Not long ago there was a UFO program on TV which focused on the Presidency and UFO's, and they told the Reagan story (with a reenactment). They also explored the UFO/ET references/imagery Reagan was fond of putting into his speeches and made the obvious connection between this and his own sighting.
I'd heard about the Jimmy Carter story a few times but that was the first time I'd heard the Reagan story.
I should have posted Carter's as well; especially since he filed a report.
If Reagan and Carter say so, it must be true. They were never caught lying.
Actually, I think they both saw something. "Unidentified Flying Object" is a perfectly good, accurate term. I've seen them myself on two separate occasions and without flying to any rash conclusions they were from another planet, I can assure you I couldn't identify them. The second time was particularly notable since I was waiting in line outside a movie theater with a crowd of 20-30 people. Someone in the line called everyone's attention to two yellow glowing balls of light that were in the sky above us moving around each other in "non-ballistic" ways, as they say. They weren't moving outside a certain radius, it seemed, and their movements were suggestive of Brownian Motion, although much slower. It was overcast and slightly misty out, so there was no telling their size relative to anything or judging any distances. One of them suddenly zipped over to the other, merged with it, and then the single light that was left blinked out.
So you think we should just assume that they are lying?
No, I am saying that they are not the most reliable witnesses we can find. The thread seems to imply that, since two former presidents say they saw something, we must believe it because of the importance of the witnesses. Most alleged sightings are either frauds, delusions or misidentification of natural phenomena, but when some important person claims to a sighting, people tend to take them more seriously.
So your answer is no; meaning that we should accept their stories?
The information was posted as a matter of fact. The witnesses obviously makes it a story of interest. You can believe them or not.
No, my answer is that their witnessing must be treated as that of any other person. May be with a little more doubt, since they have been caught lying before.
You are free to believe what you want. I only believe in things for wich there is evidence. After more than 50 years of sightings and alleged abductions, no material evidence of extraterrestrial crafts has being presented. All we have is the word of people. We know that people lie, that people can misinterpret what they see and that therapists can create false memories in people they treat.
What if Seth Shostak said he saw a UFO of the same sort and was sure that it was ET-related? Should we treat what he says he saw the same as UFO crazies?
We certainly should give more weight to his witnessing. An expert witness provides a stronger evidence than a layman's opinion.
But even experts can be wrong, so while increasing the credibility of ET origin of UFOs, it would still be a lesser evidence than an ashtray made with an unknown material brought to Earth by an abductee.
I will not assume they are lying, hallucinating, or that they misinterpreted what they saw: an objective mind is required to look into these matters!
There seems to be some confusion here between believing that Carter and Reagan saw what they claimed they saw, and whether or not what they saw was extra-terrestrial. You don't have to believe the latter to believe the former, regardless of what they, themselves might believe about it.
In other words, just because visits from other planets are both unproven, and incredibly improbable, it doesn't mean there isn't something else as yet unexplained going on in the skies that people are actually seeing and mistaking for spacemen. There have been successful hoaxes done by putting lights on balloons, and there has been at least one strange atmospheric condition uncovered in Australia where light from many miles away is piped through the atmosphere to a desert location where it appears to hover and move around in the sky. The people who see these explained things without knowing what they were are not lying in their reports nor are they the victims of false memories.
So, I think it is safe to believe that Carter and Reagan actually saw something very unusual. You don't have to believe any particular train of speculation about what they saw to believe they are reporting details of size, motion, speed etc. more or less accurately.
Eyewitness accounts are basically worthless I know, but I still don't think we can completely ignore them. Especially if you have lots of witnesses that do not know each other, and do not confuse stars and planets with planes and helicopters, or vise a versa. Unfortunately there are people that do.
I seem to recall that soon after it was reported, Carter's UFO was identified as the planet Venus. As a Naval Academy graduate, Carter shouldn't have made that mistake, but "navigation" has been in a sorry state at Annapolis for a long time, and after all, Carter was trained as a submarine officer.
I don't think the Venus explanation is accurate. Carter says, in the report linked to by Ivan, that the light did things like change color, and the sighting ended when it moved away to the distance and disappeared.
It could be that someone determined Venus was visible in that direction, on that night, at that time, but that doesn't mean he didn't see a UFO.
The 'venus' thing sounds like a typical debunk-line, so im even more skeptical about that explanation than Reagans story.
Just about every UFO in the last fifty years was claimed to be the planet Venus by debunkers somewhere. The first rule of thumb in the UFO world is that the debunkers are rarely any more credible than the true believers.
Sound like Venus to you?
Here is another UFO claimed to be Venus.
People get 1% of the story and assign Venus as the explanation. Terauchi took the airline to court.
That's an easy one. He would have a following of true believers and the debunkers would trash him. Dr. Hynek had outstanding credentials, but he was quickly assigned to the realm of nutcases when, after acting as chief scientist to project Bluebook for I think twenty years, he reversed his position and became the father of modern "Ufology". From the UFO Napster: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=2805
-- Dr. J. Allen Hynek: Professor emeritus and chairman of the astronomy department at Northwestern University. Earlier, he was director of the Lundheimer Astronomical Research Center at Northwestern. He has written astronomy books and articles that have appeared in numerous science journals, as well as an astronomy column for Science Digest magazine. He was chief scientist for NASA's satellite tracking program, and for twenty years was the scientific consultant to the United States Air Force in the investigation of the UFO phenomenon. He is credited with coining the phrase "close encounters of the third kind" and was Steven Spielberg's technical consultant on the film of that name. Dr. Hynek died in April 1986.
and why not...
Here is another favorite nut of mine
-- Dr. Peter A. Sturrock, Professor of Space Science and Astrophysics and Deputy Director of the Center for Space Sciences and Astrophysics at Stanford University; Director of the Skylab Workshop on Solar Flares in 1977
Separate names with a comma.