In the years that I have investigated the ‘time travel’ phenomena and its related components (both direct and indirect) I have discovered numerous examples of legitimate ‘time travel’ claimants and evidence of their presence, both past and present.
Similarly, I have also stumbled across legitimate claims of other esoteric topics only indirectly related to ‘time travel.’ These are fun connections to make and add to the richness of the reality which we all inhabit. Just as no man is an island, so too are seemingly disparate topics of esoterica. I am consistently amazed at the interconnectedness of things and just how little of the world we truly know. This passage from Emerson’s “Circles” is illustrative of my point:
The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.
The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end. The extent to which this generation of circles … will go depends on the force or truth of the individual soul.
… the heart refuses to be imprisoned; in its first and narrowest pulses, it already tends outward with a vast force, and to immense and innumerable expansions.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I explored these topics, in addition to these legitimate claims and examples, I also discovered players upon the stage whose purpose is to obfuscate the Truth of things. Some call it “disinformation” while others call it “deception.”
Among the masks these deceivers wear is the mask of legitimate inquiry. Those who wear this façade are not agnostic skeptics following the evidence where it may lead. Rather, they are agent provocateurs whose aim is to disenfranchise those curious souls ever-attempting to expand their own personal Circle of Thought. Regardless of the term or technique, the debunker’s underlying aim is definitively not Truth, but rather to maintain the status quo of the Illusion.
These faux “investigations” can be a particularly effective method to hide the Truth because they not only take advantage of our own built-in naivete, but they also arrogate specialized investigatory skills and tools and imply that these skills are not possible or available to those without ‘special training.’ That is to say that “investigations” carry a presumption that the investigator is better equipped or more skilled than someone not professionally trained. Unfortunately, this technique works in a great many of the cases.
One such example of a debunker-in-skeptic’s-clothing is the internet personality, Starfire Tor. Tor leverages all the tools at a debunker’s disposal to discredit the very real events surrounding the Dragonfly Drone events of the early 2000’s. Were I as ignorant of these techniques as her general readership, I, too, would have been led to believe that the Dragonfly Drones were an “elaborate hoax” as Tor claims in her “investigation.”
Unfortunately for Tor however, I am not ignorant of these techniques that she sloppily uses to hide the Truth of the drones. I saw through her feeble attempt to debunk the very real dragonfly drone pictures and multiple eyewitness testimonies and I bring to you now evidence of her manipulations.
This essay will be (can only be) a general summary overview of the rhetorical tools leveraged by Ms. Tor in her attempt to dissuade you of what you instinctively know to be true. Trust yourself for you are more powerful than you realize.
First some background:
Several months ago, I read an interesting article on Facebook by the online personality “Starfire Tor” regarding the appearance across the United States between 2006 and 2007 of what came to be known as “Dragonfly Drones.”
The headline of Tor’s essay proclaimed that these “dragonfly drones” were hoaxes. Now, I had researched this topic myself and, interestingly, came to the very opposite conclusion. Did I miss something? Were my theories and conclusions unsound or based on a weak foundation? I wished to learn more, perhaps I missed something. My curiosity was now piqued and thus I read Tor’s essay to learn her reasoning.
As I worked through her piece and saw the obvious attempts to manipulate the reader, a gnawing doubt began to grow in the recesses of my mind until it was screaming. Could her conclusions not be a simple mistake but rather purposefully obtuse?
Once I finished, I was left to surmise that her work was not the serious and sober ‘investigation’ she wanted her readers to believe. Her essay was nothing more than an effort to debunk at all costs; the only thing Tor didn’t do was call the drones swamp gas or Venus reflecting off a moonlit lake. I actually felt stupider for having read it.
After I read her essay I was faced with a choice: Do I rebut or do I not? Am I even obligated to provide a countervailing argument? I slowly realized that Tor could not be so obscenely obtuse in her viewpoint on the drone events by accident. When she presented pictures of a literal kitchen whisk and bicycle sprocket as “proof” of a hoax, I knew immediately that she was not investigating; she was debunking. Phillip Klaas and all his disingenuous ilk would have been proud.
