY its 4to compare this BBs {um php}
3: with WildCat lemme thin
telnet://bbs.neverending.com/
5:now i've no idea if the line JUST ABOVE
6: {IT WOULD HAVE BEEN #4] will work
7: from here or not? in fact i really
8: don't know if its what i intend
9: IF SO? it should connect you to a
WILDCAT BBs in Florida where you can
in the Message Menu practice with a R>ead?

Will some one who is more proficient at HUb'ese please translate this for me? HUb' is one of my favorite posters here but he lost me this time.

7:39 A.M. Now back to chasing Earth 2 Moon & back Beams

2002-Feb-19, 02:16 PM
<a name="20020219.7:42"> page 20020219.7:42 aka READ-GUI
On 2002-02-15 14:02, GrapesOfWrath wrote: To: 7:43 A.M. 2-2-19
Excelant Translation? So do you get just the latest?
OR must U2 read thru all to get to the bottom
OF THIS

thread

2002-Feb-19, 02:33 PM
<a name="20020219.7:58"> page 20020219.7:58 aka was the bott 4 awhile

I THINK my point was I could link to the
telnet [WILDCAT] bbs 2 messages ago

and that THIS worked for me

if your wondering I can be found there

in a message space called Fifo Stock Market #=797 ?

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-19, 02:48 PM
On 2002-02-19 09:16, HUb' wrote:
<a name="20020219.7:42"> page 20020219.7:42 aka READ-GUI
On 2002-02-15 14:02, GrapesOfWrath wrote: To: 7:43 A.M. 2-2-19
Excelant Translation?

Thanks?


So do you get just the latest?
OR must U2 read thru all to get to the bottom
OF THIS
thread

I can go to the bottom of a thread fairly quickly, using a scroll bar. In the forum pages (like this one (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?forum=1&2153)), the topics are sorted by whichever one has the latest posts, and the ones that I haven't read yet are a different color link.

One argument for a GUI, right?

2002-Feb-19, 03:09 PM
<a name="20020219.8:29"> page 20020219.8:29 aka Color's
On 2002-02-19 09:48, GrapesOfWrath wrote: To: 11 IK 0 KAYAB
EXCELENT, excelent: yes YES, I think by all means COLOR
must be a parameter which does change as
:|({[
Boundries are crossed
1:I say that 4TWO reasons
2:1 when I point a video camera at the TV
3: so I see the TV on TV [o] um pic in pic
4: the colors change I forget which way tho
5: SECOND as I recall back:
6: Looking thru the ? TIME-space distortion
7: caused by my being way WAY to close to
8: 100,000Kt When the "compression" reached
9: focal distance and two (twin) stems
FADED into and out of view (seconds?) I think
I can recall a BLUE sky & a NEW BLUE sky both?
One argument for a GUI, right?
8:38 A.M.HUb': yeah go4it do U use Linux flavor?

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-19, 03:44 PM
On 2002-02-19 10:09, HUb' wrote:
yeah go4it do U use Linux flavor?

No, but someday soon.

You will be impressed.

(see, in that last sentence I was able to italicize the word "will" using BBcode). I can't wait to see HUb' slicked up and presentable.

Wiley
2002-Feb-21, 08:17 PM
Since the talk is tonight, I wanted to bump this thread up.

Good luck at the talk tonite, BA.

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Feb-21, 08:21 PM
Thanks! I just chatted with James Randi (man, I love being able to say that) and he gave me some advice on how to ask questions to pseudoscientists. Between him and help from James Oberg (a space and UFO expert who gave me some great advice) I'll be prepared. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Lisa
2002-Feb-21, 10:30 PM
Good luck BA, rip him to shreds.

$1700? I know that isn't a lot compared to a school's entire budget, but its still too much to just pour down a rathole. If the college just had to get rid of $1700, I'm sure there were ways to see it better spent. Does your library need more books? Is there a promising student who has financial problems?
Look out BA. If the students dig this guy, you can be sure that Hoagland, Rense, and Geller aren't far behind.
Lisa

Chip
2002-Feb-21, 11:47 PM
On 2002-02-21 17:30, Lisa wrote:
"...Does your library need more books? Is there a promising student who has financial problems?"


