It is well known in science-fiction circles that author Philip K. Dick was a mad, drug-induced psychic shamanic figure who glimpsed into the future realms on an almost daily basis for over thirty years, much to his detriment in most cases.
What isn’t known so much is that during the 1950s he was friends with an FBI agent and that during the early 1970s a neo-Nazi organization tried to enlist him to their cause:
“In 1972, a far-reaching neo-Nazi organisation discreetly began to contact various high-profile authors in the U.S. with a view to enlisting their help; the plan being to covertly plant codewords into millions of science fiction novels and spread a secret message to certain sections of society. The message related to a new, deadly, and incurable strain of syphilis – deliberately unleashed on the country by enemies of the U.S. – that was currently sweeping the land at an incredible pace, its existence denied by the government. This was, in fact, the beginning of World War III.
The scene I just painted was lifted from the following two letters – intriguing letters to say the least – both of which were written by science fiction novelistPhilip K. Dick in 1972 and sent, in all seriousness, to the FBI. Interestingly, within two years Dick began to experience the ‘visions’ he would later document in his book, Exegesis.
October 28, 1972
Federal Bureau of Investigation
I am a well-known author of science fiction novels, one of which dealt with Nazi Germany (called MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, it described an “alternate world” in which the Germans and Japanese won World War Two and jointly occupied the United States). This novel, published in 1962 by Putnam & Co., won the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year and hence was widely read both here and abroad; for example, a Japanese edition printed in Tokio ran into several editions. I bring this to your attention because several months ago I was approached by an individual who I have reason to believe belonged to a covert organization involving politics, illegal weapons, etc., who put great pressure on me to place coded information in future novels “to be read by the right people here and there,” as he phrased it. I refused to do this.
The reason why I am contacting you about this now is that it now appears that other science fiction writers may have been so approached by other members of this obviously anti-American organization and may have yielded to the threats and deceitful statements such as were used on me. Therefore I would like to give you any and all information and help I can regarding this, and I ask that your nearest office contact me as soon as possible. I stress the urgency of this because within the last three days I have come across a well-distributed science fiction novel which contains in essence the vital material which this individual confronted me with as the basis for encoding. That novel is CAMP CONCENTRATION by Thomas Disch, which was published by Doubleday & Co.
Philip K. Dick
3028 Quartz Lane Apt. #2
P.S. I would like to add: what alarms me most is that this covert organization which approached me may be Neo-Nazi, although it did not identify itself as being such. My novels are extremely anti-Nazi. I heard only one code identification by this individual: Solarcon-6.
November 4, 1972
Marin County Sheriff’s Office,
Marin County Civic Center,
Dear Inspector Shine:
As you may recall, on or about November 17, 1971, my house at 707 Hacienda Way, Santa Venetia, was extensively robbed. The last time I talked to you, during February of this year, you informed me that you had broken the case; a man named Wade (Jerry Wade I believe) had been arrested with the Ruger .22 pistol of mine stolen during this robbery. I have been in Canada and now in Southern California and hence out of touch. Have any more of my possessions been recovered? Have there been any more arrests made? Do you have anything more you can tell me at this date?
While I was in Canada evidently my house was robbed again, during March of this year. I did not know this until what remained of my things arrived down here; my realtor, Mrs. Annie Reagan, had stored them, and at least one entire room of stuff is missing: the bedroom in which the control system of the burglar alarm was located, the one room not covered by the scanner. Obviously it was robbed by someone who intimately knew the layout of the alarm system and how to bypass it. I recall that Inspector Bridges thought that the November 17 robbery was an inside job, at least in part. I believe that this later robbery in March of this year proves it. Only two or three persons that I can recall knew the layout of the burglar alarm system. One was Harold Kinchen, who was under investigation by Airforce Intelligence at Hamilton Field at the time I left (Mr. Richard Bader was conducting the investigation; through Sergeant Keaton of Tiberon he asked me to come in and give testimony. It had to do with an attempt on the arsenal of the Airforce Intelligence people at Hamilton on I recall January first of this year). I have more reason to believe now than I did then that Kinchen and the secret extralegal organization to which he belonged were involved in both robberies of my house, although evidence seemed to point more toward Panthers such as Wade. I say this because this is Orange County where I live now, and I have come to know something about the rightwing paramilitary Minutemen illegal people here — they tell me confidentially that from my description of events surrounding the November robbery of my house, the methods used, the activities of Harry Kinchen in particular, it sounds to them like their counterparts up there, and possibly even a neo-Nazi group. Recently I’ve obtained, by accident, new information about Kinchen’s associates, and the neo-Nazi organization theory does seem reinforced. In this case, the November robbery was political in nature and more than a robbery. I have thought this for some time, but until now had less reason to be sure.
