Ho hum, nothing to see here, move along…

Numerous associates of the Pentagon program, with high security clearances and decades of involvement with official U.F.O. investigations, told us they were convinced such crashes have occurred, based on their access to classified information. But the retrieved materials themselves, and any data about them, are completely off-limits to anyone without clearances and a need to know.

We were provided a series of unclassified slides showing that the program took this seriously enough to include it in numerous briefings. One slide says one of the program’s tasks was to “arrange for access to data/reports/materials from crash retrievals of A.A.V.’s,” or advanced aerospace vehicles.

Our sources told us that “A.A.V.” does not refer to vehicles made in any country — not Russian or Chinese — but is used to mean technology in the realm of the truly unexplained. They also assure us that their briefings are based on facts, not belief.

That is from Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean at the New York Times.  And yes there is a hat tip, and a deeply deserved one too.

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Nothing in the NYTimes even resembles the truth. Project 1619. Russia Hoax.

Now Alien Spacecraft?

Keep trying to kick that football. Maybe the Grey lady won't move it this time.

Once more we see what garbage people pose as the elites in modern America. This is what the Times gets for handing its pages over to ultra-cheap interns.

In this case interns who have not grown out of their crush on Fox Mulder.

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Ok, so I've heard this Project 1619 thing before, and I went and looked it up. Here's the title quote "The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."

What the hell is supposed to be wrong with that?
Slavery IS central to American history - we fought a goddamn civil war over it. We had 100 years of segregation following it. It's always been one of the biggest issues defining American politics, since before the revolution. It defines what is meant by "the South". It animates some of the most fractious and divisive topics in American politics to this day. Anyone who wants to deny that slavery and race relations aren't at the core of everything that has happened to make America the country it is, does not really understand America or it's history.

Nothing's wrong with the stated intent. The criticism is that the work has been sloppy, inaccurate and misleading.

"Many initial responses praised the project for its ambition but challenged the accuracy of some of its assertions and historical narratives; Hannah-Jones' lead essay in particular was widely criticized.[23][24][24] Andrew Sullivan critiqued the project as an important perspective that needed to be heard, but one presented in a biased way under the guise of objectivity.[25] Other commentators who both lauded and criticised the project include Damon Linkler who called it a "remarkable achievement", but found its treatment of history "sensationalistic, reductionistic, and tendentious",[26] Timothy Sandefur who deemed the project's goal worthy, but observed that the articles persistently went wrong trying to connect everything with slavery,[27] Phillip W. Magness who wrote that the Project provided a distorted economic history borrowed from "bad scholarship" of the New History of Capitalism (NHC),[28] and Rich Lowry who wrote there was much truth and much to learn from in Hannah-Jones' lead essay but it left out unwelcome facts about slavery, smeared the revolution, distorted the constitution and misrepresented the founding era and Lincoln.[29] Historian Leslie M. Harris who was consulted for the Project, wrote in Politico, that she had warned that the idea that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery, which was included in Hannah-Jones' lead essay, was inaccurate, that the Times made avoidable mistakes, but it was more concerning and dangerous that the critics were using that one overstated claim to discredit the entire undertaking that is "a much-needed corrective to the blindly celebratory histories".

Five leading American scholars, Sean Wilentz, James M. McPherson, Gordon S. Wood, Victoria E. Bynum and James Oakes, sent a signed letter to the Times objecting to the project, and Hannah-Jones' lead essay in particular. The letter issued harsh criticisms alleging inaccuracies in "matters of verifiable fact" and demanding corrections. The Times published the letter along with a detailed rebuttal from the magazine's editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein; no corrections were issued.[23] Sean Wilentz, the original author of the letter has said, "Each of us, all of us, think that the idea of the 1619 Project is fantastic. I mean, it's just urgently needed. The idea of bringing to light not only scholarship but all sorts of things that have to do with the centrality of slavery and of racism to American history is a wonderful idea," before adding in a subsequent interview, "far from an attempt to discredit the 1619 Project, our letter is intended to help it."
"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_1619_Project#Critical_reception

The critique of the 1619 Project's article on the American Revolution looks valid to me but it's a bit... odd to see some of the invective hurled against it. Yes, the Times screwed up but the way that they screwed up was in not having the article carefully reviewed by a team of elite historians before it went to publication. The people who are loudest in criticizing the Times also don't think much of credentialed experts either but this is a perfect example of why you need recognized experts who can hopefully put their political views aside and follow the evidence.

