Take me seriously, South African crank demands.

UFO’s are real because the bible says so. And, and you scientists with your white lab coats and big glasses all secretly believe in UFO’s but are too scared to say anything in public because people will make fun of you. Extra-dimensional aliens are visiting Earth. Want proof, well, science says there are lots of dimensions. And we are all the offspring of inter-dimensional aliens procreating with goat herders. That’s in the bible too. If you don’t believe in UFO’s, you are uneducated. QED.

Yeah, just so you know, the statements above are not an accurate reflection of the opinions of the Skeptic Detective. These comments come from a recent News24 article about the South African UFO Resource (SAUFOR), and they were made by Christo Louw, the organisation’s founding member. Louw started the SAUFOR website in 1997 (apparently, although the archives don’t go back past October 2008) and his organisation now has eight members (according to the SAUFOR website).

The News24 article started out ok, Louw says we should have a database of UFO sightings, Dr Enrico Olivier says that people often mistake planets for UFO’s, then it just gets weird.

Louw said that several scientists, while dismissing extra-terrestrial UFOs in public, admitted that they believed in them in private.

“They [scientists] are restricted in the way they deal with the public. In private it’s the opposite, but they are attached to universities and often it’s like advanced peer pressure. If you lose credibility, you lose your funding.”

Louw said that beings from other dimensions were visiting Earth regularly and pointed to the scientific position that in an infinite universe, there are infinite possibilities.

“I am in no doubt that we have been visited since forever. The evidence points to the fact that they might be inter-dimensional beings who have genetically modified us along the way.

“It’s even indicated in the Bible, in Genesis 6, where they talk about the ‘sons of God’ who came down and took wives among the ‘daughters of men’.”

Purpose

Louw explained his view on the purpose for these beings visiting Earth. “We are like an experiment for different kinds of visitors. And they are generally benign. If they weren’t, with their advanced technology, we would be wiped out. So the fact that we are here indicates that they are benign.

“We would like the government to declassify top-secret documents like other countries and we would like to stop letting the public think that this is not real.”

He said that the people who believe in the UFO phenomenon are generally the more educated in society.

“Basically, the more educated people are, the more they ask about everything. And they consider the possibility of extra-terrestrial contact.”

- From “Take UFO’s Seriously, SA Group Urges” by Duncan Alfreds

Wow, where do I start with this? Do you know what constitutes a paranoid conspiracy theory? A paranoid conspiracy theory (PCT) is a notion which is almost certainly untrue (as opposed to a plausible conspiracy theory, proposed by historians, which does not have any evidence to prove it, such as the Princes in the Tower). The New World Order plotting to establish a world government, drug companies withholding cures to dread disease so that they can sell more drugs or aliens controlling our minds, these are all PCTs and they have one thing in common: paranoia about a powerful cabal plotting against the population of the Earth.

These statements by Louw have all the hallmarks of a PCT:

They assume that they are right.

PCTs assume that their beliefs are correct and that those who don’t see things the way they do have been duped or that they need to open their minds.

This stance is an argument from ignorance (see: argumentum ad ignorantiam). They place the burden of proof firmly on their opponents; whose position is wrongly assumed to be to disprove the theories. In fact the PCTs’ position does not change even if their theories are disproved: there’s always a way of reaffirming their position.

There is usually little or no real evidence to back their theories. Instead, PCTs rely on retrospective analysis: logic and reason don’t matter; everything can be twisted to fit the plot. Events are simply interpreted to match the theory.

Their theories cannot be challenged.

PCTs do not treat their theories the way a historian or scientist treats theirs, which is to welcome challenges to their theory which will either strengthen it or refute/amend it.

PCTs vehemently oppose any challenges to their theories. The first line of defence is to issue personal attacks (see: ad hominem) against their opponents. These are generally in the form of ridicule; their opponents not having the ability to see “the real truth”.

The theories of PCTs are often unfalsifiable, such as: UFOs exist but the government is suppressing the evidence. Any counter-argument citing an official source is instantly dismissed, and any real evidence that refutes their claims is classed as contrived or planted by those “powers that be” who are out to fool us.

Any evidence will do

Any evidence that lends credence to their theories will be uncritically accepted as truth. Any evidence that opposes their theories is dismissed out of hand. The quality of evidence is not important as long as it supports the conspiracy theory.

