Project Condign - A valuable official report

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posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:44 PM
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On Monday 15 May 2006 the British Ministry of Defence (“the MOD”) released the full text of a report entitled “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK Air Defence Region” (“the Condign Report”) on its website.

The report was the subject of considerable media attention at the time, much of it along the lines that the Ministry of Defence report accepted the existence of UFOs.

These reports were largely based on the following statement in the report : "That UAP exist is indisputable… and [they] clearly can exhibit aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft or missile – either manned or unmanned”.

The rather lengthy Condign Report can be found online at THIS LINK.

On Thursday 11 May 2006, I had kindly been given an opportunity by Joe McGonagle to have a sneak preview of a copy of the bulk (but not the entirety) of the Condign Report. On Sunday 14 May 2006 I posted the article below to the UFO Updates email discussion List. Unfortunately, the archives of that List are not open to members of the public unless they have paid a fee (which is well worth paying if you have a serious interest in ufology).

The Condign Report is still the subject of considerable discussion on ATS and elsewhere. (It has been the subject of at least 3 separate discussion threads here on ATS in the last week alone...).

I therefore thought it worth posting my article on the Condign Report here in full, so that it can be accessed free of charge.

The Condign Report had been obtained from the Ministry of Defence following various requests by Dr Clarke and Gary Anthony under the Freedom Of Information Act (“FOIA”). The executive summary of the Condign Report was made available to the media and public on Sunday 7 May 2006 by Dr Dave Clarke and Messrs Gary Anthony, Joe McGonagle and Andy Roberts. Those individuals have a website at the link at:
www.uk-ufo.org...

That website includes biographical details of the relevant individuals and an informative article about the trail they followed to obtain the document. It also contains other interesting material, particularly relevant to those interested in UFO reports relating to England. The relevant four individuals have not adopted a collective name for themselves. Giving them the name (suggested by Joe McGonagle) of “the Condign Group” could cause some people to mistakenly believe that those individuals wrote the Condign Report. I shall therefore instead refer to them as the “Enterprising Members of the Public Team” (or “EMP Team” for short). The reasons for this title will be familiar to many British ufologists, and too tedious to explain to everyone else.

All the best,

Isaac

[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]




posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:45 PM
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As detailed below, I consider the Condign Report to be a very useful and valuable document. The report is valuable as a case study in the risk inherent in scientific research being conducted in secrecy, including the risks of inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

The Condign Report appears to have been compiled by a single individual:

(a) without involving any consultation with scientists in the relevant fields, and

(b) without involving any consultation with ufologists to determine what previous consideration of the relevant theories had occurred (including to discover if any reasons had been advanced for rejecting the relevant theory or whether there was any data inconsistent with it).

These factors are at the core of the most significant problems with this severely flawed report.

In short, the Condign Report reinvents the wheel. The theory that UFO sightings are caused by plasma has been considered previously by various ufologists, scientists and engineers. The Condign Report advances this theory without reference to much of that previous consideration (or apparent awareness of the relevant material), or any reference to the various arguments opposing that theory.

The severe flaws in the Condign Report highlighted below do _not_ mean that the plasma theory (or any other theory) is necessarily wrong, and they certainly do not mean that the claims that extraterrestrials are visiting Earth are true. Publications of such sloppy quality give skepticism a bad name.



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:45 PM
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The Condign Report consists of 3 numbered volumes plus an Executive Summary. These volumes can be briefly outlined as follows:


    (a) The Executive Summary: This seeks to briefly summarize the material in the other volumes (particularly the conclusion from Volume 1). It is rather rambling, disorganized and unclear.

    (b) “Volume 1” : This contains the main report. It contains the conclusions reached, and outlines the methodology adopted.

    (c) “Volume 2” : This volume comprises 25 “Working Papers” (also referred to as “Point Papers”) on various topics, ranging from relevant scientific issues to details of various objects which are common causes of UFO reports.

    (d) “Volume 3” : This relatively brief volume discusses various miscellaneous matters, including an assessment of UAP as potential hazards to aircraft. The issues it addresses are relatively discreet and I will not attempt to comment on this Volume at present. I will merely note that the Condign Report deals with UAP as potential hazards to aircraft without discussing a book by Jenny Randles devoted to this very subject. Her book “Something in the Air”, also published as “UFO! Danger in the Air”, was published in 1998)


[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:45 PM
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The “Executive Summary”

The Terms of Reference for the Condign Report are provided at Volume 1, Annex A. They indicate that the author of the report had been instructed that the aim of his task was “to determine the potential value, if any, of UAP sighting reports to defence intelligence” (Volume 1, Annex A, para 1). The Terms of Reference also specify the method by which this objective is to be fulfilled : “A limited analysis based on an electronic relational database containing data extracted from UAP sighting reports, over a period to the present date…” (Volume 1, Annex A, para 2).

(The Condign Report uses the term “UAP” to refer to “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” [Executive Summary page 3, first para], “popularly known as UFOs” [Executive Summary page 3, Para 1].)

Those wishing to defend the honour of the MOD and/or the author of the Condign Report may seek to suggest that the severe flaws in the Condign Report arise from the limited aims of the study. However, the Condign Report purports to have the aim of making “a rational scientific examination of the phenomena – based only on the raw material – UKADR incident reports” (Volume 1, Preface, penultimate para) and claims to be the “first UK detailed and authoritative report [on UAPs] which has been produced since the late 1950s” (Volume 1, Chapter 1, page 2, page 2). In any event, regardless of the aims of the report, if an analysis is to be performed then it should be performed competently.


The Executive Summary of the Condign Report includes the following:



Para 1: “… That UAP exist is indisputable… and [they] clearly can exhibit aerodynamic characteristics well beyond those of any known aircraft or missile – either manned or unmanned”

Para 2 : “…The topic has, hitherto, defied credible description as to its actual cause…”

Para 11: “Aerial phenomena of the type consistent with those reported as UAP, and with exceptional characteristics, certainly exist – but the available evidence suggests that apart from those which can be more easily and satisfactorily explained, they are comprised of several types of rarely encountered natural events within the atmosphere and ionosphere. Some of these are still barely understood …”

Para 12: “Considerable evidence exists to support the thesis that the events are almost certainly attributable to physical, electrical and magnetic phenomena in the atmosphere, mesosphere and ionosphere. They appear to originate due to more than one set of weather and electrically-charged conditions and are observed so infrequently as to make them unique to the majority of observers…”

Para 13: “The close proximity of plasma related fields can adversely affect a vehicle or person. For this to occur the UAP must be encountered at very close ranges. A probable modulated magnetic, electric or electromagnetic (or even unknown field) appears to emanate from some of the buoyant charged masses. Local fields of this type … have been medically proven to cause responses in the temporal lobes of the human brain. These result in the observer sustaining (and later describing and retaining) his or her own vivid, but mainly incorrect, description of what is experienced. … This is suggested to be a key factor in influencing the more extreme reports found in the media and are clearly believed by the ‘victims’”.

Para 17 : “There is no evidence that any UAP, seen in the UKADR, are incursions by air objects of any intelligent (extra-terrestrial or foreign) origin, or that they represent any hostile intent.”

Para 18: “Key Recommendation: … It should no longer be a requirement for DI55 to monitor UAP reports as they do not demonstrably provide information useful to Defence Intelligence”.



The basis for several of these comments is addressed below.




