Are All UFO Reports Wrong, Or Are They Evidence That UFOs Exist?

billfbna

New Member
I believe that UFOs are real. There are hundreds, probably thousands of photos published in the 50's & 60's that show dozens of kinds of UFOs. They can't all be fake. Policemen, pilots and military officers from all over the world have reported craft going back to the 40's. Are all of them confused or lying? I doubt it. Apollo Astronauts have seen and photographed them. Astronaut Gordon Cooper claims to have seen them and filmed them. Robert Salas had 10 minuteman nuclear missiles shut down at the same time security personnel reported seeing one directly over the missile silo. Col. Charles Halt and 80+ USAF personnel witnessed an encounter that Halt recorded contemporaneously on his pocket tape recorder. Is Col. Halt, the radar operators and 80 of his men lying or confused? UFOs appear in 500 year old paintings and 10,000 year old petroglyphs. UFOs not being real would require a global conspiracy to fake photos, videos and radar data, paintings and cave drawings and recruit thousands of policemen, pilots and military officers such as David Fravor come forward and lie. The 62 Ariel school kids who have told the same story for 30+ years would all have had to agree with one another on what lie to tell and how to fake drawings of what they saw that day and continue telling the same false story all these years.

Unlike a lot of UFO enthusiast, I like Mick West and think Metabunk is an asset to ufology. I sent him a scary looking UFO filmed from a plane and he took the time to forward me links on Metabunk that explained to my satisfaction that the UFO was Venus under digital zoom. Basically, it was a huge pixel. I appreciated that and the work done on Apache & racetrack UFOs, examples of how it should be done. Both The Debrief and Ben Hanson should have done this kind of work before they hype and publish videos.

I would appreciate anyone's thoughts.

Thank you.
 
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Edward Current

Active Member
UFOs not being real would require a global conspiracy to fake photos, videos and radar data, paintings and cave drawings and recruit thousands of policemen, pilots and military officers such as David Fravor come forward and lie.
Not at all. No one is claiming that all UFO sightings and photographs are fake or lied about. Rather, that the interpretation of them is mistaken — they are likely all sightings/photographs of something else, or camera/optics/film artifacts, etc. The mistaken photographs that became the major UFO pictures and videos made it to the top because they match a currently popular concept, the flying saucer (and its variants). This can happen many, many ways; there's little consistency among all of the different pathways to UFO photograph creation. Some are accidental, for example.

There's no coordinated effort going on. It's just that some sightings and photos funnel into this one very provocative and popular interpretational model, the UFO from outer space. In the middle ages, the things that people saw and talked about were miraculous visions, demons, and such! Neither was there a global conspiracy to lie about the Virgin Mary at that time.

I think it's significant that every last UFO photo or video is in Mick's "Low Information Zone" and that we don't have anything close, sharp, and definitive. I had a thread a while back about what kind of evidence it would take to convince skeptics.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I would appreciate anyone's thoughts.

Hi Bill, and welcome. My main thought is that it's nice to see a UFO believer here - and especially one who seems as balanced and appreciative of the work Mick and others do as yourself. It should be interesting for all.

As for belief in UFOs, personally I've yet to see anything I would consider convincing evidence - but I think like just about everyone here I'd love it if one day extraterrestrial life was confirmed or, even better, contact was made.

Thus far though, whenever I look into something it seems to have a reasonable explanation.

Welcome to the forum. :)

(PS Be sure to familiarize yourself with the posting guidelines and especially the link and politeness policies. They can be a little tricky at first.)
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
They can't all be fake.
Nobody has ever suggested that. In fact, I've found only a very small percentage (<1%) of all UFO reports are fake. The vast majority are honest reports of what people thought they saw.

