There is a great deal I could say here but briefly in response to Nancy's here.
I come from a family of scientists and engineers and am the latter myself. Training in scientific protocols is the starting point of each of our careers but its not the BLT science so much I would question here but the very materials they are testing.
As Nancy knows but has never engaged publicly, I worked with Pat Delgado and Levengood on plant analysis before Nancy was even aware of crop circles. My family members visited his lab and inspected his protocols and my own research colleagues were in fact engaged by BLT as the first sampling team in England. I give this short back drop to my point and its this.
It does not always necessitate replication of a finding to prove the scientist is heading down the wrong road, it takes evidence that his interpretations (conclusions) are wrong and that does not require replication of results.
In two important cases, as Nancy Talbott is aware, while working myself with Rockefeller funding I filmed her own crop circle plant samplers making a crop circle, sending samples to her from it and then finally viewing Levengood's findings back to them. These were very important and I think the reason for so much doubt. Mr. Levengood concluded that the plants from this circle were among the best examples of the real phenomenon and showed the highest crop circle making energy. But the team and I knew differently. What- ever the science and protocols, what -ever his findings, the plants came from a man made crop circle. The results showed what- ever they showed but the interpretation was wrong
To add salt to the scientific wound, a small area of plants which had lodged after heavy rain in the same field were also sent by BLT samplers to Levengood, via Nancy Talbott. Again he concluded that his findings showed a very high level of crop circle making energy – The real thing and very important.
I will not engage the points made by the Italian sceptics here but in the interest of truth and common sense and regardless of my own qualifications, like Nancy herself I am not a biologist, but something went very wrong in the BLT work during their early days and Im not sure things are yet straight.
I don't think many would doubt that we have learned a great deal more about flattened plants than we ever knew before crop circles showed up. Also as long as we can all be big enough to adjust our work to account for new findings and move forward, its clear that organizations like BLT should be supported in its efforts to work on this subject. Scientists adjust to current findings and facts. Dr. Terence Meaden back in the early 90s found to his loss that adjusting the data or findings simply to hold onto a theory or position is not what science is about.
None of the above is news to Nancy, she has had the tapes showing all of this since shortly after those events occurred.
Colin says some of the conclusions of BLT's researcher William Levengood are plain wrong and the group should admit the mistake.
He claims to have filmed proof that circle plants Levengood said showed good evidence of the genuine "crop circle making energy" were in fact from a fake circle made by Nancy's own plant samplers.
Nancy sparked the dispute in a piece she wrote for the Reporta Crop Circle Facebook page responding to questions about published papers by her BLT group.
She suggested "No reputable professional scientist would challenge already published work without having carried out research replicating the research they are challenging"
She adds: "And if some of the lay-people involved in the crop circle situation are themselves raising questions about the scientific work,such questions are basically insignificant...precisely because these lay-people do not have the academic or scientific training needed to correctly understand what the published material actual says."
But weighing in with his own statement headed: "BLT got it wrongand should admit it and move on", Colin argues: "It does not alwaysnecessitate replication of a finding to prove the scientist is headingdown the wrong road".
He claims he filmed Nancy's crop circle samplers making a cropcircle, sending samples to her from it and then finally viewing Levengood's findings back to them.
Writes Colin: "Mr. Levengood concluded that the plants from this circle were among the best examples of the real phenomenon and showed the highest crop circle making energy. But the team and I knew differently. Whatever the science and protocols, whatever his findings, the plants came from a man made crop circle. The results showed whatever they showed but the interpretation was wrong".
He adds that downed plants from wind and rain in the same fieldwere also judged by Levengood to show a "very high level" ofthe mysterious energy. In an email exchange, I asked Colin why Nancy's team were making their own crop circle. Colin responded: "It was a legitimate blind test of BLT analysis.
I asked the sampling team to join me to blind test Levengood.
BLT received samples as normal as they would from any other crop circle. I have it all on video and sent Nancy a copy. I've not wanted to make it bad for Levengood but its important to get some balance back into this."
I have forwarded Colin's Facebook statement to Nancy and will report further her reaction if she chooses to respond.
The full text of Nancy's statement is here: http://tiny.cc/dts6bThe full text of Colin's statement is here: http://tiny.cc/97umy
by Report A Crop Circle Formation on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 11:02pm
August 12, 2010 email from Nancy Talbott: (Please note comments about Italian group of skeptics with an eye on the hoaxed formations in Italy in 2010.)
