The Reagan and Carter UFO Sightings

  • #26
Ivan Seeking
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Thanks Pit2, I knew the story but didn't have any links handy. I remember reading the debunking in an Astronomy magazine when this first happened.
 
  • #27
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Here's the problem I am having with this notion that skeptics routinely dismiss things as Venus: none of you has linked me to a skeptic in the process of doing that. If it actually happens as often as you claim I should think it would be easy to compile a list of quotes from ten skeptic/debunkers explaining a particular sighting or other to have been Venus, and to accompany these with quotes from the eyewitnesses to the same events describing things that couldn't have been Venus.
Ivan claims:
Just about every UFO in the last fifty years was claimed to be the planet Venus by debunkers somewhere.
This is the claim I would like to see backed up with quotes from debunkers. We also need quotes from the witnesses to the phenomena describing it as doing things that couldn't have been Venus.
Things like "I heard that the Carter sighting was determined to be Venus by someone," obviously don't count. Neither do things like "Skeptics said this was Venus." We need the words of the skeptics themselves to show they are, in fact, doing what you all believe they are doing.
 
  • #28
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zoobyshoe said:
Here's the problem I am having with this notion that skeptics routinely dismiss things as Venus: none of you has linked me to a skeptic in the process of doing that. If it actually happens as often as you claim I should think it would be easy to compile a list of quotes from ten skeptic/debunkers explaining a particular sighting or other to have been Venus, and to accompany these with quotes from the eyewitnesses to the same events describing things that couldn't have been Venus.
Ivan claims:
This is the claim I would like to see backed up with quotes from debunkers. We also need quotes from the witnesses to the phenomena describing it as doing things that couldn't have been Venus.
Things like "I heard that the Carter sighting was determined to be Venus by someone," obviously don't count. Neither do things like "Skeptics said this was Venus." We need the words of the skeptics themselves to show they are, in fact, doing what you all believe they are doing.
Here is one.
 
  • #29
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SGT said:
Here is one.
That fits the bill of a UFO being explained as Venus, except now I have another problem. As I read that site over it now doesn't strike me as outlandish to suspect Carter was seeing Venus.

They point out that Carter's report about it was filed four years later and that the date he gives for the sighting, Oct '69, is not when he was actually there. He also claimed 10-15 other people saw it but only one person who remembers the incident can be found, and he doesn't recall it as so remarkable a phenomenon as Carter did. In other words, Carter's memory of the sighting is suspect.

I have seen Venus looking remarkably bright such that I thought it was a low flying helicopter searchlight at first. It's entirely possible that Carter saw Venus in one of these ultra bright manifestations and was surprised and dazzled by it. His memory of the sighting ending with the object receeding into the distance till it disappeared may not be reliable, having been recorded four years later.

Since Venus was in the sky at the altitude and direction he was looking on the date he was actually there, and since the color shifts he reports are alot less definite than I thought at first (not "red" but "reddish", for example), I don't find this to be as good a story as I thought at first, and I don't find the Venus explanation to be much of a stretch in this particular case.

My apologies to SelfAdjoint for my knee-jerk contradiction: Venus sounds like a prime suspect here.
 
  • #30
Ivan Seeking
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Maybe, maybe not, but to this day he still sticks to his story. Can you prove what you saw for a few moments thirty years ago? And of course you assume without proof that the source is accurate.
 
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  • #31
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zoobyshoe said:
That fits the bill of a UFO being explained as Venus, except now I have another problem. As I read that site over it now doesn't strike me as outlandish to suspect Carter was seeing Venus.
They point out that Carter's report about it was filed four years later and that the date he gives for the sighting, Oct '69, is not when he was actually there. He also claimed 10-15 other people saw it but only one person who remembers the incident can be found, and he doesn't recall it as so remarkable a phenomenon as Carter did. In other words, Carter's memory of the sighting is suspect.
I have seen Venus looking remarkably bright such that I thought it was a low flying helicopter searchlight at first. It's entirely possible that Carter saw Venus in one of these ultra bright manifestations and was surprised and dazzled by it. His memory of the sighting ending with the object receeding into the distance till it disappeared may not be reliable, having been recorded four years later.
Since Venus was in the sky at the altitude and direction he was looking on the date he was actually there, and since the color shifts he reports are alot less definite than I thought at first (not "red" but "reddish", for example), I don't find this to be as good a story as I thought at first, and I don't find the Venus explanation to be much of a stretch in this particular case.
My apologies to SelfAdjoint for my knee-jerk contradiction: Venus sounds like a prime suspect here.
A distant cloud or dust could scatter the light of the planet, turning it reddish. The lower brightness could be mistaken by the object incresing its distance.
I am not saying that it is the only explanation, but it must be taken in consideration.
 
