30 thoughts on “UFOs”

  1. When this topic came up here a few months ago I asked this question:

    “Why are the aliens apparently only interested in US aircraft carriers? You think they’d be more interested in F-15’s and F-16’s, just because of the cool factor, yet they seem to focus on teasing our F-18’s. Could that be because the older F-14’s, F-15’s, and F-16’s use the Lockheed Martin AAN/AQ-15 LANTIRN pod, whereas the F-18 C/D’s and E/F’s use the Boeing (formerly Raytheon) AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR? If they stuck LANTIRN pod on one F-18 hardpoint and an ATFLIR on another hardpoint, would they both see the alien phenomenon, or would it just show up in the ATFLIR?”

  2. the government is set to release more UFO information later this year

    Why is it assumed that any released information will be supportive?

    Way back in the 1960s UFO fad, (anyone remember Frank Edwards?) it was pointed out that some of the worst observers of aerial phenomena were pilots, especially military pilots. They are trained to see things is the sky as other aircraft, and when they encounter something they aren’t familiar with, they try to fit into what they know, and how it will affect their flight. So if a reflection “moves” suddenly because of a change in angle, they see it as motion of a physical object.

    I remember an astronomer friend in the 1970s pointing out that despite all that time amateurs and professionals spend outside with their telescopes, in dark, high, and isolated areas, they rarely reported seeing such objects, or photographing them. Because they were not trying to force everything they saw into the “its a flying object” box.

    (I also remember one morning, at dawn, riding my bike around a bend at an opening in the forest. I could see Venus easily in the overhead road gap, and as I made the turn, it looked like it was flying and following me. The phenomena was so strong that I went back and tried it several times, each time, despite knowing what was going on, my mind wanted to see that light in the sky as something flying overhead.)

  3. “I come at all this from a position of curious skepticism. For eight years I handled and processed numerous images from the Hubble Space Telescope. For a few of those years, I shared an office with the individual who conducted all of the initial image processing. His eyes were the first to see Hubble images; mine were sometimes second if I happened to glance over his shoulder or whatever.
    Evidence of alien life would have been the discovery of a lifetime. We’d be famous, go on lecture tours, write books, be celebrities.”

    No you wouldn’t be famous because if there is some kind of “shadow government” created to hide/obfuscate it is more likely whatever evidence Hubble or anything else uncovered would be quickly confiscated and a cover story created if need be. He would find himself heavily pressured to issue a statement indicating there was some kind of mistake; it was a weather satellite/balloon/sea gull whatever. My understanding is that for instance Bill Clinton has publically stated that when he was President he tried to find out the story on UFO’s and hit basically a stone wall; nothing to report move on. If the President couldn’t find out if former Natinal intelligence director John Ratcliffe basically says what he has seen can’t be explained we have obviously been systematically been lied to for decades. They didn’t just start getting data they can’t explain in just the last 20 years or so. Thousand of people in Phoenix Arizona in 1997 saw a basically battleship sized formation of lights in the sky; guess it was a flock of Phosphorescence migratory birds or something.

    1. The larger and more lasting a conspiracy is, though, the harder it is to maintain.

      It beggars belief that it could have been maintained for this long. Impossible? Let us say: extraordinarily improbable.

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And so far, we simply have not had extraordinary evidence. Some incidents we cannot satisfactorily explain does not rise to the level of extraordinary evidence.

    2. “No you wouldn’t be famous”

      You’d be famous, in the worst way. You’ve be joining Salman Rushdie, as every John Chapman and John Hinckley wananbe out there would want to be the one famous for killing you.

      “Thousand of people in Phoenix Arizona in 1997 saw a basically battleship sized formation of lights”

      Last year, at dawn I was driving north in western Wyoming when I saw a long string of lights in the dawn sky in front of me, moving rapidly to the east. Fortunately I remembered that SpaceX had launched another set of Starlink satellites a few hours earlier.

  4. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And so far, we simply have not had extraordinary evidence. Some incidents we cannot satisfactorily explain does not rise to the level of extraordinary evidence.”

    Former National intelligence director John Ratcliffe a person who has a level of clearance for classified/top secret intel roughly on the level of the President says that these events are known to have happened, recorded by multiple sources of data collection; basically pilots/cameras/radar/satellites etc. If that is merely ordinary evidence in your judgement then what more is needed to meet your standard of “extraordinary evidence”?

