UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Magical Realist, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You are not this ignorant; you are being deliberately vexatious.

    This is a form of reductio ad absurdum argument that is not valid.

    "If we allow 18-year-olds to drink then soon it'll be six-year-olds. Chaos will ensue. Society will burn."

    We have wasted enough time on the issue of the fallibility of human perception. It is fact.
    If you have a beef, go read a book first.
     
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Most the evidence for these explanations comes from observations of ufos performing feats of flight and maneuverability far exceeding anything humans have. Instantaneous accelerations, stoppings on a dime, and changes in direction, disappearing and reappearing (cloaking?), no visible means of propulsion and no wings or control surfaces (antigravity?), morphing into different shapes (spacetime warping?), and no sound. There have also been a large number of encounters with beings who exit ufos. So I speculate what I do based on these characteristics of ufos. Not certain, but enough to know they aren't mundanely caused.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No. The word seemingly is critically absent from the above. It's the difference between night and day.

    No. The word seemingly is critically absent from the above. It's the difference between night and day.

    'Large' is subjective.
    And the word allegedly is missing.
     
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  7. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    So little (I would say none) evidence,
    so much (I would say all) imagination

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  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Have you ever been abducted (and returned) by an alien space ship?
     
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Not yet. Not sure I want to either..Think I'll give up my spot to wegs..

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
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  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Just make sure the a/c is working in the space ship or Wegs is a no go.
     
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  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yay! How scary could space aliens be? Maybe they are the friendly ones, and from watching all of this violence on Earth, they're not sure if they want to get to know us.


    lol That's right! The hardest part about being abducted by aliens, would be posting about it in this thread afterwards...for no one would ever believe me.

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
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  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Just take pictures and not at night! Also, get an address if you could be so kind. Thanks.
     
  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    "To Serve Man.."

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  14. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Note to self, don't read this thread before going to sleep.

    MR!

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  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Yazata,

    Like DaveC, I'm disappointed that you've taken this downward slide lately, to the point where you no longer seem to be engaging in this discussion in good faith, much like Magical Realist.

    You persist with these straw man versions of what the skeptics here have put forward for your consideration. Why? You're a smart guy. I'm sure you understand what has been said. So why pretend that something different was said?

    I also find it interesting that you're no longer willing to engage with what the "skeptics" write here. Mostly, these days, you only chime in to hit "Like" on Magical Realist's posts or to post a straw-man argument that you can easily knock down. Even when I directly address something to you, you do not respond. Why?

    What happened to you, man?

    Here's the latest example of a straw man from you. This is just one in a series, of late.
    Nobody, of course, has said anybody is "supposed to dismiss eyewitness testimony". And you know this because, even if the first time you posted this kind of thing it was an honest misunderstanding on your part, more than enough people have posted since the first time to allow you lots of time to correct your misapprehension. Why, then, do you keep re-posting this canard that skeptics say we should ignore evidence? It smacks of a lack of good faith, to me.

    Your straw man is one extreme position, which nobody here holds as far as I am aware: that eyewitness testimony (of anything) is worthless and should be ignored (or "dismissed").

    At the other extreme end of the spectrum we have the opinion that eyewitness testimony is sufficient, on its own, to establish that a particular extraordinary sight was actually seen. Not only that, but it is also sufficient to justify unquestioning acceptance of whatever interpretation of what was seen that the eyewitness has come up with.

    Perhaps nobody here holds such an extreme position, either, but Magical Realist comes very close even if won't quite go all the way. (I might venture that he might only balk if the eyewitness's interpretation of what the eyewitness reported seeing does not mesh with what Magical Realist himself is willing to allow in terms of suitable "paranormal" explanations. So, for instance, if the eyewitness were to claim that the UFO he saw was piloted by angels sent by God, then Magical Realist, as an atheist, would be unwilling to accept that interpretation, while on the other hand if the eyewitness were to claim that the UFO was piloted by superhuman beings from the bottom of the ocean, Magical Realist would be happy to take that interpretation at face value.)

    The rational, skeptical position on eyewitness testimony that is actually held by most of the skeptics here, as far as I can tell, is that we should recognise that human perception, interpretation and memory are all to prone error and these things are particularly likely to play a role when what is seen is unusual , extraordinary or unfamiliar to the observer. Therefore, we should not over-egg the pudding by reading more into what eyewitnesses report than can be independently confirmed. This means we should be aware that:
    (a) what eyewitnesses report seeing (e.g. a tic-tac shaped object) may not have been what they actually saw;
    (b) inferences drawn by eyewitnesses, based on what they saw (e.g. the UFO was moving incredibly fast) may be incorrect;
    (c) eyewitness interpretations of the "meaning" of what they saw (e.g. it was an alien spaceship) may be incorrect;
    (d) eyewitness memory of what they saw is susceptible to later modification or revision, failure to recall accurately, outside influence, etc.

