Well, of course, that is a simplistic view.
|The White House because I had the picture.|
In law it can be said that testimony is evidence, and not just that provided by experts. Rule 701 seems to be the guiding force here, and I confess that not being trained as an attorney I might have slipped off the rails. However, in law, it seems that a witness may offer evidence, testimony, if the witness is not testifying as an expert and that the testimony in the form of an opinion is limited to one that is rationally based on the witness’s perception, helpful to clearly understanding the witness’s testimony or to determining a fact in issue and not based on scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge within the scope of Rule 702, which is guidance for expert testimony.
Or, in other words, testimony is a form of evidence, at least in the arena of law, which makes the testimony of those witnesses in front of the Citizen Hearing committee a form of evidence. I will grant you that it is not the best evidence, and it might not be convincing evidence, but it was, in fact evidence, in the eyes of the law.
We can slip into the arena of science here as well. Empirical observation is considered evidence. Empirical evidence is defined simply as information that is acquired by observation or experimentation. Of course those observations or experiments are later analyzed by scientists, but the observations can be made by anyone. So, the witnesses at the Citizen Hearing did provide evidence as empirical observations. “This is what I saw.”
Granted, those with training can analyze those statements and those observations later and provide information about what was seen. The interpretation of the observations is what becomes the question and not the observations themselves (well not entirely).
Again, to me, this says that the testimony was a form of evidence… and in both the law and science, that testimony is then interpreted by those who have some sort of specialized training, expertise, or technical knowledge.
But this is an argument over semantics and I think we all agree that testimony is often badly flawed, open to the interpretations of those giving it, especially after mere weeks have passed, and could be the result of ambiguous stimuli that is filtered through the witness’ own belief structure.
But that wasn’t the only evidence offered at the Hearing. There was documentation. We’ve already talked about the government documents from the Department of Defense that confirms that a Peruvian pilot fired at a UFO. This doesn’t prove that he shot at an alien spacecraft, only that the event took place.
The discussion one afternoon degenerated into questions about the end of Project Blue Book. Nearly everyone was unclear as to the reason for the demise of that study, though they did mention the role that the Condon Committee had in it. I provided some documentation that suggested that it was all a set up. The Air Force wanted out of the UFO investigation business and that was one of the things that the Condon Committee was to accomplish.
The Hippler Letter, discussed here before, gave the instructions to the Condon Committee, and Robert Low of that organization wrote back to say that he understood. That too is a form of evidence. It is documentation.
Finally, there was John Callahan, he of JAL 1628 fame. Not only did he talk about the investigation he had conducted into the incident, he brought the documentation with him including the radar records, transcripts of the aerial conversations, and a recreation of the event using the radar and audio records. The documentation, which included that recorded through instrumentality, was available at the Hearing. Multiple chains of evidence, one supporting the other, each gathered independently.
The point here is not to argue about alien visitation, which is one conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence, but to argue there was evidence beyond the testimony offered. There was documentation, radar traces, and photographs. There were several forms of evidence available to the committee.
For those with an open mind, then there was some very interesting evidence offered. But it was only evidence that something strange is going on and that many of the solutions offered do not fit all the facts, but as I say, it doesn’t take us directly to the extraterrestrial, only that something has happened.