The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our Rational Skeptics: Lance Moody, CDA, and Gilles Fernandez


Lance Moody is getting more and more irritated with the irrational ravings of UFO mavens — ET believers and others.

CDA is almost livid because Roswell enthusiasts keep coming up far short when it comes to providing evidence that something crashed near Roswell, and left debris, or maybe some alien bodies as many Roswellian devotees have it.

Gilles Fernandez sees Roswell as a mythical tale, built from a 1947 happening that was vague when it occurred but taking on a life by the efforts of some UFO researchers who want that happening to be an extraterrestrial event.

I love these guys!

They are skeptics, in the best sense of the word, exasperated by the nonsense and lack of anything tangible when it comes to Roswell, and UFOs, generally.

UFOs – unidentified things in the sky – are real. Many of us have seen such anomalistic things.

But to take a step toward flying saucer creatures entering the Earth’s atmosphere to explain those unidentified things is irrationality made substantive.

I’m enamored of so-called creature encounters; that is, accounts of beings seen near some kind of craft, but only from a psychological perspective.

Like Roswell, there has never been anything tangible collected from such encounters or sightings: nothing at all, ever.

The encounters have all the earmarks of a dream, and Spanish UFO researcher Jose Antonio Caravaca has made an excellent case for such events being oneiric, or dream oriented.

People have seen lights and strange objects in the skies, surely, and they are not all crazy or delusional.

But lights and apparent flying constructs are far from an alien reality.

My close encounter accounts are open to scrutiny from a number of disciplines, with a number of possible explanations, all suitable to the rational mind.

And Roswell? Yes, something happened near there in 1947 -- something prosaic or something profound. No one really knows what and may never know, as Nick Redfern has it.

The fact is that nothing – absolutely nothing -- has surfaced to provide concrete evidence for an extraterrestrial crash of a flying disk near Roswell in 1947.

And that’s why our skeptics get so annoyed with those who insist otherwise.

Lance, CDA, Gilles, et al. allow me to see that some right-thinking still exists within the parameters of a topic that is flush with ignorance, faith-based belief, and mental chicanery.

So huzzah to the skeptics amongst us here. They are cherished by some….even many.

RR

40 Comments:

  • But what is "rational skepticism" with respect to UFOs? You say that "UFOs...are real." The question is: Real WHAT? Sure, there are UFO crazies who just know that they come from the Pleides, the height of "mental chicanary" as you say. We ought certainly to be skeptical of these sorts of assertions. BUT what do we do with the very first military evaluation as to both the reality and the nature of the phenomenon on Sept. 23, 1947 by General Nathan Twining? He said that these were REAL OBJECTS "not visionary or fictitious"; and that had operating characteristics "SUCH AS EXTREME RATES OF CLIMB"and that they must be considered "EVASIVE" when sighted or contacted... Real objects? Extreme rates of climb? Evasive? Ground radar tracks of over 5,000mph in 1948? Skeptics can draw no rational conclusions from this?! Without touching a saucer with their own hands, or being told by Government that saucers are interplanatery, they can't decide the nature of what trained observers have been seeing and recording for the last 60 years? They still need "more evidence," (they mean here, of course, a physical saucer) that it's all not just a dream, or ball lightening, or some rare natural phenomenon? Oh, come on. No, I say that that attitude is not rational skepticism but irrational skepticism and just as "faith based" as the attitudes of those who can believe almost anything. In a court of law or even in science, you don't necessarily need a body to convict. You are supposed to use your brain and rule out all of the reasonable possibilities. And if we do that with, say, the Twining evaluation, what do we get, skeptics?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, February 27, 2012  

  • Dominick...

    I know you want to believe that UFOs are something more than, ah, UFOs -- unidentified something or other.

    And they may be.

    But there is no and has been no proof that UFOs are even tangible, material objects.

    The evidence is circumstantial but that's all.

    The skepticism of the fellows listed here is intelligent skepticism.

