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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Oct > Oct 12

Re: Diversity Of UFO Morphology

From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 16:17:07 -0600
Archived: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 11:12:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Diversity Of UFO Morphology

>From: Michael Tarbell <mtarbell.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2007 16:23:01 -0600
>Subject: Diversity Of UFO Morphology


>If we restrict the question to the photographic evidence alone,
>and even to 'saucer-like' objects, can anyone cite a pair of
>photos from independent sightings that depict objects that are a
>clear geometric match? If indeed there are none, is this not

>In the context of the ET hypothesis, does this suggest a
>correspondingly large number of independent cultures that are
>visiting? Or, simply a distaste for 'assembly-line' manufacture?
>Does it argue against the 'nuts-and-bolts' concept in general?

List, Contributors to This Thread:

A number of interesting responses to the above appeared while I
was distracted with other activities. I will summarize my
replies here collectively.

Note that, due to some mis-formatted replies, some listers have
been attributing the initial post to Dick Hall, with which he
may not be entirely comfortable, if I gather the gist of his own
comment (although I'm not sure that I do). I hereby exonerate

In any case, I am aware of previous work in which UFOs have been
categorized into various geometric types. The fact that many
sightings, or even photographs, can be categorized as one
bowl/saucer inverted over another does not at all demonstrate
that these objects come in "several 'production-line' models",
as Dick Hall phrases it. To the extent that these examples are
all 'saucer-like', so too are snowflakes typically 'flattened
and hexagonally-symmetric' and similarly categorizable into sub-
classes  (plate-like, star-like, dendritic, etc.), and yet no
two are alike. The apparent uniqueness of individual objects,
even within a sub-class, is the issue I am addressing here. The
presence of entire additional classes of object types (cigar-
shaped, triangular, etc.) simply exacerbates an already
perplexing situation.

Lan Fleming correctly points out that independent sightings will
generally involve differing ranges, orientations, lighting
angles, etc., and thus there is no way to demonstrate a precise
geometric match. Indeed, I would add that objects that are
clearly not geometric matches (e.g., spheres and cylinders) can
appear so from certain vantage points. However, amongst the body
of photographic evidence for 'saucer-like' objects, my
impression - in lieu of a rigorous analysis - is that the
preponderance of them are actually geometrically _incompatible_
, i.e., one cannot be made to match the other by changing its
orientation or lighting. Additionally, while estimates for the
absolute size of these objects must be considered very
approximate, this parameter alone spans some two orders of

As to possible reasons for this diversity in the ET context,
Gerald O'Connell cogently points out that we should not be
biased by, or project on others, our "template-driven"
production techniques, which in fact may not be optimal, let
alone aesthetically pleasing. Here I leap to the other side of
the fence and point out that there _are_ examples of multiple
and apparently identical (or at least visually
indistinguishable) UFOs, but these seem to occur only in the
context of a single sighting, e.g., the Kenneth Arnold case. I
have not located a good photographic example, but here even
verbal testimony lends support, in that if all the individual
objects had been unique, the observer would very likely have
made mention of it. So, there is apparently no taboo per se
against redundant copies of a single specific design, at least
for any given 'encounter'.

[On the subject of multiple UFOs, I forward with appreciation a
reference suggested by Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos: Haines,
Richard F., "Project Delta: A Study of Multiple UFO", LDA Press,
Los Altos CA, 1994.]

In summary, while acknowledging many illuminating comments from
the list, I consider the 'diversity of morphology' issue still
unresolved, or at least that the explanations that come to mind
are not very appealing (e.g., every UFO encounter represents a
unique ET culture and/or craft design). By no means does this
invalidate the UFO evidence, but it does call for further
thought about the nature of the phenomenon itself.


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