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The State of Ufology

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posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 12:09 PM
For people new and old to the subject, this thread represents as best I can construct the current state of ufology and what we can state as fact.

For Newcomers

It seems every week a new member joins the site asking for proof of UFOs and alien visitation. Usually the same diligent people reply to those threads to point out the better cases, the ATS stickies, the more authoritative websites (UFO Evidence, UFO Casebook) and the better video documentaries like Out of the Blue and Steven M. Greer's, M.D., Disclosure Project (along with the 2001 National Press Club event and CFIs National Press Club presentation in 2007)

What we know

Basically it's proven that there are UFOs. What we don't know is who or what they represent. Speculation ranges from:
  1. UFOs are extra-solar vehicular devices
  2. UFOs are time-machines
  3. UFOs are inter-dimensional crafts
  4. Advanced secret crafts of either US or German design

Then take all of these possibilities and combine them with their potential occupants (or lack thereof):
  1. unmanned drones (@5:37)
  2. our current selves
  3. our future selves
  4. inter-dimensional creatures
  5. extra-terrestrial species (@4:22)
  6. terrestrial species that we've yet to encounter (deep sea, inside planet, etc)
  7. Biblical, god-like creatures (think angels, demons, Q, etc)

Others think UFOs might be:
  1. space creatures
  2. atmospheric phenomena
  3. direct manifestations of angels / demons / paranormal entities (minus a craft)
  4. "miracles" / "projections" of some paranormal or god-like sentience
  5. "pranks" / the result of a government project like Blue Beam.

Process of Elimination

Psychological hypothesis

Of all the scenarios the psychological hypothesis is the easiest to rule out. These objects have not only been tracked by active radar, they've been picked up on passive radar (meaning whatever these things are they're emitting an electromagnetic beam), they've been tracked by theodolites, magnetometers, and a whole range of other instruments.

Atmospheric Phenomena

Fireballs, sprites, jets, elves, etc, may explain some sightings, but it doesn't come close to explaining events like the '56 RAF Bentwaters incident or the '76 Iranian encounter. I'd go so far as to say these particular events strongly suggest intelligence which largely rules out atmospheric phenomena.

Manned secret crafts

As for the possibility of present-day humans guiding manned secret UFO aircrafts, unlikely.

If it was a cover to hide US aerospace designs there would be reams of paperwork describing operating procedures that would have turned up in court enforced FOI discoveries and fact-finding inquiries demanded by congressional committees some 50-60 years after the fact. We also wouldn't have people like Milton Torres coming forward saying they were told to shoot down UFOs. It also wouldn't make sense for the US to buzz their own planes. Likewise, why would the US conduct massive studies in to a phenomenon (Project Twinkle, Project Sign, Grudge, Bluebook, etc) which could be attributed to its own manufacture? It would be a waste of time, resources, and man-power with potential to expose the cover project. It simply doesn't add up.

What's left

That leaves the remaining possibilities. There's no way to scientifically evaluate the existence of god(s), angels, demons, etc so it has to remain a serious consideration.

[edit on 25-3-2009 by Xtraeme]

edit on 10-6-2011 by asala because: (no reason given)

edit on 12/6/2011 by ArMaP because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 12:29 PM
Nice post! star and flag for you.

Very concise and to the point, now let's see how many
"discussions" about the spiritual aspect will follow.

posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:03 PM
reply to post by Xtraeme

It'd take me hours to go point by point, but I think you are wrong about manned aircraft.

The production of manned ang unmanned aircraft for intelligence gathering in terms of secrecy ranks up there with SIGINT. Signals intelligence is somewhat reliant on whoever is being eavesdropped being unaware of the capabilities of whoever is intercepting the information. If they become aware of it there is the potential for countermeasures, and disinformation being fed back via sources considered trustworthy. So organisations like the NSA, and their equivalent organisations around the world, go to great lengths to ensure that their full capabilities remain difficult to estimate. People can guess, try and work backwards from snippets of information that leak out, but ultimately it's very difficult to estimate.

