Will the UFO retrieval program claims by whistleblower David Grusch be viewed as accurate in June of 2024?
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Jun 30
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Inspired by Adam D'Angelo's question: https://twitter.com/adamdangelo/status/1665926922373861386

Will the UFO retrieval program claims by whistleblower David Grusch be widely viewed as roughly accurate 1 year from now?

For the purposes of clarity "widely viewed as roughly accurate" meaning the following:

  • A poll on manifold in june of 2024 about the claims would select "roughly accurate" or higher.

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The poll resolution criteria is severely flawed. I predict that an expensive military psyop is hundreds of times more likely than anything worldview-shattering, and therefore >99% of cases where this market resolves YES are cases where a large portion of the people voting in the poll were severely and deliberately misled, along with millions of other people.

I would love a market to bet against aliens, but this is not it.

Related:

If you are voting NO here, then the only reasonable alternative is to bid YES at https://manifold.markets/SteveSokolowski/are-ufos-a-coverup-for-unprecedente. For some reason, the two don't add up to 100%, and I don't understand how that can be for any reason other perhaps than timing.

Are UFOs a coverup for unprecedented fraud?
12% chance. In July 2023, David Grusch testified that witnesses had told him that the US government recovered craft of non-human origin, and that special access programs exist to research these craft. He claimed that white collar crime was involved in these programs. One possible outcome to the Congressional investigation is that an 85-year coverup has existed to steal taxpayer funds to pay defense contractors and government officials for unauthorized or fake work unrelated to aliens or UFOs, and that this conspiracy uses these topics to discredit people from investigating who is actually receiving the money. This market resolves to YES if, by December 31, 2025 at 11:59:59pm EST, all three of the following are apparent from official US government sources: Crimes have been committed to misallocate or steal taxpayer dollars by using "aliens" in some way as an excuse or diversion for those crimes The scale of the conspiracy is one of the largest in the history of the world - defined as exceeding the value of the FTX/Alameda Research/associated companies' bankruptcy estate in nominal dollars The government does not confirm the existence of non-human intelligence Otherwise, it resolves to NO. At least one indictment would be sufficient to satisfy #1. #2 requires a document that suggests the losses incurred, such as a Congressional report that estimates the scale of the fraud (or, the indictment itself may include this figure.) The status quo is sufficient for #3.
predicts NO

@SteveSokolowski Because there's a an alternative explanation which is that Grusch is crazy, lying, or badly misinformed. That's what I, and most other No voters, are assuming.

@jonsimon Ah, well I do agree that Grusch could be misinformed. But if he is misinformed, then 40 people intentionally committed a crime by lying to him. They obviously would have some reason for doing so. Making him look crazy and creating fake airliner videos that waste man-years looking at pixels instead of following the money is a great way to hide crime.

And the same would be true, by the way, if Grusch himself just went out and perjured himself, to make himself look crazy and get the AARO shut down so the fraud isn't investigated. But the idea of Grusch's lawyer and the others publicly backing him up just going along with a crazy person seems to discredit that explanation.

This is the most odd situation I think most of us will ever come across. I still can't seem to come up with any explanation that I would give more than a 6% probability to.

predicts NO

@SteveSokolowski Who are these 40 people, and have they admitted to telling him what he claims they told him? If not, then "Grusch is lying or delusional" is still a perfectly parsimonious interpretation.

predicts NO

@SteveSokolowski By your resolution criteria, even if there is a massive fraud case but it isn't proven by 2025, it would resolve as NO. Same if it exists but it's magnitude is in the low billions of dollars. Even leaving aside the "Gursh is lying or delusional" position which I hold, your market wouldn't be a complement to this one

predicts NO

@jonsimon No one knows who the "40 people" are, or if they exist at all.

It is claimed -- always without attribution to a specific person, just the way I am doing here -- that Grusch wrote the names of the 40 people in the private portion of his whistleblower complaint. No one with a name has confirmed that this is the case.

