Tuesday, October 15, 2013

NASA's UFO-Related Correspondence - Mostly from Schoolchildren!

When the British government released the last of its UFO files in June, 2013 (all except for “copies of MoD papers, records or other information relating to internal discussion, policy and/or briefings in response to public statements made to the media and via the release of Open Skies, Closed Minds by Nick Pope during the period 1995-96,” that Pope insists must remain hidden), much was said about the apparently frivolous nature of much of the correspondence  from the public. For example, "A letter from a school child in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, to the MoD, dated January 2009, asking if aliens exist after she had seen some strange lights, and including a drawing of an alien in a UFO waving." At that  time I wrote,
When my name was included on a list prepared by NASA of people who might have information on UFOs (since they did not), I used to receive dozens of letters like this from school children requesting information. I would usually reply with just a page or two of skeptical materials, but I suppose that was not what they wanted to receive.
Now it's time to look at the correspondence I received when I was listed by NASA (along with several other groups) as a source of information about UFOs.  Each and every such letter I received was from someone who had written NASA, asking for information about UFOs. NASA replied that they did not have any such information, but here is a list of organizations that do. The time frame is mostly about 1978-1983. Unfortunately the box where these letters were stored was damaged in a flood, resulting in much discoloration, but most of them are still readable.
Many letters were received from Latin America, most written in Spanish or Portuguese. Brazil was among the most avidly interested countries. Other letters were received from Poland, Austria, the UK, and even India. The foreign letters seemed to be from somewhat older correspondents, apparently college students. Some of the letters were from adults, but in a business-related context, not a personal one. This one, for example is from a Public Relations firm in Japan anxious to make money by promoting UFO sensationalism:

I have uploaded a much longer collection of the NASA UFO letters to the Historical section of my website Debunker.com.  

Why does this matter? We often hear UFO proponents advocating to have the government get back into UFO investigations and studies in one capacity or another. Supposedly this will lead to progress being made in finding out what UFOs 'really are.' Perhaps, but what we can be certain of is that a large part of the UFO Department's correspondence will look like this. And there will be a clamor for it to be released in full. Then accusations of a "coverup" when it is seen that the files contain little but trivial and foolish correspondence. If you were a government official, plugging away at your desk on some mundane administrative task, would you like to see your department plunged into the middle of this can of worms?


  1. Didn't Condon receive similar letters? I remember reading a story where Condon had received a letter from some young person asking for help with his school research project on UFOs. Condon joked about sending that person their entire set of case files.
    The whole idea that the US government will ever get involved in UFOs again is a joke. Until somebody sees a critical need for it (despite NARCAP's claims, there is no evidence that they are a threat to aircraft), Congress or the president is not going to spend one penny of taxpayer's money to chase UFOs. If they did that, that would open the door for bigfoot, ESP, ghost, etc studies. Can you imagine how the newspapers and public would react to that?

  2. Ahhh...it was Roy Craig who described this story in his book (p. 205):

    I recall his comment after reading one of the many letters received by the project from school children. This letter read, "I am writing a paper on UFOs. Please send your project." Condon, who thoroughly enjoyed anecdotes and good laughs, said to me, "You don't know how tempted I was just to box up all our files and send the whole damned thing to him!"

    1. Tim,

      An excellent point! I'd forgotten about that. So, perhaps the administration that initiates the study of UFOs will lock-in the grade school vote! OK, so they can't vote, but ten years later they'll be a loyal constituency.

      Yes, it was Ken Rommel who headed up the FBI investigation of alleged cattle mutilations. PJK arranged for him to be on a panel with us at a CSICOP conference, I think it was 1983. I recall him reversing the commonplace saying, "if predators are doing this, they're doing it with lasers." His conclusion was: "If aliens are doing this, they're doing it with their teeth."

  3. Not the children! This article reinforces how "innocent" children are & eager to gain knowledge from "experienced/smarter" adults.

    In 1994, in Zimbabwe, South Africa, 62 children were witness to a UFO landing & Alien sighting at the Ariel School.
    When interviewed. the 8-12yr olds all described the same event & drew pictures of a Dome/disc craft with portholes, & a being in a black suit with large black eyes like "rugby balls".
    Most of these children came from small villages with no access to TV or media influences reguarding aliens.
    Children without pre-conceived notions, recalling the same event, & all drawing (to the best of their ability) a disc craft with portholes. Some , who were very close received mental images of global disasters & were quite frightened & traumatized. (sound similar to other abductees?)
    A recent film-maker has found a lot of these students who are now young adults , that still stand-by their childhood encounter.

    In Westall, a suburb of Melbourne , Australia, in 1966 , an estimated 200 witnesses, mainly students with a few teachers, watched a saucer land in the bush behind the playing field of their school.
    Some kids got very close & told of a flattened ring of grass where it had landed.
    Later that day, an assembly was called, & the principal, flanked by men in uniforms told the children to "forget it ever happened". Trouble was,neighbours had already called the media & 9TV chanell camera was there after school.
    The story also made the local newspapers.
    A teenager witnesses army trucks & soldiers with geiger counters/metal detectors inspecting the ring, & then proceeded to mow the whole area & set fire to the grass.
    In 2011, a national program brought all the surviving witnesses back to the school to replay the events, they just wanted answers, & confirmation as adults that they all saw the same event. All drew the same saucer, & a living teacher, now very old, confirmed their statements & the "cover-up" enforced by the military >say nothing,nothing happened.
    Search in the TV archives could not find the film cannister.

    Children are innocent of corruption(unless taught parrot style), usually unaware of "taboo" adult themed topics, not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, & in both cases, showed immature fearlessness in running to get a closer look at the craft, as kids ,by nature, are very curious as shown in the above letters of this article.
    Children do make good witnesses because they havent been corrupted by social programming & conformity, which evolves in teenage years.

