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NSA UFO Documents Index (nsa.gov)
130 points by jolincost 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 157 comments





Went through the CIA one as well, and it's almost designed to be opaque and vague. UFO's create interesting ethical questions and can be useful thought experiments for contemporary issues.

A good one is where, say you are checking in on a civilization to see whether it's about to become space faring, and given the amount of energy required for it, the tech is dangerous to any other civilization these recent space arrivers might find. The question is whether they're going to pose a threat to the regional galactic order, and if they haven't got their cultural act together, do you let them?

Second, if you do intervene, does their new knowledge of the intervention of an intermediate power harm their social and ethical development, given their entire political economy and ethics will switch from discovered principles, to merely competing to appeal to the most powerful force they can? (I think this would make them impossible to trust.) Could it recover and develop on its own if you arrived and chose some of them for benefits but not others? Do you pick the most dominant, or the species with the most suitability to become part of the space faring community.

It costs them nothing to wipe us out and spare the universe the trouble, so what must they believe about life, the universe, and everything to not do so. Economics may be universal, etc. I don't think these are dumb questions at all, and they resemble ones that state dept's make very day, so I don't dismiss people interested in UFOs as they are interested in some pretty useful questions.


I don't think these are dumb questions at all

They're not, but they're also somewhat orthogonal to "UFO culture." You're describing a philosophical/sociopolitical discussion that isn't really informed by a blip on a grainy video frame.

The question that's more relevant to UFOs, in my opinion, is "Why would these aliens, with their unimaginably superior technology, travel all the way here and reveal themselves in such asinine ways?" Did they intend to come all this way to do some cryptic and spooky display for a small number of people? Did they simply slip up and briefly drop their cover?

I just don't see it. I fully believe that, if there were aliens out there with such capabilities, and they came to earth, they would either conceal themselves fully or reveal themselves intentionally (and not just to a handful of people in a remote area).


Your last point is a good one, but there are a many ways that you could be wrong. To name one: The Von Neumann probe is a compelling model and it is more likely that we would see something fitting that description rather than the original form of an extraterrestrial intelligence. We have no good reason to think that such an advanced civilization would have mastered faster than light communication either. So the behavior of these cylinders, assuming they are VN probes, may only be simplistic surveying routines which have been running for tens of thousands of years and were not at all designed for interacting with humans. There may also be resource constraint issues present in the construction of self replicating Von Neumann probes that make the type of interaction you are hoping for infeasible, in terms of compute, agenda, or something else we aren’t aware of.

That’s true, though I suspect in that case it would be a known object with ample evidence (a la Rendezvous With Rama) or undetected.

It’s definitely possible to imagine a scenario where a handful of people or “the government” somehow witnessed the only fleeting evidence of its existence in our atmosphere, but it still seems exceedingly unlikely.


But haven't we almost mastered faster than light communication with quantum entangled radios?

I’ve been looking through these ufo threads and haven’t seen anyone address the third explanation. I’m somewhat impulsively replying to you as your might receive this well. Most of the credible ufo phenomenon is likely a psyop. I won’t get into why the cia or other would put forth such efforts beyond reciting the quote “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”. It’s “controversial” if William Casey actually said that, but this fills in the gaps that can’t be explained away by witness confusion or delusion, without requiring a belief in some unseen technology that’s always conveniently dangled out of sight. The cia also says they’ve been doing telepathy, astral projection, and the like. The disinformation program is definitely real.

Sure but in regards to remote viewing it is in fact a real thing, so there's a degree to which the existence of disinformation is not a confirmation of nonexistence of some underlying reality.

Btw, i think you may have meant to put credible in quotes, otherwise it's an oxymoron... as, in "Credible ufos are actually psyops."

I'm confident a lot of information is disinformation I think that your hypothesis that most or all is is probably false and maybe you can see they too if you examine the range of documents in the CIA FOIA reading room, the testimony of people, the work required to create all of these different documents in different formats with all of this different information about people's names and departments from the correct historical time period the correspond to you know correct historical designations and departments, it just seems way too much work for it to make sense. What are they getting from this? I think you need a credible explanation of the payoff to justify such an enormous investment of manpower and time.

From another view, if you have the standard where way you claim that the ROI of remote viewing programs was so low there was no point to them (when in fact there's declassified documentation of them being a reliable intelligence source commensurate with other sources, as well as it easily observable reality of various subreddits dedicated to people practicing this and getting results) then it seems doubly true that you know the return on investment of such a massive disinfo program, where there is no documentation of payoff and there's no obvious payoff, is unimaginably low.

it's basically a sort of insane elaboration that doesn't pass the Occam's razor test the simplest explanation is that these are simply reports of real things that happened. so definitely there will be disinformation because that makes sense from a narrative management point of view but I think it's becoming crazier and crazier to deny the simple and obvious explanation that all of this documentation describes something real.

However....One thing I do wonder about though, and I think is a bit odd is why is all of this so-called UFO and disclosure information promoted by mostly white American men. Where are the women where are the black people (besides Billy Carson) where are the Asian people where are the Chinese coming out with their disclosure information...that seems weird to me but I think if you wanted a credible program you would probably you know enlist people from other countries just like you know regular you know counterintelligence disinformation campaigns do. So it's weird to me that it's so heterogeneous. if there is a secret space program where are all the female whistleblowers coming forward.


You said a lot which I appreciate. I will just say, my claim is not that most or all is disinformation, just that disinformation should be on the table when trying to make sense of info being fed to us from the matrix.

My reading skills may be lacking here, but are you claiming that remote viewing works?

Unequivocally yes.

You can try it yourself, there's subreddits for it where you can learn much more.

For CIA documentation, search FOIA reading room for "PROJECT CENTER LANE"

Here's a quote from a special access program briefing transcript[1]:

Over 85% of our operational missions have produced accurate target information. Even more significant, approximately 50% of the 700 missions produced usable intelligence.

Note that 50% is not "no better than chance" because the data produced are not binary selections, but things that other intelligence sources give, such as structure layouts, facility purposes, machine blueprints, site and personnel locations.

The FOIA documentation is overwhelming in its confirmation of this as an intelligence sensor on par with other sources, which leads me to believe that the AIR report (which you can also search for online) was partially disinfo designed to soften the blow of releasing that this is possible, and I'm quite sure that government and corporate use of psi continues to this day. Perhaps the FOIA release was also part of a limited hangout designed to yield some control over the narrative and provide a pretext for dismissal to protect ongoing classified programs.

Here's a MS Strategic Intelligence thesis from the Defense Intelligence College that gives a good overview:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00789R0026002...

[1]: https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00788R0017003...


