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Ok, this isn't a diary about electing more and better democrats.  It's a diary about collective wisdom.  If you are going to complain about the topic then please hold your fire.  The DKos regulars are the most realistic group of educated bloggers I know, so I want to hear what they say under anonymous conditions about a topic that I find both interesting and controversial.

I just recently read that the NASA survey of 25,000 pilots about safety issues will not be released for no real reason.  My personal take is that there is information there that the public would either be disturbed by or unable to fathom.  Why spend the money and then not make the study accessible???

I have personally never witnessed a UFO.  However, I believe the accounts of those who have done so, especially in an official capacity.  I have a family member who swears he saw a UFO.  He is a graduate of VMI and has no reason to lie.  But he won't talk about it because it might compromise his reputation in his quasi-military standing.

I'm just curious about what others have seen.  

Originally posted to Crabby Abbey on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 10:59 PM PDT.

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Have you seen a UFO?

30%72 votes
35%86 votes
6%16 votes
3%9 votes
2%6 votes
10%26 votes
10%24 votes

| 239 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  WTF? (5+ / 0-)

    You really just thought this would help you somehow?  WTF?

  •  You do realize 'UFO' doesn't mean "alien"? (12+ / 0-)

    It just means unexplained experience.  If you think it might be an alien visitor, it's because you WANT it to be an alien visitor.  Same as if you THINK there is a 'second shooter', it is because you WANT there to be a second shooter.

  •  Does "safety issues" automatically=UFO's? (13+ / 0-)

    Did the survey mention UFO's?

    I'm much more concerned about more routine safety issues--let's
    say... maintenance, close calls... and on and on.

    Don't take anyone seriously that says one thing and does another--that's the worst sin of all...Claire McCaskill

    by begone on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 11:11:45 PM PDT

  •  hey, my take is ... maybe. maybe not. (8+ / 0-)

    these things have not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but
    who am i to say?
    there have been plenty of sane, educated, sober and reliable people who swear they have seen things.
    i'm not totally ruling it out.
    but remain somewhat skeptical.

    •  The Mexican UFO siting (11+ / 0-)

      A few years back.

      You can probably google it.

      Hundreds of people were at an outdoor swearing-in ceremony for new police officers. Including the local provincial governor and the mayor. And lots of cops. Because it was a memorable occasion, lots of people had video cameras, and many of them recorded the FLEET of UFOs that appeared, in broad daylight, overhead. Lasted a long time, and lots of video. Probably, you can find it on Youtube.

      I'm a big fan of the show "UFO hunters." They've investigated LOTS of UFO sitings all over the world, and they have uncovered some pretty convincing video and photos.

      Now, as to what they actually ARE, that's still open to speculation. No credible "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Not that I've seen.

      •  uh huh. (5+ / 0-)

        not buying it.
        sorry.

        I don't know what to say.

        by UntimelyRippd on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 11:48:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not that I'm doubting video, (6+ / 0-)

        but, um, didn't a bunch of people in Mexico see a floating Virgin?

        Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

        by crose on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:01:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hear ya (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wino, Crabby Abbey, renzo capetti

          I saw the video on television, and indeed, there were police officers, the governor, the mayor, and hundreds of onlookers. The person who taped it showed the crowd, and then panned up to the fleet of UFOs overhead. If it was a hoax, it was a damn good one.

          •  And the Arizono governor on another encounter (0+ / 0-)
            •  Ole Fife? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rb608, Crabby Abbey, renzo capetti

              I dunno, babe.

              I think that the Phoenix Lights might have been a hoax by the government.

              I think Fife was in on it, and then, after the whole country freaked out, he did the "funny" press conference with his chief of staff.

              Later, after getting some political mileage our of the Dem state rep who saw the Phoenix Lights, Fife got a second life out of "coming clean," on the UFO thing.

              Here's some background on Fife:

              During his first term, Symington was the subject of an investigation over his involvement with Southwest Savings and Loan, a failed Phoenix thrift. He was later cleared, and won reelection handily in 1994.

              Later, he was indicted on charges of extortion and making false financial statements, and of bank fraud. He was convicted of bank fraud in 1997. The Arizona state constitution does not allow convicted felons to hold office, so Symington was forced to resign.

              This conviction, however, was overturned in 1999 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Six days into jury deliberations, the trial judge had granted the government's motion to dismiss a juror because she was leaning toward acquittal and the other jurors complained that she was keeping them from reaching a unanimous verdict. The appeals court ruled that the dismissal violated Symington's right to a fair trial.

              He was subsequently pardoned by President Clinton near the end of his presidency in January 2001. The pardon terminated the federal government's seven year battle with the former governor. Coincidentally, Symington once rescued Bill Clinton from a potential drowning. During their college years (Symington at Harvard and Clinton at Georgetown), Clinton got caught in a strong tide and Symington rescued Clinton from a near drowning.[1]

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              The "UFO Hunters" on History Channel did a great documentary about the Phoenix Lights, and I highly recommend it. I don't know if you can see it online, but here's a link to point you in their direction.

              http://www.abc15.com/...

              I can tell you that after watching that show, I came away thinking the whole thing was a hoax put on by some military officers who were either bored, or looking to cultivate the next market for useless defense expenditures.

          •  They look like balloons (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rb608

            Did they release balloons at that gathering?  I'm pretty sure that's what they are.

        •  nt/ Is there video of the floating Virgin? BINGO! (0+ / 0-)

          President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

          by VT ConQuest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:20:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm afraid not. (0+ / 0-)

            Video was a technology that the aliens hadn't introduced us to at the time of the VoG's sighting.

            Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

            by crose on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:49:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Also known as "Balloons" (0+ / 0-)

        There are no alien craft of any kind on earth.

        "Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business."

        by MnplsLiberal on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:48:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, they looked like balloons to me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crabby Abbey

          Your 2nd statement seems a bit of a presumption, though. The ridiculous mis-identifications (eg. balloons) or outright hoaxes in no way disprove or explain the many reports by pilots, ground staff (military & civilian), scientists, and other reputable observers. Something has been spotted on hundreds of occasions.

          "They're telling us something we don't understand"
          General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

          by subtropolis on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 08:34:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "reputable observers"? (0+ / 0-)

            Simply being a "scientist" or "pilot" doesn't make their observations more credible.  They can be fooled just as easily as anyone else.  In some cases, reasonable explanations have been given, but those same "reputable observers" refuse to acknowledge those explanations.

            "My chief political consultant will be my conscience." - Theodore C. Sorensen

            by 0wn on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:41:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  A UFO is actually an unrecognized above ground (8+ / 0-)

    thing, and just because you don't recognize it doesn't mean it's necessarily something to make fun of other people about, the tmax.

    Despite "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and similar camp fests, maybe the thing in the air that wasn't familiar or recognizable was something slightly exotic -- like the first overflight of the F-22, or a parachute flare -- or maybe it was mundane, like an aircraft landing light from an odd angle or the reflection of a searchlight.

    The diarist's point is maybe there's a reason the pilot report isn't being released that isn't a mundane reason.

    I don't know if the diarist flies (ultralight? glider? private license?) or not. But if the diarist is curious, why not discuss the topic?