A perfectly plausible parsimonious interpretation is that no such people exist, and Grusch has not even named specific people that you could ask whether or not they said what he says they said.

@DavidBolin But that would be a crime too - on Grusch's part - and one that is trivially provable. Why would he throw away his career for that? Additionally, the actions of the various other people involved, like the representatives and defense contractors who want to remove the language from the NDAA, don't seem to jive.

I bet NO here for two reasons: first, like "AGI," the goalposts keep getting moved. In 1970, if someone had told contemporaries that the president would confirm the existence of UFOs, people would simply believe they exist. Now, the president already confirmed that UFOs exist, and the bar just gets higher - see this X post: https://twitter.com/SteveSokolowsk2/status/1712424852005535983.

Second, the UAP Disclosure Act's timelines wouldn't see information being released until January 2025. My guess is that the scammers and fraudsters in the UFO space will take advantage of the newfound public interest and fill in the news void during 2024 with hoaxes and more ridiculous stories - like the one from the guy who says the aliens told him they are going to show themselves in 2027. Those will dominate the news, discredit the topic, and push Manifold users who don't follow it closely to vote NO in the poll.

Anyone thinking of betting no should first have a look at the UAP Disclosure act

predicts NO

@AndyRyan tldr?

predicts YES

@jonsimon It’s a bill submitted by Chuck Schumer that makes it clear the Senate at least believes Grusch and is demanding all privately held craft be returned to federal government under eminent domain. It doesn’t even treat the subject as speculation anymore, it’s addressed as a fact that is being covered up. Congress is pissed about this all, so the one thing that is indisputable is the coverup part IMO. What they are covering up is yet to be determined, but it’s not nothing. Or at least one of the very few people (Schumer) who gets access to literally all the intelligence including the PDB thinks so.

predicts YES

@jonsimon There is a detailed post here, along with a tldr. Personally, this document together with multiple statements from Marco Rubio (a cosponsor of the bill) comprise by far the strongest evidence for the yes position. I find it very intriguing that this amendment is not discussed in more detail in the media when the UAP topic is referenced, since it directly defines non-human intelligence, it talks about crash retrieval and reverse engineering programs, about biological evidence of non-human intelligence etc. I can't wrap my head around how this bill is not the central part of the current UAP discussion.

One thing that I think is not stressed enough in the post is how specific the language is. The bill requires the declassification of unidentified anomalous phenomena records and it takes extreme care in the definition of the term to separate these UAP records from material with potentially prosaic explanations. The definition is so precise that either this declassification process will result in zero documents being reviewed and declassified, or next year we will have clear footage of objects displaying "physics-defying" behaviour in the ways defined in the document.

predicts NO

@BTE I think you're reading too much into the proposed amendment (it's not passed in the house yet, right?). There are plenty of potential reasons the Senate would pass it even if they generally don't believed Grusch:
-They think that while Grusch himself is wrong on his specific claims there are still interesting UAP documents out there
-Some member of the comittee are convinced, and the others senators are happy to give in as a compromise given the small sum involved
-They think it only has 1% chance to be true, but the expected value of spending the tiny sum of 20 millions on that is still worth it
-They don't believe it's real, but think it will play well with some of their constituent
-They don't think it's real, but it's a good way to get media attention (when was the last time you heard of Rubio outside the UAP discourse?)
-The Senate is gridlocked and nothing of significance gets done anyway, you might as well as fun

I'm really interested in seeing what comes out of the bill if it passes, but I don't think it's strong evidence on its own. It might be the strongest evidence for YES, but that's more of a comment on the absolutely dire state of the rest of the potential evidence than on the strength of the existence of the amendment.

