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Why call them UFOs?

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posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 08:34 PM
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reply to post by Gawdzilla
 


Why not




posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:08 AM
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Originally posted by stewartw2
reply to post by Gawdzilla
 


Why not

So wishful thinking is the answer? Illuminating. Doesn't carry much weight if we want to transition to "serious" from "casual", however.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 02:26 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
When people say "UFO", aren't they really saying "flying saucers"? If they are, why don't they say "flying saucer", "alien spacecraft", etc? A UFO is, by definition, unidentified, so no identification can be placed on it.


(For full thoughts on this topic see UFO: What does it mean?)

I'm glad I'm not the only one a little miffed at the overloaded usage of UFO. Awhile back it occurred to me that the word UFO, as an idea, represents a process.
  1. First the person notices something they can't identify (the Hartman or armchair researchers definition of a UFO).
  2. Then an authority does a bit of analysis and passes judgment (if it can't be identified it's a Hynek or Confirmed UFO).
  3. People read the details in a tabloid and based off their view of the universe form an opinion, which is often times, that the object sighted was an alien UFO (ie/ the average persons definition of a UFO). Cosmologists and ufologists do well to refrain from labeling due to the large number of possibilities.
  4. Eventually, we'd like to think, the UFO will be truthfully identified.

Since UFO has so many meanings and is highly suggestive, in the sense that "flying" presumes intelligence, it would be wise to break each of these stages down in to their own term. Of course it's just wishful thinking to assume anyone has the ability to change the parlance that's been in use for over 60 years now.

So I figured the right way to attack the problem was to add a modifier to UFO to indicate which step of the process a person is referring to (ie/ a UFO detection, confirmed UFO, UFO position, IFO).

Probably my biggest gripe is that 'UFO detection' is still suggestive in the sense that if a person doesn't understand ontologically that UFO represents 'the steps in the process to identify an unidentified aerial sighting' then the modifier doesn't help to clarify the usage of UFO. So IMHO the 'detection stage' should be referred to as a UAP (more correctly UAPD or 'Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Detection'). This way there's no stigmatization.

Once the object is confirmed (ie/ atmospheric, astronomic, photographic, misidentification, and hoax-based explanations are ruled out) then we can refer to the 2nd stage as a CUFO or 'Confirmed UFO', the third stage as a UFOP or 'UFO Position', and the fourth stage as a 'IFO.' This also has the happy side-effect of removing UFO as a word to describe a sighting!

If the object is ruled out in the early stages before reaching a CUFO it would be an IAP or 'Identified Aerial Phenomenon.' During the analysis, theories used to possibly explain the observation would be referred to as UAPP's or 'Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Position.'

Unfortunately this is a bit complex. So often I find myself simply lumping what should be a UAP into UFO (or more correctly UAPD in to UFOD), UAPP into UFOP, and IAP into IFO.

Realistically I think that's the best we can hope to accomplish though it would make me very happy if we did away with UFO as a legitimate synonym for "sighting."

I've put all of these idea together in another thread (UFO: What does it mean?). Rather than continue to copy and paste the entire thought process I'll just direct you there if you're interested in more of my pedantic nonsense.



However, saying "UFO" and meaning "alien spacecraft" is just not honest.

Just wondering, that's all.


This is why breaking it down in to stages make sense. Imagine a person says to you, "I believe in UFOs." Clearly in this case the person is telling you they believe in CUFOs and possibly alien UFOPs. Recognizing this I usually ask, "Do you believe that there are confirmed UFOs in the sense that they can't be explained even by experts or is it your UFO position that they represent alien spacecraft?"

This instantly reduce stereotyping because it reduces confusion.

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 05:53 AM
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You're working backward. "It's something I can't identify, so it's an alien space craft." That just doesn't make sense. When you see a dot in the sky, do you decide what it is and then look for confirmation, or do you try to confirm what it is before you decide? You're whole procedure is pre-loaded with your assumptions.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:09 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
You're working backward. "It's something I can't identify, so it's an alien space craft."


Huh, I'm genuinely curious. Based off everything I wrote above, which specific line caused you to arrive at this conclusion?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:31 AM
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Originally posted by Xtraeme

Originally posted by Gawdzilla
You're working backward. "It's something I can't identify, so it's an alien space craft."


Huh, I'm genuinely curious. Based off everything I wrote above, which specific line caused you to arrive at this conclusion?


"specific line"? Are you in a witness box, arguing with a lawyer? Sorry, but having heard all this before it's not really surprising to see all this repeated time and time again.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:37 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
"specific line"? Are you in a witness box, arguing with a lawyer? Sorry, but having heard all this before it's not really surprising to see all this repeated time and time again.


I don't know, am I? I don't see how you arrived at what is obviously a logical conclusion in your mind. So I asked for clarification.

Though I think I figured it out on my own.

