Showing posts with label UFOs and Aliens Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UFOs and Aliens Related. Show all posts

15 July 2021

"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"- Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller

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"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"-  Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller
'The Green Cathedral' by Kerry McDonald and Lee Tidball
Set under the canopy of a Central American jungle, author Kerry McDonald's new sci-fi thriller, The Green Cathedral, follows a corrupt DEA agent and his transformative relationship with an otherworldly being. Inspired by the literary classic, Green Mansions, by W.H. Hudson, this reimagining is supercharged with action and romance in McDonald's visually arresting style.
Today, people are no longer embarrassed about believing in extraterrestrials. Leaders around the world agree that Earth has been visited by aliens. Recently, Haim Eshed, former head of Israel's Defense Ministry space directorate, made headlines claiming to be in communication with a UFO. "The Unidentified Flying Objects have asked not to publish that they are here—humanity is not ready yet," Eshed says. Kerry McDonald thinks we are.

The Green Cathedral opens with a crash landing of an alien spacecraft in the rainforest of Costa Rica. According to the New York Times, the U.S. Air Force investigated over 12,000 UFO sightings from 1947-1969. 701 remain unexplained. McDonald explores an unexplainable UFO phenomenon, and introduces a beautiful alien woman who has a deep connection with nature. In a world immersed in crime, nature offers the only escape. Can the extraterrestrials be here to remind humanity?
DEA agent Abel has spent his life with the ugliest side of humanity. He's given in to corruption, bribery, and an illegal side hustle that has him on the run from the cartel. He stumbles upon an alien girl who lives in the jungle. Her space craft crash-landed a decade ago; his life crashed and burned well before that.

They fall in love, but Abel's past has tracked him down.


The Green Cathedral makes us believe in love at first sight, and that nature can heal lost souls, even in the depths of the cartel.
"Non-stop action . . . a real flight and fight to the finish. Absolutely worth a read." – Screencraft
"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"-  Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald is an all-American gymnast and adrenaline junkie who thrives on rock climbing, base jumping, paragliding, yoga, meditation, lucid dreaming, and survival-focused getaways. An expert marksman, Kerry enjoys writing action-adventure stories that provide an adrenaline rush equivalent to life when lived to the fullest.

9 October 2020

Brilliant Vision of a UFO Comes to Life With the New Royal Canadian Mint Collector Coin

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Brilliant Vision of a UFO Comes to Life With the New Royal Canadian Mint Collector Coin
The Royal Canadian Mint's silver collector coin celebrating the 1978 Clarenville Event
The coin adds to Canada's popular series of unexplained phenomena, telling the bizarre story of a 1978 UFO sighting in the Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador skies . 
The Clarenville event is vividly illustrated on a new glow-in-the-dark collectible coin showing the RCMP Constable moment and how multiple witnesses observe the mysterious lights and the oval shape of an unidentified flying object flying over the vicinity of the town of Clarenville . Royal Canadian Mint is already accepting orders to order this intriguing coin.

Working with a rectangular coin like a canvas, East Coast artist Adam Young has recreated the events of October 26, 1978, when Clarenville became part of UFO history. That night, the RCMP Constable James Blackwood responded to a call from shocked witnesses. When he arrived at the scene, witnesses turned their attention to a glowing object hovering in the sky. Using binoculars, he observed the oval shape with a thin tail as it flew over the waters near Random Island. It made no sound, and when the policeman turned on the squad car's sirens, the mysterious device instantly mimicked its lights. He continued in the area for about an hour until he suddenly rose and disappeared into the night, leaving no trace of his passage - just a few witnesses impressed by what they had seen.

Brilliant Vision of a UFO Comes to Life With the New Royal Canadian Mint Collector Coin
2020 $20 Fine Silver Coin - The Clarenville Event packaging
"I wanted this piece to include all elements of the 1978 experience, while incorporating the rugged and flamboyant coastline that often characterizes the Newfoundland landscape, " commented Adam Young . "The light and the direction of the line were important aspects of the design, creating a circular visual flow through the composition. This has presented an outstanding artistic endeavor, which through my research in design, has led to Burrowing Other UFO Sightings In Canada ".
Being true to the scene described that night by witnesses, the luminescent elements of the coin glow when exposed to black light. 
Brilliant Vision of a UFO Comes to Life With the New Royal Canadian Mint Collector Coin
2020 $20 Fine Silver Coin - The Clarenville Event reverse glow
  • The $ 20 fine silver rectangular coin - Canada's Unexplained Phenomena: The Clarenville Event has a limited mintage of 5,000 pieces, and a sale price of $ 129.95.
These products can be ordered directly from Royal Canadian Mint by calling 1-800-267-1871 in the Canada, the United States 1-800-268-6468, or on the website www.mint.ca .
SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)

