Barack Obama will support the disclosure of information concerning the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs?

When will the disclosure of information concerning the extraterrestrial origin of UFOs, you will be...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

UFO Near U.S. Military Base in Utah

title: "UFO Near U.S. Military Base in Utah Suddenly Goes on Lock down"
from: www.nowpublic.com
published: January 29, 2011

"U.S. Military Base in Utah was mysteriously and suddenly shut down . The Dugway Proving Ground was immediately on lock down without warning to "deal with an issue" What was mysterious is what made this lock down happen may be possibly out of this world . The mysterious sighting of a UFO over the base in and around the area of the base as well is raising a lot of questions . Questions like what were these strange lights in the sky and could this base be the new Area 51? Some have already dubbed it (Area 52). These unusual lights hovered between 7:15 to 7:30 pm Utah time. ABC4 covered the story on the local newscast with two separate witnesses describing their encounter. Both witnesses who saw these strange lights in the sky also are positive that these were not flares or anything they have seen before."

Title: "Utah Army Base Reopens After Lockdown, But Officials Silent About Cause"
from: www.theblaze.com
author: Jonathon M. Seidl
published January 27, 2011

"SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah military base that carries out tests to protect troops against biological attacks was locked down over a “serious concern,” but was beginning to reopen early Thursday, officials said.
Base commander Col. William E. King announced Wednesday evening that gates were locked to both incoming and outgoing personnel to resolve the problem, but that no one was in danger.
King and other base officials declined to provide any details on the cause of the lockdown.
About 5 a.m. MST Thursday, base spokeswoman Paula Thomas said the base had reopened to incoming personnel, and preparations were under way to allow people inside to leave.
She said there were no injuries resulting from the cause of the lockdown, which began about 5:30 p.m. She said more details would be released later in the day.
Thomas called as accurate media reports that about 1,200 to 1,400 people – a mix of military personnel and contractors and civilian workers – were inside the base when the lockdown occurred.
In his statement Wednesday, King said: “We are working as quickly and as thoroughly as possible to resolve a serious concern within the Test Area. … Measures like these (lock down of our gates) are not taken lightly. No one is in immediate danger but these steps are required.”
Military weapons are tested at Dugway, located about 85 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Its primary mission is defending troops against biological and chemical attacks.
Encompassing more than 800,000 acres of Utah’s west desert, the base also is used by the U.S. Army Reserves and the U.S. National Guard for maneuver training."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Even South Africa goes ahead with disclosure of UFOs sightings (?)

title: "Take UFOs seriously, SA group urges"
from: www.news24.com
author: Duncan Alfreds
published: 2011-01-26

"Cape Town - A small, but vocal South African group is urging people to take UFO sightings seriously and has called for the government to release secret UFO files.
"The media around the world has not played a positive role in UFO reports and there is the ridicule factor - people are afraid of the responses they would get," Christo Louw of SAUFOR (South Africa's UFO Resource) told News24.
Louw began his website in 1997 and admitted that he ran the organisation as a "one-man show", but that many South Africans were reporting UFO sightings.
"I get a lot of reports long after the sightings have taken place and you need quite a bit of resources. I've not been able to make a profession out of this," said Louw.
He said that about one out of 10 sightings get reported because the public was largely ignorant of his organisation.

Other dimensions

In 2010, several people reported a UFO sighting over Pretoria, but this could not be confirmed by astronomers in SA.
Dr Enrico Olivier of the South African Astronomical Observatory told News24 that observers were often confused by planets in the sky.
"Big culprits here are Venus and Jupiter in particular, since they can be quite bright at times. Venus sometimes appears very bright in west shortly after sunset. At other times it's very bright in the east a few hours or so before sunrise.
"Also when a bright planet is low in the atmosphere it twinkles more than usual, and can appear to change colour rapidly. Sometimes people describe it as 'being on fire'."
Louw said that several scientists, while dismissing extra-terrestrial UFOs in public, admitted that they believed in them in private.
"They [scientists] are restricted in the way they deal with the public. In private it's the opposite, but they are attached to universities and often it's like advanced peer pressure. If you lose credibility, you lose your funding."
Louw said that beings from other dimensions were visiting Earth regularly and pointed to the scientific position that in an infinite universe, there are infinite possibilities.
"I am in no doubt that we have been visited since forever. The evidence points to the fact that they might be inter-dimensional beings who have genetically modified us along the way.
"It's even indicated in the Bible, in Genesis 6, where they talk about the 'sons of God' who came down and took wives among the 'daughters of men'."

Purpose

Louw explained his view on the purpose for these beings visiting Earth. "We are like an experiment for different kinds of visitors. And they are generally benign. If they weren't, with their advanced technology, we would be wiped out. So the fact that we are here indicates that they are benign.
"We would like the government to declassify top-secret documents like other countries and we would like to stop letting the public think that this is not real."
He said that the people who believe in the UFO phenomenon are generally the more educated in society.
“Basically, the more educated people are, the more they ask about everything. And they consider the possibility of extra-terrestrial contact.”"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Global Competitiveness Forum, Riyadh 2011: Global Innovation & UFO

Title: "UFOs Help Innovative Thinkers Look to the Future"
from: www.aolnews.com
author: Lee Speigel
published: Jan 22, 2011


