PDA

View Full Version : Thoughts on "sightings"



Fazor
2009-Oct-16, 06:01 PM
This isn't in CT because it's not a CT . . . rather just ramblings. Thoughts that came to mind after reading a post. Whatever.

I think many of us have seen "weird" things in the sky that we can't explain. It was reading someone's account of such an incident that got me thinking about the weirdest thing I had ever seen. Which got me thinking about other things, such as group think, and the insistence of seeing an alien craft.

When I was young, my cousin used to come stay with us for a few weeks each summer. Probably around age 12 or so. Anyway, we were both really into the whole "UFO thing". Borrowing books from the library with all the "brilliant" and "obvious" photos of UFOs. Watching all the "documentaries" (and of course, the X-Files).

Anyway, the area we grew up in was a few miles from town, but even then, said town was pretty small. Now, it was only maybe 10 miles further to Columbus, which isn't small. So the skyline in Columbus' direction was never great. But the skies out towards oblivion were pretty good. Lots of stars. Little traffic to screw up your eyes. No street lights. Etc.

We would sit outside for hours some nights, with the sole purpose of spotting a UFO. We'd see lots of shooting stars, and airplanes (close enough to Port Columbus, Wright-Patterson, and Rickenbacher to get plenty of air traffic), and what were probably satelites . . . though at the time I didn't know enough to positively identify them as such, and by now the memory is too fuzzy to do the same.

Well, one night we were sitting there when suddenly a brilliant light caught our eye. It was green, and fast, and looked like it was only about a mile away and falling to the earth. It fell behind the tree line. Weird! Right?

We never knew for sure what it was. It's impossible to tell distance, so it was either something mundane like a flare or firework that was relatively close, or it was something cool like a meteorite that was relatively far. Or a UFO! OooOOoo.

There was no sound, and if it was a firework it would have had to have been close enough for the sound to carry to where we were. There were no planes overhead, so a flare seemed unlikely. I had never heard of a green meteorite.

So there we were, specifically looking for UFOs, when something we couldn't identify showed up with a dazzling green glow.

. . . but the whole reason I started this thread was, even at our age, even with our mindset on aliens and UFOs, even with the weirdness of the object, neither of us ever called it a UFO (of the alien variety). We called it weird. And odd. We were perplexed by it. But never did we say, and I can only speak for myself here, but I never even had the thought that I had just seen ET go zooming by.

Now, I'm not saying I'm smarter than anyone (now there's an ATM I don't want to defend!). And I'm not saying I've always been the most rational person (hey, I wore spiked leather bracelets in college). It's just that the incident was never enough to get me to think "Hey, aliens!"

Which is what made me start to wonder why there's that difference in people. Why some people can see something and want more information, and others are so willing to believe. I mean, who wants to believe more than a 13 year old UFO-obsessed boy?

It's funny how our minds work, and how we can all think about the same thing, yet all experience totally different thoughts.

. . . and for the record, if I had to place a bet on what it was we saw, I'd say it was a meteorite. But I'm unwilling to pin it down as such, not out of want for something more, but because I was so young, it was such a quick incident, and it's been so distorted by the years. Will never know for sure, but not knowing is not something that bothers me.

rommel543
2009-Oct-16, 06:13 PM
The color of the meteor is dependent on the structure of whats in it and the atmoshpere its travelling through. Not sure what green is but I remember that red is nitrogen in the atmosphere and an iron meteor will burn bright yellow.

I did a quick Google for meteor color and came up with this:

http://www.cyprusastronomy.com/Meteors.htm


Colors of meteors - The color of many Leonids is like the color of our sodium discharge lamps. For the same reason: meteoroids contain traces of sodium. The color of a meteor is an indication of its composition and the excitation temperature: sodium atoms give an orange-yellow light, iron atoms a yellow light, magnesium a blue-green light, calcium atoms may add a violet hue, while silicon atoms and molecules of atmospheric nitrogen give a red light.

Fazor
2009-Oct-16, 06:22 PM
Yeah. I had since learned that meteors weren't always your typical yellow-orange balls of fire. But at age 12, astronomy was irrelevant -- we wanted UFO's! :)

ETA: Age 14, he would have been 12. Easy enough to figure out; they Olympic games in Atlanta were going on at the time.

KaiYeves
2009-Oct-16, 11:19 PM
So it could have been a meteorite made of magnesium and iron?

Durakken
2009-Oct-17, 12:18 AM
I think... that on the one hand a lot of the sightings are misinterpretations of things that are common place and people just aren't educated enough to know the difference, but on the other hand there are a number of credible witnesses that most likely wouldn't make those types of mistakes. Not to mention there are countless stories and such that can be interpreted as sightings that are similar to what is talked about in those sightings...

So for me it seems that there is no direct evidence, but there is quite a bit of credible non-evidence.

Middenrat
2009-Oct-17, 04:16 AM
Fazor wonders about the various conclusions different people arrive at from viewing the same [or similar?] phenomenon. I conclude that at age thirteen our young observer wasn't saddled with an agenda or preconceptions as well as having a grounding in science and its methods.

closetgeek
2009-Oct-19, 01:23 PM
The mere fact that you both were getting books and doing the research indicates that you both were more looking for knowledge rather than gratification. It may or may not have something to do with intelligence but I think it more comes down to personality type.

Fazor
2009-Oct-19, 01:32 PM
"Research" would have to be applied loosely. Very little critical thinking; those were the types of books with the big glossy photos, and the only information to go along with them was like "Mr. Flakey I. Witness took said photo on Aug 23, 1977 outside his ranch in Ivantattention, NZ."

And, like many CT'ers, we weren't interested in the mundane explanations. I mean, it's obviously moving too fast to be anything earthly! The guy said so! :)

Glad I grew out of that.

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-19, 04:32 PM
Fazor - this made me recall the nights my brother and I would spend our nights in suburbia Omaha, NE staring up at the sky. We often would see the odd streak in the sky, a satellite or two, and for sure plenty of airplanes (SAC was headquartered there).

We also used to stay up looking specifically for alien-type UFOs. ANd like you we never found anything to be identifiable as such. Then again we also used to do this after watching Doctor Who and Red Dwarf in succession, dosing up with caffeine, then rattling on for hours about what we wished would fall out of the sky and onto our back deck. Which at the time was mostly an Amiga computer.

Anyway to the point. Some people's minds switch automatically to the fantastic instead of going through the successive states of inquiry.

flynjack1
2009-Oct-20, 04:06 AM
Meteor falls can appear different than depending on where you are observing them from. One of my favorites was while I was flying a helicopter with a full search and rescue crew aboard. We were doing landings at the airfield at night and facing the Gulf of Mexico. As we approached final landing, at about 20 feet in the air, three bright green lights fell slowly on the horizon(over water). I radioed the tower and asked if they had seen the flares as I assumed that they were rescue flares. The tower reported that they had seen them. As we prepared to takeoff and head the general direction that we had observed them, the tower called back and stated that they had a report from the Coast Guard that a flare had been spotted at a location roughly 100 miles down the coast from us. This was when I realized we had witnessed a meteor fall instead, as there would be no way that a commercial flare of any kind would be observable from locations so far apart. The length of the burn and apparent slowness of the fall was very deceptive..

mugaliens
2009-Oct-20, 01:21 PM
Fazor - you guys saw a genuine, U.S. - certified UFO!

Doesn't matter if these yahoos above managed to identify it as, well, something.

To you, it was indeed a UFO.!

Fazor
2009-Oct-20, 01:36 PM
Fazor - you guys saw a genuine, U.S. - certified UFO!
Doesn't matter if these yahoos above managed to identify it as, well, something.
To you, it was indeed a UFO.!

Eh, I'm hesitant to say something is a flying object until it can be determined as such. A meteor, which it likely was, isn't flying, it's falling. . . though since they both start with 'F' the acronym still holds.

Lindon
2009-Oct-21, 08:06 PM
Along these lines, here's another story.

I was in the U.S. Navy, age 19, and was in the nuclear submarine program training as a computer technician -- working on the onboard computers that fire and guide the nuclear missles, basically. To get into that program I had to pass the most rigorous physical and mental tests. Well, I had come home to Texas on vacation and my dad gave me his Dodge Polara, which I drove back to Virginia. Problem was, it had a faulty gas gauge and somewhere way out in the middle of nowhere in Virginia, under a cold crystal clear night, I ran out of gas. Nothing to do but wait for daylight or some farmer to come driving by at about 2:00 a.m. So I got out of my car and lit up a cigaratte. Looking up, I noticed what I at first thought was a satellite. It was flashing various lights, was wayyyyy up there, was making no noise and was generally headed in one direction. Then it suddenly disappeared. I thought WTF. Later, it appeared again far away on the opposite side of the night sky. I watched it drift for a while, then it moved very fast and then disappeared. I started getting scared. Up until then, I really hadn't thought about UFOs and considered them impossible. But for about one hour, that THING, whatever it was, made numerous appearances in the sky in all different locations, sometimes staying still, sometimes moving extremely fast, but always disappearing and then suddenly showing up somewhere else. I was not drunk, stoned or hallucinating. I know what I saw. I never told anybody about, not until a few years ago when the History Channel started running programs about possible alien sitings, and one of the more credible accounts described seeing exactly what I saw. Here's the truth: For all you non-believers, the reason you don't or can't believe is because you've never seen one. If you haven't had a chance, watch the program recently shown on the History Channel titled "I Know What I Saw", featuring extremely credible witnesses to UFO sightings -- including two former astronauts, former governer of Arizona, military and government officials, etc... -- and a bunch of "good old boys" who know what they saw. What most frustrates me about the U.S. Government denial of these UFO's and all the misinformation that exists on UFO's is this: there IS a way to do interstellar travel, obviously, but as long as everybody is in denial mode, we can't shake our top notch scientists up and say hey -- it is technically feasible, figure it out! As long as we're all in denial about the reality of UFOs, then we have the luxury of sitting around bemoaning the fact that interstellar travel is "impossible". Well, someday we'll figure it out, if the aliens don't eat us first!

KaiYeves
2009-Oct-21, 11:18 PM
When I was about eight, I went through a phase much like Fazor described in the OP. (Actually, between the reading UFO books, the strange poetry and drawings, and the not socializing with other kids, it's a wonder nobody was freaked out by me.)

During that phase, I once was sitting in my room at night doing something I can't remember, when I randomly looked out the window and saw a large, yellow disk hanging in the sky.

"Is this a dream? Is this a book? Nothing important or interesting ever happens to me, I must be dreaming, but I'm not. It's a flying saucer!" I looked at the window for a closer look, and saw my face reflected in the glass... and then my desk, and then the rest of my room...

It was the reflection of my desk lamp.

And I suddenly felt stupider than I ever had in my life.

eburacum45
2009-Oct-22, 04:30 AM
What most frustrates me about the U.S. Government denial of these UFO's and all the misinformation that exists on UFO's is this: there IS a way to do interstellar travel, obviously, but as long as everybody is in denial mode, we can't shake our top notch scientists up and say hey -- it is technically feasible, figure it out! As long as we're all in denial about the reality of UFOs, then we have the luxury of sitting around bemoaning the fact that interstellar travel is "impossible". Well, someday we'll figure it out, if the aliens don't eat us first!What frustrates me about such sightings is that people see something they can't explain, and jump to the conclusion that it is intelligent extraterrestrials. I'm sure that any intelligent aliens would be clever enough to switch the lights off on the outside of their spacecraft when flying around in our skies.

Perhaps they are stupid aliens.

This could in fact be the case, if (for instance) they have become so dependent on their own technology they have lost all semblance of common sense. Milan Cirkovic calls this state 'postintelligence'. In which case they are probably not worth making contact with.

Tog
2009-Oct-22, 07:33 AM
What frustrates me about such sightings is that people see something they can't explain, and jump to the conclusion that it is intelligent extraterrestrials. I'm sure that any intelligent aliens would be clever enough to switch the lights off on the outside of their spacecraft when flying around in our skies.

Perhaps they are stupid aliens.

This could in fact be the case, if (for instance) they have become so dependent on their own technology they have lost all semblance of common sense. Milan Cirkovic calls this state 'postintelligence'. In which case they are probably not worth making contact with.

But why wold they care about their lights being on? Doesn't that assume that they want to be hidden? Maybe they just don't care if they get spotted or not. They don't want to meet us, but they don't care if we see them.

Maybe they want to be spotted because they are interested in the reactions they get?

eburacum45
2009-Oct-22, 02:02 PM
That is a possibility, and a worrying one. People have been affected badly by UFO sightings, changing their life and raising expectations that are not met. This has been going on for sixty years and more. Sixty years of flying around with lights on, but refusing to make contact- this seems like a blatant disregard for our culture and opinions, or a cruel psychological experiment. Kids poking ants-nestswith sticks.

If the extraterrestrials do not care about our feelings, they apparently have a cruel aspect which does not suggest they would be good companions.

Lindon
2009-Oct-22, 02:59 PM
When I saw what I saw, it was wayyyy back in 1973 during the first OPEC oil embargo against the US -- long gas lines, no gas, etc... -- which helps explain why I was driving around without enough gas. After seeing what I saw, I pretty much forgot about it for many years, not really knowing what it was and not wanting to accept it as a UFO. It wasn't until, like I said earlier, a few years ago when History Channel started running programs with people explaining what they saw that it finally occurred to me, hey I saw that too, and I just don't have any other explanation except that it was a UFO of the extraterrestrial type. The French government did a study and came to the conclusion that they don't know what these relatively small percentage of "verified" sightings are, but that the extraterrestrial explanation is the best one. And to be honest, now that I've accepted alien visitation as fact, the thing that most concerns me is that they are often spotted travelling in groups of two or three or more -- if you can believe the accounts, some of which I do. Our universe has been around for 14.5 billion years. It is entirely probably, even likely in my opinion, that there are civilizations out there that are a million or more years ahead of us in technology. To them, I would guess that we ARE nothing more than ants in a colony, interesting to observe, not worth messing with (for now), and in fact nothing more than extremely primative organisms. I agree with eburacum45 that they probably would not be good companions for us, the same way that I wouldn't be a very good companion for a neanderthal should I happen to come across one -- because I'm too busy, limited in patience and preoccupied with my own agenda. Well, we can only speculate at this point, but it is interesting.

eburacum45
2009-Oct-22, 08:24 PM
When I saw what I saw, it was wayyyy back in 1973 during the first OPEC oil embargo against the US -- long gas lines, no gas, etc... -- which helps explain why I was driving around without enough gas. After seeing what I saw, I pretty much forgot about it for many years, not really knowing what it was and not wanting to accept it as a UFO. I think you were probably right not to consider it a UFO. There are a number of explanations possible for what you saw; extraterrestrials is way down the list of likelihood, in my opinion.
It wasn't until, like I said earlier, a few years ago when History Channel started running programs with people explaining what they saw that it finally occurred to me, hey I saw that too, and I just don't have any other explanation except that it was a UFO of the extraterrestrial type. Don't take those documentaries at face value; they give a very distorted picture of the real situation.
The French government did a study and came to the conclusion that they don't know what these relatively small percentage of "verified" sightings are, but that the extraterrestrial explanation is the best one. That was not actually an official study by the French government, but a study by private individuals (and a biased study at that).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COMETA
Note that many UFO believers distort the facts concerning COMETA, but the official line of the French Government is that the makers of the report did "not respond to any official request and does not have any special status'".

And to be honest, now that I've accepted alien visitation as fact, the thing that most concerns me is that they are often spotted travelling in groups of two or three or more -- if you can believe the accounts, some of which I do. Why would groups of unidentified phenomena be more unsettling than single phenomena? Most of the groups of UFOs seen nowadays are paper fire lanterns. Nothing to be concerned about there, except the slight fire risk.
Our universe has been around for 14.5 billion years. It is entirely probably, even likely in my opinion, that there are civilizations out there that are a million or more years ahead of us in technology. To them, I would guess that we ARE nothing more than ants in a colony, interesting to observe, not worth messing with (for now), and in fact nothing more than extremely primitive organisms. I agree with eburacum45 that they probably would not be good companions for us, the same way that I wouldn't be a very good companion for a neanderthal should I happen to come across one -- because I'm too busy, limited in patience and preoccupied with my own agenda. Well, we can only speculate at this point, but it is interesting.There is no geological, archaeological, paleontological, genetic or astronomical evidence that extraterrestrials exist or have ever come to Earth, which is a little puzzling. Bear in mind that I do in fact believe that they exist, which makes this lack of evidence even more puzzling (to me).

Lindon
2009-Oct-22, 08:44 PM
You're right eburacum45, it may not have been an alien UFO that I saw, just a man-made UFO. And I hear what you're saying about those documentaries -- most of them are absurd, with just a sparse amount of credibility if any -- except one. If you haven't seen "I Know What I Saw" as featured on the History Channel a couple of weeks ago, then you really should watch it. Listen to two astronauts, a former governor and many other pilots and high ranking military experts describe what they witnessed. Until or unless then, I really don't care if anybody believes that alien UFOs exist or not. But to me it's obvious, and I know what I saw, and there is no logical explanation for what I saw except UFO -- whether alien or not. If not alien, then some government somewhere on this planet is doing a very good job of keeping incredible technology secret, which is arguably more likely than an alien visitation.

eburacum45
2009-Oct-22, 09:46 PM
Two astronauts?
Edgar Mitchell is one of these, and he has publically stated that he has never personally seen a UFO, in space or on Earth. He is a believer, but with only hearsay evidence.
The other astronaut who is featured, the late Gordon Cooper, also never saw any UFOs in space, but did apparently see something long before he was an astronaut. There is no independent historical record of Cooper's sighting.

