February 28, 2009

Weyauwega UFO Sighting

These 2 photographs of an apparent UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) were taken in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, USA (Waupaca County) in February 2003. The pictures are intriquing since they show no apparent signs of hoaxing. The object appears to be behind the branches of (what seems to be full grown) trees, that makes it unlikely that a small model was used. A balloon or dirigible could be the answer. The person who took the shots says at first he thought it was a balloon but later on it looked more like a disc. It also seems to me that balloons are normally launched during warm, not too windy, sunny weather and not during the winter with limited visibility. The witness also mentions that the lights on the craft seemed to "cycle all different patterns". Surely this is one of the more interesting UFO cases. You can find a report here.

February 27, 2009

Old Banking Habits Die Hard

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The embattled former RBS boss Fred Goodwin might want to consider leaving Britain until the media storm and outrage over his estimated £650,000-a-year ($933,000) pension has settled; it may have to be a very long break. On Thursday, the same day Royal Bank of Scotland announced a UK record loss of £24.1 billion ($34.6 billion) for 2008, it was revealed the 50-year-old Goodwin was receiving an annual pension of £650,000 ($933,000) for life.He retired after the government's multi-billion pound bailout last year.

In an extraordinary sequence of events, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, head of the Treasury, urged Goodwin to give up his pension. Goodwin responded angrily, saying he had already given up a number of contractual rights which had cost him a lot of money. Now, however, the British media are demanding action.
Under the headline "Shred Fred (Goodwin's nickname was Fred the Shred)," the Sun newspaper's editorial opened with: "Grasping banker Sir Fred Goodwin gives two fingers to us all." The editorial's tone did not let up.
"He refuses to hand back a penny of the sickening £693,000-a-year pension he is plundering from taxpayers.
"While millions of pensioners struggle on a pittance, one of the idiots most to blame for ruining their retirements lives like a king on public money. "This is not just obscene... it is outrageous, disgusting and scandalous. And it must be STOPPED (the Sun's capitalization)." ..."His pension is the final insult for the 20,000 RBS staff who will lose their jobs, for the shareholders who have been bled dry and for the rest of us whose taxes will have to clear up the mess."

Kepler Spacecraft

This should prove interesting. NASA plans to launch the Kepler spacecraft on the 6th of March. It's another telescope in space, fitted with the latest technology so we can expect some nice images, hopefully. The mission is to look for Earth-size planets in the nearby Galactic region, concentrating on those stars similar to our own.
"Kepler is a critical component in NASA's broader efforts to ultimately find and study planets where Earth-like conditions may be present," said Jon Morse, the Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The planetary census Kepler takes will be very important for understanding the frequency of Earth-size planets in our galaxy and planning future missions that directly detect and characterize such worlds around nearby stars."

February 23, 2009

Help NASA Name Node 3

You can vote for the name of the new Node 3 scheduled to be installed on the International Space Station this year. Here's the website.
Help us to name another important addition to the station - Node 3 and its cupola!
Vote using the poll on the right.

Voting will be open until March 20th, 2009. NASA will announce the winning name in April 2009.

NASA wants your opinion in naming the International Space Station’s Node 3 – a connecting module and its cupola – before the two segments travel to space and are installed on the orbiting laboratory. The name should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by the space station, and follow in the tradition set by Node 1- Unity- and Node 2- Harmony.

Space shuttle Endeavour will deliver the Node 3 components during the STS-130 mission targeted for December 2009. Once the cupola is attached to one of the module’s six ports, it will offer astronauts a spectacular view of both their home planet and their home in space. The cupola’s six rectangular windows and one circular window overhead will show a panoramic view that will be unrivaled by any other spacecraft ever flown. Aside from providing a perfect location to observe and photograph the Earth, the cupola also will contain a robotics workstation, where astronauts will be able to control the station’s giant robotic arm.
I voted "The Can."

New Solar Power

In Spain they are experimenting with a new solar power system. Lots of mirrors reflect their light on a tower where it is concentrated, turning water into steam which powers a turbine. The pricetag of the project is $1.5 billion and it generates 11 megawatts, enough to power 6000 homes.
Although a hefty pricetag and pretty much only usable in sunny regions of the planet I think it's a great initiative to come up with alternative, clean energy sources. Oil wont last forever and adds to global warming. Read all about the project here.

