7/21/13  #731
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It comes in the soul-rending blackness of night - eager for the sweet taste of fresh, innocent psyches who live unknowing in the bright forgiving daylight. Unaware of clotting truths that infect the less-tangable voids that nestle alongside our own world. Surrounded by empty form, eyes that glow blood-red linger in a state of forever within the darkness reserved for our most secret, anguished nightmares. Yes that's right! Conspiracy Journal is here once again to fill your minds with all the news and info that THEY don't want you to hear.

Don't forget to check out the latest Conspiracy Journal/Bizarre Bazaar Catalog...Number 40, full of our newest books, DVDs, and other interesting products that THEY don't want you to have!


This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such chakra-energizing stories as:

 - Physicist Explains Why Scientists Won't Discuss Their UFO Interests -
- Lake Monsters: Where Are The Bodies? -
- UFO Cover-Ups Must End, Moonwalker Edgar Mitchell Says -
AND:
Mars' Atmosphere Destroyed by 'Catastrophic' Event
 
All these exciting stories and MORE in this issue of
CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


New Book From Conspiracy Journal!



Secrets Of Mount Shasta And A Dweller On Two Planets

SURVEY THE HEIGHTS AND DEPTHS OF MYSTERIOUS MOUNT SHASTA AS YOU READ THE BOOK THAT ALTERED SHIRLEY MACLAINE’S LIFE AND CHARTED THE SPIRITUAL PATHS OF THOUSANDS OF DEVOTED BELIEVERS OVER THE COURSE OF A CENTURY

A DWELLER ON TWO PLANETS CHANNELED BY PHYLOS REMAINS AT THE HEART OF THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT

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The original DWELLER ON TWO PLANETS is said to be one of the most important texts of the 19th Century. For over a hundred years it has been passed around among those seeking the true Spiritual Path to life. Many have said it has impacted them greatly. Actress Shirley MacLaine had little interest in the occult when she went browsing in a Hong King bookstore only to have this work literally fall into her hands. It led to many changes in her life and a metaphysical best seller of her own, Out On A Limb.

Young author/channel Frederick S. Oliver spins a tale so compelling and so spiritually uplifting that it is doubtful that it was written by him alone as a human being. The reader will immediately see that this book contains such a wealth of detail about Atlantis and the spiritual realms that it could not be conjured from the imagination of an eighteen year old while working as a simple fencer mender for his father who raised cattle near their home along the base of the mysterious and legendary Mount Shasta in Northern California.

Oliver foreshadows much of what would come after him, like the feminist movement of the 20th Century, the coming of UFOs with their external multicolored revolving lights and the interiors of the craft lit by some unseen source, details verified repeatedly by modern day alien abductees and UFO contactees. In fact, many of the illustrations in this book of cigar-shaped craft look remarkably similar to the ships said to have been photographed by George Adamski and others many decades later. Oliver, while in the channeling state, of an Atlantian and ancient Tibetan soul also predicts television, and cell phones in a time that predated even rudimentary radio.

Says Sean Casteel who updated this major work into modern grammar and phraseology: “The moral dynamics of the story will hold you spellbound, as the sins of one man’s incarnation in Atlantis are repaid in his life as a gold miner in the American West. The story of the latter’s initiation into a deeply secret gathering of spiritual adepts and how it leads to adventures in other dimension will open your eyes to mysteries you never knew existed. . .This book is truly a message from the other side, and contains within it countless solutions to the many enigmas we contemplate today, and will restore your faith in the coming of a New Age promised land.”

In addition to the “modernized text” you will join researcher Nick Redfern, Tim Beckley and Paul Dale Roberts as they reveal the many mystical secrets of Mount Shasta, a widely regarded transformational vortex. Learn of inner earth entrances, Count Saint Germain the man who lives forever, the existence of Bigfoot on Mount Shasta, as well as ghostly stories that will captivate you.

The book is fully illustrated and graphically designed by “Adman” William Kern. Printed in large format, it will captivate and entice the reader and provoke much thought.

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- THE CONE OF SILENCE DEPARTMENT -

Physicist Explains Why Scientists Won't Discuss Their UFO Interests

For a very long time, the scientific community has been wary of studying UFOs, and the scientists themselves hesitate to talk about their beliefs of unexplained aerial phenomena.

