Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Debate Final: Ian McLean vs Skyfloating: Extra Terrestrial Psy Ops?

page: 1
20

log in

join

posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 12:52 PM
link   
The topic for this debate is “The UFO/Alien Phenomena Is A Government Perpetuated Hoax.”

Ian McLean will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Skyfloating will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There is a 10,000 character limit per post.

Any character count in excess of 10,000 will be deleted prior to the judging process.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each individual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.

Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

This Is The Time Limit Policy:

Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.

In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.




posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 12:25 PM
link   
"The UFO/Alien Phenomena Is A Government Perpetuated Hoax"

It's amazing to think that only 100 years ago, the term "UFO" did not exist. "Alien" meant a human being with citizenship from another country, a usage that in today's world seems increasingly bizarre. How the times have changed!

In the 20th and early 21st century, the subjects of UFOs and extra-terrestrials underwent an exponential increase in the both the popular culture, and academic study. To what can we attribute this phenomena?

A complete study is, unfortunately, beyond the brief limits of this discussion and debate. Besides the innumerable 'case studies' and personal testimonials this subject has evoked, thousands of books have written; documentaries, movies, conventions and papers - there exist an incredible interconnected network of contention, debate, contradiction, and reasoning both meticulous and imaginative.

Agendas exist. Nothing, it seems, is separable or definitively answerable. Every specific topic yields another dozen avenues of investigation. Frankly, it's all a little daunting. As someone who does not claim to be an 'expert', with decades spent studying this, I can only hope to give a fair and adequate summary overview.

Perhaps a fresh approach is best here. We are dealing with a field that has been deliberately polluted with false information, reports, and conjecture. The truth has been, with somewhat appalling success, twisted and even concocted whole-cloth, forming what is a maze of twisted paths of possible belief, a minefield of deception.

This is the unfortunate 'Postmodern Truth' of the UFO/Alien Phenomena:


The hallmark of postmodern philosophy has been disbelief or skepticism of all "metanarratives," or translations of reality. Postmodernism has even turned its profound skepticism on such important humanist concepts as "objective truth" and reason.

Yet, for a deconstructionist postmodern society, individually we are still riddled with superstition and gullibility, and open to manipulation through our belief systems as any politician, philosopher, clergy, or salesperson will attest.
[1]


 


The format of this discussion is a debate, and I'm sure my esteemed friend Skyfloating will help us examine this subject, from whatever opposing perspective may be necessary to balance our investigations.

There's no need for 'clever tricks' of rhetoric or strategy here. This subject is broad, the concepts are explainable, the supporting evidence is vast (perhaps even, at times, too vast). Why deal with tricks and traps, when the subject matter, unfortunately, has those built-in, for us to untangle? We'll look past that.

So with that in mind, a brief outline of my case:

The current 'UFO/Alien' phenomena is not a naturally occurring culture structure. With strong roots in mythology and human psychology, the attractive perception of the subject matter, born into popular spotlight by early 20th century science-fiction (Jules Verne, HG Wells), and incubated in the environment of the Cold War, has increased 1000-fold from its origin.

The 'culturization' of this phenomena will be examined, and we will see exactly what benefits can be derived from such manipulation, as well as some of the specific 'truth-building' mechanisms thereof.

I will not pretend to have the 'final truth' of secret government agenda, but I will recount the many and varied effects of concealment and deception, and the supporting evidence, and I believe you will be convinced of the solid foundation on which this position is built.

The means to perpetrate this hoax cannot be overlooked. Can a complete 'air-tight' conspiracy exist, and does it have to? What documented government efforts, vast even in the scope we can see from public records, point to such? Where do small kernels of truth still gleam though this eye-watering facade, and what has the reaction been?

In short, we will look at this hoax, the sad effect it has had on honest pursuit of truth, and perhaps gain a little understanding of ourselves, our social psychology, and how we, as a species, can move beyond such deceit and deception. We must 'thaw' the Cold War of the mind.


 


I want to make one thing clear, up front. UFO = Unidentified Flying Object. It doesn't necessarily imply 'alien spacecraft', although in the popular culture, it does. Exactly why that line has been blurred will be a topic of this debate, but I'm not going to play games of ambiguity with the subject.

And I'm also not going to say "aliens don't exist". Maybe that somehow 'hurts' an absolute stance of this side of the debate, but I don't care. That wouldn't be intellectually honest of me. There are some who contend that in all this vast universe we humans are the only intelligent life, and all doubt of that without 100% total proof is 'silly'. While I do respect the need for consistent logic and evidence, I think such a stance is closed-minded and counter-productive.

Perhaps some ancient peoples really did see more in the sky than comets, ball lightning, auroras, and 'swamp gas'. Myself, I personally believe that there is very specific and convincing evidence that ancient astronomy was much more advanced than we give it credit for. People thought the world was flat, until the middle ages? That's bunk! We must be careful to distinguish between actual history, and historical reinterpretation, where 'modern ideas' and context are used to reinterpret and relabel the past.

Fortunately, we're not dealing directly with all such specifics here; we're looking at how the issues have been formed and used, deliberately, and I hope we can keep open minds on all levels.


 


Then let's begin. Before I get into discussing the black budget, paperclip, military compartmentalization, etc., I'd like to take a little bit closer look at the phenomena of belief, and allow my opponent to make his opening statement.

So I'll keep this brief, and begin this topic by presenting for open inspection one of the most misused tools in the rhetorical kit: Occam's Razor.

Also called the 'Law of Parsimony', it's often mis-stated as: "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best". That is a horrible mis-statement, in my opinion, as it assumes that one possesses a complete and adequate viewpoint from which to judge what is 'equal', and what all the options and possible truths are. In the modern world, truth can be much more subtle, and Occam's Razor can be used to eliminate and ignore valid objection, when arguing from an absolute stance that accepts a certain viewpoint as the only 'obvious and correct' way of organizing facts and evidence.

There's a better phrasing of Occam's Razor: what Occam actually said.


"entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem", roughly translated as "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity"
[2]

As an aside, some historical perspective may be attained by contrasting the two versions of Occam's Razor as applied to religious arguments. Is it 'simpler' to posit, by parsimony alone, an entity that by virtue of its very existence answers and eliminates a multitude of questions?

To relate this to the topic at hand, I ask my opponent the following Socratic Questions:

SQ1: Does the government have secret technology, in advance of the public state-of-the-art?
SQ2: Does the military conduct large, proactive projects to conceal their capabilities?
SQ3: What do you suppose William of Occam would say about this subject?


 


I now hand the floor to my opponent, with respect and thanks for his participation. My thanks to ATS for this venue, and a special shout-out to MemoryShock, who has organized and moderated this tournament - great job!

May the readers enjoy.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 01:31 PM
link   
Government Officials entering my bedroom at night and inserting probes into my…?

An Overview


UFOlogy entertains a broad range of theories as to the origins of UFOs & Alien Abduction accounts:

*UFOs are natural phenomena or mistaken/misunderstood perceptions
* UFOs are extraterrestrial craft
* UFOs are interdimensional and/or time-travelling craft
* UFOs are secret military and government craft
* UFOs are a secret government perpetuated psyops hoax
* UFOs are a psycho-spiritual event
* UFOs are from inside the earth
* UFOs are all of the above

My debate opponent will choose to narrow it down to only one explanation.

I will argue that the other explanations or the mixes thereof, are more likely.

I and many others on ATS have entertained each of these ideas one time or another. In my early twenties I was attracted to the idea my opponent will be arguing. I even wrote an article entitled: "UFOs: A social engineering project?"

I have meanwhile dismissed the UFO-Psyops idea though, realizing it was born from the most negatively delusional and paranoid vision of my fellow humans. I also lacked any sort of evidence for it, despite eagerly searching. It is highly unlikely that military men have nothing better to do than to don alien suits, sneak into peoples bedrooms at night and pretend to be aliens inserting probes into intimate areas of my body.

If my opponent does his research, he will probably be citing:

1. The Haines Report: This is a report on the CIA having researched the UFO Phenomenon since the 1940s. It does not prove that the CIA created UFOlogy, it proves that it was interested in UFOlogy.

2. Project Paperclip. This refers to the U.S. Government providing sanctuary to Nazi scientists after WWII. It does not refer to Psy-Ops or the non-existence of Aliens or UFOs.

3. Black Budget. This refers to Billions spent by the U.S. but the money going unaccounted for. The existence of a black budget says that secrets exist. These secrets can but dont have to refer to any of the things mentioned in my list above.

After more than five decades of examining and weighing different theories against each other, the majority of serious investigators and UFOlogists have concluded the following (with slight variations in each "camp"):

80% of reported unidentified flying objects are natural phenomena or aircraft mistaken as unknown and/or new and/or not-yet-public military aircraft.

20% remain unexplained and could very well be of extraterrestrial or extradimensional origin.

As for the Phenomena of reported encounters with aliens, witness sightings of alien beings and reports of alien abduction there is an increasing amount of evidence that these are in fact subjective or semi-subjective psycho-spiritual events. One camp would define this as hallucinations/delusions/fantasies and another camp would define this as special-case perceptions made in altered states of consciousness. Whatever the case may be, both camps agree on the interconnectedness to psychological or spiritual phenomena. We will also include this possibility within our debate.

Socratic Questions to my opponent:

1. Do you think that many of these well-known UFOlogists are not actually enthusiastic researchers and pioneers for humanity but sinister and shady government employees with an evil agenda?

2. Do you think that our favourite UFO-Book publishers are not actually independent and small press but rather government owned fakes?

3. Do you think that these abduction-experiences countless witnesses have reported on do not refer to psychological or extraterrestrial phenomena but rather to the activities of government employees?

