UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An example of Bostrom’s Singularity: The 1979 Robert Taylor UFO Episode

The Robert Taylor 1979 UFO event in Scotland has been a favorite of mine, as many of you know.

I’ve always accepted this etiological explanation for the episode as outlined in the Wikipedia “article” on the event [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Taylor_incident]:

"Patricia Hannaford, founder of the Edinburgh University UFO Research Society and a qualified physician advised Campbell on medical aspects of the case. She suggested that Taylor's collapse was an isolated attack of temporal lobe epilepsy."

However, the object's strange configuration and Mr. Taylor’s torn pants and grooves found in the ground have been troublesome for me:

"When Bob Taylor began to approach, the UFO dropped - from its bottom half - two spheres with protruding metal spikes which looked like old naval mines. These two small objects, of which each was approximately three feet wide, were made of the same dark metallic material as the larger object.

... grooves caused by some object weighing several tones were detected. The photographs of them were taken and analyzed carefully. Taylor's clothes were sent for forensic examination which revealed tears in the trousers."

The above from The UFO Evidence:

In re-visiting the story, with an overlay of Nick Bostrom’s thesis about Artificial Intelligence, I think the incident is an particularly excellent example of what would happen if an alien probe that is a product of artificial intelligence confronted two biological species: Mr. Taylor and his dog:

"Lying on the ground he was met of his dog. The animal was barking wildly at him." [op cit.]

An artificial intelligent probe, that has evolved from a now possible extinct civilization that created artificial intelligent machines, if it came across a human being and a dog would try to determine what it had found.

The “beings” discovered by the probe would not be technology, obviously, and a probe would be flummoxed by two seemingly inter-related life-forms: a man and a dog.

A dog by itself or a human by it itself would be easily identified if an intelligent probe has a accumulated a data base of Earth species, but both a dog and human, seemingly interconnected would be something unique perhaps.

Or the probe was a new visitor to Earth and confused by two differing biological entities, thus precipitating an attempt to capture or gather the “specimens.”

Bostrom’s artificial intelligences, while advanced in the context of their galactic environment would be confronting a whole new set of data in this environment: the Earth.

This goes to my supposition that Earth is unique in that it has a myriad of species, all odd, and acting strangely (insane as I see it).

An artificial intelligence, coming across the zoo that is Earth would, surely be confused, no matter how advanced it was, by the surfeit of queer creatures found here.

And Mr. Taylor, walking with his dog, presented a strange scenario for a new probe, and I see the probe as new, in that the “machine” described by Mr. Taylor is, itself unique, in the pantheon of UFO reports (except perhaps for the Ezekiel “object”).

The Taylor object, and its actions, strike me as indicative of what Nick Bostrom’s thesis portends, should artificial intelligence reach the advanced superiority that causes alarm for Bostrom, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Steven Hawking.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dilbert and the (Artificial Intelligence) Singularity

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Are UFOs AI entities (à la Bostrom)?

Discounting flying saucer/UFO reports where beings or creatures are experienced (because they are neurologically or psychologically induced, not physical presences), can we suppose that UFOs are artificially created “robots” from elsewhere?

Take a few cases – the 1948 Gorman “dogfight,” the 1957 RB-47 encounter, the 1976 Tehran episode – and countless others; do they mimic what one might expect from an intelligent machine?

I think they do.

Reading Nick Bostrom’s views (as suggested in my previous post), one can see that an alien civilization, million of years old, may have created intelligent machines that have taken on a project of exploring the Universe, and stumbling on Earth, found one where sentient life exists, in many forms.

For intelligent machines, such life would be queer, and outside such machines’ experience, thus perpetuating a continual exploration or examination of this planet to determine what these odd life-forms are.

AI machines would be baffled, it seems, by carbon, biological life, certainly life as diverse and sometimes ridiculous as that found here.

AI machines would, even after millennia of study or observation, remain tormented by what “they” found here.

Again, I suggest you consider Nick Bostrom’s views on AI.

