UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

James Clark on UFOs -- sensibly, we think

James Clark is a freelancer, who contributes to the Morton Report.

His recent outing about UFOs is must-reading for believers and skeptics.

Click here for his musings

38 Comments:

  • "His recent outing about UFOs is must-reading for believers and skeptics."

    You have *got* to be joking.

    This comes a tad bit closer to "must-reading" on the subject:

    http://www.ufoupdateslist.com/2007/nov/m02-009.shtml



    Regards,


    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • Don:

    To be objective, one has to read and understand all sides of an issue or a topic.

    The Brad Sparks thing from 2007 at UFO UpDates is the usual ufological polemic for the die-hards.

    It, too, is, as you say, must reading.

    Thanks for the link.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • How is either Sparks or James Clark "one sided"? What difference in essence is there between their comments? None.

    Witnesses report a light and describe its behavior. There is no evidence in Clark's article that the witnesses reported a UFO, but it became a UFO in someone's mind and got into the (web)press.

    Clark points to the problem: "Now, it’s at this point that people seem programmed to make an enormous and quite unfounded leap into the unknown. If what was seen hasn’t been identified, it’s an unidentified flying object -- a UFO -- and popular culture has trained us all to associate the concept of a UFO with the concept of an alien spaceship."

    "The Brad Sparks thing from 2007 at UFO UpDates is the usual ufological polemic for the die-hards."

    It is no different in essence than what Clark is referring to. But Clark's just floats out there unmoored to any history or data. Points to him for noticing the problem. But "must reading"? I think not. Sparks is, for those interested in the problem, methodologically and intellectually.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • Don:

    You like Sparks, most ufologists do.

    I like Clark, most journalists do.

    That's two camps, as usual when it comes to UFOs.

    Sparks is methodical, as you say, but he is not infallible, as we (and others) have pointed out in earlier posts here (and elsewhere).

    I think you quibble with my phrase "must-reading."

    Everything written is must-reading for me, so I extrapolate.

    I like adverse views to mine, They keep me alert to opposing and often enlightening views.

    So, don't read Clark, but let me have the right to input "must-read" at this blog -- of mine.

    Your comment(s) here are just as important, and maybe more worthy, so we don't censure or censor them.

    For me, Clark's piece is a must-read.

    For you, it isn't.

    There it is....

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • "You like Sparks, most ufologists do.

    I like Clark, most journalists do.

    That's two camps, as usual when it comes to UFOs."

    On my short wish-list re UFOs is a newspaperman's perspective -- someone whose experience makes him or her familiar with the day-to-day of the small town press back when such towns could support several dailies. The pre-internet press.

    An analysis of the local Wannaque stories, for example, from that perspective. Or, for me, the language, story, headline, layout, local concerns, and those of the publisher and editors, evidenced in what was printed, of the Roswell Daily Record, July 8th and 9th 1947.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • I agree, Don...

    I worked for Mellus Newspapers in the downriver towns of Detroit, and the local aspect was integral to the reportage, and gave it a flavor and credibility that the larger newspapers (The Detroit News, for instance, where I worked later on) didn't have exactly.

    That's pretty much gone now, but still extant in a few rural areas.

    And I collect UFO stories from those newspapers.

    Your concentration on the 1947 era is important to the UFO story and history, as that's where -- despite Aubeck's and Vallee's dismissal -- the modern era, the key era, of UFO history really begins.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • Brad Sparks represents everything that is bad about UFOlogy. In reviewing his work on the Kelly Johnson case, I saw in a stark relief how he skewed the data so that it fit his silly worldview.

    This, along with his laughable technical skills (for instance he insists that he can triangulate a location with only one known point, something the dumbasses that read his stuff just accept without question) make him a terrible example of UFO "science".

    And yet he really is probably one of best among his peers.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • Is Brad Sparks even extant?

    I've seen nothing new from him in a long while.

    If he weren't touted by the UFO clique, no one would know who he is or what his claim to fame is.

