Sunday, December 18, 2016

Skeptics vs Mogul

The other day, when I had Robert Sheaffer on the program, I had asked him some questions about skeptics that always bugged me. It seemed, from my perspective, that skeptics would accept any anti-UFO document as authentic without question and reject any pro-UFO document regardless of the provenance.* I had thought the true skeptic would be, well, skeptical of everything until the evidence was in hand, which might mean the acceptance of a document or point of view as logical once the investigation was completed even if that might not reinforce the skeptical beliefs.

As an example of this, I suggested that skeptics accepted the Project Mogul explanation as if it had been proven, even when there was sufficient documentation to question it. I used Dr. Albert Crary’s diary and field notes as an example. Since the only possible culprit for dropping metallic debris on the Brazel ranch (and yes, I know that Brazel didn’t own it, the ranch belonged to the Fosters) was Mogul Flight No. 4 because all other flights have been accounted for or had been launched too late to leave the debris, and Crary’s diary said Flight No. 4 had been cancelled, why do skeptics seem to think that doesn’t matter. The point was not to argue about Mogul, but to suggest that the acceptance of that flight as the culprit in the face of the documentation that suggested otherwise seemed not to be a very skeptical position.

Again, the point is not to argue the merits of the Mogul explanation, but to question the skeptics about this apparent contradiction.

Look at the other side. UFO proponents, who believe Roswell was an extraterrestrial craft, have a similar problem with the Twining Letter. This is a document written in September 1947 that provided information about UFOs and in one line, said that the lack of crash recovered debris which would prove the existence of these objects, seemed to argue against the Roswell crash. Proponents reject it because any alien crash recovered debris would be classified Top Secret and the letter is only classified as Secret. Security regulations would prohibit the inclusion of Top Secret material in a Secret document. This argument is without merit.

So we have the same set of circumstances. Skeptics criticizing the proponents when the documentation is clear… of course it does not completely rule out the Roswell crash because of the way the document was created**… but then we add other documents to the mix, as I outline in Roswell in the 21st Century, and the support of a UFO crash is significantly reduced.

If I can look at this documentation or these documents and admit this, then why do skeptics continue to support the Mogul explanation with the same religious fervor as the UFO proponents support Roswell? Sure, you can say that they launched a cluster of balloons later in the day and we don’t have a definition of what that meant… except that definition was outlined in another document relevant to Mogul. Sure, you can say that the lack of data for Flight No. 4, and the exclusion of it in the data table created for all the other flights means they recovered nothing of scientific value and that suggests the reasons for the exclusion… even when other flights that failed to produce scientific data are mentioned in that table. Aren’t the skeptics now doing the same thing of which they accuse the proponents? Aren’t they cherry-picking the data to support their conclusion and rejecting that data that do not support them?

Charles Moore: The man who launched the Roswell Craft
The point of my question then, and now, is that some skeptics seem to ignore what I think of the tenets of skepticism by not applying the same standards to both sides of the question. Are they any worse than the true believers, who know, absolutely know, that there is alien visitation, and reject negative data because of that belief? Shouldn’t the skeptics be questioning all the data before accepting it, and if they don’t, then aren’t they actually debunkers rather than skeptics? What are the reasons for rejecting the documentation supplied by the man who lead the Mogul team (yes, I know it was the New York University balloon project) in favor of testimony from a man who claimed he had launched the Roswell saucer but has no documentation to support his claim? Is this evidence of a double standard in the investigation of UFOs (or any other disputed claim) or is there some reason that allows the rejection of the documentation that doesn’t favor the skeptical argument that I don’t know?

I have said, many times, that this shouldn’t be a debate where we ignore the information that is inconvenient, but an investigation in which the truth is the standard. Not my truth, or your truth, or someone else’s truth, but the truth. The question remains unanswered at this point as we’re dragged off into a discussion about Mogul which is a red herring… my narrative here is about skepticism and not Mogul. The conversation has been diverted and this, I hope drags it kicking and screaming back to the point.

*Robert Sheaffer did his best to answer the question for himself and I have no complaint about it. I mentioned him only because the point arose in the interview I conducted with him and lead to this longer line of thought.

