24 February 2009

Former Canadian defense minister says proof of UFOs "irrefutable"

First Edgar Mitchell... now this. Of course, the proof he speaks of is largely conjecture.
But it's good to see some stats in the article... sightings up 25% in 2008? Pretty interesting.

13 June 2008

Romanian Air Force has a run-in with a UFO

This has never happened before. An Air Force has admitted to the existence of UFOS. However, don't get all excited. They haven't admitted the existence of aliens, merely flying objects, which have not been identified. Still, the comment that a fighter jet, a Romanian one, as it were, has been struck by UFOs (as opposed to struck by a meteorite or, for all I know, swamp gas) is pretty amazing.

To clarify, on 30 October, 2007, a Romanian jet was hit by something with such force that it broke the military-grade glass dome of the fighter. It was captured on video. Two blurry objects appear onscreen for 67 milliseconds, indicating that thy were moving at unthinkable speeds. This information was just released to the press. Birds, meteors, and ice have been ruled out by scientists.

I do not want to jump to conclusions, but this could be big.

29 January 2008

Stanton Friedman Interview, Pt. 1: Zeta Reticuli's Travel Incentive

This is an exact transcription of an interview I conducted originally for The Aquinian, official student paper of St. Thomas University, in September 2006. It was recorded to standard cassette. Mr. Friedman is considered by many to be the foremost authority on UFOs. Part 2 will be posted soon!

