Sorry, the above clip is not evidence of the mythical Wild Hunt, although its potential is equally eerie: The video demonstrates the capacity to project moving images on a cloud, by way of a laser system installed on a small airplane.
“Project Nimbus is the exploration of digital and analogue techniques to project moving images onto clouds from the ground, sea level and aircraft including planes, paragliders and hot air balloons.”
Project Nimbus is the brain-child of designer Dave Lynch and Dr. Mike Nix, a chemist from the University of Leeds. Lynch came up with the idea while he was completing his master's degree, after he stumbled upon a paper titled Nonlethal Weapons: Terms and References, edited by Robert J. Bunker in 1997. The paper is a wide compendium of many different technologies, some of them from a theoretical level and others already in use by several governments, intended to incapacitate personnel or materiel without causing permanent or terminal damage, especially for riot control situations.
One of those technologies would be the projection of an 'ancient god' over an enemy city, once their public communications had been seized, as a Psyop operation of a massive scale.
Both the RT article I first read about this, and the New Scientist post it references, go on to describe how Lynch became inspired by Bunker's paper and spent 3 years unsuccessfully experimenting, until he got funded in 2012 by the AND festival and the arts incubator Octopus Collective. Lynch and Nix based their projecting technology on Eadweard Muybridge's pioneering exploration with moving images in the 19th century; using a 2.5W 532 nm laser as a light source with hemispherical lenses transforming the laser beam and creating the shape of the image, they decided to project the vision of a galloping horse over the city of Nottingham as an homage to Muybridge.
Everybody reading these articles --or visiting Project Nimbus' website-- would probably be left with the impression this technology is only meant for artistic or recreational purposes. However, neither RT nor New Scientist give much thought to the idea of weaponizing images projected in the sky, which was why Bunker mentioned them in his paper.
[Fun fact: John B. Alexander, a name you should know well if you're interested in UFOs and the Military psychic program, is credited by Bunker as one of the paper's contributors. Alexander is, among many other things, an expert in non-lethal weapons; his name is also at the top of the contributors' list]
RT mistakenly stated that aerial imagery had been used against the Vietnamese, but after reading Bunker's paper I found no reference of it. In fact I hardly found any description of these Psyops holograms at all --the document is more of a glossary of concepts, rarely extending beyond 5 lines to describe each weapon system listed. What we do know is the CIA did research the possibility of projecting an image of Jesus onto the clouded skies of Havana --from a Navy submarine-- as a way to undermine Castro's communist regime, and possibly trigger an uprising in Cuba, by deceiving the Catholic faithful into believe it was the Second Coming and the fall of Castro was ordained from on high.
This, BTW, is not the first time a 'higher power' has directly criticized Communism, but that's a story for another day…
Obviously, this operation was never carried out, possibly due to the enormous technical problems involving its feasibility; something Lynch and Nix learned the hard way with their Project Nimbus, given how they spent hours searching for the "right type of cloud" for their laser projection.
A question arises almost inevitably, though: If a galloping horse can be 'painted' in a cloud, why not a flying disc? This is the idea behind the controversial Project Blue Beam conspiracy theory, which posits how the powers that be will seek to fake an alien invasion in order to convince the citizens of the world to relinquish their liberties in order to instaurate a Police State as the New World Order.
Project Blue Beam as an idea has many flaws IMO; the biggest one being how you don't really need to pull off such an elaborate plan to establish a Police State --you just give consumers affordable smart phones, and Voilá!. That said, it's always important to be mindful of how intelligence agencies have *always* tried to exploit the UFO phenomenon --and the will to believe it inspires among some people-- for their own advantage. Mark Pilkington's Mirage Men is a great example of this, and although he didn't really look into Project Blue Beam per se, one has to admit how faking a UFO sighting as part of a Psyop campaign is not outside the realm of possibility.
As Forteans we always have to be on the alert and, contrary to popular opinion, make sure to look at a gift horse in the mouth --even if it's flying above our heads.
