Monthly Archives: January, 2011

More Paracast: George Filer

Yeah I know I’ve been lazy lately (or so it seems), but trust me on this one. You won’t be disappointed with this interview Gene Steinberg and co-host Chris O’Brien of the Paracast had with Eastern MUFON Director George Filer, who also has the website Filer’s Files (which caters to guess what? You got it!).

During this show Filer talks about his encounters with UFOs when he was an Air Force pilot, good stuff.

Paracast: George Filer Interview

The Paracast: Clifford Clift of MUFON

This week’s Paracast with Gene Steinberg and Chris O’Brien is a conversation with MUFON International’s Clifford Clift. Subjects range from the nuts and bolts aspects of UFOs to the possible paranormal links with ghosts, angels, demons and Sasquatch.

This was a down to earth and civil interview, even the subject of Disclosure was handled smoothly. Actually a very enjoyable show!

Clifford Clift Interview

Bizarre Beachcoming: Review of the Codex Seraphinianus

Dr. Beachcoming, that eccentric collector of all things of an exotic historical nature, reviews The Codex Seraphinianus,  a book written by Luigi Serafini that is purportedly about an alien world complete with language, customs, architecture, flora and fauna.

Luigi Serafini, Codex Seraphinianus (numerous editions…)

Beachcombing has Ricardo R. to thank for an introduction to the Codex Seraphinianus, a guide to another world. First published in 1981, a copy from the original series now runs at about 8000 dollars. Beachcombing, who is a bit strapped for cash, did the barbaric thing and read it in pdf. He can’t for the life of him work out how a reputable internet site can justify putting up this relatively recent work: but he is glad that the Codex Seraphinianus, a guidebook to an alien world, slipped through the copyright net. Go feed, reader…

As to what world the Codex Seraphinanus describes no one is quite sure for the very good reason that it is not written in a human language. Whether or not the language is just scrawl, as the author recently claimed – memories of the Voynich manuscript? Or whether it is, Tolkien-style, an attempt to create a language is debated. What terrified Beachcombing was that the page numbers can be deciphered and they have been written using a twenty-one base numerical system. Gulp…

In any case, at the risk of annoying Seraphinian purists, the language can go hang. Beachcombing likes all the ‘pretty’ pictures and these rather go and hang themselves.

Beachcombing, on first looking at what LS  created back in the fevered late 1970s, when Italy was in terrorist-induced meltdown, thought ‘bad Salvador Dali’. But Salvador Dali is a surrealist where nothing makes sense but dissolution and entropy. The Codex does have its own internal logic though: it is just not our logic. Perhaps to find a kindred spirit you would have to go and knock on Bosch’s or Escher’s door? In comics you would be best advised to learn French and read Le Cycle de Cyann by François Bourgeon and Claude Lacroix. Bourgeon must have read the Codex, there are some striking similarities.

Many of the pages read to Beachcombing like an IQ question where a series of symbols or pictures denote a pattern that needs to be deduced. Yet as there is no chance of fully understanding the pattern the reader can relax over it without any fear of losing a percentile or two. Think a Rubik’s cube with each of the fifty four panels a different colour, then imagine ‘solving’ the cube in a scented bath.

But if the hints of a foreign system of logic are not enough, there is also something more, something very inhuman.

The antique Christians used to place the order of heaven against the chaos of hell. The devil spawned anarchy.

Well, any human guide book or history of a foreign place is heaven sent, preferring order. It takes the new animals, plants, buildings, people and pins them to the page like a moth in a collector’s cabinet. The Codex seems obsessed with change: everything is always moving, nothing is taped down. Whether this is a cycle of Ovid or the flux of the diabolus is anyone’s guess. But it is impressive and rather frightening to get up close to… A couple make love on a white bed, become an alligator that then (singular) hops off the bed.

Whoa, that last statement was real weird…sounds like a bad acid trip!

Or maybe the author entered a world through the help of Ayahuasca , like ancient or modern Amazon shaman(s) use to talk to the gods.

I don’t think Dr. Beachcoming considered that. Maybe I could suggest that we should do a session or two?

