Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Phoenix Lights Return

On March 13, 1997 the Phoenix Lights became a sensational UFO story, when bright, slowly-falling lights were seen in the sky across the Phoenix metropolitan area, and across much of southern Arizona. They were determined quite definitively to be flares dropped by A-10 Warthog aircraft,  in a training exercise at the Barry Goldwater Range in southwest Arizona. This was actually the second UFO incident reported that evening across Arizona. The first incident, involving a V-shape of lights, may have been aircraft lights, but is in any case not relevant to this discussion. Some UFO promoters deliberately confuse the two, showing the video of the second incident (dramatic but easily explained) while describing the first (less certain identitfication, but no good photos or videos).

On the evening of Friday, Oct. 28, four bright lights in the sky were reported and photographed at a high school football game in Scottsdale, Arizona (Phoenix metropolitan area). The lights were shown by broadcaster Mark Mancuso on Accuweather. The video used to be at
http://www.accuweather.com/video/1805489410/ufo-sightings-in-scottsdale-ariz.asp , however that video has apparently been pulled (probably because it made Accuweather a laughingstock, and the broadcaster is now in the woodshed). However, as Ian Ridpath notes in a comment below, you can still find that video on the Accuweather website if you search for it another way: http://www.accuweather.com/video.asp?search=scottsdale

You can also see the "UFOs" in another video below:



It's not hard to see the similarity to the parachuting flares of the Phoenix lights. There was a lot of speculation that these might be flares attached to sky divers, but can we do better than just speculate?

Sometimes a little investigation goes a long way. SkyFOX helicopter pilot Rick Crabbs (Fox Channel 10 in Phoenix)said, "I was at the location where those skydivers were coming in ... Friday night, so that's exactly what happened -- there were some skydivers," he said. "And they did have pyrotechnics on their ankles. There were four of them, and if you look at the video, you can see four different lights."


The skydivers were at an event called the "Halloween Balloon Spooktacular" at the Salt River Fields. Looking at the schedule of activities for that event, we find:
•9:00pm Arizona Skyhawks performance with sky divers in lighted suits and pyrotechnics  

The Arizona Skyhawks are indeed a professional skydiving team that sometimes uses pyrotechnics.



But for some "journalists," wild speculation is more gratifying than a little bit of actual research.

36 comments:

  1. Fast work, Robert.

    The video is still on the AccuWeather site under a different URL - see here
    http://www.accuweather.com/video.asp?search=scottsdale

    BTW, SkyFox also captured a near-repeat of the Phoenix Lights in February 2007
    http://www.spike.com/video-clips/btsgmz/phoenix-lights-part-2
    They were, of course, flares over the Barry Goldwater range
    http://www.ktar.com/?sid=369585&nid=6
    But somehow the UFO believers don't seem to notice the parallels.

    Ian

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    Replies
    1. All well and good, except one little thing, there were hundreds of people all over Arizona that night who saw the actual craft fly directly over them and could see it's shape, including the Governor himself, now how do you explain that little detail? Sometimes the ufo non-believers don't seem to notice the parallels.

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  2. Hi - I stumbled upon this website. Anyone wishing to learn more about what actually was seen at Phoenix should watch this documentary:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HUtPfoaiGg

    And also this one:

    http://video.uk.msn.com/watch/video/feature-episode/1ge5ot8jq

    Happy watching!

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  3. Laughable that after 14 years there are still "skeptics" out there who have not looked at the data. Wake up people. There were anomalous sightings for weeks BEFORE the mass sighting captured on video, as well as authenticated 35mm photographic evidence. DO YOUR HOMEWORK guys before continuing the 'uneducated' debunking of one of the most imporant UAP [UNEXPLAINED AERIAL PHENOMENA] events in modern times.

    Not only were there MULTIPLE mile wide craft silently parading the entire state for multiple hours at roof top level on March 13, 1997, but THREE Air National Guard units tried to re-enact the Phoenix Lights in an announced military flare deployment in March 2000 - and failed miserably. To date, the Phoenix Lights have never been explained or duplicated.

