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Archive for the ‘ Extra Terrestrials ’ Category

Extra Terrestrial Life; What Will Their Intentions Be?

Here on Earth humans are supposedly considered; mostly harmless. Generally more dangerous to themselves than to any species outside the solar system and indeed such comments from Sci Fi authors is fun to contemplate. However, recently this conversation became a little more serious in a most unusually place; an online think tank forum when a think tanker member asked a rather interesting question:

“What will their intentions and life mission consist of?”

Hopefully more than the usual; that is to say; “be born, procreate and die.” And indeed perhaps the “higher order” or “higher being” question will be answered although, the answer should already be readily apparent to anyone giving it any real amount of thought. One think tanker seemed to think that there was no life other than what is on Earth quoting some Biblical Scriptures. Yet, this was countered by another think tanker who said;

“Your comments on religion are interesting and perhaps this is for the most part the final period, that is to say the present period is the winding down of human religions, which have slowed the forward progression of the human species? Hard to say, since the fundamentalists seem to control vast numbers of human civilizations; Too bad really.”

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A Slow Moving Structured UFO

I am a UFO researcher and investigator. Along with my colleagues, we investigate everything from UFO sightings, to animal mutilations in the UK and abroad.

The following is my own personal view and my account of what I witnessed close up.

The UK MoD announced on the 1st December 2009 it will no longer have a dedicated UFO desk in operation investigating reports.

But I am sure that somewhere and someone in the MoD will be looking out for reports, and at the end of the day if UK airspace is intruded by an unknown craft it has to be investigated properly. The more reports people come forward with, the more the truth will come out!

On 30 and 31 March 1993 there was a series of UFO sightings in the UK involving over a hundred witnesses. Many of these were police officers and military personnel as the UFO flew directly over two local RAF bases. It was dubbed ‘The British UFO Mystery’.

As a 16 year old at the time of the incident I was preparing to enter the army as a solider with the army air corps. Since the age of 12 I had been a member of the cadet force in which I held the rank of flight sergeant in the royal air force section. So as you can imagine I had extensive knowledge of all types of military aircraft in this country but also in other countries. I also had good knowledge of civilian and or NASA type aircraft and satellites. Being a member of the cadets I was a frequent visitor to RAF Shawbury airbase near my home where I went flying in fixed wing and non fixed wing aircraft.

I had and still have a big interest in aircraft.

On March 30th 1993 at approx 11pm I was walking home from my part time job at the local bowling alley in the northern outskirts of Shrewsbury. My parents at the time owned a public house called the ‘Harry Hotspur’ and it was only 600 metres from my work along Harlescott lane.

The walk only took me normally approx ten minutes. As walked back and got to within 100 metres of my home, my eye caught a slow moving structured object moving from left to right, south to north, in the sky approx 300ft up!

As I got to my home, I continued to watch this object. It was a black triangle shape, structured, approx 200ft in length and approx 30ft to 45ft in diameter. It was very defined, and blocked out the stars. As it was a clear night with no clouds. On the two rear points of the triangle I noticed a faint red or orange coloured glow and at the front the triangle was omitting a brilliant white light, and this was moving back and forth as if was looking for something.

The triangle was moving very slowly, I would say about walking speed, I could hear nothing but a very low humming sound that was irritating to hear. I also felt warm and the sense of being watched, or at least whoever or whatever was controlling the triangle knew I was watching it!

Opposite my house, at the time was rough ground and fields and the triangle continued to move north over them with the white light flicking back and forth randomly. At this point I estimated that I had been watching this craft for about 6 minutes when all of sudden it shot off to the north at incredible speed making no sounds at all.

I knew that this craft was not a military or civilian aircraft and I rushed into my house and woke my parents up to tell them what I had just witnessed, all of us then went outside to see if we could see the craft but there was nothing.

Basically that was that for me I never told the authorities because I didn’t know what to do and during my time in the military I never spoke of the incident as I didn’t want to be ridiculed.

However it’s only been in the last 3 years where I found out about the Cosford incident and that what I saw was linked to sightings all over the UK that night.

Ever since the incident I have had a feeling of knowing that the craft will come back, it makes me feel uneasy but at the same time I want to know where it was from and why it was here?

I think the military in the UK and the United States know of these craft but are keeping it under wraps away from the public so as not to alarm people.

I 100 percent believe that UFO and extraterrestrials are with us constantly. I believe that Aliens are visiting us using time or warp travel, and I also believe that we can trace this back to ancient times and ancient peoples of earth.

It is only a matter of time before the people of earth find out the truth about extra-terrestrials and UFO’s, and when that day comes I will one of a proud few who said “I told you so”…..

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It is my understanding that Robert Hastings, author of UFO’s and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, claims that if there is ever a nuclear attack – North Korea, Iran, Pakistan – wherever – that nuclear payback would not happen. These former “nuke guardians” for the U.S. Air Force claims to have either witnessed first hand or were told of other servicemen that witnessed a UFO aircraft essentially disabling United States nuclear weapons systems, including the one in 1967 at Malmstrom Air Force Base. Later, in what was then the Soviet Ukraine, Russia claims that a similar incident occurred in 1982 – hence the claim that “extraterrestrial beings are interested in the world’s nuclear arms race…” What I don’t understand? How does that equate to… and may be sending humans a message”. WTF? People always have to take things to the extreme.

The first thing you have to ask yourself is, do you believe in aliens? Can you fathom the idea that there are extra-terrestrial beings in a universe unknown? Most of us are dumbfounded and unsure. It is after all ludicrous but, IS IT?

Now, that being said, it was also reported that at the National Press Club (That is where they were in Washington – not Capitol Hill testifying) these seven former servicemen recounted personal sightings or reports from subordinates regarding UFO’s “hovering” over nuclear missile silos or storage areas in the 1960′s, 70′s and 80′s. It goes on to say that three of seven that went to Washington hadn’t even actually seen the UFO’s themselves…

BUT, were able to recount that they “appeared to have temporarily deactivated some of the nuclear missiles” based on being told by other subordinates. What is the three that really don’t know anything at all even doing there? Moral support for the wacko?

Let me ask you something.

How many of you have seen a UFO? lol… I ask this because I have. Now, granted, it was usually something silly like a satellite but…there are many of us that have wondered and I mean seriously wondered. I do believe that extra-terrestrials do exist (interestingly enough – the Catholics are allowed to believe this now too) but, I think that Robert Hastings probably saw something that scared the shit out of him and he truly does believe it to be UFO’s. But, I personally think that Hastings is taking this too far… almost like it’s a sickness now.

It’s more of a gut feeling because I think that if the Government thought this was really an issue they would conduct an investigation – yes, there have been investigations but – I just think that if there was any merit to this claim the government would try to make the information “classified” therefore, rendering the servicemen incapable of discussing it outside of approved, controlled environments.

