Earth versus the flying saucers

I’m sure many of you remember this campy scifi film from 1956. Roswell on steroids.

But did you know that there is a natural phenomenon on Earth that gives rise to reports of flying saucers on a regular basis? In fact there’s a mountain near me where they congregate. Observe:

That’s Mount Shasta in northern California. It has a long history of flying saucer visitations. Why I’ve seen people channel this with piles of mashed potatoes and inverted dinner plates.

On a more serious and factual note, these are lenticular clouds, created by the standing wave that occurs as air flows over the mountain, cooling it below the dew point. The one above is from a Facebook share by Hope Devenuto Photo from Mt Shasta Ca. 10-5-11, from my freind Yoj

Lenticular clouds (Altocumulus lenticularis) are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally aligned perpendicular to the wind direction. Lenticular clouds can be separated into altocumulus standing lenticularis (ACSL), stratocumulus standing lenticular (SCSL), and cirrocumulus standing lenticular (CCSL). Due to their shape, they are often mistaken for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

Formation: Where stable moist air flows over a mountain or a range of mountains, a series of large-scale standing waves may form on the downwind side. If the temperature at the crest of the wave drops to the dew point, moisture in the air may condense to form lenticular clouds. As the moist air moves back down into the trough of the wave, the cloud may evaporate back into vapor. Under certain conditions, long strings of lenticular clouds can form near the crest of each successive wave, creating a formation known as a ‘wave cloud.’ The wave systems cause large vertical air movements and so enough water vapor may condense to produce precipitation. The clouds have been mistaken for UFOs (or “visual cover” for UFOs) because these clouds have a characteristic lens appearance and smooth saucer-like shape. Bright colors (called Irisation) are sometimes seen along the edge of lenticular clouds.[1] These clouds have also been known to form in cases where a mountain does not exist, but rather as the result of shear winds created by a front.

Here’s one attacking the Keck observatory at Mauna Kea, Hawaii in 2002

I predict it will be only a matter of time before lenticular clouds are labeled “anti-science”.

😉

While the web abounds with multitudes of UFO like lenticular cloud photos, thanks in part to digital cameras becoming almost ubiquitous in cell phones worldwide, we don’t seem to be getting any fresh credible pictures of real UFO’s …or bigfoot.

It seems that technology saturation is gradually disproving those notions.

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129 thoughts on “Earth versus the flying saucers

  1. How small are our thoughts. Given the constraints of various physical laws a rational approach to building a interstellar “spaceship”, would be to build a solar system. One like ours, for example.

  2. We get them in New Hampshire too. The Plymouth State Univ. Meteorology Program Cloud Boutique has an armada of them just north of town. Our wind isn’t as laminar as California’s (one reason you have so many big telescopes), so our clouds often aren’t quite as perfect as yours.
    Weatherwise Magazine has an annual weather photography contest and they’re suckers for good lenticular photos. Looks like they took a break this year.
    http://weatherwise.org/Photo%20Contest/2011%20Photo%20Contest/index.html

  3. Pretty neat clouds.
    As far the UFO’s go though, I’ve always been in the “Aliens are probably out there, but its pretty unlikely they have (or can) visit us” camp. Maybe I’m a bit of a sucker of the Drake equation, but I’ve always felt the galaxy (let alone the Universe) is just too damn big for us to be alone and at the same time its just too damn big for it to be reasonable to think ET could be visiting us on a regular basis.

  4. If you spend all of your time arguing with
    people who are nuts, you’ll be exhausted
    and the nuts will still be nuts.
    –Scott Adams

  5. I met a former ranger a few years ago at Mt. Rainier who was selling photo books of lenticular clouds he photographed there. He said he a had a devil of a time getting meteorologists to believe his photos were not faked.
    I have seen the phenomenon several times, both before and after meeting the gentleman. Living close to Rainier gives me plenty of views of this magnificent mountain and the effect it has on atmosphere.

  6. Aw, hell. Somebody’s gotta cite this.
    Aliens Cause Global Warming” (Michael Crichton, Caltech lecture, 7 November 2008).

    To an outsider, the most significant innovation in the global warming controversy is the overt reliance that is being placed on models. Back in the days of nuclear winter, computer models were invoked to add weight to a conclusion: “These results are derived with the help of a computer model.” But now large-scale computer models are seen as generating data in themselves. No longer are models judged by how well they reproduce data from the real world – increasingly, models provide the data. As if they were themselves a reality. And indeed they are, when we are projecting forward. There can be no observational data about the year 2100. There are only model runs.
    This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well. Richard Feynman called it a disease. I fear he is right. Because only if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen can you arrive at the complex point where the global warming debate now stands.
    Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we’re asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?

  7. Here in Reno, on the leeward side of the Sierra, we see stacked lenticular clouds fairly often. But as David Walton points out, they may well be flying saucers, and piloted by invisible aliens.
    I for one, as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, won’t be classed as a denier for dismissing the idea that the aliens are using advanced techniques to cool the planet and save it from Global Warming.
    I’m sure Kenji is in full agreement.

  8. I remember when I was a youngster, I so much wanted UFOs (extraterrestrial) to be real. I used to lie outside and look for them. That’s when I saw my first “explained” satellite. I saw no flying saucers though. No mountains to form lenticulars here in S FL. I saw a UFO show on cable recently and they had video of UFOs flying in a V formation near Phoenix. OOOOh, the way they hyped it, must be real. Looks like Anti-heat-seeking-missile flares to me. Some of these flares float on parachutes. There’s lot of USAF stuff going on around Phoenix.
    Occam’s Razor is a “UFOlogist’s” undoing.

  9. Fantastic picture of Mount Shasta and clouds. I have never seen anything like that in my life and I’m in my eighth decade and have travelled half the globe. Obviously the wrong half. 🙂
    I wonder what people thought of these clouds before the idea of flight was even considered possible?

  10. .
    Beautiful “lennies” like these make glider pilots go all weak at the knees.  
    I have soared them up to 25,000 feet, but more professional glider pilots have been up to 50,000 ft.
    And lennies in the lee of long ridges can also be used for long distsnce glider flights, and the longest so far was a 3,000 km flight in the lee of the Andes,  in 2003. 3,000 km ‘for free’, that’s not bad.
    This is a good UFO lenny:
    http://www.thelivingmoon.com/43ancients/04images/Earth/Clouds/B/lenticular_cloud_e_sierra_2.jpg
    A linear lenny, in the lee of a range:
    http://www.crystalinks.com/lenticular109.jpg
    And I like this Mitchelin Man lenny:
    http://weathervortex.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/weird-clouds.jpg
    .

  11. Cshannon says:
    October 9, 2011 at 9:25 am
    Pretty neat clouds.
    As far the UFO’s go though, I’ve always been in the “Aliens are probably out there, but its pretty unlikely they have (or can) visit us” camp. Maybe I’m a bit of a sucker of the Drake equation, but I’ve always felt the galaxy (let alone the Universe) is just too damn big for us to be alone and at the same time its just too damn big for it to be reasonable to think ET could be visiting us on a regular basis.
    ____________________________________________________________
    And if ET was visiting the earth on a regular basis Humans would not be here, we would be hanging in their meat locker….

  12. And when the aliens land on Earth, they like to make pretty patterns in wheat fields (why?). But judging by this one, they like Hovis bread too. Perhaps aliens are just Yorkshiremen in green jumpsuits….. 😉
    http://visboo.com/img/five/crop_circles_advertising_06.jpg
    Actually, the best crop-circle joke I saw, was of two aliens standing in a muddy field, and saying: “Damn, its winter, we’ll have to go home again….”
    .

  13. GP Hanner says:
    October 9, 2011 at 9:27 am
    If you spend all of your time arguing with
    people who are nuts, you’ll be exhausted
    and the nuts will still be nuts.
    –Scott Adams
    ————————
    Priceless!
    I long ago quit arguing with the nutcases but that quote sums it up. It is now part of my vocabulary. Thanks.

  14. Excuse me?
    Mt. Shasta in Northern California???
    Wrongo Du Maxami!
    That is Mt. Ranier in Central Western Washington.
    Better get someone on the research side of things to work on the shape and structure of Mountians in the Cascade Range to better Identify your Locations!

