This article is within the scope of WikiProject Cryptozoology, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to articles on cryptozoology and cryptids on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
I'm not sure artistic representations made by editors can be added to articles. Comments? --NeilNtalk to me 04:55, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
For things where we are quite sure how it looks, but an actual picture is problematic (things like cunnilingus or so), drawings are acceptable. Equally, to show the inner workings of a machine, user-created gifs and so on are perfectly acceptable. However, for things where we only have descriptions by "eyewitnesses", often wildly varying (e.g. for the "energy beings"), I don't think we should add personal interpretations (drawings) to the articles. They are a form of original research which we can do without. I am in favour of removing the images here and on all individual articles (as has already been done on the article about energy beings). Fram (talk) 07:54, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
What about the two that were orginally there? --NeilNtalk to me 20:18, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
WP:OR policy does not apply to images. Abyssal (talk) 00:10, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Of course it does. If we're making unsubstantiated claims with the image, it's OR. kwami (talk) 00:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
If the images are consistent with the published reports of the alleged aliens then they are not "original research." Abyssal (talk) 03:57, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh you guys are unbelievable, some time ago this really would get me mad, to see how the lack of common sense would rather make the quality of an article go down. Anyhow, the images I provided were consistent with the articles, which are consistent with sources. It was my intention to add some self made images that would interpret the article. This, as the pictures obviously reflect is not WHATSOEVER in any way Original Research and therefore it does not qualify as such. I noticed on the other hand, that the old pictures were put back in place. This, ironically does not seem to be seen as Original Research...see my rationale here? Some artist's interpretation are not qualified as OR but mine are?..This is so arbitrary that actually discourages me to even think on using my skills on the improvement of the quality of articles. (Not that my opinion matters anyway).
I would also like to bring the text of the WP:NOR regarding images:
Because of copyright law in a number of countries, there are relatively few existing images publicly available for use in Wikipedia. Photographs, drawings and other images created by Wikipedia editors thus fill a needed role. Wikipedia editors are encouraged to take photographs or draw pictures or diagrams and upload them, releasing them under the GFDL or another free license, to illustrate articles. Original images created by a Wikipedia editor are not, as a class, considered original research – as long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments, the core reason behind the NOR policy.
I would like to invite my fellow editors to look at my drawings and compare them with the articles that they were intended to relate to. Whoever wrote : Wikipedia editors are encouraged to take photographs or draw pictures or diagrams and upload them, releasing them under the GFDL or another free license, to illustrate articles. used the word DRAW which is per se an artistic reflection that lies on the aesthetic aspect of the drawing and not on the research aspect of an article.
With that said, I add a gallery of the original uploads in hope that at least they will not be removed from the Discussion page. Thanks--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 07:41, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe that removing these pictures made the quality of these articles go down, far from it. Darwings are good when you provide an example of some well-known but hard to photograpg thing (like the inner workings of machines, or mechanical effects, e.g. File:Centrifugal 2.png, File:Newton Cannon.svg) But e.g. your images of enegry beings or of the Flatwoods monster were your personal interpretation of what the supposed being looked like. We don't know what the being actually looked like (it's rather hard to draw a figment of the imagination), the images provided did not really match the descriptions in the article (and I doubt any image can), and so we shouldn't have an image of it. Articles are not necessarioly worse for not having images. Fram (talk) 08:20, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I think some of Camilo's images are reasonable. There's not much room for original interpretation when drawing the grey alien, Hopkinsville goblin, or Nordic alien. If you look through UFO books and websites, you'll see that the illustrations for such creatures are fairly consistent. There may be some slight variations (eg, whether or not the grey alien has a nose), but nothing significant enough to prevent us from attempting an illustration. We're dealing with archetypes here.
I do agree with what people have said about the energy being and Flatwoods monster pictures (although in the case of the Flatwoods monster, there is one specific illustration that pops up constantly, despite the varying eyewitness reports). I'm also uncertain about the little green man picture; it's my understanding that people rarely report little green men in the first place, and when they do, their descriptions aren't consistent. I don't really know much about reptilian alien sightings, so I'm not going to comment on that one. Zagalejo^^^ 08:34, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
The images are conceptually good, but do not perfectly align with some of the more detailed reports I've encountered (pun intended :P). They would make fine additions to the articles on alien abduction related subjects with minor tweaks. Losing them would indeed lower the quality of our coverage of the subject. Accusations of original research and the arbitrarily high standards being imposed to avoid allegedly violating that policy are discouraging. By the standards used here we'd lose all of our fine paleoart. A malevolent busy-body actually tried that once and many of us at WP:DINO considered leaving on account of it. There is a policy that says something to the effect of "if following a rule makes improving Wikipedia harder, then ignore it." Please keep that in mind, Fram. Or, to phrase it another way "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." Abyssal (talk) 22:43, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
"Darwings" - sorry I had to laugh... – ukexpat (talk) 14:46, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Should this list and its associated articles have user-created images for all, some or none of the beings? Fram (talk) 07:54, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
The result of this RFC is no consensus. I have read through this entire discussion, and there are a number of viewpoints. The first I've noticed is a viewpoint that the images here aren't reliable as they don't accurately depict eyewitness accounts. However, that's not really the question being asked here, which is should the list have user created images of aliens? The second viewpoint is that as nobody can verify the accounts, then you can't actually create a reliable image of the creatures, and to try to do so is the work of someone's imagination, and thus original research. There are a significant number of people who counter this by arguing that images can be created of the eye-witness accounts, but this is further rebutted that the eye-witness accounts are unreliable and contradicatory.
