D B Sweeney
Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
|Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 2:12 am Post subject: The constructive reality of perception & UFOs
|When it comes to ghosts and more importantly UFOs it's often an uncomfortable fact to be told that we often
'construct' the UFOs ourselves. That a phenomenon can be radically misperceived by people who are to all intents and purposes sane, honest and intelligent is seen regularly in reports of lights in the sky judged to be exotic or extraterrestrial craft.
For example: March 3rd 1968 a UFO was witnessed by a number of people in several different states of the US. In Tennessee, three intelligent, educated people (including the Mayor of a large city) saw a light in the night sky moving towards them at a rapid rate. They
reported that they saw it pass overhead at an altitude of about 1000ft and was a huge, metallic craft moving silently. They also observed orange coloured flames shooting out from behind it with many square windows illuminated from within the craft.
In a report to the US Airforce one of the witnesses described the craft as 'shaped like a fat cigar…the size of one of our largest airplane fuselages or larger'. At around the same time, six people in Indiana saw the same object. Their report to the Airforce stated that it was also cigar shaped, moving at treetop level, shooting rocketlike exhausts from the tail and it had many brightly lit windows.
Two people in Ohio also saw the object but their sighting differed in that they reported three luminous objects not one. One of these
witnesses used her binoculars to get a better look at the UFOs and subsequently submitted a detailed report to the Airforce stating
that the objects were shaped 'like inverted saucers' flying low, silently and in formation.
Here we have detailed, multiple witness reports of a seemingly advanced craft flying fast and silently across several US states - impressive indeed but surely they couldn't all be mistaken could they?. This can't be a case of weather balloons, stars or chinese lanterns can it?. Not with so many people seeing the same thing in so much detail and at such close range.
Fortunately, we know exactly what these witnesses and no doubt many others saw in the sky that night in March 1968.
Records from NORAD (North American Air Defence Command) and other sources such as Observatories show that at the time of the sightings the rocket used to launch the Soviet ZOND 4 spacecraft re-entered the Earths atmosphere, breaking into luminous fragments as it sped across the night sky. It's trajectory followed a the same southwest to northwest flightpath as reported by the witnesses as it crossed several states. The witnesses simply saw the light show produced by the break up of the rocket .
They were constructions of human perception.
As Terence Hines, author of Pseudoscience and the Paranormal says:
These additions and embellishments were purely the creation of the witnesses' minds, not because they were crazy, drunk or stupid but because that is the way the human brain works. It can be said that these witnesses did perceive what they say they did. This doesn't mean however that what they perceived was the same as what was really there.
Note, too, how inaccurate was the estimate of the objects altitude…'Witnesses estimated about 1000ft' while in fact the re-entering rocket was miles high and scores of miles away. This type of gross inaccuracy frequently occurs when one sees a light in the sky with no background, as is the case at night. Under these circumstances, the many cues the brain uses to judge distance are not present, so no accurate basis for judgement exists.
Source: How to think about weird things (3rd edition) by Theodore Schick & Lewis Vaughn. McGraw Hill Publishing.