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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    The problem with this is when you start calculating just how much energy is required for a ship to have to make such a journey. And you can't just make the ship bigger to hold more fuel because that means you need even more fuel to push all that fuel. And all that is for a one-way trip. If you want to go home again, you'll need to take all the fuel you need to get home on the journey with you.

    Ultimately, it just does not scale up. The only way to do it is to have some sort of energy source that is fantastically energy-dense (i.e. a huge amount of energy in a very small and light-weight package).

    Peeps are just not equipped to intuit problems with orders of magnitude this big, so we mentally hand-wave it as "I'm sure it can be done", but until you actually crunch the numbers, you simply cannot conceive of just how onerous it is.

    TL;DR: You don't do this unless your planet basically exploded. (And then you still don't do it; you use slowboats and a one-way trip.)
     
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I think there isn’t enough evidence to label these more recent UAP’s as “mundane,” or “other worldly.” They could be advanced technology but at the very least, we should agree that they’re unidentified. For now.

    Speculating that space aliens are visiting us, I think the discussion has moved past that now, but we still keep debating.

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

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    I was thinking about just such points as I wrote but will stay with

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

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    Thanks

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

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    Surely we do while at same time you make good point

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  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, you can intuit it. First, as to energy-dense, the obvious one is to use anti-matter, the most energy dense "fuel" there is. This isn't just science fiction, as we know it exists. We simply have to presume the unknown alien civilisation has a means of producing it at scale, and more importantly in storing and utilising it. After that it's just a matter of utilising well understood rocket equations, accounting also for relativity.
    Sure, this is just hypothetical, relies on assumptions of the capabilities of an unknown civilisation, etc, so we might as well be talking science fiction with regard that part, but in terms of the scale of the problem, and the numbers, yeah, we can intuit. Or if not exactly intuit then there's plenty of analysis already done on similar things.
    E.g. This suggests antimatter could propel a 100kg craft to Alpha Centauri in 40 years, using "just" 17 grams of anti-matter. I think it may be making some significant assumptions as to the weight of the system to store and utilise it, but, still, it's a starting point.
    Ramp this up, speed up the acceleration, add in extra fuel for decelaration, and you're still not talking huge amounts of mass relative to the payload.

    In otherwords, you just need to ask the right people. But, look, this makes assumptions, as said, about the system requirements for storing and using the antimatter. It could be that you can't store it without a vastly heavy system, but once you make such an assumption, you can calculate the requirements "easily" enough.
    One-way trip, sure, I think that's reasonable, as even at light-speed it would take tens of years to travel tens of light-years. While the occupants might not experience the years, by the time they reach here and travel back, their home would be decades beyond when they had left. But then we wouldn't really know anything about their biology, lifespan, their thinking about such matters etc. Judging what they might do, when, how, etc, on how we might perceive it is... limiting, I think?
     
  10. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    If the establishment really was taking the path of interpretation that certain UAPs defy the laws of physics (a stipulation here being that we regard that seriously)... Then it would be futile or "unresponsive to reasoning" folly for us to continue entertaining run-of-the-mill conceptions of ETs being responsible.

    These objects/events would [either] potentially be the product of godlike, natural in origin entities who have been experimenting at the picotechnological level for so long that they've figured out how to hack into something equivalent to the programming of the universe...

    ... Or we're comparable to the status of a simulation that has arisen from a prior-in-rank ontological stratum -- with these "physics defying" anomalies thereby being intruders from that "outside the Matrix" domain.

    And "intelligent or not" in such a context may be irrelevant, when dealing with something where the very nomology of our realm isn't even applicable. Rubbing only slightly with the idea in Solaris, of dealing with something whose motives humans lack the capacity to even apprehend (or for which "motive" is the wholly inadequate concept of an inferior, mentally challenged species).
    _
     
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  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    'Unknown' as in 'not-currently-known'.

    Do they? If that is true, then we might have some common ground from which to proceed.

    This highlights where part of our disagreement arises, I think. As I see it, if something is 'unknown', then we probably shouldn't be prejudging its nature. To do that, we would have to know things that we just admitted we don't know.

    One of the possibilities included in 'unknown' would seem to be "new physics", or as the Preliminary Assessment called it, "breakthrough technology". And given that what we are talking about is "the unknown", it would seem to be very difficult if not impossible to estimate the prior probability of such a thing existing.

    I haven't reached that conclusion. I'm arguing against forming premature conclusions, including the a-priori assumption that it's ridiculous, impossible and isn't happening ("nothing to see here"). What I am arguing for is the possibility that something new to science might be happening, not the actuality that it is. (which we just agreed we don't know).

