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Government Space News

British "X-files" Released to Public 231

Smivs writes "Britain's Ministry of Defence has just released files regarding investigations into UFO sightings between 1978 to 1987. Over the next three or four years, 160 files will be handed over to the National Archives. The first group of eight files, one of which is more than 450 pages long, is available today. The Guardian newspaper details many of the events in question, some interesting and many just bizarre. A similar release of UFO files by France's national space agency last year attracted more than 220,000 users on its first day, causing it to crash. To avoid such problems, the National Archives is using an external hosting company which can add extra capacity as needed to handle the web traffic."
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British "X-files" Released to Public

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  • UFO Expert (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SimonGhent ( 57578 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:22PM (#23404710)
    This was reported on BBC Radio 4 this morning. They had an interview with a "UFO Expert" who suggested that they had only released the files that conained no real evidence and that they were holding back much more than they had released.

    He, and his colleagues, knew all along that this is what would happen. Apparently.

    The interviewer tried to get him to say "the truth is out there" but he wouldn't bite!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hansraj ( 458504 ) *
      Paranoid Guy (PG), Other dude (OD):

      PG: The Government is out to get me man! They have traps everywhere for me.
      OD: Wtf? Why would they spend millions or billions after you. You are just_another_dude!
      PG: Exactly! They are all a bunch of crazies I tell ya. Why would they do that otherwise?
      OD: ...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I dont buy it. Theyre just showing us pictures of aliens because they dont want to tell us what they REALLY found.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Well I was once abducted by alien babes from planet hot and they had their way with me for science on their own planet.

      The sad thing is I woke up lying in my own bed
      • Re:UFO Expert (Score:5, Informative)

        by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:48PM (#23406456)
        Heh. It's often thought that many alien abduction stories (which are very different from UFO's, but anyways . . .) stem from ASP, or Awareness during Sleep Paralysis. It's essentially a waking dream where you can't move but you can hallucinate things (you eyes see the real world but you mind, still in a dreamstate, can superimpose a dream over the real world).

        Some people see aliens (a common modern thing), many see ghosts. When researching this (I suffer from this disorder myself) I found out that in earlier times many people would see a succubus or demon raping them.

        These episodes can be lucid if you work at it (I can lucid dream but I've never been able to have a lucid ASP episode), so you could actually make your alien babe abduction fantasy come true ;).
        • by Digital Vomit ( 891734 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:59PM (#23406678) Homepage Journal
          Great. Yet another way I can fail to have sex.
        • I had one (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aepervius ( 535155 )
          I am quite a skeptic and level headed (or at least I fool myself into thinking that), but going through one helped me see the "light" : namely that going through such an experience unprepared/unhelped by my skepticism, I would probably be raving on ghost in woo-land by now. I mean from the moment it started and the end, my blood was probably awash with adrenaline, and I had a terrible fear. Of what I can't tell. Now when people relate their abduction experience, I can at least understand why they fight so h
          • by azav ( 469988 )
            You had one what?

            More info please.
          • Re:I had one (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Jerry Beasters ( 783525 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:57PM (#23408738)
            When I was younger I had a couple of these, and I could absolutely see how people could interpret it as aliens/ghosts. It's such a feeling of overwhelming terror and/or dread with sometimes dreamlike "hallucinations," if that's the right word.
          • by geekoid ( 135745 )
            Are you talking about ASP?

            I experience that when I sleep under an electric blanket.
            You don't get used to it, and it is really freaky.

            I did get to the point where I could breath load and sometimes that wakes my wife, who shakes me so my body come awake.

            Once I realized my episodes were all linked to have the electric blanket on, it mostly went away..mostly.

            • Re:I had one (Score:5, Interesting)

              by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:12PM (#23408946)

              I experience that when I sleep under an electric blanket.
              You don't get used to it, and it is really freaky.
              Actually I've gotten pretty used to it. I don't have visual hallucinations anymore (last one was about 5 years ago in college). Just wake up and can't move. I think to myself "Don't let your mind wander." (since if you think crazy things, you're dreaming, and you can see them). I then just attempt to rock back and forth until I break out of it and can move (which is usually 20-30 seconds later).