UFOs not being real would require a global conspiracy to fake photos, videos and radar data, paintings and cave drawings and recruit thousands of policemen, pilots and military officers such as David Fravor come forward and lie.
No, because the reports are not fake, and the vast majority of witnesses are not lying. Zero conspiracy is needed.
Are all of them confused
Perhaps closer to the truth, but not right. "Confused" implies some kind of mental impairment, a befuddlement. While that might sometimes happen, I think most of the time, people are operating at a normal level of mental acuity. They simply make an understandable mistake in their perception or interpretation.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I've never seen any evidence that extraterrestrial UFOs exist. Ive seen a few things (not ariel school etc) we dont know the answer, but they are also not evidence of UFOs.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
I believe that UFOs are real.
"Unidentified", or at the very least, not yet identified, I'd agree. But as I'm sure you've seen here, we can't generalize. We have to tackle one at a time based on the sometimes very limited information that exists.

Frankly, I disbelieve in the likelihood of interstellar visitations. But at this time in history I think we are probably approaching a time when earthly craft, perhaps unfriendly ones, are not as improbable as they were once thought.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
Policemen, pilots and military officers from all over the world have reported craft going back to the 40's. Are all of them confused or lying? I doubt it. Apollo Astronauts have seen and photographed them. Astronaut Gordon Cooper claims to have seen them and filmed them. Robert Salas had 10 minuteman nuclear missiles shut down at the same time security personnel reported seeing one directly over the missile silo. Col. Charles Halt and 80+ USAF personnel witnessed an encounter that Halt recorded contemporaneously on his pocket tape recorder. Is Col. Halt, the radar operators and 80 of his men lying or confused? UFOs appear in 500 year old paintings and 10,000 year old petroglyphs.

This is a bit of a Gish Gallop. I'm not saying in any way that you're engaging in one consciously, it just seems to be a way some people compile evidence to arrive at a conclusion.

A Gish Gallop is litany of different bits of evidence, or here cases, that are all run together as "proof" of something. In your example, IF Apollo astronauts saw something AND Salas had 10 missiles shut down AND Col. Halt AND 80 people had an encounter AND what is in old painting is in fact UFOs, then there maybe UFOs are real.

However, if we look at each claim individually and find them lacking, then maybe not.

For example, while it is true that some missiles went offline for a short period of time in Montana, they weren't the missiles Salas was in charge of. There is no record of the missiles he was in charge of going offline. And the reports of UFO near the bases was dubious at best.

Discussed here: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/uf...mstrom-eagle-flight-skeptical-resources.3284/

Col. Holt and Rendlesham Forest UFO is discussed here:

http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham.html

Each claim has to be delt with in and of itself. Only then can they be compiled together to into a whole of some sort.

I'm not going into each case you mention, as that's not how this site works. We try to tackle each case/claim/idea by itself. It's just easier and cleaner that way. If, in the end there is a whole bunch of unexplained cases piled up, then maybe they can be taken together as proof of a whole.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
This is a bit of a Gish Gallop.

Not really. A Gish gallop is

"a rhetorical technique in which a person in a debate attempts to overwhelm their opponent by providing an excessive number of arguments with no regard for the accuracy or strength of those arguments."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop
Content from External Source
Bill isn't in a debate, there aren't any opponents, and he's not putting forward an argument. He's just saying "these are some of the things that make me feel UFOs (ie, ETs) are real."

It's also a bit of a perjorative term. Though I'll acknowledge you said "bit of" rather than "is".

I would appreciate anyone's thoughts.

Are you wanting to explore any of those reasons for believing you put forward? If so, there may already be threads in existence for many of them. Or if there aren't you could start one.

No pressure to do so though. It can be a bit of a bear pit round these parts sometimes. ;)
 
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LilWabbit

Senior Member
I believe that UFOs are real. There are hundreds, probably thousands of photos published in the 50's & 60's that show dozens of kinds of UFOs. They can't all be fake. Policemen, pilots and military officers from all over the world have reported craft going back to the 40's. Are all of them confused or lying?

Welcome to Metabunk @billfbna!

Our important point of agreement is that most UFO eyewitnesses are honest observers and were genuinely surprised by what they saw. This includes the Navy pilots recently featured abundantly in the media. We also agree that the visual characteristics of their sightings were genuinely unusual to the observers at the time of observation. Visually, 'something' indeed looked like a strangely-shaped and/or a strangely maneuvering object. Where we see our opinions diverging is in acceptance that the shapes or maneuvers that seemed extraordinary on the surface have been shown, after closer analysis, not to be all that impressive. When scrutinized carefully and analytically, they've consistently been shown to be optical errors or interpretive mistakes featuring ordinary objects. When viewed from unusual angles and using complex sensors (say, ATFLIR) at great speeds, or when viewed under any other unique set of circumstances prevailing at the time of observation, ordinary objects will always appear strange even to professional observers. The risk of misinterpretation increases under such rarer conditions.

