Witness Testimony Is Not Evidence. First-hand Experience

page: 2
14
<< 1    3  4 >>

log in

join

posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 10:15 AM
link   
On the subject of eyewitness testimony. Several years ago I was interested in becoming an air crash investigator. while I was working towards that goal, I was invited to a seminar on how to take a statement from an eye witness to a crash. One of the things that i found out was that a trained investigator would rather have a witness that knew absolutely NOTHING about aircraft, than a witness with aircraft knowledge. I was told that they would get better information from the witness who knew nothing than from someone like myself who had an extensive background in aviation. I was told that in their experience a witness knowledgeable in aviation tended to subconsciously slant their testimony towards what they believed that they saw versus what they actually saw. It made sense to me. This was one of the reasons why I never cared for shows like UFO Hunters and seriously doubt the reports on sites like MUFON.

I'm a firm believer people are seeing things in the sky that they cannot identify. The real meaning of the term UFO. As far as some UFOs being extraterrestrial life, for me the jury is still out.




posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 10:40 AM
link   

Originally posted by ColCurious


Originally posted by OneEleven
What if you had a first hand experience that irrefutably proved to YOU beyond a shadow of a doubt that such experiences are indeed real and possible?

That's the thing... even if based on your very own first hand experience, it cannot be "irrefutably proven beyond a shadow of a doubt" that what you witnessed was real.
You can believe whatever you want, but you do not know for sure.
Our human senses and perception are just too bad and too easily tricked.

There is a reason for sayings as "pics or it didn't happen".
edit on 25-12-2012 by ColCurious because: (no reason given)


I saw my toothbrush this morning ... I'm pretty sure it was real ... If i saw a tomato rolling off of the table, i wouldn't assume that it grew legs and jumped ... If you can't trust what you see, you're either intellectually underdeveloped or you should be committed to a rubber room ... The average person dosn't go about life hallucinating at random ...

If you have, see a doctor....

Pics of Nepolian or it didn't happen ... Pics of George Washington or it didn't happen ... Pics of Elizabeth Bathory, or Julias Ceasar or it didn't happen ...

Pics of the big bang (for the 'intelligent' people) or it didn't happen ... You do understand this is an idiot's argument .... The easy way out ... If this were the case, NOTHING happened pre 1826 ....

In fact, our entire world history pre 1830 is based off of "Witness Testimony" ... Everything you know, or think you know is based off of Witness Testimony ... Everything you know or think you know about space is based on Witness Testimony unless you're an astronaut ...

Those who think they 'know' look foolish to those who actually do, no matter which side you cheer from ...
edit on 26-12-2012 by OneEleven because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 10:41 AM
link   

Originally posted by Unidentified_Objective

Originally posted by OneEleven
But what if it happened to you? Not a light in the sky ... Not a weird sound ...

What if you had a first hand experience that irrefutably proved to YOU beyond a shadow of a doubt that such experiences are indeed real and possible? Be it an alien contact, an up close UFO, or what have you.



To be honest, I experienced something as a kid. Maybe 13-14 years old....but, I can't really ever say what it was. All I know is that a few of us (Parents & kids) were looking up at the night sky when we were out camping. We start seeing what looked like stars moving to the north, south, east, west....making sharp turns.....going in circular patterns. Way high up in the sky. Like I said, they looked like stars they were so up high. We watch this for a good 20 minutes and then we see what looks like "shooting" light coming out of them. We kind of just looked at each other and just jokingly said to each other that we were witnessing a "space war" among UFO's.....but I mean, what was it?....who the hell knows. I certainly didn't have any proof of what it was and I can't blame anyone for questioning what I saw if I were to tell them.


Cool story ... I guess... But you're describing lights in the sky ... That wasn't my hypothetical question ...

The question is what IF you were confronted with irrefutable proof ... What if what Travis Walton says happened to him, happened to YOU ... Not a light in the sky going in circles ... What if you found yourself inside an alien craft? What if you found yourself face to face with an alien?

It's never happened to me, but what if it happened to YOU ....?

What would you tell others? And more importantly, what would you tell yourself? Would you lie to yourself?



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 12:52 PM
link   
reply to post by Unidentified_Objective
 


Being a witness to impressive UFO sightings on several occasions --- it has never "frustrated" me that others who have not seen them, could have the ability to ignore my, as well as many other folks testimony. It makes perfect sense, open minded or not. What I don't want is people to "believe" me, I want people to open their minds to the large possibility that "something is going on".

