EdgeScience 53


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The Anomalist

September 30

Sensors onboard spacecraft exploring Mars and other worlds can detect molecules indicative of alien life. Yet, organic molecules degrade over time, making their presence difficult to spot. "But now," writes to Sharmila Kuthunur, "a newly developed method based on artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of detecting subtle differences in molecular patterns that indicate biological signals—even in samples hundreds of millions of years old." Is this the "holy grail of astrobiology?" The pull of possible life on the Red Planet dates back centuries, but most recently to our belief in the illusory Martian “canals.” This promise has led planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson to pen The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World, which in turn has led Maria Popova to title her post Mars and Our Search for Meaning: A Planetary Scientist’s Love Letter to Life...on the planet we call Earth. (PH)

Sometimes archaeological anomalies make us question the anomalies of the human mind. WALLA! has this puzzler that resolves basically into reimagining technological development versus anonymous hoax. Dipuo Winnie Kgotleng and Robyn Pickering remark that South African Hominin Fossils Were Sent into Space and Scientists are Enraged. Does "promotional benefit" justify potential risks involved? Is this symptomatic of a continuing "neo-colonialism"? There's a Fury in France After 40 Ancient Standing Stones Erected by Prehistoric Humans 7,000 Years Ago Near Famed Carnac Archaeological Site Are Destroyed to Make Way for a DIY Store. Here European artifacts of outstanding antiquity lose out to the almighty euro. And things turn darker yet, as the University of Cambridge reports that Students Made Oxford the Murder Capital of Late Medieval England, Research Suggests. The article makes for fascinating though macabre reading, while suggesting homicide rates in 21st century English cities may be only about 1/50th of those in England 700 years ago. But the Wikipedia List of Massacres in the United States as well as the daily news leave little doubt such insanity has not abated. (WM)

September 29

Ellissa Bain—whom we've previously noted makes no bones about her opinions on UFO stories she covers—presents this one in a very straightforward manner. Of course it's also a preview—and a very effective one in generating interest—for the new Steven Spielberg docuseries now streaming on Netflix. Dave Basner's 'NBC Nightly News' Inadvertently Catches UFO On Camera reprises a 2020 event that apparently's trending again. We covered this some time ago, but the short videos are worth reviewing—and not just for the out-of-focus object that's nonetheless the current debate's focus. The background human story is undeniably compelling—and more. The contrasts of people in need and a "fuzzy object" "straightlining" at distance could not be greater with the Strange Star-Shaped UFO Filmed Over Santa Monica just a few days ago. Here a well-defined object ambles over a famous "high-end-area" beach before doing a "U-turn." Tim Binnall has the footage and the differences of opinion here. Argentina: Lights Over Golfo San Matias presents another recent and quite interesting case of documented "'reddish-orange lights' emerging from the sea." (WM)

Is Reading a Form of Magic? Consciousness Unbound
Philosopher and anomalist Michael Grosso argues that soulful reading is magic. To engage fully in a character's world changes how we think about and interact with our world, and that changes our lives. In other news, this time with the spoken word, My Anomacon 2023 Presentation on the Tarot Project. Coming from the virtual Anomacon conference on September 1, this prerecorded piece with Red Pill Junkie discusses the goals, intentions, and production of the UFOlogy Tarot, a group endeavor that was fraught with synchronicities. RPJ isn't just interesting, he's entertaining, so take a few minutes from your day and and listen while he explains the connection between UFOs, art, and magic. (CM)

September 28

Dr. Robert Oppenheimer has lately become fashionable in a "must-do" viewing pairing with the new Barbie movie, for reasons beyond our "Ken." Host Michael Ryan and Commentator Christine Scott consider a potential Oppenheimer-UFO connection that could challenge our views about UFO history while supporting some of David Grusch's scarier allegations. Christine reviews a book by Donald R. Burleson (UFO Secrecy and the Fall of J. Robert Oppenheimer) contending that Oppenheimer lost his security clearance not owing to leftist sympathies and qualms about the H-bomb, but because he was involved with crashed UFOs. Subsequent discussion focuses on a 1983 communication between ufologist William Steinman and Dr. Robert I. Sarbacher, which Burleson uses to substantiate his claims and other rumors/allegations about Oppenheimer and also Sarbacher's UFO interests. At this discussion's conclusion, Christine makes the almost world-destroying announcement there's actually a new movie in the works called "Barbenheimer"! Another focus was the state of Dr. Sarbacher's memory when Sarbacher's controversial response to Steinman was created. Memory as a "reconstruction" rather than a "recording" of events comes up in The Paracast's interview with Dr. Tim Brigham. Gene Steinberg and Curt Collins chat with cognitive psychologist Brigham on his entry into ufology during the Gulf Breeze sightings heyday, collaboration with Jim Moseley on Saucer Smear magazine, and the need to study sociologically the lifetime effects of UFO encounters. Brigham has thoughts on Tom DeLonge's To the Stars Academy of Arts & Sciences plus dissociation and the "Oz" effect. He discourages those suspecting UFO experiences from being regressively hypnotized and getting psychological treatment from practitioners affiliated with UFO groups. (WM)