4. Do you admit that the Debate-Topic contains the word ALIEN and that you are therefore arguing that there are no aliens involved in the UFO/Alien phenomena whatsoever?

5. Do you agree that discounting other possibilities...such as UFOs = natural/mistaken phenomena, extraterrestrias, etc...is a bit closed-minded?


And to answer my opponents socratic questions:



SQ1: Does the government have secret technology, in advance of the public state-of-the-art?
SQ2: Does the military conduct large, proactive projects to conceal their capabilities?
SQ3: What do you suppose William of Occam would say about this subject?


Answer to 1: Yes it does. It is kept secret for two reasons: a) To hord power (to have an advantage over perceived enemies) and b) for security reasons (to prevent perceived enemies from getting hold of the technology). There is no indication that it is used to taunt the populace.

Answer to 2: Yes it does. For the same reasons stated above.

Answer to 3: William Occam would say that too many things have to be believed first, before even considering your theory. Thousands of our fellow humans would have to be involved in a grand-scale cover-up.
Occam would admit that it is more likely that UFOs are a mix of natural phenomena, mistaken aircraft and psychological phenomena.

I´d like to end my opening by stating I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be debating this specific tough opponent in this fantastic Forum with this expert readership.



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 12:30 PM
link   
I believe my opponent has missed the direction of this debate. He has deferred to unspecified experts - "serious investigators and UFOlogists" - and provided an attempt at categorizing various individual testimonials as 'phenomena', but has ignored the topic:

"The UFO/Alien Phenomena"

The UFO/Alien Phenomena is a meme that has entered our popular culture in the past century. It is a system of beliefs and perceptions which form, shape, and categorize consensus thought and views of reality. That is what I am addressing as the primary topic here.

While I respect the detail that my opponent has begun to bring, we must not lose sight of the larger picture. Too often, I have seen reasonable, credible explanations discarded by various 'debunking tactics' - tactics which, unfortunately, my opponent has employed in his opening statement:
  • Appeal to authority ("serious investigators") as the only credible source of reason and conclusion
  • Demands for proof of the unprovable, and use of such as a justification for discarding evidence
  • The part disproves the whole: narrow the topic to the smallest component, hammer doubt into it, and use that as basis for discarding the whole as 'inconsistent'
My opponent wishfully claims I "will choose to narrow" our investigation and explanation. Rather, I choose to keep this discussion at the appropriate scope, focusing on detail and the larger agenda. Let us not ignore the forest for the trees, or be lost in the woods.


 


We continue looking at belief with regard to the UFO/Alien Phenomena. The key salient feature, which my opponent would have us ignore, is the disconnect between the general public's view of this phenomena, and those he calls "serious investigators".

Sadly, the public often calls these "serious investigators" by another name: "crackpots".

To the majority, the UFO/Alien Phenomena is this:
  • There is no proof or solid evidence of extra-terrestrials, or alien interaction with humans
  • UFOs are misidentified aircraft, unusual weather phenomena, or delusions
  • Any proof otherwise will be obvious and widely acknowledged, and that hasn't happened yet
  • UFO/Alien believers are embracing what they want to believe, thus seeing what they want to see
  • 'UFO-folk' also have a myriad of other strange ideas and theories, further evidence of their disconnect from reality
This distance between the "truth seeking" fringe and the general public is dangerously dichotomous: you can either be 'rational', and agree with the general consensus, or relegated to the non-mainstream, with implications of amusing mental illness, paranoia, delusions. Certainly not to be taken seriously. There is precious little middle ground.

This phenomena is pervasive. To exemplify this, I've simply done a google current news search for "ufo alien", and I present these two news articles excerpts, from today's papers:


It happens a lot, these days. To nice, ordinary people who just happen to be outside in the early evening. They look up... and there it is... some sort of glimmering, shaking, moving thing... bright and big... did it just change color?

This unsuspecting average man or woman has just seen a UFO. Don't worry. As far as I know, little alien critters from Neptune have not yet made their way into the Earth's atmosphere. But a couple of planets can easily masquerade as what many people think of as a classic "flying saucer."
[1]


For many witnesses, the desire to conceal what they saw for fear of ridicule was matched only by the urge to reveal it in order to connect with a larger shared experience. The only people who seemed to understand what the witnesses were going through were a handful of UFO investigators, who took the reports seriously, recording every detail the witness could recall.
[2]


And there we have it. The effects of the UFO/Alien Phenomena:
  • A broad umbrella, under which many experiences may be placed
  • Establishes fear of expression for individuals with experiences
  • Ensures non-serious perception by general public of such individuals, unreliable
  • Overall, seen by general public as 'amusing', not cause for concern
As we continue, I'll show the benefit of these effects to various agencies and agendas, as well as some of the means by which this phenomena is propagated and encouraged.


 


Questions for Skyfloating:

SQ1: Why is there such disparity and inconsistency in reports of UFO and 'alien encounter' experiences?
SQ2: Given, as you say, "countless" abduction experiences, why has no forensic evidence of extraterrestrial biology been recovered?
SQ3: Why is paranoia and other 'fringe belief' so often associated with those who report UFO/Alien experiences?
SQ4: Why do the public's political representatives not investigate or acknowledge specific UFO/Alien reports?


 



Do you admit that the Debate-Topic contains the word ALIEN and that you are therefore arguing that there are no aliens involved in the UFO/Alien phenomena whatsoever?

Yes, and no. Yes, the topic is "The UFO/Alien Phenomena". No, your 'therefore' is flawed. If this were the 1970's, and we were discussing "The Star Wars Phenomena", would you contend someone must prove that the Deathstar doesn't really exist? Of course we aren't discussing a movie, but the 'movie' in this case is the shared public belief-network that has been created by the UFO/Alien phenomena.

You ask me to prove an unprovable hypothesis: that aliens have never interacted with humans. That cannot be done. An analogy for you: just because one observes 1000 Transcendental Meditationalists attempting to 'levitate' by merely flapping their legs, does that 'prove' levitation is impossible? Isn't it still possible that some enlightened master on a mountaintop somewhere has achieved the real deal? Could you prove that hasn't happened?



Do you think that these abduction-experiences countless witnesses have reported on do not refer to psychological or extraterrestrial phenomena but rather to the activities of government employees?

Often. I contend that government interests have utilized and perpetuated the 'UFO/Alien Phenomena' for cover and covert purpose. However, this need not be done directly by government employees.

And you again present an unreasonable dichotomy in your question: it is obvious that such activities would involve psychological means and effect; the contrast you paint is logically false.



Do you think that our favourite UFO-Book publishers are not actually independent and small press but rather government owned fakes?

No. There's no need for direct ownership, when occasional influence and coordination of disparate entities would suffice. There is fairly comprehensive evidence of government initiative and involvement in exactly such media-control techniques.

I will point out an implicit piece of evidence, that you admit in your question: the fact that there are topic-specific 'UFO-Book' publishers. Isn't it peculiar that this subject, even in serious study, has been relegated to a fringe, not only in public perception but in the media outlets that deign to address it? What are the effects, in terms of compartmentalizing and shaping the public's views, of such a structure? Think about it.



Do you think that many of these well-known UFOlogists are not actually enthusiastic researchers and pioneers for humanity but sinister and shady government employees with an evil agenda?

Yes, with qualification. First, could you possible load any more opinionated connotations into your question? 'enthusiastic' 'pioneers' versus 'sinister' 'shady' and 'evil' - really now, I appreciate you trying to paint your side of the argument, but that's prosaic overload.

Stripped of rhetorical device, what your asking is: Do I believe there are 'disinfo agents' in the UFO community? My answer is yes: the level of sophistication that has been seen in various hoaxes and flights of fancy is strong evidence of such. There also appear, at times, levels of coordination that go well beyond what would be expected from the emergent coordination of truth-seeking individuals.

Are the agents of these efforts 'government employees'? While I believe that possible, I am not convinced that is necessarily true. Consider, for example, the various covert media-influence efforts we have seen in political campaigns, during this US election cycle. Such efforts are a specialized field of expertise contracted to private industry (for example, these guys). Concealed manipulation of public opinion is not a new science.



Do you agree that discounting other possibilities...such as UFOs = natural/mistaken phenomena, extraterrestrials, etc...is a bit closed-minded?

Of course. Personally, I tend to take any opportunity to wax rhetorical about open-mindedness, but here, I don't see the relevance of 'close-mindedness' to the topic at hand. Perhaps you could clarify your accusations, etc.?

Let me clear things up a bit for you: There's no need for exclusion of conjecture. A hoax is a hoax even if there is potential truth in its basis. In fact, such hoaxes are often the most powerful forms of deceit.

Consider cold fusion. A moderately competent physicist could rather easily concoct a superficially convincing 'demonstration' of room-temperature fusion, that on closer inspection would be revealed by experts as a hoax, generating controversy and ambiguity. Would the fact of that hoax prove that room-temperature fusion does not exist? And if a subsequent experiment validly proved that it did, in fact, exist, would that make the first 'demonstration' any less of a hoax?



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 01:58 PM
link   
Introducing the Interdimensional and Psycho-Spiritual Theory

Forum restraints allow me to only give a brief introduction of this theory, but it should suffice to show the debate judges that this stuff is not proposed by mumbo-jumbo armchair UFOlogists.

Introducing Jacques Vallee


Jacques F. Vallée, Ph.D., (September 24, 1939) is a French-born venture capitalist, computer scientist, ufologist and former astronomer, currently residing in San Francisco, CA. In mainstream science, Vallee is notable for co-developing the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA, and for his work at SRI International in creating ARPANET, a precursor to the modern Internet. Vallee is also an important figure in the study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), first noted for a defense of the scientific legitimacy of the extraterrestrial hypothesis and later for promoting the Interdimensional hypothesis.