    One can conclude, as you do, that what has been reported for many years indicates something in the way of advanced craft.

    Again, you may be right. But you are taking a leap of faith, not a scientific stance.

    I like the idea of an ET/UFO presence, but to think that there is proof for that would be irrational.

    Twining's observation about the saucers he was alluding to comes from his military environment and is not without common sense.

    But it is conjecture, and had to be.

    After all, no one had anything tangible to base any conclusion upon.

    It's sheer conjecture and asserting that "trained observers" reported the maneuvers you cite is buttering the bread.

    Trained observers weren't and aren't any more brilliant than the rest of us.

    Otherwise we would have had an explanation by now for the phenomenon based upon such trained observations.

    Being skeptical, in the face of what real evidence has been accumulated...or, rather, not accumulated is rational.

    Believing that UFOs are the product of an advanced alien civilization, visiting Earth, in droves, is irrational -- based upon the evidence, or lack of same.

    Your view may be right, but that would be guess.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 27, 2012  

  • Why is it a "leap of faith" to conclude that we are, in fact, dealing with an "advanced craft" of some sort? It seems to me to be a perfectly logical leap of REASONING when all other explanations (after 60 years of observation, including radar)have been exhausted. A challenge to skeptics: Which reasonable explanation (aside from an advanced craft) has NOT been entirely exhausted after 60 years? And if that, in fact, is true, I maintain that it is a pure leap of FAITH to continue this radical skepticism and refuse to conclude that we are dealing, in fact, with some advanced craft.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, February 27, 2012  

  • Dominick...

    You are a brilliant guy, that's obvious.

    But to proceed from eyewitness accounts of darting UFOs to advanced ET craft is just a bit much....for me to accept.

    It's not unreasonable, just intellectually iffy.

    It's based upon nothing more than accounts that haven't been scientifically vetted.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 27, 2012  

  • Now I thought that we were having an honest discussion here! Look, we have far more than simply "eyewitness accounts of darting UFOs" to base a reasonable judgment that we are, in fact, dealing with some advanced craft. If that is all that we had, I would agree with you.But as you must know (and as all serious skeptics know) UFOs have been tracked on ground and air radar hundreds of times. Noncontestable fact. UFOs have accomplished aerial maneuvers, again recorded on radar, that only some "advanced craft" could perform. They have disabled control panels and firing mechanisms of American made jets sent up to investigate them. They have been "evasive" (to quote Twining). Again, noncontestable fact. Be as skeptical as you wish but please, please, offer some (any) rational explanation--other than some advanced craft--that would account for all of this. These are not just "accounts" that are "intellectually iffy"; these are serious data points (collected and verified by the FAA and military over many years) that lead logically (logic is the heart of good science) to an "advanced craft" scenerio.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, February 27, 2012  

  • Dominick...

    You have visual accounts and radar returns, but nothing tangible.

    That's my point.

    You have what "appears" to be aerial craft performing maneuvers that advanced aircraft on Earth would do.

    But you don't have the craft or any good photos or videos of such craft.

    You have, for all practical purposes, a chimera.

    I'll give you some points for circumstantial evidence, but of what?

    A phenomenon that acts like aerial craft or something that mimics such craft, purposefully or coincidentally?

    I can't continue to debate the issue as we're at an intellectual stalemate....you believe and I scoff.

    That's an impasse where I come from.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 27, 2012  

  • I left a comment at Kevin Randle's blog on the lack of a middle ground and (un)common sense in ufology, the pathetic state of US ufology, just a few hours ago. Lance Moody and Chris Knowles have been feuding over there.

    As for Kevin Randle, man that Roswell is a millstone round his neck as it is with US ufology as a whole. Did you listen to him argue with Jim Moseley about it recently on the paracast? His latest self-important 'dream team' adventure.. Sigh. He doesn't seem to recognize the importance of FALSIFIABILITY, he always has an out with Roswell, no matter the lack of evidence. When he is pushed into a corner, he is not prepared to risk his Roswell myth as being testable. He always has this IOU. He bamboozles with his knowledge of Roswell minutiae, but there is nothing there re evidence of an ET crash.

