Posts Tagged ‘extraterrestrial’
Exposing PseudoAstronomy is a podcast hosted by Stuart Robbins. (Stuart is a postdoctoral researcher in astronomy whose focus is on planetary geophysics). I highly recommend it. He just posted the latest episode:
It’s not hard to believe there will be other parts. Here’s the blurb on the podcast episode page:
The purpose of this episode is to provide a background into how Sereda went from a UFOlogist to a more generic new-ager with a few specific claims of his own. I then go into two of his main claims (of MANY that I’ll go more into next time) and wrap up with when giving your professional background becomes an argument from authority logical fallacy. Actually, almost everything that Sereda says is a “Name that Logical Fallacy” exercise.
This episode “required” me listening to approximately 40 hours of Coast to Coast AM. I took nearly 10,000 words of notes. I think I may take up drinking …
Wow – that’s a lot of effort to put into a podcast series. I’ve long felt the same way about Sereda’s ideas, having read enough new age cosmology and metaphysics to see that David’s physics are hard to distinguish from that stuff (which is inherently religious). But since I lack a background in the hard sciences, I’m dependent on folks like Stuart who care enough to spend serious time hearing Sereda out (among others) and subjecting their thinking to relevant scientific data. I’m guessing lots of readers out there are like me in that regard.
The Templeton foundation has awarded $200,000 to astronomer Geoff Marcy (UC-Berkeley) to see if he can detect alien spacecraft passing in front of distant stars. Before you laugh, Marcy is easily the most famous astronomer among those detecting extra-solar planets. He’s credited with discovering nearly 3/4 of the 100 or so found so far.
I really have to learn how to apply for grants.
I saw this article today which I know will be of interest to everyone except those who still give Steven Greer the time of day: “Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery.” The short article is worth reading. The best part is the absolute confirmation, via DNA (including mitochondrial DNA), that the Atacama “alien” is human.
That’s right: human.
The only mystery is why the human corpse (a female) is so small, as scientific analysis is pointing to an age of 6 to 8 years old at death. If that analysis is correct, the corpse would of course not be a fetus as I suggested earlier. Given the anomalous nature of the specimen, I’m actually not quite ready to abandon the fetus view, but only because the anomalous nature might involve tampering with the specimen to produce anomalous results. That speculation is mine, and it is only a speculation. Unfortunately, as I have blogged at other times, citing other websites, Greer has a track record in in this sort of thing. Did he know *know* the specimen was anomalous, but human, and then milk the public for money after casting the specimen as proof of an extraterrestrial presence? If he didn’t know it was human, then that doesn’t say a lot for his research or ability to vet the project of inept researchers. So it’s either deception or incompetence.
More analysis should get to the bottom (presuming anyone in the real science community will care enough to spend the time and money on this boondoggle).
Some excerpts from the article (emphasis mine):
“While the jury is out regarding the mutations that cause the deformity, and there is a real discrepancy in how we account for the apparent age of the bones … every nucleotide I’ve been able to look at is human,” researcher Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford School of Medicine, told LiveScience. “I’ve only scratched the surface in the analysis. But there is nothing that jumps out so far as to scream ‘nonhuman.’”
Nolan and his colleagues analyzed the specimen in the fall of 2012 with high-resolution photography, X-rays and computed tomography scans, as well as DNA sequencing. The researchers wanted to find out whether some rare disorder could explain the anomalous skeleton — for instance it had just 10 ribs as opposed to 12 in a healthy human — the age the organism died, as its size suggested a preterm fetus, stillborn or a deformed child, and whether it was human or perhaps a South American nonhuman primate.
Yesterday I blogged about the upcoming Citizen’s Hearing for Disclosure. Trust me when I say I’m hoping something substantive comes of it. Stephen Bassett has assembled a lot of people I’d consider credible (but I wouldn’t say that about everyone on the witness list).
Also fast approaching (April 22) is the Sirius world premier that is the centerpiece of Steven Greer’s “Sirius Disclosure” project. Greer is a high profile researcher. He’s controversial even within the ufological camp.1 I tend to appreciate his efforts to garner witnesses and documentation, but to not trust him when it comes to his claims of psychic contact with ET and alien artifacts. The most current item in the latter category is his touting of the “Atacama Alien” pictured below.
