Strange Interstellar Object Intelligently Designed?
Has our solar system just been visited by an intruder carrying greetings from ancient life on some alien world light years away? That is a question that interests, not only UFO researchers, but many mainstream scientists, as well. In late November 2017, a mysterious interstellar object named ‘Oumuamua’ (Hawaiian for “messenger”) suddenly appeared on a path bending sharply around our sun. Shaped like a giant, almost black, cigar, this was the first such object astronomers had ever seen. First spotted by the Pan-STARRS survey telescope in Hawaii, the object has many qualities that are very much unlike a typical asteroid or comet but that closely resembles a particular form that some scientists have speculated would be ideal for an interstellar mission.
Immediately, many began to wonder if the object might be some kind of probe dispatched by some advanced civilization elsewhere in the universe. Plans soon formed to take as thorough a look as possible while the fast-moving object was still within range of Earth’s sensors. One of the first to take on the challenge was Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and his “Breakthrough Listen” project.
Guided by Harvard’s astronomy department chair, Avi Loeb, cosmologist Stephen Hawking, and others, Milner’s group planned to use the Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia to listen very carefully for any signals emanating from the object. In an e-mail to Milner, Loeb said, “The more I study this object, the more unusual it appears, making me wonder whether it might be an artificially made probe which was sent by an alien civilization.” Atlantis Rising‘s issue #114 (November/December 2015) reported on Milner’s creation of Breakthrough Listen with his recent major investment in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
In the meantime, astronomer Alan Fitzsimmons from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and the lead author of another major new study already published on the object, reported that Oumuamua is wrapped in a strange ‘organic coat,’ which might be some kind of insulation for an unknown, but presumed, icy core.
By the time you read this, data will have been gathered and more pronouncements made, but answers may take years.
Secret Pentagon Agency Investigated UFOs
To the shock of many in the mainstream press, it turns out the Pentagon has an interest in the UFO phenomenon, after all. No less an authority than the New York Times reported in December 2017, that until at least 2012, the U.S. Defense Department maintained, with a budget of $22 million, a classified department to investigate UFOs.
Run by military intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the office was responsible for follow-up on reports coming from military service members, including pilots. The online Times story included video footage of a “whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial plane” pursued by a pair of Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz near San Diego in 2004.
In its reporting, the Times appeared somewhat incredulous that the Pentagon was willing to spend taxpayer money this way and seemed willing to blame the program on the cozy relationship between former Senate majority leader Harry Reid and space hotel entrepreneur Robert Bigelow. Bigelow told CBS’s 60 Minutes in May 2017, he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that UFOs have visited Earth. Coming from a well-known hotel development family, Bigelow has worked with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space. He believes that space will ultimately make a great tourist destination for his hotels (for more on Bigelow, see Atlantis Rising #93, May/June 2012, “Private Space”).
Officially, the Defense Department says the program’s funding ended in 2012, but its backers assured the Times that it still exists. Comparisons have been made between the newly reported program and the Air Force’s Project Blue Book of the 1950s and 1960s, but if Blue Book had actually succeeded in putting the UFO question to rest as it suggested in its final report in 1969, then why, one might ask, does the Pentagon still choose to pursue the matter? Could it be that where there is smoke, there might be fire?
It is clear that pressure from a skeptical media can cause embarrassment in certain circles and force the abandonment, at least in public, of programs dealing with UFOs, remote viewing, etc. But it is also clear that for those actually responsible for the national defense, a need for reliable facts, not prejudice, can be a compelling thing.
CAPTION: 2012 encounter between a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet and unknown object. (Released by the Defense Department’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program)