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Men In Black (not the movie!)

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Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:07 pm

The Men in Black I am talking about are the strange and intimidating men who, in many accounts from UFO witnesses, show up to interrogate and harass them and order them to keep silent about what they've seen.

Any thoughts on the MIB? Who they are, who they may be working for?

I will preface my own thoughts by saying - yes, I know, you find some crazy and deluded people in UFO circles. But when one actually starts to read some of the matieral that UFO researchers put out and starts reading accounts of UFO witnesses and the people who have interviewed them, you find out that there are also many, many sensible, ordinary and down-to-earth people who claim to have seen something strange. Many are people who were either non-believers in UFOs - until they saw one for themselves - or were people who paid no attention/gave no thought to the phenomena. Many have been frightened and confused by their experience and are utterly convinced that they have seen and/or experienced something strange.

Now as to what these people may be seeing...that's not the subject of this post, so i'm not going to talk too much about it. I'm open to the idea of there being life on other planets, in fact I think it's quite probable. I'm open to the idea that perhaps some UFOs *may* be aircraft from intelligent life from other worlds.

I also think it's possible that a lot of sightings could alternatively be government or military aircraft, of which the general public is not aware.

And this is where the MIB come in.

Many UFO witnessess report, in the wake of their encounter, being approached/contacted by men, usually two in number, who not only behave quite strangely but are usually intimidating and make veiled and sometimes clear threats. Their purpose is to interrogate witnesses about what they have seen and bully them into silence, by implying that if they tell anyone of what they have experienced, the consequences will not be pleasant. A lot of people emerge from these encounters genuinely frightened and intimidated. Another factor is that the men usually seem to know an awful lot about what the witnesses have experienced and sometimes have been aware of quite personal information about the witnesses themselves.

A lot of people reporting MIB encounters are not cranks, they are people who are confused about what they've seen and/or experienced. Because reports of the MIB are so prevalent, I believe that people really are approaching UFO witnesses and intimidating them.

Jenny Randles, a British UFO researcher, believes that the MIB are most likely working for intelligence agencies. I think that is the most likely explanation as well. After all, would anyone really put it past an agency like the CIA (or the equivalents in other countries) to send people around to harass and intimidate people if they've seen something they don't want the general public to know about? If a lot of sightings are in fact top-secret military or government aircraft, then I don't think it's unreasonable to think that intelligence agencies and perhaps people within governments would not be adverse to bullying the witnesses into silence.

Of course, that could also apply to the idea that the UFOs are genuine alien aircraft...some might say that intelligence agencies don't want people to find out the truth about aliens.

But what these sightings actually are isn't the point, it's who and what the MIB are. My opinion is that they are genuine and I think it's likely that they work for intelligence agencies. It would explain why they often seem so powerful, how they have access to sometimes personal information, etc.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Dorset Girl » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:08 pm

Aw, I love your posts! Have you been smoking something weird, BGF? I can never tell.... ;)
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:16 pm

Dorset Girl wrote:Aw, I love your posts! Have you been smoking something weird, BGF? I can never tell.... ;)


No, not today. :) I only get to do that at parties.

I'm hoping some interesting discussion will come from this thread. I mean it seriously - when you look into the UFO field, you see a lot of ordinary people, very confused about what they've seen or had happen to them. They're looking for answers. Many are just average people, not crackpots. And so many report being intimidated by men who imply that unpleasant things will happen if they don't keep their mouth shut about what happened.

I just think sending around agents/employees to harrass and bully people sounds exactly like something an intelligence agency might do. We all know what dirty tricks agencies like the CIA can get up to; I'm sure they're the same in other countries.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Patrick » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:48 pm

Anything is possible but some things though not impossible are very very unlikely. It took three billion years for life to evolve on Earth from single cell organisms to people with technology. Leaving aside the unlikelihood of another planet Earth-like anywhere near in the universe the chances for such planet of reaching the technological stage during the same millenium as we did are one in 3 MILLION, IOW if aliens from another planet had discovered ours it would likely have been a very long time ago and do you see any reason why they would have dealt with us any differently than we did with the primitive people of the lands we've discovered? I don't. So, in conclusion, no aliens.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:51 pm

Patrick wrote:Anything is possible but some things though not impossible are very very unlikely. It took three billion years for life to evolve on Earth from single cell organisms to people with technology. Leaving aside the unlikelihood of another planet Earth-like anywhere near in the universe the chances for such planet of reaching the technological stage during the same millenium as we did are one in 3 MILLION, IOW if aliens from another planet had discovered ours it would likely have been a very long time ago and do you see any reason why they would have dealt with us any differently than we did with the primitive people of the lands we've discovered? I don't. So, in conclusion, no aliens.


