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UFOs: Asking the Right Questions ...

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posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 11:00 PM
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Hello gang,

One of the biggest problems an investigator faces when trying to crack a case is to make sure he's asking the right questions. This thread is about asking any and every question that collectively pops in to our heads about the UFO / alien phenomenon.

The rule is: no one answers any of the questions (at least not in this thread). However! Feel free to link to a thread or something else that discusses the question. It's also okay to duplicate questions if you have a link that you feel adds to the understanding of the subject and I heartily encourage people to duplicate questions where I don't have a link.


Here are some of my questions:

  1. UFO: What does it mean?
  2. How do we know UFO sightings aren't just misidentifications?
    1. What projects have existed in the past to scientifically investigate UFOs (ie/ Project Twinkle, Sign, Grudge, Blue Book, Magnet, Identification, Hessdalen)?
    2. Historically how many cases are there describing a heavenly body changing direction mid-flight (with sources to the original work)?

  3. What are common UFO sighting misidentifications?
    1. Why is Venus mistaken for a UAP?
    2. How do people confuse meteors for UAPs?
    3. What are common tools / techniques used to help explain misidentifications?

  4. Why is the USA so secretive about UFOs? What's the motivation for hiding UFO sighting data? Why go through all the effort?
    1. Is there a cover-up? Or is the USAF simply incompetent or unwilling to deal with this particular issue?
    2. How good is the US government at keeping secrets? What's the longest the US has kept a secret before revealing it (that we know of)? Historically what is the longest kept secret that's eventually been revealed to the populace?
    3. What techniques do governments use to ensure secrecy (compartmentalization, secrecy oaths, counter-intel)?
      1. What are some good examples illustrating the capabilities of US counter-intelligence task forces?

  5. What are UFOs?
    1. If UFOs are extra-terrestrial crafts does that necessitate (scrape to 5:40) that they somehow break the laws of physics (FTL travel) to get here?
    2. How possible is it that all sufficiently unexplainable UFO sightings are secret military crafts?
      1. Is it possible the government is still concealing an aircraft-design dating as far back as the 40s?

    3. Do UFO sightings give any indications of intelligence?
      1. Do UFO sightings give any indications of observing us?
      2. Do UFOs sightings ever coincide with hostility?

    4. Is there a genuine correlation between nuclear sites and UFOs?
    5. Is there a link between UFOs and bodies of water?
    6. Are there any other correlations between sightings and UFOs? Can we use logic to predict / locate other relationships?
    7. Are there any UFO hot-spots?
      1. Is Great Falls, MO considered a hot-spot?

    8. Is it statistically true that most sightings occur at dawn and dusk? Are there any conclusions that can be drawn from this?
    9. Is there a common thread that relates UFO flaps over the last several decades? Do flaps happen at a regular interval?
    10. Is there any tangible connection between other paranormal subjects and UFOs?
      1. Are there any evidenced connections of UFOs and crop-circles or is the connection based on supposition?
      2. Is there any tangible connection of UFOs to animal mutilations?

    11. Why the non-interventionist policy of UFOs?
      1. If there is a non-interventionist policy in place, why are there abductions?
        1. Are there bonafide abductions? How do we prove this to ourselves?
        2. For the people who are abducted why are their memories typically fuzzy? While this is obviously the polar opposite of non-intervention there's a clear motivation to mask the fact that a person was abducted. Why?

  6. Is there any evidence whatsoever that there's life outside of earth?
    1. Is there any evidence of intelligent life outside of earth?


[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]

[mod edit: fixed link]

[edit on 21-5-2009 by 12m8keall2c]




posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 12:29 AM
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  1. What's the best way to advance our understanding of this subject? What are the best testable hypotheses?
    1. What is the best way to make progress and not fall into the many traps that so many ufologists have fallen into?
    2. What other mechanisms can we use to detect, analyze, identify, & report UFOs?
      1. Are there any networks of cinetheodolites controlled by radar ranging?

    3. Should it be the responsibility of the USAF to investigate UFOs? Academia? NASA? A non-profit organization? A for-profit organization? A new international body setup specifically to investigate this phenomenon?
    4. How do we motivate our countries leaders to encourage scientific institutions to investigate this subject?
    5. How to verify a hypothesis?

I can't possibly have asked all the questions.
Someone has to have a few others. What about questioning methodology? Questions about various people and motivations. Come on folks, don't be shy!

[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 12:35 AM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 


9. Why are they not making contact?

My answer to this is lack of consciouness...