As to the motive of the assault I’m not sure at all. Possibly it had to do with my published novels, one of which dealt with Nazi Germany — it was extremely anti-Nazi, and widely circulated. I know for a fact that Harry Kinchen and the Japanese relatives he had through his wife Susan had read it. Kinchen’s Japanese-born mother-in-law, Mrs. Toni Adams, had read the novel in the Japanese edition. Beyond any doubt, Kinchen is an ardent Nazi trained in such skill as weapons-use, explosives, wire-tapping, chemistry, psychology, toxins and poisons, electronics, auto repair, sabotage, the manufacture of narcotics. Mr. Bader is of course aware of this. What I did not pass on to anyone, because I feared for my life, is the fact that Kinchen put coercive pressure, both physical and psychological, on me to put secret coded information into my future published writings, “to be read by the right people here and there,” as he put it, meaning members of his subversive organization. As I told you in November, he accidently responded to a phonecall from me with a code signal. Later, he admitted belonging to a secret “worldwide” organization and told me some details.
The coded information which Kinchen wished placed in my novels (I of course refused, and fled to Canada) had to do with an alleged new strain of syphilis sweeping the U.S., kept topsecret by the U.S. authorities; it can’t be cured, destroys the brain, and is swift-acting. The disease, Kinchen claimed, is being brought in deliberately from Asia by agents of the enemy (unspecified), and is in fact a weapon of World War Three, which has begun, being used against us.
In a recent confidential discussion which I had with my Paris editor, a close friend of mine, this editor ratified my conviction that to allow this coded “information,” undoubtedly spurious, to get into print, would be a disaster for this country. These neo-nazis or whatever they are would “break” their own code and make public this phony information, thus creating mass hysteria and panic. There is, of course, no such new untreatable paresis, despite rumors we have been hearing from Servicemen returning from Viet Nam. I have contacted the F.B.I. on the advice of my editor-publisher friend, but I felt I should contact you, too. You may wish to pass this information about the coded information in novels onto Mr. Bader.
I will hope, then, to hear from you. Thank you.
Philip K. Dick
3028 Quartz Lane #3
P.S. Harold Kinchen introduced me to only one individual, who asked me to write for his underground pornographic publications; I refused. By accident I recently learned that this man, “Doc” Stanley, of Corte Madera, “was a student of the speeches of Hitler during his college days at the University of Chicago, advocating their doctrines and reading them to people.” Neither Stanley nor Kinchen mentioned this to me.”
Interesting that the University of Chicago comes up here. It is a well known fact that the U of C is a hotbed of nonconservative/Trotskyite philosophy where Leo Strauss spawned acolytes such as Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Clarence Thomas, John Podhoretz, and Robert Bork (link).
And if neocons aren’t synonymous with neo-Nazis, I don’t know what is.
Maybe the drugs brought PDK some clarity, hmm?
Ahh, here’s some physics stuff I can grok.
The Electric Universe guys never fail to make logic out of gobblety-gook:
Consensus astronomers look at individual points of light and discover the most massive stars. Electric Universe observers look at the entire complex of filaments and discover the characteristic features of a galactic thunderbolt.
“Mass” astronomy posits a relationship between mass and luminosity. By observing a double star system in the cluster shown at the top of the page, astronomers were able to calculate a baseline for the relationship and extrapolate the masses of brighter stars. They found some that were nearly twice as massive as they had thought possible. Although, since theories are often adjusted to explain any observation, failures of expectations cannot be equated with falsifications of theory.
Plasma astronomy posits a relationship between electrical stress and luminosity. Gravity, and consequently mass, is a weak manifestation of electrical stress. In regions that are relatively insulated from the primary effects of electricity (within stellar sheaths, such as the Sun’s heliosphere), gravity will largely determine orbital motions.
However, the mass that is calculated from analysis of the orbits is a result of the charge contained, not of the quantity of matter as is commonly assumed. In an Electric Universe, there are no maximum or minimum sizes for stars.
The objects of interest to plasma astronomers are the helical filaments that give the regions around the clusters their characteristic electrical structure. In the far view (left), arcs of parallel filaments appear to wind around kinked tubes that converge on the cluster, evidence for large plasma discharge channels.
Where channels intersect (center view), the stress increases. Bubbles form (exploding double layers, similar to coronal mass ejections), secondary discharges are induced, and instabilities pinch plasma into stars. The observed large outflow of material, mischaracterized as mass (and misnamed “wind”), is the electrical current flow coursing through the region like a galactic lightning bolt.
Instead of a random scattering of gravitationally collapsing clouds shaped by hot winds, these regions are unitary plasma discharge formations better called galactic thunderbolts.
Hrmmm..”…there are no minimum or maximum sizes for stars.”
We might possibly have found a maximum size for a star, but in a Universe this size, I seriously doubt it.
I wonder what a real small star would look like?
I don’t generally delve into the subject of time travel because it’s kind of hard for my poor mammal brain to comprehend.
