Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Mystery as Scots couple capture spooky green figure on camera at Aberdeenshire home – Scottish Daily Record
Robbie Williams prefers UFO-spotting to ghouls - TruthDive
UFO Sightings Report: E.T. Hexagon Base on the Moon? – International Business Times AU
Dr. Greer Reseaches Possible ET Body
Paul Kurtz, UFO Debunker, Skeptic And Secular Humanist, Dies At 86 – International Business Times
Silent Black Triangle Over Colorado Might Be
Curiosity’s new bright, shiny object is actually Martian – CNET
UFO hacker Gary McKinnon was helped by MP Grant Shapps ‘behind the scenes’ – Welwyn Hatfield Times
The Truth is Down Here – Cornwall Community News
All Aboard, Starship Destined for Alpha Centauri!
Three related UFO sightings: 1946, 1952, 1964 – then what?
The Disturbing World Of Alien Abduction And Mind Control
When a UFO is not a UFO
Man Photographs 'UFO' Floating In The Clouds Moments Before Ten Dead Birds Land In Garden
UFO fest captures attention – San Antonio Express
Remote Controlled (RC) Alien ORB Is Dissected and Reviewed – SBWire
When It Comes To UFOs, Why Do Debunkers Do That Debunking Thing They Do?
By Thomas Visco
Pros: Accessible, engaging turn-based action. Open-ended gameplay allows for limitless play time.
Cons: This game is extremely difficult — newcomers to strategy games, be warned. Camera angles can be unwieldy at times.
A good video game makes your heart race. Graphics, sound and atmosphere all play a role in the excitement. But truly great games don’t excite you in a superficial way. Instead, they worry you, making you fret every decision in the game.
And no contemporary game makes you reconsider every decision like “XCOM: Enemy Unknown,” a new release developed by Firaxis Games.
Firaxis’ new game builds off the success of its spiritual predecessor, “UFO: Enemy Unknown,” which was developed by MicroProse and released in 1994. “UFO” is a classic in the turn-based strategy genre — a game that relies on a turn system for players to make their moves around the game world.
Today, “UFO” is universally regarded as one of the top 10 games of all time. One of the founding games of its genre, “UFO” succeeded as a turn-based tactics game because of its keen sense of risk and reward. This equation of risk and reward revolves around time units, a limited resource players use to move their squad around the game. Once a player runs out of time units, no more actions can be taken in the turn, and the squad is at the mercy of the opponent until the end of the turn. How many time units to save or spend — how much risk to take — is the central point of this game.
Like its predecessor, “XCOM: Enemy Unknown” capitalizes on this basic equation. “XCOM” centers its plot on a fictional alien invasion in the not-so-distant future. The player is cast as a nameless, faceless commander of a special operations group intent on defending Earth from extraterrestrial invaders. This group receives its funding from a council of 16 countries.
The game is separated into two parts — base management and missions. At the start of the game, the council of countries gives the player a basic base to manage. It is the player’s job to deal with alien encounters in such a way that the panic level in each of these countries does not pass a certain threshold. Failure to do so triggers panicking countries to withdraw funding. Panic level is just one of a host of issues to micromanage at the base.
While this backdrop isn’t especially compelling, players have never flocked to the turn-based tactics genre for the stories. What matters is the gameplay. Base management is not the selling point of this game, but the pleasant user interface and straightforward objectives it provides ensures that players’ main focus can be their missions.
Accordingly, the fun of “XCOM” takes place out on missions, not at the base. These missions operate on the turn system, the core game mechanic in “XCOM.” Each turn, you have the opportunity to move your squad around the map, fire their weapons at opponents, or use items to aid your squad.
What follows is a series of difficult decisions about which of these actions to take. Placing your team around the map foolishly will lead to a quick and deadly finale for your “XCOM” experience. But taking risks with your squad — say, exposing them to an opponent’s line of sight — may lead to a greater reward, such as luring the enemy into a trap. No matter what, after your turn is complete the computer opponent’s turn unfolds without any opportunity for you to rectify mistakes, so the game forces you to think deliberately about every decision.
And think you will. “XCOM” is nothing short of excruciatingly difficult, and the challenge forces players to learn constantly from past mistakes. While frustrating at times — particularly when your whole squad is wiped out due to a single error — the game is fair. Although you may lose often, it is always evident where your mistake was and how to fix it in later missions.
