Saturday, December 23, 2017

TIME . . .

Time is one of the countless mysteries of the universe. Mankind is swept up in the river of time against his will and often against better judgement especially when viewed from a distance.  For example, sometime during the early 400’s; Church theologian, Saint Augustine of Hippo (about 354 — 430 AD) wrote at length about the puzzling nature of time: “How can the past and future be, when the past no longer is, and the future is not yet? As for the present, if it were always present and never moved on to become the past, it would not be time, but eternity.”   By taking Saint Augustine's logic a bit further, we could actually determine that time is simply not a possibility since the past has departed, the future does not physically exist, and the present occurs only for an instant.  

Some 1200 years later in 1600, the former Dominican monk and philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned alive in downtown Rome. So as to insure his humiliation, the “Church” first hung him upside down for a good while after striping him naked . . . What made the teachings of Bruno so perilous in the view of the “Church”? He had asked a simple question: “Is there life in outer space?” Rather than contemplate the possibility of other saints, popes, and churches existing somewhere out there in the heavens, it made more sense to the “Church” to simply burn him for “heresy”.

For more than 400 years the memory of Bruno has haunted historians, especially those of science. In any event, Bruno’s vindication has been late in coming, in that every few weeks or so (about twice a month) a new planet is discovered orbiting a distant star; to date, more than 250 such planets have now been documented. Never-the-less, one big question lingers:  Although the Milky Way is teaming with extrasolar planets, how many of them can and do support intelligent life?  And if such life exists out there, what can science say with certainly about it?

Many people claim that extraterrestrials visit Earth routinely in the form of UFOs. Yet, Scientists frequently dismiss the likelihood of UFOs being from distance stars due to the vast distance between them (distant stars) and Earth.

Regardless, the most believable circumstances of UFOs involve:
A. Multiple sightings by independent, credible eyewitnesses and
B. Evidence from multiple sources, such as eyesight coupled with radar. 
To the chagrin of multiple UFO event researchers such cases occur habitually. However what‘s so frustrating to investigating scientists is that, of the hundreds of recorded sightings, none have yet produced hard physical evidence that can lead to reproducible results in the laboratory such as alien DNA or an alien computer chip.

Characteristics of such credible UFO sightings that have been recorded by observers include:
          a)  The ability to zig-zag in midair;
b) The curious habit of stopping car ignitions and disrupting electrical power;
c) The ability to hover silently.

None of these characteristics fit the description of the rockets mankind has developed here on Earth. Most importantly because all known rockets depend on Newton’s third law of motion (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction); yet the UFOs that meet the criteria cited above do not appear to expel an exhaust plume. And the g-forces created by zig-zagging flying saucers are believed to exceed 100 times the gravitational force of Earth—so; simply put, the g-forces would be enough to flatten any creature of Earth.

Because of such unexplainable mysteries, a more sensible accounting of such undeniable events may best be explained by Travelers of Time!

In 1990, Stephen Hawking, the renowned British scientist, professor, and author who has done groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology, was at best skeptical about time travel; in fact he suggested “there ought to be a law, making time travel impossible”. At the time, perhaps lightheartedly, he also proposed a ‘Chronology Protection Conjecture’ to ban time travel from the laws of physics in order to “make history safe for historians”.

The awkward thing, however, is that no matter how hard physicists try, they can’t find a law that prevents time travel. Actually, time travel is consistent with the known laws of physics.   Sooo, it comes of little surprise that Hawkins, unable to find any physical law that makes time travel impossible, recently changed his mind. He made the evening news when he said, “Time travel may be possible, but it is not practical.”
Fact is, time travel into the future is not only possible it has been experimentally confirmed hundreds of times.  For example, if an astronaut were to travel near the speed of light, it will take him only a single minute to reach the nearest star in our Milky Way; however, four years would have elapsed on Earth, but for him, only one minute would have passed, because time would have slowed down inside his space craft. Therefore he would have travelled four years into the future, as experienced on Earth. (Tactically, Earth astronauts take a short trip into the future every time they go into outer space. You see, they travel at about 18,000 miles per hour when orbiting the Earth so their clocks tick a tiny bit slower than clocks on Earth.) Thus, proving that a time machine capable of taking us into the future is consistent with Einstein’s theory of relativity.

That said, the big problem is, yes — going back in time!

If mankind were to journey into the past, based upon our current knowledge of the laws of physics, history would be impossible to write. As soon as a historian recorded our past, someone could go back and alter it. Not only would time machines put historians out of business, they would enable us to change the course of time whenever we wanted. History could easily become a never-ending, madcap crazy episode, as tourists from the future ran trodden over historic events while trying to insure a good camera shot.

Perhaps the thorniest problem to overcome would be the logical paradoxes raised by time travel into the past. For example, what would happen if we killed our mother and father before we are born? This is a logical impossibility; typically called the “grandfather paradox”.

Fortunately there are at least three known hypothetical ways to resolve such paradoxes:
First, you unwittingly repeat past history as it is written when you go back in time, therefore always fulfilling the past. In other words, you have no “free will” in which case you are forced to complete the past as it is written. Consequently, if you travel back into the past to give the secret of time travel to your younger self, then it was simply meant to happen that way; if the secret of time travel came from the future, that’s okay, it was destiny!