  15. @Curiousgeorge, this too has been anticipated by at least one science fiction writer. In Larry Niven’s “Known Space” stories, an alien race – the Pierson’s Puppeteers – are escaping a vast explosion of supernovae at the galaxy’s core by dint of equipping their home planet and four others with stardrives and propelling their “fleet of worlds” towards the safety of the Magellanic Clouds:
    http://www.larryniven.net/puppeteer/puptech.shtml

  16. Lenticulars are commom on the east coast of the US also. We live near the Catocton Range in MD. There is a nearby glider club that looks for these to fly by. I didn’t think they were commom until my husband, a glider pilot, pointed them out.

  17. “It seems that technology saturation is gradually disproving those notions.”
    That’s exactly what Steve Spielberg said. The more evidence we collect the less true our beliefs become.

  18. There is a ton of popular trash on UFOs, but there is also some rational work. Readers of this blog might enjoy a look at the engineering calculations done by the late Paul R. Hill, a NASA engineer that evaluated many reports. The Amazon reader reviews are all highly positive —
    http://www.amazon.com/Unconventional-Flying-Objects-Scientific-Analysis/product-reviews/1571740279/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
    The Disclosure Project has collected testimony from more than 500 military and other informed people, i.e., not from the general public. The evidence explains the basis of the official policy.
    http://www.disclosureproject.com/
    Lastly, the radar/visual and photographic sections of the UFO evidence website is of interest. The radar evidence is hard to refute. Some of the photos are probably fake. The late P. J. Klass used to produce fake pics to show how easy it is to fool the enthusiasts. However, there are also images from the pre-WW II era, before the modern hoopla and tabloid trash.
    http://www.ufoevidence.org/

  19. “we don’t seem to be getting any fresh credible pictures of real UFO’s …or bigfoot.”
    Perhaps they have been looking in the wrong place. Only a few days ago there was a conference on the subject of the Yeti/Abonimable Snowman/Bigfoot etc.
    W Siberia Yeti country?
    http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/10/02/58053662.html
    “Governor of Siberia’s Kemerovo Region Aman Tuleyev is hosting a conference at which scientists from Russia, the United States, Canada, Sweden, Estonia, Mongolia and China are evaluating evidence of the Bigfoot, or Yeti, still roaming densely wooded areas in many parts of the world including western North America, the North Caucasus and the southern belt of Western Siberia. There will be video and audio footages of Yeti and a report from the United States about a possible genetic make-up of this mysterious hominid.”

  20. As one who crossed the Cascdes and Sierra from Cessna’s to Four engine Douglas Aircraft,
    I never see a Lenny without unconsciously reaching to tighten my seatbelt.
    Had a wild ride over Rainer once-never forgot that….
    ,

  21. Richard111 says:
    October 9, 2011 at 10:20 am
    I wonder what people thought of these clouds before the idea of flight was even considered possible?
    Probably thought they were circular clouds.

  22. @ Logan in AZ says:
    October 9, 2011 at 11:25 am
    =================
    And also various bits of (as yet ) unexplained/controversial archeological artifacts, paintings, documents, legends, etc. Those little gold airplanes (?) for example – one of which is in the Smithsonian.

  23. Good try, Mr. Watts! But what about the oft sighted little green critters carrying rectal probes?

  24. I live now near the front range of the Rockies, and I once lived just west of the Sangro de Christo in New Mexico, and clouds like this occur often–sometimes stacked several layers deep. When I lived northwest of Mt. Hood I saw things like this on those few days a year that I could actually see Mt. Hood. I think in the 1956 edition of a book by Life Magazine entitled “The World We Live In” there was a lenticular cloud with a tail on one side which made the combination look exactly like a fry-pan…I looked for one of those in the sky for years unsuccessfully.

  25. Are those flying saucers – and flying plates, and platters, and cups and all – leaving their mark on Climate?
    BBC might be thinking it’s not all Anthropogenic – see
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15199065
    posted in the last couple of hours Firts para
    “Recent cold winters that brought chaos to the UK and other places in northern Europe may have their roots in the Sun’s varying ultraviolet emissions.”
    ‘Year of the Unquiet Sun’?.

  26. —-Yes, yes, we know all about lenticular clouds! I thought you were going to tell us something new.

  27. Curiousgeorge says:
    October 9, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Good idea. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere
    How would you move the star? E = pc, big solar sail, VERY slow. Otherwise, you’ll have to boost the fusion output of the star to go anywhere in a century timeframe (mass_sun 2×10^30 kg). The acceleration will have to be very weak, or you’ll lose the planets, depending on which ones you want to keep. And where do you want to go with this “space ship” anyway? Seems to me, the ship is doing fine right here. What we should do instead is take a bit of the sun with us and go visit some other stars. That means getting fusion reactors to work.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell
    Use spaceship SUN to travel to Alpha Centauri
    F = ma KE = .5 m v^2
    mass_sun 2.00E+30 kg
    c 2.99E+05 km/s
    Dist 3.76E+13 km
    T travel 100 years
    speed 1.20E+04 km/s
    KE 1.43E+44 Nm
    At Earth 1361 W/m2
    orbit 1.50E+11 km
    Area 2.83E+29 m^2
    power 3.85E+32 W
    T to KE 3.72E+11 s
    T to KE 1.18E+04 y
    a 3.22E-05 m/s^2
    Using total solar output, it would take over 10,000 years to accelerate the solar system to 1/25 c (assuming perfect efficiency). And if we want to visit Alpha Centauri, we’d have to stop. The numbers work out better if you want to get to Alpha Centauri in 1000 years. 118 y to 1/250 c.
    That was fun.

  28. Auto says:
    October 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    Are those flying saucers – and flying plates, and platters, and cups and all – leaving their mark on Climate?
    BBC might be thinking it’s not all Anthropogenic – see
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15199065
    ______________________________________________________
    But the BBC and “Scientists” dance around and manage to fit the cold winters very nicely into the CAGW paradigm.
    “……A UK scientific team now shows in Nature Geoscience journal how these changes lead to warmer winters in some places and colder winters in others.
    The researchers emphasise there is no impact on global warming……
    “The key point is that this effect is a change in the circulation, moving air from one place to another, which is why some places get cold and others get warm,” ….
    “It’s a jigsaw puzzle, and when you average it up over the globe, there is no effect on global temperatures,” …..”

    This is a very neat shut up for the people who noticed it was blasted COLD the last few winters. – “It is LOCAL but it does not effect the GLOBAL average which is still WARMING” Now that explanation, which I have even hear here, has been made “official” and the changes in UV has been neatly side lined too.

  29. Fascinating. Having grown up on the prairies, I had no idea such a thing existed! Wow!
    Having no mountains in the area, we had to turn to other sources for UFO sightings. Being the self reliant young lads we were, we rolled our own.
    Materials
    Large plastic garbage back. Transluscent green works best.
    Sheet of carboard.
    duct tape
    wire
    candles with plastic candle holders.
    Two to three accomplices, each with their own car
    Methodology
    Cut a “ring” of cardboard out slightly smaller than the mouth of th garbage bag.
    Affix candle holders at regular intervals around the ring of cardboard
    Tie short lengths of wire at eight evenly spaced intervals around the carboard ring.
    Light all the candles
    You and cour accomplices must hold the mouth of the garbage bag over the rising hot air from the candles until it fills up and puffs out. Using the duct tape to reinforce the plastic of the garbage bag, tie the garbage bag to the carboard ring with the other end of the wires already installed. Be carfefull to make the spacing even, and to bring the plastic as close to the candles as possible with the heat of the candles being able to melt the plastic.
    Release the experiment. Upwind of a small town at dusk works best.
    You and your accompliced drive like crazy do disparate locations having pay phones. Make calls reporting a giant green glowing thing in the sky to the local radio, television and newspapers. DO NOT GIVE YOUR NAME. DO NOT USE A CELL PHONE. If they find out who you are and start asking questions it ruins the whole experiment.
    Results
    Go home and pay attention to the local news sources. Note carefully the size of the reported UFO’s which will range from “a balloon” to “the size of a football field” and also the speed which will range from “barely moving” to “faster than any jet plane”. REcord each sighting in detail. This is extremely important as when reviewing your results you must be able to identify false positives (those being UFO sightings due to actual UFO’s rather than the ones directly associated with your experiment)

  30. “these are lenticular clouds, created by the standing wave that occurs as air flows over the mountain, cooling it below the dew point.”
    Well, at any rate, that’s what they want you to believe. They probably call it things like “settled science”. 😉
    When you’ve been abducted and seen the inside of one of those “clouds” you’ll be singing a different tune. Just hope the probing doesn’t make you permanently sing in alto, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

  31. Mike McMillan says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    “As a retired airline pilot I can categorically state that UFO’s do not exist.”
    Yeah well I knew and worked with an Air Force guy who was a radar operator in the 1950’s flying aboard aircraft that were dropping nuclear weapons. He categorically stated he saw stuff on his radar that we’re neither natural nor human-made. He logged it, wrote it up in his reports, and as far as he knows the logs and reports just disappeared into a top secret rabbit hole.

