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Thread: UFOs versus Modern Technology

  1. #1 UFOs versus Modern Technology 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    As recording and analysis technology increases and becomes more readily available, the sightings of UFOs have decreased. In the 1940s, the UFO belief was born in the "saucer craze" begun by Kenneth Arnold's sighting and the so-called "crash at Roswell," since thoroughly explained by the Air Force as a combination Projects Mogul and High Dive, which involved high-altitude balloons and anthropomorphic dummies.

    The sightings of UFOs continued new trends began. The abduction phenomenon began with Betty & Barney Hill, but was later popularized in the 1980s with Whitley Streiber's tales of "visitors." This trend was amplified in the 1990s with additional books by Streiber and the advent of the X-Files, in which adbuction of humans by an extraterrestrial species was a central premise.

    The crop circle phenomenon, the spurious evidence of cattle "mutilations" (dead cows that are devoured by rodents, etc and left to bewilder the mystery mongers), tales of grand government conspiracy & cooperation with alien races, and even stories of battles waged in vast tunnels beneath the desert of New Mexico are all part of the lore of ufology that developed with the comming of the internet in the early 1990's. A mythos like ufology was made for the internet.

    Now, in the first years of 2000, we see a decline in sightings of UFOs, cattle mutilations aren't as talked about, aliens aren't abducting us with the frequency that was once asserted, and no one has any evidence that can be measured or analyzed with any qualitative or quantitative method that can produce any meaningful conclusions.

    What's different in 2005 that wasn't true for 1980?

    Technology. The human kind.

    Camera's are now small enough and good enough to apply to cellphones. People can now afford the instant satisfaction of producing still and even moving pictures in digital, easily transferred format. Moreover, this technology is steadily coming down in price while steadily going up in quality. 5+ megapixel digital cameras are commonplace and if you get a dozen or so people in one room, it's almost guaranteed that someone will have a camera. Take a group of a dozen people on any random outdoor event, and you can double that number and add a couple with digital camcorders.

    The Independent (Herbert 2005) quoted Andy Roberts, an author of UFO books and former magazine contributor, as saying: 'Ufology is really a thing of the past century. The end of The X- Files series didn't help, and there has been a decline since the televised alien autopsy of the mid-1990s. Basically, it was a hobby that broke into the mainstream. Ultimately, there was only a hardcore following.'

    Ironically, there is a surgence of UFO sightings in developing countries. The government of Chile, for instance has UFO 'hotspots' advertised for tourism purposes.

    Is there a correlation between UFO sightings and human technology and understanding? Is ufology destined to suffer the same fate of the 'canals on Mars?' In other words, as science, technology and general understanding of both by the general public improve, will ufology one day be considered a quaint belief of quaint people in history? The same quaintness that caused people to believe the world was flat, that the sun orbited the earth, that the moon was made of cheese, etc.?

    ++++++++++++
    ***************

    Herbert, Ian (2005). UFO-Spotters Give Up Hunt for Flying Saucers. The Independent August 10, 2005, Wednesday SECTION: First Edition; NEWS; Pg. 9


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    If anything the "real" UFO's will start to appear and they won't be flown from men from mars...or will they

    It's just a matter of time before someone somewhere figures out some ways to break the laws of physics. More like discovers flaws and loopholes in the laws that can be exploited to allow for the impossible.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I'd think that any alien race would be so advanced that it would just bypass Earth in its travels after seeing what goes on here by monitoring our radio or TV waves.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Either that or use us as pets, or food for their pets
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  6. #5  
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    I don't understand exactly what your thesis is; is it that human technology has advanced to the point that ... what?

    I would also point out that human technology was advancing pretty rapidly during the UFO, whatever you want to call it.

    My grandmothers did not have electricity or central heating or indoor plumbing when they were born and they lived to see men walk on the moon; I have seen similar advances in my life in half the time. [During this time, none of us were abducted.]

    Frankly, I think that the people who would have been abducted by aliens are all inside the house watching reality t.v. shows.

    However, there is the possibility that the aliens are more interested in industrialized rather than post-industrial areas.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    I'm saying that the UFO phenomenon is/was nonsense.

    With the proliferation of cameras and camcorders from the 1940's to present, we should expect far more visual evidence of sightings than we have. In fact, I would expect that most sightings of UFOs would be by astronomers (amateur and professional) since they spend far more time looking at the sky than the average person.

    Yet, what we get is blurry photographs and video at rates that are not consistent with what is expected.

    Overall, sighthings themselves are decreasing. UFO clubs and organizations are falling apart (ever hear anything from MUFON lately?).

