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Skeptic misses point behind UFO book

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posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 07:57 PM
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originally posted by: BeefNoMeat
a reply to: JimOberg

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.


Pilots are terrific eyewitnesses. So are cops, astronauts, military personnel, and almost everyone else. That's why eyewitness testimony is regarded so very highly in our judicial system that people are sentenced to both life and death by witness testimony. Eyewitness testimony is on the whole extremely reliable, not infallible of course, but extremely reliable, and depended upon not only in courts of law, but in virtually all facets of society.

In fact, the only people who try to dismiss eyewitness testimony as unreliable, are people who are attempting to deny the reality of alien contact.

It's their last straw. When UFO witnesses see some lights in the sky, Oberg and the like can always write it off as Venus, or Jupiter, so that's what they do.

BUT - When people state very clearly that they witnessed, say, a flying saucer, with windows and strange beings looking out those windows, and then the flying saucer accelerated to thousands of miles an hour instantly, with no noise whatsoever, Oberg and crew can't dismiss it as Venus without eliciting laughter.

SO - They resort to trying to convince you that no eyewitness testimony is valid. Neat trick, huh? Notice they never call into question the eyewitnesses who they agree with, those guys are great eyewitnesses!

Don't expect an answer from Jim Oberg as to what the "misperception rate" is among pilots, because he has no evidence of any such thing. He and jade may trot out some "anecdotal evidence" where a pilot was wrong on something, but that is all they can do.

The funny thing is, they're the ones who complain the loudest about "anecdotal evidence". Just not when it suits their agenda.

Alas. If only UFOs were made of irony....




posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 08:59 PM
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originally posted by: BeefNoMeat
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?
Read J Allen Hynek's "The UFO report", see page 271 and read the surrounding text.

While he started his UFO investigations as what some might call a "paid debunker", he must have run across some interesting cases because after project blue book closed in 1969, Hynek formed CUFOS in 1973, a pro-UFO organization:

www.cufos.org...

With the closing of Project Blue Book in 1969, (Hynek) began to seriously consider forming a private, scientific UFO organization composed of scientists and other highly-trained technical experts, who would work together to solve the UFO enigma. In 1972, Hynek published his classic book, The UFO Experience: A Scientific Study, in which he presented his categories for grouping UFO sightings and coined the phrase, "Close Encounters." In 1973, he started the Center for UFO Studies and served as its scientific director until his death in 1986.
Sometime between 1973 and 1978 Hynek and the CUFOS staff re-examined about 10,000 project BlueBook cases, and came up with his own classifications of the reports as summarized in "The UFO Report", which in some cases differed from the Air Force claims.

The statistics you inquire about come from that analysis by Hynek, arguably one of the most prolific UFO researchers of all time, and by that time certainly not biased in favor of debunking for the Air Force anymore. Hynek eventually stated his belief that some UFOs were of non-Earthly origin, so I don't think we can accuse him of anti-UFO bias when he wrote that book.

On page 264 Hynek states that out of 13,134 cases reported to the Air Force, only 10,675 had sufficient information to investigate, and of those he determined that 5.8% remain unidentified. The inference of course is that he and the CUFOS staff identified the other 94.2%, so if you subtract about 1% for hoaxes, this infers a relatively high overall misperception rate. Pilots tended to have the highest rate of misperceptions, engineers and scientists the lowest.

My intuition tells me that pilots are probably good observers of known objects like other known aircraft. Jim Oberg has a hypothesis about why pilots may tend to be overly cautious observers of unknown objects and I can't say if that hypothesis is right or wrong, but it seems plausible.


originally posted by: Scdfa
In fact, the only people who try to dismiss eyewitness testimony as unreliable, are people who are attempting to deny the reality of alien contact.
J Allen Hynek's book "The UFO Report" doesn't try to deny alien contact, and in fact it hypes the mystery surrounding the unknown cases. It's the source of the "pilots have the highest misperception rate" claim, and as I said implies that about 1% of UFO reports examined were hoaxes and the other 93% were explainable, so that results in a very high misperception rate overall no matter how you slice it. So please stop making false claims and realize that eyewitness testimony is inherently very unreliable, even according to pro-UFO folks like Hynek was when he wrote "The UFO Report".

edit on 10-4-2015 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 09:34 PM
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originally posted by: Scdfa

originally posted by: BeefNoMeat
a reply to: JimOberg

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.



SO - They resort to trying to convince you that no eyewitness testimony is valid. Neat trick, huh? Notice they never call into question the eyewitnesses who they agree with, those guys are great eyewitnesses!