    Somehow he's gotten ufological cachet, and I don't know why exactly.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • Lance's response is an example of why I avoid the ET/UFO debate.

    What I know about Sparks is I was looking for opinions of Pflock's two Roswell books, and his articles turned up in the search. The subject article reminded me of what he had written about NFOs (Non-investigated Flying Objects) being catagorized as UFOs, especially the point about a report of unidentified (by the witness) lights in the sky becoming a UFO report by fiat.

    Rich, in the Pflock articles, Spark's refers to some references he came across regarding Roswell in some unrelated research. It sounds like he intended to publish a book about it. So, I guess he's writing it, if it is still on.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • Don:

    I know you avoid the back-and-forth that the ET/UFO thing generates, and you concentrate on the other UFO bits and pieces of 1947 (particularly).

    That Sparks seems to have found something rare or unknown piques my interest, as it does yours.

    But I really haven't seen anything from the guy, anywhere -- not even at UFO UpDates where he used to hang out.

    Maybe Paul Kimball can enlighten us, as Sparks is a pal of his.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, August 24, 2011  

  • If am understanding correctly, Sparks was working with an outfit that pretended to use science to "prove" the literal events depicted in the bible.

    This was right up his alley: misrepresenting things in order to promote an unsupportable position.

    Lance

    By OpenID Lance Moody, at Thursday, August 25, 2011  

  • Again, we haven't heard boo from Sparks in a long time.

    I think he's chucked it in.

    (By the way, Moseley, in Saucer Smear, said CDA was chucking it in, mostly because of ill health.

    I've e-mailed Christopher about that. He usually responds promptly, but hasn't, even after a second missive pleading to know if he's okay.

    If anyone knows anything, a note would ease my worries. CDA is one of my all-time favorite people.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 25, 2011  

  • Joe McGonagle sent me this, about CDA:

    Hi Rich,

    CDA lives about 3 miles away from me, though I have never met him!

    I just called him on the phone, and he was pleased to inform me that he has no intention of shuffling off in the immediate future, but is not able to spend as much time on ufology as he used to.

    Thanks for the heads up,

    Joe

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 25, 2011  

  • I want to thank Lance for his last comments on Sparks. Because of them, I did some browsing of discussion groups and found some very interesting posts by Sparks on ancient near east history and archeology. In the subjects I'm familiar with, he demonstrates knowledge of things that one would not find in a browse of Wikipedia as a prelude to posting an opinion online.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, August 25, 2011  

  • @ Sorcerer,

    Yes, the buffs on a subject often know many facts and interesting details about their subject of interest.

    It is in their interpretation of the meaning of those facts that the pseudoscience creeps in.

    DId Sparks convince you that the Red Sea did part and that he can prove it?

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, August 25, 2011  

  • "DId Sparks convince you that the Red Sea did part and that he can prove it?"

    Didn't see that. What was his proof? What date(s)? If it was God or Moses, you have a point. If it was impact theory, then you don't -- at least with me who doesn't consider Holocene impact theory to be psuedoscience (not saying it was an impact consequence, or even that the parting occurred).

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Thursday, August 25, 2011  

  • Rich: "I know you avoid the back-and-forth that the ET/UFO thing generates, and you concentrate on the other UFO bits and pieces of 1947 (particularly)."

    Lance's comments here and what they refer to are why I avoid it. The Kelly Johnson dispute is about weighing witness statements about time and duration in a sighting (that is not the all of it, of course, but enough). I would agree with Lance on this if he observed that Spark's method is inappropriate for this case. If I were interested in the case, I'd want to test it against several interpretations of the testimonies to see if I could determine a "known". This hasn't happened, to my knowledge.

    Lance accuses Sparks of gaming the data so that it returns the result he wants. But I don't know why he would do that; Sparks being an ET skeptic has no motivation to game the case data to return a true unknown. Lance also wrote he considers this case to be a good one.

