Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for January, 2010

Pinocchio, God and Gödel


Philosoraptor actually stumbled upon a deep philosophical question, with consequences affecting mathematics, our own mind and – to some – even God. Think about Pinocchio’s paradox: the way by which the contradiction arises from self-reference was what Kurt Gödel used in 1931 to prove his Incompleteness Theorem, amongst the most important scientific discoveries of the past century.

Marcus Dominus quotes the “World’s shortest explanation of Gödel’s theorem", by Raymond Smullyan, and as it’s indeed short, I reproduce it in full:

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The Battle of Paris


Nuit Blanche, City of Paris
Mirror ball, 1000 mirrors, 7.5 meters in diameter.
The spectacular view of the starry sky has long been a source of delight and curiosity, but the abundance of artificial light in urban areas produces a glow that covers the stars in the firmament. The largest mirror ball ever made was suspended from a construction crane 50 meters above the ground to render the starry sky to the citizens of Paris for one night in the Jardin du Luxembourg during the Nuit Blanche event.”

It’s a work by artist Michel de Broin, and if you’re a hardcore UFO buff, you may have had an instant association with the “Battle of Los Angeles”:


There are more images on LifeLounge, including this one which is a photomontage with the classic UFO photo:


Why didn’t Broin mention the Battle of LA when there is this image clearly referencing it, I don’t know, but it’s definitely a fun piece of art.

As for the Battle of LA in itself, the famous photo does seem to show at first glance a classic flying saucer profile while the searchlights seem to be stopped by something we would assume was solid, but that may be misleading as the photo is certainly taken with a long exposure, as can be seen by the many shell explosions recorded on it.

Was there actually something solid there? Bruce Maccabee thinks so. But then, don’t you think it’s quite a coincidence that the object would have approximately the same width that all the searchlights combined seem to wrap around exactly?

I suspect the famous photo and the apparent solid object could actually be the result of the movement of the searchlights, explosions and smoke from the explosions captured in a relatively long exposure at night. Maccabee considers the idea, but discard it with quite reasonable arguments.

Then again, they are not that conclusive. It’s an unsolved, intriguing case, that could be smoke, could be an alien spaceship, could be… something else.

And now it’s art. [via MAKE]

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Summing up Forgetomori

It’s a faaaake. [via Nerdcore]

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The Horror: Guarapiranga case


Fellow Emps from Damn Data has commented on a MUFON talk by Butch Witkoski made available by Joe Capp regarding… Human Mutilations. The idea that evil aliens kill people around in horrid circumstances, as in the more known cattle mutilations, with “surgical incisions”.

Be sure to read Emps comments on the first cases mentioned by Witkoski:

The Todd Sees case who “wasn’t actually mutilated … There does seem to be something fishy going on (at least according to the way this is commonly described in the Ufological community) but there is little proof that it is a cover-up of a "human mutilation" case;

And the Sgt. Lovette case, which “is eye-opening but sourcing it seems tricky”.

I don’t know those two cases in detail, but “the most disturbing case”, as Witkoski classifies it in his talk, well, I kind of know it because it is the Guarapiranga case in Brazil.

This is indeed a terrible case, much more so because the photos from the corpse circulate around. The man was found in September 29, 1988, without his eyes, ears, lips, scrotum, anus nor guts. It had small perforations in the shoulders, the left calf, abdomen and feet. The case was publicized in Brazil some years later, mainly by Encarnación Garcia in the Brazilian UFO magazine around 1993.

Garcia concluded, from the photos, the autopsy report and interviewing many people, including the coroner, that the man had been mutilated by aliens. Much like Witkoski, the case was presented as a horror story, a terrible turn of events, the first and then only known case of human mutilations.

But if I’m writing about it, you may guess I probably know things weren’t exactly like that.

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