From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul> Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 21:13:34 EST Archived: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 08:57:59 -0500 Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs >From: Catherine Reason <CathyM.nul> >To: <ufoupdates.nul> >Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 16:15:35 -0000 >Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs >>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul> >>To: ufoupdates.nul >>Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 14:37:08 EST >>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs <snip> >>Except that what the witnesses said that they say does match was >>was in the sky at the time of the sighting. >On a clear night there is bound to be some combination of >astronomical objects that matches a given set of three points >through chance alone - especially when the patterns are being >matched post-hoc, and when one allows arbitrary levels of error >in the measurements. You of all people should know, Bob, this >sort of post-hoc pattern-matching is just not reliable - >scientists use elaborate statistical procedures precisely to >prevent this sort of thing. Cathy: This sort of analysis was used by Carl Sagan and others in regards to the so-called star map which Betty said she saw on board the saucer and investigated by Marjorie Fish, who thought she had identified nearby stars which fit the "map". I don't think this sort of statistical treatment would lend itself, though, to a solution of this sighting. The Hills said the two "stars" (one of which was the UFO) were below the Moon, which was only about 14 deg high. Jupiter, the brightest planet, was only about two degrees (four Moon widths) from the Moon. Saturn was a couple degrees further. These and the Moon were the brightest astronomical objects in the sky. Jupiter was more than 100 times brighter than the nearest dimmer star. They all occupied an area smaller than your outstretched hand at arm's length and just above the horizon. The real problem was the 75% illuminated Moon, which would have made visual observation of the brightest nearby 3rd and 4th magnitude stars impossible. There would have been no other stars to see. >>The Hills case is one of the most interesting because of it's >>key role in the development of the folklore of the UFO >>abduction. I'm using folklore in the sense that even if some >>abductions are genuine the UFO phenomenon includes a folkloric >>element, which could account for IFOs, hoaxes, or whatever was >>not a "real" event. >I think "folklore" is a dangerously ambiguous term in this >context - not to mention that it's loaded with political >subtexts. "Folkore" and "myth" mean one one thing to an >anthropologist, for example, and possibly quite another to a >physicist. This Hill's incident was the subject of a popular book by John G. Fuller, "The Interrupted Journey", which was serialized in two parts in Look magazine. These two issues had the largest newstand sales in Look's history! A movie was made for TV, "the UFO Incident". The whole story was a sensation in its time. It included many elements which have been common in subsequent abduction tales. Saucer folklore exists, whether it's "politically" charged or not. This is one of the great chapters in the UFO tale. <snip> >In fact I'll admit that it's the sociological issues surrounding >UFO research and the discussions which accompany them, which >actually interest me more than the UFOs themselves. I couldn't agree more. >UFO discussions seem to involve much the same academic >politics, and power struggles over institutionalized authority, >that one sees in science generally - but much more raw and >exposed. To say nothing of the sociological value of studying the practice of Ufology (and these Lists). >>The question being, if the initial sighting was prosaic, what >>ccounted for Barney latter seeing "nazis" and little figures >>when he looked at the UFO in binocs, as Betty without binocs >>still described it as a "star"? >Well, it seems to me that you've indulged in some rather >gratuitous and fanciful re-writing of the original case-report >here. Hey, I'm not making this up. See, The Interrupted Journey, Chapter 3, for their own words. <snip> >>Are you familiar with Martin Kottmeyer's discovery of the >>possible source of key elements of Barney's story under hypnosis >>in a TV program broadcast a few days earlier? >>Please see "The Eyes That Spoke" at: >>http://www.csicop.org/sb/9409/eyesthat.html >>and "The Eyes Still Speak" at: >>http://www.reall.org/newsletter/v06/n05/eyes-still-speak.html >But once again, we have the problem of post-hoc pattern- >matching. Did anyone test this out (by, for example, examining a >random sample of TV programming and seeing how many pattern >matches of this sort turned up?) That's what I love about UFO stories and folklore, they're fun, they're very fuzzy, and we never have any elves, faireies or ETs to actually examine. Unfortunately it seems that when we can actually conjure up a star map to consult, the stars were invisible through the Moonbeams, or something, and when we have a star map direct from a saucer, well, it turns up that it was drawn by somebody who read about it in the New York Times. Before hypnosis. I think that you may be on to something. Clear skies, Bob Young "...the basic data consist of _reports_ of UFO sightings, not the _existence_ of what was reported. This distinction is crucial because the fact that some people have reported such things has been verified by many investigators. There can be no doubt that people have made such reports. That the people in question actually saw or experienced what they say they did, however, is open to question". -- Ronald N. Giere, Understanding Scientific Reasoning, p. 166.
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