I didn't include a rather integral component from the original thread:


The point, though, is the stages aren't necessarily ordered. People often jump right to the hypothesis stage. However the 2nd stage does depend on the 1st; and the 4th stage (identification) can be immediately done after the 1st stage (for instance imagine a person after a minute of watching a UFO identifying the wing of a plane) or after the 2nd or 3rd stage.


Or perhaps it's because you don't believe there is such a thing as a confirmed UFO?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:45 AM
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"Or perhaps it's because you don't believe there is such a thing as a confirmed UFO? "

I've never seen any convincing evidence, so "no" would be the appropriate answer. I have researched the matter however. My wife was doing her Ph.D. on the perception of "UFOs" and I helped her for years.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:56 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
"Or perhaps it's because you don't believe there is such a thing as a confirmed UFO? "

I've never seen any convincing evidence, so "no" would be the appropriate answer. I have researched the matter however. My wife was doing her Ph.D. on the perception of "UFOs" and I helped her for years.


See, not so hard?
I'm not attempting to push your buttons. I'm genuinely interested in what you have to say. I really would like to hear whatever material you have against the '56 Bentwaters / Lakenheath case.

I have a handful of reports that I haven't been able to disprove for myself and that genuinely annoys me. If you can help me come up with some prosaic explanations for these particular cases. You'll have my gratitude.

By the way, are any of your wife's papers publicly available? Sounds like interesting reading.

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:03 AM
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I read all that material a few years back, and it's gone now. My wife didn't live to complete her work, unfortunately, and I donated all her material to her collaborators.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:21 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
I read all that material a few years back, and it's gone now. My wife didn't live to complete her work, unfortunately, and I donated all her material to her collaborators.


I'm sorry for your loss. I've experienced more than my fair share and every time it feels like I've lost a part of myself.

Do you remember any sources that she, perhaps, consulted? If this is a sensitive subject for you I'll lay-off. I just want a direction to go sniff up more skeptical analysis, wherever I can find it. Perhaps I would know her collaborators?

Take care of yourself.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:26 AM
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Originally posted by Xtraeme

Originally posted by Gawdzilla
I read all that material a few years back, and it's gone now. My wife didn't live to complete her work, unfortunately, and I donated all her material to her collaborators.


I'm sorry for your loss. I've experienced more than my fair share and every time it feels like I've lost a part of myself.

Do you remember any sources that she, perhaps, consulted? If this is a sensitive subject for you I'll lay-off. I just want a direction to go sniff up more skeptical analysis, wherever I can find it. Perhaps I would know her collaborators?

Take care of yourself.


We had over 300 books on UFO from all sources. Most of them amazingly boring. I haven't kept in touch with her collaborators, and won't speak for them.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:44 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
We had over 300 books on UFO from all sources. Most of them amazingly boring.


Heh, I've read plenty of eye-bleeders
. I haven't quite read 300 books, but I've probably gone through something like 100. To be generous I'd say about 30% was redundant and another 20-30% was plain unsubstantiated [expletive].


I haven't kept in touch with her collaborators, and won't speak for them.


Maybe you remember something specific about the '56 Lakenheath / Bentwater case that strongly led you to believe it didn't hold water?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 07:50 AM
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Maybe you remember something specific about the '56 Lakenheath / Bentwater case that strongly led you to believe it didn't hold water?

Bentwaters was a case of "cascading expectations". An incorrect/mistaken observation leads to preloading of expectations. The assumptions inherent in "UFO hunting" leads to interpreting information with a bias toward the assumptions. These mistakes lead to further assumptions, more pre-loading, and so on in a predictable downward spiral.

"I see something."
"I see something I can't explain."
"I see something inexplicable."
"I see something that can't be explained."
"I see something that can't be from Earth because I can't explain it."
etc.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
Bentwaters was a case of "cascading expectations". An incorrect/mistaken observation leads to preloading of expectations. The assumptions inherent in "UFO hunting" leads to interpreting information with a bias toward the assumptions. These mistakes lead to further assumptions, more pre-loading, and so on in a predictable downward spiral.

"I see something."
"I see something I can't explain."
"I see something inexplicable."
"I see something that can't be explained."
"I see something that can't be from Earth because I can't explain it."
etc.


Hrm, I suppose the question then is what's the incorrect / mistaken observation?

I'm not 'UFO hunting.' The '56 Bentwaters case was presented to me by a friend who's a conspiracy fan. The tradition is he digs up new material, I listen to his rants, and then I go through the process of shooting down the bull.

So in time honored tradition I sat down with his source material and attempted to explain it away, but came up short. Went to my buddies in avionics / aviation and didn't get much of an answer from them either. Read up what I could find online, that didn't help. Then I started reading many, many books.

Basically I can't get around the fact that there was something concrete in the air (ground radar (multiple), air radar, ground visual, air visual), it had airborne characteristics outside the envelope of modern-day aircrafts and whatever this thing was stayed in-trail behind the RAF Venom while it performed evasive maneuvers.

