How I got duped by crop circle science. Nancy Talbott vs. Matt Williams

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#21
Have you been doing the transcriptions yourself? If so, do you have a foot pedal switch? I think that makes it a lot easier.

You can find internet services to do transcription for $1/min of audio by searching on google. Or try amazon mechancal turk and offer to pay less.

Examples here offering about $15/hr of audio:
https://www.mturk.com/mturk/searchb...ds=audio+transcription&minReward=0.00&x=0&y=0

Also, youtube provides automated transcripts which have a lot of errors, but it might be easier to correct that than start from scratch. I haven't tried it though.
I was going to recommend the turks as well.

Maybe I'm wrong about this but I feel like in this day and age with so many countries offering English education but not necessarily job opportunities amateur translation shouldn't be too hard to find for cheap?
 
#22
This episode was like a big clown show in many ways, which really pushes home the difficulty in properly studying many aspects of the paranormal.
You summed up what I felt exactly! In a horrible sort of way it was interesting, because just like Alex said on the show, people who tell you how complex everything is (particularly in response to a fairly simple question) are hiding something - probably from themselves.

The author of "The Higgs Fake" (Alexander Unzicker) got exactly that response when he asked pointed questions of the physicists involved at the LHC. The initial response was fairly superficial, but when he pushed (as Alex did) he got this very type brush-off. Now it could be that they knew the answers and they were complicated, but in that case, you sure would expect them to give him a heap of specific references where he could read up the answers - if only to cover their arses!

I didn't finish with the second guy, because he too seemed to want to cover up with a lot of irrelevances.

I always feel that there may be examples of genuine paranormal phenomena, that simply can't be studied scientifically, and which are therefore probably best ignored. I guess crop circles are either just nonsense, or if there is a genuine core, it may be of this type.

David
 
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#23
The author of "The Higgs Fake" (Alexander Unzicker) got exactly that response when he asked pointed questions of the physicists involved at the LHC.
interesting. queued :)

I always feel that there may be examples of genuine paranormal phenomena, that simply can't be studied scientifically, and which are therefore probably best ignored. I guess crop circles are either just nonsense, or if there is a genuine core, it may be of this type.
like in this case... the hypothesis is silly... i.e. the ETs want to send us messages and the best way they know how is by stomping down wheat fields into pretty patterns.
 
#24
like in this case... the hypothesis is silly... i.e. the ETs want to send us messages and the best way they know how is by stomping down wheat fields into pretty patterns.
LOL - well the trouble is that the implicit hypothesis with all UFO/ET phenomena is pretty odd. I mean if UFO's contain intelligent beings with a message, why don't they spell it out in an unambiguous way? Also why would they kidnap people to do obscure medical experiments on them!

I think all these phenomena may have a paranormal core, but the story is less simple. For example (off the top of my head), maybe someone goes into an OBE and discovers that he can exert some slight pressure on something at a distance (think of remote viewing) very giving - like a field of wheat - and proceeds to impress a pattern on it!

David
 
#25
LOL - well the trouble is that the implicit hypothesis with all UFO/ET phenomena is pretty odd. I mean if UFO's contain intelligent beings with a message, why don't they spell it out in an unambiguous way? Also why would they kidnap people to do obscure medical experiments on them!

I think all these phenomena may have a paranormal core, but the story is less simple. For example (off the top of my head), maybe someone goes into an OBE and discovers that he can exert some slight pressure on something at a distance (think of remote viewing) very giving - like a field of wheat - and proceeds to impress a pattern on it!

David
or maybe collective thought forms shape reality. so it may not matter how crop circles started because now they are a part of out collective reality and have taken on a life of their own. of course I realize none of this make any sense, but...
 
#26
What is the evidence that the aliens have a message for us? Some abductees say there is a message, and they say what they think the message is. The message through the abductees is not "we're here and we want to be your space brothers". So naturally, those aliens don't contact the world on radio and announce themselves. That is not what they are here for.

There are other sources that say the brotherly aliens would only make open contact if the government agreed, which it didn't. Maybe the government thought the people were not ready, maybe they didn't trust the aliens, maybe they felt a more technologically advanced civilization that didn't use money was a threat to the established order, or they were afraid of a terrorist group weaponizing alien technology, or they didn't want to admit abductions were occuring that they couldn't prevent, or that there are aliens who look just like humans who have inflitrated the highest levels of government, or that the aliens might tell the truth about the human soul driving both materialist and religious believers into conniptions, or maybe the government doesn't want to admit the crimes they committed during the decades long cover-up, or that they turned over recovered alien technology to private enterprise that is now forming a breakaway civilization.