In his last post my opponent referred to UFOlogists as “crackpots”. This is a debate-mistake on his side, because most of the well-known UFOlogists do not lack credentials. He has also accused me of referring to “unspecified experts”…some of which are herby specified.

So here´s a co-inventor of the internet, who first proposed the ET-Hypothesis and then later went on to factor in interdimensional and psychological aspects of UFOlogy:


In May 1955, Vallée first sighted an unidentified flying object over his Pontoise home. Six years later in 1961, while working on the staff of the French Space Committee, Vallée witnessed the destruction of the tracking tapes of unknown objects orbiting the earth. These events contributed to Vallée's long-standing interest in the UFO phenomenon.

In the mid-1960s, like many other UFO researchers, Vallée initially attempted to validate the popular Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (or ETH). Leading UFO researcher Jerome Clark[4] argues that Vallée's first two UFO books were among the most scientifically sophisticated defenses of the ETH ever mounted.

However, by 1969, Vallée's conclusions had changed, and he publicly stated that the ETH was too narrow and ignored too much data. Vallée began exploring the commonalities between UFOs, cults, religious movements, angels, ghosts, cryptid sightings, and psychic phenomena. These links were first detailed in Vallee's third UFO book, Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers.

1

Vallee:




Another less well-known proponent of this theory is the renegade UFOlogist Gregory Little.

For space reasons I will not detail his research here but highly recommend his book Grand Illusions: The Spectral Reality Underlying UFO Abductions

Greg Little:




Another early debate-mistake has made is to claim I have missed the topic of the debate…the Alien/UFO Phenomena. Does any reader or judge think that my opening post is about anything other than Aliens & UFOs?

The next debate-mistake Ian McLean makes (strangely enough, for such a seasoned debater) is to ramble on about there being no proof for the phenomena, UFO-Believers being disconnected from reality, etc.

While we`ve all heard the skeptics stance many times…what does this stance have to do with the side he is supposed to be arguing? Shoudnt he be arguing that UFOs/Aliens are a psyops-mind-control-conspiracy? And is this conspiracy-theory not one of the most far-out fringe theories available? So instead of arguing this fringe-idea (as the debate title commands) he plays the skeptic and calls UFOlogists “crackpots”.

Ian McLean claims that the UFO Phenomena establishes fear of expression for individuals with experiences (along with other statements in a similar line). Unfortunately there´s no logic in this statement. It is not the UFO Phenomena that causes fear of expression in individuals, it is the ridicule they are exposed to by society


And to answer Ians questions:


SQ1: Why is there such disparity and inconsistency in reports of UFO and 'alien encounter' experiences?
SQ2: Given, as you say, "countless" abduction experiences, why has no forensic evidence of extraterrestrial biology been recovered?
SQ3: Why is paranoia and other 'fringe belief' so often associated with those who report UFO/Alien experiences?
SQ4: Why do the public's political representatives not investigate or acknowledge specific UFO/Alien reports?


Answer 1: Comparitive UFOlogy has established that most abduction accounts are quite similar. See for example Whitley Striber and Budd Hopkins, who collected such accounts for decades. Interestingly, most of them happen at night, in peoples bedrooms (which is an indicator that we may be dealing with a psycho-spiritual event). It has also established that the typical UFO looks like a silver disc. At
www.ufoevidence.org you can view hundreds of UFO-Pictures most of which have this commonality.

Answer 2: Maybe because it is actually a psycho-spiritual phenomenon, rather than a physical one. That’s my take on it. But other UFOlogists would say that such evidence has been obtained but removed/covered-up.

Answer 3: Because experiencing something that is not accepted by mainstream science and society at large tends to induce distrust (paranoia) towards the establishment in the person who has experienced. Greetings from Occam.

Answer 4: They do. See the “Haines Report” for example. The CIA has been studying this for awhile now. Did you know that The Irish Army eyed UFOs for 37 years?. Many governments have have investigated UFOs.

Near the end of his post, Ian McLean finally (after lots and lots of talk) makes a small step toward defending his case – albeit shyly:


I contend that government interests have utilized and perpetuated the 'UFO/Alien Phenomena' for cover and covert purpose. However, this need not be done directly by government employees.


You are sounding like an evasive politician Ian, so let me ask you straightly, in my first Socratic Question:

SQ1: What are your three main pieces of evidence that the Alien/UFO Phenomena is a Government psyops operation?

We´re already midway in the debate and have yet to see any “meat” on UFO-psyops.

SQ2: Considering that UFOs have been sighted all over the world, and UFO-Books are published in almost every country, are you saying that many other Governments are also in on the conspiracy you
propose?

One important point: My opponent talks of the manipulation of public opinion. However, this argument goes both ways and can also be used to support my side of the debate. Therefore:


SQ3: If we pretend for a moment that ETs are visiting us and the government wishes to cover this up for whatever reason – do you think it would employ disinfo agents in this case?


In his last post Ian admitted that narrowing the field down to “UFOs are a government perpetuated psy-operation” would indeed be closed-minded. In other words, he is saying:

“What I am arguing in this debate, is closed-minded”.

Maybe that’s why he is hesitant to provide any case for it.

We have not been shown how UFOs/Aliens are a government-operation.
It is more likely that UFOs are either natural/mistaken phenomena, psychological-phenomena or extraterrestrial phenomena


Mod Edit: In Excess of the allotted ten sentences of external sourcing removed.

[edit on 2-11-2008 by MemoryShock]



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 12:30 PM
link   
Thank you Skyfloating.


I have much to present in this reply; I will continue my case and address afterwords, as necessary, my opponent's questions and vehement argument. First, there is one rather brash question I will get out of the way:


What are your three main pieces of evidence that the Alien/UFO Phenomena is a Government psyops operation?

You are welcome to view the evidence and reasoning I present, as I present it. I will choose how to structure my case, thank you. Please comment and rebut as you see fit. At the end of this debate, you, and of course the readers and judges, may determine the efficacy of my presentation, both overall and in specific.


 


My opponent would like, in discussing the perpetuation of the UFO/Alien phenomena, to equate the terms 'hoax' and 'psyop', muddying the waters of method and subject. But there is nothing unprecedented or unbelievable about the mechanisms by which governments have covertly spread disinformation and manipulated media. In fact such efforts have at times been well-documented:


According to Alex Constantine (Mockingbird: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA), in the 1950s, "some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts". Wisner was also able to restrict newspapers from reporting about certain events.
[1]


Psychological Warfare From the Outside: The FBI and police used myriad other "dirty tricks" to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists.
[2]

While these activities of the CIA and FBI have been declassified and documented, more clandestine military intelligence agencies such as the DIA, NRO, and NSA have received significantly less media attention.

These government conspiracies (and yes, we may safely label them conspiracies) did not require the knowing cooperation of those perpetuating and effecting the hoaxes called for by their agendas. Instead, complex networks of suggestion, influence, and hidden purpose allowed the formation of a concerted propaganda effort, while reinforcing deniable and the illusion of a 'free press'.

To see how this is in effect today, refer again to the example I gave in my last reply:
www.grassroots.com...

Consider carefully what they mean by 'stakeholder', 'multipliers', and 'personalized content'. The technology involved allows coordination of a media campaign to shape public opinion, utilizing individuals and organizations as assets to project various facets of a larger agenda. Influence to assets can be 'personalized', presenting specific and isolated motivation, coordinated within a larger marketing plan unknown to the individual 'stakeholders'.

If that's the publicly-available technology, what might those who don't want to advertise their capabilities have up their sleeves? The best way to 'win' an opinion war is to control all sides, and in fact make the very existence of the war itself your victory.


 


With the means of perpetuation established, let's briefly touch upon an example of a nefarious motive: covert human experimentation.

In opening statements, we briefly mentioned Operation Paperclip, a post-WWII government program purposed with incorporating and benefiting from scientific assets of the Nazi regime. The foundation of many of the technologies of the American space program on the works of Nazi-sponsored expertise is an open and somewhat shameful secret. I will not go in to the 'Nazi UFO' photographs and research here, but suffice it to say that the US military also benefited greatly from Operation Paperclip.

But the real relevance is this: allied governments were quite willing to benefit from the fruits of such amorality, because it was felt the perceived ends justified the means. The same types of human experiments that the Nazis implemented were of interest to all governments.

The MKULTRA program sought to develop mind-control and hypnosis techniques, and drugs and technology with the same effects. A very brief example:


Division is devoted to the discovery of the following materials and methods:
1. Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.
8. Materials and physical methods which will produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use.
[3]

And, of course, field testing is a necessary and continuous part of such processes:


However, that part which involves human testing at effective dose levels presents security problems which cannot be handled by the ordinary contractor.
[3]

That is just the tip of a very large iceberg. The citation limitations of the debate rules prevent me from quoting more, but the source material is immense: decades of DOD testing on unwitting soldiers, revelations of genetically-targeted biological weapons, surreptitious tests of chemical contamination on water supplies, dioxin experiments on State prisoners, release by the military of infected mosquitoes on civilian populations, charting the spread of disease. It just goes on and on.

Chillingly, the argument that has won the day within government is: it needs to go on. And if the public objects to being experimented upon, methods to thwart those objections will be developed, too.


 


Let's look again at the effects of the UFO/Alien phenomena, with particular thought towards abduction and 'alien experimentation' experiences:
  • A broad umbrella, under which many experiences may be placed
  • Establishes fear of expression for individuals with experiences
  • Ensures non-serious perception by general public of such individuals, unreliable
  • Overall, seen by general public as 'amusing', not cause for concern
Clearly, such a phenomena provides 'perfect cover' for covert experimentation upon targeted individuals. Within a cultivated and confusing ecology of varied reports, explanations, theories, and subjective accounts, such experimentation as deemed necessary can be performed. The victims of this, even if they overcome the immense pressures to remain silent, can be easily lumped into a 'lunatic fringe' that the public and mainstream media are all-to-eager to mock and dismiss.


