diumenge, 25/08/2019

Many think the government is about to disclose what it knows about UFOs. Many think the government is doing everything in its power to keep the UFO reality a secret. The truth is those who control the UFO secret are doing neither. The secret keepers are gradually disclosing this information, via an acclimatization process, based on advice given by military think tanks that have looked at the issue.

How long the disclosure effort has been going on and how this secrecy plan has been carried out?


I Know What I Saw -Documentary-

dissabte, 24/08/2019

“Government and Military Officials reveal the truth about UFOs.”

In one of the best UFO documentaries out there, filmmaker and investigator James Fox interviews credible eyewitnesses about some of the most compelling UFO cases, including the Phoenix Lights and the Belgian UFO wave.

An absolute must-see and a primer for anyone interested in the UFO phenomenon.


James Oberg -Explaining Sightings-

divendres, 23/08/2019

James Oberg often writes about alleged UFO sightings, giving scientific explanations to seemingly extraterrestrial phenomena, or otherwise debunking them as hoaxes.

Oberg categorized UFO sightings (excluding those identified as hoaxes) into one of three groups:

  1. Super-High Plumes – rocket or missile plumes, especially lit by the sun on a dark sky;
  2. Space “Dandruff” – ice flakes, fragments of insulation, etc. flying alongside a space vehicle, especially seen by backward-facing cameras;
  3. Twilight Shadowing – objects that move from shadow into sunlight in space appear as if coming from behind the clouds or from beyond the edge of the Earth.

Guardia Urbana de Barcelona

dijous, 22/08/2019

The Kecksburg Incident

dimecres, 21/08/2019

The Kecksburg UFO incident occurred on December 9, 1965, at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, USA. A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada. It streaked over the Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario area, reportedly dropped hot metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, starting some grass fires and caused sonic booms in Western Pennsylvania. It was generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor after authorities discounted other proposed explanations such as a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris.

The Incident (as reported)

However, eyewitnesses in the small village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, claimed something crashed in the woods. A boy said he saw the object land; his mother saw a wisp of blue smoke arising from the woods and alerted authorities. Another reported feeling a vibration and “a thump” about the time the object reportedly landed. Others from Kecksburg, including local volunteer fire department members, reported finding an object in the shape of an acorn and about as large as a Volkswagen Beetle. Writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics was also said to be in a band around the base of the object. Witnesses further reported that intense military presence, most notably the United States Army, secured the area, ordered civilians out, and then removed the object on a flatbed truck. At the time, however, the military claimed they searched the woods and found “absolutely nothing”

The Tribune-Review from nearby Greensburg had a reporter at the scene; the headline in the newspaper the next morning was “Unidentified Flying Object Falls near Kecksburg — Army Ropes off Area”. The article continued with, “The area where the object landed was immediately sealed off on the order of U.S. Army and State Police officials, reportedly in anticipation of a ‘close inspection’ of whatever may have fallen… State Police officials there ordered the area roped off to await the expected arrival of both U.S. Army engineers and possibly, civilian scientists.” However, a later edition of the newspaper stated that nothing reportedly had been found after authorities searched the area.

Map of the area 
The official explanation of the widely seen fireball was that it was a mid-sized meteor. However speculation as to the identity of the Kecksburg object (if there was one — reports vary) also range from it being an alien craft to debris from Cosmos 96, a Soviet Space Probe Intended for Venus but never left the atmosphere.

Similarities have been drawn between the Kecksburg incident and the Roswell UFO incident, leading to the former being referred to as “Pennsylvania’s Roswell.”

Scientific articlesSeveral articles were written about the fireball in science journals. The February 1966 issue of Sky & Telescope reported that the fireball was seen over the Detroit-Windsor area at about 4:44 p.m. EST. The Federal Aviation Administration had received 23 reports from aircraft pilots, the first starting at 4:44 p.m. A seismograph 25 miles southwest of Detroit had recorded the shock waves created by the fireball as it passed through the atmosphere. The Sky and Telescope article concluded that “the path of the fireball extended roughly from northwest to southeast” and ended “in or near the western part of Lake Erie”.

A 1967 article by two astronomers in the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (JRASC) used the seismographic record to pinpoint the time of passage over the Detroit area to 4:43 p.m. In addition, they used photographs of the trail taken north of Detroit at two different locations to triangulate the trajectory of the object. They concluded that the fireball was descending at a steep angle, moving from the southwest to the northeast, and likely impacted on the northwestern shore of Lake Erie near Windsor, Ontario.

The JRASC trajectory was at nearly right angles to that proposed earlier by Sky and Telescope, or a trajectory that would have taken the fireball in the direction of western Pennsylvania and Kecksburg. Thus, if the calculation was correct, this would rule out the fireball being involved in any way with what may or may not have happened in Kecksburg. The JRASC article is often cited by skeptics to debunk the notion of a UFO crash at Kecksburg.

However, the JRASC article has been criticized as lacking any error analysis. Since the triangulation base used by the astronomers in their calculations was very narrow, even very small errors in determination of directions could result in a very different triangulated trajectory. Measurement errors of slightly more than one-half degree would make possible a straight-line trajectory towards the Kecksburg area and a much shallower angle of descent than reported in the JRASC article. It was also pointed out that the photos used actually show the fireball trail becoming progressively thinner, suggesting motion away from the cameras, or in the direction of Pennsylvania. Had the trajectory been sideways to the cameras, as contended in the JRASC article, the trail would likely have remained roughly constant in thickness.

Kosmos 96There had been some speculation (e.g. NASA’s James Oberg) that the object in the Kecksburg Incident may have been debris from Kosmos 96, a Soviet satellite. Kosmos 96 had a bell- or acorn-like shape similar to the object reported by eyewitnesses (though much smaller than witnesses reported).

However, in a 1991 report, US Space Command concluded that Kosmos 96 crashed in Canada at 3.18am on December 9, 1965, about 13 hours before the fireball thought to be the Kecksburg object undergoing re-entry was recorded at 4:45pm.

In addition, in a 2003 interview Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center Nicholas L. Johnson stated:

I can tell you categorically, that there is no way that any debris from Kosmos 96 could have landed in Pennsylvania anywhere around 4:45 p.m.[…] That’s an absolute. Orbital mechanics is very strict.

Recent developments 2003: Sci Fi Channel reinvestigates case
In 2003, the Sci Fi Channel sponsored a scientific study of the area and related records by the Coalition for Freedom of Information. The most significant finding of the scientific team was a line of damaged trees broken at the top leading to the site where some eyewitnesses said they saw the object embedded in the soil along with associated fresh tree damage. Furthermore, tree core samples dated the damage to 1965. This provided physical evidence that something airborne may have come crashing through the trees and landed in the woods there at the time, which would contradict the military’s official story of nothing being found. (However, one of the scientists instead suggested ice damage to the trees.) Minor soil disturbance was also found at the alleged landing site.

There was also a push for NASA to release pertinent documents on the subject. Some 40 pages of these documents were released on November 1, 2003, but were unrevealing. However, there are Air Force Project Blue Book documents indicating that a three-man team was sent from an Air Force radar-installation near Pittsburgh to investigate the Kecksburg crash. (This was also reported in some newspaper articles at the time, also that Blue Book was looking into it, but had no comment.) They reported back to Blue Book that nothing was found.

2005: NASA changes story to “Russian satellite”

In December 2005, just before the 40th anniversary of the Kecksburg crash, NASA released a statement to the effect that they had examined metallic fragments from the object and now claimed it was from a re-entering “Russian satellite”. The spokesman further claimed that the related records had been misplaced. According to an Associated Press story:

The object appeared to be a Russian satellite that re-entered the atmosphere and broke up. NASA experts studied fragments from the object, but records of what they found were lost in the 1990s.

As a rule, we don’t track UFOs. What we could do, and what we apparently did as experts in spacecraft in the 1960s, was to take a look at whatever it was and give our expert opinion,” Steitz said. “We did that, we boxed (the case) up and that was the end of it. Unfortunately, the documents supporting those findings were misplaced.


Furthermore, the claim contradicts what journalist Leslie Kean was told in 2003 by Nicholas L. Johnson, NASA’s chief scientist for orbital debris. As part of the new Sci Fi investigation, Kean had Johnson recheck orbital paths of all known satellites and other records from the period in 1965. Johnson told Kean that orbital mechanics made it absolutely impossible for any part of the Cosmos 96 Venus probe to have accounted for either the fireball or any object at Kecksburg. Johnson also stated there were no other known man-made satellites or other objects that re-entered the atmosphere on that day.

Kean and others deem it highly questionable that NASA could actually lose such records. (However, this would not be a unique case for NASA; for example, the original tapes recorded during the televised Apollo 11 Moon landing were misplaced or reused.)

