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Stanton Friedman Doesn’t Like Me

by Brian Dunning, Dec 04 2008
Stanton Friedman 

 

Stanton Friedman

A reader wrote me on Facebook that he was listening to the “Paranormal Podcast”, another of the usual promoters of nonsense inexplicably allowed to remain in the Science & Medicine section of iTunes. The guest was Stanton Friedman, the principal author of the Roswell, Travis Walton, and Betty & Barney Hill UFO mythologies. Anyway, at 25 minutes into the episode (#56, but don’t bother listening as it’s only a 15 second blurb), Stanton mentioned that he “came across a piece on the Internet” the other day that got “40 flat-out false claims” about the Betty and Barney Hill story, and added with a condescending chortle that he “couldn’t believe it.” It was the online transcript of my Skeptoid episode on that story.

The Paranormal Podcast host, Jim Harold, acknowledged that he had heard of Skeptoid. Of course you have Jim, because it’s kicking your ass in iTunes, probably much to your dismay.

Stanton was probably predisposed to have a problem with me. I’ve called him “an obsessed UFO wacko”, which I think is accurate. I grew up watching Stanton Friedman; he’s on just about every TV documentary about UFOs, and of course he wrote the most significant books inventing the most popular UFO stories. I used to listen to him in awe: The TV always said “nuclear physicist” under his name, so of course, anything he said had to be true. (I didn’t know that his real career, in fact his only career since 1970, was writing UFO books. I guess the TV producers feel that calling him a nuclear physicist gives him more credibility than calling a spade a spade and saying “Obsessed UFO Wacko”.)

I browsed through the transcript looking for 40 factual errors. This is a daunting task, because there aren’t more than 20 or 25 points made that you could call factual claims. Most of them either came from or are corroborated by Stanton Friedman’s own books. The facts of the case aren’t really in question, it’s the interpretation of the facts that are. Betty Hill spent two years writing a UFO story and sharing it with her husband, and then when asked about that story under hypnosis, Barney Hill was able to rattle it off pretty much as she wrote it. I say “Duh,” Stanton Friedman cries “Proof that aliens abducted them!”

If I thought he might care (which I don’t presume to), I would love to challenge Stanton to list even just 25 of the “40 flat-out false claims” I made, keeping in mind that virtually all the statements of fact I made are corroborated by his books. Not interpretations or innuendos, but statements of facts. Not that it’s a 40 minute drive from Ashland to Portsmouth, not a 45 minute drive, but substantive errors. He argues that I distorted the facts (my “false claims”) in order to discredit his fiction. This is an easy argument to make when you have an unchallenged platform on a podcast. An intelligent opponent would point out that the significant facts are not disputed, and that it’s the interpretation of the facts that makes all the difference.

He won’t accept this challenge, of course, mainly because he’s a successful author busy with book tours and UFO conventions, and I’m just one of many farts in the breeze of reason. Reason doesn’t pay, and since he’s more concerned with his bank account than with reason, he’s right to ignore piss-ant blogs like this. But it won’t be long before The Skeptologists are on his ass, and he’ll find that condescending chortles only take him so far.

Anyone can take a mundane newspaper headline and expand it into a dramatic fictional UFO abduction tale. If it’s done well, it will be gobbled up by an uncritical public. It’s those of us who caution against the folly of pseudoscience and faith in the supernatural who have the hard job.

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113 Responses to “Stanton Friedman Doesn’t Like Me”

  1. patrik.e says:

    I think that both mr Dunning and mr Friedman are preaching to thier respective choirs. Both are passionate about thier thing. Only difference is that mr Dunning isn’t talking out of his ass.

    • HonestJohn says:

      The Skeptics (debunkers)here fit Stan’s list to a tee.

      4 basic rules of UFO debunkery:
      l. What the public doesn’t know, we are not going to tell them
      2. Don’t bother us with the facts, our minds are made up.
      3. If we can’t attack the data, we will attack the people; it is much easier.
      4. Do one’s research by proclamation, rather than investigation. It is much easier and most people won’t know the difference.

  2. Joey Bernard says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Stanton’s “successful author” career. He lives here in my city, and I can tell you, the amount he gets off his books doesn’t amount to too much. Unfortunately, he does seem to get his opinions out for mass consumption regularly, and that is the more troubling matter. Thanks for taking the time to take some of the steam out of his delusions.

  3. BillDarryl says:

    “…and I’m just one of many farts in the breeze of reason.”

    That is awesome.

  4. I’d like to see a hurricane or tornado of reason wipe these crackpots off the face of the earth!

  5. Venom says:

    Hello,

    Even if I’m a skeptic, I listened to that episode of “The Paranormal Podcast”. I have a deep (even if highly skeptical) interest in UFO folklore. So I heard Stanton Friedman when he said that; and of course previously I listened to the Skeptoïd episode about the Hill case, so I was really surprised! – Like: “What the heck is he talking about?”. I know relatively well the Hill case based on the litterature, and when I listened to your episode I didn’t hear any obvious facual mistake, based on my knowledge.

    All that in order to say: I’m really happy that you wrote this blog entry, as an answer to him. Stanton Friedman is way “out there” in the woo-woo land.

    Keep up the good work,

    Sincerely,

  6. Greg Martinez says:

    Having Friedman as an enemy is a point in your favor.

  7. Oh, I see a big time cable TV movie in Brian’s future….

    “A Fart In The Breeze Of Reason: The Brian Dunning Story”

    lol, priceless.

    The reason the works of charlatans like Nuclear Physicist Stanton Friedman are eaten up by the Ufools is because they are impervious to logic or reason in their ufological beliefs. This is because their beliefs weren’t founded on logic or reason in the first place, and they have no place in their thinking.

  8. SeanJJordan says:

    I’ve never read Friedman’s works, since the last books I read on UFOs were the books I found as a kid at the library…. well, and there was that one I read in high school too, “UFO: End-Time Delusion” (http://www.amazon.com/UFO-End-Time-David-Allen-Lewis/dp/0892212136) which I found in the speculative section of the Christian book store my parents used to go to.

    Actually, the premise of UFO: ETD is a lot more threatening to Friedman’s ideas, because it postulates that Betty and Barney Hill were abducted by demons posing as aliens in a massive deception designed to eventually put the antichrist in power. Part of the corroborating evidence was that, in the book of Revelation, the Bible speaks of three “beings that look like frogs” coming into the public eye and helping the antichrist out. What else could these be but GRAY ALIENS, argue the authors? (That’s bad news for anyone who’s looking into alien abduction, since it’s going to lead them directly to Satan.)

    Since I’d read far too many UFO books as a child and lived in fear of being abducted every single night, I took some comfort in the idea that aliens were just demonic beings trying to play tricks on me. And now that I’m older and (presumably) wiser, I get a kick out of watching people who are into the paranormal interpret factual information in drastically different ways because they presuppose that their beliefs are the correct ones.

    Since I was a believer before I started exploring skepticism, I can understand where these folks are coming from, and why they are so threatened by the simplest interpretations of the facts. Deep down, they really want to believe what they’re saying, so their minds automatically reject any arguments that might threaten their beliefs.

    Tellingly enough, I’ve read that when we’re told something, our minds first accept it as true before evaluating it to see if it’s false. But we can also develop filters that automatically reject views we’ve previously deemed false. Thus Friedman has decided that skeptics are liars, and he sees their arguments as being factually incorrect without actually evaluating them. Unfortunately, this prompts him on to another reaction that seems common among believers (stating that the argument is so flawed that it’s without merit, but never demonstrating HOW), and eventually leads him into denial. It’s an interesting cycle.

