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Are alien probes scouring the galaxy ?

Computer simulations by a pair of researchers at the University of Edinburgh predict that a fleet of interstellar probes could explore the entire Milky Way galaxy within a fraction of the present age of Earth. This may seem like a tall order considering that our farthest interstellar spacecraft, Voyager 1, is still less than a light-day from Earth after being launched 36 years ago.

In the new simulation, however, alien probes only need to travel at 10 percent the speed of light to survey the entire galaxy within 10 million years. And, they could get a turbo-boost and save fuel by doing a slingshot off the gravitational fields of stars.

The concept of self-aware and self-replicating probes traveling across the galaxy is nothing new, however; the idea goes as far back as 1960. It was promoted by SETI pioneer Ronald Bracewell as an alternative to listening for interstellar artificial radio signals. The idea of a machine capable of cloning itself goes back at least 100 years; mathematician John von Neumann detailed the operation of such a robot in 1949.

In a recent paper, Arwen Nicholson and Duncan Forgan take the idea a step further by exploring three different scenarios of probe behavior: using standard powered flight, using gravitational slingshot techniques around stars, and hop scotching star-by-star to get the maximum speed boost under slingshot trajectories.

Voyager 1 and 2 zipped across the solar system with a boost form bouncing like a pinball off the gravitational fields of the massive outer planets.

“From the scaling of the probes’ performance with star number, we conclude that a fleet of self-replicating probes can indeed explore the galaxy in a sufficiently short time to warrant the existence of the Fermi Paradox,” the team reports.

The Fermi Paradox — where nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi asked the rhetorical question “where are they?” (extraterrestrials) — ponders why we have no evidence of alien visitations. For the UFO buffs, let me flatly say this does not mean pointy-eared aliens should be here and now, but instead suggests occasional visits over geologic time by virtually immortal robots.

The team’s simulations mean that our solar system should have been visited — perhaps more than once — well-before the dawn of man. Their alien builders might have been motivated to have the machines go stealthy and cover their tracks once a planetary system survey is completed.

In Arthur C. Clarke’s 1972 novel, Rendezvous With Rama, star-hopping aliens are pretty blatant. A giant cylindrical space ark enters the solar system. An astronaut survey team explores its dark, ghostly, interior hibernating city. Humans finally realize that the mothership is not stopping for a visit, but simply using the sun’s gravity to get a boot to destinations unknown.

Rama aside, don’t look for ‘spent’ or destroyed probes because visiting robots might definitely go green by not leaving behind any trash from their sorties. They would also have ability to self-repair during long interstellar voyages, and self-replicate with the ultimate 3D printer.

In a sprint across the galaxy a civilization may send out a few probes that would be programmed to choose the next star they travel to according to some decision-making algorithm. Once they reach the new star system, they scan for signs of life, and create a copy of themselves. The parent and child probe each pick a new star to travel to, and the process repeats itself in a geometric progression.

This scenario is compounded by the fact there could very likely be more than one fleet of probes from different extraterrestrial civilizations plying the galaxy. What if they run into each other? A purely sci-fi inspired scenario is where mutated probes abandon their original mission and start to prey on normal probes!

Such an interstellar fox and rabbit chase would greatly increase the exploration time and reduce the number of visits to our solar system, say the researchers. In the new simulation the exploration probes are continuously traveling at maximum speed and constantly dispersing radially across the galaxy. Predators would have a hard time catching their prey.

Equally problematic is the dilemma of how a fleet of probes stays in contact with one another so that they don’t duplicate efforts. Light travel delay times would squelch communication, unless superluminal contact has been achieved by something as exotic as quantum entanglement. Then all probes would know exactly where every other probe has been and is heading. Each probe could leave behind an omnidirectional beacon that emits a signal showing the star has been visited. Or probes could deposit a “captain’s log” for other probes to readout.

Ultimately the data collected by the entire fleet could be placed into a giant galactic archive. It would be a resource for all interstellar civilizations that are smart enough to find it, enter the correct password, and download survey data on many billions of star systems.

What’s sobering is that such probes would be like a swarm of bees buzzing through a field of flowers. They diligently carry out their exploration duties and are oblivious to contacting any native biological intelligence they might encounter.