The New Horizons space probe is fast approaching its rendezvous with Pluto, and in a new image just released the first real details of the dwarf planet's moon Charon have emerged, showing it to be a world of chasms and craters:
The most pronounced chasm, which lies in the southern hemisphere, is longer and miles deeper than Earth’s Grand Canyon, according to William McKinnon, deputy lead scientist with New Horizon’s Geology and Geophysics investigation team.
“This is the first clear evidence of faulting and surface disruption on Charon,” says McKinnon, who is based at the Washington University in St. Louis. “New Horizons has transformed our view of this distant moon from a nearly featureless ball of ice to a world displaying all kinds of geologic activity.”
The most prominent crater, which lies near the south pole of Charon in an image taken July 11 and radioed to Earth today, is about 60 miles (96.5 kilometers) across. The brightness of the rays of material blasted out of the crater suggest it formed relatively recently in geologic terms, during a collision with a small body some time in the last billion million years.
The darkness of the crater’s floor is especially intriguing, says McKinnon. One explanation is that the crater has exposed a different type of icy material than the more reflective ices that lie on the surface. Another possibility is that the ice in the crater floor is the same material as its surroundings but has a larger ice grain size, which reflects less sunlight. In this scenario, the impactor that gouged the crater melted the ice in the crater floor, which then refroze into larger grains.
A mysterious dark region near Charon’s north pole stretches for 200 miles. More detailed images that New Horizons will take around the time of closest approach to the moon on July 14 may provide hints about the dark region’s origin.
This is a short, little video of which I wished I had more information regarding when and where it was taken: Jacques Vallee, possibly our favorite UFOlogist in the world* --even though he deliberately chose to move away from the public eye of UFOlogy, because he grew tired of all the asinine in-fighting between 'researchers' promoting their favorite BS (Belief System)-- is shown discussing a few things about the phenomenon and its undeniable link with what we call 'psychic phenomena' --something MANY nuts-and-bolters refuse to acknowledge to this day.
He also briefly mentions his participation with SRI, the non-profit research institute which originally branched out of Stanford University --fun fact: SRI was responsible for the AI research behind Apple's Siri-- and was focusing on study the possible military and security applications of 'Remote Viewing' under the guidance of Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ during the 1970s and until 1995, when the program was (officially) cancelled.
It wasn't long before the UFO phenomenon become 'entangled' with the members of the Stargate Project, something which likely hurt the credibility of an already outlandish pursuit. A brief study of Remote Viewing, however, will bring anyone with an open mind to the conclusion that the program's (apparent) cancellation had nothing to do with its actual effectiveness though, but because the seemingly 'occult' properties of Remote Viewing did not sit well with the religious sensibilities held by the higher echelons of the US top brass --not to mention that spending billions of dollars in spy satellites is part of what makes the wheels of the Military Industrial Complex turning...
Finally, Monsieur Vallee brings up the famous COMETA report, which involved credentialed scientists and retired generals presenting the best available evidence in support of UFOs' existence, whose objective was to request academic circles and government bodies to take the phenomenon with the seriousness it deserves.
Unfortunately the report never gained the traction its redactors' hoped for, and Vallee thinks the reason for that has to do with what is still the biggest blight plaguing this field: The Roswell Mythos.
Why, the fact that 'World UFO Day' is supposed to commemorate what many researchers still believe is the be-all and end-all of UFOlogy, is proof enough of how this field is still too American-centered; ironic, considering how this is supposed to be a global mystery.
C'est la vie...
(*)If you want to understand why Vallee is our fave, you should probably grab a copy of Passport to Magonia [Amazon US & UK] and Messengers of Deception [Amazon US & UK], both re-issued by Daily Grail Publishing.
UPDATE: Our friend Eric Wargo informs us the video above was taken during the Q&A session of Vallee's talk at the 2007 IRVA (International Remote Viewing Association) conference. The entire presentation is available here.
Incidentally, you should also check out Eric's interview at The Paracast, in which he delivered a lot of thought-provoking ideas about synchronicities and UFOs.
