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Could the unusual ET phenomena be animal types – not human types – of life forms?

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Readers may remember our recent note that the Pentagon is rethinking the practice of merely making fun of odd findings reported by pilots.

Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon offers some thoughts:

Not to enflame the alien hunters out there, but videos of the UFO’s taken by jets show two characteristics:
a) high speed (altitude)
b) high acceleration.

The shape is less important, but being pill-shaped means you are not aerodynamically suited for high velocities in high density air.

Humans can go at these high speeds, Mach 25 for the space shuttle, but it takes an enormous amount of fuel and rocket power. Plus, the shuttle has to have special tiles to dissipate the heat. Tiles and fuel = heavy and bulky which these UFO’s are not.

Second is the acceleration. Pilots wear “g-suits” that tighten when maneuvering, so that all the blood does rush to the head or feet. Even so, 3-5 g’s is typically the maximum a pilot sustains and at 9 g’s they typically go unconscious. These videos show UFO’s that appear to be pulling 20 or more g’s. I’d have to analyse them frame-by-frame to get the actual acceleration. But if you or I were in that craft, they’d be scraping off the cockpit with a spatula. Most s/c instruments that I build for satellites cannot handle 15 g’s, so we prefer liquid fuel boosters.

So the observation is a light weight, non-aerodynamic high-speed, ultra-high acceleration object. Is it human made? Hardly. Is it weather phenomenon? Unlikely, though not ruled out. Is it US research? I wish. Is it little green men? Only if their biology is very unlike ours. Once again, having seen what extraterrestrial life looks like (cyanobacteria on comets) it is very likely that any ET is built like us, so I don’t think this is LGM. That leaves “other” as a category.

Where is this taking us? Well I think that these objects show purpose. Their motions aren’t random like Brownian motion or determined like meteor trails. So there is a rudimentary sensory/propulsion system apparent. But the need to handle high g’s means it is very rigid. The lack of rocket or fuel system suggests they are also very light. Their shape is also reminiscent of bacteria, where the surface/volume ratio is maximized. This leads me to think that they are biological, they are mostly air, and the biology is in a thin surface material or skin. Their energy source must be at high altitude, because they aren’t designed for thick atmosphere. The only energy sources at those altitudes are electric, with large electric potentials present over thunderstorms or in the aurora. Electrostatic forces can create very high forces, and that would be the form of propulsion. One way to check, is to see if the electric field is parallel to their motion, or if the magnetic field is perpendicular to their motion.

So in summary my best guess is that these are space cows, grazing on the energy in the high atmosphere and inflated by hydrogen. Perhaps if we knew what they ate, we could put a deer stand in the Space Station.

Once again, I let ID direct me toward biology, instead of knee jerk reaction the ID leads to mechanical space probes. It fits with what we know of biology, but is a compete projection of our insecurities when we think of it as a machine made by an alien race. Like Father Brown in GK Chesterton’s novels, who said “It wasn’t a ghost because I believe in ghosts”, likewise I think it is biological because I believe in human ID and biological ID, and it certainly isn’t human.

Note: Rob Sheldon is also the author of Genesis: The Long Ascent and The Long Ascent, Volume II .

No, it’s not necessarily aliens. Could be other stuff we don’t know about. Maybe something like life forms that are not intelligent. But a big smirk is not a good approach to science or any other body of knowledge.

See also: The Pentagon’s UAP (UFO) report signals a sharp attitude change The brass have committed themselves to going “wherever the data takes us.” No, they didn’t report UFOs. But they reported enough mysteries to stop merely debunking and discrediting… and follow the evidence.

