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How Do You Weed Out The Hoaxes?

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posted on Dec, 27 2007 @ 04:34 PM
I see, almost daily (go to YouTube for instance) people posting pictures that are obviously either hoaxes or misidentified items, like clouds or balloons. How do you weed out these, as even some of the respected sites seem to report any picture that comes their way with trumpets and confetti! Is there a site that has enough credibility that they resist the urge to throw up garbage.

posted on Dec, 27 2007 @ 04:54 PM
A hoax isn't a hoax unless you believe in it first.

There isn't anything to weed out. The problem comes in trying to label a blurry dot as an alien spacecraft. Over the years, the UFO research community has been gradually lulled into making the association, so that one can't say "UFO" today without being laughed at, or labeled a kook.

Remember that a UFO is an unidentified flying object. If it defies an explanation upon initial observation, you may comfortably label it 'UFO' until it can be properly identified. However, if an extraterrestrial craft lands in front of you, allowing you to interact with its inhabitants, then you haven't seen a UFO: you have seen an occupied extraterrestrial craft, and you interacted with its inhabitants.

Like yourself, many in the research community are irritated with the influx of unconvincing 'reports'. This may be partially due to the fact that most 'UFO' spotters are convinced that what they saw was extraterrestrial in nature. In the same way, others who want to believe will bring their images in the hope that they can also be identified as extraterrestrial. I observed a similar pattern here on ATS, with the (recent) sudden 'Reptilian' wave.

Now, when you say 'credibility,' I'm not sure what you're asking. A site with conclusive evidence that our planet is being visited by extraterrestrials? I'm now fairly convinced that you won't find much besides the standard dots-on-a-screen or CGI videos.

The more you believe in aliens, the more hoaxers you will find. Stop looking specifically for alien craft, and you will encounter less 'garbage,' to use your expression.

posted on Dec, 27 2007 @ 05:13 PM
reply to post by netwaggie

IMHO, ATS is the best site for this on the net. Granted, there is a LOT of crap out there, and eventually all of it will find it's way here to the boards to be studied.

ATS is the place to examine each piece of evidence in full though. There are tons of experts amongst the ranks of our members in several fields, and even though arguments arise, for the most part everyone here is working towards the same goal: isolating real evidence from fraud...

The motto at ATS (I've learned) is to Deny Ignorance, and I'm certain that everyone here will be glad to help you to do just that.

My best tool so far (and I'm fairly new at this too) is the Compilation. You'll notice in my signature, there are links to several compilations, some of which were created before I got to ATS, and they are collections of the more notable cases (and links to more info).

The compilations I've created are designed for your purpose specificaly, weeding out the crap. There is a lot of crap in there, BUT it's labeled as such. I've spent a good deal of time going through all of the ATS threads, and categorizing the evidence. Each entry I've listed as a sort of 'report' on the case, and each report contains links to the ATS Thread(s) where ATS members debate the merit of each thread.

I'm not asking you to believe me (from the report) that something is a fraud or 'real', I've sourced each piece of evidence, cited the source, and provided the ATS Threads for the actual debate.

If you've got a new piece of Evidence (please check the compilations and the 'search' feature at ATS first to make sure it isn't already here) feel free to start a new thread, posting as much actual data on the issue as you can find. ATS members will be more than happy to help you investigate.

I hope this helps. We all totally understand your dilema, and are (most of us) here searching for the truth. We welcome your teamwork, please feel free to add to the compilations that exist, or to prepare a new one if there isn't one in the category you are looking for.

I'm also not the 'authority' on anything, this is just my advice, and this is the method I've found most useful. I hope this helps you in your search for the truth.

posted on Dec, 27 2007 @ 05:19 PM

Originally posted by Mr Jackdaw
Over the years, the UFO research community has been gradually lulled into making the association, so that one can't say "UFO" today without being laughed at, or labeled a kook.

