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Re: Scientists And The ET Hypothesis - McGonagle

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  • Joe McGonagle
    ... Hello again Stan/List, ... that ... No.14 ... because ... responding ... in ... I think I must have a comprehension problem here-if you aren t
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 28, 2002
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      ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Stan Friedman <fsphys@...>
      > To: <ufoupdates@...>
      > Subject: Re: Scientists And The ET Hypothesis
      > Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 15:15:48 -0400
      >
      >
      >
      > >From: Joe McGonagle <joem_cgonagle@...>
      > >To: <ufoupdates@...>
      > >Subject: Re: Scientists And The ET Hypothesis
      > >Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 20:31:19 -0000
      >
      > >>From: Stan Friedman <fsphys@...>
      > >>To: <ufoupdates@...>
      > >>Subject: Re: Scientists And The ET Hypothesis
      > >>Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 20:02:53 -0400
      >
      <snip>

      Hello again Stan/List,

      > >>1. If no true UFOs (The unknown UFOs still remaining after
      > >>investigation by competent investigators) represent alien
      > >>spacecraft, then there should be no difference in the
      > >>characteristics of these unknowns as compared to the
      > >>characteristics of the knowns. Test result? The probability
      that
      > >>the unknowns are just missed knowns is less than one percent
      > >>based on a chisquare analysis of the two groups involving six
      > >>different characteristics. See 'Blue Book Special Report
      No.14'
      > >>somehow not noted in 13 anti-UFO books.
      >
      > >You have made a gross error here - you have assumed that
      because
      > >the evidence in a particular case does not suggest a known
      > >cause, the only possible solution is an alien spacecraft. What
      > >about other possibilities, such as temporal disturbance, or
      > >unknown terrestrial phenomena for example?
      >
      > Sorry, but I said nothing about this proving that some UFOs are
      > alien spacecraft. That comes from combining the appearance of
      > the UNKNOWNS (clearly manufactured objects) and their behavior
      > (maneuverability, high acceleration high and no velocity etc).
      > At that time we couldn't build things that look and act like
      > that, therefore they were built someplace else. I was
      responding
      > to John Rimmer's claim; "There is an inherent lack of content
      in
      > the UFO data. It is impossible to come up with any testable
      > hypothesis." I provided many testable hypotheses.

      I think I must have a comprehension problem here-if you aren't
      suggesting that the above hypothesis proves that some UFO's are
      alien spacecraft, please can you explain why you included the
      reference to them in your first statement?

      > >>2. If no unknowns represent alien spacecraft, than the better
      the
      > >>quality of the sighting because of the duration of
      observation,
      > >>the background of the observer, etc the less likely to be an
      > >>unknown. Test Result? The better the quality of the sighting
      the
      > >>MORE likely to be an unknown. Ibid.
      >
      > >As above.
      >
      > This is a testable hypothesis. UNKNOWNS are not merely poor or
      > missed KNOWNS

      ..or conclusively alien spacecraft?

      >
      > >>3. If unknowns are just poorly observed knowns, seen for only
      a
      > >>brief time, than the duration of observation for the knowns
      > >>should be greater than for the unknowns. Test Result? The
      > >>average unknown was observed for a longer time than the
      > >>average known.
      >
      > >No dispute, though I haven't checked your assertion.
      >
      > Just for instances like this I have made available copies of
      > the 256 page Blue Book Special Report 14 with all the tables
      and
      > charts and with the original totally misleading press release.
      > It is $25.00 US including Priority Mail from me at POB 958,
      > Houlton, ME 04730-0958. or for my fellow Canadians 79 Pembroke
      > Crescent, Fredericton, NB Canada E3B 2V1. for only $37CAD
      >
      >

      Thanks, I may add it to my library at some point in the future,
      if I ever catch up on the 20 or so books that I already have
      waiting!

