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  #1  
Old 01-19-2019, 04:38 PM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
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UFO Theory and Middle Ground.

I have to tell you, I am probably as skeptical as anyone else on these boards, particularly when it comes to UFO conspiracy theories. Greys, Area 51, men in black. All of it is clearly nonsense, I agree.

But I do wonder if some people of the skeptical scientific bent aren't being a little too skeptical. They seem to just reject every theory that is offered by these people out-of-hand. It seems, to me at least, they never even seriously consider them. They are so closed-minded, apparently owing to the people they happen to be dealing with.

Anyways, as the title of this thread suggests, I wonder if there is any middle ground anywhere between these two groups.

Specifically Ancient Astronaut Theory. Again, some of its proponents' claims are rather outrageous. But to me, it does in some ways sound like Zoo Hypothesis, which I believe has some kernel of truth to it (i.e., it is at least possible).

And then, if scientific skeptics can learn something from UFO conspiracy theorists, maybe the reverse is true. Maybe the UFO people can learn something from the scientists. Am I wrong?

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Old 01-19-2019, 05:49 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Of course the UFO people can learn something from the scientists. The problem is that they refuse it out of hand.

I can't begin to understand what you think you're asking. Do you really for even one second believe that scientists haven't investigated thousands and thousands of UFO claims, the ones you're saying they dismiss out of hand? Dozens of independent investigations have taken place since the 19th century. (I wrote about one from then. They didn't start with flying saucers. WHAT WAS IT? The Mystery Airship of 1896)

No scientifically accepted evidence has ever been put forward for any UFO claims. And yet they continue to be checked constantly, with nothing found. (Many people notice that UFO sightings have gone down instead of up in this era where everybody carries cameras every moment.)

You're starting from a ridiculously false premise. Small wonder you're coming up with a ridiculously false conclusion.
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:52 PM
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Anyways, as the title of this thread suggests, I wonder if there is any middle ground anywhere between these two groups.
Sure. But it has to start with one side showing me an alien. Until then, it doesn't really matter what idea or "theory" they've proposed because there's no evidence to support it and no way to disprove it.
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Old 01-19-2019, 06:50 PM
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Science isn’t about compromise and middle ground. It’s about evidence.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:06 PM
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Which specific hypotheses from the UFO people is it you feel are treated with less respect than they deserve? You mention ancient astronauts, which is nonsense upon nonsense upon nonsense and mainly consists of ignoring reasonable interpretations of ancient artistic expression and defending oddball interpretations with the best cherry picking good cognitive dissonance can motivate.

Is there some specific sub-hypothesis of ancient astronauts you think has even a shred of decent evidence supporting it?

Now the Zoo Hypothesis definitely doesn't, since it's an attempt to explain why hypothetical existing aliens aren't coming around for tea. It's a conspiracy theorists wet dream, a hypothesis strengthened by the absence of any evidence.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:17 PM
Fiveyearlurker Fiveyearlurker is offline
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I would have thought that the evidence would have started coming in much more quickly once we all started carrying high definition cameras in our pockets at all times. But, no. Still no evidence.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:33 PM
Ryan_Liam Ryan_Liam is offline
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Which specific hypotheses from the UFO people is it you feel are treated with less respect than they deserve? You mention ancient astronauts, which is nonsense upon nonsense upon nonsense and mainly consists of ignoring reasonable interpretations of ancient artistic expression and defending oddball interpretations with the best cherry picking good cognitive dissonance can motivate.

Is there some specific sub-hypothesis of ancient astronauts you think has even a shred of decent evidence supporting it?

Now the Zoo Hypothesis definitely doesn't, since it's an attempt to explain why hypothetical existing aliens aren't coming around for tea. It's a conspiracy theorists wet dream, a hypothesis strengthened by the absence of any evidence.
I was always of the opinion that the reason why it was so hard to prove was due to the tech they would undoubtebly have if said aliens were able to traverse such long distances, and usually go about their business undetected, and that the eyewitness accounts were generally when we caught them off guard or outliers. All supposition obviously.

I thought this video was pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb7T1v_VHpE
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:43 PM
naita naita is offline
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I was always of the opinion that the reason why it was so hard to prove was due to the tech they would undoubtebly have if said aliens were able to traverse such long distances, and usually go about their business undetected, and that the eyewitness accounts were generally when we caught them off guard or outliers. All supposition obviously.