  32. Leaving Earth, beyond the Solar System, the Local Group and out into the Virgo Supercluster outskirts, there are small groups of galaxies that exhibit some rather strange and unexplained appearances. They would be the Lenticular Galaxies, S0 in Hubble’s Tuning Fork.
    Look carefully: http://cas.sdss.org/dr6/en/tools/chart/navi.asp
    and enter 169.87797444767173 for RA degrees
    and enter 28.652181866666666 for DEC degrees
    zoom to midrange.
    An Uninvestigated Formed Object. The ring is not in the plane of the host galaxy. It apparently hovers above (or below) the center of mass. It’s center may not even touch the galaxy at all.
    Thanks to the Mt. Shasta images for reminding me of this enigma.
    Do Supermassive black holes explode? Ask Steven Hawking.

  33. Lenticulars are indeed special. Glad you’re noticing them. It always amused me that the official classification of clouds I learned at school failed to mention them… but then, no mention of sun dogs either.
    Anthony, you know how much I appreciate the hard work you do, the attitudes of true science you maintain, and the levels of excellence you uphold, in the face of general collapse of scientific method and procedure in Climate Science.
    Please, then, don’t then react to UFO’s in the same way as “warmists” do to “deniers” ie from positions of inadequately-checked partial and dismissive information which they believe are adequate positions of information. Leave it to the real UFO experts. It’s a whole minefield of its own, charged with important info and riddled with media and government disinfo, just like Climate Science.
    If you were to research UFO’s properly, objectively, open to discovering and setting aside prejudices, as per Scientific Method, you would be left in no doubt that there is something there. Logan in AZ at 11:25 am puts things very well, with key info that is non-cultish, neutral, easily accessible and checkable; he also notes correctly that there is “a ton of popular trash” which you need to reach beyond, to do real research.

  34. Mike McMillan says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    “As a retired airline pilot I can categorically state that UFO’s do not exist.”
    Actually you can only categorically state that UFOs do exist. To categorically state they do not exist you would have to have observational knowledge of every moment in every location where one could possible be found. Either that or you must have proof that their existence violates some physical law. You know you have neither of these. What we can know and what we can’t know is part of Philosophy of Science 101.

  35. >>Mike McMillan says: October 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    >>As a retired airline pilot I can categorically state that UFO’s do not exist.
    As a current airline pilot, I would contend UFOs do exist. Not every thing we can see in the atmosphere can immediately be categorised and classified, and so some must remain ‘unexplained’.
    It must be said that the chances of any of these unexplained sightings being of alien origin is utterly remote and logically absurd. However, the chances of these unexplained sightings being secret military opps, is highly likely. But most turn out to be Chinese lanterns, Army parachute flares, or the planet Venus (which is red, when on the horizon).
    Its a shame that ‘UFO’ is always taken to mean ‘Alien’.
    .

  36. davidmhoffer says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    “Fascinating. Having grown up on the prairies, I had no idea such a thing existed! Wow!”
    “Having no mountains in the area, we had to turn to other sources for UFO sightings. Being the self reliant young lads we were, we rolled our own.”
    [snip – over the top way off topic – Anthony]

  37. >>Lucy Skywalker
    >>If you were to research UFO’s properly, objectively, open to
    >>discovering and setting aside prejudices, as per Scientific Method,
    >>you would be left in no doubt that there is something there.
    Yes, indeed – and that something is disinformation and education.
    There are certain groups and associations in the West who find it ‘useful’ for people to believe in alien life. And very successful this programme has been too – especially if some in the military and CIA/NSA play along too.
    It is merely a continuation of the 17th century Reformation and the Enlightenment, the Twin Pillars of social reform that built the modern technical world we see all around us. And it serves a very useful social purpose, even to this day. Representations of the Twin Pillars can be destroyed, but the Twin Pillars still remain. The West will survive and prosper.
    Point Left Right, Point Left Right.
    .

  38. Quote RobRoy” There’s lot of USAF stuff going on around Phoenix.
    Occam’s Razor is a “UFOlogist’s” undoing.”
    Generalisations based on one`s own limited understanding of a subject means Occams Razor cuts both ways.
    That some people make mistakes about aerial phenomena means all people are is a logical fallacy..(not that this means ufo=aliens)or..read something like Project Identification: The first Scientific Study of UFO Phenomena by Rutledge former chairman of the physics department at Southeast Missouri State University.
    Ignorance of a subject is often a “sceptics” undoing. 🙂
    And paradoxically..protects their own delicate cognitive dissonance..

  39. Here in the South Island of New Zealand we have lenticular clouds on a very regular basis, typically when the wind is mild and from the NW flowing over the spine of the Southern Alps. Sometimes we get perfect stacks of pancake clouds.
    For those who mentioned gliding, we are also a prime place for gliding.
    I have also seen lenticular clouds in southern England, in similar conditions (mild wind from the SW coming over the North Downs).

  40. First thought: “Wow! That’s lovely.” Second thought, “hmmm, I wonder what the lift potential is, where the gliderport is at, do they have aero tow,” et cetera. And “ooooh, yeah, that’s why I don’t fly over the Rockies and Sierras in winter.” What makes for gleeful glider pilots sometimes causes great unhappiness for power-plane pilots and passengers.

  41. From the trailer, Our Hero on the radio: “To the best of our knowledge, my wife and I are the only ones left alive.”
    Didn’t James Lovelock write an equally fantastic science fiction story? Something about the last “breeding pairs” of human refugees in the Arctic or Antarctic, the only places still habitable after Thermageddon? Checking the Intergore…here it is:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/james-lovelock-the-earth-is-about-to-catch-a-morbid-fever-that-may-last-as-long-as-100000-years-523161.html

  42. Ralph says on October 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm
    >>Lucy Skywalker
    >>If you were to research UFO’s properly, objectively, open to
    >>discovering and setting aside prejudices, as per Scientific Method,
    >>you would be left in no doubt that there is something there.
    Yes, indeed – and that something is disinformation and education.

    Well, ZERO ‘radio traffic’* (terrestrial or othereise) has been detected, and attributed to, “UFOs” … kinda strange don’t ya think? How do they communicate?
    * ALL bands and ALL wavelengths.
    .

  43. Ah, the flying saucer trick.
    It’s actually just the climate communist hippie’s way, in the private that is the climate commune, of saying: No, no I’m not gay, I was just probed in the a** by out-of-towners flying big sausage sassy t’ings.

