Thursday, July 13, 2006

Global Warming of a different sort...and of decidedly HUMAN origin

[Click title to read article]

As events planet-wide begin to turn more and more to war...continued insurgent strikes against American troops and increasing sectarian attacks in Iraq, the tension between Israel and the Palestinians, Russian and Chechen escalation, tensions rising between the US, North Korea, China and even Japan, and now with this offensive by Israel against Hezbollah militants in Lebanon intensifying with each passing hour, I think we need to pause for a moment.

Ask yourself...

How has the current way of doing things improved the lives of the inhabitants of this small globe?
For every advance it seems we suffer a three-fold setback.

How have we actually progressed as a species, other than to have created far more convenient methods with which to destroy one another, and the "moral" justification for using them?
The example we have set does not bode well.

How can we continue as a species to conduct ourselves in this manner?
We dare to export this method of running a world to other planets at our further peril.

Is the evolutionary end-game nothing more than that moment when a species gains the ability to cause its own extinction and a "just cause" for which to do so?
We may have little to fear from mere "climate-change" after all.

How long before we are ALL engulfed in this cycle of violence and face extinction by our own hands through ill will or mishap?
Our children may be the first in generations not to know a time without war.

How can it end when the institutions and powers that brought us to this place rule the world?
The profitability of war and an increasingly intolerant population seem to be convergent agents.

How can things change if the only way to EFFECT change is more death, destruction, mayhem and chaos?
Change = Chaos.

How is it that so much death, destruction, mayhem and chaos is being done in the name of God?
God seems to be a very minor actor in this play, if he is on the cast list at all.

At what point does the particular God to which you pray no longer matter?
Whichever one you choose...pray for the leaders; pray for the combatants; pray for the innocent; pray for mankind; pray for an end to this madness.

First known ET film footage missing!?

[Click title to read article and image to see full-size version]

When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, many of us sat in front of the TV watching as Armstrong made the halting descent down the LM ladder. My dad let my brother and I stay up late to see it live (two days after my 9th birthday). As the first true film of Extra-terrestrial life in existence, this footage remains among the most significant in human history, if not in Ufological lore. :)

Unfortunately, the picture we saw on our TV screens was a pale imitation of the "slow-scan TV" (SSTV) signal seen by others due to "scan-conversion" for American TV. The image above is a photograph of the live footage in this format. This SSTV footage was recorded and stored in a facility in Australia.

More unfortunately, virtually ALL of this footage has come up missing(2MB PDF). Also, the only remaining facility which is capable of displaying this footage is scheduled to close soon!

Here's hoping that this historic footage is located and re-digitized for posterity!

[h/t to Slashdot]

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Re-examining classic UFO cases slows UFOlogy?

[Click title to read full post]
Bill Weber posts his reaction to the recent episode of Strange Days...Indeed.

Pertinent quote here:

Classic UFO cases are reexamined at their detriment without
any new facts or evidence being introduced because
agnostics fear being branded believers. I suspect new cases
aren't properly researched or reported for the same reasons.
What seems like idle chatter from this vocal minority is
actually very harmful, and effectively slows down Ufology.
First, "agnostics fear being branded believers"? I don't see Bill including any corroborating evidence to back up this rather odd assertion. I suppose it could be just chalked up to "opinion". And the "high strangeness" continues in the next sentence..."I suspect new cases aren't properly researched or reported for the same reasons.".

Per Bill, we are to believe that agnostic UFO researchers do NOT properly research new cases for fear of being ridiculed as "believers"? This reads as some kind of joke. As if calling ones self an "agnostic UFO researcher" carries no stigma at the outset?

Bill, even when you are a UFO AGNOSTIC in todays world, when you include the term "UFO" in ANY proximity to your name, you have already given quarter for a potential "belief" in UFOs and accepted the resulting potential ridicule for allowing for the possibility at all. Do you not see this very simple truth? The agnostic simply seeks more evidence, and how does he do that except to question cases...old and new, with fresh eyes, a fresh perspective, and a hunger for the TRUTH?

I cannot speak for all UFO researchers, but I sincerely doubt that they routinely fail to properly research new cases out of fear of ANYTHING.

How about a lack of good new cases? How about dozens of photos of blurs and bugs and balloons and birds touted as the next Roswell? How about the dearth of real "sink your teeth into it" cases.

The problem is NOT with failure of research...it is a failure to present compelling cases that warrant such scrutiny. Where is today's Zamora, Heflin, Trent, Trindade? Nowhere, unless you buy into lens flares, mylar balloons and blurry birds. Note that even a "believer" like Dick Hall will poo-poo an obvious photographic fake or misidentification in the absence of additional evidence. An "agnostic" is even more quick to dismiss any case that has nothing more than a blurry photo behind it.

