Re: Alien abductions and supertechnology
Tue, 6 Jul 1999 06:05:41 -0700 (PDT)

Peter Lakbar [] wrote:
>So presumably a
>trained observer who is familliar with most of the things observed in the
>skies makes a 'better' witness than someone who has no such training or

Yet the only study I've seen which looked at the relative rates at which different groups of people reported UFOs which were later explained as perfectly ordinary phenomena, airline pilots were among the *worst* categories; they regularly reported UFOs which were later identified. This is probably not too suprising, as they're trained to see other aircraft in the sky and avoid them, and hence more likely than most to think that any unidentified light is actually a physical vehicle of some kind.

Don't have a cite handy for the study, I'm afraid.

>Depends what you mean by 'unambiguously' and 'alien', respectively.
>There are plenty of cases where no known phenomena have been able to
>accurately and completely explain the events.

Such as? I was watching part of a TV show at the weekend, which amongst other things showed an 'amazing' video of a brilliantly lit UFO hovering over a town, then suddenly disappearing. Only problem was, the video was clearly just a lamp reflected in a window, and you could even see the bulb when the hoaxer switched it off to create the 'disappearance'. Yet the TV show couldn't find any known phemomenon to explain this incredible video... which only goes to show that the media are even worse than airline pilots at mis-identifying alien spaceships.

>Speculating and questioning their motives when we do not even know if the
>UFO phenomena has motives seems a bit suspect to me. The point is not why
>it doesn't
>do this or that, but what it is.

There is no single UFO phenomenon. There are numerous unidentified lights in the sky which fruitcakes instantly interpret as alien spaceships even in cases such as the above when they're clearly hoaxed. Many of those unidentified lights have their own motives, such as the U-2 spy flights which have been shown to explain a number of previously unidentified objects since records were declassified. But the idea of claiming that there's one single phenomenon here or that if there's any intelligence behind it it has one single motive is just silly.

>People here are used to think in novel ways about
>things, plus that they have a level of technical and scientific competence
>that are unusual among people who usually discuss such things.

So why do you consider us strange for writing off reports of alien spaceships and abductions by alien cattle-mutilating sex fiends who come all the way to Earth to remove cows' assholes and stick probes up people's butts? BTW, there has been at least one scientific study of abduction claimants, which found that most of them were plain old loons. Again, I don't have a cite, but search the Web and you'll probably find it.

>So you do agree that the UFO phenomena, since neither you nor I can say for
>sure what it is, needs to be studied so we can understand it?

We've been studying it for fifty years; there are clearly some reports of lights in the sky which haven't yet been identified. There's no evidence that any of them are alien spaceships. Why bother spending vast amounts of time investigating those remaining reports when there are far more important things to do? wrote:
>If aliens are here, I don't think they'll be particularly interested in our
>money or our women (though Bruce Sterling's Investors have a ring of
>authenticity to them...). Rather, they'll be interested
in our _uniqueness_.
>And this is the one thing that would be destroyed by public disclosure.

Look, just think for five seconds about the implications of the kinds of technologies we talk about here. Any aliens who didn't want to be seen would not be seen. If they don't want to be seen because that would destroy our 'uniqueness', then why are so many people reporting that they've seen them?