Just discovered Art Bell

Contestant #3:

i would say its quite difficult to “totally” debunk anything. for every UFO story that gets debunked and explained, another one will come out of the woodwork, has anyone totally debunked the stories? no. but, many of them have been explained as different objects in the sky, and the eye witnesses refuse to believe it.
there are many UFOs every night, but that doesnt mean every night little green men are coming down and screwing with our precious bodily fluids.

and yes cecil does mention this topic.


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Phil: You stated: “3) Large numbers of people in the same place at the same time can be deluded about what they’ve seen”

I’m wondering if you can back that up with science?

David B: You are a shameless name-dropper…Am I supposed to be impressed with your choice of dining partners?

Pricciar: Thanks for the link…I’ll check it out later…

DSC: Thanks for making my point about intellectual snobs!

Obbiewan: Thanks for the tip…tell me more please…

Enore_Tsotset, Beeruser, and Pappabear: Thanks for your honest (and non-snobbish) responses

Contestant #3

I’m not a listener of Art Bell but I confess my curiosity was aroused by his sudden on-air departure some months ago. I was sure it was a publicity stunt, and his subsequent return after vowing that would be his last program pretty much solidified the notion. However, I was wondering if he ever explained what was supposed to be going on. Aliens in black guvmint helicoptors? Alcohol abuse? Marital problems? Publicity stunt? All of the above? None of the above? Or should I just buy the World Weekly News if I want the whole story?

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

Contestant #3 said:

Give me a break. You made an inane comment about being more fun at parties, and so I chose an example to show how silly it was. A “shameless name-dropper”? The only reason I even gave their names (in parentheses) was because I needed to make the point that you were so obviously wrong.

Of course, you ignored the main thrust of the message, namely that you took a claim made by either Bell or one of his on-air nuts and transformed it into fact. You also ignored DSC’s point about evidence instead of conspiracy and just called him a snob.

So what we have is you ignoring the good points we make and instead using ad hominem attacks. But after years of discussing this issue with UFO believers, this is unfortunately a tactic I have come to expect.

“It’s a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense.” – James Randi

David B:

No, it’s you that missed the point bud…

DSC had posted (to me):

"Did you know that the Earth is the only planet other than Pluto where a total eclipse of the Sun can be seen?

Far more interesting."

My response was making the point that quoting obscure planetary trivia might be a hoot at the local gathering of planetarium hobbyists, but that more people are going to be interested in discussing the Trumbull county 911 tapes…my proof of that concept is this message board itself…the more wild, pointless, and sensational the topic, the more response…the bland “from how many planets can you view a solar eclipse?” threads don’t get much play. Fact.

As for your name-dropping, come on! It was shameless and designed to impress us. I called you out…live with it.

As for your defense of DSC, sorry again, he WAS in fact acting like an intellectual snob…he WAS in fact, insulting all Art Bell listeners and asserting his superiority…I called him on that too and he’ll have to live with the results of his actions. hat he has in effect said is this:
“I, the great DSC, have already determined that Art Bell and any topic on his program is bunk, and “smart” people like me don’t listen to that stuff” (implied is that hundreds of thousands of listeners are stupid, but DSC is smart)

So what we “have”, is you and DSC acting “smarter than thou”…if you don’t like Art Bell, then don’t listen and don’t flame me first if you can’t handle turnabout!

P.S. Your Randi quote is snobbish too…who decides what is nonsense, you and DSC?

Hey! I’ll go on record as saying Art Bell’s show is nonsense! Entertaining; but still nonsense.


Last night’s guest = Dr. Brian Brody, Psychologist, and author of the book “Levelling: A guide to positive parenting”
He also happens to live in Littleton and has a child that attended there.

I understand that he turned down interviews with the major networks in order to appear exclusively on the Bell show (Hilly Rose guest-hosted).

The programs are archived and you can still listen to this “nonsense” if you not too full of yourself.

Contestant #3


Last night’s guest = Dr. Brian Brody, Psychologist, and author of the book “Levelling: A guide to positive parenting”
He also happens to live in Littleton and has a child that attended there.

I understand that he turned down interviews with the major networks in order to appear exclusively on the Bell show (Hilly Rose guest-hosted).

The programs are archived and you can still listen to this “nonsense” if you are not too full of yourself.

Contestant #3

i dont think anyone was saying every guest that art bell has on is nonsense. the problem i have with him, is that he throws these softball questions at his guests, never calls them on their contradictions. he wants his listeners to make their own judgements about the guests he has on, but he certainly makes that difficult, when he sells the concept as much as the guest does.


(also note, i went to that Dr. Brian Brody’s website, which was linked from the art bell site, and i will try to listen to the show later. so, i am going to hold judgement. but, i fail to see how he is doing anything from profiting from tragedy by going on the radio and getting his book title out there, and his “coaching” services. but, like i said i havent listened yet, i will listen later)

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David B, howcome Teller never talks?

