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CIA Releases UFO Documents (theblackvault.com)
187 points by acdanger 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 193 comments

Many of these are correspondences with random people with varying levels of credibility. Taken alone, we can't draw any conclusion from a single person claiming an observation of a UFO.

Statistically, however, there needs to be a convincing psychiatric study that people with no history of mental illness and "good moral standing" in the community can have a single hallucinatory event, often with multiple witnesses and specific details common across different sightings, to discount these observers as crazy, like so many here do. What is the mechanism? Our society is mostly based on witness testimony and trust, at the end of the day (we are coming back full circle with the advent of deepfakes).

I'm not talking about seeing a dot of light moving strangely in the distance or something seen for only two seconds. Skeptical people rightly point out that those typically have a prosaic explanation, and often not a very exceptional one.

I'm referring to the "close encounters" in which the witness(es) couldn't possibly mistake the giant black triangle silent floating 50 feet over a car with dozens of witnesses. Or the ranchers who check on the strongest bull in their herd one day, and the next find it precisely mutilated about a field, along with a dozen others, with no blood to be found. Or the entire schools full of children reporting metal objects landing with beings coming out to communicate with them telepathically.

I do not doubt that some of them are crazy, but all of them? With what mental illness?

As someone who was into this stuff as a kid, and read every book I could get my hands on, as well as a bit of academic study of the history of religious experience, I eventually grew into the conclusion:

> people with no history of mental illness and "good moral standing" in the community can have a single hallucinatory event, often with multiple witnesses and specific details common across different sightings

... yes, they can.

It's not a mental illness, it's "pareidolia" or something similar. The "face on mars" is a great example. The brain is a pattern-recognition neural net. It's really good at finding patterns. So good that it finds patterns which aren't there. Occasionally they can be really strong.

Spookily, while typing this post, I saw a bright oval dot moving at high speed across my peripheral vision, outside the window. Just before it disappeared from view my bleary eyes resolved it as a seagull, being under-lit by the dawn light against houses and trees that are still in shadow.

(I think we'd do well to recognize that there's no sharp boundary between "sane" and "mentally ill" either, and that "mentally ill" should not be used to automatically discount people! Schizophrenia is known to produce hallucinations as a common symptom, but not depression or bipolar, while migrane headaches can produce flashing lights in the field of vision but are not usually classified as a mental illness)

also, sheer numbers.

If you have 10 people who don't smoke, exercise, eat healthy etc.. they're unlikely to get cancer. If you have 10 million, a lot of them will.

Same for random hallucinations. One in ten people? Not likely. One in ten million? Practically certain.

16% having personally seen something seems a bit high for your logic [0]. Granted, I don't have data for the "close encounters," so most of these will be distant or unclear, short observations with prosaic explanations.

I've never seen anything myself, but anecdotally, a group of sane family members did (a close encounter, at that) circa 1970, long before the secret military jet angle would have any credibility. Apparently more than half of people can share a similar personal or family anecdote.

[0] https://www.syracusenewtimes.com/ufos-aliens-and-abductions-...

Yeah but how do you explain a dozen+ kids all together, susceptible to group hallucinations to the extent of a being walking within arms length? That's a lot different than a dot in the corner of your eye or a group of witnesses mistaking something. Add in video interviews of the children by a Harvard psychologist, you get an incredibly compelling story that is very hard to come up with some simple answer

There are at this point billions of cameras running continuously or within arms reach. Instead of speculating about silly eye witness reports, lets wait for the physical evidence to materialize. Look how many videos there are of the Chelyabinsk meteor.

If I linked 50 videos and photos (you could easily find some yourself with a search engine), I suspect you would say something like "look how easily you could do this with CGI." Sure, it's true, but using that No True Scotsman line of thinking, literally nothing will change your mind.

So unless you have an answer to this alleged isolated hallucinatory mental illness that lacks any scientific rigor, can you really refute thousands of witnesses or the validity of their other forms of evidence, such as photos and videos?

Do we have any such examples with 50 different angles of the same UFO event?

Whenever an actual event occurs (meteor, explosion, and so on) we have video footage from multiple angles uploaded almost immediately. If UFO activity was a frequent occurrence happening to thousands of people, it would be truly remarkable if it was never captured by multiple cameras somehow.

As for dismissing reports: There are hundreds of millions of people in the US alone. If you go searching for claims, you can find thousands of people who will make similar mistaken or untrue claims about anything. At scale, the amount of misperception and misremembering is massive.

> Whenever an actual event occurs (meteor, explosion, and so on) we have video footage from multiple angles uploaded almost immediately.

There are a few problematic assumptions in this line of thinking: you assume the event is as dramatic as a meteor or explosion, occurs in a highly populated area, and involves no discretion on the part of the object. This is typically not the case, although you could argue that people recalling the same specific details in smaller witness groups, but across many different incidents, could constitute the same idea. Even with this in mind, I can think of a few truly mass sightings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Lights https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_UFO_wave https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrozavodsk_phenomenon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1561_celestial_phenomenon_over... https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29342407

And you should read these if you are interested in an account where either the Navy fabricated this weird hoax, fake data and got a squadron of pilots to lie about it very convincingly, or the whole event is real. Multiple radar, multiple pilot visuals, multiple angles.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/us/politics/ufo-sightings... https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/33371/here-are-the-det...

> I can think of a few truly mass sightings

All of which occured before the advent of ubiquitous hand-held cameras, security camera footage, and dash-cams. Can't help but feel had these been captured we'd have found simple explanations for each, and people's memories of them would be less malleable.

Re the naval sightings, the article you've linked to says "experts emphasize that earthly explanations can generally be found for such incidents".

Most interestingly, the captioned video:

"That footage, published previously but with little context, shows an object tilting like a spinning top moving against the wind. A pilot refers to a fleet of objects, but no imagery of a fleet was released."

A kernel of truth + some imagination.

Apparently as soon as we mass produced portable camera devices, the aliens ran away...

Lack of digital footage doesn't seem incongruous. If we accept that aliens are capable of travelling vast distances to be able to visit the planet then they're capable of technology significantly advanced from where Humanity currently is. With 'magic' levels of technology, the ability to disrupt a CCD sensor doesn't seem beyond the pale.

(I don't think I actually believe aliens are here and walking amongst us, but I'm not sure I can see a lack of evidence as being evidence of them not being here either).

It would be ironic if the aliens were here all along but were using cloaking devices, and the UFOs people were seeing really were swamp gas, Venus, etc.

And they gave the same technology to Nessie, Bigfoot and everybody else.

Ghosts too

What the user above is saying is about smartphones. To give an example, with one of SpaceX's initial launches I had a bunch of friends send me photos (I was working as a rocket scientist at the time). I literally got a dozen photos. The same thing happened with an unannounced Navy missile test. I got tons of messages and Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc was littered with photos. All the links you listed are from the pre-cellphone era. This is fine, but not what the parent was talking about, so the response isn't great. Personally I'm not aware of a UFO phenomena that took place with the criteria the parent listed (multiple angles and recordings). But I have personally seen that criteria for claims of UFOs but in reality be explainable man made phenomena.

