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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 25

Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

From: Catherine Reason <CathyM.nul>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 00:52:02 -0000
Archived: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 09:23:29 -0500
Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 21:13:34 EST
>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs


>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 otherstars
>to see.

The problem is, unless you know the exact positions of the
objects in the original report, or you have a priori set limits
to the errors you'll accept in the measurements of those
positions, any pattern-matching you do is inevitably arbitrary
and post-hoc.  You simply can't quantify the possibility that
the match may have ocurred entirely by chance.

In fact, the brightness of Jupiter only adds in another problem
for the "Jupiter" explanation.  According to the description in
"The Interupted Journey", Betty Hill at first saw a star or
planet close to the Moon, and later on noticed another object
above the star.

One of the features of the image segmentation process I
described before, is that the objects which "pop out" of the
visual display are those which are most dissimilar to the
background.   In this case, that obviously means the biggest and
brightest objects.  So the two pop-out objects should have been
the Moon and Jupiter, and not the Moon and Saturn as the
"Jupiter" hypothesis would require.

Of course, one can't be sure of this - Jupiter might have been
obscured behind a cloud, or a tree, or the rear-view mirror, or
anything, during the first observation - but given the
configuration you describe, with Jupiter effectively in the
center of the alignment and Saturn at the edge, that actually
seems extremely unlikely.

But the real point I want to make is that there's no need to get
involved in an increasingly myopic cycle of interpretation and
reinterpretation of the initial sighting.  The "Jupiter"
hypothesis can readily be tested against the subsequent
evolution of the sighting.  All we need to do is ask whether the
subsequent events are consistent with an observation of Jupiter,
given what we know of the human visual system.  And the answer,
of course, is no, so the "Jupiter" hypothesis is effectively

Of course, you could still argue that the complete sighting was
an observation of Jupiter plus something else, but you would
obviously have to say what that something else was, and I don't
think the science of visual perception can help you there.


[Catherine Reason]

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