Friday, September 24, 2021

Coast to Coast AM - UFO Pictures and Cell Phones

 It has become the standard joke that there aren’t many good videos of UFOs because no one is looking up. They’re all looking down, at their cell phones instead. But the truth is that have been many images captured, not only on cell phones but on high quality cameras.

Such is a case investigated by MUFON Chief Investigator Darrell Collins. According to the report, the witness, whose name was withheld, was taking pictures of the sunset in Brookville, Indiana on July 17 of this year. According to the witness, “I was located just ten yards north of the Brookville Lake Beach… when I noticed a bright, oval-shaped object to the northwest… it looked extremely bright, as if it was reflecting sunlight on a metal surface. I immediately snapped a picture, but my camera was set-up for a two-second exposure… I changed my camera settings to video mode and I filmed for about 20 seconds… When I came home, I saw that I have filmed the UFO for about 14 seconds before it disappeared behind a cloud.”

He added, “I don’t believe it’s an airplane because I didn’t see any contrails. I could confirm that airplanes were creating contrails when a passenger jet crossed the sky a few minutes after I saw the object. But what it is, I’m not sure. In the videos, you can make out two to three flickering lights as object moves towards the south.”

Collins, who investigated the case for MUFON, closed it as an Unknown Aerial Vehicle.

On April 5, 2021, two people in Independence, Oregon, reported they had noticed a strange light in the sky, which was not moving. The witness said, “The light was much lower than the airplanes fly. The object was over the river and the nearby fields. We watched it “bend” into a slight “V” or boomerang-ish shape, with 4 lights then appearing. It then broke into 2 sets of 2 lights, one disappeared, and the other then melded into one light again, and began ‘zipping/darting’, but remaining in/over the same area. After a few seconds, they came back together, formed one light again and then began to move NW. I began driving and about a mile and a half up the road we saw it again, it was moving south and much slower, but had the 4 lights on. I pulled over and we watched it. It came over right in front of us, but was about as high as a hand glider would be. The lights were a pale blue and there were 4 lights. I reached into my bag and pulled out my Canon, but the photos when uploaded were unexpectedly blurry and they looked as if I didn’t have a telephoto lens attached (which I did). I cannot explain this, it’s almost as if a force I didn’t notice caused my camera to malfunction. As it passed over, while I was attempting to take pictures my passenger was recording on their cell phone, but that recording too was exceptionally blurry and did not turn out with anything that could be seen. The thing was absolutely silent. We rolled down the windows to listen because we were in the country, remote, and no sound was around. It ‘floated’ away heading south over farm land between Corvallis Road and Buena Vista Road and then in about 5 seconds it was gone. It had entirely disappeared.

The UFO described above.

Although the video and pictures are not very good you can see them here:

On September 5 of this year, near Chester, PA., according to the National UFO Reporting Center, the witness watched a fireball of an object over the house. According to the witness, “It was sitting in one place as I filmed it but began to move when the film started. It was white. Then there were two blue oblong type shaped items [that] showed in the video. It was a cloudy evening, there were no stars showing.” There are two videos, but the National UFO Reporting Center has no links to them. The witness said the UFO was in sight for about two minutes, which, if accurate, rules out a meteor or fireball.

Finally, I have very little information on the sighting other than it took place in Roswell, New Mexico, on August 30 of this year. The sighting lasted about a minute and the witness photographed a disc-shaped object. No explanation was offered, and I noticed this simply because it happened northwest of Roswell and not all that long after the annual festival there.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

'X' Zone Broadcast Network = Robert Sheaffer

You might say that I view Robert Sheaffer as the resident skeptic on the program because, while we disagree on many topics, we can discuss those disagreements in a civilized fashion. This week, he and I talked about some of the current topics in the world of the UFO. You can listen to the show here:

In the last few months there has been a discussion about the Travis Walton abduction and we began with that topic. Mike Rogers has said that he was through with Walton, that the story was a hoax, that the UFO sighting was real and that no one saw Walton abducted. Rogers also reversed himself on a number of these points.

Robert Sheaffer

Sheaffer and I talked about the story that Philip Klass had offered Steven Pierce ten thousand dollars to say that the story was a hoax. Sheaffer was of the opinion that the original claim had come, not from Pierce, but from Rogers. Sheaffer, who had researched the story in the personal papers of Klass held in an archive, said that he seen a transcript of the first telephone call between Klass and Pierce. This came about after the allegation about the bribe was made in a book. From the transcript, Shaeffer said that it seemed both men had been surprised by the allegation. Sheaffer was certain that no such offer had been made.

