Credibility In Ufology: Fact Or Fiction?

Discussion in 'Ufology' started by Old Master Q, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    No... But then (as we're talking clunkers) neither, ever, was an Austin A35 Van. - That didn't stop James Hunt roaring around the streets of London in a bizarrely Budgie-laden example, not did it stop many a tradesman of the era plying their trade. No one said this transport was ever perfect!

    Of course the subject (like the A35) was always subject to ridicule and prone to breakdown due to any combination of nefarious influence and shoddy underpinnings. But getting from A to B was once frequently possible, and the occasional stab at C not always unsuccessful! - The question I pose now is, due to the rise of hoaxing in its modern form (which is something that doesn't just affect 'UFOlogy') has progress been made impossible?

    Personally, I take hope from some of the things I've learned in this past week or so.

    I'm afraid I can make little sense of what you've written here... At worst UFOs are a commonly-misunderstood interpretation (or if you prefer, misinterpretation) of some cultural and/or external stimulus. That makes the phenomenon no less 'real' or tangible as a subject of study... Whether they are physical things in our own realm, intrusions from some other dimension; or simply some manifestation of aberration within either the physical brain or its processes (i.e. common/shared delusion), is yet to be discovered. - But it will only ever be discovered through study.

    Meanwhile back at the big top, there's a man with a funny wee van and a load of performing budgies who says he's a world champion racing driver!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
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  2. Zeke Newbold

    Zeke Newbold Carbon based biped.

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    What a superb thread!

    It seems to me that the current `crisis` referred to here arises from two things: (1) the invention of the term `ufology` and (b) - yes-the polluting informational overload of the interweb.

    Studying UFOs is not a science - and hence calling it `ufology` was premature and set the bar way higher than is possible for any researcher to live up to. Studying the UFO phenomena is just a subset of `Fortean ` studies in general, and the methodology employed is no different than that used if one was (say) investigating the Loch Ness Monster. One interviews witnesses, checks out photos and hangs around areas where things are said to have occurred is all - the rest is all speculation. At best one can make use of an existing science -meteorology say, or physics or psychology - but that does not make `ufology` itself a science.So through bandying the term `ufology` around, as though it were an academic discipline which is somehow separate from the rest of the journalism of the unexplained, we have created expectations that we could never live up to.

    Then the worldwide web: I would say for such a nascent type of study, the opportunities this resource offers have been outweighed by the dangers. Discussion of UFOs is now hopelessly bogged down with a whole raft of Conspiracy Theories - regarding the Nazis, Area 51, Mars, the moon landings and so forth and this comes mostly from North America and almost entirely from the web.(I was involved in the UFO scene in the early nineties and so know that it was not ever thus). Likewise, in the area of photography and video: the technology of this has reached such a stage, and the preponderance of tricksters out there is so great that, I for one, as a civilian, have absolutely no way of telling if a photo is real or fake. I strongly suspect that there are some honest to goodness genuine UFO shots out there in the slushpile - but I have no way of identifying them - so I don't even bother.

    I went through a phase similar to the one that some posters here are in: one of scepticism borne of the view that it is but a modern folklore, as well as a haughty distrust of people's reported experiences.

    I have been cured of that through renewed reading, as well as encountering people with witness stories that I find believable. I think that by and large people report more or less what they see (in this area as much as any other) and that there is an exotic - but not necessarily an extraterrestrial phenomenon behind it all.I would describe myself as a hopeful agnostic therefore.

    There are still some good researchers out there: Pope (oh, yes!), Donderi. Keene, Vallee...and it is great to hear from Randles again. I know that some of the sceptics on here will scoff at these authors on the grounds that they have made mistakes, or that they cherry pick data or that they have drawn hasty conclusions. Maybe so, but that doesn't mean that we should throw the speculative baby out with the informational bathwater. These kinds of mistakes occur in all fields of study, after all -paleontolgy for instance - without bringing them into disrepute.

    There is still a strong element of `It can't be so, therefore I'm going to dismiss or rationalise any evidence to the contrary` in the thinking of many a dedicated sceptic.

    So turn off the internet and start watching the skies again: there's still a very big and very wide world out there!
     
  3. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    I must disagree somewhat... Although the term is now distorted beyond any reason or recognition, I don't agree that it is fundamentally flawed. -Nothing was a 'science' until the rigour of scientific methodology was applied to it, and in this respect the study of apparent objects, apparently flying which cannot otherwise be identified is no different from any other mystery.