That is, unless the builders programmed the robots to set up a threshold test of the intelligence and maturity of a native species. If the species passes the test they are allowed to communicate with the interstellar probe.

What sort of maturity test would you perform on Homo sapiens?

http://news.discovery.com

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Aliens & UFO's

The cast of Ghost Hunters to host panel at AlienCon

AlienCon the world’s first convention dedicated to seeking the truth about extraterrestrial existence and solving the mysteries of the universe, has announced new program details for the October 4-6 event in Dallas, Texas. A+E Networks previously announced celebrity guests at AlienCon Dallas will include HISTORY’s Ancient Aliens” contributors Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, David Childress, Nick Pope, Caroline Cory, Jason Martell, John Brandenburg, Travis Taylor, and Jonathan Young.

The entire cast of A&E’s “Ghost Hunters,” one of the most successful paranormal series of all time, joins AlienCon Dallas for a panel discussion, Inside the World of A&E’s “Ghost Hunters,” on Saturday, October 5 at 2:20pm.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to investigate the paranormal? Hear from paranormal expert Grant Wilson and his new team of investigators. For the first time ever, this team of seven paranormal investigators – Wilson, Daryl Marston, Kristen Luman, Brandon Alvis, Mustafa Gatollari, Brian Murray and Richel Stratton – are sharing their approach to investigations, the cutting-edge technology they use, and how they research and prepare to go into a hunt.

Panel:  Inside the World of A&E’s “Ghost Hunters”

Saturday, 10/5 at 2:20PM 

Grant Wilson, team leader/executive producer, and panel moderator
Daryl Marston, co-lead investigator
Kristen Luman, co-lead investigator
Mustafa Gatollari, site analyst/researcher/paranormal investigator
Brandon Alvis, tech manager/paranormal investigator
Richel Stratton, paranormal investigator
Brian Murray, paranormal investigator

There will also be two panel discussions regarding the Skinwalker Ranch

Panel: The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch
Friday 10/4 at 1:40PM

Panel: The Future of Skinwalker Ranch
Saturday, 10/5 at 11:00AM

Fans can learn more about ticket packages, special celebrity guests, and up-to-the-minute AlienCon Dallas programming information by visiting TheAlienCon.com.

AlienCon, owned by A+E Networks® in partnership with Prometheus Entertainment and produced by Mischief Management, LLC, is a three-day fan event inspired by HISTORY®’s hit series, Ancient Aliens®. AlienCon offers the opportunity for like-minded people to come together to challenge existing beliefs and seek disclosure of all kinds in an environment that inspires discovery and discussion.  The event will feature over 150 hours of original programming, sneak peeks and exclusive panels. Attendees can meet and mingle with their favorite celebrity guests.

More information can be found on the AlienCon website: TheAlienCon

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Aliens & UFO's

A Taos Close Encounter of the Hunters and Aliens Kind

© Jesse Moya/Taos News

Staci Matlock
Taos News

From left, Josh Brinkley and Daniel Lucero were out bow hunting for elk near Cerro de la Olla Monday (Sept. 2) northwest of Taos when they had a strange encounter with a gigantic white structure that then disappeared. A day earlier, Brinkley saw what he thought were two hunters, but later described as oddly clothed “very tall figures with oversized heads.” The two men are still trying to figure out what they saw.

Bow hunters Josh Brinkley and Daniel Lucero, dressed in camouflage gear, looked a little uncomfortable sitting in chairs at a local newspaper.

The Santa Fe County residents had just come into Taos after several days in rugged terrain near Cerro de la Olla, also called Pot Mountain, northwest of town near Ute Mountain.

They had a strange tale to tell and they weren’t sure of their reception.

“We’re a couple of guys that don’t believe in much, but we believe now,” Brinkley said.

They went hunting for elk.

They encountered aliens or something else so strange they don’t know what to call it.

Brinkley, 41, said he’s been going to the Pot Mountain area hunting for 15 years. He had never seen anything particularly odd.

He said he works construction and on movie sets. He’s a family guy who doesn’t want anyone to think he’s crazy.

He and Lucero have worked together for eight years.

They say they aren’t prone to seeing things and didn’t particularly believe in aliens.

Odd Figures

Opening morning of bow hunting season was Sunday (Sept. 1). The two men had gone a couple of days early to scout the area for elk. Lucero, 26, had never been there.