The Wikipedia page on remote viewing gives the opposite impression. Wikipedia also tells me that "The Stargate Project was terminated and declassified in 1995 after a CIA report concluded that it was never useful in any intelligence operation. Information provided by the program was vague and included irrelevant and erroneous data, and there was reason to suspect that its project managers had changed the reports so they would fit background cues."

I'm not really qualified to read through CIA papers. People who are seem to not agree with you.

If remote viewing works, wouldn't all major companies have departments full of viewers spying on competitors?

I'll note that the James Randi prize has not been won.


So...there's conflicting reports? What are you going to do? I guess you'll have to think and decide for yourself. That's not too much to ask is it?

There are conflicting reports about every little thing.

I've never seen a single indication of remote viewing and I've never seen any such claims hold up. I know of no mechanism that would allow remote viewing. Null hypothesis and Occam's razor points me to dismiss claims of remote viewing.

Experts from CIA have apparently researched this, found nothing and closed the project. The James Randi prize has not been won.

If remote viewing was possible, why are we not seeing the results?

That's me thinking, like you asked for. On the other hand, I don't see any actual evidence from you. Do you have any?


It's conceivable you looked at the same data as other people and came to different conclusions. Diversity of opinions and beliefs, that's not a bad thing is it?

Remote viewing works or it doesn't. How do you propose we find out which it is?

Do you have an opinion on what 2+3 equals?


I've already found out. If you haven't, I guess you'll need to do more. Seems there's more opinions on RV than arithmetic.

The Wikipedia page on remote viewing gives the opposite impression. The Wikipedia page leaves out all the supporting data and editorially takes a false stance against it. This makes it not credible, I don't think you should trust a source like this. If you choose to, it says more that you want some easy to pretend to justify your disbelief of it. Confirmation bias.

"The Stargate Project was terminated and declassified in 1995 after a CIA report concluded that it was never useful in any intelligence operation. Information provided by the program was vague and included irrelevant and erroneous data, and there was reason to suspect that its project managers had changed the reports so they would fit background cues." This is not the final nor the only word on it. After many reports lauding how effective it was, it was terminated? Seems more likely it continues in a special access program, and the release was either to shake up the personnel structure that controlled it, or the reason I stated in my previous comment.

I'm not really qualified to read through CIA papers. Then you're not qualified to be credible nor have an opinion, if you choose to not look at the evidence for and against evenly. This seems like a lazy pretense to avoid looking at information that challenges your preexisting biases. In other words, you're choosing to make yourself a victim to confirmation bias. That makes what you say not very credible.

People who are seem to not agree with you. I disagree, and since you're not qualified to "read" these papers (which are created by the CIA, they are from various service branches), you're not qualified to say who is or who isn't qualified, right? So...who disagrees? Plenty of people agree with me, plenty of military people with first hand experience of these results agree. So if you're standard for belief is people and "qualified" people agree with me, then you have it. This seems pretty like a pretty bogus and lazy dismissal, "invoking authority" to hide your desire to stay within your preexisting bias. Confirmation bias.

If remote viewing works, wouldn't all major companies have departments full of viewers spying on competitors? If intelligence collection works, wouldn't all major companies have departments full of corporate spies spying on competitors? Is this how it works? I think they contract it out, I guess the same for RV, but probably less because "people are reluctant to believe it" even when shown it works, as you seem to be demonstrating.

I'll note that the James Randi prize has not been won. Which may not prove anything? Why close the prize? Perhaps he didn't want to pay it. Or it could have been a charity to people like yourself who want a very comforting (but not very informative) dismissal, instead of looking at the data. I had a prize open for 10 Million dollars for the first alien life known to humankind to prove that it really exists, but no aliens came to claim it, therefore humans are alone in the universe. Correct? Of course not.

So what happened here?

You asked me do I believe RV is real. I said unequivocally yes and gave you multiple resources to not only read straight away but to find out more, including going to a subreddit and seeing regular people trying it for themselves and getting results, which I encouraged you to also do. And instead of responding to, being open to, or curious, or even doing something, about that very generous offer of information and time I made you, you decided to ignore all of that supporting evidence (under the weak and pathetic excuse of saying you're not qualified to read it ~~ then of course you're not qualified to read Wikipedia and decide against it, either right?), and remain where it seems you are comfortable -- which appears to be a preexisting bias against believing this. So what have you demonstrated with your choices here? Confirmation bias in action.

It's very common, and a very predictable reaction. It makes sense as a defensive reaction to protect you from investing time, or belief in something which you fear may not be true, and may expose you to social ridicule. But at what point does that useful skepticism reach the point of diminishing returns where you need to stick your head in the sand and live in a made up fantasy world delusion where you have to manufacture excuses just so you can ignore evidence and shut your eyes against the truth? When do you choose comfort over knowing more? Confirmation bias.

Your fear to open up to this data, and your preference to remain in your confirmation bias, does not have any relation to the reality of RV, and obviously your choice to react like that doesn't mean RV is not true. You were given evidence that supports a claim you seem to not want to believe, and you ignored it. This is confirmation bias. This means your opinions about this are not credible, and one reason they are not credible is because you have not yet invested the time in investigating them honestly.

I guess you like playing innocent and trying to pick on true believers to try to get a rise out of them, because that makes you feel people are paying attention to you? So predictable, and easy right? No skin in the game tho? The reason I didn't address your points yesterday is because it seemed to be you were just doing precisely this, so I deliberately didn't give you the reaction you wanted. And I felt satisfied when it seemed you were incensed with my refusal to play your little game, and I instead dismissed your replies with even handed positivity. Moreover, it seemed you were questioning without making the effort to learn and be open to the data I shared and without really caring about the topic, so I wasn't going to reward your dishonesty and contempt for a serious topic with more informative responses when you'd already shown your contempt for this. The reason I'm putting it here now is for other readers who drop by in future, and your future self, if you become better (or your current self, if you want to learn how to improve) :) ;p xx

It's not my problem (and it says nothing of the quality of the data or the reality of this) if you want to remain in your confirmation bias when you have evidence in front of your eyes, and refuse to see it. Neither does your keeping your eyes closed prove there's no light in the world. You can pretend that's "someone else's fault" for not "proving" it to you, when in fact that's your responsibility for refusing to see the data, and choosing to keep your eyes closed. If you're going to do that, I think you should at least own it, rather than weakly trying to blame it on someone else by pretending there's no evidence, when it's just your responsibility. And if you do want to treat your mind this way (with confirmation bias) then be careful that you don't attack other people or be mean to them just because you're choosing to stay in your preexisting comfortable bias, because that unjustified meanness would be extremely bad for your karma. Just know that it's your responsibility if you think that way, and own it and don't try to incorrectly blame anyone else. Your choice to belief. To investigate. It's your mind, I'm not telling you what to do with it, because it's your life. I'm pointing out the context, the larger context, so hopefully you can make choices that work for you better in future. All the best of luck with that and have a great and a wonderful 2021! :) ;p xx


> I just don't see it. I fully believe that, if there were aliens out there with such capabilities, and they came to earth, they would either conceal themselves fully or reveal themselves intentionally (and not just to a handful of people in a remote area).