2 January 2020

Alien Life Is Out There, But Our Theories Are Probably Steering Us Away From It

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Distant planet system in space with exoplanets during sunrise  
Distant planet system in space with exoplanets during sunrise (sdecoret/Shutterstock)

If we discovered evidence of alien life, would we even realise it? Life on other planets could be so different from what we’re used to that we might not recognise any biological signatures that it produces.

Recent years have seen changes to our theories about what counts as a biosignature and which planets might be habitable, and further turnarounds are inevitable. But the best we can really do is interpret the data we have with our current best theory, not with some future idea we haven’t had yet.

This is a big issue for those involved in the search for extraterrestrial life. As Scott Gaudi of Nasa’s Advisory Council has said: “One thing I am quite sure of, now having spent more than 20 years in this field of exoplanets … expect the unexpected.”

But is it really possible to “expect the unexpected”? Plenty of breakthroughs happen by accident, from the discovery of penicillin to the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation left over from the Big Bang. These often reflect a degree of luck on behalf of the researchers involved. When it comes to alien life, is it enough for scientists to assume “we’ll know it when we see it”?

Many results seem to tell us that expecting the unexpected is extraordinarily difficult. “We often miss what we don’t expect to see,” according to cognitive psychologist Daniel Simons, famous for his work on inattentional blindness. His experiments have shown how people can miss a gorilla banging its chest in front of their eyes. Similar experiments also show how blind we are to non-standard playing cards such as a black four of hearts. In the former case, we miss the gorilla if our attention is sufficiently occupied. In the latter, we miss the anomaly because we have strong prior expectations.


Watching this video shows how you can miss something as unusual as a gorilla if your attention is diverted.

There are also plenty of relevant examples in the history of science. Philosophers describe this sort of phenomenon as “theory-ladenness of observation”. What we notice depends, quite heavily sometimes, on our theories, concepts, background beliefs and prior expectations. Even more commonly, what we take to be significant can be biased in this way.

For example, when scientists first found evidence of low amounts of ozone in the atmosphere above Antarctica, they initially dismissed it as bad data. With no prior theoretical reason to expect a hole, the scientists ruled it out in advance. Thankfully, they were minded to double check, and the discovery was made.


More than 200,000 stars captured in one small section of the sky by Nasa’s TESS mission
More than 200,000 stars captured in one small section of the sky by Nasa’s TESS mission. (Nasa)
Could a similar thing happen in the search for extraterrestrial life? Scientists studying planets in other solar systems (exoplanets) are overwhelmed by the abundance of possible observation targets competing for their attention. In the last 10 years scientists have identified more than 3,650 planets - more than one a day. And with missions such as NASA’s TESS exoplanet hunter this trend will continue.

Each and every new exoplanet is rich in physical and chemical complexity. It is all too easy to imagine a case where scientists do not double check a target that is flagged as “lacking significance”, but whose great significance would be recognised on closer analysis or with a non-standard theoretical approach.

The Müller-Lyer optical illusion.

The Müller-Lyer optical illusion. (Fibonacci/Wikipedia, CC BY-SA)

However, we shouldn’t exaggerate the theory-ladenness of observation. In the Müller-Lyer illusion, a line ending in arrowheads pointing outwards appears shorter than an equally long line with arrowheads pointing inwards. Yet even when we know for sure that the two lines are the same length, our perception is unaffected and the illusion remains. Similarly, a sharp-eyed scientist might notice something in her data that her theory tells her she should not be seeing. And if just one scientist sees something important, pretty soon every scientist in the field will know about it.

History also shows that scientists are able to notice surprising phenomena, even biased scientists who have a pet theory that doesn’t fit the phenomena. The 19th-century physicist David Brewster incorrectly believed that light is made up of particles travelling in a straight line. But this didn’t affect his observations of numerous phenomena related to light, such as what’s known as birefringence in bodies under stress. Sometimes observation is definitely not theory-laden, at least not in a way that seriously affects scientific discovery.

