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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 12

Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 09:18:17 -0400
Fwd Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 20:05:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

> From: Jeff King <Boroimhe@aol.com>
> Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 20:18:59 EDT
> To: updates@globalserve.net
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

> >Back to the drawing board. I think we're left with Mark's and my
> >straightforward notion that if UFOs are alien craft, they'll have
> >stable, discernable physical characteristics (though perhaps
> >other traits that seem like magic to us).

> While I agree that this would be good support for Cashmanís OEH,
> the difficulty is reliably establishing the existence of these
> characteristics. For example, anecdotal eyewitness testimony is
> not a very good source for ensuring that these characteristics
> exist.  Cases that have been solved to the satisfaction of most
> everyone can be shown to share important characteristics with
> unsolved cases that are accepted as fair evidence of an
> anomalous phenomenon.

How significant would those factors be?

Here we need studies of (broadly speaking) solved vs. unsolved
cases. The Air Force's Special Report #14 did provide that, and
showed (if I remember correctly -- Stan Friedman may want to
supply more accurate information) that the unsolved cases
involved more qualified observers, and had lasted for a longer

This study badly needs to be done again, with far more cases.

> Also, thereís the inevitable problem
> that many sighting reports are only solved through pure luck,
> meaning that thereís always the risk that one or more of those
> establishing the unifying physical characteristic are in the
> unknown category because of pure *bad* luck.

How many -- what proportion -- of cases are solved through luck?

> And now for something completely different (and off topic).  I
> havenít seen any recent reviews of yours in the Journal of the
> Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (a/k/a The Wall Street Journal).
> Have you really been absent for a good while, or have I just
> missed your stuff in their new Friday format?

I'm flattered you asked!

My last piece was in the Journal two months ago, and indeed was
in the new Friday section. (The Leisure and Arts page, I can
assure you, is not even right-wing, let alone part of a

Then I did some music-oriented travelling, and returned to some
angry, buzzing deadlines not related to the Journal. Three of the
four Journal pieces I've been assigned to write turn out to
involve extensive research. (Please write the editor of Leisure
and the Arts to explain that I should be paid double.) I've
written one of them, however -- about the community outreach of
the St. Louis Symphony -- and it will be appearing reasonably

Anyone interested in reading my music stuff can find lots of it
on my website, http://pages.prodigy.com/gsandow.  (And now I've
joined the ranks of the self-promoters on our fair List!)

Greg Sandow

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