What evidence would work?

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Crcata, May 17, 2016.

  1. Crcata Registered Senior Member

    *****I am well aware that at this point we have literally 0 evidence that holds up to scrutiny, this is more of a "just for fun" thread*****

    I like to, from time to time, look up the different monster, alien, mermaid, demon, etc sightings and what not just for fun. And in doing so I see in myself (and I just assume most others share this as well) a disbelief of any evidence that would be considered "strong" almost immediately.

    For instance in some of the demon sighting videos on YouTube there is very clearly items moving supposedly on their own. That would be pretty significant evidence...if I believed it lol.

    And the rest of the evidence is usually very foggy and just plain weak.

    So my question is, how do we actually find evidence that is solid but yet believable? (assuming any or all of these things are real).
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Reproducible observation, that is different people independently observe the same event, ideally by different techniques and in different locations. And secondly, that explanations from conventional phenomena for theses are eliminated.
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  5. Crcata Registered Senior Member

    Right, and that makes sense, but with technology these days there seems a near infinite amount of ways to manipulate evidence that I find it very difficult to believe any of it, in reference to this topic.
    Sometimes I doubt I could ever be convinced outside of seeing it myself, or there being such a massive amounts of witnesses seeing the same thing at the same time with the same footage from different angles.

    And that's a pretty large standard to meet lol. But perhaps that's why there is the idea of "extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence".

    But just an interesting thought to me. I could see where some of the frustration could come from in actual paranormal hunters and what not.
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    C'mon exchemist get real! That simply makes too much of what could be classed as common sense and logic to even begin to consider for some on this forum.

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  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I'd be more sympathetic if these people would only try to observe the bare norms of any science practical. With alleged ghosts it should be easy, as they are said to appear repeatedly at the same location. So you can get some kit together to make observations (camera, thermometers, EM radiation meter, whatever else you fancy), document the following:

    - time, place and experimenters participating,
    - the kit you used and how you used it,
    - your observations,
    - what you did to check for artifacts or other explanation for the observations and then
    - discuss what you think the results may mean and
    - what further observations you think might help to confirm this.

    Do we ever get offered this sort of detail? Nope. Never.

    I agree with UFOs it is more problematic, as you have to rely on searching out multiple records of a fleeting event from different, independent, sources. But again, the same type of documentation (of what was observed, by what means and by whom, when, conditions at the time and so on, alternative possible explanations, further work...) can be done. And then we can all get to work on the few cases that meet this sort of standard and really dig into them to find out what is going on.

    Generally this is not even attempted, though. Why not? We can speculate, but it seems likely that many of the "researchers" are so biased in favour of one type of conclusion that they would rather not expose their "evidence" to scrutiny, in case it turns out not to be what they would like.

    I can give you an example of the type of psychology at work in this thread from another forum, in which some bloke has spent thousands of dollars on kit to investigate "anomalies": http://www.thescienceforum.com/tras...a-ball-like-autonomous-object-01-07-16-a.html

    Having spent all the money and effort, he can't afford to admit he's a fool, so this sort of thing is what you get.
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Is it though?

    Some of our most guileless opponents here have freely stated that - in a world of vast duration and vast peoples - almost anything can - and should - occur.

    Let's grant that logic for a second. By that logic, certainly one thing that can and should occur is that one - just one - of these phenomena happens where its observation can be controlled and repeated by multiple independent sources.

    Whether or not the logic is valid, it behooves the believer to acknowedge that, since such a circumstance has never occurred - in all of modern history and its many billions of denizens - it means either the logic is wrong - or the thing doesn't exist.

    Put another way, if the circumstances aren't extraordinary, then they shoud be common enough that at least one must happen to occur where it can be examined scientifically.
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  10. Crcata Registered Senior Member

    I agree.
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Good discussion.

    I think ball lightning is quite a good example on the boundary of what can (currently) be admitted as scientifically plausible. That shares a number of characteristics with UFOs - rare, transient phenomena, only observable for a few seconds, and thus struggling to get beyond the realm of mere undocumented anecdote. But it does seem as if ball lightning is now more or less accepted as probably a real phenomenon. One might ask why. I suspect the reason is to do with the length of history over which such things have been reported (over 200 years), the variety of types of people reporting them, and the consistency of their descriptions of it. (I have to declare an interest, having seen it myself, in an oil plant tank farm during a thunderstorm. Sadly this was in the 1980s, before the advent of mobile phones with cameras.) Possibly too, the fact nobody resorts to hoaxes, or to explanations involving extraterrestrials, may help its credibility.
  12. geordief Registered Senior Member

    I think there are people who might mistrust evidence gathered simply with instrumentation. They say that some phenomena require the observer not to be "aggressively skeptical" (I think seeing things like auras probably come into this area).**

    How can we gather evidence for this when the proponents have this backdoor defense?

    I suggest (even though it seems laborious) that we gather a group of people to include (in a statistical way) those who are "aggressively skeptical" , indifferent and a priori welcoming to a positive outcome.

    This group is tested and retested and the change in results can be examined in a statistical way.

    Basically we need some method to get around this technique the proponents of imaginary phenomena have of pre-empting negative findings of their proposals by saying the observer is destroying the set up with "negative vibes" or some such description.

    I am not saying that the proponents of these ideas would not have other fallback positions. If they do ,then there is not much point going down this road.

    **and ghosts,it is claimed cannot be photographed but only seen by the supposed "gifted" people.
  13. geordief Registered Senior Member

    double post
  14. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    This is may be long but I liked it.

  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Plus the fact that, on the Scale of Extraordinary Events, it rates quite low.