February 22, 2009

Playa Del Ingles - Gran Canaria

Couldn't stand seeing the picture of that person in my previous post so here are a few shots off Playa Del Ingles, a vacation resort on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. I was on holiday there some 22 years ago and wouldn't mind visiting that place again.

Richard Boylan - A Psychologist Psychoses

Richard Boylan is one of those weird characters in Ufology and I'm being rather mild here. Granted he speaks about UFOs and ETs in a positive light, but having said that, that's the only positive thing I can think of concerning his character at this time. Here comes the part that tips the scales in the other direction.
Mr Boylan was a licensed California based psychologist, but had his license revoked over allegations of improper sexual interaction with female patients. He had invited some female patients of his into his hot tub, sparking the joke among ufologists that Boylan had invented 'hydro-therapy'. The state records also show (see link above) that Boylan couldn't keep his mouth shut regarding the topic of UFOs and discussed it at great lenght with his patients who I'm sure had more pressing (psychological) needs then to be informed about that. Having his psychology license revoked seems to be completely justified. I had some correspondence with him about this matter years ago and Mr. Boylan claimed it was 'all a pack of lies spread by his competitors in order to discredit him'. Yeah right Ricky!

Boylan's 'career' in ufology was also marked by negative behaviour since he engaged in countless character assassinations against UFO researchers who disagreed with him. This went even as far as calling up certain UFO researchers employers and asking for the person in question to be sacked. Boylan formulated his own theories concerning UFOs and ETs, and created a number of forums on the internet such as this one. Calling the forum UFOFacts is quite paradoxial and basicly it's just 'facts according to Boylan' because (as I personally found out) other material outside of Boylan's theories is not open for discussion and people are quickly banned from the forum if they go against the flow.

One of the more fascinating aspects of Boylan's behaviour is that he claims he's the "Councillor of Earth", implying an official diplomatic position and in as such is the spokesperson for Humanity and ET related matters. You may ask who appointed Mr. Boylan to such a position? Well Boylan appointed Boylan of course! You can find an exopolitics view on that matter here. It's not the first time a person in ufology claims an 'elevated status' over others and I'm sure Boylan wont be the last.
Lets just call a spade a spade. Boylan, the former psychologist, is in serious need of professional councelling. It would be best for him to step away from this material and get his mental issues straightend out. Ufology can make people more paranoid and in some cases even outright delusional. Boylan is a textbook example of someone getting lost in ufology and lashing out against everyone who don't share their beliefs. Maybe we ought to call that 'the dark side of ufology' or an 'ufological induced psychoses.'

Mars Rovers Soldier On

Although designed and expected to work for an estimated 90 days, the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity have been working now for 5 years. It's a great NASA success story and everyone involved in the mission (including the rovers) have performed beyond expectation. The rovers have provided loads of data for scientists to analyse and valuable lessons are being learned such as the behaviour of the Martian atmopshere. There's a lot of dust in the atmosphere of Mars and over time the solar panels of the rovers accumulate that dust which in turn reduces operational power. The strange thing is, on occasion the solar panels receive a gust of wind from the Martian atmosphere which cleans the panels and boosts power. Not many people expected the rovers to last this long but they did. NASA gets a thumbs up on this one.

February 20, 2009

UFO Quotes

"The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb . . . "
Canadian Government memorandum, classified Top Secret (1950)

" . . . we have lost many men and planes trying to intercept them."
Benjamin Chidlaw, Commanding General, Air Defense Command (1953)

"I am convinced these objects do exist and that they are not manufactured by any nation on Earth."
Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding (1954)

"Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense."
Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, former CIA Director (1960)

"I am aware that hundreds of military and airline pilots, airport personnel, astronomers, missile trackers and other competent observers have reported sightings . . . These UFOs are interplanetary devices systematically observing the earth, either manned or under remote control, or both."
Colonel Joseph Bryan, CIA (1960)

"We appeal to all viewers to send us details of any observations of strange flying craft. This is a serious challenge to Science, and we need the help of all Soviet citizens."
Dr Felix Zigel, Moscow Aviation Institute (1967)

