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originally posted by: 111DPKING111
Phil was such a loser.
All suffered from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized weakness, a burning sensation in their eyes, and feeling as though they'd suffered sunburns. Over the next few days, Cash's symptoms worsened, with many large, painful blisters forming on her skin. When taken to a hospital emergency room on January 3, 1981, Clark writes, Cash "could not walk, and had lost large patches of skin and clumps of hair.
"Their critiques virtually all consist of scoffing, ridicule, ad hominem attacks, and the amazing claim that their dogmatic beliefs that certain things are impossible necessarily constitute laws of nature. It is a modern replay of the cardinals refusing to look through Galileo's telescope because truth has already been revealed to them. Interestingly many of the vocal skeptics are not themselves practicing scientists."
Astrophysicist Dr Bernard Haisch, Ph.D.
A while back we discussed Phil Klass’ habit of writing to the employers of those who thought they had seen a UFO, or who investigated them, or just disagreed with him. He seemed outraged that there were people who didn’t accept everything he said, and took great offense at that. He would express his disappointment with those by creating a little trouble for them.
originally posted by: F2d5thCavv2
Shorthand for this approach could be termed "blame the witness".
"The type of UFO reports that are most intriguing are close-range sightings of machine-like objects of unconventional nature and unconventional performance characteristics, seen at low altitudes, and sometimes even on the ground. The general public is entirely unaware of the large number of such reports that are coming from credible witnesses... When one starts searching for such cases, their number are quite astonishing. Also, such sightings appear to be occurring all over the globe." (Hearings before the Committee on Science and Astronautics, U.S. House of Representatives, July 29, 1968.)
Dr. James E. McDonald, Senior Physicist at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Arizona
"Finally, Walton -- whose writings clearly reveal his intellignece and perceptiveness -- absolutley skewers Phil Klass and his CSICOP sponsors, demonstrating the ad hoc nature of the debunking effort. His Appendix ["PJK: Propaganda Job Krumbles"] on Klass (as well as comments in the text) should be required reading for CSICOP board members."
Strictly for the purpose of public education, here are a couple of excerpts from the 85-page Appendix ("PJK: Propaganda Job Krumbles") of Travis Walton's new book.
[Page 286]: PJK [Philip Julian Klass] is closely associated with CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigations of Claims of the Paranormal. As a founding fellow he is an executive councilman, Chairman of the UFO Subcommittee, a member of editorial board of the CSICOP journal the "Skeptical Inquirer," and a frequent speaker at CSICOP functions.
CSICOP was founded . . . . by a group headed by Paul Kurtz, president and editor of the publishing house Prometheus Books. Some charter members left CSICOP over disagreement with policies which they complained eschewed genuinely scholarly and scientific analytical approach to issues, in favor of militant, media-oriented goals.
[Page 292]: He [PJK] is not objective. His reasoning is so flawed that in his writings about me he repeatedly commits every major, classic logical fallacy. He is neither thorough nor accurate. He deals not in hard facts but in distortion, supposition, innuendo, and assumption, reaching one unjustified conclusion after another. He is as far from scientific as one can get..
Klass was one of the fouding members (along with various others, including Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, and Paul Kurtz) of the skeptical group formerly known as the "Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal" (CSICOP), which was recently renamed "Committee for Skeptical Inquiry" (CSI).
Phil Klass: "Skeptics UFO Newsletter" now online (large collection)
Pratt: Are the civilian organizations important enough to disrupt? Do they pose enough of a threat to uncover any of the secrets or cover up or whatever? ...
Moore: Yeah, I guess in a sense they present not a threat but a possible threat. The idea is not to
allow them to get to the status of threat but to keep them off their balance before they
ever get that far. And I think that’s a good strategy.
Pratt: There are enough bona fide nuts in the field to—
Moore: Of course – you encourage an Adamski here, a Richard Andolucci [Orfeo Angelucci]
there, you encourage a Wendelle Stevens here, you encourage any number of those people ... they don’t take much encouragements [to do what they do]. All they need is a little attention, so you show them how to get it and they do the job for you without you ever having to pay them. The same sense with Phil Klass. They don’t have to put him on the payroll. They just need to encourage him to continue what he’s doing. So, any time he flags in his effort they dump a little more seemingly bona fide debunking information on him that “it couldn’t be so because” – and he takes it from there. Why pay him?
