The New York Times’ boffo article on UFO sightings: Skeptical thoughts from New York Magazine

From Jeff Wise at New York Magazine:

The main article is decidedly short on specifics. There’s a brief reference to “footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves.” A more detailed account is provided in an accompanying sidebar entitled “2 Navy Airmen and an Object That ‘Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen.’” In it, former Navy F/A-18 pilot David Fravor relates his experience during a flight from the aircraft carrier Nimitz on November 14, 2004. While en route to a training mission he was vectored toward an unknown radar contact. Arriving on the scene, he witnessed a lozenge-shaped craft that moved over an agitated, churning patch of ocean, then moved so quickly that it appeared to defy physics.

It seems that To the Stars is trying to shroud Fravor’s account in a spooky fog of faux top-secrecy. This is a dicey strategy given Fravor’s prominence in online UFO circles, and gives the impression that Elizondo’s company is repackaging timeworn tales from the internet as freshly revealed government X-files. And, by extension, calls into question the Times’ wisdom in taking his claims about extraterrestrial encounters at face value. More.

The New York Times is undergoing a long, slow decline, punctuated by brief revivals while repositioning itself as less and less mainstream. This episode fits the picture. It’s not the paper’s “fault”; the internet and social media do that to traditional media. They adjust or not, in a variety of ways.

But we’ll see.

See also: Fossil micro-organisms that could not arise via Darwinism prove that life in the universe is common? Why? How?

But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?


How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?

This sort of thing is big on YouTube now:

  • Hard Little Machine

    More settled science from the left, like gender and polar ice caps.

    • JPfromtheeast

      Well, there are a few key things regarding extraterrestrial life.

      If it is life of a high order of intelligence that is desired to be found, then the likelihood is VERY low that it exists and if it does, it will never be found by us at our current level of technology. And why do I say this?

      The reality of deep space, interstellar travel is that you need some form of effectively FTL travel. You also need the equivalent of what Star Trek would call a “navigational deflector” so that you don’t rip your ship to pieces or die from horrible radiation exposure. Having both of these technologies necessarily requires that this imagined civilization has mastered fusion and matter/anti-matter power. It would also mean, due to one more almost necessary thing, artificial gravity by way of anything other than inertia, this civilization would have the ability to colonize the entire galaxy at will.

      You see, unlike the artificial limits in science fiction stories, once FTL is mastered, there is no upper limit on speed. Especially if it is the “warp” drive that is being focused on by science now. Furthermore, science fiction also seems to love to skip over the fact that we could move above the plane of the galaxy and transit through far more empty space and then go down when we want to go to a specific star system.

      The next major issue is communications. Without the discovery of something real like “sub-space” to communicate across at supernatural speeds, once a civilization spreads out, that is it. Short of having the modern FTL “pony express” of course.

      And then there is the matter of planets and ecosystems that would allow such creatures to come about. It seems more and more that we are on a Goldilocks planet, in a Goldilocks orbital distance, around a Goldilocks star in a Goldilocks part of the galaxy. This set of seeming requirements starts to massively reduce the chances of things.

      No. There is either only us, or there is no way for any high order intelligence species to ever come in contact with each other due to distances, rarity and limitations of physics.