Thursday, March 29, 2012

UFO Debunkers: Irrational, Uninformed and Ignorant

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Debunker's Handbook

By Stanton T. Friedman
© 3-9-12

     In early February, 2012, Andre Skondras, who distributes many interesting UFO articles on the internet, carried a 15 page 2008 article by Tim Printy entitled “The UFO Disclosure Myth”; I am a primary target of the last portion of the article. I also found his paper “My Skeptical Opinion about UFOs.” Clearly he is a debunker not a skeptic. He seems to know very little though he has strong opinions.

Printy starts the long piece with this comment: “Man is a credulous animal and must believe something: In the absence of good grounds for belief he will be satisfied with bad ones.” –Bertrand Russell. This is a fine description of the debunking of people like Printy; they have no good grounds to support their negativity, so bad ones will do. He claims even the most hardened Ufologist who believes that there is something behind these reports will admit that at least nine out of ten cases are misperceptions and hoaxes. The values usually turn out to be more like 3-10% of the reports remaining unexplained”. No source is given for this ridiculous proclamation.

In Blue Book Special Report 14 it was found that 21.5% of 3201 sightings investigated for the USAF by scientists at BMI could not be explained, this completely separate from the 9.3% listed as insufficient information; furthermore, the better the quality of the sighting—the more likely to be unexplained. In Richard Hall’s “The UFO Evidence” it was found that 746 of the 4500 (16.6%) cases examined could not be explained. According to a special UFO subcommittee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 30% of the 117 cases investigated by the University of Colorado could not be explained. The one book of mine he lists has a 9 page bibliography which lists all these sources and many more.

I have quoted these numbers before. The point is that Printy has no leg to stand on. Better he should throw a dart at a dartboard with numbers on it.

Printy notes that he has been an amateur astronomer for 30 years and never seen a UFO. Of course he doesn’t explain why that means some aren’t real. He doesn’t mention that the great majority of amateur astronomers spend little time looking for flying saucers. They spend most of their time at night looking through a telescope with a very narrow field of view at interesting astronomical objects like the planets, the moon, comets and things they know will be present when they are out gazing. Would they say there have been no fatal automobile or airplane crashes because they haven’t seen one?

Printy goes on to say the least likely explanation is that of little green men in spaceships—what a stupid comment about likelihood! Of course no evidence is provided. He finishes us believers off with this comment: “Despite over 50 years of “research”, UFO organizations have yet to provide us with any significant data that can back up the claim that UFOs are caused by aliens piloting space ships”. What he means is that he is unwilling to examine the data. The question isn’t whether all UFOs are spaceships, but whether any are. He obviously is unaware of thousands of physical trace cases, the many radar visual cases, the best abduction cases. It is perfectly logical to conclude that some UFOs are alien spacecraft when they are observed for many minutes and to be obviously manufactured objects able to literally fly circles around our aircraft as observed visually and by radar.

In his big article he talks about Major Donald Keyhoe and his books and conclusions about a government cover-up. He talks about Project Blue Book through never mentioning BB Special Report No. 14. He mentions Congressional hearings in 1968 but doesn’t name the presenters or give a reference for the report. It would appear that he hadn’t read it. He does give a quote from Hector Quintanilla who had been BB director: “The list of speakers reads like a who’s who of extraterrestrial proponents. I’ve never seen such a stacked deck in all of my life.” What a strange comment; two of the 12 presenters were Donald Menzel and Carl Sagan neither a public proponent for the ETH. Furthermore he didn’t mention such powerful presentations as Jim McDonald’s 71 page effort which covers more than 40 cases and demolishes the objections of people like Printy.

Even though he focuses on me after Keyhoe, he of course doesn’t mention my contribution to the proceedings though it has several data tables and many references. He notes I have “been around Ufology since the 1960s, likes to present himself as a scientist who studies UFOs. He does have a master’s degree in Nuclear physics never earned his PhD.” Tis true I immediately went to work as a nuclear physicist for such companies as General Electric, Westinghouse, General Motors, Aerojet General, McDonnell Douglas. Yes, after many cancelled programs I finally went full-time into Ufology after 14 years . . . I am certainly not ashamed. I wrote reports, presented scientific papers and am still a member of the American Physical Society, American Nuclear Society, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Despite his claims he has never really practiced science when it comes to UFOs.” What a remarkably idiotic claim. Obviously he hasn’t seen my articles in Physics Today or Aeronautics and Astronautics nor the aforementioned Congressional Symposium. He does list my book TOP SECRET MAJIC (1997) though obviously the 2005 version and my other books and papers have escaped his attention.

Printy provides a splendid example of taking a quote out of context by saying “Friedman says in one of his books ‘As I gave more lectures, I found that I enjoyed speaking and that people believed me NO MATTER WHAT I SAID’ (the emphasis was his). Apparently, Friedman realized that he could say anything within reason and the UFO faithful would accept it”. Wow! No mention of the fact that the great majority of my lectures were to colleges and universities and also to many sections of the AIAA, IEEE, ANS, management clubs of companies like McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, North American Rockwell. These hardly qualify as UFO faithful. These are all mentioned in the book along with the highly classified nuclear research and development projects on which I worked. I guess he feared that if he gave some facts, people might actually think I was a professional scientist rather than an amateur astronomer.

