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Ufology & Pseudoscience

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
UFOLOGY & PSEUDOSCIENCE

Most of the ufology works ever published don't claim to be scientific treatises. They are simply collections of events and opinions assembled into book form for the public at large. However skeptics often assert incorrectly that these should be counted as pseudoscience.

Where the skeptics go off the rails is that for something to qualify as pseudoscience, it first must be presented as science. This might be done by making the claim up-front that it is a science unto itself, or by making it appear to be science through the use of standard scientific formatting and the use of scientific credentials and equipment. In other words, it either has to say it's doing science or put on a convincing act. Otherwise it's just journalism or history or docudrama, which obviously aren't science, and therefore fall outside the parameters that define pseudoscience.

Still the skeptics persist, citing examples where ufologists claim that ufology is a science. These examples, although well intentioned in that they advocate the use of science, don't make enough of a distinction between the use of science within the field and the field itself as a unified whole. For example MUFON has as their motto, "The Scientific Study of UFOs for the Benefit of Humanity". What it should say is "Advocating the Use of Science & Critical Thinking in Ufology".

The differences above seem small but they are very important in clearing the reputation of ufology as a whole. Certainly ufology can make use of science, but it isn't a science unto itself and it would be an ill conceived notion to suggest that it is. The group I'm with ( USI ) defines ufology in this way, "Ufology is a title used in reference to the array of subject matter and activities associated with an interest in UFOs." This is a clean, simple and unpretentious definition. Most importantly, it's also true.

To avoid further attacks by skeptics, the ufology community needs to recognize and accept that ufology can never be a science unto itself and to stop promoting it as such. It also needs to be vigilant when science is being done so that it not only adheres to real scientific guidelines and standards, but that it is presented in the proper context. For example, an astronomer may do real science to determine if an object reported as a UFO on a certain date could have been the planet Venus.

That report could be included in a ufology journal or presentation to show that the object reported either could or could not have been Venus. However if the report goes on to say that because the astronomical report ruled out Venus, the object must have been an alien spacecraft, we would run into problems and the skeptics would have a feeding frenzy. Again this seems like a minor point, but it only takes one drop of blood in the water to draw the sharks, and right now ufology is leaking like a sieve.

The last part of this opening post deals with how the skeptics will try to draw people into the scientific arena in order to level their accusations. One of the most common ways is to introduce what is called a null hypothesis and get the ufologist to play along. A null hypothesis is used in the application of statistical analysis for experiments that can be done under controlled and repeatable conditions.

However in ufology, there are no repeatable or controlled conditions from which to establish an accurate statistical probability for UFOs themselves. To attempt to do so would be pseudoscientific, and if you play their game, you are engaging in pseudoscience. So instead of playing along, explain to them that you don't do pseudoscience and the logical approach is not to begin with any hypothesis, but to begin with a blank slate and apply critical thinking to see where the evidence itself leads.

To sum up, ufology is too wide a field to be lumped solely into science, and therefore it can never be a science unto itself, and by extension cannot be attacked as pseudoscience unless it is first misrepresented as being a science unto itself. Instances of pseudoscience within ufology need to be taken into account on a case by case basis and either amended or discarded and the ufology community needs to be wary of skeptics who try to draw unsuspecting UFO enthusiasts into pseudoscientific debates. If you value the reputation of ufology and want to help, then please don't give skeptics the ammunition they need to carpet bomb the whole field in the name of science.

J.R. Murphy

www.ufopages.com
 
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tyder001

Paranormal Adept
While I can appreciate what you are saying I do have a couple of questions. When did the term "ufology" come into such common usage? I don't remember every hearing it before the past several months. Also, statement bothers me:

To avoid further attacks by skeptics,

Now that is taken out of context and I don't want to do to you the thing that some folks have done to me. Which is to take a line out of a long post and therefore ignore the meat of it. But, the truth doesn't have to hide or avoid anything. Just tell the truth. The only way to avoid attacks by skeptics and others is to keep your mouth completely shut. I am reminded of a quote from the bible. I know I don't think the bible is literale in every sense and I don't consider it infallible. But, there is wisdom there. I think it was Saint Paul who said "Always be ready to give an account for the hope that is in you." IN other words, don't run from attack. Don't fear attack. Be ready to present the truth and let the chips fall where they may. You are right about skeptics beating people over the head with the word "science" but most or a great many of them are not even scientists themselves. There is no one entity that answers to the name "science." So, I am and will continue to be a skeptic but I mean that in the original term. Not the reductionist, religious, close minded nimcompupes you see so often these days that reduce all hopes and dreams and exisitence to a brain fart. But, yeah the so called field of ufology has some really swollen black eyes the past couple of months. :)
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
While I can appreciate what you are saying I do have a couple of questions. When did the term "ufology" come into such common usage?

