PDA

View Full Version : UFO believer bad review



ToSeek
2002-Apr-08, 05:46 PM
Well, Phil, you're in good company. Martin Gardner said that after his Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science was published, he got all kinds of letters along the lines of "Well, your book is really great when you talk about flat earth, dowsing, Atlantis, [and other topics the letter-writer doesn't believe in], but your chapter on [topic the letter-writer does believe in] is completely off-target."

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Apr-08, 05:49 PM
I guess we could include links to the review (http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/apr/m05-017.shtml), as well as to BA's rebuttal (http://www.badastronomy.com/book/uforebuttal.html).

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Apr-08, 05:56 PM
I think it's funny that he had a valid point to make (that I didn't see the Canadian report) but then went on to make all those other silly claims.

ToSeek
2002-Apr-08, 06:03 PM
On 2002-04-08 13:49, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
I guess we could include links to the review (http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/apr/m05-017.shtml), as well as to BA's rebuttal (http://www.badastronomy.com/book/uforebuttal.html).


Well, we all subscribe to the newsletter, don't we? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Jim
2002-Apr-08, 06:11 PM
It's somewhat reminiscent of the Preacher and the Little Old Lady, sitting in the front pew as he launched into his sermon.

He started railing against those sinners who "drink that devil's likker and get fallin' down drunk!"

"Amen, Brother," she cried! "Amen!"

"And all those sinners who gamble away their earnin's at cards and dice!"

"Amen, Brother! Amen!"

"And those sinners who run with loose wimmen, or are loose wimmen!"

"Amen, Brother! You tell 'em!!"

"And all those sinners who smoke that wicked tabacca!"

"Hold on, Brother! Now ya gone t' meddlin'!"

. . .

You went t' meddlin', Phil.

Hale_Bopp
2002-Apr-08, 07:51 PM
When I was a child first looking at the night sky, I saw UFO's all the time. I probably came in over a hundred times from outside blabbing about the UFO I had just seen when I was about 8 years old.

Alas, as my knowledge of the night sky grew, my sightings became fewer until the vanlished altogether.

But that doensn't mean I don't look. I still hope for that excitement again, seeing something I can't identify, and learning what it really is (moving or not!)

And, of course, I have had to argue with people over weather they are seeing Venus or a UFO...when I am standing there looking at Venus (bang head against wall).

Rob

Chip
2002-Apr-08, 09:07 PM
I had a similar experience to Phil's with a flock of geese winging their way high over Phoenix, Arizona one night about 13 years ago.

It looked like - a fantastic, (obviously advanced) "flying wing" type of alien ship, silently gliding over Phoenix. "This can't be what it looks like." (I thought.)

The binoculars revealed - - - a flock of geese in a beautiful "V" formation. (Naturalists and pilots will tell you that Geese are great at formation flying.) Also, their feathers were light in color and they were illuminated mysteriously by the city lights below.

Our minds are probably hardwired to "connect the dots" and see patterns. As Phil pointed out, this is good for survival, but we can be fooled. The geese formation easily allowed my eyes to fill in the "details" and presume to see what wasn't there. A large seemingly rigid, dim moving pattern looked odd in the night sky. I also felt a little un-nerved by the experience.

P.S. There is probably intelligent alien life (http://www.jabootu.com/images/qosbetty.jpg) far far away - that has not visited us yet. UFOs, as often described by the UFOists are just too silly in terms of atmospheric flight. However let's suppose while looking in binoculars I actually spotted a "fantastic, (obviously advanced) flying wing type of alien ship, silently gliding over Phoenix." Of course I would get a chill down my spine.

Upon reasoning this however, I might conclude that Mr. John Northrop built very advanced all wing aircraft (http://www.edwards.af.mil/gallery/html_pgs/images/bomber/yb49-1_072.jpg) much earlier in 1949, so I'd be more inclined to think that by the early 1990s, it could be an Air Force secret plane - though it wouldn't be flying over Phoenix if it was a secret. Hmmmm...But since it was actually geese, I didn't have to worry about it, especially after I heard them "honk". /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2002-04-08 17:32 ]</font>

jewel
2002-Apr-09, 02:52 PM
Geese. That makes a lot of sense. The formation and the reflective feathers. The imagination fills in the space and makes the object appear solid, and adjusts the relative size (distance) to make the picture complete. And bingo, you have a UFO.