I believe the same is true of advanced aircraft used for similar purposes. I also believe that the best way to test such equipment is against targets that have similar technology available as the potential targets. Testing a stealth aircraft over your own or allied skies makes a great deal of sense, because the technology we use will be comparable with technology a potential target uses, and the response can be well documented. It is quite likely that the majority of the military aren't even aware they've had their responses tested.

In the case of unmanned aircraft there were several projects in the early 1960s, on both sides of the Cold War, that had Mach-3+ performance characteristics, and that remained secret for decades afterwards. Despite being tested over their respective airspaces. I think there have been many black projects since, most of which likely didn't come to fruition, but were tested.

At various points soldiers have been told to walk towards atomic explosions, have taken part in many trials ('the cure for the common cold' at Porton Down for instance), and have not being aware of the overall picture. Testing advanced manned and unmanned aircraft over your own skies is relatively mild. To the majority of the military involved they would be unaware they were being tested, hence a UFO.

Not to mention active intrusions by foreign aircraft. No government wants to admit their airspace has being violated, and yet both sides in the cold war developed many projects with a view to doing that.

I think UFOs are a good way of hiding advanced projects.

[edit on 25-3-2009 by jackphotohobby]

posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:09 PM
One hypothesis I hear ufology -rarely- discuss is, that ufos might come RIGHT FROM this earth! Such speculation makes sense to me, because of all the USOs often seen exiting and entering the oceans. This old planet has been around forever, just about, and there is evidence of advanced civilliations that have come and gone. I have wondered if those people of antiquity went subteranean, to avoid Extinction-Level-Events; either cities within bases underneath the ocean, or just within the yet-unbeknownst-by-us, cavernous regions toward the center of the earth. living there a --long-- time and advancing and advancing, LONG before the techno-know-how of North America, Western Europe and China, etcetera. I have been following ufology for decades, and remember the stories about Ray Palmer, Richard Shaver, and their-in-turn stories of the --dreaded-- 'Derro And The Terro'. ( ) I recall the --intriguing-- rumors about Admiral Byrd and his claim of 'The Hollow Earth' per his North Pole expeditions. ( ) And best of all ( to me, anyway) Albert K. Bender and his abduction by the Men In Black, who took him to their base in Antarctica. ( ).
ALL OF THESE tales are ---highly strange--- and maybe because of that, they are -only- tales. But the ufo phenomenon IS ALL ABOUT HIGH STRANGENESS !

posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 01:32 PM
reply to post by Xtraeme

I think the extraterrestrial hypothesis makes the most sense, but I would not rule out any of the other theories. The ET hypothesis is a good one because of the many sightings of metallic disks by military pilots and astronauts. Even the late Colonel Gordon Cooper said they were not any of our or the Soviet's craft.

Time travel is interesting, but may cause paradoxes. I am on the fence about it, but do have an open mind.

Other dimensions are possible, as science is just beginning to theorize on them.

The Earth is solid, so the hollow Earth theory falls flat. If the Earth did not have a solid iron core, life could not exist on it.

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by Xtraeme

I'm amazed by the quality of your posts mate. Please let me express my appreciation for the outstanding work you are doing
. One of the incidents that you mentioned, is likely one of the best evidences ever: the Teheran 1976 UFO case is the best of the best, and every attempt to explain it in some mundane way FAILED. I dont know what it was, but f course it was NOT terrestrial nor LTPA: there was something in Iranian skies that day.

FOIA: UFO Sighting in Iran, 1976
Report on Sighting of UFO in Iran, Sept, 1976
A report regarding a sighting of a UFO by four witnesses in Iran
Document date: 1976-09-19
Department: USAF?
Author: Not Stated
Document type: report
pages: 3

Teheran Ufo Case, 1976 : Interview with Iranian Pilot


“Suddenly it appeared at another position one mile further on.” That is, it was slowly traveling north but suddenly it disappeared and a few seconds later appeared at a further north location. Pirouzi also said it moved southward at times. “I could see it this time as bright as a sun. It was all yellow, like a star, but much bigger. Then it appeared to me to be like a starfish. I can’t be sure of the order of the colors but there were blue, orange, red and yellow lights.”