There are no space aliens. Whatever the UFO's are is not little green men from other planets. Big foot is more likely to be true than extra terrestial visitors. By definition UFO's are "unexplained" meaning we don't know what they are. But the laws of physics and science clearly exclude the possibility that people from another planet traveled for a million years and arrived here hale and hearty to scare us.

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"Yes, the Times screwed up but the way that they screwed up was in not having the article carefully reviewed by a team of elite historians before it went to publication. "

Not true. One of the people consulted during the prepublication phase even went on the record in https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/06/1619-project-new-york-times-mistake-122248

It seems to me a far greater problem to go ahead with publishing information that those consulted during the fact-checking of the article were arguing was false. The New York Times has been going downhill quickly!

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Looking through the website, it seems like they invited a number of different essayists to contribute articles, coming from varying perspectives. This is not unlike other publications I have read where a number of different perspectives are offered forming a kind of panel discussion. To me that does not indicate that the Times is attempting to write a definitive scholarly history, but to open up a discussion of various perspectives on American history. I'm not surprised or particularly bothered that some more radical perspectives would be included. It seems weird that the entire project would be maligned as some sort of effort to smear America based just on ONE of the perspective presented.

I can't say I really care very much. The NYT's has become a biased paper and I don't expect their output to be fair. Anymore than I would expect Fox News to be fair.

But yes a bunch of American scholars thought the NYT's should have done a more professional job.

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It makes non-factual claims, such as that many American revolutionaries were motivated to take up arms against the Brits in order to preserve slavery (slavery wouldn't be abolished in the British Empire for several decades after 1776). That was one of the more egregious ones, but there were others. You can't help but think these kinds of claims, easily refutable as they are, were not the result of sloppiness.

"You can't help but think these kinds of claims, easily refutable as they are, were not the result of sloppiness."

There's no way that a claim that blatant is the result of sloppiness. Not one with editorial review. The NYT's is producing some propaganda for their base. It's not the end of the world, it's not really much different that Fox New's "War on Christmas" propaganda.

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Whether it's non-factual is a matter of dispute. It's not exactly a new claim. I've heard it for years before. Some colonists may have been worried about preserving slavery. I kind of doubt it was a motivating factor for the majority.

Phil Magness has covered the inaccuracies of the project in detail. I agree, the intent seems okay, but the problem is that it's bad work and in some cases misrepresented the claims of the historians it cited. Just because something has a noble intent doesn't mean it should be taken uncriticially. As a published work of history, it is bad.

I'm not sure it's intended as a "published work of history".
Anyway, I don't think it should be taken uncritically. I just find it sort of strange that the far right portrays it as some sort of leftist conspiracy to destroy America.

"I'm not sure it's intended as a "published work of history"."

+1, Hazel exactly correct. This is propaganda.

Well, in the same way anyone who write essays that attempt to frame a narrative in a particular way is "propaganda".

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It's not just the "far right". See the criticisms by eminent liberal historians such as James McPherson, Gordon Wood, Sean Wilentz, etc. It's typical of far left narratives that turn American history into a polemical exercise (like Howard Zinn), and in this case tries to turn slavery into the overriding feature of the American regime. Hence they falsely date the origins of America to 1619 rather than 1776.

So no one should allow themselves to be fooled by their propaganda project.

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"What the hell is supposed to be wrong with that?"

America is so much more than that. Slavery and its legacy are an important part of American history, but just a part. For descendants of slaves the legacy is obviously more central, but there are dozens of groups of Americans from around the globe with their own story of America that in many cases has little to nothing to do with slavery or its legacy. Taken together, they are mostly variations on "the immigrant story" that is much closer to the central story of America.