Naturally Printy misrepresents my views about the infamous MJ-12 documents: “Friedman endorsed the documents as authentic until proven otherwise, has hitched his name to the documents in several books.”

Funny for many years I have endorsed three MJ-12 Documents of the more than 100. But I provided detailed factual reasons for those three and have dealt with all the objections to those three and detailed reasons why a number of the phonies are not legitimate. I used the old fashioned scientific approach. I have visited 20 archives, some many times; I talked to family member of all but one of the 12.
Printy Says, “Even in 2008, over 20 years after the MJ-12 papers were released, Friedman and others declare them authentic.” Funny Printy apparently has the 1997 version of Top Secret/MAJIC. I was saying then that there were 3 genuine ones—and loads of phonies, but why bother the reader with the facts?

Here is the quote in context (p.9 TSM):
“As I gave more lectures I found that I enjoyed speaking and that people believed me no matter what I said. After all I was a nuclear physicist for Westinghouse, which in Pittsburgh, with its numerous nuclear divisions and research facilities, were gold plated credentials. The blind acceptance frightened me—now I knew how the demagogues of the twentieth century had such success. I wanted people to think, to explore, to look at the data and make up their own minds. I decided that I would try to reach more technical groups, who presumably wouldn’t accept everything I said as gospel.”
I also said that my lecture “Flying Saucers ARE Real” was designed to raise the objections of the skeptics and then demolish them with facts.”

This gives an entirely different take on my motivation and Printy’s willingness to deceive.

Printy claims, ”Because of his association with Roswell and MJ-12, Friedman was one of the principle investigators who was publicly proclaiming that there was a flying saucer cover-up and the Congress should investigate the matter,” more poppy cock! I showed that there was a cover-up by pointing to the blacked out Top Secret UMBRA CIA UFO documents and the whited out TSU NSA UFO documents. I quote from General Bolender’s statement, ”Reports of UFOs which could effect national security are not part of the Blue Book system.” I note many lies in a long paper “Government UFO Lies” on my website. I have not pushed for congressional hearings because I don’t think they would be useful. I have been to 20 document archives. Of course he doesn’t mention that Phil Klass paid me $1000.00 for proving him wrong about the Type face on the Cutler Twining memo;

of course Klass hadn’t been to any archives, but obtained 9 of 250,000 NSC documents by mail. When finally more or less released, one could read several words per page in the CIA stuff with the rest being blacked out and about one sentence per page on the 156 NSA UFO documents with the rest being whited out.

Then he tries to show by echoing Phil Klass’s false claims that I never tell people the reason the redactions appear is because they deal with classified sources and methods information. Here is another irrational lie. Could 98% of the CIA and NSA UFO documents actually deal with sources and methods? That is hardly likely since they were filed under UFO.

Printy has more nonsense about Roswell. Of course he does not refer to the paper on my website “UFOs: Earth’s Cosmic Watergate” (or any of my many papers about MJ-12, Roswell, etc). He says “Ufology is not about real scientific investigation of UFOs. It is about personalities who have found a niche in society that allows them to satisfy their egos and appear important to those who want to believe these stories.” Sounds like an excellent description of Klass, Shaeffer, Shermer and Printy and other UFO debunkers projected on to serious investigators such as myself, Dr. Bruce Maccabee, Dr. David Rudiak, Kathleen Marden, etc.

My purpose is to expose his noisy negativism as irrational uninformed and ignorant as is that of most debunkers. I would be delighted to debate him anywhere, but don’t think he has the courage to take me on.


  1. Why even bother about the skeptics ? Whether their paid to deny, or have not the base of knowledge on the subject to see through the smoke it matters not. They are the same ones who will deny the world is controlled by a few hands. Roswell is the proof, and the Government supplied it. Then they suppressed it for a great many years. Back then military bases were not much different than the old west days. The forts were the Government for that area, and the post commanders were like gods. So when one gives the newspapers the headline they captured a flying disk, well you tend to believe it. Sure, it was denied right away, and soon the National Security Act was passed, centralizing control so it could not happen again. Did the Base Commander get a section 8 discharge ? No, he was promoted. Was he just some 8 ball in charge of some Hollywood comedy type of base ? No, they were the only operational atomic bomb wing. It's been disclosed, that's why they kept it hidden for so long, it is the one smoking gun they cannot deny, for they were the ones that put the story out.

  2. Stanton Friedman always points to Blue Book Special Report 14 as proof that the 'unknowns' (i.e. the true UFOs) are quite different from the IFOs. He tells us that skeptics never, or hardly ever, mention this report, which is now 57 years old.

    Friedman is equally forgetful, or neglectful, in telling his audiences that this report was thoroughly taken apart by Allan Hendry, a mild UFO believer, in his UFO HANDBOOK (1979). Needless to say, Hendry's conclusions on BBSR 14 are quite different from Friedman's.

    But don't tell readers this, will you Mr Friedman? It might destroy your thesis that as many as 20 to 25 per cent of UFO reports are true unidentifieds.