    SUMMARY 1994:> 62 witnesses to landing & entity visual sighting(Africa)
    1966:> 180 child + 3 teachers witness to landing, ground evidence, & govt/military cover-up (Australia)

    1. "Children do make good witnesses because they havent been corrupted by social programming & conformity,"

      So every report of a "monster in the closet" should be taken seriously, eh, deano?

    2. Deano's points raise some good questions:

      Do we attach more significance to eyewitness statements because they're made by children (or some sort of expert, reliable witness)?

      Can witnesses be wrong? Can they fabricate? Can they have some fun at our expense since they're not legally bound to honesty?

      Are we hearing this from them directly, or through yet another source? Can this source have an agenda of its own?

      When a large group tells the exact same story, do our inner "alarms" go off? Especially after several decades? (Take a look at some eyewitness reports of traffic accidents to see how much statements vary)

      Be wary of being told children are isolated from outside influences while describing rugby balls.

      Lastly, do we, at times, suffer from confirmation bias in regard to our beliefs?

  4. Ref Tim Printy's reply, I believe the FBI once did an official investigation on cattle mutilations, c. 1980. They did produce a report which I assume was a negative one as nothing much has happened since.

    I certainly can't see the USAF ever doing another UFO study, though it is just possible NASA might, but only if a huge wave of sightings/landings struck the USA or were seen from the space station. Certainly in my country (UK) any further official investigation has virtually zero probability.

  5. Mr. Robert Sheaffer
    Bad UFOs: Skepticism, UFOs and the Universe
    The Internet, USA

    Dear Sir,

    I'm 38 years old and I had an UFO encounter. I heard you are the "go to guy" regarding UFO business.

    Here's my story.

    I was driving alone one night on a deserted country road. I was coming home from the local Harvest Moon festival.

    Knowing I had one too many moonshine cocktails, I drove home on the less travelled road. I had the oldies radio station on and the song "Bad Moon Rising" was playing. (I want to include all relevant information.)

    While driving, I saw just beyond the trees, a bright and stationary object hovering just above the horizon. The UFO was circular in shape and about the same size as the moon. The color was about the same color as the moon, as well.

    Soon I was driving parallel to UFO and it was keeping pace with me.
    I tried to speed away but my old Plymouth Satellite could not out run it.

    I closed the car's moon roof to be safe.

    When I slowed down so did the UFO. When I sped up, it sped up too.
    When I stopped, it stopped.

    The UFO was clearly under intelligent control!

    When I got home I told my Mother about it the next day. She said my "UFO" was the moon! Yeah right. She's obviously an Agent of Disinformation.
    I LOOKED for the moon that night AND I COULD NOT FIND IT!

    Bottom line is I don't care who or what was flying that thing.
    All I want know how I can make money from my UFO experience.
    Any information you can provide would be appreciated.

    Luna Seymour

    1. TS4072,

      What model android are you and where were you manufactured? Because they did a shithouse job

      Your story was lame. All it covered was misconstrued prejudices previously formed by cynical aggressors. It should have included the more important aspect of the phenomenon, which is; how MOST of what is reported is easily explainable, however, there is a small part of what is reported which cannot be legitimately explained in the known terms of our terrestrial religion.

      In addition, no one with a brain takes notice of pseudo-people like Luna Seymour. In fact, it is the nature of reputation which draws credibility to the reports often made by extremely reputable, informed and qualified individuals that lends believability to the reports.

      Why don't you tell another story based on that, more realistic plot? Or will your programming not allow you?

    2. "there is a small part of what is reported which cannot be legitimately explained"

      The Null hypothesis shows why that is not true. It's a frivolous unnecessary claim.

      Appealing to the residue is one of the hallmarks of pseudoscience. It's merely a statistical residue: a small percentage of reports remain unexplained for many reasons, but that set of "unexplained" can never be an objective thing. There is no reason to conclude that the small percentage of unexplained cases which compose the residue are any different from the mass of explained. And then appealing to the credibilty of witnesses to purported extraordinary events, when "UFO" reports are confabulatory narratives made by fallible humans within a social delusion is simply repeating the same error. Being unexplained does not create an extraordinary thing of any kind.

      Your defense of belief in the "UFO" delusion is irrational thinking habitualized, a mindless mantric repetition of "UFO" Believer talking points. And in what can only be newspeaking Believer inverted logic, you characterize another's real-world pragmatic and rightly humorous approach to a known social delusion as robotic.

      Think about the complex of known logical fallacies you are employing at once to arrive at your irrational belief about the world:
      Residue Fallacy; Reification; Appealing to Ignorance; Assuming the Answer; and "UFO" Myth Believer Credulity which accepts fantastic flying-saucer fairy tales as being literally true, when our overwhelming scientific reality proves it's all false, not true, unreal. There are no real "UFOs" of any kind in the world and never were.

    3. Luna,

      It's easy for me to identify the UFO that you saw after drinking your moonshine cocktails. It's obvious that some local teenager was trying to Moon you by dropping his pants, while a friend shone a flashlight on his butt.

      Deano, you said "Children are innocent of corruption." So I guess that those fairy photos that the young girls took in Cottingley must be authentic?

      As for the case of the 62 child witnesses, I did address this briefly before: http://badufos.blogspot.com/2012/02/skeptic-at-2012-international-ufo_27.html?

      Mark, I'm quite sure that TS4072 wasn't entirely serious when he wrote that. So therefore he cannot be an android, because androids are constructed without humor modules. It's an unnecessary expense that adds nothing to their functionality.

    4. Zoamchomsky,

      Firstly, Project Blue Book stats are 5% 'unknown' - a 5% deviation of result in science is NOT residual. In science, if you would like to play that card, a margin of 5% is in fact, relatively significant and sufficient motive to cast doubt. The term residual, coined in fierce partisanship, holds an incorrect notion and cannot be used to describe the remaining 5% data

      Secondly, statistical residue and the scientific method have nothing to do with the spectrum of reported incidents of UFO's. This hypothesis is dominated by a world of conjecture not science, unfortunately. In science, residual occurrence refers to a natural, potentially chaotic, aberration from a repeatable system. It cannot to be used to wager a difference between 'real' and 'unreal' within a spectrum of reported incidents, subjective to the observer.

