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Insufficient Data - UFOs

From: Terry W. Colvin <fortean1.nul>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2013 18:01:07 +0700 (GMT+07:00)
Archived: Tue, 05 Mar 2013 05:39:15 -0500
Subject: Insufficient Data - UFOs


BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE UPDATE FOR RES 321


UPDATE #6     DATE: 08 December 03     NAME: Terry W. Colvin


Topic:	"Insufficient Data - UFOs"
Chapter 10: Summarizing the Data

Quote:	"What I thought at the time to be the only
explanation possible - I made the statement it was

'swamp gas', - J. Allen Hynek [The following day eighty-seven
women students at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan,
their dean, and a civil defense director all claimed to have
watched for four hours a glowing football-shaped object hovering
above a swampy area several hundred yards from the women's
dormitory.]

WWW Site #1: Printy, T. (2001). Project Blue Book. Retrieved
December 5, 2003 from

http://members.aol.com/TPrinty/Bluebook.html

Insufficient information is when one or more elements of infor-
mation essential for evaluation are missing. UFOlogists complain
that the insufficient information and identified categories were
lumped together to improve their numbers. This is what happened
but it seems for less than sinister reasons. Ruppelt just seemed
more interested in weeding out the unidentified cases to study
them than wasting effort over reports that could never be solved
one way or the other. The lumping together with the identifieds
became policy and, unfortu- nately, resulted in a somewhat
skewed result when examining how many cases were actually
unsolved. The United States Air Force saw the greatest number of
UFO reports generated in 1952 than in any other year of the
project. With such a vast number of reports, Ruppelt, with his
small staff, had difficulty in resolving them. They received
1501 reports in 1952 according to USAF records. Of these, 303
were classified as unidentified. Considering the size of his
staff, one would think that an 80% solution rate would be
impressive but in reality not that many were solved. A
significant number of the remaining 1198 were classified as
insufficient information (roughly 20% of the total number).


WWW Site #2: Brummett, W.E., Zuick, E.R. (1974, May). Should the
USAF Reopen Project Blue Book? Retrieved December 5, 2003 from

http://www.cufon.org/cufon/afrstdy1.htm

This study evaluates factors related to the USAF investigation
of Unidentified Flying Objects in an attempt to determine
whether or not additional UFO investigation is warranted.
The approach to analysis taken by this study was twofold:
one writer evaluated evidence justifying the closure of
Project Blue Book while the other writer evaluated evidence
supporting its reopening. Based on the evidence uncovered,
the study concludes that there is a definite need for a new
UFO investigation.

The study recommends that such an investigation should be a
scientific undertaking free from bias, political pressure, and
USAF or DoD (Dept. of Defense) jurisdiction. The official Air
Force explanation regarding the Hills' UFO sighting turned out
to be almost as erratic as the radar and visual sightings
themselves. The official explanations in this particular case
included "weather inversion", "the Planet Jupiter", "optical
condition", and finally "insufficient data". This study
recommends a new UFO study should be initiated under the
guidance of a congressional sub-committee.

No Defense Department agencies should be directly involved
in the study. A national UFO organization should be created
whose membership is comprised of scientists and astronomers
with respected professional reputations and proven ability.
Fascinating this apparent anti-USAF study was written by
a Major and a Captain in the U.S. Air Force at Maxwell Air
Force Base, Alabama.


WWW Site #3: Clemence, G.M., Crane, H.R., Dennison, D.M.,
Fenn, W.O., Hartline, H.K., Hilgard, E.R.,

Kac, M., Reichelderfer, F.W., Rubey, W.W., Shane, C.D., &
Villard, O.G. (1969). Review of the University of Colorado
report on unidentified flying objects by a panel of the National
Academy of Sciences. Retrieved December 5, 2003 from

http://www.project1947.com/shg/articles/nascu.html

It was not the task of the Panel to conduct its own study of
UFOs or to invite advocates, scientifically trained or not, of
various points of view to hearings. The task was to study the
University's Report and to assess: First, its scope; namely, did
the Report, in the opinion of the Panel, cover those topics that
a scientific study of UFO phenomena should have embraced?
Second, its methodology; namely, did the Report, in the opinion
of the Panel, reveal an acceptable scientific methodology and
approach to the subject? Third, its findings; namely, were the
conclusions and interpreta- tions warranted by the evidence and
analyses as pre- sented in the Report and were they reasonable?
Ten chapters are devoted to perceptual problems, processes of
perception and reporting, psychological aspects of UFO reports,
optics, radar, sonic boom, atmospheric electricity and plasma
interpretations, balloons, instrumentation for UFO searches, and
statistical analyses. (Twenty-four appendices add detailed
technical background to the study). In our opinion the scope of
the study was adequate to its purpose: a scientific study of UFO
phenomena.


Resource Type Selected: Article____Book____Magazine____
Other_X (Web Database)


Source Citation: Hatch, L. (2003, December 3). *U* UFO
Database. Retrieved December 5, 2003, from

http://www.larryhatch.net/


Why was this source selected (importance or value/interest to
you)? This web site is of interest because it offers maps and
statistical analysis in a subject area that is rife with
innuendo, skeptics, true believers, and a group of UFO hobbyists
and researchers who are better labeled as the "UFO
discommunity."


Brief summary of source: The *U* UFO DATABASE is a serious 18
year effort to catalog, map, and perform statistical functions
on a filtered set of UFO sightings throughout history. Having
passed through several platforms, *U* is now a large stand-alone
DOS application, written in C-language for PC, with data and
other supporting files. As of December, 2003 *U* holds over
18,120 carefully filtered UFO events distilled from hundreds of
books, major journals, catalogs, downloads and other sources.
Scope is world-wide, for all dates from antiquity to the
present. Junk "UFOs" (night-lights, fireballs, discovered hoaxes
etc.) are systematically filtered out. Otherwise, *U* would
bloat to several times its present size.

Implications of this information for Behavioral Research Design,
Tests, & Measurement: The implication is that anecdotal data is
always suspect information. An observation by one "hostile"
skeptic of UFO reports in general and alien abduction in
particular is "the plural of anecdote is not data." However, the
filtered database developed by Larry Hatch is the most reliable
statistical review of UFO sightings.


Presentation Strategy: To inform my peers of the need to
question statistics and the agenda of the individual or
organization presenting the data.


Evaluation: on time____appropriate topic___substantive____
summary____oral____

Terry W. Colvin
Ladphrao (Bangkok), Thailand
Pran Buri (Hua Hin), Thailand
http://terrycolvin.freewebsites.com/
[Terry's Fortean & "Work" itty-bitty site]



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