    My own (admittedly casual) interest goes back to the 70s. And yes indeed, things were 'less bad' in the mid-90s. But I'm afraid the history of UFOlogy is indeed littered with nonsense going back long before the internet came on the scene. - Flim-flam men have existed long before anyone walking the earth today was born!

    The internet - particularly in the past 10-15 years since 'computing for utter morons' became a thing and got popular has swamped and subsumed many 'grass roots subjects' and concerns (some of them far more serious than the question of UFOs and space aliens!). I think too that there is a greater criminal element involved - i.e. out and out fraudsters who's mission is to separate the credulous from their cash

    Agreed! There most certainly is!
     
  4. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Fresh Blood

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    INT21 & Old Master Q,
    Thanks very much for your response!:) I am actually quite grateful to be here on an intelligent Fortean forum such as this. Just as an aside, the Fortean Times was in fact where and how I first came to learn of Charles Fort some 30 years ago. I have been quite taken with the topic of UFOs since I was a small lad nearly 50 years ago. In fact I will confess to you confidently that I am still sincerely doing my level best to regain my composure post realizing the fact that Jenny Randles herself, IMO one of the most potential researchers/authors/thinkers to have ever shed light on this aspect of Fortean phenomena, participated on this forum, let alone write (pun) here in this bloody thread!!
    :bdown:

    I'm afraid much of my thoughts on the subject have evolved (mutated no doubt!) to such a degree that it's tough for me these days to get a word in edgewise with respect to what might be dubbed "ufo straight talk". So, I would ask you most humbly to bear with my seemingly ufo ramblings of a madman that many find akin to, if nothing else, a much verbosely indulged Aqualung and his shadow.
    :omr::loopy:

    Now, with introductions well in our the past, I'll address your two most excellent points. First of all, I am quite thankful for the "U" in UFO. In fact it's what has kept me thoroughly intrigued all these years. But you see, UFO means one thing and one thing only to MOST people. Not people that are necessarily indulged in the study of the phenomenon like you & I, but the general curious passersby that equate UFOs with "Flying Saucers" or "Alien Craft" from outer space as has become a societal norm since the US Air Force officials invented and introduced the acronym in 1953. I prefer keeping the "Unidentified" and coupling it as many progressives do, and have, with Aerial Phenomena. This is because it is simply a fact that we do not know what this myriad of phenomena actual is, and further, is much more importantly representative of.

    As for the Belgium flap, it's unquestionably one of the most important and well documented historical events with respect to the phenomenon. However, there are many aspects to this key demonstration that support all of what my initial post here contended. I would urge you INT21, just for the sake of perspective, please look up these two terms and then carefully apply them to this specific flap. In fact, apply them across the board to UAP as a whole. I honestly would like to hear yours as well as everyone else on the forum's feedback. Those two terms are "reality", and most importantly as a valid means to study this phenomena, "Phenomenology" (Husserl, & beyond) as a philosophical study template by which we can most legitimately consider them.

    Being clear about what I have stated here: a) UFOs/UAP IMO are not real because reality as we understand it cannot contain or define them beyond contextual speculations. Just because what we know of as being the outline of our reality surely renders them as being no less than an indefinite paranormal occurrence in nature does not defy their existence. It simply means that they are well beyond our most substantial understandings of natural reality, and the precise manner in which we, the conscious observer, are contained and ultimately defined within that reality as being.
     
  5. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    Gargoyle,

    I will try and address some of your points. Bear in mind this is my interpretation of things and others will have different views.

    ..Those two terms are "reality", and most importantly as a valid means to study this phenomena, "Phenomenology"..

    Firstly there the reality of the sighting belongs to the person who experiences it. All else is second hand.

    So, someone see something. They are sober, not known for being jokers, generally of sound mind; but not necessarily so.
    They blink a bit, maybe shake their head, move their field of vision around etc. And the object is still there.
    That, for them, is the reality.
    If more than one person is in the same place at the same time,(they are together) then each has his own reality.

    At this point they should record what they see.
    They will confer. This is a group reality. May differ in detail, but not to any large extent.

    Use of the term phenomenology infers that this reality has been reported by others and that it is seen as something that actually happens.




    ..Being clear about what I have stated here: a) UFOs/UAP IMO are not real because reality as we understand it cannot contain or define them beyond contextual speculations.

