Thursday, March 31, 2011

A List of Best UFO Sightings?

While we’ve ragged on Paul Kimball for his filmed list of the best UFO sightings ever, we came across a list by former flying saucer “expert” William Spaulding, who provided his take on some top UFO sightings and events for The People’s Almanac’s The Book of Lists #2 by author Irving Wallace and family [William Morrow and Company, NY, 1980, Page 417 ff.].

His first offering was the McMinnville/Trent photos which we deem as bogus.

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His next sighting was the 1952 Nash-Fortenberry Pan-Am encounter, over Norfolk, Virginia.

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The third listing was the 1952 Washington D.C. incidents.

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The fourth episode was the Ralph Mayher [sic] film of 1952.

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Fifth was (another) 1952 radar/visual sighting of a USAF B-29 training crew over the Gulf of Mexico

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Six on Spaulding’s list was the Kimball/Sparks B-47 incident, so there is some consensus that the sighting was and is significant.

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Seventh in Spaulding list of eight is a November 1957 on the outskirts of Levelland, Texas where witnesses had encounters with a large UFO.

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And eighth on Spaulding’s list was the 1976 Iranian encounter.

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We won’t elaborate on Spaulding’s list, as we see lists as entertainment rather than edifying information.

But we note that Kimball and Sparks are not the only UFO aficionados to see the RB-47 event as a significant UFO encounter.

Again, the RB-47 sighting is interesting, but so are dozens of other sightings, including the B-29 sighting (number five, above) which has as many or more technical accoutrements as the RB-47 incident.

UFO hobbyists, each, have their favorite UFO sightings or stories – mine include the 1966 Ann Arbor/Dexter/Hillsdale sightings; the infamous “swamp gas” sightings.

But have any of these classic sightings given us a clue to the UFO enigma? Nope. So listing them is a futile, silly endeavor, that passes for research for some “ufologists” but they are fun to read, right?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

UFOs, String Theory, Quantum Gravity

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Physics has become as discombobulated and goofy as “ufology.”

String Theory for Dummies by Andrew Zimmerman Jones and Daniel Robbins [Wiley Publishing, Indianapolis, 2010] presents a pithy overview of string theory and quantum physics; an overview that shows just how crazy the study of physics has become, and how physicists have resorted to mathematics as a kind of abracadabra to help them find an answer to the mysteries of the Universe that discombobulate them.

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Ufology, that faux research sobriquet use by UFO hobbyists to provide cachet for their irrational attempts to uncover the nature of UFOs, is loopier than string theory, but is also encumbered by overt pathological participants whereas physicists keep their pathology suppressed, masking it with calculus and other mathematical formulae.

Physicists are trying to discover the reality of the Universe.

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Ufologists once tried to uncover the mystery of flying saucers and then generic UFOs, but have since devolved into a babbling clique of pseudo-researchers who are so flummoxed by the enigma they once hoped to explain that they are now babblers of nonsense that borders on total insanity.

The UFO phenomenon is not amenable to mathematics, it seems – but who has tried to use math to provide a theoretical paradigm?

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Moreover, UFOs have attracted crazies of all types, while physics (quantum, string, and classical) attracts brilliant loonies who see beyond the prosaic and mundane to theoretical models of the Universe that may provide profound truths of our existence.

The study of UFOs takes us nowhere and thus far has only provided babbling of a pathological kind. (See Alfred Lehmberg’s ditherings for example.)

One holds out hope for a rational denouement in the realm of physics (string theory notwithstanding).

But in the realm of UFOs? One should keep their distance, remaining aloof and disconnected, if only to remain compos mentis.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Best UFO Case, Ever???

Our friend, film-maker Paul Kimball, along with once prominent UFO researcher Brad Sparks consider a UFO incident from 1957 to be the very best incident to offer proof of UFOs.

It is the so-called RB47 bomber confrontation, as it were, with a UFO in July 1957.

Here’s Mr. Kimball’s essay on the incident, from his film, Best Evidence:



While Mr. Kimball is seemingly obsessed with this UFO sighting, we find it evidentiarily boring.

A plane was followed by a UFO, which was seen by some members of the crew, spotted on radar, and apparently interacted with the plane’s radar.

