Friday, May 25, 2007

BULLETIN: 'Drone' Almost Certainly Real

Both Linda Howe and Unknowncountry have resources in various engineering disciplines. An Unknowncountry source at NASA has said that the object is far from any known technology. "If it is using electrostatic lift, then it would have to be extremely light, perhaps on the order of a few pounds, but then where would the energy come from? Electrostatic lift is a laboratory phenomenon, as far as I know."

We asked him to comment on this statement by an engineer queried by Linda Howe. The engineer said, "The design strategy of charged ion shaped plasma 'buoyancy' devices does bear some relevancy here. For instance, the circular array of curved 'antennae' coming out of the center of the device is very similar to a form of wave guide shaping mechanism for a charged plasma ion field."


That's some nice shop-talk, but it does nothing to change the fact that Linda Howe was told by a photography expert that the pictures are fakes, as Photoshop users have likely already figured out for themselves.





I don't blame Howe for perpetuating this fiasco, as her credulity is notorious. I blame Whitley Strieber, whose once skeptical stance on the UFO phenomenon (for example, he once astutely pointed out the tenuous link between UFOs and "abductions," a point largely overlooked by exponents of the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis) has degenerated into so much banal, contradictory pomposity.

The case of the hoaxed "drone" will, of course, evaporate one way or another, but not until a few more anonymous sources have had their say and the matter discussed to death on Internet radio. I'm getting queasy already.

7 comments:

mr. intense said...

"The case of the hoaxed "drone" will, of course, evaporate one way or another, but not until a few more anonymous sources have had their say and the matter discussed to death on Internet radio. I'm getting queasy already."
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Yes, agreed that will happen. I have been queasily awaiting it, myself. But the real question is the great _why_?!?!

Because after this "wonder" fades, and it will (until the next one or more appears), you have to ask what's really going on in this overall process; what are the motivations, the bases for this syndrome, which may be growing in the precarious 21st century.

In part, it's the will to believe the fantastic, or the trivial, or whatever false beliefs "float your boat" in times of social discontinuity or disequilibrium. Something like that. There are many causes, too numerous to note here.

But the intent and purposes of hoaxing, and the desire and will to believe the incredible by the credulous must be filling some unmet need.

That, and the causes more than the symptoms, should be carefully studied and analyzed. Perhaps forms of "educational solutions" may be derived from same. We're dealing with human nature, however, so great care must be taken not to abuse the right to one's beliefs.

Which, in turn, presents a few dilemmas or a possibly unsolvable paradox. The creation, nature, and consequences of belief are a rather controversial topic these days.

I suspect another part of it is fear of what the future may bring, and an evolving fight for how that future will or "should" take shape. Beliefs, and their variety of incompatible differences, which we act on, might suggest conflict is inevitable. How can this be effectively resolved?

Some may think by creating hoaxes, about ufos, "alien presence", or a non-human intervention, that that is a possible alternative or solution, to perhaps unite and deal with our conflicts thereby more effectively.

This, depending on the players and the scope of such, could be terribly dangerous, as it is a lie, and eventually collapses as a result, assuming it is found out and is publically exposed as such. Even then, immense damage can occur before, or if, the fact of a "big lie" becomes widely known. Even if that is forseen, it may serve the purpose of buying time to implement power to exert control in a misbegotten effort to preclude that truth becoming known. Thus the danger of such. Look at Hitler or Stalin. Or maybe even Iraq. Of course, others will believe regardless of the evidence or truth of the matter. Cults and megalomaniacs thrive on persuading others to believe their lies. Many "want to believe" as Mulder's poster suggested. We live in interesting times, and many "shockwave riders" will be needed.

As yet another anonymous source, I hope my commentary does not make you too queasy, Mac, but I am neither a believer nor an atheist (the context being the believers vs the hyper-skeptical). I am part of the excluded middle, to use Bishop's parlance, the guy who wants to see what's behind the curtain, pursuing the middle path, seeking...reality.

I just want to know the truth, which may be too much to ask, for some. Sometimes I feel like the canary in a coal mine, and I think the smell of gas is slowly seeping in. At other times...well...maybe that is a form of belief, too.

