Saturday, March 8, 2014

An Alien History of Planet Earth

Nick Cook, a British aerospace journalist with a 20-year history of "getting below the surface" of some of the strangest military aircraft to take to the skies, applies his expert, investigative skills to a world of mystery and deceit--a fantastical place full of UFOs, strange encounters, and alien abductions. Much of his time has been spent at the respected journal, Jane's Defence Weekly. His job is to investigate secret programs--the shadow defence industry, worth billions of dollars, but hidden from public view. Now, with more people than ever believing in UFOs, Cook wants to know what really has been flying through our air space. He traces the phenomenon from early sightings of UFOs during WWII to the mass reports of alien abductions that swept America in the 1980s and `90s. Entering the world of bluff and double-bluff, he investigates such landmark cases as the Roswell Incident and the Zamora Sighting to try to answer the question: Are UFOs real?

This is a very interesting documentary overall. I was very intrigued by Nick Cook's assertion that UFOs are more likely a manifestation of terrestrial technology rather than extraterrestrial. Were NAZI scientists really behind this technology and was this technology later co-opted by the United States after Operation Paperclip for developing advanced military technology?

I personally have my reservations on all this conspiracy theory nonsense but, I’ll let you be the judge.

An Alien History of Planet Earth

My views on the UFO controversy can be seen in an e-mail interview concerning SETI, UFOs and the Internet I took part in some 17 years ago. My views on these subjects have not changed.

1) Do you believe in UFO's?

That depends on what you mean by the term UFO. If you use the term to imply extraterrestrial spacecraft carrying little gray men, that come down every second Tuesday of the month to abduct little old ladies in order to conduct bizarre sexual experiments, I would have to give you a definite and unequivocal - NO!!! There is simply no unequivocal evidence that we are being visited by extraterrestrial beings.

I believe that Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) are precisely that, strange lights in the sky that untrained people cannot identify. I am inclined to believe that a certain subset of UFO reports may be related to strange and uncommon meteorological phenomena such as ball lightning and I also suspect that some of the UFO reports that actually involve some sort of aircraft may be connected to secret military tests of new classes of stealth reconnaissance airplanes.

2) How do you think the Internet contributes to the controversy about UFO's,
and contributes to disseminate knowledge about Space Exploration?

I firmly believe that the Internet is greatest human invention with the potential to extend the frontiers of education, since Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. This is best illustrated in the areas of scientific research and science education and in the dissemination of the most recent findings in Space Exploration.

I remember as a child writing to NASA and waiting for weeks on end to receive glossy photographs of distant worlds which I hold dear to this day. Today with the advent of the Internet and its associated multimedia technology we can receive this information within a matter of minutes and through the magic of computer animation and Internet webcasting travel with our robotic probes to the edge of the solar system and beyond. But, the Internet could also serve as a font of misinformation.

I believe that the Internet, just like all forms of informational media, still serves to perpetuate the myth and folklore of UFO’s that has been popular with the general public for over 50 years. A case in point is the folklore (now going on for past 22 years) surrounding the alleged face on the Cydonia region on the planet Mars. Despite the fact that the Mars Global Surveyor has provided us with the best photographs of the region in 22 years, showing us unequivocally that this is just a geological feature, you still find web sites out there that claim to have new evidence that this is an artificial structure created by a now vanished and ancient extraterrestrial civilization. Human folly and credibility know no bounds.

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