I also wonder why this outside force quit “monitoring” nuclear weapons systems after the 1980′s – or did they? You would think that if this has happened someone would have tweeted it by now…

Beyond My Two Cents gives you an opportunity to look at the issues and situations that affect many of us from a different point of view. Do you agree, disagree or are you on the fence. Why? I will give my two cents and then, you give yours.

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Apollo Astronaut Believes in Aliens

In February 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell walked for 9.5 hours on the moon. Recently, in an interview on UK-based Kerrang Radio, he spoke about UFOs, aliens and a 60-year old US government cover-up conspiracy.

Edgar Mitchell surprised both his interviewer and his audience by admitting his belief in extra-terrestrials. He believes aliens have been visiting us for years. Their intention is peaceful since we might not be here if it were otherwise.

Mitchell thinks the 1947 Roswell incident involving an alleged UFO crash was covered up by the US government. However, he did not provide any evidence.

A reporter at Kerrang Radio asked NASA to comment on Mitchell’s views. NASA’s response was rather succinct: “Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue.”

Gary Bates, the author of Alien Intrusion (2004), believes there is a strong connection between UFOs and evolution. People who believe life evolved on earth tend to think that it had to evolve elsewhere in space also since we cannot be that special. Indeed, a belief in UFOs seems to fit in well with a believe in a new age type of deity. But both real science and biblical theology bring serious problems for a belief in UFOs and extra-terrestrials. ETs seem to have more to do with parapsychological phenomena than physical phenomena.

Kenneth Arnold reported seeing flying saucer-shaped flying objects over Mount Rainier in Washington on June 24, 1947. With this incident fresh in mind, the media was quick to come up with a conspiracy theory just two weeks later when they wrote about Roswell.

Bates suggests that the Roswell incident was an inflated account of a US spy balloon that crashed. In the early cold war years the US government was reluctant to disclose what kind of equipment its air force used to spy on their erstwhile allies the Russians.

So it was a cover up, after all. But not the kind that Edgar Mitchell believes.

Joel Kontinen is a translator and novelist currently living in Finland. His background includes an MA in translation studies and a BA in Bible and Theology. He likes to keep up-to-date on science news and often comments on creation/evolution and origins issues.

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SETIs Online Quest For Extra Terrestrials

Space. The great beyond. Are we alone in the galaxy? Researchers at the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, have pondered the question for years. Drawing on high-powered radio telescopes, SETI has been scanning the stars for years, searching for answers to the questions that our existence poses. While the search has relied upon private funding and dedicated researchers for years and years, they’ve created an opportunity to help the search from the courtesy of your own home.

A program was created by the researchers to help coordinate data analysis, which they dubbed SETI@home. The program is a client which can be downloaded from the website and it allows armchair scientists a chance at discovering rogue signals from alien galaxies. Self-governing, the program downloads chunks of data that were picked up by SETI’s telescopes and analyzes it for any possible anomalies. Launched in May of 1999, the program has seen much success as a means for processing large chunks of data. Functioning like a virtual supercomputer, the processing power used on a day-to-day basis for scanning the skies is enormous. Over 5.2 million people have participated in the program worldwide, contributing over two million years of computing time collectively. As of April 17th of 2006, the processing power of the computers linked to SETI@home rests at around 250 Teraflops. By comparison, the strongest supercomputer in the world, Blue Gene, can process 280 Teraflops, slightly more than the SETI network. There are plenty of dedicated individuals giving their computer’s processing power to the site.

In addition to computing and analyzing the data for SETI, the program also functions as a neat screen saver that allows you to see the progress that your data analysis makes with a colorful representation of your findings. You can even set the program to only use processing power while the screen saver function is on, allowing your processing power to be unaffected while you’re actually using the computer. The program detects and discards interference signals and uploads its findings to a gigantic database of analyzed data located at Berkeley. While no alien life forms have been found as of yet, dedicated users continue to plug away at the data, hoping for a day when their search yields the ultimate results.

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The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis: Part Two

INTRODUCTION: With both the existence of pure theory and applied evidence supporting the plausibility of the UFO ETH – where the UFO remains a UFO after appropriate expert analysis has failed to find a more terrestrial explanation – lets look at a few more snippets of the phenomena.

FADS: A fad is a temporary fashion – a flavour of the month. Fads come, and fads go. For example, the big band/swing era; white wall tires and tail fins; hula hoops and yo-yos; the Charleston and the Twist; disco music, pet rocks, slicked back hair (greasy kids stuff) and wearing baseball caps on backwards; westerns on TV and the silver screen have mostly ridden off into the sunset; goldfish swallowing; miniskirts, bell bottom trousers and hot pants; and lots more. A fad can be anything that you adopt as a cultural value-adding to your lifestyle that sets you apart from the community at large, yet keeps you reasonably associated as being a part of your contemporaries, but which you could drop from your lifestyle if you wished or if you were required to. It’s often the next ‘must have’ gadget that you just can’t live without (so you are told), but which will be superseded in a year or two by the next ‘must have’ gadget Mark II.

Non-fads are anything that are personal choices yet are also really essential to your day-to-day existence – so a thing like eating isn’t a fad. Sex isn’t a fad. Social interactions aren’t a fad. Even bicycles aren’t faddish because they have become an overall essential, tried and true ways and means of transport. Or, non-fads could be anything that an outside reality clobbers you over the head with, like the weather, death and taxes!

To repeat, fads are temporary phenomena, only briefly imprinting themselves on our collective psyche before the next big thing comes along. What’s the duration of a fad? There’s no fixed time frame – clothing fashions can change drastically from one year to the next; the influence of a blockbuster TV series or a motion picture, or say toys – maybe over several years. TV series don’t normally last more than one generation, usually far less. So, I’ll pick an average of one generation, on the grounds that the next generation don’t want to imitate or do like their parents did. They’d rather do their own thing in their own way. Kids born in the 1980′s aren’t likely to get to misty-eyed and nostalgic over Elvis and the Beatles and “I Love Lucy”.

Well, UFOs (and crop circles) are both way over a generation old now. UFOs in fact are over three generations old by now and going strong. That in itself suggests to me that UFOs are not a mere passing fad, but reflecting a reality that’s something more permanent or on-going.

Fads and non-fads appear in all manner of genres. There are fads in sports, say in baseball where for a while the accent is on power and home runs, yet a decade later it’s the hit-and-run, the sacrifice bunt or fly, walks, and base stealing. Yet a non-fad in baseball is throwing strikes and not making defensive errors.

What about science? Unlike say ‘cold fusion’, SETI is not a scientific fad; it’s gone on way too long for that. The man-on-the-Moon (Apollo) program however proved to be just that – a temporary blip on the landscape. Science graduates often have to choose career paths based on that’s likely to be non-faddish, long-term science. For example, string theory has been a reasonable career path for physics students for many decades now, so string theory can no longer be considered a fad in physics.