The story of black Americans descended from slaves is different and darker and has probably been undercovered, and if all the 1619 project is trying to accomplish is some more room for this story in our national narrative, I have zero objection. Every American should know about the Tulsa riots.

But the people behind the project don't talk like this at all.

The 1619 project materials are also being used by radical teachers - of young children, in public schools - to persuade the kids to be ashamed of their (white) skin color and believe that America, the only country they can live in at their age, is intrinsically evil. And the only thing they can do to redeem themselves is to join the political movement espoused by the teacher.

I have definitive evidence of this, in my own home town.

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“It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.“

How does that even make sense? 30% of American states didn’t even exist until after the civil war. How the fuck is slavery and one race’s advances a unified narrative of our nation? What if I explicitly stated my goal was to make white Americans’ achievements the center of our national narrative? It wouldn’t just be deemed racist, it would *be* racist. And believe it or not, changing a word from “white” to “black” doesn’t change that fact.

How about we keep our national narrative about the things that actually apply to everyone, like the constitution, the free market, American individualism... you know... things that make America great. The thing that disturbs me about the far left is that they always find something horrible that has happened, and demand retribution, no matter the cost. They are *incapable* of understanding that life is mostly good, and that some bad things just happen, and to make them go away would cost far more than the benefit.

I agree with JWatts that the work done by this project was sloppy and unprofessional. However, I disagree with his submission that there is nothing wrong with the stated intent of the project. *That’s* the true horror here... that the argument leans so far in one direction that perfectly normal people are forced to make absurd submissions just to be allowed into the argument. Otherwise they’re a racist bigot.

30% of American states didn’t even exist until after the civil war.

That's sort of irrelevant considering a large portion of the people populating those states came from states that had participated on one side or other of the civil war.

The thing is that white Americans' achievements already ARE at the center of our national narrative. I think this sort of thing is best understood as an experiment in seeing how differently the national narrative looks if you try to view it from the Black perspective. Besides that, many things can be at the "center" - putting the story of America from the black perspective at the center doesn't mean removing the story from the white perspective. The center can be a large spacious area with many inhabitants.

How about we keep our national narrative about the things that actually apply to everyone, like the constitution, the free market, American individualism.

That's just the thing - Those things didn't apply to significant segments of the US population for a long time. That is an important fact about US history that led to events of central importance to American history, such as the civil war. You simply can't tell the story of American history without discussing slavery and the struggle against it.

Let me frame this a different way. If Black Americans are truly "Americans", then their history IS American history, their culture IS American culture. You can't conceptualize America as a whole, as ONE people, without embracing the painful history of slavery and the role that has played throughout American history. You can't overcome the deep social divisions between Americans of different races today, without recognizing the absolutely central importance of slavery in the overall narrative of this country. If you tell a story that's only about "liberty" and "the constitution" , that's like pretending black people don't exist or that they don't really count as American. that's like you only feel it's important to unify white people behind the concept of America. If you want to get black people to embrace America, then you have to embrace that painful tortured history that includes slavery and make *overcoming it* a central part of the narrative.

Here's another thing ... reading that lead essay , I also get a palpable sense that a lot of what it is about is a need of Black Americans to feel proud of America. Thus the focus on how black slaves built parts of the whites house, and the estates of Washington and Jefferson. It's not really accusatory - it's saying "Black people helped build this great country too, through their physical manual labor and through their struggles for liberty". But you can't tell that story without mentioning slavery. You have to be willing to acknowledge that slavery existed and make it a core part of the narrative to give black Americans a story about America that they can be proud of.

There's a big difference between the statements "we built this country" and "we helped build this country."

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I agree 100% with what you said.

But what you described was actually sensical, and framed a narrative that included slavery and blacks’ contributions as *a* centerpiece. The title of the 1619 project states they wish to make it *the* center of the narrative, which is absurd.

