Portage County/Ravenna UFO chase 1966

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Magical Realist, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Magical Realist:

    Suppose I have the following evidence before me:

    1. Signed statements from Magical Realist's mother and his best friend and one of his workmates say he fell into a swimming pool fully clothed.
    2. A report from the Magical Realist Appreciation Society saying that the witness statements all look legit to them.
    3. A drawing by Magical Realist's best friend's showing him falling into a pool.
    4. A blurry photograph of some guy that may or may not be Magical Realist falling on the edge of a pool, possibly about to fall in but we can't really tell because the photo is cruddy. The photo is "digitally enhanced" and approved by the Magical Realist Appreciation Society, which got one of its members to "find" the photo and "enhance" it.

    This evidence would prove beyond all doubt that Magical Realist fell into a pool fully clothed, would it?
    Is this "compelling evidence" that it happened?
    Would it be unreasonable for anybody to ask for more evidence if it was important for some reason to determine whether the event actually occurred or whether the story was made up?

    We have only one (or two?) witness statements to support the humming and the floating over the trees and the speeding down the highway. There's nothing else. So, much hangs on those witnesses, wouldn't you say - basing your conclusions entirely on the evidence like you say you are and all?

    Are you satisfied that you know all there is to know about those witnesses - particular in relation to the night in question?

    But "everyone" wasn't there. Everyone didn't see it. Just three guys claims to have seen it, I think.

    Clearly I am not insane, so I assume this was intended as a personal insult which, as you know, is a breach of sciforums' site rules. Will you apologise?

    Moving on... Are police officers infallible?

    Who measured the 300 ft?

    You never did tell me your method for determining the size and height of aircraft, Magical Realist. Are you going to get to that eventually?

    What evidence have I dismissed?

    What have I denied?

    I've read many articles on it, all based on the same set of documents that you linked to earlier. There are a few contemporary newspaper reports that take us no further in our investigation than the witness statements.

    Do you think you have something I haven't already read, that provides important additional information or confirmation of alien activity?

    I already read about that.

    If you have found a copy of the Air Force's investigation report, why not link me to it? I don't think you've read any such thing.

    We're justified in believing aliens are visiting Earth based on what has been presented about that case in this thread, then? Is that what you're saying?

    If it hasn't been debunked in 50 years, then there are two possibilities, at least. (1) Aliens are real! or (2) Aliens aren't real, but there hasn't been enough evidence available to debunk the case.

    You're advising us to turn a blind eye to possibility (2), rather than investigating further. Why is that?

    You can't possibly know that! What a blatantly silly thing to say, Magical Realist. It's quite possible that new evidence will come to light tomorrow to debunk it. You don't know what exists and what does not exist. You're not omniscient.

    Please have the good sense to admit that this was a stupid blunder on your part. Own your mistake this time, and I'll think better of you for it.

    I've made no such assumption.

    Take your own advice. Don't assume it must be real!

    I want you to respond to the many specific questions I've put to you regarding the case, above. An honest response would be a bonus, if you can manage that.

    Magical Realist, I am really not interested in getting into another argument about what a UFO is.

    You can take it as read that when I say "aliens", it can be whatever woo you think it actually is, whether it be time travellers from the future, inter-dimensional beings from the Z-sector, or pixies from the magical Forest of Souls.

    The bottom line is: I'm investigating to what extent, if any, a paranormal or supernatural or extraterrestrial explanation is necessary to explain cases such as this UFO sighting. You say the only answer is the woo. I say let's see if there's a reasonable mundane explanation before we jump into the woo with you at the deep end of your pool.


    They spent years investigating this, and all they came up with it the lousy paltry set of documents on their web site, all of which I read in about half an hour?

    Are they completely incompetent?

    Or are you just making up the whole "years of investigation" thing?

    LOL indeed.

    It's evidence all right. But evidence of what?

    I haven't debunked that Elvis is still alive, either. Do you find that idea compelling too?

    I haven't forgotten it.

    So you're saying that's all there is? Just that?

    For "aliens" read "whatever woo floats your boat". See above.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Nothing to do with anything, eh?

    Maybe you're the only sane one after all. There there, Magical Realist. It must be hard dealing with the insane like me, who post their bullshit questions that have nothing to do with anything. I applaud your patience.

    I think you'd probably be wrong to guess that. What makes you think that?

    But the photo is suspect, as I have pointed out.

    And my questions regarding the other evidence haven't been answered.

    No, better to keep an open mind while we're still investigating this together, you and I.
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    How do you know their job was to handwave stuff away? (If you want to answer this one, probably best to start a new thread in Conspiracies, because this sounds like one.)

    I fear that will take us too far away from our current focus on this case. Leave it for another time.

    Where's their report on the details of the investigation they conducted? I'd like to read it.

    I've previous told you a number of things you hadn't considered. For example, there's the matter of the photograph. I see you've avoided responding to the specific and new questions I raised about that, instead merely affirming your faith in the photograph.

    I accept the evidence provided.

    What do you conclude from the evidence provided, and why?

    Oh dear. Is that another personal insult from you, Magical Realist? Keep it up and some other moderator might decide to infract you. With 80 active warning points to your name and a one-month ban on your horizon, you might want to think about controlling your temper.

    The documents show a lack of access to relevant evidence, a less-than-optimal initial investigation, and a paucity of records. Like I said.

    Good advice, Magical Realist. Good advice. The woods might be nice, especially at this time of year.

    For "aliens" read "whatever woo you believe a UFO 'really' is". See above. I expected you'd get your undies in a tangle over my use of the word "aliens".

    I haven't attempted to debunk it. To do that, I'd probably need to go gather some proper evidence myself. You know, interview witnesses (if they are alive), find the missing reports, try to dig up any original evidence such as the photographic negative, etc. etc.

