Wil je een videoclip bekijken en stoort het X-files-deuntje jou daarbij. Schakel het deuntje gewoon uit door in deze kolon, helemaal beneden op de 2 witte balkjes in het blauwe cirkeltje te klikken, tot een pijltje verschijnt. Veel kijk- en luisterplezier en bedankt voor jouw bezoek.
The purpose of this blog is the creation of an open, international, independent and free forum, where every UFO-researcher can publish the results of his/her research. The languagues, used for this blog, are Dutch, English and French.You can find the articles of a collegue by selecting his category. Each author stays resposable for the continue of his articles. As blogmaster I have the right to refuse an addition or an article, when it attacks other collegues or UFO-groupes.
Deze blog is opgedragen aan mijn overleden echtgenote Lucienne.
In 2012 verloor ze haar moedige strijd tegen kanker!
In 2011 startte ik deze blog, omdat ik niet mocht stoppen met mijn UFO-onderzoek.
UFO'S - MET HET LAATSTE NIEUWS OVER UFO'S BOVEN BELGIË EN IN ANDERE LANDEN...
UFO's in België en de rest van de wereld In België heb je vooral BUFON of het Belgisch UFO-Netwerk, dat zich met UFO's bezighoudt. BEZOEK DUS ZEKER VOOR ALLE OBJECTIEVE INFORMATIE ww.ufo.be.
Verder heb je ook het Belgisch-Ufo-meldpunt en Caelestia, die prachtig, doch ZEER kritisch werk leveren, ja soms zelfs héél sceptisch...
Voor Nederland kan je de mooie site www.ufowijzer.nl bezoeken van Paul Harmans. Een mooie site met veel informatie en artikels.
MUFON of het Mutual UFO Network Inc is een Amerikaanse UFO-vereniging met afdelingen in alle USA-staten en diverse landen.
MUFON's mission is the analytical and scientific investigation of the UFO- Phenomenon for the benefit of humanity...
Je kan ook hun site bekijken onder www.mufon.com.
Ze geven een maandeliiks tijdschrift uit, namelijk The MUFON UFO-Journal. Since 02/01/2013 is Pieter not only president (=voorzitter) of BUFON, but also National Director MUFON / Flanders and the Netherlands. We work together with the French MUFON Reseau MUFON/EUROP.
UFOs are REAL and use ‘new energy’ that could change our future - expert
UFOs are REAL and use ‘new energy’ that could change our future - expert
UFOs are real and use extremely advanced technology that could lead to breakthroughs in energy production on Earth, it was sensationally claimed today.
Jan Harzan, one of the world’s top UFO investigators, said his organisation had proved over the past 50 years that flying saucers really exist.
Mr Harzan is executive director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the world’s biggest organisation dedicated to UFO and alien research.
The US-based organisation maintains a database of sightings that is updated daily, with many cases investigated.
It has so far analysed more than 100,000 UFO cases.
Many are explained away, but the organisation says around five percent have no earthly explanation.
Mr Harzan was speaking in response to recent revelations that the US Government ploughed millions of dollars into a top-secret investigation into the potential threat posed by UFOs.
He said: “MUFON has been investigating and researching the UFO phenomenon since 1969.
“The group's analysis of over 100,000 UFO reports over the past five decades has shown three things to be true:
TURNING POINT: Jan Harzan of MUFON says his organisation has proved UFOs are real advanced tech.
One, UFOs are real; two, UFOs represent extremely advanced technology and, three, tremendous breakthroughs will happen if we make it safe for our scientists and engineers to study this phenomenon unimpeded.
“One, UFOs are real; two, UFOs represent extremely advanced technology and, three, tremendous breakthroughs will happen if we make it safe for our scientists and engineers to study this phenomenon unimpeded.
“These breakthroughs involve the fields of propulsion, energy, communication, biology and consciousness, to name just a few.”
Many UFO believers are convinced that UFOs are powered by a “free energy” system that has no cost to produce.
There is a growing conspiracy theory that the US Government already knows how to harness this power after allegedly recovering a crashed UFO at Roswell in 1947.
However, the theory claims that those behind the fossil fuel industry have surpressed its existence so they can continue to cash in on the polluting power source.
It comes after last month’s revelations about the Pentagon’s Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP) featured US Navy footage of a mystery UFO off the coast of San Diego in November 2004.
Luis Elizondo, the former intelligence officer who ran the AATIP and then outed it, said it defied the laws of physics.
Mr Harzan said the news was a "turning point” in UFO investigation.
He told Space.com: “This is just the tip of the iceberg.
“MUFON’s military vaults are full of such videos and data on these objects.
“Now that the spill gates have been opened a little, it is time for the rest to come out in an orderly fashion.
“And in so doing, make it safe for our scientists and engineers to study this phenomenon without fear of ridicule or retribution, but with funding provided by Congress and private industry."
Alejandro Rojas, spokesman for the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (SCU), said being unexplained did not mean the UFOs were alien.
He said: “Remember, the 'U' is for unidentified, not alien.
"We don't know what these things are.
“Just because we get uncomfortable with the idea of aliens does not mean we should not investigate when the people who pilot our most advanced technology say they encounter something that outclasses their aircraft. It would be highly negligent not to investigate."
Steven Aftergood of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, DC, also urged caution.
He said: “It is somewhat dismaying to see how quickly 'unidentified' aerial phenomena are publicly interpreted and portrayed as UFOs of possibly extraterrestrial origin.
"Collectively, we should all be becoming more intelligent and more perceptive, not more stupid and gullible."
It seems you can’t throw a stone in Egypt without hitting some ancient artifact, and the odds are favorable that the artifact is somehow connected to a pharaoh or pyramid. It also seems that a favorite game to play there – since the country finally got serious about protecting these artifacts from looters and black marketeers – is “Guess what’s in the pyramid?” If you had bet on both happening in the same week, you’re a winner.
In one of the strangest headlines about Egyptology, local media outlets were shouting in big letters that “Granite Feet Belonging to Pharaoh Discovered in Parking Lot!” According to Egypt Independent, which had a more subtle headline, the parking lot was in Akhmim in the Sohag governorate where construction workers were digging it up for new development. Instead, they found an old development – part of a black granite statue that appeared to be two feet with the left foot pointing forward (seen here). That points to the feet belonging to a statue of an Egyptian king who were traditionally represented in this way.
Not a pharaoh’s foot but still impressive
But whose kingly feet are these? That was explained by the right one which was covered with hieroglyphics (seen here) showing the coronation and birth names of King Amenhotep III. This comes as no surprise to Egyptologists – over 250 statues of Amenhotep III have been discovered, the most of any pharaoh. Perhaps that was his plan in case he didn’t get a pyramid … which he didn’t. Amenhotep III was buried in a royal tomb in the Western Valley of the Valley of the Kings. His granite feet, on the other hand, now reside at the Sohag Museum where they’re getting a restorative pedicure.
Meanwhile, back at the pyramids …
Speculation has been running rampant among experts about what could be in the newly-discovered mysterious void in the Great Pyramid of Giza. One of the first and certainly most interesting comes from Giulio Magli, Director of the Department of Mathematics and Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. He writes in his new paper on the subject:
“A possible explanation of this space, interpreted as a chamber connected to the lower north channel and aimed to contain a specific funerary equipment is tentatively proposed. According to the Pyramid Texts, this equipment might consist of a “Iron throne”, actually a wooden throne endowed with meteoritic Iron sheets.”
An Egyptian throne
That’s right. The Pyramid Texts — carved on the walls and sarcophagi of the pyramids at Saqqara during the 5th and 6th Dynasties of the Old Kingdom – say that “the pharaoh, before reaching the stars of the north, will have to pass the gates of the sky and sit on his throne of iron.” Magli believes that the only way ancient Egyptians could imagine an iron throne — actually a wooden throne covered with metal — reaching the stars was if it were covered with star material itself … metals collected from meteorites. Farfetched? We recently found out that King Tutankhamun’s dagger was made from meteor matter. Could Cheops have rested his royal tush on a star seat?
