Category Archives: alternate technology

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

Artificial Life-Form Inventer Venter To Build Martian DNA Teleporter

From Technology Review:

Two high-profile entrepreneurs say they want to put a DNA sequencing machine on the surface of Mars in a bid to prove the existence of extraterrestrial life.

In what could become a race for the first extraterrestrial genome, researcher J. Craig Venter said Tuesday that his Maryland academic institute and his company, Synthetic Genomics, would develop a machine capable of sequencing and beaming back DNA data from the planet.

Separately, Jonathan Rothberg, founder of Ion Torrent, a DNA sequencing company, is collaborating on an effort to equip his company’s “Personal Genome Machine” for a similar task.

“We want to make sure an Ion Torrent goes to Mars,” Rothberg told Technology Review.

Although neither team yet has a berth on Mars rocket, their plans reflect the belief that the simplest way to prove there is life on Mars is to send a DNA sequencing machine.

“There will be DNA life forms there,” Venter predicted Tuesday in New York, where he was speaking at the Wired Health Conference.

Venter said researchers working with him have already begun tests at a Mars-like site in the Mojave Desert. Their goal, he said, is to demonstrate a machine capable of autonomously isolating microbes from soil, sequencing their DNA, and then transmitting the information to a remote computer, as would be required on an unmanned Mars mission. (Hear his comments in this video, starting at 00:11:01.) Heather Kowalski, a spokeswoman for Venter, confirmed the existence of the project but said the prototype system was “not yet 100 percent robotic.”

Meanwhile, Rothberg’s Personal Genome Machine is being adapted for Martian conditions as part of a NASA-funded project at Harvard and MIT called SET-G, or “the search for extraterrestrial genomes.”

Christopher Carr, an MIT research scientist involved in the effort, says his lab is working to shrink Ion Torrent’s machine from 30 kilograms down to just three kilograms so that it can fit on a NASA rover. Other tests, already conducted, have determined how well the device can withstand the heavy radiation it would encounter on the way to Mars.

NASA, whose Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August, won’t send another rover mission to the planet before at least 2018 (see “The Mars Rover Curiosity Marks a Technological Triumph“), and there’s no guarantee a DNA sequencing device would go aboard. “The hard thing about getting to Mars is hitting the NASA specifications,” says George Church, a Harvard University researcher and a senior member of the SET-G team. “[Venter] isn’t ahead of anyone else.”

Venter has a great idea here, but it reminds me of a certain movie in which sequencing alien DNA wasn’t such a great plan.

Species !

Genome Hunters Go After Martian DNA

Really? Warp Drive Actually Possible?

From Space.com:

HOUSTON — A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television’s Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, scientists say.

warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre; however, subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.

Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp drive that would enable it to run on significantly less energy, potentially bringing the idea back from the realm of science fiction into science.

“There is hope,” Harold “Sonny” White of NASA’s Johnson Space Center said here Friday (Sept. 14) at the100 Year Starship Symposium, a meeting to discuss the challenges of interstellar spaceflight.

Warping space-time

An Alcubierre warp drive would involve a football-shape spacecraft attached to a large ring encircling it. This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship, creating a region of contracted space in front of it and expanded space behind. [Star Trek’s Warp Drive: Are We There Yet? | Video]

Meanwhile, the starship itself would stay inside a bubble of flat space-time that wasn’t being warped at all.

“Everything within space is restricted by the speed of light,” explained Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit group of scientists and engineers devoted to pursuing interstellar spaceflight. “But the really cool thing is space-time, the fabric of space, is not limited by the speed of light.”

With this concept, the spacecraft would be able to achieve an effective speed of about 10 times the speed of light, all without breaking the cosmic speed limit.

The only problem is, previous studies estimated the warp drive would require a minimum amount of energy about equal to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter.

But recently White calculated what would happen if the shape of the ring encircling the spacecraft was adjusted into more of a rounded donut, as opposed to a flat ring. He found in that case, the warp drive could be powered by a mass about the size of a spacecraft like the Voyager 1 probe NASA launched in 1977.

Furthermore, if the intensity of the space warps can be oscillated over time, the energy required is reduced even more, White found.

“The findings I presented today change it from impractical to plausible and worth further investigation,” White told SPACE.com. “The additional energy reduction realized by oscillating the bubble intensity is an interesting conjecture that we will enjoy looking at in the lab.”

This is a boon and a most fortuitous opportunity if it’s the real deal. But like most things in the real world, there is something that is an essential ingredient in any research project.

Money.

Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Is Ufology a Religion?

I am not the first to ask this and certainly not the last. In fact over at Micah Hank’s Mysterious Universe blog, researcher and author Nick Redfern asks the very same question and entertains some very interesting thoughts:

A few days ago, I wrote a Top 10-themed post at my World of Whatever blog on what I personally see as some of the biggest faults of Ufology. It was a post with which many agreed, others found amusing, and some hated (the latter, probably, because they recognized dubious character traits and flaws that were too close to home, and, as a result, got all moody and defensive. Whatever.). But, regardless of what people thought of the article, it prompted one emailer to ask me: “What do you think of the future for Ufology?” Well, that’s a very good question. Here’s my thoughts…

First and foremost, I don’t fear, worry or care about Ufology not existing in – let’s say, hypothetically – 100 years from now. Or even 200 years. In some format, I think that as a movement, it will still exist. I guess my biggest concern is that nothing will have changed by then, aside from the field having become even more dinosaur-like and stuck in its ways than it is today, still filled with influential souls who loudly demand we adhere to the Extra-Terrestrial Hypothesis and nothing else, still droning on about Roswell, still obsessed with what might be going on at Area 51, still debating on what Kenneth Arnold saw, and still pondering on what really happened at Rendlesham.

