Saturday, December 20, 2014

Project Core, the UFO Community and Professional Research

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Jack Brewer By Jack Brewer
The UFO Trail

      Reports from Project Core were recently published at The project was a professionally conducted research endeavor in which written testimonies of paranormal experiences from over 200 individuals were obtained via surveys and considered at length. Questions were posed to respondents in which trends in responses could be analyzed. Several avenues for potentially productive future research were subsequently identified.

Project Core team members included self-described experiencers of paranormal phenomena Jeff Ritzmann and Jeremy Vaeni. Working on the project were also Dr. Tyler A. Kokjohn, Dr. D. Ellen K. Tarr and Dr. Kimbal E. Cooper.

I have read all material posted on the Project Core website. After having revisited the reports and commentaries a few times, and feeling that I have reasonably processed the data and observations contained therein, I feel there are some important points.

Science pioneer Aristotle
Among the more relevant observations, in my opinion, is that such a project is most certainly possible within the UFO and paranormal communities. Not only does Project Core contradict popularly held assumptions that science is unable to systematically and competently address reported paranormal phenomena, but it also demonstrates that self-described experiencers and professional researchers can collaborate on such ventures.

That leads us to another important point I considered as a byproduct of reviewing Project Core: Extreme opposite camps within ufology, which I will for the time being label "unquestioning believers" and "stubborn debunkers", share responsibilities for collective tire-spinning. Futility rests on the shoulders of both demographics, not just one or the other.

Unquestioning Believers

Obviously, unquestioning belief is unattractive to critical thinkers. It is easy to see how claims of vacuum cleaner nozzles on the surface of Mars might lower public interest in the UFO genre, at least among those some of us might prefer be drawn to it.

David Jacobs
Retired historian David Jacobs
In addition to those who consistently try to direct our attention to interpretations of photos at craptastic dot com, the unquestioning believer side of the scale also includes individuals and organizations which manipulate and shape those poorly conceived beliefs. That would include alien-hunting hypnotists that sell their clients' data without consent, historians that recommend chastity belts to their research subjects, and the organizations that provide them venues to promote their unsupported claims while prospecting for more people to exploit.

There is even much more to it than that, though. Among the additional harmful social dynamics is a cultism that quickly embraces newcomers seeking credible information. In return for courageous open-mindedness, newcomers are often bombarded with assurances that everyone abducted by aliens had difficulty accepting it at first. The pseudo recovery might include suggestions to attend meetings purported to provide emotional support which, in actuality, serve to spread such beliefs inherent to the genre as big news about an alien presence will be released any day by the White House. One might also get indoctrinated with a lot of material that will assure future hypnosis sessions would go as hoped.

If one is fortunate enough to get out of a recon mission into the UFO community without landing in front of a rogue hypnotist and author masquerading as a therapist, they can cut their losses and return to a life where they keep relatively quiet about those 'something weird happened one time' stories. If not that fortunate, well, then they have a whole lot more emotional baggage to carry and healing to do than they started with – and that's if they're wise and brave enough to consider that many of those "helpful" UFO people have no idea whatsoever what the hell they're talking about.

So the unquestioning believer demographic has many detrimental aspects. One of the most damaging is that its members are prone to interpreting the experiences of others and thinking themselves qualified to explain them in outrageously assumptive detail. The bottom line is that people of higher intelligence and emotional availability don't want other people trying to tell them what happened to them who have no idea and don't even know they don't.

Stubborn Debunkers

The stubborn debunkers conduct a different, but nonetheless detrimental, brand of bait and switch. They often try to lead newcomers to believe they promote skepticism and rationality when, in actuality, they can be among the most opinionated, dogmatic demographics one might ever encounter. Healthy skepticism is a very good thing - I would confidently say entirely necessary - but it is nowhere to be found among stubborn debunkers and despite their claims to the contrary.

They make fun of people who hold ideas and beliefs different than their own, employ sarcasm as a preferred mode of expressing themselves, and, by and large, do not even conduct research – they just criticize and make light of others who do, unless it happens to support their preferred perspective. They virtually never address a topic of which they are unwilling to offer speculative conclusions, and they fail miserably at asking the right, productive questions.