I later publicly offered Starfire Tor (via comment on her Facebook page) a debate concerning the drone question. I envisioned a thoughtful discussion between two thoughtful people concerning an enigmatic event (or non-event, per Ms. Tor) for the benefit of the reader. Reasonable people can disagree, no?
Unfortunately, my public offer was deleted wholesale and without comment, private message or explanation.
She didn’t decline my offer.
She didn’t accept my offer.
She ignored my offer; and not only did she ignore it, she removed the offending offer so those who follow her would know nothing of the alternative viewpoint’s existence.
I have crafted this piece in the form of a summary of the manner in which Starfire Tor attempts to debunk the evidence of very real events. This summary uses five short examples of Tor’s manipulations that at first glance appear completely reasonable, but under closer scrutiny are revealed to be utter rhetorical garbage.
These examples are, by no means, the only examples of manipulation, false logic or ludicrous “proof” of a hoax in Tor’s “investigation.” But in the interest of brevity alone, I must limit myself; Tor’s hubris and arrogance is stupefyingly obvious if you are sensitive to it.
Point One – The Faulty Foundation:
In the opening paragraphs of Tor’s piece, she states:
“…[The drone pictures] should not be automatically accepted or rejected without a sincere and intelligent investigation.”
Now who can argue with that? How gratifying to see such an even-handed and mature approach! Unfortunately, it is flawed and provided only to give you, the reader, a sense of Ms. Tor’s self-proclaimed sober approach. It is intended to only soften your defenses. Beware of golden-tongued devils.
Any investigator who ignores their own knowledge and experience is no better than a beginner or neophyte. Experience and Knowledge count. If one knows what signposts to look for that indicate the presence of (let’s call it) “unique technology,” then remaining agnostic is completely unnecessary. To do otherwise ignores how literally any sentient animal interacts with the physical world. You may confirm your informed suspicions with further inquiry but to remain impartial in the face of bold evidence is a bit of a time-waster.
Let me explain:
Imagine yourself in your bed at night as you drift off to sleep when suddenly you hear a car engine outside your bedside window. The noise you hear sounds like a car engine, but is it?
Do you require “proof” that the noise you heard, which sounds suspiciously like an internal combustion engine, is so?
Or can you be certain that the sound that woke you actually belongs to an automobile without physically laying eyes on the offending noisemaker?
Of course you can. You don’t need to see the car to be reasonably sure it IS a car because you have lived your life and heard a car starting untold times. As a result, 99% of the time you will be correct, which is perfectly sufficient to live in, and interact with, the physical world.
More specifically stated, it is wholly unnecessary to know anything with 100% certainty in order to understand and interact with the physical world. We merely need to be right most of the time. To live in the physical world, we need only deal in likelihoods.
The same goes for the drone pictures presented in 2006 and 2007. As it happens, the drones exhibited certain unique characteristics (outlined in my essays here and here) that indicated they truly were “unique technologies.” Because this evidence (not “proof”) points to the presence of a unique technology, we can make the statement that the likelihood is high that these photographs are legitimate. Absent any information (‘evidence’) to the contrary only solidifies our position.
At this point it is important to drive home this point: we do not believe the pictures are legitimate without evidence of their uniqueness or simply because “Chad said so.” It is the very existence of corroborating evidence provided separately and beforehand that lend credibility to the photographs’ authenticity that are currently under study.
One should notice here that I am not making any definitive statement as to “is” or “is not” versus “likelihood.” This nuance is, of course, completely lost on the “professional investigator” Starfire Tor. Tor, it appears, lives in the world of absolutes and conclusions based on incomplete information. Even scientific conclusions only requires a 95% certainty to be considered true in most cases (sometimes it is less!). A man may be condemned by the preponderance of the evidence, not 100% “proof.” Why is Starfire Tor holding the first-hand eyewitnesses to the Drones to a higher bar than our judicial system with origins that are centuries old?
