From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul> Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 11:59:43 -0500 Fwd Date: Sat, 17 Feb 2007 11:59:43 -0500 Subject: Student UFOLogical Article Source: The Strand - University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada http://tinyurl.com/2fhq75 2/15/07 [with comment by NARCAP's Ted Roe] The Truth Is Out There Strand columnists Anthony Marcusa & Lauren McPhillips ponder our existence in the universe in the wake of recent unexplained UFO sightings Anthony Marcusa & Lauren McPhillips E PUR SI MUOVE Anthony Marcusa On November 7th, 2006, almost one dozen workers (including pilots) at Chicago's O'Hare Airport claim that an unidentified flying object hovered briefly in the sky before shooting upward through the clouds. The Federal Aviation Administration asserts that it was a weather phenomenon. On Friday, January 26th, at 6:20pm local time in the skies over Hawaii, another UFO was seen. The National Weather Service and the FAA had no explanation. Earlier that week, an amateur photograph captured a picture of UFO over Charlotte, North Carolina. It has been determined that the sight was not Venus, an airplane, nor a satellite. While many people have ignored these stories, others believe that it is simply another near encounter with extraterrestrial life. For the last 60 years, purported pictures of UFOs have existed, yet they do little to support the belief in aliens. They are blurry and distant. They are taken by unreliable and worn cameras of all age and size. They are taken by amateur photographers in a moment's notice, thus becoming a highly disreputable source. Moreover, in the 21st century, images are too easily doctored and changed, that the most convincing and debunked visual evidence may be disputed. This, however, does little to deny the existence of little green men. We see what we want to see. This fact is often employed by skeptics to denounce believers, claiming so-called witnesses are biased and subjective. It is not just aliens of which this axiom is applicable; every so often, a report appears in the news that someone somewhere has seen the image of the of Jesus Christ or Fidel Castro or Mother Theresa in an inanimate object. The Virgin Mary was seen in a grilled cheese over 10 years ago by Diana Duyser. At least one person agreed with her, because it was sold on eBay for $28,000. With so many presuppositions, a person can create any image out of nature that they so choose. However, while we as imaginative, influential, and most importantly, imperfect human beings may easily find images in the sky - or the kitchen - we have the equally powerful ability to ignore that which we see. The power of suggestion, which allows us to see that which is not there, is equal to that of denial, which allows us to ignore that which is there. Thus, skeptics who are quick to dismiss eye-witness accounts and other potential evidence, are too fallible and literally unbelievable. In the end seeing is not believing. Instead, logic is instead the answer. At key points throughout the history of humankind, science and logic have supported ideas that were later falsified. Aristotle believed the Earth to be the center of the universe, and that belief stood for hundreds of years. Medieval explorers believed the Earth to be flat, and that fear prevented many from setting sail. We know today that during those time periods, these beliefs were the most logical conclusions concerning the nature of the world. They are merely ridiculous, though, by today's standards. Perhaps someday in the distant or not too distant future we will look back and realize how ridiculous a thought it was to deny the existence of aliens. In so many facets of life, be it environmental science or medicine, we extend our imagination to the furthest reaches possible in order to obtain the supposedly impossible. We seek to cure cancer and curtail climate change. These discoveries are not always intentional, but instead fueled by discovery: the human drive to constantly expand and push forward towards new boundaries. Skeptics argue there is no documented and verified scientific proof of extraterrestrial life. Logic suggests otherwise. Life was created on Earth in a random series of events billions of years ago. Were one set of random outcomes to occur simultaneously, it should be of no surprise when these random events occur again. The limits of practicality need not apply to space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Skeptics seem motivated by fear or hubris. As Tom Stoppard so astutely noted, "the scientific approach to the examination of phenomena is a defense against the pure emotion of fear." We fear that which we cannot explain. Moreover, the notion that we are not alone in the universe would question the very significance of our existence. Skeptics are too driven by hubris, an arrogance that humans are the pinnacle of history, and the most advanced species that does and ever will exist. The universe is a far more exciting place than that. Whether or not people are willing to admit they believe, there is a part of us all that wants to believe. We read Ray Bradbury, listen to Orson Welles, and watch films by Roland Emmerich, and Steven Spielberg. Reason may limit us now, but our imagination will not be stopped and one day the truth will be discovered - that we are not alone. --- Believe To Understand Lauren McPhillips When Anthony approached me this week with an idea for my article topic, I really didn't know what to think. At first, I thought I hadn't read his message right. Reading it again, I was reassured that I had, in fact, read it correctly the first time. "Aliens? You've got to be kidding me," was all that I could mutter under my breath. At first, I didn't really think I could write a serious article on aliens without it seeming too kitschy or lame. I kept thinking, "Who actually believes in this shit?" Then I realized that people believe in stuff like this every day, in all different forms. So much of our lives is orchestrated by believing in something we do not see or are not certain of. Newsweek recently ran an article on the strange sighting discovered over Chicago's O'Hare Airport, one of the busiest airports in the US. Several United Airlines employees, including a few pilots, claim to have seen an object hovering over the terminal, then shoot up into the sky, leaving behind a perfect circle in the clouds above. An analyst of UFO's, Pete Davenport, seems to think that the sighting has to be credible, as it was seen by reliable sources, meaning those in a professional field. What I'm having a hard time determining is that if there was an unidentified flying object hovering over one of America's busiest airport's, why did only half a dozen people see it? Wouldn't the air traffic control people notice that before anyone else? I mean, do the 'aliens' have such great technology that they can avoid the airport's radar system? Maybe I'm just a skeptic, but when it comes to other life forms in our galaxy, I just cannot believe it without seeing it for myself. That's when I started to think about it a little more in depth; as a believer in God, or some form of higher power, why am I able to believe in such things, yet think UFO sightings are