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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 13

Re: Witnesses & Their Senses

From: Richard Hall <dh12.nul>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 09:27:54 -0500
Archived: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 11:37:25 -0500
Subject: Re: Witnesses & Their Senses


>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 18:23:53 -0600
>Subject: Re: Larry King Live: Friday, November 9th, 2007

>>From: Richard Hall <dh12.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 18:22:15 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Larry King Live: Friday, November 9th, 2007

<snip>

>>Otherwise, yes, poor or
>>inexperienced observers are often fooled and do contribute
>>'noise' to the UFO question. Any halfway serious investigation,
>>though, could easily deal with this problem.

>It depends upon how you define "fooled". Sometimes, as everybody
>knows, witnesses fail to identify a conventional stimulus, but
>as a general principle they are not "fooled" about what their
>senses were telling them. Their accounts of what they saw are
>accurate enough. That's why it's possible to solve many
>sightings simply from the witness' description. It's not the
>details that are in error - they're generally correct - it's the
>interpretation. As Brad Sparks points out, many of these
>witnesses are simply puzzled and confused, not (beloved urban
>legend notwithstanding) out there declaring they saw a UFO/alien
>spacecraft/whatever.


Jerry,

You make some good points about the sense in which witnesses are
not fooled. I define "fooled" as reporting a sighting as being
something anomalous when it really has a simple and fairly
obvious explanation if the witness were more aware of natural
phenomena or human aerial technology.

But we could get into an infinite regression of definitions
here. What does "anomalous" mean? Clearly in the case of honest
witnesses what they saw was anomalous to them (unfamiliar in
their experience or knowledge). Just like the definition of UFO
we need to distinguish what a `real' anomaly is by introducing
the concept of labeling only after careful and thorough
investigation.

Something ought not to be labeled an anomaly merely on the basis
of being unfamiliar to a casual observer, otherwise we have
utter chaos and confusion.


Dick



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