I thought this video was pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb7T1v_VHpE
Funnily enough our technology for detecting such things keeps improving, whether it be cameras, radar systems, or other, but the UFOs always happen to result in marginal signals and blurriness. Could that possibly be because they are all misidentified natural phenomena or instrument anomalies?

I'm not watching a half hour video.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:56 PM
Ryan_Liam Ryan_Liam is offline
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Funnily enough our technology for detecting such things keeps improving, whether it be cameras, radar systems, or other, but the UFOs always happen to result in marginal signals and blurriness. Could that possibly be because they are all misidentified natural phenomena or instrument anomalies?

I'm not watching a half hour video.
Then don't watch it.

In the video they go through some of the cases that Project Blue Book couldn't account for in regards to them being natural phenomena or instrumentation anomalies.

I'm a skeptic as well, but it is sometimes interesting.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:18 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Science isnít about compromise and middle ground. Itís about evidence.
I sometimes hear people say there should be a middle ground between diehard antivaxers and pro-immunization advocates. I am unconvinced there is a middle ground between pseudoscience promoters/conspiracy theorists (of any stripe) and those who espouse evidence-based science.

I'm reminded of an 1864 cartoon promoting General George McClellan as the "reasonable" compromise candidate for the Republican nomination. The cartoon shows two feuding child-like figures, Abraham Lincoln and the Confederacy's Jefferson Davis, who are having a tug-of-war with the American flag and are about to tear it in two, but are prevented from doing so by McClellan, who towers over them, looking mature and regal. In reality, McClellan (in addition to being a lousy field general) was a rather slimy and calculating appeaser.

Way too much time as already been spent on debunking UFO theories, alien abductions and the like. As has been repeatedly said, you can't reason people out of goofy ideas they didn't come up with on the basis of reasoned thought.

If advanced civilizations* really did make it to earth, they'd make their presence known eventually and it'd be flamingly obvious to everyone, skeptics included.

*or backward ones that happened to have mechanical aptitude.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:44 PM
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If UFOs did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:05 PM
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If there were alien beings observing the earth, why would they use things such as crop circles to send us obscure "messages"? Presumably, if they've been observing us long enough, they would learn our major languages and contact our world capitals directly with technology familiar to us, such as video, telephone, or some Skype-like kind of technology.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:21 PM
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I have to tell you, I am probably as skeptical as anyone else on these boards, particularly when it comes to UFO conspiracy theories. Greys, Area 51, men in black. All of it is clearly nonsense, I agree.

But I do wonder if some people of the skeptical scientific bent aren't being a little too skeptical. They seem to just reject every theory that is offered by these people out-of-hand. It seems, to me at least, they never even seriously consider them. They are so closed-minded, apparently owing to the people they happen to be dealing with.

Anyways, as the title of this thread suggests, I wonder if there is any middle ground anywhere between these two groups.

Specifically Ancient Astronaut Theory. Again, some of its proponents' claims are rather outrageous. But to me, it does in some ways sound like Zoo Hypothesis, which I believe has some kernel of truth to it (i.e., it is at least possible).

And then, if scientific skeptics can learn something from UFO conspiracy theorists, maybe the reverse is true. Maybe the UFO people can learn something from the scientists. Am I wrong?

I don't think it's a matter of being closed minded. SETI indicates the contrary.

Bottom line is extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Without it those claims can't be taken as much more than mental jogging and posthumating.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:20 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Then don't watch it.

In the video they go through some of the cases that Project Blue Book couldn't account for in regards to them being natural phenomena or instrumentation anomalies.

I'm a skeptic as well, but it is sometimes interesting.
Of course there are Unidentified Flying objects. Poor vision, mistaken identities, instrument glitches, lack of detail, secret test flights, difficulty of estimating speed and distance, almost as many reasons for not identifying something as identifying it.

And so what? The fact that many things cannot easily be pinned down because of the lack of hard evidence one way or another should never be an excuse for saying: See? Aliens must be visiting us!

Unidentified flying objects are just that. Until they are identified they are meaningless noise. If you want to believe then I have some good NORAD sightings of Santa Claus to sell you.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:42 PM
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Space is really, really, big. Our Voyager crafts, travelling at all the speed we could give them, are just now leaving our solar system. They are headed to nowhere and will take longer than the age of our sun to get there.

Everyone else, assuming there is anyone else, which is a really, really, big assumption, has to follow the same rules.

And then there is the question of why. Why go great distances to find what? The raw materials seem to be the same everywhere. Why go farther than you need to find them? Solar/star systems seem to be all made of the same stuff.

