Category Archives: aliens

Open Minds TV: Alien conspiracy theories help promote new Denver International Airport build-out

From the article:

Denver International Airport (DIA) is the focus of a myriad of conspiracy theories, a fact that they took advantage of this week to promote a commemoration event for reaching the midway point of a large build-out that includes a new public plaza and commuter trains from downtown Denver.

DIA has been plagued with conspiracy theories beginning with trouble during its construction that set it back months. Some said this trouble was actually a ruse to build underground tunnels and rail stations to be used by the elite and possibly even extraterrestrials. Then upon its opening came the discovery of morbid murals depicting scenes of oppression, further evidence for conspiracy theorist that malicious intent was at play. The final draw was the capstone on a time capsule sponsored by a couple of the local Freemason lodges that uses the term “New World Airport Commission.”

All of this was compelling enough evidence for Jesse Ventura to investigate on his television show Conspiracy Theory. More prosaic and well researched answers, if you need them, are presented in this article by the local Denver newspaper Westword.

DIA’s twitter feed hinted at their intent to use these conspiracy theories to promote the event with a tweet Tuesday morning which said they would be having some fun with the event, and that they would be “divulging some strange activity.” One tweeter speculated, “THEY’RE UNLEASHING THE DEMONS FROM THE MURALS.”

The alien conspiracy marketing of the event began with a tweet by DIA regarding “a strange find” that was discovery during construction. Attached was a picture of what appears to be a partially recovered alien skull, huge eye socket and all.

They continued with some witty tweets addressing all of the conspiracies associated with the airport. Here are some examples:

They even engaged some of the conspiracy theorists, tell one that they could not tell him they the Freemason time capsule referenced a “New World Airport Commission,” because, “We’d tell you but then…” When his questions persisted, they simply told him he knew too much. Later in the evening, a time capsule commemorating the construction midway point was buried, and sure enough an alien was involved as could be seen in this picture they tweeted.

Time Capsule Alien

Alien seen under time capsule buried to commemorate the midway point in DIA’s new construction project. (Credit: Denver International Airport)

Another couple of tweets showed what appeared to be former Denver mayors in a video discussing and having some fun with the conspiracy theories. They tweeted, “Four Denver mayors come together to talk about DIA conspiracy theories.” They also tweeted this picture:

Denver Mayor and Alien

Apparent phone call with an alien at the DIA event commemorating the midway in DIA’s new construction project. (Credit: Denver International Airport)

Their efforts seemed to pay off as they garnered a lot of local news attention. I must say I found their tweets were very amusing. They ended the night with this final tweet:

Denver Int’l Airport@DENAirport

Thanks twitterers for having some fun with us today. Long live the theories!

2 Retweets  1 favorite

Original story.

When the Alien is not the Alien

From Huffington Post:

Atahumanoid

The mummified remains of what looks like a 6-inch space alien has turned “Sirius” into the most eagerly awaited documentary among UFO enthusiasts.

The findings, however, might come as a disappointment.

In early publicity, filmmakers claimed the documentary would reveal that the DNA of the creature with an oversized alien-looking head couldn’t be medically classified.

In fact, the film, which premiered Monday in Hollywood, features a scientist who concluded the little humanoid was human.

“I can say with absolute certainty that it is not a monkey. It is human — closer to human than chimpanzees. It lived to the age of six to eight. Obviously, it was breathing, it was eating, it was metabolizing. It calls into question how big the thing might have been when it was born,”said Garry Nolan, director of stem cell biology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in California.

“The DNA tells the story and we have the computational techniques that allows us to determine, in very short order, whether, in fact, this is human,” Nolan, who performed the DNA tests, explains in the film.

“Sirius” focuses on the remains of the small humanoid, nicknamed Ata, that was discovered in Chile’s Atacama Desert 10 years ago and has, literally, gone through different hands and ownership since then.

The film also explores an ongoing grassroots movement to get the U.S. government to reveal what it reportedly knows about UFOs, extraterrestrials and the availability of advanced alternative energy technologies that could greatly benefit everyone on Earth.

The primary force behind “Sirius” is Steven Greer, a former emergency room doctor who founded the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI) and The Disclosure Project.

One odd thing about the Ata controversy is how it came to the recent attention of the American public.

Early in the documentary, Greer refers to Ata as an extraterrestrial being, explaining how it was found in the Atacama Desert and “we don’t know how it came about.” That seems strange because HuffPost recently reported on the well known history of little Ata since its discovery 10 years ago and subsequent moving from hand to hand, ending up in Spain.

Early PR for “Sirius” referred to the “paradigm shifting physical evidence of a medically and scientifically analyzed DNA sequenced humanoid creature of unknown classification.” This fueled rumors, speculation and more than likely, the hope many people had that, finally, a real alien creature had been discovered and proven to have non-human DNA.

But now that the film is available to everybody, and DNA analysis shows that Ata was human, was that early PR hype about the humanoid a bit premature?

“My interest, frankly, is to disprove that it’s anything unusual or anything paranormal,” Nolan said prior to beginning his DNA study of the small portions of Ata he was allowed to work with. “I would like to prove that this is human [and] just an interesting mutation. In every situation with scientists, your reputation’s at stake. I have every expectation that even doing this is going to lead to some ribbing from some of my colleagues.”

Or this could be what Dan Burisch claims about the “greys” ( J-Rods ), that they are human descendents from the future?

That could explain the human DNA.

Not that I’m a huge fan of Greer or Burisch, but this leaves a lot of the UFO/alien issue definitely in the air.

‘Sirius’ Documentary Reveals DNA Test Results On Ata, The ‘6-Inch Alien’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CnRIR3pqY9A

Earth Life, and Earth Shadow-Life

From guardian.co.uk:

Animal figures cut into desert varnish

Across the world’s great deserts, a mysterious sheen has been found on boulders and rock faces. These layers of manganese, arsenic and silica are known as desert varnish and they are found in the Atacama desert in Chile, the Mojave desert in California, and in many other arid places. They can make the desert glitter with surprising colour and, by scraping off pieces of varnish, native people have created intriguing symbols and images on rock walls and surfaces.

How desert varnish forms has yet to be resolved, despite intense research by geologists. Most theories suggest it is produced by chemical reactions that act over thousands of years or by ecological processes yet to be determined.

Professor Carol Cleland, of Colorado University, has a very different suggestion. She believes desert varnish could be the manifestation of an alternative, invisible biological world. Cleland, a philosopher based at the university’s astrobiology centre, calls this ethereal dimension the shadow biosphere. “The idea is straightforward,” she says. “On Earth we may be co-inhabiting with microbial lifeforms that have a completely different biochemistry from the one shared by life as we currently know it.”

It is a striking idea: We share our planet with another domain of life that exists “like the realm of fairies and elves just beyond the hedgerow”, as David Toomey puts it in his newly published Weird Life: The Search for Life that is Very, Very Different from Our Own. But an alternative biosphere to our own would be more than a mere scientific curiosity: it is of crucial importance, for its existence would greatly boost expectations of finding life elsewhere in the cosmos. As Paul Davies, of Arizona State University, has put it: “If life started more than once on Earth, we could be virtually certain that the universe is teeming with it.”

However, by the same token, if it turns out we have failed to realise that we have been sharing a planet with these shadowy lifeforms for eons, despite all the scientific advances of the 19th and 20th centuries, then we may need to think again about the way we hunt for life on other worlds. Robot spacecraft – such as the Mars rover Curiosity – are certainly sophisticated. But what chance do they have of detecting alien entities if the massed laboratories of modern science have not yet spotted them on our own planet? This point is stressed by the US biologist Craig Venter. As he has remarked: “We’re looking for life on Mars and we don’t even know what’s on Earth!”

The concept of a shadow biosphere was first outlined by Cleland and her Colorado colleague Shelley Copley in a paper in 2006 in the International Journal of Astrobiology, and is now supported by many other scientists, including astrobiologists Chris McKay, who is based at Nasa’s Ames Research Centre, California, and Paul Davies.

These researchers believe life may exist in more than one form on Earth: standard life – like ours – and “weird life”, as they term the conjectured inhabitants of the shadow biosphere. “All the micro-organisms we have detected on Earth to date have had a biology like our own: proteins made up of a maximum of 20 amino acids and a DNA genetic code made out of only four chemical bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine,” says Cleland. “Yet there are up to 100 amino acids in nature and at least a dozen bases. These could easily have combined in the remote past to create lifeforms with a very different biochemistry to our own. More to the point, some may still exist in corners of the planet.”

Science’s failure to date to spot this weird life may seem puzzling. The natural history of our planet has been scrupulously studied and analysed by scientists, so how could a whole new type of life, albeit a microbial one, have been missed? Cleland has an answer. The methods we use to detect micro-organisms today are based entirely on our own biochemistry and are therefore incapable of spotting shadow microbes, she argues. A sample of weird microbial life would simply not trigger responses to biochemists’ probes and would end up being thrown out with the rubbish.

That is why unexplained phenomena like desert varnish are important, she says, because they might provide us with clues about the shadow biosphere. We may have failed to detect the source of desert varnish for the simple reason that it is the handiwork of weird microbes which generate energy by oxidising minerals, leaving deposits behind them.

The idea of the shadow biosphere is also controversial and is challenged by several other scientists. “I think it is very unlikely that after 300 years of microbiology we would not have detected such organisms despite the fact that they are supposed to have a different biochemistry from the kind we know about today,” says Professor Charles Cockell, of the UK Centre for Astrobiology at Edinburgh University. “It is really quite unlikely,” adds Cockell, whose centre will be officially opened this week at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Ways need to be found to determine whether or not the shadow biosphere exists, says Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astronomy at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative. “If you want a clue you can count up the amount of carbon that is emitted by living things – cows, sheep, grass, plants, forests and all the planet’s bacteria. When you do, you find there is a discrepancy of around 5% when you compare the amount given off from Earth’s standard biosphere and the amount you find in the atmosphere.”