But that attitude is changing, and many scientists are joining the discussion without fear of ridicule.

"UFOs are real phenomena. They are artificial objects under intelligent control. They're definitely the craft of a supremely advanced technology," says physicist Eric Davis, a researcher of light-speed travel.

Davis, a research physicist at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Austin, studies propulsion physics, which he hopes will one day allow humans to travel easily and quickly through our galactic neighborhood.

He's aware of the public perception -- mostly from skeptics and debunkers -- that no legitimate scientists would ever touch the subject of UFOs.

"They're wrong, naive, stubborn, narrow-minded, afraid and fearful. It's a dirty word and a forbidden topic. Science is about open-minded inquiry. You shouldn't be laughing off people. You should show more deference and respect to them ... Scientists need to get back to using the scientific method to study things that are unknown and unusual, and the UFO subject is one of them."

Davis is one of several scientists who are presenting their views this weekend on a variety of UFO-related topics at the 2013 MUFON Symposium in Las Vegas.

The physicist, who recently won an award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his study, "Faster-Than-Light Space Warps, Status and Next Steps," knows many colleagues who quietly study UFOs.

"There are scientists who are aware of evidence and observational data that is not refutable. It is absolutely corroborated, using forensic techniques and methodology. But they won't come out and publicize that because they fear it. Not the subject -- they fear the backlash from their professional colleagues. The impact on their career might be detrimental and they'd get bad publicity.

"It's not an acceptable, funded line of research. The National Science Foundation does not accept UFOs as a subject for scientific study."

It may come as a surprise that many scientists have been interested in UFOs for decades.

For 20 years, astronomer J. Allen Hynek was the U.S. Air Force scientific consultant on UFOs during its famous Project Blue Book UFO study that ended in 1969.

Davis believes that the domain for UFO investigations doesn't really belong in the hands of scientists.

"It's the domain of military intelligence," he suggests. "The fact that [unknown] craft are flying around Earth is not a subject for science -- it's a subject for intelligence-gathering, collection and analysis. That's because UFOs are not a natural phenomenon, and that's what science studies."

Source: Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/20/physicist-eric-davis-mufon-symposium_n_3620126.html

- QUESTIONS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMM DEPARTMENT -

Lake Monsters: Where Are The Bodies?
By Nick Redfern

Just the other night, while I was promoting my new Monster Files book, the host of the relevant radio show asked me why, if lake monsters are real, don’t we ever find hard and undeniable evidence of their existence? He was, of course, talking about a living specimen or a corpse. Okay, it’s a fair question, and many might take the view that the lack of a creature – alive or dead – is suggestive of the whole thing being nothing more than folklore, mythology, legend, hoaxing and misidentification. Right? Wrong.

There are many reasons why, even in lakes close to highly populated areas, we might never find hard evidence of the existence of such creatures. Let us focus primarily on the world’s most famous lake monsters of all, the Nessies of Scotland’s Loch Ness.

Of course, if flesh and blood animals of unknown origin – or known ones that have survived extinction from an age long gone – do inhabit the dark waters of Loch Ness, why is that we don’t have a body, even just one? After all, with so many tourists running around the shores of the loch like headless chickens, shouldn’t we surely have something physical in our hands by now? Nope, not necessarily.

Yes, Loch Ness is an absolute magnet for tourists. Tens of thousands of people flock to the loch each and every year, all in the hope of seeing a long neck and a hump surface from the shadowy depths. Yet, the number of sightings of the Nessies per year is incredibly small.

If the animals were mammals, like us, then quite clearly they would have to surface fairly frequently to breathe. And with those tens of thousands of people all focusing their eyes, camera-lenses and binoculars on the loch, the fact is that we should have far more than just a handful of yearly reports. Arguably we should have hundreds or even more. But, here’s the thing: we don’t.

This suggests that the Nessies don’t have to surface at all. Rather, they may derive their oxygen intake from the water. In other words, they might well represent some form of large, unidentified kind of fish. Thus, their surfacing might just be out of curiosity, rather than being born out of necessity.

