Saturday, March 17, 2007

How is it that we can "see" Extraterrestrials?

While one can argue endlessly in favor of a literal extraterrestrial interpretation, a holistic approach leads us to consider that the UFO intelligence not only wants to perpetuate itself via dramatic encounters with ostensible "occupants," but intends to discredit its own machinations: it stages exciting UFO events that infect both the research community and the popular imagination, knowing that the phenomenon's inherent absurdity will eventually undermine attempts to arrive at an indictment.

Interesting stuff as always from Mac Tonnies.

One question that doesn't get asked enough by ufology is this: if the UFOs are extraterrestrial in origin, with all of the advanced technology that this would involve (memo to the ETHers: it isn't as easy as you think it is to travel between the stars), why do they allow themselves to be seen, as surely they must, given their technological prowess?

Are we the equivalent of rats in a lab experiment, with our reactions being studied by alien scientists? If so, how long does this experiment last? Shouldn't they be done with it at some point or another?

The typical answer - Stan Friedman uses it all the time - is that "they're aliens, so we can't presume to know why they're here, or why they do the things they do."

Which is no different than a religious person who, when asked why God lets good people die in horrible ways, answers, "well, it's God, so we can't possibly understand His will. We must just accept it."

The more you look at the various aspects of the Extraterrestrial hypothesis, the less likely it seems - both technologically and, perhaps more important, sociologically and anthropologically. Like the traditional mainstream view of God (i.e. the one drilled into the heads of kids at "Jesus camps"), the ETHers view of extraterrestrial life is more a reflection of their view of themselves than the potential reality - and complexity - of an extraterrestrial visitation.

Of course, as Jason Gammon and others maintain, ET could really be a form of AI. In that case, all bets are off, because who knows how sentient machines would behave.

Unless you think that human beings are really just meat-based machines... which brings us back to Mac, and his idea that the explanation for the UFO phenomenon may lie closer to home (like many other, non-ETH explanations). Who knows - it may well lie inside of us.

Paul Kimball


Mac said...

Who knows - it may well lie inside of us.

Whatever this is, I'm certain it's not inside of us -- at least in the conventional sense. The phenomenon is physical. I suppose that invites the idea that maybe we don't quite know what "physical" entails ...

Doc Conjure said...


As I've written on Ufoupdates in the past, I believe our visitors know that they cannot prevent us from seeing them. Instead, their only choice is to employ deception, 'cat and mouse' games in order to prevent us from discovering their motivation or reasoning for being here.

If our visitors think like us, then we can safely assume that such deceptive behavior is designed to protect a vulnerability. It is possible that our interference could threaten our visitor's plans should we correctly identify their motivations. This would also imply that in the future our visitors may no longer feel threatened by human interference, appearing and interacting in a more open fashion.

With regards to the notion that our visitors may be A.I., we need to understand that they may not even remotely think like us, let alone be 'conscious.' If an unconcious, advanced A.I. were to interact with our species it is possible we would never be able to understand the other. In this case, the A.I. could never understand us because the aren't conscious and we wouldn't understand them because we wouldn't remotely consider they weren't conscious in the first place.

-Jason Gammon

Paul Kimball said...


You wrote:

Whatever this is, I'm certain it's not inside of us -- at least in the conventional sense. The phenomenon is physical. I suppose that invites the idea that maybe we don't quite know what "physical" entails ...

There are a few cases which seem to have physical elements, although I think the number is far fewer than ufologists would have you believe. Still, even those ones don't prove a paranormal answer, although they certainly lend more credence to the possibility than your average "lights in the sky" sighting.

I think the key word you use is "conentional". ;-)


Paul Kimball said...


Anything is possible, but if "they" have the technology to get from there to here, I find it stretches credulity to believe that they couldn't keep themselves hidden from us if they wanted to. For example, if they are here, and can't hide, then our commercial satellites, of which there are many, should be able to see them from time to time, not to mention the military ones. We should be able to get decent pictures and video. Etc.

No, if "they" are here, it's far more likely that "they" allow themselves to be seen, for some reason. And that seems to create a problem for the ETH, at least to me, that the ETHers haven't or won't address.

