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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 03:13 AM
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reply to post by akalepos
 


All your ad hom and self serving gross mistranslation of my stance aside.
No, extra-terrestrial is not the most plausable answer and all your "yes yes yes you're completely right"ing doesn't change that. I personally agree and think that aliens are in fact here and studying us. But I do not confuse my beliefs as universal truth.




posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 03:26 AM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
are hating the scientific method.

I know some would like to reduce this to a UFO vs science debate but that's not the case in this thread.

This is about the closed minded and illogical arguments made by the bogus or pseudo skeptic.




You are right and I have overstated a generalization.

There is a valid argument of some scientifically minded people being to rigid, just as the other side can be equally so, often more.

Maybe not clear, I'm attacking not the legitimacy of UFO studies, more an orthodoxy that has developed in the literature. Communication with those who ask pointed questions has become uncooperative and adversarial. Defensive to the point of hostile.

I often defer to Jacques Valle. I consider him the consummate UFO investigator. Open-minded but always trying to think like a scientist. Capable of admitting himself wrong - a much needed quality in anyone.

His book summarizing a career of UFO researching, "REVELATIONS: Alien Contact and Human Deception" is a must read for anyone wanting enlightenment on the subject. As the title alone implies, deception and self-deception figure largely into the search for alien intelligence.

He stopped working in the field for reasons supplied in his final books.

You should be able to read between the lines here.


Mike F



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 11:00 AM
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Ok, let's get to the point now if you will :

Someone wrote this :

"This is about the closed minded and illogical arguments made by the bogus or pseudo skeptic."


Ok, please list closed minded & illogical arguments made by the bogus or pseudo-skeptics, I am all ears (eyes) and I might even agree sometimes, who knows ?

Cheers,
Europa



[edit on 21-3-2009 by Europa733]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax

Originally posted by rocksarerocks
Post your best possible proof. I mean the BEST you have, and I'm not talking about blurry dots on youtube.


I already posted my best possible evidence.

Unfortunately for whatever reason it has simply been ignored.

This will be my last post on this particular thread. If people want to carry on believing that ufology equates to youtube then let them. I think there is an interesting phenomenon out there and the best way to analyse it by reading the case reports as at the moment, like it or not, this is the best evidence.

The fact that people on this thread are not even willing to discuss the actual evidence speaks volumes.


Your not going to get alot of evidence debated in a thread like this.

That's because the bogus or pseudo skeptic is put into a box.

If you say let's weigh things within reason as to what's most likely and less likely like we do in all walks of life then they can't debate the evidence.

That's because if you take away keeping things unexplained and unidentified forever then that forces them to weigh the evidence within reason and that's something they can't do.

They need to be able to equate the ET hypothesis with everything from the Jolly Green Giant to the Easter Bunny.

If you stipulate upfront, as those who support the ET hypothesis do, that there could be other explanations for these things, that takes away the argument that you need 100% proof, absolute evidence, exclusive evidence, extraordinary evidence and more.

The bogus or pseudo skeptic weighs, "it could have been anything" with the ET hypothesis when you already stipulated that there could be other explanations for these things.

When you say lets take the available evidence and let's weigh it within reason and then based on what we know now, what's the most likely explanation for these things they can't debate the evidence.

I think it's because the most likely explanation is the one explanation that their trying desperatley to debunk.

It like akalepos said. These are some touchy issues.

These things go against people's belief system and worldview so of course they have to try and knock it down at all costs and no matter how illogical they have to be.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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They've been listed repeatedly.

Malcram (the OP) had asked me in U2U to come back to the thread (which I'd quit reading) to answer his questions in a post way too many pages ago.

Since I don't want to hash through the same things all over again, Malcram just let me summarize:

1. I found your original post good and your point good; I disliked the title which caused problems, as you were not actually talking about skeptics but scoffers. However your title implies that maybe even you had some lack of clarity about the difference. That sort of gave ammo to the other side right off the bat.

2. I felt that others took over the thread saying the same thing so repeatedly without any actual change in the detail that it kind of became pointless for anybody to say anything else at all. If at first an explanatory-debate doesn't work, "try something else" is a good rule. The same words over and over, regardless of what is said in response, is not convincing, it's just abusive. It's supposed to be a conversation not a pulpit.

