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How to approach a UFO case

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posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 02:52 AM
I've definitely noticed some strong trends on these boards in my time browsing and posting. People are very eager to accept new cases, which worries me. It's one thing to believe in UFOs - its something else entirely to agree with all apparent evidence supporting your position. If you want to know the truth, you MUST think critically. Otherwise, you might only have a few gems hidden in the giant piles of crap you have accepted as true. Whether you believe in UFOs or not, I'm sure we can all agree - there are a LOT of people out there who intentionally hoax sightings, or make up stories for attention, or drastically exaggerate something that really happened.

This post is not meant to criticize people, though some may feel that way. It is not meant to tell people "you must think this way" (quite the opposite!). It is a guideline on good methods of determining whether or not something is plausible.

The first, and by far most important step, is to have no positive or negative expectations. Your brain will always find what it wants to find. People are extremely good at rationalizing to protect their beliefs and twist new information to fit them (even when the new information doesn't). The most effective way to do this is to think critically - assume a UFO case is false, and look for evidence that supports it being true. If you assume it is true and look for evidence supporting it, you won't change your mind, and vice versa. You're trying to find out whether or not an extraordinary claim is true - let the evidence convince you (or not) by its own merits.

Once you feel you are building a case from zero by analyzing evidence, and not strengthening a case you held from the beginning, you are ready to begin. One very important thing to do (and this is only really possible with brand new cases) is to find out if this is a real report, and not a complete fabrication. Thanks to the internet, this is extremely easy. Just google the report, and look for other sites reporting it as well. While doing this, look for sites reporting it in different words. If all you find is the exact same paragraph(s) copied directly, there is a very good chance this is an individual fabricating a story - but if you find the same story written by different people then you can be rather confident that the report itself actually occurred. This is generally a good idea with any fresh internet rumor - the logic being that seeing the same paragraph copied on many sites is the work of a person trying to brute force a rumor into being widespread. If you find a LOT of sites reporting a very recent event, including reliable news sites, then you can not only be certain this is a real report - but also that *something* at the very least occurred. A great example would be the phoenix lights - whether or not they were flares or a giant UFO, something was in the sky that night, with near 100% certainty.

Next, you'll want to start analyzing the case itself. Start with the reporter and witness(es). How many people saw and reported this? disregard claims like "dozens of witnesses" unless you can find their testimony as well - it is very easy to throw arbitrary numbers around. If you have multiple witnesses and their testimonies, compare the details. Remember minor inconsistencies are to be expected, memory is very fickle. Major inconsistencies however, are very important, as are piles of minor ones. They detract significantly from the likelihood a case is true. For example, if one witness described the object as hundreds of feet long and silver, yet another described it as 20 feet long and covered in windows, there is a significant problem there. If both witnesses described a large silver craft, and one said it had 20 windows while another said 15, this does not significantly detract from the overall case.

Next, who is reporting this? Google their names with context. An ideal witness is a professional who is in his element - the very best being pilots, air traffic controllers, etc. Everyone else is on equal footing, whether he/she is a police officer or a factory worker. However, if when you goggle someone's name and find MULTIPLE UFO reports coming from the same person, this is a giant red flag. Seeing a UFO is essentially a once-in-a-lifetime event - it's rare and earth-shattering. People who see UFOs often are either seeing what they want to see, or want attention / money, most likely. Obviously there must be people who have seen UFOs maybe twice, or even three times, genuinely - but ALWAYS take their testimony with a grain of salt.

Next, examine non-physical evidence. Photographs, Video, Radar reports, etc. The very best non-physical evidence are radar reports made by multiple stations - especially if there are air and ground radars tracking the same object. This completely eliminates the possibility of mechanical malfunction. SOMETHING was there. Usually, you won't have this however. In the case of video or photography, is the image low quality? If it is, there is a decent chance this is deliberate. There are few excuses for a fuzzy image in this day and age. If it is of good quality, examine it carefully. Look at shadows, lighting, movement, etc. Try to determine if this is a CGI hoax, or if it is something you can easily identify (such as a helicopter at night).

After this, does the case have physical evidence? Markings, residue, etc. If the answer is yes, analyze them. Study the relevant science. If lab reports are available, study them in detail. Educate yourself to whatever you may not know that is relevant. Which lab preformed the tests? Are they reputable? Ask these questions. If they are a well-respected lab, trust their results, but never trust INTERPRETATIONS of said results off hand, especially if they come from the same source reporting the sighting. A good lab will give you the results and that's that. Do your research first!

Finally, you'll want to read up on presented explanations. Don't immediately dismiss explanations unless they rely on information the source could not know with any certainty. An example would be a person stating as fact "oh this is the new code-black spyplane the US is testing. trust me i have sources!" or "this is obviously from planet X. see the atlantean runes on the side?" Both of these explanations rely entirely on assuming unprovable assertions are true. While looking at presented explanations, DO NOT dismiss "the official explanation" under any circumstances. Instead, pay special attention to it. Scrutinize every detail. The air force says it was venus? find the date and time of the photograph. See if venus was above the horizon at said location. If you can see reference points like a familiar constellation, consult a good star-mapping program to see if the position is correct, etc. If the official explanation fits soundly, with no real questions left... it's probably true. Remember, these are professionals giving you this explanation.

Once you have done all of this, step back and look over everything as a whole. You will probably have points for and against the case, and many possible theories. If, by the end of going over the details, you only have one possible theory, then I can pretty much guarantee you did something wrong, or began with expectations. Go into more detail analyzing everything, and use occam's razor with one special case - the most simple explanation is *PROBABLY* the truth, but keep an open mind.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 02:57 AM
I'd also like to add, when addressing military explanations - remember that no government is going to willingly test secret aircraft / weapons / etc in any location where a civilian might see them. If a military aircraft is a likely culprit, examine the capabilities of all potential aircraft and see if any fit. The odds of a sighting being a highly secret project are significantly smaller than the odds of it being a bona-fide extraterrestrial craft, in my personal opinion.

Also, remember that conceding an object is certainly a UFO does not necessarily mean it is an extraterrestrial craft.

posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 01:58 AM
Post a thread claiming that you're in telepathic contact with aliens and you'll have a thousand replies within twenty-four hours.

Post a thread encouraging greater application of critical thinking in the field of UFOlogy, in an effort to discern genuine contact with extraterrestrials from stories made up by bored, delusional, or attention-seeking individuals, and it'll get completely ignored.

This suggests to me a lack of interest in really proving the existence of extraterrestrials, analyzing their biology, technology, and methods, and coming to understand them. Instead, perhaps, to some large fraction of those casually involved in it, UFOlogy is more of a freeform fantasy roleplaying game, a means of sublimating escapist desires or delusions of grandeur-- these people do not want the truth; they want validation.

The Carl Sagans and the JScytales get ignored in favor of the David Ickes and the Blossom Goodchilds. It's honestly pretty shameful. The exacting methods you describe are all too likely to be abandoned entirely in favor of making up stories, others blindly accepting them, and passing them along until they have been repeated often enough that they are passively accepted as true.

It's sad, really, considering how important the study and understanding of extraterrestrial species could be to the future of our own.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 12:23 AM
Perhaps people know the scoop on UFOs and are just having fun
with all the make believe aspects.
Being subjected to anti Tesla agents blocking mass media disclosure
has put a capital B in a boring ordeal.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 12:32 AM
Always go into the "incident" with the mind of debunking it first. Thats how I always look at it anyhow.

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