  9. Ha ha! I guess he doesn’t like me either! Friedman called the Skeptic magazine “Roswell Requiem” cover story I wrote with Duke Gildenberg a “false, misleading attack,” and an excellent example “of the intellectual bankruptcy of the pseudoscience of anti-ufology… bias and ignorance based propaganda.” He didn’t even like my cover art, I’m sad to say (“absurd” and “particularly ludicrous”).

    Incidentally, Friedman always objects unless he’s identified as a “nuclear physicist.” He did receive a masters degree in physics (not PhD) in 1956, but our article omitted his preferred title on purpose: it wasn’t relevant to his UFO work. There’s no more reason to mention it in referring to Friedman’s UFO writing than there is to mention my shepherding career in relation to my skeptical writing.

    Sure enough, he objected.

    • HonestJohn says:

      I as well am fascinated with some of the UFO stories as I to grew up watching the specials on TV during the 70. With that in mind I also
      became skeptical of some of the outlandish theories as I aged, matured and hopefully shed the wide-eyed innocence that comes with childhood.
      With that said I must say that of all people Stanton Friedman has remained one individual that has continued to hold my attention due to the sincerity in his beliefs. His arguments, in my opinion, come from a learned background both educational and vocational.
      Therefor I must take exception to your opinion that his masters degree in physics is not relevant to his UFO work. Considering that it was his work at Westinghouse during the 60’s on nuclear-rocket-reactor propulsion systems that spurred his interest in the UFO field to begin with. For you not to understanding this obvious relationship between the two does not give your opinion any credibility in my eyes.

  10. Mike says:

    I agree with Greg’s comment. Friedman’s disdain for your research and fact-checking is something to be proud of! Keep up the great work, Brian.

  11. kordic says:

    I remember watching him as a kid and thinking he was a real scientist also. Now I look at him and laugh, what a crackpot! Keep it up Mr. Skeptoid!

  12. Voltaire says:

    Farts in the breeze of reason had better go down as one of the greatest skeptical quotes of all time.

  13. Barry Green says:

    “virtually all the statements of fact I made are corroborated by his books”

    There you go. That explains why there are supposedly so many errors and why he knows they’re wrong. After all, you, yourself, said that “his only career since 1970, was writing UFO books”. That’s a long time to be a fiction author. He can recognize his own artistry.

  14. Skepacabra says:

    Friedman was a childhood hero of mine and probably the person most responsible for my long-held beliefs in alien visitation. Now I can’t believe I ever respected him.

  15. Ian Mason says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if they were all abducted? Strangled by a Yeti and dumped i Loch Ness? Transported to the court of King Arthur by Uri Geller? Oh, the possibilities are endless! If only “true believers were.

  16. Ian Mason says:

    I hope all “true believers” get abducted by a Yeti and thrown in Loch Ness.

  17. Shahar Lubin says:

    How many crackpots must a skeptic take down…
    the answer my friend is blowing in the

    well you get the point

  18. The Blind Watchmaker says:

    “40 factual errors”. Apparently Mr. Freidman has a problem with the word “fact”. I don’t think it means what he thinks it means (to paraphrase Inigo Montoya).

  19. Resume says:

    The astrophysicist Phil Plait asked the question, given all the astronomers, and the hobbyists peering into telescopes, why haven’t they offered concrete proof as to alien visitors?

    Why do crickets chirp?

  20. Um, to attract mates?

  21. Paul_T_P says:

    Thanks Brian, for taking the time to take it apart! (the sound of dominoes falling in the distance…)

    Particularly, the bit with the 3D star chart always impressed me – now I take it all in with a critical eye… ‘extraordinary claims’ indeed.

  22. Quite simply, you are giving skepticism a bad name and making a fool of yourself at the same time. Multitasking! Your acolytes seem to appreciate your ignorance. History will be less kind. You are just about qualified, intellectually, to cut Stanton Friedman’s lawn. That’s about it. But grind on. There could be a Ministry of Propagana posting in your future.

  23. Jason says:

    Wow! It’s always refreshing when debunkers who wear ‘skeptic masks’, i.e. debunkers who pretend to be skeptics, attack people when they can’t handle the facts.

    ‘Skeptologists’ -LOL More like, ‘Debunkerology’, with your hosts,
    mindless drones who repeat the same tired irrational opinions, and hosts who are more often than not, completely ignorant on the topics they attempt to debunk.

  24. Fiction: Betty Hill spent two years writing a UFO story and sharing it with her husband, and then when asked about that story under hypnosis, Barney Hill was able to rattle it off pretty much as she wrote it.
    Fact: Betty Hill experienced a series of five dreams/nightmares approximately ten days to two weeks after her close encounter with a UFO in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. They were so disturbing that she wrote them down on note paper and placed them in a drawer. Two months later, she used her notes to write a five page paper documenting her dreams titled “Dreams of Recall?”. He dreams contained information for which she retained conscious memory and additional information for which she had no memory. According to his own statements Barney didn’t want to hear about Betty’s dreams. However, he did, at least on one occasion, overhear Betty discussing her dreams with NICAP investigator Walter Webb. He also listened to part of Betty’s dream sequence on November 3, 1963. Her dreams did not contain information about Barney’s experience onboard the UFO (with the exception of a denture scenario), only her own. My comparative analysis of the hypnosis transcripts indicates that Barney didn’t “rattle off pretty much what Betty wrote”. Both he and Betty revealed significant correlating detailed information which did not appear in Betty’s dreams, and he and Betty contradicted her dream material under separate hypnotic regression with amnesia imposed at the end of each session. (Information retrieved from Hill archival files)

  25. I see Nuclear Physicist Stanton Friedman has sent in the Schlock Troops.

  26. Peter Johnson says:

    Have you been to hear Friedman speak? He is a very practiced and competent lecturer, and anticipates many objections well in advance. I did manage to get a laugh out of him when I asked him if Bruce Macabee had ever met a UFO photograph he didn’t like, but I found him an engaging speaker even while questioning his content. Name-calling, while entertaining, really advances nothing. I would like to see Friedman’s main talking-points specifically addressed, rather than simply dismissing him out of hand as a “fiction writer”. Mr. Friedman plainly thinks that he is not writing fiction but rather doing his best to address a mystery. He is not an intentional fraud. Let us approach him in that capacity & see where he rises or falls. Personally, I find there to be much in the UFO matter that is deserving of exploration. I think both Jacques Vallee and John Keel’s approach in investigating UFO phenomena as psycho-sociological phenomena intersecting with mythopoeic phenomena recorded throughout human history — particularly the Trickster mythos — to be a more fruitful area of investigation than the extra-terrestrial hypothesis, but clearly “something” is going on — to just dismiss it all out of hand as “woo-woo” doesn’t impress me as responsible analysis, per Kathleen Marden’s objection given above. Fortean investigation always advocates going back to the primary sources first on any peculiar matter. As a result, much Fortean investigation has resulted in primary exposition of fraud, eg. It was Fortean investigators, not Skeptics, who first tracked down the costume-makers in the Patterson Bigfoot film. Ditto the origins of The Exorcist (Mark Chorvinsky/STRANGE magazine). Still, many mysteries of a historic, scientific, and archaeological nature remain & it does little to be merely dismissive & not analytical. I see in the above posts many appeals to reason & logic, but see no follow-through. Surely you all can do better than that?