    So, either the UFO phenomenon is nonsense, or ET has finished collecting the data they need. If its the later, and as an anthropologist, I'd love to have a go at their research models.

    I'm sure there are other answers and reasons for the decline in the "saucer craze," UFO sightings, and the break up of ufology in general. I'm merely suggesting one possibility and opening the topic up to discuss others. I suppose I wasn't clear enough in my opening post.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I too don't believe any UFO's were ever here but I do believe that there might be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I'm saying that the UFO phenomenon is/was nonsense.
    I caught that; I wasn't sure where the digital cameras came in.

    I hadn't really noticed the decline; I'd love to hear what the sociologists make of it.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    if they exist i'd like to bring one down, using any method, so we could do the research. or just steal the ship and fly around for a bit.

    but thats just loonisy, i have a better chance of killed by a speck of dust from space.
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  11. #10  
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    I'll agree that some people will just hop on the most bizarre bandwagon handy, and that [most of ?] the people who claim to have been abducted were, well, nuts. Still ...

    Ask ten people whom you know if they personally have had an inexplicable experience; I bet at least seven will say yes.

    The really interesting point is to what they attribute it; ghosts, aliens, or angels.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by j
    The really interesting point is to what they attribute it (the inexplicable experience); ghosts, aliens, or angels.
    I attribute mine to the inexplicability of the Universe, which is inversely proportional to how dumb we are as individuals and as a species.

    Edit: For a moment there I felt just like Socrates.
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  13. #12  
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    i guess when we have those kinds of odds.
    not having an inexplicable experience becomes inexplicable.

    all events in my life can be explained.
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  14. #13  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I just re-read my post and realised I meant to say that the inexplicability of the Universe is directly proportional to our dumbness.
    Now, how do you explain that?!!
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  15. #14  
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    How boring for you, wallaby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I attribute mine to the inexplicability of the Universe, which is inversely proportional to how dumb we are as individuals and as a species.
    I thought you meant that as our understanding grows, we realize how much more there is to learn. I was impressed at the intellectual optimism implied. I don't know whether to be depressed or entertained that it was all a mistake.

    I attribute it to time travel; I know time travel occurs because my keys keep showing up in places where I have already looked for them. Obviously, they have travelled in time to five minutes in the future.

    The UFO are from the future; ghosts are from the past. God only knows where my keys are.
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  16. #15  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j
    How boring for you, wallaby.
    i know it's a drag.

    Quote Originally Posted by j
    I attribute it to time travel; I know time travel occurs because my keys keep showing up in places where I have already looked for them. Obviously, they have travelled in time to five minutes in the future.

    The UFO are from the future; ghosts are from the past. God only knows where my keys are.
    Have you looked in your pockets?
    you'd be supprised at how many things Inexplicably end up in a persons pockets.
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  17. #16  
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    Hell, I've checked the refrigerator.

    Actually, I've solved the key problem; I leave the car key in the car.
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by j
    I thought you meant that as our understanding grows, we realize how much more there is to learn. I was impressed at the intellectual optimism implied.
    On a serious note I have long held to the analogy that knowledge is like a ballon. The contents of the baloon are what we know, the surface of the balloon is the interface between our knowledge and our ignorance. At any one time the surface of the balloon therefore defines our ignorance. When we know little, the surface is small and our ignorance is limited. As our knowledge increase so to does our ignorance. I therfore make it an objective that every day I will become slightly more ignorant than I was the day before.
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  19. #18 Re: UFOs versus Modern Technology 
    Forum Sophomore Phlogistician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    As recording and analysis technology increases and becomes more readily available, the sightings of UFOs have decreased....Camera's are now small enough and good enough to apply to cellphones.
    As soon as I find a place to host the file, I'll show you the small amount of video footage I took whilst walking my dogs the other night. I live on two flights paths, one is for the local airport, and the other, more interestingly, is the route that geese and swans take from the local park where they get fed, to the nature reserve where they sleep. The footage I took is of a couple of dozen geese flying over head in formation, a sight I find rather impressive.

    Why is this relevant? Well, from seeing them approach, I managed to pull out my cellphone, switch it on, and activate the video capture. The fact the flying objects are birds is clear, there are trees in the frame to judge height and distance by, and the birds are tracked well.

    I assume had I seen a UFO, I could have swiped as much similar quality footage. I assume everyone with a camera phone could do the same.

    So, like you, I am bemused at the lack of UFO footage, considering our capability of capturing it these days.
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  20. #19  
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    ophiolite:

    If I remember geometry correctly, a sphere is the smallest area required to contain a given volume; so, in your analogy, while our absolute ignorance may increase, our ignorance relative to our level of knowledge decreases, right?

