What evidence of aliens would convince skeptics?

markus

Active Member
I was just about to ask about a similar scenario.

Imagine you heard your neighbors outside talking excitedly one night and you went out to see what was up. You go out to see a giant dull black triangle blotting out the stars for what appears to be at least two miles along each of its edges. You see nine circular, recessed cavities underneath it that contain a warm globular amber glow. Whatever it is is slowly passing directly overhead and, of course, it’s silent. After watching it for 45 seconds or so and attempting to film it with your phone it suddenly shoots straight up at impossible speed and disappears. You say to your neighbors, “did you see that?” and they say of course they did. It’s the most breathtaking thing you and your neighbors have ever witnessed.

You reluctantly post your less-than-ideal video on metabunk and we predictably say: inconclusive. Could be drones plus optical illusions. Could be doctored. Regardless it’s just a video. You explain your neighbors’ reactions, link to their even shakier nighttime videos. Metabunk confirms what you already know: inconclusive. Proof of nothing.

If the intellectually honest thing to do is admit it almost certainly wasn’t anything otherworldly (eyewitness testimony and videos are unreliable) could you, as baffled witness, genuinely accept that conclusion? When describing what you saw to others, how would you frame it? Or, since you can’t have known what you saw, would it be wise to avoid mentioning it altogether?

Note: Edward Current, if this is too off-topic, say the word and I’ll gladly delete this.
This post is not off-topic, on the contrary, it's very much on topic, since the topic is what kind and amount of evidence is necessary before we can accept some extraordinary circumstance took place, whether alien visitation or otherwise. If some kind of evidence is to be excluded, it's important to clearly articulate why, even if it's well-trodden ground.

Can you, as a witness, be convinced that "you know what you saw"? Certainly, though in the vast majority (all?) of such cases witness do not in fact know what they saw -- they were convinced by a mistake of their senses, an illusion, a phantasm. They think they know what they saw, but what they actually saw was Venus behind the trees, or airliner landing lights in the distance, etc. Notice also that in many cases where people "know what they saw" and there are multiple witnesses, the witnesses disagree about key details concerning the sighting (the tic tac case is a notable example).

But take a situation like you described where it's truly unambiguous what's going on, there are multiple witnesses, who were not on drugs etc. and they all agree about what they saw and it matches what you saw. Should you, the witness, be convinced? Yes! The problem with witness testimony is not that it's unreliable, though that's a big part of it (which I'll get to in a moment). We are, after all, eyewitnesses to the recorded evidence, and we can be convinced on the basis of that evidence. Science has a largely positivist ethos which means every piece of evidence will ultimately be filtered through human senses, so the reluctance of skeptics to accept eyewitness testimony has nothing to do with some sort of "anti-human" bias as some have claimed.

The problem with eyewitnesses is their experiences are not repeatable. You know what you saw, but nobody else does. We can't verify it, we can't analyze it, we can't do anything with it. Nobody has access to your subjective experience and there are plenty of reasons why you might claim to have had such an experience, but have been mistaken, or exaggerating, or confabulating, or even outright lying. From a perspective outside your own head, all of those alternatives would look essentially identical in terms of observable effects it produces (namely the sounds coming out of your mouth or the keys you press on a keyboard), which means that each of these a priori vastly more likely alternatives is still more likely to be the correct one. Should, then, anybody else be convinced? The answer is no.

There is no paradox here: information is often subjective and asymmetric, which means that the kinds of mechanisms that can explain observations and their relative likelihoods are themselves subjective. This is something Bayesians understand well:
1649611439385.png
(this cartoon of Bayes' theorem comes from this presentation, which is a very good introduction to the subject in the context of skepticism. for a deeper dive, see this book draft by ET Jaynes, the godfather of the modern perspective on the subject in the context of science and rigorous reasoning).