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  4. How can you critically say "Some UFO promoters deliberately confuse the two" in reference to the two 1997 events, when you then title your piece, "The Phoenix Lights Return" thereby conflating this current mistake with the past ones. Are you indicating that the facts of this error (pyrotechnic skydiving) are relevant to the past events? And how is it that your huge error in analysis regarding the Sunday Night Football UFO is not something you are admitting to and analyzing yourself? I used to have respect for you...

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  5. Hi - I posted the first anon comment above referring to the two documentaries on the Phoenix lights. As someone who has a strong scientific background, I am curious to know what the 'skeptical' stance is to explain the appearance of a huge and silent boomerang object with several lights that was reported consistently by a very large number of witnesses from different parts of Phoenix and its outlying regions. I look forward to some carefully reasoned answers!

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  6. Where is the video of the supposed huge and silent object? Strange that with all the camera phones and such, none is shown--ever.

    Dale

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  7. Hello Dale - in the second documentary that I referred to, there is (at the beginning) a video clip of a very similar V-shaped object with lights taken some years earlier - together with accompanying commentary by the clearly puzzled film taker.

    As regards the Phoenix case, remember this was 1997, so many people wouldn't have been carrying mobile phones etc able to take pictures at a moment's notice. That said, however, there are clips/photos showing a definite V-shape of lights present in the sky at that time. Here's an interesting Mational Geographic documentary which shows some of these V-shape images, and which also presents a technical assessment of the size of the V-object seen using laser-based surveying equipment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX03aUeJa-0

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  8. For those interested in the 1997 events, might I suggest reading this versiou of SUNlite:

    http://home.comcast.net/~tprinty/UFO/SUNlite2_3.pdf

    Tim

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  9. Thanks, Tim. I guess A-10's in formation, descending to land with the engines throttled back could cause such a sighting...

    Dale

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  10. Hello Tim - well I read your Sunlite report on the Phoenix case with interest and - I have to say - some puzzlement. Can I first ask whether you have watched both the documentaries that I provided links to in my initial post. These two documentaries are significant because they offer filmed testimony by witnesses that were fairly close to the silent V - shaped craft and had a very good view of it. These persons invariably describe the object as being 'enormous' or of 'massive proportions'. One of the witnesses (from the second documentary) is actually a retired Northwest Airlines pilot and likened the object to 'something the size of Camelback Mountain floating down Scottsdale Avenue'. Another likened it to a 'flying aircraft carrier'! Another thought that 'we could land all forty of our B-2 bombers on the wing of that craft'. Yet another exclaimed that putting up an open newspaper towards the object wouldn't have covered it’s apparent size. Note here that all the witnesses are consistent in describing a single, very large, V - shaped object rather than anything as prosaic as a formation of aircraft, which certainly, one would have expected an ex-pilot to have easily discerned.

    If you also noticed in the second documentary, there was a grouping of about four or five witnesses being interviewed, a lady from which then proceeded to describe how the slow moving V-object ‘stopped and then retracted its sides’ before shooting off and disappearing in an instant. These are not the characteristics of a formation of aircraft. These very similar reports from some of the many close-up witnesses lend a great deal of credibility to the veracity of the observations. However, in your own report you make great play of the testimony of a young amateur astronomer who had to resort to using a large telescope to have his sighting! Hardly in the same category of significance in my opinion. You also refer to the ‘distortion waves’ reported by another close witness Tim Ley as somehow giving credence to your aircraft theory. In fact, Tim Ley’s detailed description of the V-object was used by the technical survey team in the National Geographic documentary I gave a link to to conclude that what he observed was a single object with an approximately 1,600ft wingspan!

    I would urge you to view the documentaries once again and reappraise as to whether these close-up testimonies provided are in any way consistent with your aircraft theory.

