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34483529 Still in Default UFO and Science by Bruce Maccabee

34483529 Still in Default UFO and Science by Bruce Maccabee

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STILL IN DEFAULT
POST - MILLENNIUM EDITION 
 
ByBruce S. Maccabee, Ph.D.
http://brumac.8k.com/Still%20In%20Default/Still%20in%20Default.html Copyright 1986 by Bruce S. MaccabeeUpdated version copyright 1998/2004 by Bruce S. MaccabeeThe original version of this paper, entitled STILL IN DEFAULT, was published inthe Proceedings of the 1986 MUFON INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM, pg 131[UPDATES TO 1998/2004 ARE PRESENTED IN SQUARE PARENTHESES]ABSTRACTFor nearly 40 [more than 50] years, the science establishment has ignored theUFO problem, relegating it to the domain of "true believers and mentalincompetents" (a.k.a. "kooks and nuts" [according to former editor John Howardof Applied Optics magazine]). Scientists have participated in a "self-cover-up"by refusing to look at the credible and well reported data. Furthermore, some ofthose few scientists who have studied UFO data have published explanations whichare unconvincing or just plain wrong and have "gotten away with it" because mostof the rest of the scientific community has not cared enough to analyze theseexplanations. The general rejection of the scientific validity of UFO sightingshas made it difficult to publish analyses of good sightings [in refereedjournals of establishment science]. Examples are presented of the scientific-self-cover-up involving erroneous explanations, refusal to look at the data, andrejection of papers for publication. How long will this situation last? Forty[fifty] years is long enough [too long].
 
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SCIENCE IN DEFAULT
"No scientific investigation of the UFO problem has beencarried out during the entire twenty-two year period  between the first extensive wave of sightings ofunidentified flying objects in the summer of 1947 and theconvening of this symposium."
The above statement was made by the late Dr. James E. McDonald at the UFOsymposium held by the American Association of Science (AAAS) in 1969. (Reference1). Even now 17 [over 33] years later it is still true.
 WHY?
[Note: McDonald was Professor of Atmospheric Physics at the University ofArizona. He was an expert in atmospheric physics. He was one of the firstscientists to propose cloud seeing to cause rain. He was the first to suggestthat the exhaust from a fleet of supersonic transport aircraft could destroy theozone layer in a manner not unlike the more recent "hole" creation caused bychlorofluorocarbons. He became interested in the flying saucer phenomenon in thelate 1950's and became an active investigator in 1966. For the next severalyears he traveled around the country trying to enlist the help of otherscientists. Despondent over his marital life and possibly over the effect of hissaucer investigations on his professional life, he committed suicide in 1971.McDonald's story is presented in the book
FIRESTORM 
by Anne Druffel.]The first wave of sightings in the USA occurred in June and July,1947. Asa result of a large number of sightings, many by Army Air Forces personnel [theAir Force was a branch of the Army until September,1947], the Army Air Forcesbegan an investigation of the sightings. In early 1948 the investigation wasformalized as Project Sign (1948-1949). In the following years, as the sightingscontinued, the Air Force changed the name of the UFO project to Grudge (1949-1952) and then Blue Book (1953 - 1969).The Air Force tried to convince the general public that it was copingwith the UFO problem by presenting the following statements as facts:
1.
 
 No sighting ever investigated threatened the securityof the United States.2.
 
 No sighting provided convincing evidence oftechnological developments "beyond the range of present day scientific knowledge."3.
 
 No sighting provided evidence that extraterrestrialvehicles had been sighted.
To support these claims Air Force spokesmen pointed to the large fractionof the sightings which they
claimed 
to have explained (90% or so). They thenstated, without proof, that with more information about the individual sightingseven the unexplained sightings would have been explained. Thus to a person whohad no access to the "raw data" (witness interviews, other pertinent informationand analyses of the sightings) it would appear that, at least in principle, all
 
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sightings could be explained. Specifically, the Air Force stated that all UFOsightings resulted from honest misperceptions or misinterpretations ofconventional phenomena, from psychological aberrations or from hoaxes. (The AirForce acknowledged that the percentage of known hoaxes was only severalpercent.)The scientific community generally agreed with the Air Force statementsthat there was nothing of great importance underlying UFO sightings for twobasic reasons:1. The few qualified scientists who were (or who claimed that they were)acquainted with the UFO data did not publicly dispute the Air Force. [Note: thisapplied in particular to Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Northwestern University astronomerwho was the Air Force's expert on astronomy and consulted on all UFO sightings.Hynek did not publicly dispute the Air Force until after 1966, and then onlymildly. By that time the "tradition" had been firmly established that UFOsightings were not caused by unknown phenomena and so were not of interest tothe scientific community. After Project Blue Book closed in early 1970 Hynekbecame more vocal. He published his first book on the UFO subject,
The UFO Experience
in 1972. In that book he criticized the Air Force. He founded theCenter for UFO Studies in 1973 and continued his studies of the UFO phenomenonuntil he died in 1986. It appeared to me, from discussions with him, that hebelieved there definitely was some unusual, unrecognized phenomenon behind theUFO reports although he was not sure of the nature of that phenomenon. As hetold me when he spent a night at my house in 1980, "I live every day as if thisweren't real."]2. The conclusion that UFO sightings arose from misperceptions, delusions andhoaxes was acceptable to scientists because there was no theoreticaljustification for believing that UFO sightings could be caused by anything trulybizarre, such as unknown natural (unintelligent) phenomena or extraterrestrialvisitors [for example, there is no universally accepted concept of suchvisitation because other planets are too far away, "they can't get here fromthere," etc.].Although most of the scientific community was convinced by the AirForce's statements, a small number of scientists and a considerably largernumber of civilians (especially witnesses) did not agree with the Air Force.They founded numerous civilian organizations such as the Aerial PhenomenaResearch Organization,(APRO, 1952), Civilian Saucer Intelligence (CSI, 1953),the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP, 1956), [theMutual UFO Network (MUFON, 1969) and the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR, 1979)],[these were/are organizations in the USA; numerous organizations were founded inother countries as well] with the intent to study the UFO problem themselves.They collected UFO reports and investigated sightings. NICAP was also interestedin forcing the Air Force to admit that there really was a problem [i.e., anunexplained phenomenon] and then to release the sighting data to interestedcivilians.NICAP and the other groups gained press attention whenever there was alarge concentration or flap of sightings. However, they were not able topressure the Air Force into changing its ways. Nor were they able to convincethe scientific community that UFO sightings were worthy of investigation,Starting in the late 1950's, NICAP tried to persuade Congress to takesome action. In 1964 NICAP mailed a copy of
The UFO Evidence
to each member ofCongress. [See Reference 2. Note: The
Evidence
included selected sightings upthrough 1964. A second volume including selected sightings since 1964 hasrecently been published by Richard Hall, who edited the first version.] Although

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