The turn-based tactical goodness of “XCOM” is a delightful reimagining of the classic “UFO.” The graphics and sound are stellar for a game in this genre, capturing the sci-fi setting of the game while not being too unbelievable. While it might be frustrating at times, the game keeps you coming back for its addictive risk-reward system. Overall, “XCOM” is an action-heavy jaunt through turn-based tactics and a definitive classic of the genre.
Flying saucers and other unidentified flying objects can distract pilots and cause accidents.
Between about 8 and 10 o'clock on the night of March 13, 1997, hundreds of people near Phoenix reported spotting mysterious clusters of lights in the sky. A number of witnesses said that many of them seemed to come from a brightly lit, V-shaped craft, the size of at least several football fields.
"It was astonishing, and a little frightening," one local resident said. School administrator Susan Watson still remembers watching with her children as the massive object she describes as a "floating" city passed silently over their home. Air National Guard spokesmen later suggested the witnesses may have seen military flares that were dropped that night, while some proposed that observers were confused by aircraft flying in formation. But these explanations left many unsatisfied, particularly one witness who, for a decade, was reluctant to acknowledge he had also seen the vehicle: Fife Symington III, Arizona's governor at the time.
"I'm a pilot, familiar with most aircraft," Symington now says, "and what I saw is nothing like I've had any knowledge of."
Thousands of unidentified flying objects are reported each year by the public. The fascination with UFOs has become a fixture of contemporary culture and a staple for science fiction writers and supermarket tabloids. But in response to the central question—are they alien spacecraft?—most officials and academics dismiss the idea of extraterrestrial visitations as unlikely in the extreme.
Yet an increasing number of researchers and public officials say the subject of UFOs is long overdue for more serious treatment. They're a "mystery that science needs to engage in," argues journalist Leslie Kean, who spent over a decade interviewing former military officers, government officials, scientists, and eyewitnesses while accessing previously classified government records for her 2010 book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record.
Generally, a UFO is defined as a phenomenon in the sky—be it a light, solid object, or a combination of these—whose true nature or source can't be determined. Those who study UFOs say that some 95 percent of sightings can later be explained as ordinary man-made objects or naturally occurring phenomena, from flares and military aircraft to weather oddities or reflections of the planet Venus. But that still leaves about 5 percent that seem to defy rational explanation.
"The bottom line is we don't know what they are," says Kean, a former broadcast radio producer and veteran investigative journalist who has contributed to publications like the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune, and The Nation.
The public's fascination with UFOs is a modern expression of an age-old enchantment with remarkable events in the skies, notes Albert Harrison, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California–Davis and author of the 2007 book Starstruck: Cosmic Visions in Science, Religion, and Folklore.
"Signs from the gods, omens, and portents have been replaced by space-age visitors that have remarkable god-like qualities and power," he says.
It wasn't until after World War II that interest in space-age visitors—and UFOs—really seemed to take off, and then it did so in a spectacular way. On June 24, 1947, salesman Kenneth Arnold was flying his private plane near Mount Rainier in Washington when he spotted a chain of nine, brightly lit objects moving at incredible speed near the mountain's peak. Arnold described each of them moving "like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water," ushering the phrase "flying saucer" into common parlance. As with many such sightings, various explanations were offered—a mirage or meteors, for example—but in the eyes of many people the mystery was never resolved.
Public interest in UFOs continued to grow in the 1950s and '60s as the idea of manned spaceflight to other worlds led many people to imagine what—or who—might be traveling the other way. As reports of UFOs proliferated, media coverage seemed to inspire even more reports. Concerned about potential threats to national security, the government began to investigate. Its most notable program, the Air Force's Project Blue Book, began in 1947 and involved the analysis of some 12,600 UFO reports over two decades, most of which were categorized as misidentified natural or man-made objects, such as weather balloons or high-speed aircraft. By the end of 1969, the Air Force declared that none posed a threat or involved an extraterrestrial vehicle. The project's leaders did acknowledge, however, that they could not come up with an explanation for about 700 of the incidents.