I also want to make exquisitely clear that I am NOT calling the Dragonfly Drones extraterrestrial in nature, nor am I putting total faith in the statements by “Isaac” who claimed knowledge of similar technologies. I am merely stating that the drone photographs exhibited certain markers and characteristics that were reminiscent of known-extraterrestrial technologies.
Point Two – The Embedded Bias of Ms. Tor
From Tor’s essay:
“And how did ‘Isaac’ claim to know all of this detailed and classified bombshell of information? According to ‘Isaac’, he was an insider with hands on involvement in the 1980s black ops project, and used his position of trust to steal copies and originals of the top secret material he was now presenting to the public [emphasis mine].”
Judging from the tone of Tor’s writing, her disdain for “Isaac” is very obvious from the outset. Do you see it? As devil’s advocate, how does she know the dragonfly drones seen in the skies of California and later discussed by ‘Isaac’ are not part of a Controlled Disclosure Program? A private organization’s research project? An actual extraterrestrial craft? A holographic projection by some evil cabal? Do you see how she jumps to conclusions and is incapable of remaining truly impartial? To remain skeptical or impartial means that all potentialities are possible; all hypotheses exist until they are individually removed from contention.
Consider, if she were truly as impartial as she claims, all of these possibilities should EQUALLY be possible:
- The pictures were genuine
- The pictures were legitimate and controlled by government entities
- The pictures were legitimate and controlled private industry research project
- The pictures were a wholesale fabrication by government entities
- The pictures were a wholesale fabrication by private industry
- The pictures were a wholesale fabrication by private individuals
- Or some other, as-yet unknown, explanation.
- A mix of all of the above.
As you see, the full range of possibilities range from ‘genuine’ to ‘fabrication’ with any number of intermediate flavors along the way. Does Tor appear to consider this range or does she operate in a true/false environment with no room for nuance? And, reading her work, does she tend to bias towards one end of the range? Does bias imply objectiveness or someone who has already made up her mind?
Considering all the above possible explanations for the pictures and how Tor immediately jumps to the hoax-by-private-entities explanation, why? Does Tor sound as impartial as she claims to be? Or does her hoax conclusion appear to be biased? Why?
Point Three – Manipulation of the Reader
There are numerous examples of Tor’s manipulations of the reader, but I will limit myself to her Appeal to Authority technique here:
Within her essay, Tor describes how the famous Whitley Strieber himself sought out Starfire Tor’s assessment of the Dragonfly Drones. Later in the piece she claims that other private “groups” asked for her assistance in researching the drone events and photographs. It would appear that Starfire Tor wants to ensure that you know that she is quite the UFO expert and highly regarded by others. Is this perhaps a self-congratulatory attempt to get the reader to buy into her position of authority?
According to Tor (no evidence is given), Strieber sent her photographs of the Dragonfly Drones and asked her opinion of the photographs and the claims of an insider known as “Isaac.”
Because Tor provided absolutely no evidence that either of these requests ever occurred they are, in fact, meant to position her, and your opinion of her, into a place of authority. She wants you to believe that she is a knowledgeable and trusted person (trusted by none other than the famous Whitley Streiber!) that you, too, should trust.
This is a form of the “Appeal to Authority” argument, much akin to the “Nine out of ten dentists agree…” trope seen in any dentifrice commercial.
Point Four – Kill the Messenger
Many times, when the data does not support your position, a debunker will attack the messenger instead of the message. This way the debunker can call into question whether the information is even worthy of inspection by the great unwashed masses. In addition to making specious arguments against Isaac as well as presenting laughable pictures as “proof” of a hoax, Tor also takes a swing at the several and independent witnesses who also have photographic evidence of their claims.
“Alleged witnesses with photographs … came forward through the use of e-mails and internet sites. The allegedwitnesses claimed to have taken their photographs at various times and dates in Bakersfield, California; Big Basin, California; Capitola, California, and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. ‘Isaac’ joined in with his own claims, including photographs…”
“Alleged” witnesses? What in the story makes their presentation of the evidence “alleged?” I have to wonder: if separate witnesses with separate photographs in separate locations who (at face value) do not know each other and are willing to stand by their evidence is NOT sufficient evidence of actual events, then what is?
