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The stagnation of UFO Research

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posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 11:37 PM
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So here's the reality, UFOs and Aliens is still the NUMBER ONE attraction, by a HUGE margin, for the 2,000,000+ new visitors a month coming to AboveTopSecret.com.

So, we have the people's attention, many of them are being exposed to this phenom for the very first time. What can WE do to organize this database, this quintessential resource that will hopefully separate the wheat from the bollocks?

I mean we have a GREAT OPPORTUNITY here with over two million NEW brains and pairs of eyes a month to inform!


Unfortunately lots of these folks are finding things like Meir, slurpo, planet faces, etc... and getting caught up in the crapola before they have the opportunity to get educated in CRITICAL THINKING. THAT'S our PROBLEM IMHO.

So I ask again, we have this huge site, huge audience, WHAT CAN WE DO WITH IT TO HELP people get a good, solid footing and AVOID the charlatans and con men?

I am VERY OPEN to ANY positive ideas here.


Springer...



[edit on 9-3-2006 by Springer]




posted on Sep, 3 2006 @ 11:56 PM
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Springer- there are more than a few creative types here in this forum. I think a great many are intrigued by the subject matter but see the fork in the road.

Use the tools hoaxers and charletans use against them before they drag down the subject matter further.

As I mentioned in another thread created by rand - Creative Venting -
A gallery of sorts that would be beneficial x sharing to ATS and artists alike. Wallpapers, screensavers, illustrations, images, and videos. Going out on a limb - even a storefont. I'll stop there, before I get shot down.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 12:43 AM
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The question , "What can we do to improve quality and inforce critical thinking?", is certainly a hard question to fathom when talking about ATS and the Aliens and UFOs forum. Definitely a question I want to ponder for a while and I applaud Springer for asking.


I do have one quick and simple suggestion that could help improve things here. That would be simply to go back to a slightly more aggressive Moderation of the Forum where a poster would refer to older ATS thread(s) on the topic and a Mod would lock the thread.

The benefit is just that old topics get confined to older threads where they've been debunked or explained to some satisfaction. For example you don't want a WTC UFO Video from the Sci-Fi Channel to get 45-60 replies and take up space for days at the top of the Board when we all know it was from the Sci-Fi Channel and there are easily a hundred threads that have already come to that conclusion on ATS.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 12:52 AM
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Moderation is easy enough... IF the staff knows about the thread. Use the complaints forum to report threads as needed but PLEASE include a link the staff can put in the "soon to be closed" thread for those who are just learning to review.


Our overtaxed staff of Volunteers simply stay to buried to go "hunting" for the relvant thread that indeed covers the topic and to send the new Member to.


Springer...



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 01:14 AM
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I understand.

Things often seem much more simple than they really are. I have to personally admit avoiding filing complaints and U2U'ing Mods just because I don't want to feel like I'm being a pain and I know the staff of Volunteers here are often overtaxed.

Another thing I think is at play here is that a Member who's active certainly doesn't want to be a pain for the Moderators and also doesn't want to be accused of Policing the forum. At least one member has accused me of policing in the past and I admit that bothered me. But this is ATS a conspiracy forum.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 01:18 AM
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Perhaps enforce templates for new topics.

Then seperate futher into an Ongoing Investigations (past and present), IDEAs, VENTING (which will be trashed), Further Research and a Revisited sub sections.

Define a criteria with fellow ATSr's ie how posts should be constructed and what will satisfy template requirements.

I believe offence is the best defence, so this is to deter anyone with a internet connection and an email address to sign up post a rant and sit back and watch the fight.

Make them work for the post.

Create & enforce Noob section. I know its probably not the best way to spread ideas, but ATS is not going anywhere soon - if they want it bad enough they will wait.

Time is everyones enemy, most struggle to find it, make them accountable for it.
Just a thought, perhaps I am a bit harsh.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 03:16 AM
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I agree, some organization could go a long way.

Often times, the authors themselves readily label the category of their post.
There are threads that are speculative, such as "Why might Reptilians Enjoy Tennis?", and other threads that claim to be reports of events, such as "I saw a UFO!" and still others that reference events on the web such as "DId you see this video of bad actors screaming at a camera flash?" These are three catagories that are immediately self-catagorized by the admission of the authors.