      > >>4. If unknowns are just poorly observed knowns, than the
      > >>percentage of sightings listed as unknowns should decrease as
      > >>the quality of the sightings increases. Test Result? The
      better
      > >>the quality of the reports, the _less_ likely to be listed as
      > >>'Insufficient Information'.
      >
      > >No dispute.
      >
      > >>5. The only reason sightings can't be identified is that
      there is
      > >>insufficient data available to pin down an identification.
      Test
      > >>result? In the largest study ever done, there was a separate
      > >>category 'Insufficient Information'. Not enough data to
      justify
      > >>any particular explanation. By definition these were not the
      > >>unknowns
      >
      > >I am curious as to how it is possible to differentiate between
      > >an "unknown" and an apparent object for which there is
      > >insufficient information to identify it. Surely they must both
      > >be "unknowns" ?
      >
      > Sorry, NO. But here are the definitions. They clearly show that
      > the Insufficient Information cases are not the same as the
      > UNKNOWNS
      >
      > UNKNOWN---"This designation in the identification code was
      > assigned to those reports of sightings wherein the description
      > of the object and its maneuvers could not be fitted to the
      > pattern of any known object or phenomenon."
      >
      > INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION--"This identification category was
      > assigned to a report when, upon final consideration, there was
      > some essential item of information missing, or there was enough
      > doubt about what data were available to disallow identification
      > as a common object or some natural phenomenon. It is emphasized
      > that this category of identification was not used as a
      > convenient way to dispose of what might be called "poor
      > unknowns", but as a category for reports that, perhaps could
      > have been one of several known objects or natural phenomena. No
      > reports identified as INSUFFICENINT INFORMATION contain
      > authenticated facts or impressions that would prevent its being
      > identified as a known object or phenomenon."
      >
      > I would add that no sighting report could be listed as an
      > UNKNOWN unless all four BMI final report evaluators agreed.
      Any
      > two could label it anything else.
      >

      I take your point-really it means that there wasn't enough
      material to use in an investigation.

      > >>6. If there were really ET spacecraft flying around in the
      > >>atmosphere, they should surely be observed by radar. Test
      > >>result? There have indeed been many radar sightings including
      > >>combined radar visual cases. See J.E. McDonald's
      >>congressional
      > testimony.
      >
      > >But what is the evidence that the detected objects were
      > >extraterrestrial spacecraft rather than an unknown terrestrial
      > >phenomenon? All that can be factually determined is that we
      > >don't know what generated the returns, surely?
      >
      > That is a long story... briefly the combination of appearance
      and
      > behavior of the UNKNOWNS. If they were manuifactured here, they
      > would be used in military applications. Fifty years later and
      > they are not.
      >

      This is where I really disagree-the fact that there is apparently
      something mechanical that current human science cannot replicate
      (as far as we know!) doesn't automatically mean that they
      originate from another planet in our universe-how can you exclude
      objects from the future of our own planet, for instance?

      > >>7. If there were really ET spacecraft flying around in the
      > >>atmosphere, governments should be very concerned about
      finding
      > >>out more about the objects being seen. Test result? Wilbert
      > >>Smith learned that Flying Saucers are the most classified
      > >>subject in the US, even more than the H-Bomb. General Carroll
      > >>Bolender stated that "Reports which could effect National
      > >>security are NOT part of the Blue Book system and would
      continue
      > >>to be be made under JANAP 146 and AF Regulation 55-
      > >>11. even if Blue Book were cancelled.
      >
      > >Does this prove that that UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin?
      > >What about the possibility, for example, that the UFO's (and I
      > >mean "UNIDENTIFIED flying objects") exposed weaknesses in the
      >nation's
      > air defence? Would that fact not merit a high level of
      > >interest from the DoD together with a high security rating?
      >
      > Especially if they were manufactured objects under intelligent
      > control..Dick Hall's book discusses intelligent control.Again
      if
      > the manufactured objects whose behavior we cannot yet duplicate
      > were from earth, where are they in the world's air forces?
      >

      So it seems that we agree that anything capable of the described
      performance would be likely to generate military interest and
      secrecy, _whether_or_not_they_were_alien_spacecraft?

