Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Galileos Galore - Now including Jacques Vallee!

A belated Happy New Year to all our readers. Not much new has been happening, just a lot of arguing about the politics of government UFO investigation, which we'll get to some other time.  In November I wrote (once again) about how the "Galileo Project" of Harvard's Dr. Avi Loeb had added Luis Elizondo and Christopher Mellon, former Top Men of  Tom DeLonge's To The Stars Academy, as a "research affiliates" to his Galileo Project. Soon afterward, Loeb announced that  Nick Pope, Michael Shermer, Ohad Raveh and Nathan Goldstein were also becoming "research affiliates" to his Project. The latter two persons are not UFOlogists and I'm not familiar with them. Michael Shermer is, of course, a well-known skeptic and the publisher of Skeptic magazine. (Shermer told me that the "affiliate" position is not a paid one). The selection of Pope is problematic, like that of Mellon and Elizondo earlier. Nick Pope is well-known in UFOlogy, having long claimed to have run the UFO project in the UK Ministry of Defense. He has also made a slew of claims to the media that are simply bizarre, including warning about alien invasions. Unfortunately for Nick, the truth has slowly leaked out that there was no such MOD UFO project, and his position was that of a desk clerk. (Isn't it amazing how closely this parallels the story of Nick's fellow "affiliate" Elizondo?)

In 1977, Newsweek proclaimed Dr. Hynek "The Galileo of UFOlogy"

But let us pause to consider the very name of the "Galileo Project." The study of unidentified, and possibly alien, objects has already had its 'Galileo,' specifically astronomer and former Project Blue Book consultant Dr. J. Allen Hynek. Hynek was proclaimed to be the "Galileo of UFOlogy" by Newsweek magazine in 1977. He seemed to relish the title, envisioning himself as the one who will lead Science on to new and previously-undreamed discoveries through the study of UFOs. So perhaps it would be best for Dr. Loeb to re-name his project, to alleviate confusion over which Galileo is which. The following names are still available for such a project:

  • Newton Project
  • Einstein Project
  • Wilhelm Reich Project
  • L. Ron Hubbard Project

And so on.

Well, Dr. Loeb has really done it now: "We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jacques Vallée has joined #galileoproject! We will greatly benefit from his wisdom and insights!" Indeed, Jacques Vallee is one of the best-known figures in UFOlogy, having been the author of many influential UFO books since 1965. He has also been quite mystical, which a lot of his fans don't realize, dabbling in Rosicrucianism, 'alternate realities,' and such. It's hard to see how Vallee's promotion of mystical ideas can be reconciled with the Galileo Project's professed "Ground Rules," especially "The analysis of the data will be based solely on known physics and will not entertain fringe ideas about extensions to the standard model of physics." It seems to me that Vallee is the very embodiment of those promoting "fringe ideas":
In recent discussions with Hynek, I pointed out that the saucer question may well be part of a complex series of scientific realities, but it also plunges deep into mystical and psychic theories. I found him very receptive to this idea. (Vallee, Forbidden Science, Vol. I, p. 88)

Jacques Vallee and Paola Harris
The timing of Vallee's selection is especially perplexing because Vallee's most recent book, Trinity (co-authored with Paola Harris), about a supposed 1945 UFO crash in New Mexico, is being widely panned, even by many of those who once admired him greatly. Jason Colavito explains,
The San Antonio crash story is rather unbelievable, even by UFO standards. According to the most common version of the story, Jose Padilla and Reme Baca, then aged 9 and 7, witnessed a nearly thirty-foot-long spacecraft crash into the desert. They ran to the crash site and saw two little men emerge and begin running about in a panic. One of the boys took a piece of debris from the crash site. Then, the U.S. Army arrived, built a road out to the crash site, and retrieved the spaceship. The boys never knew what became of the little men from inside the ship.
The story rests on the memories, six decades after the fact, of small children repeating a tale straight out of a Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers comic strip.
Bryan Sentes writes on the Skunkworks Blog,
On finishing Vallée’s and Harris’ Trinity, the reader would be forgiven if they wondered if the “Jacques Vallée” who co-authored this book were the same “Jacques Vallée” credited with writing Revelations or the recently re-issued Passport to Magonia. Where the last volume is, at least in certain circles, highly-prized for being inventive and groundbreaking and Revelations is a focussed, critical examination of the stories about alien abduction, crashed flying saucers and dead aliens, secret alien bases and cattle mutilation, Trinity is an unfocussed, raggedly-composed, eye-rollingly credulous mess of a book.

It would be a tedious exercise to catalogue its manifold failings. While Vallée speaks of himself as a scientist and even imagines scientists reading the book (286), Trinity is no work of science, scholarship, or even investigative journalism. Indeed, it reads like a first draft, in sore need of a thorough editing for content and structure, let alone a proof-reading.

