Ed Mitchell: Going to the Moon doesn't mean you're right

By Phil Plait | July 26, 2008 12:29 pm

Apollo astronauts were heroes. That is very clear to me and should be to everyone; they took an incredible risk to explore and further the knowledge of mankind.

However, that does not give them a "get out of reality free" card.

Ed Mitchell walked on the Moon for the Apollo 14 mission. OK, got that? He walked on the Moon. I have no issue with that.

However, he also believes aliens exist. That’s fine too; in fact, while wouldn’t use the word "believe", I strongly suspect there are aliens elsewhere in the Universe as well. Where Mitchell and I part ways is that he thinks that the aliens are and have been coming here, the government knows, and has been covering it up for decades.

Thing is, his feelings on this have been pretty clear for a while now. But he recently stated them on the radio, which has led to wide reporting on the topic, like say here. There are a zillion other sources if you care (roughly the same number of emails I’ve gotten on this topic).

OK, yes, an Apollo Moonwalker thinks greys are coming here and probing us or whatever. Fine. He can believe what he wants. I think he’s wrong, but he has the right to believe that.

Two points on this. First, of course, the UFO folks will go ballistic over this, because, after all, Mitchell was an astronaut and walked on the Moon. But then, see my "get out of reality card" comment above. Also, this is simply argument from authority, which is bad logic. It doesn’t matter who believes in aliens. What matters is — hello! — evidence.

Show me the clear pictures. Show me nonterrestrial-isotope-laden artifacts. Show me a frakkin’ flying saucer sitting on the White House lawn.

Show me anything other than blurry pictures and videos, eyewitness testimony, and black-out government documents. I want evidence.

The second point is Mitchell’s history. He has long been an advocate for what can be called at best fringe science, starting with his tests of psychic powers on that same lunar flight. That’s fine — in fact I support things like that, if done rigorously — but clearly in my opinion he goes way too far. Government coverups of actual aliens? Really? Where’s the proof of that? The evidence is always circumstantial, and that makes me suspicious indeed. We have governments that cannot coverup a simple break in, a tryst in the White House, or trade deals between Iran and the contras. Those are cakewalks compared to the massive conspiracy theorized by the UFO crowd.

My point is not to make an ad hominem attack Mitchell’s credibility; he is a nice man and a gentleman. I met him and he was very kind to me, and he told me he literally kicked Bart Sibrel out of his house, which makes my heart sing.

No, my point is that I don’t really see why this is suddenly news. He’s been talking fringe science for decades.

So I want to be very clear here: I have enormous, deep, and profound respect for all the men who walked on the Moon, and all the men and women who put them there. But that does not give them a pass to ignore evidence and to draw drastically unrealistic conclusions without evidence to support them.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, NASA

Comments (228)

  1. The idea of extraterrestrial visitation is unsuported by facts. For that reason, the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitation needs to recourse to flawed points such government conspiracy or undetectability conjecture.

    Government conspiracy is a weird way to “understand” politics. Conspiracies occur but huge, enormous conspiracies are improbable to remain secret for long.

    The undetectability conjecture defends that extraterrestrial visitors do not want to be seen and that they have enough power to remain undetectable. The problem here is that we have two hypothesis:
    – there is no extraterrestrial visitation.
    – there is an undetectable extraterrestrial visitation.

    Both hypotheses are consistent with our empirical facts. So, Occam’s Razor advises us to choose the first, more parsimonious one.

  2. Ad Hominid

    A few key points:
    -Ed is now 77 years old
    -He has had a long-time, documented interest in the paranormal.
    -He does not even claim to have first-hand knowledge of these contacts.

    Ufools will no doubt honor him with their most sacred mantra, “he seems credible,” but this only highlights once again that the entire UFO movement is an authoritarian cult, built completely around personal credibility and the fallacy of appeal to authority.

  3. amphiox

    As if this government could competently keep anything secret.

    As if any government in any democracy could keep anything secret for more than a few years.

  4. Will Diesoon

    Let’s not forget, Space Hero Gordon Cooper also had similar views:
    CNN article –
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/10/04/gordon.cooper/index.html?iref=newssearch
    Astronaut James McDivitt had his own UFO sighting while in space aboard Gemini

    These are not disgruntled or looney former employees of NASA, they should be repected heroes!

  5. Jose

    Next thing you’re going to try and tell me is that the Coelacanth isn’t clear proof that Bigfoot exists.

  6. Ad Hominid

    amphiox

    What amazes me is the phenomenol selectivity of the global ufo cover-up. Every government in the world has conspired for 60 years to conceal evidence, but they have failed to conceal millions of alleged images and sightings, megayears worth of anecdotes evidence from “credible witnesses” like Ed Mitchell, and mountains of alleged documentation dredged up by enthusiasts and hack writers.
    The only thing they have managed to conceal is the kind of scientifically and forensically acceptable evidence Phil mentions. In that case, this sieve of a cover-up is miraculously airtight.

  7. Sili

    . We have governments that cannot coverup a simple break in, a tryst in the White House, or trade deals between Iran and the contras.

    But but but! That’s part of the coverup, silly! That just happened to draw attention away from the real secret.

    Nahhh – I can’t do it with a straight face. Sad to see what is undoubtedly a great mind (his doctorate isn’t just h.c. is it?) go to waste like that.

  8. guestwork

    My issue with it is not what he “believes” or states publicly or advocates. He can be convinced of his assumptions all he wants. In fact, if asked, I’m sure he’d fully agree with rational examination and investigation of anything that would otherwise fall under “fringe material” or pseudoscience or anything like it. My issue with it is the sensationalist reporting of such statements completely forgetting about the need for evidence, *hard* evidence, and how he isn’t exactly steering away from this “moonwalker credibility” fallacy. He’s good at diverting attention away from things that the layman is frequently mistaken about (in Irene Klotz’ recent interview with him) and tries to put things in a more believable context, but he’s insinuating now more than in the past that “it must be true because (astronaut and moonwalker) says so” – he says “it’s true” when he should be saying “I guess it’s true, but I can’t know for sure” and people readily believe him. I mean, “I am spaceman, hear me roar” is a bit of a weak argument.

    I fully agree to the Sibrel notion btw. It’s a bit of a pity the Aldrin part of that whole swear-on-the-bible thing he tried to pull off is the more famous one, I think the Mitchell part would have made for much more amusing video than that punch in the face he got from Buzz.

  9. Pop

    Why are you wasting your time and thoughts on this? Mr. Mitchell can think anything he wants. He doesn’t need proof or evidence of the existence of UFO, greys, or any other mental periodolia. You have many other things to write on, good things. Yes, I know he spoke of things fringe and that fans the flames of non-critical thinking, but you are preaching to the choir and he will be believed only by the fringe. I just hope the greys are not reading your blogs and will remember how you feel about them when they come out of the “alien closet.” I’d hate to be you when they probe you in ways a man should never be probed. WooHoo! From the; “I just hope…” forward was tongue-in-cheek. Have fun at ComicCon.

  10. Mena

    Ok, I didn’t know that he had been into this stuff for a long time. I kind of assumed that perhaps he was starting to have brain issues due to his age.

  11. I know you’re right Phil, but… it would be so cool!!

    Damn! It would be so cool…

  12. KC

    Ad Hominid:

    I need to go back over what Mitchell said before I comment on it, but the fact that he was dabbling in the paranormal in the 1970s doesn’t mean too much. It was, after all, the 1970s, and PSI and other fringe stuff was all the rage (so was poly water, but that’s another story).

  13. KC

    Mitchell has also claimed that he was cured of kidney cancer by a ‘remote’ healer. Just because he was an astronaut doesn’t mean he’s a credible source of info.

  14. Steve Ulven

    The main problem I am going to have to deal with when I go to work Monday to my wackjob co-workers is that he actually said he was privy to information from the government about aliens. You can actually listen to it here.

  15. danmarino

    Your moniker speaks the truth….you really are a bad astronomer. If you honestly are an independent and unbiased judge of anything, then you’re just ignorant and lazy, on the other hand, I believe the more likely scenario, you are just another agent of disinformation. Extra-terrestrial beings are here, have been for a long time, and your naivety doesn’t change that. Why don’t you go talk to someone who would know…like, maybe an ASTRONAUT WHO WENT TO THE MOON for starters?

    Tsssk, tsssk, tssk….bad astronomer.

  16. MKR

    Well if aliens aren’t on Earth, what’s all this hubbub over the southwestern border?

  17. Yeah, the thought of any government (much less all of them) managing to keep a secret this big is incredible…as in not credible. The more people you have involved, the less likely it is that it could be contained. But hey, I’ll happily admit I am wrong when the actual evidence arrives.

  18. We received similar testimony that well-placed members of the U.S. government had discussed meetings with extraterrestrials — however our source was from the Intelligence Community.

    Investigative author Gus Russo wrote an article that explored the involvement of some members of the Intelligence Community in promoting the UFO tales, which is available here:

    http://starstreamresearch.com/inside_the_spy_game.htm

  19. Keith

    Why does this subject bother some of you so much? If you had seen what I did 14 years ago you would not be suprised to hear Dr. Mitchell’s beliefs. From the perspective of someone who has seen something clearly unexplainable, every story, every instance, is one step closer to the truth coming out. I guess you can all explain away Gordon Cooper as well????? Skeptisism is good but most of you already know what you want to believe. Thats a very un-scientific approach.

  20. MattGS

    At least this led to a highly entertaining rant from Hoagland on Coast To Coast last Thursday, where he blasted Mitchell for being unscientific. His own theories, said Hoagland, are based on strict scientific methods, whereas Mitchell just makes unproven claims. Hoagland himself at least has photos that can prove he is right.

    And that’s why I love Coast To Coast AM.

  21. Viewer 3

    I agree. Taking part in something heroic and meaningful in your past doesn’t give you the right to assume people will either believe or go easy on you simply to patronize you (coughjohnmccaincough).

    And as far as aliens go, I can also agree that, given the sheer size of the universe, there is bound to be some other form of life out there beyond the simple microbial stage. So yes, I too “believe” that life does exist out there, intelligent life at that. But I can also agree about the lack of evidence. I’m someone who has watched the X-files religiously, but I’ve yet to see a single video, image, or testimony that can’t be easily faked. And the overwhelming volume of laughably fake material out there is enough to jade anyone about the possibility of “aliens” visiting our planet.

    And in many ways, I agree. I can’t imagine that any civilization advanced enough to reach Earth through faster-than-light travel, wormholes, interdimensional travel, or any other sci-fi means would have any real need to study a species as primitive as us. But I guess it’s not technically impossible.

    I just watched any episode of Trek Next Generation that explains all about the process of “first contact”; the crew makes their presence known to the leaders of an alien world so they can decide if their people are ready to accept the fact that they are not alone in the universe. So in concept, I suppose I can ALMOST see that happening to our planet, and our government making the choice to keep it a secret for the same reason they did on the show, which is the fact that their people aren’t evolved enough yet to handle the social and religious repercussions of suddenly revealing everything. But then you’d have to wonder why they’d choose one country over the other in deciding who is the “leader of Earth”.

    Also there’s the theory that the government is covering it up to use it for technological research, which has been portrayed in more movies and X-files episodes than I can count. Technically that could also “work”, but I’d have much more difficulty believing that one than even the “first contact” theory, and that’s saying a lot.

    I think it’s possible our government knows about “aliens”. But I think it’s even more possible that they would go to the same lengths to cover up non-alien military experiments to keep secret technology out of foreign hands than they would to cover up any kind of UFO crash. So until real evidence arrives, I’m not buying it. But I won’t discount the possibilities.

  22. Val

    Well, wouldn’t it be more fun if he were right?

    Not that he is, it’s just that the world would be a more fantastic place if he was.

  23. Stanely

    more than 70% in US believe in God, and more than 50% go to church every Sunday. Look at science and eingieering professors. They go to church as well, and talking about God. OK, show me the scientific proof of God. Do you believe in love? show me the evidence of love. The very thing that you’re readonmg this article is the evidence that goverment cover-up is failing at the moment when information sharing is ubiquitous. I agree that there are a lot of freak to take advantage of this stuff, or propagate disinformation. The credibility of Mitchell is that he only loses his credibility by saying this stuff.

  24. tony J

    I’ve listened to what Dr Mitchell has to say.
    I’ve seen no conclusive proof that he is right, however neither have I seen any conclusive proof that he is wrong.
    One thing I notice about the Alien/UFO debate is that each side builds a convincing case, but only to their own satisfaction. So I suppose ‘believe’ whatever makes you feel comfortable.
    I have never really understood why people get so emotional about the subject unless it frightens in some way that I am not aware of.

  25. justcorbly

    Mitchell isn’t the first credible person to say this. What I’m waiting for is for one of them to outline the specific evidence that became available to them. How does Mitchell know aliens have been here? Who told him? When? Why does he believe?

    I have no problem with the notion of aliens hiding themselves from the general populace and making themselves known only to a few government officials. (Frankly, I’m still working on why they’d stop here at all.) But, I’m suspicious when no one ever tells us the details.

  26. We have proof. The Mass Media is censoring it!
    go to http://www.disclosureproject.org
    or go to google video and search “disclosure project”

  27. tony J

    Ah yes Stanely above makes a good point, the old circular argument : ‘he taks about UFO’s therefore he’s a nut! ‘How do you know he’s a nut? ‘Because he talk’s about UFO’s’ ….case closed.

  28. justcorbly says “How does Mitchell know aliens have been here? Who told him? When? Why does he believe?”

    From there: http://www.disclosureproject.org
    or go to google video and search “disclosure project”
    You will have all the names, evidences, and written TESTIMONY unde OATH(thats 30 years in prison if anyome of them is lying and thats’ INCLUDE Dr. Mitchell)

  29. MattGS

    I was always suprised about how many seemingly legitimate people are active in the Disclosure Project – but that’s just numbers. Oaths and testimony? That’s okay, but it’s no proof. The Disclosure Project just manufactures a lot of big words but fails to produce evidence. 400 people swearing oaths and bearing testimony to the existence of aliens is utterly worthless if there is no tangible and testible evidence of their claims.

  30. CanadianLeigh

    @Phil
    Your move to Discovery has sure opened a few more doors.

    @Viewer3
    As to why an advanced civilization would secretly visit us?… remember Twilight Zone, “To Serve Man”.

    I’ll believe in Aliens visting us when there is non-terrestrial DNA or equivilent. Unitl then I’ll just enjoy my aliens in fiction.

  31. Well, on Larry King there was a physicist with an MSc by the name of Stanton Friedman arguing with Bill Nye and Shostak, so I think it’s safe to say that Woo transcends education somehow.

    For the why, I refer you to Shermer’s book “Why People Believe Weird Things” especially the chapter, “Why Smart people Believe Weird Things.”

  32. guestwork

    @Keith:
    What bothers me (for one) about it is that his “beliefs” as stated again just recently boil down to “someone who knows someone who says has seen something told me, but I can’t tell you who” – there is no substance in that whatsoever, and the fact that he’s Dr. Edgar Mitchell astronaut-and-moonwalker doesn’t somehow magically add substance to it. It’s hearsay when it’s coming from him as much as it would be hearsay when it came from you or me, and as such it’s pretty much worthless. Statements like that are what’s truly unscientific here.

    As for Gordon Cooper, besides the obvious fact that his stories are too just that (stories, as opposed to hard evidence) – Gordo was known for telling anyone exactly the big story they wanted to hear and then some. You could say he loved to entertain. He didn’t even care when he contradicted himself in the process.

  33. @Danmarino:

    You’re right. You say, “Extra-terrestrial beings are here, have been for a long time, and your naivety doesn’t change that. ”

    Actually, Dan, I am one of “them.” My “saucer” crashed in 1876. Since then I’ve been living as a “human” male. I have the ability to shape shift into any species I desire. Bigfoot, yep, that’s me. “Loch Ness”, yep, me again. “Mothman”, hehehe, lil ‘ol me. George W. Bush, ummm, no, that’s one of yours.

    I’m from Z. Reticuli. My people aren’t really that famous in the galaxy, although we did invent the cure for hemorrhoids. Sitting in out saucers for extended periods is a real pain, so to speak.

  34. The disclosure project loses all credibility when Dr. Stephen Greer, the founder/director, stands on a hill, waving his flashlights at the sky, directing UFO’s to a landing spot. But, maybe I’m the only one that feels that way.

  35. CanadianLeigh

    @Michail L.
    I knew you were too smart to be one of us. You did say once you weren’t born here. Nice makeup by the way. Haven’t you got someone to spare for Bush.
    You didn’t miss anything last night. Clouds clouds and more clouds. Yuk.

  36. will galison

    I have found that many ufo “skeptics” are far more dogmatic and unconcerned with evidence than most ufo “believers”.

    I put these terms in quotes because many of these “skeptics” are not true skeptics at all, in the sense of being rigorous, rational examiners, and many “believers” are not believers in the usual sense because they “know” they saw a flying object that they could not identify, and they know that it was not any plane, planet or other natural or man made object.

    The problem is that these sceptics demand a landing on the white house lawn. What if tornados (or ball lightning for that matter) were 95% less frequent. How much crisp photographic evidence would exist? And you could wait a long time for one to strike the White House lawn.

    Please check out the the Associated Press article about the radar confirmation of the Stephenville Texas sightings.

    Mr. Plait, please explain those certified radar readings without resorting to some theory involving intelligently controlled, vastly sophisticated craft decades ahead of what we have. If they are military craft, than the Government cover up of futuristic technologies is just as alarming and harder to believe as the cover up of alien ufo’s.

  37. will galison

    Regarding Dr Greer. The man spent most of his life saving people’s lives as an emergency trauma room doctor.

    Whatever stunt he pulled with a flashlight does not detract from the credibility of hundreds of military brass and officers interviewed by the Disclosure Project who have sworn on penalty of perjury that they have first hand knowledge of UFO’s.

    I don’t understand the terror many “skeptics” have regarding the existence of ufo’s. They seem to be terrified of having their cozy paradigm shattered- not appropriate for a scientist. Open your eyes for goodness’ sakes. The evidence is already here.