If it could follow in-trail behind a RAF Venom as it performed evasive maneuvers I can't say it doesn't display intelligence. Once I cross that threshold I'm left asking questions like:

Do I or don't I believe there are gas giants in other solar systems? What's my basis for this belief? If I base it off current scientific technology I'm basing my belief on the data results from multi-object spectrometers and my knowledge that CO2 has a unique infrared spectral signature.

In many ways this is even more speculative than the proof provided by the '56 Bentwaters / Lakenheath case. With '56 Lakenheath I have an additional data point. I have human testimony to verify the radar was working properly and to fill in details that couldn't be ascertained by the radar. Likewise the radar allows me to determine whether or not the witness is confabulating details and to ascertain the accuracy of the persons' guesstimates.

What that leaves, I don't know.

A hoax / prank of some sort? Cosmic randomness causing a perfect storm of bizarre events to all happen in concert to pull of what looks like an unexplainable event? Quantum manifestations? Top-Secret aircrafts that have somehow been covered up for 60+ years by some government? Unmanned non-human drones? Space creatures? E.T.'s? Inter-dimensionals? Time-travelers? A mythological entity (concrete, partially transcendent, wholly transcendent)? God? Something I'm not accounting for?

Is it better to just say it's unknown or is it better to wager a hypothesis so we can then try to put forward some sort of test to confirm the veracity of it?

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 09:18 AM
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It all revolves around interpretation of the data, and that's subjective. It's also a non-starter for me. Hear-say evidence is not evidence, it's a story related through the filter of one or more layers of human being. (c.f. "Chinese Telephone")



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 09:27 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
It all revolves around interpretation of the data, and that's subjective. It's also a non-starter for me. Hear-say evidence is not evidence, it's a story related through the filter of one or more layers of human being. (c.f. "Chinese Telephone")


Hrm, would you consider radar print-outs hear-say? Are radar prints-outs from several different devices all recording the same observed object more substantive? Multiple radar-print outs observing the same object with human testimony? Or should we only trust that which we can repeatedly test?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by Xtraeme

Originally posted by Gawdzilla
It all revolves around interpretation of the data, and that's subjective. It's also a non-starter for me. Hear-say evidence is not evidence, it's a story related through the filter of one or more layers of human being. (c.f. "Chinese Telephone")


Hrm, would you consider radar print-outs hear-say? Are radar prints-outs from several different devices all recording the same observed object more substantive? Multiple radar-print outs observing the same object with human testimony? Or should we only trust that which we can repeatedly test?


Any radar expert will tell you that radar gets false positives. I'm about to put RADONE online, you can reference that when it's uploaded if you'd like.

A single source of information is a single datum point. For example: I recently saw a raccoon eating a Subway sandwich. (Furry little bandit stole it from my truck!) Therefore, it would be very logical to say, "All raccoons live solely on Subway sandwiches". Yes or no?



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
Any radar expert will tell you that radar gets false positives. I'm about to put RADONE online, you can reference that when it's uploaded if you'd like.


I'd appreciate it, thank you! I've read through a goodly chunk of Skolnik's Radar Handbook. It would be bizarre if refractive conditions were causing echoes that directly coincided with visual observations. There have been several studies showing air lenses and strong inversions would need temperatures of several thousand degrees kelvin in order to cause visual mirages at the reported altitude (Quantitative aspects of Mirages, Menkello).


A single source of information is a single datum point. For example: I recently saw a raccoon eating a Subway sandwich. (Furry little bandit stole it from my truck!) Therefore, it would be very logical to say, "All raccoons live solely on Subway sandwiches". Yes or no?


You're lucky he didn't steal the whole truck.


That's exactly why I asked whether or not we should only trust that which we can repeatedly test.

Hrm. I think the answer is complicated. To try to make any assertions would be incorrect. There's not enough information. However since we did observe the raccoon consuming a sandwich, and our goal is to understand its eating habits, I think it would behoove us to record that particular event and keep some food on hand so the next time we locate a raccoon we can test to see if it's willing to eat other types of food-stuffs.

So that makes me wonder. Do you think the phenomenon (whether it's conventional down-to-earth by nature or not) is worth studying to get additional data points?

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 10:28 AM
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"That's exactly why I asked whether or not we should only trust that which we can repeatedly test."

Repeatability is essential to science. I wouldn't "trust" anything that can't be repeated. This is the major problem with UFO sightings.

"Hrm. I think the answer is complicated. To try to make any assertions would be incorrect. There's not enough information. However since we did observe the raccoon consuming a sandwich, and our goal is to understand its eating habits, I think it would behoove us to record that particular event and keep some food on hand so the next time we locate a raccoon we can test to see if it's willing to eat other types of food-stuffs."

But we shouldn't make a case on a single datum point, or on a bunch of questionable ones. Remember the GIGO principle.

"So that makes me wonder. Do you think the phenomenon (whether it has a conventional down-to-earth by nature or not) is worth studying to get additional data points?"

Worth studying for what end? Pure research? Sure, go ahead.



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