According to investigators, the purpose of the medical experiments is hybridization so the aliens can live here among us.

When the aliens appear in broad daylight, they are attacked by the military. Ordinary people become terrified. And the only paper that covers it is The National Enquirer.

But the aliens are not hiding themselves very well, on the contrary, the problem is that too many of us are denying their presence, ignoring the statements of astronauts, high ranking government and military officials, and a huge number or reputable eye witnesses among the public who say they are here.

Don't expect scientist to help, they are struggling with NDEs, psi, global warming, unreplicable research, hoax computer generated papers, and an epidemic of retractions.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-contents-evidence-for-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_ufo
Astronauts Say UFOs are Real
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/04/astronauts-say-ufos-are-real.html

High Ranking Government and Military Officials Say UFOs are Extraterrestrial Craft Visiting the Earth
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/09/high-ranking-government-and-military.html

UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare For? The COMETA report produced by the Institute of Advanced Studies for National Defense in France. Part III concludes: "A single hypothesis sufficiently takes into account the facts and, for the most part, only calls for present-day science. It is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitors."
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_cometareport01.htm

Unidentified Flying Objects Briefing Document The Best Available Evidence by Don Berliner with Marie Galbraith Antonio Huneeus, Presented by CUFONS, FUFOR, MUFON December 1995
http://www.openminds.tv/wp-content/uploads/Rockefeller-Briefing-Document.pdf

Video: "Debunking the UFO Debunkers" in which Stanton Friedman explains why you cannot trust the "skeptics".
youtube.com/watch?v=crg67I276iU

UFO Witness Testimony
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/02/ufo-witness-testimony-from-csetiweb.html

UFO Experiencers Speak
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/03/video-highlights-of-ufo-experiencers.html

Exopolitics Lectures from the 2010 X-Conference
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/03/exopolitics-lectures-from-2010-x.html
 
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#27
It seems the two camps, the believers in crop circles and the debunkers, are locked into a dysfunctional dance, leaving anyone genuinely interested in the truth cold, and turning to other subjects. Maybe this is by design, leaving the debunkers as the winners.

I would like nothing more than come across some hard evidence that aliens are making contact with us. Like many, I grew up reading sci-fi books, watching StarTrek etc. and long to have my fascination with this world validated as more than just wishful thinking. Of course aliens are out there, how could they not given the vastness of the universe? But until one materializes in front of me and I can touch them, my world is not really changing.

Where do we go from here with further research? My personal approach has been to study the messenger before getting tangled up in the message. Are they clear and coherent in their message? Are they open to be questioned? Are they genuinely interested in finding the truth or more engaged in pushing a personal agenda?

When I come across someone who has something to hide, such as Nancy Talbott, my interest wanes quickly. I learned the hard way, that when red flags pop up, to run the other way. This is the warning sign that something is off and not coherent with the message. Maybe that sounds harsh, but what value is added by listening to someone who does not want to answer a simple question like ‘has your method ever been proven wrong?’
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#28
Reading Whitley Streiber & Jeffery Kripal's book on Streiber's experiences.

Taken at face value it just seems like whatever these "aliens" are they aren't extraterrestrials - even the idea they are interdimensional travelers seems off to me.

I mean why communicate with crop circles? Or weird visitations where they make pancakes, or even the medical experiment stuff? As Whitley says, look at this stuff long & deep enough and it seems the human mind is looking back.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#30
That book has given me more insights and paradigm shifts than almost any other book I've ever read. :)

Edit: and I now understand Sciborg's tag line!
I still need to finish Trickster & The Paranormal...Did Hansen mention Lewis' Hyde's Trickster Makes This World b/c that's where I actually got it from.

Though I do suspect both books together bring together a lot of ideas which resonate with the trickster affinity - I'd probably add Kastrup's Meaning in Absurdity to that combo plate as well...
 
#31
I still need to finish Trickster & The Paranormal...Did Hansen mention Lewis' Hyde's Trickster Makes This World b/c that's where I actually got it from.

