The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Are crashed flying saucers ludicrous?


The continuing discussion about crashed saucers in the 40s and 50s is baffling.

UFOs no longer crash, that’s a certainty. They just appear, helter-skelter it seems.

But in the 1940s and 1950s it seems flying saucers crashed all over the place, and the near-Roswell crash still resonates among UFO devotees.

But how serious can one take such accounts?

If flying disks came from other galaxies, star-systems, or other cosmological venues, even from other dimensions or time, how feasible is it that the physical perturbations of Earth could down them?

Could radar observations disable such vehicles? Lightning? Or geomagnetic anomalies endemic to Earth?

Even one crash – Roswell? – seems unlikely, in an objective view of what it would take for an extraterrestrial culture to traverse here.

And if extraterrestrial travelers came to Earth early on – the so-called Ancient Astronauts – they must have had trouble with Earth’s chaotic atmosphere and bizarre stratospheric environment, but where are the remnants of any crashes? Where is the debris?

Yes, a fluke – unimagined or defined – may have taken a flying disk out of the skies near Roswell, or temporarily disabled a craft in Socorro, but what would that fluke be?

And what are the odds for the fluke being ubiquitous to the point that a number of out-of-world travelers were crippled by it?

The idea, on the face of it, should invite incredulity.

But instead it invites debate and ruminations of an ongoing, silly kind.

As our French colleague and UFO skeptic Gilles Fernandez says, that’s ufology…

RR

16 Comments:

  • Yeah.

    "UFO Crashes

    Even before the advent of recent negative developments in the Roswell case, I have always felt that a UFO would never crash. However, because of the impressive witness testimony about which I was told, I suspended judgment and allowed for the possibility that Roswell might be an exception -- some kind of one-in-a-quintillion fluke. That was, in retrospect, a mistake.

    The problem with the concept of a UFO crashing is that as technology advances, so does reliability. Be it with cars, airplanes, televisions, or wristwatches, the reliability of today's technology far exceeds that of the technology of just a few decades ago. For example, because of the high reliability of their engines, long-range, twin-engine commercial jetliners are now authorized to fly nonstop across the North Atlantic. A few decades ago, that would have been unthinkable. (The positive correlation between advancing technology and reliability applies to proven technology, not experimental state-of-the art machines still in the developmental phase, such as experimental aircraft or space vehicles.)

    With today's industry-average engine-failure rate of less than one failure per 100,000 flight hours, the chances of both engines of a two-engine jetliner failing during a given hour of flight are less than one out of 10 billion. Figuring 50,000 aircraft-ocean crossings per year, and factoring in such variables as average time over the water and average distance from land, the odds are less than fifty-fifty of a double-engine failure and consequent ditching in the North Atlantic of even one such aircraft over the next 10,000 years.

    This incredible degree of reliability is found with a technology that would be primitive compared with a UFO. Even with today's relatively primitive technology, our commercial aircraft have very efficient collision avoidance systems, as well as excellent radar systems for avoiding thunderstorms and their associated hail and lightning (phenomena, incidentally, that are surely not unique to this planet).

    If we assume that UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft and that some of the many reported UFO sightings are genuine UFOs, we are dealing with machines apparently capable of high-speed right-angle turns, incredible accelerations and speeds, and wingless flight -- not to mention of traveling light-years through the void of empty space in, presumably, a relatively short period of time. Such capability would require a technology totally beyond our present understanding of physics -- a technology the sophistication of which we cannot even begin to imagine.

    Because of the positive correlation between technology and reliability, such incredibly advanced technology would most certainly mean a correspondingly high degree of reliability. Common sense dictates that the chances of such machines crashing, breaking down, or colliding would be all but zero. It certainly would be many orders of magnitude less than the already infinitesimally small chance of one of today's twin-engine jetliners having a double-engine failure."

    That's not from an "UFO-Skeptic", but from Kent Jeffrey and a quote of his famous "Roswell: Anatomy of a Myth".

    By Blogger Gilles. F., at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • Although I’m intrigued by much of ufology the crashed saucers narrative doesn’t make a lot of sense. Dozens of the buggers have supposedly crashed and, no matter the nation, been ‘disappeared’ by US agencies. Always to America…

    The crashed saucer narratives are dependent on the ‘Folk from Elsewhere’ and yet, despite their endless success at evading exposure, they leave behind wreckage and bodies?