In December 2005, a lawsuit was filed to get NASA to search more diligently for the alleged lost records.

On October 26, 2007, NASA agreed to search for those records after being ordered by the court. The judge, who had tried to move NASA along for more than 3 years, angrily referred to NASA’s previous search efforts as a “ball of yarn” that never fully answered the request, adding, “I can sense the plaintiff’s frustration because I’m frustrated.”

During the hearing, Steve McConnell, NASA’s public liaison officer, admitted two boxes of papers from the time of the Kecksburg incident were missing. Stan Gordon, principal investigator of the Kecksburg incident for several decades, stated “I have no doubt the government knows a lot more about this than it has revealed to the public.”

In 2008 space writer James Oberg opined that NASA was unlikely to possess any such documents since, in his view, it was highly likely that the supposed NASA team who investigated the site were in fact Air Force personnel who identified themselves as NASA personnel, something regularly done by military personnel in civilian clothes during the 1960s. He further suggested that Leslie Kean’s lawsuit was no more than a “publicity stunt” for the benefit of Kean’s employers.

In November 2009, Leslie Kean filed a report on the results of the NASA search. Documents were still missing or reported destroyed and little of interest was turned up relevant to the Kecksburg case. Of particular interest was a missing box of “fragology” files, reported destroyed, related to recovery and examination of space debris. Kean said the missing files could be due to a number of reasons, including a poor filing system, misplaced records or records filed outside of the parameters of the search, deliberately concealed records, perhaps still classified, files removed by NASA employees but never returned (one such individual was named), files that were indeed destroyed as reported, and archivists unfamiliar with what was being searched for. In addition, the plaintiffs had to trust that NASA carried out the search as they reported to the court, since the plaintiffs were not allowed to examine the search materials for themselves. Despite reservations about the thoroughness or accuracy of the search, Kean said they felt they had exhausted their legal remedies and ended the lawsuit against NASA.

Kean noted that some items of interest did turn up, such as NASA’s general involvement in collecting space debris and analyzing it, including interest in sightings of lesser meteor fireball seen at about the same time. In addition, NASA sent out press releases to news agencies about these other fireballs. But NASA had nothing on the very widely reported and seen fireball associated with the Kecksburg case and issued no stories on it.

Kean also wrote that she tried to get more information from David Steitz, the NASA spokesperson who issued the surprising statement in 2005 that NASA had indeed examined debris related to Kecksburg, supposedly from a Russian space probe. But Steitz never responded. Kean was particularly interested in Steitz’s source of information to make such a statement, since he also indicated there were no surviving records and the court-ordered search also turned up no relevant records. There are also records of eye witnesses saying that they had “chipped” off pieces of the artifact.


Kecksburg, 1965

dimarts , 20/08/2019

Astrophysicist Master’s degree interview

dilluns, 19/08/2019

Daniel Blair Stewart: What aspects, data, or questions about UFO phenomena are not being addressed by the community of investigators and researchers?

Jacques Vallee: To begin with, many aspects of UFO sightings have to do with the paranormal; yet psychic phenomena, paranormal phenomena have been consistently pushed under the rug by most UFO investigators. That is due in part to the fact that witnesses tell you such things only after you have gained their trust. But very often they are a challenge to the beliefs or the world view of the investigators. They may not be ready to hear it or they may not publish it because they think it would damage their credibility. And since they are in the business of giving credibility to the subject they don’t want to reveal the paranormal aspects of it.

Just to give you one example, in the Redding case that I investigated in northern California, the witnesses had seen an object three times on their claim near a mine that they worked. The case had been investigated by various UFO groups and the report had been published. I went there and gained the trust of the witnesses.

We went back to the place where the object had been and I asked them “How did the object take off?” They said it took off … sort of at an angle.” I looked at the place and said, “Well, it had to go through the trees, didn’t it?” And they said, “Well, it kind of went through the trees!” I pointed out, “That’s not what you told the other people who investigated and that’s not what’s in the published report.” And they said, “Well, this man, he was so nice and obviously he wasn’t going to believe it if we told him it went through the trees.”

Every genuine UFO sighting has some elements that are shocking to the “rational” view, the nuts-and-bolts picture that these are simply spacecraft from outer space.

Another aspect of your question is that for a long time the UFOlogists have been blind to the fact that the phenomenon can be manipulated. In particular it can be manipulated by the government, by various intelligence groups or by different cults with their own agenda. I published over ten years ago in Messengers of Deception my conclusion that many of the UFO organizations had been infiltrated. That book got me in a lot of trouble with my friends in the UFO community who refused to look at that particular problem.

Since then, of course, this observation has been vindicated. One government informant has even come forward to reveal that he, in fact, had been recruited to befriend various UFOlogists and to write psychological profiles of them. Every UFO organization is monitored by government informers.

On the board of the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena, which was one of the major organizations in this country in the ’50s and ’60s, were three people who were among the founders of psychological warfare. They were people with strong ties to the government and intelligence community. I’m not saying it’s necessarily illegal or wrong, but it should be recognized.

One of the recommendations of the 1953 Robertson Panel, convened by the CIA and the Air Force to review the UFO problem, was that UFO organizations be watched. That report was classified at the time. That recommendation was in fact implemented. The civilian UFO groups were being watched and infiltrated as early as the fifties. They still are.

I think this aspect has many remarkable consequences. To what extent were some well-known UFO sightings actually simulations that were staged for the benefit of someone who wanted to do social engineering research or psychological warfare research? Perhaps to see what kind of stimuli it would take to make people change their belief systems, for example.

DBS: A lot of investigators have pointed out that UFOs behave like holograms. I’ve heard the phrase “a hologram with mass” more than once.

JV: In many cases they behaved like a hologram that had mass. In other words, if a hologram could also interact with the environment, if it could put holes in the ground and burn the vegetation, you’d have a good approximation of what the UFO is. In other words, it is not an object like that car over there is an object. It looks like a car, it feels like a car, but it isn’t a car. It’s something totally different which can look like a car if it wants to.

To a large extent we know how to do that! We have devices that could produce something that would look like that car and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, including shadows reflecting on it as objects go by. This is today’s technology; not 1950s or 1960s technology, but it certainly is 1990s technology. But it still would not have mass. The UFOs do have mass. They leave imprints in the ground, they interact with the environment, so that’s where the analogy stops.

DBS: Tell us your objections to the extraterrestrial hypothesis as the explanation for UFOs.

JV: If we had done this interview 20 years ago I would have told you the best theory we have is that this is extraterrestrial. We do know that UFOs are a physical phenomenon, they offer us an opportunity to do some good science, and they seem to come from the sky. We have the capability to go to the moon and very soon to go to other planets. I do believe that there is life throughout this Universe. So why couldn’t “they” come here?

In the last 20 years we’ve learned a lot of new things about this phenomenon that contradicts the idea that it is extraterrestrial.

We have too many Close Encounters. The extraterrestrial theory on the first level assumes that these are explorers on a mission. They are supposed to have evolved on some other planet and are coming here. But if they have to study us by landing 100,000 times, they have to be very dumb! That’s approximately the volume of data we have on Close Encounters reports today. If you were to take into account that those tend to occur at night when there are fewer observers, if you extrapolate you would actually get into millions of landings.

Now, it wouldn’t take us millions of landings if there was a civilization on Mars we wanted to study. With something the size of a beer keg in orbit we could get most of the things we needed to know about them, especially if they’d been broadcasting “I Love Lucy” into space for so many years! Then we’d want to land to check some things and get actual samples. We’d land maybe a few dozen times, maybe a few hundred times, but we wouldn’t need millions of landings. So that aspect of it is a contradiction with the idea that it’s an extraterrestrial mission.

The second contradiction is the shape of the beings. They are uniformly humanoid in shape, somewhat bizarre and weird. They are described as having big eyes and being short with longer arms and so on, but still they have two legs, two arms. They have a torso and eyes that are adapted to exactly the same part of the spectrum as we are.


They don’t walk around with goggles or strange devices on their eyes. They seem to hear what we hear; they seem to be breathing our air. That means they’re human or very close to human beings! It’s very unlikely that beings evolving on radically different planets would end up looking like us, breathing our air, seeing the same part of the spectrum that we see. I think the biological statistics are against it.

So you can say, “Well, they are so smart they are using biogenetic engineering to adapt to this planet and its gravity.” But then why don’t they just create complete human beings? If you can go 99% of the way, why not 100%, and then you’d be completely undetectable? So I think that’s a serious obstacle to the ET theory.

