Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for June, 2008

The Flying Saucers are as real as they were

50 years ago, when Major Donald Keyhoe, director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, was interviewed by Mike Wallace.

It’s dismaying how little our knowledge about UFOs, also known as “ufology", has advanced. In fact, it probably got even more confusing. There, in 1958, was a public figure representing the first civil UFO research group, with clear arguments, admitting they didn’t have "absolute proof" of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis, discarding the nonsense of the contactees, backed by high-ranking credible witnesses. At that time, UFOs were officially investigated by the USAF. Later, congressional hearings on the subject would be conducted, even a symposium on the AAAS is part of what has been done. You would assume everyone seriously interested in ufology knows that.

But half a century later, we can’t even use the term "flying saucer" without immediate association with Greys, Area 51, MJ-12 and all those kitsch pop culture elements. Abductions are taken seriously. There are still contactees and even those who take them seriously. People keep trying to prove not only UFOs, but Zeta Reticulli spaceships are real by presenting credible witnesses, exactly like Keyhoe decades ago, and claims that this or that case are "absolute proof" of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis, much unlike Keyhoe, saluting every Larry King show as a "great advance".

Fact is, the flying saucers are still as real as they were more than 50 years ago. But the spokespersons for them, it seems, got a lot more unreal.

The remaining two parts of Keyhoe’s interview after the jump below.

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Be debriefed on the Orion Conspiracy

From Vimanas discovered by Hitler to countless recovered extraterrestrial crafts, going through the Philadelphia Experiment and HAARP, be debriefed on the Orion Conspiracy and the terrible truth. Above, in French, but download the English version in the official website, it’s well worth it. You certainly have never seen a Powerpoint presentation like that – unless you are part of the Conspiracy.

The Orion Conspiracy” is a two-year work by French artist Seb Janiak. If you take it literally, then no matter what I say, it would be useless. So I do hope you enjoy it as the fiction it is, mixing old hoax photos with a lot of fun, original, Photoshopped ones in a plot more closely related to the ideas of Picknett and Prince. [via ufofu, Strange Attractor]

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The house with some spilled blood (photos!)

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Finally, and thanks to a kind source, we have the photos from the Bizarro case. Click for more.

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The house that spilled blood (update)

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Some updates on the bizarre case in "Jardim Bizarro". First, and foremost: the street is also called "Antonio Bizarro" (here on Google Maps). And a correction: contrary to what I assumed (from watching too many movies), the blood didn’t drip, it allegedly sprayed from the floor up to a height of 15 cm. No Amityville, it was supposedly more like the Shining.

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Too bad, no photos yet of "the happening".

Then we have the detail that the blood only sprayed when the old lady (65) was in the shower. According to her husband (71):

"When I shower, nothing happens. When she [the wife] showers, it starts".

Parapsychologists are more used to have those things happen to teenage girls, not retired ladies. But it’s an interesting detail. And blood didn’t spray since then.

What came to the house was a crowd, eager to see something. But true to their claims, the couple does not exploit the event in any way. They remain anonymous.

"The result of the test is irrefutable. We did the analysis more than once and there’s no doubt that it was human blood, and fresh, from the same day in which we collected it", stated Wilson Antonio Pereira, head of the local Scientific Police [source]. They are collecting blood samples form the couple and their daughter, to try to match it with the blood that was on the floor.

But skepticism is already filtering through the news reports, and it comes first from the Catholic priest first called. Priest João Estevão da Silva, first to arrive in the scene, denies he celebrated a mass or any claim of supernatural phenomenon.

"I was the first person to suggest to the couple to report it to the police. I realized it was blood, but I didn’t believe that it had sprayed. It looked like it was spread in the floor", he told. [source]

The police is also skeptical. Pereira also told O Estado newspaper that "there are blood marks at around 10 cm [in height], on a cleaning product bottle, but the blood spilled from top to bottom, not the other way", contradicting the claim that it sprayed from the floor.

Most surprisingly, even the owner of the house doesn’t exclude the idea that the blood may have been spilled maliciously by someone. "You can’t doubt anything. There’s a lot of evil in this world", he muttered. [source]

Things are still very bizarre on Antonio Bizarro St. The police will probably take some time to publicize the results of the tests on the blood samples.

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What is the opposite of fear?

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Disgust. At least when it comes to the muscles on our faces, and according to a study by Joshua Susskind from the University of Toronto. As Ed Yong reports, “Susskind demonstrated the polar nature of fear and disgust by taking images of Japanese and Caucasian facial expressions from a large library. He plugged them into a well-known computer model that averaged out their features to create standard faces that epitomised different emotions. The model also worked out how the shape of these standard faces, and the way they reflect light, changes along their surface. It used this information to create the polar opposites of certain expressions – a set of ‘anti-faces’.”

That’s interesting enough, but finding that fear and disgust involve “opposite" facial expressions also suggested that what they do to our senses is opposite too. And sure enough, Susskind also found that fear "is very much about expanding features like the eyes, nostrils and mouth, while [disgust] involves scrunching these up."

One chap named Darwin, more than a century ago, had already suggested that our emotional expressions may have had a function.

Read the full post on Not Exactly Rocket Science.

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