They open the door to conjecture that may explain UFOs, if one keeps and open, intellectual mind.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nick Bostrom [redux]

As a supplement to my posting of Nick Bostrom’s hypothesis that the Universe is a large computer and our existence is part of the simulation may I suggest that you go online and read the article about him by Raffi Khatchadourian in the November 23, 2015 New Yorker, “The Doomsday Invention” [Page 64 ff.].

Mr. Khatchadourian provides a heady, extensive piece dealing with Mr. Bostrom’s views about AI – Artificial Intelligence, as outlined in Bostrom’s book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, which argues “that true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a a danger that exceeds every threat from technology – even nuclear weapons – and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction.” [New Yorker, Page 64]

The purpose for reading the New Yorker piece, in the context of this blog, is that the article is fraught with suggestions that hint at an explanation for UFOs, without addressing the topic directly.

For instance, there’s this, in a discussion about “optimal structure of space empires” at the Future of Humanity Institute:

“ … a single intergalactic machine intelligence, supported by a vast array of probes”

which might account for what we find reported as UFOs or flying saucers.

Or this, “What might humanity look like millions of years from now?”

The “greys” traveling back in time from Earth’s future?

Bostrom’s use of the term “posthumanity” rings a bell with those who read Mac Tonnies’ exquisite blog postings….(May he rest in peace).

My point is that if you want to conjecture, intellectually and “philosophically” about UFOs and their possible origin or explanation, you need to be familiar with Bostrom and his ilk, and seek out articles as juicy and fecund as that by Mr. Khatchadourian.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Insect Intelligence and UFOs?

A new book, Planet of the Bugs : Evolution and the Rise of Insects by Scott Richard Hall [The University of Chicago Press, 2015, Paper $17], allows consideration that UFOs may be piloted by insects, from elsewhere (another dimension or another planet system in the Universe or even Earth’s future).

Yes, many UFO buffs eschew the idea that insects may be flying around Earth in UFOs or flying saucers as Gerald Heard proposed in his 1953 book, Is another world watching!: The riddle of the flying saucers.

While Heard’s book is fraught with nonsense and error, the idea, if one absorbs the view(s) of Hall in his book, that insects could evolve to develop intelligence and the ability to create technology, is not as improbable as one might initially think.

Consideration of the ant kingdom alone forces one to speculate that insects could evolve to the point where intelligence supersedes instinct and manual dexterity is not a problem but an evolutionary development also.

The evolutionary time-line is long, 10 to 14 million years for Earth’s species.

On other planets, or later in Earth’s future, or the time in another dimension (perhaps not subject to the vicissitudes in this dimension), insects could develop in ways that mimic or transcend the way that insects have evolved here, as Scott Hall outlines.

That some UFO witnesses have seen creatures around UFOs that have an insect façade or manner should not be discounted perhaps:

Of course, the idea of an alien insect reality is delirious maybe or a product of Entomophobia.
But it (an alien insect possibility) should not be dismissed readily.

It may be a matter for discourse or debate.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Slovenly “research” by the easily distracted (in ufology)

Kevin Randle called for suggestions recently in the ongoing attempt to decipher the so-called Ramey memo, seen in the Roswell newspaper photos.

I had hoped that some would pursue the matter seriously, including David Rudiak who has been beating that “dead horse” for years.

(I even provided a New Yorker piece replete with ideas for deciphering such things.)

But it seems that Mr. Rudiak and other Roswellians (those in the UFO community fascinated by Roswell to the virtual exclusion of anything else UFO-related) are again distracted by elements that do not pertain directly to the content of the memo: Who took the Ramey photos is the current backwash at Kevin blog.

This is true and has been for most of the period of flying saucer/UFO discourse and interest over the years: ufologists go from one UFO story to another like bees looking for nectar that will satiate their curiosity.

No one, except for Jacques Vallee and a few other notables, sticks with a matter for any period of time that might help resolve the enigma that haunts them (and the rest of us).

Mr. Rudiak spends inordinate amounts of time “elucidating” his Roswell hypotheses and collected data, followed by a few Roswell fanatics who love to bring forward, ad infinitum, ad eternum, ad nauseum, the Roswell information they’ve accumulated over the years.