Review: the Codex Seraphinianus

Quantum DNA

It’s been written that photosynthesis might be a quantum process. Now a paper appears that claims DNA itself is a quantum process:

A Nobel Prize winning biologist has ignited controversy after publishing details of an experiment in which a fragment of DNA appeared to ‘teleport’ or imprint itself between test tubes.

According to a team headed by Luc Montagnier, previously known for his work on HIV and AIDS, two test tubes, one of which contained a tiny piece of bacterial DNA, the other pure water, were surrounded by a weak electromagnetic field of 7Hz.

Eighteen hours later, after DNA amplification using a polymerase chain reaction, as if by magic the DNA was detectable in the test tube containing pure water.

Oddly, the original DNA sample had to be diluted many times over for the experiment to work, which might explain why the phenomenon has not been detected before, assuming that this is what has happened.

The phenomenon might be very loosely described as ‘teleportation’ except that the bases project or imprint themselves across space rather than simply moving from one place to another.

To be on the safe side, Montagnier then compared the results with controls in which the time limit was lowered, no electromagnetic field was present or was present but at lower frequencies, and in which both tubes contained pure water. On every one of these, he drew a blank.

The quantum effect – the imprinting of the DNA on the water – is not in itself the most contentious element of the experiment, so much as the relatively long timescales over which it appears to manifest itself. Quantum phenomena are assumed to show their faces in imperceptible fractions of a second and not seconds minutes and hours, and usually at very low temperatures approaching absolute zero.

Revealing a process through which biology might display the underlying ‘quantumness’ of nature at room temperature would be startling.

Montagnier’s experiment will have to be repeated by others to have any hope of being taken seriously. So far, some scientists have been publically incredulous.

“It is hard to understand how the information can be stored within water over a timescale longer than picoseconds,” said the Ruhr University in Bochum’s Klaus Gerwert, quoted by New Scientist magazine, which broke the story (requires registration).

What does all of this mean? It could be that the propagation of life is able to make use of the quantum nature of reality to project itself in subtle ways, as has been hinted at in previous experiments. Alternatively, it could be that life itself is a complex projection of these quantum phenomena and utterly depends on them in ways not yet understood because they are incredibly hard to detect.

 

Life as a function of the Universe. The Anthropic Principle writ large?

http://www.pcworld.com/article/216767/dna_molecules_can_teleport_nobel_winner_says.html

 

The Paracast: Jerome Clark

This week’s Paracast with Gene Steinberg and co-host Chris O’Brien features Jerome Clark, author of “The UFO Encyclopedia” and “Hidden Realms, Lost Civilizations, and Beings from Other Worlds.”

After listening to this interview, I was kind of surprised by a researcher in present day ufology who still adhered to the “nuts and bolts” theory of UFOs. To him, paranormal activities are a separate animal to be explained differently.

All in all, a good interview.

Interview with Jerome Clark

….

I have to apologize to my regular audience for my sporadic posting this year, I have a close family member who is ill and most of my time is taken up with household duties, work, school and doctor visits. Blogging has taken a back-seat unintentionally.

I will post when I can, but they will not be very long and pithy (they’re not anyway! :lol:).

Tau Zero and Breakthrough Spaceship Propulsion

In the mainstream, propulsion science does not recognize UFO propulsion technology per se, (Bob Bigelow not withstanding), but there are several theories being bandied about and while interstellar travel just might occur before we become a Kardashev Level One Civilization in around two hundred years (approx. 2200 ACE) , the chances of practical interstellar propulsion being found soon are nil.

From Centauri Dreams:

Speaking at last fall’s International Astronautical Congress in Prague, Tau Zero founder Marc Millis offered a condensed summary of the present state of the art in advanced propulsion physics, summarizing a variety of approaches and next-step questions from the book he co-edited with Eric Davis called Frontiers of Propulsion Science (2009). He’s now written a paper based on the presentation. It’s a useful distillation of an extremely detailed work (739 pages) and well worth scanning now that Millis has made it available on the arXiv site.