      > >>8. If alien spacecraft were really flying around one, would
      > >>expect them to land to make closer obswervations. Test? Ted
      > >>Phillips has collected more than 5000 physical trace cases
      from
      > >>70 countries. He considers 2000 to be excellent cases.
      >
      > >There is a difference between excellent cases and excellent
      > >evidence of ET visitation.
      >
      > The question was about testable hypotheses. If it wasn't built
      > on earth , it was built someplace else.
      >

      Someplace or sometime? (I also have to confess that I am not
      familiar with Ted's work, so I can't offer any opinion as to how
      qualitative the cases refrred to are-for the sake of this
      discussion I am quite willing to accept them as stated).

      > Testimony is the best form of evidence in our courts. Of
      course,
      > I would like to be able to exhibit a body and an ET craft. What
      > would it be worth on today's market? What government would not
      > protect such items? I can't produce a nuclear weapon for you
      > either.
      >

      No, but it is possible to provide definitive,
      _universally_accepted_, documentary proof of the existance of
      nuclear weapons, including details of the locations and processes
      involved in their manufacture. There is no equivalent evidence of
      the existance of alien spaceships.

      > >>9. Surely even aliens aren't perfect and if there are so many
      > >>craft flying around, some ought to crash. Test? Read 'Crash
      at
      > >>Corona: The Definitive Story of the Roswell Incident' by
      > >>Berliner and Friedman .There were 2 crashes. Len
      > >>Stringfield listed more than 60....
      >
      > >...and where is the irrefutable evidence? I say that there
      have
      > >been at least 5 million crashed cheeses in the past hour, all
      of
      > >them on my doorstep. Does this make it true?
      >
      > I talk about large scale scientific studies and the results of
      > careful investigations by competent investigators of reports by
      > competent observers. You may be a competent observer, but where
      > is the investigation to support your ridiculous assertion since
      > your doorstep isn't big enough to hold 5 million crashed
      > cheeses?. I have written a great deal about the Roswell
      > Incident. Have you read it? I talk about evidence not
      artifacts.
      >

      Sorry, that was a flippant statement, intended to add colour to
      an otherwise bland post, but if pushed, I could point out cracks
      on my doorstep as physical traces, and if I was dishonest, I
      could also provide fragments of cheese as further evidence. I
      won't labour the similarities, as my postulation was clearly
      untennable, but it does demonstrate some of the principles
      involved.

      > >>10. Most sighting reports actually turn out to be secret
      > >>government vehicles such as the U-2 and SR 71. Test? So where
      > >>are the fancy 'secret vehicles' observed in the 1940s and
      1950s?
      > >>None seem to have showed up in the Korean War or Vietnam or
      the
      > >>Gulf War. even though the whole point of development of
      advanced
      > >>high performance craft would be for military applications.
      Bruce
      > >>Maccabee showed that there was no increase in sightings when
      the
      > >>U-2 and SR-71 started flying, despite claims to the contrary
      by
      > >>the CIA historian.
      >
      > >I can't claim any expertise on 40's and 50's experimental
      > >aircraft, but I can point out several example of more recent,
      > >relatively bizarre looking aircraft that could at one time
      have
      > >been reasonably misidentified. I would however challenge the
      > >assertion that military traffic generates most
      > >misidentifications-I would have thought most
      misidentifications >were of
      > astronomical phenomena, satellites, or conventional
      > >civil aircraft?
      >
      > It was the CIA and the USAF making the silly claim, not me.I am
      > talking about a combination of appearance and behavior not just
      > strange appearance.
      >

      I didn't intend to suggest that you expressed the view about most
      sightings being military craft, but I felt I had to point out the
      error as stated. I am glad that you recognise point 10 as being
      ridiculous-clearly some misidentifications are due to
      experimental craft.

