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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 4

Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

From: bruce maccabee <brumac@compuserve.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 10:47:49 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 14:04:24 -0400
Subject: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4


>Subject: UFO UpDate: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4
>From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
>Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 22:20:36 -0400
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>


>>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
>> EVALUATION and, furthermore, APPEARS THAT IT WILL REMAIN
>> 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
>qualifications?

>Will physical trace evidence or instrumentation be required?>

>You can see how hard this might be.

I never promised a "rose garden." Of course things are more
complicated than one might deduce from the little that I wrote.
However, it is in the argumentation that the skeptics (and
proponents) around here might learn something valuable about the
nature of the argumentation and some of the "operational
philosphy" of proving a case. You have indicated your experience
by the list of requirements you have suggested and by your own
choices for what the "rules of engagement" would 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.

Yes

>2) Witnesses must have some level of technical knowledge.

or at least a good education

>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
>required.

Yes, or at least being a credible adult.

>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
>ommitted.

Yes, but if any data are "desired" to be omitted or modified,
arguments to justify same must be clear and acceptable (the
Double Edge of Ockham's blade play a role here, as elsewhere;
too many caveats or conditions on the data make the analysis
unsavory!)

>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.>

Yes

>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.

Yes

>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
>witness.

OK

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

YES, but must be backed by testimony of a sighting at the time
the "physical effect" (radar, photo,landing trace) occurred.

For example., no photo images that appear only when the photo
was developed; (such as the Vancouver case presented to the SSE
review panel and ultmate rejected as proof of anything because
the witness did not see it!)

Radar only cases not considered unless several independent
radars are involved (e.g., Washington DC sightings, 1952) This
at least represents a starting point. Landing trace and other
physical trace cases (e.g., metal samples) must have direct
lineag back to a sighting unless the material is VERY bizarre.
(For example, alleged Roswell metal sample not considered
without direct traceability to Roswell crash or whatever.
However, a metal sample of "unknowium" or "unobtainium" or
"nevermadebymanium" would be worthy of study on its own.)

Abduction cases worthy of study if multiple witness to at least
part of it the events and abductee(s) recall UFO sighting either
before or after. Physcial traces remainins after would be
valuable, whether on the ground/surroundings where the abduction
occurred or on the abductee or both. Requirments for samples
(implants) same as for physical samples (metal or whatever)
stated above.