The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

Ethical Skeptic’s Take on the Preliminary Assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued its long awaited Report on the UAP phenomenon. Sorry pseudo-skeptics, but you lost this round of the argument. In addition, you were implicated by government and military officials for oppressive anti-science sociocultural stigmas surrounding the issue.
Do not allow the convoluted and prosaic nature of the ODNI Report’s delivery to deceive you – its ultimate implication is nothing short of amazing. A long-embargoed idea domain is now officially, a domain of science.
Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena report cover

As directed by Senate Report 116-233 and stipulated in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, on June 25th 2021 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released its much-anticipated, unclassified Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena report. The Report’s charter and scope were issued to both the DNI as well as Secretary of Defense by a directive on behalf of the American People and their constituencies to whom these agencies report. The Report was issued directly to the Congressional Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. The scope identified a ‘Director, UAP Task Force’ which would be accountable for ‘understanding the threat posed by UAP’, as well as ‘develop[ing] relevant processes, policies, technologies, and training for the U.S. military and other U.S. Government personnel if and when they encounter UAP’.

Despite what may be spun on the part of oppressive voices regarding the conclusions of this Report, its implications are rather astounding and merit particular attention on the part of science. Although the document was deemed ‘preliminary’ in its release title, it also unequivocally identifies eight monumental Disclosures within its structure – indeed six of an observational and two of an ontological nature.1 However reader be warned, do not allow the convoluted and prosaic nature of the ODNI Report’s delivery to deceive you – the ultimate implication of these eight Disclosures is nothing short of amazing.

The Preliminary Assessment Disclosures

In this Report the UAP Task Force concentrated its efforts on UAP reports which occurred from 2004 through 2021, because of the higher sophistication of sensors deployed in military platforms after 2004. In addition, the UAP Task Force focused its analysis on those reports which were validated as real objects (by multiple sensor and expert eyewitness accounts). Particular focus was given to reports that ‘involved UAP largely witnessed firsthand by military aviators and that were collected from systems we considered to be reliable’. In other words, scientific observational equipment operated by trained and qualified scientists exercising their craft in their field. In this Report, both the U.S. Government, as well as its intelligence agencies and Department of Defense have made their first disclosures stemming from these qualified observations regarding the UAP topic.

Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Report to the Congressional Intelligence and Armed Services Committees

In particular, several ‘conclusions and patterns’ regarding the studied UAP phenomena were noted inside eight Disclosures issued by the Report. Unfortunately, the Report’s convoluted mésa éxo structure made it difficult to draw out a logical sequence of intelligence from the material. So we have done that for the reader below (see footnote 2):2

Disclosure #1: 144 UAP observational episodes were assessed, wherein one single incident resulted in a conventional resolution. The other 143 were not able to be resolved under four versions of null hypothesis explanation (Airborne Clutter, Natural Atmospheric Phenomena, USG or Industry Development Programs, Foreign Adversary Systems). These four domains being ruled out, therefore 143 of the reports were identified as ‘Other’ in terms of via negativa categorical deduction (this is distinct from via positiva ‘attribut[ing] incidents to specific explanations’ – for which the Report cited there was not sufficient evidence).

Disclosure #2: Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon therefore are ‘probably real physical objects’.

Disclosure #3: Some UAP ‘Demonstrate Advanced Technology’, exhibiting ‘unusual flight characteristics’ and maneuvered without a ‘discernible means of propulsion’ and/or observed means of ‘acceleration’.

Disclosure #4: Some UAP ‘Demonstrate Advanced Technology’, exhibiting a ‘degree of signature management’ (active stealth capability) and ‘radio frequency (RF) energy’ (natural phenomena having already been ruled out in Disclosure #1).

Disclosure #5: None of the data or analysis indicated that the UAP studied were ‘part of a foreign collection program or indicative of a major technological advancement by a potential adversary’.

Disclosure #6: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena ‘may pose a challenge to U.S. national security’ (unconstrained context – foreign adversary threats having being ruled unlikely by Disclosure #5).

Disclosure #6 above was issued along with commentary regarding the importance of detecting ‘breakthrough technologies, disruptive capabilities, or sophisticated means of intelligence collection, on the part of foreign adversaries’. However, Disclosure #5’s dismissal of such an idea along with the cited extreme physics involved in Disclosures #3 and 4, make it very clear that this qualification was issued as an example of the rationale behind Disclosure #6 and not as a constraint thereof. This is called an autoaufheben appeal. It is a method of rhetoric employed when one needs to encode their disclosures and implications, so as not to alert oppressive monitoring eyes.

autoaufheben appeal – a compound logical proposition or self-refuting argument. It means both to cancel (or negate) and to preserve at the same time. A form of rhetorical argument which serves to cancel itself through additional apologetic issued commensurate with its primary claim. An instance wherein a subsequent claim is issued to falsify or further qualify an earlier claim, but the issuer does not want this to be readily apparent.

