Tag Archives: politics

Of Lies, Obfuscations and Trust

From Intrepid Blog:

big-brother-1984

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

~George Orwell, 1984

“And era can be considered over when its basic illusions have been exhausted.”

~Arthur Miller

Our modern civilization seems to be perpetually plagued by the dangers provoked due to the scarcity of precious natural resources. Since the early 2000s articles in the media have been warning us about ‘Peak Oil’, ‘Peak Energy’ & ‘Peak Water’. Heck, there’s even fears about ‘Peak Helium’! which I’m sure keeps clowns & carnival managers awake at nights.

But the crisis that worries me the most is the shortage of an even more precious commodity: Trust.

stalin-posterThat we live in the Age of Peak Trust has become patently clear by the events that have shocked the world this year. When I first came across the news about the giant fireball on Russia last February, I was amazed to read a significant percentage of their population did not believe the ‘official’ meteor explanation! the favored alternative explanations ranged from an Amerikinsky weapons test, a UFO or a even a message from the Big-G himself –’cause you know how Jehovah liked to go all Roland Emmerich in the Ancient Testament.

I don’t think it’s too preposterous  to explain this current Russian distrust on official channels by looking into the past, understanding it as the logical outcome of the way the Kremlin manipulated the news with propaganda during the Soviet era. Let’s just keep in mind that George Orwell based his landmark novel 1984 in the Stalinist regime of 1948.

On the other side of the pond, things are no better by any stretch of the imagination. The continuous streaks of domestic violence plaguing the United States –Aurora, Connecticut, Newtown, Boston– have triggered a reflex reaction of distrust in mainstream media. In the case of the Boston bombings, more people were consulting the live Tweet feeds than paying attention to the sponsored talking heads on the 24/7 news channels.

‘Conspiracy theory’ has become both a slandering label in America, as well as a commercial brand selling all sorts of products customized to any kind of taste or sensibility. “Tell me your favorite conspiracy theory, and I’ll tell YOU your political affiliation” is one of my mottos –and just so you know, it’s copyrighted, k?

kennedys-assass-dallasAgain looking into the past to try to find a clue about the present, many people would agree that JFK’s assassination constituted a traumatic ‘loss of innocence’ for the American people, when the Baby Boomer generation realized it was no longer possible to trust implicitly in everything the government said, the way their parents used to do when America was fighting the evil powers of the Axis. And not longer after that came Vietnam & Watergate, and the toothpaste was squeezed out of the tube.

On my side of the border we also find quite a lot of mistrust in government institutions. One of the most prominent political figures in the Mexican landscape is a man named Andres Manuel López Obrador, who has carved his career out of denouncing endless conspiracies against him. Every time he loses an election the man cries foul & demands a recount!

But like Russia & the USA, Mexicans have also suffered our own growing pains. There was the Tlatelolco massacre of ’68, a wound that refuses to heal because those responsible were never tried & prosecuted. And if rumors of election fraud are so easy to believe, it’s because such practices were standard procedure for many decades.

Peak Trust is a global problem. Make no mistake about it.

So we’re leaving in an age where the public perception in government officials is at an ultimate low, where common citizens view financial institutions as white-collared thieves, and the hierarchy of churches as a band of hypocritical accomplices of pederasts.

Ah, but we still have Science, right? that immaculate ivory tower of uncompromising quest for the Truth! Unfortunately that tower is not without a few skeletons buried beneath its foundations. Case in point: The Cigarette Controversy

“The tobacco companies knew and for most part accepted the evidence that cigarette smoking was a cause of cancer by the late 1950s.

The documents also reveal that the tobacco companies helped manufacture the smoking controversy by funding scientific research that was intended to obfuscate and prolong the debate about smoking and health”

antivaxAs noble as its goals may be, Science is conducted by scientists, who are not above corruptibility. Global warming & the Antivaxxing movement are excellent examples of just how rampant the distrust in Science is now ingrained in a substantial part of the population.

But Nature hates a vacuum, and that’s equally true for Human nature; and the vacuum of trust in official institutions is easily filled by hawkers & peddlers of fear-mongering –I need not name them, everybody knows who they are.

