What Would Really Convince A Sceptic?

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
Starting in the late modern period when anomalous objects were seen, skeptics attributed them to hallucinations or "corpuscles in the eyes", a number of sightings were of early dirigibles too, but I'm sure they were likely often lumped in with "airship" hallucinations. Later, when the objects didn't go away, they were "test aircraft" or birds; anything but something else.
Indeed, the climber who saw the "Ghosts of Everest" put himself through a series of mental tests; the objects remained. I very much wanted a mundane explanation when I was seeing them too. Most sightings are of natural phenomena, but not all.
Some questions we can ask after decades, perhaps hundreds of years of seeing these things:

1. Does it appear to be some kind of technology; does it have specialization of parts, are there signs it was manufactured?
2. Does it appear to be under intelligent control?
3. Is there a continuity or observable constants that run through the observed history of the phenomenon?

Yes.
 
Last edited:

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
I think Eburacum and Sharon and good scientists generally will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the ET hypothesis, and that's as it should be! That's how science works, and it works very carefully and cautiously. It's clear that an elusive phenomenon, very possibly under intelligent control, might not provide the evidence necessary to reach a conclusion for a long time (unless you believe the US government and others have more proof, I do). It dawned on me some time ago that we are completely vulnerable to attack from outside; we'd be arguing about the phenomenon until it finished us off. It takes extraordinary evidence to upset a deeply ingrained paradigm, but that says nothing about the phenomenon itself, only paradigms. And skeptics, who are willing to listen to reasonable, credible witnesses in most cases draw the line at reports from the same that they consider too unusual.
 
Last edited:

Sharon Hill

Complicated biological machine
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
551
Reaction score
1,090
Points
139
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Starting in the late modern period when anomalous objects were seen, skeptics attributed them to hallucinations or "corpuscles in the eyes", a number of sightings were of early dirigibles too, but I'm sure they were likely often lumped in with "airship" hallucinations. Later, when the objects didn't go away, they were "test aircraft" or birds; anything but something else.
Indeed, the climber who saw the "Ghosts of Everest" put himself through a series of mental tests; the objects remained. I very much wanted a mundane explanation when I was seeing them too. Most sightings are of natural phenomena, but not all.
Some questions we can ask after decades, perhaps hundreds of years of seeing these things:

1. Does it appear to be some kind of technology; does it have specialization of parts, are there signs it was manufactured?
2. Does it appear to be under intelligent control?
3. Is there a continuity or observable constants that run through the observed history of the phenomenon?

Yes.
You forgot one I think is important:
Are sighting descriptions heavily dependent on cultural trends of the time? Yes.
That's kind of weird unless - one could say, and some do - aliens or whatever take the form we are more familiar with. It just gets a bit bonkers to go down that path of thinking.

We can ask endless questions, I think. We aren't getting closer to solid answers. But I don't disagree that UFOs or UAPs are worthy of attention and study. It's just the conclusions that I'm hesitant about. As noted, some "skeptics" are too quick to jump to rather dumb "conclusions" often without the required information.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
You forgot one I think is important:
Are sighting descriptions heavily dependent on cultural trends of the time? Yes.
That's kind of weird unless - one could say, and some do - aliens or whatever take the form we are more familiar with. It just gets a bit bonkers to go down that path of thinking.

We can ask endless questions, I think. We aren't getting closer to solid answers. But I don't disagree that UFOs or UAPs are worthy of attention and study. It's just the conclusions that I'm hesitant about. As noted, some "skeptics" are too quick to jump to rather dumb "conclusions" often without the required information.
I think there are some exciting things coming up; Elizondo and others are bound by non-disclosure agreements, (and much work is probably done in the private sector so it is difficult to access#), but they know things that make them state the objects are ET. It's easy to see from the history that the objects were of great interest to the US government, military etc. And then about the time of the "Estimate of the Situation" they realized what they were dealing with, and they did an about-face.
 

eburacum

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
3,473
Reaction score
1,513
Points
169
I wouldn't put any faith in Elizondo and his cronies. They are hopeless at interpreting the evidence. Ten years from now, we won't know any more about UFOs than we do now.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
Elizodo and Bigelow and others have had access to a lot more evidence than they can discuss on the show, and much more than any UFO researcher has access to. The show is pretty disingenuous; it's an exercise in disclosure, and Elizondo and others are going through the motions of "discovering" UFOs; they even mention how vexing that is for them.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
Skeptics were fond of saying that "a secret that big couldn't be kept by the government"; they were right.
:)
 

Analogue Boy

The new Number 6
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
10,014
Reaction score
8,302
Points
294
Before catgorising a UFO, this thread begs the question ‘what is a sceptic?’
Is it simply someone in the bar who says you’re seeing things or someone who’s looked into the subject for years and found the evidence inconclusive?
Or someone from all shades in between?
Who is this ‘Sceptic’?
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
16,448
Reaction score
21,485
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Before catgorising a UFO, this thread begs the question ‘what is a sceptic?’
Is it simply someone in the bar who says you’re seeing things or someone who’s looked into the subject for years and found the evidence inconclusive?
Or someone from all shades in between?
Who is this ‘Sceptic’?
There are two versions clearly represented within this thread to date. Starkly stated to accentuate the contrast ...

