UFO Hunters Disinfo Baloney

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UFO Hunters Disinfo Baloney

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:25 am

Ugh... feeling a bit nauseous tonight, and it was NOT the lamb I had for Easter dinner! Rather, I think it was from watching the recent UFO Hunters show on History Channel. I decided to watch because the trailers were showing the CARET drone hoax photos, and I wanted to see what they were going to say about it. Let's make no mistake about this show, it is certainly about E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N-M-E-N-T, and should not (necessarily) be construed as hard science. Especially not the guy who is always wearing sunglasses (Bill Birnes). You only need to watch one episode to see that he has overt tendencies for sensationalizing and theatricalizing the story. The one guy who DOES bring at least a solid, scientific (and that DOES mean skeptical until data shows otherwise) approach is Dr. Ted Acworth. After watching the rants, raves, and stretches of possibility exercised by the other members of the team (with Bill Birnes the head cheerleader), it was nice to see Ted grounding them and pretty much saying "I do NOT see any sort of convincing evidence in all we have seen today" when discussing their bit they did on Ralph Ring and his stories.

I almost busted a gut laughing, however, when one of the other team members (Pat Uskert) was chatting to the camera about how important "thinking outside the box is", and was relating how Einstein was one who thought outside the box... and apparantly, according to Pat, LEWIS Goddard, the father of the modern rocket, was also an outside-the-box thinker! Gee.... did Robert Goddard have a brother none of us knew about? :lol:

After Ralph Ring's stories (and admission that he is NOT a technical person, so he can't explain the details behind Otis Carr's alleged flying saucer), the team had some lab guy setup an experiment with sonic resonance. He set up 3 speakers acting along mutually orthogonal directions into an acrylic, transparent box which had a cork inside. He hooked up each speaker to a signal generator where he could vary the frequency of the sound emitted by each speaker. Not surprisingly, he was able to achieve a point where the sound emanated by the speakers was at the resonant frequency of the box, and VIOLA! The cork floated (well, it bobbed around... it was NOT static, and not controlled by any means).

The one thing that I was a little bit disappointed in with respect to their science expert, Dr. Ted, was that they did NOT include an explanation of WHY it floated... because it was in a CLOSED BOX where the strength of the standing pressure waves (sound) could be contained, and that energy would NOT dissipate... which it would do for any body that was NOT constrained by such a box.

In my mind, this pretty much writes this show off as DISINFO for me. Some people may not agree, but by my barometer, when you show an audience something like the cork-speaker experiment, you get their saliva flowing. But then when you do NOT (fairly) explain the problem with taking that lab experiment and trying to make it work with a real, unconstrained "flying saucer" you are guilty of disinfo due to providing partial (tempting) information. And I was also a bit upset that at no time did they bring up that Otis Carr was indicted for securities fraud.

But hey... they are making $, and that is what it is all about, right? (FOR THEM!)

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Postby lost_shaman » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:27 am

I tend to agree with a lot of what your saying Ray, but not everything.

One thing that makes me 'Cringe' is this prevailing idea that no-one should ever make (or spend) money when talking about the UFO Phenomena. The reality is that EVERYTHING we do costs money, and someone pays for EVERYTHING that gets done. That being the case I really don't have a problem with the History Channel having an Original show discussing the UFO Phenomena even if it is presented in an 'Entertainment' format and is profitable.

On that issue I say "Let's get real!". A Cable T.V. Channel competing against other Channels simply can't afford to run and continue making original programming that no-one watches and subsequently costs them money to continue airing!

I agree with you that the Show is not to be taken as "hard science", clearly it isn't going to be a 'hard science' Show. As far as I can tell there is no such thing as 'hard science' involving the UFO Phenomena that is taking place in the public domain in the U.S.! That being said, I don't expect a T.V. Show to pioneer any form of 'hard science'. What I expect is that T.V. Shows will either report or investigate scientific subjects of interest.