  38. Looks like it’s going to be that way again, Leigh. (Clouds). That’s too bad.

    I forgot to mention that I also provided George Lucas with the idea for Star Wars. He stuck with the plan for the first two movies, then got off track with Return of The Jedi. We don’t like to talk about the prequels. It’s what’s known as the “Intergalactic Embarrassment”.

  39. Grand Lunar

    @danmarino,

    It seems that sense Dr. Plait disagrees with Ed Mitchell’s views and asks for evidence, that you believe that makes him ignorant and lazy or a disinfo agent.

    This is typical thinking of non-reality based thinking.
    It’s easy to call someone a disinfo agent or any other term.

    But that still doesn’t work to get one out of reality.

    Where is the peer reviewed scientific evidence?
    All we have are anecdotes, blurred photos and videos, faked photos and videos, and misinterpretations.

    Ed Mitchell’s accomplishment does not give him any more insight into UFOs being alien craft than any other person.

    It’s still a question of evidence. Hard core, peer reviewed, scientific evidence.
    As of yet, there is none.

  40. Grand Lunar

    That first line should have read “It seems that since Dr. Plait disagrees with Ed Mitchell’s views and asks for evidence…”

  41. OK Phil, you were meaning to blog about Crichton and I beat you to it with a post you were in agreement with. I was meaning to blog about Mitchell and you beat me to it with a statement I agree with completely.

  42. Wow Phil, this is so close to what I blogged about this subject:

    http://tinyurl.com/5umuh2

    I tried to walk a fine line between respect for the man and his accomplishments (after all, how many people reach the absolute pinnacle of their profession?) and disdain for his dismissal of critical thinking. It’s a sad tarnish on his otherwise fine legacy.

  43. amphiox

    If there was an immensely powerful and advanced, galaxy spanning civilization, the type of civilization that would be most likely to be visiting earth (because they’re pretty much everywhere). The activities of that kind of civilization would be galactic in scale. It would be impossible not to notice SOMETHING just by looking up at the night sky! Just the heat waste from their space travel and other energy generating systems should be detectable.

    So assume then a somewhat less accomplished group of visitors. Maybe they’re just a Type II civilization, controlling only a few nearby star systems, and they happen to stumble on earth because, well, earth is close by and comparatively easy for them to get to. But that would mean their home system is CLOSE BY, and readily observable. How much energy does it take to launch an interstellar expedition? Keep in mind they’ve been doing it constantly for over 50 years, in significant numbers (there are so many sightings being reported, after all). What are the chances that astronomers on earth would not have noticed something, some spike in gamma rays, or increase in luminosity, or something, coming from a star just a few light years away?

    Ok then, maybe they’re even less accomplished. They’re just an advanced Type I. They left their home system on a generational ship and Sol is the very first star system they arrived at. They don’t have the economy to sustain regular interstellar travel, so say they’ve set up a base in our solar system somewhere and are just sending out interplanetary expeditions to earth. But they’re doing this hundreds of times every year. Now their home system would have to be one of the closest of neighbours to the sun, and they have got to have a big energy using base, dumping waste heat at a phenomenal rate, right here in the solar system. And we haven’t noticed?

    All three cases, hundreds, even thousands of sightings all over the world on earth, but not a hint, not a twinkle, not a blink, in space. They’re coming here, converging on earth. We’re looking out. We see nothing?

    So maybe they’re trying to hide. They don’t want us to see them. Their spaceships have stealth, so militaries around the world scanning the sky for ICBMs and airplanes can’t see them (yet this stealth always fails on dark empty roads late at night when lone, drunk truck drivers trundle by). All their energy generating capacity, planetary and stellar, and all their heat waste, they’re masking, and not just masking, but exactly replicating natural phenomena.

    I don’t think a Type I would be able to do that. Probably not even a Type II. Which leaves us the Type III. If they control the entire Milky Way, they could probably do it. We could even postulate a intellectual quirk or blindspot, a random byproduct of imperfect evolution that would account for them to be able to do all that, and yet somehow fail not to be seen by drunk truck drivers on lonely roads once they get here.

    But what about Type IIIs in other galaxies? A civilization actively manipulating the energy of an entire galaxy, without altering the observable radiation output of that galaxy in any way? They’d have to be bigger than Type III to do that. They’d have to be Type IV. But then what about IV’s in other galaxy clusters? Superclusters? And that among all the aliens out there, ALL of them prefer to hide? It’d take only one civilization to say “screw that, we don’t care if some half-evolved apes on some puny little waterworld out in the boondocks of the Milky Way might see us and we’re not going to waste the effort and resources to hide ourselves” and we’d see them.

    Logically then the only possibility is for there to be just one alien civilization. It has to span the entire observable universe and be making the effort to hide every single one of its activities as if it was just natural phenomena, but somehow consistently screw up once they get here whenever a camera with a defective focus lense is pointed at them. The question then is why would they bother? Do we go out of our way to hide ourselves from ants? (And ants may not have much intellectually, but if you step on their anthill, they do notice)

  44. danmarino, thanks for proving my point. With no information, and seemingly without comprehending a word that I wrote in my post, you use the very bad logic I write about and, as a bonus, accuse me of being a liar.

    Folks, I present to you Exhibit A on why we must never tire fighting antiscience.

  45. Viewer 3

    Amphiox, I demand you return those Michio Kaku books I let you borrow.

  46. jules

    Are UFOs real? Where is the proof for extra-terrestrial visitation? These two questions completely miss the point in my opinion. Like the age old science vs. religion debate, the arguments traded circle round and round, leading no where. What interests me are the deeper sociological, psychological, and epistemological questions that arise from the discussion of these phenomena.

    What do these improbable stories and myths tell us about who we are and where we might be headed? What might these stories of strange objects in the sky, government secrets and conspiracies, zero-point energy, bizarre alien morphologies, and sexually-tinged alien abductions experiences mean at a deeper level of analysis? How and why have these stories spread and evolved? What are the psychological and social implications of such myth-making? Perhaps the veracity of the stories is less imporant than their possible meanings and interpretations. Stories will never lend themselves to objective verification, but that makes them no less interesting.

    We might also ask why the more rationally minded among us feel threatened (or at least annoyed) by belief in the irrational, the supernatural, and the immaterial? Are the objections societal or personal? What are the psychosocial forces that go into shaping these reactions? For instance, fear of ridicule and rejection from the group, the comfort of consensual knowledge, or the neurological appeal of settled facts versus ambiguity. Are their possible historical reasons for these reactions? Why does this subject invariably lead to condemnations of “believers” as being ignorant, senile, fantasy prone, gullible or simply fallible human beings who did not see what they think they saw do to limits of their senses and perceptual faculties? Why must the boundaries of accepted, consensual knowledge be so clearly defined for some and much more ambiguous for others? How might (if ever) the objective, external, collective processes of science reconcile with the subjective, internal processes of direct experience?

    In other words what does the very existence of this debate tell us about ourselves? How might this discourse inform our own critical analysis of why we think the way we do and why we believe what believe? I think what’s needed are fewer of the tired back and forth arguments which only serve to reinforce one’s pre-existing individual and collective narrative, and more questioning, critical inquiry, and introspection. I long for the day when I might flip on Larry King hear UFOs being argued in terms of epistemology – but I’m certainly not hold my breath.

  47. Just blogged about this too. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The moon landings were a hoax, this so-called “astronaut” is a faker by trade ;)

  48. Troy

    What has always struck me about the dozen Moon walkers is how diverse their interests and personalities are, one is an artist, (unfortunately only one) was a Geologist, Armstrong seems a bit shy, Aldrin less so. Then there is the guy you mentioned, Ed Mitchell, who is a bit out there. I suppose that’s good in a way that such a motley crew of people with diverse interests were are surrogates to go to the Moon. Diverse like America. This same guy also went on a quest for Noah’s ark, so yes I’d say he’s a bit out there, and as Phil mentions being sent to the Moon shouldn’t lend someone credibility. Obviously there is an element of the right stuff, mental and physical agility, but these people aren’t gods and they don’t necessarily gain gravis from their accomplishment.

  49. Troy, it was James Irwin that went looking for Noah’s Ark. Guess what? He didn’t find it.

  50. BTW, Irwin died in 1991 of a heart attack. He was only 61.

  51. Peter B

    Danmarino said: “If you honestly are an independent and unbiased judge of anything, then you’re just ignorant and lazy, on the other hand, I believe the more likely scenario, you are just another agent of disinformation. Extra-terrestrial beings are here, have been for a long time, and your naivety doesn’t change that. Why don’t you go talk to someone who would know…like, maybe an ASTRONAUT WHO WENT TO THE MOON for starters?”

    Okay, let’s ask Neil Armstrong, or Buzz Aldrin, or one of the other surviving astronauts who walked on the Moon. What if they don’t endorse what Ed Mitchell says? Does that make them disinformation agents?

    And on what basis do you say that ET beings are here, and have been for a long time? Just your say-so doesn’t make it true.

  52. Van Austin

    The US gov’t doesn’t deny that UFO’s exist so why should you? The govt only denies that UFOs are a National Security Issue. Let’s be honest, you are only waiting for some Podium Based Gov’t Mouthpiece to tell you it’s OK to believe in UFOs. Admit it, because when they do, do you think they’d let people like you see the real ET or evidence? Again, you’re only asking for they’re blessing to accept the existing evidence as proof as no other evidence, except their word, will be offered to you.

  53. Greg in Austin

    danmarino Says: “If you honestly are an independent and unbiased judge of anything, then you’re just ignorant and lazy”

    Way to support your opinion by calling your opponent names, danny. That pretty much negates any further argument you might have had.

    Keith Says: “If you had seen what I did 14 years ago you would not be suprised to hear Dr. Mitchell’s beliefs.”

    Of course, you have testable evidence to support whatever claim you have, right? That’s all we want. One tiny little shred of evidence. Otherwise, you might as well try to convince us that you saw a purple dinosaur dancing in your living room.

    Stanely Says: “OK, show me the scientific proof of God. Do you believe in love? show me the evidence of love.”

    God, or the concept of an omniscient and omnipotent being, is a religious matter, not based in science. That is a matter of faith – the belief in an idea that has not been proven. Science is not based on faith. Thanks for trying to drag this into a religious debate.

    Love, on the other hand, is a proven Human Emotion. We can scientifically test and prove that love exists. One way to prove love is by its affects on humans: look at songs, and poetry, and writing, and commitments. We can show that humans are constantly affected by emotions, by our own actions. The evidence is astounding. Nothing has moved people to live and die more vehemently than love. Love for a family member; love for a spouse; love for a boy or a girl; love for a country; even love for an imaginary being like Jesus or God. If you think there is really no evidence for love in this world, then you are sadly mistaken.

    Personally, I am interested to see what evidence surfaces from Mr. Mitchell’s claims. I would love to see a real alien craft, or an alien life form, or any credible proof whatsoever. However, when it comes down to it, Ed Mitchell is entitled to his opinion, but unless he can provide actual evidence, there is no reason to believe him.

    8)

  54. Greg in Austin

    Only the word love was supposed to be in italics, for obvious reasons.

  55. Craig

    My heroes are the men and women who teach our children. My heroes are the men and women who police our streets and come to our aid when we are in dire need. My heroes are the people to struggle day in and day out to feed and clothe their families and who strive to raise their children correctly.

    A person is not a hero for what they have done — they are heroes for what they DO, every single day.

    A man first stood on the moon’s surface because of political ideologies, not because of a profound sense of exploration and desire to improve human existence. What happened to them when they experienced this was profound in that it gave these men the best view on how puny we are in the cosmos. What a way to learn to be truly humble as a resident on our little blue ball.

    I will always respect people who are willing to push the limits like the many international astronauts and cosmonauts have done, but I will never be so naive as to put them onto a pedestal high above a hugely deserving group of everyday people.

  56. DLC

    I used to think there might be something to the whole UFO business, until I actually started studying physics. Granted, alien beings capable of making an interstellar trip should know more than we do, but they still can’t do the impossible, and too many of the reports you read about of UFOs ask one to believe the impossible. Some fundamentals just cannot be gotten around. You can’t eliminate inertia or mass, for example. A craft could be built capable of zooming along at say, 500 kts and then pull a 90 degree turn. Modern materials science could do it. However, the crew of such a vehicle would be turned to paste by the acceleration.

  57. I think danmarino should go back to football :)

  58. andyo

    amphiox, you just blew my mind.

    Was that from any of Kaku’s books? I’ve been meaning to read something from him, but I’ve never been fully convinced about him.

  59. Craig

    DLC,
    Two words – inertial damper. –grin–

  60. Goldengod

    The thing that intrigues me is that someone who is completely credible, and who is very close to me, had a UFO sighting with their friend at point blank range. This craft was your completely “stereotypical” UFO. My relative who saw this said said it was hovering right next to the power lines, next to the highway, out in the middle of nowhere, and made no noise. It raised up in the air and shot off at speeds and in a way that no craft today could. And this was in the late 60s.

    There was another guy that came out recently on Larry King who mnetioned his UFO encounter. He was in the Airforce and saw film of a craft that shot down a dummy test Nuclear missile which his senior officer had no knowledge of and some government officials seized this film and have sat on it ever since. The airforce guys senior officer corroborated his story as well. Her eis a link to his story.. notice the government threats.

    http://ufology.wikia.com/wiki/Robert_Jacobs

    This is why the story is so fascinating to me. Either the the military is itting on incredible technolgy they created.. or the governement is sitting on a UFO cover up. Both of them for 30 to 60 years!

    There was a sighting in Stephenville texas just reecntly that was just as impressive. a craft that was over a mile long flew directly over peoples houses and travelled at speeds in excess of 2000 MPH.. making no noise! No sonic boom from brekaing the sound barrier. A pilot on the groundwitnessed it up close and personal. He was blown away by it. He didn’t think it was possible it was government.. but I think in this case it was a stealth blimp with somekind of cutting edge propulsion system.

  61. Different Craig

    amphiox you really picked that apart. I have to use this cliche, you win at the internets.

    Personally I think the term UFO gets a bad wrap. Because the nut jobs who throw it around forget the U stands for unidentified. When there is an explanation its no longer a UFO (and no that explanation isn’t little green/grey men). People who saw the B2 stealth fly before it was unveiled (and I’m sure some people saw it) saw an UFO. Once the B2 gets announced, the U ceases to exist, leaving just a flying object.

    I do have a story that some would make about aliens. About 5 years ago when I was driving on a 2 lane county highway my buddy and I saw some weird light phenomenon out the back window. It was cool and a little creepy. And while I still don’t know what it was (the setting sun’s light being reflected by something probably) I do know it wasn’t aliens.

  62. madge

    According to the Woo folks this guy was (and continues to be) part of a massive conspiracy to convince us all that he went to the Moon but his evidence on alien visitations is to be trusted? Hmmmm :)

  63. A thing that has always confused me about these UFO stories, how come they always crashland in the USA? I mean, there is a much larger chance of them crashlanding in water, Russia, China or Canada, if we are talking areal.

    And luckily, they always appear to land within the reach of the government for them to cover it up. These aliens sure know where they’re flying, huh?

  64. andyo

    madge, they are not the same. Hoagland, as was pointed out by a commenter upstairs, has evidence! Yeah, it’s the UFO people who are the crazy ones.

  65. TShannon Doyle

    There’s lots of anecdotal evidence that something genuinely strange and unknown to science is going on. Much of this by trained military witnesses. For those who tar and feather these good and brave men as fools or liars without really looking into their claims- I say good day sir. You have no genuine scientific curiosity.

    How many of the scoffers here have really looked into the evidence? My close-minded friends won’t look- why? because- they say-there isn’t any evidence, there cannot be evidence, since the subject is impossible and so absurd. So, they don’t even look. Like Galileo- the establishment wouldn’t even look through his telescope.

    I could list dozens of high ranking folks, officers, cosmonauts, generals, presidents, governors that have had vivid sightings- and amazingly, most folks here would simply write that off as utter non-evidence. Balderdash.

    Have you ever been to court? Competent eye-witness evidence, especially when correlated with others, is enough to send a man to prison.

    Just because this phenomenon doesn’t make sense to us doesn’t mean it should be simply blown off. It’s one thing to keep an open, skeptical view and suspend disbelief while investigating- however, that is rarely the case among folks caught in a culture of knee-jerk denial, and no, that is not science but dogma.

    Just try to keep an open mind. No absolute proof- but the anecdotal evidence is profound, and you write this off at your own scientific peril.

  66. @Svip,
    Actually the truly amazing fact is that these little grey buggers can travel hundreds or thousands of light years through interstellar space, navigate through star systems, asteroid belts and whatever other dangers lie out there, only to CRASH when they get here.

  67. Thomas Siefert

    “Just try to keep an open mind. No absolute proof- but the anecdotal evidence is profound, and you write this off at your own scientific peril.”

    So you want us to believe in fairies, leprechauns, gremlins, angels, god(s) and that whitening toothpaste works?

  68. “There’s lots of anecdotal evidence that something genuinely strange and unknown to science is going on.”

    Uh huh. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that magnet therapy works too, but the actual science just doesn’t back it up. Besides, if magnets actually had the effect that the snake oil salesmen that sell them would have you believe, an MRI might just kill you.

    Eye witness testimony is the lowest form of evidence. Even in a court of law it is rarely relied upon alone. There is a reason for this — people are lousy observers. We make mistakes all the time even with things that we commonly see. Ask 4 witnesses to describe a hit and run accident they all just saw and you’ll probably get 4 different descriptions of car that sped off.

    Also, in a court of law, there are time factors that just are not relevant in science. Crimes need to be solved as quickly as they can be. With science we have the luxury of taking our time and checking and rechecking and actually get good hard evidence for our claims. Evidence will convince us that a claim has merit. Anecdotes mean nothing. Nada. Zilch.

    You can argue from authority all you want. It doesn’t mean a thing. The dozens of high ranking folk and military personnel are still human and they suffer the same human failings as the rest of us.

    All we are asking for is actual hard evidence. I really don’t see how that is too much to ask. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Simple as that.