They are desperate to show expertise in something, and Roswell if the pig they’re exploiting.

The Ramey memo has been set aside, or so it seems, as the minions, who started to make it a matter of concentration, have been dissuaded by a need to show-off their Roswell acumen rather than pursuing the decipherment seriously as a real researcher does when one has a problem to resolve.

I just received (from Daedalus Books) Einstein’s Genius Club: The True Story of a Group of Scientists Who Changed the World [by Burton Feldman, Arcade Publishing, NY, 2007/2011].

The book tells readers how real scientists and researchers attack problems that arouse their inquisitiveness.

The Ramey memo people don’t even come close.

And Mr. Rudiak should be ashamed of his laggardly approach to the matter and Kevin Randle with him, for offering Roswell asides that take Kevin’s followers away from the topic to worthless matters that are regurgitated over and over again at Kevin's blog.

Shame on the both of them and the commenters who are too stupid to see how easily they are led astray by a need to vent ego and UFO swill.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Children of the Men (and Women) in Black....(I'm gonna check Nick Redfern's eyes next time I see him)

From Nick Redfern:


Monday, November 16, 2015

The Matrix vs Biocentrism and what does this have to do with UFOs?

Our Facebook friend Tim Brigham, who teaches college psychology in Florida presented a link to material about Nick Bostrom’s ideas about the Universe (and our existence in it): we (and the Universe) are a computer simulation.
A comparison to Robert Lanza’s view that the Universe is a biocentrism -- we are part of a biologic consciousness that transcends what we know as cosmological physics – brought about the “wrath” of a Brigham friend (Martin) who claimed that Lanza’s view was “hogwash” (my interpretation of Martin’s anti-biocentrism).
A short discussion ensued, one that I’d like to extend here, if you’re up to it.

The Bostrom “matrix” argument is succinctly this (from Wikipedia):

“If there were a substantial chance that our civilization will ever get to the posthuman stage and run many ancestor-simulations, then how come you are not living in such a simulation?”

The whole Bostrom scenario can be read here:

Lanza’s views are summed up in this statement (from Wikipedia):

"Biocentrism suggests that life is not an accidental byproduct of physics, but rather is a key part of our understanding of the universe. Biocentrism states that there is no Independent external universe outside of biological existence."

A more redolent explanation of Robert Lanza’s views can be read here:

Now how does this impact UFOs?

Both arguments put UFOs into a category of unreality, something akin to Zoam Chomsky’s anti-UFO views….akin, but not exactly identical.

UFOs, and everything else, I’m afraid, are chimeras, either of the brain/mind or the result of a computer simulation.

How does one reflect upon such a philosophical conundrum?

Eric Wargo’s thenightshirt.com approaches the matter(s) from an oblique ESP stance.

Kevin Randle’s harpies don’t even come close, arguing Roswell minutiae to the point of insane babbling.

Greg Taylor’s The Daily Grail broaches such topics and has a following but mostly of persons ill-equipped to deal with things academically dense.

Readers here are cowed by anything philosophical or literate, and hesitate to comment, generally, in an intellectual way.

Facebookers are so removed from erudition that any topic, like this, is doomed to emojis and “likes” – nothing more.

If we are a computer simulation or if we are a consciousness reflecting on a reality that does not exist outside our biological mentally, what does that do to ufology or the study of UFOs?

UFOs become, as I often remark, a brutally unnecessary addendum to our lives, and to hang our existence on them, even in a infinitely small way, is pathological.

What say you?


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gilles Fernandez

Concerned about our friend Gilles Fernandez, I wrote to make sure he (and his close associates and family) were okay regarding the ISIS attack Friday [11/13].

He responded:

Normally I was invited for the live concert in Bataclan as photographer... "fortunatly", cause familly meeting, I must have canceled... No words but there were 3 very close friends of mine. One by miracle left the Bataclan 1/4 hour before the attack (pure hasard)... The 2 other assisted to all the massacre in the live room, but they are alive, after several hours I have no news of them... but they are extremaly traumatised...

Thankfully he is well but obviously affected by the incidents.