A couple more highly credible apparently technological vehicle UFO sightings. I'm still waiting for a credible explanation along the "space life form" line, or anything other than the most obvious one: ETI: - The 1976 Tehran Incident Location: Tehran, Iran September 1976 Two Iranian F-4 interceptor aircraft reported their equipment jammed as they approached a star-shaped UFO over the areas surrounding the Iranian capital, Tehran. Ground control equipment at Mehrabad International Airport was also reportedly affected by the strange craft. Speaking at a pilot's conference in 2007, pilot Parviz Jafari said he attempted to fire on the UFO but was unable to cause any damage. "My weapons jammed and my radio communications garbled," he said, according to the Irish Independent. - The Coyne, Mansfield Helicopter Incident Location: Mansfield, Ohio October 1973 Four crew members of an Army Reserve helicopter recorded a near collision with a UFO near Charles Mill Lake. The incident was corroborated by witnesses in Richland and Ashland counties who described an object or a ball of light moving in a manner not consistent with human flight. The crew on the helicopter, piloted by Lawrence Coyne (for whom the sighting is named), reported seeing a 60-foot-long, cigar-shaped object with a bright green light, according to the Mansfield News Journal. doubter
First, nothing but denial that UFOs represented anything other than misidentifications and hoaxes. Now that the government has issued this report admitting to some of the key claims of witnesses, the intelligentsia move to the "natural" explanation as if they never dismissed all that evidence in the first place as being not credible. Sheldon is now dutifully processing the new, officially approved parameter of information into the "natural phenomena" narrative, still completely ignoring countless, credible testimonies and a large body of evidence that people have been interacting with non-human intelligences for at least several decades. Such as, technological, manufactured ship landings, abductions by non-human beings, the insider testimony by the Disclosure project. Yes, there are some phenomena that may represent previously unknown forms of unintelligent life, like space or upper atmosphere animals, but that simply does not account for all the credible eyewitness testimony and evidence available. William J Murray
This is what evoTARDs say about it. They don't think that Navy pilots can tell what they are looking at:
They show impossible-to-decipher spots of light and dark moving quickly across the screen. Is it an electrical phenomenon? Is it an optical phenomenon? Nobody has any idea.
What a clueless dolt! ET
Doggonit! Those two UFO reports above happened before the ubiquity of cell phones with cameras and video capture capability! Of all the rotten luck. EDTA
I absolutely find the idea of spacefaring flora and fauna to be wonderful Nobody ever speaks of it but I would also think that a counter argument to that would be all of the lifeless planets around us AaronS1978
This "space creature" theory unfortunately ignores a host of the classic UFO cases where what clearly appeared to be large vehicles were seen and interacted with the witnesses. These cases and many others don't fit the space creature idea very well at all. These cases deserve a recounting in at least moderate detail. An example is the well-known Chiles-Whitted case in 1948, early in the twentieth and twenty-first century history of the phenomenon. From Wiki:
"In the early morning hours of July 24, 1948, Clarence Chiles, chief pilot, and John Whitted, co-pilot, were flying an Eastern Air Lines Douglas DC-3 passenger plane near Montgomery, Alabama, at about 5,000 feet altitude. The night sky was clear with "the Moon, four days past full, shining through scattered clouds." At about 2:45 AM, Chiles "saw a dull red glow above and ahead of the aircraft." He told Whitted, "Look, here comes a new Army jet job." The object closed on their DC-3 in a matter of seconds, and both men later said they saw the object fly past the right side of their plane at high speed before it pulled "up with a tremendous burst of flame out of its rear and zoomed up into the clouds." They observed the object for a total of ten to fifteen seconds. Chiles and Whitted stated that the object "looked like a wingless aircraft...it seemed to have two rows of windows through which glowed a very bright light, as brilliant as a magnesium flare."Both pilots claimed the object was 100 feet long and 25-30 feet in diameter, torpedo- or cigar-shaped, "similar to a B-29 fuselage", with flames coming out of its tail. Only one of the plane's passengers, C.L. McKelvie, saw anything unusual. He reported seeing a "bright streak of light" that flashed by his window."
