The unidentified things in the sky phenomena is like a very bright spotlight. What is being illuminated is human nature via humanity’s reaction to that spot light. That is, we know nothing about the source of the light. We can measure the light in a few ways but never (that I know of) have we grabbed and held the source of this light. So we know it is a light but nothing more….and yet our reaction covers the spectrum of human emotion. Fear mostly. I think the derisive disbelief and ridicule directed at people reporting sightings is fear driven. I’d rather believe that you are crazy than that some alien is watching me like I might watch a microbe. People who don’t fear an alien invasion but rather welcome it tend to OD on spiked cool-aid. This illumination of humanity’s fears and hopes isn’t solely recent. Sightings like those of our “UFO era” have been common for thousands of years. Emotional reaction forms memory, then with much bias, history. Religion must have incorporated sightings….visions? The event in the very Catholic Portugal of 1917 at Fatima impressed Rome with thousands of witnesses to a light show in the sky. In Latin America there were sightings of the Virgen Mary after the natives had been “helped” to convert. Mexico has always been a hot bed of sightings. They saw the “spotlight” and assigned a meaning to it. Before it was the Serpent Deity in his chariot crossing the sky….after the priests did their work its the Holy Virgen, Later, after a thousand movies about aliens….ta da….its aliens. It is something unknown, that spot light, that large tic-tac, it doesn’t turn into something known and specific just because its difficult for us to hold an empty file. There is a saying, if you eliminate the impossible what you are left with must be the explanation….but, remember it is your limited set of possibilities you choose from, and we know, very very little of what there is to know about, even just Earth…..The rest of the universe?? Our knowledge is a single grain of sand on an infinite beach made from an infinite collection of grains. So, to have our knowledge of what is possible be the complete menu?, a non starter. Emotion overcomes mind. Not knowing “what it is” isn’t neutral, its scary. I doubt there is a comfortable take on this, “not knowing”. Someone suggested we do more to search. Hunt the answers, they said. “How,” I ask?, “where would you look?” But the phenom has its own itinerary. If I could just make some UAP lure….set it out in the field, set up the camera, Camp outside waiting. I’d want to be ready with some product endorsements, like the tic-tac thing. Lots of doughnut shaped craft all swarming above a donut shop. Maybe not…I think I’ll table the UFO lure. Instead I want a video camera pointing at the zenith (straight up). The picture would be the sky thru a fish eye lens. If the aliens aren’t out then meteors and clouds. Contrails too. Time to make a “Cloud Atlas” of my own.
Speaking of clouds, three years ago, in Ecuador, I saw among the clouds something strange. I couldn’t explain it. In Vilcabamba NOT seeing UFO’s is unusual. This is the only time I experienced one of these sightings. There were others who saw stuff all the time. I lounged on the sidewalk dranking beer hearing tales from witnesses to stuff in the sky. I don’t recall making a big deal of my sole sighting. Partly because it wasn’t anything, nothing I could identify. For the time it took me to walk a mile down a country road between cane fields a point of prismatic color sat fixed in the blue sky. There was a thirty percent cover of clouds. The clouds drifted, the point of light didn’t. It was small, a third the diameter of the moon when the moon sits 40 degrees above the horizon. All the colors of the solar spectrum seemed to be there, red, blue, green, yellow. They didn’t change as my perspective shifted moving further down the road. It didn’t leave while I watched it. I just got tired of looking and went into my house. Next time I came out and looked it wasn’t there.
In the category called, “What now?” we find an article in this week’s Science Magazine about “Dream Incubation”. This drives me to the dictionary. We go there not for the word dream but for “incubation”. “The time for and the support and encouragement of development“. A Hen incubates her eggs. So dream incubation is the encouragement of someone to dream some thing. Who is interested in getting you to dream about something other than numbered sheep? Advertisers. Companies such as Xbox and the beer maker Coors are joining scientists to research the possibilities. Sounds like something from a dystopian classic like 1984 doesn’t it? Funny how the elements of our dystopian future fall into place. Big brother had a camera, microphone and speaker in everyone’s domicile. We of course would never tolerate the police state envisioned in Orwell’s 1984. Instead of Big brother we have his niece, Alexa. The camera is part of our security system. Like Alexa the cameras are connected to the web. The ubiquitous cell phone is within earshot of the pillow we dream on. All the elements are in place but its not slam-dunk. Dreams are notorious for doing their own thing. If we were able to direct our dreams, to be the Spielberg of sleep, we might not want to wake up. Hamlet worried that the “Big Sleep” might have dreams worse than waking reality. I doubt he considered advertising as a possibility. Like ticks and virus, advertisers will plague us and try to invade every part of our waking lives. Now they stalk the border of Morpheus’s kingdom. Alarms are being raised but its early. If it were easy we’d be using “Incubated Dreams” already. Is this a threat? don’t rush your judgement…sleep on it.