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, one of the first documented uses of the word ufology can be found in The Times Literary Supplement from January 23, 1959 in which it writes about the study of UFOs, "The articles, reports, and bureaucratic studies which have been written about this perplexing visitant constitute ‘ufology’."

However, because it was during 1951 that Edward J. Ruppelt of the USAF created the word UFO, it is entirely possible, if not likely, that someone used the word 'ufology' during the eight year span prior to the TLS article. Since then, thousands of ufology books and articles have been published, and ufology has had a significant influence on entertainment, marketing, and the arts.

Therefore the use of the word ufology has been around for a long time, and Wikipedia's reference to it as a neologism is not accurate. The group I'm with ( Ufology Society International ) has also been around for over 20 years ( www.ufopages.com ).

Regarding the move to avoid attacks by skeptics, all this is suggesting is that if ufology cleans up its act with respect to how it defines itself and how it presents work that uses scientific studies, then it won't be nearly as open to attack. Right now I'm defending ufology on this issue over in the JREF forum and the skeptics there are downright rabid. Healthy and constructive skepticism is a valuable tool and my comments in no way are meant to diminish it in that respect.

j.r.
 

tyder001

Paranormal Adept
Right now I'm defending ufology on this issue over in the JREF forum and the skeptics there are downright rabid.


Good luck with that one dude. :)

---------- Post added at 06:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:22 PM ----------

Seriously the Randi forum? :eek: That's like going over to the Pat Robertson Forum and defending Buddism. That's like going to the Allah,allah, akbar forum and defending atheism. That's like going over to the Richie Dawkins forum and defending religion. That's harder than getting a Hindu to eat a hamburger. :p

What can you possibly hope to accomplish? Even over here where the believers and skeptics at least try to be civil nobody, has ever to my knowledge changed anybody's mind on their core beliefs. I sometime wonder if all of us, including me and them and everybody else are really insecure in our statements. I say that because all of us including me, spend an awful of time trying to persuade people who don't agree with us that we are right. Anyway, as I said Good luck with that. 8)
 

jimp

Skilled Investigator
Ufology: much of what you say makes sense. Yet to follow your own thinking, maybe you should stop calling the study of UFO phenomena "ufology". Ufology is a term that makes it sound like some sort of science -- which I agree it is NOT. To me the the study of UFOs (or more accurately, UFO-related experiences) is more an endeavor like journalism or history. This is true also of the study of the paranormal and other weird stuff -- Forteana, esoterica, whatever you choose to call it. Journalism and history both rely on the credibility of sources -- and whether written sources and/or actual witnesses agree with each other. I suppose this makes Ufology related to police detective work as well. There isn't much difference between a detective and an investigative journalist besides a detective's legal coercive powers. That and cops get to beat people over the head with their nightsticks -- something journalists wish they could do sometimes, I bet.

In order for something to be studied as science, the phenomena needs to occur or be made to occur predictably. Those who study lightning for instance know the conditions under which lightning takes place (as Ben Franklin did) and scientists are even able to produce lightning on a large scale so that they can study it. These conditions have never been achieved with Ufology. We don't know when and where UFO-related phenomena will occur and we cannot produce its occurrence. There has been observation of some patterns of occurrence which may prove useful, but these occurrences are still not predictable enough for true scientific study. (Personally, I find some "science" to be pseudoscience, certain sub-disciplines of physics for instance. String theory, dark matter, black holes, multiple dimensions. All these ideas are speculative -- theoretical constructs based on no direct observation. This is the "high physics", the paradigm of those scientists currently in control of their fields, and until they die and the torch gets handed on to younger scientists, these paradigms will endure.)

