UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Turing and Enigma, Poe and Cosmology, Me and GTA

I noted in a comment here, a few days ago, the New York Review of Books article by Christian Caryl on Alan Turing [2/5/15, Saving Alan Turing from his Friends, Page 19 ff.].
It’s a must-read for those who want to see how “facts” are changed for entertainment purposes.

My point here is to note what I found interesting, even though it has nothing to do with UFOs, exactly.

As many of you know, Turing (a genius and icon for some of us) discovered the cryptic code of the Nazi Enigma machine, helping Britain in WW II by showing the Nazi submarine attack plans – the Nazis having almost decimated the British Navy in the Atlantic Seas.

You can read about this online, but here’s my observation:

Who was the creator of Enigma?

I don’t think it was a committee creation but even if it were, who was the prime mover?

That person is a genius of the Turing ilk. Where did he or she go after the war?

Were they killed? Did they end up in Russia? Or the United States? Or South America?

Did they become part of the space programs here of in Soviet Russia? Or did they just fade away, lost to history, without note?

Then there is another NYRB article in the issue [2/5/15]: Of Edgar Allan Poe by Marilynne Robinson [Page 4 pp.] wherein she notes that Poe was an unprecedented genius with a prescience that has gone unnoticed pretty much.
Here’s Ms. Robinson’s commentary:

“In the last year of his life, [Poe] wrote a prose poem, Eureka, which would have established [the fact that his mind wasn’t commonplace].

[Eureka] was so full of intuitive insight that neither his contemporaries nor subsequent generations, until the late twentieth century, could make any sense of it.

Eureka describes the origins of the universe in a single particle, from which ‘radiated’ the atoms of which all matter is made. Minute dissimilarities of size and distribution among these atoms meant that the effects of gravity caused them to accumulate as matter forming the physical universe.

This by itself would be a startling anticipation of modern cosmology, if Poe had not also drawn striking conclusions from it, for example that space and ‘duration’ are one thing, that there might be stars that emit no light, that there is a repulsive force that in some degree counteracts the force of gravity, that there could be any number of universes with different laws simultaneous with ours, that our universe might collapse to its original state and another universe erupt from the particle it would have become, that our present universe may be one in a series.”

She continues:

“And of course Poe had neither evidence nor authority for any of [this]. It was the product, he said, of a kind of aesthetic reasoning – therefore, he insisted, a poem.”

Again, Poe’s brilliance remains questionable to some, but there it is.

And finally, there is a “mental quirk” known as Global Transient Amnesia, which I had occasion to experience a few years back.
I came into the house from going to the mailbox, and ask persons in the house who had placed bags of leaves on our porch.

We, including me, had actually put those bags on the porch a few moments earlier.

I then pointed out things in the house that I found unsettling and remained for a hour or so discussing things I found upsetting.

My fellows were alarmed as I was not me; that is, I was not Rich Reynolds during the episode. I was a person who had come into the house and, while having some connection with it, was not cognizant of my association.

I had no “me” – I wasn’t conscious of being me, nor did I have any awareness of being conscious at all.

My body had become a vehicle for another being, one with no relevance to my person.

Had my Earth-being intersected with my other dimension-being for a brief time?

That is, did Rich Reynolds from elsewhere end up stepping into my shoes for an hour or so, inadvertently or otherwise?

I have no recollection of the event, and if there had not been witnesses, I would have disappeared for a period of time, moving without sensate of where I was or what I was doing.

You can find more on GTA online, It’s an odd neurological condition and may explain some UFO episodes, except that those experiencing a UFO event while affected by GTA wouldn’t know they had had the experience unless someone with them was there to confirm the experience.

Things in this world are odd, and stories or facts about one’s life and activities often go unnoted or unrecounted for various reasons.

So one has to be cautious when dismissing stories out of hand. Those stories may be incomplete or too odd to be reviewed sensibly.

That’s why I think UFO events are amenable to truths that may be submerged by cavalier reporting, disingenuous motivations (as with Turing movie), or a lack of knowledge about one’s thinking (as with Poe).



  • Rich:

    Coincidentally, I was just reading a paper on Quantum Cryptography in "Progress in Optics", 2006 that answers your question about who invented the Enigma machine.
    "...In 1918, Arthur Scherbius invented an ingenious electric cipher machine, called Enigma, which was patented a year later (Deavours and Kruh [1985])."

    According to Wikipedia, he died in a horse carriage accident in 1929.

    Although Scherbius had a doctorate in what today we would call electrical engineering and was obviously an above average intellect, his invention was a straight forward electromechanical implementation of a cipher system that had already been invented and was commonly implemented by hand. I would judge Turing's accomplishment of reverse engineering the Scherbius machine to be considerably greater than the problem of forward engineering it.

    I was previously unaware of Poe's remarkable foreknowledge of the features of modern cosmology. It is jaw-dropping. The thing is, I don't see how such foreknowledge can be the result of genius (although I in no way disparage Poe's talents). Modern cosmology has accreted by the effort of brilliant minds contributing one fact at a time, over a period of decades. I think he was somehow able to mentally "tune into" the future and see it at some point in time, rather than being able to create it.