This is a fundamentally subjective calculus, that is done differently for each person depending on what evidence they have and what information they know. You, as a witness, can discard any number of competing explanations in that denominator there -- you know you aren't lying or confusing an obvious giant spaceship for venus, but for everybody else those competing explanations are well in play and they drive down the probability of actual flying triangle down to nothing. You believe you saw a flying triangle, we don't, and we're both evaluating evidence rationally. Perfectly possible.

This also explains what is meant by the unreliability of witness testimony. For claims of ordinary phenomena, the prior probability (how typical our explanation is in the above cartoon) is high (by definition) which means the probability the phenomenon happened is high. So if you tell me you saw an airplane come in for a landing when driving by the airport, I will likely accept that claim as true. If you say you saw a flying saucer, I will evaluate the claim differently. And, of course, while in most of this conversation I've been happy to assume that you do in fact know what you saw, in practice I also have to assume that you may simply not have thought of an alternate explanation, and I have to consider those as well. If you are evaluating evidence rationally, you should incorporate those alternate explanations in your own probability calculus.

Source: https://twitter.com/uncertainvector/status/1508144011390840841


I hope this post is of some use in contextualizing why "direct human interaction with our world" is adequate most of the time but fails to meet the bar for convincing skeptics of the reality of any extraordinary phenomenon.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Yeah? If thousands of New Yorkers recorded it on their phones?
If it's not "close", it could be anything.

And if it didn't show up on any radar, I'd expect it to be insubstantial.

People have seen David Copperfield vanish the Statue of Liberty, but was it really gone?
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Yeah? If thousands of New Yorkers recorded it on their phones?
I guess that was sort of implied in your original scenario -- if something that big sat over NYC for that long, there would probably be a lot of footage from a lot of folks. Thousands of independent videos capturing the incident would certainly, to me at least, be pretty strong evidence that SOMETHING was there. Of course, how convincing it was as evidence of aliens (or any other specific explanation) would depend on what the videos actually showed. There are lots of videos of evening rocket launches that baffled a lot of folks with cameras -- not thousands, that I know of, but a goodly number of folks. That was convincing evidence that something was indeed seen by the amazed folks, but of course it is not good evidence for aliens.

But to get back to your big thing hovering over NYC, even there and as described I'm not sure "It was aliens" would be the default answer. Assuming all those independent videos pretty clearly showed massive and unknown and very advanced technology, I'd be inclined to look at the one species that we know exists that might be able to do such a thing, and coincidentally the one that is the closest to us -- I'd want to rule out "It was humans" somehow before concluding it was aliens. Yes, it's very unlikely a group of humans would make that sort of quantum(quanta!) jump in tech without anybody else knowing about it -- but that might still be more likely than aliens showing up here and then just flying away.
 

CaptainCourgette

Active Member
WRT The large ship hovering over New York for hours and then flying off.
Why?
Its akin to the Crop Circles, why fly halfway across the galaxy (Not the most easiest thing to accomplish) just to put on a show and then bugger off.
If they wanna communicate something, Why don't they actually make a concerted attempt to communicate over months/years.
The above scenario seems like, We're here prepare to be amazed, Oh wait I left the stove on back at alpha centari, Must dash.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
why fly halfway across the galaxy (Not the most easiest thing to accomplish) just to put on a show and then bugger off
“Unfortunately I got stuck on the Earth for rather longer than I intended,” said Ford. “I came for a week and got stuck for fifteen years.”

“But how did you get there in the first place then?”

“Easy, I got a lift with a teaser.”

“A teaser?”

“Yeah.”

“Er, what is…”

“A teaser? Teasers are usually rich kids with nothing to do. They cruise around looking for planets that haven’t made interstellar contact yet and buzz them.”

“Buzz them?” Arthur began to feel that Ford was enjoying making life difficult for him.