    To tell you the truth, the thought of it puts me to hankerin' for them woods.

    By refusing your offer of bait-and-switch, you mean?

    Yeah. I like it a lot. When I was a kid we had marbles. Among other things. And those things you hang on the Christmas tree - what are they called again? Ah, it takes me back to when you and me were but wee lads. Thanks for the memories, Magical Realist!

    Maybe I'll go lock myself in my log cabin in the woods. Ooh, Magical Realist, you're so... dominant.

    No. That's not my claim. Wherever did you get such a bizarre notion from?

    The US Airforce investigation debunked this case as a sighting of Venus, didn't it? Nothing about evil documentary makers there.

    Yeah, lots of silly excuses like a lack of sufficient evidence. Why let that stop a good debunking?

    You'd never let a mere lack of evidence get in the way of assuming a point has been proved, would you Magical Realist?

    Great! Then we agree.

    Let's work on the evidence together, Magical Realist. Let it lead us where it may!

    Whatever they are, they sure aren't helicopters or photographic errors. They are definitely 100% woo! That's for sure.

    I have admitted many times in this thread that UFOs exist. Well, not the woo ones the way you define them. I keep an open mind about those. But unidentified lights in the sky and such? Certainly.

    When it comes down to it, there's not much certainty to be had. See, for example, the "Brain in a vat" thread that's currently running for an interesting and informative philosophical discussion of this point.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  5. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Now he's degraded to age-based insults... what is this, the third grade...?
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    LOL! Ofcourse it would. Better yet, turn the three eyewitnesses into cops and a woman who was standing in her backyard and its even more compelling. Unless you suspect some devious plot to fabricate me falling into a pool. Why would you suspect that? Don't you think that's a little crazy.

    No it wouldn't. Not with three eyewitnesses. Why would anyone think there is some kind of plot to make this up?

    Right..eyewitnesses are pretty compelling components to this account. Also the detailed nature of the account, and the length of time the ufo is seen and tracked. Unless you are claiming they made the whole thing up? Why? The cops suffered such mockery and harrassment from telling their story. Why do you think they'd do this seeing all the flak they got for it.

    Yes..these weren't ufo believers trying to push their ideas on people. They were normal average police officers just doing their job. There's absolutely no reason to doubt their testimony.

    You don't have to be there to find an account compelling. Ever read accounts of the Hindenburg crash? The bombing of Pearl Harbor?

    Are any eyewitnesses of any news event infallible? Is there any reason to think they are misperceiving what they say they saw?

    I already did. The object hovered over the trees, about 100 feet. Size comparison there. It hovered directly overhead. Height estimate there. Anybody could estimate those under such circumstances.

    The eyewitness accounts. The drawings. The photo.

    That the account is a compelling instance of a ufo encounter.

    Probably not. You've already admitted you'd have to go to the location and interview the actual eyewitnesses to get more. And that's not going to happen now is it?

    Look for it yourself. You're the one whining about lack of documentation.

    Never said aliens are visiting earth. Quit lying about what I claim.

    Or 3) that ufos are real as proven in hundreds of other well documented cases over the past 70 years.

    No..new evidence is not going to turn up tomorrow on this well investigated compelling case. It would have long by now if it was there.

    Then why are you demanding more documentation? What assumption do you require the documentation to disprove?

    I assume things seen by three people for a period of over an hour across 70 miles of driving are real.

    I don't respond to bullshit questions.

    Good. Then quit claiming I believe it's aliens.

    I merely claim that ufos, defined as an anomaly neither manmade nor naturally caused, are real and are proven so by hundreds perhaps thousands of eyewitness accounts, photos, videos, and radar data. It's not a radical claim. In fact it's pretty conservative.

    And you said you read that article I mentioned. For shame.

    "In May 1966, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), then a 10-year-old, civilian-run organization, took an interest in the case. Investigator William Weitzel picked up where Quintanilla had left off, collecting every report and newspaper article he could find, and reinterviewing Spaur several times. The most intriguing piece, however, came from Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the Air Force consultant. Hynek noted that Venus had risen at 3:35 that morning and would have been too high in the sky, by the time of the sightings, to be mistaken for an aircraft.

    In 1968, Weitzel personally delivered his files to the University of Colorado, where researchers were conducting a review of UFO sightings for the Air Force. But their report, submitted to Congress in 1969, made no mention of the Ravenna case. Armed with the researchers' conclusion -- that "further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby" -- Congress disbanded Project Blue Book."


    Find me thousands of eyewitness accounts, photos and videos of the real Elvis walking around after his death and then we'll talk.

    I know it's hard for you to deal with the facts of this case. That's why you ask these bullshit questions..as a ploy for distracting from the compelling nature of the accounts. It's what you do...everytime.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Blue_Book

    Then that was a rhetorical question?

    Go look for it. Call NICAP and ask them. Be proactive Jimmy. The truth is out there.

    The account of the photo was pretty speculative. I find it an added piece of the puzzle for determining the reality of the object witnessed.

    That the object witnessed that morning was a real ufo as seen and photographed thousands of other times all across the world.

    You're the one regularly calling me stupid and ignorant and gullible here. If you can't take it don't dish it out.

    Really...how many records is the right number? Who decided that? You?

    Have a good time. And remember. Any flying saucer you see in the sky isn't real until its been documented officially and replicated in a lab by scientists.

    Then quit lying that I believe they are aliens. It's a really simple thing to do.

    Then why are you demanding "proper evidence" if you can only go out and get it yourself? Has this all just been a game of moving the goalposts on what counts as evidence again?

    I gave numerous accounts of the incident, drawings, documents, and a photo. That's not baiting anything.

    We didn't have marbles. We played with frisbees and hot wheels and strobe lights. Post 50's style stuff.

    So you admit the case is real and not fraudulant?

