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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Oct > Oct 26

Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!

From: Jenny Randles <nufon@currantbun.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 12:38:02 +0100
Fwd Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 03:10:12 -0400
Subject: Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!


 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
 >From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
 >Subject: Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!
 >Date: Sat, 23 Oct 99 10:25:42 PDT

 >>From: Jenny Randles <nufon@currantbun.com>
 >>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
 >>Subject: Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!
 >>Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 20:54:23 +0100

 >>>Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 21:55:06 +0100
 >>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
 >>>From: Sean Jones <tedric@tedric.demon.co.uk>
 >>>Subject: Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!

 >>>>Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 13:48:38 -0400
 >>>>From: Andy Roberts <Brigantia@compuserve.com>
 >>>>Subject: Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!
 >>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

 >Hi, Jenny,

<snip>

 >>1: UFOs are not a single phenomenon. There are multiple and
 >>different UFO phenomena with a range of explanations.

 >I have sometimes thought along the same lines myself
 >(specifically in the area of high-strangeness cases), but I
 >certainly would not state it, as you have here, as if this were
 >an established fact, because it isn't.

Well we can hopefully disagree in amicable terms on that. I
believe it is established to my satisfaction. Thats not the same
thing as a fact, of course, but I am not forcing the conclusion
onto anyone - merely telling you what I, personally, have found
from my many hundreds of case investigations.


Isn't it odd that when I dont offer conclusions I get told that
I 'sit on the fence' and when I do I am told I am issuing as a
fact a statement that cannot be said to be fact.  If all we ever
did was discuss proven facts about UFOs I think Updates could
close now through lack of use. We can only offer reasoned
premises based upon the evidence and thats what I do here - not
claim that I know 'the truth' any more than anybody does
regarding UFOs.

 >From my experience as an investigator I have encountered cases
that I am overwhelmingly convinced to be a form of UAP (eg an
extreme form of ball lightning is one example). (A first hand
instance of this would be the Nelson car stop case from March
l977)  I do not think all unexplained cases are super BL. This
option does not, for instance, explain alien contact encounters.
Therefore this means we must have at least two types of UFO to
explain different sorts of case. I think the evidence in support
of that contention is strong enough to convince me - especially
given, for instance, basic differences such as the witness per
case ratio for each type. But if it doesnt convince you thats
okay by me too.

 >I am assuming here that
 >you do not assume that all UFOs are potentially reduceable to
 >IFOs -- a debunking cliche to which history has not been kind --
 >and that your premise here is that what we call UFOs and what we
 >call IFOs are different in kind.

If you read my original reply I think I do actually answer your
question there.

I quote from it ...

(You may feel some cases never will have mundane causes. I
actually agree with you. But its an opinion that we cannot prove
and the position Andy adopts (that ultimately all cases will
fall in down to earth terms) is perfectly defensible...

 >>new types of IFO are
 >>always feasible and may simply never have been thought of before
 >>now. When they are thought of they can suddenly solve a
 >>potentially baffling case. This is the nature of the
 >>investigation process in ufology.

 >Why is the idea of alien visitors "impossible"?  I suspect that
 >you do not mean what you say quite the way it sounds.

I did not come up with this possible/impossible analogy if you
follow the original posting to which I replied. I was responding
to a note that argued by citing Sherlock Holmes, from which this
famous quote appears. The point being made by the use of this
quote was - as I understood it - that exotic solutions like
aliens or time travellers forced themselves upon you when you
had ruled out the more mundane ones for any case. As such I did
not choose to substitute 'possible' and 'impossible' into this
scenario - that was done in the quote to which I was clearly
responding !

As you know (because I have said it many times in recent months
on Updates) I do not regard alien contact as an impossible
theory or even an improbable one.

 >I think you are making far, far too much of this isolated
 >instance.

Its not just one instance. 'The UFOs that never were' features
about 25 cases which have progressed from UFO towards sometimes
surprising IFO conclusions as you will see. More than one
involved an answer that required guesswork, skill, good luck or
good judgement to find. Without that often lengthy research they
would have stayed UFOs. In many cases UFOlogists still regard
them as such. Our book aims to make that point from various
examples  - illustrating how UFOs do sometimes become IFOs years
down the track and involve quite unsuspected explanations. I
think it proves that to occur much more than in just one
isolated example - although, of course, most IFOs are not
unusual or surprising. We are simply saying that some are and
these suggest that presently unsolved cases may one day prove to
be IFOs that we have yet to recognise.

