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When does evidence become proof?

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posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 12:26 AM
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Originally posted by Nohup
I understand that at a certain point, I have to go along with the consensus. I have to let a majority of apparently sane people accept something as real, and I'll have to go along with them.


I would think that is how the majority of the population feels about most things. I agree.


Originally posted by Nohup
I have to accept without direct observation that we live in a spiral galaxy called the Milky Way, and there is a center to it out there. I have no direct perception of the shape of the galaxy. The only thing I know personally of the Earth in space is essentially what my ancient ancestors did 10,000 years ago. Stuff moves around in the sky.


Yes, thank you for considering my substitution comparison, and for crediting the validity of the argument.


Originally posted by Nohup
One thing that you can kind of use as a rule of thumb about those types of things is how many people who otherwise disagree on everything else will agree on the existence of the other thing. For instance, one really sure way for me to move away from a purely skeptical viewpoint and admit and believe that UFO aliens truly exist would be for James Randi, Michael Shermer, Stanton Friedman, Steven Hawking and the Pope all to sit at the same table and say, "Yes, we all agree that we now have proof of ET life and intelligence." Who am I going to argue with at that point?


And this is why I love it when you step to the debate table my friend. Very well put. I understand your contention, that if these people who disagree about everything, agree on something, then that something must be valid.

I can't argue with the logic of that, and if that's your personal standard of proof, well I'd call it fair and rational.

I would suggest however that if all of those people were properly briefed on the subject they would all come to the same conclusion. I can't say for sure, but heck even the Vatican has an Observatory. At a certain point, it's like denying that the sky is blue, you know?


Originally posted by Nohup
But if there are logical and reasonable arguments against something (or a clear lack of unimpeachable evidence or a clear definition for what we're even debating about, such as the divinity of Jesus Christ), then I tend not to believe, no matter how many people believe it to be true.


Nohup, in the face of a lack of evidence meeting your own standards for proof, I fully credit you with sanity for not believing what others say. In fact I think it's wise. You must surely agree however believing in extraterrestrial life is a different thing altogether than forming a hypothesis that can then be subjected to evidence and a conclusion drawn from that experiment.


I think it's important to draw a clear line of connection here. Neither you nor I are suggesting that anyone believe.

I would suggest that people examine the evidence, then form a hypothesis, test it against the evidence, and attempt to draw conclusions. From those conclusions, one can then make predictions, and then test the hypothesis further in future experiments, always refining the hypothesis towards eventual truth.

I think that approach is wise, and if you wouldn't mind commenting on that paragraph above, it would be incredibly nice to hear from one of ATS's most respected skeptics, and I think would serve well as an example to those who would attempt to argue on behalf of the skeptic view to see that Science should not be scorned.



Originally posted by Nohup
I'll take it with a grain of salt. If I was going to be burnt at the stake if I didn't profess my belief, I'd profess it of course, but keep my personal opinion of it to myself. I'm not stupid.


No my friend, stupid you are not!


-WFA




posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 12:27 AM
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Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
If you mean, do I think that there are real phenomena that people see that can not be explained by what we know currently?

Then yes, I do believe that a small percentage of sightings are of real phenomena that can not be explained by conventional means. However, that does not necessarily mean they are anything to do with ET, and that is where the proof comes in... No one has proved that connection.


That sounds pretty similar to my position.

However I am curious do you have an opinion about what these cases that defy explanation represent? If so are you willing to publicly state that opinion? If not, if I might be so bold, why?

It's rare to get the chance to closely analyze another persons views, well, at least as far as UFOs are concerned.
I'd very much appreciate an honest answer even if this means you'd rather not respond. If you prefer please feel free to reply via U2U. I'll keep whatever you send in the strictest confidence.


Try a little "naked eye" astronomy for a change ... It's refreshingly different to looking through a scope for supper faint objects etc. I specialize in meteor observing, and trying to photograph them, so I tend to get a much less restricted view of the sky, and for much longer periods than most other astronomers


For meteorites "naked eye" astronomy is definitely preferable. When I was younger I'd sit outside with my grandparents and we'd watch Perseid showers till the wee hours of the morning.

