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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

My First Interview for Unidentified



One year ago today I participated in an interview that would alter the course of my life.  I hope it will have a similar effect on history.  I was interviewed for History Channel's Unidentified, a show about military personnel who had encounters with UFOs while on duty.

I began writing this article Sunday March First, 2020, the day after my second interview with Lue Elizondo.  A week later my state, Connecticut, went into Lock Down.  It felt like the first ten minutes of any post-apocalyptic movie six and a half months ago.  A year ago, it was much different.  It was chill - Brooklyn Chill.

I never documented this first interview other than a conversation I had with Lue about the Metamaterials afterwards.  But now, having experienced so much joy from writing about the second interview (I really do love writing) I thought it would be a good idea to write about that first day.  I hope my readers will enjoy it as much as I have putting it together.

David Marceau at A&E
Me and my Brooklyn bagel in the Green Room at A&E, wearing the "busy" shirt

September 15th, 2019 was not my first time speaking with producers of Unidentified or with Lue Elizondo.  It was Lue who introduced me to the makers of the show after we spoke on the phone in the summer of 2018.  I think it is OK to mention that first producer's name (previously redacted) at this point.  It was Jessica Philipps.  Since then all new people have been in touch with me from the show.  

I started over with this new crew, filling them in on details of my experience and my history with the show, like for example that there was a second witness.  By that point, I had made contact with this other witness, Mike, a year earlier at the request of an associate producer named David.  Mike and I still have not really kept in touch much.  We have traded a few texts.  We played phone tag on voicemail.  We met up for coffee last fall and the fall before.  That is about it.  I owe him a call.

I had to miss watching my sons play football to do this first filmed interview.  I love to watch my kids in their sports.  They are all such better athletes than I ever was as a kid.  Although I can still out-ski any one of them, ha!  I am still a faster runner too - probably.  I may have raced my last race with the kids.  I think I pulled something a few days before my second interview, doing my Usain Bolt impression in a 40-yarder against my youngest kid.  I hereby announce my retirement from sprinting, undefeated!  I may also be retiring from Fortnite as I am undefeated in the first three games in my kids' Clan.  But my kids may have other ideas about that.

Old Brooklyn


The day of the first interview was a beautiful, sunny day, I remember.  It reminded me of September 11, 2001 in many ways.  I was living in Brooklyn back then, on the corner of Dean Street and Sixth Avenue.  A&E's studio where they filmed Unidentified is also on Dean Street.  I was headed back to my old 'hood.

Freddy's Bar Prospect Heights
Me at Dean & 6th, October 1997

Wow!  How things change!  When I lived in that neighborhood, Prospect Heights, there was a cool little joint on the corner called Freddy's Bar.  I did not go in often but it was nice to have it there if I needed to get out of the apartment or if some friends came by.  It was a real laid-back old school dive bar with a beatnik vibe.  The poets and musicians who frequented the place gave it the best bathroom graffiti in New York.  There was a huge back room (really the basement of the building next door) where no-name bands would come and get their start.  Sometimes they would rock the house.  The Jug Addicts were a staple, typical of how it felt to be there.  

Other times, poets read their work at Open Mic Night.  When it was not busy I would bring my dog and she would lay by my feet or sniff around with the other dogs.  This was before the smoking ban so of course everyone smoked.  It was common for people to start a conversation by bumming a cigarette.  The next thing out of their mouths was typically, "I don't really smoke."  Depending on my mood and how snarky I was feeling I might come back with, "You mean, you don't really buy.  You're smoking.  You're a smoker."  That brash, forward familiarity with strangers was commonplace.  It would set the tone for the rest of the conversation or it would send the person away.  It was a win for me either way.  That was Prospect Heights in the 1990's.  I loved that neighborhood.

The Jug Addicts

A block past Freddy's was an open train yard where the Long Island Railroad parked its commuter trains overnight.  You would never park your car on that block because if you did you were liable to come out in the morning and find a junkie sleeping in your back seat and a broken window to deal with.  During the day it was kind of nice because no on lived there so it was quiet, despite being near the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, two of Brooklyn's busiest streets. But at night, you did not go there.

Otherwise, it was nice, a neighborhood rich in culture - the kind of place where kids were always running around chasing a ball or each other.  Black or Puerto Rican moms stood on the stoops of their brownstones watching over.  There was a large lesbian enclave.  Few cars lined the broken curbs fostering weeds.  The guys at the corner bodega all knew my name.  Joe, the one old Italian guy who never left when the neighborhood changed over in the 1960's and 70's, was always out in the morning.  We would chat for a few minutes every day on my way to catch the #2 Train around the corner.