      So while we agree that appealing to the residue is a hallmark of pseudo-science, unfortunately your premise is unrelatable, and the term residual is incorrectly used.

      I do not accept that the Null Hypothesis applies, either. I suggest you take to the heart of your concepts and the assumptions which uphold them before pressuming to use it. It is inapplicable because; your default position is one of belief that - no affectual evidence exists to prove the existence of UFO'S. And so you have fundamentally supported the application of the Null hypothesis on the assumption that no evidence exists. Unfortunately for you, I beg to differ. Whether the evidence is, in your view, not affectual is irrelevant. There is evidence and whether you choose to subscribe to it or not is also irrelevant because you cannot prove to me or anyone else that it holds no value. In the same way that I struggle to prove its worth to you.

    5. Also

      This may come as a surprise to you, but I do agree entirely with your observation of my 'talking points' in appearing as believer inverted logic. I also tend to agree with the generalizations you made around common behaviours and motivations among UFO believer's. It is important, and fundamental to my position, that I clarify why I completely agree with that characterisation. I believe the difference between myself and the broader opposition of both cynics and enthusiasts is simple. I actually don't BELIEVE either way. I do concede my partisanship towards the likelihood of the phenomenon, but essentially, Im evangelical and do see a reality on either side of the fence. In an educated and skeptical way, im inclined to feel as though there is most likely nothing to the conspiracy, given the nature of the evidence, or there lack of in most cases. But IF the conspiracy is true, we then could expect to have only the circumstantial evidence currently available. And in my view, there is strong circumstantial evidence that a conspiracy exists.

      So In true self reflection, one can see that blatant partisanship either way is simply a matter of what one chooses to BELIEVE. You choose to place weight on the 'science' debunking the best cases. I choose to consider all avenues of available coherent info. Some people like to use 'science' as a vehicle for unqualified intellectual righteousness, and others, often wrongly, choose to completely ignore the available science. So there is an element of choice here, one dependant upon inclination. The essence of this position is to understand that the nature of the UFO phenomenon does not lend itself to the criteria within which science can correctly operate. One cannot repeat results, one cannot even accurately define a subject, let alone test a hypothesis. In turn, the 'science' is left in a state far removed from the scope of it's indended design and operability, thus is therefore, rendered at best speculative and at wost, redundant in its application (despite your religious conviction to the contrary).

      The tendency to unconsciously use science as a vehicle, not for a quest to find objective truths, rather as a means to reaffirm previously held suspicions, prejudices and beliefs, is intrinsic to the human condition and has repeatedly played a central role in the history of science. Max Plank so passionately agreed with this position - "Science progresses funeral by funeral"

      Conjunctively, the tenant of my point is a frustration aimed at those who categorically refuse the notion that the phenomenon could have a more universal, exotic explanation. Just admit to yourselves that you don't know and it is ok. The science of our universe tells us it is overwhelmingly probable that many, many separate forms of life could have evolved just within our cosmic neighborhood. It really is not that farfetched a scenario. Though, what is farfetched in my view, is the need to justify endlessly exerting yourself trying to attach speculative explanations of unclear 'scientific' value to EVERY report of the phenomenon perceived to be real. Agreed, most reports are pathetic and embarrassing errors of judgment, we are human! But maybe the 5% are not? In any case, scientifically speaking, we do not have the necessary information to reasonably concluded in either favour. Well at least the public don't, according to the conspirators.

      Finally, Zoamchomsky, to say that you know or believe that there has never been real UFO'S in our skies, is in my opinion, the hallmark of religiosity, not science. You and your mate Sheaffer are no different from the believer's, only it's your choice and direction of logic which separates you from Ufologists. In truth, believer's are just that, believer's. It doesn't matter where you find your faith or where you choose to put it. It is by definition, religious behaviour. Get used to it.

    6. (Beep..beep) ... Does Not Compute! Does Not Compute! Error Code: TS4072: Error Message: "Evidence is either missing or corrupted."

    7. All more of the same old dependence on logical fallacies and phony appeals, Mark;

      Unfortunately for Believers in the "UFO" myth and delusion, all beliefs are not equal. Absence of evidence is very good evidence, even a negative proof, of the failure of an hypothesis; the "UFO" hypothesis ("Real 'UFOs' exist.) having been considered and dismissed repeatedly since 1947. Mark, I've encountered this equivocal "belief" straw-man several times in the last twenty years, it's a totally transparent attempt to pretend that all knowledge is relative, ambiguous because language is ambiguous.
      It's merely a phony rationale to keep the long dead science-fiction "UFO" hypothesis in play.

      I addressed the same here recently with Ross; equivocation; straw-man, false comparison:

      Anyone who believes that 'perhaps' there's a real something to any of this "UFO" baloney is suffering under a mass media-manufactured delusion. They don't have to be zealots to be Believers in the "UFO" myth and collective delusion. If a person is even remotely undecided on the subject of ET visitors or real "UFOs" of any kind, they're victims of the delusion.

      And it depends on how and what one is certain about that determines whether his certainty (belief) is justified. Can you really pretend that certainty about the non-existence of "unicorns from outer space" and the certain belief that these same "UFOs" are haunting nearspace are equivalent? Rational certainty in the Null and PSH is in no way equivalent to irrationally certain belief in the ETH. We've heard this bit of relativist nonsense repeatedly from you self-styled "model agnostic" goons.