  44. I actually think most UFO sightings are conventional (or at least man-made) aircraft people are misidentifying, some of it’s weather phenomena (e.g. St. Elmo’s Fire). It’s no coincidence that a lot of the UFO’s were sighted out where Skunkworks does business; then about 10 years later we get the public release of info about a stealth plane or new surveillance craft. Which does, technically, make them UFO’s to the public when it was being seen during its trials. I’ve had this experience myself with the Boeing wing drone. I saw wing UFO’s one time when driving back from school, near Wright Patterson. Well, they had the same lead aspect and trailing edge as the Boeing drone, and a friend in the know has since said they were testing them out of WPAFB around that time. I had kinda assumed that anyway, since they were just flying level and they were near the base.
    Mom also ran into the same thing a lot when she was with the Navy’s ATC in the 60’s and 70’s. She was also one of the points of contact for Project Blue Book. She said most of it was people seeing the fighters out of the test range on their base at night, but they had a few incidents where ‘something’ was flying rings around the prototypes; and one time they had ‘something’ doing high-speed fly overs with random stops to hover over the nuclear weapons bunkers. So, who knows.
    >Well, ZERO ‘radio traffic’* (terrestrial or othereise) has been detected, and attributed to,
    >“UFOs” … kinda strange don’t ya think? How do they communicate?
    A friend who’s in the quantum computing field says there’s, in theory, some sort of paired set of molecule that has the same electrical state no matter the distance between them due to some quantum mechanics wonkery I don’t really understand. They want to use them in quantum computing so you can get rid of the copper cables and buses making a speed bottleneck. You could also theoretically use it to make a ‘faster than light’ communications device that has an signal that can’t be intercepted or jammed. They haven’t made any stable examples yet, so not sure how feasible it is, or if it’s one of those works in theory but not in practice things.

  45. If aliens actually do contact us one day, a lot of people are going to be seriously disappointed to discover they are God fearing conservative capitalists, who have grown past post-normal science.
    Otherwise, they’d never have gotten off their own planet.

  46. That doesn’t mean they’re all not. Pretty clouds, but some things your pretty little cynics can’t explain.

  47. Dave Springer;
    It seemed like a reasonable question given the lengths you went to fool people in your community into thinking they’d seen a flying saucer.>>>
    It wasn’t reasonable at all, anymore than suggesting me and the boys drugged homeless people and gave them anal probes.
    As for your time in the marine corps, thank you for your service. As for Mr Smith and Mr. Wesson, hand guns are illegal where I am for the express reason that some people think they should be able to defend themselves with a gun from a punch in the face in return for a remarkably rude insult.
    I wasn’t threatening you, I was making a point that your accusation was disgusting and rude. Further, if you stopped to ponder for a moment the point of my comment, it was that very simple things when observed without context get reported back as being as big as football stadiums and travelling three times the speed of sound. I knew some guys that would fly their crop dusters at night over town, in formation, and cut the engines and glide so that they were silent and only the wing markers showing that produced equally astonishing results. I even knew some lads who made crop circles with hockey sticks and when they came clean, they were excoriated for lying about what they had done by “experts” who could “prove” that the crop circles could not have been produced with a hockey stick. (Remarkable what hockey sticks got accused of back in the 70’s!)
    Your apology is accepted.

  48. davidmhoffer says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Having no mountains in the area, we had to turn to other sources for UFO sightings. Being the self reliant young lads we were, we rolled our own.

    I saw one of those in Pittsburgh while walking back to the dorm. I was trying to gauge the scale of the thing, and not doing too well, until one of the “lights” descended and went out. I quickly deduced a candle reached the bottom and fell off the holder. The speed of the fall, the color, and brightness all suddenly made sense and I deduced it was a dry cleaner bag UFO.
    Our two stage rocket motor assembly with balsa wood fins and a cherry bomb on top fired slightly toward Schenley Park made a very nice Whoosh/whoosh/flash/pop sequence. I never have understood why people put Estes motors inside models of famous rockets. A little balsa wood and Elmers glue works great and you don’t worry about things getting stuck in a tree or on a roof. 🙂
    Well, you do need the cherry bomb to know how high it got.

  49. Ric Werme;
    Our two stage rocket motor assembly with balsa wood fins and a cherry bomb on top fired slightly toward Schenley Park made a very nice Whoosh/whoosh/flash/pop sequence.>>>
    Yeah, wish I’d discovered balsa wood sooner. I might have actually got one of the rockets I built in high school to get off the ground. I was trying to build a solid fuel rocket with my own home made solid fuel. I first one I got to “leave the ground” did so in many pieces scattered over a wide area. After that, blowing stuff up just seemed so much easier and more exciting than building a rocket 😉

  50. Godzilla probably arrived in this UFO. Or maybe Mothra.
    Recently a USAF officer reported seeing lights. I always remembered his quote: The lights “…were not of this world.”
    Turns out they were flares used in a training exercise.
    And you could probably cause a stir with these.
    Finally, we had better hope there are no advanced civilizations nearby. They’d think half the population was retards. Oh, wait…

  51. @Layne Blanchard
    “But but but …. Bigfoot is REAL! And he’s very sensitive too.”
    He, or she, might have been, once, but as you might have noticed, the Chines don’t eat big feet no more only poor little cute dogs.

  52. >>
    Why I’ve seen people channel this with piles of mashed potatoes and inverted dinner plates.
    <<
    Wasn’t that Devils Tower, Wyoming?
    >>
    John Doyle says:
    October 9, 2011 at 10:45 am
    That is Mt. Ranier in Central Western Washington.
    <<
    It sure looks like Mt. Rainier to me, too.
    My daughter took this picture from her neighborhood on December 5, 2008, of similar clouds over Mt. Rainier. You can just see the mountain peak over the houses. The cloud formation has moved slightly to the east.
    >>
    These clouds have also been known to form in cases where a mountain does not exist, but rather as the result of shear winds created by a front.
    <<
    Dr. David Legates once gave a talk about GCMs where bands of clouds form across the Pacific. These are probably standing wave phenomena too. Dr. Legates said that to simulate the effect, the modelers added mountain ranges in the middle of the pacific ocean. Ever hear of the mid-ocean Pacific mountain ranges?
    Jim

  53. @ Hoser says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm
    Who says we have to have a predefined destination? Perhaps it’s the journey that matters. Besides we are not standing still “right here”. Our entire galaxy is moving at a pretty good clip and accelerating along with the rest as the universe expands. Within our galaxy our star system is also on the move, and last I heard has been doing so for the past several billion years, Earth time.
    Expand your mind. 😉

  54. davidmhoffer says:
    October 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm
    “It wasn’t reasonable at all, anymore than suggesting me and the boys drugged homeless people and gave them anal probes.”
    Butchering dead livestock and leaving it somewhere with no obvious way that it got there isn’t illegal or even immoral near as I can tell, at least no more illegal or immoral than faking a UFO. The thing you describe with a homeless person is assault and battery, possibly kidnapping, and very likely a number of other federal offenses a DA would conjure up.
    “As for your time in the marine corps, thank you for your service.”
    You’re welcome. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
    “As for Mr Smith and Mr. Wesson, hand guns are illegal where I am for the express reason that some people think they should be able to defend themselves with a gun from a punch in the face in return for a remarkably rude insult.”
    Where I’m from people don’t resort to physical violence for the express reason they could get themselves shot dead for doing it because you just never know who’s packing and they have a right to defend themselves. I’ve lived in places where concealed handguns are legal and where they are illegal. I prefer the former. It’s much more civilized and bullies with fast fists have no advantage over weaker people. We have a saying “God didn’t make all men equal. Samuel Colt did.”
    “I wasn’t threatening you, I was making a point that your accusation was disgusting and rude.”
    Get over it.
    “Further, if you stopped to ponder for a moment the point of my comment, it was that very simple things when observed without context get reported back as being as big as football stadiums and travelling three times the speed of sound. I knew some guys that would fly their crop dusters at night over town, in formation, and cut the engines and glide so that they were silent and only the wing markers showing that produced equally astonishing results. I even knew some lads who made crop circles with hockey sticks and when they came clean, they were excoriated for lying about what they had done by “experts” who could “prove” that the crop circles could not have been produced with a hockey stick. (Remarkable what hockey sticks got accused of back in the 70′s!)”
    This is what mature adults do for entertainment?
    “Your apology is accepted.”
    I didn’t offer you an apology. I didn’t mean to offend you but I don’t really care if I did.
    [End of issue. It doesn’t need to be discussed further here. Robt]

  55. Smokey says:
    . . .Recently a USAF officer reported seeing lights. I always remembered his quote: The lights “…were not of this world.”

    You do mean a former USAF officer, Smokey.
    And those former airline pilots who reported UFO’s do not exist, either.
    Nope.

