Originally posted by cripmeister
reply to post by bluestreak53
You can't build a hypothesis before you have collected evidence that supports the hypothesis in some way. This is fundamental to the scientific
As this is about starting from scratch one can't start out with any preconceived notions.
I think that some pretty decent evidence has been collected and that the ETH can be based on it without stretching too far.
I'm with Jacques Vallee who pointed out that there really is not much significant physical evidence associated with UFO sightings that is available
for study. But we do have UFO reports, which can be studied statistically. Like it or not, eyewitness testimony comprises the bulk of the data. If we
decide to diminish the importance of this testimony, we may as well not study this phenomenon at all, because without it there is really no reason to
suspect that there IS a phenomenon in the first place.
If you are willing to concede that there is some such thing as a reliable observer, then you can try to separate the reports you feel are reliable
from the reports that you consider less reliable or unreliable. I'm not sure exactly how you would determine a witness's reliability, but there are
This kind of thing has been done. When you look at a bunch of not-easily-explained reports from seemingly reliable witnesses from around the world who
report seeing UFOs at close range (or at least UFOs of large apparent diameter, such as that of a silver dollar held at arm's length), you start
Many of the objects (or phenomena, if you prefer) appear to be solid and metallic. That's not to say they are composed of metal, only that they
appear to be silvery and shiney and smooth, like an metallic object would appear if you were looking at one.
They often appear to be round or discoid or some variation on that kind of shape. In other words, their shape doesn't really appear to be conducive
to powered flight. No wings or tail or visible means of propulsion, but somehow staying aloft.
These objects are often estimated to be tens of meters in size...estimated, mind you. It's often difficult for people to judge size when they don't
know exactly how far away the thing is. That's why it's best to use angular size or apparent diameter. If what you see in the sky has the same
apparent diameter as a large grapefruit held at arm's length, you can be fairly certain that it's not Venus.
They often give the appearance of being intelligently controlled. That is not to say they ARE intelligently controlled, just that they are somehow
able to behave and manuever AS IF they were intelligently controlled. They stop in mid-flight and hover or reverse direction. They pace aircraft at
wingtip distance for several minutes at a time and then fly off in another direction. They fly several together in formation. They move against the
wind. They retreat to a safe distance when approached by intercepting military aircraft, then stop to hover, then retreat again when the jet tries to
close in once more.
Given that lots of seemingly reliable people from many parts of the world over several decades have in all seriousness reported observing things (very
similar things, you might notice) that at least APPEAR to be aircraft-size, unconventionally shaped, metallic, structured flying objects behaving as
though they were under intelligent control and maneuvering in ways that appear to be well beyond any technology we could hope to achieve in the
immediate future (much less post-WWII), it seems to me that the ETH would be at least in the running for a not-too-far-out hypothesis.
However, if we demand physical chunks of UFO, then we're simply out of luck, and we should just move on to more concrete matters. In such a case, I
would also recommend relegating the bulk of history, psychology and sociology to the trash heap, as well as letting a whole lot of people out of