Aliens? Yes. UFOs? No.

By Phil Plait | November 25, 2008 5:05 pm

Dave Mosher over at the Discovery Channel blog collective (not to be confused with our own beloved Discover Magazine Hive Overmind) asked me if I could write down my thoughts about UFOs, so he could post it over at their site to support a show they’re airing about flying saucers. Because I’m a swell guy, I did.

The essay is based on a question I get all the time when I give lectures, and it’s so important to me I’m reposting it here. In fact, I have a YouTube video with a slightly longer version of this as well.

Here’s the written version…


When I give public talks, I can almost guarantee that during the Q&A I’ll get asked: Do I believe in aliens and UFOs?

My answer usually gets a laugh: “Yes, and no.”

As far as aliens go, I suspect pretty strongly that there’s life in space. We know of over 300 planets orbiting other stars, and we’ve only just started looking. In our Milky Way Galaxy alone there are probably literally billions of planets. Life on Earth got started pretty rapidly, relatively speaking, after the crust cooled and liquid water formed, so we know it’s not tough for life to get its start… and it’s entirely possible there is microbial life inside icy moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn.

So thinking aliens exist has a pretty decent scientific basis. But them coming here is an entirely different beast.

There are tens of thousands of UFOs reported every year. That’s one of the reasons a lot of people think aliens are visiting us: there’s no way that there could be that many reports if some of them weren’t real!

But that’s bad reasoning. In fact, the vast majority of reported UFOs are mundane things in the sky. The planet Venus is incredibly bright; most people don’t believe me when I point it out to them. They think it’s a nearby airplane, or some other bright earthbound object.

Not only that, but if you’re driving, it appears to follow you through the trees because it’s so far away. If it’s low to the horizon, turbulent air makes it flicker and change color. Does this sound familiar? How many UFO reports have you heard that say a huge object (people often mistake brightness for size) was following someone in their car, and it was rapidly changing color?

Yup. Venus.

Manmade satellites pass overhead several times an hour, and some brighten tremendously as a solar panel or mirrored surface catches the Sun. Meteors blaze across the sky, ice crystals refract sunlight and moonlight, atmospheric effects make a distant object appear distorted and weirdly-shaped. All of these have been mistaken for alien spacecraft.

So I know that most people misinterpret what they see. But there’s something else too. If alien spaceships are really out there abducting us and playing chicken with our airplanes, then you’d expect that people who spend more time looking at the sky would see more of them. And who spends lots of time looking up?

Amateur astronomers, of course. They are dedicated observers, out every night peering at the sky. If The Truth Is Out There, then amateur astronomers would be reporting far and away the vast majority of UFOs.

But they don’t. Why not? Because they understand the sky! They know when a twinkling light is Venus, or a satellite, or a military flare, or a hot air balloon, and so they don’t report it.

That, to me, is the killer argument that aliens aren’t visiting us. If they were, the amateur astronomers would spot them.

Of course, you might say “But just because they don’t see UFOs doesn’t mean they aren’t real. It just takes one to prove aliens are coming here!” That might be correct, but remember, we started off thinking they’re coming here because so many UFOs are reported! Once you realize that the overwhelming majority of UFO cases are just everyday things, then that “it just takes one” argument gets a whole lot weaker.

But I’ll surprise you, though: I agree. It really only does just take one. But that one better have good proof! Something better than a single eyewitness, a badly sketched object, a fuzzy photograph, or out-of-focus video (heck, with digital effects the way they are today, you can’t even trust video that’s crystal clear). It needs a sample of non-terrestrial metal. An actual alien. Some incontrovertible evidence that is impossible to deny.

But we never get that. Why not? I think it’s because we’re not being visited. When Klaatu comes and lands on the White House lawn, I’ll be willing to change my mind. But until then, well, keep watching the skies. Learn what’s up there, and what isn’t. You might someday spot the genuine article.

But even if you don’t, you get to discover what’s really up there… and there’s treasure aplenty in the sky to be had, even by us folks stuck here on planet Earth.

Comments (573)

  1. The BA says: “When Klaatu comes and lands on the White House lawn, I’ll be willing to change my mind.”

    Two more weeks.

    – Jack

  2. Bad Wolf

    I totally agree with your assessment, but their are a few eyewitness accounts of UFO’s I find slightly convincing. Those being the accounts of air traffic controllers and pilots. These guys don’t just see them with their eyes but with radar. What are some of the natural phenomena that can mimic the rapid decent and speeds that many of these professionals have witnessed?

  3. Davidlpf

    Another couple of things that are not proof, memories of being “probed” and cows being sliced and diced a in the middle of no where. Just think why would they travel lightyears just to keep dissecting cows and sticking a probe well up there.

  4. amphiox

    A small piece of Klaatu would suffice for me, so long as they could show that it really was from Kaatu.

  5. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but isn’t something only alien when it’s here? I mean, a stranger in a strange land who never left his home land isn’t exactly an alien, no?

  6. poh123

    As long as we are so self centered as to think that intelligent (being intelligent the operative word, here) life will think the same as us, this will not be solved. But I have a better idea: why don’t all the skeptics just support absolute openness and support the investigation of those sightings that have no “mundane” explanations. There are quite a few, you know. It really would not be a waste of time. Who knows, what we might discover something about our planet, ourselves and maybe, just maybe, about life outside of our pea brained little world.

  7. I believe in UFOs: Unidentified Flying Objects.
    I don’t believe they are alien spacecraft.
    I believe that a UFO is really just a object in the sky that the viewer doesn’t recognize or can’t explain at the time, but which could be explained by someone who knows what they are seeing or has time to work out the details (like how relative distance and angles of view can mimic rapid decent and speeds enough to fool professionals).

  8. rob

    we don’t see ‘em cause they have developed metamaterials with a negative index of refraction that bend light around them, making them invisible to prying astronomer eyes. they stole the idea from harry potter. stoopid IP stealin’ aliens!

  9. IVAN3MAN

    Here is an example of some people’s ignorance of the night sky: Police say UFO was just the Moon

  10. Alan Haggard

    You’re correct about a few things. The universe is almost unfathomably vast, containing numerous galaxies, stars, and exoplanets. It would be unlikely that even a small fraction of these exoplanets did not contain life, in one form or another. As far as UFO’s are concerned, I agree with the first portion of your commentary. Most UFO sightings can be attributed to misidentifications of natural or man-made phenomena. However, you have to take into account the small percentage of legitimate cases in which you have multiple eyewitnesses from different vantage points, cooberating video and/or photographic evidence, and in some cases, even radar cross section recordings that all point to one conclusion: That being, a majority of UFO cases are either hoaxes or misidentifications. However a small percentage cannot be discredited nor attributed to any natural or man-made phenomena AND often exhibit craft of unknown origin flying at speeds we cannot yet attain and performing maneuvers which are physically “impossible” given our current state of technology (i.e. instant acceleration from a hovering stance to tens of thousands of miles per hour as well as performing right angle maneuvers at these speeds). Some people argue these sightings are nothing more than overactive imaginations reacting to Hollywood’s portrayal of the UFO phenomena, which does not make sense considering these sightings have been occurring for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. There have been reports of massive “cigar shaped” metallic craft since the early 1800’s, a type of craft which is not uncommonly reported and even filmed to this day.

  11. Viewer 3

    I know you were probably trying to keep it brief, but I wish you would’ve touched on the whole “cover-up” argument (maybe you did, I didn’t read the full version). The claimed “unbeatable argument” from these people is the point that we don’t have any physical proof because the government covers everything up. Which holds absolutely no weight at all if you think about it.

    If that were true, there would have to be an international alliance between every country in the world agreeing to keep every UFO a secret. That is, unless aliens are ONLY interested in America, and only decide to crash-land and/or leave physical evidence behind in our own country. I can’t imagine every government of every country in the world would have the same “cover-up at all costs” mentality that some of these people claim our government has. That’s just utterly silly. And what about countries that aren’t as wealthy as ours? What happens when a UFO crash lands in a small poor town of some third-world country? Will their government have the resources to be on the scene fast enough to keep people from talking, the way they are in every conspiracy theorist’s fantasy? I don’t think so.

    I’ve made that point before in some other post, but I figured it had an ever better place in this one. I agree that “aliens”, be it primitive microbes or intelligent life, do exist, simply based on the sheer size of the universe. I believe UFOs are possible, but unlikely for all the reasons listed.

  12. Alan Haggard

    When you take this information into account, one has to ask yourself: Why would the US military (as well others) deny the existence non-terrestrial UFO’s? The answer is simple. It all comes down to being an issue of national security. Our military (as well as others) do not want your average citizen to know there are craft possessing technologically superior to our own that are capable of violating our airspace at will. There was a time when this information may have caused mass panic of hysteria, another reason this information has been withheld, in addition to the theological implications such information would have and the reluctance of world leaders (who are generally very religious) to alter the public’s world view and to potentially put their own systems of belief into question.

  13. Madness

    @Davidlpf: Date Rape.

    @BA: Good deductive logic and critical thinking. Those who know, don’t speak. Those who speak, don’t know.

    Rage on

  14. KyleCarm

    Recently watch a few minutes of one of those UFO shows, with great amazing video, sharp clear……

    !st thought its an airplane with landing lights. Cool looking triangular shape. Drove to Boise last weekend, yep saw a plane approaching the airport looked exactly the same. I admit if you didn’t know what you were looking at then yeah it didn’t seem like an airplane, very odd angles, looked like it was a large wedge flying, but a little common sense and yep its an airplane.

    And sheesh every creature knows using a ship is for loosers, the only way to travel is inter-dimensional matter/energy conversion corridors using the dark energy booster units with the glonborbitronium suit. Earth space travel noobs!

  15. Alan Haggard

    It should also be noted that NASA has witnessed UFO’s on various occasions. If you listen to recordings of NASA transmissions regarding UFO’s, you’ll hear astronauts accidentally mention a “craft” or “bogey” before quickly being told to switch to an encrypted channel.

  16. Alan Haggard

    In regards to the show you watched, Kyle, some of that footage may have very well been an airplane. However, I have personally watched documentaries where such footage has been scrutinized by aviation experts, video analysts, as well as interviewing the people who actually shot the footage describing what they see in detail and interviewing other eyewitness, including police officers and radar operators who all witnessed the same craft. Their conclusions (as well as mine), without a doubt, are that these craft were not man-made.

  17. C

    Phil’s comment about even clear photos being fake reminded me of this footage I found of the Imperial Navy attacking and occupying San Francisco.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfqDVP_0O0c

    The Death Star is eerie.

  18. Not to mention the vast distances involved. Assuming the speed of light can never be surpassed, a single journey to Earth could take thousands of years. Yeah, I know, I’m not taking near-lightspeed travel’s time deceleration into account. But still. It’s a pretty long trip to be making just to freak out tipsy backwoods hunters.

    I saw some comedian (can’t remember his name) and one of his bits involved one alien talking to another. The alien said, “Ya know, Sklrgzyk, we’ve been anally probing these creatures for sixty years now, and the only thing we’ve ever found out is that approximately 10 percent of them like it!”

    Cracks me up.

  19. LameO

    That’s pretty weak reasoning. There are thousands of UFO reports that go way beyond “being chased by a bright light that changed colors” from very reputable sources.

    Now I’m not saying that they must have seen alien spacecraft. What I am saying is that you need to come up with some better explanations for these reports than “it was Venus or man made satellites”.

  20. Alan Haggard

    How ironic.. all the comments that support the view of this article’s author were displayed almost instantly. However my comments, which offer a rational counter-argument to a few specific points this person has brought up are being withheld, “Awaiting Moderation.” And you don’t see why their are so many people willing to buy into the “plausible deniability” factor put forth by the US military regarding UFO’s? It’s because of people like him who blindly follow their rhetoric and are afraid to think for themselves, to the extent of censoring anyone who disagrees with them.

  21. Alan Haggard

    In regards to the hurtle of overcoming distances involved with interstellar travel, the indelible cosmic speed limit of 186,000 miles per seconds, one has to look towards alternate means of propulsion. Two prime examples would be traversible wormholes (or Einstein-Rosenbridges) and of course the Alcubierre Warp Drive. Look them up, you just might learn something. Or, if you’re too lazy or stubborn to do so, NASA has courteously summarized the aforementioned means of interstellar or FTL (faster-than-light) propulsion, which can be found here:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/technology/warp/ideachev.html

  22. I sometimes have this fantasy, and pipe up if you’ve thought this too:

    What if we end up being the first technologically advanced civilization to visit and interact with other lifeforms. Technically it’s possible for others to be first- but why can’t it be us on planet Fegon-6 doing some drefrge probing and freaking out blueneck hillbillies?

  23. Davidlpf

    GumbyTheCat it could of been skit by “Kids in the Hall” which did skit like that but I cannot think of the exact lines. One of the Comedians was Dave Foley who played Alan Bean in “From the Earth to the Moon” and also was on Newsradio.

  24. Alan Haggard

    Sadly, this is what happens when certain people choose to disregard any credible evidence of UFO’s whether out of arrogance or their own conditioned beliefs, they focus only on the most asinine (no pun intended) & least plausible aspects of this phenomena rather than looking at the hard facts.

  25. ru

    Like someone said before, UFO’s are real. But they are usually easily explained like 80% of the time. The UFO’s that are unexplainable are the ones that airline pilots see alot. They see it, but don’t report because they can lose their jobs. So what makes them lose they job for seeing wierd lights fyling around your plane. coverup?

  26. Jeff Vachon

    Even more credible than astronomers are Astronauts. Many, if not most of them, HAVE seen UFOs. Dr Edgar Mitchell insists NASA has knowledge of such. Gordon Cooper has seen them. They have been videotaped outside Apollo spacecraft on the way to the Moon. Story Musgrave filmed them. Sally Ride speaks about seeing one during one of her flights. The list goes on.

  27. Hello,

    The only problem is: there are astronomers who report seeing UFOs. So when you make that argument, you’re really calling for trouble.

    Because you’ll just have someone pointing to you one case of an astronomer reporting to have seen a UFO and then… What do you say? That because he’s an astronomer he’s a reliable witness?

    OK, here you go, because you were really asking for it, a long list of sightings by astronomers (and I’m sure they are many lists like that on the web, I just put here the first one who came up with google):

    http://www.xdream.freeserve.co.uk/UFOBase/Astronomers.htm

    As skeptics, I think the thing to say is that no human witness is 100% reliable, and that even astronomers, like everyone else (airplane pilots and so on) can be confused while seeing something in unusual conditions.

    Phil, you’re a great skeptic, but I really think you should change your argumentation about UFOs (I’ve seen it in a YouTube video before, and I had the same reaction), and take into account the classic counter-argument by ufo-proponents, that there are many astronomers who reported seeing UFOs. Don’t be surprise when a guy like Stanton Friedman will write about you to say the same thing than me here.

    Keep up the good work,

  28. Ellen

    I do wonder why UFO apparently now means “object identified as an alien spacecraft” rather than “unidentified flying object”. But that’s probably a subject for a linguistics blog.

  29. Bad Wolf said “These guys don’t just see them with their eyes but with radar. What are some of the natural phenomena that can mimic the rapid decent and speeds that many of these professionals have witnessed?”

    For starters, electronic interference, cloud echoes, rain, flocks of birds, thermal layers and maybe even meteors.

  30. Considering there are perfectly valid solutions to the Drake Equation that suggest the number of intelligent life in the galaxy is very small, coupled with the fact that we haven’t seen it… I think the safe bet is “no” on both, at least in the Milky Way.

  31. Amos Newcombe

    I think the chemist has it. What impresses me is how young the universe is. The galaxy formed almost as soon as possible after the big bang (http://www.eso.org/public/outreach/press-rel/pr-2004/pr-20-04.html). Then several billion years went by to build up the heavy atoms we need to survive, and after the Earth formed life appeared again almost immediately. A few more billion years to develop multi-cellular life, before things started happening thick and fast, and here we are. Maybe it really does take 13 billion years to develop an intelligent interstellar space-faring race from a blob of hydrogen — and we’re not there even yet. Maybe it should take longer, and we just got lucky.

  32. Davidlpf

    Or gas, marsh gas that is.

  33. Rory Considine

    Nothing new or strange in what you write – by some standards.
    It is always interesting to hear “intelligent” people dismissing so easily and with such certainty the possibility that UFOs exist i.e. they claim that there is a simple down to earth explanation for them all. That attitude / interpretation I would regard as pompous and irrational. Why? Well, because there are thousands of UFO sightings that have been investigated and no ‘reasonable’ explanation can be found or is available to explain them. Yes, they do represent a very small percentage of the total sightings, but still very large considering their numbers. Even if this large number were eventually reduced to a few hundred or a few dozen- the ones that still cannot be explained by any means at man’s disposal would have to cause any logical person to think outside the norma frame of reference. Governments have not spent vast sums of money studying and examining a subject that does not exist! In other words – unidentified (unknown) flying objects, performing beyond our own technological capabilities and behaving intelligently must logically be considered to possibly be from somewhere else. Now whether that somewhere else is another Planet, another Dimension, or the Future by Time Travel etc is something that no one can say definitely at the moment. However, it should also mean that no reasoning intelligent and open-minded person should or could dismiss that possibilty.

    What you are really saying is that all those reliable UFO witnesses such as Airline / Fighter Pilots, Police officers, Radar Operators, Military Personnel, US Presidents etc. etc. etc. are all mistaken / wrong! They were all in fact either hallucinating, fooled, mistaken, dreaming, imagining – whatever! You must know that these are some of the very same people that you believe and trust in their judgement on a daily basis. Your very life depends on this judgement and in most matters you do this without question, such as:- to govern, protect and transport you etc. through your Government; Military; Nuclear Weapons; Police Forces; Passenger Travel. Some of these same people help to keep you safe day and night. However, when they say that they have seen something that proves to be unexplainable – you rubbish their intelligence. Is there not some great contradiiction in this attitude of yours? You are obviously incapable of thinking outside the box in this matter. Is it really just because you are unable to bring yourself to even possibly acknowlegde that they may have seen or been witnesses to something that is obviously outside the “normal” (and that could be from another world, dimension or time)! You deny that possibility and therefore belittle their intelligence, judgement and place in Society. In doing so, you help to stop people coming forward that may be afraid of being considerd foolish or worse.

    It is so ironic that some of the very same people that so strongly deny and make little of any possibility that UFOs are real (as in completely unexplainable on their level of acceptance / understanding) believe in a personal God. I do not know if you are one of them or not. They also believe in a place called Heaven and Hell, Angels and even Miracles. I have nothing against anyone that believes any of this and only raise it as an example of double-think, blindness and possible illogicality. Why? Well. can any of these same (billions of) people provide one photo of God – even a fuzzy one! Can they point out in the Cosmos where Heaven and Hell are located? Do any such believers have an ounce of evidence to support or to back up their beliefs! No, they do not! Yet, they are generally not thought of as being deluded, hallucinating, mistaken, wrong or much worse and they still occupy positions of responsibilty and are regarded as normal. So tell me, which would be the more logical to trust, support and believe in:- the most reliable UFO witnesses, the Radar Controller reports, photos and videos, or those that believe in the Holy Man with the long white beard, sitting up there somewhere in the sky that watches over our every move, action and thought? I would be more inclined to think that the intelligent and logical answer would be to believe the “Reliable” UFO witnesses that Investigations and Science admit have seen something extremely strange and that accept that something very unusual took place, happened and was witnessed (sometimes by multiple witnesses): And that these same Investgators and Scientists admit that what was actually seen, recorded or photographed cannot be explained or properly understood within our known Earthly references at this time. But that’s just me. Obviously you think quite differently about such strange things and the evidence that supports them!

    Regards

  34. Annette

    Bad Wolf – I agree about it being odd how seasoned pilots can mistake any atmospheric effects or another plane as a UFO. The pilots that I know have a crazy amount of knowledge on weather and can identify pretty well any aircraft just from the arrangement and frequency of its lights. They would also more than likely have information on military activity in the area over the radio (and are not allowed in military no-fly test zones) due to safety issues. Sure, it could be exhaustion or trauma (like POWs relaying strange events) but it still makes it a tad bit interesting to learn about.

    I’m a little curious about one thing though, didn’t Buzz Aldrin claim to see a UFO? Granted, he probably knew more about flying and engineering than the stars… but one would think that he had a decent amount of knowledge in astronomy.

    One thing I do know however, is how kooky a lot of “resources” come across when giving their “evidence”. I’m yet to see a really professionally done documentary… some will get you starting to listen to their reasonable witnesses like groups of police officers or a pilot and co-pilot dual sighting, then the next minute they put on the town nut who believes in every conspiracy theory and isn’t afraid to tell it. So until we have concrete evidence other than eye witness accounts and fuzzy videos, count me in with the “believe in aliens but not extra terrestrial UFOs”.

  35. GumbyTheCat (and Davidlpf): It was The Kids in the Hall…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXfowQSAnqg

    One of my favorites!

  36. John

    These alien blogs always go on for hundreds of comments. So many witnesses it seems have something to say. This may have some hidden interpretation instead of them all being crackpots.

    It’s difficult for people to keep quiet when they’ve had a personal experience and they’re sure it was something extraordinarily unexplainable. But it seems they have to otherwise the call for evidence outweighs any other interests. I’m not saying that’s wrong, the kind of proof described in the blog story is exactly what is needed before accepting any anecdotal evidence such as a story, but it can be a little disconcerting at times how that’s the first question asked before even taking a slight interest. There’s no way around this, we have to be sceptical, but just remember we are all probably human beings on here :) (unless some are aliens) and showing a bit of compassion may actually go a long way, and doesn’t cost a penny.

  37. SRS

    I’ve said this before, and here it is again: you give good reasons and logic, not just to cool off about aliens, but to begin, continue, or deepen one’s study of the sky.

  38. Jim Shaver

    Nope, John, they’re all crackpots. (Although, some of them are nice crackpots.) :)

  39. John

    There ya go, I suppose it becomes a habit for ya

  40. undercover

    Do you think we will idscover any intelligent civilizations in the next hundred years? My answers is no! The Drake equation estimates that there could be around 10 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy. But the number of primitive civilizations (anything from microorganisms to lifeforms that haven’t discovered any form of technology) could be a lot bigger than that!

  41. John

    Some professional astronomers in Austin, Texas have reported an unknown sighting frequently since September. Don’t be too dismissive of everyone being crackpots.

  42. Shawn S.

    This wingnut, Alan Haggard, claims Phil ‘censored his comments’ here on the blog. Phil, is this guy out to lunch?

    “Unfortunately, Mr. Plait decided to censor my comments on his blog simply because I do not fully support his views. The censored comments I wrote are as follows:

    # Alan Haggard Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    from: http://blogs.discovery.com/space_disco/2008/11/ufo-alien-plait.html

  43. undercover

    There’s got to be some form of microbial life deep in the martian soil!

  44. undercover

    And let’s not forget about one of Jupiter’s moons Europa! Think of the deeps sea lifeforms on Earth and you’ll see what I mean!

  45. John

    If we discover life on Mars or one of Jupiter’s moons, it opens pandora box to what we think may be possible. We will start to think how abundant life could be in the universe. Maybe consciousness itself is another constant in the universe just like gravity or related to energy since our self-awareness and conciousness is simply neuron energy. In a way this could make the universe as a whole alive, and all lifeforms part of one large organism. This is how I’ve read Physicists speculating on what we may later find out. Usually only religious people or ufo believers make vague statements about such things that make them sound crazy. But we are now getting people like Physicists speculating on stuff which would have sounded crazy talk only a few years ago. There must be some logical basis for this, otherwise they probably wouldn’t be saying it.

  46. Alan Haggard, I posted this on the other blog, but to make sure you see it:

    I have an automatic filter for spam. Perhaps you have spammed some other blog, and it knows? I don’t censor anyone — though I do delete offensive comments or ones that violate my commenting policy. But your jumping to conclusions is noted.

  47. Thomas Siefert

    Opening a Pandora’s box is a bad thing, surely you must mean opening a fridge stacked with beer?
    :-)

  48. Venom, what I said was that if UFOs were real, astronomers would report them. That doesn’t mean that astronomers report real flying saucers. What it does mean is that the vast majority of reported UFOs are misidentified mundane objects.

    I would put more credibility to astronomers’ reports, but I have been fooled at least once before (ducks, in my case), and I can think of several scenarios where astronomers could be fooled. So they would have to be investigated just like anyone else.

  49. “Why would the US military (as well others) deny the existence non-terrestrial UFO’s? The answer is simple. It all comes down to being an issue of national security. Our military (as well as others) do not want your average citizen to know there are craft possessing technologically superior to our own that are capable of violating our airspace at will.”

    Exactly, the US military has covered up technologically superior aircraft that got deep in to US airspace. Except they weren’t coming from the direction you’re thinking of! During the Cold War, there were many, many air missions – the Americans flying over the USSR, the Soviets flying over America. Now, the East and West coasts were fairly well protected. The Canadian border was VERY well protected – if there was to be a nuclear / bomber exchange, that was the direction they’d probably come in. The South? Not so well protected – and we KNOW that the USSR had, at times, bases in the Caribbean. (Hell, that was the whole basis of the Cuban Missile Crisis!)

    So if a Soviet aircraft manages to get a fair distance in to US airspace before being spotted by radar and hightailing it out of there, then you can sort of see why the US military wouldn’t want anyone to know that their enemies were getting as far as, say, Nashville. It’s bad for their image ;)

    Oh – and there’s also the possibility that when the military was denying non-terrestrial UFOs, it was because they hadn’t found any…

  50. Hugo

    This reminds me of a silly experience I had the other week:

    I was driving along a four-lane stretch of road when suddenly a massive, pale yellow object appeared in front of my car.

    It was brilliant and crystal clear, and my first (unconscious) thought was it was one of those early “airships” (you’ve probably seen pics of them: like a Spanish galleon with all these spherical balloons holding it up).

    I soon realised this was patently ridiculous and tried to get a good look at the object. Guess what it was?

    The moon poking through some tress.

    It was low in the sky, full (and large: looked about an inch wide) and obscured by haze from a nearby bushfire (turning it yellow).

  51. dan2

    It’s quite the jump from a tiny percentage of unexplained UFOs to alien spacecraft visiting the earth. Blurry pictures, blips on a radar and anecdotes don’t cut it, so where’s the evidence?.

  52. formulaterp

    Alan Haggard,

    Your posts make up 7 of the first 24 responses (29%) in this article. Nobody is censoring you. And you really shouldn’t be surprised if the spam filter kicks in.

  53. Dear Phil,

    You do deserve some credit for maintaining your obtuse ignorance of the UFO/ET subject right up until the very end of the truth embargo. Defender of the closed mind, servant to state propaganda, purveyor of science not as a vessel to be filled but as a paper bag to be worn over the head.

    Credit given, it is necessary once again to point out that every time you say or write anything on the subject of extraterrestrial phenomena, you make a complete fool of yourself. Debunkers such as Klass and Shermer act in their self interest – they are paid to be skeptics for a living. Being right is irrelevant. You and Shostak are scientists. You are paid to seek understanding. Both of you are profoundly overpaid.

    Regards,
    Stephen Bassett
    Executive Director
    Paradigm Research Group
    http://www.paradigmresearchgroup.org

  54. Gonzo

    Well said Phil. You should market little talking dolls of yourself that spout this stuff. I, and I am sure many others, could make great use of them. Between CTs and ghost hunters I am, at times, surrounded by idiocy. Thanks for the post. I’ll have to check out the video of it when I get home later.

  55. Buzz Parsec

    The true believers keep saying they have cases with multiple observers, recordings (photo, film, video tape, radar records), physical evidence, etc. but it’s not true! If there were such evidence, no one but a wing nut would deny it. But this evidence, these cases, don’t exist! Every time they get down to specifics, and people with expertise (professional photographers, astronomers, radar experts, meteorologists, special effects experts, etc. – who ever is appropriate for the type of evidence reported) examine it, it all vanishes like a puff of smoke. Should skeptics categorically deny the possibility of alien spacecraft visiting earth? No. Should they hold their breaths waiting? Absolutely not. The burden of proof is on the believers.

    Also, Phil said:

    There are tens of thousands of UFOs reported every year. That’s one of the reasons a lot of people think aliens are visiting us: there’s no way that there could be that many reports if some of them weren’t real!

    (wonder if that worked? Wonder if all subsequent posts on this topic will show up as quotes from the BA?)

    Anyway, that’s strong evidence that *none* of them are real. If there are zillions of sightings, most with no hope of ever receiving any sort of corroboration, and all the ones that can be investigated beyond a “he said, she said” level turn out not to be aliens, then you have to assume the rest are cut from the same cloth. If, on the other hand, there were only a tiny number of sightings, it would mean that most people are competent observers and that tiny remainder would be truly strange phenomena that would warrant further investigation.

  56. Robert E

    I’m a professor of applied linguistics and language studies. I watched a ‘ufo’ come down out of the sky at a 45-degree angle a couple of years back and watched it hover over a campus building. It hovered there for about 8 minutes, long enough for me to decided what it wasn’t. It hovered about 10 feet above the building. It was circular and seemed to be ‘spinning’. It’s color was silver-blue (metallic because it was reflecting sunlight) and brownish underneath. The weather was mild but some cloud to the east of the campus. It was the middle of the afternoon. I was walking toward the building the ‘ufo’ was hovering over. I wasn’t totally alone, a middle-aged woman passed by me and also saw what I saw (but she didn’t say anything to me, just hurried off). As I said, I watched it hover over the building for about 8 minutes. The ‘ufo’ then silently moved off toward the east and disappeared behind a cloud. I didn’t see any ‘aliens’, just the ‘ufo’.

  57. @John Seymour:
    That KITH skit was awesome! I love Dave Foley

  58. Phiiiii-iiil!! (Said in the whiniest tone you can imagine)

    How dare you? I’m writing THIS EXACT ARTICLE for MY blog right now! I’ve been working on it for a week. The title is the same and everything.

    Grrr. I guess I’ll have to use a different title now. Or maybe I can just put in a disclaimer that I did this before you – though trackback certainly won’t support me.

    ::sigh::

  59. Jeffersonian

    I say the exact opposite.
    Aliens? No.
    UFOS? Yes.

    Because the term “aliens” generally connotes an intelligent hominid visiting our solar system. I say we are the technological leaders in this universe. Other life forms might be barely multi-cellular. I like the Sagan odds, but believing in aliens is, to me, too similar to being a theist and, if life exists far far away, but stays home, it’s not exactly “alien”.

    Because the term “UFO” doesn’t mean “spacecraft from beyond the solar system”. UFOs can become IFOs but that doesn’t mean an object didn’t first exist as an UFO. The problem isn’t their existence, the problem occurs when an individual hears the term and jumps to an extra-terrestrial assumption. Because some have misused the term is no reason to jump on the misuse bandwagon with them. It still means exactly what it was coined for.

    If Klaatu came, why the White House? Maybe Klattu would use this heirarchy:
    10 Downing Street
    Élysée Palace
    24 Sussex Drive

  60. Nigel Depledge

    Alan Haggard said:

    The universe is almost unfathomably vast, containing numerous galaxies, stars, and exoplanets. It would be unlikely that even a small fraction of these exoplanets did not contain life, in one form or another.

    While I happen to agree with you here, you should recognise that your argument is an argument from personal incredulity, and as such is not very convincing.

    A more logical argument would be that we know of no mechanism that can prevent life from starting on a planet that has suitable conditions. Thus, there is no reason to assume that life cannot start when the conditions are suitable for life as we know it.

    Incidentally, we can only ever comment on life as we know it, because we will probably not even recognise life as we don’t know it.

  61. TheWalruss

    Blarg – I wish the aliens would come and bring some extraterrestrial knowledge. We wouldn’t have to wait for the LHC to get repaired to learn about the Higgs!

    But seriously – I find it highly unlikely aliens are visiting Earth at this time. Yes, there are lots of unexplained UFO phenomena. But if there were real extraterrestrial space-ships visiting, we’d know about it. Astronomers, random people with good recording equipment, governments that value transparency, or the aliens themselves would provide believable proof. Until then, I will continue to file alien visitations in the same mental folder as God and the tooth fairy.

    There are many crackpots out there saying aliens are visiting “psychically” or “spiritually”, which is hilarious! Makes for some great reading, though!

  62. Alan Haggard

    Mr. Plait,
    I apologize for jumping to conclusions regarding my previous posts.. It just seemed a little odd to me that all of my comments were hidden whilst others were showing up, and only those that supported your views at that, and since I had read a while back that you tend to ban people from your site whom you disagree with (whether true or not), I was lead to the conclusion that you were likely “moderating” your site in such a way to censor any comments contrary to your own. I’m not sure why your site would choose to automatically filter my posts, as I have never partaken in any”spamming” or anything of that sort. In fact, there is at least one thing we have in common. We both despise spam and want nothing to do with it. Well I digress.. Honestly, I respect your views as a skeptic, but foremost as an astronomer, whether I agree with them or not. It’s important that we all express our views and allow the free interchange of thought and knowledge to occur. I can understand why you would have a hard time believing that the UFO phenomena (at least in part) is extra-terrestrial in nature, due to your profession and skeptical nature. I, however, choose to maintain a unique (albeit at times paradoxical) point of view, that of an open-minded skeptic. I’m open to (nearly) any possibility, but whether I choose to believe in it is another matter. Like my views regarding my religion and other topics, my views regarding UFO’s have evolved with time. At first, I too was also skeptical and tended to focus on the hoaxes and trite aspects of the phenomena, and rightfully so. However, after seeing the unprecedented amount of convincing and cooberating circumstantial, and in some cases, even physical evidence, I have concluded that a small percentage of these cases pertain to technologically advanced craft of unknown origin, quite possibly extra-terrestrial. Hopefully, some day more convincing evidence will make itself evident (that is, if the US Military doesn’t get to it first) and will hence confront us all with the reality of the situation. If that day never arrives, or if I am persuaded to abandon my stance on the matter, then I will admit I was wrong and alter my beliefs accordingly. Unfortunately, it does not appear likely that day will come any time soon, and even less likely the latter will occur, which leaves me in a somewhat awkward position. Nevertheless, I will continue to pursue my interest in the UFO phenomena, sorting through the nonsense and focusing on the concrete unexplainable events that have occurred time and time again.

    Regards,
    Alan Haggard
    San Diego, CA

  63. Alan Haggard

    Nigel, you bring up an interesting point. I just didn’t think it was necessary to point out the fact that we don’t know of any mechanism that would prevent life from occurring if the conditions were just right. My statement was adequate as it stands. As far as my remark of life in “one form or another” I have to disagree with you there. It IS possible that we may very well be capable of recognizing alien lifeforms so alien they are unlike anything we have yet to see, for a variety of reasons. That is, unless these lifeforms choose to remain entirely motionless at all times or are completely undetectable, both visually and chemically.

  64. Wade

    This demonstrates why we are unable to have serious discussions over possible visitations or, perhaps, interactions within dimensions/multiple universes. The discounting of sightings is almost always the same and relies upon the worst possible examples. Venus & satellites are poor explanations as they only address average people observing rather small specks in the sky. They probably do explain the vast majority of “reported” UFO sightings, but mostly dismissed by any serious investigator of such things. The real hardcore, not-so-easily-ignored cases, the in-your-face sightings are difficult to dismiss, but rarely discussed by skeptics unless they can prove a hoax. Why is that?
    I’ve got no clue as to what’s going on, but I do “know” that something is going on and I’d like to see it resolved. I’m in my 50s and have been an amateur astronomer most of my life, astro photography my focus. I’ve never seen anything I could not explain during the weekly outings. However, on a fishing trip deep in the Canadian wilds, I did observe, with others, up close & personal, an object I’ll never forget (nor will the others) and not easily explained. None of us reported the object because we knew it would be pointless. Over the years, I’ve read other accounts, seen sketches & photographs and can attest that many were nearly identical to what I observed.
    Count me in the group that really doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about the experience, doesn’t want to believe me or thinks they have a logical answer. Once it happens to you, as you often hear others say, you’ll understand.

  65. John

    There you go, does Alan Haggard sound like a crazy man. No, he sounds like a rational person looking for answers. That’s how many people are, and even how many ufo witnesses are. It’s a shame that everyone hasn’t seen a ufo, and that nobody has any proof yet of their encounter.

  66. TheWalruss

    I’ve often wondered about dark matter. It’s nearly ubiquitous, and yet it interacts with normal matter so feebly that we hardly know anything about it. That doesn’t mean that dark matter interacts weakly with other dark matter, though, right? There could be a myriad strange life-forms existing in what almost amounts to an alternate reality, living out their lives never suspecting the existence of our form of matter. Except as an esoteric explanation for the missing 10% of matter that they just can’t account for with astronomical observation and ‘normal’ physics…

    There was a sci-fi book about this idea once – I don’t remember who wrote it or what it’s called, but it was wicked awesome. A spaceship full of humans goes out to colonize another star system, but it’s no good when they get there, and by the time they get back to Earth, 3 million years have passed due to relativity. No big deal, that’s what they expected. But the sun had aged a few billion years, and had wiped out humanity in the throes of old age!
    Why is this? They look around, and see a similar phenomenon in all the normal stars of the galaxy, but not the old and slow-burning ones. It turns out that dark-matter creatures profit from some of the hail of particles – maybe positrons? – so they cluster around the stars to cause them to collapse early and burn slower, so they have a long and steady supply of these particles. Sadly, these “engineered” stars are too cold to sustain normal “baryonic” life, so what the last lifeboat of earthlings to do?

  67. TheWalruss

    I didn’t mean to end the previous comment like that.
    More like this:

    Anybody know the book I’m talking about? I’d like to re-read it sometime.

  68. John

    My sighting was of several lights moving around each other before zooming off leaving 2 trails or distortions behind them, with around a dozen or two jets in pairs appearing to intercept towards this location from different directions before and after the sightings. These appeared to be possibly fighter jets that had been intercepting a ufo. Although some of these could be the same jets circling round or changing direction. Maybe they were from different military bases so that’s why they approached from different vectors. I’m absolutely certain that these unknown lights were not balloons, lanterns, planes, helicopters, hallucinations or celestial objects. I cannot rule out new undisclosed military technology, but these were just like a typical extraordinary ufo sighting and left me shaken for a few days. I cannot rule out an elaborate hoax by someone involving model aircraft, but that seems unlikely as I didn’t hear the sounds of model aircraft. This incident has not been reported in the media as far as I know. At the time I thought these were not ours, anything we have could not move around as fast as that. At the time I also felt an usual feeling on the top of my head, similar to what I would describe as an electromagnetic field. I’ve never experienced that sensation before and never have since. After daylight, the contrails left by the jets filled the sky in parallel and perpendicular lines and gradually merged together by the wind and drifted away. I would not be surprised if the chemical trails people witness are just a large merger of contrails from fighter jets intercepting ufos, maybe some of the larger ones caused by afterburners. I definitely heard the planes pass over as well at the time, they appeared to be at a high altitude, and not exceeding the sound barrier. I don’t think that was the sound of model aircraft either before someone attempts to say that’s what it was. Another explanation could be that chemical spraying caused hallucinations. But I really doubt the chemical spraying theories and therefore think that’s unlikely.

    I’ve emailed Nick Pope asking how to find out radar traces of this event. Since it takes time, more expertise than I have and money I have since not investigated this. If there are ufo researchers who wish to investigate this event I can give them more details, such as times, date, location where I witnessed this in order for them to determine whether anything was detected on radar. But I’m unable to offer any help beyond this. If anyone chooses to investigate it’s up to you to interpret the radar, and all the costs. Although I will provide as much information as I can to help you I don’t have the time or money to help with any in depth analysis. This could provide as much evidence as the Stephenville sightings, or none at all. It depends on what was picked up on radar, and whether this information can be obtained through the freedom of information act in the UK. I know one thing for sure, that’s that something extremely unusual happened, and there were unexplainable lights, and apparent chasing of these lights by fighter jets. I did take photos but they didn’t come out too well, and with careful adjustment of the brightness and contrast I can make out the same lights I witnessed in the same orientation in the sky, and moments later there’s a swirling pattern in the sky in roughly the same location. Without actually seeing these at the time looking the photos doesn’t seem very impressive as they only appear extremely dim. They do appear to be more than background noise created by the compression of the jpeg image though to anyone who is impartial in their judgements. And funnily enough Venus is also there in the photo as well. I admit at the time for a short while I also thought Venus was also another ufo, but most people would at the time if they saw dancing lights right nearby. After checking with planetarium software I determined the bright light on the photo is definitely Venus. I am not going to say I can prove this happened, so for those of you that wish to pick out bits and try and discredit please do, but be aware I cannot prove it and so don’t ask me to.

  69. John

    And yes Nick Pope did reply the same day with details on how to obtain the radar data, and he gave advice on what to exactly ask for. I can post those details as well if anybody wishes to pursue it. I wish to remain anonymous as I’m not looking for fame, and I don’t need to take credit for helping to provide potential evidence.

  70. Nigel Depledge

    Alan Haggard said:

    As far as my remark of life in “one form or another” I have to disagree with you there. It IS possible that we may very well be capable of recognizing alien lifeforms so alien they are unlike anything we have yet to see, for a variety of reasons. That is, unless these lifeforms choose to remain entirely motionless at all times or are completely undetectable, both visually and chemically.

    We can, of course, speculate endlessly about how life might exist in ways that are alien to our existing knowledge (e.g. life existing with ammonia as a solvent instead of water). This ability to speculate is not at issue.

    However, we can only make definitive statements or predictions about life as we know it.

    We may recognise life as we don’t know it, but it is more probable that we won’t. The whole point being that any alien life out there has to resemble terrestrial life in one way or another for us to be able to identify it as alive. And I’m not talking here about looking like a terrestrial cat or dog – I’m talking about such basics as metabolism, reproduction and compartmentalisation. Alien life would have to have at least some of these properties for us to be able to recognise it as alive.

  71. CR

    Naomi, I’ve brought up the ‘Soviet aircraft penetrating US airspace’ point myself in the past… in fact, I used it as an alternative to explain the 1947 Roswell thing, even though there isn’t any evidence to support it. (It’s in at least one of these blog entries somewhere around here, maybe two… been a while since I’ve brought it up.) Makes much more sense given the context of history, and applies Occam’s Razor in the process.

    Anyway, it’s nice to see I’m not the only one who’s considered the possibility of ‘enemy’ aircraft as oppposed to alien spacecraft as an explanation for UFOs.

  72. Nigel Depledge

    Alan haggard said:

    . . . a small percentage cannot be discredited nor attributed to any natural or man-made phenomena AND often exhibit craft of unknown origin flying at speeds we cannot yet attain and performing maneuvers which are physically “impossible” given our current state of technology (i.e. instant acceleration from a hovering stance to tens of thousands of miles per hour as well as performing right angle maneuvers at these speeds).

    As far as I was aware, none of these cases withstands detailed scrutiny. Judging speed and distance are notoriously difficult without suitable reference points, and the atmosphere can occasionally create some strange and bizarre refractive phenomena (akin to a mirage, but not limited to the Earth’s surface).

    Behaviour such as you ascribe to UFOs (please also notice that the plural of an abbreviation does not require an apostrophe!) violates the laws of physics. If it comes to a choice between a mundane explanation that involves (for instance) rare atmospheric phenomena and a fantastic explanation involving the postulation of technology that allows its possessors to violate the laws of nature, well, it seems pretty clear-cut to me.

    Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. That evidence has yet to be forthcoming.

    You seem also to be making an eliminative argument, to wit: if we have ruled out all known phenomena to explain a reported UFO, then the answer is alien spaceships. This is logically weak for one very simple reason – you unjustifiably discount unknown but wholly terrestrial causes.

    Science is quite comfortable with the conclusion “we don’t know”, because this often stimulates further investigation. However, alien spaceship enthusiasts do not permit this conclusion to exist – if a “sighting” cannot be explained (to the enthusiasts’ satisfaction!) as a known phenomenon, it “must” be alien visitors. This is probably one reason why the enthusiasts are so often dismissed as cranks.

  73. Metre

    Life on Earth is about 4 billion years old. Modern humans have only been around for about a million years – that’s about .025% of the time that life has been around. So for the other 99.975% of life’s existence on Earth, there was no “intelligent life”- life capable of communicating with or traveling to other worlds. So while life may be common in the universe, intelligent life – the kind that could travel here in spacecraft – is probably extremely rare.

  74. Nigel Depledge

    Alan Haggard said:

    . . . my comments, which offer a rational counter-argument . . .

    Er, no.

    You have not supported any of your claims with evidence.

    That is not rational argument. You are the one making extraordinary claims. Where is this evidence to which you vaguely allude?

  75. John

    Here we go again

  76. Ray

    Naomi,

    Do you have any cites for these aircraft that have penetrated the US?

  77. James(militant Agnostic)

    Why does everyone keep saying military pilots are reliable observers?

    Do the words ‘friendly fire’ mean nothing to you?

    Anyone capable of mistaking an orange press truck for an Iraki tank is OF COURSE the right person to make a judgment call about a UFO encounter

  78. Gonzo

    Because the term “UFO” doesn’t mean “spacecraft from beyond the solar system”. UFOs can become IFOs but that doesn’t mean an object didn’t first exist as an UFO.

    I can’t see how a semantics argument is helpful at all. Everyone knows what is assumed in the meaning of the term UFO. You can’t fight language.

  79. Gonzo

    My above cmt should have looked like this:

    Because the term “UFO” doesn’t mean “spacecraft from beyond the solar system”. UFOs can become IFOs but that doesn’t mean an object didn’t first exist as an UFO.

    I can’t see how a semantics argument is helpful at all. Everyone knows what is assumed in the meaning of the term UFO. You can’t fight language.

  80. James(militant Agnostic)

    OMG!

    my comment is awaiting moderation!

    I must be the subject of rouge UFO hackers that object to my support for BA’s position!

  81. Annette

    John – I agree… Alan Haggard’s posts are quite insightful and goes to show that rational thinking people do believe in such unexplained phenomenon. Regardless of how skeptical I may be, nobody can give me concrete evidence against UFOs either. In that sense, it is sort of like Carl Sagan’s “Dragon in my Garage” exercise.

    (BTW, I can also remember when I first started posting here and my first few posts were awaiting moderation. It was a little odd seeing other posts shoot up while mine wasn’t so I assumed at first that Dr. Plait didn’t like what I had to say. What I didn’t realize is how the filter recognizes you over time and lets some post freely why the noobs are held up. So I can see why the blog will occasionally get an upset person wondering why respectful free speech is being filtered if they are only putting forth an opposing viewpoint).

  82. Jim Seymour – Thanks! It was indeed that KITH skit I was thinking of. Too funny.

  83. Charles Boyer

    Annette — one of the most difficult feats in logic is proving a negative. Skepticism, which is actually another word for applied-logic, has that very difficulty.

  84. Unspeakably Violent Jack

    “Here we go again”?

    What do you mean – here we go again, asking to see some actual evidence for UFOs – why is that so unreasonable?

  85. Scott Romanowski

    It’s a funny coincidence that Phil writes about how amateur astronomers don’t see UFOs. Last week at a star party one of the attendees asked if I had ever seen a UFO. I answered that I’d seen a couple things that I didn’t recognize at the moment, but later figured out what they were, and that’s all. Part of the reason is that if we see something we don’t recognize, we put a ‘scope on it and take a closer look. We pull out a computer and fire up an astronomy program to see what was there. We go to a satellite tracking web site and search.

  86. TheWalruss

    @John: It is unfortunately a waste of time to pursue your sighting. Here is why:

    Option 1: You saw alien spacecraft with military jets in pursuit. Clearly there is a massive coverup conspiracy involving aliens, MIBs, and an international shadow government. Any radar records you might get are already edited for content. “They” read this website and have tracked your IP so they know who you are, and you’ll get nowhere.

    Option 2: You saw a training exercise, a hallucination, optical disturbance, weather balloon, or Mercury is in retrograde. The radar records will show something mundane.

    To anybody except the hypothetical “people who know”, the options look identical.

    So now we can sit tight and ponder – do we agnostically say “aliens might be visiting our planet, but there is no way to know”, or do we use Occam’s Razor and say “despite the strange things I’ve seen, the simplest answer is that we are alone”.

  87. John

    It’s not unreasonable, it’s unfeasible to expect a witness to have the evidence. Yet the first question involves asking for evidence whenever anyone mentions a sighting. I’m not saying don’t ask for evidence, what I meant was don’t use overkill and ask for it in every post. Not necessarily referring to you, just a general statement on what a few people do on here, not everyone of course. I’m a sceptic myself but I don’t spend my time calling others crackpots. I want to see the ship and the occupants before believing, yet I’ve seen ufos and know myself that they do exist, but I don’t know what they are or where they’re from, and I don’t have proof to give to anyone.

  88. I’ve said this before, but I’ll annoy you all with it again. The chances of not only a civilization with space travel but one who has then traveled to visit us is SO much smaller than the chances of just another intelligent species with a civilization, and even smaller than the chances of just another intelligent species who are, say, hunter-gatherers.

    Consider a species even 1000 times more intelligent than we are who has been around much, much longer. Assuming that they are intelligent enough, they still need so many things to be able to invent space travel: complicated speech, organized and motivated citizens and leaders (well, at least citizens), the necessary materials and fuels, and, the one we don’t think about as much, appropriate limbs and something similar to an opposable thumb, combining to create a grasping system. Or, of course, some form of psychokinesis or other method of making something as intricate as a space travel system.

    I’d say the chances of other species, probably far more advanced than we are mentally, is pretty high. At least, that is, the chances that they ever existed. You then have to consider whether they exist now and whether they have the qualities I mentioned, not to mention tons of others I didn’t mention or can’t think of myself. There could be super-intelligent gasses and fish out there (see dolphins) that couldn’t ever create even a city, much less a spacecraft.

  89. Why would the US military (as well others) deny the existence non-terrestrial UFO’s? The answer is simple. It all comes down to being an issue of national security. Our military (as well as others) do not want your average citizen to know there are craft possessing technologically superior to our own that are capable of violating our airspace at will.

    I suggest you read “Demon Haunted World”. If anything, the military would get huge increases in funding in today’s economy by playing the fear card of aliens coming here for unknown purposes. Your reasoning seems backwards (in a whole lot of areas to be honest!). :)

  90. CR

    An additional point to my (and naomi’s) idea about Soviet aircraft penetrating US airspace. Neither of us cited proof for the idea; in fact, I said I had none.

    Speaking only for myself, I offer my explanation only as speculation without evidence. BUT, based upon the history of the time (the Cold War) and the fact that neither the US nor USSR would ever want to admit each country was flying over the other, it just seems to make more sense. Put another way: one could discount the idea the Soviet spyplanes were flying over the US, and offer up many reasonable arguments to prove the point, but then to switch gears and say that alien spacecraft were instead flying over the US is somehow better? How are aliens any more logical a conclusion than Soviets? Might as well be faeries or pteranodons.

  91. Corey

    I don’t see this joke anywhere…but someone once I asked me if I believed in UFOs. Of course I said, I don’t have to…UFOs are real. If it’s flying and you don’t know what it is, it’s literally an Unidentified Flying Object.

    Now…the question is: are they alien spacecraft. Most likely not…

  92. I very much doubt Soviet aircraft would mistaken for UFOs. Especially for the 1947 Roswell thing. The Soviets wouldn’t have had an aircraft that could fly that far in 1947 surely? Unless the foreign incursions were Canadians or Mexicans of course.

    High altitude bombers and reconnaissance aircraft by definition are just that anyway, high altitude. They don’t tend to get over their targets and do aerobatics. You’d be flat out seeing the ruddy things. The military would probably recognise them anyway. Even the Soviets were able to shoot down a U2.

  93. TheWalruss

    I’m pretty sure Roswell was a weather balloon used to test ballistic missile detection systems … coverup and contradicting “official” explanations is to be expected given some farmer found it and they didn’t want the Russkies to know what was going on.