    John Edwards:"One America does the work, another America reaps the rewards. One America pays the taxes, another America gets the tax breaks."

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 11:17:11 PM PDT

    •  The diarist has no evidence, and no point (0+ / 0-)

      The diarist's point is maybe there's a reason the pilot report isn't being released that isn't a mundane reason.

      Citations needed for: - existence of NASA survey of 25,000 pilots on safety issues - questions asked in said survey - evidence it was ever intended for release - evidence it is not being released - official reasons it is not being released - reasons to doubt official reasons (this is assuming all of the previous points have been proven to be factual, and not just pulled from thin air that is pumped into alien conspiracy forums all the time) - evidence of a coverup - evidence of "disturbing and unfathomable" reports by the pilots queried in the survey.

      Even if this survey exists, and even if it is not being released when it was originally intended to be released, there is no rational reason to jump to the obvious conclusions the diarist is jumping all over to.

      The default rational position to a claim like this should be skepticism.

      Unfortunately, people want to believe, so they are inclined to believe, and fuck evidence.

      That's not a prescription for a healthy society. That is a society that took Colin Powells UN claims at face value.

      The funniest (or saddest) thing is the true believers who argue that skeptics are defending the government, that we are the gullible ones for believing what our leaders say.

      Without any consistent, rational criteria to distinguish fact from fiction, reality from fantasy, truth from lies, magical thinkers are the ones without a responsible citizen's compass to tell which is which.

      This dairy is 100% complete and absolute bullshit. The fact that the uncritical diarist is sincere, does not make it any less a bullshit diary.

      There is no there there.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:47:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I seen a sasquatch ridin' a loch ness monster (7+ / 0-)

    but I ain't never seen no UFO

    It's a grift. They probably had grifter parents and grifter grandparents and someday they'll each spawn little grifter kids.

    by Muskegon Critic on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 11:18:25 PM PDT

    •  That proves they is REAL, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman

      Don't you know the drill?

      If you ain't seen one, clearly that means they are real.

      Sorta like Iraqi UWMDOs.

      Unidentified Weapons of Mass Destruction Objects.

      Which, my passenger's side mirror tells me, are closer than they appear. And Detroit wouldn't lie to me.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:35:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Never seen one.... (6+ / 0-)

    ...but if I ever do seen one, I'd probably chalk it up to some top secret technology.

    Who knows what kind of stuff the military is testing over the skies. Hell, they're even pretty secret about the kinds of stuff they test underwater.

  •  Since you asked.... (5+ / 0-)
    I've read all kinds of UFO material.

    -Area 51 is a military base that test experimental aircraft.
    -There is no real "proof" yet to be seen.
    -There is no "Dark side of the Moon, matter of fact it's all dark,"

    Last line kidding, who knows and when will "they" make an appearance?  Nothing has convinced me yet, but I still believe!

    What is this, "Bowb Your Buddy Week?

    by TheMagicJew on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 11:29:32 PM PDT

  •  Multiple UFO sitings (8+ / 0-)

    It's not a fringe thing anymore. There's a LOT of credible evidence that somethin weird is going on in our skies.

    Let me say, first, that that doesn't necessarily mean that little greeen men or "grays" or any other of the familiar UFO lore has gained more credibility.

    But, no doubt about it, SOMETHING is going on.

    Now I get to float my fav theories.

    First, earthquake lights. Or, little understood electromagnetic or other wave phenom that has to do with our planet's natural processes. There has been a lot of geological activity lately, and it's well known, if little researched or understood, that these weird lights appear in the sky before, during, and after such events as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, etc.

    Second, the 2012 thing. No, I'm not talking about the Mayan calendar. Well, not directly. The end of the Mayan calendar marks the end of a 26,000 year cycle, and know what happened back then? WE showed up. Homo sapiens sapiens. Cue all theories about where we came from and how we evolved from the archaic homo sapiens who were here before us. But, beyond that, the Mayans recorded some really strange stuff about this particular region of space we are traveling through, and what happens in 2012 when our sun lines up with the center of the galaxy, which is a black hole. Now, did the Mayans know about black holes? Nah. But they sure did describe, in mythological language, something like one. Are there some cosmic ray events headed our way? Meteors? Comets?

    Third, the parallel universe thing. Lately physicists are talking about parallel worlds, multiple dimensions, multiple universes, and none of that stuff is coming from fantasy. It's a bunch of theories that are attempting to explain deeper understandings of physics and mathematics that we've developed over the last 25 years or so. Are there doorways between worlds? Maybe so. It's a more reasonable proposition than spaceships flying here from other planets in other galaxies, like in Star Trek or Flash Gordon. Could we be seeing craft from more advanced civilizations that have figured out how to use the doorways, and which have a fascination with us, for some reason? Maybe.

    Fourth, the government is screwing with our heads. When it no longer becomes feasible to freak us out over guys living in caves and plotting our destruction, what's a really good, sensational hoax to keep those defense dollars rolling in? Sounds "CT," I know, but if you ever get a chance to see the episode of "UFO Hunters" where they investigate the "Phoenix Lights" in the 1990s, listen to what they have to say, and ask yourself if the federal government could have pulled off that hoax. I was thinking "really big airship(s) in the dark."

    •  "Lots of credible evidence", said Colin Powell (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, 0wn

      at the UN.

      Well, if you say so, it must be true.And, it was on "UFO Hunters", even, on TEEVEE and everything.

      And, clearly, there must be a conspiracy to suppress the truth. Why else would all those scientists be claiming global warming is real? Al Gore is paying them off!

      Oh, wait, sorry - wrong tin foil BS.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:32:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Colin Powell (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crabby Abbey

        Had artists renderings of "biological weapons labs" and indescript video of trucks arriving and leaving "weapons facilities."

        I understand your skepticism.

        However, I find it hard to believe that video of crowds of people all witnessing the same phenom can be dismissed. Something was there at that Mexican city, in the sky, above their heads, and more than one person had video of it.

        My most skeptical explanation? That area has an active volcano. What they may have seen, is some really unusual visual effects from electromagnetic disturbances caused by geologic activity. But I don't discount that something was there, in the sky, above hundreds of people's heads, in broad daylight.

        •  They were party balloons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          0wn

          I've seen the YouTube video. That's what they look like. Balloons floating at the same speed as the wind.

          "Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business."

          by MnplsLiberal on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:58:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You may have seen different video (0+ / 0-)

            I saw some other video, claiming to be from the same event, and those videos? Definitely flocks of birds captured by out of focus cameras.

            No proof that those videos were from the same event.

            On the other hand, the original videos showed the governor, the mayor, the cops, and the crowds before panning up to capture what the whole crowd was seeing.

            Like I said in other comments, that "fleet of UFOS" may have been some kind of electromagnetic disturbance from geological activity, but there's no doubt that SOMETHING occurred that day in front of lots of witnesses, some of whom had video cameras. Flocks of birds or balloons? NOPE. Don't think so.

    •  What happens (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olds88, snakelass, subtropolis, 0wn

      ...and what happens in 2012 when our sun lines up with the center of the galaxy, which is a black hole.

