UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

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

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    So a roll of paper towels that looks like a donut really is a donut.
    Got it.

    Right. It's bad to be pedantic when trying to find the truth in a mystery.

    As you said: "Just belieeeeeve."

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    That's fine. Just don't pretend you're being even slightly scientific about it.
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    You're the last person I'd ever consult about what is scientific or not.
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    At least one of the Navy aviators described these unidentified flying objects as looking like tic tacs. I'm sure that he didn't mean to imply that they literally were giant flying breath mints. It's a description, not an identification. They were unidentified flying objects that seemed to have a roughly similar color and shape. (But very dissimilar size and flight performance.)

    He was just making a comparison with a common object in his own (and many other people's) shared experience. I don't really understand the purpose of trying to make an issue out of that.
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    It's because they have nothing else. So lets nick pick what looking like a 40 ft long tic tac means to distract from the sheer compelling nature of that event. See, if you talk circles around something long enough it begins to feel less real. That's the hope of the skeptic at least.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    MR tends to take accounts literally, as if what the witness saw or said is an accurate description of objective reality - no room for lack of descriptive words, no room for interpretation, no room for error.

    He does this in other threads too. Some witness says 'It's a ghost!', or some such and MR takes that as incontrovertible fact - 'cuz the witness thinks so.

    Worse, what he does (as he did here) is creatively modify accounts, adding a little and paring a little, until it seems (if his re-accounting is taken at face value) more compelling than the actual account.

    It's pernicious and bad-faith, and needs to be called out and discouraged in any rational analytical discussion.

    He thinks the details of an event are nick picks [sic], and that what's really important is the "nature" of the event.

    I get it. He really wants to believe. And that's OK. But we members of this forum have a duty to uphold the principles of skeptical discussion and present a balanced view.

    It's also in bad faith to cast aspersions upon attempts at rational analysis. It's a ploy Donald Trump uses often to discourage open discussion.

    Any sincere crypto-buff welcomes and solicits objective analysis.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    LOL! Yeah..I take eyewitness accounts of real events literally. Most people do. It's how we get 95% of our information about the world.
  10. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Really? You don't jump at even the tiniest hope that your whacko beliefs will be vindicated?
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps people should stop trying to insult MR for just a tiny moment and talk about these rather amazing UFO reports. (If you can...)

    They are the best UFO reports that I recall ever seeing. They should be the topic of discussion.

    So why all the sarcasm?

    And more to the point, how would you account for them?? What explanation can you give that accounts for all aspects of these sightings: their appearance on multiple radars, their observed behavior on radar (apparent rates of ascent/descent etc), their visual appearance as seen by multiple observers in aircraft vectored to the location of the radar sightings to investigate, and their appearance on video imagery recorded in different wavelengths? What accounts for the similarities between the 2004 and the 2015 appearances? Different observers, even entirely different oceans, but similar recordings and seemingly a very similar phenomenon.

    Certainly it might be possible to speculate about faults in any one of those observational modalities. (That would just be speculation though.) But combining all of it together and a picture starts to emerge.

    Applying 'Ockham's razor', I'd say that the most straightforward explanation that ties it all together is that there was something actually physically there in the objective world.

    Do any of you disagree? If so, why? What better account can you give for these observations? Why is your as-yet unrevealed account so superior to those of us that take these reports seriously that you can just laugh it all off?

    And as I suggested up above in post # 2871, even if these sightings ultimately have some "mundane" explanation (hard to say that it's 'mundane' if it fools so many aircraft detection modalities of a carrier battle group), there's still the philosophy of science aspect. How should not only science, but laypeople like Sciforums participants, respond to reports that refuse to conform to their expectations?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    Magical Realist likes this.
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That's improper procedure.

    "Combining all of it together" is a case of assuming the conclusion in your premise - that they're all the same thing.

    Proper procedure is to examine each case on its own merits.

    The Null Hypothesis applies here: when the goal is to establish if two things are connected - then the assumption must be that they are not connected - until they are.

    That there is a serious, considered attempt to use proper procedures get at the truth. Contrast with "just believe". See the diff?

    You'll notice you are being taken seriously. Because you are being serious and sincere. What we are laughing off is displays of childish hypocrisy and utter lack of knowledge about cognition, perception, memory and how to rationally analyze mysteries. That is not really sincere, but is trolling.

    Error in human perception, memory and recall is fact. So is error in equipment. That is the outcome of Ockham's razor - it requires no new entities - raises no new questions - simply those already known to exist. Ockham's Razor doesn't purport to identify the best answer, it simply points to the simplest answer as promising.