The anachronisms abound here. In Spanish it is OVNI for “objectivos vuela no identificar” which is in English Unidentified flying objects. But UFO like other terms in hot usage evolve and UFO as a term has too much Hollywood baggage. Or so thought the US Department of Defense, the DOD. They rebranded the steer named UFO as UAP. Thats Unidentified Arial Phenomenon. Again pretty much the same thing….but could be something other than Hollywood aliens. Lets hope so. Lets hope the universe can be more inventive than most of the movie industry. But if this is the survey work for an alien invasion and take over…I want to start right now loosening my already loose loyalty to Human kind. I want to go on record right now as welcoming our new alien overlords. As I’ve already said, I want a trans dimensional story line. Maybe with time travel. It is so much in the hands of the writer and producer. I can’t wait for the movie.
Late in 2020 the US government instructed the military and intelligence services to spill the beans on 70+ years of sightings. “What do you know?” the Senators and Representatives ask in an official way. Puts the government apparatus in a difficult spot. Spill the beans and piss off Don Cosmic, the tough guy who runs this part of the galaxy. The Don doesn’t want anything bad to happen to the Earth but he also doesn’t like it when sentient creatures talk too much. When they drop a dime and snitch the Don gets ugly. When the Don isn’t happy meteoroids and bigger rocks rain down. A planet’s biosphere isn’t healthy after a comet lands. The Capa de Cosmos keeps a lot of icy comets cooling their heels in the Ort cloud. He only needs to give the word, a little nudge, and one starts falling toward the blue green marble.
That’s one take on the latest iteration of a favorite idea. Aliens visiting Earth. Or secret human technologies. Or visitors from the future (Human presumably). Or trans dimensional apparitions of some kind. And that maddening question, do you “believe” in UFO’s….as though believing meant much. The question does suggest that for most people believing is seeing. If that’s the case, if we build reality from belief, there should be an increase of sightings. Oh there is something there. Something is flying around Navy assets and being seen on radar and IR and Lidar as well maybe. But the you in UFO means unidentified. That is the situation, nobody knows. Not a problem, humans regularly build huge structures of belief when knowledge falls short. Trouble is we can’t seem to agree on what to believe in. Me?, I’ve chosen the trans dimensional thing. It could be combined with the “beings from the future” idea. Seems somebody wrote a book about how trans dimensional visitors appear in the dimension being visited. “Flatland: a romance of many dimensions”, is that book. It was written in 1885 by Edwin Abbott. In it we, living in the higher dimensional world, the world of three dimensions visit Flatland, a two dimensional reality. Check it out, The book is public domain now and available on the web.
But our world is a cultural one. It is less dimension than demented. Our senses doing their best to interpret stimulus and our minds modeling a conspiracy called “reality”. The conspiracy isn’t theory, its our attempt to make a sane place to live. The sightings are upsetting because they don’t conform. But unknown remains unknown. It does unless you give in to the human tendency to make stuff up. Most people would rather force fit an ill fitting explanation into the model than NOT know. When I was repairing electronics for a living I often wondered what the key to success in that area was. It wasn’t technical knowledge so much as persistence in the face of ignorance. The skill is being able to continue to investigate when no progress is made. Science, medicine, physics are fields where progress in knowledge came by way of people who could tolerate their own ignorance. Most of us can’t. When others illuminate our ignorance, even our common ignorance, we ridicule them.
