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This is why we can't have a serious discussion on UFOs...





quex
...because there are idiots who will use "UFO" as an excuse for absolutely any anomalous occurrence.

My case in point: Man looking for missing cat discovers "UFO" mystery.

Really, guy? REALLY? -_-'''

I love the last line:
Quote:
As for the missing cat, it was eventually found hiding in a cupboard.


What other stupid things have you heard people blame on UFOs?
zimmer
i dont believe in UF0's unless i will saw it with my two eyes...

To see is to believe..
_AVG_
Mostly it is just some "mysterious light" they see in the sky, and they ignore other explanations such as reflection, refraction, satellites or even aero planes! They will only consider the UFO explanation, because they want to believe it more than anything else Exclamation
Josso
Code:

http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/2385221/1926571546/name/23.2.44-62.jal.pdf

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_14_1_haines.pdf

http://www.ufoevidence.org/newsite/files/WeinsteinPilotCatalog.pdf


Serious serial
quex
Josso wrote:
Code:

http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/2385221/1926571546/name/23.2.44-62.jal.pdf

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_14_1_haines.pdf

http://www.ufoevidence.org/newsite/files/WeinsteinPilotCatalog.pdf


Serious serial


I'm a little afraid to open those... any hint of what's in there?
Bikerman
The first is an article by Bruce Maccabe. Maccabe IS a genuine physicist, but he himself is the first to say that his 'work' in UFOlogy is distinct and unrelated to his work in physics. He is a leading 'UFO' 'researcher' and writes a lot of (non peer-reviewed) stuff about UFOs. I don't necessarily consider him dishonest but neither do I consider him a reliable source of information.
http://debunker.com/texts/BSMtrentPJK.html

The second is an article in the 'Journal of Scientific Exploration'. It purports to be peer-reviewed though I (and many others) are dubious about the quality of referreeing. Here is what the Sceptic Society say:
Quote:
The JSE, while presented as neutral and objective, appears to hold a hidden agenda. They seem to be interested in promoting fringe topics as real mysteries and they tend to ignore most evidence to the contrary. They publish 'scholarly' articles promoting the reality of dowsing, neo-astrology, ESP, and psychokinesis. Most of the prominent and active members are strong believers in the reality of such phenomena.


The third link is to a table which is claimed to be reported incidents of UFOs by pilots. The author is Dominique Weinstein. Academic searches turned up nothing and the only relevant wider (google) hits seem to be for UFO sp4ecialist sites....

As for the content - I haven't got the time (or in the inclination, to be honest) to analyse each paper with the dilligence that would be called for before giving an informed opinion - I'll leave that to others.
quex
Oh, thanks, Bikerman! Appreciate that.

I furthermore appreciate the angle of attack you're using, coming in as a skeptic. I am, personally, a skeptic that UFO's are piloted by aliens, but I am otherwise 100% convinced that they exist... by their definition, which is simply "unidentified flying object." :3

Or are you skeptical that unidentified sightings have even been made by reliable witnesses in the first place...? If so, this might help... don't know if you consider Wikipedia a valid or invalid source, though. ^^'
Bikerman
I certainly believe that reliable witnesses have made what they consider to be genuine claims about unidentified flying objects. That much I know for a fact.
I'm also prepared to accept that some observations are genuinely inexplicable now, or were at the time. Science comes up against new phenomena all the time and it is certainly possible that something, as yet undocumented/studied, is going on above and beyond the psychological/physiological.
I'll even accept as a working hypothesis the assumption that there are plenty of intelligent civilisations out there who have developed space travel.
There is where my cooperative side ends.
I don't believe for a minute that any UFO observed is/was extra-terrestrial intelligence.
I don't believe for a moment that anyone has been abducted by any alien of any species.
Ankhanu

http://www.smbc-comics.com
metalfreek
Another great UFO story which brings smile to my face. A day will come when people will blame UFO for their failed marriage. ha ha ha ha Laughing
Dennise
And just what is it that motivates Ufologists?

    need for simple answers to what science cannot explain today?
    notoriety (in clueless circles)?
    money .... books, lectures, movies etc.?
    expose shortcomings of science?
    religion?
    disappointment in humanity?
    enjoyment of fooling others?
    expose the government?
    boredom?


What do you think really drives 'em.

If you want to know the truth about the Roswell incident, read the great biography about USAF Col. Joe Kittenger: Come Up and Get Me. Kittenger was a high altitude test pilot who held the record for parachute jumping from over 100,000 ft. A minor landing accident at/near Roswell (or area 51?) due to equipment failure resulted in his appearance being that of an extraterrestrial. In a (successful) attempt to conceal that accident - funding continued for the high altitude ejection research that led to space suites and safety procedures used by today's astronauts.
Bikerman
I suspect it is the same thing that drives many conspiracy theorists:
a) A basic lack of science education which makes the world a frightening and puzzling place
b) An ego out of all proportion to actual ability - meaning they see no problem challenging the opinions of people who are expert in the particular topic under discussion.
c) A need to be a 'somebody' rather than the 'nobody' they are in real life.
quex
Bikerman wrote:

I don't believe for a minute that any UFO observed is/was extra-terrestrial intelligence.
I don't believe for a moment that anyone has been abducted by any alien of any species.