Therefore, no consensus has been achieved. However, the argument that images should not be original research, as per policy, is compelling, but then so is the argument that user drawn images based on the descriptions can be accurate and are not original research. I would urge editors to taken into account both sides of this argument and try to make a compromise here that exists within existing policy. - Tbsdy lives (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 11:40, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
There is a content dispute whether this list and the linked articles should have user-made images or not, or perhaps some of them only. An example of the images can be found in the above section, or in the history of the page. While it is clear that user created images are not disallowed in general, there is disagreement about the correctness vs. original research factor (personal interpretation) of (some of) these pictures.
My position is that these articles and this list are better without these pictures, that they don't improve the overall quality and don't help the reader by imposing one particular view of these uncertain beings, like an "energy being", instead of letting the text speak for itself, which gives the reader a better impression of the uncertainty surrounding these beings (to put it mildly). If there is little to no agreement (and no evidence at all, unlike with dinosaurs and so on) about the look of beings, then we shouldn't give them a look, an image anyway. Fram (talk) 07:54, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree - user created images on such a subject are inevitably original research. But I'd be surprised if there isn't something that can be used. I've just looked at Jesus, who although a historical figure we don't really know what he looked like. The article contains many pictures, primarily of artistic interpretations from outside wikipedia. As long as they are properly labelled a similar approach could be used here. JohnBlackburne (talk) 09:27, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Oppose - Jesus is a good counter-example as the images used are of themselves notable (for example a famous 6th century mosaic and a famous 17th century oil painting). Someone's amateur drawing of a Grey does little to illuminate this list as it is not definitive (in the sense of an accurate drawing for identification of a species of fish might be), notable or a notable representation of alleged aliens in general and so there is no reasonable justification for inclusion. Perhaps a notable free image could be found, for example photos of notable convention promotions.—Ash (talk) 12:30, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
My reference to Jesus was to an article where images of the subject, although he is a historical figure, are all works of the imagination. That some of the images may be notable is not important. Images need not be notable in themselves. It will be harder to find images for this article than that one, but aliens have appeared in fiction for most of the last fifty years, so there should be some usable sources. JohnBlackburne (talk) 16:04, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I've had a look and found two images on Commons along the lines I was thinking, and although they're not direct replacements for the ones that were there they deal much better with concerns under WP:NOR, so I've put them in and removed the problematic images. They were the only ones I found that I thought appropriate, but I'm sure there are more out there. JohnBlackburne (talk) 18:40, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm OK with the Roswell statue, but not the green alien toy. As I said above, "little green men" rarely figure at all in real-world alien reports, and when they do, the people's descriptions tend to be vague or inconsistent. "Little green men" probably shouldn't be in this list at all, since it's more of a pop culture construct than something people would actually report seeing. (And before someone says something, it's irrelevant whether anyone actually sees any of the beings in this list. Our purpose with this article is merely to describe what kinds of claims are being made.) Zagalejo^^^ 22:19, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
They were all that I could find on Commons, after various searches and looking through categories. I don't know that the proportion of sightings is important: the Little green men article does report some, other entries in this table such as Sirians have no reported sightings. But I mostly put them in to illustrate my point, i.e. that there are images that don't have WP:OR issues. If the consensus is that they are not good enough, and that no good images can be found so the article has to do without them, that's fine by me. JohnBlackburne (talk) 23:42, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
It seems obvious to me that user-drawn images of supposed aliens are inherently original research - being user-drawn makes them original, doesn't it ? Plvekamp (talk) 21:29, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Have you read the policy? It explicitly states that "[o]riginal images created by a Wikipedia editor are not, as a class, considered original research[.]" And further that user generated images aren't OR unless they introduce new arguments or differ significantly from published accounts. It's amazing how you can smugly dismiss the hard, quality work of other contributors without even understanding what you're talking about. Shameful. That's not to say the images are perfect, but with minor tweaks they would make fine additions to alien abduction and CE related articles and are quite in accordance to image policy. Abyssal (talk) 06:45, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Example quality photo but poor quality representation of alien beings.
In what way are you judging quality? I would say that accuracy against contactee reports would be the ideal criteria. For example this image (right) is a quality photo but does not match any particular contactee description.—Ash (talk) 07:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Original images have two problems. First they are a synthesis, i.e. assembled by the editor from numerous sources. Second they suggest the contacts took place, so the information is valid and a synthesis can be made. But a NPOV is to be sceptical of the contacts even happening, which makes such images entirely speculative. JohnBlackburne (talk) 10:15, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
All of Wikipedia's content is a "synthesis". And depicting the claims of abduction isn't in anyway implicit support for them any more than having an image of the Sistine Chapel on the article on creationism supports that idea. Abyssal (talk) 16:21, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
The Creation of Adam image is similar to the images used in the article on Jesus. They were made by someone, and they are at least partly works of the imagination (no-one knows what the characters looked like). In that sense they are a synthesis and original research. But this is only an issue is with editor created works, as per WP:SYN and in particular WP:OI. JohnBlackburne (talk) 18:44, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Name one original argument the images introduce or conclusion drawn from a synthesis of multiples sources but not explicitly present in either. Abyssal (talk) 00:19, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I would turn this around: can you point to a source on which each of the images is based, i.e. a description detailed enough in a reliable source from which drawings can be made? If an image is drawn from multiple sources then it is a synthesis. If there are no reliable sources for an image then it is original research. Read again WP:OI, which says editor created images are not original research "as long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments". I.e. being based on published sources is key. JohnBlackburne (talk) 21:15, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
You can try to turn it around all you want to, but you're removing another editor's work, so the burden's on you to demonstrate inaccuracy or some sort of policy violation. To answer your question, though, Yes, I have a reliable source. Assuming you take pro-ETH alien abduction researchers to be reliable about the nature of the claims made by alleged abductees. Obviously their opinions about the veracity of the phenomenon is bunk, but pro-ETH sources contain the most detail of the accounts. Mainstream skeptical sources are often difficult to work with because they don't treat the phenomenon seriously enough to even bother describing it in detail, which is to their discredit. I have the transcript of the presentations given at the big MIT alien abduction symposium from the 90s, which would make an excellent resource. There is an entire chapter devoted to analyzing Greys and additional chapters on the other broad categories of alleged entities. There are as it currently stands, some inaccuracies in the images, but they are redeemable and when spruced up would be of great benefit to the article.