And so it seems not a week goes by that a new scandal erupts, and this regularity causes a rather peculiar numbing effect in our minds. It’s like the abuse of profanity in someone’s vocabulary: repeating FUCK so many times deprives the word of its intended potency.

frog-in-potBut here’s the thing: That numbness is a potential threat. Like the proverbial frog that instinctively jumps out of a boiling pot of water, but will stay in the pot if the temperature is slowly increased, I view our getting used to expect the worst out of those in power as a pathological behavior. How could a civilization be able to properly function & adapt to new threats without a modicum of confidence in the scaffolding of the social structure?

If you see politicians as nothing but crooks & liars, where’s the incentive to follow their orders? If you think of your physician as a pill-peddler at the service of Big Pharma, why would you trust his diagnosis & follow his recipe? So the distrust is translated into stagnation & the waste of precious time.

Either we snap out of it, or we’re destined to end up as frog soup.

Asteroid headed for EarthLet’s illustrate this with a hypothetical scenario: Suppose next month president Obama called for a press conference, announcing the detection of a massive asteroid heading towards our planet. The impact, according to NASA scientists & confirmed by top astronomers around the world, was calculated for the year 2027. That would give us less than 14 years to coordinate an urgent international effort in order to launch an emergency program, so that we wouldn’t face the same fate of the dinosaurs.

I guarantee you that after 10 years of such an announcement, the emergency program would have made very little progress, because by then the public opinion would still be divided due to those denouncing the asteroid threat as a complete fabrication. And even the support of the United Nations would only help exacerbate the claims of those accusing the ‘defense asteroid program’ as a smokescreen campaign — I do believe the proper term is ‘false flag attack.’

global_warming_by_endlesshate

Sounds familiar?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLsBwLhIVkk

Thinking-MonkeyLying. A trait so common in men it’s even brought up in the Genesis tale, when Cain feigns not knowing where his brother is after he rearranged Abel’s skull with an ass jaw bone. But looking away of religious interpretation, believe it or not there are scientific theories suggesting it’s our bullshiting nature one of the crucial factors to our species’ vertiginous evolution. Studies with chimpanzees have proven our hairy cousins have a limited capacity to detect deception, because lying & cheating is an advantageous way to form coalitions, find food & mating. Other scientists suggest we’re constantly studying the facial features of those around us, trying to read their Po-po-poker face & call their bluff.

We pair sentience with deception. Don’t believe me? Think of the ultimate trial for Artificial Intelligence: the Turing test. The objective of the test is to see whether a computer program can successfully deceive you to believe you’re chatting with another person. Leave it to a scientist worried with masking his true sexual orientation to come up with such a trial…

Does that mean lying is common in ALL societies? Not necessarily. In hunter-gathering groups, lying carries a heavy penalty, since it may endanger the survival of the entire group. These groups tend to be more egalitarian than the hierarchical we live in, and perhaps this fosters an appreciation for Truth, and the avoidance of deception –at least among the members of the same clan/group.

But with increased numbers so to increase the chance to deceive your neighbor & getting away with it. I remember that scene in Spielberg’s film Amistad, when Baldwin (McCounaghey) is trying to explain to Cinque they need to retry the case again, even after they won. Cinque’s response is very telling:

Joseph Cinque: [in Mende] What kind of a place is this where you almost mean what you say? Where laws almost work? How can you live like that?

Indeed, how can we?

But the fact is that in our society we not only put up with deception, we recognize it as a tool to climb the social ladder –The better you are lying, the faster your career will advance. And it takes a very peculiar personality to make a successful liar: a natural charisma mixed with a high level of intelligence, coupled with a necessary lack of empathy for the person or persons you’re deceiving. People who show all these characteristics are easily recognizable by psychiatrists: they call them psychopaths.

The loonies are running the asylum, my friends. They always have been.

The loonies are running the asylum, my friends. They always have been.

