22. Dr. Seth Shostak, SETI

Seth-ShostakShow Notes: Martin debates UFOs with the Senior Astronomer of SETI, Seth Shostak.

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15 thoughts on “22. Dr. Seth Shostak, SETI

  • September 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Shostak of course missed the point. The best scenario, based on the available evidence, is that the UFO pilots are monitoring and sometimes neutralizing the weapons–on both sides of the ocean–to keep us from using them, not to try to learn something from our relatively primitive weapons technology.

    Whether they are trying to wake us up about the dangers of nukes or, on the other hand, plan to invade and don’t want to inherit a radioactive world, is an open question. There are of course lots of other possible explanations for what has been reported by US and Soviet military veterans.

    Guys like Shostak will never get it. They won’t lift a finger to study the data, despite the pleas of scientists like James McDonald, who did study the data and said “Wow, this is real and important.”

    If aliens can actually get here, somehow, rather than being limited to just sending radio signals from their world to ours, guys like Shostak would have to admit that their life’s work was misguided and that they premeditatedly chose to remain ignorant about the real situation.

  • September 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Seth totally ignores the craft on the ground that Jim Penniston went up and TOUCHED (in the Bentwaters case) and it took off thru the trees. He totally ignores you reference to the Alaskan airlines radar/visual case. He reminds me of the doctor who refuses to look at the herb echinacea as being good for the immune system & says there’s no good evidence in spite of it’s use for hundreds of years and testimonials of thousands. There are PLENTY of good cases if he really cares to look. Dr.Hynek once stated “there will be a 25th century science” and Seth is stuck back in the 20th century.

  • September 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Comments on the podcast from Leslie Kean’s Facebook page:

    Leslie, I find this interesting as well. I often wonder why individuals dismiss corroborating radar and visual sightings. No one dismisses the possibility, but the evidence they dismiss is quite perplexing. Why do you think skeptics dismiss radar data, pilot and military testimony and (some) well vetted photo and video evidence? I can understand the argument about witness testimony and not being a “trained observer”, but when there is radar data that matches the visual encounter, how can one argue against that? I think the JAL case is a iron clad example that the pilot actually saw something un-explainable and is backed up by radar data and the taped recording from the pilot and airport tower. In my mind, this case is incredibly difficult to argue against.
    about an hour ago · Like · 1

    John Meson To early for this generation
    about an hour ago · Like

    Rob Mrozinski He also said your book was full of “anecdotes”…why is he ignoring the HARD DATA!?!?! I wish the interviewer would have pressed him a bit more about the hard data that exists.
    about an hour ago · Like · 1

    Lisa Oliver There seemed to me to be a bit of an impasse in that Seth Shostak was clearly dismissive of any evidence. It’s tricky when eye witness testimony is discounted, it leaves us still no nearer to understanding what it is people do actually see. I was irritated by his dismissive tone at times. I can’t understand how scientists aren’t driven to try to find out what these phenomena are.
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like · 1

    Lisa Oliver Yes, the interviewer should have pushed him harder and been more sure of his facts. There were times when I was wiling him on to talk about radar evidence.
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like

    Kenneth DeWit Jr Hi Leslie, hope all is good with you. I can’t thank you enough for all you do. Your Brother in the “TRUTH”, Kenny DeWit
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like

    Kenneth DeWit Jr I thought he was a debunker?
    59 minutes ago via mobile · Like

    Nightsky Uap Leslie – what do you make of Seth’s comments? He skirted the entire UAP over nuclear sites discussion. Its all very logical but a complete *non-starter*. If commercial and military pilots aren’t qualified observers of objects within our atmosphere, who is? Certainly not astronomers, who look past our atmosphere. If radar depictions of right-angle turns have been deemed geometric aberrations, it would appear that all radar experts do not agree. Especially when radar data supports visual observations. SOMETHING is there, but we don’t know what. Very frustrating.
    51 minutes ago · Like

    Pierre René Acknowledging that alien entities can actually come here is a threat to his search for distant intelligences initiative.
    Is it so difficult to understand that maybe there are some alien civilizations more advanced than us ? Maybe we are the best of the best of the best ? LOL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXRi28W-ENY

    MIB-best of the best
    best of the best clip
    48 minutes ago · Like

    Charles Thaxton Seth says your book is full of anecdotes…I won’t say I what I feel he is full of.
    44 minutes ago · Edited · Like · 1

    Daniel Kinnersley He read “some” of your book. Well done, in return I’m only going to listen to “some” of his interview. Arrogant SOB
    35 minutes ago · Like · 1

    Pierre René One good question for Shostak: “Would access to NORAD radar data help eliminate any idea of ‘near-earth’ alien activity” 😉
    19 minutes ago · Like

  • September 21, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    What exactly constitutes ‘better quality’ evidence, short of capturing one of these?