You seem to not be understanding the policy. WP:OR doesn't forbid a synthesis (if it did, articles could only use a single source), it forbids an original synthesis. When I challenged you to find an "original argument the images introduce or conclusion drawn from a synthesis of multiple sources but not explicitly present in either" in the images I was quoting the original image policy on syntheses almost verbatim. I notice that you still fail to demonstrate a violation. Not that it's relevant, as I have a single source that would do fine as a reference for all of the major abduction entities. Abyssal (talk) 23:50, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
It may be we interpret the policy differently. I would say that if there is one good source for an image, e.g. a clear and detailed description I cannot see a problem with it. Similarly if there are multiple sources and they all agree. The problem arises when there are multiple fragmentary reports, or multiple contradictory reports. If the artist is picking and choosing from them, making choices about what to include or not, what source to favour, then it is original research.
And it doesn't need saying that all sources need to be reliable mainstream sources, especially given subject concerned. If an images cannot be sourced from such sources then it definitely is original research.--JohnBlackburne (talk) 00:30, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
If the artist will be willing to modify the images, I'm willing to advise hi based on my source, which I'd cite in the image summary page. Abyssal (talk) 03:28, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Would it be OK to use a picture like this, since it was drawn by someone outside of Wikipedia? (Assuming the source information is correct, anyway; it's not clear to me where this image originally came from.) Zagalejo^^^ 20:15, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Support Images are normally beneficial in an encyclopedia article so why not have some. Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:33, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Support The images were created in a technical-drawing style that provided a great deal of information regarding proportionality and general appearance of the subject matter. This information could not be expressed as succinctly in text. Technical drawing is a widely-respected format for conveying such information and is used in the context of patent applications and technical manuals, among other uses. Drawings of this type are particularly useful when difficulty exists in generating images in any other manner, as is obviously the case here. I do not understand the reluctance to include these obviously useful drawings. Wikigratia (talk) 18:58, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Because they are not an adequate, correct, uncontroversial representation of what these beings are supposed to look like? I don't believe they are useful, I believe they are imposing one interpretation of the vague and contradictory descriptions of these beings as the correct one. Fram (talk) 07:18, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Please do detail how these images are asserting the correctness of a specific interpretation rather than presenting an "archetypal" version of a common theme in the accounts. Abyssal (talk) 14:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
The "archetypal" representation of the Flatwoods monster does not match what I read in the appearance section. As for the "energy beings", I don't think an "archetypal" image can be made for those at all, and I don't see how a "large huamnoid enveloped in flames" is in anyway resembling the typical energy being. The typical energy being has no form or is a shapeshifter. The image is imposing one, specific "format" or imagination of this entity. Fram (talk) 15:07, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Well obviously there can't be an "archetypal" image of the Flatwoods monster as there was only one sighting. I get your point about the energy being. I don't know anything about those. Abyssal (talk) 15:19, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Obviously not. Images and drawings that are made by the verifiable proponents who allege the existence of these alien beings can and should be used in the article (provided we get the appropriate license). Images made by users should not since there is no way to verify whether they are accurately portraying the allegations. If a verifiable image cannot be found, then using something generated by a user is tantamount to endorsing a particular emulation over another. ScienceApologist (talk) 16:56, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Why not? The image summary could contain sources for details in the images (height of alleged creatures, eye size, number of fingers, etc) Abyssal (talk) 18:13, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Every detail in this artistic conception cannot be accounted for in descriptions provided by independent reliable sources.