 


My opponent mentions a very interesting subject which he labels 'psycho-spiritual theory'. I believe this is a valid subject; I have long been fascinated by how Jungian archetypes can give context to common human experience, flexibly casting metaphor into various forms and themes. I hope to have more space to discuss this further in future replies.

I ask one question of my opponent:

SQ1: Can individuals be psychologically led to experience 'psycho-spiritual events', cast within a particular desired context? For example, alien encounters. Please cite any references or recordings you feel appropriate.


 


Answers to questions presented by my opponent:



If we pretend for a moment that ETs are visiting us and the government wishes to cover this up for whatever reason – do you think it would employ disinfo agents in this case?

Most likely; there is a whole host of possible reasons why governments want to perpetuate and encourage hoaxes and actions of 'disinfo agents', giving rise to the tangle of indeterminable 'truth' that is the UFO/Alien Phenomena. I am focusing on some of the many examples where there is a clear and demonstrable motive. There may be others - and certainly are, if you are willing to pretend.

A quick question:

SQ2: Do the questions raised as to the motives of Dr Vallee, here, regardless of validity, highlight the point that within the UFO Community, who is an expert and what their motives may be has been turned into a morass of doubt and uncertainty?



Considering that UFOs have been sighted all over the world, and UFO-Books are published in almost every country, are you saying that many other Governments are also in on the conspiracy you propose?

The motivations and mechanisms I am presenting, through which governments encourage and perpetuate the UFO/Alien phenomena, are not necessarily specific to any one nation. Indeed, there is evidence of media manipulation in many counties, and there certainly do exist classified agreements between the governments, military organizations, and intelligence agencies of various countries.

Are you contending that individual accounts of UFO sightings and 'alien encounters', such as you are discussing, are evenly distributed world-wide? Or are they concentrated in various countries and regions? Informed readers can make their own determinations.



Did you know that The Irish Army eyed UFOs for 37 years?

Yes; I would imagine that every government interested in their nation security would be interested in, and alert to, unidentified objects in their airspace.



Shoudnt he be arguing that UFOs/Aliens are a psyops-mind-control-conspiracy? And is this conspiracy-theory not one of the most far-out fringe theories available?

The topic I am arguing and the case I am presenting is quite clear:

The UFO/Alien Phenomena Is A Government Perpetuated Hoax.



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 03:24 PM
link   
2. The case for historical UFOs

Did psyops-tech exist 500 years ago?

Proponents of the UFO = psyops Theory often refer to the government using advanced technology and to media-manipulation staged after 1947 (in which the first huge wave of UFOs is supposed to have occured). The UFO = Government Ops Theory is not only put in question by the many alternatives shown in my opening post, but also by the fact that unidentified flying objects have been around since hundreds if not thousands of years.

Do check out Pre-Modern Reports (UFO-Sightings 1870-1942) for examples of this. Only two excerpts (Debate Rules dont allow me to post more):



Pre-modern reports Before the terms "flying saucer" and "UFO" were coined in the late 1940s, there were a number of reports of unidentified aerial phenomena in the West. These reports date from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century. They include...



Shen Kuo (1031–1095), a Song Chinese government scholar-official and prolific polymath inventor and scholar, wrote a vivid passage in his Dream Pool Essays (1088) about an unidentified flying object. He recorded the testimony of eyewitnesses in 11th century Anhui and Jiangsu (especially in the city of Yangzhou), who stated that a flying object with opening doors would shine a blinding light from its interior (from an object shaped like a pearl) that would cast shadows from trees for ten miles in radius, and was able to take off at tremendous speeds.[5]


Furthermore there are hundreds of known depictions of unidentified flying objects in medieaval art, these are only two:



15th Century, Florence, Italy. Artist listed as unknown.



Haratonohama, Hitachi, Japan, 1803

For those who want further info on historical UFOs, there are many threads about this at ATS.

Fact: The Phenomenon existed before our government had advanced technology. It is therefore less likely that UFOs are soley government craft.

________________________________________

Formal Rebuttal of my Opponents Points

As you can see in the OP of this thread, the Debate Rules state:



When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.


I would like to formally put it on record here that my opponent has broken the debate rules by evading my Socratic Question "What are your three main pieces of evidence that the Alien/UFO Phenomena is a Government psyops operation?".

His answer was:



You are welcome to view the evidence and reasoning I present, as I present it. I will choose how to structure my case, thank you.


This is an evasion of a direct, clear-cut question. Refusing to answer it indicates that my debate-opponent does not indeed have any evidence to offer.

My opponent continues with citing well-known cases of manipulation of press and media by the government. This, at last, begins touching the subject...but not quite nailing it. Why?

1. Because the manipulation of media are also be used by proponents of my side of the argument ("They are covering up ETs")

2. Because the examples he cites are not actually UFO- or Alien-related.

Next in his line of argumentation, are real cases of experimentation on humans -also known as mind-control. The MK-Ultra project was indeed exposed and reported on by the major media in the early 70s and public outrage has indeed limited the governments ability to continue with their unethical "research".

While I appreciate MK & Co. as a valid conspiracy-theory, my opponent has yet to present any connection to the UFO/Alien-Phenomenon. If anything it is not entirely unthinkable that the idea of extraterrestrials, advanced technology and a universe teeming with life is a liberating concept to the psyche of humankind and therefore the exact opposite of the shadow-governments intentions who wish to impose mind-control on its citizens.

Although I have clearly shown its lack of logic in my last post, my opponent repeats the following nonsense:



Let's look again at the effects of the UFO/Alien phenomena, with particular thought towards abduction and 'alien experimentation' experiences:

A broad umbrella, under which many experiences may be placed Establishes fear of expression for individuals with experiences
Ensures non-serious perception by general public of such individuals, unreliable Overall, seen by general public as 'amusing', not cause for concern


I will repeat my rebuttal to this: Its not the UFO/Alien phenomena that establishes or causes fear of expression for individuals with experiences, it is the ridicule by skeptics, the media and even the government.

Ian McLean:



SQ1: Can individuals be psychologically led to experience 'psycho-spiritual events', cast within a particular desired context? For example, alien encounters. Please cite any references or recordings you feel appropriate.


Answer: This is a very good question. I personally believe it is possible to "be led to" certain perceptions under the use of advanced technology...but it would require extreme effort to uphold and an over-the-roof-budget. It would also require a high amount of people keeping a ghastly secret.
Many abductees however, have the impression of a genuine multidimensional experience. Vallee himself favours the multidimensional explanation toward the extraterrestrial or human-intervention hypothesis. Vallee-quotes were removed from my last post due to Debate-Rules but I encourage every reader to have a closer look at information on Vallee.

Ian McLean:



SQ2: Do the questions raised as to the motives of Dr Vallee, here, regardless of validity, highlight the point that within the UFO Community, who is an expert and what their motives may be has been turned into a morass of doubt and uncertainty?


It is true that the UFO Community is rife with researchers accusing each other of various things. This reflects the general uncertainty the UFO-Topic is still burdened with. You can google any Ufologists name and will easily find dirt about him from somewhere or other.

IanMcLean:



The motivations and mechanisms I am presenting, through which governments encourage and perpetuate the UFO/Alien phenomena


This wording is especially interesting because it doesnt define it doesnt clearly state that governments are creating the UFO-Phenomena, but encouraging it.

Interesting indeed. So time for another direct Socratic Question:

SQ1: Are you arguing that Governments are actively creating the UFO/Alien Phenomena, or that they are merely encouraging/twisting a Phenomena that is already there?

And more:

SQ2: Do you agree that the idea of a universe teeming with intelligent life and/or that we are not isolated and alone, is a rather inspirational idea for most?

SQ3: Do you agree that many things we see in the sky are either conventional aircraft, birds or natural phenomena (which we sometimes misperceive) and not at all related to mind-control?

SQ4: MKUltra was reported on by major media outlets (such as the NY Times). Doesnt this contradict the idea of media-secrecy in regards to mind-control?

SQ5: Do you concede that fear of expression of an abduction experience is not caused by the UFO/Alien Phenomena but by the ridicule associated with it in society?

Thank you for this, up to now, very stimulating debate.



posted on Nov, 4 2008 @ 01:00 PM
link   
We'll take a 24-hour break to observe the ongoing election.

Thanks.



posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 02:21 PM
link   
I thank my opponent for his efforts to provide actual evidence in his last reply. However, I will point out a contradiction: He has been claiming that UFOs and alien visitation are forms of 'psycho-spiritual' imagination, perhaps somehow 'made real' by belief, but not real enough that actual tangible evidence is ever left to analyze. Now, he seems to be claiming that they are very real, and accurately documented by these stories and paintings.

Which is is? If he is reversing his argument, I would request he go back and honestly answer my previous Socratic Questions, especially those regarding lack of tangible forensic evidence of alien biology and technology, and contradictions in abduction accounts. He cited 'psycho-spiritual' experience specifically in both of those answers, and now appears to be contradicting that explanation.