 Unlike Vallee's other books, Trinity is self-published, and thus escaped proper editing.

Avi Loeb wrote an"opinion and analysis" piece in Scientific American, "Astronomers Should Be Willing to Look Closer at Weird Objects in the Sky" (Sept. 29, 2021). I've never known any astronomer to be unwilling to look at weird objects, assuming such objects can actually be found. Loeb writes,

Under typical weather conditions, Earth’s atmosphere is opaque to infrared light beyond a distance of about 10 kilometers or less. Resolving a feature the size of a cell phone on the surface of a UAP at that distance requires a telescope diameter on the order of 10 centimeters. Having a few such telescopes on a given site will allow us to monitor the motion of an object in three dimensions. These telescopes could be supplemented by a radar system that would distinguish a physical object in the sky from a weather pattern or a mirage.

If UAP are solid objects, they should heat up as they rub against air at high speed. The surfaces of objects that move in air faster than sound, such as supersonic airplanes or space rockets, are heated by hundreds of degrees. I calculated that the infrared glow of fast objects above a meter in size, supplemented by the heat from shockwaves in the air around them or an engine they carry, should be detectable with infrared sensors on telescopes out to the desired distance.

The Galileo Project makes much of looking for hypothetical alien objects in orbit around the earth. But if an object is in orbit, it will not "rub against air at high speed." So he is talking about objects zipping around in the atmosphere at high speeds, like UFOs are supposed to be doing. This is exceedingly implausible, since such an object would quickly fall to earth if unpowered, so he is assuming that aliens can both power it and control it from light years away.  Loeb seems to think that a few four-inch telescopes felicitously positioned within 10 km of the speeding alien probe will catch the sneaky bugger. This is about as likely as getting hit by lightning just as you bend over to pick up a discarded $1000 bill on the sidewalk, at the same time as your cell phone receives a call from Publishers Clearinghouse to inform you that you've won the Grand Prize  Really, really unlikely


On January 19 I did a two-hour podcast with Kal Korff and Melissa Martel on The Wicked Truth. We talked about Betty Hill and her crazy stories, like a building that walked  away and disappeared, or a truck that flew over the freeway. Kal told how Friedman kept making claims he knew were false. We also talked about the roles of Robert Bigelow, Joe Firmage, and others in promoting dubious claims. Have a listen!


  1. I'm glad you found some worth in my review of _Trinity_ and I'm grateful you've sent some traffic to Skunkworksblog, but (you can imagine this has been a lifelong tick of mine) would you be so kind as to spell my given name correctly (you are, as you might well imagine, hardly the first to misspell it!)?: Bryan.

    And feel free to delete this comment once you've made the correction.

    Thanks! and keep up the bracing work; I visit Bad UFOs regularly!

  2. Have to wonder if we should compare this project to Galileo or Percival Lowell. One attempted objective observations of astronomical objects. The other allowed his own personal opinion to affect his observations.

  3. The many ufologists added to the Project Galileo roster have been as mere "Research Affiliates." Above that, there's a "Scientific Advisory Board." However, Jacques Vallee, has been put on the primary "Research Team" alongside Avi Loeb himself.

  4. Partnering up with exopolitics loon Paola Harris is discrediting.

    1. An excellent point!

      Paola Harris: “Communications with aliens have already been established”


      Good to see you again, Terry.

    2. A decades old tale to puff piece her book? Ufology is at the cutting edge of science...

      Also, I see from that site that Nasa is in contact with four species of alien. Shame that there's no further information on Trish Chamberson or this ground breaking press conference they hosted.

  5. I knew in time that Mr. Loeb's project would become polluted with the likes of Luis (or is it, Lue?) Elizondo, Mellon, Pope, etc., etc. But I did not think it would be this quick! Only in the so-called UFO field, can fast talkers who have no evidence at all, be given creditability time after time - this is what makes the UFO field a con game!

  6. A very interesting article in Science about the Galileo Project:

    Why is Harvard University astrophysicist Avi Loeb working with ardent UFO believers?


  7. Loeb writes WHAT in Scientific American? 10km thickness of atmosphere blocks infrared? I guess this is news to the DOD whose SBIRS satellite (and others) are used to monitor rocket launches from hostile countries. And to owners of various other satellites (like Landsat) which can monitor forest fires and other IR frequencies. I am very disappointed in Loeb for such a statement.

