UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Magical Realist, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I'm pretty much used to the constant flaming and insults by now. After 6860 posts I ought to be! I just wish they would quit making everything personal and focus more on the evidence I present. Having this thread reduced to a 24/7 shitfest is not exactly how I envisioned it turning out. Ironically Chief Moderator James R is the main perpetrator of it, with his incessant name calling and ridicule and drama. I guess the others feel like if he can get away with it then they can too. I do welcome your presence here wegs. Yazata too. It tends to cool things off and encourages honest and casual back-and-forth. Tks for both of your stabilizing contributions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2022
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for your kind words, MR. Back at you.

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    I’d like to add that it’s not a bad thing to yield once in a while, pause and listen to other points of view, in any discussion. Even ideas we hold dear to our hearts. No one person can always be right, and maybe the general hope of some others on here, is that you’ll yield.

    Going with Dave’s and Sarkus’ comments a few posts back, reading between the lines again…that could be what they are trying to say.

    The challenge with any number of space alien claims is that the ''evidence'' comes in the form (mainly) of eyewitness reports. Many of these claimants don’t seem credible but I appreciate that you want to believe them. If for no other reason than you don’t like the idea that there are people out there spinning outlandish stories to make a buck or gain a few weeks worth of attention. But unfortunately, there are charlatans when it comes to areas of life that currently have no scientific evidence.

    I have a feeling that if there is intelligent life on other planets, and it makes contact with Earth some day, there will be no mistaking it for something else. That's just my ''theory'' on it...
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    wegs:
    Yes, I agree with all of that, and I think that's probably also Yazata's position on science.

    Where Yazata and I diverge is that Yazata, for some reason, seems to think that scientists or other rational investigators aren't doing a proper (or good enough) job of analysing UFO cases. He seems to think that scientists and skeptics are biased against the alien spaceship hypothesis when they investigate UFOs. In addition, he appears to think that therefore, due to this bias, scientists and skeptics will deliberately (or perhaps just instinctively) ignore "inconvenient" evidence that tends to favour an otherworldly explanation of a UFO sighting. Also, he appears to think that when a skeptic or scientist points out that the available evidence for a UFO is consistent with one or more possible "mundane" causes, that this is somehow an unfair assessment of the evidence and biased so as to unfairly make otherworldly explanations seem less likely than they otherwise would be.

    Moreover, Yazata has said that he thinks that scientists and skeptics typically approach UFO investigations with the assumption that "it cannot be something non-mundane". Despite repeated and careful correction on that point, Yazata continues to repeat this mistaken claim.

    It is not clear to me what Yazata would do differently to the scientists and skeptics if he were put in the position of Chief UFO Investigator. Perhaps at some point he will enlighten us. He apparently thinks himself to be more objective and less biased than the average scientist and every UFO skeptic. I think that's because he imagines that scientists and skeptics have locked themselves into philosophical boxes that don't allow them to imagine "non-mundane" explanations. Therefore, he thinks, they can't have truly open minds about UFOs, like he thinks he has.
    The "stigmatization" of UAPs is not a scientific position. If it exists, it's a human attitude of extreme skepticism (perhaps extending into cynicism for some skeptics) towards those who claim to know for sure that a UFO (or UFOs) is something out of this world (alien spaceship, extradimenional being, ghost, etc. - take your pick).

    Stigmatisation can lead to claims being treated as ridiculous, before any real investigation is done. That is unscientific. However, stigmatisation, as it applies to claims of alien visitation, ghosts and other paranormal claims, should be easy to understand, given the generally woeful historical track record of such claims and the people who have made them. The entire UFO arena is rife with deliberate fraud, for instance. Thousands of people have been caught out telling made-up stories about alien spaceships, alien abduction, etc. That is, careful investigation has uncovered the fraud. It is hardly surprising, given all the fakery and lies, that rational people tend to be wary about new extraordinary claims of UFOs.