We need to be open-minded

Certainly, scientists can’t proceed by just observing. Scientific observation needs to be directed somehow. But at the same time, if we are to “expect the unexpected”, we can’t allow theory to heavily influence what we observe, and what counts as significant. We need to remain open-minded, encouraging exploration of the phenomena in the style of Brewster and similar scholars of the past.

Studying the universe largely unshackled from theory is not only a legitimate scientific endeavour – it’s a crucial one. The tendency to describe exploratory science disparagingly as fishing expeditions is likely to harm scientific progress. Under-explored areas need exploring, and we can’t know in advance what we will find.

In the search for extraterrestrial life, scientists must be thoroughly open-minded. And this means a certain amount of encouragement for non-mainstream ideas and techniques. Examples from past science (including very recent ones) show that non-mainstream ideas can sometimes be strongly held back. Space agencies such as NASA must learn from such cases if they truly believe that, in the search for alien life, we should “expect the unexpected”.

About Today's Contributor:

Peter Vickers, Associate Professor in Philosophy of Science, Durham University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 



13 September 2019

Bud Light Produces Special Edition Alien-Themed Cans [Just In Time For The Storm Area 51 Event]

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Alien-themed Bud Light cans
Alien-themed Bud Light cans (PRNewsfoto/Bud Light)
Today, Bud Light announced it is producing an alien-themed Bud Light Can to share with any alien that leaves the sanctuary of Area 51 on September 20th.

In July, Bud Light had pledged free beer for all aliens who escaped and promised to create a limited-edition alien pack if this tweet received 51K retweets. While the tweet fell just short of 51K RTs, Bud Light aims to please and the consumer response was so great, they decided to make it anyway. The favorite light lager of American Earthlings has followed through and created the Bud Light alien cans for legal drinking aged humans and extraterrestrials to enjoy together.
A Bud Light operative unable to disclose their name for security purposes said, "The way we see it, we'd much rather people crack open a crisp Bud Light with alien visitors rather than storm Area 51. Nothing says we come in peace like sharing a beer with friends from another place or another galaxy. We promised to have beer waiting for any alien that wants it and we plan to deliver on that promise. Our hope is that humans stock up too because you never know when you might need some Bud Lights to welcome intergalactic neighbors."
For any aliens that escape or decide to visit Earth, Bud Light produced an alien-friendly fridge that's stocked with plenty of Bud Light alien cans.
"For any aliens that escape or decide to visit Earth, Bud Light produced an alien-friendly fridge that's stocked with plenty of Bud Light alien cans." (PRNewsfoto/Bud Light)
Starting today, fans in Nevada, Arizona, and California will be able to purchase the Bud Light alien cans to celebrate the potential release of our otherworldly friends. The special-edition aluminum cans feature a green alien and black background as well as a new crest welcoming all extraterrestrials from near and far to crack a cold one.

For any aliens that escape or decide to visit Earth, Bud Light produced an alien-friendly fridge that's stocked with plenty of Bud Light alien cans. The fridge is locked and includes an alien finger scan in order to open, to ensure the beer supply is available only to our extraterrestrial friends. 

"The fridge is locked and includes an alien finger scan in order to open, to ensure the beer supply is available only to our extraterrestrial friends..."
"The fridge is locked and includes an alien finger scan in order to open, to ensure the beer supply is available only to our extraterrestrial friends..." (PRNewsfoto/Bud Light)
Bud Light is staging the fridge in a coveted Las Vegas club's VIP section at the Luxor Hotel and Casino that will be roped off and reserved exclusively for aliens to live it up. The VIP table invites aliens, 21 years or older, to join the party from September 13 - September 20 and toast to their escape while making a few new human friends over alien-themed Bud Lights. 

"The special-edition aluminum cans feature a green alien and black background as well as a new crest welcoming all extraterrestrials from near and far to crack a cold one..."
"The special-edition aluminum cans feature a green alien and black background as well as a new crest welcoming all extraterrestrials from near and far to crack a cold one..." (PRNewsfoto/Bud Light)
  • Bud Light is also sponsoring the Area 51 Celebration music festival on September 19 at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. 
To bring the raid to fans everywhere, Bud Light is also producing a line of limited-edition merch to match the alien-themed Bud Light Cans. Starting today, legal drinking aged fans can purchase items online from the abgiftshop.com. Merch includes koozies, shirts, hat and bomber jackets and prices range from $100 or less.
To bring the raid to fans everywhere, Bud Light is also producing a line of limited-edition merch to match the alien-themed Bud Light Cans. Starting today, legal drinking aged fans can purchase items online from the abgiftshop.com. Merch includes koozies, shirts, hat and bomber jackets and prices range from $100 or less. (PRNewsfoto/Bud Light)