**For those interested, the Twining Letter was written by Howard McCoy in response to information passed to him by Brigadier General George Schulgen and Lieutenant Colonel George Garrett. They supplied 18 specific sightings and asked for analysis. In those sightings, they mentioned nothing about a crash and since the analysis was based on those cases and nothing else, the argument can be made that no mention was made of crash recovered debris because none was submitted with the original request. That is the reason there is nothing about crash recovered debris and not this ridiculous argument about levels of classification. But before everyone jumps on this, there are other documents and statements that are relevant to that discussion (which is not made here) that add weight to the anti-Roswell argument.


Craig McDaniel said...


Maybe you are asking the wrong set of questions. I would ask - What are the odds that what really crash was craft not of this earth? The key to the question is "the odds". Here is why I suggest this.

Everything in our lives have a element of statistics or odds involved. How many years we will live? How many cars will we own? And thousands more questions we can ask. Skeptics do not want to deal with facts ask you noted in your questions but more so with odds and statistics.

I had two events in my life that stands out. One was seeing a cylinder UFO and the reflection from it. Yes it was close. Two was winning two different sweepstakes where I won new trucks. Since I am in the publishing business on know many of the big winners, I think I am the only one who have who two over the last 15 years. I calculated the odds to be one in over 10 billion. It shouldn't have happened but it did and the proof is well known in the press.

Now the odds of seeing a UFO? I don't know how to calculate the odds for this event. Skeptics would believe my truck wins and the astronomical odds but would not believe me for seeing a UFO of any kind because they would say there are zero odds that it is possible.

Whether you understand or not, I would say the odds of converting a hard core skeptic is much higher than winning two new cars or trucks in entering sweepstakes. Those odds are even higher.

Gilles Fernandez said...

Hello Kevin,

I re-start here our last conversation in your thread ""X-Zone Broadcast Network - Robert Sheaffer."

You wrote:
"No balloon flights again on account of clouds." Which of course doesn't say it was cancelled but means the same thing."

Not really. As yourself admits, it doesn't say it was canceled.

Sorry, I read ALL the entry for that day with a "different perspective" than your own: I dont stop my reading with the ".", but I continue. It is a diary, after all.

A diary is "linear" (notice the "again" BTW in the sentence...). If in my diary, I wrote "Not gone to my GF rendez-vous again on account of rain". And after, for the very same day entry, I wrote "promenade on the lake and we shoot photographs", you will probably deduce my rendez-vous was cancelled... No, it was delayed. Period.

An apparatus/assembly was launched (probably because the meteo cleared) and there was a flight that day.

Well, it is like the film "Groundhog Day", we have already discussed it from 2009. Tim Printy have wrote several things about, in SUNlite 4-4 and 5-5. I understand you ignore it, but not me.

Have nice winter holidays, as your readers too.



KRandle said...

Craig -

No. The question is why do skeptics accept information that supports their point of view without the same skepticism that they employ about information from the other side. It is not about odds of seeing a UFO. It is not about interstellar flight or the problems with it. It is about not following the tenets of skepticism... You present me with a set of facts that suggest alien visitation, and I'm skeptical of that claim until I can investigate. I don't accept them automatically... and if you follow closely my work closely, you'll see that I continue to reevaluate UFO related stories such as alien abduction, crop circles and cattle mutilations. Or, if you really want to see a reevaluation, take a look at Roswell in the 21st Century.

Gilles -

You miss the point again, after I tried to explain this isn't about Mogul, but about skepticism. Mogul was merely the example used, which I have been advised was a poor example because it allowed the discussion to be diverted. How about Philip Klass's claim that Socorro was a hoax because the mayor at the time owned the land where the UFO landed? Turns out that this is not true, yet is often repeated by skeptics. They didn't bother to learn if the mayor owned the land... not to mention that there was no indication that a tourist attraction was contemplated until a year after the story broke. Socorro must be a hoax, therefore the mayor owning the land must be true... and note that this does not prove that Socorro was the landing of an alien craft, only an example of information repeated without verification because it fit a specific narrative.

Paul Young said...

