Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stan Friedman drinks the Koolaid...and drains the cup.

In a moment of intellectual "acid tripping" beyond belief, Roswell (and supposedly "Real") researcher Stanton Friedman said this at UFO Updates...
"...Thousands of abductees and physical trace case witnesses from all over the world describe beings that don't look like Earthlings and vehicles that look and act like no known Earthling produced vehicle. Therefore they were produced somewhere other than earth which means they are of ET origin..." WTF!!!!!!?

Now, I don't care if you believe, don't believe, or have no opinion on the subject of UFOs, this is the most ludicrous assertion I have yet to hear from someone who is a respected member of the UFOlogical community.

As if there can be only one of two possibilities as to the source of UFOs...contemporary human constructions, albeit secret, or extraterrestrial objects...such an assertion is so beyond the pale, one wonders what Stan is smoking these days...or if his medication has simply run out.

Eugene Frison, Tim Shell and Bob Shell very rightly take him to task at UFO Updates (Eugene's reply is linked from the title of this post), but what is conspicuous is the silence from the rest of the community.

The schism between the "old guard" and the new in Ufology is becoming clearly...and embarrassingly...obvious.

A sign of a desperate attempt to remain relevant...and a sad one at that.

As with all things human, decay, decline, and denial...ultimately...desolation.

None shall dare to get your back on this one, Stan. And no one should. Game over, I'm afraid.

Unbelievable but inevitable I guess.

Lordy Pardner, you got a weasel under your kilt, or what? I'm not detecting the same wry intelligence, facilitating balance, and incisive wit usually found in your postage, hoss.

Let me run this again in case you missed it from a few days ago...

In his "The UFO Experience" (page 21) J.A. Hynek uses the metaphor of the calibrated spectrograph used in the measurements of stars and their composition to describe a class of person... more specifically, a person who stands in as an instrument of observation:

"One would not use," Hynek writes, "a spectrograph that has not been validated to observe a distant galaxy and then trust the results of that observation. The unvalidated spectrometer might just be capable of creating entertaining but inaccurate smears of separated light... ...but a validated instrument would be trusted without question because its calibration has been assured."

Do we have instruments to trust? I think we must.

I submit Stanton Friedman has demonstrated sufficient calibration over the years... ...even as SOME have not.

I suspect we may trust our calibrated instruments and dismiss those instruments who have yet to demonstrate a similar efficacy, eh?

That said, I would have sworn I was able to detect a smidgen of the dreaded if now hackneyed drink in the corners of your own mouth, dude. You, at least, seem a little over-ruffled about a single comment well within the purview of some small logic and along the lines of what SF has been talking about for decades.

The instrument in discussion has a current calibration card, stamped and up to date. The rest of us?


Don't paint this, please, as a mere struggle between old and new paradigms like they were of equal weight. I detect some some small imbalance. Don't you?

I got your back Mr. Friedman! Why? I know what a calibration card is.
AVG Blog --

This is the major point of disagreement between Stan and I on things ufological. It is a logical leap that is, as yet, unsupported by the evidence, and the ETH therefore remains a hypothesis (a good one, perhaps, but still just a hypothesis).


I think your language here is over the top, and uncalled for. One should be able to express disagreement without using phrases like "WTF!!!!!!? Is he off his meds, on NEW meds, or has he just lost his mind?"

Now I'm sure you or someone else is going to go find some old statement of mine where I may have said something similar about Messrs. Greer, Salla or Hellyer (although I don't think I did, at least not like that, but who knows), but I think Stan deserves a bit more respect than the exopols crowd given his decades of work researching and lecturing about the phenomenon. One can disagree with him, even vehemently, without the ad hominems.

So, to summarize, I agree with your point, but disagree with how you made it in this case.

As to your broader point about a gulf between younger and older researchers, I think that's too simple / broad a categorization of a complex, multi-faceted debate.

As for Stan, I don't think it's "game over" by any means. I just think he's made some mistakes, and is wrong about some things (MJ-12, Wilbert Smith, ETH as ETF), but he's still got a lot of good ideas and valid things to say, and to offer ufology.

But no "icon" is above criticism, not even Stan, and no-one's opinions should just be taken as fact because of who they are, and what they've done. So, again, I agree with the thrust of some of your argument, just not the method, in this instance.

Mr. Kimball;

Your first paragraph is ludicrous where it is not immanently arguable, and your last paragraph conveniences you perfectly, only, while faux-justifying a decided lack of loyalty you embody on ~multiple~ levels from personal to intellectual. I won't trot out the obligatory essay map... ...You want to discuss this in depth we can, literary blades decidedly drawn.

The fact that you an I can agree; however, remotely and in and out of phase on the greater middle? Well, Kyle might use that to weigh the efficacy in his own position, and shift slightly to accommodate same. I suspect he's dealing with some kind of *kilt weasel*, as I wrote, and that weasel will depart shortly and in accordance with the appropriate bylaws and good sense.
AVG Blog --
Well, I am certainly in the "end of days", no?

Alfred on one side and Paul on the other. Must I be doing something right? LOL

Weasel is fully engaged. I spent the morning being told how al-Zarqawi's death was a real "blow" to al Qaeda. Oh sure. Just before hearing about another bombing and the multiple fatalities resulting.

With great wrath simmering did I venture to Updates for a breather...only to be again intellectually assaulted by one of "my heroes". Was I pissed? Uh, yes.

