UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

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

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    The truth will set you free, MR. ~ lol
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I would argue that skepticism is an approach, not a conclusion. Agnosticism, however, is a conclusion you might reach after such an approach. So you can quite happily be a skeptic agnostic, I'd say.

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

    It is a rookie mistake to treat things in isolation like you're doing.

    You ought to consider his statements not in isolation from one another, like you're doing, but rather in the context of the entire report, like I did.

    Here's how it's done: Post #7991

    Then in the next breath you go on to essentially rephrase what I wrote, saying that's what you want too. Bizarre.
    What's your provisional best estimate of its mundane identity, at this point in your investigation?
    Your description of your own process, if there was one, for concluding that this particular sighting was of a mundane thing, is somewhat obscure at this point.
    Impossible. Get a grip!
    Are you saying you have high confidence that this was a mistaken sighting of Mars and some stars? Or not?

    Are you, perchance, agreeing with my conclusions? If so, this is a funny way to go about expressing your agreement.

    Do you review what you write, or is getting the snarky reply out there the overriding factor?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    No. Quite the opposite, in fact. Here's my full analysis of this report, such as it is:

    Post #7991

    Please read it before you comment again.

    For the benefit of other readers, I provide a bit more context.

    This report was originally posted on the Blog at a website calling itself "Satchquatch chronicles". Here's the link:

    The blog asserts that the report came from a "listener", by which I assume it means a listener to the podcast of the same name. I note that the site and the podcast are both focussed on woo of various types. (Probably Magical Realist has the site on his regular reading list and/or listens to the podcast.)

    The report was posted by the maintainers of the web page on 26 December 2022.

    As I previously made a point of noting, the reporter himself does not provide the date or time of the sighting.

    It is reasonable to assume that the written correspondence from the "listener" was received by the blogger not too long before the blogger decided to post it to the blog. If the listener had written to the blog in 2003, for example, it would be exceedingly strange for the blogger to decide to finally publish the letter 19 years later.

    When did the sighting occur, then? We don't know, which is one of the things that makes this a very low quality UAP report, as I previously noted in my analysis.

    Is it likely that the witness suddenly decided, many months or years after the actual sighting, to write to the Sasquatch Chronicles to tell the story of his amazing experience? Who knows? Perhaps the actual sighting occurred in 1962 but the witness kept it secret for 60 years, only deciding for unknown reasons to tell the world about it by writing to a podcaster in 2022. It seems more likely to me that the sighting occurred more recently, but that's not a huge help in pinning down an exact date.

    Let us, then, hypothesise that the reported sighting took place not too long before 26 December 2022. What can be said, then? Well, quite a lot, as DaveC and I have shown. Our analysis is consistent with the sighting having taken place around 26 December 2022 (there's a window of time around that date that also works, of course).

    No evidence has yet come to light that this sighting did not occur around 26 December 2022. Since our conclusion is, naturally, provisional, both of us will happily welcome any new data to narrow down the date.

    If it turns out that the hypothesised date is incorrect, then we will be happy to check the positions of Mars and other planets for the revised date, of course.

    In the meantime, our analysis stands unrefuted.
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Magical Realist:
    Nonsense. Of course there's knowledge about that. We can safely rule out billions of years, just for starters.

    Why didn't you just admit you didn't know the relevant date, from the start?

    Why don't you bother doing any legwork at all on these things before you cut and paste them over to here? Why do you put only the bare minimum of effort into this thing you love? Is it just laziness, or utter incompetence? Or is it that you just don't care whether any of it is true?
    No. The date problem was among the very first aspects of this case that we addressed.

    It is only now that you've suddenly realised that there are glaring gaps in your case that you've started trying to shift the blame for your own incompetence onto us. You ought be thanking us, again, for opening your eyes.
    Tut tut!

    No telling lies, please, Magical Realist!

