UFO’s: Fact or Fiction?

UFO’s: Fact or Fiction?

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What is the one thing that we can all view at the same time? What is the one thing that we all share at the same time, all the time? The sky; essentially our view into eternity. What is out there beyond the blue? Beyond where we have traveled? What is beyond our imaginations?

The controversy over alien or other life forms “out there” has been with us for as long as time can remember. We have people who believe that in religious accounts UFO’s and other worldly beings were actually involved. Numerous documentaries and an unfathomable amount of research has gone into trying to figure out the pyramids around the world.

Places like Stonehenge and the Mayan Ruins bewilder the mind. Even more interesting is that all these places were set in alignment to the constellations.

It is said that some of the pyramids in Egypt are perfectly aligned with the North/South lines as well as being aligned with the Orion constellation as well as being involved with the Pleiades constellation as well.

We as a whole, through all the land and through all of our recorded history have shared this same sky. We have all wondered though the stars.

As a whole, we have through time have had the stars to some degree dictating our advancement, our mythologies as well as our mysteries. What is out there has been the question of the centuries.

I found an interesting video clip on you tube from the X-Conference, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on April 21, 2008. In the clip Vice-Premier Paul Hellyer (former Canadian Minister of National Defense, and former Deputy Prime Minister) is speaking about extraterrestrial contact and how the United States is covering it up.

He has a story that explains a combat against these “beings” as they wanted to help us. You can find this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuEUmnEVJQk&feature-related; it is 9:25 minutes long. It describes “their” technologies as well as how to save our planet.

(You can also view more of the conference at http://video.google.com/videoplay?doc)

July 11, 1991. During the beginning of a solar eclipse in Mexico City, a metallic object was seen by all there to witness the eclipse. The object itself was there threw the eclipse as well.

From this point onward, hundreds if not thousands of accounts have come from military personal, police officers and have since been acknowledging these events.

January 16, 2004. A police officer named Leonardo Samaniego Gallegos was attacked by a flying creature in Guadeloupe. The officer claims that a levitating body came down to which he described to be a “grey”.

In his attempt to vacate the attack, as it was on the hood of his car, he quickly reversed. He crashed and knocked himself unconscious.

Leonardo was later tested for any drugs or alcohol in his system, as well as his history if there was any mental illness. Everything checked out fine, except the fact his body was in shock. The Mexican people have dubbed the creature as a “flying humanoid” and have such a creator caught on amateur video aired on Primer Impacto a news station. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNbe0YWXUuc)

March 5, 2004. One of our fox news stations aired footage from the Mexican Air Force that captured eleven UFO’s o their advanced video equipment.

Under the Secretary of Defense, General Clemente Vega Garcia, the commander of all armed forces in Mexico, the Mexican Department of Defense recognized this event as fact. That in itself is an historic and unprecedented decision. (www.avimoas.com/ufo-news-and-videos/90-mexico-ufos-sightings.html)

On the Fox report, they had Steven Basset a the founder of the Paradigm Research Group, the executive director of the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee (X-PPAC) and the author of the Paradigm Clock and the executive producer of the X-Conference on the show as a guest. He stated that foreign governments want the United States to “disclose” the truth.

Many government witnesses in this country have already come forth. He also clearly states that this was the first time a video of this magnitude has been released, not that it was the first time documented by a quality source as such. He also mentioned that polls show an increase in the people’s belief in UFO’s or disbelief in the governments’ extraterrestrial story is untrue.

France. COMETA was a high level UFO study done in France by private experts (not through government). Such experts included General Bernard Norlain (wrote the preface) of the Air Force and a former director of IHEDN (Institute of Advanced Studies for National Defense).

Andre` Lebeau (wrote the preamble) former President of the National Center for Space Studies (CNES), and the group itself was overseen by General Denis Letty of the Air Force who is also an auditor to IHEDN, along with four other auditors and Jean-Jacques Velasco head of SEPRA at CNES, President of Fleximage (specializing in photo analysis).

There were others who matched the caliber of the before mentioned members. This report had concluded that 5% of the UFO cases that they had studied wee actually inexplicable and the best solution would be the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH). It was also noted in the document that the American government was engaging in a massive cover up.

United Kingdom. Recent news also states that the UK National Archives have been opened to public. They have documentation of UFO activities as well as extraterrestrial events. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGjeldptKIs)

September 1985. Two UFO’s were being tracked by military radar. The radar showed that they covered ten nautical miles in twelve seconds! That would mean that the crafts were moving at a rate of 3,500 miles per hour.

1952. Military witnesses at a big base in the Far East tracked on radar a UFO that buzzed the air field.

Another story reports that police were sent to the scene of a UFO sighting. Upon their arrival, they saw the UFO for themselves and began to sketch it out for the file.

The “Disclosure Project” Steven M. Greer, MD-Director (www.disclosureproject.org)

A large number of qualified officials, secret operation officers, air traffic controllers, commercial pilots and others with clearance to view top secret, extremely sensitive material, and astronauts (you get the picture) have come together to create this organization to bring the accounts to the public. This may be similar to the earlier and French COMETA.