Many organizational systems could arise from the admissions of the authors. Still more could come by adding in reader voting--something like the keyword mechanism by category based.

[edit on 4-9-2006 by Ectoterrestrial]



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 03:35 AM
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Springer-
I think one thing to vastly help newcomers is a sort of "Hall of Shame" as was done at UFO watchdog. Although it might be harsh to some, and may take some time to build. It starts with accountability.

You can put up a sticky thread for a researcher at a time, and have people present data on them, pro and con. Data presented without factual basis is removed, so real work has to be done by members, with footnotes indicating sources. Deadline for entry at say a week. Then at the end, is a vote..theyre either a solid researcher with good presented data, or theyre a con job, and persona non grata.

Sound wickedly harsh? It is. And it's just what this field needs. A good swift kick where it counts.

I'll help any way I can.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by lost_shaman
I understand.

Things often seem much more simple than they really are. I have to personally admit avoiding filing complaints and U2U'ing Mods just because I don't want to feel like I'm being a pain and I know the staff of Volunteers here are often overtaxed.

Another thing I think is at play here is that a Member who's active certainly doesn't want to be a pain for the Moderators and also doesn't want to be accused of Policing the forum. At least one member has accused me of policing in the past and I admit that bothered me. But this is ATS a conspiracy forum.




lost shaman:

"Policing" is exactly what we need. Members policing the forum for re-hashes of already known hoaxes. Notice I said re-hashes and known hoaxes. The Mods are GRATEFUL for the heads up, staff is outnumbered 67,000 to 60.
it's impossible for us to see everything.

Very important couple words there and the biggest trick to all of this. There is a HUGE difference between a New Member or a Veteran bringing a new twist or new theory to an old story, there is also a HUGE difference of opinion over what a known hoax is and what has yet to be determined.

One interesting exercise, a suggested by JRitzmann, and one I have been considering for some time, could be to get a list going of all the known hoaxes, and let's see if we can get a consensus. That thread alone could be the beginning of a database to which we could send the uninitiated for educational purposes. Imagine a compendium of all the known hoaxes and the information that proves them a hoax.
This alone could be a huge resource. I've seen a few sites that have this but many of them reek of the author's emotions.

Another point is for you all to do the policing but never be the police. In other words simply notify one of the forum Mods about a thread that obviously covers exhausted ground, and is preferably on our soon to be created list of "Blown Out UFO Stories" or "BUFOS"
and there is a good chance the thread will be closed and the Member politely directed to our database or a relevant thread.

This system could work. IF everyone remains calm, polite and dedicated to teaching the novice the "ropes" and NOT attacking them for believing something.

I want to point out also that a person's "beliefs" are sacred here if that person has been asked by another Member what they think about something. We will not tolerate uncivil, snide or downright rude discourse directed at a Member who is answering a question with his/her beliefs.

Obviously if someone starts a thread in this forum that is nothing more than their idea/belief of what the UFO phenom is it needs to be moved to "Skunkworks", and it will be if we know about it.

So, let's review...

I would love to see a compendium of the known hoaxes, debunked UFO stories, etc... One that has consensus though (good luck)
not just a few like minded people's beliefs.
Fairly irrefutable evidence of a hoax, like those mentioned in the opening post of this thread.

I would also love to see a compendium of the "still unresolved UFO cases" that would truly be something.

Once we have these "compendiums" we'll have a resource we can send the new investigator who starts a thread about, what in their mind, is a new and exciting "AMAZING CASE" to.


I agree completely with the premise that there is a cadre of hustlers, charlatans and con men out there trolling for "fresh fish" who will buy off on their crap. We've watched it happen with slurpo, Mier et-al... Almost to a person the "true believers" are very new to the field of UFO research. Of course they'd have to be unless they were just beyond hope of ever employing critical thought. There's another "issue" there seems to be no shortage of "true believers" who refuse critical thought that will be up in arms over our compendium. Is it worth dealing with them? They will come once word gets out.

