- After a month delay due to an illness incurred by Seth
Shostak, the debate between he and Stanton Friedman took place on the "Coast
To Coast" radio show hosted by George Noory in the wee hours Wednesday,
July 21st of last year.
- The subject of course was UFOs; more accurately the idea
that some UFOs are indeed ET spacecraft, as proposed by Stan Friedman;
taking the opposing position was SETI Astronomer Seth Shostak. The latter
holds a BA in physics from Princeton and a PhD in astronomy from Caltech.
Stanton Friedman, whom I like to call, "The Godfather of modern day
Ufology," received his BS and MS degrees in physics from the University
of Chicago in 1955 and 1956. He was employed for 14 years as a nuclear
physicist before starting his long career in researching/investigating
the UFO phenomenon.
- As the show started, George Noory, it's host, and in
this instance the debate's moderator, went through all the usual pleasantries
in introducing his distinguished guests; he laid out the ground rules for
the debate, stating that it would be an "informal session" starting
with each one's view of the subject, followed by "Q&A" from
Noory, then dialogue directly between the two, and finally ending with
questions from callers.
- Friedman was the first to come out swinging, emphatically
- 1. "SOME" UFOs are alien spacecraft.
- 2. There exists a "Cosmic Watergate," i.e.,
that some few people in various governments have been aware of this fact
since July, 1947 because of the crash of two alien spacecraft and the recovery
of dead bodies in the state of New Mexico.
- 3. None of the arguments made against the first two points
stand up to careful scrutiny.
- 4. This is the biggest story of the millennium, in that,
"we are being visited by aliens, and the government is and has been
covering it up since at least 1947."
- From there Friedman kept jabbing at his opponent making
a comparison with Ufology and the stance he feels SETI holds on the subject;
he stated that the SETI program is based on a number of assumptions that
he feels "have no basis in fact" i.e., there's nobody coming
here; that radio is the ultimate means of communication; that if aliens
were coming here they [SETI] would know about it; that there is no colonization,
no migration; that we need to talk about great distances before there's
anybody out there; that we can't possibly be a threat to anybody; there's
no national security aspect to the notion of alien visitation.
- Staying on the offensive and continuing to jab his opponent
with lightening speed, Friedman went on to note the major differences with
Ufology and SETI by saying, "they [SETI] ignore the UFO data, we Ufologists
look at the SETI data and say, 'hey where's your evidence?' They want us
to provide a "body," we want them to provide "any kind of
evidence" that there's anybody out there sending signals!" Friedman
further pointed out that there are stars a billion years older then our
sun, and the possibility exists that there are civilizations as old, and
that the notion that they would be at our same level of technology is "silly."
- When the bell rang for round two, although Shostak
was ready to spar with Friedman he wasn't initially aggressive. He admitted
that he was in agreement with Stan in the sense that "there is in
fact 'intelligent life' in the universe," [other then our own] but
took issue with Friedman's point of view that "they're here now!"
He intimated that the evidence for "that idea" was weak and couldn't
be verified. He further stated that if SETI finds evidence of extraterrestrial
life it would be able to be verified and leave "no doubt" about
- Noory interjected the idea that some would disagree with
their mindset and that we are unique in the universe. Friedman acknowledged
the matter of fact that there exist people who think "the human race
is indeed alone in the universe." He likened them to "extremists"
he has encountered in giving his lectures who say, "don't bother me
with the facts my mind is made up." On the other end of the spectrum
he stated that there are those who believe that "aliens are here to
- Noory cut in and recollected his first meeting with Friedman
back in 1971 and asked Stan if the "Roswell Incident" was his
motivating factor for initiating his UFO research. Friedman set the record
straight, and stated that his involvement with Roswell research didn't
surface until 1978. [Stan Friedman was the first civilian researcher to
bring the "Roswell Incident" to public light.]
- Noory posed a similar question to Shostak in asking him
when he decided to get involved with SETI. [The Search For Extraterrestrial
Intelligence.] Shostak recalled his childhood and early interest in the
idea of extraterrestrial life. He went on to state that while being a graduate
student and using radio telescopes to study galaxies, he had read a book
authored by the well known astronomer, Carl Sagan and I. S. Shklovskii
entitled, "Intelligent Life in The Universe"; that book was his
inspiration about using the radio telescope for possibly communicating
with alien life. By 1990 he had moved to the Bay Area and joined SETI.
