This Week In UFOs
March 25, 2016 7:22 PM   Subscribe

After the damp squib that was the X-Files miniseries, UFOs have had a mostly good week. Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers admitted he saw one and Hillary Clinton pledges to get to the bottom of the mystery. Renewed interest in UFOs even reached the petty criminal demographic as a display piece was stolen from the UFO Museum in Roswell, NM this week.
posted by robocop is bleeding (39 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I was recently introduced to the term kayfabe in a recent FanFare thread. It would be supercool if we could please take the kayfabe approach to UFOs here?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:26 PM on March 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

I love you for using the expression "damp squib."
posted by not that girl at 7:58 PM on March 25, 2016 [6 favorites]

It wasn't a damp squib, it was a steaming pile of squib.
posted by FallowKing at 8:23 PM on March 25, 2016 [3 favorites]

It would be supercool if we could please take the kayfabe approach to UFOs here?

You mean bodyslam them to the mat and off the turnbuckle?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:33 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is this where we share our UFO stories? Cause I saw something. Not saying it was aliens, but damned if I know what it was. Changing colored lights in the sky off the side of the road that just sat there for a good half hour. Normally I'd think nothing of it since it's the city but I've driven that same route every day for 10 years and they were never there before or since. I want to believe.
posted by downtohisturtles at 8:44 PM on March 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

Closest thing I have to a UFO story... no UFO. But we were in Roswell and we knew we'd be going through a Border Patrol checkpoint outside of town. Well, they're looking for illegal aliens. So we bought an inflatable 3 foot alien at one of the local kitsch stores and seatbelted him in the backseat. That was a nice double take from the agent as he was waving us through. Rudy's still hanging out with us, 13 years later.
posted by azpenguin at 8:53 PM on March 25, 2016 [6 favorites]

In the 80s on a U.P. camping trip I saw something over Lake Superior -- a single bright white llight hovering in the sky, then moving around like a pinball, then hovering again, and so on for five minutes or so before zipping off to the eastern horizon faster than the eye could track. No idea what it was, but I remember telling my then-girlfriend that if it was military I hoped it was ours.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:01 PM on March 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

It was an unidentified flying object to me but I once saw a bright greenish fireball shoot across the sky in broad daylight incredibly fast. Weird thing was there was news footage of a meteor on TV late that night as it passed through Toronto at nighttime...but Toronto was only like 4 1/2 hours away by car so obviously not the same thing. So best I can figure is 2 meteors about 6 hours apart in the same general area probably means it's different parts of what was once a single bigger chunk of rock or whatever at some point in the past?
posted by Hoopo at 9:58 PM on March 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

"How do you Hotwire a UFO"
posted by clavdivs at 10:48 PM on March 25, 2016

True story. 1977. My best friend and I were in a car on a small dark one lane road in Alabama on the way back to FT. Benning - about 40 minutes away. We're both military. No other cars around. Something large , dark and very silent - kind of triangualarish passes over my car. If it were a plane I'd call it 100 ft or less. I drive for about another quarter mile for some reason then pull off the side of the road kind of spooked. Turn to my friend and say "Did you see that?" He looks pretty spooked and says , "Yeah - and I don't want to talk about it" For some reason I didn't either so we drove the rest of the way back and never spoke of it again to each other. I still don't know wtf happened or what it was.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 10:50 PM on March 25, 2016 [12 favorites]

I think you meant "damp squid". Not to put pedanticalness on a petal-stool.
posted by lkc at 1:31 AM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hillary Clinton pledges to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Man, your election cycle.... man.
posted by Mezentian at 3:07 AM on March 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

Having binge-watched a ton of Sirius Disclosure, by Dr Steven Greer on youtube, I'd welcome exposing the whole thing to the light of day, I want my personal kilowatt, that runs on zero point energy, and almost never needs to be refueled.

He (Dr Greer) does say that Hillary is the one who put the brakes on Bill disclosing everything to the public, for what it's worth.
posted by MikeWarot at 4:15 AM on March 26, 2016

[Fixed the Hillary Clinton link.]
posted by taz (staff) at 4:42 AM on March 26, 2016

When I was a kid I saw a strange flying thing that in retrospect was almost certainly some kind of experimental military aircraft from the nearby airforce base, but at the time I was sure was from outer space.