              I get them pretty often though. Normally once every 2-3 weeks, for as long as I can remember. What really helped me was learning the medical explanation. Once I knew that no ghosts or zombies were actually coming into my room to terrorize me, I was able to handle it much better.
        • Re:UFO Expert (Score:5, Interesting)

          by lm317t ( 971782 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:42PM (#23408494) Homepage
          I have been able to have these Awareness during Sleep Paralysis (which then after a while often spawn Out of Body Dreams), since I can remember. As a test when I was a teenager I shuffled a deck of cards and put five random ones in an open box on top of a high cabinet. Every time I checked when I was in these OBD's I wasnt even close to observing what was actually there, but it sure felt like I was right up until I physiacally checked!

          Since then I have been skeptical of so called OBE's and alien visitations/abductions.
        • ASP (Score:4, Funny)

          by Myrddin Wyllt ( 1188671 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:56PM (#23408708)
          "ASP, or Awareness during Sleep Paralysis" - It all makes sense now; that mind-numbing fear, the horrifying images, a total inability to do anything about it other than surrender to the sheer horror of it all.

          I always thought it stood for "Active Server Pages", silly me.

      • Did you at least have breakfast or coffee waiting for you?
      • Well I was once abducted by alien babes from planet hot and they had their way with me for science on their own planet.

        The sad thing is I woke up lying in my own bed
        Better than waking up in a tent.
    • however he is right in that, the government is probably gonna release stuff bit by bit. ie, when public gets used to the idea of 'possibility' of extraterrestrials, more will be coming. so op is right in that they didnt release solid evidence yet.
      • by Jonny_eh ( 765306 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:18PM (#23405794)
        UFO nuts: Release the secret document that prove aliens are here!
        (UFO documents are released)
        UFO nuts: Those documents don't offer the evidence we wanted! Therefore, there must be more documents somewhere that do! Release more documents!
        (rinse, repeat)

        This cycle has been going on for 50 years. If there was anything to this, some country somewhere would have released documents proving something by now.

        And just because the government investigated UFO sightings, it doesn't mean aliens are visiting. The government investigated ESP too, and it's still hogwash.
        • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:25PM (#23405946) Homepage Journal

          in 50s and 60s, people who claimed that they saw ufos with a solid argument would get visited by intelligence agencies and told to shut up, and if they didnt comply either suddenly disappeared from public life, or extremely discredited to the extent that they would need to move and hide. if there isnt anything important about ufo things like skeptics like you argue, no intelligence agency would need to go that far.

          nowadays in the last 3 years, we are seeing an increasing level of 'allowance' for ufo talks. first it started with main outlets like cnn showing ufo clips, whereas they never did before, and then started the government agencies - first mexican air force, then japanese government official drops a hint. then some documents are released in france, then in uk now.

          can you see a pattern ?
          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:40PM (#23406284)
            Yes. The pattern leads you to being one of the ufo nuts.
          • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:46PM (#23406402)
            Hey Mulder, here's a scoop. They weren't trying to cover up aliens, they were covering up their secret spy aircraft. Why do you think most of these "UFO cover-ups" involved strange craft spotted near air force bases at the height of the Cold War? Project Blue Book wasn't about little green men, it was about making sure no one had gotten a good look at their latest prototype stealth planes and also checking to see if any hillbillies might have actually spotted any Soviet spy planes in the area.

            No alien civilization is expending the mammoth amount of resources needed to traverse the vast distances of interstellar space just to stick a probe up your ass. Deal with it.

            • by sentientbeing ( 688713 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:05PM (#23406790)
              Look im no boaster,

              But you aint SEEN my ass, honey.
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by olclops ( 591840 )
              Actually, read the book by the head of Project Blue Book, Edward J. Ruppelt, "The Report on Flying Saucers", available free online, here [nicap.org]. You'll come away with a very different picture.

              This book is a shockingly candid and measured look at the UFO evidence through the 1950's, doesn't engage in speculation and is very much worth a read.
            • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @05:54PM (#23410510) Homepage
              No alien civilization is expending the mammoth amount of resources needed to traverse the vast distances of interstellar space just to stick a probe up your ass. Deal with it.

              One of the greatest moments in the history of TV occurred on a show I can't even remember now, though it was probably an old episode of the Daily Show.

              The show featured three different and independent UFO crazies who all claimed to have had close contact with aliens, and it brought them together to tell their tales.

              One of the guys claimed that he had been abducted and raped on a repeated basis. Not probed, raped, because the aliens intent was to impregnate him with their alien eggs, and I guess the human rectum was a viable implantation spot.

              One of the other crazies, who if I recall claimed that she had seen aliens wandering around the woods by her house, chimed in to say something along the lines of "That's just silly; nobody is gonna travel half way across the galaxy just to have anal sex with you."