    And yet Randle is still a lot better, more skeptical and thoughtful than all the other true believers out there! What a mess. And I ain't such a fan of Moody, he goes after easy targets - which is fine - but at the end of the day he wilfully ignores the genuine meaty mystery there. Classic CSICOP playbook.

    By Blogger Lawrence, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • I am not a total skeptic, meaning that I concede a few UFO cases seem to defy all conventional explanation. I am certainly a skeptic when it comes to crashes and abductions, i.e. that ETs are or were involved.

    Regarding Twining, why do some people keep digging this up? What does it indicate anyway? It certainly indicates Roswell was NOT ET, it indicates that up to that point no physical evidence existed, but what else? It was written in the very early days when the USAF had hardly begun its investigations and the whole subject was barely 3 months old.
    In those days the AF tended to take the described object sightings at face value. Things soon changed, however.

    The Twining memo stands as a very early indicator of official interest in a new phenomenon. Were Twining alive today, does anyone seriously think he would still stand by what he wrote in Sept '47?

    We have moved on a lot from then, thank goodness. We are a great deal wiser. But still no nearer to that (highly) elusive hard evidence.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Further to my last post. Another early document often cited is the "Top Secret Estimate of the Situation" of 1948. Nobody has ever seen it but it pops up now & again. Why is it dug up? Because it represents the view of a small group of individuals in the USAF at the time who genuinely believed UFOs were ET vehicles.

    It never was an official document; it was purely a working paper, and it was soon declassified and burned. Yet ETHers still resurrect it, as though it was the 'great truth', alas suppressed long long ago.

    I only mention this because of the reference to the Twining letter. The 'Estimate' was just that, an early estimate. To use it now as proof of anything is just plain daft.

    Mark my word, some ET buff will revive it again, soon. After all, isn't Aztec about to be revived for the umpteenth time?

    It would not surprise me in the slightest if the Roswell Dream Team were to resurrect the 'Estimate' once again.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Gilles and CDA -though they make cogent comments from time to time- are often very mean-spirited. And both are ignorantly insistent on physical evidence. Neither -perhaps because they are not American- has the slightest clue whatsoever about security clearances and 'need to know' access and why such physical evidence would be exceedingly difficult to secure.

    Lance Moody is true to his name - and self admittedly he is runs very "hot and cold."

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Lawrence,

    I think your observations are right on the button.

    I'm a Moody fan because he's so feisty; he doesn't shirk an argument.

    But he does seem to dismiss, totally, the possibility that UFOs may be ET.

    I'm not even sure if he thinks UFOs are real.

    But I like the guy....a lot.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • CDA:

    You're a rational skeptic, not a raving "they don't exist" skeptic.

    That's why you have many fans.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Anthony Bragalia:

    You say I have no idea whatever about US security clearance procedures and the 'need-to-know'.

    I have pointed out to you several times that this 'security' that you and others invoke to explain the total lack of physical evidence is simply not valid anymore, and was not valid after a few weeks from the event (in this case Roswell). You cannot go on forever invoking this assumed 'security' as an excuse for the lack of evidence, otherwise you can stretch things and say that nobody anywhere will ever be allowed to know the great truth. Hence people such as astronomers, biologists and space scientists the world over are wasting their time and efforts to find possible ET life elsewhere.

    If a select few in any one country (such as the top military in the USA) but nobody else, knows the great truth but won't reveal it, what is the point of any further scientific research?

    I have read several accounts of the terrible consequences if the authorities revealed the truth, but am afraid I do not believe a single one of them.

    Needless to say, if another country one day discovered the truth, and decided to reveal it, where would that leave the USA? Would the official US spokesman then say : "Ah but we knew all along, since 1947, but never told the world"?

