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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 24

Re: Answering Public Questions On UFOs & Aliens

From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 23:28:42 -0500
Archived: Sat, 24 Nov 2007 08:43:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Answering Public Questions On UFOs & Aliens


>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 18:23:02 -0000
>Subject: Re: 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

>>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.

<snip>

>>It is easy to see how weak the
>>evidence is when we compare with other phenomena that are
>>increasingly well documented. For example:


>>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 23-24, 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.

>I wonder why so many amateur astrophotographers all over the
>world happened to be aiming at this almost infinitesimal faint
>spot in the night sky? I suspect it may have had something to do
>with the fact that they knew there was a cometary photo-op there
>and they could key the co-ordinates into their little Celestron
>drives as fast as changing TV channels. I wonder if Dr Morrison
>would care to calculate the probability per observer-year of
>sighting, by chance, a ball lightning, a rare bird, a military
>spy-plane or a fireball meteor (say) in a telescopic field of
>view that might be only seconds or minutes of arc across? Can he
>cite even one example of any of those events? I won't even
>insist on authentication. An observer report will do

>>Yet these same astronomers never report UFOs.

>Well, once again, I think Morrison is honour-bound to provide a
>reference for this controversial claim, because it contradicts a
>great deal of well-documented and easily-accessible historical
>information.

Never? I beg to differ, but I had communication way back in the
70's with three amateur astronomers who saw things they
couoldn't explain.

One guy sent me a copy of a photo he took. It was a morning
event, say 10 or 11 AM, if I recall correctly. He said he looked
up in the sky and saw a bright spot.

AFter thinking about it for a short time he decided that it must
have been a rare daytime view of Jupiter, since he knew that
Jupiter was high in the sky at the time and ordinarily invisible
because of the daylight.

So he went into his house and got a camera on a tripod that he
kept ready for chance events worth photographing. He set up the
camera and took a picture. He continued to watch it while
preparing to take another picture.

Suddenly it split into two parts and both "flew" away. He was
flabbergasted.

The reason I found out about it was because there had been some
anti-UFO comments in Skylook Mag and he had responded with his
sighting. I contacted him and he sent me a copy of his
picture... which lookde like a round thing in the sky. I forget
all the details because this has been years.

But to say not amateur astronomer has ever seen a 'UFO' is
clearly wrong. Hynek did a survey in 1952 and Sturrock in
1975(?) and both were told of sightings. And, how about the
'daddy' of all astronomer sightings, that of Clyde Tombaugh back
in the late forties ('47?).

>>One can never prove a negative. But to me, these examples
>>provide compelling evidence against the reality of UFOs, unless
>>you are so enamored of the idea of alien visits that you think
>>these aliens are carefully avoiding amateur astronomers, people
>>with video cameras, and security video systems.

>This is a depressingly stupid and ill-informed piece of
>argumentation, full of category mistakes, non-sequiturs and
>begged questions, which does the cause of conscientious
>scepticism nothing but harm.

Yup and just plain ignorance of the history of the subject.



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