Not to mention that what you described already exists. I grew up in a state that did not exist during the civil war, and I learned over and over again about slavery and its horrors as a kid. In my first grade advanced reading class we read a book about Harriet Tubman for god’s sake, and that’s the only thing I remember from that grade. And I lived in a bumfuck nowhere town with no black people.

You wanna know the biggest sports “firsts” I remember learning about as a kid? Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens. Who was the first white person to do anything? Nobody knows or cares.

So give me a break. Everybody in this country *is* taught the existence and horrors of slavery and racism. People *know* influential and important black leaders. If there’s no pride in that, maybe we should look at the people telling blacks they don’t have pride in themselves (far left). The prophecy fulfills itself.

Again, it's not really that people don't know about the "existence" of slavery. it's about crafting a narrative in which the black experience is part of the struggle for liberty. The conventional narrative of American history is one in which white people discover America, and then come here fleeing religious persecution, later, there's a dispute between white colonists and the white British monarch over taxation, so the white people declare independence and create this country that's all about liberty, and then the white people later fight a war to get rid of slavery, and then there were some niggling details regarding segregation which had to be resolved and now we're all equal, hurrah! In the conventional narrative, yes, slavery "exists", but the narrative itself is not *about* black people. They aren't central figures in the story. The purpose here is to tell the story in a way that makes black people the protagonists of the narrative, so that black people have a conceptualization of "America" and it's history and culture that they can be proud of and feel connected to.

And this is part of a larger effort to conceptualize American culture and Americanness to encompass African Americans. I.e. That black people, were "American" even when they were slaves. They were born here, and they have generations of ancestors here, and they were participants, in one way or another, in all of the events which shaped "America" as we know it today. Whether they were legally recognized as "American" at the time or not.

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I think your reading too much into the distinction between "the central narrative" and "a central narrative". What the project is doing is crafting a *version* of American history in which the black experience is "the" central narrative. It's obviously not the only version of American history. It's like saying "hey, let's write a version of the Wizard of Oz in which the Wicked Witch is "the" protagonist." Nothing wrong with that. Wicked doesn't negate the original version of the Wizard of Oz. You can have many narratives about America from many different perspectives. this is one.

The problem with making of race a perpetual reckoning, and a central one, is that the unavoidable truth is, America should never have imported slave labor. Apart from the moral dimension - it was a terrible mistake. I don't see how to wring heroism or patriotism out of that. If anything, it just seems existentially threatening - not that it's the only such threat.

Again, you're viewing this from a white perspective. From a black perspective, yes, slavery was a great evil, but beyond that slavery is *where they come from*. It's their story, like the way we talk about how our ancestors came from Germany or Italy. Or how some Americans still have membersships in the "Daughters of the American Revolution". Black people's ancestry in the US dating back to slavery is their heritage, which is also America's heritage. Having survived slavery and overcome decades of segregation is how they identify with the struggle for liberty, and how they connect themselves to America's central narrative about the struggle for liberty. Understood from that perspective, slavery isn't just a sin, but an animating struggle which has defined American history and it's mission in favor of liberty. We overcame that original sin and abolished slavery, and continue to overcome the damage that it caused which has been passed down through generations.

While mostly sensible, workable, and possibly the view of many older African-Americans - at least if they were left in peace - what you've written sounds very dated: the benighted perspective of the past. "We Will Not Overcome" is the hymn that would be written and sung today, because it is crucial to the left.

Do not search for logic in all this. The differing attitude of the left to Cuba is telling. Slavery in the American South needs to have been a particularly egregious example of the practice, unique in all world history. But a hundred miles offshore, another plantation economy - all is forgotten, forgiven, so beloved of the left is Cuba!

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"Centering" is one of those new progressive verbs that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Above, you have redefined the "center" to be flabby enough to render this dumb verb useless. Thank you.

You're welcome.

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From the NYT article on Advanced Aerospace Vehicles:

“ Times reporters are particularly averse to revealing opinions that could imply possible reporting bias.”

So there’s one statement that’s incontrovertibly pure fiction. It’s far easier to credit UFO claims than this!