The Air Force, as is its wont, said the crew was tailed by and taken in by another aircraft in the area, as noted in Mr. Kimball’s film.

The Air Force was obviously maliciously stupid as usual, but the sighting is hardly the theochristic UFO event that Messieurs Kimball and Sparks think it is.

It doesn’t come near to explaining what a UFO is, nor does it provide overt clues that lead to a possible explanation. It is merely a well-witnessed sighting of a strange thing in the sky.

We would hope that Mr. Kimball gets over his obsession with this beleaguered sighting, and apply his noteworthy UFO acumen to sightings and incidents that resonate in more meaningful ways.

RB47 is just another sighting of an anomaly that requires more scrutiny than that provided by the details inherent in this admittedly intriguing, but ultimately soporific case.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Mystery of Aliens [Part 2]

Our earlier assessments about the gods and heroes of old differing from the extraterrestrial aliens of the flying saucer/UFO (modern) era needs to be supplemented apparently, as it has flummoxed some visitors to our blog(s).

Our premise, if there is one, is that the gods/heroes of ancient times were barely different from the humans who observed and recorded their visitations; whereas the alien beings of flying saucer lore (mostly from the 1950s and 1960s, aside from the alleged Space Brothers of the “contactee” tales) were either dwarfish or grotesque.

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Moreover, we accept some ancient texts as (almost) literal…

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And we find some accounts, as in The Old Testament of the Holy Bible [Confraternity-Douay Version] to be very intriguing (and human-like); e.g., Exodus 4:24

The Mayan Popul Vuh [Translated by Dennis Tedlock, Touchstone Books, NY, 1985/1996] is a source for extant renderings of the original Popul Vuh which dates, reliably from about 1550 A.D., but represents ancient oral and written texts of the early Mayans going back at least 1000 years.

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The text contains creation stories similar to that found in The Hebrew/Christian Bible in Genesis.

And the gods, described therein, while adorned with animal parts and recounted as having grotesque accoutrements, were essentially human-like in appearance. [Page 145
ff.]

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The Egyptian Book of the Dead contains descriptive similar to that in the Popul Vuh and precedes the Mayan book by several thousand years.

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Most readers here are familiar with (or should be) the Egyptian iconography and the association with the ancient alien theory of Erich von Daniken at al.

Again, the gods of Egypt, while often adorned with animal parts, remain human-like in action and appearance, especially after the theological thrust of Akhenaton [circa 1354 B.C.]

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From the text:

Åmen-Ra…president [sic] of all the gods, beautiful god, beloved one….the gods adore him…The gods love the smell of Him…the gods cast themselves down at his feet…the gods acclaim him, and he stretcheth out his hand to him that loveth him. [Page 108, The Book of the Dead, University Books, Secaucus, NJ, 1960].

Nothing pungent, odorous, or ugly there.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead can be traced back to the 12th Century with antecedents attributable to the 8th Century [after Christ].

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The gods of Tibetan lore were described therein thusly:

Blessed Vajrasattva-Aksobhya will appear before you….His body is blue in colour, he holds a five-pointed vajra in his hand and sits on an elephant throne, embracing his consort Buddha-Locana, He is accompanied by the two male bodhisattvas…the two female bodhisattvas…[Page 43, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Francesca Fremantle and Chögyam Trungpa, Shambhala Books, Berkeley, 1975].

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Nothing grotesque or dwarfish there.

Then there is lacunae where the gods (and their minions) disappear, until the Christ incarnation and the appearance of Mohammed’s Allah [6th Century A.D.] and perhaps the appearance of Jesus to Jeanne d’Arc in the 1400s [A.D.] and possibly the visitation of god’s mother Mary at Lourdes [1858] and Fatima [1917].

Finally we have the visitation of weird, little beings outside or near flying saucers, a few years before the ubiquitous arrival of little gray beings of an almost benign nature.

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Again, we pose the query, why such a dichotomy in nature, physically mostly and somewhat in behavior?

The early descriptions allow for a divine patina to the ancient “visitors” while the modern visitors hardly come of as divine in any way – pasty, wan, and frail or so grotesque that they invite revulsion rather than the glorification like that by those who provided ancient accounts.

Why?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quantum and String Theories for Dummies?

