My Embarrassing Secret Belief

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

 In the years, I’ve spent commenting here at Professor Turley’s blog, I have presented myself as an honest person, sensible and with humane beliefs. Many regulars think of me as sort of a blog “elder statesman” and one who has a rational view of the world. There are of course others, fewer in number I assert, who think me a fool and a knave, which shows you can’t please everyone. Professor Turley himself has expressed fondness related to my tendency to be honest and open about myself personally.

 Yet through all of these years here, I have harbored a secret belief that I’ve avoided mentioning for fear that the esteem in which I’m held, will disappear in an avalanche of ridicule and disappointment. I have to admit that to a retired old guy on the wrong side of sixty years, my place here has provided comfort to my self-esteem and certainly the feeling that I can still find things in life to accomplish. To those who haven’t realized the obvious yet from my writings, I have my vanities and indeed my insecurities, so being a guest blogger has stroked those needy aspects of my ego. Since I’ve received much gratification from this, I have been loath to be completely honest about one of my more deeply held beliefs. I came across an article that impels me to break my silence and reveal this belief here and now. While in the eyes of some reading this blog, it might lower their opinion of me and expose me to ridicule, I must finally admit to you my dirty little secret.

Ever since the first nationwide “Flying Saucer” sensation began with the first “official” UFO sighting on June 24, 1947 by pilot Kenneth Arnold http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Arnold_UFO_sighting#Skeptical_explanations  Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) have been a phenomenon lasting for the past 64 years, with most governments ridiculing the people making the reports and dismissing the entire idea. This is despite the fact that many pilots have made sightings and indeed many people in large communities, such as WashingtonD.C., have seen UFO’s in their skies over a period of nights. I personally believe that UFO’s are indeed alien spacecraft and that the possibility of this being the case is narrowed by the unfathomable size of the Universe, its age and the trillions of stars that exist. I further believe that the governments have covered this up to prevent what in their minds is public panic and to deny the truth that if UFO’s do indeed exist; our technological capacity could not deal with them if necessary.

 This article in Huffpost on 6/17/11confirms my belief in governments covering up the details of these sightings and ridiculing anyone claiming to have made a sighting: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/uk-releases-ufo-files_n_927351.html  “The former Ministry of Defense (MoD) UFO Project chief [Nick Pope] is openly admitting to being part of what he claims was a U.K. policy of ridiculing UFO reports and the people who reported them.

 “What’s abundantly clear from these files is that, while in public we were desperately pushing the line that this was of no defense interest,” Pope told The Huffington Post. “We couldn’t say ‘There’s something in our air space; pilots see them; they’re tracked on radar; sometimes we scramble jets to chase these things, but we can’t catch them.’ This would be an admission that we’d lost control of our own air space, and such a position would be untenable.”

 My interest began in 1953, reading a book by Major Donald Keyhoe, USMC Pilot, Retired. In it he described the various documented incidents and the explanations given for them by the Department Of Defenses “Project Blue Book”, that was established seemingly to investigate the phenomenon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Keyhoe . Among others, Keyhoe had interviewed Air Force Captain Edward Ruppelt, who had been head of the Project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_J._Ruppelt

 What I found so compelling was that perhaps 20% of the incidents could not be adequately explained and that distinguished observers, such as veteran pilots, were supposed to have mistaken everyday phenomenon, like weather balloons and Venus, for UFO’s. As my interest grew, it became obvious that our government would respond to any new sighting by first ridicule of the person(s) making the report of the sighting and then responding with explanations that were not credible. In the D.C., sightings in 1953 a mass of objects were not only detected by eye, but by airport radar and yet dismissed without adequate explanation.

 What added to the government’s ability to ridicule were the so-called direct contact cases, first made famous by George Adamski: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Adamski and later by Betty and Barney Hill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Hill . Since the “contactees” in these cases seemed mainly to be self-serving individuals, they muddied the waters by being conflated with people who were seriously looking for explanations, or who had made direct sightings. Considering what the Huffpost article cited as details about the British Government’s policies, ridicule replaced research as a tool of institutional government investigation.