  27. Wm H says:

    Don’t bother me with the facts. I’ve read a part of one of Friedmans book, and my mind is made up.

  28. Mustafa says:

    Dunning said:

    “I browsed through the transcript looking for 40 factual errors. This is a daunting task, because there aren’t more than 20 or 25 points made that you could call factual claims.”

    I say:

    Where is the transcript you smart guy?

  29. Courtney Franklin says:

    “Quite simply, you are giving skepticism a bad name and making a fool of yourself at the same time. Multitasking! Your acolytes seem to appreciate your ignorance. History will be less kind. You are just about qualified, intellectually, to cut Stanton Friedman’s lawn. That’s about it. But grind on. There could be a Ministry of Propagana posting in your future.”

    What I Know of you Stephen, is that intellectually I wouldn’t let you discuss anything to do with politics,let alone mow my lawn. Keep on with exopolitics and the other nonsense you pump out of your cult.

  30. Peter Johnson writes,

    Name-calling, while entertaining, really advances nothing. I would like to see Friedman’s main talking-points specifically addressed, rather than simply dismissing him out of hand as a “fiction writer”.

    This point is well-taken. I don’t approve of the term “woo,” nor am I ever pleased to see disrespect expressed toward any sincere claimant. (I’ll assume that includes Friedman.)

    However, it’s a sad fact that Friedman’s rhetoric is typically far less than collegial. Let’s not forget: civil discourse is a two-way street.

  31. Peter Johnson: “Still, many mysteries of a historic, scientific, and archaeological nature remain & it does little to be merely dismissive & not analytical. I see in the above posts many appeals to reason & logic, but see no follow-through. Surely you all can do better than that?”

    Peter, please assure me you realize this is just a comment section of less than a week’s age at the time you posted, and that the bulk of skeptical investigation of UFO and other phenomena, say ohhhh 99.999999999% of it, is found elsewhere? Perhaps that will help you to understand why you don’t see it here.

  32. Mustafa says:

    If my memory does not fails, regarding what i have read about and seen a little picture of the alien featured in the “Bellero Shield” episode of the “Outer Limits” series, probably the only thing in common with the traditional grays was the big head, which in fact had not the same shape of the traditional greys. All the other characteristics of the alien where different compared to greys.

    First it was a NORMAL sized guy (i.e not small), with NORMAL sized eyes. I am not sure, but i remember a picture where the eyes of the alien were glowing. None of the characteristics are present in greys shape.

    May be here you have one of the 40 factual mistakes that Friedman pointed out.

    Sorry.

  33. Dear Brian,

    If it is truly your desire to learn your factual errors and the accurate information from the Hill archival files, please contact me. As time permits, it would be my pleasure to elucidate you based upon the original records.

  34. Courtney,
    On occassion I defend my colleagues from idiots. You and Brian could work as a team. He mows, you stuff the cuttings into bags. When the UFO/ET issue is finally sorted out, the skeptic-debunkers will need some sort of therapeutic activity to keep them busy while their minds reboot.

  35. Stephen Bassett: “On occassion I defend my colleagues from idiots. You and Brian could work as a team. He mows, you stuff the cuttings into bags. When the UFO/ET issue is finally sorted out, the skeptic-debunkers will need some sort of therapeutic activity to keep them busy while their minds reboot.”

    Dateline: July 21, 3491, Sol News Agency, Moonbase Omicron II

    Astrophysicists from the UN Space Exploration Agency announced today that a planetary probe launched in 3487 has found what is clearly an alien artifact in orbit around the Jupiter moon Callisto. The function or purpose of the device was not immediately known. The possibility it is of clandestine human origins was ruled out by…..

    Stephen Bassett: “SEE! WE TOLD YOU! WE TOLD YOU! HAHAHAHA, STUPID SKEPTICS! WHADDAYA SAY NOW?? HAHAHAHAHA!”

  36. Brandon says:

    I love it when UFO guys don’t break kayfabe, nobody can say the UFO industry isn’t interesting. Just let me have one joke.

    I would love to have a person to person discussion with someone who really believes UFOs (by this I mean actual interplanetary space vehicles). Not to insult or poke fun but to try and see it from their point of view because although I don’t share their beliefs I would still many questions of my own.

    I do take issue with Jason saying “‘Skeptologists’ -LOL More like, ‘Debunkerology’”

    I find the show can unexpectedly take the other side of a popular view (i.e. SUVs and pollution) much in the spirit of South Park.

    and everyone don’t take things too seriously

    • Graham Baguley says:

      Hi Brandon, I am one of those UFO guys that believe 100% that alien craft piloted by alien beings visit our planet. I realise of course that there is no real point in trying to persuade you that I am correct. Instead I just wanted to point out to you one simple fact. Most UFO sceptics and believers all have one thing in common. Most have never experienced a paranormal event themselves. Instead what they do is they listen to all the UFO stories of sighting, abductions, cattle mutilations and cover ups some of which is backed up by radar and military pilots ect. As you will know these stories run into their thousands. Then what they do is they judge the person or persons that are telling these stories and decide if there is any real merit to them. In the case of the unmoveable sceptic, they will pigeon hole every last one of these stories in a way that means they don’t have to believe that aliens visit the planet. The believer listens to all these stories and says all these people just can’t be making all this stuff up. So what this whole UFO debate really boils down to, is – are there any human beings out there worthy of being believed when he or she tells their story of encountering aliens? You would say no and I would say yes. Arguing with you would be pointless because you or I never experienced what these people experienced. If we did, we might both come away with a different point of view.

      All the best

      Graham Baguley

  37. Peter Johnson says:

    Dear Devil’s Advocate: Yes, I do realise I’m posting on a comment board. I am cogent & aware of my surroundings. I still think that it would be more impressive to point out where Friedman is incorrect in what he actually says than to simply rail on him. I would say this of anyone. If this “skepticblog” is nothing more than a place to post insults, then it won’t hold my interest for very long. Kathleen Marden was simple and direct in her refutation of a claim from the Skeptic’s side. I don’t see anything here of equal value coming from the Skeptic’s side in refutation of Friedman.

  38. Peter, there isn’t sufficient bandwidth on planet Earth to fully point out where Friedman is incorrect.

  39. Julian says:

    Peter- You and I must have very different definitions of counts as a refute. After consulting a dictionary I see evidence is listed as one of the key ingredients of a proper refute. Has Miss Marden presented such or are we to take her word for it?

  40. Jim Harold says:

    Mr. Dunning,

    First, you have a right to your opinion, as does Stan, as do I and as do our respective listeners. I applaud your efforts to promote your beliefs.

    I am aware of your program but have never listened but I am sure it is quite good based on your following. However, I do not understand why you have to result to childishness and name calling in the pursuit of promoting your beliefs. This seems especially silly when putting forth the notion that you are logical and base your belief system on just the facts…kind of contradictory, isn’t it?

    As for “kicking my a**” in iTunes, this morning as I look (12.13.08) you are not in the top 25 in our shared category for overall podcasts and I am several notches above you in audio podcasts. Yes, many times you have been ahead of me in iTunes, congratulations! Still, acting like a three year old about it doesn’t show much class.