One thing is pretty clear – participation in a fad is something voluntary. So, crop circles, if all are manufactured by humans, would have to be faddish, were it not for the long duration of the phenomena. If crop circles, at least in part, have nothing to do with human proclivities to hoax others, then there’s no fad. UFO hoaxes are faddish; immediately jumping to conclusions of alien spaceships when seeing just a light in the sky is voluntary. But, if bona fide alien UFOs are a reality, then seeing one isn’t voluntary and UFOs therefore aren’t a fad.

The bottom line seems to be, if it proves to be ongoing, without any prior cultural background infrastructure, it’s not a fad. If it’s likely to die out within a generation or so, and it can be explained as a natural progression of what culturally has come before, then it’s a fad.

So, are UFOs (and say crop circles) a passing fad? Are UFOs all in the mind, something we adopt as a temporary way of assisting us coping with current reality, perhaps a novelty to give us respite from the ordinary? Are UFOs a reflection of our existing culture, say as expressed via Hollywood themes? Or, are UFOs like the weather – ever present and hammering that point home to us? Does Hollywood reflect the actual presence of UFOs in their themes, or are films perpetuating them in a faddish sort of way?

The origin of the UFO phenomena, if one is to believe the idea that UFOs are all in the mind, was due to the onset of the Cold War, and hundreds of Hollywood films in the fifties played up to the red menace threat, often in the guise of alien invasions (can you recall that catch phrase ‘look to the skies’?). So, if UFOs are a fad, shouldn’t they have died out after the end of the Cold War and the demise of the red menace – reds under the beds? Whatever the origin of UFOs actually was, it does seem to be an origin independent of any cultural influences and no reasonable attempt to culturally explain them, and maintain their presence for over six decades, appears adequate.

Whatever bona fide unexplained UFOs are, they certainly aren’t a fad, rather an ever ongoing phenomenon that’s part and parcel of our environmental background, cause or causes unknown, but probably extraterrestrial IMHO.

HILL, BETTY & BARNEY: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction case is a way more credible case than most. Why? Firstly, it was the first – no prior contamination and media saturation with the subject could have influenced them. Secondly, it’s unlikely a mature couple (not teenagers or young adults), and an interracial middle-aged couple at that, with no particular interest in UFOs or sci-fi, would invent such an abduction tale detailing the same sorts of beings that we’ve come to know and love now – the greys. An interracial couple (this was the 60′s) wouldn’t need that sort of publicity, and they certainly didn’t make any fortune out of eventually going public. Lastly, the alleged abduction didn’t happen in their bedroom; it happened while they were driving their car back from holiday. So we have two witnesses giving the same story.

Further reading regarding Betty & Barney Hill:

Friedman, Stanton T. & Marden, Kathleen; Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience; New Page Books, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey; 2007: [Kathleen Marden is the late Betty Hill's niece and trustee of her estate.]

Fuller, John G.: The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours “Aboard a Flying Saucer”; Dial Press, New York; 1966:

NAME DROPPING: There are physical scientists with professional academic qualifications, who took (or take) the UFO ETH (extraterrestrial hypothesis) question very seriously. Scientists like J. Allen Hynek (scientific advisor the USAF Project Blue Book), James E. McDonald, Jacques Vallee, Bruce Maccabee and Richard F. Haines.

I should also point out that both the former heads of the USAF Project Blue Book (Edward J. Ruppelt) and the British Dept. of Defence UFO study (Nick Pope) wrote books detailing their experiences, and both took the subject very seriously indeed.

Then there are former NASA astronauts like Gordon Cooper and Edgar Mitchell who have come out in no uncertain terms that the UFO ETH is not only plausible, but beyond doubt.

For every well known UFO debunker or sceptic, there’s an equal and opposite pro-UFO = pro-ETH counterpart. In fact, based on over four decades of serious interest in this field, I’ve noted that there have been far more sceptics turned UFO = ETH believers, than the other way around.

ROSWELL 1947: My bits and pieces wouldn’t be complete without reference to Roswell. I don’t wish to say too much about the Roswell, N.M. case (July 1947), other than to point out that the then US Army Air Force admitted publicly, in the media, in newspapers, on radio, that they had captured one of those mysterious (and only recently sighted – the modern UFO era was just weeks old) flying discs. No amount of back-pedalling can alter that now historical fact. It’s on the record. Look it up yourself! But wait, there’s more, and I’m not making any of this up. Firstly, forget the dozens of after-the-fact investigators into Roswell and their tomes. The only thing that really counts here is first hand, on-the-spot, eye-witness accounts. When it comes to that, the name Marcel should ring your bells and whistles.

Major Jesse Marcel (Senior) was the Army Air Force (AAF) as it was then called, military officer directed to investigate the report of some mysterious debris scattered outside of town. Now to achieve a rank of Major, in the military, suggests you’ve been around for a while. You’re not some newly commissioned greenhorn Second Louie. It suggests that one is competent enough to distinguish wheat from chaff. So, Major Marcel (Senior), upon on-site investigation of this crashed debris, became so excited that he actually took some of the debris home to show his family, waking up his young child (Jesse Marcel, Junior) in the middle of the night. It’s the sort of thing a SETI scientist might excitedly do if s/he received ‘that’ signal. Afterward, of course, that, and all the other debris was collected by and turned over to the local AAF. Because of the unusual and highly suggestive other-worldly nature of the debris, the base commander ordered his public relations officer to issue a press statement that the AAF at Roswell had collected the crashed remains of one of these new fangled flying discs. Within 24 hours, higher authority directed that the story be changed and what had actually been recovered was a weather balloon. Major Marcel, the base commander and the press officer, being dutiful military types, just followed orders and said nothing – then. The actual debris was then flown off-site, off the Roswell base, first to Texas (where real weather balloon bits were displayed for a press conference), hence onwards elsewhere, but has apparently vanished now off the face of the Earth, unless of course it is still stored under classified wraps.

That a Major in the US AAF somehow could not tell the difference between debris from a crashed weather balloon (or even in yet another turnaround about-face, a Project Mogul balloon trail – well it’s still just a balloon) and a metallic crashed disc is too implausible or incredible to believe or take seriously. It’s like saying a SETI scientist couldn’t tell the difference between Morse Code and the radio hiss from the Big Bang’s cosmic microwave background radiation!

But wait, there’s more! After Marcel (Senior) retired from the military, he went public with his side of the story – weather balloon? Not a snowballs chance in Hell. His son, 11 years old at the time daddy woke him up, became a medical doctor and also a career military officer. But he now too has spoken out publicly and written about his, and his father’s encounters with what they both termed not-of-this-world technology. Marcel (Junior) remembers vividly that night and that material from the crashed disc collected by his father.

You can find relevant interviews with (now the late) Jesse Marcel (Senior), and his son, Dr. Jesse Marcel (Junior) on YouTube.

The Roswell AAF base commander (Colonel William Blanchard) was never reprimanded or disciplined for ordering the ‘crashed disc’ press release. In fact he eventually rose to the rank of that of Four-Star General.

