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%
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
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.