The Instigator
daley
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
feverish
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

the Belgian UFO Wave is best Explained as Aliens

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,622 times Debate No: 17648
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)

 

daley

Pro

Round 1 is for opening arguments and all other round are for rebuttals. The Belgian UFO wave was most likely extraterrestrials (aliens). Please see the article in Wikipedia detailing the facts. (http://www.google.com...) If anyone has a more logical explanation I'd love to debate it. These things were traveling at speeds that would be deadly to any human had there been humans aboard, were tracked on radar and seen by thousands, so we know there were real objects in the sky that night; these things sped away whenever a radar locked on them so they had the technology to detect our scanning system, and the lights formed an equilateral triangle. Despite their speed there was no sonic boom. Nothing in nature, and nothing built by man, is known to have the characteristics that would produce all the effects noted that night in April 1990, when they appeared in the sky.
feverish

Con

Hi daley, thanks for the opportunity to debate.

I'd not heard about this alleged incident before seeing this debate, but after following the link provided by my opponent and the subsequent links that follow from ithere, I believe that there are far more rational and likely explanations for all the observed phenomena.

The resolution states that "the Belgian UFO Wave is best Explained as Aliens" and since my opponent is Pro and instigator he clearly has the burden of proving this extraordinary claim. I am mildly perturbed to see him state that "Round 1 is for opening arguments and all other round are for rebuttals" since he hasn't provided any evidence or a clear argument in his opening round. I am hoping that he means round 1 is for brief outline and round 2 will be for opening arguments.

Just in case, I will respond to some of the assertions and then present a brief outline of a contrary explanation

_____________________

"If anyone has a more logical explanation I'd love to debate it."

This appears to be a subtle attempt to shift the burden of proof. As Con, it is my responsibility to cast reasonable doubt on the alien hypothesis and that will be my main focus. I will however attempt to present more viable alternative interpretations to any evidence my opponent brings.

"These things were traveling at speeds that would be deadly to any human"

Witnesses on the ground are not likely to be able to give accurate assessments of the speed of flying objects.

"These things ... were tracked on radar ... these things sped away whenever a radar locked on them"

This is a clear contradiction; how were they "tracked" if a lock could not be kept on them? Bizarre radar readouts are most plausibly explained by equipment malfunction and do not represent confirmation of extraordinary speeds.

"seen by thousands"

Objects in the sky may have been reportedly seen by thousands but there appears to be far less consistency in the descriptions given than certain publications would care to admit.

________________________

I believe the most plausible explanation for these events is mass hysteria http://en.wikipedia.org... exacerbated by the over-enthusiastic speculation of unscientifically minded individuals in it's aftermath.

1) No pictorial evidence showing anything unusual was produced until 4 months after the event, when an anonymous image was released that was widely reproduced and lauded as evidence for 20 years (despite contradicting most descriptions). Pro's wiki source explains just why this image doesn't stand up under scrutiny and describes how someone has finally come forward in the last few days confessing to the hoax. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2) The fighter pilots who were dispatched never claimed to have seen any unusual objects in the sky and apparently believed the strange radar readings were the result of equipment failure. This is mentioned in this thorough debunking (by a reformed extra-terrestrial hypothesiser) of the work of self-deluding ufologists who hyped the sightings so much after the event. http://www.skepticreport.com...

3) The majority of the descriptions of objects seen that night are a pretty good match for helicopters, triangular lights and all. This document expounds at length: http://gmh.chez-alice.fr... Page 2 shows an artists interpretation of one of the craft that ufologists demonstrated incredible confirmation bias in re-producing as evidence for their theories. It's in the previous link too.

Look at it and tell me it looks like anything other than a chopper.

__________________________

That's all for now. I await some thorough argumentation and supporting evidence from my opponent.

Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1
daley

Pro

Let me apologise for the typo, I meant round 2 was for opening arguments and all others for rebuttals. I accept the blame for the misunderstanding. Now, let me respond to Con's objections as well as strengthen my own case.

"Witnesses on the ground are not likely to be able to give accurate assessments of the speed of flying objects."

No human being needs to be some kind of braniac or expert in aviation to tell that when they see a bright object traverse a space from up in the sky to down near the land in a matter of seconds, that there is no way a human could be piloting. To say that these thousands of people were mistaken in what they saw is just an insult to their intelligence. They don't need to tell the exact speed in miles per hour to know that its going faster than anything they have ever seen before. When I see a bolt of lightning, I know that it reaches between heaven and earth faster than any man-made aircraft. and these people saw these lights moving at similar speeds.