Quite a few propulsion concepts have gone through the early stages of the scientific process, with problems defined, data being collected and hypotheses formulated, and Millis also refers to those cases where ideas have progressed into the testing stage. He’s fascinated with the idea of using investigations into broad issues of cosmology to focus in on something far more utilitarian, the possible relevance of new observations for spaceflight. From the paper:

While general science continues to assess cosmological data regarding its implications for the birth and fate of the universe, a spaceflight focus will cast these observations in different contexts, offering insights that might otherwise be overlooked from the curiosity-driven inquiries alone. Homework problems to help teach general relativity now include warp drives and traversable wormholes. Even if there are no spaceflight breakthroughs to be found, adding the inquiry of spaceflight expands our ability to decipher the lingering mysteries of the universe.

Focus on the ‘Space Drive’

The approaches gathered in Frontiers of Propulsion Science are too numerous to list here, but let’s focus for a moment on the issue of space drive physics. A space drive is the umbrella term used to describe the interactions between a vehicle and surrounding space to induce motion, the key point being that such a technology, if ever developed, would eliminate the need for propellant. That’s a big issue — if we could move a craft in this way, we would be dropping the energy requirements from exponential to squared functions of trip velocity, opening up a wide range of mission possibilities we simply cannot achieve with rocketry or space sails.

Notice that the space drive is fundamentally different from what is more and more known as a ‘warp’ drive, the point being that the space drive interacts with spacetime rather than warping spacetime. Quoting Millis again:

Warp drives and wormholes are rooted in the Riemannian geometry of general relativity, where sufficient energy densities can warp spacetime analogously to how a huge gravitational mass bends spacetime. In contrast, most space drive concepts begin with Newtonian representations where the operative goal is to interact with reaction mass embedded in the properties of spacetime. This also implies, therefore, that space drive concepts will be light-speed limited since they operatewithin spacetime.

In other words, a warping of spacetime, if possible, would allow the craft to take advantage of the fact that there is no speed-of-light restriction when it comes to the expansion of spacetime itself (a notion that draws on cosmic inflation in the Big Bang era). The space drive is a different animal, and it compels a different kind of research. The primary issues are conservation of momentum and net external thrust, with the concept raising huge questions about the sources of inertial frames, the nature of the quantum vacuum energy, and the physics of photon momentum in media.

Studying these theories are nice and could provide a foundation of research for the next two hundred years ( like Jules Verne’s sci-fi stories did for our world ), but as a commenter posted on this particular thread: “Our top priority should be to find a really cheap way to get out of the gravity well. Cost is killing space flight.”

Amen to that.

Breakthrough Concepts: A Propulsion Overview

Inexplicata: Huge UFO in Peru

On January 4th, 2011 a huge “mothership” UFO was seen hovering above Barrios Altos in Peru.

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Residents of Barrios Altos claim having witnessed what could well be the first UFO sighting of 2011. With the video in hand, one expert has already attested to the authenticity of the homemade recording.

The shots were taken on Tuesday, January 4 from Jirón Wari in Barrios Altos, where a group of neighbors equipped themselves with two camcorders and taped — from different angles — the oscillating movements of an unidentified flying obect for nearly 30 minutes.

“It’s a UFO. You’d have to be somewhat thick to deny it,” said Julia Gutierrez, one of the witnesses, who further added that it is common to see such sights in the area, which tend to leave local residents shaken.

“It’s definitely a UFO. It’s only necessary to corroborate with the Jorge Chavez airport to see if any unidentified radar contacts were picked up at the time,” notes UFO expert Mario Zegarra in a statement to ATV.

South America according to Scott Corrales has historically had more UFO sightings than North America and more acts of violence committed by the occupants as well.

Peru: A Mothership over Lima?

hat tip

Binnall of America: Dr. Beachcoming

Are you interested in the oddities of history? Do you know about the NASA sandwich and the extinct kings of the Isle of Man?

Then you want to listen to this latest edition of Binnall of America.com as Tim interviews the mysterious Dr. Beachcoming (not his real name) and discuss the above items and more.

I’m a history buff and I loved this interview. I hope Tim has this guy on next year for season seven, he definitely deserves a permanent spot like Tex Marrs and Stanton Friedman!

