The Easlake UFO case (LAKRIEn.UFO) has generated a great deal of debate and controversy he

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The Easlake UFO case (LAKRIEn.UFO) has generated a great deal of debate and controversy here in the Cleveland area. The following are downloaded bulletins from FREENET a large, free, local BBS in the Cleveland, Ohio area. These messages are from the Skepticism SIG. Anyone interested in participating can do so at (216)368-3888: --------------------------------------- Date: Thu Apr 7 20:52:04 1988 From: RICHARD P. DELL'AQUILA (ab114) Subj: EASTLAKE UFO REPORTED BY COAST GUARD In a reply to a recent question from Dale Wedge, Page Stevens has mentioned that an unusual UFO event occurring over Lake Erie in early March was the result of a misidentification of the planets Jupiter and Venus which appeared close to each other in the night sky. Page mentioned that a Coast Guard report on the incident "agrees fully" with the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis. The report has been submitted to an astronomer for his expert opinion as to whether the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis adequately explains all the phenomena described in the report by the Coast Guard personnel, also reported by at least a half dozen other independent witnesses. The sightings, which have continued unabated for the past month, have been reported by several independent witnesses, one of whom took photographs. The case is being investigated by Rick Dell'Aquila (ab114) and Dale Wedge (ae511) The document confirms that members of the Coast Guard saw a group of strange objects cavorting on and near the icy surface of Lake Erie. A local astronomer attempted to explain the sightings as resulting from the apparent conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in the night sky, coupled with "spontaneous gas emissions" caused by viewing the conjunction through the Earth's atmosphere. The incident involves a large blimp-like object, "larger than the Goodyear blimp," which released up to a half dozen triangular-shaped lights and objects, in close proximity to the Perry nuclear power plant and Eastlake coal burning plant, and multiple independent witnesses, apparent animal reactions, as well as government documents, and hence qualifies for high- priority. The case is officially classified as a Close Encounter of the Second Kind. The Coast Guard report reads as follows: COG: INFO COPIES CPCD THE SAME ACTIVITY. THEY WATCHED THE OBJECTS FOR APPROX. 1 HOUR BEFORE RPTNG THAT THE LARGE OBJECT WAS ALMOST ON THE ICE. THEY RPTD THAT THE ICE WAS CRACKING AND MOVING ABNORMAL AMOUNTS AS THE OBJECT CAME CLOSER TO IT. THE ICE WAS RUMBLING AND THE OBJECT LIT MULTI-COLOR LIGHTS AT EACH END AS IT APPARENTLY LANDED. THE ;LIGHTS ON IT WENT OUT MOMENTARILY AND THEN CAME ON AGAIN. THEY WENT OUT AGAIN AND THE RUMBLING STOPPED AND THE ICE STOPPED MOVING. THE SMALLER OBJECTS BEGAN HOVERING IN THE AREA WHERE THE LARGE OBJECT LANDED AND AFTER A FEW MINUTES THEY BEGAN FLYING AROUND AGAIN. MOBILE 02 RPTD THAT THEY APPEARED TO BE SCOUTING THE AREA. MOBILE 02 RPTD THAT 1 OBJECT WAS MOVING TOWARD THEM AT A HIGH SPEED AND LOW TO THE ICE. MOBILE 02 BACKED DOWN THE HILL THEY HAD BEEN ON AND WHEN THEY WENT BACK TO THE HILL, THE OBJECT WAS GONE. THEY RPTD THAT THE OBJECTS COULD NOT BE SEEN IF THEY TURNED OFF THERE LIGHTS. ONE OF THE SMALL OBJECTS TURNED ON A SPOTLIGHT WHERE THE LARGE OBJECT HAD BEEN BUT MOBILE 02 COULD NOT SEE ANYTHING, AND THEN THE OBJECT SEEMED TO DISAPPEAR. ANOTHER OBJECT APPROACHED MOBILE 02 APPROX. 500 YDS. OFFSHORE ABOUT 20 FT. ABOVE THE ICE, AND IT BEGAN MOVING CLOSER AS MOBILE 02 BEGAN FLASHING ITS HEADLIGHTS, THEN IT MOVED OFF TO THE WEST. 3. THE CREWMEMBERS WERE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY ANY OF THE OBJECTS pher William James commented as follows on the views of contemporary "skeptics" among his Harvard colleagues. His comments remain pertinent: "There is included in human nature an ingrained naturalism and materialism of mind which can only admit facts that are tangible. Of this sort of mind the entity called "Science" is the idol. Fondness for the word "scientist" is one of the notes by which you may know its votaries; and its short way of killing any opinion that it disbelieves in is to call it "unscientific." It must be granted that there is no slight excuse for this. Science has made such glorious leaps in the last 300 years...that it is no wonder if the worshippers of Science lose their heads. In this very University, accordingly, I have heard more than one teacher say that all the fundamental conceptions of truth have already found by Science, and that the future has only the details of the picture to fill in. But the slightest reflection on the real conditions will suffice to show how barbaric such notions are. They show such a lack of scientific imagination that it is hard to see how one who is actively advancing any part of Science can make a statement so crude. Think how many absolutely new scientific conceptions have arisen in our generation, how many new problems have been formulated TV stations,the astronomy dept. at CWRU,etc. to report these objects as UFOs. In an April 7 listing on this bulletin board,Rick Dell'Aquila gives the text of a U.S.Coast Guard report (dated March 4) which he suggests can not be explained as resulting from a misidentifi- cation of these planets.Although it contains an account of multi- colored,noctural lights cavorting about and landing on the Lake Erie ice,this report is devoid of the most important observation- al details which one expects from highly trained observers.What was their exact location at the time of these observations?Given that