Re: Alien abductions and supertechnology

Peter Lakbar (
Sun, 04 Jul 1999 22:34:41 +0200

>I really don't think this debate is going to go anywhere, so this will be my
>last post on the subject.

Your perogative.

>>Yes, but why your shoelaces becomes untied isn't really a mystery. No one
>>(I hope!) feels the need to invoke nanotech as an explanation.
>>(Hey! Waitaminit! Maybe it's a plot by the army to disable the soldiers of
>>opposing armies by causing their shoelaces to become untied in combat using
>>Besides, even if I am personally unable to write a paper explaining why the
>>laces on my sneakers often becomes untied while the laces on my other shoes
>>don't, it's still not something that I would spend time studying.
>But that's just arbitrary. You're choosing the sexier phenomena. My point
>in contrasting the two was not so much to say I'm worried much about my
>shoelaces -- I can tolerate a certain amount of mystery in my life, as I'm
>sure we all can and do -- but to show how the same reasoning looks not so
>convincing when applied to less interesting stuff.

But they are hardly the same. There's no mystery about shoelaces whatsoever as far as I'm aware, but surely you must agree that there is some form of mystery regarding
reported phenomena such as UFO's? If nothing else, as I said, a psychological one.

>>On the other hand, we
>>have thousands of people, some of them even 'qualified', claiming to see
>>unidentified things in the sky and on the ground.
>By that tack, we have thousands, no! millions of people whop believe in God,
>some of them very qualified. such as Einstein --

Why does a state of mind like belif have anything to do with a reported phenomena like UFO's and why would Einstein be qualified to verify belif? The point I'm trying to make is that there is a quantitative difference between a phenomena such as belif, which in itself has nothing to do with proving or verifying anything, and a phenomena like UFO's, which we do not even know if it's a subjective or obejctive phenomena, that are reported and continue to be reported worldwide.

>or, if you want an expert in the field of religion, theologians, mystics,
and the like. >Does that mean they are right?

Surely the whole point of having experts is that they are supposed to know what they are talking about. What I meant by 'qualified' witnesses are people who are used to observing things in the skies and knows a bit about celestial phenomena.

>That would be an argument from authority. The truth
>is true, regardless of who says it, and the same applies to the false.

Naturally. But isn't the whole point of scientific training to make one more able to figure out what the truth are? All surviving witnesses of, say, an airplane crash aren't equally in the position to figure out the truth about the crash. Presumably the pilots are the ones who has the best chances of figuring out what happened, not the passengers. So presumably a trained observer who is familliar with most of the things observed in the skies makes a 'better' witness than someone who has no such training or knowledge.

>>Some people even claim
>>that these objects have been registered on radar screens and photograpic
>Yet, after all these incidents, nothing has arisen that is unambiguously

Depends what you mean by 'unambiguously' and 'alien', respectively. There are plenty of cases where no known phenomena have been able to accurately and completely explain the events.

>What is especially strange is how aliens (or whatever it may be --
>future versions of us trying to communicate back that nanotech works) only
>seem to make their appearances in ways that are ambiguous at best or can be
>explained away at worst.

How do you know that that's not what they want? Speculating and questioning their motives when we do not even know if the UFO phenomena has motives seems a bit suspect to me. The point is not why it doesn't
do this or that, but what
it is.

>>It seems to me that there is a mystery that deserves to be
>>investigated here, for if all these people are lying or are mistaken about
>>natural phenomena, yet consistently repeats the same hallucinatory details,
>>then that is surely something that needs to be investigated by
>>(Rather few psychologist since Jung have done any study of the UFO
>>Then it requires the same amount of study as say, glossalia or some other
>>minor psychological abberation. If they are not lying or mistaken, then the
>>mystery of what they really saw awaits.
>But the truth is people have been studying this, both believers, skeptics,
>and what have you. I don't think we on this list have anything novel to add
>this debate.

Really? That's possible, but I would hope not. After all, this is a transhuman mailing list. People here are used to think in novel ways about things, plus that they have a level of technical and scientific competence that are unusual among people who usually discuss such things.

>You might think putting nanotech into the mix is going to
>solve the mystery or push the debate to another level.

Actually, the first post about nanotech wasn't by me, but by another poster.

>I believe it's just another round of trying to explain something
>that has a far less romantic/sexy/neat explanation.

And that's your choice, which doesn't affect mine or any other posters right to discuss this, as long as we don't diverge from the topic of this mailinglist.

>>>>one that have been mentioned in any book on the subject. (UFO's, that is,
>>>>not nanotech.)
>>>But the same can be said about any paranormal phenomena or even stuff we
>>>pretty sure is outright bull. I mean, perhaps Jesus was resurrected using
>>>nanotech. Perhaps the dinosaurs became extinct because of nanotech.
>>>Perhaps the apparitions of the Virgin seen in so many places is actually
>>>nanotech in action. This really doesn't clear things up.
>>Of course, you are right, but remember that nobody said it would.
>>This is only speculation, after all.
>But I thought the point behind the original post was to offer some new twist
>that would lead to an explanation.