Governor Fife Symington was a witness to the Phoenix Lights event, which has been debunked quite effecively on this forum; however that doesn't mean that he is not sincere.

Col Halt from the US base at Rendlesham (in my own country) was another witness to an event which has been reasonably well debunked in this forum. Some questions remain, but over time the stories are getting more fantastic; a phenomenon which is almost as interesting as the UFO phenomenon itself. Stories seem to grow and change with time, even in a single person's memory.

Lindon
2009-Oct-22, 10:13 PM
That's right. Gordon Cooper was difficult to understand but still clearly in command of his senses when the recorded interview took place. He described seeing a saucer shaped aircraft that he said (paraphrased) no technology that he was aware of could account for. He said he watched it hover, then take off and disappear with extreme speed. He described that he was told by his commanding officer to not discuss the event with anyone. But those two astronauts and even Governor Fife Symington are minor witnesses in the "I Know What I Saw" program. I encourage you to watch the program rather than merely look up the program credits. If nothing else, you'll have a lot more opportunity for debunking...:-). Hey, you don't secretly work for The Men In Black squad, do you? Just joking... No proof of alien visitation whatsoever, just a lot of people seeing some very unusual things, and a lot of speculation. Have we kicked this dead dog enough?

Lindon
2009-Oct-22, 10:29 PM
Another point on this topic (kick that dog one more time!). I just did a search on BAUT for "Phoenix Lights event" and believe I found the forum discussion that "debunked quite effectively" that UFO sighting. But if you watch the "I Know What I Saw" program, you'll see the debunking get debunked. According to the show and many sources, the U.S. Government has an active interest in debunking each and every possible UFO sighting, real or not. Shortly after the UFO sighting, experienced by hundreds of people apparantly all seeing the same thing, a few military jets flew into the area and did drop flares which somebody video taped, and there's no way that would be mistaken for a UFO sighting.

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-22, 11:44 PM
Another point on this topic (kick that dog one more time!). I just did a search on BAUT for "Phoenix Lights event" and believe I found the forum discussion that "debunked quite effectively" that UFO sighting. But if you watch the "I Know What I Saw" program, you'll see the debunking get debunked.


Specifically, what was their "debunking"?



According to the show and many sources, the U.S. Government has an active interest in debunking each and every possible UFO sighting, real or not.


That's an interesting claim, but what's the evidence?




Shortly after the UFO sighting, experienced by hundreds of people apparantly all seeing the same thing, a few military jets flew into the area and did drop flares which somebody video taped, and there's no way that would be mistaken for a UFO sighting.

Why couldn't flares cause UFO sighting claims?

NEOWatcher
2009-Oct-23, 01:15 PM
...Shortly after the UFO sighting, experienced by hundreds of people apparantly all seeing the same thing, a few military jets flew into the area and did drop flares which somebody video taped, and there's no way that would be mistaken for a UFO sighting.
What is "shortly" in this context?

Was the flyby anticipated? Was the flyby at a time when people were already looking?

Interpretations are going to be vastly different between the person who happened to look up shortly after the flare was dropped than one who sees them being dropped.
The former, may not notice the jets at all. Perhaps they heard them and caused them to look, but at that distance, they were already gone.

Lindon
2009-Oct-23, 03:11 PM
Hello Van Rijn. The "debunking of the debunking", if I remember the program content correctly, is that a) multiple residents of the area and witnesses to the sighting all described seeing the same thing and it wasn't flares, b) residents of the area are accustomed to seeing military aircraft in the area and have seen them drop flares before, and what they saw was definitely not flares, c) a video tape is shown of a military jet dropping flares and if you or anybody were to watch that video it is clear that those lights are definitely not UFO(s), and the sound of the jet is also a dead giveaway. As to what's the evidence that the US Government has an active interest in debunking UFO sightings, I'll have to leave that to others to explain -- it's pretty obvious though, isn't it? And flares probably could and may have caused UFO "sighting" claims -- don't know about that, but it's possible. NEOWatcher, in the program I believe "shortly" was about an hour after the sighting, if I remember the program content correctly. I don't know if the flyby was anticipated or if people were already looking. Good point on different people having different interpretations. And on a final note: I realize this is a forum for (primarily) hard core scientists and that "you guys/gals" are trained to be skeptical of any claim that can't be backed up by hard scientific evidence. And you're all super smart, which is why I like this forum so much. In the many years since I first saw what I saw, I never mentioned it to anybody, but after I realized that other people saw the same approximate phenomena as me, that's when it became "obvious" to me that a) I had seen an alien-originated UFO or b) I had witnessed man-made technology that defies explanation, and that was about 33 years ago. I choose to believe "a", because it makes more sense, to me. I never posted what I witnessed on a forum until this one, and I'll never do it again. I'm not a UFO enthusiast or conspiracy nut. It is obvious (to me) that we (planet earth) are and have been experiencing alien UFO visitations for quite a while, however. I understand the need for people to deny and challenge that this is really happening, and I don't seek to change anybody's mind. Hey -- watch the program and then I'll be very interested to hear the debunkings!

eburacum45
2009-Oct-23, 03:27 PM
In fact the flares dropped during the later, 10pm event were mistaken for an unknown craft or crafts, and were videotaped by Chuck Rairdon and Mike Krzyston (among others) for this reason. Despite watertight proof that these lights were flares many miles away, some still hold that the 10pm event was an extraterrestrial craft (or crafts).

The 8pm event was different. This appeared as a moving chevron of lights across the sky, at a speed calculated to be around 400mph. Most observers thought it was a single craft, but one (Mitch Stanley, an amateur astronomer) managed to take a look using his telescope.
From here
http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1997-06-26/news/the-great-ufo-cover-up/

"Planes," Mitch said.
It was plain to see, he says. What looked like individual lights to the naked eye actually split into two under the resolving power of the telescope. The lights were located on the undersides of squarish wings, Mitch says. And the planes themselves seemed small, like light private planes.
Stanley watched them for about a minute, and then turned away. It was the last thing the amateur astronomer wanted to look at.
"They were just planes, I didn't want to look at them,"

This is why the 8pm event is also generally regarded as explained as well. On the other hand, no-one has actually identified the planes responsible yet (unlike those responsible for the flares) so I suppose they are still technically UFOs.

Lindon
2009-Oct-23, 04:05 PM
Just out of curiosity, I did a Google search for "Phoenix Lights" and came up with the following link: http://www.thephoenixlights.net/ And there is Governor Fife Symington on video, along with video of "the flares" -- or whatever it is, but definitely NOT two airplanes. I guess with a first name like "Fife", you can't blame the dude for being so gullible as to believe that a bunch of stupid flares was a UFO (joke -- and no offense Fife, I've got one of those off the wall first names too).

Lindon
2009-Oct-23, 04:12 PM
And a quote from that link I just posted: (CNN November 9, 2007) -- In 1997, during my second term as governor of Arizona, I saw something that defied logic and challenged my reality. I witnessed a massive delta-shaped, craft silently navigate over Squaw Peak ... this dramatically large, very distinctive leading edge with some enormous lights was traveling through the Arizona sky. As a pilot and a former Air Force Officer, I can definitively say that this craft did not resemble any man-made object I'd ever seen. And it was certainly not high-altitude flares because flares don't fly in formation. —Fife Symington III ---- End of quote: But it was flares, right? Fife Symington has been throroughly debunked, along with all the other people who saw the exact same thing as him -- right?

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-23, 04:31 PM
I could go into a long several-paragraph statement about reliability of human observation, especially at night, and especially in regards to points of light on a dark background. But as this has already been covered rather heavily in other similar threads I'll just say "read up" and look at optical illusions.

Lindon
2009-Oct-23, 04:50 PM
I could go into a long several-paragraph statement about reliability of human observation, especially at night, and especially in regards to points of light on a dark background. But as this has already been covered rather heavily in other similar threads I'll just say "read up" and look at optical illusions.

So, the amateur astronomer who looked through his telescope and saw two unidentified planes/jets/whatevers separating is credible and not suffering from optical illusion, but Fife and everybody else who saw the same thing were experiencing "mass optical illusion"? Is that the point you're wanting to make?

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-23, 04:54 PM
I should ask what point you are trying to make. Are you aware of errors in human observation, especially in regards to dark background, pinpoints of light?

Gillianren
2009-Oct-23, 04:58 PM
So, the amateur astronomer who looked through his telescope and saw two unidentified planes/jets/whatevers separating is credible and not suffering from optical illusion, but Fife and everybody else who saw the same thing were experiencing "mass optical illusion"? Is that the point you're wanting to make?

Why not? The amateur astronomer had the tools to take a closer look, right? He also spends more time looking up than the average person, right? Isn't it, therefore, reasonable to assume that he was able to get a better view of what was there?

Lindon
2009-Oct-23, 05:22 PM
Hey LotusExcelle, I'm not trying to make a point. I'm just trying to understand the different points of view. Gillianren, that depends on the amateur astronomer. What he saw is way different that what hundreds of other people saw. I guess in this situation, we're all going to tend to believe the point of view that most closely matches what we came here with. I'm not defending Fife or "the sighting". In fact, I don't know how I got myself into this situation! I'm going to slide out of this thread now and head back over to the Questions/Answers forum. I actually need to get some work done too, if you can believe that. Thanks to all for your opinions and feedback.

Gillianren
2009-Oct-23, 05:37 PM
Believing the astronomer also means trusting the simplest answer with fits the evidence, a fine test of science. Again, just having a telescope would also mean he had a better view than everyone else; does that count for nothing to you? Also--how many other people saw it and identified it as planes, then thought no more about it?

NEOWatcher
2009-Oct-23, 05:56 PM
So, the amateur astronomer who looked through his telescope and saw two unidentified planes/jets/whatevers separating is credible and not suffering from optical illusion, but Fife and everybody else who saw the same thing were experiencing "mass optical illusion"? Is that the point you're wanting to make?
Not exactly; the astronomer had more detailed information than the others.
The governer had some level of PR involved.
The mass optical illusion is just a subset of people who saw it. Do you think that the person who said "Pfft, that's just some flares" would be of interest to the media, or even report the flares?

Yes; I saw that very clip being contrasted with a daylight picture from the same vantage point. The lights disappeared exactly at the level of crossing th mountain range.

And it could be both. Once the flares were released from the "seen" airplane, they could have been bright enough to obscure the views of the planes.

OhbythewayLinden(ifyouarestillreadingthisthread), pleaseusesomemoreformattinginyourposts. Theygetratherdifficulttoreadattimes.

eburacum45
2009-Oct-24, 06:11 AM
Like I said, the Phoenix Lights occurred in two phases. The second phase (which was thought to be unidentified craft at the time), has been soundly debunked and was definitely flares. The earlier event, a chevron of lights in the sky was observed by Mitch Stanley and was observed to be several airplanes (not just two) flying in formation. So that has been explained too.

I don't know which phase of this event Fife Symington saw, but whichever it was, it seems to have been explained quite well.

Lindon
2009-Oct-25, 01:56 AM
Hundreds of people all saw the same thing from different areas.

People who did not even know each other independently described seeing exactly the same thing.

The "optical illusion" debunkment, an over-used tool in invalidating UFO sighting claims, just is bogus in this situation.

Fife Symington is an Air Force pilot and highly successful businessman and politician. I trust him over some amateur "astronomer" (i.e., guy who likes to look through his $250 telescope) who we don't know anything about in terms of personal character, education, etc...

The Air Force, when asked by Fife Symington to explain what happened that night had NO answer. It wasn't until much later, in response to a written request by Senator John McCain, that the USAF provided the "flares" explanation.

The video taken of the UFO as shown on the program clearly shows a boomerang shaped object gliding -- SILENTLY as all witness state -- overhead, blocking the star light. A video taken by an Air Force major several months earlier and provided to the producer of the program showed the exact same object -- just a different location and different time.

Much respect for you and your opinions, but watch the show, I think you'll see how wrong you are on this one event.

SkepticJ
2009-Oct-25, 02:25 AM
About a year and a half ago I was walking outside around 10 p.m. and looked to my left behind me and saw an orange-ish red light in the sky, "Oh, Mars," I thought. I looked at it for maybe half a min. and turned around and kept walking.

About ten min. later I turned around again looking for "Mars" and it was gone--found it left of where it was and moving at about the speed I'd expect of a prop-plane at a range of about five km.

I watched it fly along and pass behind a few pine trees that are clustered together out in the open space in which I was walking. It should have taken just a few seconds to transit behind the pines. I never saw it again. Stayed there for ten min. looking for it.

The light was about the size of Venus--maybe a little bigger--color of Mars and perfectly silent. I live way out in the country and can hear aircraft from many km away easily.

I'm not sure what it was. Doubt it was little men from space, though.

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-25, 07:31 AM
As to what's the evidence that the US Government has an active interest in debunking UFO sightings, I'll have to leave that to others to explain -- it's pretty obvious though, isn't it?

No, not at all. That's why I asked for evidence for your claim.

mugaliens
2009-Oct-25, 07:48 AM
The Air Force, when asked by Fife Symington to explain what happened that night had NO answer.

The Air Force doesn't answer to state governors.


It wasn't until much later, in response to a written request by Senator John McCain, that the USAF provided the "flares" explanation.

Correction: The Air Force doesn't have to answer to state governors, but will when it deems it appropriate to do so.


The video taken of the UFO as shown on the program clearly shows a boomerang shaped object gliding -- SILENTLY as all witness state -- overhead, blocking the star light.

Oh, for Pete's sake, it most certainly does not! It shows a string of bright, long-lasting battlefield illumunation flares, which I myself have seen several times - on the battlefield (mostly at Ft. Irwin's NTC, once in Iraq).

If the stars weren't visible, it was for the same reason they weren't visible in many of the Moon photographs, namely, they were easily overpowered by the many orders of magnitude-brighter flares. Go look up at streetlight tomorrow night and tell me how many stars you see behind it.... :doh:

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-25, 03:49 PM
Hundreds of people all saw the same thing from different areas.

People who did not even know each other independently described seeing exactly the same thing.

The "optical illusion" debunkment, an over-used tool in invalidating UFO sighting claims, just is bogus in this situation.

Fife Symington is an Air Force pilot and highly successful businessman and politician. I trust him over some amateur "astronomer" (i.e., guy who likes to look through his $250 telescope) who we don't know anything about in terms of personal character, education, etc...

The Air Force, when asked by Fife Symington to explain what happened that night had NO answer. It wasn't until much later, in response to a written request by Senator John McCain, that the USAF provided the "flares" explanation.

The video taken of the UFO as shown on the program clearly shows a boomerang shaped object gliding -- SILENTLY as all witness state -- overhead, blocking the star light. A video taken by an Air Force major several months earlier and provided to the producer of the program showed the exact same object -- just a different location and different time.

Much respect for you and your opinions, but watch the show, I think you'll see how wrong you are on this one event.


On the contrary the optical illusion argument IS quite valid in this case and REINFORCED by multiple witnesses. I would additionally state that it is not 'overused' rather 'note understood' by people counter-arguing the point. Optical illusions come in many forms and rather than being a hallucination, which is seeing something that isn't there, it is *misinterpreting* the information that is there.

The human brain has many processing errors ESPECIALLY in the optical information department. Our eye-to-brain path is full of wild errors hence optical illusions exist in the first place. If our brains really did interpret visual data correctly (i.e. without error) optical illusions would not exist.

ALso this is semi-tongue-in-cheek but if trust a politician over an independent observer you are already a lost cause. No other observers that came forward had a telescope or even binoculars. Even modest magnification could have revealed some rather important details about the object/objects. Certainly it could have revealed if they were part of one craft or two.

Here is a challenge: Go to the outskirts of an airport at night, without binoculars, and see if you can identify what each airplane is with your naked eye before they land. You have only a limited number of choices, as there aren't a huge number of different airplanes out there. I do this from time to time myself and find in nearly impossible until they are close enough to see their TRUE shape.

Now try it with binoculars. Better yet a land scope (telescopes will flip the image and give you a headache, if you are like me)

Also in relation to this notice how the three landing lights on the planes make them *appear* to be dark triangles flying through the air - and if they are far enough away and background noise is high enough... silent?

Lindon
2009-Oct-25, 04:31 PM
Mugaliens, you are right, the USAF does not answer to state governors. However, in this case (according to the program content), when asked by the governor what that object was, the USAF DID answer and the answer was "we don't know". It wasn't until much later in a written response to McCain that the flares "reason" was offered.

And with all due respect, you are wrong about it being flares. Clearly, you are not watching the same video or seeing the same thing that the witnesses -- including Fife Symington -- saw. If you watch the program, you will see what I mean. Don't you think Fife Symington, a former Air Force pilot, would have strongly considered that possibility before stepping forward? He says, most certainly not flares. (edited correction) An Army officer captured a UFO on video at a different place and time and provided it to the program producer. That video is shown in the program and depicts the exact same object (size, shape, lighting pattern, etc..) that the witnesses to Phoenix Lights events saw -- and it definitely is NOT flares.