    I salute skeptics who can keep an even keel, make their arguments and not name call to get their point across. Would that there were more of them!

    Merry Christmas,

    Jim Harold
    ParanormalPodcast.com

  41. Julian says:

    Jim Harold –

    You and your friends are the ones acting like 5 year olds. I mean, Christ, one off hand remark and you run off crying all the way back to mommy! Toughen up.

  42. Brandon says:

    This childish gang up really does show the true colors of the types of people into crazy stuff like UFOs. The whole reality of the lie they believe is so fragile that they need to fight so hard against an outside voice that threatens their world.

    I think this is why shows like Coast to Coast and unsolved mysteries have to give subjects like the paranormal unchallenged platforms to state their cases because I hate to say it but a lot of it hinges on faith.

    Anyways guys lets just call an end to the fighting and just people happy a lot of people are listening to pod casts.

  43. Brandon says:

    Yes that last line doesn’t make sense

  44. Jimminy Cricket says:

    I also think that describing him as “an obsessed UFO wacko” is not helpful at all, it just makes you look bad, i’m no expert in argumentation, but I think that is what is known as ‘ad hominem’.

    Mr Friedman has much material in his lectures and books that you could cast your sceptical eye over and analyse (as I know you do at times).

    I prefer when sceptics spend their time compiling lists of contradictions, using mathematics and science to disprove claims, and the like, rather than wasting time name-calling and attempting witty remarks, which are just the kind of distraction techniques sceptics are often critical of ufologists for.

  45. “I prefer when sceptics spend their time compiling lists of contradictions, using mathematics and science to disprove claims, and the like, rather than wasting time name-calling and attempting witty remarks, which are just the kind of distraction techniques sceptics are often critical of ufologists for.”

    As stated to Peter Johnson, this was a blog entry, not a comprehensive review of the evidence for UFOs, which are to be found in plenitude all over the internet, in magazines, and books. Yours is a straw man argument in that it damns the article for not including material it wasn’t intended to cover.

    “I also think that describing him as “an obsessed UFO wacko” is not helpful at all, it just makes you look bad, i’m no expert in argumentation, but I think that is what is known as ‘ad hominem’.”

    Calling Nuclear Physicist Stanton Friedman an obsessed UFO wacko is not an ad hominem attack when it is rather easily demonstrated he is, in fact, an obsessed UFO wacko. Such name-calling only becomes ad hominem when it attacks an irrelevant aspect of the target, an aspect that has no bearing on the subject at hand. Dismissing Friedman on the subject of UFOs because he is a Democrat, or left-handed, or screws goats, these would be ad hominem attacks.

  46. Dear Brian,

    On December 11, I wrote: “If it is truly your desire to learn your factual errors and the accurate information from the Hill archival files, please contact me. As time permits, it would be my pleasure to elucidate you based upon the original records.”
    I have not received a reply. Can I assume that you are not interested in learning the facts about the Betty and Barney Hill UFO experience? In a world where biased opinion often trumps fact it is fool hearty to allow your 40 factual errors to stand, when I can supply accurate information from the Hills’ archival materials. Or do you prefer to disseminate misinformation to suit your preconceived mind set? This is clearly not an example of scientific investigation or even objective reality. Unfortunately, you have been gullible in your belief of prevarication on the Internet. Please research the original data.

  47. Wayne Cramp says:

    Nothing makes for quite a great circle jerk than a bunch of smug “skeptics” patting each other on the back. Maybe that’s why Phil Plait constantly talks about all his skeptic gatherings, so “all the cool kids” know where to be?

    I know it’s downright impossible for you to admit that there’s something out there you don’t know the answer to, but why be such an enormous jackass while doing it? It’s pretty obvious all the “skeptics” out there in blog land read each other and giggle like school girls at how smart they are.

    But far be it from me to comment about people I don’t know…..

  48. Wayne Cramp says:

    And, yes, I know there will be a run of comments, labeling me a “whacko” or some other kind of derogatory comment, I understand the need to quickly douse any hint of someone not toeing the company line.

    Believe it or not I used to LIKE reading the BA Blog, right up to the point that Phil decided it was his mission to ram his skepticism down my throat at every opportunity.

    I don’t believe in pretty much anything paranormal, I just feel that there is enough evidence from certain UFO cases that it warrants further study, but I suppose the fact that I’m keeping an open mind on the subject makes me an idiot.

    So go ahead and open the floodgates…..

  49. Julian says:

    ” but I suppose the fact that I’m keeping an open mind on the subject makes me an idiot.”

    No (not a complete one anyway) but this comment

    “Believe it or not I used to LIKE reading the BA Blog, right up to the point that Phil decided it was his mission to ram his skepticism down my throat at every opportunity.”

    makes you a kingsized twat. And a very self-centered one at that. Most people when they complain about someone’s blog use ‘our’ but you’re one of the few self-absorbed enough to actually use ‘my.’ You’re aren’t the fuzzy little center the world revolves around and your feelings aren’t really all that important.

    Now if you’d like to back your belief in UFOs with cases that haven’t already been debunked (I don’t know why other skeptic’s don’t like that word. I less then 3 it!) we’d be happy to hear them.

  50. I might point out in passing that language like “kingsized twat,” “great circle jerk,” or “enormous jackass” are wildly inappropriate. (Even Brian’s original “obsessed UFO whacko” is undesirable, although I’ll admit to a certain impatience with Friedman myself.)

    If we’re serious about advancing knowledge and communicating (and who here isn’t?) then we should assume good faith and stick to the issues as much as possible.

  51. Julian says:

    “I might point out in passing that language like “kingsized twat,” “great circle jerk,” or “enormous jackass” are wildly inappropriate.”

    Oh come off it.

    “If we’re serious about advancing knowledge and communicating (and who here isn’t?) then we should assume good faith and stick to the issues as much as possible.”

    What exactly do you mean by good faith and if someone can be demonstrated to not be acting in it (whatever good faith is) would you withdraw your earlier objection to the use of ‘dismissive’language? Or is ‘inappropriate’ language never permissible regardless of the actions of the person it is directed towards?

  52. Oh come off it.

    No, really. Skepticism is an academic discipline, however informal. If you wouldn’t put it in writing in another academic setting, it shouldn’t (in my personal opinion) be published here.

    Name-calling is also unhelpful; it almost always harms the goals of seeking truth and reaching consensus, and only reinforces the worst prejudices of all sides. Skepticism is also a communication project, which means it only works when it is welcoming.

    Also, The Skeptologists is meant to be a family show.

    What exactly do you mean by good faith…?

    I mean that paranormal proponents should avoid making jabs, making disparaging generalizations, or using slurs toward skeptics — and assume that skeptics are, by and large, well-intentioned people who are trying to get to the bottom of things.

    At the same time, skeptics should avoid taking potshots, making generalizations regarding the intelligence of proponents, and calling names (“woo woos” annoys me especially). We should try to assume that paranormal proponents are, by and large, well-intentioned people who are trying to get to the bottom of things.

    No, that isn’t always easy. And, it is a sad truth that some paranormal proponents are disingenuous crooks. If we’ve got evidence of disingenuousness in a given instance, let’s make that case in as serious and formal a manner as possible. Lacking such evidence, assume everyone is more or less trying their best to proceed in good faith.

    It seems to me generally true: forums that degenerate into flaming are of minimal use to anyone.

