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19 December 2017


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"Maybe we should be cautious." Does it even matter whether they are hostile or not? The effects can be just as drastic from "friendly" interaction with technology significantly more advanced than ours. Or life forms significantly different.

Patrick D

These stories remind me of degrasse Tyson's observations about chimps vs. humans and extrapolating that to humans vs. intelligent alien life.

We'll make great pets.



You say "Some of you think the Europeans sold the Indians blankets infected with smallpox."
Wondering if you have read Jack London's South Sea Tales, specifically "YAH!YAH!YAH!"
here's a free copy



So, Jack London is a fountain of truth for you? I thought he was a left wing polemicist? How about Joseph Conrad? Not so much? pl


There's an old saying : Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. There are also many natural electromagnetic phenomenon that are not yet fully understood.

If there are visitors here, their DNA will give them away. In the next decade or so you will get a routine DNA scan as part of a checkup when you go to the doctor like you get blood work done today. It will identify cancers, diseases, and metabolic imbalances. That technology will eventually sequence every living thing on this planet. Sooner or later "something different" will show up in the resulting databases if it exists.

I wouldn't bet on it though.


I have enjoyed both London and Conrad.
My favorite Conrad tale is "The Secret Agent".
free copy here:
I once read the entire Sherlock Holmes stories while trying to navigate through the Tuamotus in a huge storm that made sextant sights impossible/very difficult. Whenever the sun was visible I would jump up on deck and attempt a sight. The French charts call it "Archipel Dangereuse" and for good reason, big steel rusting hulls on every atoll, and they had radar and loran. Nowadays it's all gps.


When I lived in Moscow there was a talk by a cosmonaut, he said he had seen all sorts of weird and wonderful things when he was in space. On his return to earth he mentioned this to the Soviet authorities, he was firmly told not to speak of such things.

Of course the whole UFO thing coincided with the introduction of the U2 spy plane, indeed the CIA’s internal history of the U-2 project claims that the high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft accounted for more than half of UFO sightings in the 1950s and 60s. Of course this was something that didn't go unnoticed by the Soviets. At a meeting between Soviet and US meteorologists in May 1975, a Soviet delegate said that he and his colleagues were not receiving reports of UFO sightings any more and that the cessation must have been due to someone making ‘a political decision’. Those familiar with the sardonic nature of Russian humour will recognise that this was a rather pointed remark. The F117 was invented in the 70s, so God knows where they are now technologically.

Of course the whole UFO fad could never sustain itself after the invention of the phone camera, or perhaps the aliens had reached the limit as to what anal probing could tell them?


The Air Force pilot who was one of the observers of the thing feels strongly that it was a mechanical flying craft that broke every spec he's aware of. This coming from an expert, drug-tested, military pilot. I don't think you can just dismiss the opinion.


Well, now here we come to a subject I used to be extremely knowledgeable about: UFOs.

I got interested in this subject way back in the 1960's while I was in Vietnam. I had read a number of articles in men's mags by a journalist named John A. Keel, who operated out of New York. His articles basically argued that UFOs had nothing to do with "aliens" but were likely some other sort of paranormal phenomena because the phenomena was not only "lights in the sky" but all sorts of paranormal phenomena occurring in places where UFOs were frequently seen.

I corresponded with Keel and eventually met him on my way back from Vietnam on leave to my home state of Connecticut. Keel was a very smart, rational guy who had a long time interest in strange stuff. He had seen a UFO over the Aswan Dam in Egypt while in the military himself. He subsequently traveled the world investigating odd subjects such as fake mummy forgers in Egypt and tracked a Yeti in the Himalayas and wrote a book about his adventures called Jadoo. Due to his vast geographical knowledge, he was a geography editor for an encyclopedia. He also ran a syndicated column for the North American Newspaper Alliance.

I hung out with Keel several times in the early '70's after leaving the Army. He eventually wrote several books on UFOs and the related phenomena he discovered occurred in areas where UFO sightings were frequent.

His most famous book was "The Mothman Prophecies" which described his investigation into a series of events in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, back in the '60's which involved some sort of giant flying monster which was eventually coined "Mothman" which chased some teenagers. I actually visited Point Pleasant while on leave once and talked to many of the same people described in his book - all of whom confirmed his accounts of the events - which was why I wanted to visit the sources themselves, to be sure he wasn't making this stuff up himself.

The book was eventually made into a movie starring Richard Gere which came out in 2002. It is a particularly creepy movie which I recommend viewing because it captures the sort of things that Keel had discovered during his investigations.

Keel was a very level-headed journalist who used standard investigative journalist techniques in his investigators. He always sought the most logical explanation for what were very complicated and illogical events. He didn't think much of most of the "UFO buffs" who were the only ones investigating UFOs at the time. Despite that, he eventually ended up being the most influential person investigating UFOs, although there were others who also thought the alien explanation was weak. His theories as to what *might* be happening caused a lot of people to second-guess the alien theory.

John died in 2009. Even though he was influential for years in questioning the alien origin of UFOs, pretty much the whole subject still remains mired in aliens.

Check out his Wikipedia entry:

John Keel

I also just discovered this Web site which appears to reproduce a lot of information from Keel - cases from the 1960's - as well as including a more complete concise biography. The site is run by Doug Skinner, a friend of John’s for many years.