Binnall of America: Interview with Dr. Beachcoming

Beachcoming’s Bizarre History Blog

Tor.com: Halo, Cryptum by Greg Bear

Greg Bear was one of my favorite authors during the 1990s. His books Queen of Angels, Slant, The Forge of God and Moving Mars are some of my all time favorites. Not to mention Eon and Eternity, the stories about The Way and The Thistledown, brought about many a re-read during particularly boring evenings.

Although my tastes in science-fiction have changed over the decades, I still check on my past faves and perchance read some snippets of current fare. Today at Tor.com there are free chapters posted for Bear’s latest book, Halo, Cryptum. From what I can determine, it’s along the same vein as his other newer story, The City at the End of Time, i.e., far future time(s) in which there are, or were many alien races (or humanity) whom either happened to be god-like or in decline.

The trouble with Bear’s later writings IMHO is that they read like fantasy, which I suppose sci-fi is in a way.

Maybe he’s just taking Clarke’s Third Law to heart.

Excerpt: Halo: Cryptum, Chapter One by Greg Bear

By greg bear

THE FORERUNNER STORY—the history of my people—has been told many times, with greater and greater idealization, until I scarcely recognize it.

Some of the ideals are factually true. The Forerunners were sophisticated above all other empires and powerful almost beyond measure. Our ecumene spanned three million fertile worlds. We had achieved the greatest heights of technology and physical knowledge, at least since the time of the Precursors, who, some say, shaped us in their image, and rewarded that image with their breath.

The tugging threads of this part of the tale—the first of three—are journey, daring, betrayal, and fate.

My fate, the fate of a foolish Forerunner, was joined one night with the fates of two humans and the long world-line of a great military leader . . . that night on which I put in motion the circumstances that triggered the final wave of the hideous Flood.

So be this tale told, so be the telling true.

ONE
————-
SOL • EDOM TO ERDE-TYRENE

THE BOAT’S CREW banked the fires, disengaged the steam engine, and raised the calliope horn from the water. The bubbling clockwork song died out with a series of clicks and sad groans; it hadn’t been working well to begin with.

Twenty kilometers away, the central peak of Djamonkin Crater rose through blue-gray haze, its tip outlined in ruddy gold by the last of the setting sun. A single brilliant moon rose bright and cold behind our boat. The crater’s inland lake rippled around the hull in ways no tide or wind had ever moved water. Under the swells and whorls, sparkling with reflected sunset and moon, pale merse twisted and bobbed like the lilies in my mother’s pond. These lilies, however, weren’t passive flowers, but sleeping krakens growing in the shallows on thick stalks. Ten meters wide, their thickened, muscular edges were rimmed with black teeth the length of my forearm.

We sailed over a garden of clannish, self-cloning monsters. They covered the entire flooded floor of the crater, skulking just below the surface and very defensive of their territory. Only boats that sang the lulling song the merse used to keep peace among themselves could cross these waters unmolested. And now it seemed our tunes were out of date.

The young human I knew as Chakas crossed the deck, clutching his palm-frond hat and shaking his head. We stood side by side and stared out over the rail, watching the merse writhe and churn. Chakas—bronze-skinned, practically hairless, and totally unlike the bestial image of humans my tutors had impressed upon me—shook his head in dismay. “They swear they’re using the newest songs,” he murmured. “We shouldn’t move until they figure it out.”

I eyed the crew on the bow, engaged in whispered argument. “You assured me they were the best,” I reminded him.

He regarded me with eyes like polished onyx and swept his hand through a thick thatch of black hair that hung in back to his neck, cut perfectly square. “My father knew their fathers.”

“You trust your father?” I asked.

“Of course,” he said. “Don’t you?”

“I haven’t seen my real father in three years,” I said.

“Is that sad, for you?” the young human asked.

“He sent me there.” I pointed to a bright russet point in the black sky. “To learn discipline.”

“Shh-shhaa!” The Florian—a smaller variety of human, half Chakas’s height scampered from the stern on bare feet to join us. I had never known a species to vary so widely yet maintain such an even level of intelligence. His voice was soft and sweet, and he made delicate signs with his fingers. In his excitement, he spoke too rapidly for me to

understand.

Chakas interpreted. “He says you need to take off your armor. It’s upsetting the merse.”

