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A Morphological Precedent

Golden_Vimana

Paranormal Novice
I've reviewed the details on both sides of the debate, and unless I'm missing something, for me MJ-12 adds-up to more than a simple fakery to dupe UFO investigators. We'd have to assume that Friedman was in on it, or that if he wasn't, that someone else planted documents in government archives for him to find. So far as I know, to his death, Stan never waivered about his honesty, and that means ( to me ) that some shadowy players went to a lot of effort to deceive him.

Then we have the report from William Puckett who claims he also had copies of the MJ-12 documents. So far as I know, no credible skeptics have come along to admit a hoax either. So that leaves us with an very complex web of deception that IMO isn't likely to be the work of some random anonymous citizen. It seems designed specifically to do one of two things:
  1. To setup UFO researchers for failure in a Robertson Panel like manner ( implying government agents were themselves involved ).
  2. Expose a genuine group using documents that the creator wanted to look as much like the real thing as possible so as to be taken seriously.
Whatever the case, the MJ-12 intrigue points to something I feel intuitively ( and logically ) must be a true. Some people in and/or closely affiliated with Government agencies do indeed know a lot more than they've telling us about alien visitation because they have the evidence and we don't, period.
I agree with you on the dubious nature of the MJ-12 documents, and it really is unfortunate that Stanton literally died on that hill. I would say though that with rogue characters like Doty in existence, there remains the possibility that the documents were hoaxed and planted by someone on the inside. I believe Doty was acting independently, and maybe the MJ-12 documents were also the work of a lone wolf who for whatever reason felt compelled to deceive and sabotage the UFO community. There’s just enough authenticity implied in its composition, formatting, and in the people/places referenced, to indicate that the author may have been at least a retired intelligence agent of some sort. And if that’s the case I hope he’s A: dead by now and B: not a member of The Paracast Forum. I’m not interested in becoming the next Paul Bennewitz haha.
 
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marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Sure, but it's generally assumed that only an Earthlike planet, with similar environments, can foster advanced life so I don't think that makes much difference.
Even on an earth like planet, life could have evolved very differently. We only breathe oxygen because plants evolved photosynthesis, for example. And there's nothing magical about DNA, it's just a fairly stable chemical method for storing information. There's no reason that it would use DNA, or even use base pairs the same way if it did. We only all use the same base pairs simply because we come from a common ancestor that used them that was more reproductively successful than others, for random reasons. Another common ancestor on Earth could have won out instead.

And then even if they did use DNA and the same base pairs, it could have folded proteins right-handed instead of left. All living things on earth fold proteins left-handedly, for random reasons again with the common ancestor. If that common ancestor encoded things right handedly, so would we all. There's nothing inherently better to fold proteins a certain way - you just can't use them if you don't fold proteins the same way.
I don't think anything can happen out there or we'd have found super-extremophiles in the atmosphere of Venus or the surface of Mars.
That's not what I mean. Evolution is not guided. It's random - in fact, a certain kind of random that follows chaos theory, which makes it inherently sensitive to emergent conditions. Like, say, a giant meteor hitting the earth and clearing a path for tree shrews to become primate tool users.

There is absolutely no way life would evolve without panspermia or other interventions to look, sound, or act at all like we do.

Now, with panspermia, different story.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
I've reviewed the details on both sides of the debate, and unless I'm missing something, for me MJ-12 adds-up to more than a simple fakery to dupe UFO investigators. We'd have to assume that Friedman was in on it, or that if he wasn't, that someone else planted documents in government archives for him to find. So far as I know, to his death, Stan never waivered about his honesty, and that means ( to me ) that some shadowy players went to a lot of effort to deceive him.

Then we have the report from William Puckett who claims he also had copies of the MJ-12 documents. So far as I know, no credible skeptics have come along to admit a hoax either. So that leaves us with an very complex web of deception that IMO isn't likely to be the work of some random anonymous citizen. It seems designed specifically to do one of two things:
  1. To setup UFO researchers for failure in a Robertson Panel like manner ( implying government agents were themselves involved ).
  2. Expose a genuine group using documents that the creator wanted to look as much like the real thing as possible so as to be taken seriously.
Whatever the case, the MJ-12 intrigue points to something I feel intuitively ( and logically ) must be a true. Some people in and/or closely affiliated with Government agencies do indeed know a lot more than they've telling us about alien visitation because they have the evidence and we don't, period.
It could be a purposeful deceit, sure.