But let's look at the two drawings provided:

The first is "Madonna and Child" by Sebastiano Mainardi. Is my opponent claiming UFOs were spying on the Virgin Mary? And a Renaissance painter was eye-witness? In fact, as is near-universal with Madonna paintings, we are looking at religious imagery. What he claims to be a craft of some sort is also called a lightning-cloud, symbolic of God's Glory. This same device can be seen in many contemporaneous religious paintings. A comparison and explanation of the various symbolism is available here: [1]

The second drawing my opponent provides is from the storybook "Ume No Chiri", telling the tale of an encounter with foreign visitors on a beach outside a Japanese village. Even assuming the story is entirely true, and not a legend or folk tale as seems likely, nowhere does it state that particular object actually flew or propelled itself in any way. If it did, wouldn't one think the story might mention that? Neither are the visitors described as non-human. An description of "Ume No Chiri" is available here: [2]


 


My opponent's efforts highlight an important point, however. It is this: the human imagination is incredibly powerful. One need only look at ancient extrapolations of constellations as line-drawings of animals, objects, and human figures to see example of this.

The ability of humans to take natural phenomena and experiences, and fit them within a symbolic and mythological framework seems unlimited. Any symbolic framework - be it naturalism, religion, or science-fiction. It becomes 'real' to them.

So when my opponent asks (his SQ1), whether the framework of the UFO/Alien Phenomena is being created, or perpetuated, I answer: both.

Humans have long been fascinated with the stars and concepts of experiences beyond this Earth. At the turn of the last century, spurred by the invention of flying machines and technological advance, early science-fiction brought this speculation into a new era. From religion, into a new paradigm of aliens and UFOs.

The famously entertaining and alarming hoax of the 'War of The Worlds' radio broadcast helped cement this mythos into the public consciousness, and ushered in the 'Golden Age' of science-fiction. Creativity and imaginative speculation abounded.

And in the aftermath of World War, government interests sat up and took notice. As my opponent mentioned in his opening post, early intelligence-agency investigations into the phenomena of potential public belief in UFO/Aliens pointed to opportunity - there was even direct discussion of using the Disney company to create products reinforcing government-beneficial beliefs. Such discussion was quickly swept into secrecy.

The particular techniques of propagating the UFO/Alien Phenomena can generally be described as an abasement of the mass-psychology to selectively reinforced archetypes. This has the effect of creating a 'Chapel Perilous' of unprovable and contradictory belief, within which covert agenda and motivation may be hidden and control exerted.

To continue presenting my case, let's take a closer look at various government technologies and techniques of deception.


 


My opponent asks (his SQ4):


MKUltra was reported on by major media outlets (such as the NY Times). Doesnt this contradict the idea of media-secrecy in regards to mind-control?

No. The MKULTRA projects were, as I mentioned, the tip of a very large iceberg. Active research into these areas exists today; the information that Canadian courts were able to force to be declassified presents a slightly unguarded historical look and general introduction.

X-ray of primitive brain-implantation performed on an early MKULTRA victim

Although results and ongoing experimentation is often downplayed as simply 'desired capability' or eternally 'five years away', various hints can be found in the media. US News & World Reports reports on continuing military research into acoustic and electromagnetic weapons to put people to sleep, affect behavior, and create synchronized brain-wave patterns:


But these programs--particularly those involving antipersonnel research--are so well guarded that details are scarce. "People [in the military] go silent on this issue," says Slesin, "more than any other issue. People just do not want to talk about this."
[3]

The Naval Law Review presents a primer on various active 'non-lethal' weapon systems. Some include:


  • Incapacitating or Calmative Agents (biomedical agents that may be absorbed through the skin or delivered by airborne means designed to incapacitate)
  • Mind Control (subliminal visual and audio messages)
  • Obscurants (systems designed to disorient and to obscure observation)
  • Voice Synthesis/Morphing (system designed to produce the voice and image of an adversary used to deceive or gain access)
    [4]

  • "Air Force 2025" waxes on about the potential for brain-implanted soldiers, with virtual-reality implants creating immersive synthetic environments. Hints of classified reports from the Defense Technical Information Center exist, referring to the psyop usage of synthetic environments via psychotechnical methods. Interrogation targets are duped into believing the desired fake environment is 'real'.

    The United States Air Force Institute for National Security Studies discloses the terminology of various technologies:


  • Psycho-Correction: A technology invented by a Russian scientist that involves influencing subjects visually or aurally with imbedded subliminal messages
  • Neuro-Implant: Computer implants into the brain that allow for behavioral modification and control.
  • Hologram Prophet: The projection of the image of an ancient god over an enemy capital whose public communications have been seized and used against it in a massive psychological operation
  • Hologram Soldier Forces: The projection of soldier images that make an opponent think more allied forces exist than actually do, make an opponent believe that allied forces are located in a region where none actually exist, and/or provide false targets for his weapons to fire upon
  • Hologram Death: Hologram used to scare a target individual to death. Example: a drug lord with a weak heart sees the ghost of his dead rival appearing at his bedside and dies of fright
    [5]

  • Consider the process of developing these weapons. For accurate results of psychological and interrogatory technologies, unwitting, perhaps uncooperative human test subjects are required. How is this research need fulfilled? And how can such technologies be used to enable and perpetuate the UFO/Alien Phenomena?


     


    Questions for my opponent, to clear up some ambiguities:

    SQ1: Are UFOs of extra-terrestrial origin visiting Earth, and on what do you base that belief?
    SQ2: Are extra-terrestrials abducting people, and on what do you base that belief?
    SQ3: How does one distinguish fact from fantasy and folk tales, when examining history?
    SQ4: Does the government secretly manipulate public opinion?


     


    Answers to my opponent's remaining Socratic Questions:


    Do you concede that fear of expression of an abduction experience is not caused by the UFO/Alien Phenomena but by the ridicule associated with it in society?

    I contend that the UFO/Alien Phenomena is the complete phenomena of the various beliefs and expressions of such experiences, and the forms into which they are cast. The polarized disparity, contradictory viewpoints, emotional vitriol, unprovability, and lack of consensus which have been perpetuated give rise to such ridicule. It is part and parcel of the phenomena.


    Do you agree that many things we see in the sky are either conventional aircraft, birds or natural phenomena (which we sometimes misperceive) and not at all related to mind-control?

    Obviously, there are many consistently explainable objects in the skies. However, I am not completely convinced that some pigeons are not dabbling in mind-control.



    Do you agree that the idea of a universe teeming with intelligent life and/or that we are not isolated and alone, is a rather inspirational idea for most?

    I won't assume to speak for the majority, but personally, I think so. I can understand how the idea of aliens scares the hell out of some people, though. One of my favorite movies is Contact; I find it quite inspiring, and I admit, I wish it were real. Were I to have a personal abduction experience to relate, I would like to think I would be able to clearly separate my desires and beliefs from objective expression, but I realize that isn't always possible.



    posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 06:41 PM
    link   
    Deconstructing my Opponents Elaborations

    Before I continue building my case, I would like to address the points brought up by Ian McLean:


    I will point out a contradiction: He has been claiming that UFOs and alien visitation are forms of 'psycho-spiritual' imagination, perhaps somehow 'made real' by belief, but not real enough that actual tangible evidence is ever left to analyze. Now, he seems to be claiming that they are very real, and accurately documented by these stories and paintings. Which is it?


    This so-called „contradiction“ was announced in my opening post. I explained that there are many different theories which are more likely than the UFO = a government hoax theory, and I listed them. In my second post I provided an example of the psycho-spiritual/interdimensional theory and its foremost researcher (Vallee). In my second post I provided an example for the extraterrestrial-theory, specifically referring to historical UFOs as counter-evidence of McLeans psyops-theory. In this third post I will touch upon the skeptics angle. It is not my job to fix my gaze on one angle and fanatically defend it, but to provide an accurate reflection of the wide-variety of views in UFOlogy, thereby showing that the “UFOs = psyops” is only a small and improbable niche within the whole.

    As for the tangible evidence my opponent is requesting, I can recommend searching “top-flagged topics” in the UFO-Forum of ATS. You will find hundreds of pieces of evidence for anomalous activity. Only two examples:

    Stephensville, Texas Radar Report

    CNN: Video of UFO destroying nuke missile


    Ian McLean:



    The famously entertaining and alarming hoax of the 'War of The Worlds' radio broadcast helped cement this mythos into the public consciousness


    I thank my opponent for anticipating my next debate move: That the UFO/Alien Phenomenon may have actually been initiated by science-fiction authors and not government agencies. Unless he will next be claiming that science-fiction authors covertly work for the government.

    In fact, the evidence that sci-fi authors and movie-makers sparked and perpetuated the UFO/Alien Phenomenon is overwhelming. Most of us had our very first contact with the concept of aliens and UFOs in science-fiction movies and literature.



    there was even direct discussion of using the Disney company to create products reinforcing government-beneficial beliefs. Such discussion was quickly swept into secrecy.


    I will overlook that there is no source provided to this piece of info, and simply point out that the knowledge of other worlds and extraterrestrials is not necessarily a government-beneficial belief but one that weakens the government as it directs our attention to beings outside of our planet and perhaps also superiour to our government.



    "Air Force 2025" waxes on about the potential for brain-implanted soldiers, with virtual-reality implants creating immersive synthetic environments. Hints of classified reports from the Defense Technical Information Center exist, referring to the psyop usage of synthetic environments via psychotechnical methods. Interrogation targets are duped into believing the desired fake environment is 'real'.


    I view my opponents last post and elaboration of various psyops-techniques such as the creation of virtual realities and holograms, as the best material for his case presented so far. The case is still insufficient though because no actual evidence – not a single piece – was provided, that links UFOs/Aliens to psyops. Lets hope this was reserved for his closing post. Whats more is that some of the technologies described did not exist in the 50s and 40s…much less in historical times. Furthermore, operations such as MKUltra were desgined to instill fear and control in humans. Painting pictures of a universe teeming with life and all sorts of fascinating lifeforms is hardly an appropriate method of creating fear and control.