Tor also incredibly finds fault that the witnesses/claimants came forward via email and discussion forums. Are we now disparaging 20th century modes of communication and collaboration?
Also, of note in these excerpts is the notable disparaging mention of Isaac, who Tor claims, “joined in.” It is important to observe what Starfire is doing here. She first attempts to smear the witnesses/claimants and then artificially connects Isaac’s supporting testimony as if he were coordinating with Chad, Chad’s wife, Rajaman, Jenna, Ty and Stephen. This is misleading at best and an outright lie at worst.
In point of fact, the photographic and testimonial evidence was publicly provided and then, only later, did “Isaac” separately participate in the discussion to comment that the drones appeared reminiscent of work he did in the 1980’s.
Point Five – Provide “Kitchen Sink” Evidence of the Hoax:
This final aspect of Starfire Tor’s ‘investigation’ is, by far, the most laughable. And it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
In order to bolster her (flimsy) opinion that the Drone photographs were hoaxed, Tor presents pictures of typical household items that bear a resemblance to the Drones and declare, that because these objects are similar, they ARE those things. No, I’m not kidding, she actually did this.
Here are some photographic examples that Starfire Tor claims “prove” the Drones were hoaxed:
Now, we might ask:
What is more likely?
- Separate individuals witness the same/similar objects in the sky exhibiting capabilities reminiscent of previously-documented esoteric technologies, document the objects, and posted pictures online or
- An “elaborate hoax” was perpetrated by unknown group(s) for unknown reasons with no outward results.
Regarding the oft-repeated “elaborate hoax” explanation: Tor, as her debunking co-conspirators, explicitly uses this as an explanation in her own attempt to debunk the Dragonfly Drone events:
“…As the investigation progressed, the shared character symbols proved to be the evidence that connected all of the ‘aerial drone’ and ‘anti-gravity’ ET reverse engineering claims to the same elaborate hoax.”
Please allow me to state for the record: There is no such thing as an “elaborate hoax.” They do not exist.
Have you ever seen an elaborate hoax? No. In fact, hoaxes are actually nakedly simple and obvious. Hoaxers themselves generally openly admit their hoax in very short order. As previous examples have shown that, generally, any hoaxer will eventually admit to his lie and he will usually do so in the space of days or weeks. What he will generally not do is wait (literally) years as was the case of John Titor’s claims of ‘time travel’ or the Dragonfly Drones.
This is important and warrants reading closely:
Debunkers must resort to labeling very real phenomena “elaborate hoaxes” because their contorted explanations and logical gymnastics absolutely require a similarly complex hoax to accompany these tortured explanations.
Many forget that the Truth is very rarely at all complex. Truth is simple. Truth wants to be known. Truth is easy to understand.
This essay is not meant to understand the Dragonfly Drones but rather to highlight Starfire Tor’s methods to debunk a very real series of events.
She is not the ‘reasoned and sober investigator’ she holds her out to be, she is a debunker in skeptic’s clothing.
Frankly, I was a bit disappointed to learn this about Tor. I have perused her website from time to time and, while I have generally given her the benefit of the doubt in her false conclusions regarding ‘time travel,’ I will no longer do so. She merits no benefit and a large helping of doubt regarding her true intentions.
In fact, looking back at her work with a more critical eye, one notices that she is quick to explain phenomena that have no concrete or physical evidence (such as “time shifts,” the “Matrix” or other esoteric topics). But when faced with actual physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, suddenly Starfire Tor can’t be convinced, ever. Don’t you find this curious? Misinformation at its finest.
P.S. : Research continues into the Dragonfly enigma in several places across the internet, to include a Facebook page. The depth and quality of inquiry is truly inspiring and to be respected. Did you know sitings of these dragonfly drones date back to the early 1980’s and have been seen as recently as 2015?