Wednesday, 4 July 2012

'Invisible' UFO Sightings in Laredo, TX Get a Closer Look (Video)

Has Laredo, Texas replaced Roswell, New Mexico as UFO central? According to the organizers of an annual conference in that fabled town, Laredo may hold the key to the future of unidentified flying object sightings.

A group of intrepid hunters, known as the Laredo Paranormal Research Society (LPRS), has been collecting video proof for several years that the town is the new hotbed, and their claim to newfound fame is an entirely new classification of sighting: the "invisible" or infrared anomaly.

With the advanced cameras and imaging tools which affordable technology puts in the hands of amateur skywatchers, it's becoming obvious that a new kind of UFO is flying through the skies, one that has never been detected before, simply because they're not visible to the naked eye.

After traveling to Roswell last week for the annual conference, LPRS has now released previously unseen footage to media outlets documenting these strange craft, usually detected only at night.

The local TV station in Laredo put together this report, and now the findings are out in the open and available to the general public. Looks like there will be a surge in night vision video cameras. Stay tuned... Here's the video:

Science, UFOs and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Video)

Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, recently wrote in a The Huffington Post blog that UFOs are "a phenomenon worthy of attention," and I agree. SETI is in the business of searching for signals from intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations, and although Shostak's story continued to highlight some of the wild email correspondence he receives from people convinced that ET is already visiting us, SETI was once viewed as fringe itself. However, devoted scientists worked hard to make their case and in the process have gathered other scientists from multiple disciplines to join in the discussion and research topics related to SETI. Now their work is accepted by the mainstream, so much so that it seems hardly a week goes by without some major media outlet writing about what SETI is up to lately.
I think this is a great model for what needs to happen in the UFO research community, so I am working to make that happen. Just like the brilliant, forward-thinking scientists that helped develop the field of scientific study we now refer to as SETI, there are brilliant, forward-thinking scientists from multiple disciplines who are interested in looking deeper into the UFO mystery. I am gathering some of these academics and members of the mainstream media to take a serious hard look at the phenomena in relation to other space mysteries. This event is called the Cosmic Exploration Conference: Science, UFOs and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life and is being held in Las Vegas in October. I have also launched a Kickstarter project to seek funding to video tape the lectures and post them on YouTube.
The conference includes speakers in the field of astronomy and aerospace to talk about the state of the search for life on other planets, including the current boom in the discovery of planets outside of our solar system possibly capable of harboring life. There will also be professors of psychology, sociology and theology who are experts in examining the effects on society should we find evidence of life on another planet, whether that be microbial or an advanced civilization.
Members of the mainstream media who have taken a serious look at these topics and retired military officers that can speak to how governments have or have not reacted to these topics will also be on hand. This includes retired Major General Wilfried De Brouwer, who, while in the Belgian Air Force, was in charge of the investigation of multiple sightings of strange triangular craft throughout the 1990s.

The Huffington Post blogger Lee Speigel will also be presenting on hearings held at the United Nations in the 1970s on UFOs. Speigel created an audio visual presentation for the U.N. delegates as part of an initiative championed by Sir Eric Gairy of Grenada that resulted in the passing of an official U.N. UFO decision.
Recently U.S News and World Report released a special issue titled "The Mysteries of Space," which among the topics of solar storms and the arms race in space, included a serious look at the UFO phenomenon. I think this is another example that mainstream science and media are ready and willing to pay attention to a sober examination of the UFO question. Famous theoretical physicist Michio Kaku put it well in an ABC special on UFOs when he said, "90 percent of the UFO sightings are probably misidentified and prosaic, however, the other 10 percent beckons further exploration and serious attention from the scientific community, so let their investigations begin."

Link to the Conference Exploration Conference

Link to the Conference Kickstarter project

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Extraterrestrial life could be on the moons of Mars

The moons of Mars could provide evidence of life on the red planet. That’s according to Purdue University professor Dr. Jay Melosh.

A press release published on June 28 details Melosh’s theory that “a mission to a Martian moon could return with alien life.” He explains that, if life ever existed on Mars, or even if it exists today, the moons of Mars would almost certainly contain Martian material delivered by debris from large asteroid impacts. And as explains, of the two Martian moons, Phobos is especially likely to contain these Martian particles.

The orbits of Martian moons and the spread of potential particle trajectories from an asteroid impact on Mars. (Credit: Purdue University/Loic Chappaz)

Melosh led a team chosen by NASA’s Planetary Protection Office to determine if samples from Phobos contain enough recent material from Mars to include “viable Martian organisms.” Team member Loic Chappaz expounded, “It is estimated that during the past 10 million years there have been at least four large impact events powerful enough to launch material into space, and we focused on several large craters as possible points of origin. It turns out that no matter where Phobos is in its orbit, it would have captured material from these powerful impact events.”
The researchers concluded that:
A 200-gram sample scooped from the surface of Phobos could contain, on average, about one-tenth of a milligram of Mars surface material launched in the past 10 million years and 50 billion individual particles from Mars. The same sample could contain as much as 50 milligrams of Mars surface material from the past 3.5 billion years.
Special attention is paid to time frames, because, as team member Professor Kathleen Howell explains, “It is thought that after 10 million years of exposure to the high levels of radiation on Phobos, any biologically active material would be destroyed.” Howell added, “Even if we found no evidence of life in a sample from Phobos, it would not be a definitive answer to the question of whether or not there was life on Mars. There still may have been life that existed too long ago for us to detect it.”
As NASA reformulates its Mars Exploration Program, a future mission to Phobos is a possibility.
The team’s findings were presented at a joint NASA-European Space Agency meeting in Austria.