    When people make themselves ridiculous - witness the tin foil hat brigade, for example - it should not be surprising to find those who are willing to laugh them off.

    Of course, we must recognise that after we've eliminated all the obvious frauds and crazy people and impossible "reports" of UFOs, and once we have solved the "obvious" cases (mistaken sightings of Venus, for instance), there still remains a small number of UFO sightings that warrants further attention. We must be careful not toss the baby out with the bathwater. But there is an awful lot of bathwater, when we're talking about UFOs.
    Bear in mind that "UFO" and "UAP" are both labels that designate phenomena that occur in the air.
    Not Yazata's stance, but it is, in effect, Magical Realist's stance.
    I disagree. Maybe you need to start noticing what MR doesn't address in his replies - what he ignores and skips over, what he tries to divert attention away from.

    His replies are very seldom intelligent. Mostly, they consist of absurd pronouncements along the lines that eyewitnesses cannot be wrong, are utterly trustworthy, are perfect perceivers and recallers of information, and infallible interpreters of what they claim they saw. MR routinely ignores what science has shown about the fallibility of human perception, recall, honesty and interpretation.

    MR is either stupid or a troll. We've been discussing this subject long enough with him that, at this point, there really are no other alternatives. Either MR can't understand what he has been taught (e.g. about the limitations of human observation) - which would make him an idiot - or he understands it but wants to continue to pretend that he is an idiot - which would make him a troll.
    He's not a loon. He's either an idiot (too stupid to understand what a scientific investigation of a UFO report should involve) or a troll (he understands, but is willing to lie and avoid and distract in order to keep his little UFO game going for as long as possible).
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    (continued...)

    MR assumes, by default, that everything that is unexplained is "paranormal". It doesn't much matter to him what flavour of supernatural or otherworldly pseudo-explanation is offered for something, as long as it isn't something already known ("mundane"). He is a fantasist who extrapolates from the most meagre data to wild flights of unbounded imagination. A light in the sky becomes a race of superintelligent alien beings living at the bottom of the ocean, at the drop of a hat, for him. No actual evidence is required. He doesn't give a damn about evidence. He has no interest in investigating anything. He is a collector of shiny baubles. Anything that looks, at first glance, mysterious, must be supernatural or ""paranormal", according to him.

    I repeat: it's not clear whether MR is an idiot or a troll. But there's really no viable alternative left, apart from one of those two.
    Probably he would like the mockery to stop. The problem is, if you make out that you're an idiot, chances are good that people are going to take you at face value and assume you're an idiot. It's what he would urge us all to do, if we're to believe what he tells us about how we should always trust first appearances of "eyewitnesses" and other people in general.

    On the other hand, if he's a troll, then he's probably not actually bothered by any "mockery". That's an expected part of the game. He might get a kick out of it, because to a troll, any response is a good response. The troll, above all else, craves attention. It doesn't matter whether it is positive or negative.
    Based on the historical record of UFO reports, it is far more likely that the tic tac was a weather balloon than an alien spaceship, so it's not completely unfair to try to estimate probabilities in that way.

    On the other hand, I don't think that anybody in this thread has actually said anything like "It's probably a weather balloon". What might have been said is that the available evidence does not rule out the possibility that it could be a weather balloon. See the difference? If we can't exclude (using the available evidence) the possibility that the tic tac was a weather balloon, or a bird, or a school of fish, or whatever, then those explanations remain live possibilities, along with alien spaceships and the rest of the woo explanations.

    Compare the skeptics here and somebody like MR, again. The skeptics say "the tic tac could be a bird" and "the evidence doesn't show that the tic tac was a flying 'craft' capable of extraordinary flight characteristics", while at the same time saying "we're willing to accept that the tic tac was an alien spaceship, just as soon as there's some positive evidence for that". On the other hand, MR just asserts things like "birds can't fly at 1000 miles per hour, and the tic tac did that" (false) and "no navy pilot could ever mistake a bird for a 40 ft long tic tac" (false) and "this sighting of a tic tac is evidence that a superhuman alien civilisation can built 'craft' that go both above and below water" (false).