Today, the rail yard and the junkies are gone.  It is now the home of the Brooklyn Nets.  There is a high-rise apartment building where Freddy's used to be.  Joe, I am sure, is long dead.  I did not see any kids running around or any moms on the stoops.  A little ways up, I did see white couples pushing expensive-looking baby carriages in front of streets lined with shops, which had formerly been vacant or filled with low-rent nail salons and hair extension stores.  The broken curbs had been repaired.  New sidewalks corralled trees instead of weeds.  It was nice to see everything had been rejuvenated, but at the same time, I missed the way it was.  I thought about the families that must have been displaced by higher rents, in the name of "Progress".  Where did they go?

Note, this is not a political commentary - just me reminiscing and ruminating.

I did not have much time to drive around and take everything in.  I did make time to pick up a New York bagel.  I could not find parking by my old favorite shop - even the traffic patterns were all different.  You cannot get from Point A to Point B anymore without zig-zagging around several blocks.  But I was able to find another shop with parking nearby.  There was a line.  I had to wait about fifteen minutes to get my bagel.  I wondered the whole time if I would get a parking ticket.  You never know in New York.  


The Interview


Bagel in hand, I proceeded to A&E.  The block the studio is on is still a bit dilapidated which makes finding a parking spot easier.  I was able to find a spot within a hundred feet of the entrance.  I texted Stephanie or Jaye, the producers I was coordinating with, and let them know I was walking up to the building.  They came out and greeted me and took me to the Green Room.  Wow!  This was really happening.

I was wearing a nice suit that day, with a checkered shirt.  I carried a second, solid-colored shirt, in case they did not like the one I was wearing.  Stephanie thought the checkered pattern might be too busy for the cameras and suggested I put on the solid shirt - good thing I brought it.  I changed in the Green Room.

I was the only one in there except for a make-up girl.  I sat down with my bagel and chatted with her a bit.  I took a selfie for posterity (above).  The make-up lady convinced me to do a bit of light make-up so I would not look washed out on camera.  I did not see that coming.  

It was a long wait for my shoot.  Other guys were being interviewed.  I said hi to one of them when he came into the Green Room to get his stuff but did not introduce myself.  I should have.  It would have been good to get to know some of the other members of the Unidentified "brotherhood".  I could not for the life of me say who that guy was now.  It was a year ago and I only saw him for a brief moment.

Lue Elizondo poked his head in at one point and formally introduced himself to me.  I think that was the point where it all became real for me.  Imagine having had a close encounter while on guard duty in the military and having no one to report it to for (by that point) twenty-seven years!  Being face-to-face with Lue was the culmination of decades of bewilderment as to why no one cared about what I witnessed.  A shot of adrenaline surged through my chest.

Lue came on strong at first.  He is not that tall.  My height can intimidate guys like that.  But I was the one who was back on his heels.  Lue took over the small room and made his presence felt.  He left and I waited some more.

There were a lot of papers to sign.  I was given a little envelope with forty-something dollars to cover gas and tolls.  That was my full pay for appearing on the show, in case anyone was wondering.  I drive a Chevy Suburban which gets 16 miles per gallon, down-hill in a tail wind.  It has a 30 gallon tank.  After the tolls and a fill-up on the way in I think I lost money on the deal.  But whatever - I had never expected to be compensated anything, not even expenses.  I gladly put the cash in my pocket.  

Still, with a lot of time to sit and think in the Green Room I toyed with the idea of what if.  What if I had accepted the offer to stay in a hotel in Manhattan instead of driving down from Connecticut for the day.  My inner Walter Mitty took over and I imagined the other "cast members" dining on steak and red wine in a luxury hotel with crystal chandeliers and thought about what I had missed out on.  But there were things to do at home, my daughter had a softball game, it was not worth the time to spend a couple nights in a hotel when I only lived less than two hours away.  People commute from my town into New York every day.  I know I made the right choice.

When the time for my shoot finally came I was filmed coming into the dark studio.  Everything in the space was black.  I had to watch my step, walking over cables lying across the floor.  I came around a scrim carrying a folder with some service documents and a print-out of the illustration of The Marceau Ship, as I call it * word * and sat down in a chair facing a camera.  Another camera was manned just to my right on a track.  I got mic'd up.

Lue and producer Anthony LappĂ© both sat just behind the main camera.  This was it.  Showtime!  Lue started the interview.  He asked me a few warm-up questions and continued for maybe ten to fifteen minutes.  Then Anthony took over.  He conducted the rest of the interview.  I did not track the time down to the minute but I want to say the whole interview took a couple hours.  Anthony was pretty thorough.  I must have had a little stage fright at first because about halfway through, Anthony made a remark about how I had loosened up and he wanted to ask me some questions over again.  That surprised me because after my sighting experience nothing really scares me anymore.  I must have been overwhelmed by this being such a pinnacle of my life.