And I'll agree with you LotusExcelle, politicians are frequently less than accurate in their statements, but only in relation to public debate on political issues, or when they are trying to cover their behinds. As you know, character is a pre-requisite to high political office (one that is not always met of course). If Fife had a track record of dishonesty, reckless speculation, tendency to see things that aren't there or inability to correctly ascertain reality then I doubt he would have made it through two terms as governor. It seems you are looking for ways to discredit Fife and ways to bestow total credence to the amateur astronomer. Why? Do I sense a small amount of denial going on here....:-)

I personally can't wait to bail out of this thread, but when I see you intelligent people denying something so obviously (to me and so many others) factual, I feel obligated to jump in and try to set the record straight. I saw a UFO -- man made or alien, but the best explanation is alien. It was not an optical illusion when I saw it, and it wasn't an optical illusion when Fife saw it.

Van Rijn, I'm not the one boldly stating that the US Government is suppressing info on UFO sightings. Watch the program, your question will be answered. Here's the link: http://www.history.com/shows.do?action=detail&episodeId=492224

That program will cost you $24.95 plus shipping, a small price to pay for answers to these questions. Or, if you subscribe to the History Channel, then a schedule of showings is on the same link. My guess, however, is that you will not watch it because you already "know the truth" and are not interested to hear the babblings of a bunch of people suffering from mass optical illuisions.

The program description, as copied from the link provided above is:
"Director and host James Fox assembles the most credible UFO witnesses from around the world to testify on the subject and share their experiences and observations. Air Force generals, astronauts, military and commercial pilots, government and FAA officials from seven countries gather at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to tell stories that, as former Arizona governor Fife Symington states, "will challenge your reality." These accounts reveal a behind-the-scenes U.S. operation whose policy, in the eyes of some observers, seems to involve confiscation of substantiating evidence from close encounters--to the extent that even Presidents have failed to get straight answers."

Question: Do you guys (mugaliens, LotusExcelle, Van Rijn) propose that every UFO sighting ever claimed/recorded is the result of optical illusion or some other non-factual basis, or are we just talking about this one "Phonix Lights" event?

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-25, 05:18 PM
I will limit my response to myself - as in I am only speaking for myself... I am only making my points in regards to this particular "Phoenix Lights" issue. And I take the term "propose that every UFO sighting ever claimed/recorded is the result of optical illusion or some other non-factual basis" to task: Optical illusions are factual as in they really do happen, especially at night on a dark background. Also specifically 'non-factual basis'. I certainly never said that people did not see something. They DID. Many people did. My point is that they misinterpreted the visual data. Fact: something was seen. Fiction: it was an alien craft.

Gillianren
2009-Oct-25, 08:43 PM
I saw a UFO -- man made or alien, but the best explanation is alien.

Why?

And evidence you have to pay $24.95 for is not, in my opinion, useful evidence.

And in answer to your final question, UFO sightings are caused by not knowing what you see. Period. Any speculation beyond that must depend on the situation, and chalking them all up in a single category is as foolish as, well, assuming that the default explanation is aliens.

Lindon
2009-Oct-26, 03:12 PM
I know an 81-year-old man who insists that the world (and universe) is only 6000 years old. He is deeply religious. Despite his age, he retains excellent mental clarity and physical health. He's my dad. I can show him pictures of intact dinosaur skeletons still imbedded in rock along with sea shells and mollusks at the top of a mountain -- he says, God created the planet that way. No fact will sway his belief, no logic will penetrate his defenses. The reason why is because to accept as fact that the world is actually billions of years old would destroy his fundamental system of beliefs -- it would ravage his sense of self and purpose in this life. So would accepting that there is life anywhere else in this universe, and so especially would accepting that alien visitations to our planet are occuring. There are a lot of people just like my dad in this country and in this world -- anchored to their internal set of beliefs and sense of self, they are unable to recognize fact when it's under their noses. They have an impregnable self-defense shield built up around themselves that filters out all contradicting information. Good people, most of them anyway, just living their lives in self-enforced denial. Nice post, Gillianren. I guess you settled the matter once and for all -- for yourself, that is, but not for me and probably not for many others. Based on statistical surveys, approximately 50% of American believe in UFOs, and 5% (or so) claim to have witnessed one. But don't let facts sway you, if you need to stick with your fundamental belief system. I'm done with this thread. Thanks again for the thought-provoking discussion.

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-26, 04:27 PM
I know an 81-year-old man who insists that the world (and universe) is only 6000 years old. He is deeply religious. Despite his age, he retains excellent mental clarity and physical health. He's my dad. I can show him pictures of intact dinosaur skeletons still imbedded in rock along with sea shells and mollusks at the top of a mountain -- he says, God created the planet that way. No fact will sway his belief, no logic will penetrate his defenses. The reason why is because to accept as fact that the world is actually billions of years old would destroy his fundamental system of beliefs -- it would ravage his sense of self and purpose in this life. So would accepting that there is life anywhere else in this universe, and so especially would accepting that alien visitations to our planet are occuring. There are a lot of people just like my dad in this country and in this world -- anchored to their internal set of beliefs and sense of self, they are unable to recognize fact when it's under their noses. They have an impregnable self-defense shield built up around themselves that filters out all contradicting information. Good people, most of them anyway, just living their lives in self-enforced denial. Nice post, Gillianren. I guess you settled the matter once and for all -- for yourself, that is, but not for me and probably not for many others. Based on statistical surveys, approximately 50% of American believe in UFOs, and 5% (or so) claim to have witnessed one. But don't let facts sway you, if you need to stick with your fundamental belief system. I'm done with this thread. Thanks again for the thought-provoking discussion.


I'm not really sure where to begin with this one. But I do hope you at least read this thread even if you are not going to post in it anymore.

You yourself are filtering contradicting information - information provided by plenty of sources that show that, again specifically, the Phoenix Lights were of mundane origin i.e. man-caused.

Surveys of what people believe are often 180 degrees opposite of the *facts*. And so public opinion is not used in scientific inquiries. Rather empirical evidence is. A significant portion of the population also believes in Santa Claus. Am I in denial because I can prove a mundane way to explain Santa?

Additionally I don't recall anyone claiming other life does not exist in this universe. I'll speak again for myself when I say that I can't fathom a universe without more life in it. However there is an incredible and near-infinite leap of faith to claim that said life found us and emits lights from their craft that is visible to the human eye.

Taking the evidence - that flares were being used in the area, that flares fall at exactly the rate the lights in Phoenix fell, that matching up video taken during nighttime with that taken during day reveals that the lights disappeared behind the mountains on the horizon, that flares emit the same color light as the phoenix lights, that aircraft are known to fly in that area, that an independent observer with vastly superior equipment for viewing distant objects claimed that one of the claimed sightings was in fact two earth-made aircraft, the propensity for human visual observation at night to be (honestly) laughably inaccurate... into consideration which seems to fit the bill better: Flares. or aliens?

Keep in mind NONE of the evidence lands any 'proof' to the side of aliens. It is merely what flawed human visual observation and interpretation led people to claim.

Lindon
2009-Oct-26, 05:45 PM
Oh, okay, one last response. LotusExcelle, the military jets did drop flares that night, about 2 hours after the actual sighting. So no surprise that many people reported seeing flares. My guess is that the military jets did that to give people who need to NOT believe in alien UFOs a lifeline to hang onto. Grab it tight!!

Hey, here's a large category of online pics and videos of those flares, er uh, optical illiusions, or I mean swamp gas. Ah heck with it, just look and see:

http://www.ufoevidence.org/photographs/view/newer.htm

Here's the real scoop on The Phoenix Lights, for those that do not have a need to not have all the facts, as copied and pasted from this link -- http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case270.htm:

Most of the controversy that arose from the incident centers around a cluster of lights that was seen, and videotaped, to the south of Phoenix at between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. on the same night as the sightings. In May 1997, the Public Affairs Office at Luke AFB announced that their personnel had investigated these lights, and had established that they were flares launched from A-10 “Warthog” aircraft over the Gila Bend “Barry M. Goldwater” Firing Range at approximately 10:00 p.m.. Even the most implacable UFO skeptics (except YOU -- talking to LotusExcelle and GillianRen) admit, however, that irrespective of whether such flares had in fact been launched or not, they cannot serve as an explanation for the objects that had been witnessed by many individuals some 1-2 hours earlier.

Search for the truth guys, it is there. Or stay ignorant and self-deluded. Your choice.

I am SO done with this thread -- really, I mean it this time!

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-26, 06:29 PM
A few points: You completely missed the mention of the use of a telescope to identify one of the sightings as man-made craft.

Also your thought process goes from "well even though it looked like flares it must be alien craft" is faulty to the extreme and lacks even a basic filter of logic, deduction, and sanity.

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-26, 09:28 PM
Based on statistical surveys, approximately 50% of American believe in UFOs, and 5% (or so) claim to have witnessed one. But don't let facts sway you, if you need to stick with your fundamental belief system.


What facts?

When I was in my teens, I believed many UFOs were alien spaceships. I read many books with UFO stories, "ancient astronaut" books, and so forth. I was really into it. As I got older, I started noticing huge problems with stories: Lack of real evidence, little or no skeptical analysis of stories, too many assumptions being made, incorrect identification, and sometimes just outright made up stories and images.

It became clear to me that the "UFO as alien spaceship" idea was a belief system not properly supported by the evidence.

I'm still open to the possibility, but it would take good evidence.

Durakken
2009-Oct-28, 01:14 AM
One of the biggest problems is that aliens are so mainstream that most people know what the common experience is like and are an unreliable source because they may be just repeating what someone said or associating a different experience with aliens.

So if alien abductions are real the people are becoming less and less reliable because their stories match, but if their stories didn't match, that would somewhat invalidate that abductions are real.


I think the situation is silly as there are reliable accounts of UFOs and such that are being discredited, but at the same time I think that there is no conclusive evidence for it...

In other words I think there is a higher probability that it is happening than most rational people think, but I think it is much lower than what irrational people think

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-28, 01:20 AM
That makes little to no sense.
Aliens on earth either are or are not real. That in a binary issue. 0 or 1. There is literally zero evidence minus *unreliable* human testimony. No empirical evidence. None. Zero. And so the binary value is zero.

When the evidence for aliens on earth is balanced it comes to zero, scientifically. Belief is not evidence. Nor is shoddy video. Zero, again.

closetgeek
2009-Oct-28, 01:12 PM
Search for the truth guys, it is there. Or stay ignorant and self-deluded. Your choice.

I am SO done with this thread -- really, I mean it this time!

Lindon, you are lashing out and it is uncalled for. No one is attacking you, they are just pointing out the the holes in your argument. Don't leave the thread, just open your mind and consider the points that were made. There are things you have to keep in mind; 1) what the mass population believes or agrees on, does not constitute fact. 2) failing to agree with the masses does not constitute ignorance or self delusion. 3) I saw the same program. Keep in mind, there is an editing process in making these programs entertaining and intriguing enough to keep you watching past the commercials. There is also a fine line between true and factual. They can call it "true" programming because it has some elements of truth; people did actually witness something. However, that does not make it factual. You have no idea how much of the full story the program edited out.

Lindon
2009-Oct-28, 04:24 PM
The reason I am so eager to bail out of this thread is because I am very uncomfortable in the roll of "UFO defender".

I realize there are people who despite all evidence to the contrary will never accept that alien visitation is fact. LotusExcelle, for example, is one of the posters on this thread that hung his hat on the "military dropped flares" debunkment of the Phoenix Lights event, but that "debunkment" is totally bogus as the flares were dropped 1 to 2 hours after the mass sighting. So now, LotusExcelle says hey what about the amateur guy with the telescope. LotusExcelle would rather believe a single amateur "astronomer" and attribute scientific reasoning and critical mental process to that dude -- whoever he is -- than give even the slightest amount of credence to the mass of individuals who all saw the same thing, many of them extremely credible witnesses.

To me, that's called denial.

I have looked up into the night sky one million or so times in my life. On one and only one of those occassions, an exceptionally crystal clear cold night back in the days when I still had 20-20 vision and I had passed all the criteria to be admitted to the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarine program, I saw a UFO. Since then, people I don't know who are spread all around the world have reported seeing the exact same phenomena that I witnessed. LotusExcelle and the group of deniers tell me I had an optical illusion, or that there are "many other" explanations for what I saw. I say, B.S.

Isn't it true that a person can be convicted of a crime without any physical evidence based on three things: 1) proof of motivation, 2) opportunity and 3) one credible witness. Where's the "optical illusion" defense in criminal law? Does it exist? People don't normally have optical illusions. I've never had an optical illusion. Granted, in the desert there are mirages and in other cases there are phsycal conditions that lend themselves toward creating optical illusions, which are easily recognizable. But to attribute all or a majority of the UFO sightings to optical illusion or lack of scientific reasoning is DENIAL, especially when the optical illusions are being attributed to groups of people who saw the same exact thing from different positions, when many of the people reporting the sighting are highly skilled pilots, and when in many cases there is radar and tower-to-cockpit recordings where the control personnel "see" the object on radar, and the pilot sees the object clearly.

Why is it that every time somebody has an optical illusion, it's a UFO? If somebody sees God or Jesus, it's a vision. If somebody sees pink cows floating in the air, it's a hallucination. But when somebody sees a UFO, it's an optical illusion. Give me a break.

Check out these optical illusions: http://www.ufoevidence.org/photographs/view/newer.htm

Granted, a few or more of those photos are probably faked, or there's a better explanation. But don't tell me that all these photographs from all around the world are depicting optical illusions or that they are all fakes. If you do, don't expect me to believe you.

So, once again, I attempt to leave this thread once and for all. Where's the evidence you ask? Everywhere is my answer. More evidence than a reasonable person can deny, IMO.

I sense that many of the UFO deniers are secretly reaching out for help with their often repeated denials. They WANT to believe, but can't. Probably it's easier for me to "believe" because I saw what I saw and I know what I saw, and because it makes sense to me that there are much older civilizations in this universe with far more advanced technology than the human race possesses. And it doesn't scare me or violate any of my strongly held convictions to recognize that alien visitation is real -- as it apparantly does some other people who DO need to deny.

In the future, please do not direct requests for evidence of alien visitation to me, because I am no expert and I do not assume the role of UFO defender. Just start with the following link which I discovered just a few days ago. If you want to believe, you'll find plenty of support at that website. If you don't want to believe, you will find plenty to deny. http://www.ufoevidence.org

Gillianren
2009-Oct-28, 04:43 PM
Lindon, you do know that eyewitness testimony isn't considered particularly reliable in a court of law, either, right?

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-28, 06:31 PM
I would like to state that I respect your return to the thread - I can't imagine it was easy to jump back in. And so my hat is off to you for that.

I will quote your entire post piece by piece. I hope I don't break the quotes because things tend to get messy. If I do I apologize for the confusing format.

To start:


The reason I am so eager to bail out of this thread is because I am very uncomfortable in the roll of "UFO defender".

I realize there are people who despite all evidence to the contrary will never accept that alien visitation is fact. LotusExcelle, for example, is one of the posters on this thread that hung his hat on the "military dropped flares" debunkment of the Phoenix Lights event, but that "debunkment" is totally bogus as the flares were dropped 1 to 2 hours after the mass sighting. So now, LotusExcelle says hey what about the amateur guy with the telescope. LotusExcelle would rather believe a single amateur "astronomer" and attribute scientific reasoning and critical mental process to that dude -- whoever he is -- than give even the slightest amount of credence to the mass of individuals who all saw the same thing, many of them extremely credible witnesses.

Your claim that 'alien visitation is a fact' requires evidence. In fact it requires some substantial (not in quantity - in quality) evidence. I will touch on this after a later quote.

I did not hang my hat entirely on the military flare point. I stated that flares act exactly like what was claimed and what was shown in the video. I also stated that a person equipped with superior viewing equipment stated something different than what the multiple witnesses, using their naked eyes at night, stated.

I'll touch on those points further as well.



I have looked up into the night sky one million or so times in my life. On one and only one of those occassions, an exceptionally crystal clear cold night back in the days when I still had 20-20 vision and I had passed all the criteria to be admitted to the U.S. Navy's nuclear submarine program, I saw a UFO. Since then, people I don't know who are spread all around the world have reported seeing the exact same phenomena that I witnessed. LotusExcelle and the group of deniers tell me I had an optical illusion, or that there are "many other" explanations for what I saw. I say, B.S.

Your denial of there being other possibilities means, to be blunt, that *you* are in denial. My stance on specifically the Phoenix lights is one of evidence and probability. Those two combined lead to a mundane, not alien, version of what people saw. Your is based on belief. You can believe something all you want it does not make it true or a fact. And if you chose to jump from "something in the sky I can't quite figure out what it is" to "it must be aliens" then your thought process and in fact powers of deduction are in a sense broken. The distance between those two points is near infinite. Bridging the gap from a mundane ufo to and alien ufo takes a leap beyond that that ANY science allows. In fact it is faith. If you are asking us or me to take something based on faith as fact - you are on entirely the wrong board.