To return to the idea of Ufology as journalism and history, I would like to point out how important the notion of integrity and truthfulness are to these fields -- which of course they are to any academic field of study, but especially to journalists and historians. Those who judge whether people are telling the truth and whether truthful experience agrees with other experiences must first be completely trustworthy and truthful themselves. Lose that reputation as an honest investigator and it calls into question all of your past research.
 

tyder001

Paranormal Adept
jimp there is much to like about your post. Truly, some of the stuff I believe and experienced is hard to define and study with the scientific method. I do still maintain that there are some good experiments that have been done that do show PSI on some level. But, efforts to prove it scientifically are still in their infancy and it may always be one of those things that never recieve the name of scientifically verified. Although, as we map the brain and perhaps learn more of concsciuness that will change. I honestly don't know. U.f.o.'s are either a very advanced race visiting us in which case the proof is a matter of when they are ready. Or they could be a military or scientific program/programs. Or they could be a expression of pure consciuness breaking in on our own experience. Or they could be time travelers in which case we will, in time learn who they are. I love your definition of the scientific method because it puts things in perspective. Science can measure and speak to that and those things we have tools and observance of. That is an incredible world. However, just because something isn't scientifcally measured doens't mean it isn't true. It means it's undiscovered at this time. I honestly wonder if people like Dean Raidin and Pin Von Lomel and John Echols and Rupert Sheldrake and others would be able to research better if they were not constantly defending their flank. But, on the other hand that is also how science and mankind advances. One step at a time.
 

jimp

Skilled Investigator
Tyder, I agree that science may one day be able to study phenomena that we now consider paranormal. Much like the super-colliders are able to produce sub-atomic phenomena like bosons in order to study them, perhaps there will one day be instruments that will allow scientists to produce "ghost-ons" or whatever it is that makes ghostly or spectral phenomena - remnants of energy of someone or something from the past. I'm not saying that that is what is happening with ghostly phenomena -- or whether there is even such a thing as ghostly phenomena -- I am just saying that scientists would need machines and instrumentation to produce and/or study such occurences.

Of the scientists you mentioned, I am only familiar with Sheldrake. The book of his that I read was his first or one of his first, I believe -- back when he was till trying to fight it out with mainstream scientists. It looks like now that Sheldrake has given up on that and is now associating with those who are willing to publish his books, who seem to me to be sort of woo-woo mystical magical types. And Sheldrake's recent works, based on my reading of titles only -- which is unfair, I'm sure -- indicate that he has become a bit woo-woo himself. Or maybe that is simply the market he must pander to to make a living.

At any rate, in his first book -- the one I read -- he lists several do-able scientific experiments that could confirm his hypostheses -- stuff about morphogenesis, the development of different life-forms based on a morphogenetic field rather than intrinsic DNA. These morphogenetic fields communicate with each other, sometimes at great distance, and could explain things like ESP for instance. The morphogenetic field theory also flies in the face of mainstream evolutionary theory -- not all of it, but some very important parts. At any rate, I believe that Sheldrake was an honest scientist working in good faith but whose ideas were just too revolutionary to be taken seriously by the mainstream, which means of course no funding. Based on the history of scientific development, Sheldrake will either one day be considered a genius ahead of his time, or just another guy with interesting ideas that never panned out.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Ufology: much of what you say makes sense. Yet to follow your own thinking, maybe you should stop calling the study of UFO phenomena "ufology". Ufology is a term that makes it sound like some sort of science -- which I agree it is NOT. To me the the study of UFOs (or more accurately, UFO-related experiences) is more an endeavor like journalism or history ...
jimp ... excellent post !

Like you, I wasn't too happy with the title "ufology", but it's been around for over half a century now and is related directly to UFOs, which has become a household term the world over. So it just doesn't make sense to go after another name now. It also helps when you hear other excellent ufologists like Good and Friedman using it regularly. The "ology" part doesn't have to be interpreted as hard science, but simply as a "logical study" of the UFO phenomenon.

Still, what you say resonates with me becuase of the length of time it's taken me to get used to it, as well as the way people react to it when they've never heard it before. So long as we keep its definition wide enough to encompass the whole field, we won't have to worry about it being attacked as a science unto itself.

You are wise enough to realize that the largest part of ufology involves its history and the myriad number of articles and books that relate to it on that level. Certainly science can take place within the field, but that still doesn't make ufology a science unto itself. It just means that physics or astronomy or biology or whatever genuine science is being used, is a tool to help better understand some particular facet of this most facinating subject.

j.r.
 

boomerang

Paranormal Adept
A distinction between the study of a subject vs application of the scientific method is at the heart of this problem. Observing, discussing, cataloging and even hypothesizing would qualify as study. Application of the scientific method goes a crucial step further by conducting experiments under controlled conditions etc., etc. History, religion, and philosophy, however they may enrich the human condition, are not sciences. "Ufology" does not quit fit any of those categories. However, study of ufos based on (very) strong anecdotal evidence and a smattering of trace evidence, justifies ongoing discussion and hypothesizing. I simply see the term "ufology" as an appropriate label for this activity.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
A distinction between the study of a subject vs application of the scientific method is at the heart of this problem ...
Good post boomer!

