Wednesday, 26 December 2007

UFOs and Irrelevant Arguments

Rich Reynolds' latest blog, UFOs: The Cosmology Flaw at http://tinyurl.com/2ufynm
is, I believe, fundamentally flawed. In it, he lists at least one of the standard sceptical arguments about why intelligently controlled UFOs wouldn’t visit Earth; the planet is irrelevant and not worth the trouble. He even goes as far as to say that Saturn or Venus would be more interesting.

This kind of statement, which Rich is a long way from being alone in making, is of a course a personal abstract. What the individual is really saying is, I’m not worth the trouble of travelling 20 million light years through space to come and observe.

I have no idea what UFOs are, or at least no definite theories other than the probability that their solution lies in more than one direction. But what they are or are not isn’t the issue here. For me, it is the claim that we would be of no interest to a sentient species more advanced than ourselves.

To put it bluntly, this is absolute rubbish. Why? Well, it’s true that in order to answer the question, I have to fall into one of my own traps which is to anthropomorphise and make a judgement based on what Humans would do, which admittedly is not necessarily what an alien would do. But to put it simply, we are intrigued by primates, fascinated by insects, and generally enthralled by other intelligence, regardless of how developed or basic it may be. And we are prepared to travel what for us would be vast distances to look for it. When we do discover microbial life on Mars, we will lavish scientific attention on it to a depth probably not experienced before.

Why wouldn’t another sentient species take the same attitude toward us? If they’ve got themselves into space and developed the ability to travel cosmic distances, they have done that in part to investigate. They may have done it for other reasons as well, such as the need to get off their own planet, but unquestionably, curiosity will be part of their motive. It may be base, it may be malignant, but regardless, they would be driven by a desire to explore.

Even if intelligent life is “everywhere” in the cosmos and civilisations like ours are ten a penny, it doesn’t detract from the potential desire to observe and learn. If we are part of a universal evolutionary chain, then we know from our own experience that evolution adapts according to environment and circumstances. Perhaps there are conditions on Earth that have caused us to go in a particular direction, one which may be a little different, a little more unique. And perhaps not. Either way, I have no doubt we are significant enough to be worthy of further examination.

Another irrelevant argument offered against UFOs being intelligently controlled is that interstellar travel would take too long and that the distances are too great. Nothing can contravene the laws of physics which is that faster than light travel is impossible. This argument is flawed in so many different directions it’s difficult to know where to begin. Firstly, there is an assumption that there is no intelligent life nearby, and before you say, “Okay Stuart, where is it?”, my response would be; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This is not an idea I particularly adhere to – that we have intelligent, relatively near neighbours, but by the same token, it cannot be ruled out as an absolute. It may be unlikely and there is no proof, but it is not impossible.

And the claim that FTL travel is impossible is pathetic. It may be impossible in terms of our understanding of physics now, but let’s look a little further ahead and imagine that in 50 or 100 years, our science may just have moved on from where it is now. To rule something out as impossible because currently its fantasy is pointless.

When it comes to ET, we have absolutely no idea; just the cultural imprint that we all carry. We need to free ourselves of these shackles and be prepared for anything, and avoid ridiculous blanket statements such as “Why bother with us?”

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Alien Worlds Magazine

The Internet based magazine UFO Review, which has been in hiatus for the last few months, has metamorphosised into a glossy newsstand print magazine called Alien Worlds.

The first issue will appear on UK retail sale on February 8th 2008 and will be available via a wide array of outlets. Among a number of other European countries also taking the magazine are Ireland, Greece, Poland, Sweden, Israel, Norway and Austria. The selling in process is ongoing at this moment and it is probable that others will be added to the roster before publication. Negotiations are also underway for North American distribution but no details are on hand as yet. As the picture becomes clearer, further information will be posted on our website.

Initially, the magazine will be published bimonthly. It will also be available worldwide via subscription.

Alien Worlds will take a much broader approach to the subject of extraterrestrial life and will encompass astrobiology and SETI as well as the phenomenon of UFOs/UAPs and the origins and development of life here on planet Earth.

In preparation for the launch, a new web site has been created to support the magazine which is located at
http://alienworldsmag.com. It is still being developed but there you will find the identical news service that was previously located at UFO Review as well as a blog, a forum, background information on the magazine, and general articles of interest.

Starting us off, we have a guest article kindly written especially for us by Stan Friedman entitled Flying Saucers and Science - An Overview. In it, Stan explains and describes the background and circumstances that has led to him writing his new book, "my magnum opus", which will be published in June of 2008. The article can be found on the front page of the web site at
http://www.alienworldsmag.com

Barring unforeseen events, it is evident that any imminent progress in the search for extraterrestrial life is going to come first from spaceflight and astronomy. Alien Worlds will be taking a keen interest in those areas.

But UFOlogy cannot be ignored. Unlike the other specialities, it is much more people orientated and while there is a diversity of ideas and opinions in the other disciplines, they generally converge towards a central point. Not so with UFOlogy which is rich in disparity and utterly lacking in convergence. This provides an array of fascinating avenues to explore.

My goal has been to get the level and feel of the magazine to a point where I would buy it if I saw it sitting on a rack, and I don't buy magazines. I am very proud of the result. It represents a more progressive and current approach to the question of extraterrestrial life and brings together under one title a combination of subjects with, broadly speaking, a common goal. There is nothing else like it out there.

For those who share this wider perspective, you will find those principles reflected in
Alien Worlds.

You are very welcome to join us.

Stuart Miller

http://www.alienworldsmag.com

Monday, 10 December 2007

Is The Messiah Coming?

At the risk of seeming like I’m riding on the back of the Exopolitical movement, I was disturbed by the latest email release from Dr. Salla about Comet Holmes. You can read it here at http://tinyurl.com/2m39ho

In my last posting about them (
http://tinyurl.com/3dtn2v), I noted that there was a substantial spiritual element within the movement. But the way that the sudden appearance of Holmes has been received is reminiscent of a previous, distressing event.

I am referring to the Heavens Gate cult and their response to, and expectations of, the Hale-Bopp comet. As you may know, when this comet appeared in 1997, the cult’s leaders, Applewhite and Nettles, convinced their following that there was a space ship riding along in its tail. They also thought that planet Earth was about to be wiped clean and that the way to survive this was to leave their human bodies and transcend through and up to the ship and so be carried off to rapture. To do this, 39 people took their lives.

I’m not suggesting for one moment that the Exopolitical movement is going to instigate a mass suicide event because of Comet Holmes. But I find it unsettling that the comet’s appearance has invoked such a response from them. It is reminisent of some medieval or even neanderthal reaction, the sort you’d expect from superstitious and uneducated peoples. It seems desperate. It has been an excuse for a massive meditation experience with suggestions that its appearance was fortold in a crop circle back in 2005. The comet is not visible to the naked eye at the moment but irnony of ironies, Salla has the following to say:

According to the physicist James McCanney, Comet Holmes is likely to experience another plasma discharge when it comes into alignment with the electromagnetic tails of the Earth and Mars on December 22.

So at Christmas, there will be a large bright light in the sky. Christ almighty.

The Exopolitical movement is in danger of attracting anthropologists and academics who study UFO religions, if, that is, it hasn’t happened already. But if I was Dr. Salla and some clown from some university rang me up and asked if he could come along to observe what I and my followers were up to, then that would be the moment I knew that what I believed in had turned into a joke.