James Randi
Self-described skeptic James Randi
In his 1992 paper, 'CSICOP and the Skeptics: An Overview', writer/researcher George P. Hansen observed that facets of the organized skeptical movement opted to employ an extended public relations campaign rather than conduct research. "These activities display more parallels with political campaigns than with scientific endeavors," Hansen wrote. His paper frequently came to mind while reading Project Core and considering how the project embodied what professional research conducted by competent and qualified individuals actually looks like and is capable of producing.

Stubborn debunkers typically attempt to minimize reported experiences of high strangeness or conspiratorial implications by employing any number of explanations that might indeed be applicable in some circumstances, but do not necessarily apply to a case at hand. While the burden of proof indeed falls upon one asserting a claim, the fact of the matter is that a more discerning group of experiencers and researchers do not assert claims, but simply question. The bottom line - again - is that people of higher intelligence and emotional availability don't want other people trying to tell them what happened to them who have no idea and don't even know they don't. Same as with the unquestioning believers. Whether one's field of interest includes psychic phenomena, entities, the intelligence community or most anything else, they should prefer to allow facts lead them to conclusions, not lobbying techniques.

Professional Research

So to tie this together, the UFO community consists of demographics with virtually polar opposite beliefs but each detrimentally effecting the paranormal genre in similar manners: They try to lead others to believe they are able to explain things to them of which they actually have little idea, are frequently unfamiliar with relevant material and are often not even qualified to venture an intelligent guess. People therefore become very reluctant to share their ideas and experiences for various different reasons, not just the well known fear of ridicule invoked by stubborn debunkers, but also because they don't want unquestioning believers saddling their reputations with wild and disturbing rumors based upon little more than questionable interpretations of reality.

And that is what's different about Project Core. I could tell you a lot of things it's not, but here's what it is: An objective and professional assessment of experiences reported by over 200 individuals, as well as assessments of answers provided to a series of specific questions. The only stipulations for reporting experiences were to provide sincere accounts, no matter how bizarre the perceived events, and to not submit any information obtained via hypnosis.

Researchers demonstrated a full awareness that surveys obtained did not necessarily contain accurate information, but might at times be more representative of what respondents interpreted, such as in the cases of reported physiological circumstances and perceived experiences. Data was professionally organized and presented, with much careful consideration given to patterns and correlations that seemed to emerge.

About a third of those surveyed indicated multiple witnesses were present during the events. Taking into consideration that many respondents reported multiple experiences, researchers suggested that future events might be accurately anticipated. A number of additional avenues for future research were also identified, including the implementation of cost effective technological advances.

It was also apparent that researchers of alleged alien abduction have largely failed to explore the cases of witnesses who have unaided conscious recall of events. Pursuing such witnesses, while ceasing to rely upon regressive hypnosis as an investigative tool, was strongly suggested.

Yet another emerging point was that respondents largely felt their experiences have not been portrayed accurately in media. Researchers considered that assertion might be due to the more bizarre aspects of the reports being frequently omitted by those portraying the experiences to the public. Readers were additionally free to surmise that ill advised use of regressive hypnosis, and leading of witnesses by biased hypnotists and investigators, likely play major roles in such inaccurate media portrayal. While reading Project Core reports, it seemed entirely possible to me that the common abduction narrative is, in reality, a rather small percentage of reported experiences, if not largely inaccurate and unreported. At the least, it appeared reasonable to question if the stereotypical alien abduction narrative is a very poor representation of what people perceive themselves to be experiencing.

I recommend reading the material posted at Project Core. There are several intriguing points and interesting insights.

But mostly I recommend it because it serves as a model of what professional research of reported paranormal experiences looks like. Pro research is pro research. Everything else is not.

Alleged Classified ‘Phoenix Lights’ UFO Video—EXPOSED!

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Fake Phoenix Lights Video - Busted
Credit: David Collins / KWBV 6

By Open Minds Production

See Also:

'FAKE' Phoenix Lights UFO Video Making The Rounds in The UK

'Classified' UFO Video Released By Fake News Channel

Mystery Journalist Tweets Classified Phoenix Lights UFO Images? | VIDEO

Newly Released Footage of Phoenix Lights UFO Events? | VIDEO

Eye Witness Mike Fortson's Original Report of The 'Phoenix Lights'

THE PHOENIX LIGHTS, THE REAL INVESTIGATION | 17th Anniversary of The Phoenix Lights

Seasoned Airline Pilot Recounts Huge UFO in Arizona Skies | 16th ANNIVERSARY / THE PHOENIX LIGHT


UFO Photographed Over Capua in Caserta, Italy

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UFO Photographed Over Capua in Caserta, Italy 12-15-14


     CAPUA (Caserta) - A UFO in the skies of Capua, a town in the province of Caserta? The unidentified object was reported by some people who spotted it late on Monday, December 15th.