Agreed, and agreed! :)

So, what do you think it IS?

Here's mine:

I think it's us. Either us in the future, or us from a parallelism. Those other us-es have come up with some kind of technology that takes advantage of a part of physics that we haven't figured out here quite yet... or maybe a part of physics we don't even have on our side.

Anyway, they use it for something pretty important. The things they build based on it are either massive transportation vehicles or defense machines, but I'm guessing. These are my best guesses based entirely upon what people report from UFO sightings. Pretty damn near every sighting is of something big and geometrical, often metallic, and almost always with lights. Compare that to the technology on our side, and it matches up with vehicles or weapons. Maybe not, though. Maybe they're power plants or atmosphere stabilizers, or something otherwise completely different than our big machines. Doesn't matter too much because....

What they either don't realize or don't care about is that, when they use that technology, we here in this time/parallelism/dimension/what-have-you can see it. At least, we can see it some of the time. Maybe we only see it when they're having engine trouble or something. But anyway, we do.

...And we flip out. We think "AHHH, big thing in the sky that we don't recognize, but it's familiar enough that we can guess it's mechanical and under intelligent control!" You notice there isn't too much of a following for the "UFOs are aerozoan life native to the Earth that we just haven't discovered yet" theory -- almost all sightings refer to a craft or a ship, or at least a solid figure. Anyway, it's the familiarity that matters. We see ships. Things like we make, only from elsewhere.

So, when we flip out and decide we're seeing technology in the sky, we also jump to a second conclusion: "AHHHH, it must have come down from space because it doesn't look like anything we've seen on the ground or built ourselves! Ergo, it was made by aliens!" All the humans we know of here in this world should be somewhere on the ground, plus a few in orbit at any given time on the space station... and they're not building any massive craft up there. That's why the UFO = aliens thing has sprouted in the native mind here.

Meanwhile, on the other side where these things are built and operated from, there are two scenarios that could be happening.

1) They don't care: "Who cares what a parallel universe or historical time period sees of our ships? It doesn't seem to mess anything up in the universe, and we're not actually hurting them; they just spook easily. So f*ck those guys, we're going to keep using our awesome technology that we rely upon." This attitude kinda makes sense when you think about what our response would be if we discovered our ancestors or a parallel universe could hear on their side whenever a gas engine revved up on this side. They might get scared and be all "EGADs, what is that mysterious noise of no origin? Tis witches! Or magic! Or the devil!" Now, think -- if we somehow discovered this were the case, would we give up the use of all gasoline powered engines in the world, just so we stopped worrying them with the noise? Hell no. They're way too useful, and anyway, we're not really hurting anybody... get it?

2) They don't know: Thinking of the above example, consider this: maybe people in other time periods or parallel universes DO actually hear, for some stupid reason, whenever we use gas engines. We have no way of knowing if they do or don't, and there is no indication that they DO, so, we just let it slide. In the same way, those guys with the big machines from another universe might have no idea at all that we can see them. Ignorance is bliss, they continue to do their thing, and we keep looking at the sky and flipping out.

There is, of course, a third but far less likely possibility:

3) They DO know and they DO care: So maybe they set off in their new technology for the first time and discovered our universe, HOLY SMOKES. So they want to study us, right? That's what we'd do, in all honesty. I'm not saying they start abducting people, I'm just saying they hover for a while and take a good look.

The first thing they would probably notice is that things are different here. For one, we don't have their tech. Plenty more could be different than that, mind you, but I'm trying to keep it simple. Suffice it to say, it'll be obvious to them that we aren't the same. They might try to make contact, at which point they would learn very quickly that we have no real understanding of parallel dimensions (at this point) and we're defensive as all hell. Whoops. So, the word would go out pretty quickly among all the interdimensional pilots from over there: don't try to contact the people you see when you travel, they don't know what we are and we freak them out.

To minimize the freaking-out over here, maybe they try to cloak their ships, or maybe they plan their routes to pop into our dimension in places they see that we don't really occupy, like underwater (USOs, anyone?) or in the high atmosphere. Sometimes something goes wrong and they suddenly realize "OH SHIT, the camo is down, people are pointing at us" and hightail it out of there (notice UFOs don't often stick around for days at a time? They seem to be kinda furtive...)