Russia. Published on one of Russia’s website, reported on the Russia Today website stating that the Russian navy has declassified its reports on the encounters with UFO’s. These reports date back to the Soviet Union. (www.russiatoday.com/…/russian-navy-ufo-records-say-aliens-love-oceans.html)

One case describes a submarine in route traveling in the Pacific Ocean that picked up six unknown object moving underneath. The submarine was ordered to surface, and the objects did as well. They came up from the water and proceeded to fly away.

Another case state that in 1982, a group of military divers were training in Lake Baikal, the deepest body of fresh water in the world. These divers spotted humanoid creatures 150 feet under the surface. They tried to catch these creatures and three out of seven divers died trying. The other four were injured.

What does this all mean? You can gather more stories and people who disbelieve commenting below. I find it strange that it makes it way onto the news discretely if true. Is this a way of slowly breaking us in? “Disclosure” all in good time?

We know that our government doesn’t want a massive panic on their hands, and what would that mean for their authority? Would this change the average person’s views on government or religion? What will you do?

The 30th Anniversary of Close Encounters of the Third Kind

The 30th Anniversary of Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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Steven Spielberg Brought Intelligent Life to the UFO Genre

On November 15, 1977, Steven Spielberg (notice I don’t even need to say director beforehand) had the Los Angeles film debut of what would become his second blockbuster project following the success of “Jaws” two years earlier.

This next ambitious project would be more of a special effects showcase–yet turn the increasing interest of UFO’s possibly interacting on our planet into a more profound puzzle…while also showing us we may have nothing to fear in the event of personal contact.

Originally, the film was to be called “Watch the Skies”, which was a quote uttered at the end of the classic 1950’s Sci-Fi film “The Thing.”

Aren’t we glad Spielberg decided to use a more intelligent title based on the definitions of close encounters with a UFO. These definitions were created by the famous late UFO researcher and respected astrophysicist, J. Allen Hynek, who also was a consultant on the film and had a cameo during the final sequence.

The first kind of encounter represents a sighting of a craft, the second kind defines collecting physical evidence–and the third kind was direct contact with the intelligent beings aboard the craft.

Back in 1977, having a title of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” probably intrigued a lot of people who really hadn’t seen a film about UFOs presented within a framework that made more sense in reality.

Spielberg had already set a high bar in making fantastic stories seem more real too. The only previous Sci-Fi film that took the alien visitation genre to that profound level from the vantage point of the world around us was “The Day the Earth Stood Still” 28 years earlier.

And the lack of special effects at the time prevented it from being taken to a visceral level–despite the overall message still giving one goosebumps.

In November, 2007–“Close Encounters” will celebrate its 30th anniversary from its initial release. 1977 really was an amazing movie year in the way of at least a few timeless films.

Outside of today when a dozen high-profile films play at once during the summer season, only one or two films would be released during each month or season then. Who knows if “Close Encounters” could have found its sizeable audience during the summer season of 1977?

It was risky enough people weren’t used to digesting big special effect extravaganzas all at once back then. Obviously, what I’m referring to here is the other pop culture phenomenon overriding every other film playing in theaters that summer: “Star Wars.”

By November, the brunt of the “Star Wars” tidal wave was dying down (or at least a little if you consider its fans were onto their 100th or maybe 1,000th viewing of it)–so bringing out another high-profile film at that later date would make it better timing. Certainly Spielberg’s next movie project was highly anticipated by millions.

Despite this better timing (and the re-interest in big-budget Sci-Fi movies)–Spielberg still needed more time to finish “Close Encounters” due to the complex and innovative special effects being done on the film throughout mid-’77.

Initially, he wanted to release the film in the summer of 1978. Columbia Pictures, however, forced him to get it done early so they could get themselves out of a financial hole they were in at the time. The original cut went on to break well beyond the 100 million dollar mark domestically at the box office as “Jaws” had done in 1975.

Spielberg would be able to amend his dissatisfaction of his original cut by filming additional scenes and fleshing out the special effects in 1979, which was then re-released in theatres on August 1, 1980 as “Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Special Edition.”

This was the first time a major American director basically re-edited a popular film and gave it a high-profile re-release a few years later. Every other director followed suit after Spielberg did it–especially when the DVD era started. The term “special edition” has also been abused ever since.

To watch the original version or the special edition? Possibly neither–and watch the later “Collector’s Edition” edit as a compromise…

Many of you probably remember the plot of “Close Encounters.” Three separate stories run throughout consisting of a team of UFO researchers (played/headed by Bob Balaban and Francois Truffaut) investigating UFO phenomena/sightings worldwide;

Family man Roy Neary (played by Richard Dreyfuss) has a profound UFO sighting experience in his home town of Muncie, Indiana–and later becomes obsessed with the image of a mountain (Devil’s Tower in Wyoming) while driving his family crazy as he figures out why he has this image embedded in his mind;

Single mother Jillian Guiler (played by Melinda Dillon) experiences a UFO landing near her home as her son, Barry (played by Cary Guffey), disappears as a victim of a possible abduction by the beings in the craft. Jillian then becomes obsessed with the image of Devil’s Tower as Roy Neary does.

They eventually meet one another (along with others experiencing the same mind imprint)–and they all make an exhilarating trek to the real Devil’s Tower in Wyoming where a huge landing base has been built presumably by our government and military in anticipation of a mass UFO landing.