    If more evidence doesn't exist, it can't exactly be lacking now can it?

    See you in a few months then after you go to Illinois and Florida to gather your so-called "lacking evidence." lol!

    Define woo...

    Then you don't understand the definition of UFO yet. Go back and reread it again.

    Science is often twisted to support a certain materialist worldview where nothing that happens can't be explained by physical or natural processes. That's the sort of certainty I suspect you garner from it. It's more a scientistic faith than an actual result of scientific fact and theory.
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    More eyewitnesses of the Portage County UFO:

    "By now, police officers in three counties had overheard the radio discussion of the UFO chase. Patrolman H. Wayne Huston (of East Palestine, Ohio) realized that Spaur and Neff were traveling in his direction. Via radio, he told Spaur and Neff that he would join the pursuit. The police officers asserted that the object was usually one-half to three-quarters of a mile ahead of them.

    Huston would later describe the object as initially appearing from a distance to be somewhat conical in shape -- resembling a flattened ice cream cone due to the beam of light shining from its underside (the "ice cream cone" description was echoed in Close Encounters).

    The three officers crossed over into Pennsylvania, near Rochester. Though he was trailing the others, Huston was guiding the chase now, as he was more familiar with the area than Spaur and Neff. Nonetheless, near Route 51, the two police cars had to slow nearly to a stop due to traffic, and they lost sight of the object. A few minutes later they insisted that they spotted it again. Spaur, Neff and Huston resumed their pursuit.

    At about 5.30 a.m., Spaur and Neff received orders to abandon the chase. They were far from their jurisdiction, and their car was nearly out of gasoline.

    Enter Patrolman Panzanella

    At about 5.20 a.m., another police officer would become involved in the case. Patrolman Frank Panzanella of the Conway, Pennsylvania police was on patrol, when he saw an object shining in the skies. Initially, he thought it was the reflection of light from an airplane. However, the object seemed to be stationary.

    Unsure of what he was seeing, Panzanella stopped his car at a service station parking lot, and got out to study the object for several minutes as it seemed to hover in the air. In a statement he submitted to Blue Book, Panzanella wrote:

    'I saw 2 other patrol cars pull up and the officers [Neff, Spaur and Huston] got out of the car and asked me if I saw it. I replied SAW WHAT! Then pointed at the object and I told them that I had been watching it for the last 10 minutes. The object was the shape of a half of a football, was very bright, and was about 25 to 35 feet in diameter. The object then moved out towards Harmony Township approximately 1,000 feet high, then it stopped then went straight up real fast to about 3,500 feet.'

    As the UFO ascended, the police officers saw the moon in the sky above it, and saw what they would later describe as a bright "star" very near the moon. That morning, the planet Venus was very near the moon rising in the east, and the men had spotted the planet without knowing it.

    With the object still hovering at about 3,500 feet, Panzanella radioed dispatcher John Beighey at Rochester, asking him to contact the Greater Pittsburg Airportt (GPA). Panzanella says he saw an airliner pass below the object as it hovered; he related this fact to Beighey. Minutes later, Panzanella saw what he took to be fighter jet vapor trails to the west or northwest of the object, and that a voice on the police radio announced that jets had been scrambled to intercept the object. Shortly thereafter, the UFO sped upwards at high speed until it was lost to view. Druffel writes that the air traffic control tower at GPA "confirmed that the object was being observed on their radar screen."

    Spaur, Neff and Huston then began their return trips to Ohio, while Panzanella elected to stay where he was in hopes that the UFO might reappear. Only a few minutes later, however, Beighy radioed Panzanella to report that officials wanted to interview all who had witnessed the UFO. Panzanella caught up with Neff and Spaur to relate the request.

    Spaur, Neff and Huston then went to police headquarters in Rochester, Pennsylvania. The men all seemed shaken and distressed; Druffel writes, "Spaur, who was normally well-poised, stuttered when he spoke, and his hand trembled as he smoked a cigarette." Spaur spoke briefly on the telephone to a man he later described as "some colonel," whose identity remains unknown. Despite Spaur's protests, the colonel tried to persuade Spaur that they had misidentified some normal object, then told the men that he'd forward their accounts to personnel at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, headquarters on Project Blue Book. The colonel did not speak to either Neff or Huston.

    Enter Officer Kwaianowski

    Just before Panzanella caught up to Neff and Spaur, he spoke on the radio to Patrolman Henry Kwaianowski of Economy Bourough. Kwaianowski insisted that, for two or three minutes, he had observed a metallic, football shaped object at the same altitude as two passenger jets.

    Enter Officers Johnson and Esterly

    Two Salem, Ohio police officers, (Lonny Johnson and Ray Esterly) had overheard the radio traffic, and suspected that, given its direction of travel, the UFO might pass over Salem.

    After looking in the directions reported by the other officers on the police radios, Johnson and Esterly say they spotted the object shortly after 5:30 a.m. They said the object was at between one and three miles away from them, and at about 10,000 feet, at the same altitude as a passenger jet. They claim that they saw two smaller jets approaching the UFO from about 10 miles away. They radioed their observations as they occurred, then when the UFO and the three jets disappeared from view, Johnson and Esterly returned to their headquarters.

    Clark notes that the claims of Johnson and Easterly contradict, in many particulars, the claims of the other police officers. He quotes William Wietzel, a philosophy instructor and NICAP investigator who speculates that there might have been two similar UFOs in the area (in Close Encounters, four UFOs are depicted in the chase). It's also possible that the three officers who came from Ohio had a chance to "unify" their perception of the UFO during the chase, and/or that there might have simply been an honest disagreement about the altitude and vector of the object.

    Civilian Witnesses

    Several civilians claimed to have seen the same or a similar object on the day of the UFO chase. Most of these claims were reported in local newspapers. NICAP members interviewed some of them, but none of the witnesses were known to have been interviewed by U.S. Air Force investigators.