The late night radio true believers are a different sort of person altogether, and listening to them is like having a raw feed into Pure Strange.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:57 AM on March 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

A few weeks ago, I had a patron come in to the library looking for a book he heard mentioned on Coast to Coast. Being the resident fringe expert, he was referred to me and we were able to interlibrary loan a copy of David Jacobs' Walking Among Us. In order to tide him over until his book came in, I handed him a copy of John Keel's The Mothman Prophecies I had at my desk in prep for the High Strangeness FanFare Bookclub.

It was worth it because when the patron returned, he brought with him an unproduced screenplay written about his aunt's alien abduction. It features aliens named Lee-Ur and Raoul. I only had a few minutes to scan it with my phone, but you better believe I did. We've set up an exchange - he'll bring in bits and bobs from his family's UFO experiences, I'll loan him my monthly copy of the MUFON Journal.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:14 AM on March 26, 2016 [10 favorites]

Jimmie Carter, when running for president, said he had seen an UFO and if elected he would open all the govt files on what was kept by the govt...He won but did not open the files. I wrote him, years after he left office, and asked why he had not done as he promised. He did not answer me.
posted by Postroad at 6:01 AM on March 26, 2016 [8 favorites]

You know, it really says something about the current election cycle that a serious presidential candidate, and oft predicted winner of the elections, can come out as if not a UFO conspiracy theorist herself at least sympathetic to them and it doesn't even really ping the weird shit o meter.

I think that in a different campaign there'd be more focus on Clinton indulging in conspiracy mongering about UFO's of all bizarre things, but when you've got Trump and Cruz doing their comedy routine there just isn't any incredulity left for when it turns out that Clinton is buying into irrationality here. In fact, I heave a sigh of relief that apparently her major break from reality is conspiracy thinking about UFO's.
posted by sotonohito at 6:08 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

According to Dr Greer (above mentioned), there is a vast amount of off the books, unaccountable, black ops type stuff that is compartmentalized, and basically, rogue. It is this group that got out of Eisenhower's control, and he warned about in 1961. They want to keep advanced technologies out of the hands of the rest of the population to conserve the status quo, and kill anyone who tries to disclose it.

It makes for a amusing tale, to keep one's conspiratorial appetites whetted for quite some time... and of course there's the small (non-zero) chance he's telling the truth. I feel about him the same way I did about people who said the government was monitoring all of our phone calls and computer networking back in the 1990s.
posted by MikeWarot at 6:11 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

My only UFO exposure didn't really have the U component. I know exactly what I saw. Mary Poppins flying over our neighbor's house during a windstorm. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind about what I saw. For fifty years my mother has tried to convince me that I was mistaken; she claims it was one of my siblings going out to bring in the trash cans.

Why she thinks that makes more sense then Mary Poppins, who was known to fly around, (ugh, unlike my siblings) baffles me to this day.
posted by ezust at 6:51 AM on March 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

Surely that script is the copyrighted property of the writer? Also you say he, yet the script has a letter attached signed by someone names Suzanne?
posted by marienbad at 7:10 AM on March 26, 2016

MikeWarot, not that I have any doubt at all that there are US agencies who'd *like* to have super high tech that the plebes aren't permitted to even know exists, it kind of stretches my incredulity to imagine that they'd use that super high tech to buzz drunk rednecks and give them amateur proctological exams.

I'm also not really able to imagine that they'd be able to keep said super high tech toys secret for very long. Remember, the US government can't even keep a presidential blowjob secret, the idea that it could keep antigravity or whatever secret is just not really plausible to me.
posted by sotonohito at 7:21 AM on March 26, 2016 [5 favorites]

As my father, who once worked doing top secret space stuff in New Mexico, lay dying from something the doctors couldn't identify, two feds arrived, flashed badges and kicked everyone out of the hospital room. Fifteen minutes later, they left; Dad stated that he could not discuss their visit. We have no idea who they were or how they knew to show up. Later that day, we were given a diagnosis: melanoma with no specific origin. If so, it was incredibly virulent; he went from feeling a little under the weather to dead in a week, and the original screenings had shown no bio-markers. There is an explanation that makes sense--he had a large nevus removed as a child which required a skin graft--but all the same, we've always wondered if the "diagnosis" was manufactured to match that history and if it was really something else.
posted by carmicha at 8:15 AM on March 26, 2016 [7 favorites]

Surely that script is the copyrighted property of the writer? Also you say he, yet the script has a letter attached signed by someone names Suzanne?

