Are We Alone in the Universe?

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The universe is a big place.  In the 6th century BC Anaximander suggested that other worlds were endlessly forming and disintegrating in a universe of infinite size. In the 5th century BC Democritus, a Greek philosopher argued that there were countless other worlds containing countless other lives. Into the medieval ages and beyond, telescopes became more and more powerful, yet still the edge of the universe could not be found.

Bust of Democritus

Bust of Democritus

Today we can watch stars forming in the nebulae of dust and gas, and from the Hubble telescope a snapshot of 10,000 galaxies- each containing billions of stars.  And the theory is we are still only seeing 95% of what there is out there. Statistical extrapolations for the 1000 potentially “Goldilocks planets already identified lead to the conclusion that there are about 20 billion earth-like planets in our galaxy.

Yet… we have never found evidence of extraterrestrial activity. It was eloquently put by Enrico Fermi in his book “5 billion years of solitude: “Where the hell are they?!”

Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi

If we assume that there are many planets capable of having intelligent life spawn on them, and that those planets will allow civilisations to develop for at least as long as our human ones, then why indeed have we not had any contact from them? One theory is that the distances between earth and other earth-like planets are simply to vast to be traversed. If we can never travel faster than the speed of light, and there aren’t thinks like wormholes in space, then we should resign ourselves to the fact that even if we are not alone, we will never meet another extra-terrestrial species.

The other theory is more interesting. They are avoiding us. For whatever reasons (and maybe we don’t look very nice as a species from our history) intelligent life out there has no wish to contact us. Perhaps they consider that species should rise and fall without any foreign intervention. Perhaps they are afraid of us. Perhaps they just wish to make us remain in splendid isolation, less we taint others with our warlike tendencies. Maybe they have evolved to another level of life where physical bodies have been dispensed with and we would not be able to see or understand them even if they were skimming past earth.

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Whatever the reasons, we still spend a lot of time, money and effort in trying to see if there is intelligent life beyond earth. Perhaps as science develops apace in the next few hundred years we will have made some progress towards extra-terrestrial contact. Or perhaps we are just doomed to having another 5 billion years of solitude.

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Did Aliens Kill off the Dinosaurs?

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While the generally supported theory is that a freak asteroid hit lead to the demise of the dinoasurs, alternative theories suggest that it was no accident.

Consider the likelihood that there is intelligent life on other planets. Most scientists now think that even if life is as rare as hen’s teeth, the number of stars  makes it likely that there will be Goldilocks planets circling some of them, and that some of those planets are a lot older than earth. It is also feasible that a new form of propulsion might have been discovered by some of those alien races that enable them to traverse the gulf of space and develop interstellar travel. Be it some form of ion drive, or wormhole jumping, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that these advanced aliens came upon the Solar System many years ago:

They see a young world that has almost arrested development. Dinosaurs have been the dominant species on the planet for million of years. Evolution is so painfully slow, that it is unlikely they will ever devlop into intelligent life even given many more millions of years. Intervention?

Some might argue that an advanced alien race would have a “no interference”  policy when coming across inhabited worlds, much as wildlife documentary makers don’t interfere when a lion brings down a gazelle, or a pack of hyenas ambushes a baby giraffe. But what if they have some higher, more lofty goal? What if they believe that they should encourage the development of intelligent life on planets in the multiverse? It might be some quasi-religious drive that spurs this apparent altruism towards giving worlds a helping hand towards more advanced development. Rather like in the film 2001:A space Odyssey, they trigger a rush in progress of apes to man- except that this race visited earth long before the mammals, at the time of the dinosaurs. And perhaps they realised that mammals would never become dominant, and that dinosaurs could never develop into intelligent life. What to do?

Rightly or wrongly they decided to end the dinosaurs. Deflect a metoer to cause extermination of almost all life, but allowing mammals a chance to flourish. Did that really happen? Did aliens play God? No evidence, but it’s a plausible story.  One wonders what we earthlings would do if we developed interstellar travel. Would we just leave a planet and its inhabitants to evolve (or not) or would we try to encourage creation in our own image?  Well, we can put that question on hold until after we’ve developed a practical means to travel to the stars. Unles there’s life on Mars….

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Lost Planet that could have Contained Intelligent Life…

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We all know how close we came to getting wiped off the solar system map before we even made an appearance on earth, when an asteroid smashed into earth and wiped out the dinosaurs. Curiously it was that close shave that actually enabled mammals, and eventually humans, to become the dominant species on earth.