The debunker's extremely lazy fallback position, tediously named, "Ockham's razor" may be one of the reasons that sceptics will go to the ends of the Earth to discredit an ETH proposal but will give explanations, the likes of swamp gas and (that other old favourite) Venus, a free pass no matter how unlikely they happen to be.

Debunkers are debunkers, there's no fixing that...but the ones parading as true sceptics are seemingly lazy when it comes to challenging the really lame excuses for puzzling cases...
...such as...

JAL 1628...pilot is a blatant liar.
Travis Walton...a bloody hillbilly, what do you expect.
USAF personnel, Bentwaters 1980... It was Christmas, they were all drunk...and they were mesmerised by a lighthouse 12 miles away, stupid!

Ockham's razor is far too "black and white" to apply in regards to these more complex cases...another perfect example being the recently discussed Tehran incident.

Lance said...


You seem to make the same mistake that many UFO proponents make over and over. You assume your position and that of the skeptic are on the same epistemological ground.

They aren't.

Someone proffering an explanation that adheres to reality as we know it has far less of a burden than someone making an extraordinary claim.

Several of the "facts" that you cite concerning Flight 4 just appear to be assertions, often informed by an unfortunate tendency (also common among UFO proponents) towards a rigid, willfully blind and pedantic reading of evidence (when it supports your assertion).

For instance, what you call a "definition" of "cluster" is actually merely a usage of the term. I am certain that you understand the difference?

Even worse is the FACT that Flight 8 (which was a constant level flight) is also described as a "cluster". Where is your definition there?

And it really all hinges on that, doesn't it?

You and some of the more rabid Roswell fans have created this mantra that there was no Flight 4. There WAS something launched that day. We agree on that. Skeptics don't care one bit if it is CALLED Flight 4.

Your means of asserting that it was just a cluster, using a "definition" that you have unwisely self-created (which is DIRECTLY refuted by Flight 8) doesn't demonstrate a willingness to look at this objectively .

How in God's name can you profess to not understand the skeptical position? It follows the evidence and fits case.


Gilles Fernandez said...

Dear and respected Kevin,

I dont know I missed "the point" again. A contrario, I "recognized" a sort of false dilemma (sophism) offered by you during the podcast in order to question our (Roswell) skepticism and UFO-Skepticism in general.

The example you used (your choice, useless to multiple others I'm not involved in/with, as UFO-Skeptic), was only focused on your view of the 4 June 1947 flight. A view I though not really exemplary, because you TOTALLY ignore our arguments (referenced early).

Speaking of skepticism or you as if teaching skepticism, I repeat that your reading of the Crary journal entry is really bizarre, as if you are stopping only on the quote you like to repeat... There was a launch and flight that day. PERIOD!

Your interpretation of other documentations, as if they were stating the flight was cancelled, is another really bizarre thing... (100 times already discussed).

BTW, it is not the first time: I remember your speech here and gospel about the restrictions applied by the North-East CAA (Alamogordo is not in this area, as you well know...), or as if NYU team never launched flights at night or when there were cloudy sky...

Flight 8 was launched when, in day time, perhaps??? Was the sky, perfect clear? No!
What about flight 11 and the sky there? super-clear too? No. And flight 9, in a blue sky! (we have photographs of the "cloudy sky" during flight 9).

In essence, I didn't find the example YOU Choose regarding skepticism, really convincing.

Well, that's crashology, after all ;)



KRandle said...

Lance and Gilles -

Please submit a single document from 1947, from the New York University balloon project, from Dr. Crary's diary and field notes, from the data tables and the reports that make reference to Flight No. 4.

Lance -

I am not saying that those who endorse the alien visitation are on the same ground as those who suggest it does not exist. I am saying that you also have an obligation to demonstrate your facts are accurate and I would think, you would wish to verify the documents with the same rigor as you would attempt to verify documents that claim evidence of alien visitation...

BTW, Flight No. 7's "cluster array" is not the same as a cluster of balloons used to lift a microphone. Look at the illustration for Flight No. 7.

RRRGroup said...

See, Kevin...

By using the Mogul incident to example your views about errant skepticism. you've opened that Roswellian pandora's box once more.

