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ATS: Good Luck...

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posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:05 AM
...and I'll be seeing ya around.

I came to the decision today that I wont be actively involved in the message board here at ATS any longer. Earlier today I contacted SO and Springer, to let them know that essentially while I'm still their image analyst, (and always will be til they tell me to get lost), I'm not going to be a participant on the UFO board.

There's a couple of reasons for this, and I've been an open book so far here, and might as well not stop now.

One primary item being that I've been trying for going on a year now to write a book. It's become a lot more then I ever expected to write...I guess I had more to say then I thought. I'm also going to be writing some for UFO Magazine, and doing some speaking dates. All of this requires time to get together so I can give my best to all these things.

Secondly is a growing trend that has occurred here on this board, and to me it's very disturbing. It's a tendency by some members to become "emotionally attached" to visual or related data. A theory, a photo, video, etc. It seems that no amount of explanation, nor prior experience is good enough for them to accept, or consider. They're right, you're wrong, and their contention is that you as the analyst have to prove the negative. Prior experience and knowledge are not respected, but marginalized and insulted by these select people. Despite, that they sought you out for your knowledge and experience. Weird huh.

The past 6 months or so, some members have even gotten belligerent when I don't get to them for a few days. "why haven't you responded???" or "when are you going to do my analysis!!?", and "I am concerned about the fact that it takes you so long to respond on my thread. Is there a problem ? "

Well here's the shocker for these people. I don't get paid to be here, and I have a pretty full plate in life. The demanding nature of some not only for me to look at data, but to ultimately give them the answer they desire, has gotten very, very old. Every blurry photo, or point of light in the sky becomes a point of contention. It's gotten to the point where this has become an unpleasant place to be.

When I give my opinion or do a full workup, and it's not the answer people want, things get hostile. The analyst is labeled the "antagonist", and ultimately given the option of bending to the will of the true believer and doing full blown explanations complete with comparative analysis, or ignore it and get trashed for non response. This usually doesn't bother me, but as of late it's become overbearing. It's also an immense waste of time.

Until people stop being married to data before all the chips are counted, this is going to be one vicious merry-go-round. Becoming emotionally attached to any photo, or visual evidence is a bad practice, and one that ultimately binds you to disappointment and wasted time. This, I learned a long time ago.

Many, many years back, one of the most respected and credentialed image analysts in the field and I were at a very small meeting where I was speaking to him about UFO photos, how interesting I found them. He mentioned that I'd get tired of seeing the same non substantial photos and video out there. "Oh never" I said, because I found them all interesting. I remember him laughing and saying "OOoh, ok."

He was right.

There becomes so much unsubstantial stuff that you have to pick the ones that do deserve your time. You can go over all of them, but those that truly exhibit significant aspects along with eyewitness testimony and corroborative evidence...those deserve a full examination, and your effort. Sadly these don't come around often, but can take months of working time, if not much longer...hell if they ever "case close" at all.

While I really like the visual data (obviously) we always have to remember one thing: if an object is unknown, it doesn't tell us anything, other then it's not conventional aircraft.

It doesn't mean it's "alien".
It doesn't mean we know whats inside.
All it means, is we can rule out conventional things. It's unknown.

If it's unknown...whats that going to do for you?

No UFO photo is going to solve the issue alone. And don't build your reality of the subject on a photo. Not ever. It's so much bigger then that.

I can respect that people want to be actively involved, however few really are. Even fewer are looking for true anomalous data.

The UFO enigma is seductive. Many who shoot video or take a photo of an object, or even come across it on the net, believe they've grabbed the brass ring. Whether personally, or for wide spread popularity. They know it's a UFO, and they hold onto that notion like Grim Death...long before it's been examined.

"Don't confuse me with facts, my mind's made up".

In the end, 90% of the time, a disappointed person, and often, a hostile one.

Hostile is a good way to describe the air of ATS in some respects the last 6 or so months. The argument, and the ridiculousness of "I was told to have you look at this, please examine it", followed by "I'm not convinced, and you're wrong", has become for me, highly counterproductive. If we're all busy looking and arguing over obvious fakes and mis-I.D.'s, when good data turns up, it's a bloodbath.

I'm choosing to cut myself off from that in this venue. The ratio of noise here has far exceeded the signal for me personally, to the point that I feel I'm actually contributing to the noise. I wont do that. There is work to do.

There's a genuine enigma in the UFO subject. And anyone who bothers to truly look can see that. I have personally seen it, and witnessed it most my life. Thats why I'm in this. It's important. You folks know this, or at least suspect it, or you wouldn't be here.

So that bears the question: If it's so important a subject, don't you want the truest and best representation of data? Or, are you content for the quick high of "oooh, it's unknown" from a net photo or youtube, and essentially treat it half assed.

