UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

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

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I get the impression that all that skeptics want to do is create doubt about the evidence and accounts of the event like some sleazy defense lawyer would. There is really no attempt at gathering real evidence of an alternative explanation. That's why they deny that they are offering any story or claims to the contrary of the eyewitness's testimony. They know the minute they commit to an explanation they are going to have to support it with evidence. And they have no evidence.

    It's also why almost every time they poison the well by attacking the eyewitnesses personally, hatefully alleging motives for fame and book deals and preexisting agendas about aliens when they have no evidence of such.

    It's also why they are all over the map about what happened. From whales to birds to jets to submarines and drones to faulty memories and radar glitches, any old speculation will do in order to create doubt about the testimony of the eyewitnesses. Unfortunately they remain little more than unevidenced speculations that never rise to the level of epistemic certainty that the official accounts do, especially when motivated by the assumption that the official accounts are just given as false. That's because the official account is based on what the people who were actually there observed and inferred, which isn't called into question by whatever speculative alternative account the skeptic can pull out of his ass. The skeptic would have to present other eyewitness testimony conflicting with the official account in order to raise doubt about it. And they can't do that because such doesn't exist. It's all just a disingenuous ploy to create the illusion of doubtfulness where there really isn't any.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
    Q-reeus likes this.
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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


    You know, I'm seeing a lot of this lately: people making excuses as to why it's okay for them to ignore important content in my posts that they'd rather not have to grapple with, or respond to. Those parts, apparently, can be consigned to the "too hard" basket, and we can all go on our merry way as if they were never posted in the first place.

    The concerns you raise in your latest post, which is ostensibly directed at Magical Realist rather than as a response to me, and which talks about me as if I'm somewhere else, were mostly addressed by me in my posts, numbered #2986 and #2987. Apparently, you have decided, for whatever reason, that you don't want to, or don't need to, respond to anything I wrote there. Why is that?

    There's a huge amount of defensiveness and ego-protection going on around here lately. I'm not sure why that is. I'm disappointed that you're apparently going down that route, too, because for the most part I find your perspectives interesting. Unfortunately, it seems that you're unwilling to face this point of disagreement head on.

    It seems unlikely that you'll go back and respond to what I wrote previously, so I'll settle here for extracting one or two of the most relevant statements:

    Turning to your most recent post...

    That ought to tell you something about the "UFO phenomenon" right there. The evidence for aliens, or even superhuman "craft", here is virtually non-existent. And yet I agree with you that this, compared to a lot of UFO cases, is quite a strong one.

    I disagree that seeing something in the general vicinity the radar led the planes to is a confirmation of the radar sighting. Obviously, the pilots were looking for something. They were actually looking for something in the air, but when they saw something in the water you invent the ad hoc explanation that whatever it was they saw in the water must have been the same thing that was supposedly in the air before.

    Don't you see any problem with that kind of assumption?

    What I think is much more important is that the radar of the fighter jets never picked up anything in the air, and specifically it didn't pick up the thing indicated on the ship's radar. Also, there was another plane in the area - a special-purpose radar surveillance aircraft. And it didn't see anything on its radar, either.

    I can't be sure they were seeing the same thing. The guy who saw the disturbed water (Fravor) was not in the same plane that took the video, miles away, for instance.

    Again, you speak of "it", as if "it" is confirmed to be a single object. But "it" was not observed continuously. Sure, the video shows something, but where's the connection to the disturbance in the water, for instance?

    Also, questions have been raised about the authenticity of the video itself.

    As I understand it, you are opining that you think it was an aircraft of some kind with superhuman maneuverability. That is not the same as saying you have no idea.
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    What I said was the conclusion that this set of phenomena represents a "craft" with "pilots" and superhuman manoeuverability is unwarranted, given the evidence. My "alien believers" comment was in reference to a more general discussion that you started about the supposed motives of skeptics, and their (our) personal preferences.

    No. My perceived opponent is the person who jumps to conclusions when the data is not yet in.

    There's no denying that Magical Realist is an alien believer. That's no straw man.

    See? You do have an idea what it was, after all.