I guess one way to handle that is to create a disclaimer that the compendiums are to "the best of our knowledge based on the evidence, facts and or lack there of". Something to that effect.

Thoughts?

Springer...

[edit on 9-4-2006 by Springer]



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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you mentioned others beliefs. so, can we also agree to disregard scientifically unproven evidence such as psychic contact and or channeling?



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by Springer
One interesting exercise, a suggested by JRitzmann, and one I have been considering for some time, could be to get a list going of all the known hoaxes, and let's see if we can get a consensus. That thread alone could be the beginning of a database to which we could send the uninitiated for educational purposes. Imagine a compendium of all the known hoaxes and the information that proves them a hoax.
This alone could be a huge resource. I've seen a few sites that have this but many of them reek of the author's emotions.


Hi Springer,

I'd be very keen on seeing such a compendium. This is exactly the sort of reference document which I've been calling for, and producing, myself during the last few years.

I'd also be interested in seeing whether your proposed list of known hoaxes significantly overlaps with my those within my own document.

Oh, and as for whether "we can get a consensus" on the items in any compendium, I'd be prepared to place a fairly hefty bet that _someone_ will support virtually _any_ video that is proposed to include in the compendium (even if the hoax has been admitted). At best, you may achieve a _general_ consensus or a majority in favour of labelling something a hoax.


Originally posted by Springer
I've seen a few sites that have this but many of them reek of the author's emotions.


Other than ufowatchdog.com, which sites do you have in mind?

As you may know, I'm keen on avoiding reinvention of the wheel within ufology so I always consider it highly desirable to know what has been done already (even if it isn't perfect for some reason)...

All the best,

Isaac Koi



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by Access Denied
the only way to move forward at this point is to reject the baggage of the past. This baggage in my opinion is what keeps those who are willing to look at this subject seriously from being taken seriously.


Hi Access Denied,

I'm sure everyone would welcome rejection of "the baggage of the past", _but_ we need to be aware of the history of the subject so that we learn from it.


Originally posted by Access Denied
Anyway, to this end, I’m willing to prepare and compile a (non-emotional, purely objective, with references) “Roswell FAQ” based on what I’ve learned from my thread to be the most common objections if I can be sure my effort would be “rewarded” with sticky status if it’s found to be acceptable by some kind of consensus after it’s completed and reviewed?


Don't forget the Tinwiki part of ATS...

For anyone that doesn't know about the Tinwiki, see:
tinwiki.org...:Aliens_and_UFOs

There is an entry (which could be enlarged considerably, and many references added) on the Tinwiki for Roswell. See:
tinwiki.org...

Using the Tinwiki would enable other readers to edit, enlarge and (if needed) correct your entry or remove any biased comments.

I don't know how many people on ATS know about the Tinwiki. I'd been reading the forums on ATS for ages before venturing onto the Tinwiki, and didn't create any entries until quite a while after that.

Judging from the limited number of entries and edits on the Tinwiki, and the relatively limited activity on the Tinwiki working forum (see the link below) compared on the activity on other forums on ATS, either many people don't know about the Tinwiki or they don't wish to contribute to it:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

In my humble opinion, the Tinwiki will only become a worthwhile resource if more members of ATS (or non-members for that matter...) start entries or edit the existing entries.

Having seen the amount of determination, initiative and research put into the current competition on ATS (Alltheufoanswers), perhaps ATS should have a competition for the best new entry on Tinwiki as a means of generating interest in the Tinwiki?

Even if a competition did not involve a prize which costs real money (e.g. if the prize were just the award of some points) it would at least raise the profile of the Tinwiki and make members think about creating an entry.

I think the competitive instinct of members of ATS would mean that a competition generated quite a few good entries on Tinwiki.


Originally posted by Access Denied
Next on the clarity agenda in my opinion should be Bob Lazar and the Hill and Walton abduction cases… any takers?


The Area 51 Tinwiki entry has a rather small section on Bob Lazar:
tinwiki.org...

The Hill abduction case has its own entry:
tinwiki.org...

The Walton abduction case does not have an entry at all yet.