In the end none of that interview was used.  The entire thing was scrapped.  The question of why had been gnawing at me ever since my episode debuted so I reached out to Anthony this morning to ask him why.  Was it because the interview at my house was better or was the interview at the house done because the one in Brooklyn did not turn out well?  Anthony wrote back, "no, not at all! we just wanted a more personal scene w/ you and Lue."  Ha, Occam's Razor.  I pressed Anthony for more details on the day of the shoot but he was not able to comment much more without going through History Channel's PR people.  He simply added that everyone involved with the show, "were all extremely impressed with all the witnesses seriousness and bravery for coming forward. We knew it was a big moment for a lot of you, and wanted to respect that."

Thanks Anthony.  That means a lot.

Lue came to my house nearly six months later to shoot the second interview.  I am glad he did because I think I was much better on camera than in that first one.  He spent more time getting into details that were missed in that first shorter meeting.  I was eager to answer every question.

After the first interview concluded I went back to the Green Room.  Stephanie came by and asked me how I thought it went.  I told her how during my narrative, "I was right back there on that little bench in the woods."  She said, "Yeah, we all were."  Wow!  Really?  I would like to get a copy of that video.  

I grabbed a chicken wrap and a soda from the kitchen and ate in the Green Room.  After sitting there for over half an hour I gathered up my stuff and went out to my car.  I texted Liz, one of the associate producers, or maybe it was Jaye (I cannot find the text), and told them I was leaving.  She wrote back and said to come back to wrap up with Lue.

Cool, I thought.  I was hoping to chat with The Guy from the New York Times Article a bit.  Lue and I met up in the kitchen.  He hoofed down some food while I munched on some chips.  He had a lot to say about the Metamaterials.  I mentioned this in an article last fall, not going into detail other than what was already public knowledge, but confirming that this was a real thing.  I did not mention Lue's name in the article or even where we met.  I simply stated that I had run into someone from TTSA.  Lue's credibility is without question as far as I am concerned.  He has told me everything he would do and did everything he has said.  If he tells me TTSA has these Metamaterials and they are noteworthy I am going to back him up on that.

As I said in that first article Lue, "spoke of the metamaterials not as something he hoped he could get people to believe in - what other people think about it was not even on the radar.  He simply spoke about what it was and what it might be able to do and how important it was to find out more about it."  It was a fun article to write.  Click the Metamaterials link if you have not already read it.

Cypress Hills
My drive home on the Jackie Robinson Parkway

After Lue finished chowing down he had to bolt.  I got out of there too.  The leaves in my yard were not going to rake themselves.  And I had forty bucks burning a hole in my pocket.  I took the long way down the Jackie Robinson Parkway for old time's sake and went out over the Whitestone Bridge.  Then I used my forty bucks to take the kids out for ice cream.



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If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form at the bottom of this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Who asked Science?



Lately, #UFOTwitter has been abuzz with talk about proving the existence of UFOs.  Not that this is a new topic but I have been thinking about the standard that is applied to this proof.  That is not new either, as it were.  It seems like the Academic Standard of using Scientific Method has failed to categorically demonstrate we are being visited by people from other planets.  With all the thousands of eye witness accounts it makes me wonder why we continue to adhere to a failed standard.

Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, is the definition of insanity.  There has to be another way!  Eye witness accounts are used all the time in a court of law.  Perhaps we need to apply legal standards to UFOlogy rather than academic standards.

I am no more an expert on law than I am on physics.  But I know people who practice one or the other on a professional basis.  For this article I employed the assistance of a good friend my long-time readers know as "Captain Awesome".  I will not use his real name because I do not want to jeopardize his career by being linked to a UFO blog - not that that should matter, but reality is what it is.  

In case you missed my previous references to C.A. he lives here in my town, we have a lot of mutual friends and interests, and we ski together a lot with other friends and with the rest of our families.  What I have not mentioned is that by day, Captain Awesome is a mild-mannered corporate attorney.  He started his career as a lawyer for the ATF and is currently an in-house legal counsel for a Fortune 500 Company.  The guy has major credibility when it comes to the law.  He also is comfortable openly discussing UFOlogy with me.  How awesome is that!


Why doesn't Science care about UFOs?


If you have been following this blog for a while you will recognize this topic, somewhat.  I have discussed it directly and tangentially several times.  But it has come up again recently on social media so I thought I should address it from a different angle.  Science does not care about aliens - generally speaking, those in Academia who study, "Little Green Men" are derided the same as those who report UFOs in the military.

