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Student UFOLogical Article

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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