Balls of Light (5): The Questionable Science of Crop Circles

Eltjo Haselhoff anticipates our exchange in the Journal of Scientific Exploration

  • In Articoli
  • 14-03-2008
  • by Eltjo Haselhoff


Before JSE published this (October 2007), on August 1st 2007 we were very surprised to receive the following email from Eltjo Haselhoff commenting something not yet officially released. Moreover we discovered that the same email was sent in copy by Haselhoff to other people who started to spread it over the web.
After you read Haselhoff's email, here you can read our reply.

Francesco Grassi, Claudio Cocheo, Paolo Russo

Belluno, August 1, 2007

Ciao Francesco,

I just received the proofs of the upcoming publications in the Journal of Scientific Exploration and read your (lengthy) reply. I think the editor took the right decision calling a halt to the discussion, after this publication.

Although I have the impression that you understand my concerns better than you pretend, I will try to explain it once more, when you write that:

"It is curious that Haselhoff points out that we incorrectly handled the data as if they were single samples because that is exactly how he and BLT handled them in their regressions".

As explicitly stated in my article, I was not referring to the regressions, but to all the p-values, as published in your tables 2a and 2b (page 166 of your article). Those are all wrong, because you should have calculated them including every single stem measurement, not only the averages of each sampling point. Consequently, all your claims about the lack of statistical significance, so rigourously propagated by CICAP over the Internet and elsewhere, are wrong. Sorry!

All results are statistically significant, trust me. This is really very basic statistics theory, and if you still don’t get it, I really would not know how to explain it in a simpler way. But like I said, I have a strong feeling you already know exactly what I’m talking about, because in your reply you don’t mention a word about your p-values, nor about your claims about the lack of statistical significance, even though it was one of my major points of concern.
I leave you the honor to have the last word in this, but do not expect a reaction anymore from my side. It would not lead to anything, and my time is precious and scarce. To me, personally, it is clear how the cards are shuffled, and we have provided enough public material for anyone else to form a well-funded opinion, with just a little bit of intellectual effort. Moreover, I have lost my faith in your integrity because I think your attitude and behaviour so far have been quite devious.
Nevertheless, I have amused myself. So thanks, and take care,

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