Isn't it true that a person can be convicted of a crime without any physical evidence based on three things: 1) proof of motivation, 2) opportunity and 3) one credible witness. Where's the "optical illusion" defense in criminal law? Does it exist? People don't normally have optical illusions. I've never had an optical illusion. Granted, in the desert there are mirages and in other cases there are phsycal conditions that lend themselves toward creating optical illusions, which are easily recognizable. But to attribute all or a majority of the UFO sightings to optical illusion or lack of scientific reasoning is DENIAL, especially when the optical illusions are being attributed to groups of people who saw the same exact thing from different positions, when many of the people reporting the sighting are highly skilled pilots, and when in many cases there is radar and tower-to-cockpit recordings where the control personnel "see" the object on radar, and the pilot sees the object clearly.

We are not talking about the court of law here. The requirements of law and the requirements of science are wildly different. Each needs evidence, to be sure, but scientific evidence is far more rigorous and would NEVER rely on eye-witness testimony, no matter how numerous, as a basis for fact.

The atmosphere is an optical illusion playground, so to speak. It lends itself rather well to them in fact. I am not nor has anyone here stated that all 'sightings' are optical illusions. My personal stand on it is that many are. Many also are mundane objects... far-off planes reflecting light oddly, several planes that appear to be one especially to the naked eye, especially at night, etc etc etc... Many truly are unidentifiable. There simply is not enough information from either a witness or a 'hard copy' (photo, video, radar) to say what it was for sure.


Why is it that every time somebody has an optical illusion, it's a UFO? If somebody sees God or Jesus, it's a vision. If somebody sees pink cows floating in the air, it's a hallucination. But when somebody sees a UFO, it's an optical illusion. Give me a break.

Check out these optical illusions: http://www.ufoevidence.org/photographs/view/newer.htm

Granted, a few or more of those photos are probably faked, or there's a better explanation. But don't tell me that all these photographs from all around the world are depicting optical illusions or that they are all fakes. If you do, don't expect me to believe you.

So, once again, I attempt to leave this thread once and for all. Where's the evidence you ask? Everywhere is my answer. More evidence than a reasonable person can deny, IMO.
I am not sure whose mouth you are putting the 'vision' words into but it certainly is not mine. Nor are we talking about those cases. We can if you wish but we would really have to get specific on cases and such. I did not state that every ufo is an optical illusion, again. But you belief that a ufo is an alien craft shatters through all steps of identification.

Also I do like that you pointed out that 'some' of the photos on that site are faked. Some are, for sure. Some also are genuine misidentification. Still others are possibly hoaxes perpetrated by a third party - the person taking the photo was duped. Please identify the ones you think personally are the real deal. Let us start with 5, if that is okay with you. Point out 5 that you think are genuine alien craft. Please also tell why you believe that.

ANd if you can elaborate on why you don't believe they are all mundane in origin i.e. not alien - please do so as well. My question here is: Why do you believe they are alien, something monumentally implausible, versus mundane?



I sense that many of the UFO deniers are secretly reaching out for help with their often repeated denials. They WANT to believe, but can't. Probably it's easier for me to "believe" because I saw what I saw and I know what I saw, and because it makes sense to me that there are much older civilizations in this universe with far more advanced technology than the human race possesses. And it doesn't scare me or violate any of my strongly held convictions to recognize that alien visitation is real -- as it apparantly does some other people who DO need to deny.

In the future, please do not direct requests for evidence of alien visitation to me, because I am no expert and I do not assume the role of UFO defender. Just start with the following link which I discovered just a few days ago. If you want to believe, you'll find plenty of support at that website. If you don't want to believe, you will find plenty to deny. http://www.ufoevidence.org (http://www.ufoevidence.org/)
Your sense is quite wrong in my case. I do not need help to show how eyewitness testimony is essentially useless in regards to scientific inquiry. Empirical evidence is much preferred.

Do you really know what you saw? Really? I doubt that very much. I myself have mistaken a passing satellite for a meteorite, briefly. Also as stated your eyes have a really large number of errors not only physically but in processing as well that leads to all kinds of other possible ways to go with that.

I also find it unlikely that we are alone in the universe. But 'needle in a haystack' doesn't even begin to convey the unlikelyhood of aliens visiting earth. Again your leap from one idea to your belief skips all steps of identification here.

Your CHOICE is to believe. That is obvious. You have your reasons and I will not attempt to argue against what you yourself saw. The evidence of that is locked in your neurons and unreliable beyond usefulness. (Please do not take this as a dig - everyone's brains are roughly equally unreliable in this way)

But you do have a choice about how you handle evidence. Your choice is to skip to the end so it can fit your assumptions. I have seen the Phoenix Lights show at least 5 times. In its entirety. I have also watched counter-argument and counter-counter-argument clips. The evidence for a mundane cause is simply overwhelming. The evidence for alien craft is simply that a few people believed that's what they saw.

Belief is not evidence. It is that simple.

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-28, 06:56 PM
I'd like to add this photo link - its just one example of some of the more interesting atmospheric optical effects. The site itself is full of other such things. Even aside from the discussion its a fantastic site to browse.

http://www.atoptics.co.uk/halo/pilpic22.htm

Lindon
2009-Oct-28, 07:25 PM
I'd like to continue this conversation, but while I was at lunch today a couple of guys dressed in black suits and wearing dark sunglasses approached me. One of the guys told me that if I didn't cool it on the UFO talk, that bad things might happen to me. The other guy commented something to the effect of "yeah, ya' know that nice electric guitar you love more than life itself, you better keep it mind". So, to make a long story short, I'm done here. I never had any interest in debating whether UFOs are real or not. Most people (and it looks like about 50/50 or even actually more in favor of "believers" based on legitmate studies) have their minds made up. And unless one side has a crashed alien craft in tow, the other side is going to make all the same arguements you're making LotusExcelle, and more. It has been interesting and fun. I'll see you all on the other threads.

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-28, 07:31 PM
I cannot stress this point enough: Belief is not a basis for fact nor is it evidence. I agree with your decision to stop with this thread - we aren't getting anywhere and you and I both are repeating ourselves. However - I do ask that you keep in mind what I just said: Belief is NOT a basis for fact nor is it evidence.

KaiYeves
2009-Oct-28, 10:34 PM
I'd like to continue this conversation, but while I was at lunch today a couple of guys dressed in black suits and wearing dark sunglasses approached me.
Really?

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-28, 11:04 PM
I assumed he was being dismissive and not literal.

flynjack1
2009-Oct-28, 11:49 PM
Just to put a nail in this coffin: I have spent a lot of time flying in the Phoenix and Tucson area in the Military Operating areas in question. I have seen flare drops from numerous platforms and in varying lighting conditions. It is a weird disorienting thing the first time you witness these flares, I can very easily understand the confusion. Moonlight has a major influence on ones interpretation of these events, I would propose that the debunking of the debunking was not conducted under identical lighting and wind conditions. Bottom line is this wasn't a UFO way to much evidence to the contrary! Just for the record I am sure that there are incidents that have occurred that yet remain to be explained. Maybe just maybe one of them was LGM. Would love to witness such an unexplained case myself, as I am firmly convinced in the likelihood of life out there somewhere, but alas the evidence is still against their visiting the 3rd rock. Now bring on the MIB!

Lindon
2009-Nov-04, 04:50 PM
I had completely forgotten this thread and moved on with my life. Then, today, I just happened to come across this article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1037471/Apollo-14-astronaut-claims-aliens-HAVE-contact--covered-60-years.html

It is a radio interview with Apollo 14 astronaut Dr Edgar Mitchell, who claims that, "I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real."

And he says a lot more.

Is he lying? Or delusional? I'm just interested in getting a sample of how the UFO deniers debunk his claims.

Fazor
2009-Nov-04, 04:54 PM
Edgar Mitchell (http://www.bautforum.com/conspiracy-theories/76997-ufo-statement-edgar-mitchell-recently.html?highlight=Edgar+Mitchel) thread on BAUT

Lindon
2009-Nov-04, 06:13 PM
Thanks for pointing me to that thread, Fazor. Wow, what a firestorm of controversy Edgar Mitchell touched off on BAUT. I like the "where's the beef" poster on that thread. Verrry interesting. It seems to me that no amount of "sightings" whether recorded on video, camera or radar will suffice as proof. No number of astronauts, military brass, pilots and other "credible" witnesses to government cover-up will suffice as proof. Nope, the only "proof" that will potentially satisfy the UFO deniers is an actual alien spacecraft on display and available for independent testing -- and even then, I bet there will be skeptics and debunkers in droves, no doubt. Thanks again.

Fazor
2009-Nov-04, 06:49 PM
Video, Camera, and Radar all share the same fault; they only show that something registered a signal (either visible spectrum on film, or radio noise on radar). They don't "prove" what anything is.

Eye witness testimony has a whole other set of failings.

And lastly, the UFO community loves to throw the word "credible" around, but again, they use the term wrong. Scientifically, the only credible UFO witness would have to be someone with intimate knowledge of alien craft. AFAIK, no such person exists.

Think of it this way; does a military officer's opinion of the latest blockbuster movie's special effects quality carry any more weight than, say, the local school janitor's? Being in the military, or government, or public eye, does not automatically lend expert support to every argument you make.

LotusExcelle
2009-Nov-04, 06:56 PM
I don't understand what is so hard to comprehend, Lindon. A claim that is extraordinary requires evidence. And that evidence must withstand EVERY inquiry not matter how intense, no matter how often. Your evidence is not proof. It is shaky at best.

Why would independent of an actual object be wrong? If someone claimed to have found something pretty fantastic would you not want to see it for yourself, test if its really there, what its made of, etc? Taking people on their word is NOT a basis for proof, not evidence of anything, and for sure not the way good science is performed.

Yes, we require evidence. No that which has been put forth is NOT good enough. It does not withstand serious inquiry.

Lindon
2009-Nov-04, 07:23 PM
If a hundred people in different locations, unknown to each other, all describe seeing and hearing the same thing independently and there is radar signal recorded at the same time, corroborating the independent sightings -- is that "proof" in your dictionary, or not? Just curious.

It seems science has a higher standard of "proof" than a court of law in criminal proceedings. Right, or wrong?

Fazor
2009-Nov-04, 07:24 PM
Scientifically, the only credible UFO witness would have to be someone with intimate knowledge of alien craft. AFAIK, no such person exists.

I should probably back that statement down a bit. Obviously, certain expertise lends itself to the ability to make certain assessments. But the fact still stands, lacking better evidence of their existence, no person I'm aware of can say, "Yep, that's an alien craft." The only conclusion they can come up with is "Yep, that doesn't match anything that I'm aware of".

Fazor
2009-Nov-04, 07:26 PM
If a hundred people in different locations, unknown to each other, all describe seeing and hearing the same thing independently and there is radar signal recorded at the same time, corroborating the independent sightings -- is that "proof" in your dictionary, or not? Just curious.

It's proof that something was seen. And it's helpful in determining the characteristics of what was seen. But the leap from "something was seen" to "we have proof that we saw an alien vehicle" requires much more than that.



It seems science has a higher standard of "proof" than a court of law in criminal proceedings. Right, or wrong?
Correct. Two totally different things.

Fazor
2009-Nov-04, 07:36 PM
Lets see if this helps you understand where we're coming from. I'm going to use some of the same "proof" of UFOs.

Throughout history, there have been thousands of reports of glowing lights in the sky. None of these lights match the characteristics of aircraft, and some originate long before man achieved flight. These are independent and unrelated sightings, yet many of the accounts describe seeing the same.

Accounts of dragons also date back many thousands of years. And many different cultures tell stories of these creatures breathing fire, which gives off light and thus would obviously be seen in the night sky.

Since the accounts of lights are unexplained, and since the stories of dragons match, I have just proven to you that dragons exist, even though bones or physical remains of such creatures have never been found. Keep in mind, these sightings still continue to this day, so they're obviously still alive. We can logically conclude that dragons evaporate when they die, and thus leave no physical clues.

So, hopefully now you either believe in dragons, or see the failing in the UFO argument. An inability to explain a sighting is a far cry from proof that said sighting is some otherwise unexplained phenomenon.

Lindon
2009-Nov-04, 08:26 PM
Those dragon sightings were of course made by totally uneducated and unsophisticated observers who also believed that "the angry gods" made volcanoes go boom. Versus highly educated and trained observers who are not prone to superstitions. What, you don't believe in dragons???

LotusExcelle states, "A claim that is extraordinary requires evidence." I guess my take on that is that the claim that alien visitation has been and is occurring is not all that extraordinary. Even some of the most ardent "deniers" that have commented on this thread and in others I've read do not deny the nearly 100% probability that there is a) life elsewhere in the universe, and b) that one or more alien civilizations could well be a million or even a billion years ahead of us in technology. Given those two premises, what's so extraordinary about the idea that aliens have visited this rock?

It could be that "they" aren't aliens, but some form of super-secret advanced government project. But to me, the best explanation is "alien visitation". No proof, just belief backed up by mountains of circumstantial evidence.

Fazor
2009-Nov-04, 08:48 PM
Those dragon sightings were of course made by totally uneducated and unsophisticated observers who also believed that "the angry gods" made volcanoes go boom. Versus highly educated and trained observers who are not prone to superstitions. What, you don't believe in dragons???

Lets ignore for a moment your claim that modern people aren't subject to superstition.

Your claim that our ancestors were unsophisticated observers only further proves that dragons exist. After all, how is it possible that so many cultures, without any knowledge of each other, all arrived at the same conclusion by chance, based on erroneous observation? What are the odds of that?

LotusExcelle
2009-Nov-04, 09:11 PM
It could be that "they" aren't aliens, but some form of super-secret advanced government project. But to me, the best explanation is "alien visitation". No proof, just belief backed up by mountains of circumstantial evidence.

I thought I would snip this out of your post and quote it.

Belief backed up by circumstantial evidence, no matter how much of it, is no different than believing in dragons, as Fazor's posts have stated. Your belief that aliens are visiting us is backed up by absolutely NO more evidence than our ancestors' dragons. Are you claiming that aliens are more likely than dragons? Why?

Also I'd like to point out an issue with your "aliens may exist therefore" line of reasoning. While it is highly unlikely that we are alone in the universe the chances of an alien happening upon Earth are (no pun intended) astronomical. Of the *billions* of star systems in each of the *billions* of galaxies... to say that is going out on a limb is putting it mildly. You have a better chance or accidentally having a plane fall through your roof into your kitchen and with its prop blades make a rather sophisticated attempt at Lamb Vindaloo.

Lindon
2009-Nov-04, 09:31 PM
While it is highly unlikely that we are alone in the universe the chances of an alien happening upon Earth are (no pun intended) astronomical.

Unless, of course, they happened to notice a strange bunch of nuclear blasts going off on and above planet earth over an extended period of time and decided to check it out up close.

Fazor and LotusExcelle, your reasoning begins to sound like mush and your comparing UFO sightings to dragon "sightings" borders on absurd.

I got what I came here for, this time around. I wanted to get some "denier" debunking samples on Edgar Mitchell's statement.

I'll leave this thread again as before, with no interest whatsoever in trying to prove that alien UFO visitation is fact, and with a strong sense of curiosity as to what it is that makes "UFO deniers" tick.

Thanks again!

LotusExcelle
2009-Nov-04, 09:39 PM
Lindon - The furthest light could have traveled from the very first nuke explosion (not counting an atmospheric test here - just the very first nuke test) is 64 light years. Check my math on that. I think its 63 or 64 light years. How many stars are in that range?

I'll even throw you an assumption that aliens somehow can travel at lightspeed. That means for them to be here now they would have to have been within about 30 light years to see the nukes and then head here.

Tell me how many stars are within that range.

Fazor
2009-Nov-04, 09:45 PM
If you can show how any single sighting matches the look, flight patterns, and radar signature of an alien craft, I'll happily change my mind.

The fact is, you cannot say, "Aliens are possible. Some things are unexplained. Therefore, said unexplained occurrences are proof that aliens exist."

Sightings could be aliens. They could be time travelers from a future earth. They could be inter-dimensional visitors. They could be dragons. They could be any number of not yet conceived explanations.

The problem is that every piece of evidence you have spoken about, and every piece of evidence that the UFO community puts forth, is dependent on the assumption that UFOs exist, rather than proving the existence of UFOs. It's circular reasoning. "If we assume A is true, and B fits the assumption of A, then B proves A".

Van Rijn
2009-Nov-04, 09:53 PM
Unless, of course, they happened to notice a strange bunch of nuclear blasts going off on and above planet earth over an extended period of time and decided to check it out up close.


A hypothetical observer would have needed to already be "up close" to observe them. They aren't very impressive at interplanetary (let alone interstellar) distances, and at best, their light would take years to even reach the nearest stars.



Fazor and LotusExcelle, your reasoning begins to sound like mush and your comparing UFO sightings to dragon "sightings" borders on absurd.


Why? What is the difference between the dragon mythology and yours?



I'll leave this thread again as before, with no interest whatsoever in trying to prove that alien UFO visitation is fact, and with a strong sense of curiosity as to what it is that makes "UFO deniers" tick.


Pointing out the lack of good evidence for alien spaceships is not the same thing as denying UFOs.

flynjack1
2009-Nov-05, 04:51 AM
Lindon, No body denies that there have been unexplained unidentified flying objects, but where is evidence that these are aliens. Not one piece of physical evidence exist. No parts or pieces, no bodies, no communications, nothing but speculation. Most of this circumstantial evidence can be explained by more than one possible phenomenon. We have yet to reach the stage of Holmes logic where all the possible reasons are elliminated and all that remains is the impossible.

