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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    Not at all. I'm interested in discussing it - as I always have been. Discussion is why you posted it, right?

    We've got an opportunity here to examine an uncommon facet of eyewitness reports: a claim about an observation that is directly verifiable via the witness' own video footage. This is useful data in studying the larger picture of accuracy in eyewitness reports.

    I assume you are interested in objectively analyzing the report you posted - warts and all.

    This is your chance to show that you're not just here to cheerlead for alien-piloted craft.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    That's a very good point.

    There was an argument put forth (whether seriously or not is unknown):

    Welp, plenty of people weren't too buried in their phones to get excellent hi-rez crisp pictures of this unexpected object...
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Oops. Those were opposed to be worded as polar opposites:
    • Should we optimistically assume any given witness is entirely reliable unless shown otherwise?
    • Should we pessimistically assume any given witness is entirely not reliable unless shown otherwise?
    So, "somewhere between" is like saying "His height is somewhere between zero and twenty feet".

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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    The times, they are a changing...

    Everyone has a cell phone now and I'd say those who show much interest in UFO is dwindling. It's the same with religion. Now there are more in the U.S. who don't go to church, who aren't religious in any meaningful way than those that are.

    Look at the polls from the 50's to those taken today and it's pretty dramatic. I grew up in a smaller city and had to go to church or Sunday School every week. Most of my neighbors did the same.

    Just for fun I checked to see what would come up if I Googled my old church. It was, and is, a moderate Methodist church. I think they still don't have "modern worship" meaning worship bands but when I looked at a video of a service it has an even "creepier" vibe than I remembered as a kid.

    The whole concept just seems totally out of place in the 21st century. Soon that will go away too just due to declining number. So to, IMO, will UFO's except in the literal sense of just not knowing what something is due to distance.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Are you implying that those people - if they saw an unidentified object doing acrobatics on the sky - would not show much interest in taking pics of it?
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    No, I'm not. I'm suggesting that everyone has a cell phone and we should have many pictures by now if UFO's were a thing. I'm saying that "believing" in UFO's is dwindling as is "believing" in religion.

    As times goes on there will be less people drawn to either of those concepts.
     
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  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    lol Okay.

    I struggle with the words ''optimistically'' and ''pessimistically'' in this context. Just because someone's a skeptic, doesn't mean they're a pessimist.

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    So, I'd remove pessimistically from that question, and go with #2. I'd say any given witness when it comes to UAP's is expected to prove why we should believe them. But, they may not be able to prove it...they simply saw a UFO one night, while gazing out of their bedroom window, and it happened so fast, they didn't have time to grab their phone and take a picture. It doesn't mean it didn't happen, but there's simply no evidence that it did. If it's someone whom you personally know and trust, it wouldn't be unusual to believe them without any tangible proof.

    Do you see what I'm saying?
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Huh. I guess I may be less cynical than you.

    Let me recap for context:

    What does it tell us about eyewitness accounts in general, when we otherwise don't know the particular faculties of the witness?
    • Should we pessimistically assume any given witness is not entirely reliable unless shown otherwise?
    This - and its counterpart 'optimistic' option - are meant to "bookend" the total range of possible views. But they get more and more unreasonable as you get nearer the extremes.

    It's is a question about people in-general - the average Joe stranger. Generally (in-the-wild, not in a UFO context), if a stranger gives a witness statement, and one of the claims in that statement is in-error (such as an estimation of distance), my personal position is not to immediately dismiss everything they have to say. I would certainly keep in mind that he's clearly not totally reliable.

    My position is that "assuming a witness is entirely not reliable unless shown otherwise" is really quite a pessimistic view of people in general.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If you told me that you saw a spaceship last night, it would be unusual for me to just think "Well, it was Weg so it was probably an alien spaceship even though she just woke up and didn't have a camera".
     
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    You make a valid point, given a ''range'' of possible views, ''entirely unreliable'' might be too harsh. Even at the extreme though, it's not a pessimistic view of people, in general. I'd consider it cautious or guarded, but not pessimistic.

    I'm wondering, is there any evidence that is entirely reliable, though? There's always room for error, flaws in interpreting data, etc...no?

    Why do we rely on eyewitness testimony in criminal cases, when we find it to be the least reliable form of ''evidence'' when it comes to UAP's?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
  14. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yea, it's not a given. It depends on how much we trust the person telling us the story (reliability) and the story itself. In general, if you don't believe in the existence of ''spaceships,'' your best friend in the whole, wide world could tell you he/she saw one last night, even provide impressive pics, and you might not believe it. Because you don't believe that spaceships exist to begin with, you're less apt to trusting that anyone could have seen one.

    If you're biased, no amount of evidence will suffice.
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Circumstantial is how most cases are decided and it is often stronger evidence since it's based on logic. Eyewitness testimony is used however but not when it's as vague as in UFO sightings.

    No one would be convinced with tic-tac like video.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If you tell me that you saw one, have great pictures and if you story makes sense...I'd be very interested.
     
  17. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    True. But, memory in general seems unreliable, so it's just interesting to me that we rely on something so unreliable, when it comes to criminal trials. Just a random thought ...
     
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    They've done the following experiment in a law school class. Someone runs in, "shoots" a professor and runs out of the class.

    They then interview everyone as to what just happened. The answers are varied "It was a tall guy, it was a "foreigner", it wasn't a gun but a knife, it was a short girl, etc."

    It's to make the students aware of how unreliable eyewitnesses can be.
     
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  19. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm, that's interesting. I suppose with UAP's, if someone had bad vision for example, and tried to convince me that they had seen a UFO last week without pics, I'd consider their claim to be unreliable. Some witnesses could be easily disqualified over others.



    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    What if you were sitting in that classroom and your impression wasn't like that of several others? Would you be sure that you were right and they were wrong or would you think that it all happened so fast you would now realize that no one can be certain of the facts? Not enough to convict someone over.

    Try to think of a UFO situation where you would be as sure of what you saw as some others apparently were. If there was a crowd of people you might think there was something shiny moving in the night sky.

    Someone else was sure it was an alien spaceship and the government is trying to cloak it to hide it from the American people. Someone else says it was red, fast moving but probably a balloon, etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
  21. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Agree, it is definitely a good argument against relying (solely) on eyewitness testimony when it comes to UAP's.
     
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I think the reason he posted it is to proselytise, as usual. Discussion and analysis has never been his aim.
    Bad assumption. Objective analysis is the last thing MR wants. It's all about subjective perceptions, for him.
     
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Yes, I agree. My own position, however, would be to assume that the witness is not entirely reliable, unless shown otherwise. (See the difference?)

    I've done jury duty. In my opinion, it is a much more productive approach to listen to witnesses and assume that not everything they say is a true and correct account than to listen to them and assume that everything they say is a true and correct account. That has nothing to do with assuming that people lie, either (although some do, obviously).

    On a jury, you hear from more than one witness. If you start by assuming that everything everyone says must be true then what do you do when two witnesses tell conflicting stories? You go into mental meltdown, because you weren't expecting anybody to tell anything but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They're under oath! Christ on a bike!

    On the other hand, if you assume that people are fallible and that they can make mistakes, then when you hear two conflicting stories you're fine. You were comfortable from the start with the idea that all the accounts wouldn't necessarily match up perfectly. So you're ready to try to sort of who is right and who is wrong - whose story is more likely to be accurate, given all the other evidence that has been presented. You're also aware that some people tell lies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022

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