"This is a clear contradiction; how were they "tracked" if a lock could not be kept on them? Bizarre radar readouts are most plausibly explained by equipment malfunction and do not represent confirmation of extraordinary speeds."

Every time they got a "lock" the objects sped away at tremendous speeds, breaking the lock. And as for malfuntioning, very odd that all the F-16s would individually have a malfuntion in their radar system at the same time. This is nothing more than an attempt to cover up the fact that aliens exist. What are the mathematical probabilities that both F-16s would have malfunctioning tracking systems? Further, if they really were malfuntioning, how is it the encyclopedia gives the exact altitudes and speeds the ufo's moved at to break away from the lock? Had the plane's radar been malfuntioning, there would be no agreement among them about what speeds and altitudes these things were moving at. Obviously, something fishy is going on.

"Objects in the sky may have been reportedly seen by thousands but there appears to be far less consistency in the descriptions given than certain publications would care to admit."

"During this time, ground witnesses broadly corroborate the information obtained by radar. They described seeing the smaller triangle completely disappear from sight at one point, while the larger triangle moved upwards very rapidly as the F-16s flew past." (http://en.wikipedia.org...) My source shows the people on the ground gave reports that matched the movements recorded on radar, hence, it could not be a case of the people not knowing what they saw or the radar malfunctioning, or these two reports would not agree. Keep in mind this is 13,500 people we are talking about. More than enough witnesses. Con also claims that the reports were not consitent, let him prove this.

"I believe the most plausible explanation for these events is mass hysteria http://en.wikipedia.org...... exacerbated by the over-enthusiastic speculation of unscientifically minded individuals in it's aftermath."

So let's get this straight; 13, 500 people all hallucinated seeing the same things, moving in the same places in the same way? And just by chance, the radar system of not one, but two F-16s malfunctioned in such a way that they corroborated or matched exactly what these people hallucinated? Yeah right? Of those 13, 500 people how does Con know none were scientifically minded? And in any case, why should one have to be a science wizz to know what one saw? Were that the case, then only scientists should be allowed to testify in court. These people were not suffering from some mass delusion; something really was in the sky that night and they saw it.

As for pictorial evidence, its not like the aliens told us when they were coming to have our cameras ready. And many who had cameras ready probably didn't even get a good shot because of the tremendous speeds these things were darting away at, or were just too far, or didn't have a good vantage point to shoot from. And when someone claims he's got a picture of an alien ship he isn't really taken that seriously anyway. That's the bias of the world in which we live.

"2) The fighter pilots who were dispatched never claimed to have seen any unusual objects in the sky"

So nothing was out there right? What were all those people seeing? What was his radar picking up? How embarrassing it would be to be in the limelight when claiming to have seen a ufo? Many would want to know what it looked like. Had he seen it, it would take much courage to admit it. But for argument's sake lets agree that he didn't. So he was up there chasing a ghost?

"and apparently believed the strange radar readings were the result of equipment failure."

The link Con gave sent us to an article claiming it was atmospheric conditions that caused the F-16 to malfunction. First of all, these planes are built to withstand extreme weather; Con hasn't shown that the weather was "strange" that night in any case. Second, maintenance is done regularly on such planes. What's more, there were two F-16s that were scrambled that night. But its more probable that these guys needed an excuse for what their radar was picking up, and they needed to put the public to rest, and bring some rest to all those thousands who were hyped about the "ufo."

"3) The majority of the descriptions of objects seen that night are a pretty good match for helicopters, triangular lights and all."

Can a helicopter dart out of your sight at supersonic speed? "On three occasions they managed to obtain a radar lock for a few seconds but each time the targets changed position and speed so rapidly that the lock was broken. During the first radar lock, the target accelerated from 240 km/h to over 1,770 km/h while changing altitude from 2,700 m to 1,500 m, then up to 3,350 m before descending to almost ground level – the first descent of more than 900 m taking less than two seconds." (http://en.wikipedia.org...) Not to mention people on the ground were witnessing these maneuvers. No chopper could do this. I look forward to Con's reply.
feverish

Con

Thanks daley.

Okay, firstly I'd like to point out even if one was to accept all of my opponent's arguments as fact (which I certainly don't), the only conclusion that could be made is that something happened which defies conventional explanations of known natural phenomena. The resolution however, refers specifically to aliens.