The earlier UFO researchers had received a signal from space giving the coordinates of that location. All of the characters experience a profound third kind UFO encounter at that location in the final quarter of the film.

The original 1977 print of the film is still a wonderful film in every aspect. Only those who analyze film to the core would notice that the mid-section probably needed to be tightened up just a tad.

Spielberg did just that in the 1980 special edition–along with adding more effects to the flying UFO sequences. But even there, you’d have to still marvel at the effects (created by Douglas Trumbull, who won an Oscar for it) in the original cut considering the time period.

The mother ship sequence in the final quarter of the film is still a wow all these years later. Along with some added live-action scenes and enhanced special effects to the flying ships, the biggest error to the special edition was Spielberg being forced to show what Roy Neary sees inside the mother ship when he goes inside at the end.

Some blamed Spielberg for ruining the mystery of what’s inside the mother ship. Yet critics such as Roger Ebert wrote in his 1980 re-review that he loved the sequence using new cutting-edge effects credited to someone named “R. Cobb” as replacement for the unavailable original special effects team.

Columbia told Spielberg he had to do the mother ship interior sequence in order to get permission to prepare his special edition. Of course, it was to get people back into the theatres to see it again. Another example of creative sacrifice to get what you want before being powerful enough to get everything you want.

Spielberg personally didn’t like the interior sequence–and he took it out of a final edit he did on the film in 1998 for a re-release on video (later released on DVD in 2001).

This edition is called the “Collector’s Edition.” It retains five scene changes from the special edition with exclusion of the mother ship interior and also removing a blatant commercialization ploy of having one of the flying craft shining a light on a McDonald’s sign. A few crucial scenes from the original edition were also restored.

This edition is really the one to watch and appears to be the edition you see when it airs occasionally on Turner Classic Movies in recent years. But just like the original cut of “Star Wars” (before all the effects spiff-ups and special editions)–the original cut can hold an emotional connection to the person who saw it in theatres originally. If you happen to own a copy of the original edit of “Close Encounters”…it’s still a great experience.

The profundities Spielberg brought to the UFO (and Sci-Fi) genre are deep…

Spielberg has brought a lot of new and interesting subtle plot devices to films. But perhaps his most profound is the examination of a mysterious and restless second story happening inside one’s mind. “Close Encounters” takes a deep psychological approach to that in the film and exploring the notion that (and seemingly accepted now) the beings manning the mysterious spacecraft only communicate with people telepathically.

“Close Encounters” advanced the notion that they may be sending other messages to us at times when we don’t even know it. This was quite revolutionary at the time, especially in a mainstream Sci-Fi film…or any American film for that matter.

Spielberg used this device again in “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” where it’s suggested Elliott and E.T. communicate telepathically on a subtle level…and would continue to after E.T. goes back home.

These concepts undoubtedly hit people between the eyes (no pun intended) during that time frame on something challenging to interpret in a film so accessible to the public.

“Close Encounters” also gives suggestions of bridging the gap between the old-fashioned pop culture concept of aliens and the aliens being something much more meaningful to us on a spiritual level.

Never once in the film are they referred to as “aliens”…or anything else for that matter. We just see them as peaceful beings at the end of the film (yet in the physical sense that we all see them as today)–which either lets us, the viewer, interpret it in any form you want (going the Stanley Kubrick “2001” route) or maybe get the hint that there could be something more spiritual to the events happening.

It’s also suggested that they may have always been here on the Earth interacting with us, we’re important to them, and they act almost as spiritual guardians at times.

This seems to increase the notion in some circles today that the “aliens” in these flying craft are angels or spiritual beings (from either the good side or the evil side) who know we’re the center of importance and continue to in the present day.

I’m sure more than one person has watched the final scene of the mother ship landing/contact and wondered if we’ll truly see something similar someday within our lifetimes.

These are the true elements that keep “Close Encounters” above the pack of any film about UFO’s made outside of the outstanding performances and music by John Williams. In fact, no other film about the subject has handled it so realistically, logically and profoundly other than maybe “Contact” with Jodie Foster in 1997.

“Contact” basically advanced the idea of bridging the spirituality/physicality gap to the alien life concept. M. Night Shymalan’s “Signs” perhaps pushed this forward more than any. “2001” in 1968 hinted at this too…despite being that way only if you wanted it to be.

The soundtrack by John Williams can stand alone without watching the film…

The basic consensus for those who love John Williams’ film scores say that his “Close Encounters” score is one of his best ever. Even Williams cites it as one of his favorites next to “E.T.” Spielberg worked on the script while at the same time consulting with Williams to make the score closer linked with the action.

This was during the time Williams started to develop his Wagnerian-inspired “leitmotif” ideas in movie scoring that he took to an even higher level in “Star Wars”, which he actually recorded after recording the “Close Encounters” score.

The famous five-note motif heard played at the landing site scene (and by the mother ship in response) was carefully crafted and placed at various moments throughout the score.

Reportedly, Williams tried different combinations of that five-note musical phrase until he and Spielberg finally agreed on the right one. It may be one of the best-known musical phrases next to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” theme–and I’m sure many would agree that (absurd or not) Williams’ musical phrase should be used in real life to communicate if a mass UFO landing or communication occurs.

