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The Great UFO Debate

Date: 07-21-04
Host: George Noory
Guests: Seth Shostak, Stanton Friedman

Physicist and investigator Stanton Friedman faced off with astronomer Seth Shostak of SETI in a debate about the nature of UFOs. While both believe that extraterrestrial life exists, Shostak contended that UFO reports from the time of Roswell onwards, do not indicate alien visitations to our planet. Friedman argued that we have been dealing with a kind of "cosmic Watergate" in that the government has been covering up much of the evidence.

Shostak noted that in the last 57 years there is still not one piece of incontrovertible evidence that would prove the extraterrestrial origins of UFOs and he asked Friedman to provide him with details of the single best UFO case. The best evidence is cumulative, Friedman replied, citing numerous physical trace and radar visual cases as well as pilot sightings. Shostak countered that this type of evidence could have other explanations besides the ET hypothesis.

SETI's methods are a kind of "dartboard physics" based on flawed science and false assumptions, Friedman asserted. Shostak replied that when SETI does finally detect an alien signal, "there won't be a debate," about it as it will be scientifically verifiable by independent parties, in contrast to the anecdotal and witness testimony about UFOs. After two-hours, a vote on who won the debate was conducted via Fast Blast, with these results: Stanton Friedman 57%, Seth Shostak 33%, Draw 10%.

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    Ray Charles & Ruben Studdard

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