20 thoughts on “Amazing Illusion”

    1. The image is indeed moving.

      Hold the edge of a sheet of paper against one of the edges.

      You will see the edge of the image “juddering” against the paper. Yes it’s an illusion, that a line keeps vanishing and reappearing, but it does so in a way that is probably synched with your saccades (the jerky movements of your eyeballs in scanning a still image and tracking a moving one).

      So yes, the lines are not moving at the rate you think they are, but the edges of the lines are not stable either.

      1. I don’t know if it is moving, but I saw the phenomenon that you describe. What I think is happening is besides the main color ribbons, there is a 1 or 2 pixel wide edge on both sides of the strip that also change colors, but not with the main ribbon. This provides a dark side and a light side which enhances the shift (what Paul describes as a jerk).

  1. Forgive me Rand for hijacking the topic but:

    How the Pentagon Started Taking U.F.O.s Seriously

    For decades, flying saucers were a punch line. Then the U.S. government got over the taboo.

    By Gideon Lewis-Kraus


    “Last summer, David Norquist, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, announced the formal existence of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force. The 2021 Intelligence Authorization Act, signed this past December, stipulated that the government had a hundred and eighty days to gather and analyze data from disparate agencies. Its report is expected in June. In a recent interview with Fox News, John Ratcliffe, the former director of National Intelligence, emphasized that the issue was no longer to be taken lightly. “When we talk about sightings,” he said, “we are talking about objects that have been seen by Navy or Air Force pilots, or have been picked up by satellite imagery, that frankly engage in actions that are difficult to explain, movements that are hard to replicate, that we don’t have the technology for, or are travelling at speeds that exceed the sound barrier without a sonic boom.”

    1. For a very long time, and still today, secret programs were quick to use “flying saucer nut” excuses to discredit real encounters with secret programs, such as the F-117, the SR-71, etc, etc.

      It’s also true that quite a few UFO sightings were indeed these programs.

      I’d also be willing to bet good money that some of the sightings by Navy are indeed attributable to optical illusions (akin to the rather spectacular one that kicked off this thread) that deceive perception. For example, it’s incredibly hard (it is for me, anyway) to judge the airspeed of another aircraft visually during a pass while maneuvering.

      However, some is not all – some of the sightings and data defies explanation. I also find it incredibly convincing that the government would be disinclined to admitting that they don’t understand it either.

      So, I think some of this is real, to the extent that it’s something as yet unexplained. It could be some sort of yet-undiscovered physical effect,
      it could be anything, but to me, it does seem as if it’s something.

      I do hope that, someday soon, we’ll learn what is causing this. I saw something I can’t explain (a brightly luminescent disk or sphere in the night sky, behaving inconsistently with known physics) when in my early teens, and I’ve always wondered what the heck it was. An as-yet unknown optical phenomenon? A secret military test? I have no clue, but I’d sure as heck like to know.

    2. One of the things that Navy Commander David Fravor claimed is that at least one of the objects was “jamming radar.”

      If the thing was indeed doing that, it was either passively or a actively returning a signal in response to an incoming radar pulse.

      Don’t you think that the DoD would develop some kind of radar “hack” that could modulate the radar pulse and then measure what was coming back. Kind of like playing that 3-tone melody in the movie Close Encounters.

      If you are seeing things visually or on radar, it could be anything, but if it is communicating with you by reshaping and retransmitting radar pulses, that would be interesting.

      Could we modulate the radar with “Shave and a haircut” and see if it responds with “six bits!”

      Could the Navy have such data but is keeping it under wraps because they don’t want to disclose the algorithms in our radars to others?

      1. I remember ordering the plans for a solar powered flying saucer from the back of Popular Science magazine once. For $1.50 I got back instructions that required the following items: A clear plastic dry cleaning bag, two rings cut from styrofoam, some window screen wire mesh, the angel hair material used in fish tank water filters and charcoal black (you can make from briquettes). You cut the wire mesh to fit within the styrofoam rings which you cut so that they were round and had a center hole. You then cut the dry cleaning bag into two halves that each piece could completely cover the center hole with plenty of volume for expansion above and below. You then glued the angel hair to the top side of the mesh. You then sprinkled your carbon black all over the angel hair until you had a good solid coating. Then you took your dry cleaning bag pieces and glued them to each side of the rings so that the bag could freely bulge through the center hole. This seal needed to be airtight but you got two chances to make it so. Then you glued the mesh with/hair to the ‘bottom side’ ring. You then glued the rings together making sure the bag pieces are sealed air tight. Upon exposure to sunlight it was supposed to heat the air trapped in the bags via the carbon black until it inflated into a saucer shaped hot air ballon. Very clever. I was for once completely satisfied with my $1.50 investment. And glad to know that styrofoam was an ITAR item obviously to keep this technology out of the hands of our adversaries.

