Helen Sharman was the first British astronaut and in 1991 became the first woman to visit the Soviet Mir space station. In an interview published in The Guardian yesterday, she made a comment about extraterrestrials, the latter part of which is an eyebrow raiser:
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"Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it. There are so many billions of stars out there in the universe that there must be all sorts of different forms of life. Will they be like you and me, made up of carbon and nitrogen? Maybe not. It’s possible they’re here right now and we simply can’t see them."
One way to determine whether distant worlds may be home to extraterrestrials is to seek out the presence of biosignatures, molecules that indicate the existence of past or present life, in the exoplanet's atmosphere. (The chemical composition of the atmosphere affects its color spectra, observable with telescopes.) According to new MIT research, one biosignature may be a stinky, poisonous gas found in swamps, bogs, and even some animals' bowels. From MIT:
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MIT researchers have found that phosphine is produced by... anaerobic organisms, such as bacteria and microbes, that don’t require oxygen to thrive. The team found that phosphine cannot be produced in any other way except by these extreme, oxygen-averse organisms, making phosphine a pure biosignature — a sign of life (at least of a certain kind).
In a paper recently published in the journal Astrobiology, the researchers report that if phosphine were produced in quantities similar to methane on Earth, the gas would generate a signature pattern of light in a planet’s atmosphere. This pattern would be clear enough to detect from as far as 16 light years away by a telescope such as the planned James Webb Space Telescope. If phosphine is detected from a rocky planet, it would be an unmistakable sign of extraterrestrial life.
“Here on Earth, oxygen is a really impressive sign of life,” says lead author Clara Sousa-Silva, a research scientist in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “But other things besides life make oxygen too. It’s important to consider stranger molecules that might not be made as often, but if you do find them on another planet, there’s only one explanation.”
The Alien Cathouse near Las Vegas is the "final frontier of sexual adventure," a popular refuge for anyone seeking a little action in their own Area 51. From their website:
On an interstellar mission to bring erotic pleasure to the entire universe, the Cosmic Kittens from the planet Venus 69 set out on a fantastic voyage across deep space — but a freak mishap caused their starship to crash land on planet Earth just outside Nevada’s mysterious Area 51 Air Force facility. Now, stranded on a strange planet populated by so many repressed men and women fraught with a galaxy’s worth of lust, the Cosmic Kittens have vowed to use their extraterrestrial sexual prowess to help horny Earthlings satisfy their insatiable carnal desires.
In addition to escorts, fetish services, and plush alien dolls already offered at the Cathouse, they'll soon be offering a cutting-edge teledildonics program. According to the Daily Mail, the Cathouse is investing heavily in KIIROO's remote sex robot technology, so that customers can enjoy their services even in a galaxy far, far away. "Visitors" to the remote alien brothel would need to provide their own Interactive Vibrating Masturbator for Men or OhMiBod toy and presumably a stable wifi connection in order to get the full haptic experience.
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The Cathouse’s Rod Thompson told Daily Star Online why they have added a robot to their line-up: "For clients that have certain … fetishes that courtesans might not be interested in, the robot could fulfill those."
Asked how the Cathouse’s flesh-and-blood denizens felt about working alongside an AI rival, Rod said they were all for it: "The Courtesans are actually excited about the additional revenue stream to Alien Cathouse, and themselves … as well as the additional opportunities that might present themselves for interested parties wanting to party with a real flesh and blood courtesan and with an AI sex robot at the same time."
In a rural Nevada desert town, people who get all jazzed up about UFOs on the internet have begun to arrive for a UFO-themed meetup that locals would rather not be hosting. Read the rest
US Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders went on some podcast to say that if, once he becomes President of these United States, he learns about aliens his wife will force him to tell us all he knows.
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Rogan: “If you got into the office and you found out something about aliens, if you found out something about UFOs, would you let us know?”
Sanders: “Well I tell you, my wife would demand I let you know.”
Rogan: “Is your wife a UFO nut?”
Sanders: “No, she’s not a UFO nut. She goes, Bernie, ‘What is going on do you know? Do you have any access?’"
Rogan: “You don’t have any access? You’ll let us know though?”
Sanders: “Alright, we’ll announce it on the show. How’s that?”
The classic approach to the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is to scan the skies for radio transmissions from intelligent civilizations. While we definitely won't hear anything if we don't listen, SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak urges us to also keep our eyes (and sensors) peeled for another kind of alien technosignature: alien megastructures, "massive engineering works that an advanced society has constructed somewhere in space." We haven't found one yet but the possibility made headlines several years ago when a team of astronomers led by Tabetha Boyajian described a star that periodically dims in a very odd way. Shostak writes:
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One explanation was that the star was surrounded by a Dyson sphere. The idea, proposed years ago by physicist Freeman Dyson, is that really advanced aliens would construct a gargantuan, spherical swarm of solar panels in orbit beyond their own planet — sort of the way you might cup your hands around a candle to collect the heat. The swarm would gather enough starlight to energize the aliens’ souped-up lifestyles, and could sometimes get in the way of light from the star, causing it to intermittently dim as seen from afar.
That explanation for Tabby’s star seems less likely today. Astronomical measurements show that it gets redder when it dims, suggesting that it’s surrounded by naturally produced dust, not a gargantuan group of light collectors.
But it’s reasonable to believe that Dyson spheres exist somewhere. In the past, astronomers looked for clues to such massive engineering projects by trawling star catalogs for systems that show an excess of infrared light — produced by the warm backside of the panels.
One distant galaxy, one "very unusual repeating signal." But it's never aliens.
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...a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source about 1.5 billion light years away. Such an event has only been reported once before, by a different telescope. ... The CHIME observatory, located in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, consists of four 100-metre-long, semi-cylindrical antennas, which scan the entire northern sky each day.