    • In Bentor Harbor in extreme southwestern Michigan, in the early morning hours of April 17, three garbage men making their daily rounds reported seeing an unusual object hovering over a hotel and emitting a light so bright that they insisted they "couldn't look straight at it." They notified police, who arrived in time to see the object shortly before it flew away.
    • Sometime between 5.00 and 5.30 a.m., two couples together in a car driving near New Castle, PA reported seeing a bright light moving in the sky. Initially thinking that it was a reflection from an airplane, they stopped the car to get a better look. The object stopped when their car stopped. They quickly became convinced that it was no normal aircraft, due to its shape, which one witness described as resembling an "ice cream cone" (though another witness thought it looked more like a "hamburger". The object began to move again, and the witnesses followed it in their car for a few minutes before the object accelerated out of view. This account received very sketchy reportage, with the witnesses unsure of the precise time they saw the object. Clark noted that some interpreted this encounter as a second UFO in the same area, though he also notes that, without a firmly established timeline, this interpretation is speculative.
    • Thelma James of Newton Falls, Ohio claimed to have seen an unusual aerial object. She had woken at about 3:50 a.m., and unable to sleep, looked out her bedroom window. She saw a bright light slowly ascending in the sky. Clark notes that this was almost certainly the planet Venus, which, from James's perspective, would have risen above the horizon at 3:35 a.m. However, at about 5:15 a.m., Jones noted that a second light, much brighter than the first, had also appeared in the sky, but closer to the horizon, and to the southeast of Venus. This second light seemed to be crescent shaped, and was a very bright yellow color. It continued moving through the sky and was lost to Jones's view at about 5:30 a.m. James's observations match some of the observations made by the police officers in the UFO chase. Clark writes, "...it is unfortunate that none of the investigators interviewed this witness, who saw both Venus and the UFO--in defiance of those who would soon insist that the two were one." On the other hand, the rise of Venus and a crescent moon that morning, and the subsequent glare of sunrise, neatly account for these observations."----http://www.educatinghumanity.com/2011/06/ufo-sighting-ufo-video-police-witnesses.html
    Here's Deputy Spaur's taped interview:

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Magical Realist:

    If you think that, then I can only conclude that you're lousy at evaluating the evidence for anything, not just woo. You'd do well to study up on what critical thinking entails. I've tried my best to start your education on that, but apparently not much has sunk in yet. Than again, any student has to want to learn in order to succeed in learning, and all indications are thatyou have little if any interest in learning how to think critically.

    It's an analogy. The stakes as whether you fell into a pool or not are quite low. Somebody falling into a pool is not a miraculous or even particularly unusual occurrence. But aliens visiting Earth, on the other hand, would have immense implications for humanity, if it was actually happening.

    The upshot of this is that while many skeptics might be quite happy to accept your Mum's story alone as some evidence that you fell in the pool, few would be willing to accept the reports of several police officers as evidence for aliens visiting Earth.

    But the more important point here is that your Mum's word, even if accepted, would in no way, by itself, amount to "compelling evidence" that you actually fell in the pool. Even if accepted, it would still be unverified evidence.

    A plot is not necessary. This could well be a case of mistaken identity, combined with a certain level of suggestibility and group-think.

    The fact is: we don't know what they saw. We know what they thought they saw, and that's about it.

    They may not have anticipated the reaction they would get, so that's largely irrelevant to whether they would make the whole thing up or not.

    I'm not convinced that they made it all up, anyway. Possibly one or more of them saw something. The question is: what did they see?

    How do you know they were normal average police officers, and not avid followers of UFO stories, for example?

    Just asking how you magically know all about these guys and their motivations and so on. What's your source of information on these men and their lives and motives?

    Both of those events are well documented. There is famous film footage of the Hindenburg crash. There are photographs and film of Pearl Harbor. There are literally thousands of people who witnessed both events. Moreover, if the Hindenburg didn't crash, where is it? What happened to the people who supposedly died in the accident? And the same can be asked about those ships that sunk in Pearl Harbor, and the people who died there.

    If Pearl Harbor didn't happen, why did the US declare war on Japan?

    I hope you can see that the evidence that those two events occurred more or less as described in the history books is much stronger than the anecdotal evidence of the Portage County UFO.

    No. Why on earth do you think they would be?

    Yes. There are lots of good reasons why people misperceive what they see. We've been through this before, haven't we?

    Also, memory is not like a photograph. It is more like a reconstruction by a brain of a past event - a person telling him or herself a story about the event. Memory is fallible. Indeed, it is malleable.

    You mean they compared the width of the UFO to the height of the trees? Who said they did that?

    When you look up at the Moon in the sky, tell me how you judge how far away it is. How accurate is your judgment? Can you get its distance to the nearest kilometer by looking at it? Nearest 10 km? Nearest 100,000 km? Tell me how you do it, just by looking up.

    I did not dismiss any of these things. Indeed, I have examined them in some detail.

    I note you have not commented on the differences between the drawing and the photo. Why are they different?

    You mean aliens (or other woo). Yes, I deny that the evidence presented so far is compelling evidence of woo, for reasons I have already explained.

    No, it's not. So, this will remain an open case, for which we can draw no firm conclusions. Unless you have anything else to present regarding it. Do you?

    I won't have to if you already found it. Or are you telling me you haven't bothered to look at it, because you think you don't need to?
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Right. And you're the one whining about how you just magically know it's all true, every word.

    For "aliens" read "whatever woo you think 'real' UFOs are".

    We can't evaluate (3) based on the case we're currently examining.

    It would be nice if the Portage County case could be added to the list of hundreds of cases that prove the woo, but as I have shown we unfortunately can't draw that conclusion based on the evidence available to us about that case. Agree?

    How do you know? By magic?