predicts YES

@SebastianWorms While I don't disagree that there may be other reasons that they would pass this amendment, I think that most of your arguments are quite weak, even if they are just given as quick examples. As for the evidence for the YES position, I think there is a sizeable amount of evidence that would warrant closer examination of the UAP topic in general and, by extension, of the claims from Grusch. There is also a massive amount of misinformation coming from both skeptics and UFO grifters, which makes the signal to noise ratio quite low, even if there are multiple incidents with credible witnesses throughout history. The first comment under the post I linked is very interesting and goes into more detail on what I'm saying.

predicts NO

@AndyRyan Yeah, if the question was about UAP in general rather than on the claims of Gursch specifically I'd be more bullish, but since it is about the claims of that guy, I think the proposed amendment is incredibly weak evidence.

predicts NO

@SebastianWorms If you think there are a tons of UFO grifters out there, Gursch being one of them is a very parsimonious explanation of some of his bizarre claims (Like the mussolini UFO) even if UAPs are reals.

predicts YES

@SebastianWorms The recent legislation is definitely informed and motivated by whistleblowers like Grusch, if not by Grusch directly. I don't think it is too much of a stretch to link the outcome of the UAP question in general with the validity of Grusch's claims in particular.

predicts NO

@AndyRyan I think it is quite a stretch. Good thing we have a market to resolve the diasgreement! :)

predicts YES

@SebastianWorms A lighter version of this was already made into law in the last Defense Spending Bill.

predicts NO

@BTE Has anything come out of that lighter version?

predicts YES

@SebastianWorms That is the reason Grusch is allowed to talk at all. It nullified his NDA. His lawyer helped draft it.

predicts NO

@BTE Got a link to that? First time I heard this is what allowed Grusch to talk (after all, can't congress call anyone to testify?)

predicts NO

@AndyRyan I don't get how the preciseness of the language has any bearing on the credibility? Most politicians are trained as lawyers, you'd expect their language to be precise. Presumably they want to be very clear that they're asking for whatever was referenced by Grusch. No reason not to be verbose about it.

predicts YES

@jonsimon It's not about the preciseness in general. The point I am making is that the definition of the terms "UAP" and "UAP record" in the document are very specifically referring to objects "lacking prosaic attribution due to performance characteristics and properties not previously known to be achievable based upon commonly accepted physical principles". It specifically says that:

"Unidentified anomalous phenomena are differentiated from both attributed and temporarily non-attributed objects by one or more of the following observables:

(i) Instantaneous acceleration absent apparent inertia.
(ii) Hypersonic velocity absent a thermal signature and sonic shockwave.
(iii) Transmedium (such as space-to-ground and air-to-undersea) travel.
(iv) Positive lift contrary to known aerodynamic principles.
(v) Multispectral signature control
(vi) Physical or invasive biological effects to close observers and the environment."

The point I am making is that the amendment specifically calls for the declassification of records about "physics-defying" UAPs as defined above. The definition of "temporarily non-attributed objects" further strengthens this distinction. So if the amendment passes (which seems highly likely) either the declassification process will result in zero documents / videos etc being declassified or we should have clear evidence of decidedly weird aerial objects.

To strengthen what I'm saying, section 2.4 states:

"Legislation is necessary because credible evidence and testimony indicates that Federal Government unidentified anomalous phenomena records exist that have not been declassified or subject to mandatory declassification review as set forth in Executive Order 13526 (50 U.S.C. 3161 note; relating to classified national security information) due in part to exemptions under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), as well as an overbroad interpretation of ‘‘transclassified foreign nuclear information’’, which is also exempt from mandatory declassification, thereby preventing public disclosure under existing provisions of law."

Now it seems to me that the authors explicitly say that they believe there are records of UAPs exhibiting the behaviors outlined in the UAP definition, which have been hidden away with various classification tricks.

@SebastianWorms The provisions for UAP whistleblowers was included in the NDAA for 2023. Wikipedia has a short paragraph on this.

predicts NO

@AndyRyan I would be surprised if there wasn't classified records of UAP tbh, given how many military pilots see lights and other artifacts.

predicts NO

@AndyRyan I agree that there are almost certainly classified records of events that *look* like they show exotic physics.