Of course, the only way to find out is to look inside the void inside the pyramid. That may happen If the folks at ScanPyramid can get permission to drill a tiny shaft and insert a micro-blimp drone to explore it. How will it know if the throne is covered with meteor metal? Have you ever heard of accidental bumps?
The search for alien life isn’t concerned solely with searching for advanced extraterrestrial races, but also with discovering if the so-called ‘building blocks’ of life exist elsewhere in the cosmos. Earth is so far the only planet on which the necessary ingredients for life are found – based on our current definition and understanding of what life is, that is. Given that all life on Earth is carbon-based, scientists believe the element is one of the most basic components needed to create life. Astronomers still don’t understand where Earth’s carbon came from, and in turn life, but a new discovery in a nearby corner of space now has some scientists wondering if we might have found some of the raw ingredients of life in the universe.
The Taurus Molecular Cloud
Astronomers using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia discovered the chemical signature of a molecule known as benzonitrile (C6H5CN) in a massive cloud of dust and gas known as the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1. The cloud sits some 430 light-years from Earth in the Taurus constellation and is the nearest star formation region, making it perfect for the study of cosmological processes. Scientists have long been searching for benzonitrile and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the universe as it is believed they may be abundant, but their chemical signatures hasn’t been found prior to this new study. These carbon-rich molecules are believed to a common source of carbon throughout the universe, and therefore in some ways are the main building blocks for life.
Carbon bonds are resilient, but also able to be rearranged by various processes, thus making carbon a perfect “building block.”
Now that we have found at least one source for these molecules, scientists might be able to start piecing together the mystery of where and how life originated in the universe. Georgia Southern University astrochemist Ryan Fortenberry toldScientific American that this discovery could inch us closer towards understanding one of the great mysteries of humankind:
We need carbon to make planets, to make life, to do interesting chemistry. We have this hypothesis about where the carbon is tied up, but we’ve had no way to confirm it. [Benzonitrile] allows us to start looking in the right places.
While right now this discovery is little more than the discovery of a giant carbon-rich gas cloud, it might one day lead us to find where we came from: giant stinking cloud. Did I mention the giant cloud of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons just so happens to smell like almonds, hence their name? Neat.
Photographer caught Glowing Green Object in the sky over Area 51
Photographer caught Glowing Green Object in the sky over Area 51
The photographer was driving around the dirty roads around the perimeter of Area 51 and took many images with his I-phone set to “live” photos but saw nothing at the time.
When he reviewed the images he noticed in one image a large vertical glowing green object in the sky.
The photographer said that he has an interest in unexplained phenomena, but have never before seen anything live or in any photo he took. He understands there could be multiple other explanations, but he doesn’t know how to explain this glowing object. Mufon case 89517.
The following image was taken by a tourist last year 2017 who made a trip to Villefranche de Confluent in France and shows an odd object hovering over the top of a snowy mountain.
When zoomed in on the object it appears to be surrounded with bright lights.The strange object was not visible in other images taken at the same time. Mufon case 89519.
The Super Nations are going to fight against an Evil from Space?
The Super Nations are going to fight against an Evil from Space?
SpaceX launched the secret Zuma spacecraft on January 7, 2018, Sunday night and although according to some media reports, citing anonymous government officials, have reported that the Northrop Grumman-built Zuma spacecraft may have failed after it launched into orbit we believe that the launch was a success.
Then we have the mysterious bright sky-filling flash that turned night into day, huge booms and ground shaking over thousands of miles in Russia after midnight Sunday, January 7, 2018.
And now it appears that The United States government plans to launch a new classified reconnaissance spy satellite, the NROL-47, today, if not delayed again.
The launch of the NROL-47 spy-satellite comes only 5 days after the launch of the SpaceX/Zuma satellite and a third classified mission is scheduled for October.
If the NROL-47 launch isn't enough, Space agencies in China and India are also expected to launch rockets coming Thursday.
With India there are now 5 nations (US, Russia, China, Japan, and India) who have launched rockets with satellites; it seems that they are putting up a wall of satellites around the earth to monitor something.
Now let’s take a look at the logo from NROL-47 and you see that it depicts the symbol of the Knight Templars and the words “Mali Nunquam Praevalebunt” which means “Evil Will Never Prevail”
As you can see in the logo; A Knight Templar is swinging his sword, fighting against a dragon.
We can only imagine that they have chosen such a distinctive logo depicting the battle between good and evil if there really is a serious threat from space.
About the mysterious flash, boom and ground shaking event in Russia as well as all other similar events around the world, in her latest report, Linda Moulton Howe suggests that what we are dealing with here; is an alien presence on earth and a drop of the solar system and beyond.
Whatever the threatening danger from space could be, the Governments with the possible help of the aliens here on earth have a good reason to bring their secret satellites/weapons into space.
By showing the Knight Templar logo, they actually are telling us that they are ready to fight against the evil, whatever it may be.
Top Space Researcher Says The UFO That Chased US Jets May Be Aliens
Top Space Researcher Says The UFO That Chased US Jets May Be Aliens
A top scientist bared his thought recently about a video footage that made the rounds online showing a UFO apparently chasing US jet fighters. Dr Michio Kaku has said the mysterious object that the US military personnel reported could be a new type of super-fast aircraft. The US military personnel reported seeing a strange object that apparently chased some of their warplanes.
However, the well-known physicist also said that the UFO could be extraterrestrials.
Reports that the Pentagon has been running a multi-million-pound program dedicated to investigating UFOs for years has emerged recently.
A video has also been released depicting two US pilots checking on unusual aircraft in the Pacific Ocean approximately a hundred miles from San Diego. The UFO reportedly first made an appearance at 80,000 feet.
Strangely enough, it hurtled towards the sea before halting at around 20,000ft and then vanishing.
Dr Kaku, the world-renowned physicist, gave his thoughts on the reported encounter and Pentagon research.
He said that UFOs chasing the military jets might be experimental hypersonic drones, or perhaps aliens from outer space. He added that he keeps an open mind.
Both China and Russia are developing hypersonic aircraft with speed reportedly over five times the speed of sound.
China has been sending drones into space in recent years and experimenting with hypersonic technology.
There were reports that the People’s Liberation Army (PLS) has been developing ballistic missiles called hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV), which can strike anywhere in the US in less than an hour. They are capable of delivering nuclear payloads within a matter of minutes, which might leave defence systems useless.
Russia has claimed their 16,000mph hypersonic nuke missiles could be all set for operation in two years.
The US also has reportedly developing hypersonic weapons that can travel at five times the speed of sound and destroy targets with a kinetic energy warhead.
Meanwhile, former US Navy pilot commander David Fravor, who chased a UFO in 2004 in one of the two fighter jets, warned that leaders in the world should take the alien threat seriously.
Speaking about his encounter, Mr Fravor said that they saw the UFO on a bright day. He said that it had no windows and no form of propulsion. He described the UFO as a big white object.
He cut across to get closer to the UFO, but it accelerated in tremendous speed and disappeared. He said that it was gone in just a matter of a second.
Matt Beland was taking a break to smoke after working all day on January 1, 2018. Amazed at the view of the moon, he took photos of it, but he saw something that even made him more astonish. He decided to flipped the video on and began recording.
The video seems to show a bright unidentified flying object (UFO) either coming out or leaving the moon till it vanishes.
It is not revealed where the video was taken.
According to Matt, it was not the first time he saw the mysterious thing next to the moon as he has seen the same UFO several times before.
Mysterious Radio Blasts from a Distant Galaxy Draw Attention of Alien Hunters
Mysterious Radio Blasts from a Distant Galaxy Draw Attention of Alien Hunters
By Calla Cofield, Space.com Senior Writer
Repeating bursts of radio waves coming from a distant dwarf galaxy probably aren't signals from an extraterrestrial civilization, but that hasn't stopped a group of E.T. hunters from investigating this peculiar phenomenon.