      All Believers in the "UFO" myth must be 'zealots' by Ross's definition; Belief in Scientific realism, the scientific method of facts in the World and the blade of reason is a wonderfully zealous way of living; so zealous Believers in the "UFO" myth and zealously negative skeptics are equal, and some "UFO" reports could actually be something extraordinary, "perhaps" even ET spacecraft!

      Do you really think that any reasonable person buys that silly straw-man and false comparison? Either one understands why there never were "UFOs" of any kind or he doesn't, having been exposed to the virulent meme, he's a victim, a Believer in a delusion, a totally false belief.

      And previously, Steve, the alien implant guy, used this trick with the word "theory."

      On the John Baez Crackpot Index this phony appeal is number 16:

      10 points for arguing that a current well-established theory is "only a theory", as if this were somehow a point against it.

      That generations of scientists can make successful predictions about an entire Universe of unobservables is the ultimate validation of modern Scientific realism.

      Mark, you can believe anything you like. The objects of my beliefs exist without me, they're facts.

    8. "our terrestrial religion"

      At what point does our one scientific reality break down for you, or are you stuck in some sort of personal "unreality tunnel" so that you can't appreciate the world as it is? We've heard all this raw misanthropic nonsense for decades. It's fundamentally unsound, irrational, confused contrarian sophistry substituting for hard reality and displacing real knowledge; it's a virtual refuge for unaccomplished misfits who resent the achievements of science.

      Mark; It's time to ask yourself: From what one real world do you imagine any other? When you see the world as it is, what reason do you have for suspecting that there is some part that is inaccessible to you? From where do such bad thinking habits originate? From the very same frivolous popular culture that supplied the "UFO" delusion of course!

      Our scientific reality and the continuously evolving totality of facts about the world it generates explains much more about the Universe than a pseudoscientific delusion based on a fossilized paranoid science-fiction fantasy cosmic conspiramythology can even imagine.

      Scientific realism, like it or not, is the only game in town; and all your fundamentally misconceived new-age contrarian folderol, juvenile-minded pop trash, gets you nothing, it never will.

      Wake Up!

    9. It seems you are able to find meaning in my words that even I didn't implement, but don't worry, you're not uniquely talented, it's merely a compulsion to dramatically misconstrue and misinterpret the intended meaning for one's own benefit. I never did convey that I felt all beliefs are equal or mutually discredited by an intrinsic zealotry, nor did I use negative evidence to affirm a position against positive evidence, or any other of the quick draw phrases you mistakenly applied. In fact, I never once commented on any evidence in anyway, aside from pointing out the validity of a Government statistic. Surely that doesn't motivate the use of those fierce and poorly aimed generalizations? I was purely, from a psychological perspective, illuminating a common human tendency to involuntarily misconstrue information to favour or reaffirm previously held suspicions, prejudices and beliefs. It's quite a complex phenomenon and despite what you think you understand, it's a common trait within particular individuals who are keen to protect their intellectual currency, on BOTH sides of the fence.
      You perpetuate your own delusion by drawing circumstantial comparisons between the strength and relative certainty with which most of science is held, with the apparent 'scientific approach' of some skeptics in their analysis of the UFO phenomenon. A very un insightful and naive comparison, indeed.

    10. You continue to regurgitate your decades old rhetoric in labeling me as a deluded juvenile alternative who has consumed more than my fair share of the mass-media (profound insight there, Zoamchomsky!) When in reality, I've demonstrated no dependence or strict partisanship to any compilation of beliefs or displayed any prepossession towards themes of influence, which you proclaim as the chief driver of the mass-media delusion. My only supposition is one of advocacy for open-mindedness, and at the very least, the strength of mind to admit to one's self that concluded certainty is never a safe proposition, let alone upholding it in the face of a whirlwind of conjecture and circumstantial evidence that is the UFO phenomenon. Yet you continue to mis-represent my position with generalizations clearly designed for a practiced prejudice. Ironically but not surprisingly, you have indeed committed and continue to commit the straw-man approach as the knife point of your own arguments. Your central devotion is to ignore the simple concepts I present (I.e. objectivity and open mindedness) and return fire with pre-prepared and over simplified characterisations painting a devoted believer, which frankly, serves to convey a limited capacity for outward interpretation and operates only to draw attention to your wider set of intellectual deficiencies.

      I really wonder, if not faith, what it is which motivates your zealotry in partisanship? Is it the evidence, Zoamchomsky? Astonishing, how convincing this hard fixed evidence must be to envelope one's conviction so wholly, so certainly. It must be profound evidence. Can I see it?

      Why is it that you can't even admit in realistic terms (not DELIBERATELY ludicrous and impossible comparisons of flying unicorns) that there is a reasonable probability attached to the reality of the phenomenon?

      Prove to us all right now that you are not an ignorant, self serving priest and repeat this neutral statement - 'there's a remote but somewhat conceivable probability that the last 30 years of my life have been devoted to a 'common sense' position which could be simply, wrong'

      Im not suggesting you are wrong, rather, like me Im simply providing you with a platform to exercise the objectivity with which intelligent people often behave. The most amusing and telling part is that I know you will have a deep-seeded angst in opening your religious entrentchment to the broader spectrum of relative likelihoods. And all this does is stand as proof that your partisanship is born of a faithful belief that you are privy to all the available evidence and under no circumstances can there be truth to the UFO phenomenon.

      Just give it up. Stop pretending you have all the answers, because in reality, that is the truly juvenile response.

    11. More stuck in the mud and desperately spinning wheels back and forth by Mark and going nowhere--much less making a case for a "UFO" reality of any kind.

      We know your fundamentally misconceived "model agnostic" routine, you give yourself away with every use of "priest" and "belief," every phony appeal for me to reconsider the repeatedly falsified and least plausible hypothesis for "UFO" reports, and every reference to really crummy anecdotal evidence that is never what it's purported to be. There is no "UFO" phenomenon, it's all an ignorant, immature and wishful delusion.

