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So I believe in UFOs
Posted: 12 April 2012 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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voyager - 12 April 2012 09:35 AM

In the opinion of any Jury in existence, however, eyewitness testimony is accepted as evidence.

Lawyers and judges know that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.  It’s not that people lie, but that they just think thay saw something they didn’t. 

If you are calling Gordon Cooper either a liar or a deluded person, that is your choice. However, I am going to believe him, and I guess that’s where we differ.

That’s your choice, however, it’s still second hand testimony so it’s useless in any scientific study.

I respect your position, there’s no proof, but that’s not reason to dismiss the entire phenomenon, especially when there’s evidence the government has been covering up that proof

You say they’re covering up proof.  I say they are merely denying unverified conspiracy theories.

Occam

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Posted: 12 April 2012 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Occam. - 12 April 2012 09:49 AM
voyager - 12 April 2012 09:35 AM

In the opinion of any Jury in existence, however, eyewitness testimony is accepted as evidence.

Lawyers and judges know that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.  It’s not that people lie, but that they just think thay saw something they didn’t. 

Occam’s right: eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, and can be easily swayed or manipulated by leading questions. (Even unintentionally).

But your reference to the jury room completely misses the point. Juries decide ordinary claims. The claim that Jones was the murderer is an ordinary claim.

OTOH the claim that Earth is being regularly visited by super-intelligent space aliens is a wild claim, an extraordinary claim if ever there were one. And one cannot use ordinary, mundane sorts of evidence (fallible, unreliable kinds like uncorroborated testimony) for that kind of claim.

To make the point a little clearer: would you be inclined to believe that it was possible to create a perpetual motion machine based on someone’s eyewitness testimony? Because if so, I have plenty for you.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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You say they’re covering up proof.  I say they are merely denying unverified conspiracy theories.

Did you watch the documentary?

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Posted: 12 April 2012 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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the claim that Earth is being regularly visited by super-intelligent space aliens is a wild claim, an extraordinary claim if ever there were one. And one cannot use ordinary, mundane sorts of evidence (fallible, unreliable kinds like uncorroborated testimony) for that kind of claim.

That is your opinion. I have a different one.

Let’s just agree to disagree. I believe these people, you guys don’t

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Posted: 12 April 2012 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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voyager - 12 April 2012 10:17 AM

the claim that Earth is being regularly visited by super-intelligent space aliens is a wild claim, an extraordinary claim if ever there were one. And one cannot use ordinary, mundane sorts of evidence (fallible, unreliable kinds like uncorroborated testimony) for that kind of claim.

That is your opinion. I have a different one.

Let’s just agree to disagree. I believe these people, you guys don’t

That is certainly more than opinion. The claim is clearly extraordinary. No matter who you believe, the claim is extraordinary.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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traveler - 12 April 2012 10:18 AM
voyager - 12 April 2012 10:17 AM

the claim that Earth is being regularly visited by super-intelligent space aliens is a wild claim, an extraordinary claim if ever there were one. And one cannot use ordinary, mundane sorts of evidence (fallible, unreliable kinds like uncorroborated testimony) for that kind of claim.

That is your opinion. I have a different one.

Let’s just agree to disagree. I believe these people, you guys don’t

That is certainly more than opinion. The claim is clearly extraordinary. No matter who you believe, the claim is extraordinary.

Why is it so extraordinary?

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Posted: 12 April 2012 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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voyager - 12 April 2012 10:21 AM
traveler - 12 April 2012 10:18 AM
voyager - 12 April 2012 10:17 AM

the claim that Earth is being regularly visited by super-intelligent space aliens is a wild claim, an extraordinary claim if ever there were one. And one cannot use ordinary, mundane sorts of evidence (fallible, unreliable kinds like uncorroborated testimony) for that kind of claim.

That is your opinion. I have a different one.

Let’s just agree to disagree. I believe these people, you guys don’t

That is certainly more than opinion. The claim is clearly extraordinary. No matter who you believe, the claim is extraordinary.

Why is it so extraordinary?

Well, that’s it from me.  cheese See ya!

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Posted: 12 April 2012 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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traveler - 12 April 2012 10:24 AM
voyager - 12 April 2012 10:21 AM
traveler - 12 April 2012 10:18 AM
voyager - 12 April 2012 10:17 AM

the claim that Earth is being regularly visited by super-intelligent space aliens is a wild claim, an extraordinary claim if ever there were one. And one cannot use ordinary, mundane sorts of evidence (fallible, unreliable kinds like uncorroborated testimony) for that kind of claim.