    Decide for yourself whose position is more rational and reasonable here, and whose position honestly refers to the evidence and whose position relies on lies, distractions and evasions.
    Notice who "moved on" after Mick West's analysis of the "tic tac" video was posted. It wasn't the skeptics. The skeptics were all open to discussion and criticism of that analysis. You know who wanted to move on and talk about a completely different thing, immediately? MR, that's who. Because the man's an idiot (unable to follow what West did, or incapable of understanding it well enough to meaningfully discuss the analysis) or a troll (one who habitually tries to avoid inconvenient facts and who never answers questions fully or honestly).
    The vast majority of UAP reports are still from the United States. One reason might be that there is an active subculture of "UFO nuts" there. The US is rife with conspiracy theories and distrust, and UFO mythology feeds right into that paranoia, along with the desire to feel "special" because one feels one has access to "special" knowledge or understanding that the "average joe" does not.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    You refuse to do more than superficially glance at any "evidence" you present. You don't answer questions about it. You typically know nothing about any UFO case, beyond what you present in a sensationalist video that you dredged up from youtube. You give no sign that you're willing to engage your brain at all, other than to go off on imaginative flights of fancy. You're a dishonest interlocutor who ignores direct questions that you find inconvenient or too hard to answer. If it upsets you when your duplicity is pointed out, there's a solution for that: change your behaviour. Stop acting the fool and people will probably stop treating you like the fool.

    Now, obviously, you have been given this advice before, but you haven't followed it. That means that either you're an idiot - unable to understand what you're doing wrong - or a troll - able to understand it, but secretly enjoying the "drama" and wanting to string it out for as long as possible.

    Which is it?
     
  9. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I’m wondering …when there is opposition to “mundane explanations,” if the person’s idea of non-mundane may mean not the usual mundane explanations, you know? Personally, if the Pentagon were to conclude that some of these reported UAP’s are in fact advanced technology from another country, that wouldn’t be “mundane,” to me - meaning the usual explanations such as weather balloons, birds, camera mishaps, etc…

    As far as where you and Yazata “diverge,” I think in times like this, maybe you just have to accept that there is quite a bit of common ground that you both share in this topic, and build from there. You may never understand why he doesn’t fully think as you do, and perhaps what bothers you about that is you seem to respect Yazata as a member in this “science community,” so if he has a difference of opinion, it bugs you more than if someone you didn’t respect felt that way.

    Not to go all Deepak Chopra on you lol but, sometimes we just have to accept that not everyone will agree but if we share common ground, then maybe that’s enough?
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Sure, there are differences to what people understand by the term "mundane", and despite some of us being quite clear in what we mean when we use it, others read it in the way they understand, and argue against the points with their meaning rather than the intended.
    Sure, and as long as you qualify what you mean as mundane, that is not really an issue. The problem would come if you argued back simply saying "it looks far from mundane" and assumed your own understanding of the term "mundane" as the reply implies the term is used with the same understanding as originally used. But if you qualify it (e.g. "it looks far from mundane, and by mundane I am not including advanced tech not yet in the public sphere of knowledge..." etc) then that would hopefully avoid much of the potential for confusion.

    Most of the skeptics have been clear that they consider "mundane" to mean along the lines of earthly origin, not paranormal, and thus includes advanced tech, simple tech, or just natural phenomenon (animals, weather etc). It is being used as a simple term to express things with a reasonable possibility of existing/happening.
    The use of the term has, admittedly, spilled over from religious debates, where it is commonly used to express things not of divine, spiritual origin. I.e. if God did it, it's not mundane. If humans did it, it's mundane, no matter how rare it might be. So being used in the UAP theatre, it is most often used, by skeptics at least, to refer to things not paranormal and not alien... i.e. a mundane explanation would be one where, once you knew, you'd likely go "Ooh! Okay! Sure." Some surprise, but fleeting, because, sure, why wouldn't that be the explanation.
    Aliens? Nah, that's not a mundane explanation.
    Paranormal? Nope, not mundane.
    Advanced tech? Well, if someone suddenly reveals an anti-grav vehicle, (let's say in the shape of a tic-tac

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    ) or something that completely blows our common knowledge of what is just around the corner in terms of advances, then yeah, possibly that would be non-mundane. But on the whole, since "advanced tech" really just pushes the boundaries in small steps, it's overwhelmingly going to be considered mundane (given the above usage).
     
