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The Top UFO Debunker? Really?

by Brian Dunning, Dec 18 2008

I’m not sure why Stanton Friedman selected me as the subject of his writings these past couple of weeks.

I’m certainly not the first, or even the most articulate, to challenge his mission of promoting belief in alien visitation. Writing about Roswell last year, I referred to him as an obsessed UFO wacko, but he’s been called worse by others. Anyway he called me petty, ignorant, cavalier, lazy, biased, and an anti-UFO fanatic, so I guess we’re…even? Continue reading…

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A Jaunt to Area 51

by Brian Dunning, Dec 11 2008
The Mysterious Black Mailbox

The Mysterious Black Mailbox

Back in June of 2001, my friend John and my brother Todd and I thought it might be a swell lark to fly out to Area 51 and have a look around. Not that we expected to see alien spacecraft, but it’s always neat to visit such a pop culture icon, and I thought we had a reasonable expectation of seeing (or hearing) some new aircraft. Todd and John are both pilots so we rented a plane, and flew to Las Vegas.

It was too late the fly that day, so we rented a car and drove north to the site of the famous White Mailbox, which is all over the Internet. It’s white, but for some reason half of the people on the Internet call it the Black Mailbox. If an attraction lacks mystique on its own, give it a confounding name. That’ll draw the tourists.

Continue reading…

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UFonies

by Phil Plait, Dec 10 2008

I had to laugh when I read fellow Skeptologist Brian Dunning’s article about the UFO True Believer™ Stan Friedman hating him. What an elite club! Friedman is no fan of me, either. A few years ago I wrote an article for Sky and Telescope magazine about UFOs, basically making the same claim I made here last week: if all these UFO sightings we hear about were real, the majority of them would be seen by amateur astronomers.

Continue reading…

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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.

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Abducted by logic

by Phil Plait, Nov 26 2008

It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I have to pack, write a dozen blog posts to hold over the
crowd that’s just one missed entry away from pitchforks and torches, do laundry (before packing, damn that arrow of time!), and go to my in-laws for dinner.

So please forgive me for this post which is essentially a link to another one I’ve written. But IMNSHO that you’ll like it. I was asked by Dave Mosher over at the Discovery Channel blog collective to write up my opinion on UFOs as part of their effort to support a program they’re airing about said objects. I agreed, partly because this is something I’ve wanted to write up a for a long time, it’s an important topic, and it’s a fun one. But I mostly agreed because I knew I could link to it from Skepticblog, my own blog, and maybe even Swift. Three alien birds with one logical stone! Spendthrift that I am, I couldn’t resist the opportunity.

So here’s the link to the full post about aliens, flying saucers, and which of these things is more likely to be real (hint: aliens). And here’s an excerpt so you don’t feel totally ripped off:

As far as aliens go, I suspect pretty strongly that there’s life in space. We know of over 300 planets orbiting other stars, and we’ve only just started looking. In our Milky Way Galaxy alone there are probably literally billions of planets. Life on Earth got started pretty rapidly, relatively speaking, after the crust cooled and liquid water formed, so we know it’s not tough for life to get its start… and it’s entirely possible there is microbial life inside icy moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn.

So thinking aliens exist has a pretty decent scientific basis. But them coming here is an entirely different beast.

Read the rest to see my devastating blow to believers in UFOs being spaceships carrying aliens coming here to eat our bovine anusi and squish our cereal harvest.

And have a happy Thanksgiving.

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