      > >>>>Rather, it is a
      > >>>>>reflection of the sociology of science and ridicule of the
      > >>>>>subject that has virtually made it a taboo subject.
      >
      > >>>>I think ufologists actually like believing that they are
      > >>>>dangerous outsiders in a taboo subject which science
      rejects. If
      > >>>>any great number of scientists decided there was worthwhile
      data
      > >>>>in ufology and started doing UFO research in a big way,
      what
      > >>>>would happen to all our hole-in- the-corner little
      magazines
      > >>>>like Magonia and IUR? All our little groups and mailing
      lists?
      > >>>>We'd be out there with the green cheese boyos, believe you
      me!
      >
      > >>I certainly don't believe I am a dangerous outsider in a
      taboo
      > >>subject. If I did, would the title of my college and
      > >>professional group lecture be 'Flying Saucers ARE Real'
      > >>Where is the danger? I have had fewer than 12 hecklers in
      > >>over 700 lectures. Two of them were drunk. There would be
      > >>even more if spoke about religion or politics or figure I
      > >>skating usually I travel by myself. No body guards. I never
      > >>saw Bruce Maccabee with a bodyguard either. Just who would
      fund
      > >>all these saucerian entrepreneurs? I suspect there are plenty
      of
      > >>scientists working on the inside, just as there are at Area
      51,
      > >>even if they don't publish in the Physical Review.
      >
      > >I acknowledge that there may be covert studies of the
      phenomena
      > >of UFO's being carried out by Government agencies, but again,
      I
      > >point out that the 'U' in UFO stands for 'UNIDENTIFIED', and
      not
      > >'Alien spacecraft'. I will venture even further and
      acknowledge
      > >that there is a possibility that some UFOs could be alien
      > >spacecraft, but qualify that with _we_do_not_know_that_they_
      > >are_, because there is no real proof!
      >
      > Once again. I speak of evidence.I do NOT claim that I have "
      > real proof" : bodies or wreckage. I also don't have an atomic
      > bomb and can't buy one either.Look at the legal situation.
      > Testimony, physical traces, acceptable photographs.,radar, etc
      > This is a civil matter not a criminal one. My lecture is
      'Flying
      > Saucers ARE Real!' not UFOs are Real because I am interested in
      > the wheat - flying saucers.. not the chaff: Identifiable flying
      > objects.
      >

      This is my point-how are you able to exclude alternative exotic
      explanations in order to conclude that the "unknowns" are alien
      spaceships?

      > >Surely you must also acknowledge that there is a stigma
      > >associated with UFO research by scientists? John Mack is
      > >certainly of that opinion, judging by his comments at the
      Leeds
      > >conference last year, and I am unaware of much resource being
      > >applied to UFO research by universities compared to
      > >resources applied to global warming, for instance?
      >
      > Why does the amount of resources being spent by universities
      > have anything to do with the most classified subject in the
      USA?
      > Stigmas are where one finds them. I was responding to Rimmer's
      > comment. I have often discussed the laughter curtain. If one
      > can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If more
      ufologists
      > would stand up to be counted (as John Mack and David Jacobs
      > certainly have even if in academia), instead of hiding, we
      would
      > all be better off
      >

      In the run-up to, and during WWII, Radar was amongst the most
      classified research areas (possibly only out-classified by radio
      interception and decoding techniques). Several universities in
      the UK were openly (in the sense that they didn't go to great
      lengths to disguise the fact, not that they openly shared
      research) engaged on such projects on behalf of the Military.
      The same is true of current military projects, indeed, they put
      such work out to tender.

      Regarding the stigma, I think we each interpreted John's comments
      differently.