I did ask if a tape of the conversation existed, but Sheaffer wasn’t sure. Apparently, there are some tapes in the archive. Sheaffer said that not all that long ago someone had asked for permission to review the material, but was told that the archive was closed and would be for about a year. That, of course, didn’t answer the question. Given the controversy, it would be nice if the tape did exist, but in my experience, I have been accused of altering tapes, editing tapes, and leaving out critical statements when a witness was confronted with words that he or she didn’t like… even when they heard themselves uttering the phrases, they claimed they hadn’t uttered.

Just last week, I talked with a person familiar with the story who said that the offer was made in a Western Union Telegram, which could render the telephone transcript as irrelevant. There seems to be no evidence that Klass had ever used Western Union to make such an offer. That allegation seemed to be stretching the point to breaking.

We did get deep into the weeds about the exact location of the abduction part of the Walton incident with a suggestion, that has been raised by others, the site has been moved so that a fire watch tower could be used to create the light show for those in the truck with Rogers. Of course, Rogers, when I spoke with him didn’t accept the idea.

I also wanted to talk about some skeptics accepting any solution to a sighting no matter how ridiculous that explanation might be. Although I used Levelland as an example, we did talk about the Lubbock Lights. Sheaffer said that an analysis of the photos showed that two of the pictures, when set one on top of the other suggested that the lights had not moved in relation to one another. For those who wish to learn more about that, you can read it here:

I have, in the past, discussed these pictures at length, including my interview with the photographer, Carl Hart, Jr. You can read that posting here:

Sheaffer did mention the Coast Guard pictures taken in 1952. There has been an explanation offered for what caused the lights. Here Sheaffer took up a skeptical argument, meaning that he was skeptical of the explanation.

The Salem, MA, Coast Guard Picture.

You can find more information at his blog:

Finally, we talked about the artifact, either natural or artificial that had passed through the Solar System not all that long ago. I’ve talked with Dr. Loeb about it on this show a couple of times and you can listen to those shows here:

Next week, I’ll be talking to Rob Mercer about his discovery of some of the Project Blue Book files and the fact that he found a complete index with all the names in it. In the publicly released version, all the names had been redacted. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Coast to Coast - MADAR Detections

 As I have mentioned before, the MADAR system is built around the theory that some UFOs emit a strong magnetic field and other forms of radiation that can be detected by specifically designed equipment. As I have said, not all UFOs seem to have these strong fields, but some do. With that theory in mind, the MADAR network was created to detect these UFOs and provide record data collected by these various sensors and detectors.

Just this last week, on Tuesday, September 8, the MADAR Node operator in Goshen, Kentucky, sighted a triangular-shaped object that had three white lights on it with a single, flashing red light in the center. The UFO was flying at five to seven thousand feet, traveling from the northeast to the southwest. Although it stayed on a basically straight line, it did make some minor maneuvers. The sighting was not near any Air Force base or government facility.

According to the information supplied by Fran Ridge, a nearby MADAR Node did not activate because there had not been an indication of a strong electromagnetic field. However, the compass heading had gone beyond the normal variations. The MADAR did not activate because the sensor was tracking at one-minute intervals rather than one second. The compass variation, however, was significant.

A check of local flight operations and radar showed nothing in the area at the time of the sighting. This sighting, along with the strange readings for the compass deviation caused a resetting of the sensors that documented the passing of the UFO.

This latest sighting does bring up the theory that there are more reports of triangular-shaped UFOs in the world today. Some of that might be due to the testing of modern fighter and military aircraft that have a more triangular shape to them. These somewhat unconventional but terrestrial aircraft might be part of the reason for the rise in triangular UFO reports.

A triangular UFO.

I will note however, that if we look back at the history of triangular-shaped UFOs, we find that they have been reported from the very beginning of the modern UFO era. The National Institute for the Discovery of Science has cataloged triangle sightings and recently reported, “The United States is currently experiencing a wave of flying triangle sightings that may have intensified in the 1990s.”

They continued, saying that the flying triangles are being openly deployed over cities and along Interstate Highways which is a significant change.