"I must say that if listeners could see for themselves the mass of reports coming in from the airborne gendarmerie, from the mobile gendarmerie, and from the gendarmerie charged with the job of conducting investigations, all of which reports are forwarded by us to the National Centre for Space Studies, then they would see that it is all pretty disturbing."
Robert Galley, French Minister of Defence (1974)

" . . . It is still classified above Top Secret. I have, however, heard that there is a plan to release some, if not all, of this material in the near future."
Senator Barry Goldwater,
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (1975)

"As the [Iranian Air Force] F-4 continued pursuit south of Tehran, a second brightly-lit object detached from the original UFO and headed straight for the F-4 at a high rate of speed. The pilot attempted to fire an AIM-9 missile at the new object but was prevented by a sudden power loss in his weapons control panel . . . "
U.S. Air Force Security Service report, classified Secret (1978)

"The U.S. President said that if the Earth faced an invasion by extraterrestrials, the United States and the Soviet Union would join forces to repel such an invasion . . . "
President Gorbachev, Grand Kremlin Palace (1987)

"I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask, is not an alien force already among us . . . ?"
President Reagan, United Nations General Assembly (1987)

" . . . When that truth of alien intervention in our planet's affairs and our ongoing contact with an alien culture is finally revealed, it won't be frightening even though it will be a shock."
Colonel Philip Corso, who served on President Eisenhower's
National Security Council staff (1997)

“. . . The classification was, from the outset, above Top Secret, so the vast majority of U.S. officials and politicians, let alone a mere allied minister of defence, were never in the loop . . . The time has come to lift the veil of secrecy and let the truth emerge so there can be a real and informed debate about the one of the most important problems facing our planet today.”
Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Minister of Defence (2005)

What's Wrong With The Economy?

Just read this article on CNN.com and I wasn't surprised in the least. These are all just symptons of the same disease which seems to manifest quite profoundly in financial markets and companies around the globe. That disease would be greed. Have a look at what attorney general Andrew Cuomo had to say;
"Merrill Lynch's decision to secretly and prematurely award approximately $3.6 billion in bonuses, and Bank of America's apparent complicity in it, raise serious and disturbing questions," Cuomo wrote in a letter to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services.

In his letter to Frank, Cuomo said Merrill gave bonuses of at least $1 million each to 696 employees, with a combined $121 million going to the top four recipients. The next four recipients were awarded a total of $62 million, and the next six received $66 million, he said. In all, the bonuses for 2008 totaled $3.6 billion.

"While more than 39,000 Merrill employees received bonuses from the pool, the vast majority of these funds were disproportionately distributed to a small number of individuals," Cuomo wrote. "Indeed, Merrill chose to make millionaires out of a select group of 700 employees."

If you pay close attention you'll see that this is a pyramid system. The top, lets call it for what it is, (barely staying legal) steals the most and the lower you are in the pyramid the less you get. This is the mindset of the top executive branch, enrich yourself at the expense of everything else. What's wrong with the economy? People like that!

February 19, 2009

Credit Crisis Exposes One Fraud After Another

You're a billionaire, a stand up member of society, a living example of the American dream... and you're a complete fraud. That basicly sums up R. Allen Stanford who got caught this week swindling his way to riches. He hasn't been located yet according to the latest CNN reports but since his face is all over the news it wont be long before he turns himself in or gets caught. Here's an excerpt on Stanford from MSNBC.
The bank had been misrepresenting its performance since at least 2004, according to court papers. The claims of inflated returns allowed the bank to plow more money into other parts of Stanford Financial Group, paying "disproportionately large commissions" to its affiliate Stanford Group Company, the documents say.

I think it's great the credit crisis exposes frauds such as Madoff and Stanford. Unrestricted, unchecked greed is what caused the economic downfall in the first place. How many banks needed to be rescued with taxpayers money? Hopefully all the rotten eggs continue to be weeded out and get what they thoroughly deserve.

U2 - Get On Your Boots

Dr. Michio Kaku - The Breath Of Fresh Air In Science

Michio Kaku is one of those scientists that keeps you fascinated with the topics he discusses. Although the subject matter is way beyond our level of understanding, at least for the most of us, Dr. Kaku keeps us interested with his enthusiasm and willingness to express himself in laymans terms. Not to mention that he's one of the brilliant minds in theoretical physics. His website can be found here.

