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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Aug > Aug 27

UFO Photographs And Film

From: John Donaldson <John.Donaldson.nul>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 15:48:09 +0100
Archived: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 15:57:22 -0400
Subject: UFO Photographs And Film

Dear List Members,

I am a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Glasgow
and I have recently begun to take some interest in the UFO
phenomenon, and I would be very grateful if any member of this
list would be willing to assist with the following query.
Philosophers, especially those in the Western analytic
tradition, are known for having naturally sceptical minds (be
they novices or not), and I like to think that I do not break
that mould. Nevertheless, I do find quite compelling much of the
testimony which constitutes UFO reports, as well as the various
radar-visual, and physical trace cases as reported in the work
of MacDonald, Hynek, Clark and others. Such evidence, it seems
to me, is tantalising, and is sufficient for a reasonable case
to be made in support of the ETH. However, I am also struck by
the apparent paucity of the hardest of hard evidence, which
should include photographic and film evidence of an entirely
unambiguous nature, it seems -- particularly given the frequency
of striking UFO reports, the many years during which the
phenomenon has persisted, and the increasing world-wide
dissemination of personal devices which allow both photography
and filming. Why, then, is such evidence absent?

It seems to me that among the (not mutually exclusive) possible
responses are:

(1) It isn't absent, and here it is!

I would be very grateful if anyone could point me in the
direction of the sources where such evidence might be found. I
am already familiar to some extent with such classic cases as
the 1950 McMinnville and 1971 Lago de Cote photographs, and an
initial search of the archives of this list has revealed others
of more recent provenance such as the 2004 Whittlesea
photograph. I recognise that judging the quality of such
evidence is difficult, especially given the noise that the best
cases need to be distinguished from. However, as interesting as
the best cases are, I think even the most charitable
interpretation of them would fall short, somewhat, of entirely
lacking in ambiguity. Moreover, there seems to be even less film
evidence of anything like the quality of the apparently
relatively scarce photographic evidence.

(2) It isn't absent, but the public can't access it.

It has been argued by some that the best evidence is in the
possession of various authorities, and withheld from public
view. I do not think that this is by any means an absurd
position to hold, but even a defender of it must recognise that
there are some arguments against it which possess prima facie
force -- it would require at least every government in the
developed world, or very powerful groups within those
governments, to track down and confiscate every single piece of
unambiguous evidence; that would require a consistent level of
competency and power which most organised groups of people
rarely exhibit.

(3) It is absent, but there are good reasons why.

Two potential explanations were given by MacDonald in his
statement to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics,
namely that those who experience UFOs are often stunned into
inaction by the experience, and that most people just don't have
a camera to hand all the time. Perhaps the first argument still
stands, but the second one has been considerably weakened over
time, especially since the rise of Iphones and all the rest.
Moreover, given that the UFO phenomenon has persisted for at
least 50 years, the following thought is surely not entirely
unreasonable: someone, somewhere, must have gotten unambiguous
photographic, or film footage by now.

I realise I am very much a new kid on the block, and I apologise
if my query seems naive or ill-informed. I look forward to any
and all responses, which I am happy to receive off or on-list,
depending on whatever the responder judges is most appropriate.

Best wishes,

John Donaldson

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