Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Stan Friedman on UFO Skeptics and SETI

Below is an extract of an interview with Stan from issue 4 of Alien Worlds Magazine.

When you are on shows like Larry King, why don’t you hammer the sceptics? You need to be ruder.

I’ve been that. I’ve been strong and harsh. I’m not a namby pamby proponent. I’m a hard hitting nasty guy when it comes to not tolerating crap from idiots like Michael Shermer for example or Seth Shostak when we’ve been on Coast to Coast radio. I give no mercy to those guys because as a scientist I resent somebody standing up and acting as if he was a scientist and yet who knows nothing about the subject. That’s not a good database for a sensible thought if you know what I mean. Bill Nye for example who I’ve recently been on Larry King with is a science educator who’s done a lot of television and he’s worked in aerospace a little bit many years ago, but he’s basically just an entertainer.

Isn’t he a children’s TV scientist?

Yes. He did a lot of that. I was looking on Amazon and I couldn’t find any books by him on UFOs, of course, because that would take some work, just as Shostak hasn’t written one, nor has Shermer. It takes work and you’ve got to look at some evidence and these guys don’t want to bother with that. Whenever I meet them, I always look forward to a nasty, noisy, negative bashing going on. I’ve lost my patience with these guys a long time ago to tell you the truth. I did an interview yesterday with a guy I’ve known for forty years and he was a little surprised about how strong I came on in the new book about the SETI guys and astronomers in general and mostly in particular.

But I’m at an age in my life when I feel no need to be kind. I’m not looking for jobs from any of these people and I’ve got to tell it as it is. This shocks some people and that’s too bad. But I give specifics when I blast these guys. I’ll give you an example of that because it illustrates the difference. When I was on Coast to Coast radio with Michael Shermer he starts off by saying, “Look, there’s nothing to this. You get a 5% residue of crap when you look at anything unusual.” So I blasted him with “That’s obviously untrue. In the biggest study ever done for the Air Force Project Blue Book Special Report 14, 21.5% of the 3,201 examined could not be explained completely separate from the 9.3% for which there was insufficient information. In the University of Colorado study, according to a special UFO sub committee of the world’s largest group of Space scientists, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 30% of the 117 cases studied in detail could not be examined.”

“In the UFO Evidence, 18% of the 4,500 cases examined by the mostly professional members of NICAP could not be explained.” I think I gave them a couple of other examples as well. He never recovered and I got 80% of the vote at the end of the show. But the comment I kept getting from people was, “Shermer didn’t know anything”. I had read two of his books.

But they won’t know anything, will they, because it’s very easy for them to say, “There’s no evidence”. I know that you jump back in and say there is but the bottom line is Stan you cannot show them a UFO and you cannot show them an alien and they’ve got that. Whatever other evidence you can hold up…………..

I’ve got physical trace cases, I’ve got multiple witness radar/visual cases, I’ve got five large scale scientific studies and I also point out there are many other areas where we don’t have a hunk of something. Give me a piece of a neutron star please. Give me a piece of a super nova. They’re real. If a 747 goes by and I look up and say, “Oh that’s interesting. They don’t usually fly by here” and I write it down, well, I can’t prove that it flew over. Will thy ask me to give them the 747? That’s nonsense. Have I got to shoot it down? You have to adapt your method, your evidential method of proof, to the situation at hand.

I think that is a justified comment in relation to the subject of UFOs. But what happens if you are dealing with a scientist who is based in practicality and hard science and who can conduct an experiment and has a result that he can see and that he can test and replicate. How do you convince somebody like that?

Carl Sagan raised that argument the last time I visited him. Reproducibility; that is the essence of science. I sent him a letter with details about this. There are at least four kinds of science. Yes, one is the reproducible, controllable experiment. You set it up and describe exactly what you’ve done and what your results are. You submit it for peer review, you publish a paper and you hope other people can duplicate it. That’s fine. We need a lot of that sort of science.

There’s a second kind of science however where you can predict but you can’t control. If I tell you that sometimes the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun and makes it dark, well you know that to be true but I can’t control it but I can predict when an eclipse will occur. And if I have equipment and the weather is clear, then I should be able to make some measurements. That’s science even though I can’t control it.

The third kind however is when I can neither predict nor control but I can hope to observe. Earthquakes for example: I can set up a network of seismographs and I can’t tell you when and where one is going to happen but when it does, I can examine the seismographs.