Gillianren
2009-Nov-05, 07:33 AM
You know, on further thought, all this talk about what would or wouldn't happen in a court of law is missing one simple fact--this would never make it to trial in the first place. No corpus delicti, just a lot of talk. If I showed some blurry video of what people swore up and down was a bank robbery, it wouldn't matter unless someone could actually a show a bank which had been robbed. Hearsay is not always thrown out, but it certainly isn't enough to send a case to trial. Eyewitness testimony does not a case make.

Lindon
2009-Nov-05, 03:59 PM
Why? What is the difference between the dragon mythology and yours?

Number of reported UFO sightings in the last 60 years or so: approx 25,000
Number of reported dragon sightings in the last 60 years or so: 0

Percent of U.S. population who believe in (alien) UFO's: 50 - 70% depending on which survey you're reading.
Percent of U.S. population who believe in dragons: No surveys done, probably 0%

Number of videos, pictures and radar recordings of UFO's: Unknown, but in the hundreds and perhaps thousands at least
Number of videos, pictures and radar recordings of dragons: 0

Number of mass sightings of UFO's: 3 or 4 that I can find
Number of mass sightings of dragons: 0

Number of UFO's I have personally seen: 1
Number of dragons I have personally seen: 0

Number of credible witnesses to UFO sightings: depends on who/what you call credible -- probably in the hundreds
Number of credible witnesses to dragon sightings: 0

That's the short list.

Clearly, no comparison, whatsoever.

Myth is not a very good term to describe the UFO phenomenon in my opinion.

I saw a UFO -- unidentified flying object. I admit that it may have been a top secret government craft/object of some sort, but it makes more sense to me that it is of alien origin. UFO deniers tell me no, without hard physical and undeniable evidence you can not and should not leap to the conclusion that whatever it was you saw was of alien origin. I say, logic dictates otherwise.

UFO deniers tell me no, you didn't see what you think you saw, or you had an optical illusion, or you're making it up to get attention, or you're playing a practicle joke, or you have no evidence it was an alien craft and therefore should keep your mouth shut. And whether the "witness" is an astronaut, a governor, a policeman, a pilot, a military officer or just some bozo on the street (like me!) they get the same treatment from UFO deniers.

UFO deniers are too quick to discount another person's experience. UFO deniers are prone to launch into character attacks in attempts to void a person's credibility. UFO deniers are willing to tell somebody that no, you didn't see what you say you saw, which hints at a certain amount of arrogance IMO.

Fazor
2009-Nov-05, 04:21 PM
I saw a UFO -- unidentified flying object. I admit that it may have been a top secret government craft/object of some sort, but it makes more sense to me that it is of alien origin.
In other words "I saw something that I couldn't identify, thus, I saw an alien craft." If you cannot see the error in that logic, then no amount of debate will likely help you.




UFO deniers tell me no, you didn't see what you think you saw, or you had an optical illusion, or you're making it up to get attention, or you're playing a practicle joke, or you have no evidence it was an alien craft and therefore should keep your mouth shut. And whether the "witness" is an astronaut, a governor, a policeman, a pilot, a military officer or just some bozo on the street (like me!) they get the same treatment from UFO deniers.

UFO deniers are too quick to discount another person's experience. UFO deniers are prone to launch into character attacks in attempts to void a person's credibility. UFO deniers are willing to tell somebody that no, you didn't see what you say you saw, which hints at a certain amount of arrogance IMO.

"I saw an alien craft or a secret government craft. That's all it could possibly be, and anyone who disagrees is arrogant and in denial."

If you don't see the error in that logic, then again, no amount of debate will likely help you.

There's a difference between "stepping outside the box" and locking yourself in a different box.

Tog
2009-Nov-05, 04:24 PM
Believing and knowing are different things. That's all that's being said. You may as well add

Number of pictures showing a UFO well enough to identify it as alien in nature: 0
Number of pictures of an animal well enough to identify it as a dragon: 0

Videos have the same totals.

Have people seen odd things? Yes
Have people taken pictures of things in the sky that couldn't identify? Yes

I seriously doubt that anyone here disputes that. But the leap from "a thing in the sky" to "alien spacecraft" is a huge one, and it had a number physical problems to go along with it. Mainly that space isn't just big, it's freaking huge.

As for your discounting the one guy that observed the craft to be airplanes when he got his scope on it, just because it's his word against several dozen others, I offer this:

I once tracked a bright green spot in the sky, in day light for over an hour. I was using binoculars and for that entire time, it didn't seem to move at all, in a clear blue sky. I had been trying for Venus in daylight when I spotted the green thing. I thought I had found a supernova. I bet that I could have convinced any person that walked by at that moment that I had fond one. After trying for an hour, I got a scope on it and guess what.

Helium balloon. I was seeing the sunlight from a green helium balloon that was basically just hovering in one spot. Looking at with a scope I could see the shape, the knot and the string. Mystery solved. Now if those hundred or so people had gotten a good look at it with optical enhancement, would they have come to the same conclusion the one guy that did that did? We'll never know, because only person actually tried to get more information about it.

Here's the thing about people. For many of us, it's better to be popular than it is to be right. there are a lot of people out there that can see something, then hear several others describe it as something totally different, then that one person changes their story to match the others so they aren't the one that's different.

How many of your 100 or so reported it that night?
How many reported it the next day after they saw something about a UFO on the news?

This is part of the reason eyewitness accounts are not all that credible on their own. Also, a person's position has little to do with credibility.

Former President Jimmy Carter was a pilot. He also claimed to have seen a UFO that turned out be Venus. He also thought he was under attack by a rabbit (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/972968/posts), while in a canoe, because in his mind it swam out to attack them.

If we had 50,000 eyewitness accounts of a UFO setting down in a field, but no physical, or valid documentary evidence of any kind, it is not enough to say that it happened.

You are free to believe what you want, but your belief does not change the fact that there has been a sum total of ZERO credible evidence gathered.

Lindon
2009-Nov-05, 04:48 PM
In other words "I saw something that I couldn't identify, thus, I saw an alien craft." If you cannot see the error in that logic, then no amount of debate will likely help you.


That's an incorrect interpretation of what I wrote.

Correct interpretation: I saw something I couldn't identify. I had no idea of what it was. I forgot about it for many years. Then, a few years ago, watching programs on the History Channel where several people reported seeing the exact same thing I saw, it occurred to me that what I had seen was either a top secret government craft or an alien craft -- one or the other. It seems more logical, makes more sense to me, that it was an alien craft. But I do not claim it was an alien craft. Simply, it makes more sense to assume that's what it is. That is the same conclusion that many people, all much more educated and far more credible than me, have come to.

It appears that no amount of debate will likely help you either, as you are determined -- apparantly -- to discount and deny any person's witness to what appears to be a UFO -- top secret government or alien origin. It's one or the other. Which is it? Or do you believe that every witness is either just seeing things or making it up?

Lindon
2009-Nov-05, 05:20 PM
Let's forget about all the other people who have witnessed or claim to have witnessed a UFO sighting and focus on my experience for a moment.

One of the three is true -- which is it?

1) I did not actually see what I saw. It was an optical illusion, swamp gas, weather balloon, or some other common item that I misinterpreted -- or, I am a publicity seeker, a liar or a practical joker. Or something along these lines.

2) I did see what I saw, and it was a top secret military/government craft with incredible speed and maneuvering capability.

3) I did see what I saw, and it was an alien (not made in USA, China, Russia, etc...) craft with incredible speed and maneuvering capability.

Are there any other possiblities besides the three listed above?

Fazor
2009-Nov-05, 05:38 PM
You're saying that what you saw looks more like a UFO than anything else you can think of. You don't seem to realize that you can't logically say that, when there's never been a proven alien craft for you to compare your experience to.

You have to understand that even if your unidentified sightings matches the description of other unidentified sightings, the only thing that proves is that you and other people have shared a similar experience and were unable to determine what it was. That does not qualify the statement "It was most likely an ET craft."

Gillianren
2009-Nov-05, 06:00 PM
Let's forget about all the other people who have witnessed or claim to have witnessed a UFO sighting and focus on my experience for a moment.

One of the three is true -- which is it?

1) I did not actually see what I saw. It was an optical illusion, swamp gas, weather balloon, or some other common item that I misinterpreted -- or, I am a publicity seeker, a liar or a practical joker. Or something along these lines.

2) I did see what I saw, and it was a top secret military/government craft with incredible speed and maneuvering capability.

3) I did see what I saw, and it was an alien (not made in USA, China, Russia, etc...) craft with incredible speed and maneuvering capability.

Are there any other possiblities besides the three listed above?

I think your number one is three different possibilities. There is a difference between "saw something you misinterpreted"--which is, bluntly, the most likely explanation--and "I made something up so that I could get attention." I do believe you genuinely think you saw an alien spacecraft. I also believe that you think the only other reasonable option is a secret government craft. I would just like you to understand why you're wrong that those are the only two probable options just because other people thought that, too.

Are you aware, for example, that not all "shooting stars" are white, small, and brief? There have been large, bright ones which have streaked across the sky, visible from many places, for longer than a split second. And, yes, they get reported as "obviously alien spacecraft or a governmental craft." Which they aren't. They're nothing more out-of-the-ordinary than a chunk of rock. All those people thinking they saw aliens doesn't mean they were right.

Now, I suppose your response to that is that what you saw wasn't anything so ordinary as that, that it exhibited behaviour more complicated than just moving across the sky. And maybe it did. On the other hand, there are things people remember as having done so which, it turns out, didn't. It is also, again bluntly, possible that you heard descriptions of vaguely similar experiences, and your mind changed them so they were the same thing. This is not intended as an insult. It's intended to be an explanation of how the human brain works. People's minds just do that on an unconscious level. Mine does, too--and, yes, it's easier to spot when someone else is doing it than when I am.

You must accept that yours is not the only possible explanation if we are to look at it logically. Just as we do, despite what you think, accept that it's possible it was alien craft. We are just assigning it the probability logic indicates, the probability that it's something else because it always is in cases where it can be identified.

Lindon
2009-Nov-05, 06:16 PM
Have people seen odd things? Yes
Have people taken pictures of things in the sky that couldn't identify? Yes

I seriously doubt that anyone here disputes that. But the leap from "a thing in the sky" to "alien spacecraft" is a huge one, and it had a number physical problems to go along with it. Mainly that space isn't just big, it's freaking huge.


Hey, whatever happened to "seeing is believing"?

What are these: http://www.ufoevidence.org/photographs/view/newer.htm

Answer:

1) 100% practical jokes, swamp gas, weather balloons, obvious fakes

or

2) Top secret military/government craft that are being sighted going at incredible speeds and making incredible maneuvers that defy explanation

or

3) Alien craft that are being sighted going at incredible speeds and making incredible maneuvers that defy explanation

Are there any other explanations?

Fazor
2009-Nov-05, 06:25 PM
I'm not going to play the "Identify these photos" game. If you want to claim that they're UFO craft, you're going to have to do so in the appropriate (Conspiracy Theories) section, and you're going to have to present more of an argument than "Look at these photos and prove they're not aliens!"

Before doing so, I'd advise that you familiarize yourself with the forum rules, and also the special rules that are specific to that section of the forum.

LotusExcelle
2009-Nov-05, 06:29 PM
I take exception to your #1 on that list. First of all there are different intentions at question here. So I think this is a more correct list - see if you can spot the difference.

1) Photographer intended to perpetrate a UFO hoax (first-party hoaxer)
2) Photographer took a photo of *someone else's hoax* accidentally (third-party hoaxer)
3) Photographer took a photo of a non-hoax object. Think model craft, or actual craft but from far away/unusual lighting conditions and interpreted it as a UFO
4) Photographer did not intend to perpetrate a hoax but subsequent viewers interpreted said photo of object as a UFO anyway

Tog
2009-Nov-05, 06:29 PM
Hey, whatever happened to "seeing is believing"?

What are these: http://www.ufoevidence.org/photographs/view/newer.htm

Answer:

1) 100% practical jokes, swamp gas, weather balloons, obvious fakes

or

2) Top secret military/government craft that are being sighted going at incredible speeds and making incredible maneuvers that defy explanation

or

3) Alien craft that are being sighted going at incredible speeds and making incredible maneuvers that defy explanation

Are there any other explanations?

I saw Elvis in the dirt smudges of a dock plate at work one day. Seeing is not always believing.

As for what your pictures may be, it's hard to say for sure. That's what the "U" stands for in UFO. It's unidentified. The odds of any of them being military craft are slim though. Why develop secret military aircraft to hover it over a small mid-western town?

Lots of people have claimed to have seen Bigfoot.
Lots of people have claimed to have seen the Loch Ness Monster.
Lots of people have claimed to have seen the chupacabra.
Lots of people have claimed to have seen the skunk ape.
Lots of people have claimed to have seen flying saucers.

There are blurry photos and video/movies of all of the above, but without some way to actually identify it, it remains unidentified. No amount of group pressure, wishful thinking, or impassioned pleas will change that. what will change it, the ONLY thing that will change it, is actual evidence to support it.

Lindon
2009-Nov-05, 06:29 PM
Gillianren, you're right, I "think" I saw an alien UFO.

I know for a fact that I did not see a) swamp gas, b) weather balloon, c) commercial/military jet, d) optical illusion.

The reason I "think" I saw an alien UFO is because:

1) Whatever it was, it moved at incredible speed and performed impossible maneuvers, without making a sound.

2) Other people who I do not know and never met describe seeing the exact same thing, some of them "credible" (military, police, etc..) witnesses

3) Since I know what I saw was real, and since I am unaware of any military (earth grown) technology that account for what I saw, then I am left with one last explanation -- the best possible explanation.

You and others will make the case that you just made, in all sincerity I believe. But the point is, you don't believe that I saw what I saw -- or that others saw what they say they saw -- and so you speculate that my mind is playing tricks on me, or that over time my mind has incorporated what I've seen/heard elsewhere into my current opinion that I believe is my own, but actually isn't. It all boils down to attacking my credibility and the credibility of anybody who claims to have witnessed a UFO. Because if you don't attack their credibility then you have to believe a) it is a top secret government involvement which defies logic or b) it is an alien source which does NOT defy logic, but is simply something you (and others) do not believe.

Let's agree on this:

1) There is a nearly 100% probability of life elsewhere in the universe
2) There is a high probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe
3) It is entirely possible, even probable, that an alien civilization elsewhere in the universe could be a million or even a billion years ahead of us in technology
4) Give #3 above, then it is possible that aliens have the ability to navigate the universe at other than light speed limitations, and it is possible that they have (and are) visiting our planet.

Do you or anybody else disagree with those 4 statements?

grant hutchison
2009-Nov-05, 06:33 PM
Hey, whatever happened to "seeing is believing"?I think it failed to survive the invention of critical thinking and stage magic.

Grant Hutchison

LotusExcelle
2009-Nov-05, 06:35 PM
#4 is baseless and therefore to be stricken from the list. I say this because you are assigning an advanced civilization a power that YOU require it to have to fit your model. That is bad science.

Gillianren
2009-Nov-05, 07:20 PM
Gillianren, you're right, I "think" I saw an alien UFO.

I know for a fact that I did not see a) swamp gas, b) weather balloon, c) commercial/military jet, d) optical illusion.

No, you don't. You believe you saw an alien craft. (I will not use the term "UFO" when "alien spacecraft" is meant.) You have eliminated all possibilities without considering them.


The reason I "think" I saw an alien UFO is because:

1) Whatever it was, it moved at incredible speed and performed impossible maneuvers, without making a sound.

Which could be something perfectly ordinary that only appeared to be moving at the speed you believed it was; people are bad at estimating that.


2) Other people who I do not know and never met describe seeing the exact same thing, some of them "credible" (military, police, etc..) witnesses

You are putting too much weight on "credibility." Police are trained to make observations at crime scenes, but they are not trained at making observations about the sky. It's not required. What's more, even your "credible" observers are subject to the same brain quirks as anyone else.


3) Since I know what I saw was real, and since I am unaware of any military (earth grown) technology that account for what I saw, then I am left with one last explanation -- the best possible explanation.

Oh, boy. "I know what I saw was real" is your flaw, there. What you know is that a lot of people saw it. And again, you are assuming that no one's description has shifted toward fitting anyone else's, which I do not consider fraud but how the brain naturally works. What you have left is not the best possible explanation. The best possible explanation is "I don't know what it is." That is an explanation, and it's better than the sheer number of mental leaps you're making.


You and others will make the case that you just made, in all sincerity I believe. But the point is, you don't believe that I saw what I saw -- or that others saw what they say they saw -- and so you speculate that my mind is playing tricks on me, or that over time my mind has incorporated what I've seen/heard elsewhere into my current opinion that I believe is my own, but actually isn't. It all boils down to attacking my credibility and the credibility of anybody who claims to have witnessed a UFO. Because if you don't attack their credibility then you have to believe a) it is a top secret government involvement which defies logic or b) it is an alien source which does NOT defy logic, but is simply something you (and others) do not believe.