              How do you know you're a true UFO crazy? When another UFO crazy tells you off for being too damn crazy! Oh man I about died that day; and it would have been okay because my life was complete.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by peragrin ( 659227 )
            a UFO is just that an Unidentified flying object.

            Just because you can't identify it doesn't mean someone else can't. In the 50's and 60's UFO's were mostly experimental aircraft that the USA didn't want anyone to know about. Things like the prototype for the SR-71, various technology demostrators. Most of them have been declassified and the list of one-off planes built by the US government is long. To date No UFO evidence has been recorded with modern camera's Only old style black & white, or camera
            • by vslashg ( 209560 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:56PM (#23406618)

              it's like the film of lock ness, or bigfoot. Why hasn't a modern camera caught something yet?
              Gosh, you're right! Global warming must have killed Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster!
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by suggsjc ( 726146 )

              Why hasn't a modern camera caught something yet?

              Because the aliens are actually smart enough to only appear:

              • moments when only antiquated cameras are available
              • redneck idiots are the only witnesses
              • bunch of people are stoned...so they think they are tripping out
              • I'm around so I can flash them with that stick thing from Men in Black
              • the coast is clear, so they can talk to Archer Quinn [surphzup.com] about perpetual motion
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            told to shut up, and if they didnt comply either suddenly disappeared from public life

            For example? I'm not saying that didn't happen, just that it would be helpful to include some supporting evidence, as it's a surprising claim (to me, at least.)

          • Got a source for any of your claims? I've read UFO sources from as far back as the 50s, and none of them were "disappeared", or were visited by anyone other than a few curious reporters.
          • by smaddox ( 928261 )

            or extremely discredited to the extent that they would need to move and hide

            But really - there have been multiple people who have admitted to voluntarily faking UFO sightings. Remember when people thought crop circles where signs from aliens?

            If we have proof that a large number of UFO sightings are fake, isn't it more likely that the rest are also fake, rather than that we just haven't proved any of them real yet?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Llywelyn ( 531070 )

          I'm not sure I'd say that about ESP.

          Jessica Utts, one of the statisticians involved in the government projects, has said that [ucdavis.edu]:

          I believe that it would be wasteful of valuable resources to continue to look for proof. No one who has examined all of the data across laboratories, taken as a collective whole, has been able to suggest methodological or statistical problems to explain the ever-increasing and consistent results to date. Resources should be directed to the pertinent questions about how this abili

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rkanodia ( 211354 )
            I am suddenly embarrassed to be a Davis graduate. Well I mean, I've always been embarrassed to be a Davis graduate, but particularly so right now.

            I might suggest to Ms. Utts that, if there really are 'ever-increasing and consistent results', she could easily get funding from James Randi, who has a cool million just waiting especially for her!
            • What Randi does has absolutely zero bearing on actual scientific research. He is not a scientist, he is an entertainer, and what scientists look for is totally separate from what Randi is looking for.

              Scientists are interested in questions such as probability of a Type I error across multiple experiments and meta-analysis, Randi is interested in something flashy.
              • by geekoid ( 135745 )
                He's a skeptic first.
                He also has a team of very bright people that work with him and set of the scientific tests.

                Considering the number of Dowsers tested, I would suspect that it is more then 'something flashy'.

        • I think the worst example of this is the Heaven's Gate Cult [wikipedia.org].

          These people believed that a spaceship companion to the Hale-Bopp comet had arrived to take them to the "next level". They returned a telescope they had purchased when it failed to show the spaceship. Obviously the telescope was defective. ;)

          They all killed themselves in order to get on board the spaceship. Apparently, it never occurred to them to question their own beliefs.
      • when public gets used to the idea of 'possibility' of extraterrestrials, more will be coming. so op is right in that they didnt release solid evidence yet.

        Thats a lame excuse... I think the general public wouldn't care unless it turns out that the aliens use humans for food or reality TV.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by geekoid ( 135745 )
        If we found out there were extraterrestrials there isn't going to be a 'freak out' or panic.

        Anymore then there was a freak out and public panic when Native Americans were discovered.

        There is no solid evidence. Think about it. Going public would be a great way to get billions and billions of dollars into a space race and a great excuse to militarize space. The military would have a base on Mars by now.

    • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:16PM (#23405754)
      They had an interview with a "UFO Expert" who suggested that they had only released the files that contained no real evidence and that they were holding back much more than they had released.