Well, I kind of understand Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity (or is it Special Theory of Relativity?) because I’ve read science-fiction for 45 years and have actually taken physics courses in high school and college. I get (not grok) that as an object approaches light speed it increases in mass and if an observer was on the object, time would go slower for them than the outside Universe, in essence transporting the observer into the Future.
I get that.
What I don’t get is quantum theories that speculate time travel to the past and this tanj-blasted Grandfather Paradox.
Yeah, that one. The one where the perpetrator manages to travel to the past and kills an ancestor, either purposely or accidently, resulting in the conundrum of if his ancestor dies, how does this person come to the past in the first place?
And he gives an explanation why it isn’t possible to begin with.
Just two days ago here at Barf Stew – I blasted the idea of Time Travelers –http://barfstew.blogspot.com/2010/07/time-travel-is-impossible.html presenting many reasons why it was impossible. Not only that I didn’t even use the ONE REASON the simple thinkers always trot out – the one that says – IF you could go back in time you could end up killing off your ancestry (ie:killing your father, or grandfather – why is it never your mother?) and therefore making one’s own existence impossible to occur.
Well, it seems the mathematicians have finally, possibly, figured out a way for their `time equations’ to filter actions like that out of the equations. Time travel theory avoids grandfather paradox –http://www.physorg.com/news198948917.html(my thanks to Bruce Duensing for sending me this link yesterday). And, if you go to the link – you can see the equations and hear the convoluted logic employed to justify the mathematical possibility.
But, I am here to say this – IT DOESN’T MATTER – that math provides such a scenario. And, the reason is tangled up in two of the reasons I presented two days ago: 1) we live on a planet 2) actualization provides realness as Phenomenology overrides `math potentials’. ———- Let me explain the best I can.
First, let me say that IF we didn’t live ON a planet – that I’d probably be willing to accept `math answers’ to the time-traveler saga – but we do live on a planet. OUR space (body) is directly tied to this other object – our planet. But, if it didn’t – if somehow we were a `freely occurring space’ (maybe like we will be AFTER we are DEAD) – with NO TIES to outside phenomena (the entire motion of our galaxy in our particular location) – then, and only then, perhaps `time’ wouldn’t matter.
But, Phenomenology provides a basis for actualization of space – a determinism to spaces– turning our local reality for a singular observer (like a human) into a `not-able-to-not-be’ AS the moment of NOW. Indeed, EVERY actualized space-moment is `not-able-to-not-be’. And that `not-able-to-not-be’ is what `provides realness’ to our experience; and to even the `sperm’ of our grandfathers.
We simply – CAN’T GO BACK – to realness. Realness IS ONLY an attribute of the NOW; of the `not-able-to-not-be’ for the observer-experiencer. The not-able-to-not-be’s of the past EXISTED but DO NOT EXIST (to return to). `Closed time-like curves’ – do not reverse the Earth’s motion in some sort of `running the film backwards’. Earth’s motion is in a `frame of reference’ to `other spaces’ and ONLY has NOW as it’s attribute.
The `Earth’, and placement of that Earth to our grandfather, is not only NOT HERE – it is NOT NOW. That here and that now – RAN OFF the structure of phenomenology as it provided `realness’ to existence. And, the fact that mathematicians can use equations to show that the past has/had areas that prohibit CHANGING THE REAL is hardly surprising to a Phenomenologist as myself – as the actualized, determined, past WAS the real.
So, I will end today’s post the same way I ended the post two days ago – It is good that the past can’t be changed – because – IF it could – it wouldn’t have been real. And, since REAL is only an attribute of NOW – the fact that mathematicians have solved the Grandfather Paradox – Doesn’t Matter.
More Phenomenology here –http://whatisnotabletonotbeis.blogspot.com/
Hmm…one can not return to ‘the real?’
But isn’t ‘real’ a property of ‘perception?’
That’s the trouble with this stuff, nobody really truly knows anything!
But as the wise man once said, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey!”
In an interview by Gene Steinberg and co-host Christopher O’Brien of David Hatcher Childress on the July 18th Paracast, the Moon once again (and other objects in the Solar System) get the esoteric treatment in issues such as; the perfect size of the Moon during total solar eclipses, the supposed ‘ringing like a bell’ during a lunar landing, glass towers, rows of alien ships in a crater and of course, the aliens themselves. Fun interview!
The UFOInvestigations and Research Unit, based in Shrewsbury, have turned their attentions to Anglesey in their quest to gather information on extraterrestrial phenomena.
Phil Hoyle, who runs the unit, said: “We are currently investigating numerous sightings that have taken place around Anglesey and, in particular, near Puffin Island.
“Many witnesses, some ex-military and professional people, have witnessed unconventional lights entering or leaving the sea around Puffin Island.”
In January, 1974, a number of people claimed to have seen large, structured objects leaving the sea near the island, and similar sightings have been sporadically reported up to the present day, said Mr Hoyle.
“The people who have contacted us have all been unrelated, but have all told us the same thing,” he said.