      Believe it or not, like it or not, in the real world, solid determinations based on evidence and reason are made every day; that has been done repeatedly with individual cases and so ultimately the whole of the "UFO" myth and delusion. The Null and Psychosocial hypotheses are reaffirmed every time the "UFO" hypothesis fails. (That's every day!) A lifetime of real-world experience and training--that extends experience to history and fortifies analytical tools--have reinforced this determination, the certainty of the truth of the Null and PSH.

      Mark; If there were ever any real "UFOs" of any kind, all the world would know it. So far, mythical "Unicorns From Outer Space" are merely the subject of a pop delusion. That negative determination, a logical certainty is completely justified.

      Prove Otherwise!

    12. Im very happy with your response.

      Any half reasonable mind reading this thread will be afforded an insight into the true workings of a man who believes in 'common sense' perceptions and is willing to ignore anything and everyone, in order to protect them

      My favorite part; which perfectly sums up his attitude to what is an historical and highly complex issue:

      "If there were ever any real UFOs of any kind, the whole world would know it"

      Haha guess what? The whole world does know, that's why we're on a blog discussing it. You should mend your statement to - 'If they were real the whole world would have real aliens and their crafts to examine, so as to satisfy as irrefutable scientific evidence'... Its amusing how little you understand even your own logic, let alone that of others.

      You relentlessly peddle the notion that UFO's cannot exist due to the Null and PSH within my interpretation of the phenomenon, knowing full well the plot and intent of my argument had little or nothing to do with the phenomenon itself. I was essentially inspiring a platform on which to self reflect and get to the heart of why we choose to believe what we believe. Pretty strange behaviour to continuously pretend im a 'believer' and repeat your irrelevant rhetoric, don't you think?

      Once again, you can prove to us all right now that you are not an ignorant, self serving priest by repeating this neutral statement. Your refusal to do so is an admission that you are religiously protecting a belief system

      So! Repeat after me - 'there's a remote but somewhat conceivable probability that the last 30 years of my life have been devoted to a 'common sense' position which could be simply, wrong

      If you actually believe any of the pseudo-righteous rhetoric you spew over this blog, you should be able to answer that... : )

    13. Mark; If there were ever any real "UFOs" of any kind, all the world would know it. So far, mythical "Unicorns From Outer Space" are merely the subject of a pop delusion. That negative determination, a real world and logical certainty is completely justified.

      Prove Otherwise!

      Mark fails to accept the challenge. Instead we predictably get more of the lame.

      If there were ever any real "UFOs" of any kind, all the world would know it--I wrote.

      "The whole world does know"

      You're ignoring the obvious facts of the world, again. If the whole world knows, then why are "UFO" Believers like Leslie Kean desperately searching for the smoking gun and coming up short each and every time, as with her utterly ridiculous Chilean flies on videotape?

      What our Scientific-realist world knows is that there are no real "UFOs" of any kind and that the "UFO" myth is a social delusion, the subject of a long-dead fossilized pseudoscience. The only people who "know" otherwise are Believers in imaginary "UFOs" for which there is no veracious evidence. There is no reason to reconsider the utterly implausible "UFO" hypothesis because it has been repeatedly shown to be the very least likely explanation for why people make "UFO" reports.

      "there's a remote but somewhat conceivable probability that [real 'UFOs' exist]"

      So no, desperately (and ridiculously) appealing to ignorance doesn't revitalize a long-dismissed and dead hypothesis. And after all your phony tired appeals, fundamentally misconceived "agnostic to extraordinary claims" diversion and "beliefs" equivocation and circumlocution, we are back to the world as it is.

      If you actually had a case to make, you wouldn't depend on such worthless devices. The real-world Null and Psychosocial hypotheses are reaffirmed every time the "UFO" hypothesis fails. The absurd "UFO" myth is the very worst "friend" you have, Mark! As if by some exercise in paradigm-bursting "belief reevaluation," imaginary "UFOs" might suddenly become a physical reality. What a Hoot! From what one real world?

      Ignore the obvious real-world facts and appeal to ignorance: the woo's basic MO, as Mark demonstrates once again.

    14. Zoamchomsky,

      Would you like a real life fact? There is a real life and scientifically conceivable possibility that intelligence exists outside our world, and potentially also in tandem with our world. Now, refrain from reforming that statement and putting words in my mouth as you have a habit of doing. I do not believe Aliens exist, nor do I agree that there is any evidence to substantiate a conspiracy or sustain the attention of a reasonable mind. Im merely addressing the issue, which is, you seem unable to accept the totally unrelated proposition that you may be wrong in your 'scientific certainty' AND there may, in fact, be an extra-terrestrial truth to the phenomenon

      Let me explain, as you are clearly not equip to extract the essential message in my words

      Since the inception of science, the eminent dignitaries of reason and knowledge have held a common understanding that most of what is indefinite, or in any way questionable in scientific established understanding, is to be treated as a temporary tenant of our collective understanding - A hypothesis, a theory, in a permanent state of mutation and criticism. Not a fact, but a work in progress.
      Curiously, the logic you choose to operate doesn't bare the fundamental characteristics of scientific guidelines - it seems you are unable to speak equivocally about the nature of a potential mystery. In your view, the science and reasoning debunking the reports is definite and unquestionable and any reports of UFO's (metalic craft) is to be ridiculed and labelled. Why so dogmatic? Sure, the participants who drive the conspiracy make it very easy to ridicule, but that's not the issue here. You like many others choose to invariably ridicule reports, irrespective of their merits or the consistency of the persons making the report.

      The default position of science and reason is supposed to be one of robotic skepticism to any and all criteria, and never one of belief, or as you so strategically put it, 'certainty', hence the term; theory. A wary blend of Skepticism and objectivity to likelihood are the essential properties of science and reason, not the barbarian protectionism you employ. It is precisely this doctrine of unilateral skepticism which defines science and separates it from religion. It seems apparent to me that you are reminiscing the errors of our history in forgetting the importance of absolute skepticism and in reuniting yourself with the toxic and vulnerable disposition of belief, or as you put it, certainty.