“Yeah,” said Ford, “they buzz them. They find some isolated spot with very few people around, then land right by some poor unsuspecting soul whom no one’s ever going to believe and then strut up and down in front of him wearing silly antennas on their head and making beep beep noises. Rather childish really.” Ford leaned back on the mattress with his hands behind his head and looked infuriatingly pleased with himself.
Content from External Source
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, chapter 5
 

Edward Current

Active Member
I think we're making some great progress. The consensus seems to be that mere appearance of some "advanced non-conventional entity" (from aliens to advanced foreign technology to spirits etc.) will not convince skeptics. Videos and eyewitness accounts, no matter the number, cannot rise to the level of "beyond any doubt," because it is always more likely that such a spectre is the result of human tomfoolery and/or psychological effects than the result of a real advanced non-conventional entity.

The evidence needs to include a high standard of additional corroboration. So, maybe three of the following five:

1. Clear video showing something unambiguously non-conventional
2. Speedy reports by x number of eyewitnesses that they had eyes on something unambiguously non-conventional, who were unassociated before as well as after the event
3. Telemetry in the non-visible spectrum, verified by x number of independent experts
4. Physical artifact (biological, technological, etc.) that is unambiguously non-conventional, verified by x number of independent experts
5. Recorded communication / receipt of non-conventional information, verified by x number of independent experts

Does that sound right? Using Gimbal as a test case, we have highly deficient evidence in categories 1-3, and nothing in 4 and 5. The video is wildly ambiguous; the eyewitness reports are ambiguous, not eyeballed, and not speedy; and the telemetry cannot be independently verified. (And, that's assuming a rotating, IR-glowing orb following a hook-shaped trajectory in the sky even rises to the level of "advanced non-conventional entity.")

EDIT: 3–5 are considerably stronger than 1 and 2. I would be convinced with strong enough evidence in category 4, or category 5, alone. So maybe we should just axe 1 and 2. They're nice to have, but unconvincing.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
The evidence needs to include a high standard of additional corroboration. So, maybe three of the following five:
you've completely dropped the idea of context.
The appearance has to have context, i.e. we want an idea where it came from, where it went, and we'd want several qualitatively different observations, e.g. a radar track along with the photographs.

I'd want this appearance to be understood except for the alien bit, but your typical UFO sighting rarely is. Low Information Zone sightings won't cut it.
 

Edward Current

Active Member
you've completely dropped the idea of context.
Did I? The idea is that evidence from each category provides context for the other two. Eyewitness accounts contextualize video to some limited extent, and verified telemetry, or an artifact, or communication, contextualize both of them to a greater extent.
we want an idea where it came from, where it went,
I don't think it's a good idea to require knowing where something came from and where it went after. This is basically saying, "I will never accept the existence of something that doesn't act like things we've seen before," which excludes major classes of potential advanced non-conventional entities. I mean, if that's the position we as skeptics want to take — that things can only exist if they are instrumentally observed to have come from somewhere and go somewhere — okay...I just think it's thinking too small. Flatland comes to mind: When the sphere entered their world as a point and then a circle, it didn't come from anywhere in Flatland.
and we'd want several qualitatively different observations, e.g. a radar track along with the photographs.
What I said. Multiple categories of evidence contextualizing each other.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Multiple categories of evidence contextualizing each other.
not really

strange-looking object appears over crowded plave playing strange artificial sounds ticks off 1, 2, 5 and can very easily be hoaxed. An IR photo ticks 3.

whatever the appearance is, it needs to tie in to the known world temporally and otherwise. If I am to accept it came from outer space, it can't just look strange, it'd better be shown to have come from there. (We do this already with meteorites.)

as long as you're asking, "how strange does it need to be", you're missing my point.
I need observations that are not strange, that I can trust, that show it's alien.

the typical UFO report is "here is something strange/"unexplainable"/that I don't understand, must be a UFO". These are worthless to me.
What I want is "here some things we understand that show this came from outer space". That's context. It connects to what we understand.

If there's something approaching Earth that astronomers, professional and amateur, can see 2 days out, and coming closer it looks like something from NASA's drawing board, and it hails us in perfect English via FM or morse, and then unfortunately burns up on entry in the atmosphere, I'll believe in aliens. Even though there was nothing strange about it except where it came from.
 
