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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 17

Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

From: John Rimmer <johnr@magonia.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 15:32:22 +0100
Fwd Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 14:19:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

>From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
>To: "'UFO UpDates - Toronto'" <updates@globalserve.net>
>Subject: RE: UFO UpDate: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs
>Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 09:00:44 -0400

>> Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 00:22:38 +0100
>> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>> From: John Rimmer <johnr@magonia.demon.co.uk>
>> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

>>> Reports collated by the military obviously have a specific
>> purpose. How many of these were "sightings" by military
>> personnel, and how may were investigations of civilian reports?

>All of them, I believe, were sightings by military personnel.
>This was an internal Soviet military matter, entirely
>unpublicized. Soviet military personnel had UFO sightings of
>various kinds, and reports of them were filed with the military
>authorities -- who were given a mission to collect them. There
>are hundreds of these sighting reports, though of course in
>Russian, so I couldn't skim through George's collection of Soviet
>military documents to get an independent idea of what they're
>like. From his description, the sightings sounded like the kind
>we're all familiar with -- lights at night, disks in the daytime,
>radar reports, and so forth.

This certainly sounds interesting, and I would be glad to see
any published details if/when they become available. The problem
is, of course, the quality and depth of the investigation of
these reports. Many ufologists are contemptuous of what they see
as the slapdash way in which UFO reports are handled by the
British and US miltary. What we have learnt of the "mighty
Soviet war machine" over the past few years suggests that may
not have been doing it any better than us, and they were handled
by the Soviet equivalent of Nick Pope (Nicolau Popeski?) at a
desk in the Kremlin.

>I do think this is an interesting test cases for the theory that
>UFO sightings and reports are generated by cultural factors. Here
>we have an institution remote, one would think, from the western
>media, sensational journalism, widely publicized UFO flaps,
>widely publicized UFO books, and a general fascination with space
>and the beyond. Yet its members reported the same kinds of UFO
>sightings we're familiar with here..

I just can't agree with this. The idea that military personnel
in the old Soviet Air Force were "remote... from Western media,
sensational journalism... UFO flaps ...UFO books ...fascination
with space and the beyond" is absurd. Many of the accounts we
have of UFO events behind the Iron Curtain came from popular
magazines aimed at servicemen. Science fiction is a much more
popular, mainstream, literary genre in Russia than it is even in
the USA, with many books and magazines being published. The
whole propaganda effort for the Soviet space programme was built
around a fascination with space and the beyond, even to serious
discussions that any advanced form of alien life would
inevitably have created a Marxist society!

As I admitted in an earlier posting, I overestimated the
differences in cultural terms between Western society and the
pre-1989 Eastern Bloc. I still think the arguement is valid
however for many Asian and Third World societies: when the
abductions start coming from these countries in any numbers I
will have to do a re-think - but not just yet.

John Rimmer
Magonia Online

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