"Where should forward-thinkers look when they seek innovative ideas? Perhaps to someone -- or something -- that's more innovative than they are.
From Saturday to Tuesday, more than 100 of the world's leaders in business, politics, education, sports, entertainment, the environment and technology are gathering for a conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Nothing too weird about that. But among the many discussions of how to break new ground through global innovation, they'll be talking about UFOs.
That's right. Unidentified flying objects and the ongoing interest in finding life in outer space are on the roster at this unique event.
"I think because they recognize that if you want to look for innovation, look for somebody who's way ahead of you," explained nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, one of the invited panel members of the fifth annual Global Competitiveness Forum, or GCF.
"Even if UFOs and aliens weren't real, just thinking about it is a big thing, enlarging the scope of our thinking to include a larger part of the galactic neighborhood instead of the planet," Friedman told AOL News on the eve of his departure for Saudi Arabia.
Sponsored by the official Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the vision of the GCF program is to bring together business leaders, politicians and intellectuals who share a common interest in how competitiveness can be used to find real solutions to global challenges.
And GCF organizers think UFOs might offer some inspiration.
"Using knowledge gained from research in the fields of ufology and the search for extraterrestrial life, what might we possibly learn about hindrances to innovation in other areas of inquiry?" That's one of the topics described on the official GCF website, where the UFO panel theme is listed as Contact: Learning From Outer Space.
"After 52 years of study and investigation, I have concluded that the evidence is overwhelming that Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft. In other words, some UFOs are alien vehicles," said Friedman.
He added that he's "convinced, after my work for major corporations as a nuclear physicist, that technological progress comes from doing things differently in an unpredictable way. The future is not an extrapolation of the past.
"Reviewing the UFO evidence requires us to examine our assumptions about how things work."
In addition to Friedman, the panel will include astrophysicist/computer scientist Jacques Vallee, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, author/journalist Nick Pope, and Egyptian scholar and member of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs Zaghloul El-Naggar.
"I'm convinced there's a phenomenon there, that there is a technology," Vallee told AOL News before heading to Saudi Arabia. "And I'm not kidding myself that we're going to discover a new form of propulsion tomorrow, just by looking at UFO patterns."
He explained that this is how he's always approached the mystery of UFOs.
"These things are real and they do something we don't understand, but if we're clever in watching and understanding the patterns, maybe we can learn something about physics that we didn't know before."
Vallee was the model for the French scientist portrayed by Francois Truffaut in the classic 1977 UFO film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." The following year, he, Friedman and I found ourselves at the United Nations, trying to get the international community to exchange UFO information.
"In a way, it was a high-water mark on the thinking about the phenomenon. It is sort of a milestone, and I'm proud of the fact we did that," Vallee said. "It didn't go anywhere, but at least we proposed the idea of the sharing of data."
Now, 33 years later, Vallee isn't surprised that the Saudi Arabia conference is including UFOs on its agenda.
"Well, I think the world is changing. It is a respectable subject," he said. "Certainly, internationally, what I've found is that people who are informed and are aware of the phenomenon are much more willing to support people doing serious research on it."
For his part in the weekend panel, Friedman doesn't plan to present images of flying saucers.
"I'm not showing one picture of a UFO. I decided I wasn't going to put on a UFO dog-and-pony show. I'll say that we're dealing with a cosmic Watergate and that there are beings out there who have innovated far more than we have.""

Saturday, January 15, 2011

International Astronomical Union: "We speculate about possible cosmic exploration by extraterrestrial civilizations using interstellar smart probes."

"We call attention to some emerging technologies that may be used for interstellar exploration.
We estimate that advanced civilizations may already have these technologies and may be using them to contact their galactic neighbors. We explore some observational consequences of these contacting strategies."


Title: "Searching for Extraterrestrial Technologies Within Our Solar System"
from: http://www.iar.unlp.edu.ar
published: 2002
authors: Allen Tough
Guillermo A. Lemarchand

"1. Introduction
Although we know almost nothing about the characteristics of extraterrestrial civilizations, we may assume that some of them might be very old and extraordinarily advanced. Because the age of the Sun is almost a third of the age of theuniverse, civilizations that have arisen around other stars are likely to be mucholder than ours. Our technology for interstellar communication is very young,
largely developed in just the last century: any alien technology that we may detect using the terrestrial state-of-the-art technology will likely be thousands or even millions of years beyond our adolescent technology.
As we reflect on the likely capacities of civilizations much older than ours, it certainly seems possible that some of them have sent intelligent probes to other stars in order to monitor or dialogue with any civilizations that have arisen. Just as we send exploratory probes as far as we can in any given era, other civilizations will do the same. Some space scientists and engineers are exploring
the theoretical possibility for the construction of interstellar probes that may travel at one-tenth the speed of light. Their feasibility is supported by today's cutting-edge work in robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and beam propulsion. If a few civilizations in our galaxy began sending intelligent probes to monitor various planetary systems thousands of years ago, then an intelligent alien probe could well have reached our solar system by now. We examine the array of past and potential strategies for detecting such a probe.