    Then he explains why he like infrared. Because he calculated that UFOs moving in air (at less than 10km above the surface of Earth) at high speeds generate IR heat, thus he needs IR sensors. He ignores the UFOs beyond 10km with this statement of course. He assumes UFOs (and I presume in his context, he is suggesting for UFOs the alien civilization hypothesis for their origin) have no tech to eliminate heating. While a meteoroid < 10km away would show up nicely with his infrared sensor, a "true" UFO with some advanced tech to eliminate heating is not conceived of or just ground-ruled out by his Project. For ET tech that for some reason travelled light years to get here, they haven’t the possibility of figuring out things like shielding? Imagine travelling at near light speed between stars (which you really need to do to even consider this topic), don’t you think protecting from interstellar dust and radiation would not be important? A tiny speck of dust hitting your vehicle would cause tremendous damage. Galactic Cosmic Rays offer another problem which are hard to shield from causing electronics (assume they have electronics?) damage and damage to life forms (anyone there?). Yes, you can add huge amounts of mass to the vehicle to protect from either problem. But most likely tech such as electromagnetic fields or electrostatic fields would be better. In this case, it is assumed power/energy is not limited for advanced visitors since these active shielding methods would take a lot. With such systems, it is "easy" to move things like dust, cosmic rays, air, water out of the way. Another problem is that Loeb ignores the possibility of advanced tech shifting the frequency from IR to some other frequency or emitting in a different direction or maybe absorbing and storing and later emitting the heat. My point is that Loeb shows a lack of imagination.

    As to Loeb's statement that a radar system could distinguish a physical object from a nonphysical one, this seems uninformed. Advanced tech could shield from radar or create fake radar images. Nonphysical objects could have a fake radar reflection (i.e. radar angels/temperature inversions).

    Loeb makes no mention of measuring magnetic fields, EMF, EMI, gravity. Loeb does not mention the use of laser range finders to test the physicality of the UFO.

    Sheaffer incorrectly states (based on the Scientific American article) that Loeb is looking for Earth orbiting objects. You don’t orbit Earth at <10km altitude. It is true that the Galileo project mentions https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/galileo/activities that part of their project is to do this. But it is not the UFO detecting ground stations Loeb mentions in his article. Thus, Sheaffer's "point" against Loeb about there being no friction heat in orbit is irrelevant. Loeb is only at an altitude of <10km.

    Then, Sheaffer states about UFOs moving fast in air: "This is exceedingly implausible, since such an object would quickly fall to earth if unpowered, so he is assuming that aliens can both power it and control it from light years away." What? Obviously a UFO from some advanced civilization has power/energy. Why would "aliens" need to control it from light years away? It is supposed to be a hard alien object, it is not a dumb projectile. It would be a most likely AI controlled vehicle with power/energy far beyond ours (maybe fusion or something).

    1. Of course you don't orbit the earth at <10 km altitude. That is why I said such an object would have to be powered, or else fall to earth.

      Loeb very specifically says that his project will look for ET technology both in orbit in space, and in the earth's atmosphere.

  8. As to Sheaffer's statement about the unlikelihood of capturing an image of a UFO with "a few four inch telescopes", in the Scientific American article Loeb says they would need 100's of telescopes and a few years in order to capture useful data due to the UFO incident rate. But this means they need more funding. Obviously, they mean valid ET-life UFOs, not birds, drones or balloons.

    In Sheaffer's appearance on Kevin Randle's show, he (and maybe Randle too) make extrapolations of Oumuamua's behavior to make claims of trip times and point of origin. To be fair, Loeb does the same to his discredit. Assuming the same speed and direction for the object before and after its being seen is not a skeptical attitude. Extrapolation is risky. As far as we know, prior to being seen by Earth telescopes, the object could have been travelling at Warp 9 from a totally different direction. Why come from a different direction? To keep people from knowing where you are from in order to avoid hostile natives throwing spears at you or coming to your planet with no invitation. Smart. Why go slower in the solar system? Dust/micrometeorites are one possibility. Maybe the speed is more friendly to sensor arrays.

    It is unclear why both Mr. Sheaffer and Mr. Randle have a lack of acceptance of the possibility of travel between stars by a sufficiently advanced civilization (100-10,000 years more). Even sending robotic probes has been proposed with our own tech for The Starshot Project. The probes are tiny but can be sent out by the billions, if there was a desire to do so. Still, more advanced civilizations than us would seem to have the potential for more advanced physics or tech. Or do both these gentleman feel there is a plateau of physics and tech that we cannot exceed?

    I don’t have much hope in Loeb's project, but his heart is in the right place I guess.