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 12:42 AM
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Originally posted by teklordz
reply to post by Xtraeme
 

9. Why are they not making contact?
My answer to this is lack of consciouness...


Thanks for joining in.
This begs the question:
  1. What is consciousness?
  2. How do we observe, measure, and track the growth of our consciousness?
  3. How do they measure our consciousness (if they do at all)?
  4. Why is consciousness a yardstick for contact? Why isn't simple resource exchange a good enough motivator?


[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 01:29 AM
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1. Consciousness is a mind that is not manipulated in any way or influenced in any way

2. No need to measure, just experience life and understand it.

3. They feel the consciousness level of the mind fairly easily (the light or if you prefer, the flow of intelligence)

4. Everything in the universe is created thru consiousness. You need to be on a similar level of consciousness to be able to have contact.

[edit on 7-4-2009 by teklordz]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:22 AM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 

You surely know how to design an attractive OP
I think you've covered most questions and by stating you don't want answers have somewhat limited your responses. One question I could add relates to the cover up. Whether we've been visited by ET intelligence or not, UFOs are a real phenomena. The phenomena, if nothing else, has and is being covered-up. The document below offers some good explanations as to...

Why continue to cover-up the UFO phenomena?

It's a very informative read that I've linked a few times without reaction.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 03:14 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by Xtraeme
 

You surely know how to design an attractive OP
I think you've covered most questions and by stating you don't want answers have somewhat limited your responses.


Heh, just wait till my other machine stops sucking up all the CPU and I can post more
. I think you're right. I may have erred in asking too many over-arching questions that encapsulate many smaller ones. It's the little questions that tantalize me because they tend to help us form connections that aren't immediately obvious.


One question I could add relates to the cover up. Whether we've been visited by ET intelligence or not, UFOs are a real phenomena. The phenomena, if nothing else, has and is being covered-up. The document below offers some good explanations as to...

Why continue to cover-up the UFO phenomena?

It's a very informative read that I've linked a few times without reaction.


I like her high-level questions in the summary. In the spirit of sticking with the thread I'll copy them here:

  1. Why did the Air Force choose Edward Condon to chair the Committee which produced the [Condon] report?
  2. How was the report a product of the history of the UFO phenomenon and the cultural and intellectual context of its times?
  3. How did the “social intelligence”–or the perception and transmission of information through cultural institutions–shape Condon’s scientific definition of the UFO problem? and
  4. How did social intelligence trump “scientific method" in both the framing and resolution of the UFO problem?

I'll definitely have to read this one. Thanks Kandinsky!

[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 03:44 AM
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Okay, I'll tip my two cents worth in...

Where and how do we resolve the answers to all our questions?

How much value do we place on a persons experience?
- It seems to me that as soon as someone puts voice to an experience involving UFO's, this apparently makes them automatically suspect of all kinds of mental illnesses, etc. So in effect, their credibility is automatically affected by the claim itself. This seems like a strange paradox.

Why does mainstream media constantly ridicule suggested sightings of UFO's? ("Impartial reporting of events" my Aunt Bertha). And why are actual sightings of UFO's not headline stories?



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 04:03 AM
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Great questions! Best to answer questions with questions in this thread



Originally posted by azurecara
Where and how do we resolve the answers to all our questions?


Do we need more information or is the information we have enough to answer our questions? If it isn't enough how do we go about getting information that will help us deduce the answer?


How much value do we place on a persons experience?


Is it not true that a persons experience is weighted based on the persons notoriety or fame?


- It seems to me that as soon as someone puts voice to an experience involving UFO's, this apparently makes them automatically suspect of all kinds of mental illnesses, etc. So in effect, their credibility is automatically affected by the claim itself. This seems like a strange paradox.


The question then is, how do we give all men equal access to the same system for analyzing the phenomenon so no mans testimony is suspect? Is that possible?


Why does mainstream media constantly ridicule suggested sightings of UFO's? ("Impartial reporting of events" my Aunt Bertha).


How do we move the marker that denotes mans suspension of disbelief? Would those who broadcast the news be more liable to treat the subject with respect if they themselves had seen something they couldn't explain?


And why are actual sightings of UFO's not headline stories?


Who controls the news? How much control does a man like Rupert Murdoch really have? Can a man with such wealth and power decree that only certain news is reported?

If so, what motives would drive a man who has everything to filter out facts about an unknown phenomenon? Fear of loss of credibility?

If not, then those in lesser roles have the ability to steer what is and isn't broadcast. What motives drive these people to downplay news of UFO reports from respectable individuals? Loss of credibility themselves? Is it not also true loss of credibility often translates in to loss of financial propriety?

[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 06:27 AM
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Ok, here we go along with the hypotheticals (she cracks her knuckles)

Let's assume we could collate all relevant information. All reported UFO reports, alien encounters, etc. into a database and then streamline the information. Would this not help raise more relevant questions?

