UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

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

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Talk about the obvious

    Not hard to maintain they are evidence of UAPs, when they appear in most print as such

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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The question is: Can we live with the existence of UNIDENTIFIED aerial phenomena? Mysterious objects that currently reveal nothing as to their own nature or origin?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
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  5. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Also questions :- when was last time UFO caused any accident?

    Sure we should not have UFO's in the sky

    Any which becomes identified, can we make it unidentifiable sooner?

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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    What??
    Wanna take another crack at that question?
     
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think that it's the subforum so much as the topic being discussed.

    If somebody starts out with the initial assumption that some topic is nothing more than "woo", then it's easy to slide from that confident assurance to the conclusion that anyone who speaks in behalf of "woo" is practicing "egregiously bad logic and absence of critical thinking". Hence the heretics turn into intellectual inferiors who, if they fail to acknowledge instruction from their supposed betters, become the target of non-stop insults and ad-homs.
     
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  9. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Sure

    We find weather balloons turn out to be a reported UFO

    What about more frequent radio announcements of their launches?

    A broadcast signal from the balloon itself with a mobile phone app able to pick up said signal?

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  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Did you mean 'we find a reported UFO turns out to be a weather balloon'?
    Because a weather balloon turning out to be a UFO would be weird.

    The launches aren't a problem. Weather balloons are unpredictable. You can't proactively warn everyone.

    Not a lot of cell towers at 20 miles altitude.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
  11. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Means it has been launched without authorisation and without equipment to broadcast its position

    Disagree. Everyone CAN be informed of launches

    Line of sight transmitters can have enough power to reach ground from 33 kilometres

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  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Because their accounts match those of other eyewitness and are also backed up by video and radar data. On what basis do you assume that they are not credible?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2023
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Michael:
    I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you're well enough to leave soon.
    Which problem you had with me?
    Okay. What was incorrect? (Does it matter?)
    Good for you, I guess.
    Don't engage here because you find it upsetting? Or because it makes nervous? Or another reason?

    Why are you taking his advice on science but not on what he thinks will be best for your health? His job is psychology.
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Nobody started out with the idea that UFOs were woo, of course. What happened, historically, was that a community of believers in alien visitation grew up after the "UFO flap" became popular in the 1950s. A sub-culture developed which was full of woo and empty of most critical thinking on the subject. Here, in the 2020s, we have inherited a legacy of deliberately fakery and unsupported claims too numerous to catalogue.

    The "tin foil hat" brigade earned its reputation for a reason. The reason was the woo they brought to the topic.

    It would be silly to ignore the UFO believer crowd and pretend that the topic of UFOs is not heavily influenced by people pushing woo - as well as being contaminated with a range of other pseudoscientific beliefs and conspiracy paranoia.

    None of this means that a reasonable observer (like the skeptics here on sciforums, for instance) should assume that any new reported UFO case is "the woo". However, it would be silly to ignore things like the possibility of deliberate fakery, or mental instability, or just the plain and simple desire to believe in a fantasy, when examining a report.

    Incidents of bad logic, a lack of critical thinking etc. can and should be dealt with on a case by case basis.

    Of course, we must all be careful not to tell Big Lies about skeptics: like the one in which one assumes that skeptics are so biased that they will just assume, before examining any evidence, that every UFO must be faked, or misidentified, or "mundane". Because, as you know, the skeptics here don't do that.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2023
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  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    There are lots of reasons that might be the case, other than the accounts (and, especially, interpretations) being correct.

    For instance, you have to be aware of the potential for collusion, in any individual case in which the witnesses have had contact with one another (or heard each other's accounts) and have had time to agree on the details of what they supposedly saw. More generally, if unconnected people report, say, grey aliens with big eyes, then there are at least two possible explanations: (1) they actually saw grey aliens with big eyes; or (2) they have both seen lots of films and other media in which aliens are commonly depicted as grey with big eyes, so they imagined that was what they saw.
    As you are aware, there's no publically-available radar data in the Pentagon UFO cases. Why do you believe any such data "backs up" eyewitness statements? It appears you have no reasonable grounds for that belief.

    As for video, the FLIR videos released by the military cannot be confirmed as showing anything "non-mundane". They do not support any accounts of aliens or the like. They do not support any accounts of extreme maneuvrability, either.
    You'll need to be specific. What are you referring to? What have I said I assume is not credible?

    Nothing you have written explains why you assume the eyewitnesses are totally credible. What does "totally credible" even mean? I think, in fact, it just means that you're, like, totally ready to take whatever they have to say totally at face value, including their interpretations and guesswork. Does it mean anything beyond that?[/quote]
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2023
  16. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    But, when we look at how this sub-forum came to be, it seems to me at least, that UAP’s as a whole, are not taken seriously. “Fringe thinkers” are not to be taken seriously (skeptics may believe) so it’s not surprising that this section of the forum, is used by skeptics for poking fun at things that are happening around us, but currently, have no mundane explanation.

    That said, skeptics make valid points - we need to adhere to a standard when it comes to evidence and how we evaluate all of these UAP reports and claims. But, skeptics and UFO enthusiasts should find more common ground than they have so far, in this thread anyway.
     