 In further revealing my dirty little secret, I was for a time, in my teens, a dues paying member of The “National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (or NICAP). It was a civilian unidentified flying object research group active in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NICAP

 While I never lost interest in UFO’s, my interest waned as my puberty began to assert itself and other things in life became more important. However, I have read enough about the topic to be certain in my own mind that there is much more to it than merely misidentification of known objects, moneymaking schemes, and public hysteria. In fact, an article in yesterdays Huffpost shows that the amount of UFO sightings has increased in recent years: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/26/ufos-pilots-history-channel_n_935847.html

 As someone interested in ancient history some of the writings of Sitchin, Velikovsy and Von Danniken

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitchin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Velikovsky

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_von_D%C3%A4niken

also, attract my interest and tie in with my feeling about UFO’s. I am keen on the possibility of Alien visits throughout human history and the possibility that they have affected our history and progress.

 So there you have it. I’ve exposed one of the final embarrassing secrets about myself and opened up to your possible ridicule and/or opprobrium. Since we have so many people here who are qualified to comment, given their knowledge of science and other erudition, I would enjoy your comments. In any event, I feel much better having gotten this off my chest and while I’ve exposed myself further as someone with quirky sensibilities, I feel a certain lightness and freedom in making my confession.

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

148 thoughts on “My Embarrassing Secret Belief”

  1. You should never feel embrassed by. There are plenty of people who would agree with you. The probability that there is intelligence out there is highly probable.
    Sure it is wishful thinking for many. But there are many clues that point to aliens being directly involved with humans throughout history. Today, UFOs and aliens are becoming more openly talked about because we are advancing in technology and communication.
    The whole world will never truly believe in them until they are disclosed to us “officially” (if they are). They are a great subject to talk about.

  2. The reason people feel / think / believe /there being
    aliens The reality /humans are aliens to themselves.

    I hope that clears your reasoning / of belief in aliens.

    THE CURE one must GO beyond belief /unto that of
    knowing truth // not beliefs /not ideas / knowing truth.

    Now your question / HOW CAN SUCH BE DONE ???.

    Its realy very simple. The means not being a alien to
    yourself / is knowing yourself. Not as you’ve become
    within the world / but experience the essence of your
    own being // in one’s knowing / in one understanding
    the power that sustains all life / the power of creation.

    On PC seach put (words of peace) on site be a large
    selection of videos / which Prem Rawat talks explains
    of meditation / where one focuses the senses inward
    bringing / depths of understanding as experience / in
    a unfolding of the spiritual self /via / practical spiritual
    experience // which answers all question // giving one
    a clarity of clearly understanding /life its ultimate goal
    that one becomes enlightened through their practical
    experience in knowing /understand power of creation.

    Thus in truth untill one pull back the curtain of illusion
    then one be the alien unto themselves /thus believing
    in aliens. When alien to self / then it be aliens existing.

  3. Jay S.

    But if we are being visited by advanced ETs, maybe THEY DON’T WANT to leave any evidence behind.

    If they don’t want to leave any evidence they are pretty incompetent in going about it. Another possibility is that some intelligence is deliberately setting up UFO observation experiences for reasons that could range from playing a joke on the primitives to propagating the idea among humans that they are being visited by extraterrestrial aliens.

    Obviously intelligence is involved in the phenomena, but it is silly to assume that such an intelligence would think the way humans think and any assumptions based on the assumption that it does should be treated as possibilities rather than certainties.

    I was a skeptic about UFOs until I read one of J Allen Hynek’s books. I also believed that most people who wrote books on UFOs were kooks. Since then I have bought many books on the subject and none of the authors turned out to be kooks although most are too ready to jump to the alien spacecraft conclusion. Most of these books cover the same ground, however I would recommend to people knowing nothing of the subject just two authors, J Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallee. Both are skeptics but Vallee’s skepticism has led in an interesting direction, first connecting UFO phenomena with folklore from the past such as the European folklore about fairies and second seeing the phenomena as an intelligence problem (as in military intelligence) not amenable to scientific study beyond very narrow limits since one cannot rule out that observers are seeing only wha some intelligence wants them to see and no more.

