So, so close, but UFOlogist blows it

By Phil Plait | August 1, 2008 9:04 pm

I thought that maybe, just for a sec, a UFOlogist had somehow stumbled onto reality, but his toehold was, sadly, slippery.

Keith Basterfield is a UFO guy in Australia. He’s written books, done research, and all that. I was rather surprised when he said that Ed Mitchell is full of it. Well, not in so many words, but he did say:

…he believes Dr Mitchell may have damaged the work of serious scientific researchers into UFOs due to the former astronaut’s broad claims and his inability to source what he’s presenting as fact. “Dr Mitchell declines to name the sources he is getting this information from,” Mr Basterfield says. “It’s always an unnamed source, or a source close to the Minister of Defence. You cannot take that as evidence of fact.

Well, that’s kinda what I said. I have no problem with people investigating UFOs — honestly! — as long as it’s done intelligently. And Basterfield’s call for evidence made my heart sing!

… and then sink, because he goes on:

“He’s making those statements, obviously he’s gone public with them, but there is always doubt that the sources he is talking to aren’t playing the disinformation game with him.”

Sigh. So Basterfield assumes Mitchell really does have this info, but maybe the evul gubbmint is lying to him! I suppose that’s possible, but it also seems likely that Mitchell is simply incorrect, or that his sources are incorrect. Why assume a conspiracy?

And for those people who still can’t figure out that just because Ed Mitchell walked on the Moon does not mean we should simply believe him (despite my spelling this out twice in previous posts), I give you this statement:

Major Mitchell also believes he was cured of kidney cancer by a remote healer who helped him using positive thought.

Well, that’s better than exorcising a demon out and curing skin cancer, I guess. But not much… and we have Dr. Mitchell to thank for Uri Geller, so he has that going for him as well.

Still, Basterfield also said this:

“The more one conducts rigorous investigation, rigorous interviews, looking for documentation within government sources for evidence, it is tantalising, but certainly I agree that there is no concrete evidence today where you could present to somebody and it would hold up as having only one possible explanation,” he says.

I have no problems at all agreeing with this. Maybe some folks really do have their heads screwed on right. Or at least most of the way.

Tip o’ the tin foil beanie to Fark.

Comments (134)

  1. Josh Miller

    It kills me when the people at my school will hear of an Astronaut believing something outrageous and they simply accept what they have to say. Even if it isn’t outrageous, we should think for ourselves and search for the right answers. Assumptions aren’t good. We need to think things through and draw our own conclusions.

  2. Daniel

    Some (ahem) informed commentary on the issue:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46R444DYGM8

  3. John

    On a completely different topic, this was the second comment on the article “McCain praises potential VP — and hits Obama” on CNN’s Political Ticker:

    Eddie Blake – August 1st, 2008 2:02 pm ET

    “I hope Bobby Jindal reconsiders. It’s about time for us to get a good CREATIONIST in office again. No more of this “evolution, blah, blah, the earth is billions of years old” stuff. The earth is about 6,000 years old. When our leaders start preaching the truth, the people will follow.”

    People like this scare the crap out of me. BA, thanks for doing your part in trying to change their minds.

  4. guestwork

    Well… the “government disinformation” angle is of course to the very least a pretty reasonable hypothesis, because having such a wonderful grey fog of half-knowledge and rumors and myths in public is a great place to hide various secret programs in, and who would doubt just about any government has those.

    But yeah, that was sort of my first thought too when I heard this Mitchell thing, “UFO researchers will be pretty pissed about this.” It doesn’t make the whole deal more credible at all, much the opposite. Maybe next we’ll have UFOlogists claiming Mitchell is a gov agent of disinformation trying to fuzzy things up…

  5. Jose

    First, I’d like to say hi to all the reasonable posters out there (Shaun, Don Snow, and others I may have been curt with are included),

    It’s a new thread so I’m going to try something different. Hopefully, I won’t bore anyone to death, but I’m going to tell you and honest to god true story of mass delusion I have personally witnessed.

    A little background first. My sister was a straight A student, went to a very prestigious school, and graduated with an engineering degree. She currently works in a nuclear power plant. So clearly, there are some people in the world, myself included, who consider her trustworthy.

    I was an art major, who dropped out my junior year. The last time I took a science course was high school. I’m pointing this out, because some people seem to think they’re fighting “big science” here when they post here. Sure, some of the people who post here are scientists, but plenty of us are just regular people. That’s the great thing about the internet.

    Back to the story. In a small town I used to live in, there was a lot of buzz about a statue which would supposedly move on its own. Many people I knew and trusted claimed to have witnessed this, including my sister. Of course, I had to see this for myself, so I and 8 other people packed into a minivan and headed off to see the moving statue.

    I guess I was expecting to see a big stone statue of a man that turned it’s head, or moved it’s arm like he desperately wanted some Rollo’s, but upon reaching the statue I saw it was a lawn jockey sitting in someone’s front yard, not moving. Only then, I learned the trick to seeing the statue move was to drive around the block. When you return, the statue will be in a different place. So that’s what we did. Upon approaching the statue a second time, it was obvious to me that the lawn jockey was in exactly the same spot. It hadn’t moved an inch. But then someone shouted “Oh my god, it’s in a different place!”

    Suddenly, I was the lying, non believing bad guy. It was 8 against 1. And that’s not including all the people who had already experienced this phenomenon before.

    It was a freaking lawn jockey!

    Now this anecdote is part of the reason I don‘t trust eyewitness testimony. But there’s also been tons of real science that backs this up. Arrogant fools like Michael Horn and Sylvain come here and scream that there’s definitive proof of alien visitations, we just refuse to look at the evidence. This is of course bunk. We do look at the “evidence” they present and frankly, it’s insulting. Most of us do wish that aliens are visiting us. That would be the absolute coolest thing ever! But the sad truth is, no one has ever produced any solid evidence that this is happening. I hope to God that someone does.

    Now I have to get started on part 2 of my life story.

  6. IBY

    Ouch, painfully close!!!

  7. John

    Did the US goverment not spread disinformation in 1947 by announcing that a weather balloon had crashed, which they later retracted their story and then announced it was a top secret project Mogul balloon. So they do feed the public false information if they feel it’s in the interests of National security. If they behave that way towards the Soviet threat how would a paranoid US goverment then act if an otherworldly threat appeared back in those days. If that were to happen today then their response probably wouldn’t be as extreme. But I don’t think it’s inappropriate for UFO investigator to say that dis-information is part of the goverments game, where it is quite obvious they are good at doing that.

    Now there’s a recent case made public on ‘Britain’s Closest Encounter’s’ on Channel 5 in the UK, where a radar operator described how 6 separate radar receivers detected 35 objects travelling faster than the majority of our planes of the time. This was around the 1950s as far as I remember, and was mentioned in between the hour long programme on the Alderney lights. He said the whole operation room was shocked at what was happening, and there was no way that we had that many planes that could fly that fast in that location. In fact they sent jets to try and intercept the radar blips, and the pilots saw them on radar, although didn’t make any visual contact, and the objects moved away too fast for them to keep up. Now these radar signals were either not recorded, or most likely just kept locked up by the government. I know that this is only an eyewitness account, and not real evidence, but if true then the UK goverment is holding back on what they know from the public.

    Now I know there’s no real proof that any of that happened but ask yourself, what would the goverment of that time do in such an event – keep quiet about it is your answer. If that such evidence exists I would be interested in reading an experts opinion on it. Would 6 radar recievers all having the same 35 radar traces at exact same time, direction and matching velocity, be enough with matching eyewitness accounts, to account for the necessary physical evidence and so proof of an unknown phenomena?

    So Phil, what’s your interpretation of the Alderney/Guernsey lights that the pilots and crew of 2 planes claim to have witnessed? We know of your almost disregarding qualities towards these eyewitness acounts, but their accounts were more broad and from passenger eyewitness testimony as well, which was the first time their accounts were made public on video at the same time, as far as I know. I would be interested in the sceptics viewpoint of what they think happened. An experienced pilot says he doesn’t know what he saw, how can you say more accurately what it was when you didn’t see it yourself? Thus according to David Clarke, we could have a new phenomena, and speculates this could be weather related. While now you may agree this is unexplained, why cannot we say that this can be something new to science? Why do you fear the possibility of this ever happening, surely new stuff to science can just happen at any moment, what is so wrong with saying it could be? And is there a real need to try and discredit anyone who says that this is possible, because we all would love some actual physical evidence to come forth, but I ask you, what possible means does any ordinary person have available to collect this kind of evidence? Shall we all carry around RPG weapons to blow up a UFO when we see one!

    If we are to conclude that Mitchell is not right just because he’s an astranaut, we cannot also conclude that all of his ideas are crazy, just because some of his other ideas sound crazy. Or are you going to fight bad science with more bad science?

    Although I still do find your blogs interesting, and your feedback from previous blog’s
    comments are amusing (notably the tornado from a followup blog). This can only lend further reason for more people who have witnessed ufos to come forward on here, and will just annoy you even more because of their lack of evidence. You are somehow making that situation worse, and if you keep on complaining on future blogs I will remind you again why. Although the tornado comment was probably from someone who was joking, and using that against everyone who claims to have seen a ufo is silly, and doesn’t help your case at all in the long term, as that is obviously not a logical scientific approach. Why don’t you also post blogs about sceptics commenting, who are pretending to know what some people have witnessed without asking for eyewitness accounts first? Is that also not ridiculous too, or do you only prefer biased ridicule? Oh yeah I forgot why bother since you would obviously just call this inaccurate just like all other eyewitness accounts. Until we have physical evidence, or sceptics start to take eyewitness acounts as more worthy,we will forever have a stalemate situation, regardless of whether alien visitation is or isn’t happening.