    Questions for my opponent, to clear up some ambiguities:

    SQ1: Are UFOs of extra-terrestrial origin visiting Earth, and on what do you base that belief?
    SQ2: Are extra-terrestrials abducting people, and on what do you base that belief?
    SQ3: How does one distinguish fact from fantasy and folk tales, when examining history?
    SQ4: Does the government secretly manipulate public opinion?




    Answer 1: In my opening post I provided a list of explanations I believe are more likely than the “Government projecting holograms into my bedroom” explanation. Some of these are: The extraterrestrial-hypothesis. The interdimensional and/or psycho-spritual hypothesis. The natural-phenomena hypothesis. The Government-Aircraft hypothesis (note: if UFOs are government aircraft this does not automatically mean that they are being used for mass-mind-control-operations. The most simple explanation would be that they are used for military purposes and are being kept secret for competition-advantage and national security reasons). Which of these is true or not true is not up to me to say. You demand I “clear up the ambiguity” but that is not my job in this debate. My job is to present scenarios that are more likely than the “government hoax” explanation.

    Answer 2: Considering all of the abduction-reports published in the last 50 years (some of them becoming Bestsellers: See Whitley Strieber and Budd Hopkins) and especially the similarity in the reports from around the globe, I think it is safe to say that a lot of people are experiencing something here. I am undecided between the psycho-spiritual and the extraterrestrial explanations. The government-psyops-explanation however, I’ve dismissed long ago, for the reasons already stated.

    Answer 3: SQ3: How does one distinguish fact from fantasy and folk tales, when examining history?

    The answer to that, My dear Watson, would make me rich. We can however separate the probable from the improbable. Lets, for example, contrast the 10000+ abduction and UFO-Sighting reports with the 0 reports saying “I was a government spy projecting holograms of UFOs into the sky”


    Answer 4: Sometimes. Life could be viewed as the competition of thousands of different agendas advertising for the attention of the public.

    For the record: In answering my last Socratic Questions Ian McLean admits to all four points brought up.

    ____________________________________________________________

    3. UFOs/Aliens: The Skeptics View

    We have looked at the interdimensional view, the ET view and will now look at the skeptics view. A review of The Skeptics Dictionary
    page on UFOs and Abductions, reveals skeptical scientists having reached some of the following views:

    • UFOs are mistaken normal aircraft
    • UFOs are natural aerial phenomena
    • Abductions do not exist – they are cases of sleep paralysis and hallucination
    • Belief in Aliens is produced by Science-Fiction-Movies and New-Age-Crackpots.

    A sampling from the Skeptics Dictionary:


    Anomalous luminous phenomena (alps) are lights of various sizes which are generated by stresses and strains within the earth's crust preceding earthquakes, according to Michael Persinger, Ph.D. He developed the tectonic strain theory (TST) as an explanation for what is going on when people observe UFOs.


    While I personally don’t buy into the skeptics view of UFOs/Aliens, it is interesting to note that there is no mention whatsoever of the “UFOs Psyops” theory my opponent is trying to convince us of. It is so bereft of any sort of evidence that it isn’t even considered in the Skeptics Dictionary.



    Final Socratic Questions to Ian McLean:

    1. How likely is it that most children know about aliens from science-fiction movies?
    2. Why do you believe that government employees are performing mind-control techniques in order to convince us of UFOs/Aliens?
    3. Can you give an example of someone who claims to have witnessed UFO-psyops operations first hand?


    Thank you.



    posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 01:57 PM
    link   


    there was even direct discussion of using the Disney company to create products reinforcing government-beneficial beliefs.

    I will overlook that there is no source provided to this piece of info

    No, you didn't.
    Sorry, this is a well-documented historical fact - you can even find it admitted to, vaguely, by the CIA, at their web-site:


    To meet these problems, the panel... suggested using the mass media, advertising, business clubs, schools, and even the Disney corporation to get the message across.
    [1]



    How likely is it that most children know about aliens from science-fiction movies?

    I find it more likely that most children are exposed to the UFO/Alien concepts in cartoons and toys, before they even see their first scary science-fiction movie. This helps cement, at an early age, the 'benevolent harmonious universe' versus 'death to all humans' dichotomy.


     



    Can you give an example of someone who claims to have witnessed UFO-psyops operations first hand?

    Yes. From your question, it's unclear whether you're referring to the 'psyop' of the perpetuation of disinformation by the government, or specific 'psyops' of individual UFO/Alien experiences.

    For more information on specific first-hand experiences, a clear example is the phenomena of 'MILAB' abductions, where victims of 'alien abduction' report of the involvement of military personnel, government agencies, and military facilities in their experiences. Many abductees testify to experiences consistent with mind-control: the use of electrodes, being drugged, sensory isolation in tube-like containers for purposes of 'interstellar travel', etc. Some have even penetrated this facade, reporting clear memories of visual projections and the use of rubber alien-masks to create false memories. More information is available here: [2]

    With regard to government-sponsored 'psyop' of disinformation, a good starting point is the testimony of Bill Moore, former director of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization:


    In his speech to the MUFON convention in Las Vegas on July 1, 1989, Mr. Moore had this to say about the subject: "Disinformation is a strange and bizarre game. Those who play it are completely aware that an operation's success is dependent upon dropping false information upon a target or `mark', in such a way that the person will accept it as truth and will repeat, and even defend it to others as if it were true."
    [3]

    Moore goes on to relate his recruitment into a government propaganda effort. Directed by his contact Richard Doty, special agent of the Air Force Office of Special Investigation, he tells of his interactions with Dr Paul Bennewitz:


    "By 1981", according to Bill, "Paul was gathering data from a variety of sources and amalgamating it with information being fed to him by a number of government people in whom, for some reason, he seemed to have an implicit and abiding faith. The story that emerged from this melange of fact, fiction, fantasy, heresay, hard data and government disinformation was absolutley incredible! Yet somehow, Paul believed in it and set out on a one-man crusade to tell the world that malevolent aliens from space were in league with our government to take over the planet."
    [3]


     



    Why do you believe that government employees are performing mind-control techniques in order to convince us of UFOs/Aliens?

    I have covered this answer, reasons as to why the government might want to perpetuate disinformation to encourage the phenomena, in my previous replies, but there are indeed other motives to which I might provide more detail. There are two additional areas that I will briefly touch on, as space permits.

    The first is the incredibly useful means of discrediting undesired information leaks. If an individual expresses opinion or experience that the public finds 'unbelievable' or 'fantastic', that has the effect of discrediting all information that individual may provide. This tactic is also very useful in propaganda efforts, where it sees use in various 'reliable information from unreliable sources' or 'poisoning the well' applications. The ability to produce and exploit such effects is highly desirable in various circles.

    The second is classified military aerospace/weaponry projects and the black budget. Although an in-depth discussion of black triangle and other research will have to wait until another day, there is considerable evidence indicating military technology well in advance of the publicly advertised state of the art, and how and why this is funded and kept hidden from the public. A well-known quote to exemplify this:


    "We already have the means to travel among the stars, but these technologies are locked up in black projects and it would take an act of God to ever get them out to benefit humanity. Anything you can imagine, we already know how to do."
    - Ben Rich, former director of the Lockheed Skunk Works (1975-1991) just prior to his death from cancer in 1995.

    Again, the UFO/Alien phenomena provides a convenient scapegoat, to discredit, misinform, and 'hide' such projects from the public attention, by surrounding observations and evidence with a cloud of ambiguity and disbelief.


     


    Ladies and gentlemen, in this discussion I have focused on motive, means, opportunity, and effect, and have provided what I hope is clear and consistent reasoning and evidence backing up the specifics of my case.

    I will let what I have presented rest on its own merits.

    My opponent has decided to take a different approach: providing conflicting explanations, attempting refutation from various narrow angles, never providing a coherent overall argument.

    Indeed, he attempts to muddy the topic: the origins of the public's conceptualization of the Alien/UFO Phenomena in fiction, imagination, and outright hoax, not sponsored by the government, are distinct from the subsequent embracing, subversion, and perpetuation encouraged by the government, and their exploitation of the effects thereof.

    The arguments he brings - that UFOs and alien abductions may be the manifestations of manipulable phenomenas of individual psychology, and/or contrived explanations for advanced military aircraft and technology, and/or imaginative explanation of natural phenomena cast into the context of dominant cultural memes - in fact these observations support the case I have built, rather than contradict.

    He attempts to claim that my case is excluding possible 'truth'. That is simply not true. As anyone who have ever searched for the 'hoax' tag on ATS can tell you, the field is rife with disinformation and false reports. But the existence of the Caret Drone hoax doesn't disprove that alien spacecraft may exist, somewhere in the universe. The fact the the 'Federation of Light' did not appear hovering over the Earth doesn't disprove that benevolent extraterrestrials may exist, somewhere in the universe. These incidents only show that the UFO/Alien Phenomena, its conceptualization in the public mind, is being driven by hoax, fraud, and delusion.

    I have shown example of the technologies of media influence that give rise to such fraud: the mechanisms of perpetuation, through doubt raised by deliberate government hand-waving, subtly-encouraged disinformation, manipulated opinion, the undermining of consensus, the discrediting and manufacturing of fact. The motives and agenda I have provided, scary as they may be, are consistent and compelling.

    Regardless of what the future may bring, we must face the facts, the reality today of the exploited image of 'truth' as currently perceived:

    The UFO/Alien Phenomena Is A Government Perpetuated Hoax


     
     


    Ladies and gentlemen, I feel compelled to make space to express my personal opinion.

    In investigating this subject, I have seen great evidence of an unfortunate polarization of communication. There is a false divide between 'skeptics' and 'believers' - this is a hoax. There are entrenched beliefs which accept no open-mindedness - this is a hoax. There are false reports, misrepresentations, and disingenuous argument - these are hoaxes.