As to the Navy stuff Occam's razor would say that these are edge cases where the instruments fail. Having viewed these videos this seems like a reasonable explanation. Sure, it could be aliens, but sensors being wrong is an extremely common occurrence so it is a much simpler answer. Edge cases where sensors fail are also cases where human sensors are likely to fail too (this should be unsurprising if you've studied a bit of computer vision). So

> either the Navy fabricated this weird hoax, fake data and got a squadron of pilots to lie about it very convincingly, or the whole event is real

Is a false dichotomy. Sure, those are two options, but a third option is that people simply don't know what they saw but it was a natural phenomena. Ignoring that case isn't helpful to the discussion and more likely to convince people that you're a crackpot (I don't mean this in an offensive way, just trying to help you set up your argument better. I want you to have the strongest argument you can make because that's how we find answers).

What's interesting about the Nimitz incident is that sensor malfunction seems unlikely given that a number of different sensors placed at different ships and aircraft registered the same thing. Now, that thing was probably not an alien spacecraft, but dismissing it as a "visual artifact", "sensor malfunction" etc. seems dishonest based on what I've read about it. Something was there, and it didn't move like anything man made.

Thanks! Those explanations seem reasonable. Certainly more reasonable than extraterrestrials. I was under the impression that the radar data that concluded insane speeds was aggregated from multiple sources. If that's not the case (as Mick seems to suggest), then I suppose it could be a radar glitch. And since the speeds and maneuvering of the object is the only thing that made it seem not man made to me, that falls too.

My point about "something was there" still stands though. I've heard other debunking comments that simply dismiss it as a video issue, and that is what grinds my gears.

> My point about "something was there" still stands though. I've heard other debunking comments that simply dismiss it as a video issue, and that is what grinds my gears.

Forgive me if I was a bit defensive in the before comment, but I did not make the claim that nothing was there. I made the claim that there were better explanations. It is important that we try to characterize arguments individually and not group as "them". All that leads to is frustration and fighting. I'll say it takes two to tango but we should all work on not stoking the flames. I think this is a big lesson we as a society need to learn from recent events.

I somehow missed the fact that you were the same person I replied to initially. That in itself is almost poetic in regard to the state of society that you allude to.

Also a response to the sibling comment: at a certain point you need to actually look into it yourself/read linked articles before commenting. If you look at the truly mass sightings throughout history (that I know of), most of them have occurred decades or centuries apart. It's the sheer volume of less prominent activity that compels me. I certainly hope we will eventually get one with a hundred different angles with the newest 2025 smartphone cameras. Although keep in mind even the newest iPhones can't take a great photo of a jumbo jet at cruising altitude.

And if, hypothetically, there was an intelligence, and it was intentionally being discreet, it doesn't take a lot of creativity to imagine they might be smart enough to go about their business while doing a decent job of avoiding the situation that would provide incontrovertible proof. While that seems like a cop out, so is claiming the Nimitz incident could be explained by some mysterious natural phenomena, without actually offering an explanation. If you actually put in the effort to consume all the information available on just that specific incident, it leaves little room for alternatives between the two options.

With the time thing, that would suggest that these events are uncommon. In that case it would be reasonable that the gov doesn't know what's going on either and that these visitors aren't here for the long hull. Of course, assuming these are visitors and not natural or man made phenomena. But I'll wait for the cell phone events. You suggest it should happen within my lifetime.

As was posted in another comment I'm going to post this video. And don't dare claim someone hasn't looked up the links and articles just because they don't agree with you. Do it if they demonstrate that they didn't (there's a big difference and the former is going to piss someone off and is against HN's good faith rules).


Posting the Mick West explanation is the go-to response for critics who have done the bare minimum research. And I have to give him credit -- his explanation of parallax as it pertains to Go-Fast is compelling and probably accurate. We don't have a whole verified narrative with multiple angles/witnesses (besides the two pilots) to enrich that incident.

I'm referring to the Nimitz incident. I don't mean to offend you, but I can say confidently there is information you have yet to consume on that incident. Taken alone and with no context, the IR video isn't convincing proof of anything, and West points that out, while ignoring that there is other information. But there is more verified info from the original NYT piece that makes this case special [0]. How do you explain the fact that passive radar from the ship was tracking this object on and off for two weeks before they finally deployed a squadron to investigate it? How do you explain the fascinating pilot testimony (they had multiple angles, by the way) of the white round object flying around erratically, then mirroring their descent, then shooting off into the sky [1]? Or the fact that their primary radars were being jammed (technically an act of war)?

Any of these pieces of information taken alone could be inconclusively explained away, but as you compound them, forcing a "normal" explanation looks more and more like the Catholic church telling Galileo that the cosmos orbit around the Earth.

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/us/politics/ufo-sightings... [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eco2s3-0zsQ

Just look into crop circles on YouTube. It's plainly obvious to me anyway what is going on here.

But if a person doesn't want to see or believe, it's almost like a magical shield goes over their eyes - they simply won't see it, or won't be able to acknowledge it.

> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/us/politics/ufo-sightings...

This one is a great example: The video linked here has been thoroughly explained to be very dull, boring things that were misinterpreted by the people filming them.

For instance, the second video, with the supposed fast-moving object over water, is very clearly just a regular bird, plus parallax effects from filming from a moving plane.

See https://www.metabunk.org/threads/go-fast-footage-from-tom-de... for more.

>Do we have any such examples with 50 different angles of the same UFO event?

Go join the MUFON Facebook group and look back the past few weeks at the folks discussing this blue thing off the coast of Hawaii. . I had multiple people get into arguments with me on the MUFON group about it's origins. I believe it was random space junk, immediately a man began insisting it was an "ion propulsion" alien ship crashing after it had been shot, kept insisting that only that bluish glow could be create by an ET exotic technology star drive, I quickly pointed out more than a dozen materials that create a blue flame when they burn at which point he kept arguing with me and got quite hostile insisting it's a downed alien craft. I think one even claimed they communicated with the 'crew of the ship'.

People... believe what they want to.

Neil Degrasse Tyson makes this point anytime he's asked if he "believes" in UFOs. Virtually the entire population has high quality cameras not only in their pockets, but very often in their hand, even when at home.

> Do we have any such examples with 50 different angles of the same UFO event?

Are you asking for known-fictions or claimed-genuine-UFOs?

Because for the former, the average Avengers film.

> but using that No True Scotsman line of thinking, literally nothing will change your mind

I disagree, many forms of “simple” evidence would sway most people’s opinions and almost everyone would be persuaded by replicated clear detailed videos of crafts, attempted communication, or some alien artifact. Even a half eaten discarded alien candy bar would change the minds of almost any skeptic. Where is such evidence? After all these years, there are still no good pictures of an alien or its spaceship.

People's abilities to disregard evidence selectively is more powerful in my opinion than your comment seems to give credit for.

Look into crop circles, if this topic interests you. I think how deeply you look into it will be a reflection of your beliefs - and more than that, of what you want to believe! (Same for each of us, generally speaking!)

Look into Richard Dolan's youtube presentations.

Now I just clued you into two rabbit holes- how deep will you go? See, your beliefs will determine that. Your desires to believe or not believe will determine how much you look.

I was interested, and wanted to believe, so I read 3000+ pages of Dolan's writings and watched 10+ hours of YouTube documentaries. Now I know practically "everything" (as far as I care to) about these topics. But it's because I wanted to know, I wanted to believe.

And how is the written or verbal testimony of hundreds of thousands of witnesses over time not counted as "evidence"?

Changing the minds of skeptics is impossible. People believe what they want to believe, in my opinion.

>Even a half eaten discarded alien candy bar would change the minds of almost any skeptic.

