Thoughtful article from UFO 'believer' on recent successful explanations of 'top cases'

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posted on Jan, 30 2014 @ 11:38 PM
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This is not an easy read, but it deals with constructive responses to several major case solutions discussed vigorously on ATS. For thoughtful students of this undeniably fascinating and baffling social phenomenon, I strongly urge putting in the effort.

paranthropologyjournal.weebly.com...


This paper is about the elusiveness of evidence for
anomalous events. I will speak of UFOs because this
is the subject most familiar to me, but the underlying
theme concerns problems of knowing the unknown
and unaccepted, and the same arguments will apply
more or less equally well to other anomalies. My recent
preoccupation with evidence results from a crisis
in my long-time study of UFOs. It is not a crisis of
faith, because I am still convinced that an irreducible
residue of unknowns remains after all the conventional
cases are winnowed out of the mass of reports,
and that these unknowns hold their status not because
they are merely unidentified, but because they
possess a robust strangeness that seems beyond conventional
solution. The crisis is rather one of confidence,
a sense that I have taken too much for
granted, been too naïve in what I have accepted, neglected
too many subtleties and pitfalls in a landscape
I thought I knew. I suffer from disquiet and embarrassment—
disquiet that I am more uncertain than I
realized, and embarrassed that I—and my fellow
ufologists—overlooked weaknesses we had a responsibility
to notice.


The stimulus for my concern has been the recent
success of skeptics in shooting down some highprofile
UFO cases that once seemed unassailably
strong. Within the past two years or so they have provided
a conventional explanation for the 1997 Phoenix
Lights, a case with thousands of witnesses, including
the governor of Arizona, and highlighted in Leslie
Kean’s best-selling book, UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and
Government Officials Go on the Record. They succeeded
again with the 1996 Yukon “giant mothership” case,
advertised in a popular TV show as one of the “ten
best” UFO reports of all time. Most troubling of all
was an article in the Skeptical Inquirer by James
McGaha and Joe Nickell that offered a solution for
the “Incident at Exeter,” a 1965 classic that J. Allen
Hynek considered an exemplary close encounter of
the first kind, and a case that most ufologists counted
on to stand forever. I certainly thought so, since I included
it in my 2010 book as high on my short list of
favorite—and genuine—UFOs.




posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:42 AM
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reply to post by JimOberg
 




Within the past two years or so they have provided a conventional explanation for the 1997 Phoenix Lights


I have never seen any, people did claim to see a trilingual craft (not only the lights). The "convertional" explanation to the lights was given right then (the flares) or is he referring to something else ?

One needs only read about incidents like the one in Colares (Hostile UFO Encounters: Colares, 1977) to cease to have faith in alien origin of some UFOs to build a strong conviction based on factual evidence. While there is no way to prove a negative when we talk about governmental institutions the lack of action is dereliction of duty and the active suppression of information from strange (if not justified with a good enough reason) to criminal.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:42 AM
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JimOberg

This is not an easy read, but it deals with constructive responses to several major case solutions discussed vigorously on ATS. For thoughtful students of this undeniably fascinating and baffling social phenomenon, I strongly urge putting in the effort.

paranthropologyjournal.weebly.com...

Most troubling of all
was an article in the Skeptical Inquirer by James
McGaha and Joe Nickell that offered a solution for
the “Incident at Exeter,” a 1965 classic that J. Allen
Hynek considered an exemplary close encounter of
the first kind, and a case that most ufologists counted
on to stand forever. I certainly thought so, since I included
it in my 2010 book as high on my short list of
favorite—and genuine—UFOs.



Well Jimbo, I'd say the UFO subject is a bit more than just a 'social phenomenon' but I suppose everyone's entitled to their opinion -even Thomas Bullard, will certainly give it a read.