In order to fulfil his burden, Pro should be attempting to establish why aliens are the most plausible explanation, not merely saying 'something really freaky happened'. I am under the impression that my opponent is a devout Christian, so why isn't a hypothesis of a miracle or a sign from God a more plausible explanation than aliens?

For another example, my opponent is apparently a sceptic of the science of evolutionary theory, although it is the vast majority consensus of biologists. This would seem to suggest that he doesn't believe that humanity has by any means a complete understanding of all natural phenomena on Earth. So why is something unexplainable automatically aliens?

I can totally understand why, if someone has a pre-existing belief that extra-terrestrials regular visit planet Earth, hard to explain events such as these would seem to confirm their expectations. However an open minded person exhibiting rational scepticism would not make the same conclusions.

___________________

A lot of Pro's arguments still consist of bare assertions and clear exaggerations and misrepresentations of the data. It seems that the only source he is using to back up his claims is Wikipedia, and while I'm no wiki hater, I think a few additional, original sources would perhaps give some his claims more weight.

In referring to statements of ground witnesses, Pro keeps repeating the figure of 13,500 and making the implication that these huge numbers of people are all confirmed as witnessing exactly the same thing. This is clearly false. Pro's sole source makes it clear that this figure is a mere estimation and a small fraction of that number actually made proper statements.

Regarding assessments of speed (and other details) from witnesses, Pro needs to establish how many people actually made these claims as well as considering their inability to make accurate judgements. Suggesting that it is my responsibility to prove inconsistency is a blatant attempt to shift the burden. Pro is claiming that this many people all saw the same things but has made no attempt to prove it. Quoting wiki stating that an unspecified number of witnesses "broadly corroborate" is vague and insubstantial.

http://www.skepticreport.com... The report mentions that at one point the object seen on radar didn't change its relative position as the aircraft turned, this is particularly characteristic of equipment failure. Radar is far from perfect, for articles describing the many kinds of entirely natural phenomena that can give misleading radar data (known as clutter, or sometimes as angels) see these: www.foia.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-091007-151.pdf, http://www.radartutorial.eu...

Pro: "So let's get this straight; 13, 500 people all hallucinated seeing the same things, moving in the same places in the same way?"

This is not only an attempt to reduce my argument to absurdity, it is also a complete straw man (I referred to hysteria, not hallucinations) and a total misrepresentation of the data. As observed above, there are far less than this number of witness statements and no certainty that the statements that do exist match each other. Note also in the paragraph this is taken from that Pro has abandoned the vague phrasing of his source ("broadly coroborated") for his own interpretation: "matched exactly".

As my previous links have shown the Belgian ufo enthusiast group SOBEPS were publcising a lot of spurious material around this period, creating a buzz around the idea of aliens swarming over Belgium .Referring to unscientifically minded individuals, I should explain that I didn't mean the witnesses themselves but rather SOBEPS and Meessen, who's analysis of the sightings is examined at length here: http://www.skepticreport.com...

When I talk about the people on the ground suffering from mass hysteria, I am not suggesting that they all hallucinated similar objects that weren't there. I'm saying that, with this notion of aliens at the forefront of their mind, they were quick to jump to the conclusion of aliens whenever they saw anything remotely strange in the sky. This type of self-delusion is confirmation bias, if you observe something expecting a certain result, then sooner or later, you are likely to see something minor that you can attribute to your pre-existing expectations.

The response to the helicopter hypothesis is another blatant straw man. I never claimed that the cause of the radar readings was helicopters, rather that a lot of the aircraft described in the witness statements bear a striking resemblance to helicopters. It is interesting that Pro chooses to sidestep the evidence such as the artist sketch and switches the focus back to the radar.

Now remember, it is not my burden to prove what these lights or objects may have been, merely to cast reasonable doubt on aliens being the probable cause. I'm not denying that there were objects and/or lights in the sky on that night, or any other occasion. These things are common.

Pro needs to explain why it is more likely that these were aliens, rather than any other explanation, from balloon lanterns, to fireworks, meteors, remote controlled aircraft, military experiments, atmospheric conditions, disco laser lights, reflection from surface lights, those little infra-red beam devices, birds with wet feathers that reflected light, box kites, helicopters, hang gliders, fireflys, fairies, pixies, witches, demons, Jesus, the devil or anything else.

I shall leave it there for now and hand back over to daley.