The next thing on my astronomy todo-list is to pick up some good photographic gear. Thankfully I have a few friends that are professional photographers to help teach me the ropes. Any recommendations to get me started?


So far I've seen 3 UFOs that I have not been able to fully explain, two of those since I started observing just over a decade ago now.


See this interests me. When you saw these visual/telescopic-UFOs (CE1?) what was your thought process? Is it what spurred your research in to UFOs? Did it change any of your positions or beliefs? Ultimately was the visual sighting more consternating than it was enlightening?


I'm waiting for proof, and so are many others here, and I think if/when it comes, everyone here will know about it in no uncertain way.


I see two scenarios.

Enough people the world over have CE2 or CE3 experiences that it flips from taboo to serious scientific dilemma (talking about UFOs as legitimate new phenomenon which doesn't necessarily mean aliens). Alternatively a major event, like what was allegedly experienced in Nuremberg in 1561, occurs over a major city. What's interesting is the 1942 Battle of LA somewhat mimics Nuremberg. So I'm not even sure something of that nature would constitute proof. Therefore I think the best chance for change is a gradual one. Where the UFO subject becomes more and more accepted based on an accumulation of quality evidence coupled with personal experience.

I should add a caveat. Not all countries share the same disposition. Japan and China are very open to UFO research (alien or otherwise). The same could be said for most of Central and South America.

There's definitely "group think" in North America. It's interesting identifying what elements steer this cultural "belief system."

Agree, disagree, thoughts?

[edit on 12-3-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by Xtraeme
The next thing on my astronomy todo-list is to pick up some good photographic gear. Thankfully I have a few friends that are professional photographers to help me learn the ropes. Any recommendations to get me started?


I use a Meade 90mm Schmidt-Cassegrain. On that model (which cost me just under $700 when I picked it up a few years ago) there is a cap on the back you can unscrew, and you can fit a 35mm camera (digital works fine, video or still) and use an E Ring Adapter to stick it on the back of the scope.

For scopes without readymade adapters, you can always build your own rig to mount a camera. They make pretty small digital cameras now that have 8+ megapixel resolution. Most of these can be plugged into a laptop via USB cable to record directly to computer.

Hope that helps. Also, you can build your own dobsonian reflector for about $150. If you need I'll send you some links on DIY sites.

By the by, I just read your Brief Proof thread. I'm very impressed with that report. It was so effective, and yet so concise. Well done.


-WFA



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 04:04 AM
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reply to post by C.H.U.D.
 


Ok I see where you're coming from now. You're adopting philisophical skepticism. That's a valid stance. Your first post was a little unclear but thanks for continuing to contribute to the thread despite the fierce opposition. It's appreciated.



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 04:23 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram

As for your other comment that witnesses in a courtroom usually testify to events observed in terrestrial situations, well, I'm afraid these sightings are usually of objects in the sky as that's where 'flying objects' can usually be found - but certainly not always. What of astronaut Gordon Coopers clear view of a disk that landed? He was close enough to see how many struts it's landing gear had!

[edit on 11-3-2009 by Malcram]


I just want to make a clarification here. The disk that landed that you refer to was actually seen and filmed by two men under Cooper's command. Cooper did not see the disk himself but he did see the object on the film negatives.

At least that's what is written in his autobiography 'A Leap of Faith' (recommended reading BTW)



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


Thanks, MarrsAttax. You are quite right. I'm mixing up two of his accounts. in 1951, Cooper and fellow pilots saw a formation of hundreds of objects above them, flying higher and faster that they could. He said they were 'double saucer' shaped, 'lenticular'. Cooper identified the landed disk caught on film by his crew as being very similar to those he personally saw in 1951.


[edit on 12-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
reply to post by C.H.U.D.
 


Ok I see where you're coming from now. You're adopting philisophical skepticism. That's a valid stance. Your first post was a little unclear but thanks for continuing to contribute to the thread despite the fierce opposition. It's appreciated.