Our imaginative writers have postulated a universe where we are the young race, just waiting to be contacted by our elders. This has put a strong coloring on our thought process. None of the speculative fiction imagines that we are the elder race and that there is noe one to contact, because there is no one to contact. Maybe some intelligent squids on some water world.

We live in the Orion Spur, off of the Sagittarius spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy. We only see a few thousand of our local stars in the night sky. Very local but forever out of reach.

But we can detect stars and galaxies, and the light and radio waves from them at incredible distances. So what do we find? Nothing that cannot be explained by natural phenomenon. There should be some indication of others actions, even at a distance. So we postulate a zoo hypothesis to explain that we are quarantined. This is an idea to keep the science fiction stories alive.

Occam's Razor requires that we think in simpler terms. We are for all practical purposes alone. We will never even find an indication of other intelligent, technological life out there. If they exist, they can never travel the distances to make unexplained lights in our sky, and then just leave.
The whole idea is preposterous. We are alone, we will always be alone, and we will never find even an indication that we are not.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:57 PM
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But I do wonder if some people of the skeptical scientific bent aren't being a little too skeptical. They seem to just reject every theory that is offered by these people out-of-hand. It seems, to me at least, they never even seriously consider them.
The purpose of a theory is to explain observations (data, facts, etc). Is there any observation that is best explained by UFOs? I don't know of any.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:04 AM
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Halfway between right and wrong? Why would anyone want to go from right to half-right?
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:46 AM
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Of course the UFO people can learn something from the scientists. The problem is that they refuse it out of hand.

I can't begin to understand what you think you're asking. Do you really for even one second believe that scientists haven't investigated thousands and thousands of UFO claims, the ones you're saying they dismiss out of hand? Dozens of independent investigations have taken place since the 19th century. (I wrote about one from then. They didn't start with flying saucers. WHAT WAS IT? The Mystery Airship of 1896)
The Great Airship Mystery from 1981 is another book about this case. It is must reading for anyone who feels that there must be something behind all the UFO sightings. Back then there were newspaper articles of the airships being seen by multiple people, of people speaking to the pilot (who said he was from New England) including sightings by respectable observers.
It obviously never happened.
Charles Fort published a lot of sightings, long before there were flying saucers. He didn't try to debunk anything.
There is nothing there, people.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:52 AM
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There are two reasons we know for sure that UFOs are not aliens and real.
1. When a meteor fell in the Soviet Union, it was captured by multiple cameras. If UFOs were real, and buzzing us, they would be all over YouTube.
2. If there was a coverup, the President would of course get told. Anyone believes that Trump wouldn't tweet about this brand of illegal aliens in a second?
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:54 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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2. If there was a coverup, the President would of course get told. Anyone believes that Trump wouldn't tweet about this brand of illegal aliens in a second?
And about how Democrats are plotting to get them registered to vote in upcoming elections.

I agree that the upsurge in social media and ubiquitousness of cellphones would make it impossible for interstellar visitors to remain hidden. Selfies taken with Alpha Centaurians would be commonplace online.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:36 AM
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It's hard to find 'middle' ground between theories with no evidence and science.

Scientists will believe anything that is backed by evidence.

I completely believe in invisible stuff like gravity, WIFI and microwaves.
A flat Earth, Loch Ness Monster, perpetual motion and UFOs don't interest me - until we get some ... evidence!
  #22  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:48 AM
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Anyways, as the title of this thread suggests, I wonder if there is any middle ground anywhere between these two groups.
If I think 2+2=4, and you say 2+2=6, what good is a middle ground? Not all viewpoints are equal.

There is no reasonable, serious middle ground between fantasy and science. Except in the movies.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:23 PM
Ryan_Liam Ryan_Liam is offline
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Of course there are Unidentified Flying objects. Poor vision, mistaken identities, instrument glitches, lack of detail, secret test flights, difficulty of estimating speed and distance, almost as many reasons for not identifying something as identifying it.

And so what? The fact that many things cannot easily be pinned down because of the lack of hard evidence one way or another should never be an excuse for saying: See? Aliens must be visiting us!

Unidentified flying objects are just that. Until they are identified they are meaningless noise. If you want to believe then I have some good NORAD sightings of Santa Claus to sell you.
What's with the hostile attitude, I'm skeptical of UFO's
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:24 PM
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Space is really, really, big.
This is the key message whose importance cannot be overemphasized, and the part of your post that I agree with. Stars and their planetary systems are so far apart that the distances are absolutely incomprehensible to the human mind. The likely distances between intelligent civilizations are so vast that they are probably effectively isolated, barring some fantastical quest for galactic colonization spanning millions of years, a project that has no clear motivation and is based on anthropomorphic projection that would probably be of little interest to any civilization advanced enough to be able to do it.