  94. CR

    A (hopefully) final note from me about Soviet aircraft in US airspace: I offer it only as a POSSIBILITY, not as an end-all explanation. But as such, I submit that it’s much more PROBABLE than otherwordly aliens. There are a number of other terrestrial explanations that can & do have more merit, but the idea here is to think terrestrial in the first place. Rule out every terrestrial possibility before making the ‘leap of faith’ to aliens.

  95. As a JPL Solar System Ambassador, I get this question all the time. My answer is generally the same as yours, but I really like the amateur astronomer argument. I’ll have to use that in the future.

    Thanks,
    Steve

  96. Gary Ansorge

    Metre:

    99.975 %,,,that sounds just about right. .00025 times about ,,,whatever number of stars have livable planets(still unknown).

    Intelligent(argue-ably) life on this planet is still struggling with the whole concept of moving beyond its planetary environment. In order to fund interstellar travel, it’s likely we would need an economy several thousand times larger than we have at present.(ie, quadrillions of dollars/year)which will absolutely require a solar system wide economy. That will likely take a few thousand years to put in place. Since it took about 7 or 8 billion years to create the heavy elements life needs for self replication, we’re probably(after a mere 4.7 billion years) in the earliest stages of organic evolution. There may well be many planets in this galaxy with intelligent life, just now getting to the thresh hold of technological ability to control their environment and maybe expand into space however,,,there are a number of requirements for that expansion,,,
    1) an expansionist philosophy
    2) surviving entry into a nuclear age
    3)planet wide co-operative behavior(we’re still on the low end of that)
    4)something close to the planet to encourage expansion(like a big moon)(That alone seems to be a pretty unlikely development)

    I expect there is lots of life in the universe.
    I expect many such will eventually develop intelligence
    I expect most such intelligence will never leave their planetary surface.
    Of those that do, there’s still that pesky speed of light limitation to contend with.
    A note about the Alcubiere warp drive,,,NASA estimates it would take a mass energy equivalent to the mass of Jupiter to enable such FTL. MAybe they’re being too conservative, but I expect they’re right on.

    For an expansionist society, one in which there is both desire and means to settle the galaxy, there is also the inevitable overrun of all more primitive life(see:History of life on THIS planet). SO, IF there were such a culture already in place in this galaxy, it would likely have already colonized us. Since that does not appear to be the case,,,I expect we’re either the first such intelligence to come along, or at least very close to the first, so close that others haven’t had time to get here,,,yet,,,

    But I really wish it were otherwise. Vulcans would be so cool to know,,,

    Gary 7

  97. Dave Mosher! He used to work at dm.com. Go Dave.

  98. TheWalruss

    I will also note that, again from the perspective of simpler-is-better, a conspiracy to hide the presence and capabilities of military aircraft in enemy airspace is *much* more plausible than hiding the presence of alien aircraft in terrestrial airspace.

    * Military planes miss astronomers’ attention because they are too close (and uninteresting).
    * The “conspiracy” is limited to just the two relatively small parties involved (US and Soviet air forces, in the case of a hypothetical Roswell bomber incident).
    * The parties involved have a vested interest in keeping it quiet.

    Why do I talk about conspiracies all the time? Well, if even 0.1% of the tens of thousands of “sightings” per year turned out to be real, then we’d have one *real* UFO visit per year that a human has witnessed and reported. That’s a whole lot of evidence and stuff over all these decades that has been very effectively suppressed. Not sure how that would occur world-wide without some sort of crazy conspiracy thing going on.

    Unless, of course, the percentage of “real” sightings were actually zero…

  99. Timothy from Boulder

    Skeptic’s flowchart

    Is there a preponderance of evidence that unexplained aerial phenomena are aliens?
    |
    No
    |
    [Wait 10 years]
    |
    Is there a preponderance of evidence that unexplained aerial phenomena are aliens?
    |
    No
    |
    [Wait 10 years]
    |
    Is there a preponderance of evidence that unexplained aerial phenomena are aliens?
    |
    No
    |
    [Wait 10 years]
    |

    Hey! This is easy!

  100. Nigel Depledge

    John said:

    There you go, does Alan Haggard sound like a crazy man. No, he sounds like a rational person looking for answers.

    I disagree. See my preceding comments.

    Does a rational person make an extraordinary claim that they cannot back up with evidence?

    If Alan Haggard had been saying “there’s a small percentage of sightings that we can’t explain by reference to known phenomena (references to detailed accounts of said unexplained sightings), then alien visitors remains a possibility” I would have agreed. However, this is not what his posts have been saying (although I have not yet read all the comments in this thread so if he changed his tune at some stage I apologise now for mischaracterising him).

    That’s how many people are, and even how many ufo witnesses are. It’s a shame that everyone hasn’t seen a ufo, and that nobody has any proof yet of their encounter.

    I am a UFO witness. I have seen things in the night sky that I cannot identify. Do I think they were alien spacecraft? No. Probably they were either satellites or aircraft.

  101. Steve

    With respect to government cover ups, it seems to me our government and most others are incapable of keeping secrets. We routinely hear about contents of top secret documents, secret meetings, etc. There are leaks everywhere. I therefore find it interesting that it appears all governments on earth are capable of keeping supposed evidence of alien visitations to our planet a secret.

    I also think that the National Security argument would not stand the test of legal challenges unless there were some imminent threat involved. If no alien attack has occurred yet, despite years of reported observations, I’d be surprised if an enterprising investigative reporter/organization couldn’t find enough evidence to get a judge to over rule a government claim of “National Security”. There are judicial venues with clearances to address top secret issues, so I don’t think it a valid argument to say the government can hide all this stuff away without anyone questioning it.

  102. Metre

    Gary 7:

    I’m still not sure that intelligence – of the type to develop space travel -is common in the universe. In fact, I suspect it’s fairly rare. The dinosaurs dominated life on earth for 65 million years without advanced intelligence, so intelligence is not required to be successful as a species. And given that evolution is not progressive, there may never be a need or opportunity for it to evolve on a given planet.

    While humans have been aound for a million or so years, only in the last 100 years has our science and technology advanced enough for us to examine the universe and take a few fledgling steps into space. So while life has been around for 4 billion years, life that is both intelligent enough AND advanced enough for space travel has been around for less than 100 years, or 0.000000025% of the history of life on earth.

    So maybe, as others have stated, we are the “Old Ones” – the first generation of intelligent life in the universe (Vulcans aside, of course).

  103. You guys need to do more research. UFO’s do exist. I have seen one myself. And there ain’t no way it was Venus, Weather Balloon, Plane or Santa! To say there are no UFO’s is dumb. Mistaken identities yes. But there are a lot of sightings that are real. Read up before you speak up guys and girls!!

  104. Nigel Depledge

    Annette said:

    Regardless of how skeptical I may be, nobody can give me concrete evidence against UFOs either. In that sense, it is sort of like Carl Sagan’s “Dragon in my Garage” exercise.

    But obviously you have missed the point of Carl Sagan’s exercise. He was demonstrating the impossibility of proving a negative. If I were to claim there is an invisible pink unicorn at the bottom of my garden, you would find it impossible to prove me wrong, but that does not make me right.

    It is categorically impossible to prove that UFOs in general are not alien spacecraft. This does not make it any more likely that any of them are alien spacecraft.

    However, we can assemble a reasonable set of hypotheses based on what we know:

    We know that interstellar travel is a hugely difficult undertaking, irrespective of how advanced your technology is, because we have some quite detailed knowledge of the laws of physics.
    We know that most people rarely look at the night sky in a context in which they will see much, and thus are unfamiliar with the normal appearance of the planets, satellites and so on. Hell, even a flock of geese can look really odd when lit up from below and seen from a long way off.
    We know that the atmosphere can, occasionally, display some bizarre refractive properties (even to the extent of a distant town fooling a jet pilot into thinking it was a UFO because of the way the air was refracting the light).
    We know that it is notoriously difficult to judge distance and speed of objects in the sky at night.
    We know also that celestial objects that are near the horizon will twinkle more than those directly overhead.
    We know that people are notoriously bad at seeing what is actually there (for example, the famous psychology experiment where people fail to notice the guy in a gorilla suit walking across the set in a video; and, by the same token, the unreliability of eyewitness accounts in a court of law).
    As Phil has pointed out, we know that people who look at the sky on a regular basis (astronomers) report no (or very very few) UFOs.

    So, the only rational conclusion one can reach is that UFO sightings are failures to identify known phenomena.

    If anyone had any real data demonstrating that UFOs actually are alien spacecraft, this would be a really, really big deal. It would be the biggest deal since the invention of fire. It would be front page news on every newspaper on the planet. Yes, I’ve heard the conspiracy theories, but there is no evidence to support them. Lack of evidence for alien spacecraft is not evidence of a cover-up. It is only what it is, no more. Therefore, since the actually discovery of an alien spacecraft would be such a big deal, the only rational conclusion one can reach is that there is no such evidence.

  105. Kirk

    UFOs are here, but some people don’t get it. Google Belgium UFO or Rendlesham UFO or Illinois UFO or any of the well documented cases, some with radar, photos, and multiple witnesses. Anyone who denies that we are being visited is dumb as a box of rocks.

  106. Cheyenne

    To anybody that thinks that little green men are coming here – you don’t understand the physics of space travel. For whatever advanced materials or engines or whatever they have developed they certainly haven’t developed ways to beat the speed of light or any other physical law. Space is way, way, way, one more way-too vast, space travel takes way too much energy and time- it’s not possible.

    I think life, simple life, probably exists out there in lots of places. I think intelligent life is so rare that we might just be the only examples of it (why aren’t we detecting just a single other existence of it with SETI? Where are they?).

  107. @Kirk:
    Would that be igneous rocks, or sedimentary rocks?

  108. Colin, I just went to your site and read of your encounter. First of all, I find it very odd, that sitting among, what, 150? 200 other people, you would not point out to some of them, at least, what you were looking at to get confirmation. Why not call a flight attendant to look out the window at the object? This is really not a credible sighting in my opinion.

  109. Will

    I have never understood the argument that the government would cover up evidence of Aliens for fear of “panic.” If anything, the government would be the FIRST ones to trump up and exaggerate the threat to get new legislation, taxes, and defense spending through. I mean an Alien enemy with advanced technology? That’s like a blank check (and blank constitution :/) landing in the president’s lap.

  110. Any thoughts on an observation described as follows?

    Daylight object, appeared to be at a relatively high altitude, viewed through binoculars (not visible naked eye). Appeared stationary for a time before the object was lost. When observing a commercial aircraft within a couple minutes the same (or similar) looking object moved through the field of view and was visible as it moved across the sky (roughly 2/3 visible sky) until it was lost behind a ridge. The object appeared white and round. The binoculars could not resolve the object completely (a little fuzzy). This observation was made on a mountain ridge at approx 8,000 ft looking over the dessert.

  111. Wade

    Terrestrial explanations are not always the more obvious choice over alien visitations.
    If we or any other nation has developed an incredible technology that would explain the more mysterious cases and it has been around for years (the consistancy of the more credible sightings), then it would be used in warfare to save lives. You’d be pressed to find a military expert who would disagree. Stealth technology was used in the Gulf. How about the A-Bomb? We don’t spend money to develop, test and improve military technology that results in a proven design and then let it sit in some Area 51 hanger for a bunch of geeks to droll over for multiple decades. Once used in warfare, the technology is exposed. It is certainly much easier for the enemy to collect evidence of a new aircraft than it would be for your average Joe observer. So if we have this incredible technology why hasn’t it been used?
    And, sorry, but I’ll take the alien explanation over the terrestrial one if it involves Nazis fleeing post WWII Germany and taking their flying saucer research to South America. There are many nutcases out there who actually believe that sort of stuff. Blast me if you want, but aliens are more plausable to me than a bunch of aging Nazis zipping around our airspace.

  112. Sorry I meant “Desert”

  113. John,
    You claim to have seen an object that you could not identify, chased by a dozen or two military jets, right?

    So, was it one dozen, or two dozen? There’s a huge difference! If you cannot tell me how many aircraft were allegedly chasing this object, why would I believe that the object you saw was what you are claiming it to be? Your powers of observation are weak. Also, that many fighter jets chasing an unidentified object seems like overkill. Even when the Russian “Bear” bombers occasionally penetrate Canadian airspace, our military will only send up 2 or 3 CF-18 Hornets to politely escort them off the property.

  114. Wade

    Speak of the devil…..
    Just saw a FOX News promo……Apparently “Hannity’s America” will be focusing on UFOs on an episode that will air tomorrow.

  115. @Rocket:
    What were you doing, looking through binoculars, at an object you couldn’t see with the naked eye? What I mean is this: If you could not see it with your own eyes, how did you find it through binoculars? What caused you to look there in the first place? Also, if what you say you saw was there, is it not possible that the object was a military test of, say, an unmanned drone? That is a more likely explanation that alien spacecraft.

  116. Howard H

    In my attempt to become a good critical thinker, here are a few of my own “ponderings” in regards to UFO’s:

    1. As has been mentioned before, what is the point of visiting alien spacecraft to have blinking/non-blinking colored/non-colored lights on them? I would think that any kind of lights would be for the purpose of anti-collision. Why would advanced craft need these? Our supposedly-primitive technology, using things like GPS and advanced avionics has almost eliminated the need for aircraft to have any kind of visual identification. I would think that an advanced species would have figured out a way to avoid crashing into things (and vice-versa) without the need for brightly lit lights (not even mentioning the fact that this would advertise their presence pretty well, which seems pretty silly for a group of beings that seem so intent on keeping their presence low-key).

    2. Speaking of keeping a low key-presence, why the heck do these things need to be visible at all? Our supposedly-primitive technology has allowed us to create aircraft that are pretty good at flying around almost completely undetectable. I would think that an advanced society would have something similar, but way more advanced.

    3. Why would they need to send any type of biological entities inside these craft? Our supposedly-primitive technology has allowed us to map almost every square meter of the planet Mars, the Moon and have obtained reams of data about our other planets and solar system, and we’ve done that without having to send a single human being. Wouldn’t they have the technology to observe our planet robotically?

    4. Why would an advanced society need to send a physical craft of any kind here at all? Our supposedly-primitive technology enables us to view stars, galaxies and PLANETS for crying out loud, from a great distance without having to send a single human-created object. Although, there are problems in distance-observing with things like time differential, etc. but it hasn’t stopped us, so why would it be a problem for an advanced species?

    Anyway, just a few semi-random thoughts.

  117. @Wade, CNN is doing a whole week on them next week on American Morning.

  118. Wade

    Michael…..

    Perhaps disclosure is coming? John Podesta is Obama’s transition team chief.
    I’m just sayin’ :)

  119. Howard H

    Oh and before it gets mentioned (hopefully): I meant mapping the Moon robotically-I didn’t mean to imply that we never sent people there. :) Thanks!

  120. Annette

    Nigel Depledge Says: “If I were to claim there is an invisible pink unicorn at the bottom of my garden, you would find it impossible to prove me wrong, but that does not make me right”

    That was my exact point. I never once said that the alien UFO sightings are right. In fact, I subscribe to the belief that they are more than likely not. I just used Sagan’s example to show how neither side can be proven right or wrong which is exactly what you reiterated for me. I fail to see how I was not clear on this, but I digress. ;)

    And as for your examples of why UFOs are improbable (key word there being “improbable”), as with Sagan’s dragon I can counter everything you said with a legitimate argument… for example:

    *****
    “We know that interstellar travel is a hugely difficult undertaking, irrespective of how advanced your technology is, because we have some quite detailed knowledge of the laws of physics”

    Someone from the 13th century would argue that flying a huge vessel through the skies at breakneck speeds would be a difficult undertaking, it doesn’t mean that we weren’t capable of inventing airplanes. Besides, all the aliens that I know have an even greater understanding of physics and the majority of matter in the universe that we are confused by. So there. :P
    *****

    Etcetera….. so it appears that you are the one missing the point just by offering up reasons. ;)

    And let me reiterate, I’m not a conspiracy theorist… I’m just offering up why we cannot prove either side until we have concrete scientific evidence.

  121. Jay

    Heh..I’d find this moire compelling if farmers hadn’t been able to hit Venus with .22 rifles during one of these encounters that never happened. Or had South American people by the hundreds filming them over their cities.

    Try again, clown

    -Skeptical of the skeptics, that’s me.

  122. Annette

    Rocket: Swamp gas. :P

  123. @Wade:
    A more likely explanation is that the networks are capitalizing on the public interest in UFO’s, and they are gunning for ratings. However, I am open minded enough, that if the government came forward, and stated, “We have been visited by an alien civilization for X number of years. UFO’s are real. Here is the proof. Now, I’d like to introduce you to Ambassador xzgriff from vrusdfer… nanu-nanu, I would accept that.

  124. @Michael L

    I was observing a commercial plane as it passed over at (I would guess) cruising altitude when the aircraft passed the object (when it appeared stationary). You will notice of course I didn’t say anything about what I thought it was, I am interested in hearing thoughts from others based simply on the observation details of “An Object”. It may very well be a drone. Does it sound like the shape a behavior of any drones you are familiar with? I didn’t mention speed when it moved, I made some estimation on speed but without knowing the distance it was from me in comparison to passing commercial aircraft there were too many unknowns to be comfortable with a guess. I also tried to rule out foreground objects (e.g. birds, bugs, and so on) by observing an area at the same focus while local animal life flew in the foreground. None was comparable to the object so they were ruled out.

  125. Timothy from Boulder

    Okay, I’ll bite.

    Alan Haggard: “It should also be noted that NASA has witnessed UFO’s on various occasions. If you listen to recordings of NASA transmissions regarding UFO’s, you’ll hear astronauts accidentally mention a “craft” or “bogey” before quickly being told to switch to an encrypted channel.”

    Please provide documentation, including the determination of how you know the comm channel change is to an encrypted channel.

    And let’s be very clear about this. NASA cannot witness a UFO, individual people can. The implication is that because someone is an employee of NASA he is either infallible or has unquestionable credibility. Astronauts are clearly the pinnacle of rationality and good judgement, right? (See: Lisa Nowak.)

  126. @Annette

    Ha! Awesome.

  127. Wade

    Michael…..

    I didn’t realize that there was that much interest in UFOs these days? I know that they’re currently big in the UK. Seems to me, at least by the number of new TV shows, that ghosts & Bigfoot are the new fascination? I have a difficult time accepting either subject, but on the other hand, cosmology is leading us into very strange waters, our concept of reality being questioned. Do wish we had completed the Supercolliding Super Collider (SSC) project, but perhaps LHD will give just enough?

  128. Dave Svoboda

    I don’t buy the argument that the US government would cover up UFOs and do nothing, so as to “not panic” the populace. Since when has the government covered up a unique threat, for that reason? Yeah, they cover it up when they mess up, themselves, like if they allow known Soviet aircraft to overfly the continental US. But you can believe that even if the public didn’t know about that, careers were ended over those events in the military, and they spent money to avoid it next time.

    If UFOs were real, they would be at LEAST as high profile as the “terrorist threat”, or historically the “missile gap”, since when it comes down to it, the people hold the purse-strings, and ya gotta scare-em good to get lots of money for defense. AND the military needs to show something for the money, to validate the spending.

    The military hiding a genuine threat, even from itself, is just poppycock.

  129. @Rocket:
    I just went to Google Images, and Googled military drones. I won’t post a pic here because it will get caught up in the spam filter (Yes, Alan, even those of us that have been posting awhile still have posts caught in spam filter). Anyway, there are all types of shapes and sizes, with all kinds of abilities. Keep in mind, these are the images of drones we know about. Now, what could they be testing that we don’t know about?

  130. Alan French

    I sometimes watch some of the shows with evidence purporting to show UFOs. It always amazes me how little effort has been made to identify some of the “evidence.” There is one segment, taken during the day, of “UFOs maneuvering in front of distant mountains.” As soon as my wife and I saw it, we looked at each other and said “stunt kites!” Their motion when doing loops is very distinctive. I’ve seen this segment on at least two shows.

    Clear, dark skies, free of wasted light, Alan

  131. Wade

    By the way, folks, expecting evidence from someone who has a sighting is a little much. I wouldn’t trust anyone who claimed to have an experience and then could provide hard, scientific evidence. A hoax would probably better explain. And for someone to have a sighting and have a professional or at the very least, a high-end prosumer camera capable of stable images, in his or her hand at the same time is really stretching the odds. Lots more photos these days, but from low rez digitals, cell phones, etc. Nothing to be learned.
    If the sighting, the event, is that extraordinary, I doubt that many would be cool & calm enough to go looking for a camera or others to show. My single experience was just that. Had a nice Nikon 35mm sitting in the camper, indeed, there were others in our fishing group who were asleep. Those of us who observed were pretty much frozen in place, not thinking much of anything except that we didn’t want to turn a away for fear that we’d miss even a second of it. That’s how it was for me and the others. No thoughts to grab a camera or seek more witnesses. I just wanted to watch. I’d sort of be suspicious of anyone who is confronted with an up-close event and could just walk away even for a moment. I’d think that person to be a believer, ready for the elusive UFOs. I didn’t give a hoot about the subject until after it happened, not before.

  132. I stand corrected, the CNN special on Aliens is on this week on American Morning. I just saw the one they did today. I think Miles O’Brien should stick to covering Space Shuttle launches.

  133. Eddie Janssen

    If you are able to cover the huge distances in the universe you must be quite clever.
    Clever enough not to be seen if you do not want to be seen
    Clever enough to land in Beijing, Mexico City, Tokyo or Groningen [:)] if you want to be seen.
    You certainly are not that daft to stumble through our atmosphere in a glorified canoe. The Wright brothers had better equipment than some of the stuff these aliens have to work with.
    You are also clever enough to understand the level of civilization on Earth.
    You destroy, teach or ignore.
    If someone brought this up I am sorry to repeat it but reading through all these posts is a bit tiresome.

  134. Mick

    Aliens have no interest in contacting humanity because humanity has absolutely nothing whatsoever to offer them. Totally not worth the bother.

    Advanced aliens are probably hyperadvanced machines anyway. Who have nothing in common with emotional blobs of meat.

  135. Gary Ansorge

    Rocket: Round, fuzzy object, seen thru Binocs., with no estimation of velocity,,,Hmmm,,Possible cloud that just evaporated???

    Metre: I agree.

    One of the geophysical analyses I’ve read proposes that active plate tectonics and a strong magnetic field in a rocky body(like earth) requires something to stir the mantle/core interface, in other words, it takes a large, nearby object, of sufficient mass, to provide gravitational drag on the mantle. That keeps the core convection active, due to continual mixing of heavy elements and continuing heat generation from the radioactives present in the core and the resultant generation of a significant planetary magnetic shield.

    We have only this solar system as an example but that example provides us with only one such binary system,,the earth/moon system. I note that Pluto and Charon are another example of a binary system, but it’s composed of accumulated ice and snow form the outer system. I doubt such hard, rocky binaries are at all common, since the evidence we have indicates it was a collision between earth and a body of just the right size/mass and the exact angle of incidence, to propel enough mass into orbit to form the moon. Quite a concatenation of coincidences , eh?

    I wonder what the odds might be for such an earth/large moon formation might be?

    GAry 7

  136. Rocket

    In my experience a credible observer most likely would not report a good sighting unless they thought they had nothing to lose. The issue I see with Phil’s statement is that amateur astronomers in many cases are very good at what they do and as knowledgeable as many professionals (the pros just write more papers). The effort is a constant struggle to achieve credibility and a single observation no matter how well recorded is just not verifiable. It seems to be ok to theories about the concept but anyone who is hoping to be taken seriously as a researcher, amateur or not will not gain acceptance by making non verifiable claims.

    I expect most responses to my observation will be some kind of military craft but that is still an unknown till the observation can be tested comparatively. I don’t have any idea what it was. Maybe it was nothing but an optical affect in the binoculars. It is kind of fun to hope though.

  137. Ed Cosnyka

    I’m a retired US Air Force Officer and currently a USAF Civilian scientist and engineer. I can’t offer explanations for all of the reports, but I do know that many of our classified aircraft and especially some of our autonomous munitions experiments (some of which were never implemented) could look like they defied Newtonian physics. Some of the radar screen anomalies were merely software issues.
    I share Sagan’s dismay at never finding even the slightest evidence that we were not alone, and he dedicated most of his life searching for it, sometimes in collaboration with NASA. Some of us that are the absolutely the most skeptical have the greatest desire for some evidence that we are not alone.
    I haven’t read all of these posts, but as a theorist I didn’t see any discussion of concepts alluding to breaches other than via the vastness of our space-time. UFOs (or just probes for that matter)could theoretically arrive and leave in and out of our space-time. So if you are stuck on thinking only 3-dimensionally, other life may not be geometrically very far from us…just on a different plane. NO, not a 2-dimensional plane.

  138. Daniel

    IF Aliens were to come down they would see how we treat our own people and then run to their ships and fly past neptune so fast it would tilt upright.

  139. bill

    Dear sir, Where did JESUS and MUHAMMID,ascend to in a phisical body. Thanks BILL

  140. Rory Considine

    Phil, thank you for taking my criticism and printing my previous post.

    It is obvious that those that dismiss UFOs out of hand wthout investigation or insight are just being closed-minded and in outright denial about this issue. Governments have investigated this phenomena and all end-up with a percentage of cases that are beyond their ability to explain – by any of the ‘normal’ means at their disposal. The best the US Government could come up with was to state that these unexplainable UFOs were not a threat to US Security and therefore were no longer being studied. Well, that last part was really a statement for the sheeple to believe. Studies and Investiigations of this phenomena continue to this day. To those that do not believe that their Government would lie to them – I can only say open your eyes and wake up! Think WMD and Iraq for starters.

    I would ask those, particularly the Americans on this site what they think of the Disclosure Project? I would also address this same question to you Phil. Particularly in connection with the dozens of credible witnesses with impressive backgrounds and credentials in US Services – Military, Navy, Army and Air Force, CIA and some large Aeronautic Corporations etc. concerning their disclosure evidence. These individuals are willing to give their evidence in Congress (given the chance) and under oath. I am not asking anyone’s opinion of Dr. Greer in this connection – just referring to the witnesses and their testimonies. You probably no doubt are already aware that these testimonials very strongly (overwhelmingly so) supports the notion that UFOs (as in the Extra Terrestrial type) exist and that this fact has indeed been suppressed and covered up by the “Powers that Be”. Some of these individuals had the highest possible security clearances available in the States and include high ranking personnel such as Generals, Admirals etc. Apparently there are some 400 of these ‘whistle blowers’ with many of them willing to testify in Congress and under oath to the fact that what they declare, is the truth.

    Are these witnesses credible? Should their statements be believed? Is what they claim true? Or, do you believe that they are some kind of mistaken or confused nutcases?

    Maybe they in fact possess more credibilty, knowledge, information and experience (in this area under discussion) than all the debunkers here put together! I would certainly think so!

    I got no takers from the Deniers (that also cannot prove anything one way or the other) regarding my previous Post. I was a bit disappointed with that, considering the Blog I was writing on, but maybe they were just being easy and kind to a newcomer. Though I really doubt that that was the case!

    Anyway, you all now have a second chance / opportunity to respond. This time to the above questions. Of course any responses will depend on the fact that those that are so sure of themselves and so quick to Deny this phenomena would have fulfilled the following criteria:- already have had the interest, taken the time and made the effort to educate themselves and listen to what these Disclosure Witnesses had to say on this subject!

  141. Greg in Austin

    Rocket said,

    “Daylight object, appeared to be at a relatively high altitude, viewed through binoculars (not visible naked eye). Appeared stationary for a time before the object was lost.”

    Have you ever seen the Moon during the day, when its about half-full? Faint, but clearly visible with the naked eye, right? Have you ever seen Venus or Mercury during the day? Venus is, at certain times of the year, visible during the day, if you know where to look. Often, its not quite visible with the naked eye, but clearly visible with low-power binoculars. It would appear just as you describe, after sunrise or before sunset.

    If you can tell us exactly what time and day you observed this object, exactly where you were located, exactly which direction and what angle above the horizon you were looking, and exactly what magnification your binoculars were, we can tell you for certain if the object you saw was a very bright star or planet. Without knowing most or all of this information, it will be sheer speculation as to what you saw.

    It could have been Santa.

    8)

  142. Alan French

    Mr. Considine,

    I am an amateur astronomer and have done a fair amount of reading about UFOs. Quite some time ago, I ventured to hear one of the better known speakers talk about why we should believe UFOs are real and that we are being visited by aliens. His evidence was not convincing, but more distasteful was the way he verbally abused “skeptics.” Such an attitude makes reasonable discussion difficult. Although far more restrained, your use of the label “Denier” strikes me the same way. Often putting labels on people is just a simple way to make their viewpoints less worthy of consideration.

    Clear skies, Alan

  143. Greg in Austin

    John said,

    “Some professional astronomers in Austin, Texas have reported an unknown sighting frequently since September. Don’t be too dismissive of everyone being crackpots.”

    Please provide the source of your claim. I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but this is exactly the type of comment that frustrates many people here. You make a claim with no proof and then cry foul when others immediately question your story.

    Who are these “professional astronomers” and what did they see? Seeing as how I live here and don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m interested.

    8)

  144. Greg in Austin

    Kirk said,

    “UFOs are here, but some people don’t get it. Google Belgium UFO or Rendlesham UFO or Illinois UFO or any of the well documented cases, some with radar, photos, and multiple witnesses. Anyone who denies that we are being visited is dumb as a box of rocks.”

    Radar, photos and witnesses have been scientifically tested and proven to be unreliable sources for evidence. Concrete evidence for any extraterrestrial visitation will have to be in the form of a craft we can examine, a life form we can examine, materials such as metal or liquids we can examine, or better yet, all three, that we can test and confirm in independent studies. Until then, you’re believing in hoaxes.

    8)

  145. Greg in Austin

    @ Alan Haggard,

    You offer so much to work with, I don’t know if I have the time. I’ll keep it short…

    You said,

    “There have been reports of massive “cigar shaped” metallic craft since the early 1800’s, a type of craft which is not uncommonly reported and even filmed to this day.”

    Please provide us with the source(s) of this claim, and the proof that these “craft” are alien in origin.

    8)

  146. Rocket

    Very good, Here are the details you asked for to my best recollection:

    My Location: 117.6680 W, 34.4000 N
    Time: Roughly 4:00 to 4:30 pacific (Don’t remember the day but it believe it was in June of this year) Twilight was around 7 pm give or take.
    Approximate declination was about +50 degrees (I was facing North East, about the Az where the Pleiades rises right now)
    At the time Venus should have been behind me (South West) during daylight.
    Binocs were 7X35 w/ 6”30’ field

    I would defiantly buy a planet (maybe not a star) if it were on the ecliptic, if it were close to twilight and if it hadn’t moved. Again I didn’t mention speed because of the limitations of my observation but if I were to (for the sake of argument) say it was at the same location of the plane I would guess the plane at cruising altitude would have been about 30,000 ft and traveling at about300 knots. If that is a reasonable estimate and the altitudes were the same the object would have been traveling easily 8 or so times faster. My assumption is that it was closer than the aircraft but I just don’t know. If it was Santa I wonder if he was heading for Mexico for the summer 

  147. Rocket

    Sigh, I meant “Definitely” not “Defiantly”, stupid spell check.

  148. Greg in Austin

    As a response to many of the UFO=Alien Life supporters here, I just want to reiterate what has been said on this blog over and over and over again:

    Eyewitness testimony has been scientifically proven to be unreliable, even when the eyewitness is a trained professional in any field. Even Astronauts are human and can make mistakes, or errors in judgment.

    Photographic and Video evidence has been scientifically proven to be unreliable. It can be altered, it can be forged, it can be tricked, and sometimes images and videos can simply create false data because of user or programming errors.

    Radar has been scientifically proven to give false readings, generate false images, and is susceptible to interference. Radar technology has come a long way since the 50’s and 60’s when most of the UFO reports began, but it is still not 100% reliable in any UFO report.

    8)

  149. Greg in Austin

    @Rocket,

    Did you check the path for the Shuttle, ISS ir any other satellites for that date and time? They too are visible during the day with binoculars.

    8)

  150. Rocket

    A professional Astronomer might mention something in conversation like “hey I saw the strangest thing” but I don’t believe for a second that anybody that hopes to publish is going to go on record with out absolute repeatable results, at least none that I know.

  151. Greg in Austin

    I meant “or” not “ir.” Stupid fingers.

  152. Rocket

    @Greg
    Yes But the object was stationary for some time as well, so that would rule out an orbiting object unless there was a phase angle thing going on or something. Maybe Phil can inject some tutelage on that subject.

  153. Alan French

    Two “UFOs” I saw, both brighter than Venus and very impressive – one in bright twilight and one in fairly deep twilight – turned out the be weather balloons. The first one suddenly vanished, with a quick impression of a thread of light to the unaided eye. A lot of phone calls by my wife identified it as a probable weather balloon.

    The second was confirmed with a telescope, and we could see balloon well and the instrument package below the balloon. It broke while we were watching, and we were able to watch shards of balloon fall for quite some time with the telescope.

    We get quite a few “What did I see?” calls and e-mails. What they saw is often Venus, Sirius, or some other bright star down near the horizon. Some of the people are really interested in knowing what they saw, while others are only looking for confirmation that they saw something unusual. With the latter group it is almost impossible to convince them otherwise, but I always hope they will follow my advice to look again on the next clear night.

    Clear skies, Alan

  154. Greg in Austin

    “Yes But the object was stationary for some time as well, so that would rule out an orbiting object unless there was a phase angle thing going on or something.”

    Hmm… How large did the object appear in the field of view @7x? Without knowing for sure the size, altitude or distance of the object, its impossible to rule out any terrestrial object. It could have been a weather balloon that seemed stationary, but was much closer than the aircraft, and then moved with the air currents.

    The ISS can take 5 or 6 minutes to pass across the sky, but I’ve never seen it appear stationary. Otherwise, we’d call it the International Stationary Station, or the International Space Stationary.

    8)

  155. Rory Considine

    <>

    Cheyenne, that is a typical type of statement made by people that that fail to use their imagination and confine themselves to what they want to believe and to what they know – not to the possibilities that may be available under other circumstances. It is similar to other such statemnets one hearsuch as – ‘it is against the Laws of Nature’ and so on. Who actually knows all the Laws of Nature to be able to make such a ridiculous statement. Something may be against the Laws as they are known or that are known – but not what is yet to be discovered.

    <>

    How can you actually seriously say that? How do you know this for a fact? You should read Schrodinger’s Kittens – Matter may possibly be able to be in two places at the same time etc.

    What is wrong with what you say! Well, first of all you severely limit yourself and what you allow yourself to be open to. In doing so and making such claims, you may influence others to think as you do. How so? Just by what you say. For example, some scientists now believe that it may be possible to bend time and space – travel-wise. They say that this could possibly be done (long space journies undertaken in a fraction of the normal time) by bending space. Don’t ask me how, but the theory is described by comparing a long piece of cord (whatever) laid out flat with A being one end and B the other. Now, using the speed of light example and considering the distances from A to B in light years it would indeed take a very long time to get from A to B . However, if what they speculate turns out to be possible, the suggestion is that the travel time could be vastly reduced by bending the cord (Space) and bringing the two ends up nearly to meet each other. So that getting from A to B would not be the impossible journey in time it was previously considered to be nor the only option of getting there. One now had a short cut! Yes, science fiction at present to us mere mortals, but still something to think about and in so doing it opens up a whole new perspective on Space travel possibilities. Sometimes one hears this argument being used to explain how ” Aliens” UFOs can do all this travelling – all conjecture of course, but still…. Another possibilty being suggested is that there could be Worm Holes in Space. So, really we do not know. Nor do we know what could be realistically possible for some far more advanced civilisation than ours – if there is one! We really are self-limiting thinking and imagination-wise,when we agree to confine ourselves only to what is already known and acceptable and not to what may be possible to achieve in the future.

    Over the years I have heard renowned Astronomers and Scientists making statements such as – ‘ no life could live there’ referring to certain planets or parts of Space and this never ceased to annoy me. Why, you may well wonder: Well, it was because they would never add or include the words “Life as we know it”. They automatically restricted their thinking to what they knew and not to what they did not know and in so doing ruled out the possibility of other forms of life – distinct from ours i.e. Not as they knew it. Chances are, that could very well be the case. Reminds me of what Scientists had to say at the time about the possibility of manned flight – Of course they said it was impossible, but….. Well, more recently have Scientists not stated that it was impossible that Bumble Bees should fly. No one ever logically explained this fact to our little friends and off they took regardless. Of course Scientists are not Bumble Bees – are they!

  156. Timothy from Boulder

    “Well, more recently have Scientists not stated that it was impossible that Bumble Bees should fly.”

    No. Neither Scientists (capital S apparently signifying the big, bad, group of conformist thinkers that never, ever, question the status quo) nor scientists have ever stated that bumblebees can’t fly.

    Please, can this hackneyed canard be dropped? Forever? Starting now?

    What was stated is that if you do a quick calculation by using an approximation valid for non-twisting wing aerodynamics, there is not enough lift to account for bumblebee flight. This shows that the approximation is not good enough, not that Scientists (capital S again) blindly jump to the conclusion that bumblebees can’t fly.

  157. Rory Considine

    <>

    I have an open mind regarding UFOs and whether they originate outside this planet, but I am certainly very curious as to their origin. And Yes, I am referring to the cases that cannot be explained or discarded by any normal scientific or natural means. Having said that, I would be more swayed towards the argument / possibilty that they represent some strange phenomena either earthly but yet undiscovered, alien, extra dimensional or from the future. Maybe that puts me into an even worse category as far as you are concerned.

    Anyway, that as it may be and to get back to what you wrote. If one were to accept without question that what you say is true and acceptable in all cases concerning evidence (which I would be inclined not to believe), I have the following questions for you.

    1. If one had a number of credible witnesses all (more or less) reporting the same sighting – what would you say about their evidence?

    2. If you had these same witnesses reporting the same phenomena and this included photos / video of the object/s what would you say of their evidence?

    3. If you had all of the above plus radar reading supporting these witnesses – what would you say of their evidence?

    4. At what step of the above 3 options would you accept the evidence given as being factual. ie. True?

  158. Gary Ansorge

    Rory: Your reference to Shrodingers kittens(should be CAT) is mistaken. It has NOTHING to do with bi-location(being in two places at the same time). It was an example of how rediculous was the idea that reality could be in two different STATES at the same time. Shrodinger was trying to be sarcastic,,,unfortunately, most folk really didn’t understand that and ended up misquoting him,,,over and over and over and,,,

    Gary 7

  159. Greg in Austin

    Rory Considine said,

    “Well, first of all you severely limit yourself and what you allow yourself to be open to. In doing so and making such claims, you may influence others to think as you do.”

    How ironic, because soon after, Rory also said,

    “Well, more recently have Scientists not stated that it was impossible that Bumble Bees should fly.”

    In this example, Rory is “open to” hearsay and anecdotal evidence, and has not researched the validity of this claim. If Rory had done just 10 minutes of “research” he would have discovered that indeed, no scientist had ever made such a claim. Instead, he was influenced by something he heard because he wanted to believe it.

    Science is not a matter of what you want to believe. It is a matter of what you can observe, measure, and repeat. Regarding UFOs, there have been some observations of objects, but nothing has ever been measured or repeated that even remotely suggests alien intelligence. I am “open” to the possibility of ETs, but I have never seen proof.

    8)

  160. Rory Considine

    Timothy from Boulder Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    <>

    You obviously did not read what I wrote correctly, even though you cut and pasted it in your reply. I did not say that Scientists ever stated that Bumble Bees “can’t” fly. By reading again what I actually said you should be able to distinguish the difference in meaning:-

    “Well, more recently have Scientists not stated that it was impossible that Bumble Bees should fly”

    You also should not be so quick with your judgements, jumping to wrong conclusions as you did when you wrote:-

    <>

    I have great respect for Science and for the majority of Scientists and their work. If you had been applying an illogical judgement to the finish, you should really have added:-

    ‘ (capital Bs apparently signifying the big, bad, group of ………….)’

    as I also wrote in capitals:-

    “……Bumble Bees should fly”

  161. Metre

    GAry 7:

    I concur that having a large moon may play an important role in helping life flourish. In addition to helping sustain our protective magnetic field, the moon also stabilizes our axis of rotation keeping the seasons constant; and its tidal effect has slowed earth’s rotation from 10 hours to 24 hours. Without these effects, the climate on earth would be much more extreme and variable. Life may still exist, but it would exist only in limited protected niches and we would not have experienced the diversity of life we have seen on earth. Complex items like big brains need lots of evolutionary time and experimentation to develop. And for that to happen, you need a planet where life flourishes and is not constrained to a few protected niches. So while life may be common (still a speculation itself) in the universe at large, planets where life can flourish – earth like planets in the goldilock’s zone AND with a large moon AND a protective magnetic field – may be very, very rare. Claws, teeth and other features are easier to develop than big brains and have proven adequate in helping most species survive. That is why I think that intelligent life is probably very rare in the universe, and it explains why the SETI searches have come up empty.

  162. Greg in Austin

    @ Rory,

    Great questions!

    1. If one had a number of credible witnesses all (more or less) reporting the same sighting – what would you say about their evidence? I would say google eyewitness memory testimony for a huge amount of psychological studies on the matter, and then I would give the same answer I did before.

    2. If you had these same witnesses reporting the same phenomena and this included photos / video of the object/s what would you say of their evidence? Since the first part of this question was answered in #1, that only leaves the validity of photographic and video graphic evidence. Same answer as before.

    3. If you had all of the above plus radar reading supporting these witnesses – what would you say of their evidence? Same as before.

    4. At what step of the above 3 options would you accept the evidence given as being factual. ie. True? Probably none.

    In order for something to be scientifically factual, it has to be something we can test and measure and repeat with independently verified studies.

    For example, if Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer claims that you can stand an egg on end at any time of the year, I don’t believe him just because of who he is. I can repeat that test myself, in my own kitchen, and verify his conclusion. And not only can I do it, but so can you, and so can thousands of others. That’s what makes it a scientific fact. That is how science works.

    Let’s take another example. Say you have a photo of an airplane: a Boeing 747. We all know 747’s exist. Many people here have seen one up close and have been on one. Now, can you really say, with certainty, that your photo of a Boeing 747 is of a real actual plane, or if its just a model? Or is it CGI? Did you really take the picture, or did someone else? Is the craft in your picture really made of aluminum, or is it plastic? Say in your picture, you are standing right next to it, and touching the wheel. Can you say with certainty that its really you in the picture, or a cardboard cutout? In order to verify your claim that it is really you, standing next to a 747, and touching the wheel, what could we do? We can repeat the scenario and take another picture, then compare that picture to the original. Then I can go stand next to and touch the 747, and so could thousands of other people.

    Does that make sense?

    8)

  163. Wade

    Anyone ready to prove to me, after I’m dead, that all of you exist, that any sort of existance exists, that perceived reality exists? I’ll ake arrangements to turn over my house & bank accounts to the first person who ca do this. How about giving me a scientific method I can use, once dead, to prove that I once existed, had a past and that all of you existed? How will science help me? How is the evidence collected and presented?

  164. Rory Considine

    Greg in Austin Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    <>

    Wow! How normal! Neither of you addressed either of the previous two posts I had written concerning UFOs, which this blog is about, nor did you address or answer any of the questions I raised or asked. Good one, you would prefer to stick to Bees, did a little Googling and came right to the attack over a minor part of a much longer post.

    Fine, no problem with that! Now please show me the part I wrote that was invalid and that incurred this groundless and needless rebuke of yours. I generally take care of how I word things (and of course I can like everyone else be wrong on ocassions). So, now Greg in Austin that I touched a nerve on, please point out to me what I said that was invalid and show that I did not do my homework etc. Of course when you do this and prove your case I will immediately acknowledge my mistake and withdraw the offending reference to Scientists and Bumble Bees. It is always better to clear these differences up at an early stage. – no!

    In the meantime the following may be of interest concerning our Bumbly friends and science Though you must bear in mind that nowhere did I state that Scientists claimed that BBs “can’t” fly. That would be a ridiculously contradictory thing for anyone to say when they can witness the Bees flight:-

    [Some light has been shed on the origin of the bumblebee myth by author and aerodynamicist J.H. McMasters. (Zetie, �96) He states that it all started in German technical universities in the 1930�s. Apparently, a famous and unnamed Swiss aerodynamics expert was having dinner with a biologist when the latter asked a question regarding the flying abilities of bees. A preliminary calculation showed that there was insufficient lift to allow bees to fly. Only about one third to one half of the required lift could be generated. The biologist started spreading the word about scientific �proof� that bees can�t fly and somehow the media got hold of the information. Today, decades later it is a ubiquitous myth that is rarely questioned and is often used to disparage science. The implication, of course, is that if �science� (as an abstract entity) claims that bumblebees cannot fly, when they clearly do fly, then �science� is bunk. The findings of science can therefore be comfortably disregarded as esoteric and irrelevant…………..

    When science �proved� that insects can�t fly the only thing it really proved was that insects with smooth and rigid wings could not glide (Zetie, �96). Experiments have actually been carried out demonstrating that this is indeed true. Clearly, conventional aerodynamics was not formulated to account for small insects with a small wing size. Once this was recognized, however, research began uncovering startling new aerodynamic oddities of insect flight that produce previously unknown sources of lift.

    One of the most significant discoveries involves the rotation of the wings during flight. Michael Dickinson of the University of California discovered in his studies of flying insects that their brains were inordinately concerned with the minutiae of wing rotations. Hoping to reveal new insights into aerodynamic lift, Dickinson took a close look at wing rotations and noticed that it primarily occurred at the end of each wing stroke. To further analyze his findings he created a scaled-up version of a fruit fly�s wings. To simulate the viscosity of air from the fly�s point of view Dickinson placed his robotic wings in mineral oil and flapped them slowly. Using sensors attached to his robotic wing he determined that by precisely timing the rotation of its wing, bees could generate 35% extra lift. What Dickinson and other scientists have discovered is that precise wing rotations at the end of a stroke causes the vortices of air on the wings to increase their speed thereby increasing lift…………]

    http://www.theness.com/articles.asp?id=41

  165. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    You also said,

    “Having said that, I would be more swayed towards the argument / possibilty that they represent some strange phenomena either earthly but yet undiscovered, alien, extra dimensional or from the future. Maybe that puts me into an even worse category as far as you are concerned.”

    On the contrary, as weird as it seems, I am not opposed to the possibility of time or inter-dimensional travel. I not really opposed to the possibility that aliens are visiting Earth right now. But my question would still be the same: Where is the evidence?

    I watch and read as much sci-fi as the next guy. It is fun entertainment. But its not real. The facts are, we have no evidence of alien existence anywhere in the universe yet, and certainly no evidence of aliens traveling here. I’d be thrilled to see it, but its not here.

    8)

  166. Rory Considine

    Greg in Austin Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    <>

    Well it partly does. If the 2nd operation of repeating the first operation proves it to be true (because it was repeated or repeatable), it still actually means that the first operation was correct and true in the first instance! Unfortunately not everything in this world can be confined to labority type situations and proofs nor do they all lend themselves to these types of tests. – though it would be great if they could. Can I think of any examples at the moment…… not really besides the obvious concerning telepathy telekinesis (paramormal subjects) and those to do with the mind etc. Is there not a whole range of subjects that Science cannot (at the moment) reproduce and repeat laboratory-wise that conclusions are based on solely study and research of other types – say for example, with geology and the past. How certain events and results took place. Is not Astronomy an even more obvious place to look – where I am sure most scientific discoveries and claims are based on reaching conclusions from what is already known but cannot be proven by repeated results. Have not some scientific claims and ‘discoveries’ not changed or altered over the centuries.

    Interesting subject. Also what you were saying concerning the witnesses, photos etc. though as I said I do not go along completely with your take on it. Of course witnesses can be wrong, images interferred with etc. but your arguments would end the court cases if followed to the end. So where does that leave us regarding NASA’s photos of Mars and the Moon and what they say – we are not to believe a word out of their mouths or what they produce – if we followed the argument you make! Now please don’t just say that some witnesses, photos etc are more reliable than others (which of course they are), as that will nullify your previous claim.

    Getting tired now – well passed my bedtime.

  167. Wade

    Greg in Austin……

    The evidence, to some, is the experience. How one would collect evidence to such an extraordinary event is beyond me and a rather unfair imposition to place upon someone who stumbles into an “event.”
    For those who want to jam their sighting down someone’s throat well your point is valid, but for the rest of us who don’t report or go into detail over what happened, don’t look to make a dime or acquire fame, do TV & radio interviews, well…..we have no need or compulsion to provide evidence. We have all we need to have some additional knowledge and can be comfortable in our own skin.
    As I’ve posted before, present me with evidence, after I’m dead, that you exist, that I existed, that there is a reality.
    I’m rather amazed at many comments in here that tend to ignore M-Theory, the closing in on just what perceived reality may be. Many mysteries may soon be explained so are we to ignore out of fear or accept the possibilities that all that we dream is in play?
    Certainly, the vast majority of skeptics apply human logic to how an alien might think. Why is that? And if visitations are from a potential multiverse, another dimension, all bets are off, the laws of physics out the proverbial window……….

  168. Gary Ansorge

    Wade:
    That argument didn’t work for the Solipsists of ancient Athens and it STILL is nonsense.As a famous someone(me) said, “Ya can’t prove anything to a dead man: but they sure are peaceable.”

    Reality is what it is. It DOESN”T depend upon us to make it happen, which is what Shrodinger was trying to say with his cat experiment. The cat is NOT both dead and alive at the same time: it’s one or the other. The only uncertainty involved in that application of quantum omechanics is the uncertainty of OUR state of knowledge.

    Thus, to prove I exist, all I have to do is punch someone in the nose:unles, of course, they’re a masochist,,,

    Gary 7

  169. Rory Considine

    Gary Ansorge Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    <>

    No Gary, I think that my reference was correct. I read “In search for Schrodinger’s Cat.” explaining the mystery of light. My reference was to the sequel by John Gribben – “Schrodinger’s Kittens” which I also have read. Now I think after your post that I will have to revisit this book again because after all, Cat is singular and Kittens are plural. The two kittens were the ones in differnt boxes and I was referring to them. Have you read this follow-up?

    However, I must admit that I did find these two books heavy going at times and I imagine that little will have changed when I read the sequel again, or the part that I was referring to. When I do, I hope to be able to concur with you or restate what I will have read. There are lots of mysteries I imagine concerning quantum physics which have yet to be discovered. The theories of Quantum physicsI understand run counter to common sense – no! They are still little being grappled with by Scientists – so who really knows at the moment.

    Thanks for reply

  170. Wade

    Gary….

    You are correct in how you prove your own existance to yourself, your little slice of time & space, well, I’d certainly like to think so, but you’d not exist in the state of reality or non-reality that I’d be in if one of us were dead, the other alive.
    My point is not to deny that you exist within your own reality, your dimension/space, when I die, but that once dead, I am incapable of perceiving your existance or that I existed or that there was an I or a me to continue the argument. You will exist because that’s what you perceive, but you’ll not be able to convince me of that fact once I’ve passed.
    I have a sense that as the concept of reality is rewritten and supported by M-Theory, the analogy of life v death

  171. Wade

    Sorry……Messed up somewhere…..Probably in an alternate reality?

    I have a sense that as the concept of reality is rewritten and supported by M-Theory, the analogy of life v death will one day be a comparison of multiverses/dimensions. Belief in the beyond may be far more than just an inborn protective device to ease our fears of death.

  172. Wade

    Gary….
    “Thus, to prove I exist, all I have to do is punch someone in the nose:unles, of course, they’re a masochist,,,”

    After I’m gone, can you prove to me, a “me” that does not exist, present evidence that you punched “someone in the nose?”

  173. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    Again, great questions. I think you’re beginning to think like a scientist. (Please don’t be offended!)

    Paranormal and supernatural events are also not supported by science. Its not that science wants to disprove any such events, its just that those types of events have never been proven as fact by the scientific method. Gravity, electricity, evolution, erosion, evaporation, thermodynamics, magnetism, etc. have all been rigorously tested over and over again, and are taken as fact.