A picture is worth a thousand words. No matter how much source detail is specified in a description, there will be some artistic license necessarily taken. Even a tiny little detail, like, for example, the overt musculature and limb proportions indicated in the artist's conception to the right, is up to interpretation here and it is not Wikipedia's job to invent a new representation for our audience. Using a sketch or a model constructed by someone else (such as the UFO museum in Roswell) is fine. Using something some Wikipedian made up is simply not okay. ScienceApologist (talk) 19:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Whatever, I give up. You guys seem to feel very strongly about this. Abyssal (talk) 19:56, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
How can you possibly verify alien related stuff for Chris sake? The nature of the topic is difficult to verify. The images are simple diagrams that enhance the article.--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 02:00, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
By the way, doubting the verifiability of the images is doubting the verifiability of the article itself.--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 02:32, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Why? Reporting the "eyewitness accounts" is verifiable. Interpreting these accounts and turning them into a drawing (not a diagram) is inserting unverifiable opinion of the editor. If we had drawings made by the eyewitness accounts (or photographs, obviously), then I would have no problem including those. These are verifiable. Remember that verifiable is not the same as true: we may then be showing the lies, hallucinations, ... of the people that made these beings notable, but that is not a problem. Fram (talk) 08:12, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I think this discussion is completely flawed. First off I see positions here that regard the images as something bad only because they are made by an editor and because they are not sourced from a third party website or so-called authority on the topic at hand. We have you Fram as the most stubborn contender on the issue not focusing on the article as it could bring to the average reader but as condemning the fact that the images were uploaded by a Wikipedia editor. Had this image been sourced from a website or a book would they be accepted as a source? Is the problem here that the images were uploaded by a wikipedia editor or that the images really do introduce new facts? Are the images flawed so they imply that they are far from what the article tells? In my opinion, the only one that I agree that might use an artistic license in a lax sense is the image of the Energy beings since it has an anthropomorphic shape. Is the image of an Energy being such as the ones from Star Trek better suited because they are fictional widely known elements? maybe it is. But regarding the other images they remain close to what the article describes. How different is to describe something in an article and to describe it graphically? if the difference is that by using a graphic we are giving our own interpretation then isn't the written interpretation just as wrong? is different the interpretation of a Wikipedia editor different from an artist working for MUFON just because he works for MUFON? isn't he and the contributor interpreting a description anyway? I understand that we have to abide by the guideline of no Original Research I am a strong supporter of such guideline but in this case, the contribution (as it has been stated by several editors above) comes more as a convenient addition. I am stating this, not because it's my individual pride and goal to use this pictures in this article. If it turns out that the consensus is to not use this images I will be more than happy to agree, but I think we have an article dominated by the position of few who want to strictly abide to a guideline which is in my opinion no broken by any means versus the positions of the ones who acknowledge that this is a collaborative work after all and that the editor is doing his part to fulfill a role as an illustrator as encouraged by the Wikipedia project itself. Again, let me repeat, is not my goal to encourage the use of this images because I made them, but to encourage the editors to realize that 1) The images do not introduce any new ideas. 2) The topic at hand is by itself extremely difficult to source (in the graphical sense) because of the nature of it.Thanks --Camilo Sanchez (talk) 17:58, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Your final point 2 is one of the main reasons for the objection against images. An adequate, correct illustration is impossible, so we shouldn't have one. This has nothing to do with being a collaborative effort, collaborating does not mean accepting all contributions, but judging all contributions and getting a consensus on them. As for the other images, the Flatwoods one highlights one specific interpretation of very vague and contradictory descriptions, so is not acceptable. The Nordic image is not really adding a lot, showing the same image twice, but one a bit larger than the other... The description in the text is a lot better, and much better indicates the uncertainty. This is a general comment; these images deny, remove, ignore the uncertainty, the disputed aspects of the appearance of all these beings. Fram (talk) 21:06, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Dude, seriously, we all know your point here, let other editors reach consensus. With all due respect, you are defending this articles like if they were your offsprings . As I said, if the consensus is not to use the images so be it. But for now let us leave it to other people to reach a wise decision. You are turning this into your opinion versus mine and I don't think it should be like that.Thanks--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 21:23, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Fram, though I would also highlight a point from nearer the start of the post he was replying to: " How different is to describe something in an article and to describe it graphically?". There is no description in the Greys article. There are a collection of vague observations: "diminutive" (how short?). "jointed differently" (but how?) "3 - 5 fingers". All qualified by weasel words like "may", "usually", "typically". At the same time some things aren't even described in the description, like the head, clothes, ornaments, technology.
So an artist has to make a lot of choices. Some obvious like the number of fingers. Some less so like what "jointed differently" means. Some entirely arbitrary like what the head looks like. While a description can be fragmentary and vague an image like this can't. So as well as drawing on the sources the article the artist will be doing original research, favouring particular sources in some cases, drawing on unpublished or at least unreliable sources in others. As WP:OR says if it's challenged and there's no reliable source it's original research.--JohnBlackburne (talk) 22:47, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
If your rationale is correct then this image included in the Greys article is everything my images have been accused of.(by the way, that's an excellent image, I think it should remain, the other image gives an idea on the pressumed height of the beings)Thanks--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 00:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I would draw your attention to this change where I removed that and another image from this page after finding two images on commons that did not have original research concerns. Maybe when we reach consensus here someone will look at the use of pictures like that on related pages. --JohnBlackburne (talk) 01:05, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Of course not The sourcing policies apply to images just as well as text. I could probably see it in the case where a Wikipedian is verifiably a contactee, but even then it would be better to disseminate the rendering first, and let the usage be reflected in the content here only after it is in common usage. - 2/0 (cont.) 05:25, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I've already volunteered to cite sources for aspects of the images in their respective summaries, haven't you been following the discussion? Abyssal (talk) 15:16, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
No, I have not been following this discussion; I got here from the RfC page. Then, as is normal for good faith comments, I read this discussion and investigated the history of the dispute before contributing. Certainly I encourage Wikipedian-generated images; this works great for representing a table as a graph or for restoring old images via well-defined procedures. However, the level of detail and amount of information necessary for a generated image to be a faithful transcription which adds nothing to the original description and makes no potentially unwarranted extrapolations is simply an impossibly high standard. Compare the visual information content of even a whole body of reports with a simple vector image of a natural scene. - 2/0 (cont.) 20:51, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Support – I support the inclusion of the images in this article wholly and solely based on policy. The arguments "No OR" are clearly flawed to me. The policy states (as pointed out in the previous section on this Talk page):
Because of copyright law in a number of countries, there are relatively few existing images publicly available for use in Wikipedia. Photographs, drawings and other images created by Wikipedia editors thus fill a needed role. Wikipedia editors are encouraged to take photographs or draw pictures or diagrams and upload them, releasing them under the GFDL, CC-BY-SA, or another free license, to illustrate articles. Original images created by a Wikipedia editor are not, as a class, considered original research – as long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments, the core reason behind the NOR policy.
The "ideas or arguments" have already been published, meeting the policy point; Camilo Sanchez merely illustrates them no better or worse than anybody else could, especially given the limitations that the above policy points out, and the fact that we're way off into the subjective in the first place given the topic of the article.
