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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2008 > May > May 20

Re: NBC's Dateline Airs Misleading UFO Footage

From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 23:18:16 -0400
Archived: Tue, 20 May 2008 09:35:44 -0400
Subject: Re: NBC's Dateline Airs Misleading UFO Footage

>Source: The Village Voice - New Yorok, New York, USA


>May 19, 2008

>NBC's Dateline Airs Misleading UFO Footage
>by Tony Ortega

>Here we go again.

>UFOs are easy ratings, so I guess it isn't surprising that
>Dateline aired something last night called "10 Close Encounters
>Caught on Tape.". To its credit, the NBC program at least made
>an attempt to provide prosaic explanations for each of the
>events it presented. In most cases, those explanations were
>actually pretty good, and the "UFO experts" came off as yahoos.

Explanations pretty good? Obviously he doesn't know much about
the sightings other than the last one (Phoenix).

>But when I realized that they were saving for last - the #1
>event! - the lame Phoenix Lights, the 1997 event that I helped
>debunk years ago as a reporter in Arizona, I prepared myself for
>yet another time that so-called journalists wouldn't get even
t>he most basic facts right.

>And I wasn't disappointed.

>Hey, NBC, try to pay attention: there were TWO separate events
>on the night of March 13, 1997 over the skies of Arizona. The
>mysterious "vee" that so many people across the state witnessed
>was seen over Prescott at about 8:15 p.m. and traveled south
>over Phoenix at about 8:30

This is exactly teh criticism I raised in my open letter to Mike
Nardi. By the way, Mike's response was "we didn't have time for
the details" and "we used the only videos we had available."

>and passed over Tucson at 8:45. That's
>200 miles in thirty minutes which - check with your calculator
i>f you'd like - means the vee was moving at about 400 miles per

That is an average speed assuming continuous motion, which is is
tacait assumption based on his belief that what passed over was
only a formation of planes/.

>Some early eyewitnesses perceived that the vee was high in
>the sky, others swore it was low and moving very slowly. (And I
>mention "early" purposely. As the months passed, more and more
>elaborate - and ridiculous - claims were made by eyewitnesses
>who were clearly trying to one-up each other.) But as I've
>pointed out many times, the eyeball is a lousy instrument for
j>udging the altitude of point sources of light in a night sky.
>Simple physics, however, suggests the vee was high in the sky
>and moving very fast.

Ho hum. A "fast" V very high up would not appear as a very slow
huge V or triangle or lights.

>As I first revealed in the Phoenix New Times in 1998 on the
>event's first anniversary, a young man with a Dobsonian
>telescope spotted the vee from his backyard, and saw that it was
>a formation of airplanes. When the young man, Mitch Stanley,
t>ried to contact a city councilwoman making noise about the
>event, as well as a couple of UFO flim-flam men working the
>local scene, he was rebuffed. I was the first reporter to talk
>to him, and, as a telescope builder myself, I made a thorough
>examination of his instrument and his knowledge of it. (For the
>inexperienced: a Dobsonian telescope is much easier to move than
>the crappy department store scope in your garage; it's child's
>play for an experienced observer, like Stanley, to get a good
>look at passing planes at altitude.) And he had a witness: he
>had told his mother, who was standing nearby, that the lights
>were planes. After my story, the Arizona Republic also wrote
>about Stanley, and also found him impressive. Didn't you check
>that out, Dateline?

Seems that Ortega doesn't understand that if the formation of
planes is so high that a telescope is needed to resolve them,
the formation will not appear to the naked eye observer to be
"huge". In fact, it would probably appear as a tiny array of
dots way up in the sky. But many witnesses talked about a "huge"
dark object with some lights over Phoenix at 8:30.

>Back to the night of March 13. News of the 8:30 pm sighting
>traveled fast, so a large number of people were outside with

This might be true, but there are only about 4 or 5 videos that
have been made available and two of which (Kitei, Krzysten) that
have been shown the most.

>when the second and unrelated event, at about 10
>pm, happened in the sky southwest of Phoenix. A string of lights
>appeared in the sky, and slowly sank until they disappeared
>behind the nearby Estrella Mountain range. This was later shown
>to be a string of flares dropped by the Maryland Air National
>Guard over the North Tac military range. Dr. Lynne Kitei can
>tell NBC that these lights were magical and "intelligent" and
>later showed up just outside her living room window all she
>wants, but the videotapes taken that night by many people show
>without a doubt that this was a string of mundane lights that
>fell and disappeared behind the range, exactly as a string of
>flares dropped by the military planes would.

>Now, the problem developed when the "flare" explanation emerged
.>first, and took root hard, explaining away the 10 pm sighting.
>But for the many people who had seen the earlier vee pass
>directly over their heads, flares made no sense whatsoever. And
>news organizations never bother to differentiate between the two
>events or report on the Stanley identification - even the
>Arizona Republic (a truly pathetic example of a daily newspaper)
>stopped referring to its earlier solid reporting on the Lights
>and began promoting it as "unexplained."

>To this day, programs like Dateline invariably question people
>who saw the earlier "vee" event, and quote them saying that
>.flares couldn't possibly explain what they saw. They are right.

I agree with Ortega on this point.

>They didn't see flares, they saw a formation of planes.

I don't agree with Ortega on this point.

>In last night's program, Dateline repeatedly showed people
>talking about their memories of the 8:30 vee while showing video
>of the 10 pm flares. Talk about misleading.

Just as I pointed out in the open letter.

>By the way, NBC: There was a single camerman who caught the 8:30
>vee and the later event. I saw his tape myself. It clearly
>showed the five lights of the 8:30 vee moving in relation to
>each other, exactly as you'd expect in a formation of airplanes.
>Couldn't get that tape for your program?

Never saw or heard of this

>As for the people who swore they saw a black triangular shape
>joining the five lights of the vee, that's a classic contrast
>effect of the human eye.

Hmmmm..... need to compare very carefully the characteristics of
this 'classic contrast effect' under the circumstances of the
sighting to determine whether or not this explanation makes
sense or is just another "throw it against the wall to see if it
sticks" type of explanation

>In another very telling case, a man who
>swore he saw a black shape joining the lights of the vee saw it
>pass directly in front of the moon. At that point, he saw not a
>black shape but wavy lines pass over the undimmed moon. But
>rather than conclude that he'd seen the contrails of planes, the
>man, who had already been worked hard by the flim-flam artists,
>concluded instead that the pilot of the alien craft had turned
>.his spaceship transparent right at that moment so the man could
>see the moon through it. How thoughtful!

Again, this should be investigated more thoroughly. Planes
leaving a noticeable contrail that could effect the sighting of
the moon would also be making a lot of nose

>Perhaps it's a good thing that NBC has now declared this the
>number 1 UFO sighting of all time. It's one of the very few so
>well checked-out by reporters, and one of the few that has been
>so thoroughly debunked.

In his mind.

>But you won't hear that from the networks, who can't get
>enough of the ratings that come with "the unexplained".

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