Second, you have free will, so you can change the past, but only within certain limits. In short, your “free will” cannot create a time paradox. If you tried to kill your parents before you are born, a cryptic force would prevent you from performing the deed . . . Kind of like trying to walk on the ceiling; there is a law preventing all of us from doing so, even though we might want to. Meaning, there is a law preventing us from killing our parents before we are born.

Third, the universe simply splits into multiple worlds. On one timeline the people whom you killed may look just like your parents, but they are different, because you are now in a parallel universe. This possibility is most consistent with the quantum mechanics (CLICK HERE for more detailed information published back in 2011).

This theory can be clarified a bit by drawing a straight line on a blackboard, representing the timeline of our universe . . . Then draw a another line which splits off the first line; the second line represents a parallel world that opens up when you alter the past — the single timeline becomes two timelines.  This means that paradoxes resulting from time-travel can be resolved. So, if you killed your parents before you were born, it simply means you killed some nice couple who were genetically identical to your parents, with the same memories and personalities, but they were not actually your real parents.

Sooo, next time you or someone you know, encounters an unexplainable UFO  . . . Before dismissing it as just another crazy anomaly, you might first consider the notion that “aliens” really do exist, but they are likely our own descendants from many thousands of years into the future. And too, in such cases the UFO’s occupants may or may not technically be of extraterrestrial origin, if only because some of our indeterminably distant grandchildren may well be born on a planet far, far away!


Friday, September 29, 2017

Problems Ahead:

 Rumors of War, Inclement Weather, & Universal Health Care

The time is near when the United States must rethink how her great wealth is dispersed. Rumors of war, ever increasing inclement weather events that end in devastation, and a citizenry that recognizes the need, no, the right, for universal health care for all Americans are perhaps the critical issues that will finally force the US to recognize and fulfill the long standing need to rethink and adjust her annual budget expenditures.

To borrow the popular phrase “we’ve kicked the can to the end of the road” best describes the dilemma we currently face with North Korea. 

Attempts to convince the world that activities of man are increasing the earth’s temperature, resulting in global warming have failed miserably!  This dismal failure assures the increase in severe inclement weather events in the future and the gradual rise in sea levels not just nationwide, but worldwide! This will soon require large scale fortification or even the relocation of major US coastal cities such as New York, New Orleans, Huston, Miami, Boston, and Tampa Bay.

There’s more — ice sheets that are melting in Antarctica will bash California with an even greater sea-level rise than the rest of the world’s average; threatening the state’s famous beaches and infrastructure.  The most recent scientific monitoring results show that the rate of ice loss / melt from Antarctica and Greenland is increasing and because of how the Earth rotates coupled with the moons gravitational pull on the oceans, well, it’s really bad news for the entire California Coast line.

For far too long, the US has out-spent the rest of the world in building and maintaining a military machine that is unmatched anywhere on earth. Yet, we continue to see headlines such as the one declaring: “Pentagon buries evidence of $125 Billion in bureaucratic waste”.  Turns out the internal report, issued in January of 2015, identified “a clear path” for the Defense Department to save $125 billion over five years. 

Perhaps the biggest story is that the Pentagon attempted to hide the report’s findings amid fears that Congress would use the results as justification for slashing the defense budget.  

Just for the purpose of comparison; North Korea’s 2017 military budget is estimated to total 7.5 Billion Dollars, Russia’s military budget for 2017 is 69 Billion Dollars, China’s military Budget for 2017 is 215 Billion Dollars — these three potential US military adversaries combined, spent less than half of US expenditures for 2017 which eclipses all others with a military budget of 602.8 Billion Dollars—a sum that does not include expenditures for Veterans Affairs and Foreign Aid (which adds more than 231 Billion Dollars to the total)! Check-out the Budget Comparison Chart Below:  

If not for the extraordinary Atlantic hurricane season, of late (summer 2017), all eyes would be on Guam, a US territory in the western Pacific; with a population of less than 163,000 souls, all contained within an area of 210 sq miles (544 sq km). Stationed on the island are 3,831 US military personnel who control much of the island, including Anderson Air Force Base which hosts B52 bombers and fighter jets. The Island is reportedly referred to by many US commanders as a “permanent aircraft carrier”. In any event, since it’s only about 21 hundred miles southeast of Pyongyang, N Korea, this tiny US Territory is of considerable interest to Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s “Supreme Leader”.

Japan, one of many U S allies, is also of strategic interest to Kim, perhaps because there are more US military personnel serving in Japan than in any other country: 39,345 troops are stationed on 112 bases, mostly on the subtropical island of Okinawa, roughly 800 miles (1,280km) south west of Tokyo.

Headquartered in Japan, is the Seventh Fleet; it’s the largest of the US navy’s deployed sea forces, with roughly 50—70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, ballistic missile interceptors, and long-range Tomahawk land attack missiles.  The antiaircraft ships often include up to 14 cruisers and destroyers, some of which are armed with both defensive and offensive fleet missiles; as many as 12 nuclear-powered submarines are also “on call” 24/7, and finally the nuclear-powered supercarrier, the USS Ronald Regan, is permanently deployed at Yokosuka, Japan, as the 7th fleet’s flagship. 