[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:46 PM
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Preliminary points – seeing the silver lining

As a preliminary (and fairly significant) point, it should be noted that even if every word of the Condign Report is accepted at face value then many positive points may be made by ufologists. Individuals on various Internet forums that have dismissed the report (based on press reports about its contents) as merely “disinformation” or part of a “cover-up” miss out on an opportunity to make arguments based on the contents of the report.

The first and most obvious of such positive points that could be made by such individuals is as follows: If UFO reports are indeed caused by a previously unrecognized form of atmospheric plasma, then there are several reasonably strong arguments in favour of at least limited funding for a scientific investigation of such reports.

Apart from a desire to understand the unexplained, there reasons include a desire to exclude any danger to air traffic, possible military applications of the relevant knowledge and the possibility of knowledge useful to developing fusion power sources. In 1989, a scientific article entitled “Ball lightning as a route to fusion energy” reviewed properties of ball lightning which commended it to the attention of the fusion community. [52] A similar commendation may be made in relation UAPs.

Thus, the conclusion in the Condign Report provides reasons for an investigation of UFO reports by scientists. Such an investigation is, after all, exactly what many of the more restrained ufologists have been seeking for the last few decades.

Furthermore, this may have an effect upon the “giggle factor” which hampers study in this area. The Washington Post ran an article on 29 June 1998 which reported on a report on UFOs and stated that “a sampling of scientists … expressed surprise that a topic with such a high [58].

A reduction in the “giggle factor” surrounding ufology would be welcomed by me personally. As I have explained before, I use a pseudonym when writing about issues relating to UFOs since, as a barrister in England, I have no wish for my clients or colleagues to know about my interest in any such matters.

It is also worth noting as a preliminary point that it is possible to find a very considerable number of statements in the Condign Report that may be seen as supporting, or at least being consistent with, a more exotic explanation for UFO reports. The author of the Condign Report clearly accepted many of the claims made regarding sightings of at least certain types of UFO (without really addressing the types of UFO which were inconsistent with the plasma-UFO theory) and many of the alleged effects of UFOs on the human body and other objects. The author certainly has not rejected all relevant evidence out of hand. (However, one of most serious of the many severe flaws in the report is that the basis on which he accepts some evidence and rejects other evidence is not apparent from the content of the report. His judgments appear rather arbitrary, with assertions being made without reference to evidence or any form of logic.)

A complete list of the relevant statements would be rather extensive, but the following are fairly typical of the points I have in mind:


    (a) “Objects close to reported UAP sightings have been subject to … permanent magnetism (fences, flag poles) … radio interference … interference with magnetic compasses” (Volume 2, Working Paper 1, Annex D, para 2).

    (b) “Many of the event are reported by trained observers, often members of the Armed Forces (both by Air and Ground Crew), Police or Coastguards or Civil Airline Pilots” (Volume 1, Chapter 2, page 2, para 5).

    (c) “… unless some unprecedented intelligence gaps have existed over many years, the possibility that the study finding would show that the presence of the unexplained proportion of UAP sightings is due entirely to man-made phenomenon, while not totally impossible, was clearly very unlikely” (Volume 1, Chapter 2, page 4, para 8)

    (d) “… it is clear that some [CE3 and CE4] reports, from different parts of the world, seem to have similarities beyond the normal expectation of coincidence” (Volume 1, Chapter 2, page 7, para 16)



[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:46 PM
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“Volume 1”

This contains the main report.

It contains the conclusions reached, and outlines the methodology adopted.

Although the Executive Summary stresses the plasma-UFO theory (and this was picked up by the media in its coverage of the release of the report), the content of Volume 1 actually makes it clear that the author considers that “simply man-made airborne objects such as aircraft, para-wings or balloons are often the explanation. The range of options then progresses through a set of other relatively easily explainable man-made, atmospheric and natural and unusual, propagation and atmospheric phenomena (some of which are still not fully understood)” (Volume 1, Chapter 2, page 2, para 2).

Volume 1 begins with an introduction which sets out the historical background to the Condign Report. That background consists of two paragraphs (Volume 1, Chapter 1, page 1, paras 1 and 2). Despite the brevity of that account and the very limited number of matters discussed, it still manages to get extremely basic facts incorrect.

The first of the relevant paragraphs refers to the “Flying Saucer Working Party” set up in August 1950 (Volume 1, Chapter 1, page 1, para 1). The Condign Report refers to some of the documentation relating to a report generated by that “Working Party” but states that “The Department does not possess a copy of this report …”. Since that remark was written, however, the MOD has in fact made a copy of that report available to the public (following requests by two members of the EMP Team – Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts) and it can be seen on the MOD website. [47]

The second of the relevant paragraphs briefly refers to the Condon report, the highly controversial study headed by Edward Condon under a contract with the US Air Force, and which cost over $500,000. The Condon study was performed by a team at the University of Colorado, and involved multi-disciplinary teams going into the field to investigate reports, and considering data with the assistance of various scientists, together with (at least for part of the study) with the assistance of the members of a UFO group and seminars from leading ufologists. A list of references to discussion of the Condon Report in approximately 215 books is included in Koi Chrono Core at 1969.0109 [9].

The brief reference to the Condon Report in the Condign Report manages to get the date of the Condon wrong. It states that “by 1966 the USA’s CONDON Report had studied and reported …”. In fact the report was completed in late 1968 and released to the public shortly thereafter, on 8 January 1969. Although this mistake may simply be a typographical error, it seems probable to me that the author of the Condign Report was confused by reference to the Condon study having _commenced_ in 1996 [51].
A more substantial misstatement in the same paragraph of the Condign report in relation to the Condon Report is that “Great Britain took no part in this USAF study, and there is no record of the Air Ministry requesting or receiving this report within the Department” (Volume 1, Chapter 1, page 2, para 2). However, the Ministry of Defence has released documents (stored at the National Archives at Kew, London) which clearly show that in fact there was liaison between members of the Condon study team and British officials. Several documents, for example, relate to a meeting involving relatively senior scientific officials from within the MOD meeting with Robert Low of the Condon group. The MOD documents show that British officials were reluctant to meet with him, fearing that he was a UFO nut, but were pleasantly surprised when they did have a meeting. Amusingly, private documents show that Robert Low (although widely regarded as being highly skeptical of exotic explanations for UFO reports) was not prepared to take at face value information supplied by British MOD officials about their views on UFOs. Ironically, the Condign Report shows a similar mistrust of statements by other governments about UFOs, stating that “it is recognized that some of the information ‘released by other nations may be deliberate debunking or disinformation” (Volume 1, Chapter 5, page 1, para 2).

It is fairly clear from the content of his report that the author of the Condign Report did not bother to obtain a copy of the Condon Report. This is particularly significant given that the Condon study actually considered the plasma-UFO theory and, as discussed below, organized a conference of scientists to discuss the merits of that theory. The Condign report, on the other hand, appears to have been prepared in total isolation from the scientific and ufological community. It does not refer to, or address, even a small fraction of the material relating to the plasma-UFO theory that is cited in the relevant chapter of the Condon Report.

For anyone that wants to be a bit more diligent than the author of the Condign Report, the paperback edition of the Condon Report can be bought via various websites (e.g. www.abebooks.com) fairly cheaply. Indeed, the complete text of the Condon Report can be read free of charge on the following websites:

ncas.sawco.com...

www.project1947.com...

The bulk of Volume 1 is largely devoted to statistical analysis of a database of a limited number of the reports received by the Ministry of Defence in the period 1987 to 1997. The preparation of the relevant database clearly involved a rather substantial amount of work. That included the “tedious task of converting thousands of paper UAP reports into electronic form” (Volume 1, Chapter 2, page 1, para 1).