Because even though deception might have been an advantageous trait among our primate ancestors, like the rest of our violent proclivities so too we must find a way to rein to our lying impulses. We must realize that level of bullshit has raised so high we’re soon gonna drown on it, and that deception might pose a serious threat to our future.

dr_floydConsider the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Most people think of that film as a Sci-Fi story in which a computer goes crazy, but almost everyone overlooks the reason why HAL goes bonkers: it’s heuristic programming couldn’t cope with its orders to withhold the information about the monolith discovered on the Moon from its human colleagues, which provokes a sort of cybernetic paranoia. When David Bowman & Frank Poole find out HAL lied about the antenna’s malfunction, how did they choose to respond? By LYING to Hal & go hiding on one of the pods with the sound off so they can scheme its disconnection! Lies upon lies upon lies.

I agree with Christopher Knowles: Dr. Heywood Floyd is the real villain of that flick.

Or if you find 2001 to dry & intellectual for you, what about one of the greatest Sci-Fi spoofs of all times: Galaxy Quest!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VGajDTNKFU

So how do we go about getting rid of the bullshit? Do we attempt the ‘evangelization’ approach favored by the so-called ‘Skeptic’ groups? IMO that has the exact opposite result, because the more you ridicule & mock a certain viewpoint, the more resistance you will engender among the same people you’re trying to convince –what we might call the ‘LA LA LA I can’t hear you!’ effect.

So ironically, all those pundits & pop scientists denouncing the insanity of the Mayan doomsday last year, probably helped promote it even more!

Speaking about 2012, I must confess that one of my favorite ‘doomsday scenarios’ –mind you, NOT because I was expecting it to happen, but because it was a fun idea to consider– was that on that fateful day of Dec. 21st we would all wake up, get out of bed, have breakfast & go to our works, and suddenly we’d realize that everybody became telepathic! A major solar flare would have excited the human pineal gland & activate a dormant capacity in our brains or whatever.

Think of it: if everybody could read each other’s minds, it would truly be the end of the world as we know it! Spouses would know their other half was cheating on them, employers would learn what their employees REALLY thought about them… Politicians would run to a cliff like a band of neurotic lemmings, closely followed by the Wall Street stock brokers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeoFv3dOeqo

Pure, absolute chaos. See why it’s such a fun scenario?

charles_xavierAlas, Dec 21st came & went, and our little peccadilloes remain secure in the safebox of our minds. Is telepathy even possible, one could ask? In his first book Jadoo, John Keel narrates his encounter with at least 2 ascetic masters–one in India, the other in Nepal– who seemed to have the capacity to read his thoughts. An accomplishment reached after a lifetime of mental training & spiritual discipline, they explained to the young adventurer.

Could we find a way to ‘mimic’ telepathy, using our modern technology? I believe we’re halfway there, whether we want it or not, thanks to the disruptive power of the Internet & social networks –which is perhaps the veiled drive behind our governments’ obsession with the regulation of online communications.

There’s also a great deal of research funded by Darpa, that mad-scientist wing of the US Defense Department, seeking to be able to scan & interpret the electrochemical activity in the human brain, and to wirelessly send direct command to the minds of soldiers.

With all this in the works, perhaps it’s not unlikely to predict that Deception has its days numbered. But a new question arises: are we ready to live in a world without lies, no matter how brutal it could be to be deprived of comfy delusions & false assumptions?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mub2JIwTtX8

Would the eradication of Deception be what frightens us the most about the so-called Singularity? With the veil of lies, might we be also casting away that which we identify as the Human condition?

Are we sure we can handle the Truth?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j2F4VcBmeo&feature=youtu.be&t=16s

Will the Truth set us free?

Fuck if I know, y’all! All I know is… I’m tired of the taste of bullshit.

Aren't you?

Aren’t you?

Red Pill Junkie is one of my favorite bloggers and he appears on many blogs.

He tells heap big truth to power and as his moniker implies, partakes of the red pill.

And like him, I’m pretty sick of the taste of bullshit in my mouth.