Trying to transmit the narrative of the abduction mythos in all its surreal, quasi-oneiric complexity to an outsider is an almost insurmountable task, due to both the limitations of language as much as the intrinsically personal nature of the experience itself.
Because of this the medium of classic, hand-drawn Animation seems to provide a more suitable approximation than other conventional methods of expression. It's not just about the cliched "a picture is worth a thousand words," though. To me there's something in creating the illusion of life and movement out of lines drawn into some canvas or piece of paper, that is nothing short of magical --and, perhaps, closer to the mystery of what's behind these liminal experiences.
The first clip, above, was produced in 1995, based on recorded interviews of some of the subjects researched by the late Budd Hopkins --a recognized visual artist on his own merit-- including a few sessions of hypnotic regression. The second one, below, is a sand animation created in 2009 by artist GingerAnne, to tell the story of what happened to her own mother in 1986. Both videos choose the approach the subject from a different perspective, both artistically and narratively, and both IMO make a very good job in communicating their message to the viewer in an honest, and almost visceral way.
Please note this is not about 'endorsing' the veracity or validity of these stories. As you may or may not know, by the end of his life Hopkins and his research methodology came under heavy attack by both skeptics and UFO advocates alike, particularly with regards to the controversial Linda Cortile/Napolitano case, which is featured in the video. Likewise we don't have ways to vet the account portrayed by GingerAnne, and the fact that it seems similar to the famous Hopkinsville 'goblin attack' of 1955 would be perceived to either corroborate or undermine the story, depending on your particular bias.
What I'm interested here is in how the medium shapes these narratives, which in my mind are the ultimate cultural paradox; because on the one hand the alien abduction mythos has penetrated every instance of our civilization, particularly when it comes to pop culture --what teenager in the Western world doesn't know what 'probing' is thanks to South park?-- yet on the other hand, not one of these mass-consumed artistic representations has ever done justice in capturing the TRUE alienness of these experiences.
The artists responsible for these videos came close, and for that they get my praise.
Thanks to 'Burnt State' for pointing out to these great vids.
But even these tropical islands would seem like Hell on Earth, if you thought you were kidnapped by strange non-human creatures, subjecting you to all sorts of horrendous experiments.
This is exactly what Neurologist Dr. Michael B. Russo was hearing from his patients, who were been referred to him by their primary physicians after complaining about migraines or other problems, once they felt comfortable enough to share their terrible secret. Following the logical guidelines of his career, and armed with a powerful dense-array electroencephalography (DEEG) machine --the only one of its kind in Hawaii-- Dr. Russo scanned the heads of his patients, and instead of metallic implants left by their alien tormentors, what he found was certain consistent abnormalities in their parietal lobes, which is the area of the brain in charge of processing visual and auditory stimuli, and integrating them into higher thinking.
“The parietal areas process visual and auditory data, but they can intrinsically create it themselves and then send it to the prefrontal region, where you become aware of it. … Our thinking is that there’s something in the parietal areas that’s generating (the feeling that transmissions from aliens are being sent to the brain).”
The electrical brain wave activity of the alien abductee patients looks similar to that of patients who have experienced traumatic brain injury, he said.
Ahá! We finally found a purely biological explanation for abductions. Mystery solved.
Well, not so fast: Even Dr. Russo himself does not seem willing to dismiss the stories of their patients as pure fantasy-induced hallucinations:
“All I’m saying is that these areas of the brain are similar between patients. … Patients would not come to me if I did not take them seriously and their problems seriously. I don’t discount what they’ve said. I try to make the pain or discomfort or anxieties diminish.”
His patients are also responding well to both his diagnosis and treatment. After all, he's helping them cope with the pain.