Actually, it was a medical doctor who wrote that he had reviewed the photograph of her burn pattern and raised that possibility, and how do we know she didn't do that? As the medical doctor says, the pattern is suspicious:
originally posted by: karl 12
Not only did he accuse UFO witness Betty Cash of inflicting burns on herself with some kind of template..
While we were discussing this case via email, Gary Posner, MD, wrote:
I recall a photo being shown [on the April 1, 1982, edition of ABC-TV’s That’s Incredible] of Betty’s arms, with discrete, round, sunburn-type rashes that immediately caused me to suspect that she had created them by covering her arms with a garment containing circular cutouts and then exposing herself to sunlight (or a sunlamp).
There is no way that such discrete, round patterns could be produced by radiation from a distant object. What Posner is suggesting is that, like religious zealots of yore who fabricated their own symptoms of “stigmata,” Betty Cash created the discrete, round “radiation burn” patterns on her arms to be able to display impressive symptoms to her doctors.
Medical science has a term for this kind of behavior, Münchausen syndrome, which is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves. While not terribly common, it is far from rare. And assuming that Betty Cash’s medical records contains the term “Münchausen syndrome” or words to that effect, which seems likely, we now understand why the promoters of the Cash-Landrum case adamantly refuse to let anyone see her medical records. It would destroy all vestiges of credibility that this case ever had.
So when you quote a passage that talks about Cash's hair falling out, is that supposed to imply it had something to do with a UFO rather than an auto-immune disease?
The doctors' notes all agreed she had alopecia areata, confirmed by a skin biopsy and microscopic examination of the follicles. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes patches of your hair to fall out.
Contrary to the Cash Landrum case which gives us plenty of reason to question credibility, I never found any reason to question the credibility of Val Johnson, so I have to agree Klass was being a jerk on that one and plenty of other cases too. Klass was certainly wrong about a lot and even skeptics won't try to defend many of his assertions, but that doesn't mean everything he said was wrong or without merit. He might have been right once in a while and when a medical doctor also think Cash's burns looked suspicious, that carries more weight than Klass's claim alone.
But also seems he was at it with Police Officer Val Johnson who, after witnessing a UFO, lost consciousness, was blinded / suffered mild welder's burns to his eyes and experienced damage to his patrol car (also interesting that his wristwatch lost 14 minutes) - despite all the credible character witness testimony submitted by his fellow officers Klass just flippantly accused the policeman of doing all the damage himself.
When the evidence is so convincing we're all essentially incompetent observers, why shouldn't we accept the truth? I think people still denying the truth are failing to look at the evidence and make objective assessments of the credibility of witnesses. The Yukon UFO case is still being promoted on Youtube as 30 witnesses seeing a giant UFO the size of three football fields. Can 30 witnesses be wrong? Well, they saw something, so they aren't liars, but they basically prove the point you seem reluctant to accept that yes we are all basically nearly worthless as reliable observers, and "pics or it didn't happen" isn't such an unrealistic position. Maybe something happened, but perhaps not the way our brains think it did, because we are fooled a lot.
originally posted by: F2d5thCavv2
A variety of information sources and authorities, over the years, have a done a good job in coaching us to believe we're all essentially incompetent observers and that we should believe that also applies to people like pilots, military personnel, and emergency response personnel. With that mentality entrenched, it makes it easier for the "blame the witness" attack to succeed.
originally posted by: Harte
Regarding "fanatical" skeptics, I've been called worse than that here (in the Ancient Civ. section) when I show up with proof in my hand. Somehow I doubt the believers in this section are any better than the believers in that one.
I think people still denying the truth are failing to look at the evidence and make objective assessments of the credibility of witnesses. The Yukon UFO case is still being promoted on Youtube as 30 witnesses seeing a giant UFO the size of three football fields.
originally posted by: Harte
I choose not to dip my toe in the UFO pool.
Some of Stanton's archival work was excellent and always liked the way he exposed UFO debunker (and Philip's mentor) Donald Menzel as being closely tied to US Intelligence agencies as a cryptographer (not an astronomer) - apparently Menzel also had a long standing relationship with the NSA and in his letter to JFK he also mentions being in the employ of the CIA - really makes you wonder who the 'snake oil salesman' actually was.