But it seems another planet out there might have not had such a lucky escape as out own: Astronomers studying a dying star have discovered the mashed-up remains of a water-rich asteroid. This suggests that hundreds of millions of years ago that start system may have harboured a “goldilocks” planet, with conditions not disimilar to our own, that could well have had intelligent life on it. The research appears in the latest issue of the journal Science.

Given that the conditions for life to have flourished on earth are so rare, and must include water and an atmosphere, to find evidence that there seems to have been another planet at one time, is both uplifting and concerning. Uplifting in that it may point to us not being alone in the Universe, concerning for two reasons: What happened to the inhabitants- unless they were sufficiently advanced to develop interstellar travel, they would have perished when their sun went through the final cycles of  its life. Scientists believe that the star would most likely have had a number of planets in its system before the star, expanded to become a red giant, burning everything on any planets, and then shrinking and eventually going cold.

This is also the likely fate of our planet, assuming we don’t get hit by another giant asteroid. Our sun too will become a red giant and then a white dwarf, and finally a black dwarf- a dead star emitting no heat.

Astronomers studying the light emitted by the asteroid, known as GD 61, located 150 light years away from the Earth, detected an abundance of “rocky” elements such as magnesium, silicon and iron. They also found oxygen in quantities that indicated a very large amount of water. Only a water-rich massive asteroid, or minor planet, can explain the observations. GD61, at least 90 kilometres in diameter, would have been drawn in by the white dwarf’s powerful gravity and ripped apart. It is highly likely that rocky, water-covered, Earth-like planets also existed in the system.

Dr Jay Farihi, from the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, said:

“The finding of water in a large asteroid means the building blocks of habitable planets existed – and maybe still exist – in the GD 61 system, and likely also around substantial number of similar parent stars. These water-rich building blocks, and the terrestrial planets they build, may in fact be common – a system cannot create things as big as asteroids and avoid building planets, and GD 61 had the ingredients to deliver lots of water to their surfaces. Our results demonstrate that there was definitely potential for habitable planets in this exoplanetary system.”

 

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The Drake Equation versus the Fermi Paradox: Is There Intelligent Life out There?

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US Radio astronomer Frank Drake developed the Drake equation so he could estimate the possible/probable number of  planets containing intelligent life in the galaxy. He did this by taking into consideration the factors listed below, in preparation for one of the first “serious” discussions about the probability of life on other planets in the early 1960s. The factors are

N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible;
R* = the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
ƒp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
ƒℓ = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
ƒc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

 By 2001, with all the scientific advances and knowledge about space from four decades at our fingertips, a rigorous calculation using the Drake Equation was undertaken. It took into consideration the number of planets that are in the habitable zone (The habitable zone is an area around a star were water is in liquid form, temperature is ideal, and photosynthesis is possible). The “answer” that the equation revealed was that that hundreds of thousands of life-bearing planets statistically should exist. It also suggested that a planet capable of supporting human or human-like life, like the Earth, should exist just a few hundred light years away. In other words quite close to us.
But there are two big problems with the Equation:  Firstly,  several terms in the equation are largely or entirely based on conjecture. Thus the equation cannot be used to draw firm conclusions of any kind. Worse still, it would seem that the equation is torpedoed by the Fermi Paradox. This was a set of points made by physicists Enrico Fermi and Michael Hart. Their points were:
  • Our sun is a young star. There are billions of starts in the galaxy that are billions of years olderof years older;
  • Some of these stars likely have Earth-like planets and  may develop intelligent life;
  • Presumably some of these civilizations will develop interstellar travel, a technology that it is expected that we will develop in time;
  • Interstellar travel should result in colonisation of the galaxy in a few tens of millions of years.

Thus, what the Paradox is saying is that  if so many planets exist or have existed with intelligent life, why is there a lack of contact between the intelligent life and us and why is there such a lack of physical evidence of said intelligent life here on earth, or elsewhere in the observable galaxy? The paradox exists in that the Drake equation statistically indicates life should be abundant and yet physical evidence says otherwise.  In other words “where is everybody?”

To be fair the Drake Equation was only concocted to promote discussion and interest in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life (SETI) and not to “prove” the existence of  abundant life in the galaxy.

Opponents and critics of the Fermi Paradox say that there is evidence of extraterrestrial life, on this planet, now and throughout our history, and also from astronomical and other observations of space. But these have been suppressed by governments for a variety of reasons….

 

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Wave Goodbye, Maybe Say Hello! – The Voyager 1

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We have now sent something man-made beyond the reaches of our solar system.