    Are you saying that if something doesn't happen in 50 years, it can never happen?

    I don't require the documentation to disprove anything. Recall that we are trying to prove the woo here. If we can gather sufficient evidence, maybe it will turn out that the woo is real. Wouldn't that be great?

    Even extraordinary, out-of-the-ordinary things?

    Suppose three police officers came to you and told you that a pixie flew down and landing on the bonnet of their cruiser, and they drove 70 miles with it waving at them through the windscreen, after which it flew off and was never seen again.

    Would you believe pixies are real, then?

    You don't respond to questions you find difficult or inconvenient. That's a dishonest approach, Magical Realist. It makes you look shifty.

    Trust me. It's radical. But I'm not interested in that. I'd like to concentrate on just one case, for now - the Portage County UFO case. Not hundreds or thousands. Just this one, for starters.

    If you're willing to admit that the Portage County case doesn't provide any compelling evidence, then we can move on and talk about cases that have better evidence. Just let me know.

    I read it.

    And so...?

    So you don't find eyewitness accounts that Elvis is alive compelling. Why not?

    Wouldn't you apply exactly the same reasoning as you do with UFO accounts? That people are essentially trustworthy, and don't make mistakes about seeing Elvis, and so on?

    Why are Elvis sightings in a different category for you compared to UFO sightings? Aren't Elvis anecdotes just as "compelling"? If not, why not?

    I'd really like to know why you apparently have a double standard on this.

    What am I supposed to get from that, specifically?

    No. As you will recall, I suggested a new thread on the topic, if you want to discuss it. Here, right now, I am interested in examining the Portage County UFO case.

    Why didn't they publish it along with the witness statements etc. on their own website? Strange, don't you think, that they wouldn't include their own report on their own webpage about the case?

    Yes, it's my speculation.

    I'd like to hear your personal opinion on what I had to say about the photo. You know, reasons you agree or disagree with me. I'd like to see some independent thought from you concerning the evidence. Do you have any thoughts of you own on the photo, or just an unqualified belief in its authenticity?

    The Portage County UFO was not photographed thousands of times across the world. In fact, I doubt it was photographed once, anywhere, for reasons I have previously explained.

    If you have evidence that any photographs of this particular UFO exist, other than the one you already presented, show it to me.

    I've expressed my disappointment that somebody of your apparent intelligence is so unwilling or unable to think critically about the evidence in these woo cases.

    It's not a matter of quantity so much as quality. And yes, I decided. Who else could decide that for me?

    But I'm sure that many other people would agree with my assessment, for what it's worth.

    I assumed you must already have sufficient evidence to establish the reality of the woo for this case. But, after our discussion, it seems you've seen only as much, or less, than I've seen. And that is insufficient to form any definite conclusion regarding the case, as I have shown.

    In other words, what I have shown is that your faithful belief in the "reality" of the woo for this case is unjustified.

    Do you think that being younger than somebody born in the 50s or 40s, or whenever you think I was born, makes you better qualified to judge the reality of woo? Why?



    I thought you had sufficient evidence to support your claim that this particular UFO was the woo. But you don't. Showing that is all that really concerns me here.

    I'm certainly not about to make an expensive and time-consuming journey to the United States merely in order to prove something to some guy on an internet forum. Sorry, MR, but you're not that special. LOL.

    Woo = aliens = whatever supernatural, paranormal thing you think "real UFOs" are. In this context.

    I've already commented at some length as to why the Portage County thing doesn't fit your own definition of UFO posted above. Maybe you need to go back and reread what you wrote, and what I wrote in reply.


    No. I like to keep an open mind.

    That may be true for some people.
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    This is from Spaur, Neff and Huston's witness statements, I assume.
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    One thing to note here is that all of these officers presumably had a lot of time to talk to each other before giving any official witness statements. We can't rule out collusion to make the story up.

    Regarding Panzanella's statement, I again have to ask how he judged the 25 to 35 feet diameter of the object. How did he know how far away it was from him? And how did he get that 1000 feet measurement of its height, and the 3500 feet measurement. Those numbers are all quite specific. How did he judge the heights and distances and diameter?

    What did Beighey have to say? Was he the guy who said he saw nothing unusual on radar, or was that a different guy?

    Where's Beighey's witness statement? Is his name "Beighey" or "Beighy" (because both spellings appear in the quoted material)?

    And that airliner that Pazanella saw. What did the people on the airliner see? Where are their witness statements? What did the pilots of the airliner see? Where are their witness statements? Indeed, has the airliner been identified or confirmed at all by anybody? Was there even an airliner? Is there any evidence at all that there was, other than Panzanella's statement?

    Whose voice was it? Is there any independent confirmation that any such announcement was made?
    Were jets in fact scrambled? Has anybody confirmed that, from the air force? If they were, what did the pilots of the jets find? Where are their statements?

    Who is Druffel?
    Who was the air traffic controller?
    Where are the witness statements from these people?
    Is there any independent confirmation of radar sighting of an unusual object? Documentation? Records? Anything?

    So there's no evidence of any call to any "colonel", apart from Spaur's testimony?

    Now we have two jets instead of one. Which jets were they? Where is this documented? What did the people in the jets see?

    Where was Kwaianowski when he saw the object? Where is his witness statement?

    Again, we have the problems of distance. How did they judge the height of the object, and its distance from them?
    And again we have the problem of identifying the mysterious jets. And now we have 3 jets, apparently.

    In other words, somebody's story must be wrong in many particulars.

    You admit this, I assume, Magical Realist. This is an example of how different people can see different things or tell different stories about supposedly the same events. Do you see how this can happen now?

    If the stories contradict, then we can always invent more woo to make them somehow match after all!

    Maybe everybody saw their own private UFO, all different!

    Interesting either way, wouldn't you say?