Stanton Friedman: —"its fleece was white as snow.”
Max Maxwell: Well, I don’t know where to start, really.
SF: What are you trying to do?
MM: I guess—
SF: Two columns, or one column—
MM: Just—a couple, maybe every two weeks it’ll appear, or something like that.
SF: Now, did they give you a word length?
MM: Um… nope. It can’t really be too long. I think it should be—well, columns usually run about seven hundred to nine hundred words or so—
SF: Oh.
MM: —just very short, kindof.
SF: The focus of this—that you sold them on—was what?
MM: Well, I just thought it was interesting, uh—to—
SF: (grandly) “We have a local person who’s a world-wide authority on UFOs!”
MM: —Yeah, that’s what I thought, and, uh, I dunno, maybe—
SF: Actually, I spoke at (spells it out) STU, at (phonetically) STU—
MM: Oh—
SF: —several years ago.
MM: —Did you?
SF: Uh, three times, and at UNB, as well.
MM: I just thought it was interesting because it’s, uh—our school paper does local, uh, just deals with everything local, in Fredericton—
SF: Oh!
MM: —everything to do with the school and stuff, and I thought that it would be interesting. Because a lot of people don’t really know about UFOs and things. I’ve always been interested in them quite a bit and I just thought it would be a neat column to, uh, to read, just kindof—
SF: All right.
MM: Yeah, I dunno if you—yeah, you seem to have thought it was a good idea.
SF: So, what do you wanna know?
MM: Well, I guess a good place to start was—
SF: —at the beginning (laughs).
MM: (laughs) At the beginning. Well, naturally, that’s a great place to start.
SF: (coughs)
MM: I guess a good place to start, before getting into any real details or anything, uh—what is the scientific possibility of life existing elsewhere in the universe?
SF: We can’t really answer that question. We have one sample: here. We know about life on Earth. We don’t what the conditions are on any other planet outside of our Solar System, uh, we don’t know how many have come and gone. All we can do is—in my case at least—I worry about life out there? I don’t worry about it. What impresses me is the enormous amount of evidence indicating that life from out there is coming here—now that, I find exciting!—but I temper that with recognition that we haven’t had a civilization for very long on this planet, thousands of years, if you will.
MM: Right.
SF: The Solar System is, well, four-and-a-half, five billion years old. The galactic neighbourhood, and you know, our galaxy, and the universe goes out thirteen billion light-years. So, our status would seem to be “the newcomer.”
MM: (laughs) Yeah.
SF: Yeah, and especially if we realize that within our local neighbourhood, just thirty-nine light years away, there are two Sun-like stars—now, stars vary much more than people do, different size, age, changes in their energy output, that sort of thing, how close they are to other stars. It’s a huge variation; it’s not like tiles on a bathroom floor.
MM: No, not at all.
SF: Yeah.
MM: So, would that be Reticulum?
SF: Yeah, Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 Reticuli, in the constellation of Reticulum, which you gotta go below the equator to see. Those two stars—and it illustrates how different of a situation you can have—they’re only thirty-nine light-years away, which is just down the street, so I don’t worry about other galaxies, or (trails off). The next big galaxy’s a couple million light-years away, and our galaxy’s a hundred thousand light-years across; who cares?
MM: (laughs) Yeah.SF: (imitating Carl Sagan) “Billions and billions!” —so what, you know?! Uh… Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 (pause) are only an eighth of a light-year apart from each other, they’re both Sun-like—now that’s thirty-five times closer than the Sun is to the next star over!
MM: Right.
SF: And it’s about a hundred times closer to each other than the Sun is to the next Sun-like star, that we might expect to have planets, and life, and all the rest of it, and they are a billion years older than the Sun.
MM: So there’s—
SF: The perspective is altogether different, in other words. In addition, from a planet around either one, looking over at the other, you could directly observe planets, unlike us, who are—right now, at least—depending on the wobble of the orbit of the star. Now, because our techniques are limited—they’re gonna change, twenty years or so when we get a fancy satellite out there—
MM: Yeah.
SF: —but because our techniques are limited pretty much all we can pick up are huge gas giant planets. So if there’s an Earth-like planet around other stars in our neighbourhood, we can’t tell yet. Zeta Reticulans, on the other hand, because they’re so much closer to the other star, would be able to directly observe planets on the other star, and could easily make measurements of the characteristics of the atmosphere, telling whether there’s life or not, hoping there’s some kind of biological life.
MM: Right.
SF: So… there would be a heck of a lot more incentive to develop interstellar travel when you gotta neighbour, when you can see what’s there!
MM: Well, “Why not go talk to them?” (laughs)
SF: Well, or conquer them, or whatever.
MM: Well, whatever, yeah.
SF: Yeah. But the point is, Man seems to have an urge to travel. Another important point here is we just found out how the Sun works in 1937 or so. We thought it was a mass of burning gas—
MM: Well—
SF: —and then, after a lot of good physics in the early part of the century, we suddenly realized, “Hm… looks like it’s nuclear fusion.”
MM: Okay…
SF: Well, only 1937. That’s a not a long time.
MM: Not very long at all, no.
SF: Now, we are using nuclear fusion for, uh, H Bombs—well, among other things, but primarily for, uh, H Bombs—I worked on fusion propulsion systems for deep-space travel forty-five years ago! And what I’m saying is every advanced civilization’s gonna find out how its star works. Major question: where’s the energy coming from? I mean, scientists say, “Solar,” but—but that doesn’t say what produces the energy that—that comes here.
MM: Yeah.
SF: And so, uh, fusion propulsion systems would allow you to kick particles out the back end, and have ten million times as much energy per particle as you can get in a dumb, old chemical reactor. So all I am saying here is if we recognize that here’s a place, a billion years older than ours, where there’s far more incentive for interstellar contact—it could be colonization, it could be migration, it could be, uh, destruction, who knows what? And, either you learn to live in peace with your neighbours—however you define “neighbours,” anyone you can reach—or you get clobbered by that same development of advanced energy capabilities.
MM: Yeah.
SF: So, you can make the case that, uh, if beings are coming here, they didn’t get clobbered, or they wouldn’t be here—the civilization could’ve been destroyed—
MM: Right.
SF: “Zap—goodbye!” (laughs) So I am very much intrigued by all the evidence that indicates (pause) Earth is being visited. Now, because I am a nuclear physicist, I am also concerned with all the foolish arguments that are made against that conclusion.

© 2006, 2008 Andrew Maxwell

29 June 2007

First man killed in a saucer incident

This story came to me in a small book called Flying Saucers, published by Cowles and United Press International in 1967, and compiled by the editors of such. The book has a few stories I had not heard elsewhere, including this one. Written by Eloise Feola./