I'm neutral on the subject of life on other planets - I don't discount it. But I'm more interested, in this thread, in what and who people think the MIB are. Do you think it's possible that they work for the government or intelligence agencies?
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Patrick » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:59 pm

Bee Gees Fan wrote:
Patrick wrote:Anything is possible but some things though not impossible are very very unlikely. It took three billion years for life to evolve on Earth from single cell organisms to people with technology. Leaving aside the unlikelihood of another planet Earth-like anywhere near in the universe the chances for such planet of reaching the technological stage during the same millenium as we did are one in 3 MILLION, IOW if aliens from another planet had discovered ours it would likely have been a very long time ago and do you see any reason why they would have dealt with us any differently than we did with the primitive people of the lands we've discovered? I don't. So, in conclusion, no aliens.


I'm neutral on the subject of life on other planets - I don't discount it. But I'm more interested, in this thread, in what and who people think the MIB are. Do you think it's possible that they work for the government or intelligence agencies?

Do you think that you have established that the MIBs are anything more than a myth?
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Dorset Girl » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:02 am

No idea about the Men in Black, but I do believe there is life elsewhere in the Universe. I think it's pretty arrogant to assume we're all alone. I've never yet been convinced by any UFO sightings I've read about, though.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:04 am

Patrick wrote:Do you think that you have established that the MIBs are anything more than a myth?


I just think that with so very many witnesses claiming to be visited by these men - and many of them very sensible people who I believe are genuine - then my opinion is that the MIB, whoever they are, are real. I think people are really being sent to bully and intimidate UFO witnesses. It's not just UFO witnesses, I think UFO researchers are targeted as well.

I would say I've established that they're more than a myth for *myself* - reading the reports/accounts, there are so many, that I believe something is going on. I take it your opinion is that the MIB are a myth, though?
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Moon-Crane » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:12 am

Bet you can't guess what i think of this consiracy theory? ;)

The only people who talk about MIB are so-called ufologists and general conspiracy theorists. There's absolutely no proof for the existence of these 'figures'. If you can link to any evidence that isn't simply conjecture, speculation and hearsay posted on websites belonging to flying saucer/alien visitor believers then post the links so we can have a read.

Here's some website takes on the phenomenon kicked off by Albert Bender in the 50s.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Men_in_black
http://learnsomethingnewtoday.us/2008/08/21/men-in-black-real-or-not/
http://science.howstuffworks.com/space/aliens-ufos/men-in-black.htm

UFOs are a very real phenomenon. Nothing unusual in the slightest about UFO reports. The clue's in the full name 'Unidentified Flying Objects', with the emphasis on 'unidentified' and 'object'. Such reports turning out to be alien spacecraft and other such extraterrestrial activity is where it falls down for our rabid believers in visitors from outer space. There's not a shred of evidence for any alien craft of any kind having ever existed on or around our planet - and not because the so-called MIB have come along and wiped peoples minds or initimidated/imprisoned/bumped off anybody who discovered the 'truth'.

On the whole life in the universe thing, I have no doubt there is life out there. I'd be staggered if there turns out to be no form of life even within our own solar system (at the microbe level if nowt else). It's a far cry from believing there is any form of 'intelligent' life within any practical distance (even our galaxy is too vast for any 'visitors' to reach us without breaking the laws of physics as we know them - let alone the whole universe).

In theory, potential intelligent creatures could evolve and die multiple times over throughout the universe and never have any chance of interacting with anything else.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Patrick » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:18 am

Bee Gees Fan wrote:
Patrick wrote:Do you think that you have established that the MIBs are anything more than a myth?


I just think that with so very many witnesses claiming to be visited by these men - and many of them very sensible people who I believe are genuine - then my opinion is that the MIB, whoever they are, are real. I think people are really being sent to bully and intimidate UFO witnesses. It's not just UFO witnesses, I think UFO researchers are targeted as well.

I would say I've established that they're more than a myth for *myself* - reading the reports/accounts, there are so many, that I believe something is going on. I take it your opinion is that the MIB are a myth, though?

There are at least one billion people in the industrial world, when you consider it that's quite a lot. If you spent every off hour looking at their pictures, one every second. It would likely take your entire life to do so. What appears to you to be a mountain of evidence is actually a few isolated freak of nature types of cases. for instance a perfectly normal person can have short bouts of dementia, brought on by anxiety or lack of sleep and then recover from it, or someone can unwittingly absorb mind altering substances and believe that what his hallucinations are real. That's just out of the top of my head.