In other words, there is slightly too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than can be explained by the emissions of standard lifeforms on Earth. There could be an error in these calculations, of course. Alternatively, the shadow biosphere could be responsible for this excess, says Sasselov. “There is plenty of room for a shadow biosphere. That is clear. Certainly, it is not true, as some allege, that we have strong evidence to show that it does not exist. In fact, the opposite is true: we do not have good enough evidence to dismiss it.”

A key point to note is that scientists – although describing the inhabitants of the shadow biosphere as weird – still assume they will be carbon-based entities. Complex chemistry based on other elements, such as silicon, is possible, they acknowledge but these alternatives cannot create the vast range of organic materials that carbon can generate. In other words, the shadow biosphere, if it exists, will almost certainly be inhabited by carbon life, albeit of an alien variety.

“Billions of years ago, life based on different types of carbon biochemistry  could have arisen in several places on Earth,” says Cleland. “These varieties would have been based on different combinations of bases and amino acids. Eventually, one – based on DNA and on proteins made from 20 amino acids – formed multicellular entities and became the dominant form of life on Earth. That is why we find that life as we know it, from insects to humans and from plants to birds, has DNA as its genetic code. However, other lifeforms based on different bases and proteins could still have survived – in the shadow biosphere.”

A different prospect is highlighted by Sasselov, who points out that a complex organic chemical can come in two different shapes even though they have the same chemical formula. Each is a mirror-image of the other and are said to have a different chirality. “Amino acids are an example,” says Sasselov. “Each comes in a right-handed version and a left-handed version. Our bodies – in common with all other lifeforms – only use left-handed versions to create proteins. Right-handed amino acids are simply ignored by our bodies. However, there may be some organisms, somewhere on the planet, that use only right-handed amino acids. They could make up the weird life of the shadow biosphere.”

But how can scientists pinpoint this weird life? Microbes are usually detected in laboratories by feeding nutrients to suspected samples so they grow and expend. Then the resulting cultures can be analysed. A weird lifeform – such as one made only of proteins formed out of right-handed amino acids – will not respond to left-handed nutrients, however. It will fail to form cultures and register its existence.

One solution to this problem is being pursued by Sasselov and colleagues’ Harvard Origins of Life Initiative. They are building an artificial cell – or bionic system – made only of right-handed components including right-handed DNA and right-handed ribosomes. “If there are right-handed lifeforms out there, many of them will be viruses – which will attempt to hijack the DNA of our bionic cells,” adds Sasselov. “When they do that they will leave evidence of their existence. Essentially we are building honey traps to catch any right-handed viruses that might live in the shadow biosphere and so reveal their existence.”

Other scientists suggest a different approach – by looking at Earth’s most inhospitable ecological niches: hot vents on the seafloor, mountaintops, highly saline lakes, Antarctic ice sheets and deserts. Standard lifeforms, mainly bacteria, have been found in these places but only a few. Some niches, researchers speculate, may prove to be just too inhospitable for standard life but may just be tolerable enough to support weird life. Microscopic studies would reveal their existence while standard culture tests would show they had a different biochemistry from standard lifeforms.

Stripes of desert varnish Stripes of desert varnish line the canyon walls of Capitol Gorge in Utah. No laboratory has been able to re-create the phenomenon. Photograph: Larry Geddis/Alamy

And a promising example is provided by the desert varnish proposed as a target by Cleland and backed by David Toomey in Weird Life. “No laboratory microbiologist has been able to coax bacteria or algae to make desert varnish,” he states. “It is also possible that the stuff is the end result of some very weird chemistry but no one has been able to reproduce that either.” So yes, these sites could provide proof of the shadow biosphere’s existence, he argues.

Not surprisingly, Cleland agrees. “The only trouble is that no one has yet got round to investigating desert varnish for weird life,” adds Cleland. “I confess I find that disappointing.”

Fascinating. I have come across different versions of Earth “shadow” life over the years; Mac Tonnies’ “cryptoterrestrials“, ancient creatures older than mankind whom remain hidden and undetectable from us. And Peter Watts’ “Behemoth” right-handed amino acid life forms taking over the Earth during the 21st Century.

And I’m not even counting legends of elves, Bigfoot, dwarves, demons and angels from past decades and centuries.

So the idea of Earthly “alien” life isn’t new.

But maybe, just maybe with advanced biotechnology techniques, we’ll be able to detect this shadow life.

Perhaps a whole hidden world!

Life on Earth… but not as we know it

Hat tip to the Daily Grail.

The UFO “Solid Light” Phenomenon

From Science and the UFO CONTROVERSY:

This picture was produced by my son Chris with my assistance to develop imagery that helps describe a “solid light” case that was focused at a beach headland area at Kiama New South Wales in Australia back in the early 1970s. I have revisited this affair many times and it has inspired my worldwide focus on similar cases. Gildas Bourdais from France helped me immensely with regard to the strange event played at Taize back in 1972. I have also focused on the classic Trancas case from Argentina in 1963. Both cases are striking, but not without their weaknesses and possible explanations. In both cases my enquiries to date suggest the possible explanations are not all that compelling, but we still need to examine them, to see how the evidence for these classic cases stack up.