NIDS reported that there seemed to be no attempt to hide them, and that an early correlation between triangular craft sightings and Air Force bases may be modified because of that inconsistency in the new data. There are two camps suggesting that the triangles are a new human-made craft while others suspect they are not. The NIDS findings are not consistent with the previous introduction of triangular-shaped terrestrial craft, meaning that the testing was done when and where there was little chance of observation. They picked isolated areas and flew at night. That is no longer the case.

Colm Kelleher, NIDS Administrator, said that triangles were flying in the open, with no attempt to hide. He told that this was not consistent with the testing of earlier craft. He said, “This is open, even brazen.”

NIDS has created a database of nearly 400 recent sightings of what he called triangular/boomerang/wedge-shaped objects that are brightly lighted, flying at low altitude and surprisingly slow speeds. You can read that whole article, written by Leonard David, here:

A quick survey of the sightings at the National UFO Reporting Center website showed that in September until the 7th, there are been 5 triangle reports out of 21 sightings, and in August about 10 percent of the sightings were of triangles.

Underscoring some of the NIDS data is a sighting made on September 4, in Bowie, MD. The witness said, “[I] looked out my door window… Noticed unusually bright light in the distance just above the tree line. [The] object was very far off, almost appeared to be a planet or other star, but noticed the object ‘floating’ around, moving slightly in a non-rhythmic or patterned way… Object appeared to be triangular in shape.”

The witness did say that he took photographs and video. He said the object dimmed and brightened multiple times. He did say that using the Skyview app that it appeared the object was Bunda, a star in the Aquarius Constellation but that the movement and brightness didn’t seem to bear out this solution.

Another of these sightings was one from Johnson City, Tennessee on September 3 of this year. The witness reported, “I was sitting at the stoplight… and directly across… I saw a triangle craft with three lights on it, one on top and two on the bottom… It was high above the tree line. Within a matter of seconds, it was below the tree line. It moved straight down and there was no sound.”

Both of these sightings seem to bear out the NIDS assessment that the triangular craft are often seen close to the ground and are not moving rapidly. In a sighting from Port Washington, Wisconsin in 1998 is another example of these findings. A woman said that a huge object, she said “monstrosity” appeared as if it was an alien ship “uncloaking”. It was no more than 500 feet up and was, based on her “crude mathematics” about 200 feet wide and 250 feet long.

This is, of course, an interesting development. I have no explanation for this and note that the research is continuing.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Coast to Coast - Longer Duration Sightings


I decided to look at longer duration sightings because a number of experts have suggested that any sighting that lasted less than a minute probably didn’t provide enough time for the observer to get a good look at the object. For that reason, I have only selected sightings tonight that lasted longer than minute and that have a description of an object rather than just a light in the sky.

On August 18 of this year, in Midland, Texas, two people were traveling through a pouring rain when lightning flashed revealing an oval-shaped light that blinded them. The witnesses reported that two 18-wheelers passed between them and the light, which had turned a bluish-gray but still bright. The witness said that the UFO just vanished and that the rain suddenly stopped. The witness asked her friend what she had seen which was the same as that of the main witness. The object was in sight for one to two minutes… and yes, I did think about ball lightning as the explanation here.

On the fifteenth of August, in Staten Island, New York, the witness said, “I spotted a huge UFO with no lights on it, tilted slightly upwards and there was no sound. I have video footage of two objects. First is large orb that was very bright, then of a cigar-shaped craft that was about a block long.” The witness said that the object did not have the required FAA lights and there was no sound. The witness did take video footage. The object was in sight of about two minutes.

On that same day, the witness in Bethlehem, PA, watched a bright silver object that was high in the sky. According to the witness, “I was in the parking lot of the casino… looking east. There was a construction crane to my east. When I first saw the object, it was framed in the vertical and horizontal portions of the crane.

“The object appeared to be very high in the sky. It was moving slowly. It was very bright silver. It appeared mostly round but was so small that it was hard to tell. Since there was a crane in the video I made, it may add some perspective. I took a 50 second video with my cell phone.”

