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Asunto:[debunker] UFO phenomenon by and for professional scientists
Fecha:Sabado, 12 de Mayo, 2001  09:17:49 (-0400)
Autor:illu minati <illu03 @.......com>


An information site on the UFO phenomenon by and for professional 
scientists.

http://www.ufoskeptic.org

Skeptic - One who practices the method of suspended judgment, engages in
rational and dispassionate reasoning as exemplified by the scientific 
method, shows willingness to consider alternative explanations without 
prejudice basedon prior beliefs, and who seeks out evidence and carefully 
scrutinizes its validity.


"Advances are made by answering questions. Discoveries are made
by questioning answers."... Bernard Haisch

Dear Colleagues,

I have been an active professional astronomer since earning my
doctorate in 1975. I have published a respectable number of scientific
papers in most of the right journals (including our favorites, Science
and Nature), have been Principal Investigator on several NASA studies, have 
served as referee and proposal reviewer for NASA and NSF, belong to half a 
dozen professional societies, have chaired international conferences, i.e. 
I've engaged by and large successfully in all the usual activities of a busy 
professional scientist.
During my career I have had the responsibility and privilege as an editor of 
accepting or rejecting somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand articles 
in a prestigious astrophysics journal. This does not conclusively prove, but 
certainly indicates, that I recognize good science when I see it. I have 
also had the responsibility of accepting or rejecting papers on the UFO 
phenomenon in a quite different refereed journal, the Journal of Scientific 
Exploration (JSE). For 12 years I served as editor of JSE (as an unpaid 
public service) because I believe that examining evidence that may challenge 
prevailing scientific dogma is good for science and a necessary part of 
searching for the truth. The road of discovery may have 99 deadends in the 
thicket for every new path winding its way up the peak, but that is just how 
it is. Curiosity and tenacity are equal prerequisites for a scientist... as 
is an open mind.

I have learned quite a bit about the UFO phenomenon over the years 
(certainlymore than I had bargained for) and have met many of the leading 
figures, some credible, some deluded. When Prof. Peter Sturrock, a prominent 
Stanford University plasma physicist, did a survey of the membership of the 
American Astronomical Society in the 1970s, he made an interesting finding: 
astronomers who spent time reading up on the UFO phenomenon developed more 
interest in it.
If there were nothing to it, you would expect the opposite: lack of credible 
evidence would cause interest to wane. And the fact of the matter is, there 
does exist a vast amount of high quality, albeit enigmatic, data. UFO 
sightings are not limited to farmers in backward rural areas. There are 
astronomers and pilots and NASA engineers -- and others who have been around 
the block a few times when it comes to observing natural phenomena -- who 
have witnessed events
for which there is no plausible conventional explanation.

There is another aspect to the UFO phenomenon that involves politics and
secrecy rather than observational evidence. Over the years I have gotten to 
know individuals who for one reason or another would be aware of the 
existence of black programs and secret projects. From such sources, certain 
possibilities have made it through my credibility filter and now reside -- 
like Schroedinger's cat -- in kind of an unresolved mental superposition of 
quantum states having both the eigenvalues "true" and "false" and no 
operator around to collapse the wave function. My credibility filter is a 
function of several parameters such
as my own knowledge of physical laws, state of technology and history of its 
origin, some personal experience with government agencies and security 
classification systems, but mostly the filter is tuned to the questions: 
Which people have I learned over the years to be trustworthy, sensible and 
knowledgeable? How would they be in a position to know the things they do?
Why and to what extent would they tell me anything, even based on long-time 
friendship? Do they have anything to gain by telling stories or making 
claims?
What consistency and convergence is there among various people's claimed 
information?