      Everything regarding UFOs, paranormal effects, and such, is like that. They always claim that something is being hidden, and how can you possibly prove that some file is not being hidden somewhere?

      I once tried to counteract that, asking for an UFO expert to give me the very best case they had for UFOs. He answered with a case that is cited in the Encyclopaedia Britannica as being one of the most reliable cases for the existence of UFOs: in August 13, 1956 RAF jets were sent after some objects that were detected by radar, coming from above the Soviet Union at very high speed. Those objects disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean. My answer: that sighting coincides exactly with the Perseid meteor shower [wikipedia.org]. Those UFOs had the same behavior that would be expected from a meteoroid. And that's one of the "best established and most puzzling" UFO sightings, according to the Britannica.

      To sum up, we cannot prove that "real evidence" isn't being hidden somewhere. But if one of the most respected publications in the world cannot give us one single example of an UFO sighting that cannot be trivially explained with five minutes of research, then I really cannot believe that any stronger evidence exists.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vertinox ( 846076 )
        They always claim that something is being hidden, and how can you possibly prove that some file is not being hidden somewhere?

        Regardless, the biggest reason there are all these conspiracy theories that the Governments aren't forthcoming with their secrets. Personally, I believe this is the worst thing possible in a democratic society in a peace time environment.

        Why is there a need to have secrets such as the Nevada bases? Why can't the military be forthcoming about projects 40 years ago? Maybe its not alien
        • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
          So there we have it. The UFO folks are just unrealistically optimistic about our government. Seems like as good an explanation as anything else I have heard.
        • Now, I don't expect any government to open up every door, that's just not going to happen. On the other hand, they're perfectly well aware that security through obscurity doesn't work, that any country likely to pose a serious threat has probably infiltrated every department of note, and that the only people they can reliably withhold information from are their own citizens. Let's take these files now released to the British public, for example. I can't quite see how any of these could remotely be classifie
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:05PM (#23408860)
        How's this for real evidence ...

        During the 1942 Battle of Los Angeles the military instituted a mandatory black out of the entire city & fired 1400+ Anti-Aircraft rounds at a single, quoting the military, "unidentified aircraft." This lasted for more than an hour. Despite numerous confirmed hits the craft remained airborne and eventually flew off without ever being identified. (read the LA times article).

        In 1948 green fireballs were seen over the south-western skies of the US near nuclear weapons research sites. Famous meteoriticist Dr. Lincoln La Paz declared they weren't normal meteors. In 1949 the USAF started Project Twinkle under the direction of Dr. Anythony Mirachi.

        The study concluded in a now unclassified report that cinetheodolites had tracked 4 objects traveling at an "altitude of ~150K ft" (~28.5 miles!), were "30 ft. in diameter", & traveling at an "undeterminable, yet high speed." Mirachi went on to later criticize a Time magazine article that claimed there was no proof to support the existence of UFOs.

        Mirachi wrote, "There was too much evidence in favor of saucers to say they could have all been balloons. 'I was conducting the main investigation. The government had to depend on me or my branch for information.' He said he didn't see how the Navy could say there had been no concrete evidence of the phenomena."

        Also in the year 1948 Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a self-proclaimed skeptic, joined Project Blue Book as a scientific advisor. By 1969 when Blue Book was shutdown Hynek did an about face. He wrote several books, particularly, "The Hynek UFO Report" which repeatedly stated that the attitude of Blue Book was, "it can't be therefore it isn't."

        He also gave an interview, available on youtube watch?v=pyDVR2B14dw, where he said, "I was there at Blue Book and I know the job they had. They were told not to excite the public, don't rock the boat, & I saw it [with] my own eyes. ... The cases that were very difficult to explain they would jump handsprings to keep the media away from that." He later went on to found the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS).

        On July 13-29th, 1952, over the skies of Washington DC, numerous UFOs were seen on the ground, in the air, & tracked on radar. The situation escalated & General Samford, Director of Intelligence of the USAF, held an emergency press conference. When asked by a reporters what people were seeing he suggested the lights on the ground may have looked like they were in the air because inversions act like an "air lens" & bend light rays. He added that something similar could have "tricked" radar in to thinking it was tracking aerial targets.

        In 1969 an Air Force scientific report titled "Quantitative Aspects of Mirages" (Menkello, F.G. Report No. 6112, USAF, Environmental Technical Applications Center) made it clear inversion strong enough to create the visual effect described during the 1952 press-conference could not exist in earth's atmosphere.