    But why make that assumption? Why can't you actually say you don't know what it was? You admit (or at least say) you're making an assumption, but why do that?

    You might argue that I'm making the assumption that it wasn't green men from Mars. But I'm really not. I'll happily admit to making the assumption that the a priori likelihood that it was LGM from Mars is low, but that's not the same thing. If somebody brings sufficient evidence, I will agree that it is LGM. To do otherwise in the face of persuasive evidence would be irrational.

    Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

    Similarly, all of my suggestions have been couched in the same careful terms. Maybe it could have been this. Maybe it was that. Here's what the available evidence tells us about X or Y. And so on.

    A few posts ago, Magical Realist referred to my "story". I told him that I don't have a story. It is not my claim that this wasn't an alien spaceship. I just refuse to accept that it was an alien spaceship in the absence of convincing evidence of such. This is what skepticism is. It's not the same as cynicism.

    Actually, if you look back at what I wrote, all I said was that I wasn't previously aware that there were military drones in the area at the time. According to Nickell's research, there were. Therefore, we need to consider that datum as another possible piece of the puzzle.

    I "approve" of the idea in the same way that I "approve" of gathering all the relevant evidence that might help us solve the case.

    I agree. If one or more of the observations were of a drone, that might actually simplify things to some extent.

    We can't be sure. However, disturbances in the water aren't too unusual. As for the "tic tacs", those are unusual in the extreme. We do need to bear in mind that these pilots had a lot on their minds, not least of which was keeping an aircraft airborne.

    Clearly not.

    No, we can't. It's a glaring weakness in the case.

    Mostly what I am doing is not so much expressing opinions as asking questions, particularly ones along the lines of "Is it reasonable to conclude X from data Y and Z?"

    My position here is not one of extreme philosophical skepticism of the sort that asks "How can we know that anything is real?" Characterising it as such is erecting a straw man of your own.

    Magical Realist makes much stronger assumptions than that. They include:

    1. All observers are impartial.
    2.Human perception is infallible.
    3. Human memory is infallible.
    4. Eyewitnesses never make mistakes.
    5. Eyewitnesses never tell lies.

    and more, besides. But only when it suits him, of course. Joe Nickell's in-person investigations, or interviews with witnesses, don't count as reliable testimony, even though Joe Nickell was there and Magical Realist was not (as he would say). That's because Joe Nickell is an evil alien denier with an agenda to debunk the Sacred Truth.
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Cite where I stated any of those views or admit you're lying.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    A pointless exercise. I invite readers to read through the thread. They can decide whether my comments are fair or not.
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    So IOW you lied. It's not others' responsibility to try to confirm your baseless statements.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    They're fair.
    I've stated the same list several times. where MR has freely and proudly admitted them.
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member


    And - as someone who really really wants to find UFOs - I am very disappointed at that.
  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Good. Then cite where you stated that same list, and then cite where I freely and proudly admitted them, or admit you are lying too.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Let's test then, Magical realist.

    Commander Fravor says he saw a tic-tac shaped UFO hovering over the water. Questions for you:

    1. Is it possible that Fravor has a bias in favour of believing in alien encounters, and had one prior to his sighting?
    2. Is it possible that Fravor didn't see what he thought he saw?
    3. Is it possible that Fravor's memory of what he saw is not 100% accurate?
    4. Is it possible that Fravor mistook something mundane for a flying tic tac?
    5. Is it possible that Fravor made stuff up about what he saw? (not necessarily the whole thing, but certain details, perhaps)

    Simple yes or no answers will suffice.
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    No. Skeptics want to get to the truth, because they care more about what is true than what is comforting or desired.

    Nonsense. For instance, the example of Joe Nickell was put right in front of you. You remember, where he interviewed witnesses and gathered information from various source?

    Why is it that when you commit to an explanation, the same standards don't apply to you?

    It varies from case to case. Sometimes there is excellent evidence that a particular eyewitness is an attention seeker who stands to gain financially and/or in terms of raising his or her profile by making stuff up.

    All hypotheses are possible unless and until they have been excluded by the evidence. That's what having an open mind means. A foreign concept to you, obviously.