An objective and solid evidence based focus on the role military and government has emerged with the appearance of the book “UFOs and Government – A Historical Inquiry” by the UFO History Group, the primary authors being Dr. Michael Swords and Robert Powell, and contributions from the rest of the group – Clas Svahn, Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos, myself (Bill Chalker), Barry Greenwood, Richard Thieme, Jan Aldrich and Steve Purcell.
One of the major themes that runs through the “UFOs and Government” narrative is the recurring sense of lost opportunities to engage appropriately with a consistently unexplained phenomena, which if studied properly could yield fascinating scientific breakthroughs.  When the picture presented is of poor investigation and active debunking with far too little serious in depth analysis, and yet we have impressive international evidence of a consistent unexplained phenomenon, there is a vast disconnection from an appropriate scientific response.
The book “UFOs and Government” alludes to several lost opportunities to focus on enduring unexplained attributes of the UFO phenomenon.  Unfortunately if your only insight into the UFO phenomenon was the typical debunking official military response revealed time and time again by their documents and histories, you would miss these strange and possibly breakthrough attributes of the UFO phenomenon.
A striking example of this is the fascinating 1960 Red Bluff California case where official attitudes caused a UFO witness, a highway patrol officer, to not initially describe the “light beam projected by the object seemed like what would be described today, as a big, fat laser beam.  That is, it did not spread out or diffuse “properly.” But worse than that, the beam seemed to have an “end” to it,” wrote Mike Swords.  Here was a remarkable example of what many researchers have called “solid light” in action.  In writing this Dr. Swords touched upon a critical issue.  He highlighted that Dr. James McDonald did manage to draw out this remarkable detail, because he was actually interested in what the witnesses reported, rather than conducting a myopic debunking exercise.  Genuine scientific skepticism, driven by a desire to question and carefully investigate an experience can potentially yield scientific breakthroughs. We now know that there are many such cases of “this peculiar sawed-off light” or “solid light.”
Indeed Michael Sword’s indicated in an endnote in “UFOs and Government” that “sawed-off light” cases are “a peculiar feature of a smallish set of “high strangeness” UFO encounters.  As these encounters are widely spread across the world, this feature is suprising and difficult to explain on sociological grounds.” He indicated he had some 44 cases in his own files.
I had been studying these sorts of “solid light” cases for decades so I naturally contacted Mike about his collection.
I emailed Mike Swords:
“I have been quietly studying for decades this strange aspect of many worldwide UFO cases and have developed a very disorganised collection of material on such cases.
“In both “The OZ Files” and “Hair of the Alien” I refer to solid light cases and describe an Australian case from Kiama, southern NSW from the early 1970s.  I have been looking into the case since learning of it in the 1990s and earlier this year conducted a very detailed site investigation to determine if the observations reported by the primary witness were possible and to see if further information could be found.  The case is rather complicated and also has entity and abduction aspects.  The primary witness has closely guarded his privacy and I have only had one face to face meeting with him, as well as many phone conversations, written statements and emails.
“The on site investigations this year took place because the main witness was more forthcoming with locational details.  Some of this was in my original interview notes and material when we originally talked in person, however they were not precise enough to undertake an on site reconstruction.  Finally this year these confirmations were forthcoming and I had sufficient detail to locate the exact viewing locations, lines of sight, and confirm accurately the Kiama beach location. I stayed there for 2 days gathering information and managed to confirm that his ex parents in law were still living at the house in question.  The ex father in law while elderly recollected the night, but while he feels he may not remember the event as the main witness Graham described to me, he is certain that his former son-in-law would not have invented the story.  Bill, the ex-father in law, recollects that Graham was agitated and focused on the incident, but Bill cannot recollect that his own involvement was as Graham described it in his accounts to me. 
“Having talked to Graham a number of times over the years I have found him to be a compelling witness, but one who has struggled mightily with the ontological status of the events.  Indeed he was originally much more comfortable casting the event as a strange dream.  While the recent investigations seem to caste the stranger aspects as being witnessed by Graham only with marginal supporting cast in the form of his ex wife and ex father and mother in law, as well as possibly some neighbours, who may have interpreted the event in different ways, this seems to be a strange “display” event, so frequently reported in many CE type cases, particularly those with high strangeness elements, such as this one.  In many of these sorts of cases there often seems to be selective perceptions of the events, sometimes so acute that often people near to each other have a very different experience, as if a central witness is the only intended viewer?
“The ongoing investigation has continued to energise my interest in solid light cases and I have been attempting to drag all my solid light cases together with a view to create a catalogue of such cases, building on the early SOBEPS catalogue of the 1970s.
“I was also intrigued with a UFO film taken by Ray Stanford, covered in Chris Lambright‘s recent e-book “X Descending”.  Because I had some previous contact with Ray back in the 1970s and early 1980s and talked to him briefly at the 1987 Washington DC MUFON symposium, I renewed our acquaintance. This lead to some extensive email exchanges in which he elaborated on the “new film”, beyond the “air spike”/Leik Myrabo connection which Chris has understandably focused on. 
“Instead I focused on a different part of the same footage which appears to show a “solid light” projection event. 
“Apart from many other cases I was also drawn towards a Chinese event I located that occurred in 1998 at a desert Air Force base, involving a Chinese Air Force F-6 pursuit.  The possibly striking confirmation of Zhao Xu, who is described as a famous Chinese Defence expert in unmanned aircraft, as one of the various high level witnesses, who mentioned “Surprisingly these two light beams of light were not as we normally see light beams, as has been according to the distance and spread, but as two light-emitting entities, sticking out from the bottom of the UFO ending on a certain length. At least today we have not got control of this sort of light technology.”  Radar detection was also involved.  Given this comment was made by a defence specialist* I suspect some Chinese military science investigation and research since then.
* Correction: following further research and more detailed translations the quote above referring to “two light-emitting entities” comes from General Li the PLAAF missile base commander in the Badain Jaran Desert in Lanzhou province.  Major General Zhao Xu witnessed the UFO incident.  It was General Li’s pilots who undertook the attempted aerial pirsuits and close up observations.
“Meanwhile open science has been playing with Bose-Einstein condensates et.al to manipulate light in diverse ways – our crude opening gambit in a direction that might show us “solid light” effects that have been reported for decades in a diverse range of international (UFO) case material.  Mainstream science directions in this area have been nicely summarised with references in Sidney Perkowitz‘s “Slow Light: Invisibility, Teleportation, and other mysteries of light” (2011).
“Hence my ongoing deep focus on “solid light” cases and my long winded way of asking if I can get a copy of your 44 “solid light” case files!  A big ask I know, but it would support an in-depth focus on these cases and perhaps a collaborative workup of a catalogue of such cases to build on the early and somewhat flawed SOBEPS catalogue?
“Best wishes in “solid light” anticipation, like don’t keep me in the dark (pun intended),
Bill”
Mike was very helpful and shared his listing of cases.  Indeed he addressed this research focus in his always interesting blog “The Big Study” – thebiggeststudy.blogspot.com – on October 19 2012 – with a post entitled” “SLOW LIGHT & UFOs”:
“Bill Chalker wrote the other day. He’s contemplating making a review of so-called “solid light” UFO cases, and I welcome that. Bill’s a hard-science-trained ufologist and might just be able to make some sense of a real puzzlement in this field. He asked me if I’d scour my files for such cases [since I'd foolishly admitted to having around 44 of such things], and so I did, making a list for him to pursue and build his analysis more robustly [Bill already had a bigger bunch than that].”
Mike further stated, In my understanding the term “solid light” came from witness testimony— the light beam seemed “solid”; it was as if the beam extended like a solid tube, etc. This phrase stuck but is probably a bad one. The light effects that we’re witnessing in these cases behave not like solids but like “regular” light which is abnormally “contained” somehow. Things don’t seem to be “impacted” by these beams, only illuminated by them. The things [generally] seem to be more like spatially-constrained lasers [admittedly of wide diameter] than anything solid, and might well be more like tubes [i.e. hollow] than “full” beams.”
I recommend readers read Mike Swords valuable post on this fascinating group of cases.
I’ve included the core details of the catalyst for this re-invigorated enquiry into “solid light” cases.
BIZZARE UFO “LIGHT” PHENOMENA AT KIAMA
…. I was approached by a man who was troubled by a bizarre episode on the south coast at Kiama, in the early 1970s….  The reporting witness, who I will call Graham, has pondered the nature of what occurred.  He is troubled by it and now feels more comfortable with it being a dream.  The fragmentary nature of the events and the strange elements of the experience beckon this interpretation.  But there are startling aspects that fit in with some extraordinary characteristics of the UFO phenomenon.   I have spoken to Graham on a number of occasions and meet him directly for an extended interview.  I found him to be a compelling witness who is grappling with the ontological issues that striking episodes often force us to confront.  I have quoted from his own prepared statement:
“Awoken by a light coming into the room, I was too drowsy to do anything about it, I wanted to sleep.  It came to mind that the only way light could come into the window was a light was being shone at it.  I thought it may be an intruder so I forced myself awake, to step over the baby and my two year old daughter sleeping on the floor beside me.  When I got to the window I could see nothing unusual outside.  Thinking it must have been a dream because I had remarked on the endless stream of car headlights winding their way along the old highway towards Sydney.  I laid down again and fell quickly asleep.  Again the light came into the room.  This time I jumped up quickly, wide awake again, there was nothing unusual outside.  Suddenly I saw a light beam white in colour with a blue fluorescent tinge evaporating from it.  Because of the luminescence of the light I was able to make out the shape of a flying craft from which the beam projected at an angle to the ground of about 75o. “The beam was about 30 feet long and about 2 feet six inches diameter, given the craft was between the headland I was on and the next headland.  Suddenly the beam, still only 30 feet long fell, like a perfect cylinder of solid light.  It did not fall in the direction of gravity, it continued along the path of its own axis.  The cylinder of solid light hit a caravan.  Upon impact the light behaved like water, pouring over the caravan, over its roof, over its walls, over every nook and cranny of the van.  Like fluorescent paint from an electro, airless spray gun.  The caravan illuminated completely for about three seconds then the light faded away.  My attention was on the light.  I could not see the craft any more.
“I rubbed my eyes and looked for the craft.  It appeared slightly to the left of its original position with another beam of light, descending from it at a very slow speed; say about only 3 feet per second.  When the beam reached a given length, longer than the first time, it began falling as before.  This time it hit an amenities block and the light covered its surfaces completely illuminating it in the same way as the caravan.  Again the light faded away. 
“From the same location, the craft let another beam go at an angle of about 45o to the ground level line.  The beam was much longer than before.  It reached the beach and illuminated approximately an area of sand forty feet at its widest.  Inside the lighted area were two men standing motionless looking up at the craft.  A young woman jumped up from sitting near a small beach fire and ran to stand with the two men.  A second young woman was running backwards trying to brush the light off her arms and body.  Then she too stood separate to the other three and also stared up at the craft.  The light suddenly went out and I looked for the people.  Has it taken the people I thought.  Where as I was marvelling at the craft and light before, I now became angry, thinking it has terrorised that woman.  It was not a good thing as I first thought.  Now I could see the fire dimly glowing.  I looked this way and that to see if any of the people walked in front of the fire, to prove they were still there.  I fell asleep on my feet.  When I awoke I was standing on the other side of the window, one hand on the window.
“I looked outside the window only feet away.  The craft hovered over the street in front of the house.  It manoeuvred very close to the window.  I was impressed that it looked like a spaceship.  It had no helicopter noises or blades.  It did not force itself off the ground.  There was no blowing of the small trees.  It was not a hovercraft, and it had no wings like a plane.  The metallic material it was made of appeared as though it was unpolished Zinc alloy.  It had no seams, no rivets, no weld marks, no plates visible.  It was as if it was made from one piece of metal about 40 feet wide and 10 feet high, which began to spin in one direction, then it stopped and spun for a shorter time in the opposite direction.  Then it stopped spinning, hovering in a steady position above the skyline.  There were no thoughts it belonged to the western world.  That it was a secret craft, that got into difficulty.  That I wasn’t meant to see.  I blacked out.
“When I came to, the craft was still opposite my window.  I thought why was I meant to see that it had no welds or seams, it seemed to want to show me that.  I looked at a window shape about six feet wide and two feet six inches high with carved corners.  The metallic window shield suddenly disappeared and I could see inside the craft.  I saw no fittings.  It had flat vertical off white walls.  I felt very peaciful.  A man walked into the room of the craft and stood in front of the window.  As he walked in he was looking at a flat object he was holding in his hands, like a clip board but thicker.  He began to move his arms as though he was working on something at bench height below the window.  Totally absorbed, he worked away.  I felt completely safe.  Another man then entered the room looking at the other man and what he was doing.  He stood also facing me looking at the bench and pointing like without words he was helping the other fix something.
“They had bright silver one piece suits like thin wetsuits on, with no badges or markings.  They carried no weapons or tools.  The craft had no fittings or anything that looked like a weapon, so I felt safe.  And besides, they didn’t know I was watching them.  With that thought the last one to enter the room smiled at the other, then they both smiled directly at me.  I had physical fright, my hair stood on end literally and I knew what it meant to be really scared.  I dropped to the floor and said, “Everybody keep down. Stay out of the light.”  I knew that in the light they could control my thinking to feel and think peacefully.  Suddenly great noise and severe vibration of the house took place.  The laundry light went dim, the fridge began jumping about and there was great noise above the roof.  The washing machine was bumping about also.  I said, “Quickly get under the doorways, the house is going to fall.”  It was like the craft overhead sucked the electricity out of the house, then took off.
“Bill shouted out, “Shit, what was that?  It took the bloody roof off.”  I said, “It was a UFO.”  Somebody said what, againI said, it was a UFO.  Bill said, “Yes I saw it as it took the roof off.”  Bill was trying to comprehend how come the roof was still there.
“Gordon __  living behind came out to his back door and said very explicitly, “What the …… was that?  I thought it took the roof off.”  He too was greatly concerned with checking out his roof, reassuring himself it was still there.  The lady next door on the seaward side opened a window and said, “Where did it crash?  Do we have to get out?”  She became very angry saying again, “Do we have to get out?”  No you’re safe.  It’s gone.  Relieved, she said, “I am alone with the children tonight, that bloody pilot should be shot for that.”  It was unusual to hear people who I had never heard swear before, swearing.
“Bill and Gordon were saying it was a UFO.  Suddenly, __, Bill’s wife began to try and quieten everyone down and get us all inside.  We decided that I should phone the Nowra base.  I spoke to the duty officer.  He said he was the only one on duty.  He asked me if I saw any orange lights.  I said, “Yes.”  He then quickly said it was a weather balloon you saw, it was let go at such and such a time from Jambaroo, it didn’t inflate properly and other people reported seeing it as an orange light over Kiama.  In my mind I thought, he knows what it was, it must be secret.  I’ve done my duty reporting it, so that was that.
“The next day (our wives) said two men in dark suits with ID tags came to the door asking did any one see anything unusual last night.  Frightened by the men, they said no and the men went on.  (Our wives) warned me not to speak about it, they were very frightened that something would happen to me if I spoke up and also it would make us a laughing stock in the community.  The plan was we would forget it, not talk about it, even to one another.  So it would be distanced from our lives.
“Bill was reading the paper some days later and said an expensive Navy helicopter flew from Jambaroo over Kiama.  It lost its electronics and crashed forty kilometres out to sea off Kiama.  The navy was reported to be trying to recover it to find out what happened.  The crew were rescued.  I said, “Yeh, I know about losing power, the same thing happened to the helicopter as what happened to the fridge and the laundry light.  The UFO took its electricity.”  Nothing was said further.  We ignored the event.  What I saw holds future understanding for me, if it was a dream I believe.  Possibly it was an active imagination, a dream and actual occurrences combined.”
This strange affair has several defined stages, but the evident discontinuities in awareness, argue both for a surreal, dream like quality and also reflect the paradoxical reality of some of the stranger elements of the UFO phenomenon.  The extraordinary behaviour of the “light beams” behaving as both “solid” and “liquid” has been reported elsewhere in Australia and overseas.  The apparent display quality to episodes in the incident is reflected in many cases.  There seems to have been a number of gaps in the time sequence.   The apparent plight of the people on the beach is provocative, and one I am trying to unravel.  This is clearly a case that would benefit from further in depth enquiry.
Fortunately the original witness to the Kiama case re-contacted me.  He has been very difficult to relocate after my original interviews with him.  He is still very guarded about his privacy and protecting the welfare of his family.  However we were able to have some very extensive discussions and a detailed interview where I was able to locate the events much more precisely in the Kiama area and secure more details about the incident.
He confirmed an aspect I had long suspected as part of the experience, which he only original hinted at in the vaguest possible way.  He has an abduction recollection that was consciously recollected at the time, but he was extremely reluctant to share these details during our original discussions years ago.
He recollects sitting in a curved hallway in a strange environment.  He heard a voice and turned to find a woman.  She asked him, “Do you remember what happened in there?”  “No,” he replied. “Do you?” he asked. “Put it this way, I won’t be telling my husband.”
He doesn’t recollect much more, or he volunteered little further detail about this aspect of the Kiama encounter.  However he did say he started to frequent some UFO group meetings with the express purpose of seeing if he could find the woman he had encountered in the Kiama experience.  At one meeting he saw a woman who looked like the woman encountered in the “strange environment”, presumably onboard the UFO.  When he started to talk to her he felt she was not the right person and did not persist with the conversation.