Peak Trust

Space Oddity Part Deux / Small Colleges Pushing Out Poor Kids

From slashdot.org:

An anonymous reader writes “With updated lyrics, Commander of Expedition 35 on the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, sings Space Oddity on board the International Space Station. He’s not Bowie, but he’s pretty good.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KaOC9danxNo

____________________

From slashdot.org:

An anonymous reader writes “A change from ‘need’ based financial aid to a ‘merit’ based system coupled with a ‘high tuition, high aid,’ model is making it harder for poor students to afford college. According to The Atlantic: ‘Sometimes, colleges (and states) really are just competing to outbid each other on star students. But there are also economic incentives at play, particularly for small, endowment-poor institutions. “After all,” Burd writes, “it’s more profitable for schools to provide four scholarships of $5,000 each to induce affluent students who will be able to pay the balance than it is to provide a single $20,000 grant to one low-income student.” The study notes that, according to the Department of Education’s most recent study, 19 percent of undergrads at four-year colleges received merit aid despite scoring under 700 on the SAT. Their only merit, in some cases, might well have been mom and dad’s bank account.’”

Hat tip to the Daily Grail

………………..

No more poor smart kids to sing ‘Space Oddity.’

On the serious side, this is the effects of thirty years of St. Ronnie of Reagan’s economic policies and social Darwinism.

78,000 People Want To Go To Mars ( With Mars One )

From spacetransportnews.com:

MarsOne_Base

The Mars One organization released this announcement on Tuesday:

78,000 sign up for one-way mission to Mars
Amersfoort, 7th May 2013 –  Just two weeks into the nineteen week application period, more than seventy-eight thousand people have applied to the Mars One astronaut selection program in the hope of becoming a Mars settler in 2023.

Mars One has received applications from over 120 countries. Most applications come from USA (17324), followed by China (10241), United Kingdom (3581), Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Argentina and India.

Bas Lansdorp, Mars One Co-Founder and CEO said: “With seventy-eight thousand applications in two weeks, this is turning out to be the most desired job in history. These numbers put us right on track for our goal of half a million applicants.”

“Mars One is a mission representing all humanity and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented. I’m proud that this is exactly what we see happening,” he said.

As part of the application every applicant is required to explain his/her motivation behind their decision go to Mars in an one minute video. Many applicants are choosing to publish this video on the Mars One website. These are openly accessible on applicants.mars-one.com.

“Applicants we have received come from a very wide range of personalities, professions and ages. This is significant because what we are looking for is not restricted to a particular background. From Round 1 we will take forward the most committed, creative, resilient and motivated applicants,” said Dr. Norbert Kraft, Mars One Chief Medical Officer.

Mars One will continue to receive online applications until August 31st 2013. From all the applicants in Round 1, regional reviewers will select around 50-100 candidates for Round 2 in each of the 300 geographic regions in the world that Mars One has identified.

Four rounds make the selection process, which will come to an end in 2015; Mars One will then employ 28-40 candidates, who will train for around 7 years. Finally an audience vote will elect one of groups in training to be the envoys of humanity to Mars.

I’m not surprised most of the applicants are from the U.S., but the number of applicants from China does a little bit.

Maybe it shouldn’t though, the Chinese maybe looking for lebensraum ( elbow room ), what with over a billion people and all.

Mars might be an appealing bit of real estate to them.

Mars One receives 78,000 applications in 2 weeks for Mars settlement

Falcon Heavy or Space Launch System For Lunar Exploration ?

From America Space:

There have been occasional suggestions that NASA should scrap its Space Launch System (SLS) in favor of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy for fulfilling its beyond low-Earth orbit needs [1]. The claim forwarded by some is that the as-yet-untested-and-unflown 53 mt low-Earth orbit (LEO) (200 km @ 28°) Falcon Heavy is now “cheaper” than the as-yet-untested-and-unflown SLS. Furthermore, canceling the SLS would supposedly save NASA $10 billion—money that could otherwise be used to fund such programs as the Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap), to conduct a flight test of Orion on a Falcon Heavy, and to focus on building a small-scale space station in the area near the Moon. One issue not addressed by proponents of canceling SLS is whether it is a good idea to couple a nation’s human exploration spaceflight capabilities to a private company. An issue which appears to be altogether ignored, is the Falcon Heavy’s small lunar payload capability and the impact this would have on an already complex and risky endeavor such as lunar exploration.