Or should I start a new thread on this?

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Sure, I’ll find some specific links later in the day when I’m not getting ready for work. In the meantime, it’s been known for decades that, for example, 15 eyewitnesses to the same event will give you 15 often widely differing descriptions, varying as to sequence of events, number of participants, positions, distances, etc. Eyewitness testimony is to be trusted at some peril, especially in regards to extremely ambiguous events.

In addition, eyewitnesses tend to be extremely open to suggestion, filling in details they never noticed or only half-noticed with untrue things. For example, in studies of eyewitness accounts, a robbery might be staged. When the witnesses are questioned, the questioner might ask, “Was the suspect wearing a black hat or a red hat? There seems to be some confusion.” The greater number of participants will answer one or the other, when in fact the suspect was not wearing a hat at all. This is a common problem with eyewitnesses.

TLC had a series a while back on the history of magic, and Teller was interviewed quite a bit. And he spoke throughout.

** Phil D. **
“Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine.”
–J.B.S. Haldane

Here you go, C3, here are the promised links. They include some Medline abstracts from psych journals, a legal article on problems with eyewitnesses, a Frontline episode on how eyewitness testimony led to a wrongful conviction, and a “Skeptical Inquirer” article on how expectations color testimony (with bibliography). BTW, defense attorneys love eyewitness testimony–it’s easy to discredit.

http://www.infotrieve.com/freemedlin e/cgi-bin/std_format.cgi?med98-99+59520+(eyewitness+AND+testimony)











** Phil D. **
“Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine.”
–J.B.S. Haldane

Sorry Phil, but your links leave me wanting. They fail miserably to address your claim that “Large numbers of people in the same place at the same time can
be deluded about what they’ve seen”

To the readers of this thread: Don’t waste your time as I have in chasing these links.
Links 1-5 are irrelevant. For example, link #1 deals with how one’s own ethnenticity colors one’s recall of the ethnenticity of the perpetrator in single-witness recall…link#2 deals with the implications of a child’s eyewitness testimony…link #7 offers a book that you can buy for $59.95 and lists chapter titles…links #8-#11 deal with single eyewitness testimony as it relates to criminal trials…

Link #6 is the ONLY link that could be construed to have anything to do with Phil’s claim that “Large numbers of people in the same place at the same time can
be deluded about what they’ve seen”.

Link #6 cites a number of experiments, most of which were conducted in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and dealt mostly with a small group of people watchng a fake seance and then reporting afterward on what they observed…the results of the experiments showed that the accounts varied in what the witnesses could recall and couldn’t recall, with each remembering the event slightly differently…

I still do not consider you to have adequately explained how for instance a group of one thousand people could suffer a “mass delusion”, especially in scientific terms. For example, thousand of people witnessed the “Phoenix lights” a couple of years ago…where’s your scientific rebuttal to that specific event?..how is it explained that these people could be simultaneously deluded?..

Come on Phil, instead of trying to impress us with quantity, how about something actually on-topic next time?

Contestant #3

Yeah, there’s a good case for you, the Phoenix lights. Please! If you’re that gullible, I have a bridge for sale–a BIG one. I suggest you read up on the history of mass delusions. I mean, I’m not telling you something new, here, you know?

I quote from http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/archives/1998/030598/feature1-1.html:

"The witnesses included New
Times writers. David Holthouse
and Michael Kiefer both saw
the pattern of five lights move
slowly overhead. Holthouse
says he perceived that
something connected the
lights in a boomerang shape;
Kiefer disagrees, saying they
didn’t seem connected. Like
other witnesses, both reported that the vee made no sound, and
each saw slightly different colors in the lights. Both watched as
the lights gradually made their way south and faded from view.

The many eyewitnesses have elaborated on this basic model:
Some saw that the lights were not connected, others swear they
saw a giant triangular craft joining them, some felt it was at high
altitude, others claim it was barely over their heads and moving
very slowly. All seem to be describing the same lights at the
same time: About 8:15 the lights passed over the Prescott area,
about 15 minutes later the vee moved over Phoenix, and at 8:45 it
passed south of Tucson.

That’s about 200 miles in 30 minutes, which indicates that the
lights were traveling about 400 miles per hour. "

"That night, Mitch Stanley and his mother were in the yard of their
Scottsdale home, where Stanley has a large Dobsonian

He and his mother noticed the vee pattern approaching from the
northwest. Within seconds, Stanley was able to aim the
telescope at the leading three lights of the pattern.

Stanley was using a 10-inch mirror which gathers 1,500 times as
much light as the human eye, and an eyepiece which magnified
the sky 60 times, effectively transporting him 60 times closer to
the lights than people on the ground.