What draws me to the discussion is the fact that this article is wholly within the scope of cryptozoology/ufology/paranormal. Once an article has limited its scope in that sense, what is appropriate to the article has to be considered in that scope. These images fit in the scope, it having previously been defined and presumptively specified in other articles within the scope. I'm for including them here (just don't put them in the article "Hamlet" and claim they're Hamlet's dad the ghost 'k?).
Those editors arguing oppose, I feel, need to argue against the policy in WP:OI at that location (WP:NOR), but I don't think they will get very far. —Aladdin Sane (talk) 22:54, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
If as you say the ideas (i.e. the descriptions on which the images are based) have been published then where? If you have a good source for a reliable description of e.g. Greys you might first use it to replace what's in that article, which is a collection of contradictory and incomplete observations which could describe all manner of creatures, including ones as different as File:GreyAlien.Roswell.jpg and File:Alienigena.jpg --JohnBlackburne (talk) 23:18, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I had used the source (the transcript from MIT's alien abduction symposium) to write a very detailed description of the "archetypal" Grey alien in its respective article, but about 90% of my contributions have been removed on spurious charges of "undue weight." My experiences editing paranormal articles have been uniformly crappy and I have little intention to relive them. I only chimed in to this discussion because I think images like those by Camilo Sanchez have a strong potential to improve Wikipedia's alien abduction related articles. Abyssal (talk) 01:43, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Support The images look fine and there seems to be no good reason to exclude them. TheGoodLocust (talk) 22:44, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Support inclusion of images. Note that it is hard for outsiders to understand which images are being discussed since these are not linked. I am assuming it is the images in the version: . They contribute to the article in that they illustrate how the different alien types differ. As mentioned above they are technical drawings, and the ones I checked seem to be accurate to the description (besides it should be clear why there can never be 100% correct pictures of alleged alien beings). If some individual drawing is inaccurate it should be improved rather than removed. The images in later versions such as:  are much worse (too detailed, not for all types, and not possible to compare among different types and vs. humans). The later in  are even worse. Labongo (talk) 03:53, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
Oppose the use of these particular images. There may well be images which are described in reliable independent sources as being depictions of these alleged creatures, but drawing and including our own pictures is simply not consistent with policy. Guy (Help!) 14:44, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Opppose use of user-created interpretation of what aliens may look like. If there's a picture drawn by an 'abductee' or anyone who claims to have met one of these beings that might have some value. 'Artists impressions' don't. pablohablo. 15:41, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Oppose, obviously. User-generated pictures are permitted when there is a concrete physical object that is the undisputed source. Drawing from a single written account of a supposed sighting would be bad enough; drawing from multiple written accounts? Fahgeddaboutdit. Images are always going to be problematic in this sort of case, but a user-generated image is out of the question. Rd232talk 15:44, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Support "a concrete physical object that is the undoubted source" is not in our policy nor should it be. The basic policy on user-created drawings was intended to deal exactly with this sort of question, and it says that such images as these are an exception to the normal rules of OR. They need to mention whatever source there may be that they are based on, so the accuracy or applicability can be challenged individually. My view is that of the suggested ones the original ones in  are best, because they convey the proper expression of the uncertainties involved. DGG ( talk ) 16:04, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
"they convey the proper expression of the uncertainties involved." - how do they do that exactly? And I believe "a concrete physical object that is the undoubted source" is certainly a reasonable interpretation of the policy, when it is a physical object being depicted. If the image made an attempt, say, to overlay different depictions, each based on a specific eyewitness account, that might be different (if each account was specific enough to keep artistic licence low enough, which for this type of thing, I seriously doubt). The problem here is both in the translation of vague text into image, and of translation of multiple similar descriptions into a single "average". Both are highly problematic, and surely only permissible if there is a high degree of technical precision involved (which is conceivable, but not likely for this subject). Rd232talk 16:15, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
If this were a list of drawings of alleged alien beings then just as we have references for the types of being on the current list, a list of images would also need to be suitably justified using independent sources. By including a list of images made up for this article, we seem to be side-stepping one of the basic principles of Wikipedia, that of including reliably sourced material.—Ash (talk) 16:24, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
These images amount to a novel synthesis from published sources. Leaving aside for a moment the objective reliability of alien abduction accounts, we have no independent source at all for the accuracy of these images. The image guidelines cited above are designed to describe photographs, which of course are not original research or in essence synthetic, but "artists' impressions" take one step too far away from objectively provable reality and when it's artists' impressions of something that, according to the majority view, doesn't even exist then all bets are off. Guy (Help!) 23:11, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
JZG, have you paid any attention to the preceding discussion? I've already stated that I would be willing to cite sources for different features in the drawings and why they don't constitute novel synthesis and to work with Camilo in ironing out whatever errors may be present. Abyssal (talk) 23:30, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Obviously not. Prime example of orginal research. Or "synthesis", or whatever you choose to call it. Anyone can draw pictures. It's not that hard. As it happens I can draw pictures very well, I'm actually very good at it. (It's true!) Just give me a description, and I'll make a picture. I'm pretty good at Photoshop, too. Does that mean that you'd accept all my pictorial contributions as illustrations for supposedly encyclopedic topics (this is supposed to be an encyclopedia, right)? No, I didn't think so. -- Ekjon Lok (talk) 03:36, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