I described some of the results of my 2012 field investigations in the Kiama area in my email to Mike Swords quoted above.  I hope that further research and investigation will continue to assist the evaluation of this strange case.  It will be fascinating if the ongoing enquiries further validate the affair. “Solid light” cases represent an intriguing and challenging opportunity to research a potential “breakthrough” aspect of the UFO phenomenon.  If we can get to the bottom of such extraordinary manipulations of light and other associated UFO light phenomena, then real progress in a UFO science can be made. Maybe mainstream science is slowly catching up. New Scientist has done a few reports on “tractor beam” development following the Bessel beam principle, including this one:

which was accompanied by this Russell Tate/Getty Imagest image:

An earlier New Scientist piece (3 March 2011) highlighted the Chinese connection: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20193-treklike-tractor-beam-is-possible.html

(This image accompanied the March 2011 New Scientist article)

Now Jun Chen of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and colleagues, have shown that it is possible to create exotic beams that would pull rather than push on an object. For tiny particles with dimensions of a thousandth of a millimetre or so, this would result in the particle being drawn back towards the beam.

Hmm … I wonder what inspired them? Perhaps the Zhao Xu and General Li 1998 UFO observation? Seems to me that maybe someone within our more clandestine scientific community is already trawling through “solid light” UFO cases?

The “solid light” phenomenon is gaining scientific value in the laboratory as in the actual “slowing down” of light in crystals and heavy gases using diffuse lasers.

All in all, I think that the answer to the UFO issue lies in finding the answer to quantum entanglement, brane theory and linking of parallel universes at a practical level.

SOLID LIGHTS and the neglected UFO SCIENCE LEGACY

Hat tip to The Anomalist.

Ronald Reagan and SERPO

From serpo.org:

Transcript of classified tape recording made at Camp David, Maryland during a presidential briefing regarding the subject of UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS and EXTRATERRESTRIAL VISITATION of EARTH. President RONALD REAGAN was present. The recording was made between March 6 and 8, 1981.

WILLIAM CASEY: Mr President, good morning. As we discussed in February, this briefing contains some very sensational and some very, very classified information. I am not sure, oh, well, I’m not going to make a decision on who you want in the room. That will be your decision, Mr President. This will be a real tough one to follow since the briefing starts back, historically speaking, that is, and runs up to recent times. I believe we have prepared a good chronological order of events. I’m sure you, Mr President, will have many questions.

The list of questions presented to me by ADVISER #2 should all be answered during this briefing. I hope they are, more than anyone, especially you, Mr President, leave this briefing with questions still unanswered. I have asked The Caretaker to conduct this briefing. He is a contract employee of the CIA and is the present custodian of the information. Are we to assume that everyone is present?

PRESIDENT: Well, it will be entirely up to you, Bill. I guess everyone must be cleared for this briefing of information, is that not correct?

WM CASEY: Well, it appears everyone is, but as you will see Mr President, this stuff is pretty high up on the food chain. We call it ATS or “Above Top Secret.” This stuff has its own classification and markings. We have a special container, special printers and copiers for this stuff. Every word of this material is printed on special paper then placed inside special covers. The caretakers have taken special efforts to protect all of this stuff from being released inadvertently or copied by some unauthorized person.

But all of this material is protected by a special group of people. The Caretaker is in charge of protecting this information and all of the other stuff associated with this information. I would prefer that you, Mr President, decide on who you want in this room. Remember, this material is a closely guarded secret. Although the gist of the story has been out there for many years, very little of the ACTUAL TRUTH has ever been released to the public. Oh, yes, well, by some of the renegades maybe, but many of them have been discredited.

PRESIDENT: OK, Bill, I guess we need ADVISER #1, you, ADVISER #3 and Caspar here. I think ADVISER #2 and Michael can leave.

ADVISER #2: Mr President, excuse me, but I would prefer to leave. I don’t wish to know this information. You know, plausible denial or something like that.

MICHAEL DEAVER: Mr President, whatever you wish, I’ll do. It would be an interesting subject, but do I really have a need to know? No, I don’t think so.

PRESIDENT: OK, I guess that is it.

WM CASEY: Thank you, Mr President. I will now turn the briefing over to The Caretaker.

ADVISER #3: Mr President, and Mr Director, I already had this briefing. I can stay or leave. Secretary Weinberger and myself received this a few weeks ago.

SECRETARY WEINBERGER: Mr President, as you know, we have some pending business regarding that Soviet problem in Berlin. I think we might just handle that. ADVISER #3 and I will let you close this meeting to just a few.

PRESIDENT: OK, Casp, I guess you and ADVISER #3 can leave. Thanks for coming.

WM CASEY: OK, Mr President, that certainly narrows the audience. I think this is just right.

PRESIDENT: OK, well, I can’t wait to hear this. Let’s proceed.

The CARETAKER: Good morning, Mr President. First of all, I would like to give you a bit of information on my background. But before that, please, Mr President, if you have questions during this briefing, just interrupt me, sir. I have been employed by the CIA for the past 31 years. I started the caretaking status of this project in 1960. We have a special group of people whom we call “Group 6,” that cares for all this information.

PRESIDENT: Good morning, I hope, well, I believe I will ask questions. Bill briefed me back in January, but I’m not sure … huh … well, was it detailed, no, I don’t think so … huh … OK, well I’m sure Bill didn’t tell me all ’cause we only had about one hour.

WM CASEY: Mr President, I only gave you a quick briefing for the NSDD (National Security Decision Directives) that we want to incorporate into the overall action directives about this subject. ADVISER #3, Caspar and I have details far beyond what I knew before January. The last administration wasn’t too keen on making all of this stuff accessible to us during the briefings in November and December.

PRESIDENT: Well, I knew a little about this subject before. Back in 1970. Nixon had all of the good stuff and wanted to share it with some of his friends. Nixon showed me some papers. Not sure about who authored them, but they … huh … well something about New Mexico and other places. Nixon was pretty … huh … well, you know, fascinated with it. He showed me something, some kind of object or device that came from one of their craft. Something that was taken from the New Mexico crash site. I don’t know if, well … huh … do we know what it was? I don’t think we knew or maybe now, after 11 years, we might know.

The CARETAKER: Mr President, I can answer some of those questions. Do you wish for me to begin?

PRESIDENT: Oh, well, what level is this? I mean, what was it called? I don’t remember what they called this.

WM CASEY: Mr President, codeword. It’s called Top Secret Codeword. This information is beyond Top Secret as I said before. It has its own classification. It is very compartmentalized.

PRESIDENT: Well, I guess just the minimum. Are we recording this?

The CARETAKER: Mr President, no, unless you wish.