To be clear, there are many credible scientist who are looking for life on other planets.  There is the NASA Astrobiology team, hard at work, looking for microbial life or any signs of prior life, on Mars and elsewhere.  They are doing important work and I am behind them 100%.  Then there are the folks at the University of Nottingham who wrote a paper on alien civilizations, recently.  They believe there may be as many as 36 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy.  Really?  Only 36?  I am leaning more towards 3600 but that is just a logical conclusion, with no basis in empirical evidence.  Which is it, 36 or 3600?  Why not 36,000?  Who knows!  It just seems like, with the quantity of UFO visits, both verifiable and anecdotal, there must be a lot of people out there in the Cosmos coming to check us out.  

Here is an analogy.  When the Quarantine began, suddenly there were bear sightings all over my town.  I am guessing this was due to a combination of people and cars staying put which gave the bears more freedom and less fear to venture out in public - this plus maybe some of the bears were there all along but everyone was too busy staring at their phones to notice or they were out at work/school and were not around as much.  The bears did not just suddenly appear out of nowhere.  Am I to believe it is the same bear that is being seen all over town?  If a bear is sighted on one end of town on Monday and ten miles away on Tuesday are there just two bears?  Is my town the only town with bears in Connecticut?  No, no, and no.  

There must be dozens, if not hundreds of bears in the area.  It just makes sense.  Same thing with UFOs.  It is not the same guys visiting us over and over, all over the world, year after year, in different shaped aircraft.  And those are just the ones visiting us.  Should I believe that every UFO in existence comes to Earth?  What about all the alien spaceships that do not visit us, they stay in their solar system or visit other planets?  Earth cannot be the only planet they visit.  That would be as arrogant a belief as believing humans are alone in the Universe.  Still, back to my initial point, bravo to Nottingham U and their courage to explore the subject.  Also, long live Robin Hood!  (Sorry, I could not resist.)

Back on track - empirical evidence is an issue for me.  It is personal.  I am an eye-witness to proof of alien life.  I saw a spaceship, up close.  No further proof is needed as far as I am concerned.  But this is not enough for Science.  Science relies on the Scientific Method.  The Scientific Method relies on empirical evidence.  Empirical evidence is information acquired by observation and experimentation.  Experimentation implies multiple experiments which means the results must be repeatable.  In order for the results of my observation to be repeatable it would need observed data that is measured.  In other words, the ship I saw would have to have returned multiple times and been observed by multiple authorities who could then perform their own analysis and have their findings peer reviewed.

I am exhausted just writing that previous paragraph.  Imagine going through the process of trying to actually perform these experiments and write up the resulting conclusions!  It is too much for most people to endeavor and perhaps even impossible due to the unpredictability of the next UFO sighting.  There has to be another way.

Why doesn't science care about UFOs?

As much as IFL science, perhaps in this case, Science has it all wrong.  Indeed, the Scientific Method is the perfect process for, let us say, creating a vaccine for the Coronavirus.  I would not want to inject myself with household cleaners or ingest something like hydroxychloroquine, for example, based on one knucklehead's recommendation or even one scientist's test results.  This could cause long-term health consequences including death, or at the very least, make one extremely sick.  It could have no effect on the virus and then cause the recipient of the treatment to prematurely stop wearing a mask and expose themselves and others to the virus.  I am 100% on board with the Scientific Method in this case but not for proving life on other planets.


A Preponderance of Evidence for UFOs


A better way may be to follow the path of the legal system.  How about using a "preponderance of evidence?"  This is a standard by which one only needs to prove more than a 51% likelihood that the claim is true.  I like those odds.  I would bet those odds in Vegas.  I have bet on the Buffalo Bills to win the Superbowl, for 30 years!  I would definitely take 51% odds when it comes to aliens.

In court, people have been sentenced to death or life in prison by a preponderance of evidence.  Captain Awesome agrees with the point of both linked articles that this is not the way it is supposed to work.  Any loss of liberty including death and incarceration needs to be Beyond Reasonable Doubt, 99% likely.  The Preponderance of Evidence standard is typically used in civil matters, like when someone sues McDonald's for making their coffee hot.  Still, the Scientific Method is more rigorous than even Beyond Reasonable Doubt.  By what arcane logic is the standard for proving life greater than the standard for imposing death?