But I think about the impact on people's psyches about real things they usually don't think they can do anything substantial about, and how various "belief systems" are a form of coping personally with even just everyday reality.

War, global warming, political, ethnic, religious, and nationalistic conflicts, population outstripping resources and their allocation and the management of increasing social complexity and change are all very real issues, among at least dozens of other "primary problems" facing humanity now and within the next few generations. Our children and grandchildren may be facing a form of true hell on earth. Taken as a whole, these issues may not be comprehensively resolved within the available timeframes probable.

What does one do? Have faith? Believe in the brotherhood and goodness of man to do the right thing? Believe in things that are not true, as a form of subconscious delusion or coping mechanism?

Like the "alien craft on the moon" YouTube video of a few weeks ago, this new hoax "craft" has sprouted a few added anon legs to hobble forth on. Strieber and Howe are providing forums for further dissemination, and should be ashamed.

Note the arrogance and vested personal and financial stakes indicated by this quote from the end of the report you linked to:

"Keep up to date with the latest from Linda Howe's Earthfiles.com.

"Where else in the world will you get information like this, presented with our level of care and dedication? The answer--nowhere else! We are entirely subscriber supported so that we can remain free of the demands of any outside obligations. You owe it to yourself to keep this unique project alive. Click here to explore our subscription options today! We need you...and you need us."

Think about that last sentence.

The "detailed info" on Howe's Earthfiles forum is primarily available only to paid subscribers. It's also pretty obvious Strieber and his wife derive income from their website, also. As such, they are either delusional or cons, or both. What did P.T. Barnum say?

But this is also part and parcel of the dark side of "the territory" of ufology, such as it is. We shouldn't get too upset, as I have at times, as it's inevitable. We shouldn't ignore it completely, as it not only has an effect, but acts as a diversionary distraction. Misdirection. Slight of hand. A stagey Magic act. For the magician's gain over his audience.

An insidious way to defocus efforts to concentrate on scientifically investigating and attempting to solve the real riddles of ufo/uap phenomena, by either intentional or inadvertent muddying of the waters.

Yet, we should also not get too emotional or involved in "denying" it, as CSICOPians tend to do. A kind of detachment with awareness, a sort of "Buddhist," or non-aligned approach, may serve best. Moderation. Applied intelligence, in many forms.

These amateurish, but increasingly sophisticated hoaxes, in the sense that, like the techniques of disinformation, come from more than one source, or use real materials mixed with the false, different forms of distribution, etc., are interesting to study, for those who want to, as a form of myth-making, informal (thus plausibly deniable) psyops, and thus sociologically and anthropologically interesting to keep an eye on. But they can also be a little too disinfotaining, and pull people in who are susceptible. This is a form of pschological manipulation and control, potentially. The why, means, and to what ends need to be carefully considered and analytically examined, but from a remove to avoid getting screwed over, fried, or burnt out.

Remember what the dormouse said?

Feed your head!

Just be very careful about the source and nature of what you end up feeding it. Or it may end up feeding on you...

mr. intense said...

This is _quite_ odd:

Mac's post entitled "BULLETIN: 'Drone' Almost Certainly Real", with an excerpt, I presume, of text starting out with "Both Linda Howe and Unknowncountry have resources in various engineering disciplines. An Unknowncountry source at NASA has said that the object is far from any known technology." actually now goes to: http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=6235
where the title and text read as follows:

"Drone Appears on You Tube
25-May-2007

"The 'Chad' photos on Flickr were taken with a Konica Minolta DiMAGE X at an ISO Speed: 100 and a resolution of 72dpi on May 16 at 5:43 PM. Linda Moulton Howe has interviewed a witness on Dreamland who saw the 'drone.' The Alabama photo was also taken with a digital camera. BUT the drone is now being reproduced so perfectly using CGI technology that it is virtually impossible to tell whether or not the original photographs and testimony are real. To see an expert CGI video that has been created of the 'drone,' click here. So the question must be asked again: is this an elaborate hoax or clever viral marketing, or are all of these CGI efforts disinformation, innocent or intentional? Whether the various witnesses took their pictures in innocence or are part of the marketing campaign we do not know, but there is no question now: the mysterious 'drone' can be recreated using CGI technology. For more discussion of it on the "Open Minds" forum click here. For a CGI version of the stills, click here."
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Mac--Where did the title and text you posted come from? If it came from Stieber's site, your link no longer goes to that.