Speculate? We are making statements based on how the brain is known to work. Phil, one of the founders of this board, saw something in the sky he couldn't identify . . . until he turned binoculars on it and discovered it was a flock of birds. Does that mean that, had Phil not had his binoculars to hand and had seen something he couldn't identify, that would have taken away from his credibility? Of course not! Even if his brain had shifted it into something he thought he recognized, that would not have destroyed his credibility. That would have been how the brain worked. The eye and brain are easily fooled; it's our genetic and evolutionary heritage. There's nothing wrong with that per se. What's wrong is assuming that something can have no rational explanation beyond "it was aliens!"


Let's agree on this:

1) There is a nearly 100% probability of life elsewhere in the universe

Okay.


2) There is a high probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe

Okay.


3) It is entirely possible, even probable, that an alien civilization elsewhere in the universe could be a million or even a billion years ahead of us in technology

I can't go there, or certainly I can't go "billion." There are many reasons for this, but I won't accept billion.


4) Give #3 above, then it is possible that aliens have the ability to navigate the universe at other than light speed limitations, and it is possible that they have (and are) visiting our planet.

Possible, but unlikely for an enormous list of reasons. Not least of which is "why bother?"


Do you or anybody else disagree with those 4 statements?

It's still a leap, even assuming all four are correct--which I don't--that what you saw was one of their craft. Even if all four are true, it still doesn't mean that you saw an alien spacecraft. You still have no evidence beyond eyewitness testimony--notoriously unreliable, as any study will show you--and your own assumptions.

grant hutchison
2009-Nov-05, 07:39 PM
You are putting too much weight on "credibility." Police are trained to make observations at crime scenes, but they are not trained at making observations about the sky.A point well worth repeating.
There is simply no such thing as being generically "trained to observe". One is trained to observe things of relevance to a particular task, in a limited number of contexts.
When we observe something not relevant to our normal tasks, particularly when the thing being observed seems strange or puzzling, all observers are equally bad. And that's demonstrably really bad. So I do indeed cast doubt on the credibility of any and all UFO reporters; but only because I cast an equal amount of doubt on my own credibility.

Grant Hutchison

closetgeek
2009-Nov-05, 07:43 PM
Let's agree on this:

1) There is a nearly 100% probability of life elsewhere in the universe
2) There is a high probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe
3) It is entirely possible, even probable, that an alien civilization elsewhere in the universe could be a million or even a billion years ahead of us in technology
4) Give #3 above, then it is possible that aliens have the ability to navigate the universe at other than light speed limitations, and it is possible that they have (and are) visiting our planet.

Do you or anybody else disagree with those 4 statements?

1) It is unlikely that we are the only life in the universe does not equate to there is nearly 100% probability of life elsewhere... There is also the possibility that we are the only planet to end up at the correct distance with the right materials to sustain life.

2) That is pure speculation. Supposing there is life elsewhere, there is also the possibility that any other planet with life is entirely occupied by nothing more than creatures with the intelligence of insects or even fungi.

3) The issue with three is that they are based on the assumption that 1 and 2) are correct. The problem is; if we are going to talk probability, you have to take into account amount of time life takes; how many generations of star would it take for the correct size and mass to form, in order for it to burn long enough for life to even have a chance for the terrestrial planets (supposing it had any) to evolve into intelligent species? First generation stars are only speculated to have been around for 1 billion years. After they blow off all their star stuff, then how long does it take for a new star to form from that, and then a new star to form from the second generation? Remember, the first stars were primarily hydrogen. Hydrogen fused into helium but those two elements alone are not enough to sustain life. The second generation of stars had more of the heavier elements but still not enough to make life even a moderate probability (am I jumping the gun there?) Now we are talking billions of years for the correct type of star to form to even give a solar system the correct environment to support life. It took almost ten billion for our star to form, then Earth soon after, about a half a billion years later, life started to show up but it wasn't until about a half a million years ago that modern humans became evident. When you take that time frame into perspective I find it a bit harder to jump from the possibility of life elsewhere to; it has to be of superior intelligence and technology.

Fazor
2009-Nov-05, 07:46 PM
How about we add one more point to [Gillian and Grant's posts]. Not only does training to observe in one field not carry over as an overall expertise at observation, but it has the real potential of making observation of things outside your expertise even less accurate.

Let me explain. I'm a 1940's "plane spotter" stationed on the coast of Great Briton (Dangerous, because I'd be preoccupied with English ale and pub food, but I digress). I am trained and practiced at spotting and identifying planes. My job depends on it. My safety depends on it. And my country depends on it. I'm good at what I do.

One night I'm looking out over the sea, and I see a dark shape moving in strange patterns off in the distance. I struggle to identify the craft, but it just doesn't fit anything I've seen before. Therefor, it's some unknown craft! A new German plane? An alien?! It could be either!

But I've just spotted the silhouette of a flock of birds. My "expertise" and practice in identifying aircraft fooled me into trying to classify this strange sight as something in that category. But I was wrong to assume the object was even a craft at all.

flynjack1
2009-Nov-05, 08:24 PM
How about we add one more point to [Gillian and Grant's posts]. Not only does training to observe in one field not carry over as an overall expertise at observation, but it has the real potential of making observation of things outside your expertise even less accurate.

Let me explain. I'm a 1940's "plane spotter" stationed on the coast of Great Briton (Dangerous, because I'd be preoccupied with English ale and pub food, but I digress). I am trained and practiced at spotting and identifying planes. My job depends on it. My safety depends on it. And my country depends on it. I'm good at what I do.

One night I'm looking out over the sea, and I see a dark shape moving in strange patterns off in the distance. I struggle to identify the craft, but it just doesn't fit anything I've seen before. Therefor, it's some unknown craft! A new German plane? An alien?! It could be either!

But I've just spotted the silhouette of a flock of birds. My "expertise" and practice in identifying aircraft fooled me into trying to classify this strange sight as something in that category. But I was wrong to assume the object was even a craft at all.

Well stated example. I will give another. I am a experienced pilot with thousands of flight hours day and night. On a recent hunt while leaving camp early in the morning I saw a red object in the sky in the southeast. It looked like Mars only much brighter than usual, and not directly in the plane of the ecliptic. I walked on for a short while before my curiosity got the best of me. The object had appeared to move more than it should relative to other sky objects. I trained my binoculars on the object and low and behold it was a weather baloon high in altitude and recieving direct sunlight. Had I not had the binos I never would have been able to identify it as such. It would have remained a UFO as it clearly wasnt celestial or an aircraft.

Lindon
2009-Nov-06, 04:20 PM
Thanks everybody for helping to make my point. And that is, the primary weapon in the UFO denier's arsenal is to discredit the witness(es). They are sincere, but mistaken. Optical illusions. Mistaking mundane events for UFOs. Their minds play tricks on them, causing them to believe what others have said and thinking that it is their own original idea or observation. Mass mistaken observations, where numerous people from numerous points all see the same exact thing, but it is an illusion. Non-trained observers who are unqualified to recognize something that is right in front of their face. Highly credible sources such as Edgar Mitchell are characterized as "seeking publicity" or getting old and loosing marbles. And on and on.

Then we have the "science of UFO deniability" by closetgeek that proves conclusively that it is impossible for an alien civilization anywhere else in the universe to be more advanced than the human race, because it can be scientifically demonstrated that not enough time has passed since the big bang for an alien civilization to advance further than we have.

And there is the predictable accusations of UFO deniers that any photos or videos of UFOs are "blurry" or frauds -- which the UFO denier must believe and defend because the only other option is to recognize that we have some very incredible objects passing through our airspace. And when presented with an opportunity to view videos/photos that are not blurry and that clearly depict UFOs, we even get a defensive response as in the case of Fazor who says "I'm not going to play the "Identify these photos" game", despite the fact that nobody asked him "play the identify these photos" game -- whatever that is.

I'm not saying those are aliens piloting the objects so clearly depicted in the photos and videos. But I am saying those objects, many of them so clearly visible -- the sightings -- are REAL, and that they are either top secret government/military projects OR they are alien visitors. One or the other. Nothing else makes sense, unless you have the predispostion to assign each and every sighting/witness into the "invalid observation" trash can.

Long before Gallileo, smart people looked up into the night sky and speculated that the earth circled the sun, not the other way around. They had no mathmatical or scientific proof, just their visual observations and a healthy serving of common sense. The fact that they didn't have "scientific proof" did not make their speculative observations any less true. And none of them were "trained observers", by the way.

Thanks again for the debate. I wanted to get a sampling of UFO denier mentality on this pass, and I got a load of it. Where you all see "mass optical illusions", I am seeing mass denial.

Enjoy your Friday!

NEOWatcher
2009-Nov-06, 04:30 PM
...I am seeing mass denial.
No you're not. :lol:

Just look at it this way.
Take all the possible things that we can definitely prove the appearance of and compare them to the picture and take the best match. It is likely that. Unfortunately with secret projects and ET, we don't have a definite image of one, so that picture can only be speculated.
It's that speculation of an image that leaves the disagreement.

closetgeek
2009-Nov-06, 05:50 PM
Thanks everybody for helping to make my point. And that is, the primary weapon in the UFO denier's arsenal is to discredit the witness(es). They are sincere, but mistaken. Optical illusions. Mistaking mundane events for UFOs. Their minds play tricks on them, causing them to believe what others have said and thinking that it is their own original idea or observation. Mass mistaken observations, where numerous people from numerous points all see the same exact thing, but it is an illusion. Non-trained observers who are unqualified to recognize something that is right in front of their face. Highly credible sources such as Edgar Mitchell are characterized as "seeking publicity" or getting old and loosing marbles. And on and on.

It just comes down to 'the simplest solution'. Your solution to the question lacks any and all empirical evidence. It's all speculation and interpretation. You can't come to a science board and expect people to not want more than testimony, especially when most of your examples of sightings have already been explained rationally. No one said that people were experiencing some mass delusion; they saw something, that is fact. What they saw, to them, was an unidentified flying object. Without something more concrete, you cannot expect rational people to go from, "wow, I don't know what that is," to "I've never seen anything like it so it must be an aircraft driven by aliens"



Then we have the "science of UFO deniability" by closetgeek that proves conclusively that it is impossible for an alien civilization anywhere else in the universe to be more advanced than the human race, because it can be scientifically demonstrated that not enough time has passed since the big bang for an alien civilization to advance further than we have.

Lindon, that is not what I said. It is quite possible that the process of life took less time in some far off place. I was just pointing out that there is nothing anywhere that says it's very probable or even likely, we honestly don't know. All we know is the process by which we came to be, started roughly 14 billion years ago. You want it to be, therefor it must be is a logical fallacy. Show me the mathematics that we just happen to be late starters and I will rethink my position.
No one here is a denier, we are just asking for something supporting why you are jumping from a to z and skipping b through y.


Long before Gallileo, smart people looked up into the night sky and speculated that the earth circled the sun, not the other way around. They had no mathmatical or scientific proof, just their visual observations and a healthy serving of common sense. The fact that they didn't have "scientific proof" did not make their speculative observations any less true. And none of them were "trained observers", by the way.

Actually, the first known heliocentrist was Aristarchus, not only was he an Astronomer, he was a mathematician as well. However, it wasn't widely accepted, just because he was a smart guy.

Gillianren
2009-Nov-06, 06:20 PM
Lindon, do you actually read what anyone says or just put what you think we're saying on top of it?

grant hutchison
2009-Nov-06, 06:47 PM
... UFO deniers ...Do such people exist? People who claim that all flying objects ever sighted have been correctly identified? I've never met one.
I'm just an ETH doubter: I see no need for the tired old Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis. Even in ufological circles the ETH is seen as a bit frayed at the edges, these days.

Grant Hutchison

closetgeek
2009-Nov-06, 07:39 PM
Do such people exist? People who claim that all flying objects ever sighted have been correctly identified? I've never met one.
I'm just an ETH doubter: I see no need for the tired old Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis. Even in ufological circles the ETH is seen as a bit frayed at the edges, these days.

Grant Hutchison

The problem is, any statement, valid or not, given against the ETH is automatically deemed "denier arsenal" which means this is no longer a debate, if it ever was.

Lindon
2009-Nov-06, 09:41 PM
Yes, Gillianren, I have read everything you and others have written. And yo comprendo -- or if you understand Russian - then ya ponimaiyoo.

I just finished a trek through the first 10 or so pages of the Conspiracy Theory forum. You guys/gals get hit with a lot of UFO "stuff" on this site, don't you?

Most of the UFO video footage and UFO photographs are pure garbage. History Channel ran several "UFO Hunter" series. After watching the first few minutes of the first few shows, I stopped watching. They've got UFO sightings to sell on that program (and others), and they're a little short on material in my opinion so they make stuff up.

Several of the videos I just watched which have been posted in the Conspiracy Theory forum are junk. And the people posting those deserved all the abuse they got.

There are really very few UFO sightings or testimonials that I lend any credence to.

I think we're all trying to be objective here and all trying to get to the truth.

There are fanatical UFO promoters and fantatical UFO deniers. In the middle is where I fall, and I believe that's where most of the posters on this thread fall.

You'll have to excuse my flare for the dramatic. It's in my nature. I was enjoying stirring up the ants nest, so to speak. I've never done "the forum" thing before. This is the first forum where I've actually become a member, and this is the first thread where I've actually done any back-and-forth topic discussion. I don't know if you can tell, but I have a strong competitive nature, and when "under attack" I tend to go nuclear, so to speak. I enjoyed the debate -- yeah, it was a debate closetgeek, don't try to minimize it please. But a debate with no winners and no losers, in my opinion, just everyone saying what they think. What's wrong with that?

Having said all that, I still believe that out of all the total C-R-A-P out there which passes for UFOLOGY, and out of all the looney tunes promoting that stuff, there is a sliver of truth that can't be denied. There are very clear photos and videos with frames of reference taken by ordinary people with no motivation to deceive. There is what I saw, and no matter how hard you guys/gals try to convince me that I didn't see what I saw, or that what I saw is not what I think it is, I know you're wrong. I can understand your point of view, I'm a very empathetic person, and I can imagine that I would be in your shoes if I had not had my little experience.

There are unexplained "objects" in our airspace. I'm standing with Fife Symington and a host of others in telling you skeptics that hey, we saw something and it's real. And no matter how much skepticism, criticism, sarcasm and total disbelief gets thrown my way -- and that's all I'm getting from going public with my "sighting" for the first time in my life -- I'm confident and tough enough to stand up to all that and more and still say, I know what I saw.

Gillianren
2009-Nov-07, 12:17 AM
No one says all these people intend to deceive. No one says these people are all after fame/glory/whatever. No one says that you didn't see anything.

Repeat this to yourself every time you find yourself accusing us of saying these things. Because you keep accusing us of it even after we tell you that we're not.

You are ignoring several facts because you think we're only using them to bury our heads in the sand. However, by ignoring them, that is exactly what you are doing. So try this statement.

Eyewitness testimony is not as reliable as you think it is.

This applies no matter who's saying what. The human mind is a complicated thing. There are, as I said, sound evolutionary reasons for a lot of the ways it fools itself, but it does fool itself all the time. Eyewitness testimony is therefore, rightly, not given as much weight in a court of law as having something tangible in hand. If all you have is eyewitness testimony, you do not have a case, no matter how many people say they saw something. Please research this in cases having nothing to do with your own little belief.

Lindon
2009-Nov-07, 02:22 AM
Gillianren,

Just ask, and I will provide plenty of quotes where people relating a "UFO sighting" are accused of trying to deceive and looking for publicity. But in my case, in this thread, nobody has accused me of trying to deceive or seeking publicity.

There is a difference between ignoring what are presented as "facts" by others, and evaluating those "facts" and NOT finding them factual at all, or even worth commenting on -- especially when I have limited time and work to do.

You write: "If all you have is eyewitness testimony, you do not have a case, no matter how many people say they saw something. Please research this in cases having nothing to do with your own little belief."

Really? I think I will check with an attorney on that. I was under the impression that if there is a) motive, b) opportunity and c) credible eyewitness to the event, then a guilty verdict can be reached. Any legal experts out there? As to your comment "your own little belief", I'm left wondering if maybe you're taking this whole conversation a little too personal. Maybe I've somehow slighted you? Let me say, I have read many of your comments in other threads and I have nothing but respect for you, whether I agree with you or not. Period.

I don't think I accused anybody of hiding their head in the sand on this subject, but I do think there is a lot of denial out there. Understandable denial, IMO.

And I realize you aren't accusing me of not seeing "something", but that you are explaining to me how complicated the human mind is and how prone humans are to miscontruing what they see. I fully understand that you are saying to me that I am (most likely?) mistaken in my interpretation of what I saw. And the fact that what I saw coincides exactly with what other people are reporting all over the world over a 60+ year period does not seem to influence your opinion at all that what I think I saw is not what I saw.

You know, if I came across a post where somebody claimed to have seen a pink elephant flying by, I would chuckle and just pass it by. Why is it that so many people are so highly motivated to downplay or undermine report UFO sightings? I'm very curious what it is that animates you and other on this thread to so aggressively attempt to dispute that I actually saw a UFO. I mean, why do you and others even care?

What is it about reported UFO sightings that "pushes the button" of so many people who jump at the opportunity to dispute that sighting, to disprove it -- to debunk it, to tear at the credibility of the person reporting the sighting?