Any director would be hard pressed to top the magic of the original Men in Black movie. Surpassing its two sequels? That's very doable. If this first trailer for Men in Black: International is any indication, Director F. Gary Gray is off to a great start. Staring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, the film is due for release in June, 2019. Read the rest
Video evidence of owl-like extraterrestrials found in an attic:
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CALLING ALL EARTHLINGS, the new documentary from filmmaker Jonathan Berman ('Commune,' 'The Schvitz') has it all: UFOs, a mystical dome in the Joshua Tree desert, psychic experiences, time travel, Howard Hughes, Nikolai Tesla, communists, eternal life, murder-- oh yeah, and Nazis. Read the rest
From the early days of the Russian Revolution through the space race and Cold War, a small but dedicated collection of communist UFOlogists believed in and sought out signs of extraterrestrial life, believing that discovery aligned with their goals of raising up the worker. Read the rest
Evidence of the octopus evolution show it would have happened too quickly to have begun here on Earth. Published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology Journal, 33 scientists have declared the invertebrate sea-dweller an alien whose eggs landed from space.
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But the scientists go on to make an even more extraordinary claim concerning octopuses, which seem to have evolved on Earth quite rapidly something like 270 million years ago, 250 million years after the Cambrian explosion.
The paper states: “The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes more than is present in Homo sapiens.
“Its large brain and sophisticated nervous system, camera-like eyes, flexible bodies, instantaneous camouflage via the ability to switch colour and shape are just a few of the striking features that appear suddenly on the evolutionary scene.
“The transformative genes leading from the consensus ancestral Nautilus to the common Cuttlefish to Squid to the common are not easily to be found in any pre-existing life form – it is plausible then to suggest they seem to be borrowed from a far distant “future” in terms of terrestrial evolution, or more realistically from the cosmos at large.
“One plausible explanation, in our view, is that the new genes are likely new extraterrestrial imports to Earth - most plausibly as an already coherent group of functioning genes within (say) cryopreserved and matrix protected fertilized Octopus eggs.
“Thus the possibility that cryopreserved Squid and/or Octopus eggs, arrived in icy bolides several hundred million years ago should not be discounted as that would be a parsimonious cosmic explanation for the Octopus' sudden emergence on Earth circa 270 million years ago.”
Does extraterrestrial life exist? It's a question that, for the past 25 years, Congress didn't care to try and answer.
In 1993, just as SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) was getting its shit together with a massive program that would see observatories around the world equipped to search the universe for signals that may have been produced by intelligent alien life, Congress pulled the plug on funding them, preferring to throw money at NASA instead. In the U.S. Capital, SETI became a four-letter s-word that didn't end in 'hit.' While all of this is literally in the past, it's now also figuratively in the past as well.
The U.S. House of Representatives has proposed a bill that includes $10 million in NASA funding for the next two years "to search for technosignatures, such as radio transmissions, in order to meet the NASA objective to search for life's origin, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe." Such technosignatures would come in the form of radio waves that have the telltale features of being produced by TV or radio-type technologies. An intelligent civilization could also produce those signals intentionally to communicate with other civilizations like ours.
Having SETI funded by the U.S. Government, again, would represent one helluva boost in resources for scientists who, for the past two decades and change, have had to rely on funding from private interests like universities to continue their search for intelligent life beyond earth. However, as with all things the government sticks its snout into, there's a catch. Read the rest
Growing up near Dayton, Ohio, I was always intrigued by rumors that extraterrestrials were stored on ice at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Turns out, the closest thing may be these surreal murals painted by German prisoners-of-war held in the base's dining hall during World War II. What inspired them? From Dayton Daily News:
The existing mural in Building 280, built in the 1943, was restored in the 1980s, he said. Dayton Art Institute experts have cleaned the painting as part of the preservation.
“A lot of people have conjecture on what this means,” (Wright-Patterson cultural resources manager Paul) Woodruff said. “Some people think this is where the alien conspiracy theories began with the little green men at Wright-Patt. That’s one story that likes to be told.”
Another theory: Green goblin-like characters out of German folklore. And there’s another for the wall of flame.
“One of the conjectures is possibly it’s German culture up in flames – a statement of how they felt what was going on in the world at that point,” he said.
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Remember the 1995 TV program Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction that we all wanted to believe was real? Of course, the ET autopsy turned out to be a hoax, or rather, according to producer Ray Santilli, a "reconstruction" of film shot in 1947 that he had seen. Now, one of the hoaxers, Spyros Melaris, has staged a one-man show in London's East End to tell the real (?) story behind the story of the autopsy that you can watch below. From Paul Seaburn's article at Mysterious Universe:
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(Melaris) claims he was the director of the film and the one responsible for creating the fake aliens and other special effects. Melaris says he met Ray Santilli, the producer and name most associated with the autopsy film, in 1995 at a music event in Cannes. Santilli later confided that he had the actual footage of an alien autopsy and wanted Melaris to make a documentary about it.
However, when Santilli showed him a copy of the alleged ‘real’ film, Melaris determined it was a fake shot on video. He says he instead agreed to make a fake version of the autopsy on film, release it as the real thing and them make another documentary on how they pulled off the fake. He hired John Humphreys, a special effects expert who has worked on Dr. Who, to make the alien’s body using his 10-year-old son as a model. Melaris bought 1940s surgical outfits, used cow, sheep, pig and lamb organs (the local butcher must have loved them) for the alien’s internal parts and spliced in footage from a 1947 newsreel.
FRB 121102, a fast radio burst signal first picked up in 2012, was just observed emitting many new bursts of energy. Scientists from SETI and Breakthrough Listen were both very excited by the new findings. Read the rest