UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Larry's Venn Diagram

larry.jpg

Larry provides his Venn Diagram with this explanation:

Here's my cut at a Venn diagram for categorizing UFO reports.  I have chosen logical categories in such a way that no more than 2 of them overlap simultaneously, so I can use rectangles rather than circles, but this diagram conveys the same basic logic.

Some explanations and definitions:

I define an honest observer as one who will report his/her observations with no intention to deceive or mislead.  It is assumed that all UFO reporters except those who are psychologically impaired will know whether or not there was an objectively real stimulus present in their environment that gave rise to their report. An honest UFO reporter would make no report of any kind if they had not witnessed some objectively real stimulus.

A rationally dishonest observer is someone who is not psychologically impaired and is therefore capable of knowing whether or not there was an objectively real stimulus present in their environment that gave rise to their report but nevertheless chooses to create a false UFO report in order to accomplish some rational objective (fame, fortune, disinformation, prank, ego satisfaction, etc.) in the absence of such a stimulus.

A psychologically impaired individual is someone who does not reliably and systematically operate on the reality principle, for whatever reason.  He/she may not understand the distinction between truth and falsity, may be a pathological (as compared to a rational) liar, may be subject to hallucinations and delusions, etc.  Hence, a UFO report made by such an individual may contain nothing but truth, nothing but falsity, or any combination of the two.

Click HERE to see Larry's Venn full-screen on your monitor.

RR

13 Comments:

  • The only qualifier to your diagram ( which focuses on witness variability) is projection bias, the urge to become a participant in something that is greater than oneself. You could say these individuals are in search of a trans-personal experiential reality. They may report what was observed accurately, however, they identify with the idea that these are "spaceships" and in speaking to several, this has skewed their objectivity indelibly, wherein a arms length relationship with the phenomenon is impossible to recover. I wish I had Powerpoint as both of these diagrams are interesting to say the least.These remind me of R.A Wilson's commentary on what he termed "reality tunnels"..

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • BTW..Venn Diagrams have their origin in the 12th Century as described by Ibn Al Arabi. What is interesting in this is how all language is loaded language when it comes to this phenomenon. A great deal of unwieldy associations and connections that may or may not be true.
    I would put at the center of my diagram "anomalous atmospheric phenomenon" just for the sake of commentary on context and language.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • Bruce wrote:

    "You could say these individuals are in search of a trans-personal experiential reality. They may report what was observed accurately, however, they identify with the idea that these are "spaceships" and in speaking to several, this has skewed their objectivity indelibly..."

    Back about 20 years ago, when I was an active (but closeted) UFO investigator, I found this idea that you state and that seems to be commonly held--is wrong.

    I would often find myself giving a talk somewhere or another, sometimes informally, to small groups about the UFO topic, its then current state of development, etc., etc. Invariably, at the end of the talk a small fraction of the individuals in attendance would come forward and, with hesitation and embarrassment, tell me of their own personal sightings or experiences. I'm sure that other UFO researchers have had this exact same experience.

    Also invariably, after telling me about their nocturnal light, daylight disc, or flying triangle, they would conclude that they had no idea what they had seen, they just knew it was highly unusual and unlike anything they had seen before or since. (In most cases--a very few witnesses had seen more than one UFO during their lifetime.) They would ask me if I knew what they had seen and I would assure them that I did not, but that what they were describing was what was secretly being described to me at the end of every other presentation I made.

    The experience of hearing this kind of witness report many, many times has been important in informing my position on the topic of UFOs. First of all, they were volunteered by the witnesses--I did not know who in the audience may or may not have had an experience, so I was not predetermining the outcome of the experiment. Second, in most cases the witnesses would begin by saying something like "I've never told anyone this before....". So, I am pretty sure their reports were undistorted by the process of telling and retelling. Third, the reports had never been reported to any of the official or unofficial organizations that collect UFO reports (Blue Book, MUFON, etc.). The reports were basically unfiltered by any selection bias that may have been imposed by an organization's pre-existing belief system.

    What I concluded after 10 or 15 years of this experience is:
    1. Whatever it is that stimulates the belief in individuals that they have seen a UFO (or UAP, to use Dick Haines' terminology) the large majority of such experiences go totally unreported to organized collection efforts. My personal estimate is that less than 1 in 10 of all UFO sightings go reported to anyone beyond immediate family members.
    2. The 90% of all UFO sightings that do not get reported (and therefore are "unfiltered" by public opinion) are qualitatively identical to the 10% that do get reported. It was this realization, among others, that was strongly suggestive to me that the psycho-social hypothesis was inadequate to explain the quality and quantity of UFO reports.
    3. In no case, did the witnesses I talked to conclude that they had seen "spaceships" nor think that they had had a trans-personal experience. They had had a singular experience that was so unusual that they remembered it years or decades later. They would invariably end by saying words to the effect of "I don't know what it was, but it was NOT an airplane (star, meteor, balloon, etc.).