  8. CR

    Ages ago somewhere on this blog, I made this point about the Roswell ‘UFO:’ maybe it was a Soviet spy plane that had pentrated our airspace and crashed (or was shot down). Would the US government really want that knowledge getting out and about, what with the Cold War starting up and all? Of course not. They wouldn;t want to admit that our airspace could be penetrated, they mightn’t want to have citizens panic, they certainly wouldn;t want the Soviets to know that their aircraft were capable of getting so far inland. The beauty is, once the ‘flying saucer’ idea got a toehold, the US government didn’t even HAVE to make a cover story… the public did, and continues to do so to this day, making it more and more elaborate with each telling.
    What proof have I of the craft being a Soviet aircraft, the bodies recovered being humans from Russia? None whatsoever. But given the timeframe and what was going on back then between the US & USSR, it’s not outside the realm of possibility, and in fact seems a far more simple solution to what crashed than aliens.
    Or maybe it really WAS a balloon, with sensetive new spy equipment being tested, and the US government just let the ‘UFO’ story grow on its own to keep the secret. Heck, that’s even more simple than my Soviet aircraft hypothesis, and still makes sense in the history of the real world.

    For the record, I am one of those who’d LOVE it if we humans finally had definitive proof of life elsewhere in the universe, intelligent or otherwise. But intelligent life? WOW! Bring it on! We might finally get that last push out of our Dark Ages mentality about our place in the cosmos and work toward a better future. Doesn’t matter if we can’t actually get there (or they, here)… just knowing about each other would be enough.

  9. CR

    Two things: first, I apologise for my accidental misuse of semicolon ( ; ) instead of apostrophes ( ‘ ). I do that all the time when I type in a hurry, and keep forgetting about this blog’s lack of a preview function & editing capabilites.

    Second, to elaborate on my last point in my post above…
    I seriously hope that in my lifetime, sooner rather than later, that definitive proof of intelligent life elsewhere reveals itself to the world. I would welcome the change to our attitudes, as I mentioned above. What’s kind of sad is that there are some who actually fear such change, and can only think of being afraid or of trying to figure out ways to ‘fight the invaders.’
    Going to be hard to shed that Dark Ages stuff, after all…

  10. Jose

    Must….not…….say…….mean……….things……this……..post……..

    But I don’t think it’s inappropriate for UFO investigator to say that dis-information is part of the goverments game

    Oh god this hurts

    An experienced pilot says he doesn’t know what he saw, how can you say more accurately what it was when you didn’t see it yourself?

    oweeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    If we are to conclude that Mitchell is not right just because he’s an astranaut,

    ooooooooweeeeeooooooooooooh

    we cannot also conclude that all of his ideas are crazy, just because some of his other ideas sound crazy. Or are you going to fight bad science with more bad science?

    awamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

    Why don’t you also post blogs about sceptics commenting, who are pretending to know what some people have witnessed without asking for eyewitness accounts first? Is that also not ridiculous too, or do you only prefer biased ridicule?

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooheeeeeooooeeeoooh

    Until we have physical evidence, or sceptics start to take eyewitness acounts as more worthy,we will forever have a stalemate situation, regardless of whether alien visitation is or isn’t happening.

    Phew. I made it.

  11. John

    @ Jose

    Is that supposed to be some sort of reply, or has a ferret got you by the gonads.

    Does everyone see the simplistic childishness of how this works when they don’t want to answer or rather can’t answer properly. I hope some others can do a little better!

  12. Thomas Siefert

    I guess THIS mean WE have TO endure MORE facts from delusional PEOPLE that can’t use Google to SAVE their life IN ORDER to learn the slippery FACTS about html.

    Just Google: “html bold” or “html italics” and YOU are SET for life and will no LONGER annoy people WITH your *&^%$~# SHOUTING.

  13. MattGS

    I’ve just seen the Cloverfield monster walk past my window. What? You say the Cloverfield monster is not real? But I’m an eyewitness! That’s proof it exists! Here, I let my neighbour post, she’s seen it, too.

    Hi, I’m Matt’s neighbour. Yes, it’s true. The Cloverfield monster just walked past our windows.

    See? Two eyewitnesses. How dare you claim the Cloverfield monster does not exist!

    In all seriousness, why is it so hard to accept that eyewitness accounts alone are unreliable and not testifiable and therefore cannot count as proof or evidence?

  14. Jose

    @John

    Is that supposed to be some sort of reply, or has a ferret got you by the gonads.
    Does everyone see the simplistic childishness of how this works when they don’t want to answer or rather can’t answer properly. I hope some others can do a little better!

    Fair enough. It was childish. I’m glad you were right about something. It wasn’t a ferret though. My eyes were literally bleeding. I’ll try again.

    But I don’t think it’s inappropriate for UFO investigator to say that dis-information is part of the goverments game

    Who is saying this? We all agree governments can do this.

    An experienced pilot says he doesn’t know what he saw, how can you say more accurately what it was when you didn’t see it yourself?

    You completely missed the whole point of Phil’s original post.

    If we are to conclude that Mitchell is not right just because he’s an astranaut,

    Nobody is saying that.

    we cannot also conclude that all of his ideas are crazy, just because some of his other ideas sound crazy. Or are you going to fight bad science with more bad science?

    His support of crazy ideas doesn’t invalidate other crazy ideas he might have. It’s the demonstration of poor reasoning skills that make his other crazy ideas suspect.

    Why don’t you also post blogs about sceptics commenting, who are pretending to know what some people have witnessed without asking for eyewitness accounts first? Is that also not ridiculous too, or do you only prefer biased ridicule?

    Nobody’s pretending to know what people have witnessed. They’re just proposing ideas for what might have happened.

    Until we have physical evidence, or sceptics start to take eyewitness acounts as more worthy,we will forever have a stalemate situation, regardless of whether alien visitation is or isn’t happening.

    Translation: Those of us living in reality will always have problems with the people living in the land of Make-Believe.

    Feel better?

  15. sdn

    @Jose, regarding your replies to John:

    John said: “But I don’t think it’s inappropriate for UFO investigator to say that dis-information is part of the goverments game

    In context this is a reasonable statement. There’s nothing wrong with UFOers trying to build an internally consistent theory, regardless of whether they’re actually right. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that if the government were involved in this stuff they’d cover it up.

    John said: “Why don’t you also post blogs about sceptics commenting, who are pretending to know what some people have witnessed without asking for eyewitness accounts first? Is that also not ridiculous too, or do you only prefer biased ridicule?

    As a skeptic, this kind of thing makes me want to pull my hair out. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen some talking head from CSICOP offhandedly dismiss a claim for no reason other than “I don’t like it,” trying to explain it away with some ridiculous canned reply that wouldn’t stand up to half a second of the rational scrutiny these people claim to stand for. Yeah, that thing that just changed direction and zoomed away against the wind was definitely a weather balloon, and that thing that appeared on radar in the middle of the day must have been Venus. It makes sense, though, right? UFOs are not alien spacecraft—because if they were we’d know about it—so they must be something else.

  16. I think that a big false assumption that’s tripping people up in regards to this situation is the assumption that, as an astronaut (in the apollo program no less), Mitchell would somehow be privy to highly classified information of the kind that would allow him to know that aliens had visited the earth and that the governments of the world were actively covering it up. But why? As vital to the apollo program as they were and as intelligent as they are, there’s no reason to think such a conspiracy would view them as being anything but pawns in the space race, different from fighter pilots or bomber pilots only in degree and not in kind in terms of their importance in their plans. In fact, from the perspective of the Massive Government Coverup (MGC), the last thing you would want to do is let them even breathe the same air as someone who knew about the aliens, since as the first people to go to the moon the apollo astronauts would have both widespread credibility with the public and an automatic soapbox on which to stand for the entire rest of their lives.

    Of course, the premise of an MGC is absurd in the first place, but the notion that such a successful coverup would allow that to happen is even more absurd. So in the end this all comes down to another iteration of the contradictory premises that the MGC is both incredibly sophisticated and successful, and yet makes obvious and idiotic blunders like this. (In the absence of Mitchell providing some evidence, of course–which doesn’t seem at all likely).

  17. concenred individual

    Clarke mecelland shuttle commander has come out on his website in support of edgar mitchell, the media have declined to follow this up but essentially he has claimed on shuttle STS – 80 that a top secret dod component of that mission while tv cameras were turned off involved ET craft coming up near the shuttle in an organised meeting, 2 ETs came to meet one of the astronatus and a technology device was given for earth bound study by the CARET program ( commercilsiation of alien recovered technology).

    Now this could easily be done under the cover of the nasa program. Also joins buzz aldrin who has stated on several news programs that apollo 11 was followed in space by ufo craft. and gordan cooper who was a firm speaker of the ufo-et reality.

  18. localvore

    Asked what he believes, Dr Mitchell answers honestly, knowing that he invites ridicule and even retribution. However, contrary to the assertion of the author of this piece, at least one of Dr Mitchell’s sources has stepped forward to confirm the Astronaut’s assertion that major participants in the NASA program are his source:

    “NASA veteran Clark C. McClelland confirms alien existence as outlined by astronaut Edgar Mitchell”

    http://www.australia.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=317:ufo&catid=41:rotator-news

    The article I’m linking was published on 7/31, and it’s quite easy to find – just search UFO (I used Google News), and so Mr Plait’s excoriation is poor reporting, at the very best. Other than meeting an EBE personally, I can’t think of more solid evidence than the testimony of McClelland. Come to think of it, I probably would tend to doubt my personal experience more readily than the word of this outstanding scientist.

    On a related topic, congratulations to Larry King for doing a credible job addressing ufos in the mainstream media.

  19. Ty

    As Fermi said “Where are they?”. And Mitchell should be ignored.

    Basic physics- The universe is really, really, monstrously really large. To fly from a star to a star in a reasonable amount of time you need to fly at a large fraction of the speed of light. And that is just impossible for many reasons (the energy required to do so would be extraordinary, and even if you could – which you can’t- if you hit a couple of molecules of hydrogen along the way they would tear through your goofy spaceship). And I know UFO Roswell people will make claims about advanced alien technology but sorry folks, they can’t break the basic laws of physics.

    I think SETI is neat b/c it could lead to a discovery that would be the biggest of our lifetimes. But so far they have proven that intelligent life in the universe is very rare (again, where are they?).

    It’s kind of sad that we have all of these people on this little orbiting rock spending their time day dreaming about little green men that fly here and “probe” cows in the croplands of England. Imagine if they took that time and energy to become actual doctors, engineers, or scientists…..