The statistical analysis is repeatedly acknowledged to be based on poor and incomplete data. For example, the report comments on the fact that “the great majority of UK Report Forms are incomplete or incompetently completed or as vague as the typical example UAP report [presented at Annex B to Volume 1]” (Volume 1, Chapter 2, page 2, para 3). It further states that “as DI55 are not permitted to make follow-up investigations after UAP events and not event to speak to witnesses to clarify the meaning of (often cryptic or missing observations) analysis is dependent only on the paper reports)” (Volume 1, Chapter 2, page 2, para 2).

As a result of these limitations the statistical analysis in the Condign Report could not (and does not purport to) result in any astounding conclusions.

In short, the statistical analysis appears to have largely (if not entirely) been a waste of a considerable amount of time and effort.

It is therefore surprising that the Condign Report bothers including a considerable number of pretty graphs and charts and a lengthy discussion of the results of the statistical analysis.

[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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On an initial reading of the report, I was puzzled why the author had bothered to perform (or include in his report) such detailed statistical analysis of such poor data. It occurred to me that the author was simply unaware of the old computing adage, “Garbage In, Garbage Out” (“GIGO”). However, my initial thought was unfair to the author. He actually includes in the body of the report the following statement: “It is emphasized however that those conclusions drawn can only be as good as the reported data” (Volume 1, Chapter 3, page 3, para 2). Given the numerous complaints in the report about the inadequacies in the “reported data”, I am left puzzled why the author bothered with such detailed statistical analysis (other than feeling that the Terms of Reference required him to perform such an exercise, regardless of his own views).

In any event, that statistical analysis does not in fact appear provide a basis for most of the conclusions of the report. Upon a preliminary examination of the Condign Report, it appears to me that about the only statement made in the executive summary as a result of the compilation and analysis of the database is that there is an increased incidence of UFO reports during periods of peak meteor activity.

Given that the Condign Report’s content, in accordance with the relevant Terms Of Reference (“TOR”), largely relate to the statistical analysis performed, one might have expected the plasma-UFO theory advanced in the report to be supported by the statistical analysis. With this in mind, readers may wish to pay particular attention to the page of the report which actually deals with an attempt to find a correlation between UAP reports and weather conditions (Volume 1, Chapter 3, page 21, para 50). The relevant page stresses the fact that an attempt was made to analyze “the most obvious factor - that of the potential of enhanced electrical conditions in the atmosphere”. However, the results of the consideration of several samples were mixed, with the overall conclusion being drawn that “there are many occasions when UAP reports are received when there is no recorded thunder conditions and hence no enhanced electrical activity in the form of lightning. On those occasions (other man-made objects excepted) UAP must be caused by something else”.

It seems almost too minor a matter to note that the results of the statistical analysis in relation to weather are in fact misrepresented in the conclusions section a few pages later on. The conclusions section states “Positive (+0.62) correlation was shown between thunder (lightning present) and the presence of UAP reports” [Volume 1, Chapter 3, page 31]. In fact, as noted above, the relevant page of the analysis dealt with three samples with mixed results. The first sample (1988 reports) has a correlation of -0.43 (i.e. a negative correlation, i.e. UAP are _less_ likely to be reported when there is a high incidence of lightning), the second sample (1996 reports) has a positive correlation of 0.62, and the third sample (1988 reports) had a correlation of 0.19. It is not clear whether the correlation in relation to the third sample was positive or negative, since the relevant description of the results refers to a “weakly positive” correlation but this appears to be a correlation between days of thunder against days when _no_ UAP reports were received (i.e. a negative correlation between UAP reports and lightning). Thus, the conclusion section’s reference to a “positive (+0.62) correlation) merely refers to the one sample out of the three which most supports the theory being advanced. The other two samples (and the significant disparity in the results) are simply ignored in the conclusions section.

Instead of advancing a theory that plasmas caused by weather conditions are misreported as UFOs (as suggested by some reports in the media), the thrust of the material relating to statistical analysis is in fact that meteors are the most significant cause of plasmas which result in UAP reports.

The reasoning in support of this contention is probably the most amusing part of the report.

The report does not contain any references to data in support of the suggestion that plasma bodies are generated by meteors. Instead, the report refers to the large quantity of matter entering the earth’s atmosphere which “in theory is said to burn up”. The report then simply says that certain issues arise “if it is postulated that” not all this material burns up or impacts the surface. (The report acknowledges that there is “a dearth of information in the scientific press on this possibility”).

The report then makes the further imaginative leap that the postulated further material turns into “meteor plasmas”. The report notes a finding (which may not be considered very surprising) that “peak reporting periods co-incided with meteor show peaks”, but contends that the reports did not involve (as one might have expected) sightings of “falling meteors” but were in fact sightings of “meteor plasmas”. The report simply asserts that these sightings “were clearly events which occurred after the plasmas had been formed, were usually at low altitude and exhibited the regularly-seen erratic, bobbing, hovering and climbing motion which would not [sic] be mistaken by the public and other credible witnesses” [Volume 1, Chapter 3, paras 53-65 (particularly at paras 54-55 and 65)]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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“Volume 2” : Outline

This volume comprises 25 “Working Papers” (also referred to as “Point Papers”).

The 25 Working Papers appear to be based on extremely limited research. Most of the 25 “Working Papers” only cite one or two items in support. Indeed, few of those articles actually relate to the central contentions in the Condign Report and are in fact at most of peripheral relevance.

On an initial review of the Condign Report, the key Working Papers appear to be the first and last ones, i.e.:
(a) Working Paper 1 (particularly Annex D and (especially) Annex F) in relation to UAP effects on humans and objects.
(b) Working Paper 25 on magnetic field effects on humans.

The material in these two Working Papers relies upon the research of Michael Persinger about the possibility that magnetic fields may affect brain activity, particularly the temporal lobe areas. The Condign Report accepts that there is a “high probability” that UAPs produce EM radiation which “can affect the brain”, causing “the brain to interact in an unusual way with the imagination ‘library’, causing reports of visual activity which are not in fact a true representation of the facts” (Volume 2, Working Paper 1, Annex F, paras 13-16. See also Working Paper 25).

It is fairly clear from the content of the report that the author read about Persinger in books by Jenny Randles and/or Paul Devereux and then looked up articles by Persinger. It is also fairly clear that the author of the report did not bother to obtain Persinger’s book or review the literature criticizing Persinger’s conclusions.

In fact, it is reasonably certain even from a preliminary reading that the author of the Condign report obtained Paul Devereux’s second book on Earthlights i.e. “Earth Lights Revelations” (1989), but had not read Paul Devereux’s first book, i.e. “Earthlights”. Paul Devereux’s first book, i.e. “Earthlights” contains several reasons for doubting Persinger’s conclusions. None of those reasons are referred to, or addressed, in the Condign Report.

One of the reasons that has repeatedly been expressed in the UFO literature for questioning the equating Persinger’s lab experiments with real life UFO witnesses is the strength of the magnetic fields involved. As the Condign Report acknowledges, “unfortunately there are no electric or magnetic field strength measurements taken” of any emissions from UAPs(Volume 2, Working Paper 1, Annex F, para 5).

Furthermore, the Working Papers appear to have been drafted by the same person, rather than specialists in each of the relevant fields. This may be the explanation for the evident lack of understanding of some of the material summarized in those Working Papers,

The fact that all the Working Papers appear to have been drafted by the same person The may also explain the omission of any reference to (or apparent awareness of) much of the existing relevant material.

