UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A UFO Explanation: Is There One?

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.

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David Rudiak, commenting recently at Kevin Randle’s blog about the iconic Kenneth Arnold sighting of 1947 (and others), wrote that common sense and logic would bring one to the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) as the answer to the UFO mystery.

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And he was correct, of course.

Studying UFO reports after our perspective of seeing aeronautical displays of heavier-than-air constructs since 1914, and ballooning 200 years before that, one can readily see that UFO sightings and maneuvers of those UFOs sighted duplicate what we have all seen aerially.

Stunt flying, military maneuvers, and just plain flying have all been duplicated or improved upon by UFOs in the air.

However…

Reviewing ancient UFO-like observations and those before the modern era, one notes how bizarre those observations are, even though most seem to have been diligently documented.

The Vallee/Aubeck book, Wonders in the Sky , is a superb resource  for my point.

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Those making the observations or hearing about them, not having the aeronautical experiences we have had, placed what they saw into a mystical, mythological, or religious context.

While those early on UFO-like sightings sometimes reflected advanced flying machines, they mostly depicted something stranger, much stranger.

But for the sake of Mr. Rudiak’s argument, let’s assume they represent indications of extraterrestrial flights, just like the ones he sees in the modern accounts.

Since we’re dealing with thousands and thousands of such sightings over the millennia, and as many in the modern era, This would mean the alien civilizations or cultures are either free of economic issues and/or time derivatives: they are able to come and go without worry of cost or distance traveled.

(I’ve noted here and at our other blogs that it seems strange such visitors would spend so much time here, at the Earth, when there are so many more interesting elements in the Universe through which they travel.)

And because of the recorded diversity of the “objects” and “beings” sighted, one has to assume that more than one – many actually – alien /extraterrestrial culture or race is involved.

Mr. Rudiak’s ET hypothesis is sane and sensible, in its way. But the hypothesis has to treat the issues of how such visitations can be funded or why they continue unabated, without regard for those beings flying them.

If they are robot controlled, what’s the mechanism by which those robots have been produced.

That is, from where does the technology derive? How is it produced? In what economic milieu?

Yes, UFOs may be caused by extraterrestrials, but there’s much more to the ETH that needs clarification.

RR

25 Comments:

  • Setting numerous caveats aside, the ETH isn't as stupid an idea as many have come to see it. It's all demons, inter-dimensionals, spirit-guides and whatever else and let's not forget those psycho-social hallucinations and hoaxes either. Dammit if they aren't all secret projects too!

    Ever since they hit the popular imagination it's been like any port in a storm as folk keep interpreting the phenomena according to what they can relate to most.

    'Common sense' is a woeful benchmark when it comes to weighing up evidence and 'logic' is all too often the mutterings of blind folk groping elephants. That isn't to say I don't value logic, but it's frequently illustrated that people draw different conclusions when they subjectively apply it. One guy's String theory is another's Electric universe.

    So if put ourselves back in the '40s and '50s, with sighting reports of structured crafts , it wasn't that big a leap of logic to at least 'suspect' that (if accurate) they described someone else's stuff from somewhere other than here. If the premise is based upon the acceptance that solid craft were in the skies...isn't it essentially rational to think of 'Elsewhere?'

    Again, if we work from that premise, reports of disc-shaped objects generally referred to objects 20' to 30' and larger. Spherical objects tended to be reported as much smaller. The reported size and shapes of the discs suggests there are/were considerations of aerodynamics and efficient use of energy to move an object through an atmosphere.

    I'm just speculating and know there are exceptions and flaws in the body of reports. The thing is, we're allowed to speculate and explore ideas based on any number of premises as long as we remain sensible and don't go offering too many (if any) certainties.

    It's just my observation that the ETH has been somewhat stuck in the past and it evokes images of flying saucers chugging through space and piloted by little space aliens. That then hits the barriers of accepted physics and biology when we know that space is marvellously immense.

    Clark's Third Law can be invoked to minimise the conflict between sightings reports and our understanding of cosmology. Kaku's 'Types of Civilisations' does likewise and invites even more speculation but is it enough? And is it explaining a mystery with a mystery?

    Maybe the IDKP (I Don't Know Postulate) is a more reasonable premise?



    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Thursday, March 28, 2013  

  • There is nothing stupid about the ETH idea. ETs may well have been visiting us, and other planets of interest to them, for centuries if not millennia.

    They may have even explored our planet from before homo sapiens existed.