Well this IS the "Aliens and UFOs" section, not the "Aliens or UFOs" sections

How do I weed out hoaxes? Simple: I assume everything is a hoax. Some call that being ignorant, but I call it employing occams razor. If an object look like a ballon, move like a ballon and probably is a ballon... Its just a ballon.

[edit on 27-12-2007 by merka]

posted on Dec, 27 2007 @ 10:08 PM
It is a good indication of the quality of the site that the first two posts I get are thoughtful, intelligent responses. While I am still new to ATS, it bodes well if there are strong members. I will review the compilations. Thank you!

posted on Dec, 27 2007 @ 10:18 PM
Why people accept video recordings, photographs, second-hand anecdotes, stories, and wild postulations as "evidence" is way beyond me anyway.

posted on Dec, 27 2007 @ 10:21 PM
Explain all videos as Chinese-lanterns, balloons or kites. If that doesn't work, then use swamp gas.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 09:51 AM
reply to post by neuralfraud

I think I understand what you are implying, but we all must remember that evidence is not partial. 'Evidence' is not a skeptic, nor is 'evidence' a believer. Evidence is the hard data we use to argue our cases legitimacy.

Your argument here is akin to saying "I can't understand why all of those mathematicians use numbers and letters to solve equations anyway..."

Simply because the answer to the equation isn't known, doesn't make the numbers and letters used to describe the equation useless.

Evidence is data, something that can be studied and analyzed here at ATS.

[ev·i·dence /ˈɛvɪdəns/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ev-i-duhns] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, -denced, -denc·ing.
–noun 1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.
3. Law. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.]

From A Widely Sourced Legal Dictionary:
n. every type of proof legally presented at trial (allowed by the judge) which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case. It can include oral testimony of witnesses, including experts on technical matters, documents, public records, objects, photographs and depositions (testimony under oath taken before trial). It also includes so-called "circumstantial evidence" which is intended to create belief by showing surrounding circumstances which logically lead to a conclusion of fact. Comments and arguments by the attorneys, statements by the judge and answers to questions which the judge has ruled objectionable are not evidence. Charts, maps and models which are used to demonstrate or explain matters are not evidence themselves, but testimony based upon such items and marks on such material may be evidence. Evidence must survive objections of opposing attorneys that it is irrelevant, immaterial or violates rules against "hearsay" (statements by a party not in court), and/or other technicalities.]

Seriously, how else do you intend to argue the case either for or against Alien Intelligence? Evidence, data, is all there is to reference.

For example:
What do you call the pictures of the Battle of Los Angeles in the LA Times?

ATS Reference:

I call it Evidence, pure and simple. Now if you have specific evidence that this case (or any other, this is just an example) has been successfully debunked, we're all hear to listen to that evidence too. Otherwise, your point (anyone's point, not directed as an attack) is also merely speculation, with no data to back it up.

This above paragraph is not meant as an attack, but an illustration. Skeptics in fairness (and to some degree I am one) should be held to the same standards as 'believers', for their arguments to hold water. You must use evidence to prove something, whether you are proving it to be true or false.

That's my take anyway.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 09:59 AM
For extrordinary claims, we need extrodinary evidence. We should never accept a story or picture on face-value alone. If it cannot stand up scrutiny, it should be dismissed and we move on.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 10:09 AM
Well, basically most image editing tools leave a special kind of pattern to the image. This applies to all rendering engines, and people who are skilled in using them can spot these patterns just by looking at an image. Even without zooming.

One of the easiest to spot are landscapes that are rendered using standard Bryce. Granted, those are not UFO's but if you try to search such pictures with google, it gives you a ton of pictures that are all very different, but somehow, they are all the same. You can't describe that similarity instantly, but you will notice it if you take a hard look. People skilled in rendering business notice these patterns instantly.