After Ralph Ring's stories (and admission that he is NOT a technical person, so he can't explain the details behind Otis Carr's alleged flying saucer), the team had some lab guy setup an experiment with sonic resonance. He set up 3 speakers acting along mutually orthogonal directions into an acrylic, transparent box which had a cork inside. He hooked up each speaker to a signal generator where he could vary the frequency of the sound emitted by each speaker. Not surprisingly, he was able to achieve a point where the sound emanated by the speakers was at the resonant frequency of the box, and VIOLA! The cork floated (well, it bobbed around... it was NOT static, and not controlled by any means).

The one thing that I was a little bit disappointed in with respect to their science expert, Dr. Ted, was that they did NOT include an explanation of WHY it floated... because it was in a CLOSED BOX where the strength of the standing pressure waves (sound) could be contained, and that energy would NOT dissipate... which it would do for any body that was NOT constrained by such a box.


Actually Ray this was one of the more interesting Ideas that the Show 'stumbled' upon IMO. I'm not a theoretical physicist, but to my knowledge no-one has ever described the Atomic mechanism responsible for both Kinetic energy and Gravity that the Scientific Community can agree on. We casually discuss both Gravity and Kinetic energy in terms of what is observable NOT in terms of 'mechanisms' that are responsible for the observations. Literally, we just don't understand the 'mechanisms' that are responsible for the observations.

Of course using Sound waves to demonstrate a concept isn't that 'Bad' IMO. Often what we see on the Macro-level is echoed in the Micro-level or even sub-atomic level.

In my mind, this pretty much writes this show off as DISINFO for me. Some people may not agree, but by my barometer, when you show an audience something like the cork-speaker experiment, you get their saliva flowing. But then when you do NOT (fairly) explain the problem with taking that lab experiment and trying to make it work with a real, unconstrained "flying saucer" you are guilty of disinfo due to providing partial (tempting) information.


I disagree Ray, I didn't see it as an attempt to say Sound waves were the Propulsion mechanism responsible for the Phenomena. Clearly Kinetic energy also functions on an X,Y,Z basis as demonstrated by the Sound Waves that were oriented on the X,Y,Z axises.
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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:08 pm

Hi LS,
lost_shaman wrote:One thing that makes me 'Cringe' is this prevailing idea that no-one should ever make (or spend) money when talking about the UFO Phenomena. The reality is that EVERYTHING we do costs money, and someone pays for EVERYTHING that gets done. That being the case I really don't have a problem with the History Channel having an Original show discussing the UFO Phenomena even if it is presented in an 'Entertainment' format and is profitable.

On that issue I say "Let's get real!". A Cable T.V. Channel competing against other Channels simply can't afford to run and continue making original programming that no-one watches and subsequently costs them money to continue airing!


I understand what you are saying, and agree to an extent. Perhaps it is "just me". But let me share some of the thoughts I have that may explain why it is "just me":

1) Living on the fringe of Hollywood as I do, I am all too aware of the focus on "show value". Because in reality (you know...where most of us live) that is ALL that Hollywood is truly capable of dishing out. Yet it pervades EVERYTHING. "Who cares about the content... is the SHOW value good?" We can see it in our news, as well. Something that irks me is that still, to this day, the largest industry in SoCal is aerospace. Yet Hollywood (superficial) glitz is what we export.
2) As an educator trying to instill critical thinking and analytical skills into undergrad aero engineers, I weep for a society of ignoramuses. Our society has been "dumbed down". I hope you will agree, because there really is no arguing it. I recently saw a presentation put together by several Gen Y youngsters who work for NASA (their PR department....NOT scientists or engineers) about what THEY want from NASA (not what they can contribute) and why they are a "special" generation. It is all show, with no substance. But it has a VERY HIGH "look at me/we are cool" quotient. IMO, this is the factor that contributes the most to our dumbing-down... the fact that we place "look at me" (fame) over technical correctness or substance.