    Ah yes. The same ... or similar (i.e. not the same).

    Why not? Could it be that the Air Force investigation was substandard, like I previously suggested it was?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    What time was this? Where is Bentor Harbor, relative to the other locations in the witness statements? The information here is sketchy. Where are the garbage men's statements?

    Where is New Castle, PA relative to Portage County and the other locations mentioned previously?

    Is a hamburger the same as an ice cream cone? Or was somebody mistaken or wrong? How does this mesh with your belief that eyewitnesses are always reliable, Magical Realist?

    Where is Newton Falls, Ohio, in relation to Portage County and the other locations?

    Crescent shaped? Is that the same as ice-cream-cone shaped? Or hamburger shaped?
    Crescent shaped ... like the moon? Bright yellow and low on the horizon ... like the moon?

    Bright yellow, crescent-shaped thing on the horizon ... like the rising sun for instance? hmm...

    Got a transcript? The sound quality is lousy, with lots of background noise.
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    More insults about my thinking skills? You are in no position to talk down to me about evaluating evidence when you spend 5 pages denying evidence set right in front of you. And in my experience "critical thinking" comes down to "you're not operating on the same assumptions I'm making." There's nothing superior about that at all.

    3 eyewitnesses is good enough reason for me to believe what they say happened happened, I don't care if it was Humpty Dumpty walking down the street. If these people all say they saw the same thing, then they did.

    I guess that was a shitty analogy then, eh?

    3 police officers and a lady saying they saw me fall in a pool is sufficiently compelling evidence in my book.

    No..I don't ascribe suggestibility to 4 people independently saying they saw me falling in a pool.

    THEY know what they saw, and that's good enough for me.

    It's not hard to anticipate ridicule for claiming to see a ufo. Everyone does it. Hell even I would do it at first. "Oh a UFO? Any little green men in it?"

    That's what you consistently fail to answer..

    Because that's the average mindset of rural police officers living in the 1960's. I hate to break it to ya, but most ufos do not coincidently appear just to ufo believers.

    Even without all the other evidence, the accounts remain compelling in themselves. They show emotion and immediacy of reaction and details of observation that people just would not make up..

    Misperceiving something is rather rare with an object "as bright as the sun" that hovers over trees and then takes off along a freeway for 70 miles.

    It's a fact that people tend to remember more accurately emotionally jolting events. Fear and awe tend to imprint those moments more indelibly into our synapses.

    That's how everyone estimates size. Comparison with surrounding objects.

    I can tell the moon is very many thousands of miles away because I know how big it is. Something that big so small is very far away.

    Yet you offer nothing in it's place? Why is that James?

    Many more competent investigators than I have drawn firm conclusions on this case based on the eyewitness testimony alone. And I did find more on it. See the post on the additional eyewitnesses.
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I have no reason to doubt it..Do you?

    For aliens I read "aliens". I will not enable your habit of mocking my beliefs by equating them with alien beliefs.

    Not at all. Knowing what we know about ufos, this case is merely one among many others of these same typical objects that defy natural and manmade explanations. It is compelling in the context of our knowledge of similar accounts of ellipitcal self-illuminated objects witnessed firsthand.

    Gut instinct..

    No..I'm saying the colder a case gets the less likely more evidence will turn up for it. This is common sense.

    Then what does further documentation prove to you that isn't proven already?

    If they all say they saw this winged illuminated being flying before them for 70 miles, yes absolutely I'd believe they saw it. Whether it was a pixie defined in folklore remains undetermined.

    More insults now. Now I'm a shifty guy.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    LOL! That I will never admit. The case is compelling because it relies on strong and totally credible eyewitness evidence.

    I told you if you come up with thousands of photos, videos, and eyewitness accounts of the real Elvis, then yes, I'd believe he is still alive.He'd be pretty old, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

    You're fixated on debunking something that can't be debunked. Admit it. You've failed, just as you have all the other compelling cases I've presented.

    Call them and find out.

    I already told you what I thought about it...twice.

    The objects known as UFOs have been photographed and witnessed thousands of times.

    Don't pass off your agenda-laden debunkery as critical thinking. It's called confirmation bias.

    What will more reports do for you that isn't already provided in the present reports?

    LOL! I just posted 4 or 5 more eyewitnesses of that object on that night. Why are still falsely claiming I haven't seen more than you have?

    I believe in ufos based on examining hundreds of sightings and encounters and photos. That is based on evidence, and it isn't woo if it exists.

    It probably accounts for my tendency of not going along with mainstream establishment view all the time. I was raised in a time when people started questioning the culturally enforced views of the status quo. And that includes the myth of the all-knowing scientists safely sequestered from reality in their pristine labs.

    I know it's a ufo. Whether it conforms to your made up term "woo" doesn't really concern me.

    Then quit complaining about lack of evidence.

    So anything without explanation is automatically "woo" for you? Is quantum entanglement woo? Is the Big Bang woo? Is how consciousness arises from a lump of wet meat in a skull woo?

    It's an aerial anomaly that cannot be explained by any known cause or phenomena.
  17. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Then... why have you repeatedly asserted for many months that such things must be the work of some sort of off-world intelligence?
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Because that's a very real possibility. It certainly would explain the intelligent behavior and structure of UFOs.
  19. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Possibility, sure - certainty, no. I think that's where a lot of the conflict comes from - you often seem to come across as utterly assured that it is some intelligent, extra-terrestrial creation, even when there is insufficient evidence to make such a claim.

    Phrasing could possibly fix that? I dunno, just kinda throwing ideas out there...
    paddoboy likes this.
  20. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    How about if you didn't fall into the pool?
    All that shows is that you are more gullible and impressionable then most, and of course a touch of confirmation bias.
    Probably because its a UFO.
    Have you ever compared the size of the "full Moon" when it is on the horizon, compared to directly overhead?
    Again, probably because it remains a UFO.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    No, for the third time it is a UFO: What is woo, is the not so hidden inference/ suggestions that you love to associate with UFO's

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  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Magical Realist:

    I was under the impression that you were leaving, or else that you considered the discussion over.

