Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nick Redfern's The NASA Conspiracies

Nick Redfern’s latest effort at deriving truth from within the corridors of government and other bureaucratic constructs involved the National Aeronautics and Space Administration: NASA.

His book, The NASA Conspiracies: The Truth Behind the Moon Landings, Censored Photos, and the Face on Mars, [New Page Books, Pompton Plains, NJ], is replete with information readers will think they are familiar with but will find out they are not.

Mr. Redfern’s forte isn’t just ferreting news from FOIA documents. He actually has accumulated first-hand information, via face-to-face interviews with persons privy to the inner workings of NASA, the military, and other relevant agencies – insiders.

He has done this again for his NASA book, with a fellow named John, from Bloomington, Minnesota about Area 51 (page 57 ff.), Nick Pope, former U.K. Minister of Defense staffer about contactees, et cetera (Page 97 ff.), Matthew Williams, an investigator with the U.K.’s Customs & Excise Agency about crashed UFOs in the Britain (Page 125 ff.), and a NASA employee with NASA’s Public Affairs office about the Gary McKinnon affair (Page 199 ff.).

Mr. Redfern also presents incredible stories about alleged alien abductions (Sharon, Page 146 ff.) and persons who have experienced mothman-like creatures in and around NASA facilities (Hilda Walker and Frank Shaw, Chapter 13, The Monsters of NASA, Page 153 ff.).

Mr. Redfern also offers a kind of paean to Sci-Fi writer and UFO maven Mac Tonnies, who died recently but left a legacy of hypothetical thought that is unique and provocative, about the so-called Face on Mars (Chapter 9, Page 101 ff.) and cryptoterrestrials, a concomitant, hidden Earthian civilization that interacts with human beings who share this planet with “them.”

Mr. Redfern also provides illuminating minutiae about Roswell, the Moon landing, and the Frank Scully Aztec story.

His ruminations about the Space Shuttle and NASA’s astronauts, some of whom who are believers in extraterrestrial visitation, offer grist to those who believe that the UFO phenomenon is ET oriented.

But most of all, Mr. Redfern confirms for the rational observer that NASA and other U.S. agencies (such as the CIA and FBI) harbor secrets that would be explosive if revealed.

The NASA Conspiracies is a must-read for those who would like a heads-up on the agency that is at the fore-front of our Space exploration and efforts, including the next trips to the Moon and Mars (and beyond).

What does NASA know now, and how would that “secret” information, if made public, impact humanity, and human civilization? Mr. Redfern gives readers some insightful clues.

Mr. Redfern’s book may be had via Amazon.com or from Career Press, Inc., 220 West Parkway, Unit 12, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444 (careerpress.com or newpagebooks.com).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Roswell Balloons

What was the Roswell debris? Mogul balloons?

No. They were controlled-altitude meteorological balloons.

And who was involved in experiments with those balloons in Roswell, 1947?

David Rudiak’s nemesis, C.B. Moore of Mogul notoriety.

Click here to read an abstract [PDF] of the balloon tests

Friday, December 10, 2010

UFO Truth? Not so fast....

ny12-13.jpg

The December 13th, 2010 Issue of The New Yorker has an article that all UFO mavens would do well to absorb.

It’s “The Truth Wears Off” by Jonah Lehrer [Page 52 ff.].

Lehrer recounts how science (and researchers) get snookered by “The Decline Effect” –the measurable drop off of one-time observations and data that, when first obtained, seemed invincible as proof of various phenomenon, but end up on second (or third) observations to be considerably less that originally measured.

Rhine’s studies, at Duke, of ESP are mentioned, as are pharmacological, ecological, psychological, biological studies.

jbrhine.jpg

The gist of the article is that studies are intrinsically flawed but why is still open to question.

Some relevant quotes from the piece, which UFO debaters should heed, include:

“Most of the time, scientists know what results they want and that can influence the results they get.” [Page 52]

“Asking people to put their perceptions into words led to dramatic decreases in performance.” [Page 53]

(Re: Rhine’s studies/experiments) “What he wanted to know was whether the images [from Zener card experiments] that got a second showing were more likely to have been identified the first time around. Could subsequent exposure have somehow influenced the initial results? Could the effect be the cause?” [Page 54]

zener.jpg

“The extrasensory powers of…subjects didn’t decline – they were simply an illusion that vanished over time.” [Page 54]

“…the ‘decline effect’ deserves more attention: its ubiquity seems to violate the laws of statistics.” [Page 54]

“…[an] author might publish several critical papers, which distort his analysis.” [Page 54]

“…some – perhaps many – cherished generalities are at best exaggerated in their…significance and at worst a collective illusion nurtured by strong a-priori beliefs [are] often repeated.” [Page 55]

“…the problem seems to be one of subtle omissions and unconscious misperceptions, as researchers struggle to make sense of their results.” [Page 55]

“…act[s] of measurement [are] going to be vulnerable to all sorts of perception biases.” [Page 56]

“The problem of selective reporting is rooted in a fundamental cognitive flaw, which is that we like proving ourselves right an hate being wrong.” [Page 56]

“…after a claim has been systematically disproven…you still see some stubborn researchers citing the first few studies that show a strong effect. They really want to believe that it’s true.” [Page 56]

“Every researcher should have to spell out, in advance, how many subjects they’re going to use, and what exactly they’re testing, and what constitutes a sufficient level of proof. We have the tools to be much more transparent about our experiments.” [Page 56]

“Although…reforms would mitigate the dangers of publication bias and selective reporting, they still wouldn’t erase the decline effect. This is largely because scientific research will always be shadowed by a force that can’t be curbed, only contained: sheer randomness.” [Page 56]

