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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 7

P1947 - Re: CSICOP Responds to SSE UFO Reports

From: Wendy Connors <wendy.connors@MCI2000.COM>
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 20:12:05 -0600
Fwd Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 00:45:44 -0400
Subject: P1947 - Re: CSICOP Responds to SSE UFO Reports

Dear CISCOP,

At the risk of stepping under or in a quagmire, I must respond
to the CISCOP release of this date with some personal
observations.

>AMHERST, NEW YORK - In a statement issued today, members of the
>international Committee for the Scientific Investigation of
>Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) responded to recent
>recommendations on UFOs released on June 29, 1998 by the Society
>for Scientific Exploration (SSE.)

My first thought is not how quickly CISCOP's response to the SSE
release has come. The problem I am having with it is the simple
fact that less than a week has passed and judgment is being made
by CISCOP. I am a researcher of ufology and have been for forty
plus years. I have read the SSE release on the internet, but
haven't even had time to mail my money in to receive a hard copy
in order to take the necessary time to digest, analyize and
prepare my own position regarding the Sturrock Report. So, my
first question is as follows: How can CISCOP respond so quickly
with a rational and logical premise to even comment so
"scholarly" on the Sturrock Report? If my students had commented
so quickly on "War and Peace" I would have failed them for using
Cliff Notes instead of taking the time necessary to do the
in-depth look the book requires.

>Background:
>A panel of SSE-selected scientists, after reviewing evidence
>presented by SSE-selected UFO investigators, concluded that
>although none of the physical evidence "points to violation of
>known natural laws or the involvement of an extraterrestrial
>intelligence," it may "be valuable to carefully evaluate UFO
>reports to extract information about unusual phenomena currently
>unknown to science." The report recommends that institutional
>support be given to UFO investigation and research. Prompted by
>these findings, in the days following the release of the report,
>some in the UFO community have renewed calls for Congressional
>hearings on UFO phenomena.

Is CISCOP telling me that they have not, nor do not,
CISCOP-select their mouthpieces to relay their positions, etc?
From the list below it is apparent that CISCOP has accused the
SSE of the same thing they are presently doing in this release.
I must admit that takes a lot of intestinal fortitude.

>Statements:

>Paul Kurtz
>CSICOP founder and chair, Professor Emeritus, SUNY at Buffalo.

>"Why is this news? The observation that some things sighted in
>the sky are unknown and merit further investigation is not a new
>revelation. We are committed to an open-minded and inquiry into
>any responsible paranormal claims. CSICOP has encouraged UFO
>research for more than two decades, and has published the
>results of rigorous UFO investigations. Some cases do remain
>unexplained. But that we should now devote government resources
>to further research is questionable. In our view, the government
>should not divert funds and time from other more fruitful
>scientific projects. Given limited resources for scientific
>research, the evidence to date regarding UFOs does not merit
>such strong attention. The idea that we should devote the
>business of the United States Congress to hearings on UFOs
>borders on the ridiculous.

On the contrary Mr. Kurtz, you speak of "open-mindedness" and
yet by your own statement you show that your logic is
close-ended (say one thing and mean another). I can take the
same position within your statement regarding the diverting of
funds from "fruitful government projects" and apply it to your
own institiution that receives a considerable amount of public
taxpayer money for you to sit and be comfortable in the high
towers of an educational institution and which the vast majority
of your own income is derived. "Emeritus" to the working class
Sir, means priviledged.

>"The release of the report appears well-timed to gain publicity
>for the SSE and their claims. It occurs a week after the release
>of the X-Files movie and during the week of Fourth of July when
>news is slow."

Is this not also what CISCOP frequently does? If not, you could
have fooled me (which is extremely difficult to do)

>Philip J. Klass
>CSICOP fellow, Senior Editor with Aviation Week and Space
>Technology magazine, leading UFO investigator and author.

First, to get the banalities out of the way. Mr. Klass is no
more a "leading" UFO investigator than Tarzan. Mr. Klass, in my
opinion, has not used any scientific methodology in his research
into the unidentified anomolous object phenomenon other than to
use the research, etc. from those in the field of Ufology and
skewed his position to benefit his own ego. He has never, for
example, compiled a database and interpreted the basis tenents
of such. In order to be a "leading UFO investigator" a person
must use both scientific methodology and initutive curiosity in
order to seek the facts and truth. Mr. Klass does not use either
one. As a matter of fact, a good scientist always approaches
their work with the knowledge that probability and possibility
are inherent in any endeavor. Mr. Klass does not display either
of these attributes as well. Yes, I have read all of Mr. Klass's
works regarding his position on the UFO phenomenon. His work is
highly important in the scientific discipline of Ufology - they
teach the beginning researcher how not to do research.