This is statistically necessary. It's bound to happen. Out of thousands of correct identifications of mundane objects by trained professionals or laypersons alike there will always be a few that are incorrect due to the abovementioned unique sets of conditions at the time of observation. For every 1,000 observations of known objects under normal conditions there will always be a few under unclear or even optically misleading conditions. In other words, people are in fact usually correct and here at Metabunk we fully accept this. But given the amount of people in the world, and the amount of observations they make, the absolute number of mistaken observations will also be great. The 'believers' and the 'debunkers' alike focusing on these numerous honest mistakes, then, gives the false impression that we're doubting 'all' observations, people's honesty or basic competence. But actually we're only questioning their infallibility and perfection at being correct every single time.

The fluid nature of human perception and memory is such that physical observation and intellectual interpretation are often so intimately melded together as to make the observer himself unable to distinguish between the two. As Chris French and the authors of other psychological studies on eyewitness testimony point out, we automatically insert speculation, stemming from our own beliefs and cultural frames of reference, into facts, especially when dealing with something unusual.

The lower the information content and the less clear the sighting, the more our imagination comes into play. This happens to the best of us. When hearing sounds or seeing faint flickers of light in the dark, even at our adult age, our imagination may run wild. When faced with an unusual observation, even years of training does not really help but in fact makes us more prone to assume something extraordinary.
 
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captancourgette

Active Member
For me when you talk about UFOs, I take it to mean alien craft (not an unidentified flying object), which are either
1. alien craft with aliens inside
2. alien craft without aliens inside, i.e. a drone/probe

On our galaxy scale #1 is very unlikely to occur, #2 is very likely to occur if we can conquer the first step. I forget the equation but its something like say humans gain the ability to send a probe to another star, then within a couple million years we would of sent a probe to all the stars in the galaxy. (I will google this later, sorry work ATM)

WRT the OP Yeah I think they are all cases of mistaken identity, going on reddit/UFOs convinces me of this, the posts where someone saiz something like 'this is finally proof that UFOs are real' and I look at the proof and its plainly not a UFO, its a bug/bird/balloon/camera artefact or something else earthly shows that people mistake things all the time (including myself)

WRT someone mistaking venus, I had an encounter over a decade ago south of eastbourne beach overlooking wellington NZ. we were there walking one evening this guy comes up to us and saiz pointing low in the sky 'Do you know what that is?' I reply yes the planet venus. He was like 'no thats an alien craft, its here every night observing us' etc. I didnt debate with him, I could see it would of been worthless, I just remember he was 100% convinced this thing that doesnt even look like an alien craft at all was a UFO. Maybe if I had my telescope I could of shown him (though venus is a boring thing to look at, pity cause its the largest thing in the sky, excluding sun/moon)
 

dimebag2

Active Member
There is 99.9% of noise in that field. 0.1% is intriguing. With such a low signal-to-noise ratio it's easy (and natural) to throw it all out the window.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I believe that UFOs are real. There are hundreds, probably thousands of photos published in the 50's & 60's that show dozens of kinds of UFOs. They can't all be fake.
"I believe that witchcraft is real. There were hundreds, probably thousands of witches burned in the middle ages. They can't all be fake."
Yet they were.

Article:
Argument from incredulity

Argument from incredulity, also known as argument from personal incredulity, appeal to common sense, or the divine fallacy, is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition must be false because it contradicts one's personal expectations or beliefs, or is difficult to imagine.

Arguments from incredulity can sometimes arise from inappropriate emotional involvement, the conflation of fantasy and reality, a lack of understanding, or an instinctive 'gut' reaction, especially where time is scarce. They are also frequently used to argue that something must be supernatural in origin. This form of reasoning is fallacious because one's inability to imagine how a statement can be true or false gives no information about whether the statement is true or false in reality.