  20. KC

    Well, the picture was a blast from the past. But I’m starting to wonder if anyone besides myself has checked out what Dr. Mitchell said, other than read the article that made the rounds in the news. His interview can be found online through Google, and that also turned up a follow-up interview in a UFO magazine. It turns out that Dr. Mitchell had come from the Roswell area and was mostly referring to what some people had told him about the 1947 incident. No claims of a secret government briefing. No claims of having direct knowledge of ET visitations. Just repeating what he’d heard in conversations.

    Now, in a court of law this would be called heresay. Dr. Mitchell doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of what he claims. He admits that, just as he said that most of the flying saucer claims out there aren’t ETs on a joyride. He’s mostly repeating what was heard while he was at Roswell.

    It’s been pretty well shown that what happened at Roswell wasn’t a flying saucer stopping by for directions. It’s also been shown that there was another incident involving a plane crash at a later date and that’s been added to some of the accounts. And if the U.S. ever had it’s hands on ET tech, it hasn’t done anything with it, or we’d be jetting around in something like the UFO still at the start of this post. Dr. Mitchell’s statements seems to me to be a rehash of the Roswell rumors that have floated around for decades.

    What disturbs me is the “piling on” of Dr. Mitchell, especially of his dabbling in what was a craze at that time, rather than an examination of what he actually said. True, we shouldn’t cut him any slack because he’s a former astronaut who walked on the moon. Yet neither should be assume that his interest in one thing that most of us consider woo-woo means that everything he says is to be discounted. That smacks of debate through destroying someone’s character, rather than addressing the actual points.

  21. PaulW

    Off Topic: Ok, If I wanted to drop Phil an email about a topic he might like to do for this blog how do it? Darn if I see a link. Or better yet, Phil can email me assuming he can see my email with this message. Thx.

  22. RAF

    KC, I have to slightly disagree with you concerning the “piling on” of Dr. Mitchell. If he insists on presenting himself as an authority on this sort of “stuff”, then he should EXPECT to be held accountable for what he says.

  23. David Greenberg

    As a CMU graduate with Dr. Mitchell in the early 50′s and with a similar naval career (I did my flight training prior to his) I knew him slightly. During the Apollo program it seemed as if he and most if not all of the other moon walkers had a rather profound change in life either during or just after that awe inspiring experience. In Dr. Mitchell’s case he evidently became involved in ESP and was one of the founders of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in the 70′s ( a research and educational organization devoted to studies related to powers of consciousness). With his connections to some of the highest levels of government perhaps he knows some things that we earthbound beings are unaware of at present……

  24. Don Snow

    @ Phil -
    There you go, bringing up UFO’s again. 8 < )

    @ Jose -
    Your effort is appreciated, keep trying.

    @ KC -
    Thanks for Googling it. I should have thought of that. Your news refreshes my opinion of one of my heroes of my day. Thank you very much.

    Uh, something for ya'll to chew on. Back in the '70's, when I was in my 30"s, I used to read books and magazines, about UFO, ET's, etc. Then, by the mid '80's, I had better things to do. Last year, something came perking up into my concious mind, about UFOology.
    Some of the material included photographs of alleged UFO's; photograph of alledged medieval painting with saucer type aerial vehicle in the sky; rock carving of saucer type aerial vehicle; and so forth, with saucer type aerial vehicles, going back several thousand years. The specific sources may not actuall bear on what I'm going to submit; I'll let ya'll decide that.
    My point is this: if and only if there are really saucer type aerial vehicle sighting, for thousands of years, then this denotes a static technology to me.
    See what I mean? In a few hundred years, we went from hot air ballons, to dirigibles, to heavier than air fixed wing flight to rotary wing flight to jet flight to blast off into space with chemically fueled rockets.
    But, if and only if saucer type vehicles have been sighted for thousands of years, their technology does not change.
    Regardless where they come from. Now, you see why I wonder about a subterranean civilizatiton. But, that's not my point.
    My point is that a certain thread of UFOology showed an unchanging technology over a thosands of years time span.

    If you need me to try to find sources, I'll have to get back to you.

    Don

  25. Don Snow

    addendum: also in ’90′s and in this millenium I have better things to do than read and/or follow UFOology.

  26. Don Snow

    @ David Greenberg -

    “With his connections to some of the highest levels of government perhaps he knows some things that we earthbound beings are unaware of at present…”

    That’s scarey.

    Except, I have four days off, on my work schedule. During that time, I listen to radio talk shows at all times of a 24 hour day. Mr. Greenberg, it would surprise you what some of us earthbound beings (the guests speaking on those radio talk shows) are aware of. Allow me to refrain from iterating any of those topics, because I don’t want to change this topic.

  27. kuhnigget

    @don

    My point is this: if and only if there are really saucer type aerial vehicle sighting, for thousands of years, …

    And shall I again mention the curious parallel between pop culture entertainment and the subsequent “alien” technology/beings it inspires?

    Nobody saw flying saucers until Kenneth Arnold described seeing something hopping above Mt. Rainier “like a saucer” skipping over water. Note he didn’t say he saw a saucer, he saw something flying in arcs, like a saucer skipping on a lake. It wasn’t until newspapers and other mass media started calling anything and everything someone couldn’t identify in the sky a “flying saucer” that this suddenly became the vehicle of choice for spacemen.

    Likewise with those big-eyed, baby-faced aliens that seem to be the ET of choice. Straight from the covers of Weird Tales, Astounding Science Fiction, and other magazines.

    I would love to see someone do a study on which regions see “UFOs” vs. “Angels.” I’m willing to bet that areas influenced by western pop culture have more spaceship/alien sightings, while areas influenced by the Catholic church spot more angels.

  28. Don Snow

    @ kuhnigget

    “I’m willing to bet that areas influenced by western pop culture have more spaceswhip/alien sightings, while areas influenced by the Catholic church spot more angels.”

    You might lose that bet. When I was reading about UFO’s, there was lots of sightings from South American countries. In the ’70′s, that region was mostly Catholic.

  29. Don Snow

    @ Jose

    I just now reread your post about the “freaking laen jockey”. It reminded me of a childhood experience. This was during the late ’40′s UFO flaps, in US of A. I was with my mother and twin brother, outside our duplex…neighboring parents and children were in yards and on the sidewalk.
    All are looking up.

    One exclaims, “There, up there, there they are.”

    People are ooohing and aaaahing all around. I say, “What, mommy, what?”

    My twin brother is intently focuse on some activity in the sky. Mother answers, “[I can't exactly remember start of sentence]… look up, look up, can’t you see them?”

    I looked up. The sky was hazy. I could only see an empty hazy sky. I looked over my shoulder. There, low above the horizon, was a huge red sun. The haze…the sun huge and red in the sky…these are accurate memories. But, I never saw an UFO, that day.
    Everybody else sure thought they saw something.

  30. Hi everyone

    ABC National’s Mr Mike Woods announced Mr. Keith Basterfield as being co Director of The Australian UFO Research Network which is incorrect. He is the Co Director of AURA Australian UFO Research Association of SA.

    The opinions presented by Mr. Basterfield in the interview are his personal opinions and do not reflect the position of the Australian UFO Research Network.

    Warmest Regards

    Mrs. Diane Frola
    Australia National Director
    The Australian UFO Research Network
    http://www.auforn.com
    auforn06@bigpond.com
    Tel 07 55487205
    Free Call 1800 77 22 88

  31. localvore, you said: “I can’t think of more solid evidence than the testimony of McClelland”.

    Really? Well then, you’re in trouble. McClelland has been known to — ah, how to put this gently? — make things up. And that it’s happened more than once.

    Sounds like McClelland is riding the coattails of the Mitchell story to me.

  32. kuhnigget

    @don

    And if the evidence indicated my suspicion was inaccurate, I’d happily pay up.

    Unlike the UFOlogists, who would claim a conspiracy.

  33. Celtic_Evolution

    John -

    You literally copied your post from one thread and pasted it into this one. Thanks for that… I got to hurt my eyes reading it twice.

    I’ll summarize the point of my reply to it:

    I claim the weird sightings and lights being discribed in the endless litany of anecdotal data we keep getting here are actually fairies… pixies. Now, I have no evidence for this… but the sotries I read are consistent with what I imagine fairy behavior might be… So… that’s it. They’re fairies and pixies. I have as much proof of that as I have that they are ETs. Prove me wrong…

    Oh, wait… you mean it doesn’t work that way in my case?

  34. KC

    RAF:

    Want to hold him accountable for what he said? Then bother to find out what was said and address that, not dredging up something from the past which has nothing to do with the topic. For it looks to me that the effort is to discredit what he said without bothering to look into it very hard.

  35. Greg in Austin

    To everybody who insists that eyewitness testimony is evidence, please consider this:

    Say a woman walks up to you holding an apple, and she tells you it is a banana. Do you believe her? What if she has a Masters Degree in Agriculture, and she promises that this is a banana. Then she tells you that she asked 10 other people, and they all agreed that it was a banana. Do you believe her now?

    Now let’s say you’ve never seen a banana. How could you possibly know for sure it is, or is not, a banana if you’ve never seen one? She is an expert in agriculture, and she has eye witness testimony backing her up. Do you believe her now? How can you be sure?

    You ask questions. Questions like, what color is it? What is its shape? Where did she get it? What area of the country or the world did it come from? Is it a plant? Did it come from a tree, or grow in the ground? What kind of tree was it? What did the tree look like? Does she have a book that says its a banana? Where did that book come from? Did she show her banana to 10 other people with Masters Degrees in Agriculture, and did they agree that it was a banana? Did she send her banana to a lab without telling them what she thought it was, and did they come to the same conclusion? Did anyone make a comparison of her banana with any other known bananas, and did they match? Does her banana actually match the characteristics of something different, like a grapefruit or an apple?

    See now why you cannot take expert witness testimony as actual evidence? Just because someone says its true, even if they are experts in their field, it still does not necessarily mean it is.

    If Phil Plait came to me and told me the apple in his hand was a banana, I’d say, “Phil, I think you’re a great guy, and you’re website rocks. But dude, I’m sorry, that’s not a banana.”

    I rather like this analogy, and bananas. Always take a banana to a party.

    I also like QE’s claim that what you really see is not an alien craft from outer space, but pixies and fairies from right here at home. Maybe they have their own little cruise ships, to travel across the country when on vacation. Seems as logical an explanation as any other, based on the evidence. ;)

  36. Always take a banana to a party.

    Wise words from a wise man. I think I will have this quotation tattooed on my forehead.