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Edward Current

Active Member
not really

strange-looking object appears over crowded plave playing strange artificial sounds ticks off 1, 2, 5 and can very easily be hoaxed. An IR photo ticks 3.
Okay.
whatever the appearance is, it needs to tie in to the known world temporally and otherwise. If I am to accept it came from outer space, it can't just look strange, it'd better be shown to have come from there. (We do this already with meteorites.)
Maybe it didn't come from outer space. Maybe it came from a higher dimension.

I wonder if everyone feels that the only way an object could ever appear on Earth is if it conventionally and locally moved through spacetime at sub-luminal velocities. It seems to say that new physics beyond our present imaginations could not ever possibly exist.
 

Rocky

Active Member
Yes, I'm making stuff up in an attempt to cover things we aren't imagining.

So, skeptics here are of the opinion that new physics could never happen under any circumstances. Huh.

I think I'm out, too.
You started this thread...

What evidence of aliens would convince skeptics?​

It was a fun topic but it seemed to have veered off.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Maybe it came from a higher dimension.
I mentioned time travel earlier, and how they're indistinguishable from aliens if you're using appearance and technological discontinuity as criteria.

But if you're opening this up to other dimensions, best clarify what's an alien and what's a ghost/spirit.

In my world view, talking about extraterrestrials, going to the transdimensional travel "explanation" means you're going with the "we DON'T know, therefore aliens" anti-logic; and I've explained in my previous post why it won't be convincing me.

I'll accept it when it's reproducible.
 

Edward Current

Active Member
You started this thread...

What evidence of aliens would convince skeptics?​

It was a fun topic but it seemed to have veered off.
Disagree that it's veered off. It has broadened.

The topic started as being about aliens, but @JMartJr wisely pointed out that UFO enthusiasts believe in a broad range of non-conventional explanations for aerial phenomena. So, I broadened the category to "advanced non-conventional entities," so that we could think about evidentiary standards for non-alien UAP claims, too. This was a good thing.

Meanwhile, there are thousands of UFO enthusiasts who actually believe in trans-medium and trans-dimensional objects. Ryan Graves, not a dumb guy, believes that UFOs leverage macroscopic quantum superposition. Do I give these beliefs any credence? Of course not! However, it's wrong to tell these people, "You are crazy, there cannot be such things in the universe, because physics."

The prospect that physics is comprehensively understood universe-wide by humans in 2022 is almost certainly false. The prospect that all possible laws, principles and mechanisms are known to us is almost certainly false.

Consider that if someone in the late 19th century claimed that a tiny object could appear on the other side of an impermeable barrier, they would have been laughed at. "It's impossible, just by the definition of 'impermeable,'" they'd be told. "There is no evidence you could show me that would convince me otherwise." Fast-forward just 100 years, and tunneling is a thing with practical applications. Anyone who had claimed that the necessary evidence was impossible to produce was wrong.

If the folks here on Metabunk think that no evidence could ever demonstrate a trans-dimensional, trans-medium, or macroscopic-superposition object — therefore it's ridiculous even to discuss the evidentiary requirements for such claims — please just say so plainly. I will disagree, but I will respect that opinion.
 

Woolery

Active Member
The evidence needs to include a high standard of additional corroboration.
I think this statement here is an excellent start. Maybe avoid specific requirements in favor of broader criteria (at least for now) until a greater consensus can be reached? For instance, I get the impression that the granularity of the data/evidence being considered can sometimes be determinative. Clear chain of custody is another issue that comes up a lot. That kind of stuff.

Edit: Although this just speaks to the validity of evidence in general, I think contextualizing the criteria for UFOlogists could help them better understand why their claims are consistently rejected by skeptics.
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.
If the folks here on Metabunk think that no evidence could ever demonstrate a trans-dimensional, trans-medium, or macroscopic-superposition object — therefore it's ridiculous even to discuss the evidentiary requirements for such claims — please just say so plainly. I will disagree, but I will respect that opinion.