    “Is not Astronomy an even more obvious place to look – where I am sure most scientific discoveries and claims are based on reaching conclusions from what is already known but cannot be proven by repeated results.”

    Not really. In all areas of science, not just geology and astronomy, there are unanswered questions. The answers are found by making predictions, performing experiments, gathering data, and analyzing the results. Sometimes the results show the prediction was wrong, sometimes they show the prediction was correct. Very often, the results answer the question but bring up 10 more. Also, the experiments may take a long period of time (months, years, decades) to reach a conclusion, and can even contradict previous conclusions. That’s OK, its part of the process.

    “Have not some scientific claims and ‘discoveries’ not changed or altered over the centuries.”

    Another great question. What do you think? If the scientific claims are found by following the process, then I’d say some have not changed because when we test them, we get the same results. Others change often, as new data is discovered.

    8)

  174. Wade

    Greg in Austin……

    There is nothing that is paranormal or supernatural when it comes to UFO sightings or alien visitations. Ghosts & religious beliefs do fall into the catagory as they seemingly defy our physical laws as we know them, but aliens? Absolutely not! And I’m sure that you’re aware that there are scientists who have said that they’d be more surprised if we weren’t visited.
    In what way would an alien civilization defy our physical laws, our concept of reality? Name one…….Of course, you could make a minor case by applying human logic to the development & motivations of an alien culture, but why? How can anyone speculate on the age-old “landing on the White House lawn” argument or why they can’t go undetected? How do we know if they are capable of masking themselves or why they’d even want to?
    Very doubtful that our “scientific method” would apply to the detection of alien visitations.

  175. I was with the author of this article until I reached: “And who spends lots of time looking up?
    Amateur astronomers, of course. They are dedicated observers, out every night peering at the sky. If The Truth Is Out There, then amateur astronomers would be reporting far and away the vast majority of UFOs. But they don’t. Why not? Because they understand the sky!”

    The fact is, astronomers spend most of their time looking through telescopes at a distant, tiny section of the sky. They’d be unlikely to see an alien spaceship if it flew right over their house, or their observatory. But even having said that, it is not true that amateur astronomers don’t report seeing UFOs. I have several friends who are avid amateur astronomers and between them they have witnessed several UFOs for which they can only account in terms of extraterrestrial spacecraft. And they are familiar with all the usual aerial phenomena – from venus to ball lightning – that can be mistaken for “flying saucers”.

  176. Dan

    I guess I could say I believe in both.

    Do I believe aliens exist? Well given the vastness of the universe, I gotta think there’s SOMEBODY else out there.

    As for UFO’s? While I don’t go “They’re aliens!” I certainly believe there are some unexplained phenomena out there. I’ve seen a few weird things myself.

    Could they be alien spacecraft? Sure, they COULD.

    But I think it much more likely they’re some unexplained atmospheric phenomena or some optical trick of the light. I’ll believe any of those LONG BEFORE I’ll go to “little green men from Mars”

  177. Rocket,
    my guess is a weather balloon. The following webpage has a sequence of images that fits your observation pretty well. This one explodes too but the initial image sounds like what you described.
    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/srnews/stories/2006/balloon.htm

  178. Greg in Austin

    @Wade,

    “Ghosts & religious beliefs do fall into the catagory as they seemingly defy our physical laws as we know them, but aliens? Absolutely not!”

    I totally agree. No matter how they get here (warp drive, wormhole, magic toaster), once they are here, they must obey the laws of physics as we know them. If they are here physically, they must leave physical evidence. Footprints, equipment, ships, DNA, hair, skin cells, etc. If they are flying around, there are laws of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics that dictate how fast an object can move thru our atmosphere. Unless you have proof of their alien technology (and you’d have to show your work) any speculation as to how they move around is just that: speculation.

    The scientific method does indeed, and must, apply.

    8)

  179. Hugo

    It’s becoming increasingly evident I’m the only commenter dumb enough to mistake the moon for an alien spacecraft.

    Is that depressing or what?

  180. John Atwell

    Your arguments are not logical.

    Show me one person who thinks aliens are visiting us because “there’s no way that there could be that many reports if some of them weren’t real!” I know of none. I have never heard that argument. My argument is, non-humans are visiting people because sane, rational, non-hypnotized people are reporting that non-humans are visiting them. Why don’t you look at Budd Hopkins SIX THOUSAND individual case reports over the last twenty-three years? The case studies average about fifty pages each. Too much to investigate? Tell me about it. http://www.intrudersfoundation.org

    You are wrong about amateur astronomers. Your killer argument is not even a good argument. It assumes that amateur astronomers AS A CLASS have more better observations than EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD AS A CLASS. There are quite a few amateur astronomers looking in the sky, but the ratio of amateur astronomers to NON-AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS is extremely low. Stating it another way: for the sake of argument let’s say 10 out of every 10,000 people (one percent) in the world is an amateur astronomer. Now it is not correct to say that amateur astronomers are ALWAYS looking in the sky, but the number that do is very high, say 90% of the time. And it is not correct to say that NON-amateur astronomers never look in the sky, but the number that do is very low, say 10%. So 90% of 10 is 9, but 10% of 9990 is 999! And if, as you say, non-amateur astronomers tend to have less reliable observations than amateur astronomers, we might estimate that only 1 out of 100 NON-amateur astronomers has a reliable observation. That STILL leaves 10 (actually 9.9 but I rounded up) NON-amateur astromoners observations to 9 amateur astromoners observations. So even if I stack the deck on the side of the amateur astronomer, it is still more likely that NON-amateur astronomers would spot more true unknowns than the amateur astronomers would. In the real world, I don’t think untrained observers are as stupid as Phil does.

  181. John Atwell

    Greg in Austin: “Once they are here, they must obey the laws of physics as we know them.” Why can’t they obey the laws of physics as THEY know them? Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, or so says Clarke’s Third Law (may he rest in peace). You don’t yet understand the wisdom of Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

  182. John Atwell

    Greg in Austin: “They must leave physical evidence. Footprints, equipment, ships, DNA, hair, skin cells, etc.” Guess what? They DO leave evidence in some cases, though they seem to be very good at not leaving evidence that humans can detect. There are tons of photos of landing sites, backed up by witness testimony. Talk to Dr. Roger Leir about it. He has 15 or so tiny objects that have very odd properties, and are clearly manufactured, but no one is owning up to them. The people that had those objects in their bodies say they were put there by non-human during abductions. It is irrational and illogical to ignore this testimony, and the physical evidence that follows from it. http://www.alienscalpel.com

    “The scientific method does indeed, and must, apply.” But in the search for the truth, scientific evidence is not the ONLY evidence there is. There is much good evidence that is NOT scientific. In totality, ALL the evidence points conclusively to a non-human presence, here, now.

  183. John Atwell

    Greg “They must leave physical evidence. Footprints, equipment, ships, DNA, hair, skin cells, etc.” Guess what? They DO leave evidence in some cases, though they seem to be very good at not leaving evidence that humans can detect. There are tons of photos of landing sites, backed up by witness testimony. Talk to Dr. Roger Leir about it. He has 15 or so tiny objects that have very odd properties, and are clearly manufactured, but no one is owning up to them. The people that had those objects in their bodies say they were put there by non-human during abductions. It is irrational and illogical to ignore this testimony, and the physical evidence that follows from it. http://www.alienscalpel.com

    “The scientific method does indeed, and must, apply.” But in the search for the truth, scientific evidence is not the ONLY evidence there is. There is much good evidence that is NOT scientific. In totality, ALL the evidence points conclusively to a non-human presence, here, now.

  184. Nigel Depledge

    Kirk said:

    UFOs are here, but some people don’t get it. Google Belgium UFO or Rendlesham UFO or Illinois UFO or any of the well documented cases, some with radar, photos, and multiple witnesses. Anyone who denies that we are being visited is dumb as a box of rocks.

    I googled Belgium UFO as you suggested, and found several interesting sites. One of them (third from top) was written by someone who interviewed the pilot of one of the F-16s that was scrambled in that incident. Here’s the relevant paragraph from his essay:

    It is important here to underline that the F-16 pilot saw no UFOs at all. I spoke with some of his friends who had laughed with him about the UFO hypothesis. Had it not been for the SOBEPS team, these so-called mysterious radar returns would have been labeled as ordinary “angels”. Another important thing is that at one point the “return” remained unchanged on the screen while the plane was maneuvring, which is indicative of an instrument failure. This is also what Lieutenant-Colonel Salmon from the Belgian Air Force Electronic War Center remarked when he was interviewed by journalists of Science & Vie Junior in 1992.

    (SOBEPS is the Belgian UFO believers organisation that made such a big deal of the sightings)

    The SOBEPS-published report was heavily criticised by a group of Belgian scientists who examined it. Again, from this essay:

    According to them, there were several inconsistencies in the analysis conducted by this physicist and one of these scientists even told me that no university student would ever pass with honours for such an ambiguous work, full of contradictions.

    (“This physicist” refers to long-time SOBEPS member Professor Meessen, author of the report).

    Is this really one of the best-documented UFO sightings?

    What a crock.

    Anyone who believes we are being visited is, to use Kirk’s vernacular, dumber than a box of rocks.

  185. Nigel Depledge

    Rocket said:

    Any thoughts on an observation described as follows?

    Daylight object, appeared to be at a relatively high altitude, viewed through binoculars (not visible naked eye). Appeared stationary for a time before the object was lost. When observing a commercial aircraft within a couple minutes the same (or similar) looking object moved through the field of view and was visible as it moved across the sky (roughly 2/3 visible sky) until it was lost behind a ridge. The object appeared white and round. The binoculars could not resolve the object completely (a little fuzzy). This observation was made on a mountain ridge at approx 8,000 ft looking over the dessert.

    I haven’t read through the comments to see if anyone else has replied, but my guess is lens flare inside the binocs. Otherwise, how could they not resolve (by which I assume you mean focus on) a “distant” object?

  186. Nigel Depledge

    Annette said:

    Someone from the 13th century would argue that flying a huge vessel through the skies at breakneck speeds would be a difficult undertaking, it doesn’t mean that we weren’t capable of inventing airplanes.

    This is utterly irrelevant, because no-one in the 13th century had an understanding of the laws of physics. Whereas, by contrast, we know quite a lot.

    Besides, all the aliens that I know have an even greater understanding of physics and the majority of matter in the universe that we are confused by. So there.

    But irrespective of how advanced your technology is, you still have to obey the laws of physics, which makes interstellar travel hard.

    Etcetera….. so it appears that you are the one missing the point just by offering up reasons.

    And let me reiterate, I’m not a conspiracy theorist… I’m just offering up why we cannot prove either side until we have concrete scientific evidence.

    And you seem to have missed my point. While we cannot “prove” it, we can make an extremely strong case, based on what we already know, that UFOs are almost certainly not alien spaceships.

    In the absence of complete knowledge, it is reasonable and logical to draw conclusions from what is known. Whereas you seem to be saying that the jury is out and will be out until one side or the other is conclusively proved. Logical positivism, while philosophically sound, has never been very useful.

  187. Nigel Depledge

    Rocket said:

    In my experience a credible observer most likely would not report a good sighting unless they thought they had nothing to lose. The issue I see with Phil’s statement is that amateur astronomers in many cases are very good at what they do and as knowledgeable as many professionals (the pros just write more papers). The effort is a constant struggle to achieve credibility and a single observation no matter how well recorded is just not verifiable. It seems to be ok to theories about the concept but anyone who is hoping to be taken seriously as a researcher, amateur or not will not gain acceptance by making non verifiable claims.

    But actually, pretty much all amateur astronomers have a day-job that is nothing to do with astronomy (or are retired). So, tell us what you think they have to lose.

    Also, a non-trivial proportion of amateur astronomers (probably about 5 – 10%) spend a significant amount of time outdoors at night with a pretty decent camera attached to a telescope. If they saw a UFO, you can bet they would photograph it. And these guys know how to take good pics of distant objects (unless the objects are moving very fast).

    So I don’t buy your “amateur astronomers see UFOs but don’t report them because they would lose credibility” hypothesis.

  188. Nigel Depledge

    Rory Considine said:

    It is always interesting to hear “intelligent” people dismissing so easily and with such certainty the possibility that UFOs exist i.e. they claim that there is a simple down to earth explanation for them all.

    As you will notice if you actually read what people have said, of course UFOs exist. All they are is things in the sky that the observer could not identify. This does not constitute evidence for alien spaceships.

    That attitude / interpretation I would regard as pompous and irrational. Why? Well, because there are thousands of UFO sightings that have been investigated and no ‘reasonable’ explanation can be found or is available to explain them.

    What? Where?

    If there are “thousands” of UFO sightings that cannot be explained by reference to known phenomena, perhaps you’d care to supply a list of the top 100.

    Basically, put up or shut up.

  189. Nigel Depledge

    Rory Considine said:

    < >

    Cheyenne, that is a typical type of statement made by people that that fail to use their imagination and confine themselves to what they want to believe and to what they know – not to the possibilities that may be available under other circumstances. It is similar to other such statemnets one hearsuch as – ‘it is against the Laws of Nature’ and so on. Who actually knows all the Laws of Nature to be able to make such a ridiculous statement. Something may be against the Laws as they are known or that are known – but not what is yet to be discovered.

    Please notice, Rory, that you are behaving like a typical Believer.

    You seem to refuse to accept that we actually do know quite a lot about how the universe works.

    Even if our present theories are wrong or incomplete (e.g. compare general relativity with quantum mechanics), they are at the very worst pretty good approximations of how the universe works. Otherwise we would not have seen such overwhelmingly close agreement between observation and theory.

    It does not matter how advanced your technology, interstellar travel is hard. If you think that technologies can one day be invented to make it easy, you are fooling yourself.

  190. Nigel Depledge

    Rory Considine said:

    Well, more recently have Scientists not stated that it was impossible that Bumble Bees should fly. No one ever logically explained this fact to our little friends and off they took regardless. Of course Scientists are not Bumble Bees – are they!

    Oh, God, not this old chestnut again.

    First of all, no scientist has ever claimed that bumblebees cannot fly.

    Second, for a long time it was a joke among aerodynamics engineers that bumblebees “couldn’t” fly – if you assessed their aerodynamic properties using the equations for fixed-wing aircraft. (Note for the clueless: bumblebees are not fixed-wing aircraft.)

    Third, do you really, honestly believe that any scientist or engineer would seriously claim that a thing that so obviously does fly can’t?

  191. Nigel Depledge

    Rory Considine said:

    Timothy from Boulder Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    < >

    You obviously did not read what I wrote correctly, even though you cut and pasted it in your reply. I did not say that Scientists ever stated that Bumble Bees “can’t” fly. By reading again what I actually said you should be able to distinguish the difference in meaning:-

    “Well, more recently have Scientists not stated that it was impossible that Bumble Bees should fly”

    You also should not be so quick with your judgements, jumping to wrong conclusions as you did when you wrote:-

    < >

    I have great respect for Science and for the majority of Scientists and their work. If you had been applying an illogical judgement to the finish, you should really have added:-

    ‘ (capital Bs apparently signifying the big, bad, group of ………….)’

    as I also wrote in capitals:-

    “……Bumble Bees should fly”

    So, Rory, what does this demonstrate, other than your inability to write good English?

    Incidentally, your statement about the bumblebees:

    …have Scientists not stated that it was impossible that Bumble Bees should fly

    can be re-written without changing its meaning, thus:
    “…haven’t scientists stated that it is impossible that bumblebees should fly,”
    This carries the obvious implication that you believe that scientists have claimed that bumblebees can’t fly. So, before you criticise others for failing to understand what you have written, perhaps you whould examine what you have written more closely first…?

  192. Nigel Depledge

    Wade said:

    Anyone ready to prove to me, after I’m dead, that all of you exist, that any sort of existance exists, that perceived reality exists? I’ll ake arrangements to turn over my house & bank accounts to the first person who ca do this. How about giving me a scientific method I can use, once dead, to prove that I once existed, had a past and that all of you existed? How will science help me? How is the evidence collected and presented?

    But I don’t believe you really exist. ;-)

  193. Nigel Depledge

    Wade said:

    …we have no need or compulsion to provide evidence.

    In this case, do not expect anyone to believe you.

  194. Rory Considine

    Alan French Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Mr. Considine,

    <>

    Hi Alan!I understand what you are saying and take your point.

    However, imagine the following scen:- You and a number of fellow amateur astronomers reported seeing something strange and on a number of ocassions. Let’s say that you had conferred and discovered that your sightings were all similar and you even had some photos to prove (to your own satisfaction) what you had seen. Now you happen to mention this to others and they (some that do not wish to entertain the possibility your sightings suggest) tell you that were mistaken, wrong, imagining, drinking etc. etc. Now they may even charge that the photos are fake, that you are a bunch of weirdos and that it is all just a big hoax. So, a very large question mark is placed over your own credibility and your standing in your community and amongst your peers is eroded. Needless to say, you would be annoyed, maybe angry and probably sorry for ever mentioning what you had seen in the first place. If you were more than convinced that what you saw was an unexplainable UFO you might even join an interested group in studying this phenomena. Whatever, you might decide in the circumstances, I suggest that you would look on the aforementioned debunkers / naysayers as outright deniers. That is exactly what they would be with regard to what you knew you had seen, understood and shared with your fellow astronomers.

    I am not referring to parties or individuals that would have enquired, maybe studied or have tried to understand and explain your experience. I am referring to the many ignorant deniers that deny outright without knowledge or investigation the experiences that many have had. There are Deniers in all walks of life, not just in this particular subject. Debating or discussing something intelligently and still disagreeing with the opposing view is not the type of individuals that I was referring to. I refer to the people that do not let discussion or debate arise – the ones that Know, are so sure of themselevs and really do not have to hear what you have to say nor or they interested in whatever your evidence might be. This might only irritate or upset their narrow minded view on whatever the subject is to which they hold their rightious opinion – set for many in concrete.

    If you (as you have) or anyone else had taken an interest in this subjest and read some of the available papers etc. and still felt that UFOs as in ETs do not exist on the evidence that you have so far seen – that is fine. Many of us are probably in and out of that boat at various times . I certainly would not describe you and such people as deniers. Disbelievers maybe, but I think you see the difference. So no offence meant to any of the open-minded disbelievers that may have read something different into what I wrote.

    Regards

  195. John

    This is pointless, you’re going round and round in circles. Stop wasting time in trying to convince a sceptic of a sighting, they will never believe. Just let them find out in their own way when they see a huge craft over their heads.

  196. tony J

    I am reluctant to get into UFO debates on the net, they often degenerate into slanging matches but after a cursory search on the net I found an article that I think is kind of relevant to Phil’s argument that ‘UFO’s should be seen by astronomers’ Here’s a link: http://www.bufora.org.uk/Articles/Astronomers_and_UFOs.pdf
    hope this gets through the filters, my last post on another thread where I provided a link was deleted…(dons tin foil hat, gets ready to use full caps)…..ITS A CONSPIRACY!!! IV’E BEEN CENCORED!!!! PHIL WORKS FOR THE CIA/ NRO/NSA!!!!!……oh wait, is it really that bad?….maybe it’s time to turn off the computer, I wonder what it’s like outside?

  197. tony J

    Oh wait….the CENSORED!!!!! post I submited on another thread has just appeared, after being moderated, just goes to show that it was a true conspiracy against me, insomuch that there was really nothing to it but my own fevered imagination.

  198. Rory Considine

    Nigel Depledge Says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 5:51 am

    <>

    Nigel get off the soap box! Just admit it! You got it wrong and misquoted me. I know what I said and what you imagine I was inferring is neither here nor there. If you wanted to go further and read something else into my sentence you could also say that it was an actual question – waiting for confirmation:-
    “…haven’t scientists stated that it is impossible that bumblebees should fly,”

    The point of the matter is that I never said nor did I imply anywhere that – Scientistists said that bumble bees “can”t fly. That was your point in replying and what you imagined you were responding to.

    It is amazing when one turns on the spotlight and turns off the floodlight how much more escapes one’s vision. So, stop digging a hole for yourself. I did not say, did not mean, nor did I infer what you have claimed – end of story!

  199. Alan French

    Rory Considine Says, in part:
    November 27th, 2008 at 6:25 am

    >>Hi Alan!I understand what you are saying and take your point.

    However, imagine the following scen:- You and a number of fellow amateur astronomers reported seeing something strange and on a number of ocassions. <<

    Thank you. I made that comment elsewhere recently, and only got more of the same, so I do appreciate that.

    I've been enjoying the night sky since the early 1960s, and have seen a lot of interesting things in my nights under the sky. I haven't yet seen anything that could not be explained.

    My interest in UFOs in my younger days got me reading every book I could find. None of these books were by skeptics, nor did I see any skeptical articles in those days. Every offer of "proof" just came up very short, and eventually I decided there just wasn't evidence for such claims. Various shows on television in recent year haven't done anything to improve the matter, often containing segments that have fairly obvious explanations (I wrote about stunt kites earlier in this discussion).

    Another problem I have with people and shows trying to convince me that we are being visited by alien spacecraft is that they can never seem to let go of a sighting. I did a lot of reading about Barney and Betty Hill, found it totally unconvincing, yet it is still trotted out as evidence. If people want to convince me of such things, it would be helpful if they showed a bit more skepticism.

    Clear skies, Alan

  200. TheWalruss

    My apologies if someone has already linked this in this discussion – it’s on the front page of Digg:
    http://edition.cnn.com/video/?JSONLINK=/video/tech/2008/11/26/am.obrien.aliens.abducted.cnn

    I’m at work so I can’t check the video. Is it as ridiculous as I think it is?

    The point I really wanted to make with another comment here is this:

    Ok, so there may be some unexplained UFO phenomena out there. The number and degree of unexplainedness varies, but let’s just say there’s at least a few that are truly weird and really seem to be flying craft of some kind.

    Where did the idea that these are extra-terrestrials come from? Might as well be inter-dimensional travelers, or time-machines, or advanced technology from the inner earth (check Hollow Earth theory). Right? Given the extreme difficulties with interstellar travel, I think the likelihood of those options are about the same.

    UFO enthousiasts should be focusing on the unexplainability of the phenomena instead of postulating about Grays and government coverups.

    I personally think they all have mundane explanations because even the most improbable coincidence of mundane circumstances is more likely than an extraordinary event like alien visitors. Us as humans are poor calculators, but I think, given the vastness of the cosmos and what we know about physics, that it’s very unlikely the Earth is the tourist destination UFO enthousiasts would like to make it out to be…

  201. TheWalruss

    Uh-oh! Moderation cause I linked to CNN! The MIBs have found me out!
    I just linked to a CNN video on the front-page of Digg, where there is apparently an interview with someone about an alien encounter?

    ya….

  202. Nigel Depledge

    Rory Considine said:

    No Gary, I think that my reference was correct. I read “In search for Schrodinger’s Cat.” explaining the mystery of light. My reference was to the sequel by John Gribben – “Schrodinger’s Kittens” which I also have read. Now I think after your post that I will have to revisit this book again because after all, Cat is singular and Kittens are plural. The two kittens were the ones in differnt boxes and I was referring to them. Have you read this follow-up?

    Actually, Rory, it kinda works like this:

    If you refer to a famous thought experiment (e.g. Schroedinger’s Cat), you can expect most people to understand what you are talking about. If, on the other hand, you refer to somethng that no-one has ever heard of unless they have read an obscure book, you need to explain just what the hell you’re talking about. If you want people to follow your argument, précis the thought experiment and relate it to your point.

  203. Nigel Depledge

    Wade said:

    I have a sense that as the concept of reality is rewritten and supported by M-Theory, the analogy of life v death

    Er … no. Not really.

  204. TheWalruss

    I agree with Nigel about M-Theory.
    Wade – I recommend Wikipedia’s article on “M-Theory” for a brief oversight of the theory. Frankly, I don’t know where life and death play a part in it… or how it’s relevant to the discussion? Perhaps you can elucidate.

  205. Gary Ansorge

    M-theory,,,just another variety of (11 dimensional) string theory. None of which mean diddly until they can successfully predict the outcome of SOME kind of experiment,,,I’m still waiting for the LHC to find Higgs particles, which is one prediction that MAY be testable,,,

    UFOs as alien threat,,,now, how much money could the Bush Administration squeeze out of the general public for defense from such,,,and just think how the ad hominems go.
    ” The Surge,,,er, I mean, the Alien Defense Force has prevented annular incursions so it must be working,,,send more money,,,”

    Someday, WE will have flying saucers and then we can say, “You know, those folk who saw UFOs back in the stoner age were right. It’s a great shape for a micro wave powered space craft,,,”

    It’s thanksgiving and I have to work but tonight I’ll be raising a margarita in toast to freedom of speech and thought. May it forever prevail.

    Peace Y’All

    Gary 7

  206. Rory Considine

    Nigel Depledge wrote:
    November 27th, 2008 at 7:53 am

    <>

    Nigel. this is getting a little frustrating and annoying i.e – your unneccesary nitpicking . Particularly in my case, where you continuosly appear to be getting it wrong . Maybe it is your only form of response to the questions I posed and which you have so far failed to address – attack the messenger…

    I had originally written in my post:- “You should read Schrodinger’s Kittens” .

    You are only proving your own ignorance on the matter when you pompously and arrogantly write:-

    <>

    Hell has nothing to do what I was referring to. On the other hand this book <> (according to Mr. I am Right all the time) and which you describe as an <> was written by the same author that wrote the best-selling book ‘In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat’ i.e. John Cribbin. He aslo wrote The Omega Point, In Search Of The Big Bang, In The Beginning and many others. His books have been translated into over thirty languages. He has a PhD in Astrophysics from Cambridge, was and possibly still is a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex and consultant to New Scientist.

    So Nigel, you should try to get your facts right before you so quickly jump-in to attack and endeavour to belittle another Poster. As it is , you are only drawing attention to yourself and managing very well to make yourself look foolish into the bargain. You must know by now that you are not Always right and do not know Everything!

  207. Nigel Depledge

    Rory Considine said:

    Nigel get off the soap box!

    Ain’t no soapbox here, dude.

    Just admit it! You got it wrong and misquoted me.

    I quoted your exact words, me old china.

    I will admit I am wrong only after you have demonstrated this.

    Just because you did not mean what you wrote, and did not write what you meant, does not mean that I misinterpreted your words.

    I know what I said and what you imagine I was inferring is neither here nor there.

    No, you can’t weasel out it that way. What you wrote has one clear meaning. It may not be what you intended, but that’s your problem, not mine.

    …The point of the matter is that I never said nor did I imply anywhere that – Scientistists said that bumble bees “can”t fly. That was your point in replying and what you imagined you were responding to.

    While you did not say in the exact words “scientists have claimed that bumblebees can’t fly”, what the hell else could you possibly have meant by your words:

    Well, more recently have Scientists not stated that it was impossible that Bumble Bees should fly.

    Aside from the fact that a double-negative is ungrammatical, if you had actually meant “recently, scientists have stated that bumblbees can fly”, why not just write this????

    I think my interpretation of your words, while not the only one, is the only logical one. If you want people to understand your point, you should work harder at making that point clearly and concisely. And then not complain when someone misunderstands (not misinterprets) what you have written.

  208. phil wright

    hi,
    i’ve been an amateur astronomer for 30 years,and have seen a number of unexplained objects,especially in the last 8 years,in the daytime.i scan the sky with zeiss 10×50 binocs,and on occasion have observed very high altitude white dots,which have flashed on and of,changed shape,changed colour,jumped from 1 position to another(no-not binoc shake!),or stopped in mid-air.
    i recently bought a high res. digital slr + small apo refractor to image some of these objects.1 or 2 ‘movies’ made from still frames ,can be seen on my youtube channel ‘phil2466′

    the main reason we do not hear many reports of ufos from astronomers,is precisely because of the ridicule heaped on the subject by websites/blogs such as this.

    cheers,phil ,uk

  209. Phil wright: Your “shape shifting” UFOs look very much like objects scintillating in the atmosphere. The “swirling ufo/plasma” video looks very much like Venus to me. Do you have more detailed information? What time of day was it? What was the azimuth? What was the field of view?

    Rory: If you attempt to use a popular science book to argue a scientific point, you can’t exactly complain if you aren’t taken seriously. If you have a point to make, cite peer reviewed papers, or at the very least a proper scientific textbook.

  210. Rory Considine

    Nigel Depledge Says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    <>

    You do persist beyond the limit! Even as you try to climb out of the hole you dug for yourself. Is the above supposed to be your way of acknowledging that you were indeed mistaken and wrong!

    If you have a logical mind (and are knowledgeable) you might understand from the above that I was ssuggesting :- Scientists believe that bumble bees because of their size, weight and their small wings etc. should not really be able to fly. Now the details of the actual scientific reasons why they might think this was not included, because I felt that the person being addressed would be aware of this. In the circumstances I was correct. However, some people e.g. Nigel Depledge jumped the gun, misjudged and misinterpreted what I wrote, tried to change the wording by saying that I had claimed – ‘Scientists have stated that bumble bees “can’t” fly’. This of course was untrue and in fact rubbish! You might have had reason to ask if I was really looking for confirmation for what I wrote – but no, you preferred to twist my words to suit your attack. Big mistake!

    Many posts ago I fully poined out and explained your error / wrong-doing and that is still the position. However, you want to try to prove yourself right whatever the circumstances. Well Nigel – forget it. In this particular situation it can only be a dream for you. Why not just admit you made a big boob (beat the ego into submission). You made a personal attack on me and tried to put me down. Unfortunately from your point of view – you made a horlicks of it, got it all wrong and no back-tracking is going to change that fact.

    It really does get a bit boring. So for the sake of all the others Posters and the topic being discussed, I think that you should desist and drop your mischevious, unhelpful and unrewarding nitpicking.

    Feel free to have the last word on this ridiculous discussion (Once you do not misquote me again)!

  211. Rory Considine

    Hyperdeath, will do – if I can get my hands on them!

  212. Rory Considine

    phil wright Says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    <>

    Well said Phil! Many will agree with you.

  213. Apollinair

    By definition, UFOs must exist. The term only means there is something flying that is not identified. That said, the commentary by the original author is specious. It can be categorized by the old skeptic’s approach “any answer is better than a UFO” even if the facts don’t fit. When was the last time you heard of someone touching Venus. Or, did you know that basically every sensor system in the world has recorded anomlies (and that includes national satellites). There are two big problems. First, UFO reports convey a wide variety of characterists. Second, because of incompetent reports, such as this article, any professional that investigates the field is subject to castigation. (That is not conjecture as Scietific American did a rather nasty ad hominim attack on me)

  214. phil wright

    hi ,hyperdeath,amd everyone,
    the swirling ufo/plasma was in the northeast at around 7pm 31 july 07.
    i know that venus will never be seen in the northeast in the evening!!

    the spinning cylinders ufo flew over me from southwest to northeast ,was flickering rapidly and was very bright in the daytime sky.

    the lit ufo may be a balloon,but the light formations seemed a bit odd!

    the spinning ufo really does look like a flying saucer!

    thanks for looking at my youtube vids.

    cheers,phil

  215. phil wright

    hi again,
    the 2007 vids were taken with a canon 400d slr with canon 200L prime lens.i have cropped them about 500% to bring out detail.
    the 2008 stuff has been imaged with a canon450d slr and a 600mm f.l .ed80 refractor,they have also been cropped by about 400%.

    cheers,phil

  216. Alan French

    Bright objects against the night or day often appear to be rotating or spinning through binoculars. Such comments are often made when people have called after looking at Venus or a bright star near the horizon, and I always figured it was a seeing effect. Anyway, I wouldn’t consider some to be actually spinning just because it looks that way.

    Clear skies, Alan

  217. John

    It’s true that most people describe their experiences far too much in detail when they only saw flashing lights or moving lights. It doesn’t help their credibility to describe such accuracy as spinning or other features unless they actually saw this up close and clearly. Also factors such as altitude, size and speed are estimates probably with an accuracy of +/- 50% unless you are a pilot and an object is observed at the same altitude. Therefore for an average ground observer stating the height, size and speed with such an accuracy that you would need a speed gun or radar to detect it at is completely pointless. I’ve seen unusual lights myself that I haven’t explained yet, but I get annoyed when I hear witnesses on TV giving such accurate information about their sighting, which they just could not know within a reasonable error.

  218. phil wright

    i agree that a lot of witnesses make false assumptions regarding size,height ,speed of unusual objects.it annoys me as well,so when i witness things that i cannot explain,i make sure my camera is ready since the resolution/magnification of my equipment is high enough to easily identify any obvious ifo ,such as an aircraft,or weather balloon.
    stars and planets(except venus and jupiter)dont really show up on an image with a shutter speed of 1/2500 of a second!!same with satellites – with the exception of ISS/shuttle – no way would a mag. 2 or 3 sat show up in sunny,daytime skies.
    the swirling motion of one of my ‘movies’, is indicated by the strange gaseous appendages which surround the object,and which are true details – not camera artifacts!!
    my imaging equipment lets me confirm what the tiniest dot in the daytime sky is.for instance,i imaged a weather balloon/radiosonde this year,and the images even showed the payload hanging from it,yet it was the smallest speck to my naked eyes!
    try looking for ufos yourself.scan the daytime sky with wide-angle binoculars in a grid-search pattern.you might be surprised!!most of the things you will see will be balloons of all shapes and sizes,but when you see an extremely high altitude dot,with a flashing light to the side of it,which flies over then stops at an elevation of,say ,50 degrees,then fades away ,then i would challenge anyone to identify it!!(a sighting by me in 2005).
    by the way,my equipment is:
    canon 450 d slr(12 mega)
    skywatcher 80 ed refractor
    william optics megrez 72
    william optics flt110 (tmb)-just getting set up for daytime use,with alt-az mount.
    nikon 8 x 40 binocs
    zeiss 10 x 50 binocs
    cheers,phil ,uk

  219. phil wright

    another thing,
    why do skeptics(sceptics for uk readers!)always go on about 1960s spyplanes such as u2 or sr71 as explanations for ufo reports of that era.what a load of garbage!a plane is a plane.they have wings,jet engines,and make a lot of noise,especially the sr71.in any case ,spyplanes only reach their top speeds and altitudes when they need to penetrate hostile airspace.if the usaf or cia had triangular things flying,then they would be strange,but any conventional aircraft-shaped object is a plane!

    cheers,phil

  220. Jeffersonian

    @Rocket
    “My Location: 117.6680 W, 34.4000 N”

    You know that’s Edwards Air Force Base airspace, right? And a well-populated region with lots of other skywatchers (as well as professional installations and high-tech radar), including an observatory less than 1 mile from that location. There are also experimental weather stations nearby.

  221. Jeffersonian

    @Gonzo
    I can’t see how a semantics argument is helpful at all. Everyone knows what is assumed in the meaning of the term UFO. You can’t fight language.

    Agreed (with the first part), but being pedantically over-literal was not my point. 1)Phil has described being technically accurate as one of his goals. 2)Everyone does <i.not know what everyone else assumes; we have to agree what terms mean. An object sighting only becomes official when it is reported, after which, the goal becomes trying to ID, which is the nut of the topic here. It matters because if more people understood this as the process (instead of the opposite), and understood that “UFO” does NOT mean extraterrestrial visitors rather than, simply, an object that could not be correctly identified authoritatively and therefore explained, the press would have less incentive to propagate the cult of disinformation regarding the topic and a better informed public would be less gullible. If even a billion people make an incorrect assumption, it doesn’t make it correct. Do objects exist that fly and can’t be identified? Of course. Denying it doesn’t help my nephew (for example) strengthen his skeptic skills as much as truth and that truth is in the term itself. Clearing up the assumption that UFO=Alien Visitors is advantageous.
    (With nods to the posters who already commented as such).

    @Metre
    Interesting about the moon and agreed about the odds of life. Sagan may have found hope with his odds being higher given the extremity of the universe but maybe our species is the oddball long shot a)having become hominids b)having a continuing intelligence curve c)having survived atomic discovery, d)having no predator species we must share with, etc. Also, if an advanced hominid (or some such) did solve basic existence problems to the point that their economical situation allowed advanced-technology spacecraft programs before the extinction of life-sustaining resources, what are the odds they could do so to the extreme of overcoming space physics and traveling beyond a corner of their own galaxy? The odds are massive even assuming life exists everywhere. We Rule!

  222. Jeffersonian

    (sentence should say “Everyone does NOT know what everyone else assumes”)

  223. John

    LOL. You are assuming that we are doing well as a species. Maybe we are on the path to potentially extinction, as we have not progressed beyond our tribal nature yet.

  224. John

    And that would shorten the odds even more.

    Although something also tells me when I say things like that, that life is much more abundant than we ever thought, even intelligent life. It goes against rational thinking, but nevertheless there’s always that nagging thought still there.

  225. Nigel Depledge

    Rory Considine said:

    If you have a logical mind (and are knowledgeable) you might understand from the above that I was ssuggesting :- Scientists believe that bumble bees because of their size, weight and their small wings etc. should not really be able to fly.

    (My bolding)

    Well, now we get to the crux of the matter.

    You have just confirmed that the way I interpreted your words is correct, i.e. that you were suggesting that scientists believed that bumblebees should not be able to fly.

    Scientists have never believed this. Nor have engineers.

    As I have already pointed out, it was a joke among aeronautical engineers that, if you apply the equations for fixed-wing aircraft to a bumblebee, you don’t get enough lift to counteract its mass, therefore bumblebees “can’t” fly. I also pointed out that bumblebees are not fixed-wing aircraft. Perhaps I should also have pointed out that the calcs were done in the full knowledge that bumblebees are not fixed-wing aircraft, but to me this was implied by the fact of its being a joke.

    As another commenter has pointed out, this illustrates not the challenge bumblebees face getting off the ground, but the dangers of applying assumptions that are inappropriate to the situation at hand.

  226. Nigel Depledge

    John said:

    This is pointless, you’re going round and round in circles. Stop wasting time in trying to convince a sceptic of a sighting, they will never believe. Just let them find out in their own way when they see a huge craft over their heads.

    Heehee! John, you miss the whole point of scepticism.

    Scepticism is not a refusal to believe in anything; instead it is the insistence on a critical examination of all available evidence, placed in the context of existing knowledge.

    All it would take to convince we sceptics that Earth is being visited by some alien space travellers is some hard evidence. Evidence that can be assessed and evaluated independently.

    As has already been pointed out, the “evidence” of eyewitness accounts, dodgy videos or photos, and spurious radar echoes does not constitute hard evidence. Either you must conclude “we don’t know” or you must show us some real evidence. Leaping to conclusions based on shaky evidence is never going to convince a sceptic.

  227. John

    @ Nigel Depledge

    No I haven’t and thanks for the lesson in scepticism, but I’m already up to speed on that. I meant that the believers have no evidence and therefore can’t prove their claim, and the same speech you gave to me is always given to them all. This gets repeated for every believer comment, therefore going round in circles. The only way of breaking that cycle is for the physical evidence to be presented, but you know that won’t happen on here. I wasn’t saying scepticism was pointless, and if you saw a craft up close you would become a believer, it’s human nature. Although you should still be sceptical of what/who it was, and not come to an extraterrestrial conclusion only by the sighting. But it would convince you of an unexplainable event at least.

    Just for the record I’m a ufo witness, I don’t have proof, and I don’t care whether any believes it or not. And I’m sceptical of what it was, and I cannot say what is, was never mind aliens.

    Therefore it is pointless to try to convince a sceptic of a sighting, unless somehow bits of the craft fell off and you could show it to them, or some other proof could be provided. Maybe you find it intriguing to listen to people’s claims, maybe if you witnessed a ufo (just for the sake of the point presume they could exist) you would see how these conversations go round in circles for one of two reasons: 1. Either no unexplainable ufo events occur, and all witnesses are mistaken, or 2. No physical evidence yet forthcoming or 3. Government conspiracies prevent this information to be obtained. Or maybe you do realise and accept 1. as likely. Anyway keep on asking for the evidence even though every response you’ve had so far has nothing substancial to offer. At the end of the day it’s what we all would like to get hold of.

    Anyway the argument with the bumble bees although funny is irrelevant towards ufos. Even if say some scientist says that bumble bees cannot fly if they used an appropriate model, this is known to be inaccurate as there’s evidence of bees in flight. To use as an analogy towards not understanding the laws of ufo flight cannot work as there’s no evidence of ufo flight to work with. Regardless of whether the scientist said that or not, or used an inappropriate modelling method as a joke, it matters very little. I think some people like to argue for fun on here.

  228. John

    That last point just meant that people like to use an argument that scientists got something wrong, therefore they could be wrong again. And somehow use that in favour of being wrong about ETs travelling faster than speed of light. Of course that may end up being correct, but it’s false logic as that argument can apply to anything or nothing. We just don’t know. If they somehow got it right they would claim they knew all along, but it would just be a guess put together from other guesses on what they thought they saw. Intelligent people realise that it’s just a wild guess, and so they remain sceptical until it can be proved.

  229. Nigel Depledge

    @ John –

    OK, point taken.

    I am UFO witness – I have seen lights in the sky that I could not identify. I reckone they were most probably a plane or a satellite.

    Or the light of Venus reflecting off swamp gas…

  230. John

    OK I’ve seen less extraordinary ufos as well which were probably unusual plane lights, model aircraft, lanterns or a satellite.

    I’ve seen one group of extraordinary ufos which has yet not been explained, and Venus was in the same part of the sky during the sighting, and I admit I wasn’t sure that it was Venus for a while, until I checked where Venus was supposed to be. But I’m sure most people would be slightly freaked by other mundane lights in the sky if they saw 7 lights zig-zag around each other and zoom off. That’s probably why you get reports of ufo fleets, where it’s likely most are just stars and planets mis-identified as witnesses get carried away.

    To be completely honest I wouldn’t get over excited by a light in the sky just seemed to hover on its own, as long as it doesn’t perform some seemingly impossible manoeuvre I wouldn’t call it a ufo because it’s most likely something mundane like lanterns or balloons. Of course if I could make out an actual craft just hovering that would be something new and exciting. And it’s a good idea to make sure you have a level head if you see some extraordinary manoeuvres by lights, and not be paranoid about other lights. I can tell you it’s extremely difficult to not stare at other lights warily even a few days after a really wierd sighting, even when these other lights are stars! lol

  231. Nigel Depledge

    Rory Considine said:

    Now the details of the actual scientific reasons why they might think this was not included, because I felt that the person being addressed would be aware of this. In the circumstances I was correct. However, some people e.g. Nigel Depledge jumped the gun, misjudged and misinterpreted what I wrote, tried to change the wording by saying that I had claimed – ‘Scientists have stated that bumble bees “can’t” fly’. This of course was untrue and in fact rubbish!

    So, who is the nitpicker, Rory?

    Me for interpreting your words as saying that you believed scientists have claimed that bumblebees should not be able to / cannot fly, or you for making such a fine distinction between “should not be able to” and “cannot”.

    Either way, you are still wrong, because, as I point out above, no scientist has ever claimed that bumblebees should not be able to fly.

    You might have had reason to ask if I was really looking for confirmation for what I wrote – but no, you preferred to twist my words to suit your attack. Big mistake!

    I had no need to twist your words.

    You have stated that scientists claimed that bumblebees should not be able to fly. You are wrong.

    Many posts ago I fully poined out and explained your error / wrong-doing and that is still the position.

    Actually, you totally failed to do this. All you did was assert that I had misinterpreted your words, but at that time you failed to make your meaning any clearer.

    Subsequently, you have made your meaning clear, and illustrated that I was right to criticise you. Your criticism of me seems to boil down to “I didn’t say ‘cannot’, I said ‘should not be able to’,”. The distinction you make here is irrelevant.

    However, you want to try to prove yourself right whatever the circumstances. Well Nigel – forget it. In this particular situation it can only be a dream for you.

    Apart from the fact that I am right, you mean?

    Why not just admit you made a big boob (beat the ego into submission).

    Straight back atcha.

    Why can you not admit that you were wrong?

    You made a personal attack on me and tried to put me down.

    Nu-uh. I pointed out that a statement you made was wrong. If you see that as a personal attack, that’s not any doing of mine.

    When someone interpreted your claim as being wrong, you whined that they misrepresented you.

    I merely pointed out that you should check your own words for ambiguity before complaining that other people have misrepresented you.

    Yet, it now turns out that the only thing I got wrong was conflating “cannot” with “should not be able to”, a trivial distinction compared with your erroneous claim about what science has claimed in the past.

    Unfortunately from your point of view – you made a horlicks of it, got it all wrong and no back-tracking is going to change that fact.

    I’m not backtracking.

    I have said all along that no scientist has ever claimed what you claim that they have. This is correct.

    It really does get a bit boring. So for the sake of all the others Posters and the topic being discussed, I think that you should desist and drop your mischevious, unhelpful and unrewarding nitpicking.

    What, I should let you malign scientists without calling you out?

    No, sir.

    Now you are making ad hominems against me (mischievous? unhelpful? I seek the truth).

    Feel free to have the last word on this ridiculous discussion (Once you do not misquote me again)

    I have only ever quoted your exact words, and attempted to make sense of them and parse out your meaning.

    Oddly enough, I’ve been accused of nitpicking before, but only when I’m right. It seems to me that the charge of nitpicking is the recourse of the wrong.

    Basically, Rory, stop whining about being attacked, accept that you really were wrong about the bumblebee thing, and stop trying to malign science and scientists.

  232. Nigel Depledge

    Phil Wright said:

    why do skeptics(sceptics for uk readers!)always go on about 1960s spyplanes such as u2 or sr71 as explanations for ufo reports of that era.what a load of garbage!a plane is a plane.they have wings,jet engines,and make a lot of noise,especially the sr71.in any case ,spyplanes only reach their top speeds and altitudes when they need to penetrate hostile airspace.if the usaf or cia had triangular things flying,then they would be strange,but any conventional aircraft-shaped object is a plane!

    So, in addition to being unable to capitalise at the start of a sentence, you have never heard of lifting bodies.

    Just because you have not heard of or seen something, does not mean it doesn’t exist. Lifting body aircraft are well documented – I imagine that Wikipedia has an article about them.

    12 seconds later…

    Yes, it does. Go to Wikipedia and search for “Lifting body”.

    Not all planes have a distinctive winged silhouette from beneath,after all.

  233. phil wright

    hi nigel,
    my typing is rubbish so i stick to lower-case!i know about lifting bodies,like the nasa x24 ,etc,.however didn’t they always drop them from a b52,so they would glide down to land at edwards afb?so maybe a few were sighted in california at the time,and were mistaken for ufos.i’m sure somebody could check dates and times of lifting body flights and cross-check ufo reports in the same timeframe and location!i also know about the b2 and the xb70 ,which have unusual designs.
    so i take it you ‘believe’ that a lot of witnesses are fooled by spyplanes who would not normally be fooled by aircraft?
    all you armchair skeptics should go out on a nice sunny day and LOOK!!!!

    cheers,phil

  234. John

    Check out some of the US experimental X-planes, they could easily be mistaken for something else. The X-30, 33, 37 & 40 at a glance are wierd, and I would wonder what they were if they flew past my house. They were only experimental though and are unlikely to have been tested in the UK.

  235. Rory Considine

    For some of the Astronomers here and also for the uniformed close-minded debunkers (not the informed ones), the following may be of interest:-

    Clyde Tombaugh was the American astronomer who discovered the planet Pluto. On August 20, 1949, he observed a UFO that appeared as a geometrically arranged group of six-to-eight rectangles of light, window-like in appearance and yellowish-green in color, which moved from northwest to southeast over Las Cruces, New Mexico. He stated:

    From Wikipedia:

    Tombaugh and UFOs

    Tombaugh was probably the preeminent astronomer to have reported seeing Unidentified Flying Objects. On August 20, 1949, Tombaugh saw several UFOs near Las Cruces, New Mexico. He described them as six to eight rectangular lights, stating “I doubt that the phenomenon was any terrestrial reflection, because… nothing of the kind has ever appeared before or since… I was so unprepared for such a strange sight that I was really petrified with astonishment.” [1]A similar shocked response has been reported by many other who claim to have seen mysterious aerial objects.

    Tombaugh was also later to report having seen three of the mysterious Green Fireballs, which suddenly appeared over New Mexico in late 1948 and continued at least through the early 1950s. In 1956 Tombaugh had the following to say about his various sightings:

    “I have seen three objects in the last seven years which defied any explanation of known phenomenon, such as Venus, atmospheric optic, meteors or planes. I am a professional, highly skilled, professional astronomer. In addition I have seen three green fireballs which were unusual in behavior from normal green fireballs…I think that several reputable scientists are being unscientific in refusing to entertain the possibility of extraterrestrial origin and nature.” [2]

    In 1949, Tombaugh had also told the Naval missile director at White Sands Missile Range, Commander Robert McLaughlin, that he had seen a bright flash on Mars in August 1941, which he now attributed to an atomic blast (mentioned May 12, 1949, in a letter from McLaughlin to Dr. James van Allen). [3] Tombaugh also noted that the first atomic bomb tested in New Mexico would have lit up the dark side of the Earth like a neon sign and that Mars was coincidentally quite close at the time, the implication apparently being that the atomic test would have been visible from Mars.

    In June 1952, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer acting as a scientific consultant to the Air Force’s Project Blue Book UFO study, secretly conducted a survey of fellow astronomers on UFO sightings and attitudes while attending an astronomy convention. Tombaugh and four other astronomers told Hynek about their sightings, including Dr. Lincoln La Paz of the University of New Mexico. Tombaugh also told Hynek that his telescopes were at the Air Force’s disposal for taking photos of UFOs, if he was properly alerted.

    Source:- http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case355.htm

    This site appears to be worth a visit for all sides in this debate – whatever your beliefs.

  236. Alan French

    Anyone interesting in doing some experiments?

    Right now Venus and Jupiter are nicely placed in the southwestern sky as evening twilight falls. Look at them with binoculars. Take some photos, do some video. I think you’ll see some interesting effects, and the results will likely look unusual. Bright small objects against the darkening sky bright out lots of optical defects in optics – flare, ghosts, and so on – and unstable air (seeing) and atmospheric dispersion (thick atmosphere acting like a prism) add their own features. Optical defects change as the placement in the field changes, and seeing also makes the view vary considerably with time. I think it would be easy to imagine “gaseous jets.”

    If you want to expand your experiments, do it with Venus in the daytime sky. Venus is bright enough to see with the unaided eye if you know where you look. I usually find it by looking when it is due south by scanning with binoculars. Most planetarium programs will tell you when Venus transits on a particular day from your location. Right now Venus is due south from my 43 degree north, 74 degree west location at 2:50 PM EST. Scanning upward from the southern horizon with binoculars would find it fairly easily. I usually stand in the shadow of a building where I can see due south. This makes it impossible to scan up the Sun by accident, and easier to spot Venus by eye allow once you have spotted it in binoculars.

    On Saturday, December 1, the crescent Moon will be near Venus, which will be a good landmark, making it easier to spot in the daytime sky.

    Even if you don’t do any of these experiments, be sure to note the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on Sunday night, November 30, when they will be only two degrees apart as darkness falls. They will be joined by a thin crescent Moon on Monday, December 1, for a lovely and very photogenic sight in the early evening sky.

    Feel free to share your videos with us on Youtube.

    Clear skies, Alan

  237. Alan French

    And don’t be bashful about using that zoom… most folks would.

    Clear skies, Alan

  238. Rory Considine

    An intervies with another Astronomer this time with a lot of backgound into the investigation of UFOs :–

    CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH DR. J. ALLEN HYNEK
    By Dennis Stacy
    An Interview With The Dean, 1985
    Re-Edited for CUFON by Dale Goudie 1991

    For over two decades, from 1948 to 1969, Dr. J. Allen Hynek was a consultant in astronomy to the United States Air Force. The subject of his advice, however, was not the fledgling space program or even the moon and stars above, but Unidentified Flying Objects. In 1973 he founded the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and had serves as Director and editor of its journal, “International UFO Reporter.”

