From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul> Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 12:10:31 -0500 Fwd Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 11:48:03 -0500 Subject: Re: Barksdale Fliers Are Source Of UFO Story - >From: Greg Boone <Evolbaby.nul> >To: ufoupdates.nul >Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 09:03:33 EST >Subject: Re: Barksdale Fliers Are Source Of UFO Story >>From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul> >>To: ufoupdates.nul >>Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 13:04:36 +0000 >>Subject: Re: Barksdale Fliers Are Source Of UFO Story <snip> >>>Barksdale Fliers Are Source Of UFO Story >>>A-10s' flares fooled people on the ground >>>By John Andrew Prime >>>jprime.nul <snip> >>Now, I know that some members of this List will scream "cover >>up!" at the explanation that these were flares, but hopefully >>someone with a bit of sense will follow this up and determine if >>the explanation is viable. I also fully expect that it will turn >>out to be so. >>If that is the case, what does that say about the value placed >>on the testimony of "expert witnesses"? I have tried making this >>point in the past, yet some people still seem to place >>inordinate importance on so called "expert witnesses". >The value of "expert witnesses"? Well if an "expert witness" has >no value then no witnesses have any value. >That just invalidates any witness testimony whatsoever. So we >should toss out any witness testimony regardless of the crime or >event? >Let's just go back to stringin' guys up based on hearsay. Or >invading countries on speculation. >The retired colonel reported his interpretation of what he saw. >He provided pictures to back it up. I recall some guy on the >radio saying he could see an alien pilot in the pics. That's >when I tossed the story out the window with the bathwater. The key statement here is that the witness "reported his _interpretation_ of what he saw. Note that he also provided a description and even photos. Had he stuck to the _observation_ and left out the _interpretation_ everything would be "OK"... no embarrassment on any side. However, witnesses and the media in particular want interpretation. It is the job of the ufologist to separate observation (description of the event) from interpretation and then look for a solution based on the observations. When I first saw that story of the colonel's sighting my first thought was flares. I erroneously assumed that someone would have checked to see if the colonel was looking toward a flare-drop area. I further assumed that who had looked hadn't found any such area and therefore the colonel's story was "inexplicable." Greg didn't throw out the story because he knew there were flares that had been dropped. He threw it out when the interpretation became just too bizarre to support (an image of an "alien pilot" in a photo that could not under normal conditions at least, show anything other than bright lights.). In practice this can be a valuable criterion, but in principle that is not the reason to throw it out. THe reason to throw it out is that the observational data are consistent with some particular phenomenon, in this case falling parachute flares. I suppose that if the colonel had been aware of the existence of such flares (apparently he had not paid attention to the discussions about the Phonenix lights) he he wouldn't have been so quick to interpret these lights as "unearthly."
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