They aren't scientific claims, as they are not worded in the language of science, they're worded in the language of sci-fi. I would be willing to bet that proponents of such terminology are not even able to define, in the language of science, what they mean by the terms apart from resorting to something which I would find indistinguishable from "I dunno" or "it's magic". If they can't be worded in scientific terms, they can't be tested for, so there can not even be evidentiary claims. So yes, I think it's ridiculous.

If the believers think that what there is out there will violate the current laws of physics such that the only way to describe it is "I dunno" or "it's magic" - please just say so plainly. I will agree, and I will respect that opinion.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Trans dimensional craft, space = dimension #1 = time, dimension #2 = space, a car is trans-dimensional.

Trans medium craft, medium #1 = air, medium #2 = water the car built for The Spy Who Loved Me is trans-medium, see also the space shuttle for air and vacuum mediums.

If some other dimensions/mediums are being proposed then lets see the scientific definitions.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
If the folks here on Metabunk think that no evidence could ever demonstrate a trans-dimensional, trans-medium, or macroscopic-superposition object
- "trans-dimensional": what are we even talking about?
- "trans-medium": in what sense? in one sense, an aircraft-launched torpedo is transmedium, so, yes, these demonstrably exist
- "macroscopic-superposition" seems to refer to Many Worlds Theory, the point of which is that the branches remain separate, so no

I'll accept it when it's reproducible.
Basically, that's the same criterium I'd apply to potential technology scams.
 

Edward Current

Active Member
Maybe avoid specific requirements in favor of broader criteria (at least for now) until a greater consensus can be reached?
Yes. Okay. I shouldn't have used specific examples for these fringe "new physics" claims. Of course they're preposterous (as far as we know). But I think I have a general solution for any claim that aliens (etc.) are somehow leveraging new physics, e.g. moving non-locally like a supposed "trans-dimensional craft" or defeating the viscosity of water like a "trans-medium craft":

If new physics is claimed for any particular UFO event, the only acceptable evidence is that humans acquire the capability to test and reproduce these new physics, as well as mathematically understand the theory behind them.

Even more generally, we have to understand physically what happened. If the thing is claimed to arrive on Earth by traveling through spacetime locally (i.e. from point to point at subluminal velocities), we need robust, verified astronomical telemetry of it coming and going. If it's claimed to arrive on Earth in some other manner we don't understand, and/or behave here in ways we don't understand (anti-gravity, acceleration without measurable propulsion, etc.) — which raises the evidentiary wall considerably higher— we have to understand and be able to reproduce the mechanism responsible. In either case, without that evidence, the event remains indistinguishable from hoax, magic, or other illusion.

Can everyone get behind this?
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
Can everyone get behind this?
That would work. I'd also be inclined to accept that such tech or such knowledge existed if aliens Made Contact, openly demonstrated vehicles that could do these things, but Because Reasons would not tell us how to do it.

I accept the existence of some things I do not personally understand if convincingly shown that at least SOMEBODY understands it. Aliens who had openly made contact to the point where there existence was firmly established would count as such somebodies, I guess.

But we seem to be drifting from "proof of aliens" to "proof of their tech." Which is not a complaint, just an observation.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
If new physics is claimed for any particular UFO event, the only acceptable evidence is that humans acquire the capability to test and reproduce these new physics, as well as mathematically understand the theory behind them.
I would actually be satisfied with less. Predicted appearances, maybe to a schedule, where the setting can be examined before and after, would do. Or basically any kind of test setting that the James Randi foundation used to use to test "supernatural" powers.
 

Woolery

Active Member
Given that I’m not “science educated” or a skeptic, is there any reason the following statement might not represent the skeptic’s most general set of principles on this matter?

In order for evidence of alien visitation to meet a skeptical standard, that evidence must:

-Be extremely corroborative.
-Be sufficiently fine-grained.
-Include verifiable, transparent chain of custody.
-Stand up to independent scientific review.
-Preclude a terrestrial explanation.