Set up as a safeguard against North Korea in 1957 after the three-year “Police Action”, the United States Force Korea (USFK) says its mission is to “deter aggression and, if necessary, defend the Republic of Korea”.  After Germany, South Korea is the third largest host of US military forces, with 23,468; equipped with over 300 tanks (the powerful M1 Abrams among them), and armored vehicles.

So as to strengthen South Koreas defensive posture, in April of 2017, the US installed a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (“THAAD”), within a small community 135 miles (217km) southeast of Seoul, South Korea’s capital and largest city, with the specific purpose of intercepting and destroying incoming missiles from North Korea in mid-flight.

But just how effective is the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or “THAAD”?   Well, it’s good, but no magic bullet.   Experts contend that countries that try to build missile defense systems, such as South Korea, should aim for a multi layered defense system; so in addition to THAAD, the sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (Aegis BMD or ABMD) is currently the best compliment to THAAD, it fires from warships; can cover larger areas and is considerably more mobile. And finally the most recent design of short-range Patriot missiles — the Patriot PAC-3 — can also shoot down ballistic missiles, but only at short range. All of these weapons can be connected to the same sensor and command network; so a synchronized defense is possible.

To date, THAAD has a good record in actual field tests, most recently destroying a target simulating a missile comparable to N Korea’s Hwasong-12 in July of 2017.
Trouble is, Missile defense, though very attractive, is a bit of tricky strategy when dealing with offensive missile threats. It has been likened to “hitting a bullet with a bullet”, and testing such systems can’t be done on the cheap. The payoff, of course, is protection from enemy ballistic missiles, which proved somewhat effective in the first gulf war when defending the Soviet made Scud missile attacks with Patriot missiles.
Just so you know, a THAAD battery costs about $900 Million; one Aegis BMD system costs about $718 Million; and a Patriot missile runs about 3 Million Dollars each.

So, exactly who is North Korea and where’d she come from?  Officially, she’s known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK); with the unsavory reputation of being the most heavily sanctioned state in the world!

For 35 years (1910 — 1945) all of Korea was under oppressive Japanese military rule, as was the case during World War II, however, this ended after U.S. and Soviet forces captured the peninsula near the war’s end, which led to the UN dividing Korea into two occupation zones, with the United States overseeing the southern half of the peninsula and the Soviet Union administering the area north of the 38th parallel (“the Demilitarized Zone”) — thus establishing a North and South Korea. This division was meant to be temporary and the initial idea was to reunify North & South to a single Korea— however this plan was dependent upon the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the Republic of China organizing a single unified government scenario that would work.   

Nationwide elections were scheduled to establish a new Korean government and her leaders, however due to a lack of support in the Soviet controlled sector; the election only involved South Korea . . . In-other-words, the divided peninsula remained in place; as is true today.

China and North Korea have been allies since the end of the Second World War and her resilience stems, to a large degree, from her economic links with China.  You see, commerce with China accounts for as much as 90% of North Korea’s total foreign trade—simply put . . . China provides North Korea with most of the small country’s food and energy.   Keep in mind though that China and N Korea share a common border of 880 miles (1,420 km); so, no one was shocked, when, during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, China supported North Korea by sending an estimated 3 million soldiers into the conflict; resulting in as many as 180,000 Chinese soldiers being killed.

Regardless, following WW II, North Korea was under the rule of the Soviets from 1945 to 1948.  After all, they had been a key player in liberating the peninsula in 1945, so, it was of little surprise when the Soviet 64th Fighter Aviation Corps took part in the Korean War by providing North Korea and China with badly needed aircraft pilots. However, many “Western” nations were most pleased when the Soviet government began to reduce aid to the North during the Glasnost era initiated by General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev during the late 1980’s in favor of reconciliation with South Korea. 

So, why would N Korea consider the US such an unsavory adversary? First, North Korea teaches its citizens from a tender age that the US started the Korean War and only the Kim family can protect them — and yes, they believe it without question.  Second, during the War, the U.S. Air Force bombed and napalmed parts of North Korea leaving 20% of its population dead and the survivors have shared their memories with North Korea’s youth.   Third, the United States considers South Korea the sole legitimate representative of all of Korea; hence, North Korea has not received diplomatic recognition from the US.  Fourth, the N Korean government contends  that the US is a “capitalist imperialist” successor to Japan, a view the citizenry holds to be true.  And finally, and some say of most significance, the nearly 24,000 US troops stationed in South Korea is considered an on-going threat to North Korea’s existence as a state.

Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and will officially end on November 30th; however, activity began earlier than usual this year (2017) for the third consecutive year. NOAA forecasters predict the “season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010.”  Though NOAA’s outlook still calls for 5 to 9 hurricanes for the entire season; currently (September 23) the total stands at 7 — thus far, the 2017 season is the first of record to usher in three Atlantic hurricanes making landfall onto the United States at Category 4 intensity or higher. 

To date, the most active Atlantic hurricane season was 2005 which recorded 15 hurricanes. The least active year was 1914, with only one known tropical storm developing during that year—it failed to reach hurricane strength.  The only other season of record without a hurricane was 1907; however 5 tropical storms did occur.

