Saturday 13 April 2024

New Roswell Police Patch

A new uniform patch has been designed for the Roswell Police Department and in tune with the rest of the town's iconography it includes an alien UFO motif. All American uniforms include a fabric patch which contains encoded or symbolic information about what it represents. The previous patch was a simple blue shield background with the words ROSWELL POLICE surrounding the sun symbol of the Zia Pueblo Indians, exactly as it appears on the New Mexican flag; and inside this was a yucca plant, the state flower of New Mexico. This new patch is ET green with a white border. The background is black or very dark green. Inside it is the Zia sun symbol like the old patch except this one is light green and it says around the inner circle: Protect and serve those that land here with two grey alien faces on either side. Inside is a motif that looks like a letter R, for Roswell, but the gaps in the R double up as a flying saucer with a tapering beam shining downwards. Roswell's Police Chief Lance Bateman (who looks a lot like a brother porter of mine!) said the department recently ordered an initial batch of five hundred as a trial to see what they looked like in use. The officers themselves were asked to design a new patch and choose the one they liked the most. The winner was this one and the artist was Support Services Sergeant Trong Nguyen. Source: This new police patch fits in perfectly with everything else in Roswell. The skeptics resent the fact that Roswell has become so affluent because of its UFOlogical notoriety. Mark Pilkington's book Mirage Men dedicates five whole pages to describing the UFO tourist scene in Roswell in lurid and derogatory terms, see: I disagree. What is wrong with a town exploiting its history for its own prosperity? If you object to that then you'd better go to Stratford-upon-Avon and tell them to get rid of all the Shakespeare stuff. "But that's different because Shakespeare was real!" says the skepper. "The Roswell UFO was just a fake story!" Well, that's a matter of opinion.
See here for more information:

Wednesday 10 April 2024

SETI Success?

Prof. Simon Holland has come up on HPANWO before, see: Since I wrote that article two years ago, this contradictory Scottish science vlogger has taken an even stranger turn, one that makes me wonder what on earth is he playing at? As I have said in my SETI talks, the biggest problem the movement faces is not data gathering but processing. Electronic noise of every frequency, wavelength and amplitude is constantly pouring into our radio telescope antennas to be stored on tapes and disks until somebody can find the time to sift through it all and see if it contains anything organized. This is why SETI@Home was a creative and effective way of clearing the vast backlog. It allowed everybody with a home PC to join in. Officially no confirmed candidate signal was ever found; but according to Prof Holland, that's not true. What happened was an Italian group had the idea of rechecking the SETI@Home data blocks for Doppler shift, a test that hadn't been done before; this revealed whether a radio source is moving relative to the receiver in terms of distance. This will inevitably happen on one level because the earth is moving; rotating every day and orbiting the sun once per year. Therefore the tests had to control for that; but afterwards they then discovered that one radio source was still Doppler shifting in the same way, which can only mean it is coming from an exoplanet orbiting its own star. As a result various SETI projects are being escalated with massively increased funding and new telescopes are being built. It is run by the EU and not the USA, which is the original heartland of SETI. Prof. Holland says he found this out from somebody whom he called "the source of this information". That is an unbelievable thing for a skeptic to say. It is the kind of thing the skeppers constantly castigate us woo-woos for. This source told Simon that the EU run network has found a modulated signal, exactly the thing SETI proponents have been looking for since the days of Drake and Sagan. The scientists involved have resolved information from this transmission. Source: and:
Why don't we all know about this? Apparently, according to Prof. Simon Holland's source, the scientists don't want to publish too soon; they want to wait until they're a hundred percent certain. However, as I say in my SETI talk, see background link below, you can't keep something like this secret; the conspiracy would be too top-heavy. The telescope network stretches from Manchester to Namibia; it involves a huge number of people constantly communicating. A leak would be unavoidable. Not only that, but the evidence they are examining doesn't come from a pile of debris in a paddock sealed off by the military police, it is right above our heads where we can all see it. Astronomy is the one true democratic science. You cannot have cover-ups in astronomy. Therefore I doubt the content of these two videos very much. So what is going on? Is somebody pulling Holland's leg or is he pulling ours? If so why? It could be an attempt to muddy the waters in the rising public awareness of UFO's. SETI is a totally superfluous enterprise when you consider what these multi-million pound instruments are looking for in distant galaxies is actually here on earth already and sometimes flying just a few feet above our heads. However, these confusion techniques often backfire very badly. I double-checked and confirmed that Holland did not upload these videos on April the 1st. Perhaps he is simply quitting skeptic YouTube with a bang; or maybe he has just had a mental breakdown. We'll see.
See here for background:

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Furbies Mystery

Furbies were a child's toys that first became popular in the late 1990's. They were electronic and could produce sounds. This began as random gibberish, but then they were programmed to begin speaking recognizable human language over time. This would have felt to the child like the toy was learning to talk. A friend has made me aware that a group of psychical researchers had experimented with séances and scrying, using a crystal ball, and then weird things started to happen one spring in that era. They began receiving visions of Furbies; it sounds almost comical; then they started seeing them in real life. They got on a bus and found a Furbie left on the seat beside them. It kept repeating: "UFO is tasty" and similar outlandish phrases. After that they began receiving phone calls in which a Furbie voice spoke at the other end. Most alarmingly of all, one apparently fell from a high window on a tower block and landed beside them; it had spontaneously caught fire. The Twitter users who reported this swear this is true. They suspected somebody of playing a prank them, but no evidence of a hoax was found. Source: This is a weird case, but not unfamiliar to others I've heard of. It includes the manifestation of physical solid objects, apports, in such a manner that it frightens and harasses. Source: Apports have even occurred under controlled conditions, for example: Unfortunately the Scole Experiment is not one hundred percent watertight, but having talked to several of the people involved I personally don't think it was a hoax.
See here for more information:

Saturday 6 April 2024

Israel's Killer Robots

One of the most automated militaries in the world is that of Israel. For its size and population, that tiny nation in the Near East receives some of the most lavish foreign aid in the world. This includes collaboration with defence contractors and the sharing of technology. Christopher Everard's documentary Superstate describes some of the drones and robots being developed by the Israel Defence Forces, including a terrifying thing that looks like a snake, see: There's also another machine called a "dog" which moves on four legs, see: These vehicles are very difficult to knock over and can traverse almost any surface. They can climb stairs and very steep hills. Source: A lot of the fighting in Gaza is happening underground. Hamas has dug out a huge network of tunnels and subterranean bases across the territory and the company Roboteam has developed some small portable robots that can explore the tunnels and identify enemy positions without risking personnel. Underground it's not always possible to direct the robot with remote control so it has some autonomous capabilities. This makes it very different to, say, the Gladiator or MQ9 Reaper. These platforms are controlled by a human pilot just like any other. The only difference is the pilot is not inside the aircraft; instead they are sitting on the ground in a control centre, sometimes a long way away, driving their charge via remote control. Autonomous robots are controlled by an AI computer which can direct and make decisions by themselves. They can take photographs, pick up electronic intelligence, detect mines or booby traps and transport hardware, all without the help of any human operator. It is reported that no autonomous robot is armed. They cannot initiate combat without human supervision... yet! It is technically possible though. Will we one day see the dawning of the age of killer robots? This has sometimes been compared to Robocop, but that is inaccurate. The famous film is about a policeman killed in the line of duty and reanimated as a cyborg. He is not a robot; his human side remains and in fact it grows stronger over the course of the story. Viewers of the movie will know that the cyborg cop is introduced to replace a completely mechanical law enforcement robot called ED-209 after the robot kills somebody accidentally in a test. This is what concerns me. Unlike most people I do not take a partisan position in Israel-Gaza conflict. I've seen a huge amount of propaganda levelled at both sides and I can't work the rights and wrongs. I just feel sorry for all innocent Israelis and Palestinians caught up in it, as I say in the background link. Military robots with the ability to kill will almost certainly be introduced at some point if the war continues; and it won't stop there. After they have proved themselves on the battlefields of Gaza they will appear in other countries in other wars, and indeed for peacetime roles in the police as well as the military. There's nothing the government would like more than to remove the human element from their ability to deliver violence. It is actually very inconvenient for them having their guns in the hands of flesh-and-blood brain carriers who have thoughts and feelings of their own; and who sometimes rebel against their instructions. This is why they go to so much effort to control us on a mental level... How many seconds do I have to comply?
See here for background:

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Total Eclipse of the State

An eclipse of the sun is the most obvious astronomical effect visible from the earth's surface. It occurs when the shadow of the moon passes across the earth. They are actually not rare; one occurs at least every eighteen months, however they don't always appear in the same place. Actually a spot on the earth's surface can only expect to experience a total solar eclipse about once every three to four hundred years. As a result they are an event of curiosity and wonder for the people who live where one occurs. Often people will have a festival of some kind and eclipses are also connected to numerous superstitions in all cultures. During a total eclipse the location becomes almost as dark as night for a few minutes, usually about four to seven, although in 1973 some people aboard a Concorde supersonic airliner enjoyed totality for seventy-four minutes as the plane chased the moon's shadow at mach two, see: Eclipses are generally harmless. They can be alarming for some people and for more intelligent animals like dogs and horses; but after the moon's shadow moves on things just return to normal. The only real danger involved in an eclipse is if people try to look at the sun. This can cause serious eye injury, possibly resulting in permanent blindness. It is important never to look at the sun without special observation sunglasses; normal sunglasses are not good enough. Next Monday there will be a total eclipse over North America; here is a good guide for watching it:
As I said, a solar eclipse is a completely normal and natural event with a very simple cause; it is a part of the earth's relationship to other bodies in the solar system. It can also do no harm so long as the people in its locale are sensible and take basic precautions. Therefore I have to wonder why the hell the government have declared a state of emergency. When I first heard of about this on Monday I assumed it was an April Fool, but it wasn't. The Ontario Niagara Region and the US state of Indiana will both be under police and military lockdown throughout Monday. Why? Because large numbers of people from areas close to the eclipse path are planning to travel to the locale to witness totality and the authorities are concerned that they will cause traffic jams and threaten "infrastructure", that all too commonly used word. Governor Holcomb of Indiana said: "The massive number of people viewing this event in our state may well stress and/or interfere with first responder and public safety communications and emergency response systems such that a technological or other emergency may occur," It is quite normal for people to travel deliberately to an eclipse locale. When one occurred in 1999 in the UK several hundred thousand people flocked to the southwest coast of England to enjoy it. I myself stayed in Oxford, but we had a 98% partial eclipse here and I went to Port Meadow with some friends to get a good view. There was no state of emergency needed to cope with it, except maybe a few extra traffic policemen to clear congestion. Seaside resorts such as Torquay, Penzance, Minehead and St Ives enjoyed a prosperous late season boom. Everybody had a really good time. So why all of a sudden are states of emergency necessary? I honestly think that the government is now just looking for excuses to flex their authoritarian muscles. When there is no real reason they will just make one up. The "nanny state" mentality is more than just annoying, it is sinister. It is reducing the adult population to the level of silly children or even farm animals. Is that what the government really think we are? I discussed this with Trevor of Third Rail the other day, see: On Monday Trevor will be going to the totality path a few miles from his home. In the programme I compared the relationship between the people and the state as an unhappy marriage, with the state definitely playing the role of a histrionic wife. It's time for an amicable divorce.
See here for more information:

Sunday 31 March 2024

Ben Emlyn-Jones on SUFON Radio

I have been featured on the Swansea UFO Network Radio show on Oystermouth Radio, see:
Subjects discussed include: the new AARO report, inspiration for the Roswell trilogy, the Disclosure process in Russia and much much more. Listen to the shows live here:
See here for background:

Saturday 30 March 2024

3 Body Problem

Alien invasion movies vary enormously in terms of technical quality and intellectual content. The new Netflix series 3 Body Problem scores quite highly on both axes. It explores the possibility of contact with an extraterrestrial civilization that is so sophisticated that it knows how to communicate using quantum entanglement and create designer matter from the subatomic level, something we humans have barely begun developing. When I first heard about quantum entanglement, "spooky action at a distance" it seemed obvious to me that if you could somehow capture the two entangled particles you could build a wonderful communications device. Unlike with electromagnetic waves, you wouldn't be constrained by the speed of light, saying hello to a distant star cluster and waiting 50,000 years for a response greeting, see: You could literally have a normal phone conversation with somebody in the farthest galaxy. In the series it is therefore particle physicists, not astronomers, who hear the first messages from the stars. The title refers to the problems a hypothetical planet would have if it were gravitationally influenced by two other heavenly bodies; for example, what would tides be like if the earth had two moons? The aliens live on a planet with three suns about four light-years away; therefore it is probably the Alpha Centauri system, the closest stars to the solar system. Their own three body problem has rendered their planet uninhabitable so they are heading for the earth in a fleet of ark spacecraft. They expect to arrive in about four hundred years. They also send a series of chilling messages to the people of earth demonstrating their awesome technical supremacy and declaring their contempt for humanity. When they arrive it will obviously not be with goodwill. An organization on the earth is set up to counter this threat and it recruits scientists to build weapons. Anything can be justified to protect the earth from the evil aliens, although this ethical equation is pushed to its limits. In one scene a weapon is built to destroy a ship run by human allies of the alien conquerors. A torpedo etc wouldn't be good enough because it would supposedly allow the crew an opportunity to destroy vital evidence, so the attackers create a mesh of microscopically thin, but extremely strong nanofibres which slice the ship into strips like very powerful cheese wire; including everybody inside it. This is one of the most grisly things I've ever seen on TV. The programme has a 15 certificate and a warning for violence, but why not an 18? So the programme does appeal to the side of the viewer that enjoys sadistic entertainment.
3 Body Problem is very woke; and this gives it a slightly retro feel. Wokery is something that seems to be going out of fashion a bit, and in my opinion that's a good job. Of course the box office has been demanding its departure for a very long time, but finally cinema and TV studios appear to be responding. Therefore the level of political correctness in the series would be better suited to something from the late 20-teens. As I've often noticed, the worst excesses of wokeism in a TV programme or film tend to be at the very beginning, for example see: All the heroic characters are either female and/or non-white. Auggie, played by the Mexican actress Eliza González, is a cardboard cut-out "Strong!" "Independent!" "Woman!" The other female leads are very similar. The one exception being Ye Wenjie, a scientist working as a slave to the ChiComs in the '60's as they make an attempt to contact the aliens. Later on in the story she moves to Oxford with her daughter to work at the Harwell laboratory. She is a far deeper, more mature and more colourful character, more like a traditional heroine. She is played by Zine Tseng and by Rosalind Chao as her older self. (Chao was also in What Dreams May Come, the subject of a HPANWO TV watch-read party, see: I have also been to the Harwell laboratory, see: The first white male we are introduced to is a drunken karaoke singer... and not a very good one... who tries to flirt with Jin and Auggie in a pub. When he asks them what their jobs are they sneer at him and describe their scientific professions in very technical terms. He frowns with incomprehension and walks away. Another white man is called Jack and he is an immature foul-mouthed overweight neckbeard addicted to computer games. He would live in his mother's basement except she was very rich and has died; so he has inherited her fortune. His whole giant house is his mother's basement. He dies early on in the series, killed by a woman of course. The only white male character approaching a respectful portrayal is Will, and his reverence comes only from his courage in the face of a tragic Cyrano de Bergerac kind of back-story and fate. I suspect the reason the producers have exhumed wokery from its shallow grave is because making this series was quite controversial. It is based on a book by Liu Cixin which won a Hugo Award, one the highest accolades in science fiction literature. China does not export a lot of its contemporary art and so this was a very remarkable achievement. There is an indigenous TV adaptation from last year called 三体(I don't know how that is pronounced) and it is far more faithful to the original story; not least because it is set in China and all the main characters are Chinese, like in the novel. To change those characters' nationalities and the setting is risking a charge of "cultural appropriation" and so the casting and portrayals were probably done to virtue-signal against that. They also make an attempt to maintain a link to the Chinese origin of the story through some of the characters and locations.
One thing that really surprised me about 3 Body Problem is that I can't help wondering if the producers have had some contact with the Conspirasphere. The reason is that Auggie looks and sounds very similar to Sarah Rachel Adams, see: Another character is called Thomas Wade and he is the leader of the earth defence programme. He is played by Liam Cunningham of Game of Thrones fame, but he is made to look, sound and act very like Miles Johnston, see: I immediately went on the lookout for my own counterpart, but luckily they never included him. The eight part series is rather anticlimactic and has a very open-ended conclusion. This leads me to think there is a plan to adapt the novel's two sequels, what is known collectively as the 地球往事, "Remembrance of Earth's Past" trilogy. I was rather disappointed that the plot was not more complicated. Nobody in the story doubts the validity of the government's commentary about the alien threat, even to the point where they're willing to slice a ship and its passengers into strips like a loaf of bread. What if this is all a big hoax, a fake alien invasion false-flag; see here for details: The alien interventions could be simulated with Project Blue Beam technology. This element would have been a welcome addition to the storyline, but it is not even considered. This is despite the fact that the programme does include runaway climate change, sky quakes and bird deaths, see: There are some good performances by some old and semi-retired actors including a rare non-comedic role by Adrian Edmondson and also Jonathan Pryce who was made famous by Brazil, see: I have mixed feelings about 3 Body Problem. The first three or four episodes are very well done. The mystery is handed and delivered very skilfully and the characters are generally more amiable. From about episode five the energy slackens a bit and the story atrophies. As I said, a very obvious and fertile opportunity to enliven the narrative is not taken; which is even stranger if the creators did indeed study the Conspirasphere. This series is better than some alien invasion movies I could mention, and compared to Independence Day it is Shakespeare. However, it is definitely inferior to Arrival, see: (Ironically that is also written by a Chinaman, Ted Chiang.) I will nevertheless look out for any sequels with moderate interest.