That is your opinion. I have a different one.

Let’s just agree to disagree. I believe these people, you guys don’t

That is certainly more than opinion. The claim is clearly extraordinary. No matter who you believe, the claim is extraordinary.

Why is it so extraordinary?

Well, that’s it from me.  cheese

That’s fine, I have a different opinion.

It seems to me that you guys are using the “it can’t be; so it isn’t” approach.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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macgyver - 11 April 2012 06:43 PM

There are a number of reasons to question the idea that UFOs are alien visitors.

1) Interstellar distances are enormous and while I would love to believe that we might someday develop the technology to cross those distances everything we know about physics says that it most likely will never be possible.

2) If an alien species somehow did find a way to cross the immense void between star systems why would they spend 60 years flitting around our skies, abducting and examining us and not doing anything else. If they really are so advanced that they are just studying us with no interest in contacting us why have they been sloppy and stupid enough to be glimpsed hundreds of times. Why do they fly over populated cities at night with bright lights on or in the middle of the day in broad daylight.

3) Why after 60 years is there no solid evidence of the existence of aliens. Every photo ever taken of a UFO is fuzzy and out of focus despite the ubiquitous presence of cameras and good photographers all over the world. We have amazing photos of virtually every other natural and man made phenomena, even those which are extremely rare, but not a single great photo of a UFO that isnt clearly faked. Why is there no physical evidence of any of the landings or contacts. I’m talking about solid undeniable evidence like biological samples which are clearly of extraterrestrial origin not depressions in the soft ground that supposedly have traces of “unidentifiable alloys” in them.

To be fair, 2 and 3 contradict each other. You can’t say aliens left too much evidence and not enough evidence at the same time.

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“What people do is they confuse cynicism with skepticism. Cynicism is ‘you can’t change anything, everything sucks, there’s no point to anything.’ Skepticism is, ‘well, I’m not so sure.’” -Bill Nye

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Posted: 12 April 2012 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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voyager - 11 April 2012 07:27 PM
FreeInKy - 11 April 2012 05:39 PM

If you seriously want to discuss this, do us a favor. I don’t have the time or the inclination to pore over all of those links. How about this. Why don’t you pick the one you consider to be the most credible and give us a synopsis, along with any relevant links. Then we can hash it out. Fair enough?

Yes, I apologize for the sloppy-ness of my post.

Here is an interesting case…

Just after 11 p.m. on October 18, 1973 a U.S. Army reserve crew was flying a helicopter from Columbus to Cleveland, Ohio. They included Captain Lawrence Coyne (19 years flying experience), Lt. Arrigo Jezzi, Sergeant John Healey, and Sergeant Robert Yanacsek. At 2,500 feet and good visibility, the crew noticed a red light to the west, slowly moving south. They assumed it was probably an F-100 out of Mansfield. Very abruptly, however, the light changed course and began to head right at them. Captain Coyne put the helicopter into emergency evasion in a controlled descent. When he tried to confirm the existence of a craft out of Mansfield, his UHF and VHF frequencies went dead. (Mansfield later confirmed there were no aircraft in the area.) The red light continued to close, becoming brighter, while the helicopter descended at the rapid speed of 2,000 feet per minute.

At 1,700 feet above the ground, the crew saw the object streak in front of, then above, the helicopter. It stopped dead for about 10 seconds, filling the entire windscreen. All four crewmembers saw it clearly: it looked like a grey cigar with a small dome on top. One member thought he saw windows. The red light was still there, in the front of the object, and there was a white light on the side and green one on the bottom. The green light swung around like a searchlight and shone into the cabin, bathing it in green light. The object then accelerated to the west, soon appearing as nothing more than a white light. It made a sharp turn and moved northwest where it was lost above Lake Erie.

Meanwhile, the helicopter’s magnetic compass had been spinning at a rate of four revolutions per minute. More seriously, and for no clear reason, the altimeter showed an altitude of 3,500 feet and a climbing ascent of 1,000 feet per minute. Yet the stick (for descent) still pointed down. Coyne had not attempted to ascend, but his aircraft climbed to an altitude of 3,800 feet before he regained control. A few minutes later, radio frequencies returned. A complete inspection the next day found nothing wrong, and the event received a thorough investigation.

By itself, it was an amazing story. It was strengthened, however, by the presence of ground witnesses. A woman while driving with her four children claimed to have seen the entire encounter, including the green beam, which she said lit the ground around her.

http://www.ufoskeptic.org/mansfield.html

Any explanations?