35 years ago Voyager 1 was launched with the intention of  exploring the major planets. The then US President, Jimmy Carter, said;

“This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings,”

Using the sling-shot method of propulsion (using the gravity pull of each planet in turn to gain momentum) no-one expected the small craft to keep on going. But it did. It has now travelled 11 billion miles, trailed at 9 billion miles by its successor, Voyager 2.

Voyager 1 has entered interstellar space- the first man-made object to do so. It is now heading towards another sun; star AC+793888. But it won’t reach it. In 15 years Voyager 1’s plutonium generator will cease producing electricity and its transmitter will stop functioning.

But as we wave goodbye to this intrepid little craft, there is always the possibility that it will be found by alien intelligence, and if they recognise and understand the symbols and information contained on and in the craft, then we may get an outer space hello from them. Either that or we’ll be invaded. Hmmm- was it wise to indicate on the craft exactly where it originated from?  Time will tell…

 

 

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Famous People who have Seen UFOs (Part Two)

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Continuing our look at the great and the good that have gone on record as having seen a UFO.

Famous United States news anchorman for CBS Evening News for nearly 20 years, Walter Cronkite was part of a news team in the 1950s that were covering the testing of a new military missile on a remote island in the Pacific. Just before the launch a large “disc type” UFO appeared. The object was estimated to be 50-60 feet in diameter with a dull grey color and had no visible means of propulsion. This disc then hovered 30 feet off the ground then suddenly sent out what was described as a “blue beam of light” which struck: the missile as it lifted off, a military guard, and also a dog. Now hold you horses this gets even better: The missile was then frozen in mid air as was the guard and the dog (in mid-air) that was jumping at the UFO.

Walter Cronkite

The sighting concluded when the missile exploded prematurely, and the UFO disappeared. The military cobbled together a story that this was a staged mock sighting to test the media’s reaction to UFOs. Cronkite (and others) were convinced that the craft was of an extra-terrestrial design with temporal suspension beam technology.

300 years earlier the famous English astronomer, Sir Edmund Halley who discovered Haley’s Comet,  recalled two accounts of “unidentified crafts.”  His first sighting came in 1676 when he saw what he called a: “Vast body apparently bigger than the Moon.” Halley estimated that the craft was 40 miles above him and he commented that this craft made a noise “like the rattling of a great cart over stones.” Sounds like my Volkswagen engine on a cold morning! Unlike my car, Sir Edmund calculated the speed of the UFO as being 9,600 m.p.h.

Actors and celebrities have also had their fair share of sightings: It is claimed that William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk in the television series Star Trek, may have seen a UFO and perhaps even have been abducted by its occupants! An author named Dennis Hauck wrote an unauthorised biography of Shatner, called Captain Quirk, in which he portrayed Shatner as an arrogant and unpleasant individual, disliked by his fellow members of the Star Trek cast. |However Hauck said that Shatner had revealed that he was abducted by aliens in the Mojave desert. Shatner was his motorcycle with some friends through the desert when he became separated from them when his bike packed up. He walked for miles to find a petrol station and just as he found one, he noticed saw that there was a flying saucer hovering over it. Then things started to get hazy and he seems to have fainted. Was he beamed up into the craft and had experiments conducted on him? We only k ow that shortly after this incident he began losing his hair at a much faster rate than before…

Ghostbusters and Dragnet actor Dan Aykroyd is fascinated by UFOs. He thinks he may have spotted some ground-based aliens once, while on the phone to Britney Spears.

Finally there were reports that a UFO was seen hovering over the mourners of Elvis Presley when his coffin was interred in the grounds of Graceland.

Keep watching the skies!

 

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Famous People who have Seen UFOs (Part One)

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Whether you subscribe to the notion that we are not alone in the universe, and that since time immemorial we have been visited by extra-terrestrials, there are plenty of people who say they have seen the evidence in the form of UFOs.  We are not talking here abductions, anal-probe implants,  and being exhibited as curios on Rigel XI just witnesses to objects in the sky that cannot be explained. Here is a selection of the great and good (or maybe the just well-known) who have signed on the dotted line of the ledger entitled “I have seen an Unidentified Flying Object”.

Ex-Beatle, the late lamented John Lennon did not “Imagine” he saw a UFO- he recorded that he saw a flattened cone shaped disc with a brilliant red light. He yelled for his assistant May Pang to join him as the circular disc began to approach. It flew away but came back being the size of a small jet: Lennon and Pang stated that it had “a row or circle of white lights that ran around the entire rim of the craft.” This was a bright breezy afternoon. Seven others saw the craft too.

