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UFO News discussion

  1. Oct 3, 2004 #1

    selfAdjoint

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    Expert in finance and fish. And multilingual. Does that make him an expert on observations of optical efffects in the open air?
     
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  3. Oct 4, 2004 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    Does he claim to be an expert in optics?
     
  4. Oct 4, 2004 #3

    Chronos

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    Hmm, the fish part makes sense, given the smell.
     
  5. Oct 4, 2004 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    What exactly do you know about him? He has financed the reporting center from his own pockets for two decades. I certainly don't see him making any money. Do you object to collecting data?
     
  6. Oct 4, 2004 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Maybe I gave the wrong impression with my choice of quotes. I was only pointing out that Mr. Davenport is no slouch. He may have some opinions that you don't like but he has always struck me as a class act. My take is that he is a really smart guy who saw a UFO many years ago and was hooked. Since then he has worked very hard to help log and profile critical events - that is to say, to explain the event when possible or log the data. He explains or debunks many sightings.

     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2004
  7. Oct 4, 2004 #6

    Chronos

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    I am not suggesting Mr. Davenport has anything other than honorable intentions. What he does not have is compelling evidence. Degrees and reputation do not constitute proof of anything. I have no objection to anyone collecting facts. I only object to their acceptance as fact based on an article of faith.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2004
  8. Oct 4, 2004 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Check out the center. This is not about proof; it is about information. Next, you have no idea what evidence he may or may not have. You probably have a lot of reading to do if you really want to learn about all of this.
     
  9. Oct 5, 2004 #8

    Chronos

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    I did. I agree this is not about proof, given none is offered. I agree that information is not the same thing as evidence. Next, I try not to confuse the two. A catalog of anomalous observations is not convincing. As I recall, Halton Arp already tried that approach.
     
  10. Oct 5, 2004 #9

    selfAdjoint

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    That somebody saw something I can accept as a fact. It's the interpretation of that fact that I find controversial. But if we have two piles of facts, and no concensus on interpreting either one, then how can we say the bigger pile is more valuable than the smaller one? Three sightings that everybody, including the science community, would accept are better than ten thousand sightings of the usual kind.
     
  11. Oct 5, 2004 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    How exactly is the most compelling evidence to be found if no one is looking?

    It is the job of science to answer this question of UFOs. Most scientists seem to required nothing less than proof on a silver platter - no effort required.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2004
  12. Oct 5, 2004 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Should we close all discussions of LQG or String theory until they are proven true?
     
  13. Oct 5, 2004 #12

    selfAdjoint

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    Straw man, Ivan, straw man.
     
  14. Oct 5, 2004 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    We have proof of neither theory; not to mention that one is almost certainly wrong.

    The question was: How exactly is the most compelling evidence to be found if no one is looking?

    edited: copying error
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2004
  15. Oct 5, 2004 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    The fact that a simple news thread evokes such reactions is the reason that UFO research remains a taboo subject. One would almost think that the news is a threat to science.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2004
  16. Oct 6, 2004 #15

    selfAdjoint

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    Ivan, I didn't object to your practice of amassing facts. Look back at my post. I just said that facts by themselves don't amount to evidence in the absence of an interpretaion that holds water. And I will say that to radical empiricists in any field of study. String physics notoriously has no observed facts to back it up, so it is exactly the reverse of the shortcoming I see with radical empiricism. LQG is still in more basic development; the Rovelli generalized diffeomorphisms idea hasn't yet blown through the community and been properly vetted. See Marcus's posts on "chunkymorphisms".
     
  17. Oct 6, 2004 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    As I see it there are three primary modes of research re UFOs: collecting and deseminating raw data and information, interpreting that data, and finally making a conclusion about the event. The collection of data may take hours, days or even years. Interpretation is often a very lengthy process due to obvious concerns about hoaxes. Unlike a lab experiment, we can't just collect the information and draw conclusions. We may spend decades working just to determine the credibility of the information or data. When it comes to UFO research, one needs the patience of a saint. Next, obviously, the events cannot be reproduced. Finally, researchers must work under these most difficult conditions, often in the field, all while fending off personal attacks from spiteful and hateful debunkers. This is not exactly a friendly research environment.

    Through interpretation of the data, if the information appears to be credible we can begin to identify the key details: Were discernable crafts, balls of light, or was some other kind of "manifestation" observed. Was exotic or fantastic behavior or capabilities displayed by the UFO? Was there "interaction" with witnesses; military or civilian aircraft? Were physical effects observed or measured - such as weapons or other [electrical] systems failures? Was radiation detected? Were there physiological effects on people, plants, or animals? Did the UFO apparently act in a random, or in a controlled manner? Is there photographic, video or RADAR data to coordinate with eyewitness accounts. What were the atmospheric condition during the event - was the atmosphere conducive to mirages or RADAR ducting? If so, what mirages might have been detected? After these and often hundreds of other supporting details get sorted out, we might begin to identify patterns or specific information consistent with other sightings.