You are absolutely correct with the above quote. As soon as a ufologist starts calling what they are doing science without adhering to accepted scientific standards ( the scientifc method ), then ufology is vulnerable to accusations of pseudoscience. If we want to do real science in the field, we should get a real science degree in astronomy or physics or biology or whatever, and then apply it properly.

At the same time however, we need to recognize that our science is very weak compared to alien technology ( if that is what it is ) that's coming here. Thinking our scientists could comprehend it would like taking a master dugout canoe builder out of the jungle and expecting them to have some idea how to build an F-35 Lightning ... actually even a wider disparity in comprehension because at least the canoe builder would still be dealing with human technology.

Ultimately, credentials from big box Earth institutes are only useful in giving other humans the impression that we know what we're dealing with and maybe help sell books or get more gigs on the lecture circuit. Every media guest now has to have a Ph.D. in something for marketing purposes. But in reality a well informed ufologist actually has a better grip on the topic than the intellectual elitists who've never delved into it.

j.r.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
I wouldn't argue that pop culture Ufology is an actual scientific discipline, however I would argue that the study of any flying object, identified or unidentified, absolutely requires the use of the sciences. Physics, chemistry, meteorology, aerodynamics, aeronautics, acoustics, psychology, and other scientific disciplines must be employed in a complete and reliable evaluation and study of the observation of any flying object by a human being, whether that object is later identified or not. There is no doubt that the National Reconnaissance Office uses many scientific disciplines in the study of flying objects in the Earth's atmosphere.

There are organizations that have used scientific disciplines to study U.F.O.s and as far as we have been told their results are incomplete. The only thing that can be said for sure is that seemingly intelligently controlled objects in various configurations and of unknown origin and purpose have been operating in the Earth's atmosphere for quite some time. We are told that they pose not threat to national security and given that there has been no invasion it may be safe to assume that is the truth.

Ufology as it is presented in popular television and radio programs is not a scientific discipline by any stretch of the imagination. The hoaxers, the pseudo-science, and the accepting audience ensure that it remains fantasy based entertainment passing itself off as something real. That is why I think of it not as a reality show but a faux-reality show. Yes, there are those who are trying to elevate the study of UFOs and the Paranormal but no one of sufficient clout with deep enough pockets seems to be able to make a dent. For every step forward there seem to be two steps backward. Some researcher proves to be a fraud, some time honored case gets debunked.

UFOs are real. The pop culture fascination with them is real. Sometimes those two realities intersect but I don't think it happens often.

If science has revealed the true nature and origin of UFOs then whoever paid for that science has kept it to themselves. I believe that the study of UFOs is not something the average layperson with limited resources can realistically undertake. UFO buffs like myself really have no hope of acquiring the expertise and information necessary to make a real scientific study of the subject.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I wouldn't argue that pop culture Ufology is an actual scientific discipline, however I would argue that the study of any flying object, identified or unidentified, absolutely requires the use of the sciences ...

Hey Train ... another excellent post on this topic.

Certainly when genuine science can be used in ufology for the purpose of studying genuine scientific evidence or data, then it should be done in a manner that meets accepted scientific standards. My opinion ( and it seems you would agree ) is that the more we can do genuine science, the better off we are. The important thing to remember is that doing genuine science still doesn't make ufology a science unto itself. It means that astronomy or physics or biology or whatever, is being applied within the field. In this way we can reap the benefits of science and still reach the public without getting slammed by the skeptics. If they are reduced to picking out instances of pseudoscience within the field rather than carpet bombing it all, they would actually be doing us a favor.

j.r.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
j.r.

Objects flying in the atmosphere cannot be properly studied by the general public. They do not have the resources of time or technology. The only people capable of studying Unidentified Flying Objects are the ones who possess sensor and communication networks. That is only within the reach of corporations and governments. Everything else, all amateur civilian research, is just living off of crumbs from their table. All we are left with are reports. In other words all we have to study are stories and those who tell them. Think about that for a moment. Modern Ufology is nothing more than the speculative discussion of anecdotal evidence.