Of course, then there's the myriad crash stories, which, even if a half dozen are true seem to indicate that the "aliens" are incompetent boobs. I mean, you can get from there to here, with all that this would require, only to crash on Earth? If that's true, then I don't think we have much to worry about from them.

On the AI issue, I agree with you in broad strokes - if UFOs are ET, I think it's far more likely that they are some form of AI than they are flesh-and-blood critters.


Anonymous said...

First of all, you have made some a priori assumptions. The first is that all UFOs must either be: 1) Misidentified, but otherwise known, natural phenomenon, or 2) Alien spaceships. There are a lot of possibilities besides the former and the latter. At least some UFOs may well be some unknown type of natural phenomenon. Or perhaps they are, what some have termed, "space creatures", organisms that actually survive and move through the vacuum of space. There is enough organic material in the universe to allow the possibility, nor is it impossible that the evolution of some originally planet-based lifeform might drive them to travel beyond their home planet, particularly if their planetary gravity was low enough to make orbital flight a practical development in their evolutionary history. Such organisms might bear similarities to deep see creatures, which often possess natural forms of incandesence, or somewhat peculiar forms of propulsion (some sea creatures use jet propulsion, for example). This would fit a typical pattern for many UFOs: Bright and colorful in the dark, solid looking in daylight, and moving unlike any human aircraft. Of course, apart from these two possibilities, unknown natural phenomenon or space creatures, there may be many, many other alternatives besides alien spaceships. Imagination is important when trying to understand that which does not conform to previously knowledge.

Even if we assume that at least some UFOs were alien spaceships, this does not necessarily mean they should be invisible. First of all, it may not be correct to assume that a civilization must be globally more advanced scientifically than we are to achieve interstellar technology: Perhaps some Einstein or Einsteins of their own species discovered such a technology many generations before it would have been possible for us. Perhaps they engaged their best and brightest scientists in their own version of the "manhattan project" to develop some technology that made interstellar travel possible. Often the genius of one man alone has determined a great deal about the state of scientific knowledge in any given field, so that if that one person were wiped from history, our own advancement in some field of research would have been set back by decades or longer. Or, perhaps they simply had some advantage we lacked: a lower gravity, which would have allowed their space program to advance more quickly, or a natural power source that does not exist on our tiny little speck of the universe. The point is, it is always possible that they do have the technology to get here, but not the technology to remain hidden.

Even assuming that they did have the technology to remain hidden, we should have to assume they would choose to utilize it. If we are no threat to them, if we are no more significant than lab rats or ants or some insignificant organism (they may not even view us as intelligent, despite our presumption of having earned the title, which presumption may also be possessed by a gorilla or chimpanzee), then why bother to hide? We humans have developed effective cloaking technology, to a large degree, some of which is new and has not been put into operation yet, but would we bother to use it to hide ourselves from a cockroach? I doubt it. They may simply not view us as significant enough to waste the effort.

As to the fact that our seeing them may somehow affect us, can we assume they care? Perhaps they are in possession of some version of the Prime Directive, or perhaps, as I said, they do not even consider us intelligent, and therefore would not need to abide by any noninterference policy. They may be virtually oblivious to us, however important we may arrogantly believe that what we are doing down here is so important that is deserves their recognition. Thus, if we happen to notice them, they may simply not care. They may not even bother to try to recover lost ships, or respond with force if we somehow succeeded in bringing one of them down. After all, if a man dies from an ant bite, we don't wage war on all the ants, and if a wrist watch falls in their mound, we don't always retrieve it.

Of course, it could be possible that aliens are, in fact, performing some experiment. I like to hope not, but it is not outside the realm of possibility, nor can it even be said to be too improbable, for all that we know that other intelligent species are likely to test on 'lower species' as we have so widely done. When you have seen some of the things done to animals in the name of testing new cosmetics, it is not too shocking, even if it is offensive to our sense of self control and self importance, to imagine that a long series of seemingly pointless and endless experiments might be conducted on us. I wonder what a rabbit would ask itself, if it could, about what possible point humans might have for doing such horrible things to their bretheren, with no end in sight to it? Even when we harm an animal for legitimate medical research, I doubt if this explanation would be very satisfying to any of those animals, if they could even be made to understand it. Thus, it is highly presumptious to think you can understand why an alien race might perform experiments upon us, and, by your own argument, they would likely be so advanced that they could not even explain it to you if they tried. Am I defending them? No! If aliens ARE experimenting upon us, we should try to discern this, and if possible to stop them. But just because we may not like the idea of being lab rats, doesn't mean that every being in the universe would respect this.

