Independence Day: Real?

Actor Will Smith plays a fictional fighter pilot confronted by an alien UFO capable of fending off nuclear weapons and disabling large parts of the U.S. arsenal in the 1996 blockbuster film, Independence Day. Wild science fiction? Not according to seven former US Air Force officers who held a press conference in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club to discuss UFO encounters. According to the airmen stationed at different bases throughout the Country, all witnessed UFO’s and some even experienced loss of use of nuclear weapons under their care. One airman described red orbs disabling nuclear weapons for two days.

“Nobody was injured and I don’t consider it an attack but it certainly it was a national security incident and something the Air Force said has never happen in their official policy documents,” said Robert Salas, a former U.S. Air Force Nuclear Launch Officer.

An Air Force program called Project Blue Book investigated UFOs from 1948 to 1969. Project Blue Book concluded that “no UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security.”

Source: Woman’s Day

– Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

59 thoughts on “Independence Day: Real?”

  1. Buddah.

    I suspect that we could only understand other intelligences to the extent that their thinking resembles ours.

    It is probably beyond the ability of any human science fiction writer to describe a really alien alien. CJ Cherryh comes closest in my view with her Faded Sun and Foreigner series.

    The bottom line about REAL aliens is this: if they have the technology to get here, they have the technology to wipe us out in an instant.

    Exactly, and if I ever meet one I will advise him that they should be ready to wipe us out before we reach technological parity as if they don’t we will do to them what we have done to every human race we have conquered except for the bit about raping their women and producing an undercaste with a tiny proportion of alien DNA.

  2. Patric.

    You really shouldn’t – for matters of accuracy – continue to interchange UFOs with sports cares from Mars.

    I don’t assume that a report of a UFO is a report of a sports car from Mars, it may be a report of something that some intelligence is trying to pass off as a sports car from Mars, but we should not make any assumptions about where that intelligence originates. The things people see may not be real objects, any more that the things projected on a movie screen are real objects, the intelligence responsible may be as terrestrial as we are or they may be from another universe than ours.

    What I mean when I say that there is in the public domain absolutly no evidence of an actual UFO I mean no physical evidence. Even photographs if not fake are only evidence of light falling photographic film, they are not evidence that the thing photographed was not some kind of projected image rather than a physical object. There is no one who admits to having captured a mysterious apparent flying object. There are plenty of people who accuse others of having done so, the most accused entity being the US air force.

    J Allen Hynek was careful to say that he studied UFO reports, not UFOs. Other credible authors on UFO phenomena do not go as far as Hynek went to explicitly state this but I suspect that most of them would if pressed agree with his attitude. The thing is that reports can be classified into a small finite set of classes. Hyneks classification scheme was as follows:-

    1/ Nocturnal lights;
    2/ Daylike Disks;
    3/ Close encounters of the first kind, that is the UFO appears sufficiently close that details can be seen;
    4/ Close encounters of the second kind where the UFO interacts with the environment and leaves physical evidence;
    5/ Close encounters of the third kind, ie occupants.

    There is little variety in the observations of nocturnal lights, it is easy to assume that one sighting is of the same phenomena as any other. The characteristics of nocturnal lights are:-

    1/ No visible body, just a bright light or cluster of lights;
    2/ Noiseless, no sound of engines or sonic booms;
    3/ Apparent high speed assuming that the distance from the observers is as it seems large;
    4/ Apparent absence of inertia. Real aircraft when changing direction are constrained to fly circular paths, nocturnal lights can stop dead or fly the outline of a triangle at constant speed;
    5/ Falling leaf behaviour is sometimes observed;
    6/ Splitting combining behaviour is sometimes observed. Sometimes a light splits into multiple lights which rush off in different directions and sometimes multiple lights appear to converge and combine into one.

    Daylight disks are in many cases similar to nocturnal lights with the exception that the observation occurs in daylight and there appears to be a visible body, usually circular but other shapes including cigar shaped and triangular have been seen. Behaviour is similar except that I do not remember reading of any case of daylight discs splitting or combining. Falling leaf behaviour has been observed which makes sense if a circular physical object is allowed to fall with power switched off. There also have been observations at twilight of objects that appear both physical and self illuminated, perhaps the transition between nocturnal light and daylight disc.

    I regret that I have never myself seen anything that is not easily explained by ordinary phenomena, but one person with whom I used to work and believe to be credible described an experience that matches the description of nocturnal lights.

    The first UFO book I bought was one of J Allen Hynek’s and that was sometime in the late sixties. Since then I have bought more and found very few that were obviously written by credulous lunatics. Hynek and Valle are the two authors at the top of my recommendation list. Valle has moved to thinking that the UFO phenomena is not susceptible to scientific study because it is under the control of an intelligence, and anything observed is seen because that intelligence intended it to be seen, he now sees the phenomena as being able to be studied only with the techniques of intelligence professionals. Valle speculates that this intelligence is trying to introduce certain ideas into human minds. He also no longer asserts that contactees who claim to have met blue eyed fair haired nordic men from Venus are hoaxing, he thinks that the nordic men are real but lying when they say that they are from Venus.