For the sake of clarity, I want to restate that my problem with the position taken by C.H.U.D. and others regarding UFO's is NOT the stance itself, although I do strongly disagree with it. My problem is with the fact that such a radical stance is not consistently applied to ALL subjects, but is pulled out of the bag only when it comes to UFO's.

This is as biased as, say, a judge suddenly abandoning the principle of 'Presumption of Innocence' - 'innocent until proven guilty' - and instead adopting the attitude of 'guilty until proven innocent' in cases where he simply doesn't like the look of the defendants face. In this situation it would be evident that the judge was more interested in reaching the outcome that he wanted, rather than in finding the truth.

Now, you might be able to make a philosophical argument for the merits of both positions - Presumption of Innocence and Presumption of Guilt - but simply flipping between them according to personal bias would be indefensible, IMO.

Of course, I'm an not suggesting that those who apply two radically different sets of rules to different subjects always do so knowingly. I'm not suggesting it is always deliberate intellectual dishonesty. In fact, I'm sure it is usually done unconsciously. Critical thinking is usually suspended, or at least greatly relaxed, when following 'the herd', and we are prone to accept all sorts of things unthinkingly, unconsciously as 'true'.

However, when it comes to subjects which are at the leading edge, things which have not yet sunk into the dense, sluggish herd consciousness (especially if such subjects are being controlled and actively resisted by the 'powers that be') then, suddenly, inconsistently, "extraordinary evidence" is required. And when it is provided, it is ignored. And then we are told that no matter how much "extraordinary evidence" is provided, in this case, UNIQUELY, it will NEVER amount to "proof". Those who habitually accept all sorts of things unquestioningly as 'true' and 'fact'- as long as the rest of the herd also accepts it and it comes from the usual trusted 'troughs' they are comfortable feeding at - now suddenly become the most stringent skeptics with criteria for belief pitched so high, they can never be met.

Of course, just because it is done unconsciously, doesn't make it any more legitimate.



[edit on 12-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
reply to post by C.H.U.D.
 


Ok I see where you're coming from now. You're adopting philisophical skepticism. That's a valid stance. Your first post was a little unclear but thanks for continuing to contribute to the thread despite the fierce opposition. It's appreciated.


You're a much bigger man than I, and I'm not afraid to admit it


I know you were being really generous there, and I really think it was a nice gesture. I tried myself several times this morning to go back and read C.H.U.D.'s posts through the filter of a philosophical skeptic. But time after time he made definitive statements that he clearly felt to be truth.

I'm sorry MarsAttax. I really think you were being a nice charitable person by extending that olive branch. I just don't think that C.H.U.D.'s own comments here in this thread demonstrates such thinking. And most especially a philosophical skeptic would refuse to make the definite statement (of truth) that Saturn, or the Galactic Center exists.

I think that Malcram has it right, out of all of us. That C.H.U.D. probably didn't even recognize his own double standard.

Which is why I'm not calling him a 'bogus skeptic' (listed further down the link on Wiki you shared with us...).

I do recognize your generosity in that statement though, and man you're impressive! You're a better man than I


-WFA



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by WitnessFromAfar
 


Well thank you for your kind words! It was my intention to provoke debate on this thread so differing viewpoints are welcome - it would be a dull thread otherwise.

I admit though if I hadn't started the thread I may have gone for the jugular



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by WitnessFromAfar
 





Which is why I'm not calling him a 'bogus skeptic' (listed further down the link on Wiki you shared with us...)

I do recognize your generosity in that statement though, and man you're impressive! You're a better man than I






"According to Richard Wilson, who highlights the phenomenon in his book Don't Get Fooled Again (2008), the characteristic feature of bogus skepticism is that it "centres not on an impartial search for the truth, but on the defence of a preconceived ideological position".


Actually, I think the designation "bogus skeptic" is very appropriate - if you reread some of the posts in this thread - as it is of many others who present supposedly "skeptical" arguments here at ATS. Again, it's possible for someone to consider themselves a "skeptic" and yet argue from a position that clearly identifies them as a "bogus skeptic". That is to say, I think there are many who are "bogus skeptics" and don't even realize it, precisely because they are unaware of the extent of their prejudice as explained in my previous post. I didn't see anything in the wikipedia definition that limited "bogus skeptic" it to those who deliberately intended to be intellectually dishonest.