Indeed, a substantial quantity of the content of the material relating to plasmas etc (e.g. Working Paper 10 on Earthlights) is taken from readily identifiable UFO literature. When I saw the material is “taken from readily identifiable UFO literature”, I do not merely mean that that author has done a literature survey and has summarized the most relevant evidence and arguments. Instead, in at least some cases, the author of the Condign report has lifted material almost verbatim.

The Condign Report shows an awareness of (and takes material from) an extremely small number of UFO books. It is possible to identify the influence of certain books by Jenny Randles and Paul Devereux. I have not had time to confirm it, but it seems probable that some material was also obtained from one of Albert Budden’s books.



[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:47 PM
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Volume 2: The plasma-UFO theory

The Condign Report has been the subject of widespread media coverage (particularly in Britain) since the EMP Team made the press aware of the report. [3]

Each media article focused upon the suggestion in the report that UFO reports may be caused by atmospheric-electrical plasmas of some type similar to ball lightning, but perhaps something different, something we don't yet understand but generated by atmospheric processes.

Despite the fact that the media coverage concentrated on the plasma , in the first few days of reporting of the Condign report, media coverage failed to include any mention of the fact that the plasma UFO theory has in fact been around for approximately 40 years. Although one article (on the website of the journal Nature, [3]) has now quoted Ian Ridpath as stating that “the ideas about electrical plasmas being mistaken
for alien craft are far from being a new idea”, I have yet to see any references to the discussion of that theory that has taken place within ufology since the plasma UFO theory was first proposed. To some extent, this is explicable by reference to the content of the Condign Report. The Condign Report is almost devoid of references to the ufological literature relating to the plasma UFO theory. Indeed, the Condign Report is almost devoid of references, period.

Nor has there been any mention in the media (or, so far as I can recall, on the Internet) during the last week to the fact that the United States Air Force has previously (indirectly) funded a conference of scientists from several prestigious universities and scientific laboratories to discuss the plasma UFO theory. (This omission is more readily excused, since I do not recall any mention of that conference in UFO books).

As discussed below, this theory had in fact been the subject of several articles, at least one book and at least one conference of scientists. Indeed, the hypothesis that UFO reports may be caused by ball lightning was considered by the United States Air Force in the Project Grudge report, back in 1949. Despite being provided with that material, the US Air Force very rarely refer to lightning as being a cause of UFO reports. This can be seen from an examination of a summary of the results of Project Blue Book, a long running investigation of UFOs by the US Air Force. An ambitious project involving various ufologists has recently made available that summary (plus many other Project Blue Book documents) at the website below:
www.bluebookarchive.org...

(The existence of the relevant mass of US Air Force documents on the Internet has been referred to relatively infrequently to date. This may be because the ufologists involved in the relevant project have remained relatively quiet about their work. Or it may simply be that analysis of those documents is relatively dull and hard work compared to looking at the latest “cool pic” of a UFO or document of unknown provenance which “proves” that “They” know “The Truth”. Those inclined to consider the relevant US Air Force documents may find the material at [6], [7] and [8] helpful.).

Evidence in support of a plasma-UFO theory was put forward in considerable detail in the first UFO book written by Philip J Klass, “UFOs – Identified”. The Working Papers do not appear to pick up on most of the evidence and arguments in support of that theory advanced by Klass. Indeed, it is fairly clear that the author did not bother to obtain the book by Klass. Instead, he appears to have relied upon summaries of that evidence and/or reinvented the wheel.

It is noteworthy that this theory was subsequently abandoned, or at the very least marginalised, by Klass himself. The plasma UFO theory was relegated to a short mention in the next UFO book by Klass, although he still appears to have supported that theory (briefly commenting that he had become aware of several UFO reports “which provide further support for [the UFO plasma] hypothesis”. [44] However, a fellow skeptic that co-operated with Klass, Robert Sheaffer, has written that: “Several years after the publication of [the plasma-UFO] explanation in UFOs Identified (Random House, 1968), Klass began to rethink his appraisal of the UFO phenomenon. He now explains that when he first became interested in UFOs it did not seem to him to be possible that apparently sane and sober persons would mistake a distant planet or a hovering air-balloon for a huge, brilliant object just hundreds of feet away. But the experience of years of investigating UFO reports convinced him that such misperceptions are not only possible but in fact often happen. Klass now believes that the phenomenon of ball lightning plays only a minor role in the overall UFO picture”. [42, 43].

“UFOs – Identified” was preceded by two relevant articles by Klass. In fact, both articles by Klass were preceded by at least one article that had already put forward the plasma-UFO theory. A newspaper article dated 17 April 1966 had discussed experiments by “Jenzano” (the director of the Morehead Planetarium) which had created plasma in a laboratory and believed that “something like this is what UFO observers are seeing” [59]. The numerous references on the Internet giving Klass credit for first proposing the plasma-UFO theory are therefore slightly inaccurate.

The first article by Klass generated considerable press interest, catching the attention of publications as disparate as New Scientist, Electronic Design and Saturday Review. [30]

A Time-Life publication summarises the reaction to his articles as follows: “Klass received scant encouragement. Traditional scientists had little reason to pursue his hypothesis; those who had already made up their minds about UFOs were uninterested or openly hostile. Newsweek called his theory ‘one of the most persuasive explanations of all’ but added that the air force was ‘noncommittal’ and that UFO buffs were ‘unimpressed’. One skeptic sarcastically described Klass’s theory as ‘a freak of nature - hitherto unknown to science: a clear weather plasma, akin to ‘ball lightning’, caused by an electrical discharge from nearby high-tension power lines, which was somehow able to detach itself, grow to tremendous size, and cavort about the countryside under its own power”. [41]

Some researchers rejected the plasma-UFO theory out of hand. Others accepted that the theory could be an explanation of some, or even all sightings. Some of those researchers, however, complained that the scientific community had failed to test the plasma UFO theory e.g. Lloyd Mallan [37].

For a more detailed consideration of the UFO plasma theory put forward by Klass, see the relevant discussion in the various books listed at [40].

[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:48 PM
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Many discussions in UFO books or on the Internet have rejected the plasma-UFO theory simply by reference to fact that it was (supposedly) originally put forward by Klass (an individual reviled by many pro-ETH researchers). If you are lucky, the person rejecting the plasma-UFO theory may at least mention that it was rejected by James E McDonald, one of a very small number of atmospheric physicists to have considered UFO reports in detail. However, it would be in the interests of all concerned if, instead of merely referring to McDonald’s views, an explanation were given of the _reasoning_ behind his rejection of the plasma UFO theory. Mere appeals to authority are commonly (and rightly) criticized by ufologists when a skeptic simply notes that an individual prominent scientist does not believe that UFO reports are worth investigating.

This is particularly desirable given that McDonald’s views on the plasma UFO theory were expressed quite some time ago. If no details of the basis of his views is given, it would be easy to dismiss references to the position he held merely by noting that a lot of time has passed and much more is now known about plasma.