    Contrary to popular belief, my experience is that 99+% of all UFO witnesses do not turn their sightings into a life-transforming myth.

    By Blogger Larry, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • Larry makes valid and important points:

    People reporting UFOs pretty much describe exactly what they’ve seen or experienced.

    (I think Lonnie Zamora did this too.)

    They do not embellish, and even if they’ve misconstrued some detail of their sighting, the gist of that sighting remains intact.

    And while “…99+% of all UFO witnesses do not turn their sightings into a life-transforming myth” they also do not alter their lives as if the sighting was singularly transformative, or traumatic; they go on with life, generally, as they always have.

    One sees an odd thing in the sky (or one the ground, as in the cases that Jose Caravaca has proffered) and it is exciting then and as a remembrance, but it doesn’t cause them to take up causes as Jeanne d’Arc did or Betty Hill did.

    When the Mannors reported their 1966 “swamp gas” object, they made it through the media circus and went on to live their lives in virtual anonymity and normally, farming and working for a living.

    UFOs are only important in the mind of those who’ve made it their calling, for some oddball reason(s).

    UFOs don’t create myths, they haven’t created myths (Roswell included), and they are inconsequential, in the great scheme of things.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • Your experience is markedly different from my own and it would be interesting, if not impossible to discern what folks say in public and what they think privately. In other words, not to appear foolish or simply demented they add a qualifier of ambiguity to let themselves off a potential hook on which they could be strung. What I have heard is through correspondence. I think there is an attraction principle that I suspect exists regarding like minds seeming to seek the same, which, of course, is a common pitfall. I do think there are those who have the self wherewithal to not second guess what is incommensurable, but I have found that to be a rarity. I wonder how many avoid reporting simply not to be typecast or stereotyped in someone else's scenario despite their own ambiguity concerning what they experienced. In other words, someone will label this that or some other without knowing more than the witness, which is not ridicule as it's defined. It seems that the interpreters of these experiences are more of an issue than the witnesses as they are too immature to live with uncertainty.
    My issue has been at the root of modality preceding communication where in you refer to UFO and you get instantaneous contamination. Going back to the Venn diagram, how this phenomenon is framed is another aspect. While I do not doubt for a second, the validity of your point, in some aspect I think whether we have truthful witnesses almost becomes self referential as if what they saw was what it appeared to be, or not..in other words, truthful compared to what? That seems to be a question of our own limited biology by way of the senses. It certainly simplifies matters to file this under truthful and that as lying in a variety of of ways, just as a matter of pragmatism. The variegation of this phenomenon and it's differentiation over time is what makes me add this qualifier. There are so many ways to add this filter or that to an investigation, that in this case, the amount of them seems to indicate more of an observer effect to this which has made an explanation almost impossible to reach. All at best we can have, are transitory personal suspicions.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • Larry
    BTW..I would not consider my opinion of my own suspicion that this phenomenon is as to be classified PSI phenomenon as an educated guess. Although I find that Arthur Koestler's Roots of Coincidence more compelling than looking for rubble of a spaceship, so I am the first to admit that, while open minded, my own suspicions are a good example of projection bias if I look at them from without.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • Bruce:

    You're making too much of this.

    People see things and talk about what they saw, if they are within an open minded or civil community of friends and relatives.

    Your view applies to those who, back a few years, were thought of as kooks if they reported they saw a flying saucer.

    Times have changed that.

    We all know that oddities are seen or experienced, and even if we suspect the observer is nuts, we tolerate their view.

    You are making the phenomenon more important than it is.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • I am not saying that the typology of this phenomenon in terms of atmospheric anomalies is the crux of the matter. This could be about ghost like Pepsi bottles. Where we differ is of course how we view and evaluate , and categorize anomalies. To me this is all about our conceptual modeling, which, strictly for myself,is what this subject is about..not spaceships, not time travelers, ancient astronauts..and the like but how we are reacting to a incommensurable stimulus regardless of source. If you re-read my comment I said
    "I wonder how many avoid reporting simply not to be typecast or stereotyped in someone else's scenario despite their own ambiguity concerning what they experienced. In other words, someone will label this that or some other without knowing more than the witness, which is not ridicule as it's defined."
    We have diverging views with commonalities like a Venn diagram, which makes commenting always interesting, as I look forward to all opinions especially those divergent from my own.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • One has to be careful, Bruce, that they are not projecting their ideas of conceptual modeling or views of anomalies upon the population as a whole.