    This is in addition to the fact that the authorities in the US cannot possibly predict or control what the ETs decide to do, at any time.

    Your 'security' argument is just plain dead, period.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Most realize that seeking a reasonably pragmatic goal of achieving a modicum of testable evidence regarding this phenomenon is beyond our capability. The emphasis being on testable.
    During the "golden age" of inquiry, ( Hynek, Vallee, Michel) the question was decidedly different, which was "Does this phenomenon exist?" Gathering evidence in this regard..Now most accept it as existing whether it is psychological, material etc..and so, due to the lack of any methodology to go further beyond the preliminary question of it's existence, we seem to have generally fallen back to the assassin's creed "Nothing is true, therefore everything is permissible."
    Research cannot go forward so it is essentially going into the past, re-digesting old material..which is a very finite range of twice told tales in which "everything is permissible" by the superimposition of any and all theories.
    Even a reasonable conjecture has the effect of it talking itself into a corner. We agree, for example, on distortion, but one question leads to another that dies on the vine. If this is so, then what?
    We are in dire need of skeptics due to the lack of any methodology. Even the pioneers such as Hynek knew that 90% of accounts were errors of perception.
    No methodological analysis of current events exists, so we end up reading old books, parsing sketchy accounts. Someone said you cannot learn very much from a book in relation to life and this phenomenon is entrenched as a living system. We need a proverbial Charles Darwin to unravel our being tied in our own shoelaces.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • BTW..Another take on skepticism..
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/02/22/outline-getting-skeptics-to-think-skeptically-about-their-skepticism/

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Flip the ET coin. It doesn't matter much if it comes up believer-side or skeptic-side. It's still the same coin. Skeptics, including the ones referred to, have to make a special effort to discuss a case on any basis besides ET, and in my experience debating with them, they usually fail.

    The ET skeptics treat the subject of UFOs as if it were a debate on religion or the exitence of God. (Is there an ET skeptic out there who isn't an atheist? Is it possible to be a self-identifying skeptic without being an atheist?).

    Like the atheist who can't stop writing or talking about God, the ET skeptics can hardly discuss the UFO phenomenon without conjuring up ET. ET skeptics are the junior varsity of skepticism.

    Oringbay.

    By Blogger don, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • CDA- Your naivete and lack of sophistication on such matters stuns!

    The reasons that 'they' do not tell us -or reveal the physical evidence- are numerous. Perhaps one day I will do an article on this- though you have already stated that you do not agree with any such reasons stated thus far by others. I would add that it was not known until decades later that it was made known that Battelle had helped to reverse engineer recovered Soviet MIG's materials of construction.

    And I now reveal here for the first time: I am a member of the Intelligence Community (IC).

    Check my LinkedIn groups for membership in the clearance-cleared IC Group. I possess a government security clearance because of my work in consulting with many of our nation's top defense contractors on hiring matters. Rich Reynolds is well aware of this.

    CDA, you have no appreciation for how the business of highly classified matters are handled. I have taken meetings in Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (look it up, CDA.) You just have no idea...

    I would finally add that Roswell crash evidence can take many forms:

    -Credible first hand testimony
    -Corroborating second hand testimony
    -Circumstantial evidence
    -Authenticated documents from the time of the crash (both official and in private hands)
    -"Paper trails" of those in science, military and intelligence
    -Authenticated films or photographs

    There will be more to come of course on this...give us some time, perhaps even you will then come 'round, CDA.

    AJB



    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Don:

    If you've followed these fellows, you'd know they aren't inclined to be stupid or atheistic-like in their observations and critiques.

    I think you mean debunkers, which is a whole other animal.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • "And I now reveal here for the first time: I am a member of the Intelligence Community (IC)."