Another argument is that this is not a recent phenomenon. It is a phenomenon that has existed, as far as we can tell, throughout history in one form or another. Without going back to Ezekiel or to Medieval folklore, we do have excellent UFO report records from 1897. I personally have a number of sightings that living people whom I actually met with and interviewed have told me about that they were witnesses of in the twenties and thirties.

So this certainly invalidates the idea that we’re dealing with a civilization that has just discovered us and is coming here now. UFOs seem to have been a part of our environment for a very long time, perhaps as long as man has existed.

Another problem with the extraterrestrial hypothesis is the behavior of these beings. The mainstream of UFOlogy today claims that these are wise explorers of the galaxy who are coming here to study us and the proof of that is what they do. In abductions, for example, they take away human beings. They seem to carry them inside a craft and they draw blood from them. They take samples from them, such as sperm and ova and these look like biological experiments to people like Budd Hopkins and his followers.

Well, I think it proves entirely the opposite thing, because the descriptions that are given of the medical examinations are crude to the point of being absurd. If you had this technology, disc-shaped vehicles that could fly silently and appear out of nowhere, paralyze people and remain unnoticed; if you wanted to, you could land on the roof of the Mayo Clinic or any large research hospital and you’d have access to the blood bank, the sperm, bank, the frozen embryo banks.

We are close to having the techniques for cloning people. You could potentially restart the human race with what we know today on Earth, yet we have only been doing molecular biology for about fifteen years. It’s a very young science, a new science. Think about it. If we can already do this and these beings are supposedly a million years ahead of us, they should be able to perform experiments that would be way beyond what we do.

Instead what people describe is victims coming back with obvious scars. They come back bleeding, they have things up their nose, they have terrible dreams, intense trauma, and they remember under hypnosis! The whole thing is completely absurd. The mind control people in the military already have drugs that can make people forget what they did for a week or what they did on Tuesday between 2 and 3, and no hypnotist could simply put them into a trance and recover the memory. So if we already have that kind of drug, a civilization millions of years in advance of us should be able to manipulate both the body and the memory much better.

Another thing that has been swept under the rug by UFOlogists, which is yet another argument against the extraterrestrial hypothesis, is that these objects change shape. In other words, they are not always discs or eggs or cigars. They change shape dynamically.

When I went to the Soviet Union, I met a man named Vladimir Azhazha, who is head of the research committee on UFOs in Moscow. He said, “You know, one of the most important aspects of this whole phenomenon is that it’s polymorphic.” I wasn’t sure my interpreter was translating accurately, so I had him repeat that. He said, “It’s polymorphic; they change shapes. An object will appear as a disc and as it’s moving through the sky it will change into a cube or into a pyramid or it will vanish on the spot.”

I showed him an article where I had said essentially the same thing. He looked at me and he said, “You know, it’s as if you and I had been working together for the last ten years.” This shows something rather remarkable about the phenomenon, which is that two people who have been studying it in earnest in completely different parts of the world under completely different conditions will arrive at the same conclusions about it.

If it changes shape, if it can appear out of nowhere and disappear into nowhere, this is not just a bunch of spacecraft. This is a much more interesting technology that manipulates dimensions. It manipulates space-time.


And if it can do that, then it can be from anywhere and anytime.

DBS: Where are they coming from, if not from outer space?

JV: Let me try to separate what I think I can prove from personal speculation. I would feel comfortable standing up in front of a scientific committee and I think I could argue convincingly that the UFO phenomenon is a real, unrecognized phenomenon; that it is physical and that it can manipulate space and time in ways that we don’t understand.

Beyond that, my own personal speculation which I could not prove is that the phenomenon represents a form of consciousness that is nonhuman. There’s a big distinction here. A lot of people might agree that there are unrecognized phenomena in nature, but wouldn’t necessarily agree that they are conscious even though they are nonhuman. If UFOs represent a form of consciousness then obviously it could originate in outer space, but not with the first level, nuts-and-bolts extraterrestrial hypothesis. It would have to be a lot more sophisticated than that. There could be a form of consciousness out in space that can manipulate dimensions. But it could just as easily be here on earth. It could be using the Earth as its home port.

It could also be tied to human consciousness. The Collective Unconscious could be doing this to us, projecting images that are important during the current crisis we are going through. It could also come from a form of creature that has always lived on Earth with us and is not an alien consciousness, in the sense that we usually think of aliens. This goes back to the traditions about the faeries and gnomes and Little People: what I have called the Magonia tradition, that in fact there is another Universe right here. Perhaps most of us just don’t see it, but it’s here.

When I started Passport to Magonia, I gathered all the old books about the faeries and the Good People, the Good Neighbors. This is a wonderful body of literature. These beings did approximately what the UFO beings do today. They would fly at night in strange cone-shaped luminous craft, they would abduct human beings, they even had little pins that would paralyze you. This is centuries ago, okay? And it matches reports from people who see UFOs today.

So I think that parallel is very interesting. It’s still one of my favorite theories but there could be others! You could argue that there are natural phenomena that play a role in all this. For instance, Paul Devereux has written several books about “Earth lights” which he has shown to be tied to several megalithic sites.


Whether the megaliths have anything to do with UFOs, or whether those sites tended to have strange lights so that over the years people used them for their temple and put a rock there, is open to question. Perhaps it was a natural phenomenon all along. That’s a possibility, but it really does not explain all UFOs.

The other possibility is that there may be forces within the Earth tied to some old traditions. There may be unrecognized telluric currents, forces within the Earth that could manifest in the form of electromagnetic phenomena that could become luminous and float through the air. Usually those things we don’t think of as being intelligent but who knows? Maybe it could be a form of consciousness.

There are other way-out theories that I find entertaining. We could imagine superconductive clouds moving through the galaxy taking any shape they want. Say, if you were a superconductive hydrogen cloud ten times the size of the solar system and you wanted to look like a Volkswagen, who could stop you from looking like a Volkswagen? You could do anything you wanted to!


There is a book called The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle, who is one of our greatest living astronomers. It is a science fiction story about a conscious hydrogen cloud. Now, of course if there was such a cloud we’d presumably see it as it came closer to the Earth. But there may be forms of plasma that we don’t know how to detect yet, or maybe we’re simply not looking for them.

Now, I don’t specifically believe all that, but these are fun theories that should be looked at. Paul Devereux’s hypothesis of the Earth Lights is a very important one.

Geologists today are beginning to reassess the descriptions by people who said they saw lights before an earthquake: “I saw this globe of light and it flew down the canyon and ten minutes later there was an earthquake!” Geologists used to say those were ignorant farmers who didn’t know their physics. Now they are beginning to realize that before an earthquake the friction forces within the Earth could well create plasma or electromagnetic discharges that could become visible. In fact, scientists like Dr. John Derr at the US Geological Survey have found a correlation of these lights with fault lines and earthquakes.

DBS: Do you think our awareness of UFOs has been detrimental or beneficial?

JV: In Confrontations we report on a trip Janine and I took to Brazil where there seemed to be evidence of UFO hostility. Objects would literally zap people with beams. In several cases it seemed that it killed them. It certainly injured them. We couldn’t really prove a direct cause-and effect relationship in the cases of death, but there was a cause-and-effect relationship in the cases of injuries. People were, in fact, injured by those beams.

The phenomenon really doesn’t seem to care at all whether it’s perceived as good or bad. It does seem to have an influence on our culture, but we may not be able to detect it because our view of it is so short. Historically, we’re only aware of things for a few months or a few years. We don’t tend to get the big picture of contemporary events. If we did, the science of economics would be in much better shape than it is!

It is very difficult for us to deal both with transient and slow- changing, long-term thing like the UFO phenomenon. It seems to be a control system. If it is a control system, then it affects our culture. We probably would be unable to detect whether it is doing good or bad to us. In fact, it may be beyond the level at which humans would define good and evil.

DBS: How vast might this phenomenon be?

JV: My impression is that it extends to every culture, every race, every religion on Earth. I really have not found a single place that doesn’t have a tradition about this phenomenon. What is fascinating is that most of the anthropologists have completely missed it! You have to look at the footnotes in their books to find any mention of it. It’s never mentioned in the mainstream. It’s a peripheral vision effect, you know? Something that’s just off to the side of your intellectual vision.

DBS: Tell us about your trip to Russia.

JV: In Russia I had a chance to talk to a number of groups who are actually doing UFO research. One of the groups was even interested in New Age pursuits, astrology and a number of other topics. We were amazed because when we went there we had no idea that this sort of work went on.

These people were also interested in natural healing and herbal medicine. They had an entire storehouse of primitive plant remedies that obviously came from a long Russian tradition. So we asked them,

“How come the Russian culture has preserved all this with the kind of regime you’ve had all these years?”


And they answered, “It’s very simple. In this respect we are ahead because you have had all these so-called ’rationalist’ thinkers in the West. The Russian tradition has always preserved some of the ancient ways, even under Communism.”