    Still optimistic ...

    Phlogistician:
    But the geese were much closer to the trees than a UFO would necessarily be; does digital imagery elimate depth of field problems?
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by j
    Phlogistician:
    But the geese were much closer to the trees than a UFO would necessarily be; does digital imagery elimate depth of field problems?
    Why would a UFO 'necessarily' be anywhere? I'm not assuming anything about their flight path, what I am stating, is that I wasn't trying to capture or exclude foreground or background objects when I took my footage, they were just there, and can be used to judge height, scale, speed, and flight direction. That is hardly ever the case for 'UFO' footage, where these clues seem _deliberately_ excluded.

    Digitial photography makes no difference to depth of field. Depth of field is a property of the f. stop. A well lit scene with a tight Iris will have greater depth of field than a poorly lit one, where the Iris must be open wider to allow more light.
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  22. #21  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see the images just out of curiosity.

    I live in the flight path of a major U.S. airport (D/FW) and on the right evenings with the right conditions, planes will approach w/out apparent sound and the lights in the low clouds are very reminiscent of the "triangular" UFO pictures we often see from Belgium and other places.

    I've wanted to photograph/video this effect for some time.

    Come to think of it, a database of known natural/manmade phenomena with corresponding pictures would be very useful in any genuine or meaningful investigation into UFOs. Carl Sagan once commented that he suggested to Hyneck & Blue Book investigators that they include questions like, "what natural phenomenon did the ufo most resemble?" But such comparissons were never implemented. Instead you get questions that make assumptions of "object" and "flying," very mechanical terms that imply as much as they describe.
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  23. #22  
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    Ah, I get the point about the reference objects.

    The point I was trying to make, would the planes have been in focus?
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by j
    Ah, I get the point about the reference objects.

    The point I was trying to make, would the planes have been in focus?
    In focus, most likely for an object further than a few tens of metres with a standard lens, as after that, the divergence of light coming towards the lens is similar enough for an object at say 50m to one at 80m, for both to be 'in focus' with the same lens position. At 100m, the light arriving can be considered parallel, and non diverging, and always in focus for every point further away, as no further correction is needed.

    Zoom lenses throw this out though. Most camcorders have a fairly decent zoom on them. Mine has an x18, and x25 is fairly standard now. Zoom lenses are far more sensitive to focus. So much so, in fact, a high power rifle scope (say 40x) can be used as a range finder. You set the zoom, focus, and can work out the range for hold over of a shot. This is where we fall over wrt focus, zoom, and UFOs. If I'm aiming at a target with my rifle, I already know the shape I'm expecting to see, and know it's not moving much. So I can zoom until the target fills my field of view, and focus until I see my target focussed and recognise the features I know to be there. I can now assess the range of my target.

    But if the 'target' is moving, and we don't know what we're looking at exactly, we're in trouble. We zoom in using a camcorder, but focus is automatic, and usually achieved using an IR beam, that bounces back to give range. If we are shooting an flying object, that beam is scanning sky, not our object. Our camcorder has no information on how to focus the image. Plus, we keep zooming until we fill the field of view with our object, and throughout the zoom (which will take several seconds) the object will be out of focus, as the optics just can't keep up if they aren't already focussed. So, we may well end up with some shaky, (thanks to the zoom magnifying hand shake), out of focus (thanks to focus being important when we zoom), out of context (because our depth of field will change with zoom (when we narrow down to a few degrees, we are collecting less light, and unless we have a really big objective lens to catch lots (and camcorders have what 25mm lenses at best?) we need to open up that f. stop, and because of the zoom, divergence is more significant, so focus must be more accurate(simply because we are tricking 'closeness', ie less than that 100m point) so foreground and background objects will most likely be excluded as we've zoomed past them, and if we do see them, they will be fuzzy, and useless for comparison.

    One of the best examples of this phenomenon, is down to Sony. They made a camcorder with a lozenge shaped Iris. If pointed at a bright object in the sky, and zoomed, it would lose focus, and the shadow of the Iris would fall on the CCD, and give the operator a lozenge shaped target. A UFO, surely! Shown on various TV programs as such! No! At zoom, it would appear to shoot around the sky, but this was merely camera wobble. Because of the lack of focus, there would be no other objects to judge scale or speed. But no, it was just a shadow of the internals of the camera. I've seen this with other equipment, with multi element Irises, giving six sided objects, or more.