That has nothing to do with whether a poll here says that Grusch's claims are roughly accurate. If such items are declassified there will just be arguments about whether they are really exotic physics or not, but people will still view Grusch's claims as inaccurate.

The only way this can resolve as yes is if the government reveals it possesses alien craft.

predicts YES

@DavidBolin Or private corporations reveal they are in possession of such craft. I mean, he said he knows the “specific location” of each craft so some congressional investigator is gonna go look at some point. The real scandal is that parts of the government think they are unaccountable, not whether there are UAP or not.

predicts NO

@BTE Well the market isn't "is part of the government unaccountable"

predicts YES

@SebastianWorms I am aware.

predicts YES

@DavidBolin @SebastianWorms I think the crux of our disagreement is that you are not placing these recent events with Grusch into a wider context. This is evidenced for example by the fact that both @SebastianWorms and @jonsimon (who holds one of the largest NO positions atm) were unaware of the UAP disclosure act, or of the NDAA 2023 provisions that allowed whistleblowers like Grusch to come forward. Both of these are major pieces of the wider UAP puzzle and observing this kind of behavior leads me to believe that, while a lot of important information is out there, it is not priced into this market due to the enduring stigma associated with UFOs etc.

@DavidBolin I semi-agree with what you have written. However, I am curious if this skepticism will hold if, say, a clear video showing an object like Fravor's Tic Tac UAP is published, accompanied by official documents with testimony from first hand military witnesses. Personally, I think it is highly likely that the sponsors of the UAP disclosure amendment (especially Schumer and Rubio who are privy to classified information as members of the Gang of Eight) have seen such highly convincing material and this is why they are willing to move forward and include definitions of Non-human intelligence and crash recovery programs in the document, and to declare eminent domain on recovered UAP material.

@AndyRyan No, I don't believe the context is the issue here. If anything, by looking at the context of the UAP act rather than Gursch you're missing how ridiculous his statements are.

Regarding the amendments, I think your opinion of Congress's epistemic quality are way too high. Remember we're talking about a body where a quarter of the members don't believe in climate change and where many members don't know who won in 2020. In that context, finding a handful of senator to propose an amendment isn't really proof of anything.

Meanwhile, regarding Gursch, "He's delusional" is an hypothesis that explains a lot, from all the claims we discussed already, to his musing about "atomic arrangements" and "higher dimensional space" sentences that don't sound like they come from someone soberly considering the evidence.

On the other hand, if you think he's telling the truth, you suddenly have to explain many things that don't really make sense:
-Why did the DoD clear him to talk to the press if it's so secret?
-Why did so many people decide to break the secret, not by being official whistleblowers or even dumping documents on wikileak, but by talking to Gursch?
-Why did no other country reveal the existence of the captured UAPs?
-How come every country that captured UAP was so good at hiding them? And keeping it secret for so long, even through historical events like the fall of the USSR.
-Why are aliens piloting their own craft rather than sending Neumann probes? Are we to believe they have FTL too?
-How the fuck did Italy, a country not known for smoothly running things captured a UFO and secretely transfer it to the US in the 1940's with no one figuring it out and leaving no trace.
-How come aliens that are so advanced get captured multiple times, including intact crafts?
-How come no one in Congress confirmed that they received documents from Gursch?


If you can look at that and conclude that the balance of evidence is that there is a >15% chance that Gursch is right, be my guest I'll take you mana.

predicts NO

@AndyRyan I swear I'm not trying to be obtuse, but I'm not seeing your point. Yes, the writing is clearly trying to specifically target the kinds of claims and sightings that have made big UAP headlines the past few years. They don't want to leave wiggle-room for the Pentagon (or whatever agency) to just provide them with vague reports of lights in the sky, or some recovered weather balloon.

But that doesn't mean that there is anything of this kind to actually provide. It just means they're asking for it. Asking for X is not evidence that X exists. It might be evidence that's the asker thinks it exists, but that's it.

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