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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 10

Re: The Decline and Fall of American Ufology

From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 12:27:54 -0700
Fwd Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 22:46:08 -0400
Subject: Re: The Decline and Fall of American Ufology

>  From: wlmss@peg.apc.org [Lawrie Williams}
>  Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 22:40:25 +1000 (GMT+1000)
>  To: updates@globalserve.net
>  Subject: The 4 Axioms of UFO Science.

>  The Four Axioms of UFO Science
>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

>  Does anyone believe the Walters photos are a hoax but telepathy,
>  exotic humanoids, hovering craft and blue beams are axiomatic?

>  Does anyone believe the Walters photos are real but telepathy,
>  exotic humanoids, hovering craft and blue beams are unlikely?

>  I think most people have made up their minds either way by now, and
>  those who believe the photos accept that the other effects do occur,
>  and those who think they are a hoax have real problems believing that
>  the rest of Ed Walters' account is true too.

I am not sure this is the best way to think of the problem. There are
those, such as myself, who accept the photos as true - provisionally. If
someone were to come along a provide devastating proof of the hoaxing
of the occultation photos or the stereo shots, or if Ed were to admit
a hoax, I would, subject to careful examination of any such claim,
be willing to accept whatever truth is revealed. This represents the
scientific viewpoint.

Then we have those who will not accept the photos despite any proof.
They have valid reasons for their discomfort. The Walters case displays
nearly the full panolpy of UFO-related phenomena, and in most
situations, this appropriately raises suspicion. In addition, there are
unusual aspects to the object geometry and the absence of normally
reported luminosity. And finally, repeaters, like it or not, are more
likely to be hoaxers than non-repeaters.

Then we have those who would accept the photos in the absence of
any special proof. Their position is shakier, and I believe there are
not many of them (after all, the detailed analysis by Dr. Maccabee
is one of the most compelling things about the case, along with the
lack of substantial refutation of the key elements of that proof).
However, we know they must exist, since there are those who
accept the value of photos of unknown provenance or those which
are generally accepted as hoaxes. However, such persons do
have some basis for their acceptance, primarily in the apparent
realism of the photos.

As for the various components you have cited

* Hovering "craft" are part of such an enormous percentage of
unknowns that it is impossible to maintain that the phenomenon
is objectively real and yet deny the existence of unusual objects
which hover... and in fact have many other frequently observed

* Exotic humanoids are a substantial percentage of the unknowns. If
one accepts that unknowns represent a real phenomenon, it is
impossible to reject the occupant cases. However, that does not
mean that every case with occupants must be considered valid.

* Unusual light beams have been reported in many cases, as have
effects from those beams. However, there does not seem to be a
clear link between beam color and effect, which weakens this
part of the pattern; on the other hand, this may be accounted for
by variations in human color perception.

* Telepathy, on the other hand, is a relatively rare part of the entire

The first case in the Magonia catalog does not occur until 1957:

396 Jul. 25, 1957 1910 Mr. Joao Guimaraes, who is a professor at
the Catholic Faculty of Law in Santos, was sitting near the shore
when he saw a hat-shaped, luminous craft approach from the sea
 and land near him. From it came a metallic stairway. Two normal
men with long, fair hair hanging to their shoulders, a youthful
appearance and wearing one-piece suits, came down, gave no
verbal answers to his questions, but invited him "telepathically"
to come aboard the craft. Inside the illuminated compartment,
he sat on a circular seat with the crew. The machine rose for
a short flight. On his return, Guimaraes found that his watch
no longer worked. Sao Sebastiao (Brazil). (Humanoids 36;
FSR 57, 6)

43 Nov. 18, 1957 1500 Mrs. Cynthia Appleton, 27, mother of two,
saw the figure of a man appear near her fireplace while a whistling
sound was audible. He was tall and fair, wore a tight fitting plastic
garment, and seemed to communicate with her through telepathy,
indicating he was looking for titanium and was coming from a
world of peace and harmony. Suddenly he disappeared. Mrs.
Appleton had subsequent contacts with similar entities. Aston
(Great Britain). (Humanoids 4).

The next case with "telepathy" in the Magonia catalog does not
occur for 9 years:

804 Nov. 02, 1966 1925 W. Derenberger, sales- man, saw a dark
object ahead of him on the road. It was flat on the bottom and
rounded on top. As he stopped, the object came within 20 cm of
the road surface, and a man of dark complexion, dressed with a
shirt and ordinary trousers, both a shiny blue color, came out,
smiled at the witness who then thought that he received a message,
although no word was spoken. The message described a
hypothetical "other world" and suggested that the observation be
reported to authorities. The man also promised to return. Several
people who drove by the witness did report seeing a man
speaking to him, as well as a strange vehicle nearby.
Parkersburg (West Virginia).  (169; FSR 67, 1).

Of the 923 Magonia cases, only these 3 contain mention of telepathy.
This represents 0.32% (not 32%) of landing cases in the catalog. In
most cases, the occupants departed without any attempt at
communication. In some cases gestures were made, interpreted
sometimes as friendly, sometimes as warning, sometimes as
threatening. In other cases, the occupants made unusual sounds
or spoke in a language unknown to the witness. In a fairly small
percentage of cases (still much larger than the telepathy percentage)
the occupants spoke in a language known to the witness, sometimes
with a strange accent, sometimes in broken speech, sometimes
mixing languages. It may be no accident that the only "telepathy"
cases are those which one might term either "higher-strangeness"
cases or "less-reliable" cases, depending on one's inclination. At any
rate, the evidence substantiating "telepathic" communication is
certainly small at best, and possibly marginal in quality. In addition,
one must consider that perception of "telepathy" does not necessarily
substantiate the existence of telepathy. I think we still have relatively
little knowledge of the psychological effects resulting from what is in
many cases a traumatic event, and certainly confabulations, or illusory
voices, etc, cannot be ruled out a priori. Or, we may be seeing the
presence of a technology which simply emits sounds translated
from non-vocal utterances by the occupants, which the witness
interprets as telepathy.

In short, one can accept or reject "telepathy" without necessarily
accepting or rejecting the Walters case or any of its elements.

>  For the skeptical side, the debate might concern itself with the
>  question of elaborate psychopathologies and the identification of
>  earth lights. That these phenomena occur can be accepted as axiomatic
>  and a useful framework of knowledge can be built up from this position.

>  For the believer side, the debate needs to concern itself with the
>  nature of telepathy, the description of UFO crew, the mission of
>  their craft and the technologies these entities deploy.

>  If ufology fails to recognize this great divide, it will be forever
>  at cross-purposes, as we have seen with the Great 1997 UpDates
>  Debate about the 1987 Ed Walters Photos.

I'm afraid I cannot accept that this is the right way to deal with the data.
While no one desires conflict, it needs to be recognized that science is,
much like the legal process, an adversarial system. Hypotheses will
be advanced, challenged, accepted, defeated, etc.  But the choice is
not between skepticism and belief. It is between science and belief (and
that means belief adamantly opposed to an objectively existent UFO
phenomenon, belief in ETs, or any other kind of unsupported "faith").

The adversarial part of the process is never over. People still carry out
experiments which may invalidate parts of general relativity, and still
challenge other well-accepted theories with new hypotheses, data, and
experiments. That is why a debate on Gulf Breeze ten years after the
case occurred is still relevant.

Mark Cashman, creator of The Temporal Doorway at
- Original digital art, writing, and UFO research -
Author of SF novels available at...

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