Pirouzi gave the binoculars to the others present and “they saw the object as a half-circle, in the same colors, blue, range, red and yellow.” The object seemed to change it’s shape. While Pirouzi over several minutes watched the apparent shape seemed to change from cylindrical, with blue ends and a red light going around the middle, to a fan like shape with drooping blades (“starfish” shaped) with fuzzy edges. The “blades” were dark orange near the hub changing to yellow at the tips. “The hub itself was made up of two concentric areas of color. There seemed to be a large green surface and then a smaller core which glowed like a piece of red hot coal.” One of the trainee witnesses compared it to an orange-red horseshoe with a blue area in the enclosed space of the horseshoe.



Jafari put the “pedal to the metal” and reached a speed of about Mach 2 (1,500 mph or 25 miles per minute) and still couldn’t catch it. He was flying toward the Afghanistan, about 500 miles east of Tehran. Youssefi ordered him to return to Tehran if he couldn’t catch it, so Jafari turned and headed back eastward. The object also reversed direction and begn to chase the plane. In a short section of an audio tape recording (I presume made at the Air Traffic Control Center at Mehrabad) that was published in a local newspaper (see below), Jafari reported “something is coming at me from behind. It is 15 miles away…now ten miles…now five miles…It is level now…I think it is going to crash into me…It has just passed me by..missing me narrowly..” According to the newspaper report, “The disturbed voice of the pilot was clear on the tape. He then asked to be guided back to base.”

According to the Air Force teletype message, based on the interview of the second pilot during the following day, the “backseater acquired a radar lock on at 27 nm, 12 o’clock high position with the VC (rate of closure) at 150 mph. As the range decreased to 25 nm the object moved away at a speed that was visible on the radar scope and stayed at 25 nm.” [Comment: to decrease the distance by 2 nm when the rate of closure is 150 nm/hr would require about 48 seconds. Apparently the VC decreased as the object sped up, meaning that the lock-on period was definitely longer than 48 seconds.] The AF teletype message further states, “The size of the (radar) return was comparable to a 707 tanker. The visual size of the object was difficult to discern because of its intense brilliance. The light that it gave off was that of flashing strobe lights arranged in a rectangular pattern and alternating blue, green, red and orange in color. The sequence of the lights was so fast that all the colors could be seen at once.”


The pilots were interviewed the next day. The Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG), in the person of Lt. Col. Mooy, sat in on the interview of the second pilot who landed at Mehrebad. (Only a second hand, and very shortened, version of the first pilot’s story was available to Col. Mooy.) This interview forms the core of the official teletype message that was sent to many USA military and intelligence agencies including the three armed services, the CIA, National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the White House.

As indicated in the above list of recipients of the teletype message, the Defense Intelligence Agency of the U. S. Government got a copy of this teletype, as did the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF), the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the White House, the Secretary of State (SECSTATE), the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (DEPSECDEF) and others.

Col. Roland Evans wrote an evaluation of the report, dated October 12, 1976. Evans wrote:

1) An outstanding report: this case is a classic which meets all the criteria necessary for a valid study of UFO phenomena
a. The object was seen by multiple witnesses from different locations (i.e., Shemiran, Mehrebad and the dry lake bed) and viewpoints (both airborne and from the ground)
b. The credibility of many of the witnesses was high (an Air Force General, qualified aircrews and experienced tower operators)
c. Visual sightings were confirmed by radar
d. Similar electromagnetic effects (EME) were reported by three separate aircraft [Note: this refers to the electomagnetic interference reported by the jets and the commercial airliner]
e. There were physiological effects on some crew members (i.e., loss of night vision due to the brightness of the object)
f. An inordinate amount of maneuverability was displayed by the UFOs
The report evaluation form indicated that the reliability of the information was “confirmed by other sources” and the value of the information was “High (Unique, Timely and of Major Significance).” The information would be “Potentially Useful” as “Current Intelligence.”

Full Article by Bruce Maccabee

The entire report can be found here.

The text of the teletype report to the Pentagon and other Federal agencies

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 01:31 AM
there's no doubt they exist. most Americans seem to agree that they are here, and there's so many eyewitnesses, military people who have said things, including my grandfather ...