In other words, the potential ‘other-than-human threat’ scenario (see Figure 1 below) is implied by the Report in Disclosure #6. However, this must be deduced through means of the Report’s rhetorical structure (Disclosures #3, 4, and 5 constitute the ‘autoaufheben’). In this manner the Report deflects the cynical disdain characteristic of those suffering from cognitive dissonance on this issue.

Therefore, the report was not ‘inconclusive’ in the least.

Be wary of those who spin the commentary about ‘foreign adversaries’ regarding Disclosure #6 as a constraining principle, because the context of ‘challenge to national security’ was left open-ended (a silent permissive argument). The foreign adversary context was neutralized as a constraint by the Report itself through Disclosure #5. To wit, the Report leveraged this justification basis and then doubled-down on the ‘other-than-human’ conclusion through the ethic of its next two Disclosures (and a follow-up Directive below):

Disclosure #7: ‘Sociocultural stigmas’ (exempli gratia Social Skepticism) constitute a main obstacle to UAP research science. Risk of ‘disparagement and reputational’ harm ‘serves to keep many observers silent’. The Report stipulated that this suppression is waning, but also needs to be ended by means of formalizing a ‘recognized UAP reporting process’.

In essence, the Report implicates (absent of my typical fanfare) those who pretend to represent the opinion of science or scientists on the UAP phenomenon, as constituting the chief obstacle to science being conducted on the matter in the first place. Of course, quod erat demonstrandum the pretext to such a claim is that the Report is both implying and clearly stating that scientific study regarding the UAP issue does indeed bear serious merit. In fact it recommends specific next steps in such regard.

Hence its final Disclosure: UAP/UFOs are real.

Disclosure #8: ‘Rigorous scientific analysis and increased investment in research and development’ for the study of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena bears scientific merit.

On a final note, as if to place an exclamation point on the credibility and seriousness of Disclosures #7 and 8, the Department of Defense has issued on the very same day as this ODNI Report, a New Directive to formalize the UAP Task Force mission.

In other words, Ockham’s Razor has been surpassed regarding the UAP issue.
One can no longer armchair plausibly-debunk individual observations,
and deem such activity as representative of science nor skepticism regarding the UAP/UFO phenomenon.

Sorry Michael Shermer and Mick West – but you lost this argument.
Your worn out stage magician’s act, its celebrity-building, and canned sleights-of-hand – no longer apply to this issue.

The Implications and a New Science

The above Disclosures are unequivocal and direct excerpts from the ODNI Report cited, organized into sequence of context and epistemic dependency.3 In order to derive the inference domain tree portrayed visually in Figure 1 to the right, one first has to actually have read the Report, and further then sincerely attempted to understand its Wittgenstein elements, the process of deduction, and finally the decision-tree structure of a set of via negativa logical propositions. In other words you have to possess some skills in logical calculus and then do some actual work, not simply issue a memorized apothegm or informal fallacy you and your club brought to the party. Boasting as a media go-to authority that the ‘Report is inconclusive’ or ‘We don’t have very solid evidence of anything amazing’4 – all while meticulously avoiding identification of the context and evidence for such statements will not carry water in the face of this evidence provided by the Report.

There is nothing which is not ‘amazing’ that resides in the ‘Other’ box on the
bottom right of Figure 1.

“When it came to the ‘Other’ category, some of the observed behaviors were so
dramatically exotic that they required not only additional study and additional
analysis but perhaps additional physics…”

Gideon Lewis-Kraus, New Yorker Magazine: Daily Comment, 26 Jun 2021

At times I get the sense that pseudo-skeptics merely skim evidence such as this, contributing only enough review sufficient to find backing for the memorized fallacy they have prepared in advance. Figure 1 clearly reveals such ‘inconclusive’ and ‘nothing amazing’ rhetoric to be prevarication, deception in order to promote self – relying upon the certainty that most listeners won’t catch the entailed dishonesty nor really understand the Report well enough to spot it. The Report is indeed inconclusive, however not regarding the above eight Disclosures. It is inconclusive as to what ‘specific explanations’ reside in the ‘Other Non-Human’ box at the bottom right in Figure 1. It is being appropriately parsimonious and incremental in its risk in conjecture.

Neither are these Disclosures ‘cherry picked’ elements/points.5 Figure 1 represents the entire domain of reasonable possibility as identified by the Report. Each element therein is then matched to each Report Disclosure regarding that possibility. Each via negativa decision-tree matchup in Figure 1 must be addressed and not be left unattended (they are critical path to the argument). An informal accusation of this nature is intellectually incompetent, akin to a criminal citing that he is innocent because his acts of extortion, rape, and murder constitute cherry picked moments from his life. If one cannot handle a simple informal logical fallacy correctly, then one should not posit one’s self in the media as a go-to authority on evidence and inference regarding this topic.

