Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mother ship over to plane???

[Click title to visit site and view enlarged image]

The Coast to Coast AM website offers this gem of a "UFO" photo.

Jeff Weelwine, a guy who normally shoots photographs of "rock pictures", photographed this "mothership" over Phoenix.

Only trouble is, besides the open-shutter smeared image of an airplane, there doesn't appear to be a UFO in the photo.

The give-away is the dots of light. When a camera takes a photo in the dark of night, the shutter stays open for a significant time. When an airplane passes through the camera field of view, the steady-on lights of the plane create a smeared "bar" of light. However, the flashing or strobing navigation and safety lights create a repeating dot pattern in the photo. The reason the smear in this photo is fairly short is because of the rather bright lights of the city below. The camera shutter stayed open too long to "stop" the plane's motion, but not long enough to produce a streak across the entire sky.

A cool photograph, certainly. A UFO Mothership? Hardly.

[via Coast to Coast AM]

Straight from the "Abyss"...the wrist computer!

[Click title to read release]

Remember the cool forearm-mounted computer used by Ed Harris to communicate with his crew-mates in the excellent film "Abyss"? Well, Eurotech, an Italian firm has unveiled what amounts to the same some enhancements over the "original".

It saves power by only working when the user looks at it, voice activation is coming soon, and the screen is a far cry from the text-only display in the movie version.

Open the pod bay doors, HAL!

[via Slashdot]

Another Heflin re-creation "hat" in the ring...

[Click title to read post in context]

Frequent UFO Updates List-er Kelly Freeman offers his two cents on the re-creation of the Heflin UFO photos. Herewith his recent post...

Hello Robert, EBK and List,

I have only been following this thread
intermittently, but I am curious as to
whether or not anybody has taken the
time to try and simulate the Heflin event.

Has anybody actually gone to the location
of the sighting and tried to hoax the same UFO using theories
proposed in this thread? Would it, in fact, be possible at all?

A scientific approach would be to observe, theorize and test
that theory/theories under the same or similar conditions of the
event. I am not aware of it being done in this case.

If it has been done, what were the results? Any discussion as as
to whether the photos are genuine or not, IMHO, should be based
on those results.

To answer your question Kelly, yes, there are at least three persons actively working on re-creations, albeit not at the actual location...Myself and "Viktor Golubik" (photographic re-creations utilizing same camera and film with a presumed "model"), and David Rudiak (a ray-traced 3D re-creation)

Kelly makes an excellent point, although I'm not fully convinced of his final graf. While re-creations can be very helpful in illustrating the potential ease of hoaxing a sighting, it is only a part of the discussion, and not necessarily THE point on which the discussion should be based.

Also, I don't feel that the actual location plays a significant role. Duplicating the time of day, the equipment, the direction in which the camera is aimed, and a variety of "model" placements will yield hard data regardless of the specific location.

Think about accident re-creations for aviation, automobile liability cases, or presidential assassinations. None absolutely require the original location as long as all other conditions are accounted for. The exception would be when the specific location includes landmarks or conditions which cannot easily be reproduced. I don't think the "Myford Rd. at Walnut Ave. intersection in Tustin, California" necessarily qualifies. :)

Also and VERY significantly, the location bears little resemblance today to the location as it appears in Heflin's photos, as seen in the current "Google Earth" image above.

Again however, Kelly does make an excellent point.

[via UFO Updates]

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More Heflin UFO photos?

[Click title to visit site]

The photograph at left is from a website (linked to title) which adds this caption...

"...Hat UFO flying over a boat -- Rex Heflin, 1967..."

I have no idea if this caption is accurate, but the image is plainly from a "Fox Family" Television broadcast, and most likely from a television screen or videotape frame-grab.

While this is the only site I have found that posts this image, if the caption is correct and Rex Heflin indeed took this photograph, it certainly seems odd that one guy managed to photograph the same (or very similar) UFO over the course of two years. (The 'famous' Heflin UFO photos were shot in 1965).

