Friday, September 25, 2015

Outta This World

Thought for the day:  I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence.  [Richard Feynman]

[morguefile]
So whattaya think? Are we... alone... in this universe, or are there other lifeforms out there somewhere... lifeforms who may have even paid our planet a visit upon occasion? It seems mathematically improbable that we humans are the only intelligent lifeforms in this endless universe. And yes, I do use the term intelligent rather loosely. I suspect that if we ever do make contact with other beings from outta this world, we're gonna get our comeuppance, and find out just how unintelligent we are.



Nonetheless, let's have a little fun by taking a look at some of the space alien hoaxes perpetrated over the years by some of our fellow earthlings, shall we?
[seniorark]

As far back as April Fool's Day, 1897, pranksters have been trying to dupe the public into thinking they saw a gen-u-ine UFO. On that day in Omaha, Nebraska, a couple guys launched a helium balloon with a burning wicker basket beneath, and allegedly spooked quite a few people.

[Okay, ya got me. I'm sure it didn't look anything at all like the balloon in the picture.] 

A couple weeks later, three boys in Dallas, Texas, soaked a cotton ball in kerosene and tied it to the leg of a turkey vulture. Alas, the pranksters got caught when the bird landed on their school's roof, and started a fire. Poor bird probably cooked his own goose. So to speak.





[morguefile]
In 1947, residents of Twin Falls, Idaho reported multiple sightings of a flying saucer. Then one agitated lady called the authorities, because she spotted the saucer embedded in her neighbor's yard, along with a long strip gouged in the dirt... obviously showing where the compact UFO (better gas mileage!) came in for a landing...

Or not.

Turned out to be the handiwork of four creative teenagers, who built their saucer with scraps: radio tubes, wires, an old phonograph, and discarded electrical parts. The boys said they were just having fun. Not their fault the town got so gosh-darned excited. Sheesh.

Also in 1947, in what was dubbed the Maury Island Incident, Harold Dahl claimed six flying doughnut-shaped discs flew over him when he was boating in the Puget Sound. He said one of those dastardly discs dared to spew molten metal, which killed his dog, and burned his son. Air Force investigators later ID'd the metal as scrap from a local factory, and Dahl admitted to the hoax. Said it was just a joke that got out of control. Let's hope he didn't kill his dog and burn his son to support his joke.


[morguefile]



Then there's THE big event of 1947. You know, the alleged spaceship landing in Roswell, New Mexico, near the area now known as Area 51. Everyone agrees that there's some hush-hush deeply secretive stuff going on there at those Air Force grounds, but did a spaceship crash there in Nevada in 1947? Were live aliens captured? Was one autopsied? Ooooh, could they still be there today? According to some ufologists, three months after the alleged crash in Roswell, President Truman formed a highly secret group called MJ-12, (short for Majestic-12) whose soul purpose was to investigate and recover alien spacecraft. Some also attribute this 1950 quote to him: I can assure you that flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on earth. Did he actually form that group, and say those words? Beats me. But quite a few other presidents, world leaders, and military figures have spoken up on the side of flying saucers. Jimmy Carter even claims to have seen one.



Okay, I'm gonna stop right here, and finish up with this topic next week. In the meantime, did you have a favorite space toy or show about space travel when you were a kid? Anybody remember the 1954-55 TV show Flash Gordon? Let's just say special effects weren't all that outta this world in those days, because if I remember right, in some shots, you could actually see the string holding the rocket in the air. (And I'm not sure, but the sound of the flames coming out its rear might very well have been provided by some guy saying, "Shhhhhhhhhhhh.")  Even so, we watched it. And were amazed. And then there was the mighty Rocket Man, who worked hard to save the world in the '50s and early '60s. In this clip, you might hear a familiar voice. Would you believe... Leonard Nimoy?



Oh well, since we mentioned Leonard Nimoy, we've gotta give a nod to William Shatner, too, right? This clip is muuuuuch more recent; it's from 1978. He's kinda sorta singing. What else? Rocket Man, of course.


I was gonna stop there, but I decided to leave you with something... classy. Yeah, that's the ticket. I never saw the movie Rocket Man, but after seeing this clip, I wish I had. Looks like a real hoot. Or should I say... a blast?

                                                                       

I'm not gonna be outta this world, but I am gonna be outta my office until sometime next week, so I won't be responding to your comments right away. But as Schwartzeneggar said, I'll be Bach.                              

