UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Dec > Dec 20

Re: UFO Photographs And Film

From: John Donaldson <John.Donaldson.nul>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 05:44:04 +0000
Archived: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 11:23:14 -0500
Subject: Re: UFO Photographs And Film

>From: Robert Powell <rpowell.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:44:06 -0600
>Subject: Re: UFO Photographs And Film

>>From: John Donaldson <John.Donaldson.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:46:07 +0000
>>Subject: Re: UFO Photographs And Film

>>>From: John Donaldson <John.Donaldson.nul>
>>>To: <post.nul>
>>>Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 15:48:09 +0100
>>>Subject: UFO Photographs And Film

>>>I am a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Glasgow


>>>I look forward to any and all responses, which I am happy to
>>>receive off or on-list

>>Dear List-Members,

>>In August I posted with some queries about the strength of
>>photographic evidence for the ETH. I received a number of very
>>helpful responses, with which I engaged in some correspondence,
>>before promising to post a general response to the list. Various
>>other commitments postponed that response until now:
>>I present some initial thoughts on some of the key evidence
>>taken by many to support the ET hypothesis (and perhaps other
>>non-prosaic theses). I assess such evidence from the perspective
>>of the neutral who does not have any inside knowledge of the UFO
>>phenomenon, has had no UFO experiences, and merely wishes to
>>decide, based on the evidence presented by ufologists, whether
>>or not the ETH is true. It seems to me that the non-prosaic
>>theses remain unproven, but not to such an extent that belief in
>>them is completely un-warranted.

>>I focus on the two strongest types of witness case, (1) visual-
>>photographic, and (2) visual-radar cases. On the former I think
>>the jury will remain out, at best, but on the latter I think
>>there is some prospect for settling the case one way or the


>>I hope that the members of this list find these thoughts


>The crux of your reasoning seems to boil down to the old adage:
>incredible claims require incredible proof. Fair enough. But my
>concern is that there is a mindset that says, "Without the
>incredible proof we will not even investigate an incredible
>claim". Unless the UFO phenomenon is properly researched then it
>will always be a mystery and we will never solve it.

Hi Robert,

I think the burden of argument issue is an important one, but I
also think it's very hard to compute the precise extent of that
burden. My primary point, though, was simply that radar-visual
cases look more likely to support the ETH than photographic-
visual cases. Hardly Earth-shattering, for sure, but I hoped to
show with a reasonable degree of rigour precisely why the latter
were to be preferred to the former.

I agree that investigation of the UFO phenomenon is worthwhile,
but it seems a reasonable question to ask "where are such
investigative efforts best directed?" People seem to agree that
unambigious photographic evidence has not, and seems unlikely to
be forthcoming. Given that, I argued, you will struggle to
produce arguments for the ETH which should persuade a neutral
observer; and struggle to such an extent that it calls into to
question the fruitfulness of such efforts - absent the
unambigious photograph. Moreover, merely adding further such
uncertain cases doesn't seem to help either (although they may
motivate efforts towards further investigation, if such further
motivation is required).

Therefore, given that radar-visual cases do not seem as
problematic, investigative efforts that hope to result in
evidence that will persuade the neutral seem best directed

Best wishes,


Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



These contents above are copyright of the author and
UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced
without the express permission of both parties and
are intended for educational use only.

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com