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Condign report - Paragraph 41, page 16:

It might seem strange that an officially published report on UFOs for the Ministry of Defence, U-K, appears in my Stupidities section. But strange as it seems, it is deserved! Here is one of the stupidities that flower in the more than 400 pages "Condign" report.

Brief reminder:

The Ministry of Defense, U-K, asked one anonymous guy to write a "report on UFOs" to assess whether UFOs are a Defense issue or not. The guy put up more than 400 pages together by simply reading existing skeptic literature. Then some ufologists managed to get the secret report. In 2006 they gave it to TVs and newspapers, and soon, all over the world, in the Press, headlines said that a "scientific study" has proven that UFOs don't exist. No newspapermen had asked any review by any ufologist, and the ufologist that gave the report to the Press did not care either to give other ufologist a chance to review the report before the media craze...

A few days later, fortunately, the British Ministry for Defence published the report at the UFO documents pages on the Internet.

So here it was, and now, I read it. I can tell you what it was worth. Or not. And I will. Point by point. The incredible finding I made is: this report is the worst nonsense I have seen in the ufology literature ever. That some ufologists gave this to the newspapers and TV without any further thinking, that the media have accepted this worldwide at face value as a scientific work convinced me: ufology does not have any chance left of getting a fair look at it. Forget it! The gap between non-ufologists, the gullible public, the scoffers, the media, the balanced skeptics, the hardliner skeptics and serious ufologists has become a galaxy-wide, and ufologist like I have no real chance left to present their case to any wider audience than their own kind in any near future.

Condifn report and the Petit-Réchain photograph:

The report says:

"Occasionally and perhaps exceptionally, it seems that a field with, as yet, undetermined characteristics, can exist between certain charged buoyant objects in loose formation, such that, depending on the viewing aspect , the intervening space between them forms an area (viewed as a shape, often triangular), from which the reflection of light doesn't occur. This is a key finding in the attribution of what have frequently been reported as black 'craft', often triangular and even up to hundreds of feet in length."


The section is illustrated with a picture of the UFO seen and photographed at Petit-Réchain during the Belgium UFO flap.

Wrong picture used:

Everybody in the world of ufology knows about one interesting feature of this picture. When it is looked at, only lights are seen. But when the contrast is enhanced, a dark silhouette around the lights appears. The author of the Condign report does not even seem to know about that; which proves that he is very incompetent in his dealing of the UFO phenomenon.

Ufologists that studied the photograph have copyrighted it so that the photographer (who did not see any value in it) gets royalties when it is published. Unlike MoD who has certainly paid the royalties, I cannot, so please buy the book "Vague d'OVNIS sur la Belgique - Vol.2", SOBEPS publisher, in which original and contrast enhanced versions of the photograph are provided.

Field of undetermined characteristics:

The author invents an explanation for the fact that the lights remained in fixed formation during the sighting. If he had known that the witness provided the explanation, confirmed by the contrast enhanced version of the picture (The witness did not know about this characteristics that was found later by competent analysts who studied the original image) he would have understood that his theory is worthless.

There is no need to invent a "field of undetermined characteristics". True, the lights are in steady formation during the UFO's flight. But the photograph and the witness report provide a commonplace explanation to that: the lights are on a craft. The craft was seen by the witness, and his observation confirmed by the photograph that shows the outline of the craft.

The outline of the craft is geometrical. This specific geometry cannot be explained by the action of any field blocking the light, because no field would result in this particular geometry.

The need for a "field" as explanation is not justified in any case:

When a plane flies at night, its lights are also "flying in formation". The commonplace explanation is that they are attached to a solid structure:

This is also the commonplace explanation in the case of the Petit-Réchain photograph. Of course, the Condign report's author would not admit to that: the outline is not the outline of any plane built on our planet, the behavior, hovering, silence of the photographed craft is incompatible with any plane from our planet, and thus, this report and photograph are evidence of extraterrestrial visitors. This is an explanation that the report's author rejected out of hand, because he chose to, with no valid scientific justification.

A mystery to solve a problem:

When the author says that a "field of undetermined characteristics" is the explanation for the lights staying in formation, he produces pseudo-science.

Science is not about inventing mysterious "fields" to explain away some science issue. Science is not about inventing mysteries, but about providing explanations. "Field of undetermined characteristics" is not a valid explanation, it is only an invention devoid of science.

Plasma and fields:

The "field" is also pseudoscience for intrinsic reasons in this case. Ball lightning, "plasma", are overall electrically neutral and create no field.

Were they to create any field, it would be electromagnetic fields, thus:

Moreover, ball lightning does not fly in formation at the reported height. Ball lightning would hover at ground level for a few seconds and then dissolve, eventually with a flash and/or "pop" explosive sound. Ball lightning occurs only with a cause, and the only cause here would be a thunderstorm. But at the time and place of the sighting, there was no thunderstorm, so the lights cannot be ball lightning.

Again, the author of the report wrote stupidities.

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This page was last updated on May 18, 2006.