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Your Paracast Newsletter — March 29, 2020

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
March 29, 2020

UFO Author and Researcher Preston Dennett Reveals Amazing UFO Contacts on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randall present prolific UFO book author Preston Dennett, began investigating UFOs and the paranormal in 1986 when he discovered that his family, friends and co-workers were having dramatic unexplained encounters. Since then, he has interviewed hundreds of witnesses and investigated a wide variety of paranormal phenomena. His book, Onboard UFO Encounters, contains 15 all new original cases of people who claim to have been taken onboard a UFO. None have been published before. What really happens when someone is taken onboard an alien craft? The answer may surprise you. These true firsthand accounts provide an extensive exploration deep into the heart of the UFO phenomenon, and show just how fascinating and strange UFO contact can be.

J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: Ufology Society International (USI) - Explore the UFO Phenomenon

Preston Dennett's Site: Preston Dennett

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on March 29: Continuing an interview that began on the March 29, 2020 episode of The Paracast, Gene and Randall present UFO researcher Preston Dennett, author of Onboard UFO Encounters. Before covering additional case histories, Preston joins the crew in talking about possible conspiracy theories about the novel coronavirus, such as whether it was created to subjugate humanity, and whether any alleged extraterrestrials would be interested in doing anything about it. Preston also continues the discussion about whether supposed UFOs have been involved in possible healings, along with stories about famous people seeing UFOs and possibly having close encounters with them.

Reminder: Please don't forget to visit our famous Paracast Community Forums for the latest news/views/debates on all things paranormal: The Paracast Community Forums. Check out our new YouTube channel at: The Official Paracast Channel

Ufology and Pseudoscience
By J. Randall Murphy

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 falls 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 and 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 column 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.

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