I searched Strieber's site, with the title you posted and a segment of text from your post (excerpting, I presume, a section of an Unknown Country article), and it now does not come up, although the new, much less biased article, actually an almost complete _reversal_ of what the excerpt you quoted indicated, _does_ show at the top of a list of found articles, oddly enough, when I searched Strieber's site using the "BULLETIN:'Drone' Almost Certainly Real" title.

It's as if the title and article you quoted in your post has now been replaced with a new title and article about the same subject, and the search function using the term "BULLETIN:" on Strieber's site, which pulls up this new article, seems to be in the _same place_ as what I have to presume was the original, belief-biased article.

It seems that original article has now been pulled! And the article you quoted an excerpt from has also now been "disappeared." How sleazily hypocritical. I wonder if it had to do with your post, or if the Strieber's got negative feedback after your post from others, and to maintain the appearance of credibility, reversed course and posted this new article.

See also:
http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1248&category=Environment
and:
http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1247&category=Environment
for Linda Moulton Howe's take on this "drone"--the first ('1248') article starts out with:

"Updated: Engineer Comments About Odd Aerial "Drones"?
Over Lake Tahoe and Central California

"© 2007 by Linda Moulton Howe

"The design strategy of charged ion / shaped plasma 'buoyancy' devices
does bear some relevancy here. For instance, the circular array of curved 'antennae' coming out of the center of the device is very similar to a form of wave guide / shaping mechanism for a charged plasma / ion field." - Nanotech Engineer"

The Strieber thing, that without any comment or note that the article was pulled, and is not anywhere else on his site, is very weird.

Mac said...

It seems that original article has now been pulled! And the article you quoted an excerpt from has also now been "disappeared."

I'm not the least bit surprised. Strieber probably realized how lame the story was and decided to pretend it never happened. He's done it before.

mr. intense said...

Oh, yeah? How Korffian of Strieber!

Guess what? Some time in the afternoon of Sat., the 26th, it changed again! Third version noted below, with 25 May pre-dated indicator still intact. Talk about "revisionist history"!
----------------------------------
"Drone Appears on You Tube--But Original Photos Still Stand Up
25-May-2007"

"Super-clear photos of a bizarre UFO have caused an international sensation, and now CGI experts are showing just how perfect fakes can be, but so far there is no evidence at all that the 'Chad' photos posted on Flikr, and the 'Alabama' photo posted on Earthfiles.com are fakes. Headers on the Chad photos indicate that they were taken with a Konica Minolta DiMAGE X at an ISO Speed of 100 and a resolution of 72dpi on May 6 at 5:43 PM. In addition, Linda Moulton Howe leads off Dreamland today with a convincing interview with a witness who saw the 'drone' two years ago. So the evidence still favors the original photos being real. BUT the drone is now being reproduced perfectly using CGI technology. It is virtually impossible to tell whether or not the original photographs are real, but the depth of evidence Linda Howe is presenting remains compelling. To see an expert video that has been created of the 'drone,' click here. This is probably CGI work, but it, also, could be a real video of such a drone in testing. So the question must be asked again: is this an elaborate hoax or clever viral marketing, or are all of these CGI efforts disinformation, innocent or intentional? Whether the various witnesses took their pictures in innocence or are part of the marketing campaign we do not know, but there is no question now: the mysterious 'drone' can be recreated using CGI technology. For more discussion of it on the "Open Minds" forum click here. For a CGI version of the stills, click here."
----------------------------------

So, the first unknown country (UC) article on the CGI fake, endorsing it as "almost certainly real" was replaced by the second, which reversed course to suggest belatedly the "craft" just might be a fake, and now a _third_ version of the article appears, changing course again, rewritten and now including a note that Strieber will be interviewing Howe on the UC "Dreamland" radio program about the "craft" perhaps _still_ being real, based on the original "Chad" and secondary "Alabama" photos (which are different, and also fakes), but that _now_ other CGI fakes may be surfacing from other sources from elsewhere, including a YouTube video using CGI of the "craft" taking off from the ground at a location that appears to have a large white building, on the left, which may be an aircraft hanger.