    You would think the two of them could work it out (I don't know if the two of them ever discussed it directly).

    Why the rancor? I'd guess the embarrassment of having evangelical christians among the skeptics' ranks.

    You know, you get married, you marry the family. I don't like the family dynamic of the ET debaters, and prefer to remain single.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Don:

    Sometimes the rancor is inadvertent.

    It's the nature of written or typed responses, where nuance is lost.

    Paul Kimball avoids misinterpretation of his intent by using emoticoms: :-)

    In the heat of debate, online, subtle witticisms or sarcastic asides are misread sometimes.

    I try to ignore rancorous remarks when they are obviously meant to be rancorous, as is often the case with comments from Steve Sawyer.

    But Lance Moody's comments are meant to be, if I'm understanding his argumentative methodology correctly, pointed and spiky, not mean or unrespectful.

    The sniping that one sees at UFO UpDates is often mean-spirited and nasty, because those Listers are a gaggle of frustrated UFO mavens who don't get the academic or media respect they think they deserve so they take their anger out on their "colleagues."

    I would think and hope that Sparks and Moody could engage in an online dialogue to which we could attend.

    But Sparks has gone subliminal or off-the-UFO-ranch, pretty much.

    Anyway, as I've noted, Sparks hasn't been overt for some time now, at least not in the UFO circles I frequent.

    And it seems Sparks, like Jerome Clark, is engaged in pursuit of religious mysteries or the history of religion(s).

    That says something about their mind-set -- belief systems vs objective, scientific effort.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • "But Lance Moody's comments are meant to be, if I'm understanding his argumentative methodology correctly, pointed and spiky, not mean or unrespectful."

    It is argument by allusion and innuendo, with misdirection to religious affiliation.

    Sparks' response to Lance on Kelly Johnson (this is all on Kimball's site) -- one has to triage conflicting witness observations otherwise the good observations are diluted by the poor ones. How to determine good and poor? Sparks has described his method often enough. Between them, it is Lance's move to make.

    Not having read the incident files, just based on what Lance and Sparks have written, I'd say there weren't seven independent witnesses -- a situation where Spark's method can be applied. because five were in the confined space of an airplane, and the other two were (I recall) husband and wife. It is not like seven people reported a sighting from here and there, or even grouped together anonymously in a crowd. Sparks doesn't seem to have calibrated his method to the circumstances.

    Lance appears to be content to leave it all a muddle of conflicting, contradictory and subjective this and that.

    Neither advance the case by sticking to their positions.

    Lance's "pointed and spikey" comments are so usenet from somewhere where it is always 1995. Dorm dweeb humor.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Don:

    You note something that bugs me (too).

    Interesting UFO sightings or events (and discussions, as at Kevin Randle's blog), get bogged down or sidetracked by red-herrings or discursive asides, and sometimes those rancorous broadsides; the topic is smothered out of existence, with no resolution.

    It's argument for argument's sake,

    UFO sightings more often than not end up being left to hang, with an attempt to explain them sidetracked by oneupsmanship.

    The core discussion is killed.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Rich, there is nothing to be done about it. Online discussions from the beginning in the 80's nearly always result in...um 'defocusing'. They tend to devolve into a this vs that, or point counter-pointing (if you remember that tv news segment) on the personal level.

    What is the public (and really these days 'the web') face of ufology?

    UFO websites are downright pathetic. Is there one (not using blog templates) whose design is not redolent of 1994-1997? Do any of them have clear navigation? Overviews? Good search? Are any of them research-friendly? Categorically organized and cross referenced? Have the owners not noticed they look more like fringe-group, gamer, or porn sites than anything else?

    Where online should I refer people interested in ufology to something more or less "official"? The NICAP site? CUFOS?

    Why is it all so out-of-date and outdated? While near everyone in the 90s was hotly debating irrelevancies like Mogul, MJ12, Anderson, or Kaufmann, ufology was sandbagged by technology.

    bluebookarhcive.org, the only online source for non-redacted bluebook has been down for at least a week. Who's responsible for the site? Where do I find out? Do they know it is down? Is it coming back?