This should not be a threat to ufologists or ufology. Is not our
job to solve cases as and when thats possible? Surely doing so
strengthens the scientific value of the evidence we cannot
solve? Thats how I see it anyhow.

 >Historically, the best cases have overwhelmingly
 >stayed unexplained over time, under repeated investigation.

And I have never suggested otherwise. As we have pointed out
many times 'The UFOs that Never Were' is not a book that even
tries to argue that all UFO cases are solved. It is not a book
that claims there are no UFOs (not even exotic UFOs such as
aliens). Indeed as I have also noted the three authors disagree
on that question appreciably. It is not a book that is in any
way about the unsolved cases. But I dont think you can fairly
argue I have not written a good deal about such unexplained
events in the past. So it is silly to judge too much from one
book - its not as if I dont write others!

This is an unusual kind of UFO book in that it concentrates on
cases that started as UFOs and became IFOs (exactly as the title
suggests) and arguing the lessons we can learn from them. The
truly impressive data like McMinnville isnt in there. Theres one
fairly obvious reason for that. Its an unsolved case, not a UFO
that never was.

 >Where the best photographic  cases are concerned, McMinnville is
 >a more appropriate example than the Willamette photo.

Whos arguing otherwise? This book is not a book about the best
photographic cases, or the best UFO cases. Its a book about
SOLVED UFO cases (or in a few instances cases that appear to be
heading for resolution but remain contentious). It at no point
suggests (indeed it says pretty clearly otherwise) that because
some photo cases have been solved every other case on the UFO
records also must be an IFO. I emphatically do not believe that
- but as I said in my last reply I support Andy Robert's right
to defend such a theory, because its a premise you can justify
by way of solved cases. You no doubt reject it in its entirity
for sound reasons. So do I.

I am well aware of the fundamental difference between UFO and
IFO cases and have written about it at length (eg in Science and
the UFOs). But I repeat you are arguing at cross purposes here
attacking a book for not doing things it has never set out to
do.

Its interesting that I can write 30 pro UFO books over 20 odd
years and now that I am involved in one book that is not about
real UFOs but discusses pseudo UFOs instead - suddenly this is
perceived as being far more important than it is ever thought to
be by us. You have to see it in context - as one book out of
many, on a specialised area and making specific points by the
medium of a clearly defined exploration of a set of cases. Dont
read an entire philosophy of UFOs into it - especially as its
authored by three people who have similar ideas but also
markedly different ones at times.

We agreed up front to allow each of us to say our own piece on
cases that we wrote about even if the others disagreed about
them. As such individual chapters are credited. Andy thus
presents his views on the l974 Llandrillo incident based on a
good direct investigation (good enough that you have decided to
publish it in the IUR even though it appears to explain away a
noted case). I accept many of Andy's findings here and he has
clearly illuminated the path towards truth with a first rate
follow up - but I dont fully support all of his interpretation
of the evidence. However it was his chapter so what he writes is
what is in the book. It does not, of course, mean that in this
case (or probably any other)  controversy will be ended. But
again that was not why the book was written.  Although I think
its true that this is one of the few instances in the book where
there is a fundamental dispute over the nature  of a case - and
even here we are all agreed on more than we do not agree on (eg
none of think that an alien spaceship spewing dead bodies
crashed at Llandrillo  - which is what most others who have
written on the case seem to report).

If anything this book is a guide to investigators through
practical examples as to how to stick with cases beyond the
first few days. Thats how I view it. Not as a diatribe against
UFOs, a debunking assault or a claim that all UFOs are
explicable. But I can of course only give my opinion.

 >Incidentally, note the spelling -- it's not "Williamette."  I
 >hope you have it rendered correctly in your book.

Not sure, as I did not write that page (and its only a one page
box). But I'll try to make sure it is corrected if not. I must
admit I thought it was Williamette myself. I must have misread
it and added the 'i' and then for years falsely read the tiny
print on maps that include it.  With an 'i' and two 'll's next
to each other the eye is fooled easily into seeing another 'i'
after the second 'l' because its what your mind tells you is
most likely to be there.

In fact, thats a pretty good example of selective memory, and
how perception can be altered by expectation. This no doubt
occurs with many UFO witnesses who see a light, expect a UFO and
so perceive things in that light that are not really there (just
as I assumed it was William, not Willam, and my mind thereafter
saw the missing 'i' whenever I looked at a map).

Interesting. Thanks for pointing out this useful example of an
optical illision.


Best wishes,

Jenny Randles



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