So, if they are fish, then as well as living in the loch, the good chances are that they will die in the loch. And, let’s not omit the fact that they would sink to the bottom of what is a 755-foot-deep loch. Yes, I know that there have been a few land-based encounters, but some fish can leave the water for extended periods. Check out the mudskipper as a perfect example. So, a fish is still a viable possibility.

Now, let’s say that the Nessies are indeed fish which are born in Loch Ness, live in Loch Ness, and die in Loch Ness. When death claims them and they sink to the bottom of the loch, the native and known fish of Loch Ness – including pike, salmon, trout, and many more - would likely make a fast and tasty meal of them. That’s how nature works.

And, of course, the bodies would be sinking to a depth of more than 700 feet. Many skeptics forget that the average monster-hunter has neither the money nor the technology to take a mini-sub to the base of Loch Ness for a few months at a time in search of a corpse or several!

So, keeping all the above in mind – namely the depth of the loch, the probability that the Nessies are not mammals, and that we have no real, feasible way to search for and haul to the surface the bodies before they get eaten by other, smaller fish - is it hardly any wonder we’re lacking in a body?

Very much the same can be said of Ogopogo of British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake or Champ of Lake Champlain. If mammals, then we should be seeing them far more frequently than we do. And there’s the not insignificant fact that Okanagan Lake is 84 miles in length and 250 feet deep. As for Lake Champlain, it is a whopping 125 miles long.

As with Loch Ness, Scotland, this is plenty of space for animals to die in both Okanagan Lake or Lake Champlain, and quickly get devoured before they are ever discovered. And also as with Loch Ness, not everyone (in fact, not even most!) can race around the lowest depths of the lakes all day long, looking for newly-dead bodies, in a high-priced sub!

Richard Freeman, the zoological director of the Center for Fortean Zoology, has come up with another intriguing theory that helps to explain the lack of a corpse. Rather than being entire schools of such giant fish, Richard has pondered on the possibility that there may actually only be a very few of them at any given time, but which live to extraordinary ages. He thinks they may be giant eels.

Says Richard: “Eels normally live for up to ten years before swimming to the Sargasso Sea off the coast of Florida to spawn and die. But there is a known condition which affects the species called Eunuch Eels which makes them infertile. Because they cannot reproduce they do not swim to the Atlantic to spawn – so they don’t die. They can keep living and can grow to incredibly large sizes – like the ones in Loch Ness.”

We assume that if unknown animals live in Loch Ness, and that they are seen for decade upon decade, there must be dozens of them, to allow for mating, reproduction, and the continuation of the species. If, as Richard’s theory suggests, the numbers of very large eels in the loch may actually be no more than several at any given time, this, too, makes finding a body even more difficult. If, from time to time, there is just one massive eel in the loch, that makes matters beyond difficult to resolve.

A colony would be easier to find. A very occasional giant-sized mutation, but one which lives deep in the waters for decades, would pose major problems in terms of finding a corpse. Maybe the same can be said about Okanagan Lake and Lake Champlain. There’s an assumption that there has to be a viable, fairly large breeding population. But, again, what if there’s just an occasional (or even solitary, until the next one comes along), freakish, giant mutation and nothing more? Good luck trying to find the body of one large mutation in a 125-mile-long lake.

And, finally, for those, like me, who often ponder on the idea that the Nessies may be far more paranormal than physical, there’s the story of one of the world’s leading investigators of conspiracy theories, best-selling author, Jim Marrs. While digging into the world of U.S. Government research into remote-viewing and psychic-spying, Marrs learned that elements of the official world had attempted to focus their skill upon solving the riddle of what it is that lurks within Loch Ness, Scotland.

It was no easy task, however, as Marrs noted. Several remote-viewing sessions that targeted the creatures, said Marrs, actually revealed physical traces of the beasts – such as wakes in the water, or the distinct movement of large bodies beneath the surface of the loch. Significantly, those involved in the remote-viewing of Loch Ness even made drawings of long-necked, humped animals that eerily resembled the presumed extinct plesiosaurs of times past.

As Marrs noted, however, when the government’s remote-viewers attempted to dig further into the puzzle, they hit upon a startling discovery: the creatures – if that is what they really were – seemed to have the strange ability to appear and vanish into thin-air, just like classic, chain-rattling spirits, one might very well suggest.