Feinman most often alludes to skeptics in the specific context of UFOs and with the particular connotation of having a firm opinion opposed to acceptance of / belief in the popular ETH interpretation.

Sharon Hill and I - neither of whom are UFO true believers - have been addressing skepticism in the more general / classic sense and emphasizing the still-questioning middle ground between the polar extremes of one or the other firm conclusion / belief.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
I am a "true believer". Before I saw UFOs myself, I believed that UFOs were probably real; so many individuals had reported similar things over the years, and it was apparent to me that many weren't lying. After May 14, 2010 that changed, taking me into a different category of understanding, and then discovering in the old articles that same types of experiences happening over and over again, really had an impact on me.. Accidentally finding the report from folks who saw the same objects in Roseburg some months later, was just icing on the cake. All I have to do is wait now for more to come out for the skeptics.
 

Sharon Hill

Complicated biological machine
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
551
Reaction score
1,090
Points
139
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Elizodo and Bigelow and others have had access to a lot more evidence than they can discuss on the show, and much more than any UFO researcher has access to.
I strongly feel these guys are lost in space. Bigelow seems to truly believe but he is living in fantasy. I have zero respect for Corbell, Kean, DeLonge, Lavenda... and the rest of their motley crew. Some of these people are orchestrating a grift; making money off of really bad evidence sold to soulless media. Sorry I'm so cynical of the UFO field right now but it's obvious that AATIP is a money machine for DeLonge and cannot even approach fulfilling the breathless promises they sold; they have nothing but big dreams and overactive imaginations. If I'm wrong, then I will admit it. Let's check back in a few years and see how much more we know about UFOs. My bet? Nothing. But some people will be a lot richer for it. In this golden age of conspiracy in politics and government distrust, they are mining a rich vein. Meanwhile, it's entertaining for those inclined to such things. I find the subject boring (but I can't explain why) while the sociology is quite interesting.

To another point: Like I said previously, I no longer associate with the "Skeptic" community (and am very glad of it every day, just look at Michael Shermer's twitter feed) but I did write this back in the day (please don't hold it against me) and it still sort of applies, but might be overly specific to "Skeptics" (versus "skeptics").
https://doubtfulnews.com/media-guide-to-skepticism/
Excerpt:
A Skeptic subscribes to a number of tenets.
  • Respect for the evidence.
  • Respect for methods, conclusions and the consensus of science.
  • Preference for natural, not supernatural, explanation.
  • Promotion of reason and critical thinking.
  • Awareness of how we are fooled.
I'll add that I've also given up on such labels. Nasty things. So, there's that.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
Well, there is a tremendous amount of circumstantial evidence for the extraordinary nature of UFOs; that is that they they've been watched through telescopes, theodolites and binoculars and seen for decades. They are under intelligent control as can be seen in many cases; a natural phenomenon with characteristics of UFOs seen at close range would be more amazing than aliens.. They have appeared as structured metallic craft on many occasions, and represent a tecn technology. They aren't from the US and have been seen on every continent, and over the oceans, exhibiting characteristics in advance of human technologies.

TTSA needs investors and money to carry on; they have never made it a secret. DeLonge gets grief for being young, and a musician, but so what? He also is a pretty good fiction writer and had always hsd an interest in UFOs. There were hundreds of incidents recently with the military; we've only seen a few. Fravor, the Princeton's radar operator and other pilots have gone public. Looking at the history of the phenomenon, we see the same kind of encounters, over, and over, and over again.
Bigelow is doing pretty well; he even had a module on the ISS. Not a dumb guy.

"If I'm wrong, then I will admit it. Let's check back in a few years and see how much more we know about UFOs"
--It's why I am here... Waiting now, with you good skeptical folks. :D
 

McAvennie

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
3,946
Reaction score
1,708
Points
184
Would have to be an encounter with a ghost fro me.

Cryptozoological being? OK, cool something new exists but it is just a beast that has eluded human sight.

Proof of a grand conspiracy, a bona fide JFK confession or 9/11 truth statement… OK, but just proof that humans are capable of the absolute worst acts. No great shock.

UFO? As stated, no proof of anything weird, just something flying in the sky we can't identify. It lands and is a living being from another planet? OK, but it still fits within the confines of biology and physics.

A ghost though… Not in somewhere that could feasibly profit from a ghost, thus, a grey lady in a National trust property - could be a hologram or some kind of set-up. No, wandering in a small graveyard while out on a country walk and seeing a white, see through or misty figure who then just disappears before your eyes or walks through a wall. That would convince me as its existence would challenge all that we know to be true...

