The Space Review has a pretty cool two-page article up on the decoding the symbolism of mission patches found on spacecraft and satellite launches. Titled "Secrets and Signs", the article avoids Hoaglandesque Masonic conspiracies, but all the same does point out that there is plenty of symbolism to be read into the patches:
These examples demonstrate that for probably three decades or more it has been common for those involved in classified satellite launches to fill their logos and mission patches with all kinds of information, including exactly the kind of information that the NRO will never provide to the press or in response to questions.
Written by aerospace journalist Roger Guillemette and space historian Dwayne Day, it's easy to read but gives a fascinating insight into things that are hidden right before our eyes. Space conspiracy theory skeptics *and* believers can probably take as much out of the article as each other...
I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, and I might be sitting on something spiky.
- The door to the spirit world won't close. No wonder I can feel a cold draft.
- A deep sea treasure hunter has turned ghost hunter, and leads tours on Saturday nights. If there's ectoplasm, he'll still get wet.
- Zombies and demons crowded the Macedonian village of Vevcani recently to take part in a 1400-year-old tradition.
- Researchers warn the Black Death, the plague that devastated medieval Europe, is re-emerging worldwide. I don't want to go on the cart, I'm feeling better.
- Are predictions of the end of the world as we know it in 2012 "manifestly prepostorous"?
- The Heavy Stuff examines the high strangeness of missing time, rods, and shadow beings.
- Witnesses claim they saw F-16s pursue a mile-long UFO over Texas. With video and a lot of USAF denial.
- Researcher Steve Hammons discusses the Texas UFO, asking if it can be compared to the 1997 Phoenix Lights. What are you feeding your cattle, Bill?
- Balls of fire seen in the UK skies since last year have been caught on film.
- UFO researcher Frank Warren interviewed a Phoenix Lights UFO witness in 2006. Part II here.
- The Arlington Institute hosts a public presentation by Dr Harold Puthoff on Feb 1st about the Government's investigations of Remote Viewing.
- Jay Michaelson ponders the compatibility of Ayahuasca and the Kabbalah. Think with the heart, feel with the mind.
- A spiky UFO filmed in Brazil turns out to just be a spiky balloon.
- Stunning photo gallery of ice sculptures in Harbin, China.
- Megachurches are a multibillion dollar industry, but the poor and underprivileged don't see a penny.
- Guatemala's new President, Alvaro Colom, is also a Mayan priest who calls for "equality, cultural diversity and tolerance" in his country. Proof there are still decent human beings in politics.
- The Mayan people have been campaigning for change for decades, and Colom is a positive step in the right direction.
- The Guatemalan government will open the ancient Maya city of Mirador to tourists.
- Mirador is home to one of the world's largest pyramids and is only accessible by helicopter or a two-day jungle hike.
- Try not to drool over this enormous, high-res pic from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Thanks Greg and Kat.
Quote of the Day:
Frank Warren: With the benefit of hindsight, if we could go back . . . what would you have liked to see happen?
Mike Fortson: Well, first of all I would have liked to have seen my ass moving quickly and retrieving a video camera and taping the massive V shaped craft as it passed in front of us. I truly believe this would have ended any speculation that what we and thousands of other Arizonians witnessed that night was something other than flares, planes, blimps or balloons. I really apologize to the world that I did not think clearly and failed to react, as I should have. Instead I just stared and was somewhat paralyzed to the impossible craft I was witnessing.
Other than that, I would like to have seen the media react with a more keen awareness that something spectacular did happen. I would have liked to see them treat our fellow citizens with more respect and accept the fact that “they” (the media) are not the only ones with eyes and a brain.
Interview with Mike Fortson, Phoenix Lights UFO witness
Many people like to speculate on what will happen in the next decade, or century. How many will put money on it though? Over at the Long Bets Project, you can see exactly who is willing to bet the farm (or at least, a few thousand dollars for charity) that they know what's going to happen:
Long Bets is a public arena for enjoyably competitive predictions, of interest to society, with philanthropic money at stake. The foundation furnishes the continuity to see even the longest bets through to public resolution. This website provides a forum for discussion about what may be learned from the bets and their eventual outcomes.
Personages including Ray Kurzweil, Freeman Dyson, Michio Kaku and Brian Eno have thrown down, and the subjects cover everything from artificial intelligence to extraterrestrial life and the Yeti.
