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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Oct > Oct 29

Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!

From: Jenny Randles <nufon@currantbun.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 23:47:10 +0100
Fwd Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 23:31:29 -0400
Subject: Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!

 >From: Gildas Bourdais <GBourdais@aol.com>
 >Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 13:49:26 EDT
 >Subject: Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!
 >To: updates@globalserve.net

 >>Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 06:45:48 +0200 (MET DST)
 >>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
 >>From: Henny van der Pluijm <hvdp@worldonline.nl>
 >>Subject: Re: British Ufology Has Been Reborn!

 > Hello, Henny and List,

 >I am not disturbed by the statement that many UFOs may be
 >reduced to IFOs after careful analysis. What really bothers me
 >is the statement made, for instance, by Jenny Randles (message
 >of October 26) :

 >>>We can often prove an IFO
 >>>to reasonable degrees of certainty. A UFO is simply an
 >>>unresolved case and may eventually become an IFO or stay a UFO.
 >>>This means ufologists should pay more heed to IFO cases because
 >>>they teach us useful lessons.

 >Of course, IFO can never mean, I suppose, a craft identified as
 >alien (non-human) ! So, such a statement simply closes the door
 >to the construction of a solid case for UFOs as alien crafts, if
 >I understand well the long discourse displaid on this list by
 >Jenny Randles, Andy Roberts, and David Clarke (I may have missed
 >other names).

Sorry but you do not 'understand well' anything I have said it
would appear. I repeat (patiently once again) that I do not
reject the possibility, even probability of some close
encounters relating to another intelligence. I have said so
repeatedly. So the claim that I am closing the door on seeking
to build such a case is arrant nonsense.

Have you actually read any of my books where I have strived for
20 years to build a positive case for unexplained UFOs? And in
many close encounters have done precisely that, I think.

But thats another issue not related to the quote above. This
refers to the 95% or so of cases we can explain as IFOs. I argue
that with these we often can prove a solution. We can never
prove any theory for the unsolved cases unless and until
physical evidence appears beyond the level we have seen so far .
As such IFO cases have a status that I consider under emphasised
by UFOlogists. We can learn from them.

The remaining cases not proven to be IFOs are, of course, a key
to the UFO mystery per se. This is the evidence we should focus
most effort upon and it is the very evidence that UFOIN will
address. Thats why there are reports in process on major close
encounters such as car stops, jet chases, radar trackings, etc .

UFOIN is not a negative organisation as so many of you seem to
be desperate to believe . I have no idea why this seems to be a
cause celebre. But it will emphasise solved cases as and when
that is the conclusion we reach about an investigation. I see no
need to apologise for that. So much of UFOlogy is concerned with
solving cases we have a responsibility not to ignore them.

However, there is no expectation of finding that negative
position always or often with the data. Nobody will be more
pleased than I as and when we find strong positive data on UFOs
as we will sometimes do I am sure - and it wont be swept under
any mat if we do either.

My point was not that UFOs can never become IFOs (where the
Identified object is identified as an alien craft). It is simply
that in general we can prove an IFO in conventional terms or we
can leave a case baffling and thus still a UFO. In those
instances the alien interpretation is one possible conclusion to
take on from there (strengthened - as many of you seem to forget
- by these  efforts to find solutions with the best cases).

But we can probably not prove by our present methodology that a
UFO is a spaceship. At least if anyone has ever succeeded in
doing that I would love to hear about it. This is an unrealistic
expectation which appears to have one of several explanations.
One of these is, of course, that there are no alien craft out
there to prove. But another, for instance, is that these craft
have a science so far beyond us that they produce effects that
are not amenable to our present deductive logic.

All that is obvious to me is that IFO data has the edge because
we can often reach firm conclusion about it. The unsolved cases
are by nature more contentious. This does not demean them. It
does not mean that none of them will ever be established as
evidence of another intelligence. But it does mean they lack the
closure that an IFO case can bring. Really I wasnt arguing much
more than that.

If you regard this as worrying or scepticism, fine. I am afraid
to me its just a fact of a UFOlogists life that we have to try
to work with.

 >This seems to be the common viewpoint of UFOIN, if we add the
 >names of Paul Devereux and Tim Matthews. I think this much more
 >an ideological attitude than a scientific one, in sharp
 >contrast with people like astronomer Hynek and prof. MacDonald,
 >for instance.

