The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Panic in the UFO Community

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A perusal of UFO web-sites and blogs will show a distinct hysteria by UFO devotees; an hysteria that has become endemic to the whole panoply of UFO enthusiasts, even those who are in a state of deep denial.

The Roswell episode has been finally discounted as the UFO panacea. It will, according to all sensible UFO mavens, not be resolved, because it has become convoluted by a loss of witnesses (to death), a loss of government paperwork, a loss of credibility among the general public and even ufologists themselves, and a backlash of malaise for being front and center for many years with no real denouement in the offing.

And ufologists are themselves to blame, having inflamed the topic with a sh*tload of cacophonous material, most irrelevant or spurious.

But it’s not just Roswell. It’s the whole UFO continuum of nonsense: theories that are without foundation, UFO internet sites clogged with extraneous copy (such as items about bigfoot, Jesus’ Second Coming, crop circles, partially clad women, and a slew of other non-UFO detritus).

That lack of focus or the lacunae of scientific discipline has killed the UFO enigma once and for all. As one UFO wag stated, the O’Hare incident wasn’t a resurgence of UFO activity but a goodbye.

UFO’s old guard, as one respected author noted, is near death: Stan Friedman. Richard Hall, even the buoyant Jerome Clark, who is 60 years old now and not far from the Grim Reaper’s sight.

Who, in the UFO world, can maintain the interest, the one-time excitement generated by UFO sightings and imaginative hoaxes?

The blogger who boasts 1000 postings, touting quantity over quality?

The writer who has been relegated to defending his good name, having been besmirched by asses and ne’er-do-wells?

The archivist who presents everything but the kitchen sink via his web-site, merely adding fire and consternation to an already flummoxed topic?

The woefully inadequate “anonymous” commentators who vent their spleen but cower behind the internet’s ability to cloak their identities and lack of intellectual credentials?

Yes, there is havoc in the UFO world, but it is self-inflicted, and we could not care less….

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UFOs and String Theory

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UFOs have more of a reality than “strings” – the basic elements (building blocks) of existence according to some physicists.

Lee Smolin, in his book “The Trouble with Physics” [Houghton Mifflin, 2006], argues against the obsession that most physicists, academic researchers, and scientific facilities have with string theory.

(Wikipedia provides a succinct overview of the discursive theory at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory for those who aren’t familiar with the concept.)

The problem with string theory is that no one can confirm by tests or experimentation the existence of strings, a dilemma similar to that for UFOs.

There is a difference however, and it’s this: UFOs have a tangibility, a record of being there (or here), whereas strings have no record – nada, nil, zilch.

Yes, UFOs exist and have existed for some recorded time. What they are remains a mystery. Those who “study” them – so-called ufologists – have botched the scrutiny of the enigma by ineptness and hubris (traits that also apply to many physicists if we read Smolin correctly).

UFOs , as a mythology and a reality, are dissipating as a major concern, for the militaries of the world, governments, or the public at large, because they’ve been spotted and photographed (perhaps) but have yet to show any profound malevolence or any practical worth as a phenomenon (except to UFO mavens who remain gaga by the idea of UFOs).

String theory may or may not be bogus. UFOs are not bogus, but they aren’t part and parcel of anyone’s life, unless persons have made them so (which is a sad commentary on the purposeless existentialism of some folks).

String theory is fun to contemplate. UFOs also. But that’s all either of the concepts are.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Black Dome – the Army’s secret UFO program

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While we contend that the Navy has been the most diligent military organization (in the United States) investigating flying saucers or UFOs , other military constructs have not been laggard in the pursuit of the UFO enigma.

The Air Force, obviously, has been involved, ineptly, as has the Army, not so ineptly.

The Electronics Technology and Devices Laboratory, U.S. Army Laboratory Command (LABCOM), Department of the Army, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey has been, and continues to be, the place where UFOs (and other esoteric phenomena) are studied for military applications.

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One classified program, and maybe the primary Army UFO program, was (and is?) Black dome which, in conjunction with the Sylvania corporation, has tried to establish quantum parameters for building and/or communicating with flying saucers – UFOs.

