Ein Erfahrungsbericht eines amerikanischen Skeptikers mit den Ufologen, welchen man hier in Deutschland genau so wahr nimmt! Liest / hört man die Aussagen unserer Ufologen von den "drei Großen" wie man sich selbst tituliert, aber eigentlich nur noch "eine Ansammlung von versprengten Einzelpersonen" ist, kommen genau diese Aussagen welche in diesem nachfolgenden Erfahrungsbericht aufgeführt werden, auch hier!
11 angry UFOlogists and a skeptic
Shortly after the Roswell slides crashed to reality, some began to look at what the Roswell Slides Research Group (RSRG) did and wonder if this was the future of UFOlogy. Being part of the RSRG, I know how difficult it would be for the group to agree on anything if it were not clear cut. In the case of the Roswell slides, the evidence was clear and many in the group were already of the mindset the body was not an alien. Despite this common belief, we still had differences of opinion on various issues regarding the slides. I wonder how it would have played out if the case was not such obvious and some of the group members had opinions about the evidence that strongly differed from the others?
I sort of saw how events might transpire by watching the old movie, “Twelve Angry Men”. For those who are not familiar with the film, I suggest you watch it. For those who are, you might find the following bit of fiction familiar.
Twelve individuals are seated in a room where they are carefully evaluating what has been described as “The best UFO case ever”. The group has been assembled in order to evaluate the evidence. The group is diverse in order to meet the new standards of UFO investigations. In an effort to provide balance, a UFO skeptic was introduced into the mix. It was felt that, if the skeptic could be convinced, the case could be elevated to the lofty status of “the greatest UFO case ever”.
Lead Investigator: I have presented the facts regarding the case and I feel this is clear cut evidence that this event describes some- thing completely unknown to modern science. It may be aliens or it may be something else but it definitely can not be explained. I am interested in hearing everyone’s opinions.
UFO Blogger: I agree. I have been chronicling the developments of this case since it was initially reported a year ago. I am stumped and can’t explain any of it. It seems to me that some sort of huge craft was seen by multiple witnesses from many locations over a period of about an hour. I am not sure what they saw but it definitely was “not of this earth”.
UFO author: I am of the opinion that this case is very compelling. I have written about many cases and this one is better than most. We have multiple witnesses, radar data, two video recordings, military personnel, and electromagnetic effects. There is just too much here to dismiss.
UFO film producer: I am intrigued. I have been working on a new project showing some of the most compelling UFO cases in history. I would love to include this in that film. I was hoping that some of you would be interested in providing your evaluations of the data for this project.
UFO speaker: I too am impressed and would love to appear in the film. I would even wave my usual fee to be part of it. I just want to discuss this case at the upcoming UFOCONFEST where I will be one of the feature speakers.
Lead Investigator: I would like to withhold any presentation of the case until I am ready. This is my case and I think I should have a say about how it should be presented. I am willing to provide the details but only if I get credit for my work. Otherwise, I will not release these items to the public.
UFO experiencer: That is your right but I want to point out that there are witnesses, who experienced this event and are demanding an answer. The government has drug its feet long enough and refuses to admit this was an extraordinary event. I don’t want these individuals to live my life of frustrated answers to my two dozen documented UFO events over the past five years. I wish I wasn’t in a different part of the country because I would have seen this event as well.
UFO scientist: Let’s not get too carried away here. We need to focus on the case and not think about the presentation of the case to the public yet. Having provided some of the analysis for the data, I am confident this data is very convincing. I stand by my work.
UFO archivist: I have a database of 20,000 good UFO reports. I know this belongs in the database but it probably deserves a cate- gory reserved for only a few of my cases. That being the best of the best.
UFO journalist: It is sad that the mainstream media does not pick up on these things. I have been writing about UFO stories for years and they just laugh at me. After seeing this presentation, I will have the last laugh.
UFO activist: I have been actively pursuing for congress to hold hearings on UFOs. This case should at the top of my list and should result in a breakthrough.
UFO agnostic: I have a problem with a lot of these UFO cases because they are always seem to have a lot of missing data and rely solely on the testimony of the eyewitnesses. However, this case appears to have a lot of supporting data that confirms the witnesses did see something extraordinary.
