Sunday, July 26, 2015

Seth Shostak:The Great UFO Debate

By way of Alfred Lehmberg (where I followed this link) who offers his own excellent commentary on the musings of Seth Shostak, we have the . . .
  The Great UFO Debate: "The good news is that polls continue to show that between one and two-thirds of the public thinks that extraterrestrial life exists. The weird news is that a similar fraction thinks that some of it is visiting Earth."(Seth Shostak)
The "weird news?" Why so? Shostak's thing has always been that the reality of ET is quite reasonable, just out there, not anywhere near here.

Shostak writes that "…recent television shows" depict aliens landing and doing all kinds of things to our planet and its inhabitants:
". . . alien craft are violating our air space, occasionally touching down long enough to allow their crews to conduct bizarre (and, in most states, illegal) experiments on hapless citizens."  (Shostak)
Mr. Shostak dahling, do you really think aliens give a hoot about the legalities concerning abductions and what not?! (Now, an interesting angle here -- one whose entertaining of thought eludes practically all skeptics and some, even, UFO researchers, is that many of the alien/UFO episodes are conducted staged by our own.)

And then there's paragraphs about lights, sightings, atmospheric conditions…all mistaken for UFOs and not proof of ET. Which, I will concede, is sometimes true. But that is not the issue here and I suspect that Seth Shostak knows this. The following -- in which Shostak refers to aliens who "melon-ball" human flesh, illustrates my point:
"What about those folks who have experienced alien beings first-hand? Abduction stories are an entirely separate field of study and one which I won't address here . . . "
Why won't you deal with abductions Mr. Shostak? What skeptics and debunkers consistently ignore, or, just don't get, is that you can't have one without the other. I don't mean to say that all encounters with strange beings are aliens-from-outer-space encounters, or that all UFO encounters include abductions. But many UFO encounters do include abductions, as well as missing time and a long list of weirdness. You can't look at one piece of this puzzle and decide on its solution while ignoring the rest of the scene.

The fact that we don't know where UFOs originate -- as if all UFOs should or do originate from the same source -- doesn't make this fact "goofy" as Shostak says. Again, he ignores the vastly intriguing array of possibilities. To Shostak, the ET question is a simple one with a simple answer. Black, white, either, or, this not that, and that's all there is.

Finally, we have the predictable and highly disingenuous comments from Shokstak. The first is his regurgitation of the skeptic cliche that the witnesses need to provide proof, not the other way around:
"The burden of proof is on those making the claims, not those who find the data dubious."
And here:
"If there are investigators who are convinced that craft from other worlds are buzzing ours, then they should present the absolute best evidence they have, and not resort to explanations that appeal to conspiratorial cover-ups or the failure of others to be open to the idea."
Well, many a researcher and witness do provide what they have, what they know, what they've seen. I can only report on what I saw, no matter how odd, and what I've experienced. Missing time? Sorry, I don't have any proof, which is not the same as evidence, which I also do not have; not even much on theories about what or why. Just that it did. (At least twice.) Sure, someone could have slipped me a mickey, or something was glitchy in my brain… then again, if the latter, that would have to be true for the other witness who was with me -- both times. And who also has had his own life long experiences of the UFO kind. Shostak doesn't consider these contexts, these connections of experience.

So all I can do, all any witness can do, is report what happened. And the honest researcher or collector of lore has to include it all and look at it all. Shostak does not. He is  stuck on his belief that ET is possible, and alive in space, while concurrently holding the opinion that no such thing is possible here on earth.

Instead of deciding before the fact what will be considered and what won't, participants in this quest need to work together. Don't tell me missing time was imaginary, or that someone slipped me a mickey. Look at the history of my experience in context of the phenomena. 

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