In any event, AccuWeather President Joel Myers said he believes “Hurricane Harvey was the most costly weather event in U.S. history, and that – paired with Hurricane Irma – the two storms would collectively cost the US 290 Billion Dollars”.   Conversely, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, has a less dire opinion; he estimated a cost of only 200 Billion Dollars.  As for Hurricane Maria’s total damage estimates to Porto Rico, the total is not yet complete.

2017 Meteorological Records and or Notable Facts:
Hurricane Harvey— Post-Landfall Record: 51.88” of rainfall at Cedar Bayou, TX; most ever recorded in the continental United following a storm’s landfall — just 0.12” shy of the full United States record set in Hawaii of 52 inches in 1979. Harvey likely broke that record too since it was still raining at time the rain gauge failed.

Hurricane Irma: Intensity/Day Measurements — 185 mph max winds for 37 hours — the longest any cyclone, hurricane or typhoon, around the globe has maintained that intensity on record. The previous record was Typhoon “Haiyan” in the NW Pacific at 24 hours, a record set in 2013.                                                   

Hurricane Maria: In hurricane Maria’s aftermath (9-21-2017), all of Puerto Rico lost electricity; entire towns were flooded, streets where turned to rivers and excessive winds (155 mph) fell trees and demolished homes.  As for Maria’s monetary damage to the US territory of Porto Rico, whose economy was in shambles even prior to the storm, preliminary damage estimates stand somewhere between 40 and 85 Billion Dollars;  according to catastrophe-modeling firm AIR Worldwide—sadly, that estimate does not include losses to infrastructure, boats, or damage to uninsured properties. Worse still, AIR estimates that only about 50% of homes in Puerto Rico have insurance policies that cover wind damage  — far less than is typical throughout US states.

As for the Pacific Ocean’s hurricanes, typhoon, and cyclones it can be a bit confusing.  As you know in the southwestern Pacific and Indian Ocean, they’re “cyclones;” in the northwestern Pacific, the same powerful storms are “typhoons;” and in the northern Pacific, like the Atlantic, the storms are termed “hurricanes," named after the Caribbean god of evil, Hurrican.

There is extensive scientific evidence that extreme events are increasing around the globe, and is forecast to “snowball”— here’s just a few examples:

Over the last several weeks extremely heavy monsoon rains have killed more than 1,000 people across Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, and more than 41 million people have suffered the direct impact of the excessive rain; British Columbia is currently experiencing its most despicable wildfire season in recorded history; heat waves and drought are driving a strong wildfire season that has the American West ablaze; all 39 counties in the US state of Washington are under a state of emergency — highlighted by ash falling like snow in Seattle; the smoke, resulting from the wild fires is affecting air quality as distant as the  East Coast.

Okay, so extreme weather is to be expected in August and September, after all, those months are amid hurricane and wildfire season . . . It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, so it always gets pretty hot in a lot of places . . .  And in South Asia, it is monsoon season too—trouble is, scientists and or climatologists agree that the ongoing extreme weather events are some of the most extreme ever experienced and are threatening more human lives than is usually the case.
Then there’s the ripple effects, that most of us don’t think about until they affect us directly: Oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf region is at risk—as was clearly demonstrated with recent hurricane Harvey, electric power outages are already becoming routine as the transport of coal by rail, and especially by barge, across the Midwest and Northeast face more flooding disruptions, and electricity generation in the Southwest will soon be limited by water shortages as heat waves and droughts become more extreme.  

Bet you never thought Global Warming could have a negative impact on allergies — well consider this: Respiratory allergies are expected to worsen significantly for approximately 25 million Americans! One of several causes include the fall ragweed “crop”; it’s projected to thrive and become more irritating because of increased carbon dioxide levels. Ragweed plants at today’s carbon dioxide levels are likely to produce nearly twice as much pollen as they did, just a 100 years ago.  Already, costs for allergies and asthma in the United States stands at near 33 Billion Dollars every year in direct health care costs and lost productivity.

Then there’s the huge cost per year for a US universal health care plan to deal with;  a sentiment currently (2017) favored by more than 60% of Americansand for many of us, the monotony associated with basic math — yes, the numbers are huge but in the end, the math is basic.  In the worst case scenario, cost estimates stand at 1.38 Trillion Dollars ($1,380,000,000,000.00) per year for the plan historically proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders.

According to the 2017 federal budget outline, the US is already committed to Spend, on Medicare & Health, 1.17 Trillion Dollars ($1,170,000,000,000.00)so an additional 210 Billion Dollars (210,000,000.00) is required to reach full health care coverage costs as described above (1.38 Trillion Dollars).  Simply put, absent a major tax increase or a dramatic shift in how the federal government’s receivables are dispersed, the future of full health care coverage for every American is bleak at best!   Especially when considering that by the end of Fiscal Year 2017 the US federal government debt is estimated to reach 20.4 Trillion Dollars and the annual deficit is estimated to be 443 Billion Dollars; an improvement on the 2016 deficit of 585 Billion Dollars but the government’s total budget disbursements still exceed its total receipts for both the fiscal years (e.g. fiscal year beginning October 1, 2016 and ending September 30, 2017).