As I understood it, the original poster wanted to discuss the implications of the phenomena seemingly making use of technology relevant to this list, not to come up with any sort of explanation tol anything.

>If all you want to do is speculate, well, then let's UFOs made the
dinosaurs extinct. >There was a great space battle and a weapon of unimaginable power blasted the >Earth killing off the dinosaurs. It's possible, no?

Certainly, but what does that have to do with the contents of the original post?
Or do you feel that certain topics are too speculative to discuss here?

>It makes for great science fiction. (See S.
>D. Howe's "Wrench and Claw" in _Analog_ 11/98 for a story that comes very
>close, as did an episode of "Doctor Who.":)

Need I remind you that this is a list that is made up almost exlusivly of speculation, since nobody knows if the Singularity will occur, if nanotech, AI's or magascale engineering is feasible, not to mention life extension ect.

>>>It's also the plot for some science fiction novels, such as Ian Watson's
>>>_Miracle Visitors_... It makes for interesting science fiction, but I
>>>think it's so. But if it is, Have pity on me Oh Great Ones! Take me into
>>>your paradisical future!:)
>>Be careful, they are probably monitoring our transmissions....:)
>Hey, did you ever think that I might be one of them? And that my kind don't
>want your kind to advance too far, too fast? That we might neutralize
>you -- perhaps, by merely abducting you so others will think you're crazy
>when you tell them you've seen us?

Hah! You reveal yourself!

>Only kidding!:)


>>>But in truth, I think people experience lots of things that have more
>>>mundane explanations BUT would be much more interesting if cloaked in
>>Certainly true. As a wise man once said; humans live thru their myths and
>>only endure their realities.
>I've heard that before and I think it might just be true. On the other, if
>you know the reality, you have a good chance of changing it -- as opposed to
>just making a pretty story up to accept it.

So you do agree that the UFO phenomena, since neither you nor I can say for sure what it is, needs to be studied so we can understand it?

>E.g., the myth of an afterlife
>might help a lot of people to make it through the day, but it also makes it
>less likely they'll look for a cure for death. (Of course, a lot of people
>who don't believe in an afterlife have come to accept death, but I chalk
>that up to either a) not being exposed to life extension ideas in a serious
>way or b) lack of imagination.)

>>>Each age and culture has its own way of dealing with this. If the
>>>"ghost rockets" (and this is the first I've heard of them) had been seen
>>>years earlier, they might have been called "phanton airships" or 300 years
>>>earlier "witches" or 3000 years earlier....
>>Yes, that's part of the theory. The Power would mask itself as something
>>that could be comprehended by the cultures it was observing/experimenting
>>5000-2000 years ago flying chariots, flying shields and what have you,
>>phantom dirigibles a hundred years ago, phantom rockets and phantom
>>aviators eighty to

>>sixty years ago and now phantom space craft manned by aliens.
>But would not a good way to test and expand a culture be to show it stuff it
>could NOT deal with? Stuff that can be explained away -- like, "Hey, that's
>just aliens/Russian missle tests/dirigibles/witches/swamp gas!" -- won't
>really challenge a belief system. However, if a UFO landed in Central Park
>on a Sunday afternoon when the Great Lawn is packed and displayed all sorts
>of neat gadgetry, then a lot of skeptics, at least, would have to change
>their ideas... How come that never happens?

Why would I know? That's hardly a question to disprove anything. You seek to infer that the UFO's are not worthy of investigation since they haven't landed in Central Park?

>>>Well, you get the point.
>>>That's a lot of testing. That power must be very inefficient or sloppy
>>>hard to believe, stupid.
>>That depends on what timescale the tests would be made on, and what kind of
>>After all, what's the use of being immortal if you can't do research
>>projects lasting for
>>very great lenghts of time? That would be one of the natural advantages of
>>being a Power, methinks.
>>And besides, the rationale and methods of a true Power would probably be
>>incomprehensible to us. That could be used against my argument as well, of
>And the same has been said about God.

So therefore it can't be true?

>Do you believe in God? If you don't and need a rational explanation or
empirical >demonstration, perhaps the problem is your mind is too limited to see God's method >and plan...

Perfectly logical in it's way. I don't see any reason why it may not be so, other that that I personally don't belive it.

>This makes for good science fiction or conspiracy theories (X-Files,
>but it is below even the best human reasoning.

Why? What you are saying seems to be that if it can't be explained by the logic and reason I use it must be false. It seems to be a bit ad hoc reasoning to me, not to mention that it implies that both your reasoning and logic is perfect already.

>>>I do find these things interesting and the speculations are also so, but I
>>>have a feeling all this cool tech won't come about until we make it come
>>Possibly. As I said, this is all speculation. Or maybe not.
>I'm not going to wait around to find out.
>Daniel Ust