The comparison with the "will of God" is highly inappropriate. For one thing, God is a subjective theological concept, lacking any as yet objectively definable criteria for confirming or disconfirming, or even for establishing a theoretical likelihood. The theoretical likelihood of aliens, however, is very nearly 100% (you could hardly get any closer to certainty with an idea that is, as yet, hypothetical by scientific standards). They are not a totally subjective concept, since there are certain objective criteria, or at least very likely criteria, that can be established for them (for instance they should be the product of evolution by natural selection, barring outside interference by an intelligent species that is, itself, the product of evolution by natural selection). And some of the best and brightest scientific minds now argue that a species that evolved totally separately from life on this planet would likely appear very different from us (not be humanoid), and would also likely be different in many fundamental ways including their sensory sensations, thought processing, instincts, ethics, aesthetics, etc... It is also widely agreed that it is impossible to predict the future (by means other than supposed prophecies, if there is any legitimacy in that concept) with any accuracy beyond 100 years, and science fiction writers, even when they are renowned scientists, are rarely very accurate predicting more than a few decades in the future. As such, there are legitimate and logical grounds to suppose that we might not be able to understand aliens or their motivations for doing things. Another problem with your comparison is that when people invoke the 'will of God' argument, it is usually to justify their own will, or to defend some shortcoming of the ideas they hold faith in or to defend some unethical action or bigoted attitude. When advocates of the extraterrestrial visitation hypothesis point out that we may not understand why and how the aliens do things, it is to suggest that we should study their behavior first and then try to reach conclusions to understand these things, rather than to start out imagining we understand things and thus dismiss the phenomenon that are occurring. In other words, study what UFOs do (whether they are aliens or not), don't expect them to do what WE think they SHOULD do. The universe and all of its forms, forces, and denizens does not bend to our meager will.

Doc Conjure said...


"Anything is possible, but if "they" have the technology to get from there to here, I find it stretches credulity to believe that they couldn't keep themselves hidden from us if they wanted to."

First let me state that I don't believe they deem important any place of origin, such as a home planet for example. Instead, and as Betty Hill was told during her supposed abduction, they 'leap frog' from system to system. Such a concept is an actual prediction of possible future behavior of both humans and A.I. Therefore there is no 'from there to here', only an infinite expansion, a wave of sentinence rippling through the universe. (Earth will remain important to humans only as long as it is inhabitable. Afterwards, "Mother Earth" will live on only in myth. It will literaly become, 'The Garden of Eden' in a future mythos.)

With regards to your comments concerning ET's ability to remain 'hidden' from us, let me state a few observations;

1.) UFO's are routinely reported as moving in a 'clumsy' manner when sighted moving in relatively slow speeds. Could it be that any technology used to 'hide' from us also suffer said issues? Could it be that the science of 'hiding' entail it's usage for mere brief episodes due to it's power requirement?

2.) In nature, predators only attempt to conceal their pressence when they are actively hunting. Otherwise, predators don't care if their normal prey see them when their belly is full.

3.) The issue of 'percieved threat'. Perhaps they choose when to use technology to hide from us based upon a percieved threat.

With regards to your comments concerning 'aliens as incompetant boobs';

It all depends on numbers and frequency. If only 3 actual alien craft have visited earth through all of recorded history and one crashed then, the case for 'baffoons' could be argued. However, if 3 hundred-million alien craft visit earth each decade and only one crashed, then the aliens still retain their title of 'Uber-Lords.' If forced to choose between the two possibilities, I'de pick the latter option. "Hail Uber-Lords!"