    No, the main objection to ETH at the present is the idea that some US government conspiracy, or maybe a world-wide conspiracy, exists to keep this knowledge, plus the captured hardware, from the public seemingly forever (as put about initially by Keyhoe in 1950). The excuse usually given is that we poor souls are 'not yet ready to receive this knowledge', or words to that effect.

    That, in essence, is the position of Rudiak, Friedman, Tim Good, the Disclosure group, and countless others.

    I don't buy it, but you can if you want to. But I am pretty certain you don't want to.

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, March 28, 2013  

  • The ETH, fellows, is a simple explanation, simplistic actually, as I was attempting to point out.

    It's rational in its way, but it needs to be fleshed out.

    Are ET civilizations devoid of technological restrictions, the economics of such?

    Do those alleged civilizations have untapped resources and elements that allow ongoing reconnoitering of a planet like ours?

    Why Earth? Are we that special? That unusual?

    (From what we know of the Universe, Earth is a back-water.)

    There are other caveats, which I had hoped some might raise in this "discussion."

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 28, 2013  

  • One science fictional premise is that the universe is chock full of alien civilizations, but it might be that sentient species that reach space without annihilating themselves are pretty damn rare. Thus we might not be the backwater you mention.

    As an SF fan for decades, I've always thought it the height of arrogance that scientists state nothing can go faster than the speed of light, period. FTL, side-stepping SoL, has always seemed plausible to me in a technology so far beyond ours that as A.C. Clarke stated, it seems like magic.

    By Blogger Wade, at Thursday, March 28, 2013  

  • Hi Rich.

    I really appreciate how fair your assessment is.

    I happen to agree with David, in many ways. He is one of the researchers that actually takes time to dig. Tony is like that too, even if others feel he jumps to conclusions. They both devote their time so that we might all come to a better understanding of this complex mystery.

    Whether the ETH is correct, or not, I don't know, but one thing seems certain to me: who, or whatever they are, their agenda remains unclear.

    Because I generally feel that my experience in the Bahamas in 1990, was as real as the encounter with a whale shark, I tend to feel they are much more than simply Extra, or Non Terrestrial.

    I also agree that our Navy knows more than anyone else about them, and that the base at Andros has something to do with "them."

    There is something about these Other-Type-Beings that is so unnerving that one cannot remain in a rational state of mind while they are near you. This still doesn't answer the big question, but if folks like David, and Tony continue probing, we might eventually understand.

    Thanks again for such a thoughtful article.

    /Bob

    By Blogger Bob Koford, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • Thanks Bob....

    You and I (and a few others) look at UFOs as a mystery to be explored hypothetically and with an open, civil mind.

    And you know I agree with you that the U.S. Navy is really the source for info on UFO activity, not the AF.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • What why and wherefore compels and propels the painting of our own situation seemingly more by imagination than direct knowledge.

    The mystery that eludes rationality compels the tension of our own existence in terms of why sentience exists in a great example of biocentrism superimposed on Conrad's "The Secret Sharer" who, in this case refuses to speak for itself. So we speak for it. Why?

    This why question as the situation of human nature's positioning is projected upon a vast field of information.

    It's apparent we are composed by our receptiveness to inferences that suggest in our personal luggage, like a frequency range or a key to a codex calls forth many a projection, seeking a incommensurable connection that we then become oddly bewildered by as to why it defies a rational and logical explanation. Sort of like a bubble in a soda can being clueless as to the odder purpose of carbonation.

    It may be as simple as that we require an example of just how ignorant we are when it comes to asking just who is the phantom here?

    The issue with Ufology is that it is fiercely territorial refusing to accept it belongs to other classes of anomalous phenomenon despite one to one similarities. Its feet are stuck in it's environment and is a creature of a technological society that is as dumb as a brick, when it comes to pulling itself out of that context for another point of comparative observation.
    These are ghosts of a more universalist scope beyond the individuated examples that are uniquely human and can materialize, leave traces, have inexplicable behavioral only to provoke a fierce debate where both sides carry the pretense they can speak for a phenomena that refuses to speak for itself. Very similar to theology.
    There is a great mystery afoot but we have to get out of this provincial terminology and put it in the shredder. Will this happen?
    Of course not. No one will change unless the phenomenon forces many to change their perspective and that my friend may be the greatest clue as to it's nature we can append.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • Bruce,

    You make the issue, the topic -- the phenomenon -- too complex.

    You cloak it with more mystery than it deserves.

    While UFOs are unusual, and curiosity-driven, they are not beyond the human ken.

    That you are intellectually stymied
    by the matter, by UFOs themselves, says more about your mind-set than it does about UFOs.