All the UFO scalawags. skeptics and believers both, have come out, will come out, of the woodwork and bore us with the Mogul arguments, ad infinitum, ad eternum, ad nauseum.


Gilles Fernandez said...


Lance is right.

Look at flight #8 and Crary's diary and if we use the same "methodology" here and for a while proposed by Kevin and how to read the lines of the diary...

We read in Crary's Diary: On Thursday morning 3 July, a cluster of GM plastic balloons sent up for V2 recording.

A CLUSTER of balloons was launched!

Then: "Oooh, it was not a full assembly, only few balloons and microphons". A sort of test with balloons and only microphons, blabla, blablabla...

But no, in fact: Cary is describing here flight #8 (so a "full" assembly), and the drawing shows us there were as pieces, the payload, a transmitter, a radio-sonde, dribbler, plastic ballast, etc. (Fig 39 in one the NYU report inside the big USAF report).

It shows or demonstrates that to use the diary to "guess" the assembly of a NYU train of balloons is a very bad methodology. Again, it is a diary only...



KRandle said...

Rich -

You are, of course right about that. However, it is the perfect example. They ignore the documentation which is quite clear, creating the same sorts of excuses and dodging the questions just as the true believers do when asked about the Twining Letter. They have taken it to the extreme as does Stan Friedman in his defense of the early MJ-12 documents. The information that supports him, he uses and that which does not he ignores, belittles or misinterprets.

In the past they have repeated the false statement that Mogul was so secret that even those working on it didn't know the name. Except it was in Crary's diary three times and there is an FBI report that uses it.

They ignore the CAA (FAA) requirements that they not launch at night or into clouds by citing Flight No. 7 which launched at 3:03 a.m. ignoring the fact that it was launched in conjunction with a proposed V2 launch, meaning there was permission to violate the instructions.

They say that Flight No. 7 was a cluster balloon but it was, in fact, a cluster array which was different.

I could go on but they just won't listen because Roswell has to be a Mogul flight, even though there is no Mogul flight that covers the timing other than the mythical Flight No. 4. I have tried to explain this but it falls on deaf ears. And even if they would concede the point, it doesn't tell us that Roswell was alien, only that Mogul is not the answer.

But, as I say, they are as bad as Friedman defending MJ-12. The preponderance of the evidence makes no difference as long as we can say things like Flight No. 7 was a cluster and that they didn't always obey the FAA rules.

For the sake of everyone's sanity, I now bow out of the discussion and urge those interested to read the appendix about Mogul in Roswell in the 21st Century... and I thank you all for the opportunity to plug the book.

Gilles Fernandez said...


"For the sake of everyone's sanity, I now bow out of the discussion and urge those interested to read the appendix about Mogul in Roswell in the 21st Century... and I thank you all for the opportunity to plug the book."

We are assisting, imho, regarding this modern myth (Roswell), to your last attempt to save your previous books (and "dignity") and then to attack Mogul as the culprit of the wreckage.

Your appendix "urged to be read", forget recent counter-tons we have offered. Not cool and a very bad behavior from you and as if you as an "agnostic" of the case.

Well, you are a Roswell crashologist, after all ;)

Best Regards,


Terry the Censor said...

> The debunker's extremely lazy fallback position, tediously named, "Ockham's razor"

That characterisation of a crucial principle of epistemological reasoning is both hilariously dismissive and sadly partisan.

Gal220 said...

I think it is just the way some people are wired, some people are really into football, nascar(cant relate), ufology, and skepticism(cant relate). Its not whether our football team won honestly(Bill Belichek) or not, its about our team winning! Its not about the truth, its about about being skeptical! For some more than others, Klass being an obvious punching bag.

But specifically on this issue, I see you often say the following

"And even if they would concede the point, it doesn't tell us that Roswell was alien, only that Mogul is not the answer."

I dont think most skeptics who are familiar with the case feel the same way. They may not come out and say it, but if it isnt mogul, it was probably aliens, so they are going to cling to the mogul explanation for dear life.

Anthony Mugan said...

Good morning all.

