It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

UFO and Aliens Misperceptions and Problems in Terminology

page: 1
11

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 08:03 PM
link   
The terminology used within the UFO community can be very distracting to those looking for the truth behind the phenomenon, so this thread is an attempt at clearing some of that up.

_______________________________


UFOs vs. Alien Craft



The acronym U.F.O. stands for Unidentified Flying Object. Unfortunately, this term has been appropriated to mean "Alien Craft". This is a very dangerous usage in the terminology, because it assumes that anything unidentified is thus an extraterrestrial vehicle, rather than simply being something unidentified in the sky.

When an object is unidentified, it's simply that. If something is "undebunkable", chances are very good that it's also nil as evidence for the existence of aliens. Both sides of the argument need to realize that something that is put aside as unidentified after being examined by experts does not mean there is a conclusion either way. The object was unidentified, and is still unidentified.

A good example of this is the McMinnville UFO pictures. The pictures have been examined by photographic experts and have come out of it without obvious hoaxing. This does not mean the objects in the pictures are aliens, nor does it mean the objects weren't hoaxed. It means the photos were examined, and those particular experts didn't find any evidence of hoaxing. The McMinnville UFO is by definition, a UFO. It is an unidentified flying object, though there is no evidence that concludes that the object is alien in any way.



Alien Existance Theory vs Alien Visitation Theory



Just because aliens may exist (and many scientists agree that it's more likely than not) does not mean they are visiting Earth. Someone who is skeptical about alien visitation is most likely not so skeptical about the existence of aliens.

Along those lines, if the existence of aliens is proven elsewhere in the galaxy (which I expect within my own lifetime), it does not add anything to the theory of alien visitation. Just because they're out there does not mean they're here.



Hoaxes/Misidentification/Delusion



Hoax : to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false and often preposterous

Misidentify : Identify incorrectly

Delusion
A : something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated
B : a persistent false psychotic belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary; also : the abnormal state marked by such beliefs

Most people understand the difference between these terms. However, there are a large number who use them incorrectly. When a person sees something that isn't really there (due to things like drugs, lack of sleep, "tricks of light", and so on), it is a delusion. That doesn't mean the person is insane or irrevocably broken somehow, it just means they're human. All of us experience minor delusions every day. All it means is you see/hear/experience something that isn't physically there.

Many times, when a misidentification is pointed out, it's received as an attack on the person who misidentified the object. This is not the case. Misperception is another thing that happens to almost everyone on an almost daily basis. When a song comes on the radio with a similar beat to another known song that's incorrectly assumed as the latter, when a certain car is noticed and later realized to be an entirely different model, or when a bird is in a photograph in an odd wing position that makes it look suspiciously like a saucer. When these mistakes are pointed out, it's not an attack on the person making the misidentification, it is simply a correction.

Hoaxes are intentionally misleading photos/videos/stories/etc, used in order to cause others to believe and propagate the message. They're lies, plain and simple, and a bane to the serious study of UFOs and visiting alien intelligences.

When a skeptic doubts the validity of a witness' story, it does not immediately mean they dislike the witness, or are claiming that particular (or all particular, in the event of a mass sighting) witness is insane or lying. Misidentifications and delusion are very common. We're all human, after all.


________________________

I really hope this thread doesn't turn into a skeptics vs believers thread, because that's not the intention at all. I'm trying to bring the terminology behind this scientific endeavor back to baseline, to salvage what's left of the logic and science within it. Too often UFOlogy is perverted into a science of opinion and illogic, and anything within a person's opinion is to be considered "evidence".

I look forward to hearing the community's input on these, as well as any additional terminology clear-ups we can add. I'll edit and update the thread as we go to reflect these, if it's warranted.

 
Mod edit: as requested by the OP.

[edit on 7/8/2010 by ArMaP]




posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 08:24 PM
link   
reply to post by EsSeeEye
 


Good thread! A long while back I threw together a post questioning, "UFO: What does it mean?"

After researching a handful of scientific studies done in the field (Condon, CNES, Bluebook, Twinkle, Project Identification, etc.) I codified the various definitions in to a much broader concept of a process containing several steps:



It's a shame no one bothers to look at it this way.