Humans are pattern seekers. Seeing patterns even when none are present. I just wish more humans were more versed in critical thought and the scientific method.

Chip
2002-Apr-09, 09:53 PM
On 2002-04-09 10:52, jewel wrote:
"...Humans are pattern seekers. Seeing patterns even when none are present. I just wish more humans were more versed in critical thought and the scientific method."


I'd like to mention another favorite "UFO" sighting I had once while observing with my old Newtonian scope.

I was just setting up somewhere in the dark, trying not to drop eyepieces on the ground etcetera, when I heard an aircraft approaching.

Even without looking up I could tell it was a light plane (like a Cessna) and fairly low, (loud engine - maybe a bit less than a 1000 feet up.) (There was a rural airport nearby.)

But, when I looked up, I saw a circular object, disc shaped, with beautiful "chaser lights" rapidly streaming around the circular edges! Otherwise, it was dark where there were no lights. Really weird and eerie! (Were the aliens mimicking the sound of human flying machines in order to go unnoticed?) Not likely, because in the next few seconds, the "circle" of lights distorted and it became obvious that what I was really seeing were two planes, a larger one higher up (and softer in engine noise), and a smaller one closer to me. Both were moving almost but not quite in the same general direction, on courses that gradually intersected each other from my point of view. The navigation lights on the higher plane merged with the landing and navigation lights on the lower plane, as the two moved along for a second or two. My mind again just put them together for a second based on what I saw and heard.

Sometimes, while observing in the desert, disc like clouds would form, and these were sometimes lit by nearby city lights or the moon. These ones didn't fool me, but it was easy to pretend they were nearby galaxies. (i.e. Much closer than Andromeda.) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2002-04-09 17:54 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Apr-10, 10:26 AM
On 2002-04-08 14:03, ToSeek wrote:
Well, we all subscribe to the newsletter, don't we?

If they don't, they can subscribe here (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/badastronomy/).

Kaptain K
2002-Apr-10, 04:06 PM
My personal feeling is that if/when aliens visit, it will be like the movie "Independence Day". In other words, there will be no doubt in anybody's mind.

ToSeek
2002-Apr-10, 04:54 PM
On 2002-04-10 12:06, Kaptain K wrote:
My personal feeling is that if/when aliens visit, it will be like the movie "Independence Day". In other words, there will be no doubt in anybody's mind.



Yes. That's one of the things that makes me skeptical about a lot of fringe beliefs. Usually in science, the correct answer becomes fairly obvious once you've come up with it and the supporting observations. It doesn't lurk around on the fringes of evidence like UFOs or monuments on Mars or whatever.

Simon
2002-Apr-11, 07:19 AM
Exactly. If aliens were going to visit, they would land in Times Square and say "hi," not mess around abducting people.

ToSeek
2002-Apr-11, 01:41 PM
On 2002-04-11 03:19, Simon wrote:
Exactly. If aliens were going to visit, they would land in Times Square and say "hi," not mess around abducting people.


Or mutilating cows. Don't forget about the aliens mutilating cows.

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Apr-11, 02:33 PM
On 2002-04-11 09:41, ToSeek wrote:
Or mutilating cows. Don't forget about the aliens mutilating cows.


When asked about this in interviews, I always say that given their advanced technology, shouldn't aliens be able to clone their own excoriated cow anuses at home rather than drive trillions of kilometers to excoriate them here?

ToSeek
2002-Apr-11, 02:45 PM
On 2002-04-11 10:33, The Bad Astronomer wrote:


On 2002-04-11 09:41, ToSeek wrote:
Or mutilating cows. Don't forget about the aliens mutilating cows.


When asked about this in interviews, I always say that given their advanced technology, shouldn't aliens be able to clone their own excoriated cow anuses at home rather than drive trillions of kilometers to excoriate them here?


Yes, but our cows are better. It's kind of like French wine. An ordinary person might settle for a home-grown cow, but the true connoisseur must come to Earth for the full and perfect experience.

