Thursday, September 10, 2009

SEPT. 9 - “They” Are Not “Them”: A Hybrid View of the UFO Presence‏

Dear Friends,

Love and Light.


“They” Are Not “Them”: A Hybrid View of the UFO Presence

For many years I was skeptical of the UFO phenomenon. I was persuaded by SETI pioneers like Carl Sagan: It’s pretty certain that the universe is full of intelligent civilizations, but the vast interstellar distances and the vast timescales involved in traversing them made the notion of an alien presence in our skies seem (to me) silly. I tended to agree with science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem, particularly the view put forth in his great novel Fiasco. Civilizations will pass through a very brief “window” of maybe a couple centuries duration when they simultaneously have the technology required to communicate with other civilizations and still have an interest in doing so. After this, they will either have destroyed themselves/exhausted their resources or will have become “lotus eaters,” having solved all problems of material scarcity and retreated into virtual worlds of pure imagination, no longer caring who else is out there. Given the limitations on the speed of interstellar travel coupled with the fact that different civilizations’ histories will be wildly out of sync with each other, radio transmissions might be sent and received, but any actual two-way contact between different technological civilizations will be a tremendous statistical rarity despite the vast number of such civilizations that must arise.

I held to the view, in other words, that we would probably never make contact with an alien race, except perhaps by eventually finding its million-year-old ruins or fossils on some long-dead planet. The alternative, Star Trek-like universe teeming with roughly similarly advanced civilizations with similar agendas seems to defy both what I believed and, really, what I thought was most awe-inspiring: a sense of profound cosmic aloneness, despite infinite worlds and minds spread across unbridgeable distances.

As I’ve come to delve into the UFO stuff over recent months, however, I’m convinced that my old view requires revision. The evidence is overwhelming that Earth is being surveyed by alien craft. They are seen all the time, by perfectly sober and sane people. I saw them on two occasions, less than a month apart, this summer, and dutifully made my reports (obviously, this was a big factor in my revisiting the whole question). They are seen particularly often by pilots, astronauts, police, and people in the military. The latter four groups, for decades under explicit or tacit gag rules, are finally starting to talk openly about their experiences. It is becoming clear that the superpowers have gathered a lot of data that they have suppressed—for the very sensible reason that political control and social stability rest on governments seeming to be in control of their people’s security and destiny, an appearance that evidence of more advanced cultures in our airspace irrevocably punctures.

First of all, before I go any further: Is the UFO phenomenon a cultural construct? Of course it is. The same way “autism” is a cultural construct. Autism diagnoses have mushroomed in the past decades, not because more people are autistic but because more people are being recognized and classified that way. If it’s on our mental radar, it will influence how we make sense of the world, and it may be a productive filter. Whether or not there are actually more UFOs in our skies now than there were ten or twenty or fifty years ago, people are now primed to interpret anomalies in UFO terms and are less embarrassed to report seeing them. This certainly makes for more false positives, and more room for hoaxes, but it does not render the phenomenon “mythical” or part of our collective imagination.

And, lest I be seen as a conspiracy theorist or kook, my hunch is that, while they have probably gathered massive and conclusive evidence that UFOs are real and are extraterrestrial, the terrestrial powers that be may not actually know much more than the rest of us have been able to piece together. They probably have all the really excellent footage and photographs, perhaps physical evidence or even pieces of alien technology—too many people have admitted to such “secret rooms” and confiscations of military footage that it seems pointless to doubt. But whether our government has made any kind of actual “contact” is another question, and I’m quite dubious. I’m skeptical that the Pentagon or the Rand Corporation really know much more than the rest of us about the motives of alien civilizations to come and explore Earth.

To see why, I think we simply need to extrapolate from our own motives. If you had an interest in a less technologically advanced, perhaps even less-evolved civilization, what would you do to learn about it? And more fundamentally, why would you be interested in the first place?

For some reason, many people who write and speculate about UFOs and the motives of extraterrestrial visitors fail to do the obvious, which is put themselves in their shoes. And by “they” I mean the actual intelligences responsible for the visitations, not the visitors themselves. I’m surprised this distinction isn’t made more often, but if you extrapolate from our own space program, it seems pretty obvious that the UFO-nauts are not the “them” that sent them. If you draw this distinction, it makes the whole UFO thing seem much less farfetched and fanciful.

Let’s assume that, if nonhuman civilizations are able to manipulate space and gravity to the extent evidenced by their spacecraft, they have probably solved pretty much any other engineering problem we could imagine—which includes bioengineering and molecular engineering problems—and thus their reasons for sending spacecraft here have nothing to do with needing anything from us. They can clearly make whatever they need—mechanically, genetically, you name it. I surely think it is naïve to think they somehow covet our genetic diversity or want to breed with us. They are probably capable of more or less conjuring all their needs and wants via nanotechnology.

This is the good news, in a sense, because if they don’t need anything, there’s no motive for warfare or invasion. Call me naïve, but I suspect that Type-III (spacefaring) civilizations wouldn’t find themselves in much competition for the kinds of things wars are fought over, and thus “interstellar war” probably is mostly a matter of science fiction.

