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The idea that "eyewitness testimony is unreliable"

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posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 03:58 AM
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Someone inevitably repeats this bit of "folk wisdom" in practically every discussion about aliens and/or UFOs for which eyewitness testimony is the only evidence. The problem is, the idea that "eyewitness testimony is unreliable" is not universally applicable.

Suppose there is a car accident involving two cars which have both fled the scene, and it was witnessed by a dozen bystanders. The witness' descriptions of the drivers, types and colors of the cars, who was at fault, etc., may (and probably will) vary, and from that sort of thing we have the idea that "eyewitness testimony is unreliable". However, is there any reasonable doubt that a car accident took place? No, because when it comes to the fundamentals of an event, sincere eyewitness testimony is extremely reliable.

There are enough eyewitness testimonies to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that UFOs exist, and by "UFO" I mean, intelligently controlled aircraft with capabilities above and beyond the capabilities of publicly-known aircraft. The 2006 O'Hare International Airport UFO sighting by itself provides this proof beyond a reasonable doubt that UFOs exist, and it is just one example of many.




posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 04:19 AM
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No witness is reliable. The human brain is flawed, and can't be trusted.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 04:21 AM
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reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


The debunkers have promulgated belief the every day joe is unreliable witness. What a bunch of Hokem. Ufos exist and they arnt all flow by humans.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 04:43 AM
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reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


I've seen a UFO with friends and with other unrelated people. No doubts that we saw what we saw. No idea what we saw and probably never will.

As such, I can say with 100% certainty in my own mind that at least some people actually see things in the sky that are not explainable according to the knowledge we have today.

Where people get all argumentative is in how a witness presents their case. In my case, I saw a zig-zagging light cross the night sky in under 5 seconds. That's all! If I claimed to have seen a spaceship...people would be entitled to give me some grief abut it. Likewise if I were to claim that it was an alien spaceship piloted by beings that care about our planet, I'd deserve a forum kicking. lol

People have spent 60 years bickering about UFO reports and not making much progress. It's achieved very little and whatever stimulus generated the 4 decades of *good* reports, it's no longer as active.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 04:46 AM
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Jefferton
No witness is reliable. The human brain is flawed, and can't be trusted.


If "no witness is reliable", we couldn't even function as a society, much less have any technology. We could never learn anything from others, because our "unreliability" as a witness would prevent us from being able to properly repeat anything anyone else ever did. We couldn't even learn the alphabet, much less a language. The very ability to learn depends upon being a reliable witness with regard to all of our senses. If we couldn't reliably repeat what we see, we couldn't learn to e.g., write; if we couldn't reliably repeat what we hear we couldn't learn to speak, and so on.

Again, the idea that "eyewitness testimony is unreliable" has merit, but mainly as pertains to lesser details and/or the passage of time. We are very reliable at reporting the fundamentals of an event, especially soon after the event.

edit on 3/22/2014 by MaximRecoil because: Clarification



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 04:53 AM
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Sure, people see strange things moving around in the sky, big deal.

It's proof that they are intelligently-controlled craft from another planet that is conspicuously lacking.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 04:55 AM
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People have been sentenced to death via witness testimony alone. Fact.

I find it amusing how the rules don't apply to the 300,000 annual reported sightings. Funny that. Still, it won't matter soon, as its all about to change.

reply to post by MaximRecoil
 



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 05:03 AM
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CJCrawley
Sure, people see strange things moving around in the sky, big deal.

It's proof that they are intelligently-controlled craft from another planet that is conspicuously lacking.


I didn't say anything about being from another planet, as that isn't something eyewitness testimony of a UFO can tell us, and many sightings involve more than a report of "strange things moving around in the sky". For example, based on the 2006 O'Hare sighting, we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that there exists a metallic saucer-shaped craft which is capable of hovering and extreme vertical acceleration.
edit on 3/22/2014 by MaximRecoil because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 06:18 AM
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reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


I believe the issue with eyewitness testimony is that many people really are unreliable witnesses. So how can you tell the difference between a reliable and unreliable witness? It would be nice if you could count on everyone's senses but the reality is that you can't.

I had a UFO experience that was absolutely amazing and much more than just, maybe that was one of those UFOs people talk about(it was very close to the ground). If anyone and I mean anyone saw what I did, they would know with absolutely no doubt, that they had just seen a UFO. However, I don't expect anyone to believe my story because I could be crazy or lying. I can trust myself but how can I truly expect anyone else to trust my own perceptions.

The UFO phenomenon is uniquely interesting because of the massive amount of eyewitness testimonies. That alone should be enough to arouse everyone's curiosity and justify further investigation. I mean, they can't all be lying or crazy right? The problem still persists though. How do you know which stories are reliable? If you can't differentiate between reliable and unreliable then how can these witnesses be used as evidence?



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 06:27 AM
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OP. I hope you do not consider the following to be off topic, I think it needs to be considered in the wider context.