  69. guestwork

    @TShannon Doyle:
    No proper scientist (none that I know anyway) would flat-out dismiss anecdotal evidence as completely meaningless. Anyone of them would be thrilled to get more, to have really hard evidence, to get their hands on some funny exotic alien material to further examine it and to learn from it. They all are genuinely curious – like Phil here, their natural reaction is “show me more.” But anecdotal evidence is not evidence, it’s an anecdote. It’s to the very least unwise to jump to conclusions based on what someone else merely tells you, or what someone has merely seen. No matter how much and no matter how often. That’s the difference between accepting that you’re unable to explain something and inventing an explanation in that case.

  70. Kirk

    Show you a clear picture of a UFO? Go to google images and google “Belgium ufo.” You will see clear images. This UFO appeared over Belgium in 1989-90 and was witnessed by hundreds of people, photographed, and tracked on radar. If you go to youtube and type in “Belgium UFO,” you can see the press conference that the Belgium Air Force has where they released the radar tracking data. We are being visited my friends, and the writer of this article is wrong.

  71. Jose

    @Kirk
    Oh got! Fuzzy triangles attack Belgium! Waffle stock’s tumble!

  72. Dear Platt,
    Thank you for letting us know you don’t believe him. Because for 45 years I have witnesses debunkers like yourself have over and over again marginalized honest peoples statements on this subject. Mostly through innuendo. Honest people who show integrity in every other aspect of their lives suddenly, because of zealots like yourself, become suspect. He walked on the Moon has a PHD and says he knows we have been in contact with ETs not does not say he believes. So he is either a liar or you wouldn’t even respect anyone no matter what character they possess on this topic.
    Finally I believe Dr. Mitchell statements regarding the UFO reality should stir in the hearts of most fair minded people that the UFO subject should be at least looked into seriously again especially after what happened with the Stephenville TX. radar Tapes proven there were UFOs there right where the witnesses said they were.

    Joseph Capp
    UFO Media Matters
    Non-Commercial Blog

  73. Thomas Siefert

    @Kirk
    Lot’s of fuzzy pictures and videos, talking heads speculating, stock film of jet fighters and re-enactments, not to mention artists impressions both as painted pictures and video footage.

    Exactly which picture or video have convinced you that this phenomenon was caused by aliens in spaceships?

  74. guestwork

    @Kirk:
    Maybe our idea of a “clear picture” differs somewhat, but for what it’s worth, googling “belgium ufo” gets me blurry, shaky, badly exposed pictures that don’t show any detail worth mentioning. It is not possible to tell what that is, short of an airborne craft. That’s precisely the problem – this is not hard evidence, making statements like “we are being visited” based on this is a very willing leap to conclusion. The only way to come to that conclusion is when you “want to believe” in pre-formed assumptions, and that is not a science mindset. That’s merely faith.

    (And for what else it’s worth, I’m surprised you’d seriously suggest the Belgium UFO flap as an example. As interesting as the Belgium photos and circumstances are, there are far more interesting pictures out there than these.)

  75. Jose

    I think I was filtered out. Sorry if the original eventually pops up. There are UFO’s all over the Americas. South of the US and Canada, they tend to joyride around volcanoes. In the US and Canada, they use the catch, probe, release strategy. Why is this? Why don’t they think Mexicans are probe worthy? Racist aliens.

    Somebody above mentioned Richard Hoagland and his scientific approach. If you want a good laugh take a look at his “”Best” Photographs”.
    http://www.ufoevidence.org/photographs/view/topphotos.htm
    These are the best? UFO photo hoaxers aren’t trying hard enough. Where’s the commitment?

  76. andyo

    There are many more reasons to be suspicious about the UFOer claims than suspicious about having been a lot of anecdotes and therefore there must be something going on.

    For instance, what strikes me about the claims of UFOers, and proponents of other myths like the religions and woo woo, is their lack of imagination. A good science fiction writer would make a far better myth, but even the best SF writers, or the best scientists, could not have imagined most ofactual reality, stuff so weird (and so accurate) as quantum mechanics, for example, without tools (like math), experiments, and EVIDENCE!

    With religion, is usually a lame anthropomorphic god or gods who, so mundanely, have human emotions and desires, and huge egos. And they’re usually as barbaric as the men of the time when the myths were written, and they evolve to reflect what the male believers of concurrent times believe. It is just so disingenuous.

    Similarly, with UFOers the aliens usually are anthropomorphized, and how the hell did they end up looking so similar to us when the closest relative to us who shares 99-or-so% of the DNA with us looks so freaking different? If you really wanted to go crazy, you’d say they’re humans from the future, and some say so, but then again, the movies that exploded in the pop culture some 60 years ago rarely say that, doesn’t it?

    Besides the movie and pop culture explosion, yet another reason to be suspicious is the witness account that lit the fuse, Kenneth Arnold’s. It’s just such a spotty and self-contradicting account. He told Edward Murrow that he didn’t say the things were saucer shaped, but moved like floating saucers, but earlier it seems he did say they were saucer-like. In any case, either he can’t be trusted, or if he is to be believed, the media totally misinterpreted the whole “saucer” business, and the subsequent “saucer” culture loses a HUGE chunk of its credibility.

  77. stating obvious

    Wholesale dismissal of “conspiracy” because of perceived inabilities of governments to maintain secrecy is ignorance of the facts at hand. We know the government can maintain quite well long term conspiracies of silence on a need to know or need to coverup basis.

    The manhattan project was concealed for many years, yet it involved not only tens of thousands of individuals, but large scale building projects as well. The government can obfuscate by many means. The B2 bomber and stealth technology was kept secret (by definition a conspiracy) from the public for decades, though known by a large number of people, thus a large number of people can conspire to keep things “secret” or withheld from public knowledge quite sucessfully. To deny this basic fact, is to deny that WWI documents are still being held from the public, under cover of secrecy and confideniality.

    This government won’t even tell you who attended Cheney’s energy meetings, do you really think they would release information that might lead to widespread panic and chaos, such as UFO’s and their superior technologies?

    A reasonable person learns to extrapolate, if there are billions of stars in our galaxy, and one (earth) has intelligent life, simple mathematics says in a universe of billions of galaxies at the least a few hundred intelligent life forms must exist.

    Do not dismiss Dr. Mitchell because he throws your own belief systems into doubt, and do not demand proof from him, instead ask your governments, those political bodies supposedly beholden to the citizens from whom their very power and being springs, to release all their secret files. You might be suprised at what you will find, amongst the widespread cases of hidden malfeasance and wide-spread financial looting by those entrenched in the military-industrial state, there will be evidence of the unexplainable as well as the locations of recovered debris from ufo crashes.

    Momentum is building and the wide-spread use of digital photography guarantees that in the next few decades thousands if not hundred of thousands of sightings will be recorded. governmental deniability will become ever louder while appearing ever more ineffective much like George Bush claiming he doesn’t torture while document after document surfaces to prove his government does torture and with the implicit consent of the President.

  78. wgalison

    HARD EVIDENCE OF NON CONVENTIONAL UFOs

    It is disingenuous to say that their is no credible existence for the existence of Unidentified flying objects that defy the capablilities of
    any known conventional or military craft.

    What evidence do you have for the existence of tornados, other than the rare footage (usually taken by people running away) and the anecdotal stories by people who have witnessed them. Photographs in todays world are not valid evidence as they can be fudged. What less evidence is their for UFO’s ?

    If you want HARD evidence, look at the thousands of pages of FAA radar returns from the Erath County sightings of January 2008. NObody doubts the authenticity of these reports.

    How do you explain these documents?

  79. TheBlackCat

    What evidence do you have for the existence of tornados, other than the rare footage (usually taken by people running away) and the anecdotal stories by people who have witnessed them.

    I don’t know, how about destroyed houses, fields, and other property? Hurricanes leave a large amount of physical evidence behind.

  80. How does Phil Plait know Ed Mitchell hasn’t seen “the evidence”? Just because Mitchell hasn’t shown what he’s hypothetically seen doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, nor that Mitchell is being unrealistic.

  81. andyo

    You guys can’t be serious. First of all, governments can hide stuff, but this stuff is much harder to hide than some secret project or airplane. By the way, if we’re gonna be conspiracy theorists, why isn’t it much more likely that the government is peddling the UFO stuff to conceal their secret aircrafts? And the difficulty of government conspiracy is just one reason, and not even the main reason. If you scrutinized the anecdotes and blurry photos and videos as much as you pretend “skeptics”, you’d realize how unlikely it is that these ETs are visiting us. Especially, as several have pointed out, if you understood how basic science would have to be turned on its head for them to be here, or the aliens were intelligent enough to be here, but stupid enough to get caught by simple people with no credible resources. And save yourself the tired “open minded” appeal, that doesn’t work when you’re “so open minded that your brains fall out” (phrase stolen).

    And tornadoes? Really? First of all, tornadoes are perfectly natural, and are well explained, there is a clear mechanism for them to work, and it has been witnessed by thousands if not millions of credible sources with more than just anecdote. Unless all the major and small media networks across the world report on a single UFO incident with the same info obtained independently, with different original (as in theirs) footage of the same event, and they see grey little men, and unambiguously state so, it won’t be anything like any natural event such as tornadoes. But that should be obvious to anyone, it would seem.

  82. JK

    Ignore evidence? What evidence? What data do you have that disproves what Edgar is claiming? You want evidence, then just try and get it. Every single Tom Dick and Harry wants to see a UFO land on the White House lawn…MUFON made progress in compiling a report on the Stevenville sightings, despite much adversity from the military authorities.
    They have done the necessary legwork to gain hard evidence.

    Edgar seems perhaps a little subdued by the response he received and not a little defensive…maybe a little shocked that his story has had so much exposure at this point. He had gone on interview to discuss his experiences as an astronaut, and only repeated much of what he had already stated in earlier interviews. Subsequent interviews have been more muted, and then there was the statement that NASA had “nothing to do with it.” (The cover-up)

    He may well worry about repercussions for sticking his neck out, or more likely the rash actions of his interviewer in calling his ex-employer.

    It is easy to isolate and discredit individuals…that was the point of gathering so many high ranking people in one room for the Disclosure Project press conference. They were at least legally protected, as many were apparently still under oath.

    Instead of mounting a character assassination, highlighting his beliefs or dismissing his story as the ramblings of an old fool and a has-been, as so many appear to do, how about lending some of that rigor to help uncover the facts. Mitchell has gone as far as he is able, without betraying the trust of those who confided in him, and not bending to the will of bullies. That says a lot about the man Edgar is. I for one hope that more people of his stature will come forward.

    Why are the testimonies of everyday people still not valid?

  83. Celtic_Evolution

    What evidence do you have for the existence of tornados, other than the rare footage (usually taken by people running away) and the anecdotal stories by people who have witnessed them.

    Are you serious?

    You ever heard of Doppler radar? Tornadoes are measurable, genius. They have measurable, observable characterstics and leave unmistakable physical evidence.

    I wasn’t even going to bother with this thread, as I spent all the effort I could muster arguing the same silliness in the Larry King thread a few days ago… but come on… if that’s your analogy then there really is no point trying to have an intelligent debate on the issue.

  84. Eric

    There is ample visual, photographic, and radar evidence that objects are entering the earth’s atmosphere from space, and maneuvering with accelerations that are not possible with conventional technology. One organization, NARCAP, which was founded by two senior NASA research scientists, is tasked by the FAA to catalog and investigate situations where unidentified objects interfere with commercial aircraft. There are over 3,000 incidents in the NARCAP database. 3,000. See:

    http://narcap.org

  85. Eric

    By the way, the notion that the government can’t ‘keep secrets’ is ludicrous. For those that believe that, please show me the pictures and videos you have of the various underground bunkers and laboratories at Area 51. While you’re it, please post the nuclear launch codes. Since the government can’t keep secrets, maybe you can entertain us with the leaked codes. Please also explain how the Stealth 117-A fighter was kept completely secret for almost 20 years despite the fact that nearly 10,000 people knew about it and worked with the technology hands on. Finally, the honest truth is, the UFO ‘secret’ has NOT been kept. A large volume of information on alien visitation has leaked out of government circles over the past 50 years.

    A NASA astronaut is blowing his part of the lid open on this information. I wouldn’t exactly call that keeping a secret. The British government is releasing the totality of their UFO files over the next 4 years. The information is coming out now. Most of the skeptics on here look absurd in their attempts to discredit every single snippet that comes out, including the shameless belittlement of an MIT PhD astronaut.

  86. Didn’t you see Twister, with Helen Hunt? Geez….

  87. I just wrote an entry on this fellow on my website. Clearly he’s lying, though I don’t know entirely why (perhaps he has a book coming out?). It’s very sad, really, that his legacy is being ruined by these stupid remarks he’s making.

  88. Franklin D. Fields, Jr.

    Dr. Mitchell is not the only one that has come forward. Remarkable evidence is available proving that UFOs and ETs have visited our planet. See (www.disclosureproject.com and http://www.freedomofinfo.org).

    Solid testimony from over 500 corporate and military witnesses has been accumulated by two disclosure initiatives. These disclosure witnesses have openly stated they are willing to testify, under oath and before Congress about their direct encounters with UFO crash site investigations, secret UFO documents, UFO photographic evidence, UFO radar reports and recovered crashed ET vehicles.

    As an Attorney, I can attest that the jurisprudential evidence of this quality does not get any better, especially when witnesses possess the ranks of Brigadier Generals, Commander of ICBM Launch facilities, Senior FAA Crash Site Investigators, astronauts, pilots and officers with above top secret clearance. Men have been executed in the U.S. with far less evidence.

    Other governments have started releasing previously classified data on ETs and UFOs. France was the first, in March 2007 the French National Space Agency placed 1600 previously classified UFO sighting reports into the public domain for examination; beginning the process of full disclosure of non-Earth origin craft. Similarly, the United Kingdom in May 2007 began a disclosure initiative. Other countries have started to follow suit. It is time for the United States to do the same.

    In my personal experience, I was a U.S. Army Major and held a top secret clearance. My awards include the Bronze Star Medal for leadership in combat as well as others. As a result of my positions other officers have confided in me and I have no doubt that there is something to this enigma.

    It is imperative that this issue receive media and elected official attention. It has been acknowledge by the U.S. military and other federal organizations, through freedom of information requests, that files on the subject remain classified. It is time for the country to move toward full disclosure. We the people, have the right to know the whole story.

  89. Peter B

    Goldengood said: “There was a sighting in Stephenville texas just reecntly that was just as impressive. a craft that was over a mile long flew directly over peoples houses and travelled at speeds in excess of 2000 MPH…No sonic boom from brekaing the sound barrier.”

    It’s interesting how stories get inflated with time. According to the MUFON report available at http://www.mufon.com/documents/MUFONStephenvilleRadarReport.pdf the object was likely less than a quarter of a mile across, and was generally tracked at speeds of under 100 mph. That would explain the lack of a sonic boom. There was one anomalous radar blip which, if correct, would have required the object to travel at 2000 mph, which means it’s more likely it was an anomalous radar return. And in any case, the witnesses said they weren’t sure whether they were looking at one object or a group of smaller objects.

    And having read the report, I was less than impressed by some of the witness statements. For example, the MUFON report says one of their witnesses was described as having difficulties understanding the concept of angle of elevation, as in describing how far above the horizon the object was. Worse than that, this was a witness they spoke to in person – how hard is it to explain or understand this sort of concept when you can point to the sky? And worse again, this witness was one of eight witnesses the report says were the most reliable!

    So please don’t go saying it was an object a mile across travelling at 2000 mph. It was nothing of the sort.

  90. Peter B

    Joseph Capp said: “He walked on the Moon has a PHD and says he knows we have been in contact with ETs not does not say he believes.”

    Buzz Aldrin has also walked on the Moon and also has a Ph.D. But he isn’t saying governments around the world have been in contact with Extraterrestrials. Who should we believe? Mitchell or Aldrin?

    “So he is either a liar or you wouldn’t even respect anyone no matter what character they possess on this topic.”

    That, sir, is a false dichotomy. There are other alternatives than “He’s a liar” and “He’s telling the truth”. He could also be mistaken.

    “Finally I believe Dr. Mitchell statements regarding the UFO reality should stir in the hearts of most fair minded people that the UFO subject should be at least looked into seriously again especially after what happened with the Stephenville TX. radar Tapes proven there were UFOs there right where the witnesses said they were.”

    Yes, an unidentified flying object. I’ve read the MUFON report about Stephenville, and I see little evidence for an alien spacecraft. My explanation would be a group of helicopters flying slowly at a moderate altitude in poor light.

  91. Greg in Austin

    Wow, this topic just gets better and better!

    Appeal to authority…

    My favorite argument so far has to be, “What evidence do you have for the existence of tornados?” LOL

    No reason to argue against the UFO=Aliens crowd, since they shoot themselves in the foot far better than we could!

    8)

  92. Astro Phys.

    Ed Mitchell is like a lot of people. He has his weak spots in accepting some paranormal bs.
    Otherwise he’s a nice guy.

  93. Peter B

    Stating Obvious said: “The manhattan project was concealed for many years, yet it involved not only tens of thousands of individuals, but large scale building projects as well. The government can obfuscate by many means. The B2 bomber and stealth technology was kept secret (by definition a conspiracy) from the public for decades, though known by a large number of people, thus a large number of people can conspire to keep things “secret” or withheld from public knowledge quite sucessfully.”

    The Manhattan Project was kept secret from the public for about three years, which isn’t very long. Despite the level of security, the Soviets knew pretty much all about it, thanks to their spies.

    The impression I have of the B-2 bomber is that the time from its development to its first public display was no more than about 15 years. In any case, the relevant stealth technology is highly specialised, and thus easier to keep secret than something as large as aliens being in contact with governments around the world for 60 years.

    The point I’m making is that if you want to keep something secret for a long time, it had better not be a Big Thing involving lots of people.

    “A reasonable person learns to extrapolate, if there are billions of stars in our galaxy, and one (earth) has intelligent life, simple mathematics says in a universe of billions of galaxies at the least a few hundred intelligent life forms must exist.”

    I don’t think anyone is arguing with this. What we’re arguing with is the certainty that some of these intelligent life forms are buzzing around the Earth, interacting with governments for the past 60 years.

    “Do not dismiss Dr. Mitchell because he throws your own belief systems into doubt, and do not demand proof from him,”

    Why not? He’s the one making the claim.