“We would be very interested to hear from anyone who might have additional information regarding these as yet unexplained sightings.
“Someone might have seen something last week or seen something 50 years ago, but if other people have seen the same thing it will hopefully make them realise that they’re not crazy.”
Victims of abduction near Shrewsbury were told by the humanoid beings who contacted them that they came from a base under the sea near Puffin Island, said Mr Hoyle.
The area has been suggested as the location of Cantre’r Gwaelod, the legendary ancient sunken kingdom.
Anglesey’s ancient past means the island could be a UFO hotspot, said Mr Hoyle.
“There is definitely a link; we’ve found an 80% increase in UFO activity over ancient sites compared to anywhere else, including Anglesey.”
Mr Hoyle said he had visited Anglesey and taken a boat around Puffin Island after hearing of the sightings, but that the investigation was still at an early stage.
In January, the Mail reported a number of sightings of strange objects in the skies over Anglesey, and an incident in 1977 – when pupils at Ysgol Rhosybol saw a strange object hovering overhead – made national headlines.
NOTE: After reading this piece, I thought I’d dig through some alien underground base evidence and commentary and add it to this article…Lon
SUSPECTED JOINT HUMAN / ALIEN UNDERGROUND BASES
The Dulce, New Mexico Base
An underground Military Base/Laboratory in Dulce, New Mexico connects with the underground network of tunnels which honeycombs our planet, and the lower levels of this base are allegedly under the control of Inner Earth beings or Aliens. This base is connected to Los Alamos researchfacilities via an underground “tube-shuttle.” (It can be assumed that such a shuttle way would be a straight-line construction. It should then be possible, by using maps and some deduction, to determine the most likely location of this base, especially since the general location is already known.) Beginning in 1947, a road was built near the Dulce Base, under the cover of a lumber company. No lumber was ever hauled, and the road was later destroyed. Navajo Dam is the Dulce Base’s main source of power, though a second source is in El Vado (which is also another entrance). Most of the lakes near Dulce were made viagovernment grants “for” the Indians.
Dulce Base – The Central Hub
-1st Level – contains the garage for Street Maintenance.
-2nd Level- contains the garage for trains, shuttles, tunnel-boring machines and UFO maintenance.
-3rd Level – the first 3 levels contain government offices.
-4th Level – Human Aura Research as well as aspects of Dream Manipulation, Hypnosis, and Telepathy. They can lower your heartbeat with Delta Waves and introduce data and programmed reactions into your mind (for those implanted with brain chips). Most people already are, they just don’t know it.
-5th Level – witnesses have described huge vats with amber liquid with parts of human bodies being stirred inside. Rows and rows of cages holding men, women and children to be used as food. Perhaps thousands.
-6th Level – privately called “Nightmare Hall.” It contains the genetic labs. Here are where the crossbreeding experiments of human/animal are done on fish, seals, birds, and mice that are vastly altered from their original forms. There are multi-armed and multi-legged humans and several cages and vats of humanoid bat-like creatures up to 7 feet tall.
-7th Level – Row after row of 1,000s of humans in cold storage including children.
NOTE: It is alleged that Los Alamos and the mountainous regions east and southeast of it in and around the Santa Fe National Forest are the major holding area of earth based extraterrestrial beings in North America, although there are a number of smaller habitation locations scattered throughout the underground networks between Dulce and Area 51. ‘Dulce Base’ is said to hold the second largest repository of extraterrestrials and equipment in North America. None of this information takes into account what resources other nations and governments possess. All the evidence I have received is anecdotal but, IMO, the sources are reliable…Lon
It’s interesting to note that most of these bases as described are repositories of human/alien(?) hybridization, torture, imprisonment and other indecencies being perpetrated against normal folks on a grand scale, often with corroboration and approval of some kind of government officialdom.
My question is however, “If these are truly aliens, how can they be genetically so similar to human beings that gene splicing and hybridization can take place?” And; “Given that caveat, how can they ‘eat’ us and draw nourishment?”
Wouldn’t that imply that ‘they’ shared DNA with us to begin with?
Maybe Mac Tonnies had a point?
For 50 years, humans have scanned the skies with radio telescopes for distant electronic signals indicating the existence of intelligent alien life. The search — centered at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif. — has tapped into our collective fascination with the concept that we may not be alone in the universe.
But the effort has so far proved fruitless, and the scientific community driving the SETI project has begun questioning its methodology, which entails listening to specific nearby stars for unusual blips or bleeps. Is there a better approach?
In two studies appearing in the June issue of the journal Astrobiology, the Benford brothers, along with James’ son Dominic, a NASA scientist, examine the perspective of a civilization sending signals into space – or, as Gregory Benford puts it, “the point of view of the guys paying the bill.”
“Our grandfather used to say, ‘Talk is cheap, but whiskey costs money,’” the physics professor says. “Whatever the life form, evolution selects for economy of resources. Broadcasting is expensive, and transmitting signals across light-years would require considerable resources.”