Here are extracts, pulled from Army archives, that deal with some of the studies that took place (and are taking place) inside the Army confines, secretly and overtly:

“Quantum transport for Bloch electrons in a spatially homogeneous arbitrarily time-dependent electric field is presented. Using a vector potential to describe the electric field, a natural basis (the accelerated Bloch states) for describing Bloch dynamics is employed to revisit the Kohn and Luttinger theory of electron transport in the presence of randomly distributed impurities. This basis, which treats the intraband effects of the field exactly, is also used to extend a recent treatment of quantum transport of Bloch electrons obeying nondegenerate statistics, interacting with phonons, to the multiband case. In particular, for the above-mentioned problems the quantum transport equations are derived from the Liouville equation for the single-particle density matrix with use of the accelerated Bloch states as a basis; results explicitly manifest all possible quantum effects to lowest nonzero order in the scattering strength, such as intraband and interband scattering, interband Zener tunneling, and nonlinear transient transport in a homogeneous electric field of arbitrary time dependence and strength. We find, for either impurity or phonon scattering, that, in addition to the usual intercollisional field effect, the collision integral involves products of field- and time-dependent matrix elements of the scattering interaction at different times instead of the usual ‘‘golden-rule’’ result, the latter being obtained only in the limit in which the field dependence of the matrix elements is neglected.”

And:

“The isolation usually encountered in optics between the part of a field that is of interest and its source motivates the consideration of a radiation mode weakly coupled to a quantum-mechanical source. After the introduction of some refinements into the quantum mechanics of a damped radiation mode, the field is expressed as the sum of two parts, one due to the source (the source field) and the other due to the loss mechanism (the "vacuum" field). The characteristic function for the field is calculated up to second order in perturbation theory. This function is then compared with the characteristic function for the field in the presence of a classical source. A method is exhibited by which a classical source can be found such that the two characteristic functions are identical when averaged over a half cycle. In particular, the two sources yield the same expectation values for the instantaneous amplitude and energy of the field. The description of the equivalent classical source must be given in statistical terms, in general, and requires only a knowledge of and , where S(0) is the dipole-moment operator of the quantum-mechanical source unperturbed by the mode under consideration (but otherwise arbitrarily complex, with the possibility of strong coupling to other modes). The theory is illustrated by a consideration of several simple sources—a two-level system, a harmonic oscillator, and a blackbody—for which equivalent classical sources are found. The two-time correlation functions for the field obtained with the two types of sources are compared and are shown to be the same up to first order in ?t, where t is the difference between the two times and ? is the inverse of the field relaxation time; the physical meaning of the second-order difference in the correlation functions is discussed. A limiting process, in which both the coupling to the source and the damping become small, is suggested as a method of adapting the results to free fields, but it is pointed out that for discussion of a single mode, a free field is physically less satisfactory than a damped field. It is concluded that, within a reasonable approximation scheme, the source field may be described classically (the "vacuum" field furnishing all the necessary quantum-mechanical properties of the total field).”

“The theory of Brillouin scattering is extended to incorporate birefringence. The necessary modifications to the Bragg laws are derived by the methods of physical optics. An integral equation method is used to calculate intensities of the first-order lines scattered by longitudinal and transverse acoustic waves in an infinite slab of birefringent crystal. This calculation also differs from those of previous authors in taking full account of internal reflection. Depletion of the incident beam is accounted for. No restriction is made to acoustic propagation parallel to the crystal faces. The intensity formulas for various cases of acoustic mode and incident optical polarization are found to differ in geometrical structure, and the differences can alter the intensities substantially.”

And this…

“A millimeter- or submillimeter-wave combiner using a quasi-optical open resonator to effectively combine the power output of several solid-state oscillators to a single-frequency is described. The combiner makes use of a symmetrical concave spherical resonator with dielectric wedge launchers as energy couplers. To demonstrate feasibility of this concept, experiments were carried out by using two InP Gunn oscillators at 60 GHz, and a combining efficiency of 54 percent has been achieved.”

What the Army has found, or developed, is grist for UFO investigators who think there’s been a government or military cover-up of UFO related information.

We’ve provided specifics of the Black Dome project at our private UFO web-site, which is open and available to bona fide UFO investigators.