                                      Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

84 comments:

  1. Someone (Calvin perhaps?) said that the surest sign of extraterrestrial intelligence was that they HADN'T contacted us.
    On my cynical mornings I can see his point.

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    1. I've seen that quote before, too, and there's a lot of truth to us. Just think what an extraterrestial being might think of us if he's received some of our TV signals...

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  2. I tend to agree with Neil deGrass Tyson when he suggests that any intelligent species that can readily travel between the stars would be so far more advanced than us that a conversation with them would be like us trying to teach quantum mechanics and General Relativity to our chimp cousins.

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    1. Hi-ya, beachie! It's good to hear from you again.

      That Tyson guy is a smart dude. And probably right.

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  3. Thank you for providing us with some out-of-this-world food for thought. There was a long-ago time when I didn't believe in space aliens or life on other planets. Lately, however, I have a strong feeling that space aliens are existing among us......I think I've seen a few.

    When I lived in West Texas I was less than 50 miles away from Roswell, NM and I often scanned the nighttime sky in search of UFOs. Unfortunately it was usually too dusty to see anything.

    The photo of that Big-Assed hot air balloon is a hoot.

    I was never interested in outer space stuff when I was a kid - - but I presently have a secret urge to soar like Rocketman.

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    1. HA! You could be onto something...

      Wow, only 50 miles away from Roswell? Cool. I hope you took the opportunity to visit the area just to say you've been there.

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  4. Much food for thought here. I am sure we are not alone in the universe but doubt technology will ever advance sufficiently to find out. One only has to look at the myriad of stars up there to make one feel rather small.

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    1. I think humans will eventually advance to the point of discovering and communicating with extraterrestial beings, but I don't think it'll happen in my lifetime.

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  5. Enjoyable post, Susan, showing some of the creative hoaxes attendant to the UFO enigma. I'm satisfied it's a subject to be approached with doubt --until you've seen one. Then you believe.

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    1. I don't know that I approach the subject with doubt. It strikes me as being much more likely that we aren't alone than that we are, so I'm definitely open to the possibilities. Seeing one, however, would tilt the scales considerably.

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  6. I believe that it is supremely egotistical to think we are the only intelligent life forms in the universe. That being said, I loved the farting scene!!

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    1. I think it'd be extremely egotistical to make that assumption, too. I also think it's egotistical to assume all life is carbon-based.

      Me, too! It takes a special kinda mind to appreciate such sophisticated humor.

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  7. Earth is the insane asylum of the galaxy?
    That explains a lot (*~*)

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  8. Hi Susan - the farting scenario - oh dear .... little boys would love it. While Shatner ... can't really sing - but I loved the atmosphere ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hey! I'm not a little boy, but I love that scene, too. :)

      No, Shatner would never win an award for his "singing" ability.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  9. NOOOOO! Not the Shatner!!! I mean what is that, because it's definitely not singing. And Oh my lord, that air balloon. I almost thought I was back at my blog when I scrolled down and saw the top half.

    Are we the only life-form in the galaxy? I highly doubt it. In an ever expanding universe such as ours, there are undoubtedly more planets that have water, energy sources and atmosphere, all things needed to sustain life, and more third rocks from more suns.

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    1. Listening to Shatner do whatever the heck he's doing in that clip is kinda painful, isn't it? His family obviously didn't put any money into voice lessons.

      Agreed. There's gotta be more.

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  10. If anything we are the version of reality tv for the universe. They probably sit and watch our stupidity. Humans really have to have an ego to think Earth is the only planet with life. I'm not saying there are little green men, but life could be a space slug thingy too.

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    1. I suspect the things we do on and to this planet... and to each other... would make for a pretty stupid reality show for aliens to watch.

      Agreed. I think there's some other form of life in the universe. Gotta be. I kinda hope it doesn't look like a giant slug, though...

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  11. The poor dog and vulture. Cruelty to animals is just sickening.
    I think aliens avoid this place on purpose. Wouldn't you?

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    1. I agree. No hoax is ever worth harming an animal.

      I dunno. Aliens could very well be avoiding our planet on purpose... or maybe they've already been here. Who knows? They might even still be here...

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  12. It is a good thing that Shatner got that Priceline gig or his family would have starved.

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    1. Well, he sure couldn't have made much money with a music gig.