Cut & paste forgeries are easily spotted when you apply a noise filter to an image. After that, you can see the area which was cut and pasted to the image, as it shows a different pattern of noise, that you can usually see even without zooming it. This can be done skifully enough to prevent revelation in this way, but in that case there's usually a pattern on those particular tools that are left to the image being hoaxed :-)

There are a ton of ways, I don't know much of them but enough to spot 95% of hoaxes.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 10:11 AM
Afar has a similiar approach to mine. I do not accept every photo/video as legitimate, and think that those that do are doing a disservice to the community. There is enough disinformation out there to make it challenging to get acceptance for the quality information. Accepting obvious hoax videos just supports those that want to quash this type of information. I believe that all serious researchers in the UFO phenomenon are, like Afar, skeptics. The reason for this post was to get assistance in winnowing through the massive amount of data on the 'net. Site after site, even some respected ones, put up evidence that is obviously either fraudulent or something else. While the arguement is made that 'the submitter believes....' I find that somewhat specious. I do not want to debate the nuance of a particular word, or approach. By not holding submissions to a higher standard you allow those that attack the subject to successfully continue their campaign to discredit the data. I am not saying that we should reject every bit of evidence that is possibly something else, but I agree with Merka, that Occam's Razor, applied to incoming photos, sitings, etc. would give the UFO research more credibility. Afar's compilations are a good primer and I would like to see more pieces like that, or have some of the major sites really winnow through the chaff to post only those that are obviously unidentified.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 10:15 AM

Originally posted by SaviorComplex
For extrordinary claims, we need extrodinary evidence. We should never accept a story or picture on face-value alone. If it cannot stand up scrutiny, it should be dismissed and we move on.

I absolutely agree with you SaviorComplex, and with Carl Sagan, the originator of that quote.

Unfortunately, the 'extraordinary' factor is like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. What seems extraordinary to you, to me or to Carl Sagan would not be necessarily strange to someone else, and vice versa.

Fortunately in the exampled case (the battle of LA), we do have quite extraordinary evidence, not only in the form of the pic I posted, but also in several corroborating headlines.

We also have evidence in the form of the shells you see pictured above, that extraordinarily did no damage to the craft they were fired at, but fell to damage houses and cars on the streets of LA below. Approximately 1300-1500 shells were fired at the craft from our anti-aircraft guns, incindiary shells mind you, the big 12 inchers. There is a lot of data, real and able to be analyzed that exists online.

At any rate, there is already a thread at ATS (I posted it in my above entry) where this particular case is being discussed and debated. I'm just using it as an example here. I used this case for exactly this reason, extraordinary (in my view) evidence DOES exist in some cases.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 10:34 AM

Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
Fortunately in the exampled case (the battle of LA), we do have quite extraordinary evidence

Except its not evidence of aliens.

There is overwhelming evidence that something really happened, yes. But sadly it ends there, doesnt it? So when you say that we have "extraordinary evidence" I would say... Of what?

So I'd dissagree with that. In the case of the Battle Of LA, we simply have evidence, not extraordinary evidence.

Offhand, I cant think of any case that has supplied extraordinary evidence. Or actually I can think of plenty if you where to assume that it was real to begin with (for example Roswell). But that sort of ruin the point.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 11:00 AM
In reply to the OP...

Quantifiable evidence
Empirical Evidence

And most importantly - A *healthy* dose of scepticism.

For me, people need to look at the facts and let them dictate the conclusion. Not the other way around.

Evidence, Evidence, Evidence.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 11:11 AM
reply to post by merka

Agreed that there is no evidence of Aliens in the form of a body (although we certainly tried to knock that bird out of the sky...)

However, at a certain point Occam's Razor begins to suggest Aliens as the simplest and most rational explanation.

We have evidence for:
1) A solid craft
2) Intelligently controlled
3) Not a product of any human military (hasn't been claimed by ANY Earth nation in the 50+ years since)
4) Withstands a tremendous physical assault from anti-aircraft cannons
5) Radar and Audio Reports of an adjoining fleet of craft

We also have separate evidence that other worlds exist, worlds that could hold and/or spawn intelligent life. While we haven't confirmed the existance of any, the possibility has been confirmed.