    Use a Google search limited to amazon for books by these authors. I have not included links because of the one link limit on this blog.

    I would recommend Hynek’s “The UFO Experience a Scientific Enquiry” and Jacques Vallee’s “Messengers of Deception” to start with but all books by these authors are worthwhile.

  4. A criticism of UFOs and ETs is that they are not testable in the scientific sense, and they do not leave behind concrete evidence of their visitation.

    But if we are being visited by advanced ETs, maybe THEY DON’T WANT to leave any evidence behind. Only when they get careless or have an accident (e.g., Roswell). I use the analogy of humans and ducks. Humans can study ducks indefinitely without the ducks catching on to what is happening. And I suspect that ETs can study us indefinitely with low probability of leaving anything behind or getting caught. Perhaps ETs might have concluded that even when they do show themselves, humans don’t do much about it, so the ETs may eventually let their guard down.

  5. Some random thoughts and comments:
    1) A number of teams have been looking for evidence of extra-terrestrial life by listening for radio or optical communications with “artificial” characteristics. So far, nothing has been found. (not like the movie Contact). In my opinion, we are AWASH in alien communications, and either can’t detect it or can’t recognize it for what it is. I make the analogy that ETs are to us as we are to ducks. If a duck wants to know if there is intelligent life nearby, he/she listens for quacking. But ducks will never detect or understand the internet.
    2) People often used to ask the late astronomer Carl Sagan if he believed in ETs visiting earth. His answer was generally along the lines that if there WERE ET’s, they’d want to come to Cornell and talk physics with him. Since that hadn’t occurred, obviously extraterrestrials had not visited earth…. To use the metaphor of item 1), it is hard for us to think that we might be the “ducks.” We seem to expect that ETs would be very nearly like us, and only very little more advanced.
    3) It is not difficult to contemplate a potential link between ETs and religion. Some Biblical events have been interpreted as representing a visitation of the ET sort. (“Ezekial saw the wheel….”) I think that an ET visitor with nothing more than a blimp, a searchlight, a flamethrower, a loudspeaker, a rifle, and maybe some poison gas could pass him/her/it self off as a god or THE God. Some have speculated that Jesus of Nazareth was an ET/human hybrid. (this ties into UFO encounters where the ETs seem to be interested in human biology and reproduction, to the point of abducting women and stealing their eggs) That is, how hard would it be to do the Virgin Birth thing? Need to find an isolated and naive woman, knock her out, remove an egg laparoscopically, do in-vitro fertilization, and then implant laparoscopically. And we are only a couple of thousand years past the life of Jesus and maybe a thousand or two more past Old Testament events. Think how easy these “miracles” would be to a species with hundreds of thousands if not millions of years more experience and development than we have?

  6. From the September, 1947, until December, 1954, my family lived in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin (the closest city to where I now live). I knew Jim and Coral Lorenzen, and happened to talk with Jim a very few hours after the “UFO” incident that led to the Lorenzens founding the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/aerial-phenomena-research-organization

    Jim was a well-trained electronics technician and a Musician’s Union bass-player jazz musician. I have never, to my awareness, seen a “UFO,” and I am quite skeptical about so-called UFOs.

    Nevertheless, whatever happened in Door County in 1952 (the local newspaper, “The Door County Advocate,” reported many, perhaps hundreds of people, including police officers, saw the apparent UFO that dramatically altered the direction of JIm Lorenzen’s life.

    Before ruling out there being something real about UFO observations, it might be helpful to explain, in detail, how existence itself came to exist. Perhaps a testable, in-principle-refutable “Theory of Everything” is needed?

