This was originally posted by Brad Sparks at UFO Updates. I think it is near perfect summary of this particular issue should be approached, so I asked Brad if I could post it here, and he said yes. His point about what these supposed aliens tell people, like Betty and Barney Hill (assuming that we accept their testimony as legitimate, at least as they honestly recall it), strikes me as particularly pertinent - just because a supposed "alien" tells you he or she is from Zeta Reticuli, doesn't mean that they are telling you the truth. Indeed, if they are real and as secretive as they seem to be, this might well be some form of misdirection.
How do we determine the extraterrestrial origin of an unidentified object?
by Brad Sparks
At the simplest level, there is the rhetorical trick, and that is all it is, it hardly qualifies as scientific "evidence," which seemingly eliminates terrestrial explanations. This debater's trick merely says there were no IFO's in the right place at the right time. Therefore, so says the trick, it must be "extra"-terrestrial or ET if there are no "terrestrial" explanations. But that really places enormous stress on the completeness of one's catalog of terrestrial explanations and one's database of IFO occurrences.
At a slightly higher level, there is the more reasonable argument that lays stress on the shape and flight performance of a UFO, to argue that it is beyond the characteristics of natural phenomena and terrestrial devices.
However, this still does not identify the origin of the UFO. Some will still wonder if some secret earth-based military project created it, or if it was some extradimensional phenomenon or some such, assuming such can exist.
For there to be an observation of the ET origin of a UFO someone or some instrument must observe the UFO coming to or from that place of origin. It's that simple. Everything else is an inference not a direct observation.
Identifying the origin of an unknown object, substance or even person is always difficult. Labels prove nothing. Lots of people have bought merchandise advertized as "Made in the USA" on the outside of the box only to find "Made in China" or "Made in Mexico" on the inside. And there must be many with no labels inside saying "China" or "Mexico" who are still fooled to this day.
Statements of alleged "aliens" alone prove nothing either. A witness who is told by an alleged ET alien that the alien comes from Zeta Reticuli 2 is not a percipient witness of that origin. The witness has not observed that alleged place of origin, but is only a witness to a statement made by some alleged entity who could very well be lying (if the entity even exists and is not hallucination or lie by the witness). The statement may be true or false, but the witness only observes the statement, not the facts alleged in the statement.
Even in human experience we know that controversial or disputed statements (allegations) must be cross-examined and corroborated by independent evidence. The alleged alien from Zeta Reticuli 2 has not been cross-examined closely by experts seeking to verify the claim. The alleged alien has not been put to the test. To use a courtroom analogy, no witness testimony is accepted without cross-examination, under US law.
This confusion between observation and interpretation is widespread in UFO research. It is used to great advantage by debunkers who seize upon a witness' mistaken interpetations of what he saw in order to discredit his observations. Most witnesses are accurate in their observations if one carefully strips away the interpretations, which are usually mistaken. In my study of the IFO cases in the Condon Report, used as a control sample, I found that witness observations were 97% to 98% accurate, if their interpretations were excluded.
The bottom line is that for the extraterrestrial origin of a UFO, say, from at Zeta Reticuli 2, to be observed, some instrument or observer must see or detect the UFO coming from Zeta Reticuli 2. Alien "say-so" is worthless. Traces of a UFO path between Earth and Zeta Reticuli 2 may lead to the inference of a ZR2 origin, but it still isn't direct observation of the origin.
As I have pointed out in previous posts, the USAF adopted a policy in 1952 of bypassing anecdotal UFO reports in favor of sensors and instrument data. This anti-case anti-anecdotes policy discouraged what was regarded as worthless or nearly worthless investigations of anecdotal UFO reports given by military pilots and other credible witnesses. It also meant bypassing Project Blue Book, which was converted from an intelligence function to a propaganda role. This was long before the Bolender memo of 1969 which talked about real UFO intelligence data already bypassing the Blue Book system anyway so that BB could now be shut down.
All the "credibility" and truthfulness in the world, of a human eyewitness, in almost all cases cannot determine a 1-mile distance from a 10-mile distance from a 100-mile distance or a 1-foot UFO from a 10-foot UFO from a 100-foot UFO traveling at 10 mph or 100 mph or 1,000 mph or 10,000 mph, unlike instruments which can do so, which can so determine size-speed-distance-altitude data.
There are people who love to wallow in worthless cases where 1 mile cannot be distinguished from 10 miles or 100 miles, or where they have decided in their heads this must be "proof of ET" so they "know" it is a huge spaceship 100 feet in size 100 miles away or whatever, instead of a 1-foot bird at 1 mile. But USAF Intelligence wisely decided to get out of that hopeless losing game back in 1952, and stick with data of scientific intelligence value. Maybe they went too far with that policy in discouraging or rejecting UFO sightings of limited value and accidentally lost some good data but they were right to do something about the mass of worthless reports, so that intelligence analysts were not bogged down with thousands of junk cases.
So, yeah, "authorities are unwilling to give serious consideration to the identification" of anecdotal UFO reports -- because they have something much better to work with. But some want to turn this lack of interest by "authorities" in story-telling UFO anecdotes as proof of their lack of interest in UFO's altogether.
All the beatings of the dead horse of anecdotal UFO sightings will not change these facts and decisions of US intelligence history to bypass the anecdotes in favor of instrumented UFO data.
Another Lister then asked this question, to which Brad replied:
How do we divest ourselves of the crank factions? That is the first (apparently insuperable) obstacle IMO.
Good question. And how do we divest ourselves of the planted disinformation agents, who force their way into the public spotlight as alleged spokesmen for the entire UFO research community while trotting out "crank witnesses" as the "best evidence" that all UFO researchers have to offer?
Their strategy is to discredit the whole UFO research field with the "giggle" factor using their array of lying or deluded nutballs in public, and using stinker "witnesses" whose "testimonies" would implode under any serious questioning at a Congressional or other hearing.
The USAF has a long track record of applying this discrediting technique, including its clever setting up of the CIA at the Robertson Panel with known or suspected IFO cases misrepresented as "best" UFO Unknowns. When the Panel of scientists scrutinized these planted false "UFO" cases the cases of course blew up in their faces, humiliating the CIA which had gone out on a limb to defend UFO research and even ETH, and naturally led to the searing, caustic anti-UFO conclusions which have now become famous. And it got the CIA off the AF's turf, the UFO business, for a long time, which was the point of this USAF interagency disinformation scheme.
For a more recent example of a stinker time-bomb "witness" whose testimony is ready to explode in the faces of the UFO community, I refer to liars such as the alleged "witness" military radar operator who claimed he personally tracked a UFO on his radar (not multiple radars) for 2,000 miles up and down the Eastern Seaboard, including height-finding, when in reality no such radar existed then or now, such radars being limited to no more than about 300 miles maximum range.
These bogus "witnesses" are designed to have "testimony" that sounds plausible, even impressive, to the non-experts, but are ready to blow up the moment they are scrutinized, with the intent that the exposure occur at the most humiliating moment for the UFO research community, such as perhaps under intense questioning at a Congressional hearing should one ever occur. This is a setup, so the government can bring on their own witnesses who will easily make mincemeat out of the UFO claims made by their disinformation agents pretending to be "spokesmen" for the UFO research community.