"I do hereby leave and bequeath: THE UFO CURSE"
November 8, 2013 1:54 PM   Subscribe

Between 1989 and 2003 journalist and UFO researcher Philip J. Klass published 76 volumes of his Skeptic's UFO Newsletter. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has posted them all (as pdfs) on their website. Klass died in 2005
posted by IvoShandor (9 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
posted by sparkletone at 2:15 PM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

What a find! Klass's Ufos Explained made a big impression on me as a teenager. Thanks for posting!
posted by wittgenstein at 3:43 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thank you very much for posting this! An excellent resource indeed.
posted by Ralph at 7:44 PM on November 8, 2013

The simplest way to approach UFO sightings is to borrow a line from House: "Everybody lies." My reply to common UFO statements is this:
Reliable Witnesses aren't.
Trained Observers aren't.
Incontrovertible facts aren't.

Klass was a much needed skeptic for the UFO religion; most teams of "UFO scientists" are at best incredibly, painfully naive, as the Gulf Breeze UFO Hoax shows.
posted by happyroach at 2:18 AM on November 9, 2013

I beleive this whole thing has been settled.
posted by Freen at 10:46 AM on November 9, 2013

I beleive this whole thing has been settled.

Semi-famously, Steven Spielburg was a big believer in UFOs at the time he made Close Encounters. However, he's since given up that idea for precisely the reason that xkcd comic gives: Lots of people have cameras on them at all times and stuff gets on youtube immediately after it happens. Just take, for instance, cell phone and dashboard camera videos of that meteor in Russia recently. If UFOs were real, they'd be all over youtube.
posted by sparkletone at 1:10 PM on November 9, 2013

Just last Saturday I met a guy who misidentified Venus as a UFO. The sky was mostly overcast, but near the horizon clouds were thin enough for rising Venus to shine through brightly. He was sure it was a UFO because he believed the old adage that stars twinkle and planets don't. I disabused him of this notion, explaining our atmosphere causes every point source of light outside it to twinkle.

He was leaning against an old pickup and speaking with a redneck twang uncommon to this area. He was the perfect caricature of the hillbilly who thinks every light in the sky is a UFO.

Too perfect. Now that I look back on it he must have been a disinfo agent.
posted by clarknova at 6:06 PM on November 9, 2013

I'm quite astonished that there are two SF-nal writers with such similar names. Even if one of them didn't think he wrote fiction ...
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:13 PM on November 9, 2013


I want to believe that this "joke" will die very soon.

I believe this whole thing has been settled.

Sure people carry more cameras around these days, but an object flying in air, a typical cell phone camera with a wide-angle lens is not going to take a conclusive picture of anything. Go outside and take a picture of a passing plane with your cell, then get out your magnifying glass to find that pixel on your monitor. And at night it's a whole other level of difficulty. And people generally don't lug around tripods, and zoom lenses. Etc etc.
posted by zardoz at 2:25 AM on November 10, 2013

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