Ufology’s biggest problem also happens to be what made the Ramones the greatest band that ever existed: never-changing. For the latter, it worked perfectly. If, like me, you liked the mop-topped, super-fast punks in the beginning, then you still like them when they disbanded in 1996. Throughout their career, they looked the same, sounded the same, and were the same. For them, it worked very well. For Ufology, not so well. Not at all.

The reality is that 65 years after our Holy Lord and Master (Sir Kenneth of Arnoldshire) saw whatever it was that he saw on that fateful June 24, 1947 day, Ufology has been static and unchanging. It has endorsed and firmly embraced the ETH not as the belief-system which it actually is, but as a likely fact. And Ufology insists on doing so in stubborn, mule-like fashion. In that sense, Ufology has become a religion. And organized religion is all about upholding unproved old belief-systems and presenting them as hard fact, despite deep, ongoing changes in society, trends and culture. Just like Ufology.

If Ufology is to play a meaningful role in the future, then it needs to focus far less on personal beliefs and wanting UFOs to be extraterrestrial, and far more on admitting that the ETH is just one theory of many – and, while not discarding the ETH, at least moving onwards, upwards and outwards. Can you imagine if the major UFO conference of the year in the United States had a group of speakers where the presentations were on alien-abductions and DMT; the Aleister Crowley-Lam controversy; Ufological synchronicities; and the UFO-occult connection? And Roswell, Area 51, and Flying Triangles weren’t even in sight at all?

Well, imagine is just about all you’ll be able to do, as it ain’t gonna happen anytime soon!

While such matters do, of course, occasionally get mentioned on the UFO-themed lecture circuit today, the fact is that mainstream Ufology (and specifically mainstream ufological organizations, where more time is spent on deciding what utterly ridiculous title everyone will have than on doing investigations) will largely not touch such matters, or even consider them ripe for debate at their conferences. Why? Simple: they want everything to be as it was in the “Good Old Days” of the past. Well, tough: the past is gone, and no-one has succeeded in proving the ETH. So, give the highly alternative theories – and theorists – a chance for a change.

“Nooooo!” cries the old brigade. For them, that won’t work at all, because they don’t want to see the ETH-themed domain that has been so carefully nurtured for decades infected and infiltrated by matters ignorantly perceived as being of a “Hocus Pocus” nature. What they do want is crashed UFOs; aliens taking soil samples; landing traces; abductions undertaken to steal our DNA, etc, etc, blah, blah. Or, as it is scientifically and technically called: Outdated Old School Shit. They don’t want talk of altered states; mind-expanding and entity-invoking drugs; conjured-up beings from other realms; or rites, rituals and manifested Tulpas.

What this stubborn attitude demonstrates is: (A) a fear of change; (B) a fear of having been on the wrong track for decades; and (C) a fear of the unknown. Yes: mainstream, old-time Ufology lives in fear. It should be living in a state of strength. And it should be a strength born of a willingness to address everything, not just the stuff that some conference organizer thinks will attract the biggest audience. But Ufology commits the biggest crime of all: being weak and unsure in the face of new concepts and making like an ostrich when it encounters sand. Actually, I’m wrong. Ufology commits an even bigger crime as it coasts aimlessly along like an empty ship on the ocean waves: it avoids the alternative theories knowingly and fully aware of the long-term, and potentially disastrous, consequences that a one-sided, biased approach may very well provoke for the field.

If Ufology is to move ahead,  find answers, and actually have some meaningful future, it needs to totally do away with belief systems and recognize that every belief is just a theory, an hypothesis, an idea. And that’s all. Ufologists need to embrace alternative ideas and paradigms, since many suggest far easier, and more successful, ways of understanding the various phenomena that comprise the UFO enigma than endlessly studying radar-blips, gun-camera footage, FOIA documentation, and blurry photos.

Should Ufology fail to seize the growing challenge it already faces, then will it die or fade away? Nope, it will still be here and here, popping up now and again. Not unlike a nasty, itchy rash picked up in the “private room” at the local strip-joint on a Friday night that never quite goes away. Probably even 100 or 200 years from now. But, it will be a Ufological Tyrannosaurus Rex: its sell-by date long gone, clinging on to an era also long gone, and perceived by the public of that era as we, today, perceive those nutcases who hold on to centuries-old beliefs that if you sail far enough you’ll fall off the edge of the planet. Or, the deluded souls who think the women on those terrible “Reality TV” shows that sit around arguing over lunch are really arguing.

I agree with some of Nick’s talking points in that UFO conventions often feature speakers who often talk of the “space brothers” and how they will save us and the Earth in spite  of ourselves.

That is just the money making crap and smacks of televangelism.

Paranormal events versus technical reasons for UFOs is the wrong tact however. I think there is a way to join the two, but would be very hard to test using the scientific method.

Maybe there is a way to test paranormal events in the future? I do believe a scientist has tried to do so, but it is proving very hard to confirm by testability.

Perhaps that is why new paradigms are difficult to break through. The old ones must pass away slowly into that sweet night?

The Future of Ufology

The future of ufology. ( The Daily Grail )

Leadership in world green energy another “Sputnik moment” for U.S.

Folks in government are calling China’s meteoric rise on the super-power stage a “sputnik moment” for the United States, especially since the introduction of their super-computer this year and the construction of their modern high speed rail service.

And although China’s currently the new leader in carbon emissions that aggravate the contested global warming effect, they are leading in finding new technologies that will eventually circumvent these problems.