    Here I would go out on a limb and suggest that the lack of understanding could be due to us not being fully aware of all the possibilities in physics. I.e we may be missing something. Almost everyone would agree, I am sure. that there probably is yet more to be discovered.
    Contextual speculation is necessary to form hypotheses. And these hypotheses can, at some time. be formed into theories and can then be tried by experiment.



    ...but the general curious passersby that equate UFOs with "Flying Saucers" or "Alien Craft" from outer space as has become a societal norm...

    Sadly this is indeed the case, I don't subscribe to that.


    ...This is because it is simply a fact that we do not know what this myriad of phenomena actual is, and further, is much more importantly representative of....

    By stating this, I think you make it clear that you believe the is an actual phenomena; as do I.

    The key point in many ufo sighting are the same. but the most important seems to be that, whatever they are, they seem to have the ability to come and go instantaneously.

    Being forced to acknowledge that a real thing is there. It also forces one to the conclusion that there must be a 'somewhere' that they come from and return to'.

    If this 'somewhere' was part of our normality, let us say our 'Earthly Realm' then one would have expected it to have been found by now.

    But it hasn't. So they must come from some 'unearthly realm'. There really is no other choice.

    The real question is 'Where or what is the realm ?'

    The physics we know would suggest that it can't be out there in space as the time to reach other habitable places would preclude it. Not I said 'as we know'.

    So, perhaps they are part of another dimension we are not aware of ?
    Why not ? People have been talking about Heaven and Hell for centuries but no one can prove either exist as realities simply because we can't detect them.

    ...I would urge you INT21, just for the sake of perspective, please look up these two terms and then carefully apply them to this specific flap...

    The Eupan flap is very simple. Many hundreds of people reported seeing the same objects to the authorities at the same time. It was a long duration event; In fact at least two events.

    It was real to the extent the Belgium military felt the need to investigate. And it was detected on radar screens that rule out the possibility of it being a figment of the observers minds.

    I find that pretty much a case for whatever t was to have been real in the sense we accept as normal.

    INT21
     
  6. dr wu

    dr wu Doctor Prog

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    Following up on INT21's thoughts I also think that ufos/uaps are real in the sense that people see and experience them and they have often had physical effects on the environment if we can trust some of the data retrieved.
    I do not think they are merely 'mental phenomena' in the sense of hallucinations ,delusions, etc. though certainly that accounts for some sightings and events.
    Having said that I don't know what they represent nor do I think they are necessarily alien spacecraft. I tend to use Dr Vallee's models that whatever the genuine events are (we are ruling out mis-idents, hallucinations , known natural phenom and hoaxing ...) they are probably more exotic than even ET's from space. But what that might be is completely open to discussion.
     
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  7. dr wu

    dr wu Doctor Prog

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    Saw this on another forum....it seems to fit in with the theme of credibility...interesting interview with a guy called Grant Cameron...who has been around for sometime in the ufo arena..circus? At any rate he's commenting on the new Tom DeLonge project of disclosure (as well as many other disinfo games). Delonge has gathered a group of heavyweights( ex insiders in intel, military, and science fields...) with some apparent inside clout and he's claiming they are going to get at the truth of the ufo mystery. They are also asking for donations. I'm not sure why these people have aligned themselves with De Longe. So here's a link to the De Longe project , and a deconstruction of it by this Grant Cameron guy ....which I found interesting but confusing. Will the real UFO Truth please stand up..?



     
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  8. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    As I hinted in my opening post, the DeLonge 'project' appears to me as a fairly shoddy attempt to set up a hoax, gain some momentum for it, and ride the wave. - It's a prime example of the sort of commercial fake/hoax that has de-railed many grass roots concerns;' making side shows of them. - Another thing worth questioning though is to what extent high profile, attention-seeking opposition; and in particular the 'whipping up' of opposing audience factions ( generally unstable/uneducated/unintelligent people who then indulge in online virtual bitchfights) with financial gain... To what extent is that part-and-parcel of 'the game' in which any serious/genuine/rational interest in the UFO phenomena is 'thrown out with the bathwater'.
     