    1. As an amateur astronomer, I can safely say that such telescopes already exist and are in wide use. Many of them are imaging objects like the ISS and other earth orbiting objects well enough to capture details. Astrophotographers record the skies and complain about Musk's satellites because they keep crossing their fields of view. All-sky cameras, widefield imagers, weather cams, security cams, dash cams, cell phone cams, etc. all record transitory events like meteors, plane crashes, car crashes, etc. but can't record a clear image of a UFO/UAP. Additionally, amateur photographers are recording aircraft, birds, balloons, etc with regularity. Yet, not once has one UFO/UAP/whatever you want to call it, has been recorded that is unambiguous As Mick West recently wrote concerning this, UFOs seem to always be at a distance that is just beyond the resolution of the instrument being used. IMO, it does not matter if you use the Hubble telescope, anything that will be unidentified will be unambiguous. UFO photography has been around for over seventy years. Other than probable hoaxes, UFOs have always blurry and unresolvable. That is why they are labeled "unidentified". They could be anything from a bird to an alien spaceship. I doubt Loebs project will record anything worth writing about. Although, I expect him to present the best blurry images he gets to justify the use of resources but there is little chance of him producing anything that will create an improved understanding of UFOs.

    2. Howdy Tim!

      To reemphasize, Loeb seems to focus his initial UFO spotting stations on a 10km distance. He has calculated the lens size to meet his requirements at this distance. In his web site, he wants to take "a megapixel image of the surface of a human-scale UAP object at a distance of a mile will allow to distinguish the label: “Made in Country X” from the potential alternative “Made by ETC Y” on a nearby exoplanet in our galaxy. " https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/galileo/activities


      In his FAQ https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/galileo/FAQ he says the ground station will not send signals into the environment. No laser range finding? No radar range finding? His Scientific American article says he will have a radar system to bounce radar off the UAP.

      While telescopes can clearly see ISS and satellites, the field of view for those are tiny. Likely you have the orbital elements which help to track. A UAP/UFO a degree or 2 over is likely to be missed. I imagine Loeb would try to make the whole thing automated to gather some sort of pointing data via all sky (or fish eye lens) viewing from a couple spots and then drive the focused telescopes to the right spot for "more data" and tracking. Astronomers know where to look based on ephemerides. Do they just look anywhere randomly? No, I doubt it. If focused on Alpha Centauri, a nalien spaceship going by at 200km between the telescope and star is likely ignored.

      Not sure why astrophotographers are such whiners. Don't they just wait until the Earth shadow stops the light from hitting the satellites?

      I agree that we have had a lot of attempts to use cameras/telescopes to capture UFOs. How much is accredited? Or just amateurs? You can't just place a ""recording station" in your back yard if you are near an airport. Loeb's says you need alot of them. Also, the problem with all the imagers you list is that they have threshold issues, resolution issues. They do a good job for what they are designed to do. Not to gather data on unknown objects.

      Project Hessdalen has gathered some interesting images. It has the luxury of being a "repeat" site. As such, it is likely some natural phenomenon. I have not seen any images from them that solve the question of their origin. But they have a lot of images.

      Ray Stanford did some interesting work with Project Starlight International. Maybe Loeb needs him. Too bad Stanford was an amateur and never published his work. At least he claimed to shoot a laser at one UFO. No war was started.

      Loeb does offer a more official, academic, reviewable data collection and distribution method (at least he states it on his web site). Not sure how practical it is. Can you imagine the terabytes he must store!?

      I think the problem is that they need to define the signature they believe means it is ET instead of anything else. What would be good enough for you, Tim? Tracked speed >X MPH in atmosphere? Right angle turns at >X MPH in atmosphere? Both of these combined with proof of tangible nature (i.e. radar or laser reflections)? Or can everything be spoofed and it is a hopeless task?

    3. I am talking about clear and unambiguous images of "objects" that are not made by man or are naturally occurring. The "narrow field of view" concept is a myth created by UFO proponents. What you are saying is if an unidentified is visible, an amateur astronomer will either not see it, ignore it, or will not attempt to record it. Amateurs are not just waiting for one specific satellite to appear and ignoring everything else. I am quite aware of satellite watchers who are recording satellites and computing orbital elements using various methods including video. I suggest you go to http://satobs.org/seesat/ to see what kind of work they do. They see unidentifieds in orbit and others usually identify them (I have had several "unknown satellites" I could not identify, identified by Ted Molczan). Additionally, all sky cameras could record these objects as well if you are looking for "changes in direction". Nasa's all sky fireball network is available:https://fireballs.ndc.nasa.gov/ as well as sky sentinel http://goskysentinel.com/. Despite these systems and observers in place, no UFOs have been recorded that demonstrate they are "not of this earth". I am not even going to talk about those "huge triangles" (that are estimated to be hundreds of feet across!) that supposedly exist....except on all of these instruments monitoring the sky/amateur photographers. IMO, this says a lot about UFOs.