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  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I'd equivocate.
    I'd consider advanced tech to edge into the non-mundane category.

    A common appeal to advanced tech comes up around alleged aerial acrobatics such as extreme acceleration and other extreme maneuvers. I do not see sufficient evidence to conclude that these are due to advanced craft of any sort - be it extra-terrestrial or terrestrial technology. Instead, I see the evidence pointing toward misperception/interpretation of the events.

    For example, were a witness to say "It took off at tremendous acceleration or disappeared over the horizon in seconds", I would consider the explanation "It was advanced military tech" to be fairly exotic and thus require extra-ordinary evidence to support it. A mundane explanation would be more akin to: the witness (and/or camera) simply lost sight of it and interpreted it as having flown over the horizon.


    Looking at it another way: if "advanced terrestrial tech" were an an acceptable explanation for any given sighting, then there'd be nothing stopping it from being an acceptable explanation for all of them (after all, why not?) The implication, then, is that we have cracked the case for pretty much all UFO sightings. It'd be a done deal, and the only detail left would be to figure out which Earth nation is making these craft.
     
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  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    SciForums rules:

    I2. A personal attack on another member usually involves the word ‘you’, express or implied by context, combined with a negative comment. Attacks on another member (known as ad hominem attacks), as opposed to criticisms of his or her arguments, are not tolerated. Childish name-calling, such as referring to a member as a ‘moron’, ‘twit’, or ‘idiot’, is one obvious example of a personal attack.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2022
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Has someone been threatened?
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I think I also do, as explained in the last paragraph or two.
    If it's advanced enough to make people go "wow, that is well beyond everything we currently know" then sure, non-mundane. But if it makes you just go, "Oh, okay, sure" then it's not, in my view. Advanced tech really does need to be advanced for me to consider it non-mundane. A step-change or two in our understanding of what is possible.

    And, as you say, to be considered such advanced tech rather than a misidentification / interpretation of the observation, the claimant is going to have to provide something quite special in terms of evidence in order for it to be compelling.
     
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Edited per your complaint..
     
  16. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm…there’s one caveat to all of this, though. Suppose there simply isn’t enough information to go on? The tic tac video is impressive to me, and seems potentially non-mundane given our new (and improved

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    ) definition of what that could mean…but, if all they have to go on is that pathetic, fuzzy video, and a few eyewitness reports - that’s only enough to say “wow, we don’t know what that is; we’ve never seen that before,” but not enough to say “wow, we think it could be ____”

    There’s always a caveat (or numerous one) to everything in life.

    Or, one more option…

    The Pentagon does know what it is, but isn’t tellin’. Anyone up for a good conspiracy theory? lol
     
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  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I'd call advanced technology non-mundane inasmuch as it represents a level of knowledge that's currently beyond mainstream science. If someone has reached such a level, then it isn't presently part of our physics or textbooks yet. The abilities of such advanced technology would, going by ufo reports, consist of anti-gravity, propulsionless hyperspeed, hyper G capabilities, cloaking and/or teleportation abilities, and morphing spacetime. Yeah, all those would follow under non-mundane imo.
     
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  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think that's the kind of "advanced" technology that is being referred to here. If it were to exist of course it would be "advanced" but in general usage advanced technology would be, as Dave mentioned, something that is a little better than the last iteration.

