This is a double post from the UFO forum. I hope you don't mind, but I wanted as many people to read this as possible.
UFO debate now on at JREF
Postby jakesteele on Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:16 amhttp://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=145251
I need your help. I have replied to post 12 on the JREF forum that will kick up a shit storm. The name of the thread is: "UFOs: a possible explanation", posts 12 and 13 and I will undoubtedly get ratpacked by 4 to 8 different people. If you want to, come and we'll try to even the odds.
Here's the post I am replying to and then POST NUMBER 12, and then my response, POST NUMBER 13 to POST NUMBER 12:]POST NUMBER 1
UFO'S: A possible explanation
While skeptics do not attribute the alien explanation to ufo's, do they ever consider, or even praise explanations such as: Plasma Vortex's, Ball Lightning, Sprites, etc?POST NUMBER 12 by KITTYNH - I will say that Phillip Klass did include some interesting explainations for UFOs. His electrical line theory is still debated. Ball lightening is rare, but I think if it's real it is usually just seen as whacky lightening.
THere are so many variables for UFOs. Most people are unfamiliar with what the night sky looks like. Rarely do amatuer astronomers see UFOs that they go "oh aliens!" Think of the thousands and thousands of amateur astronomers out there. Heck anyone can buy a telescope.
I always tell people that see UFOs a lot to join the local amateur astronomy club. Most towns have one. If you go out on a clear night and just really LOOK for 20 minutes you'll usually see something that makes you go "ok WHAT is THAT".
ALso big jump from UFO to alien traveller from outerspace. That's the problem. Aliens hyperjumping through worm holes to reach us hasn't been proven anymore than unicorns. Could by flying unicorns in those things (there is much historical evidence for unicorns as opposed to say aliens).
People that know the sky, don't see aliens flying around.
MY REPLY, POST 13
There have been many examples of pilots at all levels of skill and experience that have reported seeing UFOs. Also, there are planes of some sort in the air 24/7 that are flying at or near the approximate heights that UFOs do. They also have a much wider field of vision than astronomers do. But to you their word seems to mean nothing. But at the same time you will accept anecdotal evidence from amateur astronomers as being golden, as in the Phoenix Lights situation.
Here’s what I find ironic; if an amateur astronomer came to you and said they had seen a UFO, you would immediately go into the debunking mode and say something to this effect, “Well, he is an amateur after all. He can only look to the heavens for 8 hrs. max out of the day. And odds are high they haven’t received training in aircraft silhouette identification, etc.“ That’s a double standard. It’s like you’re making up two different sets of rules that benefit you and not the other guy. Here are the typical rationalizations that a CSIOPtic will give for UFO sightings:
1. ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENON
2. BALL LIGHTNING
3. SWAMP GAS
5. MASS HALLUCINATION:
7. WEATHER BALLOONS
8. FLARES (the new weather balloons)
9. FLOCK OF BIRDS
11. (anything I might have missed)
I always get a chuckle out of the James Randi style of debunking when it comes to UFOs (or anything, for that matter). You will never hear them say that it could also be a ‘for real’ alien UFO. It’s like trying to pull the eye teeth out of an angry gorilla’s mouth. A truly objective skeptic will say, “And, yes, folks, we can’t rule out the possibility that it was of alien origin.”
In other words, the simplest explanation is not always the best.
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 3:47 am
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