That margin of mystery continues to thrill diehard believers around the world, many of whom have organized into groups dedicated to studying UFOs and cataloguing and tracking sightings. The Mutual UFO Network, for example, boasts about 3,000 members in all 50 states and more than a dozen countries. MUFON receives about 500 reports of UFO sightings a month, and some 1,000 volunteers investigate what they see as the most credible ones by interviewing witnesses and collecting photos, radar data, and other evidence.
A big challenge for amateur and professional researchers is the large number of sensational reports that later prove to be hoaxes. In 2009, local television stations reported witness sightings of strange red lights moving through the evening sky around Morristown, N.J., on several days in January and February. As coverage spread nationally, the History Channel series UFO Hunters featured the story. In early April, however, two local men admitted they had created the floating lights by attaching flares to helium balloons, to poke fun at UFO investigators and to demonstrate how unreliable eyewitness accounts are. The mysterious crop circles that have for centuries inexplicably appeared in fields around the world are often held out by some UFO buffs as markings left by alien craft. But skeptics scoff, saying they could easily have been man-made. Such stories frustrate serious researchers. "It really gets hard to separate the wheat from the chaff," acknowledges Bruce Maccabee, a former U.S. Navy research physicist and MUFON state director.
In fact, many scientists and skeptics don't feel that systematically studying UFOs is a valuable endeavor.
"I just don't think the evidence is very good," says Seth Shostak, senior astronomer with the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, a research organization based in Mountain View, Calif.
But Kean is convinced that there are enough puzzling cases for officials to give the subject a fresh look. In 1999, she was given a report produced by a group of French military officers, scientists, engineers, and others examining a spate of seemingly unexplained UFO sightings across the world. She was struck by the credibility of the investigators, who concluded there was a need for more careful analysis of these "unknown flying machines" that appeared "guided by a natural or artificial intelligence." The report inspired her to review once-classified government documents and incident reports from several countries (including the United States) as well as relevant photos, radar data, and material from private sources. She also interviewed official UFO investigators for several foreign governments along with military and civilian pilots, some of whom offered firsthand accounts reported in her book.
"These are people that you have to take seriously," Kean says.
Former United Airlines pilot Neil Daniels was one witness who shared his story with Kean. On March 12, 1977, Daniels was piloting a DC-10 on a routine flight from San Francisco to Boston. The aircraft was operating on autopilot when it suddenly started to turn left. Looking through the cockpit window, he and several other members of the United crew saw a brilliantly lit ball, roughly the size of their own plane, about 1,000 yards away. Daniels then noticed three of his compasses were pointing in different directions. After a few minutes, the glowing ball flew off at high speed. "Whatever it was, it wasn't an airplane," said Daniels, who passed away in May at his home in Los Altos, Calif. Air traffic controllers later reported they had not noticed any unusual radar traffic in the area, and the incident wasn't investigated further.
Even when government officials do try to examine a UFO sighting, they can be stymied by elusive—or vanishing—evidence. In Kean's book, a pilot in the shah-era Iranian air force describes a UFO encounter that Kean also found referenced in U.S. intelligence files. On Sept. 18, 1976, civilians and military officials at an air base near Tehran spotted a large diamond-shaped object with pulsating colored lights flying over the city in the late evening. Two fighter planes, including one piloted by the major who recounted the event, were scrambled to intercept the craft, which was also picked up on radar and described as being about the size of a 707 tanker jet. The major reported that, as he approached, the UFO seemed to emit a projectile. Believing it was a missile, the officer tried to return fire, but his weapons wouldn't respond. Though he said the "missile" appeared to land on the ground below, no evidence of it was found. The larger craft disappeared from the sky in an instant. A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency review later that year called the incident "a classic which meets all the criteria necessary for a valid study of a UFO phenomenon."
Kean points out that countries like France and Chile maintain official government agencies to handle this kind of investigation, but the United States does not. The Federal Aviation Administration simply advises pilots to report any incidents to private UFO groups or to local authorities if they believe property or people are threatened. This official lack of interest is a concern, Kean says, because of the potential dangers posed by some incidents.
In one case, on Nov. 7, 2006, a dozen or so United Airlines workers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport spotted a gray metallic-looking disk apparently hovering for several minutes above an airport gate before shooting upward and vanishing, leaving a hole in the cloud cover. The witnesses, including mechanics, pilots, and supervisors, shared their accounts with the Chicago Tribune, which covered the story. The FAA suggested they had seen a "weather phenomenon" and didn't formally investigate, Kean says, despite the potential intrusion of an unknown craft in the airspace of one of the nation's busiest airports.