The conclusion is that even if there were a vast plethora of unexplained phenomena in the skies, virtually any natural explanation would be astronomically more likely than visiting aliens. But there are extremely few such phenomena, and even the few that are "unexplained" have very likely ordinary earthly explanations, and we just haven't been able to pin down any specific one of them. So a belief in UFOs of extraterrestrial origin is a belief in something for which there is no evidence, and which would be a fantastically unlikely explanation even if there were evidence. It is thus the perfect description of uninformed gullibility.

This XKCD cartoon, appropriately entitled "Settled", is relevant here.
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I'm a skeptic as well, but it is sometimes interesting.
No, it isn't, for the reasons above. For something to be interesting, it has to have at least some theoretical plausibility. Quantum mechanics is interesting; purple unicorns are not.
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Everyone else, assuming there is anyone else, which is a really, really, big assumption, has to follow the same rules.

Solar/star systems seem to be all made of the same stuff.
(Emphasis mine.)
Those two statements seem to me to be contradictory. We know (or at least, have every reason to believe) that the universe is made of the same stuff everywhere, and the laws of physics are the same everywhere. When hydrogen and other gases collapse under gravitational attraction, you get the same kind of glowing ball of nuclear fusion, with variations only in size and somewhat in composition. You may get similar protoplanetary disks around them leading to the formation of planets, governed by identical physical processes. Even assuming that carbon-based life as we know it is the only viable form of life, and that earth-like conditions are a prerequisite for it, there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy alone around which such suitable planets could form.

In my view, the "really, really, big assumption" -- one of fantastical improbability -- is that of the hundreds of millions (at least) if not a billion or so of such suitable planets, earth is the only one on which life developed, because of some incredible unknown uniqueness. As we can observe, and as you just implied, we have yet to see anything else in the universe that is absolutely unique. The universe doesn't seem to work that way. Black holes, neutron stars, pulsars ... whatever; if one is found, there are always many others. It is thus with planets, with stars, with galaxies, and with everything in them and on them.
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But we can detect stars and galaxies, and the light and radio waves from them at incredible distances. So what do we find? Nothing that cannot be explained by natural phenomenon. There should be some indication of others actions, even at a distance.
I'm imagining some intelligent civilization, say, a thousand light-years away, saying exactly the same thing! The presence of artificial radio waves may be a very transient phenomenon in the lifespan of a civilization, existing only from the time they are sophisticated enough to invent radio, to the time when, for one reason or another, they no longer need it. Regardless, I think it's implausible to believe that we or anyone else would be able to detect an alien version of "I Love Lucy" at distances so vast that all we get is the occasional straggling photon, indistinguishable from background noise. I suppose there's a reasonable question about why we're not seeing powerful directed radio transmissions from advanced civilizations trying to make contact, but there are many plausible explanations for that.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:40 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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I have no idea if they were ever peer reviewed, independently verified, etc. but Roger Weir's article about supposed alien implants was a fairly interesting statement about the possibility of a more advanced life form. However, I don't know what the counterarguments to his investigation are.

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...MOKING+GUN.pdf

Quote:
Some of the findings:

1. No inflammatory or rejection
reaction by the body to these foreign objects.

2. No visible portal of entry.

3. Collections of specialized
nerve endings surrounding the object.

4. An outer coating of ceramic biological material.

5. A metallic phase where inorganic metal becomes biological
tissue.

6. The emission of radio waves
which are deep space frequencies
in the FM band.

7. Electromagnetic fields in excess of ten milligauss.

8. Composition of Meteoric Iron.

9. Rare Earth Metals such U-236,
a single isotope of Uranium existing by itself, as well as elements
such as Iridium which is very rare
and hard to find in the earthís
crust

10. Non-terrestrial isotopic ratios
indicating the involved elements
did not come from this earth.

11. The existence of Carbon Nano
Tubes, Carbon Nano Strands and
Carbon Nano Fibers. ( These entities were considered non existent
in nature and many scientists made
definitive statements they could
not be made in a laboratory. This
has now been reversed as commercial products are being designed
and made from this technology.
Carbon Nano structures are now
the strongest substance known to
mankind. The oldest of these was
in a specimens taken from one our
surgical patients, which had been in their body for over 46 years, which
was old enough to eliminate back
engineering from UFO Crash Sites
such as Roswell.)