Assuming that an alien civilization would strive to optimize costs, limit waste and make its signaling technology more efficient, the Benfords propose that these signals would not be continuously blasted out in all directions but rather would be pulsed, narrowly directed and broadband in the 1-to-10-gigahertz range.
“This approach is more like Twitter and less like War and Peace, ” says James Benford, founder and president of Microwave Sciences Inc. in Lafayette, Calif.
Their concept of short, targeted blips — dubbed “Benford beacons” by the science press — has gotten extensive coverage in such publications as Astronomy Now. Well-known cosmologist Paul Davies, in his 2010 book The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence, supports the theory.
James Benford discussing beacons
This means that SETI — which focuses its receivers on narrow-band input — may be looking for the wrong kind of signals. The Benfords and a growing number of scientists involved in the hunt for extraterrestrial life advocate adjusting SETI receivers to maximize their ability to detect direct, broadband beacon blasts.
But where to look? The Benfords’ frugal-alien model points to our own Milky Way galaxy, especially the center, where 90 percent of its stars are clustered.
“The stars there are a billion years older than our sun, which suggests a greater possibility of contact with an advanced civilization than does pointing SETI receivers outward to the newer and less crowded edge of our galaxy,” Gregory Benford says.
“Will searching for distant messages work? Is there intelligent life out there? The SETI effort is worth continuing, but our common-sense beacons approach seems more likely to answer those questions.”
I always speculated that if we happened to catch a snippet of a ‘back-door’ legacy radio signal from an extraterrestrial civilization it would be a digital beacon.
By back-door I mean that it would be a left on, automated signal that would “tweet” every so often just for the expressed purpose of contacting a less advanced culture since the civilization sending it out wouldn’t be using a form of radio any longer as its’ main source of communication.
I could be wrong, but the fun is in the speculation. 😉
For a break from space stuff, I would like to put forth an ethical conundrum of science; “Should we clone Neanderthals?”
Neanderthals were a branch of humanity (according to mainstream science) that existed for over 450,000 years and coexisted with our homo sapien ancestors 50-60,000 years ago.
They supposedly were less intelligent than homo sapiens and one prevailing theory up until recently said that our ancestors wiped out the less aggressive Neanderthals.
Now there seems to be proof that both branches of humanity where able to interbreed (viva la differance!) and instead of being wiped out, the Neanderthals were absorbed into the larger homo sapien gene pool.
With the advances in genetic engineering, it has become possible to resurrect the Neanderthal race of homo sapiens, but that has started an interesting problem and the the question posed at the beginning of the post:
[…]The Neanderthals broke away from the lineage of modern humans around 450,000 years ago. They evolved larger brains and became shorter than their likely ancestor, Homo heidelbergensis. They also developed a wider variety of stone tools and more efficient techniques for making them. On average, Neanderthals had brains that were 100 cubic centimeters (about 3 ounces) larger than those of people living today. But those differences are likely due to their larger overall body size. Those large brains were housed inside skulls that were broader and flatter, with lower foreheads than modern humans. Their faces protruded forward and lacked chins. Their arms and the lower part of their legs were shorter than modern humans’, making them slower and less efficient runners, but they also had more muscle mass. Their bones were often thicker and stronger than ours, but they typically show a lot of healed breaks that are thought to result from hunting techniques requiring close contact with large game such as bison and mammoths. They had barrel-shaped chests and broad, projecting noses, traits some paleoanthropologists believe would have helped Neanderthals breathe more easily when chasing prey in cold environments.
Recent studies comparing Neanderthal and modern human anatomy have created some surprising insights. “Neanderthals are not just sort of funny Eskimos who lived 60,000 years ago,” says Jean-Jacques Hublin, a paleoanthropologist at Max Planck. “They have a different way to give birth to babies, differences in life history, shape of inner ear, genetics, the speed of development of individuals, weaning, age of puberty.” A study comparing Neanderthal and modern children showed Neanderthals had shorter childhoods. Some paleoanthropologists believe they reached physical maturity at age 15.
As different as Neanderthals were, they may not have been different enough to be considered a separate species. “There are humans today who are more different from each other in phenotype [physical characteristics],” says John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin. He has studied differences in the DNA of modern human populations to understand the rate of evolutionary change in Homo sapiens. Many of the differences between a Neanderthal clone and a modern human would be due to genetic changes our species has undergone since Neanderthals became extinct. “In the last 30,000 years we count about 2,500 to 3,000 events that resulted in positive functional changes [in the human genome],” says Hawks. Modern humans, he says, are as different from Homo sapiens who lived in the Neolithic period 10,000 years ago, as Neolithic people would have been from Neanderthals.
Clones created from a genome that is more than 30,000 years old will not have immunity to a wide variety of diseases, some of which would likely be fatal. They will be lactose intolerant, have difficulty metabolizing alcohol, be prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease, and maybe most importantly, will have brains different from modern people’s.