    “…instead ask your governments, those political bodies supposedly beholden to the citizens from whom their very power and being springs, to release all their secret files. You might be suprised at what you will find, amongst the widespread cases of hidden malfeasance and wide-spread financial looting by those entrenched in the military-industrial state, there will be evidence of the unexplainable as well as the locations of recovered debris from ufo crashes.”

    So if they say they have no evidence to release, you’ll say they’re just holding on to it. Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, there’s no evidence to release. What would convince you that they’re telling the truth?

    “Deniability will become ever louder while appearing ever more ineffective much like George Bush claiming he doesn’t torture while document after document surfaces to prove his government does torture and with the implicit consent of the President.”

    The difference is that evidence of the use of torture is being produced, from various sources – documentary, statements from victims, and statements from perpetrators – all pointing in the same direction. It’s called a consilience of evidene. By contrast, evidence of alien spacecraft isn’t being produced.

  94. Pop

    @amphiox… your arguements are tainted by your repeated use of, “…drunk truck drivers…” Surely you mean drivers of pickups and other small non-comercial trucks. The professional drivers of big trucks are held to high standards of sobriety from both alcohol and drugs. The tens of thousands of company and independant truck drivers who reliably bring all you goods to stores near you are seldom drunk, especially behind the wheel of a “big rig.” Like any other segement of our society, there are the few who will occassionally get drunk, but when their very livelyhood depends on them being sober, they will not drink and drive very long. Most companies have strick rules including random testing that is rigerous and often. Any driver caught drunk, or even involved in an off-duty drinking offense may lose the employement status he/she worked hard to get. You seem to have fallen for TV and movie stereotypical concepts of professional drivers. Most drivers are not some half-baked, back-woods, rednecks from the hills, having more teeth than IQ.

  95. andyo

    Pop, you’re hilarious.

    Did you guys see the excuses NASA gave?

  96. Quiet Desperation

    As if any government in any democracy could keep anything secret for more than a few years.

    Well… I sometimes work with classified stuff, and get occasional briefings. There *are* secrets kept very well by the U.S. government, and a handful that are older than some people on this message board. I believe there’s still a few that carry a potential death penalty if compromised.

    No, I’m not saying Mitchell’s comments are anything but woo, but secrets *can* be kept if enough effort is made and sufficient incentive exists.

  97. Quiet Desperation

    We have governments that cannot coverup a simple break in, a tryst in the White House, or trade deals between Iran and the contras.

    Not so good examples. Watergate (I assume that’s the break in you mean) and Monicagate (don’t you hate the *-gate meme?) were not organized, classified operations. The Iran/Contra deal had too many segments outside the sphere of influence of the usual rigamarole of classified information control.

  98. andyo

    The Iran/Contra deal had too many segments outside the sphere of influence of the usual rigamarole of classified information control.

    Isn’t that exactly what makes it a good example in this case?

    Anyway, Phil, is youtube linking not allowed or something? I’d posted a link to Friday’s Top Ten on Letterman which talked about this, but the comment got yanked (I saw it posted, and later it was gone).

  99. andyo

    Damn! Now I see it again! ALIENS playing with my mind to undermine my credibility!

    Never mind about the youtube comment then.

  100. Quiet Desperation

    Do you believe in love? show me the evidence of love.

    Try Monica’s blue dress.

    No. You didn’t just read that. Move along.

  101. Quiet Desperation

    Isn’t that exactly what makes it a good example in this case?

    Dunno. We’re discussing classified information that no one knows anything about and probably does not exist. :-)

    However, given that no real evidence exists of a government coverup, that does suggest possible limitations and boundaries when conjecturing about any hypothetical operation. I have to assume that these hypothetical secrets are not released to anyone not heavily controlled and handled by the government. You need to construct a scenario that leads to the current real world situation of no public evidence. You savvy?

    X-Files was fiction, but I thought they presented a decently believable scenario without too much belief suspension. Tightly controlled information in the hands of a few people who had an almost fanatical devotion to keeping the secret, and quick elimination of even potential leaks.

  102. Quiet Desperation said:

    “Do you believe in love? show me the evidence of love.

    Try Monica’s blue dress.

    No. You didn’t just read that. Move along.”

    Thanks for that mental image. I will never ever wear a blue dress again.

    And, no, you didn’t just read that either. Move along.

  103. andyo

    Also, the love thing is such a bad analogy, and religionists and woo peddlers are always touting it.

    Love is a feeling, we feel it, therefore the feeling exists. By definition. We don’t doubt the feeling of god, many of us have felt it before even. Now, that it is a god, that is something else.

    For instance, when a guy does something horrible out of “love”, appalled romantics go “that’s not real love”. I think it is. What that person felt was love, he just acted upon it in a twisted way, that’s all. He thought he’d get the attention of the loved one(s), or he was doing something good for them.

    Similarly, even as an “atheist” I do believe people feel god and act upon it, sometimes in twisted ways, but there is no such thing as a “real” god that is telling you how you should act, in the same way that love does not tell us how we should act. It is common sense and rationality, and maybe even some instincts that tell us that.

  104. andyo

    Quiet Desperation,

    Yeah, but the point was just that this kind of information would be uncontainable, just like you said the Contra deal was. And the X files? I liked it, but come on. Thing is that it wouldn’t take just the US government to hide something like this, it would take other governments as well, some of which surely could benefit by exposing the US govt. with such a massive conspiracy. Hence, there could be no tight control of information in the hands of a few people. That was the point. There are many people who believe they have seen this, some of whom seem credible, as per the original post here, and at least these could have been taken care of by such a conspiratorial government.

  105. pete

    easy to keep secret – look at nuclear secrets – area 51 – jfk etc – they have the official secrets act and executive powers that can keep the lid of secrecy for many years – maybe even levels of “secret government” … very possible. In fact buzz (aldrin) recently said the same – and applause to them – they had “access” and had to be prepared for any eventuality – i actually think bart sibrel is brave – asking for disclosure – but neil said he didn’t “deserve” answers !! Do we ????j

  106. Todd W.

    @andyo

    You brought up a point that I was going to make. Any sort of cover-up would take more than just the U.S. government. It seems the assumption that it’s only the U.S. that we’re talking about that needs to be keeping things under wraps.

    Okay, suppose we also include the U.K., Germany, Russia, China…y’know, the “big boys”. Their governments are pretty decently organized, with pretty good resources, on average. Perhaps they might also be able to keep every little bit of “proof” hidden from the general public and prying reporters.

    Now, what about the up-and-comers, like Brazil and Argentina? Now what about all the other countries all over the world? Maybe we can assume that the aliens avoid places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and so on, because of all the fighting there. But do they really only pay visits to places that are able to cover it up? Seriously?

  107. Right there with you Phil.
    As I said in a recent post at Space Disco, I need to see the aliens march out of Wright Pat before I “believe” anything.
    Also, we have a curious interview with Mitchell posted on Discovery Space: http://dsc.discovery.com/space/qa/alien-ufo-edgar-mitchell.html
    As usual: lots of claims, no names, and no evidence.

  108. TheBlackCat

    @ Quiet Desperation:

    I believe there’s still a few that carry a potential death penalty if compromised.

    I think that is the key issue here. Members of the government, including a former astronaut and member of Parliament from Canada have been discussing this openly for years. If there was a major government conspiracy going on, why are they allowed to talk freely about it? Why are they still alive? If there is a government conspiracy the U.S. government at least is not trying very hard to keep it under wraps.

    Of course you could say that because they talked openly about it then it would be too suspicious to “disappear” them. But think about the implications of that: anyone who speaks freely about this is automatically safe. Considering the disaster that would supposedly unfold if this stuff became public knowledge, anyone with inside knowledge but hasn’t spoken out is in danger of being eliminated to prevent any further leaks, especially when people are supposedly figuring out the conspiracy. Insiders would actually be safer if they spilled the beans on the whole deal. The same goes for the 9-11 truthers and the moon hoax theorists or any other giant conspiracy. The fact that people who speak openly about it are still alive means that the safest thing to do for people with inside knowledge is to speak openly as well. As long as they keep quiet, they are a liability that the people behind the conspiracy can decide to eliminate at any point. Because there is no apparent connection there would be no suspicion. Yet they don’t make any such efforts to protect themselves.

  109. Its a Catch-22.. Some things are just so powerful that no one person/country/religion would want to to let it happen or make it public.

    whether its true or not is beyond the point.. the irony of it all is that our government keeps things under wraps and tries to protect us from ourselves.. same goes for any government. IF we had a real representative country then we very well may have an ambassador to the cosmos with a budget / science / research arm to try and discover other intelligent beings or forms of life but the fact of the matter is our government and religious systems are so naive that they survive merely upon us being the highest form of life and anything that ads doubt to that would be detrimental to their power and their views of our existence.

  110. andyo

    I would think whether it’s true or not is pretty much the point. Government hiding not stuff is just a (non)argument from the UFOlogist camp, but I’m pretty sure what we’re all trying to get here is simply the truth. What you seem to imply is conspiracy for conspiracy’s sake. At least I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the UFOlogists that what they seek is the truth, not just conspiracy, however misguided they might be.

  111. d g b

    Something that no one has pointed out thus far: the simple fact that he WENT TO THE MOON doesn’t lend any credibility because…wait for it…the aliens are supposedly HERE, not on the Moon. It’s like depending upon an “expert” to describe the island of Fiji because he’s traveled to Vancouver. I know, I know, his ‘access to the space program’ and all those smart people who are ‘in the know’ lends credibility to him for those who wish for him to be credible. If he was describing a strange thrust phenomenon that occurs in a gravity anomaly while landing on the Moon…ok, his experience lends credibility to his accounts. But secondhand information for something that supposedly happened (happens) HERE is not made fact (or rational or credible) by reason of him having gone THERE.

  112. Conley Powell

    I don’t take these fantasies any more seriously than I take Mitchell’s other fantasies. But I must point out that “The Government couldn’t cover all this up” isn’t a valid argument. The Government hasn’t covered “all this” up; if they had, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The Government has just denied “all this”, and denial can easily go on forever, whether it’s honest or not. (And, since there’s good reason to think that, in this case, the denial is honest, and no real evidence that it isn’t, I’m assuming for the time being that it is.)

  113. ND

    “A reasonable person learns to extrapolate, if there are billions of stars in our galaxy, and one (earth) has intelligent life, simple mathematics says in a universe of billions of galaxies at the least a few hundred intelligent life forms must exist.”

    This has been mentioned several times as if scientists and astronomers like BA are completely ignorant of the statistic possibility of life in our galaxy alone. The issue as it has been mentioned before is whether intelligent life has discovered the ability to travel light years to earth just to put probes in humans. If you think alien-UFO skeptics are missing the big picture by not understanding the billions-and-billions argument then you don’t understand them and their arguments.

    “What evidence do you have for the existence of tornados, other than the rare footage (usually taken by people running away) and the anecdotal stories by people who have witnessed them. Photographs in todays world are not valid evidence as they can be fudged. What less evidence is their for UFO’s ?”

    This discussion has officially jumped the shark with the tornado analogy. Rare footage? There are tons of *detailed* footage of tornados, with debris floating floating in them. There are a ton scientific measurements that clearly show the very nature of tornados. The alien-UFO equivalent might be Independence Day style display of an alien space craft where there would not be any doubt about it’s nature.

  114. Conley Powell

    By the way, I’m not saying that I don’t take UFOs seriously…although it gets harder and harder as time goes by. I’m saying that I don’t take seriously the assertion that the Government knows The Truth and is covering it up. There’s no real reason to believe that the Government is covering up anything but ignorance and incompetence…as usual.

  115. Mind Ecdysiast

    Okay, you got me. Why is it that when there are videos or photos, if its blurry it can be anything, but if it is sharp and distinguishable then it is a fake. Why is it that when a person has an experience they are nuts, but when they are skeptics that have never experienced an event, they are experts!

    Dr. Mitchell talks about his experiences, not made up theoretical skeptic stuff. Has any skeptic ever proven their own theory to be true? Because if that is true then, where is the proof that they do no missinterpret or falsify their results? Who can prove him correct? Another skeptic?

    Do you see where I am going with this? There has to be a point where we start to admit to ourselves that we are not the only God given populous of this Universe. There has to be a reason for the reporting of more than a hundred sightings a month throughout the US alone. Just because you have not experienced a visitation or seen a UFO does not mitigate the fact that others may have.

    As far as proof, are you really sure the Earth is not flat?, Where are all the giant squid? How about the Thylamycin? Up until last century there was no such thing as Gorillas, hmm.

    Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop looking into the me, myself and I mirror, take the blinders off and look around you, you might discover that there are other people and things besides you in this world…

  116. stating obvious

    2 points,

    point 1
    Hundreds if not thousands of reliable witnesses have reported what seems to be intelligently controlled aircraft/spaceships, these include doctors, airline pilots and U.S. senators and presidents.

    Point 2
    Something happened in Roswell,New Mexico in 1947 that the government attempted to coverup, they have expended an awful lot of time, money, and other resources trying to coverup a “weather balloon” – why so much effort for a rather well known balloon that was not even classified at the time? – this lends credence, that elements within the government are involved in a high level coverup of extra terrestrial craft and their owners.

    As has been shown a conspiracy only need involve 2 or more people to be a conspiracy, and a conspiracy can be kept secret for a very long period of time, with sufficent motivation and resources, both of which the American government has acquired thanks to the cold war, which has destroyed most of the constiutional rights of the citizen, including the knowledge of what their government is doing with their tax money.

    Dr. Mitchell is not the problem here, don’t shoot the messenger cause you don’t like the message. If Dr. Mitchell had proof, a disk in his garage, I’m sure he’d invite everyone over for a barbecue and cocktails whilst he trotted it out and give all of you rides, unfortunately if any craft do exist, they are in the hands of a few very quiet, very well paid individuals in one of the military branches, a spy agency, or both. That is where to go for your answers, good luck, until you can change the laws that allow a secret government to exist in the midst of a dying democracy, you will get what you have now, rumours, innuendo and chat room flame wars. This is not the place to waste your time and energies, if you truly want to know about extraterrestial craft, start changing your government, not attacking each other.

  117. This thread just gets better and better. So, we’re not suppose to ask those that are actually making claims for evidence for these claims, but rather we’re suppose to ask the government (who are not making these claims) and when the government says they’ve got nothing then it’s because they are hiding something. I’m getting dizzy going around in that circle.

  118. d g b

    Uhh, Stating Obvious….have you ever been in the military or a ‘spy agency,’ or known anyone who is or was? Because I’d LOVE to see the pay scale you are referring to for the “very well paid individuals.” There’s a reason why some people feel compelled to sell state secrets – and its mostly to do with the amount of money that they are NOT getting paid by the US to keep the secrets. It seems like an awful lot of energy spent in complicated and factually unfounded reasoning to justify a belief in something.

    Jewel is right. The whole argument is and always has been circular.

  119. Thomas Siefert

    You know… erm… No!, I was going to say something but it’s like shouting in a matchbox, filled with plasterboard and hope.

  120. Greg in Austin

    “Hundreds if not thousands of reliable witnesses have reported what seems to be intelligently controlled aircraft/spaceships, these include doctors, airline pilots and U.S. senators and presidents.”

    And yet they have NO PROOF that these intelligently controlled aircraft are anything other than helicopters, balloons, floating candles, flares, or any other terrestrial craft. And for some reason, they still get reported in the media.

    Why is it that when some moron in Wales mistakes the Moon for a UFO, it makes headlines?

    Why aren’t the THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of amateur and professional astronomers, with all of their expensive equipment and millions of man-hours watching the sky, making daily claims of seeing alien spaceships? Oh, that’s right, only doctors, police, pilots and senators can see aliens!

    Mitchell made the claim, Mitchell has to provide the evidence. Otherwise, he’s just another human who believes something they cannot prove.

    8)

  121. Quiet Desperation

    You ever heard of Doppler radar? Tornadoes are measurable, genius. They have measurable, observable characterstics and leave unmistakable physical evidence.

    Not to mention Discovery Channel with it’s dozens of tornado shows containing hours of footage and first hand accounts. And I watch every single one of them. :-) When I retire, I’m *so* hooking up with a good storm chaser outfit.

    I also saw one firsthand when my family was moving from the east coast to the west coast and we drove across the country back in 1976.

    Of course you could say that because they talked openly about it then it would be too suspicious to “disappear” them. But think about the implications of that: anyone who speaks freely about this is automatically safe.

    Ah, but that’s the beauty of it, you see? ;-)

    Or that what the woos say is completely wrong even if the government does have aliens hidden in someone’s basement. Or deliberate disinfo. There’s a lot of ways to go with this. The problem is that none of us has real world experience in containing information about aliens, so it’s all just speculation anyway. For me, the simple difficulty of interstellar travel is sufficient for me to generally ignore the woo-FO crowd.

    Look, my only point was that “the government couldn’t keep it a secret” is a weak argument. I don’t believe that alien spaceships are coming to Earth in secret. I’m not even sure I like the idea of that. If they are, what are those little buggers up to?

  122. TheBlackCat

    Hundreds if not thousands of reliable witnesses have reported what seems to be intelligently controlled aircraft/spaceships, these include doctors, airline pilots and U.S. senators and presidents.

    “seem to be” is the key word. Things are not always what they seem, especially considering how unreliable human senses and memories are.

    Something happened in Roswell,New Mexico in 1947 that the government attempted to coverup, they have expended an awful lot of time, money, and other resources trying to coverup a “weather balloon” – why so much effort for a rather well known balloon that was not even classified at the time? – this lends credence, that elements within the government are involved in a high level coverup of extra terrestrial craft and their owners.

    No, all it lends credence to is the idea is that it was something other than a weather balloon. Perhaps, say, a top-secret government project to monitor soviet nuclear weapons tests.

    As has been shown a conspiracy only need involve 2 or more people to be a conspiracy, and a conspiracy can be kept secret for a very long period of time,

    I would like to see your evidence this conspiracy can be pulled off with a few people, and your evidence that it can be kept secret for “a very long period of time” (which in this case has to be at least 60 years).

  123. TheBlackCat

    Not to mention Discovery Channel with it’s dozens of tornado shows containing hours of footage and first hand accounts.