  • #32
Ivan Seeking
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One of the reasons that so many debunkers automatically default to the Venus explanation is that Venus is often mistaken for something else. But the key to investigating UFO reports is to realize what any credible UFO devotee will tell you: Ninety to ninety-five percent of all sightings can be dismissed.
 
  • #33
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Ivan Seeking said:
Maybe, maybe not, but to this day he still sticks to his story. Can you prove what you saw for a few moments thirty years ago?
I can't prove or back up a word of it. I went to the movie by myself and don't think there was anyone else in the line that I knew. I just expect that people believe that I'm reporting it as I remember it, whether or not they suspect it's a false memory.
And of course you assume without proof that the source is accurate.
Actually, you're right. I am assuming records show that Carter wasn't actually speaking in that town when he remembered it to be, and that records exist showing when he actually was there, the difference being a few months. I am also assuming that someone accurately determined the position of Venus in the sky on the date and time he was actually there. I am also assuming that someone did track down and interview all the people who might have been among those Carter claimed were also observing the light.

So, assuming all those things to be true, Carter's story doesn't sound as good to me as it did at first, and the Venus explanation doesn't sound as "dismissive."
 
  • #34
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Ivan Seeking said:
One of the reasons that so many debunkers automatically default to the Venus explanation is that Venus is often mistaken for something else.
But I'm still waiting for the evidence that debunkers do this.
 
  • #35
Ivan Seeking
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zoobyshoe said:
But I'm still waiting for the evidence that debunkers do this.
Read the Bluebook files for starters. They're linked in the Napster.

This is common knowledge to anyone acquainted with the field.
 
  • #36
Ivan Seeking
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  • #37
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Ivan Seeking said:
Here, this is easier
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2004-21,RNWE:en&q=UFO+Venus+-lyrics&btnG=Search
I have probably personally seen or heard this explanation used for debunking purposes when in no way could it apply - such as the JAL flight - hundreds of times over the years. Debunking is one thing, but creating fantasy for lack of a better explanation does no service to the truth.
From one of the sites your search provided:
It may be hard to believe an object which has been in the sky since man first walked on Earth could fool anyone, but in hundreds of UFO cases that have been filed and investigated Venus has been determined to be the culprit. Venus is the second planet from our Sun and is roughly the size of our own Earth. Because it is closer to the sun than Earth (which is the next planet out, number three) Venus is usually seen in the early evening or predawn hours near the horizon. It is the brightest natural object in the sky short of the sun and moon. Because it spends much of its time near the horizon, Venus is often blocked from the view of casual observers of the sky. When they do see it, they may be startled by its brilliance, especially in rural areas where the air is clear and the sky free of light pollution from street lamps. Like the other planets, Venus moves through the sky from star constellation to star constellation over the course of months. On a single night, though, Venus moves slowly with the rest of the stars in the sky as the Earth turns. However, there are special conditions that will make this planet appear to move more rapidly.
If a layer of cold air is trapped under a layer of warm air, light rays can be refracted or reflected so that objects that have set below the horizon may suddenly again become visible as a mirage. As the air layers move, the object may also suddenly appear to shift position, giving the illusion of high speed movement. This effect can also magnify the object so that a planet, like Venus, doesn't appear as a point, but a ball. Finally, the same shimmering effect that causes stars to twinkle can also make the image of the planet change color and/or blink.
This, of course, does not prove that what Carter saw was Venus, but provides an explanation to the phenomena he observed. It also explains why UFO researchers, both believers and skeptics, often attribute to Venus a great number of sightings.
 
  • #38
Ivan Seeking
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This, of course, does not prove that what Carter saw was Venus, but provides an explanation to the phenomena he observed. It also explains why UFO researchers, both believers and skeptics, often attribute to Venus a great number of sightings.
I completely agree in that there is motive. As I said, this is why it tends to be a default explanation. But far too often people point to Venus or similar explanations when this couldn't possibly explain the report. Specific details of the report are often ignored in order to make the Venus explanation seem to fit. Take this discussion as an example, if we could find an extended interview with Carter in which he describes what he saw - from a benign source - it could shed light on the situation. I believe that from the beginning and in the report that he filed, he stated that the light moved across the sky. He didn't say it wobbled or swirled, he said it moved to a more distant point.