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An unbelievable story protected by a cloak of secrecy, so that the evidence could not be reviewed.
Correct. Move along

You're just gonna have to trust them. When have their anonymous sources ever been wrong?

Here's a nice look at word density over the years at the NYtimes.
https://twitter.com/arram/status/1288140788442861568/photo/1

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Much more boring than last week's now-retracted UFO story.

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I assume the Straussian interpretation is: "look what foolishness the Times does grant anonymity."

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What kind of advanced life form travels from distant galaxies only to have multiple crashes on planet earth?

Haha! So true.

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Maybe they want us to get some fragments and a bit of time to prepare; otherwise the hunt wouldn't be sporting.

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If you assume it's true and think about it a bit, it seems to me a reasonable answer is alien drone ships. That is, imagine their tech is not wildly more advanced than ours, but they've been at it longer. Moving a living being across interstellar distances is still totally unreasonable. But building a robot probe that could reach the nearest star in 100 years? Not that great a leap. If you assume the probe isn't that smart and doesn't have a ton of fuel for maneuvering, identifying likely looking planets and crashing into might be the way to go.

Or 100,000 years, which would not restrict the sender to the nearest star (4 light-years away). "They" may not operate on the same time scale as us.

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It's the de-cloaking that's tricky.

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That bit I can believe.

There is a single tree hanging on for dear life in the middle of the Sahara, surrounding by thousands of miles of sand and rocks. And yes, someone taking part in the Paris to Dakar rally managed to crash into it.

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Here are a couple of posts from many years ago before the time when believing in UFOs was high status.

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2005/11/why_are_ufo_rep.html

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2007/07/tyler-on-ufos.html

Notice the mocking tone. Now that the New Woke Times is running clickbait articles on UFO conspiracies, TC's tone changes. This is another example of how elite, high status establishment media is still able to effectively push narratives, regardless of evidence or plausibility. The chattering class (of which TC is a member) latches on to these suddenly high status narratives and it all trickles down from there.

I should add that this phenomenon has always been true. That is to say that people like TC have always looked to establishment media such as the NYT for guidance on socially acceptable topics of conversation. However, the difference today is that establishment media has considerably lowered their journalistic standards to compete in today's hypercompetitive media market, so today's high status stories from establishment media are absurd and ridiculous (eg UFO conspiracies). This is a huge reason why public discourse today is so retarded.

+1
Indeed. Also, reminds me of working in a Financial District bookstore during the LA riots. I remember being struck by how many black professionals in suits started coming in to buy Sci-Fi titles. When the social scene goes bad and people want to distant themselves from the collective identity they're stuck with they can either reach for a religious text or Sci-Fi. Tyler certainly wasn't going to go evangelical., so....

The lord works in mysterious ways, but Tyler is likely the sort of secular humanist that will never let Jesus come in his heart (yuck).

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Harsh but fair.

Upon further review, note that the posts you link to are about UFO sightings. This current one is about the far far far more ludicrous idea that some DoD agency or other has one or perhaps several downed alien spacecraft in its possession and is keeping it a secret.

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The journalist did a good job getting hand of this before he got zapped by the government's neuralizer. Will Smith himself is probably leading the coverup. Wonder if they want to defund MiB too ...

In all seriousness, this is too dumb to take seriously.

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I have a very high clearance, and I doubt the veracity of this.

I’ve talked to jet pilots directly after their landing about “UFOs” they observed on their FLIRs, watches the videos immediately after, and concluded with some other smart people that the UFOs were migrating birds, not alien spacecraft.

But that doesn’t give people the shivers or make a boring deployment interesting so some people stick with the UFO story.

This. One of the strongest pillars of UFO cultist evidence is the myth of the trained eyewitness.

Fighter pilots are still human beings. They misidentify things all the time. This is why, for instance, real missions have multiple points of confirmation all the time. Someone on the ground radios for a plane, someone in the plane tries to view the situation, someone in a radar station is triangulating the targets and cross-referencing all those reports for accuracy... And so on... And so on.