Send him well wishes (and prayers, if you're into that).


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nick Redfern deals with the Ramey memo and "victims of the wreck" (and he's not writing about the persons commenting at Kevin Randle's blog)


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Regarding the Ramey memo

The New Yorker magazine for November 16, 2015 has an article by John Seabrook: The Invisible Library: Can digital technology make the Herculaneum scrolls legible after two thousand years? [Page 62 ff

The piece unravels the process being used to decipher the scrolls, buried in Herculaneum when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. also burying Pompeii.

The scrolls were discovered in 1752, encrusted and battered beyond any ability, at the time, to decipher the contents of plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, works of Epicurus, Ovid, Tacitus, Aristotle, Gorgios, Sappho, and other greats of the Golden Age of antiquity.

Writer Seabrook takes readers through the vicissitudes of the work by a team of specialists (Daniel Delatte, David Sider, Daniel Mendelsohn,Vito Mocella, Brent Seales et al.) using devices called “synchrotrons” which are used in particle accelerators to observe quantum data (if I’m reading that correctly).

The men wrote an article – Revealing Letters in Rolled Herculaneum Papyri by X-Ray Phase-Contrast Imaging – which was published in Nature Communications, January 2015.

The New Yorker article is replete with suggestive offerings that the Ramey memo devotees might find helpful. (David Rudiak, are you listening?)

Go to the New Yorker site – NewYorker.com – to see if you can access the piece.

It’s enlightening, abstruse, and interesting.

Wikipedia has information about the scrolls here:


Unrefined extraterrestrials?

I’ve noted, a few times in the past, that if UFOs contain alien (extraterrestrial) visitors, those visitors are semi-barbaric, unrefined and lacking cultural aesthetics.

One of the reasons I’m hung up on Zamora’s Socorro “thing” is the symbol he saw – no matter which one.

That symbol indicates a hint of metaphoric sentience.

If the “thing” Zamora saw came from an Earthly construct (Hughes Aircraft/Toolco), the symbol is understandable.

If the “thing” Zamora saw is from outside the Earth, it’s an indication of a species with a sense of a linguistic taxonomy.

But this is one of only a few instances where UFOs (or flying saucers) show any sign of  an artistic or metaphorical reference.

UFOs usually portray a rough-hewn phenomenon or, if containing “beings,” a species devoid of refinement, reserve, or dignity.

The flight gyrations in such incidents as the Gorman dogfight [1948], the Coyne helicopter “assault” (1973), or the Iran episode (1976) show a willingness for UFO “occupants” to challenge, without cause, other craft in Earth’s airspace, something akin to outlaws invading the space of others and assuming the space is theirs for occupancy.

And in all the UFO landing events, as bizarre as they are, none reflects a species flush with decorum or refined behavior.

Aside from the silly antics in such incidents, there is a palpable indication of a psychotic, by human standards, mind-set.

Betty Hill’s bookish alien (with a “star map”) would bespeak a culture or species with a sense of intellectual acumen or aesthetic values, but since her and her husband’s “kidnapping” seems a mental contrivance rather than a real UFO/human contact event, one has to discount the “abduction” as imaginary, but it would have been nice to find, in her account, a semblance of an alien species with an iota of refinement and good taste, diminished, unfortunately by the alleged examination of Betty and Barney.

There are no UFO tales or sightings that tell us extraterrestrials come from a cultured civilization.

Even humans, as barbaric as they often are, leave evidence of a cultured civilization, even when some members are slaughtering others, as outlined in Homer’s opuses.

No, if aliens are visiting Earth, they re doing so like tourists visiting Yellowstone Park and mucking up the natural environment and ruining the vacations of more reserved visitors.

Yes, aliens, should they exist and are coming here, are as barbaric and crude as some humans, and not a species to get excited about.


Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Ramey memo: let Rudiak do it!

I’m a little distressed that quidnuncs are getting enmeshed in the Ramey memo decipherment.

David Rudiak has been at the forefront of deciphering the damn artifact and has provided a quantity of interpretation and evaluation, some brilliant or ingenious and some hypothetical.