    Our mind-sets -- those who visit or write here -- differ markedly from what is the norm.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • I agree and consensus as an arbiter of the many realities we inhabit is notoriously unreliable. At times, it's delusional regarding this phenomenon or that. I think we have a situation where we have only a freedom to superimpose this or that suit of clothes to experiential opinion when it comes to anomalies so , in a sense, we agree on the over valuing of our own valuations,giving them an importance that may turn out to be relative to our own ignorance regarding the import of this phenomenon, one way or the other.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • Rich wrote:
    "UFOs don’t create myths, they haven’t created myths (Roswell included), and they are inconsequential, in the great scheme of things."

    I agree with the first statement and disagree with the second.

    When UFO reports first took a dramatic upsurge in the 1940s, they could not be taken seriously by mainstream intelligentsia and political leadership because their very existence as technological artefacts from who-knows-where seemed impossible. The scientific elite--even those who had just created rocket powered space ships and released nuclear energy--knew that flying saucers could not simply be some other intelligent race's spaceships, even if powered by nuclear energy. In order to be physically real, they would have to be even stranger than our most advanced science and technology of the time would allow.

    That was obviously a profoundly uncomfortable thought for any human being with an ego. Accordingly, it should not be surprising that collectively humanity mobilized all the classic ego defenses at its disposal--denial, intellectualization, rationalization, projection, passive agression, etc.

    As it turns out, however, the intervening 65 years of progress in science has now shown today's top strata of intelligentsia that the universe is constructed in such a way that it is not necessarily impossible for material objects to get from one location in space-time to another distant location while bypassing the limitations of the rocket equation.

    I'm educated as both a nuclear physicist and a rocket scientist, so I find this prospect intriguing from a professional standpoint. The situation might be thought of as analogous to the state of physics between about 1900 and 1938. The atomic nature of matter had become conventional wisdom, and much progress had been made in understanding the workings of the atomic nucleus. Suddenly, in 1938, the fission of the Uranium atom by neutrons was discovered more or less by accident. Within a matter of weeks, the leading minds understood the potential of nuclear fission for both weapons and for civilian power. Within about 6 years, the first nuclear reactors were operating and the first atomic bombs were produced and used.

    I think the discovery of UFOs in 1947 is an event analogous to the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938. In the case of nuclear fission, there was a large body of pre-existing theory and practice that allowed the exploitation of nuclear energy in a very short period of time. Top scientists of the day were ready to go to work on the problem immediately.

    In the case of UFOs, they appear to have been discovered without the underlying theoretical basis for understanding them. I think many people at the time (1947) must have assumed (and probably still assume) that the science and technology behind them must be thousands or millions of years in advance of our own. It looks to me like its only about 100 years or so.

    UFOs may have been relatively inconsequential, up to this point, in the same way that nuclear fission was thought of as inconsequential in 1938.

    I think that the sudden appearance of UFOs in large numbers in the 1940s is the Universe's way of telling us that there's a lot more to reality than we thought. We will eventually figure out ways to inhabit that greater reality, and that will be quite consequential.

    However, it probably won't happen in my lifetime.

    By Blogger Larry, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • Your view Larry is not unlike that of our friend Anthony Bragalia.

    But when one looks at the ways of the world, the things that people are concerned with and impacted by, UFOs are not on the radar.

    They may indicate an important reality -- we are not alone in the Universe -- but as one of my long ago compatriots told me, "They don't put food on the table or money in my pocket."

    Looking at UFOs philosophically (or even theologically) is intellectual, but has little or nothing to do with practical reality.

    The Syrian people couldn't care less about UFOs, nor Nelson Mandela, or that little girl with a lung transplant.

    Those who hope for the transformation of humankind see UFOs as a kind of link.

    For me, that link is, as you say, far away, and, therefore, of no consequence...now.

    (You idealists are heartening, I'll give you that.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, June 29, 2013  

  • I object to the term "unconventional" in that it is entirely subjective.

    In the last four years I have watched over 1000 UFO videos online -- not one showed objects that moved unconventionally (excepting those later shown to be CGI hoaxes). I have read hundreds of online UFO reports, including several which described unconventional movements of UFOs -- not one of these had an accompanying video showing such movements.

    That is not an accident.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Friday, August 02, 2013  

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