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Is Roswell In the Eye of the Beholder?

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posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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For some time, researchers have claimed the so-called Ramey Memo is an important clue to what happened at Roswell, making claims that it shows something did crash and bodies were recovered. But were they seeing what they think they were seeing? A little known study came to an interesting conclusion many here will disagree with or not want to hear...


...James Houran from the Dept. of Psychiatry of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Roswell UFO crash researcher and advocate Kevin Randle decided to put the “Ramey memo” to a test. A paper published in Vol. 16 #1 (2002) of the Journal of Scientific Exploration described an experiment that presented three groups of subjects with the best images available and asked them to pick out any words that they could see...


The first group was told the memo related to the Roswell crash, the second was told it related to atomic testing and the third group was given no information about the memo.


The surprisingly high agreement between our participants and previous investigators on specific words in identical locations in the Ramey memo suggests that some of the document is indeed legible, even without computer enhancement. However, the meaning or context of those words remains ambiguous because the degree of interpretation of the document is strongly influenced by suggestion effects and the interpreter’s cognitive style. We are inclined to believe that such effects have also tainted the previous studies on the memo using sophisticated software because there appears to be weak interrater reliability among these earlier analysts


In other words, participants in the study saw what they expected to see in the memo. If you want to believe it is about a crash of an alien craft you can find it in the memo; if you believe it is do to something else, you can find that in the memo. Interestingly enough, those who believe it has to do with a UFO spent the most time studying the photograph and found the highest amount of legible words.

This study can almost be seen as a microcosm of the UFO phenomenon as a whole. Says Greg Bishop in his article on the study...


We might expand this idea to the whole problem of perception amongst those who try to convince us that something exists (UFOs) which are not currently testable in the scientific sense, and their confusion as to why more people cannot see what is “obvious” to them. Unfortunately, a large portion of this group are locked in to a belief system which dictates that this untestable phenomenon is the result of visitors from other planets, which is an assumption riding on a theory.


This is not to say there are not aliens visiting the planet. However, we should regard this as a cautionary tale and always be aware that our biases may color our perception.

Source

[edit on 26-6-2009 by DoomsdayRex]




posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 06:11 PM
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Weather balloons, Fort Worth, Tex and "disk" are in there, no question about it. Frankly, I don't think the experiment proves anything other than Houran could set up an experiment where he got the results he wanted so he could publish a paper on it.



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by fls13
Weather balloons, Fort Worth, Tex and "disk" are in there, no question about it.


Well, it's either a so-called "disk" or "RISK." The image is so blurry it could be either one, although it's probably a reference to the earlier press release. Odd that they would put it in quotation marks if it was actually a disk.

There are so many other reasons -- besides the basic illegibility of the thing -- as to why it's doubtful the memo says what the enthusiasts seem to think it says, there's no way it proves anything about anything. Yes, people see what they want to see in it.

The bottom line is that after all these years and all the publicity and all the "eyewitnesses" coming forward, the whole thing still looks like just some dumb Army snafu, for which the Army is famous.


[edit on 26-6-2009 by Nohup]



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by fls13
I don't think the experiment proves anything other than Houran could set up an experiment where he got the results he wanted so he could publish a paper on it.


Could you elaborate? How do the results reflect that?



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 


Ask yourself why would he set up an experiment like that in the first place? To prove that people were individuals and thought for themselves? He himself went in with an agenda. I think his results say more about psychiatry professors than it does about people in general. You honestly think he set up the experiment without bias and with no bias involved in his methodology?



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 07:34 PM
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Originally posted by fls13
Ask yourself why would he set up an experiment like that in the first place? To prove that people were individuals and thought for themselves? He himself went in with an agenda. I think his results say more about psychiatry professors than it does about people in general. You honestly think he set up the experiment without bias and with no bias involved in his methodology?


The problem here is you are discussing the researcher, not the results. We cannot say what biases he went in with because we do not know. You are speculating because you do not like the results of the experiment. How do you know he went in with an agenda?

Further, can you explain why those who had no information about the picture and those thinking it was about atomic testing provided the results they did?

You must have missed the part where Roswell researcher Kevin Randles was also one of the researchers taking part in the experiment.


[edit on 26-6-2009 by DoomsdayRex]



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 07:42 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 


When have you ever heard of a psychological experiment that demonstrates people are good, honest, independent thinkers?

There is a bias in designing experiments that show people in the worst possible light. It's an arrogant agenda. People are evil, dishonest, sheeple and we, the university intellectuals, are better than they are. It's absolutely a cultural bias based on an intellectual arrogance.



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 08:15 PM
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And so, upon further review, . . . read it for yourself here.

"What is needed at this stage is outside corroboration from
triangulated, blind analyses conducted by well-qualified laboratories and a set
of stringent guidelines (such as proposed by Rudiak) to evaluate the findings."



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by fls13There is a bias in designing experiments that show people in the worst possible light. It's an arrogant agenda.


Again, you are not so much discussing the results and data rather the researcher. Do you have any evidence that Randles and Houran rigged the experiment to produce the results they wanted? Or a cogent counter-argument that does not rely on an ad hominem?

And would you be accusing them of bias if they had produced results you agree with?



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 08:24 PM
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Certainly the text of the Ramey memo photograph is open to interpretation, but given the subject matter of the image wouldn't the "DISK" perception make the most sense?



posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by DoomsdayRex
Again, you are not so much discussing the results and data rather the researcher. Do you have any evidence that Randles and Houran rigged the experiment to produce the results they wanted? Or a cogent counter-argument that does not rely on an ad hominem?

And would you be accusing them of bias if they had produced results you agree with?


