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Pseudo-Science of Anti-Ufology

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posted on May, 31 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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If one has experienced a UFO/unknown sighting dramatic enough or close enough, it will change him/her forever (i.e. no need for "personal validation"). There is a feeling you get that cannot be forgotten. The truth will always be there: that we are not alone. I was young when I had my first sighting so it is hard for me to imagine the skeptic's point of view, even though I've been married to one of the most adamant for 16 years. But I do respect that point of view, as long as it is founded on some understanding of science.

But many so-called debunkers use explanations for UFO sightings (poorly understood phenomena) that are based on things like ball lightning and "swamp gas" (poorly understood phenomena). Fighting fire with fire? Well OK, but when there are well qualified multiple witnesses (e.g. personnel guarding nuclear missile installations at Malmstrom A.F.B. or R.A.F Bentwaters), they then resort to "temporary mass hallucinations" or "the planet Venus" where everyone saw the same structured object(s). Now that in itself is scarier (less probable???) than the concept of alien visitation!

At a certain point, the skeptics "grabbing at straws" becomes so predictable. It is not unreasonable to ask that they use logic and explanations that indicate:
1) actually carefully reading the report and looking at the evidence.
2) acknowledging the number, credentials and credibility of the witnesses, and lack of prior or subsequent mental illness.
3) basing explanations on something that is known to physically exist and well understood, not ball lightning etc.
4) reasoning that is not more far-fetched than the concept that some civilization somewhere in this vast universe may be more advanced than we are in the understanding of quantum physics and space-time relativity.

There have been many notorious hoaxes "poisoning the well" so to speak, but there have been enough credible/multiple witness sightings with physical evidence (e.g. radar returns) to allow society to move forward with honest scientific investigation and disclosure of such.

"I suppose the process of acceptance will pass through the usual four stages:
(i) this is worthless nonsense;
(ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view;
(iii) this is true, but quite unimportant;
(iv) I always said so. "
J.B.S. Haldane, Journal of Genetics Vol. 58, page 464 (1963)
"I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. "
J.B.S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, p 310
Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. "
J.B.S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, p 286



[edit on 31-5-2009 by 1SawSomeThings]




posted on May, 31 2009 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12
but it would be nice if you actualy addressed some of the points raised (nowhere did I state UFOs were piloted by aliens - I suspect thats just you being melodramatic and attempting to muddy the water).


The point you raised had nothing to do with the comments made. As I stated in the previous post, you were engaging in a typical behavior of believers; this tactic had nothing to do with the points raised. Instead of discussing the sorry state of Ufology vs. the supposed state of skepticism, you want to engage in case-by-case study, for the aforementioned reason. If anyone is attempting to muddy the waters, it is you.

You further muddy the water with semantic games. While you are right, you did not explicitly say UFOs, in particular the cases you cited in your earlier post and this one, are piloted by alien entities, your intent is clear. Your opinions on the subject are no mystery to any member of this forum. Please have enough respect for your fellow members to not insult their intelligence by pretending otherwise. And please have the courage of your convictions to stand by your beliefs, not disguise or hide from them in order to make a point.


Originally posted by karl 12
Heres the definition of a UFO/OVNI for future reference...


Again, do not insult our intelligence by pretending you meant something other than your intent. And we are also intelligent enough to recognize sometimes words have meanings beyond a strict dictionary definition.



Originally posted by karl 12
As for the state of Ufology -I think ,if anything, the state of 'UFO debunkery' is in crisis as there are more and more genuine unknowns being reported each year...


Again, you want to engage in case-by-case study rather than debating the topic. You both fail to recognize that unexplained does not equate to unexplainable or that a failure of a skeptic to explain a case does not mean your explanation is correct by default. All this spaghetti-against-the-wall tactic serves to do is degenerate this thread into fighting over cases instead of discussing the state of study.

Further, both you, Friedman and certain others participating in both this thread and forum fail to understand mainstream science and skepticism is not responsible for the sorry state of Ufology. It is the UFO research community itself that is to blame.



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 


Again with the child psychology.
Why not try addressing the subject instead of just making ignorant comments based on lazy prejudice?
After three posts in this thread all you've done is dance around the topic
without realy saying anything.

