UFO claims.

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Main Question or Discussion Point

It seems like the UFO craze is mostly with civilized nations, and I have not seen much apart from crackpottery on an indigenous peoples claims for seeing UFOs.

My question being, since we see UFO claims nearly every day, and practically everyone has heard about, and has saw pictures of a "UFO." Does that make us more susceptible to claiming a UFO sighting when it is really just a natural occurrence?
 

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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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It seems like the UFO craze is mostly with civilized nations, and I have not seen much apart from crackpottery on an indigenous peoples claims for seeing UFOs.
Not sure what you mean by "civilized" nations. Assuming that you mean industrial or post-industrial nations, then your statement would be incorrect. Note also that you dismiss indigenous people's claims without any references. Crackpottery generally refers more to failed logic, pseudoscience [invalid methodology or assumptions], or faith-based beliefs, rather than claimed observations by a people. Some clarification here would help.

My question being, since we see UFO claims nearly every day, and practically everyone has heard about, and has saw pictures of a "UFO." Does that make us more susceptible to claiming a UFO sighting when it is really just a natural occurrence?
By definition, a UFO could be a natural phenomenon. Assuming that you mean flying saucers, or ET crafts, then of course any idea like this that is popular in the mind of the public can result in misinterpretations of real events.

If you mean to suggest that A implies B in all cases, good luck. UFO and even ET reports go back at least centuries. Even some stories from the Bible might be considered ET in nature. Consider for example, Ezekiel's Wheels.
 
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  • #3
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It seems like the UFO craze is mostly with civilized nations, and I have not seen much apart from crackpottery on an indigenous peoples claims for seeing UFOs.

My question being, since we see UFO claims nearly every day, and practically everyone has heard about, and has saw pictures of a "UFO." Does that make us more susceptible to claiming a UFO sighting when it is really just a natural occurrence?
I think what you're talking about is the psychological phenomenon of "availability heuristic".

I can say this only for myself, but I know that a certain % of these cases are not "crackpottery", as me and a group of friends all saw the same UFO, totally unexplainable by any known phenomenon. 0 feasible alternative explanations exist, so until more variables come my way I am happy to say that I probably saw an alien spaceship.
 
  • #4
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What would make these "aliens" not want to talk with us water filled meat sacks? Couldn't they just tell the worlds governments to F off and go "here we are!" I mean they did come from lightyears away, it's not like we have greater technology than they do.
 
  • #5
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If aliens are visiting earth, that is a very pertinent question. I think that we cannot assign P(they're not vising) or P(they're visiting) based on their lack of communication, as we cannot possibly assume their point of view which is most likely beyond our comprehension.
 
  • #6
DaveC426913
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If aliens are visiting earth, that is a very pertinent question. I think that we cannot assign P(they're not vising) or P(they're visiting) based on their lack of communication, as we cannot possibly assume their point of view which is most likely beyond our comprehension.
Totally agree.

It is folly to try to draw any conclusions based on our suppositions about an ET motives.
 
  • #7
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There are more things in the sky in 'civilized nations' so it's hardly surprising.

I can look up and fail to identify all sorts of flying objects. It could be kites, weather balloons, jets, helicopters, satellites, blimps etc. I see things in the sky and so does my neighbour. He sees what I see and also can't identify it, but he chooses to believe he is seeing flying saucers from another world.

Obviously, the answer to your question is yes.
 
  • #8
DaveC426913
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There are more things in the sky in 'civilized nations' so it's hardly surprising.

I can look up and fail to identify all sorts of flying objects. It could be kites, weather balloons, jets, helicopters, satellites, blimps etc. I see things in the sky and so does my neighbour. He sees what I see and also can't identify it, but he chooses to believe he is seeing flying saucers from another world.

Obviously, the answer to your question is yes.
This entire argument is based on the premise that all sightings are misidentifications of known flying man-made objects.

In fact, you highlight the opposite problem: in a less developed country, genuine sightings of UFOs should be higher, since they will stand out against a stark landscape of empty sky. i.e. we should get a higher-than-average quality of reports since there's no background noise of bad reports.
 
  • #9
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This entire argument is based on the premise that all sightings are misidentifications of known flying man-made objects.

In fact, you highlight the opposite problem: in a less developed country, genuine sightings of UFOs should be higher, since they will stand out against a stark landscape of empty sky. i.e. we should get a higher-than-average quality of reports since there's no background noise of bad reports.
The OPs question was regarding susceptibility to claiming a UFO sighting when it is might be a natural occurrence and that is the question to which I responded. I would appreciate if you could try to avoid taking my posts out of context because it can become tedious having to clarify things which should be obvious.

Anyway, your post is nonsense. Any unidentified object is obviously a 'genuine' UFO. If it's not a 'quality' UFO then presumably it is because it can be identified and therefore it is not a UFO at all.
 