Steven Chu, U.S. Energy Secretary, likened the milestones to a new U.S. “Sputnik moment”, which sparked the Space Race and the manned landing on the Moon in 1969:

A senior US official called China’s growing innovation a “Sputnik moment” that should spur the United States to ramp up investment in clean energy, despite a shift in Washington on climate change.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu likened a series of Chinese milestones — including the development of the world’s fastest supercomputer — to the Soviet Union’s landmark 1957 satellite that led the United States into the Space Race.

“America, I am optimistic, will wake up and see the opportunity. And when it does, it still has the greatest innovation machine in the world,” Chu said in a speech entitled “Our New Sputnik Moment.”

Chu said the United States still concentrated on research in areas such as computers, defense and pharmaceuticals but that its funding for energy innovation was paltry.

By contrast, China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon blamed for global warming, is working to build the world’s most expansive high-speed rail network and has developed technology for the highest-efficiency coal plants.

“America still has the opportunity to lead in a world that will need essentially a new industrial revolution to give us the energy we want inexpensively but carbon-free,” Chu said.

“But I think time is running out,” said Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

Chu, however, will enjoy little political leeway when he heads to Cancun, Mexico, where representatives of more than 190 countries on Monday opened two weeks of talks on drafting a new global treaty to stem climate change.

President Barack Obama last year went to the climate summit in Copenhagen where he pledged US action to curb carbon emissions along with assistance for poor countries hardest hit by rising temperatures.

The rival Republican Party, which swept November 2 congressional elections, is strongly opposed to a so-called “cap-and-trade” plan to require industry to cut carbon. Many Republicans argue that it is too costly in uncertain economic times, while some contest the science behind climate change.

Chu countered that climate action would benefit the economy by opening up a new field in green technology.

But Chu also defended potential costs. He likened climate skeptics to homeowners who are repeatedly told to change wiring but keep looking for electricians to tell them they do not need to.

“Do you actually go and you say, well, okay, that’s a threat but I think it’s more cost-effective — I just make sure my fire insurance is up-to-date?” he said.

Two recent studies found that China’s investment in green technology has outpaced that of the United States. But China has held firm in rejecting a treaty that would legally require it to cut carbon emissions.

The United States, backed by other developed nations, has insisted on a binding treaty, believing it is crucial to ensure global action — and to win over support in Washington.

The Kyoto Protocol, which the United States rejected, asks only wealthy nations to cut carbon emissions. The requirements run out at the end of 2012.

The dispute has been tense at times. At UN-backed talks in October, China’s chief climate negotiator, Su Wei, said the United States was like a “pig looking in a mirror” and finding itself beautiful.

Vaughan Turekian, chief international officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said that the political dynamics have barely changed more than a decade after the Kyoto negotiations.

“The current climate summit process is unlikely to produce a global treaty that includes the United States as a signatory, let alone one that would stand any chance of being ratified by 67 senators,” he said.

With a $700,000,000,000 Pentagon budget, 1,000 military bases worldwide, budget deficits as far as the eye can see and an ultra-conservative Congress just elected, I don’t see any infrastructure investments at all within the next two years, if at all.

Actually, I see more townships combining, taxes going up and local paved roads returning to graded gravel, like in the 1920s and 1930s.

We are a 21st Century Roman Empire in decline, slowly being put down by the corporate global governance system after having served its purpose.

No Sputnik moment here. Its time has past.

US: China rise a ‘Sputnik moment’ for clean energy

Some possible misconceptions of alien life

Dr. Sam Vaknin, a columnist for various European publications, has written ten misconceptions that science-fiction authors generally use when writing about possible ET life.

Most make sense.

But like all things, it’s one person’s opinion.

In all works of science fiction, there are ten hidden assumptions regarding alien races. None of these assumptions is a necessity. None of them makes immanent or inevitable sense. Yet, when we read a sci-fi novel or watch a sci-fi movie we tend to accept all of them as inescapable. They amount to a frame of reference and to a language without which we seem to be unable to relate to all manner of exobiology. We evidently believe that life on Earth is a representative sample and that we can extrapolate its properties and mechanisms of action wide and far across the Universe. The principles of symmetry, isotropy, and homogeneity apply to the physical cosmos: Hydrogen behaves identically in our local galactic neighbourhood as it does in the furthest reaches of the Cosmos. Why shouldn’t life be the same?

Which leads us to the first fallacy:

1. Life in the Universe

Alien beings may not be alive in any sense of this ambiguous and loaded word. They may not eat, drink, excrete, reproduce, grow, die, process information, or move. Even here, on Earth, we have examples of such entities (viruses, for instance). Why assume that extrasolar creatures must be endowed with a biology of some kind?

But isn’t life as we know it an unavoidable outcome of the growing complexity of organisms? This is begging the question. Multi-cellular entities on Earth are manifestations of Carbon-based biology. We cannot imagine beings whose complexity does not spring from some material (or energy) lattice. But our inability to imagine something, even in principle, is no proof that it cannot or does not exist.

2. The Concept of Structure

Aliens in science fiction are typically anthropomorphic in body and in psyche. They sport a central trunk out of which protrude extremities and a head that rests on a variant of our neck. They possess and are possessed by emotions. They reason and debate exactly as we do. The rare few who bear no resemblance to Homo sapiens are usually pure energy. But, even these are arranged in a matrix that is in principle visible or otherwise measurable. We cannot conceive of entities that completely lack organisation.

Yet, structure and organization are mere language elements. They are “in our head” so to speak. They do not exist in reality. They are the results of our limitations: our inability to grasp the whole at once. We use time, space, and form to cope with the immense amount of information that constitutes the Universe. Our minds slice the world and shape it into manageable bits that can be classified and catalogued. We then postulate the existence of interactions to account for our sense of inexorable time. Other inhabitants of the Cosmos may be completely shapeless, lack boundaries or size, be devoid of structure, and be totally inert.

