If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(New York Magazine)   NY Mag reporter decides to follow up a bit on that splashy New York Times "OMG PENTAGON SPACE ALIENS." Spoiler alert: It's grifters all the way down   ( nymag.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, New York Times, Unidentified flying object, Advanced Aerospace Threat, Aerospace Threat Identification, Elizondo, Mr. Elizondo, uss nimitz, Luis Elizondo  
•       •       •

1492 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Dec 2017 at 6:20 PM (29 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



13 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-12-28 06:19:18 PM  
Even inveterate bubble-burster Neil deGrasse Tyson accepted that something was out there, reminding CNN viewers that just because an object was unidentified didn't necessarily mean it came from outer space.

Contradictory sentence contradicts itself.
 
2017-12-28 06:46:34 PM  
There's a lot in the original Times story that suggests that everything in it needs to be taken with a few large-sized grains of salt. The budget item funding the program at the Pentagon was inserted by Harry Reid, and the money went to a good friend of his in Nevada, which would be counted among old-fashioned earmark patronage if it weren't for the sensational aspects of the story. It's worth noting that Robert Bigelow, who received the funds, is a little unhinged on this subject, and was the guy who bought Skinwalker Ranch and sent teams of ghost hunters with certified ghost-detecting equipment™ to the place. Almost certainly, this is a favor done by Harry Reid for a wealthy, campaign-bankrolling friend.

There's a few things that kind of stick in my mind, though. Ted Stevens reportedly personally witnessed the phenomena they're talking about here as a pilot, which is one of the reasons he helped Reid insert the budget item. Now, Ted Stevens was a corrupt asshole, but he also doesn't seem prone to wacky conspiracy shiat either. You'd have to assign at least some degree of credibility to the claim that he saw something. John Glenn had reported seeing similar stuff. The number of pilots who report seeing the same variety of stuff is interesting, especially since it matches a lot of the phenomena reported originally as part of Blue Book. There's also the reference to storage of "metal alloys", which was what jumped out at me. The article implies that this project collected physical material associated with this phenomenon, and then just sort of goes on without elaborating. That's kind of an odd observation to make with no follow-up.

I read Ruppelt's book summarizing his findings from Blue Book, and even though he comes down squarely in the end against any sort of mystical hypothesis for what's going on, he mentions that there were dozens of cases in which credible sources made good reports on stuff that can't be explained by weather occurrences, radar inversion, or any of the other things that were well documented as generating false reports of UFOs, and were basically unexplainable.

I do think it's stupid to believe that literal aliens are travelling impossible distances just to do loop de loops and troll pilots, and there is no evidence whatsoever supporting any form of extraterrestrial hypothesis. But the consistency of the phenomena that keeps getting reported is interesting. I WANT TO BELIEVE.
 
2017-12-28 07:03:15 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-12-28 07:23:43 PM  

Cagey B: You'd have to assign at least some degree of credibility to the claim that he saw something. John Glenn had reported seeing similar stuff. The number of pilots who report seeing the same variety of stuff is interesting


Unfortunately, all that "pilot accounts" can demonstrate is that humans, when exposed to high-speed, high-altitude flight for long periods of time, can sometimes believe they see (or have seen) some sort of flying thing. Humans are perfectly capable of hallucination, confabulation, confusion, and straight-up lying, all the more so in extreme environments, and all the more so under stress.  As for consistency? Doesn't necessarily imply anything beyond the uninteresting fact that consistent environments produce consistent outcomes.

I've never seen a UFO. Then again, I don't expect to. On the other hand, in my day-to-day life I do sometimes see things that do not exist, sometimes even after I look very intently at where the not-thing is for several long seconds. Pens, bugs, words, all sorts of stuff. Then my brain figures out what's actually going on and the not-thing snaps out of existence. That's how our visual cortex is supposed to work under optimal conditions; it filters messy data, infers the existence of objects, recalls what that object 'should look like,' and uses that recollection to construct an image. That's why optical illusions work. That's what our brain does.And sometimes it gets it wrong.

People -- good, trustworthy, reliable, respectable, sober and serious people -- used to be sure they saw gods and satyrs, particularly when straying out of their homes and into the great frightening wilderness, where there might be a genuine vicious threat behind every tree and every rustling bush. Then they decided Zeus and Pan were childish lies, but they were sure they saw angels and demons.  Then they decided that was all a bunch of medieval nonsense and boarded ships to chart the dangerous seas, where each reef and each oddly breaking wave and each sudden squall could portend sudden death, and the reliable and respectable and sober and serious were sure they saw mermaids and krakens and witches and sea serpents. Then we charted the whole world and found there was nothing of the sort, and scientific men could explain all the world's mysteries but those that lay inside us, and then the reliable, respectable sober and serious were sure they saw ghosts and spirits. And now it's UFOs, and has been since we started travelling to strange lands in shiny metal tubes packed with technology and weapons only a handful of experts can understand, soaring at impossible speeds and impossible heights, with each far-off flicker of motion or glimmer of light possibly the first sign of impending death.