UFOs are a cultural phenomenon. There are millions of people ready to interpret unexplained sightings as UFOs, and that's how you get thousands of reports. The amount means nothing.

Consider:
• if we had 1 true report of a Bigfoot sighting and 99 false reports, would the 99 false reports contribute to the truth of the 1 report?
• how can we distinguish this from 1 false report and 99 other false reports?

The only way is to find a UFO sighting that is definitely true. And we don't have one.

Conclusion: UFOs may well exist, or they may not; we have no evidence of them.
 
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Itsme

Active Member
Our important point of agreement is that most UFO eyewitnesses are honest observers and were genuinely surprised by what they saw. This includes the Navy pilots recently featured abundantly in the media. We also agree that the visual characteristics of their sightings were genuinely unusual to the observers at the time of observation. Visually, 'something' indeed looked like a strangely-shaped and/or a strangely maneuvering object. Where we see our opinions diverging is in acceptance that the shapes or maneuvers that seemed extraordinary on the surface have been shown, after closer analysis, not to be all that impressive.
Either you neglect witness testimony or you accept it. If you neglect it (at least the extraordinary parts), you cannot state as a scientific fact that what the witness said they saw "was not impressive after closer analysis" - this is merely an assumption.
The honest answer is that you simply don't know whether an experienced pilot like Fravor really saw something accelerating extremely fast without any visual means of lift or propulsion.
Plenty of witnesses saw a UFO within a few hundred meters, hovering silently and then suddenly accelerating quickly without any significant sound. You cannot know whether their description is accurate or not, so you cannot state these observations "were not all that impressive after closer analysis".

The only things that can be analysed are photos and video fragments. And some of these are ambiguous (like the Turkey UFO, the Mcminnville photos, or the Gimbal object).
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Either you neglect witness testimony or you accept it.

That's a false dichotomy which unnecessarily and unreasonably restricts the available options.

Rather than uncritically choosing between your two options, you could instead apply reasonable scientific standards to vet the acceptability/reliability of each set of eyewitness testimonies before accepting or rejecting them -- or choosing something in between (such as regarding them as informative and suggestive).

Article:
Studies [on the veracity of eyewitness testimonies] have typically involved assessing the recall of eyewitnesses for staged events, either using live action or video presentation. When we are able to assess witness reports against some form of objective record, it becomes clear that both perception and memory are constructive processes, influenced not only by input from the senses (‘bottom-up’ influences) but by our own knowledge, belief and expectations about the world (‘top-down’ influences).


As psychologist Chris French explains in the full article linked in the above (where he reviews relevant studies on multiple eyewitnesses who have discussed the event with each other as well as multiple witnesses having independently witnessed and reported the same event), when eyewitness testimonies of multiple observers demonstrate:

(1) Significant mutual consistency;

(2) Significant internal consistency over time;

(3) Independence (not having been discussed or mutually shared) and;

(4) Freshness (being recorded soon after the events were observed);

Then their scientific reliability increases. And even then they're not equivalent to physical records in reliability and should preferably be compared against them if possible. They're considered secondary data at best and may be cited to support primary data.

The honest answer is that you simply don't know whether an experienced pilot like Fravor really saw something accelerating extremely fast without any visual means of lift or propulsion. Plenty of witnesses saw a UFO within a few hundred meters, hovering silently and then suddenly accelerating quickly without any significant sound. You cannot know whether their description is accurate or not, so you cannot state these observations "were not all that impressive after closer analysis".

The honest answer is that the Navy eyewitness testimonies you refer to have failed to satisfactorily meet the above 4 reasonable criteria for eyewitness reliability. Could it be that you give eyewitness testimonies greater weight not because you disagree with these 4 reasons but because they support your preferred hypothesis better than the available sketchy footage?

A direct 'yes' or 'no' answer would be very much appreciated.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
The honest answer is that you simply don't know whether an experienced pilot like Fravor really saw something accelerating extremely fast without any visual means of lift or propulsion.
Previous examples have shown us that "experienced pilots" are experienced in spotting familiar aircraft, but if it is an unusual sight, by definition it is not something with which he has experience.
 