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  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I don't need any radar video to know what happened when those uaps were being tracked. Not even sure I'd know what I was looking at. I have radar operator Kevin Day's own observations of the uaps flying to high altitudes and suddenly dropping to near sea level at extraordinary speeds. It backs up the account of eyewitnesses that the uaps were present and behaving in incredible ways. What more could we ask for?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
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  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    As you know, I'm a fallibilist. As such, I consider flat-out True and False propositional truth-values to be intellectual ideals. In real life, we rarely if ever are fully justified in proclaiming a proposition True or False. What we have here in real life are plausibility-weights.

    My own view is that the proposition that some unknown physical phenomena (perhaps more than one kind) are occurring in many of these reported instances is rather high.

    In the Nimitz episodes, we have eye-witness reports from multiple observers, we have leaked videos, and we have descriptions by at least one of the radar operators.

    We know that the Navy has installed new standardized procedures to gather sighting reports, which they wouldn't have done if they dismissed the whole thing.

    In the subsequent Norfolk episodes, we know that multiple naval aviators made sighting reports (these have been released in brutally redacted form so we know they exist even if we don't know their content) and that video accompanied some of those reports. (Video that the military has declined to release because it's been deemed "classified".) And again, we have descriptions by those involved of what they saw.

    We have the Preliminary Assesment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that notes that of the cases they looked at, more than half were supported by multiple information modalities (visual, radar, photographic, even satellites etc.) and that in their estimation something was physically happening.

    We have public remarks by the current NASA Administrator, and a former CIA Director and a former Director of National Intelligence that indicate that they take these phenomena very seriously and that some of the reports at least possibly indicate performance that exceeds our ability to defend against.

    We have remarks by members of Congress who have been briefed on the matter that they are concerned as well.

    We have current research efforts publicly disclosed by the Department of Defense and by NASA, which wouldn't exist if they all believed that this was merely "tin foil hat" material. Given how the military operates, there's the possibility of additional efforts that haven't been publicly disclosed as well.

    We have exceedingly reputable scientists starting to come around to the possibility that something interesting and important might be happening here. (Avi Loeb for instance, the former Chairman of the Harvard University astronomy department, who has started the Galileo Project, a private data gathering effort.)

    The "skeptics" are correct in asserting that none of this is 100% conclusive evidence that the Earth is being visited by extraterrestrials. (In my opinion that remains an open possibility, though it's hard to estimate its probability.)

    But my own view is that it is convincing indication that something very interesting is very likely happening. It looks to me like it's an actual physical phenomenon (it's visible to the eye, it reflects radar and it shows up on photographic imagery). I can't say that with 100% certainty and it might conceivably be new kinds of error, but that would be interesting in itself (and demonstrating the existence and nature of the error would require argument and evidence).
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
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  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Poor innocent skeptics, forced by ufo enthusiasts to mock and ridicule them!

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  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    So wegs, are you saying we have to take this kind of thinking seriously? :

    MR doesn't even need evidence as long as he has testimony. And you're going to accuse us of being mean to him if we don't take that seriously, yes?

    I guess what's good for the goose isn't good for the gosling, wegs? We should take the (much) high(er) road?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You are aware practically all rational thinkers feel the same way, right? Its not really radical.

    Interesting for sure.

    Which is why were all here.

    But where do you go from here?

    We're trying to see if we can refine the boundaries of what is likely and what is not. My impression of what you are actively doing is trying to discourage any constructive work in that direction. You prefer the mystery status quo. Am I wrong?
     
  22. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not convinced that most ostensibly rational thinkers do feel the same way. I don't pretend that it's radical.

    The reason why I said it was to gently express my discomfort with MR's phrase "totally credible eyewitness reports". I don't typically consider anything totally credible or totally incredible. That being said, I do think that some propositions are much more likely to be true than others.

    Which is why I went on to list a number of reasons (none of them 100% definitive slam-dunks) why I take the UAP phenomenon(s) seriously: Why I believe that it shouldn't simply be dismissed with sarcasm, insults and sneers; why it needs to be approached scientifically with an open mind.

    By 1. not demanding that some fanciful standard of absolute certainty be met. If epistemological fallibilism is correct, the possibility of error can never be totally eliminated. So pointing out that some residual possibility of error remains doesn't imply or even suggest that a proposition is in fact erroneous, unless the likelihood of error is shown to be significantly higher than the likelihood of the proposition's truth. Which is often hard to do in practice since many of these judgements are pretty intuitive.

    2. By not simply dismissing evidence because it's evidence of something that one would rather dismiss and reject. (And observation reports are indeed evidence.) And conversely, by not credulously accepting things because they are things that one already wants to believe.

    3. By not forming hasty judgments about what the nature of the phenomenon must be before the information is in. That's equally applicable to UFO believers and to "skeptics". It's why I've personally been very careful to advocate for sort of a minimal thesis in this thread: Something that appears to be rather extraordinary seems to be physically happening and I don't know what it is.

    (My use of 'extraordinary' seems justified by these events being perceived as quite unusual by those that report them. If the reports are taken at face value, then they don't seem to reduce very easily to the commonplace and everyday. My use of "physically happening" seems justified with whatever it is interacting with sight, radar and cameras.)

    4. And it should go without saying, by seeking more and better information about whatever it is that's happening. That seems to require some kind of research program, and it's not going to happen if the phenomenon is dismissed right out of the gate as "woo" and when pursuing it becomes a recipe for career suicide.

    Yes.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No one is. A preponderance of evidence is what is usually expected to be met.


    Luckily no one here is doing that.
     
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