I'm of the opinion that amateur investigators (this includes MUFON) will never crack the mystery. It has been solved already if it is solvable and those who possess the answer won't be sharing it. I suspect however, that nobody has solved the equation yet. UFOs appear to be one of those unsolvable mysteries. People (and instruments) see something, but what it is remains unknown.

I used to imagine that the UFO mystery might one day be solved and that I might actually know the answer personally. I've pretty much given up on that.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Objects flying in the atmosphere cannot be properly studied by the general public. They do not have the resources of time or technology. The only people capable of studying Unidentified Flying Objects are the ones who possess sensor and communication networks. That is only within the reach of corporations and governments. Everything else, all amateur civilian research, is just living off of crumbs from their table.
Hey Train ... another great post there,

It's a powerful statement when you say, "Everything else, all amateur civilian research, is just living off of crumbs from their table." In this case I'm assuming you mean that "they" are outfits like Space Command, NATO, ESA ... etc. But all is not lost.

I don't give up on ufology because I'm someone who has seen a UFO and have no Earthly explanation. Therefore given all the other reports out there, it's not reasonable for me to think I'm the only one who knows the truth regarding alien visitation. The authorities might not be disclosing everything they know, but civilian sightings haven't been censored by them, and they can't stop us from talking. Our shared experiences combined with those bread crumbs you mentioned might form a clearer picture.

Perhaps most importantly, for all we know, real alien visitation has only been taking place since the dawn of the Modern Era ( in ufology ), and the aliens could just as easily move on, and like you suggest, we may never secure the details. So centuries from now when some historian looks back at this period of time, do we want this amazing facet of our history to be seen as pure myth? Or do we do what we can to pass the truth on to future generations ...

j.r.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
It's a powerful statement when you say, "Everything else, all amateur civilian research, is just living off of crumbs from their table." In this case I'm assuming you mean that "they" are outfits like Space Command, NATO, ESA ... etc. But all is not lost. j.r.
You've left out the NRO, which by their charter alone, must have some hand it.

I don't give up on ufology because I'm someone who has seen a UFO and have no Earthly explanation. Therefore given all the other reports out there, it's not reasonable for me to think I'm the only one who knows the truth regarding alien visitation.

What? You "know the truth about alien visitation?" How do you know that aliens are visiting the Earth J.R.? Are you actually proposing an argument from ignorance (ad ignorantiam) stating that since you have no other explanation, that it must therefore be aliens?
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
You've left out the NRO, which by their charter alone, must have some hand it.

What? You "know the truth about alien visitation?" How do you know that aliens are visiting the Earth J.R.? Are you actually proposing an argument from ignorance (ad ignorantiam) stating that since you have no other explanation, that it must therefore be aliens?
Hey There Train ... allow me to clarify the context.

My comment on knowing the truth about alien visitation is based on firsthand knowledge from personal experience. Therefore, for me ( and me only ), the proof is not anecdotal, and because that proof is in my mind, I therefore know it ( see definitions below ). So there is no proposal here for an argument at all. I'm simply stating a fact based on my personal knowledge from direct experience.

On my conclusion that what I saw was alien, there is no doubt in my mind that what I saw was alien to our civilization. Exactly where the object came from I don't know. Based on logical extrapolation, I tend to favor the ETH, but that's not the same as saying that the ETH has been proven.

So to be prefectly clear, when I speak of my experience, I don't claim that it represents proof to anyone else but me, and I mention it only in the context of acknowledging that because so many other people have reported experiences of a similar nature, it would be unreasonable of me, having had such an experience myself, to think that I'm the only one. That is not to say that I'm sure that every other sighting besides mine represents an alien craft, only that it's reasonable to believe that some of them do.

On a case by case basis, if a witness is willing to share their story with me, and they don't mind me playing the part of investigator, and it seems to me that they are being truthful, and I can't come up with any other rational explanation for what they saw, then I tend to think it's reasonable to believe them.

j.r.