    As a infamous NY Yankee said "It's like deja vu all over again." What does this have to do with testable evidence and skepticism except as yet another in an endless chain of inferences? Placing clouds on a obscuration of fog. Frankly, dear Tony, I do not not give a damn if you were the Grand Wazoo, or the Wizard Of Oz, the reiteration of what you consider "testable" is innuendo that you have now applied to yourself. Arghh..
    The proof is in the pudding regardless of "Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities"...more obscuration..that has no meaning that has been ascribed to it.
    Again, again, despite the claims of knowing what we the unwashed do not know..there's been nothing..naada..of substance from your membership of privileged information. Dilly dallying again.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • BTW..
    -Credible first hand testimony
    -Corroborating second hand testimony
    -Circumstantial evidence
    -Authenticated documents from the time of the crash (both official and in private hands)
    -"Paper trails" of those in science, military and intelligence
    -Authenticated films or photographs

    Is this what the Dream Team is seeking as hard evidence? Surely you jest. The equivalence of MJ-12 documents to be parsed into infinity? Photographs that will be dissected for centuries? I may be somewhat harsh but your hyperbole gets more ridiculous with each rendering.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • AJB:

    "Authenticated documents from the time of the crash (both official and in private hands)
    -"Paper trails" of those in science, military and intelligence
    -Authenticated films or photographs"

    None of the above that have appeared so far has convinced science that ETs visited our planet that summer. I venture to suggest that nothing you or the 'dream team' produces will advance the ET case one iota.

    Do you really suppose that the reverse engineering Battelle did on Soviet aircraft is the least bit comparable to dealing with an ET craft, even supposing Battelle ever received any such ET wreckage, which we know they did not (see Howard Cross's 1953 letter known as the 'Pentacle' letter if you doubt me).

    You are living in an absolute fantasy world on all this. OK, I'll revise this to an absolute 'dream world'.

    As for possessing a security clearance, whether top secret or merely secret, I once did also, in the UK, and still do as they are valid for life. And no, I did not learn anything about ET visits to earth. But then it was not "Above Top Secret" so maybe that's why I never learned the secret. What a pity.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • CDA-

    I said that it was not made known until decades later that Battelle had performed such reverse engineering of Soviet MIGs. So the point obviously is that if this fact was only relatively recently acknowledged, the fact that six decades have passed without official acknowledgment of similar such reverse engineering of the Roswell craft is understandable in that context.

    And CDA, I would dare say that I have spent far more time than you researching Dr. Cross, the Pentacle Memo (very ancillary, really, to the 'bigger' story)and Dr. Cross' public and deeply covert life. His role is central and there is far more to come on this enigma of a man.

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • From Don: "The ET skeptics treat the subject of UFOs as if it were a debate on religion or the exitence of God. (Is there an ET skeptic out there who isn't an atheist?"

    Actually, that would be me. Admittedly, my views as a Christian and the essence of God has changed dramatically over the past 30 years, I still hold to the basic (Primitive?) foundations of Christianity's teachings. A paradox considering my skepticism of the UFO/ET hypothesis?...perhaps.

    If one looks at the majority of my blog posts, I tend to take most claims initially at face value. I'll disassemble the claim, looking at relevant data and drawing a logical conclusion.

    Granted, my cases tend to be "oddities" pertaining to sightings near nuclear ICBM sites, but that was my expertise for 13 years of my life.

    In short, you don't have to be an atheist to be skeptical.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Rich: "If you've followed these fellows, you'd know they aren't inclined to be stupid or atheistic-like in their observations and critiques."

    Lance has an issue with Spark's religion. He also has an issue with his science. Consider the discussion here:

    http://ufocon.blogspot.com/2011/08/james-clark-on-ufos-sensibly-we-think.html

    What I found out from the research is that the skeptic was perfectly willing to accept the witness testimony of 1) an admitted believer, 2) a repeater, 3)visitor to Giant Rock, 4) the believer who had a small career informing the AF of any saucer story he found credible, including names and addresses, and the evidence that two of the three witnesses were actually reporting what the 3rd witness said, and that the reporting was orchestrated by Kelly Johnson rather than done independently, and that one of the crew never is mentioned except merely as a member of the crew (no report)...