Using a preponderance of evidence, one might say few aircraft can fly without wings.  NASA had a test craft in 1963 dubbed "The Flying Bathtub" but that never made it into production.  The B2 Bomber has wings but looks like it does not.  It was around in 1992 when my sighting occurred.  But I was in Canada.  Why would the B2 be flying over a Canadian Army base?  At 11:20pm?  Less than 100 feet off the ground?  At 1 mile per hour?  Since the ship I saw had no wings, odds are it was not an airplane.  There is a preponderance of evidence against it having being an airplane.

Eye Witness Accounts of UFOs
The Flying Bathtub

Using a preponderance of evidence, one might say helicopters can hover in one place and travel one mile per hour.  All helicopters make a lot of noise and cause a down draft.  The ship I saw was silent and did not make the trees move.  Helicopters also have a giant, spinning rotor on top.  The ship I saw had no rotor or any other visible means of suspension or propulsion.  Odds are, it was not a helicopter.  There is more than a preponderance of evidence against it having been a helicopter - maybe not Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, for some people, but certainly a Preponderance of Evidence.

Hang-gliders are silent.  An ultralight with the engine off is also silent.  Both can fly low.  Both fall to the ground without lift.  Both are less than 10 feet long.  The ship I saw was well over 100 feet long.  Also, it was an alien spaceship - I was a "trained observer" and simply have no doubt.

You see where I am going with this.  Add up all the features that The Marceau Ship, as I call it  * word *  had or was missing and odds are the ship was nothing that was produced on Earth.  If it is extremely unlikely that it was produced on Earth, a preponderance of evidence leads to one primary conclusion: it was an alien spaceship.

But wait, you say.  You cannot always rely on statistics.  In the article When Does Evidence Suffice for Conviction, author Martin Smith uses the example that a guy named "Joe" is seen outside a store with a TV in his hands.  He did not have a receipt.  The store had 100 TVs.  One was purchased and the other 99 stolen by rioters.  Statistically, there is a 99% chance Joe stole the TV.  In theory, this satisfies the Beyond a Reasonable Doubt requirement for criminal cases.  But that stat, in itself, is not enough to convict him.  However, Joe was seen leaving the store with the TV.


Eye Witness Accounts of UFOs


I watched My Cousin Vinny with my kids the other day.  Mrs. M. and I thought it was one of those classics that they should see.  Maybe that is what is on my mind as I write this.  It is great the way Vinny handles the witnesses during the trial.

In the example above, someone saw "Joe" leaving the store with a TV.  This is called "circumstantial evidence" and may not be enough to convict Joe.  But it is a factor.  If that eye-witness also saw Joe stepping through a shattered window, with the TV, instead of exiting through the door, this eye-witness testimony would suffice to convict Joe, according to Smith.  Captain Awesome counter-argues this is just more compelling circumstantial evidence and not enough to convict Joe.  It depends on the jury, though, and on the effectiveness of each lawyer.  

Smith argues this logic gets messy when you factor in the possibilities that the witness could have lied.  Maybe he has a grudge with Joe.  Or maybe Joe did not step through the window but he looks very similar to someone who did.  Maybe, like in My Cousin Vinny, the witness was not wearing their glasses.  Maybe the witness is not very technical and thought Joe had a TV but it was really a computer monitor - similar but not the same.  Maybe the witness is a pathological liar or just wants to see what would happen if he testified against Joe - this is the least likely fallacy.  It happens but is quite rare.  All this goes to the idea of credibility of the eye witness, according to C.A.  He says, the more credible they are the better piece of circumstantial evidence.

Smith concludes that despite the fallibility of the eye-witness testimony and the certainty of the statistics, eye-witness testimony holds more weight in court than the 99% standard, at least in this case.  Given the data above, Joe is more likely to be convicted on the eye-witness account than on the statistical evidence.

Let us now apply this measurement to UFO sightings.  Given the example of Joe and the TV, it is easy to see why eye-witness testimony is so important in court.  Should we not elevate UFO sightings to the same position?  What could possibly go wrong?

Just like in court, a witness may have a grudge.  OK.  What grudge would any UFO witness have to settle in reporting a UFO?  I am doing a tremendous amount of self-reflection as I write this, stretching to imagine who would be hurt by reporting this but cannot come up with a good answer.  Maybe someone wants to waste tax-payer dollars?  Probably not - that money comes out of our own pockets.  Maybe they resent having joined the military and want to get back at Uncle Sam, somehow?  I am sure, like me, everyone has had a moment during Basic Training / Boot Camp where they asked themselves, "Why did I do this?"  But once initial entry training has been completed, the vast majority of us serve with pride - fewer than 3% of veterans receive an "Other than Honorable" discharge from the military.  The same could be said of other non-military witnesses.  Who are they trying to hurt by reporting what they saw?  The Grudge Test fails.