    I should add that the BBSR 14 report was written by an organisation, the Battelle Institute, that did not do a field investigation of ONE SINGLE UFO sighting. They did not interview any witnesses at all. It was purely a statistical analysis, done as an office job with the help of an early IBM punched card computer.

    Mr Friedman makes great play of the fact that he is a nuclear physicist, as if this qualifies him to pontificate about UFOs more than those who do not possess such credentials.

    By the way, the reason the 3 main MJ-12 documents are fakes (i.e. the 3 'good' ones out of the total of 100 he says exist) is that the events described in them never took place. It is as simple as that.

    And you do not need to be a nuclear physicist to see this.

  3. CDA,

    Stan's been on the road; during a brief respite, he sent this in:

    Several points that need to be made.

    1. i would never have listed Allan as a noisy negatavist
    or debunker. I was talking in the contaxt of Seth Shostak, Joe Nickell, Carl Sagan, James Magaha

    2. While Allan's 1979 book indicates he is unhappy with the statistical approach at BMI, he certainly indicates that BMI was giving plenty of evidence that shows that secretary of the USAF Donald Quarles was totally deceptive when he said even the Unknown 3% Could have been identified if more complete observational data had been available. That was a lie. And, yes, I talked about "All Sightings" not "Unit Sightings". Copies of the complete Project Blue Book Special Report 14 including the deceptive press release are available from me at POB 958, Houlton, ME 04730-0958 for 25$ including Priority Mail. CDA really ought to look at it.

    Yes, I feel I am justified in pontificating about UFOs because I have spent so much time investigating the evidence, responding to questions, lecturing at over 600 collesges and professional groups, visiting 20 Document Archives, answering maybe 50,000 questions and working as a professional nuclear physicist (2 degrees from the University of Chicago,) for such major companies as GE,GM,.Westinghouse, TRW Systems, McDonell Douglas, Aerojet General Nucleonics. I was accountable to my bosses, my colleagues, those who provided peer reviews for the papers I gave.My name is on 5 books. And yes, I still belong to the American Nuclear Society, The American Physical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics.and Astronautics. Those required referrals from members.I had a "Q" Clearance for 14 years. Because I worked on a variety of advanced nuclear propulsion systems, I certainly feel far more qualified than the noisy negatiivists to deal with Star Travel and advanced propulsion systems.. There is a quick bio at my website .. I would be interested in CDA's scientific qualifications and involvement with classified programs, visits to archives, etc.


    Stan Friedman, Nuclear physicist-lecturer-author

  4. I used to be a believer in the ET hypothesis, all the cover-up stuff and the apparently undeniable solidity of many popular cases where ET seemed to be the only possible explanation. But as time goes by you learn to look at things from many different angles and that's when you stumble upon a kind of relevation. These ever-loathed "debunkers" are, apparently, able to /debunk/ things - all the time! They dig up crucial details that UFO authors have repeatedly omitted, they keep finding interesting correlations and causations that the "proponents" didn't even bother to look for, they have since the 1950's been able to _advance_ knowledge in everything from meteorology to ornithology (!) and they keep exposing hoaxes and explaining common misinterpretations/misconceptions all the time... You know, all this makes UFO "proponents" (as in actual ETH proponents) look rather bad, as they haven't produced anything interesting to date and just keep clinging to an ever-decreasing number of cases that they defend vigorously, almost religiously. Well, until some piece of evidence happens to surface that allows scientifically minded people to complete the puzzle... But your everyday UFOlogist will not unusually hold onto certain beloved cases to the point where they choose to outright ignore blatant evidence that proves them wrong re. ET. That's just sad and that makes the skeptic crowd seem /so/ much more credible, I'm afraid.

    Basically it seems like it's not really evil skeptics vs. "open minded" UFOlogists, but rather a pursuit of knowledge vs. attempting to consolidate things with a preconceived idea. It's been like that since the days of Keyhoe - he attributed various unknowns to Martians and what not and that was it... His "apprentices" are all over the place, it's all a USAF cover-up of the Martians (well, to be fair, the "Martian" thing has fallen out of fashion these days, considering we know quite a bit about Mars now, but still...) It's beginning to echo what creationists and other crackpots spend their time with. UFOlogy really needs to get its s**t straight, it should have shedded its sorry foundations way back but apparently people are still to this day all too occupied with preconceived ideas and what they WANT to be true, rather than tearing things apart and examining them objectively.

    PS. I am not saying that skeptics/debunkers are "objective" per se, many of them are surely guilty of having a firm no-ET-hypothesis. But the issue is that they're on firm ground here, so comparing them to the wild claims in the other camp doesn't work, it's an approach laden with logical fallacies (and oh boy do we see those little buggers in UFOlogy, one can hardly find a page without them). Shame on UFOlogy. Get scientific, acknowledge the flaws - don't pretend they're not there. Gosh.


    Joseph, undergraduate in meteorology/oceanography (a field where, interestingly, many classic (typically radar) UFO cases appear as examples of old school misinterpretations, and constituting one of the many reasons that made me look at things differently).


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