But isn’t structure a precondition for complexity? The answer is a resounding no (see my article “The Complexity of Simplicity”). Additionally, why assume that sentient beings must be complex? Complexity is one solution. Simplicity is another. Our evolution “chose” the former. Processes in other corners of the Galaxy may prefer the latter.

Even the concept of “race” or “species” is doubtful. Why would aliens have to belong to such taxonomic categories? Why can’t we imagine a group of astrobiological specimen, each one constituting a distinct species, sui generis, “custom-made”? Why presume that they all must share the same genetic heritage? For that matter, why should they have a genetic make-up at all? Is our DNA the most efficient method of propagating data across time? This is an extremely chauvinistic supposition.

3. Communication and Interaction

Slaves to our (false) sensation of time, we deny the possibility of simultaneity and require that information travels a finite distance in any given period. This precondition requires us to communicate and interact in order to affect changes in our environment and in our interlocutors: we are forced to transfer and transport information by a variety of means from one point in spacetime to another.

Certain sci-fi works introduce “telepathy” into their imaginary worlds: the instant evocation of content in one mind by another’s brain acting on it. But telepathy still assumes some kind of transport mechanism and the separateness of sender and recipient in space and, sometimes in time. No matter how imaginative and creative our literary and scientific endeavours, we are unable to convincingly describe a truly timeless, eventless ecosystem where things don’t happen and information is immediately available everywhere, vitiating the need for communication and interaction.

Yet, modern Quantum Mechanics provides us with exactly this insight: that time and space are illusions, linguistic conventions that are the outcomes of our idiosyncratic (not to say inferior) mental apparatus. The foundations of our reality at the particle level are such that simultaneity is common (entanglement) and even the concept of location is gravely challenged (the Uncertainty Principles; tunnelling and other quantum phenomena). Superior beings may not have to communicate or interact at all.

4. Location

In sci-fi works, aliens are always somewhere, in a given location. Granted, some of them project their image. Others can be in multiple places at the same moment or be part of a colony-like hive. But all extraterrestrial life forms occupy space and time and can be pinpointed to a reasonable degree using scientific instrumentation or human sense organs.

Yet, location – like space and time themselves – is a mere convention. At the particle level, knowing one’s location is a tricky business as it precludes information about other properties of the object being observed. Embryonic quantum machines and quantum computers already make use of this fact: that the building blocks of our world cannot be effectively located in either space or time (a phenomenon known as entanglement).

ET may not have a “home”. His “place” may be everywhere and nowhere at the same “time”. We can’t wrap our head around these possibilities because our cerebral computer comes equipped (at least according to Kant) with software that limits us to its parameters and procedures. Moreover: location is an essential component of our sense of identity and individuality.

5. Separateness

It is impossible for us to deny our separation – physical, temporal, and psychological – from other people. We are individuals with a specific mindset, needs, fears, emotions, priorities, personal history, wishes, and place in the world. Our language is ill-equipped to cope with a different reality. We cannot conceive of sharing a body – let alone a mind – with someone else. Even when we discuss multi-organism coordinated and directional hyperstructures, such as ant or bee colonies, we still distinguish between the components comprising them in terms of individuals. We (at least in the West) insist that we not illusory manifestations of an underlying and more fundamental whole.

Yet, as Eastern philosophy and modern physics tell us our separateness may indeed by nothing more than an illusion, a convenient organizing principle and an operational unit, akin to the cell in a human body. Aliens may have long discarded such amenity, if they availed themselves of it to start with. Non-terrestrials may have dispensed with the notions of individuals and separateness, “whole” and “parts” and may have supplanted them with the – to us – unimaginable.

6. Transportation

If location and separateness are deceptive, what need there is of transportation? Of what use are spaceships? Even if location and separateness are real, why would advanced species need to travel anywhere? Why not simply project themselves or induce action at a distance? We don’t travel to our bank – we use online banking. We remote control our televisions, power stations, cranes, and numerous other machines. We videoconference. Why reduce supposedly superior races to the travails of physical, galaxy-hopping missions? The classical answer is: in order to manipulate the environment and control it one needs to be physically present there. But why presuppose that Aliens are interested in manipulating or controlling their surroundings (nature)? Even more fundamentally: why think that Aliens have a will at all?

7. Will and Intention

In all sci-fi works, extraterrestrials want something, desire it, or wish for it. They form intentions and act directionally to achieve their goals. These literary devices pose two related problems: (a) we cannot be sure that the actions of alien beings signify – let alone prove – the existence of volition; and (b) we cannot be sure that aliens lack will and intent even if they do not act at all. Put concisely: actions teach us nothing about the existence or absence of intelligence, volition, intent, planning, foresight, and utilitarian thinking. We don’t know if and cannot prove that animals (such as pets) are possessed of a will even when they are acting wilfully. Imagine how much more difficult it would be with visitors from outer space. Attributing will and directionality to ET is a prime example of teleology (the belief that causes are preceded by their effects) and anthropomorphosis (attributing human qualities, motives, emotions, and conduct to non-humans).

Throughout this discussion, it would seem that a goal necessarily implies the existence of an intention (to realize it). A lack of intent leaves only one plausible course of action: automatism. Any action taken in the absence of a manifest intention to act is, by definition, an automatic action.

The converse is also true: automatism prescribes the existence of a sole possible mode of action, a sole possible Nature. With an automatic action, no choice is available, there are no degrees of freedom, or freedom of action. Automatic actions are, ipso facto, deterministic.

Still, the distinction between volitional and automatic actions is not clear-cut.

