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Moontanman

UFO tangent needing a more formal thread (from Eye witnesses?)

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1 hour ago, michel123456 said:

Is the question related to UFO sightings?

Yes and no, I honestly wanted to avoid that association in this thread but eventually i plan to open another thread that is more specific. 

 

2 hours ago, Strange said:

1. Because the situations are completely different.

2. Because you are inventing a straw man argument. Uncorroborated eye-witness accounts should not be taken seriously by a court. 

And this sort of thing does not reinforce your claim; it undermines your basic argument. The introduction of more objective evidence (cameras) changed the "reality" of what was seen. 

It is obviously also wrong to dismiss eyewitness testimony out of hand. For example, in the case of a crime that would mean that a large number of crimes were never eve considered:

Caller: "Hello, police. I just saw a man being murdered!"

Police: "Nah."

Or in the case of unidentified objects in the air, I would not deny that people have seen something (which there is insufficient objective evidence to identify). There are then a huge number of questions to ask about that sighting: was it something with objective reality (rather than, say an optical illusion or a hallucination), was it a mundane object (bird, airplane, insect, meteor), etc. etc. 

Or some combination of the above. For example, a common illusion is to stare at a bright star or planet and see it making rapid movements across the sky. (This is where expertise might come in; I have heard astronomers report this and saying that they could absolutely see the object moving even though they knew it wasn't and therefore knew it was an example of the illusion.)

This why i wanted to avoid discussing this problem in the context of UFOs. You have already decided the quality of the sighting by suggesting they are all "Insufficient Evidence", "Lights in the Sky", "Optical Illusion", not to mention suggested that no matter how "professional" the witnesses are being mistaken is most likely. 

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34 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

You have already decided the quality of the sighting by suggesting they are all "Insufficient Evidence"

The quality of the sightings is almost defined by the fact we are talking about "unidentified objects". If the witnesses all agreed they saw a 747, there would be far less reason to doubt the sightings (we know such things exist). 

Quote

 "Lights in the Sky", "Optical Illusion", not to mention suggested that no matter how "professional" the witnesses are being mistaken is most likely. 

You have to eliminate all the well known, common causes before you can even start suggesting it might be something extraordinary. 

To leap straight from "unidentified" to "Aliens!!!1!" is deeply irrational. I am not suggesting that is what you are doing, but if there is no way of ruling out mundane, well established causes, then there is absolutely no reason at all to consider anything unusual.

I have seen plenty of cases, where one could invent some mysterious explanation (after all, you can do that for absolutely anything from your Wi-Fi going on the blink to the fact our politicians are idiots). But not one where you have to because all other possibilities have been definitively excluded. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Strange said:

The quality of the sightings is almost defined by the fact we are talking about "unidentified objects". If the witnesses all agreed they saw a 747, there would be far less reason to doubt the sightings (we know such things exist). 

You have to eliminate all the well known, common causes before you can even start suggesting it might be something extraordinary. 

To leap straight from "unidentified" to "Aliens!!!1!" is deeply irrational. I am not suggesting that is what you are doing, but if there is no way of ruling out mundane, well established causes, then there is absolutely no reason at all to consider anything unusual.

I have seen plenty of cases, where one could invent some mysterious explanation (after all, you can do that for absolutely anything from your Wi-Fi going on the blink to the fact our politicians are idiots). But not one where you have to because all other possibilities have been definitively excluded. 

 

First of all, my point here is not to jump to anything but to consider the eyewitness accounts and compare them the official dismissals and how the two are so different as to make the dismissals as puzzling as the sightings. To be honest anyone who claims aliens is yanking something out of their rectum until someone defines what kind of evidence would allow that conclusion. How ever some accounts are extremely difficult to explain and the "official" explanation dismisses everyone involved and their testimony. Do I need to start another thread to further this or do we move on to the "there" ?    

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43 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

First of all, my point here is not to jump to anything but to consider the eyewitness accounts and compare them the official dismissals and how the two are so different as to make the dismissals as puzzling as the sightings.

I gave up looking in detail at these cases decades ago when it became clear that they were all the same: dubious witness testimony, lack of consistency in the evidence (unless people were together and talked about what they saw), consistency in different forms of evidence (eg visual and radar) usually exaggerated/fabricated, people combing facts from different events to make it seem more plausible, etc.

However, I have never seen a single example of eye witness testimony being "dismissed". (And I think your use of language like that is close to a fallacy; certainly it is an example of "poisoning the well".)

People might present plausible mundane explanations (some of which I have mentioned) based on known possible causes. That is not dismissal. It is presenting possible hypotheses. In nearly all cases these explanations are sufficiently compelling to say there is no reason to consider it further. In a small number (5% or 10% maybe) these possible explanations are not convincing. So that leaves us with a small number of unexplained sightings. But just because no one has come up with a convincing mundane explanation doesn't mean there isn't one. One would need to demonstrate that no such explanation was possible (which has never been done) before even considering extraordinary explanations. 

So, I remain convinced (and disappointed) that, on balance of probability, all such cases have mundane explanations. We just don't know what those are in a small number of cases (because there is not enough data to form a conclusion).

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