Before being too hard on debunkers those of us who feel there is a case for the ETH need to reflect on just how strong or weak that case may be. Seventy years (more or less) of investigation has shown that:
a) A majority of cases are misidentifications
b) Most of the rest lack sufficient evidence to clearly reach a conclusion, but have nothing that suggests they are not misidentifications.
c) A small proportion are hoaxes
d) There is a small residue of truly puzzling cases which contain evidence of an unusual technological device

I would also argue that most of the cases presented as 'unidentified' in the literature do not contain enough hard evidence to rule out at least one possible misidentification. In my opinion category (d) above is actually very small indeed.

This I think is a key point as to follow a genuinely sceptical approach requires the application of a critical rationalist approach which seeks to falsify hypotheses. In other words the only conclusions that can be reached are based on the results of tests of specific options.

What tests could be applied to assess the possibility that a given UFO report represents and actual nuts and bolts UFO? The ones I can think of might be consistent with that hypothesis but, as they are based on testing the presence of a technological device, are not specifically diagnostic of the ETH. Establishing the presence of an actual object and then showing performance beyond terrestrial capacity for that particular time and place / context comes close but is hard to achieve definitively.

So the debunkers know they are usually going to be right and know that in seventy years there hasn't been a single case that definitively establishes the ETH. There are some which come close, but this problem of defining a definitive test is a key stumbling block.

There is then a second issue, and one that I think is actually far more serious. It is clear that large parts of the population are conditioned for the 'acceptance of the incredible' and 'in these perilous times' (to lift a couple of phrases from UFO history)it is far safer if people are somewhat over sceptical than under sceptical.

So the failure of debunkers to apply the standards of critical rationalism is perhaps less of a risk than the failure of society more generally to apply scepticism to extraordinary claims in all walks of life. Debunkers should be held accountable were they put forward truly ridiculous proposals such as NYU Flight 4 (or more accurately cling on to these ideas after they have been totally falsified, as it was a reasonable idea to investigate in the first place) but we need to be careful as to what conclusion is drawn from that debate and careful of the risk that we are ourselves fuelling, in our small way, this dangerous gullibility that is so evident in so many arenas.

Paul Young said...

@ Terry.
Ockham's Razor would be best described as "only the absolutely, bleeding obvious solution can possibly be the answer".
Now, that may be a convenient get out clause for the debunkers but a great big yawn for anyone seriously searching for answers in the more complex cases.
The application of Ockham's Razor (by it's very definition) means any thought of an ETH for a UFO sighting is a non-starter.
Swamp gas triumphs every time.

Tim Printy said...

"They ignore the CAA (FAA) requirements that they not launch at night or into clouds by citing Flight No. 7 which launched at 3:03 a.m. ignoring the fact that it was launched in conjunction with a proposed V2 launch, meaning there was permission to violate the instructions. "

Where is stated they had "permission to violate the instructions"? If they did had permission on that date, why couldn't they also have had "permission" on June 4th? Without evidence, this statement is an assumption and not an established fact as you try to present it.

"They say that Flight No. 7 was a cluster balloon but it was, in fact, a cluster array which was different."

That is, again, your interpretation of what you think it states. It is not a proven fact that Crary was making reference to the arrangement of balloons in his description. Crary refers to clusters of balloons on four occasions in his log. Two of them (flights 7 and 8) describe full assemblies designed for constant level flights. Flight #8 was described as, "a cluster of GM plastic balloons sent up for V2 recording." That almost sounds a lot like "Flew regular sono buoy up in cluster of balloons". Also not mentioned by you is that the term "Clusters of balloons" was used in NYU Progress report #7, where they referred to the early June flights as "clusters of meteorological balloon" and not arrays or assemblies. Finally, as Gilles pointed out, the drawing of flight #2 has the label "Train for cluster flight No. 2". This demonstrates that the term "clusters of balloons" could be used to describe an entire flight and not simply a few balloons.

KRandle said...

Gilles -

Really? Your response is to insult me and belittle the field notes and documentation kept by Dr. Crary. You are proving my point for me. You refuse to look at the evidence because you know the answer... But you can't even provide a single document from the time that references Flight No. 4 because it didn't fly. Next thing you know, you'll be rejecting the material because I write science fiction as well.

