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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 13

Re: Edward Condon

From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 15:01:18 -0500
Archived: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 22:49:37 -0500
Subject: Re: Edward Condon


>From: Vincent Boudreau <vincentboudreau.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 16:08:31 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: Re: Edward Condon

>>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2007 13:26:09 -0400
>>Subject: Edward Condon [was: Newly Released CIA Documents On UFOs?]

<snip>

>Then follow the Congressional Hearings, Hynek's proposal of a
>thorough study, and the opportunity for the Air Force to get off
>the hook by passing the buck to some University study.

>The problem was that nobody wanted to touch the subject with a
>ten foot pole:

>"Harvard University, the [MIT], the University of North
>Carolina, and the University of California all declined the
i>nvitation. None wanted to involve itself with a subject so
>controversial - worse, disreputable - as UFOs." [Clark, p. 593].>

>A little more of this before a reluctant Condon finally accepted
t>he task.

>We all know what happened after that. Condon became one of the
>worst debunkers in history. Clark, ! pp597-598:

>"... At one point, Hall flew to Boulder and personally handed
>Condon a comprehensive report on NICAP's investigation of the
>Portage County sightings, an extraordinary multiple-witness case
>in Ohio, involving a two-state police-car chase of a large low-
>flying UFO. Much later Hall came to realize that Condon had paid
>no attention to the document. The case would not even be
>mentioned in the committee's final report.

>"The only thing that did interest Condon was the crackpot
>contingent of the saucer world. On June 20, the (sic) openly
>expressed displeasure of all staff members notwithstanding, he
>attended the cartoonish 'Congress of Scientific Ufologists'in
>New York City. He regaled scientific colleagues and lecture
>audiences with tales of contactees and other eccentrics. He even
>dispatched field investigators to sites where contactees had
>predicted landings."

>This is entirely out of character for Condon! . He was a better
>person than that:

>"What kind of man was h e? Grace Marmor Spruch's profile in
>Saturday Review (1 February 1969) says it well:>

>"The composite Condon is a moral, impassioned man, with a depth
>of concern for mankind not common in scientists; a man fiercely
>principled and anti diplomatic; a man who believes and feels in
>sharp contrasts, and who will let the world know his position
>without ambiguity. Fuzzimindedness is an anathema to him and he
i>nsists on saying so at every opportunity. But this rasping
>trait is wedded to an extreme generosity and kindness.
>Throughout his life he has given freely of his time, his
>counsel, his finances, and his home." "

>http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec/exhibits/crow/condonbio.html

Thanks, Vincent, for your discourse on Condon. When the Condon
thread was active several weeks ago I pondered adding my two
cents, but decided against it.  But now I am "impelled" to
comment by the above statement that "fizzimindedness is an
anathema" to Condon. And yet, what he did regarding the
McMinnville case can only be considered either "fizzimindedness"
or well-thought-out "cheating!"

Brad Sparks has already commented on this but I want to make it
more explicit,  Many of you will recall that astronomer William
Hartmann analyzed the Trent photos, visited the Trents and the
site of the photos, etc. He placed the Trent case (May 11, 1958,
near McMinnville, Oregon) at the top of the heap, saying
(paraphrase) that tall factors investigated seemed consistent
with the claim of the witnesses that an "extraordinary flying
object": had passed by and they had photographed it.

Now, one would think that a scientific study with the ostensible
goal of establishing whether or not at least some UFOs are
"Extraordinary Flying Objects" (i.e., as portrayed to the
public... but we all know what the _trick_ was, don't we Robert
Low) would devote "FBI level" investigation to a case which, in
the opinion of one of the investigators, was likely real
(Hartmann did say he couldn't prove it wasn't a hoax, but that
seemed highly unlikely given the context and the people involved
- the Trents). Instead, Hartmann's analysis was glossed over or
"covered up" by Condon in his summary of the study.

Yes, Condon did refer to this particular case. In section 12 of
his executive summary he wrote, regarding the McMinnville
photos, "But in this case the UFO images turned out to be too
fuzzy to allow worthwhile photogrammetric analysis." He then
goes on to point out other photo studies done by Hartmann. He
wrote, (Hartmann) studied a "selection of 18 older cases" which
led to the identification of a "number of widely publicized
photographs as innocent misidentifications of things
photographed under unusual conditions."

So, Condon was clearly aware of the results of Hartmann's research.
And clearly Condon "trusted" Hartmann's opinions, at least for the
supposedly identified sightings. But apparently not for the Trent
case!

Note the word "photogrammetric."

Now, I _assume_ that Condon actually read Hartmann's analysis.
If he didn't he is "forgiven" for a mistake and guilty of
nonfeasance of duty (not doing what the project director should
do). But more likely he is guilty of something else: cover up.

You see, HArtmann did not base his photo analysis on
photogrammetry  but rather on  photometry.

Photogrammetry requires measurements of locations of images in
order to calculate angles between the images of interest.
Accurate photogrammetry requires sharply focused pictures...
well at least _sufficiently_ sharp pictures, in order to measure
the angles between sighting lines to objects in the pictures.

Photometry, on the other hand, does not use angles. It is the
measurement of relative brightnesses of objects in the pictures.
HArtmann used the image brightness of the bottom of the UFO
image in Trent photo 1 to argue that the object was about a
kilometer away.

Whether or not his argument was correct or justified is not
relevent here; anyone who wants to see the full discussion can
go to my web site:

http://brumec.8k.com and search for Trent or McMinnville.

The point it this: Hartmann used photometry which does not
require sharply focused images (if the images are large enough
for film density measurements, as the the Trent images are), yet
Condon rejected the pictures based on photogrammetry.

The average reader might not know the difference between
photogrammetry and photometry. And, in any case, the reader
would have had to read Hartmann's analysis to know that
photogrammetry played no role in Hartman's brightness argument.
But, anyone who took the time to read Hartmann's analysis would
also see his conclusion!

I deduce from the following that Condon did not want readers to
read Hartmann's conclusion.

Condon was not the average reader. I am _certain!_ that Condon
knew the difference between photogrammetry and photometry.

Condon was a very smart guy! I have some of his physics
books.

Therefore I can only conclude that Condon deliberately tried to
direct the reader';s attention away from the McMinnville case
the only way he could and still sound "scientific" by claiming
(with a straight face, and through clenched teeth, I presume)
that the Trent photos were "too fuzzy for worthwhile"
(photogrammetric) " analysis."

Bad Boy, Ed. Go to the Back of the Klass.

Incidently, when Hartmann found out what Condon said about
the Trent case Hartmann was "dismayed" (to put it
lightly).


Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast

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