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Location: Mothership -> Ufo -> Updates -> 1998 -> May -> Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin 01

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Skip to comments concerning some of Jenny Randles theories.
Skip to the absurdity of Randles Law
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Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin 01

From: " Jerry Cohen" <>
Web Site:
Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 22:48:21 -0400
Fwd Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 10:11:25 -0400
Subject: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin 01

>From: Mendoza <> [Peter Brookesmith]
>Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 17:43:46 -0400
>Fwd Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 11:29:27 -0400
>Subject: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin 01


>No. 1, March 1998



>....snip....We hope to examine and
>re-examine interesting reports in the hope of eventually reaching
>a consensus among intelligent ufologists as to whether or not the
>ETH should be taken seriously.

JC: I am happy to see anyone (group or otherwise) willing to dig
into the "details" of specific cases in the UFO field. I
certainly look forward to participating in these discussions.

Click on the titles of the various sections to go to 
that title in John Harney's Magonia ETH Bulletin No. 1
Use "Back" on your browser to return to my response.

>THE ETH AND ITS PROPONENTS >ETH and PSH >....snip....What ETH supporters do not >realise, however, is that even if a few UFO reports turned out to >be genuine sightings of extraterrestrial space craft, then the >PSH would still be valid, as it would still be the preferred >explanation for the overwhelming majority of reports. JC: Yes, but what they fail to realize is; What difference would it make? If even one UFO report were decided by this group to be a "genuine sighting" it would open a Pandora's box none of us can ever close. If one visit becomes an agreed fact (all those light years to get here) everyone of us would have to wonder: How many times before or since have we been visited? Who or how many different visitors have we had? Are we being observed? To what degree? Were Barney & Betty Hill or at least some" other "contactees" actually telling the truth? Are people actually being abducted? How about our own space travel? Will we bring back samples of flora and fauna when we travel to other far-away exotic locales? Of course. (Moon and Mars rocks were only a start) Do scientists tag animals, etc. now to follow them in their habitat? Absolutely. With the right technology, could someone tag us? Of course. If we've established "actual visiting space craft," the myriad possibilities become mind boggling. Would "visitors" from afar fly all the way here and just leave; or would it make more sense, if they found us interesting enough, that they might set up a base(s) where they can observe us more easily? Are we too primitive for them? Exactly how do they view us and why are they here? If it were somehow proven to us that they put us here years ago, what would happen to religion as we know it? The list becomes endless. Furthermore, to the person who actually saw the "agreed upon genuine space craft," this becomes a _very_ personal and difficult to resolve issue. To that individual, if he is quizzical by nature, it is no longer just a theory or intellectual discussion; it becomes visceral as well. ....snip.... >Brain scanning JC: This is all well and good as long as we don't use it as an excuse in cases we cannot solve by any other means to simply claim the person/people were hallucinating. Suppose the person who the machine says is "prone to hallucinations" has a real experience? Then what? What percentage of the human race does this eliminate? How many of us will be able to testify in a court of law after being tested by this machine and its interpreters? >Hard evidence >PSH proponents do not concern themselves with hard evidence . >What hard evidence? In 50 years of ufology none has yet come to >hand. All we ever get are holes in the ground, bits of slag and >fuzzy photographs. Some of the so-called scientific >investigations of such evidence have been pathetically inadequate >or incompetent, as has been devastatingly revealed by serious UFO >researchers such as Maillot (3) and Simpson. (4) JC: This statement is certainly not entirely accurate but who's fault is this? Mainstream science turned its back on the topic when it accepted both the pronouncements of the USAF (Project Blue Book) and the conclusions of the Condon Colorado Report as gospel, thus leaving any possible study to a basically grass roots movement. It never seriously studied the report for itself nor listened to other science groups who did. >....snip....Others put their faith in radar-visual >sightings which, if taken at face value, seem to indicate the >operation of craft whose performance vastly exceeds that of any >earthly machines. Experts on aviation and radar should be warned >that such folk do not take kindly to complicated, boring and >irritatingly rational explanations of such incidents. JC: Here we have an interesting but unsubstantiated generalization. You see, at least a few of us on this list have been waiting for someone, anyone, to do just that and have it reviewed by other scientists of equal or superior merit. To this date there hasn't been much of this type debate forthcoming. We welcome any discussion the majority on this list find within the bounds of science and common sense. >The ETH in Britain >....snip....One very prolific British UFO writer who manages to upset >many of these folk is Jenny Randles. ....snip.... They are >particularly unhappy about a certain basic law of ufology which >she has derived from her extensive readings and investigations. >This law states: The more witnesses there are, the less likely it's really a UFO. (5) JC: Absolutely! This makes great sense as noted in a recent court case where many people were originally on a Long Island, NY. USA train. A gunman came in, began firing upon the witnesses, and they later bring the gunman to court, convict him on the testimony of the witnesses and sentence him because everyone testified to same. He claimed it wasn't him. Horrible system, eh what? Probably had the wrong guy. Perhaps if we also had him on radar, he might have gotten off as though it never happened. Or, how about a case where a group of people see several men attempt to rob them, couldn't agree on their exact descriptions because the events happened so fast and were so traumatic, thereby momentarily numbing their normally decent observational skills which were split amongst the various robbers. I'm sure it would make sense to conclude there probably was no actual robbery attempt. Of course it doesn't matter that the robbers' car left tire impressions on the grass where it was parked or they left footprints when they ran back to escape, or that several of the victims have nightmares for months afterwards, reliving the entire incident. >Randles' Law