      <butterflies snipped>

      > >To summarise, you seem to have decided that anything that is
      not
      > >readily identifiable must be of alien origin - are you
      familiar
      > >with European car manufacturers? If not, I own an old Citroen
      BX
      > >which was sold to me by a visiting Venusian, would you be
      > >interested in purchasing it as an alien artifact?
      >
      > This is frankly absurd. Where did I make such a silly claim? I
      > have very often used the term "gray box". Interesting example;
      > if the vehicle could fly straight up and down, make right angle
      > turns at 2000 mph,fly straight at 7000mph without creating a
      > sonic boom, etc etc one might say it was of ET origin.. Like
      the
      > huge objects seen in the JAL case, the Yukon case, the CAI case
      > (5 or 6 times the size of a 747 and moving 5400 miles per hour)
      >
      > >Joe McGonagle
      >
      > Looks like a lot of homework is needed joe. But please don't
      > put words in my mouth.
      >

      Sorry, Stan, I am really having a bad comprehension week-with all
      of the references to alien spaceships, and no mention of any
      alternative exotic explanations, I cannot still come to any other
      conclusion. I haven't deliberately put words in your mouth, and I
      appreciate that often email is not the best medium for
      discussions such as this, but it appears to me that there is a
      consistent inability to consider other exotic solutions in your
      writings in this thread.

      As for homework, the day that I stop learning will be the day
      that my life ends.....I will never know enough, and I doubt if
      anyone else ever will!

      Regards, Joe
    • Joe McGonagle
      Just a quick note in case anyone has the impression that I am veering off-topic in an attempt to bash Stan, I think I should clarify my reasoning for
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 28, 2002
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        Just a quick note in case anyone has the impression that I am
        veering off-topic in an attempt to "bash" Stan, I think I should
        clarify my reasoning for challenging his post.

        Please note that this post may be negated by any response from
        Stan that is already in the pipeline, due to the inherrent (and
        justified) delays in the moderation of the list.

        A major postulation involved in this thread is that UFOlogy as a
        subject area has little or no credibility in the general
        scientific community.

        I believe that the most likely cause for this perception by the
        scientific community is a tendancy for many people involved (even
        amongst "serious" researchers, including Stan) to set out to
        prove that UFO's are spaceships from another planet in our
        universe.

        It is my contention that the scientific approach should not be to
        prove that UFO's are spaceships from another planet, but to
        attempt to identify what UFO's are.

        Cheers, Joe
      • youfoh
        ... I m with Joe on this one. It must be determined first what constitutes a UFO. Only then could one determine, perhaps obviously, what it s purpose is.
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 28, 2002
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          --- In ufonet@y..., "Joe McGonagle" <joe@m...> wrote:
          >
          > It is my contention that the scientific approach should not be to
          > prove that UFO's are spaceships from another planet, but to
          > attempt to identify what UFO's are.

          I'm with Joe on this one. It must be determined first what
          constitutes a UFO. Only then could one determine, perhaps obviously,
          what it's purpose is. Without such a bearing, it's only presumptuous
          to label it an alien spacecraft or mezmerizing dodad.
        • Roger Anderton
          Hi Joe, ... Yes, but: (1) Mainstream science has ignored the subject of UFOs. The subject was supposed to have been solved in Condon report etc. (A few
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 1, 2002
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            Hi Joe,

            > It is my contention that the scientific approach should not be to
            > prove that UFO's are spaceships from another planet, but to
            > attempt to identify what UFO's are.


            Yes, but:

            (1) Mainstream science has ignored the subject of UFOs. The subject was
            supposed to have been solved in Condon report etc. (A few scientists like
            Hynek disagreed.)

            That left the field open to independent researchers- amateurs, lone
            scientists etc., and all those people have now had a very long time to reach
            their own conclusions to the answer. These people think that the answer is
            now obvious.

            From that perspective the solution is just a matter of convincing everyone
            else.

            There is too much History of their investigations, to be able to easily
            start afresh. And to start afresh, ignoring their work, is showing no
            respect to them, for many of them have applied the scientific method.

            (2) There are many other 'buts'. .......


            Which probably add up to being that its too late to do as you say. It should
            have been done that way in the first instance, but now we have things like
            Roswell: where we know that something was defintely covered up, whether it
            was weather balloon, aliens or something else. From that perspective, 'we'
            merely want the authorities to tell the truth and convince us. The scientifc
            method does not seem able to cope with the scenario that has been
            concluded. Starting again, merely seems another cover up.




