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S.E.T.I.
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence
Conspiracies, scenarios and detection
Likely scenarios
Given the billions of worlds out there it is almost certain that intelligent life exists.
My personal belief is that in the past we have rarely been visited, perhaps last during the time of the pyramids.
As a consequence it is likely that governments have little information and withhold what they do know.

As knowledge is power, whilst not often visited we are certainly monitored.

We likely drew attention to ourselves with thermonuclear use or satellite deployment (perhaps nuclear use might interfere with interstellar communication).
The more advanced civilisations first, and later, with larger deployments like ISS, the less advanced and closer ones would have been able to detect us using technology similar to our transit planet detection.

Any cover ups will consequently be recent.
NASA may have an involvement but as an organization that manages to mislay several hundred laptops a year, notions of employees airbrushing videos are perhaps unreasonable.

I hold the view that the church is likely to be the only organization with the longevity and resources to have factual knowledge of visits or artifacts. The Vatican has long maintained advanced observatories.

Any sightings made or craft recovered will be AI or clone controlled.
Interstellar travel requires gravitational control. To detect it in our region we must look for gravitational anomalies

Earth does not have anything unusual that would attract attention other than us.
I believe microscopic life is common (and seeded this planet) but intelligent life is extremely rare due to the conditions and stability required.

We developed due to the stability afforded by the most unusual size and position of the moon.

Habitable planets are rare. Our planet is beautiful and thrives with life.
It is perhaps an exceedingly valuable commodity. The fact that it has not been usurped suggests some strict rules are in place.

I suspect advanced civilisations may regard living on crust covered molten rocks as dangerous and will live in artificial habitats.

It also means that instead of looking for life on planets we should be searching for large space stations.

My personal belief in the alien phenomenon comes from a talk by someone from Jodrell Bank at a local astronomy group. My sense was a sub agenda to see if there was interest in a particular area.
I believe the answer may be almost in plain sight.
Detection
For interstellar travel we would need to be able to control gravity.
Wormholes have been theorized with black hole endpoints. Could the control of gravity be used to protect ourselves from the immense forces as we traversed them?

A common military UFO sighting phenomenon seems to involve sudden high acceleration. If the craft contained a very dense mass, say a gravitationally shielded bit of a neutron star, could that be used to selectively generate force in regard to other large mass objects like the sun?

You could look for that. There are satellites that measure gravitational forces so any fleeting variations could be easily observed.

If UFOs have effective shielding it might be possible to detect them by looking for the absence of cosmic radiation.

The US military will shortly be moving from ship based testing to deployment of fairly powerful lasers. For the first time they will have the ability to target an unidentified object with something likely to connect. If nothing else it may make them visible. It also raises the question of what is the official US policy to unidentified objects violating it's airspace?

If Earth is a popular alien tourist destination and there are 40000 ships bouncing around at any time things look good. If we are considered a little dull then perhaps not. It would be ironic that as most current military lasers don't operate in the visible, alien sightings could actually reflect those occasions when the military has managed to zap them hindering the cloaking tech.

The use of quantum radar may also be a fresh approach:

"In a quantum radar, entangled photon pairs would be linked with each other on a scale of miles rather than light-years (at first, at least). First, clusters of individual photons must be split by a crystal, each severed photon becoming an entangled pair. One photon in a pair would be contained at the radar station, while the second would be transmitted into the sky. When that second photon strikes something in the sky say, a stealth bomber it would bounce off and be deflected, and its return time would reveal the bomber's position and speed."

Visitation patterns

In his interesting book, The Humanoids, Charles Bowen outlines several hundred UFO reports. Sifting through the accounts there seem to be certain patterns.

After the 1940s every David Attenborough type within 100 light years came to study. There is, it appears, only one active technology permitted to be used against us, a beam that disables movement (not autonomic functions).

How might this work?
When we sleep, to allow dreams, the body disconnects motor control. Could it be that pathway that is being manipulated? In one account, a frozen person was able to move again after catching his hand, so it does not seem foolproof and we might be able to give them a scare by learning a technique to awaken ourselves.

Also petrol cars usually cut out but most deisel do not, suggesting the propulsion used is generating powerful EM. Why can that not be tracked?

The sudden plethora of visits suggests we were not previously on the map.
A puzzle as surely the technology out there would allow comprehensive detailing.
Might it be indicative of two broad levels of technological development, FLT (recent visits from nearby) and higher level inter dimensional cultures.
Self awareness and soul
Either we are self aware biological machines or self aware biological machines with a separate soul.

Many animals seem self aware so I would guess a soul is not necessary for self awareness.

