A friend sent me a link to a Newsweek story on the recent Texas UFO flap, which apparently discussed what scientists think of UFOs. "How exciting," I thought, wondering which scientists they had talked to...Jacques Vallee, perhaps Bernard Haisch? Umm, no.
Instead we get CSICOP Fellow Bob Park, Skeptic magazine editor Michael Shermer, and Theodore Schick (author of How to Think About Weird Things: Critical thinking for a New Age). Park does a wonderful job of not even understanding what the UFO acronym stands for, which ends up making each of his statements rather ridiculous if you read them correctly. Michael Shermer lets us in on what it really might have been (a Stealth bomber flanked by fighter jets). But wait, the "scientists" are really on the side of "UFO believers":
Scientists defend UFO believers against charges that they're psychologically deranged. People who report UFO sightings and abductions, a 1993 study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology concluded, are just as intelligent, psychologically healthy, and free of fantasies as people without such experiences. People with UFO experiences differed on only one known measure: sleep deprivation.
But really, it's worth wading through the article to get to Bob Park's own UFO encounter, which had a prosaic explanation. Because what did it do for Bob?
With that, Park learned the ultimate lesson for a scientist: humility.
OMG, the irony...my eyes are burning.
Long and bitter, and a touch controversial.
- Issue #1 of New World Order: Dawn Of A New Day is now available at all good comics stores. Interview with the creator coming soon (creator of the comic, not The Creator).
- Presidential candidate John McCain dropped a bombshell recently, stating that "there's going to be other wars".
- It doesn't matter if you vote with paper, or use a touch-screen voting machine -- are the Primaries rigged?
- Brad Steiger discusses ancient secret societies, UFOs, and the NWO.
- Here's extraordinary video of UFOs filmed over Istanbul, Turkey. But can such evidence be trusted in today's world of photoshop and CGI?
- Billy Cox takes a well-aimed swipe at the media's coverage of the Stephenville UFO encounter in Texas.
- The UFO Mystic takes a look at fake photos of extraterrestrials. The DUI mugshot of ET is still out there.
- Intangible Materiality is an intriguing blog examining evidence of divine and extraterrestrial intervention in human history, among other paranormality subjects. With videos and pics.
- A transcript of Paola Harris's interview with UFO researcher Timothy Good from August last year. My review of Good's latest, Need To Know, will be posted next week (Amazon US or UK).
- The Book of THoTH's interview with Stanton Friedman from last December.
- Rogue hypervelocity stars are giving astronomers a glimpse into the volatile nature of the universe.
- This Friday, Venus and Jupiter are converging for a spectacular close encounter that is a match made in heaven.
- Transcript of Richard Branson's inspiring speech at the SpaceShipTwo unveiling.
- SpaceX has successfully tested multiple rocket engines for the first time.
- China's policy of blowing up old satellites in orbit is causing a dangerous orbital junkyard. Wait until McDonalds opens on the ISS.
- A twin-seat solar-powered car designed in Taiwan could be on the market within a year. It's 2008, where's my hoverbike?
- The American Geophysical Union states human activity is the cause of Global Warming. When the word "unequivocally" is used, there can be no arguments.
- Humans have altered Earth so much that a new geological epoch has begun.
- By selectively removing feathers, researchers have shown that a species of hummingbird produces loud chirps non-vocally by shaking its tail. I hope they put the feathers back.
- Lonely people are more likely to believe in the supernatural, say researchers. Does this mean Michael Shermer has the MySpace record for the most friends?
- Dubbed 'the new atheists', are skeptics such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens just new anti-dogmatists? Imagine The Breakfast Club, with atheist skeptics in Molly Ringwald's role.
- Dan Brown's latest mystery is why it hasn't been published yet.
- As more and more people are caught stealing and looting artifacts, are museums and collectors destroying cultures?
- Israeli experts have restored a unique 1400-year-old glass mosaic.
- Excavations at the birthplace of Zeus suggest worship was practiced there a thousand years before the earliest known versions of the Greek god's myths.
- Southern Illinois University Museum will return a 2300-year-old bronze cat object to Egypt. Or Zahi Hawass will make the Terminator look like a kitten.
- For some students at Ohio State, the occult is not just a field of academic interest but a way of life.
- This article about independent, specialist bookshops fighting to survive against multinational monsters includes an interview with the owner of my favourite, The Haunted Bookshop.
- Up Helly Aa! Shetland Islanders gathered recently to celebrate their viking heritage with a festival of fire and fancy dress. Brilliant photo gallery, my viking DNA wishes I could have been there.
Quote of the Day:
"Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense."
Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, former CIA Director (1960)
Short and sweet today.
- Genetic telepathy. A bizarre new property of DNA.
- Hexagonal craters on Mercury.