    What justifies entertaining the possibility of what you term "new physics"? The reports that have these things accelerating almost instantaneously, descending and rising to space at what the radar operator termed "ballistic missile" velocities, moving through the atmosphere at mach without observable heating, shockwaves or exhaust plumes. And all with small dimensions very unlike the huge fuel tanks that our own rockets need to do a few of those things.

    Of course. It's the nature of "the unknown" that many of the possible explanations that it contains aren't currently known yet, and may never be. (That's true almost by definition.) So we shouldn't be prejudging what we believe that the unknown must necessarily contain, based only on our current beliefs, faith and biases.

    The word "convincingly" seems to be carrying most of the weight there. But 'convincingly' is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? What convinces one person might not convince another. (Which is probably a good thing, since a variety of opinion on controversial matters keeps everyone honest and expands the volume of the possibility-space that human cognition is considering.)

    Which returns us to your issue with "unknown physical phenomena".

    If everyone agrees that a phenomenon hasn't currently been identified, then we seem to have two alternatives:

    1. Weak "unknown" - where we don't know precisely what is happening, but do believe that we already know that it must of some kind of necessity be reducible to science and technology as currently understood. It's the faith that whatever explanatory principles are necessary to explain the unknown are already to be found in our existing stock of scientific/engineering concepts and beliefs.

    2. Strong "unknown" - which questions that assumption. It argues that whatever explanatory principles are necessary to explain the unknown might not exist in our stock of scientific/engineering concepts at the present time. It imagines the possibility that we might occasionally find ourselves in the same position as a medieval scholar trying to explain a helicopter with Aristotelian physics or that scholar trying to explain animal physiology by consulting Galen.

    It seems to me that the "skeptics" are implicitly arguing that everything that happens be thought of as "weak unknowns". The idea that whatever happens, the stock of explanatory principles that they already find 'convincing' will be adaquate to explain it. Any suggestion otherwise they find irrational, absurd and laughable.

    I'm arguing for taking "unknown" more literally than that, and not trying to prejudge what the possibility-space of those things that we currently don't know must and mustn't contain. I'm advocating for at least the possibility of "strong unknowns" where we might not even currently possess the explanatory principles to explain whatever we observe happening.
     
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  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    At the risk of speaking out of turn, many of us adhere to some flavour of Occams's Razor. It is inefficient to spend more time on any possible "new" physics until and unless it becomes necessary. So far that has worked: and we've whittled the mysteries down to the last 5% or so of all reports.
     
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  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It's not called premature conclusions, it's called building on the huge and storied historical foundation of our collective body of knowledge.
    This is why we belieie the sun is a ball of fusing hydrogen, and not a god's chariot.


    Nobody is doing that. What is ridiculous is the sloppy logic that leads to sloppy (and notably premature) conclusions.

    Sure. Show us some evidence that supports this.

    How do you reconcile that within the huge body of knowledge that these kinds of observation and detection errors happen all the time?


    Oh. *sigh* for a second, I thought you were trying to dialogue. Should have read all the way through.

    Well, that will never happen as long as you keep flogging your strawmen:

     
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Ex Navy pilot Ryan Graves' CNN interview on the uaps he and his squadron saw and recorded while flying off the coast of Jacksonville FLA in 2015:

     
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  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Really? A huge body of knowledge that errors are made "all the time" in multiple pilots' observations, FLIR video, and ships' radars all at the same time? Where?
     
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  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. Errors are made all the time. Errors are a fact of life, even in the military. This is beyond refutation. Has always been so.


    That is why we don't have machines controlling our missiles directly.
    Pilots are there to minimize sensor/machine shortcomings and errors.
    Ground intelligence are there with go/no-go orders to minimize pilot shortcomings and errors.
    COs there to minimize ground intelligence shortcomings and errors.

    All of these are in-place because they need to be. Because no system is flawless. Because errors happen. Best you can do is minimize them. They will never reach zero.

    And always remember the context:
    The vast majority are minor, inconsequential errors that are caught quickly (Like "Oh, that's a heli.").
    Of the fraction that's left, the vast majority of those are investigated and found to be explainable.
    Of the fraction of those that are left, there are a few that simply didn't have enough circumstantial data to nail them down. That doesn't lead to exotic explanations; it points to a smooth logarithmic scaling of incidents from routine to rare.

    Again, they will never reach zero. There will always be a "long tail".

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  17. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    EXCERPTS: But these things you've seen [...] you saw them a lot. This wasn't just a one-off, once in 2015. You saw ufos often...

    It's not that we are just seeing them out there and somewhat identifying something in the distance. We are using a multitude of sensors on our aircraft. And also distributed across multiple aircraft and different platforms that are detecting these objects within a sensor network. So, when we correlate those radar tracks with our infrared camera systems, and eventually move closer to detect them with our eyeballs, we have high confidence in those track files and what we're experiencing.