  37. Grisha

    I’v e been lurking BA for years. I’m a fellow skeptic and space buff… I’m also a librarian who gets annoyed at minor inaccuracies.

    Who is this Major Mitchell? Whatever one may think of him, demoting him doesn’t help one’s case (I know this was likely done by the Australian source.) Ed Mitchell retired from the Navy in 1972 as a Captain, the rank he held when he walked on the moon. USN Captain is the equivalent of a Full Bird Colonel in the Army or Air Force. The Navy doesn’t even have Major as a rank.

    http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/mitchell-ed.html

    So for those who like the fallacy of “Argument from Authority” in either direction, get the credentials right.

    Astronauts are still my heroes, even if they say goofy things.

  38. Ray

    concenred individual,

    I’m a little skeptical of claims by Clark McClelland to have seen STS-80 video.

    STS-80 flew in November 1996. As far as I can tell, McClelland retired from NASA in 1992. How exactly was he able to see what he reported?

  39. Phil, nice pic from an old British Gerry Anderson show, “UFO”.

  40. Jose

    @Don Snow

    When I was reading about UFO’s, there was lots of sightings from South American countries. In the ’70’s, that region was mostly Catholic.

    You are right that there are plenty of sightings in Latin America, but it’s a different phenomenon (There is some overlap, and of course exceptions.) In the US, Canada, England, and Australia, there are thousands of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. For the most part, abductees are absent from the Latin America. This points to it being a cultural phenomenon.

    These things always start small. One or a few people report something weird, and it gets picked up by the local media. Suddenly, people come out of the woodwork claiming to have witnessed the same thing. It doesn’t matter that there’s not a shred of credible evidence.

    This is followed by a group of hardcore believers who claim to have good evidence (see: Michael Horn and Sylvain). Instead of producing it, they accuse people of being close minded shills, who refuse to even look at the evidence. This is a flat out lie. We look at what they call evidence, and in most cases it’s laughable (see: Billy Meier). Then they just keep repeating the same baseless claim over and over again.

    This is exactly what has happened with aliens, Chupacabra, Bigfoot, Nessie, the Schenectady Bingleshwanger, and countless others things.

    @sdn
    That’s pretty close to what I said. You’re reading too fast.

  41. Jose

    Eyewitness testimony is certainly not meaningless, but it’s only useful to a point. I can’t be used as hard evidence. This is because it can be proven scientifically, that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. This doesn’t even take into account the fact that people do lie about eyewitness testimony and do fake evidence. (Once again see: Billy Meier)

  42. leeobee

    Jose Says:

    ”In the US, Canada, England, and Australia, there are thousands of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. For the most part, abductees are absent from the Latin America. This points to it being a cultural phenomenon.”

    It does indeed. Clearly, the aliens steer clear of cultures with decent soccer teams, and I speak as an Englishman. This notion would be especially supported if it transpires that Venezuela claims more abductees than any other South American country, since Venezuela never qualify for the World Cup. I feel we may have stumbled onto a completely new line of abduction research here.

    I say let’s get this notion out there and see if any ufologist runs with it. The hypothesis is as plausible as many of the others they engage in.

    I recall a noted British ‘paranormal’ author [name withheld 'cos I don't remember it] on the radio here, some years back, speculating that alien abductions were linked with cattle mutiliations on the basis that the aliens were harvesting certain essential proteins from Earth that they lacked on their own planet. I looked at the radio aghast and said outloud… ‘They’ve acheived inter-stellar space flight but they ain’t sussed genetic engineering?!?!?’

    JFK was a suicide.

  43. RAF

    KC says: Then bother to find out what was said and address that…

    Dr. Mitchell’s “evidence” consists of anecdotal “stories”, so what is it exactly that you want me to “address”??

  44. guestwork

    @Phil (and probably JimO too, I suspect he’s lurking here):
    I just followed your links to those forum posts discussing McClelland and his funny “business card” – I’m not following those forums and threads, and just got reassured why not. Anyway, regarding that “business card” image there as it’s linked from rense.com, someone *please* tell me it was noticed and pointed out somewhere that Columbia of course burned up in 2003, not 2002.

    (Also, “Ground Test *Astronaut*…? wtf…)

  45. RAF

    Jose says: “…they accuse people of being close minded shills, who refuse to even look at the evidence.”

    As has been aptly demonstrated on both of these “UFO” threads. Believers have to assume that skeptics don’t look at the evidence because (in their minds) they can not possibily imagine that anyone would disagree with their conclusions.

    Talk about being “closed-minded”.

  46. RAF

    guestwork says: “(Also, “Ground Test *Astronaut*…? wtf…)”

    That’s what you become after riding the rocket. (ya know…the one in front of the supermarket. :) )

  47. CR

    Addressing a point brought up several posts ago…
    The astronauts who walked on the moon had supposedly had profound changes in their attitudes when or just after they walked on the moon, and that indicates that they may have ‘found out’ some big secret?
    How about the simple fact that [I]they were the only twelve humans to ever set foot on another world?![/I] That’s pretty freaking profound in and of itself, and I’d be surprised if they hadn’t been affected by that.

  48. Jan

    While Mr Plait always hammers on “show me the proof” if the subject is UFOs or other unexplained phenomena, he has quite another standard when it comes to theoretical physics and astronomical phenomena. A black hole, dark matter and exoplanets are all very real in mr Plait’s world although no one ever saw one. But isn’t it exciting?

  49. IAmMarauder

    @Jan:
    I don’t believe Phil has two standards: There is physical evidence that black hole, dark matter and exoplanets exist. From this evidence formulas are formed to explain them, and then the formulas are tested and verified. There are a lot of things we cannot directly see, but we can prove their existence by its effect on other objects. Wind is one of the first that springs to mind.

    When it comes to UFOs the evidence is generally eyewitness reports and hearsay. What physical evidence is presented is often spurious, and can be explained as something other than a UFO.

    A bit further up John asks about the Alderney/Guernsey lights. I did a bit of research and read a bit about it. The first thing I noticed was that one of the pilots changed his story – at first he reported the object as being the size of a Boeing 737 (this was what he documented in his log book), but after a while it became a mile wide/long. If it was a mile wide or long and at 2000 feet as claimed, surely there should have been people on the ground that saw it.

    Personally, I would love for there to be intelligent, extraterrestrial life visiting Earth. I just don’t think that there is any.

  50. localvore

    Mr Plait

    Thank you for your response above to my comment.

    You write that Scott McClelland, who stepped forward to confirm Dr Mitchell’s claim of sources within NASA before you posted your blog that asserts that such sources do not exist, “has been known to — ah, how to put this gently? — make things up. And that it’s happened more than once”, and you link this to two examples. I’ve checked your links, and one is a posting by McClelland of a story about shuttle astronauts observing a flying disk while in orbit, and contains nothing to substantiate that Mr. McClelland is exaggerating, although the original source of the story might or might not have done so. The second is a challenge to the legitimacy of a McClelland business card, in which the challenger confirms that McClelland worked in the positions he claims at NASA but says he is unable to account for the Orlando address on this particular card.

    Interestingly, the same challenger posts another challenge on the page containing the story about the flying disk, and in neither case does he offer any actual evidence that Mr McClelland is disingenuous. More to the point, it seems to me, is that if you, yourself, site a source that confirms that McClelland was a prominent part of the Shuttle team and thus had the very opportunity to observe the astronaut-ebe interaction he claims, that then you cannot continue to hold that Dr Mitchell’s NASA sources do not exist.

    Neither you nor I have first-hand knowledge of the truth of these matters, but that truth isn’t served by spurious attacks. Clearly, you owe Dr Mitchell and now Mr McClelland apologies. Those two gentlemen served our country through many years and now courageously claim to speak the truth as they see it, while you mount these empty attacks. Frankly, I’m surprised that Discover pays you to do this under their banner. How are we ever to have a reasonable discussion of the truth of Dr. Mitchell’s claims when organizations such as Discover sponsor discredited attacks such as yours to lead the topic?

  51. KC

    RAF: Then why have we seen people here dredge up Dr. Mitchell’s involvement in what was a wide-spread craze at the time instead of concentrating on what he said? Then why haven’t more people checked to see if the MSM story was accurate and examined what he actually said? Why haven’t we seen more posts pointing out that Dr. Mitchell is relying on heresay testimony of the Roswell incident? I have to honestly ask: Has anyone else cared to look?

    To tell you the truth, I’ve about concluded that the skeptic movement doesn’t really exist. I can’t reconcile the idea of skeptics attacking someone’s character rather than examining the claim. It isn’t compatible with skepticism to use broad generalities specifically to argue a specific point. That’s scoffing, not skepticism.

    Maybe I have this impression because I’m a cynic. Or maybe I’m just disappointed.

  52. RAF

    KC says: “I can’t reconcile the idea of skeptics attacking someone’s character rather than examining the claim.”

    The skeptics here have gone out of their way to state how much RESPECT they have for Dr. Mitchell’s accomplishments. Does that mean that we should accept anything he says without question?

    He says that aliens are visiting the Earth. That they have done so for a long time, and that the government knows all about it and is involved in a massive “cover-up”.

    Yet he has NO EVIDENCE that this is anything other than products of his imagination.

    I refuse to believe an incredible story without some form of credible evidence to “back it up”, and Dr. Mitchell has simply NOT provided that evidence.

    It sure would be nice if believers could understand this, but instead we get the same old “you haven’t examined the evidence”, or skeptics are just “closed-minded”.

    Now please show me where I have attacked Dr. Mitchell’s character in this post.

  53. RAF

    Localvore says: “Clearly, you owe Dr Mitchell and now Mr McClelland apologies.”

    …and how should he word that apology?…something like “I’m sorry that you have not substantuated your claims with any credible evidence?”

    Do you know how many people will take Dr. Mitchell’s statements seriously, and believe simply because he flew to the Moon??

    If anything, Dr. Mitchell owes the scientific community an apology for promoting anti-science.

    As far as McClelland?…I’m not even sure he exists.

  54. RAF

    RAF says: “I’m not even sure he exists.”