    1] We do have precedent for electrical phenomena that were heretofore unknown, such as the (relatively recent) discovery of high altitude red and blue sprites. Electricity behaving in unexpected ways is ... well ... not unexpected.
    2] While we don't quite have the details yet, the broad mechanism (electricity, plasma) is well within our current understanding of the natural world.
    3] It is a very tiny jump from one flavour in a set of new things to another flavour in a set of new things. It does not require the postulation of an entirely new reality (such as aliens or ghosts might).
  16. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    The biggest thing commonly misunderstood or perhaps purposely abused about the issue of evidence quality is how signal to noise ratio works. A high confidence in the evidence comes from a high signal to noise ratio, which can be achieved in one of two ways:

    1. Small number of high quality data points.

    2. Large number of lower quality data points.

    Here's the important condition on #2 that MR is currently working very hard to obfuscate: the observations must be of the same event in order to reinforce each other.

    Take 9/11, for example. Four plane crashes. Hundreds of people likely saw the first crash into the WTC, thousands saw the second live and millions on TV. But the first and second crashes are separate events and therefore must be investigated and proven separately.

    Right now, MR is going on about the Belgian UFO wave and we've had similar discussions about the 1952 Washington wave; the stories on the internet are, for the most part a jumbled mess and it is impossible to verify if any simultaneous sightings of the same event/object actually happeend. The clearest indication we have for the Belgian event is that they were not simultaneous/coincidental sightings of the same object: the story explicitly states that the pilots sent to investigate the sightings never observed what they were chasing visually.

    Most of what we see on the internet for these fringe subjects is low quality evidence. Higher quality evidence exists, but it doesn't get posted because it takes too much effort. So we don't ever see original, full resolution photos or videos and the stories are often stories about stories about stories, not true transcripts (or even recordings) of the testimony from the actual witnesses.

    History has demonstrated to us that these fringe subjects exist only in low signal to noise ratio areas. As has been pointed out many times, the recent explosion of people carrying HD video cameras everywhere they go every waking moment of their lives has not improved the signal to noise ratio. Because of this, it stands to reason that gaining access to the original evidence would eliminate the proposed fringe explanations of the events, not reinforce them. We just don't know though: and not knowing is just not knowing - it isn't evidence in favor of the fringe explanation.
    DaveC426913 likes this.
  17. river

    So are the bunch of you pleased with your selves ?
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Here's one of the earliest accounts of the Belgian UFO wave from a TV show in the early 90's. This was only a year or so after the incident and yet the account is exactly the same as reported on later internet sites. This documentary also includes firsthand accounts by actual eyewitnesses and the actual radar video of the object. It remains to this day a very compelling case that cannot be debunked by skeptics.

    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  19. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Based entirely on the supposition that your response means you are not "pleased with us", then my answer would be yes. Any day your delusions are threatened is a good day.
    Russ_Watters, exchemist and paddoboy like this.
  20. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    This looks reasonable:

    What struck me most about the video is how obvious it was that what the F-16 pilots were chasing (if even real) wasn't what people were seeing. The people on the ground saw brightly-lit, slow moving objects while the F-16 pilots never saw what they were chasing -- but it moved fast.
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I haven't read any reports of the object being viewed as slow-moving while the pilots were chasing it. Do you have eyewitness testimony confirming that? Or is it just something the skeptics made up?

    I read over that skeptic's article. All it does is complain about some inconsistencies in the original SOBEPS report and a faked photograph. It does nothing to explain the eyewitness testimonies given in my video, of a triangular object with 3 lights and red light in the middle, nor how ground radar confirmed the existence of this craft while it was sighted. Meteological phenomenon? lol! Not by a longshot. It was a clear night. If you read over this summary of the air force's report you will note at one point the pilots saw a laser beam shining on the ground. It makes sense to me that if the craft were illuminated only from underneath, that this would explain why they weren't visible to the pilots. Visual ground observations further confirm when the pilots chased the craft, one of them dimmed while the other had disappeared. This correlates to the time of the radar detected target's high speed evasive movements reported by the pilots.

    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  22. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

    I can't believe he wasted over 11 minutes to give the most pedantic response possible about a subject he obviously knows nothing about. I like Tyson but when it comes to this subject he is a total crackpot. The correct answer would be "I don't know anything about the subject of UFOs except how to exclude the trivial".

    It is like listening to an art major explain physics.
  23. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Huh? Aren't you the one who claimed the eyewitness reports and radar sighting were simultaneous? It's for you to show that the reports match, but the reports you provided don't match. There's nothing for me to make up: I'm just analyzing what you have given me. Again: the reports you provided don't match.
    The video of the ground radar is too low quality for me to see anything on it, so I can't analyze what it saw. I would think though that if they thought it were more compelling they would have provided more detail in presenting it (like they did with the F-16 radar). So we're left with it just being nothing to analyze.

    As for the eyewitness testimony: yeah, they saw something. But what? No one knows. It's likely (given the sketch that is obviously a helicopter) that many things were seen, most of which were definitely mundane and the rest are just "unidentified". So what we're left with is a large number of very thin sightings, just like what the rest of UFO sightings are like.
    That report states explicitly that the first radar sightings could not be confirmed to coincide with the ground sightings (point #2).

    "On the second occasion, pilots could identify a laser-beam projector on the ground. After investigation it appeared however that the description of the observations totally differed from previously described phenomena. " So....totally different from other phenomena means it doesn't match. Means it isn't the same. Means it is just something else -- like maybe a kid playing with a laser pointer.

    So, all that you have in the last sighting is possible ground radar contact with a slow moving object with lights. There are a lot of mundane possibilities and in either case, "unknown" is just "unknown". But the fact that the pilots of the planes never saw anything and their radar contact doesn't match the ground radar contact makes their evidence contradict the other evidence and reduces its veracity. Seeing nothing when they were supposed to see something casts further doubt on the thing that they were supposed to see.
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
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