Working Definitions

Oct 21, 2019
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I found this in my personal archives of Space.com Uplink. Perhaps this list, or something similar, can be added to the current forum suggestions.

Working Definitions

The following is a list of working definitions that may be used on Space.com discussions and debates. The purpose of these definitions is to give the members of the forum a common language to reduce misunderstandings and resultant arguments. There is no requirement to use these definitions. This is to be considered a guide, not an official instruction. However, if the majority of members are using these definitions, be prepared to be often misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Anecdote: somebody's account of something: a usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident. Anecdotes by themselves are not proof of anything except that the person is telling a story. The plural of anecdote is not data. (ORIGIN from Greek anekdota ‘things unpublished’.)

Data: 1. factual information: information, often in the form of facts or figures obtained from experiments or surveys, used as a basis for making calculations or drawing conclusions

Definite: Determined to be an absolute certainty. Precise; explicit and clearly defined. Obvious: unquestionable and unmistakable

Evidence: Evidence is anything that can be used, by itself or in conjunction with other information or data, to assess the validity or invalidity of a hypothesis or theory. Evidence itself is not necessarily proof, but rather can sometimes be used to determine proof or fallacy. The term “evidence” is sometimes used incorrectly as if it meant “proof”.

Incontrovertible: Impossible to deny or disprove. Absolutely certain and absolutely undeniable.

Indeterminate: Not precisely determined or established; not fixed or known in advance. Vague: not definite, precise, or clear. Not known exactly, or impossible to work out.

Information: Knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction. All of the stories, recordings, photos, reports, articles and conversations is information.

Impossible: Using accepted scientific understanding and the accepted laws of physics, it just could not happen. Not capable of occurring or being accomplished or dealt with.

Nyll: nyll / nil / n. Nothing; and having no existence; and not located at any point or points on an any finite or infinite line: and not located at any point or points on any infinite time line; and unable to be measured in any manner; and having no dimensions; and having no reality; and not being able to contain anything or be contained. Now, let's use our new word in a sentence. Before the Big Bang there was nyll.

Plausible: Believable and apparently reasonable and valid. Within the realm of credibility. Likely but not certain to be or become true or real. All the elements for it to happen were available at the time.

Possible: Theoretically capable of happening or existing or likely to happen in the future. Having potential as a particular thing or for a particular purpose.

Probable: Likely to exist, occur, or be true, although evidence is insufficient to prove or predict it.

Proof: a formal series of statements showing that if one thing is true something else necessarily follows from it. Proof is something that can be used to definitively prove or disprove a hypothesis or theory. Proof is something that can be scientifically analyzed and validated. While it can be argued that nothing can ever really be proven to an absolute certainty, there is a level at which, for all practical purposes, it is an absolute certainty.

Unlikely: Not likely to be true or to occur or to have occurred. Very low probability.

Uncertain: Not established beyond doubt; still undecided or unknown. Not inevitable. No way to tell one way or the other.

Hypothesis: a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified . A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations. a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence.

Theory: A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

UFO: Unidentified Flying Object.
A visual sighting in the air which appears to be an Object, appears to be Flying, and cannot be identified. A UFO may be reclassified as an IFO once it has been investigated and identified.

IFO: Identified Flying Object.
A visual sighting in the air which appears to be an Object, appears to be Flying, and has been identified.

UAP: Unidentified Atmospheric Phenomenon
A visual sighting in the air which cannot be readily identified as an object (such as lights) but is nonetheless readily identifiable.

