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The Specter of Revelations

New -- 1 May 2007

Mainstream science, NASA, and numerous government and private organizations throughout the world have provided major funding in mankind’s quest to discover life in the solar system and beyond. Much of this effort – for example, the SETI project (i.e., the Search For ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) – has been to discover intelligent life. But as Pogo Possum’s friend so aptly noted:

“There are only two possibilities. There is intelligent life out there that is more intelligent than us. Or we are the most intelligent life in the universe. Either way, it’s a mighty sobering thought.”

Indeed it is. It is also one of the reasons that NASA and other acronyms are extraordinarily conservative when it comes to any speculation concerning the discovery or even the barest suspicion of discovery of extraterrestrial intelligent life. It’s entirely one thing to espouse learned treatises on the possibility of spores of life reaching earth from the planet Mars. It is quite another to talk about intelligently directed spores.

For example, even the penultimate example of knee-jerk conservatism in mainstream science, Scientific American, has recently (November 2005) published an article by David Warmflash and Benjamin Weiss [1] which states that the very idea that…

“living cells or their precursors arrived from space -- strikes many people as science fiction. Developments over the past decade, however, have given new credibility to the idea that Earth's biosphere could have arisen from an extraterrestrial seed.”

Panspermia or exogenesis one thing. Directed exogenesis or actual intervention by an intelligence in the evolutionary process of Earth and/or humans is quite another. This fact has led to a type of disclaimer that is inevitably included in the vast majority of mainstream publications who are attempting to avoid like the plaque any such notion, i.e.,

“No undisputed evidence has ever been published in a mainstream scientific journal to suggest that intelligent alien species have visited the Earth. The majority view in the scientific community seems to be an acceptance that the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe is at least highly probable, due to the sheer number of potential sites where life could take hold. However, the special theory of relativity holds that travel over the vast distances between stars would be limited to the speed of light, and so take such a long time that many scientists think it unlikely that such travel would be practical for life forms as we know them.” [2]

The first sentence is of course ludicrous on the face of it. The fact of the matter is that there is “no undisputed evidence” of anything has ever been published anywhere. In other words, there is always someone or some group who will dispute any and all theories, observations, and evidence. This includes the 1969 moon landing, the “Face on Mars”, and/or the fantastical notion that the planets revolve around the sun, just as the four largest moons of Jupiter revolve around the giant planet. On the other hand, there has been ample evidence published in mainstream scientific journals concerning possible visitations by intelligent extraterrestrials. It’s just that such evidence has always been disputed. Big deal.

Also extremely important in the act of burying of one’s allegedly scientific head in the sand is that inevitably in the case of visits by extraterrestrial intelligent life, Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity comes to the rescue. The true believers claim that the Special Theory says uncategorically that no advanced civilization could possibly find a way around this relatively [pardon the pun] weak theory and thus the very idea of a visitation by intelligent extraterrestrials is unlikely in the extreme. Einstein’s name is often used, of course, because it supposedly carries so much authority. Unfortunately, in the end it comes down to: What a load of barn carpeting!

Even purveyors of alternative and rational theories tend to be hoisted up on the same petard. Richard Hoagland and The Enterprise Mission have, for example, been enthusiastic promoters of some very alternative scientific views – from the Face on Mars to the anomalies of Earth’s Moon to the Moon with a View, Iapetus – in which the case of clear evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence is advocated. At the same time, however, these credible and credentialed scientists feel compelled to establish not only the observations which lead to some rather astounding conclusions, but also to incorporate a host of related mainstream scientific facts, theories, and discoveries in order to make their case sound more plausible. This is typical of any group trying to maintain a credible scientific reputation, but it’s also rather curious.

Why, one might ask, is it that humans -- when confronted with an amazing phenomena such as the possibility of definitive evidence of extraterrestrials in the local neighborhood – will attempt to explain how this might have come to be based on humankind’s limited and wholly incomplete understanding of the physical laws of the universe? It’s as if by being able to present a plausible theory based on our current understanding of modern science that we can somehow justify the possibility of an extraterrestrial artifact in full view and in an unexpected location. At the same time, if our limited understanding of science does not provide such an explanation, then we tend to doubt the observation itself. Worse yet, science inevitably tries to argue against the barest possibility of an extraterrestrial presence – especially one that violates our current, neophyte science – by all manner of counter arguments. In effect, mainstream science often works diligently to avoid admitting aloud that our current knowledge just doesn’t measure up to that of any advanced race of extraterrestrials!