Scaramanga

Member
I believe that UFOs are real. There are hundreds, probably thousands of photos published in the 50's & 60's that show dozens of kinds of UFOs. They can't all be fake. Policemen, pilots and military officers from all over the world have reported craft going back to the 40's. Are all of them confused or lying? I doubt it. Apollo Astronauts have seen and photographed them. Astronaut Gordon Cooper claims to have seen them and filmed them. Robert Salas had 10 minuteman nuclear missiles shut down at the same time security personnel reported seeing one directly over the missile silo. Col. Charles Halt and 80+ USAF personnel witnessed an encounter that Halt recorded contemporaneously on his pocket tape recorder. Is Col. Halt, the radar operators and 80 of his men lying or confused? UFOs appear in 500 year old paintings and 10,000 year old petroglyphs. UFOs not being real would require a global conspiracy to fake photos, videos and radar data, paintings and cave drawings and recruit thousands of policemen, pilots and military officers such as David Fravor come forward and lie. The 62 Ariel school kids who have told the same story for 30+ years would all have had to agree with one another on what lie to tell and how to fake drawings of what they saw that day and continue telling the same false story all these years.

Unlike a lot of UFO enthusiast, I like Mick West and think Metabunk is an asset to ufology. I sent him a scary looking UFO filmed from a plane and he took the time to forward me links on Metabunk that explained to my satisfaction that the UFO was Venus under digital zoom. Basically, it was a huge pixel. I appreciated that and the work done on Apache & racetrack UFOs, examples of how it should be done. Both The Debrief and Ben Hanson should have done this kind of work before they hype and publish videos.

I would appreciate anyone's thoughts.

Thank you.

I used to be firmly in the believer camp. But over the years I have found that the more one looks into cases the less substance there actually is. I think my conversion to outright skeptic started with the infamous Yukon UFO....often cited as one of the top 10 UFO cases, especially by Stanton Friedman. To see that case fall apart, with the true explanation almost certainly being a satellite re-entry, was that moment when one realises that 'I know what I saw' is actually nonsense for most observers.

Then the infamous Japan Airlines incident in Alaska fell apart, for me, when I actually checked using Stellarium and found that a close conjunction of Jupiter and Mars was in exactly the place in the sky where the UFOs were first seen.

The Rendlesham incident contains so many contradictions...and what finally killed that UFO case off for me was that Sgt Jim Penniston used the same wrong date in his infamous notebook that Halt had mistakenly used in his memo. In other words Penniston's notebook cannot have been written at the time, as claimed, but was written some time after the event and used Halt's incorrect date.

And so on. Even the Phoenix lights incident collapsed for me when I saw the prior 'orange orbs' photos taken by Lynne Kitei, where she finally revealed a lesser known photo from that collection and made excuses for two orbs being exactly in line with a road and looking exactly like car headlights !

UFO disclosure ? Nah....I really don't think there is anything to disclose other than how bad people are at identifying often common objects. In fact I would even go so far as to say that all the latest material ( Nimitz, Gimbal, etc videos ) has...far from making me believe...made me even more skeptical.
 
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Itsme

Active Member
you could instead apply reasonable scientific standards to vet the acceptability/reliability of each set of eyewitness testimonies before accepting or rejecting them

Yes, but that is not what your earlier statement is about. Your earlier statement was:

"Visually, 'something' indeed looked like a strangely-shaped and/or a strangely maneuvering object. Where we see our opinions diverging is in acceptance that the shapes or maneuvers that seemed extraordinary on the surface have been shown, after closer analysis, not to be all that impressive."

Based on what closer analysis, for instance in Fravor's case?
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
Yes, but that is not what your earlier statement is about. Your earlier statement was:

"Visually, 'something' indeed looked like a strangely-shaped and/or a strangely maneuvering object. Where we see our opinions diverging is in acceptance that the shapes or maneuvers that seemed extraordinary on the surface have been shown, after closer analysis, not to be all that impressive."

Based on what closer analysis, for instance in Fravor's case?

Analysis of their eyewitness evidence based on the 4 standards articulated and triangulating this with video analysis of poor footage. Unimpressive.
 