    Only once we eliminate known limitations of fact-gathering - and are still left with something unexplainable - do we consider more exotic possibilities that raise even more unanswered questions. Otherwise we are guilty of a 'hasty conclusion'.

    No one is laughing anything off. We are taking this seriously - more seriously than MR, in fact - by being diligently skeptical.

    Some of these are genuine mysteries that defy explanation. I doubt anyone here denies that.

    Unfortunately, no case has come forward that has extant hard evidence, so we can independently verify eyewitness accounts (that, while very interesting, are not incontrovertible), which means they remain unsolved. It does not mean "therefore aliens" (or whatever).

    Skeptics really want the truth. This is why we work so hard to ensure the study isn't corrupted and-short circuited by coming to a foregone conclusion.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    We have radar returns, we have eye-witness accounts and we have camera imagery. "Combining it all together" means taking it all into account and trying to produce an explanation that accounts for all the elements. As opposed to trying to account for each of them individually, which leaves the problem of why they all coalesced in one event.

    Is statistical terminology relevant? We aren't trying to draw statistical inferences.

    We are just noting that something was observed on radar. When aircraft were vectored to the coordinates where the radar return was located, the pilots visually observed something. And that something was recorded on video in both visual and IR.

    The simplest and most parsimonious explanation would seem to be that something was really there that the radar detected and the pilots saw and recorded with their targeting pods. That's certainly how we would respond if the object in question was a ship or a conventional aircraft. The only difference in this case is that the objects in question (the tic-tacs) were more difficult to identify. But difficulty in identifying them doesn't seem to justify concluding that nothing was there.

    My point was that we might be able to imagine hypothetical alternative explanations for different aspects individually. But the challenge then would be to explain why all of those observational faults were happening in concert, together at the same time at the same location.

    I'm not convinced that any set of "proper procedures" even exists in this case. If they do, then who defined them and where are they found?

    And I'm certainly not saying "just believe". (In what?) My only assertion here is that these reports (the 2004 Nimitz reports and the subsequent 2015 Atlantic reports) are very good UFO reports that deserve far more than the dismissive ridicule that most of Sciforums gives them. I'd probably add that they are evidence (even if it isn't 100% conclusive evidence... of what?) so all the '70 years, no evidence' snark is provably false. We have evidence right here. (It isn't clear what it's evidence of at this point, what its final explanation might be.)

    Except that naval radars and fighter pilots are accurate more often than not. (Otherwise, why use them?) And while there's some relatively low probability that each one might individually produce a false report, all of them simultaneously doing so in such a way that all the false returns, visual illusions and camera faults that we are simply hypothesizing all coincide in one place at the same time seems far less likely.

    It's more likely, certainly more parsimonious, that there was something there that the radars detected, the pilots saw and the cameras recorded.

    Just scroll upwards and read for yourself.

    It certainly looks like they do. Everyone from JamesR on down has been fighting tooth and nail against it. Your own argument seems to be based on an implicit premise that a genuine mystery, a genuine anomaly, has such a low probability of occurring that some fanciful coincidence of false radar returns, visual illusions and camera faults will be more likely.

    I would perhaps modify your phrase "genuine mysteries that defy explanation" to something like 'mysteries that currently defy explanation'. I don't want to suggest that they must be inexplicable in principle. But I do want to suggest that in some small number of cases, explaining them might conceivably require some expansion in our current supply of explanatory principles, an expansion of our world-view in other words.

    That seems to suggest a sliding scale of what counts as "hard evidence". I'd say that radar returns, eyewitness observers and the targeting pod videos all coming together to tell the same story is evidence that's just as "hard" as the evidence for pretty much anything else in life, including scientific assertions.

    And keep in mind that my (very preliminary) view of all this consists of

    1. Something (that I find very interesting) seems to have really happened in objective reality.

    2. I don't currently have a clue what it was.

    No need to introduce "aliens" as that's just a red-herring intended to get all the knees jerking. If we don't know what this was, then we don't know what this was. That's probably about the only interim conclusion that we are justified in making at the moment.

    Those three 'cognition', 'perception', 'memory' suggest that you want to attribute a psychological explanation to these events. So what explains the radar returns and targeting pod videos that seem to corroborate precisely the interpretations (something was objectively there) that the psychological account seems designed to deny?

    I'm not convinced that there's any established procedure for doing that. Any attempt to define one would beg too many questions in epistemology and the philosophy of science. I'm certainly not convinced that anyone on Sciforums is qualified to tell everyone else what it is.

    And that's just an insult.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    What beliefs? That ufos are real has been vindicated many times.