location,what were the approximate azimuth and altitude of these lights? Since the shoreline at Fairport Harbor runs almost NE-SW,saying that the lights are out over the lake means that they could lie anywhere from SW to NE as seen from near the lakeshore. Given this lack of detail,it is rather suggestive that the CG people observed the bright light to "land" on the ice at about the same time that Venus set i.e. went below the horizon that evening.Nowhere in the report do the CG people say that they saw the UFOs in addition to Venus and Jupiter i.e. if this display took place low in the western sky,one might expect them to have compared the brightness and positions of the UFOs relative to these planets.It Jupiter were in the western portion of the sky that evening. After the sight- ing, Dell'Aquila and Wedge went out to the sight and did sight these planets in the western sky. We even took some calcu- latiions as to the location of the planets at the times that witnesses were seeing the objects over the lake. From our determination, we can state that the objects that were seen over the Lake were not Venus and Jupiter. The witnesses that evening knew where the planets were. The subject who reported the objects was travelling EAST and was facing east when the objects were seen to her left, the northern portion of the sky, near the residence. In regards to the Coast Guard, Mr. Sanduleak must only be reading the report of the second evening. It would seem that anyone being involved in the Coast Guard would have a basic knowledge of the skies above us, since it is a tool that they use to navigate the seas. I would also doubt that Coast Guard personnel would mistake Venus and Jupiter as the culprit being behind objects being seen to be approximately 500 yards offshore about 20 feet above the ice. I have never known the planets to do this. If you go to the sight of the incident, there is no west to look at on the ice, since it is obscured by the Eastlake Coal Buture fits the description made by the witnesses at the scene of the encounter. Lastly, because we ensure secrecy of witnesses, it is unfortunate that the Coast Guard will not allow us to inter- view the Coast Guard personnel that were at the scene that evening. Who has something to hide? Is it Sanduleak that is frightened of a real incident or is the Coast Guard frightened that they have given the smoking gun that could open up the paper trail on a real phenomenon? Dale --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Date: Mon Apr 11 21:47:08 1988 From: RICHARD P. DELL'AQUILA (ab114) Subj: TO THE ASTRONOMERS RE: EASTLAKE UFO AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PROFESSIONAL SKEPTICS, RE: UFO SIGHTING OVER LAKE ERIE OVER THE WEEKEND OF MARCH 4, 1988 It is understandable that a professional in any occupation will have a reputation to preserve among his or her peers, and that the desire to maintain that professional reputation will sometimes require the professional to defend indefensable positions (e.g. "C.Y.A.") from which he cannot otherwise extricate himself. It's okay guys, I understand. You put out the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis before the Coast Guard report was released and now you are stuck with it for better or worse. I suspect that, being the professionals you arein a civil manner. I suppose yours is at least a more straightforward approach than that taken by the sysop of another Freenet SIG who, after inviting UFO discussion, has elected to erase all UFO uploads from his SIG and who, when all else fails, resorts to name-calling as a rhetorical device. Well, taking your toys home when you lose the game is a rather immature way to deal with confrontation. Doctor, take an example from the skeptics on this SIG, bravely sticking to their guns--going down with their ship, flags waving--but proudly, stubbornly, sticking to their guns to the bitter end. "Solution: Venus/Jupiter" period. Guys: You are the experts. People look to you for answers. If you teach, your students rely on you for accuracy. When you publish, other experts rely on your objectivity and clarity of analysis. Yet you ask us to accept the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis primarily because you have put it forward as the "truth." Now that the professional skeptics have made their final pronouncement, I trust you will permit me to raise a few minor details, tie up some loose ends and send along you ways to comfortably bury our heads back in the sand again until the next time the planets start releasing strobing multi-colort your hypothesis and ignoring the "meaningless residue" for purposes of clarity. However, the a priori assumption with which you approach this particular subject (i.e. "UFOs do not represent any phenomena which cannot be explained in prosaic terms.") renders your resulting opinions on the matter largely irrelevant. Although your credentials as Skeptics remain firmly intact, be honest enough to admit you cannot adequately explain ALL aspects of the sighting. Don't push sophistry. I respectfully suggest that the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis is a professional embarassment to you, since it completely ignores the observed phenomena and fails to explain how the Coast Guard personnel could have been so grossly fooled by known celestial objects. Guys, it's okay to admit you just "don't know" what was over Lake Erie that night. That diploma over your desk doesn't make you a vending machine--you don't have to dispense a Pepsi every time someone drops in their change and pulls your handle. --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Date: Tue Apr 12 10:42:09 1988 From: NEIL GOULD (aa330) Subj: Re: Eastlake UFO report - Neil Well, I personally find the report of the sighting from the Coast Guard to be rather interesting. As has beeway to repeat the event, conclusions will be hard to come by. Perhaps that is the real reason there isn't a lot of chatter about these things? - Neil --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Date: Tue Apr 12 11:42:08 1988 From: RICHARD P. DELL'AQUILA (ab114) Subj: Neil Hits the Mark--RPD COPY OF LETTER TO DR. LAMBE Since Dr. Lambe, moderator of the SF Reviewers' SIG has seen fit to delete all reference to UFOs from his board, I am uploading this copy of the beginning portion of a rather lengthy upload to the SF OPEN Forum Board. (Apparently Dr. Lambe has concluded that his OPEN Forum was to be closed to matters pertaining to Ufology. Thankfully, Page has not come to a similar conclusion. Dear Dr. Lambe: Thank you for your letter concerning your opinions on UFOs, but I believe you are operating under a misperception. I do not presume to know what UFOs ARE, because I really don't know; but the evidence does establish beyond a reasonable doubt that they are not ALL misperceptions or hoaxes. Indeed, the reports that stem from IDENTIFIABLE sources do not, obviously, fit the definition of an UNIDENTIFIED Flying Object. UFOs have been reported by entirely competent witnesses whose sightings have been corroborated byve arisen in our generation...Is this credible that such a mushroom of knowledge, such a growth overnight as this, CAN represent more than the minutest glimpse of what the universe will really prove to be when adequately understood? NO! Our Science is but a drop, our ignorance a sea..." Almost a century later, James has been fully vindicated by discoverys such as relativity, quantum mechanics, and associated new concepts that overturned the previous scintific "truths." Our scientific knowledge continues to grow exponentially. The focus of your reply seems to be that UFOs do not exist as such, but your opinion is based on a false assumption. The issue of UFO existence cannot be dismissed on the basis of any such a priori assumption, but must be premised upon investigation. The evidence to date indicates that UFOs are phenomena not completely understood by our present Science, but which fall into one or several of the following categories: 1. Undiscovered space/time distortions or manipulations that conform to the laws of physics, but require extraordinary explanations; 2. Undiscovered space/time distortions or manipulations that conform to undiscovered laws of physics; 3. Nonphysical products of individual or group mental action, conforming to known and unknown psychological principles, or 4. Something other than e person because I know you are able to interpret the data even though we might come to different conclusions. I was therefore disappointed by the upload in which you made ad hominem attacks on both Nick Sanduleak and myself because I think they were unwarranted. All either Nick or I ask is that everyone look at the evidence and make their own decision about what it says. Neither of us, unless you consider all scientists to be skeptics is a "professional skeptic," and indeed I don't know what that term might mean because as far as I am concerned a "professional" is a person who makes his living by doing what he does, and I don't know of any skeptic who does this. Even James Randi, although he also makes some money from his skeptical lectures, is basically a professional entertainer. In Nick and my own case I doubt if either of us has made a total of $200.00 in the past five years by lecturing on skeptical topics, and while Phil Klass has published a few books on the subject of UFOs I doubt if he has been paid any more than a few cents on the hour for the work he has done. I suspect the reason Nick, Randi, Phil, Paul Kurtz and myself spend our time investigating claims of the paranormal is similar to the reason you spend your free time investigating UFOs, because we want to discover what is really going on even though for our efforI also resent your statement that scientists are afraid to express their true opinions in public, and are not willing to examine ALL the reported phenomena and express their true opinions. It is obvious that you don't understand the nature of science at all when you state that we put forward a hypothesis as "truth." A hypothesis is an educated guess based upon the observations. It is something we throw out to be tested for validity. Hypotheses that are not tested or hypotheses that can not be tested are no good at all. We keep a very open mind when we test our hypotheses, in fact, the way we go about testing our hypotheses is to do everything we can think of to prove them false! It is only after everyone who wants to has tried to prove it false that we say that a hypothesis has any validity. You are forgetting about the psychological nature of human beings when you say that the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis completely ignores the observed phenomena and fails to explain how the Coast Guard personnel could have been so grossly fooled by known celestial objects. People can be fooled by a lot less than celestial objects. Let me tell you my own true experience with a UFO. Last September I was driving down Bagley road in the afternoon during a rain the firewords and realized that what I had ks and realized that what I had realy seen was fireworks exploding against the dark cloud. If I had not turned into the park and seen the fireworks, I would have always believed that I had seen a real UFO and no one would have been able to change my mind with mere reason and logic. Don't you think that there is a possibility at least that the Coast Guard personnel may have had