12. Gold Spheres which have yet
unknown function.

13. Metallic caverns that are no
larger than the diameter of one
atom.

14. Resistance to ordinary cutting
techniques such as metallic sawing,
or severing with a cutting instrument. (One of our specimens had
to be cut with a Laser.)

15. There are also a number of
unknown structures seen with the
electron microscope which we do
not understand.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:15 PM
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I have no idea if they were ever peer reviewed, independently verified, etc. but Roger Weir's article about supposed alien implants was a fairly interesting statement about the possibility of a more advanced life form. However, I don't know what the counterarguments to his investigation are.

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...MOKING+GUN.pdf
The counter arguments to his investigation is that he made the whole thing up. Other than his say so and a few random sciency looking photos he really doesn't have any citations backing up his claims. If he has these things take them around to some legitimate independent scientists and get them to publish a paper in a real journal putting their reputations on the line that what they report is correct.

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Old 01-20-2019, 02:19 PM
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I have no idea if they were ever peer reviewed, independently verified, etc. but Roger Weir's article about supposed alien implants was a fairly interesting statement about the possibility of a more advanced life form. However, I don't know what the counterarguments to his investigation are.

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...MOKING+GUN.pdf
Some observations re the above, of which I only skimmed the first page quickly:

- I note that all articles purporting to "prove" the existence of visiting extraterrestrials are always published on some obscure website that I've never heard of. This is something they have in common with websites disclosing all the details of top secret military anti-gravity projects.

- The author uses -- several times and with some disdain -- the peculiar term "academic science". The implication is that he now follows some other kind of science. He doesn't give it a name, but I suggest referring to it as "bullshit science", or just "bullshit" for short.

- The author implies that skepticism about alien abductions is due to the prevalence of "paid skeptics" and a public beholden to "higher masters". Presumably, the skeptics are being paid off by the aliens, and the rest of the public is under the influence of their mind control.

I would have more comments, but that's as far as I could get, especially since I'm doing this for free. But if anyone knows how I could get on the aliens' payroll, I'd be happy to be a professional paid skeptic, and ramp up my skepticism to prolific heights.

Last edited by wolfpup; 01-20-2019 at 02:20 PM.
  #28  
Old 01-20-2019, 02:27 PM
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I have to tell you, I am probably as skeptical as anyone else on these boards
On these boards?
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:37 PM
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I have no doubt there are other life forms in other planets and probably ones similar enough for us to recognize as life.

Do they visit here, seemingly with little or no impact or broad recognition of their visits? Very very very highly doubtful.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:46 PM
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The fact that scientists reject the idea of aliens visiting our planet is not because we don't take it seriously. It's because we do. Serious consideration leads only to one place; to rejection of these ideas. It's only frivolous consideration which can lead to accepting them.

Quote:
Quoth Ryan_Liam:

Then don't watch it.

In the video they go through some of the cases that Project Blue Book couldn't account for in regards to them being natural phenomena or instrumentation anomalies.

I'm a skeptic as well, but it is sometimes interesting.
You do know the purpose of Project Blue Book, don't you? It wasn't to look for evidence of aliens. It was to convince conspiracy theorists that there were aliens, to distract attention away from genuine secret military projects like Project Mogul (one of whose balloons was responsible for the "Roswell Incident"). So, yes, of course Project Blue Book is going to turn up "evidence" for aliens, because that was the whole goal.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:10 PM
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You do know the purpose of Project Blue Book, don't you? It wasn't to look for evidence of aliens. It was to convince conspiracy theorists that there were aliens, to distract attention away from genuine secret military projects like Project Mogul (one of whose balloons was responsible for the "Roswell Incident"). So, yes, of course Project Blue Book is going to turn up "evidence" for aliens, because that was the whole goal.
Do you have a cite for this? I'm no expert but everything I've read has said that Project Blue Book was an actual investigation into reports of UFO's. The official conclusion was that:

Quote:
As a result of these investigations and studies and experience gained from investigating UFO reports since 1948, the conclusions of Project BLUE BOOK are: (1) no UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security;(2) there has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as "unidentified" represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge; and(3) there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as "unidentified" are extraterrestrial vehicles.
https://www.archives.gov/research/mi...orce/ufos.html
  #32  
Old 01-20-2019, 03:12 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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The Great Airship Mystery from 1981 is another book about this case. It is must reading for anyone who feels that there must be something behind all the UFO sightings. Back then there were newspaper articles of the airships being seen by multiple people, of people speaking to the pilot (who said he was from New England) including sightings by respectable observers.
It obviously never happened.
Charles Fort published a lot of sightings, long before there were flying saucers. He didn't try to debunk anything.
There is nothing there, people.
The Great Airship Mystery was certainly one of my sources, although I uncovered many contemporary newspaper articles that apparently weren't available to him, thanks to the internet. However, his conclusion is the same as mine.