    MR and yourself have both repeatedly made the point that human perception is good enough, most of the time, to allow us to "live our lives". Nobody disputes that. But, of course, we can "live our lives" quite effectively even if we make the mistakes mentioned above: seeing things that aren't there, failing to see things that are there, misidentifying things that are seen, drawing incorrect inferences about what we saw, imposing our own biases and expectations on our interpretations of what we saw, failing to accurately remember - or misremembering - what we say, and failing to recall what we saw accurately.

    It ought to be a no-brainer to note that most of the things we see as we "live our lives" are familiar things to us. As we grow, we gain a lot of experience in identifying familiar things and accurately interpreting (and predicting) their behaviours. But seeing a UFO is usually not a familiar experience; most often it is a very new and unusual experience. It would be wrong to assume, therefore, that we will be just as skilled at accurately identifying what a UFO is - just by looking at it - as we will be at identifying, say, an iphone or a banana or a car. It is likely that our perceptions and interpretations and inferences about UFOs will be wrong.

    Just to emphasise: none of this means that eyewitness testimony "doesn't count as evidence", or that it is "worthless" or that it "should be dismissed". Most of the time an eyewitness report of something means that something was actually seen. (There are, of course, plenty of cases where supposed eyewitnesses have knowingly told lies and made up stories.) The question with UFOs usually comes down to trying to identify what was seen - objectively identify, I mean.

    By now, nobody reading this thread can pretend to be unaware that the more unusual and "extraordinary" the claims of an eyewitness are, the greater the need for good confirming evidence of those claims. That means that two eyewitnesses might be better than one (though not necessarily, especially if they have the opportunity to collude or compare notes), and 100 eyewitnesses might be better than two. It also means that physical evidence that tends to corroborate the eyewitness testimony is valuable (though there are caveats with this, too). To summarise, it means that eyewitness evidence is not special or privileged. It should be viewed in the context of all the available evidence and not given special weight. Indeed, it should be treated with a healthy level of skepticism, for the reasons given above.

    So, let's please not hear yet another repeat of the lie that skeptics say you are "supposed to dismiss" eyewitness evidence. Okay?
    We spend years learning a language. That means we have a large amount of relevant experience when it comes to interpreting written symbols on a page, or the speech sounds made by other people. What is "obvious" often comes after a lot of hard work. Because we tend to learn our first languages as babies, we don't remember how hard it is to do that. Moreover, our brains actually seem hard-wired (by evolution) to be especially well-equipped to learn a language, so we already have a leg up on achieving that difficult task. Nonetheless, even with all of our years of experience, we can still mis-hear what people say, misinterpret what they mean (in writing or in speech), mis-remember what was said, etc. These kinds of problems ought to sound familiar in the light of the discussion of UFOs, above. And yes, our understanding of language is good enough, most of the time, to allow us to "live our lives".
    By now, you should be able to work out what my answer would be to that, so there ought to be no need for me to spell it out. Suffice it to say, we should be appropriately skeptical of notions such as the idea that written and spoken language is always perfectly intelligible and unambiguous, or that everybody always correctly intuits the intended meaning.

    It's telling that you started with "going to try to dismiss" again, though. With language, as with UFOs, the aim of a reasonable person is to try to understand, not to try to dismiss.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    No. It looks like you completely missed the point. Maybe if you had actually read it, you would understand what it was about. It was about helping you to correct an error you made regarding the scientific method as means for making progress towards the truth.
    Obviously, it would be a complete waste of my time to write solely for you, Magical Realist. Either you're an idiot or you're a troll. We established that much quite a while ago, now. Therefore, you can assume that whatever I write is more likely to be for other readers than for your consumption. It's safe for me to assume one or more of the following whenever I write a response to something you wrote:
    (a) you will be unable to understand what I wrote;
    (b) you will ignore it or fail to read it (because short attention span or whatever);
    (c) if you do read it and understand it, your response will invariably do one or more of the following:
    (i) fail to engage with the main points;
    (ii) attempt to make a childish personal attack;
    (iii) try to change the subject;
    (iv) attempt to distract attention using one or more of the usual tactics typical of the internet troll.​

    Your antics are a side show, Magical Realist. I do not write for you. I hope that other readers find interesting and/or entertaining things in what I write. I am long past caring what you think.
    The irony couldn't be stronger. Are you the idiot who can't see that, or the troll who knows exactly what he is trying to do, there? Either way, it's impossible to take you seriously on that kind of statement.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    All the stuff about "performing feats of flight ... far exceeding anything humans have" lacks convincing evidence in support. The vast majority of the available evidence about such things relies on suspect interpretations from eyewitnesses (see my post above for some of the difficulties with that). There is a lack of suitable confirmation of any extraordinary manoeuverability or flight characteristics by any UFO.

