Slate currently has a special "Brains!" issue available, and there are a number of stories which would no doubt interest y'all. John Horgan has written a piece titled "Spirit Tech", which looks at the various ways of stimulating the brain to invoke 'mystical' experiences. DMT researcher Rick Strassman is mentioned, with his quirky insight that one day we might be victims of a 'bio-terror' attack which promotes DMT production in the brain:
I can envision a situation where a cold virus is tinkered with to turn on our methylating enzymes," Strassman says, "spreads around the world in a couple of years, and there you have it.
Sasha Shulgin offers some sage words on the idea of permanent ecstasy as well. There is also another article, "God is in the Dendrites", which discusses how the brain changes during mystical experiences. You can find the introduction and full list of articles to the special issue here.
Following hot on the heels of the French UFO files being placed online, ufology researcher Dr David Clarke has announced that Britain's Ministry of Defence "are to publish their secret archive of UFO reports to dispel claims they have been hiding knowledge of alien visitors to the UK."
Despite claims to the contrary, the British MoD have never employed any full-time UFO investigators and say their interest in the subject is confined to their strictly defined responsibility for defence. Reports made to them are received by an office in Whitehall which, until recently, copied them to air defence experts in the RAF and the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS). Unlike the French who carried out on-site investigations drawing upon the skills of the gendarmerie and police, in Britain most reports were simply read and filed away.
Although the MoD claim no UFO report has ever been judged to be of defence significance, a small number were subjected to detailed investigations by the RAF and DI55. The nature of these investigations, and their findings, have until recently been a closely guarded secret.
Clarke says that the the first batch of files will be added to the website later this year (with 24 files containing about 7000 cases in all to be released). Nick Redfern has more at UFO Mystic, including Clarke's revelation that "having had a sneek preview of one year’s contents (1979) I can assure you the wait will be worthwhile."
A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Greg Bishop evaluates "UFO Fact vs UFO Theory" at UFO Mystic.
- Filip Coppens has a new essay on his website, on "The French Rosslyn".
- Ellen Lloyd analyses the Zeitoun apparitions in "Holy Apparitions or Holographic Alien Technology", at UFO Area.
- Dean Radin discusses the advantages and disadvantages of BS detectors.
- Brent Raynes interviews Richard Dolan for Alternate Perceptions.
- Anthony North asks the question "Paranormal - Where Is It?", at Beyond the Blog.
- Michael Prescott cries for help with quantum physics.
- The latest Binnall of America audio features 'exopolitics proponent' Dr Michael Salla (available as mp3/podcast download, or streaming via Flash).
- Regan Lee plays "Memory Games" at the Orange Orb.
- Kevin Randle continues with his Roswell series, this time digging deeper into the mysterious Sheridan Cavitt.
- UFO Casebook #253 is now online.
Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.
Coast to Coast AM: On Monday Andrew Collins will discuss his research that shows cosmic rays from the Cygnus constellation may have influenced human evolution. Tuesday's guest is Michael Salla, revealing evidence of extraterrestrials who live among us. On Wednesday Jan Hodges will discuss the latest developments in 'Star Trek' like technology that will allow humans to realize their full potential in various fields, while Thursday is TBA at time of posting (check the link for updates).
More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website.
Two, four, six, eight, bog in, don't wait.
- Reports from soldiers in Iraq paint a different picture to what Bushco spins. Excellent article from the UK's Independent newspaper.
- The rich found guilty of relatively minor offences are staying in private five-star jails, if they know the right people.
- Banning the building of new homes and schools within 60 metres of electricity pylons would dramatically reduce the occurence of childhood leukaemia, a UK report says. I'm glad I grew up within spitting distance of three power stations.
- Oddball schemes for tackling global warming, including a giant sunshade in orbit, will be rejected by UN experts this week. I saw the giant sunshade on The Simpsons.
- More than 100'000 people in rural India have benefited from an innovative loan scheme that helps families buy home solar power systems.
- Here's a terrific orbital photograph showing the entire Earth lit up by electricity.
- Future Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd is offering a $300 million plan involving interest-free loans to households converting to green power.
- The largest earthquake in the UK since 2002 has shaken parts of Kent.
- The US Navy was recently granted a patent for a cavitation weapon that uses sonar.
- Grey whales in the eastern Pacific are disappearing, and scientists think it's because of a lack of food.
- The legend of an eight-foot-long 800-pound wild pig named Hogzilla, shot in Georgia USA, will be made into a horror movie. I guess no one remembers the 1984 aussie flick Razorback.