You can’t get more authoritative than a spaceman seeing a UFO can you?  NASA-trained, picked for their sober scientific minds and adherence to procedure and logic. But Buzz Aldrin, a member of the crew of Apollo 11 described a UFO encounter with the crew of Apollo 11 during its trip to the moon. Aldrin stated that Mike Collins could see this craft in his telescope and that it was revealed to be an L-shaped object when in close detail. Although the crew had a clear view of the UFO, they were wary of reporting this to Mission Control less they be thought to have been too long out in the midday moon.  Aldrin stated that: “we decided that after a while of watching it, it was time to go to sleep and not talk about it anymore. Discretion bested the better part of valour and the sighting was never officially acknowledged by NASA.

Next up, another American- this time a president no less. We are talking here of Jimmy “Peanut farmer” Carter who saw a UFO on the night of January 6 1969 in the state of Georgia. Jimmy Carter was waiting for a meeting to begin when he and ten other witnesses reported seeing a “red and green orb radiating in the western sky.” All of the witnesses reported that the object moved toward them from a distance, stopped, moved away and departed. Skeptics concluded that it was possibly a sighting of the planet Venus, but calculations revealed that Venus was only visible between 15 to 21 degrees above the horizon at 7:15 pm. Witnesses reported the “moon-sized object” to be at least 30 degrees above the horizon. It was a UFO.

Finally, a little earlier in history, step forward one Christopher Columbus. The date? October 11, 1492 the Atlantic Ocean. Christopher Columbus made his own personal discovery of a UFO on his first voyage of the Americas. Standing on the deck of the biggest of his three ships, the  Santa Maria, Columbus noticed lights glimmering in the nighttime sky. He quickly called to his mate Pedro Gutierrez to come and join him as he watched this strange glimmering light. As they watched “a light glimmering at a great distance” the light disappeared and reappeared several times throughout the night. This craft was observed as it moved up and down in “sudden and passing gleams.”

Had he been at the Rum or the over-fermented Limes? Who knows, but the man had his feet firmly planted in reality.

 

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UFO Activity Increasing in 2013

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Whether you believe in flying saucers and little green men,  there was a phenomenal increase in recorded UFO sightings in 2012,  and it looks like that trend is continuing in 2013.  Does this mean we are all getting more willing to report what we see and cannot explain or is there a genuine increase in unidentified flying objects?

There were a spate of sightings of  “off-planet” UFOs around the moon and the International Space Station. Such sightings are not rare – lunar sightings have been reported by astronomers since the 18th century and UFO sightings have been documented by NASA and other astronauts- particularly in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Buzz Aldrin? Yep. He saw one that accompanied them part-way to the moon.

Down to earth, there have a been a couple of recent sightings this month that cannot be easily dismissed. Around 5:00 PM on January 12, 2013 there was a sighting in Georgia, United States.  The witness had a military background as an anti-aircraft gunner, and knew his aircraft. Except that this was no conventional aircraft.

The object was described as being “hammerhead” shaped with a long extension extending out of the bottom.   Hardly an aircraft, and hardly conventionally aerodynamic! At the bottom end of the lower extension was another hammerhead shaped object, about one quarter smaller than the top one.  The object moved slowly, about 3-4 MPH and just 500 feet off the ground.

Several UFO reports were recorded four days later from Arizona.  One witness reported seeing four huge, glowing orange-yellow lights in the skies above Phoenix.   The lights appeared to be connected together as the distance between them never varied.  After a few minutes the lights blinked out.

The second report came from the marvelously named Buckeye, Arizona. This witness also reported two sets of huge, bright “linked” lights.  Witnesses estimated the size of the object, assuming the lights were linked together to a single object, to be about the size of “two city blocks”. That is big, brother!

Another of the many witnesses who reported seeing the two sets of “amber” lights, noted that they were neither airplanes nor flares:

“I grew up on Air Force bases around the world. I’ve seen F-16s line up for landings at night. I am also somewhat aware of what an F-35 can do. I certainly know what flares look like. I have no clue what these 8 lights were. The did not move or twinkle, they glowed.”

We have no plausible explanations for these sightings. It looks like 2013 is going to be a bumper year for UFOs… maybe we can expect even a landing?

 

 

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KOI 172.02 = New Earth?

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Already 2013 looks like it is going to be a bumper year for astronomers and cosmologists. A newly-discovered alien world which appears to display characteristics very similar to Earth has scientists drooling and saying it is a  “prime candidate” for hosting life. And one has suggested that it may be home to intelligent marine mammals.