So I said, “Why do you think there is such a difference between these two cultures when it comes to these traditions about nature?”


And they answered: “Well, you killed all your witches! So you’ve eliminated the genes from the gene pool. We’ve had an orthodox church here for centuries but they never killed the witches. Neither did the Communists. They did many horrible things, but only the Western church slaughtered the witches.”

Oddly enough, parapsychology research went on in the Soviet Union even under Stalin’s regime.


They never stopped doing that kind of research and they never stopped natural healing and natural medicine, side by side with the official medicine. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t approved officially by the Academy of Sciences and all that, but they didn’t kill these people. They didn’t send them to labor camps.

I had never thought of that. The east European countries never eliminated those abilities from their gene pool.

We went there because there were a series of sightings in Voronezh, which is a city a few hundred miles south of Moscow. Some of the UFO sightings were reported in the Western press, but in a very superficial way. We found that there were many more witnesses than had been reported. There were not only Close Encounters but also things seen in the sky by up to 500 witnesses at the same time.

Very active research was being done by several official commissions and by private scientists. I was impressed by the number of people doing research and by the quality of the research.

DBS: Many books depict the UFO phenomenon as benevolent and peaceful. Your descriptions of UFOs in Confrontations make it appear sinister. How would you account for this discrepancy?

JV: I can understand why the expectation has grown that this could be helpful and benevolent.


It’s a very complex, unexplained phenomenon and we always tend to project our own human fantasies into every such thing that comes along. It would be nice if somebody came down from the sky and told us how to stop wars and how to cure cancer. Unfortunately the phenomenon itself, when you look at it objectively, doesn’t seem to care about us at all. It seems to be benevolent in some cases and hostile or at least harmful in other cases.

Notice that we could say the same thing about electricity. We couldn’t live without electricity, but if you put your fingers in the socket it could kill you! That doesn’t mean the utility company is hostile to you, it just means that there’s a very powerful force out there and it doesn’t care if it kills you or not. Electricity really doesn’t give a damn one way or the other, and I think that, to some extent, the UFO phenomenon is the same way. It does whatever it has to do according to a pattern we haven’t detected. When people get in the way they get zapped.

In Close Encounter situations there is often a profound long- term psychological behavior change in the witness. Sometimes it’s for the better and sometimes it’s for the worse. You occasionally meet people who seem very enlightened, who have a very positive attitude toward life, who think they have psychic abilities, and when you ask them when they first became aware of this they will trace it to a time when they saw a UFO.

Some witnesses have actually described to us being healed as they were caught in the beam from a UFO. There is a case like that in Confrontations, a doctor in France who had been blown up by a mine in Algeria. He had a form of paralysis that was gone after he was exposed to light from the object.

There are also numerous cases in which the reverse happens. People are confronted with a UFO and their whole life changes for the worse. When they tell their story, the local people don’t believe them. They are ostracized, they get fired from their jobs, their wives leave them, they go through a tailspin, they sometimes end up as bums.

That happened in the ’60s and ’70s to several American cops. The phenomenon tends to happen away from towns, between, say, 1 and 4:00 in the morning. Who is going to be away from a town between 1 and 4:00 in the morning, but the highway patrol!


So very often in places like Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, there are cases of Close Encounters at night involving highway patrolmen. In numerous cases their lives were destroyed or broken; they had to leave the force because people wouldn’t respect them anymore.


They were suspected of seeing things, maybe of drinking.

DBS: In your book The Invisible College you stated that matter might have three aspects: substantial, energetical, and informational. Could you elaborate on this and show how it applies to UFO phenomena?

JV: We learn in school that energy and information are two sides of the same coin, okay? That you can translate energy into information and vice versa. And yet, the only physics we learn is the physics of energy! The physics of energy should have a little sister, the physics of information, but nobody talks about it! It’s interesting to ask what might be in that physics.

My speculation is that that physics of information exists and that it is what people through the ages have called magic. The magical tradition asks, how does the mind deal with information structures? And how does it relate to the rest of Nature?

DBS: Tell me what perhaps idealistic changes you might make in our present that would improve our future?

JV: By idealistic, what do you mean? If I could change human beings, I would make them more loving, more open, but I don’t know how to do that. So I’m going to take your question on a different level: if I had the power to make changes in the way things are in the world, what would I change without changing human nature? I have to assume human nature is a given.

DBS: We’ll have to assume that. But now we’re going to give you temporary control of the world.

JV: Good! (Laughter, a long pause.) The reason I am silent is that it’s so easy to come up with idealistic things. Jesus Christ did it, every prophet has done it, and usually they ended up with the exact opposite of what they wanted. The prophets say: “Let there be love!” and people say, “Yeah, let there be love, but of course it has to be my way and not this other guys’s way!” and they end up fighting.

I do wish that the impulse to search, to question reality, to search beyond the obvious face of reality, became more widespread. I wish that people had more of an interest in the mysteries around them.

I also wish that there was a simple, medical way for all of us to experience what goes on in the moment of death without dying. I think that if people had that simple experience once, the rest of their lives would be very, very different. I have a few friends who have had a near-death experience, usually under very traumatic circumstances like a head-on collision. They changed radically the way they thought about their careers, their relationships, their life, their view of death. In some cases it eliminated their fear of death completely. When you don’t fear death anymore your life is going to change radically. So if there was one thing…

You cannot wish for people to have head-on collisions! I’m just wishing there was a way for people to have the experience of dying, to take it with them into the mainstream of their life without going through the trauma of an accident. Of course, that’s what initiation does, in part, with a lot of work. A head-on collision gives you that instant initiation, assuming you survive it. To some extent the UFO Close Encounter has the characteristics of a near death experience.

DBS: In quantum physics and biology scientists are considering models that no longer resemble the mechanistic models of the 19th Century. In particular, quantum physicists speculate that the observer influences the phenomenon observed. In biology microbiologists are examining relationships to determine if Earth qualifies as a literally living thing. How do you respond to these models? Will breakthroughs in these fields apply to UFO phenomena?

JV: In both of those cases you have an example of the relationship of information with energy.

What we seem to be discovering in genetics is that what’s important is information storage. DNA is essentially a machine to store a lot of information. When you alter the information you alter the whole being. Essentially you are dealing here with software, not hardware. There may be other ways of representing it, other than DNA. It just seems to be an extraordinarily efficient way of storing information perfectly and duplicating it perfectly.

I’m not a physicist, but I do talk to a lot of physicists who are very puzzled these days. When you draw information out of an experiment, theoretically you’re drawing energy, because energy and information are related; in fact, they are identical. So if I observe a certain phenomenon at the quantum level, the answer is translatable in terms of energy. That energy had to come from somewhere! So I’ve actually had an impact on the experiment. It might not have happened the same way if I had not been observing it.

That’s another mechanism in which you see information and energy being related and unless we take that equation into account we don’t have a real picture of the Universe. That leads to the question of what is the role of consciousness in the Universe. This also relates to magic, because in magic you are manipulating information structures that have a relationship to the material world around you. So I think that both of those examples are very relevant to the question of information versus energy. Increasingly we may find that information is the more important of the two.

I think UFOs are a special case that forces us to question what we call reality. In Close Encounter cases there is a point at which the witness seems to enter a different reality. There is an English researcher named Jenny Randles who calls this “the Oz factor.” There is a point where all of a sudden reality has split and the reality of the observer has been replaced by another reality. If we could measure that, if we could instrument the witness, we might be able to learn about what we call physical reality. But that also raises the question: how do we know that this reality is the real one? How would we prove that it’s the real one? This reality is merely a human consensus.

There are interesting experiments that have been done where a newborn cat is given goggles that have vertical slits, and the cat can’t take the goggles off. It’s known that visual reality is created in the first two weeks in the life of a cat. So after two weeks they remove those goggles and the cat has a vertical reality! The cat could not think of horizontal structures. The cat would never jump on this bench, for example. She would negotiate her way around a vertical structure, but she has no concept of horizontal things. If the goggles had horizontal slits, then that cat would have a horizontal reality.

The point is that we all have goggles over our minds and that’s where the UFO phenomenon comes in. It challenges these goggles! Our goggles are called culture, education, tradition and so on, and these are the things through which we see the world! We’re incapable of seeing the world through a different set of goggles. One of the opportunities that the UFO phenomenon is giving us is to look at reality in a much larger context.

