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/Ju piter hypothesis adequately explains all th e 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 i cy surface of L ake 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 powe r 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 CPC DCS DGP DPA B M O OLE OSR 9 FP D9AW D9 AW DE FP ISN-FP021 P 051405Z MAR 88 FM COGARD STA FAIRPORT OH//CO// TO AW/COMCOGARDGRU DETROI T MI//OPS// INFO D9/CCGDNINE CLEVELAND OH//OSR// BT UNCLAS //N16144// SUBJ: INCIDENT REPORT: UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS 1. UNIDENTIFIABLE FLYING OBJECTS 1/4 MILE EAST OF CEI POWER PLANT. 2. AT 2035 LCL THIS STATION RCVD A CALL FROM [Name blanked] RPTNG A LARGE OBJECT HOVERING OVER THE LAKE AND APPARENTLY ON A SLOW DESCENT. THE OBJECT HAD A WHITE LIGHT AND WAS APPROX. 1/4 MILE UP. [Blanked] WAS UNABLE TO DETERMINE HOW FAR OUT IT WAS. THIS UNIT SENT 2 CREWMEM BERS TO INVESTIGATE. BEFORE THEY ARRIVED O/S, WE RCVD 2 MORE CALLS RPTNG THAT THE OBJECT HAD APPARENTLY DISPERSED 3-5 SMALLER FLYING OBJECTS THAT WERE ZIPPING AROUND RATHER QUICKLY. THESE OBJECTS HAD RED, GREEN, WHITE AND YELLOW LIGHTS ON THEM THAT STROBED INTERMITTENTLY. THEY ALSO HAD THE ABILITY TO STOP AND HOVER IN MID-FLIGHT. WHEN MOBILE 02 GO O/S, THEY RPTD 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 AB NORMAL AMOUNTS AS THE OB JECT 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 MOV ING 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 USING BINOCULARS AND AFTER CONTACTING LOCAL POLICE AND AIRPORTS, THIS UNIT WAS UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE OBJECTS, AND RECALLED MOBILE 02. BT TOR-03:05:14:44 The Coast Guard report for the following evening suggests that the Coast Guard had misidentified the planets Jupiter and Venus. I ask the astronomers on this board, skeptical or otherwise, for their opinions as to the adequacy of the Venus/ Jupiter hypothesis in light of this report. Page, I ask you whether the foregoing report "fully agrees" with the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis, and also whether you believe that these Coast Guard personnel, experts in their own way and no doubt familiar with the night sky and celestial navigation, could have so grossly misidentified the planets for several hours. --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Date: Sat Apr 9 20:10:44 19 88 From: RICHARD P. DELL'AQUILA (ab114) Subj: THE "SKEPTIC's" MINDSET - RPD In 1895, the philosopher 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 note s 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 Sci ence, and that the future has only the det ails 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 that were nev er thought of before, and then cast an eye upon the brevity of Scienc e's career. Is this credible that such a mushroom 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. Whatever else be certain, this at least is certain: that the world of our present natural knowledge IS enveloped in a larger world of some sort, of whose residual properties we at present can frame no positi ve idea." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Sun Apr 10 13:44:26 1988 From: NICK SANDULEAK (aa346) Subj: "THE EASTLAKE UFO" During the first week of last month the very bright planets Venus and Jupiter were positioned very close together in the western sky for several hours after sunset.As has happened many times in the past,this resulted in many people calling the newspapers,TV stations,the astronomy dept. at CWRU,etc. to repor t 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 t he 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 is therefore most likely that they were indeed observing these planets only. Because Venus was very low in the sky,the multi-color effects reported could result from atmospheric scintillation.The PD reporter apparently misunderstood this phenomenon and used the phrase "spontaneous gaseous emissions" which of c ourse is non- sense. It is my understanding that a UFO sighting can only be assigned to the CE II category if it leaves behind some form of physical evidence,e.g. a burned patch of grass,etc.I suppose this report is being given CE II status because of the reported sound of the lake ice cracking under the weight of the landed UFO.A more likely explanation for that aspect of this event is the arrival of Spring. --------------------------------------- - -------------------------------------- Date: Mon Apr 1 1 18:34:25 1988 From: DALE B. WEDGE (ae511) Subj: The Eastlake UFO:DBW In regard to Mr. Sanduleak's upload, perhaps it is time to explain that we ALL are aware that Venus and 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 see ing 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 b asic 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 Burning power plant. From the repor ts, of on-scene witnesses with the C oast Guard personnel, the sightings were north or overhead of the witnesses for the first portion of the sighting. After that, the objects descended from overhead and came down on the ice. The witnesses, who have been living at that location for some time, stated that they have never noticed an ice breakage likke the one that was observed that evening. To prove the object wasn't to the west, refer to the report when it is stated that the objects were 500 yards offshore about 20 feet about th e ice, and began to move closer as headlights were flashed. At that time, then it moved to the west, therefore, if something was in the west, being obscured by the power plant, it couldn't have been west and then turn west. There is another amazing facet to this story, and that is that after this sighting, an indepen- dent witness took a picture of the triangular shaped object, which we have the negative to. The object in the picture 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: RIC HARD 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 canno t otherwise extricate h imself. 