Thanks.
Debate Round No. 2
daley

Pro

Con says that if my points are fact "the only conclusion that could be made is that something happened which defies conventional explanations of known natural phenomena" has happened. Well, if it defies our understanding of natural phenomena, then we must look to something outside of earthly, natural explanation. Now he asks me why I don't think it was a miracle. Well, this ufo phenomenon has been going on for a while; and witnesses, reliable witnesses, ok, describe what is obviously a space ship. In fact, some have even seen it up close enough to touch it and examine it. I wonder if Con will also tell me that "radar malfunction" was the case in all the other cases too? How can that be when in other cases they actaully "saw" what they were looking at, and some touched it? It even left radiation readings in this case. One critic even tried to tell one millitary pilot that what he saw was the planet Jupiter. If so, why did the US government confescate all the evidence and swear them to secrecy? Since when was Jupiter classified? The Biblical doctrine of God is not one who flies around in space ships. Nor do demons fit that description either. Nor can a spirit being such as an angel be tracked on radar. So this obviously isn't a miracle, its something else. If the Belgian UFO Air Wave stood alone as the only example of its kind, "maybe" we could say "I just don't know." But this is just one of many many others which confirm the existence of aliens, and this is one more reason the Belgian UFO Air Wave is best explained as aliens. As I said, there are many more examples where these things were clearly "seen" and detected on camera as well as radar. They even intervened to shut down a missles lauch in one case.
So I really hope Con won't try to pass this off as a unique example as some unexplanable phenomenon. One would also have to wonder what would be the purpose of this "miracle" if indeed it were from God. Was anyone converted to Christianity becasue of it?

"my opponent is apparently a sceptic of the science of evolutionary theory, although it is the vast majority consensus of biologists"

Majorities don't decide truth, nor is truth decided by science alone. There are many truth science itself can't get at. Do you love anyone? Family, wife, or kids maybe? Science can't agree that "love" really exists. Science says that such feelings are nothing more than harmones and an aid to reproduction. Do you really accept that? What is it then that couple feel for each other when they want no kids? Love even moves some to sacrifice their lives. No scientific instrument can detect that "love" and tell you what its made of. Science can't say that "right" and "wrong" exit. Science can't say that rape is immoral for us any than it can say that when a male shark forcibly copulates with the female that he "rapes" her and is wrong. On the scientific atheistic worldview, were a superior race of aliens to come and view us as food the same way we view cows as "beef" they would be no more "wrong" than the lion who eats a zebra. They are merely following evolution, and trying to survive. Science can't get at morality. Yet, you and I and the scientists themselves know deep down that morality is real; that some things really are good and others really are evil. So I don't have to agree with all that scientists say.

Evolution is a theory that has so many problems in it, and the problems make evolution itself so improbable, that the mathematical odds are so small I can't accept them. God knows how they can, but I can't. The odds of getting a living thing from a non-living thing by natural means are the same as a man rising naturally from the dead. The alien hypothesis doesn't have those problems. In fact, the evidence we have for aliens is exactly what we would expect; the evidence we have for evolution isn't. Example, the pre-cambrian strata preserves microbial life very well, it should therefore have preserved many of the intermediates leading to the vertebra of the cambrian explosion, yet it doesn't preserve any.

"why is something unexplainable automatically aliens?"

What else but an intelligence can do flight maneauvers better than our planes, travel faster than anyplane we have on earth, detect when we have them locked on to fire and dart away at tremendous speeds, and fly in patterns of a triangle? Pro asks me to give another source other than wikipedia. If my souce isn't reliable, tell me why. Othewise, my source stands as reliable in this debate. Anyways, I will give an additional source. Funny how Con says that it was atpospheric conditions that affected the radar, and in this link I have the Chief of the Belgian Air Staff admitting that he could rule that out because they got a visual confirmation from a witness that verified what was on the radar. He says it would be good to get another visiual confirmation which they did get from the police on the ground in March 30-31, matching what was on radar. (Remember the Belgian UFO Air Wave occured over a period and not in one night alone) The US millitary denied having any secret spy plane in the area, and as I said before, such speeds would be intolerable for a human. It also moved faster than supersonic planes without making noise; this is impossible for all our surrent technology including the choppers Con suggested. My other source he called for is here: He said "I think a few additional, original sources would perhaps give some his claims more weight." Well, I've done so, and in the link, the cheif of Belgian's air staff explains that the witnesses said they saw a "metallic" object. They were describing a ship. This is what "he" says the reports were that came in from the witnesses. The only reason F-16s were scrambled in the first place was because the sighting was confirmed by radar and by police on the ground. While not admitting it was aliens, the official airforce report ruled out all other possibilities. http://wzus1.search-results.com...