My point being that you can prove absolutely anything with a few carefully selected testimonies.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:21 am

Moon-Crane wrote:The only people who talk about MIB are so-called ufologists and general conspiracy theorists.


IMO, ufologists and conspiracy theories aren't less trustworthy than anyone else, though. That's not to say they're right, but I don't think their opinions and ideas should be discounted just because they're ufologists or whatever.

What about the witnesses who say they have been visited by men who interrogate and intimidate them? Okay, I know it's anecdotal/hearsay, what have you, but what do you make of these people's claims that people are approaching them and bullying them into silence? Do you think they're lying about it?

I don't know if you've heard of Jenny Randles, but I've been reading her book on the MIB. She used to be involved with BUFORA (British UFO Research Association.) She seems like a reasonable and fair individual. It's looking at her book that got me interested in exploring the phenomenon of the MIB.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Moon-Crane » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:03 am

Bee Gees Fan wrote:IMO, ufologists and conspiracy theories aren't less trustworthy than anyone else, though. That's not to say they're right, but I don't think their opinions and ideas should be discounted just because they're ufologists or whatever.

Most, i would say, do need to be discounted. They simply don't accept hard evidence. Take, for example, the moon landing conspiracy theorists. They spout and repeat the same drivel arguments over and over, even when they've been presented with the irrefutable evidence that destroys their theory into a billion pieces. They don't want to hear the facts. They carry on parroting the nonsense. People like that, i most certainly will discount their opinions on pretty much anything.

What about the witnesses who say they have been visited by men who interrogate and intimidate them? Okay, I know it's anecdotal/hearsay, what have you, but what do you make of these people's claims that people are approaching them and bullying them into silence? Do you think they're lying about it?

Yes, or are simply mistaken for any number of reasons. I have lots of anecdotal evidence regarding my personal experience of various things. It doens't make my opinion useful evidence regarding anything at all.

In conspiracy theories it always comes down to the belief that 'the people who know' are repressing information and forcing others to stay silent. Take the conspiracy theory about the mysterious Planet X (Nibiru) that's alleged to orbit within our solar system on a collision course with Earth but is kept hidden from view by either sitting on the opposite side of the sun from our position, or gets hidden by other planets as it moves inwards towards us, blah blah. It was supposed to be going to collide with us in this century (even this year according to many who believe in the Mayan calendar nonsense), but governements and scientists are keeping it quiet from us to prevent world panic and anarchy. How could that even be feasible? On top of being able to keep thousands of the world's scientists quiet, you're also supposed to belive that every amateur astronomer is in on the conspiracy? Yet, plenty of people believe in this rogue planet and pass the info on within their like-minded circles with ever more embellishments. Just seems like the same way the MIB story works, in my eyes.

I don't know if you've heard of Jenny Randles, but I've been reading her book on the MIB. She used to be involved with BUFORA (British UFO Research Association.) She seems like a reasonable and fair individual. It's looking at her book that got me interested in exploring the phenomenon of the MIB.

There are many otherwise 'reasonable and fair' individuals out there that believe in crazy stuff. The actor Jason Lee, for example, seems like a genuinely affable, reasonable, sort of guy - yet he believes in a batshit nutty religion.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:28 am

Moon-Crane wrote:Most, i would say, do need to be discounted. They simply don't accept hard evidence. Take, for example, the moon landing conspiracy theorists. They spout and repeat the same drivel arguments over and over, even when they've been presented with the irrefutable evidence that destroys their theory into a billion pieces. They don't want to hear the facts. They carry on parroting the nonsense. People like that, i most certainly will discount their opinions on pretty much anything.


I see what you mean, but at the same time, I think it's only fair to give them a fair hearing and consider what they have to say. I'll listen to a moon landing conspiracy theorist - I don't believe they are right in any way at all but I'll still let them have their say and listen to their arguments.

And I think what you said would more apply to conspiracy theorists than ufologists. Ufologists and conspiracy theorists are not the same thing - I believe there are many UFO researchers who do their research quite sensibly. If a serious UFO researcher thought there was enough evidence to suggest that the MIB are real, then I would listen to them and consider their opinion. I might not be convinced, but like I said, I think they should have a fair hearing.

I just think it's only fair to hear what someone has to say, rather than immediately discounting them or writing them off.


