(image ‘adolescent paranoia’ by Dr. Joanne)
Old-school blather readers will know that Blather.net spent many of its formative years talking about, looking for and worrying about that most insidious of modern phenomena – the UFO. Indeed, as Daev recently detailed in our book ‘A Load of Blather‘ had there not been a rather oddly intense period of UFO activity towards the end of the 1990’s (perhaps born of ‘pre-millenial tension’) Blather.net may never have come into existence at all (at all). But as the years passed, our interests have shifted and we found ourselves moving on to talk about other things (paranormal or not) and UFO stories became increasingly rarer as time went by.
The cynic in me might comment that this was most likely because we’d gotten a bit older and were now concerning ourselves with such matters as ‘saving the planet’ and ‘getting laid’, but every once in a while a UFO story does catch our attention. This morning, our friends at the excellent ‘Damn Data’ sent us a story (from some low, common rag known as the ‘British Daily Telegraph’) which duly caught our eye; a story posing a question which had bubbled up to the surface of my own addled mind only a week or two ago – why is there such a sudden and dramatic surge of UFO activity reported in the media in recent months?
The Telegraph provided a map showing the locations of recent sightings over the UK in the article. I’d post it here, except that the Telegraph editors have chosen not to post in a live feed of the Google map (such as in our Map of the Weird) but have rather chosen to take a screen-shot and pasted that in instead – rather spectacularly missing the point of web 2.0 content – but I digress. As the map shows, the sightings are widespread and don’t seem to have any obvious patterns – although it should be noted that there does seem to be a concentration of activity around the southern Welsh coast, tipping over into the area near Bristol, England.
Thankfully, the rather more community-minded kids over at the Shropshire Star have provided us with a small map showing the UFO sightings reported over their county, giving us a local snapshot of a much bigger pattern:
View Larger Map
So. What the hell is going on? As I’ve said, this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about this class of thing on here before and I can’t help but find my mind wandering back to days of yore and some of the explanations that we’ve touched on before. Is this latest spate of hysterical media activity merely the result of these clod-brained hacks having nothing else worth reporting? Well, given that every financial greybeard on the earth is tearing their jockstraps off in terror at the cataclysmic recession they seem determined to talk us into, one would have thought that that would keep them occupied. And if not that, then why not that ‘global warming’ flap? Or that scrap the Brits and the Yanks have managed to get themselves into over in someplace called Iraq? One would have imagined that such a plethora of bad news might have kept them occupied.
Or perhaps that’s the thing – we do seem to be facing into some pretty bleak news lately, so bleak in fact that I found myself the other evening (whilst watching Channel 4 News’ coverage of the credit crunch’) thinking of one Bill Hicks screaming ‘WAR FAMINE AIDS DEATH RECESSION’ and exhorting us to turn the damned box off entirely.
So, is this just a manifestation of Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’? Another in a long line of physcial manifestations of collective unease and panic within the body politic, caused by forces beyond our collective control? Are the recent sightings merely a mass halucination, reflective of our terror in the face of predicted 40% drops in house prices, galloping gas costs, environmental apocalypse and seemingly ceaseless war?
Or are we (finally) being invaded? And if so, do our vistiors have any ideas about alternative fuels?
UFO sightings are not on the increase, the sales of Chinese Lanterns are.
Yep – they have their place in this no doubt. We’ve talked about them before. I wonder is there a way of comparing those UFO sighting locations to other mapping data showing ethnic or cultural clusters – maybe there’d be some kind of relationship between the two things. I’ll have a look at CASA and see what I can find.
All of that said, I do still wonder if there is a relationship between civil unrest, recession and general levels of reported ‘paranormal’ events. Anyone ever investigated that?
From an online chat:
Barry: why is ufo activity increasing? I know the reason why
Barry: it’s the 90s revival – january 2010 is only a short time away and the corporations want us buying 90s nostalgia products like x files dvds
daev: yeah, that’s probably it
Barry: why are my bloody valentine reforming? it’s to get us primed. the entertainment-paranormal complex. the industrial-paranormal-nostalgia-entertainment complex. And then there’s the mayan 2012 cash-in on the way, cue surge in nostradamus re-interpretations
daev: i didn’t know they were.
Barry: complex? there’s always a complex. I should put all this in a comment on blather.net
You said, “I do still wonder if there is a relationship between civil unrest, recession and general levels of reported ‘paranormal’ events. Anyone ever investigated that?”
Based on what time frame?
I was born in 1952 and all of the above has increased enormously but then again so has the population.
From January 1970 to date, (38 years 6 months) the population has increased 2,914,423,439 (3 billion) because the current population is 6,826,641,586. So it’s almost doubled in 38 years.
So you see, it’s in the numbers as most statisticians will show you.
However, if you’re thinking conspiracy in regard to paranormal activities on the uprise, I think it’s more a matter of Internet capabilities being on the uprise. Where before you never heard much outside of newspapers and grocery store rags, you’ll see it all now and much more of it simply due to the Internet.
