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Sorry UFO conspiracy theorists… this one doesn’t wash

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Image captured on  July 14… and guess what..? transmission not working again.

Before we paid extra dollars to get unlimited internet bandwidth (telecommunications prices are unduly expensive in Canada) I watched the ISS live feed* often. There’s a forum there where you can talk to others watching the world spin, which can be a fun and educational way to pass the time. A cheap trip to space too, if you have half an imagination!

Ironically, I watch the feed less now that we have unlimited internet. But I still have been checking it out in short bursts over the past 5 weeks. And it seems that the feed’s reliability has suffered dramatically—UFO or not.

So, to those conspiracy theorists who say that the ISS feed was intentionally cut because of a UFO sighting: I think that’s rubbish. Most of the time it seems that the astronauts on board the ISS are so busy that they haven’t a clue if the feed is working or not. And they regularly cut transmission if they need to route power for something going on within the ISS. Remember, they don’t have a wall outlet for practically limitless power, like we do.

Okay, but did NASA (on Earth) cut the feed? Always possible but again, as I say, over the past 5 weeks the feed hasn’t been working most of the times that I’ve visited. And it’s not due to a spotty internet connection because we’re now using a fast and reliable provider. So those who say NASA cut the feed should look at the statistics. If 50% of the time the thing’s not working, it’s spurious to say that another outage (when there happens to be a UFO in sight) was intentional.

The conspiracy theorists also seem to assume that rows of individuals at the NASA control center are keenly watching the ISS feed, like in the old Apollo days. But whenever I’ve seen a shot of the NASA control room on Earth, it looks like there’s a person, maybe two, sort of passing the time in a largely abandoned, half darkened room, maybe eating some potato chips… hardly sitting there just waiting to hit the CUT button for any UFO footage.— MC

* There are actually two feeds that enthusiasts flip back and forth between. Here’s the second one: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/iss-hdev-payload/pop-out


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Panama Papers whistleblower speaks out


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ETs – We are not alone… or are we?

I think the biggest problem with stories like this is that they assume ET life would be like ours… both in terms of (1) chemical makeup / physical needs and (2) means of communicating.

Many psychics, introverts and mystics claim to be in contact with ETs. The biggest problem with THAT idea is that we can’t really confirm nor deny their claims. They are probably sensing something. But is it their imagination? Or might they be deceived by unfriendly spiritual powers (along the lines of the Christian notion of the discernment of spirits)?

The more I listen to popular talk shows about ETs, the more some sound like cheesy fronts or covers to me. Or maybe just sheer entertainment hucksterism. I can’t be sure, of course, but it seems like the same old types of somewhat clever/somewhat goofy characters keep reappearing on these broadcasts and podcasts, telling the same kind of kooky stories: Long-winded tales about cattle mutilations, bright overhead lights on the highway, etc.

I think ETs could exist. But not necessarily in the anthropomorphic way they’re often portrayed.


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Do “super spies” have parapsychological abilities?

I don’t think there’s necessarily a conspiracy to withhold info about spies who might have psi. That just seems too easy. When you think about it, if spies did have psi abilities, the canniest among them probably wouldn’t talk about it. They’d be lone wolves, reading minds and gathering info at a distance. And in a world where espionage is often internally divided, that would be their secret weapon to stay on top of the heap.

Let’s just hope that if psi spies do exist, they’re on the right side.


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All they wanna do is rule ya (Bruce Cockburn)


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Meet the Former Pentagon Scientist Who Says Psychics Can Help American Spies


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Review – Angels, Demons and Freemasons (DVD)

Reality Films

Are we ruled by a secret society of powerful mystics? Do the Freemasons represent more than just a charitable organization?

Philip Gardiner’s new DVD, Angels, Demons and Freemasons explores these and other intriguing issues, leaving us with just as many questions as answers.

At the heart of Gardiner’s argument is the idea that Freemasonry, along with its hidden rituals and archaic symbolism, embodies centuries of esoteric knowledge once shared among priests, scribes, military elites and the nobility.