  56. Anthony,
    That’s three new acronyms you’ve got there.
    The Wikipedia source needs strengthening.
    NOAA has definitions for ACSL & CCSL but not for SCSL.
    There is a wealth of images for Altocumulus Standing Lenticular , as this thread shows
    Can anyone identify clear examples of pictures of Stratocumulus Standing Lenticular?
    For discussion APOD 21 January 2009
    I have this example from NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day for 26 March 2003 as a possible Cirrocumulus Standing Lenticular.
    The photographer Mark Meyer tells me that he took this picture at dusk one evening towards the end of January in Southern Wyoming, just off interstate 80 near Cheyenne. The long wisp to the left of the cloud mass looks like a mare’s tail, this suggests to me that the cloud was producing ice crystals which remained caught up in the downstream flow.

  57. If you are going to believe what the government says about UFO’s then maybe you should also believe in government sponsored man made climate disruption, that inflation is only 3+%, unemployment only ~9%, that Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter (Cheney under Bush) or that they do (Repub. congress under Obama), that the CPI is accurate (changed ~20 times since 1980), that the Glass-Steagall Act was an unnecessary hindrance to banking, that only about 1 trillion was spent on the 2008 bailout (try 16), that the Iraq invasion was necessary, that most Wall Street trading is NOT being done by preprogrammed corporate owned machines in millisecond trades, that that there are in fact no government conspiracies because they would never ever lie to you.

  58. Jim Masterson says:
    October 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm
    Why I’ve seen people channel this with piles of mashed potatoes and inverted dinner plates.
    Wasn’t that Devils Tower, Wyoming?

    And wasn’t it also done using shaving cream?

  59. Dave Springer;
    Where I’m from people don’t resort to physical violence for the express reason they could get themselves shot dead for doing it >>>
    Where I come from people don’t get accused of mutilating dead animals because they pulled a prank as a teen ager, and they don’t pull guns out when they discover they’ve made such a revolting and unwaranted accusation and p*ssed someone off. Nor do they justify carrying concealed weapons as a means to back up their revolting and and unwarranted accusations as if somehow that gives them license to shoot dead someone they’ve deliberately provoked.
    If you didn’t mean to offend me, then I think I’ve made it clear that you did. That fact that you don’t care?
    Well, that speaks for itself.

  60. I have only ever seen 1 Unidentified Flying Object – literally – It rose very brightly , yellow and orange, much like a chinese lantern, but then after it acheived a stable attitude it shot off very very quickly. So I thought it was a chinese lantern until that moment. I don’t think it was Aliens I just don’t have an explanation. Whilst I worked as an Air Traffic Controller there was always 1 story that did the rounds though – and to this day many Australian Pilots still beleive it was a UFO – the Bass Strait incident

  61. @ Dave Springer says:
    October 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm
    We have a saying “God didn’t make all men equal. Samuel Colt did.”
    =====================================================
    I understand the sentiment, but Sam didn’t make all men equally good shots. Some are a good deal faster and more accurate than others.

  62. Smokey;
    And you could probably cause a stir with these>>>
    Wow. I’m disappointed (though not surprised) that you can just order UFO’s off the net. Just light ’em and let ’em go!
    Disappointed because when you build everything from hot air balloons to model rockets to potato canons to hot rods…you learn a lot of chemistry and physics along the way, how to research various things and solve problems for yourself instead of relying on someone to just post the “answer” on the internet as a part number that you can order. I wasn’t taken in by the UFO thing anymore than I was the CAGW thing for the simple reason that I already knew enough about how stuff works to figure out on my own what made sense and what didn’t, and what questions to ask to confirm one way or another.

  63. Bill Watterson, author of the classic ” Calvin and Hobbes” comics, famously said
    ” The surest sign to intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.”
    Not that far off, IMO.

  64. The Drake equation – the beginning of the end of science. “Let’s make a series of assumptions, assign letters to them, construct plausible relationships from them, and call it an equation”. Sound familiar? Why not? Carl Sagan made a career out of it…

  65. Elftone, please bring some insight along with your criticism next time.
    Fair bit o’ negativity on this thread.
    We are all ears, Elftone……….

  66. It seems to me that assuming radio communication is the best and fastest possible means of communication is as silly as an 18th Century soldier assuming that carrier pigeons were the best and fastest possible means of communication. It’s hubris to assume that we know everything about everything.

  67. Craig says:
    October 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm
    I have only ever seen 1 Unidentified Flying Object – literally – It rose very brightly , yellow and orange, much like a chinese lantern, but then after it acheived a stable attitude it shot off very very quickly. So I thought it was a chinese lantern until that moment. I don’t think it was Aliens I just don’t have an explanation. Whilst I worked as an Air Traffic Controller there was always 1 story that did the rounds though – and to this day many Australian Pilots still beleive it was a UFO – the Bass Strait incident

    Well, if no one identified it, then it WAS a UFO. that does NOT mean it was an alien spacecraft. Too many people automatically assume the former means the latter.

  68. These are the condensation patterns imprinted in the clouds left by the Model C de-cloaking devices which are installed on most sub-300 class (pre star date 60530) Andromedian vessels. The Mark II hyper drive can be engaged whist cloaked and should prevent these types of cloud formations in the future, we are lobbying the Galactic Council to make the Mark II drives mandatory for all new Flying Saucers but the green lobby would rather do away with space travel altogether.

  69. >>
    Jim Masterson says:
    October 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm
    It sure looks like Mt. Rainier to me, too.
    <<
    On closer inspection, I have to change my opinion. The little triangular peak in front resembles pictures of Mt. Shasta.
    Jim

  70. >>Jim
    >>Well, ZERO ‘radio traffic’* (terrestrial or othereise) has been detected,
    >>and attributed to, “UFOs” … kinda strange don’t ya think? How
    >>do they communicate?
    >>* ALL bands and ALL wavelengths.
    Jim, did you try the neutrino bands? No? Tut, tut, now that is a pretty poor investigation, Jimbo.**
    And if you read my post again, I am NOT proposing that UFOs are buzzing the Earth right now. The Galaxy is too big to make that a regular interaction. The current craze is merely social education, and quite successful it is too. 450 years ago, you would be burned at the stake for suggesting there were other beings on other planets, now it is mainstream. If the downside of this is that some people think aliens are visiting right now – well, that’s pretty harmless stuff. We can live with that.
    ** P.S. For intersteller comms, you need a carrier that is not inhibited by pesky things like matter and electro-magnetic interference. Try a neutrino receiver and decoder.
    P.L.R. .. P.L.R.
    .

  71. Mike McMillan says:
    October 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    As a retired airline pilot I can categorically state that UFO’s do not exist.

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

  72. Please don’t be too quick to dismiss UFO’s.
    In Perth (1996) my son and I spent several minutes gazing up (no more than 50 meters above us) at a hovering triangle that was lit with blue and green/red lights and made no sound. Triangle rotated on its axis and flew slowly away from us and later rose very quickly, straight up into the sky.
    I don’t know whether there are aliens or not manning these things, but from my own experience they sure as hell do exist.

  73. >>
    Kevin Kilty says:
    October 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm
    And wasn’t it also done using shaving cream?
    <<
    And mud, paint, etc.
    Jim

  74. Curiousgeorge says:
    October 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm
    @ Dave Springer says:
    October 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm
    We have a saying “God didn’t make all men equal. Samuel Colt did.”
    =====================================================
    I understand the sentiment, but Sam didn’t make all men equally good shots. Some are a good deal faster and more accurate than others.
    —————————————————————————————–
    This isn’t the Wild West any longer. It’s rare that a weapon covered by a concealed carry permit is even seen, rarer still that it is brandished, rarer still that it is fired, rarer still that it is fired other than as a warning, and rarer than getting hit by lightening when somone is actually injured by a firearm carried by someone with a concealed carry permit. Non-violent conflict resolution, you see, is part of the training required to get the permit in the first place.
    I’ve carried for decades and have never needed to so much as flash the weapon. I’ve a theory that when you know there is no conflict which you aren’t going to win it imparts a cool confidence that is sensed by others and they just don’t physically threaten you any more than would threaten a dangerous animal.