Don't expect an answer from Jim Oberg as to what the "misperception rate" is among pilots, because he has no evidence of any such thing. He and jade may trot out some "anecdotal evidence" where a pilot was wrong on something, but that is all they can do.

The funny thing is, they're the ones who complain the loudest about "anecdotal evidence". Just not when it suits their agenda.



Thanks! Really appreciate the thoroughness and candor you replied with.

Sidebar: I did briefly entertain the idea jade and jim may actually be the same person responding under different screen names/handles - you suggesting the two would present the same arguments/evidence could convince some they have a collaborative debunking effort. I really would like an answer on the "skeptic" characterization. From Jim. Or Jade. I surely don't see it as a criticism (being a skeptic is 100% OK in my book).



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 10:13 PM
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a reply to: Scdfa

Who is this "Jim Oberg" you're talking about, it certainly isn't me. based on what I've been writing and saying for a long time. Could it be some imaginary 'boogey man' you've dreamed up as a 'straw man' gimmick?

Do you think the ten examples I gave in my critique of Kean's book are valid points -- that is, are reported in her book as unexplainable, but actually have prosaic explanations, as I assert? If not, why not? Address the specifics, please -- your accuracy in reporting what I am supposed to think is really lousy with generalities.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 10:21 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur

My intuition tells me that pilots are probably good observers of known objects like other known aircraft. Jim Oberg has a hypothesis about why pilots may tend to be overly cautious observers of unknown objects and I can't say if that hypothesis is right or wrong, but it seems plausible.


Nobody can claim to know the pilot 'error rate' without enumerating all the correct perceptions, and I think that makes the task unknowable -- so if any thing I wrote suggests I think pilots make mistakes MORE often than ordinary folks, I need to clarify that I do not know that.

What experience has shown is that pilots, based on their survival instinct development and need for split-second decisions, when they DO make mistakes it's on the side of safety -- reacting to a potential collision as if it were real. This has been known essentially since there WERE pilots -- recall the 1930s article about how pilots could not file accurate meteor sighting reports because they consistently underestimated range by orders of magnitude. From a pilot and passenger point of view, this is exactly what you want them to do.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: Scdfa


Pilots are terrific eyewitnesses. So are cops, astronauts, military personnel, and almost everyone else.


Six examples of astronaut eyewitness reports of sightings that can only be accounted for by advanced alien technology, please, with links.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 10:47 PM
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edit on 10-4-2015 by 111DPKING111 because: triple post



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 10:47 PM
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edit on 10-4-2015 by 111DPKING111 because: triple post



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 10:47 PM
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a reply to: gortex

I see what you mean, but I think the title of the article is more misleading than anything, I seriously doubt Jim missed the point. However I do think she has every right to respond to his criticism, and frankly, it looks bad if she doesnt.

More importantly though, and imo its really hard to get this point across to someone who is just starting to read UFO material, she tries to clarify that Jim has a particular slant in the way he approaches this topic. Unless there are high res polaroids or videos of a sighting, some people will never accept it. After researching UFOs a little bit, you slowly begin to realize there is this community people, almost like a church, that revels in their skepticism. Theres a magazine, forums, and blogs etc. - all celebrating their skepticism by debunking various ideas. Its like an amen section at church if you take the time to read the comments after a blog by Brian Dunning.

And I dont have a problem with disciples of Hume, everyone has different requirements for belief, but I do think it helps knowing someones background as you read his comments.

On the flip side, I got started researching by watching UFO hunters, and they seemed like reasonable people at first. But after few episodes, you do get that feeling that Bill Birnes will believe anything, with practically no evidence whatsoever.

And imo there is way too much of that in the pro-ufo community. For the life of me, i cant understand why anyone gives Bob Lazaar an ounce of credit. He even admits it in his interviews, how unlikely it is for someone like himself to be studying the most advanced/desirable piece of technology on the earth. If our govt did manage to miraculously obtain a working UFO, hopefully the project wouldnt be run like a 3 ring circus. One would imagine several teams of people, each with vetted resumes a mile long, working on it. I respect Knapp as a straight shooter kind of guy, but i think he got hood winked on this one. I wouldnt have put my name on that.



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 11:00 PM
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originally posted by: JadeStar

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.



I have to ask, given your responses in the thread, have you actually read the book?
Major General Wilfred de Brower. If you can, can you please debunk this man's evidence?

As someone I respected for her honesty related to astronomy, I find this answer rather out of kilter.

