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Skeptic misses point behind UFO book

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posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 11:43 PM
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In my stroll around the net tonight I came across something that I found rather interesting. The thing is, as much as I would like to bring this to ATS, I'm not sure if I am crossing a line or not.

The thing is that it envolves one of our members that I know of for sure, and the other player, though I'm not sure if they are a member or not, they aren't someone that is always blown off around here either when it comes to this forum.

This person would be Leslie Kean. She has written a article for NBC news basically claiming that our member has taken much of what's she has written in her book out of context. I'm not really surprised as I have read many of his post (our member) here doing his best to debunk a lot as well.

Now I personally like what Leslie tries to bring to the table. She doesn't go way out in left field and present outrages things. Too me she seems to try and stick to the facts and she strikes me as woman that really truly wants to get to the bottom of the UFO sightings around the world.

This is the first thing she says about her book:

When I wrote my book about officially documented UFO reports, I fully expected the skeptics to react. That’s why I was careful to focus only on the very best evidence from the most credible sources in "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record." Since 95 percent of all sightings are eventually identified, the book is concerned only with the remaining 5 percent — those UFO events that have been thoroughly investigated, involve multiple witnesses and ample data, but still cannot be explained.


Her whole point of her write up was as I said, basically pointing out how our member tried to tear holes in her presentation. She also made a point of saying why they were unfounded.

Hopefully you can see why I am in a bit of a dilemma here. I don't wish to mention the members name, but that will be very apparent if you decide to read the link which I shall post. If it was anyone else, I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem. I found the article interesting on other fronts besides just the bases of it. She does mention some of the better sightings and as I quoted above, they are a good part of the 5%. Why our member choices to try and poopoo it is something I don't actually understand except that she did point out some of his other credentials that I wasn't aware of from here.

The ultimate outcome of this to me would be if we could get her to do a AMA. If not that, perhaps our super mods could invite her to this post to at least be part of the discussion as I feel our member will probably jump in.

I'm guessing some of the members here would probably like to know the truth of this themselves as that is what we do around here. Dig for it.

So, here is the
Link to Article


edit on 4/9/15 by onehuman because: (no reason given)

edit on 4/10/15 by onehuman because: Changed link

edit on 4/10/15 by onehuman because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 11:56 PM
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Dont worry I didnt. I just mentioned ours 3



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 12:19 AM
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a reply to: IAmPhoeniX07

Can someone help delete these comments. Wrong window. I dnt know how yet



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 12:46 AM
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It's interesting that many skeptics will accept any terrestrial explanation—no matter how seemingly unlikely—instead of admitting that a case can't be explained.

For example Robert Sheaffer "explains" just about every case in Kean's book here: "Unexplained" Cases—Only If You Ignore All Explanations

Yeah, but they're crap explanations! For example the 1976 Tehran UFO is "explained" as Jupiter...



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 04:03 AM
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a reply to: onehuman

The article seems to be fairly old and comes across like a rant by Kean that dreaded skeptic Jim Oberg has issues with the case reports in her book ..... quelle surprise !

The cases mentioned seem to be a rehash of the same old same old so obviously Keen brings nothing new to the table , I suspect this is more to do with advertising her book rather than any real surprise that well known skeptic Jim Oberg is skeptical of the cases presented within it.





edit on 10-4-2015 by gortex because: Spelling



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 04:18 AM
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a reply to: onehuman
I don't really think Oberg is representative of ATS in the context of the article. Oberg is representative mostly of Oberg.

I suspect anyone that writes an 'all sides' book about UFOs is going to come under fire from Oberg and probably some believers, too. I haven't read this one, but just by giving certain characters airtime it's going to happen. I'm with Gortex mostly though, it just seems like a non-event.

Anyone read the book? Recommend or not?



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 04:21 AM
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a reply to: Pinke

It's okay.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 06:54 AM
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originally posted by: thesearchfortruth
It's interesting that many skeptics will accept any terrestrial explanation—no matter how seemingly unlikely—instead of admitting that a case can't be explained.

For example Robert Sheaffer "explains" just about every case in Kean's book here: "Unexplained" Cases—Only If You Ignore All Explanations

Yeah, but they're crap explanations! For example the 1976 Tehran UFO is "explained" as Jupiter...


Robert Sheaffer makes Jim Oberg look like David Wilcox.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 08:39 AM
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I've read it. And like the few highbrow well researched books
out there on UFO's, she ranks near the top in my opinion.
Almost anyone with a rational mind that takes the time
to read Witness to Roswell by Don Scmidt
and Tom Carey or Leslie Keans' latest and still has doubts
about whether something is truly going on, is working in the field
as counter.