Captain Thomas Mantell, Jr., has been enshrined as a sort of martyr by flying saucer believers. He was killed after he closed in on a UFO in an Air Force fighter plane over the frigid skies above Kentucky in January, 1948. Mantell, 25, was an expert pilot. In World War II, he was one of the first to bomb the Cherbourg peninsula in advance of the invasion forces on D-Day. He had won the Distinguisged Flying Cross, awarded for a mission over the Netherlands in which enemy fire cut the rudder and elevator controls of his plane and set the tail sections ablaze. He completed the mission and got his crew and plane to safety. Early in the afternoon of Jan. 7, 1948, Mantell was in command of a group of P-51 fighters being ferried from Marietta AFB, Ga., to Standiford Field near Louisville, Ky. Dozens of persons on the ground in the area of Madisonville, Ky., had been telephoning police to report seeing a circular object hovering overhead and giving off a brilliant red glow. State police alerted Goodman Field, an air base at Fort Know. Fifteen minutes later the UFO was spotted by Goodman Field tower crew which notified the base operations officer, the intelligence officer and, eventually, Col. Guy F. Hix, base commanding officer. Hix contacted Mantell by radio and asked his squadron to investigate. Flying with Mantell were Lt. Robert Hendricks, Lt. Buford Hammond, and Lt. Albert Clements. A short time later, Mantell reported he had spotted the UFO and that he and his planes were in pursuit. Hendricks today is a lieutenant colonel with the Kentucky Air National Guard in charge of wing operations in Louisville. "We were told there was an object up there," Hendricks recalls. "And we were told to go up and take a look. I never saw it. But the others apparently did. And Tom [Mantell] started climbing. I returned to the base because I didn't have any oxygen." Hammond and Clements also gave up the chase but Mantell went on. He reported to the tower that the object seemed to "rest," then pick up a burst of speed, always outdistancing his plane. After half an hour of pursuit, Mantell's voice cut in again: "It's directly ahead of me and moving at about half my speed. I'm closing in now to take a good look. The thing looks metallic and is trememdous in size." That was at 3:15 p.m. It was the last transmission from Mantell. Less than an hour later searchers found his crashed plane. His watch had stopped at 3:18 p.m. Parts of the wreckage were strewn over an area of more than half a mile. Mantell's death brought excited speculation. But some facts were quickly established. There were no bullet wounds. The plane had not burned and was not radioactive. The left wing had broken off. In that year, the United States Navy was conducting a secret operation called Project Skyhook in which it sent up Skyhook balloons to collect information about the atmosphere high above the earth. The balloons expanded in size to 250 feet in length and 100 feet in diameter. They reacher altitudes of more than 70,000 feet and could travel thousands of miles. Their existence very likely was unknown to Mantell. The Air Force says it believes that Mantell saw a Skyhook balloon. In its report on the inverstigation of the incident, the Air Force concludes that Mantell lost consciousness because of lack of oxygen at an altitude of between 25,000 and 30,000 feet. Air Force investigators believe the aircraft continued to climb for a time, then went into a steep dive during which it partially disintegrated. Mantell never regained consciousness. "The UFO was in no way directly responsible for this accident," the report says. "However, it is probable that the excitement caused by the object was responsible for this experienced pilot conducting a high altitude flight without the necessary oxygen equipment." The Air Force does not attempt to explain why Mantell thought the object was "metallic" or how it could move at speeds much faster than his plane, the stop and start up swiftly again. Other scientific observers have said the sheen of a Skyhook balloon could give off a metallic apperance and that a balloon, caught in the tremendous winds at high altitude, could play strange tricks on vision. Mantell's mother still lives in Louisville. "He was a calm, bright young man," she says. "I don't know what happened."/
For more on the Mantell case, check out the UFO Casebook.


To whosoever reads this:

Ufology—the study of UFOs, or "unidentified flying objects"—is endlessly interesting and perhaps just as endlessly important to humans, as a race. If some UFOs are alien spacecraft, the implications for us are enormous; nothing would ever be the same again upon confirmation of this. It would mean that we are not alone in the universe, confirming the mediocrity principle—the principle stating that we are of no particular consequence or importance to the universe. This is to say nothing of the sheer enormity of what we might learn from interplanetary visitors. Then again, if there are no aliens involved with UFOs, we at least gain perspective into the rarity and importance of our world and the life it supports. And that, in turn, is to say nothing of the fact that UFOs have to be something... perhaps a manifestation of our deepest fears and hopes, as Carl Jung suggested (though he later retracted this theory).

My name is Max Maxwell. When I was a kid, I remember inheriting a few books on UFOs from my father; Frank Edwards's Stranger Than Science was a big one for me, as well as the ubiquitous Time-Life book The UFO Phenomenon (a part of the Mysteries of the Unknown series). I was never given them directly. My father died in a car accident when I was 2 years old. A little later in life, I went out to the trailer in our lawn where we kept a lot of things that we had no room for in the house. Those books were out there. I think that I have read that Edwards book about 5 times by now. The story, at the very end of the book, called "P.S.—A Guest From The Universe?", just blew me away. It was about the 1908 explosion at Tunguska, and how it may have been caused by the failure of a large alien spacecraft. From that story on, I was hooked on UFOs.

With this blog (originally envisioned and subsequently abandoned as a column in The Aquinian), I hope to get people interested in ufology and post some of the most interesting and compelling reports and theories from its fifty-year history for your enjoyment. I will occasionally post interviews conducted with leading ufologists and in the meantime, troll through the books to pick out interesting reports. By the way, 2007 marks the 6oth anniversary of the crash at Roswell. Good year to start this, then...

The truth is out there,