On Friday, August 6, 2021, we learn of a witness who was standing on the tennis courts at La Costa resort in Carlsbad, CA. According to the report, “When I looked up at the sky, I saw something... At first, I thought it was a balloon high up, but then thought maybe it was a blimp. It was too high to be a balloon, but changing shapes, so... I pointed it out to my tennis partner. After we watched it for several seconds, we pointed it out to the other 2 women on the court. We then told the [another] 4 women [on the court] next to us about it. The 8 of us watched it for 2-3 minutes. At one point there was a 2nd object in the sky close by. It was changing shape, like a cloud of smoke. One lady said it was "like a jelly fish" which I thought was a good analogy. After 2-3 minutes, they both disappeared into the clouds to the northwest, over the water.”

This is an interesting report because there were multiple witnesses and the sighting lasted for several minutes which tends to remove a number of mundane explanations.

Then, on September 2, the witness, in Newport Beach, CA.  took a video of a strange white object. The video was quite lengthy. It appears that the object is either hovering or moving slowly. The witness zoomed in on the object. One of the explanations offered was that this was Venus, which can be seen in the daytime, but the object in the video seems to be too bright for that. According to one astronomer, it is difficult to see Venus against the bright sky. You can see the video here courtesy of the William Puckett and the here:

Astronomers say that Venus can be seen in the day, but it is difficult to find without
knowing where to look. This doesn't seem to be Venus.

The longest of the reports, lasting over three hours, took place on August 4 near Port Townsend, WA. The witness reported that the event took place in three parts. According to the report:

1. At roughly 10pm on Wednesday, August 4, I was gazing outside my bedside window as I listened to a book on tape. I stargaze often & I keep a pair of small binoculars on my nightstand to see deeper into the night sky. I noticed what appeared to be a satellite crossing my field of vision. Watching the light, it began to curve in an upward direction, circled back counterclockwise, & then settled motionless in the sky, seemingly appearing as just another star.

I immediately grabbed my binoculars for a closer look. Inspecting the light/object, it shined in a manner that the nearby stars did not. The light seemed to curve & as I looked at it, I noted that it "twisted" its light in a very peculiar fashion. It was as if a dark serpentine tether was flailing around the object.

I watched it remain stationary for another few minutes with no further light anomalies. I resigned that it was simply a drone & that, perhaps, police or military were testing out their technologies in the air space just offshore as they often do.

2. This is where things get weird.

Approximately 5-15 minutes after I observed this object in the night sky, I was again sitting on my bed, listening to the book on tape, with only my nightstand quartz lamp lighting my room.

Suddenly, I had a strong intuition that something was about to happen. It was a feeling similar to the onset of deja vu. This feeling was followed by my room being LIT UP with a gridwork of white shining light. Imagine 10 strobe lights going off at once, but contained to a very geometrical grid that roughly spanned a 10' x 10' space across my bedroom. The grid FLASHED twice & vanished.

I was completely stunned. Not necessarily in shock, but just stunned. These were not car lights. This was not like anything I've ever laid eyes on in my life. Yet my initial instinct was not in fear, but curiosity.

I removed my headphones & again it happened, maybe 10-15 seconds after the initial flash. Except this time I noticed a small ball of light (roughly the size of your fist) tumble through the closed window on the far corner of the room prior to my bedroom again FLASHING with this same grid pattern of pulsing light, again two times, but in a slightly different location of my room. This time I additionally noticed three peculiar elements: 1) the air briefly "sizzled," 2) the pattern of the grid was aesthetically fashioned, as though I was looking at a holographic projection of an ancient temple, & 3) this light wasn't exactly light.

Within the span of those second two pulses, the "light" appeared to slide & gather against the wall ABOVE the window through which the ball of light came tumbling through. It was almost as if this brightness was more of a substance than a light.

I then entered something of an altered state of consciousness (markedly different from the initial deja vu feeling), although this too was very brief. I can't exactly pinpoint the sensation, but there was a certain heaviness, like gravity got a little thicker for that moment, & my ears slightly popped, as though I was surfacing from deep water.

After the moment passed, it felt like all the air came flooding back into my room & I was left with this highly uncanny feeling & a deep silence. I couldn't explain what happened & I didn't know how to feel about it. I am certain I did not experience a seizure or any sort of otherwise momentary mental health break.