Bruce Lahn at the University of Chicago studies the evolutionary history of the genes that control human brain development. One gene that affects brain size particularly interests him, a variant of the microcephalin gene, which Lahn thinks may have entered the human gene pool through interbreeding with Neanderthals. If that turns out to be true, roughly 75 percent of the world’s population has a brain gene inherited from Neanderthals. Lahn is excited to see what the Neanderthal microcephalin gene sequence looks like. “Is the Neanderthal sequence more similar to the ancestral version or the newer, derived version of the gene?” Lahn asks. “Or is the Neanderthal yet a third version that is very different from either of the two human versions? No matter how you look at it, it makes that data very interesting.”
The Neanderthals’ brains made them capable of some impressive cultural innovations. They were burying their dead as early as 110,000 years ago, which means that they had a social system that required formal disposal of the deceased. Around 40,000 years ago, they adopted new stone-tool-making traditions, the Châttelperronian tradition in Western Europe and the Uluzzian in Italy, that included a greater variety of tools than they had used in hundreds of thousands of years. But even if they were as adaptable as Homo sapiens, the question remains–if they were so smart, why are they dead? Chris Stringer of London’s Natural History Museum believes our species hunted and gathered food so intensively that there simply was not enough room for the Neanderthals to make a living. In other words, they had the same problem as many species facing extinction today–they were crowded out of their ecological niche by Homo sapiens. Finding a place in the world for a Neanderthal clone would be only one dilemma that would have to be solved.
Bernard Rollin, a bioethicist and professor of philosophy at Colorado State University, doesn’t believe that creating a Neanderthal clone would be an ethical problem in and of itself. The problem lies in how that individual would be treated by others. “I don’t think it is fair to put people…into a circumstance where they are going to be mocked and possibly feared,” he says, “and this is equally important, it’s not going to have a peer group. Given that humans are at some level social beings, it would be grossly unfair.” The sentiment was echoed by Stringer, “You would be bringing this Neanderthal back into a world it did not belong to….It doesn’t have its home environment anymore.”
There were no cities when the Neanderthals went extinct, and at their population’s peak there may have only been 10,000 of them spread across Europe. A cloned Neanderthal might be missing the genetic adaptations we have evolved to cope with the world’s greater population density, whatever those adaptations might be. But, not everyone agrees that Neanderthals were so different from modern humans that they would automatically be shunned as outcasts.
“I’m convinced that if one were to raise a Neanderthal in a modern human family he would function just like everybody else,” says Trenton Holliday, a paleoanthropologist at Tulane University. “I have no reason to doubt he could speak and do all the things that modern humans do.”
“I think there would be no question that if you cloned a Neanderthal, that individual would be recognized as having human rights under the Constitution and international treaties,” says Lori Andrews, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law. The law does not define what a human being is, but legal scholars are debating questions of human rights in cases involving genetic engineering. “This is a species-altering event,” says Andrews, “it changes the way we are creating a new generation.” How much does a human genome need to be changed before the individual created from it is no longer considered human?
Legal precedent in the United States seems to be on the side of Neanderthal human rights. In 1997, Stuart Newman, a biology professor at New York Medical School attempted to patent the genome of a chimpanzee-human hybrid as a means of preventing anyone from creating such a creature. The patent office, however, turned down his application on the basis that it would violate the Constitution’s 13th amendment prohibition against slavery. Andrews believes the patent office’s ruling shows the law recognizes that an individual with a half-chimpanzee and half-human genome would deserve human rights. A Neanderthal would have a genome that is even more recognizably human than Newman’s hybrid. “If we are going to give the Neanderthals humans rights…what’s going to happen to that individual?” Andrews says. “Obviously, it won’t have traditional freedoms. It’s going to be studied and it’s going to be experimented on. And yet, if it is accorded legal protections, it will have the right to not be the subject of research, so the very reasons for which you would create it would be an abridgment of rights.”
Human rights laws vary widely around the world. “There is not a universal ban on cloning,” says Anderson. “Even in the United States there are some states that ban it, others that don’t.” On August 8, 2005, the United Nations voted to ban human cloning. It sent a clear message that most governments believe that human cloning is unethical. The ban, however, is non-binding.
The legal issues surrounding a cloned Neanderthal would not stop with its rights. Under current laws, genomes can be patented, meaning that someone or some company could potentially own the genetic code of a long-dead person. Svante Pääbo, who heads the Neanderthal genome sequencing project at Max Planck, refused to comment for this article, citing concerns about violating an embargo agreement with the journal that is going to publish the genome sequence. But he did send ARCHAEOLOGY this statement: “We have no plans to patent any of the genes in the Neanderthal.”