I freely admit to being completely wrong in my initial rant, at least in regards to this case. I was distracted by my Flyers trading for Chris Pronger and exchanging posts on a hockey site about that big news. In fact, you completely misinterpreted what Bishop included in his article and what the study's findings are.

"The surprisingly high agreement between our participants and previous investigators on specific words in identical locations in the Ramey memo suggests that some of the document is indeed legible, even without computer enhancement."

I don't find that the different findings of the three groups are anywhere near significant enough to say, "people just see what they want to see." Or what they are told to see.

They argue for an independent look at the photo, which is fine by me, not a knock on people who think there is something to the ufo phenomenon.



posted on Jun, 27 2009 @ 01:00 AM
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good. so we all can agree that its a document that has something written on it, pertaining to some order given to Ramey. We all have our ideas, and doubts, but the bottom line is this: Until either the technology comes out that completely gives the evidence without a doubt in favour of extraterrestrial life, or in favour of peeling potatoes, OR these extraterrestrials make themselves known beyond a doubt basically saying Hello America, Europe and Africa and the world governments trying to pass them off as swamp gas that makes us hallucinate intelligent conversation with aliens in the desert.. we can all rest assured that we do not know for sure what is out there, going on in our skies, or even who the infamous "they" really belong to. All in all, be a study on the Roswell case for or against alien life.. EVERY FACET OF STUDY PRESENTS NEW QUESTIONS FOR OR AGAINST OUR CAUSE.. so I say simply lads... This was infact a good find.
Cheers.
Stan.



posted on Jun, 27 2009 @ 01:46 AM
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Originally posted by DoomsdayRex
In other words, participants in the study saw what they expected to see in the memo. If you want to believe it is about a crash of an alien craft you can find it in the memo; if you believe it is do to something else, you can find that in the memo. Interestingly enough, those who believe it has to do with a UFO spent the most time studying the photograph and found the highest amount of legible words.
(snip)
This is not to say there are not aliens visiting the planet. However, we should regard this as a cautionary tale and always be aware that our biases may color our perception.
[edit on 26-6-2009 by DoomsdayRex]

Good post, starred and flagged. But I don't know if it will be too popular here. People say they want disclosure and the truth, and when you give them the truth, they can't handle the truth, some may only want the "truth" which supports their own biased view.

In some ways, this study kind of reminds me of those studies to see if underarm sweat stinks, where you can guess what the answer will be before they even do the study LOL www.freerepublic.com... And as much as I would like to think of myself as unbiased, I would probably be affected by what the researchers told me about the images I was looking at, so I think it's a common-sense type result.

As for the whole Roswell incident, the government basically admitted they lied for 50 years about the weather balloon story. So when they lie for 50 years and then say "we lied before but now we'll tell you the truth", it sort of reminds one of the "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" saying. I happen to believe they probably did tell the truth after 50 years but I really can't fault anyone for believing otherwise, once they admitted to being liars and their credibility is gone, how can anyone be faulted for not believing what they think is the latest lie?



posted on Jun, 28 2009 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by fls13
In fact, you completely misinterpreted what Bishop included in his article and what the study's findings are.


Read the full context of the study's conclusion...


the meaning or context of those words remains ambiguous because the degree of interpretation of the document is strongly influenced by suggestion effects and the interpreter’s cognitive style. We are inclined to believe that such effects have also tainted the previous studies on the memo using sophisticated software because there appears to be weak interrater reliability among these earlier analysts. In fact, ufologists are probably among the least effective people to be trying to decipher the document. This opinion stems from our observation that one of the main factors arguably influencing the number of words deciphered in this study is the motivation of the participants. Note that those in the Pro-UFO condition spent more time examining the images and subsequently perceived the greatest number of words in the Ramey memo.



Originally posted by fls13
They argue for an independent look at the photo, which is fine by me, not a knock on people who think there is something to the ufo phenomenon.


That was not my intention at all. As stated in the closing of my initial post. We need to be aware of our own biases when examining these issues.



posted on Jun, 28 2009 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 


Friday was a busy and distraction filled night for me and I frankly shouldn't have been posting. But I did work my way over to reading the full report and I don't think you can draw any conclusions from it.

I also downloaded the picture and I think David Rudiak got about all you're going to get out of it. Some words are clearly there and the rest will likely remain a mystery.



posted on Jun, 28 2009 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by fls13
 


Quite right. If you want some of the low-down on the bias, bad methodology, and statistical bunk in the Randle & Houran study, read:

roswellproof.com...

Pay close attention to the non-existence of their claimed "priming" effect, or reader bias. Maybe only 1% of all the words might have been affected by the context. Also note that when they were asked by a referee for the actual numbers of so-called bias words (to back up their conclusion that this was a large effect), they admitted that they didn't have the numbers because their grad student had allegedly thrown them out.

They also ignored clear results they did get, such as the Roswell group readers being much better at picking out words that even they admit are there (like "weather balloons" and "Fort Worth, Tex."). And they hid the fact that half of the words which they never discussed were probably also being read by all three groups, namely common English words like "the", "of", "at", etc. These are completely neutral words and easy to find in the Ramey memo, making up about half of it, yet Randle & Houran never discuss them. Why not? Probably because it indicated a lot more agreement and neutrality in the readings than they want to admit.

Both Randle & Houran went in with an agenda to debunk the Ramey memo. They said they expected to find a "priming" or biasing effect, claimed to have found it, only they didn't. They made it up.

They also claimed there was hardly any agreement among readers. Actually there is considerable agreement among various Roswell readers on the contents (including their own, given the miniscule 17 minutes average that the readers spent on it). For comparison reads for readers who have spent some time on it, see:

roswellproof.com...

The readers are in good, strong agreement on about 40-50% of the memos contents.

Many psychology experiments are badly done and written up, and Randle & Houran's was one of them.



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