UFO skeptic: It seems that I am the only person who is not so convinced by the evidence. There are many components of this case that do not appear to agree and the confirming evidence seems weak to me. I was asked to attend this briefing to provide feedback. If you don’t want to listen, then feel free to classify this as “the best UFO case ever”. Just don’t expect me to sign off on it.
UFO experiencer: See.....this is why you never ask a debunker to look at a UFO case. He is saying the witnesses are lying about what they saw! I suppose you are going to say the UFO was Venus seen through swamp gas. What makes you so smart and the witnesses so dumb?
UFO skeptic: I am not calling UFO witnesses liars or dumb. I am just saying there are other possibilities for what they saw. If you want to accept their stories as 100% factual, then I suggest you need to look up the known problems with eyewitness testimony.
UFO experiencer: So YOU ARE calling them liars! If they are not 100% accurate, you are saying they are making things up.
UFO skeptic: Again, you twist what I am saying. I am not saying they are making up stories. I believe they saw something but I just question that what they say they saw
Lead investigator: I am not sure what you mean by this skeptic. How do you know they were inaccurate? We have video recordings of the object and it certainly looks like one of those dark flying triangles they described seeing.
UFO skeptic: Yes, we do have a video but look closely at the recording. There are seven lights visible in the video but we don’t see the dark structured craft the witnesses mention. In fact, there is indication that the lights were not attached to a fixed object. If you look closely, the light on the far right starts falling behind the other lights as time goes on and the light in the middle speeds ahead of the other lights. To mean this is an indication the lights were not attached to a massive craft and they were independent of each other.
UFO experiencer: There you go again...You are now saying they made up the fact they saw a large object with lights attached to it.
UFO Skeptic: No.... I am not saying they made it up. I am saying they reported something they felt they had seen. This is very similar to the Zond IV case, and others, where witnesses took multiple light sources and thought those sources were attached to a large craft. There are other cases on record for this.
Lead Investigator: Hmmm....I appeared to miss the fact these lights were not flying in unison. Still, it may be a case of optics or per- spective that caused these things. The fact remains that these lights are moving like the UFO reported by the witnesses.
UFO skeptic: Yes, but it indicates that there may not have been a craft that was three football fields across as described by the wit- nesses.
Lead Investigator: But the UFO was reported to be only 500 feet away. It would be hard to conclude these observations were simply misperceptions.
UFO skeptic: How do we know the UFO was that close? It was night and I don’t think that the witness can make an accurate assess- ment of the distance.
UFO film producer: But one of the dozen witnesses, who saw this object was a pilot. I am sure he can tell the difference of distances even at night.
UFO skeptic: I am sorry to bust your bubble but that is not the case. UFOlogy is full of “reliable” witnesses, who have been mistaken about the distance an object was from them. Without a frame of reference to use, one must assume the witness was guessing. It is not a reliable measurement at all.
UFO blogger: Oh yeah, what about the military witnesses at the nearby AF base? They were on guard duty and saw the UFO low on the horizon after sunset. They said it danced around in the trees and then disappeared after an hour or so. The time and direction matches what the witnesses reported. Since they were about five miles east of the other witnesses, then the object must have been really low.
UFO skeptic: Good point but are we sure they saw the same UFO? They reported a sin- gle light and not multiple ones. You mention they saw the UFO in the trees for about an hour but the other witnesses reported seeing the event for about five minutes. I did a preliminary check with an astronomer friend of mine about the location of bright stars and planets that night. He informed me that Venus was low on the horizon after twilight ended and set about an hour and a half later. This might have been what the military witnesses reported. It is a possible that the witnesses saw a completely different object.
UFO film producer: Now I talked to these young men. They were certain they saw some sort of craft in the tree line that was hovering there observing them. It shown a bright light in their direction and it went on and off several times.
UFO skeptic: All these effects can be explained by Venus being seen through the trees. The branches moving in the breeze could interrupt the light from Venus. I am not sure how the witnesses could determine that the UFO was watching them.
UFO experiencer: More of calling the witnesses stupid...I knew inviting a debunker to this meeting was a mistake. They will always find a reason to reject any UFO case no matter how good the evidence is.
