Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Near Side blog will be taking a hiatus as new demands and changes have recently occurred. We hope you took away something good or at least were entertained somewhat.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How Much Does the Government Know?

If the numerous tales of crashed UFOs with alien bodies are true (and I suspect many of them are), then the world's various governments definitely know more than they're admitting. But just how much information do they actually possess regarding the pilots of otherworldly craft?

Here in the United States we can't get a straight answer from any of the top officials whom we expect would possess every shred of knowledge available on the subject of UFOs and their operators. At some points in history, certain figures such as the late Senator Barry Goldwater and Congressman Steven Schiff tried to shed some light on things by engaging those "in the know", only to be denied or deceived by the powers holding the cards. President Gerald Ford told us nothing new once he became president, though he had earlier pushed for information before he took up residence in the Whitehouse. The same occurred with President Jimmy Carter—once he took office he clammed up regarding the UFO phenomenon, though he was very vocal on the subject while running for the position of President of the United States. Even Senator John McCain, current presidential nominee called for more investigation into the UFO matter.

eing humans, our human nature tends to make us mistrust those who are in power when they obviously keep certain information from us—a lot of this is mistrust is well-deserved based on history. But then our imagination can get the best of us, and we fall prey to our own fears, paranoia, and then we are wide open to others who exploit our human nature and feed us downright lies or exaggerations regarding what certain people in power know but aren't telling us.

So, did President Eisenhower have a clandestine meeting with aliens at Edwards Air Force Base in 1954? Did our governments agree to allow aliens to abduct some of us in exchange for their technology? Were the aliens allowed to take up residence in an underground facility in Dulce, New Mexico? Well, it's all possible, but it's also very possible that these are only rumors or outright lies.

What if the only knowledge our government has of UFOs and those that pilot them is that 1) they exist, 2) they come and go in our atmosphere and airspace as they will, 3) our military pilots have had some disasters while chasing them (when the UFOs allow them to get close enough). and 4) that these vehicles sometimes crash and provide us with technological mysteries to unravel and try to put to our own uses?

In this day and age we would expect that if a new foreign government came into existence our representatives would hold meetings with them to establish diplomatic relations, and this would make national headlines in all the public papers and newscasts. True, a new country or government would be mundane and not disturbing in the same sense that a newly-found species of intelligent beings would, but would this not be standard diplomatic protocol? But what if this new foreign entity had capabilities and technology far surpassing anything the contemporary "superpowers" had, and they chose to come and go as they pleased within our country and didn't care to involve themselves in diplomacy or formal introductions of themselves? Such may be the case with the current lack of information coming from the world's governments now regarding extraterrestrial races that are likely visiting our planet and have for hundreds if not thousands of years.

It's obvious that our governments weren't formally acquainted with pilots of UFOs before the crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 based on the official reaction in the way the press was handled. First the army issued a statement that a crashed "flying disc" had been recovered from a ranch north of Roswell, then the statement was retracted and damage control was initiated to cover up what had been revealed, and now there have been several different official explanations for the incident over the last six decades. Had diplomatic relations or even hostile relations been established with extraterrestrials, no press conference or public statement would have been made at all, thereby showing the United States military's naivete and unfamiliarity with the subject of alien visitors. Had the executive branch of the government already been in contact with these visitors, the military would have already had orders not to publicize an extraordinary event such as the infamous Roswell incident whether the military heads were told any details of the relationship or not.

At this point, let's discuss the "Holy Grail" to most ufologists—official governmental disclosure of all or part of the knowledge held by our government regarding UFOs and alien visitation. Let's imagine a scenario where President Eisenhower did in fact establish diplomatic relations, agreements, arrangements, or formal pacts with an alien race at Edwards Air Force Base in the '50s which presumably would still be currently in effect in one form or another. Let's say he agreed to allow the aliens to abduct a certain number of humans and run experiments on them, or something equally as sinister. There is no way the government today could admit its knowledge of these things any more than it could admit to selling nuclear weapons to a known enemy of our country. This would cause tremendous public outcry and irreparable damage to he public's trust of its government even if it occurred half a century ago.