After having read Roadside Picnic, I'm inclined to disagree. If sufficiently advanced aliens ever happened upon us they might treat us as we treat ants in our backyards—that is, they don't really notice or care for us at all.


I’m not familiar with the book, but

1) I don’t think the analogy of ambling around our backyards holds for space travel. Space is vast and largely empty, it would be astronomically unlikely for anyone to casually wander over to earth from another star or galaxy.

2) We only treat ants that way because we already know about them. People have noticed them and studied them at great length. A person who doesn’t know that other animals exist on earth would probably be incredibly fascinated by them and likely try to communicate with them.


We think space is empty, but we don't really have evidence that it is... It could be teeming with life or ships that our current sensor tech simply doesn't pick up from here.

Maybe if we inhabited space significantly we would find there's a lot going on between the stars


I think this is a bit like us diving into the ocean to observe algae. We don't do it because we're concerned about its imminent sentience and potential to "cause trouble". We just do it because we're curious; we want a better understanding of our world and universe.

We're likely to be approximately several tens of thousands orders of magnitude below the advancement of any supposed "visitors". Us being a threat is unlikely to be even a single virtual particle of thought in their intragalactic quantum brains.


> We're likely to be approximately several tens of thousands orders of magnitude below the advancement of any supposed "visitors".

What's feeding your intuition here? I wouldnt have thought they'd likely be _that_ advanced. But I'm not sure where tens of thousands of orders of magnitude puts them on e.g. the Kardashev scale, and I'm sure being a huge Star Trek fan has affected my own intuitions :)


I love Star Trek, and that being a possible future is nice to entertain, but doesn't take into account an AI singularity. The latter, to some approximation, seems more likely to me. And that puts a Moore's law on intelligence. Not just for us, but for any potential space faring race. And it doesn't have to be just "AI"; as soon as a race has the capability to recursively improve their own intelligence they'll hit that exponential curve too.

So by the time a race gets space faring and solves FTL travel, it's likely they're at least a good step onto that exponential intelligence curve. Hence a vague estimate of "tens of thousands of orders of magnitude".

For example, as is we should be capable of building a GPT-human within 20 years (1). About the same time frame that, if we put all our effort into it, it would take for us to barely colonize another planet in our solar system. Given another 20 years and we've got an AI that's 1000x more intelligent than us.

I see our trajectory as hitting that exponential curve before we even get out of this solar system. So I just imagine any potential "visitors" to our planet are much further along.

(1) This is calculated using Moore's law: how many doubles of compute will it take before GPT-3 can be naively scaled to the estimated number of parameters of a human brain. That doesn't necessarily imply human level intelligence, but our studies so far indicate that there's strong reason to believe that GPT-human will be something approximating 1000x smarter than GPT-3. Human or not, that's terrifyingly intelligent. Remember that Transformer like architectures are the ones that "solved" protein folding last year. And none of this calculation takes into account the potential for continued improvements to architectures and efficiency over that time span. So while I don't think GPT-human will start an AI apocalypse in 20 years, I do think GPT-human will be better than every other human on this planet at doing ... AI research. And that's where the spark of singularity begins.


A species on a planet with low gravity or the ability to hibernate might have a different tech tree than humanity.

That being said, my bet is on the side that most species send AI to different solar systems before biological ones arrive.


These are some nice timeframe predictions, seems more up to date than Kurzweil

>A good one is where, say you are checking in on a civilization to see whether it's about to become space faring, and given the amount of energy required for it, the tech is dangerous to any other civilization these recent space arrivers might find. The question is whether they're going to pose a threat to the regional galactic order, and if they haven't got their cultural act together, do you let them?

Seems a strange position to take. Look at our own case. Do we evaluate "un-contacted/lost" tribes in the Amazon to see if they may pose a risk to the current Global Order? No, because that would be absurd. They are so far behind technologically that they pose about as much of a threat as a troop of chimps do. For galactic scale civilizations the difference in capabilities is probably at least as extreme as that.


You'd think, but we subvert and bomb Iran every time they get close to enriching uranium, so there are precedents, if perhaps not on the same relative scale.

The other question is why not just domesticate us and what kind of evolutionary impact does domestication have on a species? As someone who "educates," horses and dogs to live in an inescapable human dominion, in doing so, I shape them into something other than what they are. They have good lives and find joy, but there is a responsibility I have they will almost never see. The best I can personally do is evolve my own understanding and various virtues and to relieve their suffering where I comprehend it. I would hope an alien species would be a little further along than most of us on that front, but I'd say the analogies are useful.


The "Uplift" books by David Brin basically use this idea. They were popular I think in the 80s-90s.

In his books, an enlightened species "uplifts" an inferior one that has potential and after being helped...they sortof serve a period of time as pets/servants until they demonstrate that they can be part of galactic civilization.

Humans blunder into all of this by accident when they begin exploring space. Normally the knowledge of physics required for space travel is a side-effect of being uplifted. It's not discovered, it's taught. But we didn't do it the normal way.

If I remember correctly humans after learning this is sortof how it's done begin "uplifting" dolphins. The uplift process involves genetic engineering and education, etc.

One of the core mysteries in the books for the other enlightened species out there is did someone uplift humans?

It's been a while so I probably butchered that.


>You'd think, but we subvert and bomb Iran every time they get close to enriching uranium, so there are precedents, if perhaps not on the same relative scale.

But Iran, short of nuclear weapons, is essentially at exactly the same Technological level as the rest of the world. Humanity can barely get to our own Moon reliably so to think we are even remotely close technologically to civilizations capable of FTL travel or something similar is silly.


I don't mean to be a pedant, but you mean when you say 'UFOs' you mean extra-terrestrial visitors, don't you? It's an important distinction because even if you assume any given UFO sighting was not just a hallucination or misinterpretation but something real and unprecedented, assuming it's aliens from space is still a wild leap. A leap people tend to make because we're so primed to think "aliens" when we hear "UFO".

> Second, if you do intervene ...

Bear in mind that intervention doesn't have to be obvious. In our current networked world, there's a lot which a more-advanced-than-us group or civilisation could do without needing to reveal themselves as such. ;)


how many of us have met a congressmen, senator, media personality in person?

How hard would it be for a super advanced society to insert a media network that's all basically ai-generated people? We already have deep fakes, imagine the tech they might have that's deep fakes after 50 generations...