UFO skeptics later claimed it was a large meteor, but this explanation is untenable due to the obvious characteristics of an actual vehicle. The witnesses (trained pilots and good observers) would have to have been on drugs to so misinterpret what they saw and experienced. Then there's the RB-47 multiple air and ground electromagnetic signals interaction case, summarized at https://science.howstuffworks.com/space/aliens-ufos/rb-47-ufo.htm. This has been considered one of the best UFO vehicle cases ever. A better and more detailed account is at http://www.noufors.com/the_RB-47_ufo_encounter.html .
"Possessing the most sophisticated electronic intelligence (ELINT) gear available to the U.S. Air Force, the RB-47 could handle anything. Unfortunately, in the morning hours of July 17, 1957, over the southern United States, an RB-47 came across something it was unprepared for. In the first hint of what was to come, one of the three officers who operate the electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment detected an odd signal. Moving up the radar screen, the blip passed some distance in front of the RB-47, then over Mississippi. Though puzzled, he sai­d nothing. However, a few minutes later, at 4:10 A.M., the sudden appearance of an intense blue light bearing down on the aircraft shook the pilot and copilot. Even more unnerving, the object changed course in the blink of an eye and disappeared at the two o'clock position. The aircraft radar picked up a strong signal in the same spot. The UFO maintained this position even as the RB-47 continued toward east Texas. The pilot then observed a "huge" light, attached, he suspected, to an even bigger something that the darkness obscured. When the electronics gear noted the presence of another UFO in the same general location as the first, the pilot turned the plane and accelerated toward it. The UFO shot away. By now the crew had alerted the Duncanville, Texas, Air Force ground radar station, and it was soon tracking the one UFO that remained (the second had disappeared after a brief time). At 4:50 radar showed the UFO abruptly stopping as the RB-47 passed under it. Barely seconds later it was gone. This incredible case -- considered one of the most significant UFO reports ever -- remained classified for years. When it became known years later, the Air Force declared that the RB-47 crew had tracked an airliner. Physicist Gordon David Thayer, who investigated the incident for the University of Colorado UFO Project, called this explanation "literally ridiculous.""
Then there is the Japan Airlines Flight 1628 incident. (From Wiki):
On November 17, 1986, the Japanese crew of a JAL Boeing 747 cargo freighter witnessed three unidentified objects after sunset while flying over eastern Alaska. The objects seemed to prefer the cover of darkness to their left, and to avoid the brighter skies to their right. At least the first two of the objects were observed by all three crew members: Captain Kenju Terauchi, an ex-fighter pilot with more than 10,000 hours flight experience, in the cockpit's left-hand seat; co-pilot Takanori Tamefuji in the right-hand seat; and flight engineer Yoshio Tsukuba. The routine cargo flight entered Alaska on auto-pilot, cruising at 565 mph (909 km/h) at an altitude of 35,000 ft (11,000 m). At 17:09, the Anchorage ATC advised a new heading towards Talkeetna, Alaska. There were (initially) two objects: The two objects were like "shooting off lights", were square in shape and some 500 to 1,000 feet in front of the cockpit, but somewhat higher in altitude. As soon as JAL 1628 straightened out of its turn, at 17:11, Captain Terauchi noticed two craft to his far left, and some 2,000 ft (610 m) below his altitude, which he assumed to be military aircraft. These were pacing his flight path and speed. At 17:18 or 17:19 the two objects abruptly veered to a position about 500 ft (150 m) or 1,000 ft (300 m) in front of the aircraft, assuming a stacked configuration. In doing so they activated "a kind of reverse thrust, and [their] lights became dazzlingly bright". To match the speed of the aircraft from their sideways approach, the objects displayed what Terauchi described as a disregard for inertia: "The thing was flying as if there was no such thing as gravity. It sped up, then stopped, then flew at our speed, in our direction, so that to us it [appeared to be] standing still. The next instant it changed course. ... In other words, the flying object had overcome gravity." The "reverse thrust" caused a bright flare for three to seven seconds, to the extent that captain Terauchi could feel the warmth of their glows. Air traffic control was notified at this point (at 17:19:15), who could not confirm