I agree with you that the Show is not to be taken as "hard science", clearly it isn't going to be a 'hard science' Show. As far as I can tell there is no such thing as 'hard science' involving the UFO Phenomena that is taking place in the public domain in the U.S.! That being said, I don't expect a T.V. Show to pioneer any form of 'hard science'. What I expect is that T.V. Shows will either report or investigate scientific subjects of interest.


And I expect COMPLETE disclosure, and at least rudimentary fact-checking. The mistake of "Lewis Goddard" instead of the correct "Robert Goddard" may not be a big deal to some, but to me it is indicative of where the attention was place in this show (again, the SHOW value). If Bill Birnes does not know the father of the US rocket program, I would expect his science expert Dr. Ted to have caught that. Maybe they never reviewed it. But for NO ONE to catch that and prevent them from just looking stupid... it says a lot to my mind.

The one thing that I was a little bit disappointed in with respect to their science expert, Dr. Ted, was that they did NOT include an explanation of WHY it floated... because it was in a CLOSED BOX where the strength of the standing pressure waves (sound) could be contained, and that energy would NOT dissipate... which it would do for any body that was NOT constrained by such a box.


Actually Ray this was one of the more interesting Ideas that the Show 'stumbled' upon IMO. I'm not a theoretical physicist, but to my knowledge no-one has ever described the Atomic mechanism responsible for both Kinetic energy and Gravity that the Scientific Community can agree on. We casually discuss both Gravity and Kinetic energy in terms of what is observable NOT in terms of 'mechanisms' that are responsible for the observations. Literally, we just don't understand the 'mechanisms' that are responsible for the observations.


This is true enough, and I agree we need to approach deeper understanding of these phenomena. But while we may not understand their Genesis, nothing has stopped us from understanding how to use and engineer them to maximum benefit. Perhaps that is my downfall, in a way, because IMO once you learn enough about something that you can engineer it (or compensate for it), it is time to move onto something more exciting. Now having said that, I am intrigued by levels (layers) of systems and how emergent phenomena arise out of them. So to me, this is where kinetic energy and gravity become interesting. They appear to be emergent phenomenon, and that means there are systemic underpinnings. For me this is an area where science needs to evolve. Reductionism is at its natural end. IMO the only hope for us to understand emergent phenomena such as this is to STOP reducing to the next smallest particle, and begin modeling how things INTERACT and phenomena emerge. Mind is emergent, it comes naturally from an integration of systems. We need to stop looking down the quantum hole for the next smallest thing that will explain mind. It will NOT get us anywhere.

Of course using Sound waves to demonstrate a concept isn't that 'Bad' IMO. Often what we see on the Macro-level is echoed in the Micro-level or even sub-atomic level.


I agree...but again, I was expecting the WHOLE story. Try to appreciate it from an educator's standpoint. I would expect a disclaimer informing people "here is why this lab experiment will not work when scaled-up to a real vehicle."

I disagree Ray, I didn't see it as an attempt to say Sound waves were the Propulsion mechanism responsible for the Phenomena. Clearly Kinetic energy also functions on an X,Y,Z basis as demonstrated by the Sound Waves that were oriented on the X,Y,Z axises.


But it is in NOT completing the thought where they leave people (remember the "dumbing down" aspect) on the edge... the edge of forming a belief in their minds that is NOT true. Yes, the kinetic energy of sound waves works along the X,Y, and Z axes. And there is a very simple explanation of it that reduces to air pressure and some very simple laws of fluid dynamics that I teach in freshman engineering. The lab experiment is NOT something new, and neither is resonance that Ralph Ring was going on about. In my mind, the omission of the explanation that this example is NOT the source of what Ring was talking about, and why, feeds the beast that creates an ignoramus society.