  9. dr wu

    dr wu Doctor Prog

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    Cameron in his rambling interview in that you tube video implies that DeLonge is being 'set up' by American intel and military types for the purpose of spreading disinformation and confusion to keep the public fed with ufo junk but away from any actual truth. He claims, (and he's not the only one since even Dr Vallee has said something similar), that the government simply doesn't know the (whole) truth of the matter regarding what the ufo enigma really is and this is the main truth they have been hiding all these decades. He also claims they are 'running' more than one operation, in this case Delonge, but that they have 6 different 'disclosure groups' they control secretly including Dr Greer's group.
    It's all one big shell game to keep the truth from the public about the ufo phenomenon. The truth being that something weird is going on and it involves several levels of reality but even the government doesn't have a handle on it.
    At least this is what Grant Cameron claims in that video.

    It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the government is mostly in the dark on this also but is this because the phenomenon is beyond our current ability to understand or is it because 'there isn't any there...there'.
    o_O
     
  10. RaM

    RaM Abominable Snowman

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    Just been watching Australian Railways one of the drivers mentioned seeing
    something he said he did not believe in UFO's but would not talk anymore about it.
     
  11. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Fresh Blood

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    IMO, the greatest thwart to UFO credibility is UFO credulity. The absolute and most essential makeup of that which constitutes an earnest and most credible study of UFOs is one that centers first on understanding the yet seriously studied stage of experiential consciousness. (reality) There is much Forteana itself that only exists as a result of a spontaneous peeping session (glitch?) into this life behind the curtain so to speak. The apex of the last 70+ years of studying the UFO phenomenon apart from a sincere understanding of this environmental consciousness staging constitutes nothing more than just one more folkloric chapter in the book of observational context.

    Even though we are most likely not even close to exiting the mouth of proverbial cave just yet with respect to a working understanding of the realms that make for the ultimate of all navigable frontiers (reality), these are most likely baby steps from deep within the cave in the right direction.



     
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  12. humanoidlord

    humanoidlord ce3 researcher

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    oh my god, i had an very similar ideia insoired by an dream i had
    drive cars around the country that have flir,hd night-vision and 4k day cameras and livestream everthing to internet
     
  13. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    Frankly, primarily, DeLonge is (IMHO) just another chancer looking to separate the credulous, largely drug-addled dregs of his diminishing fanbase from their cash. But I don't entirely dismiss Cameron's view.

    If we consider (by way of model exemplar) another and largely-unrelated (to this topic) character; that of David Icke...

    Most sane people will dismiss absolutely everything that comes out of that man's mouth as the ranting of a raving lunatic and clown-prince of conspiracy theory; I say that is a role he plays.

    ...Factually, his M.O. is to latch on to matters of concern and contention, highlight key issues, then weave them into the fabric of his fanciful fairy tales. - By this means any and all debate about these things is instantly dismissible as simply the village idiots baying at the moon.

    Icke (like others) makes a very sound living from this. But at whose behest does he operate in this way? Would a rational approach not serve his financial needs just as well?

    In reality, he serves the ends of those he claim to be critical of very well indeed... For he is part of the means by which it is ensured that there is no credible debate had; no serious examination of facts and any concerns the wider public might have can be stewarded and managed. - In other words public perceptions are deliberately manipulated to ensure the 'baby of truth' is thrown out in a 'tide of nonsense'.

    Virtually all of the so-called 'truth movement' strikes me as infiltrated by such influence. And I can even think of examples (which I won't be drawn on here) of serious criminals employing such strategies in order to deflect from their (often damaged and vulnerable) victims' grass-roots pursuit of justice.

    The term 'shell game' is indeed apt...

    Only when it comes to such games what we have is shells within shells, games within games such that the only possible outcome is confusion and the only real victim is truth. - The old Project Mockingbird, one of the few things released into the wild, was just an icicle sticking out of the 'berg! A relatively tame thing; nowhere near the tip.

    So just where does that leave us?

    ...Often frightened to speak out or even mention anything odd we've seen.

    Let me move the conversation towards a saner perspective for a moment...

    A few weeks ago I received my copy of Alan Godfrey's 'Who or What Were They?' - Which, having found it a quick and easy read (largely due to it being written like a Policeman's notes; which it is), I found to be an honest and rational account of his experiences - both in terms of seeing 'something' and the consequences of doing so.

    Alan isn't particularly 'flogging' anything. His account is as rational as any such thing can ever be; certainly not dishonest or mercenary, for you do get the distinct impression he feels it would have been better if it never happened at all. Certainly his account is not unhinged or ranting as many others are...