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  11. I have seen all the documentaries on this subject. However, you have to face the facts on this matter. You are looking at a small subset of all the witness reports (some of their estimates have changed with each retelling of the story). You only get to see the witnesses who reported something spectacular and you are missing all the people who only reported a formation of lights and not craft. The video of the lights taken by Terry Proctor seals the deal as far as I am concerned about all the witnesses you are referencing. It shows the formation of lights and the lights shift formation. Therefore, they can not be connected to a solid object. A Majority of the NUFORC witnesses stated this as well. As I pointed out in SUNlite, what you are seeing are a few individuals, who had suffered from the "airship effect" and "Excitedness effect" described by Dr. Hartmann in regards to the Zond IV sighting in 1968. They played "connect the dots" and created a "triangle" or "V" in their minds. The excitedness effect played a role in their exaggerating size, distances, etc. UFO investigators and producers readily accepted their claims but the observers like Mitch Stanley were pushed aside because it did not tell the story they wanted to hear/repeat. I would urge you to look beyond these one-sided documentaries, "I know what I saw" testimonies, and look at the real data that was recorded at the time.

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  12. Dear Anon,

    You are indeed a prime example of the believers who, as I mentioned in my original posting, fail to see the parallels between the flares footage of 2007 and the original Phoenix Lights footage of 1997. Could you tell us why you do not see the similarities? Or, if you do, why you think they are not the same thing?

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  13. Where can I view the entire Terry Proctor video? I've googled it, of course, but am only finding small bits here and there. I would like to see the entire thing.
    The still image that circulates, showing four different frames from his video, and which seems to show that it could not have been one solid object, seems odd to me. (And no, I'm not a UFO nut!!) It's just obvious: some of the connecting lines between two points of light are not even straight -- see top left screen cap, left "wing" line -- and several other connecting lines appear to not even be connecting the center of the lights. (Tim, from prior posts, I trust your opinions and analyses in general, but do you see what I'm talking about here?) I realize the video is low-res, but c'mon, who constructed that image?! He or she did a very poor job!!

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  14. Looks like the video has now been pulled from YouTube (people want to sell it to you on DVD).

    But I kept a copy and, for one day only, I have put it up on my website for you to look at:
    http://www.ianridpath.com/Phoenix lights768.mov

    My point in my posting above was that Rick Crabbs in the SkyFox helicopter saw and videod a flare drop in 2007 which he compared to the 1997 lights
    http://www.spike.com/video-clips/btsgmz/phoenix-lights-part-2
    Look at this and, if you think they look different, please tell us why.

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  15. Response to Tim:

    So let me understand your position - those witnesses who observed the V-object close up and who were interviewed for the making of the two documentaries were basically hallucinating and describing something that simply wasn’t there! I’m sorry but I don’t buy it! What I see are members of the general public who have seen something very strange indeed and are relating as best as they can their experiences on camera. In fact the V-object was described in very similar terms by many observers along a north –south corrider of many miles that encompassed the city of Phoenix. In the first documentary that I provided a link to there is an interview of someone who worked in a Phoenix police call centre who described how they were absolutely inundated with calls from observers to this object on the night in question.

    Hartmann (ex the infamous Condon Report) has his Ph.D in physical sciences, so what possible qualification did he have to try and explain away a UFO sighting in psychological terms? Your attempt to extrapolate and use his ‘explanation’ for the Phoenix case is therefore of dubious value in my opinion.

    I think your eagerness to simply dismiss the documentary testimonies has more to do with preserving your apparent 100% conviction that the UFO phenomenon just doesn’t exist in physical terms. Genuine skepticism is necessary in this field, but close mindedness can instead be a great hindrance to achieving any sort of advancement.


    Response to Ian:

    Firstly, you resort to labeling me as a ‘believer’, as if there is some sort of religious connotation to my involvement here. I can assure you that I don’t have a religious bone in my body. What I do have is curiosity, which has led me to examine this apparently non-existent phenomenon in some depth over the years.