Bravo Lisa.

In addition to a piece of new equipment, or adding to the tuition of a deserving student, 1700 bucks could also be added to the payment for someone who is really exploring deep space mysteries (like Margaret Geller) to come over and talk about mapping the universe. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Darasen
2002-Feb-22, 04:07 AM
Ba, that is an excellent reply. I am looking foward to hearing about how the lecture went.
I have a theory: Less critical thinkers tend to gravitate towards this sort of insidious misinformation as it makes them feel more self important, as if they really know what is going on and the rest of us are in the dark.
That is however, just a theory.

Darasen

The Incubus
2002-Feb-23, 12:34 PM
On 2002-02-21 17:30, Lisa wrote:
you can be sure that Hoagland, Rense, and Geller aren't far behind.


Um...who, who, and who?

Lisa
2002-Feb-23, 01:17 PM
On 2002-02-23 07:34, The Incubus wrote:


On 2002-02-21 17:30, Lisa wrote:
you can be sure that Hoagland, Rense, and Geller aren't far behind.


Um...who, who, and who?


1) Believes we went to the moon, found alien bases, government suppression of aliens existence
2) Rubber room candidate. Thinks the world is ruled by human/alien reptile hybrids.
3) Very popular with the "psi is real" crowd. Passes off sleight of hands tricks as proof of psychic ability.

What they have in common is that they all have devoted followers, despite being loopier than a barrel of ferrets.
Lisa

2002-Feb-23, 03:11 PM
<a name="20020223.8:33"> page 20020223.8:33 aka inforced stu
On 2002-02-13 18:56, Kaptain K wrote: To: 2 CIMI 4 KAYAB
You Go BA!!
8:35 A.M. HUb' "to INT 13 Fun 9" ini HARD para
[/quote]
now back to U.t

http://almagest.as.utexas.edu/~rlr/mlrs.html
{and the LOAN A. ranger]

Wiley
2002-Feb-23, 08:02 PM
I wonder how the talk went.

The Incubus
2002-Feb-23, 08:47 PM
On 2002-02-23 15:02, Wiley wrote:
I wonder how the talk went.



Me too.

Lisa
2002-Feb-23, 11:49 PM
On 2002-02-23 15:47, The Incubus wrote:


On 2002-02-23 15:02, Wiley wrote:
I wonder how the talk went.



Me too.


Count me in on the "me too's". How about a "talk went well/badly/fantastic/whatever"? I'd never heard of this particular knothole before, and I'm interested in what he had to say. I've had a good day so far, and to end it with a laugh would be wonderful.
Lisa

Kaptain K
2002-Feb-24, 12:28 AM
...1700 bucks could also be added to the payment for someone who is really exploring deep space mysteries (like Margaret Geller) to come over and talk about mapping the universe.
Knowing the density of the aveage bureaucratic administration and factoring in Murphy's law, you would probably end up with Uri Geller /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Lisa
2002-Feb-24, 12:31 AM
On 2002-02-23 19:28, Kaptain K wrote:

...1700 bucks could also be added to the payment for someone who is really exploring deep space mysteries (like Margaret Geller) to come over and talk about mapping the universe.
Knowing the density of the aveage bureaucratic administration and factoring in Murphy's law, you would probably end up with Uri Geller /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif


That's what I meant in my previous post. Hoagland would produce metal from the alien base, and Geller would bend it.
Lisa

2002-Feb-25, 11:24 AM
<a name="20020225.4:47"> page 20020225.4:47 aka U F O
On 2002-02-16 04:23, Argos wrote: To: 4 LAMAT 6 KAYAB
HUb' 4:48 A.M. PST By now the talk should be
history? and the beers already just empty
glasses? No I don't know the name of the
GIN Joint. never having been to Sonoma..
not real sure where the towns at actually
I guess i can get out a map.. Still No Gin.J
anyway I never was able to ink to that
J.Mall LINK as I `poise thats more the truth
than another Rock toss off Earth Surface {oh well}

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-25, 11:40 AM
Congrats, Dr. HUb'! Hooding ceremony. Fireworks (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap020223.html). OK, back to work.