As for Stanton,I have to say I do agree with him on this paragraph:


For more than 60 years the primary approach by the media and scientific communities to the subject of UFOs and Flying Saucers has been based on pseudo-science. Proclamations and attacks, often given the appearance of being scientific, have been launched at every aspect of the phenomena. Despite an enormous array of real evidence and data, we have been treated to false claims, false reasoning, bias and ignorance.


[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by titorite
Why should those that don't believe in Extraterrestrial Life be so adamant convincing others of their view point?


By the same token, why should those who believe alien entities are visiting the planet be so adamant in convincing others of their viewpoint? Why should anyone with an opinion be so adamant?

It would be a pretty boring forum if we just allowed or expressed homogeneous opinion.



Originally posted by titorite
Pseudo-skeptics.... Kinda like the real thing only with more ignorance.


So, even "real skeptics" are ignorant? It is this kind of arrogance that is hurting UFO research.

[edit on 31-5-2009 by DoomsdayRex]



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12
Again with the child psychology.
Why not try addressing the subject instead of making ignorant assumptions based on lazy prejudice?

After three posts in this thread all you've done is dance around the topic
without really saying anything.


I did address the topic, in my first response and in each subsequent post. It should be clear I do not agree with Friedman and think he (much like yourself) are trying to foster blame for Ufology's failings on skepticism and mainstream science. If anyone is trying to dance around the subject, it would be you with your "Oh yeah! Well, what about this case!?! Or this case!?!" tactic.



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by DoomsdayRex
I did address the topic


If you call making sweepingly ignorant remarks 'addressing the topic' then I suppose you did -I just find it telling that you profess to have such a strong opinion on the subject yet you abjectly refuse to address it.

As for your presumption that UFO/USO/OVNI research is 'failing', I don't agree -I think its as alive as its ever been with some excellent,comprehensive research being done right across the board in radar/sonar evidence,government documentary evidence,ground trace evidence,circumstantial evidence etc..

What I do think is failing is the tired,old,dismissive attitude of
UFO cynics.
I think many people are coming to the realisation that pseudosceptics and debunkers who pour scorn and derision onto the subject are in fact just agenda based,ego driven individuals who have utter contempt for objectivity and absolutely no interest in cultivating balanced,informed opinions.
People who ,if they cannot shoehorn in a preconceived explanation onto unexplained events,will wilfully (and childishly) ignore them and hope they go away.

Here are some of the techniques employed -I'm sure you've used a few of them in your time on these boards:
www.bibleufo.com...



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12
If you call making sweepingly ignorant remarks 'addressing the topic' then I suppose you did -I just find it telling that you profess to have such a strong opinion on the subject yet you abjectly refuse to address it.


What is it you do not think I am addressing? What I have done is not play your rhetorical games and pointed out how they are a distraction from the topic. That is not the same as "not addressing the topic."

Notice to, you quote only five words of my response to you, instead of where I further address the topic and provide further clarification.


Originally posted by karl 12
As for your presumption that UFO/USO/OVNI research is 'failing', I don't agree


I did not say it was failing, I said it had failings. There is quite a difference. And while the examples you cited are examples of excellent, thought-provoking research, a credit to the field, it is also uncommon. UFO research is in a sorry state and you will find few, even within the community, that disagree.


Originally posted by karl 12
I think many people are coming to the realisation that pseudosceptics and debunkers who pour scorn and derision onto the subject are in fact just agenda based,ego driven individuals who have utter contempt for objectivity and absolutely no interest in cultivating balanced,informed opinions.
People who ,if they cannot shoehorn in a preconceived explanation onto unexplained events,will wilfully (and childishly) ignore them and hope they go away.


You may have as well described believers. And I find this comment quite interesting, in light of your earlier comments, especially since you had to take people out of context and ignore what I and others have said to make your point.


Originally posted by karl 12
If you call making sweepingly ignorant remarks 'addressing the topic' then I suppose you did


[edit on 31-5-2009 by DoomsdayRex]



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by 1SawSomeThings
At a certain point, the skeptics "grabbing at straws" becomes so predictable. It is not unreasonable to ask that they use logic and explanations that indicate:

1) actually carefully reading the report and looking at the evidence.
2) acknowledging the number, credentials and credibility of the witnesses, and lack of prior or subsequent mental illness.
3) basing explanations on something that is known to physically exist and well understood, not ball lightning etc.
4) reasoning that is not more far-fetched than the concept that some civilization somewhere in this vast universe may be more advanced than we are in the understanding of quantum physics and space-time relativity.