Like in court, a witness may have difficulty seeing the subject of the testimony.  This one can be true for a lot of UFO sightings.  Often times, the ship is far away and appears tiny.  Or it is dark out and all that can be seen is a light, or series of lights, that move in an unusual way.  But not all sightings are of this nature.  Certainly, mine was up close (less that 100 yards/meters) and the moon was so bright it was like daytime.  I was myopic, at the time, but wore contact lenses which improved my sight to about 20/20.  C.A. says these details speak to credibility.

Maybe the witness to Joe's supposed crime had an issue with distinguishing him from one of the rioters.  Similarly, not every UFO witness is trained to identify different types of aircraft, "All those airplanes look the same to me," they may say.  This is why many (if not all) of the witnesses on Unidentified were chosen for the show.  We are what is called, "Trained Observers."

The first time I heard the term "Trained Observer" was when Lue Elizondo used it to describe me, in our first phone conversation.  I immediately figured out what it meant and agreed with him.  The reason why is because Army soldiers (at least in the early 1990's) were trained to identify friend or foe aircraft, so we would know which ones to shoot down or hide from and which ones we could flag down for help.


A Preponderance of Evidence for UFOs
Captain Awesome

So, in a case like mine (and so many others) if we are going to go with a Legal Standard over an Academic Standard, which one should we use, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, or Preponderance of Evidence?

C.A. concludes, "You could just use the Legal Standard and say, 'Hey, this isn't a crime.'  So you should use a standard for when something isn't a crime like... $400 million class action cases that are using a Preponderance of Evidence and that's not to be taken lightly.  That's got a huge business and financial impact so obviously it's a reasonable standard to use."


How much Circumstantial Evidence is needed to Prove UFOs are Real?


Captain Awesome and I discussed this question at length, over the phone yesterday morning.  He said certainly there are cases based on circumstantial evidence where say, "Someone wins a civil suit for $90 million... there has to be something there, if that's what the courts are using."

C.A. went out and sat down on his patio to continue the conversation.  It was a "patio coffee" kind of conversation.  "An intellectual exercise," for him.  Me too.  It is nice to have those friends with whom you can kick your brains into high gear.  I do not get to use that gear as often as I would like, despite pontificating on aliens and UFOs at my desk nearly every morning.

I emailed a rough draft of this article to C.A. and told him the point I was trying to build up to is, "How many of these eye witness accounts do we need before someone says, 'Hey, there's something to this?'"

His simple answer was, "The more the better," bearing in mind we are not trying to convince a jury Beyond a Reasonable Doubt or to the 99% standard.  We are only shooting for 51%.  It is more likely than not that someone saw an alien spaceship - a Preponderance of Evidence.

"Eye witness account," C.A. says, "by it's very nature is circumstantial evidence because it's basically what someone is saying.  So then, in terms of the strength of the testimony that really gets to their credibility.  So... someone's a professional, they haven't been in trouble, there's nothing for them to gain financially... people could argue, 'Oh they're doing it for notoriety,' and you could argue, 'Hey, this really stigmatizes people, like, who in their right mind would want to come out, unless they really thought it was true?' because it really could affect people... professionally because people would just think, 'Oh, this person is out of their mind.'"

Circling back to my own encounter, as an example, I asked my friend, "How much does it help that, there's a second eye witness who didn't see everything I saw but can corroborate some of what I saw?  This other guy, Mike, didn't see the full spaceship, he just saw one of the lights because he was a little further away and behind it but he can testify that he saw that for a long time at the same time that I saw the spaceship and that he later on saw [it] zip off into space in a streak of light.  How much does that help the argument?"

"It definitely helps," C.A. replied.  "Both pieces are separately circumstantial evidence, and even taken together they're circumstantial evidence but it's like the combination is really more powerful than the whole because... these are two people whose stories basically jibe.  They corroborate one another so it makes it more compelling.  It doesn't turn it into something where it's non-circumstantial evidence, right?  It's still circumstantial evidence but you would say it's stronger."

OK, good to know.  But this is not about me, per se.  I know what I saw and have long stopped caring if anyone believes it or not.  I had my chance to tell Lue Elizondo and air my story on TV.  I would assume people in the US Government have seen it - Lue told me they would.  My job is done, as far as getting my story into the hands of someone who is in a position to do something with the information.

There is so much more evidence out there, some of it circumstantial, some of it captured on video.  When you have the Tic-Tac, Gimbal, and GoFast videos, how much more evidence do you need?

"Now, let's zoom the camera out a little wider," I said on my phone call.  "There were only two witnesses to what I saw but there are thousands of witnesses to similar types of events all over the world.  So now, how does that bolster, from a legal perspective, using Preponderance of Evidence, Circumstantial Evidence, Eye Witness Accounts... the fact that there are thousands of these worldwide, how does that bolster the claim that we're being visited?"

