Re: To Skeptics Reading This List - Cohen

From: Jerry Cohen <>
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 2002 18:00:02 -0400
Fwd Date: Fri, 05 Jul 2002 21:14:49 -0400
Subject: Re: To Skeptics Reading This List - Cohen

 >From: Bruce Hutchinson <>
 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <>
 >Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 10:54:12 -500
 >Subject: Re: To Skeptics Reading This List

 >>From: Jerry Cohen <>
 >>Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 09:39:47 -0400
 >>Subject: To Skeptics Reading This List

 >Jerry, List and Readers,

 >>If any of you still have even the slightest doubt that the
 >>Sturrock panel wasn't 100% justified in re-evaluating
 >>and revising Dr. Condon's conclusions from the 1966
 >>Colorado Study, the following page recently added to
 >>my web site, may be of interest.



 >1) Re-evaluating? First, they only heard from believers.
 >  Skeptics were not given an opportunity to present to
 >  the committee.

Bruce, we can talk about this some more, but what difference 
does it make since the main person in charge of the Colorado
committee was in actuality exactly the opposite of what you
are saying. Condon was so incredibly close-minded concerning
UFOs, he basically ignored data found by his own committee
which should have indicated to him that, by simple curiosity
alone, some further study of the topic was in order. I'll try
to give him the benefit of doubt here and simply suspect he
never examined the interiors of the report, for if he actually
did, as far as I'm concerned some of the things he said can
only be viewed by any "open-minded" person as "guilty as sin"
via intentional omission. For example, the following statement made by Condon might appear, to an uninformed person, to tell the whole story; that is until you click on the links I've provided and notice who some of those witnesses were. Condon statements: "Phenomena is often noted by a witness who is inexpert, inept, or unduly excited." But what about those people not "inexpert" or "inept"? If you clicked on the secondary "inexpert" and "inept" links on the page I took you to, you may have noticed that a good number
of those witnesses were witnesses of the quality that the
Committee stated they were looking for, but in actuality, were never given a chance to have their testimonies heard or examined in any way. In case you missed it, here they are again. He also said "The reports are usually vague and inaccurate" But, what about those reports that were not "vague and inaccurate"? Here's an excerpt from 1965 Exeter case. It's an interview by John Fuller with some case witnesses (There were a generous number of other witnesses in that case as well.): Does it take an "expert" to describe what those people described? Were they clear in their descriptions? Were they all in agreement as to what they saw? or: First hand information gathered by James McDonald from the two control towers operators from the 1957 Kirtland AFB case. (The main witnesses no one from the Condon committee ever bothered to contact regarding their testimony). Here are McDonald's own words: Perhaps you might like to quote the criteria that the committee used for their examination rules? However, although you may possibly not admit it to us or yourself, it will be rather obvious to most other people, when they think back on those high-quality witnesses eliminated, the Colorado committee disqualified the very witnesses they claimed they were looking for. By their clever reasoning, not one of the above (inexpert? Inept?) witnesses testimonies were valid for examination. Other non-scientific reasons for disqualifying those witnesses: Now let's see, could there have been any other reason, apart from the "scientific", as to why they might have done this? It couldn't have anything to do with the memo written by Robert Low that was found and displayed for the rest of the world to see in the New York Times, could it? The fact that they were afraid that other scientists would laugh at them if they took the subject seriously? Anything at this link that might indicate that? Anything there that might indicate the fix was in and they really weren't intending to do a serious study? And if this isn't enough to convince an open-minded, rational person this study was "just a little" biased, let's briefly remember who was paying for the study; hmmn, the US Air Force. Was there any possible reason _they_ might have wanted to see a negative verdict returned from the study? Is it just possible that Hynek was getting a little too outspoken regarding what he had learned about UFOs and too vocal concerning his "scientific" experience with Project Blue Book? Hynek 10/10/66 Newsweek Article Excerpts from a Hynek letter to his boss, Colonel Sleeper, regarding Project Blue Book. Ooops, how about that. Project Blue Book doesn't meet our scientific standards either. Hynek calls their figures a "travesty." That sounds familiar. >2) The report is hardly a sweeping condemnation of > Condon. You're absolutely right... not Condon alone. You left out the NAS who apparently never read the report in depth to make sure the Colorado study conclusions matched its data findings. By the way, exactly who was supposed to be able to study this in the future if both Condon's conclusions and the NAS rubber stamp crushed the life out of it