Because the score was so tightly woven into every detail of action in the script, you can listen to the entire score on CD and visualize each scene perfectly.

I highly recommend playing the soundtrack album by itself as a quasi-classical work on its own. The music for the final sequence with the mother ship will still give you an awe-inspiring feeling outside of the thought that it was recorded just right before the age of digital.

Will Spielberg ever do another film about UFO’s?

I’d say that’s probably unlikely–considering he’s recently molded himself into an important filmmaker preserving certain key historical moments in time (i.e. “Schindler’s List”, “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Munich”).

Spielberg’s recent foray back to Sci-Fi with “War of the Worlds” only took the concept of UFO’s and intelligent beings backwards again, even though he can still make the most pedestrian concepts entertaining.

Richard Dreyfuss once said in an interview that “E.T.” was the likely sequel to “Close Encounters.” If so, then maybe the genre has said everything that can be said based on what we know.

But I’d like to see Spielberg re-visit that arena and do a film about some of the recent advancements in knowledge (or theory) in what could be the truth behind the UFO phenomena.

A truly powerful film that advances these possibilities could be the “Close Encounters” of the future…unless reality supersedes that. Then again, letting the viewer use their imagination is probably better with the films currently existing that take it to profound territory.

On the 30th anniversary of “Close Encounters”–watch it again with your friends and family, put your own spin on what it implies…while also enjoying Spielberg’s human element accompanying it that’s just as fascinating.

MKULTRA and the UFO Phenomenon

MKULTRA and the UFO Phenomenon

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I have put a lot of thought into the mysteries of the UFO phenomenon over the years. I would bet that I’ve been preoccupied with the subject for over 15 years now.

As might be considered common with UFO fanciers, I also have a running knowledge of conspiracies theories (both man-made and cosmic in nature.) As the years have gone by I’ve read up on the many accounts and theories as to what UFOs are, however the field of research seems to defy description.

This may be because the phenomenon exists mainly within the elusive recesses of the human mind, beyond the reach of modern science. Another hypothesis is that the alien forces that interfere with us are so much more advanced than us, that deceiving us and our governments as to their true nature are a matter of child’s play for them.

When trying to find an answer which will encompass all the known facts, sometimes one must look beyond the limits of scientific or societal norms as we know them.

Carl Jung theorized of the existence of the archetype, which is a sort of universal symbolic entity which can influence man. Whether these archetypes exist exclusively within the mind of the perceiver, or have a psychic form of their own has been the subject of social researchers ever since.

One group of theories on the subject involves an extra-dimensional element. These theories differ from the extra-terrestrial hypothesis in that they transcend our knowledge of science to find a semi-plausible answer.

If one is to believe that UFOs come from other planets within our galaxy for instance, one must explain how they travel the vast distances between stars if the speed of light is indeed the fastest that one can go.

By utilizing an extra-dimensional belief, these limitations are avoided. Since we know very little about other dimensions there are few scientific bases for refuting any such theory.

The belief of UFOs as time traveling devices falls into this category, since time is now accepted as a separate dimension within the scientific community.

When looking at an unknown phenomenon, it helps to see if there are any external factors which might be influencing the witness’s perceptions. We now know that the witch hunts of the inquisition and beyond might have had some of there origins in the diet of the population at that time. Ergot is a bacterium which grows on the wheat which is used to make brown bread.

Back in those days the poor subsisted on a diet of brown bread and thus where exposed to ergot. Ergot can cause hallucinations in large enough doses, and it may be possible that ergot induced behavior expedited persecution by the church. This is a possible cause of lycanthropy and witch accounts at that time.

External religious influences might be present in unknown phenomenon cases. In the above examples involving ergot, the religious mindset of the time was a factor in how strange behavior would be perceived. Remember that back then, belief in God was a universal concept.

They didn’t have discussions regarding the possibility of an atheistic viewpoint in open society. People that didn’t believe in God would have done well to keep that view to themselves.

It was with this mindset that people of the past viewed strange encounters in their lives, and thus accounts of paranormal phenomenon from that time have a religion-centric viewpoint.

It is relatively easy to point at the people in the past and believe them to be simpletons easily manipulated by fairy tales and the like, but in doing so we forget that the people of the future will likely be doing the same to modern man.

In studying strange phenomenon of the past we don’t always realize that we too are subject to external forces which color our objectivity when searching for truth.

So what are the external factors do we have today which might influence how we perceive paranormal seeming events, namely UFO encounters? Is there a “modern ergot” in our lives, heretofore unknown by us, yet influencing our beliefs?

To blindly dismiss the chance of this might be as folly as the man of the middle ages, believing his neighbor to be a witch after eating too much bad bread.

So what bad bread do we have in our systems when one of us sees a UFO? If we agree that the modern UFO phenomenon began around 1947 with the famous Kenneth Arnold sighting, our most likely influences might be what was called “war nerves.” The war nerves theory was originally supposed by the U.S. military.

World War II had recently ended and the threat of a newer, atomic war on the horizon might have skewed society’s vision, effectively opening the doors of our minds, allowing fictitious alien craft to enter.

