UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Venus Meme

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Our friend Jean [Rare phenomena lover] left a comment for my February 27, 2017 item here about a UFO sighting in which two young boys described the thing as having lots of legs:
Jean makes a good case for the sighting as an optical event whereby Venus was the “object” seen and misinterpreted as a UFO.

Jean offered this link to explain the visual (optical) refraction that occurs when someone observes a point of light, such as a star (or planet):


However, in the PDF that Jean provided via his link is this:

“Although related phenomena are commonly experienced during imaging of bright point sources with telescopes or photographic lenses, to our knowledge no objective recordings of retinal PSF’s showing the distinctive pattern of star images had yet been reported.”

That offsets the conclusion that what the two young witnesses saw was Venus, refracted by their visual input.

The idea that Venus is, often, misinterpreted by persons for a UFO is a skeptical meme.

My pal, Gilles Fernandez, has offered that some of the 1896 airship sightings were mistaken observations of Venus.

And UFO skeptics, along with the United States Air Force, in its Blue Book dossier(s), have tried to regularly foist the Venus meme on UFO witnesses, the public, and news media.

[When I entered college, I was an astronomy fanatic and my first major was Astrophysics, from which I separated myself (and went to the psychology department) after a first semester brouhaha about The Big Bang Theory and my disdain for the cryptic emphasis on mathematics as the lingua franca of astronomy/physics.]

In all my experiences with the observations of Venus, at night and during the daylight hours, I never heard anyone, nor did I see the planet, as a viable option for a flying saucer or UFO. Never. (Skeptic Tim Printy will surely disagree, as would deceased Harvard professor and one-time CIA member, Donald Menzel.)

The idea that persons with normal vision – even astigmatism (help me out here Dr. Rudiak) – would mistake the stationary point of light, seen as the planet Venus, and accrue as a flying saucer or UFO sighting, as was also proffered in the Mantell incident, is sheer lunacy, an explanation pleading for dismissal by sane, logical ufologists.

I thank Jean for his astute offering, but I have to shirk it, based upon how the planet Venus is seen by people, without a telescope, just using their normal, biological visual apparatuses.

RR 

11 Comments:

  • You may be wrong about Venus. What about President Jimmy Carter's sighting? I also go along with Menzel (yes him!) over the Father Gill case in Papua, 1959. Study that whole report again if you have time, and see the clues. They are all there. Humanoid figures were seen. And remember it was on THREE successive nights that the UFO was seen, hovering in much the same place, though in differing detail.



    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, March 02, 2017  

  • No, I'm not wrong about Venus CDA.

    You mention the Gill case, and I don't accept that Father Gill and his parishioners mistook Venus for their UFO.

    And Jimmy Carter's UFO as Venus? Nope.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 02, 2017  

  • One big clue in the Gill case is that in another sighting during that flap a group of people, including Gill, saw a UFO behaving oddly. A few of those present thought it was a genuine UFO but one of them, an hour or so later, relented and decided it was Venus. Why? He was also a man of the cloth, whose name escapes me.

    As I say, the clues ARE there. Another clue is the '3 nights in a row' sightings.

    I still have the long report on that 'wave', somewhere.


    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, March 02, 2017  

  • CDA...

    If every person in Gill's entourage saw Venus and thought it was a craft of some sort, either they were immersed in a case of mass hysteria (a real possibility) or ALL had optical problems (not a commonsense conclusion).

    Venus, as a faint light source, by any astronomical estimation, mistaken as a ship or flying craft of some kind is lunacy of a gross kind.

    I've seen, as have you certainly, Venus, at its brightest in the night or a.m. sky, and, surely, it didn't look like a thing flying in the upper atmosphere, did it?

    The idea is ludicrous on the face of it, despite indications by astronomers to the contrary, all acting like ancient primitives who worshipped the planet, without seeing it as something other than a star or planet.

    Seeing Venus as an airship or UFO is an insanity of some kind or an egregious malfunction of one's optical arrangement.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 02, 2017  

  • If you have your doubts, I suggest you read Hendry's book on how witnesses misperceive Venus and astronomical objects like stars. Case 37 in the Condon report is another example. I could go on but there is a reason Vallee called Venus "The queen of UFOs".

    By Blogger Tim Printy, at Thursday, March 02, 2017  

  • I agree with Rich (does not happen very often) that to see Venus or some star as an airship or as a UFO (or, as in the Gill case, a multiple witness case with "humanoids" waving)would be insanity of the highest order. Yet there is no evidence whatever that those who report UFOs are insane or more prone to misidentification than anyone else. Indeed, if there is any insanity it might well apply to those who assert that solid UFO reports MUST be misidentifications because, of course, genuine UFOs simply can't exist. No one, it seems, can say: "They saw something. We just don't know what they saw."

    By Blogger Dominick, at Friday, March 03, 2017  

  • I must also agree, the bright "star" Venus, while distractionly bright on clear cold nights,is stationary,although on occasion I have wondered briefly if it was traffic when flying at night.

    And then there is our old friend swamp gas...

    The division(s) between the open minded, the curious (and those who themselves have been observers) and the closed minded is as distinct as our current state of the body politic.

    Being a skeptic is a reasonable resistance until it becomes a close minded religion.

    BD

    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Saturday, March 04, 2017  

  • Good morning,

    I am larte to reply because I was quite occupied the last days.

    As a member of a Quebec UFO organization, I can say that Venus is a frequent source of misinterpretation. Most times, however, the witnesses simply report it as something they could not identify (a "UFO" in the literal sense). A few people even reported it as "spikey". With astronomical software, it is now very easy to reproduce the appearance of the sky at a given time and date. .

    It is amazing to see how people have little knowledge of astronomy. Some people are not even aware that the moon rises and sets.

    Regards,

    Jean




    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Saturday, March 04, 2017  

  • Venus may well be a frequent source of misinterpretation, Jean, but it hardly explains some of the more bizarre and exotic UFO reports such as the Father Gill et. al. case. The fact remains that Gill and 25 others saw a large structured object with "humanoids" on two successive nights in June of 1959. The death of the Venus theory is that Gill DID identify Venus in the night sky...and it was NOT the UFO!

    By Blogger Dominick, at Saturday, March 04, 2017  

  • Good evening,

    I am referring here to the "legged UFO" case, not Gill's sighting. But the legged UFO case could also be explained by a bright aircraft light or another bright planet such as Jupiter.

    Regards,

    Jean

    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Saturday, March 04, 2017  

  • In the right weather conditions -or,in my recent experience, following a cataract surgery, bright lights have spiked-like rays. But that doesn't turn a star (planet) into a moving UFO with occupants.

    Odd lights at night without form, moving or not, are best described as Dominick said, "They saw something. We just don't know what they saw." and just be done with it. Why even look up the sky and conditions?

    And cheap drones are going to make odd moving night lights common.

    BD

    By Blogger Bryan Daum, at Monday, March 06, 2017  

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