    STACY: Dr. Hynek, as a scientist, you go back as far with UFO phenomenon as probably anyone alive today. Exactly how did that relationship begin?

    HYNEK: That’s an easy story to tell. In the spring of 1948, I was teaching astronomy at Ohio State University, in Columbus. One day thee men, and they weren’t dressed in black, came over to see me from Wright Patterson Air Force Base in nearby Dayton. They started out by talking about the weather, as I remember, and this and that, and then finally one of them asked me what I thought about flying saucers. I told them I thought they were a lot of junk and nonsense and that seemed to please them, so they got down to business. They said they needed some astronomical consultation because it was their job to find out what these flying saucer stories were all about.

    Some were meteors, they thought, others stars and so on, so they could use an astronomer. What the hell, I said, it sounded like fun and besides, I would be getting a top secret security clearance out of it, too. At that time, it was called Project Sign, and some of the personnel at least were taking the problem quite seriously. At the same time a big split was occurring in the Air Force between two schools of thought. The serious school prepared an estimation of the situation which they sent to General Vandenburg, but the other side eventually won out and the serious ones were shipped off to other places. The negatives won the day, in other words.

    My own investigations for Project Sign added to that, too, I think, because I was quite negative in most of my evaluations. I stretched far to give something a natural explanation, sometimes when it may not have really had it. I remember one case from Snake River Canyon, I think it was, where a man and his two sons saw a metallic object come swirling down the canyon which caused the top of the trees to sway. In my attempt to find a natural explanation for it, I said that it was some sort of atmospheric eddy. Of course, I had never seen an eddy like that and had no real reason to believe that one even existed. But I was so anxious to find a natural explanation because I was convinced that it had to have one that, naturally, I did in fact, it wasn’t until quite some time had passed that I began to change my mind.

    STACY: Was there ever any direct pressure applied by the Air Force itself for you to come up with a conventional explanation to these phenomena?

    HYNEK: There was an implied pressure, yes, very definitely.

    STACY: In other words, you found yourself caught, like most of us, in a situation of trying to please your boss?

    HYNEK: Yes, you might as well put it that way, although at the same time I wasn’t going against my scientific precepts. As an astronomer and physicist, I simply felt a priori that everything had to have a natural explanation in this world. There were no ifs, and or buts about it. The ones I couldn’t solve, I thought if we just tried harder, had a really proper investigation, that we probably would find as answer for. My batting average was about 80 per cent and I figured that anytime you were hitting that high, you were doing pretty good. That left about 20 per cent unsolved for me, but only about three or four per cent for the Air Force, because they used statistics in a way I would never have allowed for myself. For example, cases labeled as insufficient information they would consider solved ! They also had some other little tricks. If a light were seen, they would say, “aircraft have lights, therefore, probable aircraft.” Then, at the end of the year, when the statistics were made up, they would drop the “possible” or “probable” and simply call it aircraft.

    STACY: What began to change your own perception of the phenomenon?

    HYNEK: Two things, really. One was the completely negative and unyielding attitude of the Air Force. They wouldn’t give UFOs the chance of existing, even if they were flying up and down the street in broad daylight. Everything had to have as explanation. I began to resent that, even though I basically felt the same way, because I still thought they weren’t going about it in the right way. You can’t assume that everything is black no matter what. Secondly, the caliber of the witnesses began to trouble me. Quite a few instances were reported by military pilots, for example, and I knew them to be fairly well-trained, so this is when I first began to think that, well, maybe there something to all this.

    The famous “swamp gas” case which came later on finally pushed me over the edge. From that point on, I began to look at reports from a different angle, which was to say that some of them could be true UFOs. …………………………………

    Article continued at:- http://www.cufon.org/cufon/hynekint.htm

  239. Rory Considine

    Dr. J. Allen Hynek Speaking at the United Nations, Nov. 27th 1978

    ………….But we need not base our opinions or actions solely on the
    French in-vestigations, as competent as they may have been.
    Similar conclusions have already been drawn indepen-dently by
    scientists with whom I have been associated, many of whom,
    however, have been reluctant to express their opinions openly.
    There is a surprisingly large number of individual scientists
    who have expressed to me, privately and personally, their
    involved concern with the challenge of the UFO phenomenon, and
    who entertain opinions consistent with those of the French
    report. These scientists are in many cases associated with large
    and prestigious scientific organizations, both government and
    private, which, as organizations are silent or even officially
    derisiveabout the UFO phenomenon. The individuals within these
    organizations who have intimate knowledge of the UFO phenomenon
    are restrained by organizational policy to remain officially
    silent about their interest and in private work with UFO
    matters………………………………………………………….

    Complete article at:- http://www.cufon.org/cufon/hynekint.htm

  240. Rory, thanks for calling me a “debunker”. After all, I can’t debunk something unless it’s bunk in the first place.

  241. Rory Considine

    For those Astronomers readings here and wondering about other Astronomers reporting UFOs, the following list compiled in 1964 is informative:-

    Here are some astronomer, meteorologist, and physicist UFO sightings. The list is compiled in a 1964 compilation of data from NICAP, a civilian UFO group with mostly Ph.D.s on the board of directors. Very scientific, pragmatic, academic group. The compilation was called “The UFO Evidence” and was edited by Richard Hall, now with the Fund for UFO Research in Maryland. The cases were mostly reported through civilian channels and funneled to NICAP as a central repository. These may be verified by finding the book at major university library.

    7/10/47 Unnamed “Top Astronomer”. Elliptical object which hovered, wobbled, ascended suddenly.

    8/na/49 Clyde W. Tombaugh (ring a bell?), astronomer. Circular pattern of rectangular lights, keeping fixed interval.

    Summer 1948 Carl Mitchell, physicist. Three luminescent greenish discs one second apart, passed across sky from N to S and over horizon.

    5/20/50 Seymour L. Hess, meteorology and astronomy. Disc or sphere in apparent “powered” flight.

    8/3/51 Walter Webb, astronomer. Bright glowing light moving in undulating path.

    1952 W. Gordon Graham, astronomer. UFO “like a smoke ring, elliptical in shape, and having two bright pinpoints of light along its main axis”, saild overhead from west to east.

    8/5/52 James Bartlett, astronomer. During daylight observation of Venus saw a flight of two disks diameter about 30 minutes of arc; passed overhead to S, turned E. Then two more disks with dome-like protrusions in center.

    6/11/54 H. Percy Wilkins, astronomer. Two silvery objects “like polished metal plates” moving against wind; third grayish oval arced across sky.

    11/25/54 Marcos Guerci, meteorologist. Two luminous objects observed from airport; one apparently semi-circular, other circular.

    12/7/54 R. H. Kleyweg, meteorologist. Hemispherical disk tracked through theodolite.

    11/1/55 Frank Halstead, astronomer. Cigar-shaped object followed by domed disk.

    6/18/57 Henry Carlock, physicist. Observing sky with telescope; twice glimpsed UFO with halo around it and “what appeared to be three portholes”.

    11/10/57 Jacques Chapuis, astronomer. At Toulouse Observatory observed maneuvering yellow star-like object for 5 minutes. “It was something I had never seen before.” UFO finally ascended straight up out of sight.

    5/22/60, Observatory Staff (Majorca astronomer (?)). Triangular UFO about 1/4 apparent size of moon sighted at 9:33 am, spinning on its axis while on steady course. Report cabled to NASA in Washington. [Note: Familiar triangular shape and axial rotation maneuvers that persist in contemporary reports. Daytime sighting by astronomers at observatory. Highly credible.]

    3/16/61 R. J. Villela, meteorologist in Antarctica. Fireball-like object in low-level flight.

    5/20/62 C. A. Maney, physicist with six others. Maneuvering light, turned sharply, made sudden changes in speed.

    And that’s only though 1964, so this should annihilate the debunkery myth that astronomers and scientists don’t see UFOs. Also consider that those who do probably don’t report them as often as non-scientists because of ridicule fear.

    Files by David Rudiak

    Here are some more astronomer UFO reports, which are of far more than just unidentified, distant lights in the sky:

    JAMES BARTLETT, JR.

    8/5/52 – Baltimore, Maryland [right after various radar/visual sightings in nearby Washington, D.C. and Virginia during July, 1952]. While doing daylight observations of Venus, saw two disc-shaped objects pass south of Baltimore, then turn east. Soon afterwards, two more discs appeared overhead, with domelike raised centers. Bartlett, previously a skeptic, stated, “UFOs do exist. They are some type of mechanism, controlled craft, origin unknown.”

    Sept, 1953 – Baltimore, Maryland. Dramatic nighttime UFO observation by Bartlett, who first spotted four large lights by eye. Through binoculars he observed the lights came from the noses of two enormous cylindrical or cigar-shaped craft. He observed a cabin in the nose and ports on the sides of the hulls in each craft.

    9/6/54 – Baltimore, Maryland. Bartlett saw four glowing objects in line formation. When an airliner approached, they changed formation and climbed, then reformed in line. He stated, “It was a precise and highly controlled performance.”

    H. PERCY WILKINS

    6/11/54 – Charleston West Virginia/Atlanta Georgia – 10:45 AM. While flying, English astronomer Wilkins [head of the British Selenological Society] saw 2 radiant, polished metal disks, like “dinner plates”, soon joined by a third. Wilkins, one of the world’s leading moon experts, also confirmed seeing what appeared to be a giant artificial bridge or roadway on the moon in the same spot first reported by John O’Neill. The next month the structure was gone.

    FRANK HALSTEAD (DIRECTOR OF THE DARLING OBSERVATORY, DULUTH, MINNESOTA)

    11/1/55 – Mojave Desert, California. On a train, Halstead and his wife observed for 8 minutes a cigar-shaped UFO about 800 feet long pacing the train above a ridge. Then joined by a smaller disc, perhaps 100 feet in diameter, with a small dome on top. Both objects were very shiny. After 2 or 3 minutes, both rose straight up in the air and disappeared in 15-20 seconds. In June, 1957, Halstead stated, “…Many professional astronomers are convinced that saucers are interplanetary machines… I think they come from another solar system, but they may be using Mars as a base.” In 1959, Halstead stated that he, assistant Raymond Matsuhara, and 16 others observed a straight black line on the floor of the crater Piccolomini on 7/6/54. This was also observed from nearby Tulane Observatory and by amateur astronomer Frank Manning in New Orleans the same night. The line was gone a few days later.

    J Allen Hynek
    J. ALLEN HYNEK (AIR FORCE BLUE BOOK CONSULTANT)

    Unspecified date and place – Hynek saw and took 2 photos of a nearby disc-shaped object with a “dome” outside his airplane window at 30,000′. The photos are reproduced in “The UFO experience,” 1972, and “The Edge of Reality,” 1975. Hynek pointed out he had to reach under his seat and find his camera before taking the pictures. With the jet moving at 600 mph, the object would have followed the plane for several miles between being first sighted and when the photos were taken, eliminating most conventional explanations.

    BENITO REYNO, DIRECTOR OF ADHARA OBSERVATORY, ARGENTINA

    11/14/64 – San Miguel, Buenos Aires. 8:35-9:05 PM. Astronomers reported that an elongated, flattened reddish object criss-crossed the sky three times in an E-W, W-E direction. The astronomers noted it couldn’t be a satellite because of the reversals of direction and the fact that it took only 4 minutes to cross the sky instead of 18, like a normal satellite. Photos were taken by director Reyna. Also described as three separate UFOs following a route perpendicular to the orbit of Echo II balloon satellite and on the plane of the orbit.

    MONTE IZANE ASTROPHYSICS OBSERVATORY, CANARY ISLANDS.

    6/22/76. A huge orb of yellow light with a blue tinge seen by astronomers at the Observatory. Also seen by numerous other witnesses, including the crew of a Spanish naval corvette. It was seen to rise and then drop a curtain of light towards the ground, illuminating the sea and shore. The light appeared to corkscrew upwards from this halo and move across the island. The mass of light left by the object remained in the sky for 40 minutes. A color photo was taken by another witness and eventually released by the Spanish Air Force. [Reprinted in “UFOs and How to See Them,” by Jenny Randles] The Canary Islands A.F. commander, Gen. Carlos Cavero stated, “I have for some time held the view that the UFOs are extraterrestrial craft [but] it is as difficult for official quarters to admit that something exists as it is for the church to affirm that this or that is a miracle.”

    I have about 150 other sightings from astronomers, physicists, aeronautical engineers, meteorologists, and other scientists and engineers. And I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Before you so casually dismiss these UFO sightings as unidentified satellites and airplanes, you should at least bother to read the reports first.

    by David Rudiak

    Closing words by Dick Allgire:

    One of the great debunker urban myths is that astronomers never see UFOs. But this is simply not true. Tombaugh was just one example. Dr. Lincoln LaPaz had at least two (saucer, green fireball) and also secretly investigated saucer and green fireball reports for the Air Force in New Mexico. Even debunker Donald Menzel had a green fireball sighting.

    Prof. Walter Webb had a sighting in 1951. James Bartlett Jr., previously a big skeptic, had four sightings in 1952 (4 discs), 1953 (4 lights emerging from cigar-shaped craft), 1954 (four glowing objects flying in formation), and 1957.

    Frank Halstead had a spectacular sighting in 1955, when he and his wife observed a large, 800-foot cigar-shaped UFO pacing their train, then joined by a 100-foot disc, both then rising straight up and disappearing. In 1954 British astronomer H. Percy Wilkins saw three 3 radiant, polished metal discs, “like dinner plates” from his airplane window while flying over the states. And Blue Book consultant J. Alan Hynek snapped two photos of something saucer-like from his airplane window.

    Australian astronomer Drs. Bart Brok and A. R. Hogg described a bright light moving erratically across the sky in 1957 which they determined was at least several hundred miles up. A day later, French astronomer Jacques Chapais described seeing a canary-yellow object sweep across the sky twice before disappearing straight up.

    There are many more examples. Perhaps the earliest, well-documented astronomer UFO sighting dates back to 1878. E.W. Maunder and other staff members at the Greenwich Royal Observatory reported “a strange celestrial visitor” in the Observatory Reports, which they described as “torpedo” or “spindle-shaped.” Years later Maunder wrote that it looked exactly like one of the new Zeppelin dirigibles (the first ones not being built until 1897 or 1898 I believe).

  242. Greg in Austin

    John, you said,

    “My sighting was of several lights moving around each other before zooming off leaving 2 trails or distortions behind them, with around a dozen or two jets in pairs appearing to intercept towards this location from different directions before and after the sightings.

    But I’m sure most people would be slightly freaked by other mundane lights in the sky if they saw 7 lights zig-zag around each other and zoom off.

    These descriptions sound suspiciously like air-to-air missiles, during a routine training mission. Have you tried describing your observations to military experts for possibilities?

    8)

  243. Nigel Depledge, you’re wasting your time with Rory.

    Check out the Wikipedia article on “Crank (person)”, and look at item #3 in the “Common characteristics of cranks” section. Rory seems to be a classic case. He’ll split every hair, and redefine every word in the dictionary before conceding he’s wrong.

  244. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    Those are great accounts of people witnessing things in the sky. Those are completely useless in providing proof of alien existence, as not a single one of them provide a single shred of testable, verifiable evidence.

    8)

  245. Robert

    Wow, Phil. Do you call that an intelligent response to Rory’s posting?

    And your assertion and I quote: “That, to me, is the killer argument that aliens aren’t visiting us. If they were, the amateur astronomers would spot them.”, makes me wonder how much of a scientist are you really? First, you distort the issue by using the word “aliens” interchangeably with the term “UFOs”. Second, where is the data behind your assertion that amateur astronomers have not seen UFOs? I’m sure that you don’t have any. Blanket statements like that are not made by anyone who has been properly trained in the scientific method of investigation. Clyde Tombaugh, the discover of Pluto, saw an unidentified flying object. I am an amateur astronomer with a degree in Chemistry and 30+ years in the semiconductor field and have seen an object that I could not identify as any known celestial body or aircraft.

    If you are going to comment on a subject…any subject…ensure that you have thoroughly researched the subject. Otherwise, you do no service to the scientific community.

  246. phil wright

    hi ,
    for alan:yes i will do some venus imaging with the same setup as my other videos on youtube.i for one think that no gaseous jets will appear because my equipment is sooooo sharp,even in fairly poor seeing,especially with the very fast shutter speeds (1/2500 sec) i routinely use.that ufo/plasma object was in the northeast sky for only a few minutes,at an elevation of around 20 degrees.it literally vanished 3 minutes later,even though the sky was clear.the apparent size of the object is a lot bigger than any planet using same gear,so it wasn’t a distorting point-source.could you contact me privately if you would like to see an original image? niauplater@fsmail.net

    cheers,phil

  247. Greg in Austin

    John Atwell said,

    “Why can’t they obey the laws of physics as THEY know them? Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,”

    Which laws of physics are you talking about? Gravity? Electromagnetism? Relativity? Certainly there are things we don’t know about the universe, but what we do know is pretty solid. Can you elaborate?

    8)

  248. Greg in Austin

    John Atwell said,

    “They DO leave evidence in some cases, though they seem to be very good at not leaving evidence that humans can detect. There are tons of photos of landing sites, backed up by witness testimony.”

    As Phil, myself and many others have said many many times, photos and witness testimony are not reliable sources of scientific evidence.

    8)

  249. Greg in Austin

    John Atwell said,

    “But in the search for the truth, scientific evidence is not the ONLY evidence there is. There is much good evidence that is NOT scientific. In totality, ALL the evidence points conclusively to a non-human presence, here, now.”

    I readily disagree. There is zero evidence of non-human presence. There is certainly evidence of non-typical atmospheric phenomenon, but there is no concrete scientific evidence that any of them are controlled by a non-earth intelligence. There is no DNA or other biological substance that has been independently verified to be non-terrestrial matter. If there are any materials such as strange metals or alloys that are suspected to be alien in origin, please cite the peer-reviewed scientific studies that confirm the metals or materials are not from Earth.

    The evidence you speak of is anecdotal, hearsay and wishful fantasy, but it is not scientific evidence.

    8)

  250. Greg in Austin

    @John Atwell,

    I followed your link to alienscalpel. I was unable to find any articles or reports about Dr. Leir from actual scientific journals, only pro-ufo/alien abduction websites. Can you please provide a link to an actual scientific paper or article that shows the actual research done on the subjects who claim to have been abducted, or of the scientific analysis of the materials found in the “victims” bodies?

    You said,

    “Talk to Dr. Roger Leir about it. He has 15 or so tiny objects that have very odd properties, and are clearly manufactured, but no one is owning up to them. The people that had those objects in their bodies say they were put there by non-human during abductions. It is irrational and illogical to ignore this testimony, and the physical evidence that follows from it.”

    I agree, we cannot ignore this testimony. We have to tell as many people as we can what complete and utter nonsense junk like this really is. Alienscalpel dot com is a scam of a website that preys upon the gullibility of people for the sole purpose of selling books and DVDs. If you want to buy that crap for entertainment, that’s fine. But do not try to pass it off as legitimate science.

    8)

  251. Alan French

    This discussion reminded me of Leslie Peltier’s account of seeing odd lights in the sky. (Well known variable star observer, comet hunter, and author of “Starlight Nights: The Adventures of a Star-gazer.) He was comet hunting, and suddenly noticed a long, staight line of faint and equally bright stars in the field – stars that shouldn’t have been there. He turned on his red observing light and grabbed a pencil. When he looked back into the telescope, the line of lights had moved! As he watched, they started moving faster and getting brighter. He soon realized they would pass right over his observatory.

    They passed directly above him, and were visible to the unaided eye. Then he realized he could also hear something. On stepping outside the observatory, it was immediately obvious it was a skein of eleven wild geese, their light gray bodies reflecting the city lights from below. He wondered what he would have thought had they not passed overhead, and he had never identified them. He was fairly sure he would not have become a “believer.”

    Obviously, not all sightings are wild geese, but clearly mundane things can fool people. Without the sound clue, one of history’s most experienced amateur astronomers would not have had an explanation for his sighting.

    Clear skies, Alan

  252. Alan French

    A few thought on sightings by astronomers…

    Some astronomers started out as amateurs, and are quite familiar with the night sky. Clyde Tombaugh is certainly one of the best known examples. Others may not have started out as amateurs, but still know their way around the night sky. Many, however, are surprisingly unfamiliar with the night sky. I’ve heard some rather surprising (and incorrect) answers to call in questions about something seen in the night sky when an astronomer has been on a talk show.

    Obviously, there are cases where astronomers have seen things they couldn’t explain. What does that mean? To me, it means just that – they saw something they couldn’t identify. How folks jump to the alien spacecraft as an obvious solution has always puzzled me. As Peltier’s geese illustrated, mundane objects under unusual circumstances can be hard to identify. As the recent discovery of red and blue sprites shows, we are still discovering new phenomena.

    There are also known phenomena that are rare and about which we know little. My mother, who was always reasonable and very rational, told of a stormy night when a glowing ball of light came out of the fireplace of the farmhouse, across the room, and then up the stairs. Other people have reported such things, which I guess would be termed “ball lightning.”

    Finally, there are people who just think it is fun to fool people. A friend once launched a bunch of helium balloons with various lights on them. (I don’t think anyone noticed.) I’ve heard other similar accounts, and know of a couple that made it into the news as “UFOs.

    Clear skies, Alan

  253. Alan French

    Rory Considine Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:33 am
    in part…

    >>H. PERCY WILKINS

    6/11/54 – Charleston West Virginia/Atlanta Georgia – 10:45 AM. While flying, English astronomer Wilkins [head of the British Selenological Society] saw 2 radiant, polished metal disks, like “dinner plates”, soon joined by a third. Wilkins, one of the world’s leading moon experts, also confirmed seeing what appeared to be a giant artificial bridge or roadway on the moon in the same spot first reported by John O’Neill. The next month the structure was gone. <>Australian astronomer Drs. Bart Brok and A. R. Hogg described a bright light moving erratically across the sky in 1957 which they determined was at least several hundred miles up.<<

    Even when astronomers are providing distance determinations, I have to wonder "how do they know?" How did they determine this? And objects "several hundreds miles up" would be in orbit.

    Clear skies, Alan

  254. Phil Wright,

    Even if it wasn’t Venus, it still looks like something scintillating in the atmosphere. Furthermore, even with an instantaneous exposure you’ll see swirling effects, due to there being multiple optical paths from the object to the viewer.

  255. phil wright

    hi hyperdeath,
    the thing is,no ,say, bright white airliner – of which i have imaged literally thousands to get the focus right,and exposure right,for the really interesting stuff – at extreme distance such as 25 miles,has ever showed any optical effects remotely like the object in the ufo/plasma video.yet these airliners look like small dots as they head northwest toward north america.like i have said,this object has got some intrinsic size in the original frame,so it isn’t a point-source scintillating.and a radiosonde that bright would show detail that would reveal its true nature with my equipment.
    thanks for your time,
    phil wright ,coventry uk

  256. Greg in Austin

    Robert said,

    “First, you distort the issue by using the word “aliens” interchangeably with the term “UFOs”. Second, where is the data behind your assertion that amateur astronomers have not seen UFOs?”

    Phil, myself, and most of the folks here, totally agree that people see Unidentified Flying Objects. Phil, myself, and most of the folks here also agree that because of the media hype, the books, and common usage, the term “UFO” is commonly used to describe “alien spacecraft”.

    Phil, myself, and most of the folks here argue that no piece of credible scientific evidence has ever shown that any of the Unidentified Flying Objects are indeed alien spaceships.

    You also said,

    “I am an amateur astronomer with a degree in Chemistry and 30+ years in the semiconductor field and have seen an object that I could not identify as any known celestial body or aircraft.”

    What is your point? Are we to believe you because you are an astronomer and have a degree in Chemistry? (Appeal to authority.) Are you saying that the object you saw could not be identified by anyone, or just you? (Appeal to ignorance.) The object you saw was not an aircraft or star, therefore it must be an alien spacecraft? (False dichotomy.)

    I think if you read up on all of Phil’s posts on UFOs, you will get a better understanding of his point of view.

    8)

  257. phil wright

    hi everyone,
    this is the most interesting debate on ufos i’ve ever had!

    cheers,phil

  258. phil wright

    hi again,just posted a video on youtube showing some typical atmospheric distortion effects viewing the moon.will get an image sequence of venus as soon as this fog clears up :(
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=df511CjerP8

    cheers,phil

  259. Robert

    Greg,

    You missed the crux of my posting, which was Phil’s assertion regarding amateur astronomers and UFOs. Where is the evidence to support that assertion? Perhaps you could admit that evidence doesn’t exist or perhaps you or Phil could provide it?

    As to your contention that most people on this board believe that the definition of UFOs = Alien Spaceships, is unfortunate. Serious people who study the subject do not jump t0 that conclusion. Your efforts to debunk the subject by that assumption is erroneous.

    And please don’t make false statements on my behalf. I never said that if I could not identify an object, then it must be an alien spaceship. Making things up is not the way to debate a topic.

  260. Alan French

    It would be nice to see or know where to find the original papers/article/report regarding sightings of UFOs by astronomers. As stories gets passed along, the details often change.

    Clear skies, Alan

  261. phil wright

    and another.plato this time.watch how the smallest craters scintillate and disappear/reappear. used about 75 frames to make this,manually resizing to get the alignment right!phew!!

    cheers,phil

  262. Rory Considine

    # Phil Plait Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    <>

    Hi Phil! Nice to hear from you.

    I don’t recall calling you a debunker – are you trying to inveigal yourself into this category!

    I would not have considered you a debunker, though of course that was what you were attempting with this Article. I would have placed you more as an ill or mal-informed disbeliever. Or possibly someone that has a vested interest in attempting to push a viewpoint and does not do so in a balanced and fair way . Someone that appears to be heavily supporting one viewpoint without fully or correctly informing his audience of the other side’s arguments and strenghts. Why do I think this! Well, my observations are based solely on this article you wrote and that this thread is ‘supposed’ to be discussing. (aside from people with fixated linguistic and grammatical fixation problems).

    Do I have examples of what you wrote that I find unfair, half true, exagerated etc.? Yes I think so and if you like I will now endeavour to point out some of these one-sided and unbalanced statements / arguments of yours:-

    <>

    Written I think for the gullible. Most people with any savvy would know and understand that the majority of reports of UFOs are easily explained by normal / natural / earthly means or by the planets, moon etc . The majority of the recent reports in England for example will be understood to be the result of sightings of Chinese laterns. Many of the other reports – photos and videos will be looked at very sceptically (rightly so), as people are very aware of the amount of hoakers involved with this subject.

    There is a more obvious reason why people might believe that some of the Sightings are likely to be true and not from this world as we know it. This would be because they saw that these Sightings had been seriously and thoroughly investigated and that no other reasonable explanation could be found to explain the phenomena. Would I be right in thinking that you do not believe that there are such unexplained cases and therefore that no such phenomena exist? One could certainly arrive at such a conclusion because nowhere in your article did you mention or did you emphasise that fact! That I opinion, is being disingenuous on your part, as far as the counter arguments and facts are concerned.

    <>

    So you say – concerning those that imagined Venus was an airplane. If they think it’s a nearby airplane, or some other bright earthbound object and not a UFO, it is of no concern and you should not have included it as an example. If they were all claiming it to be a UFO that would be different. In fact what you say here might actually suggest that few people confuse Venus with unexplainable objects. Also, you neglected to inform your readers about objects that are not mundane and that cannot be explained as easily as you would wish – have you? No, you have not! May I ask why not?

    <>

    This is true, as does the moon. However, you automatically dismiss another possibility and that is that some of these reports were not of Venus or of the Moon. As well as that, you do not even allow for that possibilty and in so doing you belittle or try to deny the people that may have made such reports. Not only that, but you ignore completely sightings that may have occurred when there was no Venus or Moon visible! Why is that?

    <.

    Again this reinforces how disingenuous you are. Endeavouring to push your biased and one-sided view .

    <>

    True.

    <>

    Once again you show your bias. “All” at some time may have been described as unidentified and even by a few as UFOs, but they are definitely not always mistaken for “alien” spacecraft. That is just not true and therfore it is complete rubbish! Most people that report or see something strange do not in fact know what they have seen and are anxious to find out what it was or have it explained to them. Most people probaly do not make a report at all, even though they may have seen something that they themselves cannot explain.

    <>

    You do! How do you actually know this? Have you interviewed most of those around the world to substantiate your claim or have you scientifically followed-up most of the investigations to affirm your definite conclusion? Many people may do as you say, but I suggest that most people that make such reports do not do so based on the object sightings that you suggest. There are many daylight observations and reports.

    <>

    You are attempting here to be facetious, when you have not made the effort to discuss or point out the UFOs that have been investigated and cannot be explained by any means at our current disposal. You are trying to rubbish the topic in the minds of those you are addressing and in so doing you seem to hope to deter interest, questions and investigation. Which of the students or listeners is going to stand up and ask a serious question when the ground has been set to make a laughing stock out of of them? You attempt to bury the subject with ridicule / smear as many others have done and still do. Read what Dr. J. Allen Hynak had to say about this at his UN address on UFOs (Previously posted by me).

    <>

    Is that true – that they peer at the sky!!! Or do you really mean but do not describe that what they focus on is really a little further out – much further in fact!. You let your readers (that you already seem to think are so gullible) believe that these amateur astronomers are examining the clouds or just above or below them. Should you not have been more explicit on behalf of your student listeners / readers, if only for balanced educational purposes!

    Why is it that many do not make Reports? Well, it is quite simple and is self-evident. If you were reading the comments posted here, the reasons would be very clear to you, but I have no doubt that you already were fully aware of the reasons and causes for such a situation to exist! Could it be because of the ridicule that is awaiting and has already been heaped on others, through articles such as yours and Government actions and policies over the years ensuring that this happens!

    <>

    Incorrect! They do and courageous ones have done so. Again here, you are not in fact telling your audience the truth and once again being disingenuous and trying to ridicule the subject / phenomena. What you are actually saying is that any Amateur Astronomer that does make such a report really ‘does not know the sky’ (or what he is talking about). What a conceited view!

    <>

    Bad ending for an argument that was not good to start with.

    Most sightings that are reported are close to earth in case you were not aware of this (though of course we know that you are). It is to do with numbers / population. It also has a lot to do with human eyesight and it’s range under normal conditions and circumstances. Astronomers would have less chance of spotting something unusal (UFO type) because they are normally though not always, focussed on external objects at great distances. Their field of vision is like the ‘spotlight’ situation. Whereas, those that are earthbound or nearer the earth (pilots, astronauts), would have the availability of ‘floodlight’ vision and be able to see and take in much more in their expanded field of vision.

    <>

    That is your assumption and reasoning. People may be inclined to believe in an ‘Out of this World’ / ‘Extra or Inter-dimensional’ etc. explanation only after those UFO sightings have been subjected to a thorough and honest investigation and found to have no explanation at all within our present ability to explain them. They may also believe this because of the reported unusual and apparent characteristics and capabilities associated with these particular UFO sightings.

    It is very enlightening to observe that you have not once in an Article (which I presume you think is balanced) referred to these numerous unexplainable (currently) UFO sightings. Why is this? Is it because you would be at a loss to explain them yourself! Thereby highlighting what your own article amounts to – a biased, close-minded judgemental opinion / belief that is full of half-truths and disinformation. It is certainly not the open, knowledge- seeking, scientific insight / overview that it should, or even could have been. What a pity!

    <>

    This is also rubbish! It would still mean that all it takes is for one of these to be true, factual and proven to be a UFO to show-up all the deniers and would be debunkers to have been wrong. In there lies the vested interest in those people (such as yourself) to try and make sure that this does not easily happen as it would greatly question your own misjudgement in the matter. What you are trying to inculcate in the more gullible is, that as most Sightings are explainable by everday objects and events – all therefore are. That dear Phil is not the situation and it possibly is not the truth either – is it?

    <>

    I agree. But again you attempt to suggest that there have not been multiple eye-witness reports.

    Yes, proof does need to be strong and acceptable. But not necessarily as you state it – though that would be great. If for example one of our probes to Mars, the Moon or elsewhere, shows evidence of recent or past intelligent interference or civilisation, that would certainly change the goal posts for many disbelievers. Some kind of proof might arrive through SETI (lots of patience needed). However, I do agree that more concrete proof is required to turn disbelivers and the many of us that are just keeping an open-mind on the so-far unexplained phenomena, into true believers. Who knows, the US government could well be sitting on the very proof required and may decide (if they have such proof) to release it. How unhappy that would make those that made it their businees to belittle, knock and ridicule this subject. How foolish they would all look!

    <>

    Well, so far we have not, but as in all such matters and particularly pertaining to science – one should have already learned to be patient.

    <>

    Of course I have no problem agreeing with this sentiment and I do.

    Regards

  263. Greg in Austin

    @Robert,

    In regards to amateur astronomers reporting UFOs, this wasn’t my claim. But I’ll be glad to support it:

    * The Austin Astronomical Society has put out monthly newsletters since 1999. You can download them from austinastro.org. I did not look at every one, but out of the 11 newsletters put forth so far this year, none of them mention UFOs, Unidentified Objects, or Aliens. If an amateur astronomer in Austin observed what they believed was an alien spacecraft, this is one place they could publish it, for free.

    * Stardate online, at stardate.org, is a Production of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas. Their website is used by thousands of amateur astronomers all over the world, and it even includes instructions on “How to report unusual objects in the sky” to the International Astronomical Union. Again, if an amateur wanted to report a UFO, they could do so here. A search for UFO on that website turns up no information.

    * The Astronomical League (astroleague.org) is another useful source of information for amateur astronomers. It has no information on UFOs. It does have links to about 25 other Observing Clubs online, run by amateurs. I didn’t look thru all of them for UFO information, but you could if you wanted to.

    The point here is that amateur astronomers do not regularly report UFOs to the community. I cannot say with certainty why that is, but a pretty good guess is because they don’t see UFOs, or don’t relate an unidentified object to alien life. I would also say its a safe bet that Phil Plait, a professional astronomer, who has had a blog online for more than 10 years, probably knows hundreds, if not thousands, of amateur astronomers. His knowledge and experience in this very field of study makes him qualified to make such a statement.

    Please re-read Phil’s original post. His point was that when people say they saw something they cannot identify, the common lay-person reaction is to think it was a UFO/Alien ship. Most of the UFO=Alien proponents on the web, on Youtube, and in this very blog argue that if we don’t know what it is, it MUST be aliens.

    You said you saw a Unidentified Object. I did not know if you were telling us you saw a UFO and thought it was an alien ship or not. That’s the most common reaction, and that’s why I asked. Perhaps I should have phrased my question differently.

    Do you think what you saw was an alien spacecraft? If not, you need to make yourself more clear. Otherwise, the crackers on the internet will gladly take your quote as evidence to support their claims.

    8)

  264. Rory Considine

    Greg in Austin Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    @Rory,

    <>

    Of course they are not verifiable proof. That is obvious, as most sightings, photos etc are also not sufficient proof to explain whatever this phenomena is. My point is and always has been – that there are Sightings (many very strange ones) throughout the world that defy rational explanation and remain unexplained by any current means at our disposal. Of course there has to be some explanation for what these sightings are / represent and in time I am sure that a satisfactory explanation for them all will emerge – whatever it is and I will not prejudge that.

    The Postings I made were to show those people that baselessly knock and ridicule all such claims (unexplained ufo sightings) that they are incorrest. Particularly when they would like to suggest that those that make such reports are either screwballs, oddballs, drunks, mistaken. drugged – whatever, that this in fact is not always the case. For example, Phil in his Article had written:-

    [Amateur astronomers, of course. They are dedicated observers, out every night peering at the sky. If The Truth Is Out There, then amateur astronomers would be reporting far and away the vast majority of UFOs But they don’t. Why not? Because they understand the sky! They know when a twinkling light is Venus, or a satellite, or a military flare, or a hot air balloon, and so they don’t report it. That, to me, is the killer argument that aliens aren’t visiting us. If they were, the amateur astronomers would spot them.

    The post I made may not have cited Amateur Astronomers, but I am sure you get the message. It was not posted as proof of anything other than very reliable, credible scientific figures would contradict the likes of the claims being made in this article. Unexplained UFOs have and are seen and reported by Astronomers. Some of these same renowned Astronomers themselves believe (not proof of course) that these “intelligent) flying objects they witnessed are not of this world! Their deductions, not mine. Where they are from or what they are is really anybodys guess. At least until we have the evidence to say exactly what they are, or represent.

    My whole gripe with a few of the Posters here and originally with Phil’s article, is that they seem to go out of their way to ridicule, belittle, stunt interest thus further reports and investigations becoming available. Hence they contradict themselves and help to impede the very possible evidence that they appear on the surface to want. Their words and actions hinder and sabotage the chances and opportunities for such needed evidence (if it is available), to emerge.. Many I suspect having such a vested interest in the stance that they have adopted do not want this evidence (should it contradict them) to ever appear.

    I have a very open mind on this subject and prefer until I know, to remain in the middle and not at either extreme. On this thread, I have not yet read any post that represents the outright Believers (at any cost), but I have certainly read posts by the knockers and Disbelievers making their claims before the evidence has even been brought to court – not to mention it’s presentation or a willingness to await the Jury’s verdict. It’s more of a lynch mob mentality – they are guilty – hang him!

    Why is it that none of Phil’s peers did a critique on his Article. Particularly the ones that might be participating her? After all, his article was written about and to do with a subject that the Jury is still-out on and he was attempting to influence the minds of students to his beliefs and not providing both sides of the coin – so to speak! Is it possible that all of them (his peers) those that may have read the article, would agree 100% with his deductions, claims and conclusions! Hardly the case! Is it possible because of the tone of it and the general ridicule that certain people try to apply to this subject, that they would be afraid or embarrassed to venture their opinion / disagreement in public! This I would think is very possible. People have to try to stand-up for their beliefs, opinions and views and question authoritive figures and their Governments more on all matters. We have seen what fear, propaganda, misinformation / disinformation and outright lies has done to American citizens, as they sheepishly believed , accepted and concurred with every untruth blasted at them, officially and unofficially.

    Open-minded questioning I believe is needed and should be applied to this subject in hand. Thankfully it does not appear at this stage to have or to include the same dire and dreadful consequences as recently resulted from people not asking the right questions and demanding the truth from their Government in the US. But who knows, maybe down the road when another excuse to increase power and control is thought necessary by the powers that be, they may be quite happy to use the Alien card – whether they are proven as in UFOs, to exist or not! That would not matter if the whole world was now cringing in fear and of course only one earthly power to save them from the “imaginary threat”. Another very good reason I think, that this subject should be studied, debated and brought more out in the open and not left in the control of only vested interests. Universities and other public scientific organisations / institutions should be encouraged to openly investigate this subject and hopefully by so doing put an end to the controversy surrounding it. There is doubtlessly a phenomena to be studied and investigated. Now if this were done, how many more credible witnesses and sightings might come out of the woodwork! Much better way to spend the tax-payer’s money than killing people etc.

    Sorry about the long post Greg Had to get that off my chest as there appears to be some here that inmagine that I am anti scientists. They do not realise how further they could be from the truth, but people will believe whatever suits them regardless of the facts. Now do I believe that scientists are never wrong or that they should be considered infallible – what do you think!

  265. Alan French

    What is with all this unnecessary capitalization?! Maybe we’re seeing an example of “Conservation of Capitals.” In his posts, phil wright doesn’t use them, so Rory is picking up the Slack. Or maybe it started with rory?

    Just a curious aspect of this discussion…

    Clear skies, Alan

  266. Rory Considine

    Do any of the following reports sound or appear to be the result of someone seeing and misinterpreting Venus or the Moon for a UFO? Did Phil mention or describe any such reports, investigations, results in his Article. Is he that knowledgeable on the subject to have been able to dismiss, or to ignore them all out of hand! Perhaps what his article was really trying to prove is that the sightings that have been studied and that have an acceptable explanation, are not ETs. Wow! That is enlightening! Who does not know that!

    Anyway, if that was not his intention – why would he leave the following information / details concerning possible UFOs out of his Article, or not reference / acknowledge their existence (Investigations and Reorts)!

    Finding the answers to these questions is almost becoming a big a mystery as ‘part’ of the subject he wrote about!

    What do you think?

    Physical evidence

    Besides visual sightings, cases sometimes have indirect physical evidence, including many cases studied by the military and various government agencies of different countries. Indirect physical evidence would be data obtained from afar, such as radar contact and photographs. More direct physical evidence involves physical interactions with the environment at close range—Hynek’s “close encounter” or Vallee’s “Type-I” cases—which include “landing traces,” electromagnetic interference, and physiological/biological effects.

    * Radar contact and tracking, sometimes from multiple sites. These are often considered among the best cases since they usually involve trained military personnel and control tower operators, simultaneous visual sightings, and aircraft intercepts. One such recent example were the mass sightings of large, silent, low-flying black triangles in 1989 and 1990 over Belgium, tracked by multiple NATO radar and jet interceptors, and investigated by Belgium’s military (included photographic evidence). Another famous case from 1986 was the JAL 1628 case over Alaska investigated by the FAA.

    * Photographic evidence, including still photos, movie film, and video, including some in the infrared spectrum (rare).
    * Recorded visual spectrograms
    * Recorded gravimetric (example) and magnetic disturbances (extremely rare)
    * Landing physical trace evidence, including ground impressions, burned and/or desiccated soil, burned and broken foliage, magnetic anomalies, increased radiation levels, and metallic traces. See, e.g. Height 611 UFO Incident or the 1964 Lonnie Zamora’s Socorro, New Mexico encounter, considered one of the most inexplicable of the USAF Project Blue Book cases). A well-known example from December 1980 was the USAF Rendlesham Forest Incident in England. Another less than two weeks later, in January 1981, occurred in Trans-en-Provence and was investigated by GEPAN, then France’s official government UFO-investigation agency. Project Blue Book head Edward J. Ruppelt described a classic 1952 CE2 case involving a patch of charred grass roots. Catalogs of several thousand such cases have been compiled, particularly by researcher Ted Phillips.
    * Physiological effects on people and animals including temporary paralysis, skin burns and rashes, corneal burns, and symptoms superficially resembling radiation poisoning, such as the Cash-Landrum incident in 1980. One such case dates back to 1886, a Venezuelan incident reported in Scientific American magazine.
    * Animal/cattle mutilation cases, that some feel are also part of the UFO phenomenon. Such cases can and have been analyzed using forensic science techniques.
    * Biological effects on plants such as increased or decreased growth, germination effects on seeds, and blown-out stem nodes (usually associated with physical trace cases or crop circles)
    * Electromagnetic interference (EM) effects, including stalled cars, power black-outs, radio/TV interference, magnetic compass deflections, and aircraft navigation, communication, and engine disruption. A list of over 30 such aircraft EM incidents was compiled by NASA scientist Dr. Richard F. Haines. A famous 1976 military case over Tehran, recorded in CIA and DIA classified documents, resulted in communication losses in multiple aircraft and weapons system failure in an F-4 Phantom II jet interceptor as it was about to fire a missile on one of the UFOs. This was also a radar/visual case.[18]
    * Remote radiation detection, some noted in FBI and CIA documents occurring over government nuclear installations at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1950, also reported by Project Blue Book director Ed Ruppelt in his book.
    * Actual hard physical evidence cases, such as 1957, Ubatuba, Brazil, magnesium fragments analyzed by the Brazilian government and in the Condon Report and by others. The 1964 Socorro/Lonnie Zamora incident also left metal traces, analyzed by NASA.
    * Misc: Recorded electromagnetic emissions, such as microwaves detected in the well-known 1957 RB-47 surveillance aircraft case, which was also a visual and radar case; polarization rings observed around a UFO by a scientist, explained by Dr. James Harder as intense magnetic fields from the UFO causing the Faraday effect.

    These various reported physical evidence cases have been studied by various scientist and engineers, both privately and in official governmental studies (such as Project Blue Book, the Condon Committee, and the French GEPAN/SEPRA). A comprehensive scientific review of physical evidence cases was carried out by the 1998 Sturrock UFO panel.

  267. Rory Considine

    Alan, it’s probably misplaced emphasis! Wait till I start capitalising the whole post. Lol!

    Damn, I just noticed that the Article I posted concerning Physical evidence is full of capitals and not by me. Now where is the english professor when he is needed!

  268. Alan French

    Now, now! SHOUTING is definitely bad form, and hard to read too.

    The Lonnie Zamora sighting is certainly one of the more compelling ones. One reason I object to the uncritical nature of many who believe in alien visitors and their inability to toss out evidence is the ease with which real sightings could be lost. There could be something buried in the noise. Roswell often seems a poster child for alien visitors, but doesn’t seem to deserve such a role.

    I did find one possible explanation for Zamora’s sighting…
    http://www.nmsr.org/socorro.htm

    As the author comments, we’ll probably never know for sure. Too bad Zamora stopped taking interviews. (Is he still around?)

    Clear skies, Alan

  269. Robert

    Greg,

    I appreciate your attempt to provide evidence on Phil’s behalf, but just because none of the amateur astronomers that are part of AAS have posted that they have seen a UFO, does not signify that they have not. A better test would be to send out an anonymous survey to the members of a local astronomy club and ask them to anonymously reply as to whether they have ever seen an object that they could not explain and ask them to describe the characteristics of the object that they saw. The reason an anonymous survey is needed is because of the negative retribution that goes with claiming to have seen a UFO; and that doesn’t mean one has seen an alien spaceship or little green men…but that is what is implied by people when they assume anyone who reports a UFO is reporting alien spaceships.

    You might be interested to know that over 1000 military and commercial pilots have reported unknown craft that they could not identify. In 1976 two F-4 phantoms were scrambled to intercept an unknown object detected visually and on ground radar. As the F-4s approached the object they lost their communications and firing systems. This is documented in a Department of Defense memo declassified in 1981.

    The UFO that I saw was not a celestial object. There were two of them which moved in unison and were completely silent. They moved very slowly and there were no blinking lights to signify an aircraft. They moved slowly away, disappeared, and then reappeared in the original location about 10 minutes later. The only way that I could explain them would have been two helicopters that were completely silent, that moved perfectly synchronous to each other, that did not have the required aviation lights, and whose light source seemed like a halogen light with no change in intensity, that is normally seen during an extended observation of an aircraft because the light source will very as the aircraft changes its angular position to you. Was it an alien spaceship? Heck if I know. But the point is there should not be a stigma because a person reports an unidentified flying object. Much of the problem with UFOs is because of the reactions of people who want to believe in aliens so badly that they are not open minded and see aliens in any unknown aircraft. But just as much of a problem is caused by people who are not open minded and refuse to believe in the possibility of unknown objects in our skies, whatever their origin.

    You should study the history of UFOs. You will find that it is a fascinating subject that has been stuck in a quagmire between the fanatics on one end and people who refuse to even consider their existence on the other end. Meanwhile, the phenomena continues to exist with no appropriate scientific investigation and analysis to determine exactly what it is.

  270. kuhnigget

    @ Robert

    Meanwhile, the phenomena (sic) continues to exist with no appropriate scientific investigation and analysis to determine exactly what it is.

    I would disagree with that. I recall in college reading several sociology studies, and one entire textbook, dedicated to the UFO phenomenon. And that was just from my own casual browsing of the library. Twenty odd (very odd, occasionally) years later, I can’t imagine but there are tons more such investigations.

    I suspect, however, a sociological explanation for the phenomenon (singular) is not what you are looking for, as it most likely would not involve hardware from off the planet.

  271. kuhnigget

    Sorry, that first line above should be in quotes.

    [i]”Meanwhile, the phenomena continues to exist with no appropriate scientific investigation and analysis to determine exactly what it is.”[/i]

  272. kuhnigget
  273. IVAN3MAN

    @ kuhnigget

    That’s why we need a preview/edit facility here.

  274. phil wright

    hi rory and alan,

    excellent posts.keep it up!

    cheers,phil

  275. Greg in Austin

    Let me be clear, for those who are confused:

    People see unidentified flying objects. No doubt.

    To say that even one of those objects is an “alien spacecraft” is a leap of logic, or a leap of faith, or whatever you want to call it. It is not supported whatsoever by actual scientific evidence.

    You might as well argue that the unidentified object was a flying unicorn, Pegasus, a one-eyed-one-horned-flying-purple-people-eater, Santa Claus, Flash Gordon, Doctor Who, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or any number of imaginary creatures. There is no evidence of alien life forms visiting this planet. To suggest otherwise, without any proof, is utter nonsense.

    Unless you can prove to me that ET is visiting here, you don’t have an argument. I don’t care who you are. Show us the physical evidence.

    [end rant]

  276. Greg in Austin

    Robert said,

    “I appreciate your attempt to provide evidence on Phil’s behalf, but just because none of the amateur astronomers that are part of AAS have posted that they have seen a UFO, does not signify that they have not. A better test would be to send out an anonymous survey to the members of a local astronomy club and ask them to anonymously reply as to whether they have ever seen an object that they could not explain and ask them to describe the characteristics of the object that they saw.”

    Feel free to conduct such test yourself. You asked for evidence, and I provided it. Now you are changing the goal posts.

    “You might be interested to know that over 1000 military and commercial pilots have reported unknown craft that they could not identify.”

    Please provide your source for this claim, and then please show how any of these reports prove that what they saw was alien technology.

    “But just as much of a problem is caused by people who are not open minded and refuse to believe in the possibility of unknown objects in our skies, whatever their origin.”

    Again, there is no doubt that you or I could see something in the sky we cannot identify. THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS ALIENS! I cannot be more clear on this matter.

    I’ve studied UFO’s off and on since I was 6. I wanted to believe. I was fooled into believing they exist, because I wanted to believe. Since then, I grew up, and realized that in order for something to be scientific fact, it has to be rigorously tested. So far, I have seen zero scientific tests that give credence to the idea that aliens are visiting Earth. The closest thing we have so far to real alien life forms are the fossilized microbes within a meteorite from Mars. And even that data is not 100% conclusive. If you can show me a valid scientific study that proves the existence of alien life, please let me know I would be thrilled to see it.

    8)

  277. phil wright

    hi greg,
    how about all the metallic disc -shaped ufos that have been sighted over the years? surely they were built by someone or something? surely not all the reports are hoaxes or misperception,although i will accept that a lot of reports may be bogus.check out a ‘classic’ metallic ufo on my youtube channel ‘phil2466′.this object was extremely high(you can tell by the amount of atmosphere blurring and dimming and shimmering the image)it was literally invisible to the naked eye,having been found with binocs.imaged with a 600mm f.l. apo refractor + canond slr.the object has some sort of black ‘markings’ on it which change position from one frame to the next – suggesting an anticlockwise rotation.please have a look!i know it isn’t scientifically valid evidence,but it is evidence of the existence of metallic disc- shaped objects high in our atmosphere.
    cheers,phil

  278. Robert

    Greg you stated, “You asked for evidence, and I provided it. Now you are changing the goal posts.” What you provided was not evidence. Evidence would be an actual survey, conducted with proper methodology, of amateur astronomers and professional astronomers, that determined the percentage of them who had seen unidentified flying objects. For you to draw conclusions based on whether any astronomers post sightings of UFOs makes as much sense as determining an election poll by canvasing newsletters and websites. You are the one defending the statement that amateur astronomers have not seen UFOs. You have the burden of proof to prove that assertion. As of yet, you have provided no evidence.

    Greg you stated, “Please provide your source for this claim, and then please show how any of these reports prove that what they saw was alien technology.” I never said any of the reports by pilots proved they saw an alien technology. I simply said that they saw an object in the sky that they could not identify as any type of known aircraft. I no longer see a point in continuing these discussions with you because you are continuing to distort what I have stated.

    Greg you stated, “Again, there is no doubt that you or I could see something in the sky we cannot identify. THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS ALIENS! I cannot be more clear on this matter.” And I don’t know how many times that I have told you that I’m not stating that seeing UFOs equates to proving aliens exist.