And a corollary:

Maybe sometimes they crash here and have to either get help or remain stranded... in which case, wouldn't you want to ask the help of the most powerful entities on this side, being governments and their defense structure? That's who I'd ask. I'd also explain very calmly: "Hey, we come from a dimension parallel to yours. We really don't mean to do anything to you or your world, it's just a side-effect of this technology that we use to get around. We just want to fix our machine and go home, please."

...at which point, I am certain any government would immediately demand access to the technology that gets them over here. This raises a conundrum. Either those other us-es who have figured out technology that snaps them to our side when they use it are VERY serious about NOT giving up the secret to that tech, or they went ahead and told a government or two all about it... and we just can't make it work over here.

There could be very good reasons not to let us know how to flip through parallel dimensions; maybe we're a really scary, angry iteration of life and nobody wants to see us if they can help it. Maybe it creates a good ol' time paradox if people on our side meet people from their side (yay sci-fi timetravel!)

Or maybe we just don't have the same kind of physics here. Their machines only work from their side, and that's that.

In either case, I think it's pretty suspicious that some people high up in the structure of our governments, people who are otherwise supposed to be on edge 24/7 trying to protect their country and give it's defense every possible advantage, are entirely unconcerned by the mysterious lights in the sky. I think at least a few somebodys know how and why those lights aren't a threat, and they have deemed it beneficial to keep the details quiet.

...but that's just me. ;3
Bikerman
What do I think it is?
Nothing at all.
I don't think there is anything to explain. People see impossible things all the time - it is a consequence of our 'wiring'.
As for people 'high up' not being concerned with lights in the sky - that doesn't surprise me. If I were a 'high up' then I wouldn't be concerned either.
quex
Bikerman wrote:
What do I think it is?
Nothing at all.
I don't think there is anything to explain. People see impossible things all the time - it is a consequence of our 'wiring'.
As for people 'high up' not being concerned with lights in the sky - that doesn't surprise me. If I were a 'high up' then I wouldn't be concerned either.


.__.

So, you're willing to credit all the multiple-witness sightings of stuff in the sky to, what, delusions? hallucinations? If that were so, I'd actually be more concerned that so very many of us have such erroneous "wiring" that we can hallucinate en masse at the same point in space and time. I'd also want a damn good explanation for the radar returns that reinforce many mass sightings.

I wonder what you might say if I asked you, "Where might I find you on any given Wednesday at 2:30pm, Bikerman?" >;3
Bikerman
quex wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What do I think it is?
Nothing at all.
I don't think there is anything to explain. People see impossible things all the time - it is a consequence of our 'wiring'.
As for people 'high up' not being concerned with lights in the sky - that doesn't surprise me. If I were a 'high up' then I wouldn't be concerned either.


.__.

So, you're willing to credit all the multiple-witness sightings of stuff in the sky to, what, delusions? hallucinations? If that were so, I'd actually be more concerned that so very many of us have such erroneous "wiring" that we can hallucinate en masse at the same point in space and time. I'd also want a damn good explanation for the radar returns that reinforce many mass sightings.
Absolutely - and the news that we have such faulty wiring is old. It isn't necessary to attribute all such sightings to hallucination - there are lesser degrees of delusional thinking at work as well. Psychologists have long known that 'eye witness' evidence is not reliable - in fact modern thinking is that it is so unreliable that the idea of bringing a criminal case based purely on eye-witness testimony is now almost unthinkable.
I am NOT saying that ALL UFO sightings are delusions or faulty eye-witnesses. I have little doubt, for example, that black-ops development in the US has been responsible for many such sightings. Seeing an SR71 (Bblackbird), an F117 Nighthawk or a B2 'Spirit' at distance, before their existence was widely known, would have given even the most experienced air-observers some serious moments of head-scratching, and would certainly show up, to some extent, on external radar.
Quote:
I wonder what you might say if I asked you, "Where might I find you on any given Wednesday at 2:30pm, Bikerman?" >;3
No particular place right now. In the past I would have been at work. I'm currently between jobs so I could be in front of my computer, working on my bike, riding my bike or doing any one of a number of other things....
ocalhoun
Hm... now that we're in the era of everyone and their cousin carrying around a camera phone at all times, perhaps mass sightings will begin to be accompanied by more evidence... then it should be easier to determine what's really going on.
Bikerman
Perhaps, but we have been in 'this era' for a decade or so now, and, as yet..............
quex
Bikerman wrote:

Quote:
I wonder what you might say if I asked you, "Where might I find you on any given Wednesday at 2:30pm, Bikerman?" >;3
No particular place right now. In the past I would have been at work. I'm currently between jobs so I could be in front of my computer, working on my bike, riding my bike or doing any one of a number of other things....