Travis Walton reveals new theory on Fire in the Sky Abduction (Video)

One of the most prolific abduction cases in the history of ufology, which happened more than 35 years ago, was that of Travis Walton. His disappearance caused a whirlwind of news reports, controversy, and skepticism.

Travis Walton (Credit: Open Minds/Peter Beste)

For his entire adult life, Walton has been carrying this emotional burden and the telling of his story has been, for the most part, a solo journey. Recently, at the 2012 International UFO Congress, two eye witnesses, John Goulette and Steve Pierce, came forward to speak with Walton about the incident. Hearing their stories has educated Walton about what Goulette and Pierce experienced during his abduction, and since then he has also connected with others who have shared similar stories. Making these connections and his own process of maturity has allowed Walton to reexamine his beliefs surrounding the incident.
Recently Walton sat down with Open Minds and during the interview it was apparent he had a certain newfound confidence. Whether it is the result of Walton being joined by his fellow workmen and sharing their stories, or just through the maturity process, it is evident that Walton has become much more comfortable in his own skin.
One can only speculate how someone is personally affected after an experience like this. The truth as to why this happened to Walton will probably never be known for sure. But he continues to press on and uses his new conviction surrounding the incident to broaden his philosophy on life and society.

Poll Position: UFOs and the Enigma of Public Opinion

Do you believe in UFOs? If so, how certain are you that they are extraterrestrial? Such questions seem to remain almost invariably on people’s minds these days, and thus, it’s no surprise that according to results from a new survey released by National Geographic, close to one-third of all Americans are said to believe in the existence of UFOs, numbering close to 80 Million advocates in the U.S. alone.
The latest survey was released in conjunction with NatGeo’s new program Chasing UFOs, which follows the exploits of ufologists James, Ben and Ryder as they travel around parts of the world studying reports of alien abductions, UFO sightings and crashes, and a host of other unique reports and encounters. While it’s convenient to time the release of such survey data in conjunction with the launch of a new series such as this, the data displayed here is actually nothing new. If anything, it only shows how consistently the UFO mystery has remained a part of our culture… and perhaps a few other things too.

According to a variety of polls taken over the years, belief in unidentified flying objects and questions related to their existence have consistently ranked high among items of public interest and opinion. For instance, a survey taken in 1977 found that while 92 percent of those polled knew who U.S. President Gerald Ford was following his term in office, a poll administered four years earlier had found that a slightly higher percentage (95 percent, to be exact) of those questioned were aware of the concept underlying UFOs. Trends over the years have also shown favor toward growth in the idea that UFOs represent some variety of technology being employed by aliens from outer space.
Polls also seem to indicate widespread belief in the fact that world governments are working to keep aspects of the greater UFO mystery under wraps. In 1996, a Gallup poll found a 71 percent majority among U.S. citizens reporting belief in government coverups pertaining to UFO sightings; a nearly identical figure was obtained by the Sci Fi Channel in 2002, who administered a Roper poll about UFOs. Altogether, while the new NatGeo survey shows only one in three Americans favoring “belief,” the general idea remains the same: large numbers of people over the last several decades have been maintaining awareness in the cultural staple that has become known as the UFO… whatever these objects may actually represent.
But I would argue that, while results from such surveys do indeed show a level of awareness among the general populace regarding UFOs, what they also tend to show are the cultural biases that exist toward the phenomenon. Indeed, while the program Chasing UFOs (which, months ago, one of its producers described to me as being a program that sought to “pick up where Project Blue Book left off”) does indeed look as if it addresses UFOs in a thorough and rigorous way, it is nonetheless also becoming evident that the extraterrestrial meme is being portrayed heavily here right from the outset. But would this be a problem, per se?

The issue here is that while UFOs may be extraterrestrial, if we attach ourselves to such a presumption, then we are left with the burden of having to find proof for such claims; and despite the apparent presence of what we might call “aliens” with some UFO reports, we really have no proof that the UFO phenomenon is in any way extraterrestrial. Sure, it might look that way, but despite the shady claims of covert inside sources who argue they’ve had access to “proof,” it remains something we still haven’t managed to lay our hands on.
Even in the event that UFOs represented a variety of non-human intelligence, there still might be other potentials that we should consider, and which in truth, might even better represent the unknown quantities this phenomenon presents before us. Among these other potential explanations for UFOs, we must consider the possibility that careful misdirection could be at work here; or what about the possibility (however remote, of course) that an indigenous terrestrial civilization could somehow exist? What about time travelers from our future, or even visitors from alternate dimensional states right alongside ours, which have managed to harness methods for crossing the barriers of space and time from other realities?
There are indeed an entire host of potentials here, and while they are indeed given, at times, their due and proper, we see that the extraterrestrial meme clearly and consistently remains the darling in the eye of the mainstream. In other words, whether it be due to the romanticism associated with alien contact, or the sheer prevalence of this explanation being ingrained within the public perception, it seems we’ve become far too married to the ET explanation for UFOs… and despite there being very little in the way conclusive proof for the idea.