[Did anyone hear what Howe and Strieber, if he was the interviewer, had to say now about the "craft"?]

[So Howe now has a "witness" to the craft having been seen "two years ago"? Yeah, right! (It must have been an alien brown cow...got milk?) Talk about milking a story...]

It was implied in version two of the UC article that this might indicate the background footage was taken at Beale AFB, near Marysville, Calif., from which “Dragon Lady” highly modified U-2's, RQ-4's, and jet refueling tankers (and very soon the Global Hawk spy UAV), fly out of for surveillance missions by the USAF 9th Reconnaissance Wing, usually for overseas deployment.

The Beale AFB reference (and a link to Beale's website, which I think UC noted incorrectly; it's actually www.beale.af.gov) was eliminated from version two of the UC article, when version three was posted.

Interestingly, the background of the CGI “craft” video does look somewhat familiar to me—I’ve been at Beale for one of their “open house” days, prior to 9/11/01, and drove down to the flight line to check out and photograph the SR-71 “Blackbird” they have there on static display, and there are lots of big white hangers there, as Beale used to be the USAF base where SR-71’s flew out of until they were “retired” and mothballed by USAF and Lockheed-Martin techs. [I would bet not _all_ SR-71's have been put into storage--and I'm not talking about the ones NASA has.]

I’ll have to find and check my photos from my visit there to compare to the background of the YouTube video, which Strieber now indicates might be a CGI hoax that could be part of a “viral marketing” campaign, or part of an effort to diminish the “credibility” of the original “Chad” photos.

If the background _does_ appear identical to a location at Beale, would that imply someone had or has access to that location (which has been restricted since 9/11--you need both a legit car window sticker AND an active duty, spousal, or retired military ID card to get on base now), i.e., someone with USAF connections, did the video?

Not necessarily—it could be footage from a prior “open house” at the base like I went to over 6 years ago, or more likely, it’s a different location altogether, perhaps some other military base. Or somplace completely different.

But that does raise an intriguing possibility; I’m sure there’s a major US AFOSI component on base for security purposes. Hmmmm. AFOSI. You don't think that... uh...Whew! This is getting to be a rather twisted little tale. I think I should leave things there for now. For national security purposes, you know. :O

P.S.—In a reply comment I made a few days ago (23 May), _before_ the CGI video was posted to YouTube (on 24 May), to a prior post by Mac about this “craft”, I said:

"You know, if this object is so easy for "Chad", his wife, and his friend with the camera to mosey around to locate and then photograph, why haven't they gotten around to filming and video-taping this "object", from multiple cameras simultaneously, if they want to persuade anyone this is anything more than a kinda cool-looking hoaxter thingie? Maybe that's next--the aerial cuisinart on YouTube!"

Jeezus. Ask, and ye shall receive, I guess. Although it would have been nicer, for esthetic and editing reasons, if multiple-angle CGI video comps from more than one direction and camera had been used. Amateurs! It was the natural next step in promoting this hoax, of course. I’m feeling prescient! Or...maybe the 5 second, single camera view was made intentionally "amateurish"....holy nightshade, Batman! More plausible deniability!

Ulp! Wha..? Looking out my window here, I just noticed there are these three big guys that just drove up, dressed in black with military-issue Rayban sunglasses, and they’re stepping out of a black ’59 Cadillac DeVille (love those tailfins!) as I'm typing this, crossing the lawn, and, now, starting to ring my doorbell. Hmmm. Better go see what’s up... aaaAAAGGgghh!!! NO! I was only..! (Urk! Bam! zzzZZap!! ...sizzle...)

[Due to technical difficulties, your program has been temporarily interrupted. Please stand by.] 8^}

mister ecks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mister ecks said...

some things really do deserve to be ignored or dismissed out of hand, and this is one of them.

i'm sure the hoaxers have been getting a big laugh out of all the attention this has received.

Anonymous said...

What a load of poppycock. Aside from the obvious & bad look of the object, it changes scale throughout the range of pictures in relation to the camera! Not to mention the camera's amazing ability to selectivly focus on the object when foreground/background elements are blurred..amazing!

Stupid people...