    There is no point in continuing these discussions with you. You are not capable of arguing a point without putting words in the other person’s mouth. You are also discussing a subject which you obviously have not knowledge of. I guess that’s why you have to keep leaping to conclusions and saying that UFOs don’t prove aliens exist, because you have nothing more to say.

    When it comes to facts and evidence, you have little input. You totally ignored the 1976 F-4 example that I provided you. You had nothing to say about the examples that Rory provided you, except to say that UFOs don’t prove aliens exist.

    I would suggest that you take a course in debate or the scientific method. Both help teach how to logically approach and examine an issue in an unbiased fashion.

  279. Leander

    It’s always a special treat to hear skeptics say things like “I BELIEVE there’s scientific explanations for everything.”…

  280. Rory Considine

    Alan, I have maded three attempts to submit a reply to your post, but my reply does not appear on the thread! Why this is the case I have no idea. This post is just a test and if it shows up I will repost my reply.

    Regards

  281. Robert

    Kuhnigget,

    You stated, “I recall in college reading several sociology studies, and one entire textbook, dedicated to the UFO phenomenon. And that was just from my own casual browsing of the library. Twenty odd (very odd, occasionally) years later, I can’t imagine but there are tons more such investigations.”

    There are very good sociology studies regarding the UFO phenomenon, as you point out. These rightfully delve into the issue of how individuals can develop a cult belief about a subject. They do not address whether the phenomenon itself is real. I was referring to a scientific study of the phenomenon to explain its origin, be it real or not.

    The first such studies were conducted by the Air Force in 1947 and 1949 and were called Projects SIGN and Project Grudge. These projects were summarized by scientists in the Robertson Panel who stated that “UFOs were not a threat to our national security”. This was followed by the Air Force’s Project Bluebook. The Air Force then hired the University of Colorado to impartially investigate the subject and draw a conclusion in 1969. This was a very controversial study due to its limited time frame and with issues that are too extensive to get into here. Nonetheless, that was the last scientific study of the UFO phenomenon that has been made. There have been none since 1969. Plenty of books but no “officially” sanctioned studies of the phenomenon.

  282. Rory Considine

    How strange! My reply was sent, but has not yet appeared whereas the one above has. There was nothing written in this post that would warrant any type of restriction to it’s acceptability here as far as I can judge!

    Do you know if this is normal or can happen when a submission is being scrutinised? I did not see any notification saying:

    [Your comment is awaiting moderation.]

  283. Alan French

    # Rory Considine Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 6:43 am

    >>Alan, I have maded three attempts to submit a reply to your post, but my reply does not appear on the thread! Why this is the case I have no idea. This post is just a test and if it shows up I will repost my reply.

    Regards <<

    Strange things happen in cyberspace. I've had similar things happen on various Yahoo groups and with my regular e-mail. It just vanishes without a trace, or even appears many hours or even a day later. Indeed my first few posts here took a long time to appear, yet never received the "Your comment is awaiting moderation." note. I wondered if I had missed some need to register, or was having a computer problem.

    Clear skies, Alan

  284. Rory Considine

    Robert Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 6:49 am

    <>

    Apparently there have been some further (2?) scientific studies Robert:-

    These various reported physical evidence cases have been studied by various scientist and engineers, both privately and in official governmental studies (such as Project Blue Book, the Condon Committee, and the French GEPAN/SEPRA). A comprehensive scientific review of physical evidence cases was carried out by the 1998 Sturrock UFO panel.

    Peter Andrew Sturrock (born 1924) is a British scientist.

    An emeritus professor of applied physics at Stanford University[1], much of Sturrock’s career has been devoted to astrophysics, plasma physics, and solar physics, but Sturrock is interested in other fields, including ufology, scientific inference and in the history of science and philosophy of science. Sturrock has been awarded many prizes and honors, and has written or co-authored many scientific articles and textbooks.

    In 1998, Sturrock organized a scientific panel to review various types of physical evidence associated with UFOs. The panel felt that existing physical evidence that might support the ETH was inconclusive, but also deemed extremely puzzling UFO cases worthy of further scientific study. [7] Sturrock subsequently wrote up the work of the panel in a book The UFO Enigma: A New Review of the Physical Evidence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_A._Sturrock

    CNN’s Interview With Peter Sturrock (Transcript)

    Summary: In the first independent review of UFO phenomena in more than 30 years, a nine-member group of scientists says physical evidence linked to some sightings deserves additional scientific study. The physicist who headed up that panel is Peter Sturrock

    http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc541.htm

    GEPAN / SEPRA / GEIPAN (France)

    Since 1977, the national space agency of France CNES has been helping civilian and military authorities understand the precise nature of Un-identified Aerospace Phenomena (PAN). The unit involved is the Rare Aerospace Phenomena Study Department (SEPRA) based at the CNES technical centre in Toulouse. Since 1977, the department has developed a precise analytical methodology and today has accumulated a considerable database. The SEPRA database is comprised of more than 2200 different cases, with some 6000 eyewitness accounts and approximately 100 sightings from aircraft.

    http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/Gepan-Sepra.htm

  285. Rory Considine

    Robert the following may interest you and indeed others:-

    COMETA Report

    In 1999 an important document was published in France entitled, UFOs and Defense: What must we be prepared for? (“Les Ovni Et La Defense: A quoi doit-on se préparer?”). This ninety-page report is the result of an in-depth study of UFOs, covering many aspects of the subject, especially questions of national defense. The study was carried out over several years by an independent group of former “auditors” at the Institute of Advanced Studies for National Defense, or IHEDN, and by qualified experts from various fields. Before its public release, it has been sent to French President Jacques Chirac and to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. The report is prefaced by General Bernard Norlain of the Air Force, former Director of IHEDN, and it begins with a preamble by André Lebeau, former President of the National Center for Space Studies (Centre National D’études Spatiales), or CNES, the French equivalent of NASA. The group itself, collective author of the report, is an association of experts, many of whom are or have been auditors of IHEDN, and it is presided over by General Denis Letty of the Air Force, former auditor (FA) of IHEDN.

    COMETA Report on UFOs – Part 1 (PDF) PDF Document
    Part 1 of the complete French report on UFOs published in 1999, entitled “UFOs and Defense: What must we be prepared for?”. This ninety-page report is the result of an in-depth study of UFOs, covering many aspects of the subject, especially questions of national defense.

    COMETA Report on UFOs – Part 2 (PDF) PDF Document
    Part 2 of the complete French report on UFOs published in 1999, entitled “UFOs and Defense: What must we be prepared for?”. This ninety-page report is the result of an in-depth study of UFOs, covering many aspects of the subject, especially questions of national defense.

    The 1999 French Report on UFOs and Defense (PDF) PDF Document
    Mark Rodeghier, CUFOS
    Article on the COMETA report, the 90-page report that is the result of an in-depth study of UFOs over a period of about three years, covering many aspects of the subject, especially questions of how the UFO phenomenon affects the national defense of France and that of other nations.

    The French Report on UFOs and Defense: A Summary
    Gildas Bourdais
    On Friday July 16, 1999 an important document was published in France entitled, UFOs and Defense: What must we be prepared for? (“Les Ovni Et La Defense: A quoi doit-on se préparer?”). This ninety-page report is the result of an in-depth study of UFOs, covering many aspects of the subject, especially questions of national defense.

    http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/cometa.htm

  286. Robert,

    I am well aware of the scientific method. I use it all the time.

    Perhaps reading comprehension is not your specialty, so please let me repeat my exact words,

    “Phil, myself, and most of the folks here, totally agree that people see Unidentified Flying Objects. Phil, myself, and most of the folks here also agree that because of the media hype, the books, and common usage, the term “UFO” is commonly used to describe “alien spacecraft”.Phil, myself, and most of the folks here argue that no piece of credible scientific evidence has ever shown that any of the Unidentified Flying Objects are indeed alien spaceships.”

    That is the topic of discussion here. Amateur astronomers, just like everybody else, see unknown objects in the sky. My argument is that few, if any, equate an unknown object with alien technology, and that is well supported by the sheer volume of UFO=Alien websites out there.

    Please tell me, with your reasoning skills, how an eyewitness report from 1976 proves aliens are visiting earth?

    8)

  287. kuhnigget

    @ Phil Wright:

    “check out a ‘classic’ metallic ufo on my youtube channel ‘phil2466′″

    Looks like a humble mylar balloon to me, slowly drifting through the air. The “rotation” is just the balloon wobbling up and down. BTW, I saw a similar object last summer. Probably about 1500 feet up. Thought it was a helicopter at first (the daily medevac run from Lancaster to L.A. County General passes over my house every day), but it appeared to be hovering and darting about from side to side. Even through by 10×80 binocs it appeared as a silvery blob. Then it caught a downdraft and came close enough to reveal its true nature. Looked pretty much like your metallic ufo.

    @ Robert:

    “They do not address whether the phenomenon itself is real. I was referring to a scientific study of the phenomenon to explain its origin, be it real or not.”

    The textbook I read did delve into the actual phenomenon, not just the behavior post-sighting. As I recall (sorry, it’s been 25 years), the thesis saw parallels with religious “sightings” of one sort or another. It actually made a very strong case, or so I thought. I will try to dig up the author and title.

  288. Greg in Austin

    @Robert,

    If you agree that UFOs do not prove aliens are visiting earth, then why are we arguing?

    8)

  289. phil wright

    hi greg,
    my scope will not even infinity- focus on anything less than 3/4 mile away/high!the thing is edge on ,and tilting slowly,first to the left,then levelling for a while,then tilting to the right.the video is highly speeded up with 2 minutes of images compressed into 5 seconds of movie.it does not display any random tumbling,just slow tilting and spinning.it was also virtually stationary in the sky.i mean,it may be a balloon,but it just seems odd compared with the hundreds of mylar balloons i have observed/imaged before.
    thanks for looking!

    phil wright ,uk

  290. Greg in Austin

    @phil,

    How do you determine the size and distance of an object you photograph? Can you tell, with your equipment, if an object is a small balloon 1 mile away, or a larger craft 5 miles away?

    If you had a second setup, with the same equipment, at a different location, could you triangulate and roughly estimate an objects actual size?

    Where are you located?

    8)

  291. phil wright

    hi kuhnigget,
    my last remark was meant to be for you,but i got confused as to who replied about my metallic ufo video!did you see the’2′ video on my youtube channel?now that is a metallic mylar-type balloon,which randomly tunbles along.in the future,i aim to display any balloons that i image,on my youtube channel,so that anyone can compare what i think is odd,with things that are obviously balloons.

    thanks for your time,
    phil wright,uk

  292. phil wright

    hello greg,
    it is virtually impossible to tell how high the objects are,or how big they are,or how fast they are moving!all i know is,i feel that i can roughly guess if something is very high,or low,by the way the atmosphere ‘softens’the view(in binocs).if you watch a distant airliner in binocs,on a nice sunny day,you can almost detect the slight blue tinge on a white airplane fuselage for instance.
    im in coventry,england.i feel that it would be difficult to get somebody a distance away to triangulate observational data,due to perpetual cloudy english weather,the sheer difficulty in spotting tiny glimmers of light in a large area of sky,etc.
    i know the basic mathematics involved in calculating angular size and stuff,since i have a book called ‘project idendification’ by harley rutledge phd.he was a skeptical phycisist,until he decided to take a team of his students to a location,in the u.s.,which was undergoing a ufo ‘flap’.his team used astro telescopes such as questar’s and celestron scts, to image and measure true sizes,movements,and velocities.in all,i think his team recorded more than 70 ‘high strangeness’ ufos.

    cheers,phil

  293. kuhnigget

    @ Phil wright

    did you see the’2′ video on my youtube channel?

    Yes, I did, and a quick google search will indeed bring up a catalog of mylar balloons, one of which is a giant #2 that exactly matches the shape in that clip.

    The other one I commented on, in my opinion, is exactly the same thing: a mylar balloon, most likely of a basic lozenge shape. The “rotation” is just the balloon wobbling back and forth. I think your videos show rather dramatically how odd a simple object like a helium balloon can look when it’s high up in the sky.

    Again, from my own observations of a drifting mylar balloon this past summer, I noted how the object appeared to rapidly shift its position back and forth when viewed with the naked eye. Further observation with a pair of high-powered binoculars, however, showed no such motion. Our eyes tend to shift around continuously when presented with a large expanse of blue sky. It’s that constant shifting that creates the illusion of motion in the small, distant object. Again, this illustrates rather clearly how easy it is to draw the wrong conclusion about a “ufo” – especially when you add in other factors such as emotions, preconceptions, group psychology, etc.

  294. Rory Considine

    Greg in Austin Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 8:19 am

    @Robert,

    <>

    Exactly! Yet when anyone makes a post pertaining to UFOs the ones that cannot be explained after investigation, you and one or two others here, keep harping back to “Alien Spacecraft” that had not been mentioned or suggested in the posts in the first place. Most of us are more interested in having the ones that appear to defy explanation – rationally explained. The problem is that none of those that seem so keen on rubbishing / knocking and ridiculing the phenomena and those that draw it our attention, appear to know anything about the subject (study and investigation results-wise) of the unexplainable sightings that are really the important issue.

    How is it that these people cannot realise that most of us here are not cliaming, saying or even suggesting that all UFOs are “Alien Spacecraft”, nor that all or any of the unexplained ones are. They do without a doubt represent something unknown and that appears to defy at times many of our understood laws of physics etc. As the situation exists (with neither proof to deny or to affirm) and because of their apparent appearance and attributes, they could just as easily be from anywhere. Particularly when all other logical or currently known and understood explanations have been tried and ruled out. You Greg, or anyone else at this time cannot for certainty (knowingly) state that these objects do not have an alien source. You cannot scientifically prove this no more than can the true believers. Neither also do not have the proof required to be able to show and explain what they are and prove your stance on the subject. I know, I know, it is up to the other side to provide the proof you will say. However, I am sure that they are trying to do this, but I personally also believe that there is an onus on the Scientific world to actually explain this phenomena and help to understand and to resolve the matter – if they can! Carl Sagan once stated that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    So, the knockers and ridiculers (and I am not saying that you are one of those), come across just as illogical and even more close-minded than their counterparts that believe without any proof that all these UFO sightings are of alien spacecraft. You do not need to reiterate your own stance again on waiting for the required evidence to be produced to resolve this phenomena. We would all would like to see this happen. That was / is what the Disclosure Project is all about. A lot of people believe (and with good reason) that the US Government is sitting on the required evidence that would actually prove that we are in fact being visited by Aliens and much more. That may be, but without the disclosure, we are without this evidence – if it actually exists at all!

    I originally (in my 2nd post I think) described this Disclosure Project and their insider witnesses. I asked the asked the naysayers / knockers / disbelievers a number of questions and not one of these Posters took it upon themselves to answer the simple questions – yourself included. Why was this? Is it that none of you are aware of this project, have not read these witness testimonials, or have and are unable to answer? Anyone who tries to ridicule, put-down or deny this phenomena should at least know what they are talking about with regard to the outstanding and unexplainable sightings. They should not just deny for the sake of taking a stance without some depth of knowledge into what they are actually talking about and denying. If they do so they only show their own ignorance and intolerance.

    Perhaps you can now revisit the post I speak of and address the qustions I had asked:

    Rory Considine Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    You can also visit the Disclosure Project site at:- http://www.disclosureproject.org/

    It is the Witnesses and their reports that I was addressing in the above Post.

  295. Alan French

    # kuhnigget Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 10:19 am

    >> Our eyes tend to shift around continuously when presented with a large expanse of blue sky. It’s that constant shifting that creates the illusion of motion in the small, distant object. <<

    For folks who want to read more about this, do a search on autokinetic effect.

    Clear skies, Alan

  296. kuhnigget

    Well I figured there was some fancy name for it. Thanks, Alan.

  297. Rory Considine

    Greg, the following is solely for information purposes. It is not proof as we have discussed, but it certainly should arouse interest and openess to the UFO phenomena in the most closed-minded, narrow minded or just normal sceptical disbelievers. The following is only a sample of the documentation I previously referred to. I will post this in two parts. Part 1 :-

    DISCLOSURE PROJECT BRIEFING DOCUMENT
    Prepared for:
    Members of the Press
    Members of United States Government
    Members of the US Scientific Community
    2001

    “There exists a shadowy Government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.”
    – Senator Daniel K. Inouye

    “In the councils of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
    – President Eisenhower, January 1961

    The Scientists

    Carl Sagan, Ph.D.
    Late Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences, Cornell University

    “It now seems quite clear that Earth is not the only inhabited planet. There is evidence that the bulk of the stars in the sky have planetary systems. Recent research concerning the origin of life on Earth suggests that the physical and chemical processes leading to the origin of life occur rapidly in the early history of the majority of planets within our Milky Way galaxy–perhaps as many as a million–are inhabited by technical civilizations in advance of our own. Interstellar space flight is far beyond our present technical capabilities, but there seems to be no fundamental physical objections to preclude, from our own vantage point, the possibility of its development by other civilizations.”2
    2 Sagan, Carl. “Unidentified Flying Objects.” They Encyclopedia Americana. 1963.

    Margaret Mead, Ph.D.
    Anthropologist, author

    “There are unidentified flying objects. That is, there are a hard core of cases–perhaps 20 to 30 percent in different studies–for which there is no explanation. We can only imagine what purpose lies behind the activities of these quiet, harmlessly cruising objects that time and again approach the Earth. The most likely explanation, it seems to me, is that they are simply watching what we are up to…”3

    J. Allen Hynek, Ph.D.
    Former Chairman, Department of Astronomy, Northwestern University; Scientific Consultant, Air Force Project Blue Book (1947 – 1969)

    “Each wave of sightings adds to the accumulation of reports which defy analysis by present methods… An investigative process in depth is necessary here if, after twenty years of confusion, we want some answers.”
    “When the long awaited solution to the UFO problem comes, I believe that it will prove to be not merely the next small step in the march of science but a mighty and totally unexpected quantum jump.”4

    Frank B. Salisbury, Ph.D.
    Professor, Plant Physiology, Utah State University

    “I must admit that any favorable mention of the flying saucers by a scientist amounts to extreme heresy and places the one making the statement in danger of excommunication by the scientific theocracy. Nevertheless, in recent years I have investigated the story of the unidentified flying object (UFO), and I am no longer able to dismiss the idea lightly.”5

    James E. McDonald, Ph.D.
    Senior Physicist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Arizona

    “The type of UFO reports that are most intriguing are close-range sightings of machinelike objects of unconventional nature and unconventional performance characteristics, seen at low altitudes, and sometimes even on the ground. The general public is entirely unaware of the large number of such reports that are coming from credible witnesses… When one starts searching for such cases, their numbers are quite astonishing.”6

    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics UFO Subcommittee (1967)

    “From a scientific and engineering standpoint, it is unacceptable to simply ignore substantial numbers of unexplained observations…the only promising approach is a continuing moderate-level effort with emphasis on improved data collection and objective means…involving available remote sensing capabilities and certain software changes.” [emphasis added]
    and regarding The Condon Report (Project Blue Book), 1986: “The opposite conclusion could have been drawn from The Condon Report’s content; namely, that a phenomenon with such a high ratio of unexplained cases (about 30 percent) should arouse sufficient scientific curiosity to continue its study.”7

    Peter A. Sturrock, Ph.D.
    Professor, Space Science and Astrophysics, and deputy director of the Center for Space Sciences and Astrophysics, Stanford University

    “The definitive resolution of the UFO enigma will not come about unless and until the problem is subjected to open and extensive scientific study by the normal procedures of established science and administrators in universities.”
    “Although…the scientific community has tended to minimize the significance of the UFO phenomenon, certain individual scientists have argued that the phenomenon is both real and significant… To a scientist, the main source of hard information (other than his own experiments [and] observations) is provided by the scientific journals. With rare exceptions, scientific journals do not publish reports of UFO observations. The decision not to publish is made by the editor acting on the advice of reviewers. This process is self-reinforcing; the apparent lack of data confirms the view that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon, and this view works against the presentation of relevant data…”8

    Helmut Lammer, Ph.D.
    Physicist, Space Research Institute, Department for Extraterrestrial Physics, Austria

    [Writing about the formations in the Cydonia region of Mars]
    “It is the author’s belief that the Viking data are not of sufficient resolution to permit the identification of possible mechanisms of the origin for these objects, although some results to date suggest that they may not be natural. Clearly these mysterious objects deserve further scrutiny by the forthcoming Mars missions. If one of these missions finds that the face on Mars, the pyramids and the other strange structures are indeed artificial, then the ‘unlikely’ Prior Colonization or Previous Technical Civilization hypotheses would provide a possible answer.”9

    Professor Hermann Oberth (1894-1989)
    German rocket expert and a founding father of the space age.

    “It is my thesis that flying saucers are real and that they are space ships from another solar system. I think that they possibly are manned by intelligent observers who are members of a race that may have been investigating our Earth for centuries. I think that they possibly have been sent out to conduct systematic, long-range investigations, first of men, animals, vegetation, and more recently of atomic centers, armaments an centers of armament production.”10 7

    Dr. Carl Justav Jung

    “A purely psychological explanation is ruled out…the discs show signs of intelligent guidance, by quasi-human pilots…the authorities in possession of important information should not hesitate to enlighten the public as soon and as completely as possible.”11

    Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Ph.D.
    In 1971, Dr. Mitchell became the sixth person to walk on the moon as part of the US Apollo Space program.

    “I am an American astronaut and a trained scientist. Because of my position people in high places confide in me. And, as a result, I have no doubt that aliens HAVE visited this planet. The American government and governments throughout the world have thousands of files of UFO sightings which cannot be explained. As a scientist, it is logical to me that at least some of these will have been witness of alien craft. As a former astronaut, the military people who have access to these files are more willing to talk to me than to people they regard as mere cranks. The stories I have heard from these people, who are more highly qualified than me to talk about UFOs, leave me in no doubt that aliens have already visited Earth…”
    … “when I learned that aliens really do exist, I wasn’t too surprised. But what did shock me when I started investigating extra-terrestrial reports a decade ago is the extent to which the proof has been hushed up. It isn’t just the US government which has kept quiet about alien visits. It would be arrogant of an American like myself to assume that ETs would only choose to visit my country. Indeed, I’ve heard convincing stories about governments all over the world that know of alien visits – including the British government.”12

  298. Rory Considine

    Greg here Part 2:-

    3.2.2 Section II: The Government Speaks – Political, Military and Intelligence Figures

    President Harry S. Truman

    “I can assure you that flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on Earth.”13

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower

    “Beware the military-industrial complex.”14

    President Gerald Ford

    “…I have taken a special interest in these [UFO] accounts because many of the latest reported sightings have been in my home state of Michigan… Because I think there may be substance to some of these reports and because I believe the American people are entitled to a more thorough explanation than has been given them by the Air Force to date, I am proposing that either the Science and Astronautics Committee or the Armed Services Committee of the House, schedule hearings on the subject of UFOs and invite testimony from both the executive branch of the Government and some of the persons who claim to have seen UFOs…In the firm belief that the American public deserves a better explanation than that thus far given by the Air Force, I strongly recommend that there be a committee investigation of the UFO phenomena. I think we owe it to the people to establish credibility regarding UFOs and to produce the greatest possible enlightenment on this subject.”15

    President Jimmy Carter

    “If I become President, I’ll make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public, and the scientists. I am convinced that UFOs exist because I’ve seen one…”16

    President Ronald Reagan

    “…when you stop to think that we’re all God’s children, wherever we may live in the world, I couldn’t help but say to [Gorbachev], just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from some other species from another planet outside in the universe…”
    “Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.”17

    J. Edgar Hoover

    “I would do it [study UFOs], but before agreeing to do it, we must insist upon full access to discs recovered. For instance in the L.A. case, the Army grabbed it and would not let us have it for cursory examination.”18

    General Nathan D. Twining

    While he was the Commanding General of the Air Material Command he wrote the following:
    “It is the opinion that:
    a. The phenomena reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.
    b. There are objects probably approximating the shape of a disc, of such appreciable size as to appear to be as large as a man-made aircraft.
    c. There is a possibility that some of the incidents may be caused by natural phenomena, such as meteors.
    d. The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely.”19

    General Walter Bedell Smith
    CIA Director, 1950-1953

    “The Central Intelligence Agency has reviewed the current situation concerning unidentified flying objects which have crated extensive speculation in the press and have been the subject of concern to government organizations… Since 1947, approximately 2,000 official reports of sightings have been received, and, of these, about 20% are as yet unexplained. It is my view that this situation has possible implications for our national security which transcend the interests of a single service. A broader, coordinated effort should be initiated to develop a firm scientific understanding of the several phenomena which apparently are involved in these reports…”20

    H. Marshall Chadwell
    Assistant Director, Scientific Intelligence, CIA

    “Since 1947, ATIC has received approximately 1500 official reports of sightings plus an enormous volume of letters, phone calls, and press reports. During July 1952 alone, official reports totaled 250. Of the 1500 reports, Air Force carries 20 percent as unexplained and of those received from January through July 1952 it carries 28 percent unexplained.” 21

    Captain Edward J. Ruppelt
    Former head [1951-1953], U.S. Air Force Project Blue Book

    “This report has been difficult to write because it involves something that doesn’t officially exist. It is well known that ever since the first flying saucer was reported in June 1947 the Air Force has officially said that there is no proof that such a thing as an interplanetary spaceship exists. But what is not well known is that this conclusion is far from being unanimous among the military and their scientific advisors because of the one word, proof; so the UFO investigations continue.” 22

    Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter
    First Director, CIA, 1947-1950

    “It is time for the truth to be brought out… Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense… I urge immediate Congressional action to reduce the dangers from secrecy about Unidentified Flying Objects…”23

    Major General E. B. LeBailly
    Director of Information, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force

    “…many of the reports that cannot be explained have come from intelligent and technically well qualified individuals whose integrity cannot be doubted. In addition, the reports received officially by the Air Force include only a fraction of the spectacular reports which are publicized by many private UFO organizations.”24

    Congressman William Stanton (Pennsylvania)

    “The Air Force failed in its responsibility in thoroughly investigating this incident [April 17, 1966 sighting, Pennsylvania]… Once people entrusted with the public welfare no longer think people can handle the truth, then the people, in turn, will no longer trust the government.”25

    Wilbert Smith
    Department of Transport – Canada, senior radio engineer, head of Project Magnet
    “The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb. Flying saucers exist. Their modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Doctor Vannevar Bush. The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance.”26

    Lord Hill-Norton, Admiral of the Fleet, Great Britain (Five Star)

    “I have frequently been asked why I am so keenly interested in UFOs; people seem to think it odd that someone who has been so closely involved with Defense for many years should be so simple. I am interested for several reasons. First, I have the sort of inquiring mind that likes to have things satisfactorily explained, and the one aspect of this whole matter which is starkly clear to me is that UFOs have not been explained, to my satisfaction. Indeed, so far as I am concerned the U stands more for unexplained than unidentified. Second, there is a very wide range of other unexplained phenomena which may or may not be related to UFOs but which have come to my notice in the UFO connection. Third, I am convinced that there is an official cover-up of the investigations which governments have made into UFOs, certainly in the United States… The evidence that there are objects which have been seen in our atmosphere, and even on terra firma, that cannot be accounted for either as man-made objects or as any physical force or effect known to our scientists seems to me to be overwhelming.”27

    Major-General Wilfred de Brouwer (Deputy Chief, Royal Belgian Air Force)

    “In any case, the Air Force has arrived to the conclusion that a certain number of anomalous phenomena has been produced within Belgian airspace… Until now, not a single trace of aggressiveness has been signaled; military or civilian air traffic has not been perturbed or threatened. We can therefore advance that the presumed activities to date constitute a concrete menace… The day will undoubtedly come when the phenomenon will be observed with technological means of detection and collection that won’t leave a single doubt about its origin…”28

  299. phil wright

    excellent stuff rory!!

  300. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    I don’t see my name on any of those lists, so yes, I will admit, I have no knowledge of the Disclosure Project. ;)

    “You Greg, or anyone else at this time cannot for certainty (knowingly) state that these objects do not have an alien source. You cannot scientifically prove this no more than can the true believers.”

    Please forgive my earlier rants. My frustration lies from the fact that the number of “aliens are here” believers appear on radio, television, and in news reports far more often than those who want real evidence. Try listening to Coast to Coast AM for 10 minutes, and you’ll understand what I mean.

    I agree, I cannot prove a negative – that aliens don’t exist. To me, the UFO phenomenon is basically a modern version of ancient mythologies. It is human nature to find meaning in everything. Until someone comes along (accidentally or on purpose) and makes a new discovery to explain the unknown, we will continue to have stories like these.

    Great discussion!

    8)

  301. Alan French

    Edgar Mitchell is a good poster child for people with “credentials” believing things that have no demonstrated basis in reality – Uri Geller bending spoons with his mind and parapsychology, for instance.

    http://www.mysterious-america.net/edgarmitchellint.html

    I love the way he invokes quantum mechanics!

    Clear skies, Alan

  302. kuhnigget

    Pretty much everyone quoted on the two lists given above seems to be either A, offering an opinion (based on what?) or B, commenting on some government investigation which they didn’t care for.

    Harry Truman???? The man didn’t even know the Manhattan Project was going on while he was vice president. Ronald Reagan???? He let his wife’s astrologer influence his schedule! J. Edgar Hoover??? Oh, yeah, he never had an axe to grind. Air Force officers “concerned” about the matter…during the Cold War? Hey, there’s a surprise!

    And added to the list is nonsense about the “face” on Mars?

    C’mon, dude, you can do better.

  303. Alan French

    kuhnigget Says, in part:
    November 29th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    >> And added to the list is nonsense about the “face” on Mars? <<

    Now that we have far more detailed views of Mars, the "face" and other purported structures no longer provide any support for arguments about aliens. As I mentioned earlier, people lose credibility when they can't let such things go and admit a mistake.

    If you've wondered why there is such a tendency to believe things well after they've been shown wrong, I recommend Tavris and Aronson's "Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts." Both an interesting and disturbing read.

    Clear skies, Alan

  304. Alan French

    Interesting to contrast Lonnie Zamora’s “Blue Book” report with descriptions elsewhere. He first said “Saw two people in white coveralls very close to the object.” and later offered “These persons appeared normal in shape–but possibly they were small adults or large kids.” He also noted he saw them for perhaps two seconds. (Given the distance – 150 to 200 yards – and brief look, he could certainly have mistaken their size.)

    Reports on “UFO sites” include “[Zamora] then noticed two beings that he thought at first to be children,” “[Zamora] reported seeing two, small aliens,” or said he saw “humanoid figures.”

    There are also embellishments on his description of the two people, of the craft, and of his description of its flight.

    Nothing like changing the facts a little to support your view. And then they wonder why people tend to be skeptical of such things.

    Clear skies, Alan

  305. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    <>

    No problems and I did not take offence at anything you said.

    <>

    I do understand what you mean, though I would of course need to listen to the particular viewpoint before I could try to make a judgement on what was being said. There is so much information / disinformation / misinformation (of all sorts) out there, that one would really need to acclimatise themselves to what they are going to hear in order to slowly digest it. I kid you not. Even if a portion of what one hears, reads etc. is true concerning this subject – it is still mind-boggling and I think that I am a fairly open/ broad-minded person. I can almost understand how the Government “if” they possessed the information spoken of, would be afraid to release it. What with some 100 million fundamental Christians or their type in America alone, not to mention other fundamentalists and Creationists elsewhere, this information could drive them all crazier than they are. This would be aside from the problem with vested interests (Big Corporations) losing their hold and control on the masses through our almost total reliance on fossil fuels, cars etc. If I were to pick the real reasons why the Government would not release the information / technology that they are claimed by many to posess (lets imagine that this is true for the moment), I would strongly think that it would be because of the latter reason given above – the Greed, Power and Control factors!

    Years ago, when I first had an interest in this subject, it appeared so much simpler. There were unexplained sightings and that some of these could possibly represent aliens or their craft visiting this planet. I did not come back to the subject until a year or two ago (having dipped in and out over the years) and was surprised at the complexity that had developed over the years – though the subject matter had not gone away, if anything it had accumulated and increased, on every level. Now I found myself reading about all sorts of matters (one article led to another) from Alien visitations; abductions; animal mutalations; crop circles; alien agreements with the US Government (or some version of the government); secret powerful groups within or above Government control or oversight; black operations and massive funds for same; back-engineering of alien craft; conspiracy to keep this cheap or free technology from the masses because of vested interests (oil companies, military etc); different types of known and described aliens races; stations on the dark side of the Moon and evidence there of buidings etc., as also on Mars; NASA (Never A Straight Answer) disseminating altered images from the Moon and Mars and much much more. Strange, weird and even fascinating – the stuff previously of science fiction.

    What a jungle to deal with and try to make some sense out of! Well, I have done my best (while trying to remain sane lol!) and though of course it is nigh inpossible to prove anything definite one way or the other, it all left many questions in my mind that I strongly feel definitely need clarification and answering. That is exactly what the Disclosure Project was setup to try to achieve – pressurise the Government into disclosing all they know about UFOs and an alien presence and releasing the cheap or free technology that would be beneficial to mankind. I can certainly see that if this is true that there would be some strong opposition to ever doing this. Particularly when there is so much money invested and to be made from oil etc. So, all this is food for ever more conspiracies – whatever the truth is in connection with any of them. The Government could easily resolve and stop a lot of this if they released all the documentation they have concerning UFOs and their investigation or knowledge of same. That leads to another big question in favour of those that believe the Government has been carrying out a policy of cover-up and all that goes with that, for over 40 years – why do they not release this information! Why is it always like getting blood out of a stone to have documentation released and in full! Why all the secrecy, threats, ridicule and worse to those over the years that were reporting and investigating this subject and to those that work for the Government in this area! Dr. J. Allen Hynek who was in charge of the famous Blue Book UFO investigations has hiimself confirmed some of this. There are too many unresolved issues and unanswered questions relating to this whole matter that need and could be cleared up by the US Government. Carter was unable to have the information disclosed when he became President, being told I understand, that he did not have a high enough clearance to warrant seeing the evidence. Apparently his position (if all this is true) was not high enough to ascribe “A need to know” clearance for him and the evidence was not disclosed. I would be the first to admit that this sounds (to my mind) weird, but you can easily check this out on the internet to confirm or deny it’s veracity one way or the other. Certainly it would appear that he had said that he was going to have this information publicly made available if he became President and he failed to do so! He himself had previously filed a UFO report as you are no doubt aware.

    <>

    Greg, if the basis of ancient myhthologies had so many credible witnesse, as much scrutiny, as many interested Governments and private organisations throughout the world seriously investigating and documenting them as the present phenomena has – I very much doubt that they would be considered by either of us, myths in the first place!

    <>

    This is probably the very crux of the problem and you are overlooking it. We already have the means and the technology to discover and explain this phenomena. The phenomena is not a story it is something that exists, can be seen, imaged and shown on radar. I have no doubt that the Government knows an awful lot more than everyone else about this matter and have purposely kept it secret – for whatever their reason/s. They certainly have the money, motivation and technology at their disposal to have answered and explained this phenomena for a long long time. Would you doubt that! Why were / are not our universities and scientific community encouraged and supported in investigating this subject, as many scientists and prominent people have been advocating over the years? Why and how has it become a subject of automatic rubbishing and ridicule for many? Who might have set the stage and encouraged this to happen and why? Why is it almost a taboo subject with the scientific community and so rubbished in our media? Is there not something extraordinary to be investigated and explained – regardless of what it turns out to be! Is there not the attraction for some scientists to investigate and endeavour to resolve, understanding, discover or explain what lies behind this apparent enigma! I certainly think so – even if only to be honoured with being the one/s that finally put this whole matter to bed once and for all.

  306. Greg in Austin

    Here are a couple of key points where we can kindly disagree:

    “You Greg, or anyone else at this time cannot for certainty (knowingly) state that these objects do not have an alien source. You cannot scientifically prove this no more than can the true believers.”

    If the photographs/videos/crop circles/etc. can be duplicated and/or explained using known earth technology, it rules out an alien source. If you want to say it could be alien, without proof, I would say its just as likely to be leprechauns.

    “I have no doubt that the Government knows an awful lot more than everyone else about this matter and have purposely kept it secret – for whatever their reason/s. They certainly have the money, motivation and technology at their disposal to have answered and explained this phenomena for a long long time. Would you doubt that!”

    I most certainly doubt that. You put a lot of faith in a successful government coverup/conspiracy which in nearly all other matters has been utterly incompetent. The closest thing I can think of to a successful government secret of this scale would be the U2, SR-71 Blackbird, and F117 Stealth Fighter programs, and even those were not 100% secret for this length of time.

    The great thing about science is, we can independently test and verify data on our own. If aliens were indeed actually visiting the earth, the government would be no more able to hide it from everyone than they could, say, hide the fact that Venus orbits the sun, hydrogen and oxygen mix together to form water, or objects fall at 9.8m/s^2.

    8)

  307. Greg in Austin

    “Greg, if the basis of ancient myhthologies had so many credible witnesse, as much scrutiny, as many interested Governments and private organisations throughout the world seriously investigating and documenting them as the present phenomena has – I very much doubt that they would be considered by either of us, myths in the first place!”

    What? How many thousands of people in Greece and Italy worshiped and prayed to Zeus and Jupiter and the other gods for how many hundreds of years? They attributed everyday events like lightning, earthquakes, floods, even rain to actions of the gods. Entire civilizations rose and fell worshiping these gods. To me, that is exactly what the UFO phenomenon is like. When knowledge increases, beliefs in the supernatural and paranormal are replaced with solid scientific explanations.

    8)

  308. Procyan

    People of Earth Attention: The things you think are precious, I don’t understand. We have a legitimate expectation that humanity will continuously improve going forward, but not on my watch apparently. It is to demonstrate the epitome of ignorance to fantasize that aliens use technologies that include spaceships and FtL propulsion to travel between stars. Moreover, do you really think they are made of meat? Do you think that you will remain meat come the next millennium? Some of you worry that we will eat you with Faba beans and a glass of claret/Have you no imaginations? We are not coming to serve Man!

    You grow old quickly yet transmit little that is wise.
    Aging is a genetic disease that you should conquer w/in 100 years but probably will not due to religious insanities and a perverted social commitment to death. We grow annoyed at your foolishness.

    You will build a sustainable society but only after humanity witnesses an unprecedented flushing of your most entrenched institutions along with your shorelines.

    Are you going to the Moon? Mars? 20 years? Ha! Hold your breath…

    For billions of years Earth’s atmosphere has been reflecting light bearing the signatures of living processes. The lights are on, we know you’re home. That has been your beacon, your porch light, and it has been noted. Can’t you figure out how to connect to the Universal Internet? We can help but first you must open that door to imagination!

    What price for admission? GROK!

    Someday folks will remember how to dream, and even more important, to translate dreams into reality. Wake up meatballs. You have mail.

  309. phil wright

    excellent stuff procyan!

  310. phil wright

    hi everyone,
    like procyan says,the earth must stand out like a beacon in our galactic backyard,if life-bearing planets are rare.think about it:we are on the edge of imaging earth-sized planets orbiting nearby stars.maybe a few years after discovery we may be able to detect the atmospheric compositions and temperatures of these planets.maybe a ‘life’ signature.so imagine the other side of the coin:intelligent life on other planets discovering that the beautiful blue and white planet we call home has lots of life on it,and knowing this fact,say,1 million years ago. would they want to come here,or just not bother?could they travel here,with technology 1 million years ahead of ours? newton says no,einstein says no,becouse our 20-21st century physics says:impossible!!but maybe they haven’t heard about the theory of relativity.maybe they have their own physics!

    cheers,phil

  311. phil wright

    hi greg,
    who says leprechauns don’t exist? (lol)!

  312. Procyan

    Thanks Phil, Yes! Perhaps no one told them they couldn’t do it. How many histories are there? How many times has the wheel been invented, eh?

    How can we not have those big interferometers in space by now?? O waste of loss.
    Which of us has looked into his brother’s heart? Which of us is not alone and forever prision-pent?

    I remember some days before the voyager tours of the Galilean moons, the pundits were preping us for disappointment. “probably will look a lot like our Moon, dry, dusty blah blah blah. In the absence of information, they took the conservative view. Thats what scientists are supposed to do.

    But really NO. Scientists should and do dare to dream the most exciting of outcomes. The reason we can do this safely and with enthusiasm is because we have the scientific method. It keeps us …honest. Mostly. So dream on fellow cadets. We have time to lose, besides we have come too far already :) … to turn back that is.

  313. kuhnigget

    Hey, Spaceman Spiff, butt out! Nobody likes a nosy neighbor! :P

  314. Joker

    Somebody far, far, f-a-rrrr upthread said :

    “If I were to claim there is an invisible pink unicorn at the bottom of my garden, you would find it impossible to prove me wrong, but that does not make me right.”

    Well it * is * impossible for a unicorn toexist thatis bothpink and invisble -pink is acolour youhgave tosee. Invisible is well not visible and thus NOT pink! ;-)

    Look up the Adamski UFO cult story for a laugh folks. It’s funny how flying Saucers are never reported as coming from * Venus * or * Mars * these days .. :-)

  315. Joker

    @ kuhnigget Says:

    “Hey, Spaceman Spiff, butt out! Nobody likes a nosy neighbor!”

    Au contrarire, kuhnigget, woodpeckers would *love* Pinochio as their nose-y neighbour and would get him to lie all the time to peck at that woody nose of his! ;-)

    (Every rule has its exceptions. Every blog has its nuts. Hmm .. Can I say ‘nuts’ here? ;-) )

  316. Joker

    Incidentally getting a major sense of deja vu here -allthses UFo threads seem toend up very similar sounding. :-(

    Haven’t we all been thro’ this B4? Edgar Mitchell thread and UFO sightings ones and well .. I’m sure I’ve read these exact same comments … prob’ly posted same replies too. ;-)

    Every rule has its exceptions. Every blog has its nuts. Some blogs have more nuts than others.* Some topics bring out more nuts than the nuttiest chocolate bar or squirrel house-keeping magazine could dream of. Its one of the joys of the net.

    ——

    * No this ain’t one of them – just this topic. & I’m not excluding myself here either! ;-)

    Philosophy wise one good quote :

    “To the question, “how do I know I exist?” a professor famously replied, “And who’s asking?”
    – Philosopher and author, Antony Flew

  317. kuhnigget

    @ Joker:

    Haven’t we all been thro’ this B4?

    Of course we have, and the experience will repeat itself again and again. Despite the overwhelming simplicity of the issue (Evidence! Where is the evidence!), the UFO nutters will continue to trot out their tired old conspiracies and their deflated weather balloons, their “thousands of eyewitnesses” (millions of kids have “heard” Santa Claus, too, so?), their arguments from authority – the likes of Ed Mitchell and, now, J. Edgar Hoover!!! – and in the end, still no credible, verifiable evidence! This, despite the earthshaking nature of the events in question.

    At least people like Michael Horn are blatantly in it for the money, not just sad, powerless people seeking to be part of something bigger than their apparently unsatisfying lives.

    Ooops….I have no evidence for that last statement, except…the Face™ on Mars told me so!

  318. Rory

    # Greg in Austin Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    <>

    Let’s see.

    “You Greg, or anyone else at this time cannot for certainty (knowingly) state that these objects do not have an alien source. You cannot scientifically prove this no more than can the true believers.”

    <>

    You see Greg this a problem with you and some others. I have continuously been talking about and referring to the Sightings that cannot so far be explained by any means i.e. where all the normal or obvious explanations are at a loss to be able to explain them. I have not at all been referring to the ones that are explainable, or that may appear to have the possibility of a very reasonable and down to earth explanation. You and others seem ignore this and in your replies continuously fall back to the argument that there appears to be a simple / mundane explanantion for all the Sightings. This is not the case and should be address and recognised! The discussion should be targeted, and focussed not on the obvious ones that can and are readily explained by everday events due to misinterpretaions etc. (no one is questioning these), but the unexplainable ones. The ones that have been scientifically investigated and found to have no rational explanation to explain them. These are the very UFO sightings that you all seem to want to ignore, not to discuss and that many of you appear to have no serious knowledge of. Alan would certainly seem to have the interest and to have checked out some of these cases, but in this he appears to be more the exception. The others here I feel are just showing themselves to be unscientific deniers. They are being unscientific because they try to ridicule / rubbish a subject based on their own close-minded prejudices. Others do not deal with the issue at all, but try to attack the messenger for minor or insignificant points – such as spelling or not starting a sentence with capitals, that are totally unrelated to the subject under discussion. They are certainly not here to exchange views and opinions in an open-minded way, but rather to impose their groundless beliefs in the same way that the ‘true believer’ might without any evidence in support. It is clear from some of their responses or lack thereof, that they obviously know very little about this subject, have not studied it and yet they can pontificate to others (who they probably regard as silly or worse) for having the cheek to question their fixed opinions and beliefs: Beliefs which they so dogmatically think are right, thereby ruling out all other possibilities or explanations. The beliefs / conclusions that they so strongly hold have not been reached (I would strongly suggest) by any scientific study or method. They therefore protest too much, because of their own lack of knowledge and insecurity on the subject which they know (study-wise) so little about. I can well understand people that might become disbelievers through reasoned study and investigation: Or, if some eminent scientists or public scientific institution had fully investigated these unexplained (todate) cases and found / agreed on the explanation which ruled-out the posibility of anything unearthly, inter dimensional etc. being involed. Such a thorough investigation would be welcome and it is what most open-minded people would like to see happen. { My turn to rant!]

    <>

    Well, we can agree to differ on this. The secrecy may not be imposed by the Government as you know it, but by powers blocks within the government with hidden agendas, that may wield as much power if not more than the actual Government itself. Where for example does all the billions of dollars (and much more) go that vanishes / is unaccountable for every year in the US?
    Not all went to corrupt employees I would suggest! Though some of the reconstruction companies in Iraq and Afghanistan might account for part of the total – though that would not mean that such money would have found it’s final home with these same companies!

    [“According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions,” Rumsfeld admitted.]

    It is going somewhere – black holes, black operations / projects, whatever! All this money or only a small part of it would help to keep the lid tightly down and firmly closed on anything that they wanted to keep secret. That does not take into account the threats to jobs, pensions or much worse that might accompany the necessity to keep something so secret. This of course is only speculation on my part and is in response by way of a possible explanation to your statements above. If you wish you can checkout what the Pentagon and the Defense Department inspector general estimates have gone missing over the years – unbelievable amounts. So much, that if you had only heard it for the first time today, you might be more inclined to believe in alien visitations to explain all the ufo sightings. It’s your tax momey! For example:-

    [The source of the $1.1 trillion undocumentable adjustments to balance DOD’s books in FY 2000 used for the $1.1 Trillion Missing Money calculator is from the Department of Defense Agency-Wide Financial Statements Audit Opinion – A Memorandum for Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), dated February 26, 2002 Re: Independent Auditor’s Report on the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2001 Agency-Wide Financial Statements (Report No. D-2002-055) signed by David K. Steensma, Acting Assistant Inspector General for Auditing.]
    http://www.dodig.osd.mil/Audit/reports/02report.htm Reference Part four, Page 6 of 12, paragraph 2, at: http://www.dodig.osd.mil/Audit/reports/fy02/02-055.pdf

    [In FY 1999, HUD refused to publish audited financial statements, reporting $17 billion of undocumentable adjustments in the FY 1998 ending balance and $59 billion of undocumentable adjustments for FY 1999. HUD declined to report their undocumentable adjustments in FY 2000.

    The source of the FY 1999 figure of $59 billion is testimony by the HUD Inspector General, Susan Gaffney before the House Subcommitte on Government Management, Information and Technology, House Committee on Government Reform, March 22, 2000.]

    Testimony of the HUD Inspector General re: $59 Billion Undocumentable Adjustments in FY 1999 at: http://www.solari.com/learn/59billion.htm

    <>

    Again that is just speculation on your part and not necessarily true, even if one might believe it to be likely! It is claimed that the UFO (flying saucers) subject, studies and investigations within the US Government was classified higher than the H-bomb. Now that must seem unbelievable to any disbeliever and would pull the rug from under alot of their faith in what they so strongly do believe, the die-hards aside like those believing that Iraq had WMD until it was so ridiculose to believe it any longer. Though I bet that there are some die-hards still out there!. Now if it is true concerning the UFO secrecy classification, the subject should not be dismissed by the disbelievers and deniers. Would you agree? Well if you want to read the memo in which this was outlined and puportedly written in 1950, check here:-

    Nov. 21, 1950: Smith’s Top Secret memo to the Dept. of Transport (pdf format) ( text )

    http://roswellproof.homestead.com/Smith_papers.html

    or just google – The Wilbert Smith Papers

    See also:- […At the same time that Wilbert Smith was meeting with American and Canadian officials to study technology and the messages coming from the non-humans, Dwight D. Eisenhower was continuing Harry S. Truman’s MJ-12 Special Studies Group on extraterrestrial vehicles and biological entities. Below is a November 4, 1953, SECRET memorandum from President Eisenhower to the Director of Central Intelligence, who in 1953 would have been Allen W. Dulles. Dwight David Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States in office from January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961. In the last paragraph, President Eisenhower mentions “Project JEHOVAH director Professor Albert Einstein and Doctor Robert Oppenheime……….]

    http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1456&category=Environment

    I have just found an actual transcript of the 1950 memo which is easier to read than the original (hoping it is an authentic reproduction and accurate) and will copy it in my next post.

    It is nice to be able to discuss this subject with you in an open manner, looking at and evaluting the pros and cons.

    Regards

  319. Rory

    Greg,

    This formerly “Top Secret” document was retrieved from the University of Ottawa Library archives by Nick Balaskas (York University). For more detailed information about Wilbert Smith (biography, videos, &c.), visit:

    http://www.presidentialufos.com

    See also: W. Smith: The New Science

    Geo-Magnetics
    (Ottawa, Ont., November 24, 1950)

    Memorandum to the Controller of Telecommunications:

    For the past several years we have been engaged in the study of various aspects of radio wave propagation. The vagaries of this phenomenon have led us into the fields of aurora, cosmic radiation, atmospheric radio-activity, and geo-magnetism. In the case of geo-magnetics our investigations have contributed little to our knowledge of radio wave propagation as yet, but nevertheless have indicated several avenues of investigation which may well be explored with profit. For example, we are on the track of a means whereby the potential energy of the earth’s magnetic field may be abstracted and used.

    On the basis of theoretical considerations a small and very crude experimental unit was constructed approximately a year ago and tested in our Standards Laboratory. The tests were essentially successful in that sufficient energy was abstracted from the earth’s field to operate a voltmeter, approximately 50 millivolts. Although this unit was far from being self-sustaining, it nevertheless demonstrated the soundness of the basic principles in a qualitative manner and provided useful data for the design of a better unit.

    The design is now completed for a unit which should be self-sustaining and in addition provide a small surplus of power. Such a unit, in addition to functioning as a “pilot power plant” should be large enough to permit the study of the various reaction forces which are expected to develop.

    We believe that we are on the track of something which may well prove to be the introduction of a new technology. The existence of a different technology is borne out by the investigations which are being carried on at the present time in relation to flying saucers.

    While in Washington attending the NARB Conference, two books were released, one titled “Behind the Flying Saucers” by Frank Scully, and the other “The Flying Saucers are Real” by Donald Keyhoe. Both books deal mostly with the sightings of unidentified objects and both books claim that flying object were of extra-terrestrial origin and might well be space ships from another planet. Scully claimed that the preliminary studies of one saucer that fell into the hands of the united States Government indicated that they operated on some hitherto unknown magnetic principles. It appeared to me that our own work in geo-magnetics might well be the linkage between our technology and the technology by which the saucers are designed and operated. If it is assumed that our geo-magnetic investigations are in the right direction, the theory of operation of the saucers becomes quite straightforward, with all observed features explained qualitatively and quantitatively.

    I made discrete inquiries through the Canadian Embassy staff in Washington who were able to obtain for me the following information;

    a. The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb,

    b. Flying saucers exist.

    c. Their modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Dr. Vannavar Bush.

    d. The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance.