      The sun isn't going anywhere near the center of the galaxy, so the answer would be nothing happens.

      We hope your rules and wisdom choke you / Now we are one in everlasting peace
      -6.63, -6.97

      by amRadioHed on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:50:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't know that for sure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB, Crabby Abbey

        And neither do I and neither do some well educated and informed scientists.

        Myths come from somewhere. Sometimes they have roots in actual historical, physical events. Check out, sometime, the theory that all the Biblical plagues of Egypt can be explained by the eruption of the Santorini volcano. I've seen two documentaries about it on the History Channel, and one of them makes a really convincing case for a rational explanation of the events described in Exodus.

        Why should we believe that the myths of the Mayans, given their extraordinary talents for astronomical observation, are any less likely to be based upon some kind of real world phenoms?

        I wasn't trying to say that the black hole at the center of the galaxy would "get near us." Instead, I was opining that, perhaps, this particular area of space which we are entering is more suscepticble to some kind of celestial event, and the Mayans marked it by the positions of the stars.

        If that's true, then the myth associated with their calendar must have come from the distant past, or from someone who knew something they didn't know. Since they have myths of someone from the stars who gave them this knowledge and related knowledge, it's worth considering, especially since we have similar myth-generating events in other parts of the world.

        •  No, you idiot (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snakelass, 0wn, NCrissieB

          The Mayan calendar doesn't "predict" anything. It just ends, that's all. Their number system resets, buffer overflow, whatever you want to call it.

          Myths rarely have anything to do with real events. They are almost always about the inner world, life after death, creation, death, birth and re-birth.

          "Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business."

          by MnplsLiberal on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:02:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why insult? (5+ / 0-)

            First, the Mayan calendar doesn't "end" on 12/21/2012, any more than our calendar "ends" on 12/31 of any year.  The Mayan calendar is a "long count" calendar, which simply means it includes cycles longer than a solar year.  The longest of those is the grand precessional cycle of approximately 26,000 years, and the start-point that they chose for that was when the sun is directly in line with the center of the Milky Way galaxy.  It's actually astonishing that they were able to predict that exact date with such precision, and their having done so speaks volumes about the sophistication of their astronomy and mathematics.  Regardless, the Mayans (and they are not extinct) did not and do not teach that the world "ends" on 12/21/2012, but merely that we enter a new epoch.

            Second, mythology is often based in actual events, in much the same way and for much the same reason that novels, plays, TV shows, and films are often based in actual events.  They are history, but of a very particular kind, one where human or human-like agency is more important than factual accuracy.  We use storytelling both to encourage ourselves that what we do matters and to create shared experiences - even if vicarious, or fictional - that reinforce our bonds as a social species.

            A classic example is Stephen Crane's novel The Red Badge of Courage, which is often regarded as one of the most vivid depictions of the Civil War.  Crane didn't fight in the Civil War.  He was born in 1871 and was never in the military.  He extrapolated the emotional experience of battle from his own experience of high school football.  Still, many combat veterans say Crane captured the emotional essence of battle more vividly than do most historians.  To that extent, Crane's novel - a modern myth - is "true," and it is "based on actual events," even if it's not factually accurate.

            •  About Crane (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Crabby Abbey

              ....he ended up being a reporter during the Spanish American War.

              Hence the realism of his book

              "Return the Egg to Mothra Island!": The Singing Mothra Twins

              by jds1978 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 06:02:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's pretty unlikely, actually. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Crabby Abbey

                The Red Badge of Courage was written in 1895.  The Spanish-American War was fought in 1898.  So unless Crane was seeing into the future when he wrote the book, it's unlikely the combat scenes in the book were based on experiences he witnessed while covering the war....

            •  Excellent, engaging response! n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              goodasgold, Crabby Abbey

              Time lost is always a disadvantage that is bound in some way to weaken him who loses it. -Clausewitz

              by Malachite on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 06:03:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Why insult? - exasperation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              amRadioHed

              I've had considerable experience with UFO and CT nutcases. I am sick to death with them. I do not consider them worth my effort to treat them politely. If there is a glimmer of a chance there is a mind somewhere in there then maybe.

              Sandra Nobel

              To render December 21, 2012, as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting, she says, is "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in."

              That is what I am objecting to. I object to the Western fetishization of ancient peoples commonly found in New Age crap. It is based on little more than White Guilt. and yes, their calendar does "roll over" or... what did I say? Oh yeah, I said it "resets". I don't see the difference.

              Is Gilgamesh factually "true"? Is Beowulf factually "true"? Is the Lord of the Rings factually "true"? Are you aware that there are people who believe the Lord of the Rings is not fiction but in fact a secret history based on documents Tolkien discovered? People who believe such drivel do not deserve to be treated with any respect.

              What you say:
              "combat veterans say Crane captured the emotional essence of battle"

              What I said:
              "[Myths] are almost always about the inner world"

              "The Red Badge of Courage" is not history and cannot serve as a basis for historical scholarship, which is what I said. Myth is not history, it is psychological insight layered over old tales that may or may not have a basis in fact. I was objecting to the attempt to place them on equal footing with history.

              The Bible is another example. It is not history, it is not even fictionalized history. Some of the biblical stories are complete fiction

              all of the stories about the Biblical patriarchs are fictional, and the patriarchs mere legendary eponyms to describe later historical realities. Further, Biblical minimalists hold that the twelve tribes of Israel were a later construction, the stories of King David and King Saul were modeled upon later Irano-Hellenistic examples, and that there is no archaeological evidence that the united kingdom of Israel, which the Bible says that David and Solomon ruled over an empire from the Euphrates to Eilath, ever existed.

              Myths, including the Bible, do not tell us one thing about the external world. They tell us about ourselves, nothing more. The attempt to connect religious belief with history is wholly without merit.

              Ezekiel did not see a UFO.

              "Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business."

              by MnplsLiberal on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:44:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I understand your disdain for superstition (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Crabby Abbey

                Keep that light bright.

                However, you need to study some archaeology and ancient history to get a better handle on mythology. We have a lot to learn from it, especially if those stories illuminate the unconscious world for us.

                Not all mythology is superstition.

                Not all superstition is worth being called "mythology."

            •  Nice (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Crabby Abbey

              Yeah, I don't believe I made any statement about the "world ending" in 2012. I just said that the Mayan's mythology talks about certain celestial events during the end of the current time period, according to their system. And yeah, it probably has something to do with the black hole at the center of the galaxy, which I did not say "is getting near to us."

              Just incidently, black holes have jets of gas that spew material out for incredible distances. It is possible that the current era ends with an approach to an area of space affected by a jet from the black hole at the center of the galaxy. Just one possible interpretation of Mayan myth.

          •  I'm not an idiot (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Crabby Abbey

            And, IN FACT, the Mayan calendar DOES make predictions. It makes "predictions" about every epoch of time associated with each division of time in it's calendrical system.

            Please make some cursory inquiries before calling people names, OK?

            And, you're dead wrong about myths. Unless you're a scholar in the field, you should just be quiet.

        •  Ah, the old phony arguments from authority (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          amRadioHed

          was wondering when you'd pull those out:

          some well educated and informed scientists.