They could control us from a small satellite without needing to come anywhere near us,just by controlling what we see, think, or hear on the television.


If you live in the greater Washington DC area it is very easy to bump into political figures in real life. It has happened to me several times on flights too.

I like the idea of some super advanced society trying to manipulate our political process but all they need is the ability to wire transfer some cash to actual humans.


Holy shit, that's mind-blowing. as a humorous aside I'm sure that sort of total information control program (but run by a terrestrial government siding another territory) has been specked up in some elaborate document in a think tank or intelligence agency somewhere, as an alternative to "world of atoms" occupation.

> ... just by controlling what we see, think, or hear on the television.

Even that's pretty overt. It should be entirely possible to change the course of political events by leaking damaging info at appropriate times.

... and good luck with the various governments who'd want to extradite and throw them in jail. ;)


Oh, I love these ideas! I'm sure advanced civilizations have AIs, suoercomputers, lots of experience with this situation and some heuristics to help them decide, but i love doing the thought experiments with you :)

I agree the mere appearance of an advanced civilization could be a corrupting influence on the soon-to-be space faring savages, but then again the brutes might have other more pressing character flaws. At the same time maybe it would make sense for the advanced civilization to contact them in a covert manner so that there is sort of plausible deniability or non-verifiability to seed the ideas and create some sort of influence but limit the impact, which itself is a strategy which could create a sort of corrupt back channel between the terrestrial population and the advanced influencers.

But judging from the way that state departments handle these things it seems that early and persistent outreach, both covert and overt, and infiltration, and a mix of carrots (advanced tech, trade?) and sticks (erasure?) is the preferred method of maintaining some sort of control and relationship to manage the emerging threat or at least try to guide the development in a manner which the advance civilization sees as promoting whatever values are interests that it has.

Following the track your ideas lay out, seems if there were others out there that we're civic minded in a cosmic sense, they wouldn't adopt a hands off approach


We don't stop the lion from eating the gazelle. Maybe exploiting our planet to the point of our extinction is the natural order of things. We could pollute all we want and while life as we know it will change, life on earth will continue as it has all these billions of years. This is a planet that gets shaken by asteroids and cataclysmic volcanic eruptions that make the entire industrial revolution look like a cigarette idling in an ash tray in comparison.

If anything, we live in a galactic nature preserve.


You remind me of an absolutely wonderful George Carlin bit i love https://youtu.be/EjmtSkl53h4

It costs them nothing to wipe us out and spare the universe the trouble, so what must they believe about life, the universe, and everything to not do so. Economics may be universal, etc.

Perhaps the world is highly valued in terms of its bio-diversity and life-supporting resources. There's a possibility that native civilization like us are being monitored and on some level "protected" from conquests if they show they're responsible and take care of their own world.

But if the native civilization continue to destroy their own world, then all bets are off. More responsible and structured civilizations could be granted the right to intervene and potentially take over.

In other words, the more self-sufficient, ecologically responsible and wise we are, the more a civilization like us would be able to avoid this intervention.


My pet theory is they're already here and don't care at all about environmental issues. Planets like this are a dime-a-dozen to them.

However, nowhere else in the universe have they come across music like ours. They are madly obsessed with it and dare not intervene in our affairs, lest they taint the source.

I have absolutely no evidence for this. I just like the idea that Freddie Mercury just might have been an intergalactic superstar.


Then Narabedla Ltd is the book for you then.

Not to mock or denigrate your belief at all, it strikes me that there's a parallel between this belief and ancient human worship of nature gods.

It's dangerous to go alone. Take this [1] and this [2] and especially this [3].

Area 51 was a radar testing site due to the unique properties of the salt on the ground. And they just tested a "silver shiny UFO" which was the prototype for the SR-71. And yes, this was exactly the same date when people first called radio stations and the police for UFO sightings.

The Skunkworks A-12 OXCART research project led to the final SR-71 design for the CIA's spy planes. More details on this on the CIA website for the Archangel project in the web archive [4].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_A-12

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_SR-71_Blackbird

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A12radartesting.jpg

[4] http://web.archive.org/web/20201112000409/https://www.cia.go...


I'm just going to plug this book because it's so good and adds a lot more color to these comments -

https://www.amazon.com/Skunk-Works-Personal-Memoir-Lockheed/...

For context, this book covers history on the development of these UFOs and was written by Ben Rich, who worked at and eventually led the Lockheed division that developed these planes. If nothing else, it's a fascinating account of many historical events from a totally different vantage point.


> Area 51 was a radar testing site due to the unique properties of the salt on the ground. And they just tested a "silver shiny UFO" which was the prototype for the SR-71. And yes, this was exactly the same date when people first called radio stations and the police for UFO sightings.

Assuming Area 51 was just that, you can't disregard the whole UFO phenomenon (which has been taken place all over the globe for decades) as "the observers didn't know they were looking at an Skunk Works aircraft". That implies you haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg.

These reports not only often come from highly trained fighter pilots and engineers, but it also leaves imaging (radar, infrared, etc.) records that show that these things, whatever they are, can move too fast (and too slow) to be any USA/China/Russia/Israel super secret aircraft.


Hope you're not talking about gimbal/gofast etc, as they are poor examples... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Le7Fqbsrrm8

Mick West is full of shit on this one. You can listen to both a FLIR technician [1], and the same pilot [2] who saw the Tic Tac, explain why West is wrong. Why would you rather believe someone who has absolutely no experience with neither aircraft nor these advanced imaging systems, over these 2 people?

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzmdSsszf5g

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBt4CNHyAck


on one hand you have multiple fighter pilots (who have seen the object with own eyes, not just instrumentation), military FLIR technicians, radar operators, CIC personnel, a navy admiral all claiming to have witnessed something unusual - on the other hand you got some rando youtube guy claiming it was a bird... interesting

Skipping the YouTuber spam and go straight to the source: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-4ZqTjKmhn5Qr0tCHkCV...

I've always thought that an interesting theory is that some of what people have seen out there is the result of particle beam weapon testing. I have no idea how probable that is, but it sounded plausible. Here is a gem from the old web [0] laying out the argument.

[0] https://www.otherhand.org/home-page/area-51-and-other-strang...


None of those planes look like UFOs and they wouldn't move in the same reported ways, either. I don't agree that it makes someone stupid to be open minded.

> None of those planes look like UFOs and they wouldn't move in the same reported ways, either.

Yet today's pop culture conspiracy theorists tried to raid Area 51 for their beliefs.

Don't get me wrong: I believe in alien life. But I don't believe in conspiracy theorists that are blind to the obvious in correlations of evidence.

