Is there any theological motivation in the search for life beyond earth? Or is this just the academic bent of our Jesuit pope being felt early in his papacy? Is it a terrible pursuit of heresy or worse, the work of the Devil? Or is the Vatican searching for some greater inspiration for humanity?
The last time the Vatican was moved to pursue a momentous astronomical discovery was in 1580 to reform the Julian calendar. It was known that the equinoxes and solstices had drifted some distance off from true, and Pope Gregory XIII sought a reform to respect the traditional Easter celebration date as set by the Council of Nicaea in 325. The Gregorian Tower was ordered erected in the Holy See and stocked with the finest instruments of the day. Jesuit astronomers were able to refine the length of the year from 365.25 days to 365.2425 days (a reduction of about 10 minutes and 48 seconds per annum or <0.002%). To compensate for the calculated discrepancy, a Papal Bull decreed that all calendars would skip 10 days. The day of Thursday Oct 4th 1582 on the Julian calendar was immediately followed by the day of Friday Oct 15th 1582 on the new Gregorian calendar, and Easter has been when it’s supposed to be ever since.However, does the pursuit of the discovery of extraterrestrial life have a practical end such as that for calendar reform?
The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System: Exoplanets, Biosignatures & Instruments in Tuscon, Arizona was hosted by the Steward Observatory and the Vatican Observatory and took place from March 16-21st AD 2014. Nearly 30 hours of 30-minute talks by world-leading experts on the theories of extraterrestrial life are available online. And some amazing concepts came to be discussed.
For example, the study of life forms that live in extreme environments on Earth could provide apt analogs for the limits of life on other planets. Extremophiles can be seen to survive in environments from –50°C to 1000°C and up to 6km below the Earth’s surface. Using the basis of these habitats on Earth, one scientist proposes that the habitability zone around a star such as the Sun could actually be from the orbit of Venus to further than the orbit of Jupiter.
The conference also discussed observable biosignatures, or certain chemicals in the atmosphere of exoplanets that could be spectroscopically identified to deduce the presence of metabolizing life. Although emphasizing a non-terra-centric view of the parameters for biocentric gases, all the molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere are produced in some way by life (even ozone, in some cell functions), so it’s not yet clear which biocentric gases could theoretically be attributed to the presence of life on observed exoplanets.
The theoretical existence of extraterrestrial civilizations also present opportunities for directly observable evidence through their technology. For example a hypothetical alien homeworld, which is tidally locked to its parent star, may elect to employ a fleet of satellite-mirrors to make better use of the dark side of their planet. Such a project would produce transit signatures with properties measurably different from a normal solid planet as it enters and exits the transit of its parent star. This phenomenon could be detected by current technology, but there is some question as to how likely or common this could be, and whether it would be worth looking for.
Unintentional thermodynamic signals could be powerful biomarkers of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations. Heat radiation from technological activity as we see it from Earth-cities already exceeds background radiation (like from a forest or ocean) by ~4% in infrared wavelengths. With a proposed billion-dollar, ground-based telescope called The Colossus, we could conceivably detect this minute but tell-tale heat signature on a planet within 100 light years of Earth. The Colossus would have many other astronomical and practical applications, like imaging nearby stars and galaxies in much greater detail than Hubble or detecting millimeter-details on geostationary satellites orbiting 400km above the earth, but remains am unfunded dream of The Colossus Consortium.
Perhaps the Holy See’s true motivation for throwing resources at undercutting our interstellar loneliness, from a purely practical perspective, could best be surmised by one of the stated goals of The Colossus Consortium:
“The detection of an extraterrestrial civilization (ETC), even without further communication, is important in many gnostic and practical aspects. For instance, one of the current burning issues for our civilization is surviving global climate changes because of increasing power generation. Detecting more advanced civilizations will demonstrate a fundamental possibility that civilization can achieve a phase of sustainable global-scale power consumption.”
Kaikōura, New Zealand UFO sighting still flummoxing locals 40 years later
© Image – supplied; Video – The Project
Forty years on from an unidentified flying object (UFO) sighting that put Kaikōura in the international spotlight, those who witnessed the strange occurrences are still confused by what they saw.
Three bright lights appeared in the Kaikōura sky in December 1978, bewildering those to witness it – including air traffic controllers John Cordy and Andy Herd.