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  13. The thing is, if intelligent life landed here we would kill and eat it. I often wonder how many highly intelligent creatures already live on this planet and we kill them because we don't understand their language -- dolphins, whales, octopus come to mind. For goodness sake, we can't even recognize intelligence in our own species -- if someone has an accent or is a different hue, we treat them like idiots. I think Elephants Child makes a very good point. :)

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    1. The sad thing is... you might be right. The propensity of humans to kill other creatures, whether for food or for so-called "sport," doesn't exactly commend us as a species.

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  14. In 1947 that spaceship landed in area 31......a coincidence that I made my earthly appearance in 1947......I think not....bwahahahaha.

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  15. I believe there is something or someone else out there... I can't believe we are the only ones in this vast universe. I am not sure about UFO's... who knows... I have never seen one. My mom swore she saw one in Oregon when she was a child growing up, they even had pictures but someone apparently confiscated the pictures. One day we will know more than we know here, when the time is right xox (Have fun this weekend)

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    1. It would actually be a little sad if we ARE all alone in this endless universe, wouldn't it? I mean, what a waste of space!!!

      Very cool about your mom claiming to see an UFO. Who know? Maybe she did. Lots of people from all walks of life make the same claim. It doesn't seem likely that they're all wrong.

      (Thanks. We were in Tennessee, and had a wonderful time.)

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  16. Fun post! :-) In spite of all the hoaxes, I still have to wonder if there might be others in the universe besides us.

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    1. Thanks! :)

      Yeah, hoaxes may abound, but all it takes is one honest-to-goodness incident. Many intelligent well-respected people have made UFO claims over the years. All it takes is for one of them to be telling the truth...

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  17. Terrific post today.
    I believe it all !
    And that all I am going to say.
    hahahahahahahaha

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad ya liked it.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  18. Jimmy Carter said he and his wife used to live in a haunted house, too. If it weren't Jimmy Carter saying it, I'd think he's crazy.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I never heard that about the Carters claiming to have lived in a haunted house. Interesting. They've lived quite the life.

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  19. Arnold almost looks like an alien these days, as do so many more. Men In Black is my go to movie for alien contact. Hope you are away for fun, and not captured by aliens who made you write this post.

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    1. HA! Yeah, now that you mention it, Arnold DOES have an otherworldly look about it. (Then again, it could just be age... I don't hardly recognize the alien who looks back at me from the mirror these days, either.)

      Yes, we were definitely away for fun. In Tennessee, where gal pal Kati and I played a kazillion games of Scrabble. :)

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  20. My theory is that we're not alone. However, it would be hard for us to "feel" the presence of other beings if they do not respond to our human make-up. great post.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Interesting concept. I like the idea of "others" being among us, but beyond our perception. Kinda like invisible friends.

      Greetings back atcha.

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  21. Definitely believe there's other life out there, and most likely MORE intelligent than us.

    I had a major crush on William Shatner when I was a teenager and watched him in Star Trek. Seeing him now, that's almost embarrassing to admit, so I usually don't. So, please, don't tell anyone. ;-)

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    1. Yeah, me, too. Um, I mean I believe in other lifeforms being out there somewhere, not the whole crush on Captain Kirk thing. Although, I must admit, he looked pretty darned good in his uniform. :) And no worries. I won't tell a soul... :)

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  22. So very funny that I am watching Star Treck the Next Generation while I read this. Yes, I do believe.

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  23. I think the odds are in favor of there are other forms of life out there somewhere. Whether we ever find them or vice versa, well, that's the question. And I do remember flash gordon!

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    1. I think you're right about the odds. It just doesn't make sense that in an endless universe, all of life is restricted to one little insignificant planet.

      I'm impressed you remember a show from the fifties. I didn't even think you were born yet, :)

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  24. I wonder if Shatner regrets making that clip? Seeing as there is no brick wall at the edge of space, everything goes on forever. It would be illogical to imagine that there isn't more life out there somewhere, but I don't suppose we'll ever find it.

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    1. I don't know if Shatner regrets making that clip, but I sure would.

      Yes, I think it'd be totally illogical for our one little old planet to be the only place in the entire universe that supports life. Could be we'll find out for sure someday, but probably not in our lifetimes.

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  25. I believe in UFO's and extraterrestrials, but I also believe we here on Earth can get carried away with the supposed sightings.

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    1. You're right. Some people want to see UFOs so badly, they may think they really do see them, and it doesn't take too much to get others to follow suit.

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  26. I love all of the histories you included here. Fun read! I'm not a believer in extras, personally.