If this was to be taken seriously it would have to be an international effort - and I would seriously like to collate all sightings with location information, frequency of reports, etc. I would like to being to see patterns emerging.

Because patterns begin to suggest the probability of a genuine phenomena. Begins to establish it as an actual reality, rather than urban legend or myth.

If we added every sighting, or report, then you would have to factor in irrelevant sightings, misinterpreted physical phenomena, etc.

You would also have to factor in the variable factor of truth. Thus it would have to be somewhat anonymous - and no fame or money factor involved to eliminate this as a motivating factor - or at the very least reduce it.

As for reporting the findings. Well to truly and utterly convince me, (that would be your any average person), you would have to get the Scientific community on board. Mainstream it. Give it credibility. Present the information received and given with a healthy open minded approach and with the focus on investigation rather than witch-hunt.

More questions:

How does one let the evidence lead you to conclusions with no frame of reference?

How do you achieve a truly unbiased approach to this kind of research?

What if there are non-physical elements to this research? Or elements outside our scientific expertise? Evidence collected that we cannot reconcile? eg sightings involving craft that appear to defy our Laws of Physics?

Here's a good question. When we had an international phenomena recently, the world (western world perhaps) got together to form an international forum of scientific research to produce a report on it. What was it? Climate change. Why can't we do that with Other international phenomena? Especially one which denotes the possibility of a threat i.e. like climate change?



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:40 PM
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Nothing like a good brainstorming session
...


Originally posted by azurecara
Ok, here we go along with the hypotheticals (she cracks her knuckles)

Let's assume we could collate all relevant information. All reported UFO reports, alien encounters, etc. into a database and then streamline the information. Would this not help raise more relevant questions?


That's the hope! A good question might be, what questions have organizations like CFI, NUFORC, NARCAP, CUFOS, MUFON, FUFOR, etc formed by analyzing their massive databases? Why have none of them found compelling patterns that have allowed us to more accurately predict the occurrences of this phenomenon? Does that suggest, perhaps, what we're witnessing is not earthbound or at the very least that it's not a natural occurrence? Does that not inherently make it astronomic in nature?

From the few patterns that have arisen (greater number of observations at dusk / dawn, common for UFO sightings to happen over water, a plethora of sightings at nuclear facilities), why haven't we conducted more tests to try to confirm these correlations or exploit these properties to induce the phenomenon?


If this was to be taken seriously it would have to be an international effort - and I would seriously like to collate all sightings with location information, frequency of reports, etc.


Would an international effort inherently require government involvement or could it be performed by academia or an independent organization? How can we automate the detection of this phenomenon?


I would like to being to see patterns emerging.

Because patterns begin to suggest the probability of a genuine phenomena. Begins to establish it as an actual reality, rather than urban legend or myth.


What if the reason for randomness is that we're witnessing many different things? How do we then filter down to make sure we're not intermingling observations of different phenomenon with another? Does that not imply we need to start committing to various theories and attempting to find ways to filter out other theories to confirm one particular hypothesis? Is it not fair to say that science only tests one hypothesis at a time? Why should the study of UFO sightings be any different?


If we added every sighting, or report, then you would have to factor in irrelevant sightings, misinterpreted physical phenomena, etc.


What would be the purpose of recording irrelevant and fallacious sightings? To better identify other false positives in the future?


You would also have to factor in the variable factor of truth. Thus it would have to be somewhat anonymous - and no fame or money factor involved to eliminate this as a motivating factor - or at the very least reduce it.


Depending on a persons standing in society coming forward is more damaging than it is beneficial. That said would it be worth evaluating the relationship between what a person has to gain versus what it is they have to lose? If the person has more to lose, does that not strengthen the case?


As for reporting the findings. Well to truly and utterly convince me, (that would be your any average person), you would have to get the Scientific community on board. Mainstream it. Give it credibility. Present the information received and given with a healthy open minded approach and with the focus on investigation rather than witch-hunt.


To give it credibility, to what extent would the scientific community have to participate? Would the world's population find it sufficiently compelling if scientists only investigated the best cases to rise to the top of such a system or, in the public's eye, would that suggest the subject isn't fully worth studying?

Would genuine interest by the press (not offbeat / humorous editorials) give the subject credibility?


More questions:

How does one let the evidence lead you to conclusions with no frame of reference?


Is it fair to say that evidence leads a person to a conclusion when it's something that can be repeatedly tested? If so, since the UFO phenomenon is seemingly random, we need induction to help arrive at imperfect conclusions which will then hopefully give us enough insight to produce deductive tests to get more details on the phenomenon.