    I should have stated that as, “I’ve seen no evidence that he is what he says he is.”

  55. RAF

    RAF says: “I’ve seen no evidence that he is what he says he is”.

    …and even if he were exactly what he says he is, there’s still the question of evidence…as in lack thereof.

    OK…I believe that takes care of what I was thinking. I agree with others about the edit function being needed. :)

  56. localvore

    Mr Plait

    By the way, KC’s point above about proper argument is sadly relevant, I think. As pertains to our exchange, for example, you choose to ignore the fact that a NASA source came forward before you published this blog implying that none exist, and instead you challenge the credibility of that source in your response to my comment. If that is fair, then isn’t it fair to challenge your credibility in like manner?

    Specifically, you state that this source – Mr McClelland – “has been known to — ah, how to put this gently? — make things up”. Let me be clear: no propensity to exaggeration by McClelland would justify your challenging Dr Mitchell’s claim to sources within NASA per se. Moreover, implying that McClelland is a liar regarding his claim of witnessing a conversation between an EBE and Shuttle Astronauts on the basis of evidence you link no more substantial than a questionable address on a business card invites your own character to be held to the same standard.

    In that regard, I note that your bio at the top of this page claims that you worked on the Hubble Space Telescope for ten years. However, your Wikipedia bio has you using observations from the Hubble on your doctoral dissertation and subsequently working for five years as part of a team involved with one Hubble camera. I don’t see how that can be truthfully stretched into the statement that you worked on the Hubble Space Telescope for ten years.

    If Wikipedia is accurate and your “ten years” claim a fabrication, then I challenge you to link a single exaggeration by McClelland as substantial as this, or issue an apology to both Mitchell and McClelland. On the other hand, if Wikipedia is wrong, you might want to correct that so that troubled folks such as me do not suppose that you ah make things up.

    In any event, perhaps you might consider whether it’s possible for you to earn a living as a professional skeptic in the future without engaging in ad hominem. Wouldn’t it make more sense to challenge Mitchell’s and McClelland’s assertions rather than attack them personally? And after all, the internet is a permanent record, more or less, and I’m sure you and Discovery don’t want libelous posts from you as part of it.

  57. “In that regard, I note that your bio at the top of this page claims that you worked on the Hubble Space Telescope for ten years. However, your Wikipedia bio has you using observations from the Hubble on your doctoral dissertation and subsequently working for five years as part of a team involved with one Hubble camera. I don’t see how that can be truthfully stretched into the statement that you worked on the Hubble Space Telescope for ten years.”

    Why do you say that? How in an y way is this a “fabrication”? Be specific.

  58. I believe in what the Dr Mitchell said he knows. On Australia day 2008 a Virgin aircraft was as they usually do, fly over my place in Adelaides South. What I was diong at the time was setting up my B.B.Q for lunch. when I looked up at the virgin airoplane I noticed an object which I thought was something falling from the airoplane even though it was moving up to the undercarriage,(until eyes and brain connected).It looked as if it was spinning or changing shape.

    I pointed this out to my ten year old son who at the time was playing with the family dog behind me and he thought likewise regarding the unusual flying object.There was a R.A.A.F Hornet flying over earlier on during the day as they usually do during these celebrations,which was one reason I was watching the skies more than usual.

    This U.F.O would have been ten several times faster then the Hornet once it got moving.The Virgin flight would not have been more than 1500ft at a guess and there were no clouds around at that time.I tried to report this to the Adelaide air traffic but it was a public holiday and all I got was a recorded message.

    What it looked like was that it was toying with the Virgin airoplane, then it seemed to accelerate at a phenomenal rate in front of the Virgin airoplane which was banking to the left and the U.F.O moved in a perfectly straight line and then over the adelaide hills never to be seen by us again.The now U.F.O was opaque with no defined edge and was about the same size as the Virgin Airoplane engine. I have never seen or believed in U.F.Os until now. I find myself constantly searching the skies with one more sighting four weeks ago.I’M NOT CRAZY!!I won’t even tell you about that one. But one thing iv’e noticed is that people walk around all day with their heads down and what else is there to say.

    It’s easy to make people look like fools but my son and I know what we had seen visually, but to this day as with most eyewitness accounts will just become a thing of ridicule because we couldn’t identify it. All I can say now is it’s only a matter of time before we get to the truth about these things.

    DATE–26th January 2008
    TIME — 2:25pm
    COLOR– Opaque
    DIRECTION — S,SE
    SPEED — Unbelievable
    WEATHER– Clear skies,light breeze
    DRUGS/ALCAHOL USED– NO never have
    MY FAITH– Recently Challenged
    WITNESSES– My Son

    My family think it was the devil at work.One family member asked why was I looking up at the sky in the first place? As if I was looking for something or better still don’t look past your own nose and stay ignorant.They shut up quickly once my son said he’d witnessed it!
    The conversation quickly changed. Anyway, I in a small way can understand how it feels to be made a fool of with regardihg the Dr Mitchell revelations.

  59. Don Snow

    khunigget

    “And if the evidence….I’d pay up”

    Well, now, since I have no evidence, but only anecdotal memory to serve me, I reckon that bet is off.

    Cheers,
    Don

  60. Don Snow

    @ Jose

    “For the most part, abductees are absent from the Latin America.”

    Jose, you’re right, I think. The only South American close encounters I can remember are two, and neither were abductees. One was a healing light, upon a man outside his hut; the other was an attractive female ET in another man’s room…never mind the rest. However, afterward, he had burns, where his skin touched hers.

  61. kuhnigget

    @don
    Bet’s off? Too bad, ‘cuz I was about to claim the Amazing Randi’s prize. You could have shared it. See, I can bend forks with my mind. That, and a pair of vice-grips.

  62. kuhnigget

    the other was an attractive female ET in another man’s room…never mind the rest. However, afterward, he had burns, where his skin touched hers.

    That happened to me once. I was taking penicillin for a month! Really should have paid attention to those old 16mm movies in Health class….

  63. Don Snow

    @ huhnigget

    “Bet’s off? Too bad, ‘cuz I was about to claim the Amazing Randi’s Prize.”

    I really had to back out. Payday wasn’t that much, because I missed some time, that payperiod.

    “That happened to me once….Really shoiuld have paid attention to those old 16mm movies in Health class…”

    Mmmm. Sounds like “…16mm movies…” puts you in or near my age bracket.
    We didn’t have those, in public schools, in the States. However, after I went in the military…their movies had some really graphic and ungly stuff.

  64. localvore

    Mr Plait

    You ask me “How in any way is this a ‘fabrication’? Be specific.”

    In your bio at the top of this page you have it that “After ten years working on Hubble Space Telescope…. ” I take it now that you are admitting that using observations from the Hubble Space Telescope as part of your work on your doctoral dissertation and then being part of a team that worked for five years on a Hubble camera, together amount to your claim that you worked on the HST for ten years. Specifically, then, it seems to me that merely using observations from the HST as part of your doctoral work is plainly not working on the HST, and thus I consider your “ten year” claim to be a ‘fabrication’. However, if you were, in fact, working on the HST while doing your research, then why not tell us, specifically, what your position was?

    And why, Mr Plait, do you have time to worry about your own reputation but none to apologize for wrongly impuning the character of Dr Mitchell for honestly – and it seems correctly – claiming sources from NASA? If he had been siting as his NASA source someone who had merely used research published by NASA, well then you might have an argument rather than an unjustified personal attack.

  65. Jose

    Yes Mr. Plait, if that is you’re real name. Your bio says you’ve spent 10 years working “on” Hubble, yet as far as I can tell, you’ve never even been to outer space! And even if you had, wouldn’t ten years in outer space have been some kind of record we all would have heard of? I did some more research and it appears that Hubble doesn’t even have living quarters!

  66. Jose, this is the funniest comment I have ever heard. Who told you that the Hubble Space Telescope is a space station. LOL

    Dr. Phil Plait worked on the Hubble Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute. And that’s what he means.

  67. RAF

    Localvore says: “Wouldn’t it make more sense to challenge Mitchell’s and McClelland’s assertions rather than attack them personally?”

    Boy, you’re really “stuck” on this aren’t you?

    Of course I can understand why. You believe if you can sidetrack the argument, then you won’t have to explain the woeful lack of evidence for alien visitation.

    Nice try, but it ain’t gonna work.

  68. Thomas Siefert

    I think Jose have been pulling BA’s leg. :-D

  69. Jose

    @Umair
    Then how do you explain the comments of former NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who claims to have inside knowledge that Hubble is in fact a device used to communicate with a far off planet in the semantica quadrant that is ruled by humpback whales? Or are you going to trust the opinion of a fake astronaut over that of a real one?

  70. Jose

    I refuse to use emoticons on moral grounds.

  71. joeo33

    Hi Phil,

    You said you wanted “evidence”.

    “Extraordinary claim”: Elements of NASA know that ETIs in UFOs are visiting our world, but NASA does not want the people of our world to know this.

    “Extraordinary proof”: Ask NASA if they would welcome an undeniable PUBLIC proof of presence by the ETIs visiting our world, then publish their answer in a post on your blog.

    You’re welcome to explain to NASA that, of course, it’s a RIDICULOUS question, and there’s ABSOLUTELY no evidence that ETIs in UFOs have ever visited our world. But the UFO “believers” keep talking about a ‘coverup’, and the news media keep doing these RIDICULOUS stories, so just as a matter of NASA policy, however incredibly unlikely, if there are ETIs visiting our world, would NASA like the American people to know?

    And you’re welcome to precisely specify the undeniable proof of presence you prefer, consistent with the typical behavior of the UFOs described by the UFO “believers”, provided that it not seem unduly threatening, or by itself be likely to cause massive panic. (No daylight flyovers of major cities, etc.) Perhaps a very large flying triangle hovering over Hat Creek for a few minutes, then disappearing? Or use your imagination… But it has to be public and undeniable, and NASA’s response to the question has to be posted on your blog or otherwise made a matter of clear public record.

    NASA knows, and you know, that an affirmative response to the question, posted on your blog, would be noted on many websites, and probably by the “mainstream media”, and of course there aren’t any ETIs visiting our world; but if there are, and they are monitoring our communications, then they might regard NASA’s response as representing informed consent of a sovereign collective (U.S. Government) for the initiation of the “contact” process.