    I was further informed that the United States authorities are investigating along quite a number of lines which might possibly be related to the saucers such as mental phenomena and I gather that they are not doing to well since they indicated that if Canada s doing anything at all in geo-magnetics they would welcome a discussion with suitably accredited Canadians.

    While I am not yet in a position to say that we have solved even the first problems in geo-magnetic energy release, I feel that the correlation between our basic theory and the available information on sauces checks too closely to be mere coincidence. It is my honest opinion that we are on the right track and are fairly close to at least some of the answers.

    Mr Wright, Defense Research Board liaison officer at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, was extremely anxious for us to get in touch with Dr Solandt, Chairman of the Defense Research Board, to discuss with him future investigation along the lines of geo-magnetic energy release.

    I do not feel that we have as yet sufficient data to place before Defense Research Board which would enable a program to be initiated within organization, but I do feel that further research is necessary and I would prefer to see it done within the framework of our own organization with, of course, full cooperation and exchange of information with other interested bodies.

    I discussed this matter fully with Dr Solandt, Chairman of Defense Research Board. On Novemebr 20th and placed before him as much information as I have been able to gather to date. Dr Solandt agreed that work on geo-magnetic energy should go forward as rapidly as possible and offered full cooperation of his Board in providing laboratory facilities, acquisition of necessary items of equipment, and specialized personnel for incidental work in the project. I indicated to Dr Solandt that we would prefer to keep the project within the Department of transport for the time being until we have obtained sufficient information to permit a complete assessment of the value of the work.

    It is therefore recommended that a Projet be set up within the framework of this Section to study this problem and that the work be carried on a part time basis until such time as sufficient tangible results can be seen to warrant more definitive action. Cost of the program in its initial stages are expected to be less than a few hundred dollars and can be carried by our Radio Standards Lab appropriation.

    Attached hereto is a draft of terms of reference for such a project which, if authorized, will enable us to proceed with this research work within our own organization.

    W.B. Smith
    Senior Radio Engineer

  320. Rory

    Greg, you can checkout the site referenced below for your own evaluation as to it’s veracity:-

    http://www.rexresearch.com/smith/magnet.htm

    Project Magnet
    (November 1952)

    Purpose ~

    This project is for the purpose of studying magnetic phenomena, particularly those phenomena resulting from unusual boundary conditions in the basic electromagnetic field. There is reason to believe their discovery will open up a new and useful technology.

    Organization ~

    The initial organization shall be as small as practical and composed of personnel who are used to working together, including so far as possible a variety of research abilities. Laboratory facilities are to be drawn from existing facilities so far as possible. Overall responsibility for the project shall rest with the engineer-in-charge, who shall delegate such responsibility to subordinates as maybe required to carry out the project.

    Program ~

    The initial program shall include the following avenues of investigations, to which others may be added from time top time as may appear expedient.

    1. Theoretical study of electromagnetic radiation assuming boundary conditions different from those upon which the conventional theory was developed.

    2. Laboratory study of mechanical forces associated with electron drift and electric currents in metallic masses.

    3. Theoretical and laboratory study of magnetic domain resonance conditions in magnetic materials.

    4. Investigation of the propagation of magnetic wave motion in magnetic materials.

    5. Investigate the possibility of producing, an effect, a “sink” in a magnetic field.

    6. Investigate the possibility of producing, in effect, single isolated magnetic poles.

    7. Investigate the effects of a magnetic field on a rotating curviplaner metallic object.

    Coordination ~

    Full coordination is to be maintained, within security regulations, with other groups working on a parallel or associated problems. Project reports will be available on a classified basis to suitably accredited groups of individuals.

    Security ~

    As in the case with most fields of research, it is impossible to assess the results in advance, which might be obtained through this project. However, there exist certain suspicions that the lesser-known and little explored aspects of magnetism may hold the key to a new and significant technology. Consequently, it is intended to classify this work in it entirety until such time as it can be assessed for its impact on our civilization.

  321. phil wright

    hello,
    for all the skeptics who want real evidence of real ufos/and or et,please tell us what this evidence should be,and how we should go about obtaining it.the way i see this,is because we are not dealing with something reproduceable in a lab,then science rejects the whole subject.but how would we go about verifying something that humans or nature have no control over?
    cheers,phil

  322. phil wright

    another thing,
    why do ‘hardened’ skeptics resort to name-calling?why do some of them call ufo witnesses ‘nuts’ or ‘kooks’ or ‘sad’.i agree that there is a percentage of mentally ill/unstable people in any large cross-section of people,and maybe ‘aliens’ attract slightly more than,say,stamp-collecting,but if all ufo witnesses/’believers’ are ‘nuts’,then you really would not want to catch that next airline flight!! or trust your nation’s air defense!!

    cheers,phil

  323. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    “Greg, if the basis of ancient myhthologies had so many credible witnesse, as much scrutiny, as many interested Governments and private organisations throughout the world seriously investigating and documenting them as the present phenomena has – I very much doubt that they would be considered by either of us, myths in the first place!”

    <>

    Again you seem to have missed the point and not considered what I actually wrote (or maybe it was that I did not write it clearly enough). So I will try again.

    I was saying that if what are now regarded as ancient mythologies had the same number of documented reports, photos. videos etc. and the same enquiries, scientific investigations….(which we know they could not have) that they would not now be myths. That means that if the same modern technology and scientific investigations had been applied to them in their time as have actually been appled to UFOs today on a world-wide basis – that the question of them ever becoming myths should or would not arise. As I would imagine UFOs if scientifically explained (again I refer to the unexplained cases) will not become myths in the future. Present science I believe will in a fairly short time either explain them away or clarify exactly what they are or represent and hopefully put an end to the speculation. Also if people had been more educated / knowledgeable and with information readily available (internet) etc. at the time of the mythmaking, I strongly doubt that superstitious beliefs would have been so readily accepted or acceptable. You have to compare like with like and I was making this comparision to our current phenomena of unexplained UFOs. I certainly do not believe that there will be a UFO myth resulting from this present phenoma, in one or two thousand years time as your post seems to suggest!

    Now you can easily come back to point the finger at religions and the “superstitions” of their followers – particularly the fundamental fanatical ones in our own times and I would of course agree with you. However, I might argue that if the same criterea were applied to these at their conception or shortly afterwards, as I applied to the ancient myths, that the story might well have unfolded differently. Modern religion and the masters that control or want to control the masses through blind unquestioning faith is an altogether different story and argument I opinion. But………

  324. kuhnigget

    @ Phil:

    “but how would we go about verifying something that humans or nature have no control over?”

    Astronomers test theories all the time, based upon repeatable, observational evidence that either conforms to a theory or suggests an alternate. What they don’t do is continue to push theories that contradict physical laws.

    As to nature having no control over UFOs…so you’re admitting supernatural forces at work?

    @ rory:

    All snarkiness aside,

    “I have continuously been talking about and referring to the Sightings that cannot so far be explained by any means i.e. where all the normal or obvious explanations are at a loss to be able to explain them.”

    Could you please point to one such Sighting (sic)? Because it seems to me the only ones who at a loss explaining them are the UFO folks. Oh, wait, it’s that old line again: It isn’t a (insert one: weather balloon, Venus, whatever) therefore it’s an alien space ship.

    And by the way, please don’t use Donald Keyhoe’s book as “evidence.” You are aware, I hope, that “Flying Saucers are Real” (his first book, which introduced the concept of Men in Black, secret conspiracies, etc.) was a novel? Keyhoe wrote it as a work of fiction, but when publishers repeatedly rejected it, he reworked it as a nonfiction expose and viola! the UFO conspiracy was born!

    Honestly, if you’re going to dredge up 50 year old stories, at least get your history correct.

  325. phil wright

    hello kuhnigget,
    say a metallic disc-shaped object,flies over the texas star party gathering,before sunset when the astro=imagers are getting their stuff set-up for the night.say the disc looks quite low(3000 ft)and is moving as fast as a fighterplane,but with no noise or vapour trail or exhaust.say a few of the astronomers manage to get their slr cameras on the object in time to fire off a few frames,and the others stand and watch (in horror at) such an ‘impossible’ occurence.so you will have a few images from different angles,to triangulate positional data,velocity,etc.and you will have lots of ‘useless’ eyewitness testimony.
    now if that ever happened,would that be acceptable as scientific evidence?you would never be able to ‘test’it in a lab.the photos could be just a ‘deflated weather balloon’,and the witnesses ‘nuts’ and ‘sad’ ‘nobodies who want to get on tv’,to quote a former well-known pseudoscientific debunker.
    some ufos do appear to breach certain laws of nature.i once observed a fuzzy red light (at 3 am)that came from an easterly direction,moved steadily for a while ,then did a huge right-angle turn(like constellation size)headed due north, then did an acute angle ,instantaneous reversal of direction,so heading south,then another manoevre,finally heading south-west.and as it flew into the light pollution of coventry (uk)centre,did a huge jump in speed,so it looked like it was instantly moving twice as fast approx.it was totally silentuntil the jump in speed,and then made a slight roaring -jet sound .totally bizarre.(3 am around end of august 1981)not autokinesis!!this thing behaved just like a billiard (pool)ball bouncing off the cushions,and going all over the table!!by the way ,the moon was last quarter in taurus at the time,so maybe you could work out the date!

    cheers,phil

  326. IVAN3MAN

    phil wright:

    […] i once observed a fuzzy red light (at 3 am)that came from an easterly direction,moved steadily for a while ,then did a huge right-angle turn(like constellation size)headed due north, then did an acute angle ,instantaneous reversal of direction,so heading south,then another manoevre (sic),finally heading south-west.and as it flew into the light pollution of coventry (uk)centre,did a huge jump in speed,so it looked like it was instantly moving twice as fast approx.it was totally silent until the jump in speed,and then made a slight roaring -jet sound .totally bizarre. […]

    I, too, have seen and heard something like that on numerous occasions in the early hours of the morning — it was a bloody police helicopter on night patrol! :roll:

  327. Rory

    # hyperdeath Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:43 am

    <>

    This is a very good example of what I have been talking about to Greg. Nothing whatsoever to do with the topic / discussion -just a petty personal attack.

    Your only communication with me was the following:-

    [# hyperdeath Says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Rory: If you attempt to use a popular science book to argue a scientific point, you can’t exactly complain if you aren’t taken seriously. If you have a point to make, cite peer reviewed papers, or at the very least a proper scientific textbook. ]

    and my response was simply the following:-

    {# Rory Considine Says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Hyperdeath, will do – if I can get my hands on them!}

    However, when you subsequently post to another party that had misinterpreted and misquoted me (and not post directly to me) and refer to me as a “Crank”, that surely represents a small and pitiful attitude! Akin to talking badly about someone behind their back.

    Not ever having had anyone refer to me as this before (though of course I had my own idea of what it meant), I followed out of curiosity your actual link. One I might add which you deemed important and necessary enough to provide. I can only presume by this that you did not believe that Nigel would know or understand what the word itself meant! So, lo and behold, the following is Wikipedia’s surprising explanation for all to see:-

    “Crank, a disparaging term for a person who holds unorthodox opinions.”

    Well, at one foul swoop you have managed to disparage some of the best minds in the world! Unconventional types I suppose. People that might think outside the box and the rules and societie’s impositions – free thinkers in other words. I think I know what you might mean – these are all dangerous people, they do not and will not conform as you would like, they in fact upset your comfortable ‘solid’ beliefs and opinions. God, it would be awful if they made you think differently – how disasterous that might be!

    Wow! How strong can you get! I really must have rattled your bones. Might you be trying to describe people that hold views and opinions that differ from yours and which you are intolerant towards! Sounds like that, but possibly you can clarify yourself in the matter. Maybe you might also be able to answer the questions I asked earlier-on concerning The Disclosure Project and the Witness testimonials, thereby possibly adding something constructive to this Discussion.

    <>

    If I am wrong and it is pointed out to me, I will admit that I am wrong. On the other hand, if I am accused of being wrong and my words have been misquoted, twisted, or misinterpreted in doing so, I will strongly defend my position and integrity whoever it may be against.

    regards

  328. Rory

    # kuhnigget Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    <>

    What 50 year old “story” did I dredge up that you are referring to? Story understood to be a tale, account, or a narative. Perhaps you can be a little more explicit in order for me to respond!

  329. phil wright

    hello ivan3man,
    this object was tiny,but had a slight fuzz to it.it glowed orangey-red ,just like the end of a cigarette,was about magnitude 2,and was absolutely silent nearly the whole time ,until it jumped in speed as if flying out of a catapult.the angles it made were totally sharp and instantaneous.my younger brother observed it as well.i was in the back garden of my house.when it shot due-north,i had to run up the path at the side of the house out onto the front lawn ,to keep it in view since it went over the roof.i then had to run back again when it instantly reversed its direction!crazy stuff!
    the only object that really fooled me for a few seconds was venus,one morning,when it suddenly rose from behind a distant chimney when the sky was still very dark.fooled for maybe 2 minutes!
    i can identify most aircraft instantly.when i’m looking for ufos in the daytime,i probably image about 20-30 aircraft-including helicopters-in any 2 hour session.i do this to constantly check focus/exposure with my digital slr/apo refractor imaging setup.check out ‘phil2466′ on youtube!
    cheers,phil(uk)

  330. kuhnigget

    @ Rory:

    What 50 year old “story” did I dredge up that you are referring to? Story understood to be a tale, account, or a narative. Perhaps you can be a little more explicit in order for me to respond!

    Gee how much more explicit can I be? Here’s my original comment…again:

    And by the way, please don’t use Donald Keyhoe’s book as “evidence.” You are aware, I hope, that “Flying Saucers are Real” (his first book, which introduced the concept of Men in Black, secret conspiracies, etc.) was a novel? Keyhoe wrote it as a work of fiction, but when publishers repeatedly rejected it, he reworked it as a nonfiction expose and viola! the UFO conspiracy was born!

    Don’t confuse fiction with fact. Flying saucer conspiracy, Men in Black, secret government cover-up…all were FICTION, invented by Donald Keyhoe! Only after his book was published as “memoir” did those tropes enter the UFO nut lexicon, at which time they suddenly became tossed around as if they were fact.

    Explicit enough for you?

  331. Rory

    kuhnigget Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    <>

    I think that it is up to you to do your own research – that is if you are interested. I have provided many links already, so maybe you should take the time to follow some of them up. You could start with the following:-

    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics UFO Subcommittee (1967)

    “From a scientific and engineering standpoint, it is unacceptable to simply ignore substantial numbers of unexplained observations…the only promising approach is a continuing moderate-level effort with emphasis on improved data collection and objective means…involving available remote sensing capabilities and certain software changes.” [emphasis added]
    and regarding The Condon Report (Project Blue Book), 1986: “The opposite conclusion could have been drawn from The Condon Report’s content; namely, that a phenomenon with such a high ratio of unexplained cases (about 30 percent) should arouse sufficient scientific curiosity to continue its study.”7

    Project Blue Book

    STACY: In other words, you found yourself caught, like most of us, in a situation of trying to please your boss?

    HYNEK: Yes, you might as well put it that way, although at the same time I wasn’t going against my scientific precepts. As an astronomer and physicist, I simply felt a priori that everything had to have a natural explanation in this world. There were no ifs, and or buts about it. The ones I couldn’t solve, I thought if we just tried harder, had a really proper investigation, that we probably would find as answer for. My batting average was about 80 per cent and I figured that anytime you were hitting that high, you were doing pretty good. That left about 20 per cent unsolved for me, but only about three or four per cent for the Air Force, because they used statistics in a way I would never have allowed for myself. For example, cases labeled as insufficient information they would consider solved ! They also had some other little tricks. If a light were seen, they would say, “aircraft have lights, therefore, probable aircraft.” Then, at the end of the year, when the statistics were made up, they would drop the “possible” or “probable” and simply call it aircraft.

    General Walter Bedell Smith
    CIA Director, 1950-1953

    “The Central Intelligence Agency has reviewed the current situation concerning unidentified flying objects which have crated extensive speculation in the press and have been the subject of concern to government organizations… Since 1947, approximately 2,000 official reports of sightings have been received, and, of these, about 20% are as yet unexplained. It is my view that this situation has possible implications for our national security which transcend the interests of a single service. A broader, coordinated effort should be initiated to develop a firm scientific understanding of the several phenomena which apparently are involved in these reports…”20

    H. Marshall Chadwell
    Assistant Director, Scientific Intelligence, CIA

    “Since 1947, ATIC has received approximately 1500 official reports of sightings plus an enormous volume of letters, phone calls, and press reports. During July 1952 alone, official reports totaled 250. Of the 1500 reports, Air Force carries 20 percent as unexplained and of those received from January through July 1952 it carries 28 percent unexplained.” 21

    GEPAN / SEPRA / GEIPAN (France)

    Since 1977, the national space agency of France CNES has been helping civilian and military authorities understand the precise nature of Un-identified Aerospace Phenomena (PAN). The unit involved is the Rare Aerospace Phenomena Study Department (SEPRA) based at the CNES technical centre in Toulouse. Since 1977, the department has developed a precise analytical methodology and today has accumulated a considerable database. The SEPRA database is comprised of more than 2200 different cases, with some 6000 eyewitness accounts and approximately 100 sightings from aircraft.

    http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/Gepan-Sepra.htm

    COMETA Report

    I have already referenced these in previous posts, so that should keep you going for a while.
    Very Important! Don’t forget that we cannot have one sighting left unexplained at the end of your exercise, or those weirdos will be claiming that this proves that we are being visited by extra terrestrials. When you (on your own) have solved and explained all these already investigated case i.e. the ones that have no satisfactory explanations at the moment, don’t forget to let the powers that be in on your discoveries – maybe there will be a big reward in it for you! Who knows, but I am sure that you could very well end-up writing a Best Seller and becoming a multi millionaire into the bargain On the other hand and if youwant to save yourself a mountain of work (which we know you had no intention of doing anyway): Get the file from the Disclosure Project – the Witness testimonials (mostly ex Government employes, CIA, FBI, Navy, Aif Force etc. etc. hundreds of them) and all appartently willing to appear in Congress and swear under oath that what they say is the truth. Read or listen to them and have a go at debunking what they say and their credibility etc. It is all a bit mind-blowing anyway, so it would be nice if you could do this dectective work and prove that they are all liars and lieing through their teeth into the bargain. Unfortunately, If you fail in this taskt, you are going to have to eat crow and accept and believe that what they are saying is actually or possibly the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – so help you God!

    So enjoy yourself, but please report back when you have concluded this epic task. The world will be forever grateful to you. Oh! I should have added that like the so far unexplained UFOs, I have not seen or heard of these people’s testimonies being debunked (seriously, it is possible that I missed it somewhere). Anyway, there is always the first time and with you on the job – who knows what the outcome might be! A word of warning! You will be dealing with some heavy-duty dudes – so please take care! Good luck!

    Regards

  332. kuhnigget

    @ Phil Wright:

    say a metallic disc-shaped object,flies over the texas star party gathering

    As you implied, I could make lots of suppositions about the object, and if the photographs were more than fuzzy blobs, I could study them and try to learn more, but what I could not do is start calling them spaceships from another planet…at least not and still call myself a scientist.

    now if that ever happened,would that be acceptable as scientific evidence

    It might be evidence, but not very good evidence. As has been stated repeatedly here, eyewitness testimony introduces too many human errors into the picture. Go back to some of the old UFO threads and read the posts about the psychology of human memory. It’s not as sharp as you might expect.

    some ufos do appear to breach certain laws of nature

    Then they are by your definition supernatural and debate is pointless. You might as well call them flying unicorns.

  333. Alan French

    Rory,

    I don’t know how you expect us to take your claims seriously. You post huge lists of sightings and quotes, obviously without any concern with the veracity of any particular sighting or the credibility of the person quoted. When people make comments about anything in them, or ask questions, your response is to post more of the same.

    As I wrote before, I’d take people more seriously if they showed some ability to discern between sightings that might be of some interest and those that are obviously easily explained, or at least have sensible earthly explanations.

    Clear skies, Alan

  334. @ phil wright

    I have checked out your YouTube channel “phil2466″ and I have viewed all 7 videos. My conclusions are that your two videos of the Moon — the craters Plato, and Copernicus — are good, but the 5 videos of alleged UFOs are nothing more than mylar foil balloons in the shape of an alphabetical letter or numeral — in one of your videos, the ‘UFO’ looks like a mylar foil letter “S” or number “2” balloon. Just Google “Mylar Alphabet Balloons” and you will find numerous web-sites of companies in the U.K. and in the U.S. that sell mylar foil balloons in various shapes and sizes for “birthdays”, “New Year celebrations”, ” baby showers”, etc.

    I’ll save you the trouble, just click on my name and the link will lead you to one example. Also, here are a couple more examples:

    tinyurl.com/6g9fl4

    tinyurl.com/5btarl

    Just copy and paste each URL into your Internet browser address bar — most browsers will work without the “http” or “www” prefix, unless you’re using some weird-ass browser that no-one has heard of.

    I think that you need to get a grip of yourself and apply some critical thinking to your observations.

  335. Rory

    # kuhnigget Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    @ Rory:

    “What 50 year old “story” did I dredge up that you are referring to? Story understood to be a tale, account, or a narative. Perhaps you can be a little more explicit in order for me to respond!”

    <>

    Explicit enough to be understood would be a good start.

    <>

    Again I would ask you to tell me what 50 year old storie you are referring to and what history did I get wrong?

    <>

    Why would you tell me not to use a book of fiction when as far as I am aware I have not yet done so – in any of my many posts.: And why on earth would I do this this to undermine what I might be saying anyway! This approach of yours seems absurd and certainly unhelpful in a discussion. Can you not see that this is not only rude but also arrogant in the circumstances! Particularly your response to my asking for clarification.

    <>

    There you go again – telling what to do. How ridiculous! Have you any evidence so far from my posts that I have done this i.e. confused fiction with fact?

    It is you that is the one quoting and referring to this book – not me and that seems pathetic! Again I would ask you to show me where I quoted from it or referenced it. Of course it is possible that I may have unintentionally done so by including it along with other data I was reproducing, but I do not remember doing this. No doubt you can reproduce where I did, otherwise why would you be telling me not to in your reply. If you cannot show where I quoted or referenced this book, you have absolutely no right to dictate what I decide to reference or use in this or any other discussion. Your ‘warning’ would suggest that I intended to do something like this to surreptictiously try and prove some point or other in this discussion and this is completely unfounded, wrong and out of hand for you to suggest or insinuate in this way.

    Now as I said, if I have included such a reference to this book in something that I copied in a post, it would have been completely unintentional. However, I don’t remember doing so and I await your showing me where I have done this.

    So, please provide the evidence to support your right to dictate to me, or pre-judge what I might decide to post. Otherwise you have no right in saying what you said and adopting that tone .

    <>

    When I receive your reply to this post, I will definitely let you know.

  336. Alan French

    Rory Says, in part:
    November 30th, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    >> Now as I said, if I have included such a reference to this book in something that I copied in a post, it would have been completely unintentional. However, I don’t remember doing so and I await your showing me where I have done this. <<

    I wonder if you even read the things you post here? If so, you'd know the answer. If not, how do you know they support your views?

    And an "Edit/Find" would reveal it in moments if you are really curious (unless you'll looking at this is some very odd browser). The word to look for would be "Keyhoe."

    Clear skies, Alan

  337. Greg in Austin

    Rory,

    You said,

    “I have continuously been talking about and referring to the Sightings that cannot so far be explained by any means i.e. where all the normal or obvious explanations are at a loss to be able to explain them. I have not at all been referring to the ones that are explainable, or that may appear to have the possibility of a very reasonable and down to earth explanation. You and others seem ignore this and in your replies continuously fall back to the argument that there appears to be a simple / mundane explanantion for all the Sightings. This is not the case and should be address and recognised!”

    I would be happy to discuss details of unexplainable sighting. Can you please show links or data from the physical evidence obtained from sightings that are unexplained? Can you show what percentage of UFO sightings are explainable vs. sightings that are unexplainable? In my understanding, 99% of UFO sightings are explainable as completely terrestrial in nature. The other 0.01% are “unknown” because of the lack of data, not because they are proven to be alien in nature.

    Again, this 1% falls under the category of “Quite probably terrestrial in nature, but lacks sufficient evidence to confirm.”

    Unless, of course, you can provide evidence to the contrary.

    8)

  338. Greg in Austin

    Sorry, those numbers should have read “99%, 1% and 1%.

  339. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    “The secrecy may not be imposed by the Government as you know it, but by powers blocks within the government with hidden agendas, that may wield as much power if not more than the actual Government itself.”

    What “powers” do you speak of? Please be precise.

    8)

  340. Rory

    Alan French Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Rory,

    <>

    What claims have I made that you refer to Alan?

    I have never seen a UFO or anything that I did not believe could possibly have been an airplane or satellite, so I certainly have not made such a claim – though it would be nice to see a UFO that could not be explained!

    So, are you referring to the times I mention the unexplained UFO sightings? Perhaps you are. Well, as everyone knows or should know if they are taking a position on this subject, there are a lot of these. Those that are interested in them should check them out. It is not my job (nor do I intend doing it) to go through the large numbers of these cases when those interested can do so themselves. I have mentioned and referenced the reports and investigations that have taken place where some 8 to 30 % of the cases could not be explained after the investigations had been carried out. They should read these reports.

    I came on to this thread, because I did not agree with the Article by Phil that we are supposed to be discussing here. It appears that I am one of the only ones that went through his article point for point showing where I disagreed. It would be very interesting to know if all here that do not believe that there are unexplainable UFO sightings agree with everything that was said in this article – would it not? It would also be very interesting if the same people having read my critique of same would like to point out where I was wrong in what I said. This I would welcome, but no one has so far done this. Nor has Phil himself and surely this article is what we are here to discuss and debate.

    As for my producing documentation, I have done so for others here to support the fact that their is a phenomna that needs investigating. Also to show that eminent scientists, politicians, military personel etc. that have or had more knowledge than most others on the subject, believe that UFOs exist and possibly of the ET type and that the subject needs serious scientic investigation. It also requires open-mindedness to resolve it one way or the other and to begin to get rid of this dreadful backward policy of ridicule that is so evident. I have been having long discussions with Greg without the need to necessarily provide documentation – though at other times I have done so. If people think it unhelpful and are uninterested in reading some of them I can stop posting them. Though I would have thought that those interested would be very keen for more information – not of course those that do not want to know or to hear. The documentation is only there to back-up what I have said and to support the points I may have made. People are always asking for back-up / references, as I would myself.

    There are many disbelievers here (often rude, pompous and arrogant) that appear not to even know that there are a lot of unexplained and unexplainable sightings that have already been scientifically investigated. What kind of insightful and knowledgeable people are they! Particularly when they are cutting, rude, arrogant and pompous to those that hold a different view or belief to them. This is just an ignorant attitude manifesting itself as close-minded intolerance. I can understand how people might feel when someone makes a groundless unscientific claim, especially of such magnitude as claiming without any evidence that we are being visited by ETs. However I have not seen anyone here claiming that. Have you? Yet Posters have been misunderstood, attacked, ridiculed and made to look foolish because they have opinions and views that are not shared by the community here. Many of same have shown themselves to be ignorant of what they are commenting on, or failing to comment on!.

    I presumed that we are all here trying to learn and to advance or knowledge and understanding about this subject. However, it is quite evident that some here are not interested in doing this. They give the impression that they only want to force their uneducated and narrow-minded beliefs (in this subject) down the throats of those that hold a differing view. They do this by personal attacks or by making fun / ridicule of those they disagre with. Of course not everyone here is like this – thank goodness, or they would all end-up talking to themselves.

    This is evident to me from observation, what other posters have said and watching new posters come and go quickly after making a post where they were ridiculed or rubbished – more like bullied.. This really is just a another form of bullying. Forcefully trying to make people change their viesw. People don’t really want to hang around to have to listen to or to take more of the same and so they are gone quickly and most do not return. It is a pity, but why should they!

    Regards

  341. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    I see this could take some time.

    “It is claimed that the UFO (flying saucers) subject, studies and investigations within the US Government was classified higher than the H-bomb.”

    Classification of a government program is not evidence of aliens visiting Earth.

    “The existence of a different technology is borne out by the investigations which are being carried on at the present time in relation to flying saucers.”

    Ahh, I see. The research done in an attempt to explain reports of flying saucers produced some new kind of technology? Woo hoo! We thought of a way flying saucers might fly, tested it, and found out that it might could work.

    That still does not prove that aliens exist and are visiting Earth. It means that in order to explain how their theoretical ships may travel, we expanded upon previous knowledge gained thru hundreds of years of testing and experimentation. It in no way proves aliens exist than claiming that studying how aliens travel thru space advanced the Space Shuttle.

    “I was saying that if what are now regarded as ancient mythologies had the same number of documented reports, photos. videos etc. and the same enquiries, scientific investigations….(which we know they could not have) that they would not now be myths. That means that if the same modern technology and scientific investigations had been applied to them in their time as have actually been appled to UFOs today on a world-wide basis – that the question of them ever becoming myths should or would not arise.”

    I absolutely agree. If science, as we know it, had existed 1,000 years ago, humans would not have attributed normal events to heavenly gods. Is that a correct understanding of your position? If so, then in 1,000 years, humans will look back and say, “Based on current scientific knowledge, those morons in 2008 would never have believed in UFOs. ” There is simply not any evidence to support such beliefs.

    8)

  342. Greg in Austin

    phil wright says,

    “for all the skeptics who want real evidence of real ufos/and or et,please tell us what this evidence should be,and how we should go about obtaining it.the way i see this,is because we are not dealing with something reproduceable in a lab,then science rejects the whole subject.but how would we go about verifying something that humans or nature have no control over?”

    Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, has stated on many of his postings what would constitute real scientific evidence. His most recent being today’s blog, UFObama

    That’ll do nicely.

    8)

  343. kuhnigget

    @ Rory:

    “Have you any evidence so far from my posts that I have done this i.e. confused fiction with fact?”

    Okay, now you’ve exposed yourself as a complete moron. Check out YOUR OWN POST, November 30th, 2008 at 9:22 am, in which your “evidence” includes Keyhoe’s FICTIONAL NOVEL as a source of “information” about the reality of flying saucers.

    There, do you get it now, or do I have to spell it out further?

  344. kuhnigget

    I presumed that we are all here trying to learn and to advance or knowledge and understanding about this subject. However, it is quite evident that some here are not interested in doing this. They give the impression that they only want to force their uneducated and narrow-minded beliefs (in this subject) down the throats of those that hold a differing view.

    Rory. Dude. Look in the mirror, friend. Who is being uneducated and narrow-minded? Who has been copying and pasting pages of irrelevant text? Who has been unable to differentiate between opinion and evidence? Who keeps trying to pass off conspiracy theory for scientific investigation? Who has retreated into a textbook case of “poor me, the victim” when his b.s. is called what it is?

    Does it bug you when people like me get snarky? Well, okay, that’s fair. But did you ever consider how many times people here have heard the same old arguments from the UFO nutters? And yes, they are nutters, because they keep dragging up the same crap and trying to pass if off as evidence.

    Come on, Rory! Are you an adult? Do you genuinely want to learn how to use your brain to think critically? Because that is what this site is all about. Pardon me for speaking for Dr. BA, but BadAstronomy is not here to promote investigation into alien spaceships. The good doctor’s goal is to promote rational thought. And that is why the nutters don’t come back, because they can’t deal with rational thought, as it interferes with their fantasies.

    So you want people to investigate UFOs? Great! Go out and get some real evidence to investigate, and I’ll be first in line to take a look at it. And I even promise to leave my sarcasm at home.

    But you know what? I don’t think you’ll be bringing me that evidence any time soon…because after 50+ years of this silliness going on, there is no evidence!

  345. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Check out YOUR OWN POST, November 30th, 2008 at 9:22 am, in which your “evidence” includes Keyhoe’s FICTIONAL NOVEL as a source of “information” about the reality of flying saucers.

    That is so funny!

    Also, it is ironic that the crank in his incapability to present factual evidence instead presents more evidence that tests Hoofnagle’s Unified theory of the crank. I can recommend the post, as it presents a verifiable mechanism explaining the behavior of cranks and denialists; the incompetents are incompetent (well, duh!) in recognizing competence:

    An interesting resource to understand the phenomenon is this article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Justin Kruger and David Dunning about how people who are incompetent not only have an inflated sense of their own competence, but are also incapable of even recognizing competence. Take for example this figure from the paper (it’s not Wiley so hopefully I won’t be sued). It’s pretty self-explanatory

    krugeranddunningfig2.jpg

    What’s even more amazing is that when they then shared the performance of other participants with the people who performed poorly (hoping that they would then adjust their self-perception downward) people who scored poorly failed to adjust their self-perception of their performance. In other words, they are completely unaware of their own competence, and can’t detect competence in others. [My bold.]

    So it’s funny commentary, and nicely supports the current empirical explanation for (the speculation in) “UFO sightings”. But it’s also tragic.

  346. Rory

    # kuhnigget Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    @ Rory:

    “Have you any evidence so far from my posts that I have done this i.e. confused fiction with fact?”

    <>

    Wow! A complete moron and later you accuse me of being a nutter etc. Tut! Tut! I will not lower myself to your level and resort to name calling. Even though many suitable terms do spring to mind that would nicely describe you and your arrogant behaviour. Be sure that your offensive abuse will not put me off writing here or defending myself. I have come across many like you – would-be-bullies / ignorant people, on various discussion boards. They all sooner or later resort to the same name-calling / personal attacks against those that disagree with their fixed beliefs. Particularly when they run out of arguments to defend their own positions. However, on most of the boards that I refer to, these people are soon removed i.e. banned in order to maintain civilised debate and discussion. One learns to handle and to deal with your type, or to just ignore them. However, I do not intend to ignore you this time.

    Well, that said, all I can say concerning your accusation is that it is complete and utter Nonsense! Total rubbish! You are the one talking cod’s wallop! I now see what you are referring to (thanks for finally providing the ref.) and in the circumstances of what you said to me about not “confusing fiction with fact” your onslaught was premature and to your detriment – wasted. Really an own goal! It is all quite sad but at the same time laughable. You are really scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to use this to accuse me of confusing fiction with fact (or anthing else) – how ridiculous an accusation can one make. lol! You obviosly have so little to say to contradict the points that I and others have raised that you are trawling my posts to try to come up with something negative to throw at me and my arguments, endeavouring to put me down as a result. Well, you had better look a little deeper than the likes of this pitiful attempt of yours for your ammunition. Because it very well might back-fire and blow-up in your face! Would it not be much better entering into a debate and discussion rather than launching such attacks? Well, maybe you have little to say or to add, and this is what you have to resort to – false accusations and abuse!. Anyway, I cannot let you away with this and need to show you up for what you are………………………………………….You can fill in the blanks yourself as it seems to be your forte!

    Now you are probably wondering why I find your accusations so ridiculous and why I do not accept them – well, I will now explain why.

    1. Evidently I posted what you refer to. However, in no way was I making any argument concerning this writer or his books, nor suggesing that anything written by him was either true or false – I have never read any of his books.

    I had previously posted the following to Greg:-

    [“Now if it is true concerning the UFO secrecy classification, the subject should not be dismissed by the disbelievers and deniers. Would you agree? Well if you want to read the memo in which this was outlined and puportedly written in 1950, check here:-

    Nov. 21, 1950: Smith’s Top Secret memo to the Dept. of Transport (pdf format) ( text )
    http://roswellproof.homestead.com/Smith_papers.html
    or just google – The Wilbert Smith Papers”]

    2. Now if I was trying to pass on fiction for fact, I would hardly be saying that I do not know if the secrecy classification was true – would I?

    3. Nor would I be suggesting that he go himself to the site to verify what it was that I described as “purportedly” written in 1950 – would I?

    At the end of that fairly lenghty post to Greg I added:-

    [“I have just found an actual transcript of the 1950 memo which is easier to read than the original (hoping it is an authentic reproduction and accurate) and will copy it in my next post.”]

    4. If I had been trying to pass on fiction as fact, I would not have inclued in that comment: (hoping it is an authentic reproduction and accurate). Would I?

    The answer to all four questions is – Obviously and logically I would not! So therefore I was not trying to, or intending in anyway to pass on fiction as fac as you have now claimed a number of times.

    You are out of order, completely wrong in your accusations and should therefore withdraw them. You should also apologise for your unwarranted accusations, rudeness, name-calling and sarcasm that accompanied your diatribe.

    In the following post/s to Greg I wrote:-

    [Greg,

    This formerly “Top Secret” document was retrieved from the University of Ottawa Library archives by Nick Balaskas (York University). For more detailed information about Wilbert Smith (biography, videos, &c.), visit:

    http://www.presidentialufos.com

    See also: W. Smith: The New Science]

    and posted the two documents one of which includes in it’s body what you referred to. This document was a typed copy of the original document written in 1953. The author of said doc (1953) referred to the book in question in a small section of this historic document. It was written by him and not by me. I doubt at the time that the writer who worked for the Government was aware as you seem to be, that the book he was referring to might have been fiction!

    What do you think? Obviously, the answer is – he was not so aware!

    The deduction that can be made from your posts is that you illogically appear to believe or to think that I should have censored this historic document and erased the part that YOU find offensive 55 years later. Should I have blacked-out that part as is often done on some of the official UFO docs released by the government!!! No, I should not. I sent the document as I copied it (for ease of reading for Greg) as it was purportedly composed. I had no right to interfer with what was written by someone else, in any way or form. Is this not correct?

    Was I wrong in doing this? Was I trying to pass fiction for fact as you claim and accuse me of? Not in the least! And if you think this to be the case – you really have to be a little loopy!

    And you may wonder now why I think you arrogant, offensive and foolish etc! Well, wonder no more, it is self-evident from your own lips. You are certainly one of those people that does not do their homework, makes big blunders and given enough rope will hang themselves!

    <>

    If you are an example of what you mean – I pass!

    <>

    That may be what this site is supposed to be about, but obviously some of the wrong people have sneaked in and lower the tone of the place, or just have notlearned anything yet. But do not worry – hope springs eternal. I did not have to join or to go to any site to learn to think logically, critically, question things and have a healthy but most importantly an open-minded sceptical attitude. I learned this as I grew up and matured. The problem is that some people seem to never grow-up or to mature and continue to behave like spoilt children, and throw tantrums when they are not getting their own way. So, please grow-up and behave like a responsible adult!

    If you still have any doubts on what you accuse me of and what I refute, may I suggest the following: Submit your various posts to me and my replies to same, to Phil Plait. Although I am probably not in his ‘good book’ for my criticism of his article – your possible advantage, but still…. and let him be the judge of who has been using their mind / brain properly in this matter. If you like I would be happy to submit them for you and willingly await and accept his verdict! I imagine that he would have to chastise you, paticularly for being so offensive and for jumping the gun with your slander and false accusations. Logical thinkers, or even those just normally using their brain should not do those things in a simple discussion. Particularly on a matter that cannot yet be proven by either side, one way or the other. Quite irrational and illogical I would opinion!

    So, well done kuhnigget! You excel at what you do!

  347. Rory

    # Alan French Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Rory Says, in part:
    November 30th, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    “Now as I said, if I have included such a reference to this book in something that I copied in a post, it would have been completely unintentional. However, I don’t remember doing so and I await your showing me where I have done this. ”

    <>

    Now Alan are you starting to resort to the same tactics as the one that post was addressed to. I hope not, because I was of the opinion that you were quite different and it certainly does not lead to helpful, friendly, or constructive communication!

    Read my post and rebbutal to kuhnigget of his false accusations: December 1st, 2008 at 3:38 am

    <>

    My browser must be the very odd type because I do not see any Edit/Find. Perhaps you could point out where this is! I am using Mozilla Firefox mostly, but I also use Internet Explorer and Chrome, though I have not used either of those two with this site yet. So where is it? It would also be handy to have an Ignore button so that one, if they so wished would not see posts from certain posters though all others could read them. This of cousre would only be used after all other efforts at civil communication had been exhausted. It and many other feature were part of the Washington Post Discussion Boards. Thankfully the site was well administered and I personally never used this feature though many did.

    DISCOVER Magazine. Science, Technology and The Future

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    and some others.

    Might the reason for this be, that I am not a registered member of this site (if such registration is required) and only signed-in for this blog. I say this becasue there are other features that I sorely miss and would like to have been able to use including high-lighting, colours, larger fonts and styles and of course smileys. Though from some of the posts I am getting, I might need a whole range of frowns, growls and snarls etc.

    Regards

  348. Alan French

    Rory,

    Point taken.

    I also use Mozilla Firefox. If you don’t have a tool bar across the top (File/Edit/View/History/Tools/Help, unless you customized it), hit F11 to get out of Full Screen mode. Under “Edit” you will see “Find.” Click on “Find” and you’ll get a box at the bottom of your page to enter the search word into.

    This is also available in IE. I find it very handy, and use it a lot.

    Clear skies, Alan

  349. kuhnigget

    “Read my post and rebbutal to kuhnigget of his false accusations: December 1st, 2008 at 3:38 am”

    Your “rebuttal” consisted of…what, exactly? You claimed you didn’t do something. Twice now I’ve shown you where you did. It doesn’t matter if you can’t search text with your web browser. Scroll up to the post in question!

    Oh, wait, never mind, I’ll do it for you!

    While in Washington attending the NARB Conference, two books were released, one titled “Behind the Flying Saucers” by Frank Scully, and the other “The Flying Saucers are Real” by Donald Keyhoe. Both books deal mostly with the sightings of unidentified objects and both books claim that flying object were of extra-terrestrial origin and might well be space ships from another planet.

    There it is again for you. Your pointless quote from a UFO website includes reference to a work of fiction being mistaken for a work of fact.

    And the fact that you continue to hide from that mistake by claiming your web browser won’t allow you to search is truly pathetic.

    And to think, I was just about to let you in on the conspiracy…. oh well.

  350. Joker

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 2:57 pm
    # kuhnigget Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 11:35 am

    < >

    What 50 year old “story” did I dredge up that you are referring to? Story understood to be a tale, account, or a narative. Perhaps you can be a little more explicit in order for me to respond!”

    Would that be Adamski whose UFO-Flying Saucers came from Venus then? ;-)

    It all brings to mind a certain quote about hoping we find intelligent life in space coz there’s stuff-all down here on Earth!

    Oh & if you can garner up comprehension past the typos in my firsts post on this topic :

    The properties of pink and being invisible are incompatible evn for a unicorn.

    That was my point -such as it twas.

  351. Joker

    kuhnigget Says:
    @ Joker:

    “Haven’t we all been thro’ this B4?” (Moi.)

    Of course we have, and the experience will repeat itself again and again. Despite the overwhelming simplicity of the issue (Evidence! Where is the evidence!), the UFO nutters will continue to trot out their tired old conspiracies and their deflated weather balloons, their “thousands of eyewitnesses” (millions of kids have “heard” Santa Claus, too, so?), their arguments from authority – the likes of Ed Mitchell and, now, J. Edgar Hoover!!! – and in the end, still no credible, verifiable evidence! This, despite the earthshaking nature of the events in question.”

    Yep, Iget thatimpression, why I’n still posting on this is .. well okay *not* much of a mystery to me. I’m drunk & bored and polite enough to reply to someone polite enough to reply to me. See I ain’t * always * rude!

    Suggestion BA :

    Next time you feel tempted to post on the UFO = aliens “issue” why not just cut & paste the last thread on that matter (say this one) complete with the the comments & save everyone the time! ;-)

  352. kuhnigget

    @ Joker:

    To quote another Python: I can’t understand a word you are saying! :)

    Now please, don’t bug me…I’m waiting for a UFO nut to fess up to the fact he confuses fiction with fact….

  353. Joker

    Take III – becoz it’d be nice tofinally, finally get this down correctly w/o typos! :


    The properties of pink and being invisible are mutually incompatible even for a unicorn.

    Is that typos free sentence now? Finally, at last? Even in my state of drunken exhaustion? YEEEEEAHHH!!!!! ;-)

    PS. Don’t tell me I mispelt ‘incompatible’ or something. I don’t want to know. ;-)

    That was my point -such as it twas.

  354. kuhnigget

    Gotcha. Unicorns. Pink. Invisible. Doesn’t work. Check!

    Step out of the vehicle, sir….

  355. Alan French

    There are sometimes claims that UFOs left physical evidence. Often it is something like this, “There were a few organic materials they couldn’t identify,” which I’ve taken from one account of the Lonnie Zampra/Socorro case. (See http://www.ufocasebook.com/Zamora.html)

    I suspect there is a tendency to make far more of “unidentified organic materials” than is deserved. A good friend of mine is a retired spectroscopist, and he spent most of his working career identifying organic compounds, often trying to identify contaminants. I asked him how often he found things he couldn’t identify. He said there are always organic materials present that can not be identified.

    I also asked if he would find any unidentified compounds in samples taken from randomly selected soil. He said that there are simply so many organic compounds around, that there will always be things that can’t be identified. Adding you could devote a month to a single sample, and still have unknowns.

    It was also interesting to notice how the web page referenced above revised and embellished Lonnie Zomara’s original Bluebook account.

    Clear skies, Alan

  356. phil wright

    hi ivan3man,
    i agree that the 2 video on youtube is a number ‘2’ or letter ‘s’.thats why it is called the ‘2’ video.i do not understand why you are trying to misrepresent this.if you read my description on that youtube ‘2’ video,then you will see that i make it clear that i think it is a metallic balloon.the spinning cylinders is by far the most unusual video on my youtube account.it does not have any specular reflections,does not look in any way metallic,and is changing shape ,and size the whole time.

    cheers,phil

  357. phil wright

    TO BE CLEAR TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO DISTORT THE FACTS ABOUT MY YOUTUBE VIDEOS ON youtube channel ‘phil2466′

    THE ‘2’ VIDEO IS THERE AS AN EXAMPLE OF AN IFO – METALLIC BALLOON
    THE ‘SPINNING CYLINDERS’ VIDEO IS WHAT I CONSIDER TO BE HIGHLY UNUSUAL.
    THE ‘LIT UFO’ MAY BE A BALLOON,BUT THE WAY THE LIGHTS/REFLECTION MOVE SEEMS A BIT ODD
    THE ‘SPINNING UFO’ DOES LOOK LIKE A ‘CLASSIC’ METALLIC DISC
    THE ‘SWIRLING UFO/PLASMA’ MAY BE ATMOSPHERIC PLASMA OR A UFO;IT IS DEFINITELY NOT AN ASTRONOMICAL BODY

    I HOPE THIS CLEARS UP ANY CONFUSION.

    cheers phil!

  358. Alan French

    Phil,

    From viewing your videos, it seems obvious that any of them could easily be a mylar balloon. Given the variations in movement, tumbling, and sunlight reflecting brightly off varying parts, combined the limited resolution in the images, it is easy to imagine the could all be explained this way. There are certainly no features that imply otherwise.

    Clear skies, Alan

  359. kuhnigget

    Phil:

    Honestly, every one of your videos looks perfectly identifiable to me. For the most part they are clearly mylar balloons. The “lit UFO” is a number 6 balloon, easily found on several websites selling birthday balloons. The “spinning UFO” is a simple lozenge shaped balloon wobbling, not spinning. The “swirling UFO/plasma” looks rather like a star (or distant balloon, even) photographed at extreme magnification with bad seeing. It’s not shape-shifting…it’s just being refracted by the atmosphere.

    I’m not trying to denigrate you. I think it’s quite interesting the way you’ve photographed these objects. But I think they quite quickly fall out of the “unidentifed” category.

  360. Alan French

    “Behind the Flying Saucers” by Frank Scully doesn’t sound like a good source to offer either…

    http://www.physics.smu.edu/pseudo/UFOs/Scully/

    Clear skies, Alan

  361. Rory

    # kuhnigget Says:
    December 1st, 2008 at 8:19 am

    “Read my post and rebbutal to kuhnigget of his false accusations: December 1st, 2008 at 3:38 am”

    <>

    I have to presume that when you wrote this, that you had not in fact read my post to you of
    December 1st, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Because if you did, this is a pathertic attempt for an answer. However, if you have not, I will await your reply a little longer and hope to see how you may try to refute the points that I made – especially numbered to make it easy for you! Obviously being schooled in the logic that you imagine you psosess, you will no doubt carryout your attempt at refutal in a sequential manner – point for point. I really look forward to seeing this i.e. your own interpretation and application of logic in action! You may imagine that you have a critical mind, but if you have, it appears unfortunately to be of the inferior narrow type. Of course if you can now apply it to your own post and claims and answer in a logical / truthful manner, there is still good posibilities for you. If you cannot do this exercise, it will just prove that you can only apply your critical faculty to other people’s views, opinions , beliefs and weaknesses – ignoring your own and you will therefore remain stuck at that level. That is, until you learn to broaden and open your mind some more. You will still retain your sceptical approach which is good, but with a much more enhanced ability to apply it with understanding, knowledge and who knows – maybe love. Now kuhnigget, wouldn’t that make our communications easier and possibly far more productive! I think so. Just remember, it was not I that attacked you, hurling insults, false claims and name-calling – all that abuse originated with you and came from you.

    Now, the nasty cop! If however, you have not the courtesy to answer my rebuttal, or the balls to admit that you were outright ignorant and wrong in your attitude, verbal attack, insults and accusations you leave me no option but to do the following. I will myself send copies of our communications to Dr. Phil Plait and ask his opinion concerning what you posted, my reponses and the genearal aggressiveness and insulting tone of your posts. From my own experience with you, you definitely are not a positive advertisment for what he hoped to be turning- out, I would imagine- but as always, I could be wrong! I do wish that this were not the case and that I did not need to be defending myself in this way, but you have left me little alternative.

    Part 2 will soon be going to Press. To be ontinued…….

  362. kuhnigget

    Alan, this is typical of the novice UFO nut. They glom onto all sorts of silliness, picked randomly from various websites, then toss it up as if it represents an unimpeachable argument. Unfortunately, they seem to have difficulty judging the worthiness of any of it. I guess they assume that scientific validity is judged by the quantity of words in their posts.

    I dunno, the sad thing is, if the same level of passion and interest were focused on real scientific investigation instead of just reguritating the same old crap, who knows? They might contribute something interesting.

  363. Rory

    Continued from my previous post:-

    kuhnigget Says:

    You wrote:

    <>

    Please show (copy post) where I tried to hide from anything – particularly your refuted claims, by claiming that it was because my web browser would not allow me to search for same?

    You have not alone now made this claim but added:-

    <>

    Please show and prove that this is a “fact” and not something else that you thought or mistakenly imagined or have just made up. Your credibilty is now further at stake, and is going downhill fast, particularly if once again you fail to provide the required proof or to backup what you claim is a FACT! A fact I presume you know is something that is true! I know I may be jumping the gun before you even reply, but I can’t help but remind you that I previously remarked that given enough rope you would hang yourself. You are doing an excellent job of this thus far and are already choking. Metaphorically speaking of course, as I would not wish the real thing on my worst enemy.

  364. Alan French

    # kuhnigget Says:
    December 1st, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    >> Alan, this is typical of the novice UFO nut. They glom onto all sorts of silliness, picked randomly from various websites, then toss it up as if it represents an unimpeachable argument. Unfortunately, they seem to have difficulty judging the worthiness of any of it. I guess they assume that scientific validity is judged by the quantity of words in their posts.

    I dunno, the sad thing is, if the same level of passion and interest were focused on real scientific investigation instead of just reguritating the same old crap, who knows? They might contribute something interesting. <<

    Exactly.

    I wondered today, if such beliefs are attractive because it is an easy way to appear an "expert" to some, and any easy way to get attention. You have to work hard to become a physicist or an astronomer, and you have to master difficult subjects. Expounding on the reality of UFOs (or many other "fringe" beliefs) doesn't require hard work or any particular educational background.

    Clear skies, Alan

  365. kuhnigget

    Okay, Rory, I’ll play.

    1. Evidently I posted what you refer to.

    Thank you!