Scientific theory is about bayesian reasoning, not about proving to yourself that you're right; which is a likely phenomenon in the thinking nature of conspiracy theorists.


If by 'today's you mean last year or so...

The Area51 raid was an imgur joke...I think Chuck Norris and Shaggy were supposed to lead it. (The 2 most powerful memes on the internet...)


> Scientific theory is about bayesian reasoning, not about proving to yourself that you're right; which is a likely phenomenon in the thinking nature of conspiracy theorists.

For that comment to be true, there would be no science without bayesian reasoning. Since bayesian reasoning differs from hypothetico-deductive, that is false.


How do they differ?

Those planes have very unusual forms by the standards the public was accustomed to decades ago. In the time since, those planes and ones even more exotic have appeared countless times in popular media, changing the public's perception of what airplanes might look like.

The A-12 was publicly announced in early 1964. It first flew in 1962. The X-3, F-104, B-58 had all flown by the mid-50s. If anything, airplanes have been much more pedestrian as function and form needs were mostly subsonic.

As far as I am aware, the A-12 was secret until the 90s, though the existence of the nearly identical in appearance and function YF-12's was indeed made public in the 1960s. But how many in the 60s would have recognized one if they saw it? Public knowledge and common knowledge are not the same thing.

I linked the picture of the radar test especially because of its absurd dimensions. In the bottom left corner you can see a full size military jeep standing next to it.

This thing is _huge_ and honestly, it's very reasonable people thought it was an alien spaceship.


I have to admit that as a youngster when an SR-71 surprise buzzed Vancouver BC circa 1986 that my first thought was that it was a UFO (flying saucer). Edge on they look very saucer like! It was only when they banked almost vertical that I could see the true silhouette.

Most of the reports of "UFOs" and their characteristics in flight come from untrained, and unreliable sources.

It's not stupid to be open minded, but it is stupid to ignore plausible explanations of phenomenon because you are hoping to find something new.


> Most of the reports of "UFOs" and their characteristics in flight come from untrained, and unreliable sources.

Agreed. But when you filter all those, you are left with a huge pile of true UFO reports, that come from trained personnel, radar operator, astronomers, etc. Look at the conclusions of Blue Book.


>true UFO reports

But what is that? A report of an object, that is unidentified. The only truth is that an observation was made.

There are many many mundane things, albeit rare, which can explain these observations. Rare mundane things that even trained observers aren't aware of in the moment.

Point is, UFO report is step one. After that comes a boring process of trying to explain the observation with all in all the mundane ways before jumping to extreme conclusions.


>>true UFO reports

>But what is that?

A "true UFO", as stated in my previous comment, is a report that survives...

> Point is, UFO report is step one. After that comes a boring process of trying to explain the observation with all in all the mundane ways before jumping to extreme conclusions.

...all this process, and remains unexplained. That boring process of trying to explain it is what I called "filtering".


Maybe it’s real. Maybe it’s a psyop. I know such a radar technician (not one who ‘witnessed’ such phenomena)that has classified access who sides on psyop

> It's not stupid to be open minded, but it is stupid to ignore plausible explanations of phenomenon because you are hoping to find something new.

This sentence reads like you are casually dismissing all of science..

Surely "The Earth is flat", "Rain spirits make the rain fall from the sky" and "We are at the center of the universe, being created by God and all" were plausible explanations of phenomena that were eventually ignored by scientists hoping to find something new.


>This sentence reads like you are casually dismissing all of science..

That sentence is the very essence of science. Most observations are easily explained by existing theory. If you are proposing something new, you need evidence and time to upend the consensus.

Flat Earth, rain spirits etc all were disproven because, eventually, the most plausible explanation of phenomena matched evidence to the contrary rather than what existed.

Scientists don't ignore flat earth, they weight it's evidence just the same as a globe earth. The reason that the globe earth is accepted as the consensus truth, is that it has the overwhelming evidence of its veracity, an argument for the globe collected over a long period of time.


What does a UFO look like?

It's something up in the sky, that you can't identify. I've seen plenty, and if you've ever seen something flying that you can't identify then you've seen them too.

I kind of wish Unidentified Flying Object hadn't been conflated with space aliens.


The stereotypical description is a circular object that can hover and make sharp directional changes. Usually they're described as having lights and sometimes as having no seams or visible rivets.

A metal lamp shade, obviously. But, I Want to Believe.

Exactly.

Those spy planes are absolute marvels of engineering and creativity.

I couldn't even start to imagine what incredible stuff is currently classified and being worked on!


The next to last was the most interesting to me... it's gotta be an old April Fools in the NSA Technical Journal. It flatly states we've received signals from outer space, and posits a decoding of them....

https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/news-features/decla...


I know exactly what this is though I can't remember where to find the source. It was an exercise they gave to a bunch of scientists and mathematicians to see if it was plausible that they could even decode the meaning behind an alien message, if one were ever found. (And also probably to provide some credentials for candidate experts to consult in such a scenario.) They did quite well. That said, the code itself was created by a human, so I'm not sure it has the value they think it does. One thing higher education in STEM taught me was that human thinking is actually really easy to spot. We, for the most part, really just use the same tired old tricks again and again in different contexts.

Intelligence agencies have internal decoding competitions and trainings. This sounds like one of them, simply framed around an alien transmission, and you're just looking at the answer key where it's assumed the reader is familiar with the frame.

The entire "transmission" is at the end. To be honest, of all the things we could receive from an alien source, "They transmitted basic set theory and a periodic table at us... and that's it..." would almost be the weirdest possible outcome.


Why would that be the weirdest possible outcome? This provides a demonstration of intelligence, intent and understanding that starting with objective, science-based fundamentals which can be deduced (set theory) and observed (elements) seems like an _awesome_ wide net to cast if you're trying to communicate.

It's not like they could compress a JPG and beam it over here in a way that wouldn't look like garbage.


I think "and that's it" would be the weird part. Maybe it's just because I watched Contact, but I would expect the basic demonstration of intelligence/etc to precede a more interesting message. The basic math and science transmission could be used as a Rosetta stone of sorts, to bootstrap that more interesting message. Otherwise what's the point? Maybe the aliens just want somebody else to know they existed I suppose.

"I think "and that's it" would be the weird part."

Yes, that's my point. You make the presumably-strenuous effort to broadcast to the stars, sacrificing any number of other priorities in the process, and you basically transmit the scientific equivalent of a throat clearing, and then stop? Silence is understandable, and a message like in the movie Contact is understandable, and a lot of other things are understandable, but that would just be weird.


Thank you - I totally missed your point.

>Intelligence agencies have internal decoding competitions and trainings.

They've done similar as recruitment initiatives as well, I remember one on Twitter.


Why do you think it is an April Fools prank?