Aw, okay. (yay for bikes~)
kelseymh
quex wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What do I think it is?
Nothing at all.
I don't think there is anything to explain. People see impossible things all the time - it is a consequence of our 'wiring'.
As for people 'high up' not being concerned with lights in the sky - that doesn't surprise me. If I were a 'high up' then I wouldn't be concerned either.


.__.

So, you're willing to credit all the multiple-witness sightings of stuff in the sky to, what, delusions? hallucinations?


No, to false-positive pattern recognition systems. See below.

Quote:
If that were so, I'd actually be more concerned that so very many of us have such erroneous "wiring" that we can hallucinate en masse at the same point in space and time.


Not hallucinations. Nobody made that claim. The primate visual system is hard-wired to pick out patterns (shapes and motion) in a noisy field. This has been demonstrated numerous times -- nearly all visual illusions are a demonstrable consequence of the hard-wired aspects of our pattern recognition.

The fact that all humans have essentially the same hard-wired system makes it trivial that a "mass sighting" is likely. That doesn't make the interpretation as a physical object any more real. It just means that when the human brain is likely to make a mistake, all human brains are likely to make the same mistake.

Quote:
I'd also want a damn good explanation for the radar returns that reinforce many mass sightings.


Citation needed. Most sightings of any kind don't have any sort of non-visual data associated with them.
ocalhoun
kelseymh wrote:

Citation needed. Most sightings of any kind don't have any sort of non-visual data associated with them.

Most, yes... but interestingly, not all.

I once read a book by a guy who specialized in studying only the UFO reports where there was (at least supposedly) physical evidence left behind.
Some radar recordings, yes, but also interesting things like patterns of scorched ground, or indents in the ground where something had supposedly landed.
Wasn't enough to convince me that aliens are among us, but it was convincing enough for me to keep an open mind about it, and to suspect that there really is something more to it than just the rantings of crazy people, mis-identified aircraft, and swamp gas.

*Oh, and in passing... Radar returns are far from conclusive evidence! You can get false returns from clouds, temperature layers, flocks of birds, trucks on a highway, even false returns that have no physical meaning at all, except that the equipment is malfunctioning.**
I worked on radar systems, and know that unexplained radar returns are a very routine occurrence... so routine that for some systems it would be surprising if there were none at any given time.
**Every scan of a radar beam will include test targets internally generated by the system. If the system is working properly, these will be filtered out and not displayed... but if the timing is off, or the filters aren't working right, those internally-generated test targets can show up on the scope.***
***Yo Dawg, we heard you liked footnotes, so we put a footnote in your footnote so you can footnote while you footnote
Kenji_Kensuki
As far as I can tell, the words (or acronyms, in this case) "UFO" and "hallucination" have the same problem. People are (relatively) narrow-minded (not an insult), unless they've been trained, so the easiest way to explain something they can't understand is to make it something completely unusual or unnatural. They then think that that will explain everything, and move on with their lives.

While this is a good way of coping, it certainly is not scientific in any way, which is why we can't have a sensible discussion on UFOs.

(Reading the above words, I realize I sound inhuman. *shudder*)
Radar
I find it hard to understand why there would be UFOs for decades without any kind of official contact. Why would aliens come to Earth and not attempt to communicate in some way? Trade, war, allies, anything. That just seems strange to me.

Yes, I am ignoring conspiracy theories. Oh well.
Josso
Radar wrote:
I find it hard to understand why there would be UFOs for decades without any kind of official contact. Why would aliens come to Earth and not attempt to communicate in some way? Trade, war, allies, anything. That just seems strange to me.

Yes, I am ignoring conspiracy theories. Oh well.


Lol loving your completely speculative analysis. Who knows what decisions a more advanced civlization would make and why. Also I'm not sure what you mean by "official contact" you mean like coming down in a huge craft and just landing in hyde park or something? Don't be a muppet
enilsoncba
For centuries people tell stories of aliens. Many people have heard of them, but there are few who claim to have seen a real ET. scientists say yes, they really exist. But not like those crazy movies, they refer to the possibility of simple beings, not smart, like our bacteria. And I also think so. Same news that recently saw where scientists discovered a planet called Gliese 581 d, located more than 20 light years of the Space Goofs. I think that our solar system may be habitable. But, as it is too far, there's no way to say with certainty whether there is life there. You'll know right ...
TBONE251
Ya know, all the "UFO" sightings in area 51 are just rc airplanes. Apparently that's an rc plane hotspot.
ocalhoun
TBONE251 wrote:
Ya know, all the "UFO" sightings in area 51 are just rc airplanes. Apparently that's an rc plane hotspot.

Come to think of it, it would be quite amusing to go around causing fake UFO sightings.

Off to the lab, to make a big, shiny, saucer-shaped remote control blimp!

With a camera on it, to record the people watching it!

And then to youtube! To post the hilarious reactions of people when they see a real live UFO hovering around. ^.^
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