    Consider a typical “drinking glass.” Consider breaking it, perhaps accidentally, by dropping it. Prior to its breaking, it is not made of the pieces into which it breaks because the surface formed in breaking does not exist in the intact glass. Analytical reductionism has its uses, yet when something is taken apart into its constituent components, the relationships of the constituent components into which it is broken are lost in the breaking process, yet those lost relationships were constituent components of the intact glass.

    Consider the intact glass, made of atoms forming molecules forming the glass, and consider that atoms are almost entirely empty space. Is the intact glass therefore made mostly of empty space? Next, consider the glass as made of de Broglie (matter) waves. Is there a non-infinitesimal volume within the substance of the glass in which the de Broglie wave function is identically zero for all time, hence empty space?

    Then there are people who study physics, particularly quantum mechanics, and who observe that existence may be made of probability patterns at any and every possible scale of observation. What are probability patterns and what limits the forms and functions of which probability patterns are capable?

    What is the directly observable nature of the existence of non-existence?

    What is “government”?

  7. Re: Majestic 12

    http://vault.fbi.gov/Majestic%2012/Majestic%2012%20Part%201%20of%201/view

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majestic_12

    “Who in the hell knows”, as as good friend often says…

    In perusing the FBI documents, I found it amusing that “BOGUS” is written across many of the pages. I guess that it’s one way of expressing oneself, but it strikes me as a bit unprofessional.

    In general, teasing out the truth isn’t always an easy endeavor… Knowing that truth, honesty, integrity… are in increasingly short supply in certain governmental quarters, keeping an open mind is perhaps the best approach, as I said earlier in this thread…

  8. J&G R-S,

    Actually, we have the thrust to do it (velocity in space is all about thrust and duration – a Saturn V rocket, say, delivers a lot of thrust – an interstellar ship doesn’t require as high a thrust to mass ratio), just not the power – that will likely change when we achieve controlled fusion (probably a necessity anyway…). Human exploration beyond the solar system will likely have to wait until we get near the 3-year trip that I suggested (as you said, robots will go first), but if we can just get out into the solar system I think our space travel technology will develop quite rapidly – think about the dividends we could get from Lunar bases, astroid mining, Mars colonies, etc. If we don’t kill ourselves or drown in our own filth I think we’ll get there before too long…

  9. Mr. Friedrich,

    Concerning your comment to Mr. Spindell “…still didn’t prevent you from voting for a corporate shill warmonger like Obama — even though his being a creature of the banks…”

    I don’t see it like that.

    Obama being elected as President is an honor to the people of the United States and to people of good will everywhere. We were able to transcend our inherit racism and draw closer to the ideal of a humane and noble humankind. That he in and of himself failed so miserably on his end no way diminishes us in ours.

    Mr. Spindell,

    “Too often the ancient texts available to us have been viewed as the writings of primitive minds, steeped in superstition and story telling bearing no relation to history.”

    I nod my head to the greats of time and call them friends, though I know myself not to be their equal. I wish to be with them after my time here is through.

  10. Slartibartfast,

    For a three-year trip, robotic crews might not be an absolute necessity, provided the spacecraft is large enough or has the equivalent of a holodeck to keep cabin fever away. Some plans for a human expedition to Mars propose a three-year mission: about six months to get there, two years on Mars, then six months to get back. But for interstellar exploration, even if a spacecraft was able to achieve the, for now, impossible velocity of 10% of the speed of light, it would take almost fifty years to reach the closest star, and centuries to millennia to visit some of the most interesting exoplanets discovered so far.

  11. Gene,

    You would certainly want the best computer/robot(/cyborg? ;-)) technology available at the time and I’m a big believer in exploring the solar system (or prospecting a new one) with robots or remote controlled drones (an ansible would come in handy, too – as well as making some sort of interstellar society possible…). I was just pointing out that – radiation issues aside – the life support problem is about the same one as a trip to Mars, i.e. one that we are already pretty close to being able to solve. By the time we’ve gotten the power and propulsion issues worked out, I expect life support to relatively easy to deal with. At the very least you would want to be able to send robot probes before you sent humans on one-way trips if possible (possible in this sense means a strong enough communications laser, I think… unless you can upgrade to an ansible [and if we run into the Kzin you’re going to wish we brought a comm laser instead of an ansible…]). I also think that people build railroads when it’s time to build railroads (subtitle: Why Leo couldn’t fly). When propulsion and communication make contemplating interstellar travel possible, bio-environment engineering will catch up fast if it’s not already there, in my opinion.