_________________
"... to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." - Tennyson, Ulysses

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2002-04-11 10:46 ]</font>

2002-Apr-16, 11:31 AM
Chris Rutkowski - Theres a name I haven't heard in years. Chris and I were pretty good friends about 6 years ago. We were regulars on an IRC channel. I've locked horns with Chris on more than one occasion. All in all, he's a pretty good guy except for his views on UFOs. I served as the sceptic on the channel. Needless to say, I wasn't popular. But is was all in good fun.

Hey Chris (aka- E.B.E) If your reading this, it's your old buddy Trustno-1 from #UFO. I know you remember me!!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: trusty on 2002-04-16 07:40 ]</font>

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Apr-16, 03:29 PM
I have exchanged some polite/friendly emails with Chris, and we're working things out. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Rave
2002-May-07, 12:31 AM
I find it offensive he says profesionals are not looking at constellations and don't even know them. I know professionals, and are avid 'backyard amatuers" also. That was a stupid comment. Has this guy even met s professoinal?????

Soupdragon
2003-May-16, 07:44 PM
I once saw nine UFOs over the Goldcoast, Queensland. It was a sight to behold. They alternated between a zig-zag and straight line pattern, all the while pulsing between orange and green. Eventually they formed three circles, and the lights changed to white and trailed sparks before fading out of view. They appeared to cross the horizon at considerable speed. It was about 8:00 pm at night. :o

I have lived near airports all of my life, but had never witnessed anything like this before. :(

I made a few email enquiries as to nature of this phenomenon. Alas, it turned out to be a skydiving team descending on somekind of showground festivity.

A dark, hazy sky created all of the effects described in para 1. A possible explanation for some of the more elaborate sightings, perhaps? :lol:

ToSeek
2003-May-16, 09:14 PM
I find it offensive he says profesionals are not looking at constellations and don't even know them. I know professionals, and are avid 'backyard amatuers" also. That was a stupid comment. Has this guy even met s professoinal?????


The one astronomer I'm personally acquainted with (outside of this board, at least) is a postdoc modeling coronal mass ejections, and he has told me flat out not to be asking him about planetary positions and whatnot. So it goes either way.

SollyLama
2003-May-20, 04:51 PM
My favorite was the famous sighting in Phoenix a few years back. Where a semi circle of floating lights appeared then disappeared one by one. Obviously a huge UFO not far away.
I knew what it was within a second, being familiar with:
Parachute flares from an Air Force plane (probably an AC-130 Spectre) flying a 'racetrack' pattern. The lights blinked out exactly as they dropped below a distant mountain range. Some intelligence. Shockingly, Nellis AFB didn't divulge operational details of missions (must be a conspiracy the post operator is in on) and didn't have a clue what the idiots were talking about.
Pretty mundane stuff. About 100 miles further away than everyone claimed it was.
The best is when folks on the ground can determine by eye the speed (always some fantastic velocity to boot- 30000 mph at least) and distance of an object.
I guess US Weights and Measures certifies eyeballs now. The guy that gave us the term Flying Saucer (forgot his name) also claimed to be able to eyeball a streaking dot's speed and distance. Uh, sure. That's why we invented radar, huh?

glen chapman
2003-Jun-21, 03:16 PM
I remember my reaction a number of years ago to a huge UFO seen floating over Sydney one night. It was BIG, yellow, moving slowly, and I could tell from the landmarks it was passing, it had to be ten miles away.

I was with a friend, we both agreed we were watching a major - like Inderpendance Day - UFO over Sydney.

My parting words to him were 'We're gonna read about this in the paper tomorrow." Is that cynical or what.

Anyway for those wondering. It was the first appearance of a blimp (with internal lighting) making a test flight over central Sydney. I think the company operating it might have been Witmans Chocolates.

As a side issue, another friend, who was much closer to the blimp, and badly affected by to much wine, began to wonder why the moon was following him home.

Glen Chapman

Rogue_7
2003-Sep-02, 11:47 PM
I figure rather than wait for the aliens to come to us, we should make it a point to seek their ET asses out! Invade their home planet looking for water! :evil:

Paul Beardsley
2003-Sep-11, 04:00 PM
A friend of mine was driving through the country in the south of England when he happened to notice a glowing disc moving slowly high above him. He decided to follow it. As he drove, he realised that other drivers had also noticed it and had also decided to follow it. They went for some distance, eventually discovering the cause: a rock band was putting on an outdoor performance and they were shining a spotlight on the clouds to attract an audience.