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  27. I noticed that Clayton Moore was in the video that followed on from Rocket Man. I still have my 1959 Lone Ranger Annual on the shelf above as I type this.

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    1. Wow, I'm impressed. I was a huge Lone Ranger fan, but I don't have any mementos left from those days.

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  28. Other life out there, sure, and they aren't ugly and weird, hell no, they're all beautiful, smart, and know enough not to land on earth. We're too hostile!

    Too funny! Enjoy your break!

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    1. Gee, just think: now we have something to aspire to. Instead of just being the ugly Americans, we can become the ugly Earthlings...

      I had a terrific break. Thanks. I'll bet you would have enjoyed it, too. LOTS of Scrabble and Word Yahtzee games.

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    2. I love Scrabble, haven't played Word Yahtzee, sounds like fun!

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    3. It's a LOT of fun!!!! Faster moving than Scrabble, and less intimidating to players who aren't total word nerds.

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  29. How about an honorable mention for the Balloon Boy hoax? I know it's not UFO related specifically, but it was still insane that these parents told the police their small son was floating away in a huge flying saucer-looking balloon craft, just as a publicity stunt (in our own backyard, no less).

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    1. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot about that. Those parents were outta their minds.

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  30. Frankly, I find that balloon much more terrifying than the prospect of other life forms in the universe. I do believe there’s other life out there, whether it’s intelligent life, who knows? And really, what is intelligent life anyway? How do we judge? I mean, look at Congress. :)

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Sorry the balloon creeped you out; I think it's hysterical.

      Great point about Congress. They lost their collective claim to intelligence a long time ago.

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  31. Interesting to read this post and all information.

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  32. Philosophical question: Why are farts so funny?

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    1. Philosophical answer: You may not realize it, but farts provide a natural litmus test for judging intelligence, because it takes a person of superior intellect, sophistication, and good humor to truly appreciate the hilarity inherent in the sounds and scents associated with breaking wind.

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  33. Funny. I was just thinking about this after it turned out Mars had water after all...

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    1. The more we learn about other planets, the more wide open the possibilities become.

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  34. It's arrogant to think we're the only "intelligent" life in a vast universe. As one scientist said, "That's like taking a cup of water out of the ocean and saying there are no whales because they aren't in it."
    x

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    1. That's one smart scientist. It'd be fun to sit across from him at the dinner table.

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  35. Yeah, I know there's other life out there, but I think we're far enough apart we're never going to cross paths. We visited Roswell about two years ago, and really, it was just a weather balloon that went down. After perusing their museums and seeing all the pictures and evidences, I was convinced. I believe some of the "sightings" are actually military experiments people accidentally snap shots of.

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    1. Well, bummer. You've burst my bubble... or maybe should I say "balloon." So much for all the mystery and intrigue about Roswell...

      Or is it...? Maybe they were nefariously controlling your mind while you were there to make you believe what they wanted you to believe... After all, they wouldn't want a smart cookie and writer like you knowing the true story... :)

      Or not.

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  36. You be Bach, and I'll be Mozart. :) And LOL at the William Shatner version of the 'song.' That's def. a look for him too that I haven't seen. :)

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    1. Okay, you can be Mozart in just a minuet... :)

      I know. That Shatner version is a real hoot, isn't it?

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  37. I'm laughing at myself, Susan. I looked at the big balloon, thinking "Ewww," while I tightened my buttocks. That thing can cause constipation by simply staring at it.

    Hey, lady. I hope you're well. Hugs and laughs.

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    1. Hi-ya!

      I kinda like looking at that big balloon. After looking at it, I decided I may not need to lose weight, after all...

      All is well here. I hope everything's going well with you, too. Hugs and laughs back atcha.

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  38. Sounds an interesting concept. What if?

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    1. Absolutely. What if...? (The two words responsible for launching many a writing career...)

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  39. I remember Flash Gordon from the mid-1950s. Does that make you as old as me?

    Well, yes, the special effects weren't great by today's standards. But by 1950s standards, they were awesome.

    It's all a matter of context.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    1. I dunno. We could be around the same age. I entered this mortal coil in '48.

      I know! We thought the special effects were so terrific back then, but by today's standards, they're downright laughable.

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  40. Wow! Shatners rendition of Rocket Man is seriously bad entertainment but at the time it was probably pretty good.

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    1. HA! Nope, at the time it was pretty bad entertainment, too. :)

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