2. When Technology Changes, New Search Paradigms Emerge
Science and technology have changed greatly in the 40 years since the SETI field chose radio telescopes as its key strategy. Relying entirely on radio was a logical choice 40 years ago. Radio telescopes were just becoming popular among astronomers, two eminent scientists wrote a paper urging their use for SETI, and a distinguished engineer wrote a paper claiming that interstellar propulsion is impossibly slow and expensive. But our scientific and engineering knowledge
today is dramatically different from what it was 40 years ago. Today's decisions about appropriate strategies should be based on the science and technology that we can confidently anticipate today, not on their status in 1959. Today's choices have to take into account our recent advances in such fields as computers, artificial intelligence, robotics, surveillance methods, molecular manufacturing
(nanotechnology), propulsion, space exploration, lasers, and fiber optics. In the past 30 years there have been several proposals of rapid space probes (V ' 0:1c) for interstellar travel purposes, including pulsed fusion and antimatter- powered rockets, laser pushed light-sails and interstellar ramjets (Mallove & Matlo® 1989). Bracewell (1960) and Freitas (1980) have discussed the possible
superiority of interstellar probes in missions of galactic exploration. Bracewell's 1960 paper proposed that an advanced extraterrestrial could send automatic space probes to neighbouring planetary systems to make contact with emerging technological societies. Papagiannis (1978), the founder of the IAU Bioastronomy Commission 51, proposed a search for alien artifacts in our solar system. Later he searched the IRAS data for objects in the asteroid belt with peculiar infrared spectra. Tipler (1980) has emphasized how easy it would be for an advanced civilization to explore the galaxy with self-replicating probes. Tough (1998) has written about the possibility of very small, very smart interstellar probes. Most mainstream SETI research programs have ignored or dismissed the possibility of extraterrestrial space probes in our solar system based on the
extrapolations of energy consumption of the °eet of space probes needed to explored a substantial region of the galaxy. A recent roadmap of technological developments applied to SETI up to 2020, for instance, devotes just a few sentences to the possibility of trying to detect interstellar probes (Ekers et al. 2002). Out-of-date extrapolations are based on the assumption of 20th Century payloads and fail to consider how cheap interstellar probes will be once a civilization has mastered nanotechnology, arti¯cial intelligence, and interstellar propulsion. Such developments also indicate that the Chiu-Sagan paradox (Chiu 1970; Sagan 1972) may be wrong. If at least one civilization in our galaxy developed advanced technologies long ago, it is quite possible that at least one smart interstellar probe has reached our solar system.

3. Future Search Possibilities Within the Solar System
Over the next few years, how might scientists search within the solar system for unassailable evidence of an alien object. This object might be a probe or spacecraft, for instance, or its discarded parts. Such a search might focus on the Moon, the asteroid belt, or the Lagrange equilibrium points. Alternatively, the alien object might be a building, a monument, or some other arti¯cial structure.
Indeed, an alien intelligence may have deliberately left an artifact for us to discover at some special landmark in the solar system, such as the highest point on Mars or the deepest canyon on Venus, or in some carefully chosen spot that we will explore someday because of our scienti¯c curiosity or our appreciation of beauty. Or equipment might have been stored below the surface of some body
(perhaps in natural cracks or passages) to protect it from damage by cosmic radiation and micrometeorites. Another approach is to search for heat, exhaust gases or other e²uents and
byproducts that might be emitted by a probe or spacecraft. Looking for IR anomalies in the asteroid belt is often suggested as one example, or trying to detect communications from the probe back to its home base, or analyzing with the KLT mathematical transform some peculiar EM signals (Maccone 1994) that may indicate the signature of a rapidly decelerating alien spacecraft.
Another possibility is to search for evidence of mining (mainly in the asteroid belt), in case probes have mined the materials necessary to construct self-replicating probes or the so-called von Neumann machines. This idea has been widely discussed in the SETI literature over the years.
Another option is to search the planet Earth for physical evidence of an alien object. It might be in orbit, on land, or in an ocean. It might have arrived recently or millions of years ago. It might be a super-intelligent probe that is actively monitoring us, or simply a discarded part from an ancient probe. One possibility is that a very small smart probe is hidden among the space debris that is orbiting around the Earth: it might be extremely diffcult to identify. Various sciences, and of course various intelligence and security agencies, are already monitoring much of the Earth, including the oceans and space. Or a hiker or recreational diver may discover an alien object by serendipity, just as an astronomer may someday detect an astroengineering object or any other artificial signal while studying some other natural phenomenon.

4. A Fresh Alternative to Physical Detection
In the past few years, SETI scientists have realized how incredibly smart, knowl- edgeable, autonomous, and competent an interstellar probe might be. Imagine the technological capacity that we humans (and our smart robots) will develop in the next 100 years. Then extrapolate for many more centuries to get some idea of the potential powers of alien technology. In contrast, some earlier proposals seemed to assume an alien probe is not very smart. Sometimes, for instance, it
was viewed as a tape-recorder that will play a message over and over if triggered by a predetermined impulse. A few far-sighted scientists and engineers, particularly Kurzweil (1999) and
Moravec (1999), have shaken up our thinking. They spell out, decade by decade, just how we might develop smarter-than-human robots before the end of this century. If an alien civilization is many centuries older than us, it might have developed super-smart robots long ago. Especially if these are extremely small and lightweight thanks to molecular manufacturing (nanotechnology), they might be sent or to explore other planetary systems. At least one of these small, smart, autonomous interstellar probes may have already reached our solar system. As we adjust to the idea of an incredibly smart knowledgeable probe-as we allow ourselves to deeply grasp the implications of an intelligence that is millions of years beyond ours-a fresh strategy comes to mind. Instead of trying to physically detect this probe, perhaps by sneaking up on it or outwitting it, we can invite it to interact with us. Presumably a technology thousands or millions of years beyond ours cancloak itself successfully. And presumably it will elude our primitive efforts to outwit it. Rather than being stymied by the probe's highly advanced capacities, however, a fresh approach can build on them. It can assume a super-smart probe will readily monitor our telecommunications, learn our major languages, and figure out how to navigate our World Wide Web and its search engines. The fresh approach simply places an invitation to ETI on the Web-an invitation to dialogue with all of humankind. If a super-smart probe looks up "extraterrestrial intelligence" or "alien probe" in the major search engines, it will discover the invitation. In October 1998, this approach was implemented by a group of SETI scientists as the "Invitation to ETI" (http://members.aol.com/WelcomeETI).