They set up along the tree line on different sides of a field and waited. After three hours and no elk, Brinkley became restless. It was about 9:30 a.m.

“I take off walking, creeping around through the woods, looking for elk,” Brinkley said.

He reached the top of the mountain where there’s a caldera, a kind of wide bowl left behind by a collapsed volcano. He went to the edge on the southwest side. As he walked to the edge he noticed two figures on his side of the caldera. He thought at first they were hunters. But, they were “very tall shapes of these beings, standing side by side, staring right at me,” he said.

He walked toward them across the brushy field. He estimates they were about 35 yards away. As a bow hunter, where measuring distance is critical to hitting a target, he said he’s pretty adept at it. He went around the bush and looked again. The figures were gone.

He looked around and didn’t see them. “Figured I would talk to them. They were gone, just gone,” Brinkley said.

He thought more about what he had seen: With their lower half concealed by bushes in the caldera, he had only seen them from the waist up. “The shape that would be like their heads, it looked like they had huge hoods on. It looked like two ribbons coming off either side to a point at the top and bottom (like a banana). The right side was black, left side was white and a little shiny. Torsos were kind of black, I couldn’t see many details. It definitely looked like clothes. In middle of the oval was just gray.”

He thought maybe it was the back of hunters’ heads. “But it looked too strange, too crazy.”

Later, he drew what he could remember of them in a leather bound sketchbook he carries with him. And he drew what he saw next.

Weirded Out

Brinkley hurried back to where Lucero was still waiting. Still no elk. “I was a little weirded out,” he told his friend.

He told Lucero he had seen a couple of hunters and that’s probably what had scared off the elk. He couldn’t bring himself at first to say what he might have just imagined.

They went back to camp. “I couldn’t take it any more,” Brinkley said. “I told him what I saw was weird. They were too tall, their heads were too big to be hunters.”

“Anyone who knows me knows I don’t tell these weird stories.”

Lucero said he had known something was up when Brinkley had walked quickly and noisily up to his position at the field. Normally his friend is quiet, a hunter’s slower, more measured speed through the bushes.

After Brinkley told him, Lucero felt a little weird, too. “I didn’t know what to believe,” Lucero said.

Brinkley kind of wrote off what he saw.

A Strange Structure

On Labor Day (Sept. 2), they headed out again to hunt early in the morning and hiked all around the area. No elk. They got back to their Jeep at about 2:30 p.m.

“We couldn’t figure out why there was no elk,” Brinkley said.

They decided to drive to the other side of the mountain and see if there were other hunters or four-wheelers scaring off the elk. As they drove, the men saw no signs of any wildlife at all, they said.

They drove about 10 minutes, when they saw it. They both work with movie sets. At first they thought it was a movie base camp. “It’s this big tent structure, like a circus tent, 50-60 feet tall. Coming off the left of it was this long building, almost like what you would build for an archery lane for target practice. It was a third the height, but really long, maybe a couple hundred feet.”

They were about a quarter mile away and couldn’t see the bottom of the structure.

They watched it for about a minute as they drove.

“What is it,” he asked Lucero, “a base camp for a movie? Or are they building an alien ship set?”

They drove down a little hill, lost sight of the structure for at most five seconds, Brinkley said.

“When we topped the hill, it was gone. Just gone.”

Lucero said he was watching it the whole time while Brinkley drove except for those few seconds. “There was no dust, there was nothing,” Lucero said.

They drove around the area searching for what they had seen until dark.

Nothing.

“I just know it was real,” Brinkley said. “It was huge and white and then gone.”

‘Profoundly Unsettling’

When the two men reached a place with cell signal, they told a few friends what they had seen. They thought about calling the Air Force. A friend put them in touch with Peter Davenport, longtime executive director of the National UFO Reporting Center in Washington state.

Davenport confirmed they had called him. “It was a dramatic story,” he said. “If it is true, it is profoundly unsettling.”

He said out of the thousands of calls he gets every year about supposed alien sightings, they rarely describe seeing aliens on the ground.

They aren’t the first hunters to see something they can’t explain. Four hunters in Challis, Idaho, in 2000 described having a large triangular craft hover a couple of hundred feet above them before moving off over the mountains.