    You did say that you wanted evidence…

    If neither you nor any of the other scientist/’skeptics’ really want evidence–”extraordinary proof”–and you’re simply trying to sustain the coverup, will you at least ask yourselves a simple question: Do you really believe that our civilization is more likely to survive and prosper, in peace and freedom, by ignoring any possibility of learning from these ETIs about the experiences of other rapidly evolving technological civilizations? Perhaps in a future blog post you might invite your readers, and others, to begin a serious discussion of this question…

    Best Wishes.

  72. kuhnigget

    “Cap’n! Th’ goofium crystals are overheatin’! They’re ready to blooo! Ah’ canna take much more!”

  73. ND

    I just can’t tell anymore. who is trolling and who is really into this stuff. They’re indistinguishable to me at the moment.

  74. kuhnigget

    And by “into this stuff” you mean….??

    Real science, which is what Phil’s blog is supposed to be about? Or conspiracy theories and flying hubcaps on strings…er, I mean, evidences of alien spacecraft visiting earth?

    [[freely admitting to an inability to take nonsense seriously]]

  75. localvore

    Those of you legitimately interested in this topic might enjoy Corso’s “The Day After Roswell”, which is the memoir of the individual tasked by the Pentagon with mainstreaming technology recovered from the Roswell crash. Col. Corso’s recollections are a delight to read, and his authenticity is universally acknowledged (no pun intended). And no trolls!

  76. Jose

    Philip J. Corso’s authenticity is universally acknowledged, but only among gullible conspiracy theorists. The rest of the world regards him as another liar out to make a buck. Are you going to trot out Bob Lazar next?

  77. localvore

    Correction: The late Col. Corso’s authenticity is universally acknowledged among decent folk.

  78. Brent Plowright

    Don’t knock the ABC and their reporters mate. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation runs rings around any media outlet in the states. I’ve been to the states, i’m married to a yank and I can’t believe the rot that the media spews out over there. ABC is second only to the BBC…..

  79. baryogenesis

    Yeah, I recall someone passing that Corso book to me several years ago, asking my opinion. I couldn’t get through it. It was a ghost-written piece of crap, that had some real information about proposed secret bases on the moon, etc, which was likely true, but this stuff was obviously stitched together with made-up fantasy. The writing style changed when the made-up stuff was added into the mix. Corso was old and conveniently died so could not be questioned. Or, maybe the Gov’t had him killed before he could spill more beans.

  80. Josh ex skeptic:

    I have no doubt that you, and many thousands of others have seen things that they cannot identify, however, to make the leap that it must be an alien spacecraft takes a tremendous leap of logic. I have sympathy for people who believe they have been “abducted”. Personally, I don’t believe they have been abducted. I believe it is another phenomenon, sleep paralysis. But, the fact is, these people have experienced something very traumatic. Not so many years ago, people would have attributed this to demons. Since the onset of the Space Age, we are now attributing it to aliens.

    About ten years ago, someone filmed a “UFO” flying over a field. The commotion the cows were making drew the man outside, where he witnessed and filmed, what appeared to be a shimmering, spinning metallic object. The film was sent to Global News, and to the University of Alberta where an expert enhanced the image. What was the UFO? A plastic grocery bag caught up in the wind.

  81. Jose

    I was wrong in my last statement. It looks like there are gullible conspiracy theorists who acknowledge Philip J. Corso as a lying, unethical fraud.
    http://www.v-j-enterprises.com/sfcorso.html

  82. Daniel

    @joe
    NASA knows nothing. Even if they did, they sure as hell wouldn’t tell anybody about it. I doubt they would let SETI say publicly they had found any “signals”.

  83. Ray

    Daniel,

    IF NASA had anything at all, they would have it on every TV and in every newspaper in less time than it takes to say it.

    Proof of aliens and all the rest would guarantee NASA’s budget for eternity AND raise it a hundred fold.

  84. Daniel

    @Ray
    Then lets put Ed Mitchell as the head of NASA because clearly he knew what he was talking about

  85. Ray

    Daniel,

    I might buy it if Ed Mitchell provides any actual evidence. He could start by giving names, dates, and places. So far all I’ve seen is him telling second and third hand stories. I hear “just so” stories every day at work and if I don’t believe my coworker’s story about meeting hot chicks at the bar without evidence, I’m sure not gonna buy Mitchell’s stories.

  86. Daniel

    @Ray
    I was being cynical. Ed knows nothing of the sort. If (BIG IF) he does, and he is telling the truth (fat chance) then he, along with these “associates” of his gave away what should be secret in our nations interest. As you say…we need proof, but it will not come from NASA, the Military or any government on earth.

  87. Thomas Siefert

    @localvore
    You must really think that technology is something mysterious and beyond human knowledge if you take a book like “The Day After Roswell” seriously.

    I haven’t read it myself, but any technology you might pick as coming from an alien race can traced back to very mundane earthly origins and can be understood by anyone who cares to educate themselves about simple chemistry and/or physics.

  88. baryogenesis

    Jose- My sense was that Corso was probably an honourable person, but was very ill, near the end of his life, and had a lot to reveal, having worked in the Pentagon. What he had to say about working with plans for nuclear powered project designs, Moon bases, etc. was likely reality-based. The problems arise when the so-called reverse-engineering fantasies were added to the “repertoire”. The book had another author (Birnes –pub UFO Mag and Hist Channel stuff). It’s blatantly obvious while reading this book (which is extremely tedious) that information distinct from Corso’s has been tacked onto it. Of course, I have no proof. Maybe it’s all real. My read on the matter though, is that at the time , Corso was ill, cooperated in giving (I assume ) now declassified, mostly ancient (nevertheless, interesting) tech info from a recent by-gone era. Someone has added stuff that would give boners to UFO nerds.

  89. Don Snow

    @ Phil -

    That’s a good photograph of you, at the top of this page. No, I’m not brown-nosing. Just trying to give you a plus, amongst all the shots at you.

    However, I do have an ulterior motive, for complimenting your photo. When are we going to discuss another astronomical matter? That, (Moon Transits Earth) and my quiescent amatuer astronomer mode, is what attracted me to this web site.

    Don

  90. Jan

    @IAmMarauder:

    “I don’t believe Phil has two standards: There is physical evidence that black hole, dark matter and exoplanets exist.”

    Unfortunately, there is not. There are theories that support the possibility that these objects exist. I myself think these theories are correct, but I am unable to prove that dark matter and other such theoretical stuff exists. Reality is sort of relative; future observations will add to our knowledge and understanding and may change what atstronomers perceive as “real” today. While I greatly endorse Phil’s work in debunking the “moon hoax conspriracy” theories, I do have a problem with his attitude toward Dr Mitchell and other people of great credibility and the double standards he applies. Phil is a great fan and endorser of James Randi, a magician who labels everything and everyone attached to unexplained phenomena as being a fraud. I am waiting for Randi to challenge Phil and ask him to show Randi some dark matter or a photo of a planet outside our solar system.

  91. Greg in Austin

    @Jan

    I think you need to read a bit more as to what a Scientific Theory actually means, and read a little bit more on gravity, black holes, and the mathematics involved before you can even begin to understand what you are talking about. The evidence for black holes and extra solar planets is well documented, basically from their effects on other objects. These effects are FIRST calculated and predicted based on proven mathematical principles, and THEN observed using the best technology we have at the moment.

    Too bad the same can’t be said about alien UFOs.

  92. localvore

    Ray

    I like your analogy between claims made by coworkers and those of Dr Mitchell because it is a weak analogy. As I see it the value of your analogy as a weak analogy is that its skepticism – believe it when I see it – is put in context: it matters very little what we believe about ET life compared to how much it matters what is true, while what you think of your friend’s sexual boasts is very much the point there.

    Ray, I also appreciate the logic of your argument about disclosure from NASA being a guarantee of funding and so the absence of disclosure is evidence for lack of contact. However, there is good evidence of large sums having been spent on DOD black box projects such as those described by McClellen and others, so your argument collapses.

    My guess, for what’s it’s worth, is that disclosure is withheld because it would have unpredictable consequences for global powers, especially because of the oil wealth of Islamic nations.

    Thomas

    If you get around to reading Corso’s memoir, then please get back to us then with your opinion about it.

    Also, Col Corso had a lot to say in his final years about why he wrote what he wrote, and some it is available on YouTube.

    Phil and Discover

    You have done a shoddy job and especially a disservice to Dr Mitchell and to science. You’ve had every opportunity here to make an attempt at responsible journalism and I have zero interest in what you offer in its place. I wont be back.

  93. Greg in Austin

    See ya later, localvore. Don’t let the door to the spaceship hit you in the behind on your way out.

    8)

  94. ND

    Jan,

    “There are theories that support the possibility that these objects exist. I myself think these theories are correct, but I am unable to prove that dark matter and other such theoretical stuff exists.”

    What are your scientific qualifications again? Do you have the resources to research dark matter? Do you really understand these theories and any of the scientific research that gets published? Have you not seen some of the latest astronomical research that supports dark matter?

  95. Jan

    “I think you need to read a bit more as to what a Scientific Theory actually means, and read a little bit more on gravity, black holes, and the mathematics involved before you can even begin to understand what you are talking about.”

    Theoretical physics is what we call it. If calculations predict that the gravitiational pull of a planet can make an observed star wobble, IMHO this does not automatically prove that an observed wobble is caused by a planet. It’s possible, and even highly likely. But it becomes proof once we can observe the planet. Even Einstein came up with a cosmological constant to make his theory work. He later abandoned it when he became aware that the Universe may not be stationary after all. This is what i meant with the idea that reality is also pretty relative. As far as UFOs are concerned, I’m open minded but skeptical toward the subject. I am even more skeptical toward so called “experts” making a living out of it. Edgar Mitchell is not a UFOlogist nor a writer on the subject. For Dr. Mitchell there is nothing to gain except ridicule in making these kind of statements. So I think he deserves some courtesy, not a dismissal just because he doesn’t show us any hardware to prove his claims.

  96. RAF

    Jan says: “…James Randi, a magician who labels everything and everyone attached to unexplained phenomena as being a fraud.”

    Sorry, but that is simply incorrect.