Sadly yours

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



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 11:13 PM
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a reply to: 111DPKING111

I agree with the aspect of bringing ufo reality to the general populous.



Unless there are high res polaroids or videos of a sighting, some people will never accept it.


If a person hasn't had a in the face encounter with one of these things they are unlikely to believe, and even for believers I can say from personnel experience until I saw one up close I was only half convinced. What is more interesting than believer or skeptics views is the mindset of Ufo itself, whatever it appears under a intelligent control, and that intelligence appears completely uninterested and indifferent to the general ploits of in human beings.

The folly of the situation is that believers and skeptics are arguing on something that doesn't appear to care a hoot about humans. Im not aware any Ufologist has ever been visited by an Alien. Im not aware any astronaut has ever been visited by an Alien. There are some Joe Bloggs who claim to of been.

If ufo/Aliens do exist and are here, then a question worth answering is why do they choose to meet the Joe Bloggs and not people who are supposedly through their professional better candidates?



posted on Apr, 10 2015 @ 11:59 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur

On page 264 Hynek states that out of 13,134 cases reported to the Air Force, only 10,675 had sufficient information to investigate, and of those he determined that 5.8% remain unidentified. The inference of course is that he and the CUFOS staff identified the other 94.2%, so if you subtract about 1% for hoaxes, this infers a relatively high overall misperception rate. Pilots tended to have the highest rate of misperceptions, engineers and scientists the lowest.


And what a crappy classification system that was. Hynek classified reports based only on the proximity and visibility of the object and omitted perhaps the most important variable, the maneuverability and navigation of the object. Compared to Vallee's system (and I hate to give that guy any credit), Hynek's sucks.


No wonder the identifiable rate is so high for CUFOS. With movements that defy our laws of physics taken out of the equation, more craft can be explained in a conventional manner and the percentage goes up. Then Hynek wants to assign that remaining 5.8% to pilot misperception? Hilarious.



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 12:06 AM
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originally posted by: TrueMessiah
No wonder the identifiable rate is so high for CUFOS. With movements that defy our laws of physics taken out of the equation, more craft can be explained in a conventional manner and the percentage goes up. Then Hynek wants to assign that remaining 5.8% to pilot misperception? Hilarious.
You obviously don't understand Hynek's work at all. He didn't assign misperception to the 5.8%. He's saying he doesn't know what those 5.8% of cases were, so how could he?



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 12:29 AM
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originally posted by: AthlonSavage
a reply to: 111DPKING111

I agree with the aspect of bringing ufo reality to the general populous.



Unless there are high res polaroids or videos of a sighting, some people will never accept it.


If a person hasn't had a in the face encounter with one of these things they are unlikely to believe, and even for believers I can say from personnel experience until I saw one up close I was only half convinced. What is more interesting than believer or skeptics views is the mindset of Ufo itself, whatever it appears under a intelligent control, and that intelligence appears completely uninterested and indifferent to the general ploits of in human beings.

The folly of the situation is that believers and skeptics are arguing on something that doesn't appear to care a hoot about humans. Im not aware any Ufologist has ever been visited by an Alien. Im not aware any astronaut has ever been visited by an Alien. There are some Joe Bloggs who claim to of been.

If ufo/Aliens do exist and are here, then a question worth answering is why do they choose to meet the Joe Bloggs and not people who are supposedly through their professional better candidates?






So did you witness/encounter a UFO? Maybe even an alien/extraterrestrial entity?



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 04:31 AM
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a reply to: BeefNoMeat




And, as lay person, I find the assertion that pilots make the best eyewitnesses very intuitive.

I don't think we can make assumptions of pilots as a whole , as we've seen recently not all pilots are the same.
Pilots are trained to fly planes , as far as I'm aware they are not trained to identify objects outside of those planes.



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: Jonjonj

originally posted by: JadeStar

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.



I have to ask, given your responses in the thread, have you actually read the book?


Yes. It was highly recommended as one of the best books on the subject to naturally I read it.



Major General Wilfred de Brower. If you can, can you please debunk this man's evidence?


I'm not here to debunk anything however there are a few questions regarding his testimony to Kean and the event at the National Press Club where he stated:


"My name is Wilfried De Brouwer. I am a retired Major General of the Belgian Air Force and I was Chief Operations in the Air Staff when an exceptional UFO wave took place over Belgium. Indeed, during the evening of 29 November 1989, in a small area in Eastern Belgium, approximately 140 UFO sightings were reported. Hundreds of people saw a majestic triangular craft with a span of approximately 120 feet, powerful beaming spot lights, moving very slowly without making any significant noise but, in several cases, accelerating to very high speeds.