A close look at Kenneth Arnold’s account of fast moving, V shaped aircraft suggests that he may have seen a squadron of secret experimental jet aircraft, which would be in development at that time.

Another secret government program existed in the early ’50s known as MKULTRA. This program was started in response to the alleged brain washing of American prisoners of wars by communists during the Korean War. The United States had a problem, American war prisoners in Korea where denouncing the actions of the U.S. military.

These POWs seemed to be embracing communist ideology as a result of re-education inflicted by their captors. What’s more, there were reports that previous POWs were spearheading anti-war movements when they returned to the States.

These situations lead those in our intelligence communities to wonder if the communist had a successful brain washing program in place.

The Cold War was a period of heightened paranoia on both sides. As a result of this the government implemented secret plans which, from today’s perspective, might be considered excessive in means.

MKULTRA was one such program implemented by our government to determine the feasibility of controlling a persons mind. To accomplish these goals, the government would utilize drugs, sensory deprivation, and other means.

Now before you scoff at this, let it be known that THE GOVERNMENT HAS ADMITTED that this program took place. If you go to http://www.theblackvault.com/content-21.html you will find thousands of documents regarding the government’s mind control program.

The files available do not include the ones that the government illegally destroyed to prevent you, a member of the public, from reading.

Favored victims of the MKULTRA program were society’s outcasts. This included drug-users, criminals and the mentally ill. I was thinking along these lines when it occurred to me that Betty and Barney Hill, known as the first modern UFO abduction victims in this country, was an inter-racial couple.

In the early 1960’s, a black man married to a white woman would be considered a social taboo. I submit that this would make them a good candidate for the governments mind control program, which was in full effect at that time.

A little known field of research is that of electronic warfare. This is supposedly done by bombarding an unknowing victim’s brain with extremely low frequency, or ELF waves.

The victim will suffer head pain and become confused. The exact details regarding ELF effects on a person are unknown, but it has been suggested that one could actually resonate sounds off of a persons skull, causing them to hear voices in there head.

One of the main problems when trying to decipher whether electronic warfare accounts are real is that the symptoms of a supposed ELF attack mirror the symptoms of schizophrenia.

What I am supposing is this, what if a secret government agency mounted a device on a helicopter which could bombard an area with extremely low frequencies?

In effect you would have an aerial mounted ELF-gun. Now suppose that this ELF gun was pointed at a car traveling at night in a remote area. The occupants of said car would see the helicopters lights, but they would also be in a state of confusion.

This sounds a lot like Betty and Barney Hills’ original account of what happened to them on a remote road one night. They first reported a light in the sky which followed them, as well as hearing strange sounds and missing time.

They also reported seeing spots on the trunk of their car the next day. Since Mr. Hill kept his gun in that trunk, a ufologist might theorize that these spots were there to neutralize any threats prior to an alien abduction.

These spots might have been the result of a marking agent placed on the car so that it could be spotted from the sky via an inferred filter, or some such method.

Also, let’s not forget that during the Cold War, the Soviets would pour radioactive powder in of a foreign spy’s hotel door so they could track the agent later with a Geiger counter.

Now, the U.S. has admitted to conducting radioactivity experiments on unwitting hospital patients, so is it a stretch to think that some method if tracking a particular vehicle from the air could be devised.

It was only later, through therapeutic practices that the Hills recalled the more bizarre accounts of that night. It has been reported that Betty Hill had an interest in UFOs previous to her encounter, and this might have clouded her memory when she was hypnotized to remember the night in question. Her interest in UFOs might also have made her a good candidate for such a government experiment.

Many people doubt that that the Hills where abducted by aliens on that lonely road all those years ago. But I have a feeling that something happened. This just doesn’t seem like a hoax to me, I think the Hill’s experienced something out of the ordinary. What this X-factor is may never be solved.

The implications should be evident by this time. Although there is no hard fast answer to be found yet, such an answer might exist somewhere. Whether we get the full story someday is yet to be seen.

However, it seems that throughout civilization, humans have had these questions and rarely if ever was an answer found that’s satisfied everyone. www.ufoanswer.com

Five of the Best UFO Books for Veterans or Novices Alike

Five of the Best UFO Books for Veterans or Novices Alike

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The UFO Files & Cosmic Test Tube Stand Out from UFO Book Crowd

Despite regular polling of Americans and their international counterparts around the world confirming a majority belief in life elsewhere in the universe, the subject of UFOs, extraterrestrials or alien abductions remains a sensitive one indeed.

Sadly, there seems little room for middle ground concerning the topic for many extreme skeptics or fanatical believers.

To compound things, there are few serious scholars or scientists devoting their time and professional reputations to study a subject whom scores of important, powerful intellectuals find unsettling at best or trivial nonsense at worst.

Still, each year so many books continue to be published on UFOs, aliens, and related themes, it takes much just to catalog the subject matter.

Following are some of the best written and researched UFO related books out there.

The UFO Files (Jerome Clark)

This is a thin read, but crammed full with events and facts.

Amongst the more surprising facts is that President Ronald Reagan while still serving as California governor not only saw a UFO, but also reported it to Washington Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal Norman C. Miller.

A talkative Reagan volunteered much about the event, but then suddenly “clammed up” when he realized he was talking to a journalist. Published by Publications International, LTD.