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 01:38 AM
reply to post by Xtraeme

good thread, thanks

bentwaters and iran case seems alien

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:43 PM
Good thread, nice to see something logically presented.

However, there are inherent dangers in that, even just with UFO sightings, the complexity of the phenomenon probably indicates there is no singular explanation and applying this reasoning to each single sighting would not provide consistent results.

As an abstract, taking the sum total of all reported sightings and evidence therein (pictures, radar returns, multiple witnesses etc etc) and applying logical reason it is hard for me to understand how any rational person could not come to the conclusion that intelligently controlled machines displaying unknown methods of propulsion were responsible for a number of UFO sightings over decades if not centuries.

Without any referall to the wealth of actual contact reports the same evidence indicates that some of the machines are occupied by living entities who are not currently occupants of this earth.

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:57 PM

Originally posted by jackphotohobby

I think UFOs are a good way of hiding advanced projects.

That may very well be the case for a number of sightings since perhaps WWII but how could that be an explanation for sightings of identical unknown aerial phenemona, albeit described in the language of the time, that have been reported prior to that date ?

When would you propose the leap in terrestrial technology occurred from powered lift / lighter than air to whatever propulsion system allows the objects described to perform in that manner ?

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 12:48 AM
I forgot to add a list of comprehensive reading material!

There's already a thread on this (and I've added the list there), but for ease of access I'm also copying it here.

For those looking for objective reading material this is a good start. There are some books here I don't fully endorse, but I include them simply because they provide valuable perspective.

Knowing what I know now this is the order I would have read them:

NOTE: The UFO Encyclopedia (vol 1 & 2) by Jerome Clark is an excellent companion to have on hand while researching this subject.

  1. Science and the Failure to Investigate Unidentified Aerial Phenomena - Leslie Kean, executive summary of the UFO problem.
  2. Disclosure - Steven M. Greer, M.D., govt. witness testimony (mixed bag of very credible and some not so credible individuals)
  3. The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects - Edward J. Ruppelt (also freely available online here), Ruppelt was one of the first project directors with Blue Book and predating Blue Book worked on Projects Grudge & Sign.
  4. The Hynek UFO Report - J. Allen Hynek, Scientific consultant to Project Blue Book, debunker turned believer, eventually founding the Center for UFO Studies. Provides insights in to the operations at Blue Book and brings forward several of the better cases.
  5. Firestorm, by Ann Druffel, biography of Dr. James E. McDonald's (senior atmospheric physicist at the University of Arizona) and his research in to the UFO phenomenon
  6. The Flying Saucers are Real - (freely available online) Donald Keyhoe, USMC officer, ex-NICAP director, one of the first civilians to push for government disclosure, of what he viewed, as a cover-up.
  7. UFOs: A scientific debate - Carl Sagan and Thornton Page. Great thoughts and insights. Exposes some fairly obvious biases of the leading minds of the time.
  8. Flying Saucers from Outer Space - Donald Keyhoe, exposé on Keyhoe's findings after a cooperative effort with the USAF.
  9. Project Beta : The Story of Paul Bennewitz, National Security, and the Creation of a Modern UFO Myth - Greg Bishop, a seminal piece showing to what extent the US (specifically the AFOSI) used (or perhaps uses) counter-intelligence techniques against UFO proponents.
  10. Shoot Them Down! - The Flying Saucer Air Wars Of 1952 - Frank Jr. Feschino, could use some editing, issue aside, the book conclusively demonstrates the unlikeliness US citizens were simply observing TS military aircraft.
  11. A world history of UFO's - Hilary Evans & Dennis Stacy, provides a broad view of UFO history, giving interesting testimony from Quintanilla, Adamski, Pflock and nicely covers the Allagash abductions, England UFO Flap of the '60s, and some other rather profound cases that otherwise go unnoticed ('54 Australian UFO "invasion," African UFOs, Soviet Ufology, etc)
  12. Dimensions - Jacques Vallee, computer scientist & astronomer, delves in to the mythical & psychological aspects of the phenomenon.
  13. The UFO Evidence - Volume 2 - Richard H. Hall, tough reading for some, going over many many quality cases in great detail.
  14. UFO-FBI Connection - Bruce Maccabee, Ph.D, Naval optical physicists, don't let the cover fool you, Bruce is one of the few legitimate ufologists. Provides evidence of government agencies' involvement in UFO matters over several decades, evidence gathered straight out of government files, mostly from FBI and Air Force Intelligence files, but also includes other agencies.
  15. Above Top Secret - Timothy Good, respected British broadcast journalist, shows many national governments continue to suppress information about UFOs, focusing on post-World War II era (focus on CIA and USAF files)
  16. UFO Phenomena and the Behavioral Scientist, Richard F. Haines, discusses eyewitnesses of the UFO phenomenon and many of the complex sociocultural factors that surround them.
  17. Project Identification: The First Scientific Field Study of UFO Phenomena - Harley D. Rutledge, Ph.D, 620 volunteers over a seven year period of time, Dr. Rutledge's study demonstrates through time lapse photography the physical nature of this phenomenon. Even touching on what some felt was an "awareness" of the objects to the observers.
  18. Unconventional Flying Objects - Paul R. Hill, Ph.D, physicist and distinguished NASA scientist, discusses the basic science and technology behind the UFO characteristics.
  19. Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion: Tesla, UFOs, and Classified Aerospace Technology - Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D, perhaps overly sensational, but still good content. LaViolette reviews numerous field-propulsion devices and technologies that have thrust-to-power ratios thousands of times greater than that of a jet engine and whose effects are not explained by conventional physics and relativity theory.
  20. UFOs National Security - Richard M. Dolan, considered by many the best current history of UFOs ever written. Detailing activities of more than fifty military bases relating to UFOs, innumerable violations of sensitive airspace by unknown craft, analyses of the Roswell controversy, the CIA-sponsored Robertson Panel, and the Condon Committee Report.
  21. Passport to Magonia - Jacques Vallee, specializing in Celtic lore, Dr. Vallee strings folklore of old with the modern day UFO phenomenon, demonstrating UFOs did not originate in modern times.