2002-Feb-26, 02:36 PM
On 2002-02-25 06:40, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
Congrats, Dr. HUb'! Hooding ceremony. Fireworks (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap020223.html). OK, back to work.




theautomatedcomputer wants the line
no time 4this

2002-Feb-26, 03:01 PM
<a name="20020226.8:28"> page 20020226.8:28 aka Si mon net
On 2002-02-26 09:36, HUb' wrote: To: 8:28 A.M. HUb'
SSU -Student Web Pages
http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Plaza/3971/
http://www.students.sonoma.edu/students/Mobley/
http://www.members.tripod.com/~nelsonca/
http://www.zaneshouse.com/
[1]Sonoma State University
Search results for 'simonnet'
SCIES Brings New Staff *
... by NASA), and the state-funded North Bay Science Project.
SCIES personnel now include Research Manager Dr. Phil Plait,

2002-Mar-01, 10:20 AM
<a name="20020301.4:07"> page 20020301.4:07 aka Me2
Well? i can tell you how I think it went
I yes I E_maild the Artist
aurore@universe.sonoma.edu
& I do NOT expect any reply from So No Ma.
or ED U iethor ... now back to the case
1:ok doing some math Assume 29.5 days 1/4 moon to 1st 1/4
2:OR 14&3/4 days = 354 hrs = 180deg about 2hr/deg
3:Assume that at 4:17EDT Sun was East of Lunar Horizon
4:1st EVA was at 10:56 Six & 1/2 hours after touchdown
5:& lasted 2 & 1/2 hr = 9hr max after Touch Down = Sun up
6:9hr times @ .5 deg/hr = 5 deg= shadow lengths about 10:1
7:photos show shadow lengths of about 1.5:1 or 32deg min
8:OR in other words 3 days after Sun up, = Touch down. &
9:4Me its clearly BooGus Made 4prime.Time_TV atleast 4A part thus Me2=MeBoo2

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Mar-01, 10:54 AM
On 2002-03-01 05:20, HUb' wrote:
9:4Me its clearly BooGus Made 4prime.Time_TV atleast 4A part thus Me2=MeBoo2


Et tu, HUb'?

2002-Mar-01, 01:48 PM
On 2002-03-01 05:54, GrapesOfWrath wrote:


On 2002-03-01 05:20, HUb' wrote:
9:4Me its clearly BooGus Made 4prime.Time_TV atleast 4A part thus Me2=MeBoo2


Et tu, HUb'?

Yup? page 3 already 7:42 A.M.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Mar-01, 02:13 PM
I always thought you stood for hoax un-believer.

Wiley
2002-Mar-01, 07:07 PM
On 2002-03-01 09:13, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
I always thought you stood for hoax un-believer.


You forgot about the little negation sign (').

Lisa
2002-Mar-01, 11:05 PM
So when will we get the run-down/score on the lecture?
Lisa

James
2002-Mar-01, 11:42 PM
On 2002-03-01 18:05, Lisa wrote:
So when will we get the run-down/score on the lecture?
Lisa


Good question, Lisa. Well, BA?

Chip
2002-Mar-02, 04:07 AM
On 2002-03-01 18:42, James wrote:
Well, BA?


I'm looking forward to reading about how it went. BTW - I signed up for the BA Newsletter about a month ago - but haven't gotten it. Maybe I should sign up again? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

NottyImp
2002-Mar-02, 08:45 AM
He's being very, well, coy about this. Perhaps the UFOligist bested him and dumped his sorry [expletive deleted] on the ground?