    4. I was going to reply to your wall of text with a wall of text of my own.

      But my New Year's resolution is to waste as little time as possible trying to reason with people who entertain Paranormalist Beliefs.

      Because I can't word my realist position better than it's already been worded by professional realists that are way smarter than me, I will, simply, share their words with you instead:

      1. The Physics of UFOs
      2. More Physics of UFOs
      3. Why Visiting Alien Spaceships are Impossible
      4. Realism and Religion: A Physicist Examines the Basis for Belief

      Being a realist, I predict the title of the links alone will turn you against reading them.

      So I will summarize them all for you with this quote [emphasis mine]:


      "…The UFO enthusiasts simply retort with: “They come from a superior civilization. They can somehow do it.” That’s the most nonsensical idea ever launched. The laws of physics and chemistry are the same everywhere in the universe…"

    5. Don't forget the European Fireball Network and the now-defunct Prairie Meteorite Network

      Not to mention the thousands of amateur astronomers who are out every night just looking...

      You'd have thought that Loeb would have known about this.

    6. Mr. Hirsute,

      I enjoyed your reading list Item #3. It is a good point and I have seen it many a time. However, I need to point out that it makes some assumptions. 1) It is assumed you know what speed is travelled. 2) It is assumed you know what mass is travelled. So, using a little imagination, if you have no interest in speed or mass then you have more manageable numbers. Look at the Breakthrough Starshot proposal. Assume the tech is achieved for nanobots to assemble something larger at the destination. Voila! Answered without offending prosaic thinkers. Now it does take an assumption or two, but given tech advances, nanobots/tech is going to happen. No laws of physics or chemistry need be violated. Relax.

    7. > "…So, using a little imagination…Voila! Answered…"

      Whatever, dude [::rolls eyes::]

    8. @Ian Ridpath

      We have a saying in the States: "…in your feelings…".

      Loeb is showing all the signs of the catalyst of his project possibly stemming from him being in his feelings.

      He often talks about how highly he values sustaining a feeling of childlike naivety into adulthood.

      One article revealed that Loeb keeps a list of all his awesome scientific predictions that eventually came true.

      Is he feeling that — after towing the party line for the majority of his career — he is is now entitled to go on this mid-life fringe binge?

      With all his successful predictions and other professional achievements, is it his feels that are telling him at this stage of his career that he's paid his dues, so he's chomping at the bit to let his hair down?

      Are academics known to feel entitled to be less than scientifically rigorous while they're on sabbatical?

  9. I don't understand this point: "This is exceedingly implausible, since such an object would quickly fall to earth if unpowered, so he is assuming that aliens can both power it and control it from light years away."

    This was confusingly written. By "power it...from light years away", do you mean fueled light years away and then sent to Earth, or do you mean that it would need to have energy actively beamed to it from light years away? If the latter, why?

  10. How does that saying go: "A fool and his money..."

    Loeb needs money. Nobody with good sense would give him money.

    So he's brought Mellon and Elizondo in to reel in the UFOols.

  11. Yes, precisely. Poor wording.

    But I think he likely meant, an orbiting object at 10km needs lots of power to stay in that orbit since 1) if the object can't control/eliminate drag then there is deceleration downward thus you need some sort of thrust which uses power (fuel? electric propulsion using atmosphere fuel? hypersonic wings?
    unknown power?), 2) if they can control/eliminate drag it takes power to do such a thing (presumably).

  12. I think Sheaffer cannot really mean he thinks aliens NEED to beam power from light years away or NEED to control the vehicle from light years away. There are lots of alternative approaches to control that do not require control from light years away. Using light speed communications obviously makes real time control from host star system a non-starter. Having a robotic or AI control in a vehicle is the most logical approach. Remotely operating such vehicles from relatively nearby (we even drove rovers on the Moon from Earth) is practical if you want to put in alien in the loop. These are the prosaic approaches. Zany alternative approaches from >100 year advanced tech can be mooted (black hole, sub space, quantum, other buzz words).

    The beaming of power to the vehicle from light years away seems odd for Sheaffer to mention. Yes, in "Independence Day" the aliens beamed power to their vehicles. But that was from the mother ship. Moving from fiction to something a little more science based, the Breakthrough Starshot project on paper will use a massive laser array to accelerate tiny spacecraft to ridiculous g levels to the stars for a few minutes. Beamed power gets too diluted/spread over distance using puny human technology. Likely the same for aliens too. No, aliens (and us) will most likely lug their own fusion, antimatter, whatever in their vehicles if going to other stars. God help us if they crash with antimatter power/propulsion.

  13. Tim says:
    "I am talking about clear and unambiguous images of "objects" that are not made by man or are naturally occurring. The "narrow field of view" concept is a myth created by UFO proponents."