According to SpaceX, the Falcon 9 Heavy, also called the Falcon Heavy, will have a 53 mt (metric ton) payload capacity to LEO of 200 km with an inclination of 28° [2]. Such a LEO payload capability will be impressive, allowing SpaceX to launch nearly twice the payload of a Delta IV Heavy or an Atlas V, and to do so more cheaply than either. But when it comes to launching payload to a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) or beyond, the Falcon 9 Heavy falls far short of either the Delta or Atlas launchers. With a GTO payload of barely over 12 mt, the Falcon 9 Heavy is at least 1 metric ton, or 1,000 kg, under what either the Delta IV Heavy or Atlas V can deliver to the same point in space.

The Falcon 9 Heavy is, much like United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy, a triple-bodied version of the company's Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Photo Credit: SpaceX

The Falcon 9 Heavy is, much like United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV Heavy, a triple-bodied version of the company’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Photo Credit: SpaceX

The Falcon 9 Heavy’s GTO payload deficiency relative to the existing EELV launch vehicles has other down-stream effects as to its appropriateness for beyond-Earth orbit (BEO) crewed exploration. It is safe to assume that the Falcon Heavy’s low-lunar orbit (LLO) payload capacity will not top much above 10 mt [3]. How will the Falcon 9 Heavy’s meager LLO payload capacity enable a meaningful return to the Moon? And why even talk about the Falcon Heavy as a possible launcher of crewed lunar exploration when each of the Delta IV Heavy and Atlas V launchers can send over 1,000 kg more than the Falcon Heavy to the Moon? Moreover, while the Delta IV and Atlas V have extensive flight histories, the Falcon Heavy has no such experience.

Advocates of using the Falcon Heavy don’t just want to rewrite who takes us beyond-Earth orbit, but more fundamentally how such missions are built. Reliance upon the Falcon Heavy for launching a beyond-Earth exploration program means some hard choices as to mission architecture. Traditionally, crewed exploration beyond low-Earth orbit has focused on minimizing complexity, and therefore risk and cost, by using a heavy-lift rocket (HLV). The logic behind using an HLV for lunar exploration in the past was that fewer launches correlated to less risk. The Falcon Heavy’s 10 mt capability means that any lunar exploration program will have to be one of assembling pieces/parts in low-Earth orbit, where the Falcon Heavy’s (LEO) 53 mt payload capacity can really shine. Some have claimed that centering a beyond-Earth exploration program on the Falcon Heavy does not mean ending the Orion spacecraft program. They point this out because Orion is the only spacecraft designed from the ground up for beyond-Earth exploration. Certainly, a Falcon Heavy can place an Orion crewed and service module in low-Earth orbit. But several additional launches will be needed to send Orion and her crew to the Moon. A lunar crewed mission using the Falcon Heavy would mean assembling, at necessary LEO locations, a crewed vehicle, a lander, a trans-lunar injection stage, a stage to get the crewed spacecraft and lander into LLO, and possibly a separate stage to enable the crewed spacecraft to return to Earth [4].

While supporters of an all-commercial approach frequently tout the company's laudable accomplishments - they just as frequently ignore the limitations of both the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle as well as the Dragon spacecraft. Photo Credit: SpaceX

While supporters of an all-commercial approach frequently tout the company’s laudable accomplishments, they just as frequently ignore the limitations of both the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle and the Dragon spacecraft. Photo Credit: SpaceX

One problem with a non-HLV approach to lunar exploration is that if a replacement Falcon Heavy and payload are not handy, any launch failure could very well mean a scrubbed mission. So a non-HLV approach necessarily means an inventory of not just a spare Falcon Heavy, but of duplicate spaceflight hardware—or designing hardware and refueling stations such that a delay of weeks or months would have only a marginal impact on the mission. Solving all of these unknown-unknowns (or unk-unks in engineering speak) associated with multiple launches, assembling a mission in LEO, in-space refueling at an orbiting location, among others flowing from a non-HLV approach to beyond-Earth exploration, could see the cost advantage of using the relatively unproven Falcon Heavy largely, if not completely, evaporate.