5. Concluding Summary
² As civilizations and their technology advance, they eventually develop the capacity to manufacture smart autonomous probes to explore the galaxy.
² Such a probe may already have reached our solar system. The SETI field should strongly support any scientific efforts to ¯nd irrefutable evidence of such a probe.
² Because a probe may be extraordinarily intelligent-perfectly capable of monitoring our WWW-we should issue an invitation to a dialogue.
² The Invitation to ETI has a reasonable chance of detecting ETI, at least as good as any other SETI project.

Acknowledgments. GAL thanks Allen Tough and IAU for the ¯nancial
support to attend this Symposium.
References
Bracewell, R. N. 1960, Nature, 186, 670
Chiu, H. Y. 1970, Icarus, 11, 447
Ekers, R. D., Cullers, D. K., Billingham, J., & Schei®er, L. K. ed. 2002, SETI
2020: A Roadmap for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, (Moun-
tain View: SETI Press), pages 2-3, 113, 230
Freitas, R. A. 1980, J. of the British Interplanetary Society, 33, 95
Kurzweil, R. 1999, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed
Human Intelligence, (New York: Viking)
Maccone, C. 1994, Telecommuncations, KLT and Relativity, (Colorado Springs:
IPI Press)
Mallove, E. F., & Matlo®, G. L. 1989, The Star°ight Handbook: A Pioneer's
Guide to Interstellar Travel, (New York: Wiley)
Moravec, H. 1999, Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, (New York:
Oxford University Press)
Papagiannis, M. D. 1978, Quart. J. of R. Astron. Soc., 19, 217
Sagan, C. 1972, UFO's the Extraterrestrial and Other Hypothesis in UFO's: A
Scienti¯c Debate, Sagan and Page eds., (Cornell University Press: Ithaca)
Tipler, F. J. 1980, Quart. J. of R. Astron. Soc., 21, 267
Tough, A. 1998, J. of the British Interplanetary Society, 51, 167"

So it is plausible to assume the presence of extraterrestrial civilizations using small probes to interstellar cosmic exploration and our solar system!!!!

U.S. Congress, January 1814: concern for the appearance of mysterious "blue lights" in the sky during a military operation

Here are three pages from the book of the history of Congress of the United States of America, which bears the title of "Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875.". The pages that concern us are the number until the number 1123 1128. The document expressed concern by the U.S. Congress for the appearance of mysterious "blue lights" in the sky during a military operation against the British. Just apparition led to the suspension of American. The issue was debated in the House of Representatives January 24, 1814.

link: http://memory.loc.gov

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

National Geographic’s: soon as new revelations about Area 51

Title: "UFOs invade TCA: Documentary producer promises Area 51 revelations"
from:insidetv.ew.com
author: James Hibberd
published: Jan 5 2011


"A producer for National Geographic’s upcoming documentary Area 51 Declassified says he’s managed to obtain unprecedented access to declassified military documents from the government’s super-secret military base.

The program will include first-ever on-camera interviews from former Area 51 employees, exclusive video footage from inside the facility (which, you’ll recall, doesn’t even officially exist), as well as previously unseen documents and photos.

“Some of the things that went on there were hidden and are quite remarkable,” says Peter Yost at the TCA press tour. “It’s completely factual. The government declassified to us thousands of documents and footage. It’s solid, it’s real, it’s verifiable. We do have some surprises.”
The Emmy-nominated Yost (Inside North Korea) is being a little cagey here because Area 51 Declassified is being released in tandem with another project on the subject and he’s under a non-disclosure agreement to not reveal details before their release date. What’s the other project? That’s also secret (yes, you’re reading this right: The U.S. military is releasing Area 51 documents, while a TV producer is keeping silent).

UFO newshounds won’t have too long to wait. Area 51 Declassified debuts this spring, along with another Nat Geo project, Alien Invasion, which explores how Earthlings might handle First Contact.

One TV critic asked why, after all these years, our government has given Yost access to Area 51′s history.

“Some of these employees are going to their graves — they’re in their 70s, 80s and 90s,” Yost says. “I think there was a certain decision made at highest levels …. regarding some of these projects, that it’s ‘now or never’ [to tell the story].”

Area 51 Declassified will mark the latest example of UFO-related documents being released as countries continue to relax restrictions on the subject (such as the New Zealand military opening up its UFO archives last month). It also follows up on journalist Leslie Kern’s recent muckraking book, UFO’s: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, as well as reports that Wikileaks has some UFO-related docs coming down the pipeline (not that I follow this subject closely or anything)."

Royal Society: a global plan for possible alien contact

Title: "The detection of extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society"
from: rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org
published: 01/2011
Editors: Martin Dominik and John C. Zarnecki
One contribution of 17 to a Discussion Meeting Issue ‘The detection of extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society’.


