Monday, January 21, 2008

January 8, 2008 Stephenville Texas and other UFO sightings

I didn't see this story in the media at first (and I don't think it was a big story in Japan) but a friend sent me this video link.

I was shocked by the extremely condescending coverage by CNN. The background graphic is extreme and over-the-top. The story is introduced as an offbeat, humorous story. The male announcer mentions "visitors from very, very far away", seemingly leaping to the conclusion that anything flying and unidentified must be extraterrestrial in origin and a manned (or occupied) craft. Yet none of the witnesses in the news report made any such claims. The police officer, pilot, and other witnesses simply described what they saw without making any assumptions or conclusions other than that it didn't seem to be from around there. It seemed completely unwarranted for the casters to go out of their way to ridicule the very sincere eyewitnesses, who were not seeking publicity and who may be a little reluctant to report the facts given attacks from the media and public. If there had been a single witness who had been drinking and given the UFO story as an excuse to his wife for why he came home late, perhaps the story would be humorous, but this event was witnessed by dozens of people at different locations. There were around 40 eyewitnesses. It also seems that planetary invasion, if that is what it is, would not be a laughing matter unless the casters were shape-shifting reptilians themselves, or have been instructed by their owners (or a security agency) to present the story in a condescending and disrespectful way. If you visit the YouTube page, you will see that most viewers who commented mindlessly followed the CNN brainwash and heaped scorn and ridicule on the townspeople.

It sounds like a cover-up to me, (and I am not a UFO person; I don't own and haven't read a single book on the subject). Alternatively, it could just be that the society and the media are not prepared for Mystery, for something Unexplained. Many people have a low tolerance of Uncertainty. People should accept that there are unexplained phenomena and there always will be. A tiny sliver of the universe is explainable and understandable to us, 97% (to pick a random number) is not and never will be. To give an example, for most of human history, thunder and lightning were inexplicable phenomena. There was no theory that could correctly explain and account for hem. You had to be satisfies with "Apollo is bowling" or some such explanation. By the 1700s, we could begin to know what lightning was and even capture and make use of that force in the 1800s.

Speaking of flying objects, up until the 20th century, most people had no concept of aerodynamics, lacking the math and physics to even explain how birds could fly, and refused to accept the evidence presented by the existence of birds, that man could fly (Michelangelo was an exception).

Likewise, even today scientists are finding sprites and other bizarre phenomena, not in space but in the Earth's atmosphere, new species of mammals (tiny deer) are still being found, most species of life on Earth have not been cataloged, we are finding out some insects do not fly the way we thought they did, birds sing using a different technique than we had thought, we've found little people, and so we probably will find our brother Sasquatch one day, too, I suppose. (I think they fear fire-monkey for good reason.)

Like lightning, UFOs are a real phenomenon which has a real explanation (not necessarily UFO=ET) which will one day become clear.

Perhaps there is just an association of UFOs with crazy people. If the last 3 people who talked to you about UFOs were crazy (possibly as a side effect of their abductions?), you might start to react suspiciously without listening to the next person who says "UFO". It is true that some crazy people mention UFOs. Yet that doesn't mean every person who mentions UFOs is crazy; it just means that UFOs are an archetypal and profoundly impressive meme psychologically. Crazy people also mention God and Jesus, yet we do not treat every person who talks about God and Jesus as a lunatic. (It might be a better world if we did, though.)

The story did reach Japan on Larry King Live. I saw just enough to see that they were asking, "Do you believe in UFOs?," a question which literally means "Do you believe that there are objects which fly that are unidentified?," a question to which the only correct answer can be "Yes" as long as someone somewhere has not identified every object that flies.

I wonder where the media found the ability to be so skeptical when they seemed to have no critical thinking faculties operating when the news is about unconstitutional military commissions, secret invisible doomsday weapons in Iraq, Persian Islamic A-bombs (which are somehow safer than Perv and AQ Khan's Pakistani Islamic A-bombs), and other modern american fairy tales.

The story in USAToday is reported more professionally but includes the opening line "Cue the Twilight Zone theme ... Dozens of people say they saw a UFO hovering over their rural community near Stephenville, Texas," placing the story falsely within the realm of fiction or televised entertainment, not news.

The incident is similar to the November 7, 2006 O'Hare International Airport incident, in which a metallic, circular, spinning craft was witnessed hovering over a gate (C-16). As the Wikipedia article on the O'Hare event points out:

Widespread coverage of a UFO sighting by today's mainstream media is somewhat unusual for large media companies who, when they do cover UFO events, often tend to use a facetious or mocking style when reporting about the sightings. Many UFO researchers and UFO conspiracy theorists consider this to be an often deliberate way of deflecting any serious attention from the UFO phenomenon and specific incidents.
No kidding! I hadn't really noticed or paid much attention to that before, but I'd tend to agree now. For the general public, it may just be that the possibility of there being other intelligent beings in the universe is so exciting (and would be the biggest news in human history) that some psychological defenses leap into action. For the media people, it appears that they are instructed to minimize, marginalize, or ridicule these reports. That could be for military reasons, due to an internationally agreed policy of official secrecy, or it may just be that they are hit with many complaints from the public when they report the facts straight (although I would think the opposite might be true).

The O'Hare story was reported in the Chicago Tribune as a video post (via Laughing Squid).

These inexplicable events seem to be increasing lately, or occurring in increasingly public places. The March 5, 2004 Mexican Air Force encounter is another major incident, which produced video -- unavailable from the 2006 and 2008 incidents.

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