    Who do I contact to see if they'd like me to put up a mirror on one of my servers, so that researchers wouldn't be inconvenienced by downtimes?

    Ufology? There's no there there. It is hollowed out.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • I agree Don...

    It's a cacophony of noise, wherein the "signal" has been lost.

    I think that's why a lot of UFO people are dropping out: Kimball, CDA among them.

    It's too messy or noisy to think.

    When I was on The Source, back in the 80s, the UFO discussions were exciting and relatively accessible.

    That is, one could follow a thread.

    And some interesting tidbits and info were imparted that one could take further.

    (I recently found some old floppies upon which I copied some of the content, even from Usenet, your old haunt. That content, although much of it is somewhat passe, still thrills. I may put some of it online here.)

    Anyway, we have to contend with what is, though we may hate it, and we'll have to muddle through the irrelevant detritus and nonsense as best we can.

    That's part of the journey, as Kimball sees it.

    Finding nuggets of wisdom or overlooked UFO treasures is always delightful, or helpful.

    I'm finding stuff in my aggregate UFO magazine collection from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s rife with juicy items -- some foolish, some not.

    I'll be sharing...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • @Don,

    Yes, I am sure that a lot of stuff could be straightened up face to face in a few moments.

    I have (elsewhere) carefully gone over many aspects of the case, explaining why Sparks' conclusions are Ill-conceived.

    As an example, take the departure event in the Johnson case, the description given of the object disappearing from the sight of the witnesses.

    All of the witnesses said that this event took from 1 to 2 minutes, including the pilots, one of whom had his eyes on the thing almost continuously. All of the witnnesses except one. This guy (who happened to be very interested in saucers) said that the event took 10 seconds.

    It was this witness that Sparks chose to use, ignoring all of the others. If you can somehow explain this as anything other than pure saucer zealotry, I would love to hear the explanation.

    Best,

    Lance

    My first post from a iPad!

    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Lance: "It was this witness that Sparks chose to use, ignoring all of the others. If you can somehow explain this as anything other than pure saucer zealotry, I would love to hear the explanation."

    I don't know the case. I understand Sparks (in some List posts) preferring specific times and durations, such as, for example, 7:04, rather than a slew of "around 7:15". The argument being that we tend to round off to the quarter, half, and full hour when we are uncertain of exact time. From his perspective, the specificity of 7:04 indicates the witness may have checked the time rather than guessing.

    The same would aply for durations. Not knowing the case, I don't know exactly what the witnesses said, so can't evaluate it the way I think Sparks would.

    Because of the confined space and likely constrained sight lines, and because the witnesses are a crew and doing necessary things (such as the pilot), I would need their specific statements as well as a diagram of their places in the plane and the sight lines available to them to even guess at it.

    If it really comes down to one "about 10 seconds" and several "about one or two minutes", I am not convinced any of them are good witnesses for duration. But I can't say with any certainty without reading the case.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Thanks Don,

    The case is extremely easy to assess: the whole of the evidence consists of only a few pages of witness statements.

    The Bluebook copies were rather hard to read but I took the time to carefully transcribe them (posted in the Paracast forums) if you are interested in reviewing.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Here's what you wrote on Paracast:

    "Thoren: "somewhere around a minute"

    Wimmer (the only one who said that he viewed the object continuously): "in the space of about one minute"

    Warre: "just a minute or two"

    Then we come to Colman:
    Thereafter it suddenly accelerated due west and in a time, in the order of 10 seconds, disappeared from view."

    What about Grugan? Did he estimate it, too? Anyway, I'm guessing Sparks was looking for specificity. There's not much here. Maybe it was the narrow range of "in the order of 10 seconds" compared to, say, 45 to 145 seconds for the other three that led him to choose Colman's. I think he failed to consider the order of magnitude shared by the other three, no matter the broader range compared to Colman's seconds.