In August, scientists with the $100 million Breakthrough Listen initiative began observing an object known as FRB 121102. The object is one of less than 40 known examples of a fast radio burst (FRB), an incredibly bright flash of radio waves. Scientists don't yet know what causes FRBs, which is why they took a particular interest in FRB 121102. While all other observed FRBs are single explosions of radio waves, this one was releasing bright flashes of light over and over again.
A new study, co-authored by scientists with Breakthrough Listen, reveals the conclusions of those August observations: nearly 100 percent of the light from FRB 121102 is polarized, meaning the orientation of the light waves are all in the same direction. Most radiating objects in the universe produce unpolarized light, so the uniformity of light from FRB 121102 could help scientists narrow down the type of object or environment that might be producing those flashes. (You can read our full story here.)
"As far as the FRB121102 goes, I don't think there is any slight possibility that [the pulses] are from an extraterrestrial intelligence," Vishal Gajjar, a scientist with Breakthrough Listen, said yesterday (Jan. 10) during a news conference at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C.
The primary reason for Gajjar's skepticism is that the object is in a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light-years away from Earth. A civilization trying to contact another civilization probably wouldn't bother to create such a powerful signal, simply because the time it would take to receive a reply would be prohibitively long. For example, the radio waves from FRB 121102 took 3 billion years to reach Earth — the civilization that sent the message might very well be dead and gone by the time it received a reply!
But Gajjar said Breakthrough Listen is also interested in investigating unexplainable phenomenon in the universe, even if those phenomena are naturally occurring.
One explanation for the polarized light coming from FRB 121102 could be the presence of a very strong magnetic field, according to a statement from the University of California, Berkeley, where the Breakthrough Listen laboratory is based. The only known place in the universe with such strong magnetic fields is in the vicinity of a massive black hole — such as the supermassive blackholes thought to lie at the centers of most galaxies — that has gas and dust falling into it, according to the statement. The authors of the paper hypothesize that the source of the radio waves could be another highly magnetized object, known as a magnetar, that lies near a massive black hole. A magnetar is a type of neutron star, an incredibly dense nugget of material about the size of a city, that forms when a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses.
If this is, in fact, the source of FRB 121102, Gajjar said that's another reason to suspect that the signal is natural, not artificial: An environment with such an extreme magnetic field wouldn't be very habitable because of the extreme conditions it would create, he told Space.com in an interview.
The polarization of light from FRB 121102 was also observed by a group of scientists using the William E. Gordon Telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Breakthrough Listen used the Greenbank Radio Telescope in West Virginia, coupled with a massive computing system that consists of 32 computing nodes, each taking in 1 gigabyte of data per second. In an hour, that adds up to the equivalent of 18,000 DVDs, Gajjar said at the news conference.
The huge computing backend allows the researchers to capture a wide range of radio frequencies simultaneously, providing a more complete picture of the irregular pulses coming from FRB 121102.
The Breakthrough researchers observed the FRB in some of the higher-frequency radio waves emitted by the FRB, where they found pulses of light that lasted for between 0.00003 and 0.009 seconds in duration. Those incredibly short pulses can be used to indicate the size of the object emitting them, and, according to the paper, the object could be as small as 10 kilometers across, or the typical size of a neutron star, according to the statement. The researchers say they plan to study the repeating FRB in even higher frequencies than what was reported in the paper, which could potentially help them narrow down the possible sources of the burst even further, according to the statement.
At the news conference, the paper's authors said there are many other hypotheses that could explain FRBs. It is unclear yet if the peculiar behavior of FRB 121102 is unusual among all FRBs or just among those that scientists have been able to observe, they said, but there are new radio telescopes coming online soon that will be able to scan for these events and help researchers learn more about them.
Recently, Breakthrough Listen scientists have also studied the space rock 'Oumuamua that scientists believe came from another solar system, and "Boyajian's Star," which has mystified astronomers with its strange flickering.
Editor's note: This article previously stated that the dwarf galaxy is 3 billion miles away from Earth; it is 3 billion light years away.
We believe Tom DeLonge, who quit blink-182 to prove aliens exist
We believe Tom DeLonge, who quit blink-182 to prove aliens exist
Proof that the truth is out there is more important than pop-punk.
Brendan Hoffman / Stringer
Very Intriguing Person
is a series about people who fascinate us, for better or worse.
To a certain degree, the rise, fall, and eventual redemption of blink-182 follows the textbook rock and roll narrative. A group of winsome young men (Mark Hoppus; Tom DeLonge; and some guy who was quickly kicked out in favor of the virtuosic Travis Barker), armed with catchy tunes and interesting haircuts, get plucked from the ranks of their scene by a major label, who elevates them to stardom beyond their comprehension. But creative differences yield interpersonal sleights which yield solo projects, and by the time they all get their shit together they’ve been replaced by younger bands. The cycle starts anew.
For bands willing to wait out the ensuing storm of unpopularity, a beautiful rainbow awaits, replete with a nostalgia-tinged gold. Reader, blink-182 had reached this promised land. By 2011, they were back together, playing stadiums. Their once-young fans had grown up, and most of them had money, and the ones who didn’t had become music writers. They made an album called Neighborhoods, which sold poorly because it was bad, but it didn’t matter because they could still play the hits; Twitter became a thing, and Mark Hoppus got pretty good at making dad jokes on it. All there was left to do now was make a kind-of okay album, and the circle would be complete.
But, like many a protagonist in a blink-182 song, that album never came. In January 2015, Hoppus and Barker issued a press release announcing that DeLonge would no longer be playing with the band and had been effectively replaced by Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio. Given that the group only had three members to begin with, and that DeLonge was the one who played guitar, this was a pretty big deal. Together, he and Hoppus produced anthems full of starry-eyed, emotive juvenalia while managing to be as dumb as humanly possible — they were half Lennon-McCartney, half David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap. Without DeLonge, they were blink-182 only in name. But, as Hoppus explained to Rolling Stone, DeLonge had spent years pushing back blink-related projects to concentrate on “other, non-musical stuff” and that he, Barker, and Skiba would carry on in his absence.
So what, exactly, was this other, non-musical stuff?
Tom DeLonge had decided to go look for aliens.
This year, NASA will be launching a satellite called TESS, whose job it will be to map out all the stars we can see, so that we can identify planets that aren’t too far from their sun to be really cold, but not so close that they’d be too hot. (This ideal space is called the “Goldilocks Zone.”) From there, a high-powered space telescope will hone in on those planets and analyze their wavelengths, looking for these biosignature gases. By the calculations of Sara Seager, the MIT astronomer who conceptualized the project, that this process, once complete, will provide us with exactly one life-bearing planet besides our own.
Tom DeLonge, however, thinks the aliens are already here. During his music-making prime, DeLonge had long been fascinated by conspiracy theories. He referenced the alleged 50s-era alien hunters Majestic 12 on Enema of the State’s “Aliens Exist”; the sole album by his Box Car Racer side project was peppered with angsty lyrics about how frustrated he was with the lack of government disclosure about various secrets; in 2001 he got married on Coronado, an island near San Diego that was once the site of an alleged alien abduction. (From here on out, just mentally insert the word “alleged” whenever you see something that seems dubious, because shit’s about to get alleged as hell.)
But around the time of his split with blink, he went full tinfoil. He began giving conspiracy-laden interviews to incredulous outlets, who gleefully racked up clicks by playing up the incongruity of the blink-182 guy talking about aliens. He became a curious footnote in last year’s presidential election when a Wikileaks dump of Hillary Clinton’s emails revealed he’d been communicating with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta about aliens, which in part led to him being named “UFO Researcher of the Year” by OpenMinds.tv.