    ...and by skeptic's rules, the only witness worth considering is the one Sparks picked -- no matter if his reason for doing so was not rigorous.

    So, ET skeptics are no different than ET advocates. Any port in a storm to assert their beliefs.

    Regards,

    Sourcerer

    By Blogger don, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Don...

    No one is infallible....not even me (ahem).

    But overall, I find Lance to be a sensible guy, even though he often chastises my hypothetical posts here....and hasn't weighed in about this one, while still contending at Randle's blog about Phil Klass for a few days.

    But I take your point seriously, as you are not inclined to be stupid either.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Rich: "But overall, I find Lance to be a sensible guy"

    So do I. I've enjoyed some of my online discussions, and correspondence, with Lance. I can say the same for some ETH'rs. One has to get past the ET deadlock, though, for the good exchanges to occur.

    The ET deadlock is counterproductive. Too many significant questions do not get asked, much less answered, as archaic arguments are asserted for the nth time.

    It is the unasked questions, I'm interested in. They are often trivial-seeming, but only because they do not directly relate to the ritualistic performance of the archaic arguments, afaict.


    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger don, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Tim "A paradox considering my skepticism of the UFO/ET hypothesis?...perhaps."

    Not at all. The default position of Christians since the debate began has been skepticism towards ET. Brad Sparks is a church-going. bible believing Christian, and an ET skeptic.

    I don't doubt many ET advocates are atheists or agnostics or don't have religious beliefs that you would agree with.

    Skepticism has honed its rhetoric on debating God and religion...whether the individual skeptic is aware of it or not. Admitting your Christianity is proof to them you cannot think clearly and without presuppositions. You believe something exists without any "physical evidence", on the testimony of others, and your own subjective desires, rather than rigorous Science. Just like an ET believer.

    Regards,

    Sourcerer

    By Blogger don, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • @Rich,

    Thanks for the comments! I assume that I am the cute one in the picture?

    I would love to be as knowledgeable and even-handed as CDA. He is one of the biggest assets among those of us discussing these things. And Gilles has provided much interesting and novel material. I never miss anything he writes.

    But I must insist that Tim Printy is really the skeptic we should all aspire to be. He is scrupulously fair and civil. And, most important of all, he does the hard work that many of us avoid.

    His recent epic study of the RB-47 case has been met with stunned silence among the UFO faithful. How embarrassing that none of the paranormal peddlers, who are so quick to parrot the unsupported ideas they hear in a superficial film about Best Evidence can muster even the slightest response to the devastating material Tim uncovered in his careful examination.

    @Don,

    I think you or I may have confused each other about the Lockheed case? At any rate I don't understand your comments above. I am currently writing my very delayed article on the case and would love to hear your opinions. I think you have my email.

    I've certainly heard the stuff about skeptics being purposely blind to evidence. I don't think it holds water. I would love to see ANY evidence that compellingly supports a paranormal explanation. I have no downside for this happening...I would love it. On the other hand, I think that believers have essentially created a religion for themselves and therefore the downside is substantial--it kills their faith.

    Take a look at Robert Sheaffer's recent account of his visit to the UFO World Congress and tell me that the UFO community is, for the most part, anything other than a rather silly religion.

    @Tony,

    You constantly top yourself! And not in a good way.


    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Don:

    I'm with you 99%.

    I don't mind the ET commentary or debates, even when they are endless and/or inane.

    The possibility that Earth has been or is being visited by other galactic cultures remains viable with me.

    And I'm a sucker for archaic things as is obvious from my attention to primitive cave art.

    But, again, I get your point.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Don: "I don't doubt many ET advocates are atheists or agnostics or don't have religious beliefs that you would agree with"

    Honestly, the theological aspects or personal theological beliefs of a claimant have not been a factor in the cases that I've looked into.

    Don: "You believe something exists without any "physical evidence", on the testimony of others, and your own subjective desires, rather than rigorous Science. Just like an ET believer."