3. The bulk of that happened partly because someone insisted on using the word 'reasonable', and wanted everybody else's answers to fall into what they considered 'reasonable'. This cannot be fairly done in a debate such as this because the basis of reason is exposure and education; reason is always based on the cumulative, compilative collection of pieces of information within the individual. What you, or someone else, is exposed to and educated about, is not going to be exactly what anybody else, particularly those we debate, are exposed to and educated about. [Since there are other areas (separate from these topics) in which exposure and education also indirectly influences a person's thinking or evaluation, there is that to consider as well.] So 'reason' is a semi-subjective and individual position and it's not even rational to expect that people who completely disagree on something are going to share a sense of "what's reasonable". Everybody thinks their perspective is reasonable or they wouldn't hold it, that's obvious.

4. I feel the conversation shifted from an OP concept of "Here are signs that scoffer-behavior, not skepticism, are being used" and over into "Everybody who doesn't agree that ET/ED's are THE MOST likely answer IS a closed minded scoffer" (that is a paraphrase, but a near quote) which is a completely different argument than the one which began this thread. That is a personal opinion, fine, but I don't really share it, and I think trying to forcibly include that here only did a disservice to the point and quality of the thread. I perceived this as either obtuse or abusive. My interest in rational and decent human behavior extends to both sides, even the side that agrees with me in principle about the topic, and it had all gotten pointless, hence I left the thread.

5. I do understand the point of your post, which was that the point being repeatedly made was: "Why CAN'T the ET/ED explanation be THE MOST likely explanation for 'all this stuff'?" So I will address that.

A. There is a bit of a bait&switch I suspect is honestly unintentional here. When a skeptic wants to discuss a case specifically, it is said, "No, you must discuss the conglomerate of evidence as a whole, because invalidating one single case does not fairly address the mountain of [mostly soft, but still existent] evidence." And yet, when looking for an answer to anything, it's insensible to suggest that things such as "Radars, jet fighters and ground traces" be lumped in with "astral travel and the reports from the local MUFON about their dream-abductions" and that anybody with a shred of discernment would think that there is going to be any ONE explanation for all these radically different things anyway. So the trade-off is, if one insists that "all data must be lumped together", then one is not going to get agreement that there is "one specific" answer, or even one specific 'most likely' answer, because you're not talking about 'one' thing. If a 'most likely' answer is desired, that has to be addressed within the context of each individual case. However skeptics are then prevented from addressing one single case because... see above. It's a circular kind of reasoning and it's a lose/lose situation for anybody who does not already agree that 'aliens and entities' are behind essentially everything. This is not a fair debate tactic, which is ironic since the thread was about scoffers using unfair debate tactics.

B. I believe that if an individual were exposed/educated in precisely the same way I have been, that they would come to the inescapable conclusion that ETs/EDs are responsible for a huge amount of 'anomalies' in today's world, and yesterday's as well. Which ones those are, well that's a per-case thing of course. However, I consider this the 'most likely' explanation because I am assigning a literal truth to experiences of myself and others which makes them equally valid as evidence to say, radar readings. Nobody without that experience is going to assign literal truth to the 'claimed experiences of other people'. It will not happen. Not until my reality basically broke apart and I repeatedly encountered such things myself was I forced to believe these things (because eventually they were an obvious no-brainer), and even then it took awhile and was difficult to integrate. I have no reason to expect that people in the position I used to be in, would or should make decisions differently than I did when in that situation. Lambasting them repeatedly for not having the same sense of "reason" I do about it would be pointless and even counterproductive. That would not bring them closer to my perspective, it would if anything make me seem irrational which would only make them less likely to believe my testimony which only provides yet less weight to that primary element of evidence the field has which only further shifts their sense of what is reasonable farther away.

C. Initially, no 'skeptic' answered the question directly. But eventually several people did. I thought their answers were fair from their perspective. There was even response to their response, so I see that it was seen--and yet still the same posts with nearly the same exact words came again and again, as if the conversation had never moved past that. That is insulting to the people who responded.

continued



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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continued from above


D. I believe some things cannot be fairly argued even with the most legitimate debate tactics. For example there is not very much evidence which makes Jane-Of-MUFON's dream-abduction tied into the UFO those F-16s were chasing. I believe these things must be discussed separately upon their own merits, and that people with an evidentiary-requirement of one type or the other should not even be involved in threads that don't meet that requirement, it is pointless. I also believe that the 'tie between' these things lacks enough objective evidence that demanding skeptics package them together is injust and illogical. Even if we find a correlation, that is not necessarily causation.

So I agree with the original post's intent. I agree that ETs/EDs are behind much of the anomalies in question. I believe that scoffers use all kinds of injust or irrational debate tactics, and that genuine skepticism is non-judgemental and should not be confused with that. I feel it's important to remember this is a behavior not a personal label--most people are fair/unfair "in spots". But I see that even 'believers' use some injust debate tactics by my view of it, and it leads me to wonder, what was hoped to be accomplished with that? All it did was piss off everybody on both sides.

