Tuesday, May 19, 2015

One Picture is Worth a Thousand Turds

Every strange light in the sky was a UFO to me as a kid, and by definition I suppose one could conclude that every personally unexplainable light in the sky  is  a UFO.  But eventually I realized that most of my "UFOs" were airplanes -- even the one which began showing up faithfully, way off in the east, almost every evening (that one turned out to be an experimental project occurring at an Air Force base way, far away from my location).  Of course, some lights remained unidentified for me, but that's the nature of so many lights in the sky (as UFO investigators know only too well).

As a teenager and later as a young man, appearing occasionally on TV and radio shows to discuss the UFO subject, I routinely took along a few of what were considered at that time to be among the most reliable UFO photos in existence -- but, alas, years passed and gradually a few of those old reliables were exposed as hoaxes or misidentifications of normal things.  Because (to the surprise of some) almost all of those old  broadcasts recorded between 1965 and the late seventies were converted digitally and included somewhere deep within Wendy Connors'   Faded Discs  collection, I'm keenly aware that the day will come when somebody, agonizing over my often lackluster TV and radio appearances, will say, hey, that Barrow, what a fraud, pushing those old faked photos on an unsuspecting public!  It won't matter that these weren't phony pictures when I displayed and discussed them in good faith originally -- it's the end result that matters, burned into digital format until the end of time, the end of R. Barrow or the end of digital media.

Nowadays, with the advent and breakneck progression of computer-generated images, anything goes and the world of still and motion picture photography offers an entire digitalized universe of fakes, frauds, hoaxes and reality shape-shifted any way one's little heart desires.  Images of UFOs and accompanying alien beings, sadly, have not been excluded from the hoopla.

Which brings us to the recently disclosed and long-hyped "Roswell alien" slides, finally unveiled in Mexico this month, and quickly determined to show, not an alien from the 1940s, and not a Roswell alien -- but only a mummified two-year-old earth boy's corpse from antiquity, apparently photographed in the 1940s.  At last, an affair to beat TV's  Alien Autopsy  all to hell.  But wait, what's that smell?

Indeed, the UFO alien circus returned to town, where it festered under cloak of darkness and daylight for about three years, until the main attraction tent collapsed into a squalid heap.  No time left to fold this puppy into neat sections.

Hardly unique to the UFO research arena, but predominant nevertheless, is the ufological grapevine, a living, pulsating thing all abuzz with gossip, rumors and innuendo about UFOs and, sometimes more importantly, the people involved with the subject.  For instance, some folks are disappointed with me because I slipped into writing less about UFOs and more (much more) about politics and extremists who methodically plot to destroy Western society.  I'm no authority in these matters, but if one really hopes for a scientific solution to the UFO enigma, I think's it's kinda essential to maintain as free a society as we can get in order to keep things above board.

Some will condemn me simply because the title of today's entry is, um, unappetizing.

The ufological grapevine performs other services.  It throws a few names around which consistently pop up when bad things are about to happen or have already occurred.  Such was the case with the "Roswell alien" slides.  As much as I sit back these days and contribute little to nothing in the UFO information realm, I'm still aware of names, many names, of people "involved" in one way or another -- the sort of names ending up ultimately on the "UFO Watchdog" site (see link in the margin) as either good or not so good when it comes to UFOs.

Frankly, anybody who knows anything of the past should have remained extremely cautious about the "Roswell slides" months before they finally appeared, based primarily upon the names behind the scenes, names with whom there have ben problems in the past.

And now?  The question we posed in a previous blog entry can now be asked boldly, in no uncertain terms:  Will the "Roswell slides" fiasco pound another nail, a very large nail, into the lid of the UFO research coffin here in the United States and/or elsewhere?  Yes, quickly determining the apparently true identity of the photographed image is an outstanding plus, but the unnecessary and questionable length of time and circumstances involved in keeping this simmering cauldron of virtually nothing on the stove -- by, yep, UFO "researchers" -- does add a black mark to the affair, and subsequently to the future.  What form both merits and damages will assume is a matter of conjecture for now.

Long-departed UFO researchers of the past had their own flaws, as we all do, but they labored on, producing some superb investigative work.  Today, my wish would be that people such as the late Coral Lorenzen, Richard Hall and Donald Keyhoe could revisit us for a day, because I'd be pumped up to hear their personal condemnations of everything that went wrong and  was  wrong with the so-called "Roswell alien" slides.  A veritable slide show sideshow. 

Yes, right before our very eyes, there were supposedly adult "researchers" whom, much like myself as a kid, desperately wanted a light in the sky to become a real UFO, except their "light" was only a temporary superhero whom we might call  The Amazing Mummyboy, and now, to the chagrin of believers who often receive satisfaction in doggedly pursuing an obvious non-event,  not even Mummyboy, lying in eternal repose on Kodak slides, wants anything more to do with this performance.  Too bad he wasn't alive to watch the parade.

George Stephanopoulos:    Uh huh.  Well, was there ever any doubt that this ABC-TV pundit is just another leftist and well-saturated political tampon for the Bill and Hillary Clinton machine?  At the very least, he should have disqualified himself from interviewing (and aggressively so) the author of a new book slamming the Clinton Foundation, the Clintons and their donors -- but instead he labored on, failing to tell viewers that he, too, is a Foundation donor and participant..  Just an innocent little oopsie?  We doubt that, and we're getting pretty weary of giving mainstream media members the benefit of a doubt -- particularly when one annually witnesses the coziness involved with politicians and so-called journalists at White House correspondent dinners.  The stench wafts on.

"We're all connected,"  and despite those annoying TV commercials touting this growing reality, these very words make me want to run for the hills.  The Amtrak train disaster, whatever its cause, ultimately makes me even more suspicious (if that's even possible) about computers in control of our daily activities, because you just know total digital train control is coming (if it wasn't already there at Amtrak and messed with by a source unknown).  Still, my favorite computer horror story of the year involves one Chris Roberts, a well-equipped-for-travel computer consultant who claims to have infiltrated -- hacked -- the entertainment system aboard a United Airlines flight on April I (and others previously), thus giving him access to the rest of the aircraft's operating system.   That is, Roberts was allegedly flying the plane, likely to the amazement of the flight crew. While some officials downplayed the sum total of Roberts' abilities, the FBI took him very seriously,   interrogating  questioning him extensively and seizing his high-tech devices.  But, hey -- aren't we all connected now?  Doesn't that make us equal in the cockpit as well?  We're all connected.  Theoretically, what difference does it make who flies the damned plane or what consequences are incurred, as long as somebody's computer knows how?  In computers we trust.  Further, I may be lacking in computer knowledge, comparatively speaking, but it seems to me that eventually, as computers rapidly innovate and increase their “intelligence,” each will strive to control the other, thus assuring no safety, no promises, for humans left to flounder in a world controlled by digital overlords.  Meanwhile, major airline corporations will, for as long as they can (not long), deny that their crucial operating systems can be hacked by tech-savvy passengers.  It's the money, stupid.  Enjoy your flight :) :)

The national honeybee decline continues  as entire colonies die out during the summer, when their actions and crop benefits are essential for food production.  Potential blame falls upon parasites, loss of bee-accessible environs to development, insecticides and herbicides.  In recent years, considerable attention has been directed toward chemical applications containing a nicotine derivative, suspected to be absolutely deadly to bees, causing a loss of ability to "remember" how to return to their hives and ending in certain death.  The U.S. chemical crop industry will not take any of this lying down, be assured, though the swift actions of some other countries to band substances which appear even remotely hazardous provide quite a contrast in global policy.