    1. Perhaps John Ratcliff has seen extraordinary evidence. Hey, I have no idea. Perhaps he has.

      But I certainly have not seen it.

      And honestly, it would have to be something pretty extraordnary. As in, produce an alien spacecraft in front of the world, of the kind Bob Lazar says he saw at Area 51. Or an actual, you know, alien. Tic-tac videos and radar plots are interesting, but not enough to eliminate all possibilities that it’s anything but of extraterrestrial origin.

  5. I mean that is roughly the same level of evidence we would have if Russia/China/North Korea decided to launch a surprise Nuclear attack. Said evidence presented to the Joint Chiefs/President would be considered sufficient to warrant our nuclear response; sure they would consider a Satellite detection of missile launches radar confirmation etc to be sufficient to trigger WWIII level of response; apparently that would be considered extraordinary evidence

    1. Yet they don’t really believe it themselves, or it would’ve been priority 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 for the military. If we don’t know what these things are, why wouldn’t we assume that they were working in concert with Iran and North Korea, who surely have been flying diplomats back and forth to the alien’s home world? Why wouldn’t we assume that the aliens were working with China to deliver advanced mind-control nanobots, or pod creatures, or planting hyper-spatial anti-matter bombs at all US and NATO military bases? Why would we spend another dime on a surface warship or submarine if our enemies may have access to alien craft that can fly underwater at supersonic speeds?

      Contrast that with how we reacted to a perceived missile gap with the Soviet Union in the 1950’s.

  6. “Yet they don’t really believe it themselves, or it would’ve been priority 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 for the military.”

    Well one could argue that the missing two trillion or so dollars from the pentagon’s budget admitted to by Donald Rumsfeld some years back might address that point; black projects and the like. However I will admit that Ratcliff saying such intel exists isn’t the same as actually releasing it to the public; even if it is so we are basically taking their word for it. We wouldn’t see the raw data anyway for likely reasons of security, just a report saying such (depending on what they actually say this June if anything).

    1. “You didn’t think they actually spent ten thousand dollars for a hammer and thirty thousand for a toilet seat, did you?”

      I’ve also seen this movie, starring Will Smith, and I’d just like to point out that it wasn’t actually a documentary.

    1. “I think UFO believers are in many ways similar to people who believe last November’s election results…”

      I would think that snarky comment would apply more to UFO disbelievers; really hard for me to think that of National intelligence director John Ratcliffe as well as former Israeli Defense Ministry space directorate Haim Eshed; who said similar things as being tin-foil hat conspiracy buffs.

      “Former Israeli space security chief says extraterrestrials exist, and Trump knows about it”


      1. Maybe the fuzzy photo, is a cover and actually real evidence.

        I tend to believe there is about thousand moderately advanced civilizations in our galaxy. Or very low percent of solar systems in our galaxy have spacefaring civilizations.
        And it’s difficult and mostly pointless to travel lightyears to another solar system.
        But solar systems can close to other solar systems, and if the distance was less than lightyear away, it could be a lot easier.
        Or dollar amount could be less then we have wasted on the china virus. So if only tens of trillions, one could do it, if close enough, but then seems there have reason to do it. Our solar system does seem to have any reason to go to it, and other solar systems could possibly have a good reason to go to it.
        Seems like it could interesting enough to travel to, if it was less lightyear away.

      2. They want to believe.

        One can believe based on evidence, or on faith. Naming people who have said UFOs exist is appeal to authority, evidence of wanting to believe. Faith.

  7. “Seems like it could interesting enough to travel to, if it was less lightyear away.”

    There is a closer one:

    “Teegarden’s Star b (also known as Teegarden b) is an exoplanet found orbiting within the habitable zone of Teegarden’s Star, an M-type red dwarf star around 12 light years away from the Solar System. As of July 2019 it has the highest Earth Similarity Index score, with a score of 0.95. Together with Teegarden’s Star c, GJ 1061 c, d, Luyten b and Tau Ceti e, it is the fourth-closest potentially habitable exoplanet as of April 2020”


    Recent work also on the possible feasibility of warp drive without using “negative energy”

    FTL: Thoughts on a New Paper by Erik Lentz


    1. Hmm, I wonder about what is considered a habitable zone.

      For instance, would Earth be considered in habitable zone if it didn’t have UV light?
      One has life on Earth living darkness of deep ocean. And one microbial life in the earth crust. But is blue-green algae going grow with sun 3000 K or cooler? Or can cool star have any kind of life which can make oxygen?
      If habitable is just some kind microbial life, then we might a number of worlds in our solar system which could be habitable and it wouldn’t limited by how close they are to the Sun.

