From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul> Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 09:27:43 +0100 Archived: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 07:21:52 -0400 Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found >From: Kentaro Mori <kentaro.mori.nul> >To: post.nul >Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2011 10:34:01 -0300 >Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found >>From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul> >>To: post.nul >>Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:39:46 -0600 >>Subject: Re: Trindade 'Negative Witness' Found >>Hello Kentaro, >>I generally find us in agreement, but as with the other recent >>'developments' in this case, i.e., the 50+ year delayed (and >>contradictory) revelations from nephew Ribiero and 'family >>friend' Bittencourt, I'm somewhat surprised at the level of >>significance you attach to this. <snip> >In fact, the number of actual eyewitnesses is very probably >less than a dozen; Kentaro's guess may or may not be somewhere near the truth. I strongly doubt that any extant source will allow us to pin it down, but he is right that given the status of this case it is something of a disgrace that for several decades the attempt was not even made. However, starting from where we are now, I must say the significant thing to me is the step-change which seems to have occurred, almost without our noticing, in the sceptical position. Hitherto it seems to have been widely held that there is a simple explanation of why no Navy crew witnesses were named : - They didn't exist. The whole thing was staged by the Icarai Diving Club civilians, and no Navy witnesses are identified because nobody else witnessed anything. I think John Rimmer's 2002 Magonia article "Multiple Witnesses or Wishful Thinking?" could be described as defining this previous position, with its thesis that the reported shouting on deck was done by "Barauna and his associates" and that there were "no other witnesses". Of course this position was always at odds with various Navy statements to the effect that Navy witnesses did exist, but these were simultaneously general in nature and terse in form. They could be said to lack force - at any rate they lacked the emotional force that comes from the voices of people on the spot. The only witnesses with public names and faces were civilians. The crew witnesses alluded to in Navy reports had no names, no faces. We longed to hear their names, or at least to hear someone named who was there assuring us in vivid terms that they spoke to them, saw them, touched them, thus making these Navy witnesses part of real history rather than abstract footnotes. It was always possible to argue that this division of witnesses into two groups - named and vivid; unnamed and shadowy - fell where it did, in the way it did, for the obvious reason that Navy sailors had neither the same opportunities and motivations nor the same freedoms to talk to reporters, and that internally the military had no particular interest in the names and opinions of individuals in the ranks. But there's no denying it was inconvenient for our historical/scientific purposes and tended to leave the named civilians on a raft surrounded by the cynical sharks. And sharks must eat. How much frustration was it reasonable to expect them to tolerate? Today we appear to have reached a new acceptance thanks to the recollections of Ribeiro, Amilar, Jansen and Brito - the first apparently prompted by the Bittencourt "spoon" story that achieved recent press and TV prominence in Brazil; the second re-interviewed twice before his recent death by Borges and Kentaro; the other two located by these same assiduous researchers for the first time after more than 50 years. One of them - reporting "inside info" that is really only hearsay - says that the Navy crew and civilians really sighted some object or effect in the sky, just not the exciting one that appears in Barauna's photos. More interestingly, one named participant says that he most definitely saw an object, which had the general form of the object in the photos, that he came late but in time to see before it headed off very fast out to sea, and affirms that "everyone" on deck also saw it. Another named participant says that "everyone" except him - including all the sailors on deck - thought they saw something, but must have been mistaken. The third named participant also says that he found a lot of people ("staff" = crew) behaving as though they had just seen something, although it was - in his opinion - mass hysteria. Each of these informants in different ways asserts that there were indeed Navy people on deck "witnessing" something in the sky. This means that we now have a spectrum of various documented sources, with different interests, backgrounds and types of narrative, supporting the civilian witness statements, Navy press statements and confidential Navy intelligence records from 1958. As a result, Kentaro suggests (his arithmetical workings-out are not transparent to me) that perhaps a dozen or so people might have been actual witnesses. But Kentaro then focuses on the