    Re Phoenix 1997, there is no doubt that flares were dropped that night at approximately 10pm, and there is no doubt that some video footage exists of these flares which have mistakenly been attributed to the Phoenix UFO. We all know this! But the crux of the Phoenix case is not what happened at 10pm but instead two hours earlier with the initial sightings of the V-object! Again, typically, your focus on the flares issue stems from your desire to summarily dismiss the entire night’s events as wholly inconsequential. Can I also ask whether you yourself have viewed the two documentaries that I initially provided links to? What is your own personal opinion of the witness testimonies that specifically describe the V-object? Some of these even went into detail about the nature and appearance of the under-lights that the object carried as it passed overhead!

    On a much wider aspect, I cannot understand why some here show hostility to the very notion that UFOs may actually represent advanced ET monitoring the earth. We are all aware of the Fermi Paradox – i.e. the question of Where Are They? – regarding advanced ET being in contact with Earth. It’s interesting to note that according to one account, Fermi himself concluded that the Earth should have been visited long ago and many times over! So on the one hand we have this pursuasive argument that we should have been in contact with ET already by now, and on the other hand we have been presented with a huge number of reports from credible people around the world – supported by radar and physical trace evidence - over the past 70 years that suggests advanced technology which is under intelligent control! Well excuse me - can someone make a plausible connection here!?

    I am signing myself off using a pseudonym, in order not to cause confusion with other anon posters.

    Adam..

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  16. Response to Tim:

    So let me understand your position - those witnesses who observed the V-object close up and who were interviewed for the making of the two documentaries were basically hallucinating and describing something that simply wasn’t there! I’m sorry but I don’t buy it! What I see are members of the general public who have seen something very strange indeed and are relating as best as they can their experiences on camera. In fact the V-object was described in very similar terms by many observers along a north –south corrider of many miles that encompassed the city of Phoenix. In the first documentary that I provided a link to there is an interview of someone who worked in a Phoenix police call centre who described how they were absolutely inundated with calls from observers to this object on the night in question.

    Hartmann (ex the Condon Report) has his Ph.D in physical sciences, so what possible qualification did he have to try and explain away a UFO sighting in psychological terms?

    I think your eagerness to simply dismiss the documentary testimonies has more to do with preserving your apparent 100% conviction that the UFO phenomenon just doesn’t exist in physical terms.


    Response to Ian:

    Firstly, you resort to labeling me as a ‘believer’, as if there is some sort of religious connotation to my involvement here. I can assure you that I don’t have a religious bone in my body. What I do have is curiosity, which has led me to examine this apparently non-existent phenomenon in some depth over the years.

    Re Phoenix 1997, there is no doubt that flares were dropped that night at approximately 10pm, and there is no doubt that some video footage exists of these flares which have mistakenly been attributed to the Phoenix UFO. We all know this! But the crux of the Phoenix case is not what happened at 10pm but instead two hours earlier with the initial sightings of the V-object! Again, typically, your focus on the flares issue stems from your desire to summarily dismiss the entire night’s events as wholly inconsequential. Can I also ask whether you yourself have viewed the two documentaries that I initially provided links to? What is your own personal opinion of the witness testimonies that specifically describe the V-object? Some of these even went into detail about the nature and appearance of the under-lights that the object carried as it passed overhead!

    On a much wider aspect, I cannot understand why some here show hostility to the very notion that UFOs may actually represent advanced ET monitoring the earth. We are all aware of the Fermi Paradox – i.e. the question of Where Are They? – regarding advanced ET being in contact with Earth. It’s interesting to note that according to one account, Fermi himself concluded that the Earth should have been visited long ago and many times over! So on the one hand we have this pursuasive argument that we should have been in contact with ET already by now, and on the other hand we have been presented with a huge number of reports from credible people around the world – supported by radar and physical trace evidence - over the past 70 years that suggests advanced technology which is under intelligent control! Well excuse me - can someone make a plausible connection here!?