UFO skeptic: I am not saying they are stupid. I am just raising other possibil- ities that seem to be more likely than an alien spaceship.
UFO scientist: Nobody in here called it an alien spaceship. Now you are jumping to conclusions. BTW, what about the radar data. There is an obvi- ous correlation from the FAA radar plots and the track of the UFO.
UFO skeptic: I am glad you mentioned this data because I wonder how good it really is and if it confirms the event at all. You managed to get ten minutes of radar contacts around the time of the sighting. In those ten minutes you managed to find four contacts that match the track of the UFO. However, there are actually fifty-two random contacts reported during this same time period. Taking four contacts and drawing a line be-
tween them is more a case of chance. What about the other forty-eight contacts? Can we draw a line between four or five of those and create another ground track that goes in the opposite or another direction? I did not try but it just does not make me feel that the radar data is as convincing as you make it. I am no expert on this. Have you bothered to get another radar expert to agree with your conclusions?
UFO scientist: I have yet to release the data. I discussed it with others but have yet to show them my findings.
UFO skeptic: So this is solely your interpretation of the data?
UFO scientist: Well, I asked about regarding how the data was obtained but, yes, I am the only one that has analyzed the actual data.
UFO activist: This is ridiculous. You can’t stand to see this case being presented to the public because it would shatter your personal beliefs about the universe. I bet you don’t believe it is possible that extraterrestrial life even exists.
UFO skeptic: Actually, I think it is very likely that life exists elsewhere but I have no proof of this. It just seems likely based on the odds. That being said, even if there was extraterrestrial life, and it was intelligent, I see no evidence that it was visiting earth.
UFO archivist: This is interesting skeptic but how do you explain the fact that two cars stopped working when the UFO passed over?
UFO skeptic: We don’t know it was a fact that the cars stopping was caused by the UFO passing over. The UFO passed over a major road and there were plenty of cars coming and going in the nearby shopping center. Not all the cars reported being stopped. We only know that two did.
UFO speaker: But how do you explain the two cars stopping?
UFO skeptic: I don’t. It is hard to say. Were the cars low on gas at the time? Did they have bad spark plugs or problems with their ignition system? All I see in the report is that the witnesses stated their cars stopped as they watched the UFO passed nearby. Isn’t it possible the witnesses simply pulled over and stopped the cars without thinking?
UFO experience: Again, you are claiming the witnesses are lying. I will not listen to this debunking any more.
UFO agnostic: Now let’s calm down. This is why we invited a skeptic in the first place. You may not like it but he is raising some valid points. I, for one, think the classification of the case as “the best ever” is now questionable.
UFO activist: I knew you were in cahoots with him. I have seen your type before. You shift your opinions with the wind. A short while ago, you said the witnesses saw something extraordinary. Now you are saying it was not the case.
UFO agnostic: Unlike you, I am willing to change my mind. I received a presentation that
was rather one sided and did not have another point of view. I must admit, I feel ashamed
for not noticing some of these things myself. I guess I was not paying attention. I appreci-
ate the skeptic’s keen observations and hope that the investigation will continue and investigate these points further.
UFO scientist: I agree agnostic. This seems to be a case of seeing what we wanted to see in the data. I have to admit, I feel that my end of the investigation with the radar data is pretty good but, after these points were raised by skeptic, I am going to have to look at the data again.
UFO film producer: I don’t get it. How can you people ignore all these witnesses and the fact they saw something extraordinary. If they did not see a huge craft with lights, what did they see ..... a mirage?
UFO skeptic: We don’t know what they saw without more data. Is it possible these were Chinese lanterns? What about a formation of aircraft? It may have been an alien spaceship but we need better data.
UFO scientist: I am not sure Chinese lanterns or a formation of aircraft are possible based on the radar data.