I'm sorry about that as I felt your initial thread OP was good.

Best,
PJ

[edit on 21-3-2009 by RedCairo]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by Europa733
Ok, let's get to the point now if you will :

Someone wrote this :

"This is about the closed minded and illogical arguments made by the bogus or pseudo skeptic."

Ok, please list closed minded & illogical arguments made by the bogus or pseudo-skeptics, I am all ears (eyes) and I might even agree sometimes, who knows ?

Cheers,
Europa


Hi Europa. OK, here's the first taken from this thread, an example of the kind of responses we get all the time.



When I was young I believed in the tooth fairy, Father Christmas and the monsters under the bed. As I grew older I learnt that such things exist only in the imagination of children. I think aliens are just a cheap replacement for the childish beliefs we had to leave behind as we reached adulthood. If they truly existed the evidence would be everywhere. Instead we have a few grainy photographs or amazing photo-shopped ones.

But there's just as much evidence for the existence of the tooth fairy, etc, as there is for your aliens. In fact there's more, as I see Father Christmas every year in my local stores grotto! I've never seen ET in there.

Sure, aliens must be out there somewhere but the distances involved for them to get here is just too great.


The pseudo-skepticism is pretty obvious is the first section and the last, seemingly more rational comment, is covered by signs 5 and 6 of the 'Seven Signs of Bogus Skepticism" quoted before in this thread.




5. The Skeptic rejects a discovery or invention merely because it has been believed for a long time that such a thing as the claimed discovery or invention is impossible.

6. The Skeptic claims that the claimed effect contradicts the "laws of nature" (and therefore has to be wrong, since the Skeptic and the scientific community he presumes to represent have of course already complete knowledge of the laws of nature).


[edit on 21-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:17 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
Hi Europa. OK, here's the first taken from this thread, an example of the kind of responses we get all the time.

When I was young I believed in the tooth fairy, Father Christmas and the monsters under the bed.


I agree that was a good example of someone not objective enough to qualify as a skeptic.

However it is injust to broadly paint everybody who does not totally agree with believers as scoffers simply because some are.

(I hope nobody looks at the average 'abductee on the internet' and paints me with the brush that results.)

There are plenty of people on this thread who were nothing like that, who actually agreed with the basic points about scoffer/pseudo-skepticism, and said they at least considered the ET/ED theory to be a possible answer.

However they were just as lambasted (ad nauseum) as anybody else.

If there is no discretion between what is skepticism vs. what is scoffer behavior, then the believers become just as guilty of bias and poor debate tactics as the very people your thread began with complaint about.

Best,
PJ



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:33 PM
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reply to post by RedCairo
 


We debated these points earlier when you abruptly left the thread with others.

You seem to be debating yourself.

On one hand you say their are scoffers and debunkers and you accept some of these things then on the other hand you want to debate the point of the pseudo or bogus skeptic.

You said:


So I agree with the original post's intent. I agree that ETs/EDs are behind much of the anomalies in question. I believe that scoffers use all kinds of injust or irrational debate tactics, and that genuine skepticism is non-judgemental and should not be confused with that. I feel it's important to remember this is a behavior not a personal label--most people are fair/unfair "in spots". But I see that even 'believers' use some injust debate tactics by my view of it, and it leads me to wonder, what was hoped to be accomplished with that? All it did was piss off everybody on both sides.


What is an unjust debate tactic? I'm reading your post and I see this claim keeps popping up.

Are you saying that weighing things within reason is unjust? Are you saying that we don't weigh things as to what's most likely and what's less likely in all walks of life?

You then said that others get berated or scoffed at by those who accept these things for their opinion.

Who did that?

I have said at the end of many post, if you want to list your explanation for these things then do so and lets weigh them within reason.

I have said this over and over again and nobody said anything.

I think one poster talked about creatures that lived in the bottom of the sea. And that's perfectly fine with me if he/she has reached this conclusion.

The thing that people tried to say is that it's unfair to debate these things.

Well, that's just silly. Of course they would think it's unfair because we might be talking about them.

You say these like people have to have experience with these things in order to accept these things.

What?

I know people who have never had an experience but they accept the ET hypothesis. I have never been abducted by aliens but that doesn't stop me from weighing the evidence within reason.

I say this because that takes away the illogical argument of comparing the ET hypothesis with everything from fairies to the easter bunny.