        1956 at Bentwater/Lakenheath an object was sighted by several military officers on the ground while simultaneously tracked on radar at 2 different stations. The object moved at ~4000 mph and was monitored for several hours during which two planes were scrambled.

        When the 1st DeHavilland Venom locked on to the object it shot to the rear of the plane. The pilot tried evasive maneuvers, couldn't break free & eventually had to return to base to refuel.

        The 2nd plane encountered mechanical difficulties as it flew within range of the object. The US sponsored Condon Report had this to say, "In conclusion, although conventional or natural explanations certainly cannot be ruled out, the probability of such seems low in this case and the probability that at least one genuine UFO was involved appears fairly high."

        Astronaut Gordon Cooper claimed he saw his 1st UFO while flying over W. Germany in 1952. During 1957 while filming at Edwards AFB base he stated he saw a UFO land in the CA flats and that t
    • So that means we won't find out what really happened at the Battle of Canary Wharf after all?
  • by muellerr1 ( 868578 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:22PM (#23404736) Homepage
    I thought the British X-Files was called 'Torchwood'?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:27PM (#23404822)

      I thought the British X-Files was called 'Torchwood'?

      You're confused. That's the British gay porn show.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I thought the British X-Files was called 'Torchwood'?

        You're confused. That's the British gay porn show.
        How come you know so much about it?
      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
        What a minute, you mean Mulder in the American version WASN'T gay?
    • Yeah, these declassified documents are nothing like the "X-Files", they're full of strange characters who believe they alone know the truth, strange stories that make very little sense, and the occasional humorous anecdote that doesn't quite fit with the others.

      I forgot how I was going to make that point.
  • by archammer2 ( 1041754 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:31PM (#23404910)
    from TFA:

    Other reports are more credible. At quarter past midnight on Christmas Day 1985, three police officers in Woking were surprised by a white light descending on the Horsell area.

    Finally! Undeniable proof in the existance of Santa Claus! I knew it!
  • Don't forget (Score:5, Informative)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:31PM (#23404912) Homepage
    That UFO does not automatically make it alien.
    • Re:Don't forget (Score:5, Informative)

      by the_rev_matt ( 239420 ) <slashbotNO@SPAMrevmatt.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:19PM (#23405810) Homepage
      Jimmy Carter was on the Skeptics Guide podcast not long ago and they brought up the UFO incident, as he is often cited by the conspiracy theorists as 'proof' that aliens are among us and the government is covering it up. No, I can't explain their logic. Carter was unaware that he'd been coopted in this manner and quite forcefully noted that what he saw was indeed a UFO because he couldn't identify what it was, making it unidentified. He was at the same time quite sure that it was likely not an alien craft of any sort. It's one of the few times I've heard someone make the point that because you don't know what it is, then by definition it's an unidentified flying object. A conclusion that has no relation whatsoever to the *nature* of the object (e.g. alien, human).
      • by Jay L ( 74152 ) *
        It's one of the few times I've heard someone make the point that because you don't know what it is, then by definition it's an unidentified flying object

        Exactly; it's a semantic cop-out. "UFO" holds two, related meanings, which they love to conflate...

        1. Unidentified Flying Object: Something that's flying that wasn't identified.
        2. Unidentified Flying Object: An alien spacecraft kept secret through government conspiracies.

        The UFO believers really, really want to talk about #2. But if you point out just how
    • by Ecuador ( 740021 )
      Even if it is an alien though, it could still be a legal alien. Now if we had illegal aliens flying around without Visas, I guess that would be bad and would warrant further analysis.
  • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:32PM (#23404930)
    ...you exhibit a serious lack of imagination. Human history is but a leaf in the wind compared to the ocean of time and space. All of the purported alien encounters are so similar to what we experience on Earth so that it's not even funny. It's like religion, overly antrophomorphic.
  • by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:40PM (#23405100)
    The truth really IS out there...and in an easy to read digital format, too!
  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:40PM (#23405112)
    But all the good stuff is blacked out so what is the point?
    • The "good stuff" seems to be mostly names of British officials, which are typically redacted from released documents. Either that, or they mistakenly used the black highlighter again.
      • Yes the very names of the people who know the truth.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by geekoid ( 135745 )
          Yes they know the truth..and then put it in a document. Now that document has been put online to read.

          Really, the truth has no obligation to be what you want it to be.