Ok, so where are the pictures? Where's the radar data? You were the General of a branch of government (the military) tasked with patrolling the skies above a fairly sizeable European country. You call the object hundreds of people say "majestic" and even have estimated its size but there are no pictures, no radar data? Nothing but witness testimony?

A general of a military branch would be expected to know more than "Um, some people reported some stuff in the sky." This was 1989 after all, not 1947. There are sophisticated radar and camera systems which would have caught such a craft and yet all we have from the Belgium wave is one hoaxed photo.

I suspect, that people actually did see something which was strange to them, which they could not identify but that something was probably not from light years away but from the US Air Force. Something like this perhaps?



or this...



or this...



or this....




1989 was during the first Gulf War right? And the US used bases in Europe for various purposes right? It would certainly serve the purposes of keeping a top secret plane a secret to attach the idea of it being a UFO (and in the minds of a lot of people UFO means "OMG Alien!").

Furthermore, if such a plane were still secret it would also be helpful to have someone like General de Bower out there keeping the UFO story out there as cover.

That to me, as an astronomer, knowing what I know about our galaxy, far more plausible than ETs coming to Earth to buzz people in Belgium then leaving without a trace.




As someone I respected for her honesty related to astronomy, I find this answer rather out of kilter.

Sadly yours


I'd hope you still respect my honesty on why I am skeptical about the Belgium wave and why I don't necessarily feel that de Bower's testimony supports an extraordinary cause of the Belgium wave. In fact he may have a vested interest to make it seem more fantastic than it actually was.



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 01:24 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur

originally posted by: TrueMessiah
No wonder the identifiable rate is so high for CUFOS. With movements that defy our laws of physics taken out of the equation, more craft can be explained in a conventional manner and the percentage goes up. Then Hynek wants to assign that remaining 5.8% to pilot misperception? Hilarious.
You obviously don't understand Hynek's work at all. He didn't assign misperception to the 5.8%. He's saying he doesn't know what those 5.8% of cases were, so how could he?


Arbitrageur, would you please address the charge that Hyneck refused to include data regarding the performance, maneuverabilty, speed and all flight characteristics of UFOs in order to attach a more conventional explanation?

Thank you in advance.



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 01:37 PM
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originally posted by: JadeStar

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.


I'm not sure I completely follow, like in the following cases, do you think there is not enough data?

Madagascar in 54, double daylight siting
Westall in 66, daylight siting at Australian elementary school, starting at 9:14 is the best part.
Ravenna in 66, cat and mouse chase

If not these cases, are there others where you consider the UFO possibility the most likely explanation?



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 01:59 PM
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originally posted by: 111DPKING111





I'm not sure I completely follow, like in the following cases, do you think there is not enough data?

Madagascar in 54, double daylight siting
Westall in 66, daylight siting at Australian elementary school, starting at 9:14 is the best part.
Ravenna in 66, cat and mouse chase

If not these cases, are there others where you consider the UFO possibility the most likely explanation?


What data in those cases leads you to conclude they were the work of extra-terrestirals/aliens?
edit on 11/4/15 by mirageman because: typo



posted on Apr, 11 2015 @ 02:08 PM
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Ok, so where are the pictures? Where's the radar data? You were the General of a branch of government (the military) tasked with patrolling the skies above a fairly sizeable European country. You call the object hundreds of people say "majestic" and even have estimated its size but there are no pictures, no radar data? Nothing but witness testimony?


Cameras certainly werent as ubiquitous as they are today(cell phones), but no doubt they were common in 1989. And this case imo, really serves as a prime example as why we shouldnt expect pictures of earlier UFOs. The sitings took place over the course of months and yet no one was able to capture it on film, even though people were aware another siting could happen soon. They were still infrequent enough that someone trying to sit on a siting wouldnt be able to capture it. Even if you kept a camera in your car or house, by the time you run to get it, its probably already gone.



I suspect, that people actually did see something which was strange to them, which they could not identify but that something was probably not from light years away but from the US Air Force. Something like this perhaps?


The best account of the belgium siting starts in at 4 minutes on this video , you tell me if any of those craft you posted could explain this siting.

As far as radar confirmation, it was confirmed by multiple sources, its a big part of why the military got involved. An excellent synopsis is posted HERE .
edit on 11-4-2015 by 111DPKING111 because: quote tags got me



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