Happy New Year everybody. I was fascinated by some of the comments in response to last week’s column on UFOs. I was amused to see myself being described as ‘too mainstream’, or words to like effect. It’s been one of my problems for years, along with excessive modesty, but I’m working on it!
Many of the comments illustrated the difficulties of rational debate about UFOs. Without doubting the genuineness of the beliefs, in most cases, we are dealing with a belief system. On VT we are concerned solely with the facts — this isn’t the Washington Post! You won’t find fairy stories about President Putin trying to win the election for Donald Trump, or Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee on this site!
Without suggesting that the following list is exhaustive, beliefs about UFOs seem to fall into the following ten broad categories:
(1) UFOs have alien origins.
(2) Aliens have visited Earth.
(3) There are hybrid species living on Earth with a mixture of alien and human DNA.
(4) There has been a transfer of alien technology to either Germany or the USA.
(5) There is an ancient alien base in the Antarctic.
(6) There are alien bases elsewhere in the solar system.
(7) Autopsies were performed on aliens at Roswell and the findings covered up by the federal government.
(8) Flying saucers of alien origin have been photographed and/or encountered by pilots, including military pilots.
(9) Numerous people have been abducted by aliens and
(10) Aliens are influencing US government policy.
Let me deal with these in turn.
Alien Origins of UFOs
There is no reliable evidence at all that any UFO ever observed was of alien origin. Leaked ‘Top Secret’ documents from German-controlled administrations like the Eisenhower Administration or German-penetrated agencies like the CIA, come by definition from compromised sources and can largely be discounted. As I explained last week it is wildly improbable that we are alone in the galaxy, let alone the Milky Way, although it is a moot point as to how many surviving advanced civilizations are out there. It is however only an inference that intelligent life exists elsewhere – there is no direct evidence of it.
Since both Germany and the US have maintained secret advanced aeronautical and space programs, it is undoubtedly the case that there have been reliable sightings of strange, high performance machines. These strange shapes in the sky however are of earthly, not extra-terrestrial, origin. As I pointed out last week the overwhelming majority of UFO sightings have been in the wrong place, i.e. the atmosphere. There have only been a tiny handful of sightings where we would expect an interstellar space ship to be – in space.
Moreover any ship capable of interstellar travel would have to be of vast dimensions. Ocean liners, designed to carry large numbers of passengers across large distances, are a reasonable starting point for the sort of internal volume we would expect.
Exceeding the speed of light has already been done on earth, in both Germany and in the Large Hadron Collider, subsequent denials notwithstanding. I don’t mean of course that our community partners the Jerries have come up a particularly fast Volkswagen – we are talking about sub-atomic particles. Under Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which is not speed-dependent, if a stream of sub-atomic particles goes in one direction and is pushing against an object, there will be an equal and opposite reaction.
However an interstellar spaceship would need large supplies of a breathing medium, food and probably water. Nobody is going to go waffling around the galaxy in a spaceship made for two. It seems wildly improbable that any civilization capable of interstellar travel would send ships across interstellar space on lone voyages. A squadron of two or more ships would make much more sense.
Aliens Visiting Earth
There is no reliable evidence whatsoever of this ever having happened. There are no genuine alien artifacts, as opposed to hints of such artifacts having been found, or assertions in books, or on TV programs presented by that slightly cheesy Swiss, no offense intended, Erich von Daniken. I have heard stories about fossils with neat 9 mil holes in them, but if there are such fossils I daresay the holes were made after 9 mil Parabellum rounds came into general use, especially by Germans.
The story about alien DNA seems to have its origin in sophisticated DVD propaganda. The idea of alien-human interbreeding has its charms, but there is not the slightest bit of reliable evidence for it.
The idea that use has been made of alien technology seems to have taken off, no pun intended, about 30 years ago with the stealth fighter program. Lockheed’s brilliant F-117 Nighthawk did indeed look otherworldly, but there was a reason for that. By angling the surfaces as they did the Skunk Works team came up with an airframe which reflected radar energy away from the transmitter.
The idea of stealth was not new. The world’s first stealth bomber was the superb De Havilland DH98 Mosquito. Our community partners the Luftwaffe had real trouble following them on radar. That was because it was made of a plywood-balsa composite – there wasn’t that much metal for radar to bounce off.
The boys at Hatfield didn’t set out to design a stealth bomber. Wood was chosen because it was light and strong, and aluminum was a strategic material likely to be in short supply. Britain also had plenty of woodworkers and just about every piano factory in the country could be included in the production chain.