  75. davidmhoffer says:
    October 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm
    “Where I come from people don’t get accused of mutilating dead animals”
    I didn’t accuse you of mutilating dead animals. I asked if you did. If you weren’t such a hot-head looking for trouble where it doesn’t exist you would have said “No” or perhaps even “Of course not” and that would have been the end of it.
    Now you’re appearing entirely too defensive over the question which makes me wonder if you’re hiding something.
    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” ~William Shakespeare
    So David, why the huge over-reaction? Why in your culture would the question possibly result in grievous bodily injury? I can’t quite decide which is the worse injury, losing a few teeth from a violent blow to the face or getting shot in the foot. At least the foot will heal without leaving much of a scar. Teeth don’t grow back. If you and/or your cronies are that prone to casual violence that you’d do it in response to a verbal insult then I really do wonder if you have the self-restraint to not do violence to innocent animals if it suited you.

  76. davidmhoffer says:
    October 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm
    “Disappointed because when you build everything from hot air balloons to model rockets to potato canons to hot rods…you learn a lot of chemistry and physics along the way, how to research various things and solve problems for yourself instead of relying on someone to just post the “answer” on the internet as a part number that you can order.”
    Interesting. When you built your own hot rods did you dig your own iron ore and forge your own steel? Smelt your own glass? Make your own tires and rims? Did you grow your own potatoes or formulate and inject the polyvinyl chloride pipe for the barrel?
    I suspect there was plenty you purchased by a part number. There’s a fine line between pride and stupidity in doing things yourself vs.leveraging the work of others. I try not to cross it without good reason. The usual justification is cost when I can build cheaper than I can purchase ready-made and the personal labor involved has recreational value and thereby escapes cost accounting because of intangible entertainment value.
    And sometimes when you build something you don’t learn more than a method for building something. I know people who can work wonders in automotive projects yet they couldn’t tell you the theory of operation for any bit of it. Or there are people like me who can describe in excruciating detail the theory of operation but who can’t lay a decent bead with an arc welder or cut a straight line with a cutting torch, even though I personally own the tools involved. I can however perform major surgery with a chain saw and microsurgery with a soldering pencil… go figure.

  77. With umpteen billions of galaxies and umpteen quadrillions of stars, I doubt we are alone or indeed intelligent compared to others in the universe.

  78. Ralph October 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm
    450 years ago, you would be burned at the stake for suggesting there were other beings on other planets
    That doesn’t seem very likely. You may be thinking of Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake in 1600, but it is considered highly questionable whether his ideas about extraterrestrial beings had much to do with this. The Church had a lot more reason to be unhappy with him than that.
    In the 1400s, Nicholas of Cusa wrote that extraterrestrial beings might exist, and he didn’t get into any trouble for it. In fact, years later, he became a cardinal. Duke Sigismund of Austria imprisoned him for an unrelated reason, and the pope excommunicated Sigismund for this. Here’s an article about Cusa, which says “the Church of the time did not mind it [his writing about extraterrestials] in the least.”
    That said, the Church certainly didn’t favor the idea, but it never took a position on it.

  79. @ Dave Springer says:
    October 10, 2011 at 2:53 am
    Some parts of the world, and the US, are still the wild west.

  80. ofnir October 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm
    A friend who’s in the quantum computing field says there’s, in theory, some sort of paired set of molecule that has the same electrical state no matter the distance between them … You could also theoretically use it to make a ‘faster than light’ communications device that has an signal that can’t be intercepted or jammed. They haven’t made any stable examples yet, so not sure how feasible it is, or if it’s one of those works in theory but not in practice things.
    No, the idea that theory says you could use it for FTL communications is a popular misconception.

  81. Smokey October 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm
    It seems to me that assuming radio communication is the best and fastest possible means of communication is as silly as an 18th Century soldier assuming that carrier pigeons were the best and fastest possible means of communication. It’s hubris to assume that we know everything about everything.
    No, it’s not silly, it’s not hubris, and it’s not assuming that we know everything. What should we assume (in this area) other than what we know about physics? “Anything is possible” is not about anything in particular. One might just as well use it to assume anything at all, e.g., that my dog could talk, or that my car could fly.

  82. Logan in AZ October 9, 2011 at 11:25 am
    I believe that UFOs exist, and that some of them just might be alien craft, but: (1) The book by Paul Hill has nothing to do with the question. I haven’t read it, but the fact that someone can come up with a theory of how they work if they are alien craft, and only do this by making up his own physics (!), is essentially irrelevant. (2) The Disclosure Project is the work of Steven Greer, who trains people to be “cosmic ambassadors,” and uses meditation, Hinduism, etc. for this. (3) I’m not familiar with ufoevidence.org, so I can’t praise it or criticize it. It might be OK.
    So I’ll give you a possible one out of three.
    It doesn’t speak well of human nature that, without knowing anything about the evidence, some people scoff at UFOs and the hypothesis of alien visitation, while others as good as insist that UFOs must be alien craft. This is idiotic (and it’s a pretty good parallel to the global warming debate). What’s wrong with just not knowing, and either continuing to look into it, or leaving it to others to do so?

  83. >>Smoking Frog says: October 10, 2011 at 4:56 am
    >>That doesn’t seem very likely. You may be thinking of Giordano Bruno,
    >>who was burned at the stake in 1600, but it is considered highly
    >>questionable whether his ideas about extraterrestrial beings had much
    >>to do with this.
    I was thinking about Bruno. And I think his belief in extraterrestrials was a basis for his Pantheism, for which he was condemned to death by the Catholic Church, by burning alive at the stake.
    The Catholic Church has had several problems with alien life, over the centuries:
    Firstly, the ‘word of god’ (the Bible) forgot to mention them. God obviously has his/her ‘senior moments’, and gets a tad forgetful – and so the primary text of the Church was wrong.
    Secondly, the existence of other beings negates the special/unique role that humanity has in the life of this god, according to Catholic doctrine. This again implies that the Church was wrong.
    Thirdly, the existence of other worlds and other beings implies that there may be other gods to oversee those beings – making the Church wrong three times over.
    .
    Extraterrestrial life has long been troubling for the Catholic Church, and so perhaps you can see why students of the Enlightenment, the Illuminated ones, have promoted this ‘new’ philosophy of the Grey/Green Alien. Besides, it is a foregone conclusion that intelligent extraterrestrial life exists, and so it is about time that mankind faced up to reality.
    PLR, PLR
    .

  84. @Ralph: “For intersteller comms, you need a carrier that is not inhibited by pesky things like matter and electro-magnetic interference. Try a neutrino receiver and decoder.”
    Doesn’t that mean your message would get there before it was sent?

  85. Dave Springer;
    Interesting. When you built your own hot rods did you dig your own iron ore and forge your own steel? Smelt your own glass? Make your own tires and rims? Did you grow your own potatoes or formulate and inject the polyvinyl chloride pipe for the barrel?>>>
    I don’t know what I’ve said or done to raise your ire, but you seem to have taken a liking to making the most ridiculous accusations against me. Fine. Have at it. In addition to supposing that building a hot air baloon that was mistaken for a UFO is evidence that I mutilated dead animals, you now purport to know what I did or didn’t learn from building things myself. I dare not respond of course as you’ve already warned me that should your accusations provoke me to rash action, you carry a gun and are prepared to use it.
    G’day.

  86. Ralph says on October 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm on
    >>Jim <—- “S/B _Jim”
    >>Well, ZERO ‘radio traffic’* (terrestrial or othereise) has been detected,
    >>and attributed to, “UFOs” … kinda strange don’t ya think? How
    >>do they communicate?
    >>* ALL bands and ALL wavelengths.
    Jim, did you try the neutrino bands? No? Tut, tut, now that is a pretty poor investigation, Jimbo.**

    (a) Name here is _Jim. Too many ‘Jims’ to keep thing straight otherwise. That name is also Googleable (is that a word?) whereas ‘Jim’ returns 763,000,000 results.
    (b) Neutrino’s are not my ‘bag’ just as weak signal reception is probably not yours .. fair enough?
    (c) The ‘applied and practical’ EM community does not as a matter of course concern itself with neutrinos either …
    .

  87. I thought flying saucers were most likely to be seen through the bottom of an empty whiskey bottle, after having drained the contents into one’s belly.