From “What are conspiracy theories” by the UK-Skeptics

Louw’s statements fit these parameters almost perfectly; inter-dimensional aliens with unimaginably advanced technology (the shadowy cabal) are visiting Earth to carry out genetic experiments on humans. The public are being duped by the government into not believing that this is true (silly sheeple) and Louw and his eight buddies are in possession of the truth.

Louw’s hypothesis is absurd, and his “evidence” (scientists say there are lots of dimensions and anything is possible / the bible says so) is as sturdy as a three legged race horse. This is a garden variety UFO-PCT, it is a prime example of irrational thinking and should not be given ANY airtime on a major national news site.


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10 responses to “Take me seriously, South African crank demands.

  1. There have been more than enough incidents over the years to confirm “something other than us” is flying about in our skies, and space.

    Like any subject, people will do what ever they can to make money from it, and there is so much sensationalized information available, especially online.

    But there are many gem’s amongst this sea of crap, its just a matter of sorting them into reliable/fantasy.

    I have found that the very best of the Data comes from government’s own files/documents.
    The Woodbridge/Bentwaters/Rendlesham incident is a great one in support of ET/ED Hypothesises.

    Also Richard Dolan’s book’s Ufo’s and the national security state, is one of the best for unquestionable data,
    Just to outline how frequent these incredible encounters are, among military observers, and how the Government (US) takes the matter very seriously.

    The information is there, if your ready to receive it .

    • Hi Scotty,

      I will definitely look at the Woodbridge/Bentwaters/Rendlesham incident as soon as I have the chance, thank you.

      However, I have to disagree with you on your statement that there have been enough incidents over the years to confirm any kind of ET activity in our skies, especially not a sustained, decades long visiting schedule. The claims made in support of this are too easily proven to be false or mistaken.

      I look forward to the day that we have confirmation of ET existence, never mind visitation, but I don’t think it is happening or has happened yet. Of course, I haven’t looked at your examples and will provide more up to date opinion once I have.

      • The fact that you don’t know of Rendlesham speaks of the research you’ve regarding this subject. It is very easy to write off a subject without studying the evidence that is available.

        While I don’t agree with all of Saufor’s statements, it is quite obvious something is going on. There is testimony available from Policemen, Pilots, astronaugts and well known politicians to mention a few, who swear under oath to being witness to various sightings and encounters. You cannot write that off to paranoi,

        I would recommend taking some time to look at what information is available. And then come to a conclusion that isn’t just a case of “look at this fool going out about aliens, what an idiot, he must have a mental problem”.

        Don’t get me wrong there are a ton of crazy people out there looking for attention. The key is to find someone that has 0 benefit from coming out to the public with this. Think of an airline pilot, he sees a flying disc go under his plane and then accelerate away at great speed. He sees it, his cojo see’s it, he calls his controller, who also. see’s it on radar. So we have 3 different sightings by people who have thousands of lives entrusted. to them everyday, people who at a minimum have to go for medicals once a year, all seeing the same thing, does this make them paranoid and delusional?

        Take a look at a documentary called ‘I know what I saw’ and ‘the disclosure project’ and remember you don’t have to believe or disbelieve, just look at the evidence.

        • I actually do know about the Rendlesham Forest incident. But that’s the name I know it by, the reference to “Woodbridge/Bentwaters/Rendlesham” made me cautious and I wanted to make sure of what it was. And yeah, it’s not obvious that this is alien activity. Brian Dunning does an excellent deconstruction of the claims for this event: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4135.

          There is no reason to believe that lights in the sky are alien spacecraft, no matter who reports them or how sincere they are. Conviction is not evidence.

  2. i thought this article was about myalgic encephalopathy. perhaps the title can be re-worded or italicised to show emphasis instead?

  3. Good post, Angela, I agree with your assessment.

    Reading some of the comments on the news24 article is depressing and indicative of the standard of science education in this country. It’s sad.
    What is also sad is that the writer of the article didn’t ask any pertinent questions or make any rational or critical observations, and that is an example of poor journalism. That kind of article and the comments following it belong in a rag like People Magazine, not on a news website and in the sci-tech section, nogal.

    If there is an extra terrestrial civilisation advanced enough to travel the vast distances of the universe, I am certain that they would have the technology to monitor/scan/probe our planet and know what to expect of the humans inhabiting this little rock, and make every effort to avoid coming here. I know I would.

  4. Pity. I’ve always imagined myself offering E.T a cup of tea if he ever swings by Earth.
    On a serious note, I can’t believe a group like SAUFOR actually exists.

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