The ultimate goal of studying human evolution is to better understand the human race. The opportunity to meet a Neanderthal and see firsthand our common but separate humanity seems, on the surface, too good to pass up. But what if the thing we learned from cloning a Neanderthal is that our curiosity is greater than our compassion? Would there be enough scientific benefit to make it worth the risks? “I’d rather not be on record saying there would,” Holliday told me, laughing at the question. “I mean, come on, of course I’d like to see a cloned Neanderthal, but my desire to see a cloned Neanderthal and the little bit of information we would get out of it…I don’t think it would be worth the obvious problems.” Hublin takes a harder line. “We are not Frankenstein doctors who use human genes to create creatures just to see how they work.” Noonan agrees, “If your experiment succeeds and you generate a Neanderthal who talks, you have violated every ethical rule we have,” he says, “and if your experiment fails…well. It’s a lose-lose.” Other scientists think there may be circumstances that could justify Neanderthal cloning.
“If we could really do it and we know we are doing it right, I’m actually for it,” says Lahn. “Not to understate the problem of that person living in an environment where they might not fit in. So, if we could also create their habitat and create a bunch of them, that would be a different story.”
“We could learn a lot more from a living adult Neanderthal than we could from cell cultures,” says Church. Special arrangements would have to be made to create a place for a cloned Neanderthal to live and pursue the life he or she would want, he says. The clone would also have to have a peer group, which would mean creating several clones, if not a whole colony. According to Church, studying those Neanderthals, with their consent, would have the potential to cure diseases and save lives. The Neanderthals’ differently shaped brains might give them a different way of thinking that would be useful in problem-solving. They would also expand humanity’s genetic diversity, helping protect our genus from future extinction. “Just saying ‘no’ is not necessarily the safest or most moral path,” he says. “It is a very risky decision to do nothing.”
Hawks believes the barriers to Neanderthal cloning will come down. “We are going to bring back the mammoth…the impetus against doing Neanderthal because it is too weird is going to go away.” He doesn’t think creating a Neanderthal clone is ethical science, but points out that there are always people who are willing to overlook the ethics. “In the end,” Hawks says, “we are going to have a cloned Neanderthal, I’m just sure of it.”
I’m not sure I agree with Hawk’s rational of cloning the Neanderthal genome, just because we can clone the mammoth’s genome, we should clone the Neanderthals’.
In my view, just because we can, doesn’t necessarily mean we should.
And the ethics of bringing another race of potentially intelligent beings back into existence should be considered. What of their ‘rights?’ Should they be afforded the same as other human beings? What of their ‘nationality?’ Does that influence what rights of being they have?
To me, the legalities of this act should be considered before any ‘resurrection’ is performed.
What do you think?
While the Congress-critters of the US guvmint still hassle over Mr. Obama’s FY2011 budget for NASA, aerospace companies Boeing and Bigelow release images of their capsule and space station:
Boeing [NYSE: BA] released artist’s renderings of its Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft during a media briefing with Bigelow Aerospace today at the Farnborough Airshow.
Boeing is maturing the design of its CST-100 spacecraft under an $18 million Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Space Act Agreement with NASA. The CST-100 can carry a crew of seven and is designed to support the International Space Station and the Bigelow Aerospace Orbital Space Complex (as shown in image MTF10-0006-01).
The CST-100 will be bigger than Apollo but smaller than Orion, and be able to launch on a variety of different rockets, including Atlas, Delta and Falcon. It will use a simple systems architecture and existing, proven components. The “100” in CST-100 refers to the 100 kilometers from the ground to low Earth orbit.
The CST-100 also looks smaller than SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, but the Dragon is a multi-purpose vehicle designed not only for humans eventually, but initially for cargo delivery and bringing cargo back, like the shuttle.
The CST-100 is designed just for human taxi service to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
I think that Boeing/Bigelow will be sending folks to the ISS before the government backed Orion.
According to Gary Bekkum of STARpod.org, not only the Russians are involved in international spying and UFOs, but the Chinese are into it up to their necks:
The Internet is buzzing over a reported sighting of a UFO over China’s Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou on July 7, 2010.
According to ABC News, the unidentified object was taken seriously by air traffic controllers, who immediately grounded planes ready for takeoff and rerouted incoming flights to other airports.
Contentious speculation about the nature of the object ranges from a secret Russian or American stealth plane, missile, satellite, or drone; to wilder claims of extraterrestrial visitors.
Chinese civilians also reported seeing an unusual aerial phenomenon just prior to the Xiaoshan Airport incident.
A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) confirmed to ABC News that the incident remains under investigation. One unidentified source reportedly leaked that Chinese authorities had determined that there was “a military connection” to the UFO incident.
Interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial visitations has been fueled by popular science fiction and recent statements from scientists about the potential for alien life forms. The discovery of numerous planets beyond our solar system and rumors of government cover-ups of an alien presence have increased informed speculation about otherworldly visitors to Earth.
Stephen Hawking, the world’s most recognizable physicist, recently warned about the dangers of making contact with an advanced alien civilization.