Consider, for instance, house pets. They engage in a variety of acts. They are goal oriented (seek food, drink, etc.). Are they possessed of a conscious, directional, volition (intent)? Many philosophers argued against such a supposition. Moreover, sometimes end-results and by-products are mistaken for goals. Is the goal of objects to fall down? Gravity is a function of the structure of space-time. When we roll a ball down a slope (which is really what gravitation is all about, according to the General Theory of Relativity) is its “goal” to come to a rest at the bottom? Evidently not. Natural processes are considered to be witless reactions. No intent can be attributed to them because no intelligence can be ascribed to them. Yet, this is true but only at times.

8. Intelligence

We cannot safely deduce that Aliens are intelligent from merely observing their behaviour. It is a fallacy to insist that technology and collaboration are predicated on intelligence. Even on Earth, with a limited sample of Life, we have examples of directional (goal-oriented) and technology-empowered behaviour by non-sentient entities (computers, for instance). Intelligence as we understand it requires introspection and self-awareness and, probably a concept of “self” (see item 5 above: “Separateness”).

Still, Aliens – like us – are part of Nature. Is Nature as a whole intelligent (as we humans understand intelligence)? Was it designed by an intelligent being (the “watchmaker” hypothesis)? If it was, is each and every part of Nature endowed with this “watchmaker” intelligence?

Intelligence is hard to define. Still, the most comprehensive approach would be to describe it as the synergetic sum of a host of mental processes (some conscious, some not). These mental processes are concerned with information: its gathering, its accumulation, classification, inter-relation, association, analysis, synthesis, integration, and all other modes of processing and manipulation.

But is this manipulation of information not what natural processes are all about? And if nature is the sum total of all natural processes, aren’t we forced to admit that nature is (intrinsically, inherently, of itself) intelligent? The intuitive reaction to these suggestions is bound to be negative. When we use the term “intelligence”, we seem not to be concerned with just any kind of intelligence – but with intelligence that is separate from and external to what has to be explained. If both the intelligence and the item that needs explaining are members of the same set, we tend to disregard the intelligence involved and label it as “natural” and, therefore, irrelevant.

Moreover, not everything that is created by an intelligence (however “relevant”, or external) is intelligent in itself. Some automatic products of intelligent beings are inanimate and non-intelligent. On the other hand, as any Artificial Intelligence buff would confirm, automata can become intelligent, having crossed a certain quantitative or qualitative level of complexity. The weaker form of this statement is that, beyond a certain quantitative or qualitative level of complexity, it is impossible to tell the automatic from the intelligent. Is Nature automatic, is it intelligent, or on the seam between automata and intelligence?

Nature contains everything and, therefore, contains multiple intelligences. That which contains intelligence is not necessarily intelligent, unless the intelligences contained are functional determinants of the container. Quantum Mechanics (rather, its Copenhagen interpretation) implies that this, precisely, is the case. Intelligent, conscious, observers determine the very existence of subatomic particles, the constituents of all matter-energy. Human (intelligent) activity determines the shape, contents and functioning of the habitat Earth. If other intelligent races populate the universe, this could be the rule, rather than the exception. Nature may, indeed, be intelligent in the sense that it is determined by the intelligent races it contains.

Indeed, goal-orientated behaviour (or behavior that could be explained as goal-orientated) is Nature’s hallmark. The question whether automatic or intelligent mechanisms are at work, really deals with an underlying issue, that of consciousness. Are these mechanisms self-aware, introspective? Is intelligence possible without such self-awareness, without the internalized understanding of what it is doing?

9. Artificial vs. Natural

Sci-fi authors sometimes suggest or state that “their” Aliens are natural beings, not machines or artificial entities. They tout the complexity of these life forms to prove that they have emerged naturally and are intelligent. In the apocalyptic works that depict a takeover of Earth by man-made or extraterrestrial automata, the marauders or invaders are described as artificial and, therefore, simpler than the natural species that they are challenging. In many respects, these devices are not intelligent.

Conflating the natural with the complex and the intelligent is wrong, however.

Indeed, complexity rises spontaneously in nature through processes such as self-organization. Emergent phenomena are common as are emergent traits: both are not reducible to basic components, interactions, or properties. Yet, complexity does not indicate the existence of a designer or a design. Complexity does not imply the existence of intelligence and sentient beings. On the contrary, complexity usually points towards a natural source and a random origin.

It is also true that complexity and artificiality are often incompatible. Artificial designs and objects are found only in unexpected (“unnatural”) contexts and environments. Natural objects are totally predictable and expected. Artificial creations are efficient and, therefore, simple and parsimonious. Natural objects and processes are not.

As Seth Shostak notes in his excellent essay, titled “SETI and Intelligent Design”, evolution experiments with numerous dead ends before it yields a single adapted biological entity. DNA is far from optimized: it contains inordinate amounts of junk. Our bodies come replete with dysfunctional appendages and redundant organs. Lightning bolts emit energy all over the electromagnetic spectrum. Pulsars and interstellar gas clouds spew radiation over the entire radio spectrum. The energy of the Sun is ubiquitous over the entire optical and thermal range. No intelligent engineer – human or not – would be so wasteful.

The examples he gives are pretty varied and it’s quite possible that all are valid.

Anyone want to take a trip to Bigelow’s Skinwalker Ranch to test this hypothesis?

Aliens ‘R Us: The Ten Errors of Science Fiction

source

More Tesla Tech / Russia’s Illegal Alien Problem?

In this 21st Century, perhaps we not only owe our tech to folks like Einstein, Edison and Hawking, but to the greatest one of all.

Nicola Tesla.

Tesla, a pioneering Serbian-born physicist, made the prediction about the portable messaging service in the Popular Mechanics magazine in 1909.

Tesla, whose name lives on at Tesla Motors, the electric car manufacturer, saw wireless energy as the only way to make electricity thrive.

