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Should Our Scientists Take UFOs and Ghosts More Seriously?

Article by John Horgan                             May 18, 2020                              (scientificamerican.com)

• Leslie Kean (pictured above) is a co-author of the 2017 New York Times front-page article on Pentagon investigations of UFOs. (see ExoArticle here “Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program”). She is also the author of the 2010 bestseller UFOs: Generals, Pilots, And Government Officials Go On The Record and also her 2017 book Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife. John Horgan, who has a hard time believing in ghosts and alien visitations, interviewed her to ask about UFOs and the paranormal.

• Kean tells Horgan that she wasn’t interested in UFOs and the paranormal until she reached adulthood. When she was a child, she believed in the “supernormal magic” of Santa Clause because he took a bite from the Christmas cookies she left out which proved he was real. When she learned that Santa didn’t exist, she felt betrayed by “the authorities” – her parents – for lying to her. “Something precious had been taken away”” says Kean. “Maybe at some unconscious level this led me to want to find out what’s real and to prove the so-called authorities wrong.”

• When Kean was a freelance writer in 1999, she came across a 90-page ‘COMETA Report’ by retired French generals, police, scientists and an admiral. (see COMETA reports Part 1 here and Part 2 here) The group had spent three years documenting official military and aviation UFO cases. Their conclusion was that the “extraterrestrial hypothesis” was the most valid and logical one to explain the data. Their report proposed that pilots be trained on how to respond to UFOs to avoid future mishaps or even dangerous accidents. Given the stature and credibility of the group, Kean published a lengthy article based on the COMETA Report for the Boston Globe in May, 2000.

• Whether UFOs might be piloted by aliens, “I …will not rule it out,” says Kean. “There are many possibilities on the table. I have made the point over and over that we do not know what these objects are, and that’s where things stand.” “My book concluded that (the UFO) phenomenon exists, without question. …It’s physical, and well documented, even by our government. But what these objects are is another question…. (which) has led to all kinds of speculation. These flying machines, whatever they are, might not even have any drivers at all, for all we know.”

• The best evidence we have that UFOs have an extraterrestrial origin is the “extremely advanced technology that the objects have displayed since the 1950’s. They demonstrate tremendous speed and accelerations, the ability to make sharp right-angle turns, stand still in midair, zoom off and disappear in the blink of an eye, and operate under water. They appear to defy the laws of aviation as we know it, since they have no wings or visible means of propulsion. The documentation goes back more than 60 years, when no one on this planet had technology like this.”

• Kean says she doesn’t know what to make of alien abduction experiences. “I know sane, intelligent people who report such events, and some even have physical evidence of them. Their lives have been turned upside down by these experiences. … It points to the greater complexity of this issue which goes beyond any simple hypothesis.”

• What does Kean say about journalists like Keith Kloor who accused Kean’s NYTimes article as “thinly-sourced and slanted”? “I simply don’t agree with Kloor’s statement,” says Kean. “[I was] one of three people writing the Times stories, which include scrutiny by fact-checkers and multiple editors.” “[I] will continue to cover the (UFO) topic whenever we can.”

• Astrophysicist Katie Mack, said in Scientific American, that she doesn’t take alien spaceships seriously enough to debunk them. Kean says that she understands Mack’s position, as UFOs might not be “alien spaceships” at all. “[A]ny question about alien spaceships misses the point,” says Kean. “These are unknowns, plain and simple. But they are physically real. They interact with military pilots and commercial aircraft. Therefore, they deserve investigation.”

• “During the ten years I was investigating UFOs, I had been intrigued by the question of the possible survival of consciousness when we die,” says Kean. “I had poked around into some of the research, especially the work of Ian Stevenson at the University of Virginia studying young children with verified past life memories. …This was another big mystery facing human beings: what happens when we die?” So Kean wrote the book: Surviving Death. “Most of my “paranormal” experiences occurred during the time I was involved in the (book’s) research, which began in 2012,” says Kean. “The experiences I had were beyond my imagination. They were life-changing. …So writing Surviving Death was a journey of discovery which unfolded while I was writing it.”

• In Surviving Death, Kean didn’t make any “claims about life after death” that she felt could discredit her as a writer. “I invited others to write their own chapters, and they said things that I didn’t say. My conclusion was that the evidence was suggestive (of life existing after death), but not definitive.” Kean received what appeared to be after-death communications from [her] brother, saw an apparition, and experienced genuine physical mediumship. “I think my narrative would have remained one-dimensional and abstract without this personal element. …It would have been dishonest to omit them, because they impacted my thinking and my effort to come to terms with many remarkable phenomena” while remaining analytical and discriminating with everything else. “The tricky aspect lies in the interpretation of the extraordinary events, not in their reporting.”

