; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, September 09, 2011

Just the Facts? Alien Search on Earth, Abductee in Maine and Manatee Concerns

The Search for Aliens...on Earth

If smart aliens exist, they may have visited Earth millions of years ago – and left signs of their technological prowess that should be cheap and easy for us to detect.

So says astrophysicist Paul Davies of Arizona State University in Tempe.

Traditionally, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has focused on listening for deliberate dispatches in radio signals. But in 50 years of searching, this costly approach has drawn a blank.

So Davies suggests scouring our own planet, even our cells, on the off-chance that aliens visited and did what amounts to scrawling "We were here" on the walls. "We can answer the question 'Are we alone?' without picking up messages," he says. "We may see indirect evidence of alien technology based on the footprint it leaves."

If aliens did come to our cosmic neighbourhood, it was probably hundreds of millions of years ago. Any "footprints" would have to last for eons to be detected by us. That means a manufactured slab of rock in the style of 2001: A Space Odyssey (pictured) would be a poor candidate: it would erode, or at least get buried before we came to notice it.

But detritus from industry, such as mining, might last. Former mines on the Earth, the moon or asteroids could show up in geological surveys, even if they have filled in or eroded since the aliens left, says Davies.

Junk DNA

Nuclear waste is another possibility. Davies suggests we search for plutonium-244. The element occurs naturally on Earth in trace amounts only and has a half-life of 80 million years. So substantial deposits would be a sign of alien nuclear technology.

This echoes a suggestion by Frank Drake of the SETI Institute in California that aliens might have used radioactive materials to mark the location of a message.

Aliens may even have left deliberate messages in our DNA, Davies says. Most DNA includes long sequences that seem to serve no biological function. Aliens may have embedded code in this "junk DNA" – a sequence of prime numbers as in the movie Contact, say – to signal their existence to us.

Funny code

Microbiologist Steve Benner of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville, Florida, reckons such a message would get deleted pretty quickly. "Paul is being a little too extravagant here," he says. "He overestimated the robustness of non-functional DNA."

Gary Ruvkun at Harvard Medical School, who heads the Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes project, agrees: "You'd need a funny code," he says, one that would still be decipherable even after it mutated.

In 1978, Japanese researchers searched the DNA of the bacteriophage Phi X174 for such signs and failed to find anything.

Plutonium phones

Davies's paper has garnered a spectrum of further responses. Drake thinks "being alert for artefacts of extraterrestrial origin, in space but particularly on Earth, is a good thing to do".

Seth ShostakMovie Camera, also at the SETI Institute, agrees, but emphasises that hunts on Earth can't be a substitute for searching beyond our planet. "After all," he says, "the Earth tends to obliterate evidence on its surface."

David Deutsch, a theoretical physicist at the University of Oxford, says searching on Earth is unlikely to be fruitful but is certainly worth doing: "This is something where we really should leave no stone unturned." He doubts that aliens used nuclear power to reach Earth – something more powerful like antimatter is more likely, he says – "but maybe they used plutonium for their mobile phones".

Free genomes

Biologist Norman Pace at the University of Colorado, Boulder, on the other hand, says the article is "mainly bullshit". "I do have faith that there is a lot of biology out in the universe, but I also believe in travel limitations implicit in the speed of light and the vastness of the universe."

Davies admits that his idea is "wild and fanciful", but adds that it has the benefit of being cheap. "It costs nothing to crawl through a database of genomes. This stuff is free on the internet," he says. "The chances are exceedingly small that anything will come out of it. Nevertheless, the pay-off is exceedingly big."

He wants more people to have a shot at doing SETI. "Instead of leaving it to a heroic band of radio astronomers, I want to say 'look, everyone can lend a hand'," he says. "We can make this whole field much larger, and involve everybody."

NOTE: they assume that these 'aliens' are no longer inhabiting Earth? Lon


Manatees' growing dependence on power plants for survival

"The past two winters have been very hard on manatees," according to Ron Mezich, a Biological Scientist at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Cold waters have killed at least 400 of these endangered mammals. Some, however, have found that power plants are a source of the warm water that they need to survive.

ManateesEngineers use water to cool off power plants, and that water is then re-circulated into ponds and streams, often at high temperatures. "Typically Florida's spring systems average around 72 degrees, but Manatees aren't fooled," Mezich told PRI's Here and Now. "When the power plant offers them 80 degree discharged water they oftentimes prefer that."

This relationship has been building for decades. Mezich says, "Over the years, the power plants have learned to deal with them." He adds, "in some cases, it's an attraction for the local community to see large numbers of manatees."

The manatees have learned to live with the power plants, too. Mezich says, "Power plants have probably helped manatees over the last 30-40 years by reducing losses to cold stress."

In the long term, though, that relationship could become a problem. "These power plants won't always be there," Mezich points out, "and sometimes they have mechanical difficulties and we lose them, and that is a very big concern."

"We're looking in the future for ways to wean the animals off these sites," Mezich told Here and Now. They're running microcosm experiments to see how best to move the animals away from the power plants and allow them to live on their own. - pri-org

NOTE: though I live in Maryland, I have a deep affection for the manatee. My wife and I had an incidental close encounter with one of these wonderful creatures while boating on the Banana River near Port Canaveral, FL a few years back. An amazing experience...Lon


"I'm Gumby, dammit...give me your money!"

The bizarre robbery attempt happened just after midnight on Labor Day, when a man dressed as TV character "Gumby" entered the store on Carmel Mountain Road with another man and approached the clerk behind the counter. Initially, the man in the Gumby costume asked for a pack of cigarettes but then told the clerk, "This is a robbery." The clerk thought it was a joke and told the man dressed as Gumby, "Come on man, don’t waste my time. I have things to do."