The First Lieutenant, Walter Haut, who actually issued that press release, also issued a death bed affidavit attesting to the accuracy of the actual (no weather balloon) Roswell events.

Finally, the biggest ‘giggle’ factor detrimental to Roswell credibility are the reports of the alien bodies recovered. Why this should be so is beyond me for if UFOs are ‘manned’ by aliens, and if a UFO crashed, then it stands to reason that there will be alien bodies too – alive or dead. Of course one could argue that maybe the UFOs aren’t ‘manned’, but remote controlled drones – we have such things ourselves. Maybe the alien is actually a form of extraterrestrial artificial intelligence – an onboard machine intelligence that controls/pilots the UFO, and resulting crash debris one couldn’t tell the difference between the remains of the ‘pilot’ from the rest of the nuts and bolts. But back to the bodies – by analogy, on balance, it would seem odd for an airliner to crash and there be no bodies. I find the idea of ‘alien bodies’ to contribute no extra ‘giggle’ factor to the Roswell incident.

Further reading on Roswell:

Marcel, Jesse (Junior); The Roswell Legacy: The Untold Story of the First Military Officer at the 1947 Crash Site; New Page Books, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey; 2009:

SETI vs. UFOs: So sorry to have to say this, but UFOs have a lot more runs on the board than SETI (the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence), despite SETI being legit, accredited and accepted science and UFOs anything but. The track record for UFOs as a bona fide ETI subject is way better than the track record for SETI. As even UFO sceptics (like SETI scientists) have to acknowledge, some 5% to 10% of all UFO sightings or incidents remain hard core UFO sightings or incidents after proper analysis (and thus remain plausible or viable candidates for the UFO ETH) – the ‘unknowns’ category. If 5% to 10% of all interesting-at-first-glance SETI signals also proved, after proper analysis, to be legitimate ‘unknowns’; ‘WOW’ signals after the one and only one such ‘unknown’ ever recorded, that would really set the SETI community abuzz. That one SETI “WOW” signal has withstood the test of time – it remains a bona fide SETI unknown. My point is that each and every one of those 5 to 10% bona-fide unexplainable UFO incidents is, for all practical purposes, a “WOW” event, equal in potential to the lone SETI “WOW” signal. In the case of the UFO, the collective of “WOW” events now number in the thousands to tens of thousands. As I said, UFOs have more “WOW” runs on the board than SETI.

Another point is that say there’s one extraterrestrial technologically advanced civilization reasonably close to by – say within 10 to 50 light-years. Say their radio leakage window of (our) opportunity for (our) successful SETI is 100 to 200 years before all transmission traffic is via fibre optical or other cable and the radio noise, their radio leakage, for all practical purpose ceases. So, SETI has up to 200 years to point an antenna tuned at the right frequency and pointed in the right direction to log up a success story. Now, what’s the duration of our extraterrestrial civilization’s attempts to boldly go – interstellar exploration? 100 years? 200 years? No, its way more than that because once started, even assuming the home planet goes kaput, exploration is ever ongoing. So the window of opportunity for us stay-at-home terrestrials to detect these boldly going extraterrestrials (and sooner of later we’d be accidentally stumbled over even if we hadn’t been detected before-the-fact due to our bio-signatures – technological or otherwise) is also pretty unlimited. If they are not here now (UFOs), maybe there’s some evidence they were here 200, 2000 or 20,000 years ago; or maybe tomorrow. The argument doesn’t really alter that much if at all no matter how many technologically advanced (capable of both radio and interstellar travel) there are. Radio leakage is short term; exploration is long term. Therefore, UFOs are a better bet than SETI.

Now that’s not an attack on SETI. I like SETI; it’s good science. I wish SETI every success and if SETI captures THE signal tomorrow, I’d be delighted. It’s just that SETI isn’t the only game in town. UFO research is not a replacement for traditional SETI, but complementary.

SETI scientists & UFO ETH hunters have something in common – they both need the (deliberate or inadvertent) cooperation of what they seek – aliens (if aliens they be). SETI scientists need that radio (or optical or infrared) transmission. UFO hunters need UFOs to just bloody well stand still, or at least have the decency to crash in a public location!

STARGATE: SG-1 / USAF / UFO CONNECTION: “Stargate: SG-1″ was a TV spin-off of the feature film “Stargate” that ran for ten seasons and featured several alien races that in the main had links to ancient terrestrial mythology. One such race was the Asgards, and as the name suggests had connection with our Old Norse mythology. The interesting bit was that in appearance, the Asgards just happen to look exactly like the standard ‘greys’ of modern UFO (Roswell and abduction, etc.) lore. This was I’m sure quite by design and no coincidence. This fictional show also confirmed several times over that Area 51 both housed and studied alien/extraterrestrial technology. And so, the fact that both ‘greys’ and Area 51 feature on the show makes one other observation and interesting observation. That other interesting bit is that the stargate in “Stargate: SG-1″ was a (fictional) USAF top secret enterprise. The TV show featuring the stargate had the endorsement and cooperation of the actual USAF, probably because the TV show portrayed the USAF in a positive light. In fact, two actual then currently serving USAF Chiefs of Staff (4-star generals) appeared in the actual TV show as themselves! How’s that for endorsement? So, we have the actual USAF assisting (by providing an advisory role, aircraft and personnel to the show) and endorsing a TV show that prominently featured UFO ‘greys’. Okay, I’m probably reading way to much into that. In all probability the USAF connection probably had no actual relevance to any indirect approval of the UFO ‘greys’ in the show by the USAF. That ‘endorsement’ is just pure speculation on my part. So I do have to admit that there’s probably no deep meaning underlying this connection, but I still find it interesting.

UNKNOWNS, THE: The fact, as most sceptics readily acknowledge, is that between 5 and 10 percent of all reported UFO incidents remain unidentified after investigation by those qualified to do so. This fact apparently excites the scientific, astrobiology, and SETI communities not one jot. But, as noted above, if SETI received out of all radio signals, 5% to 10% unexplained radio signals, (“WOW” signals), that of course would set the SETI community abuzz.

In a similar vein, if 5 to 10 percent of particle interactions were unexplainable by the current standard model of particle physics, that would set the physics community abuzz without question.

If the speed of light varied ever so slightly 5% to 10% of the times it were measured, the special relativity community would be agog, and extremely interested.

If 5 to 10 percent of galaxies showed a discrepancy between their red-shifts and their distances, that would set the cosmology community abuzz.

So, why the big scientific yawn over the apparently bona fide UFO’s unidentified percentage? Perhaps it might take sociologists who study the sociology of science to pin that one down. There’s a mystery just begging for serious attention here that has the potential for massive ramifications, not just scientific ones.

VALENTICH 1976: One of many, many highly unexplained UFO cases, is the events surrounding Frederick Valentich on 21 October 1978. It’s more a case of where there’s smoke, there’s smoke, but smoke there certainly is, and lots of it.