• “Paranormal phenomena exist,” insists Kean. “They seem to operate outside the limits of the current materialistic framework adapted by most scientists, while at the same time, nobody can explain what consciousness actually is. …I find it astonishing that there are still some scientists who adapt the position that ‘it can’t be, therefore it isn’t.’ …I have witnessed many paranormal phenomena myself, and I know they exist. Those who don’t want to believe these things will dismiss them no matter what they read.”

• “Cases of very young children who report accurate details of a past life, complete with nightmares about the previous death and knowledge from the previous career, are compelling when the memories can be verified and the previous person is identified,” says Kean. “Cases of responsive apparitions are also interesting – these “forms” demonstrate intelligence by reacting to multiple human observers, and sometimes provide information through telepathy about their lives on earth which are verified to be true.” “There is a wealth of literature on all of this,” says Kean. “[In] the words of William James: “If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn’t seek to show that all crows are black; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white.”

• The ‘life after death’ question centers “around the nature of human consciousness and its manifestations that appear to transcend the limitations of the brain. …Who are we really? Biological robots, or something else?” asks Kean. “I think all aspects of “superhuman” functioning – precognition, clairvoyance, telepathy, psychokinesis, and energy healing – should be taken seriously. They have been well documented. Where is the curiosity among scientists about the mysteries of the unknown?”

• Keans says that at first she was “skeptical about claims of alien visitations as being the simplistic answer to the UFO question. I was a skeptic about the afterlife when I began my work on that topic. It was my personal experiences that opened my eyes.” “Some ‘parapsychologists’ and other scientific investigators are doing brilliant work on all of this, but they are hampered by the mainstream scientific community’s irrational disrespect. Someday that dam will break.”

 

Like many long-time readers of The New York Times, I was shocked when the staid old paper published, in 2017, a front-page article on Pentagon investigations of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. This article, plus a shorter sidebar and a 2019 follow-up, heartened those who believe that extraterrestrials have visited us and annoyed skeptics like my friend journalist Keith Kloor. Last December, I met journalist Leslie Kean, a co-author of the Times articles and sole author of the 2010 bestseller UFOs: Generals, Pilots, And Government Officials Go On The Record, at a week-long symposium on challenges to conventional scientific materialism, about which I wrote here. At the meeting, which took place at the Esalen Institute in California, Kean talked about the possibility of life after death, a topic she explores in her 2017 book Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife (which includes chapters from other contributors). Kean and I hit it off. I told her that, although I have a hard time believing in ghosts and alien visitations, I admire the courage and professionalism with which she investigates these topics. I also enjoy talking to smart people whose views diverge from mine, like renegade biologists Rupert Sheldrake and Stuart Kauffman. So last week, after the Times published yet another UFO story by Kean and her collaborator Ralph Blumenthal—which triggered more pushback from Kloor–I emailed Kean a few questions. – John Horgan

Horgan: When I was a kid, I was obsessed with UFOs and the paranormal. Were you like that too?

               John Horgan

Kean: No, not until I was an adult. Although I do remember having mystical feelings about Santa Claus as a young child. It happened when I saw that my cookies, carefully placed next to the Christmas tree, had been nibbled on by Santa during his visitation into my world the previous Christmas Eve. It was solid evidence that something magic, something “supernormal” had actually occurred. This fantastical being who could be everywhere at once had been in my living room and left behind a physical bite mark to prove his existence. The authorities of the day, my parents, confirmed it. I felt momentarily transported, expanded, into a new level of connection to something big and mysterious. That may sound silly, but it was true. When I found out the truth about Santa later, I felt betrayed. Something precious had been taken away. My parents weren’t trustworthy because they lied to me. Maybe at some unconscious level this led me to want to find out what’s real and to prove the so-called authorities wrong. I’m not totally serious, but I suppose it’s possible.

Horgan: When and why did you first decide to write about UFOs? Was there any particular triggering event?