without really giving it a fair hearing? Where was any money at all supposed to come from? Even a small amount? What reputable scientists would allow themselves to become involved in any type of serious study after what they did back then? .....and there most definitely were people who disagreed with those conclusions; people who evaluated the entire study and found just the opposite. They were totally ignored along with Hynek, who had studied UFOs 20 years for the Air Force, and James McDonald. Would you, even if you thought there could possibly be something to it? In regards to your mention below re the Stanford study's comment concerning the Condon study: >"The panel also reviewed some of the conclusions >advanced in 1968 by Dr. Edward U. Condon, director of >the Colorado Project. He asserted that "nothing has >come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that >has added to scientific knowledge," and that "further >extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in >the expectation that science will be advanced thereby." <snip> >"Whenever there are unexplained observations, there is >the possibility that scientists will learn something new by >studying those observations." >What horrible thing did the Condon study say? Condon's pronouncement was like saying to the mother of a child you just cut the arms off "What's wrong with that dear? Don't worry, they'll grow back . . eventually"; and he based his decision by only looking at 1/2 of 1% of the available evidence (not very carefully), ignoring anything that didn't fit his preconceived notions concerning UFOs and what the serious study of them might do to his career. He said that there's nothing to learn from the study of UFOs at all, it's not worth it. Those people that report these things, they're all "kooks." Stay away from it or risk ridicule; the same ridicule the heads of the Condon study were so obviously afraid of themselves. Not that he would have cared, but somone should have informed Mr. Condon some of us didn't appreciate his thoughtless categorization. And I believe this following remark you made was concerning the Stanford study: >"Therefore we think that all of the agencies of the federal >government, and the private foundations as well, ought to >be willing to consider UFO research proposals along with >the others submitted to them on an open-minded, >unprejudiced basis. While we do not think at present that >anything worthwhile is likely to come of such research >each individual case ought to be carefully considered on >its own merits." >How dastardly to suggest that UFO research proposals >should be considered on an open-minded and >unprejudiced basis! And considering each individual >case on its own merits! Shocking! And who said this is a problem? I, for one, was overjoyed. I believe intelligent researchers are thankful the Stanford committee left the possibility open that it wasn't totally impossible that extraordinary evidence might surface. It righted Condon's wrong ... and long overdue. Condon not only didn't leave it that, he never gave it a fair study. That was the crime. The Colorado committee heads "chickened out" themselves and took the position "it can't be, so it isn't." Pretend to study it but show everyone we don't think it's possible. That way we won't get laughed at. <snip> >Condon wrote: "This formulation carries with it the >corollary that we do not think that at this time the federal >government ought to set up a major new agency, as >some have suggested, for the scientific study of UFOs. >This conclusion may not be true for all time. If, by the >progress of research based on new ideas in this field, it >then appears worthwhile to create such an agency, the >decision to do so may be taken at that time." >But considering that the panel wasn't allowed to hear a >discouraging word, perhaps it isn't time. Well, this is your chance Bruce. We're all ears. But don't just pick the easy or kook cases or you may fall into the Condon boondoggle of not bothering to deal with cases with some meat to them. Why don't you try a few on my web site first? Iran/Tehran 1976, Belgium 1989/90, Illinois 2000. Maybe it's all natural phenomena and you'll come up with a good solution and we all can get a good nights sleep afterwards. While you're at it, you might possibly give Maj. Gen. W. J. L. De Brouwer, commander of the Belgium Air Force a call and find out what he thinks about it.
(jc 11/20/2008)
Perhaps he'll make a decent witness if he's not categorized too
"inexpert", "inept", or "unduly excited". >4) The report wasn't exactly complementary to UFO >researchers. >"It appears that most current UFO investigations are >carried out at a level of rigor that is not consistent with >prevailing standards of scientific research." In Condon's case it was more like "rigor mortis" of scientific inquisitiveness and investigatory effort on his part; and from what I've written in this letter, perhaps other readers can see exactly where the fault lies in regards to your previous quote. Perhaps others on this list might like to comment on that one as well. Oh, by the way, it's a good thing the Condon Committee didn't feel that way about NICAP back in 1966. Or are you telling me Condon and Low _were_ lying? They wouldn't do that, would they? They were honest guys. Respectfully, Jerry Cohen

To: Website Hyper-linked Master Index