My point is that the least likely scenario is that MJ-12 is real. There is zero provenance for any of it, even in uncle Stan's wildest dreams.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
It could be a purposeful deceit, sure.

My point is that the least likely scenario is that MJ-12 is real. There is zero provenance for any of it, even in uncle Stan's wildest dreams.
Applying the usual logical analysis, we can identify two possibilities that would allow for the existence of MJ-12 despite the evidence that most ( if not all ) the documents are fabrications.

  1. Some of the info is factually real, as in typical disinformation.
  2. The papers themselves are fabrications by a genuine leak for the purpose of getting civilian researchers to take them seriously enough to start digging into what was the factually real group.

Either one of the two possibilities above allows for the papers to be fabrications, without having to make the extra leap that fabrication = no such group. Given all the intrigue around them, I think that the whole affair was an attempt by someone to put something in the hands of ufology researchers that might shake the tree enough for something genuine to fall out.

Doty and Moore along with Shandera are certainly high on the list of suspects, but something about those guys being the only ones behind it doesn't sit completely right with me.

The sheer amount of effort and time Friedman put into digging through boxes of files trying to verify them suggests that he was being closely monitored over an extended period of time and purposefully manipulated by skilled agents backed by expert forgers who knew exactly how to make the documents look authentic on the surface, but ultimately prove to be fakes.

That all seems like a bit much just to see if they could get a few laughs ( or whatever ). Basically, either they were all in on it for years and managed to play their roles so well that their efforts seemed legit, or the documents, although fabricated, reflect a real group on the inside with real knowledge about alien visitation.

I don't know the answer, but given the events of 1947, I can easily imagine there being such a group, though not exactly as described.
 

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Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
We only breathe oxygen because plants evolved photosynthesis, for example.

Pretty likely for carbon based life, and the alternative--silicon-based--is dubious.

And there's nothing magical about DNA, it's just a fairly stable chemical method for storing information. There's no reason that it would use DNA,

Unless there's a better method, that seems like a pretty good reason...

And then even if they did use DNA and the same base pairs, it could have folded proteins right-handed instead of left. All living things on earth fold proteins left-handedly, for random reasons again with the common ancestor. If that common ancestor encoded things right handedly, so would we all. There's nothing inherently better to fold proteins a certain way

And right handed folding would preclude similar morphologies?


Like, say, a giant meteor hitting the earth and clearing a path for tree shrews to become primate tool users.

So the outcome is the same, regardless of what happens.


There is absolutely no way life would evolve without panspermia or other interventions to look, sound, or act at all like we do.

I just don't buy it. I think given earth-like conditions, life would inevitably converge with ours. UFO humanoids can be taken as evidence of this. I very much doubt entities from our future--assuming time travel is possible at all--would arrive on flying machines.
 

Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
I believe Doty was acting independently, and maybe the MJ-12 documents were also the work of a lone wolf who for whatever reason felt compelled to deceive and sabotage the UFO community.

I don't think the deceivers acted independently of the government. Of course they wanted people to believe that but the bottom line is they served the government's agenda--obscure the truth.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Applying the usual logical analysis, we can identify two possibilities that would allow for the existence of MJ-12 despite the evidence that most ( if not all ) the documents are fabrications.

  1. Some of the info is factually real, as in typical disinformation.
  2. The papers themselves are fabrications by a genuine leak for the purpose of getting civilian researchers to take them seriously enough to start digging into what was the factually real group.

Either one of the two possibilities above allows for the papers to be fabrications, without having to make the extra leap that fabrication = no such group. Given all the intrigue around them, I think that the whole affair was an attempt by someone to put something in the hands of ufology researchers that might shake the tree enough for something genuine to fall out.

Doty and Moore along with Shandera are certainly high on the list of suspects, but something about those guys being the only ones behind it doesn't sit completely right with me.

The sheer amount of effort and time Friedman put into digging through boxes of files trying to verify them suggests that he was being closely monitored over an extended period of time and purposefully manipulated by skilled agents backed by expert forgers who knew exactly how to make the documents look authentic on the surface, but ultimately prove to be fakes.

