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Derrick Pitts, Astronomer, Wants UFOs Studied


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#1    Karlis

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:20 AM

Derrick Pitts, Astronomer, Wants UFOs Studied With Science

A careful look at historical records reveals how astronomers have, indeed, not only endorsed efforts to study the UFO phenomenon, but in many cases, have themselves seen unexplained objects for which they couldn't account.
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#2    Lilly

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:29 AM

Why not study UFOs? I've wondered exactly as Mr. Pitts does. There's certainly 'something' people are seeing, why not investigate and see if modern science can shed some light on the phenomena.

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#3    Hazzard

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:40 PM

As much as I agree with this I have a problem seeing how this would work in the "real world". Any object that flies and cannot initially be identified as an airplane, helicopter, blimp, balloon, kite, drone, lantern or any other object that normally flies, is a UFO.  Many flying objects that are listed as a UFO can later be identified as a terrestrial object, natural or made by man.

Unless we have a body of an alien, or his craft, I dont see how scientists would set up this "investigation"...? The ones that remain Unidentified because the lack of evidence (to far away for identification, etc) will still be an alien craft to some people.

I still await the compelling Exhibit A.

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#4    1963

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 06:06 PM

View PostLilly, on 07 October 2012 - 09:29 AM, said:

Why not study UFOs? I've wondered exactly as Mr. Pitts does. There's certainly 'something' people are seeing, why not investigate and see if modern science can shed some light on the phenomena.

I for one would very much like to see this phenomenon that we here at UM are all so engrossed in 'scientifically investigated' by what is a seemingly level-headed, open minded individual that commands as much gravitas as Derrick Pitts!....But that would be on the proviso that all results and conclusions were transparently displayed for all to see!...and not released via  controlled snippets that have to be sanctioned by 'the powers that be'! :whistle:


Cheers.

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#5    TheMacGuffin

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:34 PM

View PostKarlis, on 07 October 2012 - 08:20 AM, said:

Derrick Pitts, Astronomer, Wants UFOs Studied With Science

A careful look at historical records reveals how astronomers have, indeed, not only endorsed efforts to study the UFO phenomenon, but in many cases, have themselves seen unexplained objects for which they couldn't account.
Read more

It has already been done since the 1940s, and perhaps even earlier, although we don't have the results in the public domain--only a very partial picture for us to go on.

Edited by TheMacGuffin, 07 October 2012 - 08:34 PM.


#6    psyche101

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:13 AM

View PostKarlis, on 07 October 2012 - 08:20 AM, said:

Derrick Pitts, Astronomer, Wants UFOs Studied With Science

A careful look at historical records reveals how astronomers have, indeed, not only endorsed efforts to study the UFO phenomenon, but in many cases, have themselves seen unexplained objects for which they couldn't account.
Read more


Hi Karlis

Do you not think the approach might not be the stumbling block here? If we have a look at the article, and how it is worded:


Nothing kills a career faster than being branded a kook, and in many circles, that's what you are when you admit you've seen a UFO.





This is not true. Even Presidents have seen UFO's, announced such in public, and remained presidents. Then the article goes on to say:



Many astronomers say there's nothing of any scientific merit that could result in the study of UFOs.



This also is not true, The Hessdalen Project is testament to that. The article is clearly referring to the ETH, not UFO's at all. This is a deliberate faux pas to create an element of mystery. When we follow the above link we find the general opposition being referred to in the article is as such:


Rees, author of the new book, "From Here To Infinity: A Vision For The Future Of Science," told The Huffington Post that, while "everyone's fascinated by aliens," he's in favor of the ongoing SETI Instituteprogram -- the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.


"We should look by all possible techniques," Rees said. "We've no idea what's out there, and so we should look for anything that might seem to be some sort of artifact rather than something natural."


While Rees said he hopes real extraterrestrials will be detectedwithin the next 40 years, he's completely and "utterly unconvinced" that any ETs have been visiting Earth.