      Or if habitable means planet humans can live on, then the planet Mercury is quite habitable. The main problem is Mercury’s inclination. And like Mars, Mercury could have problem due to it’s lower gravity.
      Venus might have microbial life, and humans could live in skies of Venus. And has Earth’s gravity.
      And in terms microbial life [and maybe something higher} it seems it’s considered the moon’s of Jupiter are likely to have such life.

      Can have a habitable planet which is not in orbit of a star. Or guess it would be called an exoplanet. So say, twin exoplanets.

      Of course another aspect is how often and how fast are impactor.
      Earth’s impactors average around 20 km/sec and we haven’t hit by something larger than 20 km in diameter in quite some time. With an exoplanet how common and how often would impactors hit them?

  8. Some people think advancements in technology must be because of discovered alien technology. I’m disappointed because I haven’t seen the advancement that should come from studying technology that enabled stellar exploration.

    1. “Some people think advancements in technology must be because of discovered alien technology.”

      The same way “some people” believe ancient civilizations didn’t/couldn’t discover or invent anything on their own. People who actually believe the “Chariots of the Gods” and “Worlds in Collisions” books were based on historical research.

  9. I’m reminded of a guy I knew who believed in the Nostradamus prophesies because he saw it on PBS, “and that means it has to be true, right?” Better still, he was a mechanical engineer.

    1. Interesting!

      I’m reminded of some historical facts. One of them is the SR-71 Blackbird. Back when those were secret, there were plenty of airline pilot UFO sightings that described a long black UFO coming alongside, and then accelerating away at impossible speeds, trailing a string of glowing diamonds. What they had seen was a SR-71. And the reason they saw it is the SR-71 pilots sometimes liked to play games.

      It’s the same mindset that caused UFO sightings even further back, in the days of the first jet aircraft being tested at Edwards (or whatever it was called back then). One of the test pilots liked carrying a gorilla mask. He’d pull up alongside a regular aircraft wearing his gorilla mask, top hat, and cigar. He’d let them get a good look, then accelerate away in his for-the-time inexplicable propless plane. I’d really, really hate to be the pilot who tried reporting what he’d seen.


      So, given the history, I find it absolutely plausible that test pilots of top secret aircraft might still be playing these kind of games, which would explains some UFO sightings.

  10. One thing about the UFOist world picture that bugs me isn’t about the UFOs themselves, it’s about this mindset that somewhere out there, hidden (for benevolent or malevolent reasons) from just about the entire society is this “secret world”. Supposedly populated by hypercompetent g-men (friend or enemy), supposedly having a handle on anything unknown, supposedly rendering the knowledge and abilities of “mere mortals” niave and impotent.

    It’s a dangerous worldview on many levels, not least because it’s almost 100% diametrically inaccurate. It encourages lassitude and disengagement. It provides a fig leaf for the sort of secrecy and bureaucratic inaccountability that is the handmaiden to tyranny. It provides false hope and false confidence in “authorities” on matters of security in the belief that there is some hidden “ace up the sleeve”. It encourages to malinvest in the security state, secrecy almost always costing far more than it can ever provide for a momentary advantage of surprise.

    The real life “secret world” that might have inspired this (besides the innate tendency of a certain kind of mind to want to believe it) is the Manhattan Project and the atomic bomb. Maybe to the disengaged, that awesome force of nature being tamed seemed to come out of “nowhere”. In fact, the scientific revolution leading up to it was done completely in the open, known to the whole world, prior to the beginning of WWII. There were no secret physics, there were just secret bases where the various powers raced to apply the knowledge and keep the techniques under wraps long enough to obtain an advantage. The entire effort, the nearest that the entire edifice of the security-state ever came to relevance, was nevertheless leaking like a sieve. The Soviets had reports from spies about everything that went on. The loyalties of many of the scientists, loyalty being the only effective security measure, were in some cases divided. The fences and guards and safes were a joke to everyone that worked on site, despite the efforts to isolate everyone in remote desert compounds.

