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Interview With Stanton Friedman - Debunking the Debunkers - 2011 UFO Conference

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posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 09:48 AM

Originally posted by GreyEagle
Um, Some of the posts seem like they’re vastly misunderstanding Mr. Friedman. Sure, He mentions his CDs & books, but he hardly drones on about them nor was he promoting them pretentiously. He mentioned them briefly but the vast majority of his video was about the differences between extremist debunking & rational skepticism.

IF he was pretentiously promoting his personal work in this subject via this video, I doubt he’d spend as much time as he did on this topics actual subject matter.

Overall, Taking into account this is my first ever exposure to Mr. Friedmans’s opinions, It was still easy to understand his distinction between skepticism & debunking. What seems obvious to me at least, Is that he was describing how debunkers want to act like they’re the definitive authority on these matters & many debunkers want to utterly smash believers, Even when believers aren’t being pushy in their belief.

While I believe in extraterrestrial life, My belief is balanced with a healthy dose of skepticism. Just because a source automatically is a believer doesn’t automatically give their claims credence.
I agree. This is how I see it. What I don't like is whne they make a career out of debunking like Skeptic magazine. How anyone can see that as reasonable is beyond me for sure. If you have a case that does not have a definitive explanation, to say that there is a natural explanation and that you think you have it, is not concluding the case. To act like it's is profoundly dishonest and in fact, hints that the person or persons is not looking to spread truth but rather to exploit the circumstances for financial gain. Conspiracy magazines, skeptic magazines, they all do this. You could even argue that Stanton does this. It's hard to separate the honesty and genuineness from the greed.

Anybody in the public consciousness that comes out and makes themselves a target automatically sacrifices much of what they earned in their life. This almost always gains me respect for them. It's worlds easier to say what everybody expects or what everybody thinks is reasonable. This does not, however, make what hte person does or says true. It only makes me respect their boldness.

We must keep ourselves firmly attached to the need for science and peer review. But if a case cannot be explained, given the evidence, then we must determine for ourselves how much testimony means. In many of these cases testimony is all you got. Some of it's darn good and if you assume that the witness is honest and accurate, is mind blowing! But testimony is not proof and one would be making a mistake to assume it's or should be. Many people have been wrongly convicted based on the words of a single person and the associated circumstantial evidence. It's easy for people to remember incorrectly. Have to keep all of this in mind when someone recounts a ufo sighting.

One could definitely make a case that ufos are ET in a court. But prove it? Not yet.

Testimony is shakey. A moving target, literally! By the time the scientists arrive, the ufo is gone.

Have a look at this:
Ufo Case Report 425

That's a good example of what's out there in hte archives. It's like so many i've seen. There're untold numbers of cases exactly like that where all you have is testimony. I couldn't even list the stupid numbers of cases like this. There's not enough paper. I don't think my hands are cut out for the task. But trying to eliminate the good ones from the bad ones, would really be an immense task. I can't imagine. And I forgive anyone that discards this kind of evidence. But if you discard it there's pretty much nothing else left. Sadly, that's what ufology is. A lot of testimony!

You can go at a case and from the start assume it's some kind of natural phenomena or misidentifcation and from there you can probably come up with your own brand of explanation. But in the end it's not proof of anything since the case itself is indefinite. There's no difference between saying there's a natural explanation and saying it was ET giving welcome to humanity. People want to draw a clean line between the two and act like it's more rationale to take sides, but ultimately, if you have made your mind up in anyway you're committing a fallacy and that's nothing good.

People who 'make their minds up' are the kind of people who make money publishing their books and articles on this topic. Since I don't think a rationale person can come to any conclusion, the fact that people do and make money doing it tells me there're a lot of dishonest people. I think if you can sit down calmly and admit you don't know then you're being honest and reasonable. If you can do that without asking for money, even better. But if you can't then I have to question your character.

I have met people myself that have told me about their close encounters. Perhaps that's how my mind is a bit more open to this ET possibility. I imagine it's harder for someone who hasn't met someone that has seen something or for those who work in the field of science. For them something is not evidence until they can handle it and examine it under a microscope. I admire that approach but with ufology it doesn't work because the evidence is all circumstantial and figuring out what it means is more open to interpretation. Being a ufologist is like being born with a club foot. It's like going to work uphill in both directions. It's easy to think none of it means anything simply because there's no hard proof. Unfotunately, the reality of ufology just doesn't help matters at all.

