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Karlis

Derrick Pitts, Astronomer, Wants UFOs Studied

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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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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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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.

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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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Posted (edited)

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

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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:

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 detected

within 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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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

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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Posted (edited)

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
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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.

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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?

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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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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.

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

I am prepared to debate him anywhere, anytime, in any appropriate forum on the existence of extraterrestrial life!
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.huffingtonpost.com/dr-franklin-ruehl-phd/reairing-of-the-professor_b_1946821.html?utm_hp_ref=ufo

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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

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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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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.

I think the same way as you on this, I mean theres no possible way the government doesnt know what these things are. I would think if the government doesnt know what they are then theres a huge problem. Because if its in the air and they cant identify it as one of there own there not just gonna let it go at that.

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Derrick Pitts, Astronomer, Wants UFOs Studied With Science

Good, 'cause I don't think UFO's studied with a toaster would do much good.

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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.

Hi Karlis

Fair enough, I can see that could open a can of worms, I understand the position entirely. It certainly is a discussion worthy article. There are more aspects to it than the headline would suggest.

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.

No worries, I think the inconsistencies pointed out were rather blatant, and obvious contradictions. I thought the research was very poor, and I would think that Derrick Pitts must be more than disappointed in the article, I certainly would be.

I do find it a classic ETH presentation though, it tends to focus on dramatics, not the subject. This reporter is one of the crowd whom I feel taint the UFO phenomena and the search for extra terrestrial life.

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

Karlis

I will have a look through, but I think I covered most of it. The article I find directly contradicts itself, I wonder how an editor passed it. It does keep pushing the "science does not look at the phenomena" view, with someone who not only works for NASA, with access to the best equipment who actually takes calls from claimants. What more is expected?

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Lord Martin Rees is the one who knows nothing about UFOs, beyond this silly caricature.

"No serious astronomer gives any credence to any of these stories ... I think most astronomers would dismiss these. I dismiss them because if aliens had made the great effort to traverse interstellar distances to come here, they wouldn't just meet a few well-known cranks, make a few circles in corn fields and go away again."

No one who has really studied this subject as I have would ever say anything remotely like this. It shows that he simply doesn't know what he's talking about.

As for Hynek, it has been well-known for years that he did a survey of astronomers about their own UFO sightings, and there have been many over the centuries, from Edmund Halley to Clyde Tombaugh.

Lord Martin Rees isn't even qualified to be discussing this subject if he is simply going to peddle these simplistic and superficial views.

Edited by TheMacGuffin

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Lord Martin Rees may be a great astronomer, but when it comes to UFOs he's an ignoramus.

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ignoramus-42149611345.png

Edited by TheMacGuffin

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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."

From what I have seen, I think this paper does a terrible job, and articles like this are the prime reason the phenomena carries the tin foil tag that it does. I find it self serving claptrap, but then again, I do not find much enticing about Leslie Kean. I think she is a presenter not a researcher. It might be a good source for claimants, but so are many rags. We have the NT news here in Australia for tabloid style UFO tales. A market exists for this rubbish, just like the market for Pravda.

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

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

I wonder what the actual challenge was though? Martin Rees does not refuse to believe in UFO's at all, rather the opposite, and the very same paper says so.

Dr. Franklin Ruehl:

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

Lord Martin Rees

"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. "I think most astronomers would dismiss these," Rees said. "I dismiss them because if aliens had made the great effort to traverse interstellar distances to come here, they wouldn't just meet a few well-known cranks, make a few circles in corn fields and go away again."

Rees says he does not believe sufficient evidence exists to say ET is on earth, he does not deny UAP in any way shape or form as per the headline. It's just a lie. He does not even discount aliens and hopes to speak to them in the next half century. So why does Franklin have his panties in a bunch?

This illustrates why the ETH deserves a tin foil hat.

Edited by psyche101

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Lord Martin Rees is the one who knows nothing about UFOs, beyond this silly caricature.

"No serious astronomer gives any credence to any of these stories ... I think most astronomers would dismiss these. I dismiss them because if aliens had made the great effort to traverse interstellar distances to come here, they wouldn't just meet a few well-known cranks, make a few circles in corn fields and go away again."

No one who has really studied this subject as I have would ever say anything remotely like this. It shows that he simply doesn't know what he's talking about.

As for Hynek, it has been well-known for years that he did a survey of astronomers about their own UFO sightings, and there have been many over the centuries, from Edmund Halley to Clyde Tombaugh.

Lord Martin Rees isn't even qualified to be discussing this subject if he is simply going to peddle these simplistic and superficial views.

I do not get it MacGuffin. Where does he say only Kooks see UFO's? I cannot see that in the article in any place, or even so much as implied. He does not believe Aliens land here to talk to people, that is not at all the same thing by an means. He actually says he hopes we will be talking to ET in less than half a century. From what I can see, the headline is an outright lie. Do you not feel this sort of straw grab, that is very transparent hurts the ETH as opposed to helping it gain credibility? If someone lies to my face, why would I trust them? That is essentially what this headline does. Lie.

And I would suspect someone who studies deep space would be more qualified to asses an alien encounter than even any Astronaut or Pilot? What he said is correct to my experience. Astronomers want to talk space, not ET, if they wanted to talk ET, they would be here, not in an Astronomy club. If you go to an Astronomy forum of a star party and start talking ET, you will be frowned upon, as it is as relevant to star gazing as is cooking pancakes. It is rude to go into a club and expect them to drop the reason they gather to discuss an unrelated subject. It would be like selling Real Estate on this board. Inappropriate.

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For the record, what Pitts endorses is the “unidentified” aspect of an unidentified flying object. “I have never seen a UFO myself,” he says, “and I am not saying that UFOs are ET spacecraft. I am saying [that] here, there is some mystery, and we should be able to address it scientifically, without all the stigma involved.”

Derrick Pitts

LINK

Lord Martin 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."

They do not seem worlds apart to me. Yet one is heralded, the other derided. Is this the lesson the ETH has for everyone?

Edited by psyche101

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Good, 'cause I don't think UFO's studied with a toaster would do much good.

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I do not get it MacGuffin. Where does he say only Kooks see UFO's? I cannot see that in the article in any place, or even so much as implied. He does not believe Aliens land here to talk to people, that is not at all the same thing by an means. He actually says he hopes we will be talking to ET in less than half a century. From what I can see, the headline is an outright lie. Do you not feel this sort of straw grab, that is very transparent hurts the ETH as opposed to helping it gain credibility? If someone lies to my face, why would I trust them? That is essentially what this headline does. Lie.

All I did was quote him from that Huffington Post article. His meaning was clear enough to me. The man is simply an imbecile when it comes to UFOs and doesn't know enough to say ANYTHING about it. On this subject he's a total idiot.

Frankly I don't care what he talks about as long as he just stays out of our hair, because only a fool would say something like that.

Edited by TheMacGuffin

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