But hey, I guess I have my own way of entertaining my students... I prompt them to go out to ANY "fringe science" website with a forum and get a load of what people believe simply because they lack science knowledge. At least I am pointing out what happens to a brain without critical thinking skills. My own version of "scared straight", perhaps? :)

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Postby IgnoreTheFacts » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:03 pm

You want to scare your students straight? Try sending them to godlikeproductions, lol.
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Postby lost_shaman » Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:16 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:
I understand what you are saying, and agree to an extent. Perhaps it is "just me". But let me share some of the thoughts I have that may explain why it is "just me":

1) Living on the fringe of Hollywood as I do, I am all too aware of the focus on "show value". Because in reality (you know...where most of us live) that is ALL that Hollywood is truly capable of dishing out. Yet it pervades EVERYTHING. "Who cares about the content... is the SHOW value good?" We can see it in our news, as well. Something that irks me is that still, to this day, the largest industry in SoCal is aerospace. Yet Hollywood (superficial) glitz is what we export.


I understand, there is a dilemma in that presenting a topic via the media there must be some "show value" otherwise people just won't watch the show.

You can see this in mainstream Science programs which are more popular than ever. These programs, for instance the History Channels "The Universe", are littered with computer graphics that get better year after year. These graphics give viewers a visual idea of whats being discussed. Imagine if these shows were stripped of computer graphics how fast ratings for these Science shows would plummet.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:2) As an educator trying to instill critical thinking and analytical skills into undergrad aero engineers, I weep for a society of ignoramuses. Our society has been "dumbed down". I hope you will agree, because there really is no arguing it. I recently saw a presentation put together by several Gen Y youngsters who work for NASA (their PR department....NOT scientists or engineers) about what THEY want from NASA (not what they can contribute) and why they are a "special" generation. It is all show, with no substance. But it has a VERY HIGH "look at me/we are cool" quotient. IMO, this is the factor that contributes the most to our dumbing-down... the fact that we place "look at me" (fame) over technical correctness or substance.


I do agree.


You Can Call Me Ray wrote:
And I expect COMPLETE disclosure, and at least rudimentary fact-checking. The mistake of "Lewis Goddard" instead of the correct "Robert Goddard" may not be a big deal to some, but to me it is indicative of where the attention was place in this show (again, the SHOW value). If Bill Birnes does not know the father of the US rocket program, I would expect his science expert Dr. Ted to have caught that. Maybe they never reviewed it. But for NO ONE to catch that and prevent them from just looking stupid... it says a lot to my mind.


You're right that's pathetic. Although I'd still like to see more original programming discussing the UFO Phenomena, and hopefully there will be more fact checking.



You Can Call Me Ray wrote:I agree...but again, I was expecting the WHOLE story. Try to appreciate it from an educator's standpoint. I would expect a disclaimer informing people "here is why this lab experiment will not work when scaled-up to a real vehicle."


I see where you're coming from. But then again Einstein's thought experiments are not practical in the real world either. Would a program discussing Einstein's thought experiments also be required to present a disclaimer?




You Can Call Me Ray wrote:
But it is in NOT completing the thought where they leave people (remember the "dumbing down" aspect) on the edge... the edge of forming a belief in their minds that is NOT true.


I guess, but we can't protect people from forming 'beliefs'. If we said 'hypotheses' instead of saying 'beliefs' then it doesn't sound so bad. At least people start thinking and in Science we are encouraged to promote multiple hypotheses despite the understanding that only one of them will prove to be true.


You Can Call Me Ray wrote:Yes, the kinetic energy of sound waves works along the X,Y, and Z axes. And there is a very simple explanation of it that reduces to air pressure and some very simple laws of fluid dynamics that I teach in freshman engineering. The lab experiment is NOT something new, and neither is resonance that Ralph Ring was going on about. In my mind, the omission of the explanation that this example is NOT the source of what Ring was talking about, and why, feeds the beast that creates an ignoramus society.


I was thinking along the lines of the kinetic energy of matter, not the kinetic energy of sound waves.