SOURCE: Bud Light

22 August 2019

'Storm' Area 51 Basecamp set for Sept. 20-21 at the Alien Research Center on the Extraterrestrial Highway

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'Storm' Area 51 Basecamp
Basecamp celebration to include appearances by expert speakers, live music, film screenings, food trucks, art installations and more...
On Friday, Sept. 20 the Alien Research Center on the Extraterrestrial Highway will be basecamp for believers as prominent ufologists, expert speakers, musicians and artists gather to celebrate the 'Storm' Area 51 movement.

What began from a tongue-in-cheek meme to "Storm Area 51 – They Can't Stop Us All," has ignited a global cultural movement to call for greater transparency around what many believe to be decades of government secrecy surrounding UFO technology.

Now, both believers and the uninitiated will have a place to come together, learn more and celebrate the occult as the Alien Research Center hosts the 'Storm' Area 51 Basecamp Experience on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21. Featuring live music, expert speakers, food trucks, Alien-inspired retailers and art installations, Basecamp will also feature exclusive screenings and appearances by cast of Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell's hit Netflix documentary Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers


Additional featured speakers include an appearance by the "Rogue Warrior" Dick Marcinko, a retired U.S. Navy Seal commander who will share his story of a UFO sighting while conducting a covert mission. 

Festival goers will also have additional opportunities for learning when they explore the Alien Research Center's Earth Station - Area 51 exhibit or are treated to some of the best stargazing on the planet via high-powered telescope projections of the heavens above.

Corbell is curating the full speakers' lineup coordinating with other artists, musicians and filmmakers to shape the desert experience. A full timeline of events will be available in the coming weeks. In addition, Basecamp will serve as Lincoln County's media hub for all journalists covering this growing cultural movement. The location will also serve as the command and control center for the Lincoln County's Sherriff's Office to ensure public safety.
"Our goal is to provide a microphone for the movement while offering a safe, organized platform for education, awareness and entertainment for both believers and the uninitiated," says George Harris, owner of the Alien Research Center.
'Storm' Area 51 Basecamp
'Storm' Area 51 Basecamp

Both one-day and two-day passes are now available for the 'Storm' Area 51 Basecamp festivities. A limited number of on-site accommodations are available for those seeking to attend both days. Accommodation types include tent sites for campers, RV parking and a VIP "glamping" experience. 

  • A list of preferred hotel partners will also be available on the 'Storm' Area 51 Basecamp website.


SOURCE: Alien Research Center

24 October 2018

Why Are Extraterrestrials Bald?

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Baldness, one of the usual characteristics of extraterrestrials as we represent them
Baldness, one of the usual characteristics of extraterrestrials as we represent them.(Flickr / GroupET8aliens , CC BY-SA)

When looking for "extraterrestrial" on the search engine Google images, dozens of illustrations are proposed. The human imagination has not been stingy throughout the last century to give a thousand shapes to these mysterious invaders from another world. Sometimes large, sometimes tiny, sometimes with three eyes, sometimes one, these visitors, whether peaceful or aggressive, are very different from each other. Their description could fill an entire book of "exozoology," as once were the reasoned collections of the different varieties of the living that naturalist amateurs could meet. As diverse as these figures are, one point is striking in its constancy: most of our "space brothers" are bald. Whether ET, the little gray or the Annunaki, as the experts sometimes call them, these visitors do not have a hair on their skulls. Is this really a coincidence?
Most stories about extraterrestrial life describe civilizations above ours (which explains why they have the technological means to visit us). What may well be at work here is a certain representation of the theory of evolution. Indeed, the implicit hypothesis that supports the physical description of these beings is that, far ahead of us, they would represent, in a way, our future biological development. Often endowed with skull disproportionate to their bodies, these extraordinary beings obscurely constitute the ultimate stage of our future.