  53. Julian says:

    “Also, The Skeptologists is meant to be a family show.”

    Eek. There’s a turn off. (By family show you mean something like ‘Zack and Cody’ right?)

    “We should try to assume that paranormal proponents are, by and large, well-intentioned people who are trying to get to the bottom of things.”

    They’re still doing harm and practicing ‘quakery.’ Are it someone’s intentions or their actions that should decide how we treat them?

    “If we’ve got evidence of disingenuousness in a given instance, let’s make that case in as serious and formal a manner as possible. ”

    But what if, like with Stanton Friedman, the case has already been made before and several times over?

  54. Brandon says:

    Ok for the record I was very civil and nice but fine if everyone is just going to throw crap around I’m going to address the 500 pound gorilla sitting in the living room.

    This UFO stuff is all fake, as fake as Santa clause. Its all a scam, even well educated people like Friedman have bills to pay so they make money off people who want to believe aliens are spelunking around the universe. Too be honest good for him, he is a good business man. This is not an argument on the existence of alien life, I can’t imagine its not out there. The fact remains that all this paranormal junk relies on people to believe some paranoid delusions or to read some vague 500 page report created by government bureaucracy.

    Their newest strategy is to label sane people who don’t buy this scam with their own silly derogatory names negative so and sos and skeptic sallys or whatever but its all part of their marketing machine, I’m sure red state religious nuts call people that believe in evolution silly names too.

    Its all fake fake fake and if you believe this stuff you might as well go buy a sham wow because that thing working is more believable then the Hill abduction story. UFO, Bigfoot, secret society, its all like WWF wrestling. You can enjoy it but don’t try and tell me that its real because we should both know its just a show.

    Now my grammar isn’t very good, I know but my bad grammar or spelling doesn’t make aliens real and please stop thinking that just because someone is educated that they are beyond a great big scam.

    Whew… sorry I just had to say it.

    • HonestJohn says:

      WOW! You are the smartest man in the whole wide world. What with know undoubtedly the absolute truth to all of the worlds mysteries.
      I have no idea why on earth someone as smart as you and most probably with all that knowledge you must have amassed one helluva fortune is hanging around all of us gullible whack’Os. No secret societies either huh? No ultra rich people that get together once or twice a year to arrange their next billion in profits huh? I guess with all your money you would know because you would have been invited, so since not, they don’t exist huh? I do know one thing for sure and that is you have at least one belief that it counter to what most people believe but we will never know what it is. And I’ll bet it would have all of us rolling around on the ground at YOUR whacked idea.
      I sure wish we could hear it. For instance, any thoughts on 9-11
      we should all know about?

      If you have kids I bet it must be a blast for them around Christ—
      oh my bad—scratch that, I mean X-mas

  55. chuck says:

    Do you ‘skeptics’ think that it’s easy to fake the thousands (!) of cattle mutilations (or better would be ‘bovine excisions’) that have been taking place for decades?

    There are many hours of quality video interviews with farmers, law enforcement personnel and other witnesses.

    For example, how do you explain how the animals are discovered with their organs precisely removed, and often completely drained of blood (not a drop of blood) and yet (often) no blood found on or around the animal?

    Or how were the organs removed in the middle of the field, without leaving a trace?

    If you ask the farmers, they will be more interested in telling you what the lights in the sky looked like, the football field sized orange orb that silently hovered over their farm one night.

    • Scott says:

      Sigh… A civilization that has mastered the secrets of space travel would travel so far and expend so much energy to come to our primitive rock and disect cows? That thing in your skull is a brain, a very sophisticated organ that has a whole section devoted to reasoning. Run your ideas through there before you go saying any of that out loud.

  56. Greg says:

    Man you are full of anger. It is very immature to put others down even when they wrong. When you put other people down with anger, it shows lack of self asteam.

  57. Eric says:

    I am still trying to figure out what (an advanced civilization with the energy resources and technology it takes to be able to travel the distances necessary to get to our planet) would be reason enough for them to come. Resources? (The stuff you find on earth can be found all over the place in the universe.)Culture? (We are a barbaric, waring species not worth the bother so far.) Genetic? (These guy travel the stars. They make their own genes) Parties? (We do do this well sometimes and may true reason. They just don’t know how to say Wuzup!)

    The absoulute hardest thing for me to believe is that we are of ANY interest to a civilization such as UFOlogist describe. Everyone humanizes these suposed aliens. Put it together folks, these guys would have to be ADVANCED to be here in the first place, which disqualifies they from wanting to stop here. It’s irrational to me. Please explain.

  58. Truth says:

    Friedman is a Zionist disinformation agent.

    Friedman talks about stuff already out there and denies new stuff that is exposed.

    Friedman attacked Lazar when Lazar is telling the truth.

    Don’t be a sucker, Friedman is a Zionist Agent.

  59. Artoo45 says:

    No Greg, I say put ‘em down! Full asteam ahead!

  60. shahar.lubin says:

    Zionist? Zionist?

    Last time I read Theodor Herzl’s Altneuland I completly missed the part about space faring extra solar civilizations.

  61. ufobelieversareretards says:

    Zionist! Stanton friedmans milkshake drinkers! good god I am glad that most people didn’t spend thier high school years getting stuffed in lockers and not having sex. If they didn’t they might be dumb enough to believe this crap. Holy hell Dale Gribbles you people are stoooooooooopid. How do you get throught the day without a handler and a helmut for the soft spot?

  62. Jim Hazen says:

    We know the UFO wackos are nuts but what about the pilots of these UFOs are they inept or just smartasses. I imagine Gnxl and Wzngr sitting around having a beer and saying “Let’s fly over and give Friedman a thrill”

  63. Samuel Howard says:

    “…“Paranormal Podcast”, another of the usual promoters of nonsense inexplicably allowed to remain in the Science & Medicine section of iTunes.”

    I, too, am astounded that this sort of speculative meandering is on a science channel! This is not science! This subject is nothing more than verbalized possibilities which have no substantial proof (the burden of which is on the people who postulate it is true). [Confession: I used to think the Betty and Barney Hill story was a plausible scenario, but that was when I believed anything and everything.] This is akin to listing books on homeopathy in the Medicine section of a bookstore. It is irresponsible and highly insulting to the vast number of men and women who have proven (or established) many scientific principles with clear and concise evidence, rather than careless supposition bolstered by shoddy and/or ambiguous evidence. Shame on iTunes for the defamation of actual science.

  64. Mike True says:

    Stanton is correct on all points, Brian.
    The only logical conclusion…you’re the wacko…not Stan.

    • ajs says:

      “its all like WWF wrestling. You can enjoy it but don’t try and tell me that its real because we should both know its just a show.”

      Basically this.

      “please stop thinking that just because someone is educated that they are beyond a great big scam.”

      And this.

    • Scott says:

      Why is it that in the entire history of ufology, no one has ever produced anything close to irrefutable evidence? And why is aren’t there any claims about alien craft or contact before the pulps and television? While there may be some phenomenon occuring, to say it’s alien in nature is irresponsible. Yeah, Brian’s the wacko. Not the guy who has dedicated his life proving the claims of hoaxers.