Despite the clear explanation, the local newspaper did an article about the flying disc the next day. They quoted someone who had spotted the disc but who had not followed it: "There is no way you'll convince me that was anything other than a UFO."

It's this leaping-to-the-least-mundane-conclusion that really gets me about UFO believers.

I've also noticed that most people don't normally look up. This is the reason why CCTV cameras don't have to be hidden - simply put them high up and nobody will see them. Human beings, other than astronomers, mountaineers and pilots, are a two dimensional species for the most part. Because people don't look up, they are not familiar with the things that are in the sky. When they do look up at night - prompted usually by some "documentary" about UFOs - they suddenly notice Venus, aircraft, birds and so on. And they leap to the least mundane conclusion, making liberal use of Occam's rapid hair-growing potion.

And although the purported UFOs never do anything other than fly around a bit (before they presumably fly home), it's yet more evidence that aliens are among us.

I know some otherwise intelligent people who seem to think that the sheer number of supposed sightings means there must be something in it. "Oh, they can't all be wrong!" If it wasn't for the level-headed people on this bulletin board, I think I'd go quite mad...

ToSeek
2003-Sep-11, 04:52 PM
They quoted someone who had spotted the disc but who had not followed it: "There is no way you'll convince me that was anything other than a UFO."

Hey, if he's not going to investigate it or even try, it will remain an unidentified flying object to him.

SpaceTrekkie
2003-Sep-11, 10:47 PM
well technicaly the geese the BA saw were UFO's until he relized that they were geese. Just because something is an Unidentified Flying Object does not make it an alien. It drives me crazy when i see a UFO and i mention it to someone and they start yelling about how no aliens have visited us..but did i ever say aliens? i just said i saw a flying object i did not reconize.

snowcelt
2003-Sep-11, 10:57 PM
well technicaly the geese the BA saw were UFO's until he relized that they were geese. Just because something is an Unidentified Flying Object does not make it an alien. It drives me crazy when i see a UFO and i mention it to someone and they start yelling about how no aliens have visited us..but did i ever say aliens? i just said i saw a flying object i did not reconize.

SpaceTrekkie. This is a typical case of the language being ripped off from the mainstream.
In the 1920s having a good time was also called having a gay time. Today, having a 'gay' time has a different connotation.

Therefore, when one sees something that can not be identifed, one should say that they saw something that they could not identify. :D

Paul Beardsley
2003-Sep-12, 10:30 AM
They quoted someone who had spotted the disc but who had not followed it: "There is no way you'll convince me that was anything other than a UFO."

Hey, if he's not going to investigate it or even try, it will remain an unidentified flying object to him.

Sure, but in the context he clearly meant a UFO in the sense of an alien spacecraft. In any case, note his refusal even to consider the possibility that someone might be able to change the disc's status from unidentified to identified. In other words, if a bunch of people tell him, "We found out what it was - some rock band was shining a spotlight on the clouds," he will reply, "No, you are wrong, its nature remains unknown." "But we saw it, man!" "Well I remain unconvinced."

amateurphysicist
2004-Aug-10, 01:21 AM
On 2002-04-11 03:19, Simon wrote:
Exactly. If aliens were going to visit, they would land in Times Square and say "hi," not mess around abducting people.


Or mutilating cows. Don't forget about the aliens mutilating cows.


I'm having "South Park" flash backs all of a sudden... hehe.

junkyardfrog
2004-Aug-20, 05:02 PM
And although the purported UFOs never do anything other than fly around a bit

Wow....

You're not very familiar with the topic, are you?

R.A.F.
2004-Aug-20, 06:48 PM
And although the purported UFOs never do anything other than fly around a bit

Wow....

You're not very familiar with the topic, are you?

Now, why would you say something like that? Paul is dead on about the "behavior" of UFO's.

badalbert
2005-Apr-18, 07:46 PM
I agree your eyes can easily deceive you. I once saw what I thought was a flock of geese flying in formation slowly toward me. Then I noticed these 'geese' were trailing smoke and some had headlights. As they got closer I could hear a low rumbling sound. It turns out the 'geese' were the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds aerobatic team doing a low-level flyby and obviously going much faster than geese could fly.