>The SSE recommends the creation of government funded UFO
>research projects like the one called GEPAN (Groupe D'Etudes des
>Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non-identifies), created in 1977 by
>France which reported to the highly respected French space
>agency - CNES. In 1988, after more than a decade of UFO
>investigations, GEPAN's budget was drastically reduced, its
>mission was refocused to emphasize collecting reports of
>reentering satellite debris and meteorites, and its name was
>changed to SEPRA (Service d' Expertise desPhenomenes des
>Rentrees Atmospheriques).

Why not fund a government sponsored UFO research project? More
money is wasted on other types of research that contributes
nothing to the betterment of man and only to the betterment of
the financial resources of those involved in the projects being
funded. From a logical position the "government" has stated for
over 50 years that UFOs do not warrant proper research and
study, but have never provided anything to back that position
up. I find that as strange as CISCOP's positions on many matters
of curiosity. Please, don't mention the CONDON Report as I do
not have fifty years left to give a list of reasons why it was a
fisaco and about as scientific as drop of ice cream on the
sidewalk.

>"During GEPAN's 11-year research effort, its most impressive UFO
>case involved a peasant living in Trans-en-Provence who claimed
>a strange craft hovered over his yard in broad daylight. GEPAN
>strongly endorsed the caseb ased on its investigation into
>alleged UFO-caused effects on nearby plants,which GEPAN/SEPRA
>director Jean-Jacques Velasco described to the SSE's panel of
>experts. Velasco did not inform the SSE panel of scientists that
>a recent investigation by a pro-UFO French investigator - Eric
>Maillot - indicates that the Trans-en-Provence case is a hoax.

Oops. Here we have the comparing of apples to oranges. Real
"scientific" Mr. Klass.

>"It is unfortunate that the SSE did not assemble a more balanced
>roster of UFO investigators to present evidence to the panel of
>scientists. The whole evaluation process appears suspiciously
>weighted to one side of the UFO debate."

Again, here we have CISCOP saying that SSE was composed of an
group that already "leans" toward UFO belief factors. Ahem, I
repeat, CISCOP in this release does the same thing and continues
to do so. Same song, second verse, could be better, but it's
worse! CISCOP "leans," so does the rest of the scientific arena.
Terrible argument again, Mr. Klass.

>Kendrick Frazier
>Editor of Skeptical Inquirer: The Magazine for Science and
>Reason and CSICOP fellow.

>"There's really nothing new in the report. I have serious doubts
>there is any real scientific paydirt in the UFO question, not
>the kind that merits taxpayer money being spent. The JSE, while
>presented as neutral and objective, appears to hold a hidden
>agenda. They seem to be interested in promoting fringe topics as
>real mysteries and they tend to ignore most evidence to the
>contrary. They publish 'scholarly' articles promoting the
>reality of dowsing, neo-astrology, ESP, and psychokinesis. Most
>of the prominent and active members are strong believers in the
>reality of such phenomena. I have no objections to the
>scientific panel that reviewed the UFO testimony for the study.
>But the eight people who provided the testimony and evidence are
>all strong UFO proponents and believers. They have been
>promoting the UFO cause for decades. There are no skeptical
>researchers among them. This is very curious if one is to
>contend this is some kind of balanced assessment."

Are you telling me Mr. Frazier that CISCOP does not have 'hidden
agendas?' How ignorant do you think people outside the CISCOP
group really are, Mr. Frazier? You need to rub elbows with the
commonality of Man. Goodness, I expected better logic and
reasoning from CISCOP than this.

>#30#

>CSICOP is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to
>the critical examination and investigation of claims of the
>paranormal and fringe science. Founded in 1976, CSICOP is always
>receptive to departures in thought, yet insists that they be tested
>before they are accepted. CSICOP maintains anetwork of distinguished
>scientists and academics that includes five Nobel laureates,
>Jill Tarter, Marvin Minsky, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Dawkins.
>The bi-monthly journal the Skeptical Inquirer: The Magazine for
>Science AndReason, is the main forum for publication of these
>inquiries. Both CSICOP and the Skeptical Inquirer are based at the
>Center for Inquiry, Amherst N.Y.

CISCOP is not "dedicated to the critical examination" of
anything. If it was it would not have produced this "release" so
quickly, had spent at least five years in research looking at
the basic tenents and then released its position based on
empirical and circumstantial evidence (which we use in the law
of the land) instead of the childish emotional reaction CISCOP
accuses the UFO community of doing on a frequent basis. CISCOP's
position remains the 'Pot calling the Kettle Black' and will
always do so.

Wendy Connors
wendy.connors@mci2000.com
Project Sign Research Center @
http://www.evansville.net/~slk/Sign.html