Regarding the Exeter case Professor Michael Swords makes some interesting points below about James McGaha's opinion and it seems pretty far from conclusive -let's not forget McGaha also tried to shoehorn in a pretty ridiculous debunk on the Trumbull County case where he assured everyone that a huge red object hovering directly over a police officer's patrol car was just 'twinkling stars' - see 7:05.




The Recent Fuss About The Exeter Case






..this is another example of the debunker's predilection for having a simple brain gush, disregarding massive amounts of the actual witness testimony, and force fit an inadequate thought into an inappropriate situation.


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Let's also not forget that Bullard's comments work both ways and quite a few 'official' debunks for specific UFO cases are highly questionable to say the least.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:43 AM
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That was very interesting. Thanks for posting!
S&F



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:46 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 




Let's also not forget that Bullard's comments work both ways and quite a few 'official' debunks for specific UFO cases are highly questionable to say the least.

Bullard addresses that directly.

My feelings are considerably more uneasy. Today’s skeptical attacks on UFOs belong to a different breed than the woeful Air Force concoctions of the 1950s or the armchair pontifications of Harvard astronomer Donald Menzel. The modern skeptics bring rigorous and informed criticism to their arguments and highlight inconvenient facts that ufologists overlook or ignore. This new caliber of skepticism is nothing to laugh at; when it’s on target, it kills. And their aim seems increasingly true.

edit on 1/31/2014 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 12:49 AM
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Thanks Jim. This is a really good read.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 01:08 AM
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A quibble I have with Bullard is his view that 'non-believers' believe that with enough effort ALL cases could be explained in prosaic terms. That is not my view -- I'm perfectly willing to accept that there will be cases that defy rational explanation forever.

But real-world experience informs us that almost any complex human-related process creates a fraction of unexplainable outcomes. One only has consider murders, or missing persons, or aircraft accidents, or missing socks, where entirely prosaic events create SOME inexplicable outcomes.

The unasked question of ufology is this: IF all UFO reports in a given period were caused ONLY by prosaic phenomena, how MANY of the reports would be STILL be explainable? Would part-time researchers and enthusiastic amateurs REALLY be able to track down the causes of each and EVERY one of them?

I suggest the answer is 'no', and actual experience at solving long-unexplained cases by considering previously-unknown candidate explanations provides support for this.

If this is true, then the problem is to consider the residue of cases which appear to defy explanation and compare it to the expected portion of cases for which no explanations could be found EVEN WHEN no extraordinary phenomenon was involved. That latter category will, I argue, never be empty.

Can we tell whether there is any difference between such 'unsolved' categories? Is it REQUIRED that an extraordinary phenomenon exist in order that a fraction of UFO reports be humanly unexplainable?

I don't know. I suspect not, but I can't prove it. It's why I keep watching that category, with my own peculiar set of experiences and skills, hoping that other people with other experiences and skills will do the same.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 03:01 AM
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Phage

Bullard addresses that directly.

'Today’s skeptical attacks on UFOs belong to a different breed than the woeful Air Force concoctions of the 1950s..'


As well he should Phage (nice edit by the way) - does seem like certain folks don't like to shout about that fact though, probably keeping up appearances and all that.

If USAF explanations on the 1950's (and 1960's) were 'woefull concoctions' as Bullard describes then I suppose that quite a number of casefiles should be reclassified and put back in the actual unknown category, if only for the intellectual honesty of future research.

Air Force Figures Tell Real Story - 88.79% Unexplained

Does make you wonder why Bluebook which touted itself as a systematic study which 'scientifically analyzed UFO data' would throw their objectivity out the window and force fit 'absurdly erroneous' explanations onto serious incidents though.



Phage

The modern skeptics bring rigorous and informed criticism to their arguments and highlight inconvenient facts that ufologists overlook or ignore.


Yes I'm sure you'll agree that statement also works both ways and UFO researchers aren't the only ones to overlook certain inconvenient aspects of a case if it doesn't fit snugly with an existing opinion.

Would you count James McGaha and Joe Nickell as rigorous and informed?



