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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2001 > Apr > Apr 25

Re: Debunkers' Guidebook - Randles

From: Jenny Randles <nufon@currantbun.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 11:37:58 +0100
Fwd Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 12:04:09 -0400
Subject: Re: Debunkers' Guidebook - Randles

 >From: Brad Sparks <RB47Expert@aol.com>
 >Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 19:31:26 EDT
 >Subject: Re: Debunkers' Guidebook
 >To: updates@sympatico.ca

 >>From: Don Ledger <dledger@ns.sympatico.ca>
 >>Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 10:40:19 -0300
 >>Fwd Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 13:16:14 -0400
 >>Subject: Re: Debunkers' Guidebook - Hatch

 >>>From: Jenny Randles <nufon@currantbun.com>
 >>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@sympatico.ca>
 >>>Subject: Re: Debunkers' Guidebook
 >>>Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 21:29:55 +0100

 >>>>Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 01:22:17 -0300
 >>>>From: Don Ledger <dledger@ns.sympatico.ca>
 >>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@sympatico.ca>
 >>>>Subject: Re: Debunkers' Guidebook

 >>>>But - pilots may be experts at flying. They are not experts at
 >>>seeing fireball meteors as these are rare enough for most air
 >>>crew never to see one.


 >Hi Jenny, Don, List,

 >I just have to step in here and ask: How is it possible that
 >"most" pilots, air crew, have never seen a single fireball
 >meteor in their entire lives? Considering how much sky viewing
 >pilots must necessarily do, and their ability to cover a much
 >larger volume of space from an unimpeded panoramic view in the
 >air than lay people on the ground, this seems rather incredible.
 >Surely there must be some statistics somewhere. Once upon a
 >time there was a VFON (Volunteer Flight Officers Network) headed
 >by a Herb Roth that compiled reports of satellite/space
 >re-entries and meteors from airline pilots. But I have no idea
 >whatever became of VFON, its files, whether it ever issued
 >reports, etc.


Its a question of statistics. Most air crew will have seen
meteors, of course, as they are fairly common. Most Ufologists
will have seen them,too, if they pay any real attention to the
sky. And some meteors can be pretty bright and interesting to

However, fireball meteors are much rarer and even the majority
of astronomers that I have spoken with regard them as a
once-in-a-lifetime event that quite a few were still waiting to

So, yes, it is true that pilots have a better chance than you or
I of seeing a fireball meteor, but if you do the back of the
envelope calculations on how many average hours a pilot flies
and how frequent are these spectacular events you will realise
that most pilots statistically will still probably not see one.
Although, of course, more pilots will than people tucked up in

However, I was impressed by Mr McCoy's statement of his
experience and I admit no actual stats exist  as far as I know.
So his example could mean I would have to rethink this concept
if it were borne out more broadly. Although it remains unclear
if these things he saw were simply bright meteors or fireball
meteors - the latter of which are characterised by their long
trail and much slower motion.  I have seen a spectacularly
bright meteor also (over the same location where the British
Airways sighting occurred) - but it 'was' just a meteor not a
fireball meteor.

Nonetheless, it is over simplistic to suggest that I have sought
to reject eyewitness testimony in this case and impose my view
of what the British Airways crew saw on anybody else. I know the
pilots don't agree with me. I know that the CAA (Civil Aviation
Authority) don't either - because one of their officials told me
- although they did not actually pursue my line of thinking in
reaching their 'UFO' conclusion. So its a case of opinion versus

My opinion on this case was formed primarily from past
experience of how other witnesses have described their
perception of an event which is not open to question. In these
instances (eg the Cosmos 1068 burn up) everyone 0 even
Ufologists - accepts  they 'did' see a space junk / fireball
meteor event and yet they 'did' describe it as a structured
rocket shape with windows. The similarities between the
testimony in these cases and the Chiles Whitted and BA sightings
are too clear cut to merely ignore.

 From this it is perfectly reasonable to form the conclusion that
when other cases occur where the same description is offered by
witnesses and circumstances indicate that a space junk / bolide
resolution is feasible that this possibility should be given due

That's really all I have ever done. I form this opinion from
facts - not polemics - and have always made clear that it is my
reasoning about the facts of that case with which anyone else is
happy to agree or disagree. Nor have I ever suggested that I am
'right' - although obviously I do personally consider this
explanation to be most likely correct in this instance.

What is wrong is to read into this any attempt to disrespect
witnesses or tell them what they have seen. I don't do either of
those things. But I do know what I think here and why and do not
think there is anything to feel ashamed about in saying that.

After all Ufologists exist to try to find answers - not to
reassure witnesses that they did see what they think they saw.
Sometimes these interests happily coincide, and one should never
openly rebuke a witness, of course. But when the choice is
between saying what you believe to be the truth about a sighting
and soft soaping a witnesses ego, unfortunately Ufologists have
to side with truth.

Best wishes,

Jenny Randles