This is not the same thing. He does not denounce the study of UFO, he lives and breathes the exact opposite thing. This is clearly describing the current shaky version of the ETH, and not the UFO phenomena at all. In fact this man has said he remains unconvinced aliens have visited earth, not that such cannot exist, in fact nothing of the sort. He hopes to speak to some in under half a century! That might even be considered optimistic by many standards!

The paper then tries to refer the the UFO phenomena in a more all encompassing description, obviously including known natural phenomena:


Nevertheless, one nationally renowned astronomer,

Derrick Pitts

, tells The Huffington Post that it might be time for a thorough study of unexplained aerial phenomena.



Yet is this at all what Derrick Pitts is descrbing?


"If you say, 'Let's pursue an investigation of UFOs so we can identify where these alien spacecraft are coming from,' then people go, 'What? I'm not touching that with a 10-foot pole.' But if you say, 'Let's look at what the possibilities are that, at one time, there were environments where life possibly could have developed on Mars,' then everybody says, 'Oh, yeah, I want a piece of that,'"




Would you say that there is anything at all wrong with the above statement?

And again, with regards to the above,Derrick Pitts

, tells The Huffington Post that it might be time for a thorough study of unexplained aerial phenomena

,Is this not exactly what Derrick Pitts does for a living? From the NASA Website:

What is a Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Programs Director?
Working with many others here, I develop and oversee all of Franklin's astronomy and space science-related programs and exhibits and run the observatory. I also create programs for the planetarium, frequently do the live "Sky Tonight" planetarium show, teach astronomy workshops, and do a bit of science interpretation and advocacy work on television with my friends Keith Olbermann, Stephen Colbert and Craig Ferguson. Occasionally there's a "kitchen sink" job to do like identifying (non)meteorites for visitors or taking a call from someone who is positive the UFO they've seen is actually an alien spacecraft, but it's been everything from hosting Clyde Tombaugh to helping President Obama's family look through a telescope on the White House lawn.



The article states what Derrick Pitts really thinks, and to be perfectly honest. his opinion seems to conflict with the headline:

"I can speculate about what many astronomers would say if you ask them that question. Many of them would say, 'I haven't seen anything, so I can't say that they exist. I can't say that this five percent are alien spacecraft.' But if you ask them in the same breath, 'Would you be willing to engage in a research project to figure out what these things are,' I don't know what that answer would be.




His personal blog is focused on astronomy, not full of speculation about aliens. Link - SkyTours With Derrick Pitts


The above appears to be a clear cut case of raping this persons credentials for the sake of a headline. I noticed that you did not offer an opinion, may I ask, how do you feel about such inaccurate articles which clearly contravene ethics for the sake of sales? The majority of the article has little to do with Derrick Pitts, it is focused on creating a certain theme referencing people like Hynek and Vallee, whom I think are quite superfluous to the headline, as they actually pioneered the opposite of what it suggests a long time ago, and Vallee continues to push boundaries today.
As such, I find the article deliberately dishonest and misleading. We all want UFO's studied, heck, all unexplained phenomena flying or not should be, and people including Derrick Pitts are doing just that. This article depicts, and I feel is aimed squarely at the bottom of the UFO barrel. The credulous. I honestly do not feel these sort of articles do anything positive for the ETH and a better understanding of it. This is the mud in the waters. Not to sound ungrateful, thank you for presenting the article, it is a good example of the ETH, and why I have less reason to consider it valid each new day.

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#7    Karlis

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:52 AM

View Postpsyche101, on 08 October 2012 - 11:13 AM, said:

Hi Karlis

Do you not think the approach might not be the stumbling block here? If we have a look at the article, and how it is worded:
~~~ ...


...


~~~ ... The above appears to be a clear cut case of raping this persons credentials for the sake of a headline. I noticed that you did not offer an opinion, may I ask, how do you feel about such inaccurate articles which clearly contravene ethics for the sake of sales? ...
Hi psyche101,

I usually do not offer opinions about articles I copy to UM, when I post them. I post articles which *may* be of interest to UM readers. This article aroused your interest, and you have given a well-thought-out opinion about its purpose, contents, etc.