How do you achieve a truly unbiased approach to this kind of research?


How many subjects are truly unbiased? Is string theory embraced by all physicists? How unbiased are mathematicians when trying to solve an "unsolvable" problem?


What if there are non-physical elements to this research? Or elements outside our scientific expertise? Evidence collected that we cannot reconcile? eg sightings involving craft that appear to defy our Laws of Physics?


Isn't it sciences greatest objective to probe and understand the unknown? Why should science be afraid to tackle hard problems? If something is observed, and the observation can be confirmed as an unknown, then doesn't it compel those of us who are scientists to try to lay down a framework to analyze the problem? And if we do find a phenomenon that contradicts our current scientific laws, isn't it part of the scientific method to reevaluate what we know?


Here's a good question. When we had an international phenomena recently, the world (western world perhaps) got together to form an international forum of scientific research to produce a report on it. What was it? Climate change. Why can't we do that with Other international phenomena? Especially one which denotes the possibility of a threat i.e. like climate change?


Isn't it true that there are many scientists who do not recognize climate change as an actual phenomenon? What causes people to disagree on the very nature of something occurring? What is it that causes the disconnect between two groups such that they can't even come to agreement on "what is" or "what isn't" happening? Is it because the data they're looking at is different? Or is it because they have different biases? Or a combination of both?

[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 03:04 PM
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GREAT OP!! S&F!

Here's mine:

what level of technology did the known world have pre-1940, and can this even help explain what we've seen in pictures of UFO during that area?

What anit-gravity tech did we have in 1977? (one question I've had for 30 years which has never been answered yet) and Digital photography didn't exist then.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by Komodo
GREAT OP!! S&F!


Why thank ya
.


Here's mine:


What level of technology did the known world have pre-1940?


... and can this even help explain what we've seen in pictures of UFO during that area?


Is it not the nature of science to compare things? Therefore isn't fair to say comparing all known aircrafts pre-1940's to UFO sightings pre-dating the '40s demonstrates that there are cases that fall outside the explanation of military and civilian crafts?


What anit-gravity tech did we have in 1977? (one question I've had for 30 years which has never been answered yet) and Digital photography didn't exist then.


How do we know we have anti-gravity tech at all? What's the best evidence supporting this belief? Was photography used to help evidence anti-gravity?

[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 


interesting thread Xtraeme

i think ufo sightings in general are so intermixed with mis- identifications that it would be almost impossible to discern the real thing from the rest of the field so i would propose that the question that needs to be asked when investigating sightings is:

since there have been thousands or more Alien/creature sightings,

wich type of ufo's are mostly associated with those reports ?

if we are only really interested in unidentified alien objects (UAO) wouldn't that question or approach be a more focused attempt to yield more hints or clues ?





[edit on 7-4-2009 by easynow]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by easynow
reply to post by Xtraeme
 


interesting thread Xtraeme


I hope this thread brings out some otherwise unasked questions
.


i think ufo sightings in general are so intermixed with mis- identifications that it would be almost impossible to discern the real thing from the rest of the field so i would propose that the question that needs to be asked when investigating sightings is:

since there have been thousands or more Alien/creature sightings,


Of all the alien and creature sightings how do we determine which reports are the "best" and most worthy to investigate since they're almost always anecdotal? Do we base it on the character and reputation of the person making the report? By doing this don't we potentially run the risk of throwing out what might have been good cases if only because we didn't have a better means to filter? Does that suggest we should investigate every alien / creature sighting and if so how do we procure the resources to accomplish such a task?

Is it even valid to filter based on a persons perceived respectability? Is it not possible that the boy who cried wolf might eventually confront a wolf and genuinely require assistance?

To abstract the concept further, how do we triage these reports?


wich type of ufo's are mostly associated with those reports?


A good question. During the triage how do we determine the high-strangeness of a sighting? Does that not suggest we need to more quickly auto-rule out mundane sightings?

Sadly it seems the best cases we have are military or governmental ('56 Lakenheath / Bentwaters, '57 RB-47, '76 Iranian encounter, '86 JAL-1628), so how do we make civilian sightings as meaningful as highly strange military encounters?


if we are only really interested in unidentified alien objects (UAO) wouldn't that question or approach be a more focused attempt to yield more hints or clues ?


Indeed, so the question becomes how do we increase the reliability of all witness testimony. How do we provide all people everywhere access to the same means to measure and validate a sighting as it occurs?

[edit on 7-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 06:34 PM
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Truly inspiring thread! The brain juices are flowing!