    If you want to address my analysis, by all means do so. You cannot pretend it isn't there, though.
    There is no assumption about the incompetence of the report. That's a conclusion drawn from examining the report itself. I already explained.
    Correct. Now would be a good time for you to actually read through my analysis and to think about it. Please do that before you reply again.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I don't expect MR to agree with me. MR is a fool and/or a troll when it comes to the woo. I wish that he wanted to be better than he currently is. I wish he wasn't so lazy. Wilful ignorance irritates me. I can't help having that emotional response. At the same time, I don't think it's a bad thing to have that emotional response.

    I am a realist. I have no expectation that MR, after all these years, will suddenly have an epiphany and "convert" to critical thinking. I think he is probably irrevocably set in his ways. It's a shame and a waste, but it's his life to live. I feel sorry for him.

    You say you don't think MR opposes science, in general. I'd say that, in general, MR doesn't oppose those things that he has decided are facts - for good or bad reasons. (By "oppose", here I only mean "deny the truth of".) I have no doubt that MR accepts many facts that are in accordance with the findings of science. But that hardly makes him "pro-science".

    The thing is: science isn't about facts. Or, at least, that's not what's most important in science. Science is not stamp collecting. It is not a process of gathering "facts". Rather, it a method or a process for sorting what is true from what is false.

    MR consistently demonstrates that he is unable and/or unwilling to use the methods of science, at least when it comes to the woo he believes in. He consistently demonstrates that he literally doesn't care whether the woo is true/real or not. So, regardless of how many scientific findings he accepts as true in other contexts, his attitudes on woo topics put him squarely and fundamentally in opposition to science.

    Regarding the moderation of sciforums: If I were to ban somebody for "thinking outside of the scientific parameters", our members could justifiably point to the absence of anything in our published posting guidelines that would justify such a ban. I suppose that a case could be made that "scientific parameters" are embedded implicitly into some of our posting guidelines, but it would be a stretch.

    MR has been temporarily banned at times for infractions that include knowingly telling lies - things he has demonstrably done that are in breach of our clear posting guidelines. He has at no time been censored for his beliefs. He remains here even though (or perhaps in part because) his irrational mindset is exemplary.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    A method is a method. The proof is in the pudding, when it comes to science.

    You ought to try using the scientific method once in a while. You might be surprised at the results.
    I'm sure you have a few examples to share with the class, then?
    Like what?
    How do you know they exceed reduction blah blah blah?
    Your latest UAP case was quite amenable to reduction, as it turned out.
    Like what?
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    There is no mistake other than your apparent continued efforts to keep defending the position you claim you weren't making.
    So, to be clear: do you, or do you not, claim - or agree with the claim - that the guy's observations are "perfectly replicable" by the Mars/stars hypothesis?
    If you don't, then what the fuck are you still trying to argue the point for, or dispute my rebuttal of it?
    All it takes is for the solution offered (Mars/stars, for example) to not fit a single thing the guy wrote for his reported observations to not be "perfectly replicable" by it. So quit with yet another red-herring, James R.
    The issue here, that you seem to wilfully be ignoring so as to continue along your irrelevant path, and not own up to your faux-pas in responding to a comment to which you didn't know the context, is not whether he has made mistakes in his observations, or whether the Mars/stars hypothesis is a possible solution, but whether it "perfectly replicates" what he reports. Not what you think he should have reported, but what he actually reports.
    Stick to that, please. Instead all we get is you posturing and talking yet more garbage.
    I'm not interested in your irrelevancies on this point, thanks. Stick to the issue.
    So you honestly can't see the difference between the question you are trying to answer, and the one I am? Well, that explains a lot, I guess.
    Trying to get the "best fit", so to speak, for a rather vague report, is somewhat different than trying to get what it actually is. Many things might fit, especially if you're not immune to altering what the person actually reports so as to fit your conclusion. It doesn't really get you to what it actually is, even with a high-degree of confidence, only what it might be. Might be, and is, are two different questions.
    Given the vagueness of the report, I'd think it could indeed be Mars/stars, or drones, or possibly even some distant hot air balloons, possibly also many other things we haven't thought of. I think the report is too vague to offer a "best" to any of those.
    Because the bar for me to consider it a non-mundane thing is exceptionally high, such that any remote possibility of it being mundane will trump it being non-mundane, in my view.
    You're the one losing grip, James R. I have already shown exactly where you effectively changed what he said to suit your conclusion. Your denial at this point is bordering on delusional.
    No, I'm not. I'm saying that I have a high degree of confidence that Mars/stars are among the possibilities of what it could be.
    No, I'm not agreeing with your conclusion, because your conclusion is a high degree of confidence that it is Mars/stars. I don't have that degree of confidence, nor do I think such high degree is rational based on the vagueness of the report.
    Mars/stars is certainly a possible explanation, as is the guy just imagining it all in a drunken stupor, or simply writing in and telling a story. Or drones. Or numerous things we haven't even thought of.
    Am I going too fast for you?
    What part of it did you not comprehend?
    Do you honestly not see the difference, for example, and taking what I said to an extreme, between "I am certain that it might be X", and "I am certain it is X"?
    If I toss a coin and say "I am certain that it is 50:50 going to be Tails (i.e. it might be tails)", is that the same, to you, as saying "I am certain it is Tails"?
    I do review, thanks. Do you even try to comprehend what people actually write, or are you simply content with responding to whatever nonsense you assume they have written?
    For you to stop with the garbage? Why so?
  12. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    I'm waiting to see if it starts footnoting its own posts after reading a few of Tiassa's blogs.
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  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Lol! That would be the most talented bot ever.
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  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I couldn't agree more, MR.