    See, that's the problem with examining evidence. It takes time and effort. It's not just look at the pretty bauble then jump to the next thing. It requires concentration and effort.

    I'm quite happy to wait for a substantial reply. But when I post long posts with questions and then somebody comes in with a 1 line response only to the very last thing I wrote, I tend to assume that their intention is to ignore the rest, because in my experience that is what usually happens when people do that kind of thing.

    You keep assuming I'm denying evidence. I haven't denied anything. I'm examining the available evidence. I'm trying to gather as much other evidence on this case as is readily available on the internet. I'm pointing out gaps and inconsistencies in the evidence. I'm asking questions. None of this is denial. I'm not pretending the witness accounts don't exist, or the photo or whatever; that would be denial.

    Then you've got the wrong end of the stick on critical thinking. It's about not making a priori assumptions.

    Just read that back to yourself and think about what you just wrote. There are holes there big enough to drive a truck through. Can't you see them?

    No. It was a valid analogy that was supposed to prompt you to think about why a few anecdotes alone are not compelling evidence of anything - particularly when the witnesses are not independent of one another.

    Suppose an audience of 100 people watches a stage magician cause a coin to apparently vanish from his hand. Ask them after the performance what they saw and all 100 of them tell you thy saw the coin vanish. Does that mean the coin actually vanished? 100 people say they saw the same thing. They couldn't possibly all be wrong, could they?

    Oh, you say, but we know that stage magicians perform tricks specifically to fool people, so we already know the coin didn't really vanish before we asked the audience about it. But that's an assumption, isn't it? And that's inconsistent with your insistence that you trust eyewitness evidence in the absence of anything else. We should, according to you, first and foremost trust the eyewitness' accounts, regardless of anything else we know about the world. If they say they saw magic, then unless we have actual evidence of the mundane, we must conclude that magic is what happened. We cannot rule out the possibility of magic by assumption.

    You'd say that there is compelling evidence that the stage magician used magic to make the coin vanish. Sure, it's possible that some time in the future there might be convincing evidence of trickery by the magician, but until there is we must assume the paranormal.

    Do you think this is the correct way to approach this kind of thing? If not, what's wrong with it?

    Ah, but they aren't really independent, are they, when you look at it?

    And the audience watching the magician knows what it saw, too. Is that good enough for you?

    What you're saying is that you will believe it's aliens, or whatever the woo is, unless and until you have ironclad evidence of the mundane. That is, unless I can "debunk" the case completely for you, you'll assume it's aliens, by default.

    In the same way, you'll assume the magician does real magic unless, for example, he (or somebody else) shows you how he could do the trick in a non-magical way, step-by-step, revealing the secret. You won't start with the assumption that the magician is probably doing a trick.

    Maybe you'll protest that you would start with that assumption in the case of the magician. But if so, then why do you start with the assumption that a UFO sighting is paranormal/unexplainable in conventional terms, rather than with the assumption that there's most likely a mundane explanation?

    I think you're wrong. I think that most UFO do appear to believers, or at least to people who have had a lot of exposure to the idea of flying saucers and the like in stories, movies and the like.

    A bright light could be lots of different things. Perceiving a light is not the same as identifying the source of the light.

    So, you see a distant object against distant trees. You try to judge the size of the object by assuming both the height of the trees and their distance from you. You see that this involves estimation or guesswork, particularly in the dark of night?

    You're using prior knowledge about the moon (it's size) to judge its distance from you. OK.

    So, what prior knowledge about the UFO could the police officers use to judge its diameter? Do people just magically know how big alien spaceships are, before they ever see one? And when they see a light in the sky, how do they know how big the source is, so they can judge its altitude?

    Because I don't (yet) have enough information to confidently suggest a particular mundane explanation. There are too many possibilities that have not been excluded yet. We need to follow the evidence to get to the bottom of things. And if there just isn't enough evidence, we're going to have to conclude that we can't come to definite conclusion as to what they saw.

    I'd already seen that before you posted it, but I have commented above (with questions).

    Yes. I have every reason to doubt it. For a start, nothing of any consequence has ever come of these supposed thousands of sightings of alien spaceships and alien beings and alien abductions etc. Sixty years on from the invention of "flying saucers", there's no meaningful communication with aliens, not a single instance of an unequivocal alien spaceship anywhere on Earth, no new alien technology handed to us by the aliens. Nothing. Moreover, the practicalities of interstellar travel, combined with the fact that SETI has come up a big zero on detecting any alien civilisations elsewhere, make it exceedingly unlikely that any aliens have visited us in the past 60 years.

    On the other hand, we know that people can and do build aircraft and fly them around, and that this was happening in the 1960s. We also know that at that time there was something of a UFO craze going on in the US. This was the era of the space race and sending men to the moon, after all. And there were also plenty of Hollywood depictions of flying saucers and aliens. People were primed then, as now, to see alien spacecraft, even when there were none.
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I need a shorthand to fill in for whatever you think UFOs are. I'm not going to write "maybe time-travellers from the future, maybe interdimensional beings, maybe things from another dimension, maybe angels from the afterlife" and so on and so forth every time I need to refer to the woo. That fact is: I don't know what your preferred imaginings are for the identity of UFOs, and I don't much care either. So, I'll use the term "aliens" as a convenient place filler.

    I think your protest that "I don't believe they're aliens; I don't know what they are" is just a smokescreen. The important point is that you believe, and have clearly said over and over again, that whatever UFOs are, they aren't "ordinary" things. According to you they "cannot be explained by any known cause or phenomena". Which means we're in the realm of the woo, regardless.