This language is vague and obvious and could be much improved, but it offers a big tent under which skeptics might hammer out specifics.

Which of these conditions is wrong? What is this missing?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
-Be extremely corroborative.
-Be sufficiently fine-grained.
-Include verifiable, transparent chain of custody.
-Stand up to independent scientific review.
-Preclude a terrestrial explanation.
I'd say "be well corroborated" and "not be in the low information zone", if that's what you mean?
Points 3 to 5 are good.

Actually, 5 alone is sufficient by itself, 1-4 just ensure it's hard to find a conventional explanation by ruling out certain types of explanations.
 

Woolery

Active Member
Thanks for the feedback.
I'd say "be well corroborated" and "not be in the low information zone", if that's what you mean?
It isn’t.

I’m no expert, but I understand the Low Information Zone to be a phrase wonderfully specific to witnesses and optics, and a phrase that appears to be used mostly on metabunk.

UFOs exist in what I call the Low Information Zone (the LIZ). That's the physical region around you (or your camera) just beyond the distance where you can make out what something is. The LIZ is a curious thing in that it expands and contracts based on the lighting conditions, the size and shape of the object, the quality of your eyesight, the presence of optical aids like telescopes, and the resolution and zoom of your camera.
Source: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/are-the-navy-ufos-real-or-just-in-the-low-information-zone.10921/

I was hoping for a broader criterium that could be understood outside metabunk and include other sensory data.

But your opinion that #5 is all that’s needed and #3-5 are acceptable is appreciated.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Well, what do you mean by your first two points, then?

I'm with you in that I view "sufficiently fine-grained", like "not in the LIZ", to imply "detailed enough to yield to analysis". And also that 1-4 enable 5.

The physicist and bayesian in me pushes me to accept less fine-grained evidence if there's enough of it that is independently gathered, and it all sufficiently agrees. However, that independence would needs to be proved. For example, if every single member of a ufologists club were to capture a grainy picture of a frisbied lampshade from a different angle whilst on an Area 51 road-trip, that would not be considered independent evidence. (And constitude weak evidence of deliberate collaboration in a hoax.)

(Yes, I appreciate my "sufficiently" is CYA weasel wording that permits No True Scotsmen to run wild.)
 

KilliK

Member
the tic-tac captured in perfectly clear, high resolution video footage accompanied with chain of custody and multi-sensor tracking data, wherein it showcases exotic characteristics beyond our current technological capabilities.
 

Edward Current

Active Member
the tic-tac captured in perfectly clear, high resolution video footage accompanied with chain of custody and multi-sensor tracking data, wherein it showcases exotic characteristics beyond our current technological capabilities.
That would be evidence of something, though not of aliens or even "advanced non-conventional entities" in general unless the exotic flight characteristics are distinctly discontinuous with present technology.

For technology, I'm seeing two places where the flow chart forks: One is whether the evidence is of military or civilian provenance. Another is whether the evidence suggests conventional physics or new physics. The bar is higher for the latter in both cases.

But we seem to be drifting from "proof of aliens" to "proof of their tech." Which is not a complaint, just an observation.
True, and that might be because it's the fuzziest category. Biological discontinuity seems pretty straightforward, and we discussed it early. Materials also seems straightforward, since like biology, this category requires direct, in-person inspection of an object with scientific tools, and expert analysts should be able to assess its discontinuous nature without issue. Information will be trickier, but are we missing any unturned stones with regard to biology and materials? Can experts in these areas be fooled by hoaxes of discontinuous artifacts?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Materials also seems straightforward, since like biology, this category requires direct, in-person inspection of an object with scientific tools
if you fire a rocket at it and it's unscathed except for scorch marks, I'd expect it to be made of such an uncommon material that its human uses should be enumerable. So it really depends on what properties this material exhibits, that'll determine how much inspection is required.

But generally, I agree with you.