Moon-Crane wrote:Yes, or are simply mistaken for any number of reasons.


In what ways do you think they would be mistaken about being visited by people and harrassed/bullied by them? I've never seen personal encounters like that as very easy things to be mistaken about (I'm not saying it's impossible.) I can't believe that they're all under the influence of some mind-altering drug and hallucinating the whole experience. And if at least some of them are being truthful, which I suspect they are, then I think *something* is happening and they are being visited by *somebody*.


Moon-Crane wrote: I have lots of anecdotal evidence regarding my personal experience of various things. It doens't make my opinion useful evidence regarding anything at all.


I would still say that just because something is anecdotal, it doesn't mean it's not true. It is taken quite seriously in many cases, though - police start out their investigations by collecting 'anecdotal evidence' from witnesses to a crime, people give testimony in court - which is basically anecdotal evidence. It may not be hard, *hard* evidence, but I do think anecdotal evidence can be a good and useful starting point and that further investigation can spring from it. It does have its place, I think.


Moon-Crane wrote:There are many otherwise 'reasonable and fair' individuals out there that believe in crazy stuff.


I know that, I was listing her as an example of someone who believes that MIB are real and is not a nutcase conspiracy theorist. I can understand not taking seriously the opinions of people who are *obviously* crazy, but there are MIB 'believers' that are reasonable people and approach the subject with integrity and a rational, questioning mind. It seems like you automatically discount the opinions of the 'sensible' researchers, and I personally wouldn't think that's the best thing to do. :?

Moon-Crane wrote:The actor Jason Lee, for example, seems like a genuinely affable, reasonable, sort of guy - yet he believes in a batshit nutty religion.


Oh, are you a fan of Jason Lee? I've got into My Name Is Earl in the last couple of months, after watching most of the first season. Funny, zany show. My friend can't stand it, though, I've shown him a few episodes and he finds the 'white trash' aspect horrible to watch.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Moon-Crane » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:18 pm

Bee Gees Fan wrote:I'll listen to a moon landing conspiracy theorist - I don't believe they are right in any way at all but I'll still let them have their say and listen to their arguments.
[...]
I just think it's only fair to hear what someone has to say, rather than immediately discounting them or writing them off.
[...]
It seems like you automatically discount the opinions of the 'sensible' researchers, and I personally wouldn't think that's the best thing to do. :?


No, don't get me wrong, i'm open to listening to anybody to begin with. I don't know if this is going to simply come down to an age thing, with you being much younger than i - maybe others could chip in if they can be bothered - but i've reached a point in life where i have to filter things and prioritise. If i gave everybody an equal amount of time to try and convince me of their own beliefs about something, using nothing but stories and anecdotes that can't be backed up by good solid verifiable evidence, then i'd have no time left to get on with the rest of my life. Life's too short.

There was a time in my teens/twenties when i would read all the crazy theory books with an open mind and try to see how they could possibly be real and make sense. When you've read various ideas several times over you begin to tune out that which you've subsequently learned (or believe) to be incorrect and otherwise explainable.

Can't imagine there could be anything more interesting than being witness to a genuine alien intelligent lifeform, a flying saucer, a bunch of psychic, super-powered MIB, or a ghost - even down to seeing a cold-fusion machine or other "free energy" perpetual motion machines that people like to claim exist but are suppressed by goverment and mega corportions. Once somebody can produce clear, independently verifiable, reproducable evidence for any of their supernatural claims, then i'll be the first to read and watch with interest. As Carl Sagan said, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

So, yes, i will listen to the initial claims, and may even start to listen to the evidence presented. Once it gets to the point that the 'evidence' is clearly nothing but a bunch of anecdotes and/or selective datamining, i have to use my previous experience to tell me to bow out.

Put it this way. We all read and veer towards the things that personally interest us. For example, I can't imagine you'd read a multi-hundred-page scientific report on the biological and psychological reasons for near death experiences. The stories from people who claim to have genuinely experienced it are far more easily digestible, and easily believable to those who wish to believe in it. It's not as interesting, or generally human nature, to do the spadework in reading peer-reviewed articles from science and medical professionals and then comparing the details of the given story to the evidence from studies around the world, and so contextualising the experiences. The technicalities of explaining how the brain works, how our cultures impact, general biology, etc, is very dry in comparison to someone telling you about tunnels of light and angels and meeting dead relatives, etc.

I looked up the bibliography of Jenny Randles, and, while i'm sure she's a nice enough person, i have to admit that seeing books about crop circles and psychic detectives amongst her repertoire dilutes an interest in reading her stuff on MIB claims.

