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US Pentagon to deliver a report on UFOs.

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Scotrail314209

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U.S. intelligence agencies are expected to deliver a report on “unidentified aerial phenomena” to Congress next month, sparking renewed interest and speculation into how the government has handled sightings of mysterious flying objects — and if there's any worldly explanation for them.

The unclassified report, compiled by the director of national intelligence and the secretary of defense, aims to make public what the Pentagon knows about unidentified flying objects and data analyzed from such encounters.

What is everybodies thoughts on this? Do we think that this will be the breakthrough news of the decade, like many people are hoping? Or will it be a whimper rather than a bang.

I think that this report might not be what people expect. Though it does beg the question as to why it’s taken so long to take the sightings seriously.
 
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yorksrob

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I think it's one of those things where the state needs to keep an open but critical mind.

Afterall, an unexplained phenomenum could still be some new technology from an enemy power, if not little green men.
 

Scotrail314209

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I think it's one of those things where the state needs to keep an open but critical mind.

Afterall, an unexplained phenomenum could still be some new technology from an enemy power, if not little green men.

That's true. However it does beg the question as to why these only seem to be really sighted in the USA, but not from a passing passenger aircraft or anywhere else in the world.

You'd think with all the reported sightings, that someone, somewhere would get a clear video.


This article does very good at explaining some of the released ones.
The three videos that partly drove this wave were vaunted as prime examples of "official" UFOs. Claims were made that they showed impossible physics or evidence of advanced technology, possibly anti-gravity warp drives (hinting at aliens).
However, close examination of the videos by myself and others over the three years since they were released has shown them to be far more mundane than first thought.

The "glowing aura" mentioned in the New York Times headline turned out to be a processing artifact common to thermal cameras.

The supposed impossible accelerations in the "Tic-Tac" video were revealed to coincide with (and hence caused by) sudden movements of the camera, leading to the conclusion that the object in the video was not actually doing anything special.

The video titled "Go Fast" was claimed to show an object with no heat source (and hence, no conventional engine) moving impossibly fast over the surface of the ocean.

But some 10th-grade trigonometry showed it was actually much higher than it seemed, creating an illusion of motion, and the actual speed was more like wind speed, meaning it was probably just a balloon.
 

yorksrob

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That's true. However it does beg the question as to why these only seem to be really sighted in the USA, but not from a passing passenger aircraft or anywhere else in the world.

You'd think with all the reported sightings, that someone, somewhere would get a clear video.


This article does very good at explaining some of the released ones.

I'm sure I've read of sightings here as well. Perhaps the American ones get more publicity !
 

Scotrail314209

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I'm sure I've read of sightings here as well. Perhaps the American ones get more publicity !

True.

What gets me is that they all seem to be on fuzzy Military cameras. With all the passenger jets in the sky, wouldn't there be more sightings from passing aircraft?

In the article I linked, one of the explanations is light refraction from a passing plane, which makes me believe that a lot of the sightings aren't what they think.
 

172007

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I dismiss 99.9% of UFO reports etc but, there are a few that intrigue me. The Ditch F16's chasing radar contacts and there was the Welsh Police helicopter which chased an object over the Bristol Channel. Both are by in theory highly competent, professional and also trained observer's. In addition actually following something takes Way to a large extent tricks of light etc.
 

Scotrail314209

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I dismiss 99.9% of UFO reports etc but, there are a few that intrigue me. The Ditch F16's chasing radar contacts and there was the Welsh Police helicopter which chased an object over the Bristol Channel. Both are by in theory highly competent, professional and also trained observer's. In addition actually following something takes Way to a large extent tricks of light etc.

Oh I agree.

Personally I also believe some human sightings may be an unexpected sighting of the International Space Station.

Theres been a lot of media stories recently of people getting into a panic about the Starlink satellites passing over, thinking they are UFOs.
 

DerekC

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An interesting extension of this thread would ask forum members whether they believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere than Earth - and if so whether we will ever know about it. I am certain that there is, but close encounters of whatever kind are very, very unlikely. It seems a pity, because it would be the biggest ever news story. However I am reminded of the principle that contact with a much more technologically advanced society (which aliens would have to be, to reach us) is always catastrophic for the less advanced.
 

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An interesting extension of this thread would ask forum members whether they believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere than Earth - and if so whether we will ever know about it.
I hope so, because there isn’t any down here on Earth.
 

Scotrail314209

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An interesting extension of this thread would ask forum members whether they believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere than Earth - and if so whether we will ever know about it. I am certain that there is, but close encounters of whatever kind are very, very unlikely. It seems a pity, because it would be the biggest ever news story. However I am reminded of the principle that contact with a much more technologically advanced society (which aliens would have to be, to reach us) is always catastrophic for the less advanced.