    Well, it is just an attempt to guess at what he thought based on reading some of his posts on the List. It comes from me, not him. If there is any accuracy to it, then I think it reveals a misapplication of a method that is useful in other kinds of cases.

    Considering these are good witnesses for this sighting, the shared order of magnitude among three of them is not so easily dismissed.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • From Blue Book: Thoren: "The object then seemed to be getting smaller, and my attention was diverted from it for a minute or so, Wimmer mentioned that the object was disappearing. In probaby an elapsed time of somewhere around a minute, the object had reduced is size to a mere speck, and then disappeared."

    It seems like Thoren didn't see all the disappeance. He was distracted, Wimmer's comment draws his attention to it --perhaps he saw the last part of the disappearnce -- and reports what Wimmer told him on the duration.

    If that is it for Thoren on this aspect of the sighting, then it is no longer 3 against 1 on the duration. We are now at 2 against 1.

    The BB file is in awful condition.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Hi Don,

    We also have Johnson's estimate which was:

    "In 90 seconds from the time it started to move, the object had completely
    disappeared, in a long shallow climb on the heading noted."

    Additionally Wimmer was undoubtedly in the best position for viewing and says himself that he watched the entire thing virtually uninterrupted. His account should be weighted greater (as should Johnson's).

    10 seconds is untenable unless you are a saucer zealot trying add the most ooga booga to the sighting, which is exactly what I am accusing Sparks of doing.

    Here is a link to my painstaking transcripts of the evidence:

    http://www.theparacast.com/forum/threads/7189-Kelly-Johnson/page4?highlight=kelly+johnson

    See messages 128 & 129. I attempted to create a facsimile of the actual text and would appreciate any corrections.

    Don, my biggest complaint was the idiotic claim by Sparks that he could TRIANGULATE(!) the location of the object.

    This is ABSOLUTELY impossible and ridiculous. Simply looking at the accounts of the men in the plane will surely show you that there is NO way to get a precise position of the plane which would be needed for any triangulation (we do have the good and known point of Johnson at his ranch but nothing else).

    You can't triangulate with one point except in saucer land.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Lance: "Wimmer (the only one who said that he viewed the object continuously).

    That is said about him by Ware. Wimmer's statement is hard to read, but I haven't found him saying that.

    I'm getting tired and eyestrained; this is not my case, and is unlikely to become mine, so I'll stop here.

    I've only briefly browsed these faint documents. My reading is incomplete with no analysis.

    Lance, one last point: do I recall correctly from my reading on this case you wrote that Colman was the one among the crew interested in flying saucers? If that is so, then fyi, Ware was hanging with what sounds like an Admanski-like group. I haven't read Colman's statement.



    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Saturday, August 27, 2011  

  • Lance: "Here is a link to my painstaking transcripts of the evidence:"

    I don't see it on that page. Do I have to be a member to see attachments or whatever?

    We can eliminate Thoren because his statement is hearsay. We can eliminate Ware because he's a repeater and babbles on about the cool things to be seen at Giant Rock (If it weren't for wanting Sparks to be wrong, wouldn't you eliminate Ware as a suspect saucer zealot, rather than accepting his version?).

    So, that leaves us with Wimmer and Colman.

    Insofar as I've read the case, it isn't all that compelling. But I can't speak for Brad Sparks. Never met him, even. I like his quality vs quantity approach to witness statements. I think he may have misapplied it in this case.

    The triangulation issue should be taken up with him personally. His email is easy to find.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Sunday, August 28, 2011  

  • Don, the forum messages at that link are numbered. My transcripts are messages #128 & 129--you may have to change pages in that thread to get to those messages.

    To clarify and correct:

    I didn't review the material prior to posting here and it looks like Ware is the person I meant when I described a witness interested in saucers. My apologies.

    It seems quite unwarranted to call Thoren's statement hearsay. He was there. He did describe what he saw.

