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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 15

Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

From: Dennis <dstacy@texas.net> [Dennis Stacy]
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 11:39:53 -0600 (CST)
Fwd Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 19:52:36 -0500
Subject: Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

>Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 18:08:43 -0800 (PST)
>From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj@ucs.orst.edu>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

<snip>

>> At the current level of specialization in the sciences, a general
>> paper on UFOs would find it difficult to fit into the narrow
>> scheme of many journals.

>> But I suspect that one might be able to write narrowly tailored
>> articles (I believe Bruce M. has done this) for narrow journals.
>> Optics journals might take some papers where a UFO observation
>> could be clearly related to an important optical topic.

>Hello Mark,

>And this reminds me that one Dr. Levengood published a couple
>articles on crop circles in some plant-pathology journal, but got
>away with it because he didn't ever mention UFOs and instead
>blamed it on "plasma vortices" that descend from the upper
>atmosphere, do their thing, and then exit the scene.  A matter of
>terminology!

>But if the paper is narrowly tailored to one specific phenomenon
>or event and if you assiduously refrain from using any UFO
>terminology, you're right -- it's sometimes possible then to get
>a paper on it accepted within a mainstream scientific journal.

>Jim Deardorff

The world isn't quite that simple, Jim. Science, and therefore
science journals, dealy primarily with repeatable laboratory
tests and analyses. Other scientists read the papers, and, if
they're interested, repeat the results in their own
laboratories.

Science is not primarily interested in anecdotes. Thus there are
scientific journals on vulcanology not because of poorly
substantianted eyewitness accounts of volcanoes erupting, but
because any scientists who wants to can witness one in action,
acquire samples in the field, and haul them back to the lab.

As you know, that rarely happens in ufology. Take the famous
Linda Cortile case, for example, about which an entire book has
been written. The only thing that can be considered even remotely
of interest to science in that book is the presence of some sand
samples which have allegedly been altered "somehow." Despite the
cases's sensational claims, there's not much there to interest a
scientist of any persuasion, or a science journal either. How is
science even going to attempt to prove, for example, theat the
Secretary General of the United Nations was abducted by a
spaceship from another planet which then dove under the Hudson
River?

"Ah, yes, I see...and you acquired these samples _how_?"

After stating where the samples were supposed to have come from,
you'll probably be asked if you recognize that rectangular shape
in the wall over there and how it works. "You see that little
round thing on one side, about half way up? Well, you turn it to
the right and then push. That will take you to the street, which
is the wide, paved avenue with cars on it. Please pass along it
in either direction until you are completely out of sight. And
don't call us -- we'll call you. All in good time."

Fact is, ufology itself suffers from much the same problem. If
you look at the latest issue of the Journal of UFO Studies, the
field's only referreed journal, for example, you'll see that only
one of the major articles deals with what might be described as a
UFO sighting or report. All the rest, along with the usual book
reviews, are essentially historical or analytical in nature.

By the same token, the last MUFON Symposium Proceedings published
this summer contained 13 papers, only two of which could be
considered a scientific analysis of anything, and one of those is
an analysis of abduction accounts, not hard abduction evidence.
The rest are all commentary or reflection.

Now, suppose Paul Deveruex or Robert Baker wanted to submit a
scientific article to JUFOS that attributed the abduction
phenomenon to lucid dreams or sleep paralysis, respectively? How
far along the peer review process do you think it would get
before being rejected?

Actually, depending on how well it was done, I'd hazard that it
might stand a chance (in a slow year), but that it certainly
wouldn't be a given.

Dennis



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