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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 22

Re: Answering Public Questions On UFOs & Aliens

From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 13:29:59 -0600
Archived: Thu, 22 Nov 2007 06:41:08 -0500
Subject: Re: Answering Public Questions On UFOs & Aliens


>From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 09:32:22 -0500
>Archived: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 09:32:22 -0500
>Subject: Answering Public Questions On UFOs & Aliens

>Source: The Skeptics Society - Altadena, California, USA

>http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-11-14.html#feature

>Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

>With all the buzz this week about UFOs and the call for an
>investigation into what the government is hiding from us about
>extraterrestrial aliens, we thought we would ask a NASA official
>in charge of dealing with the public about such matters, and
>that is NASA scientist David Morrison. Read on for how Dr.
>Morrison handles such queries as "where are you hiding the alien
>bodies?" and other such matters.

>Dr. David Morrison is Senior Scientist of the NASA Astrobiology
>Institute. He is a recent recipient of the American Astronomical
>Society's Carl Sagan Medal honoring his efforts to explain
>science to the public.

>---

>Answering Public Questions On UFOs And Aliens

>by David Morrison

<snip>

David Morrison is a veteran of party-line skepticism. And as
most pepole on this list should know, he's wrong on each of his
three point.

>1. The proliferation of home video cameras has resulted in
>excellent images of tornados that we now see often on
>television, something unheard of 25 years ago. Even with a scary
>tornado, someone manages to get a good video. There are also
>amateur videos of bright meteors (fireballs), good enough in the
>case of the Peekskill meteor of 1992 to allow a calculation of
>the orbit of the object before it reached Earth. But there has
>been no comparable flood of good videos of UFOs or aliens.

I don't know what Morrison's scientific definition of a "flood
of good videos" is, but there certainly have been good videos
over the past 15 to 20 years.

>2. In the last few years, in the US and UK and many other
>countries, hundreds of thousands of automated video cameras have
>been installed for security systems. Many of these cameras are
>outdoors, and at night they sometimes record bright meteors
>but never UFOs.

I just did a Google search on "security camera UFO" and got ten
pages of results. I'm not claiming that any of videos are
legitimate, but I'm not the one claiming that there have been no
such videos. Dr. Morrison apparently either doesn't know how to
use an Internet search engine or his beliefs are so strong that
he assumes that he never has to verify anything he claims.

>3. There are several hundred thousand amateur astronomers who
>look at the night sky, and they have a tremendous record of
>discovering comets and novas and anything that changes. One of
>the most remarkable recent examples is Comet Holmes, a normally
>inconspicuous Jupiter-family comet that is fainter than Pluto.
>On October 23=9624, 2007, Comet Holmes went from magnitude 17 to
>magnitude 2.8 in just a few hours, brightening by almost a
>million-fold. This is equivalent to the planet Saturn suddenly
>becoming as bright as the full moon. This unexpected outburst
>was widely observed and photographed by amateur astronomers
>around the globe. Yet these same astronomers never report UFOs.

It's ironic that Morrison mentions Pluto, since its discoverer,
Clyde Tombaugh, was a UFO witness. Peter Sturrock did a poll in
which he found a small but significant percentage of astronomers
had witnessed UFOs. Maybe Morrison thinks this doesn't count
since none of them were amateurs, but another Google search
turned up plenty of references to amateur astronomers who've
witnessed UFOs. Here's a Wiki entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO

"Although it is sometimes contended that astronomers never
report UFOs, the Air Force's Project Blue Book files indicate
that approximately 1% of all their reports came from amateur and
professional astronomers or other users of telescopes (such as
missile trackers or surveyors)."


It looks like people in the Skeptic movement have been watching
Steven Colbert on the Comedy Channel and are now firm believers
in "truthiness", a philosophy that posits that if a statement or
claim sounds good, then it should be accepted as true even if
it's not. In Morrison's case, everything he said is very
"truthy", but none of it is true.



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