      Im a scientific skeptic who is open to all reasonable likelihood. I appreciate the facts of the real world and my disposition is one which agrees that the phenomenon is merely a human delusion

      You have demonstrated and willingly continue to demonstrate that you believe there is no reasonable possibility that your hypothesis could be incorrect. I tend to agree you're most likely right, though. But that's irrelevant.

      Answer the question. Are you open to the likelihood dictated by scientific knowledge that you could have wasted the last 30 years of your life simply pertaining to a belief structure which you believed to be correct?

      (Let me predict your response. More of the 'real world' rhetorical cynicism and regurgitated characterisations labeling me as a deluded believer who appeals to ignorance? Take a good read Zoamchomsky, you're only kidding yourself)

    15. Mark returns, still making his purely rhetorical (worthless) case for the reality of "UFOs."

      "the likelihood [of real "UFOs"] dictated by scientific knowledge"

      What "scientific knowledge" is that, Mark? What evidence supports that claim?

      Are you still appealing to ignorance, the negative? Yes.

      Are you still attempting to manufacture doubt where none reasonably exists? Yes.

      Are you still pushing your tortured misconception of the philosophy of science to exploit the ambiguity of language (possible v barely plausible v likely) in order to pretend that virtual ambiguity is equivalent to actual ambiguity in our Scientific-realist worldview and certain knowledge of the facts of the world? Yes! Equivocation fallacy again.

      Mark, it's possible that invisible "Unicorns From Outer space" are all around us, it's just not very plausible. In fact, it's so very implausible that it's not even worth considering. It is the very "least likely," dismissed, dead and buried explanation for why people make reports of "Unicorns From Outer Space."

      If one wants to show otherwise, let him produce evidence of some "UFO" reality and present a positive case--not make worthless straw-men and ad hominems that do nothing but expose the contrarian's discontent with the scientific method and the world as it is.

    16. Good grief.

      Mark's post can be summarized as:

      'There may be other intelligent life in the universe. He doesn't believe it, nor does he believe in the UFO conspiracies, but he says it's possible.

      Scientifically, if there's reasonable room for doubt, we should reserve judgment until we have enough facts to warrant a conclusion.

      He thinks Zoam isn't open-minded about UFO reports. He goes on to say that not considering UFO reports as plausible is as bad as uncritical belief.'

      Mark, state your points clearly. You bury them in cumbersome language that quickly becomes tedious. Words are a double-edged sword. They can sound impressive, but they can also sound foolish if not used properly. Be wary of words that look or sound similar.

      Scientifically, it's possible that life exists elsewhere. We can't say for certain either way, but our science does teach us that interstellar travel, while not impossible, is so improbable that Zoam's unicorns are just about as likely.

      If we're to view the idea of extra-terrestrials scientifically, knowing the distances involved and the travel times between star systems, then we have to acknowledge that alien visitation is not worth considering.

  6. To Zoamchomsky. "Monster in the closet" comes from very young children scared of being alone, in the dark, in their bedroom at night.
    These were daylight sightings, while 8-12 yr olds were playing outside in the school yards. They witnessed on mass (over 50 in each case), & even teachers witnessed in the Westall incident.
    Since presidents lie (Nixon>Watergate, Bush>WMD Iraq) does this mean all presidents LIE & we shouldnt believe a word they say??

    I am waiting for the release of a movie called "Mirage Men". It basically tries to say that UFO sightings are disinformation by psyops to cover secret planes & technology. This appears as the last gasp of air , since USAAF has for years told of balloons,planets,flares, swamp gas etc to explain away, & now it is a deliberate disinfo plan.
    What really is intriguing to me is the makers of this film are from Team Satan/Circlemakers. The UK pranksters that make cropcircles, MI5 backed,to draw attention away from the UFO connection to the real cropcircles.
    I find this IRONIC, as why would they continue to "make" circles with alien faces, DNA ,solar systems, Arecibo message & themes of alien presence to bring back into the focus?
    Has anyone looked at space related "Psyop Patches" yet?
    Again, if they want to dismiss UFOs , why are they wearing patches which show alien faces, dragons ,snakes, pyramids & themes associated with the occult & illuminati??

    1. "'Monster in the closet' comes from very young children scared of being alone, in the dark, in their bedroom at night."

      Oh, I get it, deano: Only very young children, scared, alone at night in their bedrooms can make up "monster" stories. I don't think so. My point was that children especially but people of all ages make up all kinds of stories, and your assertion that "children make good witnesses because they havent been corrupted by social programming & conformity" is nonsense. Even before I could read in the 1950s, glossy electron-colored science-fiction magazines littered the living-room floor at grandma's house, many depicting flying saucers and a variety ET life, so don't try to tell me that kids anywhere in the world are innocent and untainted by the themes and motifs of the mass-media manufactured "UFO" myth and collective delusion. That's just Silly!

      "These were daylight sightings, while 8-12 yr olds were playing outside in the school yards. They witnessed on mass (over 50 in each case), & even teachers witnessed in the Westall incident."

      deano, every "UFO" report that I've ever studied was never what it was claimed to be. There are always glaringly obvious problems, called facts, that seemingly never occur to those predisposed to the delusion. I'd bet a lot that this case is no different. But I'll look at it just for you and report since you think there might be something to it.

      Here at Leon's LoonBusters we do try to keep the conspiracy-minded woos happy.

    2. The Westall 1966 UFO sighting was covered in one episode of the Skeptoid podcast, and the historical evidence dug up during the episode cast serious doubt on the claim that a large number of people witnessed it. Only one staff member, the science teacher,and several children were listed in the original reports. All claims that fifty or a hundred students and teachers reported a sighting appear in much later pro-UFO books.