It was a bright light in a cylindrical shape in the sky, a strange phenomenon judged by the group of people who after seeing it in the heavens decided to photograph it.

It is a very strong light, visible from almost any point of Capua.

The photo above was posted on various local sites and was taken from the hills of Tifata in the hamlet of Sant'Angelo in Formis . . ..

NASA’s Orion Arrives Back at Kennedy | VIDEO

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NASA’s Orion Arrives Back at Kennedy


     After traveling more than 3,600 miles above Earth and 600 miles over sea, NASA’s Orion spacecraft completed the final leg of its journey by land Thursday, arriving home at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Media representatives are invited to attend an event at 10:30 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 19, marking the arrival.

U.S. media must apply for credentials to attend Friday’s event at Kennedy by 8 a.m. Friday. All media must present two forms of legal, government identification to access Kennedy. One form must be a photo ID, such as a passport or driver's license. Media not previously credentialed for SpaceX CRS-5 will be issued badges at the Kennedy Badging Office, located on State Road 405 east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Journalists must arrive at Kennedy's Press Site by 9:45 a.m. Friday for transportation to the event.

Media accreditation requests must be submitted online at:

The deadline for international media to attend in person already has passed.

The spacecraft’s cross-country return, a 2,700 mile road trip from Naval Base San Diego to Kennedy, sets the stage for in-depth analysis of data obtained during Orion’s trip to space and will provide engineers detailed information on how the spacecraft fared during its two-orbit, 4.5-hour flight test, completed on Dec. 5.

“Orion’s flight test was a critical step on our journey to send astronauts to explore deep space destinations,” said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We stressed Orion to help us evaluate its performance and validate our computer models and ground-based evaluations, and the information we gathered will help us improve Orion’s design going forward.”

Data was gathered in real time during the flight test, and more was removed from the vehicle when it arrived on land in San Diego before it was crated for the drive to Florida.

“The flight itself was such a great success, but that’s only the beginning of the story,” said Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer. “Now we get to dig in and really find out if our design performed like we thought it would. This is why we flew the flight. We demonstrated on Dec. 5 that Orion is a very capable vehicle. Now we’re going to keep testing and improving as we begin building the next Orion.”

An initial inspection of the crew module turned up nothing unexpected. There were indications of some micrometeoroid orbital debris strikes on the sides of Orion, which was anticipated.

With the spacecraft back at Kennedy, where it was assembled and prepared for launch, engineers will be able to remove the back shell of the spacecraft and perform inspections of its cabling, fluid lines, propulsion system and avionics boxes. Heat shield samples already have been removed and sent to a laboratory where their thickness, strength and charring will be examined.

The information will be used to make improvements to Orion’s design before its next flight, Exploration Mission-1, when it will launch uncrewed on top of NASA’s new Space Launch System for the first time into a large orbit around the moon.

While the information is being gathered from the flight test, testing also will continue on Earth. On Dec. 18, engineers dropped a test version of the Orion capsule from a C-17 aircraft 25,000 feet above U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The latest in a series of tests designed to certify Orion’s parachute system, the test simulated a failure of one of Orion’s three main parachutes for a first-time demonstration of several modifications made to the parachute system to improve its performance.

Panels for the pressure vessel that will form the inner structure for the next Orion crew module are in production and set to be welded together at the end of summer 2015. Meanwhile, the European Space Agency is building the test article of the Orion service module they will be supplying for Exploration Mission-1, and assembly of the launch abort system for that flight will begin in April.

NASA’s Ground Systems Development and Operations Program managed Orion’s cross-country trip from Naval Base San Diego to Kennedy. The crew module will be refurbished for use in Ascent Abort-2 in 2018, a test of Orion’s launch abort system. . . .

Friday, December 19, 2014

1st Alien Planet of New Mission, Found By NASA's Kepler Spacecraft

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1st Alien Planet Found By NASA's Kepler Spacecraft on New Mission

By Mike Wall

      NASA's Kepler space telescope is discovering alien planets again.

