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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 20

Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize &

From: Jerry Cohen <rjcohen.nul>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 08:22:43 -0500
Archived: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 07:23:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize &

>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 20:17:07 EST
>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & Extraterrestrials

>>From: Jerry Cohen <rjcohen.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 11:52:51 -0500
>>Subject: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & Extraterrestrials

>>>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


>>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)


>Yes, you are right about the web site, on which he says,
>"Weather records show that the sky was clear at the time of the
>sighting." His 1981 book, however, cites the actual weather
>report, "although a few scattered clouds were present that


>>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

>Tonight the Moon is nearly full. Go out and hold up your little
>finger at arm's length, and also hold up a quarter. The quarter
>will be four or five times the size of the full Moon. It will be
>abot 7 feet from your face to be the size of the full Moon - 1/2
>degree of arc.

Yes, as I also wrote to Tom Bowden, I tried it last night and
decided you were correct about this.

>>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.

>This is a myth. There is some distortion of the Moon's shape but
>this "Moon effect" is only an illusion caused by our brain
>"seeing" the sky as a flattened dish-shape, probably due to the
>size of the clouds we see in it. We assume that the Moon, which
>is the same size as usual - 1/2 degree - is huge because we
>expect it to be "away over there at the horizon". Try measuring
>the width of the Moon at the horizon right now and then when it
>is high in the sky about midnight. To prove that the Moon is not
>huge at the horizon, do what we have little kids do at the
>planetarium. Face away from the Full Moon at the horizon, spread
>your legs and bend over and look at the Moon between your legs.
>Your brain will not be fooled when you do it this way.

I agree about this also as I wrote Bruce Maccabee about it and
he said the same thing.

>>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.

>Astronomical objects rarely just "blink out" at the real horizon.
>Maybe at building roofs, etc. or perhaps at the top of a mountain.
>They fade out. "Zooming away" is not an unusual way in which
>Venus fades out.

How many days do we have to look at Venus before we see this
"zooming away" effect? I've seen fading but I've never seen the
zooming you describe, nor the swelling so big I would ever be
tempted to describe it "as big or a little smaller than the

>>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?"

>The sequence of events would have been:

>1) Carter sees Venus
>2) Carter sees Venus fading behind clouds
>3) Carter no longer sees Venus and goes inside
>4) Venus is no longer visible, or it might have become visible
>again when Carter was inside.
>5) Venus reaches the local horizon and would not have been
>able to be seen any more

O.K., this clarifies your point, and again, it's a
"possibility." But from what I've read so far, Bob Sheaffer has
not definitively proved either that:

a)   A cloud was actually there. "A 'few' scattered clouds . ."
Did anyone else there actually notice clouds present? Did
Sheaffer query people or did he simply discount this? I think
this information is important to arrive at a meaningful

or that

b)   Carter actually saw Venus go behind a cloud. Sheaffer
suggested it as a possibility. I've given another possibility.
The two things basically cancel each other out. How does
Sheaffer positively "know" that Carter would not have noticed a
cloud present? Carter was a trained observer. Did Sheaffer ask

>>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...."


>Please refer, again, to my sequence of events, #2 through 5.


>>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.)

>Only those astronomers who observe on the airless, cloudless
>Moon would make such a statement.

O.K., thinking about it some more, I can see what
you're saying here.

>>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 )


>Venus _always_ appears a "smaller" (dimmer?) than the apparent
>"size" (brightness?) of the Moon.

So we agree on this point. If I understand what you've said
previously however, your viewpoint is that Carter may have
mistaken the size of what he saw. He may have seen a star and
mistaken it for an object almost as large as the moon. I do not
believe there is a certainty he would have made this mistake.

>>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.

>Then "none of us" would have ever mistaken a planet or star for
>a sizeable UFO? The last 55 years have many examples of such

And examples of UFOs that have yet to be explained, and UFOs
which were labeled IFOs and then found to still be UFOs. These
things cancel each other out. So what's your point?

I asked for a specific case; one where another person saw what
he thought was a UFO the size of the moon or slightly smaller
and also had the technical education (Nuclear Physics) and
observer skills of Carter. I would think this would be one part
of Sheaffer's proof concerning this point. Is this available for
us to see? Is this perhaps found in Sheaffer's book?

>>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


>The point is that many witnesses saw nothing exciting and only
>one was excited.

No, actually, that's another point. The first point is directly
stated in Cameron's quote above, and would be an obvious flaw in
Sheaffer's argument. If he argued totally against eye-witness
accounts and then used eye- witness accounts to support his
hypothesis, he's not following his own rules or playing fair. He
would be just discounting what he doesn't want to listen to.

The second point is what you stated just under the URL above.
However, concerning that second one, you are really just
repeating yourself from a previous post. Bob Gates and myself
already made points about it which demonstrate clear reasons why
this may have occurred and basically nullifies what you're
saying. As I said in my last post, one of them involved the
differences between my wife's reaction to our personal sighting
and my own reaction, another had to do with an example Gates
gave concerning his office and people's perceptions of external
events when they are busy, and a third item had to do with what
was going on back in the very late 1960's regarding the Condon
study and its effect on the public at the time. It's also why I
found myself not easily able to talk about my own sighting for a
very long time, and also, one of the prime reasons for my web
site today . You're entitled to feel otherwise but what we have
said in this regard is legitimate and entirely factual. They are
a good reason why other people present didn't remember the
sighting. Our readers will have to look at our two arguments and
decide for themselves.


>>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 Rosalynn Carter.

Bob, a question for you: Do you feel the Rosalynn Carter piece
has any truly meaningful place in a debate concerning Carter's
sighting other than to cloud the issue at hand? Do you think it
has any direct bearing on an investigation of Carter's specific
sighting? Be honest.

My point was that if Robert Sheaffer had a truly locked down
solution concerning Carter's sighting, he wouldn't have had to
resort to putting that stuff on his web site.

>You will note that Robert has little vignettes about other
>politicians on his website.

Do they have anything specific to do with this case?


Jerry Cohen

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