MyMatesBrainwashed

Active Member
UFOs not being real would require a global conspiracy to fake photos, videos and radar data, paintings and cave drawings and recruit thousands of policemen, pilots and military officers such as David Fravor come forward and lie.
I'm not sure what you mean by "UFO" with a statement like this.

A balloon can be a UFO until someone identifies it as a balloon.

Balloons are real.

UFOs are real because there's lots of stuff in the sky that people have trouble to identify.
 

Itsme

Active Member
I can provide links to the relevant videos and discussions on MB but I'd really like you to honestly answer my question first.
The answer to your question is "no".
No links to videos please, since they do not exist in Fravor's case, only a video taken by another pilot on another time and location.
No links to lenghty discussions either. Just list the 4 criteria again and give a short reason why the testimonies of Fravor and the other pilots/WSOs fail to pass them.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
The answer to your question is "no".

Thank you.

No links to videos please, since they do not exist in Fravor's case, only a video taken by another pilot on another time and location.
No links to lenghty discussions either. Just list the 4 criteria again and give a short reason why the testimonies of Fravor and the other pilots/WSOs fail to pass them.

And if I don't have the time to exert all that effort to produce all those examples here on this thread under the parameters you defined, you won't make any independent effort to go through the relevant videos and threads yourself?
 

Itsme

Active Member
Analysis of their eyewitness evidence based on the 4 standards articulated and triangulating this with video analysis of poor footage. Unimpressive
To be honest this is rather unimpressive answer. What does "triangulation with video analysis" even mean? The footage was taken at another time and location by another pilot. And please elucidate the "analysis of their eyewitness evidence based on the 4 standards articulated". What analysis?
 

Itsme

Active Member
And if I don't have the time to exert all that effort to produce all those examples here on this thread under the parameters you defined, you won't make any independent effort to go through the relevant videos and threads yourself?
No, since I am not the one making a claim here.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
To be honest this is rather unimpressive answer.

Wasn't trying to impress. :)

What does "triangulation with video analysis" even mean?

What it reads.

The footage was taken at another time and location by another pilot. And please elucidate the "analysis of their eyewitness evidence based on the 4 standards articulated". What analysis?

Answered already that it's not my burden on this thread.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
@Itsme: "No, since I am not the one making a claim here."

You're the one claiming their eyewitness evidence is compelling in some way. I already offered a link to a review of studies on why eyewitness evidence is generally unreliable. I don't think I have a heavier burden to prove anything further at this point (while being relevant to this thread's purpose) unless you demonstrate how those studies are inapplicable to a special subset of UFO witnesses whose reports you believe. And how they meet the 4 criteria.
 
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Scaramanga

Member
Analysis of their eyewitness evidence based on the 4 standards articulated and triangulating this with video analysis of poor footage. Unimpressive.

I would add that multiple witness accounts are often held up as making a case more 'reliable'. But in fact cases like the famous Yukon UFO show quite the reverse. Now that we know what that 'UFO' actually was ( a Russian satellite re-entry) , it is quite clear that most witnesses did not accurately report what they saw....with a number of witnesses outright embellishing their report to a considerable degree. Nick Pope loves to rattle on about 'trained observers'....but nobody is so well 'trained' that they cannot possibly ever mis-identify an object. Also I would pose a question.....who in the military is going to disagree with what their commanding officer says he saw ?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
"I believe that witchcraft is real. There were hundreds, probably thousands of witches burned in the middle ages. They can't all be fake."
Yet they were.

actually..you don't know that they were all fake. you'd have to look at the individual cases to really make that claim.
 

Scaramanga

Member
I sent him a scary looking UFO filmed from a plane and he took the time to forward me links on Metabunk that explained to my satisfaction that the UFO was Venus under digital zoom.