Whatever UFOs turn out to be, the opportunity is here. Simply by stretching our minds and forcing us to look at the Universe in other ways.


diumenge, 18/08/2019

From Jacques Vallée, Passport to Magonia, 1970

UFO LANDINGS  from 1868 to 1968

The following list has been prepared under several severe constraints: all pertinent information (to the extent that it can be defined in the present state of our ignorance) must be present, and yet one should be able to use it for quick reference. It must not become boring to the reader who simply wants to gain a general view of the diversity of reports. The journalist, the physicist, and the social scientist should find data relevant to their various studies in this common source. And it should also provide a useful link to the general literature of the field whenever possible. This meant certain rules had to be made and strictly followed for the presentation of the reports.

1. It was decided to regard as essential data: the date, local time, exact place of sighting; number and names of witnesses; the altitude and size of the object, and its distance from observers; appearance and behavior of object; the number and reported behavior of the creatures associated with it.

2. Other data were summarized to a varying degree. When the case had enjoyed nationwide or worldwide publicity and was presently available in books and journals, we felt it was enough to give adequate references and a summary. When we had been able to obtain new information, or to find a more solid interpretation of previously doubtful details, this was included.

3. As a majority of the observations come from outside the United States or Britain, all measures of distance have been expressed in the metric system. Weights, when given, were converted to kilograms or tons.

4. We have tried to remove subjective interpretation of the phenomena while preserving indications of the emotions of the witness during the observation. Naturally we cannot claim we were always successful in increasing the objectivity of the report. But at least the reader should be aware of the fact that we have tried to select words from a limited vocabulary in order to provide for all entries a measure of consistency, without reducing the sightings to arbitrarily chosen patterns, types, or categories.

5. Every sighting has a source listed, generally selected as “the most readily available publication which gives more detailed references on the case.” The only exceptions are (Quincy) for reasons explained above and (Personal), the latter being applied only when we have used documents that I am not authorized to quote in detail, or whose exact reference I myself do not know.

6. All reports which met our earlier definitions for Typef sightings were candidates for inclusion here. We have rejected:
(1) all cases for which a conventional explanation has been found to our satisfaction;
(2) all those for which the month or year or place of observation was missing, except for some early cases;
(3) all reports accompanied by photographs offered as material evidence and that have been proven to be fakes. It can be argued that in the latter case, it does not necessarily follow that no valid sighting has been made, or that the incident is not relevant to the UFO rumor in general. Such faked evidence, however, throws considerable doubt on the character and truthfulness of the witness and would carry the discussion into an altogether different province. Furthermore, such reports have received a wide coverage in the press and will be found without difficulty by those who wish to extend the present list. A sample of rejected cases may be published separately at a later date, along with the reason for rejection so that notable omissions can be justified.

July, 1868 Copiago (Chile). A strange “aerial construction” bearing lights and making engine noises flew low over this town. Local people also described it as a giant bird covered with large scales producing a metallic noise. Although not an actual landing, this is the first instance of close observation of an unknown object at low altitude in the nineteenth century. (Fort 638; Anatomy 11)

Dec. 7,1872 Banbury (Great Britain). At King’s Sutton an object resembling a haystack flew on an irregular course. Sometimes high, sometimes very low, it was accompanied by fire and dense smoke. It produced the same effect as a tornado, felling trees and walls. It suddenly vanished. (Fort 189)

1877 Aldershot (Great Britain). A strange being dressed in tight-fitting clothes and shining helmet soared over the heads of two sentries, who fired without result. The apparition stunned them with something described as “blue fire.” (FSR 61, 3; Magonia)

May 15,1879 Persian Gulf. Two very large “wheels” were seen spinning in the air and slowly coming to the surface of the sea. Estimated diameter: 40 m. Distance between the objects: 150 m. Speed: 80 km/h. Duration: 35 min. Witnesses aboard the ship “Vultur.” (Roundup 147; Anatomy 12)

1880 Eastern Venezuela. A 14-year-old boy saw a luminous ball descending from the sky and hovering near him. He felt somehow “drawn” to it, but succeeded in backing away in spite of his terror. (Lor. Ill 206)

Mar. 26,1880 Lamy (New Mexico). Four men walking near Galisteo Junction were surprised as they heard voices coming from a “strange balloon,” which flew, over them. It was shaped like a fish and seemed to be guided by a large fanlike device. There were eight to ten figures
aboard. Their language was not understood. The object flew low over Galisteo Junction and rose rapidly toward the east. (FSR 65, 3)

June 11,1881 Between Melbourne and Sydney at sea (Australia). The two sons of the Prince of Wales, one of them the future king of England, were cruising aboard “La Bacchante” when an object resembling a fully lighted ship was seen (“a phantom vessel all aglow”). (Fort 637; Anatomy 12)

Nov. 2,1885 Scutari (Turkey). A luminous object circled the harbor. Altitude: 5-6 m. Illuminated the whole town. Duration: I-IV2 min, as a bluish-green flame. Then plunged into the sea. Made several circles above the ferryboat pier. (LDLN 48; Anatomy 14)

Nov. 12,1887 Cape Race (Atlantic Ocean). A huge sphere of fire was observed rising out of the ocean by witnesses aboard the “Siberian.” It rose to an altitude of 16 m, flew against the wind, and came close to the ship, then “dashed off” toward the southeast. Duration: 5 min. (LDLN 48; Anatomy 14)

1896 Arolla, near Zermatt (Swiss Alps). Author Aleister Crowley was walking in the mountains when he suddenly saw two little men. He made a gesture to them, but they did not seem to pay attention and disappeared among the rocks. (Magick Without Tears, by A. Crowley)

Mar. 26,1897 Sioux City (Iowa). Approximate date. Robert Hibbard was caught by an anchor dropped from an unknown flying machine 22 km north of the town. He was dragged over 10 m and fell as his clothes were torn. (FSR 66, 4)

Mar. 28,1897 Omaha (Nebraska). The majority of the population observed an object arriving from the southeast. It looked like a huge light, flew northwestward slowly, came to low altitude. A crowd gathered at a street corner to watch it. (185)

Apr. 1,1897 Everest (Kansas). The whole town saw an object flyunder the cloud ceiling. It came down slowly, then flew away very fast to the southeast. When directlyover the town il swepi the ground with its powerful light . I t was seen t o rise up at fantastic speed until barely discernible , then to come down again and swee plow over the witnesses. At one point it remained stationary for 5 min at the edgeof a low cloud, which it illuminated . All could clearly see the silhouette of the craft . (FS R 66 , 4 )

April 12,189 7 Nilwood (Illinois). On th e property o f Z. Thacker, 19 km north of Carlinville , an unknown object landed . Before the three witnesses could reach it , the craft , which was shape d like a cigar wit h a dome, rose slowly an d left majestically toward the north. Witnesses: Edward Teeples, William Street an d Franklin Met – calf. (186 ; Anatomy 12 )

Apr. 12,1897 Girard, near Green Ridge (Illinois). A large crowd of miners saw an unknown object land 3 k m north of Green Ridge and 4 km. south of Girard. The night operator o f the Chicago-and-Alto n Railroad, Paul McCramer , state d that h e cam e sufficiently close to the craft t o se e a man emerge from it to repair themachinery. Traces were found over a large area. The object itself was elongated like a ship wit h a roof and a double canopy . It left toward the north. (186, 187)

Apr . 14,1897 Gas City (Indiana). An object landed 2 km south of Gas Cit y o n th e property o f John Roush , terrifying th e farmers and causing the horses and cattle to stampede . Six occupants of the ship came ou t an d seemed to make some repairs . Before the crowd could approach the object, it rose rapidly and flew toward the east . (188 )

Apr . 14,189 7 Cleveland (Ohio). Joseph Singler , captain o f the “Sea Wing, ” was fishing with S. H. Davis, of Detroit , when they saw on the lake what they thought was a ship , about 1 3 m long , with a canopy . A man, about 25 years old, wearing a hunting jacket an d a cap, was fishing from the deck of the object . Near him were a woman and a 10-year-old child . When the “Sea Wing ” came close to the craft, a large , colored balloon rose from th e object , which flew up with it to an altitude of about 15 0 m and circled “like a hawk ” before flying away. (189 )

See at Passport to Magonia


Search for alien intelligence

dissabte, 17/08/2019



The story of humans is the story of ideas — scientific ideas that shine light into dark corners, ideas that we embrace rationally and irrationally, ideas for which we’ve lived and died and killed and been killed, ideas that have vanished in history, and ideas that have been set in dogma. It’s a story of nations, of ideologies, of territories, and of conflicts among them. But, every moment of human history, from the Stone Age to the Information Age, from Sumer and Babylon to the iPod and celebrity gossip, they’ve all been carried out — every book that you’ve read, every poem, every laugh, every tear — they’ve all happened here… Here. Here. Here.