    You must really perplexed by how the Easter Bunny gets all those baskets of goodies to kids in one night.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • "That is, from where does the technology derive? How is it produced? In what economic milieu?"

    I am not surprised by the sarcasm my comment created in a provocation in light of this series of questions you posed as the essence of the phenomenon despite your earlier comment on civil discourse.
    I may not know from whence the Easter Bunny comes from, but I am not expecting to meet him as a technologically driven, socio- economic humanoid. What I said is not complex. You simply did not receive the answer you wanted as a definitive case of reductionism. For your sake, I am unapologetic about this refuting of your pet corn. It may be your puzzle pieces do not fit as you said, because you are stuck in the square peg of framing what is to anyone, the complex nature that you want to wrestle into a theology of spacemen driving vehicles despite your many many disqualifiers you have listed.
    I call that a belief system and you can have at it in a circular game of self referencing. Cest La Vie.
    "Thats Ufology"

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • I'd like you to expand on why the US Navy is really the source for info on UFO activity, not the USAF.

    For instance, has the USN had a secret project to investigate UFOs, or even a non-secret one, as did the AF?

    Are any other navies involved? The high seas belong to everyone, not just the USN.

    Finally, what exactly do you think the USN has discovered about UFOs, if anything? Why no reports from them?

    Wasn't Hillenkoetter the USN's leading Admiral during the critical period of the 50s (until he 'defected' to NICAP)? Did he know anything the public did not?

    By Blogger cda, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • Bruce and PG...

    UFOs are of small consequence, as I've stated many times here and elsewhere.

    They are a Rubric's Cube kind of puzzle.

    We can play with it (as I do) or ignore it (as Bruce wishes to do) or we can let it smolder as it does for many.

    Bruce doesn't want to implicate himself with the phenomenon, and PG is just tired of it.

    Don Ecsedy will only deal with the paper artifacts the matter has produced.

    You three are not "theorists" or wish to be.

    Paul Kimball has eschewed UFOs for more profitable enterprises (film making and book publishing).

    Nick Redfern has taken to alerting his readership of every mystery extant and then some.

    UFOs are, for me, a plaything. I like to indulge myself with them as I used to with my pals when we played aggies (marbles).

    Bruce would have me stop because it is so silly and wasteful, to his mind.

    There are other matters afoot that deserve attention and application.

    The mystery of life, being, and God, all come to mind.

    But UFOs are within the realm of discovery, as I see it.

    And conjecturing about them is a minor pleasure.

    Bruce reminds me of a guy who used to sit with a gang of us debating things at a restaurant.

    He would insist we give up the debate because he had to go home at the will of his wife.

    He wanted us to end our "fun" because he couldn't participate.

    In Bruce's case, he mocks the "debate" here because he doesn't wish to participate.

    He's not a theorist.

    I agree with what he states. He's right of course.

    The matter seems to him to be unfathomable.

    To me, it isn't.

    RR






    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • You have projected on me as a poster boy of your personal irritants, in an astonishing act of your mind reading between the lines of my alternative approach and criticism of the direction of your enquiry in a thinly veiled provocation regarding my personality. This is something you are intermittently known for. Thats not my problem, thats one you own.
    Back to the subject at hand as you often say. Ufology (you said) cannot be known by Ufology alone. I am in agreement with that by the nature of my comments. Comparing by contrast this anomalous atmospheric phenomenon to other anomalous atmospheric phenomenon to measure simple similarities and dissimilarities seems to upset your neat apple cart which is neither neat or simple. As you say, it's your blog..you might want to refrain from posting my comments for the sake of your health.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • Bruce, You know I find you to be well-read, profound, and erudite -- obscure sometimes. but brilliant.

    But you think that UFOs are beyond explanation.

    I do not.

    They are a minor mystery, and irritating curiosity.

    They are, for me, Rubric Cubist, as I've noted.

    I don't find you to be an irritant. You are like Socrates, a gadfly, as Aristophanes had it.

    I'm trying to make clear that UFOs can be explained, if analyzed properly.

    You think not. I presume.

    And your comments do not elicit health issues with me.