The prolific spacecraft has spotted its first new alien planet since being hobbled by a malfunction in May 2013, researchers announced today (Dec. 18). The newly discovered world, called HIP 116454b, is a "super Earth" about 2.5 times larger than our home planet. It lies 180 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Pisces — close enough to be studied by other instruments, scientists said.

"Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kepler has been reborn and is continuing to make discoveries," study lead author Andrew Vanderburg, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), said in a statement. "Even better, the planet it found is ripe for follow-up studies."

Two Sphere UFOs Reported Over Colorado Springs

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Two Sphere UFOs Reported Over Colorado Springs 12-1-14

By Roger Marsh

     A Colorado witness at Colorado Springs reported watching two sphere-shaped UFOs move toward each other, circle each other, and then move away from each other in opposite directions, according to testimony in Case 62026 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

The witness was outside walking on December 1, 2014, when the object was first seen.

“Living in the Colorado mountains you often see shooting stars and satellites, so I looked up to catch it,” the witness stated. “What I saw stunned me. There were two objects moving towards each other in a very controlled fashion.”

The witness described the movement of the two objects.

“Once they became close, they began to circle one another a few times. After this they quickly dashed away in opposite directions.”

The witness has a background in aviation.

“I have served time in the U.S. Air Force and have seen many craft in the air. Also, I have witnessed shooting stars, satellites, Chinese lanterns and other events in the sky living in Colorado and this event was like nothing I had ever experienced in my life.” . . .

UFOs and Nuclear Weapons; The Documentary | VIDEO – Interview with Robert Hastings By Jaime Maussan

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UFOs and Nuclear Weapons; The Documentary |  Interview with Robert Hastings By Jaime Maussan

By Jaime Maussan

     Robert Hastings is one of the most recognized researchers regarding the UFO phenomenon and has been investigating cases of UFO encounters at nuclear weapons facilities in the United States [and elsewhere], where there are missiles with nuclear warheads; he has interviewed a multitude of military personnel who have detailed what happened to them there. . . .

Thursday, December 18, 2014

France and Chile Embark Upon a Joint Exploration of UFOs

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October 28, 2014: from left to right: Paul Kuentzmann, Colonel Jorquera (attache and air defense, Embassy of Chile), Pierre Bescond, General Bermudez (Director of CEFAA), Luke Dini, Alain Boudier, François Praise

Formally into terra incognita

By Billy Cox
De Void

     Bon chance and buena suerte to researchers in France and Chile as they embark upon a joint exploration of The Great Taboo. After agreeing to collaborate in 2013, Chile’s government-sponsored Committee for the Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA) and a French NGO, the SIGMA2 Technical Commission, announced their “first working meeting” in Paris on Oct. 28-29. The following day, CEFAA chief Ricardo Bermudez and GEIPAN's Xavier Passot, head of the official French research group, convened to offer their governments' respective stamps of approval.

First, a few definitions. We know about CEFAA, they’ve been around since 1997 by order of Chile’s civil aviation department. And we know about GEIPAN, the French agency that, as a branch of its space program, has been collecting UFO data under various acronyms and incarnations since 1977. GEIPAN assigns an A through D rating system to its UFO reports, with D being the truly puzzling cases without explanation. Some 20 percent of its 2,200 cases on file fall into the D file.

This part is news to De Void: SIGMA2 is a branch of 3AF, a private-sector technical society, the rough equivalent of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics here in the States. According to SIGMA2 Commission President Luc Dini, “We work with GEIPAN to look at ‘D’ cases ... where GEIPAN has no special expertise to look further for explanation and causes. Since our role is not official, without direct involvement into the field investigation, we are focused on the analysis of physics and measurements ... after the preliminary investigation.”

According to Dini, Chile has concluded UFOs, or UAP, or PAN in the preferred local parlace, pose a “potential aviation risk,” but CEFAA has no analytical component like SIGMA2. And that’s significant because, says Dini, CEFAA “wants to go beyond the investigation and attempt to scientifically explain the causes” of the phenomenon. If only they were a bit more ambitious ... At any rate, Dini says SIGMA2 is not only eager to move forward, but that this “axis of cooperation” has “confirmed its intention to develop a network of scientific and technical expertise, in France, in Europe and outside Europe, to conduct physical case studies and discuss technical analysis.”