A beyond-Earth exploration program using the Falcon Heavy in an HLV architecture has its own downsides and associated costs. In order to enable the Falcon 9 Heavy to be a capable beyond low-Earth orbit launcher, funds will certainly be needed to create a new cryogenic second-stage. This will be needed because, in its current configuration, a Falcon 9 Heavy could not even launch one 11.6 mt Unity node module, much less a 20 mt Bigelow BA 330 Nautilus module. Even with a brand new second-stage, reliance upon the Falcon 9 Heavy to build, visit, and maintain a lunar orbiting outpost will dictate doing so in very small chunks; the number of launches will then begin to add-up, as will the complexity, risk, and cost. A Falcon Heavy cannot place an Orion spacecraft even in high-Earth, much less lunar, orbit. So reliance upon the Falcon 9 Heavy for beyond low-Earth missions in an HLV-based lunar mission architecture would only set NASA up to cancel Orion and go with Dragon for our nation’s crewed space exploration needs.

As it currently stands, neither NASA's Space Launch System nor SpaceX's Falcon Heavy have a proven track record. However, it would take multiple launches to accomplish what SLS could in a single flight. Image Credit: NASA

While it may be true that the Dragon spacecraft has a heatshield capable of allowing the spacecraft safe reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, little else of Dragon is crew, much less lunar mission, capable. SpaceX’s Dragon is currently a participant in NASA’s commercial crew and cargo programs. One goal of NASA’s commercial crew program is to enable spacecraft built and operated by commercial space companies to get crews to and from the International Space Station by late 2017. But the requirements for a crewed spacecraft tailored for low-Earth orbit are different than those for beyond-Earth orbit. For one, a LEO capable spacecraft need only be capable of hours of operation, where a lunar spacecraft needs a capability of days. This means that the use of the Falcon Heavy as a means to returning humans to the Moon very likely means funding further enhancements, and verifying those enhancements to the Dragon spacecraft. As with over 90 percent of the funding for Falcon 9 and Dragon, this additional financial burden would fall upon NASA’s, and therefore the U.S. taxpayer’s, shoulders. Even with an enhanced Falcon Heavy launcher and Dragon spacecraft, more than one Falcon Heavy launch would still be needed to support a crewed lunar landing mission. Several Falcon Heavy launches would be needed to build a lunar orbiting outpost.

NASA's SLS has the full support, to include funding, of Congress, as such, efforts to cancel the system in lieu of one that favors the company that SpaceX supporters approve of - is not likely to occur. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s SLS has the full support, to include funding, of Congress. As such, efforts to cancel the system in lieu of one that favors the company that SpaceX supporters approve of is not likely to occur. Image Credit: NASA

Or NASA could send a crewed lunar mission or build a lunar outpost with far fewer SLS launches. That’s because the very first iteration of the SLS, the Block I, will carry twice the payload of a Falcon Heavy to the Moon. The SLS Block II will have a lunar payload capacity nearly 3–4 times that of the Falcon Heavy, depending upon what engines are selected for the SLS’s advanced booster.

Beyond the SLS’s substantial payload advantage for lunar missions, the question of cost remains. Are 3 or 4 Falcon Heavy launches really cheaper than just one SLS Block II launch? That is a hard question to answer given that both launchers are still effectively “paper” rockets. In factoring launch costs, there is the cost of the launch vehicle, the launch pad, launch support, and post-launch management, just to name a few.

The bigger problem for those wishing to end the Space Launch System program is that it is currently ahead of schedule. According to John Elbon, Boeing VP & General Manager, Space Exploration, “We’re on budget, ahead of schedule. There’s incredible progress going on with that rocket” [5]. Canceling a rocket that is ahead of schedule would be difficult at best. Given that Congress has, over three votes, not only supported SLS but increased its funding over amounts sought by the Obama Administration, the odds of opponents getting SLS canceled are slim-to-none.