    Russia may come up with a more capable fighter jet with advanced technology over the last version. Russia isn't going to suddenly come up with "anti-gravity, propulsionless hyperspeed, cloaking abilities and morphing spacetime" unless it's a Russian writer like Asimov

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  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, yes. So I should further clarify.

    There's advanced terrestrial tech and then there' alien tech.

    Alien tech, by definition, is advanced (in that we don't have it yet).

    Advanced tech then refers to terrestrial tech that's not widely available.


    In the immortal words of Hugo-, Nebula- and PKD- Award-winning William "Neuromancer" Gibson: "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet."


    Undoubtedly you and I agree on that, but there are those moderates who prefer the advanced terrestrial tech to explain the UFOs they think are doing such maneuvers.

    In my example, above, a craft that is alleged to accelerate and disappear over the horizon in seconds might be explained by one of these moderates as advanced terrestrial tech.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2022
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    My first thought with the tic tac type of "encounter" is system glitches. We don't tend to see the kind of clear photo evidence for these "advanced" technologies that we see for most everything else in life.

    There is generally a (good) reason why these encounters aren't on the NBC Nightly News and aren't evaluated and broken down for us on TV by the more official sources of the military, political and scientific community.

    It's usually, this guy saw it and "he's a pilot" or one "scientist" said.... That's not how anything else works that we generally take as true or highly probable.

    Go outside at night and take any picture and there's likely to be optical artifacts in the picture near any light source. Radar technology is good but it makes certain assumptions and when those assumptions don't apply you get "noise".

    When you see physics defying blobs move around on a radar screen my first (or second) assumption wouldn't be physics defying objects. It would be "noise" of some sort , whether thats just a glitch or whether it's based on some object that isn't really doing what is being shown on the radar.

    Also, alien tech doesn't have to be "advanced" although I get the reasons that it is more likely for that to be the case (if there are aliens).
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    wegs:

    We've already discussed possible differences in interpretation of the word "mundane". A non-mundane explanation could just mean something unexpected but explicable by reference to familiar things, or it could mean something supernatural or paranormal.

    As far as I'm concerned, I don't mind whether the explanation turns out to be natural (including human-made) or supernatural, just as long as there is sufficient evidence to support the explanation. On the other hand, since nothing supernatural has yet been convincingly shown to exist, the evidence for the existence of supernatural UFOs will need to be very persuasive to convince me. The same applies to pseudoscientific explanations, such as human time travellers from the future flying advanced "craft". Since the existence of (backwards) time travel of any kind currently lacks suitable supporting evidence, it will be an uphill battle to prove that a UFO is, in fact, a time travelling craft, even if it could be shown that such time travel is theoretically scientifically possible.
    As things stand with Yazata, the problem is that, for whatever reason, he has apparently stopped talking to me. I agree that we share a lot of common ground. Until recently, I have had a lot of respect for Yazata, but it looks to me like his aversion to discussing our points of disagreement lacks a certain amount of intellectual honesty. I am particularly disturbed that he has chosen to repeatedly attempt to mischaracterise the assumptions and attitudes of UFO skeptics (especially the ones who are here), despite apparently being fully aware that he is doing that.

    You're right in saying that it bugs me more when somebody I respect turns to the "dark side", compared to, say, dealing with somebody who has always been consistently wrong or clueless about an issue, or who has already established his credentials as an idiot or a troll.
    Point taken. I certainly agree that Yazata and myself share much common ground when it comes to UFOs. I'm content to give him space to work through his issues. I hope he'll come around, sooner or later. If not, as you say, it just means we have a disagreement on this particular thing.

    However, I'm not going to ignore Yazata's posts like he is ignoring mine (or pretending to ignore them, as the case may be). Even if he won't talk to me on this subject, I still have thoughts about his posts and will continue to share those thoughts for the consumption of other readers.
     
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  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I'm sure your imaginary audience is waiting with bated breath..

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  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Audience is demonstrably not imaginary.


    You realize that - as long as you continue sniping like this - you are condoning getting sniped yourself? It cancels your complaints about being attacked:

     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2022

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