Last October, he made an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, in which the disconcertingly aggro stand-up goaded DeLonge into dropping basically every fringe belief he had. He claimed, among other things, that the first “unidentified flying objects” in American history were created by ex-Nazis living in Argentina using alien technology; that the Cold War never erupted into violence because we were worried about an impending alien invasion; that he’d spoken with a reliable government source who has seen a dead alien body; that he was once interrogated by the Men in Black for two days straight; that the ancient gods were actually aliens, and also humans are descended from aliens, and also, by the way, there are aliens on Earth as we speak.
When Rogan pressed DeLonge on why anyone should believe literally anything he was talking about, DeLonge claimed that he had shadowy deep-state sources revealing all of this to him, and that they’d entrusted him and his company, To the Stars, with slowly revealing the truth to the American public. And when Rogan pressed him about why anyone should believe that, he would say, simply, “You don’t know what I know.”
Given all of this, it’s perfectly understandable why the general public might think DeLonge was completely off his rocker. But even ufologists — the community of amateur researchers and conspiracy theorists devoted to turning up every shred of evidence to be found about the existence of aliens, who, it goes without saying, are highly prone to paranoia and infighting — havemixed feelings about DeLonge. Some think it’s cool that he’s a high-profile guy using his platform to talk about this stuff; others think he’s a huckster playing up his connections in an attempt to make money; others still think he’s a government stooge spreading misinformation.
blink-182 in happier days.
Since DeLonge is the most famous person who will invariably talk about aliens if you put a microphone in front of his face, he has quickly become the public face of ufology. This has made him a frequent punching bag for the ur-nerds of the r/aliens subreddit, who mocked his seemingly dubious connections to the Deep State, as well as his habit of making grand pronouncements of impending government disclosure that never seemed to come true. That was, at least until December 16, when The New York Times dropped a report, revealing that the government, at the behest of former Senators Harry Reid, Daniel Inouye, and Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens, had been siphoning off millions of dollars per year to research UFOs. Not only did DeLonge seem to have correctly called that a disclosure was coming, the Times revealed that Luis Elizondo, the government’s former point man when it came to UFOs, had left his work with the government and joined DeLonge’s company To the Stars.
“It’s something amazing. Historic,” wrote a poster on a DeLonge-bashing r/aliens thread whose tone, after the news broke, had suddenly reversed its course. “I thought he was full of shit, but the NYT article actually mentions To the Stars,” added another. “Something really did come. Maybe Tom isn’t crazy after all,” wrote a third person, summing up the collective shock at the news.
Despite how hard the square world had been clowning him, it seems that DeLonge had indeed managed to attract some extremely serious people to his company. One of his co-founders is a former senior intelligence officer at the CIA; the other is a theoretical physicist who has consulted with NASA and was once enlisted by the CIA to research the insane phenomena of “remote viewing.” Meanwhile, pretty much everyone else affiliated with the company is either a former high-level government official, an acclaimed scientist, or both. The company’s business model seems to function something like this: DeLonge co-authors books, including the well-regarded Poet Anderson young adult science fiction series, whose proceeds help fund the research by everybody else, and the whole shebang is meant to help our feeble sheeple brains cope with the massive paradigm shifts that will occur once the aliens show up. (To the Stars is also a public company; after listening to his interview with Joe Rogan I decided to buy some shares because DeLonge mentioned they were really cheap. What he didn’t say was that though shares cost $5 each, the minimum investment is $200, so I didn’t end up pulling the trigger.)
George Knapp, a Las Vegas-based journalist who has the distinction of both winning a Peabody and occasionally hosting the very fun late-night conspiracy kookfest that is the Coast to Coast AM radio show, put all of this into context while speaking to Coast to Coast’s regular host George Noory. “A lot of people, Tom [DeLonge] drives them crazy… but the fact is he put this thing together,” he said. Knapp, who explained that he’d had multiple off-record conversations with the now-retired Reid about the program during his time in office and that he’d recently eaten dinner with Elizondo, continued (quote has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity):
“Elizondo had been collecting UFO information for ten years. And for the last year, he’s been making preparations. He’s been declassifying videos that have been acquired of military encounters with UFOs, putting them in places where they could be leaked out without getting him in trouble, because he had a place to go with Tom DeLonge. That’s what really kicked off all these revelations that have come out. Elizondo worked directly for James Mattis — he loved the guy — [but] he wrote a letter to him when he resigned saying, “Look, this UFO issue is really important. We’re not putting enough resources into it. That’s why I’m leaving to go work for Tom DeLonge. Whether Tom’s endeavor will work or not, we’re going to have to wait and see, but man, he’s really delivered I think.”
VERY INTRIGUING PERSON
I don’t think it did me much harm, and people will see that soon.
Even if DeLonge is exaggerating or even bullshitting in his public statements, the fact that he played a substantial role in the disclosure of the government’s UFO hunting program is a redemption far greater than anything his ex-bandmates have found. Reforming your non-cool band once it’s been once again deemed cool is, more than anything, reacting to the whims of the market, and shifting notions of taste. Deciding that you’d rather forego that sweet, sweet festival money to go off and do your own thing is a different kind of admirable. And when we consider that DeLonge’s version of doing his own thing was to go look for aliens with a bunch of ex-spies, then it’s impossible to be anything less than weirdly impressed.
Today, our behavior and speech are constantly monitored by our peers and measured against those around us. Some of this is positive, of course — one of the ideals of free speech is not using yours in ways that might limit someone else’s — but it can also have a chilling effect on our capacity for disagreement. By giving us what we want all the time, the internet tends to sort us into buckets based on the things we like, surrounded by people who think like we do, and when people get thrown into an unfamiliar bucket and say their typical spiel, everybody else around them ends up mocking them or attacking them.
It’s likely that, no matter how vindicated DeLonge might be to some by this recent New York Times report, people will always view him as a bit of a nutjob. After all, he is the guy who quit blink-182 to find aliens. Still, there’s something brave about the fact that DeLonge chooses to keep at it anyway, and no matter who will acknowledge it, it seems like he genuinely might be onto something, even if he’s also off about a lot of other things. But if we’re at a point, culturally, where we’re going to take the possibility of aliens existing a bit more seriously, and we’re already taking blink-182 more seriously, then we might just have to start taking Tom DeLonge a bit more seriously, too.
The first renowned sighting of a UFO occurred back in 1947, and it was reported by a man named Kenneth Arnold. He laid claim that while he was flying his airplane around Mount Rainier in Washington, he noticed not one, but nine objects flying at incredibly high speeds — upwards of a few thousand miles per hour. It was Arnold’s description of the objects moving “like saucers skipping on the water” that the term flying saucer was coined.
As sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena or UFOs continued to roll in, the Air Force felt it needed to be privy to the action, launching its own investigation known as Project Sign in 1948. Investigations have continued into the 21st century, including the Pentagon’s recently revealed $22 million investigation, known as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.
Nevertheless, for those who haven’t witnessed a UFO, the phenomenon seems questionable at the very least. So if you’re eager to get a glimpse with your own two eyes, here’s where you should go for the best chance to see a UFO.
15. Albuquerque, New Mexico
The skies over Albuquerque, New Mexico get a lot of UFO action. | iStock.com/alex grichenko
There have been 376 reported UFO sightings in Albuquerque alone. Ranging anywhere from a split second to nearly one hour in length, the sightings vary in color, shape, and size. A report in April 2017 claimed to see an object hovering in the sky with a rounded bottom and funneled top with lights beaming from all directions.
Next: The Midwest is no stranger to UFOs.
14. Springfield, Missouri
UFOs love this small, midwestern city. | City of Springfield, Missouri
Numerous UFO sightings have occurred in Springfield — 380 to be exact. And according to the reports, some onlookers’ experiences lasted well over an entire hour. Reporters claimed they witnessed an entire spectrum of colors coming from multi-dimensional, low-flying objects.