I don't think you've thought this one through fully. So you have this candy bar - what does it look like? Where will you have it analyzed? When you get the analysis back, who are you going to show? People will still be easily able to discount anything short of a direct landing of alien craft or a cyber-weapon that demonstrably altered reality. I'm not even skeptic and I can discount your candy bar in my mind in half a second - it just looks like a normal candy bar. Or just looks like a shiny candy bar. Or maybe its a prank made up by an elaborate joker. etc. etc. etc.

>After all these years, there are still no good pictures of an alien or its spaceship.

That's true if you ignore the videos that have been recently declassified and released by the US government and the assertions of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who insists that the government has numerous photos and videos and is hiding them from the public.


Then you have the eyewitness testimony of numerous military officials who were in charge of our nuclear weapons arsenal. Are all of these guys (the ones who our government trusts to maintain and operate out most sensitive and powerful weapons) all lying and/or delusional?


Billions and almost none of them have any low-light performance to speak of. Like capturing dark grey triangles in the night sky.

> Look how many videos there are of the Chelyabinsk meteor.

That event was immediately noticeable and happened in an area where the vast majority of vehicles have dash cams due to insurance fraud.

Not a lot of people stare at the sky though looking for flying objects that they cannot identify. Most cameras aren't pointed in a direction to capture much (if any) of the sky either. Also, go outside next time the moon is out, get your phone out and take a photo or video of it... looks like a tiny blob of light doesn't it, far worse than what your naked eye sees.

In December I was curious about MUFON so joined, paid to take the test to become a field investigator as I was curious what people are reporting (largely commercial aircraft I suspect after having worked at an airport for 15 years and seeing aircraft appear to do wonky stuff due to distance/speed/absurdly bright landing lights), and joined the MUFON facebook group.

On the Facebook group, when you sift through the hot chaff of people claiming they've been telepathically communicating with umpteen races of aliens that "their sources" given them "intel" about, you get a lot of photos and videos of what are almost certainly commercial aircraft. In once instance in the past few weeks someone posted a photo of an "alien ship" that was blatantly a Mylar balloon in the shape of a sun with wavy rays of Mylar around the edge of the balloon.

Then factor in things like stars, planets, satellites, toy and commercial drones, Chinese lanterns, balloons, space debris reentering the atmosphere, military aircraft refueling, etc and you quickly realize that probably 99.999999999999999999999999% of Unidentified Flying Objects are man made and natural phenomenon, often extremely boring stuff.

Recently there was some siting off of Hawaii of some blue orb. I had multiple people get into arguments with me on the MUFON group about it's origins. I believe it was random space junk, immediately a man began insisting it was an "ion propulsion" alien ship crashing after it had been shot, kept insisting that only that bluish glow could be create by an ET exotic technology star drive, I quickly pointed out more than a dozen materials that create a blue flame when they burn at which point he kept arguing with me and got quite hostile insisting it's a downed alien craft.

The past 2-3 days that group has had people sharing a recent article about Juno detecting an FM radio signal from one of Jupiter's moons. Almost everyone on those posts is adamant it is an extraterrestrial signal that NASA is trying to cover up. Virtually none of them are willing to even entertain the idea that this is 100% a natural phenomenon that science can fully explain.

Even if all of the cameras we have deployed around the planet were capable of getting high resolution, stable, quality images of the bulk of Unidentified Flying Objects, some people would simply claim a conspiracy when you showed they were very much not little green men in flying saucers.

Mass hysteria can make otherwise rational people behave very irrationally. And once claims are made--for many cultures--it's difficult to recant without losing face. There's also the risk of being left out of a group if close companions make a claim.

Growing up in a very charismatic flavor of Christianity I thought I 'experienced' a lot of phenomenon that I now look back on with contempt. People preach, seek out, and legit believe (despite no hard evidence) in supernatural healing, limbs regrowing, divine languages, divine laughter/joy, spontaneous creation of jewels, etc.

IME the claims that become most popular are the ones impossible to falsify. So testimony is usually all that's left.

> Growing up in a very charismatic flavor of Christianity I thought I 'experienced' a lot of phenomenon that I now look back on with contempt

I firsthand experienced a charismatic Christian telling me a story about how one time his car wouldn't start, and then some stranger appeared to help him get it started again, and then once the car was running the stranger was gone – totally believable, everyday occurrence, except for my interlocutor's insistence that the stranger wasn't a human being, but actually an angel sent by God appearing in human form.

I wonder what that random stranger would think if he knew he's been turned into an angel in the mind of the person he helped.

That was me. I always thought of myself as handy with cars though, not necessarily of heavenly origin. In fact, one person whose car I repaired with a leatherman and a coke can as my complete toolset and materials store thought I was a miracle worker. (I hope that fix held up until he got home...).

More seriously though, people who are that far into religion will see 'the hand of god' in just about every normal phenomenon, my paternal grandmother was one of those and she deeply believed all these things to be true, even when there were perfectly ordinary explanations for them. That never stopped us from getting along just fine, but I wouldn't press her on such items because her world was fragile enough as it was.

Religion is comfort food for the mind, and if someone needs their 'angels in human form' then maybe we should just let them.

Materialist or skeptical views are also comfort food for the mind, though. It's just comfort for a mind that's differently tuned.

These beliefs project a very basic, easily understood view of reality - discount vast amounts of difficult or inconvenient experiential data which has been with mankind since the beginning (ETs, visions, dreams, ghosts, the paranormal, faith healing, synchronicities, etc.) - and papers over a variety of huge and fundamental questions (origins, purpose, life after death, etc) with a very solid, tangible, and pat answer.

People who are deep into materialism will also see materialism everywhere, so the effect also happens that you mentioned with your grandmother.

Materialism has its flaws yet has more physical evidence than any form of mysticism.

Materialism is a theory in the philosophy of the mind. Its main competitors are idealism, dualism, and neutral monism, not "mysticism".

And, materialism has no more physical evidence than its competitors do. Whatever observations materialists claim as "evidence" for materialism, advocates of competing theories will say that those observations are just as compatible with their own theory as with materialism. If competing theories can explain these observations just as well as materialism can, then those observations turn out not to be evidence for materialism at all.

Or if perhaps the event happened at all. I think sometimes you can have a very powerful dream that later feels just like a memory.

> it's difficult to recant without losing face

Not sure if that applies to this highly derided topic.

I do agree the mass hysteria angle has a place in the digestion of all these accounts, but what is the mechanism? Is it reproducible? Is it only applicable to panic situations? What about when you have tangible forms of evidence to follow the account (such as air-to-ground and infrared radar [0])? Incidentally, that's the account that was convincing enough to get me interested enough in this subject to study it with an open mind.

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/us/politics/ufo-sightings...

I agree it's worth studying and understanding. I feel like we're seeing quite a bit of it in the area of politics right now.

Worth looking up John Mack. He was a psychologist and Harvard professor who researched stories of alien abductions and tried to make sense of them from a psychological point of view.

To the best of my understanding (do your own research), he hypothesized that many of these stories were true, even if the explanations were not really aliens. They were spiritual and cultural phenomena that people really experienced.

> entire schools full of children reporting metal objects landing with beings coming out to communicate with them telepathically

You're referring to the 1994 incident in Zimbabwe, which Mack famously studied. It's certainly an interesting one!

I remember going through all the videos on the internet about that incident, and ultimately being unimpressed with the investigation. There were 60 kids at the school, Mack only interviewed a few. Why is that? I get the feeling they actually interviewed many more but cherry-picked stories to fit their narrative. There were also stories about UFO sightings in Zimbabwe in the days leading up to that event, I'm sure many of the kids had heard about it before they went to recess that day?