It is in fact possible to combine referring to McDonald’s reasoning with the additional objective of referring to a significant U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics “Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects”, chaired by Congressman J Edward Roush (“the Roush hearing”) on 29 July 1968. In his evidence at the Roush hearing, McDonald made the following comment on the plasma-UFO theory:



“When you deal with multiple-witness cases involving discs with metallic luster, definite outline, seen in the daytime, completely removed from a thunderstorm, perhaps seen over center Manhattan, or perhaps in Redlands, Calif., they are not ball lightning or plasmas. … One of the most characteristic features of a plasma is its very short lifetime and exceedingly great instability…. The difficulty of sustaining a plasma for more than microseconds is a very great difficulty. To suggest that clear weather conditions can somehow create and maintain plasmas that persist for many minutes, and fool pilots … is unreasonable. It is not a scientifically well-defended viewpoint.” [5]


McDonald did not, unfortunately, have a book on UFOs published. A considerable amount of detail about his life and views is given in a biography of McDonald by Ann Druffel (“Firestorm : Dr James E McDonald’s Fight for UFO Science” (2003)), a fascinating book even if somewhat biased in favour of the ETH and McDonald personally). It is, however, somewhat surprising that the book does not appear to mention the fact that McDonald’s interest in UFOs was the subject of a significant dissertation by Paul McCarthy entitled “Politicking and Paradigm Shifting: James E. McDonald and the UFO Case Study”. This omission is all the more surprising given that even Klass (not exactly a fan of McDonald…) has referred to that dissertation [56]. Fortunately, the complete text of that dissertation is available to read free on-line on the Project 1947 website at:
www.project1947.com...

“Firestorm” is at pains to stress repeatedly that McDonald rebutted arguments advanced by Klass point by point and includes some relevant brief comments at pages 165-166 (in Chapter 8). Unfortunately neither “Firestorm” nor the thesis actually give the relevant arguments in relation to the plasma-UFO hypothesis in any detail. So far, I have been unable to find any of the relevant papers by McDonald on the Internet (although some of the relevant papers have been collected into a book which may be purchased). Hopefully, the ufological community will be sufficiently organized that it will respond to the Condign Report by making some of McDonald’s relevant papers available online.

The Condon Report includes an entire chapter (by Martin D Altschuler) on the plasma-UFO theory, ball-lightning and similar matters. That chapter includes some comments on the book by Philip Klass and the plasma-UFO theory it advances. The Condon Report notes: “The book does not attempt to summarize any of the fundamental principles of atmospheric electricity, plasma physics, or atmospheric dynamics…” [53]

More significantly, the same chapter of the Condon Report also details a “plasma UFO conference” attended by several physicists expert in either plasma physics or atmospheric electricity on 27 and 28 October 1967. That conference was organized by the Condon study (which, as noted above, was funded by a contract with the US Air Force). The attendees included:


    (a) Marx Brook: New Mexico Inst. of Mining and Technology
    (b) Keith A. Brueckner: University of California (San Diego)
    (c) Nicholas C. Christofilos: University of California (Livermore)
    (d) Ronald T. H. Collis: Stanford Research Institute
    (e) Edmond M. Dewan: Air Force Cambridge Research Lab.
    (f) Herman W. Hoerlin: Los Alamos Scientific Lab.
    (g) Bernd T. Matthias: University of California (San Diego)
    (h) Arnold T. Nordsieck: Santa Barbara, California
    (i) Marshall N. Rosenbluth: James Forrestal Research Center
    (j) John H. Taylor: University of California (San Diego)
    (k) UFO Study Members


Various aspects of atmospheric electricity were reviewed at this plasma UFO conference, such as ball lightning, and tornado and earthquake luminescence. Unusual UFO reports were presented for discussion. The Condon Report notes that “participants with a background in theoretical or experimental plasma physics felt that containment of plasma by magnetic fields is not likely under atmospheric conditions for more than a second or so. The plasma theory was not accepted by the participants in the conference, with “all participants [being] agreed that the UFO cases contained insufficient data for a definitive scientific conclusion”.
Possibly because of the incompleteness of, or inaccuracies alleged in, the plasma-UFO theory advanced by Klass, several pro-ETH authors have been able to advance an alternative explanation. They have advanced theories that plasma are related to UFOs – but these authors have sought to contend that the plasma is generated by alien spaceships. For example:


    (a) Paul Hill states that there is an “illuminated and illuminating sheath of atmosphere [around UFOs which] is a sheath of ionized and excited air molecules often called a plasma” which Hill asserts is caused by a “power-plant-connected, ionizing, wave type radiation from the UFO” [50]

    (b) James M Campbell has written a book which discusses reports indicating the presence of plasma, contending that this plasma is the result of “the propulsion system of UFOs [involving] the emission of microwave energy”. [55]

    (c) A different connection between vehicles and plasma was put forward by Stanton T Friedman in his written statement evidence to the Roush hearings. He referred to publications relating to “interactions between vehicles and plasmas”, stating that “there is a body of technology which I have studied and which leads me to believe that an entirely new approach to high speed air and space propulsion could be developed using the interactions between magnetic and electric fields with electrically conducting fluids adjacent to the vehicles to produce thrust or lift and reduce or eliminate such other hypersonic flight problems as drag, sonic boom, heating, etc”. [60]



[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:49 PM
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Secrecy and the erosion of trust

Until recently, the MOD had consistently denied carrying out any study of UFOs. The Condign Report itself refers to the fact that the MOD had made an “inappropriate statement that the MOD has not carried out any UAP investigations”. The author of the report comments, with evident irritation, that it will “there will, most likely be a need to respond to the inappropriate statement that the MoD has not carried out any UAP investigations, which was issued in a written reply, by another Department” [Volume 1, page 5, para 16].

This is not the only example of official documents being somewhat at odds with answers given about UFOs in Parliament. Various statements on behalf of the British Government that UFO reports are investigated to determine whether they have any defence significance. However, internal Ministry of Defence documents from the same time period stated that this policy was not fulfilled. A document prepared by a Mr E Humpston of DI55b (the same department that commissioned the Condign Report) included a comment that an investigation which fulfilled the stated policy would require more time and effort than could be devoted from the available resources, requiring "2-3 man days ... for each investigation" (Public Record Office File Reference DEFE 31/119, memo dated 7th June 1967). In response to this memo, A D Hunter ADI/DI55 advised Mr Potts DSTI was that since further staffing on this low priority task could not be contemplated, "we must therefore always fall short of what is required to implement the stated official policy" (National Archives File Reference DEFE 31/119, memo dated 7th June 1967). The stated official policy, however, continued to be repeated.

Such contradictions between public statements and internal documents are an obvious cause of conspiracy theories.

Similarly, secrecy in respect of UFO reports and investigations feeds allegations of a “cosmic watergate” (a term used by some ufologists when alleging that Governments are concealing evidence of extraterrestrial visitors to this planet). Even the University of Colorado report on UFOs (“the Condon Report”) contains fairly strident criticisms of secrecy in relation to ufo reports. The Condon Report is not generally considered to be biased in favour of ETH proponents. However, a section by Condon himself includes the following: “It would have been wise … to have declassified all or nearly all of the previous reports of investigations of flying saucer incidents …. But secrecy was maintained. This opened the way for intensification of the "aura of mystery" which was already impairing public confidence in the Department of Defense. Official secretiveness also fostered systematic sensationalized exploitation of the idea that a government conspiracy existed to conceal the truth.”

It is ironic that the Condign Report (itself kept secret for 6 years) refers to a covert study group in the USA during the 1950s, commenting that “the covertness of this investigation subsequently contributed greatly to charges of a government ‘cover-up’” (Volume 1, Chapter 1, page 1, para 2).

The debate about secrecy in relation to UFO reports is usually oversimplified. The existence of secrecy in relation to UFO reports does not necessarily mean that the content of those reports reveals anything astounding. It is common to ignore the fact that several valid reasons for limited secrecy have been advanced by several authors. However, close examination of documents written by civil servants within the Ministry of Defence reveals that less valid reasons have sometimes influenced decisions against revealing ufo reports.