Clearly, one of those partners will be American, the nonprofit National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena. For 15 years, NARCAP has been assessing The Great Taboo’s potential for catastrophic air corridor encounters, despite being underfunded and underpublicized. Imagine what NARCAP could do with even a modest federal grant of, ohh, say, $307,524. That’s how much the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research are spending on their so-called “Sea Monkey study,” which concludes in February. The goal is to see if brine shrimp can be trained to swim with enough synchronization to affect a healthier circulation of ocean currents.

Sea Monkeys.

Anyhow, life goes on without Uncle Sam, and as Jose Lay confirms in an email to De Void, a lot of credit for what’s happening now goes to the foundation laid by the “Symposium on Official & Scientific Investigations of UAP (UFOs)” in North Carolina last year. An invited speaker and CEFAA official, Lay met with GEIPAN's Passot during the two-day event, and “we exchanged information and agreed in principle to start formal cooperation between our entities.” Then they actually followed up on it. And the rest is history.

"I know from personal experience that the relationship of other governments to this issue is important to members of the U.S. government in terms of considering a new official involvement with this issue," states author Leslie Kean, who played a key role in organizing the conference in Greensboro. "The fact that the two leading agencies in the world - one from Europe and the other from South America - are joining forces is extremely significant, and hopefully this step forward will help encourage our government to take the subject seriously and to join in the growing international effort.

"The U.S. role is important, because once the U.S. is on board - even by simply appointing one staffer to evaluate the validity of U.S. involvement - many other countries will come on board. Even a crack in this now shut door would be enough to radically change the picture. If we can simply assign a government appointee to evaluate the question -- are UFOs worthy of investigation? -- then we have made a giant step forward."

Lay cited Kean and conference financier Kent Senter, who dropped a load on the symposium despite his struggle with cancer, for creating such a rational and productive climate. So yeah, some things do work out. And who knows, maybe they all will, eventually, if you’ve got the patience of a saint.

Chile’s UFO Investigations to be Aided by French Aerospace Organization

France and Chile Embark Upon a Joint Exploration of UFOs (2)

By Alejandro Rojas

     The Aeronautical and Astronautical Association of France (3AF) has signed an agreement with Chile’s Committee for the Studies of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA) to cooperate on the study of UFOs. 3AF posted an article on their website late last month explaining their newly founded relationship with CEFAA.

3AF is an important organization in France, and in Europe’s aeronautical industry in general. Similar to the United State’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, it is a society for those participating in, or interested in, the aerospace industry.

Surprisingly, 3AF also has a strong interest in the investigation of UFOs. Although, it might not be too surprising to those who know that the French government is one of very few that have an official organization that investigates UFOs. It is called the Study and Information Group on Aerospace Unidentified Phenomena (GEIPAN), and is part of France’s National Center for Space Studies (CNES), their version of NASA.

CEFAA, which is also an official government sanctioned UFO research organization, differs from GEIPAN in that it is part of Chile’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), the equivalent to the FAA here in the U.S.

3AF also has a UFO study commission called 3AF/SIGMA2. This commission aides GEIPAN in the scientific analysis of UFO reports, and they will now help CEFAA in a similar fashion. 3AF’s article explains that CEFAA has determined that the UFO phenomena is real, and that it may pose a risk to aviation. Now they wish to further examine “their causes and their effects.” . . .

Fast Moving UFO(s) Passes Over Costa Mesa

Fast Moving UFO Passes Over Costa Mesa, CA 12-14-14

By Roger Marsh

     A California witness at Costa Mesa reported watching a silent object with four, round lights that appeared to be traveling low and fast across the sky 9:10 p.m. on December 14, 2014, according to testimony in Case 61992 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

The witness was walking to his car when the object was seen between two airplanes.

“The object was traveling from east to west at a high rate of speed,” the witness stated. “It was four lights in a fixed triangle position pointing west and traveling west. No sound was observed and no contrails were observed.”

The witness described the object.

“The lights were perfect circles and large lights. It could have been four individual objects but there seemed to be an object they were attached to that was almost translucent or clear. The object seemed high, but not too high, maybe 1,000-5,000 feet overhead. Seemed very large due to the size of the lights. Each light seemed to be as large as a whole airplane at that height and a solid soft white. The speed was very fast – 5-7 times faster than a plane traveling across the sky.” . . .