UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Perception, misperception, and misinterpretation of UFOs (From our 2005 blog)

Andy Roberts, and many UK ufologists, such as Jenny Randles, think that most, if not all, UFOs are a matter of misperception of prosaic phenomena; some unknown by science, but most misperceived for various reasons by sightings witnesses.

UFO sightings are perceived under a number of circumstances, all of which can’t be enumerated here but include atmospherics, physiology of the witness(es), psychological make-up of the witness(es), and the time-factor of the event or “object” being seen.

Then there is the interpretation of the perception, which is influenced by such factors as education/intelligence of the witness(es), psychological attributes of the witness(es), and
various predilections of the witness(es); e.g., the need to be noticed, the need not to be, et cetera.

Are there any UFO events which have not been misperceived? Isaac Koi thinks so. But no one here can think of any, off-hand. No UFO sighting has been clear-cut as far as we can recall.

The Socorro incident, which is an important UFO account, is not seen by us as a clear-cut sighting of an ET craft or a secret, military craft. (Other interpretations, such as a hoax or meteorological, do not apply here; witness Lonnie Zamora providing enough information to rule both of those interpretations out.)

The sighting was not misperceived, but the interpretation by UFO investigators is still open to question, despite the rabid, quasi-ET interpretation by some ufologists such as David Rudiak.

So it boils down to misinterpretation more than misperception, although elements of perception are a sine qua non of any UFO investigation.



  • My own view of this is based on bioneurology as perception is based on the mind simulating the environment by processing information at a certain velocity and range and so to begin with, perception is a simulation, not a direct experience. In some cases, it seems that one simulation has been replaced with another that is reliant on associative memories. This relates to dream states in some aspects as dreams as a process are based on editing experience for storage versus removal among other aspects, or so the latest studies suggest. In other parapsychological categories, we have sensations of being touched, being spoken to, ambient environmental sounds lacking a source, as well as objects being moved physically. I suspect there is a meta-reality to all this that remains undiscovered and so it could be every genuine sighting is a simulation by a natural or technological basis that exploits this vulnerability of neurology that bridges image and imagination in perception. Maybe not.
    As far as any account is concerned, the larger crux of the mystery confounds us due ( I think) to how we utilise consciousness as we define it in relation to 99% of this activity is devoted to tasking and tool making due to our physical orientation here. And our definition of purpose is based on this and as we define purpose, we are skewed by our own projection bias when we cannot find a purpose in these anomalies. Another is neurology as it relates to images and how we imagine the world to be, not as it is. We define ourselves as being conscious whereas my view is that it resembles a waking dream state and the immeasurable factors of these anomalies ( the lack triangulation markers) not surprisingly indicates another plane of activity that intersects our own..with decidedly unknown characteristics.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, December 23, 2014  

  • Bruce, you make the issue more complex than it needs to be or is.

    Persons misperceive. Their senses provide faulty input to their brains.

    It's neurological mostly as Oliver Sacks tells us.

    That a meta-reality may intrude sometimes is a possibility but that is a sci-fi reality, not a real reality.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, December 23, 2014  

  • Science disagrees with your defining other aspects of reality as science fiction. There is no "real"reality outside of our approaches and Einstein long ago discounted physicality as a marker. It is complex and you and I disagree on this. Mis-perception as a be all and end all to this strikes me as reductionist that is akin to a psychological and manageable safety zone of considerations.
    Your skepticism as a negation of other possibilities erases other venues of this pursuit and you have said often that at this point we are not in a position to confine them to one set of postulates. We can not trust perception wholly but to me this does not equal that this may be true and other possibilities might also be true simultaneously.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, December 23, 2014  

  • I admire the conjecture of course, Bruce, but misperceiving strikes me as a physical problem more than a gateway to other realities.

    The psychology mesh [sic] is where one will find the cause of the misperception as Randles et al. think also.

    There is another reality, as Plato told us, but we won't encounter it in this side of our life, at least not in the ways that UFO witnesses do or those who think they see ghosts.

    I'm with Sacks on this.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, December 23, 2014  

  • That's understandable from the point of view that we are both lodged between abstractions and as you put it, "real realities" a term I like. As I wrote my response, a new rescue dog peed on the family room carpet.
    I think rationality has it's limits as physicists crank out theories as abstracted as any UFO theory. According to them it's a matter of bubbles, strings, or heaven's knows what.
    All of this aside, I hope you have a great Christmas and a less complicated New Year.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, December 23, 2014  

  • And a Merry Holiday to you, Bruce.

    We'll get through 2015 okay, I hope.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, December 23, 2014  

  • ``Their senses provide faulty input to their brains.``

    I am not sure this is the simplest non-confusing way of putting it. 'Senses' seems rather intangible and non-specific. Some would argue that the 'sense' itself is IN the brain -- with simple neurological 'feelers' feeding information to it. Then you have the whole 'phantom limb' syndrome to account for -- where a missing limb 'hurts'. Where is THAT sense? Certainly not in the discarded limb.

    The brain also adapts rather quickly to changes in sense data. As I remember the experiment, people were given glasses which inverted everything upside-down. While confusing at first, the brain adapts to such a degree that removing the glasses (and returning the sense data to normal) actually causes the same upside-down confusion again.

    I am in agreement with you, actually. I just don't think you can put it so simply without these kinds of qualifiers.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Tuesday, December 23, 2014  

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