  12. Slartibartfast,

    In re robotic crews. Think technological synergy. We use telepresence now to control drone half way around the world on a daily basis. With communications based on quantum entanglement (effectively an ansible), it still makes sense to send robotic bodies and control them remotely. You could build smaller ships (no traditional crew and commons areas) with less radiation shielding and carry only mission critical materials instead of all the food and water required for a biological crew. This doesn’t include the benefit of hazard replacements for crew. One of your red shirts buys it on a mission? No big deal as long as you’ve got a replacement body on board for the controller. In fact, other than maintenance and away teams, you wouldn’t really need traditional style bodies for most of the crew. There is also the benefit of non-traditional style bodies specially mission outfitted for hostile environments, research and/or combat. Not being tied directly to meat space at work has some advantages in space travel.

  13. Slarti,

    100 Geese on a plane you got Gander….Bad gander….and not so good Karma either….

    I was listening to something on NPR Friday about aerodynamics….and a professor was talking about gravity and the space probe…gave an analogy about the Geese…I am sure it was NPR….as I don’t usually listen to anything else….

  14. lotta ^..^,

    The last time I saw Buster they were using him to test the myth that water is as hard as pavement – they had to find alternate means to test (dropping pig carcasses onto pavement and water at terminal velocity) because they maxed out their accelerometer at over 500 Gs. It wasn’t like I was shooting him AT anything… hmm… I wonder what we could shoot Buster at…

    As for the Christmas episode, I haven’t seen it, but it’s part of the show that they must replicate the results of the myth (even if the myth is busted). My favorite Mythbusters Christmas tree decoration was primer cord – after busting the myth that you could explode a tree with liquid nitrogen they needed to make the tree explode somehow…

  15. Just to step back a bit from a few of the more speculative ideas discussed in these comments, we’d like to offer two comments of our own.

    First, Carlyle hit on something that seemed to go under the radar: robotic crews. Many arguments against the possibility of alien lifeforms making interstellar journeys disappear if we replace the word “lifeforms” with “intelligences.”

    Using 1970s technology, NASA was able to launch probes that have left the solar system – the Pioneers and Voyagers. The two Voyager probes are still functioning, 34 years later. Even without imagining that future researchers might discover ways to bypass what we consider to be fundamental laws of nature, e.g. the speed of light, we have no trouble thinking that 2070 technology will be able to build interstellar probes that function for centuries. As for the state of propulsion, communication, and artificial intelligence technologies that will exist in 2170 and 2270 (to say nothing of the technologies that no one’s even imagined today), the idea that probes with artificial intelligence (easily surpassing human intelligence) could make interstellar voyages seems inevitable. As for what humans, or human/AI hybrids will be technologically capable of doing a thousand years from now… we have no doubt the world – barring disaster – will be even more astonishing than today’s wildest science fiction.

    Our second comment takes an additional step back from Mike’s association of UFOs with alien visitations. (For the record, we think that association is a reasonable hypothesis, though there’s nowhere near enough evidence to support it – at least in the public sphere.)

    Earlier this year, we read a compelling book by Leslie Kean – UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record. Kean examines the U.S. government’s official position that it no longer investigates UFO sightings because UFOs are not a threat to the military, or to civil aviation. Kean then systematically, and convincingly disputes those claims, citing instances when UFOs were associated with Minuteman missile malfunctions and interference with civilian airliners, and provides testimony that the U.S. government does secretly investigate UFO incidents.