          Who "don't know for sure".

          Ergo, the Mayans. And, Ben Afleck.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:49:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  hhhh. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass
      1. There is always a lot of geological activity going on. Has anyone shown any correlation with sightings?
      1. Homo Sapien Sapiens are much older than 26,000 years. And there is a long detailed fossil record connecting us with earlier species. No extraordinary leap is needed to understand how we developed.
      1. How would Mayans have any concept of this "region" of space? As far as the Galactic Plane business, it's a theoretical plane which we do not know with precision. The uncertainty as to when we will cross it is on the order of millions of years. Nor is the galaxy some rigid system that is going to transmit instantaneous forces to our solar system. Earth crosses the sun's equatorial plane without difficulty and that has a major gravitational effect on us.
      1. As far as the Phoenix Lights, an analyst was hired for some TV program relatively quickly after the incident. He showed that the disappearance of the lights seemed to match up with parachute flares descending behind a nearby ridge line. Strangely, instead of pursuing that explanation, he explored some wilder theories instead.
    •  the Mayans weren't around 20,000 years ago (0+ / 0-)

      So, that'd be some trick if they'd "recorded some really strange stuff about this particular region of space we are travel[l]ing through".

      "They're telling us something we don't understand"
      General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

      by subtropolis on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 08:38:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's my post from 2005 - (Google is scary) (12+ / 0-)

    Edited slightly, for a WHOLE number of reasons. ;p

    I got cured a long time ago ..
    but here goes ..

    Driving home from a date with my future SO, we both noticed in the early evening sky slowly rotating lights with strange symbols displayed. Flickering in a narrow band, the yellow flashes of light looked like an indecipherable code. We could not identify these lights for about 10 or 15 minutes, and I carefully but quickly tried to follow it while driving in small town [ManchVega$ NH] traffic. The speculation between us was electric and mounting - we were both sure that this was something unusual; it was our first "UFO".

    We were excited.

    'Something to tell the grandkids about one day!'

    Both of us had a great laugh when we finally came close enough to see these rotating lights were on a blimp, and when viewed at a more favorable angle, we could clearly see it said "Join us for the Grand Opening", or some such thing. It was one of those times you were glad you were with someone who truly did care about you, and no one else; the feeling of redness in my face was the relief of the privacy of not being revealed, than of shame.

    What you probably saw a familiar thing, but under unusual lighting. That thing sure seemed real to us , for about 10 or 15 minutes. If I was not able to catch up and see what it really was, I might to  this very day swear I saw a 'UFO', too.

    And to this very day, we both just look at each other when someone says 'UFO' (and laugh).

    ----

    When I was a young ruffian, my pals and I used to take the thing flimsy bags from the dry cleaner, make a little cross frame out of balsa wood, put alcohol in a little cup of tin foil, light it carefully, the hot air slowly filling the bag until it got sent it off into the still night air.

    We'd watch it as it sailed where ever the breeze took it, riding our bikes. One of our jokes was that someone would spot this eerily floating bag and shout out "Marge, come see! The Martians are coming, and they're friendly! It says 'Seasons Greetings' on the spaceship!"

    •  "small town [ManchVega$ NH] traffic" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, Crabby Abbey

      Do you mean Manchester NH?...just curious Shpilk...

      "Pull My Finger" -- Confucius

      by paulitics on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 11:42:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sheepish confession (6+ / 0-)

      I got fooled by some lights on a farmhouse next to the moon one night. At first glance, it looked like something REALLY WEIRD. My wife and I were in seperate cars, driving six teens home from the state fair. We pulled over, and I exclaimed "It's a UFO!" eliciting shrieks of laughter and "OMG!" from some very amused teenage girls.

      When I realized what it was, we all had a good laugh.

    •  I really like what Dr. Plait (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, Crabby Abbey

      astrophysicist and blogger (and debunker, he did a great astrology debunking on astral bodies) likes to say, to paraphrase:

      The universe is amazing and wonderful enough without the need to make up things about it.

      Christ rode on an ass, but now asses ride on Christ. - Heinrich Heine

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:05:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "I got cured a long time ago .. " (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis, Crabby Abbey

      Curiosity and an open mind are not illnesses.  

      Gullibility? Perhaps.

      The human impulse to secure a sense of certainty out of our seemingly random and unpredictable lives may lead some to embracing delusions, but it also can effectively close off the possibility of real exploration of the unknown.

      I'd rather work at keeping open than stake out a position that closes doors.

      "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed." -- Mark Twain

      by ovals49 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:25:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I still have an open mind, but I'm not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ovals49, Crabby Abbey

        credulous. Up until that moment of shame, I was credulous. I learned something from the experience.

        The human impulse to understand also drives science, and that demands proof. So far, in all the talk of "little green men", I've never ever seen the proof I need to 'believe'.

        That doesn't mean they aren't there, the "little green men". Just show me the proof, and I will be happy to reconsider the possibility of aliens visiting this planet.

        I've donated thousands of hours of computer time by way of distributed computing to looking for radio signals via SETI.

        I haven't closed my mind.  

  •  I've seen UFO's (5+ / 0-)

    in the sense of unidentified flying objects, but nothing I would think is actually alien.  Weird things happen and there are natural phenomena that are rare and strange.  I think alien visitors is by far the least likely explanation for anything you see.  Even visitors from another dimension seems much more believable to me, and I don't think there are those either.

    Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

    by bythesea on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 11:37:36 PM PDT

  •  There is a related phenomenon that is weirder (4+ / 0-)

    I knew a wonderful and boringly level-headed woman who was a counselor for people who, in their minds at least, have been abducted by aliens.  Whatever this phenomenon is, it is quite real and leaves a lasting impact.  If I had not known someone personally involved, I would never have take this matter seriously.  Believe me, there are quite a few people who have had these experiences.  They are remarkably similar from person to person and the sketches they make are very similar.  Some of the experiences are very invasive and upsetting.  And a lot of different kinds of people have this happen to them.  I find this phenomenon very weird.  I know the mind is strange, but unlike with UFO's, I really can't come up with any rational explanation for this.

    On the topic of UFO's, Carl Jung had some very interesting things to say about them.  Here's a little excerpt:

    In his books 'Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies', Jung applies his analytical skills to the UFO phenomenon. Rather than assuming that the modern prevalence of UFO sightings are due to extraterrestrial craft, Jung reserves judgment on their origin and connects UFOs with archetypal imagery, concluding that they have become a "living myth."

    In the threatening situation of the world today, when people are beginning to see that everything is at stake, the projection-creating fantasy soars beyond the realm of earthly organizations and powers into the heavens, into interstellar space, where the rulers of human fate, the gods, once had their abode in the planets.... Even people who would never have thought that a religious problem could be a serious matter that concerned them personally are beginning to ask themselves fundamental questions. Under these circumstances it would not be at all surprising if those sections of the community who ask themselves nothing were visited by `visions,' by a widespread myth seriously believed in by some and rejected as absurd by others."--C. G. Jung, in Flying Saucers

    Iirc, Jung felt the vision of saucers as round represented a need for unity in the face of our shattering communities.

    a rhetoric of peace and not a surrendering one. The kind of peace that stands up for human values, civil discourse, and basic decency.

    by geomoo on Fri Apr 10, 2009 at 11:57:59 PM PDT

    •  IIRC there is a strong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geomoo, RandomActsOfReason

      correlation between such experiences and being abused as a child.  Just food for thought.

      Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

      by bythesea on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:54:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One morning, my husband and I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geomoo, Crabby Abbey

      woke up on the opposite sides of the bed than where we had gone to sleep.  We also woke up simultaneously, and both with a startled feeling--which had never happened before.  Neither of us had any recollection of getting up during the night and changing positions.  It was very strange.

      Were we abducted by aliens?  Did one of us use the bathroom and forget?  We never did figure it out.

      To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

      by Dar Nirron on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:53:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I believe in UFO's AND USO's. Check this out: (2+ / 0-)

    Just Google Unidentified Submerged Object and check out the written material as well as all the pictures and videos.

    I'm open to all possibilities and don't give a UFF [Unidentified Flying F*ck] what anyone thinks!

    =D

    President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

    by VT ConQuest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:00:02 AM PDT

    •  45m History Channel video on Deep Sea USO & UFOs: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crabby Abbey

      President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

      by VT ConQuest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:06:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yet you somehow believe (0+ / 0-)

      anyone gives a UFF what you think?

      Otherwise, why post it for others to read?

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:29:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The diarist does. YOU'RE irrelevant in this case. (2+ / 0-)

        Since it apparently ... ahem... "FLEW" over your head, I was directing my comment at nay-sayers who can no more prove that these things DON'T exist, than most of us can prove that they DO.

        The global evidence on this phenomena, and especially the secrecy in which our United States government envelopes said evidence, leads me to believe that they're being less than forthcoming with the general public on these matters.

        I know, I know, "but, the government doesn't lie to it's people!"...

        pfff.

        President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

        by VT ConQuest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:04:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Extraordinary claims (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RandomActsOfReason

          require extraordinary evidence. So far there is ZERO evidence for alien craft in our skies.

          "Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business."

          by MnplsLiberal on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:19:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What a load! Just because our US government... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Crabby Abbey

            refuses to divulge info, that doesn't mean that other governments around the world prioritize that same level of secrecy on this subject.

            There's photographic and video evidence of unidentified craft in our world's skies and ocean everywhere. As to whether or not it's "alien", I'm open to it being so. If it's not though, no sweat.

            However, I firmly believe that we do NOT have the technology to make crafts maneuver the way they do on the multitude of video footage which shows it.

            President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

            by VT ConQuest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 03:20:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Still zero evidence (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RandomActsOfReason

              There has never been a single video or photograph that establishes proof for alien craft in our skies. Absolutely ZERO.

              Unknown aircraft? Yeah, sure. Military research into stealth and unmanned drones has been going on for decades. Some of the maneuvers they can perform really are quite spectacular. I consider all reports of triangular craft like that seen in Belgium to be ours.

              "Unless you can fake sincerity, you'll get nowhere in this business."

              by MnplsLiberal on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 09:43:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you for AGREEING with me.... (0+ / 0-)

                In case you missed it in previous comment:

                There's photographic and video evidence of unidentified craft in our world's skies and ocean everywhere. As to whether or not it's "alien", I'm open to it being so. If it's not though, no sweat.

                President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

                by VT ConQuest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:43:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Why aliens, and not angels? (0+ / 0-)

              Not that the answer is going to surprise me.

              Why aren't the unidentified craft the Archangel Gabriel and his posse?

              Or, for shits and giggles, Beelzebub and gang?

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:52:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Interesting observation. The end of "KNOWING".... (0+ / 0-)

                that's in theaters now somewhat proposes that idea.

                The "alien" beings are distinctly shown to have angelic wings as they return to their ships at the end. I was seriously disappointed as I felt that to be a total cop out and saw it as pandering to the religious crowd.

                Eh, whatever.

                President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

                by VT ConQuest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 06:52:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You should include "SPOILER ALERT" (0+ / 0-)

                  when you're giving away the punchline of a movie folks may not have seen yet and want to see.

                  Not sure what that has to do with my comment, though, unless it is to acknowledge that, like a fictional movie, the paranormal claims here are equally divorced from reality.

                  One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:40:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Heres the Belgian government admitting to unknown (2+ / 0-)

            craft activity in the early 90's and scrambling it's F-16's to investigate the craft, only to see it disappear in a flash at apparently thousands of miles per hour:

            http://www.youtube.com/...

            The amount of first hand accounts from pilots and passengers around the world is very reenforcing as well.

            Google is your friend.

            President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

            by VT ConQuest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 03:30:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Governments are not authorities on science (0+ / 0-)

              scientists are. More correctly, aggregate conclusions by large bodies of scientists peer reviewing each others published analysis of publicly available data is where scientific authority is derived.

              Of course, you are not interested in scientific inquiry, only in cherry-picking anecdotes that support your preformed conclusion.

              Would you cite the Vatican's pronouncements as proof that condom use causes AIDS?

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:17:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Presume much? I am ONLY interested in scientific- (0+ / 0-)

                inquiry.

                I'm not religious whatsoever.

                I wouldn't cite the vatican on any issue. However I would cite them as being a primary cause of genocide and human rights violations throughout history.

                President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

                by VT ConQuest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:01:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  YOu sound like a creationist (0+ / 0-)

          "nay-sayers who can no more prove that these things DON'T exist".

          That is not how rational thinking and science work.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:51:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  nt/ YOU are a labeler AND wrong. F*CK RELIGION! (0+ / 0-)

            President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

            by VT ConQuest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:04:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You misunderstand (0+ / 0-)

              it is your logic I was comparing to that of creationists. I don't really care what your religious beliefs actually are. "Sound like" meant "make the same kind of arguments as".

              In this instance, demanding that skeptics prove a negative - which, as I noted, is not how rational thinking and science work.

              Logical fallacies, emotional rhetoric and rejecting contrary evidence are all characteristics of magical thinkers. It doesn't really matter if it is about evolution, climate change, UFOs or pyramid power. It's the same anti-science, anti-reason, denialist mindset.

              I am questioning the substance of your argument, and the logic that underlies them. You choose to take that as a personal attack and conveniently respond in kind, thus avoiding dealing with the substance of my critique, and avoiding substantively defending your groundless claims.

              This is about assertions you have made, which lack an empirical and logical basis. You can choose to avoid the issues by attacking the messenger, but that doesn't address the merit of the message.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Apr 13, 2009 at 12:48:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Ufo's as likely as... (3+ / 0-)

    The technology that allowed interstellar travel would be so far advanced that, for us, it might as well be magic.

    A shameless rip-off of,

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
       Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

    "As the watchmen cannot be seen, they need not be on duty at all times, effectively leaving the watching to the watched." Jeremy Bentham

    by sceptical observer on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:11:43 AM PDT

    •  Correct (3+ / 0-)

      If they could travel here, their technology would be so far advanced, they wouldn't be hovering up in the sky.  You wouldn't even know they were there.

      The same principle is why there would never be wars between 2 alien races.  One's technology would far outpace the other's and it would be no contest.