Con talks about my use of "broad corroboration" and "matched exactly" in regard to the witnesses statements; but surely there were many contradictory statements about the sinking of the Titanic as well as the 9/11 disaster, doesn't mean the events didn't happen. Space ships were in the skies of Belgium as sure as the Titanic sank and the Twin Towers fell. All this talk about hysteria usually comes up when people challenge the norm of the day. Its not easy to go against the grain, but I commend all the witnesses for their brave stand up and the airforce for getting involved. I'll ask Con to be honest; do you really think that if the government got their hands on one of the aliens and the ship, that they'd tell the world about it, or hide the technology for themselves?

There are aliens visiting our planet and the Belgian UFO Air Wave is one perfect example. I look forward to Con's response.
feverish

Con


I appreciate Daley posting what he considers evidence for aliens visiting Earth, but I think it is a bit much to expect me to watch over 70 minutes of video and respond to every point raised, particular as most (all?) seems entirely irrelevant to the topic we are debating. Remember that this is not a debate about the existence of aliens in general, like my opponent's current debate (where he seems to have posted the exact same set of videos) is: http://www.debate.org... This debate right here is about a specific set of sightings.


If daley wants me to respond to any of the info in these videos, I'd appreciate him directing me to some specific part that he feels backs up his arguments about UFOs in Belgium.


"if it defies our understanding of natural phenomena, then we must look to something outside of earthly, natural explanation."


Daley's professed opinions regarding evolution clearly demonstrate that he doesn't have much faith in the ability of scientists to accurately assess the workings of nature. It is therefore contradictory for him to claim that things science can't explain are automatically other-worldly.


In response to my question of why, for a Christian, an act of God should not be at least as plausible an explanation for strange phenomena as aliens, Pro seems to go off on a bit of a tangent. He conflates this case with other examples of supposed alien sightings, where metallic objects were involved, before saying:


"The Biblical doctrine of God is not one who flies around in space ships."


Well the Biblical doctrine doesn't have much to say about aliens either, does that mean they aren't real?


My opponent can't have this both ways. If the Bible can be silent about aliens without it impacting on the likelihood of their existence, why does it need to describe Jahveh's version of the Millennium Falcon in order for such to be plausible? Remember God is omnipotent, so he can surely knock out a decent spaceship without too much bother.


"Nor can a spirit being such as an angel be tracked on radar"


How do you know? Have there been many studies on this? Is radar mentioned in the Bible?


Again, I don't feel the need to examine other UFO cases, suffice to say, none have been confirmed as aliens and most scientists do not believe that aliens regularly visit Earth.


"One would also have to wonder what would be the purpose of this "miracle" if indeed it were from God"


It is a well known fact that God moves in mysterious ways. Since an omnipotent, omni-benevolent being regularly allows apparently innocent people to suffer terribly, I think it's fair to say that his motives are often not comprehendible, let alone obvious.


This also raises an interesting point that one would "have to wonder what would be the purpose of this" if indeed it was aliens.


Are we to suppose that a bunch of alien life forms used their incredibly sophisticated technology merely to fly around above the skies of Belgium (of all places) spooking the public? Surely if they could travel so far, detect radar and manoeuvre so well at such speeds, then evading detection altogether would have been a simple task for them. Why advertise their presence in this manner, if they did not intend to conquer, to trade or even to communicate with us?


"Majorities don't decide truth"


However, Pro believes that since a lot of people (how many was it again? two thousand and something?) think they saw alien ships, that it must be the truth.


Pro's long diatribe about science discusses at length how science can't comprehend everything in nature, this contradicts his earlier statement: "if it defies our understanding of natural phenomena, then we must look to something outside of earthly, natural explanation"


"Evolution is a theory that has so many problems in it ... The odds of getting a living thing from a non-living thing by natural means..."


Although it's irrelevant to the debate, I feel compelled to point out the difference between evolution and abiogenesis. The theory of evolution is not concerned with the origin of life, merely the origin of species.


"the evidence we have for aliens is exactly what we would expect"


Really? I would have thought if aliens were taking the trouble to visit Earth, they would be doing something a little more significant than providing elaborately choreographed light shows. In any case, accepting something as fact because it appears to conform to one's expectations is the opposite of the scientific method and a clear example of the kind of confirmation bias I referred to in previous rounds.


"What else but an intelligence can do flight maneauvers better than our planes"


Light beams operated by human hand, insects, birds, fish, a leaf caught in the wind. Lots of things are more manoeuvrable than several tons of jet fuelled metal.