Additional Acronyms

AFB - Air Force Base
ANSI - American National Standards Institute
APRO - Aerial Phenomena Research Organization
ARC - Ames Research Center
AST – Alien Space Transport (USI terminology)
ATECH – Alien Technology (USI terminology)
AU – Astronomical Unit 149,97,870 kilometers or 92,955,807 miles or 8.317 light minutes
BUFORA - British UFO Research Association
CAUS - Citizens Against UFO Secrecy
CIA - Central Intelligence Agency
COMINT - Communications Intelligence NSA
CSICOP - Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Phenomenon
CUFON - Computer UFO Network
CUFOS - J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies
FAA - Federal Aviation Administration
FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation
FOIA – Freedom of Information Act
GMT - Greenwich Mean Time (ZULU Time)
GREY - Alleged Alien Species
GSW - Ground Saucer Watch
IAU - International Astronomical Union
IFF - Identification Friend of Foe (encoded transponder signal for aircraft identification)
IUR - International UFO Reporter (Published by CUFOS)
JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
KSC - Kennedy Space Center (NASA)
MICAP - Multi-national Investigations Cooperative on Aerial Phenomena
MI-8 - Military Intelligence Section 8 - Codes and Ciphers Search
MJ-12 - Alleged Secret Government Committee for UFO/Alien Research
MoD - Ministry of Defence (UK)
MUFON - Mutual UFO Network
NICAP - National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena
NORAD - North American AeroSpace Defense Command
NSA - National Security Agency
NUFORC - National UFO Reporting Center
ONI - Office of Naval Intelligence
SAC - Strategic Air Command
SETI - Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
SOBEPS - Socie'Te' Belge d'Etude des Phenomenes Spatiaux
SPADATS - Space Detection And Tracking System (NORAD)
UAO – Later official USAF acronym Unidentified Aerial Object
UAPA - United Aerial Phenomena Agency
UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (remote or autonomous controlled aerial vehicle)
UFOB – Later official USAF acronym for Unidentified Flying Objects
UFOLOGY - A genre of subject matter pertaining to the UFO phenomenon
UFORC - UFO Reporting Center
USI – Ufology Society International
Z - ZULU (Universal Time) (Greenwich Mean Time)

Brookings Report
Full title: Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs. The report, commissioned by NASA in 1960, discusses several topics related to human space travel. It is most often referenced regarding a few comments in the report addressing the possible effects of ET Alien contact with humans. This is contained in a section about the effects of human space projects upon public opinion, and the effects of public opinion on funding for space projects. It is most often misquoted by those attempting to validate conspiracy theories about “the government” covering up the current or past existence of ET Aliens on Earth or on Mars.

Disclosure Project The Disclosure Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the de-classification and disclosure of the so-called UFO/Extraterrestrial matter, in addition to open, honest hearings regarding UFOs, extraterrestrials, and advanced energy and propulsion systems which presently remain classified. Uncovering this information, which has remained "covered up" for many years, is the primary goal of "The National Disclosure Project." The founder of "The National Disclosure Project" is Dr. Steven M. Greer, an emergency room physician from Virginia. Wikipedia

Project Blue Book
Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) conducted by the United States Air Force. Started in 1952, it was the second revival of such a study. A termination order was given for the study in December 1969, and all activity under its auspices ceased in January 1970.

The goal of the Project Blue Book was to determine if UFOs were a potential threat to national security. Thousands of UFO reports were collected, analyzed and filed. As the result of the Condon Report, Project Blue Book was shut down in December 1969. This project was the last publicly known UFO research project led by the USAF.

Project MOONDUST was created in 1953 and charged with "the retrieval and exploitation of crashed foreign spacecraft". Within top military circles, MOONDUST's stated purpose was the recovery and examination of downed Soviet and Eastern Bloc spacecraft and satellites.

Extraterrestrial Exposure Law - Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations was adopted by the US on the same day that Apollo 11 was launched to the Moon. The purpose of the law was to allow the government to quarantine and isolate returning spacecraft and astronauts to prevent possible introduction of potential pathogenic organisms from outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Of course this spawned an Urban Legand that the government passed a law to make it illegal to touch ET Aliens. The "Extraterrestrial Exposure" law was removed from the CFR in 1991
1211.100 - Scope
This part establishes: (a) NASA policy, responsibility and authority to guard the Earth against any harmful contamination or adverse changes in its environment resulting from personnel, spacecraft and other property returning to the Earth after landing on or coming within the atmospheric envelope of a celestial body; and (b) security requirements, restrictions and safeguards that are necessary in the interest of national security.
 
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