It's obviously a crypto challenge to anyone who has ever played them. It maps way too nicely to human concepts. This is what every amateur putting together an "alien challenge" without attempting to be scientific about it ends up doing, and it's easy to tell. That's fine if you're doing it for fun, but it's obviously not real.

And that is confirmed:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a19257/nsa-key-to-ext...

I've been here solved that. ACM tried to run an challenge about an "alien computer" that was obviously not alien, but ended up being very real. I was part of the team that reverse engineered it first, but the whole contest collapsed and all interest waned after we ended up finding the very-much-not-alien chip involved by accident. We did cover the initial process, but unfortunately never got around to writing the follow-up posts.

https://fail0verflow.com/blog/2012/unprogramming-intro/ https://web.archive.org/web/20160304030848/http://queue.acm....


It's the Winter 1969 journal, and there Spring/Summer Journals, so I don't necessarily buy the April fools explanation:

https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/declassified-documents/tec...

> Key to The Extraterrestrial Messages - Winter 1969 - Vol. XIV, No. 1

Additionally, that same link above also contains this from the Winter 1966 journal, "Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence":

https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/news-features/decla...


If aliens were actually found, it definitely wouldn't be announced in an unclassified document shared with everyone at NSA. Although I don't think it's a prank per se, just someone who wrote a cryptography puzzle and wanted to frame it in a cute way.

It's more likely just a prompt for teaching these concepts.

I'm a bit surprised by the loss of nuance in this and the CIA HN thread.

UFOs doesn't mean aliens, and equating the two limits fruitful discussions about the actual phenomena behind them, which in my opinion are much more interesting, and, based on your prior, also much more likely, e.g.

* yet unexplained physical/weather phenomena (see David Fraser et al. evidence)

* secret military technology (see SR-71 sightings)

* ... ?


Sure, people should at least use the more modern acronym UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), which is less descriptive and broader in scope than UFO.

If there's something out there, I hope it gets "officially" announced in my life-time.

Wouldn't that depend on how it's done?

eg A "War of the Worlds" style announcement probably isn't something to hope for ;)


The redactions on some of these documents are absolutely ridiculous.

What is the point for releasing documents in a state that leaves them completely useless.


Some of these are interesting. Here's one that is completely unredacted: https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/news-features/decla...

This slightly more legible one [1] elsewhere in the thread has some redacted parts that this one doesn't.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25766074

Where'd the objects go or what happened to them? Why'd the F-4 drop the chase and why didn't they try to scramble more jets?


Made a transcription of this one for easier reading: https://kvak.io/?n=cpga1l1t1a144

That last part with the small farmhouse in the middle of nowhere comes across like something out of close encounters. Very cool.

Very difficult to read, but fascinating.

Just a wild stab in the dark here but those redactions might have to do with SIGINT. Or in other words, how the UFO report came to be.

Because when I saw this headline "NSA UFO Documents Index" hosted on nsa.gov, I realized why I don't care about UFO theories. Because even the NSA has given up. No sane person cares about this stuff. They will readily index it on their website to shut those lunatics up.


Agreed; that said, there's an Ancient Aliens tv series that acts serious but, I think, is mostly recognized for being hilarious...so frivolous I've actually watched it because it's just so laughable.

There are people out there vulnerable to the BS due to ignorance that could be shown how to apply skepticism, or taught more about science/history, but the bullshit is just as prominent and available, or more so. Your peers may be the right combination of smart and knowledgeable to be immune, but it's best not to assume that it's harmless in general to broadcast ancient aliens style junk.

I was on my honeymoon with my fiancee and at the end of the night, we liked to relax by opening a bottle of champagne and watching Ancient Aliens. Don't get me wrong, both of us believe in the possibility of life in outer space but that show was funnier than most modern sitcoms.

Heck, even Monster Quest was more believable.


I don't know how you can't at least find this document interesting. It's a first hand account of what was basically a dogfight between a US pilot and a UFO over Iran.

https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/news-features/decla...

Even if you assume that whatever he encountered was made on Earth, its hard not to have questions or be interested in the account.


That's an excellent example. Thanks for finding it.

I'd rather believe this was a combination of natural phenomenon and instrumentation failure than an alien visiting us from far far away.

After reading the text that doubt is definitely still strong.

It starts with conflicting reports from people on the ground.

They are never able to identify what it was.

And also the text reads as if it was written by a "believer" if you know what I mean.

Take this for example; WHEN THE 'F?4' TURNED FROM THE OBJECT AND APPARENTLY WAS NO LONGER A THREAT TO IT THE AIRCRAFT REGAINED ALL INSTRUMENTATION

That to me reads like someone who has watched too many scifi movies.

And the report goes on to say that a 2nd object came out of the original object and was estimated to be "half to one third the apparent size of the moon". wtf?

This whole report makes me question the sanity of everyone involved. And since it's now declassified why won't any of the at least 5 airmen involved step forwards?

And besides all that, what motive would these aliens have to come here and fly around with their light shows once a decade?


the report is from over 40 years ago and all the involved are iranian personnel, not american ~ i wouldn't expect any of them to come forward if they are still alive...

there is no natural phenomenon that fits the description. one passage says that the UFO landed and illuminated land around it in a 2-3km radius. there was a radar return, multiple aircraft involved etc.

im not saying its 100% aliens, but im pretty sure its also not swamp gas / weather balloon.


They would be old, which is a perfect time to come forwards.

Anyways, I'm not saying I can identify which natural phenomenon it is, I'm just using the process of elimination.

Because let's assume this was a sentient thing, at least sentient enough to know that these aircraft posed a danger to it.

Well that's where the paradox starts because this thing apparently has the ability to disable the instrumentation of a fighter jet with such precision that it does not damage the aircraft, it does not damage the aviators and it can be restored after leaving its sphere of influence.

So one must ask, why would an object with such power be afraid of these aircraft?

So you might say, "it's merely an effect of being near the object, not a deployed capability against these aircraft".

Ok fine but that's a very specific non-conscious effect to be flying around inside Iranian airspace with. If this particular object has that effect then why don't all UFOs disable all instrumentation in a sphere around them all the time?

How come only these particular planes that were heading towards it, like in a movie or a novel.


i wouldn't think they would be afraid of human aircrafts...

I'm pretty sure they would be able to identify threatening aircraft from non threatening, humans can do this too.

as for their motivations of floating around random places around earth ~ could be literally anything


That's a very human centric view though. If we see them as balls of multi-colored light then what makes you think they can even grasp what an aircraft is, let alone radio signals.

Sure they might have been studying us for centuries, and that's how they can disable our instrumentation precisely without damaging anything. But then again that raises the question, why? Why even let us detect them in the first place if they have no message to send.