Gardiner’s analysis probes deep into the gnostic world of the Egyptian pharaohs, Kabbalistic Judaism, Islamic Sufism, and many types of ancient and medieval alchemy.

All these mystery cults and Freemasonry apparently share one key element—the underground transmission of a stream of covert, illuminated knowledge. And since knowledge is power, those in possession of that knowledge are best positioned to shape the course of history, be it peacefully or through acts of violence.

History demonstrates that individuals have always formed relatively small, hierarchically arranged groups to maximize their power over the masses.

This has been the social dynamic for centuries within Churches and other ruling bodies enjoying both knowledge and power. And so it is today, Gardiner believes, with Freemasonry and some of its allegedly related offshoots.

The contemporary power brokers differ, however, in that neither religion nor nationality figure in their domination. According to Gardiner, the real kingpins of the so-called New World Order are mostly hidden from view and, perhaps equally important, interdenominational and internationally connected.

However, an unanswered question runs throughout this video: Are unique social symbols of the 21st century society, while similar to their ancient roots, consciously (or unconsciously) influencing mankind?

Angels, Demons and Freemasons seems to suggest that the mere presence of these symbols in contemporary artifacts is evidence of secret societies flourishing in the 21st century, replete with esoteric knowledge and power.

English: Jean Baudrillard in 2005

Jean Baudrillard in 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But a postmodern semiotic analysis could interpret things another way.

Jean Baudrillard, for instance, argued that the meaning of signs becomes imploded over time. Although ancient symbols carry on, they take on entirely new meanings (or lack of) in contemporary culture. For Baudrillard we live in the hyperreal consisting of so many distorted or entirely reinvented simulacra. Simulacra are signs once having clear meaning, of all which has changed or vanished in the 21st century.

Not to say that Baudrillard is necessarily correct. One could argue that reinvented signs continue to carry some kind of numinous allure and deeply entrenched significance.¹ For instance, the U.S. dollar bill has the image of a pyramid with an eye in the capstone. And this might make the US bill more appealing on some unconscious level. But is this clear-cut evidence for a secret society operating deep within the US government? Some have argued that, if these societies are so secret, why would they blatantly display their esoteric symbol?¹

Now, to switch gears a little, another point to consider is the New Testament portrayal of Jesus Christ as the King of Heaven, while Satan is deemed the Ruler of This World. Here Gardiner makes the astute observation that practical leaders (and we do need them) ideally possess a healthy balance between mankind’s dual nature of vice and virtue, greed and goodwill.

Organizational leaders are often called upon to make personal sacrifices and difficult compromises in order to render legal decisions among competing interest groups. For Gardiner, this shouldn’t be a free-for-all or raw and brutish survival of the fittest scenario. The wise leader, he says, ideally leans toward the compassionate rather than Machiavellian end of the spectrum.

Concerning personal freedom, theologians might not agree with Gardiner’s view that individual choice is merely the outcome of all preceding influences, a view which seems to omit the possibility of grace and divine intervention while decision making. But these apparent theological differences may be more a matter of semantics than actual difference. For the film closes with an undeniable ray of hope.

Angels, Demons and Freemasons is a thought-provoking film that poses seminal questions about the complexities of power in contemporary society. It should appeal to specialists and intelligent laypersons and serve as a consciousness-raiser for those who, perhaps, put a bit too much stock in what the evening news says.

MC (With minor edits to original of 12/23/09)

¹ (a) See: Is the dollar bill’s eye-on-a-pyramid the symbol of a secret society? http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1064/is-the-dollar-bills-eye-on-a-pyramid-the-symbol-of-a-secret-society .

(b) We can’t assume that ancient simulacra had just one fixed meaning. In ancient Rome, for instance, a huge iron meteorite was a simulacrum (religious representation) of Cybele. But the meaning of Cybele cults was debated and contested, even then.

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