(continued below)

[edit on 30-3-2009 by Xtraeme]

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 12:49 AM

  1. The UFO Enigma - Peter A. Sturrock, Ph.D, Stanford physics professor, hard scientific analysis of radar cases, even handed, and debunks government bureaucratic obfuscation smugly dismissing UFO events.
  2. Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe - Karl T. Pflock, a good pedantic, if not harsh, take on Roswell. However not all of Pflock's conclusions are fully backed in fact, some are easily steeped in position.
  3. The Roswell Incident - Charles Berlitz and William L. Moore, the first Roswell book, starting the phenomenon.
  4. Crash at Corona: The U.S. Military Retrieval and Cover-Up of a UFO - Stanton T. Friedman, nuclear physicist, original civilian investigator of the Roswell incident.
  5. Top Secret/Majic: Operation Majestic-12 and the United States Government's UFO Cover-up - Stanton T. Friedman, research from 20 archives and libraries, and with the assistance of handwriting and document verification experts, makes a case for the authenticity of the MJ-12 documents.
  6. The UFO Experience, A Scientific Inquiry - J. Allen Hynek, takes on the Condon Report.
  7. Confrontations: A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact - Jacques Vallee, 100 cases are reported on in this volume, in which some observers were harmed or died as a result of viewing a UFO.
  8. UFO Danger Zone: Terror & Death in Brazil - Bob Pratt, has investigated the Brazilian UFO phenomenon for some 18 years, this book discusses the Colares UFO attacks amongst other cases showing aggressive, if not hostile, behavior.
  9. Faded Giant - Robert Salas, USAF Captain LCC DMCCC, and James Klotz. Perhaps one of the most substantial cases in recorded UFO history. Details a UFO flight over Oscar-Flight Missile Launch Control Center resulting in the deactivation of 18 nuclear minutemen missiles. Boeing engineers revealed tests confirmed no cause for missile shutdowns was ever found.
  10. UFOs and Nukes - Robert Hastings, has investigated nuclear weapons-related UFO incidents for 3 decades, compiling the most detailed work to date linking UFOs and nuclear facilities.
  11. The Edge of Reality: A progress report on Unidentified flying objects - J. Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallee, several case studies, and a dialogue between scientists to attempt to establish a framework for the further study of the UFO phenomenon.
  12. Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings - J. Allen Hynek, Philip J. Imbrogno, Bob Pratt. Details the 13-year UFO wave that took place over the Hudson River Valley from 1982 through 1995, seen by an estimated 7,000 people, often described as a "boomerang-shaped" brightly-lit UFO "bigger than a football field." On 1990/07/24, in the evening, this object was seen hovering 30 ft over the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor.
  13. Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception - Jacques Vallee, analyzes the full gamut of UFO incidents from alleged saucer crashes, retrieval of aliens, to subterranean communities of hostile humanoids. Suggesting that many are complex hoaxes that have been carefully engineered. Who and what are their goals? The result is too many false reports are accepted as real while many actual cases go overlooked.
  14. Interrupted Journey - John G. Fuller, the first reported abduction story. Detailing Barney and Betty Hill's encounter.
  15. Above Black: Project Preserve Destiny Insider Account of Alien Contact & Government Cover-Up - Dan Sherman, USAF ELINT officer, an intriguing history of Dan's time in PPD (Project Preserve Destiny) an organization inside the USAF tasked with communicating with EBEs.

