Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Skeptoid versus Mysterious Universe and The UFO

Just a few brief words on the Westfall, Victoria Australia UFO incident of 1966.  This is not due to a renewed interest in independent flying saucer research, but both "Skeptoid" and "Mysterious Universe" covered the incident this week.  The Syfy, or Scifi, or cy-phi channel is airing a special documentary focused on Australia's Roswell.  How each program covered the exact same alleged incident was a reminder why it is so important to maintain, and indeed cherish, a rational mind.

Brian Dunning goes through the basics of the incident.  In 1966 a group of school children and one or at a least a few teachers saw a silver object land and then take off over a tree line while school was in session.  After the silver object left, a bunch of airplanes  (small Cessna types) chased a thin small plane-length object until the small object left the planes in the dust.  

Dunning, as is his methodical way, breaks down the incident, and excludes certain theories including the possibility that this was a secret military aircraft to deduce that the silver object first viewed was a weather ballon.  The second part of the incident with "the chase" was possibly a target drone, but this is less certain.  Dunning discusses how as time goes on more and more people come forward with more grandiose versions and details of the now long past day in '66.

On the other hand our friends at MU discuss the same incident and come to a shockingly different conclusion.  Aaron and Ben pretty much take all the witnesses at their word, and do not question when in time the testimony came or how the various witness descriptions do not really jive.  They postulate that it may very well have been a top secret military test after all it was during the cold war and some witnesses indicate they saw men in uniform during the incident.  Basically everything Dunning breakdown as improbable, Ben and Aaron take at face value.

This was but one of many woo segments on the MU Podcast, and the show is always a highly polished and entertaining piece.  In the end the MU is a show case of logical fallacies and to an extent blunt wishful thinking.  "Skeptoid" may be dryer to the ear, but more enlightening to the mind.

Sent from my iPad


  1. I listened to MU yesterday for the first time and was actually angered by it. There is absolutely no scientific enquiry or logical breakdown of events. Instead, as you say, they accepted everything that people said and then proceeded to speculate on possibilities. So angered was I by the dissinformation and poisonous content, I sent them an email with my criticisms. The reply was an ad ignorantiam argument about how science is blinkered and that it has backed us into a corner so that we cant see past it.

    I wont be listening again.

  2. Oh btw, this is a bit of spam but I have ablog at

  3. You got angry at a crappy podcast? Get a life buddy.


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