I've never read any of his actual long-form publications on that incident though (don't even know if there are any), so perhaps I missed something.

Back to your basic question: "how could all these people be crazy?" I don't think anyone knows, and I'm not sure many people are studying it. But even a super smart Harvard professor couldn't make a strong case one way or the other, even after studying a school full of children directly after one of the most compelling UFO sightings in history. So it's probably best to move on, assume it wasn't aliens, and wait for someone to capture an alien craft clearly on video. Personally I use it as a reason to upgrade my iPhone and get those sweet new cameras ;)

A good friend of mine, who came to Europe when he was 17, once said to me: "in Africa you see things that you just can not believe as a European". He told me how in places without electricity, small villages, really "creepy vibes" exist. For example one story where, in broad daylight there is a cow lying on the side of the road. Blood runs from the cow across the road to the other side. It's not broad daylight there, it's pitch black where the trail of the blood ends. The sky, the street, everything. He says almost every African from smaller areas knows these experiences.

In the West, such things are horror stories. Another friend kind of jokingly said it might be „due to radiation, which affects the crazy energies of nature“ in the west. That‘s why we don‘t have these sightings.

I know, no scientific contribution, but finally the possibility to share this story in a proper forum.

Because what makes me think: my friend is smart, not crazy and told it very convincingly. At least in such a way that I believe that he has seen it.

That doesn't make it real, I know, but kind of scary for a European.

In corners of South America without infrastructure I have also experienced very strange situations and felt the darkest energies, had the weirdest encounters and strangest hallucinations...

Anyways, i am glad that for me, these are just stories. I don‘t want to be the guy that has one of those encounters and then has to either forget about it or fight for his credibility.

I've sometimes pondered about the effect of observation on reality, and how, as in shrodingers cat, the unobserved might be quite flexible in state.

It is interesting to imagine how it might be that more observation might make state more finite, and make possibilities that might be contraindicated by a non-local observer impossible to observe locally, tangentially related to the way that when something becomes more isolated in distance or time the less certainty we can attach to details of observation.

It might be that things can be locally observed that are not globally tenable as long as the interactions between the light cone of the effects of the local observer and the contraindicating observer do not overlap in such a way that the inconsistancy would contraindicate the act of observation.

Probably irrelevant, but it is interesting to note that the rituals of many forms of "magic" "purification" can be characterized as attempting to create precisely this kind of causality barrier between the practicioner and the outside world.

It is rediculous but interesting to ponder how with so many less observers and so much less communication/interaction between distant observers, perhaps reality was once more flexible.

Whenever I read about stuff like that, it reminds me that a simulation would probably have some kind of 'lazy calculation' mechanism that only calculates something when it is actually needed. It makes no sense to simulate every particle in the universe if not every particle is actually observed.

But if people do indeed notice such a glitch in reality, maybe there is a way to exploit it? How can it be determined whether something is observed?

It's interesting to ponder for sure, but be careful to not fall into a Deepak Chopra-style hole. The observer effect is so viciously perfect for misunderstanding, mysticism and exploitation. I'm not very informed when it comes to QM, but there seems to be a lot of extrapolation from similarly uninformed people about its consequences or underlying causes.

Thanks for sharing this. There could be all kinds of scientific explanations, but I like the idea that there is too much energy in the developed countries that fogs our senses. I often hear a deep hum late at night, which is most certainly caused by a pump running somehwere in the neighborhood. It almost drove me crazy for a while, but then I decided to simply ignore it. I can still hear it, but it does not bother me anymore. In other words, I delibertately decided to dumb down a bit.

Well... I would probably say most of the time it's a combination of stress, bullshit, and someone(s) in denial.


If I had to guess most of these went down because the child or relative of someone powerful, authoritative, and very disconnected from reality (gullible), did some bullshit the powerful person couldn't reason about. Literally, leaving their brain unable to compute reality instead choosing (and very likely believing) "bat shit" as the reason... Depending on how powerful the person who just skipped-a-beat of reality; the narrative might never be questioned. cough trump cough

I mean; like with UFOs, most of the imagery people use to describe are _known_ to them before the event. They're related to what the person knows and is capable of imagining.

With all that said, I'm not trying to explain them all as bullshit or nonsense; but, the list without the bullshit is a lot smaller. I do think it's a bit unfortunate though as I'd love to speculate and wonder about something besides the trite psuedo-hallucinations all these stories contain.

Does not really apply to radar operators and F16 pilots all having the same "mass hysteria" the same day...

I was going to say this as well. There have been recordings from aircraft hud cams of UFO’s. This doesn’t address the OPs question about hallucinations or hysteria or whatever, but it does give a little credence to a claim of a UFO. I’ve seen a UFO, by definition, something unidentified, unknown, then it was gone.

My grandfather told stories of things he saw flying for Eastern Airlines and later American Airlines. My uncles who flew F-16s all saw strange things too.

Ask any aviator that’s been flying heavy for 10+ years what strange things they have seen and they’ll have some stories.

I’m glad we, as a people, are talking about it, without jumping to conclusions about what these objects are.

There are indeed a handful of truly unidentified and truly interesting cases, but I stress that unidentified does not equate to alien spacecraft. That is an unjustified leap that far too many people are all too willing to make.

Why not? Concluding there is other life out there seems like it would be good for society. Less xenophobia. What’s the harm in that?

I have no problem with that conclusion if it is supported by evidence, but I see a lot of people jumping to that conclusion without any substantive evidence.

People are really easy to fool. It's not necessarily insanity, but rather confusing stimuli. People can interpret certain stimuli completely wrong. The thing is, the things we 'see' are pure reconstructions by the brain of the visual input - not the photons themselves. And sometimes the signals screw up our visual system, making us see weird shit mainly because the brain is trying to interpret the signal in one way and trying it's best to maintain this interpretation. This is not hallucination as such, it's just visual system getting confused.

Personal experience: 1) when my son was 2, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought I heard something. I went to check his room. As I peered through the door I was 100% convinced I saw him walking in the room. But as I entered the room I realized that was not possible as he was several meters away from the position, a sleep. The carpet on the room was really colourful playmat. As I retraced my steps I realized the patterns on the carpet in the near darkness were close enough for my brain to interpret the visual signal as my son walking. In another circumstance I could have easily thought I saw a ghost (if I was so inclined).

2) This is even more weird. I give you the mating crows. I walked by some familiar trees planted next to an office building in bright daylight and noticed something black moving in one of them. I could not see immediately what it was until I realized it was two crows which appeared to be mating or fighting - and as I did not hear anything I guessed the latter. Being the curious naturalist I am I approached tree. Yep, crows. I tried get as close as I could - until I was right next to the tree and noticed the "crows" were actually a black plastic bag wriggling in the wind. This illusion was so convincing and powerful I've never been fooled so well by anything else.

So, what do I conclude? I'm 40, and in the past 20 years I've seen two times strange events that I could have easily intepreted as proof of supernatural activity if I was so inclined - ghosts and some weird magic transfiguration.

Based on this sampling, it's quite likely people have 'witnessed' all sorts of strange things their visual cortex has produced. I totally now believe people have actually seen ghosts - except it was all in their head and they weren't crazy - just their brain doing what it always does and missing the context a bit.

Also makes you think how reliable eye witness statements are in some contexts that have short span and potential for confusion.

The mind is spooky

Interesting question. To add to it, if indeed it is so easy for people to be misled into believing they saw things that they didn't, what does that say about eyewitness testimony in court used to convict suspected criminals?