Space Launch System opponents suggest that the SLS program should cancel until a mission requiring such a rocket is identified. John Shannon, also with Boeing, recently stated, “This ‘SLS doesn’t have a mission’ is a smokescreen that’s been put out there by people who would like to see that [program’s] budget go to their own pet projects. SLS is every mission beyond low Earth orbit. The fact that NASA has not picked one single mission is kind of irrelevant” [6]. It bears mentioning that a good part of the reason there is no meaningful mission for the Orion-SLS is because the Obama Administration has not agreed with Congress that, as Congress noted in its 2010 NASA Authorization Act, cislunar space is the next step in our efforts beyond Earth and that the SLS is an integral part of that step.

Moreover, both short- and long-term missions for SLS have emerged in recent months. Within the 2014 FY Budget Proposal Request, NASA was directed to retrieve an asteroid, place it in lunar orbit, and then send astronauts to study it. The vehicle of choice is SLS. During a recent interview, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Dan Dumbacher stated on AmericaSpace that the long-term mission for SLS was to send astronauts to Mars.

Mr. Jillhouse sings the acolades of the Space Launch System as others sing them about SpaceX’s Falcon9 rockets. What he fails to mention is the SLS’s massive program slippages and muti-billion dollar cost overruns, versus commercial’s million dollar overruns and schedule slippages. It’s not even in the same ballgame, let alone ballpark.

Also the point should be that NASA should’ve bid the SLS job out in order to save the taxpayers money, but the function of SLS isn’t primarily for beyond Earth orbit exploration.

It’s to provide jobs in states that have NASA centers. And that’s why these projects are perpetually underfunded, just enough money is sent in order to keep people employed as long as the politicians can make it possible.

Maybe in the end the SLS will get finished and work as advertised. If I live long enough.

Falcon Heavy: Uncertain Case For Lunar Exploration

Orbital Sciences Launches It’s Antares Rocket

From spaceref.biz:

Orbital Sciences Corporation Sunday launched its Antares rocket at 05:00 p.m. EDT from the new Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The test flight was the first launch from the pad at Wallops and was the first flight of Antares, which delivered the equivalent mass of a spacecraft, a so-called mass simulated payload, into Earth’s orbit.

“Today’s successful test marks another significant milestone in NASA’s plan to rely on American companies to launch supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station, bringing this important work back to the United States where it belongs,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Congratulations to Orbital Sciences and the NASA team that worked alongside them for the picture-perfect launch of the Antares rocket. In addition to providing further evidence that our strategic space exploration plan is moving forward, this test also inaugurates America’s newest spaceport capable of launching to the space station, opening up additional opportunities for commercial and government users.

“President Obama has presented a budget for next year that ensures the United States will remain the world leader in space exploration, and a critical part of this budget is the funding needed to advance NASA’s commercial space initiative. In order to stop outsourcing American space launches, we need to have the President’s budget enacted. It’s a budget that’s good for our economy, good for the U.S. Space program — and good for American taxpayers.”

The test of the Antares launch system began with the rocket’s rollout and placement on the launch pad April 6, and culminated with the separation of the mass simulator payload from the rocket.

The completed flight paves the way for a demonstration mission by Orbital to resupply the space station later this year. Antares will launch experiments and supplies to the orbiting laboratory carried aboard the company’s new Cygnus cargo spacecraft through NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

“Today’s successful test flight of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket from the spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia, demonstrates an additional private space-launch capability for the United States and lays the groundwork for the first Antares cargo mission to the International Space Station later this year,” said John Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. “The growing potential of America’s commercial space industry and NASA’s use of public-private partnerships are central to President Obama’s strategy to ensure U.S. leadership in space exploration while pushing the bounds of scientific discovery and innovation in the 21st century. With NASA focusing on the challenging and exciting task of sending humans deeper into space than ever before, private companies will be crucial in taking the baton for American cargo and crew launches into low-Earth orbit.

“I congratulate Orbital Sciences and the NASA teams at Wallops, and look forward to more groundbreaking missions in the months and years ahead.”

Orbital is building and testing its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. After successful completion of a COTS demonstration mission to the station, Orbital will begin conducting eight planned cargo resupply flights to the orbiting laboratory through NASA’s $1.9 billion CRS contract with the company.