The powerful Kepler space telescope found KOI 172.02 along with a staggering 460 other potential worlds. It may not have as many mountains as Earth, but is likely to have vast quantities of water. In fact scientists have said, half-jokingly, that it may be home to a species of “very clever Dolphins”. Could it be that we have stumbled upon the alien cousins of dear old Flipper, the 1960’s US children’s TV show about a Florida-based Bottle-nosed Dolphin crime-fighter.

KOI 172.02 is slightly larger than Earth, and is in orbit around a star that is similar in age to our own, and at about the same distance from it.  The star is slightly cooler than our sun, but the earth-like planet is a little closer to it: Could this be the Goldilocks planet we’ve been looking for for so long, with everything “just right” to sustain life?

Exciting as the find may be, until we have found ways to send communication signals vast distances very quickly, and in a format that can be received and interpreted by intelligent life, then the chances of getting a “back-at-you” message anytime soon is unlikely.  But we ought to try something, so how about sending them a few digital episodes of “Flipper” by broadband?

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Aurora Alienalis

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You may well have seen the worldwide press coverage of  Iurie Belegurshi’s alien face in the Aurora Borealis; the Northern Lights, earlier this autumn. The more detailed analysis/speculation continues as to what caused the phenomenon.

Lurie said:

“I can’t describe with words what I feel when I see the Northern lights, but in my opinion it is the most amazing phenomenon we can witness. “I wish everybody could see it at least once in their life.

“I didn’t see the alien face during shooting, but when I came home I checked my photographs on the computer and I saw it! It’s unbelievable, I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

So was it just a fluke, a cosmically  induced accident? Some say not. Christians have jumped on the bandwagon to say that the image is not one of an alien, but of the fallen angel, Satan, glowering down on us from hell (I thought heaven was up and hell was down, but never mind!) They quote from the scriptures:

Luke 21:25-27 

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

However UFO spotters say that this is not the first time that the Northern Lights have shown up alien activity- an alien craft was seen caught in the lights a few years back, while others say that if the lights were to be filmed constantly and from all angles, more of these alien images would be seen.

A Group of alienologists say that what the image represented was waves beamed from the alien planet many light years away, to their pioneers who are hidden here on earth. Where would you want to hide on earth and not be found? A place where there are few men or other creatures of any sort- the Poles.  While the aliens here try to remain hidden, there are clues as to their whereabouts and every now and then their signals beamed to their home planet are leaked and caught up in the natural beauty of the Northern Lights. It’s just a coincidence that we think of aliens as little green men, and the Northern Lights are green….

Whatever the truth, it sure makes a good story. Check out the images here: Auroral Alienalis

 

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16 November- 26th Anniversary of the JAL Flight 1628 UFO Sighting

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It’s gone down in history as the most believable UFO sighting- mana from heaven for UFO spotters and believers, and also very troubling for sceptics and scoffers. This week sees the 26th anniversary of the incident. Here’s a re-cap of what happened.

On November 16, 1986, a Japanese crew with Captain Kenji Terauchi at the helm embarked on a routine flight from Paris to Tokyo in a Papanese Airlines Cargo 747 Jumbo.  The cargo was wine…more’s the pity that it wasn’t a passenger plane- that would have led to many more witnesses.

Just after they crossed into Alaska, at 5:09 PM local time, Anchorage Air Traffic Control contacted them on the radio to report initial radar contact. The Anchorage flight controller asked them to turn 15 degrees to the left and head for a point known as Talkeetna on a heading of 215 degrees. They were at 35,000 feet and traveling at a ground speed of about 600 mph. Two minutes later Captain Terauchi noticed the lights about 2000 feet below and 30 degrees to the left front of them. He thought that the aircraft might have been an American jet fighter from nearby Eielson or Elmendorf Air Force Bases patrolling Alaskan airspace. However, after a few minutes, he noticed that the lights were keeping pace with his own aircraft, not the usual procedure for patrolling jets.  The Captain then said:

“It was about seven or so minutes since we began paying attention to the lights (when), most unexpectedly, two spaceships stopped in front of our face, shooting off lights. The inside cockpit shined brightly and I felt warm in the face.”

Terauchi said  that the two objects he had seen below them minutes before suddenly jumped in from of him.  They were as large as an aircraft carrier he said. The craft, one above the other, kept pace with the 747 for several minutes, moving together and displaying an odd rocking motion.  They then switched formation to fly side by side. Terauchi said that the “amber and whitish” lights were like flames coming out of multiple rocket exhaust ports arranged in two rectangular rows on the craft. He felt that they fired in a particular sequence to stabilize the craft, much like the small maneuvering thrusters on the Space Shuttle. He also reported seeing sparks like a fire when using gasoline or carbon fuel. The co-pilot described the lights as like Christmas lights with a salmon colour. He added that the lights were pulsing slowly.