We had a horrible recession in the early 1980’s, which I experienced since I had a small business at the time. Everyone suffered horribly. You haven’t seen a recession yet, not like the one in the 1980’s – but I have a good feeling you will in the next few years. Be conservative.
There will always be civil unrest because civil unrest has always existed everywhere and every day. Again, it’s the Internet and you can add to that cable news such as CNN and Fox. In 1980 we didn’t have cable yet.
You’re seeing everything much more now, where prior to the invent of the Internet and cable you got a front page story in your local newspaper that fell to the back pages of the paper on day 2. Or, you got a 1st position news story at 5:00 p.m. from ABC, CBS or NBC that lasted maybe 10 minutes and it was gone the next day. That’s all we had were three stations up until about 1968/69.
Also today you can see that the Internet is a product of pete and repeat. If a story breaks on Monday you’ll see it day after day after day for about a month. That’s a good thing in a way since there is more opportunity there in order to educate the nimrods that don’t care to learn or simply don’t care.
Then again, that pete and repeat affect causes emotional unrest amongst humans (that they don’t recognize) and they get to the point (without realizing it – its all psyche stuff) where there’s soooooo much of it that they can’t care because they can’t do anything about it (because they’re so small and the problems are so big and so multiple) so they sweep it under the rug with everything else they can’t deal with in their life. That’s human nature. It’s our defense mechanism that keeps us from losing our mind and snugs itself up against another defense mechanism called denial. It’s actually a good thing for some personalities.
Unfortunately, due to excess negative stories and situations that fly around the Internet, CNN and Fox cable, it keeps the masses from doing anything about the worlds problems in regard to wars and civil unrest in any big numbers. Then again, some just don’t care. lol
I’ve lived through two Los Angeles riots but I haven’t seen one since the last one in 1992. If you’re talking the worst possible scenario civil unrest like Tibet, there’s always one somewhere else just like it.
I really don’t think that anything has changed to cause anything that’s going on today except for the increase in population. This earth can only hold just so many peeps and then all hell breaks loose.
So maybe hell has broken loose and the dead were let to roam free and cause havoc in our lives. lol
I live and breath the paranormal on a daily basis. I have so many things that happen to me in regard to screen memories, OBEs, wild, lucid dreams and even awake state visions but I don’t know anyone else like me on a personal basis – just on the Internet like I said. We’re not a dime a dozen certainly but we’ve always existed in small numbers based on – again, the population.
Occams Razor suggests that one look for the simplest possible explanation. Maybe more people are seeing stuff in the sky they don’t recognize?
A great deal of truth in what you say. I’ve heard it argued that we had never lived in a more violent age than now. I’m not sure – I think we are about as violent now as we were four thousands years ago. Today, however, we have bigger sticks. But as you say, the big difference now is that when someone gets beheaded in Iraq, it gets shown on the web before the TV networks even know about it. I’m not surprised that social media (web 2.0) tools are making it easier for the stories of UFOs to get heard. I just wonder why right now? Maybe this is Malcom Gladwell’s ‘tipping point’. Or perhaps is the most nefarious marketing campaign ever conceived in a feeble effort to hock us another X-Files movie.
You said in your signature area; “Occams Razor suggests that one look for the simplest possible explanation. Maybe more people are seeing stuff in the sky they don’t recognize?”
It’s there. It’s really there. For many it’s a natural phenomenon but no, it’s there. They’re here.
Hang on – who’s here?
Hello. I have taken 40 or so photographs of a UFO (in the exact description of the word) in high definition.
As i am not a crank or an newbie when it comes to orbital mechanics I was wondering who I could send the images to for further investigation.
According to my source in the irish army, we (‘na fianna’) have no look up capability radar wise.
what I and several tens of people saw on aran island this summer, at exacly the time of the shuttle overpass, was neither shuttle nor fuel tank, nor booster rocket.
It was a cylinder, with a rocket motor underneath it, firing for at least 5 seconds.
Exactly 1 hour later we witnessed orbital gymnastics which I photographed using a 10 megapixel nikon on a good tripod.
If the ISS is orbiting at 250km then what we saw was an iss that must be 1000 times bigger than previously advertised, with an accompanying orbiting friend that performed perigrinations at rather high speeds, doing 4 revolutions in less than 30 seconds, then leaving the field of view entirely at a speed I cannot reliably estimate, but certainly supra orbital, if indeed the objects were in orbit.
I would like to hand my RAW files over to an expert, who should I contact?
(astronomy Ireland simply acknowledged receipt of some my photos)
Answers on a postcard to firstname.lastname@example.org
thanks for dropping by. I’m no expert on photography (seriously, see my flickr stream) but some of us here know our way around a camera. Feel free to drop us a mail. See the ‘about’ page for details. Would be curious to see them.
This guy says so…
If you are looking for the worlds expert on photographic
matters it would be an American named Dr. Bruce Macaby. Not sure of the spelling of his last name. But if anybodies been doing their homework on the subject they would know that he is the worlds expert at evaluating photo’s for authentisity.
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