Many witnesses to high-strangeness events become jaded, or apologetic to their experiences due to the fact that this is not a very crucial topic to mankind. Even if it is not other beings, we are (very literally) looking at some very advanced technology.

I can understand fear, and doubt. It's totally normal. I do not want people to believe or have faith, I want them to see what I saw. However there are types of people, whom I respect, like Agent Scully - who even when the little grays in the shipping container are running passed her and bumping right into her, she still is able to say "I do not know." The ability to Deny is endless, but remember that it is a polar extreme to Belief. "I do not know" might be the best sentence in the English language, and I think it's not being used enough.

Is, Isn't, and I don't know. ---- The third is the healthiest. Never make conclusions.

Personally I feel ultra-skeptics are very useful, for if there ever were to be a "false flag" regarding UFOs - they will be the voice of reason, shouting "DID NONE OF YOU SEE THE NATO FLAG ON THAT SAUCER?"

But please, stop calling us crazy. And realize that you only 'see' what you want to 'see'.
edit on 26-12-2012 by ThinkingCap because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 02:36 PM
link   
I personally have been buzzed by giant triangle craft.
I've been within a few 100FT of 1 of them.

I'm not saying I saw an alien craft, but it did choose my car to stop and hover over on the highway out of 100s of other cars, and this happened 30 seconds after I noticed it moving in the sky while driving. It looked like a distant plane moving fast, 30 secs later, it was over my car.

I got off 2 photos with my cell, only 1 survived, 2 hard drives I had them stored on failed in the same week, 1 photo survived because it was in my Gmail.

Full Size

It's a corner light of the triangle craft with my LCD reflecting off the windshield.
Dissect it, take it to a lab, brighten it up, whatever... it's real. That's all I could get of the craft in the frame when it was over my car.

So "some" UFOs are quite real. I believe they are secret military vehicles capable of anti-gravity & speeds of 1000s of mph.
edit on 26-12-2012 by JibbyJedi because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 02:56 PM
link   

Originally posted by Unidentified_Objective

I'd like to share a rather long story to hopefully lend some insight into why myself and perhaps other intelligent and like-minded individuals find blind belief in alien visitations so frustrating and ridiculous. I want to add that I believe in the possibility of life on other planets but, I have yet to see any credible evidence that supports the claims of alien visitations on earth.

Contrary to what some may think based on my posts here on ATS, I am a very open-minded person. I was more so as a kid until well, I actually looked a little deeper into some of the alleged UFO cases and experienced the incident I am going to tell you about.

...



This post is basically a 5,000 word false inference.

You're focusing on a single case of poor witness testimony, and drawing a conclusion about witness testimony in general. If you knew anything about logic, you'd know that in predicate logic, going from 'some' to 'all' is an invalid move - just because some witness testimony is poor, you can't conclude that all witness testimony is poor. In fact, you don't even need to know formal logic to know that. You just need common sense.

You're making a typical pseudo-skeptic move here. You're hyper-focusing on a poor case and attempting to draw a conclusion from that. But why not focus on the strongest UFO cases? Instead of focusing on a bunch of silly high school students falling to the ground in an epileptic fit over an RC helicopter, why not examine the military cases that involve radar returns and multiple air and ground visual confirmation of the object? Do you think these pilots were chasing around RC helicopters? Nonsense.

The problem is with taking things in isolation. You can prove anything you want by focusing on a single case. But is that objective, logical and scientific? No, not at all. The trick is to weigh all of the evidence. Be careful not to fool yourself by drawing false conclusions.

I get the feeling that you've done most of your UFO research watching UFO documentaries and YouTube videos. I'd suggest doing some reading by some of the more respected authors, such as J. Allen Hynek or Michael Swords. After that, start looking through the cases ruled as "Unknowns" from Project Blue Book. In all of their strongest cases, witness misidentification has been ruled out. Seriously, if you have a genuinely objective interest in understanding this topic, you owe it to yourself to gather as much quality information as possible.

Of course you shouldn't forget that, in some instances, people certainly do misidentify things. But after reading a general book by one of the above authors, and familiarizing yourself with the cases that they talk about and their methodologies, come back and ask yourself: In these cases, is it reasonable to conclude that the witnesses misidentified a mundane object, or is that an unreasonable conclusion, given the overall available information?