>The importance of the law derived by Jenny Randles cannot be >overestimated. It could provide the key to the whole UFO mystery. JC: Or, it might not. Generalizations sometimes fail when confronted with specifics. >We are thus now closer to knowing what to look for when seeking >UFO reports that tend to lend support to the ETH. They must be >multiple witness reports, preferably backed by some form of >physical evidence. There should be no serious doubt that the >reported events actually took place. The only arguments should >concern the matter of the correct explanation, based on agreed >evidence and testimony. JC: On this, I have to say I personally agree. Of course if we invoke Jenny Randles general law which you just quoted a moment ago "The more witnesses there are, the less likely it's really a UFO. (5)" then all we need is enough witnesses to discount whatever case might really be there. By the way, how many is the "right amount" of witnesses? >---------------------------------------------------------------- >TRINIDADE ISLAND JC: Please forgive my interjection, I believe that island is Trindade. >The Trinidade Island sighting of 16 January 1958 should provide a >good case for consideration by ETH proponents. Four reasonably >good photographs of a mysterious Saturn-shaped flying object >taken from the deck of the Brazilian Navy vessel Almirante >Saldanha and plenty of witnesses. Jerome Clark's verdict on it >is: >Given the number of witnesses, the results of photoanalyses both >military and civilian, and the need for debunkers to reinvent the >incident to explain it, it seems most unlikely that the Trinidade >photographs were hoaxed. (6) >Well, what are the agreed facts of this case? I was astonished to >discover, on re-examining the literature on this incident that >some of the most basic and presumably easily ascertainable facts >are very much in dispute. For example, how many witnesses were >there? Well, it depends on whether you are a believer or a >sceptic. And if you are a sceptic it depends whether you believe >the photographs were faked or that they are genuine and that they >portray an aircraft or some natural phenomenon. JC: or possibly a reflection of the planet Saturn. >Dr Menzel >originally thought the photographs showed an aircraft flying >through cloud, but eventually claimed that they were faked. JC: and his proof for this? >Now we come to the really crazy bit. When we ask the obvious >question: How many witnesses were there? - what is the answer? >Again, it depends entirely on whether you are a believer or a >sceptic. According to Coral Lorenzen: Rio de Janeiro's Ultima >Hora on February 21 reported that at least a hundred individuals >had witnessed the sighting of the object ... (7) The US Naval >Attachi in Rio de Janeiro, evidently a dedicated sceptic, wrote >in his report to Project Blue Book: >The Assistant Naval Attachi ... had an opportunity to visit >aboard [the Almirante Saldanha]. The commanding officer ... had >not seen the object and was noncommittal. The executive officer >also had not seen it but, arriving shortly thereafter, had formed >the opinion that those on deck had seen it. JC: and why would he do this unless they had? >The captain reported >that his secretary, a LCDR, had seen it but this officer when >personally questioned avoided discussing the matter. (8) JC: Well, say we ignore the newspaper and focus on the US Naval "Attachi," the Captain and his secretary. The Captain says he didn't see it. If his secretary didn't see it, all he had to say was "I didn't see it." Then he'd simply be agreeing with his Captain, and everyone would be happy; right? Would you refuse to tell someone if you _didn't_ see it? And it said "The executive officer >also had not seen it but, arriving shortly thereafter, had formed >the opinion that those on deck had seen it." Why would he do this? Interesting, eh? >Sceptics insist that there were no witnesses, despite assertions >from believers that their testimonies were published in Brazilian >newspapers. JC: So how did the Skeptics form their opinion from the above? Were they published or not? Is there any record for that date or didn't they keep microfilm accounts of the papers there back then? and again, what about the executive officers conclusion and the Captain's assertion concerning his secretary? Are we to assume the former was wrong and the Captain made this up? How can this be? Now think about this, why would the Captain say this? It seems rather obvious, at least to me that people did see it. Whether they would admit it to the newspapers, that is another story, especially when we realize who the people were. (jc 4/6/2007: Remember,
it was an IGY ship full of scientists.)
> If there really were many witnesses, then the >photographs are hardly likely to be fakes. If there were no >witnesses, it is difficult to see how people could be fooled by a >photographer who purported to take pictures of something which >nobody else noticed from the crowded deck of a ship. JC: Well, we could always find more witnesses and invoke Jenny Randle's general law and discount the whole thing for too many witnesses. :-) >Conclusions JC: I believe it is premature to draw a conclusion concerning the witnesses until you have answered the question I asked above? If they were published, we would appear to have found for the claimants; if they were not published we may or may not have found for the skeptics. At least some if not most of the possible witnesses aboard were scientists. Would _you_ risk your career as a scientist participating in world-wide IGY experiments to say you saw this, even if you did? We know how scientists are: if you don't have something solid or the numbers and data to prove it, it doesn't exist. Who would know better than another scientist? Hynek, J. Allen "The UFO Experience" Henry Regnery Company 1972, hardcover Chapter 1 The Laughter of Science p.9) 2 "the most coherent and articulate UFO reports come from people who have not given much thought to the subject and generally who are surprised and shocked by their experience." p.9) 4 "some of the very best reports have come from scientifically trained people..... These reports are usually rarely published however, because the person usually requests anonymity." Respectfully, Jerry Cohen Author: Oberg/Cooper rebuttals Website: UFOmind:
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