Now let's imagine a scenario where instead of the government establishing formal relations with the aliens, the government has never been approached and all its attempts at communication have been met with no response by the aliens as they flit around our skies, sometimes taunting our military pilots with close fly-bys or hovering over sensitive areas such as nuclear missile sites or the Whitehouse. The only information our government has on these mysterious visitors has come from crashed vehicles, radar, visual observation, and witness reports. While crashed vehicles would provide the most information about the visitors in this scenario, I doubt the captain would've left a "log" as we know it—in fact, even if the aliens have a written language there is no guarantee we could translate it. So basically, the mystery has grown along with the government's frustration because it can't make the aliens communicate their purpose for being here, and it can't make them do anything at all really. The government's efforts have been met with a "no respect" response—the same government who is supposed to protect its people from invasion can't even get a word out of the aliens as to what their intentions are. Now, what kind of disclosure can we expect? Far easier to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that UFOs don't exist—they're simply overactive imaginations, hallucinations, or misidentified mundane objects. Far easier to try to assure the public that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon at all by commissioning scientific panels to mislead and deceive the public. Far easier to simply turn a blind eye rather than to admit to its people that our government knows aliens visit our airspace daily and they don't know why and there's nothing that can be done about it.

Which scenario is correct, if either? And will we ever know how much the government knows?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Exploring the Deep

"CUDAHY, Wis. — The deep is legendary for inky darkness. William Beebe, the first person to eye the abyss, called it perpetual night.

The darkness is matched by the intense pressure. Four miles down, it amounts to nearly five tons per square inch. That is too much even for Alvin, the most famous of the world’s tiny submersibles, which can take a pilot and two scientists down to a maximum depth of 2.8 miles.

But a new submersible is being built here, and even the process of construction seems a rebuke to the darkness. The work lighted up a cavernous factory with fireworks on a recent visit. Hot reds and oranges burst into showers of spark and flame as blistering metal began to yield to the demands of the submersible’s design.

“Amazing,” Tom Furman, a senior engineer at Ladish Forging, said after a big press bore down on an 11-foot disk of hot metal, making the delicate manipulation look as easy as rearranging a gargantuan pat of butter.

The new vehicle is to replace Alvin, which was the first submersible to illuminate the rusting hulk of the Titanic and the first to carry scientists down to discover the bizarre ecosystems of tube worms and other strange creatures that thrive in icy darkness..."

Read the entire article from the New York Times here.

"...the first to carry scientists down to discover the bizarre ecosystems of tube worms and other strange creatures that thrive in icy darkness"
—indeed. I wonder what else they might find. Possibly a city or base where USOs routinely come and go?

And doesn't it make more sense to build a much smaller one remotely controlled? Should be cheaper, have the ability to go deeper, and the risk of lives would be negated—one small crack at four miles would be the end of everything and everyone on board.

Numerous possibilities, and it's about time we get more acquainted with this planet we live on.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bigfoot Body Claim is a Hoax

Imagine that. "If it seems too good to be true..."—you know the old adage.

I just got through listening to Sasquatch Detective Steve Kulls's statement on the live BlogTalkRadio program where Mr. Kulls broke the news that the recent claim of two Georgia men that they had found the body of a bigfoot is...well, bogus. Mr. Kulls was actually on the scene where the "body" was, reporting by telephone. He stated the head had a hollow place in it, the "hair" melted into a ball when burned (uncharacteristic of actual hair), and the foot was definitely made out of rubber.

Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, the two men who made the claim and held a press conference in Palo Alto, California on Friday, August 15, 2008, admitted to the fraud. These guys are going to have some fallout to deal with, and rightly so. They've also committed a crime, according to the program.

