Weekend Roundup 26-01-2008

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...


Psi at Google

As Rick pointed out on Wednesday, Dean Radin has noted on his blog that a recent presentation he gave at Google HQ on the evidence for psi abilities has been posted on Youtube under the 'Google Tech Talks' channel. The talk is an hour and a half in length and covers plenty of territory - worth checking out if you have the time. Google haven't given permission to embed the video, so I can't post it here - instead though, I've posted a shorter interview with Dean for those without time to watch the Google presentation (this video is only 22mins).

Treasure Wars

National Geographic have begun a 9-part online video series titled "Treasure Wars: Who Owns the Past?":

For centuries, treasures have been taken from their homelands. Should the artifacts go back? Who should decide?

Looks quite interesting - I'll try and keep you up to date with the latest instalments as they come to hand.

The Return of Vallee

Anomalist Books have done a great service to us all by offering brand new reprints of the classic Jacques Vallee 'Alien Contact' trilogy (Dimensions, Confrontations, and Revelations). Every book by Vallee, in my opinion, is required reading for anyone interested in the UFO phenomenon, and this new reprint makes it affordable to do so. Great job on the covers as well - understated and elegant, just like the thoughts of the renowned UFO researcher.

News Briefs 25-01-2008

News filtered through my flu-addled brain...

Thanks Kat.

Quote of the Day:

If we knew the world only through synapses, how could we know the synapse?

Richard Powers

Getting Stoned on Mars

Okay, a lot of people have emailed me about the "Mars Bigfoot" (also under a variety of different names). I haven't covered it thus far because I think there's already way too much hype over it (it was a headline on most network news in Australia for crying out loud..."Is this proof of life on Mars?"). If you want to say it's someone on Mars, go for it...but really, it's just a rock. Reading more into it than that just debases some of the real mysteries that are worth investigating (but which will never, ever, make the network news). As Mac Tonnies said yesterday on Posthuman Blues: "The 'alien' has been dismissed by the 'scientific blogosphere' because it deserves to be dismissed."

I would be far more open to the suggestion that it might be a sculpture or carving of some sort (not that I believe that) - it would be a far more plausible scenario than a humanoid figure only inches in height that doesn't move for days on end, even when an interplanetary robot comes rollicking up to it. Goes to show that people aren't thinking too much about it all, really.

Interestingly, two other things I stumbled across (without looking for them) this morning are quite topical: "The Stone Face", and Fortean Times's Simulacra photo section. Probably enough to answer those news reports on their own...

Jesus Tomb Controversy Erupts...Again

Last week I reported on Time's coverage of a recent conference about the alleged 'Tomb of Jesus'. Biblical Archaeology has extended coverage of not only these latest developments, but also a controversy which erupted in the wake of the event:

...most of the conference attendees felt that the Talpiot tomb was unlikely to have been the tomb of Jesus. Immediately after the event, however, Jacobovici issued a press release claiming that the conference had “vindicated” his program. Several conference participants then issued a statement to the contrary.

The BA website lists the correspondence and statements of all parties, so it provides quite a comprehensive round-up of the current state of this debate.

Radio 25-01-2008

Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:

Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week Joseph Farrell suggests that the remains of ancient disasters that scar earth and the rest of our solar system may be the results of cosmic war, not natural events.

Coast to Coast AM: On Friday Alex Jones joins George Noory live from the Talk Fest in Austin, Texas. Early show Saturday "Art Bell- Somewhere in Time" returns to 3/8/00 for a discussion with intelligence expert John Nolan on surveillance and technology issues, followed by Ian Punnett chatting with Michael D'Antonio about his new book chronicling the rollicking start of the space race. Sunday's guest is retired Air Force Capt. Robert Collins who will discuss his personal introduction to secret technologies, the MJ-12 program, and various hidden bases.

More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. You can listen to C2C live, or to recent archived shows, at CJOB.com. Dreamland is freely available at their website, and also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.

Discussing Egypt with Robert Bauval

Succeeding me as author-of-the-month at Graham Hancock's website is none other than Robert Bauval. Robert will be talking all things Egypt-related no doubt, and if you're registered on the GH.com message board you can chat back, ask questions and so on. As is usual, to preview his February stint, Robert has contributed an article to GH.com's forum section. For more information about The Egypt Code (which looks to be slated for an August 2008 release in the US), you can read my review of the book, and also my interview with Robert (originally published in our free online magazine Sub Rosa).

Texas UFO Explanation?

The recent sightings of strange lights over Texas has caused quite a stir, with plenty of MSM coverage. But now the U.S. Air Force has come forward saying they are to blame:

Maj. Karl Lewis, a spokesman for the 301st Fighter Wing at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, said in a news release that an "error was made regarding the reported training activity of military aircraft" and that "10 F-16s from the 457th Fighter Squadron were performing training operations in the Brownwood Military Operating Area."

Lewis had previously said there were no F-16s or other aircraft from the base in the area the night many of the sightings were reported.

I have to say I haven't followed the case closely enough to comment on this new revelation. Although, this about-face from the Air Force is not the first. There was that little shindig at Roswell to begin with (you know, the retracted news release about finding a UFO), and then the Phoenix Lights flare-dropping exercise. And they wonder why people start calling 'conspiracy'...