Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Seen From Space: Busy Skies, Filled with Portent (MAJOR UPDATES)

The portent hue delivers messages of certain colors
I see into his eyes now, I understand the meaning
I reach up to the sky,
to those unseen, the chosen few
I spread my will between the two
Big Ox laughing, portent hue, the same †

UPDATE 1131 EST: Top Story on CNN: Galaxy may be full of 'Earths,' alien life
As NASA prepares to hunt for Earth-like planets in our corner of the Milky Way galaxy, there's new buzz that "Star Trek's" vision of a universe full of life may not be that far-fetched.
Pointy-eared aliens traveling at light speed are staying firmly in science fiction, but scientists are offering fresh insights into the possible existence of inhabited worlds and intelligent civilizations in space.
There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, or one for every sun-type star in the galaxy, said Alan Boss, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution and author of the new book "The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets."
This is not news. Why is that a headline today?


Well, there has been so much strange activity above our heads lately that the guardians of enlightenment feel the need to pull the old "natural explanation" non-explanations out of mothballs and feed them to credulous clock-punchers in the media.

The latest non-explanation are "sprites", balls of light formed in the upper atmosphere following electrical storms:
Mysterious UFO sightings may go hand in hand with a puzzling natural phenomenon known as sprites — flashes high in the atmosphere triggered by thunderstorms.

Researchers have detected the flashes between 35 and 80 miles (56-129 km) from the ground, far above the 7 to 10 miles (11-16 km) where usual lightning occurs. Sprites can take the form of fast-paced balls of electricity, although previous footage has suggested streaks or tendrils. - Yahoo

All well and good, but wait- here come the psychological control techniques. This time this extremely rare occurrence (the article cites a 20 year-old photograph of this phenomenon) can miraculously explain the tens of thousands of UFO reports every year:

The cause or function of the flashes remains murky, but Price suggested that they could explain some of the UFO reports which have cropped up over the years. That might provide some solace for UFO enthusiasts disappointed by human-caused hoaxes in the past.

Translation: "There there, disillusioned UFO nuts. Curl up with a photo of high-altitude electrical phenomena. You'll feel better, I promise."

If sprites "go hand in hand" with UFO sightings, where is the data showing a correspondence? Where are the photos of sprites taken in areas where UFOs have been reported? Which UFO reports have been proven conclusively to be sprites? Pilots and astronauts don't seem to confuse these things with aircraft, so how is this news?

The burden of proof is never on these people. These questions are never asked by these reporters, who simply put a veneer of objectivity on press releases from extremely unobjective parties. And then they whine that no one trusts the media anymore. The arrogance is stultifying.

There's a link to another article called "Top 10 Alien Encounters Debunked." I'm not sure who the audience is for this puffery, but it reads like a litany of the psychological control techniques that the Amazing One and his pedantic ilk have perfected over the years.

The piece throws in every trick in the book; from ridicule to dismissal to baseless assumption to guilt by association. I can't see the point of it, other than trying to keep wavering young acolytes on their knees at the altar of reductionism.


Sadly, the heavens will be a little less crowded now that the Taurus rocket failed to reach orbit for the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory. A grave disappointment to all on this, the first day of the ancient Roman month Mercedonius.

It's strange, thinking about NASA and its Masonic origins, and Masonry and its Roman Mithraic origins got me to thinking about the death of another Taurus, the Tauroctony of Mithraism*:

Interesting coincidence there. But as we will soon see, Mithraism has a lot to do with astronauts, only not the modern variety.

Speaking of NASA, they just released an amazing photo of the Orion Nebula taken by the Hubble telescope the day after the Oscars (and the same day of the reopening of the Baghdad museum). Orion, eh? Fascinating. Check it out here.

Yes Virginia, there is a major space race going on, and of a scale never before seen despite whatever is happening in the economy. So much so that a new venture capital firm called "eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship" has been created to help aspiring inventors get their proposals ready for NASA. You can check out their site here.

Strangely enough, they're in Colorado (specifically 1722 Boxelder St, Louisville, CO 80027), the state which was the center of much excitement on the 17th.