    I’m not sure Discovery channel is the best authority to site in this debate…

  124. Todd W.

    I’m reminded of the quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin…”Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

  125. Ulric

    The character assassination campaign against Dr. Mitchell has just been officially launched by the MSM (at least, that’s what the title of the story suggests): http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=5451107&page=1

    That was to be expected. If you can’t ignore or dismiss him anymore, then demean him. How about giving his story a fair coverage for a change? Let’s hear both sides of the alley, have a sound debate and then let people make their own minds? Now, why do I have a feeling this is not going to happen in the MSM? Oh yes, of course! The answer is: we’re too busy talking about Obama’s world tour, Angelina’s in vitro twins or Kirstie Alley’s weight problems, so don’t bother us with such nonsense.

  126. Daniel

    Ok…Prove to me that Ed Mitchell is lying. Sure he does not have proof, but neither do you Phil.

  127. ProCyan

    Here is the argument: There are LGM because there are LGM.
    Here is the rebuttal: There are no LGM because there are no LGM.

    Here is science: Ho = There are no LGM.

    Now you may either falsify the hypothesis or you may die in the trying O passionate Woo

  128. James

    Argument from authority is both useful and appropriate in this situation if Dr Mitchell feels it’s truly important for people to be aware of what he knows.
    If it’s true that there is a well orchestrated cover-up of alien visitation, then the use of authority, or credibility would be the only way to let people know what is going on. Even if empirical evidence was available, only people with appropriate training would have a chance of understanding it, so argument from authority would necessarily be the only way to get the word out.
    If I were running such a pentagon cover-up, I would do exactly was is claimed is being done. I would make it top priority to scan for, and secure, any hard evidence, and I would deliberately not secure the fuzzy photos and other fuzzy evidence. The mountain of fuzzy evidence creates a “cry wolf,” effect. The “cry wolf effect” makes it so that if any hard evidence is exposed, people won’t take it too seriously at first, providing the time to acquire the evidence and replace it with something fuzzy. Fuzzy evidence also insures that only people who are easily marginalized would be taking it seriously.
    The more fundamental questions in the case of Edgar Mitchell are not if there are aliens visiting the earth, or if the government is covering it up, but rather, is it important that aliens are visiting the earth? and is it important for people to know or not know? Finally, is it useful to bother hiding alien visitation?
    What is never addressed to my satisfaction by those promoting alien visitation and cover-up is, what does the government, or whatever power elites, stand to gain by the cover-up? What motivates the cover-up? I would love to hear what people think the motivation for the cover-up might be.
    Perhaps it’s fear of mass panic? In my experience, however, people just aren’t that panicky. Did native Americans panic when Cortez showed up, or Columbus? (Perhaps they should have, but they didn’t.)
    I think the various power elites are smart enough to know that people need structure and security, and won’t go crazy. So, if not that, what? Government cover-ups, or rather assigning classification to information, is usually done for national security purposes. The information about alien visitors appears to have similar national security implications to the coming of the Sun or the Moon. Certainly the coming of the Sun or the Moon can have important national security implications, but since there’s no way to do anything about them, there’s no point in marking them as classified. If these aliens are as powerful as believed, and since their footprint is so small that we are debating if they exist or not, then there is certainly nothing we can do about their coming and going, and they don’t seem to matter that much, so why bother marking them as classified?
    So, I would really like for someone to tell me what motivates the cover-up.
    Now, mind you, I found Dr. Mitchell to be completely credible in his assertions. His explanations are completely consistent with my own experience of the way the military approaches such things. To me, he’s obviously telling the truth.
    Maybe the answer to my question is hidden somewhere in the alleged fact that the craft at Roswell crashed. Maybe the aliens aren’t so all powerful. Their stuff crashes. That actually answers a lot.

  129. John

    Why doesn’t any sceptic debate him face to face, and ask him for some evidence. So far only radio and news media have interviewed him. Maybe he’ll take you to see the old timers and the pentagon official he was referring to and then you can bring some evidence back that you desperately want. Find out if one of them says they actually saw an alien alive that has been claimed by Mitchell to have survived the crash. Find out why someone would say that if there’s no evidence for each specific person to give you, instead of speculating a thousand reasons why they are wrong, go find the actual or most likely reason. When you can do that the case will be closed, until then this is unresolved.

    The link in the story above to the guardian story is doesn’t treat the story fairly enough. As a scientist you should link to the story which has only known facts stated and not over the top bias towards him being a luna loony, as you wouldn’t link to a story more in his favour would you! It’s right to not accept what he’s saying without any proof provided, but some parts of the media has shown a lack of respect. What do they have to lose by just reporting the facts alone that we know, especially when reporters are often clueless, and without ridiculing anyone. If evidence came out tomorrow those particular newspapers would incur a much greater loss than they would by appearing to be unbiased. This is a great shame as all mainstream media is sooo scared of being ridiculed themselves that they feel this is necessary, but I really hope that if Mitchell turns out to be right, they pay for it dearly, not just for the news story on Mitchell, but for every unexplained ufo report they have ridiculed.

  130. Starmanjones

    ok, the basics of what ya say i agree with. mitchell probably thinks it too. he has exchanged believe for know recently. he doesn’t claim to be right because he walked on the moon. he claims its allowed him to associate with high level people who do have real knowledge.

    so he is one of the following. nuts. a liar. a shill. or truthful. nobody has accused him of being any of the first three. here is my current thought… there are people who claim to have evidence. and they might. i haven’t seen it. but what i do see is a very large number of well place and formerly well placed people telling this sort of story. how many need to make the claim before it goes from “doubtful antipodal” to “hard to impeach anecdotal.”

    believe me i’m stuck here. because the odds that high functioning, highly placed people all falling victim of a mass delusion or conspiracy are about the same as aliens visiting us. the people making the claims of government cover up have entirely different properties than someone working in a covert operation. if any group of people could hide something it would be them. and some would say that they haven’t been totally successful. it feels like you are supporting dogma and not science proper. the first step in nearly all scientific discovery is likely making a statement that you can’t support. if he knows he knows. evidence in the form of trust in word of people he associates with is reasonable. should it be enough to sway you. no. but if you had this knowledge would you keep quiet? would you tell people even if you couldn’ t put a piece of alien spacecraft in my hand? i couldn’t.

  131. Celtic_Evolution

    @ John

    but I really hope that if Mitchell turns out to be right, they pay for it dearly, not just for the news story on Mitchell, but for every unexplained ufo report they have ridiculed.

    Yeah… and I really hope the burrito I just ate doesn’t give me crippling gas pains later on… but I’m pretty sure I know how that’s gonna turn out too.

    Hoping for something doesn’t make it any more true… and hoping for something just so you can say “in your FACE… HAH!” is a little sadistic, frankly.

    However, it’s the “I really wish it were true” that gives crap like this legs in the first place. Same goes for bigfoot, Nessie, Chupacabra, etc… none of them have any credible evidence, yet they all have anough “material” for the History Channel to have day-long marathons about them. It’d be really cool is Santa brought me a new scope this year… but I’m not gonna hold my breath…

    HOWEVER… won’t you all feel stupid if I wake up Christmas morning and catch the jolly fatso in the act! (And no, I don’t mean my mother-in-law).

  132. John

    @ Celtic_Evolution

    You’re one to talk, you enjoy (since you spend your time) telling people that they haven’t said what they thought they have witnessed. In many cases people would like to know what they saw and aren’t happy with explanations sometimes given. That is sadistic, as the witness never did anything wrong to you, and it’s not as though you were there when the witness had a sighting. But then again of course a scientific approach knows that it is impossible for the witness description to be accurate, without any physical evidence to show you, so you think you’re just pointing out the truth and therefore don’t feel that you’re being sadistic. But in actual fact people just like you who probably haven’t claimed to encounter anything unusual, just don’t realise how sadistic you make yourself appear.

    I know hoping for something doesn’t make it true, where the hell did I say that hoping makes something a fact. I said IF proof was found the media will regret the ridicule, as they will look silly. They would have done something wrong and cruel to others so why is it wrong to hope for justice in the event of some kind of disclosure.

  133. John

    You do realise that media slandering has resulted in compensation, the media are and always will be help accountable to anything they print.

  134. Celtic_Evolution

    John –

    Is there an echo in here? It seems as if I’ve heard this all before…

  135. Don Snow

    Hi, Phil –

    I submit, that Mitchell and the other astronauts produced either a new reality, or added the solar system to lay people’s realities.

    Imho, those men, especially Mitchell, are very much in touch with all of reality.

    Respectfully,
    Don

  136. Don Snow

    Hi, John –

    “But then again of course a scientific approach…”

    Well, sir, to my experience and knowledge, the scientific approach does not recognize anecdotal information.
    Which makes them appear narrow minded to people of a different perspective.

    Imho, there are hundreds of different, and equally valid, perceptions:
    Science: Math, Physics, medical, astronomy, evolution, biology, paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, etc.
    Legal: legislation, judicial, clerical, lawyers, law enforcement, etc.
    Military: training, supply, morale, command, politcal, etc.
    Political: organization, directing, voting, etc.
    Educational: learn the curricula, orgainize the curricula, present the curricula, evaluate students’ reception and retention of curricula, student behavior, etc.
    Religion: Relationships between Creator and creature, relationships between creatures, definition of terms, relationships between religions, soliciting funds (similar to science and politics, there, grin), similar to education, etc.

    And on and on, more and more subcatogoiries to each of the above topics.

    And, some people in each of the above catagories think they have the magic wand to cure the world’s ills. And, so, make the rest of us miserable.

    Or, do you see it that way?

    Respectfully,
    Don

  137. Peter B

    John said: “Why doesn’t any sceptic debate him face to face, and ask him for some evidence. So far only radio and news media have interviewed him. Maybe he’ll take you to see the old timers and the pentagon official he was referring to and then you can bring some evidence back that you desperately want. Find out if one of them says they actually saw an alien alive that has been claimed by Mitchell to have survived the crash. Find out why someone would say that if there’s no evidence for each specific person to give you, instead of speculating a thousand reasons why they are wrong, go find the actual or most likely reason. When you can do that the case will be closed, until then this is unresolved.”

    Why is it our job to find this evidence? If these people have this evidence, why don’t they simply produce it? After all, if skeptics go looking for the evidence and don’t find it, what does that prove? People will say we didn’t look hard enough.

    I’m not going to rule out the *possibility* that aliens have been visiting Earth for the past 60 years, and that governments around the world have been co-operating in keeping all this silent. But I’m skeptical on two main grounds. Firstly, the only evidence which seems to have been produced is words from people, not documentary or other solid evidence. Secondly, it seems so unlikely that governments of all political persuasions could agree on anything for so long, let alone something as unusual as this. Do you remember the Cold War and the rhetoric that both sides let loose? Are you suggesting at the same time that the USA, the USSR, China, and various other nations were discussing a topic that would make the Cold War irrelevant?

  138. Faith of Duke, Glenn, Irwin

    Atheists here who like mocking people for their faith would do well to notice that of the Moon-walkers many if not all held a genuine and true Christian faith.

    Charles Duke from Apollo 16 and James Irwin from Apollo 15 were both Christian ministers and preachers in addition to being astronauts and national heroes.

    Sadly, Edgar Mitchell so far has put his soul’s trust into the unsatisfying potporri that is the broad New Age cult or of ill-defined assortment of cults and his current trouble and pitifully silly statements are a testament to how badly his “New Age” idols are guiding him.

    I suppose you could call that evidence of something if you have eyes to see …

    PS. I understand Dr Phil Plait has already met Charles Duke, the Moon-Walker and and Christian Preacher and that Duke helped him with his Moon-hoax page and treated him courteously and well. Atheists may do well to consider that example before lashing out in juvenile tirades scoffing at the Christian faith of Charles Duke, James Irwin and John Glenn to name just three of our nations greatest sons and which they refuse to tolerate in their hard-hearted and wrong-headed wilful godlessness.

  139. Faith of Duke, Glenn, Irwin

    Adendum to clarify my post above.

    Charles Duke is a current Christian Preacher as he is still living in this world.

    The Late James Irwin is no longer with us as he has sadly passed from this Earth and is now with the Lord.

    Of the 12 men who walked on the Moon 3 went on to preach the gospel of Christ and another, Edgar Mitchell, sadly, has fallen into the New Age Cult where I believe he has his worshippers.

    However, none, not a single one of these highly-trained, well-educated, highly-intelligent true American heroes is an atheist. Not a one of the Moon-walkers, America’s cream of the cream mocks God and claims there is no God.

    Perhaps all the snide and childish athiests onthis website who appear to have Dawkins as their false idol would benefit from musing on that point.

  140. Don Snow

    @ Phil

    Have you considered or tried to arrange an interview between you and Ed Mitchell?

  141. Todd W.

    @John

    “In many cases people would like to know what they saw and aren’t happy with explanations sometimes given.”

    Just because someone isn’t happy with the explanation doesn’t make the explanation false. This comment seems like you are justifying the “fingers in the ear, going la-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you” response.

    Once again, you seem to be putting far too much stock in witness accounts and poo-pooing approaches that question those accounts, regardless of how those approaches are presented. While I agree that the emotional response of the witness should be considered, and that it must be understood that, for them, the account as they describe it is as real as the ground beneath their feet, I don’t see the need to coddle them and say “yes, yes, you must be right,” especially if they are going out with their story to the greater public.

    If someone goes out to the masses with some account of a UFO event, whether that it was an “alien” explanation or maintaining that “we just don’t know”, despite evidence that it was, indeed, a mundane event, then I believe there is a duty to speak out and tell the truth of the matter, even if they genuinely believe their own story and are not actively lying, and even if telling that truth upsets them. In particular, if they are presenting their explanation as sound and scientific, perhaps even having a web site to “get the word out”, then there is a duty to counter them with the truth. The truth may just be “the data do not support your conclusion” all the way up to “it was Venus/a meteor/reflection off a cloud/an airplane/a lantern/etc.”

    Now, if it’s just some Joe Schmoe telling his story to some friends or refusing to accept any explanation that doesn’t jive with his interpretation… Meh. Let him. He wants to believe it, fine. He doesn’t want to accept the rational explanation (either that jumping to “it’s aliens” is unwarranted or that it was something ordinary and natural), let him, as long as it has no major negative impact on the public at large.

  142. Irusan

    Leprecauns, fairies, demons and gods are very useful to conjure if you want to use ridicule these days. Centuries ago, however, they inspired the same terror that contactees report today. I think Vallee was on the right track in Passport to Magonia. Ce’st un phenomenon sociologique. Something is happening, but we don’t know what it is, yet. The most unscientific attitude is the one that so many scientists can’t resist taking: we know all there is to know, and if we can’t explain it, it is nonsense and worthy of ridicule. There are so many weird aspects to UFO’s that don’t fit the extraterrestrial theory. So many assumptions are being tossed around.
    Like, if “they” were from elsewhere, why would they choose to contact George W. Bush? Would
    you, superior intelligent beings??

  143. Sane Man

    I can’t believe that a supposed science magazine would employ such a close minded individual or head the story with such a title. How generous of you to write “I strongly suspect there are aliens elsewhere in the Universe as well.”

    Discover this; You must have a clue as to how vast the Universe is and the potential number of planets it contains. Do you truly believe we puny, violent and inceasingly dumbed down humans actually are the sole inhabitants? Or that we would be at the pinnacle of existance? I’d wager you attend one of the caveman invented major religions and picture god in man’s image don’t you? Or perhaps you’ve been in upper space or have access to government files. You mention the White House……do you believe any damn thing this government says anymore?

  144. John

    @ Todd W.

    “Just because someone isn’t happy with the explanation doesn’t make the explanation false. ”

    You’re the one that hasn’t understood a word of anything I’ve said on any forum to you. I’ve already explained that most of your points are agreeable, except for a few sightings, including mine where your points are completely invalid.

    “This comment seems like you are justifying the “fingers in the ear, going la-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you” response.”

    There are those that have done that after their sighting you’re correct about that, but I’m not one of those. That must be almost impossible for you to accept, but for my case and therefore likely for some others, that is true. So it’s you really that’s the one going “la-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you”.

    @ Celtic_Evolution

    “Is there an echo in here? It seems as if I’ve heard this all before…”

    For once in your life really wonder why people are insisting on what I’m saying, intead of being a clown.

    @ Peter B.

    “Why is it our job to find this evidence? If these people have this evidence, why don’t they simply produce it? After all, if skeptics go looking for the evidence and don’t find it, what does that prove? People will say we didn’t look hard enough.”

    Well at least some sceptic who’s convinced there’s no existing physical evidence and wishes to spend their time repeating it, could at least offer an interview to the astronaut. I wasn’t suggesting every sceptic should go do that. Maybe Phil would offer an interview. I would find it interesting for someone to really grill Mitchell on this, but I don’t think anyone has the heart to say to an American hero face-to-face that he’s wrong.

    “Do you remember the Cold War and the rhetoric that both sides let loose? Are you suggesting at the same time that the USA, the USSR, China, and various other nations were discussing a topic that would make the Cold War irrelevant?”

    How would you know all sides were aware of what went off, and maybe it was in their best interests to keep quiet. All goverments need an economy fuelled by oil, they wouldn’t want some alternate ‘free’ energy source appearing over-night. If something was classified above top secret in the US, then nobody in frontline goverment that deals with the public would have a need to know, not even the President. In theory it could work, it’s not as though it would have been kept completely secret anyway if a few hundred people who have had clearance are now talking about it. We just don’t know about how strict goverment policy could have been for something that happened during the early Cold War. It would be really funny if Mitchell is right and nobody in US goverment knows anything about it, except for a few retired officers, astronauts etc, and records are locked away and they forgot where they put them. Imagine the shame inficted on the World’s biggest super-power if they invited the old-timers to the Whitehouse to brief the President about Roswell. Joking aside, it’s all speculation really, we just haven’t got a clue what could happen if that kind of situation ever occurred.

  145. John

    @ Todd W.

    Further note. I’m not implying that myself or the few others who have witnessed the truly unexplained sightings by well-known or conventional science are of a special nature at all, before you try and use that as a point of argument. It’s just a coincidence that those people have witnessed this, and it can happen to absolutely anyone at any time.

