Thursday, March 4, 2010

A little bit of irony

I read a two part article written by a skeptic who investigated the mysterious Phoenix Lights from 1997, and although I thought the article was well written and researched, I thought the author's analysis led to a rather ironic conclusion.  He explains why he doesn't think the lights were a single UFO and then speculates that the event was part of a psychological warfare experiment.  Here's an excerpt of his theory:
We know that military breakthroughs in technology usually occur a decade or more before civilian applications begin to appear. That’s one of the advantages the military has with generous taxpayer funding of its secret ‘black ops’ projects.

During the first decade of the 21st century, we began to see some of these advances in holographic research receive attention in science journals. An edition of Science Daily (June 15, 2005) carried an article summarizing science papers that had appeared in Optics Express and other specialized journals showing how a laser-based holographic system works in practice. One example given in the article of how this technology can be applied was the holographic image of circling fighter jets projected to a point in space.
Over the years I had heard rumors from civilian and military types that the technology necessary to project three-dimensional images to a point in space had been tested at Fort Huachuca and elsewhere during the 1990s. But until the Arizona Lights event in 1997, there had been no clear evidence that these electrical optical and laser devices had been used to target a civilian population to test their reactions to unusual phenomena.
Read part one of the whole article here.  Read part two here.

I didn't think much about it until I noticed that the author, Randall Fitzgerald, was labeled as a 'Scepticism Examiner'.  What I thought was ironic was that he was attempting to debunk the claim that the Phoenix Lights were a single UFO but presented a theory that it was a government psychological experiment instead.  Isn't  a secret government psychological experiment with classified technology usually the kind of thing a skeptic would try to debunk?  Yet here we have a skeptic presenting it as an alternative theory to a UFO sighting.  That's just a little bit ironic to me.

In his defense though, Fitzgerald's bio describes him as a "skeptic, not a cynic."  Maybe that's his way of distancing himself from the Michael Shermer's of the world.

I'm not suggesting his theory is wrong, but I'm not suggesting it is right either.  I'm not suggesting the the lights were planes or a single object either.  I don't know what they were, but the video footage I've seen appear to show lights that weren't moving across the sky.



Those lights in the video look stationary to me.

H/T's here and here.

3 comments:

  1. An excellent post, as always. I agree about Michael Shermer. His skepticism is really a form of religion for him. He says "no" to everything and then has to twist the world around to fit the "there is nothing unexplained in the world" belief system. He's as bad as folks who totally believe in something paranormal and refuse to be budged no matter what. I think the reason this skeptic probably says gov't experiment is because these lights which were ironically over my house and I missed them---were seen by too many people, recorded by too many cameras and quite obviously existed, so from a skeptic's viewpoint, he has to explain something that did happen but without using the UFO explanation. That would be my guess too if I were trying to prove it wasn't an object. I'm surprised he didn't jump on the flare bandwagon. I think it shows an interesting theory at least. I would take that theory one step further. The government was wanting to test our reaction to visitation because they know something we don't...

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  2. Interesting addition to his theory, Autumnforest! Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be surprised if the lights were part of a government psychological experiment, but I'm certainly not convinced that they were.

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  3. Hey Jeff;
    Yeah, I've always had a strange feeling that the govt knows a lot more and they are slowly trying to introduce us to novelty to prepare us for what they know might be the ultimate test--the real full-fledged visitation. It's possible they bought some time, but ultimately we're going to have to get used to the idea. If you think about it, over the past five decades, folks have had time to consider it and the ramifications on a safe scale since UFOs were only show up here and there and not proven or captured. So, we've been able to speculate like we did with getting used to the concept of the "bomb" over our heads. I usually try to look for trends in the way the major players on the globe are acting and the decisions they're making--whether it's to build technology, keep peace, stop the arms race...they all reflect on something they may know at a core level that's driving the way we advance in our world. If they truly knew we might get an official visitation and there might be strings attached, they would certainly be working hard toward whatever goal might save our skin, but as of yet, I don't see a lot of really good proof we're being directed by a "higher mission" on the earth. Not a lot of coming together. I do, however, think HAARP could be a way of better knowing who is visiting and when as well as keeping a shield around us to know whazzup! So far as the Phoenix Lights are concerned, I very much doubt flares (last on my list), and I think my first choice is probably military because this thing came down from Area 51 area up north. I'd put aliens as #2 and that's pretty good considering I'm really skeptical about the ability of other civilizations to travel here and then sort of skirt around and be seen but not communicate.

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