Sadly, in today's instant gratification culture, the latter seems to be true for some.

Well, if I don't know anything about the UFO issue, I do know one thing:

There's no easy answer.

You're not going to get your quick fix, or easy way out. No matter how much you whine, cry or fight. It's a complex issue, and one we may not even be capable of comprehending. But, we're irresponsible if we don't at least try.

So, as I've already rambled on far too long, here's my contact info:

If anyone needs anything, please don't hesitate to write.

I'll still pop in from time to time, but those instances will be rare. Springer knows I'm always available for analysis of any visual data, and I'll give him the reports to post here. My only comments will be in those reports and with any luck, some reports may be ongoing.

A public thanks to SO and Springer, and the whole ATS crew for their support, work and friendship.

My involvement in UFO study will continue, and will get more focused and productive. With the absence from the board, I'll have much more time to devote to cases and my own research. I'm in for the long haul, and intend to manage it as best I can.

To the many friends here, please keep in touch. Good luck to all of you in your endeavors.

~Jeff Ritzmann

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:15 AM
May you find yourself where you want yourself.

Some times its good to take time away, but
it will be good to see you when you stop by.

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:18 AM
All the best, Jeff.

Here's hoping that amongst the crap that you choose to examine, that you'll still find a few gems.

Go and chill out at a few of the USA Iron Maiden gigs coming up! I could always send you a picture of Dave Murray's plectrum and wrist band that my mate and I caught at the barrier! It brought a smile to my face!

[edit on 1-4-2008 by tezzajw]

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:22 AM
Good luck with your book! (ufo area?)

I do understand what you mean with people getting emotionally attached to a pic, or something else.
But you give your answers and that is what counts.

C Ya Around
And good luck with everything!

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:29 AM
Good luck Jeff, I personally feel you were one of the most respected people on these boards. Hopefully I can still hear you on the Paracast every so often. Take care

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:38 AM
I'm pretty new here so I don't really know you too well but I have seen and enjoyed your posts. It's a sad day when ATS loses a great contributing member such as yourself but it all comes down to what YOU want and YOUR happiness in the great scheme of things. Take care Jeff live long and prosper and nanoo nanoo brother

Good luck on your book!! let us know when its finished, I'd love to read it no matter the subject.

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:41 AM
This is a very sad thread, not only because ATS is losing a great user but also because it's addressing a really worring point. I began lurking on the boards not too long ago (I don't remember exactly when but maybe it was on mid-2007) and my initial impression was that this was a great board with lots of good information and intelligent users, so it was a joy to register and maybe add a small part. But it's clear that on these last couple of months people not-so-intelligent came in and:

1) tried to hoax the community;
2) pushed fantasy stories in an agressive way and not providing any kind of proof;
3) open threads about topics that were discussed to death before; or
4) post videos/photos which are obviously fakes.

All of these people, as jritzmann said so accuratelly, defend their position at any cost, sometimes blinding themselfs to actually see the proof that tells otherwise, and not to mention the people who know they are wrong and are only trying to provoke. All these things result in endless discussions between users which only adds text to the database and are completely useless to everyone except for the ones involved on the discussion/slaughter.

I only hope this doesn't cause any more abandonments.

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 01:58 AM
Best of luck with the book mate

Cant say I blame you one bit.

Take care


posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 02:02 AM
Best of luck in all your future ventures.


Thank you for all the hard work that you have contributed to our forum. Keep in touch ok?

[edit on 1-4-2008 by Dulcimer]

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 04:20 AM
Sad news about you not being around as much JR

But... good news about the book
go for it. I am a frustrated writer myself, have been writing a particular piece of fiction for about 6 years but for some reason I can't finish it. Stepping back from the board and giving yourself some time to get into it may well be the boost you need.

Do stay in touch though. As for the points you raised, they are very very valid and hopefully everyone who reads this will understand and ATS can address them in a positive manner.

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 04:21 AM
All the best in your endeavors and with the book..!


posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 04:34 AM
Also all the best to you, Jeff.

While i understand your reasons, it's sad to see you leave.

Anyway, remember that a massive fly over event is about to occur and we may need your expertise again

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 05:07 AM
May your unidentified craft fly straight, and all of your pictures clear up to crystal clarity.

Fly well my friend. You'll be missed here.


posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 05:30 AM
Sad news Jeff, i always thought your posts were fantastic and the obvious work you put into examining images and the explanations provided were second to none. Your analysis will be missed

Good luck with the book, hope ATS can shamelessly plug it given the effort you have put in in the past

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 05:40 AM
reply to post by jritzmann

Hi Jeff,
I wish you all that you wish for yourself in life and when the book hit's the shops there will certainly be a copy of it finding a home on my bookshelfs.