      In God we trust. All others must pay cash.

      by yet another liberal on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:20:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crabby Abbey

        and I think too often we ascribe human motives in our current time period to other phenomena. The motives, methods, and technologies of other creatures, should they exist, may not fit the parameters we ascribe. I can see it plausible that aliens would come here for, let's say some useful chemical element in our soil just to use an example, and avoid human contact.

        That brings up the literature on the subject-- cow mutilations, human abductions, other stuff. Who knows how real that is or what it's about. But, having studied anthropology (nearly minored in it in college), I believe we shouldn't ascribe our motivations to alien cultures, if they visit here.

        Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

        by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:40:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This Is Like Boxing God Into Human Logic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        subtropolis, Crabby Abbey

        I think more or less by definition, we can't predetermine the options for technology that's magical to our standard.

        Incidentally, if they're here right now, mostly we DON'T see them hovering in the sky, only extremely rarely.

        Why would someones a million years more advanced than us need to remain 100.00% invisible? Maybe staying out of sight a majority of the time would be enough.

        If they're really advanced, maybe they mostly ignore us at least institutionally, which seems to be the reported behavior.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 06:54:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's the way i look at it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crabby Abbey

          I often see questions like, "Why would they come all this way, just to scare the shit out of some farmer?" or, "Why make a spectacle of themselves and then vanish?" or, "Why don't they land on the WH lawn?" So tiresome. If we did have visitors, they may have been coming here for many thousands of years. Why should they choose to get involved now? Perhaps they're waiting for us to catch up a bit more, technologically. Perhaps they're waiting for us to have the ability to communicate with them.

          It's only been less than a hundred years since the subject gained wider notoriety. I've no problem with the notion that they may simply be biding their time.

          Gooserock, i think i've seen you comment in two roads's regular saturday night series but, just in case, do drop by.

          "They're telling us something we don't understand"
          General Charles de Gaulle, Mai '68

          by subtropolis on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  UFOs != Alien spacecraft (4+ / 0-)

      Do I believe there are unidentified flying objects (UFOs) that appear often in our skies?  Absolutely.

      Do I believe they are alien spacecraft?  No, but the government seeding that belief, then seeding the skeptics to debunk that belief, was perhaps the best disinformation campaign in the history of propaganda.

      Most UFOs are misidentified ordinary aircraft, meteorological, or astronomical events.  The tiny few that aren't - the estimate is about 5% of reports - are in all likelihood tests of classified military technology.  Thing is, you can't test secret aircraft in total secrecy, because you have to fly them to determine how well they work.  So how do you test fly secret aircraft?

      Well, first you hint - as the government did back in the late 1940s and early 1950s - that there may be alien spaceships visiting earth.  Then you get some other people to debunk that belief, but you have them do that with claims that are as absurd as the claims they're debunking (e.g.: swamp gas).  Both the original claims of alien visitors and the original debunking of alien visitors were offered by the government.

      Once both camps reach critical mass and become self-sustaining popular movements, you stand back and watch the fireworks, and nobody seriously considers the relevant question:

      "What did fly over that town last night?"

      So long the witnesses are swept up by "believers" as proving the presence of alien visitors ... and dismissed by "skeptics" as merely proving human stupidity ... the government needn't worry about detailed descriptions of or inquiries into the real technology being tested.

      And that is a classic disinformation campaign.

  •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amRadioHed, Crabby Abbey

    I've seen objects that were flying, and I couldn't identify them, so technically they are UFO's.  Do I think they were alien spacecraft?  Let's just say if I hear hooves, I think horse, not zebra.

  •  I believe there are unexplained things. (5+ / 0-)

    And until they are explained, I don't discount the theories.  

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:18:13 AM PDT

  •  I may have, but it may just have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey

    been the .18 bac. Was a long time ago and the memory fades, but prolly was the .18 bac.

  •  An open mind is a good thing, but (0+ / 0-)

    not so open your brains fall out.

    I heard that Obama was not going to release carrier pigeons at his next inauguration.

    You do realize that means they probably are using them for secret messages from the Pope.

    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

    by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:27:55 AM PDT

    •  I usually agree with you comments (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FireCrow, VT ConQuest, NCrissieB

      but you seem uncharacteristically assholish on this thread.  What up?

      •  What is assholish (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        amRadioHed, the tmax, MnplsLiberal

        is to spout absurd anti-government conspiracy theories without even the least teeniest bit of evidence - and then try to take advantage of misguided liberal "tolerance" to avoid critical thinking.

        Your diary is no more sensical than those who assert that Al Gore is responsible for the global warming "hoax", or those that assert that Obama is going to take away everyone's guns.

        Do you have any evidence so support your assumption that this study isn't being released (if that is even true) because of your UFO fantasies?

        No. So why should this crap be indulged? The hypocrisy here is unbelievable. People pretend to take rational stances about things, but they only apply it to positions they already ideologically opposed.

        So, making fun of Michelle Bachman's claims about reeducation camps is ok, but making fun of your version of government conspiracy to supress the truth has to be indulged and treated gently?

        Bullshit. It's just more "the government is lying to us, the Reptilians are going to get us" nonsense. It promotes cynicism about government, rejection of scientific evidence and abandonment of critical thinking in favor of anti-intellectual gullibility that makes citizens more vulnerable to demagoguery and propaganda.

        It's time to demand evidence when people make extraordinary claims.

        Claiming that the government is suppressing a study about air safety to cover up UFOs is as absurd as claiming the Moon landing was faked.

        And I, for one, am tired of the flood of UFO diaries here of late. And of the reluctance of people to call bullshit with anything like the alacrity with which we shoot down tin foil conservative memes.

        I'm tired of the assault on reason, and disheartened to see how much of it comes from the Left.

        That's what's up. Otherwise, have a great weekend :-)

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:56:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When did "government is lying to us" ... (4+ / 0-)

          ... become an "extraordinary claim?"

          There is abundant evidence that our government has engaged in disinformation.  The build-up to the Iraq War is a classic case.  The entire UFO phenomenon is arguably the classic case, because both the hints of alien visitation and the original "skeptics" were both seeded by the government.  Not because there are alien visitors - I doubt there are - but because the government needed a cover story for tests of classified military technology.

          It's entirely reasonable to doubt the official claims of our government.  "Government is lying to us" is not an "extraordinary claim."  It's an unfortunate fact.

          •  The flaw with your argument (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            the tmax

            Is that the "extraordinary claim" to which I referred is not, "our government sometimes lies to us".

            The extraordinary claim is that a massive NASA survey of 25,000 pilots on safety is being suppressed by the government because it reveals evidence of "disturbing and unfathomable" UFOs.

            Note that the diary includes NO links to any such survey or report of such survey, NO link to evidence it is being suppressed, NO link to evidence of any "disturbing and unfathomable" evidence of any kind.

            And yet, you are predisposed to defend it. What that reveals is far more about your conspiratorial mind and the low bar you set for "evidence".

            Only those with a preexisting belief will embrace a diary like this as confirmation of their bias. That is a logically fallacious way to think.

            By extension, you will tend to believe anything that supports your worldview, without any evidence needed.