Should anyone feel the urge to start a Tinwiki entry, or simply to learn more how to do it, there is a helpful tutorial available on the Tinwiki Help page. See:
tinwiki.org...:Contents

Kind Regards,

Isaac Koi



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 05:16 PM
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I don't believe that the subject has stagnated.

Firstly, I think that one of the most important "events" of recent years is the publication of Richard M Dolen's UFOs and the National Security State vol. 1. Why? Because it's written by someone who was initially an outsider, but a trained historian and researcher. It's scrupulously written and Dolen's assessment of some of the thornier issues of the topic (the existence of MJ-12, for example) is, IMO, not to be beaten.

Using published documents and sources, he charts the development of the National Security State in the US, and directly links certain aspects of this growth to the UFO "problem". He takes a very interesting overview of the topic and the distance he brings to it gives a very striking sense of perspective.

He's bringing out volume 2 this year, apparently, and I'm really looking forward to it. There's a clarity of thinking and writing that I truly enjoy.

I also find that, for example, David Sereda has brought a new and analytical perspective to the phenomenon that makes his contributions really worthwhile.

However...

I agree that matters here are in a bad way. I'm shocked at the abusive way in which posters of photographic evidence are treated. Yes, there are a lot of hoaxers out there - ever more as technology becomes readily available. I thought about starting a thread called "How to Spot a Hoax", but I have very low expectations of what it would descend into, I'm afraid.

And I doubt seriously that the members of this board will ever be able to agree on a methodology or taxonomy to deal with cases and topics to be investigated. Some people want, for example, to exclude psychic phenomena from consideration - yet it seems clear that there is often a psychic component to sightings of UFOs or aliens. There are many people out there who regard anyone who "believes" in the reality of psychic phenomena as being absolutely deluded... and then there are people like me who've had experiences that prove (to me at least) conclusively that the science we know exposes only a tiny corner of the fabric of reality. Once you have some of these experiences, the restrictions imposed by the "scientifically minded" begin to look rather petty-minded.

The interaction between UFOs and psychic phenomena has been a recurrent theme in UFO experiences and literature for some time. Back in the sixties and seventies John A Keel wrote some interesting books (Operation Trojan Horse et seq.) treating of this, and Jacques Vallee has hinted at psychological or psychic events being entwined with UFOs and their alleged occupants.

My own position is therefore at odds with that of at least one of the earlier posters in the thread. Which of us is right? Who is to say?

In terms of dealing with the mythology of the UFO "narratives", I try to maintain a multi-model approach, fitting the pieces of the puzzle together in several different jigsaws at once, to stretch a metaphor. I think it's a sensible approach that allows you to handle a lot of data by saying "this data item may or may not be true - and we can assign an entirely arbitrary probability value to it - but it clearly fits in as part of this narrative thread, which may or may not have a basis in fact but it is internally consistent and believed by x, y and z.

It also allows you to create a meta-map of the UFO territory and make useful statements like "the way UFOs are percieved in our society right now encompasses this area; and I find probable this subset of the data and this subset I find improbable given my own bias and prejudice in the matter.

It stops you from getting hung up on one issue and trying to PROVE, again and again, that it's real. It also means you can avoid the use of the word "believe" which makes me think of religious nuts. I really loathe that question "do you believe in..." (chupacabras, NWO, UMMO, reptoids... and of course UFOs).

Sorry if this has been a bit rambling.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 05:27 PM
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Oh, by the way... I did contribute to the TinWiki project for a little while. I did a big bulk-up on the Greys page, but then my contribution got trashed so I gave up.

And let me explain what I mean by "trashed". This is not a "boo-hoo, my ideas got shot down" whine. I put rather a lot of work into bringing different elements into the mix according to my multi-model approach outlined above. I was careful to preserve all the elements that had already been there, but to restructure them to accommodate more data, and indeed more different categories and headings of data. I'm also (as you may be able to tell from my posts) quite careful about spelling, grammar and style. Having people who are (from my exalted -yeah, right - perspective) not terribly literate contributing to Wiki makes it look a bit lame, I think.