    However, in the absence of compelling evidence, Kean draws no conclusion as to the nature of UFOs, which sets the book apart from so many others in the field. She draws the line at stating that UFOs – at least in the documented incidents she describes – are physical objects capable of powered flight that exceed the capabilities of current aviation technology. Since any mention of aliens is sure to create a spirited debate – as in these comments – we think her decision to not take that next step in her book was wise.

    The immediate questions then become simple and direct: What are UFOs (like the ones described in her book), and why does the U.S. government investigate them while claiming it does not?

    Good questions. Fascinating subject.

  16. “1968 Chicago was a peaceful protest until a “police riot” broke out, as an official government report called it.

    I was only 7 but still remember the sting & smell of the tear gas, so I could hardly be responsible for anything.

    As far as idolizing Cleaver & Rubin, that must be a freudian slip referring to your own political trajectory since Eldridge died a Republican and Jerry was killed after being hit by a car on Wilschire Blvd. in front of his $5k/mo. penthouse apartment.”

    Karl,

    I was 24 at the time of Chicago and involved in radical politics. I don’t know what crap your parent’s handed you, but the whole idea of the “peaceful protest” was to provoke a police reaction. This was well known in radical circles way before the protest and was discussed openly. As for your parents bringing you there it was an extremely irresponsible act on their part. Perhaps though, they were just idealistic young kids themselves and didn’t understand the manipulation being pulled.

    Because I was involved in union politics with radicals I learned through hard experience that many who seemed to be on the side of “truth and justice” were no less sociopathic than those we opposed. They didn’t want justices for the masses, they wanted to rule the masses in the same way that any sociopathic politician does.

    As far as your claim to have attended all the Washington Peace Rally’s now I understand. You were a young kid, with idealistic, probably naive parents, who viewed it all from that immature perspective. You didn’t understand how at many “peaceful” rallies the PLP (Maoists to you) would dress in riot gear and literally try to herd people into violent confrontation with police. I know, because I had to fight my way through the PLP people because I WAS there for peaceful protest. Let me inform you why.

    MLK’s genius, taken from Gandhi, was that violent protests don’t work. In his time he and the SCLC did more for African Americans than any other movement. MLK understood that not only would violence beget violence, but it would also lose the sympathy of the majority of the public.

    The organized Marxists came from a belief that you had to light a match through violence to make the repression so bad that the people would rebel, under their guidance of course. They were too blindly doctrinaire to realize a tactic like that wouldn’t work and would in fact boomerang. When this type of thinking took ascendancy in both the Civil Rights and the Peace Movement both movements began to fail. That’s why, not understanding your youth at the time, referenced Cleaver and Rubin. Cleaver, along with Stokely Carmichael helped destroy the Civil Rights Movement with their advocacy of violence. Rubin and his buddy Hoffman did the same with the Peace Movement aided by various Marxist fronts. Rubin by the way clearly emphasized that the Yippies goals in Chicago were to provoke police violence. I referenced them to show how they were really much more about ego and getting laid, than social justice.

    Now if you really want to get some understanding of what went on back then, it is important to note that there was Government Counter Intelligence tactics also at play. I don’t forgive or forget that, nor do I forget the various fortuitous assassinations of key people on the Left. They played us for fools and we in the Movement played along with them, so convinced were we that our cause would sweep America. It is also no coincidence that the CIA’s Air America began flying in heroin to the US in return for getting the assistance of the “Golden Triangle”. Heroin tore the Black community apart by picking off the young people.

    Now you can think of me and my politics whatever you will, because you were there by proxy of being a child and I was there as a man. A man who has never given up his commitment to social justice and racial equality, but a man whose experience has made him smart enough to understand that just because people espouse the same goals you do, doesn’t mean they’re on your side.

  17. OS, Johnny Cash is always a treat, Thanks.

    I liked how the footage from “Children Of Men” blended with the real-world footage, nice touch.

  18. OS,

    The phrase “a true American original” is often overused and misapplied.

    Not so in the case of Johnny Cash.

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