1SawSomeThings-thats a great post,particularly the part about actualy reading the report and looking at evidence.
I'm all for true,open minded scepticism but I think what UFO cynics practise is something entirely different and does a great disservice to impartial research of the subject.

Here are some apt quotes:


"Obsessed with the notion of his own omniscience, it enrages him to be confronted by phenomena that do not agree with this conviction. Finding in his limited armoury no explanation that satisfies him, he chooses to doubt rather than himself, and rejects the most obvious facts in order to avoid putting his faith to the test. The mistaken pride and anthropocentrism that supposedly went out with Copernicus and Galileo make him a peril to science, as history abundantly proves. … That strange things have been seen is now beyond question, and the “psychological” explanations seem to have misfired. The number of thoughtful, intelligent, educated people in full possession of their faculties who have “seen something” and described it grows every day. Doubting Thomases among astronomers, engineers and officials who used to laugh at “saucers” have seen and repented. To reject out of hand testimony such as theirs becomes more and more presumptuous".
General Lionel Max Chassin (1902-1970) Commanding General of the French Air Forces.



"UFO debunkers do not understand Occam's Razor, and they abuse it regularly. They think they understand it, but they don't.
What it means is that when several hypotheses of varying complexity can explain a set of observations with equal ability, the first one to be tested should be the one that invokes the fewest number of uncorroborated assumptions. If this simplest hypothesis is proven incorrect, the next simplest is chosen, and so forth.
But the skeptics forget two parts: the part regarding the test of the simpler hypotheses, and the part regarding explaining all of the observations.
What a debunker will do is mutilate and butcher the observations until it can be "explained" by one of the simpler hypotheses, which is the inverse
of the proper approach".
Brian Zeiler



"I propose that true skepticism is called for today: neither the gullible acceptance of true belief nor the closed-minded rejection of the scoffer masquerading as the skeptic.
One should be skeptical of both the believers and the scoffers. The negative claims of pseudo-skeptics who offer facile explanations must themselves be subject to criticism. If a competent witness reports having seen something tens of degrees of arc in size (as happens) and the scoffer -- who of course was not there -- offers Venus or a high altitude weather balloon as an explanation, the requirement of extraordinary proof for an extraordinary claim falls on the proffered negative claim as well. That kind of approach is also pseudo-science. Moreover just being a scientist confers neither necessary expertise nor sufficient knowledge.
Any scientist who has not read a few serious books and articles presenting actual UFO evidence should out of intellectual honesty refrain from making scientific pronouncements. To look at the evidence and go away unconvinced is one thing. To not look at the evidence and be convinced against it nonetheless is another. That is not science."
Bernard Haisch, Astrophysicist



"I believe that the attitude of spirit that one must adopt with respect to these phenomena is a completely open attitude of spirit, i.e. who does not consist in denying a priori as besides our ancestors of the previous centuries had to deny things which appear perfectly elementary to us today"
Mr. Robert Galley, Minister for the French Army.



"One refuses to study the facts because they are not included/understood, but to include/understand them, they would have initially to be studied"
A. Meessen,Physicist.



"The best means of not finding an evidence, it is not to seek some".
Pierre Guerin,Astrophysicist



"Skeptics, who flatly deny the existence of any unexplained phenomenon in the name of 'rationalism,' are among the primary contributors to the rejection of science by the public. People are not stupid and they know very well when they have seen something out of the ordinary. When a so-called expert tells them the object must have been the moon or a mirage, he is really teaching the public that science is impotent or unwilling to pursue the study of the unknown."
Dr. Jacques Vallee,Astrophysicist



"Most scientists have never had the occasion to confront evidence concerning the UFO phenomenon. To a scientist, the main source of hard information (other than his own experiments' observations) is provided by the scientific journals. With rare exceptions, scientific journals do not publish reports of UFO observations. The decision not to publish is made by the editor acting on the advice of reviewers. This process is self-reinforcing: the apparent lack of data confirms the view that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon, and this view (prejudice) works against the presentation of relevant data."
Peter A. Sturrock, "An Analysis of the Condon Report on the Colorado UFO Project," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol.1, No.1, 1987



"Before I began my association with the US Air Force, I had
joined my scientific colleagues in many a hearty guffaw
at the "psychological postwar craze" for flying saucers
that seemed to be sweeping the country and at the naivete
and gullibility of our fellow human beings who were being
taken in by such obvious "nonsense." It was almost in a
sense of sport that I accepted the invitation to have a
look at the flying saucer reports....."
"I had started out as an outright 'debunker,' taking
great joy in cracking what seemed at first to be puzzling
cases. I was the arch enemy of those 'flying saucer
groups and enthusiasts' who very dearly wanted UFOs to be
interplanetary. My own knowledge of those groups came
almost entirely from what I heard from Blue Book
personnel; they were all "crackpots and visionaries.'"