Would it be possible to hoax a meteorite? If you have access to a smelter, probably. The difficulty is going to be in providing it with a provenance that'll confirm its origin, you can't just dig it up in a random field.
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Would it be possible to hoax a meteorite? If you have access to a smelter, probably. The difficulty is going to be in providing it with a provenance that'll confirm its origin, you can't just dig it up in a random field.

Only a superficial hoax - with an appropriate saw and an acid etch you'll be able to tell the difference between the crystalisation patterns that happen because of a cooling and atom migration period of sometimes millions of years and those of something knocked up in a kiln that cooled a billion times quicker. It's the ability to perform tests like these and analyse the results that separates TV-interview "experts" and actual experts.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.

Video Evidence


Video evidence should have a time and location, a source that can be contacted (through a third party if they want to remain anonymous), there should be a way to download the original, unaltered video, and the make/model of the device used to record it should be given.

(Instead we're now trying to analyse video that has been watermarked, uploaded to youtube, downloaded, deleted, and reuploaded. Sheesh.)
 

Edward Current

Active Member

Video Evidence

This applies to the technology (and possibly information) category, right? I don't see much value in video evidence for establishing biological or materials discontinuity — except for maybe the example of a missile hitting something in the sky and disintegrating. Then again, if we need to be firing missiles at an unknown object in the sky, and they bounce off, we probably have bigger problems. Video evidence of a wafer-thin piece of metal taking a .45 bullet without even denting? I dunno, seems like we need the artifact to have any meaningful materials analysis. Video evidence of a glowing green humanoid dividing in two and becoming two glowing green humanoids? I dunno, seems like we need the body to have any meaningful biological analysis.

What I'd really like to develop eventually is a score, maybe Bayesian where if you can get your total P(H|E) to exceed 0.5, you more probably than not have evidence of an advanced non-conventional entity.
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
...

This also explains what is meant by the unreliability of witness testimony. For claims of ordinary phenomena, the prior probability (how typical our explanation is in the above cartoon) is high (by definition) which means the probability the phenomenon happened is high. So if you tell me you saw an airplane come in for a landing when driving by the airport, I will likely accept that claim as true. If you say you saw a flying saucer, I will evaluate the claim differently. And, of course, while in most of this conversation I've been happy to assume that you do in fact know what you saw, in practice I also have to assume that you may simply not have thought of an alternate explanation, and I have to consider those as well. If you are evaluating evidence rationally, you should incorporate those alternate explanations in your own probability calculus.

Source: https://twitter.com/uncertainvector/status/1508144011390840841


I hope this post is of some use in contextualizing why "direct human interaction with our world" is adequate most of the time but fails to meet the bar for convincing skeptics of the reality of any extraordinary phenomenon.
Ryan Graves seems to brag/imply how good he is in his technical skills as a pilot and system operator, as if that should that be enough to be "adequate most of the time". It is not. He did not interact with ET, chasing some thing he never intercepted, is proof of failure to intercept a UAP. But he will make the UFO/UAP circuit, and MSM will tell his story. Our crew copilot watched Mars all night on our east bound celestial navigation leg, he claimed it was traffic... I guess Mars could be traffic. Mars was the copilots UAP. He kept an eye on it the whole time until we turned back to California on our Celestial Navigation leg. I have to give credit for the Navigator on our crew for helping with the illusion and pimping the Co. I asked the Nav if Mars was up, he took his time and came back with, "No, Mars is not up"... at least the Co had something to do while we let the Navigator work on shooting the stars.

Ryan Graves, sounds like our Copilot, chasing Mars, or does he have floaters since he saw them "every day". BTW, we failed to close on Mars for some reason.

60 Minutes, the History channel, Fox news, and others seem to be cashing in on the UFO/UAP/Alien thing while it is hot.

What evidence of aliens would convince skeptics?
See the Alien demonstrate his craft, share his knowledge, and let me fly it.
Hearsay/anecdotal accounts are not evidence.
What evidence would be better, a high resolution photo of the Craft you rendezvous with, when you do. Where are all the photos, up close, of the UAPs?