The next time I went back, other posters, enthusiastic to a fault, had completely disregarded the structure I had imposed and had just stuck in a bunch of new stuff willy nilly, without imposing any comparable logical structure of their own. There were also mistakes of spelling and grammar and alarming infelicities of style.

I gave up.

Sorry if that sounds too much like a rant - but it's just my experience of the Wiki world.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by Springer
There's another "issue" there seems to be no shortage of "true believers" who refuse critical thought that will be up in arms over our compendium. Is it worth dealing with them? They will come once word gets out.


My answer would be who cares. At a certain point in my Meier fights you come to realize there's little you can do to change people's entrenched beliefs. In getting into any debate, past presenting your findings backed with facts, you're wasting valuable time.

My own view has become that if said person wants to put faith to a case or individual who's been so concretely proven a fraud, they become much the same non entity as the hoaxer himself. As far as I'm concerned theyre niether worth the effort.

Like I said, many people are going to get left behind. In turn though, so will alot of B.S. that we dont need.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by jritzmann

Originally posted by Springer
There's another "issue" there seems to be no shortage of "true believers" who refuse critical thought that will be up in arms over our compendium. Is it worth dealing with them? They will come once word gets out.


My answer would be who cares. At a certain point in my Meier fights you come to realize there's little you can do to change people's entrenched beliefs. In getting into any debate, past presenting your findings backed with facts, you're wasting valuable time.

My own view has become that if said person wants to put faith to a case or individual who's been so concretely proven a fraud, they become much the same non entity as the hoaxer himself. As far as I'm concerned theyre niether worth the effort.

Like I said, many people are going to get left behind. In turn though, so will alot of B.S. that we dont need.


So i find i need to ask you this, and forgive me if i haven't come across it before but, is there any thing you actually think is not a hoax? any case, any sighting ?



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 07:57 PM
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Originally posted by lost_shaman
I think part of the problem is that ATS is a public forum. As such there is nothing stopping "average Joe" from watching Billy Meier Videos on Youtube and then coming to ATS and starting a thread for example.

There are other problems such as many people simply being very gullible. Others approach the subject simply for the entertainment value that the subject provides them. Still others are young or have never been exposed to the subject and must on their own navigate through the labyrinth of the hype and lunatic fringe without losing focus just to get a handle on the UFO Phenomena.

There are other factors that cause problems as well for example , many people have an attitude that why should they waste time talking about "Blurry lights" ( UFOs ) when they can talk about Aliens and Abductions.

Then you have to take into account that serious UFOlogy takes all the heat for these problems even when UFOlogy has no control over them.

As for the research itself , I'm not so sure that it has actually stagnated. Consider that Dr. Erling Strand and others working at Hessdalen have shown that phenomena of unknown origin exists and Data and instrumentation can be gathered. Last Year the Brazilian Air Force openly admitted to tracking UFOs in Brazilian Air Space and invited Brazilian UFOlogists to look at classified Data and Documents. In France CNES recently, this year, renewed the UFO investigation of GEPAN/SEPRA as GEIPAN.





Well said.

Another problem plaguing serious ufologists was mentioned in another thread a while back. The fact that there are so many CGI videos and pics on the net being curculated, most of them quite dubious. And then people are more interested in watching supposed videos of UFOs and crap than they are actuzal investigation and research. CGI has certainly muddied the ufological waters. Mainly because most people dont have the attention span to bother reading, instead, they want quick ooohs and aahs visual "evidence" provides.

I dont even bother with threads that have videos or pics on them anymore, as there are hardly any worth investigation.

Of far more interest is stuff leaking out of NASA.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 08:24 PM
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"Interested , sure why not ?

What do you have in mind?" == lost shaman

Well, the first thing is to get enough folks to show up who have some sort of
vested interest in the outcome. I think that has happened. I did not expect
one of them to be Springer but that is a real plus. Support from City Hall is good.

At the risk of stealing jritzmann's thread, I would say that cleaning house means just that.
Identify the dirty areas and CLEAN them up. Acknowledge the liabilities present in Ufology
and work to DELETE them. There is no reason I am aware of that says we cannot redefine
Ufology to become an empirical effort, and there-in DELETE non-empirical methods and results.
Your reality is not mine, and visa versa. So the methods have to become BOTH our realities
or we can never find true agreement. By way of initiating a brainstorming session, I will throw out
a few ideas.