At first, this was not a welcome suggestion. Forerunners of all rates wear body-assist armor through much of their lives. The armor protects us both physically and medically. In emergencies, it can suspend a Forerunner until rescue, and even provide nourishment for a time. It allows mature Forerunners to connect to the Domain, from which all Forerunner knowledge can flow. Armor is one of the main reasons that Forerunners live so long. It can also act as friend and advisor.

I consulted with my ancilla, the armor’s disembodied intelligence and memory—a small bluish figure in the back of my thoughts.

“This was anticipated,” she told me. “Electrical and magnetic fields, other than those generated by the planet’s natural dynamics, drive these organisms into splashing fury. That is why the boat is powered by a primitive steam engine.”

She assured me that the armor would be of no value to humans, and that at any rate she could guard against its misuse. The rest of the crew watched with interest. I sensed this might be a sore point. The armor would power down, of course, once I removed it. For all our sakes, I would have to go naked, or nearly so. I halfway managed to convince myself this could only enhance the adventure.

The Florian set to work weaving me a pair of sandals from reeds used to plug leaks.

————-

Of all my father’s children, I was the most incorrigible. In itself this was not an ill mark or even unusual. Manipulars of promise often show early rebellion—the stamp in raw metal from which the discipline of a full rate is honed and shaped.

But I exceeded even my father’s ample patience; I refused to learn and advance along any of the proper Forerunner curves: intensive training, bestowal to my rate, mutation to my next form, and finally, espousal to a nascent triad . . . where I would climb to the zenith of maturity.

None of that attracted me. I was more far interested in adventure and the treasures of the past. Historic glory shined so much brighter in my eyes; the present seemed empty.

And so at the end of my sixth year, frustrated beyond endurance by my stubbornness, my father traded me to another family, in another part of the galaxy, far from the Orion complex where my peoples were born.

For the last three years, the system of eight planets around a minor yellow star—and in particular, the fourth, a dry, reddish desert world called Edom—became my home. Call it exile. I called it escape. I knew my destiny lay elsewhere.

When I arrived on Edom, my swap-father, following tradition, equipped my armor with one of his own ancillas to educate me to the ways of my new family. At first I thought this new ancilla would be the most obvious face of my indoctrination—just another shackle in my prison, harsh and unsympathetic. But she soon proved something else entirely, unlike any ancilla I had ever experienced.

During my long periods of tutoring and regimented exercise, she drew me out, traced my rough rebellion back to its roots—but also showed me my new world and new family in the clear light of unbiased reason.

“You are a Builder sent to live among Miners,” she told me. “Miners are rated below Builders, but they are sensible, proud and strong. Miners know the raw, inner ways of worlds. Respect them, and they will treat you well, teach you what they know, and return you to your family with all the discipline and skills a Manipular needs to advance.”

After two years of generally impeccable service, guiding my reeducation while at the same time relieving my stultifying existence with a certain dry wit, she came to discern a pattern in my questions. Her response was unexpected.

The first sign of my ancilla’s strange favor was her opening of my swap-family’s archives. Ancillas are charged with the maintenance of all records and libraries, to ease access to any information a member of the family might need, however ancient and obscure. “Miners, you know, delve deep. Treasure, as you call it, is frequently in their way. They recover, record, settle the matter with the proper authorities . . . and move on. They are not curious, but their records are sometimes very curious.”

I spent happy hours studying the old records, and learned much more about Precursor remnants, as well as the archaeology of Forerunner history.

Here it was that I picked up hints of lore discouraged or forgotten elsewhere—not always in actual evidence, but deduced from this and that odd fact. And in that next year, my ancilla measured and judged me.

One dry and dusty day, as I climbed the gentle slope of Edom’s largest volcano, imagining that in the vast caldera was hidden some great secret that would redeem me in the eyes of my family and justify my existence—my common state of pointless fugue—she broke ancilla code in a shocking manner.

She confessed that she had once, a thousand years ago, been part of the retinue of the Librarian. Of course, I knew about the greatest Lifeworker of all. I wasn’t com pletely ignorant. Lifeworkers—experts on living things and medicine—rank below both Builders and Miners, but just above Warriors. And the highest rank of Lifeworker is Lifeshaper. The Librarian was one of just three Lifeworkers ever honored with that rank.