  • September 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Leslie Kean Facebook page comments continued:

    Gerald Gibbons You can lead them to water, but …
    you can’t make them drink!
    about an hour ago · Like

    Lynne Dumin Kitei Interesting when a scientist of Shostak’s stature & intellect can embrace the possibility of intelligent life “out there’, but dismisses the possibility of intelligent life visiting here – especially when you factor in the inter dimensional possibilities. Centuries of anomalous reports aside, with most being explainable, wonder if Seth has analyzed my unique collection of Phoenix Lights 35mm photos, which have been extensively evaluated at University level, by optical science experts (including Dr. Bruce Maccabee), as well as Color Spectrum Analysis (NOT spectrum analysis of stars). & across the board they cannot be explained or denied.
    11 minutes ago via mobile · Unlike · 1

    Lynne Dumin Kitei BTW – Honored that my inexplicable Phoenix Lights photo evidence is currently being featured at the Smithsonian Area 51Museum in Las Vegas. About time we get this topic out in the open – address it, accept it & study it. Hope the scientific community will soon step up to the plate. http://www.thephoenixlights.net/Photos.htm


  • September 22, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Sadly, if Seth’s head were any further in…um…the sand, he’d be an Ostrich. Is science not founded on the prima facie bedrock of curiosity? As a scientist Seth has failed to diligently review the best evidence surrounding this enigmatic topic — if at all. Despite his lack of earnest research one can count on Seth to hold up the shield of science saying there is not enough evidence to conduct scientific research. In short, if Seth were to remotely concede the possibility there may be other races visiting this planet his research would be invalidated.

  • September 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Continued comments from Leslie Kean’s Facebook page.

    Rick Gned Astronomers spend the majority of their time staring at computers indoors! It’s pure arrogance for astronomers (such as the Bad one, Phil Plait, and other pseudoskeptics) to claim they are the most qualified. They’re not; if anyone’s the most qualified, it’d be pilots & other people trained to observe airspace below 37,000 feet. But as the Phoenix Lights proved, even ordinary people know what they saw! 😉
    5 hours ago · Edited · Like

    Richard Smothers The Cult of SETI. Shostak calls himself a scientist, yet his arguments against extraterrestrial visitations essentially boil down to him saying “It’s nonsense, why haven’t they landed on the White House lawn?” And he probably criticizes religious fundamentalists. He’s a ninny.

    4 hours ago · Like

    Roger Borroel And to top it all, since Shostak is supposed to be a scientist, he should know that if IT happened here on earth, it could and should have happened anywhere in the universe.

  • September 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I listened to the WHOLE podcast as I am a fan of Dr. Shostak, the late Carl Sagan, SETI, Kepler and all other exploration. Seth made so many good points here and I totally agree with him.

    Martin Willis is out of his league here and had no substantial arguments. He was a roll over and I would rate the debate as: Dr. Shostak: 99 Martin Willis: 1

    It seems that people who listen to this show are beyond close minded and already have your minds made up.

    As Dr. Shostak kept elaborating on EVIDENCE… where is it????

    • September 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Hey Frank, It is people like you that want to put today’s Galileo’s in house arrest. Really??? Science is not even curious about the phenomena? The thoughts of SETI, UFO seekers and witnesses to an advanced unworldly craft are all looking for the same thing. Answers… Does your curiosity span across the cosmos only in your search? So frustrating…

    • September 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      Seth does not get to be the judge of what is and is not evidence. Whether or not something is evidence, or how strong that evidence is, is, many times, a matter of opinion, Frank. It is more proper to say that there is no evidence that will convince Seth. Please acknowledge all of this before we go on.

      • September 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm


        Remember “Show me the money”? Show me the evidence and then we will move on. You’ve got nothing… sorry.

        Lynndon, (if that is your real name) Curious about what? Fleeting anomalies which all could be explained if they were not fleeting. Take that to the bank.

        I passed the interview to other people who see clearly as I, hopefully I will not be the only one here. If so, that is okay, there is no reason for me to come back. They will enjoy how clearly this debate was won.

        Have a nice day,

        Frank Y.

        • September 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm

          Yeah, you leaving might be a good thing. You didn’t even respond to what I said. There’s a general flow to how these types of conversations are supposed to go. You say one thing, then I respond, then you respond to what I said, and it keeps going back and forth. You are not supposed to just post whatever you want.