In 1982, the extraterrestrials were already bald
In 1982, the extraterrestrials were already bald. (Allociné)

Thus the hair, this cousin of the body hair, is undoubtedly seen as an ersatz animal that does not suit a higher consciousness. In addition, the hair and body hair, which may have been useful in times when men were suffering from the rigors of temperature, would be doomed, the function creating the organ, to disappear slowly to reveal the power of a cortex whose fate would be to become ever larger. This vision of biological evolution - should we be surprised? - does not respect much of the orthodoxy of Darwinian theory. Indeed, it has rather frankly Lamarckian accents. Jean-Baptiste de Monet, Knight of Lamarck, considered with Darwin that the species were not immutable, but his theory, unlike that of Darwin, admitted that beings evolved according to the laws of a mysterious vital force, contained in all life, which guided biological evolution. The emblematic example of this theory is the idea that giraffes have long necks because the life force has lengthened them, their food being on the treetops. This acquired adaptation then became innate. The natural environment would have an influence here, which can not be explained otherwise than by the intervention of a metaphysical hypothesis: the vital force, on the biological structuring of beings. This acquired adaptation then became innate. The natural environment would have an influence here, which can not be explained otherwise than by the intervention of a metaphysical hypothesis: the vital force, on the biological structuring of beings. This acquired adaptation then became innate. The natural environment would have an influence here, which can not be explained otherwise than by the intervention of a metaphysical hypothesis: the vital force, on the biological structuring of beings.
Darwin, on the other hand, conceived of the evolution of species as the consequence of a natural process of selection which allows the survival of the best adapted individuals. In other words, individuals do not adapt biologically to their environment: if they survive, it is because they are, by chance, genetic combinations, better adapted than others. In this theory, giraffes did not suddenly see their necks growing, but chance has made some have longer necks than others. They had more facilities to feed themselves, and therefore to reproduce. Gradually, or suddenly depending on the case, the most adapted species saw its genotype spread, while the other saw it go out.
If we return to our extraterrestrials, this representation of higher beings statistically devoid of hair appears to betray the Lamarckian imagination of those who conceived them. To put it bluntly, it would be a remarkable miracle if all these brothers of space had evolved in the same way towards baldness. Of course, extraordinary coincidences sometimes occur. But in this particular case, perhaps it would be wiser, and in any case more parsimonious intellectually, to take seriously the idea that these descriptions are mere human inventions that would betray the bad conception that we usually have of the theory of evolution.
The Conversation
About Today's Contributor:
Gérald Bronner, Professor of Cognitive Sociology, Paris Diderot University - USPC
"Cabinet of Social Curiosities"
"Cabinet of Social Curiosities" - Front Cover
Gérald Bronner is the author of "Cabinet of Social Curiosities", from which this text is an excerpt. The book was published by PUF / Humensis in September 2018.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.
(Translated from French to English for LoupDargent.info by Loup Dargent.)

28 March 2018

Raelians Starting Negotiations With First Country To Consider Hosting An Embassy For Extraterrestrials

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ET embassy landing pad
ET embassy landing pad
Thousands of Raelians worldwide will hold public events on March 31st – day that founder and spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement, Rael, declared "ET Embassy Day," in order to raise awareness about their major project: the building of an Embassy to welcome an extraterrestrial civilization to earth. 
"This year is very special,'' said Raelian Guide Daniel Turcotte, Rael's assistant for the ET Embassy Project. ''Up until now, several countries had shown a genuine interest for this very auspicious project, but this year, for the first time, a country has invited Raelian representatives to discuss this unique and enthusiastic project.'' 
"This week, the host country candidate has been handed an optional protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, provisionally titled the "Optional Protocol Concerning Embassies for Extraterrestrials," explained Turcotte. "The meeting also addressed the possibility for this country to hold the first international conference to discuss this protocol." 
Turcotte explained that the country granting a land, the necessary extraterritoriality, and the authorization for the ET Embassy to be built within its territory will not only benefit financially, but will also become the spiritual and scientific center of the planet for millennia to come, and happiness will prevail within its borders.
''Welcoming an extraterrestrial civilization isn't a mere fantasy the way it was viewed as in the 70s when Rael created the Raelian Movement with the mission of building an Embassy to welcome them," added Turcotte. "Since then, thousands of planets have been discovered including some with an atmosphere and all the necessary elements to sustain life. Not to mention that scientists now agree that the probability of intelligent life outside our solar system is very high, and millions of people have seen UFOs and know that an extraterrestrial civilization is showing interest in us, thus confirming this probability."
"The conditions for the general population to accept the idea of an official welcome are met, but violence on our planet is still so high that we need the wisdom of those who created us and who want to meet us again more than ever," concluded Turcotte.
 ET embassy - scale model
ET embassy - scale model
Raelians believe that an extraterrestrial civilization created all life on Earth including human beings, and they believe it is a very peaceful and far more advanced civilization compared to ours, both scientifically and philosophically.