residual problem that his figure is different from figures (smaller and larger) which have appeared in various sources in the past. Specifically, he points out that other numbers have been attributed to Barauna at various times, thus proving (he feels) that Barauna was a liar. One number that has caused sceptical raised eyebrows is the famous "48" witnesses. I am not 100% certain of the origin of it. It has sometimes been laid at Barauna's door, but I think (please correct me) that it goes back to a 1958 newspaper article quoting a Navy officer. According to Kentaro's colleague Jeferson Martinho "... the same [Captain] Moreira da Silva, who said at the time [in] the newspaper O Globo that there should be a whole are "eight witnesses," would later be credited with the statement that "[the] phenomenon, and documented by photographs, was confirmed by written testimony from 48 witnesses." http://vigilia.com.br/sessao.php?categ=0&id=1119 I find the same claim made by Covo, who IIRC attributed the statement to a Feb 1958 Ultima Hora article quoting Moreira da Silva. But when the newspapers asked _Barauna_ in 1958 how many people witnessed the object, he replied that he _didn't_know_. Ultima Hora Feb 21, 1958: "I don't know" O Cruzeiro March 8, 1958 : "Q. Do you know how many persons aboard the Almirante Saldanha sighted the object? A. The object was sighted by almost all the people on the deck at that time..." He ventured no number. What he did offer in reply has only the status of _hearsay_. He was quoted by Ultima Hora as saying that when the ship's Captain made an inquiry of the crew afterwards, 100 people were discovered to have been witnesses. This is the sort of thing which, isolated and illuminated by Kentaro, gets exhibited as one of Barauna's "lies". He will point out that so-and-so claimed some other number, and another person guessed at a third, and that these contradict the reporter who claimed to be quoting Barauna, and that Barauna has thus been caught out. But this sort of treatment (and there are other examples of the method, perhaps some to be published by Kentaro soon) lacks realism in my opinion. I prefer to ask: What did Barauna really mean? What did the journalist think he meant? What was Barauna's source for thinking whatever he really thought? Barauna was merely a civilian guest along for the ride - what should he have been expected to know about military inquiries conducted by Captain Saldanha da Gama? Not much, in all likelihood. Anything he thought he knew had probably come to him second-hand as hearsay and should be weighted accordingly. And if he heard (let us say) a rumour that some one hundred crewmen had been questioned, it would not be too surprising if this ended up in the paper as "100 sailors saw the object" - reporters being reporters - even if only one in ten of them had had anything concrete to say. Why _must_ Barauna be right? What was so special about this man that everything he is claimed to have said by every anonymous hack in Rio, and every opinion he has ever murmured in the decades afterwards, must either have the status of Revealed Truth or be part of a Devious Lie? Why should Barauna have the inside track on how many crewmen were on deck or how many were interviewed in the Captain's inquiry? Why would he not, rather, get his "knowledge" much like the rest of us? - from a mixture of hearsay, newspaper stories, inference, assumption, and rumour collected from other people? Did Barauna himself seriously believe in those 100 witnesses attributed to him by a reporter in 1958? Apparently not, because at the _same_time_ he said that he "didn't know" how many witnesses there were. And in his own typed and signed statement in 1967 (see my other post) he estimates that there were "about 50" people on deck and that "everybody" saw the object. Of course a certain type of sceptic, for whom this is a 2- dimensional puzzle to be solved by shoving statements around on a page and juxtaposing them, remembers Ultima Hora's "100 crew members" and immediately pounces: "Aha, an inconsistency!" But for myself, I wonder, where do people get their momentary beliefs? Usually from other people, not from measurement. And for this reason they are often inconsistent over time. Things change. We change. So from whom does _this_ number, "about 50", come? I wonder if it comes from that press statement attributed to Capt. Moreira da Silva in 1958 to the effect that the Navy got "written testimony from 48 witnesses". And this gives us what seems to me to be a realistic picture of Barauna's knowledge. Initially, in Feb 1958, he does _not_know_ how many people were there, but passes on hearsay about the Captain's inquiry among the crew, then later he settles on a published figure that starts to becomes accepted as authoritative. Recently Amilar Viera, asked the same question, recalled, "It was everyone on deck, the world looked, commented." But as to exactly how many people that might have been, "I do not have the slightest knowledge," he said. We will never know. Probably, no one ever did. Martin Shough Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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