Cosmic Test Tube: Extraterrestrial Contact, Theories & Evidence (Randall Fitzgerald)

Part historical guidebook, with clear analysis and also a UFO bibliography, Cosmic Test Tube impresses as one of the best UFO reference guides.

Describing all major UFO books printed up until the time of publication (1998), Fitzgerald covers everything from the ancient astronauts of Erik Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods, to the famous Betty and Barney Hill alien abduction case to the celebrated incident at Roswell, New Mexico.

Unlike some dry pure reference guide or quick listing of sources, Fitzgerald prefaces each comprehensive section with anecdotes and thoughtful observations about the material he’s collated. This is one book, which deserves to be updated periodically as new ones come along worthy of inclusion in Cosmic Test Tube.

The Complete Book Of UFOs (Jenny Randles & Peter Hough)

First published in Great Britain in 1994, then by Sterling Publishing Co, Inc. in 1996, this is a great overview of the UFO phenomenon.

Authors Jenny Randles and Peter Hough maintain an intelligent tone throughout and their scholarship on the subject is evident on every page. Great black & white photos sprinkled throughout make this one a nicely affordable scaled down encyclopedia on UFOs.

Top Secret/MAJIC (Stanton T. Friedman)

As one of the few respected hard scientists with an impressive professional background who’s a staunch believer in UFOs, Stanton T. Friedman’s lectures, papers, books and frequent appearances on television are many and convincing.

Here Friedman tackles a “cosmic Watergate” of supposed Top Secret documents describing a government task force of top scientists and military men assembled by Harry Truman to keep UFO secrets. The Majic or Majestic papers were anonymously sent to UFO researcher James Shandera in the 1980’s.

Friedman has doggedly combed over the documents and meticulously researched the claims therein, and his well documented findings can certainly be admired. Whatever your final opinion on the legitimacy of Majestic 12, the book is clearly written, well researched and always compelling.

Close Encounters Of The Fourth Kind: Alien Abduction, UFOs, & The Conference At M.I.T. (C.D.B Bryan)

Yale graduate and respected writer for publications like Esquire and Rolling Stone, C.D.B Bryan covers a five day conference on extraterrestrial phenomenon conducted at the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology – one of the most prestigious scientific private universities in the world.

Bryan’s own father, Air Force Colonel Joseph Bryan III was outspoken on UFO beliefs, which caused Bryan to feel a measure of embarrassment.

Perhaps this book is a kind of personal campaign for Bryan to deal with those family issues, but the author is never anything but fair and objective in his comprehensive coverage on the people and proceedings of the conference.

Along with that coverage, Bryan does his own detailed look at the UFO phenomenon history, and also interviews conference attendees who claim to be alien abductees.

The UFO Phenomenon (Editors OF Time-Life Books)

This coffee table book is part of a line of volumes on the paranormal from Time-Life Books – MYSTERIES OF THE UNKNOWN.

Its large size, hardcover bound and chock full of great photos and illustrations make it a perfect family friendly go to resource when a little UFO knowledge or fact checking is required.

Time-Life book series are popular and respected for thorough fact checking and balanced treatment. This great volume is no different.

UFO’s and Crop Circles: How Aliens Might Visit Earth

UFO’s and Crop Circles: How Aliens Might Visit Earth

crop-circles

A few years ago, crop circles made headlines because of their strange appearance in the middle of large fields. Newspapers, television, and radio all ran large segments on these unusual formations.

The circles were quite large ranging from about 50 to 75 feet in diameter. Crop circles became fodder at the water cooler and the local bar.

The circles and other configurations followed a similar pattern. The grass or crop was relatively unharmed except for the fact that all of the stalks were laying flat on the ground.

The contrast between the upright plants and the horizontal ones made the circles appear when view from above. Every blade or stalk was flat and pointing in the same direction. It appeared to be completely perfect in shape. This perfection led to the questions regarding their origins.

UFO’s became the primary suspect because the circles looked like they were made by something that just sat down in the middle of the field and then left by going straight up. All of a sudden, a few wise guys stepped forward and demonstrated how these circles and other shapes were created.

They claimed to make them by using a board with ropes or handles attached to the ends. The men would then push the plants down by stepping on the board as they went forward.

This caused the grass or crop to all fall in the same direction. By taking their time at night, the circles were created within an hour or two. Since they were able to demonstrate their technique, much of the speculation about UFO’s began to die down.

Crop circles are not really considered evidence of UFO’s by any thinking person today. Unless you find materials not produced on earth in significant quantities in or around a crop circle, you will only set yourself up for ridicule.

This myth has been considered debunked for more than a decade. Once people were shown how to do it, the circles began appearing all over the earth.

It would be a funny irony if sophisticated aliens were to figure out this hoax and take advantage of it. We may have unwittingly given UFO’s the perfect parking place to keep from being discovered. The reality is that it is unlikely that an alien vessel smart enough to reach earth would ever land on the solid part of the planet.

With three quarters of the earth covered with water, it is far more likely that any alien ship would choose the liquid medium for landing. In the oceans, the ships could hide much easier and allow the aliens to do their survey work of the planet in peace.

Even if liquid water were a problem, landing on the ice caps would give more anonymity than a farmer’s field.