(p.s. only joking!)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Bad Astronomer on 2002-03-02 10:55 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Mar-02, 10:09 AM
On 2002-03-01 23:07, Chip wrote:
[quote]
On 2002-03-01 18:42, James wrote:
I'm looking forward to reading about how it went. BTW - I signed up for the BA Newsletter about a month ago - but haven't gotten it. Maybe I should sign up again?

I've received a few editions in that time, one a couple days ago I think. You might want to try to sign up again.

2002-Mar-02, 02:48 PM
Chapter 20 "On The Moon" of John Noble Wilford's book(cc1969
{appearenttly from The New York Times}[at the time] begins
" At 10:56 P.M., E.D.T. on July 20, 1969, Neil A. Arm-
strong stepped into history"from the bottom paragraph:
" It was Just befor dawn over the sea of Tranquality,
with the sun low over the eastern horizon behind them."
now for MY.PART i cannot read that any other way than
that the Sun had not risen & their4 there were no Sun
shadows! and the only shadows looking out were Earth Shine1
<a name="20020302"> Line 20020302 aka "My Shad.0

2002-Mar-02, 02:54 PM
On 2002-03-01 09:13, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
I always thought you stood for hoax un-believer.

Knaw? being a wishy washy
"Wind Bird"; Ox; Aquarian; "Wind Bird"; ?
thats
Mayan ...Chineese.Eastern.Mayan..& I know not what
could be that Know not goes Left Not Right
{in fact probably} Aquarinsare just washy. swapping back an forth one day Con next moment PR.0

2002-Mar-02, 02:56 PM
1:i do want to do a second preprep on this thread at
2:this time. And my point heres this. Because it's
3:actually an ASTRONOMICAL question, and not an
4:Astrological one {like for example
5:[ was Earth square Sun]} but the Question would
6:have to have been when was Sunrise at that Elevation!
7:in the prior chapter (4Days) it say the module was at
8:an angle of four and a half degress. but not whitch way?
9:thus my opinions already set, the Photos do show an Angle!
[1] vote for Con

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Mar-02, 04:15 PM
Okay, sit back folks. Here's the scoop:

The talk was about an hour and a half long, and was him lecturing for half an hour, a half hour slide show, then him talking again. When he was introduced, my heart sank: he has given this talk 500 times. I knew then that any comment I made he would have heard a dozen times before, and would know how to deal with it.

The crowd had a few True Believers in it, a few students from the physics department where I work, and a representative "normal" crowd. There were perhaps 50-70 people there.

The talk itself was really quite dull. Instead of pictures and videos of objects, he had slides of government documents with names blacked out. The slide show was accompanied by a taped voiceover he had done, replete with eerie music (he used various themes from the "Close Encounters" soundtrack). He had lots of crude drawings from eyewitnesses, which drew chuckles from the crowd because it was so, well, 1970s. We're talking shaky line drawings of circles with lights, cigar-shaped outlines and the like. Nothing I hadn't seen in UFO TV shows since 1970.

He mentioned Betty and Barney Hill, as I knew he would: I found a transcript of his talk online, posted by an audience member who saw him once and taped him. I sent it to James Oberg, a noted UFO debunker, who gave me some tips.

Betty and Barney Hill are people who claim to have been abducted by aliens in the 1960s. It's a famous case; she was hypnotized and regressed to remember the incident.

During the talk Q&amp;A, I stood up and said "Betty was interested in UFOs long before she saw the psychiatrist. That explains why she thought she was abducted. She had been talking to her husband for months before she got therapy, which would explain why his story was so similar to hers. The doctor later published, saying he did not believe she was abducted (there were a lot of social pressures on her at the time which might have started this episode), a point the speaker neglected to mention. Finally, I had read that Betty Hill was disgusted with the way UFOs were treated by the True Believer community. I inferred that she no longer believed she had been abducted.

I was astonished at what Hastings then did: he agreed with all my points, except the last one; he said Betty Hill believes she was abducted but was indeed unhappy with the way research was being done.

