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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 18

Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize &

From: Jerry Cohen <rjcohen.nul>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 11:52:51 -0500
Archived: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 06:15:42 -0500
Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize &

>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
>To: To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 19:18:50 EST
>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & Extraterrestrials

>>From: Jerry Cohen <rjcohen.nul>
>>Date: Sun, 03 Nov 2002 00:58:42 -0500
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & Extraterrestrials

>>>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 21:27:08 EST
>>>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize &  Extraterrestrials


>>However, if David Rudiak was correct in what he stated
>>about Venus (perhaps you could help me here if he's
>>not), I believe researchers may have just cause to think
>>the "Venus" explanation though a little more carefully.


>>From: DRudiak <DRudiak.nul>[David Rudiak]
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 01:55:52 EDT
>>Subject: Re: Pres. Carter


>>c) Venus doesn't disappear by seeming to move into
>>the distance.


>It would it the witness _interpreted_ Venus's fading to
>motion away.

Fading is one thing... disappearing is another. Also, "slow
fading" is one thing . . moving rapidly is another. We have to
note what Carter says he observed. One question asked on the
form he filled out was "Did it speed up and rush away." Carter's
answer was "yes."

You can see this at the URL below (as you scroll down, it's
between the dotted lines), but I'm sure Bob Sheaffer probably
has copies of the original Heyden Hewes' International UFO
Bureau report he can show you.


>>At the reported time of the sighting, Venus would have
>>remained well-elevated and visible in the sky. It would
>>not have disappeared.

>Robert Sheaffer's detailed investigative report (The UFO
>Verdict - Examining the Evidence, Prometheus Books,
>1981, pp. 4-12), states, "When I obtained the weather
>records from the nearby Albany airfield, they revealed
>that the weather was cold and clear, although a few
>scattered clouds were present that evening."

Bob, at the URL you had us visit, Robert Sheaffer himself had
stated the sky was basically clear that night. Here it is again
at: (Please see: end of second paragraph)


I have also discussed the cloud issue in the next paragraph of
that same post to Robert at: (Located below the hyphenated lines
and including "My Reasoning")


>Sheaffer reports that Carter's sighting report filed with
>Heyden Hewes' Internation UFO Bureau described the
>object as, "bluish at first - then reddish," it "seemed to
>move toward us from a distance, stop, move partially
>away, return then depart."
>This could describe the planet gradually fading and
>brightening behind clouds.

Concerning this I'd say "one possible solution" but also,
"certainly not written in stone" for this case. Other
descriptive factors make some of us question this


>>Rudiak continued:
>>Lesser discrepancies are:

>>a) Venus was in the southwestern, not western sky
>>(between 237 and 240 degrees azimuth, not 270).

>Close enough for a visual report without the aid of a

>>b) If the time was correct, the elevation was between
>>21 and 24 degrees, not 30 degrees.

>Three finger widths. ...snip...

So Rudiak's calculations for the azimuth and elevation were
correct. Guess he's not all bad. I'll take a look at this as you
could be correct concerning the three finger widths.

Unfortunately, I can't rely on this as gospel because of another
comment you make below concerning the size of the moon being
only as big as "your little fingernail."

Let's see what else we know here:

1)   As to the "little fingernail" statement: For a typical full
moon, your little fingernail must be at least as big across as a
quarter. Perhaps you have a very large hand? (because I know I
don't.) You also omit the fact that no matter what size the
moon, it is _always_ a lot larger than any stars that might be

2)   At certain times when the moon appears low to the horizon,
the moon appears much larger than typical. I am sure most of us
have seen this effect. This may or may not bear on this case but
it was never mentioned.

We also know that the proximity of the Moon or a star near the
horizon does appear to make it look much bigger but as you
mentioned it probably loses _some_ of its luminosity due to the
extra atmosphere in the way. (and I believe, the refraction of
the incoming light.) Losing _all_ of it? That's another story.

3)   You also completely omit discussing the following from my
first post: (Rudiak)

"C) Venus doesn't disappear by seeming to move into the
distance. At the reported time of the sighting, Venus would have
remained well-elevated and visible in the sky. It would not have
disappeared.  It fact, it didn't set until about 9:20. You can't
have it both ways, with Venus supposedly being brilliantly
bright and otherwise highly visible (to supposedly account for
the report), yet supposedly disappearing as well."


I read the above and said to myself, "Hmmn, Rudiak has a good
point there." Bob Young says it was very bright. So how could it
completely disappear?"

4)   And omitted discussing this: (Cameron) (Long Cameron quote:
last paragraph of the at the URL below)  [jc emphasis added
below is mine.]