In a nutshell, on the evening of that date, Mr. Valentich piloted a private plane from Melbourne, intended destination, King Island in Bass Strait. He took off only to shortly thereafter radio in that there was this UFO hovering over him. The UFO was spotted by several independent witnesses. While radioing his observations, all contact ceased; all communications abruptly ended. Mr. Valentich, plane and all, vanished without trace. An extensive air and sea search failed to find any sign of Mr. Valentich, or his plane. No oil slick, no floating wreckage, no body – nothing, zip, bugger-all. No trace has ever been found of pilot or plane – not then, not since, not ever. The weather had been perfect for night flying.

One obvious explanation was that Mr. Valentich staged his own disappearance, although friends and family could offer no reason why he would do so. Of course many people voluntarily disappear themselves for various reasons; many eventually are found, are caught or reappear voluntarily. But keep in mind; it wasn’t just Mr. Valentich who disappeared. One entire aircraft vanished as well, never to be seen again. Surely if Mr. Valentich wanted to ‘drop out’, there were easier and less conspicuous ways of doing so. If he had deliberately gone walkabout, in these decades since of security cameras and computer facial software recognition technology, it would be hard to remain an unknown walkabout in any populated area.

Was suicide a motive? Again, no wreckage or body was ever found, and who would go to all the bother of reporting a non-existent UFO overhead – a non-existent UFO that happened to be independently reported by others.

And what of the plane since no wreckage was ever found floating on the surface of Bass Strait; washed up on beaches, or found on the ocean bottom – Bass Strait isn’t that deep.

It’s a mystery, and while it doesn’t prove aliens nicked off with Mr. Valentich and plane, there’s not that much wriggle room. Now multiply this sort of unexplained case by the thousands worldwide, and you do have the ETH as a plausible hypothesis.

Interestingly, despite my asking for a copy of the Valentich ‘accident’ case report in an official capacity related to my employment at the time, the Department of Transport (Air Safety Investigations Branch) refused. To this day, to the best of my knowledge, that report has never been publicly released.

Further reading regarding Valentich:

Haines, Richard F.; Melbourne Episode: Case Study of A Missing Pilot; L.D.A. Press, Los Altos, California; 1987: [Dr. Haines was at the time a research scientist for NASA and an accredited air safety investigations officer.]

WAR OF THE WORLDS SCENARIO: No, I don’t mean by this that there is any analogy between the UFO ETH and alien invasion, a typical example being the “War of the Worlds” (be it the novel, the movies, the TV series, the musical, etc.). I refer here to the ultimate resolution of that alien war scenario – that ultimately what defeated the Martians were terrestrial microbes – bacteria to which the alien invaders had no resistance. That was a really excellent plot device – it was also lousy science! If there is one truism in biology, it is that cross-species infection is rare. There are of course a few exceptions to the cross-species infection rule, but they remain by far a minor, minor, minority. Micro-organisms tend to be species specific in terms of their nastiness. Thus, if I sneeze, my cats aren’t in any danger of catching my cold – and vice versa. I’m not about to infect any of my garden plants by touching them with my dirty soiled hands – I’m not likely to become infected with deadly disease from a maple tree. If a wild bird has beak and feather disease and my cats should happen to catch and eat it – well, the bird was doomed anyway, and I’m not going to have to rush the feline predator off to the vet for shots! So, if it is relatively unlikely for one terrestrial species to be a contagion towards another terrestrial species (unless they are very closely related – evolutionary speaking), then what odds a terrestrial species will be deadly to an extraterrestrial species – and vice versa.

What’s the point of all this? Well, if UFOs can be explained by the ETH, then it is unlikely in the extreme that the ETH exists in a species vacuum. That is, ‘ufonauts’ (for lack of a better term), will be associated with their extraterrestrial micro-organisms (maybe ever their extraterrestrial equivalents of head lice, mites, bedbugs, cockroaches and rats depending on how hygienic they are). We do not exist in a bacteria free environment, nor could we even if we wanted to. ‘Ufonaut’ bodies and their UFOs will be as ‘bacteria-ridden’ as our bodies, our homes, automobiles, and in fact any and all other bits and pieces of our environment. We haven’t endured or experienced any pandemic or epidemic due to micro-organisms associated with ‘ufonauts’, and presumably ‘ufonauts’ haven’t caught cold or smallpox or the measles from microbes associated with us, our cats, birds, or any other terrestrial life forms.

So, UFO sceptics can’t invoke the “War of the Worlds” resolution as an argument that the UFO ETH is an invalid one. So, by all means, shake hands with ET (if you meet him/her/it) and don’t worry about any resulting medical bill – it ain’t gonna happen.

However, this does open up an interesting research area – one I’ve never, ever, seen mentioned in the UFO literature. That is, extraterrestrial microbiology. If UFOs are piloted by alien beings, biological beings that must be associated with extraterrestrial micro-organisms, then presumably said ET microbes have entered into our terrestrial biosphere. Presumably, said ET microbes would be so biochemically distinct or unique that any microbiologist examining same would immediately note that something was afoot! Of course, if you’re not looking out for it, you’re unlikely to find it or get that ‘eureka’ moment even if you do find it. Perhaps UFO abductees or UFO landing sites should be examined for the presence of extraterrestrial microbes.

So what then to make of the (late Sir) Fred Hoyle et al. claims or ideas that some of our terrestrial disease outbreaks originated from outer space? It’s a variation on the panspermia idea – life on Earth originated from extraterrestrial microbiological life forms seeding our planet. Specifically that is, Earth’s orbit intersects now and again a stream of bacteria-laden cometary dust and debris – germs from outer space – that impact Earth’s atmosphere and ultimately filter down to ground level and do their infectious thing. Well, there’s no conflict. The two sources of alien microbes are just that – two independent extraterrestrial sources that have no connection with each other. Of course relatively few experts in infectious diseases give any credibility to Hoyle’s theory so that might eliminate that. Then too many scientists give any credibility to the UFO ETH, hence to alien microbes originating from that source. Whether none, one or both ideas have credibility doesn’t result in any ultimate contradictions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. 1952: In July 1952, on two separate occasions, separated by one week, UFOs buzzed America’s National Capitol, making long term incursions over restricted air space. They were tracked, independently, by various civilian and military radars. Military jet fighters were scrambled to intercept and identify the UFOs, but were outmatched and didn’t succeed, although they were witnessed by the pilots. The objects were also witnessed from the ground. USAF Major-General John A. Samford, at the largest Pentagon press conference ever held since WWII, in late July 1952, made the statement with respect to the recent Washington D.C. UFO flap that these sightings were made by “credible observers of relatively incredible things”. It’s on the public record.

Now of course these sightings had to be explained by any means necessary since you just cannot admit to having unknown aerial objects fly over restricted air space. So the idea of ‘temperature inversions’ explained all – hogwash. It’s amazing that the common occurrence of ‘temperature inversions’ had never before, and never since, caused such commotion.