Vis-a-vis the BLT Team's work and the Levengood 1994 paper, the Levengood & Burke 1995 paper, and the 1999 Levengood & Talbott paper, the fact is that they were all published in peer-reviewed journals--which, of course means, the scientists at each journal who read the articles before publication by the journals accepted the work as adequately meeting the journals scientific standards. My suggestion to you if/when lay-people (or anyone else) raise questions as to the competency of any or all of these papers, that you refer these individuals to the BLT web-site and ask that they direct any questions they may have to us, the authors of the papers. Further I would suggest that you remind people that science is a METHOD, and that each new paper (by us, the authors of the only peer-reviewed papers dealing with the crop circle situation so far, or anyone else who carries out similar fieldwork and laboratory analysis) tries to build on the original facts presented so far--or to discredit those already published statements by replicating the work originally carried out and then presenting whatever NEW results--if any-- are obtained.
No reputable professional scientist would challenge already published work without having carried out research replicating the research they are challenging. And they would only challenge previously published results by anyone if their OWN work produced what they felt were DIFFERENT results. Regarding the 3 published papers by BLT personnel so far, no one has yet done this.
Some members of the Italian skeptics organization did publish a paper attacking primarily Eltjo Haselhoffs remarks (his "Balls of Light" remarks which he presented to Phys. Plantarum in a Letter to the Editor, NOT as an original, peer-reviewed paper of his own). Grassi et al. used a clever sleight-of-hand in their paper in which they linked Levengood's work to Haselhoff's statements, as if the remarks made by Haselhoff were representative of Levengood's work....which they were not. These Italian skeptics did not carry out any actual fieldwork themselves and made no attempt to replicate the BLT work reported in our 3 papers. Without having made this effort, their comments must be understood in that context: they carried out no original field or laboratory work on crop circle plants or soils and made no attempt to replicate the studies reported in any of the BLT papers.
In the scientific arena whenever brand new situations are first studied and examined, and results published, there are almost always questions raised by scientists not involved in that research. But usually the questions raised are based on attempts by the critic to REPLICATE the original work being questioned. When this is NOT the case (as with the Italian skeptic group), it is a pretty clear sign of insincere interest in the actual research, but instead an inadequate attempt to discredit the published work they disagree with. This is not professional scientific behavior.
If anyone (Dr. Vaughan Hurry or anyone else) is not happy with the any peer-reviewed, published work then it is up to them to replicate the published work they disagree with...and then to publish their OWN studies to show WHY they disagree with the original published work.
As I said, science is a methodology....certain facts are slowly established, and then built upon by either the original researchers or by others, in an ongoing attempt to uncover precisely what is going on. Anyone, like Grassi et al., can disagree with published material....but the only serious or reputable way to do this is to carry out one's OWN work replicating the original. This has not been done by anyone so far.
Since the lay-public is generally not well-enough informed regarding many areas of scientific inquiry it is very easy for debunkers to confuse lay-people in the manner attempted by Grassi et al. This is a typical (if totally unprofessional) method used by debunkers of all sorts of things. No well-trained scientist would fail to recognize the Grassi et al. failure--which is why, I am sure, Dr. Hurry refused to publish the Grass et al. paper. in Phys. Plantarum.
I think you should not be concerned that there is debate regarding the BLT papers. The subject being researched is so novel that it is bound to attract detractors....but what we all need to see if more original work carried out, real research based on in-depth fieldwork and laboratory analysis such as BLT carried out. It is entirely possible that new facts will be discovered. It is even possible that what has been accepted as factual in the past will be overturned or modified. But one cannot do this sitting at home. One has to get out and do the actual work.
And if some of the lay-people involved in the crop circle situation are themselves raising questions about the scientific work, such questions are basically insignificant...precisely because these lay-people do not have the academic or scientific training needed to correctly understand what the published material actual says.
Again, please suggest that people who have questions regarding the BLT work address those questions to me. I will do my best to clarify any detail I can.
IF a paranormal force did create a crop circle then why on earth would it only affect a handful of random plant stems in a circle of several thousand flattened stems - would it not affect the entire flattened crop or at least 90% of it ?
Everyone who has a vested interest and has to justify huge donations will fabricate information which is pleasant to the ears of believers.