Though I do suspect both books together bring together a lot of ideas which resonate with the trickster affinity - I'd probably add Kastrup's Meaning in Absurdity to that combo plate as well...
Oh! I didn't know that's where the phrase came from. I'll have to check out that book. I don't recall if Hansen mentioned it.. Probably did as it is sort of encyclopedia of trickster related people and events.

For me, the book gelled together a lot of ideas that had been floating around in my head that I didn't realize were all related. I don't know if I understand the world any better after reading it, but I sure feel like I do!

I enjoyed the second interview better than the first. His statements about being involved in crop circles evoking the paranormal makes sense in light of the Trickster.
 
#32
Reading Whitley Streiber & Jeffery Kripal's book on Streiber's experiences.

Taken at face value it just seems like whatever these "aliens" are they aren't extraterrestrials - even the idea they are interdimensional travelers seems off to me.

I mean why communicate with crop circles? Or weird visitations where they make pancakes, or even the medical experiment stuff? As Whitley says, look at this stuff long & deep enough and it seems the human mind is looking back.
I've sometimes wondered if we are creating the past and future as we go, and there are many candidates for explanations of things which are generated by the mind, and which explanation is correct is not merely a matter of scientific determination. Science is just the tool the mind uses to advance the plot... To carry us on through the labyrinth.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#33
This guy Williams is very difficult to listen to. I haven't listened to the whole podcast yet, but after 21 minutes, I still have only barely an idea what he is trying to say.
I thought he might be trying to get around to saying something like that eventually, but he kept going off on tangents--like talking about his friend with Alzheimer's--making it very hard to follow him.

AP
Andy, that "guy Williams" you're talking about is actually Nancy Talbott, talking about her lab research. ;) Matt Williams comes on afterwards.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#34
Very good follow-up on the topic, Alex.

I didn't have a hard time following, btw. For people who did, they might want to check out your first show, and especially the forum discussion afterwards that helped "educate" ourselves and Alex. ;)
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...-the-scientific-mystery-of-crop-circles.1267/

Alex, the question you asked Nancy Talbott was the one I wanted to ask as well as I was hearing her talk, though I would have kept it more simple. She is making a distinction between mechanically flattened crop circles and crop circles that are the result of something else (the latter labelled as "genuine", whatever the source is), and claims her lab work is able to distinguish them. You asked her could she then point to circles that her lab work with samples can categorically identify as genuine, meaning non-mechanically-flattened (human-created), and if crop circle makers have come out and said those very circles are actually their work. I would simply have asked her if she has a list of crop circles, or is able to point to some specific crop circles, that her lab work can label as "genuine", non-mechanically flattened. Just having that answer could then allow anybody - circle makers, other researchers, amateur investigators, etc. - , to see if that holds up in terms of investigating the possibility of people being involved in creating those.

IMO, she should be able to produce this information in order to have her work evaluated through other means of analysis/evidence-checking.

Your point about the people involved on both sides, what cultural background they're from and immersed in, also intuitively makes a lot of sense.
 
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#35
You asked her could she then point to circles that her lab work with samples can categorically identify as genuine, meaning non-mechanically-flattened (human-created), and if crop circle makers have come out and said those very circles are actually their work. I would simply have asked her if she has a list of crop circles, or is able to point to some specific crop circles, that her lab work can label as "genuine", non-mechanically flattened. Just having that answer could then allow anybody - circle makers, other researchers, amateur investigators, etc. - , to see if that holds up in terms of investigating the possibility of people being involved in creating those.

IMO, she should be able to produce this information in order to have her work evaluated through other means of analysis/evidence-checking.
The problem with this idea is that there are some crop circles that are exemplary of the genre that will never be 'claimed' by the people that made them. Not everyone has an axe to grind. I suspect that 'researchers' like Talbot have realised this by now, and that it works to their end because it makes a mockery of attempts by the likes of Matt Williams to debunk their claims. They will always have those safe (and spectacular) examples to fall back on.
 
#36
The problem with this idea is that there are some crop circles that are exemplary of the genre that will never be 'claimed' by the people that made them. Not everyone has an axe to grind. I suspect that 'researchers' like Talbot have realised this by now, and that it works to their end because it makes a mockery of attempts by the likes of Matt Williams to debunk their claims. They will always have those safe (and spectacular) examples to fall back on.
and I think we can take this one step further... If Nancy wants to wrap herself with the flag of science then she's gotta expect/embrace this kind of criticism. The onus is on her to provide evidence for her claim. It's kinda like how she insists on calling circle makers debunkers/frauds... as if people making crop circles are messing up her "research." It's silly, but it's not science.

