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

Rory

Senior Member.
Ah. So if they're not independent then the probability is always 5% no matter how many events occur?

I thought FatPhil was questioning the maths, rather than the dependence/indepence.

Perhaps his post could have used a little more detail/explanation? ;)

For example:

Screen Shot 2022-10-31 at 08.29.21.png
Doesn't seem to help.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Ah. So if they're not independent then the probability is always 5% no matter how many events occur?

I thought FatPhil was questioning the maths, rather than the dependence/indepence.
The maths is wrong if the data points are not statistically independent. If you'd have gone to the wikipedia page in your screenshot, the disambiguation page for independence would've led you to "Independence (probability theory)", which I admit might not have been that helpful either.

For example, if you work in quality control in a light bulb factory, and you pick a broken light bulb out of a box, it's probable that there's an above-average number of broken bulbs in that box because the machine that produced them is defective. Your formula wouldn't work right.

Now if you live in Washington State, you may be part of a "factory" that turns lights in the sky into UFO sightings because people there have been conditioned like that. Then the UFO reports in that state are no longer independent data points, and that means the simple maths no longer works.
You need a more complex statistical model to account for the interdependencies.

That said, since we havd ZERO identified UFOs (extraterrestrial craft), any probability (5% or otherwise) is just guesswork and imagination. We had a thread on this a while back: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/bayesian-argument-to-believe-in-aliens.12400/
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
The maths is wrong if the data points are not statistically independent. If you'd have gone to the wikipedia page in your screenshot, the disambiguation page for independence would've led you to "Independence (probability theory)", which I admit might not have been that helpful either.

Exactly. Needed a little more than "google independence".
 

Rory

Senior Member.
So true. Saying "post needed more info" is EXACTLY the same as having an axe to grind (???).

/s
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Yet again, you make yourself look foolish.

Saying "post needed more info" has nothing to do with anything you've just said.
" your posts sucks" = axe grinding (in the second degree if you add screenshots)

"could you explain more" = thirst for knowledge

#83 was not "thanks for the explanation" but rather "thanks for helping me grind my axe". Which was not what I expected from you.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
"your posts sucks" = axe grinding (in the second degree if you add screenshots)

Can you screenshot where I wrote "your post sucks" please (or "could you explain more")? It's not showing up on my computer. All I see is "Perhaps his post could have used a little more detail/explanation?"

I have zero axe to grind with Phil.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
#83 was not "thanks for the explanation" but rather "thanks for helping me grind my axe". Which was not what I expected from you.

Your interpretation is skewwhiff. Trust me: I know what I meant, and to say it was what you said is an infinite number of miles from the truth. Seems like you've just got a little het up because I replied with something different to that which you were hoping for (and maybe something else).

Also, don't forget the screenshot of my "quote" please. Or do I add it to the ever-increasing list of questions Mendel 'ghosts' when he realises answering them will show him he was wrong? Well into the teens now - and that's just with me.
 
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Robert Webb

New Member
Nope. Say 0.000000001%. And I'm being generous.

...

Nope. Google "independence".
As others have pointed out, you took me out of context. The words before the part you quoted were "I think you're looking at it roughly like this:", and my words after were "This is simply not a valid approach" (except I had a typo and wrote "valie", can't edit posts apparently).

The 5% I used is a figure I've heard before for the number of UFO sightings that remained unexplained. Obviously this doesn't mean 5% chance of aliens, but some people take it that way. Again, this was my point when I wrote: "5% remain unknown because we don't have enough information to be sure what they are. It's not that the remaining 5% are likely aliens".
 

Itsme

Active Member
5% remain unknown because we don't have enough information to be sure what they are.
In the largest statistical UFO study thus far, a distinction was made between "insufficient information" and "unknown". For the "unknowns", there had to be sufficient information to be sure what they are NOT, i.e., the "unknowns" had to have sufficient information to determine they did not fit in any of the IFO categories such as balloons, aircraft, meteors, hoaxes etc.


Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14 was their massive statistical analysis of Blue Book cases to date, some 3200 by the time the report was completed in 1954. Even today, it represents the largest such study ever undertaken. Battelle employed four scientific analysts, who sought to divide cases into "knowns", "unknowns", and a third category of "insufficient information." They also broke down knowns and unknowns into four categories of quality, from excellent to poor. E.g., cases deemed excellent might typically involve experienced witnesses such as airline pilots or trained military personnel, multiple witnesses, corroborating evidence such as radar contact or photographs, etc. In order for a case to be deemed a "known", only two analysts had to independently agree on a solution. However, for a case to be called an "unknown", all four analysts had to agree. Thus the criterion for an "unknown" was quite stringent.

The main results of the statistical analysis were:
  • About 69% of the cases were judged known or identified (38% were considered conclusively identified while 31% were still "doubtfully" explained); about 9% fell into insufficient information. About 22% were deemed "unknown", down from the earlier 28% value of the Air Force studies.
  • In the known category, 86% of the knowns were aircraft, balloons, or had astronomical explanations. Only 1.5% of all cases were judged to be psychological or "crackpot" cases. A "miscellaneous" category comprised 8% of all cases and included possible hoaxes.
  • The higher the quality of the case, the more likely it was to be classified unknown. 35% of the excellent cases were deemed unknowns, as opposed to only 18% of the poorest cases.
Content from External Source
Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Blue_Book#Project_Blue_Book_Special_Report_No._14

For those interested here's a link to the full 1954 report:
http://www.nicap.org/docs/pbbsr/BBA-PBSR14.pdf
 
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Robert Webb

New Member
In the largest statistical UFO study thus far, a distinction was made between "insufficient information" and "unknown". For the "unknowns", there had to be sufficient information to be sure what they are NOT, i.e., the "unknowns" had to have sufficient information to determine they did not fit in any of the IFO categories such as balloons, aircraft, meteors, hoaxes etc.


...About 22% were deemed "unknown"
Content from External Source
My statement would still be true that they remain unknown because we lack enough information. Even if they were aliens, this is still true. It's not hard to imagine data so good that it clearly represented an alien visitation.

The implication of the above extract though is that there are examples of UFO sightings for which no mundane explanation can be found. I've yet to ever see such a case. I thought GoFast was impressive till I watched Mick West's debunking (not convincing, but still impressive). Some people from the navy were (and still are) impressed by it. So I wouldn't trust their "unknown" categorization without seeing the evidence.

Do you have any examples from this "unknown" category?
 

Itsme

Active Member
Do you have any examples from this "unknown" category?
I went to a lot of trouble today to post an answer. It only contained facts and some links. But it got deleted by "Landru". I'm getting tired of this forum to be honest... It's sloooooow and the moderation is not exactly neutral. Debunkers are welcome. Fact finders...not so much.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
It only contained facts and some links. But it got deleted by "Landru".
i guess the reason @Landru gave for the deletion wasn't "contains facts"?

i've had posts deleted that I had put a lot of work into. it's frustrating. you always have a choice: abandon it, or bring it to compliance and repost (where it is ontopic).
 

Rory

Senior Member.
i've had posts deleted that I had put a lot of work into. it's frustrating. you always have a choice: abandon it, or bring it to compliance and repost (where it is ontopic).

Agreed: I've had plenty of posts deleted. Usually it's not much work to bring them into line and most of the time the reasons for deletion are understandable.
 
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Landru

Moderator
Staff member
i guess the reason @Landru gave for the deletion wasn't "contains facts"?

i've had posts deleted that I had put a lot of work into. it's frustrating. you always have a choice: abandon it, or bring it to compliance and repost (where it is ontopic).
It was a violation of the Link Policy.
 
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