    I have to also object to this:

    "So, that leaves us with Wimmer and Colman."

    No, that leaves us Johnson, Wimmer, Colman and Thoren.

    This ad hoc elimination of testimony strikes me as ill-conceived. I can make up a reason to eliminate Colman as well (for instance, he wasn't in the cockpit) but that doesn't make the reason valid.

    This is the kind of stuff that Sparks does and he ALWAYS gets a pass from the buffs.

    If you get a chance to look at the few other pages of the case, I would love to hear your take on his triangulation nonsense. Usually when faced with this. most Sparks supporters just change the subject.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Sunday, August 28, 2011  

  • Lance: "It seems quite unwarranted to call Thoren's statement hearsay. He was there. He did describe what he saw."

    At this specific moment (the disappearance) of the sighting, Thoren says he was distracted, and relies on what Wimmer said to him about it at the time. Ware says he [Ware] "looked at it off and on" and refers to Wimmer because he [Wimmer] "actually observed it continuously I believe".

    It is Thoren's and Ware's reports, and not anything "ad hoc" for my conclusion that only Wimmer's statement among the three about the disappearance is significant. Wimmer doesn't appear in Colman's mention of the disappearance (he mentions the three as being onboard); it is distinctly his own. This means there are really only two distinct, separate observations of the duration from the crew.

    It reads to me like Ware and Thoren couldn't honestly suggest a duration for the disappearance because of distractions which made them miss, probably, when it began, so they rely on Wimmer for it. Wimmer said he had nothing to do onboard and so he just watched the object.

    Both he and Colman are the good, such as they are, witnesses on the plane.

    I'm not a ufologist, and sometimes write I am not interested in ufos. What I mean is the main job of the ufologist is to determine whether a sighting is a ufo or ifo. My area of interest is in the casework of a sighting -- what was going on on the ground (or in this instance, the plane) at the time rather than what was seen in the sky -- rather than determining the identity of what was sighted. The casework (assuming official interest) can be revealing, as I think it is in the Rhodes case.

    Here's what interests me about the 'Kelly Johnson' report: Grugan. Where is his statement? It's not in the file. Why? Why don't any of the other four mention him (possibly he's referred to as "other crew members"). For that matter why don't Thoren, Wimmer, Ware -- who mention each other -- not refer to Colman either? What about some onboard instrumented calculations? Compared to Kenneth Arnold, this is a pathetic showing on the part of these guys. Maybe Grugan did that.

    So, the issue of whether or not triangulation was possible doesn't matter to me. I don't care whether it was a ufo or ifo. I'm not a ufologist.



    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Sunday, August 28, 2011  

  • The redacted NARA PBB text is a lot clearer than the MAXWAFB PBB, and can be seen on fold3.com, since bluebookarchive.org is still not available.

    Moving on to Johnson on the ground. He reports a duration for the disappearance of 90 seconds. He is also viewing it through 8x binoculars. Because of that, I don't think we can directily associate the durations reported from those in the plane with his without more speculation.

    There's another aspect to the situation in the plane. Wimmer draws the crew's attention to the object by exclaiming "There's a flying saucer" (Thoren and Ware) although he first thinks it is a cloud. Ware (a fount of information) digresses "We have kidded Roy [Wimmer] a good deal about flying saucers since the night he...sighted some lights over Catalina" (another "repeater"!). Wimmer reports "Just for the fun of it I said, "Hey, look at the flying saucer!" It seems there's some back and forth joking about saucers among the three, as Colman is not included in by anyone including himself.

    Wimmer also writes "I do not recall our exact speed, whether we were still climbing or whether we had leveled off during this time". No Kenneth Arnold, he, even though he had nothing to do except watch the object.

    If it weren't for the dispute with Sparks, I'd think a skeptic would latch onto the "repeaters" (including the Johnsons, so that's four) and Johnson himself being, as well, a long time "believer" in 1953.