For example, there is one episode in particular that I find interesting (although no one else seems to have shared my concern about it, since I don’t think anyone has referred to it since I mentioned it on UFO UpDates a few years ago). It relates to a request to the Ministry of Defence in 1975 by scientists Mark Stenhoff (an expert on ball lightning), Dr Paul Davies (the famous author) and Dr Christopher Evans (the author of a popular book about skepticism) for UFO reports to be released to advance understanding of ball lightning. A number of documents at the National Archives relate to this request, including request itself, the responses to it, and various internal Ministry of Defence documents considering that request. Those documents demonstrate the following:


    (1) The reasons for the MOD being reluctant to release the relevant reports included the need to redact material identifying the person reporting the sighting or to obtain permission from that person. The MOD was obviously reluctant to be drawn into such a time consuming exercise.

    (2) However, the documents also reveal a stated policy of being prepared to release otherwise confidential UFO reports to “a major scientific organisation of high standing” if it had “strong reasons for obtaining access”. One of the documents relating to the request considers whether the request satisfied this test. This further document suggested that the request should be turned down since the 3 of you appeared to be a group of academic drawn together “by an interest in UFOs” and that this group therefore could not be described as “a major scientific organisation of high standing” (See National Archives File Reference AIR 2/19086, document E16 dated 11 June 1975 from JEA Harrison).

    (3) The relevant MOD documents also include one relatively long memo discussing the potential release of the reports which notes that such release could be “embarrassing to the Department” for various reasons, including the “somewhat haphazard allocation” of the relevant reports to the various categories used in public statements on UFOs. (National Archives File Reference AIR 2/19086 document E21, undated but written in the context of correspondence during the summer of 1975).


Personally, I thought it quite interesting to find an express acknowledgement of “somewhat haphazard allocation” of UFO reports to the various categories of explanations of UFOs, and expressions of a desire to avoid release of documents demonstrating such “somewhat haphazard allocation” since this could “embarrassing to the Department”. (Since I wanted to highlight this episode and the issues it raised, perhaps I should have attempted to emulate the dramatic nature of many accounts within ufology. I could have mentioned back then the facts (which are true) that (a) when I asked to see the relevant file I was asked to sit in a special private and supervised room, and (b) that I saw the relevant file before it should have been released under the statutory provisions which were applicable at that time.)


[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:49 PM
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This incident is, to my mind, a particularly striking (though far from the only) example of a evidence supporting a point made by a UFO skeptic, Steuart Campbell: “In general, governmental agencies do not have the skill or knowledge to explain UFO reports. But rather than admit this, they either offer ridiculous explanations or conceal information that would enable others to explain them. However, the secrecy involved gives the impression that something important is being concealed, fuelling the UFO myth. … Governments are victims of their own preoccupation with secrecy.” [23]

Criticisms have also been made by numerous other skeptics, including Carl Sagan. He has made the following comment in relation to the classification of UFO reports: “The armed forces have a tendency to classify everthing in sight … Then the fact that such cases are classified starts rumours. Somebody who is in a position to know realizes the Air Force does have relevant data; and it is just a short step to the idea of official conspiracy to suppress the truth. Had the data not been classified, then independent scientific judgments would have been possible. In many cases, such independent scientific analysis would show that the cases have a natural explanation. The culprit is classification. I have a friend who says that in America today if you’re not a little paranoid you’re out of your mind. The military has a responsibility not to add further to the paranoia”. [61]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:49 PM
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Conclusion

Even on a preliminary review of its content, numerous severe flaws in the Condign Report can be readily identified.

As stated above, the severe flaws in the Condign Report highlighted below do _not_ mean that the plasma theory (or any other theory) is necessarily wrong, and they certainly do not mean that the claims that extraterrestrials are visiting Earth are true. Publications of such sloppy quality give skepticism a bad name.

The Condign Report contains several statements which seek to make virtues out of its vices. For example, the report fails to refer to many of the specific cases (British and foreign) that ufologists may have hoped to see dealt with. Even if that expectation were restricted to cases which had occurred within Britain (or restricted even further to cases that were reported to the Ministry of Defence), it is an expectation which will be disappointed upon reading the report. The Executive Summary does not refer to even one specific case. More surprising, the hundreds of pages in Volumes 1, 2 and 3 are almost as completely devoid of reference to specific cases. However, the report seeks to make a virtue out of this, by stating: “Every effort has been made to take a wide systems approach, to avoid over-focusing on single events” (see Volume 1, Preface, page ii, penultimate para).

After reading over 100 pages of material, the reader is finally rewarded with a comment on a specific well known case. That comment relates to the best known recent British UFO case, the Rendlesham Forest incident. The MOD’s file on the incident has been released to the public and is available on its website. That incident has been discussed in dozens of books (by skeptics and pro-ETHers) and has been the subject of several complete books. The relevant comment (in full) from the Condign Report is as follows “The well-reported Rendlesham Forest/Bentwaters event is an example where it might be postulated that several observers were probably exposed to UAP radiation for longer than normal UAP sighting periods. There may be other cases which remain unreported. It is clear that the recipients of these effects are not aware that their behaviour/perception of what they are observing is being modified” (Volume 2, Working Paper 1, Annex F, page F-4, para 13).

It is disappointing that media reporting of the initial release of the report did not refer to many of the above problems. At the time of writing, it remains to be seen whether the media spotlight will return to the report when the full document is made available on Monday 15 May 2006 – but I am not optimistic about the prospects of such coverage. The media spotlight has moved on.

The EMP Team are, of course, not responsible for the content of the relevant media reports. However, in an ideal world, it would have been desirable for the report to have been provided in confidence to some researchers that held opposing views prior to the release of the report to the media. In this way, when the media turned its spotlight on issues relating to this report it would have been possible to obtain informed and considered comment from individuals holding differing views. It is unfortunate (albeit understandable) that they did not feel able to share the report in this way.

On balance, I think the content (or rather the _lack_ of content) of the Condign Report will have a positive effect on ufology (at least in the UK).
The EMP Team deserve the gratitude of the ufological community for obtaining this material. The report provides an excellent opportunity for ufologists to put forward a case for scientists to look at the relevant data. It remains to be seen whether this opportunity will be grasped or (like most opportunities presented to ufology) merely squandered.
The theory advanced in the Condign Report is certainly not the final nail in ufology’s coffin. It is a rather old and rusty nail...



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:50 PM
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Footnotes:

[1] The MOD announcement is at:
/nwwap

[3] The relevant Nature news item is online at:
www.nature.com...

[5] McDonald, James E in the Roush Hearing (the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics "Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects" on 1968.0729) at page 26 of the transcript of the Ninetieth Congress, Second Session, Number 7. Edited and annotated transcript presented by Fuller, John in his “Aliens in the Skies” (1969). Complete transcript available free online at the following links:
ncas.sawco.com...
www.project1947.com...

[6] The relevant documents can be viewed at the link below (or purchased on CD from the same website):
www.bluebookarchive.org...

[7] See www.bluebookarchive.org...

[8] A list of Project Blue Book “unknowns” prepared by Don Berliner is online at:
www.nicap.org...

[9]Koi Chrono Core is a 1,800 page UFO Chronology (much of which is taken up with references) that I have circulated in draft on the Internet for anyone to download free of charge. The first link (below) is to a zipped Word copy of the full Chronology which is about 1.6 Mb:
/re7ae
[koi.com.virtuallystrange.net...]

