Regarding the question Does Google Earth show missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with “bullet holes”?

Sklivvz, even if I did edit the other answer I could not vote to have it undeleted because moderator-deleted posts cannot be voted for that. So you essentially said that after the first answer was deleted I would have had to just give up and do nothing. How is this helping the site and the questioner?

The second answer was not a common sense answer, it was fact based: it is a fact that satellite images for the claimed site does not have the resolution to show bullet holes in an aircraft fuselage, or even a fuselage. It is a fact that the claimed site is more than 1000 meters deep, and images therefore cannot show any objects in that location that are not floating.

If the moderators claim that this is not good enough to bring forth in an answer and by this point to the fact that the claim relies on impossible premises, then what claim could ever be refuted? The implications of how the rules should be interpreted essentially makes it impossible to refute any claim in an answer. Because if the moderators feel that impossible premises are enough to invalidate an answer that says "These impossible premises must be true in order for the claim to be true"... then I say that every claim is unfalsifiable.

If you feel different, please let us know how a claim should be refuted. Better still: tell us how the claim in that particular question should be falsified.

I would also like to point out that the questioner accepted the answer, so they obviously felt helped by it.


1 Answer 1


There are several questions here:

My answer has been deleted? What can I do to restore it?

We have had problems with people posting terrible answers, having them deleted, and then posting pretty much the same terrible answer again. If we get into a cycle of this, the system will quickly ban the user account. So, instead, we ask you to edit the deleted answer and flag it for a moderator to look at again, and undelete if appropriate.

The resolution implies no bullet holes visible.

This assumes details about what the claim.

Can you show he really said bullet holes were directly visible in the Google image? (As opposed to concluding it through other evidence, or never making the claim.)

If so, can you demonstrate (ideally, via an expert) the particular image could not show the bullet holes?

Basically, you have assumed a premise, and then shot down that premise.

How can this claim be falsified?

I have a preference (that I mostly follow) to leave the simple answers for the low-rep users, rather than jump in immediately for the "fastest gun in the west" advantage. For that reason, I haven't answered this question myself.

In this case, a quick Google revealed relevant experts pooh-poohing the claim, showing the actual images this guy was using (which looked more like pareidolia than a plane, in my opinion) and pointing out that the photos were dated years before the plane was lost.

So, this claim can be falsified by linking to the appropriate experts and quoting their arguments.

  • 1) The answer was not "pretty much the same". You asked for references, you got references. You (justly) struck down appeal to reason, I removed that. But — fair enough — I did not know about the procedure of editing a deleted question and then flagging it, so I will do that from now on if the situation arises again. 2) You are asking me to post an Appeal To Authority answer. Also the question asked — specifically — if bullet holes was visible in a Google Earth image. That is begging the question, but that then needs to be taken up with the one that asked, not the one that answered.
    – user32299
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 7:17
  • 3) "relevant experts pooh-poohing the claim". Hold on... you are again saying that an Appeal To Authority answer is preferable over what I posted? And this for a claim where it is stated that people in authority are trying to bury the claim? How do you know those were the actual images that the original claimant were using? And even if pareidolia was involved (it almost always is, I know), the suspicion of it being so does not invalidate the claim on its own.
    – user32299
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 7:21
  • Seriously... I know my first answer was poor and warranted action, but I really cannot wrap my head around deleting the second answer and then saying that I should have googled for an a supposed expert and used that as an answer. How can that constitute a higher quality answer than referencing facts that shows that such images are an impossibility? Apparently you and Sklivvz made the judgement call that the letter of the rules were not being followed, and that I can understand (sort of). But has the purpose and intent of the rules — and that of Skeptics SE — been fulfilled by that?
    – user32299
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 7:25
  • I didn't propose an Appeal to Authority. I proposed quoting experts that pointed out the dates didn't match. I didn't propose dismissing it out of hand as pareidolia; I just expressed that opinion, mainly to demonstrate I don't think your conclusion is wrong. I don't know for sure that the images marked with plane shapes were the actual reference images used - an ideal answer would reference the man's actual claims.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 15:39
  • The images I saw could not possibly show bullet holes because the [alleged] plane was submerged. This raises the question of what (possibly spurious) argument the original claimant used to demonstrate bullet holes (if indeed he did). If he claimed that they were visible in the photos, your argument might hold water. But, I doubt he did that because they weren't visible in the photos. Which makes your argument a strawman. Hence the need to find his claims.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 15:43
  • "But, I doubt [...]. Which makes your argument a strawman". Argument From Personal Credulity. Would you accept that in an answer? In any case: read the question posted by Ronnie. It was: "Does Google Earth show missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with “bullet holes”?". The question is not similar to "Was this fellow accurate when he claims he saw bullet holes on Google Earth photos". So I have not created a strawman, I am answering the question according to how it was written, not to how I think the claimant reached the conclusion that there are bullet holes in MH370.
    – user32299
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 15:52

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