The full interview is published in issue 4 of Alien Worlds magazine.

http://www.alienworldsmag.com.

To buy a copy, please go to
http://alienworldsmag.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=101

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Alien Worlds Issue 4


Issue 4 of Alien Worlds magazine is now out on the newsstands in the UK and will reach foreign climes anon.

You can buy a copy online at our site at
http://alienworldsmag.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=101

FYI, in a week or so, the magazine will also be available as adownload. More on this soon.

Here is a rundown on some of the articles and interviews in this edition:


Interviews

Stan; Why I Hate SETI

Distinguished, eminent and now controversial, Stan Friedman is themost famous UFOlogist in the world. Respected and yet dismissed,lauded, ridiculed, revered, and a general all round punch bag, you love him or you don't, but without his contribution, the world of UFOs would not be what it is today, and there's not a lot of people you can say that about.

Although it always seems like Stan has a new book out,surprisingly there have only been four and the latest, Flying Saucers and Science, is a rampage of revenge and vitriol as he cuts and hacks his way through the stupid, the inept, and the downright dumb unfortunates who have dared to tick him off over the years. And nowhere does he reserve his deepest loathing more for than for dear old SETI and his nemesis Seth Shostack.

Buckle up and hold tight as Stan bounds out of his corner with both arms swinging. Low blows galore.


The Aetherius Society

Still going strong after over 50 years, an anachronism that has adapted and stayed the course, The Society is a throwback to the 50's and the contactee movement that has gone full circle and now finds its popularity on the rise again.

Never one to push themselves forwards and with virtually a negative recruitment policy, they are a deeply spiritual movement that has much to offer the UFO community in the present day. A lot of what they do and believe remains shrouded insecrecy and ignorance and so we were pleased to be given full access to Richard Lawrence, their European
Executive Secretary, for a frank and open interview.



Jon Ronson, Gary McKinnon, Albert Stubblebine III, and a Goat


Jon Ronson is a journalist, author and documentary filmmaker and avery talented and funny guy. A Guardian columnist, he writes in a sardonic and wry style and is drawn to the weird and quirky. It is that trait that has pulled him towards UFOs and more importantly, the strange world attached to it. That isn't the sum of his work by any means, but it is an area that he has returned to more than once.

That is not to say that there is anything weird or quirky about Robbie Williams or Gary McKinnon for example, or at least I don't think. He recently made a documentary with Robbie for BBC Radio 4 about UFOs and he is turning the Gary McKinnon story into a screenplay.

He is the man who brought us such wonderful visual dramas as The Men Who Stare At Goats, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The BilderbergGroup, The Satanic Shadowy Elite, and David Icke, The Lizards and The Jews, all documentaries shown on UK Channel 4. We caught up with him as he was out walking……….


For Christ's Sake, Don't Mention the "God" Word

Next to the war in Iraq, the subject of Intelligent Design in the United States has been the most viscous and hotly contested debate the country has known for some considerable years. At its very core lies the fundamental differences between the Old World and the New, and the fight by the philosophical and political Centre and Left of American Society to keep at bay the perceived gradual ongoing intrusion by religious fundamentalists into the day to day lives of American citizens.

Professor Guillermo Gonzalez was Assistant Professor in the Departmentof Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University. In 2004 he published a book called The Privileged Planet which postulated the rare earth argument, namely that the location and conditions and intelligence in and on planet Earth are extremely rare throughout the Universe and possibly unique. He further argued that Earth was particularly conveniently positioned in a prime location for observing the Universe. As a consequence he concluded that the Earth had to have been intelligently designed.

In 2005 and in association with colleagues from other universities in the State of Iowa, over 400 faculty staff members signed a petition opposing all attempts to represent Intelligent Design as a scientific endeavor. Without being named, the petition was obviously aimed at him and in the ensuing uproar, Gonzales was eventually denied tenure and left the University.

In a case that has become a cause celebre, hegives us his side of the story.


UFOs And The Politics Of Reality

David Cherniack is a major documentary film maker with a mantelpiece full of Gemini awards from Canadian TV, with over 70 films shown onCBC, TVO, VisionTV, Life, History and APTN. He became attached to the flagship programme Man Alive for 13 years where he visited the subject of UFOs and related areas several times. In 1996 he went independent specialising in what are known as long form documentaries through his company All in One Films. He does pretty much all the production work himself to keep costs down.