  65. Responder. says:

    Well well well. Looks like you just exposed yourself as a disinformation agent. While I am no fan of Stanton Friedman I do notice however that you use the deceptive techniques of a magician. There is no way in hell that you ever saw a program of Friedman being described as a Nuclear Physicist when you were a boy because one of Friedman’s main critiques of the press is that they NEVER refer to him as such. The labeling of hims a a Nuclear Physicist has only been done RECENTLY & quite seldom as well. Furthermore it is not that this old job gives him any more authority on the matter JUST that it gives him a unique INSIGHT on & analysis of the alleged recovered technology involved. I also notice that you use derisive / abusive & vulgar language against your opponents FURTHER denting any credibility you ever hoped to have & a notable HALLMARK of a disinformation agent. I find it quite hilarious that you aim to “debunk” Friedman who himself is a major debunker of UFO claims. The fact that he asserts that SOME claims MIGHT be genuine is just too much for you to tolerate. I think you disinfo agents have to network a little more often to realize that you are all on the same side concerning information censorship. This is a bit like watching Castro criticizing Chavez for being “a believer in revolution”. Just too hilarious. I think you & Friedman both deserve each other because while you both mislead the people with your deceptive claims the actual TRUTH will come out [ regardless of vulgar petulant hit pieces ] making both of you look like abject fools.

  66. If Stanton reads this, Hey Stan, this is William, the big guy that fed you a lot of granola cherry cookies we shared a Table together at the UFO Congress this year 2009 i was selling Ed Grimsley’s UFO Wars DVD’s!
    I need to talk to you, if you read this blog, please email me @: w.roehlng@yahoo.com
    Thanks
    William………

  67. killerstringz says:

    wow!
    I have no problem with an individual that is skeptical(I am myself)but when you post hateful demeaning garbage that I have seen here:
    You are not by any means at true skeptic.
    For “the” true skeptic to allow that kind of post to go unchecked indeed shows vividly your underlying disdain for those who may think differently then you…that is not a skeptic.
    It is correct however…with a few twists of some words fiction becomes fact….oh and by the way…with a few twists of some words fact becomes fiction. Those twists are not held close by a true skeptic!
    But hey! who am I?…I’m just one of those many farts in the breeze of reason in a seemingly swirling wind.

  68. killerstringz says:

    Oh,just to point out to the ones making blanket statements about- if you are a skeptic you are this or if you are a believer you are that.
    FYI,some skeptics are believers…making some believers…skeptics.
    Just wanted to clear up some potential misunderstanding(bottom line..I don’t want to be lumped in with 90% of the folks here that call themselves “skeptics”)

  69. Skeptoid says:

    Why would Friedman waste his energy on you? He’d easily roast you in a debate.

  70. Anna says:

    I’m listening to him now on the George Noury “Let’s so more mass insanity memes”, and therein lies what;s really going on, and why these twits still ahve a voice. There may be alien intelligence likely in forms that we and certainly the very arrogant Friedman won’t recognize. Certainly Roswell was a military exercise gone wrong, and therein lies the chortling value of the Friedman’s of the world. I had extensive interviews with someone who was given the baton to continue this “alien” “para” work, decades ago, and fairly soon he was under threats as he blew the cover that HUMANS were behind it all. We ain’t that dumb. This work is “Para” as in parasite on the minds of the gullible,. Pseudo intellectuals. Profiteering off the fact that most humans are superstitious beings with one foot in the Dark Ages. It’s the CTC and Friedman wet dream that the world will devolve into chaos in 2012 with the aliens in charge. I believe they think their UFO’s will come down and praise them for being so smart and make them kings of the world. Those of us who actually have real PhD’s and are certified in myriad forms of hypnotherapy and related mind investigative tools, have stated the Frank story is easily explained and eaily duplicated. So sad. There’s a sucker born every minute.

  71. Anna says:

    PS the first sentence should read “the George Noury ‘Let’s sow more mass insanity memes’ CTC show…”

  72. Jim says:

    Dunning, you’re stupid. That is all I can say. Friedman was right. Your assessment is filled with mistakes and misinformation that DID NOT originate with Stanton Friedman. You are an expert of nothing except lying and an ability to conduct no research before making your proclamations.

  73. Jim2x says:

    “Dunning, you’re stupid. That is all I can say. Friedman was right. Your assessment is filled with mistakes and misinformation that DID NOT originate with Stanton Friedman. You are an expert of nothing except lying and an ability to conduct no research before making your proclamations.”

    The story is a load of bull. Give it up.

  74. Ron says:

    Stan’s conclusions are based on cited research . Any criticisms should also be based on cited research. Let’s compare facts not opinions.

    • “Cited research”? Not sure what that means. If it means Betty Hill’s delusional reports, then yes, you’re right. Unless I’m missing some of his other “facts”.

  75. joshua says:

    Its obvious to me that Stanton Friedman is more intelligent than any on this thread, especially going by all these childish replies, so it’s no wonder he won’t spare the time to debate you…and why should he? Your closed minds are already made up so what’s the point?
    If you and your little band of ignorants wish to remain in denial then by all means do so, but why attack someone’s life work just because you have decided its wrong? Are you that desperate to make a name for yourselves by going after the big names? I don’t see you attacking some lesser known ufologist.
    Bottom line is, people with open minds are useful in that they keep us in check, keep us working hard to reach our goals…those with CLOSED MINDS are of no use to anyone…
    Your kind claimed it was impossible to go to the moon, to travel at speeds over 25mph, to fly…etc, etc.
    Debate Stanton? He’d wipe the floor with you. But you were right about one thing…you are a fart.
    Oh-and ANNA…humans were certainly NOT behind it love, and if you believe that then you really are the biggest fool of all. And you say you have a PHD? In what I wonder…
    So long dumb asses!!!

  76. Michael McHugh says:

    The thing is, we have all these government documents and witnesses that keep showing that the US government took the UFO problem very seriously indeed, no matter what they were telling the public.

    That’s what makes me think the aliens really have been visiting us over recent decades, and perhaps for much longer. There are even real government documents that refer to UFO crashes in the Southwest and bodies recovered.

    So what are we to make of all this? Behind the scenes, there was a great deal of concern about this going back to World War II, with all these reports of very advanced craft flying around that had no known origin. They were particularly concerned about how UFOs continually violated US airspace with impunity, even over sensitive military and nuclear installations. They sent jets up to chase them around, even shoot at them from time to time.

    Where did they come from? Who were they? What were their intentions? If I were in the military or intelligence agencies I certainly would have wanted to know, and the record tells us they did investigate these things. Very likely they still are.

    So here we are. I can hardly be skpetical even when the government admitted (in private) that UFO were a very real issue and serious busines going back at least to 1947, if not earlier. Anyone who has studied these records knows this: it’s not a secret any more.

    • Scott says:

      Look, the idea that the government has been keeping alien contact a secret for 60 years is laughable. How many people must be involved in that cover-up? And none of them have blown the whistle on something that massive? The bigger the conspiracy, the less likely it is. Shouldn’t NASA be the biggest agency in the country if extraterrestrials really were here? Ufologists need to apply a bit of reason to their fiction before spreading it as truth.

      • killerstringz says:

        “And none of them have blown the whistle” Where the hell have you been hiding?
        “The bigger the conspiracy, the less likely it is.” really based on what?
        “Shouldn’t NASA be the biggest agency in the country if extraterrestrials really were here?” Not if the people “running the “country” want the extraterrestrial thing dumbed down..but they do have folks like you that help out immensely at dumbing down shit!