In fiscal year 2018, the federal budget forecast is 4.094 Trillion Dollars, while the US General Accounting Office guesstimates it will receive 3.654 Trillion Dollars in revenue. Yep, that results in a 440 Billion Dollar deficit for October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018 and that’s a far cry from the 2009 deficit of 1.4 Trillion Dollars and yes the current trend is definitely heading in the right direction — nearly a Trillion Dollars within a 9 year span; that’s great—right?  At that pace, if we could only rid ourselves of those nasty annual deficits, the nation could almost have a surplus within a little less than 184 years (9 x 20.4 = 183.6) . . . Has such an event (budget surplus) occurred in recent history? Check-out the display below:

Okay, 210 Billion additional Dollars in funding is necessary to reach universal health care coverage — but is such a scenario even possible without raising taxes? In a word: Yes, but America’s love affair with unbridled military spending and rampant waste must end! 

Sooo, if you’re elected president within the next few years, to succeed, perhaps you will consider parts of or all of the following agenda:

   1. Withdraw all US troops and personnel from South Korea, except those located at the Chinhae Naval Base located on the south eastern coast of South Korea . . . But only after installing several more THAAD systems south of the Demilitarized Zone—well beyond the reach of North Korea’s conventional artillery and short-range rockets, including her Scud missiles. After all, what are US troops stationed near the 38th Parallel — other than live American made “targets” intended specifically for North Korea?  

   2. Relocate a large part of the US Naval 7th fleet to the west side of Japan into the Sea of Japan — particularly the ships equipped with the Aegis BMD or ABMD missile defense systems and simultaneously reassign the fleet’s base from Japan to the Chinhae Naval Base in southern South Korea. 

   3. Close and or withdraw all US troops and personnel from Japan—including those on the subtropical island of Okinawa, Japan.

   4. The military budget, will in all likelihood, be in excess of 650 Billion Dollars in years to come, excepting revenues designated for Veterans Affairs and Foreign Aid; especially when considering past years and the 2018 military budget forecast.
With this in mind, the elimination of US Military Aid to all foreign countries and US Economic Aid to wealthy nations like Israel who received 3.1 Billion Dollars in Economic Aid in 2016 is a must — such an action can easily be justified, as Israel’s Universal Health Plan was ranked fourth in the world in terms of efficiency as recently as 2014  . . . Such cutbacks will yield a savings of 10.9 Billion Dollars or more per year; and too, such savings should be applied exclusively to the US National Debt which currently stands at 20.4 Trillion Dollars.

   5. Reduce the Military Budget by a minimum of 210 Billion Dollars and apply it to a Universal Health Care program.   For example if using the above style 2018 Budget numbers, such a reallocation would be as follows: Military Spending, 442.60 Billion Dollars — still 2 times more than China spends per year ($215 Billion) . . . 6 times more than Russia spends ($69 Billion) . . . and 59 times more than North Korea’s military expenditures ($7.5 Billion); US Veterans Affairs expenditures would remain the same at $178.10 Billion and Foreign Aid or Economic Aid would be reduced to 26 Billion Dollars or less.

   6.  Perhaps it is unfortunate that a comprehensive or total tally of public disaster-related spending in the United States simply does not exist.  FEMA and several other federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development have spent Millions of Dollars on disaster response and recovery for the past several years.  In truth, the total funds required to satisfy such a need is simply an unknown.

Considering the anticipated disastrous impact of inclement weather events that are  believed by the vast majority of the worlds climatologist’s that will soon become commonplace on the US and her territories, it is no longer an option to continue squandering our economic resources on forever building and maintaining a military machine that is expected or destined to “police” the world.  With this foremost in mind, as citizens who hope to survive as a nation into the 22nd century and beyond, we must recognize the necessity to quit forever the folly of always outspending militarily, potential adversaries by 100% or much, much more.  That’s not saying that to maintain a military is no longer a necessity—in fact such a circumstance may be a century or more away!    

This of course is only an opinion, one of many, and you may not even run for president, ever; even though it is the platform best suited for implementing all or even a few of the above suggested subject matters / issues. 

In any event, if you do decide to pursue the US Presidency, keep in mind that simply being a Billionaire will not necessarily get you the coveted prize. Case-in-point, a fella named Ross Perot tried in 1992 and again in 1996 — he failed on both attempts — at the time his net worth was actually 4.1 Billion Dollars — however he often implied it was only 3.8 Billion.  On the other hand the current US President’s net worth when he entered the 2016 presidential race was really 3.5 Billion Dollars, although he often claimed his net worth was 10 Billion Dollars or more.  Point being, making “colorful” claims and using “alternative facts” may be the sure way to becoming leader of the free world. 

Click Here to view a 1992 SNL spoof preserved by YouTube and see what probably won’t help get you elected.   

The argument is often made that American citizenship was most eloquently reckoned in The Declaration of Independence back in 1776, which states that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are all natural born rights.  Bottom line: it’s only possible to achieve such rights when proper health care is available to every citizen; there is reasonable protection from inclement weather events—including droughts, wildfires, and rising sea levels; when a low risk of being “wiped out” by a foreign power is insured by the government; and finally, when the absence of excessive taxation by said government is assured.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Close Encounters, by the Numbers

Close Encounters of the First Kind are events in which a person or persons witness one or more Unidentified Flying Object's (UFO’s).  Specifically, if seen within 150 meters (492 feet); it’s an encounter of the first kind.  There have been millions of such encounters through recorded history. The first recorded sighting in America was documented back in March of 1639, within the diary of John Winthrop, Massachusetts Bay Colony founder and governor. Therein (his diary) he recorded the trials and triumphs of his fellow Puritans.  A more recent example of Close Encounters of the First Kind occurred in Huston, Texas in August of 2014, when, a multitude of UFO sightings were reported by a broad spectrum of citizens.