  146. John

    @ Sane Man

    Haha, this magazine website is called “discovermagazine.com”. That is a huge irony in itself with articles like this printed

  147. John

    @ Faith of Duke, Glenn, Irwin

    Go away, this page is about the discussion of extraterrestrial existence not a place to preach religion. The astronauts religious views are irrelevant, they could be wrong about one thing and right about another, or wrong about them both. All rational people say life and even intelligent life is likely elsewhere, the same is not to be said for a god that has to be worshipped. Ordinary well-educated adults claim to have seen ufos which appear like they would expect a craft of some sort to look like, nobody normal claims to witness god. You don’t even have anecdotal evidence to claim for gods existence.

    Also if you bothered to read Mitchell’s interviews he said that he has a belief that the universe as a whole is alive, and all lifeforms are somehow interconnected, therefore having a greater meaning, possibility higher forms of life after death and such. That’s not your traditional worship god or go to hell acceptance, so I wouldn’t say he was as bonkers as you, or anyone else who thinks like you. Mitchell also wouldn’t try and force his theory at people, and I’m sure he admits he cannot prove that. What he’s saying about aliens is completely different, although without evidence, he’s saying he “knows” about what went on. Surely it takes a lot to convince someone of this calibre, all we need is for him to share exactly in detail what has made him say that he “knows”. If he doesn’t then if he’s rational he’ll have to accept that’s only a belief as well.

    There’s not even anecdotal evidence made recently from any credible person for Mitchell’s own religious beliefs mentioned above, and definitely not for your typical religious worshipper nutter belief, but if anyone smart were to imagine higher forms of life, it wouldn’t be like yours, it would be like Mitchell’s. And before you mention it, hearsay thru’ hearsay thru’ another million hearsays – stories written in the bible are not anywhere near worth considering as viable anecdotal evidence. That’s in contrast, science accepts at least that ufo reports can sometimes be useful as anecdotal evidence, but not real proof.

  148. Greg in Austin

    To the John that said, “I’ve already explained that most of your points are agreeable, except for a few sightings, including mine where your points are completely invalid.”

    For the last time, where is your proof? Where is your evidence? I say this to you, and to all of the alleged abductees and UFO fanatics: Put up, or shut up. You are boring up the internets with the same tired lines, “The most amazing out of this world thing happened to me, but only to me, and nobody else saw it, and I have no proof, but I’m sure as I am alive that it really really happened!”

    Puuleeez. There is no real evidence yet of UFO’s being alien, and eyewitness reports on the subject are hogwash. Find a new hobby.

  149. Peter B

    Mind Ecdysiast said: “Okay, you got me. Why is it that when there are videos or photos, if its blurry it can be anything, but if it is sharp and distinguishable then it is a fake. Why is it that when a person has an experience they are nuts, but when they are skeptics that have never experienced an event, they are experts!”

    Who is saying this?

    In my experience, skeptics say a sharp and distinguishable photo or video of a UFO is likely to be a fake for reasons other than that it’s sharp and distinguishable. For example, where people in the photo or video show no sign of reacting to an object which must be directly above them.

    When it comes to being skeptical of personal experiences, it’s because many of the descriptions given make it sound like they’ve mistaken a natural or man-made object for a flying saucer.

    “Do you see where I am going with this? There has to be a point where we start to admit to ourselves that we are not the only God given populous of this Universe.”

    For the eleventy-first time, most skeptics have NO PROBLEM with the idea that there’s Life Out There.

    “There has to be a reason for the reporting of more than a hundred sightings a month throughout the US alone.”

    Unfortunately, past experience shows that, at the least, the vast majority of these sightings are of natural or man-made objects.

    “Just because you have not experienced a visitation or seen a UFO does not mitigate the fact that others may have.”

    Quite true. But as skeptics keep on pointing out, the likelihood that there’s Life Out There doesn’t necessarily mean it’s visiting us.

  150. Peter B

    Daniel said: “Ok…Prove to me that Ed Mitchell is lying. Sure he does not have proof, but neither do you Phil.”

    I have no intention of proving Ed Mitchell is lying, because I don’t think he’s lying. I think he’s mistaken.

    Until people start to produce some hard evidence, I find it hard to believe anything other than that Mitchell and those of similar beliefs are mistaken.

  151. Peter B

    Sane Man said: “Discover this; You must have a clue as to how vast the Universe is and the potential number of planets it contains. Do you truly believe we puny, violent and inceasingly dumbed down humans actually are the sole inhabitants? Or that we would be at the pinnacle of existance? I’d wager you attend one of the caveman invented major religions and picture god in man’s image don’t you? Or perhaps you’ve been in upper space or have access to government files. You mention the White House……do you believe any damn thing this government says anymore?”

    Please see my comment at 9.02pm above.

    And as for the White House, have you read what Phil Plait has to say about the current Administration?

  152. luis

    Irusan Says:
    July 29th, 2008 at 8:02 am
    Leprecauns, fairies, demons and gods are very useful to conjure if you want to use ridicule these days. Centuries ago, however, they inspired the same terror that contactees report today. I think Vallee was on the right track in Passport to Magonia. Ce’st un phenomenon sociologique. Something is happening, but we don’t know what it is, yet. The most unscientific attitude is the one that so many scientists can’t resist taking: we know all there is to know, and if we can’t explain it, it is nonsense and worthy of ridicule. There are so many weird aspects to UFO’s that don’t fit the extraterrestrial theory. So many assumptions are being tossed around.
    Like, if “they” were from elsewhere, why would they choose to contact George W. Bush? Would you, superior intelligent beings??

    Some of Vallee’s past investigatations:
    http://www.scientificexploration.org/jse/articles/ufo_reports/vallee_phys/

    I’m highly skeptical myself but I’m getting tired of all the sniping while some on-going investigation may quell the ever growing imaginations out there and may save some minds/lives.

  153. John

    @ Greg in Austin

    Hahahahahaha you are telling me to find a new hobby, I’m only saying that I witnessed something, fine there’s no evidence, but at least I’m spending my time talking about something which has relevance on my own experience, unlike what you are doing. Do you find it useful pretending you’re an expert on what I and others have seen? How would you know what someone has witnessed. The fact that you feel the need to tell someone they’re wrong, when in actual fact you don’t know what has been witnessed, just like all of us on here, shows how wasteful your life has become. How do you expect anyone who may witness something ususual to retrieve any evidence, as we know photos are worthless to you, so what the HELL do you expect to get. There is no way any witness could satisfy people like you on here, ever! unless you see one yourself, then some twit like you will hopefully ignore you!

    “There is no real evidence yet of UFO’s being alien, and eyewitness reports on the subject are hogwash. ”

    Not to some of the people who see them, you are just too inert to realise that it may be possible. By calling people ufo fanatics you make it sound like they wanted to see something or feel special by seeing something. Fine some are idiots like that, but not everyone is, for some people its just something that happened to them by coincidence. Why do people not put up or shut up when people like you disregard completely? well it’s because they find you utterly disrespectful. I’m not claiming anything was aliens, just that something happened which was unexplained, with no mundane explanation that fits. It doesn’t take much to accept that, I’m not suggesting you accept alien visitation. I cannot accept that as truth at the moment, but it’s becoming more likely. I wonder if the President announced that aliens are here, then you would be so full of your own accepted views alone that you would call him a crank if he didn’t show you evidence right away. The world doesn’t revolve around you alone, and new scientific discoveries will always be made which seem bonkers now, so you should in fact go get a life, and stop slating what you know nothing about.

    I wholly agree with what Mind Ecdysiast said, quoted :

    “Why is it that when a person has an experience they are nuts, but when they are skeptics that have never experienced an event, they are experts!”

    Thank you for putting that in the best words possible.

  154. John

    Does anyone notice that most people commenting here are sceptics, when in a recent survey 70% (seem a bit high I would guess it more 50%) said they believed that aliens have visited earth. And something like 1 in 5 (20%) have seen a ufo, and 1 in 3 (~33%) know someone who’ve seen a ufo. If someone does comment on their sighting, they comment a few times then leave like I will do. Whilst so many sceptics find it so necessary to comment on every single comment on a sighting, I bet they have nothing better to do than tell all the witnesses they’re wrong.

    That is the most sad thing out of this, since the amount of believers and sceptics aren’t too dissimilar, yet we still see more sceptics than believers being so sad and pathetic, feeling the need to repeat the same boring scientific basis over and over again, when they know nobody commenting has the equipment to collect physical evidence from a sighting. I’m not even a total believer in ufos being aliens, yet I still find the way most sceptics here go about they’re business (agreeably correct that no phyical evidence exists for any aliens) as just as pointless than what some total believers in aliens post. Although to witness something unusual and give your opinion that it’s not explained by anything considered mundane, whilst admitting there is a chance it may turn out to be mundane, and saying I just don’t know, is actually quite rational. For sceptics to say “we need physical evidence” is also rational, but to say to someone who witnessed something when you know nothing about it, that they’re wrong is actually irrational, regardless of lack of evidence, at best you can only say you don’t know what happened – which would be rational. For someone to relate their sighting to being aliens is also irrational. So you see, on here people like me are being perfectly rational whilst all the sceptics and total believers are not being fully rational at all.

  155. Peter B

    John said: “All goverments need an economy fuelled by oil, they wouldn’t want some alternate ‘free’ energy source appearing over-night.”

    Why not? When oil first started being widely used, a little over a century ago, it was a much cheaper form of energy than had been used before, but the US Government didn’t try to suppress its use.

    I really don’t see why *governments* would feel so threatened by the promise of cheap energy. I’m sure that there are smart poindexters working for governments who’d find a way of taxing whatever cheap energy system aliens might be willing to offer us. ;-)

    In other words, I don’t think that governments would be trying to keep secret their interactions with aliens in order to prevent us ordinary folks from getting access to cheap energy.

  156. John

    @ Peter B

    Maybe that wouldn’t be a good reason to, maybe there’s other reasons, who knows?

  157. Grammar nazi

    From the first ‘here’ link :

    “For NASA, which has been struggling in recent months with the fall-out from its female astronaut who drove across America to confront a love rival wearing a nappy,”

    The way they’ve described it this means that it was the love rival NOT the deranged female astronaut (named Lisa Novak if memory serves) who was wearing the nappy!

    Hmm.. If I was the male shuttle pilot in question I’d chose the one NOT wearing the nappy to be my girlfriend! ;-)

    That’s a sad incident really – and what’s sadder is that of all the modern (Shuttle-era) astronauts Lisa Novak’s will be probably be the name or, at least, her embarrassing tale that first springs to mind for all too many average people.

    Of interest, without resorting to any references, how many astronauts can people think of & how many are currently “household names”? I suspect that aside from Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and John Glenn, maybe Michael Collins, just perhaps Gus Grissom and Christa MacAuliffe (the teacher who died aboard ‘Challenger’) and now, sadly, Lisa Novak (by reputation if not name) very few other astronauts have instant name recognition for “Joe / Joan public”. :-(

  158. luis

    Some of Vallee’s past investigatations:
    http://www.scientificexploration.org/jse/articles/ufo_reports/vallee_phys/

    I’m highly skeptical myself but I’m getting tired of all the sniping while some on-going investigation may quell the ever growing imaginations out there and may save some minds/lives.

    I meant I’m highly skeptical that extraterrestrials are visiting Earth. The Council Bluffs case looks interesting. Most sightings are explainable, but there are very few exceptional ones that deserve study.

    “metal is observed to be ejected in molten form by an unidentified aerial object” and “it is appropriate to ask under what conditions one might want to use liquid metal in a flying vehicle”

    “In summary, the analysis supports the thesis that an unidentified phenomenon has been repeatedly observed in various parts of the world over a long period, that it manifests through a physical, material support, and that it is amenable to scientific study. On the other hand, the patterns observed in the composition of the samples at our disposal do not point to any clear hypothesis for the nature of the phenomenon.”

    “The fact that no exotic composition was found in these ten cases cannot be used to negate the theory that an advanced technology of unknown origin may have generated the samples. In the case of our own automobile industry, for example, environmentally compliant engines produce more mundane exhaust (such as pure water) than older models, where one could find complex combination of gases.”

  159. Greg in Austin

    John, I would say the same thing to a person who continued to claim they believe in ghosts, ESP, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Aliens, Angels, Leprechauns, Astrology, Psychics, or sees Jesus in Toast: If you can prove scientifically that any of these things exist, then that would be great! Fantastic! But show me, or someone else, your proof. Until then, they are a figment of human imagination.

    Just because you saw something that you cannot explain, does not mean it was unexplainable. With enough evidence, everything that “believers” have claimed as paranormal have turned out to be 100% and completely normal.

    I am certainly no expert on UFO’s or paranormal activity, and I never claimed I was. I am, however, an expert in Reality. And I don’t have to see it to believe it. There are enough scientific experts out there who, if they all agree that “yes, this is true,” then I would probably agree with them. And if I didn’t agree, if I thought they’re wrong, I could test it myself. That’s part of the scientific process, and that’s reality.

    8)

  160. ND

    John,

    You’ve really got some issues with sceptics. You have to understand something, after decades of seeing people be completely convinced ufos are extra-terrestrial based on flimsy evidence, mistaking venus for something else, even falling for faked evidence, one can become cynical and develop a knee-jerk reaction. It becomes hard for a human to evaluate every report of strange lights with an open mind over and over and over again. But there is a point that how a skeptic reacts to someone talking about an “experience” is critical as that person can react defensively when attacked and not listen to the rational point being made.

    Skepticism stems from the understanding that even the most intelligent person, including those that are scientifically trained, are fallible and ignorant in some way or another. That goes for BA too :)

    I really want to know about this unexplainable experience you’ve had. I did not find any details from your previous post.

    “… , I’m not suggesting you accept alien visitation. I cannot accept that as truth at the moment, but it’s becoming more likely.” What’s convinced you that it’s becoming more likely? Ed Mitchell’s comments?

  161. Charly

    If we are being visited by inhabitants of other planets, and we should agree the pictures are “proof,” why are there so many different shapes and styles of interplanetary modes of transportation? There are “cigars,” and “triangles,” and “saucers.” It appears there are as many styles of UFOs as their are vehicles on our planet, i.e., trucks, cars, SUVs, semis, etc. Since they don’t seem to piloting the same type of craft, why are they different? I’m beginning to think that what people are actually “seeing” are merely tourists… in which case conspiracy theory goes out the window, but that would explain the inability to pilot their vehicles when they get here.

    Or does this mean there are many different civilizations visiting us? Are they all wrapped up in this mass conspiracy too, so that not only do Earth governments have to conspire, but interplanetary governments as well?

    Finally, as far as the oaths in the Disclosure Project, there were not “oaths” made in a Congressional Hearing nor a court of law. Therefore, this isn’t perjury and will not result in going to prison.

  162. Ritchy

    Another Astronaut comes forward… with lost of more details!!!

    A past Space Shuttle ScO, admits ET’s are Real. And this ScO has seen them, himself with another witness!
    29 July 2008
    (The 39th. Anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the MOON, 20 July, 1969)

    Clark C. McClelland, former ScO, Space Shuttle Fleet, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 1958 to 1992. (Photo on the right: ScO, McClelland in the cockpit of the Space Shuttle Columbia, 1992)

    In SUPPORT of MY FRIEND, Courageous, US NASA ASTRONAUT, Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14!

    I, Clark C. McClelland, former ScO, Space Shuttle Fleet, personally observed an 8 to 9 foot tall ET on his 27 inch video monitors while on duty in the Kennedy Space Center, Launch Control Center (LCC). The ET was standing upright in the Space Shuttle Payload Bay having a discussion with TWO tethered US NASA Astronauts! I also observed on my monitors, the spacecraft of the ET as it was in a stabilized, safe orbit to the rear of the Space Shuttle main engine pods. I observed this incident for about one minute and seven seconds. Plenty of time to memorize all that I was observing. IT WAS AN ET and Alien Star Ship!

    A friend of mine later contacted me and said that this person had also observed an 8 to 9 foot tall ET INSIDE the SPACE SHUTTLE CREW COMPARTMENT! Yes, inside OUR Shuttle! BOTH missions were DoD (Pentagon) TOP SECRET (TS) encounters!

    With my verifiable background, there is no Federal Government Agency that can say I am crazy!

    I am a SPACE PROGRAM PIONEER. I assisted in launching the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, Skylab, Space Shuttle, Deep Space Missions, and the International Space Station.

    I have received character substantiation from: Walter Cronkite, Major Donald
    Keyhoe, NICAP Director, Richard Hall, Assistant Director of NICAP, Astronomer, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, etc. I served as the Assistant State of Florida and KSC Director of MUFON, the Director of the NICAP (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena) at Cape Canaveral and KSC! I have received honored mentions from US Senators, Congressman, Military Officers and Scientists. (See my website site below for more exciting disclosures)

    In fact, this absolutely verifies what my friend, Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, of Apollo 14, has recently and courageously released!

    I have launched or witnessed 650 missions, so far in my life!

    I am an expert in visually recognizing any crafts created and flown by the human race, whether secret or otherwise!I know an ET and Alien craft when I see them!

    I was the Director of the NICAP Unit-3 actual X-Files at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, 1958 to 1992! YES, the ACTUAL X-FILES!! Aliens ARE HERE!! They walk among US! They may be implanted into OUR various earth governments!!

    What I know, they would NOT allow me to publish! I have written at least three books to release the TRUTH to all of the HUMAN RACE! I was on the leading edge of this subject, and I have met with many NASA and other astronauts throughout the years I have been involved in the Military, NASA Space Programs, 1958 to 1992! I have heard many experiences of ETs having been seen on the Moon, etc., by NASA Astronauts and I relate these and more in my books.

