Paul Hellyer was Canada's Minister of Defense in the mid-1960s. He is now a critic of the United States' willingness to trigger an interstellar war with aliens—aliens who might give us more advanced technology if only we were less belligerent.
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First, neither the authors of the paper, nor the journal its published in, have the best track record for careful work, well-documented research, or non-hyperbolic results. More important, the actual paper, itself, makes claims it can't back up
. Case in point, says Phil Plait, the alien in question is a particle the authors assume is part of a diatom — a single-celled plant. The paper actually says "assume", and, from the sounds of things, they haven't even checked out that basic, important idea with a diatom expert. — Maggie
Astronomers in the UK are planning to explore the skies for signs of alien life
, using a network of telescopes that can detect signals from other planets. The plans would make Britain the world's second-largest center for alien-hunting in the world, after America. [The Guardian] — Xeni
An unconfirmed report of a UFO over New Mexico is the most popular item in the FBI's online reading room, the agency reports. Russell Contreras with the AP:
Vaguely written, the memo describes a story told by an unnamed third party who claims an Air Force investigator reported that three flying saucers were recovered in New Mexico, though the memo doesn't say exactly where in the state. The FBI indexed the report for its files but did not investigate further; the name of an "infomant" reporting some of the information is blacked out in the memo.
What would happen if scientists suddenly stumbled upon a message from outer space? There's not actually a formal plan. No international body has ever decided whether we reply or not, and, if so, how we do it and what we say. But in 1967, we did get a dry run at a close encounter and, in the process, worked out a system of how confirm and report an alien communication that's still used today. Technology review has the story. — Maggie
Dmitri Medvedev added that more details could be found in Barry Sonnenfeld's "Men in Black" films. This is an example of what the AP describes as "a sense of humor slightly more subtle than [President Vladimir] Putin's
. — Rob
Ooooh. Wired Danger Room has some neat, recently declassified schematics of a "flying saucer" that the Air Force wanted to build
(but didn't) in the 1960s. Also included: Video showing why the proposal probably never made it to reality (Warning: Video contains a bad techno soundtrack!)
. — Maggie
Thanks, Kate Davis!
When the aliens land, I imagine that the sounds of Cyclobe will ring out from the crop circles. Cyclobe is the electronic music duo of the hypertalented couple Ossian Brown and Stephen Thrower. Both were members of Coil, and Thrower is the author of several books on horror and psychotronic films. Cyclobe has a new album just out, titled "Wounded Galaxies Tap at The Window" and it's an exquisite hallucinatory cycle of soundcscapes best enjoyed with headphones on, mind open, and eyes closed. Or in the case of the video above, in a dark room on a big display. This is the duo's first proper release since 2001's gorgeous album The Visitors and 2004's "Paraparaparallelogrammatica," a 40-minute "remix" of a Nurse With Wound track. With cover art by Fred Tomaselli, Wounded Galaxies is now available on CD, limited white or black vinyl (yay!), or digital download from iTunes. Also, keep your wits about you at Halloween for a Boing Boing special feature showcasing Brown's spooky found-photo collection and new book, Haunted Air.
Cyclobe (Thanks, Mark Pilkington!)