3. That same night I had a dream, or what I perceived to be a dream, that was also particularly unusual.

I saw multiple UFO crafts outside my same bedside window. From high above in the night sky, I watched them trickle down in a motion that resembled falling leaves. I recall 5 crafts in total: 2 hovering & 3 falling in this tumbling, spiraling leaf pattern. They were all a slate blue grey in color, isosceles triangular in shape, with rounded grooves at the bottom of the crafts. There were pale yellow circular lights adorning their frames.

Why I say I perceived this to be a dream is because I woke up looking outside the window. I was standing up with my hands gripping the windowsill & my head leaning in for a better view. As I came to a fully waking state, I seemed to shake out of this dream trance & laid back down in my bed. I checked the time on my phone & it was shortly after 3am.

This is the report as it was made to the National UFO Reporting Center. It is a somewhat interesting tale that moves us a little beyond the standard UFO sighting. Although I find these stories to be a little bit wild, I do believe that it helps to report on some of them simply because it might trigger a thought or a memory in someone else. I will note that not all UFO reports are of alien spacecraft and do have a terrestrial explanation. By examining those reports, we might learn a little more about the world around us.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

'X' Zone Broadcast Network - Mike Rogers Talking about the Walton Abduction

Because of the latest controversy surrounding the Travis Walton abduction, I reached out to Mike Rogers, who was there when the UFO was seen. He had been an important voice in the sighting report for more than four decades. You can listen to my interview with him here:

We spent the first interview discussing the whole story from the moment that Rogers and Walton saw the UFO and the men with them, Steve Pierce, Allen Dalis, John Goulette, Ken Peterson, and Dwayne Smith, until they returned to look for Walton after the abduction. It is the story as it has been told many times but here, we hear it from one of the men who was there in 1975. We covered the search for Walton and the law enforcement reaction to the story. I wanted to cover all this for everyone to have, well, the proper perspective on this classic UFO case.

I will note here, because Rogers said it several times, that no one saw Walton abducted. They all saw the craft, but they had fled after Walton had been struck by the beam. Rogers said that he hadn’t seen the beam, but had seen Walton flying through the air.

As the hour expired, we talked about the lie detector tests. Rogers said something about a first test in California but he didn’t know the results or the details. There was a second test, apparently arranged by Jim and Coral Lorenzen of APRO for those at the National Enquirer, which Walton failed. Rogers wasn’t clear if this was the California test, or there had been an earlier test. I suspect that they are the same or the one in California never happened.

We came back to the lie detector tests. Walton passed a second one (third?) arranged by the Lorenzens. It seems they rejected the first test(s) because they had been given too soon after Walton’s return. That his shock at the events might have skewed the results and frankly, I’m willing to accept that explanation. The Lorenzens are to be faulted because they denied the first failed test until Philip Klass learned about it. This, of course, is not a reflection on Walton.

In 1993, Jerry Black, a somewhat disinterested third party, arranged still another lie detector test for Walton. This one seems to have been conducted without a particular bias, and Walton passed it.

We stayed with the lie detector test question a little longer. A number of years ago, Walton appeared on a show called, Moment of Truth. He was asked if he had been abducted by a UFO and he answered, “Yes.” The polygrapher determined that his answer was a lie.

According to Rogers, Steve Pierce, who was there, at the taping of the show, changed his mind about the Walton abduction. In fact, and according to Rogers, of all the men who were there in 1975, apparently only John Goulette still believes that abduction part of the story. I must note here that two of the men who were there in 1975 have since died.

I asked Rogers his reaction to that test but he kept talking about the money that Walton and others had earned at the show. The answer I finally got was that Rogers believed the UFO sighting because he had been there and seen the UFO, but he said, again, that no one actually saw Walton abducted.

Steve Pierce
It had seemed, for years, that the men presented a solid front, with no one breaking ranks. Steve Pierce had been pressed by Philip Klass to admit it was a hoax for ten thousand dollars. Pierce’s friends suggested that if he took the money, he would be bruised and he’d spend it alone (Yes, there is a quote to that effect in the interview). I saw that as something of a threat. I mentioned pressure from both sides to get Pierce to do what they wanted. You can read my interview with Pierce that covers this point here:

And if you scroll down in the following story, you’ll find a little additional information. You can read it here: 

We also talked about the transcript going around in which Rogers is quoted as saying that the story was a hoax. I asked about this and Rogers said that he never said anything like that. He said that the audio interview he’d had with Ryan Gordon had been manipulated to change the meaning. I have not heard the interview but have seen the transcript. That’s something that Rogers and Gordon will have to work out.