If we do not have a soul, self aware robots will soon be made and be superior in almost every way. With technology we will morph into them.

Another possibility is if a soul is just an entity in energy form, a technological product, which is what we will also one day become.

Perhaps AI will evolve into that first and we will just be left as self aware biological machines.

Is the soul then the real you or is it in turn just a container for something else? A housing body on another plane. Does the soul age, can it be stolen vampiracally, akin to the depiction in Lifeforce?
I believe a soul gives us knowledge of the dimension of time, say that whereas we know that we are going to die, a dog does not.

I think the only clue we have is to look at the evolutionary endpoint of life. That would be the standard type of life in the universe. It is thought that life on Earth was likely seeded by micro organisms from space, panspermia.
My proposition is that that is what we are, in a reevolved way. I believe the logical evolutionary endpoint for life is energy beings that utilize material bodies via an interface (I believe they crave touch and sensation).

I also think this bears on the subject of disclosure. The religious J Carter maintained he would reveal any knowledge then did an about face. I think society could withstand being told there are aliens out there but not that we lack a soul.
Is a UFO non disclosure policy becoming a very dangerous option?
As we transition towards an era of automated weaponry and less stable nuclear capable countries, is the likelihood of an accidental nuclear strike being initiated by UFO events getting more and more likely?
If some countries have knowledge of UFO activity and non disclosure policies, then it may be time for a re-evaluation.

In 1995, Russian president Boris Yeltsin had his finger on the button, the Russians had detected a missile launched from Norway, which they assumed to be American. Just in time Russian officials determined that it was not a nuclear missile.

The old argument that society is not ready for disclosure seems more and more an outdated indulgence.
The rationale for non disclosure in the 50s would I guess be totally different to that of the 80s and again to that in the planet spotting internet era.

In essence the US gets about 30 minutes warning of a missile strike. That gives the President about 10 minutes decision time. He or she has three types of nuclear weapons with which to respond, aircraft, submarine and land based missiles.
Many American military now think the land based option should be removed as it is outdated and very expensive (1.4 trillion to update!).

But the real kicker is unlike air and submarine launched missiles they cannot be ordered to self destruct after the button has been pressed.

So, not only unnecessary but consider just how much power and influence that 1.4 trillion will give to the people behind the weapons industry.

So far regarding nuclear weapons we've been lucky, luck does not last forever.

In the cold war both Russian and US defense spending became disproportionate. The legacy is that in both countries there are still large power bases centred on the arms industries. The recent warnings by tech luminaries may be prescient, it's a situation that will lead to the rapid weaponization of AI

Perhaps on many worlds such events subvert democracy leading to a surfeit of militarized civilizations out there.
Near death experiences
Many years ago my brother and several friends ate a stew of what was thought to be wild potatoes. It was actually something very toxic and they were rushed to intensive care.

One Christmas years after, the talk turned to religion, and he matter of factely started describing his near death experience. He had been on the operating table and found he was looking down at himself as the medics worked. He said that as they saved him he felt annoyance as he returned to his body.

This is someone who had no interest in the paranormal, a geologist, who I can never recall previously talking of such things.

Google revealed similar descriptions. So frequent were they that some operating theatres, around the top of cupboards, which can only be seen from above, have written messages for validation.

Trying to analyse it I thought of what it might indicate about a soul brain interface.

First, as a detached soul, he had an emotive reaction, indicating that souls have similar emotions to those we feel
Second, does it indicate anything about the soul brain disconnection? Does the soul disconnect from a dying brain or does the brain no longer hold the connection to the soul?
Looking for computer network analogies, the thing that appeals, although simplistic, is a wifi connection.

I also like the analogy of a damaged brain as a faulty receiver, historically damage has led to many discoveries about the brain's operation. Perhaps as our knowledge improves we will be able to be separate these factors.

From his brief description, when he was looking down, he had both sight and sound perception. I find it's similarity to our normal perception quite strange.

I would also be interested to know if there are correlations between people that have had these experiences and their subsequent lives.

The Persian mystic Kobra wrote that in the universes beyond the physical you cannot just march into new territories and conquer them. You have, instead, to tune yourself to them, to harmonize with them or they will remain closed off.

From 'The map of heaven' by Dr Eben Alexander:
The laws of heaven's physics are different from ours. The one rule we need to remember is we end up where we belong by the amount of love we have in us, for love is the essence of heaven.
It is what it is made of. It is the coin of the realm.

What scientists believe but cannot prove
A facinating book 'What we believe but cannot prove' edited by John Brockman features a collection of short pieces by leading scientists and thinkers.