  3. PatricParamedic,

    In science fiction, aliens are very often used discuss some aspect of human behavior. Truly alien aliens in the genre are the exception, not the norm. Which is to be expected considering most science fiction writers are human. For an example in contrast, compare any Star Trek alien (with possibly the exceptions of the Tholians or the Horta) to Lem’s living planet in Solaris or Clarke’s Monolith builders from 2001: A Space Odyssey. When contrasted with the inscrutable motives of Solaris or the Monoliths, the motives and actions of most ST species are clearly rooted in human behavior: Klingons = aggression, Ferengi = greed, Romulans = paranoia, etc.

    As far as Independence Day goes, CM is correct. The description of the aliens motives given by Bill Pullman could be applied to humans many times over our history: we move in, destroy the natives and steal the resources before moving on, all the while leaving massive destruction in our wake. There’s nothing more human than that.

    As a film, ID is nothing but special effects eye-candy. Without the effects and on the merits of literary examination as science fiction, it’s total crap. Easily one of the dumbest SF movies ever, it’s also jingoistic and arrogant. The bottom line about REAL aliens is this: if they have the technology to get here, they have the technology to wipe us out in an instant. At our current level of technology, we’d be helpless. So how does Roland Emmerich address this issue? By applying a large slobbering dose of deus ex machina. Literally. We beat the aliens with a computer virus written by Jeff Goldblum? Seriously? That is so lame from an artistic and scientific standpoint that as a writer it makes me want to barf.

  4. Carlyle –

    Nobody as well-read in this subject as you apparently are, should be making the following errors:

    “There is in the public domain absolutely no evidence of an actual UFO.”

    1. “Public domain” is a pretty loose term, considering former NASA astronauts & Presidents are, by definition, public folks. So is MUFON, for that matter, and they’ve got ten tons of “evidence:

    2. An ‘actual UFO’ is by definition anything flying in the sky that can’t readily be identified. You really shouldn’t – for matters of accuracy – continue to interchange UFOs with sports cares from Mars. Big difference.

    Here’s a cool vignette:

    I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where my elderly uncle Otis was what they used to call a ‘night watchman’ at Wright-Patterson airbase, home of Project Blue Book way back when. One of his jobs was to unlock the doors to all the offices one at a time, so the janitors could gather up the shredded files and tote them out to the incinerator every night. I once asked uncle Otis if he ever saw anything strange around the Blue Book office. He thought about it and then said, “No, not really. It was a pretty tiny little two-room nook and looked very ordinary.”

    I was very disappointed. But then he said, “But they sure generated more shredded paper than anybody else did.”

  5. Independence Day, one of the worst movies ever made its only redeeming feature is its accurate depiction of human nature, not in the humans but in the aliens.

    Another such piece of awful sci-fi crap is the TV series “V”. Although its depiction of human nature among the evil aliens is accurate, its depiction of human nature among humans is absurd. Instead of forming tea parties to pass laws to imprison the aliens before sending them back where they came from the humans in V are all for friendship with the invaders, how unlike real humans, how unlike real Americans.

  6. Kate M.

    Your description of Leslie Kean’s approach to the study UFOs is very similar to that of J Allen Hynek, former professor of Astronomy at Northwestern University in Illinois and is in my opinion the best author to start with for any interested in the UFO phenomenon.

    One of J Allen Hynek’s books which I bought at a railway book stall and read on the train many years ago, I forget its title, was what convinced me that UFO phenomena have some base in reality. Hynek’s interest in the subject started when he was hired by the US Air Force’s Project Blue Book as one of its resident debunkers of UFO reports, and he is famous for coining the term “swamp gas” to dismiss some reports.

    Over time Hynek examined the accumulated files of project Blue Book and he came to the conclusion that 95% of reports were easily dismissible as misperceptions of aircraft, satellites, planets near the horizon, meteors or weather phenomena, but there remained 5% that could not so be dismissed if the words of the reporters actually described what they saw. He concentrated on a subset of these reports where what was obviously the one object was reported by multiple unrelelated observers and the observers were ones of credibility such as pilots, military and airline, police, members of the military and so on. He also bent over backwards not to make assumptions that were unprovable. Hynek never claimed to study UFOs, only reports thereof since Roswell aside there is in the public domain absolutly no evidence of an actual UFO. Hynek for example does not assume that UFO sightings are evidence of extraterrestrial space craft. The other author that I will recommend is Jacques Valle.