So, WFA and MarrsAttax, It looks like you are BOTH better men than I


[edit on 12-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by Xtraeme
However I am curious do you have an opinion about what these cases that defy explanation represent? If so are you willing to publicly state that opinion? If not, if I might be so bold, why?

It's rare to get the chance to closely analyze another persons views, well, at least as far as UFOs are concerned.
I'd very much appreciate an honest answer even if this means you'd rather not respond. If you prefer please feel free to reply via U2U. I'll keep whatever you send in the strictest confidence.


More than happy to respond in public.

I think that there is a tiny chance that some UFOs people have seen are ETs. I am open minded about it, but I do think it's much more likely that the tiny percentage of truly unexplainable UFOs are due to phenomena that we have not recognized yet.


Originally posted by Xtraeme
The next thing on my astronomy todo-list is to pick up some good photographic gear. Thankfully I have a few friends that are professional photographers to help teach me the ropes. Any recommendations to get me started?


It depends on what you want to try and do with it, but if you are not sure just yet, then I would say, buy a reasonably good DSLR (I'd go with either Canon or Nikon personally), and get a 50mm (either the 1.4 or the 1.8 for starters) lens to go with it. You'll also need a good tripod. tripod head, cable release (3rd party Chinese on ebay works just fine if you want to save a bit), spare battery, and memory card.

With that, you could try some star trails/meteor photography, shots of the milky way, constellations and conjunctions... the "nifty fifty" is a very versatile and fast lens to start off with.

From there, you could get a better idea of the sort of things you want to try and photograph, and either go for a longer or shorter focal length lens, whichever is more appropriate. For the fainter objects that require a fairly large degree of magnification, a telescope rather than a lens is probably a better bet, since they are generally better corrected for optical flaws that easily reveal themselves in star-fields.

The next step is usually to invest in a mount that can track the stars, so that you can take the very long exposures necessary to capture faint objects, however, if you feel that "wide-field astrophotography" is more your thing, then you might be able to get away without rather expensive and cumbersome tracking-mounts.

Anyway, if you're not confused already, you probably soon will be - it's a big subject, and knowing what gear to get can be a dilemma. All I can suggest is do your homework and ask questions. Feel free to U2U me, if I can help with anything, especially on the camera/lens/wide-field side of things. I don't know much about the telescope side of things, apart from the bare basics.

Have a look though this site too, as it's a great place to get an overview of the things you can do with what gear, and the techniques used: www.astropix.com...


Originally posted by Xtraeme
I see two scenarios.

Enough people the world over have CE2 or CE3 experiences that it flips from taboo to serious scientific dilemma (talking about UFOs as legitimate new phenomenon which doesn't necessarily mean aliens). Alternatively a major event, like what was allegedly experienced in Nuremberg in 1561, occurs over a major city. What's interesting is the 1942 Battle of LA somewhat mimics Nuremberg. So I'm not even sure something of that nature would constitute proof. Therefore I think the best chance for change is a gradual one. Where the UFO subject becomes more and more accepted based on an accumulation of quality evidence coupled with personal experience.

I should add a caveat. Not all countries share the same disposition. Japan and China are very open to UFO research (alien or otherwise). The same could be said for most of Central and South America.

There's definitely "group think" in North America. It's interesting identifying what elements steer this cultural "belief system."

Agree, disagree, thoughts?


It's not easy to predict the future as there are so many factors and unknowns involved (obviously), but if I had to speculate, then yes, *if* it was all true, then I think that there would be a gradual "de-tabooing" of UFOs, but I do think that there would probably be some event, "the straw that broke the camels back" (perhaps more of a "two by four" in this case) that would finally clinch it.

I could be wrong, it's pure speculation on a subject that we are still not sure that even exists yet. The clinching proof might come from our DNA (as someone mentioned before), or even some other source that we may not have considered yet.