  • #10
DaveC426913
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  • #11
DaveC426913
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Anyway, your post is nonsense. Any unidentified object is obviously a 'genuine' UFO. If it's not a 'quality' UFO then presumably it is because it can be identified and therefore it is not a UFO at all.
I am not disagreeing with any of this. I am only distinguishing between mistaken reports (oftendue to observer ignorance) and genuine reports (a genuine UFO report does not mean it is an ET, it simply means it is difficult to explain away by conventional means).

The point is that, in a nation with relatively few objects in the sky, there is less "noise"; because of this, what UFO reports there are should actually be more genuine.
 
  • #12
This entire argument is based on the premise that all sightings are misidentifications of known flying man-made objects.

In fact, you highlight the opposite problem: in a less developed country, genuine sightings of UFOs should be higher, since they will stand out against a stark landscape of empty sky. i.e. we should get a higher-than-average quality of reports since there's no background noise of bad reports.
Even if they are higher, third world countries have nowhere to report them to. Half these people don't have electricity let alone a local news station with a motive for publicity.
 
  • #13
Ivan Seeking
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Even if they are higher, third world countries have nowhere to report them to. Half these people don't have electricity let alone a local news station with a motive for publicity.
So, even if accurate representations of facts, UFO stories would be indistinguisable from legends and myths.
 
  • #14
DaveC426913
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So, even if accurate representations of facts, UFO stories would be indistinguisable from legends and myths.
No, not quite. Legends and myths are by definition from the past. It's not legend or myth if the witness is still around to interview.
 
  • #15
Ivan Seeking
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No, not quite. Legends and myths are by definition from the past. It's not legend or myth if the witness is still around to interview.
I was alluding more to the many historical accounts found in societies all over the world. As for modern eyewitness accounts, those have little to no weight unless they come with corroborating evidence in the form of photos, and or RADAR tracks, and or official radio communications between airborn observers and ground stations, and or trace physical evidence. And even then it doesn't prove anything.

It is also noteworthy that many countries not typically associated with UFO fame have released their own official UFO files from military sources. The last time I checked, probably a dozen countries had released such files.
 
  • #16
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It seems like the UFO craze is mostly with civilized nations, and I have not seen much apart from crackpottery on an indigenous peoples claims for seeing UFOs.

My question being, since we see UFO claims nearly every day, and practically everyone has heard about, and has saw pictures of a "UFO." Does that make us more susceptible to claiming a UFO sighting when it is really just a natural occurrence?
You might be interested in a short story by William Gibson called 'The Gernsback Continuum'.
 
  • #17
Dembadon
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It seems like the UFO craze is mostly with civilized nations, and I have not seen much apart from crackpottery on an indigenous peoples claims for seeing UFOs.
There are many factors at play here:

-How much exposure do you get to indigenous people?
-How often are indigenous people's claims covered by media to which you have access?
-How accurate is such coverage by said media?
-What is lost and/or distorted in translation?
-What claims are we not hearing from indigenous people?

My question being, since we see UFO claims nearly every day, and practically everyone has heard about, and has saw pictures of a "UFO." Does that make us more susceptible to claiming a UFO sighting when it is really just a natural occurrence?
I believe this is based purely on the individual. Some people make an effort to think critically while others do not.

Here is an alternate point of view to consider; what about those who have decided that UFOs (when they are considered to be alien) cannot possibly exist? Instead of asking "what are the data," they simply deny the claim right off the bat. This type of person may also see UFO claims everyday.
 
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  • #18
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Isn't the primary characteristic of a UFO that it's unidentified?

As somebody said, a statement is either tautology or conjecture, so it seems we are dealing with A) something unidentified which is airborne, and B) a wish, or a need, to "explain" either the phenomenon itself or the psychology which caused the observation to happen. In both cases the person making the statement is asserting a specific world hypothesis, which is conflicting with another world hypothesis.

I personally don't "believe" either way. Had there been enough data to form a scientifically sound hypothesis, this would have existed by now. In lieu of this, we have to just make do with the scariest thing of all: The human mind's very limited capacity for understanding reality.
 
  • #19
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Out of context?? You might want to check out what that phrase means. You are using it inappropriately.


Yes, how silly that someone should have to spend time clarifying a comment they posted on the internet.

See http://www.cracked.com/funny-3809-internet-argument-techniques/".
Actually, I am fully aware of that article and find it amusing that you should quote it, since it clearly applies more to your posts than it does to mine.
 
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  • #20
maybe in the 3rd world countries peoples faith in Christ or their religion is strong, compared to people who live in some rich nation. thats why they don't care of UFO's they see religious signs instead of flying saucers.
 
  • #21
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Re: The UFO Napster

NASA - Ask an Astrobiologist recently answered a question regarding a UFO.