Another chupacabra report from Mexico, this time resulting from a series of livestock deaths that are anything but natural. Some of the slain creatures have sizable bite marks on their necks, and there has been a report of at least one animal being decapitated. This is not the first time the community of Tambola has experienced such events, and unfortunately it probably won't be the last. Turning to cryptid news that is far less gruesome, Pregnant ‘Dwarf’-Like Creature Found on Tree In Uganda Is ‘Cryptic’ New Species...of gecko. Evidently this new species has a DNA divergence of up to 16% from other geckos and plenty of physical markings (polka dots) to allow for positive identification. So cryptic, but not really cryptid. (CM)

Kevin Randle notes evidence for liquid water and methane in the atmosphere of the planet K2-18B, just about "in our galactic neighborhood." He also notes the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community's negative response to a Tim Burchett query. Kevin regards this as just another indication that the Feds aren't really "gung-ho" on UFOs and such. But NewsNation's Stephanie Whiteside reports the Senate Has a Plan for UFO Disclosure. Here's What's in It. Whiteside's useful summary of the Schumer/Rounds Amendment won't pacify Representative Burchett, who's already said it won't change anything. But Ed Simon seems less certain than Tim and perhaps Kevin, too. Simon says We're About to Find Out What We Really Know About UFOs, while subtitling "Nothing will ever be the same again." While Simon's article preceded July 26th's House Hearing by two days, his definition of the term "ontological shock" and its implications remains apropos. Enter Jason Colavito, who asks What's Behind the Use of "Ontological Shock" Claims to Attack UFO Skeptics? Posted three days after that House event, Jason's article suggests an "intentional and coordinated" conspiracy to raise Congresspersons' temperatures and pro-UFO ardor with that term. Well, according to Simon, the word "apocalypse" might serve just as well! (WM)

September 27

A 1974 abduction encounter became what its investigator would call the "most important British case ever." Thus relates "Paranormal Scholar" Laura Rowton, whose low-key and literate account nevertheless conveys the horrors a couple and their three young children endured—then and thereafter. Rowton's even-handed analysis of the family's accounts makes clear her considered opinion that such occurrences are by no means the "happy-happy" situations some advocate. Consider "2 Different Realities Meeting, Mixing Temporarily" ~ Karen Austin and Will Bueche on Alien Abductions. This, at least, leaves one in no doubt that our terms "abduction, abductee" (drawn from the Latin abduco, "to seize and take away (a person) by force"; "lead away, carry off"; "displace") mean a wrenching apart from our reality by unforeseen force. These are far more accurate and specific descriptors of the event's main feature than are the "generic" "experience, experiencer," which could apply to things from excruciating pain to unbounded pleasure—physical, mental, or both. Rowton compares the British abduction to that of Betty and Barney Hill; incidentally the subject of Matthew Bowman's book Colin Dickey reviews in They Knew What They Had Seen. Dickey seems to share the negative views towards UFO abduction "physical reality" we've noted in The Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill: Alien Encounters, Civil Rights, and the New Age in America and its reviewer Jason Colavito. But Dickey is far more persuaded that Bowman proves the Hills' narratives were shaped by "the era that they lived in." (WM)

Let's see if we can put the "Maussan Mummies Mess" back "to bed," or at least into their comfy containers. Anna Lagos describes Mexican Science's counterattack against "the charlatans and the gullible." In Mummies From Outer Space? Mexico's Congress Gets a Firsthand Look. The New York Times' correspondent Simon Romero provides more background context—including Jaime Maussan's sideline "selling his own line of health supplements." More of the brouhaha comes from Melissa Koenig's Mexican Doctors Conclude Tests on Alleged 'Non-human' Alien Corpses--Here's What They Determined. Some apparently Big Names seemed to be siding with Maussan. Since any UFO-related kerfuffle incites comment from the professional skeptical side, Hear What Surprised Neil deGrasse Tyson about the Purported 'Alien Corpses' Shown in Mexico's Congress. It almost scares us to agree completely with what Neil says. NYT's Romero had noted memes multiplying across Mexico. For Futurism and giving two examples, Victor Tangermann writes Those "Alien Mummies" Look So Fake That They've Become a Meme with English-speaking internet users. And Vox culture reporter/critic Aja Romano notes a long western racist mentality connotation as The True Story of the Fake Unboxed Aliens is Wilder Than Actual Aliens. Romano’s pithy article perhaps consigns the “mummy bodies” sensation to their two coffins. (WM)