    What it does speak of (by way of sub-text) is something wrong in terms of internal Police politics. And similarly, of interference from other areas of officialdom. - Alan actually doesn't 'say he was abducted by aliens' as is so often claimed; he just doesn't know. ...Watch particularly from about 14:30 on;



    Two things interest me about this case. Firstly the fact that the man says he saw 'something', and there are fragments of secondary evidence (read the book!) that would appear to corroborate that 'something' was there. Secondly, the way he appears to have been targeted for a campaign of (oh too common in this world!) 'corporate bullying which eventually cost him his career in the police.

    Dissembled to that stage the case is relatively prosaic...

    For clarity, I am personally unconvinced as to the value of so-called 'hypnotic regression'. My own view is that it is more likely to cause the subject to vocalise the stuff of nightmares, dreams and the imagination than anything they might have experienced at any level. In fact I'll go so far as to say I believe it to be a dangerous practice; both in terms of possible damage to the mental (and even physical) health of the subject and the scope for precipitating miscarriages of justice.

    But at no point does Alan say anything other than he saw something that he cannot identify hovering over the road. He cites damage to his clothing and the testimony of others; but at all times stays within the bounds of what can be evidenced. - The matter of his hypnotic regression and the output from that are stated as the matters of fact they are; but Alan at no point says that's what actually happened to him.

    And yet, look at what happened to him... bullied out of his job, and (IMHO) given a much rougher ride than he deserves by others. And that's not untypical of what happens which in turn causes people to become reticent about telling of their experiences.

    It comes as no surprise to me that the police espouses a culture of bullying and actually lacks the integrity Peelian Principals actually demand and the public expect. - I considered a police career myself once, and went so far as to spend 4-1/2 years as a Special Constable before disillusionment (with the culture and operation) caused me to hand in my ticket. These days my position is one of "no confidence" in my 'local' force Police Scotland. - the service generally having become completely unfit for purpose and rotten to the very core.

    Injelitance - along with amorality is at the heart of these problems as they are in the middle of the rot that seems to exist in almost all public service and large enterprise. This amounts to corruption (in the literal sense) of systems that do not work in the public interest. - And to be clear, it's not just the police I criticise in this respect.

    Alan's account of what happened rings true; there was 'something' there that night. - He isn't really offering any strong opinion as to what. His experience of being bullied out of his job... again common enough and familiar enough to ring true. - The involvement of 'men from the ministry' and mysterious vehicles that don't appear on the PNC (known practice for various security services) is also quite credible.

    ...And this brings me back to your comment...

    I agree... but then what is possible more sinister is their ability and willingness to manipulate the phenomenon to their own - entirely disreputable - ends. And, by way of illustration, I ask you to contrast and compare the treatment of a (mostly harmless) man like Alan Godfrey with the free reign given to vicious-tongued lunatics such as David Icke; a man who has done serious damage in his time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  14. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    I beg to differ very strongly.
    First the famous photo has been revealed as a fake;
    http://badufos.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/classic-ufo-photo-from-belgian-wave.html

    Secondly a detailed analysis by Tim Printy shows that the visual reports are unremarkable and do not correlate with the radar reports well, and the radar reports are also mundane.
    http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/Belg.htm
    Note that Meesen was initially enthusiastic about the radar/visual confirmations, but later came to realise that the data did not match. Obviously the UFOs were not flying underground, so the radar reports must be regarded as unreliable.
     
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  15. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    eburacum,

    In the end it comes down to what you are wanting to believe, not the facts as recorded.

    If a couple of hundred people think that the sightings are unusual enough to call the authorities then it is a fairly safe bet that at least as many more saw whatever was going on and didn't bother. So it was a big event.

    'he feels that...

    'He suggests that...

    But he didn't have any first hand evidence. Always the problem with these sightings.

    'so the radar reports must be regarded as unreliable.'

    But what about the eye witnesses ?

    how do you explain them away ?

    INT21
     
  16. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    I'd guess that most of the eyewitnesses were observing the aircraft sent to investigate the sighting, rather than the original phenomenon that sparked the event. A significant number of people who reported this saw almost nothing, but were aware that something was going on, because of the planes flying around, and they later heard about the UFO connection, and retconned their own memories to make them more interesting.

    I know this sort of thing happens, because I've done it myself. A couple of years ago I glanced out of the window and noticed that the night sky was a peculiar colour, but I immediately dismissed it as just a pretty sunset. Later that night the TV news was banging on about 'rare noctilucent clouds', with photos and explanations. Now I have always wanted to see noctilucent clouds, so I reconstructed my memories (and probably integrated the pictures off the telly as well). A week or so later I was telling someone about these spectacular clouds and my missus says something along the lines of- 'Don't talk rubbish, you wouldn't even look at them'.