    Mr. Randi has written on his site about his encounters with those who genuinely believe (in other words, NOT frauds) that they possess “powers”, and how difficult it can be to “let them down” gently.

    Randi has NEVER said that everything and everyone attached to unexplained phenomena is a fraud.

  97. Jose

    @baryogenesis
    Maybe he was suffering from dementia, but he was definitely complicit. Localvore was nice enough to point out that there’s plenty of video. To me, he seems like a huckster with delusions of grandeur. Corso’s son is also heavily involved with selling this bunk.

  98. RAF

    Jan says: “For Dr. Mitchell there is nothing to gain except ridicule in making these kind of statements.”

    He is an ex-astronaut whose time in the lime light was over decades ago. How hard is it to understand that he might crave that attention again, and this is how he is going about getting that attention.

    Jan says: “So I think he deserves some courtesy…”

    As a former astronaut, he certainly does deserve respect and courtesy.

    “…not a dismissal just because he doesn’t show us any hardware to prove his claims.”

    Why should we suspend our collective disbelief simply because of Dr. Mitchell’s former occupation? If what he says is true, then he should be able to provide EVIDENCE to back up his statements. He is inable/unwilling to provide that evidence, so he should expect the criticism he is receiving.

  99. ND

    Jan,

    “Theoretical physics is what we call it.” Are you in a scientific field?

  100. Jan

    “He is an ex-astronaut whose time in the lime light was over decades ago. How hard is it to understand that he might crave that attention again, and this is how he is going about getting that attention.”

    He set foot on another world. That undertaking was so unbelievably courageous that he deserves respect for many decades to come. No matter what he claims now, he will be in history books long after me, you or even Mr Bad Astronomer have ceased to exist.

    “He is inable/unwilling to provide that evidence, so he should expect the criticism he is receiving.”

    If the criticism is posed only on the merit that he has no alien hardware to show us, then please apply the same standard to those who sell theoretical stuff as if it were something we can see or touch.

  101. ND

    Jan

    Mitchell deserves and gets the respect he earned along with the other astronauts who walked on the moon. This has never been an issue here.

    As for scientific theories, new ideas and are always met with skepticism in science until the evidence builds up in favor of it. This goes for the esteemed Stephen Hawking as much as any other scientist. People will sit up and listen to what he says, but they will always not be blindly accepted and in fact there will be fellow scientists who will have no issues arguing with him on any point.

    As for you analogy of using star wobbles pointing to planets as just being an unfounded theory, our current well established understanding of how astronomical bodies interact with each other points to a planetary body orbiting starts. Granted the universe does and will continue to throw curveballs at us (makes science exciting), but the evidence in favor of extra-solar planets dwarfs any evidence pointing to ET-UFOs.

  102. kuhnigget

    @Jan

    He set foot on another world. That undertaking was so unbelievably courageous that he deserves respect for many decades to come.

    This is a specious argument for setting up Mitchell as an authority on all things outer spacey. At best, Mitchell is (was) an expert on operating Apollo spacecraft. That’s pretty fantastic, but it does not make him an authority on anything and everything else having to do with space travel and alien life. And while walking on the moon was, I’m sure, an amazing experience, let’s not forget this was the same crew that ended their mission by taking a whack at a golf ball. (Yeah, I know, it was Shepard who hit it…but who was his caddy?) Point being, these guys are human like everyone else.

    BTW, I guess the moderation queue is backed up, as I notice my response to the original Corso post hasn’t made it up yet. In it, I linked to a detailed analysis of Corso’s claims, undertaken by the Skeptical Enquirer some years back. I know, I know, the evil skeptics are all part of the conspiracy. But the article shows point by point how material in the book was fabricated, and how Corso’s account of events does not jibe with very well documented facts. I mean, he couldn’t even get the name of his boss at the CIA straight, claiming to have had a near-violent argument with the man while he was still in charge…despite the fact he’d been retired for three years! As the authors of the article state (paraphrasing), Corso was supposedly involved in the most earth-shattering event of all time, and he can’t even bother to get his incidental facts right? Credibility meter: plunging rapidly.

    google skeptical enquirer and corso and check for yourself.

  103. RAF

    Jan says: “he will be in the history books long after me, you…”

    He WON’T be in the history books because of what he says about alien UFO’s.

  104. RAF

    Oh, I forgot this…

    Jan says: “If the criticism is posed only on the merit that he has no alien hardware to show us, then please apply the same standard to those who sell theoretical stuff as if it were something we can see or touch.”

    Do you really consider that to be a reasoned argument? In my opinion it serves only as a means to “SIDE-STEP” the issue raised on this blog, ie. the LACK of evidence for alien visitation.

  105. Jan

    “This is a specious argument for setting up Mitchell as an authority on all things outer spacey.”

    I’m not setting up Mitchell as an authority on all things “outer spacey” as you call it. I only think that this scientist should not be dismissed as a crackpot because he is unable to provide proof to backup his claims. He knew he could´t provide proof but that did not withhold him to make the statements anyway.

  106. Greg in Austin

    @Jan,

    You misunderstand what everyone, including Phil, is saying. The former Astronaut Ed Mitchell deserves enormous respect and admiration for being one of twelve people to walk on the moon.

    The former Astronaut Ed Mitchell also deserves all of the criticism and skepticism he has received for making extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence.

    Let’s say Steven Hawking has an apple in his hand, and he says its a banana…

    8)

  107. kuhnigget

    I only think that this scientist should not be dismissed as a crackpot because he is unable to provide proof to backup his claims.

    A person who claims things without any proof is not a scientist. He is a man making claims. Mitchell is free to make all the claims he wants. He (and his followers) just cannot state that they are science. They are beliefs, and belief ≠ truth, regardless of who you are or where you’ve been.

    It’s just that simple, Jan.

  108. John

    @ Jan

    “He WON’T be in the history books because of what he says about alien UFO’s.”

    He will be later, and the entire history of the second part of the 20th century will also be rewriten. I know this as I have knowledge of this, very much like Mitchell has knowledge of this. You don’t yet have the knowledge of this, so it’s expected for you to be sceptical, but you cannot say aliens aren’t visiting Earth as a truely accurate statement. You can accurately say there is no real physical evidence available to the public that aliens are visiting Earth, and that this means that none are likely to be visiting. But actually you just don’t know, and your available evidence may be lacking to make any real conclusion on the issue. What’s most likely is not always what is true. That is absolutely the same for any sceptic who wishes to make incorrect conclusions.

    Yes yes you can make your simple analogy of this being the same for anything someone wishes to claim, like Santa Claus, but there are 3 differences that stands out dramatically – ET undeniably will exist on it’s own planet, large number of multiple witnesses to purported sightings, extraordinarily high levels of whistleblowers.

    In the not so far future a large proportion of the human race will be asking themselves questions such as : “Why didn’t we expect them to be here? What about all those people who were saying these were real? How could we have been so stubborn as to ignore that many people?”

  109. John

    previous post should be @ RAF

    Please note not been able to edit means you can make a mess

  110. Greg in Austin

    I agree, John. There was a 0.001% chance of aliens being here, and with the information you just added, there is now a 0.002% chance.

    Santa Clause is just as real as ET! Millions of kids everywhere believe in him!

    What evidence do you have to support your claim that the entire history of the second part of the 20th century will be rewritten?

  111. RAF

    John says: “I know this as I have knowledge of this…”

    Your personal stories are worthless.

    Evidence. Credible, testable evidence. Nothing else will do…

  112. John

    Two things to say :

    1. There will be testable evidence one day. Until then it’s perfectly fine for those that don’t know to say that they just don’t know.

    2. Personal experiences allow me to have that knowledge, but not everyone has that. It’s just pure coincidence for it to happen to anyone.

  113. RAF

    John says: “There will be testable evidence one day.”

    That is your belief. For the last 60+ years, the evidence has always been “just around the corner”. What makes your belief any different?

    “Personal experiences allow me to have that knowledge…”

    How many times must it be stated?…personal stories are irrelevant. Actual evidence is not.

  114. John

    That’s besides the point for those who have seen an inexplicable object RAF, or do you just like to get the last word.

    Repeating yourself is irrelevant, personal stories mean something to those who experienced them. In no way have I claimed it as evidence, yet you still find the need to keep disagreeing with something I haven’t even said. What does that tell you about your mentality?

    In actual fact who are you to tell anyone that their personal story is completely irrelevant, you have no right to justify that sort of attitute at all. Nobody really has the right to be like that towards anyone in the free world.

    And what’s wrong with saying there will be testable evidence one day, are you saying in the next 4-5 billion years there is zero chance of humans travelling to other star systems. You really are a closed minded fool.

  115. John

    And for sceptics who are supposed to go with as little assumptions as possible, you do seem to make a great deal of assumptions of what some people on here believe. Surely just because some says they’ve seen something inexplicable, and may say it looks flying saucer as an observation, that doesn’t mean they automatically believe in the whole alien conspiracy cover-up. Why not alien visitation without any goverment contact made as of yet, and hardly any goverment knowledge of what’s going on. If aliens were to visit that would be more likely than all these crashed saucers. But I’m not going to claim to know what’s true and what isn’t, because I don’t know. There’s no such thing as everyone who’ve seen a ufo being a complete believer. It’s just how sceptics like to put people in the crazy section, and themselves in the normal section, when it’s not as black and white as they seem to think.

    In fact if you just suggest that you’ve seen something unusual, you get called a believer, when in fact you can be a sceptical person who has just observed something. And get it into your thick heads, that without any of the witnesses claiming they have definitive proof of aliens, they can perfectly well say what the object looked like, and how nothing mundane fits their observation.

  116. RAF

    John says: “…I’m not going to claim to know what’s true and what isn’t, because I don’t know.”

    So will you be retracting the following?…

    “what’s wrong with saying there will be testable evidence one day…”

    You can’t even keep your OWN ARGUMENT internally consistant, so why should anyone take you seriously??

  117. John

    @ RAF

    I’m pretty sure the human race will either visit other star systems and we will make contact with supposed existing ets in the next 5 billion years. Notice I said one day, that can be as far in the future as you want. A very recent computer simulation puts rocky Earth type planets as fairly common. Yes that is speculation, but it’s fairly reasonable, and don’t forget this is talking about what could happen way way in the future. So I can say it’s fine to say there will be testable evidence one day.