We have sad news to report. Just a few days ago, on September 22, Kenn Thomas passed away at the age of 65. Kenn was well known for his written work on conspiracy theories, and for his editing and publishing of Steamshovel Press, a parapolitical conspiracy theory magazine. Kenn specialized in "parapolitics," which he described as the "study of conspiracies of all colors—from alien abductions and the Illuminati, to the John F. Kennedy assassination and the September 11, 2001 attacks." In the light of those circulating in the current political climate, Kenn's conspiracies seem almost rational. Rest in peace, Kenn Thomas. (CM)

September 26

Near the end of this podcast, David Grusch neatly summarizes what just happened: "This is like the mega interview. We're covering every potential trippy-slash-esoteric-slash-conspiratorial thing at once." Host Jesse Michels asks Grusch about how his background, experiences, spiritual and other speculations, and testimony have shaped his current, continuing activity. Conjectures include "Non-human Intelligence" propulsion, purpose, and advanced "progress" compared to humans. The whole is set against the background of Grusch's June and July revelations and a backdrop of Colorado beauty and fun. The banter and discussion are interspersed with frequent movie and other moments from prior Michels interviews with leading characters in the UFO discussion. Chris Lehto has a positive Live Reaction and Initial Analysis to New Grusch Interview. Chris’ major takeaways: amplification on how David Grusch came to be involved in the UFO study, the importance of "nuclear material" other than bombs, the Department of Energy's interest, and Grusch's speculations on why the Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR) "approved” submitted topics. John Greenewald “dives deep" into David Grusch and His DOPSR Review Documents, from a recent FOIA release on "Grusch's actual approved DOPSR submission." John particularly focuses and speculates upon how the recovered “non-human intelligence craft” and reverse-engineering, “and also the dead pilots” topics got through DOPSR. John also thinks Grusch should be more transparent with what was approved. And John believes both the government/military and the whistleblower side Have Things To Hide. (WM)

The three collaborators for the graphic novel version of Calvin Parker's last book about his 1973 Pascagoula encounter join Gene Steinberg and cohost Tim Swartz. This against Calvin’s unfortunate recent passing. They discuss how the project came to be and their prior careers, as well as "new" elements in the Pascagoula story. They relate previous family and personal brushes with UFOs and other anomalies; in particular, UFO researcher Brent Raynes’ "contacting" the then-deceased John Keel. This takes us to another communication medium in A Letter Home (1948) from Keel himself. An insight into the 18-year-old Keel, who was working on a sample TV script and a new novel at the time. Switching again to another channel, let's Watch the Exclusive Trailer for 'Encounters', Motherboard's New UFO Doc Series on Netflix. The four-parter premiers streaming on September 27th, promising a more expansive, worldwide scope that's "about science, and diversity, and humanity, and belief, and it's nothing that we've seen before." In Fastwalkers: Space-Based UAP filmmaker Darcy Weir wants you to view things that have been seen previously, though NASA would probably have preferred they hadn’t. Weir and "Intelligent Disclosure" host Richard Dolan discuss some of this post-Apollo program space photography, as well as citizen pioneers who've uncovered or analyzed it, or spoken out about the matter. (WM)

September 25

Some very human, individual elements in the UFO/human relationship nearly defy belief. David Scott covers the "gross lies" spread about a horrible wildfire that destroyed 103 lives and around 100 million acres of land. Colleague Jacob Willeford speaks of Disturbing Images of Dulce 'UFO Base' Where Conspiracy Theorists Claim 60 US Troops Were Killed by Aliens in Secret War. We don't see Phil Schneider's images of this alleged ET/human interaction, but The Jerusalem Post's "WALLA!" reports a different event in an Alleged CIA Report: Russian Soldiers Turned to Stone during UFO Interception. WALLA! says "Despite the sensational nature of these events, skeptics remain unconvinced about the authenticity of the claims." How odd. Chris Lehto then tries to tie together the long-term, worldwide U.S. crash retrieval program in Black Ops and UFOs: The Hidden Truth Revealed. Three very disturbing tales are told--one covered in a noted James Fox movie, and two by people Steven Greer apparently contacted. Chris seems confident more such stories will be safely divulged, due to recent legislative moves. Whatever the truth component of this trio of frightening narratives, some human actors in them come off as scarily inhumane in their alleged activities. (WM)