Again, I would compare it to Beischel's work with psychic mediums. She took on all the claims of "cold reading" and lack of controls and designed a super tight experiment that controls for them. She then went and rubbed everyone's nose in it. The silence of the critics is still deafening 5 years later. Nacny's work comes no where close to this.
 
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#37
and I think we can take this one step further... If Nancy wants to wrap herself with the flag of science then she's gotta expect/embrace this kind of criticism. The onus is on her to provide evidence for her claim. It's kinda like how she insists on calling circle makers debunkers/frauds... as if people making crop circles are messing up her "research." It's silly, but it's not science.
This would only be true in an environment which is governed by the rules of conventional science, and while in a highly theatrical sense this might be believed to be true, in actuality it isn't. I understand your comment about Nancy wrapping herself in a flag of science means that she has to expect criticism but that's in 'the real world' - in the theatre she acts out her fantasy in, that kind of criticism can make her look like a pioneering hero.
 
#38
This would only be true in an environment which is governed by the rules of conventional science, and while in a highly theatrical sense this might be believed to be true, in actuality it isn't. I understand your comment about Nancy wrapping herself in a flag of science means that she has to expect criticism but that's in 'the real world' - in the theatre she acts out her fantasy in, that kind of criticism can make her look like a pioneering hero.
I think you're saying that a lot of people are going to be duped by Nancy's "research" (including Nancy :))... sure, but I guess that's kinda the point of the show... I mean, Nancy science doesn't stand up... and we can know that by following the data. same with wacky UFO skepticism... doesn't stand-up to scrutiny... other side of same coin.

then again, the paranormal is crazy confusing with a lot of twists, turns and trickster-ish stuff, so I'm not saying science is the panacea, but it's a nice tool to lean on.
 
#39
I think you're saying that a lot of people are going to be duped by Nancy's "research" (including Nancy :))... sure, but I guess that's kinda the point of the show... I mean, Nancy science doesn't stand up... and we can know that by following the data. same with wacky UFO skepticism... doesn't stand-up to scrutiny... other side of same coin.
I agree that Nancy's 'research' and Matt William's 'research' are essentially two sides of the same coin. Indeed, to re-address your earlier question, I don't see any difference between Nancy's legends of paranormal effects and Matt's legends of paranormal experiences. Yet, they are presented as diametric opposites!

then again, the paranormal is crazy confusing with a lot of twists, turns and trickster-ish stuff, so I'm not saying science is the panacea, but it's a nice tool to lean on.
But it fits the model of Indian storytelling tradition much more comfortably, where the more fanciful the telling and retelling of the legend the more ‘true’ it seems to become (inasmuch as it represents underlying truths, and anxieties, that bind its believers). Hence, even the most ‘unbelievable’ evidence – an abundance of examples can be found in spiritualist literature, for example – is embraced at face value; the sheer irrationality of its corniness acts in its favour. As Tertullian reputedly said: Credo quia absurdum est – it is true because it is absurd.

I think this observation runs much deeper that just my 'saying that a lot of people are going to be duped by Nancy's "research" (including Nancy :))'. To use a conventional model of science to describe what is happening on the margins of scientific knowledge, where the rules of engagement are different, is not a good model.
 
#40
I don't see any difference between Nancy's legends of paranormal effects and Matt's legends of paranormal experiences. Yet, they are presented as diametric opposites!
how so? no one including Matt (as far as I know) is claiming that he has produced repeatable, statistically significant results.


Hence, even the most ‘unbelievable’ evidence – an abundance of examples can be found in spiritualist literature, for example – is embraced at face value; the sheer irrationality of its corniness acts in its favour. As Tertullian reputedly said: Credo quia absurdum est – it is true because it is absurd.
not sure what you mean here... unless you're taking some kinda hardcore materialist line... but I didn't think you were going that route... maybe I was wrong. questions for you -- mind = brain? consciousness an illusion? emergent property of a quantum brain?

[/QUOTE] To use a conventional model of science to describe what is happening on the margins of scientific knowledge, where the rules of engagement are different, is not a good model.[/QUOTE]
compared to what? maybe my questions above are the best starting point.
 
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