    From this I think a good bit of evidence surfaces that is consistent with the existence of an unknown, highly energetic, electromagetic [plasma] phenomenon. Maybe this will eventually come under the heading of earthlights [whatever those are] or it may be completely unrelated, but I believe that UFO research has pretty well established this as fact. This information can be coupled with theoretical models - as is done with ball lighting - to try to paint a reasonable picture of what happens; then to test any suggested physcial model against the best eyewitness information. Eventually someone may produce "real" UFOs in the lab.

    A scientist in Japan has allegedly created "artificial ball lightning". But his little microwave balls are only a shadow the real deal. In fact, if it weren't for the ball lightning data and information collected over the years which was previously lumped in as more UFO-like nonsense in many scientific circles, btw, he would have almost nothing by which to gauge the success of his model. So here we see a direct benefit of amassing raw data exactly as is done with UFOs. Again, ball lightning was once considered a subject closely related to UFOs - as nonsense. So much for the track record on objectivity but we do see the benefit of the data.

    It may be that UFO research will lead to other conclusions. On the other hand, unless ET lands at the White House lawn the subject may always remain enigmatic. How can we know? If it is possible to kill ET I think we should make every effort to do so. This will only happen if and when a reasonable explanation is found that explains the experiences that people know they have had. Right now, science pretty much says; you're lying or you're nuts. You can see where this has gotten us - how the "UFO thing" has gone away after 50 years.

    Minor edits and spelling.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2004
  18. Oct 6, 2004 #17

    Chronos

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    All good points, Ivan. The big problem with UFO evidence is it's too subjective. Qualitatively, it is not much better than that for ghosts, bigfoot, the loch ness monster, or esp. No doubt some of it is due to physics not yet understood [e.g., ball lightning]. But lacking objective evidence [such as a bigfoot corpse], scientists will be reluctant to accept witness accounts as anything other than anomalous observations. I am very willing to accept that people observe things that appear to be inexplicable, I am very unwilling to accept they are evidence of extraterrestrial visitors.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
  19. Oct 7, 2004 #18

    russ_watters

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    This thread looks a lot like some of mine....
    Its a catch-22 Ivan, and I'm sorry, but you're on the short end of it: if the evidence is compelling, it'll stand up and be counted on its own. If you have to look for it, interpret it, etc., that means it is not compelling on its own.
    Is it? Who gets to define that? Most scientists seem pretty uninterested...
    So what's the problem with that? Like UFOs, astronomy is virtually all observation: when an astronomer finds a supernova, it pretty much smacks him across the face and says HEY - I'm a supernova! No effort required.

    You seem to be implying that you can somehow put more effort into investigating certain claims and they'll somehow become more compelling. This isn't a chemistry experiment - you can't recalibrate your scale and weigh your reactants again for a better reading. Every observation gets one shot and it is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. The best UFO evidence (and astronomy evidence) is photographic. Nothing says one shot like an exposed piece of film.
    But at least they are theories. At least they are based on something. Consider black holes. That they might exist was derived from GR. No evidence but a pretty strong theoretical basis. Then once astronomers knew what to look for (and had the equipment capable of finding it), finding it was relatively simple and the evidence unequivocal.

    There is no theoretical basis for ETUFOs. That said, if we ever do find ET, it'll be unequivocal when we do.
    Careful, Ivan - you do know what that makes you sound like, don't you?

    But I'll play along - if UFO research is seen by skeptics as a threat to science from crackpots, what is the other side of the coin? Skeptics defending science from crackpottery. Sign me up!
    Spiteful and hateful? Pot, kettle? If you want this to be a scientific discussion, drop the rhetoric.

    Several things about that post though: first I think your modes of research are all part of the same path. Not important though: what is important is separating the UFO research from the "ETUFO" research. If people really are looking for ball lightning or a similar natural phenomena, thats fine - its scientific, and I doubt anyone (and yes, that includes me) has an objection to that.

    But a quick scroll through your UFO news thread doesn't show a lot that are clearly natural (but still unknown) phenomena. You also actively argue against natural explanations. That thread seems a lot more geared toward ET than ball-lightning. And that fits with my perception of the subject(and, perhaps the scientific community's - it could explain why it is ignored).

    Chronos - good post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2004
  20. Oct 10, 2004 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    I specifically did not claim evidence of ET. On the other hand, I am not aware of military jets chasing ghosts or bigfoot. It also sounds like your mind is made up before you have really learned about the subject. Have you at least read the Iran '76 report for starters?
     
  21. Oct 10, 2004 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Russ you tire me. Are you telling me that you don't believe the US military. Did a jet chase an object over Tehran in 76 or not. If one did, UFOs exist.

    Here: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=41378&page=2&pp=15
    You said
    US intelligence says it happened.
    http://www.nsa.gov/ufo/ufo00017.pdf

    I am not claiming this as good evidence of ET. By default, US intelligence is claiming this as good evidence of UFOs. Your fight is with them.

    Next question.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2004
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