Stupidité sceptique:

Voici un exemple typique de la manière dont les sceptiques se débarassent d'une observation d'OVNI en invoquant une explication qui en fait ne tient pas du tout.


Le cas:

Un ufologue sceptique britannique a reçu le témoignage d'une observation et la publie telle quelle:

10. Triangular 'UFO' Sighting Solved - The 'Silent Vulcan'.

In July, 1997, I published an intriguing 'UFO' account which I was researching:

The following story is absolutely true and describes my only "close encounter".

As a Chartered Accountant, I often have to oversee audit assignments with a strict timetable. This leads to the need to work long hours. In March 1978, I was working on such an assignment in my home county of Lincolnshire, UK. One Thursday night, I finished work at about 10.30pm and drove a colleague home to the village of Alford. In general, the coastal areas of Lincolnshire are very flat. However, Alford lies on the edge of gently rolling countryside - the Lincolnshire Wolds.

My route home took me up a hill on the A1104 towards Ulceby Cross. Part way up the hill, at around 11:00 p.m., I was dazzled by what I took to be the undipped headlights of an oncoming car. I flashed my own headlights and slowed. To my astonishment, the oncoming lights slowly "took off" from the road and gracefully flew to my right. Excitedly, I stopped my car, wound down the driver's side window and peered out. The sight that greeted me will stay in my memory forever. I saw that the lights were coming from a massive, beautiful aircraft which had now turned, was flying at a height of about 50 feet and was now heading towards the coast directly over my car!

The craft was shaped like a delta, very similar to the Vulcan bombers based in Lincolnshire at the time. However, it was about four times the size of a Vulcan, flew extremely slowly and was absolutely silent! All leading edges of the delta were beautifully rounded - there were no sharp protuberances such as a tailplane. The underside of the craft was coloured sky blue. It just glided over me and headed towards the coast - no noise, no smoke, no vibrations, no smell - just an aircraft of sheer gargantuan beauty.

It was very real; from the A16 I was able to watch this craft making its slow, majestic way south towards Boston until I lost sight of it just past Spilsby. I'd love to know what it was. It seemed too real to be extraterrestrial. However, its immense size, its low speed and above all, the sheer silence made it unlike any aircraft known to me!

Paul H Hanmer FCA

Although the most likely identification was a Vulcan bomber - its profile matched and they were stationed nearby - as anyone who knows these aircraft can testify, the last thing they could be described as is silent!

That possibility seemingly ruled out, the answer would doubtless have forever remained a mystery if it hadn't been for a UFORL subscriber's experienced knowledge of military aviation and a chance meeting he had with a Squadron Leader (Rtd.) who flew Vulcans for most of his RAF career.

Dans un premier temps, notre ufologue pense immédiatement à un avion, mais écarte cette possibilité du fait du vol "silencieux" qui est décrit par le témoin. Cela semble raisonable, mais il y a déjà une "réduction" de toutes les caractéristiques étonnantes de l'observation, afin de n'en conserver qu'une seul: le silence.

I was duly informed:

"A favourite trick of the Vulcan pilots was to reduce power and use its massive wing area to glide for some miles before applying power again, to conserve fuel. It was not officially sanctioned and was never put on record as the public might have kicked up a fuss (would you want a several tons of bomber gliding over your town!!)".

So, incredibly, the 'Silent Vulcan' does exist!

Ici, notre ufologue se montre surpris d'apprendre que les avions peuvent planer. Il n'y a cependant pas de raison d'être particulièrement surpris: le fait que la quasi totalité des avions peuvent planer au moins sur une certaine distance n'est ni un fait nouveau ni un fait mal connu.

Although Paul believed its size was much larger, that's understandable under the circumstances outlined and another corroborative factor is that Vulcans did employ a grey/light-blue camouflage which was sometimes, although not always, 'plain' underneath - see, for example the photograph at:

Ici il y a un glissement assez net: l'ufologue affirme que le témoin s'est trompé sur la distance, et la raison qu'il en donne est que... les observateurs d'OVNIs se trompent sur les distances.

Once again, what appeared to be a 'UFO' case which defied explanation is found to have a probable, typically mundane solution and the witness was mistaken about some observational aspect, this time the object's size being perceived as four times larger than it was.

C'est ici que tout bascule: sans autre réflexion, on doit admettre que le fait qu'il existe un avion, le Vulcain, capable de planer, donc silencieux, alors le témoin a vu non pas une soucoupe volante silencieuse mais un Vulcain en train de planer.

Il y a cependant de sacrés couleuvres à avaler...:

Il faut donc vraiment être sourd au récit du témoin pour proposer cette explication. Il semble par exemple beaucoup plus sensé d'imaginer un ballon dirigeable de grande taille en forme de Delta. Si cela n'expliquerait pas les "lumières" ou l'absence totale de bruit, ce serait tout de même plus en rapport avec la faible vitesse et la faible altitude décrites par le témoin.

However, resolving this sighting only proved possible because of a sincere, objective, detailed account which was in the main reliable and highlighted important features, particularly local knowledge.

Il faudrait savoir: ou bien le témoin est objectif, ou bien il n'a pas bien évalué les distances. Notez bien que l'assertion est fausse: ce n'est pas le récit du témoin qui a suscité l'explication que je conteste, mais le fait que quelqu'un ait raconté à notre sceptique que les avions peuvent planer.

We can only wonder how many other 'inexplicable UFO sightings' have an incredibly simple explanation which has been dismissed because, to our knowledge, it seems implausible - as with a Vulcan bomber which can fly silently.

Quand à moi, je sais bien au contraire combien de cas ont été classés comme "expliqués" de la même manière cavalière que celui-ci.

Moreso, what percentage 'don't make sense' because we're not aware the witness testimony contains a elementary, yet significant, observational error. For example, Kenneth Arnold's evident mistake that the objects he was observing momentarily passed behind a distant peak and were therefore far away, large and extremely fast. However, to have seen them as he described, they absolutely must have passed in front of that peak and were consequently of an undetermined distance, size and speed.

The latter would be something of a momentous miscalculation - it give rise to the presumed 'secret jets' which Arnold first excitedly told other pilots about, later believing that because they were far, distant objects appearing to travel between two mountains, he could accurately calculate their astonishing airspeed.

It was that development which attracted concern and of course when Arnold described how those undulating, fluttering and gliding objects flew like 'saucers skipping across water', this was completely misconstrued in the media frenzy and instead resulted in popularised objects which resembled 'flying saucers'.

Otherwise, would we ever have had any sightings of objects which *looked like* 'flying saucers' at all!

Such a chain-reaction of misunderstandings has an equivalence in the complex cocktail of misperceptions, confusion and fear which characterises the Rendlesham forest case, where each 'strange' experience had the potential to affect and perpetuate belief in the 'unworldly' nature of others.

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Cette page a été mise à jour le 03.03.2001