After the clerk dismissed Gumby, Gumby said he had a gun and fumbled around in his costume, appearing to search for it. A gun never materialized, but Gumby did drop 27 cents on the floor as a result of all the movement before leaving the store with an unidentified accomplice. The entire incident was caught on the store's surveillance cameras.

"Yeah, it's hilarious to look at it on the video," said San Diego police Detective Gary Hassen. "But, it is a very serious crime and we take it very seriously." Hassen kept a straight face while explaining that wearing a Gumby costume is no different than any other disguise worn by potential robbers. "It could have been a ski mask. It could have been a bandana. It could have been a hoodie. It just happens to be a Gumby costume," said Hassen.

Because the robbery attempt was so bizarre, the clerk did not call police. Later on Monday morning, the clerk's boss saw the surveillance video and called police. The clerk said he had never even heard of Gumby until he was almost robbed by a man dressed as him. He told his boss the costume looked something like a green version of the TV cartoon character "SpongeBob SquarePants." A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the man in the Gumby costume and his accomplice.

Click for video - Gumby Attempts To Rob 7-11 In San Diego

BTW...Darth Vader robs a gas station...flees on bike


Alien Abductee - Maine

Hello friend I am an abductee here is one of my abductions. It must have been about a year ago but I went to the city to visit my brother. Around 2 am I left his house and walked to a longtime friend who also lived in the city. It is only about 10 min walk. When walking the next thing I can remember was having my eyes closed and hearing this calm, relaxing, soothing almost hypnotizing in a females voice saying. Kevin.. Kevin...its ok Kevin where here to help, it's ok, where no going to harm you, its okay. Were going to make you feel better. Then my eyes opened up and at first there was a blinding light but then it went away and I could see the room and in the room were 2 Grey aliens very tall. I remember that in the room there was 2 different colors in the room. On the top of the wall and at the bottom there was almost like a trim around the room. The top color was purple and the bottom color was blue, it was a thin line of theses colors trimming the room as light, light was coming from them. I asked the alien if they aren't going to harm me then what are they going to do to me. They replied back ''we are going to help you and fix you¨. Now my mouth wasn't moving when talking to them. When I would get scared then I could tell I was using my mouth. The next thing I remember was each Grey on each side of me they then put me up against a cold metal thing and it was moving with each of them on my sides. They brought me to a hall to the left of the white room, the hall was dark cloudy or misty like fog. The hall ways must have been around 40 ft long. Before I got to the next room I could see to the right a huddled circle formation of at least 7 to 8 Greys in a huddled formation. They were tall. There was and exit to another room next to them with a hall way same as the white room. To the left in the room was a smaller group about 5. The room itself was dark round there was a fog or a mist in the room but at time it seemed to go away, also a dim light because I could see across the room. The walls of the room were indented almost like a V shape indent in the wall. The walls were not flat. When entering the room I could smell a chemical like smell something like Bleach or Peroxide or Ammonia. They brought me into center of the room. I remember one of them was so tall he had to like bend a little to look me in the eyes. What's weird at this point was I wasn't really scared and it seemed hard for me to see their face at times. I was still standing up against that thing they put me against in the white room. Then, one of them put a hand on my nose and another one put this small black tube up my nose. The alien Greys had long fingers very tall had a little mouth that moved up and down motion like a fish mouth but nothing was coming out. I remember screaming after they did that. All the time I could hear the voice saying it's going to be ok, we are here to help in a soft calm voice as if they was trying to relax me, but I was scared. The next thing I remember was the thing I was standing up against slammed down making this loud noise it slammed down like a table, so I was now lying down. They then brought me towards the left side of the room so it seemed. I began to get hostile and remember cocking my left leg back and kicking the alien to my lower left, he went against wall and fell down. I clearly remember doing it and watching the Grey fly against the wall and sliding down the other Greys quickly backed off. From then on the next thing I remember was on the side of the road again. Right after I realized what had happened still dazed and confused. There was this cop who drove real slow right next to me and I asked him where a street was and he looked at me, he didn't say a word just pointed and stared with this nasty look. I had lost 3 or 4 hours of time it was nearly 6 in morning when I got to my friend's house. I remember the smells in the craft; they were like bleach, ammonia, or peroxide smell, the greys were at least 7 ft. or 8ft tall, long fingers, slips for mouths and smaller black eyes.I was talking to them telepathic. I use to have a crooked nose but since the alien stuck that small black tube up my nose it's straight again. I remember the colors of inside the craft white, purple and blue. I remember some of there tech, such as a thin 7inch black tube. The thing I was standing against moves on its own and is capable at fast speed slamming down like a table or bed. There are other accounts but this one stick outs in my head the most. Please I need help in this matter ever since it has happened. It has consumed my thinking completely and is all I can think about. It took me almost a year to go outside at night. I was so petrified. Every night before I go to bed I have to stare up in the sky. I am desperately looking for help and do not know where to look. I am branching out to you in hopes you may be able to point me in right way in helping me on this matter. I thank you very much for reading my email. - MUFON CMS

ALSO....In Utah: Large yellow disk came from space coming into my backyard and hovered then landed. It picked me up with a purple laser beam and took me into their ship. There was no military near by just other space ships. They were about six foot tall and tan colored, they examined me as a doctor would a physical but could speak english and were very kind to me they showed me where they lived. They told me they would be back soon but not a certain day. They walked me back to my house and hovered then flew away - MUFON CMS