    I'll make a deal with you, Lance. You find me Grugan's report and then I'll do the math.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Monday, August 29, 2011  

  • Hi Don,

    The cover sheet makes it clear that there is no Grugan report. Don't know why he wasn't asked to make one.

    There is no math to do.

    It is not possible to get an accurate fix of the location of the plane (much less the object) from the contradictory information in the crew's reports.

    Since we only have one known point (Johnson) there can be no triangulation. We would need one more point and vector. This is not a math issue, it is a common sense one.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Monday, August 29, 2011  

  • Sparks thinks he has two points, not one. Here we are, a week short of a year since you engaged with Paul Kimball on his site, and Sparks by proxy, on the subject, and there has been no resolution. It is due to Sparks not having published a report. There is no there there for discussion.

    There's also the implications of the absence of Grugan's opinion, and the obvious consensus-building going on between the three (in one statement, one of the three refers to them that way, the "three"), as well as Johnson. For some reason, Colman is not identified as one of the consensus. It is not the "four".

    There is the absence of the log and the report written from it. Despite Wimmer's claimed inattention to instrumentation, this was a test flight. They were recording information during it. There would be a report written.

    Was there a Lockheed policy to report sightings to the AF, or did Johnson make the decision to do so and encouraged the others to make statements? They got together and discussed it. They came to a consensus.

    It wasn't 1947, nothing like the CIC and AMC investigating. Just the rubber stamp of a BB day, 1953. Spark's unpublished investigation might as well not exist for all the good it does us, if it might do any 'good'.

    I think we are done here, Lance. Same time, same station next year, most likely.


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Monday, August 29, 2011  

  • Thanks Don,

    Surely, though, you too can see that nowhere in the whole of the evidence (which only consists of those few pages of reports) is there any way to accurately claim another point? We only have vague and contradictory testimony from the crew...this does not yeild a data point for anyone except a biased participant. As I have said, this is not a technical argument. It is an easy to understand example of UFO zealotry in action.

    Regardless of what Sparks thinks he has, the actual evidence betrays his zealotry.

    Sparks in this case makes assumptions, which is fine. His great crime is then calling the results he gets from these guesses, facts. And this is something he does in other cases as well.

    This is similar to the kind of thing Rich complained about recently elsewhere: UFO "researchers" going beyond the evidence.

    Best,
    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Lance, I'm a patient man. I don't know what Sparks has got in his file. For all I know he has the flight log or report gotten from one of the several crew members he says he contacted. But I don't stick out my neck for nobody, and until he publishes his report, his opinion on the case is non-existent for me. He's just someone who posted something in a blog, fwiw. I wonder about the people who accept it on faith, though.

    UFO investigations are rarely funded, and I am very aware that the time, money, energy it takes to do a good one has no material reward. It is like slave labor. The slave doesn't get the calories he needs to replace what he spent in the labor. A real Gulag situation. Apparently only relentless self-promoters like contactee cult leaders get any benefit from their work. So, I can't demand a researcher's work product. I'm not comepensating them. So, I just let it be, and don't consider it at all. This goes for the work of skeptics, too.

    bluebookarchive.org is back online, and I found the unsanitized document I was looking for. It is near blank. It makes the Ramey memo look positively crisp in comparison. There goes my proof. The sanitized version is ok because the document it is responding to, unsanitized, has the name of the recipient in clear, so it's ok for evidence. Eleven months research-time into it, so far. It's a labor of love, I guess. Why read Sherlock Holmes when you can play the part in real cases 8-)


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger Sourcerer, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

  • Ok agreed, Don,

    In the meantime his unsupported statements end up reported as facts at many UFO web sites (and in Paul Kimball's film, for example).

    This is a fine example of the shoddy laughable scholarship that exemplifies the field.

    I will eat my hat if he has any contemporaneous flight log--he would have crowed about it and he has never mentioned it. His decades later interviews with the crew (or their widows) are unlikely to increase his precision (although this is the false worldview that also pervades the field).

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, August 30, 2011  

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