Terry -

I think the suggestion here is that falling back on Ockham's Razor is a simply way of eliminating one possible explanation because it requires the invention of interstellar flight. We can reduce every UFO sighting that way by simply stating that interstellar flight is impossible therefore any answer requiring it is wrong. But I would think that the interstellar is viable if it is the only answer that covers all the facts. Skeptics would be better off by looking at the data rather than rejecting some of it (of course the same can be said of those at the other end of the spectrum as well). I've always thought the Ockham's Razor suggested that the simplest explanation that covered all the facts is most likely the solution... not merely the simplest.

Lance said...

Rich and Kevin,

Unfortunately we get have to get dragged down into the minutia of these things because that is where the UFO proponents ply their trade.

The ENTIRE case against Flight 4 being a possibility is that:

1. Kevin (and lesser sycophants like Mugan above) has decided that the word "cluster" has some precise and pedantic meaning. A Kevin Cluster could not be a constant level-flight.

2. That the rules would not allow a flight at the time/weather conditions.

The skeptical response is that:

1. The word cluster is used several times in the diary. Unfortunately for Kevin, it is specifically used to describe precisely the kind of constant level flights that Kevin's self-coined definition should exclude.

2. Likewise, other flights were launched in conditions/times that Kevin claims were prohibited.

That is it.

If you cannot understand this response, then I suggest you may have cognitive difficulties.

Kevin tries to creates new "outs" to rationalize against the response. Hilariously, that is exactly what he accuses the skeptics of doing in his main article.

It's all a sort of annual PR campaign and it works against truth. I once asked a regular contributor here about "Flight 4". He flatly stated that "there was no Flight 4". This is a mantra that Kevin has repeated many times. I then asked that person if he realized that both Kevin and skeptics agree that SOMETHING was launched that day regardless of whether we call it Flight 4 or not. He had no idea about this. He was simply clinging to Kevin's catch phrase.

I think that was the intention.

UFO believers never step too far out of their comfort zone. Indeed many of them are ACTIVELY hostile to the scientific method (note how professor Paul Young, with a hand wave, dismisses a prime philosophical tenet for the discovery of truth. He does this in the service of his Flying Saucer religion. When time-tested principals are discarded by low level magical thinking, the world becomes a little stupider and worse to live in.



Gilles Fernandez said...

Well, sorry if my words appeared as rude or insulting you.

1) But you can't even provide a single document from the time that references Flight No. 4 because it didn't fly
No document, then it didn't fly. Seriously, Kevin...
Look Kevin: in Crary diary, we read: "May 28 Wed. « B-17 in from Watson with Mears, Hackman, NYU and Alden. They [Mears, Hackman, NYU and Alden] plan to flight test balloon tomorrow" May 29 thurs. « Mears and Hackman got balloon ascension off about 1 pm today with B-17plan to follow it".
Where is the NYU documentation / report to this "flight"? Where it is in the NYU table? (I suggested in 2009 it may be flight #3). Does it mean "it didn't fly"???
But whatever you are stating for years now, a train have flown that night of June the 4th... PERIOD.

2) Speaking "Ockham's Razor":
2a) RAAFB announcement is about flying saucers/disks and terms which must be "contextualized" for the 1947 contemporans. There is no spacecraft or ETI meanings in the press release. As there exists a Gallup poll made in August 1947 about "what are for you flying saucer.": no ETI or alien direct semantic association/answers. PERIOD. (Or wait a little for the direct semantic association FS and ETI.
2b) Brazel and Marcel were interviewed in July 1947. There are very well describing Radar-Targets and providing details they CANT have invented, like the presence of eyelets, scotch with motifs.
2c) A Blue-print of radar target shows us that R-T have eyelets, must be consolidated with 3M or like acetate scotch tape. What a coincidence!
2d) Victor Hoefflich was in charge of the radar-targets used here and was in the toys industry (American Merri-Lei Corporation) in East Coast. Toys corporations used 3M scotch and there were 3M "1947" scotch tapes with motifs.
2e) Alamogordo I NYU expedition was in time and place of the event. They used radar-targets made East-Coast (their previous train is drawn in NYU reports with 3 radar-targets and it is Flight #2) and we have two flights in June 1947.