  • Pingback: Show Notes, Seth Shostak, SETI, 22. | Podcast UFO

  • September 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Continued from Leslie Kean’s Facebook page, comments on the podcast>

    Saturday at 11:12pm · Like
    Zeus Deneb The answer to ufo phenomena may be much more mysterious than the simple theory of Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

    Saturday at 11:17pm · Like
    Charles Thaxton Lynne-in his defense…”unknown” does NOT automatically mean extraterrestrial (re:your photos)
    17 hours ago · Like

    Charles Thaxton (which is what he would say to you)
    17 hours ago · Like

    Lynne Dumin Kitei Charles, then I would know that he never read the “rest of the story” in the latest edition of my book “The Phoenix Lights: A Skeptics Discovery That We Are Not Alone”, condensed from a meticulous 750 pg. journal after pushing my accomplished medical career aside for 7yrs. after the 3.13.97 historic & still unexplained AZ mass UFO event – searching for a logical source & meaning to what I personally witnessed & photographed up close & personal.
    11 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
    Lynne Dumin Kitei In addition, after 17 yrs. of documenting & investigating these global anomalies, I have never stated ‘what’ they are, only ‘that’ they are & it is time we move forward to find out what’s really going on. If you (& Shostak) would like to learn more, please check out the compelling data I have tried diligently to compile – as a scientist, physician & experiencer – and make up your own mind. The data speaks for itself… http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1571746323?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1&ref_=aw_bottom_links
    The Phoenix Lights: A Skeptics Discovery that We Are Not Alone
    On March 13, 1997 something extra-ordinary happened in the skies over Phoenix a…See More
    11 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 2

    Charles Thaxton I have your DVD and am quite familiar with you & your sightings. I believe you. I just meant to say that we cannot ABSOLUTELY prove that an “unknown” object is made by aliens unless we have some sort of concrete proof (like Shostak and his buddies always say) like an unknown mineral sample or alien DNA…believe me I am no fan of his nor of guys like McGaha who dismiss and refuse to consider hard evidence and make ludicrous explanations. You & I are on the same team:)
    4 hours ago · Like · 1

    Charles Thaxton There are other theories about “unknowns” besides ET….time travelers, extradimensional/parallel universes, “spiritual” entities, unknown Earth race, thought projections…I like the one that there are multiple “frequencies” of reality like an FM radio dial and they can lower and raise their frequencies and just phase in and out. They may not be coming over light years of distance, but from “right next door”
    4 hours ago · Like · 1

    Charles Thaxton I’ve always thought it ridiculous that SETI was scanning radio waves…as pointed out in the interview….why should beings thousands of years ahead of us use old style radio? His answer “we can only use what we know” has a point but lacks vision.

    4 hours ago · Like · 1
    Amanda Davis That’s his trick- he equates UFOs with extraterrestrials, says there’s no good evidence that we’ve been visited by extraterrestrials (which is true) so therefore there is nothing to UFOs (which doesn’t follow logically). I wish he would have been pressed more on that
    2 hours ago · Like

    Amanda Davis I think he also claimed he never heard the ‘whitehouse lawn’ argument, which I find hard to believe because I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard it. I think he’s either lying or hardly looked into this topic at all.

    2 hours ago · Like
    Charles Thaxton He must have never watched EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS
    about an hour ago · Like

  • September 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Message to the fence-sitters:

    Don’t trust what Shostak has to say. I worry that many of the fence-sitters will tend to give the benefit of the doubt to Shostak and the mainstream. I would strongly recommend against doing that, in this case. Most of the people on the pro-UFO side know how misleading, at best, so much of what Shostak said was.

    For example, he said, about Kean’s book, “these are all, again, anecdotes, and that’s just not good enough for science.” Unfortunately, this reinforces some stereotypes about witness statements being unreliable and that anecdotes are, for the most part, the best that UFO proponents have to offer, both of which are not entirely true. Now, I don’t want to throw around the L word casually, so let’s assume, just for this post, that Shostak is not a liar in the sense that he has ACTUALLY read a some of Leslie Kean’s book. Shostak, at the very least, should have known better than to say what he said about Kean’s book, in this interview. There is SO much more to that book than just anecdotes.

    There are a lot of examples like this, throughout the interview, of Shostak saying things that sound good to the fence-sitter, who is just beginning to learn about the subject, but, in reality, are misleading, at best. Once again, to the fence-sitters, do not trust what Shostak says. In fact, do not even trust what I say. With respect to the specific example I gave, I would encourage the fence-sitters read Leslie Kean’s book. If every fence-sitter who listens to this podcast decided to read Kean’s book, I feel very confident that the overwhelming majority would come to the conclusion that Shostak’s words about Kean’s book were misleading, at best.

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