Marrs, in his book, Psi-Spies, commented thus on this curious development in the affair of Nessie: “Considering that reports of human ghosts date back throughout man’s history, the Psi Spies seriously considered the possibility that the Loch Ness Monster is nothing less than a dinosaur’s ghost.”

Whatever your views on lake monsters – whether colonies of unknown animals, occasional freakish eels of massive size, or something less than physical – it all amounts to one thing: there are viable reasons why we have never yet found a body of a lake monster. And they may always remain viable reasons, too.

Source: Mysterious Universe
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2013/07/lake-monsters-where-are-the-bodies/

- UFOS...WHAT UFOS DEPARTMENT -

UFO Cover-Ups Must End, Moonwalker Edgar Mitchell Says
By James M. Clash

On Feb. 5, 1971, Edgar Mitchell became the sixth of only 12 men to step on the moon. Of that elite dozen, which included Buzz Aldrin and the late Neil Armstrong 44 years ago this week, Mitchell is the only one to go on record about his controversial belief in extraterrestrial UFOs -- and of a possible government cover-up.

Mitchell, 82, is no dummy. While on active duty as a test pilot for the U.S. Navy, he completed an M.S. in aeronautical engineering at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a doctorate in aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mitchell also served in combat during the Korean War as a fighter pilot. In 1970, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

After retiring from NASA in 1972, he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences and later wrote “The Way of the Explorer” to document his experiences with mysticism and space.

I recently spoke on the telephone with the retired U.S. Navy Captain from his home in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was lucid and convincing with his heavy southern drawl, and just a little guarded.

Clash: Let’s start with the moon. Did you know your Apollo 14 crewmate Alan Shepard was going to “tee off” up there?
Moon Golf

Mitchell: Yes, I knew before it happened. But I didn’t know quite when he was going to fit it in. After we had rolled up the solar wind experiment and put it in the data box, I did my javelin throw and he did a golf shot for the first “Lunar Olympics.”

They were between 50 and 55 feet, and my javelin went four inches further than his golf ball. I’ve got the pictures to prove it!

Clash: Was there any big emotion when you stepped on the moon, or was it just part of a long list of things you had to do?

Mitchell: The latter is correct. Sure it was wonderful, we were pleased to do it and it was enjoyable to be among the first, but it was just part of a checklist we had practiced week after week at Cape Kennedy. We would go through the whole routine, rewrite it and modify it again until we were comfortable with the order.

And, of course, our mission on Apollo 14 was to be the first to do science on the moon, so we had to be careful about getting everything in during the allotted time. Apollo 11 and 12 were more to prove physically we could get (astronauts) down to the surface, then back safely to Earth.
Mars Base

Clash: Do you believe we need to establish a base on the moon before sending humans to Mars, as some of your fellow Apollo astronauts do?

Mitchell: I don’t think there is much value in trying to use the moon as a base to go to Mars. That’s going into one gravity belt and having to get back out of it again. And the moon doesn’t have a lot to offer as a resource base.

There is something we could mine there, I’m sure, but there are better ways to do it. We do need different types of propulsion to get to Mars. I wrote one of the first Ph.D. theses on that in the 1960s.

Clash: You’re also known for your views on UFOs. What’s your experience regarding the Roswell, New Mexico, incident of 1947?

Mitchell: After my space flight, I was contacted by descendants of the original Roswell observers, including the person who delivered the child-sized coffins to the Air Force to contain alien bodies. Another was one of the children of the deputy sheriff who was patrolling traffic around the site.
Alien Bodies

There was also a military officer who was a friend of the families not involved in that particular operation, but who did share office space there. They all seemed credible with their stories that the bodies found were alien.

Clash: If that’s the case, why has it been hushed up?

Mitchell: Initially I think there was justification in that leadership officials thought people weren’t ready to handle it. But we are well past that now. Frankly, and this is just personal opinion, remember what (President) Eisenhower said in his final speech: “Beware the military industrial complex.” I suspect that’s what we’re talking about.

But it’s not just military. It’s a cabal of organizations primarily for a profit motive. We invented aircraft at the beginning of the 20th century.
Money Involvement

Twenty years later, we had an airline industry. Think of what that could mean in terms of space travel with control of UFO machinery, technology. There’s a lot of money involved.