I think that's pretty obvious.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by RedCairo

If there is no discretion between what is skepticism vs. what is scoffer behavior, then the believers become just as guilty of bias and poor debate tactics as the very people your thread began with complaint about.


Hi PJ.

Yes I agree with that. And as I said earlier, I think it would be wise to make a clear distinction between skepticism and pseudo-skepticism because one is a legitimate position and the other is not. If we fall into the trap of criticizing "skeptics" - even if we actually mean pseudo-skeptics - then obviously, those who are legitimately skeptical may take exception.

Where the confusion arises is that, obviously, those who present pseudo-skeptical arguments actually call themselves skeptics, and when pseudo-skepticism is criticized they will CLAIM that all skepticism is being attacked and attempt to rally every skeptics to the cause of shutting down any discussion of pseudo-skepticism. This is what happened to me even though I had been extremely careful to only criticize pseudo - or bogus - skepticism. It was spun as a supposed assault on legitimate skepticism.

Consequently it is very hard to discuss these things but very necessary, IMO.

And thanks PJ, for you excellent responses in your previous two posts. I think that was a very good summary of the thread although I didn't agree with all points made. I particularly enjoyed parts 5, B, C and D
I must point out though that this is not my thread and so I didn't choose the title. I would have worded it differently, although as others have said, despite the word used, I think the context shows that platosallegory's criticisms were primarily aimed at pseudo-skeptics although he obviously also disagrees with the legitimate skeptics position in regard to the UFO debate, as I do.

[edit on 21-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 12:50 PM
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I have seen some really good videos and some really good fakes. I know which ones (or at least I feel) are real. The problem I think is even if you show someone total evidence like many have seen they still think there is another explanation for it. It makes no sense to me when there is proof out there and yet people still want to call those who believe crazy. I think they are just scared to face the fact there is other life out there besides us. Well at least this is how I look at it.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by platosallegory
 


Unfortunately,

(a) I already explained myself, and if you didn't get it then, you are not going to get it now, and

(b) I have watched you pointedly not get anything anybody has said to you on this thread and demand the same things repeatedly, so I'm going to learn from that here, and

(c) not respond, as I prefer discussion that has a chance at education, resolution, or something enjoyable, and I'm not really looking at any of those in this case.

Best,
PJ



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by mblahnikluver
I have seen some really good videos and some really good fakes. I know which ones (or at least I feel) are real. The problem I think is even if you show someone total evidence like many have seen they still think there is another explanation for it. It makes no sense to me when there is proof out there and yet people still want to call those who believe crazy. I think they are just scared to face the fact there is other life out there besides us. Well at least this is how I look at it.


This is an excellent point. Phage said a little earlier in this thread that only "extraordinary evidence, such as touching an ET" would ever be sufficient proof of ET's. And I said at the time that this feels like nothing more than a 'set up'. Why? Because for one, touching an ET is setting the bar so high for legitimate "proof" that it would be nearly impossible to reach, which is exactly what some people want. They want to make it almost impossible to prove. They want to set the bar so high that it can't be reached. They want to sit there making the 'believers' jump through hoops providing all sorts of evidence while they sit back scoffing at the evidence provided and tossing out quips like "Sorry, no cigar". It's a game, to some. A pseudo-skeptical game.

Then, when somebody finally does get the kind of "extraordinary evidence" Phage claims would be necessary to prove ET's - such as touching and ET - of course it is of no use. Because no one will believe them. They'll be told that this is useless as evidence. which of course, it is. So why are we asked to provide useless evidence almost impossible to attain while the mountain of legitimate evidence is dismissed as insufficient, never sufficient (as another pseudo-skeptic repeatedly claimed "No amount of evidence will ever constitute proof". Untrue, but revealing of their mindset) There is much other evidence that IS of much use in proving the case for ETs IMO. But this evidence is dismissed out of hand, by some, and, for example, only "touching an Alien" will supposedly suffice. Evidence, they know will be absolutely useless if actually acquired. It's a set up.

And even if Phage meant that the evidence required for HIM to believe would be for HIM to touch an Alien, is that really true? Why should he believe based on touch? Touch is useless. Wouldn't the critics offer the same rebuttals as in other such cases? How would Phage know if wasn't actually a swamp gas induced hallucination, or an advanced robot, or a mutant human, or someone in prosthetics, or one of countless other supposedly "more likely explanations"? Even if they had video of themselves touching the ET we'd be told "Nah, it looks too real. Definitely CGI", or "Are you kidding, it looks like a man in a suit" etc. Why is near unattainable and ultimately useless evidence being palmed off as the "only" acceptable proof by people who well know that to be the case?