If you read all of this from beginning to end you'll have a good enough grounding to assess for yourself whether or not there's anything to the UFO phenomenon. I'll admit I have an extremely hard time buying abduction cases. I blame Whitley Streiber's Communion for making me want to gag whenever I pick up an abduction book. I tend to require some sort of outside corroboration, like radar, physical evidence, etc. The Betty and Barney Hill abduction (Interrupted Journey) is the only case I know of to date with a potential radar confirmation of an unidentified craft in the vicinity of the abduction.

Honorable mention that I would have liked to add to the list, but couldn't justify after looking at the already overstuffed curriculum
  1. Battle of Los Angeles - 1942: The Silent Invasion Begins - Many news clippings and officials records detailing the 02/24/1942 Battle of Los Angeles. Also some historical perspective to better acclimate the reader to the mindset and events of the time.

I have probably another 20 to 30 books on top of this. If anyone's desperate enough to want more than what's already provided I'll happily supply.

[edit on 30-3-2009 by Xtraeme]

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 01:06 AM
reply to post by Xtraeme

Chock up another great post for Xtraeme! I agree with majority of your hypothesis. However, I partially disagree with you analysis of Manned Secret Craft.

While I think you are correct iwhen referring to certain Military encounters such as the Teheran 1976 UFO case, I believe that many Exotic/Experimental Craft, Drones etc can be attributed to a percentage of UFO reports made by untrained observers.

I think this is more of a mixed bag than can be attributed to one particular source.

S&F my man!


posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:34 AM

Originally posted by chunder

Originally posted by jackphotohobby

I think UFOs are a good way of hiding advanced projects.

That may very well be the case for a number of sightings since perhaps WWII but how could that be an explanation for sightings of identical unknown aerial phenemona, albeit described in the language of the time, that have been reported prior to that date ?

When would you propose the leap in terrestrial technology occurred from powered lift / lighter than air to whatever propulsion system allows the objects described to perform in that manner ?

I don't think all UFOs are advanced projects. I also don't think all UFOs are aircraft. I think they're lots of things. A lot of historical reports, much like today, are influenced by prevailing cultural trends. Depictions of comets are interesting because we know comets exist, and in some cases can associate artwork with specific comets. Take the Bayeux Tapestry and the comet:

I don't know if Halley's Comet was widely thought of as a bad omen (the Normans maybe retrospectively thought it a good omen), because the tapestry was made by the victors, but it's an example of phenomena being culturally interpreted. Somewhat less tragically (for the Normans at least) than Hale Bopp
. I think historical reports are burdened by the people that recorded them having no reference point. How does someone, prior to modern aircraft, guess at speed? By comparing to a horse drawn carriage, or whatever is the fastest thing they've seen. Their concepts of heavens and the universe, via religion, also significantly influenced them.