Read what interests you, though. I'm certainly not going to tell you to not do what i did at your age. I still like old David Icke, even if i think he's as mad as a box of monkeys on a number of his ideas. I'd go for a beer with him and listen to him any time. I have on display in my house a signed spoon, 'magically' bent by Uri Gellar right before my very eyes, even though i know it's not a supernatural mind powers that he used. So i don't automatically hate all that stuff. :D

Oh, are you a fan of Jason Lee? I've got into My Name Is Earl in the last couple of months, after watching most of the first season. Funny, zany show. My friend can't stand it, though, I've shown him a few episodes and he finds the 'white trash' aspect horrible to watch.


I do like Jason Lee. I loved that show. I liked his short-lived Memphis Beat tv show, and i like all the Clerks/Mallrats/Jay & Silent Bob movie stuff he does. His attachemnt to Scientology doesn't dilute my liking of him in general or his work.

If you like My Name Is Earl, have you seen Raising Hope? Not a Jason Lee show (although he cameos in a couple of episodes) but it's from the Earl writers, and of a similar bent.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Forever Jung » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:09 pm

:twisted: Haven't read the whole thread because i'm just easing back into forum life after the weekend, but some random thoughts..........

I do believe that there is a government agency (or at least department) that is dedicated to UFO sightings.

I don't doubt that there are some even more ridiculous departments (such as one that looks for squirrels who steat triffle from the innocent in order to create some sort of super triffle weapon that will inslave mankind because some squirrels are just badass and wrong in the head).

The height of the UFO paranoia was in the 50's.
In the 50's the cold war was in out of the fridge and into the freezer.
Weather UFO's were believed by the government or not to be extra terestrial or not is anybodys guess, but i'd have thought that the threat (real or imagined) from the reds would be enough to warrant investigation into UFO's in case they were some sort of spy plane.
With paranoia at it's height, I don't doubt that the subject was taken very seriously and that agents were sent to eyewitnesses to access exactly what they saw.

Once a department has funding from the government it's mission, no matter how silly, takes on a life on it's own.
It has a staff (some of whome are passionate about their work), it has government money and sanction, and it has a voice in the halls of power.
More important, it has stationary.
The moment an orginization becomes an entity is when it gets stationary.
Until that point you can reasign the staff to other departments and put it down to a bad idea, but once you've got someone with a letterhead saying he's the department chief it gets more tricky.
Once the department has ordered it's own rubber stamp with it's name on from the stationers, it's pretty much there till the rapture.
I mean, what are you going to do with the rubber stamp if you close the departement?
You can't change the wording on it, and what's the use of a rubber stamp with the name of a non existand departement on it?
It's easier to just keep them in funds, let them do their thing, and not worry about it.
Perhaps the orginization was set up because the government really thought the UFO's were spy planes, but now it is what it is (which is whatever the dept cheif decides it is).

So ther are men in black.
But who are they, what are their methods, what do they wear, and why the f*ck do they care if I "just bounce with them"? :?

I think their methods have changed over the years.
Perhaps they used to go out and give folks the 3rd degree and make veiled threats.
Perhaps.
UFO witnesses (IMHO) may not always be the best people to truthfully tell you what did and did not happen.

Their departement may bill a bit weird, but they have government funding, sanction, and stationary.
If they wanted to kill somebody because they'd seen something then those people would be dead and we'd hear nothing nothing about it.
Unless, that is, there is a news item about a farmer who lived alone in the middle of nowhere being found dead on his farm in what looks like a terrible accident while fixing his combine harvister.
The government is not too nice to kill people to keep a secret.
Come to think of it, the government is not too nice to kill people to steal their lunch box.

I think attention seekers (who many witnesses are labelled) are more likely to open up to a news reporter.
I don't consider myself to be any superspy or phcological genius, but I think that if you wanted to know everything about a sighting the best way would be to dress up as a reporter, get some dude to hold a video camera, and do an interview.
I kind of hope that the government has someone who is at least as smart as me (if not we are F*CKED! :lol: ).

Perhaps their methods these days would just be to read accounts in magazines.
As these people obviously want to tell their story I don't see wht they would leave details out of their articles.

What do they wear?
Something that blends in.

Why do they want me to "bounce with them"?
Because my sex is on fire baby, yeah! :D

:lol:


My final thoughts.................

