The Great UFO Debate
Friedman V Shostak
-Part One-

By Frank Warren
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 stating that:
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 the fact.
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 save them."
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?!? -:|:-



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