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UFO Cases, Skeptics, and Photos

Professional paranormal investigator and feature columnist for Skeptical Inquirer science magazine, Joe Nickell, provided his skeptic's take on the paranormal. Nickell has investigated many so-called ghost sightings and experiences, and often is able to explain the anomalies in scientific terms. "What I'm trying to do with my work with ghosts [or bigfoot]... is to actually go and actually investigate... and provide the simplest and best scientific explanation for it," he said.

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UFO Cases, Skeptics, and Photos

Show Archive
Date: Sunday - April 27, 2008
Host: George Knapp
Guests: Bruce Maccabee, John Alexander

Retired U.S. Navy research physicist Bruce Maccabee joined George Knapp to discuss his extensive research on UFOs, including international cases, his take on debunkers, and analysis of alleged photos of unidentified flying objects.

On the subject of UFO cases, he talked about his research into incidents over Iran in 1976 and New Zealand in 1978. Maccabee detailed how the Iranian case featured a mysterious craft which disabled the controls of an Iranian military jet flying nearby. Talking about the New Zealand case, he said it received so much attention that even Walter Cronkite covered it on the CBS Evening News. On that night, Cronkite changed his signature sign-off to "and that’s the way it is ... or is it?"

Expressing dismay with UFO skeptics, Maccabee put forth his "two rules for debunkers," the first being "any explanation is better than none." The second rule states "if the first explanation doesn’t work, try another one." He described this modus operandi at work with the O’Hare UFO case of late 2006. In this instance, the first explanation from the FAA for the sightings was "runway lights reflecting off the clouds." When this reasoning was proven unsound, the follow-up was simply "weather phenomenon."

A noted analyst of alleged UFO photos, Maccabee stressed that "a photo does not a UFO make." Having looked at a vast number of photos of purported craft, he pointed out that images with flying objects noticed in the background are not the critical cases. On the contrary, he said, "the more serious ones are things that are presented as UFO cases right up front and they show some object with structure."

The Aviary & UFOs

In the first hour, Col. John Alexander talked about the infamous UFO group known as "The Aviary" and government interest in UFOs. Alexander dispelled the idea that "The Aviary" was an organized group, saying that, over the years, "it has taken on mythical proportions through the rumor mill."

Concerning government interest in UFOs, Alexander claimed that Congress was considering looking at the issue a few years ago, but hearings are unlikely now because the phenomena is "not a voting issue" and, thus, of no interest to politicians.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Sunday April 27, 2008

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