Chinese UFO Sighting, the Death of Internet Journalism, and my own Personal Alien Abduction Story
I think the Internet is doing to journalism what television did to entertainment. Dumbed it down and cheapened it to the point of mass brain damage. If TV is the opiate of the masses, the Internet is its crack. Case in point, the recent Chinese UFO flap where a UFO shut down a major airport for over an hour. It was all over the mainstream media, often with the caveat that a “source” said it was due to a “military” thing, and there would be more info forthcoming. Many pictures of the UFO circulated, the one above being possibly the most prominent. Well, how much of the UFO story is true? Part of it at least, a pilot did indeed report seeing a UFO and the airport was shut down for an hour as a precaution. And that’s the facts of the case. The “source” and the pictures circulating are all, well, made up. The pics are images from previous hoaxes or contests or prosaic rocket launches. The one above is a hoax, and a very common on at that. It’s part of a plane fuselage, but the camera was moved while the shutter was open, notice how the buildings are all blurred.
But the Chinese pilot, he must have seen something? Yes, he did. And from the direction he was flying he probably saw the planet Venus. To people who have never seen Venus on a dark night, that may sound ridiculous; but under the right conditions when Venus is very bright and near the horizon, it has been the source of many a UFO report. So there really isn’t even a story here, at least from what I can tell. Granted I’m taking this all from the fine Forgetomori post on the topic, but it seems well researched and I can’t find any fault with it. Which illustrates how so much garbage gets disseminated on the Internet, it’s easy to promulgate garbage, it’s hard to do the research and separate the wheat from the chaff. So more often than not silliness gets copied and pasted and posted a million times over before anyone can track down the truth of it. And by then it’s too late. Add to that the human tendency to accept input that reinforces people’s beliefs and reject input that contradicts them, and there ya have it, world-o-fools.
Of course it’s entirely possible that I am doing the same thing, so if anyone cares to point out the error of my ways I will be glad to re-examine the issue. In fact this post is the start of another series on UFOs, since they seem such a popular topic. I’m going to discuss a number of famous sightings, I encourage readers to submit sightings they want covered. I also want to look at the conspiracy side of this a little closer, how likely is it that the government knows more than they are letting on about UFOs? And to start this off, my own personal abduction story. Make of it what one wills, I have no clue.
This was in the late eighties, I lived in a big flat roofed house in the Berkeley hills. This was the height of the Whitley Streiber era, alien abductions were the latest thing and in the news. I was doing some renovation on the house, and I had a couple of young women as a work crew. At one point they spent a night in the spare bedroom, as they had no car and it made getting to work easier. On this night I was awakened by a police helicopter shining its spotlight down in the neighbourhood, that occasionally happens in the big city. It woke me up, but I was too tired to move and just lay there a bit until the light and noise moved away. I mean, I thought it was a police helicopter, I didn’t actually get up and look.
And that was that, I didn’t think any more about it. Well, a few weeks later I was having lunch with my crew and somehow the topic came up, and I asked “Hey, did you see the police helicopter and the search light the night you were staying up at the house?” They both got really quiet and looked at me funny. I’m like, what’s up? They explained. Yes, there had been a terribly bright light shining in their window that night. It had scared the beejesus out of them, and they had been afraid to move all night long. And when they saw me in the morning all freaked out about it, I had told them “Oh, it’s OK, a spaceship landed on the roof during the night.” Well, I have absolutely no memory of saying anything like that whatsoever. I am to this day mystified by the whole experience. I have a pretty good memory, especially when jogged. I mean, I recently read some old magazines for the seventies and there was stuff in them I remembered. It’s hard for me to imagine making a joke like this, and almost impossible for me to imagine making a joke like this and utterly forgetting about it in just a few weeks.
So … who knows. Since my metanoia in January I’ve realized that my thinking about some things has changed when I re-examine them. Of course I’ve always loved re-examining things from new perspectives, that seems unchanged. And my personal core belief, belied by my “aliens don’t exist argument,” is that if hi-tech aliens and interstellar travel are more or less likely to exist (one uses optimistic number for the Drake equation,) then by extension … they’re already here. And I have a few more anecdotes like the one above in support of that idea, and I encourage readers to share.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
(The above image is so all over the Internet that they need to make up a new copyright classification to cover it. I’m claiming it as Fair Use under US copyright law. The plane’s landing lights, continuously on, make the white streak at the bottom. The lights on top of the wings were strobing, IE turning on and off, which is why they look like windows. It’s sooooooo easy to fake things with photographs, the real mystery is why anyone takes them seriously.)