Bad Science, by Ben Goldacre. ISBN 978-0-00-728487-0. Fourth Estate, London. $26.99. Reviewed by Feike de Bock.Continue reading
James Randi has demonstrated that a water diviner has a 94% chance of success in finding water for the simple reason that 94% of the land surface has fresh water immediately below its surface. The diviner is likely to fail miserably when he/she is asked to find a dry spot. The notion that water flows in rivers underground is only true for some exceptional places, usually associated with limestone deposits. Normally, water is trapped in microscopic pores and only moves a few centimetres to a few hundred meters per year. Similar misconceptions and statistics are seen in oil divining.Continue reading
Dr J.F. De Bock gave the 1992 Conference an update on the study of UFOs.<>
The study of UFOs (UFOlogy) started out as research on unidentified atmospheric (or aerial) phenomena, but rapidly became invested with questionable researchers holding preoccupied, but popular, convictions that the earth is being invaded by extraterrestrials in their flying-saucer shaped spaceships.
The alleged recovery of aliens and their saucer in the 1947 Roswell Incident, and the photos of a hovering spaceship in the 1981 Gulf Breeze case, fuel the belief in extraterrestrial visitation. However, both cases are so invested with fraud, swindle, deception and contradiction that arriving at the truth is seemingly an impossible task.
To further cloud the credibility of serious UFO researchers, UFOlogy is forced to absorb subjects such as contactees, crop circles, Men in Black and cattle mutilations.
“True” UFOlogy is a continued unbiased research into verified sightings and encounters of mostly unidentified lights, occasionally exhibiting a physical reality by leaving a variety of tangible proof of exchange with the environment.
In 1989, during a UFO chase by two Belgian Fl6 fighters, the elusive unidentified object demonstrated seemingly controlled and deliberately evasive action, momentarily appearing to swing the balance in favour of the belief in alien visitation. Unfortunately, one finds that the case was reported by dubious researchers being too over-zealous to promote the extraterrestrial hypothesis. When the dust dies down, one is left with a confirmed sighting of a repetitive and common but puzzling occurrence of an unknown atmospheric phenomenon.