The question of, why are there not good photos, everybody has a camera phone!

It is the camera phone that almost guarantees there are no decent photos.

Going back before cell phones, people walked around with film cameras. The vast majority were little instamatics that were designed to take either close range photos of people or holiday snaps. Few, very few people walked around with decent cameras with telephoto lenses. Of these few people, only a very few could use them quickly. They had settings and only the pros could snap off a good shot with a telephoto lens, assuming you could find the object in the viewfinder at maximum zoom.

Now, we all have genuinely good cameras in our phones capable of meeting the needs of family and holiday snapshots. Not a zoom lens in sight. For the vast majority these are good enough for holidays and for the few that want a better camera they usually can not use them quickly.

The phone / camera can not take shots of UFOs and show detail at range. It just is not built to do it. You need zoom, and a lot of it, to get a detailed pic of anything flying at range.

If anything, phone cameras are a huge step backwards in hunting UFOs and even with the appropriate good camera, knowing how to use it well, and the ability to find a small object quickly at full zoom is problematic.

All of this assumes of course that people look up, quite frankly, almost no one does. We are ground animals with little fear of flying creatures. Therefore, we only look up say, when we are bored and want to look at clouds.

Those that wish to either ridicule UFO research or discredit it, now have photoshop to put a great deal of fake material out there and thus the whole "pics or it didn't happen" is just no longer helpful.

I agree wholeheartedly, eye witness accounts are always reliable on the basics. They are woeful on size / range / speed simply because as ground animals, we have no relativity or experience when looking up.

As an side, pilots do not fly by sight, they fly by autopilot. On size / range / speed they are also unreliable, unless either taking off or landing.

Just my 2 cents worth.

P



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 06:30 AM
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Without bias, single eyewitness testimony only holds so much value... to take the incident into the realm of beyond reasonable doubt, corroborating evidence is the key.

This isn't to say whatever it is the sole witness experienced didn't occur, it means that for the experience to be accepted to be reasonably true, it requires further evidence to substantiate the claim... it's a primary doctrine of natural law.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 06:32 AM
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reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


www.innocenceproject.org...

Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in nearly 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing. While eyewitness testimony can be persuasive evidence before a judge or jury, 30 years of strong social science research has proven that eyewitness identification is often unreliable. Research shows that the human mind is not like a tape recorder; we neither record events exactly as we see them, nor recall them like a tape that has been rewound. Instead, witness memory is like any other evidence at a crime scene; it must be preserved carefully and retrieved methodically, or it can be contaminated.

So lets say that eyewitness is often unreliable.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 06:56 AM
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The fact that people sometimes see things they cant explain at the time is not in dispute. But when they make the assumption that its not something normal just because they cant tell what it it all becomes unreliable.



of course people see things they cant explain at the time. But the big problem is that if they dont eventually wor out what it was it then becomes part of the percentage of UFO's that cant be explained which other people then try to tell us MUST be visiting aliens.

edit on 22-3-2014 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 07:01 AM
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silverking
reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


I believe the issue with eyewitness testimony is that many people really are unreliable witnesses.


Can you give me an example of someone who couldn't report that a car accident had happened in the scenario in my OP?


So how can you tell the difference between a reliable and unreliable witness? It would be nice if you could count on everyone's senses but the reality is that you can't.


Practically everyone makes a reliable enough witness for the purpose of a UFO sighting, especially if it is a blatant sighting (as opposed to a split-second blur out of the corner of your eye). This isn't a matter of distinguishing between two suspects who resemble each other in a lineup, or remembering exactly how many shots were fired in a crime, etc. Remembering a basic shape (e.g., saucer) and a type of movement is very basic stuff.


I had a UFO experience that was absolutely amazing and much more than just, maybe that was one of those UFOs people talk about(it was very close to the ground). If anyone and I mean anyone saw what I did, they would know with absolutely no doubt, that they had just seen a UFO. However, I don't expect anyone to believe my story because I could be crazy or lying. I can trust myself but how can I truly expect anyone else to trust my own perceptions.


Lying is always a possibility, and so is "crazy", but the odds are against "crazy" (because most people aren't crazy), and lying usually has a motive, i.e., for personal gain or to avoid getting in trouble and/or being embarrassed. Only "crazy" people lie for absolutely no reason. However, when you have multiple witnesses, all with the same fundamental account, the likelihood of them all being mistaken, and/or crazy and/or lying becomes slim enough that there is no room for reasonable doubt, unless there is some specific evidence pointing to them all being mistaken, and/or crazy and/or lying.


The UFO phenomenon is uniquely interesting because of the massive amount of eyewitness testimonies. That alone should be enough to arouse everyone's curiosity and justify further investigation. I mean, they can't all be lying or crazy right? The problem still persists though. How do you know which stories are reliable? If you can't differentiate between reliable and unreliable then how can these witnesses be used as evidence?