Clash: Have you ever seen a UFO yourself?

Mitchell: I consider myself fairly well informed, although I have not seen one personally. I’m not out there looking -- I’m pretty busy.

Clash: Have you been threatened by anyone about your outspokenness on the subject?

Mitchell: No, but they wouldn’t be very successful with me if they tried.

Clash: Are you disappointed that America last visited the moon back in 1972 and has only sent astronauts into low earth orbit since?

Mitchell: There is no question we have to continue with human space development to other planets. But we also need to get our economy running. Then we have to get the world organized to work on this because it is really too much for any one country.

We need a community of nations capable of space flight because we all have to be off this planet sometime in the future. Our sun is going to burn out eventually, and we are not in a sustainable situation.

(James M. Clash is the author of “The Right Stuff: Interviews with Icons of the 1960s” (AskMen, 2012). He writes on adventure for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own. This interview was adapted from a longer conversation.)

Muse highlights include Mark Beech on music, Warwick Thompson on London theater, Laurie Muchnick on books and Stephanie Green’s Scene in D.C.

To contact the writer of this column: James M. Clash at Jamesmclash@gmail.com

Source: Bloomberg News
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-16/ufo-cover-ups-must-end-moonwalker-edgar-mitchell-says.html

- GLASS EYES THAT STARE WITH INTENT DEPARTMENT -

True Tales of Haunted Dolls
By Christy Gordon

Dolls have long been a source of amusement for both children and adults. However, they can also bring terror as well as joy. Read on for chilling true tales of haunted dolls and possessed playthings.
The Legend of Robert the Doll

When it comes to haunted dolls, Robert is arguably America’s most famous. The Key West doll is a fixture on local ghost tours and even served as an inspiration for Chucky in Child’s Play.

Robert belonged to Key West painter and author Robert Eugene Otto. In 1906, a Bahamian maid reportedly gave the doll to Robert and then cursed the toy after Robert’s parents displeased her. Soon after the maid’s departure, strange events began plaguing the Otto household.

Young Robert enjoyed talking to his namesake, and servants insisted the doll talked back. They also claimed the plaything could change expressions at will and move about the house on his own. Neighbors reportedly saw the doll move from window to window when the family was away, and members of the Otto household heard maniacal giggles emanating from the toy.

Robert the Doll spooked plenty of folks during the day, but at night he focused on young Robert Otto. The boy would wake in the middle of the night, screaming in fear, as the heavy furniture in his room crashed to the floor. When his parents demanded to know what happened, Otto’s response was always the same: “Robert did it! It was Robert.”

Robert Otto died in 1974, and his notorious doll now sits on display at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West. Legend has it the doll will curse anyone who takes a photo without permission, which Robert grants by slightly tilting his head. Visitors who forget can always beg for forgiveness which is what cameramen from the Travel Channel did after their HD camera mysteriously stopped working.

The Eyes Follow You

Though dolls like Robert grab headlines and spark imaginations, they’re not alone. Hundreds of haunted doll tales fill ghost blogs and forums across web, including one from an average woman in Moundsville, WV.

Years ago, the woman had a grade school friend named Emily and the two spent a lot of time at Emily’s home. The entire house had a strange feeling to it, but it was the attic that was the most unnerving.

“The attic was finished, but had that ‘death’ smell to it, like an abandoned building,” the woman writes. “It was always cold, despite the hot air that would rise from the floors below. The attic contained four small rooms, and one room was entirely devoted to dolls which I always found terrifying.”

One afternoon, the girls played with a few of the dolls until Emily’s grandmother called them to lunch. They placed the rag dolls back on the shelf, but one tumbled off just as they were about to leave. This was strange as the doll fell in a way that seemed physically impossible. Puzzled, the woman returned the doll to its shelf and went downstairs to eat. However, that wasn’t the end of the encounter.

“Later on that day, Emily and I were playing in the woods adjacent to her house, and I squatted down to pick up a pretty stone,” the woman writes. “When I went down, I felt something poking me in my pocket. I put my hand in the pocket, and I found two doll eyes …the eyes from the doll I had picked up earlier that day. Needless to say, I have been terrified of dolls ever since.”