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


I don't think I (or scientists in general) apply different standards to the subject of UFOs...

If we compare it to the subject of the "galactic center", we know that it exists because, a. it fits in with the theories and the rest of the observed universe and b. because we have tested that theory multiple times and it has been independently verified.

Unfortunately, it's hard to apply the same method to UFO's since they don't usually hang around long enough for even one serious observation to be made, if any at all.

So, it's not that we treat them differently, it's because we have no other choice. UFOs don't give us a chance to properly analyze them, so that we can even theorize as to ways to test the theory that could potentially lead to the proof of UFOs being of ET origin. Unless an ET opens a door and hands itself over to the world for study, I'm not sure it will happen, at least not for a while anyway.



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
Nohup, in the face of a lack of evidence meeting your own standards for proof, I fully credit you with sanity for not believing what others say. In fact I think it's wise. You must surely agree however believing in extraterrestrial life is a different thing altogether than forming a hypothesis that can then be subjected to evidence and a conclusion drawn from that experiment.

I think it's important to draw a clear line of connection here. Neither you nor I are suggesting that anyone believe.


Well, I think people can believe whatever they want as long as they don't try to kill me because of it. If they also happen to recognize that what they have is a belief based on insufficient data, or hope, and not an observation of the truth based on proof, that's a bonus.


I would suggest that people examine the evidence, then form a hypothesis, test it against the evidence, and attempt to draw conclusions. From those conclusions, one can then make predictions, and then test the hypothesis further in future experiments, always refining the hypothesis towards eventual truth.


What we're basically talking about is a refinement of definitions based on relationships. Coming up with good definitions is always the hardest part of creating decent hypotheses, because there's always going to be a good bit of subjectivity thrown in, even in the selection of the variables, and how they're going to be tested against other variables. There's even a subjective factor in selecting what particular stuff you want to call "evidence."

In the case of "aliens," people in this forum and elsewhere tend to use the term generically to indicate a kind of organic creature similar in most respects to us, except they originated on a different planet. Using that default definition, when I look at the available evidence (as I select it), I don't see any convincing proof that such things exist. I can't get from Point A to Point B.

A lot of that, I think, is because I choose to include a lot of evidence that the novice or casual UFO fan doesn't, like accounts of time distortion, psychic effects, that curious "vanishing act," and so on. So as a result of my thinking about the subject for a few decades, my definition of alien has broadened to a point where I'm not able to point to any particular account or bit of evidence and say that it's evidence of those typical aliens. I think I understand what people are trying to say when they talk about aliens, but for me, the definition has become vague, much like "God."

In fact, I've slowly come to hypothesize for myself that the phenomenon (which I am convinced exists) has more to do with the way consciousness interacts with reality than with the more simple notion of organic critters flying their ships to Earth from other planets.

I don't think of this as a "conclusion," however. From my perspective, if you properly apply scientific method to the problem, you never really get to a conclusion, since all findings are subject to change upon examination of new data. My mind is still open. And even if a flying saucer lands on the White House lawn and something everybody agrees is an "alien" steps out of it, that still doesn't prove that every sighting since the dawn of history was of these particular aliens, or that other explanations for other happenings aren't still possible.

I like to imagine the above aliens meeting with our leaders and being shown photos of other UFOs, and them saying to us, "You got those things flying around, too? We don't have the foggiest notion what they are, either!"

I think I've strayed from the point here, but the bottom line is that I wish everybody was harder on themselves and would sit down with their own definitions, really see if they make sense, and really look at exactly what you have for evidence. If you have a video, think to yourself, what else is there? Is it just an image that can fool me? For every story, think, is there anything more to it? Are there other components I can use to verify it both internally and externally? If a person does that, they'll see that 99.999% of UFO stuff is too limited to use in testing a reasonable hypothesis.

But the sheer volume of evidence -- as I choose to select it -- suggests there's something going on. I just admit that after testing various hypotheses on it, I don't know what it is. So either the evidence is screwy, or my hypothesis needs adjustment. Which is what I've been doing for a long, long time now, with no conclusion in sight.