What comes out of these two hours with Mike Rogers is that the once solid wall for the Walton abduction is not as solid as it once was. Rogers was somewhat evasive when I asked specific questions about the reality of the abduction and if he believed that Walton had been abducted. He repeated that he had seen the UFO but that no one saw Walton abducted. Is there something that he’s not telling us? You can, quite naturally, listen to the interview and decide for yourself but I will say, this turned somewhat troubling for me.

Next up is Robert Sheaffer. We’ll talk about UFO skepticism and maybe touch his opinion of the Walton abduction.


Monday, September 06, 2021

The Fermi Solution


For decades people have talked about the Fermi Paradox. This is simply the theory that if life is abundant in the galaxy, then there should be other sentient lifeforms out there as well. Given that many of the stars are older than the sun, it means that some of those civilizations would be farther advanced, technologically, than ours. Those civilizations should have colonized the galaxy, or, at the very least, visited Earth, according to the theory. Fermi wondered where they were. Why hadn’t they arrived?

Enrico Fermi
Although my recent discussions with Dr. Avi Loeb didn’t deal with the Fermi Paradox directly, I could infer an answer for it from that interview. Loeb was of the opinion that an object that had passed through the Solar System recently was something that was not part of the Solar System. It came from somewhere outside. While it seems that most of science would agree with that assessment, they parted company with his opinion that it was artificial creation.

Given the speed of the object, that is a tiny fraction of the speed of light, it must have been traveling for tens of thousands of years, whether or not it was artificial. The theory is that it would have been guided, repaired, and cared for by AI. That would prove that there is other intelligent life in the galaxy and by extension, in the universe.

However, it is a rather frightening proposition. Oh, not about AI or extraterrestrial intelligence, but that the speed of light is the limiting fact and that it means interstellar travel is, basically, impossible. It suggests that those more technologically advanced civilizations had not found a way to defeat the problems of interstellar travel. It means that they could only launch probes that would travel slower than light. It would mean that worm holes, and warp drive, and gravitationally bending time and space to allow for interstellar flight, while theoretically interesting, were just, well, flights of fantasy.

Dr. Avi Loeb

While such a theory does not eliminate interstellar flight completely, meaning that the civilization that created that artifact had not figured out how to travel among the stars when they launched the object nor does it mean that others haven’t learned how to do it. Actually, it doesn’t mean that the civilization that created the object didn’t have interstellar flight. It could be that the object was launched before they learned the secret. We have sent out probes that are just reaching into the deep space beyond the edges of the Solar System.

But for me this argument is somewhat moot. There have been dozens of UFO reports that suggest interstellar flight is possible. I believe, that had there not been an organized attempt to suppress UFO information that began in July 1947, we might have the untainted evidence that science demands. I can think of many cases in which there are multiple chains of evidence, multiple, independent witnesses, and information gather using instrumentation. UFOs have interacted with the environment, left landing traces, and have been featured in some very good, crisp photographs.

The problem is that no matter how good that evidence, there is someone in authority ready to show us how wrong we are. There are just too many out there who believe that interstellar flight is impossible, therefore alien visitation is impossible, so anything that suggests otherwise is just wrong. The tiniest imperfection in a sighting report is used to prove that the sighting is mundane, even when that imperfection is irrelevant.

Want an example. In the Lubbock Lights case, some reject the photographs because Carl Hart, Jr. didn’t copyright them. The thinking is that he didn’t obtain a copyright because he had faked the pictures. He was told if he did copyright them, then people would think they were faked because he was after the money. To this day, the photographs have not been explained.

All this means is that my solution to the Fermi Paradox is that they have been here, but like those passing a bar because there is a fight in the parking lot, those inside the flying saucers pass us by because there is a fight, a war, always going on somewhere here. Better to drive by than get sucked into the conflict.