- At this point Noory reminded his listening audience to
"fax blast" (vote by fax machine) and or computer in the last
hour to indicate whom they felt won the debate. He said he would announce
the winner at the end of the show.
- From here, Noory suggested dialogue between the two contenders,
to start it off he (Noory) posed this question to Shostak; he asked, "Why
he couldn't believe [Seth] we aren't being visited by the very same people
he is listening for?" Seth didn't waste anytime and came out swinging!
He admitted that he "could" believe it, giving an example of
ET visiting earth eons ago, taking samples etc., but also acknowledged
how hard it would be to prove that. He then goes for a roundhouse punch
saying that if ET had or is visiting in current times there must be "compelling
evidence" to prove that. He then states that he just doesn't believe
that the evidence is sufficient. Staying in that theme, he references Museums,
saying that evidence would certainly be in Science Museums if there were
any. He said it "should be irrefutable."
- Stan countered with some quick jabs stating it was/is
irrefutable! There was a brief exchange of pro and con, with Stan finishing
by agreeing with Shostak that the evidence is lacking with SETI and Museums,
mentioning the "laughter curtain," i.e., the fear of ridicule
of scientists getting involved with research concerning Ufology. Shostak
was quick to interject his disagreement with that mindset, saying that
this is the most interesting thing that could be discovered and that he
[Seth] didn't "buy that." Stan reiterated the number of scientist
he's spoken to over the years that have told him not to use their names,
and to keep their comments confidential. He further used as examples the
omission of any scientific studies in the books of key "SETI folk,
including Shostak, as well as Frank Drake and Carl Sagan. He said based
on their books, there wasn't any indication that any of them looked at
the "large scale scientific research" involving Ufology, giving
"Project Blue Book's" Special Report 14 done by "Battelle
Memorial Institute" as an example.
- After the break, Noory pointed out that both Shostak
and Friedman agree that there is ET life in the universe, the difference
being whether they're here or not. Stan didn't waste anytime and went on
the offensive. He quickly pointed out that in Seth's latest book he asked
the question, "how come they haven't landed, and why aren't they seen
on radar?" Stan references Ted Phillip's research of the last 35 years
of over "5000 landing trace cases" from 75 countries, highlighting
the fact that these "aren't crop circles." He then goes on to
cite "multiple-witness/radar visual sightings and the work of Dr.
James McDonald, former Professor and Senior Physicist, Institute of Atmospheric
Physics at the University of Arizona. He emphasizes the "importance
and quality" of that "type of evidence" as well as the omission
of said evidence in Seth's book and or discussions concerning Ufology.
He says [Stan] Seth acts as if it doesn't exist. He illustrates that the
evidence ("multiple-witness/radar visual sightings) indicates manufactured
objects clearing exhibiting maneuvers that "man" can't duplicate,
therefore predicating the fact that they were/are made somewhere else!
Like Ali did in the past, Stan then taunted his opponent, by saying, "if
we're going to say there is no evidence, then we have to include the exception
of what 'we haven't looked at.'"
- Alfred Lehmberg
- On the topic of the debate between Stanton Friedman and
SETI's Seth Shostak on Coast to Coast with George Noory...
- ...I was all set to give Dr. Shostak the benefit of the
debated doubt until he used Kal Korff as a citation, and then a lot of
his air went out for me. Kal K. Korff compared against Stanton T. Friedman
is like warped and wormy lumber compared against hardened steel beams.
Dr. Shostak is in oxygen debit if he thinks "triple-K" is remotely
relevant, is in any way conversant with ufological reality, or has demonstrated,
in ~any~ way, an unbiased and un-canted balance regarding what happened
at 'Roswell'. Great suffering ZOT, Dr. Shostak!
- Beyond that, Dr. Shostak was a willing poster child for
mainstream ufological denial, pretended ignorance of ufological fact, and
mainstream unwillingness to think out of the box of the suspect status
quo. His defeat, I suppose, was inevitable.
- "Where is the evidence," Dr. Shostak plaintively
wailed. "Why don't we see the evidence in a museum"? Well, why
don't we see evidence of corporate chicanery in high school history textbooks?