Perspective is a very powerful thing. Perspectives can change. Perspectives can be altered. From my perspective, we live on a fragile island of life, in a universe of possibilities. For many millennia, humans have been on a journey to find answers, answers to questions about naturalism and transcendence, about who we are and why we are, and of course, who else might be out there. Is it really just us? Are we alone in this vast universe of energy and matter and chemistry and physics? Well, if we are, it’s an awful waste of space. (Laughter) But, what if we’re not?


What if, out there, others are asking and answering similar questions? What if they look up at the night sky, at the same stars, but from the opposite side? Would the discovery of an older cultural civilization out there inspire us to find ways to survive our increasingly uncertain technological adolescence? Might it be the discovery of a distant civilization and our common cosmic origins that finally drives home the message of the bond among all humans? Whether we’re born in San Francisco, or Sudan, or close to the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, we are the products of a billion-year lineage of wandering stardust. We, all of us, are what happens when a primordial mixture of hydrogen and helium evolves for so long that it begins to ask where it came from. Fifty years ago, the journey to find answers took a different path and SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, began.


So, what exactly is SETI? Well, SETI uses the tools of astronomy to try and find evidence of someone else’s technology out there. Our own technologies are visible over interstellar distances, and theirs might be as well. It might be that some massive network of communications, or some shield against asteroidal impact, or some huge astro-engineering project that we can’t even begin to conceive of, could generate signals at radio or optical frequencies that a determined program of searching might detect. For millennia, we’ve actually turned to the priests and the philosophers for guidance and instruction on this question of whether there’s intelligent life out there. Now, we can use the tools of the 21st century to try and observe what is, rather than ask what should be, believed.


SETI doesn’t presume the existence of extra terrestrial intelligence; it merely notes the possibility, if not the probability in this vast universe, which seems fairly uniform. The numbers suggest a universe of possibilities. Our sun is one of 400 billion stars in our galaxy, and we know that many other stars have planetary systems. We’ve discovered over 350 in the last 14 years, including the small planet, announced earlier this week, which has a radius just twice the size of the Earth. And, if even all of the planetary systems in our galaxy were devoid of life, there are still 100 billion other galaxies out there, altogether 10^22 stars. Now, I’m going to try a trick, and recreate an experiment from this morning. Remember, one billion? But, this time not one billion dollars, one billion stars. Alright, one billion stars. Now, up there, 20 feet above the stage, that’s 10 trillion. Well, what about 10^22? Where’s the line that marks that? That line would have to be 3.8 million miles above this stage. (Laughter) 16 times farther away than the moon, or four percent of the distance to the sun.


So, there are many possibilities. (Laughter) And much of this vast universe, much more may be habitable than we once thought, as we study extremophiles on Earth — organisms that can live in conditions totally inhospitable for us, in the hot, high pressure thermal vents at the bottom of the ocean, frozen in ice, in boiling battery acid, in the cooling waters of nuclear reactors. These extremophiles tell us that life may exist in many other environments.


But those environments are going to be widely spaced in this universe. Even our nearest star, the Sun — its emissions suffer the tyranny of light speed. It takes a full eight minutes for its radiation to reach us. And the nearest star is 4.2 light years away, which means its light takes 4.2 years to get here. And the edge of our galaxy is 75,000 light years away, and the nearest galaxy to us, 2.5 million light years. That means any signal we detect would have started its journey a long time ago. And a signal would give us a glimpse of their past, not their present. Which is why Phil Morrison calls SETI, “the archaeology of the future.” It tells us about their past, but detection of a signal tells us it’s possible for us to have a long future.


I think this is what David Deutsch meant in 2005, when he ended his Oxford TEDTalk by saying he had two principles he’d like to share for living, and he would like to carve them on stone tablets. The first is that problems are inevitable. The second is that problems are soluble. So, ultimately what’s going to determine the success or failure of SETI is the longevity of technologies, and the mean distance between technologies in the cosmos — distance over space and distance over time. If technologies don’t last and persist, we will not succeed. And we’re a very young technology in an old galaxy, and we don’t yet know whether it’s possible for technologies to persist.



So, up until now I’ve been talking to you about really large numbers. Let me talk about a relatively small number. And that’s the length of time that the Earth was lifeless. Zircons that are mined in the Jack Hills of western Australia, zircons taken from the Jack Hills of western Australia tell us that within a few hundred million years of the origin of the planet there was abundant water and perhaps even life. So, our planet has spent the vast majority of its 4.56 billion year history developing life, not anticipating its emergence. Life happened very quickly, and that bodes well for the potential of life elsewhere in the cosmos.



And the other thing that one should take away from this chart is the very narrow range of time over which humans can claim to be the dominant intelligence on the planet. It’s only the last few hundred thousand years modern humans have been pursuing technology and civilization. So, one needs a very deep appreciation of the diversity and incredible scale of life on this planet as the first step in preparing to make contact with life elsewhere in the cosmos.



We are not the pinnacle of evolution. We are not the determined product of billions of years of evolutionary plotting and planning. We are one outcome of a continuing adaptational process. We are residents of one small planet in a corner of the Milky Way galaxy. And Homo sapiens are one small leaf on a very extensive Tree of Life, which is densely populated by organisms that have been honed for survival over millions of years. We misuse language, and talk about the “ascent” of man. We understand the scientific basis for the interrelatedness of life but our ego hasn’t caught up yet. So this “ascent” of man, pinnacle of evolution, has got to go. It’s a sense of privilege that the natural universe doesn’t share.



Loren Eiseley has said, “One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human.” One day that eye may be that of an intelligent alien, and the sooner we eschew our narrow view of evolution the sooner we can truly explore our ultimate origins and destinations.



We are a small part of the story of cosmic evolution, and we are going to be responsible for our continued participation in that story, and perhaps SETI will help as well. Occasionally, throughout history, this concept of this very large cosmic perspective comes to the surface, and as a result we see transformative and profound discoveries. So in 1543, Nicholas Copernicus published “The Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres,” and by taking the Earth out of the center, and putting the sun in the center of the solar system, he opened our eyes to a much larger universe, of which we are just a small part. And that Copernican revolution continues today to influence science and philosophy and technology and theology.



So, in 1959, Giuseppe Coccone and Philip Morrison published the first SETI article in a refereed journal, and brought SETI into the scientific mainstream. And in 1960, Frank Drake conducted the first SETI observation looking at two stars, Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani, for about 150 hours. Now Drake did not discover extraterrestrial intelligence, but he learned a very valuable lesson from a passing aircraft, and that’s that terrestrial technology can interfere with the search for extraterrestrial technology.



We’ve been searching ever since, but it’s impossible to overstate the magnitude of the search that remains. All of the concerted SETI efforts, over the last 40-some years, are equivalent to scooping a single glass of water from the oceans. And no one would decide that the ocean was without fish on the basis of one glass of water. The 21st century now allows us to build bigger glasses — much bigger glasses. In Northern California, we’re beginning to take observations with the first 42 telescopes of the Allen Telescope Array — and I’ve got to take a moment right now to publicly thank Paul Allen and Nathan Myhrvold and all the Team SETI members in the TED community who have so generously supported this research. (Applause)



The ATA is the first telescope built from a large number of small dishes, and hooked together with computers. It’s making silicon as important as aluminum, and we’ll grow it in the future by adding more antennas to reach 350 for more sensitivity and leveraging Moore’s law for more processing capability. Today, our signal detection algorithms can find very simple artifacts and noise. If you look very hard here you can see the signal from the Voyager 1 spacecraft, the most distant human object in the universe, 106 times as far away from us as the sun is. And over those long distances, its signal is very faint when it reaches us. It may be hard for your eye to see it, but it’s easily found with our efficient algorithms. But this is a simple signal, and tomorrow we want to be able to find more complex signals.



This is a very good year. 2009 is the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the telescope, Darwin’s 200th birthday, the 150th anniversary of the publication of “On the Origin of Species,” the 50th anniversary of SETI as a science, the 25th anniversary of the incorporation of the SETI Institute as a non-profit, and of course, the 25th anniversary of TED. And next month, the Kepler Spacecraft will launch and will begin to tell us just how frequent Earth-like planets are, the targets for SETI’s searches.In 2009, the U.N. has declared it to be the International Year of Astronomy, a global festival to help us residents of Earth rediscover our cosmic origins and our place in the universe. And in 2009, change has come to Washington, with a promise to put science in its rightful position. (Applause)



So, what would change everything? Well, this is the question the Edge foundation asked this year, and four of the respondents said, “SETI.” Why? Well, to quote: “The discovery of intelligent life beyond Earth would eradicate the loneliness and solipsism that has plagued our species since its inception. And it wouldn’t simply change everything, it would change everything all at once.” So, if that’s right, why did we only capture four out of those 151 minds? I think it’s a problem of completion and delivery,because the fine print said, “What game-changing ideas and scientific developments would you expect to live to see?” So, we have a fulfillment problem. We need bigger glasses and more hands in the water, and then working together, maybe we can all live to see the detection of the first extraterrestrial signal.