What satisfaction or value do you get from trying to convince me that what I saw is not what I saw?

Gillianren
2009-Nov-07, 03:14 AM
Just ask, and I will provide plenty of quotes where people relating a "UFO sighting" are accused of trying to deceive and looking for publicity. But in my case, in this thread, nobody has accused me of trying to deceive or seeking publicity.

No; you've accused us of saying it about other people. Even when we have not said it about any of the people you're accusing us of saying about.


There is a difference between ignoring what are presented as "facts" by others, and evaluating those "facts" and NOT finding them factual at all, or even worth commenting on -- especially when I have limited time and work to do.

Have you looked, or are you just rejecting what we're saying out of hand?


You write: "If all you have is eyewitness testimony, you do not have a case, no matter how many people say they saw something. Please research this in cases having nothing to do with your own little belief."

Really? I think I will check with an attorney on that. I was under the impression that if there is a) motive, b) opportunity and c) credible eyewitness to the event, then a guilty verdict can be reached. Any legal experts out there? As to your comment "your own little belief", I'm left wondering if maybe you're taking this whole conversation a little too personal. Maybe I've somehow slighted you? Let me say, I have read many of your comments in other threads and I have nothing but respect for you, whether I agree with you or not. Period.

There is no motive or opportunity to a standard of a court of law here. You can speculate about motive and opportunity, but that's all you're doing. You believe there is motive and opportunity, but you have presented no evidence. What you have is eyewitness testimony. If you have actual evidence of anything else, you haven't presented it here.


I don't think I accused anybody of hiding their head in the sand on this subject, but I do think there is a lot of denial out there. Understandable denial, IMO.

You've accused us of knee-jerk reactions in denying what you believe to be true.


And I realize you aren't accusing me of not seeing "something", but that you are explaining to me how complicated the human mind is and how prone humans are to miscontruing what they see. I fully understand that you are saying to me that I am (most likely?) mistaken in my interpretation of what I saw. And the fact that what I saw coincides exactly with what other people are reporting all over the world over a 60+ year period does not seem to influence your opinion at all that what I think I saw is not what I saw.

No, it doesn't. Many, many people have reported many, many different things. Indeed, quite often, if you take a witness statement made shortly after the event and one made even a few months later, you can see the changes in what they've said. You may not be aware of that; I suspect it is because you haven't looked.


You know, if I came across a post where somebody claimed to have seen a pink elephant flying by, I would chuckle and just pass it by. Why is it that so many people are so highly motivated to downplay or undermine report UFO sightings? I'm very curious what it is that animates you and other on this thread to so aggressively attempt to dispute that I actually saw a UFO. I mean, why do you and others even care?

Because it's just so tedious. If that person claiming the flying pink elephant said that the people who didn't believe them despite their absolute and total lack of physical evidence said that the reason they didn't is that they didn't want to believe, wouldn't you find it tiresome? If they took quotes out of context and obviously didn't even know the context, wouldn't you find it tiresome? If they accused you of intellectual dishonesty--because that's what you're doing, you know--wouldn't you be seriously annoyed? The reason we are trying to show you that your "obvious" answer isn't the most likely one is that we are trying to help you become a more critical thinker and educate you to the realities of the world around you.


What is it about reported UFO sightings that "pushes the button" of so many people who jump at the opportunity to dispute that sighting, to disprove it -- to debunk it, to tear at the credibility of the person reporting the sighting?

No one is attacking your credibility. Oh, yes, we point out the lack of credibility some people have, but generally, those people are lying about credentials or otherwise intentionally lying about things. You know, where it's both true and relevant.


What satisfaction or value do you get from trying to convince me that what I saw is not what I saw?

The satisfaction of education and improving the general level of critical thinking in the world.

grant hutchison
2009-Nov-07, 03:31 PM
No one is attacking your credibility.Well, I'm attacking Lindon's credibility. :)
But only in a context-specific way, and (as I've said) to precisely the same extent I attack my own credibility as a witness.
We know very well, from controlled tests, the things humans are bad at doing. We're bad at estimating the size, distance, brightness, velocity and acceleration of even familiar objects. We're utterly hopeless at making the same estimates for unfamiliar or unrecognized objects. We are so bad at this that we will often report the rapid movement of completely stationary light sources, under experimental conditions. And we will often fixate on an original misperception, sticking to it despite subsequent evidence that undermines it; we will instead tolerate a degree of "spookiness" in the perceived behaviour of the object, rather than recalibrating our perceptions.
Everyone does this, and the kinds of errors they make are always the same.

The vast majority of those who report UFO sightings report stuff that falls into the category of "things humans are known to be hopeless at estimating" and "things humans routinely misperceive on careful testing". So to cast appropriate doubt on the credibility of such reports is not to suggest that the reporters are liars, or deluded, or fools. It is to point out that they are humans, and subject to the same reproducible sensory tricks and errors as the rest of us. It's also to say that we are unsurprised that so many reports resemble each other, given the categories of errors that humans routinely make.

Grant Hutchison

flynjack1
2009-Nov-07, 05:00 PM
Lindon, I have no idea what "you" saw. My point is that even trained observers lacking the proper tools or frames of reference can be mistaken in their interpretation. I have experienced this as I related. What you saw is unexplained, it was a UFO, but no evidence shows it was of alien nature. It is your choice to "beleive" that it was an alien ship of some sort, but dont attempt to validate your belief if you cant support it with evidence after all this is a science forum.

Gillianren
2009-Nov-07, 06:54 PM
It's a semantic argument to me, Grant. None of us are suggesting that Lindon is not perfectly reliable in all ways he(?) can be expected to be reliable, and certainly none of us are saying that, because his(?) brain works in ways all human brains work, you can't trust him(?) about anything. We are, quite literally, attacking the idea, and that idea is that "I saw it" means "it is what I thought it was."

LotusExcelle
2009-Nov-07, 10:20 PM
I think that is a good point, Gillianren. I have not seen one of us yet attack Lindon on a personal level. In fact all observational error references state that it is an effect that all humans, including myself, have. It is a problem with all of our brains not just the ufo-as-alien proponent.

This is why I bring up optical illusions so much in reference to these claims. I am not saying that what someone saw 'wasn't there' or that it was a 'hallucination' or other such thing. I *am* saying, along with others, that our brains are rather easily and predictably tricked by some very basic visual tricks. Not to mention all of the issues with memory (which is an entirely other large can of worms).

Lindon I hope you are not taking this as if we are attacking you or your abilities. We are bringing up issues with every human brain - ones that are well-known and may have a bearing on your particular claim as well.

NEOWatcher
2009-Nov-09, 06:12 PM
You know, if I came across a post where somebody claimed to have seen a pink elephant flying by, I would chuckle and just pass it by. Why is it that so many people are so highly motivated to downplay or undermine report UFO sightings?
A very good example to answer your question.

Most of us have seen an elephant either live or in pictures. There are plenty of elephants around to do research on to correlate the sighting against.

We have seen elephants in various colors, either in skin tone variations, or other coatings such as mud. They've also been painted in circuses and such. So; we can determine what a pink elephant should look like.

We know what it takes for flight, we can compute the ear flap area required to lift the weight of an elephant. We can measure this against existing examples of elephants. We can also make computations of other factors that may help in flight such as flatulence thrust.

Now; a statement about a pink flying elephant can be determined against all these conditions.

For UFOs, how do you start? What do you measure?


What is it about reported UFO sightings that "pushes the button" of so many people who jump at the opportunity to dispute that sighting, to disprove it -- to debunk it, to tear at the credibility of the person reporting the sighting?
The volume of crap. Statistically; I have a better chance of not wasting my time, than I do of actually seeing something credible.


What satisfaction or value do you get from trying to convince me that what I saw is not what I saw?
No satisfaction, but the value is being able to whittle it down to a point where only solid leads will remain. It's only from these solid leads that a case can be made. And; if a case can be made, then you're definitely going to see more than just a few UFO fanatasists trying to make sense of it.
So far; it hasn't gotten to that point yet.

Fazor
2009-Nov-09, 06:38 PM
What satisfaction or value do you get from trying to convince me that what I saw is not what I saw?

I'll answer this a little differently. I get no satisfaction from convincing someone that UFO's do or do not visit earth. That's one of the reasons I don't typically participate in these types of "debates", beyond a quick point here or there. Honestly, I don't care what you or anyone else believes.

What I do care about is ration and the Scientific Method. When reasons behind why someone believes something are unsound, it bothers me. Not because I care if you think aliens are buzzing around overhead, but because those same flaws in reasoning lead to other very real problems. Just watch the news on any given night for the next "up in arms" story. Many of these "issues" only exist because of faulty reasoning.

My wish is that people would focus more on reasoning and the scientific method, and thus be able to form opinions and conclusions based on actual information, rather than shallow emotional responses.

Lindon
2009-Nov-09, 08:52 PM
Fazor, it looks like you're saying that my conclusion that I saw something of exterrestrial origin -- versus something made here on earth by human technology -- is the result of a shallow emotional respose? You and others on this thread aren't going to admit there's even the smallest chance that I reached my conclusion based on logic and sound reasoning -- correct? In your mind and the minds of others on this thread, the mere fact that I would reach the conclusion that we are being visited by aliens puts me in that category of people who display faulty judgement and shallow emotional responses, if I understand you correctly.

And it sounds like you are ready to make the same accusations against any person who sees a UFO (and supporting photo, video, cockpit and radar recordings) and concludes that the Best Possible Explanation is that the UFO is of exterrestrial origin. Astronauts, police officers, military brass, political leaders, scientists, hundreds of professional aviators -- just a lot of faulty reasoning and shallow emotional responses, is that right?

Someone earlier on this thread asked what's the difference between UFO sightings and dragon mythology. The person who attempted to make that comparison is the one showing faulty reasoning, because there simply is NO comparison -- it was an absurd attempt to connect two completely different things. And as I recall, a rather shallow emotional response was provided by that same person later in the thread after I pointed out his mistake.

In the "Phoenix Lights" discussion earlier in this thread, several posters stated that no, those were just flares and everybody -- hundreds -- who thought they saw a UFO were in fact just actually looking at flares -- their faulty minds and shallow emotional responses caused them all to think they saw a huge silently gliding V-shaped UFO directly overhead, which they irrationally speculated could not possibly have been produced here on earth with human technology. But the actual fact is, the flares were dropped 2 - 3 hours AFTER the UFO was sighted. Those posters who argued that it was just flares which people witnessed are displaying flawed reasoning and a blatant disregard for the truth. They heard the misinformation somewhere, they believed it, they repeated it. How totally un-scientific is that?

I think the only myth here is that many of the posters on this thread possess superior scientific reasoning.

But I'm like Fazor in at least one way. I don't care if anyone believes in alien visitation to our planet or not and I never participate in these kinds of debates, except this one -- first and last time. And the only reason I keep coming back here is because I see deluded individuals who are a little too comfortable in their illusional state of scientific mental superiority. I'd like to help you guys see the light, but it's starting to look like I'm wasting my time.

Fazor
2009-Nov-09, 09:12 PM
Fazor, it looks like you're saying that my conclusion that I saw something of exterrestrial origin -- versus something made here on earth by human technology -- is the result of a shallow emotional respose?

Since there's a complete and utter lack of any good evidence that alien craft exist in the first place, yes, your unwavering sureness that you saw an alien craft is a shallow and emotional response.

Gillianren
2009-Nov-09, 09:55 PM
I wouldn't phrase it that way. I would say that people's brains are being tricked in a fashion that would have provided evolutionary advantage when we were still out on the plains of Africa. The problem is that they are then assuming that they aren't being fooled and that it isn't possible that they're being fooled.

Would I like aliens to visit Earth? You bet. Does the available evidence indicate that they have? No.

mugaliens
2009-Nov-10, 02:46 AM
I "think" I saw an alien UFO.

That's impossible. If it was alien, then it's been identified, and would be unidentified. On the other hand, if it hasn't been identified, then you have absolutely no idea whether or not it was alien.


Whatever it was, it moved at incredible speed and performed impossible maneuvers, without making a sound.

Humans are incapable of accurately judging distance without a good frame of reference. Even with a frame of reference, such as seeing an airliner, humans are wildly inaccurate with respect to distance. I once asked a friend with whom I was driving, "how far away do you think that airplane is?" It had just taken off from the airport. "I'd say about 15 to 20 miles," was his reply. The airport was 4 miles away, and my friend was a commercial airlines pilot!

People are similarly poor at judging angular velocity.

Without reasonably accurate distance and angular velocity measurements, you have absolutely no way of knowing whether it was a quarter mile away from you, pulling 3 g's and doing 60 mph, or ten miles away, pulling 120 g's, and doing 2,400 mph.


Other people who I do not know and never met describe seeing the exact same thing, some of them "credible" (military, police, etc..) witnesses

That confirms you weren't imagining it. It confirms nothing else.


I am unaware of any military (earth grown) technology that account for what I saw...

Just because you're unaware that something exists doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

I'll bet you weren't aware that one of the guys at the local R/C flying club built a 0.90-powered "flying saucer" out of a garbage can lid for fun. It flies very fast but rather erratically, and it's heavily muffled to the point where you can't hear it when it's more than a thousand feet distant.

The point is, you don't know what it might have been.


...then I am left with one last explanation...

Actually, you're left with a lot of possibilities, and I only named one.


It all boils down to attacking my credibility and the credibility of anybody who claims to have witnessed a UFO.

We are by no means attacking your credibility. We are attacking the illogic by which you and others jump to baseless conclusions of alien spacecraft.


a) it is a top secret government involvement which defies logic

How in the world do TS government operations "defy logic?"


b) it is an alien source which does NOT defy logic...

You are correct - the idea of alien spacecraft visiting Earth does not defy logic. It's jumping to that as a conclusion while failing to exhaust other possibilities which defies logic.


...but is simply something you (and others) do not believe.

This is incorrect! I believe it may be possible, but I also believe it's highly unlikely.




Let's agree on this:

1) There is a nearly 100% probability of life elsewhere in the universe
2) There is a high probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe
3) It is entirely possible, even probable, that an alien civilization elsewhere in the universe could be a million or even a billion years ahead of us in technology
4) Give #3 above, then it is possible that aliens have the ability to navigate the universe at other than light speed limitations, and it is possible that they have (and are) visiting our planet.

Do you or anybody else disagree with those 4 statements?

I agree with 1, 2, and 3. I do not agree with #4.

flynjack1
2009-Nov-10, 03:05 AM
I would argue that such sightings might give one a deep visceral feeling vice a shallow emotional one. Unfortunately gut instincts can be, and often are wrong.

Lindon, you said:Those posters who argued that it was just flares which people witnessed are displaying flawed reasoning and a blatant disregard for the truth. They heard the misinformation somewhere, they believed it, they repeated it. How totally un-scientific is that?

Apparently, you wont take anyones experience other than your own into account. I have told you of my extensive experience in the very area where this sighting occurred and how easily it could be misinterpreted, I made no harsh judgement on those who saw this and interpreted it the way they did. I simply pointed out that they were mistaken. My experience around flare drops is real and not unscientific as I have actually observed these events myself. Have you witnessed flare drops in the desert at night? What do you base your conclusion on? Were you there?

closetgeek
2009-Nov-10, 03:29 PM
Fazor, it looks like you're saying that my conclusion that I saw something of exterrestrial origin -- versus something made here on earth by human technology -- is the result of a shallow emotional respose? You and others on this thread aren't going to admit there's even the smallest chance that I reached my conclusion based on logic and sound reasoning -- correct? In your mind and the minds of others on this thread, the mere fact that I would reach the conclusion that we are being visited by aliens puts me in that category of people who display faulty judgement and shallow emotional responses, if I understand you correctly.


Lindon, you are not using logic or reason to come to your conclusion. That is the meat of our arguments against your claim. It is clear that you've spent a lot of time contemplating, but not much on verifying. Putting up links to websites that claim we are being visited only shows that you narrow your search down to only sites that support your claim. I opted not to include a list to keep it as short as possible, but if you would like a list of the logical fallacies you've used to support your claim, I will. It has been stated numerous times that it is your claim, not you as a person, that is under the microscope. Not one person in this thread has told you to stop believing what you saw was an alien craft, all that has been asked is; do not expect us to believe it in the absense of any emperical evidence. Still, you respond by calling your opponents delusional and accuse them of having their head in the sand.


Someone earlier on this thread asked what's the difference between UFO sightings and dragon mythology. The person who attempted to make that comparison is the one showing faulty reasoning, because there simply is NO comparison -- it was an absurd attempt to connect two completely different things. And as I recall, a rather shallow emotional response was provided by that same person later in the thread after I pointed out his mistake.

If it is faulty reasoning, show why. Why is it an absurd connection; because you personally don't believe in dragons?


I think the only myth here is that many of the posters on this thread possess superior scientific reasoning.

Yet another unfounded claim. Why? Don't just attack what they are saying, support it with why it is faulty logic.

Fazor
2009-Nov-10, 04:41 PM
If it is faulty reasoning, show why. Why is it an absurd connection; because you personally don't believe in dragons?

The rebuttal was that no body today believes in dragons, only "primitive, superstitions peoples" of the past believed in dragons.

But I could just have easily have used any of the countless "undiscovered" creatures featured on that cryptozoology show I love so much, that people do still believe in today. Maybe Bigfoot built a jetpack?