At this current time, "UFO's as A.I." is the only theory which explains away the current known problems with inter-stellar travel, mainly by showing such problems are non-existant for a machine-based intelligence. I also like such theory because it doesn't rely on the mystical/magical suggestions of Vallee and others, which are truly nothing more than modern 'Witch!' accusations. (Don't get me wrong for I believe that Vallee and others have picked up on many things concerning the phenomena, especialy with regards to it's deceptiveness. I just don't agree with their conclusions/suggestions.)


Don Maor said...

I think AI is an obliged path of an advanced civilization. Probably in one thousand years from now, the AI and biological entities will converge into a new state of life, probably having the best biological and technical characteristics available from both worlds. Biological entities may envy the capacity to memorize and overwhelming intellectual abilities of AI, and AI beings will envy the emotional ability and softness and incredible feeling/sensation capacity of biological tissues and entities (I hope). It does not matter too much if visitants are AI, or not. The problem is they are probably here, and we do not know what is going to happen.

In order to defend the apparent behaviour of UFOnauts, one can say that their actual apparent behaviour would be obviously to not disrupt our civilization, basically trying to not to give us hard and very hard evidences of their existence. This can be considered an act of ecological benevolence. Nonetheless, they may not care too much of being seen lightly sometimes. Or some of them particularly may be tempted sometimes to make jokes to the surprised villagers who are seeing them with rounded eyes. Or even they may have sometimes failures in their invisibility systems. Or they may be showing themselves intentionally in order to prepare us slowly to the moment when they have to inevitably say: "Look humans: You are becoming somewhat dangerous to other outer civilizations, hence we are going to colonize your planet, and take control of it. We hope not to disturb you too much, we have retarded this moment as long as it was possible, but the moment has finally come".

Regarding to abductions behaviour, David Jacobs’ hypothesis is that they (the greys) are making a new species with hybrid capabilities. I can conjecture that the time will inevitably come for them to colonize the planet and integrate our civilization into the “federation of civilizations” or something like that. Such integration may carry much pain to humanity if made too quickly, so it is likely to think that they are now trying to integrate us slowly. Probably such a new hybrid species has to have some requirements (intelligence, telepathy, who the hell knows) in order to integrate us to the confederation. On the other hand, the creation of a new species may not be an easy issue even to advanced civilizations. Skeptics say that “greys” only would need one molecule of human AND to reconstruct a hole species, so skeptics calmly conclude that abductions reality is preposterous). Skeptics are most probably wrong. The greys most probably DO have protocols to make such effort of creating a new species. They may be taking so long because they have to make a good compilation of the whole human genetic pool, with ALL its racial variations. Their protocol may include the respect of the basic rule to not to leave hard evidences, which probably adds another big delaying to the plan. Their protocol may include the basic fact that interstate hybrid beings must have a good life and a fairly good psychological treatment. Finally, they may be NOT having any hurry in making the integration / transition of our species. Probably their life spans are much bigger than ours. May be they will be doing the same thing for 500 hundred additional years, and that would be a little bit of time for them.

All this is speculation, but I think it is good. If any of you think it is bad, i can only say that for me it is good, and even if it is shown to be bad, the obvius conclussion would be that if one can not predict and agree in actual human behavior, as it indeed happens, obviusly one can not be able to predict alien behavior.

IMO, I simply do not see anything ridicule or absurd in “the greys” behaviour, nor in the general UFOs

Rick Phillips said...


Already humans have rudementary forms of `cloaks' and I expect we will have invisibilitiy at human actualization within 50 years I predict. Obviously, an civilization that can travel here via any manner has such tech. Indeed, the question as to `where are they' is moot -- `they' reveal only when they choose (or have equipment problems.

Anonymous said...

Another a priori assumption that seems to be made here is that "they" are in fact one discrete group as opposed to the possibility of two or more unrelated groups with different motives, sensibilities and levels of technical sophistication.

We have stealth aircraft. Why are not all aircraft from earth equipped with stealth capability?

While it seems reasonable that an intelligence with an advanced form of propulsion might also develop a form of cloaking this line of thought then tilts toward demanding that such a cloaking technology must then be perfect, precisely tuned to the spectrum visible to the human eye but also perfectly hiding all forms of thermal, uv, etc. radiation at all times and under any operational condition. It seems to also demand that all visitors, regardless of origin, class, status, function or mission must always be equipped w/ said perfect cloaking device.

