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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 2

Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 22:20:36 -0400
Fwd Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 09:40:56 -0400
Subject: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

>Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 07:53:52 -0400
>From: bruce maccabee <brumac@compuserve.com>
>Subject: UFO UpDate: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

> I agree that having "ten best cases" or 5 or 1 or 100 would be
> valuable. We should attempt to find at least one case that the
> majority of contributers can agree remains UNEXPLAINED AFTER
> UNEXPLAINABLE IN THE FUTURE, where explanation is in terms of
> known phenomena (e,g.,explaining a UFO as ball lightning is
> explaining one unknown with another).

This idea is interesting as far as it goes, but some ground rules
would need to be set:

Which items of data in the report and which sequences of events
in the report will require explanation?

How many low probability events are explainers allowed to posit
in their explanations as coming together to cause this report?

To what degree are explainers allowed to claim that the witness
is a hoaxer, and what level of proof will be required before
such an assertion will be accepted?

Will all reports be required to be multiple witness?

What minimum qualifications / reputation will be required to
make a witness account acceptable?

Will multiple independent witnesses offset lower witness

Will physical trace evidence or instrumentation be required?

You can see how hard this might be. The debunker will insist
that they be allowed to reject any item of testimony they object
to on grounds of a priori unbelievability, that any number of
low probability events be acceptable, that a low threshold of
proof for claiming a witness a hoaxer is essential, that
multiple witness reports are no more evidential than single
witness reports, and that the only acceptable trace evidence is
a component of clearly non-terrestrial origin. The believer will
insist that none of this is relevant, since the aliens have told
him why they are visiting us, and that all witnesses are telling
the truth without error, and that the speck of metallic material
recovered from his foot is sufficient trace evidence. The
scientifically oriented, open-minded skeptic such as myself
might state:

1) Only multiple witness cases are allowed.

2) Witnesses must have some level of technical knowledge.

3) Witnesses must have a reputation of some value which is
threatened by their willingness to report publicly. Previous
history showing observational skills and personal integrity is

4) All data and events in the report must be coherently
explained by any explanation and no more than one low
probability event is allowed. No data may be changed or

5) Misperception explanations will require a careful validation
based on cognitive and perceptual psychology in the context of
conditions at the time and the witness' qualifications.

6) Hoax claims will only be admitted when a history of hoaxing
or practical jokes can be documented, or when the hoax has been
admitted, or when an unequivocal attribution of the hoax to
specific persons using evidence sufficient to convict for fraud
is presented.

7) Multiple independent witnesses reporting the same event or a
nearly identical event within a short interval will be
considered to offset lower technical qualifications in the

8) Photos, radar, ground traces or lasting vehicle effects are
admissible as physical evidence.

This at least represents a starting point.

Mark Cashman, creator of The Temporal Doorway at
- Original digital art, writing, and UFO research -
Author of SF novels available at...