We discount people who make extraordinary claims because their claims contradict our understanding of the world. But if some percent of eyewitness testimony is totally fake even when it is unbelievable, shouldn't we also discount testimony at an even greater rate when it doesn't contradict our worldview? Or are we to believe that this particular tendency to see things that didn't happen is limited to aliens and not run of the mill murders?

Speaking of which, I need to mention Internet Comment Etiquette on YouTube.

Years ago he released a video on the Mandela effect, and then about a year ago he recreated the video, scene for scene, with subtle (and not so subtle) differences, and then deleted the original. A few people had mirrored the original, so it's possibly still findable.

That's currently my best example of an entertainer playing the long game for a punchline!

I'm reasonably convinced black triangles are mostly paredolia and hype like all UFO reports, and the rest are experimental stealth blimps[0,1] or some other kind of classified lighter than air technology. Not aliens and not anti-gravity.

Cattle mutilations are real as well, and certainly not aliens. Probably some government agency doing tests or experiments, cults and natural predation.

As far as "entire schools full of children reporting metal objects landing with beings coming out to communicate with them telepathically," children do make things up and confabulate, and children do suffer peer pressure. Mass hysteria does exist and has been documented.

No one is saying that mental illness is responsible for every UFO case, but it is likely responsible for a lot of them. It's worth remembering, however, that human perception and memory are faulty and that a perfectly rational, clinically sane person can suffer hallucinations, misinterpret phenomena based on limited information, or have false memories.




If your starting view point isn't "there must be a rational explanation for this", then you're also unlikely to report things without bias, unconsciously, or otherwise. If you think "aliens!" before "probably a planet/bird/plane", you're going to forget or ignore lights, squawking, the sound of an engine and so on. Observer bias.

Just look at the Ancient Aliens guy, if you take him at face value, everything is an alien, including piles of rocks on other rocks.

Then look at James Randi.

And it's 2020, everyone has a better camera in their pocket than at any time in history. Where's the evidence? The 'gimbal' video has been plausibly debunked.

UFOs as alien spacecraft do not exist. Sorry.

We don't live in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where it's full of 'teasers' that torment some random guy on a farm in the middle of nowhere having flown light-years to get here.

UFOs as mis-identified natural or man made phenomena do exist.

Interestingly, a good chunk of claims (ufo sightings, seeing aliens, crop circles, claims of abductions, probings, inter-dimensional communication, astral projection etc) seem to originate from America. Why is that? Why is the the rest of the world so quiet about this stuff?

There are many cases from all over the world. Russia, South America, Australia, France, etc. In fact non-US governments are often a fair bit more open about it too.

We embrace nutters, charlatans, and second-rate sci-fi authors especially if they go on to found religions.

Norway has Hessdalen and others.

And crop circles I associate mostly with England.

because it's CIA files ?

I do not doubt that some of them are crazy, but all of them? With what mental illness?

Not crazy, necessarily, but lacking critical thinking skills. I have seen things in the sky that I didn't know for certain what they were. I did not make the leap from, "I don't know," to "alien spacecraft," however. Some people come up with the most bizarre explanations for really rather mundane things, and then convince themselves of the truth of it. If someone is already primed with the bizarre idea, they are more likely to see it, too.

I would happily recommend you to read "Hallucinations" by Oliver Sacks. This book is not about UFO sightings, but about how ordinary people can have wild hallucinations. For example, an elderly woman who would regularly have very vivid, daytime, hallucinations of a concert being played in her living room. She knew it was not "real", but it was comforting and a welcoming distraction from the isolation that elderly folk often suffer from. It is quite an eye-opening book.

> Statistically, however, there needs to be a convincing psychiatric study

Only if you can assume that everyone (without a mental illness) always knows and tells the literal truth. Which isn't the case, as has been proven over and over. Check witness studies and autobiographical memory.

The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan delves into this quite a bit. It's years since I read it, but he talks about how in history people often suffered hallucinations and mass hallucinations that had a religious theme. They were visited by angels, demons, witches etc. In the 50s when Hollywood started churning out Sci-fi movies, the nature of these hallucinations altered and became all about UFOs.

On a side note I read recently that a lot of ghost sitings in the past may have been caused by Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Which maybe explain why it happens more often indoors and in older homes it seems.

I have a feeling you would enjoy the All Gas No Brakes episode about bigfoot hunting in Minnesota.


Having watched it, I suddenly have little doubt that we as a species are very capable of generating lots of witness accounts for any fantastical event.

It's pretty easy to design the study if you observe that accounts of telepathic aliens descending from metallic crafts are strongly correlated with demographics subjected to cultural depictions of such aliens and crafts in popular media.

It remains to this day largely an American phenomenon, and the secretive and technological nature of the cold war cannot be ignored as a factor. Brainwashing a school that aliens arrived seems preferable to leaking information about critical and advanced (for its era) defense technology.

The ranchers got pranked by black helicopters stealhtily moving in from Kirtland AFB, NM for assessment of the downwind effects of nuclear testing.

What better way of using cattle as bioindicators?

Mew? Moo!

Got a link to a declassified report? Or is that just a rumor?

I wrote that in a joking way. But not totally. Because I remember having read a long time ago about these things, dived in deeper as I sometimes do, and came across this "theory".

For one, most cases of especially strange cattle mutilation (I remember) were in helo range of Kirtland AFB.

For another, the mutilations were described as chirugically precice. Sometimes just a large part (and including it) around the rectum. Which of course would concentrate all the "input", because it has to go "through there".

And the blood, of course.

And the areas were in the downwind parts of nuclear testing.

So... not absolutely unreasonable, given the secrecy and ruthlessness of certain parts of government.

But not proven or provable in any way at the moment.

edit: you can look into https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downwinders if you haven't heard of this before.

edit: and of course https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtland_Air_Force_Base to get a feel why this one, out of all the bases

>For another, the mutilations were described as chirugically precice. Sometimes just a large part (and including it) around the rectum.

If some being, human or animal, gets killed and mutilations around the genitals or rectum occur, chances are high it's not some night-time military operation but sexually motivated.

Draining of almost all the blood included? Wannabe vampires? Some lone ranch hand in the middle of nowhere looking for a "f...piece"?

I am not saying every cattle mutilation is sexually motivated, but if it involves cutting out trophies, esp ano-genital, it's really likely.

BTW, in the USA it's mostly cattle, in Europe horses.


...sometimes i have the feeling that bits flip after i've typed and pressed send.

I recall reading a similar argument about the miracles of one of the Catholic saints (Joan of Arc, perhaps)?

Religious people and some entire groups make claims about experiences with God all the time.

Mandatory XKCD on the subject: https://xkcd.com/1235/

I dismiss all references to the quality of the witnesses. Such human factors are too muddy and debatable. Arguments about any one event, was that particular things real or not, wont ever answer the question. We must analyze UFO reports in an international context. The phenomena is very mush only reported in the western world. There is also a temporal association between UFO reports and contemporaneous Hollywood movies on the subject. A real phenomena, as in the XKCD above, should be country and culturally agnostic. Reports should ebb and flow with the number of potential witnesses, not the release dates of movies.

I dislike this XKCD. Where is the line for the total number of photos and videos take of unidentified phenomenon? Has it gone down? Or has it actually gone up, but because of the exponentially growing amount of media being produced in the world, the people who are exposed to these photos and videos are proportionally tiny. Add on to that, the fact that phone cameras are terrible at distance. Ever try taking a picture of the moon with it? Your eyes can see much better than the photo taken by the average smartphone. And if the object is moving around quickly, do you have time to take your phone from your pocket, open the camera, focus on the object, and get a good picture before it is out of sight?