"Abstract

Astronomers are now able to detect planets orbiting stars other than the Sun where life may exist, and living generations could see the signatures of extra-terrestrial life being detected. Should it turn out that we are not alone in the Universe, it will fundamentally affect how humanity understands itself—and we need to be prepared for the consequences. A Discussion Meeting held at the Royal Society in London, 6–9 Carlton House Terrace, on 25–26 January 2010, addressed not only the scientific but also the societal agenda, with presentations covering a large diversity of topics.

origin and evolution of lifeextra-terrestrial lifeextra-solar planetsastrobiologysearch for extra-terrestrial intelligencescience and society
Previous SectionNext Section1. The quest for exploration
A thin layer around the surface of Earth is teeming with life of huge diversity: from micro-organisms to plants and animals, and even intelligent species. Up to now, this forms the only known sample of life in the Universe. However, observing the pinpoints of light on the night sky has probably always inspired humans to speculate about the existence of other worlds. It is, therefore, not surprising that there is a long history of thoughts about such a proposition (e.g. [1–5]). Despite the fact that it is straightforward to imagine that stars other than the Sun would also host planets, speculations turned into evidence only fairly recently: in 1992, the first planet around a special type of stellar remnant, namely pulsars, was found [6], and in 1995, the first detection of a planet around a star of similar composition to the Sun, namely 51 Peg b, was reported [7]. The enormous progress in this field is reflected by the fact that, as of 1 June 2010, more than 450 extra-solar planets1 are known. While most of these are gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, some spectacular discoveries of about 20 planets of less than 10 Earth masses (e.g. [8–13]) have already indicated that rocky planets with conditions considered suitable to harbour life are probably rather common. The discovery of a true sibling of our home planet, therefore, seems to remain only a question of time (cf. [14,15]).

The active quest for extra-solar planets has opened a new chapter in the book of the search for extra-terrestrial life. This was already an active field of science with the exploration of the Solar System by means of space probes, which gave rise to a ‘space age’ from 1957 when Sputnik-1, the first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite, was launched. Current technology allows us to land a robotic chemistry laboratory on other Solar System bodies, or return samples to Earth, the latter coming with the advantage of being able to adapt analysis strategies to unexpected findings. Based on our current understanding, Mars, Europa, Enceladus and, if we consider life based on a liquid other than water, Titan are the most promising places for finding life signatures (cf. [16]). A direct search for life on Mars, rather than searching for evidence from fossils, was carried out as early as 1976 with the two Viking landers. However, the outcome of these experiments is still subject to an unresolved controversy (cf. [16,17]). A further opportunity to find alien life forms is given by the study of meteorites found on Earth (cf. [17]), where it is now well established that some of them originate from Mars [18]. However, the exchange of biological material between Solar System bodies might also mean that such life is not distinct from ours, but rather shares a common origin.

Only shortly after the advent of the space age, it was proposed to use radio telescopes to search for signals arising from extra-terrestrial civilizations [19], while independently preparations for such an experiment, ‘Project Ozma’, were already under way [20]. This marked the birth of a scientific venture known as the ‘Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence’ or ‘SETI’ for short (e.g. [21]).

Exploration of the unknown, making use of previously unavailable technology, led to ‘ages of wonder’ [22], where prevailing concepts have been challenged and new ideas and insight emerged. The study of the origins, evolution, distribution and future of life in the Universe, for which the term ‘astrobiology’ has been coined (following up on the earlier used ‘exobiology’), plays a critical role in a continuing era of enlightenment.

Previous SectionNext Section2. Universality or uniqueness?
We readily accept that the concepts of physics and chemistry apply throughout the cosmos and are valid for all time, but should this not make us wonder whether biology is universal as well [22], and not just a special feature that only applies to planet Earth?

There is actually no lack of the building blocks of life; the number of molecules fundamental to Earth’s biochemistry that have already been found in the interstellar medium, planetary atmospheres and on the surfaces of comets, asteroids, meteorites and interplanetary dust particles is surprisingly rather large. Giant ‘factories’, where complex molecules are being synthesized, appear to make carbonaceous compounds ubiquitous in the Universe (cf. [23]).

We are however left with a fundamental gap in understanding just at the point where molecules become ‘alive’. Nevertheless, it has been conjectured that life resembling that on Earth in its biochemistry is a cosmic imperative [24,25], following from the deterministic and reproducible nature of chemistry under given environment conditions, and the reproducibility of optimization by selection [26] from a large number of variants. The latter is strongly supported by the observed evolutionary convergence in the biological history on Earth, but it cannot be ruled out with certainty that our existence is a fluke arising from a highly improbable chance event (cf. [27]).

A strong case for the genesis of life being a ‘cosmic imperative’ would arise from the detection of a ‘shadow biosphere’ on Earth with a distinct ‘tree of life’ [28–30].

So if there are alien civilizations at a comparable stage of evolution, one might expect that they do not differ that much from our own (cf. [27]). However, with the Sun just about half-way through its lifetime as a main-sequence star, with about 4.5 billion years remaining, that ‘comparable stage’ might constitute a rather short transient episode, and advanced extra-terrestrial life might be inconceivable to us in its complexity, just as human life is to amoebae.

