As I troll across the InnerTubes, I occassionaly run across an interesting website that features a possibly good story about UFOs, the government and the CIA.
Robby Graham’s site, Silver Screen Saucers, has an interesting post about a CIA operative who has written a book that is supposedly vetted by the CIA itself.
And it’s questionable validity:
Chase Brandon, a thirty-five year veteran of the CIA, will tonight appear as a guest on Coast to Coast AM with John B. Wells. Many listeners will no doubt be unfamiliar with Brandon and his career with the CIA, but his name has passed my lips literally thousands of times over the past several years.Brandon spent twenty-five years in the Agency’s elite Clandestine Service as an undercover, covert operations officer. His foreign assignments involved international terrorism, counterinsurgency, global narcotics trafficking and weapons smuggling. He was also an Agency foreign political affairs analyst, Presidential briefer to Bill Clinton and an instructor in paramilitary and espionage tactics at multiple secret CIA training camps.Brandon is perhaps best known as the CIA’s former Entertainment Liaison Officer – a position that required him to establish working relationships with many of the biggest names in Hollywood and to provide advice to filmmakers on matters of “accuracy and authenticity” with regard to the CIA’s image onscreen. He was – though he prefers to phrase it more sympathetically – the CIA’s chief frontline propagandist in Hollywood. He advised on countless films and TV series – often uncredited – quietly shaping scripts, characters and concepts.As a great deal of my academic research has been focused on cinematic propaganda efforts, Brandon’s activities in Hollywood naturally have been of considerable interest to me and I have spent many hours discussing with colleagues and writing about the CIA’s role in Hollywood and the influence wielded by Chase Brandon and other CIA advisors in the entertainment industry.The CIA/Hollywood relationship is a sordid one, and it predates the start of the Agency’s “official” involvement in Tinseltown by four decades. You can read about this relationship in Professor Tricia Jenkins’ excellent new book, The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes film and Television, and I’ll be exploring the CIA/Hollywood symbiosis in great detail in the context of the UFO phenomenon in my forthcoming book, Silver Screen Saucers: Sorting Fact from Fantasy in Hollywood’s UFO Movies.With Chase Brandon’s credentials in mind, the UFO community is set to engage in furious debate about this CIA man’s first novel, which is now on sale and is titled The Cryptos Conundrum. It is a “fictional” book dealing with the UFO/ET issue, specifically with the Roswell crash and cover-up. This marks the first time ever that any retired CIA operative has written a book (presented either as fact or fiction) on the UFO topic that has received the Agency’s official stamp of approval. On that basis alone, it’s a must-read.On the first page of the book, a bold, underlined notice reads:This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.But, of course, classified information can’t technically be disclosed if it is presented as fiction. Brandon is gleefully aware of this, and selects as his first quote of the book a musing by Francis Bacon:“Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.”I’ve read Brandon’s novel. Obviously, it’s intriguing, to say the least, and Brandon clearly wants it to be seen to contain many truths, despite its “fiction” label. Does Brandon have ‘inside’ information on UFOs? It is my assessment that, yes, probably he does. Some. The circles he’s walked in during his career would almost certainly have made him privy to UFO-related chatter; to whispers and suggestions, if not hard evidence. This is not to say the information Brandon might have is true. Most of what he “knows” is likely based on what he’s been told, not on what he’s seen [UPDATE: even though he claims to have seen proof of Roswell with his own eyes]. More than anything, what readers should remember when reading Brandon’s tantalising book is that the author is a trained expert in propaganda and psychological warfare. Buy his book, then, but don’t buy into it.
Not hearing much about virtual worlds these days? They’re not dead, says Tim Ferguson – just preparing for the next round.
Virtual worlds such as Second Life have a bright future, according to experts, especially as businesses start to realise how they can be used for collaboration within their organisation and with customers.
A couple years ago, big names in tech and business were rushing to capitalise on Second Life’s popularity by building ‘islands’ and headquarters in the virtual world – or using it to sell products in a novel way.
But since that initial rush, things have quietened down. Media coverage of virtual worlds has subsided and some early adopters have abandoned their virtual activities after failing to reap benefits from the medium.
So are virtual worlds dead?
Hardly. Now experts predict the virtual world phenomenon is entering a second phase in which businesses will become shrewder about their involvement in such environments and look more carefully at the tangible benefits they can realise.
Virtual worlds are the business environments of the future. Why commute when you can don a pair of glasses or skull cap and be where you have to be for a board meeting or just plain performing your slave-wage job.
Just ask the Google-Plex.
Virtual worlds set for second coming ( Note the religious symbolism here )
Military bases appear to be a popular haunt for wandering spirits, with several attracting the attention of ghost hunters seeking evidence of paranormal activity.The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) in January checked out reports of unexplained phenomena—mysterious footsteps, voices and apparitions—in three buildings at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for the Sci Fi Channel show Ghost Hunters. Some base personnel have reported seeing the ghost of a blond-haired boy in building 219; others claim to have spotted the apparition of an elderly woman in building 70.
During the episode, TAPS co-founders Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes spend time in building 70, where they claim to hear footsteps one night in the empty office space after urging any spirits there to present themselves. Derek Kaufman, a public affairs specialist with the 88th Air Base Wing, says that the base was happy to have TAPS check out the reports. He notes that he works in building 70, but so far has not had any ghostly encounters of his own.
I’m actually surprised to find this in the Scientific American and the TAPS connection leaves me suspiscious to say the least.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching the Ghost Hunters show, not for the prospect of ghosts being real, but for the entertainment value.
For that reason alone, SA should print a disclaimer.
Then again, it’s not a peer review journal, the target audience are regular sheeple/slaves like us.
Star Trek fans, take heart — Mr. Spock’s fabled home star, the nearby Epsilon Eridani, could harbor an Earth-like planet.
NASA astronomers today report that the triple-ringed star has an asteroid belt and a Jupiter-like giant planet in roughly the same orbits as in our own solar system. Only 850 million years old, a fifth the age of Earth’s sun, Epsilon Eridani resembles a younger twin to our solar system. About 62 trillion miles away, it is the closest known solar system.
It was borrowed by the creators of the TV series Star Trek as the location of Vulcan, the planet that gave us the super-logical science officer Mr. Spock.
“We certainly haven’t seen it yet, but if its solar system is anything like ours, then there should be planets like ours,” say astronomer Massimo Marengo of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.
This would be all well and good if the star was a billion years old or older ( it’s only 850 million years old ).
The Vulcan culture in the Trek lexicon is supposedly thousands of years older than Terran culture.
If solar and planetary evolution has any validity to it, how can an older culture evolve on a planet younger than Earth?
Mainstream media types don’t know squat about astronomy/astrophysics apparently.
These guys at USA Today can’t even get their canon right either, according to this, the planet Vulcan is located at 40 Eridani, not Epsilon Eridani, since some genius at Paramount finally figured out that 40 Eridani was more age appropriate!
*Because the 40 Eridani system is a triple star system with a white dwarf component, 40 Eridani C. White dwarfs are typically stellar remnants of K and G class stars, usually tens of billions years old.
But hey, a young stellar system is cool too. It would be a good observation ground on how planets form around their stars.