The next link (below) is to an unzipped copy of the same Word document. This is quite a bit bigger, so I wouldn't recommend trying this one unless you have a rather fast internet connection and don't have unzipping software (or if you, like me until recently, don't know what zipped files are). It is about 9.1 Mb:
/oahe7
[koi.com.virtuallystrange.net...]

[10] The list of Project Blue Book "unknowns" is the basis of an interesting project by Brad Sparks. Brad has annotated many of the "unknowns" with basic details and references. This is a valuable resource if you are researching the list of "unknowns". See:
www.nicap.org...

[22] Sagan, Carl in his “The Demon Haunted World” (1997) at page 84 (in Chapter 5) of the Headline softcover edition

[23] Campbell, Steuart in his book “The UFO Mystery Solved” (1994) at page 184 (in Chapter 12) of the Explicit Books softcover edition.

[24] Park, Robert in his book “Voodoo Science” (2000) at page 181 (in Chapter 9) of the Oxford University Press hardcover edition .

[26] Condon Report (“Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects”, Edward U Condon (Director) and Daniel S Gillmor (Editor) (1969)) at pages 871, 874-876, 877 (in Section 5, Chapter 2 “UFOs: 1947-1968”, by Edward U Condon) of the uncorrected version submitted to the Air Force (with the same page numbering in the 3 volume paperbound edition distributed by the National Technical Information Service, US Department of Commerce), at pages 520, 522-524 of the Vision hardback edition (with the same page numbering in the Bantam paperback edition). The first of these editions has the same page numbering as the edition available free online at the following links:
ncas.sawco.com...
www.project1947.com...

[30] Stanton, L Jerome in his “Flying Saucers : Hoax or Reality?” (1966) at page 98 (in Chapter 6) of the Belmont paperback edition.

[31] Stanton, L Jerome in his “Flying Saucers : Hoax or Reality?” (1966) at page 149 (in Chapter 9) of the Belmont paperback edition.

[32] Greenfield, Irving in his “The UFO Report” (1967) at pages 122-123 (in Chapter 14), 136 (in Chapter 16) of the Lancer paperback edition.

[37] Lloyd Mallan in “The Official Guide to UFOs” (1968) (edited by the editors of Science & Mechanics) at page 124 (in unnumbered chapter entitled “What Happened at Wanaque, N. J.?”) of the Ace paperback edition.

[38] Ruppelt, Edward J in his “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects” (1956) at pages 130-131 (in Chapter 10) of the original 17 chapter Doubleday hardback edition, at pages 175-176 of the Gollancz hardback edition, at page 174 of the Ace paperback edition, at pages 130-131 of the 1959 revised Doubleday 20 chapter hardback edition, at page 93 of the reprinted Source Books softcover edition. The first of these editions (i.e. the original 17 chapter hardback edition) has the same page numbering as the version available free online at:
www.nicap.dabsol.co.uk...

[40] For discussion of “UFOs - Identified” by Philip J Klass and/or his plasma theory, see:
(a) Barry, Bill in his “Ultimate Encounter” (1978) at pages 174-179 (in Chapter 14) of the Corgi paperback edition.

(b) Clark, Jerome in his “The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial” (1998) at page 369 (in an entry entitled “McDonald, James Edward (1920-1971)”) of the Visible Ink Press softcover edition.

(c) Clark, Jerome in his “The UFO Encyclopedia: 1st edition: Volume 3 – High Strangeness” (1996) at page 298 (in an entry entitled “McDonald, James Edward (1920-1971)”) of the Omnigraphics hardback edition.

(d) Condon Report (“Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects”, Edward U Condon (Director) and Daniel S Gillmor (Editor) (1969)) at pages 1190-1194 (in Section 6, Chapter 7 “Atmospheric Electricity and Plasma Interpretations of UFOs”, by Martin D Altschuler) of the uncorrected version submitted to the Air Force (with the same page numbering in the 3 volume paperbound edition distributed by the National Technical Information Service, US Department of Commerce) at pages 748-750 of the Vision hardback edition (with the same page numbering in the Bantam paperback edition). The first of these editions has the same page numbering as the edition available free online at the following links:
ncas.sawco.com...
www.project1947.com...

(e) Erskine, Allen Louis in his “Why Are They Watching Us?” (1967) at pages 108-109 (in Chapter 13) of the Tower paperback edition.

(f) Evans, Hilary in his “The Evidence for UFOs” (1983) at page 109 (in Chapter 6) of the Aquarian softcover edition.

(g) Fitzgerald, Randall in “The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters” (2001) (edited by Ronald Story) at page 622 (in an entry entitled “UFOs Identified”) of the New American Library softcover edition, at page 608 of the pdf edition (with the same page numbering in the Microsoft Word edition).

(h) Fitzgerald, Randall in “The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters” (2001) (edited by Ronald Story) at pages 744-745 (in an entry entitled “UFOs Identified”) of the Robinson softcover edition.

(i) Fitzgerald, Randall in his “The Cosmic Test Tube” (1998) at pages 297-299 (in Section 4) with a one sentence summary at page 376 (in the Guide To Books) of the Moonlake Media softcover edition.

(j) Friedman, Stanton in an interview in “UFOs And The Alien Presence: Six Viewpoints” (1991) (Edited by Michael Lindemann) at pages 15-16 (in Chapter 1) of the 2002 Group softcover edition.

(k) Greenfield, Irving in his “The UFO Report” (1967) at pages 122-123 (in Chapter 14), 136 (in Chapter 16) of the Lancer paperback edition.

(l) Gurney, Gene (USAF Lt Col) and Gurney, Clare in their “Unidentified Flying Objects” (1970) at pages 116-119 (in Chapter 9) of the Abelard-Schuman hardback edition.

(m) Jacobs, David in his “The UFO Controversy in America” (1975) at pages 216-217 (in Chapter 8) of the Indiana hardback edition, page 192 of the Signet paperback edition.

(n) Klass, Philip J in his “UFOs Explained” (1974) at pages 94-95 (in Chapter 10) of the Random House Hardback edition, at pages 111-112 of Random House paperback edition.

(o) Machlin, Milt in his “The Total UFO Story” (1979) at pages 48-49 (in the Chapter 2) of the Dale paperback edition.

[edit on 3-12-2008 by IsaacKoi]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:50 PM
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(p) Mallan, Lloyd in “The Official Guide to UFOs” (1968) (edited by the editors of Science & Mechanics) at pages 123-125 (in unnumbered chapter entitled “What Happened at Wanaque, N. J.?”) of the Ace paperback edition.

(q) McDonald, James E in the Roush Hearing (the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics "Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects" on 1968.0729) at page 26 of the transcript of the Ninetieth Congress, Second Session, Number 7. Edited and annotated transcript presented by Fuller, John in his “Aliens in the Skies” (1969), with the relevant extract appearing at pages 77-78 (in Chapter 2) of the Putnam hardback edition. Complete transcript available free online at the following links:
ncas.sawco.com...
www.project1947.com...

(r) Randle, Kevin D in his “The October Scenario” (1988) at page 135 (in Part 3, unnumbered section entitled “Solutions and Theories”) of the Berkley paperback edition.

(s) Ritchie, David in his “UFO : The Definitive Guide” (1994) at pages 63-64 (in an entry entitled “electrical phenomena”) of the MJF hardback edition.