He wrote in the magazine that, one day it would be possible to transmit wireless messages all over the world.

Tesla, who spent most of his adult life in America before his death in New York in 1943, imagined such a hand-held device would be simple to use and that, one day, everyone in the world would communicate to friends using it.

This, he added, would usher in a new era of technology.

Seth Porges, the magazine’s technology editor, disclosed Tesla’s prediction at a presentation, titled “108 years of futurism”, to industry figures recently in New York.

The “Crackberry” as it has been dubbed for its addictive qualities, is popular with business executives and US President Barack Obama, but has struggled in Britain to widen its appeal to a younger demographic.

The magazine, which has nine international editions that is read by millions, has been trying to imagine how the world will look in future years since it was first published in January 1902.

“Nikola Tesla was able to predict technology which is still in its nascent forms a hundred years later,” Mr Porges said.

“He talked a lot about his other great passion, which was wireless power.

“It has taken a little longer to get off the ground, but work on fascinating wireless conductive transmission is going on right now in research centres at MIT and Intel and other places.”

But some predictions have fallen short of expectations such as personal helicopters, flying cars, airports positioned on the top of giant buildings, and even an oven that also acted as a hairdryer.

In the first half of the 20th century, other magazine writers imagined trains that were transported around the country via hot air balloons, fire fighters that wore sprinkler helmets and homebuyers that chose their homes via mail order.

Once again I must bring up the rumor that Tesla received his ideas from “aliens.”

Did he?

Blackberry ‘predicted a century ago’ by pioneering physicist Nikola Tesla

Telegraph via recombu.com via The Anomalist

There are rumors that a Russian territorial governor might have had contact with ‘aliens’, possibly passing state secrets.

C’mon.

Right?

Concerns have been raised by State Duma deputy Andrei Lebedev that a Russian governor, who is claiming to have had contact with extraterrestrials in 1997, may have compromised state secrets.The story, first told by governor Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on Russian television last week,  is making the rounds in the mainstream media.

According to his personal account of an extraterrestrial encounter,  Ilyumzhinov was contacted by aliens on September 18, 1997.

Joe Firmage, the former CEO of the multi-billion dollar Internet consulting company USWeb, claimed to have been contacted by an extraterrestrial visitor in October 1997.

According to many accounts, the alleged aliens are attracted to bedrooms and sleeping humans.

Joe Firmage reported a visitor at the foot of his bed.

Firmage also reported that the alleged alien projected a ball of light into his body, resulting in an indescribable state of ecstasy.

According to  Moscow Times, as Ilyumzhinov was falling asleep, he heard ‘someone’ calling him to the balcony of his Moscow apartment, where he entered a “semi-transparent half tube” and saw human-looking aliens in yellow spacesuits.

Communication with the extraterrestrial interlopers took place using mind-to-mind telepathy. Ilyumzhinov explained that the contact with the visitors took place “on a level of the exchange of the ideas.”

Recent research into new applications for brain scanning technology suggests it will be possible to convert brain images into words. The possibility of mind-to-mind communication, mediated by advanced technology, has moved from the province of science fiction into the real world.

Unlike the account from Firmage, who claimed the extraterrestrial visitor chuckled when it was told he wanted to travel in space, Ilyumzhinov claims to have actually been taken aboard the otherworldly craft. According to Ilyumzhinov, when his driver, minister, and assistant arrived at this apartment in the morning, he was no where to be found.

About an hour later, Ilyumzhinov emerged from the bedroom, much to their shock and disbelief.

Andrei Lebedev, who is a member of the Duma’s Security Committee, has reportedly requested that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev conduct a security review, to ensure that the aliens did not elicit (or presumably telepathically obtain) confidential information.

According to Moscow Times, “Lebedev also asked Medvedev whether Ilyumzhinov had ever informed the Kremlin of his contacts with aliens and whether a procedure was in place for senior officials who know state secrets — like Ilyumzhinov — to report such contacts to the Kremlin.”

Joe Firmage’s public revelation of his 1997 personal extraterrestrial encounter eventually led to his resignation from USWeb in  1999.

To remain the governor of Kalmykia, Ilyumzhinov must be reappointed by President Medvedev in October.

Recently, strange reports of otherworldly beings and government black operations have been connected to famous politicians and government officials interested in alternative energy sources.

One of the most infamous legends in UFOlogy is the so-called Majestic 12 MAJIC Eisenhower Briefing Document. Although the document has been widely discredited, if taken at face value, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower was briefed concerning an alien presence.

Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of President Eisenhower, met with Russian President Medvedev in 2009 as a part of a bi-partisan commission on US-Russia relations, and is a member of US President Obama’s Department of Energy Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. Susan Eisenhower was married to Roald Sagdeev, the former director of the Soviet Space Research Institute.

Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, the great-granddaughter of US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, claims to have been the victim of an attempted recruitment into a secret Mars colony project involving an extraterrestrial presence. According to documents obtained by STARstream Research, the alleged Mars mission concept was based upon new nuclear powered rocket engines.

Nuclear powered rocket engines were among the futuristic ideas examined by the Space Technology International Forum, or STAIF.

Beyond exotic nuclear powered rocket engines, rumors concerning exotic alternative energy concepts and a possible extraterrestrial connection have been the topic of conversation by government related sources.

STAIF Section “F” examined far-out fringe topics including warp drives, worm holes and beyond. Paul Murad of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Dr. Eric Davis, who is known for a teleportation study commissioned by the USAF, were among the presenters.

According to one source, a journalist covering the STAIF conferences was approached by American intelligence with an offer of money in exchange for editorial control of the reporter’s content.