And if they have a message to send, how come they have complete control of our technology but can't convey their message?

Nothing adds up here.

To me as a skeptic the only common factor is human imagination.


> This whole report makes me question the sanity of everyone involved.

It's very unlikely that a highly trained professional military pilot, which operates a incredibly sophisticated machine costing millions of dollars, suffers from mental issues.


You're implying that training will somehow negate mental issues?

What if this incident was the time they were revealed?

Dangerous assuming that just because someone has trained and has perfect eyesight they're mentally stable. Always expect the unexpected, or you will be sorry.

This was during the gulf war too. Who knows what horrors this person had lived through, or heard of. Also who knows the strength of their beliefs.

Would you say belief in a God and all the things in the bible are as strange as a belief in Aliens? Because a lot of trained military people believe in God.

Statistically any person could have a religious experience at any time.

That's how I view "alien encounters", a combination of belief, mass hysteria and external phenomenon. Our culture has sort of set us up for it.


I liked your take on the redactions (and your crazy ass username, hehe). But, we're not lunatics, tho maybe your are for living in a fantasy of denial rather than facing the reality of the huge amounts of data on this. It seems crazier these days to deny the realities suggested by the Himalayas of reports and testimony. And this new index, well, it doesn't seem to be shutting anyone up now, tho, does it, hmm?

I agree, Countries were even reluctant disclose whether MH370 was registered on their military radar in order to not reveal their capabilities.

> ...to shut those lunatics up.

Does that work?

One of my brothers thinks the world is 6,000 years old and intelligent design and so forth. I still have no idea how to respond, because he feels I have to learn this truth too, if at all.


In order to comply with regulations.

Its pure bureaucracy at work.

You can still infer some info from the context or meta to build some kind of picture.


Someone is reading this and amazed they still have not figured out nature of his experiential airplane

Yeah or his ground-based holographic projection tech, or hers. Hehe

Transcription of one of the more interesting, but difficult to read, document: https://kvak.io/?n=cpga1l1t1a144

Great, thank you so much!!

At this point the existence of the UFO phenomenon is undeniable. The fact that congress attached to the covid relief bill that the intelligence services must present a report of everything they know about ufos within a 180 days tells you that something is up and they are trying to force the hand of the intelligence service. I also find it interesting that since retiring Harry Read has openly talked about the existence of UFOs.

Congress must force the government agency to immediately release all ufo related info to the public. The public has the right to know.


Harry Reid funded the "Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program" with 22$ millions per year from 2007 to 2012 to research UFOs.

And most of that money went to Robert Bigelow. Which happens to be friend of Harry Reid, is interested in UFOs and has donated money to Reid's campaigns (what a coincidence!)

But the program was secret. Because, you know, aliens. And national security. Until its existence was revealed in 2017 - the year Reid retired from politics.

I remember thinking how blatant and ingenious this corruption scheme was when I first heard of it. He gave money to his friends and even when it's publicly known nobody associates it with corruption because of "aliens"


If its that open-and-shut, why hasn't he been arrested?

There's no law against a member of Congress introducing or voting for legislation that benefits friends or donors. If there were, they'd all be in jail.

Because the legal system is designed and run by people in power and people in power aren't interested in prosecuting their own crimes.

I think we can pretty summarily dismiss all of this with, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Given that every inch of the developed world is now covered with high resolution cameras, and UFO sightings via these devices have suspiciously not exploded in number, it's pretty clear that these reports were misidentifications, lies, and counterintelligence operations.

Would it be cool if aliens were hanging out with us? Probably. Is it happening? Almost certainly not.


I challenge you to take one of these high resolution cameras and take a photo of the moon. Then take one and take a photo of a jetliner where the make of the jet is comprehensible.

Yes we all carry around cameras but the sensor and lens sizes are all so small they are next to useless at night without a huge helping hand of ML based photo retouching or similar.


And the finest in government scan-of-a-photocopy-of-a-photocopy documents such as the COMSECNAVGRU one definitely don’t count as extra-ordinary evidence... heck some of the documents are barely legible evidence at best!

You are confusing two crucial things: UFOs doesn't mean aliens, it's simply unidentified objects. Unless you really do want to speculate about aliens ...

> "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"

The evidence gathered by David Fraser et al. is actually quite compelling. Definitly there seem to be natural phenomena that can't be explained by our current scientific understanding.


It's really not, its almost completely eyewitness based and regardless of their "expertise," eyewitnesses are almost completely worthless and certainly do not qualify as "compelling evidence" in the arena of Science.

> almost completely eyewitness

There was positive radar and flir data, along with multiple witnesses from their air group. Not 'almost completely eyewitness' accounts, which makes their observations rather compelling.

My moneys on some actor - US or another state - having some kind of exotic aircraft that aren't on the books.


>There was positive radar and flir data

Not sufficient it could easily be a flock of birds or something mundane.


Agree, you have the pentagon with its task force looking into ufos/uaps under a formerly secret program - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unidentified_Aerial_Phenomena_...

You have Commander Fravor and other decorated US fighter pilots with both eyewitness accounts, video evidence, and radar evidence on numerous encounters with unidentified craft(NYTimes reported on these videos as well) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_UFO_videos

As for the 180 days to release everything about UFO's it is mentioned in this CNN article - https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/10/us/ufo-report-emergency-relie...


>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_UFO_videos

There's more in better info in the original USS Nimitz UFO Incident page. But Wikipedia authors scrubbed it when they merged the pages for whatever reason.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=USS_Nimitz_UFO_in...


Wikipedia editors have a clear stance against anything fringe, which is very wrong IMO. As an example, take this sentence from the intro for the Project Blue Book page [1]:

By the time Project Blue Book ended, it had collected 12,618 UFO reports, and concluded that most of them were misidentifications of natural phenomena (clouds, stars, etc.) or conventional aircraft. According to the National Reconnaissance Office a number of the reports could be explained by flights of the formerly secret reconnaissance planes U-2 and A-12.[2] A small percentage of UFO reports were classified as unexplained, even after stringent analysis.

That "small percentage" is actually 22%, as indicated many paragraphs below. And if we only consider the "Highest quality reports" category, the reports deemed unidentified goes up to 35%. That's not a "small percentage".

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Blue_Book


It wasn't a covid relief bill, it was the yearly appropriations bill that included covid relief. It also included an update to the Intelligence Authorization act.

It doesn't require anyone to provide a report on everything they know about ufos, or report anything previously classified to the public. There is a broad change to reduce duplication and waste by sharing information on unidentified aerial phenomena between intelligence departments, and make a report on how this info is shared to the senate.


> The public has the right to know.

Why? Some of the UFOs are undoubtedly military projects. Making them public reveals their existence to other countries.