The travel website Upgraded Points has produced a study of where one might prefer to live if one were a spook. The study seems to be quite tongue-in-cheek, if presumptuous, so hopefully proximity to cemeteries doesn't become another factor to drive up housing costs. If you want to find out if your location is a good fit for a ghost family, Ghost-Hunting Equipment Store Opens in Virginia. GhostStop is owned and operated by a paranormal researcher, so evidently it is home to all the equipment a Scooby Gang might require. The shop will soon be offering haunted tours as well, just in case your efforts to find spooks at home are a bust. (CM)

Darn That NASA! Ufology Research
More high-level UFO and Government intrigue. Chris Rutkowski offers his "take" on that recently-released NASA report, and he's not as antipathetic as his title would indicate. Chris' interpretations of what NASA's saying about "UFOs and Science" and the "null hypothesis" and popular ufology are on-point. However, delving into the history behind, say, Project Blue Book study's process reveals there's more to it than statistics show. UFOs and Government gives a more-fully-nuanced—perhaps balanced?—view unavailable elsewhere (published by Anomalist Books). I Hacked NASA and US Military Computers Looking [for] Evidence of UFOs and 'Found It'—They Will Never Tell Us the Truth, so says Gary McKinnon. Emma Parry describes McKinnon's hacking history and remarks about the recent "National Association of Space Actors" report. About a recent specific UAP incident, let's ask Keith Basterfield What Do We Know about the Early 2023 Gulf of Mexico UAP Encounter? The answer: Not much, and what we do know isn't exactly favorable to the USAF and possibly AARO. Then there's Jason Colavito's article about Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on UFOs: "Some Look Like Drones, Some Look Like Balloons." Jason interprets Gillibrand's remarks as "The writing is on the wall," and that "Congress's infatuation with UFOs" is again waning as UFOs are being recognized as just "natural phenomena, floating debris, balloons, and drones." At least various governmental groups seem to be making Jason happy now! (WM)

September 24

Ellissa Bain demonstrated some proper skepticism in her last article we covered, and we again agree with her. This tale seems to "grow" as it proceeds. On much firmer Canadian historical ground, UFO Talker host Michael Ryan and author Matthew Hayes consider Does the Robert Sarbacher-Wilbert Smith Memo Prove That the U.S. Has Had Crashed UFOs for over 70 Years? We fully agree that Hayes' Search for the Unknown: Canada's UFO Files and the Rise of Conspiracy is "one of the most well-researched books on the Canadian government's interest in UFOs, conspiracy theories and Wilbert Smith that has ever been written." Aided by Ryan's knowledgeable questioning, a number of "wow" points in the book were highlighted that other readers might miss. Hayes' work on the Smith/Sarbacher "Memo(s)" is understandably explained here and supported by a referenced academic paper. Staying within the general geographical vicinity, Sarah McCosham notes that A UFO Was Sighted in Ohio 50 Years Ago and It's One of the Most Credible UFO Sightings in History. McCosham mostly gives locational and historical background to the Coyne helicopter/UFO encounter of October 18, 1973. Four Army reservists were apprehended by a huge cylindrical object that apparently lifted them and their chopper upwards more than a thousand feet in seconds. The Ohio MUFON state organization will hold its 2023 annual conference on October 14, four days before the 50th anniversary of this most famous (and still very puzzling) event. This reviewer is honored to contribute to MUFON Ohio's excellent newsletter and has attended their great conferences. (WM)

Nano-diamonds Abbott's Almanac
Nanodiamonds are so very small (under one hundred nanometers) that virtually nobody looks for them. They are known to be produced by impact events such as the 2013 Chelyabinsk event. But what is the background global presence of nanodiamonds on the Earth’s surface? William Abbott wants to know. Why? Because if as many small comets are vaporizing in the the Earth's atmosphere as space physicist Louis Frank estimates (see Cosmic Rain)—approximately ten million Small Comets infalling into Earth’s atmosphere every year—then there has to be global background level of nanodiamonds in sediment. Why? Because Frank hypothesized that the big snowballs he called small comets had to be covered with a thin carbon mantle in order to survive a journey through the solar system. But once the small comets are subjected to intense heat and pressure as they plunge through the upper atmosphere, the snowball turns to water vapor and their carbon mantle turns into nanodiamonds. Or at least, that's the suggestion. Is there any geologist out there wiling to attempt to measure the global background occurrence of nanodiamonds? (PH)

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