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Hoaxing - An important educational tool

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posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 12:12 PM
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Am I alone in perceiving a considerable rise of skepticism on UFO Internet forums (including here on ATS) in relation to UFO videos and photos during the last few years?

Personally, I think that various high profile hoaxes in recent years (including the Drone photo hoax and the Haiti UFO video) have resulted in less willingness to take photographic evidence of UFOs at face value.

The sheer volume and sophistication of hoaxed UFO videos and photos appears to have reached the point that fewer and fewer people are prepared to jump to the conclusion that a photo is (a) genuine and/or (b) really shows something extraordinary.

I'd be interested in hearing whether this is a trend that has been perceived by others on ATS during the last few years.

All the best,

Isaac




posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by IsaacKoi
less willingness to take photographic evidence of UFOs at face value.


I believe on ATS all photographic evidence is taken at face value especially by the hardcore believers.

However, the skepticism is due. UFO photos usually involve the same elements, the most characteristic being a blurry, out of focus object. No UFO photo to date has ever served as evidence of anything other-worldly and the available bank of UFO photos are chock full of hoaxes.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


i dunno that video of the aliens sitting in their craft is still pretty extraordinary.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 12:35 PM
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I think hoaxing has destroyed any attempt at actual independent UFO research. Hoaxing not only discredits fake images/video, but also discredits real images/video. I am not sure how you could describe it as an "educational tool" as it clearly is a disinformation tool. I saw a UFO in real life about a month ago but didnt have a camera, but even if I did get it on video there would be a bunch of people who would accuse me of faking it, simply because they have been conditioned by all the know hoaxes.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 12:36 PM
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I personally find the hoaxes necessary to what we do here. The more hoaxes we see, the better we will get at calling them out from the more convincing evidence.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
No UFO photo to date has ever served as evidence of anything other-worldly

For what supposed reason? And which photos in particular are you thinking of?



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 12:49 PM
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The increase in skepticism is a wonderful thing; however adding more hoaxed material to the pot increases the chance investigators will likely dismiss cases out of hand without actually looking at all the details.

If I had authored the thread I would have titled it,

"Hoaxing - An important educational tool or a dangerous precedent?"



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 12:59 PM
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It seems that one has to be a fair skeptic in this field to be taken seriously....just hope we havent developed a sort of Stockholm syndrome .



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 01:19 PM
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I don't think the hoaxes are mainly responsible for the uptick in skepticism. I think it's the honest submissions that are virtually all specks, blurs, or indecipherable lights. They don't usually contain usable information. You can only really do anything with these images when they occasionally correspond to easily identifiable things, like the ISS, iridium flares, (predictable things), otherwise they remain an indefinite mystery, though usually one with a myriad of possible mundane explanations.

We need more UFOs on the UFO forum, and fewer InFOs (Inscrutable Flying Objects).

I don't know about the whole throwing-the-baby-out-with-the-bath-water thing as it pertains to rejecting hoaxes. Can you point to a recent case where there is reason to believe this has happened? (Other than cases of indistinguishable specks, blurs, etc.)



[edit on 14-6-2010 by Tearman]

[edit on 14-6-2010 by Tearman]



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 01:25 PM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 


Of course there is a trend, a trend that has become necessary not only by the amount of intended hoaxes but by the naive postings aswell.

The point is if undisputable photo/video graphic evidence came along would this be enough, I have my doubts and perhaps that is the lessen to be learned from the sheer volume of the pseudo material available.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Am I alone in perceiving a considerable rise of skepticism on UFO Internet forums (including here on ATS) in relation to UFO videos and photos during the last few years?


Great to see you posting Issac, I've recently read some of your old threads and they are truly top notch works of art, but they were posted before I joined almost a year ago so I'm just now catching up.

Maybe a year on ATS isn't long enough to see a trend, but in that time I haven't noticed a trend, I see a mix of perspectives.

The most striking thread to me was a video of a hovering object, and I was amazed at the number of people who were certain it was a UFO, and they had seen UFOs themselves before, and they were sure this was a UFO too.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

This video however is one of few that seem to prove that UFO`s are reall and cant be mistaken.


Then Phage found a longer version of the video showing it wasn't exactly even a hoax, they had just edited out the last part of the video, showing it was an airplane.
www.abovetopsecret.com...
And even after Phage posted that, some people still refused to accept it was a plane because planes don't hover.

So from my perspective a hoax isn't even needed to be skeptical of claims or evidence, all that was needed to fool people was to take video of a plane and edit out the last part of the video showing a clearer view of the plane.

Xtraeme, I agree with you that being flooded with so many hoaxes and misinterpreted (or edited) videos does tend to jade us a little, and I'd hate for us to miss a real video because of that. I think it's a real risk.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 
I've considered it a lot in recent months. In a sense, ufology has painted, and been painted, into a corner by the amount of hoaxes. Images can no longer be considered as 'proof' and remain unsubstantiated at best. Documents (letters, FOIA etc), are no longer as compelling as they once were, thanks, in part, to the MJ-12 hoax. At least, that's where I stand right now.

