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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 31

Re: Why Migraines Don't Explain UFOs

From: John Rimmer <j_rimmer@library.croydon.gov.uk>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 15:56:46 +0100
Fwd Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 16:03:24 -0400
Subject: Re: Why Migraines Don't Explain UFOs

> From: Mark Cashman ,mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
> Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 11:09:20 -0400
> Subject: Re: Why Migraines Don't Explain UFOs

Mr Cashman notes that the Batelle study and a GEPAN study found
that there *was* a difference between UFO reports which were
subsequently identified and those which remained unidentified.
Other researchers, e.g Hendry and Monnerie found otherwise. The
real problem with Mr Cashman's approach is that he seems to have
decided in advance what a "UFO" is: "metallic, structured,
contains occupants", claiming that these may be safely removed
from the class of reports which might be explained as
misinterpretations of natural phenomena. I am not so sanguine
about this, perticularly if the original sighting triggers
psychological reaction in the percipient. This need not
necessarily be one of panic, although as Hendry has shown this
can induce remarkable reports. The fact that the concept of the
extraterrestrial UFO exists, allows percipients to immediately
place a puzzling experience into a acceptable context.

Mr Cashman also has a great deal more faith than I do in the
capabilities of investigators:

> an interview is usually capable of determining the witnesses perceptual
> ability and the degree to which they are capable of distinguishing
> natural phenomena

> Most investigators use on-site reenactment to determine if the
> witness is prone to identifying non-UFO stimuli as UFOs.

From the first quotation I assume that Mr Cashman is not a lawyer
in his day job, or he would be more doubtful about the ability of
individuals to accurately describe events months, days or even
hours afterwards. Still less whan these are of an unprecedented
nature or experienced in periods of anxiety. Even if I believed
that "most" investigators used on-site reenactement, I would
still be doubtfull as to how accurately such a reenctment really
duplicated the original event, at the same time of day, weather
conditions, etc. How, for instance, would they ensure that a
suitable UFO-stimulus just happened to be passing by? Presumably
the witness simply has to say, "oh, that's a plane, nothing like
what I saw', and the investigators can rule out a conventional
explanation and start looking for ETs?

Mr Cashman considers that any suggestion that rather more than
the "tiny percentage of reports [that] have been explained as
hoaxes" might actually be hoaxes is 'not scientific', yet later
he tells us that "unreported but witnessed unusual natural
phenomena are more frequent than UFO reports". If they are
unreported, how does he know? Is this scientific? Presumably
there is no such thing as an undiscovered hoax?

I am surprised by the qualifications which Mr Cashman makes when
considering his class 'd' reports:

> d) The phenomenon occured largely as reported and represents a
> genuinely unusual phenomenon.

<snip>

> Certainly some noise remains in this category, and given the
> variability of the UFO phenomenon, it is difficult to filter this
> material. Generally the analyst wishing to reduce the noise level
> in category (d) rejects accounts of communication with UFO
> occupants, repeater sightings, and any suggestion that the witness
> has been "chosen" by the UFO source.

There seems to be no logic to these qualifications. Our 'analyst'
seems happy to include 'clearly stuctured objects, engaged in
distinctive behaviour, often leaving physical traces', but starts
getting cold feet when this 'distinctive behaviour' includes
contact with the prdominant life-form of the planet the presumed
ETs are visiting! Is this science, or just a hunch?


John Rimmer
Magonia Magazine