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Re: Article Submitted To Science Magazine '74

From: Kathy Kasten <catraja.nul>
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2011 19:26:36 +0000
Archived: Thu, 07 Apr 2011 07:13:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Article Submitted To Science Magazine '74

>From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 22:51:36 -0400 (EDT)
>Subject: Article Submitted To Science Magazine '74

>For the first time I am publishing an article I wrote and
>submitted to Science Magazine in 1974.

>The response was quick.

>It was gently suggested that I send it elsewhere. Did it deserve
>the boot? What do you think:


I really liked what you had to say in your article.  In my opinion,
a very sane approach. I include my favorite section of
the paper:


The third choice is often used as an "ultimate resort" by those
who are con terrestrial vinced that there are no unknown,
macroscopic,physical phenomena left to discover. They would
argue that if the phenomenon described in the report cannot be
explained in terms of known phenomena, the report must be a
fabrication, either intentional or unintentional, on the part of
the person(s) making the report. An intentional fabrication
would be a premeditated hoax (fraud); an unintentional
fabrication would be a manifestation of physiological and/or
psychological phenomena. Reasons for intentional fabrication
could include the desire for monetary reward, the de sire for
public notice, and, perhaps, "status inconsistency.43 Reasons
for unintentional fabrication include mental distress, and/or
hallucination (psychological), and incorrect sensory data
(physiological). Since the report presented here was confirmed
in part by at least one other reliable observer, it seems highly
unlikely that it is an unintentional fabrication. Moreover, in
view of the fact that the observers neither expected nor
received either compensation or publicity, and, in fact, may
have even placed their social and economic security in jeopardy,
it seems extremely unlikely that the report is an intentional
fabrication. The fourth choice, which is to adopt a "wait and
see" attitude, is a legiti- mate choice for a scientist who is
only marginally familiar with the literature on UFO phenomena.
Whether this scientist eventually decides to accept an explana-
tion in terms of known phenomena, or whether he decides to
accept an explanation in terms of a new phenomenon would depend
strongly upon his inner feelings toward "semi-scientific"
subjects and upon whatever further studies he might make. The
fifth choice is probably not a legitimate choice for a scientist
to make based on the information contained in only a single
report such as this one.


Page 20


The analysis of the previous report has been presented in detail
to illustrate the sort of reasoning and argumentation (forensic
physics) which is applied to well-documented UFO reports in
order to determine whether or not they are indeed "truly
puzzling." A scientist who applies this sort of analysis to a
report, and who is unable to provide for himself a convincing
explanation in terms of known phenomena, may decide that at
least one UFO report contains information on a new phenomenon of
some type, although he may not know how to categorize the
phenomenon. The report and analysis have also been presented in
detail to give the reader a feeling for what constitutes a
puzzling report. (Basically, such a report should contain
sufficient detail about a particular phenomenon so that
identification in terms of known phenomena would seem possible.)
However, whether or not the reader believes that the report
contained herein is puzzling, it should be apparent that a
report such as this, when supported by a detailed analysis,
could convince a scientist to look further into the UFO
situation and even to investigate UFO reports. Apparently, quite
a few scientists over the last twenty-five years and parti-
cularly over the last ten years have independently concluded
that UFO reports are worthy of study (thus, the "invisible
college"). However, very few agree on the underlying nature of
the phenomena. Typical UFO theories which have been advanced are
so bizarre as to be rejected by the majority of the scientific
community. Un- fortunately, the nearly universal rejection of
the theories has some times led to unwarranted rejections of
reports of these phenomena and often to severe criticism, ' even
vilification, of those who have argued that the phenomena
deserve public scientific recognition.


Page 21

Although some scientists have become convinced that UFO
pheonomena should be investigated, most take the attitude that
there is little or nothing new to be learned from such studies
(it is not expected "that science will be advanced thereby”)3
However, this attitude should not be allowed to either restrict
those scientists who are interested in conducting investigations
of UFO phenomena or prevent publications of the results of such
investigations in well known scien- tific journals (subject, of
course, to standard review procedures). It is unlikely that the
formal publication of papers related to UFO phenomena will
"harm," or, in the words of astronomer Carl Sagan45 (used in
another context), "shred the fabric of" science.46



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