any traffic in the indicated position. After three to five minutes the objects assumed a side-to-side configuration, which they maintained for another 10 minutes. They accompanied the aircraft with an undulating motion, and some back and forth rotation of the jet nozzles, which seemed to be under automatic control, causing them to flare with brighter or duller luminosity. Each object had a square shape, consisting of two rectangular arrays of what appeared to be glowing nozzles or thrusters, separated by a dark central section. Captain Terauchi speculated in his drawings, that the objects would appear cylindrical if viewed from another angle, and that the observed movement of the nozzles could be ascribed to the cylinders' rotation. The objects left abruptly at about 17:23:13, moving to a point below the horizon to the east. There was a third object: The third object described by Captain Terauchi, was sometimes referred to as the "mothership", trailing the port side of the Boeing 747 cargo freighter of Japan Air Lines. Where the first objects disappeared, Captain Terauchi now noticed a pale band of light that mirrored their altitude, speed and direction. Setting their onboard radar scope to a 25 nautical miles (46 km) range, he confirmed an object in the expected 10 o'clock direction at about 7.5 nmi (13.9 km) distance, and informed ATC of its presence. Anchorage found nothing on their radar, but Elmendorf's NORAD Regional Operations Control Center (ROCC), directly in his flight path, reported a "surge primary return" after some minutes. As the city lights of Fairbanks began to illuminate the object, captain Terauchi believed to perceive the outline of a gigantic spaceship on his port side that was "twice the size of an aircraft carrier". It was, however, outside first officer Tamefuji's field of view. The object followed "in formation", or in the same relative position throughout the 45 degree turn, a descent from 35,000 to 31,000 ft, and a 360 degree turn. The short-range radar at Fairbanks airport failed, however, to register the object.
What if we start with this proposition: nothing living could withstand the G-forces these objects seem to experience. Then we conclude that these objects must be directed from without, not within. This, in turn, leads to the question: what intelligent force is at work? My bet is that it is human intelligence at work. I have a sneaking suspicion that all this information that is now coming out on UFO's is but a cover for secret projects and advanced systems that are now top-secret. Remember that object that hovered in the air and moved back and forth? What was that all about? Yet, it happened right near a very large naval base in San Diego. That's the connection I make. PaV
EDTA , thanks for the endorsement! Polistra and BobRyan, I am sure that both the Air Force and the DoD report (which can be found here: https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/reports-publications/reports-publications-2021/item/2223-preliminary-assessment-unidentified-aerial-phenomena have considered spurious data artifacts. If they hadn't, someone would have told them by now. And given the interest in the topic, we would have had two dozen debunking reports with screen captures. But mostly, we have an airplane that's worth half-a-billion dollars, and we don't want the radar misbehaving in this way. Show some respect for us DoD contractors who actually build these things. Robert Sheldon
Given the high altitude and spped, light does reflect differently. It could very well be some natural phenomenon that we do not understand that causes something to appear different than it actually does. BobRyan
Things that move suddenly are either reflections like sundogs, or insects on the camera lens. A fly jumping or flying across one inch looks impressive when you misperceive it as accelerating across several miles. polistra
I am happy to report that I proposed a very similar idea on Sept. 8, 2020, at this very site: https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/why-the-space-aliens-have-never-shown-up-seven-reasons-offered/#comment-711789
...what if these sightings are actually just “space insects”, living creatures that exist out in space, not tied to a planet (although they might have once been). They evolved the ability to do interstellar flight, and here they are, buzzing semi-randomly around our planes like a house fly goes after my food. They’re no smarter than a chimp, but have radiant energy properties, etc., that affect our electrical systems or burn something. Sometimes they’re gregarious and are seen in formation like geese...
Not _exactly_ what you are proposing, Mr. Sheldon, but very close. EDTA

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