But because I think there's an ET possibility does not mean I have made my mind up. I also an open to the possibility of natural explanations and misidentifications. I felt I should clarify this. My intent with the last paragraph was to explain how I might have been driven to open myself to all possibilities. Not to say that ET is here. I definitely am not trying to take sides on the matter.

I wish that the BS could be separated from the good stuff, but it never will be. It's too immense.
edit on 11-3-2011 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 01:52 PM
Well having read that; I'm a believer!

I'm still struggling with the fact that the Greys want to make me King of the Universe - but they assure me that it's all part of the process for a civilisation of our level and I even outclass them at how awesome I am!!

I may not be able to understand and relate their physics but you know what - I'm so freakin' cool I can reinvent it.

We are almost at world peace - seriously, closer than we have ever been.

BUUUUuuuuuuuuuUUUUUUT! We need just a few more dollars - because even though if a superior intelligence came along and claimed everything on this entire planet as theirs we'd be focked - they still do want stuff and it'll come with a cost. I'm not just talking about the raw resources!! They want the Tommy Hillfiger and the Gola too! That stuff is important to an all encompassing culture that will take no # and you will be killed!

Woowee!! As a culture we get to survive because we put on big girls dresses!!



posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 03:32 PM

Originally posted by m0r1arty
reply to post by Slipdig1

Funny how he's peddling a potential film of his life and writing books stating that science is wrong.

Science always states it's a theory in progress and is likely to change.

He speaks like a guy who has money to be made from his wares and hates those who could jeopardise that.


You're wrong, science almost NEVER does what you are claiming above. That's what science is supposed to do, what it actually does is attempt to state fact when there is none.


posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 03:38 PM
reply to post by Qcuailon

Wow so few people understand what you wrote in the above refernced post and even fewer of those who understand it, acknowledge it's reality. It's refreshing to see someone who both understands it and acknowledges it.

I once got into an argument with a mathmetician and he couldn't grasp the concept that the only thing that I can prove to you to exist is your consciousness and the only thing that you can know for a fact is that your consciousness exists. It seems so basic, the most fundamental statement of reality. Experience is all predicated on your ability to experience it and your consciousness requires nothing but itself to exist to experience, all else can therfore simply be a construct of your consciousness. Hence the brilliant statement "I think therfore I am" by DEscartes.


posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 06:23 PM
Anybody thought about how old Stanton is getting?

Years pass by so fast. I' ve been thinking about this lately in regards to a lot of people. It's hard to see people die and take their memories and persona with them. Stanton mentioned a movie at the end of the clip. It looked like it was a movie about a part of his life. I welcome that. You may not agree with Stanton or you may feel ufology is a waste of time, but ufology is a part of our history. There's so much garbage on tv and in theatres that a movie about Stanton is at least par, would you say? Maybe they'll have a bit in the movie that covers his work in nuclear physics. Perhaps it'll inspire a few people to learn about project orion or about the numerous investigations humans have made into nuclear propulsion over the past 50 or so years. Who knows what people would gain from it. But I see much worse in entertainment. And he won't live too much longer. I hate to see anyone go. :/

Where we go upon death many have gone before. It's not a journey that we make alone.
edit on 11-3-2011 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 01:54 PM
Nice to see ATS giving air time to a rational sceptic. Stanton echoes my views on a lot of what I see going on in the UFO and aliens field.

I notice that a lot of the discussion here is about Stanton or his motives rather than what he says. No surprise there. What he says is true. Some of you don't like to admit it so instead you discuss his motives. Laughable and completely predictable.

I found Stanton's use of the word propaganda in relation to non-sceptical debunking particularly noteworthy. If you already think you know the answers - you are not being sceptical of your own position. That would qualify you as a pseudo-sceptic!

Good interview.

posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 05:30 PM
Never heard of this guy but i will go check him out. He seems pretty interesting indeed!

posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 10:43 PM
reply to post by

Good interview; of which prompted me to look further into Stanton's history. One fairly recent interview (2009) caught my attention. Here, after Stanton makes a good case for the existence of ET UFO's, the interviewer Sterling D. Allan starts to ask about "free energy" suppression. Now, I had already noticed a bias in Stanton's deduction about UFO recovery and back engineering. To sum it up simply: we are way too primitive to have gained any significant knowledge in the realm of advanced energy sources.

Anyway, toward the end of the show, Sterling asks Stanton about "black ops" suppression of energy technology inventions by numbers of individuals, to which Stanton responds with the argument of (paraphrase), "where's the profit of keeping something like that a secret?" This continues for a couple of minutes..."where is the profit in secrecy?" Finally, after Sterling regains his bearing and stops falling for straw-man arguments, he enforces the argument of secrecy being key to protecting existing markets and interests as a means to maintain power over the mass populace. In other words, the secrecy itself IS the profit. To this, it seems, Stanton is caught off guard.