This is not the first time researchers have tried to propose a biological mechanism behind the alien abduction experience. Before Russo's parietal abnormalities, there was the 'temporal lobe epilepsy' disorder which Dr. Michael Persinger thinks is responsible for a broad spectrum of 'mystical experiences.' He followed his research by producing what he nicknamed the 'God helmet' --which only caused a 'slight headache' in Richard Dawkins when he tried it on…
There's also the 'sleep paralysis' syndrome, a favorite among skeptics, because it seems to fit so nicely with the traditional stereotype of your typical abduction: Happening at night, when people are in their beds, coming right out of deep sleep. Never mind that MANY people have reported abductions on different circumstances, like driving on their cars or standing on their kitchen fully awake...
My own personal opinion is that I see no problem in trying to find out more about the possible biological components behind these experiences. After all, even the researchers who advocate for a non-conventional explanation --i.e. hybridization experiments performed by extraterrestrial geneticists-- also look into certain 'biological markers' or commonalities between people who claim to have been taken by alien beings: Rh-negative blood type, Celtic or Native American ancestry, etc. They are using different 'narratives' to substantiate their ideas, true, but they are still looking into the particulars of the abductees' physicality.
The fault I see in BOTH approaches is in stopping there, and not going further enough. A chemist will know the precise molecular composition of DMT; a botanist will know the exact taxonomical nature of the plants containing a high concentration of it in their tissue, and an anthropologist will record the particulars of an Ayahuasca ceremony performed by an Amazonian shaman.
But that will still NOT explain the nature, origin and potency of the rich imagery and sensory data 'downloaded' into the consciousness of the person who drinks the Ayahuasca brew. Likewise, we still don't know why a parietal abnormality found in different auto-proclaimed abductees, would end up rendering 'hallucinations' with such a persistent narrative.
Some people get banged on the head and become mathematical savants. Others, like the famous John Nash --who recently lost his life in a tragic car accident-- believed they were in contact with alien beings, just when they are at their peak of mathematical thinking. And others, like Chris Bledsoe, claimed to have had a close encounter experience, only to suddenly find their creativity has received a mysterious 'boost'.
Which example is more 'paranormal' than the other? And does the 'origin story' demerit the value of these people's achievements?
Let us look for commonalities, but do not let them diminish our sense of awe, nor should we confuse them for the REAL mystery.
ETs exist, and so does Area 51.
That statement, which would have made the headlines of every single newspaper in the world 25 years ago, nowadays barely manages to captivate the attention of a child --"Duh! we know about Area 51, mister. We've seen it in the movies!"
During a Q&A with British school-children, NASA administrator Major Charles Bolden responded to the question of 10-year-old Carmen Dearing, who wanted to know whether he believed in aliens or not, with the customary answer every NASA representative gives: The Universe if ginormous, ergo they are out there… somewhere.
“Today we know that there are literally thousands, if not millions of other planets, many of which may be very similar to our own earth. So some of us, many of us believe that we're going to find...evidence that there is life elsewhere in the universe."
Mr. Bolden also mentioned Area 51, which until 2013 wasn't still officially recognized by the United States government --making it arguably the worst-kept secret in military history, and a stubborn remnant from the old Cold War mentality. Not only does Area 51 exist, Bolden, admitted to the children, but he's actually been there:
“There is an Area 51,” he said. “It’s not what many people think. I’ve been to a place called that but it’s a normal research and development place. I never saw any aliens or alien spacecraft or anything when I was there.
“It think because of the secrecy of the aeronautics research that goes on there it’s ripe for people to talk about aliens being there.”
Well now, Mr. Bolden: If it's such a 'normal' place of research, then why all the secrecy?
Let's all forget about Bob Lazar and his claims for a minute. What I would like to see is someone asking Bolden --or even president Obama-- whether some of the secret prototypes which have been tested in the Nellis Range complex are based on technologies so radical and unconventional, that they could easily be confused as alien vessels even by trained observers.
I wonder what Mr. Bolden would care to say about the leaks given to aerospace journalist James Goodall by several Area 51 insiders during the 1980s and 1990s. One of those contacts told Goodall "we have things in the Nevada desert that would make George Lucas envious." That same source, when asked by Goodall if he believed in UFOS, answered "absolutely, positively they exist" but wouldn't expand on his statement.