The Mosquito’s stealthy characteristics were a happy accident, but stealth entered the lexicon of aircraft designers. The Lockheed SR-71 was the first stealth aircraft designed as such. The F-117 team were building upon experience built up since the 1950s. There was nothing alien about the technology – the 117 and its successors were designed by some of the smartest people around. I know. I’ve met some of them, indeed I was shown the prototype 117 at the Skunk Works by a member of the design team.
The same goes for all the other advanced technologies currently in use. There is nothing off-planet about them. The only anti-gravity devices on the B-2 Spirit are its powerful General Electric F-118 turbofans.
That there have been some strange goings-on in the Antarctic is beyond dispute, but they have everything to do with the DVD and its predecessors, and nothing whatsoever to do with aliens. Quite what’s still down there I don’t know, but there are likely to be several disused bases at least. They won’t be alien and they won’t be 10,000 years old.
Abandoned alien bases in the remotest part of our planet make for great sci-fi scripts, but not every movie has its basis in reality. 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow are cases in point – they were entertaining, but the plots were pseudo-scientific gibberish and the scripts read like a UN climate change report.
Bases In The Solar System
We have barely begun to explore the Solar System, but we know a great about it, through interplanetary probes and astronomy. There is nothing out there which represents a non-human construct.
So far as I am aware the only signs of intelligent life in the Solar System beyond Earth are the US flags left behind by the Apollo astronauts and various landers and vehicles on the Moon and Mars. I am keeping an open mind about whether the DVD’s secret space program got as far as the Moon. I don’t think it did, but the whole subject is shrouded in secrecy and they had von Braun working for them.
The high-altitude balloon which came down at Roswell, so far as I know, was part of a classified project to sample the upper atmosphere for radiation, to determine if the Soviets had detonated an atomic warhead. The incident helped spawn the X-Files, which were entertaining, but fiction, not history.
I have had some deep sources in the CIA in my time, and I heard not a word about a cover-up at Roswell, apart from the routine cover-up to keep the sampling program from the public (the Russians probably knew about it).
Flying Saucer Photos
None of these show a genuinely extra-terrestrial craft. The whole area has been shot through with fraud and disinformation to the point where any photo purporting to show an extra-terrestrial UFO has to be suspect.
No doubt the disinformation has been cleverly done and there are some interesting fakes out there, but it’s a bit like an Obama birth certificate. You know you’re looking at a fake – it’s just a question of working out how they faked it.
Stories of alien abductions have become a cliché, and are a TV and movie staple. One would have thought that aliens would want to kidnap the smartest people they could find, if they were silly enough to want to kidnap human beings in the first place. To judge from those who tell these tales they seem to have gone for the other end of the intelligence spectrum. It’s not something we discuss at Mensa meetings. Of course there have been no alien abductions.
Alien Influence Over Policy
The American government has pursued some strange policies at times, usually when Democrat administrations are in power, but this has always been down to either German penetration or the innate silliness of the federal bureaucracy, matching our own. The effective abandonment by the US of manned space exploration was a German strategic ambition, sadly realised when the Apollo program was terminated. It was nothing to do with aliens.
BTW, I very much hope that the Trump Administration will kick start the manned mission to Mars, ideally in conjunction with the UK, Canada and Israel. This time, we should keep going.
The crash of RA-85572
I have already expressed my condolences to the Russian Government, via a diplomatic channel, for this terrible tragedy, occurring, as it did, on Christmas Day. As is well-known the lost souls included no fewer than 64 members of the brilliant Alexandrov Ensemble Choir.
The Alexandrov Ensemble is one of the world’s finest choirs. This was a real blow, not just to Russia, but to music.
The Russian Government has opened a criminal investigation and rightly so. I share Moscow’s suspicions. The choir were an iconic target and the timing was highly suspicious. Unlike the Smolensk Tu-154 crash I don’t have a handle on the cause, however. A carefully-placed small IED on one wing, disabling the flaps asymmetrically, is one possibility. The aircraft’s behaviour is certainly consistent with asymmetric flap retraction, not a known problem on the 154, or the DH-121 Trident on which it was based.
This is one to keep an eye on. I am sure the Alexandrov Ensemble Choir will recover. I hope they are invited to Britain, and if they are I shall make a point of going along to listen to them.
I also hope that a special piece of music will be commissioned to honor the Russian lives lost so cruelly on Christmas Day. The ODNI’s pathetic attempt to blame Hillary Clinton’s richly-deserved and predictable defeat on Russian intelligence was particularly badly timed. As the KGB might have said in the old days, ODNI’s behaviour has been nekulturny.