  • Highlight (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gat0r30y ( 957941 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:48PM (#23405246) Homepage Journal

    a number of people leaving a Tunbridge Wells pub one night reported seeing a strange craft "with red and green" lights, according to the released documents. Asked by police where the object seemed to be traveling, the pub crawlers said it appeared to be heading for London's Gatwick Airport. It didn't take a scientist to figure out it was a commercial plane making a routine approach.
  • I've actually seen a fair few of the files in the archieves about the ufos. Whilst there is always the chance that they just dont release the good stuff (elistism and your conspiracy theories, I'm looking at you...). But I honestly believe that our government genuinely doesn't know anything about them and\or doesn't think they exist. There is some pretty classified things in the archieves (like wheb civil servants were admitting that they may have broken international law) so I dont really buy the argument
  • Interesting. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by trillex ( 1080579 )
    It would be interesting to see if there are any similar sightings between the French and the British files.
  • by TheNarrator ( 200498 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:28PM (#23406024)
    If there are Aliens visiting us nothing is actually going to change. They are like naturalists going out into some remote jungle (our little corner of the solar system) to take pictures of monkeys (us). The monkeys see a pickup truck the naturalist is driving, something they could never possibly be able to explain. The naturalist comes up to them befriends them and then leaves. The other monkeys come back and say that the large white ape does not exist. Even if they all see the large white ape and the interesting craft she drives. So what?
    Maybe some of the religious monkey elders would get upset but that's about it. It's not like the monkeys are going to suddenly figure out how to turn sticks and branches into a car and drive out of the forest and start wearing suits and ties and drinking $4 lattes at Starbucks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )
      Except we are not monkeys, and once we see it can be done, we will figure it out.

      however we are not going to go screaming in the night panicking.

      A few might, but then they will realize there isn't anyplace to run to! ;)

      I would wager there will be some tragic cult deaths.
    • That they would be more advanced technically than us on some stuff (space travel) has no bearing on whether they are more or less advanced than us socially, on other part of science, or even have any moral beyond "eat or be eaten". Your comparison with monkey also don't really hold, I doubt monkey have the awarness and analyze power of a human seeing its culture invaded or observed. Think of culture shock, like aborigene being visited by western civilization. or something.
  • by rs232 ( 849320 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:48PM (#23406444)
    "If the round shining objects [nous.org.uk] that appear in the sky be regarded as visions, we can hardly avoid interpreting them as archetypal images"
  • by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:00PM (#23406682) Homepage Journal
    When I was young I thought I had seen a UFO in our backyard. I was utterly convinced. I started to do research on it and couldn't understand why so many things (lochness monster, bigfoot) were not better explained and explored when man seemed to understand so many other things (elements of nature, physics, genetics). I though I was on to something big.

    As I matured it began to dawn on me. My experience, had it been real, would have been reported by somebody else. The memory was from my childhood, it could have been a dream before I understood the difference.

    The more I tried to relive the memory, the more an unnerving recognition hit me. Shit, I had seen the spaceship from ET in my backyard! It had been a dream created by my overactive imagination.

    I had wanted it to be true I swore that it was, because the memory backed me up, but my own memory betrayed me.

    Looking back I see that misconceptions are common human fallicies, and that is why scientific data, which is checked and doubled checked by many people is so critical in the search for truth.
    • by snuf23 ( 182335 )
      What you fail to understand is the Spielberg is in cahoots with the aliens. At the time they wished to conduct anal probing experiments on young children of the human species. E.T. was created using authentic alien spacecraft images. When children saw these craft coming for them in the middle of the night their parents dismissed it as the result of overactive imaginations and viewing E.T.
  • by aquatone282 ( 905179 ) * on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:18PM (#23407012)

    Way back in a previous life, when I was a USAF Recruiter working out of the Reno, Nevada office on Moana Lane, I would occasionally get a UFO report from an excited member of the public. The recruiting office was the only number listed under U.S. Air Force in the Reno phone book because the nearest Air Force base was located across the Sierra Nevada mountains in Sacramento, California.

    At first, I tried to explain that the local Air Force recruiting office wasn't the right place to report a UFO sighting, but then I realized what a gift these calls were.

    From then on, whenever a UFO report came in, I got as excited as the caller, asking them for details, etc. Then I explained I wasn't the correct office to report UFOs to and then gave them the number to the Nevada Air National Guard's base operations office.

    And I always told the caller to not take "no" as answer from whoever answered the phone.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.