UFO skeptic: Are we sure? You only asked for data that involved “unknown contacts”. Was there a flight of aircraft through the area at the time? Would Chinese lanterns even show up on radar? What about balloons with lights attached? Maybe they were birds reflecting light. I don’t know but we have to examine such possibilities. Even if none of these are answers to what the witnesses saw, it still does not mean that what they saw was an alien spaceship.Lead Investigator: I never said it was an alien spaceship. I simply stated it was an unidentified craft not known to science.UFO skeptic: Forgive me for jumping the gun again. You did call this an “unknown structured craft that was moving under intelli- gent control” in your written report. The wording had me drawing the conclusion you meant alien spaceship.Lead Investigator: I want everyone to know that I examined a lot of these possibilities in my report. I found them weak explanations for the UFO reports I examined. The witnesses knew what they saw and it was not a flock of birds, Chinese lanterns, or a squadron of planes. I see no reason to listen to these debunker’s remarks and my report will be published with or without his signature.UFO experiencer: Hear!!! Hear!!! I am willing to sign off on this.UFO film producer: If I can use it in my film, I am willing to sign the report.UFO author: I have kept my mouth shut for the most part. While I feel the skeptic has his opinion, I think he is allowing his disbelief to interfere with his assessment of the case. I will sign the report.UFO speaker: I have a conference to go to next week and need to get ready for it. I think the case is pretty good and will sign the report.UFO journalist: I need a case to beat the drum in my column. If I don’t do that, the other writers will continue to ignore me. I am willing to point out the important facts about the case that makes it one of the best cases ever. I am going to endorse the report.UFO activist: I don’t care what the debunker says. I already have a scheduled television interview about the case and hope to use the witnesses of this event to pressure congress for hearings about this event. Count me in as supporting the report.UFO blogger: I am not persuaded by the pseudo-skeptic’s position. I have looked at this case for months and do not find his ar- guments against these reports very compelling at all. My stance has always been this is a great case and it still is. It would take a mountain of evidence to convince me that it was not an unknown craft being piloted by intelligent beings. I will put my signature on this and I will make sure my blog documents the negative opinions by the pelicanist down at the end of the table. He will regret his stance on this case.UFO archivist: I still feel a need to put this at the top of my UFO case list. Is it “the best UFO case ever”? I don’t know but I am not going to say it was explained. I will sign this report as long as we use language that the case is a “true unknown”.UFO scientist: I will take a look at the data again to see if I missed something. I suggest we remove my part of the report until I can examine it more closely. Meanwhile, I will endorse the rest of the report as it indicating something that is unidentified at this point.UFO agnostic: While I admire everyone’s conviction on this, I have to abstain from signing this report. I think there are aspects of this case that might point towards a possible explanation.UFO skeptic: I still am wondering why I am here. I guess the more UFOlogy wants to improve itself, the more it remains the same. Thanks for inviting me to this discussion group but I can’t sign anything that just does not meet my standards of evidence. Good luck with all your endeavors and maybe we will meet again for the next “best UFO case ever”.
Some may find my portrayal of such a diverse group somewhat biased. However, I selected the characters, and their personalities, from various individuals I have either encountered or seen commenting/speaking over the years. I fear that there will never be a group that can judge UFO reports accurately. Even if there was, their opinions/conclusions may not be accepted. Organizations, such as MUFON, have determined they are the final arbiters on the status of UFO cases and evidence. They would not sit still for something they proclaimed to be an exotic event as something mundane. Even individual UFO researchers, who have no affilia- tions, will argue for the validity of their own prized cases even though the evidence for them may be less than compelling. Confir- mation bias is a serious problem in UFO research.I suppose I should have included a UFO disbeliever/UFO debunker to the mix but the original plan was to provide one skeptic to balance out a panel of UFO personalities interested in promoting a UFO case. Maybe the next time I will create a story with a title of “11 UFO disbelievers and a UFO proponent”. I am sure the outcome would be the same except on the other end of the spectrum.
After I wrote this I became involved with the Puerto Rico Research Review (PRRR), which included a far more diverse group than the RSRG. The discussions were very good but it was clear that some opinions about certain things were strong. I want to think that most of the members in the group were of the UFO agnostic and UFO skeptic persona. The group is still working on analyzing the video and trying to agree on the various aspects of the case. While our discussions have been pretty reasonable, we have re- ceived some rather negative comments from some of the SCU team (even though we have really published nothing) and members of other UFO organizations. Their comments mimic some of the opinions demonstrated by other characters in my story.