If Roswell were a murder case the Air Force would have been sent to the chair.
As witness testimonials carry that legal authority in everything but UfO cases.
Over six hundred testimonials for Roswell. 200 being first hand witnesses.
And it grows . More death bed confessions, Notarized testimonials on and on.

Is there an on going cover up?
here is a tiny example

Possible Disinfo agent and decidedly no research neccessary author
Annie Jacobson recived more mainstream press than anyone because
of a short debunking bit she had in her book about Roswell. Basically she said
it was Russian secret reconnaissance missiles. She had every major news outlet
at her disposal,They ate it up plastered it everywhere to put Roswell to rest.
What was this weather tight case she had made ?
How many witnesses did she have to garner such attention ?
600 like Roswell ?
100?
50?
nope 1.
One anonymous witness ghost who wouldn't go
on the record with anything. Which means what?
They probably didn't exist.

Don't worry about things that go whir in the night
Everything is just as Annie Jacobson and New York Times says .
edit on 10-4-2015 by UnderKingsPeak because: grammar

edit on 10-4-2015 by UnderKingsPeak because: Jim's gotta feed his family like anyone else



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 10:02 AM
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I have no problem discussing the points raised by the book and my comment.

I do want to point out that my article addressed what I saw as inadequacies in Kean's case -- specifically, not being able to filter out prosaic explanations, while insisting that no prosaic explanations were possible [I gave ten specific counterexamples].

Kean's response was to criticize me personally -- just look at the title.

I've never had any problem with the existence of cases for which no prosaic explanation has been found -- just in assuming that this MUST mean that no such explanations can possibly exist. Simply thinking about other mysteries of our world -- murders, kidnappings. airplane disasters, missing socks -- should suggest that NOT knowing ALL the explanations doesn't prove there must be EXTRAORDINARY explanations for some events.

There could be, indeed. But it remains unproven, IMHO.

No hurt feelings here.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: JimOberg

Is the following statement true?


I wonder if Oberg gave "UFOs" a careful read. He spent many paragraphs quoting me concerning a report on aviation cases by French researcher Dominique Weinstein. The problem is, those are not my quotes. The chapter from which he extracted them was written by Jean-Jacques Velasco, head of the French government‘s UFO agency for over 20 years, as is obvious in his byline and narrative about French research.

Oberg gleefully proclaims that I have “faithfully vouched for” the cases in Weinstein's list, but actually, I have respectfully allowed Velasco to write his own chapter. (About half the chapters in my book were written by highly credentialed authorities and expert witnesses.) If Oberg wants to discuss the Weinstein study, he'll have to contact Velasco.


How do you respond to this statement? Thank you in advance for anything you wish to clarify.

I have read the book, I declare myself a bit of a fan as the premise was to avoid unreliable witness accounts and focus rather on those witness reports that have much evidence.
Thank you very much for the post OP S&F for you.


edit on 10-4-2015 by Jonjonj because: Said thanks



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 12:55 PM
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originally posted by: Jonjonj
a reply to: JimOberg


How do you respond to this statement? Thank you in advance for anything you wish to clarify.




As soon as I focus in on a specific fact about a specific case, suddenly it's Gorge Bush's fault.

I meant to say, suddenly the item she reported on as a fact, that now is somebody else's responsibility, doesn't count against her own credibility.

Once she agrees that an error, or ten, or an unknown number much larger than ten, slipped by her fact checking, where does it end? We don't know.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 01:59 PM
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originally posted by: JimOberg

originally posted by: Jonjonj
a reply to: JimOberg


How do you respond to this statement? Thank you in advance for anything you wish to clarify.




As soon as I focus in on a specific fact about a specific case, suddenly it's Gorge Bush's fault.

I meant to say, suddenly the item she reported on as a fact, that now is somebody else's responsibility, doesn't count against her own credibility.

Once she agrees that an error, or ten, or an unknown number much larger than ten, slipped by her fact checking, where does it end? We don't know.


Ok, so the point you make here is that her fact checking was lacking. I absolutely agree with this as a premise with which to call into question the veracity of the exercise.

Here is my point though, the very charge you have levelled at her seems to be the charge she has levelled at you. She is claiming that you falsely attributed quotes to her that were in fact made by somebody else, someone who had in fact been given a place in her book to present their own case. What is more, she seems to be inferring that you deliberately used this as a way with which to convince people that her integrity was in doubt.

Anyway, thank you for having the decency to reply to my questions. I am not sure you did in fact answer both but I am grateful nonetheless.