The Report itself was not intended as a ‘proof of interstellar/interdimensional/intertemporal craft’ nor ‘space aliens’. Do not listen to anyone who criticizes it in that regard, as that type of fake skeptic betrays their lack of understand of the scientific method by means of this very objection.

The Report was a ‘petition for plurality under Ockham’s Razor’. It is the introduction step of a new hypothesis (or hypothesis domain in this case) under the scientific method. An early step of entry into science which pseudo-skeptics have worked feverishly for decades to block and embargo.

That argument is now over. UAP/UFOs are now a legitimate part of science, like it or not.

Below is a graphic from another article (See The Sleight-of-Hand StageCraft of the Debunker) wherein I have outlined the method and set of fallacies which have been employed in the past by fake skeptics in order to enforce the close-hold embargo around this subject. This method is no longer a viable method of skepticism nor science on the matter of UAP/UFOs.6

Pseudo-skeptics you have lost this important round of the argument regarding the UAP/UFO phenomenon. In addition, your syndicate was implicitly fingered by the Report for its oppressive and pseudo-scientific impact on both witnesses and evidentiary process. Today you got an old fashioned butt-whooping no doubt. You had better get used to this, because this ‘hypothesis’, long-embargoed by means of your nefarious social activity, has now been given permission to be developed and researched as official science.

This article was updated through 3 Jul 2021 with more recent quotes/events as well as added explanatory graphics

The Ethical Skeptic, “Ethical Skeptic’s Take on the Preliminary Assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 28 Jun 2021 (update 3 Jul 2021); Web,

  1. OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE; Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena; 25 June 2021;
  2. As you may have noticed with this Report, there exists a difference between writing for readability, and writing for conveyance of knowledge. This report was certainly readable, employing everyday basic sentence structure recognizable to most and of which any English teacher might approve. However, its logical delivery of usable information was convoluted to such a degree, that it was apparent that the Report’s authors certainly did not grasp the critical path series of logical propositions contained within the disclosed material itself. This is called mésa éxo communication (see Glossary). If presented a choice to select between crafting stylishly familiar prose and the ability to delivery a sound, sequitur, and contextually framed logical proposition, I choose the latter every time. What I have done in this essay, is to extract just such critical path inference from the material itself – to complete the task of the Report’s authors. From my reading various commentary issued in media and social media, this concern has proved valid. Very few people actually grasped the implications of this material at all. Additionally as anticipated, pseudo-skeptics are now exploiting the jumbled sequence of material to contend that the report was ‘inconclusive’, when nothing could be further from the truth.
  3. Richard Dolan; The UAP Task Force Report: A Mystery Buried Amid the Jargon; 25 Jun 2021;
  4. The Unidentified Celebrity Review: UAPTF Report Roundtable;
  6. Please note that the expression ‘UAP’ is inherently plural through its Latin feminine suffix to the word ‘phenomena’, ‘a’ being the plural of ‘um’ in the Latin. This serves to identify UAP as a research domain and not an individual hypothesis itself. Hence the choice of UAP as the descriptive for the field of study, and not ‘UFO’ which is descriptive of a putative observational element alone. We observe purported UFOs inside the study of UAP.

June 25, 2021 - Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , ,

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One problem I notice with the excerpts you mention, and language used frequently surrounding the UAP situation, is the use of the term “Technology” to describe the extraordinary maneuvering capabilities of the objects. This term is loaded with too great of an assumption: that such objects are necessarily vehicles engineered by beings of one sort or another whether human or non. I haven’t spent too much time reviewing reports but so far I haven’t seen anything that can rule out the possibility that these things could be naturally occurring somehow (inorganic life, etc) and their capabilities could be evolved rather… Read more »


Regarding inorganic life and the DNA code article, the other possibility is that, rather than occurring in a purely natural manner as another example of “great entropy” in some exotic environment, an organic species such as ourselves could end up causing “machine abiogenesis” of some sort especially if this is set as an intentional goal for some reason. This would seem more likely because, while we don’t know of any exotic environment in reality that could somehow spawn inorganic life, we do know of one environment that appears to have spawned organic life that should be able to gain the… Read more »


In your Disclosure #1 you state that four categories were ruled out for the 143 unexplained incidents. You repeat this claim in Figure 1. But the report does not state or imply that any categories were ruled out for those 143. On the contrary, the report states: “With the exception of the one instance where we determined with high confidence that the reported UAP was airborne clutter, specifically a deflating balloon, we currently lack sufficient information in our dataset to attribute incidents to specific explanations.” In other words there is insufficient evidence in support of or against any of the four… Read more »

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