THE END (For Now)

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The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis: Part One

INTRODUCTION: The concept that aliens have and are visiting Planet Earth is plausible in both theory and observation. The theoretical part is often called the Fermi Paradox and it goes something like this: Extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) with advanced technology is plausible; interstellar travel violates no laws of physics; the time it takes to explore our galaxy is a small fraction of the age of our galaxy (the parallel, the time it takes life forms – be it bacteria or humans – to explore the surface of Planet Earth is a small fraction of the age of Planet Earth); there are valid reasons to ‘boldly go’, not the least of which is that stars and planets don’t last forever; lastly, we can’t hide from potential alien eyes. The ‘paradox’ part comes into the picture only if you maintain that they should be here and they’re not. If they’re here, or have been here there’s no paradox. Of course in the exceedingly unlikely event there is no ‘they’, never has been, well that too resolves the ‘paradox’.

The compliment to the theory is actual observational evidence, both for past (ancient astronauts) and present (the UFO extraterrestrial hypothesis – UFO ETH). Even if human eyeball testimony isn’t considered really ‘evidence’ and is questionable according to sceptics, there are various physical types of evidence, from various physical traces (ground markings; physiological effects on biological tissues, etc.) to radar returns, as well as photographic (for example the Trent family McMinnville, Oregon 1950 photos) and motion picture images (such as the Nick Mariana, Great Falls, Montana 1950 film and the Delbert Newhouse, Tremonton, Utah 1952 film) that have withstood critical/sceptical analysis.

With both the existence of pure theory and applied evidence supporting the plausibility of the UFO ETH – where the UFO remains a UFO after appropriate expert analysis has failed to find a more terrestrial explanation – lets look at a few snippets of the phenomena.

ALIEN ABDUCTIONS: The subset of UFO reports collectively lumped together as ‘close encounters of the fourth kind’ is a minefield, and like the subset of ufology collectively known as ‘contactees’, lots of middle-of-the-road UFO investigators steer clear of the subject. Lots of others don’t and boldly go not so much into outer space, but inner space – the inner space of the mind. I see both pro and con on the merits of the abduction phenomena. For example:

Con: The appearance of the aliens, the greys, reflects a tad too closely the stereotype of what humans will look like many millennia from now – enlarged heads; atrophied bodies as the shift from physical to mental labour intensifies. The trend to less and less body hair (we’re much less furry than our ape relations) continues until we’re all bald all ’round. The aliens aren’t human, but still very humanoid, perhaps too much so.

Con: What’s the physics behind the obvious artificial gravity our abductees must be experiencing (since they don’t report any weightlessness on the alien’s spaceship which is presumably in Earth orbit)? From orientations reported, it’s not the UFO rapidly revolving, since reports indicate their presence on a level floor between top and bottom, not on one of the outside walls. Aliens have obviously mastered physics unknown providing artificial gravity.

Con: You’d really think there would be hundreds or thousands of independent witnesses to all these home invasions and alien takeaways!

Pro: There’s a very high degree of consistency in abduction scenarios that’s independent of age, sex, race, nationality, religion, occupation, etc. that needs to be explained away by sceptics.

Pro: The abduction scenario reflects what our wildlife biologists do – capture, study, tag and release. We are to the aliens what animal species are to wildlife biologists.

Pro: It’s difficult to explain why so many people would independently imagine or hallucinate or dream up the sort of obviously traumatic nightmare abduction scenario, especially when it involves painful invasive medical procedures. If you’re that sort of masochistic person, wouldn’t you dream that it was a mad scientist/medical doctor doing the kidnapping instead of aliens? Why aren’t we flooded with abduction reports by demons taking one to the underworld, or by leprechauns taking their victims to – well wherever leprechauns call home?

I remember a time, now long ago, even before the start of any media coverage of abductions, when the idea of UFOs as extraterrestrial vehicles was one thing, logical and acceptable, but the idea of actual occupants was just too far out to be seriously entertained. Why is beyond me since I would have thought the two concepts would have fitted together like hand and glove. It’s like saying a Boeing 747 airliner is okay, but an actual pilot? That’s just too far fetched.

ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS: If aliens stumbled upon our humble abode it would likely as not have been millions, maybe billions of years ago. Alas, terrestrial critters around then (trilobites or dinosaurs) couldn’t leave behind any record of their observations! It’s only when humans developed that some sort of record could have been entered into. So, there’s no contradiction with suggesting that ‘ancient astronauts’ are only ancient in human terms since that doesn’t exclude the possibility they were around millions of years before that. One bit of suggestive I find interesting for the credibility of ‘ancient astronauts’ is that ancient cultures from around the globe have myths and legends of ‘sky beings’ – the Australian aborigines; the American Indians; the Mesoamericans – Inca, Aztecs, Mayans; the Egyptians; the cultures of the Indian subcontinent; and of course the Romans, Greeks and Norse cultures all had tales of ‘sky beings’. I suspect that detailed research would find the presence of ‘sky beings’ universal, or nearly so. A human culture needing to invent imaginary friends from the sky is probably less likely than the reality, or the possible/probable reality of actual ‘sky beings’. [As an aside, maybe trilobites and T-Rex aren't totally kaput - if ancient astronauts (UFO aliens) were around way back then, doing their abduction thing, then maybe the descendents of these prehistoric life forms are alive and well in some cosmic zoo!]

CENSORSHIP: I received an email from a SETI scientist along the line that cover-ups are the usual excuse for the claim there’s no obvious public evidence for the UFO ETH, and that’s an argument from ignorance, so it has no force. It’s also implausible that every government in the world is participating in a cover-up. I’m guessing here, but I’d wager that scientist hasn’t ever been in the military (I have) or worked for any defence, security or diplomatic related agencies.

Well, any time the powers-that-be classify, conceal, deny, cover-up things, you’re in the dark so obviously any debate or argument to the contrary by you is an argument or debate from your relative ignorance because you don’t have all of the facts.

Regarding the question of censorship/cover-ups over things alien in nature, things like Martian microbes are too inconsequential to try to hide; ‘ancient astronauts’ are too old for a government to worry about; SETI aliens (if SETI succeeds) are too far away to worry about; but UFOs are a different kettle of fish. The possibility that highly advanced aliens with unknown motives might be present here and now – well can you imagine any government admitting to the great unwashed that they really have no control over their airspace! Any government that had, by accident, obtained alien technology would certainly not share that information with anyone, including allies, and thus wouldn’t admit same to their citizens. Of course not all countries and their respective governments may even have the appropriate data which to cover-up. You can’t hide what you don’t know about in the first place.

