Thursday, August 02, 2007
Friedman vs Shermer
Stanton Friedman & Michael Shermer squared off on the topic of UFOs and ETs. Friedman characterized himself as a scientist who's been looking at the evidence for 49 years-- a 'Cosmic Watergate' has taken place, with cover-ups beginning in 1947, he declared. It's improbable that ETs are bipedal primates who just happened to find us with their craft, countered Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic Magazine. Friedman cited trace cases in which unidentified craft have left marks on the ground, as well as the sighting testimonies of trained observers. Shermer said the evidence for UFOs is largely anecdotal with unreliable witnesses, blurry photos and grainy videos. Until we have an actual craft to examine, there is no proof to connect UFO sightings with an extraterrestrial presence, he added. Some people (such as Betty & Barney Hill) have been abducted by aliens, and such claims should be evaluated on a case by case basis, Friedman stated. The claim that sleep paralysis triggers abduction reports doesn't account for cases where people are abducted from outside their bedrooms, he continued. Shermer believes abduction narratives are a modern version of the incubi/succubi reports of the Middle Ages. People are having anomalous experiences through hypnosis or sleep deprivation/paralysis and the current culture filters their interpretation of it, he explained. A Fast Blast poll conducted in the last hour found that 80% sided with Friedman, 20% with Shermer.