My comments will pass with time and with little effect, and the weasel will no doubt find other hocks on which to feast, but today my intelligence was insulted twice, and I was compelled to respond.

WHile my vehemence might be over the top, the emotions behind the vehemence is true blue, for good or ill.

I hope Stan offer some humble pie to Eugene. Eugene deserves better from the Stan Friedman I have grown to respect.
It makes sense to me. If the beings people describe are not earthlings than it would follow that their vehicles are not made on earth. I know people don't consider abductees to be witnesses, but I do. Maybe some of them are just disturbed, but not all.
I think he is entitled to make the level of deduction he did. It's not a scientist class deduction, but rather a "popularizer/media type/controversial" deduction.

A scientist would keep his options open and devise experiments to eliminate each hypothesis. Instead, Mr.Friedman has taken the easy way out and accepted, at face value, lots of reported "data" from abductees and trace cases and cut the corners of the logic tree by throwing out every other hypothesis willy-nilly.

But he does not reach his conclusions to be scientific! He does it because it is excellent for the required "taking of sides" in media based dialogues. Sure, at one time, he had a scientific hat on when he did his work in the nuclear arena, but now he has a media hat which requires that he not be vague and have too many possibilities. This helps to make an impression on an audience. He has to take a stand in this "media arena" to be remembered by an audience.

So I do not think he is bonkers or off his meds or taking illicit drugs. He is media minded person now.

Personally, I think the ETH (which does seem to be pretty high on the list of possibilities) _must_ be tested (it cannot be defacto declared the answer based on the present UFO "dataset"). In all likelihood, the ETH can be tested with autonomous field instruments which has not been done much in the past for some odd reason.
Lesley -

Thanks for writing. Your candor...and brevity...are much appreciated.

My problem was far more related to accusations of illogic than his actual conclusion itself.

I just don't think that being unconvinced of the ETH is grounds for being called "illogical".

But I do understand that Stan is convinced.
James -

Well said!! Thanks for stopping by!

I fully agree. I just preferred "Friedman drinks the Kooliad" to "Friedman - Media Whore!"


Seriously, we are again at that place where one wonders why UFOlogy remains in stasis...hopefully not for long.

A new crew is on the rise, methinks.
I guess Blogs need bold statements/questions too in order to incite interest!

I would not call him a "media whore". He has been tainted by the requirements of popularizing the subject. The media requires bold statements from guests to maintain ratings. They will drop a guest if he is bland or wishywashy. Friedman has personality so cannot be considered bland. Taking a stand about the ET "source" of the UFO phenomena keeps him from being wishywashy or ambivalent.

In any event, what the media or public (or even specific individuals) thinks about UFOs shouldn't really matter too much.
If one seeks the truth, then one should do it oneself. The best way is through instrumented field studies. (There is a slight chance that examination of abductee implants and landing site trace elements and finding nanostructures or ET isotopic ratios may provide supporting data too.)

Going to archives, interviewing
witnesses, finding whistleblowers ain't going to do it... _ever_ !

Although its fun to reexamine old cases, they can't resolve the UFO question. Maybe just one case can be clarified, but even if the one case is given more credence with added work, it still can never be conclusive nor address the UFO origin issue.

Looking at all the mounds of witness reports and photos and videos show that something is going on but the kind of data provided is never enough to answer the UFO origin issue.

As to why UFOlogy has gone into stasis and when it will leave this stasis, I have been perplexed. In the old days, as Dick Hall states, there were all these teams of respectable, credentialled folk trying to investigate cases.

Today, scientists and engineers have generally backed off the topic. Perhaps they gave up out of the frustration that no matter how many witness cases they investigated, they never got any closer to answering the UFO origin question.

And it seems that instrumented studies have decreased in number over time rather than increase as one would expect would happen with the ubiquitiousness of monitoring devices (there are more on-line web cameras looking for ghosts than for UFOs).

The only way I can think of to get a thaw in UFOlogy is to be proactive in data gathering rather than reactive. This is much more scientific and is really exciting when you think about it.
James -

On Stan...that "whore" part was a joke! LOL

On instrumented field research...

Preaching to the choir there, mate!

I couldn't agree more about that part...the only real future of the field. The rest is just rehashing old "game film".

Valuable for purposes of learning technique perhaps...or when some new tech or method of analysis allows a "fresh glimpse" of old evidence, etc.

I'm in the process of writing an outline for a book on this subject.
Something I've been kicking around for quite some time.

I've been granted the time to develop and shop it without having to have a "day job".

While it is not exactly a "Roman a clef" type book (Jess Hammit? LOL), you should notice something of yourself therein should it see the light of day. LOL

We seem to be of like mind on this issue, and have been for some time.
Its kind of hard to tell what jokes are and I generally don't kid around. The lesson I learned is that "LOL" means it is likely a joke (I guess it means 'lots of laughs'). Learn something new every day. I have always sort of ignored the acronym, but here it was useful! Sorry to not "get it".

Good luck on your book! Hope you come up with some neat ideas to capture the public's imagination (and sell books!).

I built a ULF-VLF radio wave sensor and hooked it up to my computer. Kind of neat seeing the real time spectral output. The spectral software did cost $50, the wire $5. Its interesting but I read where simply attaching wires to two metal bars (screwdrivers) into the ground (separated by 2 meters) gave the same results as all those wire turns. No UFOs detected but I really wasn't looking for any, just wanted to understand the thing. Thunderstorms/clouds give interesting data. Next I build a magnetometer to connect to the computer.
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