  88. Ralph October 10, 2011 at 7:04 am
    I was thinking about Bruno. And I think his belief in extraterrestrials was a basis for his Pantheism, for which he was condemned to death by the Catholic Church, by burning alive at the stake.
    What was the basis of his belief in extraterrestrials? He had no empirical basis for it. Everything was philosophical.
    The Catholic Church has had several problems with alien life, over the centuries:
    Firstly, the ‘word of god’ (the Bible) forgot to mention them. God obviously has his/her ‘senior moments’, and gets a tad forgetful – and so the primary text of the Church was wrong.

    You’re leaving out the fact that Aristotle said that multiple worlds are impossible. Without Aristotle, the Bible’s silence on the question would have mattered far less, and it mattered little enough, anyway. Not only Nicholas of Cusa talked about other worlds, but so did William of Ockham, Jean Buridan, and Nicole Oresme. How can you explain the fact that they, but especially Cusa, never got into trouble for it?
    Secondly, the existence of other beings negates the special/unique role that humanity has in the life of this god, according to Catholic doctrine. This again implies that the Church was wrong.
    A person who thinks there are no extraterrestrials would not be making sense by saying that man is special.
    Thirdly, the existence of other worlds and other beings implies that there may be other gods to oversee those beings – making the Church wrong three times over.
    How does it imply it? I say it does not.
    Extraterrestrial life has long been troubling for the Catholic Church, and so perhaps you can see why students of the Enlightenment, the Illuminated ones, have promoted this ‘new’ philosophy of the Grey/Green Alien.
    Has long been troubling? You make it sound as if it were still troubling for them. It is only still troubling for them in a trivial sense of the word; there have been discussions of what the “status” of ET’s might be; e.g., are there worlds on which the Fall did not occur? A few years ago, the Vatican Academy of Sciences held a conference on ET life, and Osservatore Romano wrote that there was no conflict between the existence of such life and Catholicism.
    Besides, it is a foregone conclusion that intelligent extraterrestrial life exists, and so it is about time that mankind faced up to reality.
    How can you call something for which there is no evidence a “foregone conclusion” or “reality”?
    PLR, PLR
    What does that mean?

  89. Ralph says on October 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    And if you read my post again, I am NOT proposing that UFOs are buzzing the Earth right now. …

    Short answer: we haven’t heard anything from outer ‘space’ either.
    To support the contention that there isn’t life out there, anywhere, let me provide the support rationale, basis and background for that assertion from a ‘radio’ perspective.
    Let’s consider a ‘developmental’ timeframe and event-path for an ‘alien’ world, which, I think would develop much like our own. One can then presume that ‘broadcasting’ at some point in time was ‘invented’ much as we saw in our own period from the early 1900’s and continuing.
    Let me further introduce another factor and state this: If there is a high likelyhood of at least one more world (inhabited planet) THEN there is the highly likely probability that there are more than just those two … with the upper limit being that number of planets that offer similar environs to our own. This factor of ‘many more than just two inhabited worlds’ becomes apparent further below. Let me also state that these ‘societies’ have not and are not developing in synchronism, but rather in some staggered fashion. What this results in then are periods of ‘radio broadcasting’ much like our own spanning a time frame of about 100 years, therefore, during any period of we should be ‘receiving’ from space a multiplicity of ‘carrier’ signals from broadcast operations from inhabited planets throughout the universe.
    Okay, back to broadcasting. The result of all this ‘broadcasting’ will be a multiplicity of ‘carriers’ (as well as the information-containing sidebands) generated from said broadcast operations, initially from AM broadcast operations then later on AM/vestigial sideband TV broadcasting (Digital TV has a ‘pilot’ signal that looks like a carrier, but it is not as pronounced as much as carrier for an AM VSB NTSC TV signal.) It should be noted that these carriers are ‘detectable’ in space and not just within the confines of the surface of the ‘the earth’. Power levels in the Megawatt ERP (Effective Radiated Power) are routinely used in the UHF TV broadcast band. HF SW (shortwave) stations in the Megawatt ERP range as well, but the carrier spacing station-to-station is irregular. Domestic US AM Broadcasts are limited to 50 KW transmitter outputs but the use of Directive Arrays (DA) can bring the ERP up to up over the 200,000 W ERP range. Station carriers every 10 kHz for domestic US AM Broadcasting (MW) and 9 kHz for most of ROW … every 6 MHz for NTSC AM VSB carriers (US), and even with DTV ATSV every 6 MHz there exists a pilot ‘carrier’ as well.
    I’m going to ignore HAM and military radio for the moment but I might have to include the formerly Navy SPASUR (now renamed Air Force) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Space_Surveillance_System since it too provides such a potent RF carrier signal into space. I could include Time/Frequency reference stations, such as WWV, WWVH that are spaced at regular intervals as well (5 MHz apart from 5 thru 20 MHz plus 60 kHz and 2.5 MHz).
    Weak signal ‘carrier’ detection. Weak carrier reception using small or narrow Bandwidths (BWs) improves S/N ratio such that extremely weak signals, carriers, which are pure, CW (continuous wave) signals to be received in the presence of other ‘background’ celestial of terrestrial signals, be they the traces of lighting discharges or other man-made signals of differing origin.
    Some examples of ‘weak’ signal detection using earth-bound (the only signals we have observed that had any intelligent origin in the universe):
    Moonbounce (EME) UHF TVDX
    Examples of ‘hobbyist’ equipment for VHF/UHF extra-terrestrial comms:
    The first Amateur Lunar tests & contacts |1st part: 1953-1965
    More weak signal VHF/UHF gear (contemporary)
    The Gallery of the EME Arrays
    EME, SETI, Radio Astronomy, DSP and Radio Amateurs
    For variety: TV DX videos on YouTube
    … to date, we have _not_ received any carriers, or other signals* …
    Now, did I have to be specific as to all these details? Yes, mostly because the un-EM practiced probably hasn’t considered these aspects since they haven’t had the years of exposure or ‘practice’ that someone involved intimately with ‘radio’ has had …
    References:
    *SETI – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_for_extraterrestrial_intelligence
    .

  90. Smoking Frog says:
    “What should we assume (in this area) other than what we know about physics? “Anything is possible” is not about anything in particular. One might just as well use it to assume anything at all, e.g., that my dog could talk, or that my car could fly.”
    You misrepresented what I wrote by putting quotation marks around “anything is possible”. Next time, cut ‘n’ paste what I wrote and argue with that. Fabricating quotes is a strawman argument.
    I’m not assuming anything; just the opposite. You seem to be assuming that we understand physics enough to know that FTL communication is impossible under any circumstances. That’s an argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy.
    If you spoke with a physicist 120 years ago about wave/particle duality, he would have argued that it was impossible. But the double slit experiment shows conclusively that photons are either waves or particles, depending on the observer’s presence or absence.
    Just because FTL communication – or FTL travel – doesn’t fit into what we currently know about physics does not absolutely preclude their existence. At this point, we just don’t know what we don’t know.
    [And BTW, there’s a YouTube video showing a dog saying “I love you.” And of course flying cars have already been built.]

  91. This doesn’t seem like a good place to discuss ET & UFO. Too much emotion, too little info. I note with amusement, however, that I made an unproveable remark

    If you were to research UFO’s … as per Scientific Method, you would be left in no doubt that there is something there

    Well, I know there is excellent evidence beyond the level of information Ralph appears to be acquainted with, but I cannot prove this to Ralph if he chooses to stay with his level, nor can I prove my remark to anyone else who does not choose to research to the depth I have done. Therefore, I might look as if I am lying or deluded or misled – though I know I am not. However, I believe I have good allies, including Tesla and Newton.

  92. >>RichieP says: October 10, 2011 at 7:58 am
    >>Neutrinos: Doesn’t that mean your message would get there
    >>before it was sent?
    Neutrinos are subject to the same limits of C as everything else.
    .
    >>Smoking Frog
    >>A few years ago, the Vatican Academy of Sciences held a conference
    >>on ET life, and Osservatore Romano wrote that there was no conflict
    >>between the existence of such life and Catholicism.
    Only because they have been dragged into the 21st century by the Enlightenment movement. Last I heard, they had given up roasting people on hot coals too. And they haven’t held any world famous scientists under house arrest recently either. I even heard that they now understand that the Earth orbits the Sun, although I don’t remember an apology for the previous assertions. Things do improve, slowly.
    .
    >>Smoking Frog
    >>PLR, PLR
    >>What does that mean?
    An occult symbol of the Enlightenment.
    .
    >>_Jim
    >>Short answer: we haven’t heard anything from outer ‘space’ either.
    Did you try those neutrino bands, Jim? Thought not.
    Assuming that an advanced alien species would be using the same comms equipment as 21st century humanity, is a tad presumptuous and decidedly erroneous.
    .
    >>Lucy Skywalker
    >>Well, I know there is excellent evidence beyond the level of information
    >>Ralph appears to be acquainted with.
    Sorry, Lucy, I am well beyond your level.
    PLR, PLR.
    .