I have great respect for both of these men and knew Allen Hynek
in the last years of his life. I did not get the impression that
our  approach to UFOs was that far apart, to be honest -
although he was, of course, a far more learned person. But my
only ideology, as you put it, is as an investigator. It can be
expressed simply.

A UFO sighting is a collection of evidence. The job of an
investigator is to study that evidence free of any expectation,
preconceived theory or bias. All reasonable rational solutions
should be explored and matched against the evidence. If these
argue in favour of a solution then we should be willing to say
so. If they do not the case remains a UFO - ie unsolved - and
joins the pile of data supporting UFO reality (strengthened
according to how well an investigation was conducted). From then
it is the job of the theorist to argue what this unsolved data
means. It is not the job of an investigator whose role ends when
all reasonable options have been explored and a case is either
solved as an IFO or added to the ranks of the unexplained.

I am bemused as to why this philosophy - which has always been
mine and to my knowledge that of most others in UFOIN - seems to
be creating such a fuss. I thought all good UFOlogists acted
responsibly like this. Was I

 >Recently, Jenny Randles questioned the French COMETA report, for
 >its presentation of the famous Lakenheath case (message of July
 >25) :


 >In answer to this message, journalist Bernard Thouanel, who was
 >the editor of the report published by the magazine VSD, asked
 >Jenny Randles two days later to give him some material of her
 >inquiry, which he would publish in a forthcoming issue of VSD.
 >He gave me a copy of his message with his authorization to
 >reproduce it, and I think it appropriate time to do it :

 >"In fact, I am preparing the next special issue of VSD OVNI"
 >(UFOs) in which I would like to publish the testimony of the RAF
 >Venom crew members (anonymous or not, at their wish, but I would
 >prefer to have them fully named and ranked) concerning the
 >Lakenheath case."

 >Jenny Randles answered that, no, she could not assist him in his
 >request for contact with the RAF crew, for several reasons, the
 >main one being her contract with the BBC. (I have a private copy
 >of her reply).

 >Well, Jenny Randles raised that question as a "test of the
 >objectivity of COMETA". To me it is now a test of her
 >objectivity : how can you play such a trick, Mrs Randles ?

You are misleading this list attrociously.

I was asked by Bernard Thouanel to tell nobody of our private
correspondance. I did as I was asked. Evidently either that was
a rather one sided request (if he cleared you to comment but has
not told allowed me to discuss my own messages!) or you do not
regard confidences in the same light that I do.

That said I must now of course tell people what really happened.

Yes, I was asked to help Mr Thouanel. So I sent him immediately
a copy of 'Something in the Air' with an account of the
Lakenheath pilots testimony. This would thus allow him to put
something in print about their story as soon as he wished.

How does that constitute no co-operation?

He did request supply of full details of the crew as you note.
But I again did not refuse. Witness details cannot just be
released here due to a law we have called the Data Protection
Act and our own Code of Practice for BUFORA/UFOIN investigators
that properly restricts what we can say to journalists such as
Mr Thouanel. This exists to protect witnesses and I stand by it.

So I reported straight back to Mr Thouanel that there were
several reasons why it would not be immediately possible to send
the data (one was indeed resolving the BBC copyright issue as my
programme was made for them and is still being re-run under
contract - although in case you are wondering - I am not being
paid for this - so there are no questions here of financial gain
preventing release of information to ufology).

Another problem was the fact that I had to get proper clearance
from the crews and our Official Secrets Act is still a real
issue with RAF pilots as you would know if you had ever
interviewed any of them.

But I told Mr Thouanel that this work would be done (and indeed
is being done for a UFOIN report to be issued early in the new
year ) . I have for some time committed to producing this report
(for which again I wont be paid a penny ). And I  added that I'd
be happy to let Mr Thouanel have a copy of this data when it was
completed .

Here is exactly what I told him (clearly Mr Thounels's embargo
on my talking in public is meaningless)...

'I do intend to document all of this material when I am freed by
both (the BBC) and by the witnesses to do so. I will happily
provide a copy to you at that time. '

Now kindly tell me and this list how the above actions and my
above reply equate with  a refusal to cooperate or can be termed
a trick? As far as I can see I did what I could to assist Mr
Thouanel - although evidently my trust and my sincere offer to
provide further material to him was misplaced.

I now hope that you will issue an apology for your unfounded
allegation to this list.


Jenny Randles

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