    I've always loved science and believe (sorry Dave) that it's humanity's best source of knowledge about the behavior of the physical world.

    But I have to say that I'm increasingly put off by how science is moving away from being a tentative self-critical quest for understanding, towards being enshrined as another Biblical-style source of revealed authority, towards being doctrines that must unquestioningly be believed, on pain of being condemned as being "anti-science" or a "denier". That's one of the places where 'science' crosses the line and turns into 'scientism' in my opinion.

    In my view science is a bunch of hypotheses about physical reality, some of which are well established and highly corroborated, while others are little more than speculations. But none of it is theological-style revealed truth. And probably most of it is limited in some way, if not flat-out wrong to a greater or lesser degree. It's a work in progress.

    I don't know why some people are so hostile to the idea of other people believing differently than they do. What's wrong with just agreeing to disagree? We are told over and over that we must "celebrate diversity", right? So why does celebration of diversity always stop at diversity of opinion? Isn't freedom of thought supposed to be a good thing?

    A lot of science itself isn't. Science and the practice of science assume many things that aren't themselves scientific.

    Maybe. I'm personally inclined to think that the UAPs probably have explanations that would be comprehensible to us, assuming that we had sufficient information. Hence our task should be to acquire more information. Hypotheses about possible explanations at this point aren't answers in themselves (as Sarkus has convincingly argued in one case) but might be helpful in guiding us as to what kind of additional information to seek.

    'Our X might conceivably be this (a speculation), and to determine that with more certainty, we will need to know A, B and C.'

    But as I said above, the Fortean in me makes me think that our current scientific worldview is a work in progress, inherently limited by our limited perspective in space and time, and by our finite cognitive powers. So I don't find it in any way heretical to expect that things might occasionally occur that have no place in our current scientific understanding. That needn't exclude better scientific understanding, which would be our task to acquire.

    Yes, I expect that it will always exceed our understanding. The big fundamental metaphysical questions will always be there. So, ultimately, at its core, reality will probably always be a mystery. That's my belief.