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:38:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No, All the Worst of It Comes From the Right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crabby Abbey, the tmax

          and from their corporatist and militarist and theocratic employers.

          Nothing the hippies dream up in their worst bad trips is orders of magnitude closer to an assault on reason compared to management.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 06:56:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Still a conspiratorial mindset (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            the tmax

            "the Right", "the hippies".

            This is about a failure of critical thinking in our citizenry. No amount of fantasies "dreamed up" by anyone would have traction if people were taught to think critically, and if our culture were not so deeply anti-intellectual and anti-science.

            The quote from William Graham Sumner that I posted in another, less earnest discussion is particularly apt here:

            The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade all its mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators ... They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens.

            If you fall for crop circles and conspiracies to suppress alien invasion - or if you call for creationism and climate change denialism - then you will fall for WMD-ism and any cheap, emotionally appealing demagogue who pushes your emotional buttons.

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:28:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Ditt- to the- O. More like RandomActsofNeedlessly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crabby Abbey

        ArgumentativeCommentingOnAFairlyLight-HeartedMatter

        The psycho-analytical babble about "tak[ing] advantage of misguided liberal "tolerance" to avoid critical thinking" just below this comment of mine is WAY over the top too.

        VERY uncharacteristic. Chill out RAoR. ;)

        President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. * YES WE DID! * - 2012's flacid Presidential Repug ticket: STEELE-BOEHNER.

        by VT ConQuest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:14:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not a matter of "chilling", a matter of reason (0+ / 0-)

          This diary lacks so much as a link or citation. It is a about an alleged study of alleged topic that was allegedly suppressed for alleged reasons.

          It is as devoid of substance as a diary about AL Gore being responsible for a climate change "hoax".

          Only this one doesn't even link to false claims.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:54:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Some interesting annual UFO sighting statistics. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodasgold, Crabby Abbey

    Go to this link then start scrolling down.  You will notice things were pretty quiet with exception of a few clusters here and there until the mid 90's when the frequency suddenly began to skyrocket.  That's just about the same time that internet usage became popular.  There may or may not be any connection, but it's worth pondering.

  •  Meat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, amRadioHed

    They're Made Out Of Meat

    Good short. But then, anything in a diner is good.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:38:34 AM PDT

  •  I've seen some unexplained sky phenomena (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodasgold, Crabby Abbey

    I saw an undintified flying object, small, could be aircraft, moved rather sudden in different trajectory than usual planes, came by where my friend and I were outside on a warm summer evening, flew past us, too high up to tell what it looked like. The weirdest thing about it was it displaced the clouds in a spiral pattern and there was lots of moisture in the air as it passed, in a very dry region of the U.S. That's all.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 12:45:39 AM PDT

  •  They're out there... (2+ / 0-)

    I had a first-hand experience about 37 years ago, as an adolescent.

    I also think more people have had encounters than will ever admit.   It's pretty traumatic, frankly.

  •  I thought I saw 1 once, but, well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jds1978

    UFO Fail Pictures, Images and Photos

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing.

    by LaughingPlanet on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:26:34 AM PDT

  •  I believe alien life exists. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomActsOfReason, Crabby Abbey

    I'm highly skeptical anyone on earth has seen it flying around.

    They only call it class warfare when we fight back.

    by rb608 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:31:43 AM PDT

  •  If Alan Keyes doesn't convince us all... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elbamash, Crabby Abbey

    that alien lifeforms exist, then nothing will.

    Seriously, though, this is my 2 cents on UFOs (and yes, I'm willing to admit I'm crazy for thinking this):

    1. Many sane people have had very odd experiences for what we've lumped into the UFO category.
    1. It would have to be almost, if not completely, impossible for another civilization somewhere out there in the cosmos to:

               a. look kind of like us.
               b. develop similar forms of technology, i.e., space travel akin to our own.

    1. This leads me to the only conclusion that has ever made any logical sense to me: The "aliens" that people have witnessed are actually "us" but millions of years from now...after someone has made time travel a reality.

    Think about it. If Stephen Hawking held a news conference this afternoon and said, "Behold! I have completed my time-travel machine," by tonight scientists would be studying a T. Rex. in their labs, and the poor beasts would be bewildered by our spacecraft landing amongst them.

    In other words, future humans find us very interesting, just as we would find all previous lifeforms interesting if we possessed a time machine.

    Personally, if I had a time machine, I'd find out who was going to win the next 20 years' worth of championships in the major sports and make a killing in Vegas.

    This is yet another reason why I'm not a scientist.

  •  Two accounts of UFO (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man, goodasgold, Crabby Abbey

    from folks who I trust.
    One was also witnessed by others who confirm report.
    The lady was a UFO scoffer before the incident. Involved both large whirling disc, and a few minutes later, a trio of whirling and revolving red lights.
    The other was a Navy pilot. He would not say exactly what he had seen (on several occasions) but is adamant about the presence of UFOs, seen while flying. His family was also visited by bright blinding lights in the back yard.
    Go figger.

  •  An Unrepentant Farting Oligarch? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey

    Why yes, I have seen george w bush on tv many times.

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:11:04 AM PDT

  •  So how did they find us? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Crabby Abbey

    Electromagnetic signals with sufficient strength to carry far enough into space at a detectable level have only been around for about 60 years.  The first "modern" UFO sitings are about 10 years later in the mid 1940s.  Howeverm, various myths from earlier human history have been interpreted as evidence of UFOs.

    It seems we have three options.  First, the aliens live within about 10 light years of us.  This follows because that is how long it would have taken between the first EM signals they could have received and when they would have shown up here.  Of course, we have never received any EM signals that are plausibly derived from an intelligent source in the last 60 years.

    Second, they live much farther away and just happened upon us by chance.  Seems pretty unlikely.  Astronomically so.

    Third, they live much farther away and have sent exploratory craft to every star system they could detect that plausibly could support life.  Apparently they have sent many, many such craft to Earth, in a wide variety of designs.

    To my way of thinking, all of these seem like pretty implausible scenarios.

  •  I suspect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, Crabby Abbey
    they are not releasing the pilots' safety survey because they figure the public can't handle the truth, namely that minor safety incidents and near misses in aviation aren't all that uncommon. It might scare us off from air travel altogether, or more specifically, from certain airlines.

    Therefore, the continued cooperation of the airlines and their pilots in such studies is contingent the government's agreeing to keep the results from the Golden Fleecables, who might otherwise use the results to inform their travel-mode decisions or--even worse--their choice of carrier.

    It's the same principle that makes it hard to find comparsions between the complications rates at different hospitals.  

    •  If there even is such a survey (0+ / 0-)

      IF it asked any questions relevant to this diarists claims,

      IF it was ever intended for public release,

      IF it was subsequently suppressed.

      Even then, there is no reason to suppose it revealed "disturbing and unfathomable" results, let alone UFO-related.

      This is a content-free, link-free, citation-free, logic-free diary.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 10:58:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, asswipe (0+ / 0-)

        I see you have never even published a diary here.  Funny you're such a critic.

        Here's your link.

        This was a light-hearted diary.  What's your problem?