    NASA is not a CIVILIAN SPACE AGENCY! The Pentagon owns NASA! Some of the DoD (Department of Defense) missions I participated in were TOP SECRET! Those missions carried TS Satellites and other space mission hardware into orbit where several crews met with ETs! I am ready to tell my story, but, for compensation,

    Clark C. McClelland,
    former ScO, Space Shuttle Fleet,
    Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

    Source: Stargate Chronicles

  163. Todd W.

    @John

    I have to agree with ND, that you seem to have some big problems with skeptics. Try to remember, that the majority of skeptics will give the evidence a fair hearing, and that if they dismiss something, while sometimes without basis, it more often stems from long experience of looking at the topic for investigation. So many of the claims put forth by the vocal members of the UFO community have turned out to be either mistaken interpretations or fakes. These cases have generally garnered a “mundane” explanation. As for the remaining ones, skeptics will generally conclude that they likely have a natural explanation, that they remain unknown for now (due either to limitations in science/technology or incomplete data), but there remains the potential for unusual explanations, though of low probability. Also, each case is taken and evaluated on its own merits (i.e., a skeptic will not outright say that because case A was really Venus, case B must also be Venus), but will consider elements that have been similar to other cases before.

    I would also add that, for those with strong beliefs/opinions on the matter, “skeptic” tends to have a rather negative connotation, when really it is just a “show me the proof/evidence to support your claim” approach, and then following that evidence to a rational conclusion. The problem occurs when the rational conclusion does not fit with the true believer’s interpretation. The conflict may arise because of lack of knowledge/experience on the part of the believer, poor communication, lack of adequate data provided to the skeptic, or the skeptic being mistaken. If the last point is the source of contention, then the believer should explain why they think the skeptic is wrong, logically and rationally argue the point, and, if they show the flaws in the skeptic’s reasoning, then the skeptic should change their conclusion. Skeptics do make mistakes. They do have limited knowledge, and, just like everyone else, they are human.

    Now that that bit is out of the way, I want to present a sort of hierarchy of UFO experience explanation categories, starting with, in my opinion, most probably to least probable. And, note that I am not saying any of this is impossible.

    Natural or commons man-made phenomenon/object – Based on significant amounts of data and knowledge about how these things work, our understanding of nature, chemistry, biology, etc., coupled with the frequency of occurence of these types of things, natural phenomena and man-made objects are the most likely explanations for UFO claims. Some of these may not necessarily be something that people commonly see, so it is easy to mistake them for something totally unknown or alien in nature.

    Classified government projects – As has been pointed out, projects like the stealth bomber and stealth fighter have been kept under wraps quite well in the past, showing that it can be done. Such aircraft, whether they be new generation fighters, balloons, etc., would typically be seen near government facilities or in combat zones and kept away from places where the nature of the project may leak out (e.g., near public areas, towns, etc.). As such, claims which occur outside of the likely regions for these projects can, most of the time, be concluded to not be classified gov’t projects.

    Aliens – Yes, there are billions of stars in the universe, with billions of planets. The probability of life existing somewhere else besides Earth is pretty good. However, the probability of aliens having visited Earth is low. Why? First, there has been no verification of any alien activity. As others have pointed out, with so many astronomers, both professional and amateur, watching the skies, you would think that there would be some mention among this community. Radar data is inconclusive, as it simply shows “something” but doesn’t identify it, so it can’t support an alien claim. There has been no physical evidence found to corroborate any stories. What has been put forth as physical evidence has turned out to be terrestrial in origin. No signals have been discovered, yet, outside our planet to indicate any form of intelligent life. Our current best understanding of physics also speaks against the type of travel that would be necessary to reach Earth from even our nearest neighbors that have potential for housing intelligent life. In sum, all we have are stories that mimic movies, but no other credible evidence to support the claim of “aliens”. At best, these types of claims remain “unknown”.

    Now, I will admit that I have not sifted through every UFO case out there, and that I base my assumptions on my understanding of how the world works, pieced together from my various experiences and education so far. If there is any truth to the aliens claims, that would be great, regardless of whether it turned out they were friendly or hostile. It would expand our knowledge and open new avenues of research, which is what science is always aiming for. It may require reworking some accepted paradigms, but again, that’s science. Unfortunately, what happens all too often, is that the vocal UFO community jumps to conclusions that are not supported by the evidence, as well as hyping up the “oooh, it’s so mysteeeeeerious!” aspect, even where no mystery exists.

    Yes, sometimes skeptics are wrong. Yes, sometimes they’re jerks. But, they tend to be a good bit more grounded when it comes to UFOs.

  164. In response to reading that “We have governments that cannot coverup a simple break in, a tryst in the White House, or trade deals between Iran and the contras.”, I have but one question:

    In New York City, on September 11, 2001, how many buildings collapsed into their own footprint?

  165. stating obvious

    those who wonder why earth might be worthy of visits by those who have mastered the ability to travel long long distance rather more quickly than we might, should consider several possibilities.

    1. earth is soon to undergo drastic changes, these are scientists and tourists and perhaps media types, documenting what was and what will be. No need to interact with those who will soon be decimated, as a matter of fact it might make it harder to watch this world die, if they knew us by name.

    2. they have notified our leaders who are doing their very best to prepare a way for as many as possible to survive the coming calamity, but no need to panic those who will soon die anyway, lets keep the champagne flowing, while we sneak into our underground bunkers.

    3. They think we are cute like meerkats, but you don’t try to find the leader of the meerkats and introduce yourself every time you want to take a picture – why would a superior intelligence who can navigate the distance to visit this world even want to bother with the naked apes, we are just one more species inhabiting this world, albeit a bit handier with tools than the other 99% judging by the tool rack I just built.

    Really the wrong question to ask I suppose, why is always the hardest question to answer.
    It all seems like magic or hallucinations to most people who can’t imagine what our own civilization might accomplish in a thousand years if we don’t perish first.

    In a century we have gone from most people never having gone farther than a 5 mile radius from where they were born, to being able to ship toys painted with toxic waste from half a world away and still sell them for less than if they were made down the street. From taking an hour or two to make a meal, to 30 seconds to nuke a poptart that will scorch all the taste buds in your mouth for days. Truely the future is too unwieldy to predict, but certainly alien craft in many shapes and sizes is not that big of leap for those who realize little changes, but scope and scale as time progresses.

    Any superior technology will appear as magic to those who do not possess nor understand it.

  166. John

    “would say the same thing to a person who continued to claim they believe in ghosts, ESP, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Aliens, Angels, Leprechauns, Astrology, Psychics, or sees Jesus in Toast: If you can prove scientifically that any of these things exist, then that would be great! Fantastic! But show me, or someone else, your proof. Until then, they are a figment of human imagination.”

    Sure you’re so stupid as to think that ufos and that crap has the same comparison… pls let me know when you’ve got the same level of eyewitness reports then I’ll actually take you seriously. Until then you’re just some idiot that happened to manage to type a message online, even tho you’re stupid

  167. John

    “You’ve really got some issues with sceptics.”

    No, I say what I saw, then you lot have issues with that. Goodbye!

  168. John

    “I have to agree with ND, that you seem to have some big problems with skeptics.”

    Yes, correct, read all my last posts as to why.

    You can blab all your crap but at the end of the day it’s not my problem, I need to wait for evidence as well before accepting any alien contact, but you’re so pathetic as to nag people that they didn’t see a thing when you don’t know a damn thing. Please remember this if something like disclosure happens, cos you will feel like you have wasted a lot of your time. Goodbye.

  169. Peter B

    Mark Stock asked: “In New York City, on September 11, 2001, how many buildings collapsed into their own footprint?”

    None, I believe.

    And herein lies the problem. There are cases where a government isn’t keeping a particular secret, but people are convinced it is. The more the government denies it’s keeping that secret, and the less evidence there is for the government keeping that secret, the more convinced those people become of the government’s ability to keep that secret. Eventually these people reach the point of believing that the *lack* of evidence of a secret is itself evidence of the secret’s existence.

    Here’s a question for those who are convinced the US government is keeping a secret about aliens: What could the US government do to convince you that it has no secret information about aliens? Is there something it could say or do?

  170. Nick

    How far have we come in the past 50 years, technology wise. Now if an alien race was say 1000 years or older than us what knowledge would they have and how advanced would their technology be? If they are up there (im not saying they are) then they obviously dont really want to be seen. Do you think we would have power over that? That would explain why there is no good evidence, they could cloak, go really really really fast, etc. With technology like that it would be very easy, especially with a good and strictly adhered to protocol, to stay for the most part hidden. If you want evidence they are there, we have to go to heresay, which is unreliable (but then why is witness testimony enough to send someone to prison?), but heres some heresay for you guys anyways

    quoted from Nick Pope former Head of the UFO investigation in the British MOD
    “On Dec. 26, 1980, for instance, several witnesses at two U.S. Air Force bases in England reported seeing a U.F.O. land. An examination of the site turned up indentations in the ground and a level of radiation in the area that was significantly higher than ordinary.

    More witnesses at the same base reported the U.F.O. again on subsequent nights.

    The deputy base commander reported that the aircraft aimed light beams into the most highly sensitive area of the base – a clear security breach.

    On March 30 and 31, 1993, there was a wave of U.F.O. sightings over Britain. One witness described a triangular-shaped craft that flew slowly over an air force base before accelerating away to the horizon in an instant, many times faster than a jet aircraft.

    The British military reported, “There would seem to be some evidence on this occasion that an unidentified object (or objects) of unknown origin was operating over the U.K.”

    On April 23, 2007, a commercial airline pilot and some of his passengers reported a huge cigar-shaped U.F.O. – the pilot estimated it to be a mile wide – near the Channel Islands. At the time, air traffic controllers reported to the pilot that radar picked up something, but that it was “unknown traffic.””

    i guess you can ignore all of that as well huh?

  171. Alex

    If gary mckinnon goes to guantanamo then the eu should hold the us accountable for crimes against humanity, in fact they should do that for all the citizens of the eu they have tortured so far. And the eu is more powerful if than the us, if they worked together they could tell the us to go stuff it

  172. Alex

    “Ed Mitchell: Going to the Moon doesn’t mean you’re right”

    Well there’s no real reason why your opinion is right either phil

  173. Alex: It’s not about the authority of the opinion: it’s about the quality of the evidence itself. Why don’t UFO proponents get that through their heads??

  174. Todd W.

    @John

    No need to get rude. Nothing I said about UFO encounters was targeted at your particular experience. If you feel otherwise, please point to where I made statements specifically about your case, which, I’ll mention, you haven’t told us yet.

    I, for one, would be interested in hearing what it was you saw that has made you such a firm believer in “unknown” being the best explanation.

  175. ND

    I’m officially calling John a troll. He was doing well until he started calling people idiots.

  176. Celtic_Evolution

    Shorter John –

    “You darned skeptics and your logic and demands for evidence. You’ll see… you’ll ALL see…

    I’m taking my toys and going home.”

  177. Celtic_Evolution

    Alex –

    Phil’s opinion is based on evidence (or lack thereof) and its credebility is not derived solely on the fact that he was involved in some monumentous achievment. If you don’t see the difference here, I don’t know how to help you.

  178. John

    Right this is how our conversations has gone on :

    1. I say I’ve seen something unexplained.
    2. You say “no real proof”.
    3. I say “I know, I can’t say what it was for sure, and I’m sorry but how would one go about getting any more evidence than a photo of something, which is not good enough for proof”
    4. You then say “It must be something ordinary due to lack of proof”
    5. I say “It could be anything, you just don’t know enough to say that”
    6. You say “No I’m right, you’re wrong” (again and again).
    7. Hmm I think it’s rather funny that you pretend to know what I saw.
    8. Does that make sense why I call you some names after that.
    9. You then call me names because I pointed out a blatant fact.

  179. astro nut

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence – do you have evidence of the pictures you dream in sleep (?)- you only have brainwaves – thus with ufo’s ( a suggestion – stop calling them unidentified – )

  180. robin

    I am a skeptic, but how do I deny my own eyes? I’ve seen something extraordinary that defies explanation, twice, so how do I account for it? The choices are few: share the news with others (and face ridicule) or keep quiet. I don’t have proof. I wasn’t able to break off a chunk to bring to you, (which is apparently the only proof that would do). Nor did I happen to have a camera handy, as so many other people have had. But that’s not proof. You would only laugh at the picture no matter how many experts authenticated it. If I was able to find a scientist willing to take a serious look at my “evidence,” you would simply declare them a kook, no longer credible for even taking my evidence seriously.

    So, tell me, oh wise scientifically minded people, if you found yourself in my position, what would you do?

    It’s easy to laugh at anyone who has the audacity to counter your established beliefs, but you should be careful. Your jokes are becoming brittle, and it’s also becoming evident just how afraid you really are. It’s a self perpetuating mind game: The study of UFOs is crackpot science, therefore no credible scientist will study UFOs, therefore any scientist who studies UFOs is a crackpot, therefore, there is no credible evidence of UFOs. If this is science, you can keep it.

    As for whatever it is I saw, do I want it to land on the White House lawn just so you will have to eat your smug words? Hell no. I just hope they leave us alone.

  181. Proctological nazi

    Not that we can’t laugh a little about it though .. ;-)

  182. ManinAsia

    Did you listen to what he actually said he knew and do you know the background of Edgar Mitchell. He grew up on a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico and personally knows most of the ranching people around there.
    He says some local ranchers told him in private about the events of the Roswell landing because they had been sworn to secrecy about it but they sought his ideas about the thing because he was such a famous astronaut/local celebrity. He says they were simply curious to find out more before they died and wanted to talk with people about it.
    He is old and maybe slowing down but I think before you should criticise him you should check what he actually said and his background in relation to Roswell, he didn’t say he personally saw any, he just said several people independently told him about the existence of these things. He did have access to people you or I wouldn’t have (he was one of the only people ever to walk on the moon) and he was also a scientist.

  183. ManinAsia

    I’m trying to add stuff here but it keeps disappearing!

  184. LEE

    The simple truth is that there are UFO’s. Some of them are identifiable (and thus cease to be a UFO) but others are not. Through the decades there have been far too many credible witnesses all over the world who have seen the later category for an open-minded person not to wonder exactly what is going on.

    There are fanatics on both sides of the question and, like fanatics of any genre, they diminish the value of their opinions by their very fanaticism. Aluminum hats and flashlights are outwardly more foolish than a scientist waiting for that ‘chunk’ of UFO mentioned above, but the fundamental difference, in my opinion, is that ‘flashlight boy’ is not concerned with opinion nor does he live in an environment where his livelihood is dependent on grants and the good will of agencies, foundations and/or a government that has made it abundantly clear that pilots, military personnel and government employees who comment will develop a low ‘glass ceiling’ instantaneously.

    Let’s don’t forget that ‘science’ is that same august body who scoffed at bacteria, radiation and the notion that the universe did not revolve around the earth. Let us also remember that we live in a political environment that treats the public like children who are not that bright. ‘Kids’ who need the protection of ‘adults’ who are much more mature and all-knowing. Daddy tells us that there are definitely no such things as extra-terrestrial UFO’s, but then ‘Daddy’ has told us more than a few whoppers.

    In the end it all boils down to this; I don’t know what UFO’s are or where they come from and neither do you. That should not end discourse on the subject, but it should temper judgment with so much finality.

  185. I asked: “In New York City, on September 11, 2001, how many buildings collapsed into their own footprint?”

    Peter B. believes none. I believed two.

    Again, in response to reading that “We have governments that cannot coverup a simple break in, a tryst in the White House, or trade deals between Iran and the contras.”, I ask perhaps a more simplified question:

    In New York City, on September 11, 2001, how many buildings collapsed?

  186. Luigi Novi

    What is fascinating is how selective the reasoning of the credulants can be. If the conclusion for alien visitation is given credence by Mitchell’s credibility, then wouldn’t the conclusion against visitation ultimately win out, by virtue of the fact that the other eleven moon walkers do not believe in the idea?

  187. Proctological nazi

    ManinAsia Said on August 1st, 2008 at 3:54 am :

    I’m trying to add stuff here but it keeps disappearing!

    Me too .. My post there followed another post. I didn’t think I’d said anything too rude – no swearing or nothing but did the moderator delete it? If so could they be so nice as to, oh say, let us know & know why? I thought posts had a “Post deleted by moderator” message if tehy were deleted by moderators? Or was that just the better original site?

    Or is it a computer glitch? :-(

    I’ll try once more & see … Test if my old post (to which the one above was a reply) :

    a) goes up
    &
    b) stays up?

    … & if I am doing something wrong* in posting this (& honestly I don’t see that I am) could whoever please tell me what? ;-~ _Puzzled_
    __________________________
    * Okay something other than having perhaps the least savoury tagline ever .. ;-)

  188. Proctological nazi

    Take II of post I tryin’ again & testing the system :

    NB. Moderator if its you deleting this can you please let me know that you’ve done so & also if you don’t mind why!
    __________________________________________________

    Harold McTestes said on July 27th, 2008 at 5:26 pm :
    [QUOTE]

    “… Remember the (female) astronaut that recently wore a diaper and sh-t in her pants all the way to FL so she could kill her lover’s partner? …”

    {UNQUOTE} Rude word modified from original ruder quote. Pointless given everyone know sit but still beingpolite – we;ll ~ish. *Sigh*

    ALL the way??! ;-)

    Uh .. A human bowel can only hold so much! Either Lisa Novak’s (right name?) bowel is like the TARDIS or she really, really, had the runs that day so bad it beggars belief!

    Anyway, how do YOU know? Did you have to take the diaper off her or something ..? (Yeck ..yeck … & again, Ye-ee-eck!) I expect she urinated in it – I doubt she defecated.

    (NB. Cleaned up language v.slightly for dirty if normal function -ed.

    Incidentally, I don’t think she was actually going to kill her rival only “confront” her. Ok confront her with gaffer tape and the world’s worst dress up or whatever but while a loon I don’t think she was a would-be murderer.

    Actually I think that astronaut (could be wrong but think the name was Lisa Novak – if not apologies to all the Lisa Novak’s out there!) clearly had some psychological issues & is more deserving of our compassion than our ridicule.

    Mind you, we can still laugh a little bit though .. ;-)

  189. Proctological nazi

    Ok part A = tick, its up …

    Now will it stay there ..???