About Rael:
(Via rael.org)
Rael

"At the age of 27, on the morning of December 13, 1973, while he was still leading his successful racing-car magazine, RAEL had a dramatic encounter with a human being from another planet, at a volcano park in the center of France, known as "Puy de Lassolas". This extra-terrestrial gave him a new detailed explanation of our origins and information on how to organize our future, as recorded in the book: Intelligent Design. After six consecutive meetings in the same location, Rael accepted the mission given to him, to inform humanity of this revolutionary message and to prepare the population to welcome their Creators, the Elohim, without any mysticism or fear, but as conscious and grateful human beings. After a few months considering this huge task, Rael almost developed a stomach ulcer before finally deciding to give up his much loved career as a sports-car journalist and devote himself fully to the task assigned to him by Yahweh - the extra-terrestrial whom he met. Within the year following the encounter, he managed to print the book reporting about the event and appeared on two of the main TV and Radio shows in France, announcing a public conference. This first public conference held in Paris on September 19, 1974 attracted more than 2000 people. Shortly after, he founded the association MADECH - a group of people interested in helping him in his huge task- that would later become the Raelian Movement. By the end of the year 1974, the association counted 170 members. They are now more than 85,000 members in 107 countries.

On October 7th, 1975, he had a second encounter and was given additional information recorded on his second book, also part of Intelligent Design. Since that time, Rael has been touring the World, giving conferences and seminars on every continent, gathering those who share the desire to welcome our Creators.

He also authored several other books like Sensual Meditation which is a central part of his teachings, "Geniocracy" advocating for a more intelligent management of the planet and "Yes To Human Cloning" explaining the possibility of becoming eternal and the beautiful future one can expect thanks to Science.

Over the years, Rael has inspired several public actions from the promotion of the use of condoms in schools to the promotion of masturbation; from worldwide campaigns in support of minorities with the slogan "to tolerate differences is not enough, one should love differences" to the disturbing request to have all Religious books censured where they don't respect Human Rights; from the support of Human Cloning through the founding of Clonaid, to the promotion of GMO as the only chance for all human beings on Earth to have food; from the creation of Clitoraid, an association to help women who have been circumcised to have their clitoris repaired so that they can experience pleasure again to the call for the gathering of all African traditional chiefs to create the United States of Africa.

Rael has been a guest on most of the major TV programs worldwide like 60 minutes, CNN, FOX, and BBC news programs, as well as programs like Breakfast with Frost and Entertainment Tonight, to name a few. He has been invited to explain his vision of science to the American Congress and has been the guests of many leaders of this world, with the President Denis Sassou N'Guesso of Congo being the first to welcome him officially in 2000. Many artists acknowledged him as well like the French author Michel Houellebecq and Hugh Hefner.

In every culture on Earth, a messenger is expected, whether it is the Maitreya of the Buddhists, the Messiah of the Jews, the Paraclet of the Christians, or any other name that has been given by the many tribes around the world. This expected messenger, like all the previous ones, isn't supposed to please everyone, but to state what our Creators are expecting from us. This is what RAEL has been doing for more than 40 years now, traveling relentlessly while making the vow not to own anything, but to give everything towards welcoming our Creators in the Embassy they requested be built before 2035."

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20 October 2017

The Thing: Dread Fears And The 'Other' In The Polar Environment

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A scene from John Carpenter’s The Thing from 1982
A scene from John Carpenter’s The Thing from 1982 (IMDB/Universal/JohnCarpenter)
By John Ash, University of Cambridge

John Carpenter’s celebrated 1982 film The Thing is a science fiction classic. Although not an initial commercial success, it has achieved cult status and traditionally is screened (with its 1951 and 2011 counterparts) on the first full night of winter by crews staying at the Scott-Amundsen Base in Antarctica. It may seem a strange choice at first, yet the links between the polar regions and science fiction are strong.

From the pursuit by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein of his creation into the frozen north, to Ripley’s fruitless call to Antarctica traffic control in Alien, writers have used the remoteness and novelty of the poles to enhance the menace and drama of their work. Carpenter capitalises on the dark polar nights and the claustrophobic confines of an Antarctic base to ratchet up the tension and paranoia as an alien infiltrates the outpost.