The co-pilot called Anchorage Air Traffic Control, and for the next thirty minutes the 747 and AARTCC were in constant contact regarding the UFO. The crew tried to take photos of the UFOs but their unfamiliarity with the auto-focus meant that there is no photographic record. Shortly after the failed photo attempts, the objects flew off to the left.

On the 747’s radar,  a large green and round object had appeared at 7 or 8 miles away, where the direction of the object was. This was reported to Anchorage, but they had nothing on their radar.  U.S. military radar picked up the two objects trailing the JAL flight and the FAA requested military intervention, however the military did not take any action, as the crafts disappeared.

No more incidents occurred on the remainder of the flight, and a report of a UFO sighting was recorded. The FAA did not pursue the case in any depth. Worse, within a few months, the Captain Terauchi was grounded, allegedly for his indiscretion of reporting a UFO, even though he was a senior captain with an excellent flying record. Several years later he was reinstated by the Japanese government.

The FAA final report was laughable, claiming that what the pilots had seen were Jupiter and Mars. This was quite impossible as the planets were not visible in that part of the sky.  Later the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal said that the UFO was light reflecting off of clouds of ice crystals. Another crazy suggestion- the sky was clear at the reported altitude of the UFO. The FAA attributed the radar images received by ground radar to a “split radar return from the JAL Boeing 747.”  The military said nothing.

In his drawings of the UFOs, it seems that they were walnut-shaped with a band round the middle. Curious to say the least… I wonder if they will reappear on the anniversary of their sighting? Lets hope we have some passengers and not wine, making the journey from Paris to Tokyo via Alaska!

 

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The Nazis and the Buddha from the Stars

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An expedition was mounted to Tibet in 1938, the year before the outbreak of the Second World Way. It was led by renowned zoologist Ernst Schäfer. It was there that he discovered a curious heavy statue. It was said that the statue had either been brought to this planet by aliens, or much more likely, was carved from a huge chunk of meteorite that had fallen to the Siberian Mongolian border some 10-15,000 years earlier- too early to have been part of the meteorite that extinguished the dinosaurs!

After the war, Schäfer claimed that the SS-backed expedition was to further his investigations into the wildlife and anthropology of Tibet. Chief of the German police in 1938, Hitler devotee  Heinrich Himmler, supported and sponsored the expedition. The downside was that he forced all the archaeologists to become SS members before they left on the expedition.  Why? To seek support for an absurd pseudoscientific theory of “Glacial Cosmogony” by one Hans Hörbiger.  The central tenant to this theory was that ancient ice was the foundational substance of all cosmic processes. It would also allow Himmler to  further his personal interest in Asian mysticism, and the occult- the latter being a fascination to Hitler. They were hoping to find some flimsy evidence on which to mount proof of nordic superiority and justification for the extermination of untermenschen (sub-humans).

The statue wasa found and to Himmler’s delight, it was noted that it had on its chest a swastika- symbol of the Nazi party. Proof surely of the master races’ origins… The magine the Nazis’ delight when Schäfer’s team uncovered the ancient relic with a swastika adorned on its chest. It was brought back to Germany and largely forgotten… there was a war to win after all.

The statue dates back to the 11th century and is believed to be the very first carving of a human from a meteorite — one that crashed to the Earth over 15,000 years ago.  But what or who is the image of? Some alien God from a distant Space Valhalla? A popular theory is that it is not a life carving from a Teutonic Spaceman but a stylistic hybrid between the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist Bon culture that portrays the god Vaisravana, the Buddhist King of the North, also known as Jambhala in Tibet.  The swastika on the chest was an ages-old symbol long before it was filched by the German National Socialists in the 1930s.

In fact it was not known that the statue was carved from a meteorite until 200p. Stuttgart University researcher Elmar Bucher and his colleagues were permitted to take five miniscule samples of it. They found that the statue is carved from a rare class of space rocks known as ataxite meteorites. These mostly iron meteorites have a high level of nickel.