A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Michael Prescott looks under the cover of Stephen Braude's The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations (Amazon US and UK), in his latest blog posting "Pure Gold".
- Forgetomori casts a skeptical eye over ancient 'jet' artefacts. Also: the Saqqara 'plane'.
- The latest "Exploring Unexplained Phenomena" podcast is with Nick Redfern, on the topic of...monsters.
- Skeptical Investigations offers "Analysis of a Conversation with Michael Shermer", by Ted Dace.
- Emps investigates "Divinely Inspired Murder" at Cabinet of Wonders.
- Alien Worlds magazine offers "Dogon Alien “Mystery” Demystified", by Isaac Koi.
- Anthony North looks into psychokinesis at Beyond the Blog.
- In skeptic Randi's latest newsletter, he tells how investigations have "come up with startling differences between my versions of various events, and the versions of both the media and other acquaintances." Let's watch the intarweb run with that one...
- UFO Casebook #289 is now online.
- Dean Radin tells the story of "The Levitating Pillow on his blog.
- Kevin Randle takes on CSICOP...err, CSI.
- Michael Tymn asks "What's Real" in his latest blog posting.
- Mac Tonnies casts a suspicious eye at Whitley Strieber's 'Visitors'.
For all those grail seekers out there who operate on a budget, here's a way to get to Rennes-le-Chateau without traveling: the RlC Research and Resource page now has a video section, which has a number of films related to the small French village which many believe holds a great secret. From tours of the village and its enigmatic church, to History Channel documentaries on the Templars, there's plenty to check out. You just have to learn to ride the interface first (don't drink alcohol beforehand)...
Jameske's out till next week, so you're stuck with me...
- Author looks at Abraham Lincoln's links to spiritualism. Susan B. Martinez's book The Psychic Life of Abraham Lincoln is available from Amazon US and UK. Susan also wrote a fascinating article for Darklore Volume 1, "The Authors are in Eternity".
- Britain's "Atlantis" to be revealed with high-tech underwater cameras.
- Ancient tomb art found in path of Irish highway.
- Does a great circle align the ancient wonders of the world?
- Remains of 12,000 Native Americans are stored in the University of California's gym basement.
- Seacoastonline.com reviews Encounters at Indian Head: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Abduction Revisited (Amazon US and UK). Anomalist Books has been tracking some of the good publicity they have received for the anthology.
- Ghost Hunters creators turn their attention to UFOs.
- James Randi calls on the media to ask Uri Geller a few straight questions (video). Randi and Geller should just settle it all in a wrestling match. My money would be on Geller (because of his extra reach, not because he might bend Randi with his mind).
- Ray Stanford tracks dinosaurs...and UFOs. Synchronistically, I was reading about Ray Stanford just last night, mentioned in an old book I'm hoping to rerelease.
- Hayden Christensen to play Case in movie adaptation of Neuromancer? I hear alarm bells..
- In New Zealand, the hunt is on for the 'extinct' Moa, after new evidence comes to light.
- U.S. scientists tackle evolution deniers.
- Rules of attraction take a strange twist.
- Have you ever seen a city map...charted on emotions?
- Is climate change making us depressed? Thankfully, the dry spell has been replaced by a wet January.
- Hot cyclones churn at both ends of Saturn.
- Massive cloud to strike the Milky Way, say scientists. Don't stress on getting some batteries and tinned food prepared - you have just under 40 million years to prepare yourself...
- Get your head around these fictional radio spaces (h/t Posthuman Blues).
Quote of the Day:
There is a danger for science in encouraging self-appointed protectors who engage in polemical campaigns that distort and misrepresent serious research efforts. Such campaigns are not only counterproductive, they threaten to corrupt the spirit and function of science and raise doubts about its credibility. The distorted history, logical contradictions, and factual omissions exhibited in the arguments of the critics represent neither scholarly criticism nor skepticism, but rather counteradvocacy masquerading as skepticism. True skepticism involves the suspension of belief, not disbelief.
Over the past few years, magazines on UFOs and the paranormal have slowly been disappearing...most likely due to the rise of the Internet as an information source. However, there's nothing like holding a good old magazine in your hands and having a fun read (or a book, in the case of Darklore...yes, I'll get a plug in any way I can). However, there is a new magazine about to be released which might be worth a look - Alien Worlds:
Alien Worlds is a brand new magazine coming to newsstands very soon. Issue 1 will appear on UK retail sale on February 8th. 2008. It will also be on sale internationally and can be purchased by subscription as well.