When and if we ever land on a foreign planet with somewhat advanced life forms, it is probable that we will want to hide out for a while to make sure it is safe. Even alien germs would carry the possibility of death by infection.

By the time the leading research is completed, we would either have determined it to be safe to make contact, or be ready to move on and leave the creatures there alone to avoid conflict.

Beyond being a source of food or supplies, it is unlikely that our civilization and world would have much more appeal to advanced aliens than an ant farm to a child. It would make a great curiosity for a while but not for too long.

If they choose to feed off of our planet, we might be high on their list with over six billion humans to choose from. Most of the mineral supplies found on earth could be retrieved from asteroids and other bodies in the solar system without having to reveal themselves to us.

UFO Sightings in Ancient Times

UFO Sightings in Ancient Times

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Old Records and Texts that Detail Encounters with Advanced Technology

The modern phenomenon of UFO sightings was initially sparked in 1947 when a businessman from Boise, Idaho, reported witnessing bizarre objects flying over the Cascade Mountains in Idaho.

Such reports have oftentimes, since then, been discredited by skeptics; but the testimony of people working in occupations where integrity and honesty are crucial – the police, the clergy, astronomers, and pilots – has been difficult to dismiss out of hand.

The issue becomes further tangled when one considers the evidence of ancient texts that describe modes of transport and other kinds of technology that could not have even been dreamed up by the peoples of those times.

Many of these old records bear an uncanny resemblance to descriptions offered up by modern day UFO witnesses. Consider this passage, written in hieroglyphics, from a document that dates back to 1500 B.C. in Egypt: “A circle of fire coming in the sky, noiseless, one rod long with its body and one rod wide. After some days these things become more numerous, shining more than the brightness of the sun.

” Several centuries later, Alexander the Great and his soldiers witnessed “flying shields” circling a city that they were laying siege to. These strange objects apparently helped Alexander’s army to victory, as the “large shield” shone a beam of light on the city that caused its walls to crumble.

Granted, stories such as these come down to us from ages that also spawned mythology and other fanciful creations. What is striking, though, is the peculiar way that the strange objects are described, as if there was nothing in the vocabulary of the times to do them justice.

An archbishop of France recorded, in the ninth century, an account of three men and a woman who were witnessed being deposited down on Earth by an “aerial ship”. These people claimed to have been abducted by “miraculous men” who showed them “unheard of marvels”.

Indian Sanskrit texts abound with descriptions of Vimanas, cars that “resemble bright clouds in the sky” and “go everywhere at will”. The title of one of these ancient texts translates simply as Aeronautics.

Within it, and within others of its kind, we can find detailed descriptions of craft and also the devastating weapons they possess. There are accounts of shafts of light that consumed targets with their power.

In one episode, Krishna is pursuing a Vimana that made itself invisible. Undeterred, he fired “an arrow, which killed by seeking out sound”. Elsewhere, a powerful weapon named the Iron Thunderbolt is reputed to have reduced three cities to ashes.

The Samarangana Suttradhara is perhaps the most technically precise; it described how the body of a Vimana must be made (“like a great flying bird of light material”) with a mercury engine and heating element.

“A man sitting inside”, the text claims” may travel a great distance in the sky.” The Vimana is also described as being able to vertically ascend and descend, and move slanting forwards and backwards.

The Bible, in both its Old and New testaments, abounds with accounts of strange flying craft. Ezekiel’s “Wheel” is perhaps the most renowned. Genesis and Exodus have various tales of “men of renown” coming down from heaven, and great lights reducing cities to pillars of salt.

Again, these accounts are difficult to interpret metaphorically, or in terms of religious experience, when the technical details offered are so precise – and also, in many instances, resemble technology that we have but recently acquired in this modern day.

UFOs: Perhaps, THIS is What You Saw

UFOs: Perhaps, THIS is What You Saw

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It’s a bird? It’s a jet? Wait… nope, just another UFO. Indeed, reports of strange objects, mysterious crafts, and everything in between have been skyrocketing as of recent. It makes you wonder…

Does the much discussed mystery associated with the pending enigmatic New Year (2012) have people buzzing for a visitation? And thus, people are seeing what they want or expect to see? Or are people mistakenly labeling natural and/or identifiable objects as UFOs?

Or is there a possibility that Earth truly is a popular destination for extraterrestrial beings? No matter the case, many people the world over believe they have witnessed the aerial presence of a UFO, or Unidentified Flying Object.

And yes, a great many of these cases are based on an actual observance of some sort of physical presence or “phenomena” in the sky. However, before we can assume that earth is an intergalactic tourist hotspot, we must first consider a few other possibilities…

Weather Phenomena:

That UFO nestled in the sky may be nothing more than a lenticular cloud, which, with its disc shape, looks strikingly like the flying saucer commonly associated with alien aircraft.

Also, the reflection of sunlight upon cloud-based ice crystals (and the visual effect it creates), electrical charges such as lightning, among other atmospheric phenomena have all been inappropriately labeled as UFOs.

Who knew that the blue sky and puffy clouds could be replaced by atmospheric phenomena that could send the imagination into hyper drive?

