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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Aug > Aug 8

Re: Report From Lumberton NJ Witness 07-30-11

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 14:54:08 +0100
Archived: Mon, 08 Aug 2011 11:05:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Report From Lumberton NJ Witness 07-30-11


>From: Gerald O'Connell <goc.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 00:20:08 +0100
>Subject: Re: Report From Lumberton NJ Witness 07-30-11

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2011 11:26:59 +0100
>>Subject: Re: Report From Lumberton NJ Witness 07-30-11

<snip>

>The points you make are all valid, but some nagging doubts
>remain in my mind:

>- A breeze not strong enough to turn a weather vane is imparting
>(or playing some part in imparting) rotation to the object.
>Certainly not impossible, but perhaps rather improbable?

Hi Gerald

Well, I suppose that means that some rotation - a slow spin, or
perhaps even just an oscillation - is possible? The dynamics of
the effects of a heat source in a paper balloon aren't too clear
to me - maybe someone has experiments - but I doubt the
resultant force would have to be perfectly symmetrical.
Howsoever, we aren't told anything about the type and rapidity
and duration of this reported rotation, and we can't know how
reliably-observed and free of illusion it was, bearing in mind
the circumstances (ex hypothesi, a small, greyish moving object
of unfamiliar construction hundreds of feet away being
illuminated by a handheld spotlight).

And the point remains: In the context of the report as a whole,
with so many broad features suggestive of lanterns, one detail
like this becomes a statistical outlier which it is legitimate
to shelve as a probable error until stronger evidence can be
produced forcing us to reconsider.

>- Selecting the aspect of the witness account that is rather
>difficult to square with your explanation of the sighting as
>attributable to witness error, while basing the explanation on
>the accuracy of most of the other aspects feels like special
>pleading - cf. my reply to Robert's response.

I think my post explicitly addressed this very point, in terms
of statistical distributions, and pre-empted your criticism.

>- The element of coincidence in both 'lanterns' extinguishing
>while directly overhead. From my own observation of multiple
>lantern launches the point of extinction of the light source
>tends to be highly erratic. These novelties are not, I believe,
>precisely engineered.

The first light "flew directly over the top of me" passing
through its point of closest approach when "nearly overhead" and
then, "after passing over me, vanished". This does not say the
light extinguished "directly overhead".  The second light was
also "nearly overhead" when closest. He began to shine the
spotlight at it. Sometime after this it went out. We don't know
how "directly overhead" or not these lights might have been.
They were approximately above him somewhere. He doesn't say they
were both exactly at the zenith, nor does he mention any
referencce such as a fixed star by which he might have made such
a determination. Why would you translate this into a claim of
"precision" measuremt?  Two similarly constructed lanterns going
out at a similar distance into their flight is not very
remarkable to me.

>Even so, I can certainly accept your argument's merit given its
>general reliance on 'balance of probability'.

OK

>I must confess however, that I was slightly amused by your words
>of caution concerning the tendency of witnesses to stick to
>their story while subtly altering it. I think this tendency is
>equally apparent in the work of analysts - to borrow your
>phrase, 'as shown by universal experience'. Of course, this too
>is human and natural.

I think there is some sort of insinuation in there, but you'd
better decode it. Too subtle for this particular analyst ;-)


Martin Shough




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