Alien Worlds is different to previous magazines of the genre. We are not solely focussed on UFOs or on SETI or astrobiology. We are interested in the entire concept of extraterrestrial life and the origins of life here on Earth. That gives us a very broad remit to look a lot of very interesting areas.
Alien Worlds is the brainchild of Stuart Miller, who has been publishing the online 'zine UFO Review for the past few years. The website has a number of free articles on it already - likely to be a decent read, so make sure you take a look.
Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.
Coast to Coast AM: Monday is TBA at time of posting (check the link for updates). On Tuesday Amelia Kinkade will discuss her work helping humans to understand the thoughts and emotions of animals by using telepathy. Wednesday's guest is astronomy writer James Mullaneym who will discuss his book Edgar Cayce and the Cosmos, which examines the American prophet's readings about the universe. On Thursday Brad Steiger will discuss his landmark work, Atlantis Rising, which was one of the first books to cover the study of lost civilizations and alien contact.
Be here now.
- Indiana Jones meets the Da Vinci Code: Secret archive of ancient Islamic texts resurfaces after 60 years of suppression.
- Dr. Robert Lang's origami space telescope -- forty times larger than the Hubble.
- Dark matter 'scaffolding' of galactic supercluster mapped.
- For the first time, astronomers have found three perfectly aligned galaxies, making the massive galaxy closest to Earth appear nestled in a pair of circular halos known as Einstein rings. More at Cosmic Log.
- Whether on Mars or Earth, the devils are electrified.
- Mars rovers' puzzling endurance is due to repeated electrostatic cleanings, from the Electric Universe perspective.
- YouTube: Cometary tails of the unexplained.
- Beating heart created in a laboratory.
- Mind Reading: A computer can now tell with 78 percent accuracy when someone is thinking about a hammer and not pliers.
- Hypnotism does change the brain.
- New light shed on synaesthesia?
- Have you played with your food lately?
- Ottoman Ethics and Charity Stones.
- The moral instinct.
- Lake Erie UFOs are stars on YouTube.
- Plenty of Fish + 10 hours a week = $10 million a year.
- 9/11 planes both hit secure computer rooms in WTC.
- Octopus loves his Mr Potato Head. Another heartbreaking lonely animal story.
Quote of the Day:
All right, you win. You win. I give. I'll say it. I'll say it. I'll say it. DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME! DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME!
Dr Frederick Frankenstein, in Young Frankenstein.
Dr Rupert Sheldrake has given me permission to post his commentary on his 'involvement' with Richard Dawkins's recent documentary Enemies of Reason (Part 1 and Part 2 on Google Video). Given the one-sided judgements of the documentary, I think it is important to put forth Dr Sheldrake's account. It certainly shows that it's worth understanding *all* points of view before coming to a decision, considering the ability of television programs to shoot and edit things to their liking. My thanks to Rupert for allowing us to reproduce the article here on TDG:
Richard Dawkins Comes to Call
Richard Dawkins is a man with a mission – the eradication of religion and superstition, and their total replacement with science and reason. Channel 4 TV has repeatedly provided him with a pulpit. His two-part polemic in August 2007, called Enemies of Reason, was a sequel to his 2006 diatribe against religion, The Root of All Evil?
Soon before Enemies of Reason was filmed, the production company, IWC Media, told me that Richard Dawkins wanted to visit me to discuss my research on unexplained abilities of people and animals. I was reluctant to take part, but the company’s representative assured me that "this documentary, at Channel 4’s insistence, will be an entirely more balanced affair than The Root of All Evil was." She added, "We are very keen for it to be a discussion between two scientists, about scientific modes of enquiry". So I agreed and we fixed a date.
I was still not sure what to expect. Was Richard Dawkins going to be dogmatic, with a mental firewall that blocked out any evidence that went against his beliefs? Or would he be open-minded, and fun to talk to?
The Director asked us to stand facing each other; we were filmed with a hand-held camera. Richard began by saying that he thought we probably agreed about many things, "But what worries me about you is that you are prepared to believe almost anything. Science should be based on the minimum number of beliefs."
I agreed that we had a lot in common, "But what worries me about you is that you come across as dogmatic, giving people a bad impression of science."