"Now, however, documentation which puts the UFO-
U.S. government controversy in quite a new light has
become available. The authors have made revealing use of
documents released through the mechanism of the Freedom
of Information Act and other data which have been made
available to them, often through private sources, which
show that the CIA and NSA protestations of innocence and
lack of interest in UFOs are nothing short of
prevarication."
"The reader must judge for himself or herself just
how far these implications extend, but certainly no one
can deny any longer that various intelligence agencies of
our government were long cognizant of UFOs and the global
extent of this phenomenon. Official dispatches from our
embassies and air bases in other countries to these
agencies, to the State Department, and even, on occasion,
to the White House, bear incontrovertible witness to
this."
"For the government to continue to maintain that
UFOs are nonexistent in the face of the documents already
released and of other cogent evidence presented in this
book is puerile and in a sense an insult to the American
people."
Dr Allen J Hyneck,astronomer, professor and scientific adviser to UFO studies undertaken by the U.S. Air Force.



"I concentrate on the science. I'm interested in the UFOs seen by the police and military witnesses. I'm interested in the near misses that pilots report, where their aircraft nearly collide with these things. I'm interested in the visual sightings backed up by radar. I'm interested in the military bases that are overflown by these things. I'm interested in the cases where you have radiation readings on the ground.
These are no lights in the sky. These are not misidentifications of fantasy prone individuals. This is a cutting-edge technology being reported by reliable, trained observers, and it is something that goes beyond what we can do.
That to me suggests that if it is not ours, it belongs to someone else. If that technology is better than ours, then the extraterrestrial hypothesis seems to me the best explanation."
Nick Pope,Head of the "UFO desk" at Air Secretariat 2-A, British Ministry of Defence from 1991-1994.




[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12, Embolded text by m0r1arty
What I do think is failing is the tired,old,dismissive attitude of
UFO cynics.
I think many people are coming to the realisation that pseudosceptics and debunkers who pour scorn and derision onto the subject are in fact just agenda based,ego driven individuals who have utter contempt for objectivity and absolutely no interest in cultivating balanced,informed opinions.
People who ,if they cannot shoehorn in a preconceived explanation onto unexplained events,will wilfully (and childishly) ignore them and hope they go away.


So erm...how's about citing your sources here...you know to...erm...you know...give it some credence and academic value - or is that just a sceptics job?

I'm not against you, you actually provide some very decent posts and hold some air of scepticism about you (i.e. I've seen you ask for, and provide, more details or tell a member that ET likelihood is minimal in a thread or two). But many of your believing brethren accept so willingly the paranormal answer over a more rational one - without proof.

It's the without proof part that gets me.

If I were to post a fabricated story about being taken away through astral projection to a far off world where the future of mankind was told to me in vague open-ended terms I'd have Stars and Flags galore. Not only that I'd have people join in and tell me of their similar experiences, correlate their opinions amongst each other and pretty much make my fabrication some sort of 'reality'. Sure I'd have the odd sceptic silly enough to even try to engage with reason - but more often than not I'd be surrounded by 'like minded' individuals who, in my opinion, are deluding each other for some sort of 'special reason' of existence.

If I posted a thread about combining facts (like I did with the Jesse Long abduction) after having spent time and energy researching it. It pretty much gets ignored because I'm asking believers for facts and sceptics have none more to provide and so stay schtum.

In short; fancy, glittery stories that believers can latch onto get more credibility (in views , replies, stars and flags) than threads looking to amass facts. There are a few exceptions (like the brilliant Battle of LA thread) but ratio wise it's weighted towards people willing to believe without proof around here.

I've read many of your threads and I do applaud you personally karl 12 for your analysis and effort - you do a lot around here. There may be many stories that are true and deserve further investigation. But understand if you are wishing to put sceptics into one 'set' - then I have to put you alongside Johnny Numerology and Janet Flights-of-fancy.