His effort has been and should be the standard for interpreting the memo.

The suggestions from others, requested by Kevin Randle, has opened a can of worms, many cans of worms it seems.

David ‘s approach has been judicious despite the consensus that he has an ET bias.

His bias has something to do with his interpretation of what the memo relates certainly but I don’t see that bias intruding upon his incisive look at the wording.

Yes, he may be inclined to see extraterrestriality in the wording but that’s because it may actually be there.

David may be a intemperate UFO investigator but he is not a dishonest man.

To take his work on the memo and open it to a bunch of ufological asses grinds my sensibilities.

I’m suggesting that whatever program is available to determine what the memo relates be passed on to Rudiak, and removed from the UFO “marketplace” where wannabes are struggling to obtain fame that deservedly belongs to him, Mr. Rudiak.

Look at the goofy offerings at Kevin Randle’s blog and you’ll readily see what I’m talking about: shitheads tying to co-opt the memo for their self-aggrandizing egos.


Bryan Sentes sent link about Earth's precious position in the Universe


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Nick Redfern on the Women in Black [WIB}, and no, he hasn't dated any...


Friday, November 06, 2015

We can’t know what UFOs are? Nor many other things….

A review, by Martin Kemp, in the Times Literary Supplement of October 23rd, 2015 about Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek’s new book, A Beautiful Question: Finding nature’s deep design [Allen Lane, £25] ends with this:

“Could we use the anamorphic analogy in a different way, to ask if the distorted image is a real one and whether we are only equipped with an optical and mental apparatus that makes its reflection in our eyes seem locally coherent, but which permits no access to the real image? Some observers might posit that what we see as real is a distortion of a reality to which we have no access.” [Italics mine, Page 4]

This is a culmination of an analysis of Wilczek’s elaborate and refined take on the beauty of the “Core Theory” of physics and the math that accompanies the “theory.”

But reviewer Kemp writes that Wilczek “… knowingly slides around the central question about who or what is responsible for the organization of the world at atomic and cosmic levels.” [Page 3]

And Mr. Kemp refers to Leonardo da Vinci’s view that “Outside is the unknowable infinity of the ‘prime mover’.”

“Modern physics and cosmology have so extended the reach or potential reach of the mind into multiple dimensions, multiverses and infinity, that they have squeezed God’s potential realm into something so physically remote and conceptually abstract as to preclude and clear visualization of the deity on our own terms.” [Page 3]

(This is the view of the Kabbalists, also.)

Wilczek eschews string theory: “Given its apparent untestability, string theory has been called a threat to science – even a pernicious kind of metaphysics. Wilczek implicitly encourages his readers to be deaf to it.” [Page 4]

“… the beauty embodied in the physical world is a particular kind of beauty. Nature, as an artist, has a distinctive style”, essentially mathematical, symmetrical and succinct. “The world does not embody all forms of beauty … Science isn’t everything, thank goodness.”[Page 4]

What Wilczek tells his readers in his book is that there is beauty in nature and we can see it or try to, but something of the ultimate truth will elude us.

What this boils down for me is a confirmation that, just as the ineffable God is unknowable, some of Its attributes and creations are also unknowable in essence.

Carl Jung and his acolyte Joseph Campbell also stress this as does Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica [Q.12: Eleventh article].

Thus one can extrapolate that some things cannot be known, ever, and I believe we may, after years of pondering, that UFOs, too, are unknowable.

Paul Kimball stressed in a comment here, recently, that one (me) shouldn’t scorn UFO buffs for their attention to the phenomenon but, rather, allow them (buffs) to enjoy the wonder of UFOs.

He has a point.

Trying to understand UFOs, their intrinsic nature, may be futile, just as Wilczek sees many of the topics of physics, and Jung, Campbell, Aquinas see the nature of God.

Kevin Randle’s current effort to decipher the Roswell artifact – the Ramey memo – is an attempt, at bottom, to find a clue as to what happened in Roswell in 1947 which may (or may not) impact UFOs, providing an explanation – for Kevin and his minions that UFOs are ET craft perhaps.