That all seems like a bit much just to see if they could get a few laughs ( or whatever ). Basically, either they were all in on it for years and managed to play their roles so well that their efforts seemed legit, or the documents, although fabricated, reflect a real group on the inside with real knowledge about alien visitation.

I don't know the answer, but given the events of 1947, I can easily imagine there being such a group, though not exactly as described.
I totally understand what you're saying, and agree... but if the best we can ever get to with something is a "maybe" and the worst we can get to is "totally bunk"... then from a separating signal from noise perspective I call it noise.

Much bigger things to hang your hat on, I think.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Pretty likely for carbon based life, and the alternative--silicon-based--is dubious.
Sure, but even if it's carbon-based it doesn't mean that we'd be cousins. Look at the weird stuff that happened during the Precambrian explosion. 5 eyes, radial symmetry, all kinds of weird stuff that's now totally dead. Any one of those could have won out for random reasons and been our common ancestor.
And then we'd have five eyes or be radially symmetrical instead of two eyes and bilaterally symmetrical.
Unless there's a better method, that seems like a pretty good reason...
Even if you used DNA, you can fold it a bunch of different ways. And then even if you folded it the same way, you wouldn't have to use the same base pairs. You could use six, or eight, or two... and it would still work just fine. And there are other stable long chain molecules that can store information.
And right handed folding would preclude similar morphologies?
That's an interesting question. In theory your morphology could be the same, and everything on Earth would be toxic to you. Space pancakes wouldn't work, for example - and there's lots of grey/fairy lore about food and drinks. Hybridization would be right out, too.
So the outcome is the same, regardless of what happens.
Not really?
I just don't buy it. I think given earth-like conditions, life would inevitably converge with ours. UFO humanoids can be taken as evidence of this. I very much doubt entities from our future--assuming time travel is possible at all--would arrive on flying machines.
Why?

There's no inherent bias towards big headed hairless primates with forward facing eyes. Sharks are far more suited to their niche, for example.

From a purely morphological perspective, if we take greys as an example... well, they're big headed bipedal tool using primates. That sounds a lot like cousins and not at all like, say, a Horta from Star Trek.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I totally understand what you're saying, and agree... but if the best we can ever get to with something is a "maybe" and the worst we can get to is "totally bunk"... then from a separating signal from noise perspective I call it noise.
From a signal to noise perspective, maybe we need to widen our perspective. Maybe the background noise has a message too? Or maybe many researchers are just so tired of hearing about it that it doesn't mean anything to them anymore.
Much bigger things to hang your hat on, I think.
Let's talk about that. I'm more sick of Rendlesham than I am of MJ-12 & Roswell. The rest of the classic cases don't really need revisiting. What ought we be hanging our hats on today? Maybe Breakthrough Listen? UFODAP?
 

Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
Sure, but even if it's carbon-based it doesn't mean that we'd be cousins. Look at the weird stuff that happened during the Precambrian explosion. 5 eyes, radial symmetry, all kinds of weird stuff that's now totally dead. Any one of those could have won out for random reasons and been our common ancestor.
And then we'd have five eyes or be radially symmetrical instead of two eyes and bilaterally symmetrical.

I doubt it. Extinction isn't due solely to random causes. Depending on the environment some designs are more efficient than others.



Even if you used DNA, you can fold it a bunch of different ways. And then even if you folded it the same way, you wouldn't have to use the same base pairs. You could use six, or eight, or two... and it would still work just fine.

But would it be as efficient or cost effective hence persist in the face of competitors?

There's no inherent bias towards big headed hairless primates with forward facing eyes. Sharks are far more suited to their niche, for example.

Of course. Depends on the niche. Humans aren't the only terrestrial life with intelligence but ours is the only earthly morphology which ever established a civilization; none of the others ever came close.

From a purely morphological perspective, if we take greys as an example... well, they're big headed bipedal tool using primates. That sounds a lot like cousins and not at all like, say, a Horta from Star Trek.