    Too many White Castle sliders do, however.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • Going back to the beginning. I said:

    "The issue with Ufology is that it is fiercely territorial refusing to accept it belongs to other classes of anomalous phenomenon despite one to one similarities"
    The track I am on is radically different than most..perhaps in comparisons between classes of atmospheric ghost activity.
    Similarities:
    1. The presence of magnesium in the environment where both ghost images and UFO close contacts occur.
    2. Nonsensical activity as in "aliens" stealing fertiliser or "ghosts" repeating actions ad nauseum without being purposeful.
    3. The capability to walk through solid objects. Glide over surfaces.
    4. The ability to materialise and then vanish instantaneously.
    5. Unusually radiant atmospheric phenomenon.
    6. Effects on electronic or electrical devices.
    7. Effects on animal behavior.
    8. The ability to transform shape, appearance.
    9. Predisposition of witnesses matched to specifics of anticipation than are matched to results.
    10. The behavior of both classes mimic rather than to have sentience.
    11. The co-opting of neuro-biological sensory systems on observers.
    12. Statistical clustering of events
    13. Magnetic anomalies
    14. Viral transference of anticipations leading to peaks as in #12.
    All of this does not suggest extraterrestrials, perhaps only as a dimly remote possibility. What I am saying is that ghosts are not ghosts and UFOs are not flying machines. What "they" are seems intrinsically entangled in the environment that under the right series of parallel circumstances that turn a tumbler ( like a tornado) co-joins and reverses the ordering of inner and outer experience, as we define this demarcation. This can be studied unlike examining the landing gear of a craft that is a will of the wisp.


    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • How then might we proceed?

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • I think proceeding with the measurement of benchmarks is premature unless you count in Persinger's work in measuring one aspect of the phenomenon ( the neurobiological) which exists in the context of his own work ( statistical and otherwise) in direct relation to the transience trending in atmospheric conditions linked to both geographic locations and the geological composition of localised environments subject to this transience of trending on parallel patterns of more than one factor that act like tumblers to a lock. We don't know what these coinciding and measurable, specific ranges might be to let us open the lock to see what is there behind the door..
    By using neurobiology and environmental factors together as measurable, even repeatable in experimentation procedures, he has avoided mythos.
    All of this is not sexy. Ufology as it has been "practiced" is a subset of competing theologies that bypass field work that requires funding as well as a multidisciplinary staff that can gather and correlate data on these benchmarks to compare and contrast their relationships and this is only a first step.
    Our own language is too loaded with inference and suggestion that has nothing to do with a hard look by science but in fact has made it largely a subject of ridicule by science due to this. Many, many credible witnesses are paved over by the "reputation" of the phenomenon created by a bunch of "theology students" who insist on labelling this or that by willy nilly relativity that comes from talking out of their posterior parroting and purloining the 57 varieties found in the mythos of centuries old inane belief systems. They themselves lack the self awareness they are clueless "experts" holding not a shred of measurable evidence except their own verbiage. Pouring from the empty into the void.
    The well has been poisoned by a general ignorance of both science and subjects outside of the cloister that is Ufology, which is a poorly designed overlay of conglomerated suspicions this way or that. In the vaunted 21st Century, nothing has changed except the myths we cling to without the elbow grease to investigate them. No one wants to chase vanishing, purposeless "little green men" but if presented as a effect rather than a cause, we might proceed.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • So we get it. For you UFOs are like those undergradute bull sessions fueled by beer, cheap wine, and weed that seemed incredibly deep and insightful at the time because we were completely buzzed out of our minds.

    I have from time to time suggested other possibilities (that I can't prove any more than you can prove ETs), and so have a host of others, but a cadre of "old timers" who came to the subject in the 1950s and 60s wants to hold onto science fiction fantasies of intersellar beings carrying ray guns and isn't interested in theories involving cryptoterrestrials, instrusions of other dimensions into this one, time slips, electromagnetic disruption of normal brain functioning, etc.

    No wonder so many of the younger generation (Nick Redfern, Tim Binall, etc.) who were once more focused on UFOs are becoming bored with the topic and shifting attention to other paranormal phenomena.

    Much of Ufology has myopia and tunnel vision focused on a few tired Old Betsys that have no life left in them. How long can those dead horses be flogged? For some (the Roswell gang), forever apparently. Yeah, it's fun for them, but the rest of us want them to just shut up and go away. The sooner, the better.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • Harsh, PG, but right on the button, as usual.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • R-cubed:

    ...I must confess that while perusing both youse guys and Randel's blog, I have often seen Professor Rudiak's overly wordy multi-posts...

    ..I also must confess that I have NEVER been able to complete the reading of said posts...

    AND I continue to wonder why that old CUFOS IUR newsletter always had dopey "research" articles by Rudiak, yet they seemed to avoid articles by one of the original Roswell researchers, Tom Carey, who actually organized this latest "Dream Team" effort...

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • Yes, KP....