"The FAA's mission does not involve the investigation of UFOs," says agency spokesman Tony Molinaro, adding, "Our employees didn't see anything unusual and nothing caused any operational problems that day."
In fact, many experts are more concerned about the hazards these sightings pose to aviation than about the potential for alien involvement. When flight crews are distracted by what's going on "outside the window," they are focused on that and "not flying the airplane anymore," says Richard Haines, a former senior research scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center who is now chief scientist of the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena, a private research group focused on flight safety related to unidentified aerial phenomena. Kean agrees, particularly since pilots have reported encountering some of the more bizarre sights in the sky, including metallic disks, massive cigar-shaped craft, green spheres, and highly agile objects that seem to stop, accelerate, and turn in response to a pursuing pilot's maneuvers.
Haines believes only about 5 to 10 percent of incidents ever get reported, in part because professional pilots fear ridicule and potential damage to their careers.
"I really think we need to make it permissible to study these things without risking your reputation," says John Alexander, a retired U.S. Army colonel and author of the 2011 book UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities. As to the bigger issue of what actually is behind the largely unexplained incidents, or the possibility of extraterrestrial involvement, the debate is unlikely to be settled anytime soon.
Published on 21 Oct 2012 by MegaUfoChannel
"I captured this object at a park near my house in September of this year, it is very similar to what I record at the volcano Popocatepetl in Mexico."
By Jim Kane
There are many mysteries in the solar system, but one of the most enduring legends is that there is a UFO base on the moon. Could this be true?
Well, another bizarre video has popped up online, showing what some folks believe is a six-sided building right there on the surface of the moon. The video is pretty shocking. At first, the anomaly looks like just another boulder, but when the camera zooms in, it definitely takes the shape of a hexagonal structure.
What's really strange is that the structure slightly resembles the shape of the bizarre alien object discovered at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. You can view the approximately one-minute video here.
Ever since Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the moon, there have been all types of conspiracy theories about what does on up there. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin both reported seeing UFOs, but NASA may have instructed the two astronauts to keep their mouths shut.
Of course, the moon is the perfect staging site for a UFO invasion of earth, or to research the living habits of the human race.
By Chris Anderson
An unidentified flying object was reportedly seen in several areas of Pike County on Tuesday 16, but officials have no information as to what the object may have been.
An unidentified flying object, as photographed through a high-powered telescope, was reportedly seen in several areas of Pike County on Tuesday afternoon. Photo courtesy Allen Epling
Kentucky State Police Trooper Shaun Little told the News-Express that KSP Post 9 in Pikeville received five calls on Tuesday reporting the object in the sky. The object was visible from several areas, including the South Williamson area and Elkhorn City in Pike County, as well as Jenkins in Letcher County. It was also spotted and photographed in Virgie.
By Robbie Graham
Silver Screen Saucers
Disney's aborted 1950s UFO acclimation movie headed for the big screen?
Disney's aborted 1950s UFO acclimation movie headed for the big screen?
Earlier this year, Silver Screen Saucers asked: “Could it be that Disney is producing a dramatization of the flying saucer fever that swept America in 1952?” That question was prompted by the enigmatic title 1952 – a “top secret” Disney production quietly announced by the House of Mouse back in June of 2011. We were told that a script was being penned by Damon Lindelof (Prometheus, Cowboys and Aliens), and nothing more. We subsequently learned that Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles) had signed on to co-write and direct.
But yesterday (Oct. 17) saw some intriguing (and confusing) developments when Vulture reported the following:
Despite its title, 1952 is largely set in the present day.
Its plot will focus on aliens visiting Earth for the first time.
The film will also reportedly follow a man in his late 40s through this alien ordeal.
Lindelof and Bird are aiming to re-create the magic of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
1952 co-writer Damon Lindelof
Vulture also reported on the movie’s mysterious back-story, which goes like this: last spring, Disney’s head of production, Sean Bailey, arranged for screenwriter Lindelof to be given access to “one of the studio’s odder curiosities: a banker’s box of files and documents that had been left moldering in Walt Disney’s personal development lab, WED Enterprises, which later became the studio’s vaunted Imagineering department.”