    I had a clear recollection of this beautiful phenomenon, pieced together from stuff I did not personally witness. This is how memory works, and why eye witness testimony is unreliable.
     
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  17. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    eburacum,

    ..but were aware that something was going on, because of the planes flying around,..

    The air force didn't react to the first sightings. They reacted to the second set a year later.

    ..I had a clear recollection of this beautiful phenomenon, pieced together from stuff I did not personally witness. This is how memory works, and why eye witness testimony is unreliable...

    So you admit that, in this case, it was all imagination constructed from tv coverage. The question becomes, why were describing to someone something you didn't actually see ?
    You were not a witness.

    It is clear that you will go to any stretch to debunk the phenomena.

    One can only hope you never have to bear witness to, say, an accident or an attack on someone.

    May I ask what it would take to make you believe in something you saw that you could not neatly categorize as man made or natural ?

    And should you wish to describe the event, why should anyone believe you ?

    INT21
     
  18. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    I would hope that any witness statement would be taken with due caution, including my own.

    Since the radar evidence did not, in fact corroborate the witness statements, and remembering that the pilots saw nothing, the witness statements do not seem to give much indication of what was really going on.
     
  19. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    The first sighting does seem consistent with a helicopter - the witnesses mention a 'fan' and white and red lights consistent with a terrestrial craft.

    This first sighting and the media attention it provoked, may have affected the second event and the willingness of witnesses to come forward. This is what happens in a UFO 'flap'.
     
  20. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    More about the first sighting;
    https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4538
     
  21. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    ....Investigator Renaud Leclet wrote a lengthy article going into great detail and concluded that it was almost certainly a Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter in the area....

    But he doesn't know of one. And no one claimed to have one in the sky at the time. So he is making an uninformed guess.

    And the police were not able to recognise a helicopter in a quiet rural area ? Have you never heard them ?

    I'm giving up on this.

    INT21
     
  22. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    I can't guess why the gendarmes in the first sighting couldn't recognise this as a helicopter, but the craft seems to have had fairly standard navigation lights, and at least one witness (Gendarme Peter Nicholl) reported seeing a 'rotating turbine' and hearing a noise like a fan. But UFO proponents like SOBREPS tend to gloss over such facts.
     
  23. stuneville

    stuneville Amministratore principale Staff Member

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    Just to add a sidebar to a fascinating discussion - the same principles being discussed here are of course applicable to many areas of Fortean interest. In fact, you will find near-facsimile conversations in most of the main categories on here, at least the ones where the central subject matter is itself equivocal in nature. Invariably they will tend to draw similar conclusions:
    • many sightings / encounters are mundanely explicable, given some time and research
    • acknowledgement that hoaxers are out there, and their motivations aren't always clear
    • that people can be utterly sincere, but mistaken
    • there are those that will refuse to accept any explanation than that to which they are attached (ie it has become a matter of faith)
    • that all cases must be examined on their own merit - just because an explanation was found for X it doesn't mean that also applies to Y
    • The nature of evidence has been hugely changed by modern tech (ie a stunning pic forty years ago will elicit a "meh, it's fake / photoshopped / CGI " these days)
    • Ultimately, there will always be those that believe regardless and those that will never believe until they can metaphorically touch it - and Forteans somewhere in the middle, and last but not least
    • All of these things are cyclical. It was UFOs and Greys in the 90s, Ghosts in the 00s, Cryptozoo this decade. At a guess it'll be Earth Mysteries / Mysticism / Mind and Spirit / Magick rising to prominence next, but as that one is always humming away at the back anyway I imagine Ufology will be the next core topic to get the general spotlight once more.
    That's my take, anyway. Play on.
     
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  24. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

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    stuneville,

    Yup, it's a hopeless situation really.

    eboracum,

    I'm done with this one.

    What is your take on JAL 1628 ?

    INT21
     
  25. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    In the weeks since this thread began I've been mulling over the focal questions posed, and here are my responses:

    Has Ufology reached a point where it is stalled as a potentially serious avenue of research?
    Yes

    And if so, is this entirely down to the influence of fakes, frauds and flim-flam merchants?
    No

    Now let me summarize why I think so ...

    Background:
    I have a lot of outdoors experience, and I've spent considerable time watching the skies owing to interests in meteorology and astronomy.