- Adding to the mystery of disappearing bee colonies, millions of bees are also missing in Taiwan.
- People with migraines may also be suffering from brain damage, as brain cells swell and become starved of oxygen.
- Researchers hope to bypass the normal routes of bionics with video cameras set deep into the brain, allowing the blind to see.
- Nanotechnology is showing promise in treating spinal cord injuries and could eventually reverse paralysis.
- A British woman wears a metallic veil to protect herself from severe allergic reactions to electropollution caused by electrical appliances, WiFi and mobile phones.
- New mind-reading technology could revolutionise games and entertainment; or turns us all into mindless zombie slaves of [insert Multinational Corporation logo here].
- Sony is in big trouble for using a freshly slaughtered goat and topless women at a promotional party launching the new video game God of War II (Amazon US or UK). Sony defends itself. I hope I get invited to the promotional party for Age of Conan.
- A Dutch man has built a half-sized replica of Noah's Ark, complete with model animals. Tours are completely booked out for the year 2012.
- The Palestinian Authority's Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage is striving to have the famous ruins of Tel es-Sultan included on the World Heritage List.
- Archaeologists have discovered the place where Trojan hero Aeneas is believed to have first set foot in Italy.
- Ancient Roman artworks 1900-years-old have been discovered underneath an Italian restaurant in London.
- Excavations of a 3200-year-old cemetery in Iran have revealed humans and animals were buried together alongside clay vessels.
- Archaeologists have discovered a 2500-year-old tomb in China containing more than 40 coffins made of a rare wood called nanmu.
- Mexican archaeologists found the remains of two women and a man that could be more than 10'000-years-old, in the Mayan area of Tulum.
- An interesting article discussing the origins of otherworldly beings in myth and prehistory.
- NASA scientists believe they have found a way to predict the colour of plants on planets in other solar systems. Or they could just ask extraterrestrial visitors.
- Gyrochronology is a new method for accurately determining the ages of field stars based on their rotational rates. Not to be confused with gyrobotoxology, a technique that can determine the real age of Hollywood stars.
- A robotic probe designed to explore an Antarctic lake could be the ideal tool to explore Europa and other icy moons.
- The ashes of Star Trek actor James Doohan have been launched into space from a private spaceport in New Mexico. Live long and prosper, Scotty.
- An Australian woman is the first person to book a seat aboard Virgin Galactic.
- The Queen of England plans to stop by for a cup of tea at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center when she visits the USA in May. Advice to American tea-makers: boil the water in a kettle, don't just pour it from the hot water tap!
- The head of Russia's space agency says the USA has snubbed an offer to jointly explore the moon, but announced a separate contract with NASA for nearly US$1billion.
- After the announcement of a Goldilocks planet last week comes the problem of working out how to get to a planet 20 light years from Earth. One name: Robert Bigelow.
- Astrobiology magazine discusses the Goldilocks Zone, the Eldorado of exobiology.
- A World War II veteran talks about his encounters with Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl looks good for his age.
- Brendan Burton of the Open Minds Forum discusses whether the Guernsey UFO encounter is part of the extraterrestrial Disclosure show, or military technology.
- Is this a photograph of the Guernsey UFOs, taken by a passenger?
- The very colourful Cosmos magazine has a new online serialised novel by acclaimed scifi author Damien Broderick and his wife Barbara Lamar.
- Broderick has an excellent new nonfiction book coming out soon, Outside the Gates of Science: Why It's Time for the Paranormal to Come In from the Cold (Amazon US or UK).
- For New Age tourism, you still need to pack clean underwear to visit sacred sites and partake in metaphysical activities.
Quote of the Day:
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
Issue #3 of Flurb is now available online. Subtitled "a webzine of astonishing tales", Flurb gathers host of fiction authors for short-stories on sci-fi, the weird, and all those other things us TDGers love. In the latest issue you'll find stories by Rudy Rucker and Mac Tonnies, and also an interview with RU Sirius. Some nice fiction for your weekend.
A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...
- Nick Redfern celebrates (?) twenty years of MJ-12. As Nick points out, you can also read his article "MJ12: The FBI Connection (PDF) online.
- This week's Skeptico podcast has guest Dr Jeffrey Mishlove talking about the blindness of debunkers and radical skeptics.
- Joseph Capp takes a look at Conspiraphobia at UFO Media Matters.
- A couple of new forum articles available on Graham Hancock's website: "The Hammonasset Line, by Glenn Kreisberg, and "The Nephilim: Their Origins and Evolution", by Petros Koutoupis.