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  17. Anon, you really are starting to come across as someone more interested in reinforcing his own beliefs than engaging in any kind of scientific discussion based on facts. Your last paragraph regarding Fermi (as if this general question of 'where are they' has a true quantifiable scientific basis) and generic mentions of 'reports from credible people... radar and physical trace evidence over the past 70 years' is vague, generic, and drips of "I'm a UFO believer and nothing anyone can say or do will ever change that!". It's a free country and you're welcome to believe whatever fantastic stories you wish, but don't waste people's time pretending you're interested in gaining knowledge when you're clearly not.

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  18. Sudz - I originally came in to discuss the Phoenix Lights incident, on which I had information that was likely to be of relevance to this blog. The Fermi point was just incidental and certainly wasn't meant to offend anyone.

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  19. Anon, At least you agree that the later Phoenix sighting of 1997, widely videotaped, was flares. Which leaves the earlier V-shape.

    As far as I am aware, the best on-the-ground investigation of this was done by a local reporter called Toby Ortega, whose report can be read on this page
    http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-05-21/

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  20. Hello Ian

    Well, I've just read the Tony Ortega 'explanation' and simply am not convinced by it. Why didn't he go and interview and film actual witnesses about what they observed?! For example, with regard to the claim that that the V-object made no sound he states: "Not true. I talked to witnesses in Prescott, a quieter environment, who clearly heard jet noise" Well, where's the filmed testimony from these witnesses???? This is just hearsay from someone who may have a skeptical axe to grind for all we know! Compare this with the efforts of James Fox, the man who produced the I know What I Saw documentary! Now that is what I would call ground work. He interviewed in all about 150 witnesses at Phoenix.
    Remember that I previously referred to the ex-Northwest Airlines pilot who witnessed the V-object at close quarters and described it on camera in terms of being massive in size and silent and "floating over Scottsdale Avenue". Do you honestly imagine that someone of his background and calibre wouldn't have realised immediately that he was watching aircraft? Why couldn't Ortega go and interview this very witness and get his angle on the testimony. Now that would have been illuminating! Instead, he goes to seek the one witness who reported seeing aircraft through a telescope!! LOL! I'm very disappointed that Ortega couldn't have done much more to try and bolster his case so that we would have been better able to judge the incidents at Phoenix.

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  21. The proctor video can be seen at:

    http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/ufos-over-phoenix-the-v-shaped-object.html

    As for the comments by Anon:

    1) I have no problems accepting the fact that UFOs exist. By definition they do exist because people see things in the sky they can not identify. However, I do have a problem with jumping to the conclusion that these events are actual alien spaceships/uknown craft of non-terrestrial origin/whatever you want to call them.

    2) How can you dismiss the events of Zond IV? Stating that Hartmann had no qualifications is ignoring the fact that these witnesses were mistaken. They reported a low flying craft with windows when what they actually saw was re-entering space debris. Additionally, their reports were highly exaggerated in erroneous. These are FACTS that can not be dismissed. Hartmann drew the conclusion that the factors of what he called the "airship effect" and "excitedness effect" produced these results. If you have a problem with those conclusions perhaps you can present them in a manner that refutes them.

    3) I never stated the witnesses hallucinated. I stated they were mistaken and made the same mistakes that people often make under these conditions. See Zond IV and the recent UFO events in Kansas city where people reported a group of planes as a flying disc or a flying triangle. You also are dismissing the majority of witnesses who stated they did not see this "craft". Why are you so quick to accept the conclusions of the minority of observers but so readily reject the majority (as well as the observations by Mitch Stanley, who you seem to imply was lying)?

    4) You state that "many observers" reported the V-shaped object in similar terms. I disagree. See the NUFORC data and evaluate it yourself. I pointed this out in SUNlite 2-3. If you have data that refutes my analysis, feel free to present it. Give us names and a source of data for the "many observers". Just because a police department received a lot of UFO reports does not mean they all reported the same thing.

    5) I also have witnesses that are pilots that state they saw no dark object and specifically saw stars between the lights. So where does that leave you with your pilot? Is it possible that he was fooled by the same illusion (airship effect) that the minority of witnesses were taken in by?