In May he came over to the UK and while here gave me a screening of his latest film UFOs And The Politics Of Reality. Made over a four year period, he has interviewed some very impressive people and the film has been very positively critically acclaimed. In this interview, he tells us what he thinks about abductions, UFOs, and the making of the film.

The X Files.




The dynamic duo are back and as a homage and acknowledgement of the debt UFOlogy owes, we carry an interview with David Duchovny.






Features


Albion Dreaming


Drugs are a very bad thing as you know. You have read the tragic stories and you have seen the press. You may know people who have had difficulties with substance abuse or you may have had problems yourself. It is consequently a subject that attracts profound emotional reaction and judgement.

There are two problems related to the condemnation of drug taking. Firstly, many millions of people take drugs without obvious problems and enjoy doing so. The pleasure of taking them is something rarely mentioned for obvious reasons but it has to be recognised that people do it because they like it. And secondly, despite the drug problem being a phenomenon that started with the permissive 60s, it didn't. Drugs have been around with Man for thousands of years and there isn't a tribal village in Australia or South America or the Pacific or the Far East or frankly anywhere where hallucinatory drugs haven't play a part or still do in the life and culture of that Society. In short,man has been doing his brains in for thousands upon thousands of years and often, when he has done, he has seen strange things.

Researcher and author Andy Roberts gives us the background of LSD use in the West and explores the drug's connections to alien sightings.


Are Crystal Skulls genuine artefacts or ingenious fiction?


In a balanced and extensive article, Nick Parkins casts his eye over the history and evidence relating to the Crystal Skull myth, including the latest testing by the British Museum, and asks why this story still stays the course with loose ends that just will not lie down and die.







Sci Fi Worlds


In what we hope will become a regular column, Richard Thomas casts his eye over the ongoing phenomenon that is Dr Who, the characters and parallels with real life.






Alien Interview


Remember Glenn Dennis the mortician at Roswell AFB and the nurse who told him to shove off before the MPs got to him because he wasn't meant to be there "or you're going to be in a lot of trouble."? Well here's a stupid question; wherever did that nurse get to?

Lawrence Spencer has written a book called Alien Interview which purports to carry the Roswell testimony of one Matilda O'Donnell MacElroy. The UFO world has had countless bogus stories foisted upon it by snake oil salesmen who insist their stories are true but can it deal with a man who insists that his story is a work of fiction? Frank Warren gives it a go.



UFOs, Crop Circles and Cryptids: What the Hell is going On?

Some people stand still within UFOlogy and hold on to the same set of ideas during the course of their journey. Others change as they process what they experience and discover, and Nick Redfern is one of the latter. He's moved from Hero to a man with a question mark over him in the eyes of some and yet the inability of anybody to nail an explanation to the mast that answers all of the questions, or even some of them, leads Mr. R down a path that not all would wish to follow - yet. Join him and see where he takes you.

War Of The Worlds





Nigel Watson examines the origins of Sci Fi in the build up to Welles' 1938 broadcast and the cultural fall out that has ensued since.





Opinion


Paul Kimball's Above and Beyond

The Myth of the ETH as ETFact
An outstanding, brilliantly argued perceptive piece from Paul who continues to advance the cause of modern UFOlogy with reasoned,provocative thinking. There are few better minds in the subject today capable of considering the subject from an objective perspective.

"By focusing on the idea that little green/grey men have been coming here in nuts and bolts spaceships, ETFacters have done a grave disservice to the search for truth about the UFO phenomenon, and its possible alien origins, in the same way that thousands of years of religious leaders have undermined the search for the true nature ofGod by force-fitting it into a limited paradigm that simply served to reinforce their own worldview. They have not sought wisdom, nor understanding - they have simply proclaimed an "answer" which has been no answer at all."


No Defence Significance



Joe McGonagle examines the weaknesses and reasoning behind the claimfrom the Ministry of Defence that UFOs are of no defence significance.







The Round Files: The Real Truth Behind the Real Truth Behind SERPO



I warned you with Daniel Brenton's first column that you needed to beon your toes and I repeat it again. This man walks the line and when he loses his balance and falls, how and where he lands confuses some people. Stay alert!








Rob Bignell


A subtle examination of just what buttons will be pressed when "life" is discovered somewhere else.







Plus more!!

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