Take Area 51 (Groom Lake, Nevada). Even assuming that the location has bugger-all to do with UFOs doesn’t negate secrecy going on. There’s no denying the place exists. That’s on the public record. Satellite and ground photographs exist. There’s no getting around the fact that signs are posted around the site that there will be ‘no trespassing’ and that if you do, ‘use of deadly force is authorised’ to keep you out. [That includes SETI scientists!] That too is on the public record, filmed and documented. Translated, there are things going on at Area 51 the American government doesn’t want anyone to know about. Pine Gap in Central Australia is another such location. Many more exist throughout the world. You want cover-ups / censorship and related – call it what you will. Well, something that immediately comes to mind was the Manhattan Project. Then there’s that U-2 spy plane (and a whole range of stealth military aircraft that remained top secret while in development). Likewise, the Project Mogul package designed to detect foreign nuclear weapons testing, launched to high altitudes by balloon, as beloved as an explanation for Roswell.

Nobody can deny that the military has levels of classified security ratings ranging from confidential through to secret and top secret. Anyone suggesting that the Americans (or British, Australians, Chinese, Russians, etc.) don’t have skeletons in their respective closets are in serious denial or in delusion mode. A UFO case might be classified not so much because it’s a UFO, but because the surveillance equipment, type of radar or spy satellite, etc. might be classified.

The number of classified confidential / secret / top secret projects worldwide must number in the tens of thousands. The total number of classified confidential / secret / top secret documents (plus photos and films and related) must be in the millions. The number of multi-decades old classified projects and documents are unknown, but some surely exist. Something old by itself doesn’t equal declassified. And it’s not just the military – all sorts of government civilian and diplomatic projects and decisions remain under wraps for a whole variety of reasons.

There’s no doubt in my mind that UFOs could be one of hundreds to thousands or more topics somewhat too-hot-to-handle and pretty much under classified wraps. That’s a conclusion that’s fairly obvious to me when it came to light, after much denial by the CIA, but pressured via Freedom-of-Information requests, that the CIA had some quite considerable interest in UFOs. Alas, FOI not withstanding, a vast percentage of the text from those released documents are blacked out. And that too is on the public record.

When it comes down to all things classified (a fancy word for cover-up because classified things are covered-up and tucked away out of sight) there is a phrase called ‘need to know’. If you don’t need to know, and you want to, that’s a cover-up as far as you’re concerned. Now Australia had a very long serving Prime Minister (John Howard) who was finally defeated in a 2007 general election, and left politics. I’m sure he knows many secrets – military and diplomatic – from his years in the top job. But, like all good citizens, he’s not telling tales out of class. Ditto all American ex-presidents and Commonwealth PM’s and all other manner of retired statesmen.

There’s also the aspect or concept of ‘the superiority complex’. The ‘I know something that you don’t know’ – ha, ha, ha – that helps feed our egos. Maybe someone does have THE knowledge and THE proof positive of what UFOs are, but why should they share it with you hence share the Nobel Prize? Or, maybe they are just internally satisfied that they alone are blessed with THE answer and that’s the be-all-and-end-all of the matter.

CONDON (UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO] INVESTIGATION & REPORT: The USAF UFO Project Bluebook investigation was becoming a public relations disaster. The more the Air Force tried to downgrade the issue, the more the public smelled whitewash. So, in order to bring in qualified, independent, experts, restore credibility (and get a reason to get out of the UFO business) the USAF turned to the University of Colorado, and respected physicist Edward U. Condon, to look into the UFO issue.

Unfortunately, Dr. Condon, as head of the independent investigation, proved to be more a liability than an asset. Staffers uncovered a memo by his higher echelon team that strongly suggested that he had already made his mind up even before the formal and serious study began, that UFOs were a non-issue. That produced such dissention in the ranks, and media publicity, that the internal politics just about shattered any credibility to the investigation. Some members quit and offered scathing rebuttals to the inner workings of the University of Colorado study. True to form, the final report apparently dumped poo on the subject, or at least the introductory / summary chapter written by Condon himself.

Now of course when you issue a 1000+ page report to the press, who have deadlines to meet, all they have time for is to digest the introductory / summary and write their articles from what that says. What is says is that there’s no meat on the bone; the USAF should stop wasting time on the subject – which is exactly what the USAF wanted to hear – bail out from this PR nightmare. Subject closed. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite turn out that way.

So I don’t want anyone to tell me that the University of Colorado UFO investigation on behalf of the USAF, the Condon Report, closed the book on the subject – not unless you have real the entire report and not just that introductory / summary first chapter. There is no similarity between the questions the actual report raises and the summary conclusions reached as given in that first chapter. Few people have taken the time to separate the wheat from the chaff in the Condon Report. The first chapter is the chaff; the bulk of the report contains the wheat.

What you’ll find in the non-Condon written bulk of the University of Colorado report is that case after case (well about 30% of cases in fact) are unexplainable. How Condon can say that there’s nothing to the subject in the summary, while his team suggests that 30% of what you’ve investigated is anything but ‘nothing’, remains a perplexing historical mystery – except for that earlier leaked memo which showed that Condon, despite being a scientist, had a closed mind on the subject. So, read the entire report – do so, and then talk to me! Contrary to popular opinion, the Condon report proved the need for heightened investigation, not the need to abandon the investigation.

Further readings regarding the (University of Colorado) Condon Report:

Fuller, John G. (Editor); Aliens in the Skies: The New UFO Battle of the Scientists: The Scientific Rebuttal to the Condon Committee Report: Testimony by Six Leading Scientists Before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics July 29, 1968; G.P. Putnam’s Sons, N.Y.; 1969:

Harkins, R. Roger & Saunders, David R; UFOs? Yes! Where the Condon Committee Went Wrong; Signet Books, N.Y.; 1968: [Saunders was a member of the University of Colorado UFO Study.]

University of Colorado & Gillmor, Daniel S. (Editor); Final Report of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects Conducted by the University of Colorado Under Contract to the United States Air Force; Bantam Books, N.Y.; 1969: [The Condon Committee Report.]

CROP CIRCLES: For better or worse, crop (or sometimes ‘corn’) circles have been associated with UFOs to a greater or lesser extent depending on whom you consult. Firstly, there’s no doubt that crop circles exist – that’s undisputed. Secondly, crop circles are the product of intelligence; there’s no way Mother Nature can naturally make these complex geometric formations – that’s undisputable. Thirdly, although there are isolated cases from other countries, crop circle formations are 99 & 44/100% reside in merry old England – no arguments there.

That third fact brings up question one: assuming crop circles are hoaxes, what is it about the British mind set that prompts them to commit these ‘works of art’? That’s never been explained. Maybe crop circle hoaxers might be reluctant to do their thing in the USA where farmers shoot first and ask questions later, but why not France, Canada, Australia and a host of other nations with major agricultural (crop) industries?

Question two, again assuming hoaxes, can the sum total of crop circle formations be explained by artistic human intelligence, keeping in mind the restraints of sheer numbers of circles; the period of limited darkness in which to operate (high summer in England); the fact that it is dark; the possibility of being caught (you don’t want to use flashlights); not to mention additional time required for the ever increasing complexity of these crop circle formations?