Previous SectionNext Section3. Our lack of knowledge and the arising challenges
The current state of the study of life in the Universe sees us being confronted with many questions cutting across various traditional fields of science, while leaving us with almost no answers. The inherent interdisciplinarity does not come as a surprise when realizing that we are investigating ourselves,2 our origins and future, and our role in the cosmos.

Our ignorance is most famously quantified by the Drake equation [30–32]
3.1 which describes the number of civilizations N that are detectable by means of electromagnetic emissions (more particularly, radio signals) as a product of various factors, namely the rate of formation of suitable stars, the fraction fp of those with planetary systems, the number ne of planets per such system with conditions suitable for life, the fraction fl of such planets on which life actually develops, the fraction fi of life-bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges, the fraction fc of emerged civilizations that develop technologies for propagating detectable signals and finally the time span L over which these civilizations disseminate such signals. Rather than as a product of numbers, the Drake equation should more appropriately be seen as a product of random variables with their respective distribution functions [33–35]. Interestingly, the uncertainty among the different factors in the Drake equation increases from left to right. The ‘astronomical factors’ , fp and ne are rather well determined as compared with the ‘biological factors’ fl and fi, while the ‘technological factor’ fc and even more the ‘societal factor’ L are the great unknowns. Despite the fact that the Drake equation has been devised for SETI, only the last three factors are specific to intelligent life or its detection by means of electromagnetic signals, whereas the others are relevant to any astrobiological context.

Let us suppose that life beyond Earth does exist. In order to detect it, we encounter substantial difficulties when aiming to define its characteristics, and in selecting signatures that are certainly incompatible with an abiogenic origin. Organic molecules with a carbon skeleton that are stable on geological time-scales form ‘chemical fossils’ that constitute an early record of life on Earth. Moreover, measured carbon isotope ratios in sedimentary rocks suggest the presence of microbial life already 3.8 billion years ago ([36]; cf. [17]). It, however, requires biological material to determine whether life is truly ‘alien’, i.e. belonging to a ‘tree of life’ distinct from that of life on Earth. Evolutionary selection is likely to result in the use of a set of basic organic molecules, but it is a subject of debate whether there is a strong evolutionary convergence either to the one and only optimum or in such a way that the process of natural selection always leads to the same global optimum for all environments under which life can evolve, or whether a weak evolutionary convergence accounts for the possibility of ending up with different optima for the realization of life or its features. Strikingly, a system of life based on molecules just of opposite chirality but otherwise identical to those that form the building blocks for life known on Earth appears to be a viable distinctive alternative (cf. [16,17,27]).

Out of the vast number of places in the Universe to look for life, what should guide our search? With no other account for life other than that on Earth and a lack of understanding of the properties and preferred environments of life as we do not know it, one readily tends to accept the null hypothesis that an efficient search should be oriented towards the set of conditions that is defined by the variety of terrestrial life forms. Therefore, a widely adopted strategy is to search for liquid-water habitats, given that terrestrial biochemistry relies on liquid water as solvent (cf. [16,27]). Moreover, given the requirements of metabolism, energy is a more universal imperative for life, providing a further criterion to narrow down searches, and opening an opportunity to go far beyond characteristics that might be specific to life as we know it [37]. While it was the porphyrin nucleus, central to the structure of chlorophyll, that paved the way for using chemical fossils as biomarkers ([38]; cf. [17]), even before the age of photosynthesis life may have been living on energy sources bound within rocks, such as iron. Rather than just the presence of water or energy, it is the kinetics of water flows that constitute the crucial criterion for such processes to succeed (cf. [39]).

Not only has Earth initially provided an environment for life to develop, but also the resulting living organisms have subsequently shaped the planet. In particular, the large abundance of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere is the result of biogenic photosynthesis. Such feedback mechanisms gave rise to the idea of describing the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and soil as a complex entity in what is referred to as the ‘Gaia theory’ [40,41]. In fact, it emerged from thoughts about simple signatures of life on another planet [42], and given that planets outside the Solar System cannot be explored by spacecraft, measurements of the abundance of molecules in the planetary atmosphere from related spectral features in order to construct a biosignature are the very limited ‘bits and pieces’ of information upon which we can draw conclusions about life. Such efforts mark one of the greatest challenges ever undertaken in observational astronomy (cf. [15]).

Previous SectionNext Section4. Societal relevance and political action
The detection and further study of extra-terrestrial life will fundamentally challenge our view of nature, including ourselves, and therefore the field of astrobiology can hardly be isolated from its societal context, including philosophical, ethical and theological perspectives (cf. [43]).

With the detection of extra-terrestrial life being technically feasible, one needs to address whether perceived societal benefits command us to search for it, or whether such an endeavour may rather turn out to be a threat to our own existence (cf. [44]). Modelled after the Torino Scale for asteroid/comet impact predictions [45] and the Rio Scale for a putative discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence [46], the London Scale index (LSI) with values ranging from 0 to 10 together with an independently evaluated level of risk or biohazard [47] provides an assessment of the scientific importance, validity and potential risks associated with putative evidence of extra-terrestrial life discovered on Earth, on nearby bodies in the Solar System, or in our Galaxy.

Various scenarios of encounters with extra-terrestrial life have already been portrayed in the science-fiction literature and films, some of these being more scientific, others more fictional (cf. [48]). Imagination, however, must not be underestimated as a valuable means to advance knowledge towards new frontiers, and is not at all an unscientific concept. It is also valuable that a broad public has been given the opportunity to reflect on this topic. Similarly, scientists involved in relevant research themselves should engage with journalists and the public (cf. [49]). Media reports and weblogs debating extra-terrestrial life, including those that relate to this very Royal Society Discussion Meeting, also provide some evidence on public opinion and reactions that can be expected.