  "The witnesses declared that the object disappeared
  after 10 minutes or at 7:25 p.m. Venus, on the evening
  in question, was visible in the clear sky till 9:20 p.m. If
  it had been Venus, it would still have been visible for
  another 115 minutes after the witnesses claimed it had
  disappeared in a clear sky. ...snip... _Venus does not
  disappear_, and would have been eliminated as a
  suspect ....snip...."


I think most astronomers would agree, Venus doesn't "set" until
it "sets" That's why astronomers have assigned it a "setting
time." (i.e. it doesn't just disappear at whim.)

Behind a cloud, _if_ one was even there? It's my thought that
with the attention Carter had on "the object," he may well have
realized it. If you can't prove otherwise, that solution is not
written in stone either.

There is enough doubt here concerning both hypotheses to force
negation of this whole part for both sides.

5)   And you also omitted this important statement (Cameron);
found within that same post:

 "Carter described the object as being the 'size of the
  moon' or 'slightly smaller than the apparent size of the
  moon.' Venus never appears this way."
(Long Cameron quote: 4 paragraphs before the end of the )


It certainly doesn't. I'm fairly certain Carter, being a trained
observer for a number of years, had figured out the "relative"
size between stars, observed planets and the moon. None of us
need the moon present to remember the "relative" size. (i.e.
moon: large, star-like planet: small.) You can simply see the
other visible stars/planets and judge what you see from that.

6)   Was Cameron also incorrect when he said?
   [Long Cameron quote: Paragraphs 4-7 at URL below]

  "Sheaffer argued UFO researchers challenging his
  conclusions were wrong because they relied on
  eyewitness testimony, and eyewitness testimony is
  unreliable. There are, wrote Sheaffer, "volumes of
  scientific analysis documenting unreliability of
  unsubstantiated human eyewitness testimony." Yet
  Sheaffer, in his own analysis of the case, had used
  eyewitness testimony for one hundred percent of the
  data that he collected to come to his Venus


7)   And was I really incorrect when I said ...?

"BTW, we get a hint of the lengths Sheaffer is willing to go to
debunk a case when we note his 'expose' of Rosalyn Carter.

Sheaffer wasn't able to completely disprove Jimmy Carter's UFO
report by legitimate means so what does he do? He writes a
negative article on his wife.

I'm afraid this doesn't inspire much confidence regarding
Sheaffer's research methods and scientific approach."


8)   Bob, after analyzing your post, it appears to me you've
missed a few points along the way. I believe this will be
obvious to others reading this post too.

>>c) According to my planetarium programs, Venus
>>wasn't even at its brightest on this date, much less an
>>"unusually bright light." ....snip....

>[End of quote]

>This is ridiculous "armchair" astronomy, but typical for
>David. Venus is _always_ the brightest object in the
>heavens after the Sun, Moon and very bright meteor

>According to the JPL Ephemeris Generator:


Considering points 1-5 above, I think this is like the pot
calling the kettle black. However, the JPL EG can be used to
check this out and may well be as you say. I will definitely
check it anyway. Thank you for the URL.

>On January 6, 1969 Venus was at magnitude -4.3
>magnitude. The next brightest object, on the other side of
>the sky, was Jupiter at -2.12 magnitude. Venus was
>nearly 7and a half times brighter than Jupiter, the next
>brightest astronomical object in the sky.


>>Then I found myself asking "I wonder who Bob
>>Sheaffer interviewed? No supporting evidence was
>>given to make it possible for others to check what he
>>says in this regard.

>Try getting his book, or its more recent edition, UFO
>Sightings (Prometheus). He names a half dozen others
>he interviewed.

I stand corrected on this even though these other names did not
appear the web pages you asked us to view at:


My question was a legitimate one.

>>So I performed a web search to see what else I might
>>find regarding this case.

>>Grant Cameron, who has posted a monumental
>>analysis on Carter and an investigation of his UFO
>>Report on his web site


>>had the following comments to make:

>>[Begin quote]

>>Carter had, in fact, described the UFO sighting many
>>times in the years since it occurred. In every instance,
>>including the latest known telling of the story at
>>Emory University in 1997, Carter has never backed off
>>on the spectacular nature of the event. He has also
>>never conceded that was he saw was some
>>misidentification of a natural phenomena.

>So what? How may UFO sighting witnesses publicly
>recant an observation, particularly after citing it at
>speaking engagements for many years? Can you name

The immediate above is a good point.

>>Carter estimated that the object was three hundred to
>>one thousand yards away.

