Entries tagged with “aliens”.

This man is Michael Cohen. Mr Cohen, it seems, has come by an amazing piece of video that ‘might be amongst the best proof we have that we are indeed being visited by aliens coming to us with a message of hope.’ The footage was taken in the Brazilian jungle by British tourists and ‘handed over to US secret agents’, the Brazilian government apparently having some kind of agreement with American spooks to obligingly do that kind of thing. It is unclear who then handed it on to Mr Cohen. We know for certain that the footage is Top Secret because it has a title card that says ‘Top Secret’ on it.

I mean, how much more persuasive could it be?

‘Stop stalling Reverend!’ I hear you cry. ‘Make with the video that shows us the alien Message of Hope! Well, you need to visit the site of that esteemed Australian news voice The Telegraph to see it, because I can’t embed it. Come back here when you’re done (if you don’t need a bit of a lie down first, that is).

Was that a Message of Hope or what?! Thank Xenu that we now know we are not alo… What’s that you say? You missed the alien? Seriously? Maybe you’d better watch it again. I’ve made you a little diagram so that you know where to look:

Was it better that time? Did you see the ‘mesmerising flashing light’ as well?

Mr Cohen proclaims that ‘This is highly compelling footage that will be hard to discredit’. Or it could be plain old pareidolia. I know that sounds far fetched, but hey. Should the footage turn out to be bona fide, however, what I want to know is what the little alien is actually doing here. He doesn’t seem to be delivering any Message of Hope to me. In fact, he seems… a little preoccupied.

Here’s a better resolution closeup. That’s the ‘mesmerising light’ over on the right – it’s gotta be his spaceship, right? So he’s parked it and has wandered a little way away behind a tree, and… well… it’s a bloody LONG WAY from Zeta Reticuli!

Acowlytes! Tell me I’m wrong!

Anomalous Radar Activity Around Melbourne

I just love it when event transpire such that I can bring you two of my favourite subjects in one Tetherd Cow Ahead post. Today’s is such a post and it’s brought to you by the Melbourne Age which is carrying an article that combines the stupidity of the newspaper business with the beliefs of a loony. It runs under the headline ‘Weather has conspiracy theorists strung out’

INEXPLICABLY odd images1 on Bureau of Meteorology radar. Cyclones off the Australian coast and the most intense storm to hit Melbourne in living memory. A controversial US military facility in Alaska suspected of research into weather control … It sounds like the plot of a sci-fi conspiracy thriller.

Yes, there’s no quibbling there – that’s exactly what that hodge-podge of unrelated factoids sounds like (although I’d be inclined to add the word ‘bad’ just before ‘sci-fi’). So the implication here is that it’s going to turn out to be The Truth, right, as opposed to the fiction of a ‘sci-fi conspiracy thriller’? Well, you’d be totally wrong if you were thinking that.

The story goes on to detail the following points:

•The Bureau of Meteorology radar has been recording ‘a number of very strange patterns – rings, loops, starbursts’ around Melbourne.

•There have been some big storms here.

•The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in Alaska has powerful transmitters and radars.

From this, the correspondent spins up a vacuous story that says in essence that websites ‘specializing in pseudoscience’ have ‘leapt on the notion’ that the three things above are connected and the ‘government’ is trying to control the weather.

Is anybody else feeling the need to stick their head in a bucket of ammonia?

To simplify: this is a story which is actually just a free plug for the nutty ideas of lunatics, while all the while pretending to ‘news’ by distancing itself from aforementioned lunatics. And, to put the icing on the cake, the story is embellished with an image of the recent SpaceX Falcon 9 launch, which has exactly NO relevance to anything at all.

As I’m reading this, I find myself thinking ‘Who the hell is responsible for this guff and how do they get to be working on a news desk?’ So I scroll up to the byline. It will probably come as no surprise to you at all to find that the literary genius behind this story is none other than reporter Stephen Cauchi, who has provided us with much mirth previously here on The Cow with his non-news style of journalism.

