LETTER EXCHANGE BETWEEN COHENUFO
AND QUEBEC SKEPTICS (Jan/Feb 1997) Skip to: Jim Oberg June 2003 essay re Oberg/Cooper Rebuttals
1997 letter exchange between CohenUFO and Quebec Skeptics Where we stand as of today
A couple of important unresolved items
It's not the ones we can explain . . . it's the ones we can't - - - - - - 12/26/2004: Jim Oberg has finally written a response (June 2003)
concerning the Oberg/Cooper Rebuttals. One can click here to read both it and my reply. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Immediately below is a brief summation of a letter exchange between CohenUFO and Quebec Skeptics (The summation is for anyone
put off from reading them because of their length. The original letters appear below them.) From: John Joseph Merceica for Pierre-Normand Houle
of the "Quebec Skeptic's Association" To: UFOUpdates mail list
Re: We want to produce a manual on how to be a skeptic. Any other ideas on what a skeptic should know? - - - - - From: Jerry Cohen
To: John Joseph Merceica Re: Here's something you should know. I sent two chapters of my Oberg/Cooper research.
- - - - - From: John Joseph Merceica To: Jerry Cohen Re: Got your stuff. Looking forward to the rest. Going to show it to other people in the group also. Most of them read english very well. - - - - - From: Jerry Cohen To: John Joseph Merceica Re: Here's the third chapter. I had a problem with some of the things Jim Oberg said in one of his essays. Take it apart. It's been four months. - - - - - From: Jerry Cohen To: John Joseph Merceica Re: Here's the rest. Take any of it apart. - - - - - From: Jerry Cohen To: John Joseph Merceica Re: Trying to stimulate discussion. Have they disbanded? - - - - - From: Jacques Poulet, Director of SOS OVNI QUEBEC To: Jerry Cohen Re: Jerry, you're wasting your time. They don't try to solve the really difficult cases. They only go after cases with easy solutions. - - - - - From: Jerry Cohen To: Jacques Poulet Re: Jacques, it's not a waste of time. I'm establishing a track record, for the mail list, of the actual amount of effort certain skeptics put in to trying to solve difficult UFO cases. This is where we are at so far. - - - - - . . . and so, this is where we stood with "Les Sceptiques du Quebec." It was year 2008 and counting. In one more month it was going to be eleven (11) years and I had written:
(jc 6/20/2008: At this time we're approaching eleven (11) years and this post has been
number 1 on the list when one looks up Quebec Skeptics. They must have seen it. Are
they waiting for me to "kick the bucket" . . . so I won't be here to answer whatever they
write? . . . and, where is the critical inquiry from the rest of the skeptic groups? There is
a whole list of them at the link below. Do they only save their criticalness for the
easy cases? http://skeptics.meetup.com
DON'T ANY OTHER SKEPTICAL GROUPS WANT TO HELP THEM? 6/3/2013: There were 3,550,000 posts today when I queried "Quebec Skeptics"
in Google, and this post is still coming up as number 1 after all these years. It couldn't have
gotten to be #1 without being read. It has to be embarassing for them. Where is everyone?
Feel free to start a discussion. We'll add some of them in here for others to read. I promise to be courteous. Click here to email (no junk mail, please.) While you're at it, someone please explain THIS. What people are reporting doesn't appear to be hallucinations or mirages. Perhaps it is easier to pretend none of it exists. 5/26/2009: . . . . and we honestly could use some help with THIS. If one proposes that
this phenomena is military-initiated, can thousands of these events have been performed without someone being caught? It doesn't make sense. Additionally, if we can't explain these things with any real solidity, does any other UFO case we explain really matter? It appears that 10,000 solutions to other _easy_ cases are just about useless to us when one honestly attempts to solve these particular occurrences, and perhaps the most important thing . . . there seem to be a lot more where these came from.