Not sure about this case, but I recently listened to a skeptoid episode that expounded on how these UFO sightings, even with multiple eye-witnesses, can quickly grow out of proportion: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4135

Here’s a similar story (cognitively speaking), but having to do with apparent time-travel: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4296

These just show how fallible human perception and memory are

[still catching up on posts, forgive me if I rehashed some points]

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Posted: 12 April 2012 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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voyager - 12 April 2012 10:24 AM

That’s fine, I have a different opinion.

It seems to me that you guys are using the “it can’t be; so it isn’t” approach.

So you believe in perpetual motion machines then, too? And ghosts? And past life regression? And telekinesis? It’s the same level of evidence you’re pointing to with aliens.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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A couple of thoughts:

1. The vast majority of evidence for alien visitation is based on eye witness accounts. Science is just beginning to understand how unreliable “eye witness” testimony is. The fact that it is still acceptable in a court of law is a matter of great consternation and is probably more due to tradition and long precedent than to it’s actual value. The truth is, we are lousy at observing and remembering. Even trained observers do poorly when tested. The average person really sucks at it.

2. There has never been one single piece of physical evidence found, to my knowledge, that is beyond human technology. I find this quite telling. Obviously any alien beings capable to traveling the incredible distances to earth would need to be so far beyond our capabilities to make Columbus and the North American people he found upon arrival seem like contemporaries.  And yet, virtually any artifact left by those early European explorers would have been instantly recognized by any natives as being not of their own origin.

3. As others have pointed out, this is an extraordinary claim. There is simply no getting around that fact. And as we know, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. There simply is none.

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Posted: 12 April 2012 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Voyager,

Here are our basic differences as I see them: 

You seem to take at face value the nearly all the 40-year-old claims in this UFO case are 100% accurate in every regard and that they could not be mistaken in any way, shape or form; and also the story could never morph and change over time.  I would also suspect that you want these claims to be true. 

I, however, know something about how fallible human perception and memory are.  Eyewitnesses who know for a fact that they are going to be tested on what they are about to see (as in staged bank robberies) are not only notoriously wrong, but wrong to the point where they add people and details that never happened.  They don’t do it on purpose.  It is just an inherent flaw in the way our brains and memory works.  I also know the seductive power of confirmation bias.  This fallacy has caused the brightest among us to believe things that are not so. 

As proven, many of the original claims simply never happened.  The green “beam” can easily be a mistake (and/or a decades-old faulty-memory addition) of a green hue from an exceptionally bright meteor.  I’ve seen some pretty spectacular meteors over my lifetime that have lit up the sky in a variety of colors and seemed to move a speeds that most people would seem too slow.  A person with a fantasy-prone personality can easily make such stories a tad bid more exciting each time they tell the story. 

Of course, I could be wrong.  There really could be aliens in our skies. All I ask for is decent evidence.  Are you willing to admit you could be wrong?

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Posted: 12 April 2012 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Rocinante - 12 April 2012 12:07 PM

Voyager,

Here are our basic differences as I see them: 

You seem to take at face value the nearly all the 40-year-old claims in this UFO case are 100% accurate in every regard and that they could not be mistaken in any way, shape or form; and also the story could never morph and change over time.  I would also suspect that you want these claims to be true. 

I, however, know something about how fallible human perception and memory are.  Eyewitnesses who know for a fact that they are going to be tested on what they are about to see (as in staged bank robberies) are not only notoriously wrong, but wrong to the point where they add people and details that never happened.  They don’t do it on purpose.  It is just an inherent flaw in the way our brains and memory works.  I also know the seductive power of confirmation bias.  This fallacy has caused the brightest among us to believe things that are not so. 

As proven, many of the original claims simply never happened.  The green “beam” can easily be a mistake (and/or a decades-old faulty-memory addition) of a green hue from an exceptionally bright meteor.  I’ve seen some pretty spectacular meteors over my lifetime that have lit up the sky in a variety of colors and seemed to move a speeds that most people would seem too slow.  A person with a fantasy-prone personality can easily make such stories a tad bid more exciting each time they tell the story. 

Of course, I could be wrong.  There really could be aliens in our skies. All I ask for is decent evidence.  Are you willing to admit you could be wrong?

Except that the UFO wasn’t reported 40 years later.

coynefoiadoc1.jpg

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Posted: 12 April 2012 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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I can’t help, but I highly recommend that you (voyager) watch THIS

And THIS TOO!


Edit to add the this too…

[ Edited: 12 April 2012 02:13 PM by traveler ]
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