Similarly, from what I've read (I could be wrong) during the 19th Century airships (like balloons in the 18th) were certainly part of popular culture, take Frank Reade:

The 19th Century, post industrial revolution, had lots of attempts at flight, which surely must have been reported-on, there was established press in most countries, and must have influenced interpretations of aerial phenomena (I suspect the following Wikipedia page of being incomplete):

Airships were popular prior to winged craft:

Which, again, if spotted by laymen, military or otherwise, would be interpreted through the lens of the prevailing culture, and using whatever is fast during their time as a reference point (trains maybe).

I think interpreting any historical UFO, art, literature, whatever, is fraught, because its quite hard to work out exactly what they were trying to convey without knowing the cultural factors. People claim to see aliens today, people claimed to see angels in the past, both influenced by the prevailing culture, and it doesn't make either true. UFOs in ancient art and literature are extremely dodgy subjects. AFAIK Micromégas in 1752 was the first story to include aliens in a way that we'd recognise today.

But I should stress - I don't think UFOs are any one thing. I think there are genuine unknowns (possibly explainable). It's differentiating them from noise that is the trick.

[edit on 30-3-2009 by jackphotohobby]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 11:43 AM
Brilliant post,
S and F
I personally believe UFO are our gods, well what we thought were gods anyway.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 06:39 PM
First I'd like to say I didn't include every UFO hypothesis / position in The State of Ufology thread, simply because I didn't have the space. That's why I linked to the full list. Furthemore the best cases do fall outside atmospheric, astrononmic, photographic, misidentification, and hoax-based explanations. So I excluded those from The State of Ufology to conserve space and focus on relevant hypotheses for the true unknowns. That DOES NOT imply these prosaic arguments are auto-ruled out for all future cases.

Originally posted by nablator
reply to post by Xtraeme

You left out the most obvious explanations in your "what are UFOs" page. You need a list of facts before the speculations:
- misidentification of atmospheric phenomena, well known (clouds, smoke rings, refractions, contrails, ...) and more mysterious (plasma),

I think you may have skipped some of the entries. Atmospheric phenomenon is S.2 (the key for this notation is here).

- hoaxes.

Hoaxes are represented by O.3.2. I lumped prank and the idea of "Blue Beam" together because they represent the same concept. They're both illusionary, false, and for the purpose of misleading a person to believe they're seeing something they're not. The only real difference between a hoax and a government project like "Blue Beam" (I'm not stating such a project exists - just using it as an example) is that one is state-sponsored the other is done by an individual or a group of individuals (ie/ crop circles, solar balloons ).

- misidentification of man made objects (suspended lights, aircrafts, missiles, balloons, satellites, falling debris, ...),

Aircrafts are covered by P.c.1-3.o.2.1. Satellites are partially included in P.c.1.3.o.1. Though I think you're right in the sense that I need to duplicate some of these concepts from Pro to Skeptic. For instance a person can believe an unmanned drone (a UAV) is man-made and another person can believe we're seeing alien UAVs. So therefore there should be a P.c. and a S.c.

However I'm trying to limit overlap in the taxonomy. What's interesting is a persons position doesn't necessarily 1:1 reflect a hypothesis. I may attempt to further divorce skeptic, pro, & other from "what are UFOs" altogether to better allow mixing of observational characteristics.

- misidentification of astronomic objects (meteors, planets, moon, ...),

I was lumping this in to atmospheric phenomenon (S.2) primarily because we observe stars / planets through the atmosphere (ie/ twinkling of stars, changing color of stars, planets not twinkling, etc). Meteors pass through the atmosphere and when they do they're considered part atmospheric / astronomic science (meteoritics). Since people usually don't observe meteors in space (at least as far as UFOs are concerned) I didn't think to subdivide it in to astronomy.

Maybe I'll relabel that category atmospheric / astronomic phenomenon?

Though this might cause problems for space-borne UFO observations. I'll think on this.

- photographic artifacts ("orbs", "rods", lens flares, emulsion defects, ...),

Now you're getting in to a subject that's, at the moment anyways, near and dear to my heart.

If you think about it a person can observe a UFO directly, indirectly through an optical device (telescope, night vision, etc), indirectly on a recorded medium (video camera film, photographic film, stone tablets, cave walls), or as an interpretation via an automated system (radar filtering, satellite, security camera, project Hessdalen, etc)

I've been giving a lot of time and thought to figure out how to include these means of observation as hypotheses.