    I don’t think it was too rude before & I’ve made it still less so now. Biological functions described biologically for the swearing impaired here.(a.k.a. NedFalnders-syndrome sufferers)

    (BTW. Whats witn Amercians – they’ll happily show kids gory murders and horrors of all sorts are on the news nightly yet hevaenforfend anyone uses arude word or shows a key part of mammalain anatomy. I blame the hypocrisy on the Puritan fathers but .. Sheesh. Grow up Yanks! ;-)

  190. Proctological nazi

    Not that I can talk (Or it seems post?) I know! ;-)

  191. Proctological nazi

    Well so far its staying up (no “awaiting moderation” caveat either) but I notice the post I originally quoted has disappeared…

    Lets wait & see. Maybe you just can’t say a word similiar to the Shi’ite Muslim sect but with a ‘a’ in the middle here ..? :-(

    ——-

    The worst thing about censorship is ******** [Censored.] ;-)

  192. maninasia

    I think it’s not allowing us to put the web inks, although the original challenge from the author was to put up some links. I have some great UFO cases I’d like to put up for review, they are hard to explain away!

  193. Ian Perceval William Standing

    @Phil Plait: “Folks, I present to you Exhibit A on why we must never tire fighting antiscience.”

    Sorry, Phil, but you tend to be just as unscientific in these and similar matters.

    The best way to fight antiscience is to approach it scientifically. The worst way is to engage in ad hominem and other faulty argument. Ranting never helps the ranter’s side. Personal attack only lends credence to the idea that the attacker believes his own argument weak; therefore has nothing else in rebuttal.

    In case you want to claim otherwise simply because you said “My point is not to make an ad hominem attack Mitchell’s credibility…” Allow me to point out that you very definitely did that all before you said what I’ve quoted. For example, “He has long been an advocate for what can be called at best fringe science…”

    If ad hominem wasn’t your aim why didn’t you fix your post? Are you one of those who thinks “I’m sorry” fixes a slap in the face or that “He had it coming” makes it OK?

    My personal feeling on the UFO subject is that there is more to it than mass hysteria. There’s an interesting correlation between military aircraft development and UFO sightings. Not only in the US but the Soviet Union, as well. It’s quite possible both governments saw the emergence of the UFO thing as convenient cover. The US went one step further by ‘investigating’ the phenomenon with Project Blue Book. It not only let them more easily see how well the UFO story might be working but further allowed suggesting the validity of the UFO idea under the guise of cover up. No clear evidence for any of this except for that curious correlation. Still, an interesting idea.

    If any of my conjecture really happened then I think there’s been enough deliberate muddying and misdirection to make Mitchell’s viewpoint understandable. He perhaps went a little too far in saying IS instead of MAYBE. Nonetheless, that in no way excuses implying he’s mentally unbalanced or outright wrong in his thinking.

    Hmm … Does his visit to the moon automatically make him eligible for the title Lunatic?

  194. Steve Boltzman

    Ed Mitchell is just another “UFO” nut spinning the same old flying-saucer conspiracy yarn that’s been around for more than half a century. That he’s a former astronaut is irrelevant to his delusional “UFO” fantasy. There aren’t any REAL “UFOs” and there never were. The idea that the Earth is being visited by ET in flying saucers is just a ridiculous meta-religious antiscientific popular-culture myth and very well understood collective delusion. Ed’s AMAZING STORIES aren’t worth even a moment’s consideration.

  195. Ian Perceval William Standing

    Mr. Boltzman’s post illustrates the danger of your approach, Phil. Instead of saying, “Mitchell’s view is interesting but his evidence doesn’t convince me,” Mr. Boltzman says things like “Ed Mitchell is just another ‘UFO’ nut” and “There aren’t any REAL ‘UFOs’ and there never were” instead of “There has never been strong enough evidence to convince me that UFOs are real.” After all, Mr. Boltzman would be hard pressed to actual backup his “aren’t REAL UFOs” with genuine proof.

    Will he apply the same type of reasoning when facing other matters? One can never really know. One would hope, though, that “my belief” never really translates into “you are therefore a kook!” Yet, similar declarations and innuendo by some scientists lend an air of respectability to this manner of thought.

    Is this your goal, Phil?

    Understand I am not picking on Mr. Boltzman. It’s just that his post was a very timely illustration.

  196. Steve Boltzman

    There aren’t any REAL “UFOs” and there never were.

    >> After all, Mr. Boltzman would be hard pressed to actual backup his “aren’t REAL UFOs” with genuine proof.<< It's not even an issue.

    There are no "UFO" facts. There are only insubstantial and completely inconsequential "UFO" reports. Over a century of "UFO" reports hasn't produced one REAL "UFO" of any kind. So, the set "UFO," a mere nominal attribution, is an empty set. And the non-identity signified by the term "UFO" is a semantic, logical and practical absurdity. Easily done.

  197. Jarrod Sims

    Sure there’s probably other life in the universe. It’s just too big for it to only have happened once. What matters is if there is other life here in the good ol’ Milky Way.

  198. Steve Boltzman

    Ed’s AMAZING STORIES aren’t worth even a moment’s consideration.

    >> Will he apply the same type of reasoning when facing other matters?<<

    Barely possible by mere suggestion doesn't mean plausible, worthy of consideration. Pseudoscientists make obviously impossible claims. So?

  199. Ian Perceval William Standing

    Mr. Boltzman, thank you, but you are only illustrating my point that you are confusing absence of evidence with evidence of absence. That is fallacious reasoning.

    It is in the same line as a 17th century man claiming that man will never fly because no has or statements in the last century that man will never walk on the moon — once a quite common idea. An example, the lyrics of the song “How High the Moon” are based upon the idea that the moon is an unreachable goal. The song was written less than twenty years before a lunar landing was achieved. Either idea may have had some foundation but both were obviously incorrect.

    The best you can say is “there is no convincing evidence” and only convincing to yourself. Anything else is faulty thinking — up to and including noting how many agree with you. In any case, it never gives you the right of assigning demeaning labels (e.g., ‘UFO nut’), an act that only suffices to initiate the entertainment of questions of your own ability to think clearly.

    It’s my sincerest hope that Phil simply is unaware that he is effectively promoting thought processes such as those presented in your post.

    “‘UFO’ is a semantic, logical and practical absurdity”

    Just as an aside, and being completely pedantic, you must be using ‘UFO’ to mean Alien Visitation because ‘UFO’ means “Unidentified Flying Object.” One of these must exist anytime someone asks “What was that?” in reference to an object in the sky. So, it is not any of the things you have said.

    More fuzzy thinking on your part, perhaps?

  200. Steve Boltzman

    >> you are confusing absence of evidence with evidence of absence.<> It is in the same line as a 17th century man….<> The best you can say is “there is no convincing evidence”<> the right of assigning demeaning labels (e.g., ‘UFO nut’)<> you must be using ‘UFO’ to mean Alien Visitation <>‘UFO’ means “Unidentified Flying Object.” One of these must exist anytime someone asks “What was that?” in reference to an object in the sky.<> More fuzzy thinking on your part, perhaps?<<

    No, it's very obviously completely pedestrian misunderstanding on yours.

  201. Ian Perceval William Standing

    Steve Boltzman, ummm … you aren’t using UFO to mean Alien Visitation and UFO doesn’t mean Unidentified Flying Object, apparently because there is no such thing as ‘unidentified’? Have I got that right? If so, your logic escapes me.

    The rest was, well, interesting. Good luck in your future endeavors. I feel you may need it.

  202. astronut

    ‘Ufo’ – assumes all these objects “will” BE unidentified – perhaps its time for a new designation – after all, this could be a “REALITY” issue – as neil once mentioned…We all forget that Buzz was trying to reveal more but couldn’t – as they feel age come on and the need to reveal –
    More astronauts should come forward !! You should check out the videos of radr/visual objects by the mexican airforce – or the video over brighton UK
    by a police helicopter – Evidence ….

  203. maninasia

    USER POSTER-
    # DLC Says:
    July 26th, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I used to think there might be something to the whole UFO business, until I actually started studying physics. Granted, alien beings capable of making an interstellar trip should know more than we do, but they still can’t do the impossible, and too many of the reports you read about of UFOs ask one to believe the impossible. Some fundamentals just cannot be gotten around. You can’t eliminate inertia or mass, for example. A craft could be built capable of zooming along at say, 500 kts and then pull a 90 degree turn. Modern materials science could do it. However, the crew of such a vehicle would be turned to paste by the acceleration.

    This is synonymous with a lot of the ‘UFOs’ are impossible idea, before they said earth was the centre of the universe (false), sun revolved around the earth (false), man couldn’t escape earth’s gravity (false), microbes couldn’t survive space and long travel times (false), planets were rare (false) life couldn’t survive in spaces. Now they say ‘But long distances would make it almost impossible…’. The poster falls into the trap (as does the reporter of this article) on basing his opinion on a very narrow body of expertise.
    I ask you why would long distance make anything impossible?
    He doesn’t consider for a moment that the machine may have no biological entities inside, meanwhile the US airforce and CIA are flying Predator drones in Afghanistan that are being piloted from the US. These machines (if they are machines) do not need to follow our time scale of human life either, so what if it takes them 100,000 years to cross the universe, they don’t need to have life spans like us humans…. it’s narrow minded thinking. They could have advanced self-repair and medical technologies. They could use robotic probes to roam randomly in their millions.

    The same goes for the blanket criticism of UFOs by the blogger here. He fails to take into account the implications of the MOST PROBABLE ubiquity of life in the Milky Way and the Universe. It’s really simple, join the dots kind of stuff. Assuming life in the Milky Way only exists on earth is the equivalent of saying that you live on a tropical island and your sole coconut tree is the only one on earth. Life is pretty complex, it’s unlikely to spontaneously evolve too often, microbes also display characteristics that point to them being able to survive space and vacuum for millions of year, extremely diverse environments and impact speeds of up to 5km/sec. These are PROVEN facts. Is it such a quantum leak to entertain the fact that we are not so unique and that actually there could be 1000s of advanced civilisations roaming around the universe. And all the above doesn’t bring into account the possible existence of alternative dimensions/wormholes etc., it just relies on the bog standard physics and biology that we now today!

    Badastronomy, the only thing bad is your narrow minded view and lack of research into the UFO field. How about you google what Gorgon Cooper saw in 1955………… Why would he lie?

  204. jeff in chicago

    “We have governments that cannot coverup a simple break in, a tryst in the White House, or trade deals between Iran and the contras. Those are cakewalks compared to the massive conspiracy theorized by the UFO crowd.”
    ___________________________

    I do not believe that we have been visited, even though I could tell (I won’t) the two stories of my “UFO sightings.” I have never “identified” these “unidentified” things and I am certain there are logical explanations of what I saw.

    But I snipped the above quote because Mr. Plait calls out Mr. Mitchell’s believers as falling for the “argument from authority,” but then Mr. Plait himself tries to convince us that something could NOT have happened using the “argument from personal credulity.”

    Keep up the good work, Mr. Plait, but practice what you preach!

  205. Steve Boltzman

    The set “UFO,” a mere nominal attribution, is an empty set. And the non-identity signified by the term “UFO” is a semantic, logical and practical absurdity. People certainly make “UFO” reports, but that doesn’t mean they’re seeing something other than the common things known to be the stimuli for “UFO” reports: bright stars and planets, meteors, sundogs and planes. But there isn’t a scrap of evidence and not one fact about some extraordinary other thing of any kind, a REAL “UFO,” as the stimuli for any of those reports.

    >> you aren’t using UFO to mean Alien Visitation and UFO doesn’t mean Unidentified Flying Object, apparently because there is no such thing as ‘unidentified’? Have I got that right? If so, your logic escapes me.<<

    There are only "UFO" reports. "Unidentified" is a determination about the stimulus for a report. The failure to identify, a negative, cannot be the logical basis for the existence of some extraordinary thing, a positive, a hypothetical REAL "UFO" of any kind. There are no "UFO" facts in the world.

  206. brant

    I wonder if all of Mitchell’s long hours of training count for anything??

  207. John B

    I don’t know if there is any merit to what Ed Mitchell says but I really get a good laugh out of the logic used by the many “scientific” debunkers that post here.
    I love when they make the point that the government or any group for that matter, couldn’t have a conspiracy of silence for very long. Maybe they should explain to us then who exactly was behind the Kennedy assasination. After that they should show us where Jimmy Hoffa is buried and who did it. LOL
    Apparently the “scientific” debunkers equate “absence of proof” with “proof that something doesn’t exist”–which is nonsense.
    If, and I do mean if, the government did have information on UFO’s and extra-terrestials is it resonable to believe it would go out of it’s way to withhold,. cover-up, even employ disinformation to deny it’s existence. I think an overwhelming number of objective people would say yes. This is evidenced by the numerous accounts by commercial and military pilots who have reported incidents only be told (ordered) not to say anything to anyone about it.
    The jury is still out about what is reality on this subject.

  208. Celtic_Evolution

    John B…

    I really get a good laugh out of the logic used by the many “scientific” debunkers that post here.

    That’s because logic isn’t one of your strong suits… clearly.
    Here’s a hint for you… just because you watch a few sci-fi movies and TV programs doesn’t mean you actually know anything about a subject.

    Apparently the “scientific” debunkers equate “absence of proof” with “proof that something doesn’t exist”–which is nonsense.

    Apparently you “credulous types” equate “statements absent of proof” as “proof that something must exist”… which is nonsense. There… fixed that for you.

    So let me ask you, John B… what exactly IS an outlandish claim with a complete “absence of proof”? Go ahead and give me your description of what we should call it.

    And what I find really entertaining about your little rant is how you put “scientific” in quotes, as if to demean the word. Are you saying you actually have a problem with being “scientific” to find answers to a problem? Really? And you’re proud of this?

    And then you wrap up your little diatribe with a “statement of fact” about what the government would do “if” they had proof of ETs… and you know this how… cause you’ve watched a bunch of episodes of X-files? Give me a break. To think you have any insight into what-all this or any other govenrment would do with concrete proof of ET visitation is beyond arrogent. And is typical of credulous “conspiracy theory” types.

    I think an overwhelming number of objective people would say yes.

    Really? They would? You mean “credulous” people. Real, honestly “objective” people would want to see some evidence of this before making such a definitive statement. And as you’re clearly not one of the “objective” people, I think it’s wrong of you to speak for them.

    While we’re at it, ask yourself something… and answer yourself honestly… when the news of the “real bigfoot discovery” came out last week… you believed it right away, didn’t you? And you probably got annoyed at all the skeptics who doubted the claim. Wait… what am I saying… you’re the type who probably thinks that they really did have a bigfoot and all this “it was a hoax” admission was the government stepping in and “shutting them up”… so nevermind.

  209. KATE

    i totally agree. i mean the moon is such a big planet but some people wen t there so all i can say is that does poeple that went on the moon should be glad of them selves

  210. KATE

    and eliens com on. who believes in them well not me. LOL

  211. astronut

    gordon cooper saw ufo’s many times – one landed at
    edwards afb was filmed – the film was sent to
    washington and never seen again – heres the thing –
    i think the astronomers (and leaders) know much
    more – but “leak” just a little at a time over the
    years – probably to gradually introduce the idea to
    our culture as the “shock” may be too much for us
    all at once – linked to our progress as a whole –
    (crop circles as well)

  212. astronut

    Mr mitchell says he was “priveleged” to be in on the
    fact we have knowledge of ets – BUT they are evasive
    not choosing mass disclosure – for a reason – they
    decided … often overlooked ..reagan mentioned them
    in a famous speech at the UN – president carter saw
    one – they shut down 10 nukes in 67 – shot at an
    atlas rocket on film – almost as a demonstration –
    the government takes the same view – not to disclose -if they don’t … make sense ??

  213. anon

    apollo 14 EVA “we’ve got visitors again – hardly worth mentioning” …GMT 035.16.07 TO 036 16 33
    year 1971 –
    They know already – Maybe this is why
    they alter the photos to edit them out – The hoax
    is not the real story …Later on this same clip –
    just after “net is deployed properly” there is a
    figure walking behind the LM from right to left – you can clearly see footsteps ….WHAT do
    mitchell and the others Really know ????

  214. anon

    apollo 14 (mitchells mission) – more accurate label –
    EVA 01 – “descending lunar surface”
    gmt 035 . 16 .07 TO 036 . 16 . 07 – (youtube)- as
    “apollo 14 eva1 we’ve had visitors again – ”
    they wouldn’t joke about this – mitchell was serious
    about this stuff even then …

  215. anon

    it is actually “”eva 1 – Describing lunar surface “” – is this a fake –
    or was edgar joking …
    Another thing on youtube -called “top secret apollo 16 footage leaked”” –
    a Very much Cleaner video from apollo – shows a figure enter the scene –
    ?? – How did the LM have enough fuel for the decent and the ascent ???
    I”m not saying it was ALL faked – but there may be “other” reasons for
    all this …. maybe contact ??

  216. anon

    it is on the apollo 14 mission transcript –
    http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/al4/AS14_TEC.PDF

    Tape 74/35 – page 479

    04 19 03 24 – CDR (shepherd)”well i see we’ve had
    visitors again”
    LMP(Mitchel) “yes”

  217. anon

    dear phil – this url had a mistake –
    here is the correct one –
    http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/AS14_TEC.PDF

    Tape 74/35 – page 479
    Hope you find it – an odd remark – initially thought
    it was a hoax – but it WAS dubbed to the visuals –
    nasa has (really) edited the footage big time –
    mismatching visuals to audio – cutting large slabs of
    dialog etc etc – (mail me if you can )

  218. anon

    here is the youtube footage –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFE0tyx4QRY
    apollo 14 EVA 1 – “we’ve had visitors again”
    at 1:10
    figure walks (fast) behind LM at 1:25 (maybe due to previous dubbing at a different speed ??)

  219. anon

    here is the (very clean – first gen ?) tape of
    apollo 16 – can someone do analysis of its veracity ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93Mp9zYJQdY

    Figure walks on stage – Now – all the first gen
    tapes were lost – So That makes this interesting
    just for that reason …..

  220. anon

    can someone confirm that edgar said this about
    mission patches of the back-up crew when they opened
    up packages mischieviously put there by back-up
    crew ?? It does seem strange – why say “visitors” –
    …with no humour – why not mention back-up crew – Also one rdbrps (svector) says he faked the
    apollo 16 leaked footage – anyone confirm this ???
    -okay – doesn’t explain how “clean” this footage is –
    or the other anomalies (dark figures walking in back
    ground/figure near LM leg….(figure in apollo 14 )

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