I also wonder if Mr. Bolden ever met Ben Rich, the so-called 'Father of Stealth' who run the Lockheed Skunk Works division for many decades, and oversaw the development of the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter. Rich was never explicit of how much he knew, but the sentence with which he close his lecture at the UCLA Schoold of Engineering in March 23, 1993 --"we now have the technology to take ET home"-- is suggestive that perhaps Mr. Bolden wasn't shown everything that's going on around the famous 'secret' base --perhaps so he wouldn't worry how one day he might be out of a job...
Meet Matilda, the 2-year-old Canadian kitten who will either make you go D'aww or cringe in horror, depending on whether the cover of Whitley Strieber's Communion gave you nightmares or not *raising hand*
Her other-worldly glassy eyes are the product of a congenital condition called 'spontaneous lens luxation', which has caused the lens in her eyes to detach. Their abnormal size is still a matter of some debate, though, and her veterinary suspects it's got "something to do with her collagen structure" --IMO I would fire up the MRI machine in search of metallic implants…
Despite the appearances, Matilda's illness does not bring her any pain, even though she's practically blind. I wonder if knowing she's become an overnight Internet celebrity would bring her any comfort.
All joking aside, though, this freaking-looking feline reminds me of how many people in our field believe cats and other animals, are able to perceive things with their acute sense than we humans are oblivious of. Fortean blogger and researcher Mike Clelland is among the many cat care-takers who have noticed their four-legged owners stare at a spot in the wall or an empty room with eerie fixation, as if they were aware of some invisible presence:
Last night I was alone in my little cabin sitting on the couch watching a DVD, my cat was sitting next to me, as always. Suddenly I was aware that she was acting really scared. She got into this really scrunched-up defensive pose and her tail poofed up huge. The hair along her back was sticking straight up. I tried to pet her to calm her down, but she didn’t respond at all. I could feel her back was rigid with tension. I leaned over and looked at her face and her eyes were entirely dilated and black.
She wasn’t moving, and she was entirely focused at an empty spot the center of the room just a few yards in front of the couch.
I saw nothing, and I sensed nothing. But my cat's overt display meant something.
I got up and walked around the house, and when I stood in the living room in front of the couch I could see right where she was focused. She stayed frozen in that anxious pose with her dilated eyes fixed on an empty spot right in the center of the room.
And there's even a few interesting anecdotes in which our furry overlords have become entangled with their alien counterparts. I already mentioned Strieber and Communion, which should be unquestionnably credited with inserting (or should that be 'probing'?) the stereotype of the Gray alien into the pop culture's psyche. In Transformation, the sequel to his best-selling book, Whitley mentions how once when he was about to be taken by the entities he call 'the Visitors' --he's never been comfortable with calling them 'aliens' or 'Et's'-- he grabbed one of their 2 cats --Sadie, a Birman-- with him as a sort of 'reality test'. When he found himself inside a normal-looking room, still holding the terrified cat between his arms and surrounded by 4 non-human entities, even though one appeared to be a 'blonde Nordic'; one of the entities asked him why he had brought the cat --the fact that these entities hadn't stopped him in the first place is interesting in itself. Forced somehow to provide the most honest answer by the overwhelming 'pressure' of their mere presence, Strieber replied that Sadie was part of his family, and as such she had the right to participate in family affairs.
The Visitors put Sadie to sleep --not permanently, as Whitley originally feared-- by pressing a strange metallic object on one of her thighs, which immediately caused her to collapse as if she had been anesthesyzed. The next day the poor cat stayed sleep curled in a ball until dinner time, when she drank a lot of water; she showed a stiffness in her leg until the next morning, in the exact place where the metallic object had been in contact with her skin.
Perhaps later ole Sadie took revenge by scratching her human's favorite armchair.
Is there indeed a parnormal connection between cats and 'the other side'? Is there a reason why ancient Egyptians showed such a huge veneration to them, other than the utilitarian benefit cats provided by eradicating vermin from their barns and grain mills?