Let me repeat this: he agreed with me. I basically negated his whole Hill abduction story, but he said I was right, but he somehow spun it to make it seem like he was the one who was right. He constructed his sentences in such a way that it was difficult to follow his point, and then when he was done he would immediately go to the next questioner, not giving the first questioner time to rebut. After he answered my question, I knew that to a non-skeptical audience member who wasn't paying close attention, it looked like he showed just how I was wrong. In fact, he did nothing of the sort.

His tactics were clear. This guy would say mutually contradictory things two in a row throughout the whole talk, but couch what he was saying in such a confusing way that it could be difficult to follow him. You are left with the feeling (if you are not too skeptical) that he knows what he's talking about.

My friends were all laughing after the talk. I was disappointed that my question was handled in such a way that it made him seem right while I was wrong, but like I said, I knew that the Q&amp;A wouldn't go well since he had so much experience. I have never talked to a UFO person before, so honestly I was out of my league, I wish James Oberg had been there though.

Incidentally, I got a rebuttal to my editorial in the student newspaper. A student frothed about how unfair I was, not giving any specific examples of why UFOs aren't real. The guy completely missed my point: I wasn't trying to debunk anything specific. Quite the opposite; I was trying to debunk UFOs in a general way, to get people thinking about how the "evidence" is presented, and to question the research methods. It would take volumes (literally) to debunk UFO specifics, but it isn't necessary, as I saw during the talk. You just have to listen to the way the stuff is presented.

The kicker: the editorial rebuttal was written by an anthropology student. I fear for the future of science sometimes. :wink:

edited for spelling/typos

Lisa
2002-Mar-03, 04:27 AM
Too bad about you anthropology student. That means some poor professor is going to have to read some drivel on the primative tribe and the dog star.
If poor professor comes to you for sympathy, buy him a drink and send me the bill.
Lisa

Lisa
2002-Mar-03, 04:35 AM
About the talk:
You said you're friends were laughing, but how was the audience? Was it mostly students? How did they respond? Were they enthralled? Will this fool be invited back? If he is, are you open to a few suggestions?
Lisa

Chuck
2002-Mar-03, 12:26 PM
Find Robert Hastings' school and give a talk there about about how UFO speakers scam their audiences.

informant
2002-Mar-03, 01:22 PM
I see that the BA had the misfortune of talking to a natural born politician. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif
They'll twist everyone's words around - starting with their own -, until they get to the point where they aren't really saying anything, *but* they do it so well that no one notices it.

I don't understand how that kid could accuse the BA of being unfair, since it looks like he was hardly even allowed to speak!

Simon
2002-Mar-03, 01:24 PM
He sounds to me more like a performer than someone who actually believes in what he's saying. What he's saying might be true or might not; he doesn't care, he doesn't even care if it makes sense, he just tries to give the overall impression that he's right.

Well, that's my impression.

2002-Mar-03, 02:22 PM
<a name="20020303.8:13"> page 20020303.8:13 aka Po
On 2002-03-03 08:22, informant wrote: T0: 10 IX 12 KAYAB
I see that the BA had the misfortune of talking to a natural born politician.
/ this space [I] [I]
: available : | / | for
: for paid : Write ||\ //|| Governor
: political : in || \// || of
: advertizement : || / || Oregon
: Ver March 1, 2002 : [I] II [I] *
well there are not enough lines for this {U get the drift}

NottyImp
2002-Mar-04, 09:02 AM
I haven't seen many professional speakers, but if he's done it 500 times, as the BA says, he's going to be good. So at $1700 a pop he's made (about) $850,000 dollars from a piece of poor merchandise even in the world of UFOlogy. Makes that ole snake oil look like good value, don't it?

David Hall
2002-Mar-04, 09:55 AM
I say don't be too harsh on people like that anthro student. The average person going to this kind of thing is just trying to discover what's up.