    3. Thanks B R-V!

      The numbers have been grossly inflated; they saw a weather balloon, later a training target pulled by a plane; the "landing spot" part sounds like a fantasy added later, as does the appearance of the military.

      Typical misidentification, followed by confabulation, enhanced by media sensationalism and ufoolergists prompting, prevarication. A typical "UFO" fairy tale.

  7. It's amazing that anyone can say "children make excellent witnesses" and keep a straight face. Did these people somehow skip their childhood years? Have they forgotten the superstition, the fantastical leaning, the parroting of other views and all-around immaturity that one has as a child?

    I have a feeling many lawyers wouldn't touch a legal case where the key piece of evidence is the testimony of an eight-year old; UFOlogists would consider it one of their best.

  8. To B-R-V, Is this the same "Skeptoid podcast" that is of Brian Dunning fame, recently pleading guilty to wire fraud > cookies on e-bay???
    you read one skeptic article on a subject, & bingo, its been debunked, its a fraud , hoax, case closed. Read the article, & it is full of, "probably,most likely,appears as, etc" & usuall skeptic jargon, & low & behold, a WEATHER balloon!
    Considered by many as Australia's "Roswell", a 50min documentary was made in 2010, re-uniting many of the former eye-witness students.
    Still in agreeance as to what they saw, they still wanted explanation from the military, yet still denied.
    I think everyone has a vivid memory of a playground occurance. Be it, a first puppy-love, breaking a classroom window, first fight or run-in with the dreaded big "bully". I am sure a UFO landing at the back of the playing fields would be a definite "VIVID" memory that you would never forget. Especially men in uniforms at a school assembly shortly afterwards!
    The trouble with skeptics is "eye-witnesses" should not be believed at all!
    Presidents, pilots. police, military are all dillusional????
    In a court of law their statements would hold, just as sure as over 50 8yr old statements would hold, if they all described the same event!!

    To Zoam, Kids in a South African village, with no TV, are not surrounded on the lounge room floor by glossy magazines. I have grown up in Aus, & I too have never seen UFOs on the cover of magazines. Nor cropcircles.
    Apart from Hollywood films, my whole interest, has come from books & documentaries, until purchasing a computer a few yrs ago.
    Another good Aus UFO documentary, is "Oz Encounters". Australia wide & even shows photo evidence of "scars" made on abductee victims(fresh).
    We are not selling books or out to make money, in fact we risk ridicule & slander, just letting you know that this is a global phenomenon.
    Bush has admitted to lying about WMD, how can you be certain that anything else is not a lie?

    1. Deano: about the Harare 1994 case, please read the articles by Cynthia Hind in UFOAFRINews. http://www.ufoafrinews.com/resources.html None of the children who actually saw anything (a small group) other than (possibly reflected) lights reported anything stranger than some sort of vehicle(s) on (or close to) the ground and dark human-looking shapes, far away. The standard description of grey aliens was confabulated later.

    2. Black children were scared because local legends tells the Tokoloshe eats children. White children associated the ambiguous stimulus with UFOs and aliens. Yes they had TV in Harare in 1994, those kids' families were certainly not poor. When teachers asked the children to draw what they saw many of them drew a landed flying saucer, whether they saw it or not. Cynthia Hind selected the best (i.e. most saucer-like) drawings...

  9. Apparently Nab, there was a witness(adult) who like the kids saw 3 metallic balls flying, then the kids saw one land.
    The FIRST thing they were told was to individually draw a picture. Cynthia did pick the clearest ones & photocopied all 22 of them!!!!
    The TV station interviewed the eldest kids, around 12 yrs old because they can communicate better.One swore on parents death & Bible, & was relieved when they believed her.

    My whole point of bringing attention to these mass sightings is to question how children are instantly doubted as liars "trivial & foolish", & "frivalous".
    The kids werent in trouble so had no reason to lie, & as adults in the Westall case are in fact adamant about what they saw yrs ago & angry the cover-up still exists> they saw military vehicles, & personnel slash & burn the area!!!!

    OH! What if those monsters in the closet really have scared little ones.
    Wouldnt an alien creature with big black eyes be described as a monster???

    P.S. Still waiting for someone's take on those "Psyops Patches", which have scary monsters on them too !

  10. just REALLY curious-what explanation do debunkers have for the "battle of L.A."in 1942,& the "washington flap" in 1952?ufos have been documented for thousands of years.seen one myself.they are NOT going away...deal with it!

    1. Well, it's hard to argue with such a profound and literate post like that one. Perhaps you can explain a "battle" with no casualties other than from car crashes and heart attacks.

      I hope the search for the unknown never goes away. We need that little bit of mystery, no matter how unlikely it is.

    2. Catherine, you will find that the Battle of LA photo does not show a spaceship but a mere convergence of spot lights and shell bursts. Recent archive searches found the negative; the "craft" is an artifact of painting the photo so it would reproduce better on the printed page. The unretouched version is rather beautiful, I think.