So, it is more than highly probable that what crashed in Brazel ranch was NYU materials.


Best Regards,


KRandle said...

Lance -

The definition of cluster is in the NYU materials. I didn't invent it, just used the documentation. A cluster was used to lift microphones or preform other experiments when other conditions prevented the launch of a full array.

The rules and regulations were laid out in the documentation in the NYU materials. There is even a letter requesting a weakening of those rules which was denied. The rules were quite clear but you'd have us believe they violated those rules, even when the documentation suggests they followed them.

There is one major exception, which was a launch in conjunction with a V2 experiment. The rocket did not fly, and in fact, later that day there was an accident on the pad that injured a number of men.

I have not created new "outs" but have provided documentation, repeatedly ignored, that provides us with a basis for understanding what was going on. Flight No. 4 did not fly... a cluster of balloons, launched with a microphone was launched later in the day... but even if it was Flight No. 4, it was launched long after dawn and not at 2 or 3:30 has postulated by Moore so that his imagined track would take it to the Brazel ranch.

Gilles -

Didn't say that they didn't launch balloons at other times, just said that Flight No. 4, for which you can supply no documentation did not fly. It didn't fly at dawn and it didn't fly at 2:30 or 3:30 in the morning in the dark. A balloon cluster was launched later, but that was not one of the constant level balloons because there is no data recorded for it. Had it been, even if it failed, there would have been data recorded.

You write, "RAAFB announcement is about flying saucers/disks and terms which must be "contextualized" for the 1947 contemporans. There is no spacecraft or ETI meanings in the press release. As there exists a Gallup poll made in August 1947 about "what are for you flying saucer.": no ETI or alien direct semantic association/answers. PERIOD."

You should have written, "no ETI or alien direct semantic association/answers. SEMI COLON." From the Daily Times Herald in Dallas on July 7, "Rocket Expert Hints Disks Are Visitors from Venus."

But even will all this, you can't get around the point that there was no Flight No. 4 of a constant level balloon on June 4... a cluster later in the day, a sonobuoy flown up in a cluster to test that ability...

And take a look at the configuration of Flight No. 5, the first successful launch in New Mexico, just for laughs.

Tim Printy said...

"The definition of cluster is in the NYU materials. I didn't invent it, just used the documentation. A cluster was used to lift microphones or preform other experiments when other conditions prevented the launch of a full array."

Where does it say that? Unless you can provide an exact quote, I can only suggest that this your personal interpretation. Let's look at how the NYU defined "clusters of balloons" in their documents.

In NYU progess report 7 we read the following:
"Field teats were conducted at Alamogordo Army Air Base during the weak of June 1, using clusters of meteorological balloons....In general, while the flights were successful in the
sense of carrying Watson Laboratory gear aloft for en extended period of time, difficulties and materiel failures encountered served to emphasize the unsatisfactory characteristics of
meteorological balloon clusters."

Then there is this from the journal of meteorology in 1948 (vol 5):
"In the investigation of cosmic rays, as for example, by Clarke and Korff (1941), clusters of ordinary meteorological balloons, 350 gram or 700 gram size, numbering anywhere from twenty to nearly seventy, were utilized."

NYU Progress report 6:
"Until Plastic balloons can be obtained, We will continue to fly clusters of meteorological balloons."

NYU technical report 1:
Figures 31 and 36 show the two methods used to group the balloons in clusters. (31 is flight #5 and 36 is flight #7).

This means that a "cluster of balloons" was used to describe any balloon flight and not what you are stating.

Tim Printy said...

"The rules and regulations were laid out in the documentation in the NYU materials. There is even a letter requesting a weakening of those rules which was denied. The rules were quite clear but you'd have us believe they violated those rules, even when the documentation suggests they followed them."

The rules were for the northeast region and there is no indication that those rules applied in the southwest region. The Fort Worth subcommittee meeting implied that they weren't following the rules. If so, they were probably working under the guidelines they desired, which was scattered conditions and not clear conditions.
BTW, the release of the flight #9 balloons was not made in clear skies. Look at the picture. There are clouds visible. Weather observations at the hour of release was "scattered" and not clear. A lot of the other releases appear to have been done in conditions of "less than clear". While we don't have weather observations for Alamogordo, we do have Columbus, Engle, and Roswell. For Flight 8, conditions were Broken-Scattered-clear (Columbus-Engle-Roswell). For Flight 11 Scattered-Scattered-Scattered
All are indicative of less than clear conditions.