Terrestrial Aircraft (Military and Civilian):

I would say that the vast majority of UFOs are nothing more than terrestrial aircraft that, for one reason or another, fail to be identified. And I would say that the location where the sighting occurred is vital to the type of aircraft buzzing above you.

For instance, if you live near a large commercial airport, chances are that the “UFO” above you is a large passenger plane. However, if you live near a military camp or base, then it is highly likely that the light that just zipped by was an experimental aircraft being tested by a military pilot. And don’t be too quick to dismiss the possibility of weather balloons.

Space Rocks and Debris:

No matter what you call them (meteors, asteroids, or meteorites), space “rocks” are likely to blame for many UFO reports. And honestly, who could blame the individuals making such reports.

Indeed, a visual show is on full display when these space-based chunks of ice, dust, and/or metal come ripping into – and sometimes through – our atmosphere.

Their bright lights and fast speeds would definitely evoke the presence of space visitors to some. Interestingly, sometimes these “space chunks” are actually pieces of debris/”space junk” that has managed to find its way back home via the physical forces (i.e. gravity) found in our upper atmosphere.

Hoaxes:

Generally speaking, there appears to be two broad categories of UFO-based hoaxes (or, intentionally deceptive “events”). First, if you are looking up at the night sky, and you are in witness of a triangle shaped “craft” overhead, there is a possibility that the craft/UFO is nothing more than a man-made contraption – with lights affixed – that was devised as nothing more than a stunt or joke by a person or group of crafty individuals.

The second type of hoax is strongly correlated to the technology age. This hoax involves adept individuals creating visually striking, though obviously fictitious, pieces of computer generated “art” that, in many cases, is passed off as evidence of a UFO.

Alien Visitors:

Yes, whether you like the idea or not, there is always a possibility that a given UFO is an actual space craft begin piloted by space travelers from another distant planet.

For all we know, there is an intelligent specie out there, capable of engineering and space flight, perhaps from the Andromeda galaxy, that has set off to answer the question, “Are we alone in the Universe?”

Well, you’re reading this, and I’m writing this, so we’re living, breathing proof that life exists in the universe.

And perhaps, one day their travels will bring them to our door step, finally answering their question of whether they were alone in the universe or not.

Or perhaps, this is already happening; meaning, these UFOs are, in fact, alien aircraft being piloted by ETs. For some, this “theory” is fact. While others believe that such an assertion is far-fetched and based in science fiction.

Nevertheless, we must always consider the possibility of alien life form and its ability to travel. Why? Well, we ourselves are space travelers and explorers.

We are unadulterated proof of a specie’s desire to create the technology and commence the journey outside of one’s home planet in search of life and knowledge. Thus, since it’s possible, we must always be prepared, for better or worse, to stumble upon – or be greeted by – extraterrestrial species.

X-Com: UFO Defense is an Enduring Marvel

X-Com: UFO Defense is an Enduring Marvel

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In the world of massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, graphical eye candy like NBA 2K11, and epic adventures like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a DOS based, single player tactical game seems rather dull. In the case of X-Com: UFO Defense, nothing could be further from the truth.

Originally released with the title UFO: Enemy Unknown, I, like most gamers, never played the game until it was re-released with the title X-Com: UFO Defense.

In all honesty, I think I hated the game when I first played it. The tactical game play was nothing like anything I had ever seen before and the semi-real time strategic elements were just as alien.

In short order every one of my marines was killed or injured and my bases were heavily in debt. I got so frustrated I reset my game and started again from scratch. I haven’t enjoyed a PC game more than this one since.

Once I pushed past the steep learning curve, the game revealed a hither unseen world of excitement. For starters, X-Com: UFO Defense practically invented the tactics genre of gaming.

This game wasn’t a Space Harrier where all you needed to do was shoot as fast as you could. Real world tactics like scouting, covering fire, and squad based movement were essential to success.

The formula was unique to games of the time, though it would be copied in the future by successful series from Disgaea to Call of Duty.

Tactical game play was just the start of what made me enjoy this game so much. In addition, the game used a subtly brilliant semi-real time strategy system that incorporated global politics.

The political system was simple, to be fair, but it managed to create a sensible goal structure and created meaningful time limits on play. In combination with the research and crafting elements, this system perfectly complemented the tactical combat portions of the game.

Finally, the game had beautiful audio and video. While neither the graphics nor sound compares to modern games, they were both impressive for the 90s.

The terrain was diverse, interesting, and excitingly, destructible. The aliens were identifiable and surprisingly terrifying. The music ranged from foreboding to downright eerie. Even now, almost 20 years later, neither audio nor video detracts from game play.

The truth of that statement can be seen in the fact that the game is not only available on Steam, but still sells consistently even 15 years after it was first released. Even more telling is the fact that Firaxis Games will be releasing a re-imagining of this game, titled X-Com: Enemy Unknown, in 2012.

I have played games on the PC ranging from Commander Keen to Master of Orion II to Heroes of Might and Magic 3 to City of Heroes. But during all of those decades of playing PC games, none has compared in quality to X-Com: UFO Defense.

Even today, with a PS3 and Wii in my living room and Portal on my PC, I can load up DOSBox and start X-Com: UFO Defense and have as much fun as I had 15 years ago. I have every reason to believe that will still be true 15 years from now.