That brings me to my wish. I wish that you would empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company.



The first step would be to tap into the global brain trust, to build an environment where raw data could be stored, and where it could be accessed and manipulated, where new algorithms could be developed and old algorithms made more efficient. And this is a technically creative challenge, and it would change the perspective of people who worked on it. And then, we’d like to augment the automated search with human insight. We’d like to use the pattern recognition capability of the human eye to find faint, complex signals that our current algorithms miss.



And, of course, we’d like to inspire and engage the next generation. We’d like to take the materials that we have built for education, and get them out to students everywhere, students that can’t come and visit us at the ATA. We’d like to tell our story better, and engage young people, and thereby change their perspective.



I’m sorry Seth Godin, but over the millennia, we’ve seen where tribalism leads. We’ve seen what happens when we divide an already small planet into smaller islands. And, ultimately, we actually all belong to only one tribe, to Earthlings. And SETI is a mirror — a mirror that can show us ourselves from an extraordinary perspective, and can help to trivialize the differences among us. If SETI does nothing but change the perspective of humans on this planet, then it will be one of the most profound endeavors in history.


So, in the opening days of 2009, a visionary president stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and said, “We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass, that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve, that, as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself.” So, I look forward to working with the TED community to hear about your ideas about how to fulfill this wish, and in collaborating with you, hasten the day that that visionary statement can become a reality.


Thank you. (Applause)

La historia de la humanidad es la historia de las ideas — ideas científicas que iluminan los rincones oscuros, ideas que abrazamos de manera racional e irracional, ideas por las cuales vivimos y morimos, hemos y nos han asesinado, ideas que se han desvanecido en la historia, e ideas que se han convertido en dogmas. Es una historia de naciones, de ideologías, de territorios, y de conflictos entre ellos, Pero, cada momento de la historia humana, desde la edad de piedra hasta la era de la información, desde los Sumerios y Babilonia hasta el iPod y los chismes de celebridades todas han sido realizadas – cada libro que han leído, cada poema, cada risa, cada lágrima, todos han ocurrido aquí… Aquí. Aquí. Aquí. (risas)


La perspectiva es una cosa poderosa. La perspectiva puede cambiar. La perspectiva puede ser alterada. desde mi perspectiva, vivimos en una frágil isla de vida, en un universo de posibilidades. Por muchos milenios, los humanos han realizado una travesía para encontrar respuestas, respuestas a preguntas sobre el naturalismo y la transcendencia acerca de quiénes somos y por qué estamos aquí, y por supuesto, quién más podría estar allí afuera ¿En verdad somos sólo nosotros? ¿Estamos solos en este vasto Universo de energía y materia, química y física? Bueno, de ser así, sería un terrible desperdicio de espacio. (Risas) Pero, ¿Y si no estamos solos?


¿Qué si, allí afuera, otros se están preguntando y respondiendo las mismas preguntas? ¿Qué si ellos miran al cielo de noche, a las mismas estrellas, pero desde el lado contrario? ¿El descubrimiento de una civilización cultural más vieja allí afuera nos inspiraría a buscar maneras de sobrevivir nuestra creciente incierta adolescencia tecnológica? ¿Podría el descubrimiento de una civilización lejana y nuestros orígenes cósmicos comunes lo que traiga finalmente a nuestro hogar el mensaje de unión entre los humanos? Aún cuando hayamos nacido en San Francisco, o en Sudan, o muy cerca del corazón de la de la galaxia de la Vía Láctea, somos el producto de un linaje de miles de millones de años de errante de polvo de estrellas. Nosotros, todos nosotros, somos un resultado de una mezcla primordial de hidrógeno y helio que evolucionó durante tanto tiempo que comienzo a preguntarse sobre sus orígenes. Hace cincuenta años, La travesía para encontrar respuestas tomó un camino diferente y SETI, la Búsqueda de Inteligencia Extraterrestre, comenzó.


Entonces, ¿Qué es exactamente SETI? Bueno, SETI usa las herramientas de la astronomía para tratar de encontrar evidencia de tecnología de alguien más, allí afuera. Nuestras propias tecnologías son visibles a través de distancias interestelares, y las de ellos también lo podrían ser. Podría ser que alguna red masiva de comunicaciones, o algún escudo contra impactos de asteroides, o algún gran proyecto de astro ingeniería que ni siquiera hayamos comenzado a concebir, podría enviar señales a frecuencias ópticas o de radio que un programa determinado de búsqueda podría detectar. Por milenios, acudimos a los sacerdotes y a los filósofos para guía e instrucción en esta cuestión de si hay vida inteligente allá afuera. Ahora, podemos usar las herramientas del siglo 21 y tratar de observar lo que es antes que preguntar lo que deberíamos creer.


SETI no presume la existencia de inteligencia extraterrestre, sólo denota la posibilidad, o probabilidad en este vasto Universo, el cual parece bastante uniforme. Los números sugieren un universo de posibilidades. Nuestro Sol es una de entre 400 mil millones de estrellas en nuestra galaxia, y sabemos que muchas de estas estrellas tienen sistemas planetarios, hemos descubierto más de 350 en los últimos 14 años, incluyendo el pequeño planeta, anunciado la semana pasada, el cual tiene un radio que es justo dos veces el tamaño de la Tierra. Y, si todos los sistemas planetarios de nuestra galaxia no tuvieran vida, todavía hay 100 mil millones de otras galaxias allí afuera, en total 10 elevado a 22 estrellas. Ahora, voy a tratar de realizar un truco, y recrear un experimento de esta mañana. ¿Recuerdan, mil millones? Pero, esta vez no son mil millones de dólares, son mil millones de estrellas. Muy bien, mil millones de estrellas. Ahora, arriba a 20 pies por encima del escenario, esos son 10 billones. Bien, y que del 10 elevado a la 22? ¿Dónde está la línea que marca eso? esa línea tendría que tener 3.8 millones de millas por encima del escenario. (Risas) 16 veces más lejos que la Luna, o 4 por ciento de la distancia al Sol.


Así, que hay muchas posibilidades. (Risas) Y mucho de este vasto Universo, mucho más podría ser habitable de lo que pensamos un día, mientras estudiamos extremófilos en la Tierra– organismos que pueden vivir en condiciones inhóspitas para nosotros, en el calor y presión de ventanas termales en el fondo del océano, congeladas en hielo, en ácido de batería hirviente, en las aguas que enfrían los reactores nucleares. Estos extremófilos nos indican que la vida puede existir en muchos otros ambientes.


Pero esos ambientes van a estar separados ampliamente en este Universo. Aún, nuestra estrella más cercana, el Sol, sus emisiones sufren de la tiranía de la velocidad de la luz. Toma unos 8 minutos completos para que nos llegue su radiación. Y la estrella más cercana está a 4.2 años luz, lo que significa que a su luz tarda 4.2 años en llegar aquí. Y el extremo de la galaxia está a 75 000 años luz. Y la galaxia más cercana está a 2.5 millones de años luz. Lo que quiere decir que cualquier señal que detectemos habrá comenzado su viaje mucho tiempo atrás. Y una señal nos brindaría un destello de su pasado, no de su presente. Es por eso que Phil Morrison llama a SETI, “la arqueología del futuro”. Nos cuenta acerca de su pasado, pero la detección de una señal nos dice que es posible que tengamos un largo futuro.


Creo que esto era lo que quería decir David Deutsch en el 2005, cuando terminó su charla TED en Oxford al decir que tenía dos principios que le gustaría compartir, y que le gustaría tallarlas en tablas de piedra El primero es que los problemas son inevitables. El segundo es que los problemas pueden ser resueltos así, que lo que en definitiva va a determinar el éxito o fracaso de SETI es la longevidad de las tecnologías, y la distancia media entre las tecnologías en el cosmos — la distancia en espacio y distancia en tiempo. Si las tecnologías no duran y persisten, no tendremos éxito. Y somos una tecnología muy joven en una galaxia vieja, y no sabemos aún si será posible que las tecnologías persistan.