I know that's unfair to do so, but if scepticism is using pseudoscience then believers are using pixie dust.

Let's put our tools of hate down and try to find out what those genuine stories are using logic and reason, maybe with the odd bit of 'belief suspension' where required to draw up a theory.

Only using 'belief suspension' by itself makes everyone who contributes around here look a fool.

-m0r

Sources: Everything posted in the Aliens and UFO board here at ATS.



posted on May, 31 2009 @ 08:39 PM
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On the original topic of (thanks NephraTari), "Psuedo-Science of Anti-Ufology" (i.e. "debunkers"), by Stanton Friedman:

The debate seems to be quasi-religious for many. I suspect that's because for some, not being the ultimate intelligence in the universe may be threatening (or humbling, much worse!). For others, an intelligence greater than ours is comforting. For others still, it is a dark place that needs the light of day, true unabridged scientific study. I include myself in the latter. It is a very personal debate, and it unfortunately often breaks down to questioning the ulterior motives and even the sanity of those on all sides.

But with all the high-profile witnesses, why is there so little official objective study? Must we assume that it is so easy for our best and brightest to temporararily lose contact with reality and dream up outlandish stories, at the risk of their careers? With nothing to gain and everything to lose, even if they try to remain anonymous? Is it common enough for trained observers, often with colleagues present, to drift into unreality, to then be judged by the armchair observers ("debunkers") that some of us are?

That, when we have other scientific ecapades that go forth with little more than faith in some equations a smart guy drew on a chalkboard?
For example, quantum physics only postulates the existence of the Higgs boson, but the search for it (CERN LHC) has consumed vast resources (many $billions) and has a questionable past and future safety record. What will it gain us as a society, does anyone know? Not to mention that planet Earth will be the test tube for the experiment that no one truly knows the outcome of.

Regardless of the wastes and dangers of other scientific investigations, untold numbers of pilots, policeman, military, scientists, govt. officials, grandmothers, grandfathers, moms, dads, brothers and sisters have faced ridicule and scorn for coming forth with the truth as best as they could tell it. What does it say about society when we push people who have had strange, bewildering, life-altering experiences underground and question their sanity? It isolates them and their ilk, and keeps them from wanting to talk anymore. Cui bono? I'll leave you to answer that, "debunkers".

Perhaps more importantly, explain the behavior of many in the news media. Most often, when there is a "news" report, it will get coverage with a wink and a nod from the anchor, cue up some "X-files" or "Twilight Zone" music, and a healthy dose of BS along with the original report. It becomes tabloid in nature. Is this an accident, "debunkers"?

That is the state of "Anti-Ufology", in my opinion. "Debunkers", please come up with some other tactics that don't rely on attacking the witnesses or invoking officially sanctioned flights of fantasy, and let the debate over the evidence begin. It is there if you will look, perhaps upward for a change.


[edit on 31-5-2009 by 1SawSomeThings]



posted on Jun, 1 2009 @ 11:52 PM
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Originally posted by 1SawSomeThings
That, when we have other scientific ecapades that go forth with little more than faith in some equations a smart guy drew on a chalkboard?
For example, quantum physics only postulates the existence of the Higgs boson, but the search for it (CERN LHC) has consumed vast resources (many $billions) and has a questionable past and future safety record. What will it gain us as a society, does anyone know? Not to mention that planet Earth will be the test tube for the experiment that no one truly knows the outcome of.


Statements like this are one of the reasons mainstream science has no interest in touching the UFO subject. It boils down to a misunderstanding of what science is and what it is not. Many fans of UFO research are literate enough to understand terms such as "Higgs boson" (which by and of itself puts us ahead of the general public), but not scientifically literate enough to understand the differences between things like the Standard Model of particle physics and UFO research. There is a vast gulf of difference. It has nothing to do with the amount of money poured in and a lot to do with "some equations a smart guy drew on a chalkboard," as you so dismissively put it.



Originally posted by 1SawSomeThings
That is the state of "Anti-Ufology", in my opinion. "Debunkers", please come up with some other tactics that don't rely on attacking the witnesses or invoking officially sanctioned flights of fantasy, and let the debate over the evidence begin. It is there if you will look, perhaps upward for a change.