We've been through this seventy gazillion times; the images do not violate the original synthesis policy. I'm willing to cite explicit sources about specific aspects of the images. WP:SYN only applies to inferences drawn from multiple sources but not explicitly stated in any of them. Read the damn policy. And the discussion, or at least the comment immediately before yours. Abyssal (talk) 04:43, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Ok, let's look at it this way. Suppose you really want to learn about something new, and you're reading on Wikipedia about something you really know nothing about. So, you've found this Wikipedia article which describes the subject, and you're reading it, and thinking to yourself, "Ah, I think I understand this... I wonder what it actually looks like..." and, can you believe, there'a a picture right there in the article! So you say to yourself "So that's what it looks like! Great! Wonderful! Now I know!" But then, you start having second thoughts. You say to yourself, "but what exactly is this picture? Who made it? Who uploaded it? Can I be sure that it's reliable?" So, you look at the picture's description and see that it was made by someone -- just some user -- based on some descriptions somewhere, nothing else. So you say, "ahh, so this is just some drawing, which some random guy did based on some description somewhere..." Well, would this incident increase your trust in Wikipedia? Or would you rather have preferred the picture to be sourced to real, reliable external sources? And, if there are no such sources, wouldn't you want the article to be frank and acknowledge that much, instead of presenting random users' pictorial interpreations? -- Ekjon Lok (talk) 05:27, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I explicitly stated I was willing and able to cite sources for the nature of the imagery used. Abyssal (talk) 05:50, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I've never doubted that; but any actual images based only on sources that provide "the nature of the imagery used" are bound to be interpretations. To use an example, if I were to describe verbally a building in detail to you and you were to make a sketch of it (based on my words), that would not be a reliable illustration of the building in question. -- Ekjon Lok (talk) 06:06, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
The sketch of the building would be significantly more informative than nothing. Abyssal (talk) 06:18, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
But would it be reliable? Just because you've drawn it based on my words? Let me say this again, would you trust an image (of a building) drawn by somebody who has never seen the building, but who only based it on a verbal description of somebody else? Do such second-hand images belong in an encyclopedia? -- Ekjon Lok (talk) 06:41, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
As an example, here's a drawing that looks a bit like a young Keanu Reeves that fits descriptions that could be found in many reliable sources. —Ash (talk) 08:06, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
If the person describing the building was a reliable source, and the artist was faithful to their description, then yes, the image would be reliable. The Keanu Reeves comment is a straw man- photos of Reevs exist or could be taken by a fan. For Greys or any of the other alleged aliens it is impossible to photograph them; illustrating them is the only way to provide visual information about them. Abyssal (talk) 08:11, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
You have too many "if"s in the above statement. "If the person describing <whatever> was a reliable source..." (are they?) "and the artist was faithful to their description"... (are they? How do you know?) And still that woulnd't be a reliable source, not by a long chalk. -- Ekjon Lok (talk) 09:00, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
something that might be any one of several aliens
I think 'reliability' is the red herring here. the only thing such a picture could be 'reliable' about is the descriptions offered by people (since there are no actual beings to compare them to), and the descriptions are loose enough to allow for a wide range of variation. it's a bit like a Rorschach test, not important for what it actually represents, but rather for the consistencies that different people see in it. and picture which is close enough to 'give the idea' will be good enough. --Ludwigs2 08:46, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
The only thing such a picture is 'reliable' about is the artist's imagination!!! -- Ekjon Lok (talk) 08:54, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Quite. This precisely why images used elsewhere (eg troll, angel) are not claiming to represent anything more than the artist's imagination. As said above, the problem here is both in the translation of vague text into image, and of translation of multiple similar descriptions into a single "average". Both are highly problematic, and both problems together multiplies the issue. Regardless of how good-faith the intention, or even of how useful it might be to reproduce such images if produced by a reliable, neutral external source (an academic, say); as user-generated images, it's just out of the question. Rd232talk 10:17, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Qualified support. I think the idea of pictures is unobjectionable - there are pictures on ghost, devil, demon, angel, and an entire image gallery on troll none of which are any more provable than aliens. If the pictures are more-or-less accurate depictions of the various kinds of aliens that people have reported seeing, then they should be fine. two caveats, however - (1) it should be made clear that the images are artwork and not actual depictions of beings for which there is no scientific evidence. (2) it would be far better to get pictures from an independent source. I have a hard time believing that there's not some UFO fanatic somewhere out on the web who has already done these images, and I sincerely doubt we would have any difficulty convincing him to release the images into public domain so that we could use them. that would resolve and COI issues from using these pics. --Ludwigs2 04:40, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I do not believe "some UFO fanatic somewhere" would make a better contribution than an artist we can actively work with to help him make the most accurate image possible and a contributor who's willing to back the artistic choices with reliable sources. Abyssal (talk) 04:53, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
One item that might be a useful guide to the general appearance of many alien types is Joe Nickell's "Alien Time Line", which was published in the September/October 1997 issue of Skeptical Inquirer. Zagalejo^^^ 05:13, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
as I said, this needs to be approached as a matter of artistic depictions rather than some kind of forensic description. in that case, any good representations from the net would be sufficient. --Ludwigs2 05:20, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
"there are pictures on ghost, devil, demon, angel, and an entire image gallery on troll..." - and how many of those pictures are user-generated? Answers on a (non-user-generated, please) postcard... Rd232talk 10:10, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
every human on the planet is a potential contributor, and every contributor is a potential reliable source. the two have just collided a bit here. That is a consideration, yes, but not a deal-killer in and of itself. --Ludwigs2 10:52, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia contributors are not reliable sources qua contributors. Sometimes well-known reliable sources come to edit - anything they say (or produce) onwiki is treated as unreliable, but if the same thing is published somewhere appropriate, it can be used as a source (or included, if it's an image). Rd232talk 11:20, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Hey Fram, if you want to continue the discussion do it here. The RfClasted 30 days, editors have shown their support on leaving the images. If you want to continue the discussion then re-start a new section. My edition is according to the practice in wikipedia. You should have changed to no consensus at least.--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 16:41, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