    BTW, in another curious coincidence, "back from the future" pilot waves are an aspect of one interpretation of quantum physics which some individuals postulate could account for such information transfer and could be implicated in--quantum cryptography.

    By Blogger Larry, at Tuesday, January 27, 2015  

  • I think, Larry, that the Nazi Enigma was different than Scherbius's Enigma.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, January 27, 2015  

  • Its an interesting stepping off point for discussion. History in general whether it’s personal history or the more world focused historical accounts are a function of memory.
    One is private unless expressed and the other is shared. Both are full of gaping holes. Fallible.
    As a side note, even our vision is full of holes as an input. Sight is not continuous although the mind tricks us into thinking that it is.
    The theory of divided attention is interesting when it comes to forming memories, especially when it comes to experiential anomalies. The mind is always gabbing stringing associations together while observing anything. Sometimes this overrides attentiveness.
    While on the other hand, it’s difficult to be keenly aware of being conscious of one’s associations, reactions that are mostly autonomic while observing something. Thought seem to call up images, associations and identifiers that are personal and some are universal.
    All are tangled up in semiotics.
    I suspect a great deal of this is projected into experiencing anomalies that are out of context.
    The mind makes the connections autonomically whether they are accurate or not. Can this create a visualization mistaken for an external reality? In dreams they do.
    This leads me to suspect something is acting on neurology that creates a waking dream in some accounts.
    They are interpreted as being factual memories whereas it's more likely they are a form of consciousness yet to be identified that does not occur naturally.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, January 27, 2015  

  • Some further comment...
    On one hand, the taking the accounts of witnesses regarding encounters may be a matter of taking a straw dog into a misplaced consideration. On the other hand, I have to ask if an actual “something” was present and the accounts of it’s presence was accurate, what is the energy signature of what that “something” was? Could it be completely foreign to us? It would seem likely it would be, all things considered. If so, what effect does this have on human neurology?
    Could it be both actual and a misrepresentation?
    The wave of cases in South America continue to haunt me. Sickness, accounts of levitation by witnesses, physical evidence...These people are dirt poor farmers with no chance of exploiting their accounts….they did not anticipate nor seek attention. It took some time over several field trips to get the full story such that it is. The only reason this came to light was the fact that private individuals funded their own work. No funds for follow up’s. a more complete analysis...

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, January 27, 2015  

  • Rich wrote: "...I think, Larry, that the Nazi Enigma was different than Scherbius's Enigma."

    Well, yes and no. Scherbius patented the basic idea at the end of WW I. If I recall correctly, he formed a company to produce the things commercially. They were available for purchase by industry and government offices--anyone with secrets to keep and money to spend on keeping them secret. They were used by various European diplomatic corps between the wars and then picked up officially by the NAZI military for WW II. Over the decades that the units were in production, upgraded models with functional improvements were introduced from time to time.

    Compared to the original model of 1918, I think the NAZI version had a couple more cipher wheels and different wiring patterns within the wheels. However, given that all Enigma machines were substitution cipher devices, the algorithm for decrypting the messages is the same across all models. Adding a couple more wheels to the base model, however, increases the number of possible combinations and permutations that have to be searched, by orders of magnitude. As I understand it, adding a couple of wheels put the decoding effort outside the realm of what is possible using mechanical computers (adding machines, basically) and into the realm of electronic computers.

    By Blogger Larry, at Wednesday, January 28, 2015  

  • I'm not sure if Lemaitre, a Belgian of French extraction, read Poe's Eureka, but Poe was extremely popular in Europe, especially France, so it's very likely. And I do know that Einstein read Eureka.

    As popular as Poe was, and as much of a literary genius as he was, he was a completely disreputable character in almost every other way. And some metaphysical prose poem in which he imagines the Universe as a single whole "irradiated" by gravity is certainly interesting but has precedents in Kant, who is alluded to in Eureka, and others.

    As a writer, Poe was a master of "negative capability." He could take small bits of various things he had read and fashion it all into prose that would carry the imaginative reader's mind far beyond the written words. It's the artist's alchemy. I think that's what's going on here, and we have hindsight. That's all.

    A hundred years before Poe, astronomer Thomas Wright correctly deduced that our Galaxy was a immense slab of stars, and that the "spiral nebulae" were other galaxies like our own that were unimaginably distant! (Kant read Wright and called them "Island Universes.") So it was Wright who imagined our basic large-scale astronomical reality about 1750. It wasn't proven until the 1920s. Now, that's real poetry! [g]

    Twenty years before Eureka, Poe complained that cold science was ruining the fantasy worlds of poets in Sonnet—To Science. But he called Eureka his best work ever--if we can take him or Eureka seriously--so I guess he matured a bit before dying in an alcoholic stupor at age 40.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, January 29, 2015  

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