> congress attached to the covid relief bill

They did? Got a link? I tried a Google search but found nothing.


It can be found in the Committee Comments portion of the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 (search for "unidentified aerial phenomena"): https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/publications/intelligenc...

Via Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/180-day-countdown-ufo/


Thanks!


Thanks!

If any UFO actually visible then news will start surrounding in every channels. There always some intentions to Wandering off from some topic that are going on any country. That is clear politics. People always jump on some topics even though they know that it's politics.

Chinese drones are amazing these days huh

[flagged]


The larger the volume of space considered, the higher probability there is that a thing exists somewhere in it. Plus, if aliens have landed on earth, you also need to postulate a cover-up that has successfully prevented almost everyone from finding out.

It's not about sanity, it's just about understanding how much evidence certain claims require to be considered likely.


> If you say there are civilizations thriving somewhere in the galaxy, you're Carl Sagan.

Modern thinking is it's more likely there were civs that thrived, but they are all dead now. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9kbcGfX35M

https://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-spacecraft-discovers-the-univ...


Thanks a lot! The youtube link is fantastic.

Briefly put: the speed of light.

It takes a long, long time to get anywhere, because light moves at a relative crawl compared to the distances between stars, so it would be a long and energy-intensive process to visit another planet, especially given how hard it would be to detect a civilization there before you departed. The Earth didn't emit much of a signal on radio waves until about 1900, so even if the aliens were only sixty light years away and could move at the speed of light, they'd have had to launch just as soon as they got some signals.

Ah, but FTL, you say. But nothing. FTL implies Closed Timelike Curves: time travel, or the informational equivalent, with all of the logical paradoxes that can entail. I'd sooner believe in breaking the conservation of mass-energy than beating the speed of light.


The speed of light is a constant but we are still very behind in terms of understanding the universe and physics, we still do not have a unified theory which bridges general relativity to quantum mechanics. We know next to nothing about dark matter(haven't found any yet), also in terms of energy production we have not achieved - room temperature superconducting and fusion reactors. We can barely get rockets outside of earths orbits, let alone to our closest celestial neighbor the moon. That being said, I think given our current technological shortcomings we are in no position to rule out 100% possibility of life from another world being here.

In literally every protracted discussion I've had about FTL since before I got my physics degree, someone has brought up the "science doesn't know everything yet" angle. Here's the thing: science is never done, it will never know for finally and for certain. And yet two of my objections will remain unaddressed:

1) FTL implies CTCs, that means paradoxes. How are those going to be resolved? Because the Cosmic Censor stuff never quite makes sense -- exactly what mechanism is going to forbid you from opening the message that says, "Do not send this message back in time?"

2) Again allowing for FTL ... where are the self-replicating machines spreading across the cosmos? Pop to another star system, pop to another galaxy, or even a local cluster. They should have already been there. The universe is vast. Most species will realize that this is a terrible ass idea, but there's always a lunatic in a large enough crowd, and it'll be a pretty large crowd.

Nobody ever deals with these points. People want FTL to be true because, well, Star Trek (or Star Wars, or Farscape, take your pick). It's a bit dull, plodding along at some small fraction of c, but the universe doesn't have to be exciting for us. And I'm not going to bet otherwise.


1, without having a mechanism for FTL how can we say for certain that it implies CTCs? maybe relativity is an approximation of a more complete theory which allows FTLs without CTCs...

2, didn't the universe itself expand faster than light during inflation? what does relativity have to say about that? if we can't use relativity to explain inflation, why do we so comfortably use it to forbid FTL?


1) Oh, it turns out that the mechanism for getting CTCs out of FTL is completely irrelevant. Construct your light cones, see the results. Warp drive, wormholes, whatever, they all produce CTCs. You can look into it if you don't believe me.

2) None of the matter in the universe was expanding, the spacetime was. You're not the first person to think of this. Probably the first question that popped into anyone's mind when variants of the concept were being kicked around. Anyway, the expansion doesn't generate CTCs because there's no information and/or matter to circle around, it's just the stretch between these.

Now, you'll probably ask about -- well, why can't we shrink spacetime selectively to get around all of that? Ah, that requires some exotic matter, matter with negative mass-energy. No, anti-matter does not have negative mass-energy (first thing people reach for). In fact, we've never found anything with negative mass-energy and that concept itself raises a ton of fun paradoxes which I could get into. And you still get CTCs.

There's probably a large tree of arguments out there on the Internet somewhere which addresses all of these common objections.


sure for the mechanisms we have come up with so far. doesn't say anything about things we come up in the future. we don't know what we don't know.

My stock response to that is that we don't know that I can't make a time machine out of some chewing gum wrappers, a rubber band, three transistors, six pipe cleaners, a AAA battery, and it only works while I wear a red hat.

We also don't know that I can't use that device to go back in time to the start of the universe and change all of the physical laws so that the previous contraption cannot work.

But what are the odds? What would you bet on?


You could have used that argument to poo-poo someone proposing anything that was thought to be impossible before it was shown to be possible.

"We don't know what we don't know" is the ultimate gateway to wish fulfillment. It's not fruitful for anything other than fantasy.

Who is to say that I cannot write an AI in under 1,000 lines of C? We don't know what we don't know. By all means, pursue that line of inquiry if you feel that the odds are with you.

It's just not a useful heuristic for deciding what to spend your resources (time, money, effort, energy, etc.) on.


You keep mentioning examples people are fully familiar with and comparing it to something nobody is familiar with.

I do not know what you mean. I don't know what to tell you other than the following: Nearly every "Can't We Just ...?" is old. It's kind of irritating in a way, because people behave as if their thoughts on FTL (or overunity motors to break conservation of energy, or whatever) are new and unconsidered, but they end up being just about ancient and well-worn, and it's the equivalent of some bright spark saying, "Hey, why don't we just merge the Windows and Linux kernels? Should be easy!" or "Can't you just make it know what I want?" with reference to some program.

To be sure there are nuts working in their garages on various projects, but in the scientific community, nobody is holding their breath on these fantastic breakthroughs.


I think your sibling poster has it right: lack of evidence.

All the speed of light problems can be ameliorated. The entire galaxy could be visited (if not colonized) in a relatively short amount of time by something like a Von Neumann probe at even 0.01c. The 'aliens' needn't be biological.


Agreed but to be fair - mass-energy is not conserved across intergalactic scales.

This is a sage like observation. Thank you for this!

The answer is it probably is somewhat arbitrary but maybe related to human psychological proximity and the fear response. The most common response to fear is denial and so questioning the credibility of those people providing information that could provoke fear is a form of denial. The closer the object of fear the more fear therefore the more denial perhaps.




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