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NIDS response to Philip Klass

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  • Christopher Ryan
    ... From: National Institute for Discovery Science To: List Member Subject: NIDS response to Philip Klass Date: 1
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
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      From: "National Institute for Discovery Science" <nids@...>
      To: List Member <ruk426x7@...>
      Subject: NIDS response to Philip Klass
      Date: 1 Mar 2000 20:07:18 -0000

      National Institute for Discovery Science - http://www.nidsci.org

      The following is the NIDS reply to a recent article in the Skeptics UFO
      Newsletter (SUN) #62 by Philip Klass suggesting that the recent multiple
      police officer eyewitness case on January 5, 2000 was based on the police
      officers mistakenly seeing the planet Venus. The NIDS report of the case
      can be found at: http://www.accessnv.com/nids/

      Rebuttal to SUN #62, March 2000
      by
      Eric W. Davis, Ph.D.
      Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society
      Member of the American Astronomical Society
      Senior Member of the American Inst. for Aeronautics & Astronautics


      The SUN author suggests, on the basis of extremely brief excerpts taken
      out of context from eyewitness testimonies, that a parsimonious
      explanation for the Illinois UFO case of Jan. 5 is that the UFO �might be�
      Venus. The SUN author then faults the NIDS analysis because NIDS
      investigators did not consider this a possibility. NIDS considered but
      rejected stars or planets as possible explanations for this case on the
      grounds that the majority testimony identified the UFO as a large (200-600
      feet linear, 40-60 feet thick) triangular-shaped object possessing (on its
      underside) downward pointing white lights arranged at the corners, a red
      light near the center, possible additional red lights spaced at intervals
      across the underside and near the perimeter, and a row of multicolored
      lights along one side between two corner white lights. There also appeared
      to be large windows with light emanating through them, but these could
      have possibly been openings or light sources. The bright white lights on
      the corners were described as blinding to the eye and lighting up the area
      below the craft. A witness estimate of the brightness of the white lights
      was that they were much brighter than a police cruiser spotlight.
      Witnesses observed the UFO to be hovering, slowly rotating about a
      vertical axis, a combination of the first two followed by slow linear
      motion, and slow linear motion or hovering followed by sudden linear
      accelerations sending the object across the sky to the witness�s apparent
      horizon. The UFO was flying at low altitude, described by witnesses as
      being tree top or 1000-2000 feet above ground. The object flew northeast
      to southwest from Highland at 4 a.m., later observed at Lebanon and Shiloh
      in Illinois, changed its course to northwest and then changed course again
      heading southwest. At 4:30 a.m. it was sighted at 10,000 feet altitude
      near Dupo, changing direction from southwest to north then to east while
      maintaining that altitude (knowing that this altitude is very
      approximate), yet at this time Venus was still less than a degree above
      the horizon and very difficult to see. The object hung around the Dupo
      area for about two more hours.

      These facts together do not argue in favor of a planet or star explanation
      for the UFO. They argue in favor of an aerial object, a craft, possessing
      extended physical dimension, shape, complex array of lights along with
      slight sound. The present data is insufficient to determine whether this
      object was a special access (black) program vehicle or something of
      unknown origin. The planet Venus was not above the horizon until it rose
      at 4:25 a.m. on January 5 in Illinois/Missouri and it was -4.07 visual
      magnitude. At 4:30 a.m. Venus was 0� 45� (corrected for atmospheric
      refraction) above the horizon when it could first become visible to local
      observers, but generally difficult to see because of the surrounding
      trees, rolling hills and structures known within the localities of the UFO
      sighting. Venus was at 4� 38� (corrected for atmospheric refraction) below
      the horizon at 110� 52� azimuth (between E and SE) when the UFO was first
      sighted near Highland, Ill. in the northeast part of the sky by the first
      witness at approximately 4 a.m. At this altitude below the horizon, Venus
      will not be seen any earlier in this time frame due to refraction. (The
      refraction angle correction for visible star/planet altitude above/below
      the horizon is measured in arc minutes, 1/60th of a degree, which
      decreases in value as objects approach zenith, and 30 arc minutes is the
      maximum refraction correction at the horizon.) The second witness saw the
      UFO in Lebanon approximately ten minutes later when Venus was still 2� 49�
      (corrected for atmospheric refraction) below the horizon (112� 23�
      azimuth). The police log in Lebanon also noted that witness one�s report
      was recorded at 4:10 a.m. ten minutes after he sighted the object in
      Highland. Jupiter (-2.51 visual mag.) rose at 12:11 p.m. on January 4 and
      set at 1:15 a.m. on January 5 so it was not in the sky during the January
      5th event. Mercury (-0.77 visual mag.) was well below the horizon near the
      sun until it rose at 7:02 a.m. that morning. Vega (visual mag. 0.10, NE),
      Arcturus (visual mag. 0.02, E), Sirius (visual mag. �1.6, SW), Procyon
      (visual mag. 0.5, SW), Rigel (visual mag. 0.3, W), Betelgeuse (visual mag.
      0.6, W) and Capella (visual mag. 0.2, NW) are the only relatively bright
      stars at or above the horizon after 4 a.m. January 5. But again, they
      (visual magnitudes and sky positions) do not fit the facts as described by
      the eight witnesses as an explanation for the UFO.

      A thorough forensic investigation requires consideration of all facts and
      details gathered from complete eyewitness testimony, and not just from
      selected excerpts from same such testimony. Anything short of this is
      irresponsible. The testimony transcripts were put on the internet to make
      clear to interested readers the evolution of events as described by the
      witnesses interviewed by NIDS. It is erroneous that the SUN author would
      extract selected excerpts from witness testimony out of context as
      described in SUN #62 (March, 2000) so as to frame a simple explanation for
      the Illinois UFO. For example, the SUN author neglected the rest of
      witness one�s testimony describing how the object �kept moving� and �kept
      getting closer� as he continued to watch it in the northeastern sky until
      it was close enough to him that he could see the underside and side of the
      object, describing it�s size, array of red lights and windows on it. The
      object kept moving on to the southwest. Venus was below the horizon and
      between east and southeast at the time.
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