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 are, and given the natural curiosity which is the sine quo non of of the true scientist, your real opinions are very different than those you publicly express. Anyway, for the rest of us who remain willing to fairly examine ALL the reported phenomena and express our true opinio ns, it is now apparent that the professional skeptics on this SIG have so commmitted themselves to their position that the Eastlake UFO sighting of March 1988 was a misidentification of the planets, that it is almost laughable to expect any thinking individual, who has read the Coast Guard report of the sighting, to accept the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis. Frankly, a more honest response would have been a simple, "I don't know what the Coast Guard saw that night for 3-4 hours, it could have been Venus/ Jupiter." But at least you had the fortitude to respond. It is important that the subject of UFOs be discussed openly without emotionalism or hysterics. After all, we are free to disagree, hopefully in 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, res orts to name-calling as a rhetorical device. W ell, 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 ob je ctivity 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-colored triagular UFOs 20 feet ove r the surface of Lake Erie that cross distances of several miles in a few seconds, cast spotlights, and scare the wits out of U.S. military personnel for several hours. At least when the next UFO comes along, the handy- dandy Venus/Jupiter explanation (or something similar) will be ready to go. By the way, what an insult to the Coast Guard. Apparently, according to the skeptical "experts", their men are not capable of distinguishing the planets in the night sky--eve n after several hours of observation. Fair enough, but don 't expect any Christmas cards from the Coast Guard, guys! (No loss--they probably can't write either.) At any rate, at least you haven't run away and hid when things got a little rough. You proud graduates of the Phil Klass School of Skeptical Technique have recognized that the first requirement of a skeptic is to remain skeptical: to sift through the evidence, only emphasizing those facts that can be made to support your hypothesis and ignoring the "meaningless residue" for purposes of cla rity. 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 been suggested in the last upload ( ASTRONOMERS..UFO ), I haven't the foggiest idea what they were looking at. At the same time, what was observed doesn't necesarily imply the existance of extraterrestrials, either. While I agree that the report does make me rathe r skeptical that the observers were looking at Jupiter/Venus, it is important to recognize that we live in an age of mistrust, secrecy, and undercover operations as a way of life. UFO means exactly: "UNIDENTIFIED Flying Object". Given the objectives of our military; stealth aircraft, jets that can fly in unusual deflections from a given course, and so forth, there could be some terrestrial explanations as well. Yes, in my opinion, the sighting report may qualify as a UFO sighting. But to go any further than that without empirical ev idence w ould be difficult to support. To be objective about this will require time. Time to absorb and compare, as well as to verify and test the accuracy of these reports. But without a way 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 Ma rk--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 c oncerning your opinions on UFO s, 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 by other independent witnesses and instr umentation, such as radar. To make the a priori assumption that all UFOs are the result of misperceptions of known objects or phenomena simply misses the mark. I can therefore only conclude that you have not adequately informed yourself on the subject. With all due respect to your opinion, I am uploading this reply to the Science Fiction SIG, as you suggested, and I hope it will generate additional discusssion of the subject. In the end, it is only by thorough rev iew, discussion and a legitimate scientific inquiry into UFOs that any answers will be found. In 1895, the philosopher William James berated his scientific colleagues at Harvard University, saying "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 [say that] all the fundamental conceptions of truth have already been found by Science. Think how many absolutely new scientific conc eptions have arisen in our generation...Is this credible that suc h 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 gr ow exponentially. The focus of you r 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 any of the above. ( ETC. ) In reviewing the recent upload by Neil, I believ his approach most accurately "hits the mark." We don 't KNOW what UFOs are or will prove to be. We can make some educated guesses to explain all the many credible reports, and the extraterrestrial hypothesis is only one among many of the possible alternatives. --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Date: Thu Apr 14 12:41:51 1988 From: PAGE STEPHENS (aa325) Subj: TO RICK D: PAGE Rick, I rarely get mad about an upload, and I appreciate what both you and Dale u pload to this bulletin board and in fact I have to ld Dale that as far as I am concerned I consider him to be the person who is the UFO expert on the SIG because he invariably uploads all the information he has at hand so that people who read his uploads can make their own decision as to what side of the argument they choose to take. And I also regard you as a reasonable 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 attack s 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, alt hough h e 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 cl aims of the paranormal is simi lar to the reason you spend your free time investigating UFOs, because we want to discover what is really going on even though for our efforts we normally receive one hell of a lot more abuse than we do praise. A few years ago a friend of mine was even criticized by the administration of the university for which he was working for wasting his time investigating anomalous phenomena. So please don't give me any more nonsense about "professional s keptics," because if they exist I don't know who they are. And in fact I would argue that Von Daniken has made more money from his books than all the skeptics combined have from theirs, and unless you want me to lump you together with him and others of his ilk, ie. people who misrepresent the evidence in their books, let's drop this suvject. Page --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Date: Thu Apr 14 15:06:45 1988 From: STEVE HILLIARD (aa331) Subj: reply to Dell Aquila Since skepticism is not a profession, I assume y ou are realy talking about scientists when you say professional skeptic. As a scientist, I can't help resenting that. I 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 b ased upon the observations. I t 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 forget ting 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 storm. The sun came out behind me but there were large black storm clowds in front of me. All of a sudden a gold colored sauce r shaped UFO came out of the cloud in front of me at a high rate of speed directly toward my car. I was so sure that it was going to hit me that I hit my brakes and ducked my head. But before I ducked, I saw a lot of detail. I saw windows around the rim of the saucer with light coming out of them. I saw creatures and other objects inside the saucer through the windows. When I looked up, it was gone! I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to do. I was absolutely certain that I had seen an alien ship of some kind. I started going over the details of it in my mind and I became even more certain of what I had seen. This wasn't some planet or ball lightning it had been the real thing. About a quarter mile up the road I turned off Bagley into the park to collect my thoughts. I looked of my window into the pouring rain and saw three men setting off fireworks. I looked up at the firewords and realized that what I had ks and realized that what I had realy s een 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 Fro m: KEN KOPIN (ac077) Sub j: 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, the n why not either corobor ate (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 <*> --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Date: Thu Apr 14 19:14:24 1988 From: RICHARD P. DELL'AQUILA (ab114) Subj: To Page & Steve Re: EASTLAKE UFO-RPD Dear Page and Steve: I regret any misinterpretation caused by the term "prof essional skeptic," by which I mean that those who have responded to date concerning the Eastlake UFO have professional backgrounds at least tangentially applicable to investigation of the subject. Steve, I don't know what you saw or how long you saw it, but clearly, the Coast Guard was not watching bottle rockets on March 4, 1988. Page, you know that I have made my feelings clear in the past concerning the name-calling that has for so long pla gued the subject of UFOs and I will have no part in it. Frankly, I was hoping to get some "hot" responses to my upload, although I certainly expected them to be based on other portions of what was said, not what I considered a rather benign term. For the last 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 p ersonnel 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 bee n 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. 6. The phenomena have stirred a great deal of emotion and scientific controversy on this SIG and others on Freenet. 7. Therefore, the present status of the controversy is summarized as follows: Either (a) the reports accurately describe the events witnessed by the Coast Guard and the civilian witnesses or (b) the reports are the product of a hoax, or mass delusion or illusion of some sort. Clearly, the night sky is fi many objects that can confuse. Humans tend to explain unknown phenomena first in terms of something familiar. In the case of the Eastlake UFO, it was first thought by the Coast Guard personnel on the beach that night that the "Canadians" were conducting illegal military maneuvers inside U.S. waters, or that a satellite was "in trouble" of some sort. When these interpretations failed to match up with the phenomena observed, the objects came to be regarded as something unknown. Significant 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, bservation 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 huma 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. Rather, their attitude concerning UFOs has been militantly negative. We recognize that there is precedent for this response and it was not unanticipated, although it is unfortunate. For example, those scientific "experts" who KNEW Jupiter had no moons simply refused to eve hrough Galileo's telescope. In the few hundred years before the 19th century, established science did not BELIEVE stones could fall from the sky, and so they pronounced this an impossibility. The skeptical "experts" on this board do not BELIEVE that UFOs constitute any empirically new phenomena they cannot explain in prosaic terms, and therefore, they have determined that UFOs are not phenomena worthy of serious scientific inquiry. Being human, scientists behave in accordance with the principles of human motivation as everyone else. Established scientific beliefs are, to a certain degree, just that: a belief system which resists inconsistent phenomena in the same way a religious practitioner 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 prof l 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 beli m 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 o ef system. The issue then becomes one for the psychologists to somehow explain the methodology by which several independent, credible witnesses, separated by miles from each other, could all have been fooled at the same time in exactly the same way. But the problem with passing the buck to the psychologists is that they have their own equally strong belief system. So back and forth the argument will go, each side pointing at the other, claiming that the other side must change its Rome burns while Nero fiddles; but where does all this leave the rest of humanity? Where is the needle in this haystack? At a minimum, we can reasonably conclude that both sides cannot BOTH be correct. The vehemance with which established physical science, typified by the Skeptics on this board, opposes the validity of UFO evidence, in and of itself, is suggestive that there is something of substance to the reports. The reported phenomena in the Eastlake case are so internally cons 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 sta ur 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 scient ws capable of explaining UFOs. This is analagous to asking the Pope to convert to Atheism. Rick ---------------------------------------


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