Haunted Doll Sites

Though most people avoid haunted dolls, some have a passion for possessed playthings and share their knowledge and interest online.

The Doll House Cam

The Doll House Cam streams videos of haunted dolls 24/7, giving armchair ghost hunters the chance to spot a possessed doll in action.

“Set in a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania, amongst the mountains and streams, is a little known secret,” reads the title page of DollHouseCam.com. “Seven dolls that once were loved by little girls now adorn the home of a family of five. They don’t just sit on a shelf looking pretty. These porcelain beauties, for lack of a better description, have taken on a life of their own.”

David’s Haunted Dolls

Haunted Dolls is dedicated to educating the public about haunted dolls and the best way to care for any “Spirit Children” they might come across.

“A haunted doll is not your everyday Betsy Wetsy,” he writes. “Haunted dolls are real life spirits that are attached to a certain host doll. Nobody really knows if the spirit picks that host doll, or if they are just drawn there, but we do know it happens. You might even have a haunted doll in your home, and not even know it.”

AJ’s Haunted Dolls

Folks looking to buy a haunted doll need look no further than AJ’s Haunted Dolls. The site offers a variety of creepy playthings, ranging from the innocent and sweet to the dark and destructive.

“Each and every one of my Spirit Children and paranormal items are unique in their own special way,” AJ writes. “Not only because they are inhabited with a beautiful spirit, but because of the vessel they have chosen. I try and collect a variety of hosts, spirits, and unique paranormal magical items.”

Source: Mysterious Universe
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2013/07/true-tales-of-haunted-dolls/
- COWABUNGA ALIEN DUDE DEPARTMENT -

Alien Probes Could Be Surfing the Galaxy

Computer simulations by a pair of researchers at the University of Edinburgh predict that a fleet of interstellar probes could explore the entire Milky Way galaxy within a fraction of the present age of Earth. This may seem like a tall order considering that our farthest interstellar spacecraft, Voyager 1, is still less than a light-day from Earth after being launched 36 years ago.

In the new simulation, however, alien probes only need to travel at 10 percent the speed of light to survey the entire galaxy within 10 million years. And, they could get a turbo-boost and save fuel by doing a slingshot off the gravitational fields of stars.

The concept of self-aware and self-replicating probes traveling across the galaxy is nothing new, however; the idea goes as far back as 1960. It was promoted by SETI pioneer Ronald Bracewell as an alternative to listening for interstellar artificial radio signals. The idea of a machine capable of cloning itself goes back at least 100 years; mathematician John von Neumann detailed the operation of such a robot in 1949.

In a recent paper, Arwen Nicholson and Duncan Forgan take the idea a step further by exploring three different scenarios of probe behavior: using standard powered flight, using gravitational slingshot techniques around stars, and hop scotching star-by-star to get the maximum speed boost under slingshot trajectories.

Voyager 1 and 2 zipped across the solar system with a boost form bouncing like a pinball off the gravitational fields of the massive outer planets.

“From the scaling of the probes’ performance with star number, we conclude that a fleet of self-replicating probes can indeed explore the galaxy in a sufficiently short time to warrant the existence of the Fermi Paradox,” the team reports.

The Fermi Paradox — where nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi asked the rhetorical question “where are they?” (extraterrestrials) — ponders why we have no evidence of alien visitations. For the UFO buffs, let me flatly say this does not mean pointy-eared aliens should be here and now, but instead suggests occasional visits over geologic time by virtually immortal robots.

The team’s simulations mean that our solar system should have been visited — perhaps more than once — well-before the dawn of man. Their alien builders might have been motivated to have the machines go stealthy and cover their tracks once a planetary system survey is completed.

In Arthur C. Clarke’s 1972 novel, Rendezvous With Rama, star-hopping aliens are pretty blatant. A giant cylindrical space ark enters the solar system. An astronaut survey team explores its dark, ghostly, interior hibernating city. Humans finally realize that the mothership is not stopping for a visit, but simply using the sun’s gravity to get a boot to destinations unknown.

Rama aside, don’t look for ‘spent’ or destroyed probes because visiting robots might definitely go green by not leaving behind any trash from their sorties. They would also have ability to self-repair during long interstellar voyages, and self-replicate with the ultimate 3D printer.

