Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for December, 2007

A Golden Message to the Extraterrestrials

Thirty years ago, in 1977, two space probes — the Voyager 1 and 2 — were launched to explore the outer planets of our solar system. And after sending some of the most spectacular images and information of those bodies beyond Mars, including snapshots full of beauty and meaning like the “Family Portrait that contained the “Pale Blue Dot” upon which we all live, the Voyagers kept going “where no man has gone before”.

Today, along with the Pioneer probes launched shortly before, they are the farthest human artifacts from Earth. And they are still traveling, like bottles released on the sea of the cosmos, because they contain a message addressed to the improbable, but just possible event that an intelligent alien being may find them.

On the Voyagers, those messages are encoded on a golden plated record, like the old vinyl records. Correctly decoded, with the instruments attached and following the instructions engraved on its face, the disc will reveal several sounds and even images about the civilization of naked apes that built the gadget.

Clicking on the image above you can check a nice multimedia website with most of those sound and images, going from salutations in Chinese to rock and roll: it includes “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry. A small touch by late astronomer Carl Sagan, who motivated and coordinated the creation of this message.

And speaking of rock, you may also watch a videoclip by the Strokes for “You Only Live Once“, which mix Kubrick’s Space Odyssey and the Voyager golden disc:


At the beginning of the videoclip there’s a nuclear Armageddon. And by seeing the images and sound launched in 1977, we cannot help but to feel one of the main concerns behind it. It was actually a message to ourselves.

This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours“, then president Carter addressed the extraterrestrials, expressing the real fear that the message may long outlive our own civilization.

The last part of Carter’s message, “so we may live into yours“, is implicitly, though certainly unintentionally, threatening, which would be used in a nice science fiction story. The fictional Voyager 6 would also be the main character of the first Star Trek movie, which just emphasizes that though the chances the golden disc may be retrieved and decoded by intelligent alien beings is remote, it surely can and must be decoded by intelligent terrestrial beings.

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Tesla Turbine with CDs

The genius who created the base for the modern system of energy generation and transmission also invented a bladeless turbine, properly called “Tesla Turbine“.

In an age where the design of propellers did not had the help of computer simulations, Nikola Tesla simply got rid of them by using a completely different phenomenon to propel his turbine. Composed of several plain discs, the torque is produced by the viscosity of the fluid flowing along the surface of the discs. They not only rotate, but end up rotating at a speed far superior to most conventional propellers.

Unfortunately, the turbine also has its drawbacks, as the revolutions are so great that no material at his time would stand the stresses of sheer centrifugal force. Even today, its application is very limited, and is mainly used as a pump.

But you may try some of the genius of the underdog inventor by making a Tesla turbine with CDs… check the video above. It’s actually of no practical use, but it does spin so fast that it may even disintegrate. Do that properly protected and then give your mad scientist laugh.

Of course, you could simply flick a light switch to pay homage to Tesla and his legacy, but this is much cooler.

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What would you do if you were a floating entity, invisible to the naked eye, that could only be detected by cameras when they use the flash? The image above offers a suggestion. If you watch closely, you may see those mysterious “orbs”.

Skeptics will claim these are just small particles like common dust reflecting the flash, but the idea of invisible orbs floating around is attractive, after all.

If you happen upon more evidence like this, feel free to send them to me, as I will study them carefully.

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"Evil Aliens": Nicely trash UFO movie

On the first episode of “South Park“, Cartman is abducted by aliens who implant him with an anal probe that unfolds into a giant parabolic antenna. Sticking out of his ass. If this is the kind of humor you’re prepared to enjoy, then “Evil Aliens” is a movie you can’t miss. Perhaps not by coincidence, the first scenes of this flick also feature an abduction with an anal probe, but here the humor is presented with buckets of blood.

With a nonsensical script, “Evil Aliens” nevertheless gives the UFO and paranormal enthusiast a lot of obscure references that suggests the writers did their homework. From Ley Lines to mentions of Doug and Dave, one of the most interesting details to the fans must be the aliens themselves.

The aliens wear a kind of space suit, complete with a special atmosphere for they to breathe, something quite rare on more recent alien reports.

But the out of fashion suits are an almost exact reference to the ones reported by the first abductee… Brazilian farmer Antonio Villas Boas.

Luckily for Villas Boas, the aliens he met were not as evil as those in Jake West’s flick. But the sex he made with a female alien, well, that’s another point in common with the nice movie comedy.

[This is NOT a sponsored review! The movie is silly and fun, watch at your own risk!]

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Baby announces that Jesus is coming

A bizarre story is circulating in the Internet among Brazilians:

“In a public hospital of Itaguai, Rio de Janeiro, on this weekend a baby girl was born with the hands glued together, as if she was praying. The doctors told the parent that they would operate the hands of the girl on a very simple surgery. It was simple indeed, because as it seems the hands were only joined by some skin.

But when they opened the hands of that baby… you won’t believe what was written on them… “JESUS IS COMING!”

The doctors started to cry and soon everyone in the hospital too. The city of Itaguai is abuzz with it. People who distanced themselves from church are coming back and others are accepting Jesus as their savior. God brought that child to the world only to send that message, as some hours later she died.

Forward this message to most people you can”

The local hospital already denied the rumor (in Portuguese), which is clearly just religious propaganda with a classical chain letter sign. It’s not even that new. For a few years already, a popular Brazilian folk music group “Calypso” is also being cursed by a rumor that circulates on almost every city they plan to perform on.

The story tells that a baby with three eyes was born on a local hospital. When the doctor says how ugly he is, the recently born baby then quickly and clearly replies: “Ugly will be what will happen on the Calypso show“.

Some shows had to be canceled, mainly on small cities where those rumors devastates the chances of anyone attending the event.

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