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There are many UFO movies to be found on the Internet. YouTube is overloaded with them. I'd say that every movie (well most every) carries with it an implicit claim, namely that UFOs (those of the alien or flying Nazi kind) exist and that the movie is evidence of this.

I posted a question on an example here and asked two questions. One was related to the movie's source which was (and is) unknown to me, the other asked for an examination of the evidence for this (implicit) UFO claim, i.e. an examination of the movie itself.

This question has been happily floating around for four months (so, apparently not too blatantly off-topic), but was suddenly closed yesterday for the following reason:

Skeptics - Stack Exchange is for challenging unreferenced notable claims, pseudoscience and biased results. There is no claim here - this is a discussion better held in a forum about video special effects.

It's true that there isn't any explicit claim in the question, but to me the claim itself is pretty obvious. Would the question be opened again if I explicitly stated the claim is that there UFOs exist and that this movie is an example of that?

And further, does the referral to video special effects sites implies that discussions about global warming should be left to sites for weather scientists, discussions about 9/11 buildings collapsing to sites for demolition experts etc. and that these kinds of discussion are wholly improper for the Skeptics StackExchange? If that's true, I'd imagine I might be able to propose a few more candidates for closure.

The FAQ states:

Skeptics is about applying skepticism — it is for researching the evidence behind claims you encounter.

I'd say my questions about the video are 'researching the evidence', but I'd be happy to learn otherwise.

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The problem is that you are basically asking how it could be possible to replicate this video, and this is what is not on topic here (try photo.SE for example).

An on-topic version of your question would be: "this site claims flying saucers exist because of this video, is this claim supported by hard evidence?"

And the answers would probably be in the line of "no, we need more evidence than that video. In the meanwhile the video should be considered a fake unless it's been examined by experts and 'peer-reviewed'"

A large number of fake video examples could constitute good evidence that videos do not demonstrate anything in this day and age.

  • Sklivvz, the example you mention as on-topic would be off-topic. It falls under philosophy (what constitutes sufficient proof) rather being a request for evidence. – Borror0 Aug 14 '11 at 18:48
  • Aren't you deferring too much to the 'experts'? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Especially in the case of UFO movies there's a lot of evidence examination you can do yourself. In this (youtube.com/watch?v=0ol97-eoJ_w) Brazilian UFO movie for instance, the fakers forget to put the UFO in one frame. Not much video expertise needed here to call a fake. But to summarize your opinion, we should only discuss evidence examined by experts which also has been peer-reviewed? – Sjoerd C. de Vries Aug 14 '11 at 19:03
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    @sjo, if I'm sick I'd rather go to a real doctor. If I want to build a house I'd rather go to a real architect. Why would you think that this site is more authoritative than photography experts in answering your question? – Sklivvz Aug 14 '11 at 19:16
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    @bor fixed. I hope ;-) – Sklivvz Aug 14 '11 at 19:20
  • You forgo my argument/example that not every issue needs an expert looking at it. Sometimes applying simple logic & common sense will do just fine. May I point to this highly upvoted answer (from the best questions list, skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/1996/…) in which the answerer says: "I disagree with that claim on the grounds that correlation does not imply causation". I find that fully reasonable, but according to your reasoning that conclusion should have been drawn by an expert and the answer stricken from the record. – Sjoerd C. de Vries Aug 14 '11 at 19:33
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    @sjo: the question asks are there any studies on the link between eating and sleeping, and the answer says there are studies implying correlation, which is not causation. There is no expert opinion by esultanik there, but plenty of expert opinions upon which he bases his answer. On the other hand you are asking "what's wrong with this particular unique video?" and we can't really answer that through personal research. – Sklivvz Aug 14 '11 at 20:03
  • Yes, you can. Just like in the example I gave many of those videos have problems that can be found by any careful observer. Like supposedly faraway UFOs that obscure nearby objects etc. – Sjoerd C. de Vries Aug 14 '11 at 20:07
  • I changed my question from the "how was it done" type to the "please spot problems" type. This has always been my intention as shown with the examples I gave in my original post. I remain of the opinion that spotting problems might be something that one "really CAN answer through personal research". – Sjoerd C. de Vries Aug 15 '11 at 13:06
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While I did cast the deciding close vote, I defer to Sklivvz answer for my reasons.

I do want to address this line:

This question has been happily floating around for four months (so, apparently not too blatantly off-topic), but was suddenly closed yesterday for the following reason:

While I wish that was a fair argument for on-topicness (or is it on-topicality?), unfortunately there are plenty of older questions still floating around that are off-topic. One factor is insufficient attention from moderators and users with close votes (although there has been a buzz of activity there recently). Another is that the definition of our scope has been evolving, and also an understanding of the original definition from the beta has been slowly pervading the community.

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