Next: Theme parks, Disney, and alien activity
13. Orlando, Florida
UFOs made for an interesting New Year’s 2018 in Orlando. | iStock/Getty Images
As recently as January 1, 2018, reports came in of UFO activity in Orlando. According to one individual, what began as one very large spotlight quickly turned into numerous spotlights in a semi-circle formation. The sighting lasted over an hour and a half and was witnessed by numerous individuals.
Next: The Big Apple has seen its fair share of UFOs.
12. New York City
Maybe Times Square reminds aliens of home? | AndreyKrav/iStock/Getty Images
UFOs are doing their part to keep Austin weird. | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images
There are 426 UFO sightings on record for Austin, Texas. In January 2017, reports came flying in about orange, fireball-like orbs flying around in the sky. According to the news report, three lights in a triangle formation split apart moving at impressive speeds. Photos were captured and numerous reports came in from all over Texas and even Louisiana and each report describing the same phenomenon.
Next: It’s not the Rocky Mountain high that has everyone seeing visions of UFOs.
10. Denver, Colorado
UFOs seem drawn to the Mile High City. | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Reports of UFOs out of Denver and the surrounding area are strong, totaling out at 429. From mere seconds to multiple hours, the reports claim sightings of spherical, oval, rectangular, triangular and even disc-like shapes emitting lights reminiscent of the colors from the entire spectrum.
Next:Could it be another Lone Star state space invasion?
9. Houston, Texas
Houston residents know to watch the skies. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images
Awe and bewilderment struck many Houston residents regarding what still seems to be an unexplainable aerial phenomenon. A police officer claimed to see a bright orange orb of light that he believes was a UFO. This makes one of the 466 reports of UFOs in the Houston area.
Next: Morning surf session and evening UFO sightings
8. San Diego
Military pilots have seen some weird things above San Diego.| iStock/Getty Images
It was off the coast of San Diego where Navy pilots witnessed what appeared to be a “whole fleet” of disc-shaped UFOs. The experience occurred in 2004 and was investigated by the Pentagon’s Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. As it currently stands, there have 477 UFO reports out of San Diego.
Next: The desert seems to be the ideal sightings
7. Tucson, Arizona
Tucson apparently gets the attention of little green men. | iStock/Getty Images
“Halting lights that stare back” and an “impossible eclipse of the crescent moon” are just two of the bizarre reports that have come out of Tucson regarding UFO sightings. And with close to 500 sightings on record, it’s no surprise that onlookers have experienced some otherworldly scenes. One resident driving home in May of 2017 claimed to have seen a light brighter than the moon in the eastern sky. With the experience came a “very mild sense of vertigo and nausea.”
Next: UFOs have been spotted by millions in this West Coast metropolis
6. Los Angeles
Have UFOs mistaken the control tower at LAX airport as one of their own? | jupiterimages/iStock/Getty Images
A plethora of UFO sightings have come out of Los Angeles, and they certainly don’t seem to be slowing down. While the city of Los Angeles has just over 500 documented reports, the state as a whole has over 12,000 reports on record. In fact, millions in the Los Angeles region once watched a “massive blue UFO” fly overhead.
Next: 1950s flying saucers and whole lotta man buns
5. Portland, Oregon
Portland has been a hotbed of UFO activity for nearly 70 years. | iStock/Getty Images
The Trent UFO photos from 1950 solidified Oregon as a hotspot for UFO activity. And quite frankly, the photos are pretty legitimate, considering kids weren’t flying drones around back in 1950. Ever since then, Oregon has continued to see its fair share of UFO activity. Portland, in particular, has 528 sightings on record. Meaning your chances of spotting a flying saucer are reasonably high.
Next: Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Chicago gets more than its fair share of UFO sightings. | Ibsky/iStock/Getty Images
While many UFO reports are considered a little bonkers, some folks can recall the 2006 Chicago O’Hare Airport UFO sighting. The “flying saucer-like” object was witnessed by seasoned airline professionals who believe what they saw was unmistakeably a UFO. One United Airlines manager told the Tribune, “I stood outside in the gate area not knowing what to think, just trying to figure out what it was.” This makes one of 562 reports for Chicago.
Next: Space needles or space aliens?
Seattle has its share of alleged UFO sightings. | aiisha5/iStock/Getty Images
Perhaps you recall the Kenneth Arnold UFO report mentioned earlier. That took place just over an hour from Seattle. While it marked the beginning of the UFO sightings in the region, it certainly was not the last. In fact, the city has reported well over 600 sightings since.
Next: Viva Las Vegas (and Area 51)
2. Las Vegas
It makes sense that aliens would love a place like Vegas. | Sky_Sajjaphot/iStock/Getty Images
There isn’t much surprise in finding Las Vegas at the number two spot for UFO sightings. After all, Area 51 is less than two hours away from Sin City. However, when it comes to Vegas proper, the city has had 649 documented UFO reports. One YouTube video posted by an individual in Las Vegas depicts four yellow-orange, moon-like orbs hovering in the night sky. The orbs started vividly flashing before immediately disappearing into the thin air. Later in the evening, the orbs reappeared, baffling the heck out of viewers.
Next: The cream of the crop is right here
1. Phoenix, Arizona
Spend enough time in Phoenix and you’ll see some interesting things in the sky. | Dreamframer/iStock/Getty Images
Topping the charts with just shy of 1,000 reported UFO sightings, Phoenix, Arizona, seems to be on fire with activity. And with mysterious light formations regularly appearing in the sky, the chatter of UFO activity doesn’t seem to quiet for long. If you’re on the hunt, this may be your prime spot for spotting a UFO.
On Dec 16, 2017, The New York Times broke the story that the Pentagon had a program for studying UFOs, and that they have evidence. Many people in the UFO community danced with joy that this was “Disclosure.”
I think disclosure is still too strong a term to describe the revelations. I like Nevada television newsman George Knapp’s term: “Confirmation!”It was simply a confirmation of what disclosure lobbyists, activists and I have been writing about for several years: There were unacknowledged special access units in the Pentagon studying the threat potential of UFOs. For our efforts, we were simply laughed at and labeled conspiracy theorists.
In reaction to the New York Times’ news stories, the mainstream media took notice in a massive way. Political types ranted that the government spent $22 million on something as “silly as UFOs.” The elite skeptics lined up on talk shows and news programs to assure everyone that there is no such thing as ETs, and even if there were, they live a gazillion miles from here and can’t get here from where they are, provided they exist at all.
So what’s next? Well, a recent New York Post article stated that the New York Times article lacked solid proof. Sure, we got fuzzy video from fighter jets and former Pentagon officials telling us that UFOs are real. Yes, we did get an admission from the Pentagon that an unacknowledged special access unit did study them for five years but aren’t any more.
If you listened carefully to the cockpit audio, the pilots indicate that there wasn’t only one of them but a FLEET of them. Why didn’t the mainstream news organizations jump on that statement?
Many skeptics moaned that an advanced aircraft could come from any number of countries on Earth and that’s probably what it was. I can buy that statement if there was one of them. But a FLEET of them? A fleet says to me that it’s a clear and present danger: Sit up and take notice!
The other upsetting thing was that the New York Times article pointed out that the Department of Defense, via subcontractor Bigelow Aerospace, have pieces of a UFO: in essence, the long-demanded evidence. These are supposedly compounds that are fragments of a UFO and they can’t be analyzed. Again, the mainstream media focused on little green men and where they are from.
Scientific American’s Dec. 22 article “The Truth About Those ‘Alien Alloys’ in The New York Times UFO Story” skeptically and arrogantly pronounced that anything can be analyzed! Here is an author-scientist who is not even open to the possibility that these compounds are beyond current scientific understanding.
The mainstream media needs to really dig into this story. They need to really apply the pressure to the CIA and DOD. After all, taxpayers have been funding all their under-the-table research in some form or another for 70 years. The American people deserve to get our money’s worth and learn the damned truth.