"travel faster than anyplane we have on earth"


Rockets, meteors, lightning, light beams, lasers etc.


"detect when we have them locked on to fire and dart away at tremendous speeds"


Imaginary things can easily be ascribed imaginary abilities.


"fly in patterns of a triangle"


Light beam devices, three torches, birds, fireworks etc.


"If my souce isn't reliable, tell me why."


Wikipedia is a pretty decent source on the whole, however it must be remembered that it only gives an overview sourced from other documents. Also, as it edited and compiled by members of the public, inevitably some bias seeps into some pages. I would imagine that a page about a UFO sighting would be taken seriously mostly by those with a belief in the alien contact hypothesis, after all who else would be interested enough to take the time to create it?


Wikipedia is however a far, far better source (imo) than the new one presented by my opponent in the last round which is unashamedly biased, coming as it does from the personal website of a paranormal investigator.


"Space ships were in the skies of Belgium as sure as the Titanic sank and the Twin Towers fell"


This is a bare assertion that is based around completely different categories of evidence. There was physical evidence in the form of wreckage in the cases of the Titanic and 9/11, the objects clearly existed, were manufactured by people, and people were in them when those things happened. I and millions of others watched the second tower fall on live TV.


Very few people would dispute that the towers fell, just as neither I, nor anyone else is disputing that there were lights in the sky and strange radar behaviour that night, or that mysterious objects are seen in the sky generally. However what are not so clear are the exact actions, motivations, individuals and sequences of events that led to the towers falling. In the case of UFO sightings without any solid evidence there is even less certainty about the causes.


We must remember that UFOs are, by their very definition, unidentified. Pro has not yet succeeded in identifying these ones on an evidential basis.


Debate Round No. 3
daley

Pro

The Youtube videos simply highlight the fact that the Belgian UFO Air Wave doesn't stand alone. Since Con asked for specifics, not being able to reply to every piece of information in all those videos, I will oblige him. Take for example in Belgian UFO Air Wave itself, which was in the last video and to which he made no reply. (Belgian F-16s and military radar hunting UFOs - Sightings Belgium 1990) http://wzus1.search-results.com......

Chief of the Belgian Air Force comes live in a news report and says that the speeds these things were travelling at would kill any human being. That rules out man-made planes, choppers, and so forth.

Notice what Wikipedia says about the altitudes and speeds: "Over the next hour the two scrambled F-16s attempted nine separate interceptions of the targets. On three occasions they managed to obtain a radar lock for a few seconds but each time the targets changed position and speed so rapidly that the lock was broken. During the first radar lock, the target accelerated from 240 km/h to over 1,770 km/h while changing altitude from 2,700 m to 1,500 m, then up to 3,350 m before descending to almost ground level – the first descent of more than 900 m taking less than two seconds. Similar manoeuvres were observed during both subsequent radar locks. On no occasion were the F-16 pilots able to make visual contact with the targets and at no point, despite the speeds involved, was there any indication of a sonic boom. Moreover, narrator Robert Stack added in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, the sudden changes in acceleration and deceleration would have been fatal to one or more human pilots. During this time, ground witnesses broadly corroborate the information obtained by radar." http://wzus1.search-results.com...

Now, all of the things Con has suggested as what these things were is squarely refuted without exception. In the clip, Chief of the Belgian Air Staff says they thought at first it might be weather phenomenon such as atmospheric or magnetic interference, but visual confirmation on the ground of what their radars were picking up showed those possibilities to be false.

I will address all of Con's suggestions one by one:

"Light beams operated by human hand"

Light beams operated by human hand such as flash lights travel in straight lines. They don't move up and down the way these things accelerated. Also, radars don't pick up simple beams of light. The source of such light, i.e. a flash light, could not move at such speeds.

"insects, birds"

Can't travel at such speeds as to break a radar lock

"fish"

Now Con is being ridiculous; a fish in the sky? Is he taking this debate seriously?

"a leaf caught in the wind."

Is Con serious? On radar? A leaf in wind on radar? Moving at 1, 170 km/h? Con is taking thing out of context here and wildly suggesting anything at all no matter how silly it is. Silly way to win a debate! I'm regretting that he was the one who accepted the challenge; I'm sure other people out there might have been more serious about it.

"Lots of things are more manoeuvrable than several tons of jet fuelled metal."

There is a combination of things these UFO's did, a combination that fits nothing we know of from this earth.