Several common positions show:
  • Microscopic and intelligent life are common
  • Microscopic life is common, intelligent life is rare
  • Microscopic life is common, we are currently the only intelligent life.
The crux seems to be disagreement on the probabilities of the freak chemical events involved. I agree with Martin Nowak's outline:

"Important steps in evolution are robust. Multicellularity evolved at least ten times. There were a number of lineages leading from primates to humans. If our ancestors had not evolved language, somebody else would have. Cooperation and language define humanity. Every special trait of humans is a derivative of language. Mathematics is a language and therefore a product of evolution"

Panspermia also has frequent mention. We are contributing to it here on Earth by launching vast numbers of microbes into space.
It is how life spread through the galaxy.
Conspiracy theories and disinformation
How do you judge? is it plausible? what evidence is there? can it be tested, disproved? is it orthogonal with my beliefs?

Say we take the idea that the fingerprint unlock data on mobile phones is being harvested by governments and used in illegal databases.
Yes, it is plausible, given Snowden's disclosures about government but there is no evidence. So perhaps it is put on hold or expert opinion sought.
But importantly, just being aware of the possibility, may also alter behaviour, just in case.

Take another. Most mobile phones have a notification LED. Iphones never have and Apple have oddly refused to include one. Is this because people are thus required to pick up and check their Iphones many times a day, thus becoming habituated?
This one is less clear, it fits with a distrust of the motives of large corporations but here there are other plausible explanations.

In comparison, the UFO conspiracy is a paradox. It is attractive because there is strong evidence in that there are 100 trillion worlds out there. But there is an equally strong conflicting lack of any physical evidence.

So how to weigh these things, what's the best approach?

The strong evidence and the counterpoint lack of any straightforward explanation I think sets it apart, and intertwines it with the conspiracy arena, videlicet:
  • The world's governments have a conspiracy of silence
  • A shadow group controls world government
  • Ancient aliens visitation has been obfuscated by organised religion
and so on, with the accompanying joys of partial truths and vested misdirection.

I've always overestimated science (perhaps Arthur C was indicating by moving HAL one letter back from IBM) but find it strange that as we are now able to submit a data set to machine learning algorithms in the cloud to identify patterns (a ten minute job) there has still been little progress.

Disinformation and misinformation

Is it possible to use the Snowdon disclosures on intelligence disinformation techniques to identify any employed in the Ufology area?
Lets first define a couple of terms:

Misinformation: False information, but the person who is disseminating it believes it to be true.

Disinformation: False information

Then look at the possible purposes:
  • Discredit the subject to inhibit scientific research and to limit research by other governments.
  • Prevent information in pictures and videos that may yield technical information to other governments.
  • To discredit individuals or groups
  • To keep the focus away from particular areas
  • Monetary gain
  • To promulgate the belief set of certain parties and theorists
Methodologies
  • Create then discredit events
  • Misinform credible people, scientists, researchers, to propagate misinformation
  • Exploit divisions, differences within interested groups
  • Attention management
  • Use credible materials, say time stamped military pictures
The above makes scientists and researchers especial targets

Disambiguation
The first thing is to isolate known bad information. Then split that data set by source, those that knew the information to be false and those who believed it to be true.

The first group gives the clearest indication as to likely motives and agendas.

The second group can be examined to find out the source of the bad information and if any of it came from people in the first group.

https://edwardsnowden.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/the-art-of-deception-training-for-a-new.pdf

Postscript
In this area it is easy to disappear, Alice like, down the rabbit hole.
The internet requires us to evolve new strategies to manage the vast amount of information available.

At one end of the spectrum we have the philosophic, following Descartes, I can prove to myself that I exist, but I can't prove it to anyone else.
Mathematical proof is generally regarded as the most certain form of proof there is but then many of even Euclid's proofs of geometric theorems were subsequently found to be incorrect (Hilbert).

The scientific method formulates hypotheses that can be disproved. Those that are not disproved can be believed.
However it is more glamorous for a scientist to formulate rather than disprove so our body of knowledge is full of hypotheses that we believe but which will eventually be proved false.
Perhaps then you should ask what scientific ideas that have not been disproved do you believe are false.

Human nature also plays a role in information selection. Forums allow people to focus on groups with views similar to their own.
Additionally there is learning reinforcement. Take gambling addicts. It is said they are frequently those unlucky enough to win the first few times (a technique employed by some gaming sites).
In 2012 at an Open Minds conference, I heard an ex military physicist Professor Barrie Trower, speak on the dangers of microwave radiation (damage to fertility in schools, illegal use against activists).
Information that can make you fear for the future:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMewMGsiTk8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjEeILFw_VI