If these alloys are supposed to be from exotic vehicles, earth-based or off-world, why isn’t the National Academy of Sciences being involved to engage the best and brightest in chemistry and metallurgy to help in the analysis effort? For years they’ve told the UFO community, “You’ve got no evidence!” So now potentially there is evidence.
Mainstream media, use your clout and demand that the evidence be brought into the light, and let the truth be known.[snt]
If you have a UFO sighting to report, use one of the two national database services: NUFORC.org or MUFON.com. Both services respect confidentiality.
Cheryl’s future speaking engagements include:
Feb. 8, 7 p.m.: Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St, Liverpool, N.Y.
Feb. 14-18: International UFO Congress, 10438 N. Fort McDowell Road, Scottsdale, Ariz. ufocongress.com.
We’ve known for some time that huge deposits of water ice reside beneath the surface of Mars, but we didn’t know much about its properties. Currently available methods of peering below the planet’s surface can’t access the depths where the water ice is present. Landers can dig down a few centimeters, and radar equipment can offer a look at what’s tens of meters beneath, but we needed to see between those two areas. We needed to find exposed water ice.
Now, a team led by geologist Colin Dundas has done just that. Using the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, they’ve pinpointed eight locationswhere large quantities of sub-surface ice have been exposed by erosion, leaving it accessible for further study.
Erosion has caused steep, pole-facing slopes to form at these locations, exposing water ice starting at depths of as little as 1 to 2 meters (3.2 to 6.5 feet) and extending up to 100 meters (328 feet) or more. The sites that have been spotted don’t feature many craters, so the researchers believe the exposed water ice formed relatively recently.
According to Dundas and his team, the steep angles and fractures observed suggest that the ice is cohesive and strong. It’s comprised of different bands and covers, which might indicate that it’s made up of layers from snowfall that took place at various times. As a result, studying the exposed water ice could reveal how the climate of Mars has changed.
The images of the sites, which were captured over the course of three Martian years(almost six Earth years), demonstrate that huge chunks of rock fell from the ice as erosion took place. As a result, the team behind the study estimates that the ice is receding at a rate of a couple of millimeters (~.07 inches) each summer.
The discovery of this much exposed water ice opens up various possibilities for future research projects. It could also be a very useful resource for any future crewed missions to the Red Planet.
Researchers believe the exposed water ice is relatively pure and likely more extensive than what we can actually see with the HiRISE camera. Unfortunately, the eight sites identified by the researchers are all within Mars’ upper mid-latitudes, which can endure extremely low temperatures. Any manned mission is unlikely to target these areas.
Still, researchers plan to look for similar ice deposits in regions where humans may one day visit. They’re likely to be much further underground, but the European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover can drill down as far as 2 meters (6.5 feet), while NASA’s Mars 2020 rover possesses an advanced ground-penetrating radar. The hunt for usable water on Mars is far from over.
It seems that in 2017 there has been a leap in quality in the objects sighted
Reported sightings included flying saucers, spheres, squadrons and luminous UFOs of various colours.
Observers described the objects as stationary, travelling very fast at low or high altitudes, small and huge.
Mr Carannante said those who reported sightings were “the most varied people and many foreigners".
He said: “It seems that in 2017 there has been a leap in quality in the objects sighted, given the unusual clarity of some unidentified flying objects, filmed or photographed, that had been absent for years and seem to be back.
Cufom officials said 2017 was a record year for sightings
“This was demonstrated by the UFOs sighted in Lavagna, Arco Felice near Naples and the clamorous sighting at Civitavecchia seen about 50 metres above sea level.
“The ships flew in group, giving rise to spectacular phenomenon as happened throughout Italy in the summer 2017, like the concert of Ennio Morricone.
“There were also real chases between UFOs and military fighter planes, as happened in Cosenza, photographed and witnessed by many people.”
Cufom praised the quality of photo and video evidence provided by UFO-spotters
Italy’s first reported UFO sighting of 2017 came exactly a year ago when an unusual bright green spherical object, which changed shape and colour over a four minute period, was caught on camera in Salento.
Mr Carannante said the Salento incident was followed by many other sightings documented by photos and films from Savona, Paestum, Brescia, Trieste, Cabella Ligure, Latina, Florence, Naples, Pomezia , Casalnuovo di Napoli, San Benedetto del Tronto, Vico Equense, Caserta, Ascoli Piceno, Guglionesi, Cassino, Vicenza.
Des ufologues et autres experts italiens ont révélé qu’il y avait eu un record d’observations d’OVNI au cours de l’année 2017. Ils ont rassemblé ces troublantes conclusions dans un nouveau rapport.
An image from the Cufom 2017 dossier
Angelo Carannante, président du CUFOM (« Centro ufologico mediterraneo »), a publié ce document extraordinaire, accompagné d’une multitude d’images et rassemblant des cas survenus un peu partout en Italie, surtout au-dessus de la région de Ligurie.
M. Carannante a déclaré que beaucoup d’observations étaient accompagnées de photos et de vidéos soigneusement étudiées et examinées par des spécialistes du Cufom.
Il a dit que les rapports d’OVNIS de tout le pays étaient étayés « par des images surprenantes et suffisamment éloquentes ».
Les observations rapportées incluent des soucoupes volantes, des objets de forme sphérique, des escadrons ainsi que des OVNI lumineux de diverses couleurs.
Les témoins ont décrit avoir vu des objets immobiles ou se déplaçant à grande vitesse, volant à basse ou haute altitude, et de taille petite ou bien gigantesque.
M. Carannante a expliqué que ceux qui avaient rapporté ces observations étaient « de personnes très diverses et de nombreux touristes ».
« Il semble qu’en 2017 il y ait eu une augmentation dans la qualité des observations d’objets volants non identifiés. Les objets filmés et photographiés étaient d’une clarté inhabituelle. Ce genre d’images n’avaient plus été vues depuis des années. »
« Cela a été démontré par les OVNI aperçus à Lavagna, ou à Arco Felice près de Naples ou encore l’observation retentissante qui s’est produite à Civitavecchia à environ 50 mètres d’altitude. »
« Les OVNI volaient en groupe, donnant lieu à un phénomène spectaculaire comme ce fut le cas en Italie au cours de l’été 2017. »
« Il y a également eu de véritables courses poursuites entre des OVNI et des avions de combat militaires, comme ce qui est arrivé à Cosenza, et qui a été photographié et vu par beaucoup de gens. »
La première observation d’OVNI en Italie en 2017 est survenue le 11 janvier quand un objet vert vif de forme sphérique a été filmé dans le Salento. Il changeait de forme et de couleur et a été observé pendant quatre minutes.
M. Carannante a déclaré que l’incident du Salento a été suivi de nombreuses autres observations documentées par des photos et des films à Savone, Paestum, Brescia, Trieste, Cabella Ligure, Latina, Florence, Naples, Pomezia, Casalnuovo di Napoli, San Benedetto del Tronto, Vico Equense, Caserte, Ascoli Piceno, Guglionesi, Cassino, et Vicenza.
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EGG-SHAPED OBJECT PHOTOGRAPHED OVER ARKANSAS
EGG-SHAPED OBJECT PHOTOGRAPHED OVER ARKANSAS
Cropped witness image #2
by Roger Marsh
An Arkansas witness at Summers reported watching and photographing an egg-shaped object slowing crossing the sky, according to testimony in UFO Case 82288 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.
The witness was in his yard observing Venus and checking to see if Orion was visible at 6:15 p.m. on February 23, 2017.
“I then noticed a white object to my left above a tree,” the witness stated. “It didn't look like anything I've seen before and was moving slowly compared to a commercial airline, but faster than a weather balloon or a blimp.”
The witness did not recognize the object.
Witness illustration. (Credit: MUFON)
“It was moving north, then northeast. Just looked different than anything I had seen. Just had me wondering. I looked over at my chickens to see if they all got in their coop. Then looked up. It was gone.”
The case was investigated by Arkansas Field Investigator Raymond Reed and Assistant State Director Lynn Travis McCullough and closed as an Unknown.
