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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 22

Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

From: Jerry Cohen <rjcohen.nul>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 08:51:41 -0500
Archived: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 08:18:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 11:34:37 EST
>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

>>From: Jerry Cohen <rjcohen.nul>
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 07:10:15 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs


>>I guess I didn't get my original point across. It wasn't really
>>about the actual size of the moon but that at times, it "seems"
>>even bigger than its actual size.

>This is true.

>>Therefore I believe it is more difficult for a person to ever
>>"think" that Venus could ever be the size of the moon.

>Unless the Moon isn't there to compare. The point is that the
>Moon looks larger than it's "supposed" to be when it is seen
>near the horizon. If it's not there, whouldn't one assume that
>it "would be" smaller it it were there?

So you want to give Carter credit for knowing the moon is
actually smaller than it is normally perceived in certain
situations (just as I made the error) but he couldn't tell if a
cloud was present for his object to go behind or whether or not
the object was "sharply defined" as he selected from the three
choices he was given on the Heyden form. The thing you're giving
him credit for is more difficult than what I'm giving him credit
for. Yours requires more subtle knowledge regarding perception,
which the average person doesn't have (you learned it via your
astronomy observations) while mine is more straight forward.
But, I believe we seem to be going around in circles and
neutralizing each other here. Unless you have something else
specific to say about this area, let's move on.

>The other thing is that the apparent brightness if Venus, or
>other bright stars or planets near the horizon, are enhanced
>because dimmer stars are not seen due to atmospheric extinction.

I don't think the immediate above really matters anyway because
Carter's sighting was approximately 2 hours before Venus set and
as you said, they weren't out there to see that. How close was
it to the horizon two hours before setting?

And these other points I had made: The "perceived" size and
brightness of Venus never gets close to that of the moon, nor is
it "sharply outlined" as Carter described what he saw. You said
the moon wasn't present so he could have made a mistake in size.
We disagree upon this and we'll have to let others decide what
they think.

However, as to the "sharply outlined" point, I said before, he
had three choices on the form:

Fuzzy or Blurred, Like a bright star, or sharply outlined He
chose "sharply outlined"

He didn't select the first two  which indicated he didn't see it
as a star. As to this, there is no question in my mind he would
have known the difference. It doesn't requre a rocket scientist
to remember this. There is no question Venus never appears as
that last choice. I'm pretty sure we can have people look at it
all they want and  I'm fairly certain they'll never see this. If
you think I am incorrect here, please provide us a picture of
this. We need to see it.

Concerning this next question I asked:

>>How many people with the technical education (Nuclear
>>Physics) and observer skills of Carter have thought the moon
>>was a UFO?

>I don't know


Exactly my point. Not good enough. We really need solid examples
of a person(s?) _with Carter's skills who either thought the
moon was a UFO or thought Venus was a UFO_, and we are entitled
to see this as well. When one has a hypothesis one needs to back
it up with some solid supporting examples or you can't even
submit the hypothesis for analysis. It is one thing for an
average person to be fooled by something like this but another
for a person with a nuclear physics degree and trained sky
observation skills.

>>And what if the object Carter reported _was_ the size he
>>described? Sheaffer really hasn't proved that it wasn't. He has
>>hypothesized same.

>Yes, but this was based upon the testimony of 11 other witnesses
>who didn't think anything out of the ordinary happened, just
>maybe a distant balloon, "blue light" or star.

Good, you agree Sheaffer put forth a hypothesis. (and I think
actually, a few of them, not just one.)

Now, here is an example of what I mean by eliminating available
data when coming to a conclusion.

Regarding Robert Sheaffer's specific hypothesis concerning the
witnesses: You still haven't considered what Bob Gates and I
submitted concerning this and which I pointed you to in my last
two posts. I apologize for being repetitive here but you haven't
commented on this yet and it is important.


At the above URL is evidence that happens to fall right in line
with what Sheaffer said concerning witness accuracy; namely,
_witness recollection is not always accurate._ We have given you
other data available that demonstrates that the Carter sighting
witnesses "lack of recollection" is most probably equally
accurate/inaccurate as Carter's. Omitting evidence such as this
is one basic error Sheaffer has made. It was delineated on
Cameron's web site, which I quoted in a previous post beginning
at paragraph 4 in the Cameron quote toward the bottom of that


Here's that quote again:

[begin quote]

In the ensuing years, there has been a great deal of discussion
as to what the UFO had been. Skeptical UFO buffs, such as Robert
Sheaffer, struggled to explain Jimmy Carter's sighting away, by
stating that Carter had viewed the planet Venus. Sheaffer, the
vice-chairman of the UFO subcommittee for the Scientific
Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, wrote up his guess as
to what the object Carter and the others had seen in the July
1977 Humanist Magazine. Many UFO "researchers" wanting to show
that they, too, can be "discriminating" joined in stating Carter
had viewed the planet Venus."

Others stepped forward quickly to challenge the accuracy of
Sheaffer's claim. Sheaffer's response to these challenges ended
up taking his Venus explanation from the shaky to the bizarre.
For example, 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 conclusion.

In a response to a letter written to the Skeptical Inquirer by
Jon Beckjord, published in the Winter 1980-81 Skeptical
Inquirer, Sheaffer cited four books and articles Beckjord could
refer to that would show you "can't take unsubstantiated
testimony at face value."

In the very next sentence of his reply, however, Sheaffer
retreated to eyewitness testimony. "I note that Beckjord fails
to mention," Sheaffer wrote, " that many UFO proponents agree
with me that the Carter UFO sighting is a very poor one and that
another Georgian standing with Carter, as my Humanist piece
makes clear, [was] quite unimpressed with the light they saw in
the sky." Sheaffer's Venus conclusion relied on the assumption
that Carter's eyewitness testimony was inaccurate, but the other
eyewitness accounts were accurate.

[end quote]

>Remember, the case was a mystery until
>Robert discovered that the Governor had
>been mistaken about the date.

One thing has nothing to do with the other. That was only one
clue out of many towards an attempted solution of the mystery.
It was good that he found it, but it was only the beginning of a
"new" investigation.

>People do make mistakes, otherwise there wouldn't be many IFOs.
>This only requires the Governor to have been as human as the
>rest of us.

I don't disagree with you here, we're all human. However, what I
do disagree with is:

1) taking data from one side to prove a case while omitting
available data from the other side. (and we haven't quite
covered it all yet.)


2) making a statement without giving at least some solid
supporting data to back it up (concerning, in this instance so
far,  providing us data regarding one or more similarly
scientifically trained professionals who have mistaken the moon
or Venus for a UFO, as per my statement above.)


Jerry Cohen

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