For example, Hoagland [3] states that,

“The true test of any scientific hypothesis is successful ‘prediction’. The well-known astrophysicist, the late Sir Fred Hoyle, once said: ‘I don't see the logic of rejecting data just because they seem incredible.’ ...we will make a number of highly specific predictions regarding our ‘incredible’ hypothesis: that Iapetus is, in fact, an artificial ‘moon’.  Such an idea -- while perhaps outrageous to some -- is scientifically confirmable, and with this spacecraft… but only if we now go back to Iapetus and acquire key new data, to test the predictable aspects of this amazing possibility.” [emphasis added]

Science fiction writers, however, are not constrained by science's current guess work. This includes those with strong, credible scientific backgrounds or leanings (such as Arthur C. Clarke). The key factor, however, is that science fiction recognizes that known, mainstream science is a passing fad and that possibilities which directly contradict the so-called “laws of physics” will as likely or not become reality in the far or near future. There are already, for example, numerous challenges to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, and consequently the so-called "speed of light limitation' on travel and/or communication among the stars is about as restrictive as a 30 mph sign posted on the German Autobahn.

The relevant question is, “Why search for intelligent life in the universe if the possibility of finding such intelligence is so adamantly rejected by those funding the research? When one discovers what looks astoundingly like a gigantic “Face on Mars”, why is there no eagerness to go back and take a second, detailed look? Why also is there, as Hoagland puts it with regard to the moon of Saturn, Iapetus[1], such a…

”deafening silence coming out of NASA on what it already knows but won’t release (let along suspects!), about the glaring anomalies we’ve now identified…” “We are left with only one sad but inevitable conclusion:

“NASA, again, has decided to 'tough it out'… to officially say nothing -- like it has treated all its other discoveries of 'extraterrestrial ruins' in the solar system… over the last 30 or so years…

And, according to Hoagland [3],

"Such a policy is directly due to ‘Brookings’ -- the official NASA report of almost 50 years ago (1959) -- which warned the U. S. Government that any scientific evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence ‘could be destabilizing to terrestrial governmental institutions… if not the future of civilization…’” 

A highly relevant question is to what extent is the problem one of the destabilization of governments and to what degree the destabilization of religions? In other words, is the Brookings Report religiously inspired or motivated? Inasmuch as religion is so routinely used for political, i.e. government purposes, it may be that the concern for destabilization is due to the fact that religions may find truths which are totally incompatible with their faiths. And in the event of a worldwide crisis in religion, it is a short leap to chaos and anarchy.

When it comes to the existence of extraterrestrial or alien artifacts in our neighborhood, the priests of traditional or orthodox science are indeed exceptionally gun shy at admitting to even the barest possibility that this presence might be true. There is, on the one hand, the stated desire of science to search high and low (or mostly high) for intelligent life in the universe. And yet the idea that such a search might be successful – particularly if the intelligent life is clearly far superior in intelligence and technology to ours – is something that too many scientists would do everything possible to avoid. It’s the Pogo Possum’s dilemma brought home to roost.

Accordingly, when the suggestion is made that an artifact, such as the so-called “Face on Mars” in the Cydonia region of the planet, is artificial, i.e. made by intelligent beings who are not human, NASA and the bulk of scientists who are eager to keep their jobs deny even the slightest possibility that such a suggestion might be correct. Only those who have nothing to lose seem to be willing to entertain the possibility that the earth has been visited – or even is currently being visited – by intelligent (and in all likelihood superior) extraterrestrials. One example is Carl Sagan, who in his earlier years would have likely dismissed the Face of Mars controversy in a nanosecond, nevertheless in his last book, just before his death, advocated a closer look at Cydonia. (Obviously, one might surmise that he too had little to lose at that stage in his life.)

The apparent revulsion by NASA and orthodox scientists (aka the scientific priesthood) at the possibility or even a debate concerning artifacts within this solar system of technologically superior extraterrestrial intelligence may be due in part – as Hoagland has pointed out -- to “the Brookings Report” [4].

This report suggested that many elements of society – from the highly religious to the scientists and engineers who should know better – would be devastated by the discovery of creatures of superior intelligence (and/or presumably technology). Inasmuch as NASA and other space programs are predominantly composed of scientists and engineers – many with serious religious leanings – the possibility of utter devastation occasioned by the discovery of superior intelligence close by cannot be dismissed. Nor can the possibility that NASA and others might withhold information of such discoveries if only to protect their jobs -- not to mention their sanity! Such withholding would of course be rationalized as being for the best for society, but the fact remains that scientists and engineers are some of the most likely to see their career achievements made totally irrelevant by astounding new technologies. This is the same reason, for example, that Egyptologists are so incensed and defensive when outsiders, such as Immanuel Velikovsky, challenge the seriously flawed, orthodox version of ancient Egyptian history

The Brookings Report was submitted on April 18, 1961 [the day this portion of the webpage was written, some 46 years later]. The former might thus be assumed to be a product of its time, i.e., the early 1960s, and that subsequently there may have evolved a somewhat more open mind in the intervening decades. And yet the current behavior by NASA and other “official” sources suggests that there has been no such evolvement. One could even jest that NASA has come out adamantly opposed to at least one form of evolution. NASA, by the way, is within the Department of Defense and as such is loyal first and foremost to the Pentagon. In general, military minds are disciplined, but very much disinclined to entertain novel and paradigm-shaking ideas.

Excerpts from the Brookings Report have been provided by Hoagland [4], selected portions of which are repeated here. These excerpts make for some interesting reading.