Agreed - without wishing to pour killjoy on the enterprise (and I completely understand the zest to share this), the permissions don't seem so clear on this one.
posted by specialbrew at 8:33 AM on March 26, 2016

I remember John Major saying that when he became Prime Minister, he was told one thing that completely amazed him, but he wasn't going to say what it was.

Wouldn't put it past him for that to be a full-on troll, but y'all can't help from wondering...

While a lot of once-secret and super-secret technology has come out of the closet over time, none of it has ever been stuff that is in any way out of sync with the capabilities of open contemporary technology. There aren't any great anachronisms. Colossus was totally black and very advanced, and suppressed for decades, but the world around it recreated it in short order anyway.

Combine that with the very solid tendency for major advances in technology to emerge rn many places roughly simultaneously yet without direct connections (the transistor was foreshadowed at least twice in patents before material science got good enough to make ti practical) and it seems very unlikely that substantive basic black tech with serious capabilities has existed in isolation for any length of time. Highly developed variants of stuff we know about - yes, sure, of course. The NSA didn't have its own chip fab to make audio amplifiers. But conspiracy-level magic?
posted by Devonian at 8:38 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

it kind of stretches my incredulity to imagine that they'd use that super high tech to ... give them amateur proctological exams.

The truth is in there.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:38 AM on March 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

I remember John Major saying that when he became Prime Minister, he was told one thing that completely amazed him, but he wasn't going to say what it was.

I mean it's obviously the floo network hooked up to the fireplace in 10 Downing Street, no?
posted by sallybrown at 9:29 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Remember, the US government can't even keep a presidential blowjob secret, the idea that it could keep antigravity or whatever secret is just not really plausible to me.

That's the US government. We're talking about the shadow government here!
posted by Pryde at 9:58 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

If the government can't keep secrets, who actually shot JFK?
posted by MikeWarot at 10:10 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

My wife is one of those people that wants to believe. I'm a rabid science fiction reader who doubts everything. One night in the 70s, driving down a highway in western North Dakota, a light about a half mile parallel to the highway and at least a thousand feet up kept out pace for several miles and then took off in another direction. Pretty slow to be a plane and who the hell would fly so low. My wife feels it was startling evidence but I think some pilot was just getting his bearings off the highway and then took off.

I've heard enough evidence from people in gov't that at least the US gov't can keep a secret in certain quarters. That doesn't mean I think we've been visited but I will admit there's just a whole lot we don't and will never know.
posted by Ber at 10:54 AM on March 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

One bright and sunny day in the mid-90s, I was hanging around a swingset with a friend when I saw something circling really-really high. It was boomerang-shaped - and pinkish purple. It stayed there for what must have been several minutes; I pointed it out to my friend who confirmed that he, too, could see it. It moved sort of like a bird of prey, but I'm quite certain it wasn't one because of the colour.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:57 AM on March 26, 2016

having worked on shows like "Sightings" and "Joe Rogan Questions Everything," I've read tons and tons on this topic, and interviewed experts, scientists, and abductees. the problem is one of signal to noise. there sure seems to be a signal in there somewhere, but it's buried under a ton of noise. some of it no doubt created by the government. it's unlikely there will ever be a willing acknowledgement by the government of the existence of beings from another planet - or dimension. if we've been visited it's up to the visitors to announce themselves to the public at large. Snapchat? Twitter? Facebook? there are lots of options, including the classic one, landing on the back lawn of the White House.
posted by TMezz at 5:05 PM on March 26, 2016