        •  Hmm - far from a conspiracy to suppress (0+ / 0-)

          looks like the government is checking out how to release the data.

          Couldn't possibly be that a survey of airline pilots regarding safety might have reasonably raised some security concerns, that folks might have wanted to address before making them public - say, a way around the locked cabin doors designed to secure the pilots against hijacking? Couldn't just be a few overzealous folks under the Bush Administration (there is no mention of when this survey was done, nor when it was withheld) might have executed Bush's directive to withhold whatever could reasonable be withheld (a policy Obama reversed once in office)?

          No, the "light-hearted diary" concludes that there is data so "disturbing and unfathomable" about UFos that the government chose to hide it from the public.

          What is your problem? Can't handle critical thinking or anyone looking at your extraordinary claim with a skeptical eye?

          Still no link about the study itself, BTW. When was it made? What were the questions? What population of pilots were queried?

          As for publishing a diary,

          1. attacks on the messenger have no bearing on the merit of the message. Typically, when people run out of substance (in the case of this diary, there wasn't any to begin with) they launch personal attacks in a desperate attempt to discredit the skeptic.
          1. If you think publishing diaries here is some kind of measure of the objective merit of a person to begin with, you desperately need some perspective.  I choose to participate in by posting thousands of mostly substantive comments. You chose to participate with a bullshit, content-free conspiracy theory diary. That makes you superior somehow? Get a life.

          Post something substantial, I'll respond accordingly. Unlike you, I don't obsess about the messenger - I don't go examine their history on DKos. I evaluate the merit of a diary or a comment on its substance. I suggest you do the same.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:12:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I suggest you lighten up. (0+ / 0-)

            You knew what the diary was about from the title.  I wasn't looking for any thing more than opinions.  Why did you spend so much time there being an ass?  I'm curious what other people think and I posted it late at night not to knock out other late breaking diaries of things that are more important.

            If it was of no import to you, why leave 10 or 12 comments that no one else really cared about?  You can choose the diaries you read and comment on.  I think it says something about you that you stay in a thread you have no interest in just to be an ass.  

            •  Why do you keep trying to shift the issue to me? (0+ / 0-)

              The issue is the assertions you made, and my rebuttals of them.

              "Lightening up" is not the issue. You did not post your assertions as a joke. You asked for opinions - but you really don't want ones that don't support your conspiracy theory mindset.

              Who says it is of no import? I explained the import several times. You promote an anti-science, anti-government, anti-intellectual form of magical thinking that leaves citizens with no rational criteria to distinguish truth from fiction.

              You have no evidence zero, nada, zilch to support your opinion. None.

              I called you on it.

              You decide to retaliate by insulting me and attempting to discredit me.

              If you really wanted to hear opinions, you'd consider the possibility that your assertion was completely and utterly unfounded and ridiculous.

              But, you aren't really hear to listen, you're hear to evangelize your paranoia. I'm not going to indulge it.

              Nothing personal from my perspective whatsoever. Don't know you from a hole in the head. I reacted to the substance of your diary, and your comments.

              I suggest you learn to do the same, and not resort to ad hominems as a substitute for intellectual debate.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:26:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Go read the diary again. (0+ / 0-)

                I made no assertions.  And what ad hominems did I make?  

                •  Here is what actual evidence looks like: (0+ / 0-)

                  what ad hominems did I make?

                  Ok, asswipe
                  I see you have never even published a diary here.  Funny you're such a critic.

                  I think it says something about you that you stay in a thread you have no interest in just to be an ass.  

                  One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:35:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Actual evidence, part II: (0+ / 0-)

                  Go read the diary again.
                  I made no assertions.

                  My personal take is that there is information there that the public would either be disturbed by or unable to fathom.  Why spend the money and then not make the study accessible???

                  I have personally never witnessed a UFO.  However, I believe the accounts of those who have done so, especially in an official capacity.

                  Assertion 1 - disturbing or unfathomable information is in the study
                  Assertion 2 - the government suppressed the report as a result of #1
                  Assertion 3  - the report was intended for publication in the first place, and the money was spent for that reason
                  Assertion 4 - UFOs are involved, and what you mean by "disturbing or unfathomable information" in the study
                  Assertion 5 - the accounts of those who have witness UFOs "in an official capacity" (whatever that means), are credible, by virtue of that "official capacity".

                  One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:41:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Also go see who I recc'd (0+ / 0-)

                Basically anyone with an opinion one way or the other.

                I don't care.  It was a topic of interest to me.  Just curious what others thought.  One way or the other.  

          •  Also - I provided you a link (0+ / 0-)

            in the comment you just responded to.  Lazy much?

            •  Also - I responded to the link (0+ / 0-)

              in the comment you didn't bother to read but responded to anyway.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:27:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is my last message to you. (0+ / 0-)

                I don't know why you're so mad, but so be it.  No, I saw no response to my link.  Whatever.  Go look at your comment history and how many people agree with you.  Yeah, pretty much none.  You're just an ass.  And I am taking great pleasure in saying that.  Ohhhh.  Ad hominem.  Oh NOEZ  OMG  

                •  The response you missed (0+ / 0-)

                  was the very first thing in the comment - the title and first sentence:

                  Hmm - far from a conspiracy to suppress
                  looks like the government is checking out how to release the data

                  That is what the link you provided shows. It is a memo from the new Nasa Administrator, which states:

                  I have just been made aware of the issue involving information from a NASA survey of airline pilots regarding safety issues being withheld under the Freedom of Information Act.

                  I am reviewing this Freedom of Information Act request to determine what, if any, of this information may legally be made public. NASA should focus on how we can provide information to the public -- not on how we can withhold it. Therefore, I am asking NASA's Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research, Lisa Porter, to look into this situation, including ensuring that all survey data are preserved, and report to me as soon as possible.

                  One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 11:45:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  UFO ≠ identified extraterrestrial spacecra (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Crabby Abbey

    It astounds me how many people go "Ooh, weird light in the sky. I guess it must be a machine capable of traversing interstellar distances built by an intelligent species that evolved on another planet."

    Do I believe in UFOs? Heck yes! There are unidentified objects in the sky, of course. It would be weird if everybody had the knowledge to explain everything they saw over their heads.

    Do I believe we are being visited by beings from other planets? No. There's just no decent evidence for it. There are lots of anecdotes, but the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

    francophile impénitent

    by AtomikNY on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 07:21:57 AM PDT

  •  Never saw one, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey

    love reading about them. Most convincing are two sightings involving giant triangles flying low and slow, one over some British mil bases, another over several towns outside I think Chicago, seen by their patrol officers. That said, those who posted on a ufo forum I read for awhile were ignorant, crackpots, and yes conservatives.

    There's just one point to make. A standard feature in sightings is that the object depats with astounding speed; like a farmer in 1898 said, "like it was shot out of a gun". That shows they're affectively massless, with some technology that blocks the crafts' mass from interacting with outside mass, thus allowing space travel at thousands, millions of times the speed of light.

    The ufoseek website's ufo propulsion section links to 'cosmic vault' and its 'a ufo propulsion primer', an explanation that seems to have real education behind it. No educated person would waste their time reading it though; too bad about the crackpots.

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