    I was not aware if it being a myth created by anyone. Thanks for the update. So, do astronomers use a fish eye lens to look at the sky? What use is a telescope that does not have a narrow field of view? You need to focus on ISS to see it to take a nice pic. This is not 10 deg. More like <.3 deg. But yes, of course, people have wide field too to get their bearings.

    " What you are saying is if an unidentified is visible, an amateur astronomer will either not see it, ignore it, or will not attempt to record it."

    True. But I would adjust it to "SOME astronomers". Not important if amateur or not.

    "Amateurs are not just waiting for one specific satellite to appear and ignoring everything else. I am quite aware of satellite watchers who are recording satellites and computing orbital elements using various methods including video. I suggest you go to http://satobs.org/seesat/ to see what kind of work they do. They see unidentifieds in orbit and others usually identify them (I have had several "unknown satellites" I could not identify, identified by Ted Molczan). "

    Yes, and hats off to them. I know about Seesat. They are a special eclectic group. We do not have their specs. Do they have to have a repeat observation to report? What field of view? Durations? Camera or telescope quality?

    Have they seen the 7000 (circa 2011) uncatalogued ones not listed in Space-Track.org?

    "Additionally, all sky cameras could record these objects as well if you are looking for "changes in direction". Nasa's all sky fireball network is available:https://fireballs.ndc.nasa.gov/ as well as sky sentinel http://goskysentinel.com/. Despite these systems and observers in place, no UFOs have been recorded that demonstrate they are "not of this earth"."

    Such all sky cameras MIGHT do what you say. Depends. What are their thresholds and resolution and sampling frequency? A fireball network is designed to look for fireballs. It most likely filters out a lot of stuff like aircraft or bugs. A lightning sensor on orbit is designed to look at lightning. Not a camp fire or UAP. Either of these are not enough to be definitive. Just a little more data perhaps.

  14. RE: Narrow field of view.
    Have you ever been out with amateur astronomers and how they conduct their hobby? Ever been to a star party? Looking through the telescope is actually only a small part of the hobby. Many take wide field of view imagery, observe the sky with binoculars, or like to socialize while others are trying to locate an object. As for fish-eye lenses, I suggest you look at all the time lapse images people obtain. Many aren't even amateur astronomers but just photographers dabbling in astrophotography. Most use lenses between 8 and 16mm.
    Re: "SOME" astronomers
    Can you name astronomers that would ignore something strange? I know of none who would purposely ignore something strange and unusual.
    Re: Fireball network
    Wouldn't a UFO suddenly appearing act like a fireball? Of course, I have seen meteor cameras recording birds, bats, airplanes and bugs. The data is there. I recall one owner showing a recording of an Owl that sat on the fish-eye. Of course, there are all those time lapse photographers out there with wide angle lenses. Meteor observers are also using wide field cameras during their watches.

    It has now been almost 75 years since Arnold. The number of cameras and systems available has increased to the point that very few events escape being recorded. Even rare events like plane crashes and daylight fireballs have been recorded clearly. Once again, the lack of any of these people/systems recording any objects that defy explanation says a lot.

    1. Tim,

      No, I have never been out with any astronomers. Or to a star party. I have not walked on the Moon or visited Mars. But I can know something about them by reading and watching shows.

      Are you telling me that fish eye lenses capturing the entire sky fed into a very high resolution camera taking lots of photos is better than a narrow field of view? It boggles my mind if so. Then this means we have crossed a revolutionary chasm of technology I missed. Who needs to even point a telescope to see ISS in its glory? Just lay out your fish eye lens and gather the same data. Then all you need to do is zoom in on the ISS in the fish eye image on the computer and there it is! Not. Too much data. So, unless you can correct me and indicate how this is done, I say no. Maybe for huge sky survey telescopes with their massive computers.

      So, I know you are right that you can capture something (like a Iridium flare or some satellite or meteor) with fish eye lens, but that data is not much. It might help to gather enough to generate an orbit, if it is an orbit. Maybe spectra, but I doubt it. Likely no features.

      As to the "some astronomers", I have no names as to who would ignore "something strange". Because you know of none does not mean there are not thousands around the corner. Logically, if an astronomer is looking for something, like a crater on the Moon or a galaxy or nebula, and if the narrow field of view is blocked for <.1 second they likely will not care or maybe even notice. If it sits in front of them for 5 minutes blocking Saturn, then they will obviously notice the damn thing. But the speeds of objects in orbit or sky or nearby (birds, seeds, insects) is so fast that the duration is short. Of course, if recording it, they can possibly review it. But by then it is likely not of interest either. Astronomers are not UFO researchers. Some small subset may be looking specifically for satellites, measure tumble rates, find hidden military satellites or something, then they will devote some time to reporting it. Have any astronomers found a single meteoroid in orbit around Earth in LEO-GEO orbit?