[edit on 12-3-2009 by Nohup]



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
More than happy to respond in public.

I think that there is a tiny chance that some UFOs people have seen are ETs. I am open minded about it, but I do think it's much more likely that the tiny percentage of truly unexplainable UFOs are due to phenomena that we have not recognized yet.


Before everyone jumps all over you. I'd like to ask when you say, "due to a phenomena not yet recognized," do you mean atmospheric? Could you elaborate further?


It depends on what you want to try and do with it, but if you are not sure just yet, then I would say, buy a reasonably good DSLR (I'd go with either Canon or Nikon personally), and get a 50mm (either the 1.4 or the 1.8 for starters) lens to go with it. You'll also need a good tripod. tripod head, cable release (3rd party Chinese on ebay works just fine if you want to save a bit), spare battery, and memory card.


Appreciate the advice! Between you and WitnessFromAfar's suggestion I should be off to a good start. What's good on the mid-to-high end?


The next step is usually to invest in a mount that can track the stars, so that you can take the very long exposures necessary to capture faint objects, however, if you feel that "wide-field astrophotography" is more your thing, then you might be able to get away without rather expensive and cumbersome tracking-mounts.


I have an altazimuth tripod. I've been heavily considering getting one of the computerized tracking mounts for just the reason you described above. Only thing that puts me off is some are a bit bulky, yet I don't want to lose out on features.

Time for me to do a bit more research me thinks



Feel free to U2U me, if I can help with anything, especially on the camera/lens/wide-field side of things.


I'll take you up on that offer.


It's not easy to predict the future as there are so many factors and unknowns involved (obviously), but if I had to speculate, then yes, *if* it was all true, then I think that there would be a gradual "de-tabooing" of UFOs, but I do think that there would probably be some event, "the straw that broke the camels back" (perhaps more of a "two by four" in this case) that would finally clinch it.


I'm inclined to believe the only media coverage that would convince people would be a live-video feed from a respected news organization displaying clear structural details such as 'ports' or 'legs.' Though I suppose there's always the 'War of Worlds' or 'The Day the World Stood Still' scenario, both of which would easily push things over the edge.


I could be wrong, it's pure speculation on a subject that we are still not sure that even exists yet. The clinching proof might come from our DNA (as someone mentioned before), or even some other source that we may not have considered yet.


Indeed, though that tends to be more of a deduced proof of existence which leaves most people wanting. I know you're not terribly interested in digging deeper in to the subject, but if you get a moment I would very much appreciate if you'd read this particular post and offer critical analysis. It would mean a lot to me.

Thanks again for participating in this conversation.



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by Nohup
In fact, I've slowly come to hypothesize for myself that the phenomenon (which I am convinced exists) has more to do with the way consciousness interacts with reality than with the more simple notion of organic critters flying their ships to Earth from other planets.


You sound a bit like Jacques Vallee.
So you're of the quantum manifestation mindset? I think the best way to evaluate the subject is to look at the indisputable cases and work from there.

[edit on 12-3-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
I think that there is a tiny chance that some UFOs people have seen are ETs. I am open minded about it, but I do think it's much more likely that the tiny percentage of truly unexplainable UFOs are due to phenomena that we have not recognized yet.


I've also very slowly come around to this way of thinking. That particular phenomena is a tough one to figure, though, since it might be so far outside our range of perception and cognition that it might be incomprehensible to us. Much more complex and "subtle" than intelligent lizards from another solar system.

I wouldn't say I don't have a clue as to what it could be. I've got clues. I just don't know what they point to.


[edit on 12-3-2009 by Nohup]



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by Xtraeme

Originally posted by Nohup
In fact, I've slowly come to hypothesize for myself that the phenomenon (which I am convinced exists) has more to do with the way consciousness interacts with reality than with the more simple notion of organic critters flying their ships to Earth from other planets.


You sound a bit like Jacques Vallee.
So you're of the quantum manifestation mindset? I think the best way to evaluate the subject is to look at the indisputable cases and work from there.