    So, if you should see what you consider a UFO. DON'T ZOOM. Make sure there are foreground/background objects so 'flight' (the very important 'F' part of uFo can be determined), and also scale, speed etc. If the object is visible for a length of time, find a way to steady the camera, and zoom in stage by stage, allowing focus to catch up. A big fuzzy image is no more use than a small in focus one. So above all things, focus rules!
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  25. #24  
    Forum Sophomore Phlogistician's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, Goose footage. It's hosted by Google, as my web server is in bits at the moment. You have to install a little bit of software from them to play it.

    It was taken with a camera phone, a Qtek 2020 (Orange SPV m2000/ O2 XDAII, a PDA/Cellphone piece of equipment, whatever they're badged at in your hood) at 320x240 and 16fps in .avi format. It was evening, and the light was failing. I heared the flock coming, wasn't sure of exact approach, pulled out PDA, and started filming. The flock came directly overhead, and proceeded towards the nature reserver, all in a few seconds. What we can tell though from this small video though, is direction (as the flew overhead, and my degree of twist can be seen) and there are trees to judge height.

    http://video.google.com/videopreview...+5%3A48+PM+PDT

    Sorry about hideous URL!
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  26. #25  
    Forum Sophomore Elbethil's Avatar
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    Phlogistician, you can hide a url by posting it as a link like this.
    "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams
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  27. #26  
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    UFOs as in little green, gray, or lizard like alien beings flying around in saucer-shaped flying machines is certainly difficult to believe. If there were such occurrences, one thought would be their technology certainly hasn’t changed very much in the last 2000 years!

    However, SkinWalker’s comment, “So, either the UFO phenomenon is nonsense, or ET has finished collecting the data they need. If its the later, and as an anthropologist, I'd love to have a go at their research models,” did bring to mind a thought I had pertaining to black holes and quantum computers.

    In Scientific American, November 2004 issue, there is an article entitled, “Black Hole Computers” written by Seth Lloyd and Y. Jack NG. It refers to matter entering into a black hole and radiation teleporting out. This radiation is speculated to have a computational output. The thought behind it is a black hole operates much like a quantum computer.

    I found this fascinating. My next thought was if we were able to somehow program this radiation beam to be able to reach a distant galaxy, record specific information, return this information to us finding a way to “read” the information using “black hole” (quantum, I guess) technology, it could open up an additional way to learn about the universe.

    Then I considered spacetime. I am highly skeptical of time travel in a corporeal form, but if everything in the universe records, time most certainly would be included in this as well. If we could find a way to send a radiation beam (or something we could substitute for them) programming it to record periods in time, that would be truly amazing. (Of course I have to stop here and speculate, if everything in the universe, including time, records, it could be as it continues to journey through space, time could possibly be rewriting over itself, much like a CD or tape would, complicating things)

    This thought brings me back to UFOs. There are people who have reported seeing “balls of light” merging and unmerging. This would be the one area I would come close to believing in “UFOs” simply because I would wonder if by using “black hole” or quantum technology, we could direct radiation (or other) beams into time and “record” specific areas in history, or even used in our own time for exploration of our universe as we know it.

    Hmmm…..does anyone else here the theme from the Twilight Zone…..? LOL

    Cyndi
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  28. #27  
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    Ah, more 'UFO' footage from my good self. Using the zoom technique, I created a 'UFO' out of a jet liner. I live near the approach to a fairly busy local airport, so there are plenty of aircraft visible at any time of day.

    Footage starts with an aircraft in top right, then I see another plane (towards the midde left) start it's turn towards the landing strip, and catch the sunlight. This, glinting in the sun, and without a contrail, is a far better candidate for turning into a UFO. So I zoom and pan onto it. For a while, it looks like a white orb, as it's zoomed out of focus. The glinting and focus completely covering up the fact that it has wings. I keep zooming, but it becomes too blurry and mixes in with the background, and I guess it kept turning and stopped glinting so much.

    Anyway, here's the vid;

    http://video.google.com/videopreview...+9%3A54+AM+PDT

    It was shot with a Konica Minolta dImage z2, at 640x320 at 30fps, into .mov format originally. The building roof shown at the beginning is my outbuilding, which is about 12' tall at the apex, and I was a little further than that from it when I started filming.

    I was originally out in my back garden photographing a spider on it's web using the macro setting, and then I thought I'd make a 'UFO' while I had my camera out.

    I'll try and make some more, maybe at night next time, just to show how easy it is to let bad photography create 'UFO's.

    Please feel free to join in and add your own!
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  29. #28  
    j
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    Thank you for the answer to my question, btw.
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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  30. #29  
    Forum Freshman Alize's Avatar
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    We often forget that most of the relevant ufos sightings in the us in the 1980 was linked to the secret development of the F117 nighthawk
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