      Would a UFO appear to be a fireball? That is Loeb's contention. I don't make such assumptions. I have looked at meteor cameras too. They mostly suck. Yes, they can be triggered upon something flaring brightly. Sometimes they trigger due to "dawn" or lightning or car headlights. And these are official meteor network cameras. They have lousy resolution. But better than nothing.

      As to very few events escaping being recorded, I would like to know your dataset of "events". We may not know the events happened since there was no recording (like the tree falling in the forest). 5000 tons of meteoritic material fall on Earth every year. Somehow these events I doubt have all been recorded.

      You can't expect a few amateur astronomers devoted to UFOs to see any. Even Loeb has calculated you need ~100 such stations and monitoring a couple years to get the sighting he wants. I personally think the Spacetrack radar fence has this data (they only report to the public objects linked to launches and not DOD sats, if they can't do this they stuff it in an unreported catalog) or DOD satellites do or even GOES-16 might have some.

  15. https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/591138-can-we-find-ufos-from-above
    Another article by Avi Loeb. This time he claims "But it is also possible to find UAP by looking down at them from satellites that image the Earth. For example, Planet Labs uses its fleet of miniature satellites to image the entire Earth once a day with a spatial resolution of a dozen feet per pixel."

    And "in the coming months, the project plans to use Planet Labs’ data in searching for UAP from above. "

    Can someone explain to me how in the heck he intends to do this? Are these Earth observing assets taking movies/high frequency imaging? If they are, I would ask why are they doing this? I do not think they are doing this. There are a few such public sources of data. I think GOES 16 has a very high frequency lightning (light flashes) data collection over one hemisphere. It may have good enough resolution, but it does on orbit filtering to limit the comm bandwidth to a manageable level. Maybe Goresat has a video of the Earth. It has poor resolution. Others?

    So, I tend to think Loeb again has not thought this through. The only chance of seeing something with a still satellite photo is if the object leaves a contrail. Now perhaps a stereo image (a pair) could resolve something above the surface. I have never seen this done even with an aircraft. Might be pretty cool, but I do not know of any such satellite platforms.

    Any thoughts?

  16. My point about wide angle lenses and meteor cameras was that all these UFOs zigging and zagging across the sky would be captured by these systems. Most UFO reports are generated by people without optical aid. What about all those floating triangles that are hundreds (or thousands depending on the witness) of feet across?
    I have never met an amateur astronomer that does not have a sense of curiosity. They certainly would attempt to record an event that is out of the ordinary and present it to the community. Most in the community would help to identify any object that is observed unless the observer does not want his UFO to become identified (I have run into that before and despite evidence to the contrary the individual still wanted to believe he saw a UFO and not a research balloon). As I stated previously SEESAT is full of observations of strange sightings. All are usually explained by the group. Saying that there are people that would purposefully ignore or cover-up a sighting of an alien spaceship (or whatever a UAP/UFOs are) is ridiculous and is a statement not based on facts but a belief that there amateur astronomers are dishonest people.
    You really should go to an amateur astronomy club and actually interact with its members at an observing session. You might discover that a lot of your beliefs are not accurate at all.

  17. Tim,
    Your point about wide angle lenses and meteor cameras capturing "all these UFOs" is incorrect. Assuming you mean true UFOs. Reports of floating triangles I have heard seem lower to the ground. It would not be in the field of view for meteor cameras or wide angle lenses pointing straight up. Dark floating triangles and other less intense lights will not trigger the meteor camera.

    I request you not put words into my mouth. I never said these amateur astronomers were dishonest or would "coverup a sighting". I could say "how dare you?" but I will say "ridiculous". I was referring to ALL astronomers. I suggested if they are looking at something ELSE specifically, then anything superfluous to said observation will most likely be ignored. Hardly a controversial opinion, but you intend to make it so. It the astronomer is searching for things he/she does not know in orbit (like a meteoroid or unknown satellite) of course _some_ will damn well will report it. Again, I do not paint with a broad brush human behavior. But, I know it is easy to ignore, the good old US space tracking system has 7000 objects that are not in their on line catalog because they could not be tied to a launch which provide an idea of what astronomers could find. Have they been found? What about Earth orbiting meteoroids seen by astronomers between LEO and GEO? Should there not have been at least one? Why would people make the assumption of seeing true UFOs in orbit or elsewhere lit up like a casino or Starlink? Loeb has to make a lot of questionable assumptions to be able to capture anything in his system. Sometimes I think he is pulling our collective legs.