[edit on 21-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

This is an excellent point. Phage said a little earlier in this thread that only "extraordinary evidence, such as touching an ET" would ever be sufficient proof of ET's. And I said at the time that this feels like nothing more than a 'set up'. Why? Because for one, touching an ET is setting the bar so high for legitimate "proof" that it would be nearly impossible to reach, which is exactly what some people want.

What I said was,


Conversely, the only way to prove they do is by "touching" one or by means of similarly extraordinary evidence.
I placed touching in quotation marks because that was the term used by another poster. There are other conceivable forms of extraordinary evidence.



Then, when somebody finally does get the kind of "extraordinary evidence" Phage claims would be necessary to prove ET's - such as touching and ET - of course it is of no use. Because no one will believe them.

I suggest we wait until such evidence is presented before jumping to conclusions about how it might be received.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 02:24 PM
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Hi Phage.

Does it matter who originally said "touching" or if it was in quotes or not? That doesn't really change anything. You still claimed that "the only way to prove they do is by "touching" one or by means of similarly extraordinary evidence." It was the example you chose. I pointed out how that is both extreme in terms of the level sufficient evidence is set at and how it is ultimately useless.

And we don't have to wait to see how such evidence as touching an ET would be received because there are plenty of people who have claimed to have touched ET's and have presented their accounts, all of which are dismissed as not constituting legitimate evidence and coming nowhere close to the required "extraordinary evidence". I'm not jumping to conclusions, I'm reporting what has already occurred in the specific scenario you suggested.

If you mean we would have to wait to see how YOU would respond to touching an ET, well yes, YOU might accept that as sufficient evidence, but as you know, few others would. That "evidence" would be useless as "proof" to anyone but yourself and you would be repeatedly told that there were more likely explanations for what you actually touched other than an ET.


[edit on 21-3-2009 by Malcram]


..............................................................................
[edit: removed unnecessary quote of entire previous post]
Quoting - Please review this link

[edit on 22-3-2009 by 12m8keall2c]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


Eyewitness reports do not constitute extraordinary evidence. There is no way to verify their veracity or accuracy.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 





Eyewitness reports do not constitute extraordinary evidence. There is no way to verify their veracity or accuracy.



OK, so if someone touches an ET - which you said would be an example of "extraordinary evidence" sufficient to constitute proof - and they then give their account of their experience, you then call that experience an "eyewitness account" and discount it as credible evidence? You are giving with one hand and taking away with the other, no?

It's a catch 22.




The Pseudoskeptical Catch-22: "unconventional claims have to be proved before they can be investigated!" This way, of course, they will never be investigated or proved. - The Objectivity of Science: Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Skepticism by Rochus Boerner


[edit on 21-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


Again, "touching", as far as I'm concerned, means something like "Here is an alien (or his ship) please examine it (independent verification, please) in order to determine that it is genuine."

An eyewitness report is not extraordinary evidence. Some people are delusional. Some people can delude themselves. Some people lie. There is no way to determine if an eyewitness report is factual or not. Extraordinary accounts have been presented. No extraordinary evidence has been presented.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 03:07 PM
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OK, again lets take your scenario. That has already been reported many times. People report having ETs turn up and physically interact with them and ask them to enter and examine their ships, given them the guided tour, sometimes even taken them for a spin. LOL. Everything you listed as your qualifications for "proof" based on "touching" has already been reported. But you concluded by saying "there is no way to determine if an eyewitness report is factual or not." So, what is missing from your scenario that would qualify it as "extraordinary evidence"? Again, you seem to be giving with one hand and taking away with the other because twice now you have mentioned scenario's that would supposedly constitute "extraordinary evidence" in your opinion, which have actually already been reported, and then you have twice concluded by denying that such scenarios would actually constitute "extraordinary evidence".

Do you mean that the only eyewitness accounts that you would consider valid would be from certain people you consider to be credible? If so, who are these people? And, if so, how would you justify that stance? What insulates these people you would accept hearsay from as legitimate evidence from "delusions" and "lying" etc?


[edit on 21-3-2009 by Malcram]


..............................................................................
[edit: removed unnecessary quote of entire previous post]
Quoting - Please review this link

[edit on 22-3-2009 by 12m8keall2c]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


I consider no eyewitness reports of alien contact to be extraordinary evidence. The source of the report does not matter. As I said, there must be independent verification of any physical evidence. Eyewitness reports cannot be independently verified. They are not physical evidence and they are not extraordinary evidence.

[edit on 3/21/2009 by Phage]

[edit on 3/21/2009 by Phage]




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