“…a lot of extraordinary scientific data are nothing but noise.” [Page 57]

“…dramatic findings are also the most likely to get published in prestigious journals…” [Page 57]

“…the decline effect is actually a decline of illusion.” [Page 57]

“While Karl Popper imagined falsification occurring with a single, definitive experiment – Galileo refuted Aristotelian mechanics in an afternoon – the process turns out to be much messier than that. Many scientific theories continue to be considered true even after failing numerous experimental tests.” [Page 57]

galileo10.jpg

“Even the law of gravity hasn’t been perfect at predicting real-world phenomena. In one test, physicists measuring gravity…in the Nevada desert found a two-and-a-half-per-cent
discrepancy between the theoretical predictions and the actual data. Despite these findings…The law of gravity remains the same.” [Page 57]

“Such anomalies demonstrate the slipperiness of empiricism.” [Page 57]

“Although many scientific ideas generate conflicting results and suffer from falling effect sizes, they continue to get cited in textbooks…Why? Because these ideas seem true. Because they make sense. Because we can’t bear to let them go. And this is why the decline effect is so troubling. Not because it reveals the human fallibility of science, in which data are tweaked and beliefs shape perceptions…And not because it reveals that many of our most exciting theories are fleeting fads and soon will be rejected.” [Page 57]

The decline effect is troubling because it reminds us how difficult it is to prove anything. We like to pretend that our experiments define the truth for us. But that is often not the case. Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. An just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true.” [Page 57]

“When he experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe.” [End of article]

Scientists and (some) “ufologists” like to think they have a lock on truth. But as Mr. Lehrer’s New Yorker article shows, truth is as elusive as ever, and nothing is certain.

Monday, November 22, 2010

UFO Peer Review? You gotta be kidding….


The UFO phenomenon continues as a mystery, unabated.

Although some so-called researchers have spent their life-times studying the phenomenon, these “researchers” have come nowhere close to resolving any aspect of the UFO phenomenon.

Not an iota of understanding or tangible hypothesis has evolved over the sixty years plus of UFO study by a small group of UFO die-hards, who like to pretend research credibility by labeling their hobby “ufology.”

The resident hang-out for this moldering group of UFO devotees is UFO UpDates, called “The List” by habitu├ęs of the shop-worn web-site.

A visit to The List will show you that the left-over and left-out members of “ufology” try to one-up other members with attempts at faux-expertise; that is, members strive mightily to show that they have some expertise about something: aircraft, chemistry, photography, et cetera – all things that have little or nothing to do with the intrinsic UFO riddle.

Elder statesmen of the concocted “science of ufology” hope to create a legacy of some kind for the futile and fruitless endeavors over the years.

Jerome Clark, for instance, hangs his hat on the rubric “UFO Historian” – a sad commentary for one’s career or life.

Stanton Friedman, a well-known UFO spokesperson has been relegated to defending his obtuse views about UFOs and various elements of the foolish study called ufology.

Bruce Maccabee, a Naval insider, uses The List to showcase his knowledge – limited knowledge we note – of UFO photography that has shown up over the years.

Don Ledger is a pilot, who likes to correct Listers when they wax eloquently but incorrectly about airfoils and things that fly in the sky.

When a topic arrives at UFO UpDates, it’s never ignored, but always flailed by someone who uses the topic to back-bite others or to showcase a pretense at scholarship about something.

No topic is ever debated on its merits, or efficacy. The List is all about ego and self-promotion.

What’s even sadder is that the small contingent of UFO mavens who still use UpDates for a presence in the UFO community have no idea how ridiculous their ramblings are to outsiders who look at UFOs in the context of wider realities or surrealities.

Over the years, The List has accumulated more UFO rot than any other UFO site in existence.

The surfeit of blather is astounding, for its faux seriousness and ludicrous patina, as academics and true scientists see the thing.

We continue to refer to the group that maintains a presence at UFO UpDates, The List, as UFO Geezers: a group of has-beens or never-weres who represent nothing worthwhile within the legitimate study of UFOs.

This group of pathetic UFO hobbyists are in the final stages of life, thankfully, whose passings will leave open the door of UFO study for real peer review by persons who are less inclined to defend their smarmy, egotistical wasted lives and pursue a mystery that evokes true awe in the human mind.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Persistent Mystery

Below is the so-called “spaceman” photograph taken by James Templeton near Burgh Marsh, situated near Burgh by Sands and overlooking the Solway Firth in Cumbria, England.

The photo was taken exactly one month after the alleged UFO sighting by Lonnie Zamora in Socorro, New Mexico [April 24th, 1964].

solwayfirth.jpg
Blowup of original photo

solwayfirth2.jpg
Most of the original photo

Our contributor Anthony Bragalia deals with the photo in his UFO Photo Hoaxes at The UFO Iconoclast(s) blog [http://ufocon.blogspot.com].

Mr. Bragalia contends the “spaceman” is, in reality, a jogger running up the hill that Mr. Templeton’s daughter was pictured upon.

(And Mr. Bragalia may now be suggesting that the image is that of a beekeeper, one of many who reside in the Cumberland area.)

We don’t find Mr. Bragalia’s suggestions to be satisfactory.

And we don’t think that James Templeton created a fake photograph.

Some -- see the comments section following Mr. Bragalia’s discourse, especially those of TemplarScribe – tie the photograph to an incident in Australia involving a missile test that was concomitant with a missile facility near the site of the photo.

Others believe the photo is actually that of a visiting spaceman, invisible to human eyes but caught by the exigencies of the photo camera.

None of the suggested explanations resonate with us, so we’ll be pursuing the incident further of course. (It’s truly intriguing.)

Meanwhile, what is your take on the photo?