1. Ufo really means "unidentified", not Greys or Reptillians, or Vikings, whatever. Since this whole forum area
is titled Aliens AND UFO's, then the aliens are here with us, and the first inherent problem is one of separation.
I would suggest the separation area is where the definition starts. There are those seeking to identify "unknown"
anomalous objects and we are mixed with those who have already solved THAT problem in their own realities,
thus they are NOT really interested in the anomaly that attracts Ufologists.

2. Ufology, with the exception of the SETI folks who split off, tends to be based entirely on witness testimony or
hear say. Acknowledge the real world. To PROVE something, it has to be either a legal proof or a scientific
proof. Assuming the goal is Proof, then we must all acknowledge that hear-say is ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS.
And direct testimony implies we are working towards "legal", NOT "scientific" proof. You have to learn to work
with what you have. If testimony is it, then we must all agree on rules for accepting testimony as something USEFUL.
So I throw out a tentative definition.

CREDIBLE TESTIMONY - a statement of observation that contains pointers that lead to tangible facts, documents, etc.
verification of which becomes legal evidence.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 09:07 PM
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Originally posted by nightwing
At the risk of stealing jritzmann's thread, I would say that cleaning house means just that. Identify the dirty areas and CLEAN them up. Acknowledge the liabilities present in Ufology and work to DELETE them.


Hey no worries from me. The idea of cleaning up "dirty" areas I have the distinct impression you and I may know how hard this will be, I dont know if most do.

The idea is that this is going to have to be the most hard nosed attempt at serious data collection and refusal ever done by mass participants. But I believe if strict guidelines are put forth, and everyone understands them, alot of cases wont have to be discussed twice.

The proponents of fakes are going to bellyache about it for years...but as I said, who cares. With facts and hard data on the right side, you'll have nothing to feel sorry for or about. We'll all be able to stand on the ground we lay.

I dont think a preponderance of belief in a case makes it a legitimate one. If 50 make support statements, and one guy brings in the hard facts, backed up with solid work, he can negate the case all by himself. ANYONE can check his facts, and I mean anyone.

Thats the real trick, any conclusion you reach has to be verifiable by anyone else. Any experiment you do to support or dethrone any case has to be duplicatable. Have a photoanalysis outcome with detected photos? Make sure you include program used and parameters applied. That way any work can be thoroughly checked. I did this with the Meier case photos and after I did, the supporters couldnt do anything but call me names.

So what. I stood and still stand on what I did, with what, and to whom.

Thats just how complicated it can get. I never said it'd be easy. But it's worth it in my opinion.



posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by incunabula
So i find i need to ask you this, and forgive me if i haven't come across it before but, is there any thing you actually think is not a hoax? any case, any sighting ?


So what case is real? That depends on what you mean by real. UFO is unidentified flying object. NOT alien craft. (although many think it's one in the same)

Stanton Friedman says it better then anyone...the question isnt are all UFOs alien craft, the question is are any?

I think some of the data coming out of Mexico is compelling, I also think some of the footage out of Gulf Breeze (not Ed Walters) is just as compelling. Most of the footage though on Gulf Breeze that I saw years ago still has not been made public, so there's not much I can say to support it.

But is there any case I'd say is definitely "alien" and authentic? I dont know if anyone can say that for sure.

What we're here looking to do is stop believing and start knowing. I recently read this by someone on ATS regarding a faked footage clip:
"It's either fake or it's real. Does it really matter? Just open your mind and accept the existence of these things."

I wont make a mockery of this person by naming them, nor the thread. But this is exactly what I'm talking about. To accept anything just because you want to is really very sad to me. This is the mentality that gets hoaxers more people in their lectures, more money for DVDs, and that gets others interested in a case that may or may not be worth a damn...to continue the cycle.

No matter what we do, there's little chance of stopping the ones who wish so badly to believe in any one case. Thats just the way it is.


[edit on 5-9-2006 by jritzmann]



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