UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

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

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

    So the official account is whatever eyewitness think happened? What makes that official? Is anybody's stamp of approval needed?

    Suppose an eyewitness is delusional. Would his account still be "official" in that case?

    Also, is an official account supposed to be an explanation of what happened, or just a statement of the mysteries to be solved?

    Oh, and you missed all these questions from my previous post (why is that?):

    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?
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Which parts have been cherry picked, and which parts ignored, in this case?

    Does he? Quote please.

    You know, this thread isn't about your personal dislike of Joe Nickell. Nor are we putting Nickell on trial for daring to question the faith.

    The fact is, a disturbance of the water surface could have lots of different causes. A submarine or a whale are just two possibilities that fit the description. I don't know why you're mad at Nickell for pointing out the obvious.

    Fravor's story must be viewed with healthy skepticism, seeing as we don't ordinarily see giant tic tacs flying around at amazing speeds etc. It is possible that there was an alien spaceship shaped like a tic tac, but all the available evidence - including Fravor's account - does not add up to convincing evidence of that.

    You admitted that Fravor might have been wrong about what he saw. So, follow that train of thought. What if he was wrong? What then? What else (other than an alien spaceship) could possibly account for his report?

    What is more likely? That Fravor didn't see what he thought he saw, or that space aliens decided to visit the US military? A priori, the former explanation is more likely. Therefore, strong evidence will be needed to support Fravor's account. In this case, what we have isn't convincing.

    No. I recall explaining this point carefully to you many times in the past.

    The skeptics don't care a jot what you assume the "pilots" of these "craft" are. If you believe they are interdimensional time travellers, or emissaries from Galactic Overlord Xenu, or Monsters from Beyond the Stars, or Little Green Men from Mars, or whatever, it doesn't matter. Why? Because the question of who "they" are comes after the existence of a "they" has been established in the first place.

    Since you haven't got as far as making a good case for a "they", nobody cares what or who you think "they" are.

    Right. Maybe they knew something you don't. They were there; you weren't.
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  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    The official account is whatever the eyewitnesses say happened backed up by video and/or technology. That's just the way it is. It's one of the rewards of actually being there when it happens. You get your name and story in the paper.
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    What if there's no video or technology, just a statement from an eyewitness? Is that then the official account? Does that mean an official account can never say an eyewitness was mistaken?

    And why did you ignore the remainder of my two most recent posts to you?
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Yep..like I said it's whatever the eyewitnesses say happened. Everytime.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Whatever the witnesses say happened happened? Eyewitnesses have perfect perception, perfect memories and perfect interpretation of what they saw. Every time. Is that what you're saying?
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    You know what? I think we're done here. Nobody is adding any new information or analysis on the Nimitz case.

    Mostly, this thread has become about Magical Realist bitching on about how he hates skeptics.

    I don't think there's anything else that we need to discuss. So I'm out unless something new comes up.
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    No..they just know what actually happened better than anyone else.
  12. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    That's not the official report. First time you needed to make up a definition for that?
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    So did Moses.
    I guess you'll be recanting your views on God?
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    You haven't provided any provenance for the content of the assertions in this post of yours either. You appear to be quoting something, since your text contains American military jargon that an Australian like yourself wouldn't be expected to know. So what is your source?

    The Navy recently acknowledged that the videos were authentic, and said that they were never intended to be released.

    That sounds like some unknown somebody's speculation. There are multiple movements and more than one adjustments of the view. They need to be better correlated if we are going to attribute all of the target movements to adjustments of the video camera. And we would expect experienced aircrew to be fully aware that the video image changes when they change the zoom. I have more respect for our aviators than that. Besides, wasn't the pilot tracking the object visually and the video merely intended to record the encounter? (The jet carried no ordinance so the pod wouldn't have had its targeting function.)

    As I understand it (I'm a civilian with no inside access to classified information) this CEC upgrade was less an upgrade to the radars themselves than an improved networking ability to feed data to and between aircraft, so that in effect what one knows, they all know. (That's why they call it 'Cooperative Engagement Capability'.)

    I don't think that your source's assertion that the system had never been tested is very credible. The Nimitz battle group was undergoing a pre-deployment exercise. Common sense suggests that they wouldn't place major systems that had never been tested on ships that they are planning to operationally deploy. Particularly if the new system involves an aircraft carrier battle group's fundamental air defense radar system. Most likely these new systems underwent aggressive testing before they ever saw an operational warship.