    And what we're experiencing are things that we're really not sure what they are at the end of the day. They are performing a number of behaviors that we don't recognize, such as the ability to stay stationary in very high winds, when the lifting platforms, no surfaces. But also to maintain speeds of 0.6 to 0.8 mach, with upwards of 350 knots. And they can do that for many hours on end. We don't have the ability to do that in our aircraft. And we simply do not know who's operating these are what their intent are.

    [...] the fact of the matter is we should know what is above our head at anytime, whether it's a national security issue, whether it's a scientific question, we need to figure out what's above our heads...

    [...] we simply did not know what they were. But we did know that they were a safety hazard for our aircrew and for our training missions. And we've been looking for the right way to report and deal with those issues ever since. With the Americans for Safe Aerospace, we're going to be pushing legislative action to ensure the proper policies are in place, both in the military and commercial markets, so we feel comfortable reporting these things. Whether it's a national security issue, make sure it's not a security gap -- because we need to make sure if it's an unknown, we need inquire on that.

    The latter part of the above (in bold) signifies the right approach. Just focus on UAPs being air safety hazards and security risks. Especially since the only interpretation path that the human race seems capable of entertaining is space aliens -- and mundane space aliens, to boot.

    IOW, this area of interest obviously needs a "just shut up and calculate" rule similar to that in quantum mechanics. Flag aerial phenomena that resist identification and explanation as risks and potential dangers, but don't fill their blankness with speculation.

    This especially pertains to any conviction that UAPs "defy the laws of physics". Since if the latter, then they certainly aren't mundane space aliens. But obviously the human mind can't grapple with anything that transcends mundane space aliens, either, so all the more a rule of "just don't interpret what they are".

    Imagine there was a particular group of plain people whose religion forbade the existence of automobiles. To get around that belief and its dangers, they do at least acknowledge that highways and roads feature "unknown things" that can kill or injure pedestrians, horses, and buggy riders. But avoid interpreting what those things specifically are, leaving them a blank placeholder.
    _
     
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  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    This.
    Along the same lines: "Stop talkin and show me the evidence".
     
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Then cite the evidence you have of multiple trained pilots committing errors and FLIR video committing errors and ships' radars committing errors all at the same time in the same incident. Bet you can't find any.
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure I can find evidence that the military makes all kinds of errors, as I claimed.

    And I'll happily do that - right after you demonstrate your claim that the military does not make errors.

    * wegs: are you still convinced that we are obliged to take this kind of sloppy thinking seriously? Is MR's idea of having to prove that the military does make mistakes one that merits the screen real estate required to educate him?
     
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    LOL IOW you got nothin. Just as I expected. Try not to make claims you have no evidence for. It's trollish and may get you infracted.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You have tried to claim that I have an obligation to prove the military does make errors, while you historically insist they do not, without a whit of proof. And then you tried to pretend you're not the one trolling.

    Actually reported for trolling.

    * wegs: are you still convinced that we are obliged to take this seriously?
    * yazata, do you take note that the "ridiculousness" we skeptics complain about has nothing to do with the explanations for UAPs - and everything to do with sloppy, trollish anti-logic being promulgated? Are you prepared to put your money where your mouth is and defend MR here?
     
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  23. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if it's a matter of explanatory simplicity. (It's a good idea though.) After all, saying the explanation for something is 'unknown' is much simpler than any explanation that's more informative.

    That's where I would focus a "skeptical" argument for why we should arguably favor explanations in terms of "weak unknowns". Because that's what explanation ultimately is. When we explain an unknown, we are reducing the unknown to some configuration of what is already known. If we hope to explain things, we would seem to have little choice.

    The trouble that I see with assuming that the explanation for an unknown phenomenon must lie within the scope of what is already known, is that we don't really know that. It's just an assumption that we make because we couldn't explain the phenomenon otherwise.

    But it seems to me that a very real possibility remains that we won't be unable to explain whatever it is until we learn more, until our conceptual vocabulary grows sufficiently.

    A medieval astronomer with his geocentric cosmology and his Aristotelian physics would never be able to explain today's orbital mechanics without adopting a heliocentric cosmology along with a whole new understanding of forces and motions. I suspect that we might be in a similar situation with regards to some of the things happening around us.

    So how can we distinguish whether some phenomenon is a weak or a strong unknown? Probably by doing as the "skeptics" say they favor, by gathering additional information sufficient to reduce the unknown to the known. If we have a plausible, convincing and well-evidenced explanation for all the observed aspects of a phenomenon, it wouldn't be an 'unknown' any longer. It would have been explained.

    I guess that my point is simply that none of this justifies the conclusion that the set of strong unknowns that currently resist this kind of explanatory procedure must of some necessity be an empty set. And perhaps most emphatically, I'm battling against all the insults and ridicule that seem to be the "skeptics" stock in trade. I don't believe that it is justified.
     
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