Sometimes weird stuff is seen.
It may be investigated.
Weather it is investigated or not, I don't really have much personal influence over events.
I don't really care if the governments are hiding stuff because what would I do about it one way or the other?
If any alien war craft crashed in the desert in 1952 and by the looks of their weapons we're all well and trully buggered, is it going to do me any good to know that?
Nope.
I'd personally rather sleep in blissfull ignorant danger rather than pace the floor all night in intelligent fully informed danger knowing i'm in danger and knowing there's sweet FA I can do about it.

As long as the government doesn't start shooting nuclear missiles at everything that moves without some sort of threat, I don't really care what it doesn't tell me.


Footnote - I feel sorry for any poor bugger who comes to Earth, because if there is a species that is more likely to shoot first and ask questions later, we're right here.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Patrick » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:39 pm

I think it's no use to fire nuclear missiles against aliens. They've likely discovered them millennia ago and must have developed defenses against them a long time ago. It would be like throwing stones at a tank. :D The best tactic would be to be as peaceful as possible while trying to learn as much as possible about them and if we discover that we are greatly outmatched then just pretend that they are not there until they make their presence known to us. :lol:
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:41 pm

Moon-Crane wrote:No, don't get me wrong, i'm open to listening to anybody to begin with. I don't know if this is going to simply come down to an age thing, with you being much younger than i - maybe others could chip in if they can be bothered - but i've reached a point in life where i have to filter things and prioritise.


Maybe that does have something to do with it. I also sometimes think some things are more easily explained in person, rather than online - you and I might develop a greater understanding for what each other's opinions actually are if we were talking about it face-to-face. I try to explain myself well online, but I don't know if I always manage it. Perhaps if we were talking in person, we might both be more explicit. So that might help too.

I respect that people can't read up about every single idea or claim or phenomenon and can't read about all the research that has been done into it...I just think people should give someone a fair hearing initially and maybe do some 'general' research of their own. There are people I converse with - I'm not including you here - who make blanket statements about psi research that are false, and it's clear they haven't done any brief reading into the actual research that goes on and the people who do it - and I sometimes wish they would acquaint themselves a little better with the material. It may still not be enough evidence for them, but at least some of the errors they make woud be cleared up.

Moon-Crane wrote:stories and anecdotes that can't be backed up by good solid verifiable evidence, then i'd have no time left to get on with the rest of my life. Life's too short.


I still think that, when stories and anecdotes about a particular experience/phenomenon are very numerous, that they are a good starting point for looking into the idea that there *might* be something going on. I'm not saying they're the solid, best evidence, but I still think they need to be taken into account to a degree.

Moon-Crane wrote:Once somebody can produce clear, independently verifiable, reproducable evidence for any of their supernatural claims, then i'll be the first to read and watch with interest.


What exactly would you suggest? I.e. with claims of psi, like telepathy, what would you suggest as satisfactory independently verifiable, reproducable evidence? Or claims of spirit communication?

Moon-Crane wrote: As Carl Sagan said, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".


I've seen people say that before and while I understand its principle, I wish they would go deeper, because they don't define what they see as an "extraordinary claim" and what they define as "extraordinary evidence". So I wish they would be more explicit.

What would you personally define as an extraordinary claim and what would you define as extraordinary evidence?

It also makes me wonder...what if an extraordinary claim has "ordinary" evidence? Ordinary evidence that is normal/acceptable for other things...would people not accept the "ordinary" evidence for the claim because they believe that certain claims need to be held to higher or more difficult standards? It's something I'm not sure is a necessarily beneficial thing...will people accept ordinary evidence for one thing, but not accept ordinary evidence for something else?

I think there should be a general standard of acceptable evidence for everyone/everything, rather than saying that "we'll accept this level of evidence for this particular theory/claim but not for this one."

This quote from Richard Wiseman (a skeptic of psi and the paranormal) comes to mind:

"I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do."

He later clarified a bit more in another statement: "I was not talking about remote viewing per se, but rather Ganzfeld, etc as well. I think that they do meet the usual standards for a normal claim,but are not convincing enough for an extraordinary claim. "

This is where I disagree with Richard Wiseman. He says he believes that evidence for some psi phenomena meets the standards for other scientific claims and specifically states that he believes "by the standards of any other area of science remote viewing is proven." But then he says that while this evidence would ordinarily be enough and constitute as proof, in this case it's not enough and doesn't.

I personally disagree. If evidence for psi/the paranormal meets the standards of other areas of science, then I think that should be enough. I don't see why evidence is acceptable in one area, and not good enough in another.

Moon-Crane wrote:So, yes, i will listen to the initial claims, and may even start to listen to the evidence presented.