    I think you are overeager in your willingness to accept testimony of exotic events without looking at all the information and possibilities for error. Ian's labeling of you as a believer is appropriate in this case. Your "curiousity" is limited only to the information you want to believe. You simply reject other information without good reason because it does not conform to what you want to believe happened. If you ignore the lessons from other case histories (i.e. Zond IV), you are going to repeat the same mistake.

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  22. Hello Tim

    Regarding the Zond IV case, I was not familier with it, so I did a search on the internet. I came across this URL which I guess you must be referring to (scroll down for Zond item):

    http://files.ncas.org/condon/text/s6chap02.htm#S3

    So there was a re-entry of the Zond IV craft in 1968 which Hartmann describes thus:
    “At about 9:45 p.m. EST on 3 March, hundreds of American observers near a line from Kentucky to Pennsylvania saw a majestic procession of fiery objects with sparkling golden orange tails move across their sky. The spacecraft was disintegrating upon re-entry. Most observers saw two or three main pieces, while observers near the end of the path saw more. These objects were identified by NORAD as pieces of the Zond IV probe and this was confirmed on July 1st.” He then proceeds to account for “the many UFO reports that were generated.” In other words he has automatically assumed that any UFO reports made on that day would be directly attributable to the descending Zond debris! A few of these reports display features not uncommon for classical UFOs, such as cigar shapes with lighted windows. He proceeds to theorise how a “highly unobjective observer may even imagine a dark elongated form connecting them so that they become lights on a cigar-shaped object, or even windows on a cigar-shaped object”. Nowhere do I see the actual details of these UFO reports. Far from investigating the UFO reports themselves to determine any intrinsic anomalistic characteristics, he has just simply attributed their existence to the Zond re-entry. Like yourself, he ‘knows’ that there aren’t any ‘real’ UFOs so any other explanation will do. I’m sorry – I don’t buy it!

    I watched your Procter video with interest. In that there is another interview with Tim Ley and a woman which I assume is his wife. Both of them describe in some detail their views of the large boomerang object which was sitting just above them, and spanned across a wide area of the town. You say that Ley and other close-up observers of this object were not deluded but instead “were mistaken”. OK – can you try and explain what was the nature of their mistake? How can the description they gave be in any way correlated with being aircraft?

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  23. Again, you are ignoring the Zond IV case. In SUNlite 2-3, I gave you some of the reports. Several witnesses described a silent cigar shaped object with windows based simply on the points of light moving across the sky. Their descriptions of being awe-struck, a low flying object, and actually seeing panels being riveted together are very similar to the description made by the ley's. The only difference is that the source of the lights is different. If you can't see the similarities, then I am wasting my time convincing you. You will have to continue to believe what you desire and not objectively look at the evidence.

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  24. Hello Tim,

    Well, we will have to agree to disagree. The fact that you can just assume that Tim Ley's account as well as of numerous others of the large V-object is just a "mistake" is frankly ludicrous in my opinion. I will not be posting any more here, because ultimately I'm wasting my time. What I do know is that you 'skeptics' are fighting a losing battle, and time will eventually prove the UFO proponents correct. I will then be happy to come back and say "I told you so". :o)

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  25. Well, it has been sixty plus years and the only thing that has been proven is that people do make mistakes and misperceive events. I will gladly concede defeat when you present real evidence for alien visitation. So far there has been no evidence for this but plenty of evidence that human beings make mistakes and misperceive events. In your "battle", it is the skeptics who are "winning" because proponents have yet to provide the one case that proves their claim.

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  26. Tim, first, the link you provided for the Proctor vid is the one I've seen elsewhere -- it does not have the full video, which is supposed to show the lights moving relative to one another, suggesting it was not a solid object. The Discovery channel portion only has about 20 seconds at most, with no relative movement.

    You'd say there's "NO evidence" of alien visitation? Seriously? None? What is your definition of "evidence"? I'm a skeptic too, but I think some of you on here go WAY too far in dismissing some very intriguing cases. There are several cases, in my opinion, where the ET hypothesis is simply the least implausible explanation. I won't ACCEPT it as an explanation without proof, but, lacking physical proof, why is it impossible to acknowledge that there are other kinds of compelling evidence?