Knowing humans and the people in power at the minute. If close contact ever did happen and we got visitors, if they were peaceful the governments would end up deciding to shoot them down and dooming us all.

I definitely believe we aren't alone out there, and it's both fascinating and terrifying if we are alone.

I think in this century at least, we'll make first contact.

NASA must think something is out there if they sent some Phonograph records up on the Voyager spacecraft, which contained music and greetings as well as images of human life
 

Tazi Hupefi

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It would seem incredible, and in my view, so unlikely, given the size of the known and unknown universe(s) for our planet to be the only one with life. I doubt there’s anything resembling human life outside of Earth, but I’m sure there will be sentient beings somewhere out there.

I always liked the theory that Earth and our known universe is merely a play thing, simulation or scientific experiment being conducted by some unknown entity.
 

Darandio

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My view is that there must be if you work on the astronomical numbers involved.

In the Milky Way it's estimated there could be 11 billion earth sized planets in the habitable zone of sun like stars like ours. That's just the galaxy we reside in and it's estimated there are at least 225 billion (or 2 trillion depending on classification) other galaxies in the observable universe. The numbers are so mind boggling that it would be amazing if there weren't hundreds of millions of planets harbouring some sort of life.

But at the same time there are so many unique (and lucky) circumstances involved to get even the most basic lifeforms started that there may be none at all. It makes your head hurt a bit.
 

Trackman

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It would seem incredible, and in my view, so unlikely, given the size of the known and unknown universe(s) for our planet to be the only one with life. I doubt there’s anything resembling human life outside of Earth, but I’m sure there will be sentient beings somewhere out there.

I always liked the theory that Earth and our known universe is merely a play thing, simulation or scientific experiment being conducted by some unknown entity.
Something like Moriarty in Star Trek:TNG; who knows in a billion years time we'd all be in some sort of computer program in space?
 

nlogax

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This stuff is fascinating, though I was bemused to learn that Marco Rubio was the *ahem* brains behind this UFO reporting exercise which was actually a rider on Trump's Covid relief bill towards the end of last year.

Like many others I want to believe, but up until now firm evidence has been lacking.
 

matrix24

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From full denial to this level of disclosure within 18 months is amazing and whatever the outcome, i will be following with openness and intrigue.

Also puzzling how many 'leaks' of late and military confirming them sometimes within hours!!
 

LOL The Irony

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In the Milky Way it's estimated there could be 11 billion earth sized planets in the habitable zone of sun like stars like ours. That's just the galaxy we reside in and it's estimated there are at least 225 billion (or 2 trillion depending on classification) other galaxies in the observable universe. The numbers are so mind boggling that it would be amazing if there weren't hundreds of millions of planets harbouring some sort of life.
But then there could be further intelligent lifeforms who have adapted to survive in climates outside of the habitable zones. There could be intelligent life we have yet to discover in our galaxy.
 

Scotrail314209

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But then there could be further intelligent lifeforms who have adapted to survive in climates outside of the habitable zones. There could be intelligent life we have yet to discover in our galaxy.

The universe always sends me into an existential crisis about how small we are.

There's absolute certainty that theres other life out there, we've only discovered a small potion of the Universe.
 

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The latest on the subject of probability of intelligent life elsewhere seem to be studies by statisticians from Oxford and Columbia Universities, both using a technique called "Bayesian Inference". Inevitably they disagree by many orders of magnitude!

The Oxford study suggests that intelligent life is "exceptionally rare" and has been seized on by religionists with headlines like "We are All Alone" as evidence for "Intelligent Design"

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2019.2149

Abstract​

It is unknown how abundant extraterrestrial life is, or whether such life might be complex or intelligent. On Earth, the emergence of complex intelligent life required a preceding series of evolutionary transitions such as abiogenesis, eukaryogenesis, and the evolution of sexual reproduction, multicellularity, and intelligence itself. Some of these transitions could have been extraordinarily improbable, even in conducive environments. The emergence of intelligent life late in Earth's lifetime is thought to be evidence for a handful of rare evolutionary transitions, but the timing of other evolutionary transitions in the fossil record is yet to be analyzed in a similar framework. Using a simplified Bayesian model that combines uninformative priors and the timing of evolutionary transitions, we demonstrate that expected evolutionary transition times likely exceed the lifetime of Earth, perhaps by many orders of magnitude. Our results corroborate the original argument suggested by Brandon Carter that intelligent life in the Universe is exceptionally rare, assuming that intelligent life elsewhere requires analogous evolutionary transitions. Arriving at the opposite conclusion would require exceptionally conservative priors, evidence for much earlier transitions, multiple instances of transitions, or an alternative model that can explain why evolutionary transitions took hundreds of millions of years without appealing to rare chance events. Although the model is simple, it provides an initial basis for evaluating how varying biological assumptions and fossil record data impact the probability of evolving intelligent life, and also provides a number of testable predictions, such as that some biological paradoxes will remain unresolved and that planets orbiting M dwarf stars are uninhabitable.