[HR][/HR]
From the Encarta World English Dictionary:

an·ec·dot·al
[ ànnək dṓt’l] or an·ec·dot·ic [ànnək dṓtik] adjective


1. based on anecdotes or hearsay: consisting of or based on secondhand accounts rather than firsthand knowledge or experience or scientific investigation

NOTE: In the above definition the word "or" is used between conditions, which means that to be excluded from the definition of anecdotal, all that is required is for any one condition ( firsthand knowledge, experience or scientific investigation ) to be met. So again, the proof for me ( and me only ) is not anecdotal because I have firsthand experience and knowledge ( from that experience ).


knowl·edge [nóllij] noun

1. information in mind: general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles
2. specific information: clear awareness or explicit information, for example, of a situation or fact



 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
J.R.

Alright then, your assertion that you know about alien visitation is demonstrably false. You have seen something strange and admit to not having a clue as to its origin. You know nothing beyond the fact that you saw something strange for which you have no conventional explanation. That does not mean that unsupportable explanations can be substituted and claimed as knowledge however.

I have run into this sort of thing before. A witness sees something very strange for which they have no direct frame of reference and they insist that it is alien, otherworldly, or supernatural. When this condition takes hold, pointing out the logical fallacies surrounding such a statement seem ineffectual. Is it possible that the incredible objects people report seeing are from other worlds? Yes, it is possible. Can we say that is what is happening though? No, we cannot reliably say that is so based on an observation of a strange object.

It would be more proper for you to have said, "I strongly feel that aliens are visiting the Earth based on my experience." or some such. You know you experienced something outside of your previous knowledge and experience, but nothing else. I wouldn't have a problem believing that.

Also, if you begin at the ending, They are aliens, then there is nothing further to investigate and all evidence supports your conclusion.

The true nature and origin of Unidentified Flying Objects remains ...unidentified.

This illustrates my assertion that the general public cannot effectively study UFOs. If you had a sensor network that tracked your object as having entered the Earth's atmosphere and a knowledge base that would reliably tell you if any human project was responsible for it or not, then you could begin to make some educated guess as whether it was alien or not. On average though, the general public sees something weird and jumps to conclusions based on the emotional content of the experience.
 

tyder001

Paranormal Adept
Reading all these opinions about what constitutes a "logical" explanation I'm struck by somthing. I'll bet if we could enter a time machine and go forward 50 years we would find the same agruments still being bantered about. Human nature is nothing if not inquisitive and the mundane arguments of religious dogma and the test tubes of science will never stop that human thing of wanting to reach farther. But, I am starting to think that ufology is a fools game. I hope I'm wrong and if there are aliens they show themselves. One reason that the "Through the Wormhole" series on the Science Channel caught my eye was the real hands on research. It isn't the zowy, wowy lights in the sky and table tapping stuff. But, it is provocative and holds more hope for advancing the knowledge of the mysterious than anything else I've seen discussed here. Anyway, I'll keep looking to the night sky. :cool:
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
... It would be more proper for you to have said, "I strongly feel that aliens are visiting the Earth based on my experience." or some such. You know you experienced something outside of your previous knowledge and experience, but nothing else. I wouldn't have a problem believing that.

Also, if you begin at the ending, They are aliens, then there is nothing further to investigate and all evidence supports your conclusion. The true nature and origin of Unidentified Flying Objects remains ...unidentified ...
Hey There Train.

I think that we're saying essentially the same thing. When I use the word alien, I mean alien to human civilization in a manner that doesn't fit any known natural or manmade phenomenon. But that isn't the same as me saying I know it came from another planet or even from outer space. I don't know where it came from with any certainty, I just know with certainty that it was alien.

j.r.

P.S. Although there are several hypotheses, when someone uses the word "alien", it's natural for people to think "space aliens". So I'll try to be more clear in the future. This is the second time I've run into this particular semantics problem when discussing the topic.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
I think that we're saying essentially the same thing. When I use the word alien, I mean alien to human civilization in a manner that doesn't fit any known natural or manmade phenomenon. But that isn't the same as me saying I know it came from another planet or even from outer space. I don't know where it came from with any certainty, I just know with certainty that it was alien.
I certainly understand what you are saying. To be completely honest though, to make even that statement that what you saw "doesn't fit any known natural or man-made phenomenon" can only be made from the standpoint of your own limited personal knowledge of natural and man-made phenomenon. The only safe thing you can say is that it was outside of your knowledge and experience. All else is pure conjecture. Also, it is extremely limiting, bounding the unknown as it were in preconceptions.

Thanks for the great conversation b.t.w. I certainly respect you as a witness for putting your thoughts and feelings about such strange experiences out there for discussion and your willingness to engage.
 


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