    Are not any other skeptics here as bothered by, say, the Minot B-52 incident as I am? It has me very puzzled. Read the Project Sign summary / database of documents and interviews. They have full transcripts of interviews with most of the original Air Force personnel... and we're talking about ~15-20 people, IIRC, from 3 or 4 different ground locations, plus from within a B-52 cockpit flying above the reported "UFO", plus the "UFO" caught on ground and air radar. How can a rational, skeptical person not be puzzled by this?

    Just as there are many degrees of UFO believer, so are there many degrees of 'skeptic,' I suppose. And I'm sorry to say it, but a few skeptics on here seem to be just so rabidly and irrationally against even the very slight possibility of UFO's being ET in origin, that they just auto-dismiss any evidence whatever, for flimsy reasons. ???

    Have you all seen the two scientific papers published this week that, tangentially, sorta kinda touch on or effect the analysis of the UFO phenomenon? They're by Harvard, Princeton, and Penn State scientists (yes, real Ph.D.'s in astrophysics and astro-biology), and each says, basically, that we cannot dismiss the possibility that intelligent ET life or its products are already present in our solar system.

    That's a pretty big deal. Some of you seem to find the notion of ET-based UFO's as 100% absurd. Maybe at least consider dropping that down to 98% or something? (Haha.)

    A quote from one of the two papers: "we cannot rule out the possibility that NTAs [non-terrestrial objects, from intelligent ET's] are present and may even be observing us." From the paper "On the likelihood of non-terrestrial artifacts in the Solar System," by Haqq-Misraa and Kopparapuc.

    The other is entitled "Detection Technique for Artificially-Illuminated Objects in the Outer Solar System and Beyond," by Loeb and Turner.

    See arXiv.org for some very interesting reading.

    I'm pretty certain that about 99.9999% of UFO reports can be dismissed / explained, but don't any of you acknowledge even a handful of very intriguing, anomalous cases?

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  27. As this is going off on a tangent, I will make this my last post. The first paper does not mention ET visiting earth. It only mentions that it could be possible that ET probes might be somewhere in the solar system and we have not discovered them yet (maybe they are buried in a crater on the moon?). The second paper appears to be a proposed methodology for detection increased brightness levels that may be artificially produced on a planet in another solar system (suggesting major city lighting at night). So, I see nothing in these papers that proclaim that ET may be visiting earth. It only suggests possibilities.

    As for your comments about skeptics, what do you expect a skeptic to be? By their very nature are going to be skeptical of ANY claim that is made without proof. Yes, there are UFO cases that are not easily explained but there are plenty of reasons for this and those reasons do not involve ET (I could go on for hours about each case you bring up but I am not going to waste the space and time here, I suggest you take it to the JREF forum where there are plenty of skeptics will to debate you in the UFO: reserch and evidence thread). The bottom line is that even in those cases that are not readily/easily explained, there is no evidence that is presented that supports they were caused by ET. We are usually left with anecdotes, strange radar returns, ambiguous photographs/videos (of course most of these can be hoaxed) and not much else. Saying that the ETH is the most plausible answer is ignoring the human factors associated with many of these cases that play a significant role in what is reported.

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  28. Sorry Tim, I agree with most of what you say in other places, but your points (and in particular the following part) are simply not "skeptical" in any kind of rational sense. That those papers "suggest possibilities" is exactly the point. Some skeptics seem to have forgotten that it is, in fact, a possibility?

    You say "We are usually left with anecdotes, strange radar returns, ambiguous photographs /videos (of course most of these can be hoaxed) and not much else. Saying that the ETH is the most plausible answer is ignoring the human factors associated with many of these cases that play a significant role in what is reported."

    Not really. Sometimes, ANY prosaic explanation that can be thought of can be reasonable only if it ignores significant portions of what is clearly good, corroborated information. That is my point with the Minot B-52 case. There is no prosaic explanation possible that does not exclude outright fraud or the ignoring of significant amounts of reasonably reliable information. They all filled out the Bluebook forms in the day or two following the event, so you can't blame memory, years of "contamination," and so on...