In a sprint across the galaxy a civilization may send out a few probes that would be programmed to choose the next star they travel to according to some decision-making algorithm. Once they reach the new star system, they scan for signs of life, and create a copy of themselves. The parent and child probe each pick a new star to travel to, and the process repeats itself in a geometric progression.

This scenario is compounded by the fact there could very likely be more than one fleet of probes from different extraterrestrial civilizations plying the galaxy. What if they run into each other? A purely sci-fi inspired scenario is where mutated probes abandon their original mission and start to prey on normal probes!

Such an interstellar fox and rabbit chase would greatly increase the exploration time and reduce the number of visits to our solar system, say the researchers. In the new simulation the exploration probes are continuously traveling at maximum speed and constantly dispersing radially across the galaxy. Predators would have a hard time catching their prey.

Equally problematic is the dilemma of how a fleet of probes stays in contact with one another so that they don’t duplicate efforts. Light travel delay times would squelch communication, unless superluminal contact has been achieved by something as exotic as quantum entanglement. Then all probes would know exactly where every other probe has been and is heading. Each probe could leave behind an omnidirectional beacon that emits a signal showing the star has been visited. Or probes could deposit a “captain’s log” for other probes to readout.

Ultimately the data collected by the entire fleet could be placed into a giant galactic archive. It would be a resource for all interstellar civilizations that are smart enough to find it, enter the correct password, and download survey data on many billions of star systems.

What’s sobering is that such probes would be like a swarm of bees buzzing through a field of flowers. They diligently carry out their exploration duties and are oblivious to contacting any native biological intelligence they might encounter.

That is, unless the builders programmed the robots to set up a threshold test of the intelligence and maturity of a native species. If the species passes the test they are allowed to communicate with the interstellar probe.

What sort of maturity test would you perform on Homo sapiens?

Source: Discovery
http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets/alien-probes-could-be-surfing-the-galaxy-130714.htm

- RED PLANET MARS DEPARTMENT -

Mars' Atmosphere Destroyed by 'Catastrophic' Event

A “catastrophic” event destroyed the atmosphere of Mars four billion years ago, according to scientists.

An analysis of data returned by the Curiosity rover, which landed on the planet a year ago, suggests there was a major upheaval which could have been caused by volcanic eruptions or a massive collision which stripped away the atmosphere.

The rover has returned its first measurements of the makeup of gases, including argon, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, in the Martian atmosphere.

The results, published in two parallel studies in the journal Science, allow scientists to better understand how the Martian climate changed, and understand whether it ever had the right conditions for life.

Dr Chris Webster at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, lead author on one of the studies, said the data enabled direct comparisons with the Earth’s climate.

“As Mars became a planet and its magma solidified, catastrophic outgassing occurred while volatiles were delivered by impact of comets and other small bodies”, Dr Webster said.

“Our Curiosity measurements are – for the first time – accurate enough to make direct comparisons with measurements done on Earth on meteorites using sophisticated large instrumentation that gives high accuracy results.”

The team believe a major event destroying the atmosphere must have happened around four billion years ago.

The different ratio of two forms of the gas argon on Mars and Earth suggests some huge event changed their relative amounts, the scientists said.

Monica Grady, professor of planetary sciences at The Open University, who did not write the studies, told The Guardian: “It’s really great that two separate studies using different instruments and techniques have given the same composition.

“These findings reverse the results from the Phoenix mission and clear up some confusion over the composition of the Martian atmosphere.”

According to a study of rock samples published last month, Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere more than a billion years before Earth.

Rocks collected from the surface of the Gusev crater by Nasa's Spirit rover were found to contain five times as much nickel as Martian meteorites found on Earth.

This suggests that the surface rocks, which are at least 3.7 billion years old, formed in an oxygen-rich environment while the meteorites, aged between 180 million and 1.4 billion years, did not.

Dr Paul Mahaffy from Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, who was the lead author on the other paper, said further analysis needed to be done before humans could be put on Mars.

“From a practical standpoint we need to know the composition [of the atmosphere] today, and how it is changing, so that we can prepare for the eventual arrival of human explorers.”

Source: The Telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10189828/Mars-atmosphere-destroyed-by-catastrophic-event-four-billion-years-ago.html

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