- Michael Prescott gives his thoughts on the "Ego Trap" of debating beliefs.
- The latest Astraea Magazine radio podcast features Simcha Jacobovici talking about his book The Jesus Family Tomb.
- Regan Lee looks at our labeling tendencies in "Mavens and Wags: Terms of Enjeerment".
- At 'The Other Side of Truth', Paul Kimball debunks a Roswell explanation 'full of hot air'.
- Carlos Alvarado writes a eulogy for parapsychology researcher Rhea A. White.
- UFO Area has a piece on the "Village that Disappeared".
- Filer's Files #17 for 2007 has the latest ufological news.
- The latest Psychedelic Salon podcast is "Ayahuasca: Diet, Rituals and Powers", by Matt Pallamary.
- Greg Bishop reports in from the Retro UFO Conference, held in George Van Tassel's Integratron.
The latest eSkeptic newsletter has a worthwhile read titled "A New Mythology: Ancient Astronauts, Lost Civilizations & the New Age Paradigm", written by skeptic Tim Callahan:
Authors with little knowledge of either myth or history, and even less of science, have generated an entire new genre that is being embraced by educated and intelligent people. It is a genre in which idiosyncratic interpretation of myth, bad history, and questionable science have been melded to create a new paradigm, one that has the potential to challenge reason and science to the same degree as Bible-based creationism.
Callahan obviously argues from a point of view (that of cynic/skeptic), and I would take issue with a few points - or more precisely, his method of picking and choosing. However, overall, it's a necessary read for anybody interested in 'alternative history', to better understand orthodox views/explanations of a number of the associated 'mysteries' in the genre.
If I took a zero-G flight, I'm sure I'd be the one to put the 'vomit' in the 'comet'...
- Stephen Hawking takes non-gravity flight on the 'vomit comet'. Also: Hawking says 'space is our future'.
- New planet find gets British bookies worried about their odds of finding extraterrestrial life.
- Sun's next cycle of fury delayed.
- The Hubble Space Telescope turns 17, and gives you a present.
- And for more space eye candy: STEREO gives more 3D looks at the Sun.
- (Non)-pwnage news? New intelligence honcho to shut down Pentagon data-gathering program (TALON), citing the intelligence community's long history of 'well-intended' abuse of civil liberties. Props for the encouraging words from Clapper, although I can't imagine the program disappearing altogether if it was effective in any way.
- Search for alien life gets serious.
- Commercial airline pilot spots two UFOs.
- Local Catholic officials say Orange County 'crying Mary statue' is a natural phenomenon.
- Are the bees being wiped out by a fungus?
- Dogs show human-like learning ability. They throw paper planes from the back of the class?
- Searching for the secrets of the Knights Templar.
- New layer of ancient Greek writings detected in medieval book.
- Iran dam project threatens tomb of Cyrus the Great.
- British "Noah's Ark" project passes billion plant mark.
- Volcanic eruptions linked to ancient global warming.
- 'Real' 3D gaming and television on the threshold?
- Scientists unveil Internet-controlled robots that anyone can build.
- Scottish scientists to build robot village.
- Were pets deliberately poisoned?
- Japanese asteroid probe begins return journey to Earth.
- Fusion energy breakthrough at Sandia Labs.
- Stanford scientists make major breakthrough in regenerative medicine. I'd imagine jelly babies are involved.
- Italian researcher says real-life Spidermen are possible. He just can't help out with the Kirsten Dunst part...
- If you're on the lookout for some quick cash, why not start searching for some exotic whale poo. Sure, it doesn't glitter like gold, but...
Quote of the Day:
Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job..
Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:
Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week's guest is Jay Weidner, who has been at the center of 2012 phenomenon since 1999 when he began working on the question of what will happen when the earth makes its 26,000 year passage across the galactic center and the Mayan Calendar ends on December 21, 2012.
Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines. Early show Saturday Ian welcomes Saint John Hunt, the eldest son of "super-spy" E. Howard Hunt, for a discussion about how his father had direct knowledge of the planning of the JFK assassination. Later, Art Bell talks to physicist Sean Carroll about the Big Bang, quantum gravity, singularities, black holes, and other theories about the universe we live in. Sunday's guest is Ryan Wood, who will discuss various UFO crashes and the subsequent military retrievals and cover-ups.
More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. Remember also that while Coast to Coast is subscription, Dreamland is free. Dreamland also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.