I have myself had that uncanny sense that some describe of being 'followed' by Venus in a car. At its greatest elongation from the Sun, Venus can be a pretty bright object in the early morning sky...often hours before dawn. And being in any sort of moving vehicle does give that odd sense that it is moving and following you. Being an amateur astronomer I knew it was Venus....but I can well see how anyone without astronomy knowledge could instigate a UFO report. The classic ' I was followed by a bright light in my car'.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
I have myself had that uncanny sense that some describe of being 'followed' by Venus in a car. At its greatest elongation from the Sun, Venus can be a pretty bright object in the early morning sky...often hours before dawn. And being in any sort of moving vehicle does give that odd sense that it is moving and following you. Being an amateur astronomer I knew it was Venus....but I can well see how anyone without astronomy knowledge could instigate a UFO report. The classic ' I was followed by a bright light in my car'.

Venus is nothing - just earlier today, I saw someone make reference to being followed by the moon. It's funny how parallax can confuse both when it's there and when it's absent.
 

LilWabbit

Senior Member
No, I'm not. My claim is you cannot tell whether or not it is compelling.

I can tell with certainty it's not compelling to me. I can also tell with certainty eyewitness (anecdotal) evidence is not compelling in terms of the generally accepted standards of science. I can also tell with certainty that witness reports by Navy pilots is subjectively compelling to many a ufologist and even to some casual listeners.

Plus what @FatPhil just said.
 

Duke

Active Member
Investigators are trained to look for witnesses who are either deceptive or unsure. A witness who honestly believes and reports what he/she saw (or didn't see) is considered credible until proven wrong. Most witnesses are truthful as far they know/understand, but that doesn't mean they are correct. This is the crux of evidence v. proof.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
With such a low signal-to-noise ratio it's easy (and natural) to throw it all out the window.
Which is the value of looking at one claim at a time. You dont get overwhelmed by all the noise from a thousand other cases, you can focus on the one and see if there us anything unusual there, or if it us explicable by mundane means.
 

DavidB66

Senior Member
The widespread existence of belief in false or unproven doctrines is an important phenomenon. Obvious examples are belief in ghosts, witches (with actual powers), fairies, magic, divination, precognition, and telepathy. Perhaps most interesting are those doctrines which had a wide measure of respected scientific or academic acceptance. Ptolemy and Kepler were astrologers; Isaac Newton had a keen interest in alchemy. For about 2000 years the officially accepted system of medicine in the west was based on the ancient doctrine of the four 'humors', which we now consider worthless. (Traditional Chinese and Indian (Ayurvedic) medicine rests on similar or equally unfounded beliefs, but is still widely followed.)

Before we get too cocky about our superiority over our ancestors, some modern systems of belief are almost equally suspect. Freudian psychoanalysis and Marxist economics (some would say economics in general) are bunk. Much modern European philosophy (Heidegger et al) scarcely even rises to the level of bunk.

Of course, my beliefs are impeccably well-based, and so I hope are yours!
 

Itsme

Active Member
I can tell with certainty it's not compelling to me.

Plus what @FatPhil just said.
You just illustrated what I stated in my first post above:

Either you neglect witness testimony or you accept it. If you neglect it (at least the extraordinary parts), you cannot state as a scientific fact that what the witness said they saw "was not impressive after closer analysis" - this is merely an assumption.
 

NorCal Dave

Senior Member.
It's also a bit of a perjorative term. Though I'll acknowledge you said "bit of" rather than "is".

I did say "bit of" and that I didn't think it was done consciously, but point taken. I was using the term a bit loosely. Maybe better is something like "the sum becomes greater than the parts". A strong conclusion becomes less so IF it can be shown the compiled evidence is weak.

I sent him a scary looking UFO filmed from a plane and he took the time to forward me links on Metabunk that explained to my satisfaction that the UFO was Venus under digital zoom. Basically, it was a huge pixel. I appreciated that and the work done on Apache & racetrack UFOs, examples of how it should be done.

So, I would wonder how you'd feel if some of the evidence you've listed confirming your belief in UFOs was in fact similar to the sighting of Venus? As I mentioned above, we can't take all the things you listed all in one post, but a few quick examples:

Policemen, pilots and military officers from all over the world have reported craft going back to the 40's.
These people can make the same mistakes any other person can make. UFO believer and investigator J. Allan Hynick concluded that pilots often make bad witnesses. The increase in sightings since the '40s also coincides with the war and post war boom in military and air travel. There is simple a lot more stuff in the skies in the latter 1/2 of the 20th century.