While not related even remotely to UFOs (probably), I felt the need to include this post. Once again, this sort of thing damages the credible reports of honest people just the same as if they'd hoaxed a UFO sighting or some sort of amazing UFO evidence. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ETH: When an Ordinary Acronym Won't Do

While there are numerous explanations for strange vehicles and lights flying around in the earth's atmosphere, one stands out as being extremely popular, if not extremely controversial. The extraterrestrial hypothesis (or ETH) was defined by Dr. Edward Condon, who headed the Condon Committee, as the "idea that some UFOs may be spacecraft sent to Earth from another civilization, or on a planet associated with a more distant star". Dr. Condon wasn't the first to use this term, though his usage of it in his report helped popularize it.

So some unexplained lights have been seen flying around our planet and some strange aircraft have been seen flying and crashed in various areas. How could a reasonable person make such an enormous leap to conclude some of these are from an intelligent civilization beyond the earth? Well, there are a few reasons, really—too many to cover here. And some of them are quite sound and logical.

Perhaps one of the strongest pieces of supporting evidence for the ETH is the time line of reported UFO events as compared to human flight ability at the same time. Wilbur and Orville Wright made their first successful, powered flight on December 17, 1903, however, according to some reports this wasn't even the first powered flight by mankind. But the flights observed in times significantly predating the Wright brothers have proved far more interesting to many subscribers to the ETH, especially when they involve intense lights, shapes that don't lend themselves to being aerodynamically sound, and speeds and maneuvers far greater than any airplane that would come till much later, if ever.

Though the modern era of the UFO phenomenon is often credited to Kenneth Arnold's sighting of 1947, there have been other UFO sightings that have substantially predated that historic day by over 3,000 years beginning with quite a spectacle in 1522 B.C. that the Egyptian pharoah Thutmose III observed and had recorded on papyrus. There are other very old reports as well, including a report of strange lights that Christopher Columbus saw on his journey to the new world that don't seem to be easily explained by natural phenomena. Much later, the Airship reports of the late 1800s also created quite a flap throughout parts of the United States. Also, Charles Fort wrote about several reports he'd read and compiled from the 1800s and early 1900s in The Book of the Damned. While it's hard to know the accuracy or truth of any of these reported sightings, it seems to go beyond mere coincidence that some of the reports record similar characteristics displayed by contemporary reports of UFOs, and it's doubtful to me, at least, that the witnesses from over a hundred years ago could dream up such characteristics as are commonly included in many UFO sighting reports today.

Another key piece of evidence supporting the extraterrestrial hypothesis is testimony of many witnesses who have described beings only slightly resembling humans. Through the diligence of a number of researchers such as Stanton Friedman, Kevin Randle, Don Schmitt, and others, we have some very good witness testimony of not only crash debris that reportedly didn't resemble anything made on earth (unless the Air Force's final version of its report on the Roswell incident is to be believed) but testimony of actual alien bodies recovered from the UFO crash that occurred on a ranch outside of Roswell, New Mexico in July of 1947. While both debunkers and skeptics may state that the memories of the witnesses could be clouded after decades since the crash or their testimony could be lead by the interviewer, and that they could be exaggerating or lying for their own reasons, I find it hard to doubt and discredit every shred of corroborating testimony from so many witnesses including military personnel who were on active duty at the time. Deathbed confessions have been sworn out in affidavits by a number of witnesses who claimed alien bodies were involved in the Roswell incident. And while each piece of evidence has been attacked in some way by UFO debunkers, to me it boils down to this: when this many people talk, there must be something to it. While one witness claiming to see aliens wouldn't stand much chance of being believed by a reasonable person, the large number of witnesses who have come forward have made it exponentially more difficult to discredit the corroborated testimony.