Entonces, hasta ahora les he estado hablando de grandes cantidades déjenme hablarle ahora de cantidades relativamente pequeñas Y esa es la cantidad de tiempo que la Tierra estuvo sin vida. Si vemos las zirconias que son extraídas de las minas de Jack Hills en el occidente de Australia, Las zirconias de Jack Hills en el occidente de Australia Nos indican que en unos pocos cientos de millones de años del origen de nuestro planeta había abundante agua y quizás vida también. Así, que nuestro planeta ha pasado la gran mayoría de sus 4 mil 560 millones de años de historia desarrollando vida, sin anticipar su aparición. La vida ocurrió muy rápido, y eso predice muy bien el potencial de vida en algún lugar del cosmos


y otra cosa que se debe destacar es el breve rango de tiempo en que los humanos pueden proclamarse como la inteligencia dominante en el planeta Es solamente en los últimos pocos cientos de años que los humanos modernos han estado desarrollando la tecnología y la civilización entonces, necesitamos apreciar profundamente la diversidad e increíble escala de la vida en este planeta como primer paso en prepararse a hacer contacto con vida en otros lugares del cosmos


No somos el pináculo de la evolución. No somos el producto determinado de miles de millones de años de planeación Somos el resultado de un continuo proceso de adaptación Somos residentes de un pequeño planeta en una esquina de la galaxia de la Vía Láctea El Homo sapiens es una pequeña hoja en un muy extenso Árbol de la Vida, que está densamente poblado por organismos que han sobrevivido durante millones de años. Usamos de manera errónea el lenguaje, al referirnos al “ascenso del hombre”. Comprendemos la base científica de la interrelación de la vida pero nuestro ego aún no lo comprende. Entonces el ascenso del hombre, el pináculo de la evolución, tiene que desaparecer. Es un sentido de privilegio que el universo natural no comparte.


Loren Eiseley ha dicho, que “Uno no se conoce a sí mismo hasta que ve el propio reflejo en un ojo distinto del humano”. Un día ese ojo podría ser el de un extraterrestre inteligente, y mientras más pronto ampliemos nuestra idea de la evolución más pronto podremos explorar verdaderamente los orígenes y destinos últimos.


Somos sólo un fragmento en la historia de la evolución cósmica, y seremos responsables por nuestra continua participación en esa historia, y quizás SETI pueda ayudar. Ocasionalmente, a través de la historia, el concepto de esta gran perspectiva cósmica sale a la superficie, y como resultado podemos ver descubrimientos profundos y transformadores. En 1543, Nicolás Copérnico publicó “Las revoluciones de las esferas celestes”, sacando a la Tierra del centro, y poniendo al Sol en el centro del Sistema Solar, Él abrió nuestros ojos a un universo mucho más grande, de cual somos una pequeña parte. Y la revolución copernicana continúa hasta la fecha para influenciar la ciencia y filosofía y tecnología y teología.


Entonces en 1959, Giuseppe Coccone y Philip Morrison publicaron el primer artículo SETI en una publicación arbitrada, y trajeron a SETI dentro de la corriente científica. Y en 1960, Frank Drake realizó la primera observación SETI al observar dos estrellas, Tau Ceti y Epsilo Eridani, durante 150 horas. Ahora Drake no encontró inteligencia extraterrestre, pero aprendió una lección muy valiosa por el paso de una aeronave, y es que la tecnología terrestre puede interferir con la búsqueda de tecnología extraterrestre.


Hemos estado buscando desde entonces, pero es imposible exagerar la magnitud de la búsqueda que falta. Todos los esfuerzos relacionados con SETI, durante los últimos 40 años, son equivalentes a revisar un solo vaso de agua de los océanos. Y nadie podría decidir que el océano no tiene peces con base en un sólo vaso de agua. El siglo 21 nos permite construir vasos más grandes, vasos mucho más grandes. En el norte de California, hemos comenzado a hacer observaciones con los primeros 42 telescopios del Conjunto de Telescopios Allen (ATA)– y tomaré un momento para agradecer públicamente a Paul Allen y Nathan Myhrvold y todos los miembros del Equipo SETI en la comunidad TED que generosamente han apoyado esta investigación (Aplausos)


El ATA es el primer telescopio construido con un gran número de pequeños platos, enlazados mediante computadoras. Esto hace al silicio tan importante como el aluminio, y lo haremos crecer agregando más antenas hasta que sean 350 incrementando la sensibilidad y elevando la Ley de Moore para mayor capacidad de procesamiento. Actualmente, nuestros algoritmos de detección de señales pueden fácilmente encontrar artefactos y ruido Si observan con atención podrán ver la señal de la sonda Voyager 1, el objeto humano más distante en el Universo, 106 veces más lejos de nosotros que el Sol. Y a tan largas distancias, su señal es muy débil cuando llega a nosotros. Puedes ser difícil para sus ojos verla, pero es fácil de encontrar con nuestros eficientes algoritmos. Pero esta es una señal sencilla, y mañana desearemos encontrar señales más complejas.


Este es un año muy bueno. En 2009 se cumplen 400 años de la primera observación de Galileo con un telescopio, Del nacimiento de Darwin, 200 años, El 150 aniversario de la publicación de “El Origen de las Especies”, el 50 aniversario de SETI como una ciencia, el 25 aniversario de la incorporación del Instituto SETI como organización sin ánimo de lucro y por supuesto, el 25 aniversario de TED. El próximo mes, la sonda Kepler será lanzada y comenzará a decirnos qué tan frecuentes son los planetas parecidos a la Tierra, los objetivos para búsquedas SETI. En 2009, la O.N.U ha declarado que éste sea el Año Internacional de la Astronomía, un festejo mundial que nos ayudará a los residentes de la Tierra a re-descubrir nuestros orígenes cósmicos y nuestro lugar en el Universo. Y en 2009, el cambio ha llegado a Washington, con la promesa de poner la ciencia en el lugar que le corresponde. (Aplausos)


Entonces ¿Qué lo cambiaría todo? Bueno, esta es la pregunta que la fundación Edge hizo este año, y cuatro de los que respondieron dijeron, “SETI”. ¿Por qué? Bueno, cito: “El descubrimiento de vida inteligente más allá de la Tierra erradicaría la soledad y el solipsismo que ha plagado nuestra especie desde el comienzo. Y no solamente lo cambiaría todo, lo cambiaría todo al mismo tiempo”. Entonces, de ser correcto ¿Por qué solo capturamos cuatro de esas 151 mentes? Pienso que el problema es de término y entrega, porque la letra pequeña dice, “¿Qué ideas transformadoras y desarrollos científicos usted esperaría vivir para ver?” Entonces, tenemos un problema de cumplimiento Necesitamos vasos más grandes y más manos en el agua, y entonces, trabajando juntos, quizás podamos todos vivir para ver la detección de la primera señal extraterrestre.


Lo que me lleva a mi deseo. Deseo que ustedes puedan empoderar a los terrícolas en todo lugar para que se vuelvan participantes activos en la búsqueda final de compañía cósmica.


El primer paso sería explotar el impulso cerebral global, para construir un ambiente donde los datos sin procesar puedan almacenarse y donde puedan ser accesados y manipulados, donde nuevos algoritmos puedan desarrollarse y los viejos algoritmos se hagan más eficientes. Y este es un reto técnicamente creativo, y podría cambiar la perspectiva de las personas que trabajen en ello. Y entonces, nos gustaría aumentar la búsqueda automatizada con entendimiento humano. Nos gustaría usar la capacidad de reconocimiento de patrones que tiene el ojo humano para encontrar señales débiles y complejas, que escapan a nuestros actuales algoritmos.


Y por supuesto, queremos inspirar a la siguiente generación. Nos gustaría tomar el material que hemos desarrollado para la educación, y proporcionarlas a estudiantes de todas partes, estudiantes que no pueden venir a visitarnos en el ATA. Nos gustaría narrar mejor nuestra historia, y captar a los jóvenes, y por lo tanto, cambiar sus perspectivas.


Lo lamento Seth Godin, pero durante milenios hemos visto a dónde nos lleva ser tribales. Hemos visto lo que ocurre cuando dividimos un pequeño planeta en islas más pequeñas. Y, finalmente, todos pertenecemos a una sola tribu, los terrícolas. Y SETI es un espejo, un espejo que puede mostrarles a ustedes mismos desde una perspectiva extraordinaria, y puede ayudar a trivializar las diferencias entre nosotros. Si SETI no hiciera nada más que cambiar la perspectiva de los humanos en este planeta, entonces será una de las empresas más profundas en la historia.


Así pues en los primeros días de 2009, un presidente visionario puso pié en el Capitolio de los E.U.A. y dijo “No podemos evitar creer que los viejos odios algún día se olvidarán, que las fronteras entre tribus pronto desaparecerán, esto, conforme se empequeñece el mundo, revelará nuestra humanidad común”. Así que espero con emoción trabajar con la comunidad TED para escuchar sus ideas sobre cómo realizar este deseo, y en la colaboración con ustedes, se acercará el día en que el visionario enunciado podrá ser una realidad.


Gracias (Aplausos)

Le Multivers… d’Aurelien Barrau

divendres, 16/08/2019