WM CASEY: Yes, it is [CIA FEMALE TRANSCRIBER] who is doing that. I think we should. I don’t want to make any mistakes later about this. ADVISER #4 should also stay, since he is one of the caretakers of the information.

PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t want anyone leaking this stuff. Not knowing what we are about to discuss … huh … oh, well, Bill I guess it is your call. ADVISER #4 should stay. I guess he should … huh … oh, OK, well, you make the call, Bill.

WM CASEY: OK, I guess ADVISER #4 will stay. But I think [CIA FEMALE TRANSCRIBER] must stay. I’ll make that call.

PRESIDENT: OK, I guess we can do our business first, give me a few minutes. Let’s get some food first, or snacks. How long will … huh …. oh, about one hour?

The CARETAKER: Mr President, I estimate this will last about one hour, at least the first part of it. This is a very complicated subject to brief. I can do it, but maybe the questions will extend [beyond the first] the time period.

PRESIDENT: OK, I see. Let’s take a break and then reconvene.

(Break)

The CARETAKER: OK, Mr President, are we ready?

PRESIDENT: Yes, we are, let’s go.

The CARETAKER: Mr President, as was mentioned earlier, I must say, that this briefing has the highest classification within the U.S. government. I will start with a slide presentation. I have most of this briefing on the slides, but I also have an outline that I have passed out to each [person] in attendance.

PRESIDENT: Oh, OK, so are we … can we follow it with the [outline] paper?

The CARETAKER: Yes, Mr President, you can follow the briefing with the outline in front of you.

PRESIDENT: Thank you.

The CARETAKER: The United States of America has been visited by Extraterrestrial Visitors since 1947. We have proof of that. However, we also have some proof that Earth has been visited for many THOUSANDS OF YEARS by various races of Extraterrestrial Visitors. Mr President, I’ll just refer to those visits as ETs. In July, 1947, a remarkable event occurred in New Mexico. During a storm, two ET spacecraft crashed. One crashed southwest of Corona, New Mexico and one crashed near Datil, New Mexico. The U.S. Army eventually found both sites and recovered all of the debris and one live Alien. I’ll refer to this live Alien as “EBE 1.” PRESIDENT: What does that mean? Do we have codes or a special terminology for this?

The CARETAKER: Mr President, EBE means “Extraterrestrial Biological Entity.” It was a code designated to this creature by the U.S. Army back in those days. This creature was not human and we had to decide on a term for it. So, scientists designated the creature as EBE 1. We also referred to it as “Noah.” There was different terminology used by various aspects of the U.S. military and intelligence community back then.

PRESIDENT: Do we or did we have others? The number “1” would seem to indicate we had others.

The CARETAKER: Yes, we had others. Back then, the term was EBE and no number designation. We’ll explain how the others came into our knowledge.

PRESIDENT: OK, sorry, I was just wondering and I guess, well, I’m sure the briefing will cover this. Please continue.

The CARETAKER: All the debris and EBEs recovered from the first crash site were taken to Roswell Army Air Field, Roswell, New Mexico. EBE was treated for some minor injuries and then taken to Los Alamos National Laboratories, which was the safest and most secure location in the world. Special accommodations were made for EBE. The debris was eventually transferred to Dayton, Ohio, home of the Air Force Foreign Technology Division. The second crash site wasn’t discovered until 1949 by some ranchers. There were no live Aliens at this site. All this debris went to Sandia Army Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

PRESIDENT: OK, a question, regarding the first site, how many aliens were in the spaceship?

The CARETAKER: Five (5) dead aliens and one (1) alive. The bodies of the dead aliens were transported to Wright Field in Ohio and kept in a form of deep freeze. They were later transported to Los Alamos where special containers were made to keep the bodies from decaying. There were four (4) dead aliens in the second crash site. Those bodies were in an advanced state of decaying. They had been in the desert for the past two (2) years. Animals and time got to those bodies. The remains were transported to Sandia Base and eventually onto Los Alamos. We determined both crashed spaceships were of similar design and the bodies of the aliens were all identical. They looked exactly the same. They had the same height, weight and physical features. Here are the photographs of the aliens.

(Pause)

PRESIDENT: Can we classify them? I mean can we … well, connect them with anything Earthly?

The CARETAKER: No, Mr President. They don’t have any similar characteristics of a human, with exception of there eyes, ears and a mouth. Their internal body organs are different. Their skin is different, their eyes, ears and even breathing is different. Their blood wasn’t red and their brain was entirely different from human. We could not classify any part of the Aliens with humans. They had blood and skin, although considerably different than human skin. Their eyes had two different eyelids. Probably because their home planet was very bright.

PRESIDENT: Maybe I’m getting ahead, but do we know where they came from? Mars, our system or where?

The CARETAKER: Yes, Mr President, we do know where they come from. I can go into this now, or I can wait until it comes up in the briefing.

PRESIDENT: No, no, please, continue. I can wait.

The CARETAKER: Thank you, Mr President. EBE stayed alive until 1952 when it died. We learned a great deal from EBE. Although EBE did not have voice organs like humans, it was able to communicate with an operation performed by military doctors. EBE was extremely intelligent. It learned English quickly, mainly by listening to the military personnel who were responsible for EBE’s safety and care.

EBE was housed in a special area at Los Alamos and Sandia Base. Although many different military doctors, scientists and a select number of civilians studied EBE, it never became upset or angry. EBE helped us learn from all the items found in the two crash sites. EBE showed us how some of the items worked, such as a communications device. It also showed us how various other devices worked.

PRESIDENT: Excuse me, but you are referring to this creature as an IT. Did it have a gender?

The CARETAKER: I’m sorry Mr President, but yes, it was male. Within EBE’s race they had males and females.

PRESIDENT: OK, thank you. Please continue.

The CARETAKER: Thank you, Mr President. EBE died of what military doctors considered natural causes. I don’t think we could really state exactly why EBE died. Although we had five (5) years to study EBE, we didn’t have any standards to compare EBE’s body with standard medical observations. It was difficult to lose EBE, since it was the most interesting thing we as humans could receive and study. A visitor from another planet … ANOTHER WORLD. EBE did explain where he lives in the universe. We call this star system Zeta Reticuli, which is about 40 light-years [38.42] from Earth. EBE’s planet was within this star system.

PRESIDENT: OK, where is this in comparison to something we all know?

The CARETAKER: Well, Mr President, our closet star is four light-years away. I can show you the constellation it is in.

[Alpha Centauri, a yellow star, is the brightest star in the constellation Centaurus, 4.3 light-years away]

PRESIDENT: No, I wouldn’t know much about astronomy. I just thought I could understand the distance. How long did it take this spaceship to get here?

The CARETAKER: Well, Mr President, I can tell you now or we can discuss that in another briefing. As Mr Casey said, this is a complicated subject because there are many levels of compartmentalization. This briefing is just the basic information about a visit to our planet by one particular alien race.

PRESIDENT: Well … huh … what, am I to understand … this isn’t a full briefing?

WM CASEY: Mr President, we have different levels of stuff. If we mix it up, I don’t think it will make sense, nor will we have time this morning. I understand you have a busy schedule today.

PRESIDENT: As the President of the United States, I should know EVERYTHING, right, or shouldn’t I? If I am to assume this was a briefing of substance, then I should hear ALL of it. I think this is more important than some other things on my daily calendar. But maybe I’m jumping the gun. If there are some things I shouldn’t know, please tell me.

WM CASEY: No, no, Mr President, I didn’t mean you shouldn’t know this stuff. I simply meant we should proceed in an orderly fashion as to the briefing. But it is up to you. We will not hold anything back.

PRESIDENT: ADVISER #1, what do you think? Do you know about all this?

ADVISER #1: Mr President, yes, I was briefed many times on this subject matter. As Director Casey stated, this is a very, very complicated subject. I think it took me about one year to be fully briefed into all aspects of this matter. There are different areas. The initial crash, an investigative period, some attempt at contact, A DISINFORMATION OPERATION to protect this matter and several other levels.

PRESIDENT: Oh, wow, I didn’t realize how complicated this was. I’m new at [all of] this. I have a great responsibility to the citizens of this nation to make decisions based on accurate information presented by my advisers … YOU, ALL of you. I won’t interfere in your presentation of this information. So, I guess, we’ll proceed in the order you have chosen. I’m sorry for interrupting in this presentation, but as a person who is interested beyond belief in this, I’ll just shut up and wait to ask questions.

WM CASEY: Mr President. No, no, please ask any questions you wish. You are the President. We are not here to argue with you over the order of this briefing. But some things are SO HIGHLY CLASSIFIED that THIS BRIEFING IS THE LOWEST LEVEL. If you ask a question that is in a different level, then we will have to re-evaluate the audience.

ADVISER #1: Mr President. Everything we know about Alien visitation to Earth is contained in 16 (sixteen) volumes of binders. These binders contain thousands of pages. We can give you anything you wish but, as Director Casey said, we must evaluate the clearances of each person listening to our responses.

PRESIDENT: OK, I now understand. Give me whatever you want and I’ll continue to ask questions. But if you need me to wait on an answer, just tell me.

WM CASEY: OK, Mr President we will do that. I still don’t know the entire story. I have read one tenth of one binder and have hundreds of questions.

PRESIDENT: OK, let’s continue.

The CARETAKER: Mr President, thank you for those responses. I will answer any question, if I can. But if the question is above this level, then Director Casey will have to make that decision for me.

PRESIDENT: I fully understand, please continue.

The CARETAKER: It took the EBE spaceship nine (9) of our months to travel the 40 [38.42] light-years. Now, as you can see, that would mean the EBE spaceship traveled faster than the speed of light. But, this is where it gets really technical. Their spaceships can travel through a form of “space tunnels” that gets them from point “A” to point “B” faster without having to travel at the speed of light. I cannot fully understand how they travel, but we have many top scientists who can understand their concept.