NASA initiatives, such as COTS, are helping to develop a robust U.S. commercial space transportation industry with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program also is working with commercial space partners to develop capabilities to launch U.S. astronauts from American soil in the next few years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V3L7crGudVU

Although Orbital had to reschedule three times, they got their test launch off.

Let’s hope they solved their fairing separation issues before the main Cygnus missions start.

Orbital Sciences Test Launches Antares Rocket

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.

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.

Chavez Cancer Conspiracies

I was actually surprised to see this printed on a mainstream site, especially an investment publication.

From forbes.com:

Charismatic president Hugo Chavez, 58, died of respiratory complications caused by pelvic cancer on Tuesday evening in Venezuela.

Or did he?

The announcement of Chavez’s death came hours after vice president, and now interim president Nicolas Maduro, met with Venezuela’s top political leaders and military brass to discuss the president’s ever-worsening health condition. At the time, Maduro apparently suggested that someone may have deliberately infected Chavez with cancer or some other agent that made him deteriorate, according to CNN.  Maduro went so far as to call Chavez’s death an assassination, according to The Washington Post.

Stories of Chavez being essentially poisoned by the CIA have been around since his first tumor was reported back in 2011. Even controversial drama-loving Chavez himself wondered out loud if it were possible. To which the U.S State Department public affairs staff responded with a “that’s reprehensible”.  What else are they going to say? You caught us?

For the sake of argument, we can say Maduro said no such thing about Chavez. Does one actually get injected with cancer? I mean, even if you did, your immune system would have to already be compromised already.  We  have cancer cells floating in our bodies all the time. They get destroyed, hopefully, on a daily basis.

But since Chavez announced he was heading to Havana for cancer treatment, conspiracies of a U.S. involvement began immediately.  Chavez egged them on, if not outright got them rolling.

For those who can understand Spanish, this video of Chavez talking to the military questioned whether the U.S. was infecting rival leaders in Latin America with cancer.  He said he found it an odd coincidence that major leaders south of the border, from Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to Dilma Rousseff, his handpicked successor, to the president of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, all got cancer around the same time.  And now…it was Chavez’s turn.

“I find it very strange. It is hard to explain,” he says in the video.

Of course, most of this has fallen on deaf ears. Even the video itself got under 10,000 viewers.  And Hugo Chavez is, since Lula left office, the most famous politician in Latin America. He”s far from an unknown.  The conspiracy angle has not caught fire.

The death of Chavez did not really rally the left outside of his home base.  In Latin America, Lula was seen as the more charismatic, if not more practical leader of South America. Chavez was a firebrand, stoking Cold War rhetoric with Washington. As Latin American politics goes, Chavez was the anti-American.

So it is not surprising that here at home, the harshest critics of good, old fashion Yankee imperialism came out Wednesday in notes circulating in email in-boxes nationwide that Chavez may have been the victim of a U.S. plot to get rid of him once and for all.  And while the left in the United States send out Viva Chavez, Viva La Revolucion kudos to the most reviled leader in Washington other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the right wing, in their usual lust for kindness, is busy expression their sheer joy that the man is gone.

The Daily Caller wrote in an op ed by Christopher Bedford that “No, the U.S. didn’t kill Chavez. But we should have.”

Tea Party Republicans called him a tyrant, expressed relief that he was no longer a “force” to reckon with. Force quotes are mine, not his. Because, really, was Chavez a force to reckon with anywhere outside of Venezuela?

Meanwhile, there is a relative calm in Venezuela according to press reports and investment sources on the ground in Caracas.  The market expects Maduro to be elected within 30 days.

Unless the CIA gives him cancer.

Shhhh….

To see this printed in Forbes goes to show that even if there’s a hedge of truth to the “cancer” meme, the attitude of the public is “meh” and “What’s the deal ?” “The U.S. Government assassinates people on a daily basis.”

And goes to show how over-rated Chavez was to begin with.

Hugo Chavez Cancer Conspiracy Theories Resurface After Death

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

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