Robert Salas had 10 minuteman nuclear missiles shut down at the same time security personnel reported seeing one directly over the missile silo
There are records of a short shutdown of the missiles at Echo flight, but Salas worked at Oscar flight. A different set of missiles and silos where there is no record of a shutdown. Lots of information here: www.metabunk.org/threads/ufos-at-nuclear-weapons-sites-salas-malmstrom-eagle-flight-skeptical-resources.3284/

A quick summery here:

Bob Salas was a missile officer at Malmstrom for a number of years. He remembered the Echo Flight incident of 1967. He also believes he remembers a time when the Oscar Flight also had problems, a memory which is probably incorrect as there is no record of it. And he remembers the reporting of the Belt, Montana UFO sightings. Working with Klotz, they reconstructed and rearranged some real incidents and some remembered incidents, and produced the story we now have today — that UFOs shut down nuclear missiles, a clear threat to national security.

Except, by all the records and data that exists, no such thing ever happened. Ten missiles of Echo Flight restarted normally following a commonplace commercial power failure on March 16, 1967, being down between ten and forty seconds. Eight days later, some people reported a UFO to the newspapers in a town 50km away.
Content from External Source
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4842

Col. Charles Halt and 80+ USAF personnel witnessed an encounter that Halt recorded contemporaneously on his pocket tape recorder.

I've never heard of there being 80 men with Holt, more like 5-10 if that. Rendlesham is a complicated story, with a meteor and some running around in the woods and mistaking a lighthouse for something else. In fact, the tape recordings help to confirm this as, every time the men mention seeing the light on tape, it syncs up nicely to the turning lighthouse beacon. See hear: http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham.html

UFOs appear in 500 year old paintings and 10,000 year old petroglyphs.
I don't think that's ever been delt with here, so it might be a good topic for a thread. It's often a case of non-specialists misinterpreting old or ancient iconography. The classic example, still used today, is Eric von Donigan's claim that the Mayan tomb stone of Lord Pacal shows him "driving" a spaceship, when in fact trained Mayanists say it's a standard Mayan representation of Pacal being taken to the underworld.

Again, I've already tackled too many topics for one thread, but I'm just trying to point out that before drawing a conclusion based on a list of evidence, we should take a look at each piece of evidence, in and of itself, to see if it's worthy of being in the list in the first place.

Admittedly that can be daunting and time consuming. The Metabunk link above about the Echo flight missiles lists 13 different articles and takes on the incident. Some of them are 100s of pages. I would argue however, that it ultimately is more rewarding to dig into some of these cases in an effort to really understand them.

And, if you're like many of us here, you may find it weirdly fun.
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
Hiya, welcome aboard!
Are all of them confused or lying? I doubt it.
So do I. I know lots of people who have seen UFOs, none of whom are lying types. Heck, I have a vivid UFO experience of my own.

This is how I view it: logically, the amount of people who have reported UFOs is too high for it to be confusion or fakery.

However, I think people are primed that "thing in the sky" could equal aliens. As such, when they see a weird thing in the sky, their perception of it is skewed. If, for instance, the concept of aliens didn't exist, people would see weird lights in the sky and think of angels, strange science experiments, or Mothmen, maybe. But, because we have so much media about UFOs meaning possible aliens, the natural assumption is that it could be aliens, and then their thought process changes. The observed characteristics of their sighting change to fit it, without their kowledge. A weird light becomes a craft, a black SUV becomes the government investigation. When the observer bonds with that idea, it is cemented in their mind. The same thing happens with group sightings. One person says "I think it looked like X" and another picks that up and runs with it, and before you know everyone thinks it's an alien craft.

Nothing about that indicates confusion or deception. In fact, I'd say the people I know who have seen something UFO-like are the most rational people I know. One thing you'll find here is that many of the long-timers at MB are fascinated by these things. A lot of us were the nerdy kids in school who read through the entirety of the library's paranormal nonfiction section and wanted MORE. I sure was. I'm fascinated by every single case you mentioned, in fact.

So anyway, welcome aboard. We have our peculiarities here (I second other recommendations to read the rules well), but I think you'll enjoy it. Looking forward to your future posts!
 
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