**When Stanley’s mother asked him what he saw, he responded,

It was plain to see, Stanley says. Under magnification, Stanley
could clearly see that each light split into pairs, one each on the
tips of squarish wings. Even under the telescope’s power, the
planes appeared small, indicating that they were flying high.
Stanley says he followed the planes for about a minute, then
turned his telescope to more interesting objects.**

“They were planes. There’s no way I could have mistaken that,”
he says.

The next day, when radio reports made Stanley aware that many
thought they had seen something extraterrestrial, he told Jack
Jones, another amateur astronomer, about his sighting. Jones
later called both the Arizona Republic and Frances Emma
Barwood. Neither called Jones or Stanley back. "

"At 10 p.m., up to nine bright lights were seen to appear, hover for
several minutes, and then disappear southwest of Phoenix in the
direction of the Sierra Estrella. Video cameras at points across
the Valley caught the string of hovering lights. All nine were visible
from some locations, others saw fewer.

Mike Krzyston, from the yard of his Moon Valley home, captured
all nine on video. “I hit pay dirt, finally!” he exclaimed as the lights
appeared. “This is a major sighting!” said another videographer as
he taped five of the lights.

In June, however, KPNX-TV Channel 12 reporter Blair Meeks
filmed a drop of flares by military planes over the Air Force
gunnery ranges southwest of Phoenix. The hovering lights looked
remarkably like the 10 p.m. lights of March 13, and Meeks
suggested it as a possible solution to that night’s second event.

Within days, Tucson Weekly broke the news that the Maryland
Air National Guard, in Arizona for winter training, had a squad of
A-10 fighters over the gunnery range that night, and they had
dropped flares. An Arizona National Guard public information
officer, Captain Eileen Bienz, had determined that the flares had
been dropped at 10 p.m. over the North Tac range 30 miles
southwest of Phoenix, at an unusually high altitude: 15,000 feet.

(Captain Drew Sullins, spokesman for the Maryland Air National
Guard, says that the A-10s, which have squarish wings, never
went north of Phoenix, so they could not have been responsible
for the formation of planes seen at 8:30 p.m.)

Local UFO investigator Dick Motzer and others have shown that
the initial appearance of the 10 p.m. lights, the number of lights
seen from different elevations in the Valley, and the timing of the
lights’ disappearances all correspond well with flares dropped at
high altitude beyond the Sierra Estrella."

"Jim Marrs is a good example.
Author of the best-selling Alien
Agenda, Marrs is touted as
both an expert on UFOs and
the John F. Kennedy
assassination (and, incredibly,
connects the two in Alien
Agenda, suggesting that
Kennedy was killed for his
knowledge of U.S.-space alien contacts). Oliver Stone mined
Marrs’ 1990 book Crossfire for his conspiracy-minded film JFK.

Today, Jim Marrs is giving a sermon.

He’s a featured speaker at the Seventh Annual International UFO
Congress. His message: There’s no question aliens are among
us. The real question, he asserts, is what their “agenda” is.

“I feel like I’m preaching to the choir. I don’t think I need to explain
anything to you,” he says in his Texas twang.

**Marrs preaches about our moon, for example, asserting that it is
“the original UFO,” and a great mystery. Marrs asserts that,
unlike other celestial objects, the moon travels not in an ellipse
but “in a nearly perfectly circular orbit.”

No one objects to this falsehood. In fact, the moon moves in a
very respectable ellipse which can change its distance from Earth
up to 50,000 kilometers. **

**To Marrs, the sum of this and other effects – which include
several basic errors of astronomical knowledge from a best-selling
author who claims to be an expert – lead to only one, unavoidable
conclusion: It is obvious that an ancient, extraterrestrial race
parked the moon in a perfect orbit around Earth. **

No one in the audience laughs.

“I don’t have to explain this. You all believe this, right?” Marrs
asks, and he gets a resounding “yes” from the choir.

Meanwhile, two women ignore Marrs as they talk about why
aliens are abducting so many people. One says aliens want to
create a hybrid human-alien race which will be able to operate the
advanced technology aliens plan on bestowing us.

The second woman says that the hybrid race would be
pandimensional, capable of disappearing into the fourth

"Trying to do spectral analysis on the image produced by a
camcorder, however, would be like testing a portrait of Abraham
Lincoln for his DNA. The man and his image are two very
separate things.

Still, Jim Dilettoso claims to perform just that kind of magic.

On a computer monitor, he brings up an image of Comet
Hale-Bopp. The comet has a line segment cutting across it and,
in another window, a corresponding graph with red, blue and
green lines measuring the brightness of the slice.

He shows similar frames with similar line segments cutting
through streetlights, the known flares captured by Channel 12,
and the 10 p.m. lights of March 13.