In other words, don't be a pseudo-skeptic! If you're going to talk about logic and objectivity, actually be logical and objective about your approach to the topic!
edit on 26-12-2012 by Brighter because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 08:27 PM
link   
reply to post by OneEleven
 


Originally posted by OneEleven
Pics of the big bang (for the 'intelligent' people) or it didn't happen...
You do understand this is an idiot's argument... The easy way out... If this were the case, NOTHING happened pre 1826 ...

LOL you're funny.

Of course this is not how the agrument is meant or used properly, but I'm sure you know that...

Maybe try an easier saying for starters:
"Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof."



posted on Dec, 26 2012 @ 09:32 PM
link   

Originally posted by ColCurious
Maybe try an easier saying for starters:
"Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof."


And requires the absence of extraordinary cover ups and extraordinary confusion of the extraordinary mountain of extraordinary evidence.



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 10:24 AM
link   
Gotta love the hit and run tactic a few of these people took here.
Run in, sling a few insults, make 'jokes' about getting violent with people who disagree, and fail to return when people do the unthinkable and defend their position with reason.



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 11:54 AM
link   
reply to post by Unidentified_Objective
 



As I'm standing in line to pay, he points at the TV mounted near the entrance and he says "Oh you hear about the UFO? There was a UFO spotted here last night. A lot of witnesses saw it!".....so naturally, I look up at the TV...and lo and behold, it was the stupid rc we were flying for my science class and someone had filmed it and contacted the local news channel telling them they filmed a UFO.


reply to post by RedBird
 



We know, scientifically, that eyewitness testimony is very unreliable -- under even the best circumstances -- but the reality is that for most of us, we operate every day on the basis of eye-witness testimony -- usually our own!


reply to post by Druscilla
 



Eye-witness testimony as it applies to fringe subjects is near inadmissible.
Unfortunately, eye-witness, personal account, and personality driven (like channeling) is the main-stay on the fringe.

 


Since eyewitness testimony is unreliable and "inadmissible." Why should we trust that you are not misremembering that what you were doing was flying an RC aircraft? Faulty memory is as much a problem for mundane experiences as it for the extraordinary.



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 12:31 PM
link   
With all due respect to the OP i will listen to sources like Dr John Mack ,Dr James E MacDonald who in their respected scientific fields of expertise have shown that there is a very plausible and credible case for a unknown source from some UFO cases and in Macks perception ,encounters with possible unknown intelligences, alien contact or inter -dimensional contact , Mack certainly put a very credible case forward that we could very well be dealing with some unknown intelligence.

Its all very well citing certain "easy to explain cases as an example of dismissing witness testimony or using those easy to explain cases as a medium or justification to rule out ALL or any kind of witness testimony but when one includes or looks at Macks and MacDonald"s cases it is a very different perception or reality,witness testimony is credible and evidence in certain cases, not all but in some.

There have been credible witness to UFO encounters , not all are hill billies or the uneducated, to simply dismiss ALL witness testimonies ,and that is just the ones that have had the guts to come forward , what about those that have remained silent for fear of ridicule and character assassination attacks.Are we to dismiss those witnesses with either aviation back grounds or experience or military or astronomy back grounds, its not justifiable to dismiss ALL witnesses, people are not stupid and like animals they can and do react in very excitable or stressed ways when they have been in the vicinity of UFO reports , are animals hoaxing their reactions , are we to entertain the case that people regardless of their credibility are al;ways mistaken, not reliable and not to be trusted , sorry but the percentages of EVERY wittiness being mistaken or wrong in what determines their testimony to be taken as evidence does not add up.

Like animals who react in an honest and natural way when faced with situations that deal with out of the norm situations so do humans and to dismiss that reality is one that hides another agenda,one that seeks to debunk ALL witness testimony as evidence, that is a red flag to me and i for one will not venture down that dangerous and possible dark road , what if just ONE of those witnesses was actually describing ET contact or witnessing an Alien craft it just takes one after all,science does not know all there is to know about everything and those that claim that they or science does are the ones i will avoid and never trust.
edit on 15/07/2010 by K-PAX-PROT because: (no reason given)
edit on 15/07/2010 by K-PAX-PROT because: (no reason given)
edit on 15/07/2010 by K-PAX-PROT because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 12:54 PM
link   

Originally posted by Unidentified_Objective
People perceive things differently and people remember things incorrectly, and people are poor judges of size, perspective and height....and are not reliable at all because they embellish, exaggerate and make stuff up.