If Matilda had the collar of Jake, the Cat from Outer Space perhaps she could tell us that, indeed, the Truth is Meow there.
Earlier this year, when I downloaded the Radio Misterioso podcast in which my friend Greg Bishop had a guy by the name of Bruce Duensing as the guest, I knew nothing about him or his ideas --a big stain in my UFOlogical record, given how he'd been blogging about the phenomenon for many years. That day I ended up listening to that episode twice in a row, fascinated by the things Bruce was saying with regards to UAPs --his favored acronym-- which heavily resonated with my own thinking.
Since then I timidly started to have a little bit of online interaction with him, on Facebook and his blog posts, which were definitely not 'UFOlogy 101' material. Bruce's paragraphs were packed with content, and his writing style was often oblique and obscure in meaning, which was not done out of intellectual pedantry as much his most honest attempt to elucidate upon a mystery which is oblique and obscure in intention to begin with.
It nevertheless made me realize that when it comes to UFOs I'm still at the Kindergarten level, and I had much to learn from him.
On the morning of Thursday, June 4th, Greg read a message on the Facebook wall of Bruce's daughter, informing of the passing of his father after having gone through open-heart surgery on the previous Monday. The news hit me harder than I'd expected, seeing how I was just (barely) starting to know him. Perhaps it was because that same week I myself had gone through a different kind of personal transition, after being fired from the job I'd worked in for the last 15 years.
Transience. It's something we rarely notice because we're so focused on the trivial minutiae of our daily routine, yet it's always happening all around us. It's only when a certain critical mass is reached in our cognitive awareness --an accident, being fired from your job, the death of a loved one-- that we stop acting like automatons for a minute, take stock of our surroundings and we begin to pay attention.
(Maybe UFOs are meant to be a wake up call intended to shake us out of our dull complacency, before we fall off the cliff ahead)
Transience and Transition seemed to have been in Bruce's mind, even to the last. The name of his blog was 'A Transit of Contingencies' and the title of his last blog entry was 'The Voyages of the Dead', which of course caused me to speculate: Was the title a hint to his fears about the appointed surgery? An indication of depression? A premonition even?
The last paragraph in the post, which I urge you to read in its entirety, is not only a fitting way for a great intellectual to say adieu, but it also captures Bruce's love of art, literature and poetry, and perhaps his yearning to reconcile the oblique and obscure within himself:
In every fiction there is an element of truth and the same could be said by reading that statement in reverse order, and so this writer thinks on poetics as a series of observations that indirectly point to a reality not directly manifested in their sentences.
The same may apply to us.
After the sudden shock of the news, Greg asked me to come to the show the next Sunday to talk about Bruce and how he had began to influence the both of us in the way we look at UFOs, forcing us to adopt a broader, bolder scope of it and other phenomena. Robert Brandstetter, a brilliant friend of ours who uses the alias 'Burnt State' in the Paracast forums --and also shares with us a nascent kinship with Bruce and his ideas-- was also invited to join in, and even though I still felt a certain inadequacy in being part of this radiophonic eulogy --a close friend of him or one of the many people who discussed things with him online, would have been far more suited to speak with authority about his philosophy and who he was as a person-- I accepted the invitation; in the end I think we did an acceptable job, and the three of us conducted an amenable 'jamming session' in saying farewell to our departed peer --The lion's share of the credit should go to Robert, who did an outstanding job re-reading Bruce's blog, and researching additional info about his background, like his love for clockwork toys and model trains which IMO was very telling of his analytical albeit-whimsical character.
(The images above were the 'notes' I doodled to prepare myself prior to the radio show. "What am I?" is the answer Bruce once gave to Greg's question: 'If you ever met an alien being, what would you say or ask to it?')