If life is abundant in the universe and ours is the only morphology which appears suited to high intelligence or civilization, it's most likely alien life converged with ours, or us. That's the most parsimonious view. We know space travel is possible but not time travel. Generally our "cousins" want us to think they are alien, and humans from the future would not need flying machines to get here.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
I doubt it. Extinction isn't due solely to random causes. Depending on the environment some designs are more efficient than others.
Sure, but by that standard sharks are way more successful than humans will ever likely be. They're basically unchanged for more than a hundred million years. They're nearly perfectly adapted to their environment... and will likely never evolve complex intelligence or tool use.
But would it be as efficient or cost effective hence persist in the face of competitors?
Not necessarily. Evolution doesn't always select the best morphology - just the most reproductively successful one. There's an interesting nuance there, because it means all kinds of stuff can happen, including random things. Like climactic changes, impact events, volcanic events, or even just dumb luck.
Evolution is not guided. To imply there's something specifically best about human-like morphologies implies that evolution itself is guided. Because, well, humans are great at lots of stuff but we have a lot of design flaws, too. Our knees suck and are only kinda designed for bipedalism. Male prostates aren't designed to last for 60+ years. We have a lot of inherent weaknesses that come along with being bipedal, having big skulls, etc.
Of course. Depends on the niche. Humans aren't the only terrestrial life with intelligence but ours is the only earthly morphology which ever established a civilization; none of the others ever came close.
Well I for one would have loved to see a Dino civilization like the Silurians from Doctor Who!
If life is abundant in the universe and ours is the only morphology which appears suited to high intelligence or civilization, it's most likely alien life converged with ours, or us. That's the most parsimonious view. We know space travel is possible but not time travel. Generally our "cousins" want us to think they are alien, and humans from the future would not need flying machines to get here.
I disagree that it's parsimonious - you'd have to account for a driving force not seen at all in Earth's evolutionary history. Some Dinos were bipedal, but they don't seem to be super successful compared to other Dinos, and it certainly didn't stop them from getting wiped out. And they didn't develop tools or civilization as far as we know - and they had 60-100 million years to do so. Quite simply, if Earth hadn't been whacked by a big rock, intelligent life might never have evolved here, even though bipedalism did many times.

So what would that driving force be, and why would it be simpler than the rest of evolution, which is mostly "shit happens?"
 

Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
I disagree that it's parsimonious - you'd have to account for a driving force not seen at all in Earth's evolutionary history.

The "driving force" is just the greater suitability of certain morphologies (and traits) to certain niches. That's why there are so many examples of homoplasy.

Some Dinos were bipedal, but they don't seem to be super successful compared to other Dinos, and it certainly didn't stop them from getting wiped out. And they didn't develop tools or civilization as far as we know - and they had 60-100 million years to do so.

We don't know what might've happened had the Dinos survived. Russell believed Saurornithoides (=Troodon) might've given rise to high intelligence. In any case our remote ancestors already existed around the K-Pg and might've overcome the megafauna in time just like our ancestors did to mammalian megafauna in real life.

There has been a great variety of reported beings associated with UFOs. Most are basically humanoid but even within that group there is great variety--grays, hairy monsters, insect-like beings, nordics etc. Will humanity of the future really be that diverse? ?Origination on a number of different worlds, or deliberate engineering of different types of beings for various missions, seems much more likely. Add to that their arrival in flying machines and the frequent claim to come from elsewhere in our universe.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
The "driving force" is just the greater suitability of certain morphologies (and traits) to certain niches. That's why there are so many examples of homoplasy.
That's true, but not for bipedal big brained primates. There's only one species of that on the Earth as far as we know.

We don't know what might've happened had the Dinos survived. Russell believed Saurornithoides (=Troodon) might've given rise to high intelligence. In any case our remote ancestors already existed around the K-Pg and might've overcome the megafauna in time just like our ancestors did to mammalian megafauna in real life.
The Silurians! Such a cool idea.
There has been a great variety of reported beings associated with UFOs. Most are basically humanoid but even within that group there is great variety--grays, hairy monsters, insect-like beings, nordics etc. Will humanity of the future really be that diverse? ?Origination on a number of different worlds, or deliberate engineering of different types of beings for various missions, seems much more likely. Add to that their arrival in flying machines and the frequent claim to come from elsewhere in our universe.
Yup, there's been a number, for sure. One of my favorites referenced in Hellier (you guys have to watch the series if you haven't) is the Keel report on walking and talking beer can aliens or something.

There's also the possibility I've posted here elsewhere that these entities aren't really evolved at all. They could be grown via nanotech in-situ for specific needs. UFOs could essentially be solid state devices that grow or assemble an avatar to interact with us as needed. This would also give them the ability to endure high-G acceleration without needing fancy inertial dampeners.
 