What happens when nobody can identify a target? With millions of flight hours logged, we would expect some number of such reports.

Claims that targets violate laws of thermodynamics, that targets turn faster than material science allows... There is a most likely answer here. Human animals were wrong. That's all. The particulars of why they were wrong are a fun discussion for the purposes of reducing error. That's it.

Now you're telling me the same morons who messed up the Covid response have super secret knowledge about aliens? Get real. I don't expect these people to know how to put their own clothes on.

+1

Except here, it wasn't one fighter pilot. It was multiple people confirming the same thing at the same time.

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If there is anything to this, it is more likely a cover story for an advance the United States has made.

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"Need to know" re alien space crashes made me laugh - who among us *doesn't* need to know this?!

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is calling from an undisclosed extra-dimensional rift near Area 51 and wants his show back.

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What’s with the secrecy and hush hush (until now) from the feds in recent decades on this issue? Apart from the red- scared repressive 50’s, it goes entirely against our cultural grain to behave thus.

The true american approach would be to hoist such extraterrestrial spacecraft onto a train bound for a depot near you, come one come all, step right up to see the magic disk that doesn’t physics.

In the age of Zuckerberg, with self-deputized Chinese admins rooted in every corporate/governmental IT system, the notion of keeping anything under wraps is d.o.a...

Perhaps the head honchos in national intelligence are familiar enough with our august journalistic institutions and the temperament of the public to realize that all information dissemination will be read as psy-op, as water muddying to benefit one side or the other in whatever election is on the calendar. Makes the job of spycraft and secrecy that much easier.

Extraterrestrial coupes off the coast of SoCal, or Russian collusion? Take your pick.

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It reminds me of a reporter who was arrested in Korea for called their leader stupid. The charge was "revealing state secrets". The scandal here is stupidity and waste in government.

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Why only in the US?

Yawn...

We e embarrassed that all the new stuff comes from China.

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Only the US has the systems that are buggy enough, whoops, I mean advanced enough to pick up these technologies.

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February 04, 2020

"The U.K.'s Ministry of Defense will publish secret UFO reports for the first time."

https://www.livescience.com/uk-ufo-reports-soon-released.html

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Upon closer inspection, it had some resemblance to a 70's GM product, with rocket boosters strapped to the sides. Since it was a couple thousand feet above any roads, and there are no rocket boosters missing from USAF inventory records, we concluded that it was an extraterrestrial craft. No human would try a stunt like that.

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At some point, even Tyler will be forced to reveal this - Dr. Immanuel claimed that DNA from space aliens is currently being used in medicine.

And social media is trying to suppress information from this medical professional, who has her own medical clinic, while running a church called Fire Power Ministries.

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Yet another ufo post from TC with zero evidence. All this ufo buzz is based on nothing. It’s is literally entirely speculation and unverifiable reports and “sightings”. Same place we have been since the 50s.

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Smells like bait for a sting operation. Entrap China into a targeted industrial espionage effort that will be monitored and traced. Esoterica makes for unique terminology that stands out from the background noise.

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The Pentagon has all kinds of white papers and programs. I'm not really surprised that they had a program to consider how to retrieve alien spacecraft if that scenario happened, but that doesn't mean it has actually happened.

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The Navy pilot one previously was so unconvincing and easily debunked that I assign much lower status to anything from the same writers. It was like a parody of a ufo sighting. The slide talks about the 'threat', threat as in future threat. Scanning for unknown unknowns is difficult so I don't really blame the Pentagon for covering a roswell style scenario. The single piece of evidence in this story of anything actually happening is that these writers' unnamed sources are 'convinced' that it has happened.

But I don't think he's being Straussian here, it's just a kind of Black Swan thing but for evidence.

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'...they were convinced such crashes have occurred, based on their access to classified information"

Reminds me of the belief among Iraqi Generals that Saddam Hussein had WMD, because...well, everybody seemed to believe it was so. Any particular General hadn't actually seen them of course.