Anyway, I know my analogies can be "out there" (though I do think it was a sound analogy.) Exaggeration of claim is meant to exaggerate the logical fallacies; not attack the intelligence of the one making the claim.

Lindon
2009-Nov-11, 10:55 PM
I'm just dumbfounded by the amount of denial from such intelligent people on this forum and others regarding UFOs. So much so, that I've spent the last few days researching what others have to say on this subject. I'm trying to understand, is it just me, or have others noticed that "the scientific community", taken as a whole, seem to be in some kind of group denial over the UFO phenomena.

One quote:

In their public statements (but not necessarily in their private statements), scientists express a generally negative attitude towards the UFO problem, and it is interesting to try to understand this attitude. Most scientists have never had the occasion to confront evidence concerning the UFO phenomenon. To a scientist, the main source of hard information (other than his own experiments' observations) is provided by the scientific journals. With rare exceptions, scientific journals do not publish reports of UFO observations. The decision not to publish is made by the editor acting on the advice of reviewers. This process is self-reinforcing: the apparent lack of data confirms the view that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon, and this view works against the presentation of relevant data." Dr. Peter A. Sturrock, Professor of Space Science and Astrophysics and Deputy Director of the Center for Space Sciences and Astrophysics at Stanford University; Director of the Skylab Workshop on Solar Flares in 1977. (Sturrock, Peter A., "An Analysis of the Condon Report on the Colorado UFO Project," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1987.)

Look at this well documented paper, which seems to bring out a lot of valid points.

Science and the Failure To Investigate Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

at: http://www.freedomofinfo.org/science/science_research.pdf

Points made (my summary):

The UFO phenomenon is real
Why and how mainstream science came to treat the UFO phonemonon as fiction
Declassified statements from top military commanders recognizing UFOs as real
No other objective conclusion can be made except this technology is not human

And many others. A sample:

“The phenomena is something real”

In 1947, Lt. General Nathan Twining, Commander of Air Materiel Command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, sent a now-famous secret memo concerning “Flying Discs” to Brig. General George Schulgen, Chief of the Air Intelligence Requirements Division at the Pentagon. “The phenomena is something real and not visionary or fictitious,” he wrote. “The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action 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.” Twining described the objects as metallic or light-reflecting, circular or elliptical with a flat bottom and domed top, and usually silent.

flynjack1
2009-Nov-12, 02:00 AM
No physical evidence. Bring the smoking gun or choose to believe, just don't call it science without the evidence. Observations that are not verifiable by follow on observations move UFOs out of the realm of science into the realm of speculation. When the LGM show up and say howdy you can say you said so, until then call it what it is, a belief.

Fazor
2009-Nov-12, 02:10 AM
“The phenomena is something real”


Of course the phenomenon is real. No one here is claiming that nobody has ever seen an unidentified object, and that everyone who claims to have seen an unidentified object are flat-out liars.

But where do you get "Aliens are real" from "People see things they can't identify"? That's an enormous leap in logic.

And saying "Top military officials have come forward" is easy enough; sure there's been people from militaries, governments, etc. that have claimed to have had access to aliens or alien technology, or documents detailing aliens or alien technology. You know the funny thing though? Not a single actual document, alien body in part or in whole, or piece of alien technology has ever been produced.

Are we to believe there's A) a vast conspiracy to cover up the fact that multiple governments and their military know about and have proof of aliens, B) there's been soo many defectors or whistle-blowers with access to said information that it just has to be real, but C) not one single person with physical access to said information or objects has been able to produce it as proof?

How likely does that really sound?

closetgeek
2009-Nov-12, 03:12 AM
Lindon, you do realize that the article was commissioned by the Sci Fi channel, yes?
The general tone in that paper seems to be; UFO's are real (which we all agree) and worth examining. Why does there seem to be a lack of support by the US. Not one part of that paper presented or even suggested that there was evidence that we are being visited.

BTW, did you read pg 5?


UFOs are not science fiction. In the 1950’s the Air Force defined them as “any airborne object which
by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features does not conform to any presently
known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object.”3 There is
no implication of origin inherent in the meaning of the word “UFO.” It simply means “unidentified.”
(my bold)

Sounds pretty much like what has been the general argument here.
Now, you have brought up the court of law, may I point out that when it comes to the verdict, a jury can only find the defendant guilty if it is beyond all reasonable doubt. If you want us to believe, give us no other possible explanation.

A) we are aware that our military conducts top secret projects
B) sightings seem to occur predominantly near military bases
C) the military seems to offer the most objections to studies
D) it is not uncommon for nations to not want the full capacity of their technology
public.

Carl Sagan also talks about this, he dedicates an entire section to this topic in Demon Haunted World. It's a very interesting book and if you honestly are looking, objectively, for answers, it's good to check out all possible angles before jumping the gun then accusing other people of denial.

LotusExcelle
2009-Nov-12, 12:50 PM
Whenever anyone brings up the military and secret aircraft I am forced to think of the SR-71. And my favorite plane - the XB-70. While I doubt we have any radically advanced technology beyond what is commonly known I *do* believe that we have some pretty wicked aircraft that are not known to civilians. Call them prototypes or 'top secret craft'. Whatever.

The point is with those two planes I mentioned. They are *old*. Take a look at when they were made and how advanced they still are. The SR-71 surely is an incredible craft. Tell someone that may have spotted it in prototype that is was capable of mach 3 and was designed by *humans* and I think most people might not have believed that. Fact is it was a human endeavor and it was and still is an amazing plane. Do you really think we don't have equally amazing planes being built, tested, and flown right now?

I am not saying that accounts for a large number of sightings but I do not doubt that a few people have found a plane to be unidentifiable from time to time.

closetgeek
2009-Nov-12, 01:56 PM
I am not saying that accounts for a large number of sightings but I do not doubt that a few people have found a plane to be unidentifiable from time to time.

Exactly, and while there is a possibility of a rational explanation, there is just no need to jump to assumptions that we are being visited by aliens.

gzhpcu
2009-Nov-12, 04:42 PM
In 1947, Lt. General Nathan Twining, Commander of Air Materiel Command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, sent a now-famous secret memo concerning “Flying Discs” to Brig. General George Schulgen, Chief of the Air Intelligence Requirements Division at the Pentagon. “The phenomena is something real and not visionary or fictitious,” he wrote. “The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action 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.” Twining described the objects as metallic or light-reflecting, circular or elliptical with a flat bottom and domed top, and usually silent.
Ever since the Kenneth Arnold sighting, the image of a flying saucer with a flat bottom and a domed top was stressed in the press, even though he did not see anything saucer-shaped. This became the archetype of an alien spaceship for the general public. Nowadays, myriads of shapes are reported: morphing shapes, black triangles, rectangles, etc. What has happened to the "flying saucers"? Look at photos from the 50's, showing images of hubcaps purporting to be a "flying saucer".

Just search in the ATM section for some of the famous sightings, like the one where Robert Hastings, from "UFOs and Nukes" showed up to promote his book, but had little convincing evidence.

Lindon
2009-Nov-12, 06:42 PM
All very good points, guys (and gals if any). I'm glad to see from the recent posts here that all or most accept the FACT that some very incredible objects are being seen and reported in our airspace. That's significantly different from the "your mind plays tricks on you" stream of argument that characterized much of this discussion in earlier posts. I'm willing to accept that what is being seen and reported may be as yet uncovered top secret military or other governmental agency projects, as I've stated before in this thread.

Whether alien or not, no known or publicly available proof, that is correct.

We have respected and highly accomplished individuals on record with their sightings, saying (paraphrased) "No known technology that I am aware of could account for that object's performance."

If I look up into the sky, see an enormous object estimated to be several city blocks or greater in size, and the object is gliding silently overhead with no recognizeable propulsion system, and then the object instantly accelerates to Mach 7, does a 45 degree turn and then disappears with a burst of instant speed into the distant horizon, is it unreasonable to speculate that "no man made technology" could account for that performance?

And if it isn't man made technology, then wouldn't a logical ASSUMPTION be that it must, therefore, be of alien origin?

You're right guys and gals -- no solid scientific proof exists on public record that aliens are visiting us. But show me the scientific proof that demonstrates it is impossible that aliens are visiting us. Show me the scientific proof that these incredible objects ARE man-made. Until I see that proof, I am going to continue to CHOOSE TO BELIEVE that they are of alien origin, the same way that many of you CHOOSE TO BELIEVE that they are not.

No proof either way. But I do appreciate the recognition here that indeed, we have these incredible objects in our airspace, whatever they are.

Hey, did you guys ever see the movie "Mars Attacks"? I love that alien line "Don't run. We are your friends."

See you all on the other threads.

Fazor
2009-Nov-12, 07:05 PM
That's significantly different from the "your mind plays tricks on you" stream of argument that characterized much of this discussion in earlier posts.

"People see things they can't explain" and "People misinterpret things they see" are certainly not mutually exclusive.

And there's no one single explanation that fits every reported "sighting".

UFO-as-aliens . . . (I think I'm going to coin the acronym UFOAA to differentiate 'unidentified object' from 'alien craft' :cool:) . . . anyway, UFOAA proponents often try to spin the "you can't explain everything with a single answer" aspect into an element of mystery, and claim that is supporting evidence for alien visitation. That is a logical fallacy known as begging the question.

UFOAA proponents are quick to cite examples of 'officials' who claim to have seen proof of alien crafts, either first hand or through access to information inherent in their position (typically in their former position). Yet UFOAA proponents are quick to dismiss officials of the same credentials that come out in opposition of aliens, calling them either in denial or part of a cover up. That's cherry-picking.

The claim that an unidentified sighting is an aircraft, but one that does not conform to what is possible via man-made flying machines, is based off the assumption that what was seen is indeed a aircraft. That is also begging the question.

Most of us are willing to concede that there could be a physical possibility that aliens could visit earth. Most of us would welcome that occurrence. How cool would it be to finally know that we're not the only intelligent life form in the universe? The fact is, the 'evidence' put forward by the UFOAA community is full of such logical errors as noted above, and none of it can hold up to any sort of rigorous scientific investigation.

Show us something that meets the criteria of "proof" and we'll happily change our minds.

And yes, I honestly would love to see that day come. But until it does, I cannot claim that alien visitation is fact.

gzhpcu
2009-Nov-12, 08:58 PM
If I look up into the sky, see an enormous object estimated to be several city blocks or greater in size, and the object is gliding silently overhead with no recognizeable propulsion system, and then the object instantly accelerates to Mach 7, does a 45 degree turn and then disappears with a burst of instant speed into the distant horizon, is it unreasonable to speculate that "no man made technology" could account for that performance?

Problem with this is that when objects are sighted in the sky,it is very difficult to estimate their size, since there is no reference point.



You're right guys and gals -- no solid scientific proof exists on public record that aliens are visiting us. But show me the scientific proof that demonstrates it is impossible that aliens are visiting us. Show me the scientific proof that these incredible objects ARE man-made. Until I see that proof, I am going to continue to CHOOSE TO BELIEVE that they are of alien origin, the same way that many of you CHOOSE TO BELIEVE that they are not.

It is not up to us to provide proof which says they are not aliens. It is up to you to provide proof that there are indeed aliens in the skies. The person who makes an extraordinary statement bears the burden of providing the proof.

You may choose to believe what you want, of course. We are not choosing to believe they are not. It is not a question of believing, it is a question of providing smoking gun evidence, and to date none has been provided.



No proof either way. But I do appreciate the recognition here that indeed, we have these incredible objects in our airspace, whatever they are.

Sure, there are some objects in the sky for which we have no explanation. However, excluding known mundane candidates, does not de facto lead to the conclusion that they must be alien spaceships. First you need to provide proof that alien spaceships indeed exist.

Lindon
2009-Nov-12, 11:20 PM
gzhpcu, it sounds like you WANT me to prove that they are alien spaceships.

Sorry, no can do. I said I'm willing to accept they MAY be man-made, I just doubt that seriously. I said repeatedly, no proof they are alien. Where have I ever stated that I intend to prove they are aliens?

Anyway, how can I prove those are alien spacecraft unless I'm granted direct access to Area 51 storage areas, where (everybody knows) they keep all of the crashed alien craft (mostly older disc-shaped models according to ufologists -- all respectable aliens have since upgraded to V-shaped super models), and the mummified remains of various assortments of aliens, many of whom I hear from credible observers bear close resemblance to aliens in that bar scene from the first Star Wars movie? Huh? How can I or you or anybody prove anything until we get access to that?

:lol:

Gillianren
2009-Nov-13, 02:55 AM
And until you have that level of evidence, what we have is eyewitness testimony, with all its failings. So.

gzhpcu
2009-Nov-13, 07:50 AM
Lindon,
Just go on believing in aliens. It seems you want to believe. Just like those who go on believing that a plesiosaurus is still in the Loch Ness.

I read plenty of books on the subject. Richard Dolan's "UFOs and the National Security State", Clark's "UFO encyclopedia", even Philip Corso's book. Lots of anecdotes, but no hard-core evidence.

Sure some unidentified flying objects could be alien spaceships, but until I see smoking gun evidence, I will not accept the idea.

eburacum45
2009-Nov-13, 01:39 PM
The argument against the Area 51 museum of crashed UFOs is fairly obvious. The USA represents only 2% of the Earth's surface; any evidence that fell onto other parts of the world would not be subject to any cover-up by the US government. That implies a 1in50 chance that evidence would be found outside the US; other countries would not be obliged to keep the discovery of UFO evidence secret.

But instead the evidence from countries outside the US is no more convincing or available than the evidence supposedly hidden within the US. This seems to demonstrate that there is no such hidden evidence.

eburacum45
2009-Nov-13, 01:46 PM
All very good points, guys (and gals if any). I'm glad to see from the recent posts here that all or most accept the FACT that some very incredible objects are being seen and reported in our airspace. The FACT that they are being reported does not mean they are actually there. If we take away one thing from the UFO phenomenon it should be that people make mistakes.

closetgeek
2009-Nov-13, 02:30 PM
Lindon, you can't prove a negative, all you can do is take apart the arguments supporting a positive. I don't think you have been reading the replies to your posts very well because nobody has claimed that it was a mass delusion. In fact, it has been stated over and over, that we have no doubt that something was seen, it just was and still remains, unidentified. You have repeatedly accused anyone who disagrees with you as living in denial, then, upon asking for support for you claim you reply with:

gzhpcu, it sounds like you WANT me to prove that they are alien spaceships.

Sorry, no can do. I said I'm willing to accept they MAY be man-made, I just doubt that seriously. I said repeatedly, no proof they are alien. Where have I ever stated that I intend to prove they are aliens?


We have respected and highly accomplished individuals on record with their sightings, saying (paraphrased) "No known technology that I am aware of could account for that object's performance."

That is an appeal to authority. Person A's claim, with his his/her accomplishments, is still just a claim, when it lacks any supporting evidence. Mind you; Newton was wrong about his tether-like view on gravity; Einstein was wrong about his static universe theory; and Sagan was wrong on his original theory of the atmosphere on Venus. Incredibly accomplished people are still subject to assumption. Also, keep in mind, these "accomplished people" to which you keep referring are quoted as stating "no technology that I am aware of could account for that objects performance." That, in no way concludes that such technology does not exist.

So if there is no known scientific proof, exactly what are we "sticking our heads in the sand," to hide from?

HenrikOlsen
2009-Nov-13, 04:16 PM
That implies a 1in50 chance that evidence would be found outside the US; other countries would not be obliged to keep the discovery of UFO evidence secret.
49 in 50

Gillianren
2009-Nov-13, 06:25 PM
Is the 2% figure just land area? Because there's about a 73% chance, assuming equal chance everywhere in the world, that alien space debris would just fall into the water.

eburacum45
2009-Nov-14, 01:33 PM
Is the 2% figure just land area? Because there's about a 73% chance, assuming equal chance everywhere in the world, that alien space debris would just fall into the water.
Yes, it's just land area. The US represents ~ 7 percent of the land surface of Earth. Still a very good chance that evidence would be found (and revealed) elsewhere.

Gillianren
2009-Nov-14, 08:44 PM
Yes, it's just land area. The US represents ~ 7 percent of the land surface of Earth. Still a very good chance that evidence would be found (and revealed) elsewhere.

An excellent one, I'd say. I was just curious.

blueshift
2009-Nov-14, 11:05 PM
So UFOs then, I take it, can figure out how to survive gamma ray bursts, the solar wind of Wolf-Rayet Stars, heavy X-rays from neutron stars and black holes with heavily warped space-time, thick star dust in galactic arms of spiral galaxies, atmospheres that would likely make Jupiter's atmosphere seem tame along with many other extreme challenges that would dwarf what occurs in this neck of the universe. But when it comes to flying past Earth, they become stupid and crash.

What is worse, they are "afraid" of us so they must disguise themselves in some way to prevent social panic. There wouldn't be any panic. The public would merely complain that someone else is moving in to take our jobs from us. I would complain that the more flying machines that they brought with them is going to make fewer dark sky nights for me to go observing.


That brings up another issue.

Why would someone travel great distances and choose to settle in an overcrowded place where there is competition over limited resources? This sounds too much like Arisotelian thought being carried to an extreme. Somehow, we are the center of attention of the whole universe and the whole universe wants to come and visit us.