      • HonestJohn says:

        I see why Stan would not debate you. Everything in this last post is laughable. You really know NOTHING about anything concerning the UFO industry or government either. Sad really.
        NASA has nothing to do with UFO’s and the gov keeps all kinds of secrets with just our secret fighter/bomber planes in the last 40 years for one quick example.

  77. Trevor says:

    Many of the comments keep suggesting that Friedman started the whole Betty and Barney Hill incident. The fact is, John G. Fuller wrote the book discussing the Hill’s experiences. Have any of you actually read that? Have you listened to any of the hypnosis sessions with Benjamin Simon? Probably not.

    Furthermore, Friedman was one of the few people who presented congressional testimony on UFOs. The fact is, most of you have never read any of the official documentation concerning the UFO phenomenon, but you seem to be experts on it.

    Do your homework and then debate with Friedman.

  78. Edwin says:

    Stanton Friedman provides facts based on eyewithess testimony, and there are a lot of credible witnesses to UFO sightings from all over the world such as pilots (commercial and military), police officers, lawyers, and yes scientists. You cannot disregard, as many debunkers do, this evidence, which in a court of law would be given a lot of weight. Furthermore, there are photographs, videos, radar recordings of these sightings as well. What are we to make of this evidence? A bona fide scientist would investigate and keep an open mind and reach conclusions. Let the facts lead the way. I get suspicious of people that attack Friedman instead of looking at the facts he presents without any bias or preconceived notions about the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life visiting this planet. The debunkers like this one appear to have an innate fear of learning and reasoning from the facts that so many credible witnesses have validated.

    • Scott says:

      You’re confusing testimony with facts and evidence. A second hand account is not fact. A story about seeing a light in the sky is not evidence. Not even in court. A murder weapon is evidence. There is such a long history of hoaxing in this field that photo or video evidence just isn’t enough. Where are the aliens and their spacecraft? Until those show up for scientific testing, no respectable scientist is going to give this a second thought. They’re busy working in fields that offer physical evidence and produce results.

  79. Roger5462 says:

    Hey,

    If you guys do not believe that extraterrestrials are visiting earth, then what do you believe? Could they still be out there? Or do you go along with what Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee say in Rare Earth? If extraterrestrials really are visiting earth despite your skepticism, that would be pretty exciting (As long as they are the benevolent ones). Whether or not Stanton Friedman is right, a lot of people want to believe that we are not alone. So that is why people read and write books saying that they are out there.

    Roger

    • Scott says:

      When considering the vastness of the universe and the number of known stars with orbiting planets, it’s ridiculous to not assume that life exists elsewhere in the cosmos. But would they bother visiting Earth? Seems unlikely given the amount of energy and time it would take to travel here for little or no reward. What would a civilization that has mastered space travel want here?

  80. Chris says:

    I can’t comment on what’s between Brian Dunning and Stanton Friedman but there’s too much on UFOs that is not easily laughed upon by those who’ve seriously studied this phenomenon. I myself have seen UFOs at close range on two occasions. I had all the arguments (it’s venus, it’s a meteor, etc etc) running in my mind on both occasions. None of it made sense. What I saw was clearly technology that was more advanced than what we would call “conventional.” I also saw sinister markings on one silver disk which i observed in the company of my mother (I mean i was not hallucinating… We both SAW it) I’m open to the idea that they are man-made, but to say that they’re not some form of vehicle guided by intelligent beings is very foolish indeed.

  81. John D. Fiat says:

    UFO’s are real, retards! Everyone’s a skeptic until they see the real deal (as I have). But since you geeks don’t get out much, watch the video the recent UFO in Jerusalem (Feb 2011) to get the next best thing.

    • Scott says:

      Of course UFO’s are real, retard. It’s the leap in logic from ufologists that all UFO’s are extraterrestrial in origin that is less than likely. Shaky videos, blurry pictures and anecdotal abduction stories are not hard evidence. There is a long history of admitted hoaxing in this field, so if UFO cranks want people to stop dismissing them, science needs an actual alien specimen or spacecraft to test.

      • HonestJohn says:

        Every time you open your mouth you prove you have NO IDEA what Stanton talks about. For instance one of his biggest points is that he knows that all UFO are not aliens. There are studies that show the percentage of reports and what they turn out to be.
        He is concerned with the ones that are NOT identified. And why would they want to come here when they know there are people like you who will capture them and hold them against their will while you probe their assholes for the next 100 years. Gee I wouldn’t be able to resist that either.

    • Max says:

      Proof that the Jerusalem UFO was a hoax.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-27bJdrhhAI

      Camera shake was added digitally, and the blank areas were filled in with the mirror image of the video frame.

  82. Tony says:

    Dunning has once again confirmed what many of us know about the “passionate skeptics” or “debunkers”. They mostly begin with a string of lies, misquotes and half-truths. Most of them hardly ever investigate the subject that they debunk, if they did then we’d never hear from them again for they would become converts or at least serious investigators. Right now, they’re that which they always were, “wankers”.

  83. Mr. G says:

    While I’m not a complete UFO skeptic, & I think its unfair for debunkers to dismiss Stanton Friedman as a conman, I do find the theories of alien abduction harder to believe than the more ‘traditional’ ufology hypothesis.

  84. Paul French says:

    I have not read your peice containing the 40 errors, but your blog here simply asassinated the charactor of a brilliant and kind gentleman.

    You provided no facts to support the terrible things you said about Mr. Friedman, and you to mislead people with spin to attempt to make him out as a liar or con man. For example, just because he no longer works on nuclear rocket engines is in no way incriminating. He changed careers when the demand for nuclear physists bottomed out in the US. Stan is first and foremost a scientist, and his research into UFO reports is first rate.

    I have learned that nasty, insulting people such as you should never be listened to nor believed. If you simply reported disagreements about his work supported by facts, then you might be credible enough to consider your arguments. But to just blog a bunch of insults and misinformation about the man lets me know that you are not to be believed. Your hate has nullified your arguments.

  85. It is true that the UFO subject attracts more than it’s fair share of cranks, whack jobs and weirdos (just as other subjects such as religion and politics also have more than their share of extremists.) Some of these ”believers” no doubt deserve to be labelled as such. Mr. Friedman however is a serious researcher who has devoted much of his life to the study of unidentified flying objects, and as such he knows far more about the subject than his critics on this forum ever will.

    It is one thing to be skeptical that some UFOs have an extraterrestrial origin and/or are under intelligent extraterrestrial control. It is quite another to defame a man who has made a serious study of this phenomena and who is undoubtably sincere in his conclusions.

    Most scientists agree that there is almost certainly life elsewhere in this vast universe and that many Earth-like stars are much older than ours. If intelligent technological life exists elsewhere in the Universe, and has existed for much longer than we have, then the question becomes, as per the Fermi paradox, ”where are they???’ ”why is there no evidence they have visited us?”

    In fact there are reports going back to the time of the Bible and beyond (read the Old Testament account of Ezekial for an ancient &’close encounter’ UFO report.) Mr Friedman was not behind Ezekial’s account, and neither were the USA’s tabloids newspapers-the USA, much less Mr Friedman, would not even exist for thousands of years from when Ezekial’s report of a strange flying machine with strange otherworldly occupants was made.