The problem is, when evidence is debated, it is dismissed as "attacking the witness" or "invoking officially sanctioned flights of fantasy."



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 

On "What science is and what it is not":
One of the definitions of science, according to Merriam-Webster, "1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding". In all fairness that applies to Ufologists and Anti-ufologists equally.
I didn't see a listing for "mainstream science", but there is one for "big science": "large-scale scientific research consisting of projects funded usually by a national government or group of governments". CERN LHC could be considered "big science" right? Many "big science" projects go towards militaristic goals; we'll see in this case.

In speaking of the LHC project, I attempted to show the colossal imbalance in funding and "mainstream" interest between something that has not been observed before, might be unhealthy for us to observe, and might not even exist (Higgs Boson, et al), and phenomena that many qualified observers believe warrant serious investigation. If one wraps one's mind around the historic implications to our society if it were discovered that even one civilization more advanced than ours exists, and has possibly been here, even 1/100th of the CERN LHC budget would seem warranted.

Although the number of credible witnesses and cases warranting futher investigation continues to grow, as well as public interest, the "mainstream science" community continues to turn a blind eye to the observed phenomena.

Regarding debating the evidence devolving into "attacking the witness", I cannot offer any better analyses than those of the late J. Allen Hynek. For those who don't know: He was an accomplished professor of astrophysics appointed head of the Air Force's Project Blue Book, who early on was a skeptic but later called for real scientific study. His comments come from his experience in investigating UFO/UAPs, and in dealing with people in the scientific arena. From this Wikipedia article:


"Ridicule is not part of the scientific method, and people should not be taught that it is. The steady flow of reports, often made in concert by reliable observers, raises questions of scientific obligation and responsibility. Is there ... any residue that is worthy of scientific attention? Or, if there isn't, does not an obligation exist to say so to the public - not in words of open ridicule but seriously, to keep faith with the trust the public places in science and scientists?"

Notice the last line of the quote; ironically he got his wish as they closed the Blue Book Project permanently. But he also had this to say while some were still listening:

In a 1985 interview, when asked what caused his change of opinion, Hynek responded, "Two things, really. One was the completely negative and unyielding attitude of the Air Force. They wouldn't give UFOs the chance of existing, even if they were flying up and down the street in broad daylight. Everything had to have an explanation. I began to resent that, even though I basically felt the same way, because I still thought they weren't going about it in the right way. You can't assume that everything is black no matter what. Secondly, the caliber of the witnesses began to trouble me. Quite a few instances were reported by military pilots, for example, and I knew them to be fairly well-trained, so this is when I first began to think that, well, maybe there was something to all this."

Notice the role of the "big science" involved at the time, the Air Force.

continued...


[edit on 2-6-2009 by 1SawSomeThings]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 

continued...

Regarding using what by now are "old standby" (instead of "flights of fancy", sorry) explanations:

In late March 1966, in Michigan, two days of mass UFO sightings were reported, and received significant publicity. After studying the reports, Hynek offered a provisional hypothesis for some of the sightings: a few of about 100 witnesses had mistaken swamp gas for something more spectacular. At the press conference where he made his announcement, Hynek repeatedly and strenuously made the qualification that swamp gas was a plausible explanation for only a portion of the Michigan UFO reports, and certainly not for UFO reports in general. But much to his chagrin, Hynek's qualifications were largely overlooked, and the words "swamp gas" were repeated ad infinitum in relation to UFO reports. The explanation was subject to national derision.


He was warning against using swamp gas, ball lightning, Venus, Sirius, clouds, hysteria ad nauseum when very qualified witnesses came forth.
Rather eloquently:

"As a scientist I must be mindful of the past; all too often it has happened that matters of great value to science were overlooked because the new phenomenon did not fit the accepted scientific outlook of the time."



[edit on 2-6-2009 by 1SawSomeThings]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:38 PM
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I think the most funny thing is that it is treated with so much contempt therefore opening up the obvious problem. If people do not take it seriously (even if aliens have never visited this planet) how prepared are we to defend our planet?

If aliens have visited this planet it would take nothing short of a full scale invasion to get people's attention.

Does anyone see a huge problem here?

People always forget there is a chance we are not the meanest most aggressive dangerous power hungry kids in town.

