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So I believe in UFOs
Posted: 11 April 2012 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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As stated above, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You ask who decides what is an extraordinary claim. Our view of the universe and the world around us is made up of theories which have developed over hundreds of years and are supported by multiple lines of evidence. We know that if you hold an apple in your hand and you let it go it will fall. you’ve seen gravity work a thousand times. If someone were to tell you that they could turn off gravity at will and assured you that you could stand under a 1,000 lb boulder while they cut the rope I think you wold require extraordinary evidence before you allowed them to do that. Accepted theories and wisdom can be overturned but it requires evidence that is greater than the evidence supporting the opposing view.

Right, but we don’t have the lines of evidence collected over 1000s of years do we? We have no idea how aliens think, we have NO past experience with alien intellegence, therefore we don’t know what they can or can’t do.

Again, I respect your opinion, there isn’t any hard evidence for UFOs. I guess I just don’t think all these people are lying/misidentifying things.

[ Edited: 11 April 2012 08:26 PM by voyager ]
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Posted: 11 April 2012 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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voyager - 11 April 2012 07:51 PM

It was most likely a meteor-fireball.

Right. A meteor that approaches a helicopter, stops and hovers in front of it, emits a green beam of light through the heli and then flies away in the opposite direction? I’m not convinced…How could four ground witnesses plus trained military personel misidentify a fireball-meteor?

Which is more likely:  People made mistakes, mis-remembered events/time frames/etc. or that an intelligently-piloted alien craft buzzed a helicopter? 

We know for a fact that people make mistakes and create false memories all the time.  We have no proof whatsoever of any alien beings flying in our skies.  Between those two choices, I’m going with human beings being fallible.  Happens all the time. 

As for ” trained military personnel”, yes they are trained…in their field of whatever it is they do in the military.  If they are not trained astronomers, then they are out of their element when it comes to fireballs bouncing off the Earth’s atmosphere.  And I guarantee I can fool any trained military personnel, any astronomer, any UFO eyewitness or any human being any day, any time.  I do it all the time.  People are incredibly easy to fool!  And when they are fooled, and they recount what they think they saw, invariably they always add to it to make it more incredible than it really was.  You learn a lot about how badly people perceive (and misperceive) things that happen right in front of them when you become a magician.  Human perception sucks.  Human memory sucks even more.  But the irony of it is, that people will absolutely convince themselves that their perception and their memory are near perfect.  They’re not.

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Posted: 11 April 2012 08:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The idea that an alien craft buzzed a helicopter seems incredible to you.

Why?

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Posted: 11 April 2012 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Which is more likely:  People made mistakes, mis-remembered events/time frames/etc. or that an intelligently-piloted alien craft buzzed a helicopter?

We don’t know.

I find it very unlikely that all eight witnesses misidentified the “meteor” in the exact same way. They all described basically the same object.

This is ignoring the fact that the sighting wasn’t a two second observation. This craft was observed for some time, allowing the witnesses to observe the UFO more accurately.

[ Edited: 11 April 2012 09:06 PM by voyager ]
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Posted: 11 April 2012 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Here is another case:

http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case16.htm

the UFOs described were tracked on radar going thousands of miles faster than any aircraft of the time

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Posted: 11 April 2012 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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voyager - 11 April 2012 08:18 PM

The idea that an alien craft buzzed a helicopter seems incredible to you.

Why?

Because I think logically.

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

—James Madison

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Posted: 11 April 2012 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Rocinante - 11 April 2012 08:34 PM
voyager - 11 April 2012 08:18 PM

The idea that an alien craft buzzed a helicopter seems incredible to you.

Why?

Because I think logically.

What position are you in to determine alien logic?

Thinking you know everything about an alien race including their capabilities and motives is arrogant, self-centered, and an extraordinary claim itself.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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voyager - 11 April 2012 07:23 PM
dougsmith - 11 April 2012 06:35 PM

If there are really superhuman alien intelligences out there buzzing Earth with their spacecraft, why don’t they just show up on the White House lawn?

Perhaps they aren’t even interested in us and are only doing certain business in our area. Remember, when I go out to rake my lawn, I don’t talk to the squirrels out there. then again, I don’t hide from them either.

Remember: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Nothing I’ve seen even remotely qualifies.

Who defines extraordinary? To me there is nothing extraordinary about the concept of alien life and possibly visitation. We don’t know how aliens think, therefore we can’t determine what is extraordinary for them.