Full marks for getting to the crux of the matter with a real world example


I have been saying the same for years here on ATS, but more often than not it is simply dismissed out of hand. I guess old habits die hard, and at the end of the day most people believe what they want to believe, even when there is plenty of real scientific research that points to people in general being bad witnesses in general.

There are plenty of cases where a definitive explanation can not be found, but how can we be sure that all mundane explanations have been exhausted when the human race is still discovering new phenomena and trying to understand the universe around us?

I don't think it would be unfair to describe those who base their belief in alien visitation on the erroneous logic that because we can't explain a particular case, the only explanation must be visitation, as "arrogant", since they are basically assuming that they/we are omnipotent - or "we know everything (that is "normal") there is to know, and what falls outside this category must be alien". Yes, that doesn't make much sense because if we knew all there was to know, then "aliens" (if they existed) would be known about, but then from my own experience, the mind of a "believer" works in strange and mysterious ways!

Of course, you will inevitably be branded a "disinfo agent" by those holding beliefs that happen to clash with yours, but please don't let that put you off - at least you are not deluded like a large proportion of people who "study" this subject are.



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 12:58 PM
link   

Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by Unidentified_Objective
 


Eye-witness testimony as it applies to fringe subjects is near inadmissible.
Unfortunately, eye-witness, personal account, and personality driven (like channeling) is the main-stay on the fringe.

Of course someone will pop up and ask: "What about multiple witness accounts?"

Here's a fine example of a multiple witness account: "Top Ten" UFO - Case - Yukon, Canada, 1996 - BUSTED!? put together by honorable ATS member ElevenAugust.

Many separate witnesses spread over a wide area reported seeing a UFO; some claiming it was a huge Alien Mothership.

Read the thread to find out what it really was.


There's also Associative Social Sympathetic Collusion, but, I'm opting out an explanation for how that works since those who need convincing would ignore it anyway.
Ask yourself, though, why do you and your friends have SO MUCH in common?


Certainly, there's some words from personalities that might give pause, like, for instance, testimony from high-ranking career military, ex-presidents, and similar seemingly credible sources.
Thing about those, however, is, how reliable is their identification (or lack of) regarding any witness experience?
They may be unfamiliar with Chinese Lanterns, for instance and report it as an eerily silent bright orange light or series of lights, or even 'craft' in the sky. Other similar examples that can trigger a WTF moment though they're entirely known and identifiable phenomenon (just unknown to the witness) can also be suspect.

This doesn't rule out that there is a phenomenon; whether it be labeled as ghosts, bigfoot, ufos, time travelers.
We've as of yet any confirmation on what that phenomenon, whatever it might be, might be though.


edit on 25-12-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)


the reference you use, quote, "read the thread to find out what it really was" ???????......the one explaining what it really was in your example, described something completely different from the mulitple witnesses decriptions...one was rocket boosters falling to earth across the sky...the actual witnesses described hovering, slow and fast movements in different directions...and seen over a period of time.



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 01:07 PM
link   
reply to post by jimmyx
 


Exactly - it shows just how unreliable witness testimony can be.



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 01:11 PM
link   

Originally posted by FireballStorm
reply to post by jimmyx
 


Exactly - it shows just how unreliable witness testimony can be.


Oh really, then why is it admissible in a court of law?



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 01:37 PM
link   
You've seen tomatoes, touched them, eaten them, thrown them at people & some have even fornicated with them (There are really weird people out there). If you see a tomato, you know what it is and you come to the logical conclusion that its in fact, a tomato.

When you see a strange light in the sky, a natural phenomenon that you can't explain, a confusing cloud formation, a reflection, a lens artifact, an anomaly that you have never seen before...it is not logical to assume it is extraterrestrial. Not without proof, knowledge or supporting evidence.

Tow-may-tow....tow-mah-tow.

Anyway, eye-witness testimony can be to some extent reliable...when people are looking at things they know and can identify. It has been proven over and over in tests that people make stuff up and embellish when they witness things they do not understand. In those cases, eye-witness testimony is in itself useless...without any other kind of proof.
edit on 27-12-2012 by Unidentified_Objective because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 02:34 PM
link   

Originally posted by olaru12

Originally posted by FireballStorm
reply to post by jimmyx
 


Exactly - it shows just how unreliable witness testimony can be.


Oh really, then why is it admissible in a court of law?


Ahhh, a classic case of assumption which is so rife in the field of UFOlogy...