My own hypothesis is the phenomena is actually an intelligent species which originated on this planet perhaps hundreds of thousands of years ago, developed science and technology to the level of ubiquitous nanotechnology and subsequently, as predicted by K. Eric Drexler's nanotechnology book, jumped a million years ahead in technology in comparison to where we are now.

I think this theory is as good as any other because 1) we know there were many different protohumans prior to humans developing, so why is it unlikely that another protohuman species developed intelligence before we did? and 2) because we know that ubiquitous nanotechnology is likely to result in exponential gains in science and technology as Drexler and Ray Kurzweil predict leading to an "intelligence singularity" (defined as a point where subsequent science and technology capabilities cannot be understood by anyone preceding that point.)

This theory also avoids problems with explaining how aliens could overcome the light speed barrier that theoretically prevents interstellar travel. It also avoids the more complicated theories some people have come up with involving alternate universe, parallel dimensions and all that sort of sci-fi stuff that no one actually understands.

Of course, one can also believe it's all just hallucinations or some other natural phenomena. One theory that I actually give some credence to is the geomagnetic theory of Michael Persinger. See his Wikipedia entry:

Michael Persinger

He at least has some actual experimental data to base his theory on, although his theories are disputed.

I'm glad I'm no longer following this subject because it was a frustrating thing to be involved in and subjects one to ridicule for even bringing it up, despite the fact that almost half of the US population believes in UFOs. At least I was familiar with the actual evidence whereas for most people it is an article of faith.

Sylvia 1

I know this is about UFO's--but i was interested in the basis for your description of London as a "left wing polemicist". If so, he appears to have been a very confused one. Although London described himself as a "socialist" he also pointed to Nietzsche as having the greatest impact on his thinking. Nietzsche subscribed to a Master/Slave morality along with the concept of an ideal “Superman”, which would seem to best describe "selfish individualism". Further, London exhibited an almost "Objectivist" orientation in his attraction to the ideas of "Social Darwinism". These ideas would seem diametrically opposed to the equity-oriented tenets of "socialism". I suppose London is best described as hypocritical--not at all unusual for most "socialists" of his time or ours. He died in 1916.


I was commenting in the other thread. I have no idea what to think. I can’t even keep up with which side is lying about what with mundane political issues sometimes.

I do think we, meaning humans in general, may overestimate ourselves. A lot of modern physicists seem to think we are on the verge of having a basic understanding of all the fundamental forces of nature. I wonder what our views would look like to some species where Einstein would be considered dull witted, let alone one where we just look like smart house pets. My wife and I used to have a cat ( since died) who thought we needed discipline. I was reading the newspaper while stretched on the floor — pre IPad days for me— and the cat came up and lay down on the story I was reading. I moved her and she gave me two very fast slaps ( claws sheathed) across the face. Clearly in her mind the paper was for lying on and I had been very rude. I wonder if there are ideas that alien species have that are as far beyond us as reading is beyond a cat. On the other hand, given what appears in newspapers maybe the cats are right and I need a different analogy.


Maybe we already are.



At one point in my youth I was interested in "manly" writers, London, Hemingway, etc. I read all of London's oeuvre when I was in high school. I don't find anything odd in a socialist activist motivated by Nietzsche. Such people generally think they are or should be in charge as master so that they can enforce their view of justice on the slaves. pl



Navy, not Air Force. pl


IT was the North Korean or Iranians...lol

Fellow Traveler

"THEY are now closing in on us."


Wondering if you've enjoyed China's sci-fi classic, Liu Cixin's Dark Forest trilogy.


I would not bet on that.



Captain Segura, the Red Vulture in G. Greene's "Our Man in Havana" told the Brit spy that he was "not of the torturable class." As you imply, some of us are not of the domesticatable class. pl



This NPR piece has a better presentation of the electronics system in the FA-18. The aircraft is in a 20 degree left bank following the object as it goes around an arc. The footage was cleared for release by DoD. Maybe this reflects a change of policy in the DJT Administration. This is said to be one of three of this incident. It looks to me at the end that the object is making a turn into the path of the fighter. I can hardly wait to see what happened next. pl


In the Middle Ages, it was standard practice to throw infected carcasses, waste products and contaminated clothing into besieged cities, in Europe. Even in ancient times in the Mesopotamia, it is documented that the Assyrians used hallucinogenic mushrooms , with unknown efficacy, against their enemies.
Should be presume that invading European colonists, In North-America, were more merciful, to alien Native Americans then their own kindred spirits back in the continent?

In a sense, you are right to point out that the epidemic spread of contagious diseases and dissemination of Native American population in Middle- and South America was a byproduct of the European invasion there.
However in North America, it is documented that, specifically smallpox, was introduced for the first time as an agent of biological warfare in North America, by the English. The
British forces, led by Lord Jeffrey Amherst, deliberately used smallpox as a bio-weapon against rebelling Native Americans, during one of the French Indian American wars, in Western Pennsylvania, in 1763.

In other words, it is documented that the leftist Jack London was correct in his assessment.



Yes, the perfidious English did things like that. So what. You people are easy to provoke. And, London was a leftist, likee you. pl

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

Why no we'll have vpontact with something reventually if we last long enough

Babak Makkinejad

"Jadoo", "Jadou" - from Persian, "sorcery".

Babak Makkinejad

Physicists are wrong.
They cannot even explain why water boils at 100 Celsius scale under STP conditions.

Babak Makkinejad

He killed himself.

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