I know this from personal experience. When I was in University, I was a real UFO/NewAge/Psychic mystery geek. I was curious about palmistry/ESP/spirit contact, you name it. Of course I was also interested in real science as well. I believed they could co-exsist and that science as a method either hadn't found the right connections yet, or was unable to detect such subjective phenomena.

For me personally, it took a lot of growing up to change my mind about most of it. Unfortunately it's also cost me a lot of my positive, hopeful faith in life and the universe. In short, I grew cynical, I just don't believe in things the way I used to.

So I say, give 'em a chance to discover what's up on their own. A lot of these people are just trying to find their own answers. They will either come around eventually, or they will generally integrate such things into their lives.

I think it's great that a lot of people are out there questioning the world. By all means, fight for the truth, but don't criticize people too much for what they think now.

Sorry, I'm rambling. I'll probably regret posting this, but what the heck. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Wiley
2002-Mar-04, 04:53 PM
I'm reminded of the famous Einstein quote: "Subtle is the Lord; malicious, he is not." As most members of this board are scientists, either professional or amateur, we know that nature is incredibly complex and rich, but never deceptive or disengenious. Unfortunately, this does not extend to people.

Psuedoscientists like Hastings or Gish are very deceptive and disengenious and are very good at it. The average scientist, perhaps naive about the ethics of these psuedoscientist, is not good at it. In graduate school, one is not required to take classes in debating psuedoscientists and frauds.

In this situation, it sounds like there was not an official moderated Q & A. The debunkers best weapon is the facts, and if Hastings is in control, he'll never let you pin him down.

Chip
2002-Mar-05, 07:52 AM
Another fellow in the Hastings category is Stanton Friedman. His website is here: http://www.v-j-enterprises.com/sfhome.html

Many years ago while I was a high school student, I attended one of his UFO lectures. I recall that he didn't show any pictures either, and on that occasion the gist of his talk was that aliens are living among us right now, and that they can look just like us. (This solves a lot of problems if they want to get a library card, drivers license, etc...) I must admit that at the time, as an average American teenager, I was pretty convinced that I was probably an alien myself. At least I felt like one.

Later I discovered Carl Sagan's books and the Cosmos series, and learned to love the excitement in trying to discover what the real universe is like. (I could still enjoy fiction like Star Trek too.) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2002-03-05 02:55 ]</font>

The Bad Physicist
2002-Mar-07, 10:33 AM
I attended the UFO talk that Thursday at Sonoma State University. I sat with Phil "The Bad Astronomer" and the SSU physics students in the front portion of the lecture room. Phil was right next to the wall but we all talked about what this guy might say or present to the students.

It was interesting to see that a great deal of people attending the talk were older folks paying to see this man present "proof". I had to pay to get in because I forgot my university ID card in the rush to get there in time. I felt so guilty paying to hear this chump speak.

The best part came after the talk when Phil, a few physics students, and I started an improptu discussion on pseudoscince.

Phil actually had a few people come up to him after the talk to hear more about what he had to say. It was neat because people started to congrigate around him as he told us his thoughts on the talk and other matters. I guess word got around that there was an astronmer in the house.

Another Phobos
2002-Mar-07, 04:00 PM
Psuedoscientists like Hastings or Gish are very deceptive and disengenious and are very good at it. The average scientist, perhaps naive about the ethics of these psuedoscientist, is not good at it. In graduate school, one is not required to take classes in debating psuedoscientists and frauds.

In this situation, it sounds like there was not an official moderated Q & A. The debunkers best weapon is the facts, and if Hastings is in control, he'll never let you pin him down.



Good points. Here's a nice link about how-to-debate such people (example being Gish)...
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/debating/gish.html

The Bad Physicist
2002-Mar-07, 11:34 PM
That's a good website. I read some things about Duane Gish awhile back. The popular skeptic Michael Shermer debated him and if I recall correctly it was in his book "Why People Believe Weird Things" that he wrote about preparing for and debating Gish. The book is quick and fun read and full of critical analysis of extraordinary claims. After reading that section on Gish, you can get a sense of how he, Hastings and others operate.