As long as the phenom, the UFO/UAV, don’t get too physical we should be able to keep bravely whistling in the dark. If they limit themselves to playing games with Navy ships and aircraft and nobody gets hurt we can continue whistling. What would be really cool, a work of conceptual art, would be this. At the moment the congress receives the UFO/UAV report a thousand disks and tic tac craft form over Washington DC. Then the military sends up lots of fighters to intercept. Then nothing. The objects ignore the fighters. After an hour the objects silently zoom away at Mach six. But, they’ve been seen by a million people all over the DC area. On HD TV hundreds of millions around the globe watched. All the radar and IR and down looking spy sats have studied them. Russian and Chinese and Israeli spy sats saw them. Now everybody believes. Now nobody calls the observers crazy. But….we still do NOT know anything we didn’t know! We have nothing we can act on to gain any knowledge. We are still in the dark but at least we’ve stopped whistling.
I never really cottoned up to numbers. Oh I used them. I learned to add and subtract and divide and that other thing, multiply. Letters were different. I got to like letters when they assembled themselves into words. This because the words could be strung together in sentences. Those early sentences made quite an impression because I still remember them. “See spot run” and the sentence that invariably followed, “Run spot run”. The back story revealed that spot was a dog. A dog with spots, thus his name. Didn’t know that when I first encountered spot. I was paying more attention to Jane. Oh, there was a guy, her friend, Dick. Their story unfolded over several books. The covers and interiors were of a graphic style popular back then, in the 1950’s. Non threatening pictures, watercolors. That’s as it should have been, the words were the stars, the letters and sentences had top billing. Boys and girls and even dogs were supporting actors – the goal was reading. We children, ducking and covering against Soviet bombers, as we learned that skill. If I had known enough to anticipate the the drone of Russian TU-95 Bears I’d have been distracted. They had counter rotating props you know. Tupolov’s design office did great work. But we didn’t get nuked and I did learned to read. In just a few years I was reading pulp science fiction. I must have read a few of P.K. Dick’s short stories, he wrote so many. Was he any relation to Jane’s buddy, also named Dick? Did the dog read? did he write? That would be something, I mean if all these years later….half a century plus, Dick and Jane unknown, un heralded but Spot using a suitable nom de plume, a celebrated author. Just as likely a famous mathematician. His fame secured by the famous “Spot’s conjecture” his postulate, still unproven, that what is unknowable is also unknown. Sounds more like a conundrum than a conjecture or a postulate. Spot on a blanket in a basket rests and dreams of numbers. I dream of procedure. In my dreams I move between offices getting stamps and signatures and filling out forms. It never ends, the procedure, the paperwork, the run around. I’d say it was in the mode of Kafka but I’m above dropping famous literary names. I lie. I’ve dropped two so far. Might as well make a trio of dropped names….Sholokhov. Why are there so many really good Russian writers? And Russian bombers from the 1950’s?
Grad students from the state agricultural college came to the family finca years ago to collect acorns. The nuts had fallen from a tree. The tree is unique, the students said. Years later a tree surgeon came to do amputations. A white oak he said as he staunched the sap. A mighty oak. An ancient oak. A tree with more nobility than most. I’ve received attention too. A couple of doctors watch me for signs of demise. Squirrels run along my limbs, jabbering at and chasing one another. My sap doesn’t flow as it did. Nature’s plans for me have run their course. I’ve no hope of being incorporated into furniture. Its all pressboard and vinyl now. Fine joinery and polished contours al la Louis Cat Hors are never to be my lot. I’ll rot. I’m not worth the preservative. Shelac and Saudi Arabian varnish for the Oak, Formaldehide for me. In a jar high on the dusty shelves in a museum of medical curiosities. Maybe we’ll be neighbors again, the oak and me. He or she (who can sex a tree) sitting as a chair and being sat upon. By visitors. “See that brain preserved in a jar?” the curator asks the visitor. He stands. The visitor sits. The visitor is thinking of the chair. Its a fine chair. It receives their ass so well. “Yes, I see it”. A polite lie because that top shelf is dark and there are hundreds of pickled brains upon it. Countless brains and not a single thought among them. Once they held so many words and images. When prompted they could recite words in ancient order or mix them up and call it new. They once were able to restructure both image and word. No more. So proud they were of the new order they’d given to letter and line. “Hey!, look here” their message buzzed along the wires. “Looked at this new sequence of letters!” Electrons, which never wear out, carried then stored the tokens. People in far off places extracted the tokens and smiled or frowned. No more. Burning is what we need, the oak and I. Burning down to ash. Good for the soil.