Note also that Carters report is rather useless as UFO reports go. He doesn't think it could have been Venus and there is no way to be sure now.
 
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  • #39
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Ivan Seeking said:
But far too often people point to Venus or similar explanations when this couldn't possibly explain the report. Specific details of the report are often ignored in order to make the Venus explanation seem to fit.
This is what I'm asking for. A specific compilation of quotes from debunkers ascribing the explanation of "Venus" to something that couldn't have been Venus according to the actual eyewitness description.

What you say Carter might say, of course, doesn't count.
 
  • #40
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Here is another funny one:

Many people have suggested that a parsimonious explanation for the Illinois UFO case of Jan. 5, 2000 is that the UFO "might be" Venus. Others have faulted the NIDS analysis because they perceived that NIDS investigators did not consider this a possibility. NIDS considered but rejected stars or planets as possible explanations for this case on the grounds that the majority testimony identified the UFO as a large (200-600 feet linear, 40-60 feet thick) triangular-shaped object possessing (on its underside) downward pointing white lights arranged at the corners, a red light near the center, possible additional red lights spaced at intervals across the underside and near the perimeter, and a row of multicolored lights along one side between two corner white lights. There also appeared to be large windows with light emanating through them, but these could have possibly been openings or light sources. The bright white lights on the corners were described as blinding to the eye and lighting up the area below the craft. A witness estimate of the brightness of the white lights was that they were much brighter than a police cruiser spotlight. Witnesses observed the UFO to be hovering, slowly rotating about a vertical axis, a combination of the first two followed by slow linear motion, and slow linear motion or hovering followed by sudden linear accelerations sending the object across the sky to the witness?s apparent horizon.
http://www.nidsci.org/news/il_astrohypothesis.php [Broken]
http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc609.htm
Sounds like Venus alright :rofl:
 
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  • #41
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Carter was no dummy

selfAdjoint said:
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.
Carter was a scientist - a nuclear physicist, essentially, and was, as I recall, in charge of a sub's nuclear power source. THus he was at the peak of his scientific perspicacity and skill. Thus I trust his impression and that of the other members of the Lions' Club, that this object was definitely not Venus - it seemed to approach, growing larger etc. - counterargments to V hpothesis from http://www.presidentialufo.com/jimmy.htm [Broken]

* Venus was in the southwestern sky on January 6, 1969, not in the west as claimed by Sheaffer. Carter who had spent watches, while in the Navy doing watches in cruisers and destroyers, as a navigation officer, taking star shots with a sextant, stated the object was in the western sky.
* Carter described the object as being the "size of the moon" or "slightly smaller than the apparent size of the moon." Venus never appears this way.
bullet Venus at the time was at between 15 and 21 degrees over the horizon at 7:15 p.m. Carter, a trained observer stated the object was 30 degrees above the horizon, or almost double the height of Venus at the time.
* Sheaffer described Venus as "being at it?s brightest" on the date in question. It wasn?t at its brightest.
* The witnesses declared that the object disappeared after 10 minutes or at 7:25 p.m. Venus, on the evening in question, was visible in the clear sky till 9:20 p.m. If it had been Venus, it would still have been visible for another 115 minutes after the witnesses claimed it had disappeared in a clear sky. During these 115 minutes the planet Venus would have increased in brightness (not disappeared) as it approached the horizon. Venus does not disappear, and would have been eliminated as a suspect by a grade six astronomy class investigation.
 
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  • #42
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Ivan Seeking said:
Here, this is easier
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2004-21,RNWE:en&q=UFO+Venus+-lyrics&btnG=Search
I have probably personally seen or heard this explanation used for debunking purposes when in no way could it apply - such as the JAL flight - hundreds of times over the years. Debunking is one thing, but creating fantasy for lack of a better explanation does no service to the truth.
I went to the first three links and couldn't find any quotes from debunkers explaining things that couldn't possibly be Venus as Venus. The first site listed, for instance, simply claims that someone dismissed it as Venus without quoting them. After reading three sites you offer that aren't what I asked for, I'm not reading any more. Get me a list of ten comparative quotes, post them here as I asked, and I'll consider that your claim debunkers are always doing this has some merit.

Again: There must be two quotes for each sighting: 1.) an eyewitness account that describes a phenomenon that couldn't have been Venus, and 2.) a direct quote from a debunker claiming it was Venus. Links for all quotes, of course.

Quoting people who say debunkers are always doing this doesn't count.
 

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