    And lastly, if we are supposed to believe that the new data system was somehow responsible for the UFO sighting, we need better reason than some unknown somebody noting that it was new. If the data that it fed Fravor and the others led them to make visual and later video confirmation of the sighting, that's pretty good evidence that the contact wasn't spurious and that the radars were functioning as designed.

    More anonymous speculation. Again, I don't imagine that the Navy would deploy a carrier battle group equipped with a fundamental air defense radar system so prone to errors that it can't distinguish contacts from noise.

    True. It was recorded by pilots subsequently launched from the Nimitz. I don't see that as any kind of weakness in the sighting. If anything, it's additional confirmation, suggesting that the sighting was objective and not anything peculiar to Fravor and his original flight.

    What "experts" were these? And "consistent with" (I'm not convinced that's even true) isn't exactly the same thing as "was". Do we even know whether there were any commercial airliners that close at that time to the Nimitz group and its air exercises? At that specific heading?

    And once again, going at this thing piecemeal, hoping to debunk the entire sighting by trying to cast doubt on particular aspects individually (merely by speculation), doesn't address the convergence of evidence. Radar may (purely speculatively) have been producing false contacts. But if pilots directed to the location of those supposedly false contacts visually saw something, then that constitutes confirmation of the radar sighting. A pilot may (purely speculatively) have been making perceptual or cognitive errors (misidentifying or misremembering something). But if multiple pilots report roughly the same thing, then the likelihood of subjective error goes down. (It's why confirmation is considered important in science and why it's considered an indication of objectivity.) The targeting pod video is further confirmation. It's possible to speculate that it was recording some kind of false image or that the imagery is being misinterpreted. But if it was recording something that was also being tracked visually by pilots and was showing up on the cruiser's Spy radar, then that's confirmation that the object in the video recording wasn't the product of a fault specific to the video system.

    It all coheres in a way that a single perceptual or technical fault wouldn't.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    From post #2946 highlighting by me:

    Navy Pilot’s 2004 UFO: A Comedy of Errors

    by Joe Nickell

    To recap, we suggest that several things were going on during what was, after all, a training mission of the USS Nimitz carrier strike group. We believe the churning water Fravor first saw was caused by a submerging sub; that the sightings of a UFO above the water (variously reported)—which hovered, then came toward one pilot—could have been those of a reconnaissance drone...

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  16. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    It's always good to determine if a "UFO video" is authentic, but that doesn't mean it's video of an alien spacecraft, just that the usual shenanigans haven't happened to that footage.
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    What is more likely? That this was an amazing coincidence of errors and things seeming to be other things all converging into an appearance of one object? Or that this was one unexplained object that was seen by 2 pilots, picked up on radar, and caught on FLIR camera. The pilots on the east coast even confirm seeing these same sorts of objects. I think the conclusion is clear: this is a case of a real ufo that we have no clue as to it's origin but which shows all the attributes of something beyond our present technological capability. There is no a priori knowledge of what happened. There is only the evidence.

    I recall another time you speculated that a ufo was really an amazing convergence of things mistaken to be other things--the Portage county ufo:

    In that case you concluded that what the eyewitnesses all saw was, in succession, a meteor, the planet Venus, and then a weather balloon at dawn. Again, another highly unlikely collusion of errors resulting in the illusion of them all being one thing. Is this a common strategy for you--this invoking of the improbable to support your foregone conclusion that it wasn't a real ufo?
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I was a radar technician in the Navy. Every morning at 4 AM on our base I would go out to the Precision Approach Radar on the airfield and perform preventive maintenance on it before the tower opened. This is the standard procedure in the Navy. All equipment is checked out by trained technicians every day to eliminate the possibility of error. Also, the official account says that the radar operators had been seeing these objects on their radar for a week, initially around 10 of them flying at slow speeds near Catalina Island.

    "Navy Chief Petty Officer (NCO, E-7) Kevin Day, stationed on Princeton, recalls that he first noticed the clear radar traces of eight to ten objects around 10 November. They were travelling southwards in a loose though fixed formation at 28,000 feet (8,500 m) in the immediate vicinity of Catalina Island. He was startled by their slow speed of 100 knots (190 km/h; 120 mph), but received confirmation of their presence from radar operators on other vessels. Regular observations were made of a similar number of objects over the following six days.[11] The objects were also faintly detected by an E-2C Hawkeye plane after Princeton sent them coordinates."--- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Nimitz_UFO_incident

    Later on these same objects were suddenly spotted on radar by operators dropping down from and rising back up to an elevation of 80,000 ft at speeds exceeding any known craft. They described it as snowing ufos.