“The object was bright white, egg-shaped and the size was as large as an aspirin tablet held at arm’s length,” Reed and McCullough stated in their report. “Being seen in a mostly clear sky with nothing behind it makes it size difficult to estimate, but it was plainly visible. Professional analysis of the photographs may make it more identifiable, but first analysis looks like nothing he had ever seen before. The object was silent throughout the sighting. The object being airborne at a considerable altitude and distance, there was little or no possibility of physical evidence. The photographs are definitely a plus in this case. No other reports of this object are known to exist. The object was definitely unidentified. Whether it will be the first of a series or the last of the type viewed is yet to be determined. We must file it and look to the sky for the next one.”
The case was filed with MUFON on February 23, 2017. The witness provided two images and one illustration. The above quotes were edited for clarity. Please remember that most UFO reports are determined to be something natural or man-made.
If you’ve ever found yourself under a bright starry sky on a clear night, you probably noticed the splendor that is space. For millennia, man has cast his gaze towards the heavens and wondered what’s out there. For some, that quote serves as both the question and justification for continuing to cast our gaze deeper and deeper into space.
Some people don’t even bother. For them, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘who cares?’. So why bother with exploring space? There is a myriad of reasons but it would take too long to go through all of them, so we’ve broken them down into five reasons: we learn, we push, we discover, we benefit, we evolve.
Mankind has demonstrated time and again an insatiable curiosity and the need to satisfy that curiosity. Explorers have always sailed the wide ocean in the search for new lands. Sir Edmond Hillary scaled Mt. Everest. Magellan circumnavigated the globe in a ship. Yuri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong first pushed the limits of humans into space.
Humans push the limits of what we can do — it’s in our very nature. If you think about it, children push their own limits every single day. They learn new things and expand their horizon. Space exploration is, in a way, turning back to that childhood curiosity. Every day, we learn new things about the universe around us. However, humans have no idea what our limits are in space, so we keep pushing, and we keep learning.
With every boundary, we learn new things: how humans deal with extended time in space, the physical composition of the moon, how to fix a toilet in zero gravity, how to grow food in space, the location of black holes, recycling water and oxygen in space and (finally) how to break free of our gravitational limits and move forward.
With the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, humans took a quantum leap into the exploration of space that rivaled Galileo when he probed the skies in the late 1500s. The images the Hubble telescope have allowed us to peer deeper into space than anyone could have ever imagined (seriously, check those images out).
Pointed at a supposedly blank portion of the sky, about the size of a pinprick, seemingly bereft of anything interesting, Hubble gave us images that changed our understanding of the universe. Tens of thousands of galaxies, many like our own, each with trillions of stars and at least as many planets. Now multiply that by the number of “pinpricks” in the night sky and you now have some idea of just how vast the cosmos truly is.
It’s not just about space, either: the International Space Station carries out numerous experiments, from biology to hard physics. Credit: NASA.
Eventually, humans will figure a way into space and utilize the infinite resources it promises. The development of space will make fortunes for those brave (and lucky) enough to take the plunge. These new-found resources will certainly be the source of significant benefits for those of us who remain firmly planted on terra firma.
It will also signify that man has evolved enough to perhaps establish a permanent extra-terrestrial habitat. A century ago, WWI was winding down. Cars, indoor plumbing, electricity, and refrigeration were luxuries (or non-existent). Now, we have airplanes, smartphones, space travel, and computers.
Continuing that progression, the idea of colonizing the moon, Mars or moons of the gas giants shouldn’t be that far-fetched. It’s the natural progression/evolution of our species.
Five reasons to explore space? We learn, we push, we discover, we benefit and we evolve. That’s why.
Mars seems to be hiding a hoard of pristine frozen water just below the surface, a new paper reports.
Thick bands of ice (blue) spotted in Martian cliff faces. Image credits NASA / JPL / USG / University of Arizona.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been beaming back high-resolution images of the planet for over a decade now, and for most of the time, nothing too special pops up. However, a few years ago Colin Dundas, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona, spotted something hidden below Mars’ rusty, dusty exterior — a pale line of blue.
Dundas subsequently found the same structures at seven other sites on Mars. These formations, wedged in the flanks of tall, steep cliffs, appear to be nearly pure ice — water-ice, that is.
In a new paper, researchers argue these findings suggest there are vast stores of underground ice tantalizingly close to the surface, even at low martial latitudes (i.e. closer to the equator). Such reserves could help researchers tease out the planet’s history, and dramatically improve the feasibility of any potential colonies on Mars.
Rust and ice
“This kind of ice is more widespread than previously thought,” says Dundas, paper co-author.
We’ve found ice on Mars before. There’s a thick cover of it on the planet’s poles (which Elon Musk thinks we should nuke) and MRO’s radar suite has picked up signatures of buried ice across Mars. Some have argued that those deposits are the remains of ancient glaciers, a by-gone of an age when the planet had a very different climate. However, based on MRO’s radar data, we can’t tell how deep these icy formations are, and whether they’re made up of solid chunks or tiny drops frozen in the soil’s pores.
MRO brought us even more evidence of ice on Mars in the past: pools of (what appears to be) pure ice, puddled on the floors of fresh meteorite craters. Still, there was no way of ascertaining if such pools were connected to underground glaciers or isolated patches of fluid.
Mars, with some of its polar ice visible. Image credits NASA / JPL.
The structures described in this new paper could plug those holes in our understanding. Each of the cliff-faces identified in the study, standing at roughly 100 meters (32.8 feet) tall, seem to the naked face of a glacier, the team reports. MRO could thus observe the glaciers in cross-section (like seeing the layers in a slice of cake), and the team revisited all the sites to see how they changed over time.
The most significant find is that the ice persists through the Martian summer. This is significant because it points to solid, massive structures — a light frosting would have simply vaporized. Further evidence in support of this is that last year the orbiter caught several boulders tumbling out of the cliff faces, suggesting they were being slowly eroded from a large deposit at surface level.
All of this strongly suggests that the surface-level ice and the large subsurface deposits are connected, the authors say.
“This deep, thick, pure ice extends almost all the way up to the surface” says co-author Ali Bramson.
Such structures promise to yield a layered record of past martian climates, similarly to how polar ice caps do on Earth. Alternatively, they would be a prime resource for colonists.
Banding in the glaciers suggests that the slabs are stacked — meaning they formed over many seasons as layers of snow got compressed into ice in different climate cycles. Winds then carried grit over each layer, sealing them apart, and creating the banding. It’s a similar process to how ice caps and glaciers form on Earth, and so the team believes that drilling a core into one of these deposits and bringing it back for analysis would offer geologists a treasure trove of information about the Martian climate.
The glaciers are also a boon for colonists. Water is crucial for astronauts because it can be mixed with CO2 (the most common gas in Mars’ atmosphere) to create breathable oxygen and methane to be used in rockets. But any deposits would only really be any good if they’re no more than a few meters below the surface — that’s why the ice-cliffs are so exciting.
The cliffs are found at about 55° north or south, however, which grow frigid and dark in the Martian winter. These aren’t very good areas for a solar-powered human base, so NASA study was limited to sites to within 50° of the equator. Following these new findings, however, NASA wants to extend its exploration program closer to the Martian tropics.
The paper “Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes” has been publishedin the journal Science.
Mysterious radio signals originating from a body some 3 billion light-years away carry hints of an environment capable of producing extremely powerful magnetic fields — such as an undiscovered supermassive black hole or the remains of a supernova.
The Arecibo Observatory. Image credits NASA Blueshift / Flickr.
First discovered in 2007, fast radio bursts still continue to puzzle astronomers. These signals are aptly named, lasting up to a few milliseconds at best. Incredibly short-lived — but extremely energetic as well — during their fleeing lifetimes, these signals burn with a vengeance on instruments that can pick them up.