There is a line in the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" about traffic accidents. One character says "we don't have any footage of real car crashes, but we know they happen." At the time of the story, no serious car crash had been captured on film. Now, because there are so many more cameras, we have plenty of such footage. A real phenomena should scale with the availability of potential witnesses, not shrink and disappear as more and better cameras come online.

Popular sentiment is that UFO videos/photos are fake. With a car crash, you have the aftermath, so you accept the video of the crash as being real. With a UFO, people more often dismiss it even if they lack an alternative explanation. This limits the spread of photographic evidence, and stories from witnesses. So witnesses may have increased, but you don't know about it.

Dash cams, security cameras, and phone cameras all have targeted uses. They are "better cameras" for those uses. But they aren't better cameras for every use. As I was saying about the moon, some shots require more specialized equipment to get good detail. The number of people out with a DSLR and the right lens who knows how to properly take a shot of a flying object and is intently looking for flying objects has not really increased much.

Any iPhone is 100x better at capturing footage of moving objects than any film camera was in decades past. Tech like autofocus, auto-exposure, automatic white balance, and vibration reduction algorithms mean anyone with a smartphone is better suited to capture strange phenomena than even the best photographers from the height of the 90s UFO craze.

And I bet if you went outside right now and tried to take a video of a passenger jet at cruising altitude with an iPhone, it wouldn't look too great. Try it again at night. The increase in camera phones does not mean we should have definitive proof of UFOs if they existed. Every day people are posting things in the sky that they can't identify on social media, and usually the footage taken with their phone is not good.

The phone attaches a time/GPS stamp to the image that makes identification of the UFO as an aircraft very easy.

If the truth is out there, start with yourself.

With hypnotism its trivial, maybe a guy who previously worked at a travelling circus lost his job and goes around and hypnotises people to believe they saw a UFO.

When people can literally believe their dicks are disappearing, while said organ is in plain view, any extraordinary claims about UFOs should be treated sceptically:

"Koro is a culture-bound syndrome delusional disorder in which an individual has an overpowering belief that his or her sex organs are retracting and will disappear"


Reminds me of "running amok" from Malaysia and Indonesia.

> In a typical case of running amok, an individual (often male), having shown no previous sign of anger or any inclination to violence, will acquire a weapon (traditionally a sword or dagger, but currently any of a variety of weapons) and in a sudden frenzy, will attempt to kill or seriously injure anyone he encounters and himself.


Culture-bound syndromes are fascinating.

Interesting. It's almost exactly a modern mass shooting, just with an edged weapon. Nothing new under the sun after all.

I had a friend in high school who used to do a magic trick where he would claim that he made your dick disappear. He used to do it all the time and find it amusing. He ipo'd his startup last year and made a lot of money.

Real life Randy Marsh then :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cock_Magic

What was the trick?

To prove the magic didn't work you'd have to show your dick to the whole classroom. The trick doesn't lie in whatever ritual was performed but in your presumed unwillingness to do what you had to do to prove it ineffective.

This is a brilliant anecdote to quote in the face of bad faith demands for evidence to disprove stupid claims.

he just declares that your dick is gone. its then on you if you want to prove him wrong

And related to that, somehow UFOs sightings tend to be mostly happening in the US and not so much outside of it, leading further evidence to it being a culture-bound syndrome rather than real-life events.

Or does the USA just do a lot of weird flying experiments? Isn’t that the Occam’s Razor answer?

Implying Americans are crazier seems odd. What would cause that? Higher rates of mental illness making their ancestors emigrate from their original countries? Is there any data on that? Western Diet causing mental illness? Too much empty space?

> Implying Americans are crazier seems odd

I'm not implying that (also, no need to imply such a thing, de facto knowledge at this point). I'm implying that the culture in US has a lot more UFOs in it, every major blockbuster alien movie has been produced in the US, as far as I know. Most if not all UFO sightings that gets reported around the world comes from the US. Flying experiments could contribute to that as well, which also go into the culture in the US of doing experimental aircrafts in order to achieve flight-superiority.

> Most if not all UFO sightings that gets reported around the world comes from the US.

This seems like a sort of sampling bias as a consequence of America being really good at exporting its culture.

I consume news from three different countries (from three continents), four if you count american news that I come across on HN and Twitter, and the only times I hear anything about UFO sightings on Earth (not about possible alien life on other planets or similar) is either on HN, Twitter or via news that comes from US sources ("This Texas man saw a UFO kindnap a cow in his backyard!"). Could be that my sources are biased of course, but it does certainly feel like the UFO paranoia comes from one specific country.

... especially when there is a government organized disinformation campaign: check out the documentary Mirage Men!

What a great time in history to encourage more conspiracy-minded thinking.

I had the opposite first reaction; give the conspiracy theorists a big dump of juicy mostly harmless nonsense to sink their teeth into, to get their minds off the more disturbing stuff, if only by a little.

The fascists turned a pizza place into a conspiracy theory about pedophiles.

They manufactured a conspiracy about some omnipotent leaker of facts and called this fictional character Q.

UFO facts from government archives might make them declare war on the Pepe frog or some other bananas reaction.

I wouldn't call UFO conspiracy theories harmless given the past occurrence of UFO suicide cults like Heaven's Gate.

This poll found that 33% of Americans believe alien spacecraft have visited earth: https://news.gallup.com/poll/266441/americans-skeptical-ufos...

So while most people don't believe this stuff, it's not exactly fringe either. That's maybe a hundred million people who believe aliens are coming to earth, while Heaven's Gate was 41 people. Using belief in UFOs as the basis for a religion has happened a few times, but it's very fringe.

To be fair a huge chunk of the American population and leadership believe a woman had a child without being inseminated by a man, that all of the animals in the world fit on an a big boat and that the Earth was created a few thousand years ago. By comparison aliens stopping by for a cigarette break on earth at some stage in the past 4.7 billion years sounds more likely.

Sure. My point here is that UFO belief can be characterized as mostly harmless. A few death cults have used it, but the vast majority of UFO believers aren't running off to join death cults.

But that's not UFO centric, that's death cult centric.

You are assuming that suicide cults are somehow harmful to the goals of CIA.

As if the government hiding things is a conspiracy at this point.

The official narrative has always been that if the masses found out about ET visiting us they would lose their shit. I don't think much would change even if this is how they found out.

Its not like suddenly learning there are aliens means they don't have to go to work tomorrow.

I've been thinking that. Strange that suddenly UFO things are being declassified and important government figures are mentioning secret galactic federations.

For a while Steven Greer has been saying the government is prepping for a false flag UFO "attack" to perpetuate war, this time against extra terrestrials.

By way of the Freedom of Information Act, thousands of the CIA documents on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) — or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), as the government calls them — are now accessible via download at the Black Vault, a website operated by author and podcaster John Greenwald Jr.

The CIA claims they have now provided all the information on UAP they have, though there is no way to know that’s true.

“Research by The Black Vault will continue to see if there are additional documents still uncovered within the CIA’s holdings,” Greenwald promised in a statement on his website.

The release comes months before the Pentagon was due to brief Congress on all they know about UAP — a date dictated in the most recent COVID-19 relief bill, of all places, which passed in late December.

The demands for alien intel became so many that the CIA eventually compiled it onto a CD-ROM, obtained by Greenwald and uploaded to the Black Vault, divvied into dozens of downloadable .PDFs.