I also want to thank-you for the time and interest you took in my 'abduction experience' ... you helped more than you will ever know by asking Allen Greenfield to take a look at it ... much appreciated. There are a few more details I'd like your input on so I'll contact you at some point via email.

I know ATS will survive without you but your absence will leave a big void ... this is a sad day my friend but good luck in all you do.


posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 06:49 AM
Mr Ritzmann, it's a sad, sad day when such a respected member leaves ATS, even if the primary reason is to pursue other projects. Your logical, balanced and incisive input will be a great loss.

Forgive me for saying this, but without additions such as yours on the UFO discussion boards, it kind of feels like the bastions of rationality have crumbled a little more.

With the sheer plethora of creative writing and fantasy we are seeing, together with a growing, bloody-minded attitude mixing with blanket refusals to accept transparent truths regarding most explainable sightings, bizarre accounts and blurry photos, I understand your reasoning completely, and sympathize immensley.
Frankly, I can't blame you.

Indeed, I respect your stance.

But it does feel like the wolves will now begin to close in, sensing our ranks are weakened.

In my opinion, the fringes of the UFO community will never accept cogent arguement. To do so is to almost relinquish, in some cases, a mind-set that borders on religious conviction. To contribute to these boards is a privelege, a rare opportunity to add relevant opinion and balanced viewpoints.

Well, that's how I look on it.

On the other hand, many will dearly hold onto the belief that they need to be part of what they may well view as an exciting, comforting, supportive community. To do that, and therefore be accepted, they have to offer something, anything, that will indicate they truly belong.

To deny, or contest, these offerings is tantamount to questioning their testimony of faith. When this occurs, the resulting anger and frustration encountered is nothing more than the refusal of sense, manifesting as an uncomfortably personal revelation and painful reminder, for them, that they are on the outside looking in.

We should also not forget the malicious hoaxer, bored teenager, or enthused writer etc. who all seek to try and fool ATS on a regular basis. Again, to subject them and their "work" to a rebuttal often triggers aggresive or, even more bizarrely, evangelical responses, as we have seen time and time again. How many of these occasions have elicited denial of guilt unconciously camouflaged as aggrievement?

I often wonder if they even expected to feel such emotions when finally caught out.

It is important to question these people, and distance one's self from their motives if deemed dubious or problematic, as you have, because IMO it is dangerous not to. This may well sound like I am dismissing each and every seemingly fictitious piece of information that can be read on ATS.
I am not.
Somewhere in the slurry pile may well be a diamond. But it's incredibly important to use common sense and intelligence to aid the filtering process.

Though I am only a small contributor to these boards, I read them voraciously. Their content will be diluted by your absence.

Good luck with the book. As a struggling writer, I know how difficult a labour of love each page is, so I wish you God speed and flying, insightful typing fingers.

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 06:54 AM
reply to post by jritzmann

IMO, this thread of yours should have been enough to put any critics of yours to rest regarding your "debunker" status. I think few new members actually realized that you are a believer yourself. Albeit, a skeptical believer. All too often people fall in the believer vs. non-believer camps, sometimes forgetting all the shades in between and falsely given credit where it is undue. (i.e. Meiers and co.)

I do hope that the 3 amigos will continue to send the most important cases to your Conspiracy Master forum and hopefully give you a hand when it's time to promote your book.

Good luck in all your endeavors Jeff. I can say I've really enjoyed all of your posts.

[edit on 1/4/08 by ConspiracyNut23]

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 07:18 AM
All the best Jeff, Hope that you visit now and then to say hello.

posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 07:23 AM
Jeff, it's been an honor and a pleasure to have associated with you here at ATS. Your reasonable approach has been most welcome. I will be glad for what was, and not let what we have lost, be uppermost in my thoughts, though your presence will be sorely missed.

I doubt you know how many people really support you and your refusal to compromise your standards, no matter what. Often it must have seemed as if you were not appreciated, because the most noise came from those with the loosest wheels. Perhaps your supporters should have come to your defense with more enthusiasm. Let me therefore apologize for my own lack of insight that this was needed.

But, that is what has been, and we must focus on the morrow. I wish you the very best with your book, and at the very least, notice when it comes out. I believe that it will be as honest as the writer himself, no matter the subject.

With best wishes for all the roads you may travel, and in the hope that our paths will again cross one fine day, I salute you and bid you a fond farewell.


posted on Apr, 1 2008 @ 07:33 AM
Wow your post almost needed chapters. I guess you are in book writing mode
I hope for great success in wherever life takes you next.

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