by the way, in the History you said that i am not neutral to the discussion, neither are you.--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 16:42, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Of course I am not neutral, that's why I didn't close the discussion or tried to impose my reading of the consensus or lack thereof. And there is a clear lack of consensus, no clear support as you stated (and acted upon immediately afterwards). You should not have closed the discussion, you should not have reclosed it per WP:BRD as well, and I was correct in not changing it to a different outcome since I am involved as well. Your edits are definitely not according to practice on Wikipedia (i.e. involved editors do not close and "decide" discussions). I would like to invite an uninvolved editor to reread the discussion and close it as they see fit. Fram (talk) 16:52, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
So according to you how many more months should we have this discussion? The template stays there for 30 days which is the lenght of time it will be listed on the RfC elsewhere. If you mean guidelines then you don't remove a boilerplate in an archived discussion, you could have suggested the removal of the support to no consensus on the other hand, regarding your comment on polling as it is stated in your userpage wikipedia polling is frowned upon as per wp:polling guideline. So if we are talking best practices you should check your sources. --Camilo Sanchez (talk) 16:57, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll let other people answer this, as I can't make head or tails of your actual argument. Polling? Check your sources? As for "how many more months should we have this discussion", I have said, in the post you supposedly replied to, "I would like to invite an uninvolved editor to reread the discussion and close it as they see fit." Fram (talk) 17:00, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Your lack of understanding is not really an issue to me and I am sorry for that. I try to address your comments in the best manner by pointing out the parts of your position in which I find a discrepancy. Regarding your invitation of other editors..I welcome it!. --Camilo Sanchez (talk) 17:08, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Since you don't indicate what the supposed discrepancy is, I can not reply. If my discrepancy is that because I believe that involved editors should not close RfCs and/or decide the consensus, I have done neither of those, but have reverted another editor doing both, then I fail to see any discrepancy in this. If it is something else, explain it in more detail. Otherwise, you have no arguments left for why you have incorrectly closed and reclosed the RfC. Fram (talk) 17:12, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Ok, let me put it in simpler terms as it may help you. RfC = Discussion listed for 30 days. After 30 days, the discussion either continues or is archived. (This allows the discussion to move forward and not remain dormant). A new section can be added so discussion to reach consensus can be engaged..perhaps with a new RfC. Do I make myself clear?. If you want to keep me from me editing a page in which we are having a discussion that is a total different story. --Camilo Sanchez (talk) 17:22, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe the RfC was as clear cut as your summary implies. A number of arguments were presented on both sides, I'd say the result was more inconclusive and a process of summarization would have helped test if a more credible consensus view could be reached. The 30 days is a convention but not a rule for having to close and as another contributor objected you could easily have put up an edit request for an independent editor to summarize here. Please reverse your closure.—Ash (talk) 17:44, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
The closure is more an organizational move than a way to impose anything as an editor. If it makes you happy I have changed the result from support to no consensus. However, given the conditions it is obvious that this is becoming a "philosophical" discussion. I have no time to be reaching to more editors. All I know is that my common sense tells me: 1. The topic is per se a controversial one where graphic depictions require some level of tolerance, this however does not make a drawing worthless of inclusion. 2.Wikipedia is yet to deal with the "protectionism" shown by some editors to articles they have either worked on or identify themselves with and this brings as a consequence the lack of tolerance to certain contributions that fit perfectly in the scope of the topic at hand. 3.I have the freedom as an editor to close an RfC that has had no active discussion. My decision to assume support was based on the fact that the number of editors who support the inclusion of the images surpasses the amount of editors who stubbornly are keeping them from being included. So please, don't ask me to revert the archiving of a discussion that has remained inactive. If you wish to continue the discussion add a new section. Thanks.--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 18:44, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
The last contribution to the RfC was only 4 days ago, I do not consider this "no active discussion". Please also note that your use of "number of editors who support" is not how RfCs work, it is not a vote.—Ash (talk) 18:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Ash, you fer goddam sure had best consider the arguments, under your argument, this is not a vote. —Aladdin Sane (talk) 00:07, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Er, that's right, see WP:DEMOCRACY which says exactly that.—Ash (talk) 00:15, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
"The closure is more an organizational move than a way to impose anything as an editor." Yes, that's why you closed it as "support" and immediately reintroduced your images to the list. You still can't understand that as an involved editor, you should not have closed and/or summarized the discussion. "My decision to assume support was based on the fact that the number of editors who support the inclusion of the images surpasses the amount of editors who stubbornly are keeping them from being included." This clearly indicates your bias, and the sheer hypocrisy of blaming me of "polling" when you decided the outcome on a (very narrow, I should add, at 7-6) votecount. While your current closure is more reasonable, it doesn't change the fact that you (or I or anyone else involved) should not have closed the discussion and acted upon it. I don't see why you don't get that. As for "Ok, let me put it in simpler terms as it may help you. RfC = Discussion listed for 30 days. After 30 days, the discussion either continues or is archived. (This allows the discussion to move forward and not remain dormant). A new section can be added so discussion to reach consensus can be engaged..perhaps with a new RfC. Do I make myself clear?. If you want to keep me from me editing a page in which we are having a discussion that is a total different story.", you can drop the condescending tone and the false accusations. I have not and will not keep you from editing a page, I have not stopped anyone from continuing the discussion and starting a new section on it. You are the one that tried to stop the discussion by imposing a very debatable conclusion to a discussion you were a major party in. If you don't stop misrepresenting such simple facts and continue to blame me for your errors, I'll simply ignore you and continue this discussion with the other editors around. Fram (talk) 09:04, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Whatever Fram, your opinion is obviously vilified.Temper tantrums will definitely not help us reach a consensus. I put it on your talk page and I repeating it here. Please refer to wp:Stay cool. Thanks. --Camilo Sanchez (talk) 15:06, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