Dr. Greer's assessment is that this is a continuation of the slow but steady narrative that UFOs and ETI are real but that they are a threat. The ETs are NOT the threat as Dr. Greer has continually stated. The threat is the military industrial complex juggernaut towards interplanetary war.

Please see his article : When Disclosure serves Secrecy.

From Dr. Greer's paper:

"Do not be deceived. You need to be awake to the darker scenarios which some would like to thrust upon the world. And you need to know that there are alternatives. If a ‘disclosure’ is unleashed on the world which is xenophobic, militaristic and terrifying, know that it comes from the spinmeisters of secrecy- regardless of how respectable the person or group may appear to be.

And remember: Part of this disclosure plan involves the use of UFO look-alike devices made by humans in an attack on Earth or military assets of Earth. This would be a well-orchestrated use of advanced human technologies to hoax an ET attack- all for the purpose of disclosing the truth with the desired military-oriented spin. In such a scenario, most of humanity will be deceived into believing the threat from space has arrived – and that we must fight it at all costs. This is nothing more than long-term social security for the military-industrial complex. There must be people who can expose this fraud. ..........

Here is another idea: Why don’t ‘we the people’ unite and launch a disclosure ......... An honest one. One which leads to peace, not war. To a sustainable and beautiful world, free of pollution and brimming with abundance, of all types. One which reaches out into the unknown, instead of firing particle beam weapons into the darkness of space."

> important government figures are mentioning secret galactic federations

One retired Israeli government employee said something about a "galactic federation[0]." Surreptitously making it plural makes it seem as if the entire UN security council was having secret meetings about it.


You're right, it was a singular person. It was the writing style (is there a better word for that?) That I was using.

I know right. If Facebook gets a whiff of this, they’ll ban people for conspiratorial discussion and making stuff up.

From an arbitrary click-through of some of these, it doesn't seem to be particularly ground-breaking. I still feel that the US Navy gimball/go-fast/etc videos are the closest thing to a "smoking gun" on the subject so far, and along with the interviews with Commander David Fravor are the most credible sightings to date.

I'd really love to see the government release their real thoughts on the UAP subject - be it exotic technology from a foreign power, exotic technology from the US, or indeed extra terrestrial. However I feel we'll all be old and/or dead by the time that actually happens.

Not much of a smoking gun... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Le7Fqbsrrm8

Being fair, I said 'the closest thing to' a smoking gun. Plus you can't take these videos in isolation without considering that they were taken by trained observers using military grade sensor equipment. Not some random yokel in 1975 with an instamatic camera.

>Plus you can't take these videos in isolation without considering that they were taken by trained observers using military grade sensor equipment. Not some random yokel in 1975 with an instamatic camera.

In one of the events 4 trained observers, at the same time, backed up by a one of the most advanced radar systems in the US Navy (at the time), and later on the same day by another 2 trained observers that captured one of the videos.

It's worth listening to The Fighter Pilot podcast interview with him and a radar guy. It wasn't just a quick flash in the pan incident. Reports had been coming in for weeks. It had been seen on the East coast aswelll and the Mexican military also picked up on the objects.

Also David Fravor comments directly on Mick West Debunking video on Lex Fridman podcast (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBt4CNHyAck) .

Basically this would need to be a collaboration from several Navy people all for a big joke/hoax, risking their reputation for the joke/hoax itself (since as far as it's public none of them gained any money from this).

Even if it was for social capital... they're US Navy pilots. It's not like they need this event to be perceived as exceptional humans in that field.

What we want is something like 4K video of UFOs flying around the Rocky Mountains. That would be satisfying proof that taxes are not being wasted. What we get is some bullshit that came out of someone's mouth, which was then typed into a report, and finally scanned into PDF and put online for the public to see. At least its not disinformation.

I understand that the latest CoVID-19 relief act in the US requires the US IC to make an unclassified report on what they know about UFOs to Congress in Spring 2021.

FYI The budget bill included Covid relief, but that wasn’t the purpose of it. It’s the same thing that happens every year.

Sorry. Was going from memory.

From what I can tell (I could be wrong about this) this has nothing to do with the recently legislated requirement to release information regarding UFOs that was added into the budget bill. This seems to just be either coincidence or timed to take advantage of recent interest in UFO material due to the news about what was included in the budget bill.

The physical CD-ROM looks like something from a bad infomercial.

It almost feels like whoever released it was having a last laugh. You want it, here you go.

I sometimes think the earth passed through a wormhole and we now exist in some alternate dimension. What does the Simpsons have to say about this?

One theory holds that the world ended when the Large Hadron Collider got switched on and that everything since has been a demented simulation.

Oh so that's why some people want 2007 back. The collider won't be turned on for another year, and you get to see cute emos.

Better have emos then those simulated kardashians and trumps, they are terrible and the programmer should be ashamed to test us like that ;)

Damn CERN back at it again. Quick, someone hook a phone up to a microwave so we can go back in time.

Dont have a cow man.

It all started when they killed that damned ape.

Its more waves in the ocean. like Vinge's "Zones of thought" but more "pressure differentials of st00pit" in a sea of more than 3 dimensions.

I'm waiting for magic to come back.

C05517813.pdf is.. just weird.


Edit: this one seems like pretty random musings of a CIA agent in the USSR based on disapperances that happened there.

Probably just some serial killer? :/

Edit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnaul_Maniac

where is BARNAUL?

Maybe: "Barnaul is the largest city and administrative center of Altai Krai, Russia, located at the confluence of the Barnaulka and Ob Rivers in the West Siberian Plain"


Nonsense. It's overly specific. Try again.

The CIA and not NASA or the USAF? Why would the CIA handle this information, or did they abscond with it from others like USSR, etc?

Because aliens is a cover story for flying in each others airspace

boy would this be the best possible outcome

alternatively we're just a zoological survey site

This is a planet where the dominant species still burns each other alive for "witchcraft": https://www.iol.co.za/news/mob-locks-woman-80-inside-house-a...

No wonder no alien race wants to establish contact with us.

why would any gov test a super secret technology in foreign territory risking it being exposed or worse capture?

Spy plans and spy drones. Most of the Area 51 sitings were yet to be known spy planes. SR 71 and the U2 come to mind.

Yes but that US planes being tested over US soil. Later on they were used to spy on USSR. But why would Russia or any other country spy on the us coast and let US detect them.

The only explanation that to me is probable is those are US UFOs being tested/interacted on with unaware normal troops.

But then again, why? Why test them out near and airforce/navy exercises?

If the CIA did indeed have documented evidence of extraterrestrials, then they've obviously been keeping it a secret. What makes anyone think that this extra-judicial agency wouldn't redact and filter the contents of an FOIA request?

No one said something about extraterrestrials, a UFO is just that: An unidentified flying object.

When I read a few PDFs in this collection - it does not seem helpful. Anyone else perhaps can confirm that this is the case?

I don't know the provenance of this stuff, any of it, it's presented as a raw dump so legwork is on us but at least individual PDFs are OCR'd. Firebugging the site and adding a rule for a:visited { color: purple } helps out when hunting for anything odd.

June 26, 1996 just 30 minutes past midnight - Lithuanian police spot a UFO "near the Lithuanian border": https://documents2.theblackvault.com/documents/cia/ufos/C055...

"Patrol officers Jaunius Pozera and Laimis Kraujalis placed the whole Vilnius police on the alert. Vehicle loads of soldiers from the Aras Rapid reaction force, sniffer dogs and police reinforcements immediately arrived on the scene of the emergency."