    Rudiak is a wordy S.O.B. but he's had few outlets for his voluminous forays, so when he gets a chance to
    regurgitate all that he knows and thinks, he pours it forth.

    That's been his downfall. He keeps overselling his ideas.

    It appears that he's trying to convince himself as well as others.

    But one has to give him props for what he's discovered or unearthed that others have missed.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, March 29, 2013  

  • One item dealing with the Navy:

    As one reads through the formerly classified documents pertaining to the formation of the National Security establishment, one cannot help but notice the concern posed by the Navy (mostly in the form of Admiral Inglis) about retaining its status in the field of Air Intelligence.

    Most people (those interested, that is) that think of "Air Intelligence" think of the Air Force. This is very logical, of course. But at the end of WWII, before there was an Air Force, the Navy already maintained Air Intelligence. It was THEIR bag.

    Before I lose you, I suggest to any of you that are willing, to read some of these documents at the CIA FOIA page for yourself. The Navy (Inglis) very up tight about losing its Air Intelligence status to the AAF/new Air Force.

    When you add to this the later squabbles between the Navy/ONI/ONR and the Air Force, over control of information and the handling of the Unidentified Flying Object problem, and Secretary Forrestal, DCI Hillenkoetter...etc., it seems to suggest that the Navy was already on top of it, and didn't want the Air Force taking it from them.

    These are just baby steps in the direction CDA was asking for, but I think they point the correct way.

    /Bob

    By Blogger Bob Koford, at Saturday, March 30, 2013  

  • If I may, I wish to add to my previous comment.

    Obviously, if the Navy did (does) have a deep, or deeper interest in the UFO problem, the CIA UFO people were unaware. As the CIA's FOIA/UFO files reveal, the CIA in fact "hired", if you will, the Air Force (ATIC) to be their UFOB collection agency. They didn't want the public (or enemy agents) to know about their deep interest in it.

    The CIA had (has) UFOB experts, and interested individuals within different departments, whose (reportedly un-official) job was to keep track of the problem.

    The "problem" pertained to other National groups developing advanced systems of which we would need to keep fully aware.

    So, if the Navy did (does) have a component secretly dealing with this issue, perhaps in something like a Naval Aerospace/Aeronautical Committee (OPNAC), for instance, then it is being kept secret from the CIA as well.

    This I freely admit, opening myself up for a good thrashing from CDA perhaps? ;)

    By Blogger Bob Koford, at Saturday, March 30, 2013  

  • R-squared:

    ...I just had a thought that the USGOVT evidence for the UBL 'death' is not too dissimilar to the USGOVT evidence for the prosaic:

    http://www.af.mil/information/roswell/index.asp

    ...n'est-ce pas?, Vallee-droid????

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Saturday, March 30, 2013  

  • As are the flying-saucer myth, the larger "UFO" myth and collective delusion, and the whole of the pseudoscience of ufoolery—the ETH is pure science-fiction fantasy, an expression of age-old human celestial longings and wishfulness in the age of space flight and astronomical discovery and nothing more. There are no ET to be an ETH.

    Self-conscious life that might eventually be capable of intestellar travel—the wholly unlikely outcome of myriad utterly random cosmic and biological accidents—is most probably the rarest organization of matter in all of the Galaxy in its ~13BY lifetime.

    There may be life-friendly environments, even nearly identicle suns with earths that never produce life of any kind—much less sentient creatures that aspire to star travel. Any instances of such creatures, however rare, in our Orion spur or half the Galaxy away, might have existed and perished long ago, or we may be the first to wonder. Simply because we exist by one happy accident of self-consciousness to reflect on the Universe—by a single mutation in an infinitely, radically contingent process—doesn't mean there is another sentient creature in the entire Galaxy.

    And, as if that insurmountable mathematical and cosmic prohibition isn't deadly enough to the extremely tenuous, least likely and unnecessary ET hypothesis for "UFO" reports, then astronomical realities: the vast distances between stars; time; fuel; the lifetime of any creature; life support; deadly radiations; and innumerable undetected random hazards to vulnerable spacecraft traveling at sufficient speed make the task of interstellar travel—for anyone in any time—an improbable feat.

    Every exception to the Fermi paradox (which makes astronomical assumptions predicting ET ubiquity but finds none in reality) is an explanation of why we most likely will never meet, here or there, ET intelligences of any kind. Unlike all valid exceptions to the paradox, only the ETH for "UFO" reports, a typically fallacious circular argument from Believers in the myth, pretends to have resolved the Fermi paradox—but most astronomers dismiss it and all of ufoolery as utter nonsense.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, April 05, 2013  

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