That would convince me.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
28,558
Reaction score
29,953
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
No, wandering in a small graveyard while out on a country walk and seeing a white, see through or misty figure who then just disappears before your eyes or walks through a wall. That would convince me as its existence would challenge all that we know to be true...
There are plenty of that very type of experience in various threads on'ere if you look, many of which happened to people who'd call themselves unbelievers.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
UFOs are more than just things flying around we can't identify; they are technological objects of unknown origin that we have had a very good look at over the years; the best explanation for some of them according to a number of studies including the COMETA Report is ET. It becomes farcical; this disconnect from past events!
As far as ghosts go, I did run into many old accounts, including horses scared by apparitions, and even an account reminiscent of rumours about Boleskine House and Crowley; a flat became so dark during the day that it couldn't be illuminated. Halos appeared around candles and lamps in the extreme darkness, and the occupant noticed the apparition of a dead body on the floor..
 
Last edited:

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
That would convince me as its existence would challenge all that we know to be true...
That would convince me.
And you'd have a devil of a time trying to convince others; in the end, they would claim it was a hallucination, as that is all their paradigm would allow.
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
28,558
Reaction score
29,953
Points
309
Location
HM The Tower of London
I've seen all sorts in my long and sordid life, including what I'd call ghosts. Wouldn't try to convince anyone else though.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
I've seen all sorts in my long and sordid life, including what I'd call ghosts. Wouldn't try to convince anyone else though.
Ghosts, if they are conscious discarnate entities or a time overlap, or connection of minds across time and space might be out of our control or relatively innocuous, but you'd think folks would want to know about UFOs; amazingly, most people don't(!!!) It's the same subconscious fear of the unusual, unfashionable and unknown.
 

eburacum

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
3,473
Reaction score
1,513
Points
169
I've had experience of ghosts, or rather of a ghost. The story's on this forum somewhere; it's not very impressive.
My missus collects ghost stories from round the country. I asked her if she believes in them, and she said 'it depends on how dark the night is'.

I'm sure there is a psychosocial explanation for ghosts too, but they are even more ephemeral than UFOs, so I expect ghosts are probably entirely subjective in character.
 
Last edited:

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
And has a hard time discerning between fiction and reality. A really bad sign for a researcher. He thinks it's OK to cross that line and confuse people about which is which as long as the story gets told. That's nifty folklore and entertainment but it's not credible.
He's not really the researcher in TTSA; he is on the entertainment, money-making side. He is probably being used as a conduit for disclosure to communicate with younger generations about UFOs, that was his idea; others apparently liked the opportunity and joined his cause. But yeah, he does goofy inexplicable stuff sometimes!
 

Analogue Boy

The new Number 6
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
10,014
Reaction score
8,302
Points
294
UFOs are more than just things flying around we can't identify; they are technological objects of unknown origin that we have had a very good look at over the years;
Really? Without exception?
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
Really? Without exception?
Those that are left that are a technology under intelligent control with a radically different propulsion technology as reported in the '40s and '50s, and again now. Chinese? Russians? Had this kind of technology back then? They'd fly it all over the place including in civilian air lanes and over military bases and missile sites and aircraft carriers? No, so..
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
16,448
Reaction score
21,485
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Lobbing particular citations or examples does nothing to advance the more general subject of what would convince skeptics. Please stay on topic.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
Will do. Just responding to attacks on TTSA, to show some members are quite credible, and to shew the longevity of the phenomenon as a reply to post 52.
 

eburacum

Papo-furado
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
3,473
Reaction score
1,513
Points
169
Did you read that report?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpeck/2014/01/14/did-iranian-fighters-battle-ufos/#352710871a32
Without a lot more evidence, such as a crashed spacecraft of an alien pilot, I am not inclined to believe that UFOs felt a need to peek at Iran's nuclear sites. It's more likely that the Iranian military - perhaps through an honest mistake - exaggerated the performance of the intruders.
And further down the page, there is a link to Brian Dunning's skeptical analysis of the Iranian 1976 event
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315

This bolsters my impression that every single case could be explained without recourse to the extraterrestrial hypothesis, and that people like Tom Delonge, Hal Puthoff, Eric Davis and some guy from Skunkworks looking for inspiration are not the best people to investigate these reports.
 

feinman

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
800
Points
119
If you look at the venue, they would certainly say that. You must not see a connection between reports from decades earlier with current happenings. Do you think all of the previous sightings were natural phenomena, test aircraft, birds?.. You know. I'll be baaack. Shower and work.
 

Analogue Boy

The new Number 6
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
10,014
Reaction score
8,302
Points
294
Will do. Just responding to attacks on TTSA, to show some members are quite credible, and to shew the longevity of the phenomenon as a reply to post 52.
Attacks? As an old Fortean, I am quite aware of the many, many theories behind UFOs and even have a few of my own.
And I'll make my own mind up on what I find credible thank you.
 
Top