"At an altitude of 20-30 meters above the ground, they noticed a spherical object hanging and 'Pulsing,' alternately shrinking and expanding. At the same time, they heard what they described as 'a strange sound like an electric or electronic crackle,' wanting to take a closer look at the UFO, the policemen moved toward it. When they had advanced about 50 meters through the long grass, the police said, the sphere moved away, rose higher and rapidly departed in the direction of Vilnius."

" ... it was noted that the tall grass around the place over which the sphere had 'hung' was flattened to a radius of 10 meters.'

The geography of this FBI translation/writeup from Moscow's news agency is a bit bizarrely described, perhaps something definitely lost in translation, but it looks like it happened on the Lithuanian border with Belarus, some 10 miles away from the city.

"Police commissioner Valentinas Juchnevicius said in a radio interview today that both officers who watched the shining object 'are psychologically healthy, normal people, not noted for crankiness.'

Edit: this is fascinating. More of these I look at, more they look like a lazy search-and-dump of various US intelligence agencies' foreign media monitoring translations. For example, a translated Bosnian op-ed came up mentioning UFOs because the columnist was sarcastically complaining about how Washington normally communicates with extraterrestrials but yet can't find Karadzic (who'd been on the run for a time.)

> can't find Karadzic

Maybe they don't let us use their scanners.

I opened four at random and only one seemed to be about UFOs that I could tell. It was a reply stating that the air force, and not the CIA, dealt with UFOs.

Viewing of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS686LcT1Us (2minutes) is deemed obligatory to "get in the mood" ;-)

I used to think UFO sighting meant some kind craft piloted by extra terrestrial beings. Are they often planes piloted by humans you don't know?


This was the result of a 25-year multi-team feasibility study about upgrading from the previous medium: floppy disks.

I honestly can't tell if this is sarcasm or legitimate... having worked in government IT before this sounds sadly plausible.

The CIA stopped responding to FOIA with zip disks ages ago.[1] I would expect a hundred megs or so of pdfs/scanned documents to be on a CD-R though; much less expensive than per page copy fees. Can't tell if the disc in question is actually pressed or a writable disc; the label is offset a bit, but not enough for me to get a good idea of the underlying color.

[1] For removal of doubt, I just made that up.

We should be glad it wasn't a tape reel.

CDrom but no torrent?

The direct download is fast enough, 350MB at +5MB/s doesn't take long. I was surprised at the speed actually.

Yes? No?

Did anyone get probed?

Those were the creepiest scenes from the 80s movies.

The 8th document [1] made it clear to me that alien life exists and a coverup took place as records make it appear that Dr. Davidson had a different stance.

We are not alone.

[1] https://documents2.theblackvault.com/documents/cia/ufos/C055...

Not to be contradictory for the sake of it, but I see nothing specific about alien life in that. A̶l̶l̶ ̶I̶ ̶s̶e̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶r̶a̶d̶i̶o̶ ̶r̶e̶c̶o̶r̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶M̶o̶r̶s̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶d̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶r̶e̶c̶o̶r̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶d̶i̶d̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶w̶a̶n̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶r̶e̶l̶e̶a̶s̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶s̶o̶n̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶r̶e̶'̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶ ̶t̶a̶l̶k̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶i̶n̶v̶e̶s̶t̶i̶g̶a̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶o̶r̶i̶g̶i̶n̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶i̶g̶n̶a̶l̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶e̶n̶s̶u̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶l̶o̶c̶a̶l̶ ̶e̶f̶f̶e̶c̶t̶ ̶(̶e̶.̶g̶.̶ ̶f̶a̶m̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶m̶i̶c̶r̶o̶w̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶n̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶o̶w̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶d̶d̶ ̶m̶e̶a̶s̶u̶r̶e̶m̶e̶n̶t̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶l̶a̶b̶s̶)̶.̶

Edit: upon closer reading, you're right, the Morse code item was made up. But I still stand by my point that beyond the fact that they don't seem too keen to release the recording, there's nothing specifically in the document to indicate it is alien or substantial.

It says they made up a story about morse code to brush Dr. Davidson off, but it didn't work.

Where does it say they made it up?

> "This was intended to satisfy Davidson that he did not in fact have a space message"

Without other context, that reads to me more like:

1) Davidson made a prior claim that was received as being farfetched.

2) The set of people responsible for this document had another party to assess the signal.

3) They came to the conclusion that it was domestic morse code.

4) They passed that explanation and details back to Davidson to satisfy his presumably intense curiosity about this signal.

Did you read the last sentence?

Edit: And to be clear, he was an expert on UFOs.

I did, but my first impression was that it was referring to more of his impression of public details around early circular wing research.

I am making these comments with fresh eyes without understanding him, his background, or context of these articles, so I suppose I will have to do more reading to further understand your arguments.

I see zero evidence to support your conclusion in that link.

"Someone wanted to say something else but military PR didn't want that" is wholly not evidence.

But to be fair I don't really understand the alternate reality conspiracy game everyone plays online and might be missing that you're having a laugh.

It's hard to read but it seems to just be saying "Can you please track down the message and give it to him because he wont stop asking for it and it's getting annoying" ?

Can't really see any evidence of a coverup there.

Yeah, this seems a bit bizarre.

Without any knowledge of what this incident is referring to and with only this context, "the message was in identifiable morse code and from a known US licensed radio station" should by default be more plausible than "a space message".

Yet, the author of the paper himself says that Dr. Davidson is no fool and wouldn't buy the excuse if you read the message.

Yes, I suppose what that is referring to is unclear to me. It does seem to change context:

> "Davidson's criticizing the air force for concealment of information on flying saucers. Incidentally, Davidson is no fool and it appears that ATIC is treating him as one if they think he can be satisfied with a SOP such as Captain's.."

Did Davidson publish context criticizing the circular wing research and development programs? [0] Or was his criticism directly related to this space message?

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_VZ-9_Avrocar#Desig...

It says that they tried to satisfy him with a fake story and that he was too smart for that.

What did you believe before reading that document?

That he didn't think it was a space message [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Davidson#Personal_life

Can you provide more information?



My take: Davidson got hold of a recording of an unknown morse code message, and started claiming it was aliens. The air force just doesn't want to deal with him, so someone sends him an official letter that says "It's not aliens." He doesn't believe them and says he can tell by the "characteristics" of his recording that it isn't a morse code type machine. He asks for the official identifying information of the source of the signal, and further, pressures them that if they don't respond, he will use some official letterhead he has to fabricate something for a magazine story. The recipient of the message here is being asked to give Davidson that information, if possible. They further indicate they will attach with the letter a story ("buckslip" is a magazine insert, like an ad) of Davidson's, criticizing the air force for hiding UFOs. At the end, the ATIC is admonished for not sending Davidson the full information up front, as he "is no (I repeat, no) fool," and that the previous sop (a concession of no great value in an attempt to appease someone while not satisfying their actual requests) should not have been attempted at all, because it just made him more suspicious.

Furthermore, after reading about Davidson [0], apparently he never believed it was aliens at all, he was trying to uncover secret CIA experimental aircraft.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Davidson#Personal_life

My take is that Captain Elwood sent him a letter more or less reading "This is a Morse code recording from a domestic station but we won't say more about it, but it's not aliens" and that only riled Davidson up, presumably because he wasn't talking about aliens in the first place, so why the red herring.

Now they ask to find the decoded message and give the man the sending station so he shuts up. At the end they warn that just sending him some no-content letter (or [I am guessing they imply] made-up stuff) won't do.

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