I have the very highest respect for you sir. Even if, somewhere deep in my psyche, the itch remains unscratched as to knowing whether your debunking of ufology in general is truly unbiased.

I hope this does not offend, as that is not my goal.




edit on 10-4-2015 by Jonjonj because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 03:33 PM
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originally posted by: thesearchfortruth
It's interesting that many skeptics will accept any terrestrial explanation—no matter how seemingly unlikely—instead of admitting that a case can't be explained.


I consider myself an open-minded skeptic. I have no qualms about admitting something is unexplained. What I *DO* have qualms about are people who say or at least imply that because something is unexplained (often through lack of data) that it means it is something alien or extraterrestrial.

That is a light-year sized leap of logic.



Yeah, but they're crap explanations! For example the [url=http://ufoevidence.org/cases/case200.htm]1976 Tehran UFO is "explained" as Jupiter...


Actually, Jupiter and Venus under the right conditions can look very strange and the USAF wasn't immune to it either as pilots have pursued Venus on more than one occasion.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 03:37 PM
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originally posted by: Pinke
a reply to: onehuman
I don't really think Oberg is representative of ATS in the context of the article. Oberg is representative mostly of Oberg.

I suspect anyone that writes an 'all sides' book about UFOs is going to come under fire from Oberg and probably some believers, too. I haven't read this one, but just by giving certain characters airtime it's going to happen. I'm with Gortex mostly though, it just seems like a non-event.

Anyone read the book? Recommend or not?


I've read it.

Most of the cases in it fall into a couple of categories:

1. Those which lack complete data which could solve the "mystery".
2. Those in which the participants misidentify something as strange which is probably not. (because even generals, pilots, etc are human and prone to misidentification).

edit on 10-4-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 03:40 PM
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originally posted by: JimOberg
I have no problem discussing the points raised by the book and my comment.

I do want to point out that my article addressed what I saw as inadequacies in Kean's case -- specifically, not being able to filter out prosaic explanations, while insisting that no prosaic explanations were possible [I gave ten specific counterexamples].


Which were brilliant.




Kean's response was to criticize me personally -- just look at the title.


Which is unfortunate. She has lost credibility in my eyes.

Don't like the message shoot the messenger.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 03:45 PM
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originally posted by: Jonjonj
I have read the book, I declare myself a bit of a fan as the premise was to avoid unreliable witness accounts and focus rather on those witness reports that have much evidence.


But at the end of the day, they're still just witness reports with little if any other corroborating evidence (physical, electronic, etc) to support an extraordinary cause for them.

I'm sure for some people it's an entertaining book which raises questions, but the questions she is trying to get you to raise are what I and I think Jim and others have real problems with.
edit on 10-4-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 04:31 PM
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a reply to: JimOberg

I read the article "UFO book based on questionable foundation". I read the rebuttal. I wish most of the ATS threads concerning this phenomenon had the same level of civility. Bringing me to my question: where did she criticize you personally? I get the word "skeptic" could connote something negative, or even be considered a pejorative here on ATS, but where in the real world does skeptic equate a personal criticism?

I am honestly trying to understand this distinction (skeptic = personal criticism).

And, as lay person, I find the assertion that pilots make the best eyewitnesses very intuitive. That's likely the rub, it's counter-intuitive, but quite possibly, the truth is that pilots are bad eye witnesses. Leading me to my final question: what constitutes this "misperception rate" that make pilots, allegedly, the worst of all categories?

These are legit questions, and, by no means, an attempt at a 'gotcha' question. Very counter-intuitive (again, not disagreeing just observing) regarding the pilots, and the personal criticism(s) I could not find.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 04:44 PM
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I haven't read the book at all, so no idea if it was one of the cases she presented, but that article has the picture of the Belgium triangle. The person who took the photo came out and admitted it was a fake. So, hopefully that's not one of the cases.

Here's that info:

We made the model with polystyrene, we painted it and then we started sticking things to it, then we suspended it in the air … then we took the photo


www.realityuncovered.net...



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 04:48 PM
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originally posted by: JimOberg
I've never had any problem with the existence of cases for which no prosaic explanation has been found -- just in assuming that this MUST mean that no such explanations can possibly exist.

I think that's essentially true. You can only get decent explanations if you have enough data, and for some UFO cases the data simply isn't there, and there's nothing anyone can do to squeeze more data out of the sighting. So these cases just get filed away, at least for the moment, into the "unexplained" folder.

Sometimes more information does pop up after a while, but if it doesn't, that's the end of it. And there's no reason to assume that the missing data is either "paranormal" or mundane. It just isn't anything, and we have to all just get on with our lives without knowing something.

edit on 10-4-2015 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)



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