If our species can be militarized so can another.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by DaMod]



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


In my post above I should have referenced Karl 12's invocation of Hynek in his excellent post. I used quotes from Hynek as well; thanks for the quotations research Karl 12.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 04:23 PM
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I am afraid you spent a lot of time and effort not crafting a response that misses my points. However, by way of missing my point you make my point.


Originally posted by 1SawSomeThings
reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 

On "What science is and what it is not":
One of the definitions of science, according to Merriam-Webster, "1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding". In all fairness that applies to Ufologists and Anti-ufologists equally.


I am afraid you are taking me out of context, and not on accident I am also afraid, committing distortion-by-omission. While you are correct in defining science as a word, we are talking about science as a discipline. From your source, a definition you had to ignore to make your point:


3 a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science




Originally posted by 1SawSomeThings
In speaking of the LHC project, I attempted to show the colossal imbalance in funding and "mainstream" interest between something that has not been observed before...


And missed the point is doing so. While it is correct that a Higgs boson has yet to be observed (though some claim indirect evidence), there is still a difference between this particular scientific endeavor and Ufology. In the case of the Higgs boson (and other scientific pursuits), a model can be constructed to predict the existence of it, then experiments conducted to confirm its existence. Are you beginning to see the difference? The fact you cannot understand the difference, is not only a comment on the general state of public understanding of science, but a microcosm of UFO research as a whole. A failure to understand what science is, the difference between what science is and the current state of UFO research, stunts UFO research, prevents it from moving forward, and prevents its acceptance by mainstream science.


Originally posted by 1SawSomeThings
Regarding debating the evidence devolving into "attacking the witness", I cannot offer any better analyses than those of the late J. Allen Hynek...


Again, you missed the point. The point being not that the witnesses is attacked, but in examining and debating the evidence, it is dismissed as "flights of fantasy/old standbys" and "attacking the witness." This is illustrated by your later comment...


Originally posted by 1SawSomeThings
He was warning against using swamp gas, ball lightning, Venus, Sirius, clouds, hysteria ad nauseum when very qualified witnesses came forth.


By dismissing such explanations out-of-hand, you ignore the fact they can be, and sometimes are, the explanation in some cases. As much as we want to find evidence of aliens, we have to acknowledge there are prosaic explanations.



posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 06:02 PM
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I am afraid you spent a lot of time and effort not crafting a response that misses my points. However, by way of missing my point you make my point.

No, I spent a little time & effort along with quoting other's work, addressing the point, the topic of the original post, while rebutting some of your points. We will see if I make your point, however.



I am afraid you are taking me out of context, and not on accident I am also afraid, committing distortion-by-omission. While you are correct in defining science as a word, we are talking about science as a discipline. From your source, a definition you had to ignore to make your point:


Why would you assume "not on accident" and "distortion by omission"? By omitting an alternate definition of

3 a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science
when the subject of Ufology has rarely (if ever, officially) gone beyond the observation stage? How can we have a "system of knowledge" if not even one semi-serious investigation has been done since the late 1960s? Do you use Project Blue Book as your "investigation" using the scientific method?



The fact you cannot understand the difference, is not only a comment on the general state of public understanding of science, but a microcosm of UFO research as a whole. A failure to understand what science is, the difference between what science is and the current state of UFO research, stunts UFO research, prevents it from moving forward, and prevents its acceptance by mainstream science.

You presume here to evaluate my understanding of science, when you have no clue. I will not let you draw me out into a tit-for-tat. When there is a call for open UFO research, and comparison brought with the funding of projects like LHC, you deride ufologists as failing to understand what science is. I say that thinking like yours, and its bellicose tone in the public forums, is what stunts UFO research and prevents it from moving forward. Science is science, whether it's in your mainstream or not. Study your history as in the "great discoveries ridiculed in their own time" section so that you may be prepared for the inevitable.



By dismissing such explanations out-of-hand, you ignore the fact they can be, and sometimes are, the explanation in some cases. As much as we want to find evidence of aliens, we have to acknowledge there are prosaic explanations.

You seem to be adept at picking a thread apart while providing little research on the original topic. Where did I dismiss such explanations out-of-hand? It is obvious to the casual ufologist and "debunker" that many mis-identifications have been made. Does that indicate your lack of investigation of the topic at hand? I only decried the use of them when there are no explanations for incidents like this one.


[edit on 2-6-2009 by 1SawSomeThings]

[edit on 2-6-2009 by 1SawSomeThings]



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