As it sits, there are just not very many really good UFO cases turning up every day for serious researchers to spend time on.

In fact, that is one BIG reason that old classic cases get rehashed ad infinitum...it gives UFOlogists something to freaking DO.

And finally there's this...

What seems like idle chatter from this vocal minority is
actually very harmful, and effectively slows down Ufology.

Bill claims that "idle chatter"...his euphemism for the re-investigation of old classic cases...is harmful, and "slows down" UFOlogy. Forgive me Bill, but slows it down from WHAT, exactly?

Where is UFOlogy heading in such a hurry that re-investigation of old cases is such an impediment? Legitimacy? Erm...no, legitimacy is ever elusive under the current paradigm, for a host of reasons that have nothing to do with "agnostic" critical thinking and a quest for truth. Is it slowing the general acceptance of UFOlogy? Of course not. If ANYTHING, it is quite the reverse.

By applying new techniques and new ideas to old cases, we learn how we can fool ourselves, or be misled, or how we can be right in some cases. Re-investigation does not imply that the initial investigatory conclusions ARE wrong, but that they MIGHT be, and it is worth the time to periodically make sure that the "canon" of UFOlogical history is not polluted with what turns out to be bogus cases. And in this process, the old cases are given new life and generate renewed interest...pro AND con.

Ask yourself this question...When you see a NEW UFO-related book come out, what are you more likely to see on the cover? "Balloon fleets", "lens flares", current UFO photos? Nope. You see a Heflin shot, or a McMinnville shot, or a Trindade shot, or any of several famous UFO photos which remain unexplained. Why is that, Bill? Are they slowing down UFOlogy by retreading those old tired UFO snaps? No. They are using the most COMPELLING images they can find to illustrate their subject...and those don't come from 2006, but rather from closer to 1965.

If anything, re-investigation of classic cases...BLUE BOOK level cases...HELPS UFOlogy retain some semblance of respectability and intrigue, and in fact shows others that UFOlogy ISN'T just a bunch of "believers", but also includes (and ATTRACTS) agnostics who have enough interest, curiosity and sense for the possible, that they are willing to "waste the time" doing all these calculations, re-creations, triangulations, and regurgitations, just to determine whether the case in question STILL stands up to current scrutiny. Amazingly, most of those old cases do.

For all the hand-wringing about the Zamora case, it remains unsolved. Same for Trent, Trindade and Heflin (for now), etc. Do you honestly believe that these re-investigations have been anything but GOOD for UFOlogy?

Opinions like Bill's are what is hurting UFOlogy. Treating old classic cases as if they are long since "PROVEN" is hurting UFOlogy. Excoriating researchers for deigning to use MODERN techniques to "second-glance" old cases is what "slows down UFOlogy". No, actually it brings UFOlogy to a screeching freaking HALT.

If UFOlogy fades into the sunset of popular culture without having ever answered the big questions, it will be in large part due to the harm caused by "believers" who insult "agnostics" for acting AGNOSTIC.

Is that a shame? HELL YES, it is a shame
Is it the fault of open-minded researchers who re-investigate "classic" cases? I daresay...HELL NO!!

[via UFO Updates]

Monday, July 10, 2006

Empty space has more than ZERO energy???

[Click title to read article]

Lawrence Krauss, author of "The Science of Star Trek", took a meeting with some luminaries of several disciplines, and reached some startling conclusions. The talks ranged from the plausibility of the "multiverse" to the validity of String theory as a theory; from "cosmic natural selection" to the "energy of empty space being greater than zero".

These talks have a bearing on a number of current UFO theories including their origin(s), their means of propulsion, their possible goals in this "dimension", and the very meaning of human perception.

Heady stuff to be sure, but some very intriguing thinking by some very intriguing people. Worth a read by anyone who wonders how much "Science" really doesn't know. (Hint...a LOT!)

Oh, and they all got to ride in a submarine. Whee!

[via SlashDot]

UFO Reflections Babe of the week...#1

Click here for full-size image[Click on image for full-size version]

Seeing as Monday is typically the least enjoyed day of most peoples' week, I offer up a little morsel of Monday "eye candy" I'll imaginatively call...Babe of the Week.

Our inaugural lass is a fiery redhead from Houston, Texas (born and bred). She's an Information Technology Project Manager by day, and a budding entrepreneur by night.

I'm also lucky enough to share a home with her. And it's to my great fortune that she enjoys being photographed.

So, congratulations to our first UFOR BOTW!

[Photo and post-processing by Kyle King]

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