People like pilots and astronauts are probably the most credible, though this level of credibility is overkill for many sightings. Going back to my car accident scenario; it doesn't take a race car driver or mechanic to reliably report that he saw a car accident. However, if you need to know the year/make/model of the cars involved, a mechanic's report would tend to be more credible than a report from some random old lady.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 07:10 AM
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Perhaps
Without bias, single eyewitness testimony only holds so much value... to take the incident into the realm of beyond reasonable doubt, corroborating evidence is the key.

This isn't to say whatever it is the sole witness experienced didn't occur, it means that for the experience to be accepted to be reasonably true, it requires further evidence to substantiate the claim... it's a primary doctrine of natural law.


That "so much value" is multiplied by each additional corroborating witness, which is in fact corroborating evidence. I never claimed that every eye witness report is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. I claimed that the existence of UFOs has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, simply due to the staggering number of reports, and even more staggering total number of eye witnesses. Even the O'Hare case alone proves the existence of UFOs beyond a reasonable doubt. With a dozen airport employees all reporting the same thing (as well as several witnesses outside of the airport), there is no reasonable justification for doubt.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 07:19 AM
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moebius
reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


www.innocenceproject.org...

Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in nearly 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing. While eyewitness testimony can be persuasive evidence before a judge or jury, 30 years of strong social science research has proven that eyewitness identification is often unreliable. Research shows that the human mind is not like a tape recorder; we neither record events exactly as we see them, nor recall them like a tape that has been rewound. Instead, witness memory is like any other evidence at a crime scene; it must be preserved carefully and retrieved methodically, or it can be contaminated.

So lets say that eyewitness is often unreliable.


Misidentification in this context is mistaking one human for another human. To put it in the terms of my car accident scenario, it would be mistaking one model of car for another model of car. Neither of these things are fundamental; the fundamental things are: seeing a crime committed by a human, and seeing a car accident. In court, details like this are important, because you don't want to convict the wrong person, but in a UFO sighting, there is no concern about convicting the wrong model of UFO.
edit on 3/22/2014 by MaximRecoil because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 07:34 AM
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PhoenixOD
The fact that people sometimes see things they cant explain at the time is not in dispute. But when they make the assumption that its not something normal just because they cant tell what it it all becomes unreliable.


In the better sightings, the reports consist of more than just "I saw something I can't explain". For example:


At approximately 16:15 CST on Tuesday November 7, 2006, federal authorities at Chicago O'Hare International Airport received a report that a group of twelve airport employees were witnessing a metallic, saucer-shaped craft hovering over Gate C-17.


So while none of them can explain who manufactured it or its internal design, they can explain what it looked like and what it did, which is enough to establish that it isn't a publicly-known craft or flight technology.

By the way, the guy in the video you posted sounded very much "under the influence" of something, probably a combination of things.
edit on 3/22/2014 by MaximRecoil because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 07:37 AM
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reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


I have no doubt that something unusual was witnessed that day - UFO, weather phenomenon or other.

Corroborating evidence in this particular case would ideally be imagery, photographic or forensic... of which there is none. Nonetheless, it could still be considered a UFO incident.


That "so much value" is multiplied by each additional corroborating witness...

Not so - it's worthy to be mindful of group-think, mass-hysteria and other collective misrepresentations of events.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 07:58 AM
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Perhaps
reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


I have no doubt that something unusual was witnessed that day - UFO, weather phenomenon or other.


They didn't report a weather phenomenon. They reported a metallic, saucer-shaped craft. Thus the arbitrary suggestion that they saw something other than what they described is not grounds for reasonable doubt.


Corroborating evidence in this particular case would ideally be imagery, photographic or forensic... of which there is none.


And additional witnesses are also corroborating evidence, by definition.




That "so much value" is multiplied by each additional corroborating witness...

Not so


Yes, it is so, again, by definition.


it's worthy to be mindful of group-think, mass-hysteria and other collective misrepresentations of events.


Again, arbitrary suggestions that they didn't see what they described does not justify reasonable doubt.



posted on Mar, 22 2014 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by MaximRecoil
 



MaximRecoil

Perhaps
reply to post by MaximRecoil
 


I have no doubt that something unusual was witnessed that day - UFO, weather phenomenon or other.


They didn't report a weather phenomenon. They reported a metallic, saucer-shaped craft. Thus the arbitrary suggestion that they saw something other than what they described is not grounds for reasonable doubt.


Corroborating evidence in this particular case would ideally be imagery, photographic or forensic... of which there is none.


And additional witnesses are also corroborating evidence, by definition.




That "so much value" is multiplied by each additional corroborating witness...

Not so


Yes, it is so, again, by definition.


it's worthy to be mindful of group-think, mass-hysteria and other collective misrepresentations of events.


Again, arbitrary suggestions that they didn't see what they described does not justify reasonable doubt.



Thank you for your assertions, however, I prefer to consider other likely possibilities and the subjectivity of human experience before claiming beyond reasonable doubt.

Oh and btw, I'm very much a ufo enthusiast... a cautious one.






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