"Rockets"

Rockets are piloted by humans but no human could have survived the speeds these things went at; and there is no launch site in Belgium anyway. You seem not to trust Youtube, so tell us plainly if you think the whole interview with the Chief of Belgian Air Staff is a fake; if not, then its good evidence.

"meteors"

Those go strait down; these UFO's went both down and up. Does a meteor go "up"? In fact, meteors don't stop before they hit the ground, these UFO's did.

"lightning"

Lightning goes straight down to the ground or straight up to the sky; it doesn't go a certain distance in the air then stop, then go another direction then stop, as these UFO's did.

"light beams, lasers"

See above, such things fall into the same category as "beam of light" and lightning" all of which are refuted. Con claims there must be a natural explanation but he can't find it cause there is none! This UFO occurrence is best explained as aliens.

"Daley's professed opinions regarding evolution clearly demonstrate that he doesn't have much faith in the ability of scientists to accurately assess the workings of nature. It is therefore contradictory for him to claim that things science can't explain are automatically other-worldly."

How is this a contradiction? The answer for the design in nature "is" other-worldly, God! The answer for the UFO's in Belgium is other-worldly too, aliens. On one off tangent point, let me just say that abiogenesis is the evolution of life from non-living inorganic material; abiogenesis is merely the beginning stage of evolution but is evolution non-the-less; hence, the term, "the evolution of life." Maybe Con hasn't heard it.

As for his theological argument, one can easily imagine aliens carrying out tests and gathering data about our atmosphere while avoiding being shot down by our planes; it is difficult to imagine the all-wise, omniscient God having nothing better to do than fly around the Belgium skies at night! If Con chooses to continue believing it might have been God up in the sky that night that is his concern, but I will leave it up to the voters to decide what they think! The atheists for sure won't think so. I wonder what other Christians will think? That's up to them.
feverish

Con

Much thanks to daley for the fun and engaging debate. In this final round, I won't be making any new arguments, merely responses and summary.

I'm disappointed that Pro is "regretting that [I, feverish] was the one who accepted the challenge". I apologise if my opponent resents my modest attempts to add a touch of humour to some of my arguments, but I think I have given objective and, for the most part, serious arguments throughout.

"Chief of the Belgian Air Force comes live in a news report and says that the speeds these things were travelling at would kill any human being. That rules out man-made planes, choppers, and so forth."

This argument relies entirely on the assumption that the short-lived bizarre radar readings represent exactly the movements of actual objects in the sky. This has not been established by any means. All of Pro's assertions about speed rely on this unsubstantiated assumption.

Pro has ignored the evidence about the radar readings not making sense, as the relative direction remained the same while the aircraft on which the radar system was based was itself turning. He also hasn't commented on my other link about radar failure and the various types of "clutter" or interference that can show up on radar.

He says the radar information is true because so many people on the ground saw similar stuff, but I've already shown how he has grossly misrepresented the numbers of witnesses and not provided evidence of how many statements support each other, let alone support the radar data.

"I will address all of Con's suggestions one by one: "Light beams operated by human hand" etc.

In the previous round Pro asked a series of questions asking what would be able to perform some of the different capabilities he has attributed to these UFOs. I responded to each of these questions individually and provided lists of different known earthly phenomena that could display such attributes.

Pro seems to have interpreted each of these responses as me suggesting actual plausible and complete explanations for the events he's been referring to, rather than the individual responses to his individual questions about what could move so fast, or what could manoeuvre so well etc.

Obviously I don't think fish were flying over Belgium, or that people on the ground were looking at leaves, these were simply examples of earthly things that can manoeuvre better than an airplane, as my opponent asked for. It is in this section of the debate that daley seems to get a little frustrated and complain that I'm not taking things seriously. If this stems from a misunderstanding of what I intended by my lists of examples, then I apologise for not being more clear.

As I have stated from the beginning and daley hasn't disputed, it is not my burden to provide the most plausible explanation, rather to rebut his assertions about why we should accept the alien hypothesis as the most likely.

"The answer for the design in nature "is" other-worldly, God! The answer for the UFO's in Belgium is other-worldly too, aliens."

I'll have to congratulate daley here for his skilled exploitation of the semantic loop hole I unwittingly left for him. Good answer.

"On one off tangent point, let me just say that abiogenesis is the evolution of life from non-living inorganic material; abiogenesis is merely the beginning stage of evolution but is evolution non-the-less; hence, the term, "the evolution of life." Maybe Con hasn't heard it."