    "In the 2004 incident, according to The New York Times, the objects "appeared suddenly at 80,000 feet, and then hurtled toward the sea, eventually stopping at 20,000 feet and hovering. Then they either dropped out of radar range or shot straight back up."--- https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a29073804/navy-ufo-videos-real/

    The radar during this time would have been checked out many times by the technicians to rule out equipment error. There was nothing wrong with the radar. It's mysterious targets were confirmed with other ships' radars and a Hawkeye plane as well as by Fravor's own encounter. And "birds, small balloons, insect clouds, ice crystals, windborne debris," don't fly at an elevation of 80,000 ft. and suddenly drop down and rise up at supersonic speeds.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    There's really nothing much new in your most recent post that I hadn't already addressed in posts #3023 and #3024, both of which you mostly ignored, as you did with posts #2986 and #2987.

    I will respond to a few matters.

    My source for that was a blog post by UFO expert and (full disclosure!) skeptic Robert Sheaffer, here:


    I apologise for not citing that source. I should have included the link.

    As for your assumptions that I wouldn't understand certain US military jargon, you really shouldn't make such assumptions, especially where I refer to it or quote it explicitly in my posts. It would be stupid of me to quote something I didn't fully understand, don't you think?

    We need to be a bit careful here, because two different incidents, or sets of incidents are often conflated on many UFO sites. There's the thing with Fravor et al. in 2004, then there are the other FLIR videos from ... was it 2013? 2015? (I'd have to look it up.) I think in both cases the Nimitz may have been involved, but again I'd need to check.

    As I understand it, there is only one FLIR video that has been released that supposedly relates to the 2004 incident.

    Not entirely, because information on the camera zoom level appears in at least some of the video (i.e. it's actually there on screen in the video).

    Why haven't the UFO pushers done the necessary due diligence on this, then? You'd think they would be keen to show that the camera adjustment explanation can't account for the targets' movements. But apparently they aren't interested. Why is that?

    The air crew might have been well aware of when they were changing the zoom. The question is whether subsequent viewers of the videos are well aware. I'm confident, for instance, that it never occurred to Magical Realist, before I brought it up. Maybe not to you, either.

    I didn't mean "never tested" as in this was alpha software, or whatever. I meant never tested in the situation of a real-world military training exercise like this one.

    We have a better reason. The system was producing spurious data consistently in the days leading up to Fravor's sighting. Moreover, other aircraft, and indeed the fighter jets sent to intercept the supposed "UFO", detected precisely nothing on their radars. That includes a special-purpose radar plane - you know, one of those ones with the big circular radar dish on top (a "seahawk", is it?)

    I already talked about this assumption of "confirmation" in the previous posts I've referred to here.

    Birds, ice crystals, small debris in the atmosphere and so on are not "errors" or "noise". They are just not objects the military is interested in detecting and would rather ignore. It has been suggested that the new radar system was, in a sense, too sensitive, in that it perhaps picked up things that previous systems would not have spotted.

    You want names?

    Right. Just as "consistent with aliens from Mars" is not the same as "was". Although one of those two things is a priori more likely than the other.

    I don't know. Do you? Magical Realist doesn't.

    I previously addressed this "problem" of convergence of evidence that you brought up earlier, in posts to which you did not respond (post numbers above).

    I agree with you that it is likely that the "objects" appearing the various FLIR images were real objects in the sky. I think they were probably jets of one kind or another. There's no good evidence that suggests anything else.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    And so? There is nothing here that says that Nickell took Fravor's statement that it might have been a sub as "solid evidence that it was a sub".
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Given all the evidence, the former conclusion is more likely, for reasons I have explained.

    The a priori likelihood would be a different matter. But that's why it is good to try to avoid making assumptions about The Answer before you've properly investigated anything.

    Thank you for once again referring interested readers to that thread.

    I can't think of a better debunking of one of your favorite UFO cases. That thread is so instructive as to appropriate methodology on one side of the argument (i.e. mine), versus blind faith and denial on the other side (i.e. yours), that I urge all readers to review it in full.

    You didn't read my previous posts to Yazata on such matters, did you? Go back to the posts I mentioned in my post just above, and read the informative comparison I made with the TV show Air Crash Investigations, if you dare.
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    No..I'm not going back thru your long ass posts to find your answer to my question. If you can't answer a question, just say so. It isn't my job to go back and find it somewhere else.
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Fine. Your loss.

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