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

Re: The Ten Cases

From: RobIrving@aol.com
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 18:30:53 EDT
Fwd Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 21:20:21 -0400
Subject: Re: The Ten Cases

>Subject: UFO UpDate: Re: The Ten Cases
>From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
>Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 00:21:19 -0400
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

Mark,

Re: Valensole

>I have seen no rebuttal of this case.

In Brookesmith & Devereux's UFOs and Ufology, the authors
mention that the French sixth fleet was in the area, possibly
with helicopters, but do not offer that as any kind of concrete
explanation. It strikes me that on the strength of only one
witness and little material evidence it would be very hard to
form a conclusion either way.

>>>> For instance, Valensole has beings, sample gathering, unusual
>>>> traces, and the startling performance normal to UFO cases.

>>The case, the scenario, the story has beings. That's how I see
>>it, not that that makes it untrue, of course.

>The beings were seen examining a lavender plant. The object
>departed at a speed so high as to seem almost instantaneous. The
>beings aimed a device at Masse which seemed to prevent him from
>moving when he came close. So there's more than just beings.

You miss my point. You are discussing the case as if it were
positively concluded. Elsewhere I introduced the question of
whether belief bore any effect on the scientific aspect. You
appear to have no doubt about this story whatsoever. Besides the
farmer's testimony, what evidence do you base this on? Or are
you simply believing the story on the basis that it hasn't been
disproved, so therefore it's more likely to be true?

>The Sheffield case is already embroiled in controversy that
>seems to be going badly for it. That is the sort of thing that
>one would expect to find happening to Valensole if it were an
>unreliable case.

For what it's worth, there are crucial differences. The main
protagonist of the Sheffield case is an ET-believer purporting
to be investigating the case after the event, rather than its
sole witness. It is not without other witnesses and events, from
which David Clarke has been able to glean a reasonable account
of what probably happened, and which is utterly incongruous to
Mr ET-believer's version. If the Valensole case consists of only
one witness to the events described, then I can't agree; it is
not the sort of thing one would expect to find happening. The
more factors the higher the likelihood of finding either fault
or confirmation in a story.

>Remember, the witness was also interviewed by the police, who
>have extensive experience in dealing with frauds and unreliable
>people.

What was the police's interest in coming to a conclusion either
way?

If their response was any more than a Gallic shrug, please alert
me.

>Yes, a report which has been investigated many times over many
>years and which retains consistency over that time is certainly
>more reliable than one which has not. That's the point.

I can't agree. Surely the older a story becomes, so the
opportunities for investigation (and conclusions) also diminish.
What you seem to be telling me is that this somehow works
differently, that the older a story is the greater its veracity.
Far from being "the point", it doesn't make sense.

I could tell you I saw a man with a tangerine for a head walking
up my street today, and without any fear that anyone could prove
otherwise.  That wouldn't mean that in 20 years time it would be
any more true.

By your reasoning, countless stories involving lake monsters,
ghosts, BVMs, what have you, are more likely to be true, simply
by default. Is
this what you're saying?

>Single witness reports (not "stories") are generally not granted
>a probability higher than 3 (according to Hynek) regardless of
>the credibility of the witness. Nonetheless, the standard which
>allows it to attain that level of probability requires a stable
>witness with a good reputation, with no problematic history
>before or after.

Even the most reputable reporters make up stories. But let's not
get hung up on semantics. Perhaps we should settle for
'accounts'.

I don't place much credence in 'probability of truth' ratings.
What did Hynek base his numerical rating on? Equally, from my
experience of what's commonly known around these parts as
'hoaxing' I can't see the relevance of 'stability' and
reputation in determining any veracity to what people say.

Sure, one might be more suspicious of a story coming from a
known fabulist, but this doesn't mean that those with no such
reputation are automatically telling the truth. Similarly, our
talent for misperception is equally distributed throughout
society.

I'm not saying that I disbelieve the Valensole account, nor am I
arguing against your apparent belief in it... only that you seem
not to recognise the incongruity of accepting stories on little
evidence and your claim to be taking a scientific approach in
investigating them.

Rob


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