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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 9

Re: Percentage Of UFOs That Are Unknowns?

From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj.nul>
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 22:34:38 -0800 (PST)
Archived: Fri, 09 Nov 2007 08:53:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Percentage Of UFOs That Are Unknowns?

>From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 08:27:29 -0500
>Subject: Re: Percentage Of UFOs That Are Unknowns?

>>From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 18:44:12 EST
>>Subject: Re: Percentage Of UFOs That Are Unknowns?

>>You apparently do not even grasp the issues involved here. The
>>skeptics have a legitimate point here: They and the debunkers
>>say that if 95% of all 'UFOs' (which I dispute right at the
>>outset for including 'garbage-in' data, the NFOs or
>>Insufficient Infos) 'turn out' to be supposedly IFOs then maybe
>>there is no real difference between IFOs and UFOs, maybe the
>>last remaining 5% UFOs will also 'turn out' to be IFOs
>>eventually (like it's some kind of natural process of
>>conversion). They say that the 5% Unknowns are actually
>>"insufficient info" and that with "sufficient info" they will
>>"turn into" IFOs - they get away with this because UFO
>>researchers confuse the categories of insufficent info.

>This argument about percentages misses another important point:
>the real question is, is there _one_ case that cannot be
>explained. Klass had it right: if your time is limited (and
>whose time isn't limited?) investigate the _best_ cases.

>Where Klass got it wrong was in his "prosaic explanations," many
>of which violated physics or contradicted the available credible
>information. Whether or not he actually believed that his
>explanations were correct, the fact is that had the "desired"
>effect of putting a damper on the UFO/TRUFO/AFC evidence and
>taking attention away from the really good cases, such as the
>one described below.

>Consider, for example, his explanation of the Val Johnson police
>car damage case of Aug. 1980.

>Johnson, while driving in a rural area, saw a bright light which
>suddenly moved rapidly toward his police car and caused him to
>skid and stop violently and bump his head. It knocked him out
>temporarily. When he regained consciousness he called the
>police department for help. The responding officers found
>several types of damage to the car, including broken lights (as
>if smashed with a hammer) and bent antennas and his car clock
>and wristwatch were both 15 minutes slow, although he had
>checked the clock before he went on duty. (More on this in my
>"Prosaic Explanation" paper in UFO Magazine and at


>In his book "UFOs: The Public Deceived" (aptly titled because he
>deceived the public) Klass says that _either_ the damage was
>caused by malicious ufonauts _or else_ it was a sort of
>practical joke (hoax)...there is no other possible explanation!

>He got the idea that it might just have been a "practical joke"
>from his "investigation" that included talking to another
>officer at the police department where Johnson worked. That
>officer said Johnson might do a practical joke like "hiding
>your coffee cup."

>Wow! Some compArison: he _might_ hide a guys coffee cup as
>evidence that Johnson _damaged his police car_ (felony,
>anyone?)! There is no comparison!!

>I reiterate: no other possible explanation.

>The joke/hoax argument makes no sense and no one (except Klass
>and his skeptical followers) ever believed that Johnson damaged
>his car. (I don't know that Klass actually believed that Johnson
>damaged his car, in fact, based on the way he wrote about it in
>his book I think he may have "secretly" disbelieved his own
>"explanation.") Johnson was never charged or even reprimanded by
>his police chief.

>(There was also a strange physical effect regarding the bent radio

>the "bug tar" all spead over the leading edge surface of each
>stiff wire antenna was uniform, so apparently no one grabbed
>the antenna and bent it by "normal" force. Hence the bent
>antennas were not caused by Johnson grabbing them and forcing
>them to bend.)

>So, one is left with a choice: accept the hoax explanation with
>exactly _no_ evidence that it was a hoax, or accept some version
>of Klass' ET alternative.

>This case was buried inside Klass' book so I guess it was hardly
>noticed by believers and skeptics, but, IHMO, in this case study
>Klass proved that at least _one_ UFO was some unearthly

>And remember, Ufologists don't need 20% or 10% or even 1% of the
>sightings to be unexplainable; all they need is one to change
>the world.

>Skeptics have to be correct all the time.

>Ufologists only have to be correct once!

Hi Bruce,

Ideally, yes. But we know that one of anything is not enough for
scientists. For a phenomenon they still consider utterly
bizarre, they will always believe that there is some tiny chance
that Klass had overlooked a more reasonable alternative than the
hoax theory. Thus they place a heavy burden of proof upon the
ufologist. So the scientific community will demand not one but
100 "best" cases. If presented with 100, they will demand 1000,
meanwhile picking at any weak spots they can find in the first
100. They have not been able to understand the power of proof
that comes with an accumulation of independent evidence,
although any judge and jury understands this.

However, if the phenomenon should become considered rather
humdrum after 60 years, then this heavy burden of proof should
dissipate, or even shift over to the negative skeptic. I think
this development is gradually in progress, with more and more
publicly known persons speaking out on their sightings these

Jim Deardorff

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



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