a similar experience to mine? Please try and keep an open mind about these things. --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Date: Thu Apr 14 18:10:11 1988 From: KEN KOPIN (ac077) Subj: UFO's I would like to bring up a point for discussion. Now, if I make any errors in assumptions, or facts, PLEASE jump on them! I wish to be accurate... There are probably lots and lots of reported UFO sightings in the USA every year. There are also a bunch of satalights up there that do nothing but look down at us, looking for, well, whatever... Now, wouldn't you think that the Govt would occasionally be looking at an area at the same time a UFO was sighted? If so, then why not either coroborate (SP!) or shoot-down the UFO sighting? (Not the UFO!) Either, the govt already knows what it is (Secret plane, Aliens, whatever) and doesn't really want to talk about it, or... What? <*> Ken Kopin <*> --------- several days, we have been concentrating on our disagreements concerning the Eastlake UFO case. I would now like to direct the focus of the debate to those aspects of the case on which we can find some agreement. 1. The report of the Coast Guard was made by on- duty personnel dispatched to the sighting area. It can be presumed that these are competent individuals without apparent motive to falsify a report that would cause them embarassment or worse. 2. The report, taken at face value, contains features which suggest something other than a conventional aircraft or meteorological/astronomical origin for the report. 3. Positions have been advanced by the scientific "experts" which do not adequately address ALL the features of the report, when taken at face value. 4. The primary Coast Guard report is supported by civilian reports of the phenomena observed within the same time-frame on the same night by witnesses who did not and do not know each other and who were separated by several miles from each other at the time of observation. 5. These reports are also supported by photographic evidence. thing unknown. Significantly, at no time did the Coast Guard personnel believe they were watching a star or planet of some sort, although this argument was much later advanced as the solution. The Coast Guard personnel refused to speculate further with regard to the true nature of the UFOs they observed that night. They were frightened and behaved in a defensive manner, hardly a reasonbable response to ordinary astronomical objects. Our legal system is premised upon the assumption that, within certain restrictions, human observation and testimony can be regarded as factual. Certain well-established rules exist to test the credibility of witnesses and their testimony. Among these are reputation, motivation, consistency with other established facts, recency, multiplicity and independence of witnesses, multiple methods of observation, etc. Applying these tests to the Eastlake UFO case, the case stands up better than many cases which have been won in courts of law across this country. Scientists are human too. They have been wrong before and they will be wrong again. The responses to the results of our investigation which Dale and I have received from the "experts" on this board go beyond mere sympathy for the ignorant. Ratheitioner resists challenges to his religious beliefs. This resistance can take the form of avoidance or denial of evidence inconsistent with the established belief system or illogical arguments advanced by scientists who may be otherwise objective and analytically precise in their professional opinions. A prime example on Freenet of the first approach, is the regrettable avoidance response of Dr. Lambe, who has seen fit to simply delete all reference to UFOs from the Science Fiction SIG OPEN Forum after inviting UFO debate. An example of the second response is the illogical Venus/Jupiter hypothesis pronounced by the others as the final solution to the UFO reported over Lake Erie the weekend of March 4, 1988. Another typical response to challenges to an established belief system is to ridicule those who challenge the beliefs held (e.g. "These 'wackos' have made a foolish error in observation, or are suffering from a delusion or illusion of some sort"). If the physical scientists are correct that the basis of the reports is in the observers, rather than anything physically observed, then the internal consistency of the independently witnessed observations with regard to the Eastlake UFO case requires that the behavioral scientists reconsider the validity of their own nternally consistent, across the testimony of several independent witnesses, geographically separated from each other and further supported by photographic evidence, that it is virtually impossible that it is premised upon any random delusion, illusion or hoax. It remains that the observed phenomena were indeed a manifestation of physical stimuli, as reported by the witnesses. We therefore can only conclude that the Skeptics and physical scientists are incorrect in their assessment of this case. The status of our knowledge of UFOs to date, typified by the Eastlake case, establishes that UFOs indeed constitute genuinely new empirical observation(s) which physical science cannot or will not adequately confront. This failure to fairly confront the evidence is due to the fact that serious scientific examination of the observed phenomena implicitly requires that established scientific belief systems must be reconsidered and possibly altered (dread) to provide basic new explanations, concepts and scientific laws capable of explaining UFOs. This is analagous to asking the Pope to convert to Atheism. Rick ---------------------------------------

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