>It is impossible to estimate the distance of an unkown
>object without clues of some sort.

Perhaps and perhaps not. The fact that Carter didn't explain how
he calculated the distance for himself does not mean he didn't
judge it using his observer skills. Has anyone asked him? If it
hasn't, this should certainly be asked _before_ his estimation
is totally discounted.

>>Carter described the object as being the "size of the
>>moon" or "slightly smaller than the apparent size of the
>>moon." Venus never appears this way.

>And certainly when the Moon wasn't visible at the same
>time to make a comparison. By the way, the Moon is
>only the apparent size of your little fingernail at arm's

I already covered this one above. Talk about estimating; how can
you make the above statement if you don't know the size of my
hand. As I said, yours is obviously bigger than mine. :-)


>>Venus at the time was at between 15 and 21 degrees
>>over the horizon at 7:15 p.m.

>Please explain in detail how this is possible. If it were
>true than Venus could be 14 times larger than the Moon.

A star never appears bigger than the moon, no matter how low to
the horizon the star is. But I seem to be missing your point

>>Carter, a trained observer stated the object was 30
>>degrees above the horizon

>Pretty close for a visual observation, but the JPL
>Ephemeris gives 25.3 degrees up (from a perfect sea
>horizon, not taking into account horizon obstructions
>near Carter's viewing place).

>>or almost double the height of Venus at the time.

>That is, if Venus was actually within your 7 degree
>"armchair" guess, which it wasn't.

>This bring's a key issue into bright focus (pardon the
>pun). Why didn't Jimmy Carter ever report seeing Venus
>little more than a hand's width away?

If you were looking at something fairly large compared to a
star, and extraordinary, that really caught your attention and
kept it glued to it, and you were about to go into a meeting at
which you had to speak, would you positively have thought to do
this? My guess is perhaps not. Even if I'm wrong about you,
isn't it possible Carter might not have?

BTW, any astronomers out there that can verify what Bob says

>>Sheaffer described Venus as "being at it's brightest" on
>>the date in question. It wasn't at its brightest.


>In fact, what Sheaffer said in his 1981 book (p. 10) is,
>"nearing its maximum brilliance", and, "at about 25
>degrees elevation".

As I said before, no matter which way you look at it, this was
well discussed in point #3 (of 8) above.

>Jerry, when you use Grant Cameron as a source of
>technical information about astronomy you will find
>yourself off in blue space, as he is.

Also as I said before and detailed in points 1-5 above, this is
obviously, most definitely the pot calling the kettle(s) black.


>>During these 115 minutes the planet Venus would have
>>increased in brightness (not disappeared) as it
>>approached the horizon.

>Cameron has got it completely backwards. Atmospheric
>extinction _decreases_ the brightness of astronomical
>objects as they approach the horizon, not the other way
>around. Where in the world did he dream this up?

Even if he was wrong about the brightness, and _especially_ if
you were 100% right about it, Venus wouldn't have completely
disappeared until it was time for it to set. That's the main
thing. (Covered in #3 & 4 above.)


>>Grant Cameron also mentions:

>>"Carter who had spent watches, while in the Navy
>>doing watches in cruisers and destroyers, as a
>>navigation officer, taking star shots with a sextant,
>>stated the object was in the western sky."

>Yeah, and he never noticed Venus, either. Doesn't this
>strike you as odd?

No. (Covered about 4 "jc's" back)

>Another witness, though, is cited by Sheaffer as
>remembering a little blue light, which he thought might
>have been a weather balloon, but no UFO. I wonder
>what that could have been and why Cameron never
>mentioned it?

I hope you would read what Robert Gates wrote in his 15 Nov.
2002 UFO UpDates post concerning the different views people can
have of an event when they don't feel something can exist or
they are too busy to think about it. It explains it quite


Bob, I've left the following in this post so people can check
Robert Sheaffer's take on this for themselves.

>>We do know, however, that proposing an estimated
>>explanation is not the same thing as having a solid
>>explanation. The IFO proposal" is exactly that, an
>>estimated explanation. Therefore, it cannot be
>>guaranteed as the correct solution for this specific
>>case. Readers are free to form their own conclusions.

>And I hope that they do, after reading Sheaffer in his own
>words, and trying to come up with their own hypothesis
>as to why he didn't see Venus when others present
>reported a blue light or a star, but no UFO.

>Please see:


Bob, this is my wish as well. I believe they will see for
themselves that Robert Sheaffer's solution to the Jimmy Carter
case is not "written in stone" and that the designation of the
case should still remain "unidentified."

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