Such levels of energy betray the signals’ source as a very powerful body or event — however, it’s not a source that we have yet determined. Mostly, it comes down to their unpredictable nature, which has thrown a bag full of wrenches into attempts to properly understand these events. Here is where FRB 121102, sitting about 3 billion light-years away in a dwarf galaxy, comes into the picture.
Bursts for days
What’s so special about this body is that it fires such radio bursts repeatedly. Because it emits fast radio bursts in clusters, it’s possible to train more instruments on the source and gather data in real time. Sensing that answers lurk close, a team of astronomers decided to study the signals beamed from FRB 121102 and get to the bottom of things — but their results have merely deepened the mystery.
According to their observations, the signals from FRB 121102 appear to be “twisted” in a way indicative of an extreme stellar environment, the team reports, one that can spawn an extremely powerful magnetic field.
The researchers used the Arecibo (radio) Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to look at FRB as it was emitting a burst. The plan was to measure the signal’s polarization (geometric orientation), a quality that can be influenced by local phenomena. Polarization was seen before in other fast radio bursts, but the values the team picked up were totally off the scale — some 500 times greater extreme than any other recorded burst.
The findings muddy our understanding of FRB 121102 even more. The working hypothesis up to now was that the source was a kind of neutron star: either a pulsar (which spins very fast) or a magnetar (which spins but also has an extra strong magnetic field). Because it’s found in a star-forming region of its host galaxy, it was believed that FRB 121102 was somehow linked to stellar birth or death. The new data, however, points to several new explanations.
“We’ve seen this effect in other fast radio burst sources before, but in this case the effect is 500 times larger than what we’ve seen at other sources,” said senior author Jason Hessels. “That was quite surprising.”
FRB 121102 may be a pulsar in close proximity to a growing supermassive black hole, the team reports. Plasma spinning around the black hole could lense and twist the light from FRB 121102 — but we have no way of explaining why a giant black hole would form in a dwarf galaxy — although, to be fair, we’ve seen supermassive black holes doing all kinds of strange things. Another possibility is that FRB 121102 is cloaked within a dense nebula, whose that affects the signal on its way to us. However, this hypothesis fails to explain how the signal remains as bright as what we’re picking up.
It’s also been suggested that the source is some kind of pulsar, however, that doesn’t fit with the incoming burst pattern. FRB 121102 doesn’t emit at regular intervals, as one would expect from a spinning neutron star and their highly regular periods, but in clusters of signals.
Whatever the case may be, we’re currently baffled by what we’re seeing. The team will continue to study FRB 121102 and fast radio bursts in general, but so far, only a few dozen individual sources have been found. Researchers, however, estimate that as many as 10,000 fast radio bursts flash across the night sky every single day — it’s just a matter of catching them.
The paper “An extreme magneto-ionic environment associated with the fast radio burst source FRB 121102” has been published in the journal Nature.
An international team of astrophysicists has traced the origin of the only known repeating fast radio burst, according to a study published this week in Nature. The phenomenon, characterized by intense millisecond-long blasts of radio energy, is among the most mysterious in astrophysics and has led even relatively serious people to start thinking in terms of aliens.
An analysis of 16 bursts detected with the William E Gordon Telescope at the Arecibo Observatory suggests that their origin is likely to be within a dwarf galaxy hosting a supermassive black hole (10 to 100 million times the size of our Sun) and a neutron star (a form of dead star) in its orbit. The key feature of such a neutron star would be its very high magnetic field, a sort of highly-energized cosmic afterlife. Such a field would serve to supply the massive amounts of energy packed into a fast-radio burst viewable here on earth.
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are not uncommon. We see them all over the sky all the time. A FRB is simply a pulse of radio energy that lasts for just a few milliseconds, but what makes them especially weird and vexing is that they usually don't repeat. It's not like looking at, say, a pulsar, which emits radiation at regular, dependable intervals. If a pulsar is a lighthouse, then an FRB is a signal flare, albeit one that doesn't flare for long enough to reveal its source or much of anything.
What the researchers behind the current paper are after is the exception to this: a repeating FRB. The only one. While these signal flares are exploding in random places in the sky all the time, there's just this one out there that happens in the same place again and again. FRB 121102 is special: a mystery within an already mysterious phenomenon.
What gives the source conditions of FRB 121102 away is the bursts' polarization. Polarization is a kinda hard to think about property of light. Basically, imagine a wave moving in one direction, but that's also been rotated around an axis that's perpendicular to that direction of travel. Twisted light. In fact, the degree of twisting seen is here is among the most extreme ever seen from an astrophysical source.
The radio waves of FRB 121102 have been twisted, we think, because they passed through a strong magnetic field—possibly a ripping torrent of high-speed, highly-magnetized plasma. Based on this, we can guess that the FRB 121102 source is itself within such a field.
"We found something that is clearly in an extreme place and the extreme location may create a phenomenon that is one of the biggest astrophysical mysteries of recent times," offered study co-author Victoria Kaspi, a professor at McGill University and leading voice on pulsars and neutron stars, in a statement. "If you have an extreme object in an extreme environment, is that just a coincidence? FRBs have these huge explosions in radio waves and we don't know why that occurs. Maybe this is a clue to the mechanism that produces these explosions."
So, no, we don't really understand that mechanism yet. We just know that whatever it is, it's probably occurring within a cloud of highly-magnetized plasma. The good news is that FRB 121102 is apparently still at it and its future behavior will go a long way toward understanding its ultimate source, perhaps a magnetar in one of several possible configurations with a nearby black hole. In any case, when the Canadian CHIME Telescope (above) goes online later this year we'll have a way to look even deeper at FRB 121102's ultimate origin.
The search for aliens giveth, the search for aliens taketh away. It seems like every time there is a major discovery which might hint at the existence of alien life, it’s quickly refuted and explained away by banal, boring explanations. Things got exciting at the end of last year when our solar system received its first interstellar visitor, prompting many scientists speculated it might be some type of craft. Turns out it was just some dumb rock covered in space gunk. It’s always some dumb rock.
It’s not like our solar system needs another dumb rock anyway. Move along, Oumuamua.
Other than that dumb rock, one of the biggest stories of 2017 was FRB121102, a mysterious source of so-called fast radio bursts, or FRBs. The powerful, anomalous radio signals emanating from FRB121102 were unlike anything else observed in the universe, lending hope that they may actually be an attempt at communication from a distant alien civilization. Turns out it’s just some dumb neutron star in an “extreme environment” which causes the radio waves shooting out from it to ‘twist’ as they travel through space. Ok, that actually sounds pretty cool.
Discoveries like this make our own solar system seem pretty boring. Lucky for us.
In a new study published this week in Nature, a massive team of astronomers from around the world analyzed data from FRB 121102 and believe they might have found a unique environment in deep space unlike anything we’ve discovered so far. An “extreme magneto-ionic environment” is believed to surround a powerful neutron star some 3 billion light years away, and this highly magnetic environment is what causes the radio waves to “twist and shout” the way they do. Neutron stars are known to emit radio waves, but this is the first time scientists have seen one affected by such an extreme magnetic environment. James Cordes, the George Feldstein Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, says this area of space is extremely hostile:
We estimate the magnetic field and gas density surrounding the blast source, and we can link them, for example, with a model involving a young magnetar – a neutron star with an especially large magnetic field – to the central engine that produces the bursts. This is exotic. If we had one of these on the other side of our own galaxy – the Milky Way – it would disrupt radio here on Earth, and we’d notice, as it would saturate the signal levels on our smartphones. Whatever is happening there is scary. We would not want to be there.
FRB 121102 is so strong that a radio burst lasting just a millisecond emits more energy than our Sun does in an entire Earth day. Researchers believe there is likely a massive black hole nearby causing the bursts, but more observation is needed. While FRB 121102 might not be aliens, a hellish magnetic storm surrounding a giant black hole sounds terrifyingly awesome. Space might be devoid of life (as far as we know), but it’s still pretty rad.
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