I'm afraid that Pro is misinformed here. Go on Wikipedia (a great site as me and my opponent both agree) and search for "evolution of life". You won't get a page about how life began; instead you'll be redirected to the main evolution page: http://en.wikipedia.org...

This is a very large page, full incidentally of great links to evidence of how evolution works. Halfway down is the section "evolution of life", which isn't about origins of life at all, but starts off with how prokaryotes developed into other simple life forms and tracks the history of evolution all the way up to mammals. It is only right at the bottom of the whole evolution page that anything whatsoever is said about the origins of life, two sentences, right next to the link for the abiogenesis page.

The above two paragraphs are totally irrelevant to the debate anyway.

"it is difficult to imagine the all-wise, omniscient God having nothing better to do than fly around the Belgium skies at night!"

Well since he's also omni-present, anyone who believes in this God would surely have to acknowledge that He was indeed in the Belgian sky that night, just as He is here with me now. Also refer back to my previous point about God moving in mysterious ways. One man's miracle is another man's mystery.

I encourage voters not to vote according to their beliefs about UFOs but rather according to who they think performed best and fulfilled their burden in the debate.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
The unreliability of ground observers is hard to fathom. A reporter was sent to investigate UFO sightings in a rural area north of NYC. One woman reported a UFO hovering over her backyard then racing off with astonishing speed. The reporter started to suspect when the cafe at the local airport was serving "UFO burgers." Three guys had draped Christmas lights on their vintage biplanes and were flying in formation around sunset. That produced all the reports of impossible feats.

It is possible for a meteor to appear to travel upwards. That happens when a meteor enters the atmosphere tangentially and then travels overhead before burning out or exiting the atmosphere without hitting the ground. You can convince yourself by drawing a picture.

There is confirmation fallacy at work. Suppose I claim that laundry demons steal socks from the wash. Every lost sock confirms my claim, and there is no contrary evidence. Some socks are found, but the ones that are not found still confirm the claim. Is that proof? No, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
Posted by daley 6 years ago
daley
I hope I'll make you a true believer by the time you've examined all my sources in my last post. If you still maintain your hysteria argument I'll be surprized.
Posted by feverish 6 years ago
feverish
I think aliens probably do exist, I'm doubtful that any visit Earth.

Sorry for procrastinating so hard by the way, round 2 will be up soon.
Posted by daley 6 years ago
daley
i just posted a debate "aliens (extraterrestrials) exist". take me up on it
Posted by daley 6 years ago
daley
Would you mind debating me on weather aliens really do exist? if so, i'll put forward the evidence in the pening round.
Posted by Meatros 6 years ago
Meatros
I don't know how well supported it is (I'd have to delve a bit into the physics and re-examine the facts of this case). It occurred to me because of what a friend of mine does. Con could very well bring it up.
Posted by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
Since you proposed an interesting theory about the Mad Gasser attacks, I expect another potentially interesting, and well-supported, resolution to the 'Belgian UFO Wave'.
Posted by Meatros 6 years ago
Meatros
Interesting debate.

I think the Pro has a large burden and I currently have in mind a more plausible explanation than aliens. Con hasn't (and probably won't - maybe?) use it, but I'll hold off until the debate is over before commenting.
Posted by daley 6 years ago
daley
ok, i changed the number of rounds to 4, do u accept?
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Whoever takes this debate should be sure to look at third item in the bulleted list of "External Links"
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
daleyfeverishTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The problem with the Pro case is lack of convincing sightings by trained observers, especially the lack of visual contact by the AF. Send people out at night to look for strange things and there will be many strange things reported, because few people are able to recognize ordinary sky objects.
Vote Placed by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
daleyfeverishTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a good attempt but never truly linked his evidence to aliens. He uses many invalid arguments in Rounds 2, and 3 which Con hammered on. I though Cons idea to bring up evolution into the debate was very clever, and Pro fell right into it. Pro relies on the idea that we can not explain the event scientifically yet he is supporting that we do not even understand where we came from. S.G. mistakes on both sides but Pros R3 paragraph structure was hard to follow. Sources for Round 3.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 6 years ago
larztheloser
daleyfeverishTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro provided little evidence that it was aliens, and instead argued it wasn't anything else. Con's case was dangerously supportive of one particular theory. I felt both sides made a tactical error in this respect. Pro did manage debunk con's alternatives, but I felt con didn't do enough to attack the alien theory, and instead appealed to plausibility. Close but clear aff win. However, con didn't post hours of video and used generally better sources.