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But if we reject, as I think we must, the mysterious airship inventor and the extraterrestrial airship hypotheses for total lack of evidence and inherent contradictions, are we just left with misidentification and hoax to explain the whole incredible series of events? Can all of the thousands of people who believed that they saw an airship in 1896 and 1897 have been utterly wrong? In my view the answer to that is yes.
"Interesting" is word that can be applied to the investigation of why people want to believe, why they are so easily fooled, and why they don't use basic reason to rule out their outlandish speculation.

The way most people use "interesting," however, is that unexplained sightings must be interesting evidence of aliens. They are much like Charles Fort. If you read his books you see numerous statements that he is just presenting evidence and not drawing conclusions from them. You know, just asking questions. His process was to sit in libraries and copy out newspaper articles by the hundreds and present them as written. He passed no judgements on them, which in the end was equivalent to deeming all of them equally valid and therefore true. A thousand pages of hogwash later - he has an entire alternate astronomy and cosmology! - he concludes that we are property of higher beings. Well, maybe. Maybe not? If not, then why did I waste years of my time? So, yeah, absolutely. Fort is a wonderful example of the type we see online today who have put too much time and effort into their beliefs to allow them to be shaken.

Fort is "interesting." But only in a psychiatric sense.
  #33  
Old 01-20-2019, 03:15 PM
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Some authoritative accounts from the greatest UFOlogist of our times, Woody Allen:

All UFOs may not prove to be of extraterrestrial origin, but experts do agree that any glowing cigar-shaped aircraft capable of rising straight up at twelve thousand miles per second would require the kind of maintenance and sparkplugs available only on Pluto.

... The most frequently asked question about the UFOs is: If saucers come from outer space, why have their pilots not attempted to make contact with us, instead of hovering mysteriously over deserted areas? My own theory is that for creatures from another solar system "hovering" may be a socially acceptable mode of relating. It may, indeed, be pleasurable. I myself once hovered over an eighteen-year-old actress for six months and had the best time of my life. It should also be recalled that when we talk of "life" on other planets we are frequently referring to amino acids, which are never very gregarious, even at parties.

... One of the eeriest accounts occurred in August, 1975, to a man on Montauk Point, in Long Island: "I was in bed at my beach house, but could not sleep because of some fried chicken in the icebox that I felt entitled to. I waited till my wife dropped off, and tiptoed into the kitchen. I remember looking at the clock. It was precisely four-fifteen. I'm quite certain of this, because our kitchen clock has not worked in twenty-one years and is always that time. I also noticed that our dog, Judas, was acting funny. He was standing up on his hind legs and singing 'I Enjoy Being a Girl.' Suddenly the room turned bright orange. At first, I thought my wife had caught me eating between meals and set fire to the house. Then I looked out the window, where to my amazement I saw a gigantic cigar-shaped aircraft hovering just over the treetops in the yard and emitting an orange glow. I stood transfixed for what must have been several hours, though our clock still read four-fifteen, so it was difficult to tell. Finally, a large, mechanical claw extended from the aircraft and snatched the two pieces of chicken from my hand and quickly retreated. The machine then rose and, accelerating at great speed, vanished into the sky. When I reported the incident to the Air Force, they told me that what I had seen was a flock of birds. When I protested, Colonel Quincy Bascomb personally promised that the Air Force would return the two pieces of chicken. To this day, I have only received one piece."

-- Woody Allen, "The UFO Menace", from "Side Effects"
  #34  
Old 01-20-2019, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
The Great Airship Mystery was certainly one of my sources, although I uncovered many contemporary newspaper articles that apparently weren't available to him, thanks to the internet. However, his conclusion is the same as mine.
Just mentioned that book since I've read it and haven't read yours. But I'm glad you are giving more attention to the Airship Mystery.
Quote:
The way most people use "interesting," however, is that unexplained sightings must be interesting evidence of aliens. They are much like Charles Fort. If you read his books you see numerous statements that he is just presenting evidence and not drawing conclusions from them. You know, just asking questions. His process was to sit in libraries and copy out newspaper articles by the hundreds and present them as written. He passed no judgements on them, which in the end was equivalent to deeming all of them equally valid and therefore true. A thousand pages of hogwash later - he has an entire alternate astronomy and cosmology! - he concludes that we are property of higher beings. Well, maybe. Maybe not? If not, then why did I waste years of my time? So, yeah, absolutely. Fort is a wonderful example of the type we see online today who have put too much time and effort into their beliefs to allow them to be shaken.