These cover most UFO cases.


Your pro/con UFO view is a caricature.

If I was going to engage in subterfuge and pretend to mask my actual position I wouldn't hide it from people I hardly know on a conspiracy board. I'll be straight with you. I'm an NM-UFOP with a QM-UFOP / non-human D-UFOP lean and I have a very good reason for this position.

My subdivision could have been better. You're right. Thanks to your input I'll improve it.

Actually Nab, would you mind helping me with this project? I need people that are willing to speak their mind.

As a skeptic I do not rule out ANY hypothesis in general. The skeptics' methodology is to looks for prosaic explanations, because they are far more likely, and because their properties are known, which makes objective verifications possible.

I wouldn't call that a skeptical stand-point. I would call it a scientific one. There's no reason to reach for an extreme theory when there's one that's already down-to-earth that just as easily explains the observation.

That's why in this post:

... Confirmation bias is very common. Sooner or later, in desperation, most investigators develop a strong attachment to one hypothesis ...

I answered your question thusly:

There are steps that can be taken to limit personal investment.

For example it's beneficial to go through a list of all possibilities ruling them out one by one for every incident. When you explicitly enumerate the list it makes it harder for a logical person to ignore that they're artificially ruling out other legitimate possibilities.

I'm not perfect.

I don't pretend I'm completely unbiased, but I do try extremely hard to prevent myself from expressing that bias in such a way that it prevents me from seeing the truth as it actually is rather than how I expect it to look. I use my bias to try to formulate hypotheses not to color all observations.

[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by internos

Wow,good information on that(Iranian UFO).I didn't know about that one,star for you.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 05:26 PM
Thanks for moving to this thread, I posted in the wrong thread, sorry.

Originally posted by Xtraeme
That DOES NOT imply these prosaic arguments are auto-ruled out for all future cases.

Ruling out the prosaic is often done by making assumptions that turn out to be wrong in some cases. Our eyes (or brains actually) can be very deceptive. You know all that, I'm just being annoying.

I'm an NM-UFOP with a QM-UFOP / non-human D-UFOP lean

Now I'm shocked.

I've been giving a lot of time and thought to figure out how to include these means of observation as hypotheses.

Actually Nab, would you mind helping me with this project? I need people that are willing to speak their mind.

I'll be glad to help, If I can. With constructive criticism or with my little knowledge of digital photo/video analysis & programming.

I wouldn't call that a skeptical stand-point.

The term skepticism has a number of meanings, for me it means striving to think objectively, carefully and critically. Probably not humanly feasible but one can try.
It is a caricature that ufoskeptics reject "far out" explanations.

I would call it a scientific one. There's no reason to reach for an extreme theory when there's one that's already down-to-earth that just as easily explains the observation.

True. However some scientists (Bruce Maccabee, Stanton Friedman, etc.) reject prosaic explanations too easily.

There are steps that can be taken to limit personal investment.

For example it's beneficial to go through a list of all possibilities ruling them out one by one for every incident. When you explicitly enumerate the list it makes it harder for a logical person to ignore that they're artificially ruling out other legitimate possibilities.

Yes but one should be aware that the typical errors in doing so is to have a short list and use shortcuts in reasoning. Such as: obviously not natural, not human, therefore alien. It seems to me UFOs are playing with our minds. It takes a rather large conscious effort to not assume anything until it is proven beyond any doubt.

posted on May, 31 2009 @ 09:54 PM
Other highly relevant threads that I would have liked to include in the 'For Newcomers' section, that I couldn't fit because I ran out of space:

  1. 'UFOs: Asking the Right Questions ...'
  2. 'Free UFO Researcher Starter Pack'
  3. 'Expert's short list'
  4. 'Top 100 UFO cases - Revealed!'

[edit on 1-6-2009 by Xtraeme]

posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 05:55 PM
reply to post by Xtraeme

FYI ... for any of the links that look like this:


That don't have a .com or a normal URL format, just take the alpha-numeric string (i.e. cjf466) and append it to,

Like so,

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