  11. They dont catherine, the secret world give these ones the SILENT treatment.
    Another way is to RIDICULE. A perfect example being the senators aide in an alien costume reguarding the Pheonix Lights incident. Or the creepy X Files or Twilight Zone music that accompanies any MSM news report, usually with the reporters/anchor laughing & joking.
    Then there is the IDENTIFIED approach. Flares, Venus , satellite, weather balloon & the verbal flatulance - swamp gas !!
    The sightings that capture my attention though are the deliberate HOAX !!
    By inferring a man-made source,hoax or prank, the public gets a quick explanation, & the event is quickly forgotten.
    Cropcircles immediately come to mind. The UK govt official original explanation was "vortex plasma anomolies", or whirlwinds, but once intricate pictoglyphs occurred , suddenly it became the work of pranksters. MSM flogged the story & the pictoglyphs fell out of the limelight. Team Satan/Circle makers have continued where Doug & Dave left , even with their own dedicated website with "blueprints" to verify the easily lead! Still doesnt explain ( global, intricate lay patterns, cellular bending not broken stems, balls of light, black helicopters, magnetic/electrical effects, ufo sightings, no video footage of very large or very intricate patterns being made. only one person charged with vandalism in over 30yrs, & nobody claiming a response to the Arecibo message sent by Sagan & Drake). No new formations are covered by media & the whole phenomenon is the work of pranksters! That seems to deny a lot of scientific facts. There are videos of small circular patterns being hoxed, but none of 900ft wide intricate ones at night, or ones where the centre of the circle still remains as standing crop . i.e. They cant get to the centre to swing a radius, or "satellite circles" made alone in a field of standing crop.
    The other case of a HOAX was covered on this very site a couple of yrs ago.
    Can anyone remember the Jerusalem ufo over the Dome of the Rock ?
    As correctly pointed out by robert sheaffer, the 3rd video was an obvious fake,planted by a "Huckster". What is a huckster?
    The voice of tourists at 1am in the morning immediately casts doubts(pilgrims are in bed ready for tourism next day, young locals out partying is more likely). But the woman talking of "we get them in Mississipi" is an obvious ploy to cast extra doubt on the whole event. But why ?
    This was the main footage played by MSM , the tactic of "redneck association", was clearly planted to put doubts on the whole event.
    Who would do this so quickly? It worked, the whole event was annouced a hoax shortly afterwards- case closed.
    I kept digging, as robert points out, different camera angles that corelate are pretty good evidence.
    More videos came to light! One from the arab section, one a close-up which is if ahoax, the best ufo footage I have ever seen, & one came later from CCTV footage from a govt weather camera. One sight has put all 6 different angles together & the "double flashes" all align.
    But the damage has already been done, it was proclaimed a Hoax from the start because of that early "Misipi" foootage.
    Did this Huckster know more videos would come to light?
    Why did the MSM focus on this crap footage when the first two were good?

    If one video is a Hoax , they must all be a hoax !!
    If one cropcircle is a Hoax, they must all be a hoax!!
    If 3rd phase of moon shows a hoax, they must all be a hoax!!

    By this sort of thinking, if George Bush lied about WMD in Iraq, then the man is a blatant liar. "Dont pay attention to those conspiracy theories" must be a lie & he is hiding the truth. Hoaxer or Huckster?

    Questions: 1: What is a Huckster? 2: Why the weird "Psyop Patches" ?

    1. Hey Deano,

      Since you bring up "crop circles," I refer you to this news re[port on "farm tourism" that I saw on NBC-TV news last night:

      It turns out that many farmers in the U.S. are getting extra income by turning the farm into a mini amusement park, and inviting the public. Many of these farmers have made their own complex "crop circles" in the form of mazes, and other patterns. The video shows aerial views of several of these. They're far more complex than anything that Dave and Doug (or the aliens) ever made!

    2. I have to say, it's pretty funny that you talk about UFO believers being ridiculed right before launching into a huge, rambling rant with more tangents than triangle convention.

      Stanton Friedman deserves some credit here: if you remove the soundbite requirement and ask him to write a report, or give a one-hour presentation on a single UFO case, he can do that. He might be giving the Friedman Version, I'll probably disagree with it, but the information will be presented in an organized, logical and compelling manner. The average UFO proponent should WISH to be half as good at peddling their intellectual wares as he is, rather than these long chains of alternating statement-and-question pairs. "Rex Heflin's photos prove that Leica lens caps are from outer space. Where were YOU when the saucer hit at Roswell? UFOs have been detected by radar, sonar, Wifi, Infra-red door remotes and baby monitors. How do debunkers explain the large light i saw in the sky where Venus was supposed to be? It's all propaganda - i read it in a book!" The average person is becoming more and more receptive to conspiracies, especially government-backed conspiracies, yet UFOs are still seen as crank material, largely because of how the majority of UFO proponents conduct themselves. There's no need for the men in black to make them look like howling chimps.

      Oh, and to answer your question: the monsters and aliens on psyop patches probably allude to the fact that this idea of vast warehouses stacked with case files proving ETs are buzzing us hourly is the result of the most successful psyop of modern times - all orchestrated by UFO proponents to get you to buy, buy, buy.

  12. Dear Robert, so to answer my factual (video evidence) of the cropcircle phenomenon that remain unanswered , you bring up Corn Maze's.
    How does creating a pattern on fallowed ground, then planting corn around the pathwys relate at all to cropcirles?
    They appear in nearly mature crop, not predetermined by pathways & patterns surveyed on virgin ground. Are you serious?
    I suggest anyone that wants to debunk the crop circle phenomenon had better do a lot more research into it. Farmers in the UK charge a small admission fee to recoup lost harvest, they are not deliberately making patterns at the planting stage in order to make a profit from agri-tourism!!

    I looked up huckster. The modern american description seems to fit the description & that is of an agent of advertising for media/TV/Radio.
    Proof again that the cover-up continues by having a dis-info agent produce a hoax video to suit the agenda.

    Did you even look at the "Psyop Patches" B R-V ?? "Probably allude" means to me that you "probably" havent even looked at them.

    1. > I suggest anyone that wants to debunk the crop circle phenomenon had better do a lot more research into it.

      They have. Check out these books:

      P. D. Rendall. Cereal Killers, The Memoirs of a Crop Circle Researcher: Book One

      Jim Schnabel. Round in Circles


Keep your comments relevant, and keep them civil! That means no personal attacks will be allowed, by anyone, on anyone. Commenters are welcome to disagree with me, or with other comments, but state your arguments using logic, and with a civil tone. Comments in violation of these rules will be deleted, and offenders banned.

Comments should be in English, although quotes from foreign-language sources are fine as long as they're relevant, and you explain them. Anonymous postings are not permitted. If you don't want to use your real name, then make up a name for yourself, and use it consistently.