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 06:56 AM
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This is a very interesting article, but I wish Eddie Bullard would condense or serialize it so that it would be more digestible in order to reach a wider, more general audience. He hits so many crucial points about the methodology of evaluating witnesses testimony alone, that it could be the basis of a class on the subject.

Anyone that has an honest interest in the subject should read and study this article. It's a fact of numbers that the vast majority of UFO cases will crumble. But there's no need to cry over broken cookies and spilled milk. These few cases that withstand the scrutiny and remain a puzzle are what continue to make things worthwhile.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by JimOberg
 


His responses to several major case "solutions" (Phoenix and Exeter specifically) suggest that if he previously had a tendency towards the belief a genuine phenomenon existed, which biased his objectivity, then his acceptance of the explanations offered indicate a now opposite bias.

Would be interested to get your take on the John of Worcester anomaly description, the conventional explanation given seems to ignore parts of the description, wording that a chronicler of history would no doubt have been careful with.



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:35 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


If USAF explanations on the 1950's (and 1960's) were 'woefull concoctions' as Bullard describes then I suppose that quite a number of casefiles should be reclassified and put back in the actual unknown category, if only for the intellectual honesty of future research.
Perhaps so. But how does more "unknowns" help support the ETH? Isn't that exactly one of the points that Bullard was making? That high profile cases which are explained tends to indicate that the "unknown" designation is a matter of a lack of information rather than support for the ETH?


Does make you wonder why Bluebook which touted itself as a systematic study which 'scientifically analyzed UFO data' would throw their objectivity out the window and force fit 'absurdly erroneous' explanations onto serious incidents though.
Not really. There were plenty of political reasons to toss of ill concieved explanations no mundane ones were readily available.


Yes I'm sure you'll agree that statement also works both ways and UFO researchers aren't the only ones to overlook certain inconvenient aspects of a case if it doesn't fit snugly with an existing opinion.
In some cases. However, those "inconvenient aspects" are more often than not based on a lack of solid evidence rather than the presense of it. More often they are based on witness reports and memories, something known to be somewhat fluid.



Would you count James McGaha and Joe Nickell as rigorous and informed?
I'm not really familiar with them so I can't offer an opinion. But, with what you seem to know about them, do think they are more or less harmful to UFOlogy than Stephan Greer or Hoagland?



posted on Jan, 31 2014 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by JimOberg
 


That was a good read and point of view I personally identify with. It wasn't too long ago that I was on the "believer" side of things. I even have a number of ufo books on my shelf to remind me of this. One case after another I watched as the evil skeptics dismantle them and provide reasonable sound logic.

As was pointed out in the article, all you need is one case to be confirmed as extraterrestrial. Hundreds of cases of non confirmed ET, does not add up to much of anything. Just like a hundred zeros adds up to zero, not 100 or even 1. So there could be all kinds of things "seen" flying around and "seeming" intelligent and "looking" alien, it doesn't make it so. I don't think there anything wrong with speculating, believing or imagining that these things could be aliens and there is also nothing wrong looking for other earthly answers. AND it doesn't make a skeptic any more evil when a reasonable explanation is provided by them.



posted on Feb, 5 2014 @ 08:23 PM
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reply to post by ZetaRediculian
 



No idea how much you have researched this subject, and to be honest, I think disclosure by the Govt would we a horrendous thing if aliens are indeed experimenting on us with us unable to do anything. Could you just imagine every night on the news, the latest horrific abduction story...

BUT to those who are interested in the topic, it really seems academic .. few links

From Richard Dolan
richarddolanpress.com...

From CUFOS organization
www.cufos.org...

From here
www.abovetopsecret.com...

From British organization
www.prufospolicedatabase.co.uk...


In the past I have seen very good documentaries on ufo cases, most of it on recently seems amateurish at best.

Trumbull County case
www.youtube.com...
www.youtube.com...





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