Brin’s UFO Questions

David Brin has some questions; I suggest some answers. His questions are indented; my answers are not.

I give a small chance that the much discussed “UAP” phenomena could – conceivably – be expendable drones or beam spots sent by such lurkers. Make that a VERY small chance. … ask some really fundamental questions, like: a) Why do UFO images keep getting fuzzier, when there are about a million times as many cameras than in the 1950s? 

The cameras that ordinary people have today aren’t higher resolution than they used to be, and ordinary people find it hard to take pictures of unexpected moving objects in the sky with camera phones. I don’t think the pictures are on average fuzzier today. Also, my theory suggests that their sources might be trying to stay near the edge of visibility. 

b) A whole lot depends on whether these sighted ‘UAPs’ are actually opaque physical objects that affect their surroundings and block passage of light from behind them! Or else, are they glowing spots of excited air that pass through light from the background behind them (translucent)? I have not seen this question even posed … == Cat lasers == My own hypothesis for what’s going on?  … very strong laser pointer. Go somewhere you can clearly see a wall many miles away. Like the Grand Canyon. Swipe left or right. If your wrist-flick was quick enough, that dot moved faster than the speed of light! … start with military laser systems for ionizing streaks of air and painting fake objects in the sky to serve as decoys. Here’s an excellent article. And what’s described is is impressively close!

This has been discussed, and this could well be the physical process behind many sightings. But if so, the abilities shown seem to be well beyond what has been revealed in our literature. Not only are these sometimes very large and bright “images”, but the beam source seems to be far away and well hidden. Hard to use this to explain sightings from decades ago, the US says it isn’t behind US sightings, and if some Earth power has this ability why is it revealing it to the world in this odd way?

are these glowing patches, blobs or “tic-tacs” radiating in just one or two colors? 

I think I recall data showing that at least for some night sightings the spectrums are broad. 

“I’ve never seen shock waves or ionization trails coming off them. … No acoustic booms?

Yes, that is one of the main puzzling features, and yes it might be explained via beam projection. 

Why do the vast majority of recent sightings appear to happen at US military training areas? 

I’m not sure this is true. We are much more inclined to believe military sighters, so they’d get more attention even if more sightings were not there. Remember that there have been over 100K sightings recorded over many decades. 

f) Getting back to fundamentals of motive and behavior: Why should we pay the slightest attention to “visitors” who behave like rude jerks? (Again, I say snub-em!)

Now, polymath Prof. Robin Hanson proposes they might have a reason for behaving this way. “To induce our cooperation, their plan is put themselves at the top of our status ladder. After all, social animals consistently have status ladders, with low status animals tending to emulate the higher. So if these aliens hang out close to us for a long time, show us their very impressive abilities, but don’t act overtly hostile, then we may well come to see them as very high status members of our tribe. Not powerful hostile outsiders.”

I deem that to be pretty hard a stretch, since our natural response to nasty tricks is with hostility and determination to get smarter/stronger, fast. Anyway, it’s clear from the history of colonialism on Earth that Robin’s proposed method was never, even once, used to dazzle and cow native peoples. The Portuguese did not conquer Indonesia by coating their ships in glitter and sailing quickly by, while shouting “ooga booga!” for 80 years without making actual contact. Instead, the classic approach used by conquerers back to Chinese and Persian and African dynasties – and especially European colonizers – was to co-opt and suborn the local tribe or nation’s top, leadership clade. Use power and wealth and blackmail and targeted assassinations to install your puppets and help them overcome local rivals. Superior aliens? No need for stunts if you have sufficient computational ability to learn our language and do those same things. And one can argue that recent US history is… well… compatible. (Especially the blackmail part!)

Yes, humans sometimes submit to foreign humans, who are very similar and can inter-mate. It is far less clear what it would take to get all humans to capitulate to very strange aliens, and aliens might fear that would change us too much for their purposes. After all, as they could probably just exterminate us, they must value something about what we are independent of them. 

Also, aliens might have wanted a simple robust strategy that could be approved well in advance by distant home officials reluctant to give much discretion or powers to local Earth representatives of limited trustworthiness and abilities. Revealing more info about themselves might lead us to hate them or find ways to resist them. 

g) Why haven’t successive U.S. administrations who hated each other used “the truth” as a political weapon against the other party? … 

By all reports, until now U.S. political administrations have not been trusted with any info at all about UFOs. 

No, my complaint, again, is that UFO nuttery is boring! Leaping to clutch the dumbest, most stereotypical and mystically primitive ‘theory,’ slathering on a voluptuous splatter of “I’m such a rebel” anti-authority pretentiousness, and then smacking in happy smugness like those French castle guards in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 

That seems a bit unfair. If anything the most respected UFO researchers are reluctant to talk about any theories at all, for fear of losing respectability. 

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