ok ok... mine. Late 60's, I'm maybe 12 years old..... upstairs bedroom, my bunk is near a window. I had gotten into the habit of letting the radio play when I went to sleep. Radio, which is next to window gets all scratchy - never happens. I go to fix the dial and... ok, umm long cigar thing trailing orange moving slowly across the horizon. Already i know its a UFO (NY in the late 60's had a lot of sightings...) and I'm thinking, omg, they know I see them, what will happen to me now? I get up, run to the corner bathroom to catch the next glimpse as it moves along.... stupidly, I turn on the lights and can't see outside. Downstairs, my mom and pop are watching the 10:00 news.... keep it in mind folks, my dad was straight out of the victorian era... my childhood was hell, and he was a no-nonsense strict authoritarian... I can't help but burst into the tv room and tell them they have to come outside and see what I saw... it's like jumping off the empire state building to do that... but... thats how real it was. We go outside, and... nothing. A week later the local paper gives same report from someone down on Pear Tree Point... I can see the same thing today clearly in my mind (I've drawn it a few times), and still wonder what influence I might have been given?
posted by wallstreet1929 at 6:15 PM on March 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

Two of mine.

Sometime in the late 90s I entered a kite building contest. One of the other teams had a kite made of black fiberglass rods, clear clingwrap plastic and some metallized mylar. It had some LEDs that would reflect off the mylar to create a nice scintillating effect. A week later the top three newspapers and all the local news in Guadalajara reported a late night UFO sighting. Hundreds of witnesses, one grainy video. Most witnesses reported flashing lights moving in super fast patterns all over downtown, then suddenly zooming at supersonic speeds towards lake Chapala (which is kind of a super local Roswell wrt UFOs). It was the kite. The builder 'confessed' a few days later.

Second one I was camping at the beach. Two or three camps, some 50 people total. Very clear and dark sky, new moon. The smoke from the bonfires would rise straight up for a little bit then get caught in the breeze and blow almost horizontal towards the ocean. Me and a friend are on a cliff above the beach, and we shine our flashlights at the smoke from above. Looks very cool from our point of view. When we climb down to the beach everyone is talking about this two UFOs very high in the sky, performing this physics defying dance, sometimes hovering, sometimes moving faster than the eye can follow. We did not confess.

Looks to me like the human mind really sucks at estimating distance, size and speed of glowing things in the sky when there is no reference point. That is why I discount 98% of my own UFO sightings.

But the one I saw above the town of Wadley in the San Luis Potosi desert, that one was completely out of this world. No combination of eartlhy light sources and atmospheric effects could have looked like that.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 7:23 PM on March 26, 2016 [5 favorites]

It's entirely possible to build a large, triangular object that floats, with an eerie discharge around the corners, the lift to weight ratio is in like with modern helicopters, but it would be mostly quiet, due to lack of props... it's called a lifter, and people have been building small ones for years, I have no doubt large, football field size ones could be built, but you'd want to avoid rain in one.
posted by MikeWarot at 7:50 PM on March 26, 2016

One other story is from my dad who used to be a scientist who made weapons of mass destruction for the Navy. He retired this year and a story he tells after maybe one too many glasses of wine is about his presentation about plasma sheathing. He was the head of the charged particle division at the Navy Research Labs and dealt with a lot of plasma until he could find projects that could get funding (mainly rail guns and plasma mirrors that could see over the horizon) and one of them was the idea that you could coat a plane's wing in plasma, thus reducing friction, and thus extending its flight time. This would be a massive savings on fuel but for the cost of actually creating a blanket of plasma on the wing of a plane.

Still, at the end of his presentation to the brass who liked to attend those things to feel important and the NASA dudes who liked the free snacks, he did a bit on how to make a flying saucer via plasma sheathing. He never got funding from the brass, but the next day the NASA folks showed up and demanded he apply for Top Secret clearance. He did.

Thus his story ends. I think only legal weed will get what followed out of him.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:30 PM on March 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Here's some experimentation done using cheap "zip cord" to make plasma generators for wings, similar to what Robocop just said. This is from 16 years ago, back in 2000. One can only imagine what someone with a black budget could do with the idea over this time.
posted by MikeWarot at 8:01 AM on March 27, 2016

Heh, I read one of the papers linked to from that page to see if my dad was cited, instead it looks like the primary author was jailed for sharing his tech with the Chinese.

Or at least, that's what THEY said he did.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:57 AM on March 28, 2016

Advanced Reduced DRag Aircraft = Ardra!!!

We are beyond the looking-glass here, people.
posted by marienbad at 7:50 AM on March 29, 2016

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