Which brings me to the second of my favourite Tetherd Cow subjects – insane people. Mr Cauchi’s main source for the above-mentioned conspiracy turns out to be someone who is very familiar to anyone who’s spent time around the pseudoscience traps – a fellow who goes by the name of Colin Andrews. Now, just to set you up, Mr Andrews has about ZERO credibility as any kind of authoritative source. In fact, if you were actually trying to find a less credible spokesperson (for anything except nutty ideas I guess) you’d have your work cut out for you.

Colin Andrews first came to prominence as an ‘expert’ on crop circles back in the 1980s, and contrary to all common sense, still believes that they are made by ‘aliens’. Since that time, he has advanced all manner of implausible conspiracies across numerous disciplines. In this case, Mr Andrews’ ‘government weather control’ paranoia centers on some ‘anomalous’ radar screen captures from earlier this year when the south coast of Australia suffered some unusually fierce storm activity. This is a couple of them:

Well, yeah, sure, these ones are from the Bureau of Meteorology radar in Broome in Western Australia, but close enough, right?

These are the ‘inexplicably’ odd radar images to which Mr Cauchi refers in his first paragraph. Rather than conclude (as might any rational person) that the radar images are simply quite explicable as imperfections in the way that a meteorological radar functions, Mr Andrews’ brain oscillates to the most wildly improbably alternative – that the images are some kind of government weather control experiment that has been cunningly contrived to appear like a radar imperfection.

Mr Andrews persists in this belief even when told as much from someone who works for the Bureau of Meteorology:

Re: The round radar prob in WA, it is a BOM Radar unit which has its lower rain level threshold setup too low, ie, too sensitive, which gives the noisy radar reading like that. Nothing to do with HAARP, which, as you know, is in Alaska. I see images like this a lot, as I work for the Bureau of Meteorology in QLD.

And you know what? You too can see images like this on Australian meteorological radars if you feel like clicking on every radar station that the BOM offers. If you think like Mr Andrews, you’re likely to find a LOT of government hanky panky. It’s a wonder the government has any time for actual governing.

After giving plenty of airing to Colin Andrews’ hair-brained ideas, the Age article goes on to seek opinions from authoritative skeptics, who quite reasonably call the idea ‘silly’. We could have started with that conclusion and made the whole story one sentence long, viz:

We asked a sensible person, Mr Tim Mendham (president of the Australian Skeptics), what he thought of noted loony Colin Andrews’ idea that the government is controlling the weather, and he said it was silly.

I guess that doesn’t make for ‘pizazz’ but the content is exactly the same as the story as it stands.

Anyhoo, after a lot of stupid waffle, the article rounds off with:

The Sunday Age tried to contact Mr Andrews, who is based in the US, but there was no reply. That could be because, according to his website, he was in Oregon for last weekend’s 11th annual UFO Festival.

Smirk smirk smirk. Well if that’s your attitude Mr ‘cynical’ Stephen Cauchi, why are you making this nitwit’s ideas out to have any credence at all?

It makes me feel quite nauseous to note that this was No. 1 on the ‘most read’ list of Top National Articles in The Age today.

Well done Melbourne Age! Another pin on the board for the Great De-Braining of the Human Race.2

UPDATE: At the time I wrote this yesterday, there were no comments on the article. Now there are 19. After reading them I actually feel like walking over to the train line near my house and throwing myself in front of the 10:15 to Flinders St Station. WHY WAS I BORN INTO A WORLD WITH THIS MUCH STUPID?!

The comments are now closed and the one I left was evidently deemed unsuitable for inclusion – evidently it made a little too much sense.

  1. Why, why, why do reporters continue to use this kind of language? The images are ENTIRELY explicable in any number of ways. They are ONLY inexplicable in the mind of Colin Andrews. Stephen Cauchi, you are an IDIOT. []
  2. Or, one optimistically hopes, another nail in the coffin of the old news media. []


Now, as I mentioned at the end of that last post, before I got distracted by the whole V debacle I had set out to jot down a few thoughts on something a little more serious. A related topic, to be sure, but seriouser. And much more deeper. You’ll understand the detour I think – just keep in the back of your mind that it might involve lizards and you should keep up.