Inspired by John Campbell’s 1938 novella, Who Goes There?, The Thing follows the crew of an Antarctic base who discover an alien life form that can assimilate and perfectly mimic the appearance of other organisms. Operating at the cellular level, the alien tissue invades by gradually supplanting the original cells until what remains is an exact copy of the now consumed host.

The station personnel fight a desperate battle against the invader, devising a technique for testing blood samples for infection and struggling against the distrust that grows up in the group when they realise its ability to copy and replace their colleagues.
The Thing is a polar film. Not only is it set in a polar environment, but its characters exemplify the strains of living in extended close proximity in the isolation and climatic extremes of an Antarctic base. It is also a film that speaks to the subject of “The Other” – a theme in the humanities that examines how a society identifies itself, not by defining the laudable characteristics to which it aspires, but by reviling others as exemplars of that which it rejects.

The eponymous alien constitutes an iconic Other. It defies description and therefore order. Having no fixed form other than the organisms it assimilates, it morphs – like a deceitful trickster god – into different shapes. Sometimes that shape is an incomplete transition phase, a chaotic mismatch of biological structures that affronts the logical processes of evolution (in one famous shot we see a detached human head that becomes mobile by growing arthropod legs). The assimilation process both frightens and disgusts, and the subversion of the base personnel’s own bodies into instruments of human destruction adds an extra touch of terror to the whole invasion process.

Kurt Russell, Richard Masur, and Donald Moffat in The Thing.
Kurt Russell, Richard Masur, and Donald Moffat in The Thing.(IMDB/Universal/JohnCarpenter)

Why planet Earth?
But why would an alien come to our planet in the first place? The problem receives consideration in the work of Dr Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist who argues persuasively that Earth possesses no property or resource that an advanced civilisation would want to acquire. Reassuring though these arguments are, there remain nagging doubts.

The alien may be a survivor of a convict group condemned to exile on a distant planet. Recalling the First Fleet expedition to establish a colony in Australia in 1788, Commodore Arthur Phillip was under instruction as commander to maintain good relations with the indigenous people. Nonetheless, the effects of colonisation on the first nations living in Australia were devastating.

Kurt Russell in The Thing
Kurt Russell in The Thing. (IMDB/Universal/JohnCarpenter)

Stephen Hawking has made similar observations on the meeting of alien and Earth cultures and the lessons of history. And HG Wells famously made the same point in The War of the Worlds. They may be understating the case. In terms of existential risk, subjugation by an alien race may expose humanity to cruelty and misery that exceeds even annihilation.

The second reason why a seemingly illogical alien visit might not be comforting is the unexpected. The alien might simply have developed engine failure and made a forced landing. (Perhaps it was shot down). But in any event, improbability does not provide the same degree of comfort as impossibility, and that mathematical certainty eludes us.
Carpenter’s alien is an imaginative analogue of the many creatures in the natural world with the ability to change appearance for competitive advantage – from cephalopods that adapt skin cells to the colours of the seabed to insects that undergo the widespread process of metamorphosis.

The ConversationIts lack of fixed form and its physical pollution of human tissue exemplify Otherness, as its calculating ruthlessness epitomises its inhumanity. In the end, the humanity of the base personnel is defined not so much by their difference from the alien as their willingness to sacrifice themselves to defeat it – which is perhaps why the movie remains so popular among crew members who have to rely on each other every single day as they live through their own polar adventures.

About Today's Contributor:
John Ash, Associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

2 September 2016

We're No Strangers To 'Alien' False Alarms – One Was Caused By A Microwave Oven

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By Mark Gallaway, University of Hertfordshire

The group of Russian astronomers spotted something unusual. They were observing the rather innocuous star HD 164595, located in the constellation of Hercules 94 light years (or about 900 trillion kilometres) from Earth. It’s a sun-like star of a similar age to the Sun and is known to have at least one large planet orbiting it. So it was with some surprise that the astronomers at the RATAN-600 radio telescope, located in Zelenchukskaya and led by Nikolay Bursov, received a short but loud radio burst from the direction of HD 164595.

News of the signal broke in mid August this year – even though it was originally picked up on May 15 2015. Given the possible origin of the radio signal, its frequency, and the signal strength there has been much speculation about what the source could be, including the possibility that it is a beacon signal from an advanced alien civilisation.