Tim Printy said...

"Flight No. 4 did not fly... a cluster of balloons, launched with a microphone was launched later in the day... but even if it was Flight No. 4, it was launched long after dawn"

I am curious. What flight number was the canceled flight on June 3? Was it flight 3.5 or does it mean that the cluster of balloons did get a flight number?

As far as "long after dawn", what evidence do you have? As noted previously, conditions of launching balloons seemed to be done under "scattered" sky conditions. On June 4, the observations at 3 and 4 AM (Columbus-Engle-Roswell) were clear-scattered-scattered.

Of course, they did not launch at night.....but they did. See flight #8, which you state they had permission to deviate from the rules. If they could do that on flight #8, why couldn't they do it for June 4? Since they could fly at night, they probably could get "special permission" to fly under "scattered" conditions as well.

This all speculation of course but the point is that you are claiming to have conclusively proven something but that is not quite accurate. The diary is open to interpretation and there appears to be reason to suspect that some of the reasons for dismissing a flight at night under less than clear conditions are not quite as solid as you claim.

KRandle said...

All -

Since this discussion has become overly redundant, and since some of the questions Tim asked are already answered in other comments here, I declare the discussion about Mogul closed. I have already explained, for example, that Flight No. 8 was launched in conjunction with the proposed launch of a V2 and that the size of the Flight No. 8 array was shorter than the 600 foot long arrays launched earlier, but those things are ignored to keep Mogul alive. So, any more comments will be happily deleted... I posted Tim's which I had considered deleting but he went to a lot of work to reinforce his opinion and I thought it only fair to give him the semi-last word.

If you have comments about the double standard, or even wish to talk about Klass' Socorro tourist attraction tale, that's fine... I noticed that no one wanted to argue that point.

So, I move on, though I said it before, this time I mean it.

Robert Sheaffer said...

Kevin, if it's permitted to note one more thing, I have written a posting about that radio show and related Roswell controversies on my Bad UFOs blog,

It contains a forty year-old photo of us, when we both were young and handsome. :)

My conclusion: it is far more likely that ambiguous record keeping has been misinterpreted and that Mogul Flight 4 was actually launched, than that some unknown craft of whatever origin crashed near Roswell.

Gilles Fernandez said...

Kevin wrote: "I declare the discussion about Mogul closed".

Who are you to declare the discussion about Mogul closed???

You will re-open it in few times, as so predictable from you... I'm assisting of this from 2009 now.

I predict you will have a new Mogul thread before 2018, because 2017 will be the "brithday" of the case. On parie ?


Paul Young said...

Socorro tourist attraction was certainly a Klass classic but for me the daddy of all double standards is Orfordness lighthouse.

"Ockham's razor" in process! (Ain't that right, Lancelot?)

KRandle said...

Gilles -

Let me rephrase. The discussion of Mogul on this blog is closed. I didn't actually reopen it here. I made a statement about my impression of the skeptical community accepting things like the Air Force (and Pflock's and Todd's explanation) too readily without what I thought of as the necessary skepticism. It blew up into Mogul, which has been rehashed here way too often (as Rich Reynolds pointed out). So, rather than subject my readers to another protracted discussion that would resolve nothing, I ended it, giving Tim Printy the sort of last word.

KRandle said...

Robert -

Sort of violating my own prohibition, I will note that I do not find your last statement to be unreasonable. This is something that I don't think many people will understand, but what the hey, I find that lots of people misunderstand things because they're so busy attempting to think up a response, they miss half the message.

James Osborne said...

Mr. Randle,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Investigators sometimes fail to account for confirmation bias in their personal point of view; and, if information is provided by a source they trust, then doing the work to establish the veracity of the information is not done. The truth is out there, but it takes self-discipline to take the time, money, and effort to examine each bit of information, alone and to place it in context. Again, thank you for this opportunity to directly comment on your question.