The CE4 Corner
The Cosmic Bridge, Close Encounters and Human Destiny
by Craig R. Lang, Certified Hypnotherapist
Hypnotic Growth, Exploration and Healing for Mind, Body, Spirit and Beyond
Brooklyn Center, MN 612-888-4976(HYPN) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trained Observers – What makes a qualified UFO witness?
©2008 by Craig R. Lang, MS CHt
What makes someone a qualified observer? This question came
to mind as I was watching the Larry King Live broadcast on CNN, on Friday
There were several experts on the panel, including Stanton Friedman and James Fox, the producer of Out of the Blue. The panelists all had interesting things to say about the UFO phenomenon. The best of these came from Fox, who stated that there is a large quantity of unexplained phenomena, well documented and backed up by a large database of physical evidence. Clearly there is an unexplained phenomenon present. While Stanton Friedman made the claim – perhaps with good evidence – that extraterrestrial beings are visiting us, Fox simply stated that the phenomenon is unexplained. I found that Fox’s argument was as close to airtight as we can get.
In the second half of the broadcast, they trotted out their obligatory skeptic, an astronomer named James McGaha. McGaha repeated the age-old argument that there is no evidence of alien visitation. In the face of the arguments from Fox and Friedman, citing the vast physical trace and physical evidence database, McGaha simply dug in his heels and repeated the same thing. Then he got the chance to dialog directly with the witnesses. And this is where the questions really arose in my mind.
McGaha made the claim, multiple times, that the witnesses simply misidentified a formation of aircraft passing overhead. However, the witnesses stated that this was, indeed, a solid object. They were unable to see stars between the lights, evidence that this was a single superstructure, rather than a formation of independent aircraft. To this, McGaha asked them whether they were trained or qualified observers. Unfortunately, the witnesses said “no,” instead of the response which (in 20/20 hindsight) they might have used, what makes a qualified observer? What are the qualifications to be a credible UFO witness?
In response to the comment that there is a database of thousands of cases of pilot sightings, McGaha stated that pilots are not trained observers, either. Thus, we need to ask, what are the requirements to be a qualified observer? To the best of my knowledge, there is no qualification certificate available qualifying one as a “trained observer.” To the best of my knowledge, pilots, law enforcement officers, emergency personnel, all are trained to objectively evaluate a situation and determine the correct action. This indicates that each needs to be a level headed observer, who would not jump to conclusions.
Furthermore, what are the qualifications of an astronomer, to be a qualified observer? When working with astronomical phenomena, probably they are many. Astronomers, especially those who spend hours looking through telescopes or otherwise personally observing the heavens, I would assume to be very adept at identifying astronomical phenomena, with a minimum of bias. However, when it comes to other phenomena, is an astronomer any more qualified an observer than the average person? For example, if an astronomer sees a rare bird or a strange weather phenomenon, is he/she any more able to describe it, simply from being an astronomer?, probably not. Thus, we need to challenge McGaha to identify what he believes the requirements and/or qualifications are for a trained/qualified observer.
To be fair, when in the midst of a UFO sighting, especially a close encounter, it is extremely difficult to remain level headed, objective and scientific. In my article What to do, I attempt to address some of these concerns, suggesting ways in which a UFO witness can be as objective as possible. Yet, I must remain realistic. Would I remain as collected as I suggest in my article? I will have to wait until I have a close-up UFO sighting [I have not had one yet] to answer that.
UFO sightings usually occur when we least expect them, allowing us no time to prepare our instruments and/or collect our thoughts before observing. Thus, any observations we might make are at best impromptu. Still, there are things we can do to try to remain objective in the face of the unknown. Try to observe the surroundings, as well as the object. Where possible, confirm with anyone else present, that they saw the object, obtaining their contact information for later follow-up. Also try to note the time and date (both before and after the sighting), the weather conditions, the size and motion of the object, etc. Then, as soon as you can, write down and/or sketch whatever you can remember of your sighting. In summary, the more we can note about the sighting and its circumstances, the better we can objectively understand the events of the encounter.
While few if any of us are card-carrying “trained observers,” I believe that we can do as much as possible to ensure the integrity of the information and/or evidence associated with a UFO encounter. I believe that taking these steps will make any of us trained and qualified observers, a de-facto corps of scientific observers ready to greet any visitors from the unknown.
Bio: Craig R.
Lang is a field investigator with Mutual UFO Network, and is a certified
clinical hypnotherapist with the
of Hypnotists. He
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