The Columbia study, on the other hand, concludes that the odds on intelligent life having emerged on earth were about 3:2 on, so although they don't do the calculation, you could multiply that by the number of Earth-like planets in the Universe.

https://www.pnas.org/content/117/22/11995

Abstract​

Life emerged on Earth within the first quintile of its habitable window, but a technological civilization did not blossom until its last. Efforts to infer the rate of abiogenesis, based on its early emergence, are frustrated by the selection effect that if the evolution of intelligence is a slow process, then life’s early start may simply be a prerequisite to our existence, rather than useful evidence for optimism. In this work, we interpret the chronology of these two events in a Bayesian framework, extending upon previous work by considering that the evolutionary timescale is itself an unknown that needs to be jointly inferred, rather than fiducially set. We further adopt an objective Bayesian approach, such that our results would be agreed upon even by those using wildly different priors for the rates of abiogenesis and evolution—common points of contention for this problem. It is then shown that the earliest microfossil evidence for life indicates that the rate of abiogenesis is at least 2.8 times more likely to be a typically rapid process, rather than a slow one. This modest limiting Bayes factor rises to 8.7 if we accept the more disputed evidence of 13C-depleted zircon deposits [E. A. Bell, P. Boehnke, T. M. Harrison, W. L. Mao, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 112, 14518–14521 (2015)]. For intelligence evolution, it is found that a rare-intelligence scenario is slightly favored at 3:2 betting odds. Thus, if we reran Earth’s clock, one should statistically favor life to frequently reemerge, but intelligence may not be as inevitable

So you can take your pick!

PS - but please don't ask me to explain!!
 

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“Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist” (Donald Rumsfeld, 2002). Until we see little green men wandering around planet earth, the existence or non-existence of such beings will remain an ‘unknown unknown’. Even if the Pentagon produces all sorts of evidence, we will not be sure of anything until we actually encounter other civilisations (I am being generous in describing the Earth in its current state as a civilisation). Of course, we might only get a millisecond of understanding before being zapped into oblivion.
 

Ediswan

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“Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist” (Donald Rumsfeld, 2002).
He got a lot of stick at the time, but there is real difference between "known unknows" (how many tanks does the enemy have) and "unknown uknowns" (what else do they have that we have no inkling of). The sneaky one is "unknown knowns".
 

DerekC

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“Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist” (Donald Rumsfeld, 2002). Until we see little green men wandering around planet earth, the existence or non-existence of such beings will remain an ‘unknown unknown’. Even if the Pentagon produces all sorts of evidence, we will not be sure of anything until we actually encounter other civilisations (I am being generous in describing the Earth in its current state as a civilisation). Of course, we might only get a millisecond of understanding before being zapped into oblivion.
We might get firm evidence from radio telescopes long before the little green men (will there be women too or might they be asexual?) arrive. And what is the probability that they will zap us first and ask questions afterwards? Quite low, I would have thought. For an encounter to happen at all, it probably means that an alien society can endure for a long time without destroying itself, which must be good news in terms of their level of civilisation. Of course, if we go for a pre-emptive zap, as is quite likely ... who knows?
 

DerekC

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My eldest grandson (age 6) asked me "Granddad, how big is space?" I couldn't think how to answer in a way he would find meaningful, but then I thought - "he's into rockets". I told him about Voyager I, which was launched before his mum was born, as fast as a rocket could possibly go - and it's on it's way to the nearest star (not quite true, but it was spur of the moment) which it will reach in about ten thousand years time. (I was wrong, it's seventy thousand years, but it got the message across).
 

Scotrail314209

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My eldest grandson (age 6) asked me "Granddad, how big is space?" I couldn't think how to answer in a way he would find meaningful, but then I thought - "he's into rockets". I told him about Voyager I, which was launched before his mum was born, as fast as a rocket could possibly go - and it's on it's way to the nearest star (not quite true, but it was spur of the moment) which it will reach in about ten thousand years time. (I was wrong, it's seventy thousand years, but it got the message across).

I believe Voyager I also has records onboard should it come into contact with other intelligent life, which includes the likes of music and pictures of humans going about their day to day.
 

Gloster

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I believe Voyager I also has records onboard should it come into contact with other intelligent life, which includes the likes of music and pictures of humans going about their day to day.
The aliens will probably look at it and say (in alien speak), “Records! How quaint and retro.”
 

Scotrail314209

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The aliens will probably look at it and say (in alien speak), “Records! How quaint and retro.”

Now if they were to ever land on Earth, they wouldn't bother invading but instead would judge us on how un-technologically advanced we are.
 
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