    Before I read books by Hynek and others I was under the impression hat those who took UFOs seriously were kooks, but since then I have read the works of many different authors and none of them strike me as kooks many of them are ex-airforce officers. Even some such as Adamski who come across as obvious lunatics may not be such. According to Jacques Valle the phenomenon is real and even those who claim to talk to tall flying saucer men with long fair hair and blue eyes who come from Venus are not lying just falling for hoaxes perpetrated by tall men with blue eyes and long fair hair who happen to possess a working unconventional flying machine of disc-like shape and unknown working principles. Valle eventually comes to the conclusion that UFO reports are the result of a show deliberately put on for us by some intelligence, not necessarily extraterrestrial and as such are no more evidence than were the inflatable dummy tanks with which the British fooled Hitler into thinking the D-day invasion was to take place other than where it actually occurred.

  7. Kate –

    It truly grates on me, too, every time I hear a $100,000 news anchor use the very appropriate term “UFO” for alien spacecraft.

    I would encourage anyone who is honestly interested in this subject to take a peek at this. Here’s a guy with nothing to prove and has a phenomenal resume:

    I don’t know if the story he tells is the same as the one the airline pilot told me, but it sounds very similar.

    Either way, not every UFO witness is a half-blitzed lumberjack with a six pack.

  8. mespo,

    So now you’re reading Woman’s Day magazine? Very interesting.

    I guess you, David, and I will look anywhere and everywhere for an interesting story this week. Maybe I’ll check out GQ.

  9. I’ve just finished reading the new book *UFOs* by Leslie Kean, and I highly recommend it. She does what I’ve wanted someone to do for decades: she eliminates the large majority of reports that can be explained and looks into the ones that remain unidentified. Plus, she eliminates reports by people who are not trained observers and focuses on reports from military sources, commercial and private pilots, police officers, air traffic controllers, etc. It’s all meticulously documented and footnoted.

    Also, she discusses a couple of things I’ve found interesting over the years – the virtual taboo on taking UFOs seriously in this country and the way people equate the term “UFO” with “alien spaceship.”


  10. All this talk of thangs a’comin’ outta the sky has me fearin’ the hauntin’ alien words:

    “dinga bop bappa boopa lappa loom bam boom!”

  11. Speaking of things that go bump in the sky … where in the hell is AY? (uh huh … I can do poetry)

  12. Great story, PatricParamedic. I suspect there are lots of things our government knows but won’t tell us.

  13. About 10 years ago I happened to be on an American Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. About a dozen AA pilots were passengers on that flight, and two of them were seated near me. So I decided to take that opportunity to introduce myself, and ask if either of them had ever had a strange encounter while flying. For the next 90 minutes, I sat like a kid at a tennis match, my head bobbing from one to the other, as they compared notes on two different encounters they’d had as flight captains.

    The most fascinating was the story of a “large, softly glowing ball of light” which, according to the older pilot, had played tag with his airliner for hours on a flight from Chicago to San Francisco, in the mid-1980’s. He recounted in detail how it had simply pulled up near the plane over Nebraska, and flew off to their left for some time. He stated because everyone on the plane was an AA employee, he advised them all to sit tight, as he was about to try something. Then, he said, he banked the airliner toward the light, which immediately “leaped over the top of us, and settled very close, just off to the right of the wing.”

    The pilot said his aircraft and the UFO “played a weird game of cat & mouse” for well over an hour, before it simply shot off and disappeared, as they began their descent toward the Bay Area. Upon landing at SFO, the entire group of about 38 AA employees talked about what they had experienced, and whether they ought to file a formal UFO report. All the pilots on the plane were against the idea, because they knew the subsequent protocol would involve a psychiatric consult, and that could spell doom for a career. All the non pilots – desk people, supervisors, mechanics & flight attendants – wanted to file an official report. They had all watched the events through the windows, shifting back & forth across the aisle each time the light would “jump playfully” over the plane.

    According to the pilots, they never did file a report.

    The other pilot had been a neighbor of one of the Apollo astronauts, and he said the entire subject of intelligently-controlled UFOs was common knowledge at NASA.

    Just thought I’d pass along what I’ve always thought was a very interesting story.

  14. Byron,

    Brain Salad Surgery?

    “It is hoped that the newly identified gyral and sulcal features reported below for Einstein’s cerebral cortex will be of interest to future scholars. Despite the fact that a large portion of Einstein’s cerebral cortex was superficially unremarkable, regions in and near his primary somatosensory and motor cortices were highly unusual, and it is tentatively suggested that these may have contributed to the neuroanatomical substrates for some of his remarkable abilities.”

    From New Information about Albert Einstein’s Brain by Dean Falk, Department of Anthropology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

  15. They say Einstein was an extraterrestrial foundling. Maybe “they” were right.

    The ET’s dropped us off around 50,000 years ago to see how long we would take to develop a sophisticated civilization. We are just one big petri dish for ET.

    The fossil record doesn’t show modern man before about 50,000 BC, now you know why.

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