They're out there, by which I mean the crazy people who believe in aliens.
October 14, 2006 8:33 PM   Subscribe

Disclaimer to the headline: When I was a teenager I saw something in the sky that I cannot explain. So I guess it was a UFO. But I think that people who believe in aliens like in the first video are deluded.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:35 PM on October 14, 2006

This post must be part of an alien conspiracy.
posted by The Salaryman at 9:18 PM on October 14, 2006

What am I not seeing about the time counter? I mean, it looks like a cloud, but what's up with the counter?
posted by frogan at 9:53 PM on October 14, 2006

People don't seem to recognize that a being smart enough to visit Earth in a space ship has to be smarter or at least more advanced than most Earth people.
posted by davy at 10:05 PM on October 14, 2006

I don't get the last video - although I'm sure it's been discredited. What are those streaks in the footage?
posted by wfrgms at 10:16 PM on October 14, 2006

sfrgms: dust floating in front of the camera.
posted by killThisKid at 10:32 PM on October 14, 2006

I don't get the comment about the timer either.
posted by jonson at 11:10 PM on October 14, 2006

I suppose the timer comment refers to the fact that the object in the film must be moving extremely slow. Without the timer or the initial shot of fast-moving traffic, you might get the impression that the film had actually been slowed down, and the aerial object was in fact moving very fast, but the speeding counter belies that. It is almost at a standstill. A cloud? Something else?
posted by dreamsign at 11:21 PM on October 14, 2006

bug on lense
posted by phrontist at 11:32 PM on October 14, 2006

I believe in the possibility of extra terrestrial life, but I also believe the odds that any lifeform outside Earth would likely be found on Earth would be less likely than Janeane Garofalo being found in my bedroom. ...but ah keep hopin'. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 11:48 PM on October 14, 2006

Remember the Air Force "debunking" scene from Close Encounters? Back in the 1970's it was true, you didn't get UFO footage for the same reason you didn't get car crash footage; both events are sudden, brief, and totally unexpected. By the time you had your camera out, the event was over. But now, with video cameras more common, and the recording media cheap and recycleable, you are now getting both car crashes and UFO's!

Today people simply record mundane things, so they are already running when the amazing stuff starts.

Of course, the UFO field is so over run with the pathologically credulous that even the most bogus stuff still passes as "good evidence".
posted by Tube at 1:04 AM on October 15, 2006

I've seen that first clip before. The alien in the cemetery actually turns out to be Mr. Burns.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:53 AM on October 15, 2006

I heard the following sentiment attributed to Arthur C Clarke, but can't stand up the ref. "Either there is life on other planets, or we're the only life in the universe. Both situations are equally amazing."
posted by imperium at 2:13 AM on October 15, 2006

I'm sure there's life elsewhere, but they just haven't found us yet. The odds are slight that such beings would come all the way here just to practice a little stunt flying, tag some corn fields, and stick a tricorder up some trailer park woman's wazoo. Be realistic: if they come all this way, they are going to make up for the boring trip. There's going to be stunt flying, with races at street level through Hong Kong with the top down. If they're into tagging, it's going to be readable from space. If they're into kinky stuff with primitive beings (us), they're going to have orgies involving lakes of Jell-O and vast armies of hypnotized sex clones.
posted by pracowity at 9:08 AM on October 15, 2006

Woot. I liked that last party, pracowity. Makes me wish I was an alien...
posted by Samizdata at 9:16 AM on October 15, 2006

pracowity, you're anthropomorphizing, how in the world could we ever understand what "they" would be thinking. and dude, they'd totally be using cryogenic sleep and spending the time getting masks ready to cover their lizard faces.
posted by andywolf at 11:59 AM on October 15, 2006

Insufficient evidence. As with The Best UFO Pictures Ever Taken, every photographic technical problem imaginable has seemingly conspired to make UFO/LGM pictures blurry, out of focus, over-zoomed, poorly framed, jerked around by handheld camera motion, overexposed, underexposed, grainy, dust-spotted, over-enlarged, etc., ad infinitum. We've gotten so used to lousy pictures that if a sharp one is captured (or better, created), we assume it's faked.

With at least 70 years of small affordable cameras, sharp lenses, higher resolution films, improved image processing, and user-friendly features like auto focus and exposure, we should see something more conclusive than blobby orbs and smudged saucers.

Besides, we may over-estimate our galactic importance. Remember in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home where the aliens came to see the whales, not us?
posted by cenoxo at 7:09 PM on October 15, 2006

Interestingly, the first report of "flying saucers" occurred when a pilot claimed to see V-shaped craft flying "like saucers over water." However, the aliens apparently misinterpreted the article and decided to make all their ships saucer shaped instead.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:17 PM on October 15, 2006

Odd/tangental thought: while we've been transmitting out information (somewhat) relevant to our culture since the first spark-gap wireless, that information has been getting more-and-more densely packed. Think Morse-to-Audio-to-VHF-to-UHF-to-Dish-to-HDTV... And with each step, the signal gets less repetetive, less noticible and perhaps even less decypherable. Pretty soon, it seems like our radio communications will be so nonrepetetive that they'll be indistinguishable from backround noise unless observers know what to look for.

Would this be a common thing? Is one of the reasons we're not capturing alien radio signals simply because we can't pick them out from background noise? ("...The secret is to bang the rocks together!")

And I'm not sure this is a bad thing - I mean, if an advanced alien species comes here, it's going to be MesoAmericans-vs-Europeans all over again, and humanity's going to be the ones wearing the loincloths and looking for Wampum
posted by Orb2069 at 11:03 PM on October 15, 2006

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