In a recent issue of New Scientist magazine, Dr Susan Blackmore (a scientist we quite like because she dyes her hair rainbow colours) made some interesting speculations about what she calls the ‘third replicator’ of our species. I’m not going to go into detail about her article (you can read it here if you like) but to precis, her idea is that there have been two important shapers of human evolution on this planet – genes and memes – and that we may now be looking at the emergence of a third replicator which will change us beyond what we can ever anticipate and probably do so even before we are likely to be fully aware of it. This third replicator (for which she invites us to invent a name) is something, she speculates, that is arising already out of our rather recently acquired human interconnectedness. I like the notion and I even think she may well be onto something, but that’s by-the-by; let’s push on a bit.

Toward the end of her item she brings up the subject of the perennial modern human quest to find life elsewhere in the universe. It is a pursuit close to my heart – I, too, would love to know if there is life out there. Really, who wouldn’t? Like about a zillion other people, I was happy to jump on the SETI@Home bandwagon when that started up, and for a while there I was pretty damn eager to help find the next Wow! signal. But then I started to reflect… The idea of making actual contact with aliens has always freaked me out a bit. While it would be nice to know if those lizard people are out there I’m not so sure I like the idea that they may consequently know we’re out here. Just think about it for a second: any civilization with whom we might make contact must necessarily be at least as technologically advanced as we are, and, more likely, somewhat further advanced. Can a situation like this turn out to be to our advantage? Given the only example to which we can refer – the history of the civilization of own planet – I think we can make an almost unassailable rule-of-thumb. I will call it the Reverend’s Law of Beads & Mirrors:

• If, by fate or design, two previously separated cultures are drawn together, the one with the least sophisticated technology always ends up with the worst part of the bargain.

I don’t think I can think of a single exception to this Law in the entire span of human history (although I would be completely delighted to be pointed to any counter-examples).

Further, I propose that this Law is exponential – the greater the difference between the two technological entities, the worse the outcome for the less sophisticated one. Again, my examination of human transactions shows no contradiction to this addendum.

And so I ask: is it really such a good idea to buddy up with the lizard-folk? Won’t it just turn out badly for us? Call me xenophobic, but if an alien is offering his claw in friendship, I’m keeping my brain way out of reach of his telescoping mandibles.

“But Reverend,” I hear you exclaim, “If Professor Einstein was correct, even if the lizard people are super-intelligent, then the laws of physics won’t allow them to ever get here! So our hamsters are completely safe!”

Ah yes, but this is where we turn back to Dr Blackmore’s hypothesis, and the scary implication she has entirely missed (or perhaps glossed over, if she is, as I am beginning to suspect, a lizard person herself…)

After making a case for our human originated Replicator 3 (R3) somehow acquiring a gestalt ‘imprint’ of the sum of human experience that none of us individually may even fully comprehend, she says in her New Scientist article:

Perhaps intelligence and civilisation are not what we should be concentrating on […in our search to find extraterrestrial life…]. My analysis based on Universal Darwinism suggests that instead we should be looking for R3 planets

Hey! Whoa there Starbuck! Throttle back on the thrusters and pull up planet-side for a bit!

Can you see the full implication of what she’s proposing, Acowlytes? Not that we should be looking for life on other worlds, but that we should be looking for third level replicators on other worlds. Or, to fill in the step that she seemed to have… missed… (yeah, right, Ms Lizard Scientist): that we should be setting ourselves up so that our third replicators (you remember – they’re the ones over which we may not have any actual control) can get in touch with their third replicators. In other words – our souped-up way-brainier-than-a-hundred-Einsteins Hive Mind confabbing (behind our backs) with their souped-up way-brainier-than-a-million-reptilian-Einsteins Hive Mind…

The lizards are probably in parking orbit already.

Well, alrighty then! I’ve sure got a name for this R3 thingy: let’s call it a neme, after the word nemesis – something it will surely become. From the Greek nemein for ‘retribution’, personified as the goddess of divine punishment.

I’ve got a b-a-a-a-d feeling about this…


Oh, and while we’re on the subject – I see from the poll that we now have two lizard people among the Cownoscenti! Praise Mangar-kunjer-kunja! I pray that he sends you a plentiful supply of flies and hamsters!