Friday, May 12, 2006

Meanderings...

UAP...the term some (including Paul Kimball) prefer to UFO, suffers one little problem. It doesn't "mesh" well with additional acronymical brethren. To wit...

MUFON works..."MUAPON" reads like a Tampax product for mathematicians.
(Although I tried for a while to figure out how to work BRAN or CORN or even COSMIC into MUFON
...BLUEBERRY MUFON, anyone?)

Both Paul and myself have mentioned the rather unfortunate
"UAPologist"...it has its own derisive invective built right in!!

UFOnauts (pronounced "Yew-Foe-Naughts") is far easier on the tongue than "UAPnauts".

How about Grass Roots Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Large-scale Instrumented Network Group
..."GRAUPLING"??

Or maybe Synergistic Terrestrial UAP Logistical And Foolproof Instrumented Network Group
..."STUAPLAFING"?

My favorite? Grass Roots UAP Network of United Technology Specialists
..."GRUAPNUTS"!! Somewhere Ewell Gibbons is smiling...

Most appropriate? Networked UAP Research Organization
...NUAPRO. (This has a built-in homage!!) Yup, that one might work...

But I'm afraid that UAP may just not have the panache required for wide-spread acceptance. Of course it is possible that panache (and maybe even widespread acceptance) is not required and in fact might be undesireable. Staying "under the pop culture radar" might have helped UFOlogy, in fact.

---oOo---


The guy...Gary McKinnon...accused of hacking sensitive American military and other computers to death (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars) faces extradition to the United States to stand trial. Saying he was looking for UFO information, and that the computers into which he "hacked" were simply machines which had unchanged "default" passwords, he seeks to avoid extradition since he might find himself hanging (in the figurative sense) at Gitmo with his ter'rist pals for an undetermined period, he plans to appeal extradition to the High Court.

My question is...if this guy was able to log into sensitive government computers with zero hacking skills, shouldn't we be giving this admittedly harmless dude a freaking medal for exposing yet another example of federal incompetence BEFORE some nefarious plot exploited this incompetence?

Imagine what a REAL terrorist hacker might have accomplished...my guess is that not a few govt fellows had a group sphincter-bunching.

---oOo---


UFO Updates has a thread running about the "Gumment UFO cover-up" wherein Dick Hall and Jerry Clark decry the "vast conspiracy" angle. Presumably (and arguably) the Feds are too incompetent to have kept their secrets under wraps for this long.

No word from Stan Friedman at this time. After all, if our Air Force was engaging in dogfights over US soil (a la Frank Feschino) including "shoot-downs" on both sides, what would have been required to keep THAT secret for all this time but a "vast conspiracy"? I'm thinking that it would be a little more difficult than hiding a few bodies and "discs".

But we've been told before...Eisenhower, Clinton, et. al...of the existence or the threat of a secret government inside the government, suffering no oversight, with its own agenda and an unoffical budget. These weren't conspiracy theorists making these claims...

So who's right here?

---oOo---


I just read Stan Friedman's latest paper. Is it just me, or is the old "Silly Effort to Investigate" moniker he coined for SETI getting a little hackneyed? After all, while Stan sits in a chair in the desert rehashing old UFO stories, SETI researchers sit in front of some of the most sophisticated gear on earth...DOING something. They have engaged the popular culture in a way that seems legitimate and useful (SETI@Home), and they attract great minds, gobs of money, and gigantic machinery to further their goals, and they have produced nothing of any significance to date. So who's really being "Silly"? No offense Stan...your dogged determination in leafing through untold thousands of pages of archival data is nothing to sneeze at..., but why the snarking? Unseemly IMO...particularly in a paper that claims a vast cover-up.

In the end, when you make claims about hidden UFO data and then call SETI "silly", when SETI enjoys great public support, you risk "alienating" the very people who you seek to inform. Unless your "preaching" is intended solely for the "choir"...

---oOo---


Until next time...keep looking up, but watch your step!

Comments:
I've recently read that scanning the heavens for radio signals is like scanning the heavens for a good Italian retaurant... or for smoke signals... You say they're doing something... what is that, exactly, that they are doing? ...and with all that expensive equipment, too.

At best, SETI seems science-lite, and only useful in an attempt to keep the "uncomfortable other" at Arm's length or in plausible deny-ability. There's plenty of good science in UFOs if you have the stone to grab that tiger's tail... and that science if fleshed out pretty well by McDonald, Sturrock, Hynek, Kasher, Haynes et sig al... and yes, our Mr. Friedman. Moreover, the truth, I suspect, is entirely without hackney. N'est ce pas? [g].

alienview@adelphia.net
www.AlienView.net
AVG Blog -- http://alienviewgroup.blogspot.com/
 
Hey Alfred -

If the science of SETI were applied to the UFO field as populated by those you mention, answers might well be forthcoming.

"...SETI seems science-lite...". I agree. But they also enjoy huge monetary and technological support as well as a favorable public image, for good or ill. And that places current UFOlogy somewhere between science-free, and science-barely, IMO.

While I agree that UFOs offer the potential for plenty of good science, evidence thereof seems in very short supply of late.

The science you mention...McDonald, Sturrock, etc...would benefit greatly from an injection of SETI-style "silliness" methinks.

Why such a notion enrages the UFOlogical community absolutely confuses the heck out of me. Why wouldn't UFOlogy want to have the gear, the minds, and the ear that SETI enjoys today?

And I honestly think that the only person who applies a term like "silly" to SETI is Stan himself. Lots of pro-UFO folk support SETI. And why not? UFOlogy has no similar program behind which average folk might place their money...at least not anything coherent and sustainable. N'est ce pas?

Remember, I'm not pleased that it is this way. In fact, I write to express my profound sadness at the state of UFOlogy today...and its apparent lack of a sustainable future once a few luminaries pass on to the great beyond...or a very obvious landing and "meet & greet" takes place. :)

Thanks as always for your comments!
 
Kyle:

The difference between SETI and ETH-based ufology (i.e. the segment, which dominates the American "market", that accepts that some UFOs are alien spacecraft), is that SETI does not put the cart before the horse. The SETI types THINK there's life out there, and are looking for it (in what may or may not be a productive manner), but they don't state as a fact that alien life IS out there (much less here). The latter just isn't science, and it certainly isn't going to get any funding etc. from respectable institutions - and rightly so.

Which is where the term "UAP" comes in - that approach, that there is something up there, we don't know what it is, and it's worth more study, has the potential to achieve results, i.e. the funding required to conduct a proper investigation. But for the ETHers, what's the need of an investigation? They've already made their minds up. And round and round they go.

And you're right - it is time to retire "silly effort to investigate". It gets a chuckle at lectures (a smaller chuckle now than it did twenty years ago - take my word for it), but that's it - worse, it just makes you look petty. Rather than bash the other guy, why not offer a positive agenda for progress in your own backyard?

Paul
 
That agenda?

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/2005/08/combating-condon-effect-sturrock.html

It cracks me up when Sturrock gets cited by ETH proponents, when in fact he never said anything that could be remotely construed as supporting the ETH as a fact. Sturrock took a measured approach, and advocated further study, but to him the UFO phenomenon remains an open book.

Paul
 
Hey Paul -

I think the ETH is a valid hypothesis, but being a hypothesis it remains to be empirically proven. Philosophically however, those you speak of accept the ETH as truth.

Like you, I'm just not there.

I certainly agree that a "positive agenda" is long overdue. I don't really see how any UFOlogy proponent could do otherwise...

Thanks for the comments!
 
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