In my brief communications with Vallee in the past, I think I've differentiated myself from him in that I don't think there's any particular guidance going on. I get the impression that he thinks more like a Gnostic, or a Fortean, in that we're property of some kind, and being guided into the future by some unknown consciousness or conscious entity. I tend to think that the phenomenon might have something to do with the "plasticity" or "permeability" of spacetime, and how our consciousness interacts with it.

Why? Because in looking at the most indisputable cases, there are certain shared aspects that suggest such a thing. Specifically, the way the evidence always seems to vanish, and the odd way several people can witness apparently the same object and see radically different things (like with the recent Stephenville, Texas, sightings), among others. John Keel's notion of "high strangeness."

It's hard to move forward from this perspective, though, because I'm running out of good definitions. I'm having to resort to using terms generally associated with Theosophists and mystics, because there are no good ways to describe things relating to consciousness and point-of-view and the perception or manipulation of energy/mass across multiple hypothetical physical and temporal dimensions. It all starts to sound like gobbledegook, and damn it, I know it!


[edit on 12-3-2009 by Nohup]



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


You're welcome Marrs,

Apologies if I was a little blunt at times, but I just speak my mind, and I've learned from experience that when I try to be subtle, people either misunderstand me or ignore me, so I don't pull my punches any more.

However I make no apologies for loosing my rag a little when I smell BS - I believe that is what ATS is all about, although in practice I see ignorance being perpetuated on this forum day in day out, which is a shame.

By the way, I was what you might call a "believer" before (when I first joined ATS), so I've also seen the other side of the fence so to speak. I was sucked into thinking there *must* be something to all these sightings, but I realized eventually that virtually every case has some flaw/hole in it.

Much of what brought me to this conclusion was my own personal experience and what I learned studying and observing meteors. I've come full circle, from skeptic, to believer, and back to skeptic again.

If it were not for a freak meteor storm that caught astronomers and almost everyone else off guard back in 1998, I probably would never have developed an interest in UFOs. I had already seen one UFO in my childhood, but had I not developed an interest in observing the night sky I would not have seen my second (whilst looking for meteors) and my third which was observed in the day time.

Observing meteors has taught me to observe in general, and I doubt I would pay as much attention to sky were it not for my seeing those fireballs light up the sky all night long.

Some of the above should have been in my reply to Xtraeme (but I forgot, or missed the post somehow I think), who will hopefully read this



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by Xtraeme
I have an altazimuth tripod. I've been heavily considering getting one of the computerized tracking mounts for just the reason you described above. Only thing that puts me off is some are a bit bulky, yet I don't want to lose out on features.


Agreed, that's why I chose the Meade ETX90. It's completely portable, and has the computerized tracking built into the base. You can control it either with the remote (ethernet cable to the telescope) or direct connect to a PC. But best of all, it's completely portable. The mount comes off, and the thing will fit into a relatively small backpack, and runs on batteries.

The features are there too, there are over 10,000 objects in the database, and you can download more if you hook it up to your PC. You just find two points in the sky (the moon and venus usually work fine here in LA), and use those to determine the scope's gps position. Then the scope knows where it is and where everything else in the sky is, and you can auto-track objects. It also has filtered lenses for daylight viewing.

I'm babbling off topic here, but you should really check one of these scopes out at your local store. They are amazing.



-WFA



posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by Nohup
 


Wow Nohup, I've got to say that was one of the best thought out replies I've read in a very long time.

I don't have much time to reply now, but I did want to personally thank you for your acknowledgement of the Scientific Method, and for explaining how you use it in your own investigations.

What it really takes to have a discussion is for both sides to agree on logical arguments. To see C.H.U.D. so beligerently stand against the Scientific Method, and call it BS in the name of skepticism, is a very hard thing to do for me. But seeing you illustrate true skepticism so well here in this very thread makes it an easier pill to swallow.

I'm glad to see you representing true Scientific Skepticism.

-WFA

[edit on 12-3-2009 by WitnessFromAfar]



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