We wrapped up the session by having Robert read the Thomas Wolfe quote Bruce had chosen as the intro for his last blog post, and after that I requested Greg to play Café Tacuba's 'Olita del Alta Mar' (Little Wave of the High Seas). Not only it's a song I loved the moment I first listened to it, but that Sunday morning --as I was getting ready for Radio Misterioso's nightly broadcast-- it was thanks to Bruce that I finally understood the true meaning behind the lyrics: A human life is like a wave in the sea; it's made of the same stuff as the sea, but for a little while it has a distinct shape and momentum; like all waves it reaches its peak at one point, breaks into the shore, and then recedes back.
You could say the wave ceased to exist, even though its water never left the sea. The fact the wave had a transitory existence is what gave it its shape and beauty, the force carrying it ashore waning and then gently returning that which formed the wave, to the immensity from whence it came.
Safe travels, Bruce. And godspeed.
The German design studio Kurzgesagt --"in a nutshell"-- created these entertaining clips full of interesting infographics, to tackle at one of the most persistent logical quandaries in modern Science: The (in)famous Fermi Paradox --a.k.a. "where are all the bloody aliens?!"
The videos stick firmly with the accepted scientific parameters, while at the same time utilizing some of the latest far-out concepts proposed by the likes of Freeman Dyson and Nikolai Kardashev, who came up with a classification system for advanced civilizations depending on their energy consumption --ours is about level 0.75, while the Galactic empire in Star Wars is probably between 2 and 3 (though the matter would no doubt trigger an onslaught of rants from angry fanboys everywhere!)
What's interesting also is how our own technological advances dictate the differences in how we decide to interpret the paradox itself. In 1950, when Enrico Fermi first came up with the idea during an informal conversation, notions re. the vast distances between stars and the age of the Universe were only initially considered, whereas now that we live in the Information Age, new elements like the emergence of strong A.I. and Virtual Reality also have to be thrown into the mix --why risk your life in something as useless as conquering the Galaxy, when you could choose immortality inside a simulated Paradise catered to your every whim?
NASA and SETI keep insisting that evidence of intelligent ETs is 20 years in the horizon --though they keep repeating that every 10 years or so. The prediction will either come true or it won't, like so many other scientific broken promises (where's my god-damned jet pack?!) and if in 2035 we still hear nothing but apparent silence from the Great Beyond, I'm sure the Fermi Paradox will remain an inexhaustible fountain of creative ideas to explain our cosmic isolation.
...Maybe that's the point of it?
Last week in Spain a group of fantastic researchers into the UFO phenomenon came together for the 'Inhabited Sky' conference in Spain (three of whom I've had the honour of publishing, in Darklore and standalone books). Jacques Vallee, Chris Aubeck, Theo Paijmans and Nigel Watson discussed sightings of UFOs throughout history, and the various things we've learned in recent times about the phenomenon.
As many readers would know, Jacques Vallee's Passport to Magonia (re-released last year by Daily Grail Publishing) is the classic work in this field, but his more recent book with Chris Aubeck, Wonders in the Sky, updates the historical catalogue of sightings significantly. Nigel Watson and Theo Paijmans are also respected Fortean historical detectives, looking back at old sightings and stories and digging for the truth behind them. So the line-up was definitely an impressive one.
Luckily for us, their presentations at the 'Inhabited Sky' conference were captured on video (see the top of this post), so there's a full 3 hours of fascinating lectures and Q&A for interested readers to dig into. While the introductions and questions are in Spanish, the speakers themselves presented in English - see the timeline below if you're searching for something in particular:
3:30 - Theo Paijmans, ufologist, Dutch author and editor, examines the social impact of spaceships and aliens in comics and literature of the early twentieth century.
41:00 - Nigel Watson, author of the recent book UFOs of the First World War (2015), tell us how advances in aviation and space travel were published in the media and art and how it shapes our view of them.
1:17:30 - Jacques Vallée, astrophysicist, computer scientist and world-renowned ufologist, will talk about the importance and impact of anomalous phenomena observed since ancient times.
2:04:00 - Jacques Vallée and Chris Aubeck, questions and debate on anomalous phenomena observed since ancient times.
Related book: Passport to Magonia
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