Each results in a different graph.


Oh, yeah, BTW, it should be obvious to the most casual thinker that professional stage magicians count on the ability to delude thousands of people simultaneously.

** Phil D. **
“Not only is the world queerer than we imagine,
it is queerer than we can imagine.”
–J.B.S. Haldane

Contestant #3, still not getting it, said:

Still trying to avoid the issues and name-call instead, eh? Well, this will be my last word on the “name-dropping” accusation. In the MPSIMS section of this message board (I believe) there was a whole thread on famous people participants have met. I didn’t even bother to post anything about this there. Now if my goal was “name-dropping,” I’d have jumped into that thread and bragged about having dinner with Penn & Teller. I didn’t because I don’t like to do that. As I indicated, the ONLY reason I even mentioned it was to counter your silly claim about being more fun at parties.

And you STILL didn’t answer his statement about claims of conspiracy. More name-calling, still no evidence. Typical.

I don’t listen, thanks. And if you think you’ve been flamed, then I hope you never actually are, because you won’t know what hit you. Requesting evidence is not a flame. Pointing out flaws in your argument is not a flame. As for “turnabout,” I don’t know what you think you’re turning about, but so far I’ve only seen you turn your back on requests for evidence to back up your claims.

Anybody who can think critically. Are you admitting that leaves you out?

“It’s a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense.” – James Randi

Beeruser asked:

He does talk in “real life,” just not when putting on a show (or in interviews, which is part of the show). In fact, he talks quite a bit. I asked him why he doesn’t talk, and he said that he enjoys fooling people without making a sound. It tends to attract more attention to the trick, I guess. (For what it’s worth, there is at least one trick where he does talk – he provides the voice, which is run thru some sort of computer modification, to the psychic monkey head that is part of one of their tricks. Also, he may talk during the rabbit-in-the-wood-chipper trick, but the chipper is so loud you can’t tell (that’s part of the joke).

(I thought of starting a new thread, like you said, but I’m not sure there’s any more to be said once your question of “why” is answered. :slight_smile: )

“It’s a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense.” – James Randi

Here’s another link on eyewitnesses and associated problems. This one’s on the Illinois UFO Mania of 1897: http://www.reall.org/newsletter/v06/n03/index.html

(Not that I think it has any chance of making a dent on True Believer Contestant #3, mind you, but maybe others here will be interested.)

“It’s a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense.” – James Randi


Thanks for the link to the PhoenixNewTimes and your cut and paste of MOST of the article.

It’s a least slightly amusing that your selective cutting and pasting left out these two sections…

“Interest in “flying saucers” exploded in post-World War II America, prompting the Air Force to hire an astronomy professor, J. Allen Hynek, and others to investigate. For more than 20 years, Hynek and the rest of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book examined UFO sightings, the vast majority of which were easily explained as natural phenomena.
The military ended Hynek’s contract and Project Blue Book in 1969, and four years later Hynek, by then head of Northwestern University’s astronomy department, created the Center for UFO Studies. The center examined UFO claims scientifically and tabulated its results. In its initial studies, the center found, for example, that 28 percent of sightings were simply bright stars or planets (in 49 of those cases, witnesses estimated that the celestial objects were between 200 feet and 125 miles away).
Of 1,307 cases which the center examined in the early 1970s, only 20 seemed unexplainable. The center stopped short of claiming that those 20 were caused by alien spacecraft.”

Then later you just HAPPEN to leave out:

“Meanwhile, no base or airport has come forward to identify the five planes that traveled over Arizona seen by so many people, including Mitch Stanley and his powerful telescope.”

I’ve decided that the “religious-like” tactics of the UFO-debunkers are only SLIGHTLY LESS self-serving than those of their opponents…hmmm…must just be human nature to ignore what you don’t want to hear.

I realize that many of the reports of UFOs are explainable and I also realize that there are a lot of people that either try to perpetrate a hoax, or delude themselves…however, that being said, I can’t yet completely turn my back on the possibility of intelligent live on other planets or in other star systems. It seems arrogant to expect Earth holds the ONLY intelligent beings in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE…

I’d rather keep and open mind and an eye toward the sky rather than trying to tie it up all neatly and nicely and trying to claim the topic is a closed book…

Contestant #3

No one is claiming this. We are simply stating that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Why should we believe that there is any evidence of extraterrestrial contact? The burden of proof is on you, my friend. We are simply following the rules of critical thinking by eliminating the most complex and unlikely explanation to a situation.

Is it possible that extraterrestrial beings have already contacted this planet? Sure. Do we have any evidence of this ever happening? No.

“Unidentified” means unidentified, not “alien”. Simply not being able to explain what a particular object in the sky is does not support your case.