Bob Bigelow, an entrepreneur at the forefront of the privatization of space travel, told the New York Times, “I’ve been a researcher and student of UFO’s for many, many years…Anybody that does research, if people bother to do quality research, come away absolutely convinced. You don’t have to have personal encounters…People have been killed. People have been hurt. It’s more than observational kind of data.”
Past investigative efforts of unusual phenomena by Bob Bigelow involved a former high-ranking CIA official and scientists who continue to consult to the US government on matters of exotic phenomena, like teleportation.
Off the record comments provided on background appear to confirm concerns by the US government over a ‘phenomenology problem’ possibly linked to the appearance of UFOs, or even official contact by the government with an extraterrestrial presence visiting the Earth.
Declassified CIA files offer evidence to support the idea that intelligence agencies have actively used UFO reports for psychological warfare. The involvement of past and present government employees and consultants with persons interested in investigating the UFO phenomena suggests on-going government interest in the topic, which is related to advanced theory and experiments in alternative propulsion and energy technologies.
Spy Games in the world of UFOs
In March of 2010, Laura Bradshaw Eisenhower Mahon, the great-granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, reported an attempted recruitment into a secret black program involving missions to Mars and other esoteric topics associated with UFOs and extraterrestrial visitors. Ms. Mahon’s mother, Susan Eisenhower, consults to the US government on energy and nuclear issues. Persons Ms. Mahon associated with the black ops mission are known for their interests in alternative energy and nuclear powered rocket technologies, as well as other more exotic phenomena previously investigated by the US government.
Some Chinese researchers are known to be exploring similar exotic phenomena, including science fiction inspired mind-to-mind communication (telepathy), psychic remote sensing or remote viewing for espionage, and the use of high frequency gravity waves for communication.
The recent expose’ of a Russian spy network operating inside of the US provides an explanation for some of the interest by intelligence services in weird and unexplained phenomena. In the case of the Russian operation, the spies’ goal was to network with persons of interest connected to US policy consultants and decision makers.
In the case of the alleged ‘UFO Spy Games’ a similar goal might involve using exotic topics like psychic powers and UFOs to build connections to government consultants and policy makers involved in energy, space, and military technologies.
In addition to the more down to Earth explanations, sources have come forward to reveal the existence of government programs investigating the use of unexplained phenomena for intelligence collection.
Psychic spying, or remote viewing, was explored by the US intelligence community for more than three decades, according to declassified files. According to multiple unnamed sources, the National Security Agency, and possibly the Defense Intelligence Agency, continued to investigate so-called psychic phenomena following the 9/11 attacks. Unverified claims include the use of the psychic spies to locate Saddam’s hideout in Iraq, and to locate secret underground nuclear facilities in Iran.
The rumored contact by the US government with extraterrestrial phenomena is known as the CORE STORY.
If the UFO phenomenon is not only experienced by people in the US and Russia, but China too, it stands to reason they are also studying the psychic aspects of it.
And studying psychic effects to gain an upper hand in the spy game is perfectly natural. The US and Russia have been doing it for decades and China as a rising power would be remiss if they didn’t take advantage of it.
Whether this is all ‘woo‘ or not is another matter.
Like all big projects that never get funded, Tesla never got public support, or a politician with a big enough factory in his district to get some pork for it!
Once upon a time, there was a great deal of talk about Nikola Tesla designing a charged particle beam weapon dubbed as the Death Ray. The machine was never actually made though and this letter explains why.
For easier reading, here’s the letter as transcribed by the folks at Letters of Note:
Hotel New Yorker
New York, N. Y.
April 7, 1934
S. W. Kintner, Esq
Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co
My dear Mr Kintner:
I was glad that you did not put the matter before Mr Merrick for I found after careful thought and figuring that it would take much more money to carry out my proposal which I made to you on the spur of the moment stimulated by the pleasure of our meeting and your warm response. The Westinghouse people made a friendly gesture and I wanted to meet them in the same spirit by giving them the first opportunity on discoveries which I honestly believe to be more important than any recorded in the history of invention.
I have groped for years trying to find some solution of the most pressing problem of humanity that of insuring peace and, little by little, I have been led to the ideal means to this end. For they will afford perfect protection to every country without providing a new implement for attack. The International Peace Conference will insist on its immediate and universal adoption, for as long as the countries are imperfectly protected invasions are sure to occur.
I note your suggestion but am at a loss to see how to carry it out. Rest assured though, that I shall always hold your people in high regard and if I ever find it in my power to advance their interests I shall spare no effort.
The skepticism of your expert was expected. He is probably under the sway of the modern illusionary ideas and the abler he is the more apt is he to be in error. But I have demonstrated all the principles involved and am going ahead with perfect confidence which all the experts in the world could not shake.
Yours very truly,
Plus in the 1930s not alot of money was floating around anyways, even for governments.
Unless you were in Nazi Germany.