If you actually do some research, instead of assuming, you'd find that in the developed world, people are very rarely (if ever) convicted on witness testimony alone. Convictions are the result of hard physical evidence, although there is often witness testimony that backs up the physical evidence.

And lets not forget that is in situations that people are very familiar with ie. on the ground where there are usually plenty of visual cues that help us gauge what is really going on.

In the case of UFO reports, the opposite is true - unfamiliar situations where there are few if any visual cues to aid in gauging speed, size, distance, direction of movement, altitude and even the true shape of an object.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, I've tried my best to explain some of the concepts involved in this thread: How good are we at estimating the distance and altitude of UFOs?



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 03:09 PM
link   

Originally posted by FireballStorm
I have been saying the same for years here on ATS, but more often than not it is simply dismissed out of hand. I guess old habits die hard, and at the end of the day most people believe what they want to believe, even when there is plenty of real scientific research that points to people in general being bad witnesses in general.


Yes, the scientific research suggests that people misjudge distances, heights and weights to a degree - but does it matter if the object they saw was 80.243 feet in diameter as opposed to 100? Or that it was 19.37 feet high as opposed to 30? Or that it was .47 miles away as opposed to .5? Or that it moved at 1,453 mph as opposed to 1,500?

The fact that people misjudge spacial and other properties doesn't imply that what they saw wasn't there. In fact, people are very good at perceiving the general properties and behaviors of things, because if we weren't, we wouldn't have survived very long on this planet.

So the 'people are poor witnesses' argument is a very unimpressive one. What you'd need to present is something like a 'groups of people, animals and radar apparatus routinely mass hallucinate the same experience at the same time' argument, which I'm pretty sure isn't forthcoming.


Originally posted by FireballStorm
There are plenty of cases where a definitive explanation can not be found, but how can we be sure that all mundane explanations have been exhausted when the human race is still discovering new phenomena and trying to understand the universe around us?


Because there will never be a 'mundane' explanation for a metallic craft with blinking lights that hovers, accelerates and decelerates.



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 03:16 PM
link   
reply to post by Unidentified_Objective
 



[E]ye-witness testimony can be to some extent reliable...when people are looking at things they know and can identify. It has been proven over and over in tests that people make stuff up and embellish when they witness things they do not understand. In those cases, eye-witness testimony is in itself useless...without any other kind of proof.


Lets poison the well a bit further. Who is to say you're not making up this story to try to make a point that doesn't actually have any basis in reality? Could you provide sources that people in town were actually misidentifying an unidentified light in the sky? Do you have any proof anyone was actually stating unequivocally that it was an alien spacecraft? Are there any sources other than your first-hand (possibly) biased, misremembered testimony? Most people are capable of distinguishing between something that is ambiguous, that they can not identify -- a UFO, versus something claimed to be a craft of extraterrestrial origin.



posted on Dec, 27 2012 @ 03:30 PM
link   

Originally posted by Mishmashum
reply to post by Unidentified_Objective
 



[E]ye-witness testimony can be to some extent reliable...when people are looking at things they know and can identify. It has been proven over and over in tests that people make stuff up and embellish when they witness things they do not understand. In those cases, eye-witness testimony is in itself useless...without any other kind of proof.


Lets poison the well a bit further. Who is to say you're not making up this story to try to make a point that doesn't actually have any basis in reality? Could you provide sources that people in town were actually misidentifying an unidentified light in the sky? Do you have any proof anyone was actually stating unequivocally that it was an alien spacecraft? Are there any sources other than your first-hand (possibly) biased, misremembered testimony? Most people are capable of distinguishing between something that is ambiguous, that they can not identify -- a UFO, versus something claimed to be a craft of extraterrestrial origin.


Ah, I see. So you're one of those? The old "prove to me that X did not happen!" ....burden of proof is on the people making the claims.

Oh, and its perfectly fine if you want to question whether or not my story is true. See, I'm okay with that. I'm sure there is a report somewhere or even existing footage of the news report (Like I said, some of my facebook friends from high school bring it up from time to time.). But then, I suspect like many UFO enthusiasts, you'll ask me to try to prove a negative. ("If you can't prove that ______ does not exist, then how can you not conclude that it does?"). I don't feel like participating in your circle jerk so, I'll just say it again.....without proof, outrageous claims are just that....outrageous claims....and logic should not be dismissed just because you don't understand what you saw.





top topics
 
14
<< 1    3  4 >>

log in

join