    Saying that, I like the idea that Roswell was really covered up because by the time they got the blighter back to base, it had turned into a pile of balloon debris. Outsmarted again by ET SOBs. I'm joking.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • To make an analysis on a hypothetical craft whose technology for which we would have no clue as to it's functioning as to also hypothetically do a failure analysis on is the essence of playing for time and "ufology" in general. Being in polite and public company I would say this resembles a form of physical self gratification.
    There is no evidence of a crashed disk outsider of the selective editing of inference and innuendo of the kind that unfortunately Anthony demonstrated in the last post. Frankly, I think it continues as a entropic whirly-gig because no one knows what else to discuss about the phenomenon much most resemble "one trick ponies" like broken records, obsessively picking at bones. Parsing absurd minutia in a garbage dump of cultural wish lists.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • Bruce:

    Your cynical stance on speculation astounds.

    One can surely ruminate, can't one?

    Extrapolating from what we do know and applying it to what may be possible is grist here.

    You would stifle imaginative (even silly) speculation here to create a blog not unlike your own.

    We hesitate to allow that.

    Febrile speculation is what we're all about.

    Persons who try to quell our fevered ramblings get short shrift here.

    Ask Steve Sawyer or Chris Knowles.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • It is not the crashing that is ludicrous; vehicles, even interplanetary ones, may sometimes come to grief. Rather it is the claim that the USAF or some top intelligence agency could, or would, know all about it but keep it top secret from all the world's scientists, and the public, for 65 years.

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • CDA:

    You miss the import of my posting, which is about the amount of crashed vehicles reported or rumored, along with the lack of metals or technology found at sites where UFOs were supposed to have visited in the far, far past, assuming that such vehicles had a propensity to crash, which you imply is quite possible.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • cda - Amen, brother!

    What I find most ludicrous in Ufology is the notion of a long-held US government cover-up of UFO crashes or anything else UFO-related.

    Jaws flap indiscriminately just as much in government as they do anywhere else.

    In fact, sitting in a DC lunch spot near the White House, I once overheard a White House staffer spill something about an impending military action to his lunch companion that never should have been talked about in a public place.

    Human frailty will derail any conspiracy given time.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • The evidence for most of the alleged crashes is very thin, to put it charitably. So why not dismiss the "problem" of hundreds of crashes and simply speculate that there are, perhaps, 3 or 4 that may well have happended and been covered up. Now that reduces the absurdity of many, many crashes of some super-advanced technology (and an impossible cover-up) to 3 or 4 accidents or take-downs over the last 60 years... certainly within the boundries of the possible. Remember, to speculate about a technology that appears almost magical is NOT necessarily to assume that it's builders have perfect knowledge or perfect execution.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • Dominick,

    Would you b so good as to tell us what and where about those three or four crashes?

    Roswell, of course, then....what?

    Aztec? Kecksburg? And ???

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • Now RR,

    I have covered this ground previously and well. Merely go to the archives of your own site here and look for the August 1, 2010 piece by I authored entitled "How the Roswell Crash Happened." :

    http://ufocon.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-roswell-crash-happened-by-anthony.html

    It credibly addresses the possible 'ways and whys' of the Roswell saucer crash happened.

    And as you well know, I believe that the Roswell Incident stands alone.

    I want everyone to know this now (i.e. CDA, Gilles, Lance, Tim P):

    I do not believe that saucers fell out of the sky like so many birds shot on a hunt!

    It only happened once- and I ascribe no truth to any other reputed 'crashes' during the 40s or 50s or before.

    {I do not consider Rendlesham a 'crash' per se, and Kecksberg occurred in the 60s and is still 'unresolved' in my estimation.}

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • Anthony...

    Like CDA, you miss my point.

    The idea that a plethora of "flying disks" crashed in the late 40s and 50s is silly, pie in the sky (to be punny).

    Kandinsky provides a rationale, and Duensing isn't wrong either, nor is Gilles.

    You ET guys like your extraterrestrials to be flawed, not able to control their vehicles (or vehicle if you only contend one crash -- Roswell) after a flight from galaxies far, far away or through a time-warp.

    Such a frailty lends credence to the ET idea: they are much like us, prone to accidents.