    I said I don’t know about some unknown sightings which are 20th and 21st century stuff including personal experiences as well as other documented sightings, get with it mate because other people can’t always do your thinking for you.

  118. John

    Oh and by the way RAF falsely interpreting my comments does not discredit anything, and it’s completely up to the individual whether they want to take it seriously or not. Try not being too judgemental, as a sceptic you should be wary of people’s stories, as I am sceptical of them all too. But to be so sceptical that you specifically look for errors in people’s comments which simply aren’t true is called paranoia.

  119. RAF

    John says: “I’m pretty sure the human race will either visit other star systems and we will make contact with supposed existing ets in the next 5 billion years.”

    What does this have to do with your claim that there will be testable evidence of alien visitation HERE?

  120. John

    @ RAF

    erm… ask them maybe. Use your imagination, if you actually have one.

  121. John

    and what I said could mean testable evidence of contact 5 billion years from now, and not evidence we have been visited in the 20th/21st century.

  122. RAF

    John says: “…what I said could mean testable evidence of contact 5 billion years from now, and not evidence we have been visited in the 20th/21st century.”

    Yes, it “could” mean that…however, you’ve already stated that the history books for the 20th century would have to be re-written.

    It would be most helpful if you could refrain from changing your opinion in mid argument.

  123. John

    @ RAF

    oh I’m sorry I forgot we’re not allowed to speculate not even one little bit. You’re so picky, I wonder why you actually bother replying on here, because it’s not about you wanting to find any evidence, as you’d have more chance of finding that evidence by yourself than by expecting someone to bring it to you. I’m sure you realise that by telling everyone to provide someone physical evidence for you the only thing you’re achieving is self satisfaction, therefore you’re just wishing to make yourself look smug. If you see anything inexpicable and you have no means just like everyone else to gather some physical evidence, then I doubt you would feel so smug when someone else is needing to behave in that same way towards you.

  124. RAF

    John says: “…sorry I forgot we’re not allowed to speculate not even one little bit.”

    That’s obviously NOT what I said…one can only wonder just why you find it necessary to “twist” what others say…

    You started by saying that there would be evidence indicating that aliens have visited Earth. (and that the history books would have to be re-written). Then, (when you decided that argument wouldn’t “work” for you) you decided it best to change that argument to include ANY aliens discovered ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.

    No one here is saying that aliens will not be found somewhere, sometime in the future. What they are saying is that Dr. Mitchell has no evidence that aliens are here, now.

    The 2 ideas are not the same, no matter how much you “want” them to be so. If you can’t understand that, then I’m just about “done” with you.

  125. natnat

    I believe Dr. Mitchell. He isn’t the first astronaut to publicly come out stating that UFOS are real. Read about Gordon Cooper (one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, and a test pilot at Edwards AFB.) He briefed the UN in the 70′s over this, and personally relayed his own experiences with seeing UFOs in World War II, and also filming them in the desert while testing F-86 jets, only to have his film confiscated. When these guys start talking, people should listen. Sure it’s great fun to mess around and make jokes, but these men were chosen to walk on the moon and go to space due to being level headed, smart individuals. They were picked from thousands upon thousands of the best. To discount their opinion is ridiculous.

    What I believe is happening right now, is the bread and butter system. 20 years ago, every picture of Mars you saw was red. Then we start seeing a blue Mars. Then we hear about possible microbes in a meteor from Mars. Then we send probes to look for these microbes, and we discover possible evidence of ice. Now we are discovering entire frozen glacier pools up there along with Methane gas (sometimes methane gas can be an indicator of life and/or past life.) Slowly but surely, they are whittling away at public apprehension about extraterrestrials and UFOs. They are bringing us into an era where we are accepting of the fact that other planets may have ice/water/microbes/etc. By the time we are finally told the truth about aliens and UFOs, we won’t even care because it will have been slowly hammered into our brains long before. Take care and Thanks!

  126. John

    @ RAF

    Right so I can’t talk off topic a bit without suffering your wrath then, or are you done behaving like a child?

    And I do not have to say when I’m speculating and when I’m not. You for some reason assume I’m claiming certain things when I didn’t. I’ve detailed a sightings I’ve had in another blog on this site already and I’ve not claimed to know it was aliens. I can speculate whatever I want, and then make further speculation from that, but I have only claimed that I don’t know what I saw. You are asking for justification for everything I speculate, which is absolutely ridiculous.

    You still don’t get it that not everyone is a complete believer that wants aliens to exist, I would find it fascinating if they do exist, but I’m only concerned with what’s real and turns out to be the truth.

    “If you can’t understand that, then I’m just about “done” with you.”

    You actually think you’re doing favours for people by wasting their time, I don’t think so. Are you really so sad that you need to seek people out to attack just for stating they’ve seen something unusual that’s unidentified, and then speculating further on that?

  127. Greg in Austin

    John Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    @ Jan

    “He WON’T be in the history books because of what he says about alien UFO’s.”

    He will be later, and the entire history of the second part of the 20th century will also be rewriten. I know this as I have knowledge of this, very much like Mitchell has knowledge of this. You don’t yet have the knowledge of this, so it’s expected for you to be sceptical, but you cannot say aliens aren’t visiting Earth as a truely accurate statement. You can accurately say there is no real physical evidence available to the public that aliens are visiting Earth, and that this means that none are likely to be visiting. But actually you just don’t know, and your available evidence may be lacking to make any real conclusion on the issue. What’s most likely is not always what is true. That is absolutely the same for any sceptic who wishes to make incorrect conclusions.

    RAF asked you several times, and I asked you on August 6th, 2008 at 6:53 am, what “evidence” do you have that aliens are here now, and what is this “knowledge” that you and Mitchell have? Were you mistaken when you wrote the words, “I know this and have knowledge of this,” do you really have proof, or were you just making something up?

    You have yet on this post or any other post actually provided your “evidence.”

    You are free to speculate and hypothesize all you want, but don’t expect us to simply take your word for anything, without having proof.

    8)

  128. kuhnigget

    “20 years ago, every picture of Mars you saw was red. Then we start seeing a blue Mars”

    Uh, um, er….right.

  129. Todd W.

    @Greg

    I’ve also asked John (on the Ed Mitchell Followup thread) to provide details of what he saw, or if I missed it, where it was that he posted. He hasn’t answered me, either.

    John, I actually am curious about what it was that you saw. Please post the details. Maybe someone here can help shed light on what you may have seen.

  130. Isabell

    You guys still going at it! Be Nice! The last blog link is gone. Did I miss your report Greg? Ever get those calculations done, and have you seen anymore strange lights?

    I know this is old news, but I am posting it for anyone who hasn’t already read about this…

    Below is a partial list of witnesses from within military/governmental departments that have given their sworn testimony at the National Press Club, Disclosure Project event…

    Astronaut Edgar Mitchell

    Astronaut Gordon Cooper

    Monsignor Corrado Balducci

    Dr. Carol Rosin

    Admiral Lord Hill-Norton: Five-Star Admiral, Former Head of the British
    Ministry of Defense

    Gordon Creighton: Former British Foreign Service Official

    Dr. Robert Wood: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Engineer

    Dr. Alfred Webre: Former Senior Policy Analyst Stanford Research Institute

    Denise McKenzie: Former SAIC employee

    Colonel Phillip J. Corso, Sr.: US Army (ret.)

    Colonel Ross Dedrickson: US Air Force/AEC (ret.)

    Lieutenant Walter Haut: US Navy

    Dr. Hal Puthoff

    Dr. Eugene Mallove

    Lieutenant Colonel Thomas E. Bearden: US Army (ret)

    John Callahan: FAA Head of Accidents and Investigations

    Larry Warren, Security Officer, RAF Bentwaters Woodbridge, NATO

    Major George A. Filer III – USAF (Ret)

    John Maynard: Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)

    Captain Robert Salas: US Air Force, SAC Launch Controller

    Don Phillips: USAF, Lockheed Skunkworks, design engineer/CIA Contractor worked with Kelly Johnson

    Lt. Col. Charles Brown: USAF (ret.) Office of Special Investigations, Project Grudge

    Mark McCandlish: USAF, Conceptual artist for Rockwell X-30 program and HYSTP program

    James Kopf: US Navy/NSA, Crypto Communications

    Major-General Vasily Alexeyev: Russian Air Force

    Nick Pope: British Ministry of Defense Official

    Dr. Roberto Pinotti: Italian UFO expert

  131. Proper scientific practices should be used when talking about something like UFOs; astronauts know that because they have been trained to some (significant) extent in the scientific method and because they are pilots they know that they should maintain a cool head at all times, thus, they know that without stating the sources what they say is really of no more value than what anybody else could say and could lead to irresponsible, baseless conclusions. Specialists such as astronauts have a certain degree of credibility, but that shouldn’t be misused by raw belief.

  132. Jack

    Heck, I know all about ‘em, though can’t remember Roswell as signifigant.
    I really think it’s great that you have no problem with people investigating UFOs. Really!
    No…. ReallY! Having the big telescope must help. )
    There’s been lots of solid evidence laying around, maybe they son’t let you look at it because it’s too scary.
    Or you guys are just one more weiner in the chain of good old disinfo.
    It’s ok. I understand. And I think it’s great, I mean, I have absolutely no problem with you investigating UFOs either. Really!

  133. John SMith

    Re: Keith Basterfield.

    Keith Basterfield has always struck me as very ‘fishy’. Firstly he has been debunking UFO reports since the beginning of his career whilst posing as a “Ufologist” – I have looked into some of his early work and every good report he debunked. There is also something fishy about who was paying his salary whilst being a Ufologist. In person, he has always struck me as being singularly not interested in UFO’s at all, no matter how good a ufo report was.

    If UFO research groups were infiltrated in America in the early days then the same would have happened in Australia – but the Ozzies are so sleepy and trusting that they would never have figured it out. I mean, look at the WESTALL events of 1966 – a mass UFO sighting and close encounter, Government and Intelligence interference all over the place, landing traces etc., etc. and yet not one good investigation by ANY ufo research groups at the time…or since. It took the work, decades later, of a single amateur, to bring it all back into the light.

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