Stanton then replies, "What I am saying is I haven't yet seen the product...I can understand there are people who would keep this away from the world; whether it works or not doesn't matter, but they're gonna make sure that nobody does what I'm trying to say is we have a cover-up, we do have alien visitors....uh, go to my website....."

So, he basically busts himself in this argument in the end (after I wanted to yell at the computer, lol), after all the rhetoric about profit vs. secrecy when Sterling finally corners him about profit COMING from secrecy. Thanks for the heads up on this enlightening little tidbit!

Interview here.
edit on 17-3-2011 by empireoflizards because: grammar

edit on 17-3-2011 by empireoflizards because: Structure

posted on Mar, 17 2011 @ 11:06 PM

Originally posted by Pimander
If you already think you know the answers - you are not being sceptical of your own position

True, however others can use their scepticism to see if they can scrutinise that position. If they can't then that position holds merit.

We do require a few things to be accepted as facts (at least temporarily) for us to make any headway in exploring the universe around us. True scepticism would be doing nothing for fear of thinking we are doing anything.

When I hear claims of a UFO I will work it through all the basic trends prior to allocating it as genuinely unidentified - however I must do this alongside people who not only claim they know what it is, but can give me a whole sage backstory on what it's purpose is - all without a scrap of proof. This is what causes the friction within this supposed 'community'.

Those who care enough to get to the truth and those so in need of personal fulfilment that they become delusional.

Add to that people peddling books and passing themselves of as sceptics and you've got a new religion.


posted on Mar, 19 2011 @ 04:08 PM

Originally posted by m0r1arty
We do require a few things to be accepted as facts (at least temporarily) for us to make any headway in exploring the universe around us. True scepticism would be doing nothing for fear of thinking we are doing anything.

Yes, I agree, we have to make some assumptions. It always fascinates me though, that in science we have to assume that what we observe is in some way real otherwise there is no point observing anything or recording results. However, if you look deeply, it often turns out that what we observe isn't real.... Where does that leave us?

I'm a bit off topic sorry...

posted on Mar, 19 2011 @ 04:14 PM
reply to post by m0r1arty

I see what you are talking about to a large extent. I have no objection to people peddling books to make a living. It does offend me though when people completely fabricate stuff and try to pass it off as research or science. That's much worse than bad research for me. This is one of the problems with having a revisionist position - you get associated with the very writers who fabricate stuff even if your work is genuine.

posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 05:21 PM

Originally posted by EsSeeEye
The intentional act of creating a scapegoat "bad guy" in the term "debunker" just allows people to continue holding their eyes closed and believing whatever they want to believe, regardless of the reality.

I think it comes down to semantics. Stanton has made *his* definition of a debunker clear: A person who starts with a conviction of the falsehood of a claim and will find justifications to support this conviction.

A skeptic is not a debunker by that definition. A skeptic is a person who will not accept a claim without evaluating and judging available evidence. And a proponent of any hypothesis should be compelled to be their first skeptic, verifying their own claims before sharing them.

A nice parallel would be the difference between a believer and a proponent of the visitation hypothesis. A believer is somebody who has a conviction and will find justifications to support this conviction. Identical to a debunker in fact. The only difference is the claim being made, but the passion and lack of reason are the same. I happen to think that it is useful to label these extremes, because they muddle the discussion with personal attacks and other nonsense that discredits everyone involved, but sadly deters people from even coming forward with their observations and reports for fear of ridicule.

The person who is a proponent of the visitation hypothesis stands to sit in dialog with the skeptic. The skeptic asks questions and the proponent can seek answers or, as is more than often the case, be stuck, because of the scarcity of data. This IS a problem with insufficient data, make no mistake, and I am a proponent of the visitation hypothesis myself.

The body of knowledge that science is made of is not produced by skeptics, it is produced by those who pursue a hypothesis and then *sculpted down to the truth* by the skeptics. It is a process of gathering data, making observations, making propositions and testing them, the skeptics contribution occurs during the "testing" phase of this process.

Notice that neither the proponent nor the skeptic have any reason to attack each other, their dialog should only be concerned with the facts and data.

Sadly this has to be repeated over and over again, because critical thinking is not universally taught in school and this shows in these boards.


The problem is that most people can't really wrap around their heads over this subtle distinction.

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