If it didn't come from any intelligent species on this planet, isn't the next logical step to assume that it came from an intelligent species from beyond it? Earth afterall is not the end of reality.

Does Occam's Razor only apply to Earth? Where does this "that's nonsense" argument start, and progressive logic end? I'm confused on where the "leap in logic" is. Scientists the world over are in consensus that it's a mathematical certainty that somewhere in the universe other life exists. (Read Frank Drake, that's not my opinion)

Anyway the evidence is definitely abundant, and the investigations into the case follow a logical progression to my mind.
Like I said in my earlier post, some may not find this evidence extraordinary, I do, especially because it happened in 1942, way before humans could have developed such technology (we haven't demonstrated armor that can stop a 12 inch incindiary shell today, to my knowledge, but I don't work in that field).

But most importantly, we can at least agree that there is evidence. We can also agree that this evidence is the only real way we can debate/discuss the issue. That was my only real point LOL.

Sorry to the OP if I accidentally turned this thread into a debate about the merits of the Battle of LA, that was not my intent. Just using this case as an example.

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 11:48 AM
I found this photo on an Astronomy Blog:
The astronomer described this photo he took as "A rather orange looking Moon taken on 17th August 2005".

And here's that same photo after I used the bright/contrast feature on it and a gamma'd it a tad bit:

As you can see, there's an obvious box (squared off pixels) around the moon that's darker than those pixels outside of it. There's also quite a bit of distortion in those orange/red pixels that are outlining this Moon.

So is that Moon on this photograph a copy/paste job? You be the judge.

[edit on 28-12-2007 by Palasheea]

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 02:20 PM
Its not really not very hard.

Keep it simple. Simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Stick with that until any new or conflicting data is presented then adjust accordingly.

Dont use a belief system to explain or bolster you conclusion. Faith will not prove anything, facts will.

Be patient - time nearly always trips up most liars and hoaxters. There is a progression toward finding a truth, especially if it is hidden or disguised.

Can it be independently verified?

Is evidence available for professional analysis?

Do not use wild speculation to explain what at first appears to unexplainable. To speculate is fine, within reason.

Has proof been offered by the claimant and how long has the promise been held from being fulfilled, why? If it feels like you are unwittingly a participant in a giant shell game, then you probably are.

Vagueness or misdirection to pseudoscience is always a good sign of a lack of empirical data.

If its too good to be true, know the rest....

posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 03:28 PM
reply to post by netwaggie

Unless it is obvious, even truth can be disbelieved. The only way to "weed out" a hoax is to dissect it intelligently. Otherwise, asking good questions of the person asking us to believe something we find questionable.

Some who are not really skilled at this just ask for proof. Can anyone even prove to someone here they themselves exist? Anything can be faked. Any person, story, picture, video, film, fingerprint and DNA. Anything can also be real. Even stuff not faked can look fake when you do not know enough.

Unless obvious, there is no way to easily dismiss something wholly on its visual or written integrity. I have retouched photos for years. Many can now fake an image, but have personal integrity and also see the damage done to ourselves when we deceive.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we decide to deceive."

We do not see any reason to have integrity now with governments, media, religions becoming rich and successful by misrepresentation, lies, and general dishonesty. It is the model we show our children. It is the lies that win now. The truth just gets in the way of the illusions we cling to. We hold tight to our illusions, because true reality scares us to death.

The problem is also more serious than just hoaxing. It is a sign of a culture of cynicism that is suffering from a pervasive fear and depression. Also, a lack of education in the areas of intelligence we unfortunately have been denied, yet now desperately need to traverse the challenges of a civilization on the edge of great change, or madness.