If this is indeed a Rex Heflin photograph, either Rex was one lucky fellow, or he carried train wheels and fishing line around with him on at least a couple of occasions.

Anyone know anything more about this photo or a Fox Family special in which it might have been shown?

[via Google Image Search]

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bassett "hounds" public and govt. for attention...

[Click title to read full post]

Stephen Bassett: a "top dog" of exopolitics; self-proclaimed "Jack Abramoff" of UFOs; organizer of the X-Conference; and so on, had to reschedule the X-Conference to "sometime in 2007".

I don't know what your take is on the whole "exopolitics" carnival, but with luminaries (e.g. MoonBats) like Michael Salla and this Bassett fellow heading up the show, it doesn't take a P, an h OR a D to realize these guys are

Not sure about that? Try this "manifesto" on for size. These clowns hold these "truths" to be self-evident...hang on to something...

1) There is an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.
2) Many people in the government and the military are well aware of this.
3) Many of same have begun to speak out publicly.
4) The United States Government continues to maintain a truth embargo and
deny the issue.
5) This truth embargo is no longer acceptable and must be resolved in
favor of the public's right to know.
6) Extraordinary technology which could save countless lives and solve
major problem faced by all nations remains hostage to this truth embargo
and to those leaders who do not trust their own citizens and place the
development of weaponry above all else.
Yowza...they're all BOZOS on this bus. I'm just guessing it's a "short" one. :)

I could accept that there are some tidbits of information the Feds might be holding back on UFOs, but to extrapolate that to the above laundry list of ridiculosity is a tad beyond the pale, IMO.

I suppose you could equate the "Truth Embargo" with Stanton Friedman's "Cosmic Watergate".
But I'd buy a sample cup of Stan's Koolaid before I'd even THINK of buying into this mess of pseudo-outrage. Such absurd "indignation" should be reserved for the many "Supermans" and "Napoleons" populating our nations' wackatoriums...not splashed across the internets for real people with real life issues to have to digest.

And our Congressmen...and -women...are whacked out enough without having to listen to this drivel.

It seems though that the public...and the government types that Stephen has in his sights...have wised up a bit. The ol' "X-men" are having a dickens of a time putting together their next conference.

Hopefully lack of interest will eventually show these guys that their unique brand of interplanetary "detente" is a bit...umm...premature. Or is that immature?

Move along...nothing to see here. LOL

[h/t to UFO Updates]

Monday, June 26, 2006

Shapers of the Future...Nathan Myhrvold.

[Click title to read Business Week article]

Former Microsoft "brain" and creator of the vaunted Microsoft Research think-tank, Nathan Myhrvold now heads up Intellectual Ventures, his tech startup, and plans to be the first successful "invention capitalist".

Gathering luminaries in various fields for brainstorming sessions, he hopes to amass a portfolio of patents and patent-holders to spur innovation, improve the world on a number of fronts, and to...umm...make LOTS of money.

Nathan is a mathematical physicist, a gourmet cook, studied cosmology at Cambridge Univ. with Stephen Hawking, sponsors archaeological digs, and combines these diverse interests with business know-how and contacts that are the envy of any Wall Street wannabe.

When future history books are written, don't be surprised to find Nathan Myrhvold's name prominently featured.

And if you get an idea for a paradigm-shifting new invention...give Nathan a call.

A sure-fire Shaper of the Future!

[via SlashDot]

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Simple Life...

I'm not a big fan of labels. I think they over-simplify the complexity of human thought and endeavor, and tend to force people to take a position in a discussion with which they do not necessarily agree.

But, some people think that discussions are less likely to get "personal" or "nasty" if everyone takes a position that is easily "categorized". In other words, please tell me where your "limits" are so I can know in advance how best not to "exceed them", lest I offend you.

Dick Hall, UFOlogical luminary, makes a very similar statement to the one made in the first paragraph above in his essay "Conceptualizing UFOs". Therein he writes...

