Yes, I did sit through most of the NASA presentations on what they insist on calling UAPs but we all know as UFOs. It was basically what I had expected. Long on talk but little of importance. They began by complaining about the harassment and bullying of the various panel members on social media. I thought, “Welcome to the world of UFO research.” I can’t tell you how many times I have had to deal with this sort of thing, which is to say that I ignore it, but it does happen.
|Dr. Daniel Evans, who opened the Panel proceedings.|
They also spent a great deal of time lecturing us on the scientific method and I wondered if that was for the coordination of the panel members or if that was to teach us out here about how science is supposed to work. And we learned many things that seemed irrelevant to me. For example, the FAA representative, Mike Freie, told us that the FAA radars filter the radar returns, meaning, that they don’t see objects that are too small, too low or too slow and those that are too high and too fast.
There was a discussion of past reports suggesting that the data collected was muddled and there was a lack of useful information. They complained that eyewitness testimony is often unreliable, which is certainly true, but it shouldn’t be rejected simply because it is eyewitness testimony.
In fact, some of the presentations suggested that not only eyewitness testimony was unreliable, but data collected by various instrumentation and sensors was almost as unreliable. These sensor arrays gather specific sorts of data which can be corrupted by a variety of outside factors. Or, in other words, they were suggesting that such data might as unreliable as eyewitnesses because of the limits of the sensors. I found this as a preliminary way of rejecting data collected by the arrays. A sort of built in excuse to ignore data that did not fit the bias of those reviewing it. In fact, Scott Kelly, a former astronaut, said later, “In my experience, the sensors kind of have the same issues as the people’s eyeballs.”
That idea was reinforced by some of the others. One of them mentioned that the data collection was not very good and there was a lack of quality control. I wondered if it would be rejected out of hand, which meant that important cases from the past would be ignored. In writing Levelland, I looked at a great many sources that included interviews conducted in 1957 and those that came about later. It was a huge task tracking down sources, but in the end, I believe that I had a very good idea of what happened there.
It wasn’t a matter of the witnesses having to guess about an object seen in the distance, but of the UFO landing close to them. They might not have been completely accurate about the size or the length of the sighting, but that is not a good reason to reject the data. Many made close hand observations and, according to the sheriff, there were dozens of witnesses to the UFO interacting with the environment. However, this sighting would be ignored because data collected in the past might be muddled. It seemed to me that an accurate program would look at a representative sample of these older cases which would help understand the current situation.
In what might have been one of the more important presentations, Sean Kirkpatrick presented an updated version of his report to the Senate, telling us that they had now received something like 800 sighting reports. He covered much of the same ground here as he had there, but the one point that I think was overlooked was that he suggested that only 2 to 5% of the sightings remained unidentified. We have moved from the place a couple of years ago when about 99% of the sightings had no solutions to this point of some 20 to 40 sightings have no solution. As the Condon Committee said half a century ago, and as the Air Force claimed during Project Blue Book, there will always be a residue of unexplained cases because of insufficient data.
In fact, they carried that theme throughout the presentations. The evidence of the past was poorly collected, the data were vague, or incomplete. This was an excuse to avoid the sighting evidence gathered in the past. They didn’t have to look at it because it was badly flawed. But this is the same thing that the Condon Committee said a half century ago and the same thing that the Robertson Panel said even earlier.
Part of that problem was those collecting the evidence, and here I’m thinking of official investigation, was that those responsible didn’t believe it was their job to properly collect data. They were going through the motions because the general population expected there to be an investigation. Rigorous investigation was not part of the Blue Book system for much of its existence.
Which, of course, brings me to the Bolender memo, in which an Air Force general did say that some cases were not part of the Blue Book system. You have to wonder where those cases went and why they were not part of the Blue Book system.
And, that’s not to mention that alibi for the classification of some sightings. We were told that the photographs might be classified, not because of the subject matter, but because of the platform used to capture the image. What was being said here was that the image wasn’t important, but what might be derived by studying the image would provide clues about the capability of our sensors and cameras. This was a way of saying, “Yes, we have classified photographs, but there is nothing interesting in them. We just don’t want to reveal our abilities in capturing the data.” It is a useful dodge if you do get an outstanding photo of a UFO, I mean a UAP, but you don’t want to share that image with the unwashed public.
I did notice one thing that I found a bit odd. Those speaking later, seemed to have responses to those who had spoken earlier. It seemed to me that there was a coordination among those speaking to be sure to mention the lack of evidence of alien visitation. These were just “drop in” comments, as if they were an afterthought, but I sensed a coordination here. Stay away from the dreaded association with UFOs but make these backhanded comments about there being no evidence that they had seen. Please note that they said that they had seen no evidence as opposed to there being no evidence. It’s all a matter of semantics.
|The NASA Panel.|
And for those of you who don’t read between the lines, let me point out that while something might be true, if you were unaware of that truth, and claimed that truth was, well, untrue, then you would be spreading a version of the truth. You weren’t lying, you were merely wrong. It could be a case of closing your eyes so that you don’t see the evidence that you don’t want to see.
So, when one of the panelists was asked about non-disclosure agreements signed by the astronauts who might have seen something about UFOs, the answer was that he wasn’t aware of any such agreements. Didn’t mean there weren’t any, only that he knew of none, which is not quite the same thing.
Maybe I’m oversensitive to the language here, after dealing with government bureaucrats for decades and listening to politicians not really answer a question, I listen to what is said.
This applies to statements about possible extraterrestrial craft in our atmosphere. The mention of alien visitation was avoided, with only minor references to the lack of evidence for that conclusion, stated by several, that there was no evidence of alien visitation. Later, apparently after the show was over, Scott Kelly said, “I want to emphasize this loud and proud. There is absolutely no convincing evidence for extraterrestrial life associated with unidentified objects.”
Please note the careful choice of words. He said convincing evidence and that makes me wonder what he might have seen… and how high is the bar on that. Does convincing evidence mean the wrecked craft and alien bodies or is the bar somewhat lower.
We do have statements from other astronauts that seem to contradict that statement. While Kelly might not have seen no convincing evidence, it seems that Edgar Mitchell has seen such evidence.
And I noted there seemed to be no sense of urgency here. The presentations were fairly routine and dealt with the trivia of investigation and lectures on scientific method, but no digging deep into the phenomena that has been around for decades.
However, the type of evidence that NASA, and AARO for that matter, are looking for is being gathered by Fran Ridge’s MADAR network.
As but a single example, on September 17 of last year, the witnesses, in Provo, Utah, were sitting on a rocky bluff when the man saw a bright, shiny object in the deep blue sky, which he thought was an airplane. But the object was hovering, which ruled out an airplane. The witness saw no movement, though there was a strong wind blowing, which would rule out a balloon.
He finally called to his wife, who saw the UFO and said that it was “really, really weird.”
The UFO began to descend rapidly, and the man used a cell phone to record the sighting, ending when he lost sight of it as it dropped lower. But a moment later, he spotted it hovering above the trees, seeming to fade in and out of visibility. Finally, it just disappeared completely.
|The Utah Photo.|
A MADAR site did register a magnetometer reading that was the highest at the time of the sighting. However, there was no compass variation and the other, closer MADAR Node was off line at the time. However, this sighting, like so many others on the MADAR network could supply the sort of scientific evidence that the NASA study requires, if they bothered to check it out.
One last observation about the NASA panel that is more nitpicking than anything of real substances. One of them mentioned Carl Sagan’s claim that extraordinary claims required extraordinary evidence. That quote was not from Sagan (though he might have said it) but originated, according to Jerry Clark, by Marcello Truzzi. Not a major point but I thought I would mention it.