    No. Speculation is constrained by the evidence. If it doesn't fit the facts, it's back to the old drawing board.

    Of course "God did it" fits any facts. So does "Forces beyond our knowledge or control did it". So does "Aliens with unknown powers did it". That's why all of those are very weak explanations - or, rather, non-explanations.

    Official accounts? Who are these officials giving the rubber stamp of approval to UFO stories?

    People can never be mistaken about what was observed. And people always make correct inferences. Got it.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    (*adds to list of confirmatory posts from MR as to items 2, 4 and 5 on previously-provided list of MR beliefs*)

    What? Who gets to decide what the "official" account is? Who are these shady "officials"? Are you an official who gets to decide what's true and what's not, perhaps? Who put you on a pedestal?

    Also, is this an argument from authority that you're making? We have to accept it was aliens because an "official" source told us so?

    Also, is it at all important that the evidence supports the "official" account, or is it the fact that it has been rubber stamped sufficient?

    Also, is it ever the case that the "official" answer is "we don't know whether it was aliens or something mundane"? Or must the official account always come down on one side of the fence or the other?

    Also, why must the skeptic produce eyewitness evidence in order to question an "official" account? Why is eyewitness evidence better or more important than any other kind of evidence?

    Also, can official accounts ever be wrong, or are all officials infallible?

    Also, what happens if the "offical" account is based on unconvincing, weak evidence? Who is the onus of proof on, then? Do the "officials" have any responsibility to make their case, or is their official feat sufficient?

    Of course, you won't have any answers to this stuff.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  16. foghorn Valued Senior Member

  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Yes on all accounts.

    Now answer my questions.

    Yes or no answers will suffice:

    1. Is it possible that Fravor has no bias in favor of believing in alien encounters?
    2. Is it possible that Fravor saw exactly what he thought he saw?
    3. Is it possible that Fravor's memory of what he saw is 100% accurate?
    4. Is it possible that Fravor did not mistake something mundane for a flying tic tac?
    5. Is it possible that Fravor did not make stuff up about what he saw?
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member


    The official account is the one supported by eyewitnesses and radar data and infrared video. It's the account given by Fravor himself and his fellow pilot and publicized in the media.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    No they don't. They only want to validate their forgone conclusion that the eyewitnesses were wrong or lied about what they saw and that true ufos or uaps are never ever sighted. So they cherry pick the parts of the account they want to be true and edit out the parts they don't want to be true. Which is confirmation bias. The last thing they are interested in is what really happened.

    For example, Nickell finds one statement where Fravor mentions that the object in the water might've been a submarine. Nickell takes that as solid evidence it was a submarine. But when Fravor says the flying object looked like a 40 ft long tic tac that performed in amazing ways and at supersonic speeds, he is viewed as simply wrong. The same man is viewed as correct in one part of his account, and as mistaken in another part, based on nothing more than their unfounded belief that the objects sighted were mundane and unexceptional. Again, that's confirmation bias. They select the details of the accounts that favor their preexisting hypothesis, and dismiss other details of the accounts that don't favor it.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    It's part of the skeptic's whole ridicule strategy---pin down the believers of ufos on who they think is behind the ufos, and then mock that as an outrageous belief in space aliens. It all becomes something to be joked about at that point and not taken seriously. Nickell mentions a few times that some of Fravor's shipmates ridiculed him about his account, as if this is evidence that Fravor is some sort of ufo nutcase to be dismissed out of hand. It's telling that Nickell would side with the mockers here, especially when that is a prime tactic for discounting anything a ufo eyewitness says. It's clearly the fallacy of appeal to ridicule, which " is a fallacy that attempts to make a claim look ridiculous by mocking it or exaggerating it in a negative way."--- http://www.softschools.com/examples/fallacies/appeal_to_ridicule_examples/519/
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  21. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    And that's the bullshit you'll accept, of course.
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Yes on all accounts.

    So, what are we left with after all that?

    We are left with a mystery - that
    - might be something exotic, or
    - might be something mundane.

    Which is exactly what skeptics have been saying all along.

    I take it you'll be sending hand-written apologies around to everyone individually?
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Yes on all accounts. Possible does not mean probable, however.

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