"...various labels and epithets often have been
substituted for rational discussion in characterizing our
philosophical opponents. No doubt this is due to the
frustrations of trying to deal with a complex and unorthodox
subject that has little recognition among scientists, the news
media, or other important opinion-makers in society. What does
it mean to be "pro-UFO" or a "believer"? How apt are the labels
"debunker", "scoffer", or "skeptic" as applied to those who
disbelieve in UFOs and/or profess strong criticism of the views
(not to mention the motives and intelligence) of "believers"?..."
Unless I misread, Dick is basically saying that labels are not conducive to reasoned debate. This is something with which I strongly agree. If however I misread, the content which follows the above thesis by Dick can be better understood.

The reason for the essay it basically to explain that the pejorative labels are a substitute for rational discussion, so what does he offer in contrast? Uhh...he deigns to create for us a new set of LABELS which will end the acrimony and allow reasonable people to debate reasonably...if they will only adhere to his labels and stay in their respective "categories"...debate-wise.

Gee, do I smell hypocrisy? Or did Dick fail to read his own words?

He mentions that these labels should not be used in a pejorative manner. My, there's a tautological comment in just a few words...

Labels are by definition pejorative except in the most rare of cases. For example, if you were to call Ann Coulter a "conservative" to her face, she would likely smile and offer to buy you a drink. Likewise, if you were to call Michael Moore a "liberal", the same might occur.

But those who are not represented by those two extremes of philosophy neither deserve nor require either of those particular labels...or ANY label.

Only someone of limited intelligence requires convenient labels to engage in civil debate. Similarly, those of limited intelligence are least likely to maintain civility in the absence of convenient labels.

Dick Hall's essay perpetuates what is most wrong with the UFO debate landscape today.

And his wrong-headed attempt to "pigeon-hole" everyone into neat categories reveals
a severe ignorance as to the nuance and gray area that define the human condition except at the very extremes thereof,
an intelligence so limited that it absolutely requires such "pigeon-holing", lest the complexity of the debate lead to misunderstandings and ill feelings.

I'm not sure which, but neither possibility speaks well for Mr. Hall.

Please take a few moments and read the essay, and see if you don't agree.

Labels ARE pejorative. Critical thinking people don't need them because it is the LABELS that create the conditions for derisive, dismissive and incorrect judgment. Labels dilute, labels misinform, labels obfuscate truth, labels LIE.

Labels are for simpletons. That's why only the most extreme among us deserve them...and are PROUD of them.

Surely anyone who claims to be a student of logic and science would heartily agree. In fact, as Dick Hall once said, "...Labels and epithets often have been substituted for rational discussion in characterizing our philosophical opponents."

Dick, I couldn't agree more. Too bad you didn't just stop right there.

Martin Shoughs his stuff...

[Click title to read post]

In a post fraught with irony, Martin Shough tosses off on Dick Hall's recent "anti-techie" post, offering a point by point refutation that makes me quite proud. Mirroring the very points I made in response to Alfred Lehmberg (in my previous post), he lucidly draws the very same disturbing conclusions that I did.

I noted in my comments that I had originally written 12 paragraphs in rebuttal to Dick's post, but then thought better of it on the advice of my "better half". Well, luckily my feelings have all been quite soundly expressed in this excellent facsimile by Martin.

I couldn't have written a more cogent or appropriate response myself.

Of course, Dick also mentions thatt he'll retreat to his bomb shelter, as if to deflect any reaction as the mad bombings of crazed "techies". Clever.

Odd that Martin again makes an unsupported...and untrue...association between me and the anonymous poster that asked me to help him make a point, but no matter. In his/my posts it becomes very obvious that both Martin and myself and other "techies" are interested in the TRUTH, while Dick is quite obviously interested in something "else".

Martin, Dave, Victor, et al and I do not agree on everything, or perhaps not even most things, but I feel quite confident that we agree on searching for the truth wherever the search may lead.

In the end, I have 3 words for Martin Shough...

What. You. Said.

Oh, and two more...THANK. YOU!

[via UFO Updates]

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