Why don't we see evidence of alternative archeology in these open-minded
and tolerant museums alluded to by Dr. Shostak? Why don't we see the acceptance,
by the mainstream, of the ufological evidence, extant? Reactionary and
unlearned denial of the ufological is the Doctor's only hole to hide in.
He has a lot of conciliatory, albeit conflicted ~company~ in that dank
and shallow hole...
- Dr. Shostak demonstrated ~only~ that he was oblivious
to the ~huge~ volume of extant ufological evidence of an excellence that
cannot be forever ignored... Verily, the ~quality~ anecdotal evidence,
compounded with the ~vetted~ photographic evidence, and then added to the
~documented~ historical evidence, gives every indication that a ufological
contention regarding that phenomena ~must~ be taken seriously...
- Moreover, when the preceding is framed by the ~serious~
artistic evidence, qualified by the ~available~ physical evidence, and
then compellingly buttressed by the conclusively ~personal~ evidence, I
can only be annoyingly astonished by the continued reluctance of people
like Dr. Shostak to face the highly strange music that just cannot be ~forever~
marginalized... Does the information available justify respect from the
mainstream that is not forthcoming?
- Yes! The 'evidence' he cries for is a fact to which Dr.
Shostak remains, stubbornly, oblivious. Evidence does not cease to be evidence
merely because it is denied.
- Additionally, and well fleshed out in Dolan's "UFO's
and the National Security State," (which Dr. Shostak was blissfully
unaware of) are the ongoing and well referenced programs of ufological
denial, dismissive-ness, and derision that the aforementioned National
Security State has prosecuted for the last 57 years with regard to UFOs!
Fifty-seven years of cover-up, patent misdirection, and obvious conspiracy
has denigrated, destroyed, or degraded science's ability to embrace this
new challenge or to reasonably credit the available evidence in any way.
- It's not ~lack~ of evidence. It is lack of ~willingness~
to pursue the evidence that is there!
- This ~readily~ explains the reluctance of the mainstream
to come on board! That 'evidence' for which the doctor wailed so plaintively
cannot come to light if it ~inconveniences~ those who dictate to the mainstream,
those who officiate the conduits of funding and grants, and those who oversee
the maintenance of an 'official' giggle/discouragement factor... also denied
by the good Doctor!
- Dr. Shostak was ~very~ plain that the "giggle factor"
did not really exist, and that a ufological reality would be embraced by
the scientific community if it had but a "single percentage point"
of verity to it. Shostak says it would be the biggest thing in a scientist's
life. Ironically He's right about ~that~!
- Museums would LOVE to display the Ray-gun or star-drive
he demands as 'evidence' (?), as he blissfully disregards the abundant
evidence that ~is~ there. What bald cultural naiveté is this? This
is in ~direct~ opposition to Dr. Michio Kaku who gave an opposite assessment
to Art Bell just a few weeks ago on the same program, and who said that
the scientific community was ~very~ fearful regarding serious interest
in the ufological, even today.
- Dr. Shostak's final point was that Mr. Friedman argues
his ufological case from ignorance with regard to 'facts' and so his assertions
cannot be taken seriously for that reason. Flap-doodle, forgetting he's
the errant pot calling the stalwart kettle black!
- Mr. Friedman _might_ be arguing his case from ignorance,
true enough, but Dr. Shostak certainly argues his case from reactionary
denial, scientistic (sic) inertia, and knee-jerk professional obstinacy.
Some things in this multidimensional continuum of undetected reality won't
hop into Dr. Shostak's test-tube for him. Most of reality won't, I suspect.
- Dr. Shostak lost this debate by a healthy margin, anyway...
as it turned out, but when one takes into account the faulty assumptions
the Doctor made, the facts the Doctor demonstrated that he was un-aware
of, or the outdated 'conventional wisdoms' that he employed to arrive at
his conclusions... he didn't make point ONE, reader! He was Mr. Friedman's
"crushed opponent driven before him", after all... and if you
listen carefully you can just hear the lamentations of the Doctor's women.
- Read on!
- PS -- Kal K. Korff?!?
- firstname.lastname@example.org -:|:-