The ancilla’s memory of her time with the Librarian had supposedly been expunged when the Librarian’s foundation traded her to my swap-family, as part of a general cultural exchange; but now, fully reawakened to her past, it seemed she was prepared to conspire with me.

She told me: “There is a world just a few hours’ journey from Edom where you might find what you seek. Nine thousand years ago, the Librarian established a research station in this system. It is still a topic of discussion among the Miners, who of course disapprove. Life is ever so much more slippery than rocks and gases.”

This station was located on the system’s third planet, known as Erde-Tyrene: a forsaken place, obscure, sequestered, and both the origin and final repository of the last of a degraded species called human.

My ancilla’s motives, it seemed, were even more deviant than my own. Every few months, a craft lifted away from Edom to carry supplies downstar to Erde-Tyrene. She did not precisely inform me of what I would find there, but through hints and clues led me to decide it was major.

With her help, I made my way through the labyrinthine hallways and tunnels to the shipping platform, smuggled myself onto the cramped craft, reset the codes to conceal my extra mass—and lifted away to Erde-Tyrene.

I was now much more than just a rebellious Manipular. I had become a hijacker, a pirate . . . And was astonished at how easy it was! Too easy, perhaps.

Still, I could not believe an ancilla would lead a Forerunner into a trap. That was contrary to their design, their programming—everything about their nature. Ancillas

serve their masters faithfully at all times.

What I could not foretell was that I was not her master, and never had been.

Halo: Cryptum, Chapter One by Greg Bear

Tectonic Movement on Mars?

Tectonic plate movement, which is the main source of Earth’s geologic energy, earthquakes and volcanoes, has been discovered on Mars.

Mars? When one looks at the surface of that planet, evidence of any geologic activity is hard to find. But the largest dead volcano in the Solar System is Olympus Mons and is certainly observable from Mars orbit.

Professor An Yin of the University of California uses Olympus Mons as a basis for his theory that there has been geologic activity on Mars as recently as 250,000 years ago. And if current theory is correct, tectonic plate activity brings on biological activity as well:

Recent tectonic thrusting played a major role in shaping Mars, according to a study at odds with the commonly held view that no such activity has ever taken place on the Red Planet.

An area of rumpled land north-west of the giant volcano Olympus Mons contains many ridges and scarps that the new research claims are likely signs of plate tectonic activity.

This is evidence of plate shifting on Mars during the last 250,000 years, said study author Professor An Yin of the University Of California, Los Angeles.

Conventional wisdom holds that Mars – unlike Earth – is too small and has too cold an interior to host plate tectonic processes.

But Professor Yin claims to have evidence that plate tectonics carved out many of the landforms on Mars – and that they are still shaping the planet today.

If true, this would mean Mars is far more likely to host extra-terrestrial life than previously thought, reports Space.com, because plate tectonics could help replenish nutrients, such as carbon, needed to sustain life.

Professor Yin, who presented his findings at last month’s meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, said: ‘People don’t want there to be plate tectonics on Mars. But I think there’s good evidence for it.’

His research focused on a series of photographs of the region to the north-west of Olympus Mons taken by two Nasa spacecraft, Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance.

Many of the images, which Professor Yin said have not been examined in detail before, depict scarps, folds and terraces that on Earth are classic signs of tectonic activity.

Others show meandering drainage features that again point to tectonic activity, the professor claimed.

He said: ‘No drainage likes to flow the long way – it’s a classic example of active tectonics.

‘All these features, if you see them on Earth, you say they’re active.’

To me it’s always been obvious, if there’s volcanoes, it means there’s been geological activity and that means tectonic plate movement too. What’s so hard to understand?

Yeah I know, a faction of mainstream science who have been studying Mars since the 1960s believe in the “dead Mars” hypothesis and they’ve been in charge. And in spite of the evidence showing otherwise, they won’t let study of Martian life go forward.

But they won’t live forever, heh-heh.

Mars ‘WAS shaped by moving tectonic plates’ just like Earth over the last 250,000 years