Close Encounters of the Second Kind are when the events result in physical effects. This can include a wide range of contact events such as interference in the functioning of a vehicle or an electronic device; unusual animal behaviors; physiological effects such as paralysis or heat and discomfort experienced by the witness; or physical trace evidence such as crop circles, imprints in the ground, scorched or otherwise unnatural vegetation, and or trace evidence of one or more chemicals left behind.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind are UFO encounters in which an alien creature is a part of the event.  Such creatures include humanoids, robots, or humans who often seem to be occupants of or pilots of a UFO.

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind describes a UFO event in which an individual is abducted by the UFO’s occupants.  Such encounters with “other-world” beings are not related to the supernatural or with divine beings; instead, such contact entails a real-life experience by an unwilling or reluctant human that’s native to Earth and is often complicated further because the event may seem hallucinatory or dreamlike to the participant.  Close Encounters of the 4th Kind are rarest of all UFO encounters and hardest for the public to accept as factual experiences.

Although alien abductions have become commonplace events, most are “explained away” by naive disbelievers of the existence of intelligent life beyond earth or are simply debunked by government cover-ups.

However, as with most things of significance, there are a few flagship cases that simply have not been explained away:

The first alien abduction of the 4th kind to be widely publicized was the Betty and Barney Hill abduction of 1961 . . . It remains the alien abduction case to which all others are compared to and judged.

The Hills, Barney, a 39-year-old black man, worked for the U S postal service, and Betty, a 41-year-old white woman, a supervisor for the child welfare department, began their journey back home to Portsmouth, NH after vacationing in Montreal, Canada on the evening of September 19th, 1961.  At several minutes before 10:00 PM, Barney, who was driving south on New Hampshire’s Daniel Webster Highway, noticed a “star” in the distance ahead which appeared to be moving about irregularly. As they neared North Woodstock, NH he alerted Betty, and they both kept close watch on it as they forged south along their scheduled route home.

A few miles south of North Woodstock near the Indian Head Resort, Barney noticed that the star’s erratic behavior had intensified dramatically.  When they arrived at the Indian Head Resort, he stopped the car alongside the road and they both exited the car to have a better view. Using binoculars, Barney zoomed in on the “star” for a better look-see.

With his visual aide (binoculars) he was able to see multiple colors of lights coming from a large oval shaped craft which had several rows of windows.  As the object moved closer Barney could actually see “people” inside; the craft proceeded toward a nearby field.

Within a few seconds, the Hills, quite frightened, swiftly got back into the car and proceeded down the highway toward home, all the while peering into the night sky ahead in search of the object as they trooped south. As they drove on, they began to hear a beeping sound . . . once . . . then again.

The very next thing the Hills recalled was being terrified by the unusual flying craft, and the occupants they had seen inside it.   The craft was nowhere in sight and they wasted no time speeding ahead.  Suddenly they realized, although they had been driving only a couple of minutes, they estimated they were 35 miles or so further down the road past where they had stopped near the Indian Head Resort’s parking lot. It was then too, they were shocked to see it was a few minutes past 12:00 AM—indicating a lapse / loss of at least two hours for which neither of the two had a recollection of.

Upon returning home to Portsmouth, still unable to explain the two missing hours, being totally exhausted and still plenty scared from their frightening experience, they both immediately went to bed.  Come morning, both Betty and Barney upon further examination, noted physical changes to their belongs from the previous night’s events; Betty’s torn and stained dress, Barney’s severely scraped shoe, and broken binocular strap — neither could recall these things having happened.

By mid-morning Betty had relayed their distressing experience to her sister, Janet.  Following Janet’s urging, she called the Pease Air Force Base (a U S Strategic Air Command facility at the time), and reported their experience of the previous night. Following Betty’s report, Major Paul W. Henderson’s reply was short but firm:  “The UFO was also confirmed by our radar.”

Being somewhat satisfied with learning, at least, they were not seeing things; the Hills proceeded with trying to put the incident behind them. But within a short while Betty began to have freighting nightmares. In her dreams, she saw her and Barney being forced into some sort of craft, amid several other terrifying events.

Because of her dreams and the missing time element, the desire to know what, if anything had happened during the “missing” time, Betty, and a reluctant Barney, decided to contact a psychiatrist. They soon selected Boston psychiatrist and neurologist, Dr. Benjamin Simon, who was well-known in the field. 

After nearly six months of treatment, a long list of hidden memories were gathered by way of regressive hypnosis from the Hills; regressive hypnosis, you may recall is a treatment often successful in unlocking psychologically blocked memories.  In any event it was Dr. Simon’s concluding opinion that the two had been abducted and taken aboard an unknown craft.