1.Question
Reading all the questions that you anser on alian life and ufos you come across quite rude thousands of people see ufos each year. If one land in my back yard what should I do? Who would i go to for help? (I am 12 years old)

[Answer below]
If a UFO lands in your backyard, you should get good photos of it and call your family and neighbors to see it too. So far, in spite of millions of claims over the past 60 years of people seeing UFOs, no one has ever come up with credible photos or other evidence. That is why scientists do not believe these are alien spacecraft. Without evidence, such claims will not convince anyone. If UFOs interest you, I recommend that you read "The UFO Invasion: The Roswell Incident, Alien Abductions, and Government Coverups" by Kendrick Frazier, Barry Karr, and Joe Nickell to find our how UFO claims are investigated.

David Morrison
NAI Senior Scientist
April 8, 2010
http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/question/?id=10725 [Broken]
I just love David's answer! lol! He answered another one. David is very passionate about this issue.

Question

Has NASA any had UFO problems ?(i'm doing a school project on them)

[Answer below]
No, I can't imagine that NASA would have any problems with something that doesn't exist. The sad thing about UFO reports is that they distract so many people from understanding and enjoying real science. (There is a lot of nonsense on the Internet about UFOs, but I do recommend the website http://skepdic.com/ufos_ets.html).

David Morrison
NAI Senior Scientist
June 2, 2006
http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/question/?id=1510 [Broken]
 
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  • #22
Ivan Seeking
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A typical nonsense debunking. For example, he specified that there are no credible photos of UFOs [I assume that he means alleged alien spacecrafts. Someone should inform him that one is not automatically the other]. According to whom? There are plenty of photos that the academic community simply rejects based on the demand that extraordinary claims require extraodinary evidence. It took far less evidence for ball lightning to enter the mainstream - just a few fuzzy photos and unsupportable stories! Ask him for a photo of ball lightning. He also fails to address the far more compelling reports found in military files; likely because he doesn't even know they exist. I also wonder if he has reviewed the cases in which cops chased these things all over the countryside. Are the cops all crackpots and conspiring to tell tall tales? Note for example that the police chase scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was based on a real episode that involved the police from I believe several counties. The most recent example of something like this occurred in Illinois, in 2000.

His answers are pedantic at best. I'm not claiming that ET is here, but the UFO story is far more interesting that he wants to believe or cares to learn.
 
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  • #23
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A typical nonsense debunking.
[snip]
His answers are pedantic at best. I'm not claiming that ET is here, but the UFO story is far more interesting that he wants to believe or cares to learn.
Ivan, I don't think my previous message inclusive of David Morrison, NAI Senior Scientist is nonsense nor would I wish to mislead people into thinking he isn't aware of the lack of evidence to support UFO's.

I am sorry you are upset but I must agree with a scientist, especially if he is more than educated in advising children and adults. He obviously has the sources available from the scientific community so I would expect him to be aware of what is going on. I sure wouldn't wish for youngters to go around saying what you have to their parents after a NASA Senior Scientist has clearly and most recently responded. Perhaps you would like to present to "NASA - Ask an Astrobiologist" your concerns then share with us what an astrobiologist replies to you.

Note for example that the police chase scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was based on a real episode that involved the police from I believe several counties.
Ivan, I thought the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was fiction.
 
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  • #24
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Ivan, I thought the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was fiction.
The segment he mentioned was based on a real incident. His point is that various law enforcement officers have reported seeing unidentified flying objects.

When I lived in Minnesota many years ago there was a police officer who was crashed into by some unidentified flying object. It came up the highway flying in the opposite direction he was driving and it grazed his cruiser as it passed, bending his antenna and denting the vehicle. There were photos of the vehicle with the article about it in the paper. The point is, he could not identify what the flying object was: it did not look like any conventional air plane or helicopter.

Stories like this have convinced me that there are, indeed, unidentified things flying around out there. I don't believe for a second they are from another planet, but they are, non-the-less, intriguing.
 
  • #25
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The segment he mentioned was based on a real incident. His point is that various law enforcement officers have reported seeing unidentified flying objects.
Zoobyshoe, it would be nice if Ivan could give us the information by way of a link that will tell me as you have stated that Steven Spielberg "based on a real incident" used an account that "various law enforcement officers have reported seeing unidentified flying objects (UFO's)" in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Zoobyshoe, getting back to the movie, this is what I found out about it.
The genesis of Close Encounters of the Third Kind started when Steven Spielberg and his father saw a meteor shower in New Jersey when the director was a young boy. As a teenager, Spielberg completed the full-length science fiction film Firelight. Many scenes from Firelight would be incorporated in Close Encounters on a shot-for-shot basis. In 1970 he wrote a short story called Experiences about a lovers' lane in a Midwestern United States farming community and the "light show" a group of teenagers see in the night sky.
http://exclusivemovienews.blogspot.com/2010/02/close-encounters-of-third-kind.html
 
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