  2. I think as people have time to process this thoughts will occur to them. For instance exactly how long has the government known that UFO’s were in fact real? Years; decades? That some small subset of reported sightings/encounters were genuine? They didn’t just start getting reliable data/reports the last few years they most have known about this for many decades prior. Why the veil of secrecy? Is it merely that people would “panic” upon being told aliens were real, i.e. the Brookings report?

    If as according to some reports they (aliens) have been here for a long time even operating underwater, underground or Antarctic bases it begs to question what their agenda (towards us) might be? Just because they are not overtly hostile “(…they could easily destroy us if they wanted to”) doesn’t necessarily mean their intentions are in our best interest. Humans for instance are neither friend nor foe of lab rats; wouldn’t stay we act with their best interest at heart when we perform experiments on them, but on the other hand we are not actually out to get them either. We may even be dealing with different groups of ET’s (greys, reptillians Nordics, etc) all with different designs and purposes towards us. Maybe that is the reason for the continued secrecy/denial for decades; it is one thing to tell people aliens exist and “visit” us, quite another to tell them they have set up shop here for maybe centuries treating us like “containers” for whatever scientific biological experimentation possibly involving us (abductions) they see fit. That would indeed induce panic far and wide and arguably justifiable. People might permanently lose faith in their governments, institutions etc.

  3. And now for something really interesting:

    “Crossover – the Near Death Experience (NDE 2021)
    What happens when we die? It is one of man’s most enduring question. Artifacts depicting an afterlife can be found at ritual burial sites around the world dating back tens of thousands of years. We see it etched and painted on rocks and cave walls and within the tombs of the Egyptian Pharos. And it is inscribed within the pages of religious texts, of all traditions, being read around the world today.

    What if the question of the existence of life after life could now be answered with certainty? What if we now know what it looks? What it feels like? A closer look into what is known as the Near Death Experience is now giving us just this opportunity.”


    1. What if the question of the existence of life after life could now be answered with certainty?


      A closer look into what is known as the Near Death Experience is now giving us just this opportunity.”

      Close doesn’t count. And last I checked there isn’t such certainty in near death experiences.

      1. “Close doesn’t count. And last I checked there isn’t such certainty in near death experiences.”

        Agreed. “Certainty” is overstating it. But I would like to know what other explanation could account for how a flat-lining brain (no significant detectable neurological activity) no blood flow no oxygen reaching it somehow retains the capacity to product such complex, detailed “hallucinations” remembered afterwards so vividly?

  4. This is a good example of the foibles of humanity, where our perception is not reality. The challenge is to be like Paul Milenkovic and solve the riddle. Our bodies and the way brains are wired pose many challenges and even though we are aware this situation exists, it is still something that must constantly be contended with.

    1. “This is a good example of the foibles of humanity, where our perception is not reality. The challenge is to be like Paul Milenkovic and solve the riddle.”

      I would be willing to look at other plausible examples that would explain away the UFO phenomenon rather than ET. It is just looking less and less likely as time goes on. I really don’t like personally the idea of aliens setting up shop on our world in bases traveling our skies with impunity purpose/agenda unknown. I don’t personally find the History Channel “Ancient Aliens” hypotheses to be very esthetically appealing. The idea that our existence is some kind of alien experiment I find viscerally disquieting. I hope the abduction/experimentation allegations has some kind of non-threatening terrestrial explanation; crazy/deluded/hoaxster/propaganda combination thereof. If aliens exists I would rather we find them on our terms on some distant planet maybe centuries from now after we have developed warp drive etc; I have no desire to play out Cowboys and Indians again when all of us this go around would be the luckless Indians.

      1. “I would be willing to look at other plausible examples that would explain away the UFO phenomenon rather than ET.”

        I wish you were willing to stop hijacking threads.

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