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Properly functioning perception and recall and equipment is a much more common fact. People, especially trained Navy pilots, see and recall what is right in front of them far more often than mistaking it for something else. Radars and video cameras operate correctly far more often than erroneously. And the fact that in this case multiple perceptions and radars and video cameras all confirm each other makes error even less likely. You can't handwave that fact away just so you can keep disbelieving in ufos.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Sorry. I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about the longer history of UFO sightings.

    I don't think anyone was suggesting that.

    No one's suggesting they're unrelated coincidental faults. Generally, radar will have difficulty identifying a particular type of object. That's one of the reason they send pilots to eyeball them. The pilots didn't recognize what they were seeing. That's one event.

    Who has ridiculed the report? No one I've seen.

    Yes. Of the thousands of missions and tens of thousands of hours of pilot and electronic surveillance every year, one has produced something not immediately explainable.
    That's, like, 99.999% accuracy.

    No. Say there are a million minutes of eyeball and electronic surveillance in a arbitrary sample. Of those, maybe 0.1% (one in a thousand) are unusual, in that they could tell what they were from radar. Of those that were observed naked eye, 999 of them are easily resolved.

    But that leaves 0.1% (one in a million) that is not solved by multiple methods.

    That's what the public sees. One.
    They don't see the 99.9999% of events.

    You are falling victim to confirmation bias.

    Yes. Absolutely. No matter how unlikely it might seem that pilots can't recognize a plane or a life raft or whatever, or that the military is conducting hitech tests - it is still orders of magnitude more likely than aliens in flying spacecraft.

    Same diff to me. They defy explanation - until we have an explanation.

    If I doubt a T-rex was unearthed, I can go to the museum (any museum) and see it for myself. More importantly, independent scientists can verify it with their own methods, and publish it.


    MR is the most vocal, and he asserts time and time again that he is certain what they are.

    It is great to be having a rational discussion with someone for a change.

    I would ahve this continue, and stop talking about MR and his beliefs.

    Not necessarily.

    Perception is not perfect. My example of seeing a paper towel roll on-end is an example. It looks like a donut, but it is not actually donut-shaped. That does not mean there is any error in perception; it simply means the observation window was insufficient to get the whole picture.

    No one suggested things weren't objectively there. I am pretty confident there was something that was sighted.

    Your comments make me think you are drawing erroneous conclusions about what my/our stance is on the issue. It's not how you describe it. That might factor in to why you think I/we are being unreasonable.

    It was not aimed at you, for what it's worth.

    MR has demonstrated very poor behavior in this and other threads over years. I've been very patient (we're talking hundreds and hundreds of one-on-one posts, patiently explaining things he should know already) but even I have my limits.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Correct, correct and correct.

    And kudos for acknowledging that "far more often" does not mean "all the time".

    We are seeing one event that has risen to the top of literally countless eventless military missions over month and years.

    If I posted a video showing me rolling a die and getting six sixes in a row, would you immediately assume magic or cheating or a lie? No, the correct thing to do is ask how many times I'd rolled it before getting the one result I posted.

    And when I said, "Well I didn't post the first 23,000 rolls", you'd say "Ah. Of course. Now it does not seem to be much of an anomaly."

    Unexplained events are bound to occur in the massive, widespread and ongoing mission of the military - for no other reason than because the world is not a perfect place.
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    You just admitted that you believed something was objectively there. It can't very well be radar error then.

    And actually this is just one of many (around 3,500) pilot sightings of ufos over the past 80 years.

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    I never suggested it wasn't.
    Perhaps you have been overreacting to a stance I did not take.

    Of course it can.

    If all they got from it was "something", and no unusual details, then this would be a non-event.

    But radar is used for just a tad more tasks than simply detecting "somethings". Radar can certainly be wrong or misleading or misinterpreted about details of a target (size, shape, position, speed, to name just a few of a long list).

    You are responding too fast without thinking it through. You know the above well enough that you didn't need to make such an error in posting.
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    LOL So now you're claiming this high tech Navy radar got it right that something was there but got it wrong about other details. Then cite your evidence for this claim. I'll wait.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  21. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Your square wheels just lump along.
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You know perfectly well I made no claim about what it did or did not do. This is beneath you.

    1. I simply point out that (and, in post 2892 you explicitly agree with) the fact that radar is not an infallible or exhaustive accounting of reality. It doesn't even expect to be. Radar can only tell us so much.

    2. Yes, radar is known to occasionally inaccurately return details such as speed, shape, size and position.

    That's why they send out humans.

    Further, it allows the possibility of a simple explanation that is perfectly consistent with machinery and people that operate nominally better than 99.999% of the time - but not 100% of the time.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    So in other words you have no idea if the radar was in error that day or in what way it was in error. You are just making shit up because you've got nothing else. Is that the scientific approach now? Specious claims made without any evidence?

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