PRESIDENT: Well, I certainly couldn’t understand the science in that. Is it a black hole?

The CARETAKER: Mr President, something like that, but much more complicated.

PRESIDENT: Do they get here … no never mind, please continue. [unintelligible]

WM CASEY: Mr President, I can assure we know how they do it, but we can’t do it.

PRESIDENT: OK. (several speaking at once)

The CARETAKER: As to some history. The original project, started back in 1947, was called “Project GLEEM.” This project contained volumes of documented information collected from the beginning of our investigation of UFOs and Identified Alien Craft, or “IAC.” The project was originally established in the early ’50s by, first President Truman and then by order of President Eisenhower, under control of the National Security Council. President Truman established a group of people to handle this project. The group was called Majority 12 or “MJ-12.”

In 1966, the project’s name was changed to “Aquarius.” The project was funded by confidential ["black world"] funds appropriated within the intelligence community’s budget. The recovery of these alien spacecraft led the United States on an extensive investigative program to determine whether these aliens posed a direct threat to our National Security. As you might remember, Mr President, our country openly investigated UFO sightings under projects Grudge, Sign and finally Blue Book.

The original mission of the Air Force program was to collect and analyze all reported sightings and incidents involving UFOs and then determine whether the information could be interpreted as having any bearing on the national security of the United States. Some information was evaluated with the idea of using the gained data to advance our own space technology and future space programs.

About 90% of the estimated 12,000 reports analyzed by the Air Force under Blue Book were considered hoaxes, explained aerial phenomena or astronomical objects. The other 10% were considered legitimate alien sightings and/or incidents. However, not all UFO sightings or incidents were reported under the Air Force programs of Grudge, Sign and Blue Book.

In 1953, Project Gleem initiated its own investigative detail and certain sightings were reported directly under Gleem rather than one of the other projects. Project Gleem, which became “Project AQUARIUS” in 1966, was a parallel reporting system for UFO sightings and incidents.

Reports collected under Project Aquarius were considered actual sightings of alien spacecraft or actual contacts with alien life forms. We recovered two alien spacecraft from New Mexico. Both were heavily damaged, but we were able to examine them. The two craft were considered technological marvels by our scientists. However, the operating instrumentation was so advanced that our scientists could not decipher it. The two craft were stored in a special security location in the West. We gained a large volume of technological data from these craft.

Several independent scientific investigations, at the request of the Air Force and CIA were initiated during the era of “Project Blue Book.” MJ-12 decided that officially the Air Force should end their investigation of UFO sightings. This decision was arrived at during the NPNN meeting in 1966. The reason was two fold. First, the United States had established communications with the aliens.

PRESIDENT: Hold on, OK … well, Bill, no … never mind, please continue.

WM CASEY: Mr President, the communications project is of a higher level. I recommend we continue on this course and then switch to the next, if we have time.

PRESIDENT: OK, you’re steering the boat, Bill.

The CARETAKER: The United States felt relatively sure the aliens’ exploration of Earth was non-aggressive and non-hostile. It was also established that the aliens’ presence did not directly threaten the security of the United States. Secondly, the public was beginning to believe that UFOs were real. The NSC felt this public feeling could lead to a nationwide panic if we disclosed everything we knew about UFOs and alien visitation. We were involved in one major operation during this time frame that involved our alien visitors. That operation is of a higher level and it will be up to Director Casey to proceed now or wait until later.

WM CASEY: We’ll wait on that part of it. I haven’t been fully briefed and I would like to be able to know everything about that program before trying to brief the President.

ADVISER #1: I agree with Director Casey. That part of the program is really complicated and will require a full day to brief.

PRESIDENT: OK, as I said before, Bill’s the captain of this ship.

The CARETAKER: It was felt that public awareness of these projects would have jeopardized the future space program of the United States. Releasing our secrets about UFOs and alien visitation would also cause a PANIC AMONG RELIGIOUS LEADERS around the world. Therefore, MJ-12 decided that an independent scientific study of the UFO phenomena would be needed to satisfy the public curiosity.

The final official study of the UFO phenomena was accomplished by the University of Colorado under an air force contract. The study concluded that sufficient data did not exist that would indicate that UFOs threatened the security of the United States. The final conclusion satisfied the Government and allowed the Air Force to officially step out of the UFO investigating business.

When the Air Force officially closed “Blue Book” in December 1969, Project Aquarius continued operation under control of NSC/MJ-12. The NSC felt investigation of UFO sightings and incidents had to continue in secrecy without any public knowledge. The reasoning behind the decision was this: If the Air Force continued its investigation of UFOs, eventually some non-cleared and non-briefed Air Force or DOD civilian officials would obtain the facts behind Project Aquarius.

Obviously, for operational security reasons, this could not be allowed. In order to continue the investigation of UFO sightings and incidents in secrecy, investigators from CIA/DCE and MJ-12 were assigned to military investigative units with orders to investigate all legitimate UFO/IAC sightings and incidents. These agents are presently operating at various locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. All reports are filtered either directly or indirectly to MJ-12. These agents are collecting reports of UFO/IAC sightings and incidents occurring on or near sensitive governmental installations.

Many reported sightings and incidents have occurred over nuclear weapons bases. The aliens’ interest in our nuclear weapons can only be attributed to the future threat of a nuclear war on Earth that could affect space. The Air Force has initiated measures to assure the security of the nuclear weapons from alien theft or destruction. MJ-12 feels confident that the aliens are on an exploration of our solar system for peaceful purposes. However, we do have information and that is at another level, that more than one alien species are visiting Earth.

PRESIDENT: Well, that is a lot to digest. I have written down many questions. But let’s take a break and come back to this.

This is a good story and very entertaining, but there is no way to test whether this transcript is true or not.

But one must ask this question…”Why did Ronald Reagan give his “enemy alien” speech at the U.N. in 1987?”

What did Reagan know, or not know?

Was it just a symptom of his oncoming Alzheimer’s Disease?

There’s no way to tell now and this will forever be part of UFO folklore.

RELEASE 27a – Reagan Briefing

Hat tip to supernaturalufo.com.

Advanced Oort Cloud Civilisations?

From Centauri Dreams:

Jules Verne once had the notion of a comet grazing the Earth and carrying off a number of astounded people, whose adventures comprise the plot of the 1877 novel Off on a Comet. It’s a great yarn that was chosen by Hugo Gernsback to be reprinted as a serial in the first issues of his new magazine Amazing Stories back in 1926, but with a diameter of 2300 kilometers, Verne’s comet was much larger than anything we’ve actually observed. Comets tend to be small but they make up for it in volume, with an estimated 100 billion to several trillion thought to exist in the Oort Cloud. All that adds up to a total mass of several times the Earth’s.

Of course, coming up with mass estimates is, as with so much else about the Oort Cloud, a tricky business. Paul R. Weissman noted a probable error of about one order of magnitude when he produced the above estimate in 1983. What we are safe in saying is something that has caught Freeman Dyson’s attention: While most of the mass and volume in the galaxy is comprised of stars and planets, most of the area actually belongs to asteroids and comets. There’s a lot of real estate out there, and we’ll want to take advantage of it as we move into the outer Solar System and beyond.

Comets and Resources

Embedded with rock, dust and organic molecules, comets are composed of water ice as well as frozen gases like methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and an assortment of compounds containing nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur. Porous and undifferentiated, these bodies are malleable enough to make them interesting from the standpoint of resource extraction. Richard P. Terra wrote about the possibilities in a 1991 article published in Analog:

This light fragile structure means that the resources present in the comet nuclei will be readily accessible to any human settlers. The porous mixture of dust and ice would offer little mechanical resistance, and the two components could easily be separated by the application of heat. Volatiles could be further refined through fractional distillation while the dust, which has a high content of iron and other ferrous metals, could easily be manipulated with magnetic fields.

Put a human infrastructure out in the realm of the comets, in other words, and resource extraction should be a workable proposition. Terra talks about colonies operating in the Oort Cloud but we can also consider it, as he does, a proving ground for even deeper space technologies aimed at crossing the gulf between the stars. Either way, as permanent settlements or as way stations offering resources on millennial journeys, comets should be plentiful given that the Oort Cloud may extend half the distance to Alpha Centauri. Terra goes on:

Little additional crushing or other mechanical processing of the dust would be necessary, and its fine, loose-grained structure would make it ideal for subsequent chemical processing and refining. Comet nuclei thus represent a vast reservoir of easily accessible materials: water, carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane, and a variety of metals and complex organics.

Energy by Starlight

Given that comets probably formed on the outer edges of the solar nebula, their early orbits would have been more or less in the same plane as the rest of the young system, but gravitational interactions with passing stars would have randomized their orbital inclinations, eventually producing a sphere of the kind Jan Oort first postulated back in 1950. Much of this is speculative, because we have little observational evidence to go on, but the major part of the cometary shell probably extends from 40,000 to 60,000 AU, while a projected inner Oort population extending from just beyond the Kuiper Belt out to 10,000 AU may have cometary orbits more or less in the plane of the ecliptic. Out past 10,000 AU the separation between comets is wide, perhaps about 20 AU, meaning that any communities that form out here will be incredibly isolated.

Kuiper_oort

Image: An artist’s rendering of the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. Credit: NASA/Donald K. Yeomans.

Whether humans can exploit cometary resources this far from home will depend on whether or not they can find sources of energy. In a paper called “Fastships and Nomads,” presented at the Conference on Interstellar Migration held at Los Alamos in 1983, Eric Jones and Ben Finney give a nod to non-renewable energy sources like deuterium, given that heavy elements like uranium will be hard to come by. Indeed, a typical comet, in Richard Terra’s figures, holds between 50,000 and 100,000 metric tons of deuterium, enough to power early settlement and mining.