Question three: assuming now not human, but extraterrestrial intelligence (the UFO connection – if any), what is the motive? Sceptics have pointed out, rightly so, that it is ludicrous in the extreme to suggest that extraterrestrials come here, from there (wherever there is) just to do geometrical graffiti using agricultural crops as their canvas! It’s probably equally ludicrous to suggest that UFOs are alien tourist buses, the extraterrestrials on a holiday tourist tour, and England has been set aside as the area for extraterrestrial artists on tour to practice their art!

So, maybe crop circles are a smoking gun that we do live in a simulated Universe and on a simulated planet. All other ‘rational’ explanations are equally, if not more so, ridiculous. If extraterrestrials, their motive isn’t at all obvious. If human in origin, crop circle graffiti should be way more widespread like ordinary back alley brick wall graffiti is, not to mention that a lot higher percentage of crop circle culprits or ‘artists’ should have been caught, tried, convicted, and fined for vandalism, destruction of private property and just plain trespassing.

EARLIER IS BETTER: the UFO phenomenon is now well over 60 years old. The public in this 21st Century has been well and truly saturated with UFO stories, mythology and lore. Thus, if Mr. or Mrs. Joe Blow Public reports anything UFO related today, well they have had a lot of previous bits and pieces to draw on – assuming they are making things up. However, if Mr. or Mrs. Joe Blow Public reported something from 1947, say through 1952, then that public saturation with all things ufological must have been quite a deal less. Thus, earlier reports seem to me to be more, all else being equal, credible – far less media, Hollywood, etc. coverage that could have had influence on the public mind.

That’s of course not to say that everything post 1952 is bunk and junk. There have been many substantial solid cases over the most recent five decades. It’s just the percentage of those types of cases, relative to the total, was probably higher and slightly more credible before the mythology solidified.

Abductions are an exception as the typical UFO abduction case didn’t exist in the 40′s and 50′s; ditto astronaut sightings. But on balance, I’d place greater reliability and credibility in those earlier cases. One other reason for doing so is that today’s CGI digital processing and manipulation of images can provide mind-boggling (but fake) UFO film and photographic ‘evidence’. It was much harder to fake images in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s.

EVIDENCE: Many ideas or fads, be they in the sciences or the arts, don’t last long – theories come and theories go and actual fashions and fashion in music change yearly. What’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out’ is often pretty fickle. A lot of what was popular in 1947 (the birth year of the modern UFO era) has fallen by the wayside now – but, interestingly enough, not the UFO ETH. The UFO ETH is as popular as ever, maybe even more so now than in 1947, not that popularity equates of necessity to something factual. If a billion people believe a stupid idea – like an invisible friend who art in heaven – it’s still a stupid idea. However, over six decades on, despite all the professional and amateur sceptics and the universal naysayer, the government denials, scientists professing ‘no evidence’, the ‘giggle’ factor and the ‘silly season’ publicity, the UFO ETH is alive and well thank you very much. Something must be driving this. Perhaps, at least to many of the great unwashed, there is some signal in the noise – some sort of evidence (albeit not physical enough to be acceptable to many professional scientists) that’s swaying the general public.

It is suggested, with good reason, that the whole issue of the UFO ETH must be judged on the basis of the evidence. And, it is claimed, that the evidence for visitation is so poor that very few scientists find it convincing. And that is true, at least the part that few scientists, publicly at least, find the UFO ETH somewhat lacking in solid evidence. Thus, the UFO ETH has garnered somewhat of an aura of being a ‘silly season’ subject, unworthy of scientific study. [To be honest, I'd often like to survey academics / scientists for their private opinions!]

UFOs vs. evidence for the ETH – there is no absolute smoking gun – yet. I’d be the first to acknowledge that. I’d suggest however that this is a case of where there’s smoke, there’s smoke. The fire has yet to be seen through the smoke. There however has got to be something suggestive about the nature of that smoke to drive lots of people, even some quite intelligent people, to accept the possibility of the UFO ETH. I mean the idea just didn’t pop out of the ether – out of thin air. Something very suggestive is driving it.

I would ask the question whether by evidence one means a physical artefact that can be put under the microscope, or is human testimony, the sort that would convict someone of a crime and put them on death row enough evidence? I’m 99% convinced scientists would say the former, yet the evidence for the UFO ETH is 99% the latter (plus a few radar returns and films). Actually IMHO it’s ludicrous for UFO ETH sceptics to poo-poo and give the thumbs down to eyewitness testimony. After all, it’s accurate eyewitness testimony that enables the trained investigators to properly identify the vast majority of UFO reports, turning them into identified flying objects. So, when sceptics need eyewitness testimony to be accurate and turn UFO cases into something with ordinary and mundane causes – that’s fine. But when the tables are turned, sceptics turn turncoat as well so as to re-enforce their already-minds-made-up point of view. That is, eyewitness testimony that turns a UFO sighting into an unexplained bona fide UFO case, well then clearly the eyewitness testimony counts for nothing in terms of bona fide evidence.

Now there are lots of current concepts in science that have absolutely no evidence to support them, yet are taken quite seriously by physical scientists. A partial list would include concepts like the Multiverse, the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum physics, string theory, the Higgs Boson, the possible existence of ten or eleven dimensions, the Ekpyrotic (two branes colliding origin of the) Universe theory, and, shock horror for those interested in SETI, the total lack of any under-the-microscope, hard core evidence whatsoever for any intelligent life forms other than intelligent terrestrial life forms. Yet it is acceptable for scientists to research these areas without being subject to having their sanity questioned. I fail to see why the UFO ETH is an exception to this.

Scientists need more than 20 fingers and toes to list all of the there-is-no-evidence-for- these-way-out-theories in science that ultimately had to wait years, decades, longer even for experimental confirmation. If scientists had put these in the too hard basket, or dismissed them with a ‘I just don’t believe it – it can’t be therefore it isn’t’ attitude, well we’d still all believe that the sun goes around the Earth, black holes would be confined to the pages of science fiction, and as for gravity bending light rays – forget it.

There are other ‘the nature of the evidence’ parallels with UFOs – physical phenomena that don’t stand still; you can’t poke and prod, put under the microscope, examine at your leisure and which are unpredictable in space and in time. Ball lightning comes to mind; ditto Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP); and you can’t rewind the clock and prepare for (instruments at the ready) and witness the one-off Tunguska event. There seems to be a double standard for evidence here. UFOs have a ‘giggle factor’; ball lightning does not, yet both have theoretical underpinnings that make their existence plausible. In the case of UFOs, it’s the Fermi Paradox as noted above.

Oh, by the way, that ultra overused phrase ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’ is nonsense. Claims of course require evidence, but the word ‘extraordinary’ is in the mind of the beholder. What’s extraordinary to one is routine, boring, commonplace and downright bloody obvious to another. And speaking of the common phrase, another one is ‘absence of evidence is not the same thing as evidence of absence’.

The end of part one.

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