That’s beside the point, what is extraordinary for “aliens” is not the issue here.  When you make the extraordinary claim that you encountered machines and/or life forms that defy known physical and chemical laws, you must have something more than vague what if’s or maybe it’s this or we don’t understand the universe type excuses.  The “let’s not be so arrogant” defense is tacky, and quite a straw man to begin with; we can be as arrogant as we want - until the E.T’s get here and provide undeniable evidence.

[ Edited: 12 April 2012 02:35 AM by mid atlantic ]
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Posted: 12 April 2012 03:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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voyager - 11 April 2012 07:23 PM
dougsmith - 11 April 2012 06:35 PM

If there are really superhuman alien intelligences out there buzzing Earth with their spacecraft, why don’t they just show up on the White House lawn?

Perhaps they aren’t even interested in us and are only doing certain business in our area. Remember, when I go out to rake my lawn, I don’t talk to the squirrels out there. then again, I don’t hide from them either.

This is sloppy thinking. The question is not, “Can I come up with some story that would explain these events using superhuman intelligences?” Instead it is, “What is the simplest and most plausible explanation of these events?”

Your way of thinking takes nearby superhuman intelligences as a given, and then tries to fit it into the case described. It’s like someone assuming that God exists and then trying to come up with some tortured reasoning as to why he would allow a tsunami.

voyager - 11 April 2012 07:23 PM
dougsmith - 11 April 2012 06:35 PM

Remember: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Nothing I’ve seen even remotely qualifies.

Who defines extraordinary? To me there is nothing extraordinary about the concept of alien life and possibly visitation. We don’t know how aliens think, therefore we can’t determine what is extraordinary for them.

Here’s the problem. If you think of the possibility of extraterrestrial life (something that would forever change our notions of ourselves, our understanding of biology, and perhaps our understanding of all of reality) as something humdrum and ordinary, equivalent to seeing the Northern Lights, for example, then you are simply epistemically confused. Alien life of any kind, particularly intelligent alien life, would be one of the most extraordinary discoveries in the history of life on Earth. (I was going to say “... in the history of humankind”, but it’s even bigger than that).

And once again your argument here sounds like a theist’s argument for God’s allowing a tsunami. “We can’t know what God thinks, since he’s so much greater than us.” The question is not: “Can I make sense of this given the assumption that God (or alien intelligences) exist”, it’s “What is the simplest and most plausible explanation of these events?

As others have pointed out: the history of misrememberings and out-and-out frauds in this sphere are legion. People have been claiming to see demons and ghosts for millennia. What’s needed is solid physical evidence, or knowledge that only could have come from an alien intelligence. Lights in the sky or anomalous tracks on a radar screen don’t even remotely cut it.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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voyager - 11 April 2012 08:06 PM

http://www.ufoseek.org/fatimajv.htm

UFOs aren’t only seen in modern times.

And about people being reliable witnesses:

We can’t claim people are unreliable simply because the object described is unconventional.

People were liars and unreliable witnesses in ancient times too and i dont judge people because of what they are describing but how they describe it. When someone describes an UFO experience in a way that shows they have no doubt in their mind it was alien even when their only evidence is what they saw at a great distance then you have to question their judgement.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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voyager - 11 April 2012 08:10 PM

Right, but we don’t have the lines of evidence collected over 1000s of years do we? We have no idea how aliens think, we have NO past experience with alien intellegence, therefore we don’t know what they can or can’t do.

Again, I respect your opinion, there isn’t any hard evidence for UFOs. I guess I just don’t think all these people are lying/misidentifying things.

What we do have is a lot of good scientific evidence that interstellar space travel is extremely difficult and would require tremendous amounts of energy to accomplish. It is therefor an extraordinary claim to assert that an alien species is doing this on a regular basis and quite casually.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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voyager - 11 April 2012 08:36 PM

What position are you in to determine alien logic?

I never said I determined alien logic.  I said that I think logically.  And it is logical to use Occam’s Razor in this situation.  The one case you chose as your best evidence is nearly 40 years old from an era when not everyone carried around video cameras on their phones like today.  No photo.  No video, just a drawing done from fallible memory.  Isn’t it interesting that the quantity and quality of photos and videos of everything has improved with the exponential increase in personal video cameras…except for things like UFOs?  All modern videos are clear, focused and undeniable…except for when it comes to UFOs.  The ones that are clear invariably turn out to be hoaxes.   