But over the long haul, Jones and Finney are interested in keeping colonies alive through renewable resources, and that means starlight. The researchers talk about building vast mirrors using aluminum from comets, with each 1 MW mirror about the size of the continental United States. Now here’s a science fiction setting with punch, as the two describe it:

Although the mirrors would be tended by autonomous maintenance robots, the nomads would have to live nearby in case something went wrong… Although we could imagine that the several hundred people who could be supported by the resources of a single comet might live in a single habitat, the mirrors supporting that community would be spread across about 150,000 km. Trouble with a mirror or robot on the periphery of the mirror array would mean a long trip, several hours at least. It would make more sense if the community were dispersed in smaller groups so that trouble could be reached in a shorter time. There are also social reasons for expecting the nomad communities to be divided into smaller co-living groups.

Jones and Finney go on to point out that humans tend to work best in groups of about a dozen adults, whether in the form of hunter/gatherer bands, army platoons, bridge clubs or political cells. This observation of behavior leads them to speculate that bands of about 25 men, women and children would live together in a large habitat — think again of an O’Neill cylinder — built out of cometary materials, from which they would tend a mirror farm with the help of robots and computers. Each small group would tend a mirror farm perhaps 30,000 kilometers across.

The picture widens beyond this to include the need for larger communities that would occasionally come together, helping to avoid the genetic dangers of inbreeding and providing a larger social environment. Thus we might have about 500 individuals in clusters of 20 cometary bands which would stay in contact and periodically meet. Jones and Finney consider the band-tribe structure to be the smallest grouping that seems practical for any human community. Who would such a community attract — outcasts, dissidents, adventurers? And how would Oort Cloud settlers react to the possibility of going further still, to another star?

While by no means is this is a new theory, ( note the Jules Verne story ), it presents the scenario of the very slow spreading of intelligent biological life through-out the Galaxy ( see Slow Galactic Colonization, Zoo Hypothesis and the Fermi Paradox ).

Now here’s a thought; could a potential alien Oort Cloud civilization be the basis of the Ancient Astronaut Theory and the legends of the Sumerian Gods, the Anunnaki?

There’s no hard evidence of that of course, but there are Pluto-sized and larger objects in the Kuiper Belt glowing in the infrared, a sign that was said to represent a Dyson Sphere type civilisation.

Either these are natural objects such as Brown Dwarf stars, or potential alien civilisations whom don’t care whether they are detected in the infrared or not.

And that’s disturbing.

Original article.

Crowl Space article

Declassified CIA UFO Files

From starpod.us:

(Spies, Lies and Polygraph Tape) — The now infamous MJ-12 / MAJIC / Operation Majestic 12 Eisenhower Briefing Document, allegedly created to inform President Elect Dwight D. Eisenhower of contact with extraterrestrial visitors, is dated November  18, 1952.

CIA has been busy responding to the 25 Year Automatic Declassification Rule (don’t get too excited, as there are plenty of X25 Exemption paragraphs that have been redacted from the documents). Among the various releases are the “flying saucer” documents — and some of those documents have been converted into PDF format for easy viewing and archiving.

Of particular interest are the “Deputies’ Meeting” documents, which review the various topics discussed by senior CIA officials on a daily basis.

And among the topics of discussion in late 1952? The need to brief the U.S. President (Harry Truman) on the flying saucer problem.

For those interested in pursuing the real “flying saucer” material, here are a few items of possible interest, from CIA’s website, in PDF format:

Undated 1952 memo from CIA Director Smith to Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) on the flying saucer issue.

15 March 1949 United States Government Memorandum on the flying saucer problem

1 August 1952 preliminary evaluation of flying saucer problem.

18 August 1952 discussion of OSI briefing on flying saucers in the CIA Director’s Conference Room.

2 September 1952 CIA flying saucer sighting report.

11 September 1952 flying saucer threat assessment memorandum.

14 October 1952 Memorandum for the Record on the flying saucer problem

18 November 1952, same date as the alleged MJ-12 Eisenhower Briefing Document, mentions “the original 12″ — probably not a veiled secretly coded reference to Majestic 12 members, but a nice coincidence none-the-less for hard-core conspiracy buffs.

3 December 1952 Memorandum on the flying saucer problem.

4 December 1952 discussion of preparing an estimate (national intelligence estimate or NIE) for the president on flying saucers.

9 December 1952 FCC reports no interference from flying saucers to communications.

10 December 1952 CIA Director Smith requests memorandum on flying saucers to discuss with President Truman on 12 December 1952.

12 December 1952 discussion requesting delay for briefing then President Truman on the flying saucer issue.

25 March 1955 Memorandum on flying saucers and Air Force Project Blue Book.

10 October 1955 U.S. officials report flying saucer observed during travel in the U.S.S.R.

11 June 1957 on who is responsible at CIA for the flying saucer problem.

Some of the documents look authentic because they have the authentic dating regime; ex: 18 November 1952.

I know this because at one time during my own military service I handled memorandums and other documents that used that standard.

Also these documents are still redacted, Mr. Bekkum is correct about that.

Did the U.S. government conclude that these UFOs were nuts and bolts spacecraft piloted by real aliens?

I think they surmised so, but you be the judge when you peruse these documents.

CIA files: Washington vs. the flying saucers

The Covert Mainstream

From mysteriousuniverse.org:

The late researcher of UFOs, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, once wrote that, “In one’s frustration it is all too easy to seize on an explanation of the “Men from Mars” variety and to ignore the many UFO features unaccounted for… We may be inadvertently and artificially increasing the significance of the conspicuous features while the part we ignore–or that which is not reported by the untrained witness–may contain the clue to the whole subject.”

I would also argue just as well that, in addition to part of the UFO enigma that remain hidden, there might be researchers in this field that do the same.

I recently attended the 2013 International UFO Congress as a speaker, as well as a panelist for a discussion with fellow researchers Stanton Friedman and Richard Dolan, where we discussed the state of ufology in the 21st century. The Congress, arguably the largest and most well-attended UFO conference anywhere in the world, is not only a proving ground for both the budding young researcher and the decades-in ufologist alike; it is also a breeding ground for new ideas and the formation of new hypotheses, which may eventually sow the seeds of new insight toward solving this enduring mystery.

International UFO Congress - Educating the World One Person at a Time

International UFO Congress – Educating the World One Person at a Time

And yet, while there is this obvious mainstream component to the UFO research community, there is another more clandestine arm of the community that is less active before the public eye… but not all things that are “secretive” are necessarily nefarious or part of some grand dark conspiracy. In truth, it may be within the humble confines of Ufology’s “Shadow Research Community” that some of the more innovative thinkers exist, working out problems behind the scenes that many point-and-click researchers of today might overlook altogether.

No doubt, a statement of this caliber might be enough to anger many prideful UFO researchers at large (although I would argue that most serious UFO researchers will learn early on to rid themselves of any pride, lest they be crushed by the seething sensationalism in the mainstream media, and their overt approach toward the UFO community in general). But again, the notion of their being an underlying academic element that persists behind the mainstream study of UFOs–if one could ever call UFO research “mainstream” at all–is nothing new.

French Ufologist and computer scientist Jacques Vallee in his book Alien Contact by Human Deception argued that there were many private UFO researchers in academic circles–perhaps a few hundred he knew and had worked with–that studied the UFO problem intently, but without doing so publicly. Vallee referred to this as being a sort of “Invisible College” that has continued serious scientific study of UFOs, despite the fact that since the late 1960s, Edward Condon and his University of Colorado UFO Project helped determine that once and for all, the UFO mystery would forever be pseudoscientific.

Hynek and Vallee

Hynek and Vallee

Indeed, the general study of UFOs has largely been pseudoscientific, in that the largest body of serious research spanning the last several decades has been carried out by civilians, and often those with little or no academic or technical training suited for study of the phenomenon. While this has often been a point of criticism by scientists the likes of Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and many others, it also highlights yet another problem in the UFO field: the tendency for academics to push for debunking of UFO phenomenon or labeling it as pseudoscientific, while doing very little on their own accord to help further the serious scientific study of the phenomenon aside from waging an ongoing war of words.

Angela Joiner

Angela Joiner

To the credit of the academicians, it should be noted that to openly and publicly embrace the study of UFOs most often becomes equivalent to academic suicide in the Western world. There are many instances where professionals have been forced to choose between studying fringe subjects and maintaing a career by more conventional standards. Scientists such as Dean Radin, who lost his teaching position for openly discussing parapsychology, comes to mind, as well as members of the media like Angelia Joiner, who famously reported on the Stephenville, Texas UFO flap several years ago; the latter was eventually pinned into a position where she felt she had to resign as a reporter for the Stephenville Empire-Tribune, in order to be able to continue following the UFO story.

Altogether, the problem here is that UFO research, by virtue of the fringe or “kooky” subject matter it has often become directly associated with, warrants blacklisting among professionals (especially scientists, university professors, etc). In my own experience, I’ve had numerous interactions with those in academia who reach out to me, often under aliases at first, to express interest not just in UFO research, but to share their own ideas and findings (albeit covertly) from an academic standpoint. The reasons these individuals would reach out to ufologists at all most often has to do, in my experience, with a hope for finding someone who will allow them to plead their case, but also that they might be able to influence or steer with their own professional observations. On both counts, this is usually a good thing, as it allows the academics to find others who won’t be so openly critical with the treatment of fringy subject matter, but the less technically skilled civilian researcher also gains insight from members of the scientific community.

Thus, while there is certainly a “trickle down effect” with regard to academics who occasionally reveal tidbits of insight to the publicly known UFO researchers, it could be argued that some of the most plausible and interesting insights into the field of ufology may exist behind the scenes, in what Vallee dubbed a so-called “Invisible College.” Today, could we ever get a serious, ongoing academic discourse on UFOs back into mainstream scientific circles… or is this even something that could ever be afforded the modern UFO research community, with an ever-growing divide that is occurring between the “believer” and “skeptic” diametric?