Wiley Publishing Company has two books, in its Dummies series, about quantum mechanics and/or string theory:

Quantum Physics for Dummies by Steven Holzner [2009, 321 pages, $19.99, Wiley Publishing, NJ]

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String Theory for Dummies by Andrew Zimmerman Jones with Daniel Robbins [2010, 366 pages, $19.99, Wiley Publishing, NJ]

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Holzner’s book is, as far as we can determine, geared to college students or advanced high schoolers who are adept at mathematics of an advanced kind (Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus particularly).

Jones and Robbins provide an overview of quantum physics and string theory without a total immersion (as Holzner insists) in mathematics.

If you’re looking for a cogent assessment of string theory, which is in a category rightfully called a quantum field theory, get the Jones/Robbins book.

If you are a math genius – and we accent “genius” – Holzner’s book will satisfy. It won’t enlighten you about quantum mechanics in a philosophical way but it can lead you through the abstruse mathematics of quantum theorizing.

Holzner’s book, in our estimation, is not a Dummies book, per se. It’s a tome on rarified mathematics, which science and physicists use to remain arcane and aloof.

Jones with Robbins, on the other hand, empathize with readers who want to know more about quantum and string theory and provide a door to understanding both.

We’ll be presenting material from the Jones book upcoming.

As for the Holzner book, we’ll leave that for those who think science is furthered by use of mathematics rather than clear statements of logic and hypothesizing, in plain English.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Mystery of Aliens

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Ancient Astronaut theorists posit the idea that the messengers and gods of old were extraterrestrial visitors, which is not necessarily a faulty supposition, considering the circumstantial “evidence” presented to bolster the hypothesis.

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The visitors were not gray with large, almond-shaped eyes as they are rendered today by descriptives.

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In mythology and religious-oriented works, the visitors of old were manifested by an aura that bespoke something otherworldly but not grotesque.

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Those visitors often mated with human beings, as recounted in the Genesis account of the Hebrew Bible [6:1]:

...The sons of God saw that the daughters of man were good, and they took themselves wives from whomever they chose. God said, ’My spirit will not continue to judge man forever, since he is nothing but flesh. His days shall be 120 years’. The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also later. The sons of God had come to the daughters of man and had fathered them. They were the mightiest ones who ever existed, men of renown.

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And they also appear in the Greek myths, as Gods, whose dalliances produced such Greek Heroes as Achilles and Heracles.

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And Merlin, the great wizard of the Arthurian legends, was said to have been fathered by an Incubus. [Bulfinch]

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In the 1950s, flying saucer “occupants’ – as reported by observers – were usually grotesque or small, bizarre creatures, akin to the little people folklore of the British Isles.

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In the 1960s, those visitors morphed into the so-called “grays” which evolved out of the Betty and Barney Hill abduction saga.

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There is a dispute, extant, about what Betty Hill really described, at first, about her “abductors” – mostly having to do with their noses. But the “creatures” she allegedly encountered eventually came into being as the ubiquitous UFO people pictured when UFO occupants are discussed:

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The question posed is this…

What happened between 5,000 years ago when the Sumerians pictured their “gods” and the modern era when UFO beings are described? [Intelligent Life in the Universe, Shklovskii/Sagan, Delta, 1966]

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That is, why has the intruders’ physiognomy changed?

Yes, we accept the reality behind the myths and Biblical renditions of gods (or messengers from above).

We also think that some relatively recent observations of creatures nearby, what some call, UFOs or, better, flying saucers, are true also, whether created as an illusion or actually as perceived.

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(The alien abduction phenomenon, which remains controversial and not proven, has been, in one form or another, around since the beginning of oral and written history, as anyone familiar with mythology and religious texts knows.)

There is a mystery in all this, one that is connected in all its aspects by the similarities in the visitations.

The difference lies in how the “visitors” appeared, not in how they acted, but what they looked like.

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Are there, or were there, two different classes of beings – some actually gods (or imagined as such) and some actually extraterrestrials (or imagined as such)?

It’s a mystery, either way…..

(And yes, we’ve covered this before, in 2007)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Earworm


Lauren Sheil, in Canada (where sane pepole reside), ruminates on life, religion, politics, et cetera.

He has an erudite blog, which can be found by clicking here.