According to Vulture’s “spies”, the box was originally labelled with the title of Disney’s 1965 comedy That Darn Cat!, which had been crossed out and in its place was written “1952.” Apparently, inside the box was a “collection of documents and primary source materials that, when looked at all together, indicated that someone had been working on a project (movie? Theme park ride?) about alien contact."
The identity of this “someone” from Disney’s bygone era working on a project about alien contact has not been specified. As it turns out, though, we may already know... the name “Ward Kimball” springs to mind.
While at a MUFON symposium in 1979, Oscar-winning Disney animator and Imagineer Ward Kimball (the man behind Jiminy Cricket, The Mad Hatter and Pinocchio) claimed that the United States Air Force (USAF) had approached Walt Disney himself during the 1950s to request his cooperation on a documentary about UFOs that would help acclimate the American public to the reality of extraterrestrials. According to Kimball, in exchange for Disney’s cooperation, the USAF offered to furnish the production with genuine UFO footage. Kimball claimed that Disney accepted the deal and – ever faithful to Uncle Sam – began work immediately on the USAF project. It wasn’t long, however, before the USAF reneged on its offer of UFO footage. When Kimball challenged the USAF Colonel overseeing the project he was told that "there was indeed plenty of UFO footage, but that neither Kimball, nor anyone else was going to get access to it." The project was then abandoned and eventually forgotten by all but the few who had worked on it.
Walt Disney's most trusted animators - his "nine old men" - included Ward Kimball
(pictured far left, front).
(pictured far left, front).
So, could Disney’s mysterious 1952 be a 21 Century revival of its aborted 1950s UFO acclimation project? Based on the information thus far presented, there would certainly appear to be a connection... but hold on there, because here’s where it gets confusing...
Within hours of publishing his inside scoop on 1952, Vulture’s Claude Brodesser-Akner posted the following correction to his report:
“Apparently I misunderstood my source for this story, who contacted me after it was posted to clarify that while it is true that 1952 is very much in the spirit of Close Encounters (and centers around a Roy Neary-like protagonist), it is not in fact about an alien encounter. My apologies for the erroneous plot description.”
Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) making first contact in
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Hmmm. So when the unnamed source told Vulture: “It will be set largely in the present day and it is about aliens making contact here on Earth,” and that the aborted Disney project that inspired it was “about alien contact,” apparently this was just a miscommunication. And yet it is just like Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Hmmm. Could it be that Vulture’s source (almost certainly an official viral ‘leaker’ for Disney) spilled one too many beans in his revelation of the movie’s alien aspect, has been reprimanded by the studio and has subsequently issued a rather implausible “correction”?
It’s hard to say for sure, but given the past UFO-themed credits of screenwriter Damon Lindelof, and in light of Disney’s longstanding fascination with the UFO enigma – not to mention the strong UFO-related connotations of the 1952 title – my money is still firmly on this movie being about aliens.
In terms of the movie’s marketing, Vulture also reported the following:
“The collaborators are planning an elaborate, very J.J. Abrams–like advanced marketing campaign that will start before filming even begins. The idea is to stage a treasure hunt for intrigued moviegoers that will gradually reveal clues about and build intrigue for the film right up until its release, and which may or may not be related to the contents of the box.”
Perhaps, then, the “box” is just a viral marketing device vaguely inspired by Kimball’s story? Or perhaps it is, as the source originally stated, a real box with real photos and documentation that have directly inspired a new and highly secretive Disney project? Perhaps the box is a remnant of the aborted Disney UFO documentary?
Indulging the latter assumption for a moment – that this new movie will feature real photos and/or footage of UFOs and perhaps even their occupants – what would be the point? If presented in a fictional context (as apparently it would be), said material would immediately be fictionalized by way of its presentation in a “science-fiction” movie. Also, in today’s world of photorealistic CGI and Performance Capture technologies, debates surrounding “real” and “faked” footage would be very difficult to resolve. We could be looking at genuine alien landing footage from any time during the modern UFO era and automatically assume it to be CGI.
So again I’ll say, “hmmm.” Intriguing stuff, for sure, but until Disney hits us with more info on 1952, I’ll quit with the speculation. Watch this space...
1952 is scheduled for release in 2013.