Furthermore, it has been shown that many of the “hallmark” points in your best-case-scenario (compass malfunction, ground eyewitness, radio malfunction) were either never part of the original report and simply tacked on later to make the story more interesting or were easily explained such as the radio pointed out in my earlier post. 

And the fact that the sighting happened at the peak of the Orionids meteor shower points to a very well-understood explanation. 

[Human] logic says that we know people make honest mistakes.  This same logic says we know meteors exist.  Logic says this sighting happened in the middle of a meteor shower.  Even the original witness says the meteor hypothesis is logical. 

What isn’t logical is to jump to the alien hypothesis when we don’t even know yet if aliens exist.  Occam’s Razor is the logical thing to do in this situation.   

voyager - 11 April 2012 08:36 PM

Thinking you know everything about an alien race including their capabilities and motives is arrogant, self-centered, and an extraordinary claim itself.

As I pointed out earlier, the only ones being arrogant and self-centered are the alien hypothesis crowd who think that aliens would look almost identical to us in body shape and that they would care enough about us to come here yet somehow hide proof of their existence to us.  To use your squirrels in your yard analogy, you don’t go out of your way to hide from them and cover up all proof of your existence to them.  I agree, aliens probably exist somewhere out there, perhaps even intelligent technologically advanced ones.  I have no evidence for that and I am honest enough to admit that fact.  And there is even less evidence that any aliens have been visiting our planet for decades.  Any scientist would love to have that evidence.  Isn’t it interesting that the one of the smallest groups of people to ever see UFOs are astronomers?  That speaks volumes, considering they spend more time looking at the sky than anyone else.

[ Edited: 12 April 2012 06:16 AM by Rocinante ]
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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

—James Madison

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Posted: 12 April 2012 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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macgyver - 12 April 2012 06:03 AM
voyager - 11 April 2012 08:10 PM

Right, but we don’t have the lines of evidence collected over 1000s of years do we? We have no idea how aliens think, we have NO past experience with alien intellegence, therefore we don’t know what they can or can’t do.

Again, I respect your opinion, there isn’t any hard evidence for UFOs. I guess I just don’t think all these people are lying/misidentifying things.

What we do have is a lot of good scientific evidence that interstellar space travel is extremely difficult and would require tremendous amounts of energy to accomplish. It is therefor an extraordinary claim to assert that an alien species is doing this on a regular basis and quite casually.

Or perhaps they aren’t coming and going all the way back to their home planet each time. Perhaps they have a base somewhere very close, in this solar system even? The fact is, we don’t know.

The ‘evidence’ you have suggesting space travel is impossible will be laughed at in 10000s of years when humans are traveling throughout the universe themselves.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I tend to agree with voyager. I mean if a parrot can get to mars… LINK

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Posted: 12 April 2012 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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the fact that the sighting happened at the peak of the Orionids meteor shower points to a very well-understood explanation.

If you have to dismiss literally every part of what the witnesses describe, you can’t call your conclusion an explanation.

All the testimony is consistant, and none of it is even remotely compatible with the meteor hypothesis. Please tell me, when was the last time a meteor stopped in front of a helicopter, hovered for 10 seconds, “scanned” the helicopter with a green beam of light, and then took off again?

[Human] logic says that we know people make honest mistakes.

Sure, but not eight different humans making the “mistake” in the exact same way, and that is exactly what happened.

Even the original witness says the meteor hypothesis is logical.

That “quote” is from Phillip Klass, a man who has devoted his life to the debunking of UFOs. He is not a reliable source of anything. Many time in his books he has refrained from including information that would disagree with his conclusions (it happens with pro-ufologists too, I’m not claiming this is only the skeptics’ fault). I do not trust that quote and won’t unless we are getting it first-hand.

What isn’t logical is to jump to the alien hypothesis

If the witnesses described something like a meteor, then I would agree with you. However, NONE of the testimony is even remotely consistant with anything close to a meteor. Thus, this explanation can’t be trusted.

one of the smallest groups of people to ever see UFOs are astronomers

Astronomers are focusing on interesting astronomical bodies like stars and planets. They are focusing on a tiny fraction of the sky, and thus miss most of what happens.

That being said, UFOs are seen by astronomers.

Here’s an interesting case: http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case655.htm
A list of more sightings by astronomers: http://www.scribd.com/doc/16805639/A-List-of-UFO-Sightings-by-Astronomers

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