Tag Archives: Extraterrestrial intelligence

Independence Day: A Best Case Scenario For First Contact?

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. In the spirit of the 4th of July, I decided to do a deep dive into one of my favorite movies of all time, “Independence Day.” Given it’s timely, patriotic themes, I’m sure many will watch at some point in July. However, I believe this movie has more to offer than rousing speeches and alien battles.

I believe this movie presents us with a unique scenario for first contact with extraterrestrial aliens. While it’s a dark, destructive scenario, it may ultimately be the best scenario we can hope for. That may sound strange, but I try to make that case in this vide. Enjoy and have a wonderful 4th of July!

Leave a comment

Filed under Aliens, human nature, Jack's World, movies, YouTube

Why The Pentagon’s Upcoming Report On UFOs Won’t Change Anything (For Now)

US Intel Report on UFOs Can't Confirm or Deny Link to Aliens | Technology  News

There was a time in my life when I was a true believer in UFOs. I bought into nearly every UFO conspiracy you’ve ever heard and probably a few you haven’t. I really believed that UFOs were real, aliens were real, and the governments of the world were covering it up.

Those beliefs quickly fell apart when I learned how fallible and flawed humans can be, especially at the government level. The idea that a government could keep a secret this big for so long isn’t just laughable. It’s contrary to our nature.

Looking back on it, I feel downright foolish. To all the friends and family I annoyed with these beliefs, I sincerely apologize. I was young, gullible, and ignorant. I understand that’s not a good excuse.

Despite my disillusion with UFOs, I’m still very interested in the possibilities surrounding extraterrestrial life. I also still believe that making contact with an alien civilization would be a huge game-changer for humanity, as a species and a civilization. I believe many die-hard believers in UFOs feel the same way.

I imagine those same believers are excited about the recent resurgence in interest surrounding UFOs. It’s not just coming from fringe areas of the internet or your typical conspiracy websites. The topics is being treated with a rare level of seriousness by both government entities and major news organizations.

Recently, the Pentagon announced that they were releasing a major report on UFOs to Congress and its findings would be made available to the public. It’s a rare act of transparency from a government known for keeping nasty secrets. Some hope that this report will blow the door wide open on the phenomenon, inspiring a new generation of UFO enthusiasts.

I would caution those people to temper their interests. Having been in that mindset before, I can attest how tempting it might be to believe that we’ll finally get the full story we’ve been hoping for. It’s far more likely that the truth will be a lot less fanciful than we wish.

That’s not just me being a downer. That’s built within the news surrounding this report. If you need more context, here’s how ABC News reported on it.

ABC News: Upcoming UFO report to Congress creating lots of buzz

Later this month, U.S. intelligence agencies will present to Congress a highly-anticipated unclassified report about what they know about UFOs, or as the Pentagon now calls them, Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAPs).

However, the jury is still out on whether the report will contain the answers that UFO enthusiasts are looking for: that recent military encounters with UAPs may be proof of contacts with extraterrestrial life.

The preparation of the report marks a milestone as interest in UFOs has taken off in recent years following the Navy’s release of once-classified videos of encounters that fighter pilots had in 2004 and 2014 with UAPs.

The videos raised interest not only with UFO enthusiasts, but also among members of Congress eager to learn if the UAPs captured in the videos represent advanced technological threats from foreign adversaries.

Please note the bolded parts. That was my doing. That’s a detail that needs to be emphasized. The simple admission by the Pentagon that there are credible witnesses to unidentified arial phenomena is not an admission that these phenomena are alien spacecrafts. It just means they don’t know what they witnessed, hence the word unidentified.

I don’t mean to belabor the semantics, but it’s a huge leap to go from someone admitting that they don’t know what they saw in the sky to believing what they saw was an alien spacecraft. There are a lot of possibilities in between that are probably more likely.

Even if the witnesses are credible, we’re still dealing with fallible people. Since we’re dealing with experienced fighter pilots and military personnel, I’m inclined to believe that these aren’t crackpots who jump at the chance to label anything a UFO. They’re just honest, sincere people who don’t know what they saw.

It’s just unreasonable to make the leap from an unidentified arial phenomenon to an alien spacecraft. There’s a real possibility that the people involved were just mistaken. There’s also a possibility that there are currently aircraft being tested by the military that are so advanced that they seem alien to us. Remember how alien the F-117 stealth fighter once looked.

