Thursday, October 27, 2011

"A systematic science of UFOs"

Dear readers

A delightful Spring day in Adelaide today, mild temperatures and blue skies.

Following my recent post asking if the study of UFOs was a pseudoscience, I was re-reading part of Leslie Kean's book "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record." (Harmony Books. New York. 2010. ISBN 978-0-307-71684-2.)

Chapter 27 is titled "Militant Agnosticism and the UFO Taboo" written by Dr Alexander Wendt and Dr Raymond Duvall. In this chapter, among other things, they discuss, the need for a 'systematic science of UFOs' )p.280.)

"To go beyond the minimal scientific research that has already been done and make new breakthroughs, such a science will have to do three things.

"First, it will need to focus on aggregate patterns rather than individual cases. Given our inability to manipulate or predict UFO phenomena, there are inherent limits to what case studies can show.

"Second, a science of UFOs will need to focus on finding new reports rather than analyzing old ones. This is because existing high-quality reports are relatively few in number and were collected by accident and through a variety of means, making it almost impossible to find patterns.

"Finally, a science will need to focus on collecting objective, physical evidence rather than subjective eyewitness accounts, for only the former will convince the authorities that UFOs 'exist'..."

Wendt and Duvall go on to say "Any serious attempt to satisfy these requirements will require considerable technological infrastructure...and large amounts of money." (p.281.)

Kean herself argues for the need for a new US government agency to study UFOs. "With the launching of a new US government agency and the liberation of new resources, science could talk to its rightful place in the study of UFOs by claiming the subject as its own and beginning a new inquiry." (p.285.)

Comments:

Given the experiences of non-US government agencies which have studied the UFO phenomenon, Kean's argument for a new US UFO agency seems to me to be naive. Despite the vast numbers who debate the UFO topic on the Internet, many within the US, there has been no sign to date of significant political will from any US source, to study UFOs. No political will, equates to no state funding of any proposed US UFO agency.

My own view, based on my reading of various material, is that funding for a new US government UFO agency will not be forthcoming.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Pauline, I tend to agree with you that no US UFO study group will be created. Publicly, the subject has been flogged to death by projects this, that and the other.

    At the same time, a large demographic within the subject is geared towards hysteria and/or irrational paranoia. If the US did launch a new public vehicle for UFO study, these guys would overreact with cries of 'disclosure' or fears of 'false flags' and 'proof' of evil aliens. Why bother?!

    Away from the conspiracy-angle, I feel it's a likely prospect that UFO reports are being recorded somewhere. Whether some central entity accumulates and analyses them is less likely due to the historically weak communication between authorities and territorial secrecy of information.

    The way I see it is that the US has a powerful incentive to monitor what happens in its skies. I believe radars are set up to filter out anomalous propagation (understandably) and anything moving too fast, too slow or without transponders. At face value, that would leave a wide variety of weaknesses in their sovereign skies so it makes sense that a discreet system would be in place as an extra measure. These systems would be where potentially good UFO data would appear.

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