If you were heading up a team to investigate this problem you would be hamstrung from the start with a few problems. Internationally there are such huge variances in cultural interpretation, religious views, in technology, and language - in the reporting of an event. How could the reporting process become user-friendly? Should the collection of data be analysed regionally and then further collated internationally?

You would have to sort information received into general catagories for investigation. E.g. Strange object sighted vs unexplained lights, etc. Would different types of sightings be investigated with more priority? How many people would it take to populate this type of project with the best productivity?

How would you procure the government and militaries full disclosure? Would you need to have top secret (and/or above) security clearence to receive a full report from their reported cases of unexplained or unusual aerial phenomena? Would that then affect how to report findings of information to the public? To this extent the governments' involvement would be necessary. However which would be more credibile and get better results - a government funded and organised investigation team, or a privately funded civilian team? Would running both at the same time yield better results?

Are the databases that have been created being analysed for patterns? If so, where are their reports? (maybe I've missed them).

How would you become qualified to study in this field? Would it be better to have a cross-section of all sciences involved?

Hmmm percolating more ideas...



posted on May, 2 2009 @ 06:04 PM
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As a sub-category of "Why is the USA so secretive about UFOs?" Here's a good question from Firestorm,


The actual reason why the Navy cut off McDonald's Contract 2173 remains unknown. [James E. McDonald] was exonerated completely of Klass's charges that he had misused public funds; the cutoff of his contract indicates that some high-level political concerns were involved. Two possibilities have been suggested:
  1. that high Navy officials (and perhaps other governmental sources?) felt that Klass should be appeased, since he was a Senior Editor of a leading aerospace magazine; or
  2. that the DoD made the final decision, in the light of Air Force complaints that a Navy funded scientist was severely criticizing Project Blue Book. In other words, was the funds cutoff done simply to ameliorate friction between the branches of the military? (source: pg. 210; Druffel, Ann (2003). Firestorm: Dr. James E. McDonald's Fight for UFO Science. Columbus, NC: Wild Flower Press. ISBN 0-926524-58-5)


Obviously #2 has other sub-possibilities. It's one thing to want to investigate it's another to allow the person conducting the investigation to stipulate "position" publicly for the overall organization.

The question is what other possibilities are there for fund cut-offs?

[edit on 2-5-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 11:35 AM
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Here's another answer to:


Originally posted by azurecara
How much value do we place on a persons experience?



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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Mind if I add a question, perhaps one that someone can answer even?

"Who was the first person to cry alien, excluding religious sources?"

[edit on 21-5-2009 by SkepticPerhaps]



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticPerhaps
Mind if I add a question, perhaps one that someone can answer even?

"Who was the first person to cry alien, excluding religious sources?"


This actually leads to a very interesting question. Were "aliens" observed before or after the abduction phenomenon (1961-09-19)? Who was the first person to cry abduction?

Was George Adamski, in November 20 1952, the first person to cry alien? Or should we accept St. Anthony's account in 30 A.D. as the first documented case?


..., perhaps it's appropriate to begin with a quotation from the life of St. Anthony, the Egyptian-born founder of Christian monasticism who lived about 30 A.D. In the desert, St. Anthony met with a strange being of small stature, who fled after a brief conversation with him:


Before long in a small rocky valley shut in on all sides he sees a manikin with hooded snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goat's feet. When he saw this, Anthony like a good soldier seized the shield of faith and the helmet of hope: the creature none the less began to offer him the fruit of the palm tree to support him on his journey and as it were pledges of peace. Anthony perceiving this stopped and asked who he was. The answer he received from him was this:

"I am a mortal being and one of the inhabitants of the Desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favour of your Lord and ours, who, we have learnt, came once to save the world, and 'whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.'"

As he uttered such words as these, the aged traveler's cheeks streamed with tears, the marks of his deep feeling, which he shed in the fullness of his joy. He rejoiced over the Glory of Christ and the destruction of Satan, and marveling all the while that he could understand the Satyr's language, and striking the ground with his staff, he said,

"Woe to thee, Alexandria!" he exclaimed, "Beasts speak of Christ, and you instead of God worship monsters."

He had not finished speaking when, as if on wings, the wild creature fled away.

Let no one scruple to believe this incident; its truth is supported by what took place when Constantine was on the throne, a matter of which the whole world was witness. For a man of that kind was brought alive to Alexandria and shown as a wonderful sight to the people. Afterwards his lifeless body, to prevent its decay through the summer heat, was preserved in salt and brought to Antioch that the Emperor might see.


(Source: Dimensions, A Casebook of Alien Contact; Jacques Vallee; Ballantine Books; 1988; ISBN 0-345-36002-8; pp. 13 - 14)


[edit on 21-5-2009 by Xtraeme]





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