"Right, right..." C.A. began.  "It makes it stronger, right?  You can just argue that more and more pieces of the circumstantial evidence are, you know, corroborating with respect to one another.  They corroborate one anther.  But, it doesn't prove anything.  Being a lawyer I can usually just come up with arguments on either side and I can argue, 'OK, let's take it as a fact that there are thousands of people alleging something...'"  He went into a few scenarios for and against using the number of sightings versus the total population of the world.

I said, "Forget about a percentage of the world population, just the fact that there are so many thousands of people who have seen things and a lot of these people are, 'Trained Observers' like I was and a lot of these cases, after they're examined, there's no explanation for it other than maybe this is something from out of this world.  How do you structure that argument, to use all of this circumstantial evidence?"

C.A. answered, "Really, you should just be looking at the numbers themselves.  A thousand pieces of evidence or ten thousand pieces of evidence and eye witness accounts is still powerful in and of itself.  Like, your average case wouldn't have thousands of pieces of circumstantial evidence.  You would just kind of go by the absolute numbers and not use a comparison of other numbers that are arguably, you know, not important or not relevant."

We then discussed how nice it would be to have a similar case, a legal precedent to cite but actually doing so was far beyond the scope of our friendly discussion.

What does all this prove?  I am not a legal scholar and do not believe I have fully proven my point with two days of analysis and writing.  But I do hope I at least opened a door which others may walk through.

"What I'm really trying to do here," I told Captain Awesome, "is not necessarily to say without equivocation that my theory is the only one that's applicable and that I've just proven a point and this is the 'light bulb' moment for everyone, that's going to change the world.  What I'm trying to do is just 'seed' the conversation so that people can start talking about it and other people that might know more about how this kind of standard can be used are the ones who then pick up the discussion and say, 'Well, yeah, here's my thoughts on that and here's an actual case I know where that kind of standard was used...'  Just get other people talking about it."

I could hear C.A. smiling over the phone.  "I like what you're saying 'cause I think people almost make an assumption that you need non-circumstantial evidence... to determine the answer to this kind of question, 'Does alien life exist and have they visited?'  People want to use a Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Standard.  You're arguing that that's not really appropriate.  You're really arguing by analogy, like OK if Preponderance of the Evidence works for these type of cases, why exactly does this one require Beyond a Reasonable Doubt standard?  That itself is not reasonable, it's not appropriate."

"Not only that," I added, "The standard being used goes beyond even Beyond a Reasonable Doubt because the Academic Standard is The Scientific Method; you need multiple 100% tests and then even the write-up on those multiple 100% tests..."

C.A. finished my sentence, "... test the hypothesis and then peer-reviewed."

"Yeah," I said.

"Yeah, exactly," he said.

"It's just an unreasonable standard," I concluded.


How much circumstantial evidence is needed to prove UFOs are real?
Where Captain Awesome drinks his coffee

There was a pause.  I think we both took a sip of coffee.

C.A. went on.  "So basically you're arguing, just the whole purpose of the call is you're trying to determine, what's the appropriate standard, here, and I think people, for whatever reason, they're saying, 'OK, this is technology, this is,' I don't know, 'Atmospheric phenomena, so we should use the Scientific Academic Standard,' and you're putting forth a good argument for using, you know, other standards."

"Yeah," I agreed.

"Like, the Scientific Standard is not the only one.  This is really a question of 'finding of fact'... It's not a scientific theory."

"Right."

"Like, you're basically saying, 'OK, this isn't a hypothesis.  It's not appropriate to use the Scientific Standard because,' you're saying, 'It's not a hypothesis, that alien life exists.' Your position is, it does 'cause you've seen it, so you should use a Civil Court, like a non-criminal trial standard.  Like, you're not advocating a thesis.  From your stand point you're not posing a question that you're proving so it's not the appropriate yard stick."

"Yeah."

Looking back over all this it suddenly occurred to me, maybe we are all asking the wrong question.  Maybe the question should not be, "How much circumstantial evidence is needed to prove UFOs are real," it should rather be, "Who asked Science?"  If Joe steals a TV, do we ask a Harvard professor to replicate the evidence and get it peer reviewed?  No, we apply a legal standard as the parameters for a fact-finder to either convict the dude or acquit him.

I love you, Science, but I need some space.  (Who asked you, anyway?)