February 18, 2009

NASA's Constellation Program: Back To The 60s and 70s

How does NASA plans to reach the Moon again and even Mars? You can forget about Star Trek type ion engines or any of the other stuff you see in sci-fi shows. No new ramjets X-33 Venture-star like vehicles. No, it's back to the 60s and 70s, man.

What a sight for sore eyes. Basicly what they did was combine elements from the Apollo and Shuttle missions to go into the 21th century. Solid rocket booster here, Saturn top section there. 5 year old kids with NASA lego pieces could have come up with this design. A person can argue that NASA sticks to what it knows and what has been proven to work, but come on. NASA plays it safe, you can make a case for that but at this rate of modernization we Earthlings will reach the nearest star in our Galaxy (Alpha Centauri 4 lightyears away) in about a 1000 years.

The Altair Lunar Lander, or as I like to say 'two tanks in a cheap frame for the price of one'. What a piece of crap. Will NASA install a 16 bit CPU in the lander for nostalgia sake as well? Geesh. I think NASA should quit the program immediately and sack the designers on the grounds of poor imagination.

Unox Girl

Luca Prins, a 17 year old girl from a small town in Holland is a lucky girl. After having her picture taken during the traditional New Year's seadive here in Holland which made the local newspapers (see above) she was offered one job oppertunity after another. This week she's going to Africa doing photoshoots for fashion and sunglasses designers. It pays to be a natural beauty. Ok, here's one more picture of her.

Maybe I should cut down on the blond women.

February 16, 2009

Futuristic New Antarctica Station

A new and impressive station has been build in Antarctica by the Belgiums. Carbon free and dependent on solar- and windpower.

February 15, 2009

Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer

Tricia Helfer plays 'Six' or Cylon model number Six on the sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica. Cylons were created by man to make life easier on the 12 colonies (planets) of Kobol. The Cylons revolted, fled into space and returned 40 years later and attacked - turning the 12 colonies into a nuclear waste land. Unbeknownst to the surviving humans the machines evolved into perfect looking human models. Six seduced a human scientist, Baltar, into sharing vital secrets about the colonial defences which allowed the Cylons to achieve complete success.
Ok, enough with the story intro. Tricia Helfer is a complete Babe. Damn! (Her teeth do look a bit scary on the pic, but you can't have everything I suppose.)

February 14, 2009

Debunker Kal Korff Goes A Little LaLa

Kal Korff, a figure in ufology noted for his debunking efforts on Bigfoot, UFOs, Roswell and the JFK assassination apparently has gone a little lala. In the past Kal has made tv appearences on shows such as Larry King and other documentaries. Both skeptics and UFO believers alike surely have come across this man's 'work' once in a while. Korff mostly received praise from skeptics since his work often if not always was focused on debunking a (paranormal) phenomenon. The last 3 years however Korff managed to alienate even the skeptics with his outlandish claims, begging the question if Korff has lost his marbles.

Three years ago Korff claimed he was an officer in the Israeli Special Secret Services and even had a picture taken as proof! (See top.) Naturally some people didn't accept the picture as proof positive and neither did Korff in the past with his debunking efforts on other material. On a sidenote, that is what you can expect with debunkers - double standards. Inquiries on the internet concerning the Special Secret Services came up completely empty outside of Korff's own websites.
Since no official evidence could be found some people questioned the authenticity of Korff's claims and were subsequently reprimanded and later on even attacked by nutty Kal. Korff gave off the appearance that his S3 was an official (military) organization yet it took months if not years for Korff to (vaguely) admit that it was a 'private' organization' and non-existent in the "linear sense". His credibility had already suffered by then.

Sadly that wasn't all. Kal Korff made a number of claims which made him sound more like a hoaxer or a fraud. Here are a few;
* Has a $25,000,000 budget to work with to pursue UFO frauds.
* Has a 500 book deal!
* Is a Captain (now Colonel) in the Special Secret Services and works in anti-terrorism as a SAPSTOE (Special Activities Planning Strategies Tactics Operations Execution).
* Was a consultant to the OJ Simpson criminal prosecution team and an expert witness for the defense in the OJ Simpson civil trial.

In the end Kal managed to do something extraordinary. A debunker debunking himself. Now that's a little LaLa.

Bob Dean - Cosmic Top Secret