This “discovery” is not new; it’s actually a few years old. The specimen has also been examined by several specialists. No word on whether any of them will be featured in Greer’s film, though I wouldn’t expect that given the conclusions drawn prior to this world premier. Here’s an excerpt from the report linked above:
“The second transcribed document is a forensic medical report written by Dr. Francisco Etxeberria Gabilondo, a professor of Legal and Forensic Medicine in the Basque Country University, and specialist in Forensic Anthropology with the Complutense University, who wrote the study at the bequest of the IIEE (probably for a fee, although that is not mentioned). Dr. Etxeberria wrote that, “it’s a mummified body with all typical the characteristics of a fetus. The body has a length of 14 cm and displays all the structures and anatomical links normal for the head, trunk and extremities. . . .
Taken as a whole, the proportions of the anatomical structures (skeleton and softer parts), the level of development of each one of its bones and its macroscopic configuration, allow us to interpret it without any shadow of doubt as a completely normal mummified fetus … Both based on the total length of the body as well as the length of the bones, it can be estimated that it’s a fetus in an approximate gestation period close to 15 weeks.”
This of course isn’t exciting enough for a world premier, so don’t expect to hear anything about it in the movie. The whole thing reminds me a bit of the bogus “nephilim skulls” that are out there. I blogged about that over on my PaleoBabble site many moons ago, complete with a picture from a medical supply catalog of these “amazing” skulls – the medical supply company has several models so their medical students can learn about human cranial deformities (which is good, so they don’t have to rob the Smithsonian of one of their hidden specimens from the late 1800s). Sad to say, I’ve seen these models at Christian conferences to promote various nuggets of nephilim nonsense (I normally hate alliteration, but I’ll let that one pass – truth be told, I was tempted to add “nattering nabobs” to that from the Aladdin movie).
It also reminds me of a book I’ve read . . . that had unscrupulous people using doctored human fetuses to create alien remains. . . . Oh yeah, that was my novel, The Facade. Funny.
Of course there will be those who think that because the specimen has a skeleton that it must be alien. To all you Einsteins out there on that point – a human fetus has a skeleton, too. All 206 bones of the human being are present by the end of the fifth week. (Please note that the 5th week would fall before the 15th week noted in the quotation above).
This whole world premier thing illustrates the poor thinking of many who want desperately to have aliens explain everything in world history and our origins (i.e., who want that as a religion). Just Google it. Or better yet, look at the name of Greer’s project: “Sirius Disclosure”. The title plays off Robert Temple’s iconic but demonstrably bogus “Sirius Mystery.” Think about it. Let’s say this six-inch specimen isn’t human — how the Zeta do we know it’s from Sirius? Because that’s a narrative Greer likes – it “connects” (in a non sequitur sense) to cool things like ancient Egypt (Temple had the image of Akhenaten on the cover of his Sirius Mystery book – we all know he was an ET, despite what the recent DNA research on the mummies in his lineage says).2
So where does this leave us? Well, if you’re like me who’d like to see serious people do serious thinking about a subject as serious as whether we’re alone in the universe, you’re embarrassed by this latest stunt (by the way, that sound rhyming on “Sirius” is called assonance – oh, crud, I ruined the aural subliminal). You all know that, if there are such things, I’m on the side of the public having a right to know (i.e., at least confirm the idea if it’s real – I do allow for legitimate national security issues). Stuff like this generates cash and sets tongues to wagging, but doesn’t really help credibility.
The indefatigable Stephen Bassett has come up with a new, creative idea to keep nudging American officialdom to disclosing its UFO secrets: a citizen hearing at the National Press Club, at which four former federal lawmakers will hear an anticipated 30 hours of UFO- and ET-related testimony from researchers, military personnel and witnesses.
It’s a pretty good idea in my view – really, a natural extension of what Steve’s devoted his life to for many years. Hopefully it will produce something one could call a positive result.
However, these sorts of things always make me wonder what I think is an obvious consideration. What if this event or some other effort *did* compel a confession or disclosure — and the answer was basically “We really don’t have any hard evidence of ET life; we just didn’t want the public to know we had no answers all these years”? Would anyone who desperately wants disclosure today believe them? Granted, I think there’s a little more to the issue than this hypothetical answer, and don’t imagine the government would tell the public lots of things they ought to, but the problem is potentially real: If the authorities really tell you what they can, holding nothing back, and their answer isn’t the one you wanted, then what?
According to the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure website, the event will occur April 29 through May 3 and “will be filmed as the basis for a forthcoming documentary-Truth Embargo - by Just Cause Entertainment.” The former federal lawmakers participating are:
The entire hearing “will be live streamed worldwide in English, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese and Mandarin (archive only).”
Witnesses are listed on the hearing website under the appropriate tab.