Even if that’s the case, it’s very unlikely we’ll know the full truth in this report. At most, it’ll just state what we’ve already heard from the witnesses. Credible people saw something in the sky and they don’t know what it is. That’s it. That’s all we can confirm for now.

The key words there are “for now.” There may very well be more to the report, but it’s very unlikely that it’ll confirm or even hint at the existence of aliens. The government may be inept at times, but it isn’t stupid. People can see strange things that aren’t there and make wild assumptions based on a misunderstanding of a situation. That’s just how people work.

If aliens really do exist and they’re aware of our presence on Earth, I think it’s doubtful they would make their presence known through something like UFOs. If you have technology that can traverse the stars, then it makes no sense on any level to just show up in ways that only ever emerge in blurred photos and videos. In an era where everyone has an HD camera in their pocket, the aliens have no excuses and neither do we.

Leave a comment

Filed under Current Events, politics

A Former Israeli Space Security Chief Says Aliens Exist And Have Visited Earth: Why I Don’t Believe Him

There was a time in my life when I was convinced that aliens were real, UFOs were alien space crafts, and the government was keeping it a secret. It was a strange time, indeed. It coincided with a phase where I watched every documentary involving UFOs, aliens, and conspiracy theories I could get my hands on.

Like Fox Maulder, I wanted to believe. In hindsight, I was too eager to believe.

I’ve since refined my perspective. I still believe there’s other intelligent life in the universe. I just don’t believe they’ve come to this planet and are hiding while the government keeps them secret, “Men In Black” style. That’s just a fanciful conspiracy theory that makes for great movies and TV shows, but not much else.

It’s not the part about intelligent aliens I find unbelievable. It’s peoples’ ability to keep a secret that big that I find so implausible. I don’t care how big a conspiracy theory you are. People can’t keep secrets, especially big ones. There are legitimate psychological reasons for that.

That’s just one of the reasons why I don’t believe the Haim Eshed, the former Israeli Space security chief, when he says aliens exist and humanity has been in contact with them. In a year like 2020, it would almost be fitting that aliens entered the picture. However, this is one story that warrants more than a little skepticism.

In case you missed it, this is what was reported by the Jerusalem Post. Now, it’s no disreputable tabloid, but it’s not exactly the BBC.

The Jerusalem Post: Former Israeli space security chief says aliens exist, humanity not ready

Has the State of Israel made contact with aliens?

According to retired Israeli general and current professor Haim Eshed, the answer is yes, but this has been kept a secret because “humanity isn’t ready.”

Speaking in an interview to Yediot Aharonot, Eshed – who served as the head of Israel’s space security program for nearly 30 years and is a three-time recipient of the Israel Security Award – explained that Israel and the US have both been dealing with aliens for years.

And this by no means refers to immigrants, with Eshed clarifying the existence of a “Galactic Federation.”

The 87-year-old former space security chief gave further descriptions about exactly what sort of agreements have been made between the aliens and the US, which ostensibly have been made because they wish to research and understand “the fabric of the universe.” This cooperation includes a secret underground base on Mars, where there are American and alien representatives.

These are some remarkable claims, to say the least. It is impossible to overstate the implications here. We’re not talking about some scandal involving a politician and an intern. We’re talking about the biggest scientific discovery in the history of humanity.

The discovery that we’re not alone in the universe and there are other alien beings out there would be profound, to say the least. Even in a year like 2020 when we have so many problems to deal with on this planet, such a discovery would have an enormous impact on how we see ourselves and the universe.

That’s exactly why it’s laughable to think that anyone, let alone a vast government conspiracy, could keep such a discovery under wraps. People can keep small secrets to a point, but not secrets this big. That’s not just my opinion. There’s some actual math behind it.

According to Oxford physicist, David Robert Grimes, the large number of people involved in a conspiracy essentially guarantees that it won’t stay secret. It takes thousands of people not saying anything to sustain itself, but it only takes one Edward Snowden to expose it.

For something like intelligent aliens, it would be even harder to suppress. Even if they’re advanced and intelligent, they would leave traces, especially if they were nearby. That would be difficult to hide and even harder to keep quiet on a global scale.

This is a world that can’t even agree on the metric system. How could we, with all our different agendas and politics, all agree to keep a secret this big?

