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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 29

Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

From: "Jerome Clark" <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 98 12:17:09 PDT
Fwd Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 18:18:50 -0400
Subject: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

> Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 00:14:35 -0500 (CDT)
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: Dennis Stacy <dstacy@texas.net>
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

> >To: "UFO UpDates - Toronto" <updates@globalserve.net>
> >From: "Jerome Clark" <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
> >Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4
> >Date: Sun, 28 Jun 98 15:14:48 PDT

> <Giant snip>

> >> In fact, Clark doesn't like dwelling on particular cases, as
> >> they always fall apart when subjected to careful, critical
> >> examination - literary or otherwise. He prefers to rely on
> >> the cumulative effect of hundreds of reports which, if taken
> >> at face value, tend to suggest that the ETH might be a
> >> rational explanation for them. He also praises the work of
> >> Michael D. Swords who argues that the existence of
> >> space-travelling ETs is possible. I entirely agree that it
> >> is possible, but is it actual? What we need is hard
> >> evidence, not scientific speculation.

> >Here Harney staggers into the downright wacky. "Clark doesn't
> >like dwelling on particular cases." What? Huh? Is this a joke? I
> >have just had published a two-volume, 1200-page work (1035 of
> >text) which "dwells on particular cases" in often greater detail
> >than anywhere else in the literature, weighing evidence and
> >judging which conventional explanations work and which don't,
> >bringing to bear in a number of instances information heretofore

> >unavailable, and pointing to a number of cases which stubbornly
> >resist solution, for reasons about which I could hardly be more
> >specific. Harney, you are full of ... erroneous assertions.

> <snip>

> As far as the giant snips go, I think everyone is holding their
> own. But as far as the "best case" scenario goes, I have to side
> with Harney, unless Clark is willing to give us his best ten.
> Harney seems to be saying the ETH argument is composed of a
> series of cumulative errors. Clark (see above) says this isn't
> the case at all, but cleverly avoids the ten best cases issue.

Dennis, I have great respect for you, but not when you're waxing
dumb like this. I shouldn't have to tell you, since I suspect a
degree of disingenuousness on your part here, that the evidence
for UFOs as extraordinary, apparently intelligently guided
physical phenomena consists of BOTH good cases and the much
larger pattern of sighting data worldwide for these past decades.
It amazes me that I should have to be explaining this to you. Is
this some sort of game?

> Would it help if we moved the goal post to twenty? The point --
> which Jerry himself knows very well, whichever theory is
> applicable -- is this and this only: which ten (20 or 30) cases
> make your argument?

How childish. How Klassic.  If you want specific examples of
solid, puzzling cases, my UFO Encyclopedia is full of them,
and I refer you to it. Your copy should be arriving imminently.

In the meantime, if you can't let go of Klass-like challenges,
let me issue one to you:  Show me where (1) a skeptic of ball
lightning has demanded the top 10-20 cases that conclusively
prove its existence and (2) a proponent has acknowledged the
legitimacy of the challenge and responded to it. Then you can
also tell me whether that ended the debate.

No science I've ever heard of works that way, but Klassic
rhetoric certainly does. I would have thought better of you. It
makes me wonder anew at how much the Sage of N Street, S.W., has
corrupted discourse in this field.

Let me repeat: if you want good cases, go to my encyclopedia.
You'll find them with no difficulty, and you can even count them
if you wish.

> If you aren't willing to cite ten conclusive cases in favor of a
> particular hypothesis, then one may be forgiven for wondering how
> "conclusive" your argument is in the first place.

What "particular hypothesis" are you talking about?  I would be
interested -- after, of course, seeing the ball-lightning
challenge answered above -- if you would let me know which 10
particular cases in your opinion conclusively disprove the
hypothesis that UFOs are extraordinary phenomena (which is what
I am talking about and have been talking about all along).
Then, since you're talking 20 here, let me throw in another 10.
When you've responded to the BL challenge, you -- who are so
focused on the ET heresy -- can tell us which 10 cases
conclusively disprove the ETH.

I eagerly await the list, and if we don't see it, I may be
forgiven for wondering how "conclusive" your argument is in the
first place.

And that leaves me wondering: why are you guys so focused on
final answers?  My position all along is simply that the ETH is
a reasonable provisional hypothesis for at least some UFO
phenomena. (Let me refer again to the work you guys just can't
seem to come to grips with: Mike Swords' papers on the
compatibility of current thinking about exobiology with
ufology's ETH.) I do not think it is proved. I don't think any
hypothesis about UFOs has been proved; otherwise, we wouldn't
call them UFOs. What the ETH, unlike its competitors, has going
for it is this: it is hard at this stage to conceive an
alternative interpretation which assumes (as the best reports
seem to suggest) that UFOs exhibit both advanced technology and
intelligent control.

Of course, in some quarters, as we have seen, this is such a
vile heresy that the heretic -- ESPECIALLY the apostate heretic
-- must be driven from the field or (by sleazy innuendo, in
Harney's latest broadside, which Dennis, whom I would have
judged a good friend, can't bring himself to criticize) called a
liar and a charlatan whose writing is too contaminated with
heresy to be of any value. Let's be open about this, Dennis: is
this your view?

But really, though it serves debunkers' interest (and you're
sure sounding like one here, Dennis), the two questions really
are separate, and -- as the science panel's statement indicates
-- it is investigation and documentation of the puzzling
physical phenomena associated with UFO reports that ought to be
our primary concern right now.  Or are investigation and
documentation so threatening that they ought to be buried under
endless pointless, and (at this stage) unprovable speculation?
Maybe, after all, that's the point.

Let us reflect on the grand words of Ed Ruppelt, than whom none
has put it better:

"What constitutes proof? Does a UFO have to land at the River
Entrance to the Pentagon, near the Joint Chiefs of Staff
offices?  Or is it proof when a ground radar station detects a
UFO, sends a jet to intercept it, the jet pilot sees it, and
locks on with his radar, only to have the UFO streak away at a
phenomenal speed?"

The apostate,

Jerry Clark

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