    1. Some clarification please: what's a 'true UFO'?

    2. To Scherben,
      I did not invent the term "true UFO". In my understanding, it is a term to refer to UFO cases that are "most likely" alien spaceship/ET instead of birds, optical effects, hoaxes, planets, etc. I have only seen it used in context with ET craft, not other truly unidentified things like black budget vehicles, unknown weather phenomena or natural phenomena (piezoelectric effect from fault lines), etc. Also, I never see it associated with demons, aerial life forms, time travelers, psychic projections. Weird.

      Can a UFO ever be identified as an alien spacecraft/ET? I doubt it, at least not based on observations. Makes it all a moot point I guess. Can you think of any way to be definitive about this? I mean, even when presented with a piece of a supposed true UFO and shown the abnormal isotope ratio, skeptics would indicate the isotope ratio could be faked. No amount of photos taken by a lot of people at the same time of an object would convince them of alien origin. What data would be enough? I am guessing nothing. Kind of makes you wonder why we need to gather any data. At least the military SHOULD be doing this since you might expect "true UFOs" to be an unknown threat. The public just needs to know because it is interesting.

    3. Many thanks for your reply. I concur with your doubting that observation alone can identify (thereby making a UFO an IFO) something as 'alien' (defining 'alien' as something that comes from somewhere other than the Earth—either outer space or another dimension (other dimensions being a moot point themselves)).

      However, surely no sceptic would simply handwave away any anomalous evidence as being faked? Any hypothetical evidence would need to be examined by reputable laboratories and peer reviewed literature established around it; but, surely, after all the correct procedures have been exhausted, any evidence that pointed to 'alien' technology would then be accepted by all?

    4. Scherben,
      About a skeptical review of anomalous evidence. If one examines how skepticism works, as long as they have a possible terrestrial explanation, however unlikely, they would rather take that route than the alien route. So, some skeptics would not even consider the hard evidence as real so would not even want to consider it needed to be tested. Some skeptics may look at the test data and see it is isotopically odd and accept this as a fact, yet will say that there is likely a way to achieve this some other non alien way. It could not be eliminated as a possibility. Even if the cost of the process was enormous, they would likely suggest someone must have found a way. What would convince them? If they could see nanotechnology with a electron microscope, would not the skeptic then say, "well obviously someone on Earth has developed nanotechnology"? If the skeptic is asked to prove this, they will likely say, it is not their job to prove anything.

      So, it is not clear what hard measurable thing you can put in your hand and hold could be tested and provide conclusive proof to all skeptics. Can you?

      I had thought once that tracking a UFO with radar/video/3D images as it goes into space from the Earth surface would be enough. But it could still be a clandestine, military vehicle. No aliens need apply.

      Perhaps if someone had a working piece of alien tech, like something with antigravity or invisibility or something, that can be demonstrated and shown on TV with witnesses. Perhaps that would be enough.

    5. > "…it is not clear what hard measurable thing you can put in your hand and hold…"

      I know you didn't ask me. But answering for myself: A literal hand of an alien would do the trick!

      An actual meet and greet, where I could shake an extraterrestrial critter's hand? Damn straight!

      Alive or dead. Your call. Either one would count as extraordinary evidence in my book!

    6. Mr. Hirsute,

      Okay, a hand. I suppose you mean a hand connected to a alien and not just a hand.

      This is flimsy evidence from a skeptical point of view from my understanding of skepticism.
      For one thing, Hollywood can glean up all sorts of aliens costumes. So, it is well within terrestrial capabilities to make someone appear to be an alien. This could be a live or dead alien of course. Even a Earth robot or remotely operated device could carry an alien "skin".

      But lets assume you really meant you would analyze it. Do DNA testing, all the other complex stuff. Again, can you state after this testing that it could not be done by humans (secret DNA labs in China or CIA or other cabal or 007 villain)? I doubt it, but then we don't know. If similar to our DNA and innards, it could be claimed this was due to hybridization rather than being made on Earth. How can it be conclusive?

      Anyway, if it was a real alien, I would not shake it because of possible microbial/viral transfer. Might make your hair fall out.

  18. TL;DR The number of things on dude's screens @1:53:36 are overwhelming.

    I'm sure Kal Korf is a demon at HyperCard. And a wizard at translating HyperTalk to whatever language his new app is written in.

    Plus, on the subject matter front, his expertise cannot be beat.

    Even so, looking at the screenshots from 1:53:36 in the video, right now dude seriously needs to think about getting:

    1. Somebody on his team who is a wizard at Information Architecture
    2. Somebody on his team who is a demon at UI/UX design

    Not hatin'. Just sayin'.

  19. Looks as though the Germans are getting in on the act, too


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