I won’t say it’s completely impossible. I don’t like being that absolute in my statements. I’ll just say it’s exceedingly improbable. I’d put it right up there with the sun being made of radioactive cheese.

However, if that’s still not convincing enough, there’s one other reason why I don’t by Mr. Eshed’s statement. It also has nothing to do with my position on government conspiracies and why people can’t keep secrets.

The man is trying to sell something. Specifically, he’s trying to sell a book. In the same article in which he makes his bold claim, there’s this little tidbit that the headline doesn’t mention.

Eshed provided more information in his newest book, The Universe Beyond the Horizon – conversations with Professor Haim Eshed, along with other details such as how aliens have prevented nuclear apocalypses and “when we can jump in and visit the Men in Black.” The book is available now for NIS 98.

For me, that’s the reddest of red flags. The man is selling a book and this bold claim is basically a sales pitch. He’s making this ground-breaking revelation that could potentially change the world. Then, he directs people to buy his book to learn more.

Anyone who has ever dealt with public relations or sales people should immediately realize what’s going on. The rule of thumb is that if it looks like a sales gimmick, chances are that’s exactly what it is. This certainly matches that critera.

Even Fox Maulder would be skeptical at this point. Honestly, what’s more likely?

Could it be that a retired space security chief is finally breaking his silence and revealing to the world that thousands of people have been keeping this secret about aliens for decades?

Or could it just be a man making a bold, but false claim that he hopes will help him sell more books?

I know the Fox Maulder in us all wants to believe, but sometimes Occam’s Razor just cuts too deep. I still believe aliens are out there and I hope they visit us one day. I just don’t think they’ve arrived yet. Chances are, when they do arrive, we’ll know and no conspiracy will be necessary.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aliens, Current Events, human nature, psychology

Why Intelligent Aliens May Destroy Us Even If They’re Peaceful (According To Mass Effect)

tuchanka_-_sabotaged_cure_wasteland_1

What would happen if we went back in time and gave the Genghis Khan nuclear weapons?

What  would happen if we went back even further and gave machine guns to the Ancient Romans?

Let’s be even more subtle. What do you think would happen if you gave Aristotle a functioning smartphone with a complete catalog of Wikipedia? How much would that change the course of history? More importantly, how much damage would it potentially incur?

I consider myself an optimist. I generally place more faith in humanity than most people in this age of fake news and heavy cynicism. I have my reasons for doing so, but even my confidence in the human species has limits. I trust most people to do the right thing every time I drive my car on the highway. That doesn’t mean I’d trust a caveman from 10,000 BC to drive a fully-loaded tank.

I make this point because these are legitimate concerns consider when assessing how humanity deals with emerging technology. We can barely handle some of the technology we already have. How will we handle things like advanced artificial intelligence, gene hacking, or advanced robotics?

I’ve stated before that the human race is not ready for advanced artificial intelligence in its current state. I’ve also stated that the human race isn’t ready for contact with an advanced alien species, either. I believe we’re close. We may even be ready within my lifetime. However, if aliens landed tomorrow and brought an advanced artificial intelligence with them, I think our civilization and our species would be in trouble.

I also think the human race would be in danger even if those same aliens were peaceful. Even if they brought a super-intelligent AI that was as compassionate and caring as Mr. Rogers, our species would still face an existential crisis. To explain why, I’ll need to revisit one of my favorite video games of all time, “Mass Effect.”

The various themes of this game, and the lore behind it, offer many insights into very relevant questions. In addition to the timeless hilarity of bad dancing skills, the game crafts a rich history between alien races like the Quarians and the Geth. That history reflected the dangers of mishandling advanced artificial intelligence, an issue humanity will have to deal with in the coming decades.

There is, however, another rich history between alien races within “Mass Effect” that offers a similar lesson. This one has less to do with artificial intelligence and more to do with what happens when a species technology that it’s not ready to handle. That danger is well-documented in the game through a hardy race of beings called the Krogan.

Like the Quarian/Geth conflict, the conflict surrounding Krogan has some real-world parallels. However, I would argue that their story Krogan is more relevant because it serves as a warning for what could happen when an advanced species uplifts one that is less advanced.

In the mythos of “Mass Effect,” the Krogan were once a primitive, but hardy species that evolved on the harsh world of Tuchanka. They’re reptilian, high-functioning predators in nature. They’re basically a cross between a velociraptor, a crocodile, and a primate. They have a tough, war-like culture, which is necessary on a world that contained hulking Thresher Maws.