Former CIA analyst Ron Pandolfi, an associate of Paul Murad, is well known for his interest in UFOs and alternative science. Pandolfi was “the highest ranking scientist at the Agency,” and was ” put to work on developing alternative energy sources,” according to Ken Timmerman of Newsmax. Recently, Pandolfi tasked the elite JASON scientific group to examine the fringe topic of high frequency gravity waves. The topic of high frequency gravity waves has been associated with alleged alien technologies, like antigravity.

Dr. Hal Puthoff, who worked for various government agencies interested in creating ‘psychic spies’ during the cold war, has been investigating the potential for so-called zero point energy: the extraction of energy from empty space. It is widely assumed by the UFO community that extraterrestrial spacecraft are powered by zero point energy.”

I can’ help but notice this all came about after the governor went to sleep.

A case of a waking dream?

Moscow’s Illegal Aliens: Russian leader may have passed state secrets to extraterrestrials

Toyota Cosmic Rays and Area 51 Vets Speak Out

When this little article caught my eye this Monday A.M., I just can’t resist posting it:

It may not lessen Toyota’s woes to hear that the problems the company has been having with faulty gas pedals could be blamed on cosmic rays from space. Sound unbelievable? The concept is actually a lot more plausible than you might think.

Toyota’s sticky gas pedals caused sudden and unintended acceleration in several of the automaker’s top-selling Toyota and Lexus-brand cars, which led to a massive recall of more than 9 million vehicles worldwide, beginning in November. While ongoing inquiries attempt to locate the source of the problem and figure out a fix, investigators might find it useful to examine a far-out culprit: cosmic ray radiation from deep in the cosmos, which has been known to plague vulnerable data and memory chips in electronics.

Cosmic rays could be at least partially to blame for Toyota’s mechanical defects, scientists now say. And the problem could get worse in the future, as the increasing use of tiny computer chips – replacing mechanical parts – makes cars more and more vulnerable to space radiation.

More sensitive electronics

Federal regulators were prompted to look into the possible role that cosmic rays played in Toyota’s product recall fiasco after an anonymous tipster suggested the design of Toyota’s microprocessors, software and memory chips could make them more vulnerable to interference from radiation compared with other automakers. This is because Toyota has led the auto industry in its widespread inclusion of electronic controls in the manufacture of their various car models.

As electronic devices are made to perform more and more functions on smaller circuit chips, the systems become more sensitive and vulnerable to corruption, and thus more prone to interference from radiation, said Ewart Blackmore, a senior researcher at TRIUMF, a cyclotron facility in Vancouver, Canada, that works with companies to test and analyze the effects of radiation on products.

“Radiation is certainly a potential cause of Toyota’s problems,” Blackmore told LiveScience. “What’s not known is what direction Toyota and other automakers are taking in terms of finding and correcting these issues.”

What are cosmic rays?

As a start, automakers and regulators need to understand the complex and sometimes mysterious ways cosmic rays affect electronics on Earth.

Cosmic rays are high-energy protons that originate in shock waves from the remnants of supernovas – the death heaves of giant exploded stars. Cosmic rays constantly rain down on Earth. And while the high-energy “primary” rays collide with atoms in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and rarely make it through to the ground, “secondary” particles are ejected from these collisions and do reach ground level.

The effect is similar to a cue ball striking a rack of balls in the game of pool, said Robert Rauk, a consultant at Creative Power Resources, Inc., a Philadelphia-based electrical and mechanical engineering consulting company.

“These secondary particles bathe the Earth in energetic showers that can disrupt electronics,” Rauk said in an e-mail interview. “The effect depends on how sensitive the spot is that was struck.”

High-energy particles and electronics

Electronic chips record, store and process information in the form of “bits.” High-energy particles that pass through these chips can alter or “flip” a bit, resulting in a Single Event Upset (SEU).

This event can be anything from data loss or altered programming, to much more serious corruptions of circuitry functions.

The risks are especially high for circuits that are “field programmable,” explained Lloyd W. Massengill, director of engineering at the Vanderbilt Institute for Space and Defense Electronics at Vanderbilt University. Field-programmable circuits are systems in which the circuit’s function can be electrically altered while it is still in use.

“These circuit families store not just data, but their basic function electrically,” Massengill said. “In the unfortunate event of a particle flipping just the right bit, a circuit configured to carry out a benign action may be reprogrammed to carry out some unintended action.”

As the author notes, this is very plausible and I believe the US military plans for it when ordering equipment from contractors.

And it’s a bugaboo for NASA when planning future manned interplanetary missions.

Toyota Recall Might Be Caused By Cosmic Rays

hat tip

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Area 51 lore contains alien grays, crashed ufos, ufo technology, secrecy, the CIA and all the tin foil hat wearing stuff we like here.

At last, some former Area 51 vets are speaking out and some items are coming to light.

Alas, no aliens:

After nearly five decades, guys like James Noce finally get to tell their stories about Area 51.Yes, that Area 51.

The one that gets brought up when people talk about secret Air Force projects, crashed UFOs, alien bodies and, of course, conspiracies.

The secrets, some of them, have been declassified.

Noce, 72, and his fellow Area 51 veterans around the country now are free to talk about doing contract work for the CIA in the 1960s and ’70s at the arid, isolated Southern Nevada government testing site.

Their stories shed some light on a site shrouded in mystery; classified projects still are going on there. It’s not a big leap from warding off the curious 40 or 50 years ago, to warding off the curious who now make the drive to Area 51.

The veterans’ stories provide a glimpse of real-life government covert operations, with their everyday routines and moments of excitement.

Noce didn’t seek out publicity. But when contacted, he was glad to tell what it was like.

“I was sworn to secrecy for 47 years. I couldn’t talk about it,” he says.