While it's possible that everyone is lying but the Air Force, while various governments might be responsible for all strange lights and aircraft that have been seen within and without our planet's atmosphere since before the days of the Wright Brothers, while some believe "aliens" may be from another dimension or even another intelligent species that has come to live on our ocean floors and underground, it also makes sense that visitors from other planets similar to ours have been and probably continue to be here if we are to believe even one of the ancient odd reports of strange aerial vehicles or one of the many witnesses who have described alien bodies on a ranch in New Mexico and elsewhere. While I've never met or shaken hands with an ET, I highly suspect that they exist and have visited earth for some time.

If one believes The Big Bang Theory is responsible for creating the universe and consequently life on earth, one must also believe that life exists throughout this universe for the same reason it exists here. Likewise, those who believe God is the creator of the universe might also believe He placed living creatures in some of the other planets throughout the different galaxies if He chose to do so. Forget the vast distances of space that would take us eons to traverse to see this extraterrestrial life—we don't necessarily have the only horse and buggy in town, and there is plenty of technology we haven't yet mastered or discovered.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Should the Cat Stay in the Bag?

In the last couple of years or so there have been many people who think a full governmental disclosure on the matter of UFOs and aliens is just over the horizon. There's been a notable increase in public awareness of the UFO phenomenon stimulated by events such as the Chicago O'Hare sighting, the Stephenville sighting, a Vatican astronomer announcing that belief in alien life doesn't contradict faith in God, and most recently Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell's interview where he clearly stated that ET exists and has been purposefully covered up for decades by the US government. Indeed, the mainstream news media seems to be covering UFO sightings almost boldly and with much more frequency than the not-so-distant days when "UFO" wasn't even mentioned during the broadcast unless done so with a smirk or a roll of the eyes and usually a laugh. Well, you still get the occasional uncomfortable laugh at times, but the matter generally appears to be taken more seriously by newscasters.

As a person extremely fascinated with UFOs, I'm also somewhat of a realist. While I would love for our government (or whomever governs UFO matters as they relate to us earthlings) to admit what it knows of its own volition, I logically can't think of a reason for them to do such a thing.

What would be the motivation for the US government to disclose its information on UFOs and aliens if they truly exist? To clear the government's collective conscience? I hardly think that an agency the size of a government in general has a conscience, and the select few in the US government who know what there is to know regarding UFOs probably have less than that. While the government occasionally makes apologies and amends for past actions such as the recent apology to African Americans for past wrongs, these are generally a response to outcries where at least a large portion of the public is affected or aware of such wrongdoing, and they are generally done for political purposes. While the government has had a hand in ridiculing and perhaps even caused some individuals bodily or financial harm who have had UFO experiences, I don't think its need to apologize and come clean exceeds its perceived need for secrecy of the matter.

Would the government gain more trust and confidence from the general population if it admitted that it's been keeping secrets of the X-files kind? I believe that on the contrary it would breed more distrust and suspicion should Uncle Sam admit that it had been lying to the masses. Bad for politics and business, unless it was caught sneaking cookies out of the jar. This would also mean the American taxpayers would demand to know of the large sums of money that have gone into "black budgets" regarding research and development on the UFO issue, and that salt in the wound would potentially cause an adverse reaction. Not to mention the fact that if the government has actually been in communication with ET for some time, things could get ugly. I could imagine such vitriolic questions as "Why haven't you given us this revolutionary technology that would save billions in fuel and energy", "Why haven't you given us the cure for cancer that the aliens must surely possess", and numerous other questions aimed at the unethical withholding of information and technology that could make the earth a "better place". Or "Why have you agreed to let them abduct and harm humans without their permission"—this would be a big one if such things occur and have been allowed.

Suppose for a moment that UFOs are really time travelers. Or perhaps that they use a propulsion system that if modified could destroy entire planets or create harmful anomalies such as black holes or worse. These are only thoughts, but if UFOs could cause mass destruction, loss of life, or cause history to be rewritten due to a past event being altered because a recovered UFO fell into the wrong hands—well, you see what I'm getting at. The government would definitely not want this information out in the public domain for obvious reasons.