Fort is "interesting." But only in a psychiatric sense.
I have all four of his books in the Ace editions, and read them all in high school. I wouldn't recommend them, they are a bit of a slog. We can thank him for "Sinister Barrier" I suppose.
BTW it appears that the Fortean Society exists, if under a new name. I can't say I'm surprised.
But think of how much time Fort could have saved if they had Google back then.

Last edited by Voyager; 01-20-2019 at 03:57 PM.
  #35  
Old 01-20-2019, 04:09 PM
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Some authoritative accounts from the greatest UFOlogist of our times, Woody Allen:


... The most frequently asked question about the UFOs is: If saucers come from outer space, why have their pilots not attempted to make contact with us, instead of hovering mysteriously over deserted areas? My own theory is that for creatures from another solar system "hovering" may be a socially acceptable mode of relating. It may, indeed, be pleasurable. I myself once hovered over an eighteen-year-old actress for six months and had the best time of my life.
Alex, What are jokes that haven't aged well?
  #36  
Old 01-20-2019, 04:15 PM
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13. Metallic caverns that are no larger than the diameter of one atom.
This quote shows that Weir is a fantasist.
  #37  
Old 01-20-2019, 04:18 PM
WernhamHogg WernhamHogg is offline
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Can you provide evidence of a claim that was supported by a reasonable amount of evidence and further evidence that it was summarily dismissed by scientists? I mean specific cases, not generalizations.
  #38  
Old 01-20-2019, 04:22 PM
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If UFOs did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them.
If they did exist, it would be necessary to circumvent them.
  #39  
Old 01-20-2019, 06:09 PM
Sinaptics Sinaptics is offline
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The likely distances between intelligent civilizations are so vast that they are probably effectively isolated, barring some fantastical quest for galactic colonization spanning millions of years, a project that has no clear motivation and is based on anthropomorphic projection that would probably be of little interest to any civilization advanced enough to be able to do it.
I don't think we're being visited by aliens for a variety of reasons, but I have to quibble with your above statement. Extraterrestrial expansion just makes sense. On our home planet, there are any number of extinction level events that could happen. And even if we were to expand to relatively close Alpha Centauri, a supernova could still wipe both planets out, so we'd have impetus to expand even further. What kind of technology that would require is beyond me, but there is definitely a reason to expand extraterrestrially if possible.
  #40  
Old 01-20-2019, 06:20 PM
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Science isnít about compromise and middle ground. Itís about evidence.
Came in here to say this, basically. There simply hasn't been any hard evidence, and exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. Anecdotal evidence, while it might seem compelling isn't nearly going to reach that level. The thing is, I DO believe in UFO's...I believe, hell, I know for a fact that there have been sightings of UFOs. Because, frankly, sometimes whatever it is that was seen remains unidentified. And it's flying. And it's an object. So, yeah, UFOs definitely happen.

There simply isn't any evidence that they are space ships from another solar system/galaxy/alternative reality/time traveling space Elvis's...
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  #41  
Old 01-20-2019, 06:33 PM
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wolfpup
No, it isn't, for the reasons above. For something to be interesting, it has to have at least some theoretical plausibility. Quantum mechanics is interesting; purple unicorns are not.
Yes it is interesting, I can find Quantum mechanics and your childish dismissal of my interest in UFO's interesting at the same time.
  #42  
Old 01-20-2019, 06:41 PM
Ryan_Liam Ryan_Liam is offline
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The fact that scientists reject the idea of aliens visiting our planet is not because we don't take it seriously. It's because we do. Serious consideration leads only to one place; to rejection of these ideas. It's only frivolous consideration which can lead to accepting them.