6/3/2013: Oh, if any of the above links fail, you might give consideration to this question: What kind of supposedly scientific group allows and supports an analysis like THIS? What does this say about their parent organization and their standards? Who would want to be a member of this group?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ THESE ARE THE ACTUAL LETTERS: Posting by John Joseph Mercieca for Pierre-Normand Houle of the "Quebec Skeptic's Association"
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 18:47:20 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <email@example.com> Subject: UFO UpDate: A manual for sceptic militants! Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 18:14:08 +0100 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: John Joseph Mercieca <email@example.com> Subject: A manual for sceptic militants! Forwarded from a post in the newsgroup sci.sceptic : - forwarded message - Pierre-Normand Houle firstname.lastname@example.org Hi, I'm a member of Quebec's skeptics association (Les Sceptiques du Quebec) affiliated to the SCICOP. Our group is growing biger (350+ members) and our members are being seen and heard often at local TV and radio shows. More than 100 people usually come at our monthly evening gatherings. We are soon to celebrate our 10th aniversary. We would like to produce a manual (in French to start with) so that our people can get a training in the ABC of skepticism. This is specially important as more and more people speaks in the media in our name. In addition to some information about alternative medicines, the paranormal, UFO's, pseudo-sciences... and such topics as : -Science and the scientific method -Psychological aspects of paranormal beliefs -Epistemology... we would like to talk about how to *BE* a Skeptic (i.e. a militant of a Skeptics association) . So we'd like to gather information, suggestions, tips from experienced members from other associations on topics such as: -How to talk in the media and in public -What attitude to have while confrontig the believers -How to effectively promote critical thinking -What is the aim of skeptics associations... Any other idea on what a skeptic should know ? ....snip.... Pierre-Normand Houle <email@example.com> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Letter to me from Pierre-Normand
containing portions of a reply I sent, and acknowledging receipt of the first two of my essays: Date: Wed, 05 Feb 1997 00:47:26 -0500 From: Pierre-Normand Houle <firstname.lastname@example.org> Reply-To: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: A manual for sceptic militants! UFO UpDates - Toronto wrote: > > Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 06:36:39 -0500 > To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <email@example.com> > From: "Jerry Cohen" <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: A manual for sceptic militants! ...snip... > James Oberg, NASA, had written an essay titled (In Search of > Gordon Cooper's UFOs.1-3) which challenged Gordon Cooper's > statements regarding UFOs and derided various other UFO > researchers. The reply to it (Oberg/Cooper rebuttals.1-7), can be > considered a manual and, most definitely, something every skeptic > should know. Since you asked, I'll be happy to post both his essay > and that reply. > If you miss any portions of this, it will be archived on the web > at: > http://www.ufomind.com/ufo/updates (J.C. Note 6/10/97: Exact location at ufomind: http://www.ufomind.com/ufo/people/c/cohen/ or, better yet, all parts are hyper-linked at my personal website at: http://www.li.net/~rjcohen ) > Cordially looking forward to your future response regarding same. > Respectfully, > Jerry Cohen > E-mail: email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Jerry Cohen, Thanks very much for mailing this most interesting essay. I look forward for the Oberg/Cooper rebuttals 1/7. Only parts 1 & 2 of <In Search of Gordon Cooper's UFOs> made their way to my mailbox but I found part 3 on www.ufomind.com/ufo/updates. Most of my colleagues read English quite well. I'm sure they too are going enjoy and benefit from this reading. Cincerely, Pierre-Normand Houle email@example.com "Les Sceptiques du Quebec inc." firstname.lastname@example.org - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I mailed Pierre-Normand part three of
Mr. Oberg's essay and a month later
extended my invitation again. (June '97)
From: Jerry Cohen <email@example.com> Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 23:06:34 -0400 Fwd Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 02:17:23 -0400 Subject: Re: K. Bagchus/M. Hendriks/"Les Sceptiques du Quebec" ....snip.... When a researcher gives you information that can be checked, any reader can explore it. If sources are properly given, that person can discover its accuracy or lack of it and fully investigate the topic on his/her own. These are steps anyone must follow to determine the "truthfulness" of any subject and the information any researcher must supply to support his investigation. For those new to the list, this is what I attempted to do when I created the website http://www.li.net/~rjcohen/ I believe I have succeeded. So far, NO SKEPTIC has refuted the information in the Oberg/Cooper rebuttals. The "checkable" information there is fully footnoted & thoroughly researched. If the following quote excerpt from CNI News attributed to James Oberg is accurate, ** "I am a lifelong UFO buff, a founding fellow of CSICOP and longtime associate of Phil Klass, a colleague and friend of J. A. Hynek from Northwestern days, am fascinated with the folklore aspects of the UFO beliefs in our culture, and a specialist in spaceflight operations, both American and Russian... Mr. Oberg's essays and the rebuttals expose great ignorance on the part of "one of the founding fellows" of CSICOP regarding J. Allen Hynek, James McDonald and their research, and gives solid data gleaned from those "slandered researchers" regarding the validity of some UFOs as probable ET craft. Any thoughtful, analytical, researching person can draw his/her own conclusions concerning what I have said by simply exploring and digging into what is there. This researcher has also issued an open challenge to ALL skeptics to refute the information therein. Until they do so in a reasonable manner acceptable to most, this author firmly believes that Hynek's and McDonald's work is unequivocal and "the case for some UFOs, as most probably being non-terrestrial craft, was proven years ago." Respectfully, Jerry Cohen Email: Jerry Cohen <firstname.lastname@example.org> Website: http://www.li.net/~rjcohen P.S. Was hoping to hear from "Les Sceptiques du Quebec inc." You've had this in your possession for 4 months (J.C. 7/20/97 .. now 5), were interested at the time, but nothing from you yet. I mailed the "3rd Oberg essay" and my "Oberg/Cooper rebuttals.1-7" to you a second time immediately after receipt of the letter below. Hopefully, the interior linkages now provided within the essays themselves, found in the website above, will make it even easier to analyze. Since I've tried my best to have it wide open for analysis, it is earnestly hoped you would reciprocate in a likewise manner. This researcher had reasoned that in 7 essays, he probably made some mistakes somewhere, would therefore possibly have to adjust what he wrote, and that the esteemed members of your group would perhaps be able to help him find any major problems with it. Sincerely, J.C. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - JC 7/21/97: Pierre-Normand, does your silence mean your group accepts the majority of the researched information in the Oberg/Cooper rebuttals? We don't have to do this all at once. We can take one essay at a time. Respectfully, Jerry Cohen Email: Jerry Cohen <email@example.com> Website: http://www.li.net/~rjcohen And a follow-up the following month
still with no response:
From: " Jerry Cohen" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 21 Jul 1997 08:12:28 -0400 Fwd Date: Mon, 21 Jul 1997 11:50:51 -0400 Subject: Has the Quebec Skeptics Society disbanded? JC: Can anyone solve the following mystery? Another month goes by and no reply from "Les Sceptiques du Quebec." (The total is now 5 months, but... who's counting?) The total silence is almost deafening.... But perhaps I missed a reply. Are they all on vacation? Have they disbanded? Has the lack of accurate knowledge displayed by one of the founders of their parent organization, in regards to the motivations and research of Drs. J. Allen Hynek and James McDonald, perhaps caused them to rethink their position concerning a possible ET presence connected with UFOs? And what of the challenge to ALL skeptics to refute the information in the Oberg/Cooper rebuttals? Where are they? ...or do they only pick on things they find easy to solve, ignoring certain legitimate "core" cases researched throughout the years? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . . . and here's a letter I wrote which answered a letter
written to me by the director of "SOS OVNI QUEBEC":
From: " Jerry Cohen" <email@example.com> Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997 11:56:24 -0400 Fwd Date: Sat, 02 Aug 1997 12:13:10 -0400 Subject: Jacques Poulet's comments re Quebec Skeptics >>From: Jacques Poulet <firstname.lastname@example.org> >>Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 18:07:44 >>Fwd Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 00:53:09 -0400 >>Subject: Re: Has the Quebec Skeptics Society disbanded? >Date: Mon, 21 Jul 1997 08:12:28 -0400 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <email@example.com> >From: " Jerry Cohen" <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Subject: Has the Quebec Skeptics Society disbanded? ------- In my reply to Jacques, I included two paragraphs
which I had originally written: Hello Jacques >JC: Can anyone solve the following mystery? > >Another month goes by and no reply from "Les Sceptiques du >Quebec." (The total is now 5 months, but... who's counting?) The >total silence is almost deafening.... But perhaps I missed a reply. >JC 7/21/97: Pierre-Normand, does your silence mean your group >accepts the majority of the researched information in the >Oberg/Cooper rebuttals? We don't have to do this all at once. We >can take one essay at a time. ------- Jacques had previously answered:
>>Hi Jerry, >> You're wasting your time. Our group has been dealing with >>"Les Sceptiques du Quebec Inc" for some years now and has always >>been disappointed. >> They NEVER investigate anything interesting. They'll waste >>time debunking a "call-up astrology line" but will not try to >>understand what had happened to M. X (who found a missing boy (all >>documented by police reports)), what was seen over the Bonneaventure >>Hotel (by very many witnesses, including journalists and policemen >>(there is an excellent report on this case)), etc. >> They DON'T know of the works of Montrealers like Bernard Grad >>(who has studied psychic powers in a university laboratory), Jean >>Rock Laurence (who has made an extensive psychiatric study of >>abductees), Louis Belanger (who has investigated a great number of >>paranormal phenomenon). All of these are professor at universities >>and are all very serious. >> They BELIEVE in the all mighty Science, omnipotent and >>omniscient. What they were taught is what is real. >> Stop wasting your time. >> Bye, >>Jacques Poulet, Directeur >>"SOS OVNI Quebec" >>Case Postale 143 >>St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Qc CANADA J3B 6Z1 >>Phone:(514)536-0140 >>Fax:(514)536-0141 >>HTTP://www.cam.org/~martinc/index.html . . . and I answered in return: JC: Dear Jacques, This most certainly is _not_ a waste of time. I am establishing for this mail list, a track record of skeptical individuals & groups and how they respond to serious literature in the field. This should be of extreme relevance to any concerned, open-minded individuals examining this information for themselves, so they may draw their individual conclusions concerning "where we are at" in understanding UFO phenomena; and the amount of effort (or lack of it) some of us have made in this regard. Respectfully, Jerry Cohen E-mail: Jerry Cohen <email@example.com> Author: Oberg/Cooper rebuttals Website: http://www.li.net/~rjcohen UFOmind: http://www.ufomind.com/ufo/people/c/cohen/ Additionally, if one looks a little further into this whole thing,
he/she can easily become aware of a few of the growing
number of really difficult, multi-researched, cases which not
only have resisted solution, but which also have been
accumulating over time. Simply click on the cases and testimonies at CohenUFO,
read the included research already performed regarding same,
and then see if your solution fits the case you are examining, takes all the data into account, and honestly makes more sense
than what you have already read.
BTW, since the original posting of the above letters, my permanent web address has been changed to CohenUFO.org Although the links to www.li.net are no
longer in existence, clicking on them on this page will take you to that same
information at my present website. For those wishing to comment or submit solutions, my e-mail address is
CohenUFO@optonline.net Sincerely, Jerry Cohen Page from the website of: CohenUFO.org
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