21 August 2016

What Do Aliens Look Like? The Clue Is In Evolution

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Well, maybe. BagoGames/FlickrCC BY-SA
By Matthew Wills, University of Bath
Speculating about what aliens look like has kept children, film producers and scientists amused for decades. If they exist, will extra terrestrials turn out to look similar to us, or might they take a form beyond our wildest imaginings? The answer to this question really depends on how we think evolution works at the deepest level.

29 March 2016

How Astronomers Could Find The 'Real' Planet Krypton

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Planets orbiting a red dwarf, much like Krypton’s star Rao. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
By Martin Archer, Queen Mary University of London

The search for exoplanets, worlds orbiting stars other than our own, has become a major field of research in the last decade – with nearly 2,000 such planets discovered to date. So the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice got me thinking: does Superman’s home planet of Krypton actually exist? Or at least a planet very much like it?

We don’t know a huge amount about Krypton. Since the very earliest Superman comic strips, it has been depicted as a rocky planet similar to Earth, but much older. In the film Man of Steel, it was said to be about 8.7 billion years old with intelligent life, Kryptonians, having existed for hundreds of thousands of years – comparable to the amount of time humans have existed on Earth.

Map of the planet Krypton from the Superman comics. (WP:NFCC#4/wikimedia)

Start with the red stars
In order to find Krypton, the first thing we’d need to do is identify its star, or at least its type. For a long time, all we knew was that, unlike the sun, Krypton’s star Rao is red. There are three classes of stars which are red in colour: red dwarfs, red giants and red super giants. While they are very different in size, their red colour tells us that they are some of the coolest stars in existence, with surface temperatures of only just over 3,200°C, about half that of the sun.

Batman v Superman. (Naruto full fighters/Youtube)

Red dwarfs are by far the most common stars – around 75% of the stars in the vicinity of the solar system are of this type. As the name suggests, they are quite small compared to the sun, being between 7.5% and 50% of the sun’s mass.

Meanwhile, our sun will one day become a red giant, as it runs out of its hydrogen fuel – ballooning in size so that it consumes the orbit of the Earth. But that’s nothing compared to a red supergiant – stars which would extend all the way out to the orbit of Saturn.

While depictions of Krypton’s star have varied between these three types over the years, what we see of Rao in Man of Steel points towards it being a red dwarf.

Destination LHS 2520
In 2012, it seemed that the matter was settled when astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was invited to choose Rao’s real location. He picked a star known as LHS 2520, a red dwarf star in the southern constellation of Corvus. Our searches for planets around this star have so far proved fruitless, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

To find an Earth-like exoplanet around a red dwarf star, a good approach would be to use the “radial velocity method” or the “doppler technique”, measuring the small movement a star makes as it responds to the gravitational tug of an orbiting planet.
How to find exoplanets such as Krypton.
So far, we only have a handful of data from this star, taken by the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS). This means that currently we can only rule out any orbiting gas giants, as those would be the only ones big enough to produce easily noticeable changes in the star’s velocity. A more detailed investigation, however, could still reveal a Krypton-like, rocky “super Earth”.

But even if that isn’t the case, our understanding of how planetary systems form out of clouds of gas, dust and rocks clumping together under gravity seems to suggest that there should always be more than one planet orbiting a star. So if we find one of Krypton’s brothers and sisters, perhaps with more observations we would be able to infer its existence.

To infinity and beyond
But if we fail to find any planets around LHS 2520, we can always look elsewhere. Luckily, searching for planets around red dwarf stars is a major area of research right now.

For instance, Pale Red Dot is an international campaign being coordinated by researchers in the UK searching for Earth-like planets around our nearest stellar neighbour – Proxima Centauri. The discovery of such a world essentially on our doorstop would be momentous, raising hopes that (with advances in space technology) we could one day visit it. The CARMENES project also will be looking at some 300 red dwarf stars over the next three years in search of Earth-like worlds.

Whether any of the worlds we find harbour life, intelligent or otherwise, is another hurdle to tackle – the conditions are likely to be very different from those on our own world. But despite the small probabilities involved, the vast number of red dwarfs out there mean that the existence of a Krypton-like planet is still a possibility.

The Conversation
About Today's Contributor
Martin Archer, Space Plasma Physicist, Queen Mary University of London


This article was originally published on The Conversation

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