Do you remember the mid to late 90s in ufology? I think people saw a similar trend then. Cydonia, alien autopsies, Varginha and the Mogul explanation. That period saw me throwing out my magazines and putting the books in the attic. I walked away from the subject.

The subject has been derailed many times and maybe this period is just another example?

An article you might find interesting has been posted on Kevin Randle's blog. Randle got it from here...The Demise of Ufology...second article down...


Examples of these derailments include the alien autopsy film, Lazar's Element 115, the strawberry ice cream nonsense, Greer's telepathic vectoring of UFOs, crop circles, exopolitics, Nibiru, and the resurgence of the contactee phenomenon. These and others have served to draw public and popular attention away from serious UFO case investigations and into the realm of wild arm-waving speculation and wide-eyed fanaticism.

It's too bad; it really looked like there was something developing there, for a while.


I currently don't hold ufology as somehow being stillborn or stunted. Some folk feel angst at the state of affairs and that's fair enough. They decry the hoaxers and the idealistic believers and hold them responsible for the circus aspects. Ufology appears to have always been this way.

Funnily enough, a couple of cases I've been reading about have stirred the coals once more. There'll always be hoaxers and derailments, but there are the few cases that still defy conventional explanations.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 

Arbitrageur, I remember that thread. It was remarkable in two ways. One, it showed just how many people don't bother to read as far as page 2 before commenting on a thread. Second, it showed just how easy it is to be fooled.

This is the other kind of thing that has led to an uptick in skepticism toward UFOs. People are discovering that they too can be fooled! So maybe our inability to accept a mundane explanation (when it is appropriately presented) says more about us than it does about the thing we are judging.



[edit on 14-6-2010 by Tearman]



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 01:54 PM
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If you post a pic of an IFO and say it is a UFO you will get banned from this site. Even if you are trying to educate people to be more analytical. Education is not permitted here.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
So from my perspective a hoax isn't even needed to be skeptical of claims or evidence, all that was needed to fool people was to take video of a plane and edit out the last part of the video showing a clearer view of the plane.


Maybe it is just me (since there does not seem to be a consensus of opinion that my perception is correct), but I thought there was less of the reaction you describe to hoaxed/edited videos in the last year or two than before that.

My personal favourites of the sort of thing you describe - all from more than a year or two ago - include

(a) part of the Ant and Dec comedy, "Alien Autopsy", cropping up again and again a few years ago on ATS and elsewhere - with quite a few comments being made each time before reference was made to the actual source of that footage.

(b) a "recreation" of the Socorro sighting for a UFO documentary, an edited clip from which was put on Youtube -

(c) an edited video of Richard Branson's hot air balloon - edited so that the revelation of the actual nature of the balloon was omitted. It generated quite a few comments on Youtube, ATS and elsewhere - even though the full footage had been shown on TV a few years ago and discussed in a few UFO books.

All the best,

Isaac

(P.S. - Thanks for the kind words at the start of your post).



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 



I believe on ATS all photographic evidence is taken at face value especially by the hardcore believers.


and the flip side to that is,

all eager non-believers automatically assume and take for granted that every piece of photographic evidence is either fake or something mis-identified.

just saying



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 


I whole heartedly agree. Even in the time I've been on here I've noticed a dramatic decrease in the activity on the UFO board. When I joined there would be numerous pics and videos posted every day, the vast majority of which turned out to be either hoaxes or misidentifications. Now though the board is practically devoid of activity. However, it may just be that there haven't been any high profile cases recently. Back when I joined we were just coming off the O'Hare sighting and Stephenville happened shortly after. So, it may just be that without a major sighting people just aren't as interested in UFOlogy and as a result we have fewer people scouring the internet for anything that could be remotely construed as a UFO.



posted on Jun, 14 2010 @ 10:13 PM
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I think it comes and goes in waves.

Both the act of hoaxing and the discovery process exposing a hoax (or at least make a convincing argument for such exposure) are crucial educational tools to armchair investigators.

After all, exposing hoaxes allows us to eliminate them from consideration. That is our objective. We must simply include hoaxes as just another "unexplained" incident that gumshoes technical sleuthing has uncovered and has therefore, "explained" it.

By examining hoaxes closely we learn to recognize them. Then, when similar circumstantial evidence presents itself, we can 'troubleshoot' it more efficiently. By process of elimination, then, we eliminate "hoaxes" and can focus our attention on the remaining "unexplaineds".

But it is an interesting question. Thanks for sharing it!



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 12:10 AM
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Given the technology available today, one can;t help but be initially skeptical about any footage or photo offered as evidence.

That said, i have seen some mindbogglingly silly *prosaic* explanations for some older photo's taken before the days of computer enhancement etc etc.



posted on Jun, 15 2010 @ 01:17 AM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 


I think following the investigations that go on here on a regular basis is very educational. The cool thing is everyone can take part and contribute, I often get blown away by peoples creative thinking.

I haven't been around ATS that long but I can imagine it's easy to become jaded and desensitized after a while. I notice this in myself sometimes, this usually means that it's time to take a break. I am still looking for a case to give me the same feeling that the first Drone pictures did in 2007. Something different, unique and exciting.



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