[edit on 7-8-2010 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 08:30 PM
link   
reply to post by Xtraeme
 


That's a very cool flowchart, and a great peek into the process for people who aren't as fluent in the investigation stages of identifying UFOs.

Thanks for the addition, Xtraeme.



posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 08:35 PM
link   
reply to post by EsSeeEye
 


It distills the heart of the beast to something that's hopefully semi-understandable.


Personally I don't think we should ever use the word UFO without first adding a descriptor. There are (visual, radar, etc) UFO detections, confirmed UFOs, UFO positions, and IFOs. Without the modifier the word UFO is so broad as to be meaningless.

Even if we succeeded in rebranding UFO to something less suggestive like UAP, it would ultimately get hijacked, because people can just as easily hypothesize about what a UAP represents as they can a UFO.

The reason I think this works is because we're not changing the word people use to describe unidentified aerial objects – we're simply modifying it.

For example, if a coworker comes up to me and says, "Man I heard you believe in UFOs, are you nuts?" I'd say, "Are you talking about my UFO position or are you asking me if I believe there are confirmed UFOs in the sense that they can't be explained even by experts?"

This would instantly reduce stereotyping because it reduces confusion.

[edit on 6-8-2010 by Xtraeme]



posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 08:41 AM
link   
reply to post by EsSeeEye
 


great thread, well written, simple and to the point, i really hope some people take notice.

thanks

rich



posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 09:50 AM
link   
That's a problem that is usually ignored, but that's very important, the terminology.

That's why contracts have a specific part dealing with the terminology used, to avoid confusion, so in what is supposed to be a scientific approach to some subject, a clear and standard terminology is very important.

Good post.



posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 03:11 PM
link   
It's a shame this thread is being buried so easily while I still see the same mistakes being made in all the threads that are burying it.

Thanks for taking the time to read it guys.

 
Mod edit: as requested.

[edit on 7/8/2010 by ArMaP]



posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 04:17 PM
link   
reply to post by EsSeeEye
 


I agree in the sense that they may not necassarily be alien. However, I have seen a very bright light just floating above a tree line with my g/f and freind , it moved from the left to right, while changing colors and then disappeared right in front of us and when I say disappeaed, it wasn't a flicker it was like nothing we ever saw before. So, while I remain open and logical, if it wasn't "them" , then it was "us" and if we can do that; then we should be much farther along in society...



posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 05:08 PM
link   
reply to post by EsSeeEye
 


EsSeeEye.....

I agree the terminology issue is a problem.

I commend you on your logical & well expressed commentary.

To my mind, it would be useful to see such explanation distilled into some sort of "ATS Message" for members to read prior to their commencement of posting in this forum.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 05:11 PM
link   
reply to post by Xtraeme
 


Xtraeme.....

I also commend you on your salient commentary pertaining to this vexatious issue.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Aug, 7 2010 @ 05:49 PM
link   

Originally posted by agentofchaos
reply to post by EsSeeEye
 


I agree in the sense that they may not necassarily be alien. However, I have seen a very bright light just floating above a tree line with my g/f and freind , it moved from the left to right, while changing colors and then disappeared right in front of us and when I say disappeaed, it wasn't a flicker it was like nothing we ever saw before. So, while I remain open and logical, if it wasn't "them" , then it was "us" and if we can do that; then we should be much farther along in society...


Well, this is a commentary on the usage of community terminology. So while your experience is absolutely that of a "UFO" to at least you (since you were unable to identify it), it's unknown. Unfortunately, that means it will remain unknown until new information presents itself.

The problem I think a lot of people have with this line of thinking is that some things may forever remain unknown, and that's against our nature as humans, so we tend to have a need to "explain" it in a way that suits our world views. Aliens fits the mold in this generation, while before it was fairies, demons, angels and gods. These things are all mysterious, yet we as humans can identify with them, while we cannot with a strange dot in the sky.

The unfortunate reality is that there really are some things that we don't know yet, and may not know for quite some time. We need to stop being afraid of the unknown so we can move forward in understanding it. It's almost a catch 22, in that we care so much about knowing everything that we're willing to lie to ourselves to create that feeling of knowledge.

As for the terminology, does anyone else have any other items that people seem to misconstrue?




top topics



 
11

log in

join