As regards any inaccurate content in the article -- thanks for posting your thoughts on that. I personally am not qualified to comment on that, *but*, I hope others who are interested and have information, will add their thoughts.

Hope you and others will add more questions, and more detailed input here, :tu:
Karlis


View Postpsyche101, on 08 October 2012 - 11:13 AM, said:

The majority of the article has little to do with Derrick Pitts, it is focused on creating a certain theme referencing people like Hynek and Vallee, whom I think are quite superfluous to the headline, as they actually pioneered the opposite of what it suggests a long time ago, and Vallee continues to push boundaries today.

As such, I find the article deliberately dishonest and misleading. We all want UFO's studied, heck, all unexplained phenomena flying or not should be, and people including Derrick Pitts are doing just that. This article depicts, and I feel is aimed squarely at the bottom of the UFO barrel. The credulous. I honestly do not feel these sort of articles do anything positive for the ETH and a better understanding of it. This is the mud in the waters. Not to sound ungrateful, thank you for presenting the article, it is a good example of the ETH, and why I have less reason to consider it valid each new day.



#8    synchronomy

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 12:20 PM

In recent years much of the stigma has been removed from ufology...but there is still a long journey ahead.

The image of ufo "fans" being kooks wearing tinfoil hats is fading somewhat, but is still prevalent due to the unfortunate popularity of t-shirt and coffee cup style vendors appearing frequently in the lobby's of large UFO conferences.  They sell home-made detectors for magnetic field variations, third rate books, new-age paraphernalia, inflatable aliens etc.  Add to that, it is not uncommon for mainstream media to deliver UFO stories with a cheesy grin and the meaningless opening statement "Do you believe in UFO's", clearly demonstating their own lack of a basic understanding of terminology.  There are also many self-proclaimed experts who, using well-produced pseudo-scientific documentaries, cloud the entire subject by presenting their own speculative conjecture as fact.
There are, however, exceptions that stand out such as the mainstream media who do take a serious look at it and the numerous unbiased documentaries that have appeared in recent years.
Overall it seems that much positive progress has been made which is encouraging more legitimate academics to lose their fear of ridicule and go public with studies of the phenomenon.
Gradually, public acceptance of the subject is growing.
We may be very close now to the "100th Monkey Effect" taking over ufology in the very near future.
Let's hope so.

Edited by synchronomy, 08 October 2012 - 12:24 PM.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#9    Babe Ruth

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:03 PM

My view is that research and study have been done, for at least decades, but for whatever reason the gate-keepers prefer to keep it all secret.


#10    Oppono Astos

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:16 PM

View Postsynchronomy, on 08 October 2012 - 12:20 PM, said:

In recent years much of the stigma has been removed from ufology...but there is still a long journey ahead.

The image of ufo "fans" being kooks wearing tinfoil hats is fading somewhat, but is still prevalent due to the unfortunate popularity of t-shirt and coffee cup style vendors appearing frequently in the lobby's of large UFO conferences.  They sell home-made detectors for magnetic field variations, third rate books, new-age paraphernalia, inflatable aliens etc.  Add to that, it is not uncommon for mainstream media to deliver UFO stories with a cheesy grin and the meaningless opening statement "Do you believe in UFO's", clearly demonstating their own lack of a basic understanding of terminology.  There are also many self-proclaimed experts who, using well-produced pseudo-scientific documentaries, cloud the entire subject by presenting their own speculative conjecture as fact.
There are, however, exceptions that stand out such as the mainstream media who do take a serious look at it and the numerous unbiased documentaries that have appeared in recent years.
Overall it seems that much positive progress has been made which is encouraging more legitimate academics to lose their fear of ridicule and go public with studies of the phenomenon.
Gradually, public acceptance of the subject is growing.
We may be very close now to the "100th Monkey Effect" taking over ufology in the very near future.
Let's hope so.
I would argue that the image of Ufology itself is worse now than 20 years ago, down to one thing - the internet.  Is all the dross on and around the subject that is freely circulated on the web without any form of authentication or objective analysis really progressing the subject?