    Of course the fact such reports have been made for thousands of years doesn’t mean that Mr Friedman is correct in regards to the Betty and Barney Hill case being factual, any more than Ezekial’s eyewitness account can be proved to be factual rather than maybe as the result of ingesting too many magic mushrooms. However Mr. Friedman undoubtably knows more about the subject than most skeptics/debunkers ever will and at least deserves to be treated respectfully. If you have a problem with Mr Friedman’s conclusions based upon fact or logic then by all means present it here. Resorting to name calling simply indicates ignorance and lack of intelligent arguments to rebut Mr Friedman’s conclusions.

  86. Eric Tohni says:

    Having just finished reading Friedman’s “Top Secret/Majic” and corroborating its facts with information I’ve found on the internet, I have to agree with the two gentlemen above. I am not sure about abduction, but there is a great wealth of radar, photographic, and testimonial evidence (from pilots) regarding UFO sightings. In addition, it is clear that the U.S. government possesses information regarding UFOs and extraterrestrials that it refuses to release. At the absolute minimum, this information includes 156 NSA documents that an Appeals court denied FOIA access to on national security grounds.

    “Farts in the wind of reason” is not a scientific argument. It’s a bunch of hot air. The “reasoning” process of UFO skeptics is always the same: 1) Assume a priori that UFO’s do not exist 2) Examine evidence that can be explained away 3) Extrapolate that all UFO evidence can be explained away 4) Mock UFO proponents. Well, Project Blue Book Report 14 identified 20% of UFO cases out of over 3,000 that could not be explained (not including “insufficient information” cases), including about 30% of “Excellent” sightings, but if you’d rather get into the weeds I would like to see “skeptical” takedowns of the Mantell incident, Japan Airlines 1628, the Valentich disappearance, and the 2007 Alderney incident. Or just one of them, really. Subject any earthbound explanation to your famed powers of skepticism and see what happens.

    • I think you’re misunderstanding the way scientific skepticism works. “I don’t know” is a perfectly valid answer. Most UFOs will never be explained, because there’s insufficient information. Thus, the “skeptical takedowns” you’re asking for are probably not going to happen.

      On the other side of that coin, scientific thought does not permit us to say “I don’t know, therefore I DO know and it was an alien spaceship.”

  87. jay says:

    The worst kind of people in this subject are the hardcore believers, and the hardcore de-bunkers. Both know very little about the subject and are more interested in being right. This article is pointless, as a few posters have proved that the writer is wrong, but that will not stop him, and his beliefs :(

  88. Tommy Evans says:

    There is one thing I don’t understand. Mr. Dunning clearly has the facts on his side, so why must he resort to personal attacks? I am disheartened to see that the one thing skeptics and believers can agree on is a disregard for proper argument. Oh well.

  89. Konrad says:

    Mr Friedman must have wealthy supporters. Negative comments on him and his favorite topic, as of thirty seconds ago, are hard to find. Same thing for Hillary’s cocaine dealings and other stuff that gets pulled by an army of paid shills. When the plagiarist of the last century, Saint Albert, put out his ridiculous and untestable nonsense, anybody disputing his claims was ravaged by the controlled media, although some continued to their deaths to name the things he had collected from intelligent men’s work by their proper name, such as the Poincaré formula and other, more important things. The way Einstein mutilated the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment, a very unprofessional piece of work, since corrected by Sagnac and others, shows his agenda quite clearly.

    What I want to say: I suspect that Stan has the same financial backers, and the same agenda.

    The agenda: instilling in people’s minds the meme that they are simply unable to develop technology and culture on their own, without the help of mythical alien creatures nobody has EVER proved exist on Earth. Like George Adamski and Moses, going over/up the hill, leaving their followers behind, meeting purported aliens with no witness at all, and telling everybody about it afterwards.

    As control of the media and steering of the gullible is the name of the game, we can step to the next important method Mr Friedman and his kind use. They are absolutely impervious to arguments and proofs contradicting their interpretations. They just keep repeating them. Non-referenced targets MUST be aliens because Stan’s financial backers want you to believe so, and, by his own boasts, he’s a nuclear physicist who worked on nuclear propulsion for aircraft. Nothing came of that, we are told.

    Our very simple method against knowledge filters of the Friedman ilk: there is no indication intelligent people should parade their ideas and research results before the likes of Stan and other dubious characters. Not reacting to intelligent thought is one sure indication that the agenda behind the non-reaction is, well, tainted, to say the least. They collect data and use it as their own, no matter what, to hide the vacuum between their ears. As the mainstream media, the courts, political actors, everybody of influence in the public order of things, belongs to his faction or is bought and paid for by them, they think they can say and do what they want. Calling themselves ”government” doesn’t make it any different.

    There is one simple means against this primitive approach: research and find out what’s really going on. Don’t believe anything. Check and re-check. Stan and his kind do not like that at all, because if you do, you invariably find out what he’s full of.

    Come to think of it, there are some much more telling examples which may not be mentioned openly because the perverts thinking they’re in control will attack you viciously for endangering their fraudulent sources of income. Their existence is, by scientific definition, parasitic. Reduced to having to do honest work for their money, they wouldn’t last a week.

    A little-known fact about Berlitz and his Bermuda Triangle books: Stanton Friedman was the researcher in the background, who supplied ”data” for the book. As in the Roswell comedy, extraterrestrials entered the picture when he crawled out from under his rock. Extraterrestrials will enter your thoughts if you listen to that guy. Lightbulb-headed greylings with impossible anatomies, first introduced by master fraudster Aleister Crowley, should give you pause. They were ridiculous a hundred years ago, and they certainly are now.

    By the way, I am quite aware that there are reports and drawings of purported lights in the sky and other things for several centuries back. As there is no way to prove any of it objectively, I’ll put it in the same category as Scaliger’s chronology. Fantasy is a wonderful thing, as long as you don’t try to impose yours on others. If you try to make it a religion, and hardcore Ufologists sure display all the signs of dogmatism, everybody is in big trouble, until they get rid of you.

    Stan, it’s just a matter of time. Humanity has a very impressive history; none of your one-sided efforts are going to change that.

  90. 1979 says:

    I think that Stanton Friedman should have devoted his life to SETI, or worked as an astronomer. That way, he could have had a reputable job searching for extraterrestrial life, rather than have people unfairly perceive him as being a ‘snake-oil salesman.’

  91. Patrick Appleton says:

    Near my boat is a live-aboard neurotic old drunk/druggie. Naturally he attracts all the loud mouthed belligerent drunks and no-hopers in the area.
    You can not argue with a belligerent drunk and after reading this skepticBlog it has occurred to me that SkepticBlog is the on-line version of the live-aboard neurotic old drunk and his happy followers of loud mouth drunks.
    Congratulations you must be gaining enormous respect from imbeciles.

  92. C.J.R. says:

    Stanton Friedman couldn’t solve a physics problem given to him in 1999 that I gave him. That could have been solved by any nuclear physicists.
    or at least someone who claimed his pedigree. I solved the same problem in high school but I did graduate at 12years old.

  93. Dave says:

    Hmmm. Wel CJR,I’m sure you stumped him, so his credentials are false… Look, it is an infinite universe out there, and we’re not even close to understanding it. If knowledge were to increase on planet earth for another 100,000 years — no, let’s say 1,000,0000 years, how would our understanding of physics change? It’s a good guess we won’t be using radio to talk to each other. Not sure why you’re giving Stan a hard time. Stan, thanks for keeping up the good fight. There is a real unexplained phenomena out there. Skeptic magazine, keep on supporting the mission of helping your readership feel superior to others.