DSC_4343 br next crop.jpg
Too bad we did not have GoPro in pilot training, or refueling the SR-71... why did the pilots who see UAPs everyday not use their Pilot Bonus for a GoPro Camera?
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJaTQWFwW70

https://gopro.com/en/us/shop/cameras/hero10-black/CHDHX-101-master.html
All I had was Nikon and Kodachrome slide film... now we can have 10fps Nikon D500, and better - and ISO past 25k - show me the aliens and craft...
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
Reading Keith Beachey's post two above this one brought something else to mind.

I think you have to consider the probability/improbability of more than just the claim about the specific UAP/Alien encounter, you have to look at the credibility of the associated claims. "I used to see the UFOs every day" is presumably intended to make the claim more credible -- subtext being "they are really common, of course I saw the one I am describing to you, we saw them all the time." But in fact the statement makes the witness less credible to me, if they are THAT common, pretty much every pilot (and every passenger, and every person on the ground who looks up from time to time) should be seeing them pretty frequently. They wouldn't be rare, exciting events -- they'd be like meteors or rainbows, "Oh look, another one..." Seeing them every day seems to me to indicate the witness is a poor observer, is prone to misinterpret everyday things as extraordinary UFOs, or possibly is telling tall tales.

That's not a novel observation; we generally look at the whole story around here, looking for clues about what might have been seen and how accurate the witness might be. (I spent WAY too much time listening to compilations of bird calls from Europe, and once the Cousin Brothers were mentioned, Hawaii, just in case, trying to see if the bird chirping away in that video was identifiable, and if so what did it say about where the video was shot. For the curious, I have not yet found a matching bird song from either place...)

I think I'm saying all this murkily, but to sum up, if there was some sort of quantifiable-ish scale which, when a certain point was crossed, the case for an Alien would have been successfully proven, it would need to take into account details in the secondary and tertiary elements of the evidence -- not just does the central story make sense, does the WHOLE story make sense.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Reading Keith Beachey's post two above this one brought something else to mind.

I think you have to consider the probability/improbability of more than just the claim about the specific UAP/Alien encounter, you have to look at the credibility of the associated claims. "I used to see the UFOs every day" is presumably intended to make the claim more credible -- subtext being "they are really common, of course I saw the one I am describing to you, we saw them all the time." But in fact the statement makes the witness less credible to me, if they are THAT common, pretty much every pilot (and every passenger, and every person on the ground who looks up from time to time) should be seeing them pretty frequently. They wouldn't be rare, exciting events -- they'd be like meteors or rainbows, "Oh look, another one..." Seeing them every day seems to me to indicate the witness is a poor observer, is prone to misinterpret everyday things as extraordinary UFOs, or possibly is telling tall tales.

That's not a novel observation; we generally look at the whole story around here, looking for clues about what might have been seen and how accurate the witness might be. (I spent WAY too much time listening to compilations of bird calls from Europe, and once the Cousin Brothers were mentioned, Hawaii, just in case, trying to see if the bird chirping away in that video was identifiable, and if so what did it say about where the video was shot. For the curious, I have not yet found a matching bird song from either place...)

I think I'm saying all this murkily, but to sum up, if there was some sort of quantifiable-ish scale which, when a certain point was crossed, the case for an Alien would have been successfully proven, it would need to take into account details in the secondary and tertiary elements of the evidence -- not just does the central story make sense, does the WHOLE story make sense.
If the bird is clear enough, this app could help.

https://birdnet.cornell.edu/
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Yeah, I used Bird.net Ap as well -- but the version I have, at least, starts with your location and does not consider birds that wouldn't be there -- to save comparing zillions of birds that don't live where you are listening. There may be some way to set it for Spain, or Hawaii, or somewhere else, but if so I can't find it. It just goes by my phone's GPS. (I'm in NC, I got Carolina Wren as well, but with low probability.) I'm going to put a note in that thread asking if anybody in Spain or Hawaii wants to give it a go...
 
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