However Achim Bayer, a Buddhism expert at Dongguk University in South Korea hypothesises that the statue is a twentieth century European recreation. He said

“The non-Asian features of the ‘lama wearing trousers’ should be immediately obvious to any scholar in the field. The shoes, pants and sleeves of the man’s garments are all wrong for ancient Tibet, he wrote. The statue’s hands, eyes and ears are also shaped unusually for Tibetan art”

The jury is still out on the final analysis, but at the end of the day the notoriety surrounding the object, even if it was carved some time after 1910 rather than hundreds of years ago,  will ensure that there will always be those who say this was indeed a carving by ancient man of the Nazi Iceman from Outer Space. Or something…

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No Need To Cancel Christmas 2012

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We can all breathe a sigh of relief. The rumours, portents, dire warnings and predictions that the world will end on 21 December this year are untrue. Not only is Christmas 2012 still on the cards, but Christmases for a few years to come.  How is it that the Apocalypse is to be avoided? That the planet Nibiru will not enter the Solar System and cause the destruction of earth? That Cthulhu will not wake to chantings from the Necronomicon?

Well, because a Guatemalan says so.  Mr Apolinario Chile Pixtun is totally sick and tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the end of the world. “I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff,” he said.

Why is is that this comes from a Guatamalan significant?  The Mayan empire included modern day Guatemala. So called “experts” claimed that the Mayan calendar ended on 21/12/2012. Indeed a significant time period for the Mayans does end on the date, and enthusiasts have found a series of astronomical alignments they say coincide in 2012, including one that happens roughly only once every 25,800 years. The Mayan civilization, based in modern day Mexico and Central America, reached its height from 300 AD to 900 AD and certainly had a talent for astronomy. But Mr Pixtun complains that the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.

Apocalypticists claim that all Mayan  calendars end on 21 December 2012. However sites with Mayan calendars can be found with dates far beyond 2012. Things started in 3,114 BC, and then the calendars were marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. Thirteen was a significant, sacred number for the Mayans, and if you check on your calculator, the 13th Baktun ends around Dec 21, 2012.  It’s an anniversary, sure, but only Western dodgy doomsters tagged it as the end of days, twilight’s last gleaming, and the final furlong for the Four Horsemen.

Leaving aside the Mayans, and fed-up Mr Pixtun, there will be a significant event on 21/12/12. It is a fact that the Earth’s axis wobbles, slightly changing the alignment of the stars every year. Once every 25,800 years, the sun lines up with the centre of our Milky Way galaxy on a winter solstice, the sun’s lowest point in the horizon. That will happen on Dec. 21, 2012, when the sun will appear to rise in the very same spot where the bright centre of galaxy sets. But apart from being an interesting astronomical event, nothing else will happen. The Earth will not suddenly wobble to oblivion, implode, or career off into the sun.

But if it does, then that’s why I left you off my Christmas list, right? !

 

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Ex-CIA Agent Says There Was a UFO at Roswell in 1947

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It’s enough to make special FBI agent Fox “Spooky” Mulder re-open the X-Files. 65 years on from the infamous New Mexico incident at Roswell that spawned countless government-alien conspiracy theories, and launched TV series such as Roswell and The X-Files, the controversy has been stirred back to life.

The Roswell Daily Record headline on 8 July 1947 claimed that the military at Roswell in the New Mexico desert, had captured a crashed flying saucer at a nearby ranch. Now a retired CIA veteran, Chase Brandon, says it really happened, but was covered up. He has now been quoted as saying:

“It was not a damn weather balloon — it was what it was billed when people first reported it. It was a craft that clearly did not come from this planet, it crashed and I don’t doubt for a second that the use of the word ‘remains’ and ‘cadavers’ was exactly what people were talking about.”

Brandon was an undercover, covert operations officer in the Central Intelligence Agency’s Clandestine Service for 25 years. He undertook missions counter international terrorism, counterinsurgency, global narcotics trafficking and weapons smuggling.  But that was not where Brandon learned of the CIA’s involvement in the Roswell incident. He spent his last decade of  CIA service on the director’s staff as the agency’s  official liaison officer to the entertainment and publication industries- a newly created post. So was he told to deliberately spread rumours about the incident to launch a new wave of sci-fi programmes and books? No.But in the best traditions of such programmes he stumbled upon something while in a special section of CIA HQ in Langley, Virginia, known then as the Historical Intelligence section.

Brandon takes up the story:

“It was a vaulted area and not everybody could get in it. One day, I was looking around in there and reading some of the titles that were mostly hand-scribbled summations of what was in the boxes. And there was one box that really caught my eye. It had one word on it: Roswell. I took the box down, lifted the lid up, rummaged around inside it, put the box back on the shelf and said, ‘My god, it really happened!'”

Brandon said that the box contained written material and photographs, and for him validated what many other people believed happened at Roswell, but was covered up.