Kean: My serious interest in UFOs as a journalist began in 1999 when I was working as an on-air host and producer for public radio and publishing as a freelancer. I unexpectedly received an explosive 90-page report titled UFOs and Defense: What Should We Prepare For? by retired French generals, police, scientists and an admiral. The report intended to “strip the UFO phenomenon of its irrational layer”. The group had spent three years documenting official military and aviation UFO cases. Most stunning was their conclusion: that the “extraterrestrial hypothesis” was the most valid and logical one to explain the data. Of course there was no proof, only an hypothesis. The authors were concerned about the national security implications of the phenomenon and proposed that pilots be trained on how to respond to UFOs to avoid future mishaps or even dangerous accidents. Given the stature and credibility of the group, I thought this was a huge story. I published a lengthy article based on the report, known as the COMETA Report, for the Boston Globe in May, 2000, which required overcoming the reservations of a very nervous editor. [See links to the COMETA Report here and here.] That’s what set me on this path, and there was no turning back. And two decades later, I can hardly believe how things have changed. [See this Times story by Ralph Blumenthal for more background on Kean’s UFO coverage.]

Horgan: One admirer of your book UFOs describes you as an “agnostic” on whether UFOs are actually piloted by aliens. When I met you at Esalen, you struck me as a believer, not an agnostic. Am I wrong?

Kean: Piloted by aliens? I have an open mind, but no, I don’t believe that and have never said that. But I also will not rule it out. There are many possibilities on the table. I have made the point over and over that we do not know what these objects are, and that’s where things stand. My book concluded that a phenomenon exists, without question, named “unidentified flying objects” by the US Air Force in the 1950’s. It’s physical, and well documented, even by our government. But what these objects are is another question. That’s what everyone wants to know, and that desire has led to all kinds of speculation. On that question my 2010 book was agnostic, and it was recognized as such. These flying machines, whatever they are, might not even have any drivers at all for all we know.

Horgan: What is the best single piece of evidence that UFOs have an extraterrestrial origin?

Kean: The extremely advanced technology that the objects have displayed since the 1950’s. They demonstrate tremendous speed and accelerations, the ability to make sharp right-angle turns, stand still in midair, zoom off and disappear in the blink of an eye, and operate under water. They appear to defy the laws of aviation as we know it, since they have no wings or visible means of propulsion. The documentation goes back more than 60 years, when no one on this planet had technology like this. In some cases, experts, such as officials from the French Space Agency, had enough data to rule out all conventional explanations (meaning it wasn’t something natural or man-made). These cases represent only a small fraction of those reported, but they are the ones that matter. So, what are we left with?

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Reaching the Singularity Could Be Humanity’s Greatest and Last Accomplishment

 

Article by Dirk Schulze-Makuch                            March 27, 2020                           (airspacemag.com)

• Joseph Gale from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his co-authors have published a paper in the The International Journal of Astrobiology, which predicts that the “singularity”, ie: the point when quantum computers will be able to outsmart the human brain, will happen much sooner than expected. When this occurs, we may be on a more intellectually even playing field with advanced extraterrestrials and be able to readily communicate with them.

• Recent advances in artificial intelligence, or ‘AI’, in self-learning, pattern recognition, and quantum computing make the estimated time of reaching ‘the singularity’ much sooner that previously predicted. Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted the singularity would occur in 2045. Now, Gale and his co-authors believe it is imminent.

• Comparing the ‘calculating capacity’ of quantum computers to the neurons in the human brain, Gale says that the singularity could be reached within this decade. However, as the human brain is ‘wired differently’ than a computer brain, the human brain may still have the advantage. Also, an elephant’s brain holds twice the number of neurons as a human brain, but it isn’t smarter. So the number of neurons doesn’t equate to intelligence.

• In 2014, Stephen Hawking predicted that when the singularity does arrive, it may very well be the end of the human race, as humans might be replaced by robots or a human/machine hybrid android.

• If advanced extraterrestrial civilizations have already made the change from human to android, they may not like the warm climate of planets located within a star’s habitable zone, and we’ve been looking in the wrong places. Such civilizations might prefer locations with little electronic noise in a dry and cold environment, perhaps in space, where they could use superconductivity for computing and quantum entanglement as a means of communication. They may not even be aware of the primitive radio waves we’ve been sending out to the galaxy.

• A saving grace is that the evolved human brain is also connected to consciousness. Ever-increasing consciousness could outpace the self-learning ability of super-conducting computers, keeping humanity always one step ahead and avoiding the singularity. Otherwise, as the paper’s authors contend, ‘reaching the singularity could be humanity’s greatest and last advance’.

 

        Joseph Gale

In a new paper published in The International Journal of Astrobiology, Joseph Gale from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

             Ray Kurzweil

and co-authors make the point that recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI)—particularly in pattern recognition and self-learning—will likely result in a paradigm shift in the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life.

While futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted 15 years ago that the singularity—the time when the abilities of a computer overtake the abilities of the human brain—will occur in about 2045, Gale and his co-authors believe this event may be much more imminent, especially with the advent of quantum computing. It’s already been four years since the program AlphaGO, fortified with neural networks and learning modes, defeated Lee Sedol, the Go world champion. The strategy game StarCraft II may be the next to have a machine as reigning champion.

If we look at the calculating capacity of computers and compare it to the number of neurons in the human brain, the singularity could be reached as soon as the early 2020s. However, a human brain is “wired” differently than a computer, and that may be the reason why certain tasks that are simple for us are still quite challenging for today’s AI. Also, the size of the brain or the number of neurons don’t equate to intelligence. For example, whales and elephants have more than double the number of neurons in their brain, but are not more intelligent than humans.

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The Cosmos is Alive and Existing Through Human Consciousness

Article by Sean Martin                      September 8, 2019                    (express.co.uk)

• Their book, You Are The Universe: What if this everyday fact of life turns out to be the key to the cosmos?, Deepak Chopra and Chapman University physicist Menas Kafatos have concluded that the Universe helped to shape consciousness in humans, and now in turn our being allows the Universe to evolve.

• Chopra and Kafatos believe consciousness is the Universe living through us, and without humanity, the Universe would cease to exist. The cosmos and consciousness co-exist on a sub-atomic level, and one without the other would be impossible. The two realms have become so entwined that they are now one and the same.

• “Human beings might be a bright idea the Universe had, and once the idea occurred to it, cosmic mind decided to run with it.” But what is so special about human beings? Human beings allowed the Universe to be aware of itself in the dimension of time and space. We live in a participatory Universe. “The cosmos is thinking through you. Whatever you happen to be doing is a cosmic activity.”

• Stanford University physicist Andrei Linde agrees with Chopra’s and Kafatos’ sentiment, and believes it is only a matter of time until science can prove that consciousness and the cosmos are inseparably linked. Says Linde, “The Universe and the observer exist as a pair. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of the Universe that ignores consciousness.”

• Consciousness, ie: the ability to perceive and be aware of our surroundings, has confounded scientists for centuries. Scientists know more about the Universe than they do the human brain. They do not yet understand what in our brain gives us this power of consciousness.

• Davinia Fernández-Espejo, a senior lecturer for the School of Psychology and Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, UK, is part of a team that is studying the human brain through MRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging. Said Fernández-Espejo, “We found two main patterns of communication across regions” of the brain. “One simply reflected physical connections of the brain.” The second pattern represented very complex brain-wide dynamic interactions across a set of 42 brain regions that belong to six brain networks with important roles in cognition.” “This complex pattern was almost only present in people with some level of consciousness.”

[Editor’s Note]   These guys are on the right track. But in order for scientists to be taken seriously in the compromised scientific community, they are forced to adhere to the Deep State’s dictum that humans are the only intelligent beings in the universe. This earth-centric view of science is one of the major things holding back our development as a species. But yes, consciousness is what it is all about. Our individual consciousness is part of the collective consciousness that pervades the universe, which we call “God”. The higher the density of consciousness, the closer one gets to “God”. Although humanity’s third density consciousness is at the bottom of the consciousness barrel, we will very soon have the opportunity to ascend into the lower levels of fourth density consciousness, stimulated by an imminent solar flash at a cosmic level. However, those who are not prepared or who desire to remain in the third density will do so. Just not on this planet.

 

              Deepak Chopra

Scientists are still baffled by consciousness and questions about why and how we have it are constantly arising, but so far remain largely unanswered. Now, two physicists believe consciousness is the Universe living through us, and without humanity, the Universe will cease to exist. Deepak Chopra, MD, and Chapman University physicist Menas Kafatos have said that the cosmos and consciousness co-exist on a sub-atomic level, and one without the other would be impossible.
The pair argue that the Universe helped to shape consciousness in humans, and now in turn our being allows the Universe to evolve.

              Menas Kafatos

As a result, consciousness and the cosmos have become so intwined that they are now one and the same, the pair said.
The physicists wrote in their book ‘You Are The Universe’: “What if this everyday fact of life turns out to be the key to the cosmos?

“Human beings might be a bright idea the Universe had, and once the idea occurred to it, cosmic mind decided to run with it.

“Why? What’s so enticing about human beings, troublesome and pained as we are? Only one thing. We allowed the Universe to be aware of itself in the dimension of time and space.

“The cosmos is thinking through you. Whatever you happen to be doing is a cosmic activity. Take away any stage in the evolution of the Universe, and this very moment vanishes into thin air.

“As astounding as such a claim may be, this book has been building up to it all along. Quantum physics makes it undeniable that we live in a participatory Universe.

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