There seems to be ample cases of UFO's being invisible to the human eye but detectable with radar, thermal or UV equipment.

If we are sticking to a "nuts and bolts" ETH for the sake of this particular discussion it seems unwise to assume that an advanced form of propulsion therefore equals any other advanced technology we think a proper alien should possess and use in the same manner we might.

We went to the moon. Does it then follow that we should also presently have the capability to terraform Mars and cure cancer?

The idea that the greys are some kind of disposable biological AI utility robots is fun to toss around. Perhaps some of the ships we occasionally see are the equivalent of a humvee...the short-range, disposable, bare minimum necessary for basic task. A cloak might be seen as pointless on one of a thousand disposable utility craft, purpose-built on the fly on the mothership's fabricator for a routine earth DNA sample collection mission. We'll just drop in at a spot where there is no radar coverage, zip over to the collection site and on the off chance we actually run into a fighter jet we'll just split at 40g's. The humanoid overlords are somewhere safe in the mothership equipped w/ the Acme X-9000 cloaking device upgrade option, having a drink and listening to Hotblack Desiato on their sweetass unified sound field hi-fi.

Friedman's argument that we don't know how an alien civilization might behave may be a bit curt but I don't think it is a weak-minded excuse at all. It is only nominally related to the "God is mysterious" argument. God doesn't seem to be dropping as many observable data points in the past 60 years as "they" have.

Paul Kimball said...


You wrote:

God doesn't seem to be dropping as many observable data points in the past 60 years as "they" have.

Hmm... I know a lot of religious people who would disagree with you, and could trot out all sorts of incidents, including many UFOs, and give them a religious spin.


Anonymous said...

I know a lot of religious people who would disagree with you, and could trot out all sorts of incidents, including many UFOs, and give them a religious spin.

Well, in my mind, visual sightings combined with photographs, radar returns, and corroborating testimony by credible witnesses leave us with substantially more to work with. I doubt if they are the whole story but they are data points that can be pursued to a substantially greater degree than the more "religious/absurd/high-strangeness" phenomena.

I'm as much a fan of Vallee as I am of Friedman and think he has done a fantastic job of drawing attention to the parallels with religious phenomena, demonology and pointing out the absurd aspects. I feel it would be every bit as foolish to completely discount these observations out of hand in favor of a universal "nuts and bolts" ETH explanation for all anomalous phenomena as it would be to completely dismiss all evidence of a seemingly technologically dependent ETH in favor of demonology. I would guess that there is more than one observed anomoly related to the function of the earth's many natural systems that are being ignored by mainstream science because they have been lumped into ufology.

If I'm creating my fantasy alien civilization that is a million years more advanced I would probably think it desirable for them to reach a level that didn't require a dependence on physical bodies and technological contraptions. I'd want them to be some form of fantastic spiritual energy creatures capable of manipulating the fabric of the universe with their will alone. Since we can't prove or disprove the existence of such beings at present it seems that we are stuck with the data points being dropped and have to follow them wherever they lead, hopefully on case by case basis.

In my opinion, the constant, overarching danger is the desire to lump all anomalous phenomena into one category of explanation--Jesus was really an ET hybrid of ancient astronauts or flying saucers are just demons trying to deceive us into not attending mass. The traditional Christian churches are comfortable dismissing all anomalies with religious explanation, psychologists with psychological explanations, scientists with misidentification of the known, ritual magicians with Enochian trickster explanations, conspiracy folks with spook psyops and mind control, etc. The old saying about when you are a hammer everything looks like a nail is apt. How many researchers out there continually reinforce the possibility that we may be looking at huge array of different, unrelated phenomena?

I very much appreciated the sober tone and pacing of the Aztec documentary and look forward to the Ten Best film. The resistance to including every sensational rumor that anyone cares to offer to sex-up a documentary is a rare, beautiful thing. I would love to see a documentary that followed up on the Ten Best as a counterpoint, one that attempted to find ten good cases of extreme absurdity that challenge the "nuts and bolts" ETH but that have witnesses of similar credibility, etc. I would imagine it would be a much more difficult project but one that would be worth doing....sort of a Vallee vs Friedman battle if you will.