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Old 08-15-2003, 02:39 PM   #1
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Post Casual Approach to Evidence (Multi-Thread ST-4)

This is a Sub-Topic from a Multi-Thread discussion. The Main Thread is located at this link.

Sub-Thread 4 (ST-4) : Casual Approach to Evidence

Evidence is the cornerstone that sets asisde science from any other humna intellectual endeavor, including (to a large extent) philosophy. Given its pivotal role, admissible evidence has to be solid and reliable. If we cite a "fact," we have to be reasonably sure that it indeed corresponds to a verifiable piece of evidence. Hearsay is not admissible.


The single best example that I can think of that demonstrates this criteria is the so-called "UFOlogy" movement.

UFOlogy is the alleged study of UFOs. Unfortunately, only perhaps a very, very small percent of "ufologists" are actually of a scientific mind when it comes to "studying" the phenomena that surround this field.

Many of the self-proclaimed ufologists are nothing more than lay persons with no scientific background that are making an effort to "investigate" claims of alien craft visiting our fair planet. There are also many who are actually quite deceptive in their efforts and/or motives. The number of hoaxes that are perpetuated in the name of "UFO research" is astounding. Some are obvious, others have explanations of fakery that are much more plausible, given the extent of the evidence available.

I point anyone interested to a site called UFOTheatre, which proclaims itself as a site for the investigation of UFO video evidence. The person who runs this site has a discussion board, posts videos from various sources, etc. In particular, look at the video titled Nfoufo Black UFO (2003) about 1/3 down the page. I warn you, it is rather large, but if you have a decent connection the wait is relatively short.

The problem with this video, is that I saw too many ways it could be faked much more easily than it could be explained that it was an alien craft:

Now, bearing this in mind, I looked at this Video frame-by-frame. What I noticed right away was that the reflection in the "UFO" changed just as it neared the house. If it were "2 miles away" this would not have occurred, however it is possible that another object caused the reflection change.. unfortunately, none is visible in the video.

The second thing I noticed was the line, and though I was looking for it, I was surprised because this is something I would have been very careful to utilize Photoshop's clone tool to remove.

At first, I merely thought it to be an artifact of the video, however, this "artifact disappears behind the "ufo." That is not consistant with digital video artifacts. (I do know a little about video after all it seems).

Here's the images as I've noticed them:

I don't think images are displaying in the Senate, so you might have to click the links, but they are small images.

I emailed both the person that runs UFOTheatre and Jeff Willes, the person who created the video, with my observations. What I got in return is hostility. In fact, UFOTheatre (his screenname on one or more disscussion boards) assailed me with insults, profanity and questioned my sexual orientation enough that even Freud would wonder what he's hiding!

Still, they couldn't satisfy my questions. AND, they both have something else to gain. Money. Good old greenbacks. UFOTheatre sells compact disc compilations of "ufo videos" and Jeff Willes sells him the original videos. It's a scam. Pure and simple. UFOTheatre even sells a program called "the magic 8-ball," which I pointed out after he tried to advertise it under another screen name on another scientific discussion board. I, of course, was assailed again… this time by his alternate screen name.

That last bit is important, because when the evidence of someone who makes a pseudoscientific claim is questioned, it is often defended in such a manner. Profanity, name-calling, questioning the person who questions the evidence, anything that might deflect attention from the original issue: the evidence. It can be seen when a non-believer questions any belief… be it ufo's, religion, esp, or that Madonna isn't getting old.

What are your thoughts? Anyone want to defend UFOTheatre? I must admit, many of the videos on his site are difficult to explain. Yet, the presence of some obvious fakes would seem to invalidate the others. Also, the absence of credible, understandable explanation doesn't mean that the paranormal or supernatural is at work... or aliens from space for that matter.

Anyone want to discuss evidenciary procedure? Evidence used in other areas of pseudoscience?

Also, see a related thread that I started on Fingerprint Evidence.

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Last edited by SkinWalker; 08-23-2003 at 03:15 AM.
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