Maybe you're right Ray, but this explanation you want would probably require another hour, at least, of original programming. We have to consider format constraints here, you can't fit two hours of programming into a one hour T.V. show.

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:But hey, I guess I have my own way of entertaining my students... I prompt them to go out to ANY "fringe science" website with a forum and get a load of what people believe simply because they lack science knowledge. At least I am pointing out what happens to a brain without critical thinking skills. My own version of "scared straight", perhaps? :)

Ray


Yeah, I like that approach you're using. I bet your students find all kinds of crazy stuff people are spouting out there!
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Re: UFO Hunters Disinfo Baloney

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Thu May 08, 2008 5:14 am

So I watched the latest installment of UFO Hunters on the History Channel this evening. Excuse me....

<:roflmao:> <:roflmao:> <:roflmao:>

There were actually some good parts in this episode...the parts where a special effects producer basically debunks some people who claim a NASA video showing "orbs that pass behind" a space tether that broke free of a shuttle. I do believe David Sereda was one of the people claiming these videos were "proof positive" since the video showed the objects moving behind the tether refutes anyone saying they were "paint or aluminum chips caught in between window panes"... Except the producer showed precisely how the mirror aperture of the camera lends its "donut hole" shape to objects in the field of view that are out of focus. And the producer also showed that with an image that is overexposed on some object (like the tether), that a dimmer object that is out of focus (and that passes in FRONT of the object) will appear on the camera AS IF it is passing behind the camera.

So I have to hand it to them... that WAS a good part of the show, and I am glad they had the guts to show it! In my mind, the ability to faithfully recreate the effect seen on the NASA Shuttle video, and make the same effect happen such that you do NOT have to accept the "woo woo" interpretation puts the questions behind these videos to rest.

But the part that I thought was really humorous was when they turned their attention to NASA astronauts (the few) who have come out and either claimed they saw something, or at least believe UFOs could be "beings from elsewhere" and/or that NASA is covering things up. The first astronaut they featured was Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man to walk on the moon. Now I am no production expert, but it was abundantly clear to me that the UFO Hunter "team" was NOT directly interviewing Dr. Mitchell. And yet, that is EXACTLY how they directed that segment! They had members of the team sitting in some "control room" watching a video of Dr. Mitchell, and pretending to ask him direct questions. But when you saw the cuts of Dr. Mitchells alleged answers, they were easy to see they were NOT direct answers to their questions.... and only mediocrely (?) edited to try and make them seem like they were! I mean really...it was just comical! Almost as comical as the goof in the previous episode where Pat Uskert talked about "Lewis Goddard". Moreover, you never heard Dr. Mitchell make any claim whatsoever that he saw something that he claimed was a UFO. Although the narrator seems to say that he did. :?

Now, I dunno about the rest of you, but just this silly "trick" of trying to convince people that the "team" was directly interviewing Dr. Mitchell... it makes me question their credibility as much as I question Bill Clintons for the same reason. If they are willing to "lie" (and yes, I consider it a lie!) about something as unrelated as whether they actually interviewed someone directly (but wish to put forth the thought in the viewer's mind that they did).... well, then what is to stop them from the SAME theatrics when it comes to feeding UFO "true believers" what they want to see?

Then they also had another "astronaut" on...Dr. Brian O'Leary. Now, O'Leary was, indeed, an astronaut.... from 1967 to 1968. But he has apparantly never actually left the atmosphere! The narrator tells us he was "schedule to be on a manned Mission to Mars" and leaves it at that. Again, we do not see O'Leary making a claim that he had personally witnessed anything... all he offers is his OPINION that NASA is engaged in a massive coverup. Excuse me again...

[-X ](*,) :lmao:

I'd encourage others to watch it, if not for the good parts where at least they show some recreations that debunk some "foregone conclusions" that some NASA videos show evidence of UFOs... at least you will get some kicks out of the really trashy parts. Do post your thoughts and impressions here if you do see it.

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