    However, in no way was I making any argument concerning this writer or his books, nor suggesing that anything written by him was either true or false – I have never read any of his books.

    Odd, in that you are offering it up as evidence for the veracity of a secret government cover-up.

    2. Now if I was trying to pass on fiction for fact, I would hardly be saying that I do not know if the secrecy classification was true – would I?

    You didn’t say that. You only said it was purportedly written in 1950. You made no statement to indicate you thought it was false.

    3. Nor would I be suggesting that he go himself to the site to verify what it was that I described as “purportedly” written in 1950 – would I?

    If you cannot tell the difference between a work of fiction and fact, you might tell him to go visit a site chronicling the voyages of Santa Claus, for all I know.

    At the end of that fairly lenghty post to Greg I added:-
    [”I have just found an actual transcript of the 1950 memo which is easier to read than the original (hoping it is an authentic reproduction and accurate) and will copy it in my next post.”]

    Again, since you apparently didn’t realize the original source was fiction, does it matter which copy you link to is “easier to read”?

    4. If I had been trying to pass on fiction as fact, I would not have inclued in that comment: (hoping it is an authentic reproduction and accurate). Would I?

    See comment above. You obviously didn’t know the source was fiction to begin with.

    < >
    Why would you tell me not to use a book of fiction when as far as I am aware I have not yet done so – in any of my many posts.: And why on earth would I do this this to undermine what I might be saying anyway!

    See, you just did my work for me! In my very first response to your post, I noted that Keyhoe’s work — quoted in your post – was fiction.

    Note that you didn’t respond to that. You didn’t say, “Oh, I didn’t know that!” or “Thanks for telling me that book was fiction!” No, what you did was what every UFO disciple does. You play the role of wounded martyr, insulted by the evil skeptics, and then go off on a tantrum because your copious volumes of documentation have not swayed anyone.

    Please, child, run and tell Dr. Plait how poorly I’ve been treating you. I’m sure he’ll be delighted to take disiplinary action against me.

  366. Rory

    kuhnigget Wrote::

    <>

    <>

    So, now let us get back to Donal Kehoe and your other claims. This is of lessor importance to me as I did not claim one way or the other whether his book was fact or fiction. You however, on the other hand, have wastefully made a huge deal of this, claiming numerous times that what he actually wrote was written as a book of fiction. So, we should now checkout this claim (as your other claims were wrong / unsubstantiated, therefore whatever you shout and scream has to be double- checked due to your growing credibility problem !!!

    First off it must be said that your personal opinion ot the book (or mine for that matter) and anything that you might think of or about it, is of no consequence to this little investigation – understood! Good!

    You claim that is was a book of fiction and actually go further by stating:-

    <>

    I have to believe that you must have good reliable proof / evidence to backup your assertion and if it turns out to be more credible than any counter argument – fair enough!

    Now as I said in an earlier post I had not read his book, but your recent incorrect claims, moved me to checkout some information on the man and his book. Now, I fully accept that part of what I have discovered represent personal opinions, but on other hand, parts are not. However, there is a strong case to be made that suggests that you are wrong. So, this is why I would ask you to produce the overwhelming evidence that you posess and that you must have based your claims on.

    In the meantime, this is some of what I found. Of course I cannot reproduce everything here because of it’s size but I will still have to copy quite a lot. I would suggest that you read fully the Wikipedia page on the man, his accomplishments and his work in the UFO field – particular;y in connection with the book that you referred to. I will copy some parts that I feel are of interest.

    Disclaimer:- Once again and because I do not want the jump-in knee-jerk knockers claiming foul and wrongly making more unsubstantiated claims about what I am now going to reproduce. I make no claims in this reproduction one way or the other. I am endeavouring to ascertain whether this book was written as a fictional book as claimed by kuhnigget or was it written as a factual one. It has nothing to do with what anyone thinks of the contents therein – myself included. It is solely an exercise in discovering whether it was written as a work of fiction or not – in so far as that is possible to ascertain. Clear! (Well, we’ll soon see)

    The following is some of what I found:-

    Donald Keyhoe
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Donald Edward Keyhoe (June 20, 1897 – November 29, 1988) was an American Marine Corps officer with some flight experience, writer of many aviation articles and stories in a variety of leading publications, and manager of the promotional tours of aviation pioneers, especially of Charles Lindbergh.

    In the 1950s he became well-known as an engaged, knowledgeable UFO researcher, arguing that the U.S. government should conduct appropriate research in UFO matters, and should release all their UFO files. Jerome Clark[1] writes that “Keyhoe was widely regarded as the leader in the field” of ufology in the 1950s and early-to-mid 1960s……………………

    ………………..Many of Keyhoe’s stories for the pulps were science fiction or weird fantasy, or contained a significant measure of these elements –- a fact that was not lost on later critics of his UFO books.[2]

    ….Following Kenneth Arnold’s report of odd, fast-moving aerial objects in the summer of 1947, interest in “flying disks” and “flying saucers” was widespread, and Keyhoe followed the subject with some interest, though he was initially skeptical of any extraordinary answer to the UFO question. For some time, True (a popular American men’s magazine) had been inquiring of officials as to the flying saucer question, with little to show for their efforts. In about May 1949, after the Air Force had released contradictory information about the saucers, editor Ken Purdy turned to Keyhoe, who had written for the magazine, but who also, importantly, had many friends and contacts in the military and the Pentagon.

    After some investigation, Keyhoe became convinced that the flying saucers were real. As their forms, flight maneuvers, speeds and light technology was apparently far ahead of any nation’s developments, Keyhoe became convinced that they must be the products of unearthly intelligences, and that the U.S. government was trying to suppress the whole truth about the subject. This conclusion was based especially on the response Keyhoe found when he quizzed various officials about flying saucers. He was told there was nothing to the subject, yet was simultaneously denied access to saucer-related documents.

    Keyhoe’s article “Flying Saucers Are Real” appeared in the January, 1950 issue of True (published December 26, 1949) and caused a sensation. Though such figures are always difficult to verify, Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, the first head of Project Blue Book, reported that “It is rumored among magazine publishers that Don Keyhoe’s article in True was one of the most widely read and widely discussed magazine articles in history.”

    Capitalizing on the interest, Keyhoe expanded the article into a book, The Flying Saucers Are Real, (1950), which would sell over half a million copies in paperback. He argued that the Air Force knew that flying saucers were extraterrestrial, but downplayed the reports to avoid public panic. In Keyhoe’s view, the aliens — wherever their origins or intentions — did not seem hostile, and had likely been surveiling the earth for two hundred years or more, though Keyhoe wrote that their “observation suddenly increased in 1947, following the series of A-bomb explosions in 1945.” Dr. Michael D. Swords characterized the book as “a rather sensational but accurate account of the matter.” (Swords, p. 100)
    Keyhoe wrote several more books about UFOs. Flying Saucers From Outer Space (1953) is perhaps the most impressive, being largely based on interviews and official reports vetted by the Air Force. The book included a blurb by Albert M. Chop, the Air Force’s press secretary in the Pentagon, who characterized Keyhoe as a “responsible, accurate reporter” and further expressed guarded approval for Keyhoe’s arguments in favor of the extraterrestrial hypothesis. Such endorsements only cemented the belief, held by some observers, that the Air Force’s mixed messages about UFOs were due to a cover up.

    Carl Jung argued that Keyhoe’s first two books were “based on official material and studiously avoid the wild speculations, naivete or prejudice of other [UFO] publications.” (Jung, xiii)

    Others have disagreed with Keyhoe’s assessments. In his 1956 book, Edward J. Ruppelt wrote, “the Air Force wasn’t trying to cover up”, and declared that “The problem was tackled with organized confusion”…………………………………..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Keyhoe

    http://www.hallrichard.com/keyhoe.htm

    This review is from: The Flying Saucers Are Real (Paperback)
    This book is not fiction. The author researches REAL facts and sightings, and concludes that the saucers are interplanetary. Donald Keyhoe made a serious recearch, from an “inside” perspective , having some access to original military files. Before he started the research, he would not believe in the “visitors from space” answer. But checking thoroughly every other possible answer, he saw that they didn’t fit in the sightings and the reports.

    This review is from: The Flying Saucers Are Real (Paperback)
    In the realm of UFOlogy, this book was not only one of the first, but also one of the best reports ever written on the subject. I first read it in the early 1950’s, and believe me, it is perhaps the one book that fueled my interest not only in UFO’s but in all forms of Fortean Phenonema, both past and present for the last fifty-three years. No fadism in the pages of this excellent tome – just cold, hard, and well researched facts about a subject that is now more popular than when this book was first published in 1950.

    By Commander Adama (USA) – See all my reviews
    Donald Keyhoe (1897-1988) is one of the most prominent figures in the early history and development of the UFO phenomenon in the United States. A reporter by trade, Keyhoe traveled with famed aviator Charles Lindbergh after he returned to the USA from his historic 1927 flight across the Atlantic; he wrote a bestselling book about his travels with Lindbergh. He also served in the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of Major. In 1949, in the wake of the first widely-publicized UFO sightings and incidents in the USA, “True” magazine hired Keyhoe to write an article about the UFO mystery. After talking with his extensive contacts in the U.S. government and military gained from his years as a reporter and military officer, Keyhoe came to the conclusion that the UFO phenomenon was real, that the “flying saucers” were alien spaceships exploring the Earth, and that the U.S. government knew this and were covering up the true story to prevent panic. In January 1950 “True” published Keyhoe’s article. Entitled “The Flying Saucers Are Real”, it created a media sensation. UFO historian Curtis Peebles described the article as one of “the most widely read and discussed magazine articles up to that time.” The fact that someone of Keyhoe’s credibility and government contacts had published such an article gave the UFO phenomenon credibility in the minds of many people. In June 1950 Keyhoe expanded the article into a book. Also entitled “The Flying Saucers Are Real”, the book sold over 500,000 copies and helped to establish many of the ideas and beliefs of the modern UFO phenomenon. Among the ideas Keyhoe helped develop were the notion that UFOs were spacecraft from an advanced alien civilization, that the aliens were simply exploring the Earth, and that the U.S. government knew this but was covering up the truth. Keyhoe’s insistence that there was a vast government conspiracy regarding UFOs would set a pattern that continues to motivate UFO “belivers” even today. “The Flying Saucers Are Real” would establish Keyhoe as a leading figure in the UFO phenomenon, and over the next two decades he would be frequently interviewed on television and radio. In 1957 he became the leader of NICAP (National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena), the largest and most influential civilian UFO research group of the 1950’s and 60’s. He remained NICAP’s leader until 1969.

    If you are a UFO buff then this book is highly recommended. Keyhoe examines the most prominent UFO cases up to 1950 – the Kenneth Arnold sighting, the Mantell Crash, the Chiles-Whitted UFO sighting – and offers his views on the subject. A number of UFO skeptics, such as Curtis Peebles, have criticized the book for greatly exaggerating the government’s interest in UFOs and the evidence indicating that UFOs were alien spacecraft and not merely hoaxes, misidentifications of natural phenomena, etc. However, given the book’s importance in the history of UFOs in the United States, it is still well worth reading even today. Recommended!

    CyberRead – Flying Saucers Are Real! A Marine Officer’s Personal …
    By Keyhoe. Major Donald E. Flying Saucers Are Real! … Categories: Non-Fiction. ISBN : ISBN 1-58873-337-8 … Helpful Customer Reviews …

    http://www.theblackvault.com/wiki/index.php/Donald_Keyhoe

    Description
    The First–and Still the Best–Flying Saucer Book! When hardheaded Donald E. Keyhoe, a journalist and former Marine pilot, who served for a number of years as chief information officer for the Aeronautics division of the U.S. Commerce Department, began his own investigation of the flying saucer phenomenon, shortly after its beginnings in the late 1940s, most people expected a whitewash. Instead, what he learned turned Major Keyhoe into one of the most vocal spokespeople for the existence of UFOs and their extraterrestrial origins. Now you can evaluate the evidence that convinced Major Keyhoe–and decide for yourself. Here are interviews with pilots and civilians who saw UFOs, as well as government experts, and extracts from the key government documents. Whether you believe in flying saucers–or don’t–this is the one book on the subject you owe it to yourself to read. Discover for yourself why Flying Saucers Are Real has been acclaimed the number one classic on this most fascinating and controversial of subjects. “Authentic and persuasive.” True magazine.
    http://www.ereader.com/servlet/mw?t=book&bi=28519&si=59

    N.B. kuhnigget, The above descriptions would strongly (my opinion) indicate that this book was not written as a work of fiction as you have claimed. I await your proof to show that it was.

  367. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    Perhaps you can stick to the facts at hand, and not let your emotions rule your comments.

    Do you think that there is evidence of aliens visiting earth? That is what I gathered from your arguments, and your lengthly postings of websites and reports.

    8)

  368. @ phil wright

    I now acknowledge the fact that you had stated in your description of video “2.wmv”, on your YouTube channel “phil2466″, that the object in question is a “probable inflatable ‘2’. highly reflective material” — previously, I had neglected to read your description. However, as kuhnigget stated: “the ‘lit UFO’ [0001.wmv on “phil2466″] is a number 6 balloon”. If you pause that video at about 0:08, you can see that it is a “6” or a “9” shaped Mylar foil balloon.

    As for your “spinning cylinders”, “spinning UFO”, and “swirling UFO/plasma” videos, I’m not impressed. It is nothing more than the distant object in question being distorted by atmospheric heat-haze — a mirage (click on my name for the Wikipedia article).

  369. kuhnigget

    @ Rory:

    My humble apologies, both to you and to Wikipedia, to whom I bow down in miserable shame.

    I shall herewith reorder my library shelves and move Major Keyhoe’s work (which I own, and have read) to the non-fiction section, separating it from his other pulp fiction works by a large expanse of neutral ground…perhaps my complete run of Weird Tales (oh, wait…there’s a story by (then) Mr. Keyhoe in several of those, too. Dear me, they’ll have to be moved, too.) Or maybe that beat up old copy of Flying Aces (oh, wait…that’s the one with Keyhoe’s short story, “The Midnight Ace”…you know, the one with the mysterious “white pygmy” character whose appearance and flying exploits closely match the aliens from Keyhoe’s later UFO mythology….oh, dear oh dear….)

    Ah well, perhaps I’ll just call it a night and leave Major Keyhoe’s book where it sits.

    Again, Rory, my humble apologies. Do continue your methodical research. It’s ever so enlightening.

  370. Alan French

    Project Gutenberg has made “Flying Saucers are Real” available on-line for download. It certainly has an important place in the history of UFOs. Alas, the early paperback version with the colorful cover illustration I owned as a youngster is long gone.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5883

    Of course, the problem with old reports is that we can do usually little more than speculate about their veracity. I read “Flying Saucers are Real,” and most of the early books about UFOs. They eventually had me scratching my head thinking “where is the real evidence?” It wasn’t skeptics – I don’t think there were any skeptical books back then – who convinced me there was no real substance to the evidence, it was the people claiming they were real.

    Clear skies, Alan

  371. kuhnigget

    @ Alan:

    It certainly has an important place in the history of UFOs.

    Indeed. It helped to create a lot of that history. Anyone interested in researching pop culture (um…anyone?) can dig up some fascinating stuff. There really is a correlation between pulp fiction, the covers of pulp magazines, and movies, with the public concept of alien spaceships and what have now become the accepted tropes of the whole UFO/flying saucer lexicon.

    Oh, and that little Keyhoe paperback with the saucer on the cover is worth about 75 bucks. Unfortunately, mine was rather well handled as a kid, and I used to trace the spaceship on the cover to make comic books. I never was very good at investments….

  372. phil wright

    for alan french,

    coming soon:the venus video!

    hi alan,i’ve calmed down .managed to finish work(i’m an electroplater)early today and the sky was actually clear for once.shot about 150 frames of venus with my 400mm +teleconverter (“don’t be afraid to use that zoom”),for a focal length of around560-580mm.took the teleconverter off,and managed to get venus and jupiter in the same frame.will post on youtube as soon as poss.

    cheers,phil

  373. phil wright

    hi ivan3man,
    i ‘ve got no problem at all with your opinion.since all my youtube vids are actually made up of still frames from a high resolution canon digital slr,these individual images do look 100 times better than the compressed youtube movies! anyways,i guess being a ufo witness/’believer’,amongst many hardened skeptics on this blog means i haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of changing anyone’s mind!never mind,i will keep trying

    take care,phil(uk)

  374. Alan French

    kuhnigget Says, in part:
    December 2nd, 2008 at 9:11 am

    @ Alan:

    Oh, and that little Keyhoe paperback with the saucer on the cover is worth about 75 bucks.

    This was it…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=1543614

    It was apparently something my dad had bought, as I found it in a box of books and magazines in the basement. There was one other UFO book, but I don’t recall the name. It had a similar cover.

    Clear skies, Alan

  375. Howdy. I just made a minor cosmetic edit to the previous comment — an unclosed link tag was apparently interfering with subsequent comments.

    Resume discussion!

  376. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 1st, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    @Rory,

    <>

    If you are referring to my rebuttals of kuhnigget’s lies, dishonesty, name-calling, ignorance and obvious lack of any ability to think clearly / intelligently prior to making such unwarranted personal attacks: I am not in any way letting my emotions rule my comments. If you were referring to this – you should try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes that is the target of the abuse!

    The question of my emotions ruling my comments (if this again is what you referred to) should be more than clear from my responses to him and the rebuttal of every single false claim he made!

    He, along with a few others that jumped-in to support his false claims and do their own bit of moronic bashing represent the narrow-minded ignorant people that I had previously described. It is good (though unpleasant at the time) to draw these imbeciles out in the open for everyone to see them in action. Unfortunately for some others here that are endeavouring to discuss this topic in an open / reasonable way (partcularly those more open-minded disbelievers), these ignorant imbeciles bring this side into disrepute. Being open-minded and sceptical is great and the way I feel that people should be. However, being narrow-minded, funnel-visioned and fanatical into the bargain as these particular knockers are – is just pathetic! They attempt through their own ignorance and uncouth behaviour to silence those that question or oppose their fixed-beliefs. They normally try to do this through derogatory / insulting remarks; name-calling; ridiculing; bashing; lieing / making false claims; ganging-up; bullying; ignoring, dismissing or trying to belittle their opponent’s reasoned points and arguments; shouting etc. etc. etc. They, in their deluded minds, imagine that if they do this and silence someone, that they have proved something! When the truth really is, that they have only proved that they are imature, narrow-minded and unintelligent. In fact, they probably do not realise that the only ones that they are fooling is themselves and making idiots out of themselves into the bargain. Sadly, most of them do not know that this is the case and may never realise it because they actually “believe” that they are right and all others that disagree with them are and have to be wrong. On top of all of this, they usually know little about that (subject) which they so fanatically support.

    These type of people (ignorant bullies – whatever) need I believe to be faced-up to, uncovered and for everyone to see and to know that their behaviour is wrong and unacceptable. It would be nice to see the more open-minded educated thinkers whose views, opinions or beliefs these people support – having the courage to speak-out and reprimand them for the way in which they behave. Sadly here, this is not the case. Why do you think this is not done here as it is on other serious discussion sites? Is it because secretly some others may be quite happy to see their own adversaries being attacked in this way, or is it because they are afraid of becoming the focus of some backlash from their own community! These people should not be allowed to get away with what they try to do. Their more reasonable peers should be able to influence their behaviour and make sure that this does not happen particularly when it is obvious and the facts are proven and therefore known.

    This, besides the personal element involved, explains my posts to kuhnigget. He and people like him should be banned from the discussions where they attempt to or actually do this.

    Now Greg, if the above was not “the facts at hand” that you were referring to – it has anyway allowed me the opportunity to express my contempt for such self-restricting people. So I thank you!

    I hope to address your question in my next post to you.

    “Do you think that there is evidence of aliens visiting earth? That is what I gathered from your arguments, and your lengthly postings of websites and reports.”

  377. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    Why is it OK for you to call people names and make personal attacks, but its not OK for them to do the same to you?

    8)

  378. Alan French

    # Amos Kenigsberg (Discover Web Editor) Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 11:20 am

    >> Howdy. I just made a minor cosmetic edit to the previous comment — an unclosed link tag was apparently interfering with subsequent comments.

    Resume discussion! <<

    Amos,

    Don't know what I did, but would like to know how to avoid causing such problems in the future.

    Thanks.

    Clear skies, Alan

  379. kuhnigget

    @ Amos:

    Resume discussion!

    Or what passes for one? :)

    –kuhnigget…ignorant bullier of UFO nuts since 1983

  380. Amos Kenigsberg (Discover Web Editor)

    Hey, Alan. I *think* that the little brackety thingers in your comment kept that link to the Wikipedia article open beyond the end of the comment and through the rest of the page. I took out the brackets and it was all fixed.

    A little WordPress quirk, I guess.

  381. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    @Rory,

    <>

    First of all I have not instigated any pesonal attacks. I was polite and refrained from doing so when kuhnigget attacked me, called me names, repeatelyd making his false claims in numerous posts. What I have done is described his and some other’s behaviour. If you doubt me and wish to contest or debate my observations, I will be more than happy to do so and able I expect, to furnish you with citations as evidence.

    If someone is aggressive and seen to be so: a bully and seen to be so; a narrow-minded person and seen to so; if someone repeatedly tells lies and it is proved to be so etc, etc. then one is justified in describing such people as such when it is necessary to do so. I am sure that when you hear the words lager lout, drunk, bully etc., and have witnessed their actions and behaviour, that you fully understand why people might apply such a description to them. More than likely, you also do, or have done so yourself! Is this not true!

    I responded to kuhnigget’s accusations with the following:-

    “Have you any evidence so far from my posts that I have done this i.e. confused fiction with fact?”

    His opening reply to this was:-

    [Okay, now you’ve exposed yourself as a complete moron.]

    Now tell me who actually turned out to be the complete moron (his words) in this exchange? Who lied, who was aggressive, who was insulting / abusive and who resorted to name-calling? Who exchanged posts with others obviously similar to himself reiterating the lieing claims and insults? Who was completely wrong in both what was claimed and the diatribe that attended these claims??? I could imagine that someone else in the circumstances might have acted completely diiferently and just got into a slanging match with no proper outcome one way or the other. Believe me, if he had proved that I had intentionally done as he said having provided the evidence and supported his other claims as well (which he could not do because they were all untruea), I would not have had anything derogatory to say about him. I would have looked at the evidence which should have been obvious (or why logically would someone make such unfounded charges) and admit that I was wrong. Those members of this community that joined-in or supported him, were certainly not using their thinking / logical minds – were they! Without any doubt they were unable or not capable of applying their would-be sceptical training / understanding that should have ensured that they did not immediately accept his claims to be factual. Is this not correct!

    Strange that you failed to answer the questions that I asked you in my previous post! I will now add a further one (before answering your last still outstanding question regarding UFOs.)

    Why did you not speak-up, when the lies, abuse and name-calling all concerned a post that I had written to you? It had to be evident to you (aside from the unfounded and incorrect claim about a ref. to a book being a work of fiction) that I was certainly not trying ‘to pass fiction as fact’. When I was recommending you to check the veracity of the information etc. and supplying you with the links to do so. Do I recall you saying somewhere that you had read this book – maybe not! Anyway, it was in your power to nip all this in the bud, save me replying and save him making such an idiot of himself. You could have also saved him having to issue an apology that was too late in coming and insincere in it’s wording and content. The final admission of his, had to be dragged out of him piece-meal after necessitating that I had to reseach and supply the proof showing his lies and claims to be false and made-up. What does that say about his observation and ability to know right from wrong! On top of all this he also feared that I would submit the posts to Phil Plait on the matter, leaving it to Phil to judge who was telling the truth or who it was that was lieing etc.

    So, why did you remain silent – your silence on the matter helped to give credence to the lies made – not to mention the name-calling etc.. Why would you have done this?

    If I have said something that is untrue and not evident, I will withdraw the remark/s that is proven to be untrue. Where necessary I will apolgise to those that show / explain to me that the particular remark does not, or should not have been applied to them. Though that would be very strange, as I I have not yet named those others that I was refering to! No doubt they are well aware of their stupid and thoughless association and support of what was being falsely claimed and some, of their additional ridiculing / name-calling into the bargain.

    ———————————————————————————

    Now Greg, for something completely different.
    This discussion is supposed to be related to Phil Plait’s Article – yes!

    Can you tell me if you believe and support everything that Phil wrote in his article? I am not referring to any other previous writings of his – just to the above article.

    Thank you.

  382. @Rory

    I think the point that Greg was trying to make is that you excoriate kuhnigget (and others) for making personal attacks, but then do the same yourself (e.g., using words such as “imbeciles” and “pathetic”). I assume that it is easily within your power to respond in a respectful manner and avoid such words. So, rather than go on at great length about how kuhnigget is rude, impolite an “imbecile” and so on, just keep to the topic at hand, answer with facts, and keep the name-calling out of your replies. Just because someone is rude to you does not mean that you need (or should) be rude back. As the old saying goes, “If they jumped off a bridge, would you, too?”

    No need to reply to me. Just trying to offer a possible clarification.

  383. Alan French

    @Rory

    One of the documents you posted here had quotes supporting the view that UFOs are alien spacecraft. In a court of law, lawyers are careful who they call as witnesses. When people want to get testimony in support of a particular idea, the same care is desirable. Your list contains quotes from people who do not seem good witnesses.

    One example is Edgar Mitchell. He is a trained scientist, but being a scientist does not confer infallibility or make one immune to believing in things that have no basis in reality. Mitchell believes in ESP, yet, in spite of decades of study, there is no scientific evidence for ESP. He’s invoked “quantum mechanics” as an explanation for ESP, a strange and totally unscientific leap. He also apparently believes Uri Geller can really bend spoons with his mind, in spite of Geller’s failure to demonstrate such an ability under properly controlled tests. So why should we believe Mitchell has better judgment regarding alien spacecraft?

    Clear skies, Alan

  384. Rory

    <>

    If you are referring to scientifically provable evidence, the obvious and short anwer to your question is no! There is no hard evidence available at the moment that can prove this.

    <>

    I very much doubt this to be the case. Why? Because it is not the first time that you have tried to suggest this to me (as if I had done so) and to others as well. The following are some of the more obvious reasons why you should not need to ask this. It also questions how much attention you are paying / applying to previous posters answers / statements made that have clearly explained their position on the matter . It makes one wonder Greg whether you are serious in your discussions and paying proper attention to the replies that you receive on this very question and not actually just single-mindedly concentrating on getting your own point of view across on what you believe regardless.

    So, for what it’s worth have a re-read and you cannot fail to understand :-

    See my reply / post to Plil Plait where I went through his article point by point:-
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Where I wrote –

    [However, I do agree that more concrete proof is required to turn disbelivers and the many of us that are just keeping an open-mind on the so-far unexplained phenomena, into true believers]

    Rory to Greg:-
    November 26th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    [I have an open mind regarding UFOs and whether they originate outside this planet, but I am certainly very curious as to their origin. And Yes, I am referring to the cases that cannot be explained or discarded by any normal scientific or natural means. Having said that, I would be more swayed towards the argument / possibilty that they represent some strange phenomena either earthly but yet undiscovered, alien, extra dimensional or from the future. Maybe that puts me into an even worse category as far as you are concerned.]

    Greg in Austin Says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    “On the contrary, as weird as it seems, I am not opposed to the possibility of time or inter-dimensional travel. I not really opposed to the possibility that aliens are visiting Earth right now. But my question would still be the same: Where is the evidence? ”

    Rory Considine to Greg:
    November 28th, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    [Of course there is not verifiable proof. That is obvious, as most sightings, photos etc are also not sufficient proof to explain whatever this phenomena is. My point is and always has been – that there are Sightings (many very strange ones) throughout the world that defy rational explanation and remain unexplained by any current means at our disposal. Of course there has to be some explanation for what these sightings are / represent and in time I am sure that a satisfactory explanation for them all will emerge – whatever it is and I will not prejudge that.]

    [Some of these same renowned Astronomers themselves believe (not proof of course) that these “intelligent) flying objects they witnessed are not of this world! Their deductions, not mine. Where they are from or what they are is really anybodys guess. At least until we have the evidence to say exactly what they are, or represent.]

    [I have a very open mind on this subject and prefer until I know, to remain in the middle and not at either extreme. On this thread, I have not yet read any post that represents the outright Believers (at any cost), but I have certainly read posts by the knockers and Disbelievers making their claims before the evidence has even been brought to court – not to mention it’s presentation or a willingness to await the Jury’s verdict. It’s more of a lynch mob mentality – they are guilty – hang him!]

    Greg wrote to Robert:
    November 29th, 2008 at 2:31 am

    “Again, there is no doubt that you or I could see something in the sky we cannot identify. THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS ALIENS! I cannot be more clear on this matter.”

    Rory to Greg:

    [Once again – nowhere did I say that it did, but you keep repeating this or mentioning alien spaceraft when the writer would not have said such a thing in the first place! If you have any doubts in the correctness of what I say, read the following post to you from Robert which is on the button]:-

    Robert replies to Greg:
    November 29th, 2008 at 6:26 am

    [Greg you stated, “Please provide your source for this claim, and then please show how any of these reports prove that what they saw was alien technology.” I never said any of the reports by pilots proved they saw an alien technology. I simply said that they saw an object in the sky that they could not identify as any type of known aircraft. I no longer see a point in continuing these discussions with you because you are continuing to distort what I have stated.

    Greg you stated, “Again, there is no doubt that you or I could see something in the sky we cannot identify. THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS ALIENS! I cannot be more clear on this matter.” And I don’t know how many times that I have told you that I’m not stating that seeing UFOs equates to proving aliens exist.

    There is no point in continuing these discussions with you. You are not capable of arguing a point without putting words in the other person’s mouth. You are also discussing a subject which you obviously have not knowledge of. I guess that’s why you have to keep leaping to conclusions and saying that UFOs don’t prove aliens exist, because you have nothing more to say.

    When it comes to facts and evidence, you have little input. You totally ignored the 1976 F-4 example that I provided you. You had nothing to say about the examples that Rory provided you, except to say that UFOs don’t prove aliens exist.

    I would suggest that you take a course in debate or the scientific method. Both help teach how to logically approach and examine an issue in an unbiased fashion.]

    Rory to Greg:
    November 29th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    [Exactly! Yet when anyone makes a post pertaining to UFOs the ones that cannot be explained after investigation, you and one or two others here, keep harping back to “Alien Spacecraft” that had not been mentioned or suggested in the posts in the first place. Most of us are more interested in having the ones that appear to defy explanation – rationally explained. The problem is that none of those that seem so keen on rubbishing / knocking and ridiculing the phenomena and those that draw it to our attention, appear to know anything about the subject (study and investigation results-wise) of the unexplainable sightings that are really the important issue.

    How is it that these people cannot realise that most of us here are not cliaming, saying or even suggesting that all UFOs are “Alien Spacecraft”, nor that all or any of the unexplained ones are. They do without a doubt represent something unknown and that appears to defy at times many of our understood laws of physics etc. As the situation exists (with neither proof to deny or to affirm) and because of their apparent appearance and attributes, they could just as easily be from anywhere.]

    Rory to Greg:
    November 29th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    [How is it that these people cannot realise that most of us here are not claiming, saying or even suggesting that all UFOs are “Alien Spacecraft”, nor that all or any of the unexplained ones are. They do without a doubt represent something unknown and that appears to defy at times many of our understood laws of physics etc. As the situation exists (with neither proof to deny or to affirm) and because of their apparent appearance and attributes, they could just as easily be from anywhere. Particularly when all other logical or currently known and understood explanations have been tried and ruled out.]

    Rory to Greg:
    Rory Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 5:27 pm
    […and though of course it is nigh inpossible to prove anything definite one way or the other, it all left many questions in my mind that I strongly feel definitely need clarification and answering.]

    [Is there not something extraordinary to be investigated and explained – regardless of what it turns out to be!]

  385. Greg in Austin

    Rory said,

    “Why did you not speak-up, when the lies, abuse and name-calling all concerned a post that I had written to you?”

    A) I’m not the blog police,
    B) Kuhniggit can handle himself nicely,
    C) Kuhniggit, Alan, and the rest addressed the issues before I could, and I saw no point in
    D) It is difficult to sort out your questions within pages of ramblings.

    Your comments to me DID support the argument that aliens were real, and you DID make references to people and books who had been debunked years ago. Just say, “oops” and go on.

    Now please, remind me, which question of yours did I not answer?

    8)

  386. Greg in Austin

    C) … and I saw no point in repeating what they had said.

    Rory, you just asked me,

    “Can you tell me if you believe and support everything that Phil wrote in his article?”

    I would prefer to say I agree (rather than believe) with everything Phil wrote, as you can see from most of my posts to this very blog. If you want more specific answers, please ask more specific questions.

    8)

  387. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    You keep repeating that you never said you think UFO’s are alien spacecraft, yet all of your references to books, reports and websites consist almost exclusively of people believe that UFO’s are alien spacecraft. Why would you use them to support your argument if you did not agree with them?

    8)

  388. Greg in Austin

    Rory said,

    “[However, I do agree that more concrete proof is required to turn disbelivers and the many of us that are just keeping an open-mind on the so-far unexplained phenomena, into true believers]”

    For those of you who are “keeping and open-mind” ponder this:

    Please keep posting links to books, articles, photos, videos, and the like that support the hypothesis that reports of Unidentified Flying Objects could be alien spacecrafts. Some of you will realize that over time, each and every one of these reports is either categorized under “Not Enough Data To Reach Any Valid Conclusion One Way Or Another” or completely ripped to shreds by logic and scientific fact. There is so far no data to support the hypothesis that UFOs are of alien origin.

    Some of you won’t be convinced, no matter how much these stories are debunked. That’s fine. Just keep the stories coming, so we can keep exposing them for what they really are. Bunk.

    I don’t know who said, “Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out,” but I really like that quote.

    8)

  389. @Greg

    Tim Minchin has a song about that quote, but he admits he got it from somewhere else.

  390. Alan French

    @Greg

    I found a bumper sticker with something extremely similar (a few more words) attributed to Richard Feynman, but a quick look on some quotation sites didn’t reveal any evidence he actually said it.

    I did find this quote by Feynman, which I really liked…

    “There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.”

    Clear skies, Alan

  391. kuhnigget

    @ Greg:

    “B) Kuhniggit can handle himself nicely

    And frequently does.

    Hey, why is everything going dark?

  392. IVAN3MAN

    I can’t believe this discussion is still going on — 4O3 comments on this thread, already! Gordon Bennett!

    Hey, Amos Kenigsberg. If we had a preview/edit facility here, then the HTML tag error problems could be avoided.

  393. kuhnigget

    @ Ivan:

    Some of us are closet masochists.

    Besides, I’m waiting to see if Rory’s keyboard will explode.

  394. @IVAN3MAN

    403 comments is nothing. Didn’t you read the 1101 comments on the thread that Michael Horn popped in on?

  395. IVAN3MAN

    @ kuhnigget,

    I admire your steadfastness against “woo-woo” nonsense.

    @ Todd W.,

    Yeah, I saw that thread — TL;DR — and it’s the same old rubbish regurgitated by UFO proponents here.

  396. phil wright

    hello,
    here is a quick venus ‘movie’,taken with a 400mm lens + 1.4x telecoverter on dec.2nd @5:12 pm gmt .this was requested by alan french,so that everyone can gain an insight into low elevation atmospheric effects,and optical defects caused by the extreme contrast effects of a very bright object against a dark background sky.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=I41QdTAZRQg
    cheers,phil(uk)

  397. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    @Rory,

    <>

    You got it all wrong again! It is not just that I kept repeating that I think……..The fact which you ignored on a number of ocassions (and not just with me) is that – NOWHERE HAVE I CLAIMED THAT UFOS ARE ALIEN SPACECRAFT. Is this not sufficiently clear for you, or will I necessitate having to repeat it all over again in a few days time!

    <>

    That is also incorrect! Most of my posts concerning this topic have been posted because of the people here that were rubbishing and trying to ridicule the subject without anything to back-up their beliefs: Other than claiming, that there was no scientific evidence to prove that UFOs were alien spacecraft (which no one had actually disagreed with as far as I could see)! They completely failed to consider, accept or to be open to the possibilty that there could be another explanation for some of the unexplained sightings other than what they want, wish or accept as their definite belief. In other words most do not want to even consider that possibility. I, and others no doubt, would think that holding such a belief while denying all others theirs – is narrow-minded, illogical, foolish and wrong! Until such phenomena are explained and understood to everyone’s satisfaction – hopefully scientifically, it is I think, irrational to so arrogantly rule-out the other possibility. Until it is proven or disproven – it must remain a possiblity no matter how small. If one wants to discuss this likelihood based on whatever evidence is available – whether something might be considered true or not , that is a different question and one that has mostly been ignored in this discussion.
    Particularly, when there are reports world-wide on this phenomena, credible witness, evidence and statements / testimonials to support this veiw. These people would include government officials, scientists, military, airforce, CIA, etc. etc. etc. It is irrational to believe that all these people referred to are confused, “nutters”, imagining things, making up stories (many of which corroborate each other), lieing – whatever. Unless of course you want to believe that there is a huge Goverment conspiracy of misinformation / disinformation involved! That of course is also a possibility, but I believe that you would think it unlikely!

    The whole question about UFOs actually does lead one to wonder why the US government has been involved in such a huge cover-up for over half a century and why their refusal to release all the documentation they have on the subject.

    Rational thought – According to the deniers / disbelievers, there is nothing to this phenomena other than mundane explanations. If this is the case and the US government has investigated the subject and declared that these objects, or whatever they are, pose no threat to the nation etc. – noting to fear and nothing to hide – why the big secrecy? Why would they even say that these “mundane” ufos are not a threat to national security -who would believe that they were, if after all what they said was true! Why even use this termonology to explain them away! Were they actually referring to the ones that they had failed to provide any explanation for! Why was this subject reported to have a higher secrecy clearance than the Atom Bomb? Does all this not make you wonder and specultate that there very well be much more to it all than has been admitted! Why the huge cover-up and refusal to open government investigations and documents on the subject to the public for over the past 50 years – what can they be afraid of? Why the denials that they were still studying the phenomena when documents leaked to confirm the opposite! One thing woud seem obvious – they have been lieing and do not want this information to come out – whatever it says or might disclose. So all this makes me wonder, how is it that you ( and some others here) cannot allow yourseves to think that you might be wrong in your unmovable beliefs. Why would you not support and demand that this documentation be released, disclosure made and all the speculaton ended – why? It is mindboggling! Even more strange are the attacks, abuse and ridicule showered on others that think and believe that this should and needs to happen. Talk about the inquisition!

    Can you not see and understand that there are indeed questions that need answering. There are explanations to be given, evidence to be released, studies to be done and disclosure / inquiries made and conducted so that whatever is known or that can explain the phenomena is brought out into the public domain for scrutiny and investigation. Is it wrong to advocate this? Is it wrong to hope for this? Of course it’s not! So why all the hostility here for people who have only being suggesting that this should happen. What’s with the narrow-minded and irrational ridicule and arrogance evident from many of the poster’s here!

    What actually explains their fixed views, behaviour and inability to be open to another possibility that they are unable to disprove themselves! Since when did it become fashionable for intelligent people to ridicule and rubbish a subject that they appear to know so little about. Many, if not most here do not appear to be really interested in studying this subject to understand the reasoning behind the other-sides’s views, opinions and beliefs. This is very sad, particularly when it is observed how they react to them. It is very clear from this thread that most of the deniers and disbelievers that have ‘participated’ (not the correct word in the circumstances) are people with fixed beliefs and are really not at all interested in an intelligent discussion or thinking outside of their own self-imposed limitations.

    As another poster remarked – ” it’s like banging your head against a brick wall”.

    If it is the case that you cannot acknowledge what I am saying here about the type of discussion that has taken place (lack thereof), check back for yourself. I am not saying that there are not some people discussing here that are not open and willing to hear and to discuss views that differ from or that oppose theirs – but they would be the exception to the case.

    Let’s just say that I have so far found (and of course it is only my personal view) this discussion to be a huge disappointment as far as debate, politeness, openess, balance and fairness is concerned. It has been enlightening , but not in the way that I expected it. This opinion has nothing to do with people not sharing my understanding, knowledge, insight, views or beliefs, or mine theirs. It has everything to do with the close-minded, arrogant know-it-all, sometimes ignorant responses that I have seen sent to others and that I myself have received.

  398. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Rory said,

    “Why did you not speak-up, when the lies, abuse and name-calling all concerned a post that I had written to you?”

    <>

    Of course you are not. However, the false claims in question related to posts sent to you and to which you had replied. You knew from the wording of what I had posted that at least part of what he claimed was untrue and therefore you should have spoken up on the matter. Particularly, when you saw the unfairness and abuse accompanying the accusations.

    When there is apparently no one “policing” the Thread, it beholds us all to act as police to try to keep the discussions civil etc. That is of course if one is not one-sided and biased in their application.

    <>

    Well, you obviously are a bad judge of character, as he failed miserably to do this. And what actually might you mean by that? That you liked the rudeness of his posts etc: That he would prove that I had actually tried to pass fiction as fact – when you must have known this was not true, or at least was more than likely untrue! Did you remove your sceptical glasses for the occasion and allow your bias to take over!

    <>

    !!!!!!????? What did they address? Kuhniggit was the culprit, the one making the false claims – so what exactly was it that he addressed?
    Alan joined in accepting that the claims were true – silly – no! So much for critical minds and the application of sceptical thinking in action – not to mention misjudgement.

    <>

    What pages of ramblings are you referring to? If you are referring to the two posts that I had sent you – they were simply copies of two letters that you apparently read, as you replied and referenced them in your repsonse (while obviously ignoring the important ones).

    If you are referring to my posts to Kuhniggit they dealt with his untrue claims very clearly – numbered, point for point. If as always in doubt – check it out for yourself! So what actually are you trying to refer to in saying this, particularly in answer to the questions that I had asked you.

    <>

    This is really hard to believe! Kuhniggit has admitted that he was wrong concerning the book – fine. Not that it mattered one way or the other as they were only a small part of the body of an historic letter that I made no claims about. I only passed it on to hear your views and opinions on what the original writer had said. So what books are you talking about now?

    <>

    It drew your attention that this could be a possibility.

    Of course if aliens exist – they must be real – No!

  399. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    I must have misunderstood the point of all of your posts.Up at the beginning, you said,

    Well, because there are thousands of UFO sightings that have been investigated and no ‘reasonable’ explanation can be found or is available to explain them.

    In other words – unidentified (unknown) flying objects, performing beyond our own technological capabilities and behaving intelligently must logically be considered to possibly be from somewhere else. Now whether that somewhere else is another Planet, another Dimension, or the Future by Time Travel etc is something that no one can say definitely at the moment.

    I would ask those, particularly the Americans on this site what they think of the Disclosure Project?

    Nor do we know what could be realistically possible for some far more advanced civilisation than ours – if there is one! We really are self-limiting thinking and imagination-wise,when we agree to confine ourselves only to what is already known and acceptable and not to what may be possible to achieve in the future.

    I have an open mind regarding UFOs and whether they originate outside this planet, but I am certainly very curious as to their origin. And Yes, I am referring to the cases that cannot be explained or discarded by any normal scientific or natural means.Having said that, I would be more swayed towards the argument / possibilty that they represent some strange phenomena either earthly but yet undiscovered, alien, extra dimensional or from the future.

    Please excuse my ignorance, but you seem to be arguing in favor of UFOs=Aliens. Shall I continue?

  400. Greg in Austin

    (Grr… wasn’t really finished editing that last post…)

    Anywhoo, later in this discussion, Rory, you answered a question by another poster about evidence supporting “unexplained” UFOs. Your answers included reports going back 50 years or more. As I tried to point out, those reports were made by people who were trying to support the idea that UFOs were alien crafts, and none of them had any real physical evidence.

    You even referenced books written by supporters of the UFO=Alien point of view, some of which were actually written by science fiction authors.

    Now, finally, you are arguing that 1) the government MUST be in on some big conspiracy, and 2) you are complaining that anybody that believes UFOs=Aliens is called a crackpot.

    Well, my responses to those items are: 1) There will always be anti-government people, and 2) that door swings both ways.

    8)

  401. kuhnigget

    Ah, the flaming keyboard is alight again! It must be past suppertime in UFOland.

    Kuhniggit has admitted that he was wrong concerning the book – fine.

    Step 1: find dictionary. Step 2: look up “sarcasm”. Step 3: type very long post claiming you know what sarcasm is. Step 4: ignore implied meaning of said sarcasm and subsequent statements that followed, i.e. author of book in question repeated same old tropes from his earlier fiction, just adorned them in the fun new trappings of UFOlogy.

    Not that it mattered one way or the other as they were only a small part of the body of an historic letter that I made no claims about.

    No claims, except to post it as if it were a proof of the Grand Conspiracy™. Hmm… Author A creates fiction in guise of fact. Author B quotes it as if it were fact. Author C quotes author B, for no apparent reason. Conclusion? Author A made money. Author B made a mistake. Author C…uh…er…um….

    Yours in bullitude,

    –kuhnigget

  402. Greg in Austin

    *sigh*

    Rory, this is tiresome. Take a look at your post above:

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    “You see Greg this a problem with you and some others. I have continuously been talking about and referring to the Sightings that cannot so far be explained by any means i.e. where all the normal or obvious explanations are at a loss to be able to explain them.”

    Your very next post was:

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    “While in Washington attending the NARB Conference, two books were released, one titled “Behind the Flying Saucers” by Frank Scully, and the other “The Flying Saucers are Real” by Donald Keyhoe. Both books deal mostly with the sightings of unidentified objects and both books claim that flying object were of extra-terrestrial origin and might well be space ships from another planet.”

    There it is. You referenced Donald Keyhoe’s book to support your argument. A book which kuhnigget accurately informed everyone here was written by a science fiction author, and was not based on scientific fact. The man actually wrote in his book that the UFOs were from Venus.

    So, whether you meant to or not, to me it was clear that you were using this information to support a particular point of view.

    I am sorry that you feel like everyone is ganging up on you, and that you feel like some people here are bullies. You’ll have to grow a thicker skin, and stick to facts if you want anyone in this blog to take you seriously.

    8)

  403. Greg in Austin

    @kuhnigget,

    Not to blow smoke up anywhere, but that was pretty dang funny.

    8)

    hehehe… sarcasm.

  404. Rory

    # Todd W. Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I accept what you say and I fully agree that this is the way that proper debates and discussions should be held.

    However, I do have to say / point out: Rudeness is one thing, making false personal claims and trying to back them up with lies and attempts at character assasination, is a whole different matter. Possible you have a much more appropriate description for these people that are not just being rude – does ignorant, foolish and liar describe them more correctly, especially if not said with rancour!

    May I ask why you addressed me and not the culprits that caused this? Just curious. Have you spoken to them privately perhaps – well, that does not seem to be the case Todd, as they are still at it.

    Should you not be aware of what I speak of, or do not realise what I refer to – have a quick look at the following posts (all of which referred to was / is not true) :-

    kuhnigget Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Torbjörn Larsson, OM Says:
    December 1st, 2008 at 1:26 am
    [Fits the bill of the igrnorant / foolish loud mouths that I have previously described. Jumped-in to accept false claims as fact and resorted to abuse and name-calling]

    Alan French Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 7:55 pm
    [Jumping to wrong conclusions, accepting them – all of which were subsequently proven to be untrue]

    hyperdeath Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 9:43 am
    [side attack]

    Has anyone beisides myself, written to them about their behaviour – No, they have not! The following is not in any way referring to you, or to your post which I fully accept.

    Some of the posters here are like those that condemn the rape victim for her behaviour, or the way she dressed. In other words passing their own misjudgements on to the victim, as if she already did not have enough to deal with. That is aside from how ridiculous and misplaced their views are.

    I think shortly I will opt-out of this discussion (which should make some people very happy), not because of the ignorant / obnoxious types that are so self-obvious (I can well deal with them), but for the other reasons that I have given previously. I will however read the comments from time to time. It will be interesting to see how the like-minded and so cock-sure of themselves members reinforce their own questionable beliefs. That might be very boring – but who knows! Anyway, I won’t drop-out of actively participating – just yet. Can you hear the groans Lol!

    Regards

  405. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    ———————————–
    That was really pathetic!

    Now read the following:-

    Rory Says:
    December 1st, 2008 at 6:52 pm

  406. kuhnigget

    And certainly not because Greg caught you red-handed in your silliness two posts up.

    No, you can retire, safe in knowing that you’ve stated your case grandly and with eloquence — not to mention a curiously evolving attraction to punctuation — and it was only the ignorance of the bullying skeptics that prevented anyone from agreeing with you.

    Well done, sir! Well done!

  407. Greg in Austin

    Rory,

    I think you need to drop the subject of Keyhoe and his book titled Flying Saucers are Real. In that book, Keyhoe claims that the unidentified crafts were from Venus. THE PLANET VENUS! There was absolutely no evidence to support this claim. The book is at best an interesting science fiction story, but has no real scientific value.

    8)

  408. kuhnigget

    Okay, it’s obvious Rory’s entertainment value has tanked, so I would just like to reiterate something Alan and I exchanged up yonder a bit, in-between outbursts. And that is…

    It’s a pity the level of energy and enthusiasm the UFO fans (being nice, now) put into their various “researches” couldn’t be directed toward some real science. Imagine that sort of passion aimed at astronomy or physics, or forensic medicine or any real scientific endeavor, or put to work toward popularizing the same for others. Wouldn’t that be a grander endeavor, something worth getting all foamy at the mouth for?

    And as a bonus, they wouldn’t have to put up with people like me, always doing a Doug Pirhana on them.

  409. IVAN3MAN

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein.

  410. Alan French
  411. Alan French

    @phil wright

    Thanks for the Venus movie. I find it interesting that it doesn’t show as much variation as bright stars seem to show through binoculars. Perhaps because it is an extended source – now a bit over 16″ in diameter – and not a point source like a bright star.

    Clear skies, Alan

  412. Alan French

    Rory Says:
    December 4th, 2008 at 5:14

    “Alan joined in accepting that the claims were true – silly – no! So much for critical minds and the application of sceptical thinking in action – not to mention misjudgement.”

    @Rory,

    Yes, I should have checked the claim about Keyhoe’s book. I usually run to Snopes whenever I get one of the mass, forwarded e-mails about something, so it was an oversight on my part.

    However, the post you quoted also mentioned Scully’s “Behind the Flying Saucers,” which does not seem a good reference on the reality of UFOs.

    See http://www.physics.smu.edu/pseudo/UFOs/Scully/

    Clear skies, Alan

  413. Alan French

    @Rory,

    If you don’t believe the evidence shows UFOs are alien spacecraft, why does the briefing document from the Disclosure Project you posted include many people who claim just that? If it didn’t reflect your viewpoint, why post it – at least without a disclaimer?

    Also, do you believe Edgar Mitchell is a reliable source?

    Clear skies, Alan

  414. Todd W.

    @IVAN3MAN

    Hey! We’re not insane. Just because the UFO=Aliens crowd keeps making the same arguments, and we keep rebutting them over and over, in the vain hope that we’ll help them see the light, doesn’t mean we’re insane.

    (Hmm? Time for my meds and back to the padded room, Doctor? Okay.)

    Well, Ivan. I need to go bounce against the walls a bit, but I’ll be back! Woohoo! Woohoo! Woohoo!

  415. IVAN3MAN

    @ Todd W.,

    That Albert Einstein quote above was in reference to the UFO tin-foil-hat brigade. However, amongst doctors, psychiatry has the highest suicide rate. It seems that being in the company of ‘nutters’ can end up driving a sane man/woman ‘nuts’. You have been warned. :-)

  416. Todd W.

    @IVAN3MAN

    I am too aware of the effect that working with those who work with ‘nutters’ can have on a person. Some coworkers show the effects.

  417. Rory

    <>

    I did not raise the subject to drop it. Nor did I make any claims about it’s contents. So…….!!!