I see myself a bit like the kid standing next to the kid looking through the 
hole in the big tall fence at the baseball game. This means that the closest 
I am getting to inside information will be a recounting of what is going on 
in there. I myself am definitely not an insider, but certain contacts I have 
acquired and/or befriended over a long period of time seem to be on the 
periphery of some kind of inside which appears to contain at least 
remarkable information, and apparently more than that. Let me be (somewhat) 
more specific.
I now have three completely independent examples of individuals whom I trust 
reporting to me that individuals they trust have admitted to handling alien 
artifacts in "our" possession in the course of secret official duties. (The 
special access level in the one case for which I know it is R, a not widely 
known SCI level whose existence was finally verified for me by someone who 
himself had a very high access level, though short of that one, as being 
"reserved for someone at the very top." I do not know, however, whether it 
is specifically reserved or designated for this topic.) It is interesting 
that from the clandestine intelligence world perspective the scientific 
community, for all of its technical and theoretical sophistication, is 
viewed
as remarkably naive in certain respects. We scientists tend to think that we 
know better than anyone else what is possible and what is impossible, and 
that we of all people could surely not be kept in the dark for very long.
Over the course of time I have learned how it would indeed be possible to 
maintain decades-long secrecy on this topic and why this might be justified, 
concepts I myself once dismissed (see Black Special Access Programs, also 
Some Thoughts on Keeping It Secret). My impression is that the justification 
may be waning at last. (For some insight on the origin of this situation see 
the book UFOs and the National Security State: An Unclassified History.
Vol. 1: 1947-1973 by Richard Dolan.)

The above is, of course, short of any kind of proof, but all in all I have 
now gotten to the point in my exposure to the subject at which I think it 
somewhat more likely than not that something not merely delusional, but real 
and important may be going on with regard to the UFO phenomenon. If so, I 
would like to discover what it is, or what the ensemble of phenomena are if 
it is a multiplicity of things. My estimation of the probable reality of the
subject puts me somewhere between the majority rejectionist view of the
mainstream scientific community and the majority accepting view of the 
general
public (depending on how the issue is presented in opinion polls).

I propose that true skepticism is called for today: neither the gullible
acceptance of true belief nor the closed-minded rejection of the scoffer
masquerading as the skeptic. One should be skeptical of both the believers 
and the scoffers. The negative claims of pseudo-skeptics who offer facile 
explanations must themselves be subject to criticism. If a competent witness 
reports having seen something approaching a steradian in size (as happens) 
and the scoffer -- who of course was not there -- offers Venus or a high
altitude weather balloon as an explanation, the requirement of extraordinary 
proof for an extraordinary claim falls on the proffered negative claim as 
well. That kind of approach is also pseudo-science. Moreover just being a 
scientist confers neither necessary expertise nor sufficient knowledge. (I 
wish it did, sigh.) Any scientist who has not read a few serious books and 
articles presenting actual UFO evidence should out of intellectual honesty 
refrain from making scientific pronouncements. To look at the evidence and
go away unconvinced is one thing. To not look at the evidence and be 
convinced against it nonetheless is another. That is not science. Do your 
homework!

It is my hope that this website will be a respectable point of entry for any 
professional scientist interested in educating himself or herself on this 
controversial but possibly significant topic. However I have neither the
time nor the inclination to run an electronic discussion or newsgroup.
Naturally I would consider posting relevant and informed commentary, or,
better yet, real evidence coming from the ranks of the scientific community.
I would respect a request for anonymity with regard to a public posting on 
this site, but I myself would have to know who you are so as not to be 
hoaxed or manipulated. In all the scientific papers I have handled as editor 
I have never compromised the identity of a referee who wished to remain 
anonymous (the vast majority of referees).

This website is a work in progress. It is certainly no statement of any
"truth" but in that regard it is worth keeping in mind something Winston
Churchill once said on that topic: "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, 
but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had 
happened."

Bernard Haisch
Palo Alto, California

admin@...
The Speed-of-Light Limit Argument

Higher Dimensions in Superstring and M-Brane Theory

Fermi's Paradox and the Preparation for Contact Hypothesis

On Black Special Access Programs

Some Thoughts on Keeping It Secret

"On Pseudo-Skepticism" by Marcello Truzzi, founding co-chairman of CSICOP

Sturrock-Rockefeller Workshop on Physical UFO Evidence

The Condon Report

Analysis of the Condon Report

Case 1 - The 1973 Army Helicopter-UFO Encounter

Case 2 - Vehicle Interference and Physical Traces Event

Case 3 - Radar-Visual Event

Case 4 - Trans-en-Provence Event

Recommended Reading

Request for Aviation Professionals

Center for UFO Studies and Journal

Commentary - "Everywhere, by Stealth" by Richard Dolan (pro-UFO)

Commentary- "The UFO Evidence: Burdens of Proof" by Jim Giglio and
Scott Snell (anti-UFO)

Commentary- "The Incommensurability Problem and the Fermi Paradox"
by Eric Davis




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