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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 30

Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 98 08:18:41 PDT
Fwd Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 10:02:38 -0400
Subject: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

> Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 22:35:15 +0100
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: John Rimmer <johnr@magonia.demon.co.uk>
> 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

> <snip>

> >On the other hand, since the PSHers love to lavish attention on
> >me as the focus of all that is evil in ufology, I must deliver
> >to them some profoundly disappointing news: a panel of American
> >scientists, with no previous involvement in UFO research or
> >controversy,is about to weigh in with a public statement which
> >will deliver the needle to the Purely Speculative rhetorical
> >balloon.

> I think you should read a little bit more of the report before
> blowing your entertaining two-tone horn (copyright: Duke of
> Mendoza) about it. Phrases like "there was no convincing
> evidence pointing to unknown physical processes or to the
> involvement of extraterrestrial intelligences" are not going to
> get the PSHers quaking in the boots, they simply serve to
> demonstrate how Entirely Threadbare the ETH is. No needle there,
> I'm afraid.

I hope, John, that by now you have had time to read the
report and won't have to repeat misleading claims like
the above.  The panel was formed to look at a specific
question: the physical evidence associated with UFO
reports.  The scientists concluded that this evidence is
puzzling and intriguing and merits far more attention than
it has received from scientists to date.  They went on to
cite cases, such as the Coyne CE2, which involved multiply
witnessed events involving a craftlike structure which
resembled no earthly aircraft.  The panel lamented the
absence of a study of physical evidence and went no
farther beyond acknowledging the intriguing nature of
the incident.

Nothing in the panel's mission required it to judge
whether -- at the end of the investigation that the panel
made clear has barely begun -- the ETH is valid or
invalid.  All it was judging was whether the limited
question it was addressing, namely suggestive and
enigmatic but not adequately investigated, physical
evidence proved ET visitation.  Given the limited
scope of the inquiry, it could come to no other answer
than that the ETH is unproved.  Of course.  What other
conclusion could it come to, given the limitations the
panel repeatedly cited in scientific attention and
resources devoted to the issue?

The good news is that nothing in the report backs up
the sweeping dismissals we've been hearing from
the Purely Speculative Hypothesizers.  The panel
report is undiluted good news for the rest of us.

> Incidently, you say you don't know anything about John Harney.
> Until his retirement a few months ago he was a Senior Scientific
> Officer at the UK Meteorological Office, where he had worked for
> a great number of years. These people know quite a lot about
> strange things that happen in the sky, you know -- far more than
> most English majors. He's also been studying the UFO phenomenon
> for even longer than you Jerry; I think his involvement goes
> back to the mid '50s.

Thank you for bringing up Harney's name.  That gives me a
chance to ask you a question.  In his recent anti-ETH rant he
has this to say, in a piece in which I am the named figure
(except for a brief, passing reference to Mike Swords)
open-minded about the ETH; moreover, mine is the only book
cited.  Here's his penultimate paragraph:

"American ETH enthusiasts appear to be much better
educated and more intelligent [thanks, Harney].  This
means they can retail their lies, fantasies, and pseudo-
scientific gobbledygook more smoothly and effectively.
However, I suspect that the American public are beginning
to become bored with their absurd posturings and intellectual

Here's my question to you, John Rimmer:  Is it your view,
as editor of Magonia (which published the slanderous
remarks above), that I am retailing "lies, fantasies, and
pseudo-scientific gobbledygook"?  Do you believe that
my views amount only to "absurd posturings"?  Is it your
view that I am "intellectually dishonest"?

I look forward to your response.

Jerry Clark

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