If data are absent or ambiguous, we tend to argue by retreating to analogies or theories about universalities. Historical examples, however, need to be well understood before these can serve as a guide, which is demonstrated by the fact that history is full of misinterpretations and misconceptions of itself (cf. [48,49]). Rather than aliens invading Earth, most likely detection scenarios will involve microbial organisms and/or extra-terrestrial life at a safe distance that prevents physical contact. As far as exploring other life forms is concerned, any strategy applied must exclude biological contamination—not only to protect ourselves, but also to preserve any alien life discovered as part of an overall commitment to enhancing the richness and the diversity of life in the Universe [16]. For such scenarios with well-contained risks, the dominant human response is unlikely to be one of fear and pandemonium [48]. Human perceptions and representations of alien life will not only derive from science, but, given that humanity is more than just a collection of logic and facts, they will be highly influenced by cultural and psychological factors. Therefore, reactions will not necessarily be homogeneous, and reality may defy common myths [49]. It is believed by some that establishing the presence of extra-terrestrial life as a fact will cause a crisis for certain religious faiths. A survey, however, shows that followers of all the main religious denominations as well as atheists declare that it will not be a problem for their own beliefs [50].

While scientists are obliged to assess benefits and risks that relate to their research, the political responsibility for decisions arising following the detection of extra-terrestrial life cannot and should not rest with them. Any such decision will require a broad societal dialogue and a proper political mandate. If extra-terrestrial life happens to be detected, a coordinated response that takes into account all the related sensitivities should already be in place. In 1989, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) approved a SETI post-detection protocol [51], which was developed by one of its committees. Despite the fact that it has subsequently been endorsed by the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the International Union of Radio Science (URSI), the procedures laid out in that document are not legally enforcible. If it remains a voluntary code of practice, it will probably be ignored in the event to which it should apply. Will a suitable process based on expert advice from proper and responsible scientists arise at all, or will interests of power and opportunism more probably set the scene (cf. [52])? A lack of coordination can be avoided by creating an overarching framework in a truly global effort governed by an international politically legitimated body. The United Nations fora constitute a ready-made mechanism for coordination. Member States of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) will need to place ‘supra-Earth affairs’ on the agenda in order to take it further to the General Assembly, with the goal of establishing structures similar to those created for dealing with threats arising from potentially impacting near-Earth objects [53].

Previous SectionNext Section5. Outlook
So far, there is no scientific evidence for or against the existence of life beyond Earth. All arguments about whether life is common and universal or whether we live in a unique place in the cosmos are rather based on philosophical beliefs and assumptions. Consequently, there is no way of predicting the outcomes of searches for extra-terrestrial life. This, however, surely drives the scientific imperative to test the hypothesis.

The year 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the first search for radio signals originating from other civilizations, a remarkably optimistic endeavour in 1960, particularly bearing in mind that up to now all SETI experiments have provided a negative result. One, however, has to realize that these have probed only our neighbourhood, up to about 200 light-years distant, whereas the centre of the Milky Way is 25 000 light-years away from us. And even if there is no other intelligent life in the Milky Way, it could still be hosted in another of the remaining hundreds of billions of other galaxies.

Advanced efforts are now on the drawing board or already under way for the further exploration of the Solar System and the search for biomarkers in the atmospheres of extra-solar planets, while searches for signals of extra-terrestrial intelligence are entering a new era with the deployment of the next generation of radio telescopes.

The study and understanding of life in the Universe encompasses many, if not all, of the fundamental questions in biology, physics and chemistry, but also in philosophy, psychology, religion and the way in which humans interact with their environment and each other. While we cannot be prepared for the unpredictable, the careful development of a societal agenda alongside a scientific agenda for the search for life elsewhere becomes mandatory.

Frequently, things are only seen in the proper context if observed from a far enough distance. The image of Earth taken by Voyager 1 from as near as about 40 AU, i.e. still within the outer regions of the Solar System, which depicts just a ‘pale blue dot’, proves insightful. As Carl Sagan [54] (p. 9) worded it: ‘Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.’

For the first time in human history, living generations are now given a realistic chance to find out whether we are alone in the Universe. Should an answer be found one day, we will still be left with deeper questions to be answered: where do we come from, why are we here and where will we be going?

Previous SectionNext SectionAcknowledgements
We would like to express our thanks to the session chairs of the meeting, namely Steven Rose, Catherine Cesarsky, Jocelyn Bell-Burnell and Martin Rees, the reviewers of the papers in this issue, Uffe G. Jørgensen for a careful reading of this manuscript, Paul Browne and Christine Liebig for handling the microphones, and finally the event managers of the Royal Society, as well as the IT, catering and other staff without whom the meeting would not have been as enjoyable as it was."

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wikileaks: found documents with references to UFOs.