- More and more mystery space machines.
- Satellite could plummet to Earth.
- Empire state building car zap mystery.
- Russian scientist claims new ice age on the way.
- Mayans did not sacrifice girls.
- Black death did not kill indiscriminatley.
- The magical caves of elephanta.
- Cells internal clocks revealed.
- Another smoking gun on the moon.
Quote of the Day:
A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.
The website for Bloodline, the documentary on Rennes-le-Chateau related mysteries, finally has news about a release date. The producers say they have signed a deal with a studio in Los Angeles, and the movie will come out in cinemas this Spring.
Also in the news section are the results of some investigations related to Bloodline: a handwriting analysis of some documents said to be from the hand of Berenger Sauniere, and also an archaeological opinion on artifacts uncovered during the filming of the documentary.
Addressing a few site matters: I think I'll drop the radio schedules from the site, as I'm not sure anybody uses them. If there is anything of note, I can always create a standalone story to inform readers. At the moment, it's just another drain on my time, which I don't think really benefits readers - please do let me know if I'm wrong.
Also, I am in the process of recruiting some extra site admins (once again, due to TDG taking up so much of my time). We already have one super-quality addition to the team - details soon. If you think you can contribute to the site as well, please drop me an email (my name, @ dailygrail.com).
A strange assortment to get you through the week...
- Andrew Gough offers some "Oak Island Treasure Tales" on his Arcadia blog.
- Mac Tonnies tries to shift the focus back from the 'Mars Mermaid' onto the 'Face on Mars'.
- The latest podcast from the Psychedelic Salon is McKenna, Abraham and Sheldrake talking "Crop Circles".
- Michael Prescott issues "A One-Two Punch" to the historical Shakespeare.
- The latest Occult of Personality podcast is "Occult History of Judeo-Christianity", with Michael Tsarion.
- At Cabinet of Wonders, Emps asks "When David met Robbie: Has Icke found his Tom Cruise?".
- Skeptic Randi's latest newsletter talks about....Uri Geller!
- Anthony North looks at "The Science of Precognition" at Beyond the Blog.
- Loren Coleman reviews Chad Arment's Boss Snakes.
- The latest Paracast podcast interview is with Brad Steiger (scroll down to Jan 27, 2008).
- Daniel Brenton enrols you into "The 'Black Mirror' School of Enlightenment".
- UFO Casebook #291 is now online.
- As is Filer's Files #4 for 2008.
Now, the publisher is hinting that a manuscript is close. "Dan Brown has a very specific release date for the publication of his new book, and when the book is published, his readers will see why," says Stephen Rubin, president of Bertelsmann's Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, whose Doubleday imprint publishes Mr. Brown. Mr. Rubin declined further comment.
Rubin seems to be hinting at a specific reason behind the publication date. Is it likely to be a day of importance in American history or politics? July 4th, the start of the election campaign...what do you think?
Of course, for a sneak peek at the likely topics, you can check out my book The Guide to Dan Brown's The Solomon Key (Amazon US and Amazon UK). C'mon, did you think I wouldn't plug the book? I do have to pay the bills y'know...
A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...
- Loren Coleman tells you how to become a cryptozoologist at Cryptomundo.
- Michael Prescott asks himself what he'd say, given two minutes to argue for an afterlife.
- Public Parapsychology has a guest blog from Bryan Williams on "Using Brain Imaging as a Direct Test for Psi".
- Greg Bishop takes on the UFO skeptics at UFO Mystic.
- Cabinet of Wonders has a few of your favourite things in "Scientology, Saucers, Satan and the Sea".
- Filip Coppens writes about "The Gold of Gran Paititi" on his website.
- Anthony North investigates the Great Flood myth at Beyond the Blog.
- Daniel Brenton reviews Jeremy Vaeni's UFO documentary, No One's Watching.
- Gary A. David was a recent guest on Walter Cruttenden's radio podcast "The Cosmic Influence".
- And check out "A House on the Edge of Forever: Discovering and Documenting the Occult History under our Feet", by Binall of America's new columnist Richelle Hawks
As Rick pointed out on Wednesday, Dean Radin has noted on his blog that a recent presentation he gave at Google HQ on the evidence for psi abilities has been posted on Youtube under the 'Google Tech Talks' channel. The talk is an hour and a half in length and covers plenty of territory - worth checking out if you have the time. Google haven't given permission to embed the video, so I can't post it here - instead though, I've posted a shorter interview with Dean for those without time to watch the Google presentation (this video is only 22mins).
National Geographic have begun a 9-part online video series titled "Treasure Wars: Who Owns the Past?":
For centuries, treasures have been taken from their homelands. Should the artifacts go back? Who should decide?
Looks quite interesting - I'll try and keep you up to date with the latest instalments as they come to hand.