:)

Moon-Crane wrote:Once it gets to the point that the 'evidence' is clearly nothing but a bunch of anecdotes and/or selective datamining, i have to use my previous experience to tell me to bow out.


Well, like I said before, I still think anecdotal data has its use. But we all have different personal standards of evidence, I guess. Anecdotes make me think, "maybe something is going on", but if it doesn't do the same for you, that's fine.

Moon-Crane wrote:Put it this way. We all read and veer towards the things that personally interest us.


Yes, that's true, it does help for people to branch out a bit though. I do so myself.

Robert McLuhan wrote a blog post about this kind of thing here - http://paranormalia.com/

The post is entitled "The Politics of Psi" and is dated 22nd May 2012. (This is a very sensibly written blog about psi/the paranormal, which is why I'm linking it - I think you could relate and understand where the author is coming from, even though you would disagree with his views about the validity of these things.)

It starts off:

"Halfway through writing Randi's Prize I started to feel a nagging sense that many of the people I hoped to reach weren't really open to persuasion. The brilliance or otherwise of my arguments wouldn't make much difference; they would be acclaimed by people who already on some level accepted them, and denounced by those who never could.

The fact is, surely, that when it comes to our personal worldview, studies and experiments play a secondary role. We accept findings that best fit our preferred narrative, and reject those that don't. Mostly, I think, we gravitate towards writers who reinforce what we already intuitively feel to be true."


That's just the beginning, the whole post is quite interesting in my opinion.

Moon-Crane wrote:For example, I can't imagine you'd read a multi-hundred-page scientific report on the biological and psychological reasons for near death experiences.


Maybe multi-hundred page would be a bit much for me, but I'm certainly not opposed for reading a condensed form of that kind of thing. I actually am acquainted with those explanations for NDEs, but I genuinely feel that they don't explain everything that has happened to everyone regarding this phenomena. I think there are still question marks.

So I am aware of the biological and psychological explanations, I simply don't feel that they explain everything. In my reading of NDE accounts, I've come across stuff that I feel can't be explained away by that. For example, one such account I read was in which a gentleman had the NDE experience and found met by a male figure who was totally unfamiliar to him. The gentleman was completely certain that he had never seen this man before, yet he got the very firm impression that the man knew who he was.

Years later, this gentleman's mother admitted to him that his biological father had been killed in the war and the "father" he had grown up with was his stepfather. She showed him a photograph of his biological father - which he had never seen before - and it was the man he had seen in the NDE experience.

I just don't understand how something like that could be explained by the biological/psychological factors. The man had no idea that his stepfather was not his biological father, he'd had no idea of his biological father's existence, had never seen a picture of him - not until years after the NDE. Yet his biological father appeared in his NDE, years before he knew of his father's existence. He was insistent that the photograph he saw years later matched the man he had seen in his NDE.

That's only one example, but even so, it's enough to make me think and raise questions.

Moon-Crane wrote:The stories from people who claim to have genuinely experienced it are far more easily digestible, and easily believable to those who wish to believe in it. It's not as interesting, or generally human nature, to do the spadework in reading peer-reviewed articles from science and medical professionals and then comparing the details of the given story to the evidence from studies around the world, and so contextualising the experiences. The technicalities of explaining how the brain works, how our cultures impact, general biology, etc, is very dry in comparison to someone telling you about tunnels of light and angels and meeting dead relatives, etc.


That's probably true, but it's not the reason that I'm unconvinced by the scientific explanations. Having read material and explanations from both sides, I genuinely feel that the "science" side doesn't explain everything that has been experienced. It's not a case of me finding the science boring or dry, it's that I honestly don't feel that it explains everything satisfactorily.

This may surprise you, but I sometimes find myself wishing that I *didn't* believe in any of this, because it would make things easier for me at times - I wouldn't get any sneering or sarcasm or (in some cases) outright hostility and bullying. (This is not a reference to how people behave on here, I'm talking about other areas of the internet and my personal, offline life.) I do sometimes get hassle from others because I believe things they don't and sometimes it's genuinely nasty. I get very upset about it and that leads to me sometimes thinking, 'I wish I didn't believe in this, then I wouldn't get all these insults and unpleasantness.' In some ways, it would make my life easier if I *didn't* believe in anything paranormal or psychic.

Yet, if I look at things honestly, and remain true to myself, then I stay a believer - because I genuinely think that the science doesn't explain everything. To say otherwise would be to live a lie.

Moon-Crane wrote:Read what interests you, though.