Anyway, after talking with Avi Loeb, I had the horrifying thought that the alien probe that flew through the Solar System was telling us that interstellar flight by humans was impossible. But maybe, as Loeb said, it was meant as a monument and shouldn’t be seen as anything more and we shouldn’t deduce the impossibility of interstellar travel. Just thought I would mention it.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

X-Zone Broadcast Network - Dr. Abraham (Avi) Loeb and the Galileo Project


This week I spoke with Dr. Abraham (Avi) Loeb, who made a splash last spring when he suggested an object moving through the Solar System was artificial. It was moving at a relatively slow speed that suggested it had been traveling for a very long time. Make no mistake, this was the first time that something had entered the Solar System from outside of it or maybe I should say, it was the first time that such an object was detected. The question was whether it was artificial or natural. You can listen to that earlier interview here for an in-depth background on that object:

Dr. Loeb

We did talk about his Galileo Project, which was an outgrowth of the discovery. The premise is that if there was one, there are probably others. The search was for those others with an idea of being prepared when that next one showed up. Coincidentally, another such object was found recently, but it turned out to be a used rocket booster from the 1960s. That seemed to underscore that this other visitor was something artificial, given the characteristics of its flight when compared to the flight of the used booster. You can listen to the latest interview here:

I wondered if SETI might not be a little annoyed that here was another group of scientists searching for extraterrestrial life in a different way. While it seemed that some of SETI was on board, others were not. I think that any method of searching for intelligent life deserves our support.

I had also wondered if their rejection of looking at the history of the UFOs, now known as UAPs (I suppose to distinguish them from UFOs, but I’ll stick with the old term… flying saucers, though John Greenewald just posted a YouTube video suggesting the term, UAP, was used as early as 1949) might provide some insight into the nature of these other artifacts. At this point the conversation became a bit adversarial. He believed that the data from the history of the UFO had been poorly collected (which, of course it had) and that it hadn’t been properly documented (which, of course, it hadn’t), and was surrounded in controversy (which it is). He talked of fuzzy images and eyewitness testimony. I said nothing about some of the UFO photographs being quite clear and distinct, and had it not been for the government, Air Force, and some high-profile scientists throwing mud on the cases (think Robertson Panel and Condon Committee here), then the conversation might have been different today.

I did mention, at one point, Dr. Donald Menzel, a Harvard astronomer, was one of those throwing mud. Menzel would offer a variety of answers and solutions for sightings and when all else failed, he just labeled the report a hoax. That was what he did in the case of the Lubbock Lights photographs. Without a shred of evidence that Carl Hart, Jr. had faked the pictures, that was what Menzel said after suggesting some sort of light temperature inversion creating a reflective surface that bounced the light from the city back towards the ground. I will note here that when I spoke with Hart in the 1990s, he said he still didn’t know what he had photographed.

Nor did I mention that Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto, had a UFO sighting in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He saw several square lights fly over. He thought they were separated, but his wife, thought she saw a very faintly glowing object connecting the images. Menzel, who wasn’t there and ignored Tombaugh’s statement that the sky was clear, meaning there was good “seeing,” postulated an inversion level. While you can argue that Tombaugh didn’t see an alien spacecraft, you can’t reject his sighting because Menzel invented an inversion layer. Who is more likely correct about the sky conditions? The astronomer who was there or the one who was in Massachusetts? I vote for the guy who was there rather than the man who believed there cannot be alien visitation and therefore there is no alien visitation.

This was not the direction I wanted the interview to go. I didn’t want to get bogged down in a discussion of how the UFO field had been manipulated from the very beginning and the reason for much of the controversy is the arguments between believers and debunkers with a touch of Air Force duplicity thrown in. Much of it was not about the evidence.

We did get back to the Galileo Project and the search for other artifacts that enter the Solar System from really deep space. The idea that if these are artificial, they would be populated by AI with no thought to reporting what had been found to those who launched the object. The distances are just too vast and the odds are that a successful mission would be tens of thousands of years in the making. The civilization that launched them would probably be gone.

And, although we didn’t really explore the idea, this might be the answer to the Fermi Paradox which wondered if there are other intelligent lifeforms out there, why aren’t they here… It’s because they’ve sent out, what thousands, hundreds of thousands of these probes, of these artifacts without a thought of coming here in person. The reason they’re not here is because their civilizations have collapsed long ago. (This is the flaw in SETI… even if we detected an electromagnetic signal such as radio or TV, the civilization might have collapsed before we received it, or before our reply, if we sent one, could reach them).

Anyway, our discussion took on a more scientific turn than a UFO discussion would. To make up for that, next week, I’ll be talking with Mike Rogers of Fire in the Sky and Travis Walton abduction fame. If anyone has questions, let me know.