    Anyway, the security state didn’t even work to protect the most powerful military weapons in history, under a time and place when it had the best possible chance of doing so. (No internet, no cellphones, remote isolated locations that few people even knew about, international cooperation smashed by world-war, a generally loyal populace). The whole thing doesn’t even succeed on its own terms!

    1. I suspect that the provision of “false hope and false confidence” is a major factor in the popularity of conspiracy theories and supernatural beliefs in general. If the world is secretly controlled by omnipotent conspirators, aliens, or supernatural forces then all the everyday threats and uncertainties that we normally worry about don’t matter. Everything is really under control so there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s a secular substitute for the comforts of religion.

  11. I hold to my belief, informed by experiences that I cannot discuss in any detail, these are natural, entirely terrestrial, physical phenomena. No aliens, no beyond state of the art technology, etc. I think the semi-official responses that sorta-lend-credence to the extraordinary claims are largely deliberate misinformation, akin to a stage magician’s misdirection. I will not speculate about what the misdirection may be intended to divert attention from.

    1. “no beyond state of the art technology”

      The interesting question with many technologies is how far the actual state of the art has advanced beyond what the general public currently understands it to be. Just imagine what a typical member of the public would have thought the state of the art in aviation to be in 1956 compared to what the U-2 was already doing at that time, or in 1978 when Lockheed was secretly flying the Have Blue stealth demonstrator.

      So it’s reasonable to assume that there are quite a few technological capabilities existing today that are known to military and industry insiders but which would seem absolutely astonishing to the public at large, and by time we find out about those the real state of the art will already have moved much further on.

      1. You’re reading way too much into my comment, and/or driving it into the ditch. I am speaking colloquially about beyond state of the art technology, and again am extremely confident that nobody on Earth has anything remotely approaching things like the SF concepts of antigravity, warp drives, force field shields, etc. I’m not interested in semantic games.

        And you comment about “typical member of the public” is not really apropos here on this board. There are a fair number of skilled, experienced engineers and scientists who post here, including our host, and myself too. For the two examples you cited: the U-2 was a very capable airplane, but well within the mid-1950s state of the art, except possibly the engine, which likely advanced the SotA; while neither Have Blue or the production F-117A was a major advance in the aeronautical engineering art – computational electromagnetics, yes, but the shape, aerodynamics, engine, flight controls, air data system…none of these were particularly new or revolutionary. Arguably Tacit Blue a few years later was a bigger advance in the art of aeronautical engineering, with its flush air data system.

        But the things attributed to these UFOs – e.g., instantaneous acceleration, no discernible sonic boom, hypersonic speeds at low-ish altitudes without discernible aerodynamic heating, etc., etc…none of these are out there in vaults just waiting to be publicly revealed.

  12. To me the biggest piece of evidence arguing against alien visitors is: everything on this rock seems to be related. We haven’t found any equivalent to extraterrestrial invasive plants, ship’s rats, or unwanted pet boa constrictors accidentally (or intentionally) released during the course of all of the supposed anal probing. So i guess that leaves 3 options:

    1.) All alien visitors over the last half-billion years have had REALLY good decontamination procedures, or

    2.) Universal panspermia is a thing and widespread, in which case all universal life is closely related and indistinguishable, or

    3.) We’re all there is, as far as intelligent life in this neighborhood.

    1. “3.) We’re all there is, as far as intelligent life in this neighborhood.”

      Are we intelligent life?
      And when did we get intelligent {assuming we are intelligent}.
      If there is life which is presently in the stone age in our neighborhood, is that intelligent life?

      If there is two spacefaring intelligences which are within couple lightyears of each other, do they “talk” with each other?

      It seems the first question one might want to ask is, have you been talking with other intelligent alien life?
      And it seems the right answer, is to say that you have been, even if you haven’t.
      Or alternatively, that you are not authorized/allowed to give such information.
      It seems one might more interested in network of intelligent aliens, rather than an intelligent alien civilization.

      It seems to me, we should be observing alien civilizations rather than chatting with them.
      And the dialog when comes will be with alien bureaucracies and that with bureaucracies talking to each other, it is not going to be very productive.
      Or at least we all know that all our bureaucracies, on planet Earth, suck.

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