  93. Mike says:
    October 9, 2011 at 9:11 am
    Too bad they can’t take a definitive picture of a climate changing somewhere.

    Wow, that’s incredibly stupid. Climate changes all the time, on all timescales.

  94. Believe it your way Ralph, if that makes you happy. But you haven’t really demonstrated any evidence to back your definitive statements, whereas I have at least admitted I cannot necessarily prove my point to others. And I admit to being too lazy to present the evidence that might help prove my point. I’d rather stay with Climate Science here.

  95. I think there’s a reason we don’t see new pictures of UFO’s, Bigfoot, etc.
    You see, everyone has gone to digital cameras, and the aliens have infiltrated all the chip manufacturers. When you try to take a pic of an alien spaceship, or of one of those aliens walking the earth in their natural form, a chip in your camera is activated and the image of what your eyes are seeing gets filtered out. Who are you gonna’ believe: Your digital photo, or your lyin’ eyes?
    /sarc

  96. Smokey October 10, 2011 at 10:19 am
    You misrepresented what I wrote by putting quotation marks around “anything is possible”. Next time, cut ‘n’ paste what I wrote and argue with that. Fabricating quotes is a strawman argument.
    I didn’t fabricate any quote. My quote marks around “anything is possible” were ironic. I wouldn’t like to write “the argument that anything is possible …,” because I don’t think “anything is possible” deserves the name “argument,” and yet it underlies many things that people say, such as what you said.
    I’m not assuming anything; just the opposite. You seem to be assuming that we understand physics enough to know that FTL communication is impossible under any circumstances. That’s an argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy.
    Yes, you’re assuming something. Either you’re assuming that FTL communication is more likely of being possible than some other things (else what gives it any merit?), or you’re assuming that anything is possible. You offered no argument for the 1st, so I figured you were assuming the 2nd.
    I am not arguing from ignorance. I am arguing from physics. You are arguing from ignorance of whether FTL communication is possible, but we are not ignorant of it in the sense of having no reason to believe one way or the other. We have reason to believe that it is impossible. (This doesn’t mean that it is impossible that we are wrong.)
    Your problem is that “FTL communication is not impossible” is logically equivalent to “FTL communication is possible,” but this means that you need reason to believe that it is possible. Maybe you’ll object to that formulation and say that you believe that FTL communication might be possible, but this won’t get rid of the need for reason to believe it. By analogy, if I say that my wife might be at the supermarket, I am not picking this out of the blue. I wouldn’t say that she might be crossing the North Atlantic, and if I say it is impossible that she is doing so, I do not mean that I have God-like knowledge that she is not. You are treating “know” as if it referred to God-like knowing.
    If you spoke with a physicist 120 years ago about wave/particle duality, he would have argued that it was impossible. But the double slit experiment shows conclusively that photons are either waves or particles, depending on the observer’s presence or absence.
    No, it does not. In the absence of an observer, how would anyone know that they were particles?
    A physicist 120 years ago or earlier would not argue that wave-particle duality was impossible or possible unless he was entertaining the idea, e.g., because someone had asked him about it, or because it had occurred to him. There was no belief “wave-particle duality is impossible.” No one had even heard of wave-particle duality.
    Just because FTL communication – or FTL travel – doesn’t fit into what we currently know about physics does not absolutely preclude their existence. At this point, we just don’t know what we don’t know.
    Again, you are treating “know” as if it referred to God-like knowing.

  97. Smoking Frog says:
    “In the absence of an observer, how would anyone know that they were particles?”
    Sorry, I’m not going to debate with someone who doesn’t understand the double slit experiment.*

  98. Smokey October 11, 2011 at 3:48 am
    Smoking Frog says: “In the absence of an observer, how would anyone know that they were particles?”
    Sorry, I’m not going to debate with someone who doesn’t understand the double slit experiment.*

    I think I do understand it. You said, “But the double slit experiment shows conclusively that photons are either waves or particles, depending on the observer’s presence or absence.” Maybe I should have asked how, in the absence of an observer, anyone would know that they were waves. I chose “particles” because I assumed an implied “respectively” at the end of your sentence. Maybe I was wrong. So I’ll rephrase:
    How, in the absence of an observer, would anyone know that photons are whichever of the two you associate with the absence of an observer? It’s a perfectly sensible question. WIthout an observer, nothing is observed.
    That’s not the only problem with your statement. The double-slit experiment was first performed in 1803, and by 1817 or so it was taken to be part of a conclusive showing that light is a wave. The particle theory of light was abandoned. How come physicists in those days didn’t see it as showing conclusively that “photons are either waves or particles, depending on the presence or absence of an observer”?

  99. Smokey October 11, 2011 at 3:48 am
    Smokey, I forgot something. Even if I didn’t understand the double-slit experiment, this would have no bearing on whether what I said at the beginning (October 10, 2011 at 5:22 am) is wrong.
    I did neglect something. With regard to your word “hubris,” I neglected to say that I agree that we should not assume that we know “everything about everything,” but the assumption that radio is the fastest possible means of communication is not an assumption that we know everything about everything.

  100. Smokey October 11, 2011 at 5:15 am
    To answer your questions about an observer, click on the asterisk in my post above.
    I don’t have time to wade through all that to find out if there’s something that you’ve misinterpreted, or if someone in one of those Google hits shares your misconception. I’ve picked one from the list:
    any experimental design that attempts to determine which slit a photon has passed through (test for its particle nature) destroys the interference pattern (its wavelike nature)
    You see, there’s an observer in both cases, not only one. Your statement “photons are either waves or particles, depending on the presence or absence of an observer” is incorrect, to say the least. Actually it’s nonsense, since, without an observer, nothing is observed.

  101. SF,
    Thanx for the cherry-picked link.
    That link concludes:

    It is important to note that the superposition of possibilities only occurs before the entity is observed. Once an observation is made (a position is measured, a mass is determined, a velocity is detected) then the superposition converts to an actual. Or, in quantum language, we say the wave function has collapsed.
    Quantum existence is tied to the environment, opposite to the independence of macroscopic objects. The collapse of the wave function by observation is a transition from the many to the one, from possibility to actuality. The identity and existence of a quantum entities are bound up with its overall environment (this is called contextualism). Like homonyms, words that depend on the context in which they are used, quantum reality shifts its nature according to its surroundings. [my emphasis]

    That is why when there is a human observer the pattern is completely different than when, in the exact same experiment, there was no observer present.

  102. Smokey October 11, 2011 at 7:10 am
    The quote you’ve provided does not support your statement “But the double slit experiment shows conclusively that photons are either waves or particles, depending on the observer’s presence or absence.”
    Your statement unmistakably associates one and only one of (waves,particles) with the absence of an observer. That’s incorrect, no question about it.

  103. Smoking Frog,
    Thank you for your opinion. It is wrong, as the link above shows, but you know what they say about opinions… ☺

  104. Smokey October 12, 2011 at 4:13 am
    Thank you for your opinion. It is wrong, as the link above shows, but you know what they say about opinions… ☺
    It shows nothing of the kind. I’ve never been able to figure out what it is with guys like you; you seem to imagine that only your last post will be read.

  105. Smoking Frog says:
    “That’s incorrect, no question about it.”
    Thanx for your opinion. Based on the link that you cited, you’re mistaken. But, whatever.

  106. I wouldn’t be surprised if EVERY lenticular cloud is, in fact, an alien spaceship. Mt. Shasta is a portal to inner earth, so these spaceships are always around Mt. Shasta.

  107. Gosh, the first photo in your article could be the entrance to a bomb shelter, or some fancy public urinal in a rainy windy place.
    😉

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