Five extracts of documents from United States embassy cables


from: www.aftenposten.no

"19.12.2007: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 12/19/07

...
14) Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura, who says he absolute believes
in UFOs, unhappy with government´s official view rejecting their
existence (Sankei)
...
14) Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura: UFOs definitely exist,
unhappy with government´s formal response
SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
December 19, 2007
Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura stated in a press
conference yesterday: "I am sure that unidentified flying objects
exist." He elaborated: "Otherwise, it is impossible to explain the
Nazca Lines (in Peru, which some believe were created by aliens),
isn´t it?"
The government yesterday adopted in a cabinet meeting an official
response to a question by Ryuji Yamada, a Democratic Party of Japan
member. The statement says that the government has not confirmed the
existence of UFOs. It was the first time for the government to deny
the existence of UFOs. Machimura, while stressing that it was his
personal view that UFOs exist, said: "The government has offered
only a boilerplate response in its formal statement.""


from : http://www.aftenposten.no

"21.12.2007: EMBASSY MINSK WEEKLY POL/ECON REPORT - December 21, 2007

...

----------------------

11. Quote of the Week

----------------------

BKGB Chairman Yuriy Zhadobin on why his organization no longer
investigates paranormal phenomena:
"Unlike during the USSR, the department is not engaged in studying
paranormal phenomena. [Back then,] we had greater means and
opportunities which we could spend on anything and everything.
Today the situation is different. Then, when society was excited by
something, it entered our sphere of interest. But when it comes to
healers, UFOs and such, we just can´t deal with them any more."
Stewart ""


from: http://www.aftenposten.no

"30.01.2008: ECUADOR: CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY FOCUS UNCLEAR

...
6. (C) The work of the Assembly´s nine
constitutional-drafting committees has centered thus far
around consultations with interest groups, plus executive and
judicial officials, and private committee discussions. The
committees and Assembly leadership have been besieged by
requests for meetings on every imaginable constitutional and
legislative topic. Several committees are also holding
meetings outside of Montecristi to solicit citizen input in
specific constitutional areas under their jurisdiction.
Barrera mentioned that PAIS was struggling with how to
balance being responsive to citizen groups with the need to
focus on substance ) he cited a recent meeting between a
group that believes in UFOs and the Sovereignty committee as
an example of how things were out of control to the point of
near absurdity.""

from: http://www.aftenposten.no

"26.05.2006: Tsunami Destroys Casablanca - Next Thursday

...
---------------------------

He Had to Blog Into Mine...

---------------------------

2. (U) The tsunami prediction originated with French author
and UFO "kidnapping victim" Eric Julien, director of the
Ufological Research Center. Julian claimed he had received
information psychically that a comet fragment would crash
into the Atlantic Ocean on May 25, 2006, and cause a giant
tsunami. He asserted that the waves would be up to 200
SIPDIS
meters high and impact all countries bordering the Atlantic.
In Morocco, Julien´s forcast was taken so seriously that the
head of the Moroccan Meteorological office, Mustapha Janah
made an official statement to the Moroccan press denying the
possibility of the tsunami and quoting "NASA" officials who
noted that the comet in question would be approximately ten
million kilometers away when it passed the earth.""


from: http://www.aftenposten.no

"03.01.2003: CLONING CLAIM PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON QUEBEC-BASED RAELIAN GROUP

...
SUBJECT: CLONING CLAIM PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON QUEBEC-BASED

RAELIAN GROUP

1. SUMMARY: THE FOLLOWING IS SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON
THE MONTREAL-BASED RAELIAN GROUP, WHOSE MEMBER DR. BRIGITTE
BOISSELIER ANNOUNCED AT A DECEMBER 27 PRESS CONFERENCE IN
HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA THE BIRTH OF THE FIRST CLONED HUMAN
BEING, A 7 POUND BABY GIRL NICKNAMED EVE. AND ITS TWO MAIN
FIGURES LEADER CLAUDE VORILHON, BETTER KNOWN AS RAEL, AND
DR. BOISSELIER. ONE LIKELY RESULT OF THE BOISSELIER
ANNOUNCEMENT IS THAT CANADA´S PENDING LEGISLATION TO BAN
HUMAN CLONING COULD CONTAIN STRICTER RESTRICTIONS. END
SUMMARY.

2. THE RAELIAN MOVEMENT WAS FOUNDED BY FRENCHMAN CLAUDE
VORILHON, A FORMER SPORTS JOURNALIST, FAILED SINGER, RADIO
COMMENTATOR AND AVID STOCK CAR RACER. VORILHON CLAIMS TO
HAVE BEEN CONCEIVED ON DECEMBER 25, 1945, BY A FRENCH MOTHER
AND AN ALIEN FATHER. SPECIALISTS SAY HE WAS BORN IN VICHY,
FRANCE IN 1946. VORILHON WHO USES THE NAME RAEL (GOD´S
LIGHT) (PRONOUNCED RA-EL IN FRENCH (RHYMES WITH KAL-EL AND
JOR-EL)) SAYS HE CREATED THE MOVEMENT AFTER ALIENS VISITED
HIM IN CENTRAL FRANCE IN 1973. AT THAT TIME, LITTLE GREEN
ALIENS (APPROXIMATELY 4 FT TALL) TOLD HIM --IN FLUENT FRENCH-
- EARTHLINGS HAD BEEN CREATED IN A LABORATORY 25,000 YEARS
AGO. SINCE THESE ALIENS WHICH HE CALLS THE ELOHIM (THE
HEBREW WORD FOR GOD) ARE 25,000 YEARS AHEAD OF US, RAEL SAYS
CLONING IS VERY SIMPLE TASK FOR THEM.

..."

Waiting for more details ... what can we say?

We expected more ... maybe it's just the beginning ...

See you soon!

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