    Your basing this statement wholly on the establishment of "ufology" as a religion? Or, you merely use theology as a metaphoric construct to describe ufology?

    As far as one having "faith" versus that of the rigors of science, the scientific method provides for the establishment of a hypothesis and the gathering of empirical data. Faith is merely a philosophical construct knowing full well that one cannot prove fully the tenants of that faith by the use of empirical data, yet can draw correlations from other areas. In this regard, I'm fully comfortable with in both areas.

    So, again, one does not need to be an atheist to be skeptical

    With that said, Jesus, Moses, Buddha, and Mohammad could pop out of a "UFO" after landing in the Vatican or Disneyland and I would probably give a "Spock-like" raising of an eyebrow and say, "Ok, fine by me."

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Lance: "I think you or I may have confused each other about the Lockheed case? At any rate I don't understand your comments above. I am currently writing my very delayed article on the case and would love to hear your opinions. I think you have my email."

    In the discussion I referenced, you wrote:

    "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."

    And that's what I proceeded to do. I gave what I thought was a good explanation why, at the very least, the minority witness was no less credible than the three consensus witnesses. It wasn't Sparks reason; I think my reasons are better than his.

    I'd be pleased to read (and critique) your article. I'll email you confirming our addresses.

    Regards,

    Don

    By Blogger don, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Lance-

    Tim Printy is repulsive. That you would aspire to be like him is frightening. Please Google for my definitive piece on him, found on this site, "Stalked by a Saucer Skeptic" to learn more about the real Tim Printy. And you will learn the essential differences between rabid skepticism and critical thinking.

    Lance, CDA and Gilles- none of you have the balls to pick up the phone and do what I do. Make 100 calls to 100 Roswell vets and widows. This time, why don't you make the contacts? I challenge you all here and now to do just five. I will provide to you the names and phone numbers of five such people. You call them and ask them things you way. Then you report back what was said? Challenge accepted?

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Anthony,

    Your limitations are showing.

    Skeptics don't place much stock in decades-old unsubstantiated testimony elicited by breathless UFO "researchers" because such testimony sucks.

    So why would we spend time doing something that won't move things forward one bit?

    When I researched Otis Carr, I did a lot of calling of many, many witnesses and people involved with the case. I called sons and daughters, widows, and widowers, reporters, writers and others. I visited witnesses at their homes and video-taped the interviews. I learned quite a bit about the process.

    In particular, I learned that finding the truth is not an easy business. I received diametrically opposed testimony and had no way to determine what was correct. I learned that people forget, conflate and confuse facts.

    As I get older, I do it, too.

    When we add in your propensity to vastly overstate your findings , I find your work to be mostly worthless, substantially meaningless.

    If only you had the modesty to simply report what you find instead of adding in your dubious (and I am being kind here as I edit this post) conclusions.

    Best,

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • "Make 100 calls to 100 Roswell vets and widows. This time, why don't you make the contacts? I challenge you all here and now to do just five. I will provide to you the names and phone numbers of five such people. You call them and ask them things you way. Then you report back what was said? Challenge accepted?"

    About the most useless and pointless challenge ever proposed.

    Can't you see that it is this continuous and endless interviewing of 'witnesses' 3, 4, 5 and even 6 decades after the event that is the root cause of the Roswell ET myth? You are adopting the same formula as Kevin Randle and others. Keep interviewing these ageing people, however tenuously they are conected with the case, and they will come up with more and more embellishments of what took place.

    The story is by now so stuffed with surplus junk testimony that it is worse than useless.

    For goodness sake find some real hard evidence. You have had long enough. Please provide some in time for the 'dream team' report, whenever that may be.

    (By the way, so far as ageing people are concerned, I am one myself, and would not trust my own testimony about the events of 50 years ago to anyone, even a UFOlogist!)

    One other thing: 'vets' in this country means veterinary surgeons, not war veterans.

