It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by VType
So what constitutes a "Trained Observer" when talking UFO's?
Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
I honestly don't think there is such a thing as a 'fully trained observer'.
First of all, if you want to go out looking for UFOs, you need to familiarize yourself with what is not a UFO, otherwise, how will you know a real UFO when you see one, or rather, how can you be *sure* that what you have seen is not a commonly seen object but under unfamiliar/unusual conditions?
So, what should a trained observer be able to identify and what should he/she be aware of? Here is a list of the things I think would be necessary:
giant-jets/sprites/lightning in all it's forms
cloud formations and types
Most of these subjects could take a lifetime to fully master, and yet people think that a police man or navy officer have the training to understand as well as recognize these phenomena. Think about it.
Authority figures like these spend 2 or 3 years getting their training, and yes, they are trained to be good observers, but, and crucially, they might only be given a line or two of info about each subject, which is nothing!
If you don't have at least a fairly good understanding of the underlying physics behind these phenomena, then how can you recognize them under real-world circumstances, where not everything is 'text book'.
UFOs are generally atmospheric phenomena, so just like if you want to understand how a fish swims, you also need to know something about water and it's properties, and in the same way, to fully understand UFOs, you need to know something about the medium that they operate in; the atmosphere.
More importantly, knowing how the atmosphere and perspective can distort what you see, and how the brain interprets the signals it receives from the optic nerve. Knowing when to believe your eyes and when not is key IMHO.
So, to sum up, there are very few people that would be able to make outstanding observers, if any. The best observers IMHO tend to be specialists in their field, but they are only useful in a certain percentage of cases that may relate to what they specialize in.
Rather than have one trained observer who is borderline-adequate all round, I personally think it's better to have many individuals each of whom specialize in no more than 2 or 3 areas, and know them inside out.
Even so, this still does not guarantee that every phenomena can be identified, and the 'true' UFOs sorted from known phenomena, since there are still phenomena which have not been documented by science yet, and it's impossible to be able to predict exactly how some random set of conditions could interact in a way not seen before.
Other important qualities needed include, impartiality, ability to think things through in a rational and logical fashion, attention to detail, and probably most important of all, real world experience observing under various conditions.
Humans are not perfect, and our knowledge of the environment/space around us is incomplete. We make mistakes, and base judgments on inaccurate (though it may be the best we have at the time) info, so there will probably always be something we do not fully understand, at least for the foreseeable future.
Originally posted by atsbeliever
I've seen a good deal of things on your list, and NOT ONCE had any illusion it was a UFO.