    Do you think the ET hypothesis is at all plausible? (And by 'you,' I mean all skeptics, because there seems to be some confusion about what it means and doesn't mean!)
    Are you confusing skepticism with denial? (Am I wrong in assuming that the "skeptic" label really only means "rational"?)

    Do you assume all UFO cases are false before you begin analyzing them? Can a person still call himself a "skeptic," yet believe that a few UFO cases, on balance, are indeed highly *suggestive* of extra-terrestrial visitation... even as he acknowledges that it is not "proof" and really wants quite a bit more? Why must we pretend that probabilities and likelihoods do not exist?

    If a person, in his heart-of-hearts, believes that a "real" UFO isn't even a reasonable possibility, can HE call himself a skeptic? Isn't rationalism the defining trait of a "skeptic"?
    Is it rational to eliminate hypotheses up-front?

    Is any UFO evidence that's not the best imaginable (like a physical piece of a saucer) totally worthless, no matter how many eyeballs or radars corroborate each other, thus requiring that (lacking a physical piece) a "true skeptic" must ignore all of it and simply assume there's GOT to be a mistake in there somewhere (or else it's a hoax)? It's as if some believe skepticism means "no reasonable inferences allowed," and "no even admitting the small possibility!"

    Sorry, but some of what I see on here is not skepticism, but is instead pure hard-headed irrationality. Just a few, I mean. There are others here who are clearly skeptics in the truest sense -- requiring more evidence than most, and more than is available, yet acknowledging the reasonable possibility. I'm surprised by some of what I've seen here lately, but maybe there are just too many definitions of "skeptic" floating around?

    I'm sorry that this all seems "off on a tangent" to you. Personally, I can think of nothing more fundamental to this blog's credibility: where is the line between skepticism and irrationality, in the sense of being TOO dismissive of evidence? It can't be clearly defined, of course, but I sensed that a reminder of the distinction was needed.

    Now... over and out....

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  29. For those who are truly skeptical (as opposed to being denialist - as admirably highlighted by the previous contributor) here's a scholarly JBIS paper that addresses the ET scenario for UFOs and also discusses possible reasons for the apparent lack of overt contact with human society.

    http://www.ufoskeptic.org/JBIS.pdf

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  30. Hello Robert, you say the 10:00 pm Phoenix Lights have been definitively proven to be flares. I assume you are referencing this document http://brumac.8k.com/new_materials/phoenixlights/ADDENDUM.html which attempted to triangulate the position of the lights and to conclude that they were dropped in Military Airspace. You can see in the diagram that Dr. Maccabee positioned an Orb above some groundlights which was in reality an earlier light filmed by H&K from my home. The actual lights were much further north as can be seen in the entire video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-9I7-rf5G8 Dr. Maccabee is aware of this issue but has not updated his site to reflect this. Unfortunately no other lights appearing in this video were part of the triangulation published that erroneously places the position of the lights in Military Airspace. You can view my daytime position as well as similar activity the night previous at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A6UyGbpQOA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

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  31. i like this site keep it up and add me as a friend plz!

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  32. I've added all the recent Triangulation work done in the last couple of years in concert with Dr. Bruce Maccabee's report.

    Please take a look at http://www.oracleofthephoenix.com/triangulation.html

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  33. Could someone I don't know, uh, go down to the location nd investigate? Or would that be science fiction?

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  34. No amount of evidence will convince a believer. The only requirement for faith is NOT having evidence. UFO believers: grow up and face the music. And this is coming from a man who watched a UFO for 10 minutes at about 100 feet away in 1989. They aren't alien spacecraft or whatever fantastical notions people have.

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  35. I'm really hoping, and assume that someone here can clear this up for me.
    Can someone provide the model number (if it's not classified, of course) for the combat aerial flare, dispensable by an A-10, that can stay airborne and illuminated for 106 minutes?
    Thanks in advance!

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