It all comes down to education. We do not educate. We indoctrinate. Our educational system is still based on making good gears. Not good people.

We no longer have the ability to know right from wrong in our popular culture. Is it any wonder less of our brothers and sisters have no sense of integrity? Integrity is not popular or profitable now. The current models of gross profit are deceptive and manipulatory. Much of what we see as success in our civilization is based on hoaxes. It is still the accepted medium for power and control.

There are infinitely more good people than we believe however. The ones who control us want us to believe they are the good ones. We are told we are all sinners and they are doing us a favor by controlling us. The opposite is true. Given the chance, we will all rise to the occasion.

Hoaxing is only stopped when we know it will not truly benefit us. Educate to elevate.



posted on Dec, 28 2007 @ 03:32 PM
If we are to demand extraordinary evidence in every single instance, where there are great finds to be made, we are going to miss a LOT of physics out there. Large Hadron Collider would never have been built (well, actuallty its still under construction. link here.

Miniature black holes can be theoretically created with this one.
Higgs Bosons can be theoretically found
Pretty much everything with this one is theoretical. All they have is circumstancial evidence,and they spend billions to do experiments based on that alone.

If WE accept as little evidence as these real professors do, when they want to build an appratus that costs billions, we would be hit with a sledgehammer.

Perhaps that will give you some perspective?

So, our situation is roughly something like this:

Physics is well defined, and with math applied to it, it is possible to see circumstancial evidence of something existing that is not known. We then go and search for that evidence, even if it costs a lot and there is a possibility that nothing is found.

Ufology is not well defined, and most of it is - if we really are truthful - a mess. There are however cases where it becomes obvious that tecnology is used which just doesn't exist on earth. That is circumstancial evidence just as much as math is, as long as we DO know that such tecnology doesn't exist on earth. I believe it doesn't, and some believe that goverments have it. Either way, our logic seems to tell us, based on that example from physics, that we still have circumstancial evidence of something that we have no knowledge about. That, however, is not a reason to search for evidence (or so we are told.)

[edit on 28/12/07 by rawsom]

[edit on 28/12/07 by rawsom]

posted on Dec, 29 2007 @ 12:49 AM

Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
reply to post by neuralfraud

For example:
What do you call the pictures of the Battle of Los Angeles in the LA Times?

ATS Reference:

I call it Evidence, pure and simple. Now if you have specific evidence that this case (or any other, this is just an example) has been successfully debunked, we're all hear to listen to that evidence too. Otherwise, your point (anyone's point, not directed as an attack) is also merely speculation, with no data to back it up.

This above paragraph is not meant as an attack, but an illustration. Skeptics in fairness (and to some degree I am one) should be held to the same standards as 'believers', for their arguments to hold water. You must use evidence to prove something, whether you are proving it to be true or false.

That's my take anyway.

I've had a particular interest in the Battle of LA picture you mentioned. In fact I enhanced that picture to show something that looked a lot like a saucer shaped UFO right in the crosshairs of all those spot lights.

Check it out.

And the story I wrote that was published on Rense.

@ netwaggie

If you want to see how ATS handles hoaxes check out this thread.

The Haiti UFO video was making a big impression in a short time. I was pretty excited by it. It was the best UFO video I'd ever seen. The video has clear close up footage that can't be misinterpreted.

If you checked the link you probably noticed the prominent HOAX tag on the thread. It wasn't added to the thread until the source of the video was discovered and confirmed. The video was created using a ground breaking CGI software program. At the time I'm pretty sure it was just being released. I'm guessing the hoaxer was the company that wrote the software. It was great free publicity.

Some ATS people work very hard to find the truth. I'm pretty sure that ATS had this video figured out within hours of it coming to our attention.

Since the Haiti video I've considered ATS as being very interested in finding the truth. My respect for the site and the members who make it all happen rose greatly while participating in the Haiti thread.

If you're looking for someplace that can smoke out a hoax then you've came to the right place.

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