UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Impressionistic Ufology? Or Forensic Ufology?

Ufology is a bifurcated thing: neither science nor (complete) folly.

The attempts to make “ufology” legitimate, in any sense, have failed miserably.

But that’s because those who’ve adopted the sobriquet, ufology, are fools or scientific wannabes.

While there are a number of UFO buffs who take UFOs seriously, only a handful have adopted a rigorous demeanor in their effort(s) to understand the elusive phenomenon.

Kevin Randle takes a forensic approach to Roswell, but only Roswell: his “white whale.”

Isaac Koi takes a categorization of UFOs which is useful in its way, for others who take, or should, a forensic look at the phenomenon.

Project 1947 has approached (and still does?) the historicity of UFOs.

And some UFO skeptics (like Robert Sheaffer) have taken a forensic shovel to some UFO cases.

But overall, UFOs have received an impressionistic approach pretty much, such as here and at other blogs, none really drilling down to the nitty-gritty of UFO cases.
 And then there is the slipshod dismissal of UFOs altogether, like that of our friend Zoam Chomsky, who dismisses, with invective, UFOs because he doesn’t have the time or inclination to nail down what he sees as the absurdity of UFO reports.

But the need for forensic ufology is a little late, I’m afraid.

UFOs have not had and do not have, at this late stage of the game, the staying power of cultural artifacts or historical and anthropological instances, nor even the ongoing interest in religious myths (such as the Jesus/Christ accounts).
Old cases have missed their time for forensics, Roswell among them, and new cases (sightings) do not have the cachet to invite rigorous study, let along forensics.

I wish it were otherwise, but it isn’t, and those of us still enamored of the topic and phenomenon have got to recognize that reality…..or else we shall be considered demented, or worse.

RR

14 Comments:

  • I read your post earlier yesterday afternoon. Thought provoking, yet no takers for comments. So perhaps you've hit a sore spot for some.

    For starters, you need to define "forensic" ufology. I find what's lacking is the concept of "motive" or the well defined rationale for looking at a particular case. From a psychological angle, etiology plays an important part, yet this tends to be glossed over.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • Tim:

    I've elucidated "forensic ufology" many times at this blog -- which you've missed apparently. (You're a busy guy.)

    I even have a blog so entitled.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • My apologies...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • No need to apologize Timothy....you are a truly busy guy.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • We do have a fairly recent case (unlike Roswell) where there was some reasonable "drilling down." Stephenville, Texas, 2008. But if you are suggesting that the "drilling down" must or should actually get to the bottom of things (and solve this damn mystery)....no, didn't happen and, indeed, could not happen.

    Stephenville, 2008. Hundreds of reports; strange shapes and sizes; jets scrambled; FAA radar tapes that "prove" that something odd (indeed, several things odd) was in the air in and around the Crawford Ranch; and that at least one intruded through restricted air space at Crawford. Conclusion: Unknown aircraft that leaves a radar signal.

    Can't go any further "down", Rich. And if you don't think so, where would you go?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • Well, Dominick....

    You'd file an FOIA request (for the "jets scrambled."

    Then you'd do forensic testing of any photos, films, or videos.

    You'd background check witnesses and carefully analyze their reports for consistencies and non-consistencies.

    You'd check to see if there were any other similar reports or sightings, off locale in the time-frame.

    And you'd check that radar to make sure it was functioning properly.

    (That's a few things, and I'm sure a real forensic expert would have more.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • Memo to the "forensic expert": Jets were scrambled. Air base first denied it then admited it. So we know that happened. Second, you can't background check hundreds of witnesses; can't even background check 50. Way too expensive, as any forensic expert would tell you. He would check 5...but what the heck would that tell you? These sightings occured over many months; indeed, the best ones were in the Fall of 2008 and not in January...which got all of the publicity. The fact remains that hundreds of people in and around Stephenville and Dublin, from all walks of life and professions (pilots, police, businessmen, etc.) reported fundamentally the same phenomena. Finally, no "forensic expert" would have been able to check the radar. (Would any private expert have been allowed to check the radar in the famous Washington National sightings in 1952? No way.) So the radar cannot be checked; we will have to take the FAA's word for it that these are oficial FAA tapes and they were analyzed by MUFON and others. Something strange was in the skies in and around Stephenville for months and intruded over restricted airspace in at least one instance. Exactly what remains undetermined.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • Dominick...

    You give up too easily.

    Did anyone check the atmospherics for the sightings time-frames?

    Did anyone check to see if there were aircraft testings by nearby aircraft companies....prosaic craft?

    Did any one check to see if the water supply was contaminated (like in Flint) that could have produced erroneous sensory perception?

    What else there would be to check could be enumerated by a bona fide forensic expert.

    You take a glib approach....the very thing that drives Zoam Chomsky crazy....and me too, a little bit.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • I give up too easily? Look, skeptics have had 8 years to explain the Stephenville events in prosaic terms. If their "forensic expert" has done it I must have missed it. (Talk about a glip approach). And part of that explanation would have include an understanding of how an unidentifed aircraft tracked on FAA radar for a considerable time at roughly 49mph (!) could accelerate to over 1900mph and fly into restricted air space. But wait, there is an explanation: there was ball lightening in the area, Venus was rising in the East, and all the hundreds of witnesses were smoking pot.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • Dominick...

    I'm surprised at your silliness.

    There are elements of sightings that are appropriate for forensic scrutiny.

    You are a gung-ho UFO aficionado, a hopeful ET believer perhaps, but very unscientific or non-intellectual with this sighting.

    In the Stephenville sightings, which I've always found boring, there are things that could receive more serious analysis, in an attempt to explain what people saw.

    I enumerated some of those things. A scientist or forensic expert could do justice to the sightings.

    Your facile approach turns off those who have an inclination to thorough thought and desire for insights based on more than hope or belief.

    And I.m not advocating skeptics for the analysis, but objective science or forensic expertise.

    I would expect the view you present from a tyro, but you? You've been around the UFO block and are usually thoughtful, but not this time.

    (Yet I luv ya, even though.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • But Rich I dealt rather seriously with the things that you enumerated. There were hundreds of sightings, many of them multiple sightings; there were jets in the air; there were FAA radar tapes; there was the tracking of unknowns at strage speeds and in restricted areas. My approach was emphatically NOT facile. Were they UFOs from a distant planet? Probably not...which is the same answer than skeptics would provide. My point was that the events were not silly or unimportant and that skeptics have the same obligation to drill down and explain. If they have done that in this case I have missed it.

    Love ya, too.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • Drilling down, Dominick, means, for me, getting at the minutiae of each observation: where, time, weather, condition of witnesses, and a few other things.

    Then one can compare each of those items to others, for consistencies (or significant differences).

    It's forensics, not anecdotal commentary.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, February 28, 2016  

  • skeptics have had 8 years to explain the Stephenville events in prosaic terms. If their "forensic expert" has done it I must have missed it.

    Greetings Dominick,

    http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/svilletx.htm

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, February 29, 2016  

  • Thanks, Giles. Still "unknowns" for me, however.

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, February 29, 2016  

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