“Anthropological studies contain many examples of societies sure of their place in the universe, which have disintegrated when they had to associate with previously unfamiliar societies espousing different ideas and different life ways; others that survived such an experience usually did so by paying the price of changes in values and attitudes and behavior.” [4]

One question that was left to future studies was: “How might such information [regarding the possibility and consequences of discovering intelligent extraterrestrial life], under what circumstances, be presented to or withheld from the public for what ends? What might be the role of the discovering scientists and other decisionmakers regarding release of the fact of discovery?”

“The positions of the major American religious denominations, the Christian sects, and the eastern religions on the matter of extraterrestrial life need elucidation. Consider the following:

“The Fundamentalist and anti-science sects are growing apace around the world and, as missionary enterprises, many have schools and a good deal of literature attached to them. One of the important things is that, where they are active, they appeal to the illiterate and semiliterate (including, as missions, the preachers as well as the congregation) and can pile up a very influential following in terms of numbers. For them, the discovery of other life – rather than any other space project – would be electrifying.” [4]

“If plant life or some subhuman intelligence were found on Mars or Venus, for example, there is on the face of it no good reason to suppose these discoveries, after the original novelty had been exploited to the fullest and worn off, would result in substantial changes in perspectives or philosophy in large parts of the American public, at least any more than, let us say, than did the discovery of the coelacanth or the panda. It might well be that this sort of discovery would simply not be sufficiently salient for most people for most of the time to cause any noticeable shift in philosophy or perspective. If superintelligence is discovered, the results become quite unpredictable. It is possible that if the intelligence of these creatures were sufficiently superior to ours, they would choose to have little if any contact with us. On the face of it, there is no reason to believe that we might learn a great deal from them, especially if their physiology and psychology were substantially different from ours.

“It has been speculated that, of all groups, scientists and engineers might be the most devastated by the discovery of relatively superior creatures, since these professions are most closely associated with the mastery of nature, rather than with the understanding and expression of man. Advanced understanding of nature might vitiate all our theories at the very least, if not also require a culture and perhaps a brain inaccessible to earth scientists.” [4]

“It is perhaps interesting to note when asked what the consequences of the discovery of superior life would be, an audience of Saturday Review readership chose, for the most part, not to answer the question at all, in spite of their detailed answers to many other speculative questions. Perhaps the idea is so foreign that even this readership was bemused by it. But one can speculate, too, that the idea of intellectually superior creatures may be anxiety-provoking. Nor is it clear what would be the reactions to creatures of approximately equal and communicable intelligence to ours.” [4]

One is reminded of Fred Hoyle – the late world famous astrophysicist – and his fictional novel, The Black Cloud. In essence, the novel tells the story of the Earth being confronted by a vast intelligence (as it makes a pit stop at the local sun) who becomes aware of the puny humans, and possibly just for kicks agrees to download a massive amount of science into a single human being of our choice. It turns out that the chosen, brilliant scientist ultimately reacts by dying, commenting just before his expiration that a better choice would have been a local, uneducated gardener – who because of his lack of preconceived notions and understanding of the universe – would have been better able to tolerate the new science.

One suspects that Fred Hoyle understood scientists as well as science.

After all, is there any particular reason that our most brilliant scientific minds would not suffer the same disadvantage? After all, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and a whole lot of knowledge can be fatal. It takes a very open and an extremely flexible mind to download an alien technology without going completely bonkers. [There is, of course, the suspicion that the higher echelons of NASA are already bonkers – thus leading to the rational consideration that they have already been exposed.]

The end result is not to expect too much point blank revelation from NASA.


Consider one small point. Richard Hoagland [3] has written:

“If we are right in this ‘Iapetus Proposal’, the most staggering discovery of NASA’s last 30 or so years is coming to you (once again…) via a group of independent scientists. And now that we have brought world-wide attention to this extraordinary find… whether we even get to see the more extraordinary details of the next Cassini fly-by of Iapetus (which is supposed to be ~100 times closer than last December’s!) is quite debatable…  For, it’s hard to believe that we’re the first to recognize what we are seeing! Or, that we’re the only investigators – either inside or outside NASA -- to comprehend the incredible implications of such a potentially overwhelming find -- An entire spaceship world… trapped in orbit… around Saturn.”

And yet, this group of independent scientists still appear to have considerable access to the raw data, images, and so forth... from NASA. Is it possible – with or without Hoagland’s knowledge – that NASA is delighted to have Hoagland and others like him widely disseminate the truth, and at the same time allow NASA to retain plausible deniability? NASA may indeed provide official pronouncements opposing alternative theories, but still allow the information to be obtained, analyzed, and the more credible conclusions reached. Perhaps it’s just a new technique in the art of revelations.

Wouldn't it be a kick if we could say, "We have met the ET, and they are us!"



[1] http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&colID=1&articleID=00073A97-5745-1359-94FF83414B7F0000

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia

[3] http://www.enterprisemission.com/moon1.htm

[4] http://www.enterprisemission.com/brooking.html



Connective Physics         Mach’s Principle        Iapetus

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