The meme was bouncing off the walls of the rubber room we call the internet. It postulated that a vaccine for Covid would magnetize the forehead of the shot’s recipient. Presumably the grey matter behind the forehead…ie, the brain. OK, I thought, I’d better postpone that MRI scan. Don’t want dueling magnets in my cerebrum or Sara Bella. Enough activity going on there now. My good fortune is that I have plenty of magnets on hand. Ready to fight the scourge, our age’s “Magnetic Moment”. For triage Add to the hand held IR forehead temp scanner the magnetic compass. Good thing too. The vaccinated will influence the pointer, throwing it off North. The unvaccinated will not. Just in time too! what with fake vaccination cards being offered. But there is more! Not only does this amazing dose of J and J or Pfizer make magnets of brains, it also makes brass keys magnetic! This is in its way even more fantastic. But there on the web was the evidence. A woman demonstrated by putting a key on her forehead. It STUCK !, well sort of. There might have been interference caused by the presence of non believers. The key at times slid off. The take away here is that brass near the vaccinated person develops ferromagnetic properties! Wow, the mind (now magnetic) boggles! What possibilities this opens up. The keys we once tossed into a jar on the kitchen counter can now be tossed at the fridge, joining the magnetic poetry. Magnetism has long been popular with the fuzzy minded posse. They sometimes confuse it with gravity. Not surprising since the “so called” experts, the physicists, can’t explain gravity. Distortion of space time? Duh, who is going to fall for that dodge? Not the person with brass keys stuck to their magnetic skull.
its great when your government is so sensitive to a citizen’s needs and desires that it can anticipate their bucket list. Not just anticipate an item to be obtained or accomplished before the proverbial bucket gets kicked by the Vaca del destino but to supply the needed cash. My government has done just that. As rich uncles often do, my Uncle Sam, let me fill in the order…in this case for a Nikon camera. I have had a camera since I was ten. My parents were both into photography so I had first dibs on old cameras. Over the years, these seven decades, I have use a dozen different cameras. A few viewfinders & the rest SLR’s. I had the top brands but never a Nikon. With me its a given that Nikon makes the best. So being able to go out into the photo op filled world with a state of the art camera is really something…to me. Might leave you cold, but me…its good. There was a virus involved in the chain of events that landed me the Nikon but the details of it all blur. The specific Nikon is one of the new line, the Z series. Mine, the Z5 with a 24-200mm f4/5.6 lens. To be ordered soon is an add on lens. A fish eye/macro. It goes in front of the 24-200 lens. With it I can make bugs 5,000 pixels wide or capture half a mall in one frame. I’ve taken it to one baseball game in the month I’ve had it. Every shot with a ball in motion froze the ball right at the perfect point in the composition. Weird – but I’ll take it. The graphics processor that crunches the numbers from the 24 Megapixel imager might have an algorithm for baseballs. It has one for eyes and smiles. As with other examples of masterful design it is a deep well of function but a beginner using it on automatic does fine right off the bat.
The incentives keep rolling out. In one state get the jab, (the shot of vaccine) and win a gun. In other states do the right thing, (roll up your sleeve) and win a million $$. I guess then you buy a gun. Now with the biggest brewer in the nation joining in, vaccinate and inebriate and fire your AK-47 at the zenith to celebrate 70% vaccination rate in the USA. What do guns have to do with Corvid vaccine? good question. What do cold frosty mugs of “brewski” have to do with a Corona virus? Well, from what I can gather from the headlines (pay walls keep me from reading more) all this is a sign of the decay of social cohesion. Gun sales are at an all time high. I’ll point my gun at you but I’m not going to roll up my sleeve to save your grand mother’s life. Not to save anyone’s life. I don’t believe in….fill in the blank, virus, vaccine, Fauci, the tooth fairy. But I do believe in beer, guns and money. My fellow citizen? Don’t trust him. Not since that Biden sign on his lawn last year. That’s what the gun is for. Once, when we all got along, fences made good neighbors. Now the Kalashnikov does the trick. As Mao famously never said, “Citizenship grows from the barrel of a gun” Or was that Eldridge Cleaver referring to another orifice? Whichever, its too late for me, I vaccinated early and got cheated out of my beer, my gun, my million $ prize. Life is NOT fair.