Or to be clearer: humans always put ourselves in stressful situations where we need to constantly be monitoring noisy visual data and identifying possible threats. When humans are in those situations, our visual systems often map culturally-relevant myths onto all sorts of noise.
 
2017-12-28 07:26:01 PM  
I Have An Unsponsored GIF For That

Looks like you carved out a pretty big niche for yourself.
 
2017-12-28 07:30:25 PM  
....duh?

UFO means Unidentified Flying Object. As in something detected but not explained by electronics and pilot experience. As in new Earth-based adversarial missiles and aircraft. Not aliens. Just because some kook ran away with the acronym you have leapt to the conclusion that UFO must mean aliens? Come down to Earth, friend. Occam's razor still shaves our eager faces.

If there is civilized intelligent life out there in the stars, then they're either too far away to reach us (or vice versa), too oblivious to notice us (or vice versa), or intentionally avoiding us.

Or maybe we're really the best intelligence in the universe. How's that for the punch to a horror story?
 
2017-12-28 07:47:24 PM  

pkjun: Or to be clearer: humans always put ourselves in stressful situations where we need to constantly be monitoring noisy visual data and identifying possible threats. When humans are in those situations, our visual systems often map culturally-relevant myths onto all sorts of noise.


I have no doubt that that's a reasonable conclusion, and it's the one I generally come to as well. I'll admit to a certain degree of fascination with the weirder theories peddled by the conspiracy nutballs, but yeah, this makes sense to me. Mostly, my eyebrow went up when I came to the part of the article in the Times where they talked about collecting alloys of some sort, and I wondered how the hell they would be able to collect any sort of physical material. As TFA points out, though, that's unsubstantiated anyway.
 
2017-12-28 08:05:56 PM  
Seems like a lot of pearl-clutching me.  So there was a program to study anomalous aerial threats but GASP!  they've maintained for years that had no interest in UFOs.  So, the big news is -- they lied?  Somehow, I'm not surprised.  And a guy who is building inflatable space habitats was involved.  He may have spent his own money investigating woo-woo subjects on some ranch, but he was also shrewd enough to conduct the risk assessment for his space habitats on the taxpayer dime.
 
2017-12-28 08:57:03 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-12-28 09:12:01 PM  

Cagey B: pkjun: Or to be clearer: humans always put ourselves in stressful situations where we need to constantly be monitoring noisy visual data and identifying possible threats. When humans are in those situations, our visual systems often map culturally-relevant myths onto all sorts of noise.

I have no doubt that that's a reasonable conclusion, and it's the one I generally come to as well. I'll admit to a certain degree of fascination with the weirder theories peddled by the conspiracy nutballs, but yeah, this makes sense to me. Mostly, my eyebrow went up when I came to the part of the article in the Times where they talked about collecting alloys of some sort, and I wondered how the hell they would be able to collect any sort of physical material. As TFA points out, though, that's unsubstantiated anyway.


I'm also skeptical and want to see some extraordinary evidence to back up extraordinary claims that aliens are buzzing us. That said, the Navy encounter gives me a bit of pause because Navy pilots are trained to identify aircraft and stay cool in collected in stressful situations, because you really don't want them misidentifying an airliner or private jet and shooting down a plane full of civilians, or downing an allied aircraft in the heat of combat, so it is a lot harder to chalk up their reports as misidentification or weird sensory processing.

There have been however been reports of amphetimine abuse by US military pilots: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/307​1789/ns/u​s_news-only/t/go-pills-war-drugs/, which to me is the big thing that would make me question the Navy sighting. Also, in general you'd expect more good pictures by now with so many high quality cameras in people's pockets. Just look at how many people got great pictures of the Space-X "UFO" over LA last week and posted them on social media.
 
2017-12-29 09:55:07 AM  
pilots have been reporting sightings like this in the 10s of thousands ever since the wright brothers. they r real and 99.99% chance not from earth.
believing or disbelieving does not change those facts.
deal with it earthlings.
and if they r aggresive we would have known long ago.
even cave walls have drawings of flying objects.
i never realized how self important and close minded Americans can be.
much of the rest of the world is more open minded abt UFOs and visitors from afar.
Prime Directive baby!
 
2017-12-29 02:48:45 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2017-12-29 08:28:59 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
Displayed 13 of 13 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter





Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report