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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 28

Re: Why The Cover-Up?

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 10:50:06 -0500
Archived: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 22:25:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>From: John Rimmer <j.rimmer.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 16:25:48 +0100
>Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>>From: Paul Scott Anderson <paulscottanderson.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 10:25:03 -0700
>>Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 09:36:51 -0500
>>>Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>>Referring to some ideas as "silly" with no evidence for that
>>position, is bias. Scientists used to consider meteorites a
>>"silly" idea...!

>Is this actually proven? This cliche gets repeated so often,
>without citation, that I suspect it might be a version on urban
>legend. Even if it did happen as claimed, surely there must be
>some other example of scientific myopia that people could quote,
>just for the sake of variety?

A good account of the controversy can be found in John G.
Burke's excellent Cosmic Debris: Meteorites in History
(University of California Press, 1986), specifically in the
second chapter.

It should be stressed that the fall of stones from the sky was
generally not disputed by those who went into the field to
investigate and collect testimony from witnesses. What was at
issue was the origin of the stones: were they cosmic or
terrestrial? In the latter instance, theorists suggested that
winds had carried stones from the ground and dropped them
elsewhere, or that volcanoes had hurled them into the air, to
have them drop at some distant location. And, yes, some others -
 the desk-bound Menzels of their day - held that the stones had
been on the ground all along when lightning struck them. This,
however, was not a universal opinion.

Nonetheless, scientists did conduct investigations, even if
hampered by the limited knowledge of their time (especially some
very na=EFve notions about gravity which obstructed a grasp of the
astrophysics of meteorites), and debated the significance of the
stones and the reports as they gathered data. When 3000
meteoritic stones fell on l'Aigle, France, on April 26, 1803,
the issue was effectively settled.

The point, it seems to me, is that the science of the 18th
Century possessed far less knowledge than the science of our
time, and it was groping and stumbling its way toward an
understanding of nature. What matters is that, if it did not
immediately recognize the significance of meteorites, it did
consider them worthy of investigation - it recognized, in other
words, a question that required an answer - and in due course
the truth came to the fore. This episode does not discredit
science's approach to anomalous phenomena and testimony, surely,
but rather validates its self-correcting mechanisms.

>>All I was doing was saying that Ed and Bob et
>>al have a right to their theories and views, without being
>>labelled as cranks or whatever, and that dismissing things out
>>of hand too hastily is foolish, IMO.

>So far the only
>'evidence' offered seems to be 'I think UFOs are real craft, but
>I don't like the idea of the ETH, so I'll have to imagine
>something else'.

Exactly, John. I've long suspected that for many of the mystery-
 mongers in our midst, the ETH long ago lost its novelty, and
novelty is probably what attracted them to ufology in the first
place. Ever since, they've sought to satisfy their appetites
with more exotic fare, however dubiously nutritional.

Meantime, they can be counted to drag the ETH whipping horse
into any argument, even when (as is typically the case) it is
beside the point and nobody else has brought it up.

>But keep going at it, because it's certainly giving us Pelicanists a

Us non-pelicanists, too.

Jerry Clark

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



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