Several of the Facts that were Recovered:
Their automobile had stalled on the road shortly after the Hill's stop near the resort 
The UFO had landed in front of their car in the middle of the road, blocking passage 
The alien beings departed the craft and approached their car, carrying both Betty and Barney inside the UFO 
They were subjected to several medical tests 
Their captors were described as “. . . bald-headed alien beings, about five foot tall, with grayish skin, pear shaped heads and slanting cat-like eyes” 
Both physical and mental experiments were conducted 
Samples taken; included skin, hair, and nails
Betty received gynecological testing 
Barney revealed that sperm samples were taken from him 
Before being released, they both were hypnotized and ordered by the aliens to keep their capture undisclosed

Travis Walton’s abduction began on November 5, 1975, in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Snowflake, Arizona. Walton was one of seven men contracted by the government to clear-cut trees within the National Forest. At the work day’s end, the crew jumped into foreman Mike Roger’s pick-up truck and headed home.

As they slowly trudged along, they were taken aback to see near the side of the rugged road, a “luminous object, shaped like a flattened disc” within the confines of a clearing near the edge of the rugged roadway.

Travis, a bit young, unafraid, and often too curious for his own good, was immediately fascinated by the presence of the  object and swiftly abandoned the truck to get a closer look, against the vocal protests of his co-workers. As he looked up at the wonder of the unusual object or craft, a blue beam was emitted from the craft striking him to the earth. Panic and terror immediately engulfed the six other men; likely by pure reflex they roared away in the truck for a distance before realizing they had left Travis behind; at which point they all agreed he most likely needed help.  They hurriedly turned the truck and headed back to find to their dismay that he had seemingly vanished.

Following a lengthy search the men departed the scene and returned to the small town of Snowflake; where they filed a report with the local police department. They relayed their story first, to Deputy Ellison, and then, to Sheriff Marlin Gillespie, who later reported that the men seemed genuinely troubled and sincere. The police officers and the crew members returned to the scene that evening with flashlights and searched again for Travis; for a second time without favorable results.

They returned the next morning and searched for a third time with the aid of daylight. Still, no trace of Travis Walton could be found.

Quickly, the story broke into the national media. The small Arizona town was literally overrun by newspaper writers, researchers, UFO buffs, and many members of the general population.

Several days of fruitless searching by men on foot, men in four-wheel drive vehicles, scent dogs, and even helicopters followed but no sign of Walton was found. Temperatures plunged at night in November, even in north central Arizona, prompting fear that Walton, injured by the beam and lying somewhere unattended and disoriented, could not survive.

Absent success, Law enforcement began to develop another line of investigation . . .  a possible motive for murder.  Speculating that there could be bad blood between Travis and one or more of the remaining crew members, they began to weigh the credibility of the six men involved in the clear cutting contract. Yielding to demands to take polygraph tests, all of the men passed, save one, which was inconclusive. Following background checks and intense interviews with the six men, Police personnel, concluded that there was no reason to believe that they were covering up a fight or murder. By ruling out foul-play that left one possibility; the crazy story the men were telling was true!

Rumors flourished and wild theories prevailed, until five days after his disappearance, Travis Walton returned.  He stumbled into a small filling station; dirty, hungry, thirsty, and very weak.

Travis later told investigators that the very last thing he could recall, just prior to his misadventure, was the feeling of being flung backward in the woods. After that, nothing . . . until he awoke freezing, in serious pain, and very thirsty. That’s when he realized he was being “showered” by some sort of light, as he was lying on a table, somewhat like an examining table in a hospital. Walton, still somewhat dazed, said he first thought he had been found by the crew and had then been taken to the hospital.

This supposition was far from true.

Conscious of the fact that he was lying on a table, at first was a bit comforting, but realizing it was a table in a strange room or chamber and certainly not in a hospital—not so reassuring. Finally when his vision cleared, he was utterly shocked to see three short, bald creatures in the room that were obviously in the middle of performing various medical procedures / tests on his outstretched body.  When they left, someone entered the chamber wearing some sort of helmet and led Walton to another room, where one of three additional individuals put a clear plastic mask over his face just before he blacked out.

Walton remembers nothing else until he found himself lying along the side of a highway, with the UFO departing above him.        

The Travis Walton case was the first to be given serious attention by mainstream science and caused many non-believers to reconsider their position on the notion of alien abductions.  Many theories have been placed forward to explain the Walton abduction as something other than what it was; however, none of the alleged scenarios are consistent with the facts of the case.

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind involves direct communication between aliens and humans. As Earth’s scientists edge closer to discovering life elsewhere in the cosmos, language specialists are trying to determine the best way to communicate with them.  For obvious reasons, this is un-charted territory.  After all, a dialectal that originates from another planet will likely be unfathomable to humans, so experts have turned to what could be a universal language: Math.

Close Encounters of the Sixth kind involves the death of an animal or a human associated with a UFO encounter.  The 1st documented Animal Mutilation occurred September 7, 1967 when Lady, a three-year-old Appaloosa mare, failed to return to her pasture for her morning drink on the Harry King ranch near Alamosa, Colorado.

Her carcass was found in a far pasture, two days later. Parts of the animal had been neatly cut with surgical expertise: her heart and brain were missing, and a strange, formaldehyde-like odor drifted from the carcass, yet no incriminating tracks were found near the body that might help explain how Lady met her unfortunate end.