    I'm no stranger to UFO stories and observations. The early UFO publications were prominent among the readings that got me interested in Forteana starting in the late 1950's. In the mid-1990's I spent two years reading / re-reading UFO literature during the ramp-up to the 50th anniversary of Roswell.

    I have personally observed unexplained aerial phenomena (UAP's; my preferred terminology nowadays), both individually and with others. Of the ones not readily explained as common / natural phenomena, most of these have been near-ground or low-altitude glowing objects of the earthlight / glowing orb / Brown Mountain (etc.) Lights variety.

    I can't say I've ever observed an anomalous airborne thingie that struck me as unequivocally an artificial craft of any sort. By the same token I've had a lot of experience observing aircraft of all types, and I can't say any of the ones I couldn't ID had to be of non-terrestrial origin.

    Of the 'classic' UFO style sightings I've experienced, there are 3 that remain unexplained:

    - V-shaped formation of pale green lights / Michigan / late 1971 or early 1972, observed along with a half-dozen other witnesses, all of whom agreed on the basic facts. The formation consisted of identical ovoid lights or lighted objects holding rigid formation and sliding across the sky in a smooth fashion insinuating a common structure.

    - Bright star-like object seen in full unclouded daylight (two incidents) / Tennessee / late 1960's (a year or more apart), witnessed alone. In both cases the bright blue-white object seemed to hover before making a couple of radical lateral movements and shooting straight up - all at speeds and angles no manned aircraft could manage.

    Having said that ...

    Both my answers above are based to some extent on the same points:

    - The serious UFO research community (which I acknowledge and appreciate) doesn't stand a chance of being heard above the din of all the crap that's been, and continues to be, disseminated about the subject.

    - There is not - and never has been - a single 'phenomenon' to which one can reasonably attribute all the encounters labeled as involving a 'UFO'. Nonetheless ...

    - Most sectors of the UFO 'community' (broadly circumscribed) have to varying degrees been sidetracked or subordinated into constantly orienting themselves and / or their audience(s) to a common explanatory narrative - i.e., that odd things in the sky are artificial craft of non-terrestrial origin (or at least affiliation).

    - There's no reasonable basis for this totalizing narrative beyond the speculations of its promoters - many of whom have vested interests in maintaining their audience. I sensed things were starting to go sideways back in the 1960's when 'abductions' emerged in the mix, and I concluded it had all gone too far by the late 1970's when people were arguing about the details of an alien pantheon (Greys; Greens; Reptilians; etc.) that seemed to have come from nowhere.

    - My mid-1990's review of UFO stuff dating back 50 years (at the time) convinced me most of the popular UFO folks (not to be confused with the few serious researchers) had disappeared up their own bungholes long before.

    - This review also demonstrated that the earlier story lines had been butchered and / or blended so as to make a hash of what few 'facts' there ever were.

    - In the developed nations, ordinary people are increasingly encapsulated in their urban / suburban environs and are effectively clueless about what's in the skies. Anything these drones witness overhead is likely to be claimed as extraordinary / paradoxical.

    - Anything ordinary bozos witness in the skies automatically gets sucked into the dominant narrative's framing from the get-go. In other words:

    "I saw a moving light" ===> "I saw a UFO" ===> "The extraterrestrials are out tonight!"

    - The above-cited factors are aggravated by the deluge of prank / hoax dreck the combination of net connectivity, graphics manipulation capabilities, and general idiocy now affords. Such hoaxing isn't a single-point cause for the current malaise, because pop ufology had essentially hoaxed itself into absurdity much earlier.

    - More recent attempts to back away from the standard pop narrative and / or introduce alternative interpretations (e.g., Vallee) are too little too late (IMHO).

    - The term 'UFO' is now twisted beyond all recognition, and it is effectively toxic. As a result, 'ufology' is a similarly toxic label to claim for oneself
    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  26. Old Master Q

    Old Master Q Devoted Cultist

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    Good points all, and well made.
     
  27. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    I think there are some myths around this one.

    First of all, the myth that it was a sighting with multiple witnesses. Although Captain Terauchi seems to have seen something, his crew are not so sure; Flight Engineer Yoshio Tsukuba was not sure whether the object was a UFO or not, and Copilot Takanori Tamefuji could not be certain that the lights were different from a star. They were apparently sitting in the wrong position to see the so-called 'mothership', but given its characteristics I'm not surprised.