a farce? Religion is such an integral part of almost all societies, whether it's through belief in a god or just some form of power greater than ourselves. Many religions are founded on the past, on prophets or ideal individuals who claim to have received sacred words from their 'god'. Today, the religions that we associate ourselves with have no actual proof that the gods we worship actually exist or did exist, yet we often structure our lives around such beliefs. There have been a plethora of instances where people have had images of God appear before them or have claimed to have revelations in their sleep or experience an epiphany. So-called 'miracles' occur and many immediately associate them with higher powers showing themselves to humanity. So why is it, then, that the thought of there being life forms on other planets is something most of us are just not willing to accept? I think the skepticism of many is based on the fact that the concept of UFO sightings is still fresh and new to us. The first official sighting of a UFO was in 1947, merely 60 years ago, Davenport claims. This may seem like a long time to be able to get more acquainted with the idea of 'aliens', but when you think about organized religion, those beliefs have been passed on through the generations for thousands of years. Religious beliefs are acceptable because our society has integrated them into our daily lives over a long period of time; the talk about UFOs has yet to even span a century. I think another reason why many are so skeptical about UFOs and aliens is because there is no scientific evidence to back it up. With religion, sightings are based on phenomena and miraculous events, whereas alien life forms are something we believe science should be able to explain. If we are so advanced in technology and scientific research, and if we make trips to outer space and have yet to find such a factory to produce alien spaceships -let alone discover another life form - how can we believe in something that science should be able to explain? In a way, it's all a little scary when you think about it; I mean, believing in things you cannot prove to be real. We seem to stick to what those before us have believed when it comes to religion, yet we cannot determine for ourselves the phenomena of UFOs that supposedly visit our earth. What if we've been believing in the wrong thing the whole time; can you imagine thousands of years of religion proven to be wrong, yet aliens start to become part of our everyday thoughts and beliefs? As for now, though, I'll stick to my skepticism rather than explore the twilight zone of alien life. Hell, that's what David Duchovny's here for. ----- Ted Roe of NARCAP comments at The Strand site: http://tinyurl.com/2zzdab ----- Ted Roe posted 2/16/07 @ 7:58 PM EST Hello, My organization, NARCAP.org specializes in aviation cases such as the one described as occuring at Ohare in Nov06. I invite you to look our site over...We will be publishing the results of our investigation of that incident in a couple of weeks. I do have some suggestions as you struggle with the idea of skepticism vs science and the idea that some of these UAP or unidentified aerial phenomena as we call them may represent ET incursions. My organization has no opinion on this topic directly and have a solid disclaimer at the bottom of our homepage. However ET believers are constantly bombarding us with their opinions and using our work to support their contentions. So.... It is clear to us that unless we can define what alien technology is and how it works, we can not positively identify ET incursions into the earth domain. it is that simple. Science demands testability and repeatability and that simply isn't possible in this matter, regardless of how many eyeballs and radars are detecting the alleged UAP/UFO (vs UAP/ALP or anomalous light phenomena). When we know what constitutes an ET incursion, Science will have the last word on the subject but has nothing to offer in the mean time. There are other methods of examining data, the intelligence community uses them all the time to detect and conduct counterintelligence - all done without the scientific method. Those tools would work far better at detecting ET incursion than the scientific method. Further, broadly publishing these cases before anyone can investigate them only confuses the results. Newsweek hasn't investigated the Ohare case...just filling space with nonsense. Its like kids telling ghost stories with flashlights under their chins... The Mexico FAM flir case of 2004 is another prime example of a case with a prosaic explanation (oil flares in the Gulf of Campeche) arrived at through the scientific method. Yet, it is simply discarded by the believers or simply buried under uninformed media presentations. Further, pontifications about authenticity by people who have not conducted an investigation - you cite at least one in your article, don't help at all (NUFORC does not conduct investigations, just collects UFO reports from everywhere) and serve to confuse things further. If anyone really wants to know what is going on they might want to examine the COMETA report, refereed by the now-former director of the French Space Programs UFO research project CNES- GEIPAN. Also of interest is the UK MOD "Condign" report which uses our terminology and is titled "UAP in British Airspace" and concedes that "UAP undoubtedly exist... and represent a hazard to aviation.." though admittedly their conclusions regarding the source of UAP is a bit sparse. Further examinations of the work by Erling Strand at Hessdalen.org and the papers by Massimo Teodorani (Google him for titles) are equally as enlightening. Wouldn't it be great if people such as yourselves who were motivated to write on this topic could actually educate themselves before they publish? Maybe we could move away from this nonsense that is UFOlogy. The media has learned that it can get extremely high ratings with UFO offerings which just makes their advertizers so happy - and they offer equally uncreditable and useless viewing that further agitates this mess. As a group that takes our reputation, our image and our work seriously, we have enjoyed an incredible amount of success, all behind the scenes both in the aviation community and in the Government itself... happy to share what we can but rest assured our successes are because of our diligence regarding our image and our willingness to step away from UFO conferences, media and news requests, etc... We offer no information until it is mature. The media could take a lesson here. For example, the Hawaii incident you refer to (I live in Hawaii) occured off the south point of Oahu and involved two contrails, not objects, and were probably fighter aircraft in the air about an hour prior to a missile defense system test-launch off of Kuai'i... They didn't stand out as unusual on radar because they had transponders and weren't "uncorrelated" yet the media, like you, continue to report it, inaccurately, as a mystery that might indicate ETI. Anyway the mystery to me is that people and the media will run with this stuff without an investigation and splatter it all over.. not sure how to resolve it but the problem is very clear.
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