    But if one disk crashed (let's say in 1947) wouldn't it seem credible that another disk or disks would have crashed earlier in the reconnaissance of the Earth.

    The odds would say so.

    Or were earlier saucers better than 1947 saucers?

    There is no evidence for early saucer crashes -- no remnants or debris.

    And the one crash you like, Tony (Roswell) is without actual, touchable debris, although there is circumstantial evidence that some kind of something was picked up around the New Mexico vicinity.

    What that something was remains to be clarified or displayed, and seem unlikely to be so, as Nick Redfern contends, as do I.

    Me, because a viable extra-stellar craft would not be vulnerable to imperfection once it got here, although I understand Duensing's irritation at the Sci-Fi thinking I'm using.

    So, one crash -- Roswell, and no others?

    I have just gotten a list of UFO crashes, rumored and otherwise, from Jose Caravaca.

    He provides serious caveats about all the UFos on the list.

    But if he gives me permission to put it online, one can see just how ludicrous UFO crashes, as a category, is....Roswell to the contrary, of course. (Ahem)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • I was over the top and I regret how I displayed of my annoyed cynicism at the topic of speculation the causes of "crashed disks", which is very rare thing for me to do so baldly. No amount of reason will dislodge this belief ( a crashed disk) which is an equitable situation in other aspects of more pertinent parts of daily life, that is to say, blind beliefs are a source of irritation to me as of late.
    Speculation is crucial to life as well as recognizing uncertainty, but this is paved over in an attempt to find rationales after the fact in order to justify one form of propaganda versus the other. This last post by Anthony (which this post follows up on as to question it)was so infused with ludicrous force feeding of his agenda, it tripped my circuit breaker. Dream Team of what, of phobic dreams of this theology?
    This is not open minded or even faintly self skeptical, it is the same #$%@! dressed in a faint revisionism of the innuendo and inferences that have backed them into a corner. Gilles and CDA are right on the target and I agree with them. You certainly have and I respect your right and efforts to look at all angles but as Gilles said, there is nothing there to "crashed disks" but innuendo which is all Tony has done in my opinion as well. Tenacity is one thing, but bending the frame to fit a dubious claim is another.This is not labelled as speculation.Each hyper-inflated post title in sum total does not make a flattering portrait of objectivity rather it smacks of more myth making.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • Dominick asks:

    So why not dismiss the "problem" of hundreds of crashes and simply speculate that there are, perhaps, 3 or 4 that may well have happended and been covered up.

    Yes, and there are problems with the hundreds of different elves, fairies and pixies as well. Let's discard most of those and just speculate on a few, like maybe Santa Claus?

    The reason to discard the UFO crash nonsense is because evidence sucks. Rich brings up a good point that serves as counter evidence for the idea but the real problem is the evidence.

    Even the most famous and "respected" case is so incredibly stupid when you say it put loud that most of the adherents choose to pontificate on silly details.

    Remember that what Kevin Randle and his gang want everyone to believe is that a saucer crashed and the debris JUST HAPPENED to look exactly like string, foil, rubber and sticks.

    That this story has any legs at all is a testament to human stupidity.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • Bruce...

    I understand your pique when illogic or non-logic enters debates here or anywhere.

    But I like bizarre thinking. From it may come something worthwhile or brilliant; who knows?

    But Anthony's offerings are not just goofy off-the-wall posterings, as one finds at ATS or other UFO sites.

    He musters his hypotheses from what materials he can find, and he finds things that others often overlook.

    He and I are often at loggerheads about some notorious UFO events, Roswell and Socorro among them.

    But I like that he has tangible stuff to bolster his view(s), whereas I, and others, only have sheer (often lame) conjecture.

    So I allow him a wide swath amongst our contributors.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • Lance:

    Randle's Dream Team may be likened to Sisyphus.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

  • But, Lance, Santa Clause DOES exist. He has been reported by thousands of people (especially shoppers around Christmas)and there are even photographs. And no reliable reports of any crashes. So there.

    Seriously, this "proof" and "evidence" discussion is getting tiresome. I know that most of you want pieces of a space ship (but even that, I would wager, would not be proof enough) but proof is a process, rarely a conclusion in science. And eye witness testimony from individuals with nothing to gain (and much to lose, perhaps)is an important part of that process. To dismiss all of it out of hand is hardly rational or scientific.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Thursday, February 16, 2012  

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