Oh, I will! :D

Moon-Crane wrote:I still like old David Icke


What I didn't really like about David Icke's books was that he appears to blaming everthing on a big evil Jewish conspiracy. It had hints of anti-Semitism in it, which I found disturbing. I don't know if David Icke himself is anti-Semitic but I once went to the forums on his website and quite a few members there were openly anti-Semitic. I disliked that and found it distastesful, so I haven't been back there since. Some of David Icke's ideas about the paranormal, I probably agree with, though.

Also, MC, as you may have gathered from the other thread, I think it's very neat that you've been to the Buddha/monastery in Hong Kong. It looks like a lovely place. What are your views on Buddhism as a faith and a philosophy? Do you like anything about Buddhism?

I like the Buddhist concept of mindfulness and I like the encouragement of meditation. I know you don't have to be a Buddhist to meditate, but I think the 'popularisation' of meditation is due mostly to Buddhism and other Eastern spiritual paths that contain meditation as part of their activities.

I think there's a lot of good stuff in Buddhism, not all of it 'spiritual', either. And there are atheistic brands of Buddhism too, which I think is why some people say it's more of a philosophy than a religion.

If you ever find yourself feeling stressed, I would recommend stepping into a Buddhist Centre - they have such peaceful vibes! It would calm you right down! :D Have you ever been inside one?

I sometimes think that the Eastern approach to spirituality has been more sensible than the Western approach. I once read that Western people tend to compartmentalise things and look at things as different "parts" whereas Eastern people look at the "whole" and see everything/everyone as the "whole". I wonder if that's true.

Moon-Crane wrote:If you like My Name Is Earl, have you seen Raising Hope? Not a Jason Lee show (although he cameos in a couple of episodes) but it's from the Earl writers, and of a similar bent.


I've never seen it, but I'll look it up. Is it an ongoing show? What's the basic storyline?
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Moon-Crane » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:44 pm

Just a note to say i'm not ignoring your post, BGF. I'll reply in the new year. Not had enough proper time to spend online over xmas/ny. Probably same again this week. See you back on here at the weekend.

Anyway, this is Raising Hope. It's ongoing - into the third season now. Here's the synopis from wiki:
James "Jimmy" Chance is a clueless 25-year-old who impregnates a serial killer during a one-night-stand. Earning custody of his daughter after the mother is sentenced to death and electrocuted, Jimmy relies on his eccentric but well-intentioned family for support in raising the child.


Very similar in style to Earl. Great cast. Well worth a watch, i'd say.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:32 pm

Moon-Crane wrote:Just a note to say i'm not ignoring your post, BGF. I'll reply in the new year. Not had enough proper time to spend online over xmas/ny. Probably same again this week. See you back on here at the weekend.


That's okay, and I also realise my posts are quite essay-like a lot of the time - I just have such a lot to say and want to set it all out clearly! I myself am going to be busy with all the extra reading I've got to do, I got some good books about alchemy/spirituality/witchcraft for Christmas. I LOVE them!
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby barnaclelapse » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:55 am

Well, this has certainly been an interesting thread to read through. I just wish I had something meaningful to contribute to it. I was fascinated by the MIB concept (long before the movie ever came out) when I was little.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Bee Gees Fan » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:43 pm

Aww, MC, have you forgotten us here? :cry:

:D
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Patrick » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:47 pm

I had never heard of the MIB before I saw the movie. In fact, I didn't even know that it was that movie before it started. You see in France, in Nantes where I lived for a couple of years, they had back then this concept of multi-theatres, IE you buy one ticket and then you go into a corridor connecting all the theatres together and you can access any one of maybe like a dozen different theatres, large ones for the hip movies and smaller ones for the ones that have been there for a while. It's rather ingenious because it's like a lobster trap once you've entered a theatre the only way you can exit is by going out on the street, they have a system that doesn't allow to go back once you're on the street either (two doors that open only from one side and can't be open simultaneously except when there is a fire alarm going on or when the movie is over). Anyway, I went to see the wrong movie, IE Men In Black and didn't know what it was before it started. At first I was angry at myself for having chosen the wrong room but after a while I got into it and found it enjoyable. I knew about Will Smith because I saw him a few times in that sit com where he starred and I knew about the other guy because he played the bad guy in JFk.
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Re: Men In Black (not the movie!)

Postby Moon-Crane » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:44 am

Bee Gees Fan wrote:Aww, MC, have you forgotten us here? :cry:

:D


:D Apologies for forgetting to return to this. I'll reply tomorrow.
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