“Some written material and some photographs, and that’s all I will ever say to anybody about the contents of that box,” he said. “But it absolutely, for me, was the single validating moment that everything I had believed, and knew that so many other people believed had happened, truly was what occurred,”

The military changed its story overnight: On  July 8, 1947 they did not deny the story leaked to the local paper  that an alien flying disk had been captured. The next day, it was just a meteorological weather balloon .

Why has Brandon spoken out only now? skeptics would say that it is because he is promoting his book, “The Cryptos Conundrum” a science fiction story about the history of Earth’s contact with extraterrestrials and future cataclysmic events that will occur on our planet.

We are very unlikely to get any more information out of Brandon. His final words on the matter are:

“I’m not reluctant to talk about it — I won’t talk about it. I’m telling you there was a box that had stuff in there having to do with Roswell, and I looked through it, and it validated everything I believed in, and that’s all I have to say about it. I will go to my grave being mindful of the two hats that I wear: My personal one and the one that will forever reside on my head as a former CIA officer.”

Chase Brandon

Looks like we’ll have to leave it t0  the UFO watchers, the conspiracy theorists and the TV series writers to continue to speculate as to what did happen all those years ago in a middle-of-nowhere place in New Mexico!

 

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Star Wars Spaceship found on Sea Bed?

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The Swedish diving team who continue to investigate investigate the Millenium Falcon-shaped object found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea are still no closer to understanding what it is or where it came from.

The object is raised about 10-23 feet above the seabed. The diving team found a 985-foot flattened ‘runway’ leading up to the object, suggesting that it skidded along the seabed before it stopped.  Could this be a UFO that hit the water and continued for a distance along the sea bed?  The object was actually first found a year ago, but the diving team were unable to revisit the site until recently due to a lack of resources.

However, the recent expedition has raised even more questions.

Lead diver Peter Lindberg said: “First we thought this was only stone, but this is something else.”

the object has “rounded sides and rugged edges”. It has a 60m diameter and, at the centre, has “an egg shaped hole leading into it from the top.”

Surrounding the hole they found an odd  rock formation. The divers said that the rocks looked “like small fireplaces” and the “stones were covered in something resembling soot.

Volcanic activity has been discounted, so the presence of something akin to soot is very odd. Stones don’t burn!

The Millenium Falcon

Explanations have run the full gamut from it being an extra terrestrial ship similar to the Millenium Falcon (Hans Solo’s spaceship from the Star Wars films) through to it being a sea-bed plug guarding a tunnel to the underworld.

The diving company has now created a submarine, that they hope will appeal to tourists who would pay to take a trip 285 feet to the bottom of the Baltic Sea, to see the object for themselves. It’s therefore in their interests to keep the mystery afloat, and not look too hard for a rational explanation. However a rational explanation has already been offered by Hanumant Singh, a researcher with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He told  Popular Mechanics that the images of the object had several inconsistencies. He claimed that they were taken with an inexpensive type of sonar that contained several distortions and that he picture also revealed a reflection of the image that indicated the instruments weren’t properly wired.

The most likely explanation seems to be that the object is rock-based, a giant stone, probably from the Ice Age. However one would expect that the rock be covered with silt. Could it be some hand-hewn idol created by ancient man? Or just a geological aberration? Judge for yourself here:

Baltic Sea Phenomenon

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Ancient Aliens: The Evidence (Season 1: Episode 1/5)

History Channel Documentary Ancient Aliens: The Series (The Evidence) Premiere Date: 20th April 2010. If ancient aliens visited Earth, what was their legacy, and did they leave behind clues that exist in plain sight such as sophisticated aircraft, complex electrical grids, and intricate construction machinery? Indian Sanskrit texts, dating back to 6000 BC, describe in varying but vivid detail flying machines called Vimanas. Megalithic stone structures in Egypt reveal evidence of precision saw work. Interpretations of the Jewish Zohar writings offer depictions of a life-sustaining manna machine, eerily similar to chlorella algae processing systems today. Are these examples of modern technology, or is there evidence that these incredible mechanisms existed on Earth thousands of years ago? Follow UFOs and Alien Life on Twitter @ twitter.com “Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favour of fair use.” Ancient Alien Theory- www.history.com Ancient Aliens: Chariots, Gods and Beyond- www.youtube.com UFO Files: Ancient Aliens- www.youtube.com Human’s Extraterrestrial Origins- www.youtube.com Scientists Find Extraterrestrial Genes in Human DNA- www.agoracosmopolitan.com Scientists

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