There were still chemical weapons in Iraq, so it's likely that some of the General's has indeed seen at least a few small stockpiles. However, Iraq wasn't manufacturing any new chemical weapons.

We knew there were at least some chemical weapons in Iraq because we had sold them to Saddam for his use in the Iran-Iraq war.

Well if by we you mean NATO members, and more specifically Western Europe then yes you are correct.

"Iraqi Scientist Reports on German, Other Help for Iraq Chemical Weapons Program"

"The western companies that dealt with the defunct regime -- for instance Australian and Dutch firms -- exported a lot of materials related to this field of production. For instance, the Dutch firm KBS sold Iraq large quantities of Thiodilyco (name as transliterated), a material that is essential in the production of mustard gas, at a cost of 1.5 million Marks. Multinational Italian firms also supplied Iraq with 60 tons of Oxycklorure (name as transliterated), a phosphoric material that is also used in chemical industries that can be put to dual-use. As for the French companies, they exported to Iraq large quantities of a gas (not further identified) that can be used in warfare. This gas was exported across the borders from Italy and Turkey. This transaction was concluded through the mediation of the German Company Karl Kolb. A confidential report issued on 21 August 1990 by Helmut Hossman (name as transliterated), the Economy Minister of then West Germany, confirmed that the German companies had the lion's share in these transactions. The report said that since 1983, West German companies have exported to Iraq huge quantities of raw materials, equipment, and small industrial factories to produce poison gases. The report also said that these companies participated directly in building the Sa'd Project, the Iraqi chemical project, and the construction of the military complex in Al-Taji."

https://fas.org/nuke/guide/iraq/cw/az120103.html

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"We" did not "sell" Saddam "chemical weapons". He was able to indirectly purchase some chemical precursors and equipment for making chemical weapons from some Western companies, often through front companies and against export controls that were put in place to prevent these exports.

The export of chemical precursors was halted in 1987 after the US Customs service discovered that one of these front companies was shipping large quantities to Iraq. It discovered it because it's attention was drawn to the issue after the gas attacks on Kurdish towns also in 1987.

In other words, the US government functioned rather well both in barring such exports and in detecting and halting the illegal export of such chemicals once it crossed the radar screen. I have no idea how this gets worked around into "We sold them chemical weapons". We did nothing of the sort. It is and was illegal to do so, and we put a stop to the sale of anything even related to it when we came across it.

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So, is the theory that these alien spacecraft magically only crash on the 6% of the world's land surface that makes up the US?

Or is the theory that there's somehow a coordinated multi-decade conspiracy among all the world's major governments which has never been revealed?

Either way, yet another reason to point and laugh at people who take the New York Times seriously.

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The underlying NYT article includes this gem:

“Times reporters are particularly averse to revealing opinions that could imply possible reporting bias.”

No better way to start the day than with a good laugh. Ranks up there with the video of Trump’s new favorite doctor claiming that alien DNA is used in medical treatments.

I liked that one too. I think maybe some 4chan pranksters have gotten jobs there and are just seeing how ridiculous they can be - they have it away there to anyone with a brain! :)

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I agree with the skeptics above. Occam's Razor says it is much more likely that either the NYTimes is being trolled by people in the military or else the military is itself being trolled by a foreign adversary or pranksters who want to make American institutions look foolish and unreliable.

The considerations against UFOs are many, including:

- Things entering the earth's atmosphere at high speeds produce big-ass fireballs and sonic booms that would be detected from miles around and by many witnesses simultaneously.
- An alien civilization capable of interstellar travel would, as someone noted above, probably be sophisticated enough to avoid crashing. If they are curious about earth, the best way to gather information is probably the same NASA does when it comes to distant planets and moons: send an orbiter or a craft to do fly-by and beam back data.
- Edward Snowden is exactly the sort of person you would expect to take at least a casual interest in this topic and he had access to practically every system of the intelligence community -- according to him, the evidence does not exist and that is why there was no evidence of UFOs included in his document dump.
- If against the odds, an alien civilization was smart enough to send a craft to Earth that somehow managed to avoid being detected during atmospheric re-entry but was dumb enough to have the thing crash, as "The Lunatic" says above, it would be highly unlikely to crash on U.S. territory. The ocean would, of course, be much more likely.