You do know the purpose of Project Blue Book, don't you? It wasn't to look for evidence of aliens. It was to convince conspiracy theorists that there were aliens, to distract attention away from genuine secret military projects like Project Mogul (one of whose balloons was responsible for the "Roswell Incident"). So, yes, of course Project Blue Book is going to turn up "evidence" for aliens, because that was the whole goal.
No it wasn't.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projec..._Report_No._14

Quote:
By the time Project Blue Book ended, it had collected 12,618 UFO reports, and concluded that most of them were misidentifications of natural phenomena (clouds, stars, etc.) or conventional aircraft. According to the National Reconnaissance Office a number of the reports could be explained by flights of the formerly secret reconnaissance planes U-2 and A-12.[2] A small percentage of UFO reports were classified as unexplained, even after stringent analysis. The UFO reports were archived and are available under the Freedom of Information Act, but names and other personal information of all witnesses have been redacted.
  #43  
Old 01-20-2019, 06:43 PM
WernhamHogg WernhamHogg is offline
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If it was a flying object and has not been positively identified, isn't that de facto evidence that UFOs exist?
  #44  
Old 01-20-2019, 07:30 PM
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Given that a possible next step in our evolution is to digitize ourselves and abandon our own physical bodies would we even recognize an advanced civilization?

We probably wouldn't recognize any form too much more advanced than our own. So it's likely anyone wed recognize is about as primitive as we are and thus subject to the same limitations.

Last edited by Littleman; 01-20-2019 at 07:31 PM.
  #45  
Old 01-20-2019, 07:49 PM
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I am probably as skeptical as anyone else on these boards
I'm skeptical.
  #46  
Old 01-20-2019, 07:51 PM
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Given that a possible next step in our evolution is to digitize ourselves and abandon our own physical bodies would we even recognize an advanced civilization?
Really? Where did you get this from, and how possible would you say this is?
  #47  
Old 01-20-2019, 08:03 PM
eburacum45 eburacum45 is offline
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If it was a flying object and has not been positively identified, isn't that de facto evidence that UFOs exist?
UFOs exist, and they will always exist, because of observation errors.

If and when we finally make first contact with an alien civilisation, they will also have their own stories of UFOs. These stories may be very different to ours, depending on the sensitivity and details of their sensory equipment, but (just like our stories) their sightings will be due to observation errors.

Last edited by eburacum45; 01-20-2019 at 08:04 PM.
  #48  
Old 01-20-2019, 08:06 PM
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It can lead to some unfortunate issues and fallacies, not just for this, but where ever excessive tribalism between flag waving cranks and skeptics comes into play.

1) Neither argument from authority nor the converse is true. Many authorities are unqualified or corrupt, but even perfect and correct authorities still need to provide evidence. We don't care that they are right, we need to understand why. On the other hand, if a non authority, a crank, or a unicorn says something, that doesnt mean that it is wrong. Even at either extreme, it is unlikely to find anyone who manages to be perfectly right or wrong.

2) Real life doesn't take sides, and isn't all or nothing. Just because some rumor about your car model being a fire hazard turned out to be wrong, and a bunch of weirdos are still worried it's going to blow up, doesn't mean it's a good idea to stop wearing seatbelts. Crazy fears are not evidence against normal precautions.

3) Tribalism is a particularly stupid and hypocritical behavior for people claiming to be rational or truth seeking.

4) Relying on a dismissive attitude is a really bad habit, regardless of your team. It is literally, prejudice. Making assumptions before or instead of actual investigating.

5) Regardless of how correct you might be, excessive immaturity clashes with whatever regard that might have otherwise afforded you. And being a dick is still being a dick, even if you have evidence then other person is a bigger dick.

6) It gives people incorrect and occasionally antithetical ideas about what science really is and is supposed to be for and about. In some cases, it perverts popular conceptions of science into a brand name or religion.

7) It helps no one to do bad things for a good cause.

8) Conceptualizing any domain as some kind of bipolar conflict harms awareness of other important issues under the same topic by focusing on the sensationalist ones

Last edited by jackdavinci; 01-20-2019 at 08:09 PM.
  #49  
Old 01-20-2019, 08:11 PM
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I'm reminded of an 1864 cartoon promoting General George McClellan as the "reasonable" compromise candidate for the Republican nomination. The cartoon shows two feuding child-like figures, Abraham Lincoln and the Confederacy's Jefferson Davis, who are having a tug-of-war with the American flag and are about to tear it in two, but are prevented from doing so by McClellan, who towers over them, looking mature and regal. In reality, McClellan (in addition to being a lousy field general) was a rather slimy and calculating appeaser.
[hijack] This cartoon? [/hijack]

Last edited by Kimstu; 01-20-2019 at 08:12 PM.
  #50  
Old 01-21-2019, 02:39 AM
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Ancient Astronaut Theory is just racism looking for justification for itself.
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