I actually don’t find it odd that there are some “mainstream” scientists working on the UFO mystery on their own time. After all that is what Jacques Vallee and Stanton Freidman did before devoting their studies of UFOs full-time .

The late J. Allen Hynek was a little different, he waited until he had a government pension before becoming a convert to studying UFOs on a full-time scientific basis.

Believe it or not, it is this “covert mainstream” that is fueling SETI, astroarcheology, astrobiological and advanced propulsion technology research.

Or perhaps, it’s the “science-fiction” collective consciousness?

Behind The Scenes: Ufology’s Shadow Research Community

Hat tip to the Daily Grail.

The Invisible Invaders

From starpod.us:

(STARpod.us) — Imagine this, then pretend it isn’t real.

Professor Stephen Hawking was right, contact with an extraterrestrial alien civilization might be the end of us — but he was wrong about one thing: it is too late to avoid contact with ultra-intelligent extraterrestrial aliens.

They are here, now, and living with you, perhaps within you, in your home.

And their actions are utterly invisible.

Worse still, every human thought, every human response to this invisible terror is already known and is shared across an intergalactic telepathic mind-to-mind based Internet.

The above may sound like a science fiction tale, however the reality may be worse than our most feared imaginings.

To enter into this “Twilight Zone” of darkness we simply accept that the brief history of human scientific and technological evolution points to an ever-greater penetration of the human mind — and the probability, given the unfathomable vastness of eternity currently predicted by our best theories of the universe and beyond, of intelligent minds beyond our own.

Our deepest, inner thoughts and experiences are going to be turned inside out upon the world.

We enter this virtual reality with an understanding that an encounter with alien intelligence beyond our own is something we may not even recognize, if and when it happens.

And according to sources, some who have held high positions within the U.S. government, close encounters have already taken place.

It is this unseen, largely unheard and secret presence that haunts us like a secret society from the great beyond. Probing our actions — even before they are taken — the vast and disturbingly alien mind behind this unstoppable terror of invisible things surrounds us, watching and waiting, like an invisible guardian in a cosmic conspiracy written eons before our time.

The cover story for contact with this deeply disturbing intelligence was written in Hollywood: extraterrestrial biological entities arrived on Earth in flying saucers and maybe they even crashed a disk or two, which were later recovered by the government.

It is this wrap-over story that has been spread by a handful of former CIA-types including the recent revelation by Chase Brandon. According to Brandon, bodies and wreckage (presumably of an extraterrestrial alien origin) were indeed recovered in Roswell, New Mexico. Others have hinted of some deeply buried truth underlying the saucer tales, based upon hearsay from their more senior colleagues in intelligence. And this, so we are told, goes all the way to the top, coming from at least a handful of former CIA Directors.

But is there really any truth in the tales? At a minimum, we should begin our exploration of the unstoppable terror of invisible things with a brief examination of down-to-earth technologies from human sources. We will, for the time being, ignore that other Hollywood-inspired meme claiming the most advanced human technologies of the 21st century owe their existence to reverse engineered extraterrestrial technology.

There are other stories of possible relevance, tales of invisible things that sometimes show their face  in brief and mysterious ways. They sometimes seem to speak to select groups of human beings, in particular scientific types, using a form of direct mind-to-mind communication.

Mental radio has been an essential element of the pop culture for decades, and once again appears to be just another meme invented in the fantasy of a Hollywood writer’s imagination. The situation is further complicated by the countless number of persons who have self-experimented on the core physical structure of the human mind — the brain — by ingesting a wide variety of chemical substances known to create hallucinatory effects.

Invisible things do not always remain visible: there are other stories and sometimes grainy and poorly photographed images of manifestations of unusual phenomena popping in and out of our consensus reality. Other highly questionable reports include observations of ordinary material objects moving under the force of an unseen source. Several persons I know have related to me stories of so-called psychokinetic motion, including one person who told me of a misadventure involving knives that were picked up off of a table and flung with extreme force into the wall. In this particular story, it was reported that the environment changed mysteriously prior to the psychokinetic event, and even space and time seemed distorted in some inexplicable manner.

Psychokinesis was once a concern for American intelligence agencies and their political handlers in Congress (and this is confirmed within the declassified government record). Once upon a time they even feared psychokinetic hacking of America’s missile arsenal launch codes.

Invisibility is no longer bound to the imaginative world of sorcerer Harry Potter. As physicists look deeper into the nature of quantum reality they are gradually realizing new and clever ways around what was once assumed to be insurmountable obstacles. The late Arthur C. Clarke, author of “2001: A Space Odyssey” is often referenced for having said any sufficiently advanced technology appears (on the surface to those who do not understand it) to be magic.

Cracking through the barriers of human ignorance and human fantasy does not come easily. But if we are indeed facing an unstoppable terror of invisible things — real, physical forces under intelligent guidance — then we need to prepare a response.

We are challenged in this effort by the anthropocentric nature of the human mind: Is is really possible to envision truly alien sources and methods? Or are we confined to describing the extraterrestrial alien droning of America?

Bekkum makes many valid points about possible alien interference with we human beings on Earth; the most important point is the immaterial way the interference would take place. No flying saucers, triangles or spheres need apply.

Remote control of human beings, i.e., possession, ( or avatars ) via of “mental telepathy” for lack of a better term, would be preferable to outright invasion and destroying turf. Especially if proxy colonization or species manipulation is part and parcel of the alien’s overall strategies.

Unstoppable terror of invisible things

Of SETI, ET Cultural Contact and Spam

From Centauri Dreams:

What happens to us if our SETI efforts pay off? Numerous scenarios come to mind, all of them speculative, but the range of responses shown in Carl Sagan’s Contact may be something like the real outcome, with people of all descriptions reading into a distant message whatever they want to hear. Robert Lightfoot (South Georgia State College) decided to look at contact scenarios we know something more about, those that actually happened here on Earth. His presentation in Huntsville bore the title “Sorry, We Didn’t Mean to Break Your Culture.”

Known as ‘Sam’ to his friends, Lightfoot is a big, friendly man with an anthropologist’s eye for human nature. His talk made it clear that if we’re going to plan for a possible SETI reception, we should look at what happens when widely separated groups come into contact. Cultural diffusion can happen in two ways, the first being prompted by the exchange of material objects. In the SETI case, however, the non-material diffusion of ideas is the most likely outcome. Lightfoot refers to ‘objects of cultural destruction’ in both categories, noting the distorting effect these can have on a society as unexpected effects invariably appear.

Consider the introduction of Spam to the islands of the Pacific as a result of World War II. The level of obesity, cancer and diabetes soared as cultures that had relied largely on hunting, farming and fishing found themselves in the way of newfound supplies. Visitors to some of these islands still note with curiosity that Spam can be found on the menus of many restaurants. Today more than half of all Pacific islanders are obese, and one in four has diabetes. On the island nation of Tonga, fully 69 percent of the population is considered obese.

Lightfoot mentioned Tonga in his talk, but I drew the above figures from the World Diabetes Foundation. Can we relate the continuing health problems of the region to Spam? Surely it was one of the triggers, but we can also add that the large-scale industrialization of these islands didn’t begin until the 1970s. Imported food and the conversion of farmland to mining and other industries (Nauru is the classic example, with its land area almost entirely devoted to phosphate mining) meant a change in lifestyle that was sudden and has had enormous health consequences.

Objects of cultural destruction (OCDs) show their devastating effects around the globe. The Sami peoples of Finland had to deal with the introduction of snowmobiles, which you would have thought a blessing for these reindeer herders. But the result was the ability to collect far larger herds than ever before, which in turn has resulted in serious problems of over-grazing. Or consider nutmeg, once thought in Europe to be a cure for the plague, causing its value to soar higher than gold. Also considered an aphrodisiac, nutmeg led to violence against native growers in what is today Indonesia and played a role in the creation of the East India Company.

But because SETI’s effects are most likely going to be non-material, Lightfoot homed in on precedents like the ‘cargo cults’ of the Pacific that sprang up as some islanders tried to imitate what they had seen Westerners do, creating radios out of wood, building ‘runways’ and calling for supplies. In South Africa, a misunderstanding of missionary religious teachings led the Xhosa people to kill their cattle, even though their society was based on herding these animals. Waiting for a miracle after the killings, a hundred thousand people began to starve. Said Lightfoot:

Think about contact with an extraterrestrial civilization in this light. There will be new ideas galore, even the possibility of new objects — plants, animals, valuable jewels. Any or all of these could be destabilizing to our culture. And just as they may destabilize us, we may contaminate them.

I think the most powerful message of Lightfoot’s talk was that this kind of destabilization can come where you would least expect it, and have irrevocable results. Tobacco, once used as a part of ritual ceremonies in the cultures where it grew, has become an object of cultural and medical destruction in our far more affluent society. Even something as innocuous as a tulip once became the object of economic speculation so intense that it created an economic bubble in 17th Century Holland and an ensuing economic panic.

What to do? Lightfoot told the crowd to search history for the lessons it contains about cultures meeting for the first time. We need to see when and why things went wrong in hopes of avoiding similar situations. If contact with an extraterrestrial culture someday comes, we’ll need a multidisciplinary approach to identify the areas where trouble is most likely to occur. A successful SETI reception could be the beginning of a philosophical and scientific revolution, or it could be the herald of cultural decline as we try to re-position our thinking about the cosmos.

I don’t think the radio searches of SETI will produce anything; there’s a better chance that UFOs are ET spacecraft and eventually black ops corporations will reveal that they’ve been back engineering their hardware for years.

That being said, on the off chance that ET contact does happen, in any form, cultural cross contamination is bound to happen. Whether some cargo cults will form because of contact is moot, because in my opinion, that’s how the world’s religions were formed in the past.

Cultural Diffusion and SETI

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