It was even caught on camera by an Australian film crew who was in the area trying to capture footage of them.
Journalist Quentin Fogarty said they were transfixed by the mysterious lights, some of which were the size of a house.
“We saw this string of lights, it started as a small pinpoint of light then grew into this large pulsating globe with tinges of orange and red,” he said.
“I’m sitting there transfixed – we were told after it was about the size of a house.”
The objects even appeared on radar, further confusing air traffic staff.
The Muldoon Government said it was squid boats, the moonlight bouncing off cabbages or Venus rising – but those who were there aren’t convinced.
“Come on, radar returns from a field of cabbages? Squid boats doing 180 knots at 14,000 feet?” said Mr Cordy.
Even Mr Herd, a sceptic according to his son, believed the flashing lights were not normal.
“My father was a very sensible man,” Daniel Herd said. “It would have taken a lot for him to believe that this was something as unusual as he did believe that it was.”
Further complicating the mystery is other sightings of UFOs six years earlier in 1972, and a US scientist who studied the lights admitting he believed it wasn’t a hoax… or explainable as squid boats.
You can watch Newshub’s video coverage here.
Watch How A Lightning Strike Temporarily Disables This UFO’s Cloaking Shield
It seems electrical disturbances have an impact on a UFO’s cloaking device, as evidenced by the following video.
An unidentified flying object’s cloaking shield is one of its best assets since it allows the craft’s occupants to remain undetected while performing their obscure activities on Earth.
Visible light can be considered an oscillating electric and magnetic field and because the cloaking shield works on a visible level, it must operate on some kind of electromagnetic principle we’ve yet to discover. You know what else is electromagnetic? The immense power surge caused by a lightning strike. So it makes sense that when a camouflaged UFO is hit by the thousand or so Giga Watts discharged by a lightning bolt, some interference may occur.
In the following video we are treated to the rare sight of such a phenomenon.
During a recent thunderstorm in the U.S., a large, circular UFO became visible after coming in contact with the immense voltage of an electrical discharge between clouds. It is unclear whether the craft was accidentally hit or it was there exactly for that reason. Perhaps these advanced vehicles are able to harvest energy from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to volcanoes, lightning and solar wind.
After lightning touches its surface, the UFO becomes visible for approximately 30 seconds during which it remains lit and illuminates the sky and clouds surrounding its massive body. Once the UFO disappears, the surrounding area returns to its normal luminosity.
Although videos like this are rare, they are not unheard of. In a previous article, we showed you a fleet of UFOs recharging their batteries during a thunderstorm. Another video that quickly went viral featured a creepy UFO exiting a lightning storm at a high velocity.
It’s obvious that aliens always need two things: human specimens and a whole lot of power.
Forestry Worker Attacked By Aliens In Scotland
A seemingly unprovoked attack on a Scottish forestry worker over 30 years ago has been recounted by the victim, who still has no idea why he was targeted.
The forestry worker, Robert Taylor, arrived at work as usual on a typically cold November morning and began walking towards the job site through a woodland path only to emerge into a clearing and see the alien craft.
He described the object as spherical, around 20-30 feet in diameter and hovering around 15 feet from the ground. Shortly after this two objects fell from the craft resembling world war two sea mines, rolled towards him and attached themselves to his hips. As the objects approached, he remembered smelling burning, and shortly after they attached themselves to him they began to pull him towards the main craft.
At this point, he lost consciousness and remembers nothing of whatever happened next. After he came to the object was gone, leaving only marks in the ground below where the craft had been, a graze on his forehead and what he described as an incredible thirst. He also believed at the time that he was not unconscious for more than a minute or two, although was somewhat disoriented by the events.
What provoked the attack is unknown, although presumably, the craft was not expecting Taylor to approach it. Some have speculated that the aliens abducted Taylor in an attempt to erase his memory of having seen them. Others that he was experimented on, and that his time aboard the craft may have been much longer than he thought at the time.
Unlike the majority of UFO sightings or abduction experiences, there are seemingly no arguments forthcoming that the events could have come from a man-made source. Experimental aircraft would not have accounted for the spherical objects that pulled Taylor towards the ship, nor the lack of consciousness. Not to mention that West Lothian where the attack took place is not a location known for its abundance of secret military test bases.
The full eyewitness account of the abduction can be found here:
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