The space race is heating up to such an extent that even North Korea is getting in on the act:

North Korea has announced that it is preparing to launch a rocket carrying a communications satellite. It did not give a date for the launch, but said it would mark a great step forward for the communist state.


Well, on Sunday we had the Ausurs Oscars, Monday we had the reopening of the Babylon Gate Iraq museum and Tuesday we had a rare alignment of Saturn's moons:

"On Feb. 24th, there's going to be a quadruple transit of Saturn's moons," says Keith Noll of the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute. "Titan, Mimas, Dione and Enceladus will pass directly in front of Saturn and we'll see their silhouettes crossing Saturn's cloudtops—all four at the same time."
Transits like these are rare. "They only happen every 14 to 15 years when the orbits of Saturn's moons are nearly edge-on to Earth," says Noll. In 1995-96, the last time the geometry was right, Hubble photographed two (Titan and Tethys) and three (Mimas, Enceladus, Dione) moons transiting Saturn. This will be the first time the great telescope captures four.
Remember that just last week a major program to explore the moons of Jupiter and Saturn was announced. Echoing the florid language in that announcement, Noll tells us that "Hard science can be beautiful."

Oh geez, that's awkward.

UPDATE: Italy: Air Force Head says UFOs possibly ET craft
Italians are increasingly asking the question as to what is going on in their skies. Last year more UFO sightings were recorded in Italy than any year prior and this is catching the attention of the media. The Vatican has recently warmed up to the idea of life on other planets which begs the question as to whether Rome knows more about the topic than they are giving away.
Now an Air Force chief is conceding that aliens might be behind UFO incidents. In the last few weeks a number of high profile media outlets ran stories on UFOs. ‘055 News ‘noted that the Italian Air Force has recorded 38 sightings of UFOs since 2001. In 2008 alone three sightings of interest were seen by the Air Force or picked up on their radars.
UPDATE: Masons on the Warpath: Astronaut-authored report says NASA needs new direction:

NASA's performance since the Apollo programme has been "lacklustre" and the agency needs "serious reform or significant organisational overhaul," Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin and colleagues say in a draft paper released on Monday.
The draft paper, posted to the National Space Society blog, outlines a plan to replace George W Bush's 2004 Vision for Space Exploration, which called for returning astronauts to the Moon by 2020, with a plan that focuses on sending astronauts first to new targets, such as asteroids.

UPDATE: Arizona Scientist: We Could All Be Martians

As long as we’re still pondering human origins, we may as well entertain the idea that our ancestor microbes came from Mars. And Jay Melosh, a planetary scientist from the University of Arizona in Tucson, is ready with a geologically plausible explanation.
"Biological exchange between the planets of our solar system seem not only possible, but inevitable," because of meteorite exchanges between the planets, Melosh said. "Life could have originated on the planet Mars and then traveled to Earth."

Cheers to Tom Horn at Raiders for the phat links!

UPDATE: UFO Sightings Soar in Canada
Strange floating objects and eerie bright lights were among the record number of Unidentified Flying Objects that Canadians spotted in the sky in 2008, according to Winnipeg-based Ufology Research.
The volunteer group of a half-dozen researchers said Canadians made a total of 1,004 UFO sightings in 2008 — up more than 25 per cent from the previous year and the highest number in the 20 years Ufology has been keeping track.

"It's astonishing to me that we had such a dramatic increase," spokesman Chris Rutkowski said.
"It could be an indication that there's actually something up there seen in greater numbers than ever before, it could be that there are perhaps more military flights, it could be … that people are more able to access websites where they can report the UFOs."
Link via Red Ice.

The mighty ox has colors
More than oneself could conceive of
The great one has become a portent hue
A portent hue†


† Caterwaul, "Big Ox Laughing" (re-released 2/17/09)

*The Tauroctony is now believed to be a symbol of the passing of the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries somewhere around 1875 BC. This puts lie to the argument put forward by Christian apologists that Mithraism was some late-period Roman invention. There is also mention of the Tauroctony in the Pyramid Texts from around 3000 BC. More on that in the future.