Yet, there were several other peculiar discoveries:

Six indentations formed a circle about 3 feet in diameter (which investigators felt were the marks of a landing gear of some kind airborne craft) alongside the horse’s body.
The horse’s owner, Miss Nellie Lewis, and the ranch owner, Mr. Harry King, both noted a peculiar odor similar to incense and a shrub bush that looked as though an intense heat source had bent it down from above was still standing in close proximity to the scene. 
A piece of the horse’s mane, Nellie picked up at the site, burned her hand; she later discovered that the boots she wore to the site tested as being radioactive.

This mysterious event is still unsolved and started the animal mutilation sensation that has occurred repeatedly throughout the United States.

Finally there are Close Encounters of the Seventh Kind; such interaction involves contact with a human-alien hybrid or off-spring.

The most frequently encountered beings of the “7th Kind” are the mysterious “Men in Black” (MIB); the oddly behaved individuals often show up on the scene shortly after a UFO sighting.   Men in Black are not believed to be quite human, but witnesses may not recognize this fact until midway through an encounter.  They may be wearing black suits complimented with dark sunglasses and arrive in shiny new black cars.   These guys often claim to be government agents who harass or threaten those who have recently seen a UFO and in no uncertain terms, direct the UFO witness (or witnesses) to keep their mouth shut in regard to their unusual encounter!         

From time to time, encounters of the 7th Kind are attributed to athletes who enjoy superior physical abilities in their chosen field of spectator sports coupled with what is perceived to be unusual and or bizarre day to day behavior above and beyond their professional skills.  Examples include Dennis Rodman, whose many body piercings, tattoos, and baffling behavior throughout and after his professional basketball career are considered, well, outside the realm of normalcy.   Rodman’s assertion that he is the oldest of a total of 47 children only reinforces the contention (even though he was born in Trenton, New Jersey), that his biological father is really an alien.

A second example is former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Nolan Ryan (aka The Ryan Express).  During his record 27-year baseball career, he was nothing short of a pitching machine!  Ryan’s robotic-like accuracy and power were beyond this world, as he regularly threw strikes exceeding 100 miles per hour. His career strikeouts of 5,714 remain a record no “full-stock” human may ever contest as is indicated by runner-up, Randy Johnson, who trails by 839 strikeouts. During his “sunset” years, Ryan continues proving he is more than a mere earthling—he is currently an executive adviser to the owner of the Houston Astros.

Then, there’s Bill Lee, Lee is a former Montreal Expo and Boston Red Sox pitcher, he too is among the list of those of likely alien descent that has lived large in the midst of the sporting community.  Yea, it’s true that left-handed pitchers have a tendency to walk on the weird side of life, but Lee’s outspoken manner and constant quest to redefine logic coupled with his unparalleled tomfoolery throughout his career and beyond are more easily explained as being other-worldly.  Even his nickname, “Spaceman” points to the supposition that this guy’s bloodline really came from a planet, far, far away; not Burbank, California, as some have suggested.  At age 69 (2016), Lee entered the sport of politics, when he ran for governor of Vermont; he didn’t take campaign contributions and his campaign slogan, “So far left, we're right” was not sufficient to place him in the Governor’s Mansion, but he did received 8,912 votes.

For years, as a professional basketball player, Michael Jordan, was suspect of being of alien descent, primarily because his far superior basketball playing style and ability so eclipsed his worthy opponents. Jordan, as a professional basketball player, was beyond compare; little wonder, following his less than remarkable attempt at professional baseball, there are still good folks who believe his baseball days were nothing more than a “smoke screen” he tactfully placed before his fans and the media so as to conceal his true identity — an alien hybrid whose mother was from the same star system as Rodman’s dad.

Close Encounters are not a new phenomenon:

“In 593 B.C. Ezekiel recorded a whirlwind to the north which appeared as a fiery sphere.
In 1254 at Saint Albans Abbey, when the moon was eight days old, there appeared in the sky a ship elegantly shaped, well equipped and of marvelous color.
Christopher Columbus, while on the deck of the Santa Maria on October 11, 1492, at 10:00 P.M., observed “a light glimmering at a great distance.”   It disappeared and reappeared several times during the night, moving up and down, “in sudden and passing gleams.”
In 1520 France, there was sighted a round-shaped object with rotating lights and two fiery suns.
In 1874 Texas, a farmer reported seeing a dark flying object in the shape of a disc cruising in the sky at a wonderful speed. “

These are but a few of many such events recorded by historians related to Close Encounters with UFO’s and beyond; such events have been reported throughout documented history and in countless parts of the world, giving raise to questions about life on other planets and whether extraterrestrials have visited Earth of recent date and or in the distant past. From the modern prospective, they became a key subject of interest—and the inspiration for movies, TV shows, and books–following the advancement of rocketry shortly after World War II.

While it’s true that the unaided eye can, and often does, play tricks on the mind regarding UFO sightings or Close Encounters and while in certain respects radar sightings are much more dependable, yet, can occasionally fail to discriminate between meteor trails, ionized gas such as a flame, or even rain in the atmosphere, thus creating more doubts in such situations . . . to acknowledge such deficiencies most certainly does not disprove all reported Close Encounters with Unidentified Flying Objects.  Just ask anybody that knows:  We are not alone!