    But despite reality being fundamentally mysterious at its core, we nevertheless are part of that reality ourselves and are experiencing it all the time. So our experience and our very being will probably always exceed our understanding.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023
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  15. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Great points, Yazata. Do we consider something real only if it can be proven by using the scientific method (to understand it)?
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Aliens, ET, etc, are not really a metaphysical issue, though. They're squarely scientific. Hence the scientific approach.
    My issue is not so much with the analysis conducted here, but simply with the conclusions drawn from it, such that it tends toward "science says this is a possible answer, therefore this is the answer" sort of thing. Yes, that's perhaps an exaggeration, but it's the conclusions drawn that I have issues with rather than the general approach. I do think some take their confidence beyond what their analysis rationally supports, as exampled in previous posts, but because they think "Science! Rationality!" they overplay their hand and ultimately move into the realm of belief and faith that they would otherwise despise.
    The day that there is no experience I have that exceeds my understanding will be a sorry day. Not least because it means the universe will have dumbed itself down to my level!

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  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Do "we"? I don't know. Maybe you want to answer for yourself, at least?

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    First, this is a metaphysical question; second, science is not in the business of "proof" but rather degrees of confidence in theories etc.
    With those matters out of the way... if one considers "real" to be that which can be touched, held, observed, interacted with, i.e. physical, then probably most would agree that it falls within the realm of science. Whether we are currently able to "prove" it is just a matter of available evidence to us rather than the principle of whether it absolutely could be.
    If one considers such things as logic, numbers, etc, to be real then no, I'd suggest that science can not "prove" them, as any such proof, or even condidence, relies on those things themselves, and as such is just, at such a meta level, begging the question. At best you'd reach an internally consistent conclusion, but not one that necessarily speaks for outside of that internal working.
    It's a good question, though, but one for another thread, perhaps?

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  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Depends on who the "we" is, I guess.

    I personally consider reality to be something metaphysically fundamental. It's what is, what exists (and yes, I'm aware of the circularity). Maybe I think that it's an irreducible given.

    But what we happen to consider real is a different issue.

    I get the feeling that some people do think the way you suggest. If something doesn't fall within the ontology accepted by modern science, or isn't amenable to "proof by using the scientific method", then it can't be included on the list of things that they believe exist.

    As for me, I think that reality is what stands beneath our scientific understanding and serves as its basis and its foundation. Reality (as I imagine it) is whatever it is that makes true scientific propositions true and false one's false. To use an old analogy, I try not to confuse the map (the propositions of science in this case) with the territory that the map seeks to depict (physical reality).
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  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Isn't that the whole purpose of the term "woo"? To automatically denigrate the the views of others as superstitious foolishness so that you can dismiss all their claims from the outset? If you want me to be better James then make your points without ad homing me as some sort of inferior being. And quit speaking down to me as someone to be instructed. You'll soon find we probably have alot of things in common and can converse, even disagree, in a fruitful way.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023
  20. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    All true. So, is your answer ''yes'' to my question, then? lol

    When it comes to UFO's, I know that many claims are misperceptions, and/or stemming from mundane origins, but for those that still have no known origin, they aren't any less real. Claimants may lack enough evidence to prove exactly what they are (tic tac video, for example) but it doesn't mean that whatever it was that those pilots witnessed, wasn't real. (Of course, ruling out the possibility of hallucinations, misperceptions, etc...)

    It would be, however I think there are some threads already, on the topic. But, the fact that we are now on page 406 of this thread tells me that we have inched our way past viewing this topic strictly through the lens of science...otherwise, it wouldn't have continued past page one.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    That's on you as someone who is historically in complete denial about the fields of perception, cognition, memory and a host of other relevant disciplines.
    If you don't want to be instructed, then educate yourself.
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I am well aware of the fields you mention. I just don't support using that information to invalidate an eyewitness(es) account of a uap. To you it may seem sufficient to debunk the account. But not to me. It's a matter of trusting the eyewitness's firsthand experience over the vague and adhoc possibility of some generic optical illusion or misperception.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023
  23. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Ever the optimist

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