    I believe we must recognize such phenomena, acknowledge them, and understand the human psychological and sociological causes and means via which they are propagated. In this way, by open and honest discussion, we may perhaps begin to move beyond such deceptions.

    We should identify the negative factors that inhibit and stagnate the common quest for knowledge. We may not agree, but we should agree that we want to agree. And we should not be so egotistic as to assume that the contexts in which our differences have been cast are necessarily real and absolute.

    Indeed, if we look at the lessons of history, we see a common theme - progress made only in the dissolution of false dichotomy. The truth transcends, in time, all subversion.

    We should hold that progress higher than our personal interpretations, or our disagreements with others, and strive for more perfect truth and greater understanding. That may be, in perfection, impossible, but it is the human condition and privilege to so seek.

    We must acknowledge honesty, consistency, and reasonable speculation where it counts - in genuine understanding, with implications that lead to further discussion, exploration, investigation, and agreement.

    Let us not let belief become a bubble, or skepticism a vain oubliette.

    Thank you.



    posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 06:33 AM
    link   
    Final Rebuttals & Summary

    Mr. McLeans statements and references in the quote boxes, followed by my rebuttals.



    To meet these problems, the panel... suggested using the mass media, advertising, business clubs, schools, and even the Disney corporation to get the message across.


    Actually I was hoping for a bit more to prove that Aliens are a government perpetuated hoax. Here´s a panel making a mere suggestion and its not even related to UFOs/Aliens.




    I find it more likely that most children are exposed to the UFO/Alien concepts in cartoons and toys, before they even see their first scary science-fiction movie. This helps cement, at an early age, the 'benevolent harmonious universe' versus 'death to all humans' dichotomy.



    My opponent doesnt outright say it, but he is implying that science-fiction authors and filmmakers are somehow mysteriously "in on it".
    Of course, again, no backup for this assertion is offered. Not to mention that it is disrespectful towards the creative authors and filmmakers, and disrespectful towards the families enjoying the movies (implying that they are too stupid to discern some innocent entertainment from devious mind-control).




    For more information on specific first-hand experiences, a clear example is the phenomena of 'MILAB' abductions, where victims of 'alien abduction' report of the involvement of military personnel, government agencies, and military facilities in their experiences. Many abductees testify to experiences consistent with mind-control: the use of electrodes, being drugged, sensory isolation in tube-like containers for purposes of 'interstellar travel', etc. Some have even penetrated this facade, reporting clear memories of visual projections and the use of rubber alien-masks to create false memories. More information is available here: [2]


    Ah...some meat at last!

    Or is it? Clicking on the link you find an article written by a virtually unknown author bereft of any sort of photographic evidence, forensic evidence, references, experience-reports or even book recommendations. This is quite ironic, considering that my opponent called Vallee a "crackpot" earlier in the debate.




    "By 1981", according to Bill, "Paul was gathering data from a variety of sources and amalgamating it with information being fed to him by a number of government people in whom, for some reason, he seemed to have an implicit and abiding faith. The story that emerged from this melange of fact, fiction, fantasy, heresay, hard data and government disinformation was absolutley incredible! Yet somehow, Paul believed in it and set out on a one-man crusade to tell the world that malevolent aliens from space were in league with our government to take over the planet."


    Yes. And who is to say that the government psyops-theory is not the same sort of disinformation? These arguments could just as easily be used to defend my side.

    When seeing a UFO it is unreasonable to automatically jump to the conclusion that "they are extraterrestrials!" (as inspired through sci-fi)...but it is just as unreasonable to jump to the conclusion "those are government holograms to deceive us!" (as inspired by far-out conspiracy-theorists).




    UFO/Alien phenomena provides a convenient scapegoat, to discredit, misinform, and 'hide' such projects from the public attention, by surrounding observations and evidence with a cloud of ambiguity and disbelief.


    Yes, its possible that the government has built smokescreens...but where is the data or where are at least the witness accounts of such things occuring in regards to Aliens/UFOs? Every conspiracy-theory has its whistleblowers and ex-government-employees speaking out. Even if the evidence is scant, there must be a little tiny tidbit of information linking UFOs/Aliens to the Government-operations.

    And maybe there is...it just hasnt been shown in this debate.



    I have provided what I hope is clear and consistent reasoning


    I have pointed out half a dozen contradictions within my opponents reasoning throughout this debate.




    The fact the the 'Federation of Light' did not appear hovering over the Earth doesn't disprove that benevolent extraterrestrials may exist, somewhere in the universe. These incidents only show that the UFO/Alien Phenomena, its conceptualization in the public mind, is being driven by hoax, fraud, and delusion.


    Yes, there are plenty of outright hoaxes in UFOlogy. Nobody is disputing that. However, in the case of the so-called "Galactic Federation of Light" and many others, the driving force seems to be viral marketing, money and the greed of individuals rather than a psyops-operation conducted by our government.




    I have shown example of the technologies of media influence that give rise to such fraud


    My opponent has shown examples of technologies and media influence that might be abused for covert purposes. ***He has not shown who, how, from where or since when the government is perpetuating UFO-Literature, UFO-Conferences, Science-Fiction-Movies, Alien Abductions, UFO-Sightings.***




    There is a false divide between 'skeptics' and 'believers' - this is a hoax.


    Indeed. This is why I felt the need to list more than only one theory on UFOlogy and keep open every possibility.





    My opponent has decided to take a different approach: providing conflicting explanations, attempting refutation from various narrow angles, never providing a coherent overall argument. Indeed, he attempts to muddy the topic: the origins of the public's conceptualization of the Alien/UFO Phenomena in fiction, imagination, and outright hoax, not sponsored by the government, are distinct from the subsequent embracing, subversion, and perpetuation encouraged by the government, and their exploitation of the effects thereof. The arguments he brings - that UFOs and alien abductions may be the manifestations of manipulable phenomenas of individual psychology, and/or contrived explanations for advanced military aircraft and technology, and/or imaginative explanation of natural phenomena cast into the context of dominant cultural memes - in fact these observations support the case I have built, rather than contradict.



    This has been a spirited debate asking some very important questions from both sides of the argument. If it were indeed true that UFOs are a Government perpetuated hoax, this would mean that our own people are directing a brainwashing operation of historical proportions toward us.

    Fortunately though, that does not seem to be the case. The Government has been involved in less than ethical activities (some of which were pointed out by Ian McLean)...but I think I´ve shown that things havent become quite as bleak and hopeless as my opponent describes. Not only has he argued that UFOs are a hoax, but that this hoax is sponsored by the Government. I have presented a list of alternative explanations for the UFO/Alien Phenomenon that seem more likely:

    1. The Interdimensional Hypothesis
    2. The psycho-spritual Hypothesis
    3. The extraterrestrial Hypothesis
    4. The hypothesis of UFOs as natural phenomena and/or hallucinations
    5. The hypothesis of UFOs being secret military craft
    6. The hypothesis of historical UFOs
    7. The hypothesis of the Alien-UFO belief being inspired by science-fiction authors and filmmakers (rather than the government).

    We cannot say with certainty which of these theories are more likely...having limited resources, study techniques and views in this stage of our evolution...

    but what we can say with certainty is that it is important to factor in each of these items or a mix of them, rather than narrowing down to my opponents psyops-theory. As proven in this debate there are many events in UFOlogy that are inconsistent with my opponents theory.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, up to now, sci-fi-authors are simply sci-fi authors, and UFOs are simply flying objects we cannot yet identify. Everything else is only speculation - ranging from the slightly probable to the highly improbable.

    UFOlogy should remain aware of and factor in all of these possibilities until more is known

    Thanks to IanMcLean - you are an excellent debater. Thanks to the members of the Fight Club Pub - you are excellent entertainers. Thanks to MemoryShock and Semperfortis: You are worthy patrons of this Forum. Thanks to TheVagabond: Your spirit lives on in these Forums.



    posted on Nov, 8 2008 @ 12:36 PM
    link   
    The new Debate Champion is...

    Ian McLean!!!

    Congratulations to both Fighters on an excellent Debate. The judges comments:



    Ian McLean vs Skyfloating (IM vs SF)

    Another fascinating debate and performances from both fighters were worthy of a win.

    The nature of the subject matter meant that this debate was going to be centred on rhetoric rather than hard evidence, and so the use of language was critical.

    IM made a strong start and attempted to frame the debate in his opening statement - an admirable tactic, but one which SF was not buying into.
    This did not deter IM however, and he stuck to his guns admirably, and started to build his case point by point in a meticulous fashion, whilst at the same time refuting his opponents attempts to throw him off track and unsettle him.
    One of the most impressive parts of IM's style throughout the tourney has been the ability to concentrate on his side of the debate, and slowly but surely make his opponent react to arguments rather than framing arguments of their own,and this showed again as IM chipped away at SF's position with wonderfully crafted language and logical argument, to the point where SF (abeit late in the debate) was left with little to offer except attempt to break down small portions of IM's statements in each post - a tactic not wholly successfull if the parts were re-read and placed in context.

    SF showed a wonderfull knowledge and understanding of the subject and I thought at first that he may be able to run away with it and claim a comfortable victory, especially as he didn't let IM set the agenda and grounds for the debate.
    However, he seemed to become uncomfortable with IM's astounding use of language, and fall back on refuting rather than consistently maintaining and fighting his own position.
    The tactic of picking small portions of his opponents argument to attack, rather than attacking the argument as a whole failed him in this instance, and he rather played into IMs hands by being reactive rather than proactive.
    I would have liked to have seen SF frame his own argument rather more than he did, and concentrate on the masses of evidence both documentary and filmed that is available in order to refute IMs position.

    I make Ian McLean the winner by a close but comfortable margin, and would like to thank both fighters for an extraordinarily fascinating and informative debate.