Agreed; except "big-ass fireballs" happen rather frequently, two that hit the news last months were over Australia and TN/VA in the USA, I'm sure there's been more I didn't notice.

I've been wondering just how hard it would be to "Wag the Dog" an alien invasion. Civillian skywatchers that can tell you which blinky light is a satellite arent that common, the few that can tell you *which* satellite even less so.

We've amply demonstrated the ability and willingness to censor viewpoints and shun those who propose them, so a few good fireworks shows and some random damage might be enough to do the most epic "War of the Worlds" reboot yet.

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The main thing which has been mentioned in other comments is how the public thinks about experts. Fighter pilots aren’t expert in anything except flying planes - they don’t really know anything about physics. Not necesssrily their fault - just look at the past 100 years of pilot instruction regarding lift - pick up any text book and see the ridiculous theories of lift!

This happens constantly on the joe rogan coverage of this - the guy that built the rocket car - to lots of people that guy is a genius - to me it sounds like a curious potential nut - nothing against the guy but it doesn’t mean anything.

Most doctors scientists pilots don’t have much general knowledge or deep theories about the world of inside their field and then I’d even question it. How much do most doctors know about medicine - not that much really ... people are so credulous to perceived experts , or rather just titles !

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To be fair, it is not outside the realm of possibility that the actual act of landing is a highly difficult part of the entire mission. And one that may be difficult to replicate in the home environment.

Eh, we figured it out pretty quickly for Mars, which is very different from our home environment. But what would be the plan for a hypothetical alien civilization? Land and then do what?* If the object is exploration, it makes far more sense to go into orbit and then send back data. And if aliens know that humans exist, it would be a wise move on their part to avoid us until they find a way to communicate first. From a scientific perspective, the oceans of earth are pretty interesting and offer ways of studying parts of the earth undetected by humans.

* It is a mostly forgotten bit of history that the first few Apollo crews were quarantined after their arrival back on earth. We would surely want to quarantine any alien visitors or probes as soon as possible after landing. Science fiction is probably right that the first human-alien contact in person is unlikely to be peaceful without communication and trust-building first. They should either preemptively attack human civilization or else focus on taking pictures from a distance and studying the atmosphere or oceans until they find a way to communicate.

All very reasonable.

But aliens may send their young cowboys out to the frontiers, just like we do.

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One thing seems clear to me. Someone, for some reason, somewhere higher up in the US military, wants this story to keep going.

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I'm inclined to believe the US and maybe other governments have programs to investigate UFOs and may have retrieved some. If the video evidence is legit, those are definitely not human made.

I am very curious why the government is pushing this story now though. The push from the government for more disclosure seems to have started last year. Why? What aspects of the story being pushed by US govt are BS? The NYT does push a lot of cathedral propaganda, that's basically its function. What is the ulterior motive?

We don't know how far we are from achieving interstellar travel and what tools we would have to use to get there. Is it 100 years away? 1000? Even 1000 years from now, our descendants will make mistakes. If the ship is designed to travel in space, it may not perform as well at low speeds in Earth's atmosphere. If some loophole around the speed of light is impossible, then it is likely they are piloted by advanced AI anyway. The AI has to learn about us within the confines of its programming. It probably makes mistakes. It crashes sometimes. Its ships may wear down on a long mission in a unique environment.

Think of human explorers. We've lost ships. We've made mistakes. We've undoubtedly killed some animals that we were merely hoping to examine and release.

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The Politico article on this program says all it did was produce loads of paperwork and the main beneficiary of the contract was Harry Reid’s friend: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/16/pentagon-ufo-search-harry-reid-216111

I’m still very skeptical.

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they make there way across millions of light years of space only to crash with regularity on earth?
i remain highly skeptical

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> “Do you believe in U.F.O.s?” The question sets us aback as being inappropriately personal.

Says the newspaper that will do

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