“More. Always more…”

The above is a direct quote from Billy Cox in a comment he made to another commenter in his blog he posted last Thursday concerning a posting he made about Anderson Cooper’s April 24th show on UFOs.

Now when it comes to UFOs and the mainstream media, no matter how good some amounts of physical evidence can be obtained around the incidents, disinformation and crack-pot debunking muddy up the waters so that nothing comes of the matter, confusing the issue:

After taking a look at the unedited version (thanks, Giuliano Marinkovic) of Anderson Cooper’s half-hour “Do You Believe in Space Aliens?” bilge from two weeks ago, it’s even worse than I feared.

Again, given the number of guests and the segment’s lack of focus, it was clear from the get-go that not a photon of light could’ve escaped from this sucking black hole. But it could have, because the producers actually had a hook to work with. And that’s what makes this strikeout especially regrettable.

Will one of you primates please just take a look at a couple of freakin’ leaves, please?/CREDIT: ppjg.me

Pennsylvanians were reporting a spike in UFO sightings in 2008, many emanating from the skies over Bucks County outside Philadelphia. It drew a little local media attention, the usual stuff, you know, with talking heads using the usual lame-o “out of this world” segues. And as these things usually go, nobody ever got to the bottom of it. So the flap stayed confined to local quarters.

Suddenly, from out of the blue, on April 24, Cooper resuscitated the mystery by inviting an eyewitness named Denise to tell national audiences about how she was awakened by her growling dog in the middle of the night to discover glowing lights above her house. The UFO(s) proceeded to sprinkle metallic-looking glitter on her tree, making her think “it was snowing in July.” Cooper then introduced Pennsylvania state Mutual UFO Network director John Ventre to talk about what happened to the tree.

Ventre said MUFON sent leaves from the affected tree to two different labs, both of which reported “high levels of magnesium and boron,” two to three times higher than controlled samples detected on neighboring trees. Furthermore, the leaves had produced anthocyanin, which Ventre accurately described as a plant’s natural defense from heat and radiation. But were those levels of anthocyanin excessive or unnatural? And what gives with the elevated magnesium and boron? This is the part where you bring in one of the lab analysts, right? Or a botanist, maybe?

Nope. Not on Anderson Cooper. This is the part where you immediately shift gears and bring in a couple of UFO abductees. Then you bring on the designated debunker, in this case Joe Nickell, to dismiss it all in a few short sentences. Nickell informed Denise she’d only seen Jupiter. “So Jupiter dumped stuff on my tree,” Denise wondered, “is that what you’re saying?” No, Nickell countered, “I expect the stuff on your tree was probably, you saw some sand or something in the light.” Bottom line: no additional chatter on the boron or the magnesium or the anthocyanin, because AC needed to get a psychic medium to talk about star families.

Cooper, whose CNN promo is all about “keeping them honest” and “accountability,” allowed Nickell to get away with unchallenged inaccuracies. Nickell attributed the 2006 Chicago O’Hare Airport incident to a “hole-punch cloud,” even though National Weather Service meteorologists confirmed the temperature at the incursion’s estimated altitude of 1,900 feet was 53 degrees. (Hole punch clouds need freezing temperatures to occur.) Nickell said the 1997 Phoenix Lights UFO was a misidentified military flare drop. That massive object was sighted traveling along a 200-mile southbound corridor by hundreds of eyewitnesses from 8:15 to 9:30 p.m.; the Air National Guard admitted to dropping flares at 10 p.m. along the Barry Goldwater Range near Luke AFB. Even former Arizona guv Fife Symington said the flare explanation was bogus. So it looks like Cooper’s daytime show is going the “Fair & Balanced/We Report You Decide” route.

Anyhow, the Bucks County leaf samples sounded interesting. Maybe someday another network will actually put MUFON’s investigation to the test.

Naaaah …

I wonder if the samples from these trees were saved and technicians who tested the samples could be persuaded to come forward and post the results online in the ArX (?) academic peer review archives ?

At least the results could be retested if samples were saved and other papers could be written about so the hypotheses could be confirmed or rejected scientifically.

But I’m certain the old CIA tricks of media and skeptic debunking are the orders of the day still and no amount of physical trace evidence will ever be taken seriously.

To quote Billy Cox, “More. Always more…”.

Sorry I looked …

Hat tip to The Daily Grail.

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