    Secondly the radar return seems to have been a commonplace phenomenon known as a 'split image'; in other words a second reflection from the aircraft itself. A number of radar anomalies had previously been reported in that area, and others have been reported since - perhaps they were all alien spacecraft, but I doubt that somehow. So instead of confirmation, the radar return becomes coincidence. Different thing.

    But what did Terauchi see? I think the second sighting, a giant black mothership in the night sky, is far less impressive than it sounds - you saw something black? As big as an aircraft carrier? In the black sky? Through a glass window? Two other planes were sent to the area to intercept JAL 1628 and confirm the sighting, but saw nothing.

    But what about the first sighting? This doesn't look like any plausible kind of flying object, human or alien.
    [​IMG]
    The other crew members do not seem to have seen anything like this, even though he described them as dazzling. I think that suggests that the phenomenon that Capt. Terauchi saw was uniquely visible to him- it may have been an internal phenomenon such as a scintillating scotoma associated with a migraine- if he had never had a migraine before this might explain his unfamiliarity with it.

    Here's one artist's impression of a scotoma, showing a multicoloured pattern of lights in the visual field.
    [​IMG]
    but there are many variations on this theme. And it need not have been a scotoma.

    If the lights were an internal neuro-optic phenomenon, that might explain why they could move without any regard for inertia and the laws of physics, and why no-one else could see them. It might also explain why Terauchi was taken off flying for a couple of years ( they may have let him back into the air when the symptoms did not recur,).
     
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  28. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

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    Out of sheer hubris I would like to make some suggestions. V-shaped formations of ovoid lights in the sky are usually flights of geese or other anseriformes flying in the dark, their pale underbellies reflecting the ambient light. I assume you've considered this explanation already and dismissed it- I think you may have been wrong to do so.

    I don't know about this one. Over my lifetime of observing I've tried to see most of the phenomena that can be mistaken for UFOs; I have seen the geese mentioned earlier, and very impressive they were too. I've observed both Jupiter and Venus in daylight, but they really could not be described as 'bright star-like objects' by any means , as their apparent magnitude is only just higher that that of the sky itself. So these cannot have been celestial objects. The brightest pointlike object I've ever seen was a weather balloon, but that would not explain the movements at the end of your account.

    To be honest I have my doubts about whether these movements occurred in the way you remember them - irregular movements in an unclouded sky? How could you distinguish between such movements and normal, involuntary eye movements during fixation? The autokinetic effect need not only occur at night.

    And I've seen a number of accounts where the object flies away at the end of the sighting, as fast as or faster than the eye can follow - if the movement was sufficiently fast, then there is room for doubt that your eyes actually did follow it correctly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  29. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    The geese hypothesis was raised and debated among the witnesses at the time. None of us were comfortable with accepting it, though it naturally remained on the table.

    The main reasons no one voted for the geese theory were:

    - the formation was rigid, regular, and constant throughout the sighting;

    - none of the constituent ovoid shapes bobbed or shifted;

    - the overall formation smoothly 'slid' across the sky, with no perceptible shift in speed or direction;

    - if the formation were comprised of geese, they would have been no more than 100 - 150 feet above, yet there were no sounds we typically associated with overflying geese; (NOTE: At least two of the witnesses - including myself - had experience with such geese from hunting.)

    - the street illumination below was primarily orange (from then-new halogen street lamps) - making it difficult to reconcile with the unanimously-reported pale 'firefly-like' green hue of the formation's constituent shapes.
     
  30. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    No - neither of these sightings could have been celestial objects. In both cases it was late afternoon on a sunny day. The sun was not in direct view (obscured by hills to the west, but still nowhere near setting). I was quite familiar with relevant celestial phenomena (e.g., 'evening star'), and the object was too bright to have been one of those.

    Both these sightings occurred while I was outside, at rest, and gazing broadly down a valley. My view was unobscured / unfiltered (no intervening windows or surfaces other than my eyeglasses' lenses), and there was no nearby point source of light that could have been playing on my lenses.

    I was already familiar with autokinetic effects through prior experience with my glasses and amateur astronomy using both binoculars and a telescope. The movements weren't autokinetic effects - the visible target was moving as I steadily gazed at the overall scene.

    In both cases I initially detected the bright star-like object and zeroed in on it seconds before it made any movements. My gaze was steady and focused prior to the movements. In both cases, the object diminished in apparent size / brightness as it finally swooped off (in one case possibly at an angle away from my position; in the other case seemingly straight up).
     

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