  418. kuhnigget

    Must…show…restraint….gaack!

  419. Rory

    Alan French Says:
    December 5th, 2008 at 7:20 am

    <>

    You did come back at an early stage to say -“Point taken”, so fine! But yes, you were wrong to jump-in and support the mob and to leave your sceptical faculties at home!

    It will probably be tomorrow or Sunday before I can get back to you on the questions you raised.

  420. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 4th, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    <>

    Believe me it is much more boring for me, because I have to listen to this stupidity being regurgitated and now by you. First off, I never said or suggested that this book was either fact or fiction. However it has been used as evidence to make false claims – saying that I referenced it in an attempt to try to pass fiction as fact. Nothing is,or could be further from the truth and I demonstrated this to the person involved. I also later pointed out that the whole basis on which he had made his accusations were untrue. From the evidence provided and I presume because he did not have any proof to stand over his claims, he accepted this and apologised – fine!

    I had actually finished that post with:-

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    [“Now if it is true concerning the UFO secrecy classification, the subject should not be dismissed by the disbelievers and deniers. Would you agree? Well if you want to read the memo in which this was outlined and puportedly written in 1950, check here:-

    Nov. 21, 1950: Smith’s Top Secret memo to the Dept. of Transport (pdf format) ( text )

    http://roswellproof.homestead.com/Smith_papers.html

    or just google – The Wilbert Smith Papers]

    << Your very next post was:

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    “While in Washington attending the NARB Conference, two books were released, one titled “Behind the Flying Saucers” by Frank Scully, and the other “The Flying Saucers are Real” by Donald Keyhoe.Both books deal mostly with the sightings of unidentified objects and both books claim that flying object were of extra-terrestrial origin and might well be space ships from another planet.” ]

    You should be honest enough to point out for those that may not be aware, that this quotation was a very small part of a letter written in 1950 and was not written by me. Most importantly it was not the reason why I had made the post and you are fully aware of that.

    You also should have continued the quoted part that says:

    {…. Scully claimed that the preliminary studies of one saucer that fell into the hands of the united States Government indicated that they operated on some hitherto unknown magnetic principles….}

    The fact that the letter referred to both writers (books) "Claiming" shows that it is obvious that I would not have been using them to support the rubbish you are endeavouring to apply to me. If you were honest enough you would first of all not be making such ridiculously false claims. You would admit that I sent you a copy of an historic letter that I had no right to interfere with in any way, through deletion of what the original writer had said, or by altering it: And of course, I did not!

    If for pig-iron, I had deleted this reference and you had a copy of the original, I have no doubt that if you discovered this you would have been accusing me of something else!

    What you claim is an erroneous fabrication and disengenuous portrayal of what I had posted and why I was posting it. In trying to back-up your ridiculous claims you are attempting to twist everything to suit your outbursts. However, your easily refutable and pitiful effort at falsely implying that what you say is the truth and is factual is only going to shows you up for the type of character you obviously are. Twisting the facts to try to justify what you now really need to try to prove, is neither moral, nor is it very bright!

    <>

    What an immature retort. You left out the Nah, Nah de Nah! Nah! and Told you so!

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    “I have just found an actual transcript of the 1950 memo which is easier to read than the original (hoping it is an authentic reproduction and accurate) and will copy it in my next post.

    It is nice to be able to discuss this subject with you in an open manner, looking at and evaluting the pros and cons. ”

    N.B. In hindsight this last paragraph has been disproved. There is nothing apparently open to your way of thinking and discussing, if it in anyway might question or contradict your fixed beliefs.

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Greg,

    [This formerly “Top Secret” document was retrieved from the University of Ottawa Library archives by Nick Balaskas (York University). For more detailed information about Wilbert Smith (biography, videos, &c.), visit:

    http://www.presidentialufos.com

    See also: W. Smith: The New Science ]

    <>

    Accurately informed……kuhnigger based his claims on the fact that he said that the book was written as fiction. He now knows that this is not the case and has apologised for same. You however, are endeavouring to resurrect and to distort those baseless accusations (no matter how one tried to look at them – they were / are untrue) and in so doing I promise you that you are going to end-up the loser – just from a purely logical point of view. Remember that you are referencing books that were written over 50 years ago and a letter that I reproduced written also 50 years ago – they are referred to by the author as having made “claims”. What you, or I subsequently know about these books, or believe (and I have said on numerous occasions that I have not read them) is immaterial to me and of no consequence. They were referenced in his letter and that is it! Fact!

    Your claims are unintelligent and all the more so because the previous person making them, saw and realised that he was wrong / mistaken and eventually posted his apology.

    <>

    As I said – this is a pathetic attempt by you and a failure to come to a logical conclusion / interpretation of the facts. Makes one wonder… I suppose you are one of those that thinks that if you throw enough sh1t some of it will stick. Risky business, as it is inclined to leave the perpetrater
    very smelly and full of it!

    Wake-up! I posted a copy of an historic letter to you having previously written:

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:18 am

    [” Now if it is true concerning the UFO secrecy classification, the subject should not be dismissed by the disbelievers and deniers. Would you agree? Well if you want to read the memo in which this was outlined and puportedly written in 1950, check here:-”

    Nov. 21, 1950: Smith’s Top Secret memo to the Dept. of Transport (pdf format) ( text )
    http://roswellproof.homestead.com/Smith_papers.html
    or just google – The Wilbert Smith Papers]

    See any reference to any books???

    If I was trying to elicit support, it would have been in this part of the letter written by the government official which I has previously drawn your attention to. Is that not obvious and logical – well it is obviously not logical to you. Anyway here is the relevant part that I had referred to:

    Rory Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    …If it is assumed that our geo-magnetic investigations are in the right direction, the theory of operation of the saucers becomes quite straightforward, with all observed features explained qualitatively and quantitatively.

    I made discrete inquiries through the Canadian Embassy staff in Washington who were able to obtain for me the following information;

    a. The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb,

    b. Flying saucers exist.

    c. Their modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Dr. Vannavar Bush.

    d. The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance.

    I was further informed that the United States authorities are investigating along quite a number of lines which might possibly be related to the saucers such as mental phenomena and I gather that they are not doing to well since they indicated that if Canada s doing anything at all in geo-magnetics they would welcome a discussion with suitably accredited Canadians…….

    For thode interested in viewing the document etc:-
    Source: Nov. 21, 1950: Smith’s Top Secret memo to the Dept. of Transport (pdf format) ( text )

    http://roswellproof.homestead.com/Smith_papers.html
    or just google – The Wilbert Smith Papers

    So Greg, it is strange that you appear to want to concentrate on an unimportant part of the letter and do not deal with the essential, relevant and highly important part as set-ot by the writer!

    Once again it seems simpler and easier to try to attack the messenger than deal with the facts. Well. try away, but be sure that it will not be made easy or simple for you, or anyone else to do this in my case.

    Does posting these ridiculous accusation not make you question your own logic!
    More than likely it does not – and that really is the problem with “some” of you people. You fail to look sceptically at your own short-comings and fixed beliefs. It is always the speck in the opponent’s eye!

    If I have to defend myself I will do so hopefully in a logical and sensible way.

    However, I would strongly recommend that you desist in the disingenuous claims / attacks and accept that you are not correct. If you are unable to do this – expect me to respond to defend myself and to point out where you are wrong or where I think that you are very much mistaken.

    It is all however such a waste of time. Besides that, I am running out of rope to hand out. Lol!

  421. Greg in Austin

    Is there more than one Rory here? One Rory used Keyhoe’s book as an example of witness testimony. Another Rory denies using Keyhoe’s book or making claims about it. Surely its not the same person…

    8)

  422. Todd W.

    @Greg

    To be fair, Rory did not directly say that Keyhoe’s book was not fiction, nor use it specifically as evidence. He did, however, quote other people who claim it as factual. He further contested kuhnigget’s claim that it is fiction, not by offering his own claims, but rather quoting a wikipedia article stating that the book was factual.

    Rory has made no direct, personal affirmations that he thinks the book is factual, though his actions do suggest that that is his belief.

    @Rory

    You asked why I addressed only you in the matter of rudeness/namecalling. Partly because you are the only one crying foul about it, and partly because of this comment that you made earlier on:

    I will not lower myself to your level and resort to name calling.

    Finally, as a means to offering advice on how to calm the situation. I’m familiar with kuhnigget’s style, and, though he may leave the ad hominems off for a time, he does tend to get a bit riled up. I don’t know your style, and so I had thought that you, being the target of some of the name-calling, had some power to ignore it or at the very least, respond in a calm, rational manner.

    You may also wish to clarify, in a succinct fashion, your position as regards UFOs=Aliens. For the most part, the people here do not dismiss out of hand, but they will be very critical about any evidence that might be offered. So, if you state that there are some cases that defy any ‘natural’ explanation or that, because they are unexplained they must be aliens/future humans/whatever else, you better have some darn good evidence to back up that assertion. If you think that there are cases that remain unexplained and that at best, we just don’t know yet or are currently unable to properly investigate those events, then just say so.

    To be clear on some things that do not constitute good evidence. Eyewitness testimony. I know you don’t agree with this, but, as has been mentioned many times, humans, even well-trained ones, are fallible in witnessing events and also have fallible memories (missing what they actually observed or making up what they did not observe). At best, such testimony suggests further investigation, but it, in and of itself, is not proof of anything other than what the individual believes they saw. Grainy/blurry photos and videos. While such media may not have been doctored, it cannot typically be determined that the objects depicted are what they appear to be. Again, they can suggest further investigation, but are open to fakery and hoaxing, particularly in this technological era.

  423. kuhnigget

    I’m familiar with kuhnigget’s style, and, though he may leave the ad hominems off for a time, he does tend to get a bit riled up.

    Actually, Todd, I prefer ad caudex attacks.

  424. Alan French

    Re: Wilbert Smith

    A Wiki article…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbert_B._Smith

    Another web article…
    http://www.treurniet.ca/Smith/ArchiveIndex.html

    @Rory

    Does this gentleman sound like the source of reliable information?

    Clear skies, Alan

  425. Rory

    Alan French Says:
    December 5th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Re: Wilbert Smith

    <>

    Way-out! No!

    Well, whatever one might personally think of the above individual, or of Edgar Mitchell (as another exampe that you raised) and of their personal beliefs, I have the following opinion:

    One should not I think, allow this to diminish or to negate whatever their achievements and accomplishments have been! I am sure that you hold certain people in very high esteem. Some of these same people I have no doubt communicate regularly with other extradinary and as hard to believe beings. Yet in your dealings with them I doubt that you would question information they may provide in your normal course of work or daily dealings with them. That is, I imagine that you would not do this solely on the basis of what some might think / believe are their unproven, irrational, (even off- the-wall unscientific beliefs)! Is this not true? This of course is aside from the large number of others that you may not know personally, but greatly admire. Many of these same individuals and the ones you deal with regularly could have all sorts of other weird beliefs, strange habits, sexual fetishes, be sexual deviants, kinky, superstitious – whatever!

    Now the point I think that you should be addressing, is not what these people’s personal beliefs are, but the veracity or not, of the documentation that has been quoted here. Though of course I fully accept that their personal beliefs could or indeed may colour what they say and write on the subject.

    So lets just stick to the example you mention i.e. Wilbert Smith

    The following would appear to prove that the document I posted (without having made any claims about it) is both original / factual :-

    * Citing work by Timothy Good, C.D.B. Bryan notes the existence of a secret memorandum written by Canadian radio engineer Wilbert B. Smith, who had long worked for the Canadian Department of Transportation. Dated November 21, 1950, the memo recommended that the Canadian government establish a formal investigation of UFOs (Project Magnet was this study). In part, Smith wrote that his own “discreet inquiries” through the Canadian embassy in Washington D.C. had uncovered the fact that “flying saucers exist”, “the matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb”, and that “concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Doctor Vannevar Bush” into their “modus operandi” (Bryan, 186;[29]) Smith’s memo was authenticated by the Canadian government. Good concluded that this document is a major argument in favor of MJ-12’s reality.

    Additional documents from Smith and the Canadian embassy named Bush and the Research and Development Board (RDB) as being needed to clear a magazine article being written by Donald Keyhoe on Smith’s flying saucer theories.[30] Smith also made some public statements about being loaned UFO crash material for metallurgical analysis by some “highly classified group” which he would not name, but indicated it was not the Air Force or CIA.[31]

    * In a letter from 1983, Dr. Omond Solandt, director of the Canadian Defence Research Board (DRB), who had approved Smith’s initial UFO study and lent support from the DRB (according to Smith’s memo), confirmed meeting with Bush on a regular but “informal” basis to discuss flying saucers and Smith’s UFO work.[32]

    * Smith’s primary source in 1950 was Dr. Robert Sarbacher, a missile and electronics expert and a consultant for the RDB’s guided missile committee. When contacted again in 1983 by William Steinman, Sarbacher in a letter confirmed having the 1950 meeting, reconfirmed that Bush and the RDB were definitely involved, added that mathematician John von Neumann was also definitely involved and he thought Dr. Robert Oppenheimer as well. He also reconfirmed that there had been flying saucer crashes and being told that the material recovered was extremely lightweight and strong. He was told about small alien bodies.[33]

    * In later interviews, Sarbacher would also implicate electrical engineer Dr. Eric A. Walker, the executive secretary of the RDB from 1950-1951 and later President of Penn State University. Walker was contacted by phone in 1987 by Steinman. He was asked first whether he had attended meetings at Wright-Patterson AFB concerning the military recovery of flying saucers and bodies of occupants. According to Steinman, he responded, “Yes, I attended meetings concerning that subject matter.” When asked as to whether he knew about MJ-12, he responded, “Yes, I know of MJ-12. I have known of them for 40 years.” In subsequent interviews and correspondence by other researchers, Walker became much more evasive. But in two interviews from 1990, Walker, while saying he thought the MJ-12 documents were not authentic, also admitted he had had nothing do with MJ-12 “for a long time” but they still existed and were “a handful of elite”, no longer military, and no longer all American. “We have learnt so much, and we are not working with them, only contact. The technology is far beyond what is known in ordinary terms of physics.”[34]

    * Another person to implicate Bush and Walker as likely being involved was Dr. Fred Darwin, who had been Executive Director for the Guided Missile Committee for the RDB from 1949 to 1954, to which both Sarbacher and Walker acted as consultants. Like Sarbacher, Darwin also suggested John von Neumann, and added alleged MJ-12 member Lloyd Berkner and physicist Dr. Karl Compton.[35]

    * Following a famous close encounter with a 300-foot flying saucer while flying from Iceland to Newfoundland on February 10, 1951 ,[36] Naval Reserve pilot Commander Graham Bethune relates that he and the entire crew were immediately debriefed by USAF and Naval intelligence. In May 1951, Bethune was again questioned by a Naval intelligence officer. Bethune says he then asked the officer where such reports ended up. He responded that they first went to “a committee of twelve men” screening them for “national security impact”. If deemed to have such impact, it would never be sent elsewhere. Otherwise, they would be sent to USAF or Naval offices handling ordinary UFO cases.[37]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majestic_12

    The subject that this page deals with is a web of claims, counter-claims, possible government disinformation (very possible!), hoaks, forgeries etc. So, if you want to be more confused on another aspect or area of this subject – take the plunge. It’s intriguing (detective story stuff) interesting, but quite complex and complicated and hard to really decide where the truth lies regarding the government’s role in the whole matter concerning UFOs and the topic discussed.

  426. phil wright

    hello(as we say in england)!
    how about all the hardened skeptics posting on this blog actually carrying out a practical,long-term experiment.maybe anyone with a bit of spare time in the day, and a quality pair of wide-angle binoculars,could devote say 3 hours per week,scanning the blue sky with the sun kept behind.keep a log of everthing observed(obviously aircraft,balloons,kites,iridium flares,and possibly unknown/unidentified objects).maybe do it for 3 months,constantly and carfully sticking to the 3 hours/week.
    if many skeptics agree to do this,then at least if they do not see anything odd ,they could justify their own opinions on the matter.anyone up for it?
    cheers,phil(uk)

  427. Greg in Austin

    @phil wright,

    You do know that thousands of amateur astronomers all over the world spend a great deal of time looking at the sky already, both at night and during the day, right?

    And you have it backwards. Its not up to the skeptics to prove that UFOs are not aliens. Its up to the UFO believers who claim that they must be alien spacecraft to prove it. They are making the claim, not the skeptics.

    That’s one of the things that is great about science, and also really bugs me about UFO=alien believers. They so greatly want to believe that aliens exist, that they seem to forget this concept.

    Take the email about “Mars being as big as the moon” that gets spread around every year. The claim is that when the orbits of Mars and Earth bring them closest together, that Mars will appear as big in the sky as the Moon, and that all kinds of crazy things will happen. But anybody with a $20 telescope from Wal-Mart can go outside and see for themselves that Mars does not appear significantly bigger at that time of year than any other year. Now, do the skeptics have to go out and check every year to make sure that Mars is still just a fuzzy red dot, just because some nutcase says otherwise?

    Why do scientists have to keep spending their time proving that the shiny object in the sky is just a mylar baloon, or a plastic bag, or a flare from an airplane? Just because 5 witnesses say they’ve never seen anything like it before, it MUST be true?

    8)

  428. phil wright

    hi greg,
    i do understand what you are saying.i’m just asking excellent observers such as yourself and other astronomers to take a look for 3 hours per week.maybe unusual things,that expert astronomers cannot identify at all,will be observed.i have observed some very strange things,and i have been an astronomer and aviation ‘buff’ for 30 years.forget balloons,planes,and the rest.dots which flash on and off,change colour,jump and stop – these are the things which i have observed.maybe others will see such things as well – but they have to be searching the sky thoroughly to see them.try it yourself.i’m not saying ‘aliens’, just true ufos.
    cheers phil(uk)

  429. Alan French

    @phil wright,

    I’ve been an amateur astronomer for almost 45 years, and a birder for even longer. In that time, I’ve spent a lot of time under both the daytime and nighttime sky, often with binoculars. In all that time, I haven’t seen one single unexplainable object in the sky.

    Now, I can well imagine that people see things they can’t explain. That doesn’t mean it is something unusual – just that they don’t know what it is. It may well be that some people see something that is truly unusual. Unfortunately, no one seems to leave it at “there are some things I can’t explain.” Instead it becomes – for no obvious reason – alien craft. They may claim it moves too fast, or in some “unnatural way.” Given there is no information available on sizes or distances, how can anyone know this?

    As I wrote much earlier, I’ve gotten many calls from people about things they saw and didn’t understand in the night sky. Most have seen Venus or some other bright star near the horizon. Some people accept this explanation, while others – even when it is quite obvious based on where they were looking and what they describe – simply want acknowledgment that they saw something unusual, and don’t care to hear otherwise.

    Clear skies, Alan

  430. kuhnigget

    @ Phil, Greg, Alan:

    This touches upon the heart of this whole silliness.

    For the most part, people are exceedingly ignorant about the natural world around them, particularly that part of it that resides above their head. I’m willing to bet the majority of the population would have difficulty identifying any celestial object apart from the sun (and even that they probably wouldn’t be able to place in a map of the solar system). What makes us think they will do any better at identifying something even more unfamiliar, such as a planet, or a particularly bright star on the horizon (where they are forced to look at it only because it’s in the path of their automobile)?

    Honestly, the “mystery” of UFO sightings is just not that mysterious. That people are interpreting their sightings as spaceships instead of angels or flaming wheels or what-have-you is a reflection on the technology of our age and nothing more.

    The few cases in which a trained pilot or other person familiar with the sky sees something they cannot explain plops right down in the category of “unknown.” But these instances are so rare as compared to the overwhelming majority of “encounters” as to be insignificant….except to the nutters who glom on to them as if they somehow authenticated all the rest of the idiocy.

  431. Alan French

    We had an absolutely spectacular display of northern lights for our club’s public star party on November 8, 1991. When I arrived back home, there were two messages from local media people asking what the lights in the sky were. The night sky is indeed a foreign land to many.

    I am also frequently asked “I saw the Moon in the daytime sky – is that unusual?”

    Clear skies, Alan

  432. phil wright

    for alan and kuhnigget,

    but this is what i mean.WE can identift astronomical events/objects.WE can identify ANY aircraft.SOME of us can identify most birds.if you two have never seen anything you could not identify at all ie totally unexplainable objects,then you haven,t looked very hard.simple as that.forget about nighttime.its the daytime thats important.search the sky in a grid pattern.do it for hours.go out the next day,and search again.keep doing it.you two keep hinting that i must have deficient observational/identification skills.what a load of garbage.a lot of people do not even know what stars actually are.i know that the gen public are easily confused by aircraft lights,venus,meteors,iss,etc.but when you CAN rule out all that stuff,WHAT are you left with.NO,NOT ALIENS -JUST TRUE UFOS.

    THIS WEBSITE BLOG IS DELIBERATELY LINKING UFOS WITH ALIEN SPACESHIPS FOR THE RIDICULE VALUE.

    MR. ANGRY FROM ENGLAND

  433. kuhnigget

    @ Phil:

    Numerous times I have seen unidentified objects…but for the most part they didn’t stay that way very long because I used reason and the scientific method to identify them.

    The most spectacular, which I’ve referred to before, was an owl. At first it shot across the dark sky, appearing like a large glowing blob that didn’t move in a straight line. Myself and my parents were dumbstruck. But then I had the mindset to raise my binoculars and observe it up close: low and behold, it was an owl, albeit one that was glowing mysteriously. Radioactive alien owl? No! A quick round of observation and deduction led me to realize that it’s great wingspan was being illuminated by the high pressure sodium streetlights in the housing development a block away. It was a UFO no more.

    Another example I’ve already told you about: the mylar balloon that had me fooled for a good five minutes before – once again – I was able to examine it through binocs and identify it for what it was.

    Tell me, Phil, how many of the people that have ranted on this site about their own flying saucer observations have admitted to doing anything but jump to the immediate conclusion that they were seeing an alien spacecraft? How many got a closer look, observed it up close, looked around to identify other factors in the environment, etc.? No, it’s…”Hey, there’s something I don’t recognize…It’s a spaceship!”

    Don’t be angry at this website…the UFO=flying saucer label has long been adopted by these people. Best to come up with some different nomenclature if it bugs you.

    BTW, I saw one object in the sky when I was about 12 that remains unidentified to this day. It was a triangle of lights flying overhead in dead silence. But guess what? I don’t believe it was an alien spaceship. I grew up about 20 miles from the Yakima Firing Range in central Washington. There were all kinds of weird military things going on up there. Most likely, I saw some sort of military aircraft, quite possibly a high-altitude spy plane heading in for landing. (The CIA has facilities up there, too.) Government cover-up? No, just business as usual for the military and spooks.

    Cheers on ya.

  434. Greg in Austin

    @phil wright,

    Say some of us do go out during the day, with binoculars (the 12×50’s I have are very nice), and do a systematic search of the sky for a week. When we come back and report: “I saw nothing unexplainable,” what then? What are we looking for? Is there something specific you want us to find?

    Say we do see something we can’t identify, because its too far away. What then? We write down, “I saw something I cannot identify because it is too far away.” Then what?

    If you really want to get people to take you up on this task, you need to start your own blog or website, with specific instructions people can download and follow. Perhaps even report daily Unusuals. The challenge, as you will quickly see, is that many people will report pigeons as angels, meteors as lazers, and clouds in the shape of Jesus’ head. Just be prepared to weed out most of the reports.

    Actually, I think this is a good idea. Its probably already been done… have you googled the idea?

    8)

  435. Greg in Austin

    Search google for

    “daily UFO photo”
    “daily unusual sighting”

    Nearly all of them are of the UFO=Alien type. But here’s an interesting one:
    http://dandare.wordpress.com/2008/07/14/uk-ufo-sightings-july-2008-updated-regularly/

    8)

  436. Rory

    kuhnigget Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    @ Phil, Greg, Alan:

    <<…The few cases in which a trained pilot or other person familiar with the sky sees something they cannot explain plops right down in the category of “unknown.” But these instances are so rare as compared to the overwhelming majority of “encounters” as to be insignificant

    Do you actually truly believe that in the climate that has existed for many years, where pilot were under threat of losing their jobs for reporting such matters – a policy /mentality you mindlessly support and endorse – that pilots report everything strange that they see? If you believe this, it just proves your own gullibilty.

    Your post was going reasonably fine until you finished wth the blunder and uncalled for insult :-

    "except to the nutters who glom on to them as if they somehow authenticated all the rest of the idiocy."

    No doubt you will now substantaiate your claims and post the names of the pilots, their reports and their claims that you refer to Not exactly the type of intelligent statement that one might expect from someone who should know that they themselves definitely do no know everything! It is perhaps the type of statement that one might expect from someone that appears to believe that they themselves possess the ability or comprehension to consider or evaluate that which they know so little about – but falsely imagine that they do. So what does this leave – Ignorant Know-Alls!

  437. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 5th, 2008 at 11:47 am

    <>

    You really cannot be serious! Is this the best intelligent and persuasive answer to my post that you can come up with? Surely, you can do better than that!

    What do I believe about your ridiculous unsubstantiable accusations – nada ! It just proves that you are full of it!

  438. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    @phil wright,

    <>

    With what you say here, I can agree with!

  439. Rory

    # Alan French Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    <>

    Frequently! and we are to believe this? Where do you live!

  440. kuhnigget

    Rory:

    Didn’t you go away? Oh well. Here, this ought to give you enough to type another 10,o00 words or so:

    Your post was going reasonably fine until you finished wth the blunder and uncalled for insult: “except to the nutters who glom on to them as if they somehow authenticated all the rest of the idiocy.”

    So, let me get this straight…I use the word nutter, and you automatically assume I’m talking about….uh…hm. Who, exactly? Some people have such low self-esteem. (BTW, see above post regarding ad caudex comments.

    Do you actually truly believe that in the climate that has existed for many years, where pilot were under threat of losing their jobs for reporting such matters – a policy /mentality you mindlessly support and endorse – that pilots report everything strange that they see?

    I have a good friend since high school who’s a commercial airline pilot. He says they routinely report unidentified aircraft (kudos to modern air traffic control) and he has never once been “threatened.” But since you are the one making this particular claim, I’m sure you’ll provide me with some examples. I’m sure it involves vast conspiracy.

    Not exactly the type of intelligent statement that one might expect from someone who should know that they themselves definitely do no know everything!

    Hang on. It’s going to take me a while to figure out the logic (sic) of that sentence.

    Now, I hate to tell you this, filo mou, but I’m getting on a plane in a couple hours – which will no doubt be dodging flying saucers all night – so I leave you to your silliness for a while. One last comment: do find a dictionary and look up sarcasm before you claim I backed down on my Keyhoe pronouncement (Sorry, everyone else…I know it’s a dying horse). See, Rory, I always hate it when a good dose of snark goes to waste. But I guess it comes with the territory when in the land of the tiny brained folk. (Credit to Joe Martin.)

  441. Rory

    # kuhnigget Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Rory:

    <>

    Why would trained pilots ‘routinely’ report unidentified aircraft? What kind of training and expertise have these pilots that you refer to got? How many different types of aircraft are there that they see and are unaware of? Having seen or read other such reports (as you claim) would they not themselves have learned what these aircraft should look like! How many such aircraft fly on the same route? All sounds ridiculous to me – but of course I am not a “commercial airline pilot” and I have not had the heresay that you are privy to! Opps! – am I wrong to be sceptical?

    Again you just show your inability to comprehend what was plainly written. You were the one answering Phil with statements / claims that you need to back-up. Your credibility is already way way down at this stage as far as telling the truth is concerned. Where in the the post to Phil did you mention pilots misidentifying aircraft – nowhere that I saw! So, you obviously were not doing so! You were referring to the ……ufos!!! Now you try to twist it back as if you were talking about unidentified aircraft – what baloney! Here is what you posted:-

    <>

    So, one moment these pilots routinely report (according to you) :

    <>

    and you follow by saying:-

    <>

    You completely contradict yourself! How do you expect anyone – other than the “non-thinking club”
    to believe you.

    “Not exactly the type of intelligent statement that one might expect from someone who should know that they themselves definitely do no know everything!”

    <>

    No need to fret yourself. I did think that it might be difficult for you, so thanks for the confirmation.

    <>

    So, you apologised and are now trying to say that you really did not do so??? So, everything you post is lies / rubbish! Is one supposed to draw some type of conclusion as to your character from this statement? Anyway, do not not worry, I had already arrived at my own conclusion as you must have noticed when I did not reply to accept your apology which arrived much to late and had to be dragged out of you. You were asked to put-up, or shut-up and you decided to shut -up! Now you are endeavouring (ego-wise) to try to reclaim what you know you have lost in your peer’s eyes, or of those who could see that you were wrong and flogging a dead horse. Don’t go digging another hole for yourself . Obviously, you did not even comprehend what Todd wrote!

    Anyway, enjoy your flight and have a safe journey! Keep an eye out for all those unidentified aircraft!

  442. Rory

    kuhnigget

    I’ll forgive you in the following statement if it was the lack of the “t” that confused you – but…..

    “Not exactly the type of intelligent statement that one might expect from someone who should know that they themselves definitely do not know everything!”

  443. Alan French

    # Rory Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    # Alan French Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    < >

    Frequently! and we are to believe this? Where do you live!

    @Rory

    If you want to nit pick, frequently is probably a bad choice of words. But it is well up on the list of common astronomy questions I get asked, probably close to the top, and well ahead of “Have you ever seen anything you couldn’t identify? If you do a web search, you’ll find a number of places that address the issue, and when I mention to other amateur astronomers, they hear it too. (If I’d known there would be a quiz, I would have kept track.)
    Even the phases of the Moon are not understood by many adults.

    My wife worked in a planetarium for many years, and I’ll ask how often she heard it.

    Perhaps you’ll eventually actually answer some of my questions?

    Clear skies, Alan

  444. Alan French

    Regarding the Moon in the daytime…

    My wife said she got the question occasionally, but not often. She also added that she mostly had kids in the planetarium, and they generally had a better understanding of such things than the adults.

    Clear skies, Alan

  445. Rory

    Alan French Says:
    December 7th, 2008 at 10:03 am

    <>

    Thanks for that. It’s great that the children are taking such an interes, are more observant and knowledgeable than the adults. Good sign for the future.

    From your posts I presume that both you and your wife are astronomers. Since I was about five or six years of age I have always had a great interest and fascination for the ‘sky’, and in astronomy as I got older. I distinctly remember as a very young child (aged 7) travelling in my parents car at night in the country and watching the moon and venus as they appeared to accompany the car. Funny, but I always knew that it was the cars motion that gave this impression and was confirmed as the car changed direction. I never confused these celestial known objects with a ufo. Even to this day, I am still always puzzled how so many others are reported to do so.

    It is a pity that more people here do not have the ability to leave their predjudices on this subject at home. They do not realise how dogmatic they are and how ignorant their lack of knowledge and openess to other possibilities show them up to be. This must be so apparent to any outsider if only from reading their posts on this thread and their replies to others that do not share their own beliefs . Not knowing, or understanding what they are endeavouring to discuss, they resort to name-calling, ridiculing and attempting to bully their adversaries into accepting that they alone know and are right. What arrogance! It really is a type of fascist behaviour, but no doubt, they are blind to this fact as well!

    Actually, Peter Sturrock (see below) carried out a survey of members of the American Astronomical Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) on their attitude views etc. to UFOs His findings support and would back-up what I have been saying here about the uninformed knockers. Have a read for yourself and see what you think:-

    Peter Andrew Sturrock(born 1924) is a British scientist.

    An emeritus professor of applied physics at Stanford University[1], much of Sturrock’s career has been devoted to astrophysics, plasma physics, and solar physics, but Sturrock is interested in other fields, including ufology, scientific inference and in the history of science and philosophy of science. Sturrock has been awarded many prizes and honors, and has written or co-authored many scientific articles and textbooks………………………

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_A._Sturrock

  446. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    For someone who complains so vehemently about name-calling, you sure do post your fair share. You are entitled to your opinions, but calling skeptics “ignorant fascist knockers” will not earn you any brownie points here.

    When I get time, I’ll look into the Society for Scientific Exploration, as I suggest you do as well. Until then, I’m not impressed with your appeal to authority. The bottom line here is, it doesn’t matter what you believe, what matters is what you can prove.

    8)

  447. Todd W.

    @Rory

    So, you apologised and are now trying to say that you really did not do so??? So, everything you post is lies / rubbish!…Now you are endeavouring (ego-wise) to try to reclaim what you know you have lost in your peer’s eyes, or of those who could see that you were wrong and flogging a dead horse.

    Although you may not have interpreted kuhnigget’s apology as sarcasm, it certainly came across that way to me. His use of excessive forms of apology, (e.g., “my humble apologies”, “bow down” and “miserable shame”), combined with the remainder of that post and his posts overall pretty plainly mark his apology as sarcasm. And use of obvious sarcasm is hardly enough to label every post of his “lies” or “rubbish”. So, I would advise that you stop claiming that you “dragged” an apology out of him, ’cause, well, he hasn’t actually apologized.

    While I would call on kuhnigget to cite sources for his claim that Keyhoe’s book was originally fictional and was only published as a non-fiction work after publication issues, I also take a wary stance on your assertions that it is, indeed, a non-fiction piece. Wikipedia is not what I would call a very reliable source of information and certainly not a solid body of work to support an argument.

    Kuhnigget did, however, offer bibliographic comparisons between The Flying Saucers Are Real and Keyhoe’s fictional stories, which does lend some credence to the idea that TFSAR is a fictional work passed off as non-fiction, despite any remarks in the book itself claiming that it is a truthful text.

  448. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    <>

    Can you not look them up yourself?. On more than one ocassion I have posted links to the scientific investigations that have been done. Here are just two of those posts:-

    See:
    Rory Considine Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Rory Considine Says:
    November 29th, 2008 at 8:01 am

    <>

    For a start I very much doubt that. You previously said that you agree with what Phil Plait wrote and he said:-

    November 25th, 2008 5:05 PM

    [“….But that’s bad reasoning. In fact, the vast majority of reported UFOs are mundane things in the sky”
    “Yup. Venus.”
    “Manmade satellites pass overhead several times an hour, and some brighten tremendously as a solar panel or mirrored surface catches the Sun. Meteors blaze across the sky……………………..”]

    So, many may indeed have been celestial misidentification and not be terrestrial in nature – no! Unless, of course that you now wish to disagree with Phil, or show that he is wrong in what he said! Previously you had completey agreed with his views. I will return to that subject later.

    <>

    Everything that is unknown is because of lack of data / information i.e. knowlegde and understanding. You appear to use ‘data’ in this case (my interpretaion from reading your posts and replies) to suggest that the unexplained sighting explanations are really mundane misidentifications, and that we just lack the data to show that this is the case! Most of your posts would point to your belief that no matter what – these sightings can and will be explained as of earthly (human origin), or known celestial and cannot be otherwise. This is where one of our biggest differences lie. Though this may indeed turn out to be the case, I am open to other possible explanations being found (when no other so far has been found to explain them). My view is based on the world-wide evidence, reports, photos, credible witnesses, radar etc. etc. that is available to strongly suggest the opposite to what you and others try to dictate regarding your ‘truth’. I make no claim, nor do I prejudge the explanations that are necessary to understand and explain the as yet unexplained phenomena, or the anomalies in this whole matter. Neither do I claim knowing the source or the origin of these UFOs; what they are; or what they finally may turn-out to be or represent. I have a completely open-mind on the subject until all the evidence is in, or until something is scientifically proven beyond doubt one way or the other. So far this has not happened. The opposite in fact is the case. Many sightings and their flight capabilities would appear to strongly contradict what you actually believe. You are abviously not really interested in informing yourself of why this is the case, or of studying the actual evidence to see if this is or is not true! With such dogmatic beliefs one would have expected you to have done all this and have based your belief on the subject on a thorough and informed understanding. Your lack of knowledge on a subject that you try to debunk while still believing that you are right, is scary. Particularly when those like you are the cause of the lack of seriousness and needed investigation into the subject. It thus becomes a subject to rubbish and to ridcule. As a result, it inhibits people that might be interested in doing serious study and investigation. This together with the accompanying negative scientific institutional pressure / associated peer-pressure discourages the necessary work that is needed / required to help explain the phenomena one way or the other. The US government has not been interested in openess or encouraging any investigation – the opposite is in fact true. The early ones held were mostly white-washed, pre-determined, or not thorough investigations. Checkout – The Project Bluebook and The Condon Report as examples in support of what I say.

    You, (and others here) state with absolute certainty and without any evidence to support your claims that you know what the ufos /UFOs are and you “know” that you alone are right in what you Believe! I think that this is a very arrogant, ignorant and illogical stance for anyone to take and to make such dogmatic claims on. Particularly when those making it or reaching this conclusion, do not know and have not studied the subject itself or the available evidence. Evidence that might suggest, or argue a different possibility and one that may even be more reasonable when it is studied. This dogmatic view is all the more arrogant and ignorant when one sees the ridicule, belittling, name-calling etc. that accompanies it. Especially when those behaving like this obviously know so little about the subject and the people that they are attacking and do this just because their own narrow-minded belief is questioned, or not accepted as the final word on the matter!

    I feel very strongly that there is a phenomena that needs / requires serious scientific study and investigation: Also, that the US government should release all the papers, documentation and evidence that they have on the matter and that a Congressional Inquiry should be held into the subject allowing witnesses to openly testify without restrictions or fear of repercussions. The US government should be required to answer to the people and explain their cover-up, misinformation, disinformation on this subject for more than 50 years. In other words there should be full disclosure!

    <>

    Who says this? Can you support what you write here? Where did you get the 1% figure from and where does it say that they are – “Quite probably terrestrial in nature, but lacks sufficient evidence to confirm.”?

    Please provide the credible evidence / links to back this up. I presume that you are talking about cases that have been officially / scientifically investigated!

    <>

    Ah! An ‘out’ sentence! So, they are to be believed, if I did not reply! Now, if I prove that what you have written is incorrect, it begs the question as to why you could not or did not do this in the first place! So, how did you arrive at the understanding that only 1% are unexplainable and is this not a biased figure you grasped-at to suit your own belief / argument?

    Even if the 1% figure were true, it would still represent a huge number of the reported sightings. Anyway, I have to of course presume that you must be referring to the scientifically studied and investigated cases.

    Well, for your information and as far as I am aware Project Bluebook investigated some 12,000 + cases and nearly 6% of these were unidentified.

    The official French government UFO scientific study (GEPAN/SEPRA) from 1976 to 2004 listed about 14% of 5800 cases as inexplicable. …
    http://www.crystalinks.com/ufos.html

    GEIPAN[1] (sept. 2005-), formerly known as GEPAN[2] (1977-1988) and SEPRA[3] (1988-2004), is a unit of the French Space Agency CNES whose brief is to investigate unidentified aerospace phenomena (UAP)[4] and make its findings available to the public.

    Presentation to the Scientific Counsel of G.EP.A.N. of Studies Undertaken During the First
    Semester of 1978,” (June 1978, 5 volumes, approximately 500 pages).

    This report of the French governmental UFO study group GEPAN1 documents the studies
    carried out by the group during the first part of 1978. Three special groups (rapid intervention, physical traces, radar alert) were created as part of the study group’s functions, but they were
    used during 1978. Instead, the bulk of work was devoted to 11 cases of high credibility and high strangeness. Eleven such cases were studied in great detail; only one proved to have a conventional explanation. In the other 10, it appeared that the distance between the witnesses
    and the objects was less than 250 meters. Of the five volumes of the report, three were entirely devoted to analysis of these 11 cases, all except one of which was pre-1978. The earliest was 1966.

    Two of the cases were humanoid sightings.

    The analysis and investigation was carried out. by a four-person team in each case; the team included a psychologist, who separately carried out a psychological examination relevant to the evaluation of the testimony of the witnesses. The care with which distances, angles, and
    psychological factors were evaluated makes the bulk of the Condon Report seem very poor by comparison. In many cases, the investigations were textbook models of how such investigations should be carried out.

    In 10 of the 11 cases, the conclusion was that the witnesses had witnessed a material phenomenon that could not be explained as a natural phenomenon or a human device. One of the conclusions of the total report is that behind the overall phenomenon there is a “flying machine. . . whose
    modes of sustenance and propulsion are beyond our knowledge.”

    See also: http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/Gepan-Sepra.htm
    http://www.ufoevidence.org/newsite/files/GEPANSEPRA.pdf

  449. Rory

    Todd W. Says:
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Todd, you are back to me before I got the chance to respond to your previous post!
    @Rory

    <>

    Quite the contrary Todd. I also thought his post and reply was full of sarcasm. This I felt was due to his lack of character / manliness and was worded in my view to decorate and hide his actual apology from others. He did not want to let himself down in front of his peers and look even more foolish. I would normally accept anyone’s genuine apology. I made a point of not acknowledgeing, not to mention accepting his. Greg had previously apologised for some rant he made and immediately I accepted this. No offence had been taken to what he had said in the first place.

    It is when people start telling outright lies, misquoting / twisting what one has said, and become insulting into the bargain that I focus on them and their erroneous claims. My objective then is to defend myself and show / prove, (if I can), where they are wrong, lieing or both.

    kuhnigget was wrong and was lieing ++ So, the posts continued until all his claims were shown to be wrong and baseless. You are correct, he was able to apologise in a straight-forward way, accepting that his claims were wrong and that he should not have made them in the first place.

    Re. Nov. 21, 1950: Smith’s Top Secret memo to the Dept. of Transport (pdf format) ( text )
    http://roswellproof.homestead.com/Smith_papers.html
    or just google – The Wilbert Smith Papers”]

    He claimed that I was trying to pass on fiction for fact because a book had been referenced in part of the above mentioned letter (which was of no real concern to me). He claimed that the book was fiction. Fine if it was, but the point is and you agree, that I was definitely not trying to pass on fact as fiction. As it turned out he was apparently also wrong in claiming that the book had been written as a book of fiction. Having refuted his previous claims this last negated the others anyway. He was asked to reply to two outstanding claims and provide proof of same. He was unable to do so / did not do so, but immediately sent his apology. He did not come back to offer any proof that what was posted to negate his claims was not in fact true. He apologised – but it was not the type that I personally would accept as being from the heart. It was the best that he could probably make in the circumstances. It was not well-meant, it was made very grudgingly i.e. dragged out of him piecemeal and lacked sincerity. However, it was his apology. Afterwards, he could of course pretend if he so decided, that he was not wrong at all and that everything he said was true. This would add to the lies if he did this and focus on his apology not being an admission of guilt on his part. Fine! Let him do this, but doing so will only show himself to be a bigger fool than before.

    It would reinforce / show a number of things: He is not to be trusted. One cannot believe anything he says. He would be saying that his claims are all correct even though they are not – You and I and others know and accept this – so what would this say about kuhnigget’s common sense and logic – that he is going to believe what he wishes to belive regardless of the truth.

    Todd at this stage I am not interested in kuhnigget’s apology. He and his claims were not true. The one’s concerning me were wrong and pathertic. If he can now find some people (and I am sure that there are a few here) that would believe him – that’ fine with me. Once of course they themselves do not try to make the same untrue or similar baseless accusations directly to me. Otherwise, all is peace and hopefully an open, polite and enlightening discussion.

    Greg has not come back to me to answer a similar claim he attempted to make which was also untrue. We really should not be getting ourselves into situations that necessitate having to apologise in the first place.

    Anyway, they both can have all the rope they want!

  450. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    The first rule of being in a hole is to stop digging. The photos on the crystalinks.com website are clearly fake. That website supports the idea that unidentified objects must be aliens, yet it provides no testable evidence, and is poor science.

    It is not up to me to research your claims. If you have evidence of alien technology, or links to a real scientific analysis of real alien technology, then let’s hear it. Otherwise, you might as well post links to the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. There are eyewitness testimony and photographs of those, too.

    8)

  451. Greg in Austin

    @Rory,

    1) You did use the book The Flying Saucers Are Real to support your point of view.
    2) That book’s author cited that the UFOs in the reports were from Venus, yet there was no scientific evidence to support that. So it doesn’t matter if it was intentionally fiction or not. Its not true, and that book is bunk.
    3) kuhnigget never apologized to you. You have an inability to grasp the concept of sarcasm, which he clearly used. Also, I’m quite certain kuhnigget could care less what you or I think of him.
    4) You are a hypocrite, in that you cry out when someone calls you names, and then you do the exact same thing yourself.

    Please stop the personal attacks.

  452. Intense

    Phil Plait is simply displaying his vast ignorance of the historical record of ufo phenomenology, plus either his inability or unwillingness to address the issues objectively, and basically reflects a debunking, not skeptical, viewpoint full of false presumptions about facts he doesn’t know about or chooses to ignore.

    As such, he is no “ufo expert” or even capable of objective scientific analysis. He functions more as a conventional media ideologue offering misleading rhetorical games to support his own false contentions. He fails to convince or impress anyone serious and knowledgeable about the issues related to the ufo phenomenon or the overriding question involved of non-human intelligence.

    Since Aug. 4 of 2008 he has been president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, which, based on JREF’s checkered history of debunking, should tell anyone concerned all they need to know about Plait’s inherent lack of analytical acumen, honesty, and integrity. He blithely lies about known facts, which is par for the JREF course.

    That’s right, I am calling Plait a liar. There is ample evidence, from Hynek’s confidential survey under Project White Stork on behalf of ATIC for use by Project Blue Book, and since that time, that both professional and amateur astronomers have observed UFOs, or if you prefer unidentified aerial or atmospheric phenomena (UAPs), that after serious investigation have not been attributable to either astronomical, prosaic, or man-made phenomena. The more qualified the observer, in terms of education and background/experience, the longer the observation, the higher the percentage of observations that remain unexplained by any conventional analysis. This is a known, documented fact. For Plait or anyone else here who is ignorant of this fact, and the history of the ufo phenomenon, to claim otherwise, is simply both delusional and dishonest. Claim whatever you want Phil, you still remain a proven liar in your dishonest, biased, and false contentions. This is not a matter of opinion, it is established fact. Thus, you have no credibility in this area of controversy whatsoever. You’re just preaching to those converted to the idea that ufos cannot exist, so therefore they are not possible. Perhaps you should start a religion based on debunking, not true or honest skepticism. Being current president of JREF is a good start along that path of exclusionary false belief.

  453. Rory

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:29 am

    @Rory,

    <>

    At it again Greg? Trying to twist, distort and misrepresent what I actuall wrote!!! I am also a sceptic, but an open-minded one. I certainly do not automatically believe what you have to say or anyone else here for that matter. So, tell me where I have called sceptics “ignorant fascist knockers”? Nowhere!

    Once again making erroneous statements and jumping to the wrong conclusions. Here is what I wrote:

    Rory Says:
    December 7th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    “It is a pity that more people here do not have the ability to leave their predjudices on this subject at home. They do not realise how dogmatic they are and how ignorant their lack of knowledge and openess to other possibilities show them up to be. This must be so apparent to any outsider if only from reading their posts on this thread and their replies to others that do not share their own beliefs . Not knowing, or understanding what they are endeavouring to discuss, they resort to name-calling, ridiculing and attempting to bully their adversaries into accepting that they alone know and are right. What arrogance! It really is a type of fascist behaviour, but no doubt, they are blind to this fact as well!”

    It is a very bad idea to quote other people’s sentences or phrase out of context, without showing what was said to arrive at the quote. I spoke of it being a type of fascist behaviour and I stand over that. I also stand over saying that these same types are probably blind to this as well!

    Greg in Austin Says:
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:29 am

    @Rory,

    <>

    So!

    <>

    That really is not the bottom line as is practiced on this thread by the uninformed disbelievers. Their bottom line is:- When they are not getting their own way and their opponent’s reasoning, logic, whatever is getting the better of them – they resort to personal attacks, name-calling, ridicule, misinformatiom, false claims and lies. You do not have to believe me, you can “PROVE” this easily for yourself. Or ,do you really need it to proved to you? Now whether you want to, or are willing to accept the evidence / proof is of course a different matter altogether. The proof is there and the offenders doing this are well in the majority – akin to the figures you earlier quoted about ufos.

    <<…it doesn’t matter what you believe, what matters is what you can pro(ve).

    Well, if that is the bottom line and you agree that it is, that's fine with me. So please now do the following in connection with the ufos that have been studied and who's identity and origin are found (to date) to be inexplicable:-

    1. Prove to us all and especially to those that represent the extreme other side to you on this subject (though none I think have appeared on this thread), that UFOs are not something outside of the norm and are only misidentified mundane objects.

    2. Prove that they are definitely not of extra terrestrial / extra dimensional origin.

    Of course I also believe that there is the same onus on the true believers to provide their proof / solid evidence. However, in their case I know that a lot of effort is being made to try to do this and to get the proof that is required and yes – we are still waiting. Is the same effort being made to investigate the anomalies and phenomena by the opposing side! Are they investigating or explaining away the so far studied inexplicable cases! Sadly I cannot say that they are.

    Anyway, good luck with your assignment!

  454. Intense, nice try, but bzzzzzzzt.

    I am not lying. You have grossly misinterpreted what I have said. It’s really very simple: if UFOs were real phenomena in the skies, then amateur astronomers would report the vast majority of them. Since they don’t, we know that the vast majority of sightings are misinterpreted mundane phenomena.

    By the way, using ad hominems, as you did several times in your comment, is really a logical no-no. Libel isn’t a logical fallacy, but it is an illegal one.

  455. Rory

    Todd W. Says:
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    @Rory

    Now, I just love this!

    <>

    Perhaps you can draw my attention to where I made this assertion! In the meantime, you can refresh your own memory below:

    Rory Says:
    December 1st, 2008 at 6:52 pm
    To kuhnigget

    So, now let us get back to Donal Kehoe and your other claims. This is of lessor importance to me as I did not claim one way or the other whether his book was fact or fiction. You however, on the other hand, have wastefully made a huge deal of this, claiming numerous times that what he actually wrote was written as a book of fiction. So, we should now checkout this claim (as your other……

    [No assertion here!]

    I have to believe that you must have good reliable proof / evidence to backup your assertion and if it turns out to be more credible than any counter argument – fair enough!………..

    [No assertion here]

    Now as I said in an earlier post I had not read his book, but your recent incorrect claims, moved me to checkout some information on the man and his book. Now, I fully accept that part of what I have discovered represent personal opinions, but on other hand, parts are not. However, there is a strong case to be made that suggests that you are wrong. So, this is why I would ask you to produce the overwhelming evidence that you posess and that you must have based your claims on…….

    [No assertion here]

    Disclaimer:- Once again and because I do not want the jump-in knee-jerk knockers claiming foul and wrongly making more unsubstantiated claims about what I am now going to reproduce. I make no claims in this reproduction one way or the other. I am endeavouring to ascertain whether this book was written as a fictional book as claimed by kuhnigget or was it written as a factual one. It has nothing to do with what anyone thinks of the contents therein – myself included. It is solely an exercise in discovering whether it was written as a work of fiction or not – in so far as that is possible to ascertain. Clear! (Well, we’ll soon see)……..

    [Definitely no assertion here]

    N.B. kuhnigget, The above descriptions would strongly (my opinion) indicate that this book was not written as a work of fiction as you have claimed. I await your proof to show that it was.

    [Nor is there any assertion here]

    <>

    Well, I do agree with you to a point. Having said that, I am sure that it produces a vast amount of factual information that can be verified elsewhere. Anyway, I made no claims whatsoever about Wikipedia or any other source. In this case you can read the “Disclaimer” above that I inserted in my post to kuhnigget. I did this for the very reason that certain people might try to use a source I quoted from against me, or to defend or argue in favour of kuhnigget; those that may not really be interested in the veracity of the question at all! I already see that some of these are coming out of the framework! Probably jumping on the bandwagon of what you wrote earlier. I hope that the tyres are safe and sound!

    Wikipedia was not the only link or source that I provided – so why is it the only one that you highlight? Might this be becasue you think that it is the weakest link!

    I aslo provided other links / reviews of the book from