            -Roger





            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Joe McGonagle" <joe@...>
            To: <ufoupdates@...>; <ufonet@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, March 01, 2002 12:12 AM
            Subject: [UFOnet] Re: Scientists And The ET Hypothesis - McGonagle


            > Just a quick note in case anyone has the impression that I am
            > veering off-topic in an attempt to "bash" Stan, I think I should
            > clarify my reasoning for challenging his post.
            >
            > Please note that this post may be negated by any response from
            > Stan that is already in the pipeline, due to the inherrent (and
            > justified) delays in the moderation of the list.
            >
            > A major postulation involved in this thread is that UFOlogy as a
            > subject area has little or no credibility in the general
            > scientific community.
            >
            > I believe that the most likely cause for this perception by the
            > scientific community is a tendancy for many people involved (even
            > amongst "serious" researchers, including Stan) to set out to
            > prove that UFO's are spaceships from another planet in our
            > universe.
            >
            > It is my contention that the scientific approach should not be to
            > prove that UFO's are spaceships from another planet, but to
            > attempt to identify what UFO's are.
            >
            > Cheers, Joe
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
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          • major_crisis
            ... was ... scientists like ... to reach ... answer is ... everyone ... easily ... no ... method. ... Those that have applied the scientific method should then
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 2, 2002
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              --- In ufonet@y..., "Roger Anderton" <R.J.Anderton@b...> wrote:
              > Hi Joe,
              >
              > > It is my contention that the scientific approach should not be to
              > > prove that UFO's are spaceships from another planet, but to
              > > attempt to identify what UFO's are.
              >
              >
              > Yes, but:
              >
              > (1) Mainstream science has ignored the subject of UFOs. The subject
              was
              > supposed to have been solved in Condon report etc. (A few
              scientists like
              > Hynek disagreed.)
              >
              > That left the field open to independent researchers- amateurs, lone
              > scientists etc., and all those people have now had a very long time
              to reach
              > their own conclusions to the answer. These people think that the
              answer is
              > now obvious.
              >
              > From that perspective the solution is just a matter of convincing
              everyone
              > else.
              >
              > There is too much History of their investigations, to be able to
              easily
              > start afresh. And to start afresh, ignoring their work, is showing
              no
              > respect to them, for many of them have applied the scientific
              method.
              >

              Those that have applied the scientific method should then submit
              papers for peer (scientific) review. If no scientists can pick holes
              in their work, then it will stand.

              Aside from those using strict scientific disciplines, many ufologists
              have as you say done an excellent job, and their work could be used
              as a basis for further scientific work.
              Unfortunately, the majority of ufo researchers have not documented
              all aspects of their work, starting with the source of their data,
              the rationale used to come to certain conclusions, etc, rendering
              their work worthless to anyone trying to follow it up.

              > (2) There are many other 'buts'. .......
              >
              >
              > Which probably add up to being that its too late to do as you say.
              It should
              > have been done that way in the first instance, but now we have
              things like
              > Roswell: where we know that something was defintely covered up,
              whether it
              > was weather balloon, aliens or something else. From that
              perspective, 'we'
              > merely want the authorities to tell the truth and convince us. The
              scientifc
              > method does not seem able to cope with the scenario that has been
              > concluded. Starting again, merely seems another cover up.
              >
              >

              No, I disagree. The difficulty would be establishing what data can be
              used scientifically. Much of it is dated, and relies heavily on
              witness testimony. Some of those witnesses will now be dead, others
              will have the added difficulty of remembering events from a long time
              ago without adding to or detracting from those memories.

              Radar tapes have been destroyed, or decomposed, so have film
              negatives. Contemporary records have been lost or destroyed.

              It is never too late to start applying the scientific method. It may
              take 50 years to build up sufficient acceptable data on which to base
              testable hypotheses, but the longer the start is delayed, ultimately
              the longer it will take to make any progress.

              Before any of this can take place, people involved in investigation
              of UFO's need to be trained (not as scientists, but how to collect
              and document information in a way that will be acceptable to science).

              Cheers, Joe
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