UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 22

Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 17:37:25 -0000
Archived: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 07:59:06 -0500
Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 13:45:02 -0600
>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2007 18:53:47 -0000
>>Subject: Re: Penniston NP Conference & King


>>Did you really just put the words "descriptions of a mere will
>>o'the wisp" into my mouth for the second time? I'm rapidly
>>realising the futility of talking about this since you persist
>>in failing even to even read accurately. In fact this more than
>>a failure, it is a perverse and wilfull misrepresentation
>>peddled a second time after I explicitly and with precise
>>quotation as evidence proved to you that this was neither what
>>I said nor what any rational reader could have conceived that I

>Your original statement was:

>>They saw some wierd display of
>>blue and red lights that behaved in an apparent will-o'-the-
>>whisp fashion and vanished before they got nearer than 50m. At
>>that distance Penniston (at least) was "positive" they were
>>attached to an unknown mechanical device. Fine. The problem is
>>with the emergence of a new narrative which claims that they
>>got right up close and actually touched this thing.

>A weird display of lights that behaves like a will o' the wisp
>is, as far as I can tell, the description of something very
>similar to, and something that just might be, a _will_o'_the_
>_wisp_. You are the one who put those words into your own

>Don't blame me for it.

Well the entire force of that paragarph turns on the phrase "as
far as I can tell", which frankly is not far. You misinterpreted
me innocently once, but after having refused to listen to my
explanation of what I meant you have now persisted in
_deliberately_ misrepresenting me twice. Your credibility
balance is now in negative figures.

>The Halt memo makes it clear that from the very beginning,
>someone in Penniston's group was describing something that
>cannot be explained away as "some wierd display of blue and red
>lights that behaved in an apparent will-o'-the- whisp fashion,"
>to use your _exact_ words so as to avoid any future complaints
>and false accusations.

This is absolutely stunning! How the hell can a wierd mobile
display of blue and red lights which at least one witness was
certain were attached to an unknown mechanical device be an
explaining-away of anything? You must set the bar for anomalous
experience far higher than I do. I could fill a very long post
with quotes proving how hard I've tried to _insist_ that
"someone in Penniston's group" was describing what he was
convinced was a mechanical device, in terms plainly echoed in
Halt's memo. But you just won't have it. You won't be happy
until I _do_ claim that all they saw was a whisp of gas.

You assert that I "said the witnesses' statements were will-o-
the-wispy", which I certainly didn't, and you add, "which they
were". But no, they weren't! Penniston and Burroughs were clear
in describing and drawing what they thought was a structured
arrangement of brilliant white, red and blue lights. They
initially judged that the lights were near the edge of the
forest, and when they went after them they seemed to get close,
at which point one witness at least was positive that they were
attached to a mechanical device, which then rushed away deeper
into the forest. As Penniston described this, "it moved in a
zig-zagging manner back through the woods". They followed it to
where they thought it exited the far side of the forest into the
field. But when they climbed into the field after it, the thing

All this was described by Sgt Chandler in these terms: "Each
time Penniston gave me the indication that he was about to reach
the area where the lights were, he would give an extended
estimated location...", terms which are (to my mind) instantly
reminiscent of the type of leading-on or teasing _behaviour_
 which is traditionally ascribed to phenomena we call will-o-
the-wisp, will-with-a-wisp, ingis fatuus etc. This fugitivity is
what is conveyed by the "will o' the wisp" simile as used by
poets and in common speech for centuries. That is the sense in
which I intended it originally and intend it now. I also
described Penniston's drawing as resembling a "drum". I suppose
I should be thankful that I'm not being accused of "explaining
away" that as a giant percussion instrument.

You are at liberty not to like the metaphor but you are not at
liberty to misrepresent your own interpretation as mine, and
then use this bogus issue as an ignis fatuus of your own,
designed to "mislead the amaz'd night wanderer" (Milton) away
from the numerous real issues you don't want to confront.

I'm tired of finding different ways to repeat myself, but in
case others are being misled by your persistent claims I will
quote just this one paragraph from an earlier post:

'The descriptions of a bank of blue lights topped by a red
light; Burroughs' drawing showing this arrangement of lights on
a triangular shape; Penniston's confirmation of having
"positively identified"' it from 50 meters as a "mechanical
device" - these all add up to a sighting of something aptly
characterised as a structured object not a vague glow.'

>That's all I've got time for. There's really no point in
>debatings someone who's too fond of his own argument to concede
>that rational people just might find it less than completely

And that's your only response to a whole list of interrelated
issues that have been raised? Lob in one final smoke-bomb of
misrepresentation and run away? This is not how rational people
deal with things. Rational people will understand that the point
of proposing arguments is to have them discussed rationally and
exposed to _conscientious_ counter-arguments. But you haven't
got time. Cheerio then.

Martin Shough

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



[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com