    I should point out that real aliens will use real physics to make their spacecraft. The operation of those spacecraft will involve real science and engineering, even if it is more advanced than anything we currently have. So, those spacecraft will ultimately be explainable in terms of known causes or phenomena. They won't be woo - if they exist.

    I realise that you explicitly want UFOs to be woo, and not something that has a scientific explanation. That fits with your other beliefs in the paranormal and supernatural. You're the guy who believes in ghosts, after all, and they "cannot be explained by any known cause or phenomena". For you, UFOs are just one more kind of woo, along with Bigfoot, spirit orbs, tarot cards and the rest.

    So, I'm going to refer to your brand of UFOs as aliens, and I'll reserve the term UFO for unidentified lights in the sky and the like. Just so you know. I understand that when you say UFO, you'll mean the woo, which I'll call aliens for short. And you, in turn, can understand that when I say UFO I mean unidentified things in the sky.

    What do we know about UFOs? They are unidentified, by definition. An identified alien spacecraft (or whatever) is not a UFO; it's an IFO.

    You appreciate that most light sources, viewed from a distance, appear spherical or elliptical.

    Gut instinct is a lousy way to investigate anything.


    So, why can't we agree that the Portage County case is unlikely to be resolvable from our point of view 60 years on, and instead look at a more recent case, where we'd have a much better chance of sorting through the evidence or gathering new evidence?

    If you can agree with me that the Portage County UFO is not compelling evidence of aliens/woo, then I'll happily move on to something else.

    Not much is proven already. I'm willing to accept that some policemen told a story (or several stories, not entirely consistent with one another). And that's about all we have to go on in this case, as far as I can see. The sole available photo is suspicious. The contemporary investigation documents seem to be unavailable. We only have statements from a tiny minority of the potentially-relevant witnesses. And there is nothing in the way of official records that would help us, such as flight plans, air-traffic records or anything else.

    But on this basis, you'd be willing to spend time investigating other pixie sightings and speculating as to what pixies actually are.

    Aren't the eyewitness accounts sufficient for you in the case of Elvis sightings? Why not? Why do you want photos and videos as well? You're content to conclude aliens based on eyewitness testimony alone in the Portage County case, after all.
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    If we can't debunk the case, then we can't know for sure that aliens/woo were involved. You see that?

    Debunking means removing the misleading and incorrect parts of the evidence, to home in on the correct explanation. Debunking means proving or ruling out fraud.

    You appreciate that we must be able to eliminate fraud and mistake before we can identify the object in the case as aliens/woo, I hope. And you have failed to make your case on that, just as you have on all the other "compelling" cases you're presented. Right?

    Why don't you call them and find out? It might help you make your case - something you've failed to do so far.

    I asked about this particular object, and you have deflected to a general discussion of photos of other UFOs. Why? I know - it's because there is only one known photo of this one, and that photo is suspicious. So, you're reduced to arguing that because you find other cases persuasive, therefore you assume this one is too, even though the evidence is lacking here.

    Turning to the more general point, what we have with UFO photos and videos taken as a whole is a widely disparate collection of images of seemingly different things. Different colours. Different shapes. Different blurry objects.

    Oh, that must mean there are lots of different kinds of aliens/woo, you say. So, it's not just one alien civilisation visiting us, but many different kinds of aliens, all of whom make different kinds of spaceships. Got a new shape? Must be a new kind of alien; problem solved.

    Can you not see that, by introducing many different photos/videos, you're simply multiplying the problem of proof, rather than reducing it?

    Confirmation bias involves selectively looking at evidence in such a way as to support your prior assumptions, while ignoring or downplaying evidence that tends to disconfirm those.

    One of us seems to be exhibiting confirmation bias here. I don't think it's me.

    I had already read the document you posted before you posted it.

    I didn't talk about your general belief in aliens/woo. I talked specifically about your belief that the Portage County UFO is aliens/woo. The evidence in that case doesn't support your belief for that case. Understand? It doesn't matter what you think about other cases.

    You think that old people go along with the mainstream establishment view all or most of the time? That's a fairly ageist view you have there, Magical Realist. On the other hand, I guess that in a sense the old people are the mainstream establishment. Or are they?

    Do you believe that being old means that you can't think outside the box, or question your own society's values or assumptions? Why?

    Also, how old do you imagine I am? It would be interesting to know. It sounds like you believe I grew up in the 40s or 50s at least. That would make me ... what? 70-90 years old? Is that what you think?

    And you? You're a spring chicken, are you? Born in the 1990s, or 1980s, perhaps? All anti-establishment and rebellion? Or are we to date you back to flower-power and drugs in the 1960s, or the free-wheeling 1970s? That would make you, what, 10-20 years younger than you think I am? And that 10-20 difference, or the particular era that we both experienced (supposedly), somehow means that you avoided the brainwashing I was supposedly subjected to by "the establishment". Does it?

    I'm not complaining about that. I recognise the lack of evidence for what it is. I'm complaining about your resistance to coming to the same realisation yourself.

    Things without an explanation are unexplained. Saying UFOs = aliens = woo is an explanation. Understand?

    I'm both aware of the fact that we don't know everything, and sanguine about that fact. It seems to me that it's you who thinks he knows everything about UFOs already.

    As for the other things you mention:
    Quantum entanglement has been verified in the scientific laboratories around the world. It is accounted for quite adequately in a phenomenological sense by current scientific theories.

    The Big Bang is a similarly well-verified description of how our universe evolved, backed by real science. Like entanglement, it is in no sense unexplained.

    Consciousness is problem that many scientists are working on. It is an unsolved problem at present. But it is not woo, because clearly consciousness exists. There is no debate about that. It merely needs an explanation. We have some pieces of the explanation, of course, but it's a work in progress.

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