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marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
You guys might dig this:

The Silurian hypothesis is a thought experiment[1] which assesses modern science's ability to detect evidence of a prior advanced civilization, perhaps several million years ago. In a 2018 paper, Adam Frank, an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester, and Gavin Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, imagined an advanced civilization before humans and pondered whether it would "be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record".[2] They wrote, "While we strongly doubt that any previous industrial civilization existed before our own, asking the question in a formal way that articulates explicitly what evidence for such a civilization might look like raises its own useful questions related both to astrobiology and to Anthropocene studies."[2] The term "Silurian hypothesis" was inspired by the fictional species called the Silurians from the British television series Doctor Who.[1]

According to Frank and Schmidt, since fossilization is relatively rare and little of Earth's exposed surface is from before the quaternary time period, the chances of finding direct evidence of such a civilization, such as technological artifacts, is small. After a great time span, the researchers concluded, contemporary humans would be more likely to find indirect evidence such as anomalies in the chemical composition or isotope ratios of sediments.[3] Objects that could indicate possible evidence of past civilizations include plastics and nuclear wastes residues buried deep underground or on the ocean floor.[2]

Prior civilizations could have gone to space and left artifacts on other celestial bodies, such as the Moon and Mars. Evidence for artifacts on these two worlds would be easier to find than on Earth, where erosion and tectonic activity would erase much of it.[4]

Frank first approached Schmidt to discuss how to detect alien civilizations via their potential impact upon climate through the study of ice cores and tree rings. They both realized that the hypothesis could be expanded and applied to Earth and humanity due to the fact that humans have been in their current form for the past 300,000 years and have had sophisticated technology for only the last few centuries.[5]

 

Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
That's true, but not for bipedal big brained primates. There's only one species of that on the Earth as far as we know.

There were a number of species with relatively big brains prior to ours.

Yup, there's been a number, for sure. One of my favorites referenced in Hellier (you guys have to watch the series if you haven't) is the Keel report on walking and talking beer can aliens or something.

I don't know about talking but aliens like that were reported around '65.

There's also the possibility I've posted here elsewhere that these entities aren't really evolved at all. They could be grown via nanotech in-situ for specific needs. UFOs could essentially be solid state devices that grow or assemble an avatar to interact with us as needed. This would also give them the ability to endure high-G acceleration without needing fancy inertial dampeners.

Sure, many if not most are artificial. The key issue is origin, hinted at by flying machines that go up, among other things.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
There were a number of species with relatively big brains prior to ours.
Well, none of them appeared to be intelligent, have a civilization, or use complex tools. My point about this is that it doesn't appear to be any kind of convergence on the hominid body plan to produce intelligence and civilization in terrestrial history, so why would we think it would be the case generally in other civilizations across the galaxy?
 

henris42

Skilled Investigator
What about this time travel/future humans idea?

For me, I do find the idea ridiculous as an engineer - but I seem to come up to these "Mandela Effects" every now and then. Its not only if the Monopoly Man had a monocle, or or Jaw's girlfriend in James Bond movie had braces... I remember a type of soviet(!) home computers from the 80's , which do not seem to exist anymore... that is just weird.

My vision on the universe has been that we are in an Everett -style multiverse, but in that case we can not have the Mandela Effect, because our history would be always true.

It just makes me wonder.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
What about this time travel/future humans idea?

For me, I do find the idea ridiculous as an engineer - but I seem to come up to these "Mandela Effects" every now and then. Its not only if the Monopoly Man had a monocle, or or Jaw's girlfriend in James Bond movie had braces... I remember a type of soviet(!) home computers from the 80's , which do not seem to exist anymore... that is just weird.

My vision on the universe has been that we are in an Everett -style multiverse, but in that case we can not have the Mandela Effect, because our history would be always true.

It just makes me wonder.
The Mandela Effect isn't so much about our histories being false as it is about our memory about them not matching the recorded history in this realm, in which case, if our memories are accurate, and so is the recorded history here, the only explanation is a multiverse that allows for the transplanting of individuals between universes without them necessarily being aware of it, other than to have these strange experiences.

So it is possible that if you believe your memory is accurate, and so is the recorded history of this particular realm, then you may be one such transplant, along with myself and some not insignificant number of others. Have you ever had a period of missing time?
 

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