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The seemingly "absurd" extraterrestrial visitors:

A school of thought in ufology argues that UFOs are "absurd"; by that they mean that if these are extraterrestrial beings and their craft, then these extraterrestrial beings have an absurd behavior, hence UFOs are not of extraterrestrial origin but something else, which goes from "forged extraterrestrials created by a mysterious "intelligence" to delude us" to "paranormal events like fairies, ghosts and spoon bending." On the basis of argument going from science-fiction inspired prejudices about what the extraterrestrials are supposed to do and not do, to the alleged basis of a whole series of reports of fairies, ghosts and other events or stories interpreted as "paranormal phenomena", they say that the idea of an extraterrestrial origin as the cause of some UFO reports is "obsolete ufology".

Because I am of a skeptic nature, I thus prefer to examine closely what is put forth as foundation for this idea rather than to accept it as valid without making the necessary checking.

I noted that this so-called "absurdity of ET", and these mixing together with phenomena attributed to the "paranormal", rest on a certain number of errors, sometimes huge errors and a casebook which does not reveal any "paranormal" but very "normal" things, generally indeed without any relevance to the UFO problem.

As it is not enough to just say this, I publish a collection of my discoveries which found my opinion:

Point 1: UFOs, Fairies, Ghost, it is not all the same

Example 2:

Ghost or UFO in 1909?

A French ufologist colleague of mine presents a newspaper article to me. The indicated source is the newspaper "The Evening Times", of Trenton, New Jersey, the USA, published on May 25, 1909:

A nimble ghost climbs trees and hills, then hides in the pond

Worcester, Massachusetts, May 25 - Northbridge has a phantom, or a phantom has Northbridge, the residents of the peaceful village up to now do not know what is most exact. For several nights, about per same hour, a mysterious light, variable of size from a small ball to that of a bushel, has appeared and carried out strange operations on the high cliff of Wayside.

Initially regarded as a joke, the continuous night repetitions made of the phenomenon a serious reality and the village and its vicinity discuss the matter, while a number of citizens are seriously frightened. At least 3 families packed their luggages with the announced intention to leave the city.

One night 200 people gathered in the vicinity of the cliff, but when the light appeared many women shouted and ran to their houses, not showing any desire to continue the investigation. A half-dozen of armed men had the courage to go at the top of cliff and, in tightened formation, shoulder against shoulder, tried to catch the light. Like a will-o'-the-wisp, the light zig-zagged along the cliff, climbing the trunk of a large pine, point from which it was visible from a considerable distance, went down quickly to some yards from the observers and, climbing the peak of the hill, disappeared in the nearby pond.

He tells me:

"One qualifies sometimes as phantoms simple balls of light, they cross the walls as sometimes the alleged extraterrestrial kidnappers do, mainly appearing during the night, etc."

And he thus asks:

"Do you believe that certain testimonies of phantoms cannot be very well be integrated as testimonies of UFOS?"

This was in the context of a debate in which proponents of the extraterrestrial origin as cause of some UFO reports like myself were more or less suspected of unduly rejecting certain disconcerting or unexplained "facts" which however do not seem to call an extraterrestrial explanation but rather a certain other explanation sometimes indicated as "paranormal", within the framework of a theory which puts forth that the UFOs are never extraterrestrial but sometimes "paranormal phenomena."

In my experience, I did not find any reason to defend this "paranormal" theory-of-everything, a theory blurry enough to authorize the inclusion of all and everything as "facts explained as paranormal rather than ET". I never agreed with the idea that the theory of ET visitation would be obsolete and void with the reason that the proponents would reject "true paranormal" phenomena or that these phenomena, real or alleged, would "contradict" an extraterrestrial explanation where it appears suitable. Therefore, with this case there, I was to take it into consideration in order to check if it does really justify a theory of "paranormality" to explain UFO reports or if it really makes it possible to refute the extraterrestrial origin theory of other cases, UFO cases.

Let's go back to the question:

"Do you believe that certain testimonies of phantoms cannot be very well pe integrated as testimonies of UFOS?"

I certainly "believe" in nothing at all; I'd rather exert thinking, so I examined this case of "phantom" or "UFO" or whatever.

First of all, that may seem too obvious to be reminded, we are dealing with a newspaper's story here, this is not a researched or investigated report. By principle of prudence, newspapers accounts should never be presented as example to defend one or the other theory. Without investigation, no UFO, as some say, and I find this very sensible. But on the other end, this missing investigation, it is perhaps possible that I perform it now anyway.

"Northbridge has a phantom," the newspaper says. This is merely people's interpretation, or the newspaper's interpretation; as experience has taught me, it is wise to forget the interpretation and to consider the described facts. My experience tells me that people "describe correctly" - not always, but often - but interpret incorrectly.

The newspaper tells of "a mysterious light." Thus the phantom is a light. There is no "agitated chains noise" in all that, nothing of a traditional "ghost appearance" as we can imagine in this description.

The newspaper tells of the "continuous night repetitions." Here we have a fact: the phenomenon reproduced several nights. It is a fact, but not a fact which makes the phenomenon unexplainable, on the contrary, it is a fact whose existence points at a simple explanation. It is only apparently strange. Many facts do reproduce, without being really strange.

The newspaper describes the phantom as: "Like a will-o'-the-wisp."

This is the pointer at the explanation, right there, in front of our eyes. As often, the explanation is given by the witnesses themselves, it is only wise to not become impressed by the "phantom": the phantom is described as like a will-o'-the-wisp!

So, then, why would anyone not consider with attention the notion that that the phantom is not a phantom but a will-o'-the-wisp?

What could be missing to this will-o'-the-wisp?

It is not seen regularly at the place, as you would expect from will-o'-the-wisps?

Indeed it is!

Which sorts of places are necessary for the appearance of a will-o'-the-wisp? Well, ponds, for example and very typically. Do we have a pond here?

Yes we do! The phantom, tells the newspaper, "... disappeared in the nearby pond."

Is it then necessary to include this newspaper's phantom story in ufology's casebook?

Well, yes for evaluation, to prevent that people say that "ET believers rejects ghosts" and so on. Yes, as example of a phenomenon which has only little to do with a strong UFO case which is actually neither an example of a "paranormal phenomenon" nor to be used to defend the notion that if any strange phenomenon is not extraterrestrial then the ET origin for all UFOs is disproved: what we have here is non-extraterrestrial and non-paranormal, it is a natural and commonplace phenomenon which does not have anything to do with making points in any discussion on theories about certain UFO affairs.

All things considered, before making of simple explainable stories examples and counterexamples to compare the merits and the weakness of this and that theory, it is first necessary to evaluate the data, the "raw" reports, not to make pontification on ET from cases only unexplained by ignorance of basic explanations such as marsh gas and will-o'-the-wisp.

Here, the evaluation is: probably a will-o'-the-wisp. Include this "case" among "new empirical facts" or "solid cases" or "analyses of the UFOS"? Not, certainly not.

What do we learn of this case?

This is again one striking example of how witnesses provide correct descriptions but sometimes false interpretations. And that a "report" of anything should not be put forth as "intriguing" at the reading of a newspaper's headline. A "story" is totally worthless before or without investigation; here for example we don't have much of a ghost or anything "paranormal", even less a "UFO report".

Therefore to answer the question: "Do you believe that certain testimonies of ghosts can't be also integrated within UFOS reports":

Not this one.

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This page was last updated on August 6, 2005.