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Your Paracast Newsletter — December 16, 2018

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
December 16, 2018

Columnist and UFO Researcher Cheryl Costa Discusses the Nuts and Bolts of the Phenomenon on The Paracast

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This Week's Episode: Gene and Randle present UFO researcher and columnist Cheryl Costa, author of the "New York Skies" column published weekly at SyracuseNewTimes.com. She'll cover the UFO mystery from a nuts and bolts perspective. Cheryl saw her first UFO at age 12. A military veteran, she’s a retired information security professional from the aerospace Industry. She’s been a speaker at the International UFO Congress and at the MUFON Symposium. Besides being a journalist, she’s also a published playwright who holds a bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Empire State College in entertainment writing. She is also co-author of "UFO Sightings Desk Reference: United States of America 2001-2015."

J. Randall Murphy's Ufology Society International: Ufology Society International (USI) - Explore the UFO Phenomenon

After The Paracast -- Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on December 16: On this week’s episode, UFO researcher and columnist Cheryl Costa returns to continue a discussion that started on the December 16, 2018 episode of The Paracast. In this session, she covers the attitudes of U.S. Presidents towards UFOs, and whether those expressing positive views are “set straight” upon taking the Oval Office. She also talks about the elements of UFO evidence that point to a possible extraterrestrial origin. There is also a discussion of consciousness and UFOs, and how meditation might make you sensitive to a higher consciousness. Cheryl writes the “New York Skies" column for SyracuseNewTimes.com.

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Are UFOs Alive?
By Gene Steinberg

To the average believer in flying saucers, they represent advanced metallic aircraft piloted by beings from another planet, orbiting another star system. I’m referring to apparent manufactured devices, although we can only speculate on the construction method.

This concept fits in with the way such transportation devices are built on Earth. They are separate from the beings that pilot them, and most spaceships launched from this planet do not even have living creatures aboard. They are controlled strictly by computers that may or may not communicate with an Earth base station.

For the most part, the sci-fi culture that includes Star Trek and Star Wars treats the means of transportation as separate manufactured devices as well. So does Stargate SG-1 and its spinoffs, which also include the contraption named in the title that allows you to quickly travel from one of these devices to another one on another planet, perhaps in another galaxy.

In the real world, the major tech companies, such as Apple, Alphabet (of which Google is a division) and Microsoft are considering the prospects of AI, artificial intelligence. The most popular manifestation of these developments is the voice assistant, such as Apple’s Siri, which tries, more or less, to respond to your spoken commands.

Today’s most popular tech devices, such as the iPhone, are also capable of machine learning, in which the onboard CPU and associated components are able to more or less store your usage patterns over time. That’s why, for example, I’ll see navigation prompts indicating the distance to what it regards as my home when I’m traveling about.

The onboard computer in Star Trek and similar programs mostly eschews traditional input devices in favor of voice commands. When Scotty says “Computer,” it is ready to obey his commands. It reminds me of what you get from a “Hey Siri.” Well, not entirely.

In the CW-TV super hero romp, “Legends of Tomorrow,” the waverider, a craft capable of space and time travel, is run by an artificial intelligence named Gideon. In some episodes, Gideon’s avatar appears as a beautiful woman.

Again, these devices all contain some form of artificial intelligence, but it is by no means alive; well except for Gideon who conveys the impression of being capable of existing as a separate life form.

But what if the UFOs we see are, themselves, living creatures of some sort?

I first heard of the concept when I met the late zoologist/Fortean researcher Ivan T. Sanderson. UFO author Trevor James Constable, author of such books as “They Live in the Sky,” speculated that some UFOs were actually large amoeba-like creatures that flew about in our atmosphere. But he did not attribute an advanced intelligence to them.

The cult sci-fi drama, “Farscape,” conceived of a race of living spaceships, which, in fact, could spawn children of a sort that would also grow into becoming full-fledged starships. From the inside, such craft, such as Moya, resembled any other spaceship in terms of the crew and accommodations. But flight required some form of communication with its intelligence, which sometimes had a mind of its own.

In passing, I discovered “Farscape” several years after it was originally broadcast. Although typical of space operas, it was partly spoiled by a low budget and the use of muppets for some of the alien creatures. But the same can be said of Yoda, the Jedi master from Star Wars.

In all, the concept of a living spaceship shouldn’t be considered to be way out there. If the pace of AI development continues, at what point does such a machine become sentient? Can highly advanced computer systems mimic the human soul? Would they allow you to broadcast your consciousness into one? It would thus create a machine version of yourself.

Assuming living UFOs don’t manage their own civilizations of interstellar travelers, it’s possible, I suppose, that ET would rather use such machines rather than make the trip in person. It would dispatch them for the purpose of exploration, monitoring their process via sophisticated computer systems. Imaging a sort of “subspace” communication, the ships may even be able to transmit instant 3D images and sound of what it sees in the course of its travels.

Indeed, if we assume physical aircraft here, living or just controlled by advanced computer systems, it may well be that the creatures seen in connection with UFO sightings are also not living in the way we understand living, but are simply robots designed to explore a new planet in more granular detail.

But why would an advanced race prefer to use computers, living or otherwise, to explore Earth and other planets? Is it a matter of safety, the fear that the locals might attack them? What about possible infection by planetary viruses? Indeed, that’s what brought down the otherwise invincible extraterrestrial invaders in the H.G. Wells novel, “War of the Worlds.”

But as I posited last week, not preparing themselves for such dangers would just be foolish, although you wonder what we’re doing to infect the Moon and Mars as the result of our own humble efforts at space travel.

Or maybe ET has developed a “universal vaccine” of some sort that would protect themselves against all known illnesses in the universe.

Perhaps ET is a dying race that no longer cares about traveling beyond its planetary borders. So for entertainment value, it dispatches robotic or living craft to travel to make such voyages. Maybe it’s all about reality shows showing how the locales on a particular world react to their presence. When humans are abducted by possible space beings, maybe it’s not about creating hybrid races or gathering genetic samples. Maybe it’s all about entertainment.

So there are various abduction reality shows in which the population on any planet is deliberately manipulated in some fashion, and the results are monitored to see how they react. Different forms of interaction are employed to create shows with the largest audiences.

In other words, humans may be nothing more than a source of entertainment to them. When ET warns us of our own failings, being warlike and all, it’s not to help us, but rather to see how we react. Do the sometimes pitiful efforts to evangelize ET’s message bring about nothing more than laughter?

Are abductions, if they are what they appear to be, little more than an ET version of the old “Candid Camera” reality show?

But if UFOs are living creatures, perhaps they have their own civilizations and alien motives in visiting us. Maybe we’ll never figure out what they’re really up to.

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