Monday, February 25, 2008

Stanton Friedman waxes Saganesque on the ultimate humanitarian value of studying UFOs (or "flying saucers," as Friedman would say):

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to side with Stanton on this one. All public witness testimony and other dubious experience info aside, you need only look at the extremely dense collection of Freedom of Information documents which clearly tell the story.

There is very little doubt that the government has a keen interest in the subject and has invested GIGANTIC black budget sums in related projects. Roll that over into some fairly astounding insider testimony from astronauts to Skunk works project leaders, you just can't ignore the reality here.

I think arguing about "what UFO's are" is pointless at this early stage. Before we can determine the answer to that question we need accountability and an opening of the available "official" research into the subject. That is where all the focus should be. Without that information, you are stuck in a guessing game, dealing with instigated half truths and just plain bad data.

Say what you will about the people who are trying to spotlight these issues but at least they are aiming at the right target.

dr. x said...

"I think arguing about "what UFO's are" is pointless at this early stage. Before we can determine the answer to that question we need accountability and an opening of the available "official" research into the subject. That is where all the focus should be."

Agreed. This is a crucial point. What does the government know, and how might it be made known? Who else over the last 60 years has had the interest, motivation, resources, scientific acumen, and technologies to have investigated the ufo phenomenon better than any other single entity? What do they know, and how they might be able to inform the debate with the release of such data it seems, is absolutely critical.

I have a very hard time, given much evidence to the contrary, that the US government, or agencies and branches thereof, have done nothing substantial in the last several decades. The question of what do they know is paramount.

W.M. Bear said...

I have a very hard time, given much evidence to the contrary, that the US government, or agencies and branches thereof, have done nothing substantial in the last several decades. The question of what do they know is paramount.

And the answer is that WE'LL never know, that's for sure. Where this kind of government secrecy is involved, the information might as well have been sucked down a black hole (which, in a sense, it has been). I think this is one reason why I haven't gone into UFO research seriously. There just doesn't seem any real way to pry the necessary information loose from the people who have it. And, in the absence of that information, the entire field remains pure speculation, rumors, stories, etc., without any hope of ever reaching any firm or verifiable conclusions about the UFO phenomena.

Hell, I can guarantee you that if SETI researchers ever detect an intelligent signal, you and I will be the last to hear about it, if at all (which I seriously doubt). There are HEAVY government protocols (some in the public record) against revealing any evidence of ETI to the public, whatever the source. I can well believe that these protocols are firmly in place and VERY strictly adhered to....

W.M. Bear said...

The difference between me and the "full disclosure" people is that I realize that no amount of organized whining and wheedling is going to PRODUCE full disclosure or, in fact, ANY disclosure at all....

dr, x said...

Then, considering what you're saying above, it means that we cannot and should not rely on or worry about what the government may or may not know about the nature of the ufo phenomenon, because whatever that may be will not be made known for a wide variety of reasons.

That means, then, that any credible evidence, acknowledgement publically, or understanding of the ufo phenomenon will have to derive from private and public efforts, individuals, and other sources that are not either associated with or beholden to the government in some manner.

This is what I've thought for a very long time--that if there is to be any kind of better knowledge, evidencial proof, or identification of those ufo incidents or types of encounters that are not prosaic, it will and can only come from efforts in the private sector, guided by the open, direct, and public research of those entities and persons concerned with the issue to do their own research, cooperate among others of like mind, and try to provide the public with a better answer, based on research, analysis, and some kinds of undeniable proof that can be subjected to testing, if there is ever to be real disclosure of the nature of the phenomenon.

I sure wish there were someone like Paul Allen, who funded the SETI radio telescope dish array in Northern California, to have the means and motivation to fund a similar effort of ufo research of the phenomena that are either earth-based or present within the earth's atmosphere, in order to create some kind of institution that is adequately funded and staffed, with a scientific agenda to begin a public effort to truly investigate the ufo phenomenon with the rigor, tools, and long-term effort required to begin to crack the mystery in a way that would yield better data and insight into just what it is we are dealing with since, currently, we do not yet know the "true ufo" phenomenon's actual basis, nature, interaction with humanity, or possible intent, if any.

And, without a source of "unrestricted" funding, (like, unfortunately, was _not_ the case with Bigelow's NIDS, who required certain kinds of research, related to his personal agenda or goals, or pre-selection of personnel, goals, or approach in a pre-determined manner, with seemingly specific, desired results, and when that didn't work very well, cut funding due to negligible findings), I don't see any such individual or small group effort that does not have adequate funding getting very far.

This would have to be a very carefully designed research effort, with an open or open source approach, and not restricted by certain funders' presumptions or direct influence in the direction(s) such research can and should take in trying to derive scientific evidence and forms of data that contribute to an understanding and definition of aspects of the ufo phenomena, from ball lightning, Hessdalen-like aerial plasma forms, other natural phenomena, and thus helping ween out some ufo-like natural phenomena, and better define it first, in order to see what kinds of less prosaic or "artificial" or seemingly intelligently guided or operated phenomena are left that deserve further and deeper investigation. This entails a "basic exploratory science" perspective, like in basic physics research.

One of the problems with this approach, however, is that the most interesting ufo phenomena that would be of most value for research, like the O'Hare sighting, and the recent Stephenville sightings, is that these most intriguing incidents are so relatively rare and elusive, and subjecting them to scientific analysis requires a greater degree of sensor-based broad observational search and documented evidence than can usually ever be obtained, so there's a bit of a quandry in this proposal, and that's nothing new.

Damn frustrating conundrum, ain't it?

What other approaches and techniques might be employed, given the above difficulties?

Vallee's "invisible college" approach is one way, however not much of this research sees the light of day, nor is openly peer-reviewed or published, except internally. I also suspect the number of scientists involved in the Vallee "colleague network" is relatively small, part-time, and not as well-funded as a more formal public, open institute _could_ be in terms of efficacy and broad-ranging inclusion of differing, but relevant, scientific disciplines, technologies, and flexible approach might be.

We may just have to wait a very long time before any such effort comes about, if ever, or until the nature of the phenomena becomes self-evident by self-revelation, which is even more doubtful.

In turn, I wish some enlightened Executive branch and/or Congressional effort were made to not just have hearings and issue reports, but to establish by law and compell all branches of the military and intelligence agencies to release things like NORAD reports/research, CIRVIS and MERINT reports, and just open the goddamn books and records for an independent review/analysis and further investigatory effort.

Naturally, given the last 60 years of US government efforts, cover-ups, denials, secrecy, disinformation and similar realities, no one can be very optimistic that anything will happen soon to open that closed door.

Which is rather a sad commentary on the quality of our governmental representatives and our institutional USG agencies and their lack of service to and mutual constitutional inadequacy to serve the public's needs. Secrecy and incompetence have become institutional, instead.

What shall or can we do, given all this?