But another of the things “they” don’t want from us is cultural knowledge: What knowledge or insight could humans possibly have that an interstellar civilization, hundreds or thousands of years in advance of us, could possibly use? We should assume that whatever our most brilliant ideas are—including the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism or The Golden Rule—they had those ideas, or equivalent ones, long before we ever did. I think that this answers one question that continues to vex many in the UFO community: Why haven’t they made contact? The answer is, there’s nothing for them to gain. The nice Close Encounters idea of interstellar “sharing” is the laughably simplistic vision of beings who are, to them, still tiny children with big dreams. (Think about it: Other than as passing or idle speculation, how many biologists actually want to or could “make contact” with the animals they study? What can baboons or even chimps tell us?)

So “they” are not here because they want anything from Earth (i.e., via colonialism, invasion, let alone “trade”), nor do they want to make contact with humanity in some tableau of cosmic love and harmony. The assumption we are left with is that they are here to gather data. And by the looks of it, they are probably systematically gathering vast, vast quantities, and may have been doing so for a long, long time.

Here is where we need to extrapolate from our own space program and realize who “they” are and why “they” doesn’t need to be the “they” that originally sent them to our solar system or our planet. Data collection by and large doesn’t require a vessel to be manned. When UFOs aren’t entirely automated (as I suspect most are), their occupants are surely not the beings actually responsible for the mission to Earth; they are surely something like clones, or biomechanoid creations, purpose-built or purpose-bred for space exploration. Perhaps their humanoid form is meant to facilitate data gathering with humans specifically. It is even quite possible that the visitors and their craft aren’t even technically interstellar but are manufactured from local materials right here in the solar system or on earth. All that really needs to travel between the stars is information—marching orders and instructions—the rest can theoretically be done locally with basic nanotech and matter-reorganizing factories.

Whatever the case, the data-gathering and data-recording abilities of such extraterrestrial probes are no doubt many orders of magnitude beyond what we can achieve, so we could assume such probes have archived virtually our entire culture. Which again helps explain why there’s no question of making contact. They would already know anything we would ever want to say to them.

The two motives for gathering data are science and security, and surely the UFO presence is related to both these aims. The science aim is obvious: An advanced civilization got to where they are via science and technology, and the motive to gather all information, whether or not it seems relevant, is an easy one to program into an automated probe—the “learn all that is knowable” imperative. This, we must assume, is a basic and not an applied science enterprise–a long-term investment with uncertain payoffs. Ours is one of possibly hundreds or thousands of planets whose goings-on are being surveyed and recorded by numerous civilizations in our own stellar neighborhood (writers who classify types of UFOs have surmised that there could be at least four distinct civilizations surveying earth right now), but if “they” don’t have needs in the sense we understand it, then it’s hard to imagine what application such data would ever have been envisioned.

The security aim is more in the background, but is probably of greater long-term significance. UFOs’ clear interest in our space program and weapons clues us into this: Here we are, on the brink of being a spacefaring race, if we play our cards right and don’t blow it. Depending on how things go, we might, in a few hundred or a thousand years, be some kind of minor player in the politics of our tiny corner of the galaxy (whatever “politics” looks like on an interstellar scale). Or, if the Lem-like vision holds, “they” won’t give a shit anymore (if they even did when they sent our their probes, which could have been aeons ago for all we know), but the descendents of their biomechanoid defensive superstructure will kick into high gear to protect their ability to lotus-eat in private once our exploratory probes reach their airspace. By that point, we might have stopped giving a shit too, but we will have done what any self-preserving civilization does to protect itself: putting a nice robot-and-clone buffer out there to protect our future interests. It is only at that down-the-road point of mutual political relevance that all this data would conceivably provide some alien race somewhere with some useful insight about us. If they are still around, that is.

So we shouldn’t assume that the “active interest” of the UFO-nauts is really all that active or interested. It should be seen as mechanical and automatic. This would explain what Mac Tonnies describes as our visitors’ “clumsy, oblique interactions with us” and why they seem simultaneously both “wildly sophisticated and limitlessly stupid.” Speaking of autism—isn’t that the sense one gets from these lights in the sky, or these “grays”? The Mars Spirit rover would seem pretty autistic too.

So the view I’ve come around to is a synthesis, or hybrid, of the standard UFOlogical and “sublime” visions of interstellar communication. I suspect that something like Lem’s vision is still closer to the truth—civilizations don’t overlap much, and interstellar politics is probably nonexistent or trivial over large distances—yet it is probably also the case that during their crucial “window,” civilizations do initiate massive and self-propogating data-gathering activities throughout their local stellar neighborhoods or even farther afield. No doubt these data-gathering abilities are matched by similarly astounding (and automated) defensive capabilities that would kick in if necessary.

“They” are not the ones who sent “them,” in other words, and we shouldn’t think we’re particularly hot shit because automated probes are watching us. The ones who sent them, the real extraterrestrials, are either dead and gone, have evolved into something completely different, or have bigger fish to fry. In a thousand years, when our first flying saucer reaches their solar system, if they are still alive and awake, they’ll rouse themselves from their meditation on the Three Noble Truths (take that, measly Earth Buddhists!) and download the voluminous data reports from Earth directly to their massive quantum brains. Only at that point will they raise their middle eyebrows in unison and go “Hmm, fascinating.”

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



Pf., clique no símbolo do YouTube e depois no quadrado pequeno, em baixo, ao lado direito para obter as legendas CC, e escolha PORTUGUÊS

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