January 30, 2010

Suhkoi T-50

Yesterday Russia announced its new fifth generation fighter jet, the Sukhoi T-50 or PAK FA. The plane has entered the testing phase and is expected to go into service in 5 years. When looking at the shape of the craft I can't help noticing that it's almost an identical copy to the F-22 Raptor. Bit of a rip off if you ask me.

January 28, 2010


Last night I was watching the BBC documentary Planet Earth and the episode dealt with caves. They saved the best for last and filmed in the Lechuguilla cave. Amazing works of nature. The picture above is taken in one chamber called 'the Chandelier Ballroom.' You can take a virtual tour on this website.

January 27, 2010

Tiresome Cranks

""Crank" is a pejorative term used for a person who unshakably holds a belief that most of his or her contemporaries consider to be false.[1] A "cranky" belief is so wildly at variance with commonly accepted truth as to be ludicrous. Cranks characteristically dismiss all evidence or arguments which contradict their own unconventional beliefs, making rational debate an often futile task.

Virtually universal characteristics of cranks include:
1. Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.
2. Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.
3. Cranks rarely if ever acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.
4. Cranks love to talk about their own beliefs, often in inappropriate social situations, but they tend to be bad listeners, and often appear to be uninterested in anyone else's experience or opinions.
In addition, many cranks
1. seriously misunderstand the mainstream opinion to which they believe that they are objecting,
2. stress that they have been working out their ideas for many decades, and claim that this fact alone entails that their belief cannot be dismissed as resting upon some simple error,
3. compare themselves with Galileo or Copernicus, implying that the mere unpopularity of some belief is in itself evidence of plausibility,
4. claim that their ideas are being suppressed, typically by secret intelligence organizations, mainstream science, powerful business interests, or other groups which, they allege, are terrified by the possibility of their allegedly revolutionary insights becoming widely known,
5. appear to regard themselves as persons of unique historical importance." (From Wikipedia.)

For some years now I've been a moderator on a Yahoo UFO forum. Well, not 24-7 of course but I logged in when I had the time and energy for it. There were also times when I was absent for many months due to family circumstances and illness. During that time as a moderator I noticed a decline of sorts. There are always arguments of course and differences of opinion regarding Ufological matters but what I failed to notice was a more sinister plot by person(s) best described as crank(s). Maybe 'disnformation agents' or 'agent provocateurs' could apply just as easily.
Just recently I started looking back on that forum and in its archives, also focusing on the times when I was away. This endeavour was charged by the discovery that there were many blogs around - highly criticising the forum I was moderating for. Those blogs, around 8 to 10 of them in total, gave me the appearance that one or two persons were behind them. The layout was often the same, they shared the same articles, they were all 'monetised' and to top it off there were links redirecting to the other blogs. Names by the author however differed in some places.
Naturally those blogs gave me the impression that someone had it in for the forum and I recalled that in the past some persons were put on moderation or were banned when they repeatedly broke the rules or misbehaved themselves. So I began digging in the forum archives starting with the names that were visible on those blogs. Well, it didn't take me long to find the right suspect.

One name was indentical to a blog author that criticises the forum. I started reading what that person posted and what they were writing about. While you may think that UFO believers are of the 'feel good' kind, some folks are just the opposite. The person who caught my attention had a very dark, nihilistic view. He acknowledged that UFOs were there but pretty much everything else was wrapped in a dark blanket. He was so disturbing to other folks (who got upset with him), that he was put on moderation which means that his posts had to be approved first.
I continued to read the posts in the archives and quickly discovered another poster (using an internet alias) who held the same views. Looking at what he wrote, what words he used, what topics he liked to discuss and what kind of ideology he adhered to, it didn't take me long to figure out this was the same person. This new persona was a bit more cautious, probably because he didn't want to be discovered, but maintained his views allbeit not so strongly as before. He was also nicer to some other folks on the forum. He made a minor adjustment to his name and continued pushing people's buttons until his ideology was so apparent to other folks that he had to admit he was the previous poster that caused the disruption in the first place.
He was immediately banned from the forum for not following the rules and being a disruptive element. The same day he was banned he reconnected to the forum under yet another alias. This time a woman's name. I discovered that in retrospect because over time his method operandi became apparent again. As of this writing I found out that this person used 8 aliases in one year and there's a good chance I missed a few.

When I was aware of what that shady person had done on the forum combined with his scathing blogs, I decided to post on the forum and make people conscious of what had been going on and who was behind the 'anti-movement'. Well, should have known of course that that person was also a cyberstalker because in one hour I received an email followed by 20 more in the next 24 hours. While half of those emails were from different addresses, I couldn't help to think that most of them were made by the same person again.
I received many emails referring to his blog posts and why our forum and which it stands for basically sucks. Not a single remark was made of his dealings in the past on the forum. He invited me to his own Yahoo club which with some irony has the word 'rational' in the title. Next I continued to press him (in emails) for acknowledgement that he used so many aliases even while after he was banned. I showed him all the information that made denial practically impossible and finally he admitted that he was the one. Rather amazingly he showed no guilt or remorse with his confession, quite the contrary, it was almost like he was proud of it.
Reluctantly I joined his forum in the hope I could talk some sense into him and avoid recurring incidents on the forum I was moderating for. I guess he knew what time it was because he avoided having a discussion with me but he did continue presenting his blog posts and ideology. Other members of his Yahoo club were more willing to discuss matters but to my dismay a number of those folks held some of the ideas as him. It's been almost 2 weeks now but there's hardly getting through to that man. He sees nothing but his own preconceived notions and reasonable arguments don't sink in. That's ultimately very tiresome.

Reading the posts he made in a years time I can make some conclusions. He likes to debate people but mainly to display his own convictions. He basically doesn't want answers or theories from someone else. He needs an audience. (I should have written 'needs' in capital letters.) He can be nice and courteous but that's mainly to facilitate his need for an audience and it's also prevention from being banned. He likes to bait people into a particular discussion, push their buttons and inject his own ideology. When receiving criticism he replies in anger claiming the other person is filled with hate. When confronted with his own methods, he turns to stone.
I think that qualifies as being a Crank.

Alotta Work

Albert S. Rosales has a website, database to be more precise, where he compiled many encounters with (bizarre) entities. He also categorised them by year. Undoubtedly lots of work.

January 21, 2010

Adamski type UFO?

Scotland 2007, Dumfries and Galloway area.

January 4, 2010

Back Again

After 2 operations in December, I'm back again, sorta. Hospital food was great but the tv's are rather small. After that it was Xmas, New Year and birthday. Busy times indeed.