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Re: Meteors - excuse for UFO sightings?

As that colorful modern philosopher, Peg Bundy once stated:

"It would be easier to believe in UFO's if they didn't always land in the
yards of idiots"

Way to go Peg -- Beam me up Scotty !!


Jim Lamm

> From: Robert S Verish 
> To: IPM Return requested 
> Subject: Meteors - excuse for UFO sightings?
> Date: Monday, June 29, 1998 8:45 PM
>      From the back page of the LA Times (on a slow news day):
>      Monday, June 29, 1998 
>      Scientific Panel Urges Study of UFO Sightings 
>      Phenomena: First review of controversial topic in almost 30 years 
>      cites physical evidence. Committee acknowledges `giggle factor.' 
>      From the Washington Post
>      Some reported UFO sightings have been accompanied by unexplained 
>      physical evidence that deserves serious scientific study, an 
>      international panel of scientists has concluded. 
>      In the first independent scientific review of the controversial
>      in almost 30 years, which was directed by physicist Peter Sturrock
>      Stanford University, the panel emphasized that it found no
>      evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence or any violation of
>      laws. 
>      But the panel cited cases that included intriguing and inexplicable 
>      details, such as burns to witnesses, radar detection of mysterious 
>      objects, strange lights appearing repeatedly in the skies over
>      locales, aberrations in the workings of automobiles, and radiation
>      other damage found in vegetation. 
>      The 50-page review, which is being released today, asserts that 
>      scientists might learn something worthwhile if they can overcome the

>      fear of ridicule associated with the topic and get funding for 
>      research to try to explain the occurrences. 
>      "It may be valuable to carefully evaluate UFO reports to extract 
>      information about unusual phenomena currently unknown to science,"
>      report stated, adding that such research also could improve 
>      understanding of, and in some cases debunk, supposed UFO events. 
>      For example, earth science researchers have eventually accepted 
>      several phenomena "originally dismissed as folk tales," including 
>      meteorites and certain types of lightning, the panel noted. 
>      The findings are from a four-day workshop in
>      Tarrytown, N.Y., followed by a second three-day meeting in San 
>      Francisco, both held last fall. The results are published in the 
>      current issue of the Society for Scientific Exploration, which was 
>      established by Sturrock. 
>      The inquiry involved scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of 
>      Technology, Cornell and Princeton universities, the universities of 
>      Arizona and Virginia, and institutions in France and Germany, among 
>      others. A panel of nine physical scientists analyzed presentations
>      eight UFO investigators, who were encouraged to present their 
>      strongest evidence. The project was funded by Laurance S.
>      through his LSR Fund because of a belief, the report said, that "the

>      problem is in a very unsatisfactory state of ignorance and
>      The panel suggests that the scientific community has suffered a 
>      failure of curiosity regarding UFOs. Despite an abundance of reports

>      over the last 50 years "and despite great public interest, the 
>      scientific community has shown remarkably little interest in this 
>      topic." 
>      Asked about the conclusions, a sampling of scientists and officials 
>      outside the panel expressed surprise and some anxiety that a topic 
>      with such a high "giggle factor" might be reincarnated for serious 
>      study, possibly further blurring the lines between legitimate
>      and the "lunatic fringe." Some said they would never comment on the 
>      touchy topic, and some said they would reserve judgment until they
>      read the report. 
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