At this point I don't believe mass panic reminiscent of the War of the Worlds fiasco would ensue upon disclosure of aliens, nor do I see religion falling flat on its face, nor am I worried about the stock market crash theory. Despite these popular beliefs, I don't think they would be the primary worries of our government since so much of the population has been desensitized by now to the possibility that intelligent extraterrestrial life might exist. Certainly it would still be a shocker, but not an altogether alien concept (pun intended).

In the case that UFOs are not connected with aliens or that intelligent alien life doesn't exist, the reasoning behind official denial becomes more complicated and the waters more muddy (unless UFOs are capable of time travel or could be used like George Lucas's Death Star). It's been suggested by some that the government has used UFOs as psychological warfare toward countries not friendly toward the US. I can see how this would've worked for a while in the 1940s and a ways further, but by today I'm pretty convinced that at least some of these other countries would've figured out what was happening, in which case the charade couldn't be continued with any effectiveness—much akin to the ominous scarecrow in the field who initially strikes terror into the heart of any respectable crow, but who later becomes a perch for the crows to sit on and leisurely eat their spoils.

Some believe that UFOs are employed as intelligence gathering devices, and this would explain the need to keep the public in the dark about them. If so, however, there is certainly a lot of intelligence being gathered all over the United States as well as in many other countries on any given day—in cities, rural areas and countrysides where the most intelligent life available is either cattle or vegetation. Historically, intelligence gathering vehicles (such as the U-2 spy plane and the SR-71) are somewhat stealthy and unreachable, and great care is taken not to let them fall into the hands of "the enemy". Statistically, as many little white spheres as are reported for any given month, it seems probable for at least a few of them to crash and be examined by civilians unless they self-destructed on impact or were tracked and immediately retrieved by their operators. Also, do the scores of small spheres seen in the skies of the US originate from the US, or are they foreign intelligence devices allowed to freely come and go?

The US government hasn't had all that difficult of a time keeping the UFO enigma under wraps, and whenever something has leaked or been seen that shouldn't have, it hasn't had much problem with damage control to where the incident usually goes away pretty quickly (the Roswell incident being one very large exception, but this was back when the US government was still pretty new at covering these things up and hadn't learned the proverbial ropes). Just like the statistical odds of a gambler eventually losing all his winnings if he continues gambling, the odds of a secret being kept diminish with time and with the more people privy to the information, and eventually—whether willful disclosure is made or not—some sort of undeniable proof of either alien life or the fact that the US government knows all about UFOs will come out with the wash without being effectively swept under the carpet. It's been over 60 years now, so we'd best not hold our breath waiting—it might be 60 more before the lucky roll of the dice.

Before closing, I have one last thought for the day on the subject of disclosure. As stated earlier, UFOs and the possibility of intelligent alien life is absolutely fascinating to me, and my eyes look skyward any chance I get in the hopes I might see something "unconventional". I love real mysteries, and I can't think of many other mysteries that have been historically as hard to unravel. There is zero doubt that there are unconventional craft that flit around in our atmosphere—anyone who believes differently is either in great denial, doesn't get out much, or hasn't studied the matter. Whether alien life exists or not remains to be seen, but it's what keeps me interested in the subject of UFOs. Were the government to disclose tomorrow that they've been in contact with or been aware of aliens and have covered up the fact for many years, the magic and mystery that initially got many of us interested in the subject decades ago would be gone.

Be careful what you wish for...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

UFO Crash in Needles, California

On May 14 of this year, something described as the size of a semi trailer crashed south of Las Vegas near the town of Needles, California. The object was described by witnesses to be glowing with a turquoise color as it impacted near the Colorado River. The article can be found here.

Alien craft? Test vehicle from Area 51? Meteor? Something entirely different? You be the judge...

George Knapp of KLAS TV is the premier investigative reporter of the strange, in my humble opinion.