(t) Rutkowski, Chris in “UFO: 1947-1987” (1987) (edited by Hilary Evans with John Spencer) at page 274 (in Chapter 4.3.2, entitled “UFOs as Natural Phenomena”) of the Fortean Tomes softcover edition.

(u) Rutledge, Harley D in his “Project Identification” (1981) at page 246 (in Chapter 20) of the Prentice-Hall hardback edition.

(v) Salisbury, Frank in his “The Utah UFO Display: A Biologist’s Report” (1974) at page 228 (in the Appendix entitled “The Literature of Ufology”) of the Devin Adair hardback edition.

(w) Schnabel, Jim in his “Dark White” (1994) at pages 93-96 (in Chapter 6) of the Hamish Hamilton softcover edition.

(z) Sheaffer, Robert in his “The UFO Verdict” (1980) at page 209 (in Chapter 20) of the Prometheus softback edition.

(y) Sheaffer, Robert in his “UFO Sightings: The Evidence” (1998) at page 270 (in Chapter 19) of the Prometheus hardback edition.

(z) Stanton, L Jerome in his “Flying Saucers : Hoax or Reality?” (1966) at pages 20-21 (in Chapter 1), 98 (in Chapter 6), 149 (in Chapter 9) of the Belmont paperback edition.

(aa) Steiger, Brad in his “Project Blue Book” (1976) at page 337 (forming part of Chapter 13) of the Ballantine Books paperback edition.

(bb) Strickland, Joshua in his “Extra-terrestrials on Earth” (1977) at pages 66-69 (in Chapter 5) of the Granada softcover edition.

(cc) Time-Life (Editors of) in “The UFO phenomenon: Mysteries of the Unknown” (1987) at pages 104-106 (in Chapter 3) of the Time-Life Book hardback edition.

(dd) Vesco, Renato in his “Intercept Ufo” (Formerly published as “Intercept - But Don't Shoot”) (1971) at page 331 (in Chapter 10) of the Zebra paperback edition.


[41] Time-Life (Editors of) in “The UFO phenomenon: Mysteries of the Unknown” (1987) at page 105 (in Chapter 3) of the Time-Life Book hardback edition.

[42] Sheaffer, Robert in his “The UFO Verdict” (1980) at pages 8-10 (in Chapter 2) of the Prometheus softback edition.

[43] Sheaffer, Robert in his “UFO Sightings: The Evidence” (1998) at pages 23-25 (in Chapter 2) of the Prometheus hardback edition.

[44] Klass, Philip J in his “UFOs Explained” (1974) at pages 94-95 (in Chapter 10) of the Random House Hardback edition, at pages 111-112 of Random House paperback edition.

[45] Nickell, Joe and Fischer, John F in their “Mysterious Realms” (1992) at pages 178-180, 189-191, 209 (in Chapter 11) of the Prometheus hardback edition.

[47] For discussion of the Flying Saucer Working Party Report, see the following:

(a) Bruni, Georgina and Pope, Nick in an online article, on Nick Pope’s website: www.nickpope.net...

(b) Clark, David and Roberts, Andy in an article entitled “Britain’s Secret ‘X-Files’ Revealed”, available online on their website at: www.flyingsaucery.com...

(c) Clarke, David and Roberts, Andy in their “Out of the Shadows” (2002) at pages 77-96 (in Chapter 6) of the Piatkus hardback edition.

(d) Pope, Nick in “The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters” (2001) (edited by Ronald Story) at pages 241-243 (in an entry entitled “Flying Saucer Working Party”) of the Robinson softcover edition.

(e) Randles, Jenny in “The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters” (2001) (edited by Ronald Story) at page 137 (in an entry entitled “British Government Interest in UFOs”) of the Robinson softcover edition.

(f) Randles, Jenny in “The UFO Conspiracy” (1987) at pages 189-190 (in Chapter 31) of the Barnes & Noble hardback edition.

[50] Hill, Paul R in his “Unconventional Flying Objects : A Scientific Analysis” (1995) at 53-54 (in Section III) of the Hampton Roads softcover edition.

[51] The University of Colorado signed the relevant contract with the Air Force for the Condon report on 6 October 1966[see references for Koi Chrono Core 1966.1006], and this fact was announced to the press the following day [see references for Koi Chrono Core 1966.1007]).

[52] Roth, J Reece “Ball lightning as a route to fusion energy”, PROC IEEE 13TH SYMP ON FUSION ENG. Vol. 2, pp. 1407-1411. 1989.

[53] Condon Report (“Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects”, Edward U Condon (Director) and Daniel S Gillmor (Editor) (1969)) at page 1192 (in Section 6, Chapter 7 “Atmospheric Electricity and Plasma Interpretations of UFOs”, by Martin D Altschuler) of the uncorrected version submitted to the Air Force (with the same page numbering in the 3 volume paperbound edition distributed by the National Technical Information Service, US Department of Commerce) at page 748 of the Vision hardback edition (with the same page numbering in the Bantam paperback edition). The first of these editions has the same page numbering as the edition available free online at the following links:
ncas.sawco.com...
www.project1947.com...

[54] Condon Report (“Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects”, Edward U Condon (Director) and Daniel S Gillmor (Editor) (1969)) at pages 1193-1194 (in Section 6, Chapter 7 “Atmospheric Electricity and Plasma Interpretations of UFOs”, by Martin D Altschuler) of the uncorrected version submitted to the Air Force (with the same page numbering in the 3 volume paperbound edition distributed by the National Technical Information Service, US Department of Commerce) at pages 749-750 of the Vision hardback edition (with the same page numbering in the Bantam paperback edition). The first of these editions has the same page numbering as the edition available free online at the following links:
ncas.sawco.com...
www.project1947.com...

[55] Campbell, James M in Chapters 3 and 6 of his book “Ufology”. The text of the relevant book is available online at:
www.nicap.dabsol.co.uk...
www.nicap.dabsol.co.uk...

[56] Klass, Philip J in “The UFO Invasion” (1997) (edited by Kendrick Frazier, Barry Karr and Joe Nickell) at pages 34-40 of the Prometheus hardback edition (part of Chapter 2 at pages 29-43, “The Condon UFO Study”). The relevant chapter is a reprint of an article in the Skeptical Inquirer 10, number 4 (Summer 1986).

[58] The relevant Washington Post article is summarised by Whitley Strieber in his introduction to the Dell paperback edition of the “UFO Briefing Document” (1995) by Berliner, Don and Galbraith, Marie and Hunees, Antonio, at page 9 of the Dell paperback edition (Introduction).

[59] “Jenzano Makes Own ‘Flying Saucers’ at Planetarium”, 17 April 1966, in the Morning Herald newspaper of Durham, North Carolina. The relevant article is quoted by Philip J Klass in his “UFOs – Identified” (1968) at pages 68-69 (in Chapter 8) of the Random House hardback edition.



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:51 PM
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[60] Friedman, Stanton J in the Roush Hearing (the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics "Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects" on 1968.0729) at page 217 of the transcript of the Ninetieth Congress, Second Session, Number 7. Edited and annotated transcript presented by Fuller, John in his “Aliens in the Skies” (1969). Complete transcript available free online at the following links:
ncas.sawco.com...
www.project1947.com...

[61] Carl Sagan in “UFO’s: A Scientific Debate” (1972) (edited by Carl Sagan and Thornton Page) at pages 273-274 (in Chapter 14) of the Norton paperback edition.



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 07:30 AM
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Isaac-mighty fine post my friend,its going to take me weeks to get through that lot

Cheers Karl
PS Watch you don't get hacked like this chap:
www.abovetopsecret.com...





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