They were not a species most would expect to develop advanced technology. Then, the Salarians came along. Unlike the Korgan, this amphibious alien race isn’t nearly as hardy, but is much more adept at developing advanced technology. In most circumstances, they wouldn’t have given the Krogan a second thought. Unfortunately, they were in the middle of the Rachni War and they needed help.

You don’t need to know the full details of that war. The most critical detail, as it relates to advancing an unprepared species, is how this war came to define the Krogan. Neither the Salarians nor the other alien races in the game could defeat the Rachni. In a fit of desperation, they uplifted the Krogan by giving them weapons and advanced knowledge.

In the short-term, the Salarians achieved what they’d hoped. The Krogan helped defeat the Rachni. In the long-term, however, it created another inter-stellar war in the Krogan Rebellions. Apparently, giving a hardy, war-like species advanced weapons doesn’t make them less war-like. It just gives them better tools with which to fight wars. That may sound obvious, but keep in mind, the Salarians were desperate.

The details of this war end up playing a major role in both “Mass Effect” and “Mass Effect 3.” That’s because to stop the Krogan, the Salarians resorted to another act of desperation. They crafted a biological weapon known as the genophage, which significantly curtailed the Krogan’s rapid breeding rate.

The damage this did to the Krogan race cannot be understated. Through the entire trilogy of “Mass Effect,” characters like Wrex and Eve describe how this destroyed Krogan society. In “Mass Effect 3,” Eve talks about how the genophage created massive piles of stillborn Krogan babies. That kind of imagery can haunt even the most battle-hardened species.

In the end, both the Salarians and the Krogan paid a huge price for giving technology to a species that wasn’t ready for it. Depending on the decision you make in “Mass Effect 3,” the Krogan species is doomed to extinction because of how ill-prepared they were. This haunted more than a few Salarians as well, one of which played a significant role in a memorable side-story in “Mass Effect 2.”

Regardless of how the game plays out, there’s an underlying message at the heart of the Salarian/Krogan dynamic. When a species is uplifted by another so abruptly, it’s difficult to see the long-term ramifications. Even though the Salarians were in a dire situation, they ended up creating one that had the potential to be much worse.

That danger is actually more pressing because, unlike advanced artificial intelligence, the act of uplifting a species effectively skips over the cultural and societal evolution that’s necessary to handle new technology. The Krogan never got a chance to go through that process before getting that technology. As a result, they became an existential threat to themselves and others.

The human race still has a long way to go before it creates the kind of artificial intelligence that would constitute such a threat. Aliens on the level of Salarians could land tomorrow and there would be nothing we could do to prepare ourselves. Whatever knowledge or technology we gained could do more than just upend human society. It could irreparably damage our species, as a whole.

Some of that outcome would depend on the intentions of the advanced alien race. It could be the case that they’re not like the Salarians and aren’t looking to enlist humanity in a war. It could also be the case that they’re smart enough to not give primitive humans advanced weapons. That could mitigate the risk.

However, that still assumes humans won’t find a way to use advanced knowledge to make weapons. When Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission in 1938, he didn’t have any idea that it would be used to make a bomb that would kill go onto kill over 100,000 people. Even if advanced aliens are really smart, how could they be sure that humanity won’t use advanced knowledge to create something more horrific?

Sure, they could try to stop us, but that could only make things worse. The genophage wasn’t the Salarians’ first recourse. They actually went to war with the Krogan. They suffered heavy losses and so did the Krogan. In the long run, uplifting a less advanced species was detrimental to both of them.

That doesn’t just put the famous Fermi Paradox into a new context. It demonstrates a real, tangible threat associated with advancing a species before it’s ready. I would argue that the human race is close to that point, but we’re still not there. We have issues managing the technology we’ve created. There’s no way we can handle advanced alien technology at the moment.

Mass Effect,” in addition to being one of the greatest video games of the past two decades, offers many lessons for the future of humanity. It shows that humans are capable of great things. We have what it takes to join an entire galaxy full of advanced alien life. For our sake, and that of other advanced aliens, we cannot and should not rush it.

2 Comments

Filed under Aliens, futurism, human nature, Mass Effect, philosophy, psychology