In the 1960s, Area 51 was the test site for the A-12 and its successor, the SR-71 Blackbird, a secret spy plane that broke records at documented speeds that still have been unmatched. The CIA says it reached Mach 3.29 (about 2,200 mph) at 90,000 feet.

But after September 2007, when the CIA displayed an A-12 in front of its Langley, Va., headquarters as part of the agency’s 60th birthday, much of the secrecy of those days at Area 51 fell away.

Advance warning to UFOlogists: Sorry, although Noce and other Area 51 vets say they saw plenty of secret stuff, none make claims about aliens.

I do believe the CIA used the UFO phenomenon to cover up secret black projects since it made a convenient foil. But these projects were compartmentalized to the point where most people didn’t know what each other did. Unless they worked together directly, they didn’t know crap.

So that still leaves room for the possibility of back-engineering UFO tech and keeping it secret from others who worked at the facility!

Area 51 vets break silence: Sorry, but no space aliens or UFOs

Invisibility Cloak / Mayan Pyramid

Invisibility for material objects have been a scientific Rosetta Stone for the world’s military and space researchers for decades.

Now scientists might have discovered a way to achieve this in three dimensions of materiality:

The “cloak”, described in the journal Science, hid an object from detection using light of wavelengths close to those that are visible to humans.

Previous devices have been able to hide objects from light travelling in only one direction; viewed from any other angle, the object would remain visible.

This is a very early but significant step towards true invisibility cloaks.

Tolga Ergin, a scientist from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany led the study.

He told BBC News that his team’s cloak was based on the concept that you can “transform space” with a material.

He and his colleagues designed a photonic metamaterial, which influenced the behaviour of light rays.

“You can think of any transformation that you would like to have, and tailor your material to mimic this,” he explained.

The basis of the design is known as a “carpet cloak”. This was first proposed by Professor Sir John Pendry from Imperial College London, who also took part in this study.

“He proposed the theoretical design of having an object hidden under a bump and making the bump disappear,” said Mr Ergin.

“It’s like a carpet mirror,” he continued. “If you hide an object under it, there is a bump, so you see a distortion in the reflected image.

“We put the carpet cloak on top of that bump and it bends the light so that the distortions disappear.

“You have the impression that the mirror you’re looking at is flat.”

Bending light

The trick is to change the speed and direction in which light travels through the material – that is, to change the material’s refractive index.

The researchers achieved by this using a polymer crystal made up of very tiny rods. “By changing the thickness of the rods, you can change the ratio of air to polymer,” explained Dr Ergin.

“Since the refractive index of air is about one and the refractive index of the polymer is about 1.52,” he explained, “in principle, we can get any refractive index between those two numbers,” he said.

By tailoring the refractive index of the surface of the bump, the scientists rendered it invisible to a wide range of light wavelengths slightly longer than those that we can see.

Watch for the Pentagon to issue Predator-type battle armor incorporating this within the next decade because I’m certain DARPA is already working on this!

Invisibility Cloak Created In 3-D

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Here’s a little something for the “no f*ckin’ way” department.

Via Rick Phillip’s Barf Stew:

Hello, welcome to Barf Stew – took a day off BS yesterday to find you the hot, up and out mixture of links you desire – and this one will NOT disappoint.http://denniswhitneyufo.blogspot.com/2010/03/mayan-pyramid-shoots-out-beam-of-light.htmlBarf Stew Tag. One helluva good blog too – tons and tons of content.

I don’t know whether I believe this sh*t or not, but if Rick Phillips finds it interesting, who am I to argue?

Mayan Pyramid Shoots Out Beam of Light

Did HAARP Cause the Chile Earthquake too?

Once again the possibility that HAARP is reeking havoc to earthquake-prone zones to serve some purpose.

Lately, HAARP has been accused of causing the recent Haiti disaster in order to gain access to rich undersea oil reserves there for the US (link).

Usually just before a HAARP attack, unusual lights are seen in the sky, typically over the target area.

This time, weird lights were seen in the skies over Chile before the monstrous 8.8 R quake hit:

A video has emerged of strange lights in the Chilean sky on the day before the massive 8.8 earthquake, causing speculation about whether the apparition was a HAARP projection or UFO warning related to the impending disaster.  Others point to similar videos taken in China and Haiti prior to the recent earthquakes in those countries, and the possibility that shifts in the earth’s crust have a dramatic effect on the atmosphere.

Whatever the case, there is at least one eyewitness account of strange lights being present in the sky at the time that the ground opened up in Chile.  Cecelia Lagos, a Chilean reporter, was interviewed by CNN and described seeing the sky change colors outside her window as her house shook.  Although the CNN clip wasn’t available, here’s an MSNBC video of her telling a similar story and the transcript from the actual CNN interview, in which she compares what she saw to a seen out of the big blockbuster disaster film, 2012:

Cecelia Lagos – “Besides, I saw through my window, while I was still in bed, I saw the sky changing colors, it was absolutely surreal. I really thought it was the end of the world…I don’t know I hope you understand me because I’m not exaggerating really because I saw it through my window like that. That was the most terrifying thing seeing the sky changing colors with the terribly, amazingly,strong movement of the earth, I thought, ok…this is mother earth… the earth opened up and buildings crumbled into the earth …like in the movie 2012…”

The question here is…why?

What does Chile have the American Federal Empire might want?

Does Chile have undersea/ground oil reserves like Haiti?

Or is this purely political, a warning to Hugo Chavez to mind his “P’s-n-Q’s” and stay in his place?

It could be nothing at all, odd lights in the sky, especially over earthquake prone volcanic areas historically have had anomalous ‘sky lights’ before catastrophic events occur (link).

Curiouser and curiouser…

Surreal Chilean Skies

The Fateful Geological Prize Called Haiti