But, again, such a clue would leave us with a basic conundrum, much as the wave/particle theory inherent to quantum mechanics; that is, so Roswell was, indeed, a crash flying disk, but is that what UFOs are?

It opens a maw that can’t be explained or understood when all is said and done.

UFOs are an enigma, not as great as that of the supposed “prime mover” of creation but of a similar kind: beautiful to some, but contorted to the point that not all see the beauty, allowing an unknowability that is the essence of the things,

That’s where we are in “ufology” and it’s not a good thing, but there it is…


Thursday, November 05, 2015

A Roswell gift for Kevin Randle

From a dear friend:



We are viral….no, not this blog, but Earthlings and the Earth itself

Again, I refer you to schematics showing how obscure and isolated Earth is, in the context of the Galaxy and even more so in the Universe itself.

To think UFOs are galactic visitors or alien craft from the far-reaches of the Universe, even as robot-probes, is ludicrous on the face of it.

The plethora of supposed UFO sightings, over time and in the modern era, makes for a localized phenomenon, rather than a horde of extraterrestrial visitors.

That’s the rational view, despite the frenzied belief of some UFO buffs.

I could recap the Teilhard view that we (humans) are “corpuscles” in the body of the Universal Christ, but that only would invite colloquy from philosophical/theological oriented visitors here.

Let me just say that to think UFOs are recurring visitors from other planets with intelligent life is such a crazy notion that it’s surprising the idea is still extant among persons thought to have intelligence.

Earth and its inhabitants (and living creatures) are things, alone in the Cosmos, and bereft of friends, intelligent or not, from places far from this pathetic, little planet.

It is time to understand UFOs in the context of that reality.


Monday, November 02, 2015

The Dichotomy in Cultural Studies, and also UFO Studies

A back-and-forth between my Facebook friend, academic Bryan Sentes (who teaches at Dawson College in Montreal) and me centered on his insistence that one should focus on artists’ work (in this instance, poets), eschewing, rather much, what I insisted, that one needs to look at the person, in all his or her facets, not just their output.

That is, there should be a gestaltian approach to cultural production: the work and the person creating it.

Bryan thinks the works stand on their own, and that’s true, for a critical stance.

I brought up my interest in cave art, where one cannot know anything, or very much, about who created the great works in such places as Lascaux.

Yes, the drawings/paintings stand alone and have for thousands of years but no one knows why they were created – their purpose – although many anthropologists assert such works were shamanistic.

Wouldn't it be interesting to know who created such magnificent works, and why?

Bryan thinks the output of some poets – Yeats and Eliot for example – is grist for adoration and critical evaluation apart from the sociological or psychological vicissitudes of the poets.

That, for me, is a sloppy way, or lazy way, to comprehend the totality of a cultural artifact, but his arguments are profound and de rigueur in academic circles and amongst  most critics it seems.

How does this apply to UFOs?

UFO events are usually (always?) “investigated” singularly, except when clumped together in that ufological cliché, flaps.

Even when a raft of sightings occur in large numbers, over time and locale, “researchers” often pull one or two out of the data or reports and concentrate on the few rather than the many.

Metadata hasn’t impacted “ufology” in any meaningful way, or any way at all, since the heyday of Aime Michel’s “orthoteny.”

But, while a gestalt view of UFOs might produce clues to the phenomenon’s essence, a particular study of one sighting or event, much like Bryan Sentes’ critical approach to cultural phenomena, is valid in ways I’ve supported, using the Sherlock Holmes’ techniques for solving his mysteries.

But such an approach has proven futile, thus far, as UFOs remain as enigmatic as ever.

So, would a gestalt approach prove fruitful?

Can an accumulation of data – BIG data, as corporations and internet enterprises use it – bring UFOs to heel, that is provide revelations about what UFOs are?

A total package, whether about a creator of cultural artifacts or UFOs, brings truths that a myopic approach doesn’t or can’t.

It is, for me, a question that is open and unanswered: do we find the essence of thing in its parts or in its totality?

I don’t know.

What do you think?


Saturday, October 31, 2015

The boys at work on the Ramey memo