    By Blogger cda, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • "His recent epic study of the RB-47 case has been met with stunned silence among the UFO faithful. How embarrassing that none of the paranormal peddlers, who are so quick to parrot the unsupported ideas they hear in a superficial film about Best Evidence can muster even the slightest response to the devastating material Tim uncovered in his careful examination."

    Printy was exhaustive with RB-47 and Tim Hebert did the same with Malmstrom. They were both very interesting and enlightening, but the facts of both cases are bizarre enough that I just can't say they were both totally prosaic and that's just it. There are still questions that remain unanswered and, let's not kid ourselves here, always will be unanswered. I've seen your Kelly Johnson case analysis and the same holds. Lenticular cloud? There are real problems with that explanation.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • THE REAL LANCE MOODY

    I forgot to make everyone here aware of a little secret about Mr. Moody!!!

    Lance did not respond to an earlier mention here about Lance's comments on Brad Sparks' religious beliefs- and there is a very good reason. My very good friend reporter Billy Cox here in beautiful Sarasota told me how you say things without doing deeper research before you spew, Lance.

    Lance, why don't you tell everyone here how you were fearful that Brad Sparks was going to sue you and how you called Billy nearly hysterical? How you said things about Brad that you regretted later and wanted to be able to retract?

    Lance knows what I mean and I would not be surprised that he will not respond to this comment...

    AJB

    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • I made some comment about religious beliefs that didn't really belong in the conversation and I apologized for those comments. The "hysterical" part is an invention and completely untrue--I would be surprised if Billy said that.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Tuesday, February 28, 2012  

  • Reading threads like these - something I do with decreasing frequency - reminds me that the mysteries of the anomalous will remain in the shadows, our limitations as humans far outweigh any strengths of our intellectual capabilities. Everyone is busy defending their anthills, no one willing to bend, everyone driven to prove their point, allowing no new insights, attitudes or even information to penetrate their shells.

    By Blogger David Biedny, at Friday, March 02, 2012  

  • David,

    I have to disagree, it's not the stubbornness or stupidity of bastards like me that holds back conclusions for anomoulous ideas.

    It's the terrible evidence.

    One can easily imagine incotrovertable evidence that SHOULD exist now if things really are as claimed for UFOs (or Bigfoot or Ghosts, etc).

    The oft-cited (by believers) Roper poll for UFOs suggests that UFO data must be plentiful. The sheer number of sightings underlines this.

    But as technology improves and cameras wildly and unimaginably proliferate, we should start getting better and better video of the saucers that (if we believe the believers) should be flitting around in every night sky.

    We should have security footage from one location that shows a saucer leaving the area and then have, from another unrelated source, that same saucer entering frame on another camera. I can show you an airplane ditching in the Hudson from one of these cameras (airplane crashes are, if we accept believer claims, MUCH more rare than UFO sightings) but we have nothing like this for UFOs. I can show you the trajectory of a meteor using a series of these cameras. But there is nothing like that for UFOs.

    And even more disconcerting is that we SHOULD be getting more and more of that kind of evidence. There should be a growing snowball of coalescing evidence.

    So where is it?

    Instead the data remains as always at its crappy unconvincing 1947 level. Nothing new. Ever.

    Skeptics often face the charge that they dismiss evidence and would willfully look away from the convincing stuff. I can't understand this. What is my downside for accepting proof of something paranormal? I can't think of one and I can tell you that would welcome such evidence. It's just that the crappy moth-eaten crap that is peddled by the UFO enthusiasts is too embarrassing to get behind.

    I know from many years of being a skeptic the best stuff that the UFO side can muster. And it isn't very good.

    And yet I am ever ready to allow the good stuff, the stuff that should exist but doesn't, to wash over me anytime. Please.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Friday, March 02, 2012  

  • I had NO IDEA I was opening up a can a worms, a "pandora's" box, a place where faith in God is a non subject. Forgive me for being an open person.

    By Anonymous Goldie, at Sunday, July 15, 2012  

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