    In a very few cases (a tiny tiny portion of all cases) there is some correlation in what certain eyewitness reported observing and data gathered by independent instruments (e.g. radar). However, even in such cases, it is usually difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether the independent observations were of the same object or even whether the observations are reliable (as opposed to being spurious readings from faulty or imperfect equipment).
    There have been a large number of claimed encounters with such beings. Such claims tend to be the most suspicious in the realm of UFO reports. A number of prominent claims have turned out to be outright fabrications by supposed "eyewitnesses".

    There are no confirmed encounters of any "beings" exiting a "UFO". Not one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    There are no confirmed accounts of most the things that happen in life. But that doesn't mean they didn't happen. Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Again, you confuse "in life" with "scientific analysis". Don't do this.

    Recall the Cold Fusion reference, previously.
    By your crazy logic, Cold Fusion should be considered mainstream fact, despite the fact that no one has been able to confirm it.

    That is true. Just like it doesn't mean the original scientists didn't make cold fusion (or at least think they made it). But in neither case does it rise to the level of scientific knowledge, or even fact, They are simply unsubstantiated claims.

    Also true. Likewise. Just because there is an absence of evidence of a teapot belonging to Russell orbiting somewhere out near Jupiter does not constitute evidence that there is no Russell's Teapot orbiting somewhere out near Jupiter.

    Likewise, for invisible, floating, fire-breathing, garage-dwelling dragons.


    Cold fusion could be real.
    Russell's orbiting Teapot could be real.
    Sagan's invisible dragon could be real.
    Piloted UFO craft could be real.

    And serious scientists have historically devoted an appropriate amount of effort, based on their merits, to studying such things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  20. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    This article offers some insight into exactly what we've been discussing here...

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ufo-science-research-uap-congress-pentagon

    Should we scientifically study them? Why?
    Kopparapu: Yes. We conduct scientific studies of unknown phenomena all the time. This should not be any different. The most critical point to remember is that when conducting those studies, we should not let our speculations drive the conclusions. The collected data should do it.

    Haqq Misra: As scientists, what we should do is study things that we don’t understand.

    With UAP, there seem to be some anomalous observations that are difficult to explain. Maybe they’re a sign of something like new physics, or maybe it’s just instrumental artifacts that we don’t understand or things that birds are doing.

    It could be anything, but any of those possibilities, anything from the most extreme to the most mundane, would teach us something.

    So there’s the scientific curiosity. And it’s also about safety for pilots too, especially if there’s something in the sky that pilots are seeing that they consider a flight safety risk.
     
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  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    That's what I also like about thinking like an economist (not a politically driven person who happens to be an economist). Which is to say, research a topic, decide what data source would help to answer the question that wasn't originally compiled to answer that question and then let the results fall where they may.

    The book "Freakonomics" is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. The same would apply to UFOs. Don't enter into the research with a preconceived notion of the end result in other words.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    We DO study them, fer cryin' out loud!

    For 99.9% of them, the analysis points toward mundane explanations. We all grant this - even MR and Yazata.
    0.1% of them seem to not easily fit mundane explanations. (That should not surprise anyone, The world is a strange, messy, inscrutable place even in broad daylight - nevermind spooky fireside tales.)

    And then the trail goes cold. There's no more studying to be done. The bogeys are gone from the radar, the witnesses have no more to add, the grass fields don't keep lying flat.
    What more is there to do??

    There's no spaceship hull fragment, no green, sucker-adorned carcass, no English-to-Centarian dictionary to examine.

    What more would you have them study, exactly?


    This is one of the gotchas of UFOlogy:
    "If you didn't find little green men it must be because you stopped looking!"
    it's never
    "You didn't find little green men though you analyzed exhaustively, and there's just no there there!"

    It is well-known that you can't prove a negative. That gives believers an eternal burning hope that "the truth is out there" as long as we "keep the dream alive". It's also why Jesus, King Arthur and Elvis are all coming back. Soooooon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Excellent to keep in mind. Let the data, and ALL the data, drive the investigation. That means no cherry picking evidence that confirms and ignoring other evidence that disproves our pet theories. And it means not debunking the data itself as human or instrument error especially when multiple sensory modalities are involved. Follow the data wherever it leads. That's the scientific approach.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022

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