My opinion is vilified? Right... I don't have a tantrum, I'm calmly explaining to the other editors why I will be ignoring you if you can't discuss this in a reasonable way. A tantrum is usually incoherent screaming, not a blow-by-blow argumentation of why you are not helping the discussion and where you go wrong. You can continue to believe that I am the problem here, but the fact remains that the only one who has repeatedly acted incorrectly and misrepresented things is you. Fram (talk) 15:47, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Camilo Sanchez, the facts are that you decided to unilaterally close an RfC without discussion, then blamed other editors when attempts were made to reverse your closure as you are partial to the discussion. You later changed your RfC conclusion without taking the recommended step of asking for an independent editor to close. I do not read Fram's paragraph as a temper tantrum but a summary of the situation, so your response appears to be an attempt to discredit Fram when you have created the situation in the first place. I believe the RfC should be re-opened and closed by an independent editor who may well reach the conclusion you originally preferred but who's closure would be credible for all parties.—Ash (talk) 15:55, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Hey guys, first, you must assume my good faith on this discussion. It is not in my interest to discredit Fram. I am seeking to come to a resolution on this discussion, that is it. Now, if we are talking discrediting, Fram is the one disassembling every paragraph as to reach a conclusion that will make me look biased. Now, whether there was consensus or not, or whether I should not have closed the RfC (which was no longer an RfC as it will only be listed here and nowhere else.)is a discussion that veers away from the focus of this talk page, which is the improving of the article's quality. Also, what does it take for you guys to understand that even if my move is not of your liking, my decision to be bold on the closing of the section and inclusion of the images (later reverted by Fram) comes as an assumption that the support is bigger than the opposition?. So for example, if the amount of editors that opposed the inclusion were bigger than the amount that supports it, would it be ok for me to contest such fact and keep pushing it until the decision is favorable to my view? Thanks.--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 16:28, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
It would improve the article if the RfC were closed credibly. At the moment it is not and you appear to be refusing to re-open it for credible closure by an independent editor. Why?—Ash (talk) 16:45, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
The discussion is now reopened, and this one should be closed. Camilio, you appear to becoming somewhat fixated here, I suggest you back off, maybe do something else for a day or two. pablohablo. 14:51, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Now that the RfC has been closed, some continued discussion is needed. Basically, for which of the alleged beings are the descriptions accurate enough that a matching image is possible, and in which cases do we have such an image. I don't think that, apart from perhaps the greys, any free non-user generated images are available, so we are stuck with either no images or user-created images. I would like to start the discussion with the first entry on the list, Andromedans / energy beings. I don't think that a reasonably accurate image can be made for such beings, because the descriptions and depictions of them are extremely varying. Energy beings is the entry where it is the most obvious that we should not have a (user created) image at all. Fram (talk) 13:00, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Example "energy blob"
no criteria has been offered to judge such a drawing in comparison to any image already on the Commons of a blob of "energy" (see image on right) and any such image seems an unverifiable debatable distraction to the point of the article.—Ash (talk) 13:08, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
This whole thing about reliability of images of alien beings reminds me somewhat of this conversation from Johnny English.
(Context: Johnny English trying to describe an entirely fictitious antagonist to a police interrogator).
Officer: ...what did this man look like?
Johnny English: Ehm... well... he was big.
Officer: Hair colour?
Johnny English [looking at a bowl of oranges]: ... ehm... Orange.
Officer: Orange (?)
Johnny English: Ehmmmm! And curly. Well, frizzy, actually. Frizzy sort of thing.
Johnny English [now in his stride]: An eye-patch. Broken nose. Very few teeth -- two, I'd say at most. And a scar on the cheek in the shape of [looking at bowl of fruit] ... a banana.
Officer: Which cheek?
Johnny English: [hesitating slightly] both cheeks. They kind of met in the middle.
Officer shows him a computer-made image.
"Are you sure about this"????
Well, this sort of reminds me of this article (and its talk page). So, I want to ask the same thing: "Are you sure about this"? And, while we are at it, is there something about these pictures that should perhaps look like a banana? Maybe on both cheeks, at that???
No one has argued that what's being illustrated is real; the images just attempt to faithfully depict the reports themselves, which may or may not have originated in the way you described. Abyssal (talk) 15:29, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Dropa doesn't neeed to be listed here. The author himself claimed that he wrote the book as a hoax, which would negate the reason for Dropa to be under this category seeing as it's pure fiction. Just my opinion, but I'm sure others wouldn't disagree with me on this one. mÆniacAsk! 10:06, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
"The author himself claimed that he wrote the book as a hoax" Could you be more specific about "the author". Which author? Which book? Several people have written about and examined this topic, and there are several authors and documentary makers who are apparently unaware of this "hoax" aspect. Misty MH (talk) 18:37, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
We're talking about a list of space monsters. Its *all* fantasy here dude. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 21:36, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Interesting idea, as long as it doesn't somehow get some other article deleted as a result. :) Misty MH (talk) 22:04, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Go ahead and do it; I don't have and problem with it and at least we'll get to see how it looks. Another editor might then make changes or remove it but only if they have reason to do so.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 22:53, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
All these pictures comparing humans to certain alien races show nude humans with explicit genitals. Stop with that pornography! I demand a censorship! - 184.108.40.206 (talk) 21:30, 14 April 2013 (UTC)