Who is the skeptic: the realist who won't accept belief, or the believer who won't accept reality?

#11    archernyc

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:47 PM

View Postsynchronomy, on 08 October 2012 - 12:20 PM, said:

In recent years much of the stigma has been removed from ufology...but there is still a long journey ahead.

The Huffington Post is a fairly good source for stores on UFOs and the ETH. Unfortunately, they group these stories under the subject heading of Weird News, which does not help legitimize the subject matter - in fact, quite the opposite. They, like others, tend to include silly photos and Photoshopped images that also engender negative reactions to the subject matter of UFOs etc.

btw, Leslie Kean posted the article from the OP on her FB page and said that her "book was instrumental in "converting" Derrick Pitts, along with a personal meeting."

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#12    synchronomy

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:16 PM

View PostOppono Astos, on 08 October 2012 - 03:16 PM, said:

I would argue that the image of Ufology itself is worse now than 20 years ago, down to one thing - the internet.  Is all the dross on and around the subject that is freely circulated on the web without any form of authentication or objective analysis really progressing the subject?

The internet has provided a forum that has made it possible with anyone connected to publish anything from short works to full length books and documentaries.
You are right, in that there is significantly more "nonsense" now circulating than before the advent of the web.  Additionally, there are more legitimate sources that have become available, such as the numerous central registries for sightings, such as MUFON for example.
Also, forums such as this one, have provided a means for people to air their views and remain anonymous thus eleviating the fear of public ridicule.  There's always the flamers/trolls of course, but that sure beats being labelled a kook by family, friends, or coworkers.
However, what is important to note, is that in recent years, mainstream newsmedia is giving it more visibility.  Granted, they are not all fair and unbiased, and sometimes get caught off guard by hoaxers.  None the less, the message is getting out.
Most importantly, the subject is now in the limelight and generates a lot of interest and discussion.
As always, we need to practice discernment to try to sift through the sand and gravel to find the small nuggets of gold.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#13    archernyc

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:04 PM

Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D., issues a challenge to Lord Martin Rees:

Quote

I am prepared to debate him anywhere, anytime, in any appropriate forum on the existence of extraterrestrial life!

Quote

In delivering my lecture, "The Universe Is Teeming With Life," at various aerospace firms' monthly dinner meetings, I am regularly besieged afterward by scientists and engineers who describe their own UFO sightings in detail. These are the very type of UFO eyewitnesses that we want to put on record. However, when I present them with my official UFO report to fill out, they invariably never return it.

Apparently, they fear that they might be jeopardizing their careers by acknowledging such controversial observations or are concerned that they might be subjected to ridicule, perhaps being referred to as "kooks." So, there indeed is an important segment of UFO observers with scientific credentials whose sightings are never properly chronicled.

More here...http://www.huffingto...?utm_hp_ref=ufo

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#14    White Unicorn

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:44 PM

View PostBabe Ruth, on 08 October 2012 - 02:03 PM, said:

My view is that research and study have been done, for at least decades, but for whatever reason the gate-keepers prefer to keep it all secret.

old but interesting 1964 involving the serious study ..even language of dolphin research in attempt to communicate ....
/www.nicap.org/ufoe/UFO%20Evidence%201964.pdf

Edited by White Unicorn, 08 October 2012 - 08:17 PM.


#15    White Unicorn

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:19 PM

View PostOppono Astos, on 08 October 2012 - 03:16 PM, said:

I would argue that the image of Ufology itself is worse now than 20 years ago, down to one thing - the internet.  Is all the dross on and around the subject that is freely circulated on the web without any form of authentication or objective analysis really progressing the subject?

Agree....thousands of Adamski's on internet ...very scary if you're seeking  the facts





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