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If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form at the bottom of this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Punk Rock and UFOs and some other Stuff



Since there has not been a new blog post in a week I thought I would submit a quick update on what is happening.  I am working on an article which requires input from a subject matter expert.  Since we are both busy dads we are having some difficulty coordinating schedules.  We should be able to connect over the weekend so I can get this article published first thing next week.

I am also working on coordinating schedules with a big name in the UFO Community.  The plan is to record an interview that I can use both on this blog and also on YouTube.  I do not want to get ahead of myself and start making too many specific announcements, although, longtime readers of the blog have a good shot at guessing who it might be.

In anticipation of that interview and in line with some other goals I have recorded a "Season 2" introduction video for YouTube.  It is being edited now, which is a tedious process.  I really do not like video editing.  It reminds me of when I was a software engineer.  I would enjoy myself when writing code because I could get immersed in something, engrossed, deep in thought, highly focused.  Maybe I have undiagnosed ADHD.  I do not know.  But there is something satisfying about digging in deep on a video edit.  Still, there are so many things I would rather be doing.

Punk Rock and UFOs


Coming up over the course of the next two weeks I will be featured in three interviews.  I did a write-up for Mike Damante's PunkRockAndUFOs blog.  Later today I will be recording an interview for That UFO Podcast and on Monday I will be recording an interview for somewhereintheskies.com.  I was reluctant to do any of these at first because I signed an NDA with A&E Networks.  But Ryan from Somewhere In the Skies was able to get it cleared with A&E so I agreed to all three requests.

In case any fans of those sites/podcasts are wondering, these guys had all reached out to me about a month ago and I initially declined.  None of them knew about the other's requests.  I mention this in case any of their followers are concerned that one is copying the other, trying to chase the same guests after seeing or hearing them somewhere else.  All three requests came around the same time.  I decided to do the podcasts in the order the requests came to me.  Damante reached out second but his blog post may come out before either podcast because it is much easier to do a blog than anything which requires audio or video. 

While all this is going on I am in the process of ramping up my business after taking it easy throughout most of the Quarantine.  I took my first ride into New York City since last year, on Tuesday, for a business meeting.  It is amazing how much The City changes when you have not been there for a while.  The skyline is higher than ever!  It touches the clouds in several places now.  Yet, some things never change.  I can still find my way in and out of The City and get to where I am going without a GPS.  You gotta love the brilliance of Manhattan's original city planners.  

This was one of my first times in an office building since we went into Lockdown.  I kept my mask on the whole time but the guys I met with had theirs off.  I was concerned about that.  If everyone is letting their guard down at the same time, we are in for a huge second wave of virus infections.  This coincides with kids going back to school and college.  Some colleges are already returning to distance learning after being opened for a week, or two.

Amidst this, my kids started live stream distance learning this week.  We are keeping them home until we see how things pan out.  It seems like school kids are being used as guinea pigs to test the waters on infection flare-ups.  It is unsettling.  If other parents want to put their kids into these petri dishes I do not judge or begrudge them; it is a personal decision.  We will wait it out, for now.  We have gone six months like this, what is another month, or two?  The kids will catch up with their friends when things get back to normal.  In the meantime, we have been setting up some play dates and they are also wired to their friends through phones and the Internet.   They will be OK.  Someday we will look back and be happy we had this time together.

The real downside of keeping the kids home is I have to check up on them and sometimes put on my tech support hat.  It is a good thing I am a recovering techie.  I do not know how parents without strong tech skills manage this.  They must all have that one guy in the family who can troubleshoot computer issues.  That was me for a long time.  Do not call me!


Seagull at Beach
Everyone told me not to stroll on that beach

Jokes aside, it has been a long week.  This last week before Labor Day is supposed to be lite.  A lot of people take vacation this week.  For me, it was probably the busiest all summer, ergo the lack of a blog post.  The upside of that is I will have some good material to release next week on this blog, the David Marceau YouTube Channel, and on the three media outlets above.  All the while, we managed to get to the beach Monday afternoon.  It was only partly-crowdy so we all enjoyed taking our masks off in public.  It almost feels like walking around naked at this point.

Things will settle down, a bit, next week.  Summer is over.  I am done with the Music League I participated in - it is kind of like Fantasy Football but with music - fun stuff.  The lawn will not need much more care, although it is time to start stacking firewood for the winter and I still have a couple more trees to cut up from the hurricane last month.  They are big suckers.  I had to get my chainsaws sharpened for this.  I finished up most of my summer house maintenance projects - put up some new siding, a safety railing, a bunch of other things; it never ends when you own a house.  But now it is time to get back to some work work - although I will continue to write every morning.

Stay tuned.  Good things are coming.


Enjoying this blog?
Also follow me 
  
If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form at the bottom of this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.