After listening to some 350,000 phone calls over 25 years, Davenport thinks he can tell those that are credible.

This was one of them, he said.

Brinkley and Lucero said they weren’t drinking and weren’t on drugs.

The hardest thing is telling their story. “People probably think we are insane,” Brinkley said

He said he didn’t believe in UFOs. “I sure do now,” he said.

Lucero said he doesn’t know about aliens. “I just know I’ve never seen anything that big just disappear.”

“The two aliens, you can say I imagined that. But you cannot explain something that big just — gone,” Brinkley said.

After telling their strange tale, the hunters did what they came to do – go try one more time to find elk.

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Aliens & UFO's

New Mexico Hunters Have ET Encounter on Pot Mountain

Let’s answer a few of the obvious questions right away. Yes, there really is a Pot Mountain in New Mexico. No, it has nothing to do with marijuana. Yes, that may absolve the two ET-spotting hunters from accusations that they were high when they claim to have seen two tall big-headed, half-black/half-white aliens on Pot Mountain. No, they weren’t trying to be politically correct with that description. Yes, one saw the creatures and both saw something that was either their tent or their means of transportation. And no, they didn’t take any pictures. However, it’s an interesting story and UFO expert believes their sincerity in telling it.

“We’re a couple of guys that don’t believe in much, but we believe now.”

Josh Brinkley and Daniel Lucero were still in their bow-hunting camouflage clothing when they told their story to the Taos News. The friends and co-workers have been hunting together for elk for years, but this was Lucero’s first time on Cerro de la Olla – an inactive volcanic mountain northwest of Taos named Mountain of the Pot or Pot Mountain because of its pot shape. Brinkley brought him there a few days before the September 1 opening day of elk season to scout for some good spots. However, he was alone and wondering why there were no elk around when he had his first close encounter.

“[I noticed the] very tall shapes of these beings, standing side by side, staring right at me. The shape that would be like their heads, it looked like they had huge hoods on. It looked like two ribbons coming off either side to a point at the top and bottom (like a banana). The right side was black, left side was white and a little shiny. Torsos were kind of black, I couldn’t see many details. It definitely looked like clothes. In middle of the oval was just gray.”

Brinkley estimated the creatures were 35 feet from him. As he walked around a bush to get a better look, they disappeared. He told the Taos News that he returned to Lucero but hesitated before telling him about the unbelievable encounter with the two tall beings. They returned to the same area the next day and still saw no elk. That’s when both hunters had a close encounter of the tent kind.

“It’s this big tent structure, like a circus tent, 50-60 feet tall. Coming off the left of it was this long building, almost like what you would build for an archery lane for target practice. It was a third the height, but really long, maybe a couple hundred feet.”

As they drove around to get closer, they lost sight of the structure for less than five seconds. When they had a view again of where it was … it wasn’t.

“When we topped the hill, it was gone. Just gone. There was no dust, there was nothing, I just know it was real. It was huge and white and then gone.”

A white circus tent but not even close

They had no further encounters. In addition to the Taos News, they told their story to Peter Davenport, the executive director of the National UFO Reporting Center, who was intrigued by the witnesses claiming to see actual alien creatures and added this comment to the report of the call.

“NUFORC was impressed with what we perceived to be the apparent sincerity of the caller during the telephone conversation with him.”

One discrepancy between the two accounts – NUFORC says there were three witnesses while the Taos News says there were only Brinkley and Lucero. That might be cleared up with an official written account to NUFORC by the witnesses, but that hasn’t happened yet.

What did Josh Brinkley and Daniel Lucero see? Taos is well-known as a center for New Age beliefs, but it and New Mexico in general have had their share of strange incidents and alien encounters, ranging from the mysterious Taos hum to the Roswell UFO crash to extraterrestrials living in caverns near Dulce to the alleged 1948 ‘flying saucer’ crash in Hart Canyon near Aztec with 14 to 16 small humanoid corpses found in the wreckage.

Is the incident on Pot Mountain just a good title for a major motion picture or a real close encounter? It would have helped their case to have photos instead of drawings and another witness who is not also a friend and co-worker. It would have also helped if there were footprints of the ETs and imprints or other evidence of the mysterious tent.

Keep looking up … unless hunting season has started.

Source: Mysterious Universe

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