    Decision- Ian McLean is the winner.

    Opening-

    Ian McLean seems hesitant to take a strong stand on his debate position. He seems overly conscious of the of the forum in which this debate is being held, a conspiracy site that deals heavily in UFO topics. This hesitation could hurt him if it persists.

    Skyfloating begins with one of my least favorite tactics. He begins by trying to tell the reader what his opponent is saying rather than say what HE is saying. It is a straw man he is attempting to build, making his opponents case badly rather than his own so that he may knock it down more readily.

    Both fighters, therefore, are muddying the waters at the outset rather than taking a clear position, and this continues into the first round of replies.

    Round One-

    In the first round, Ian continues to gently begin to build a case, but I am disappointed in the tentativeness he is still displaying. It weakens his position not because he is not presenting a case, but because his case is stated eloquently rather than convincingly. It is eloquent, but unclear. He does at the end of his first reply leave a clear statement that a hoax can contain some elements that are objectively true and still be a hoax. This is an important point for Ian.

    Skyfloating is clearly pushing an area of personal interest in his reply. It is interesting, and would make a great thread, but in the context of this debate it appears to add fuel to Ian's argument rather than his own. In essence, it appears to be supporting a position that says that UFO phenomenon are actually archetypal ideas surfacing in people who experience this phenomenon rather than actual "abductions."

    He goes on to list "debate mistakes" of his opponent, which I disagree are his opponents views as stated by his opponent. Ian was stating popular perception of the UFO phenomenon, not his own opinion of it, and this judge is convinced that Ian is correct that many outside the UFO community do indeed hold those views.


    We continue looking at belief with regard to the UFO/Alien Phenomena. The key salient feature, which my opponent would have us ignore, is the disconnect between the general public's view of this phenomena, and those he calls "serious investigators".

    Sadly, the public often calls these "serious investigators" by another name: "crackpots".

    To the majority, the UFO/Alien Phenomena is this:




    In fact, Skyfloating then makes Ian's own point more forcefully than Ian himself did;


    It is not the UFO Phenomena that causes fear of expression in individuals, it is the ridicule they are exposed to by society


    Again, Ian's tentativeness is allowing Skyfloating to sway the opinions of the popular vote by giving Sky the opportunity to restate Ian's opinions which could hurt him in the end.

    Round two-

    In round two Ian begins with a rebuke of a Socratic question that this judge agrees was inappropriately worded. Skyfloating's question required much more than a direct response. No points will be taken away from Ian for his lack of compliance, and his response will be considered a direct response.

    Ian's case is round two is filled out by showing that the government is completely aware of psy-ops and has made deliberate efforts to master them.

    Skyfloating begins by showing examples of UFO's depicted in writing and art that precede the US government. This is a good direction in which to take his case. However, rather than elaborating upon this further with more case building, he goes on the attack.

    As expected, he complains about Ian's response to his Socratic question. Because I agree with Ian that the question required case building and not a direct response as understood by this judge the complaint is disregarded.

    He then goes on to elaborate upon his own mistaken understanding of Ian's argument. Again, since this in not Ian's argument, he is making no tactical point.

    Round three-

    Ian opens round three by giving other explanations for Skyfloating's artistic depictions of "Ufo's." He does not refute the written reports, but instead, when answering a Scoratic question says again, as he did earlier, that a hoax can contain some "real" elements. Or in this case, that a hoax perpetuated by the government could make use of an existing phenomenon, that of humanity's propensity to see things and attach meaning to them. As a criticism, Ian could be more concise and definite in his wording so that this were clear to ALL his readers. "A successful argument should be worded and structured so that an 8th grader can understand it." -(My argumentative writing instructor from college.) His argument is, however, consistent, and so far, has not been directly refuted by Sky.

    Skyfloating appears to believe that "many" is better than one well reasoned argument that is clearly opposed to that of his opponents argument.


    I explained that there are many different theories which are more likely than the UFO = a government hoax theory, and I listed them. In my second post I provided an example of the psycho-spiritual/interdimensional theory and its foremost researcher (Vallee).



    It is not my job to fix my gaze on one angle and fanatically defend it, but to provide an accurate reflection of the wide-variety of views in UFOlogy, thereby showing that the “UFOs = psyops” is only a small and improbable niche within the whole.


    Although a strength of Skyfloating's style is that he is very direct, and forceful, and takes a firm stand, the problem he is having is that he is taking too many firm stands that are, as Ian pointed out, contradictory. He has a personal belief is this debate that is obvious and moving him to promote it rather than really take a firm stand and deal with Ian's argument. His loyalties in this debate are divided, and that is beginning to hurt him despite the strengths he brings. He understands arguing simply, and it works to his benefit with the popular vote, but he is not taking ONE of his many options and clarifying it sufficiently. Most importantly, the option he has personal attachment to, the psycho-spiritual one, has the strong potential of playing into Ian's case. There is a difference between fanatically defending an indefensible point once that tactic has been shown indefensible, and taking no stand at all.


    In fact, the evidence that sci-fi authors and movie-makers sparked and perpetuated the UFO/Alien Phenomenon is overwhelming. Most of us had our very first contact with the concept of aliens and UFOs in science-fiction movies and literature.


    comes in direct contradiction to this;


    2. The case for historical UFOs

    Did psyops-tech exist 500 years ago?

    Proponents of the UFO = psyops Theory often refer to the government using advanced technology and to media-manipulation staged after 1947 (in which the first huge wave of UFOs is supposed to have occured). The UFO = Government Ops Theory is not only put in question by the many alternatives shown in my opening post, but also by the fact that unidentified flying objects have been around since hundreds if not thousands of years.


    One of the problems with going too broad is that you can lose your place in your own argument and attack your own position. While it is good to not be fanatical, one should stay as narrow as feasible so as not to lose the audience or yourself in your position.

    Closing-

    Ian brings his debate home. Most importantly he addresses Skyfloating's arguments directly against his case while continuing to build his own. Secrets are very hard to prove. They require a circumstantial case building, and often lack the "hard evidence" Sky seemed throughout to be demanding. They are challenging cases to build and require patience and consistency to present. Ian succeeded in both.

    Ian also tastefully brought up the flaws in Sky's case without leaving the reader feeling battered by them. As a reader I did not feel I was being told what Sky's case was, or what my opinion should be, rather it was offered for my consideration.

    Sky continued to insist that Ian's point was that UFO believers were "crackpots." It was either a strategy designed to inflame the readers of a UFO conspiracy site against logical analysis of his opponents argument, or a genuine misunderstanding of his opponents argument. Judging by the stars awarded by members, it succeeded with quite a few. As a judge, I am not here to have my own opinions reinforced, I am here to look at the case building and argumentative skills of the debaters.

    In summary, Ian McLean build a quiet, sometimes overly tentative (though understandably so as he had to consider the emotions of the general readership as well as the judges) but consistent circumstantial case. He addressed the issues brought up by Skyfloating, stayed his course, and in my eyes handily won the debate. This would have been the case regardless how I considered the Socratic question in dispute.

    Skyfloating is a firm and decisive debater, however he went far too broad in his position and did not really address Ian's case. Instead he built a Straw Man for our consideration and proceeded to tear IT down instead. It is a strategy, it can work, it simply did not work with me. In order for it to succeed it cannot be detected by the audience as a fallacy. This is very difficult to pull off in written debate where the reader can, if they choose, go back and re-read the argument you are attempting to distort.

    Congratulations to both debaters. They both did an amazing job not only in this debate, but in the tournament as a whole.




    Ian really hurt himself with his style. He set trap questions after repudiating such tricks, he avoided questions, and he was remarkably slow developing his case despite how much he typed. He also argued against himself a couple of times. His position, whether he likes it or not, is that the alien/ufo phenomenon is a hoax, so being unwilling to say that was a problem. He also probably shouldn't have brought up Occam's razor when arguing that something that could be explained as a psychological episode must instead be a government perpetuated hoax.

    On the bright side though, he did a pretty good job establishing a motive for a government hoax, and there was some sense of means and opportunity as well from the external sources he presented. But he also

    Skyfloating had a lot of shots just bounce off of Ian. He played up the vastness of the proposed conspiracy only to have Ian come back at him with how most of the players could be unwitting. Vallee was not a great source for sky either, since he used to work for the government. Skyfloating went out on a big limb with the paintings, and got knocked off that limb pretty quickly; there were really easy non UFO explanations. Once he lost those, Skyfloating REALLY needed to come up with an alien or UFO story that predates any potentially related activity by the government.

    Neither side really could have proven their case- I didn't expect a resolution to the UFO debate. It was more about who could put forward and defend the most likely hypothesis. Both of them left some holes in that. Ultimately though, I have to give it to Ian, but not by much. If Skyfloating had focused his entire argument on UFOs as a psycho-spiritual experience with no actual physical manifestation, he would have won it hands down, but the other angles he took the debate along really got him tangled up.



    posted on Nov, 8 2008 @ 01:35 PM
    link   
    Congratulations Ian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Note 1: Superb judging, cutting through the BS.

    Note 2: You might just be right that the government is involved in perpetuating UFOlogy...for whatever reasons. Many known UFOlogists are/were government employees.



    posted on Nov, 8 2008 @ 01:57 PM
    link   
    reply to post by Skyfloating
     


    Thank you Skyfloating!!! Wow, I'm giddy.... a big thanks to all the judges for their great feedback (and of course, decisions
    ).

    Sky, I agree - there's so many angles each piece of evidence can be considered from, so many theories - it's no wonder this is such a fascinating field of study. I learn something new every time. You made intriguing points in your case; I hope we've given the readers some new perspectives.

    Off to celebrate with something sugary!





    new topics

    top topics



     
    20

    log in

    join