Monday, September 17, 2018
The problem of UFO artefacts, Part 1
Recently, ufology has been abuzz with vitriolic discussions – no, more like arguments – regarding the acquisition and testing of materials thought to be from alien spacecraft. There are many insinuated semantics that cloud the issue, because some advocates insist they “never mentioned aliens.” The reality is that the connection between anomalous artefacts and UFOs is explicitly stated in some cases and implied in others.
In July 2018, for example, the much-celebrated To The Stars Academy (TTSA) announced that it was creating the ADAM (Acquisition & Data Analysis of Materials) Research Project, “an Academic Research Program Focused on Exotic Materials for Technology Innovation.” As TTSA explained: “From time to time, various sources have collected material samples reported to have come from advanced aerospace vehicles of unknown origin (popularly known as UAP – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena - or UFOs.)”
The ADAM project has the admirable goal of studying artefacts from UFOs:
“Given the potential significance of such findings, To The Stars Academy has made it a Tier-1 priority to use its resources to subject these materials to detailed and rigorous scientific evaluation whenever feasible. As soon as TTS Academy is notified that materials are available, a thorough effort will be made to document their origin and credibility, followed by the establishment of chain-of-custody procedures and ownership protocols. In addition to reviewing the materials for their potential significance as evidence of exotic origin, the analysis will evaluate materials for such characteristics as exceptional strength, lightweight build and any unusual advanced properties that potentially could contribute to the development of exciting new technologies in the future.”
TTS Academy's ADAM Research Project… focuses on the collection and scientific evaluation of material samples obtained through reliable reports of advanced aerospace vehicles of unknown origin.
This sounds great! Finally, some tangible evidence from UFOs will be studied by reputable scientists in laboratories, and finally prove that aliens are visiting Earth.
Except, do such artefacts really exist?
Suspected UFO artefacts
A number of ufologists have presented details of known artefacts from UFOs, showing that materials suspected as being made elsewhere than Earth have been known for many years. Jacques Vallee, for example, has presented a list of such objects in his lectures.
His list includes “15 known cases,” only four of which are associated with samples that could be tested in a laboratory. One of these is the set of Ubatuba fragments from 1957 that tests have shown to be very pure magnesium with various other trace elements. One slight problem, which flies completely against the TTSA mandate about chain-of-custody protocols, is that no one really knows the provenance of the Ubatuba fragments. There are no known witnesses to the UFO that dropped them. The actual date of the UFO event is not known, although Vallee gives a date of September 7, 1957. One of the Ubatuba fragments was said to have been from a separate UFO event in 1954. (See, e.g. http://www.ufoevidence.org/Cases/CaseSubarticle.asp?ID=835)
Nevertheless, the goal of the TTSA is to study and analyse UFO artefacts, so the Ubatuba fragments appear to qualify.
Of course, the pieces had already been analysed by a number of labs, one of which was under the purview of no less than the Condon Committee itself. But they didn’t find the samples mysterious.
Ufologist Nick Redfern wrote recently:
There is another important issue, too, which definitely needs addressing. As ufologist Kevin Randle notes: “…the magnesium samples that allegedly came from an exploding UFO cannot be traced to the beach in Brazil where they were recovered. Instead, they can be traced to the columnist in Brazil who first reported the case in the newspaper and that alerted Dr. Olavo Fontes…the APRO Brazilian representative to the crash. No one has ever come forward, nor has anyone been located, who can corroborate the tale told in the letter to the columnist nor who actually saw the explosion or the UFO.”
In other words, we actually have no proof at all that anything exploded over Ubatuba, back in 1957. We have the words of an anonymous source that no-one ever located. And, we have evidence that the sample was something that could clearly be found right here on Earth. Should we dismiss this strange and enduring saga? Probably, yes.
Randle and Redfern don’t seem to think that Ubatuba is a case of an alleged alien artefact.
UFO commentator Red Pill Junkie noted, referring to Peter Sturrock:
In the case of the Ubatuba samples, the researchers found they were composed of magnesium of a very high level of purity, which made them unusual… but not necessarily compelling if what you were looking for was a novel chemical element – i.e. something not of this Earth – which would prove your case that UFOs are interplanetary craft. Eventually both the UFO buffs and the skeptics forgot about the ejecta material, which remained hidden in the drawers or cabinets of the still-puzzled witnesses.
Okay, then, what about other cases?
In an interview published in The Daily Grail, Vallee described the process of analysing UFO fragments:
The kind of spectrometer equipment Prof. Sturrock used in his analysis is very expensive and are under constant use by university researchers. What Dr. Vallee has been quietly doing instead is gathering samples provided to him from less publicized UFO cases, and go to his associates in Silicon Valley where they have newer spectrometers that are smaller and more affordable.
“We found something very curious,” he told us. When analyzing the isotope ratios of these mineral samples, they discovered they neither conformed to the expected terrestrial ratios, nor to the extraterrestrial ones exhibited by meteoric objects. In other words, it almost seemed as if the isotopes had been reengineered, by separating them and giving them an exotic ratio only to reintroduce them into the metal alloy for some unknown reason.
This would be remarkable to say the least, but Vallee cautions: “The implications of this finding, if successfully confirmed by him and other researchers – and he reminds us they are not ready to publish their results yet – are staggering.”
Another TTSA scientist, Garry Nolan, has said that some of the retrieved UFO materials are very strange indeed:
These are not your grandma's alloys. If these materials truly exist - they are going to be found to be metamaterials. Though I call them metamaterials - it's really for lack of a better term. They are probably even more engineered and subtle than that. The science of metamaterials is only a few decades old, but there is a whole ecosystem of new journals growing up around their unexpected and wondrous properties. One way to think about metamaterials is that is, basically, quantum engineering—working with “normal” matter in a way that takes advantage of properties we don’t fully appreciate yet. We draw the physical universe with only 80 elements. I would guess—just hypothesis - that “they” (an advanced civilization) that we might infer can accomplish some of the feats observed by the pilots understand the subtleties of isotopes and design with all 253 stable isotopes. The metamaterials “they” could design would be more subtle and likely encompass a greater understanding of reality and physics than we know now.
The admirable goals of the ADAM Project under the TTSA’s oversight seem pretty good. But within ufology, there are debates as to whether the tested materials are really getting looked at subjectively. The provenance of some of the artefacts is problematic at best. There are concerns that scientists doing the testing might have a pro-alien bias, and that their objectivity could be in question.
Even that article just talks about metamaterials in a general sense and just describes the concepts without being specific about the materials they supposedly found and are supposedly hidden somewhere…. Seriously, I sense bullshit.
Debunker Jason Colavito says this about the TTSA artefact studies:
Puthoff talks about the allegations that so-called “meta-metals” have been recovered that were beyond human technology. “I’d love to talk about really fancy materials, but they’re classified,” he said. Oh, but of course. The existence of non-human spacecraft isn’t a secret, but the fact that they are made of fancy metals is both a secret and one that can be openly admitted in public so long as he doesn’t provide any details at all. That’s some very selective classification.
Quite frankly, it all boils down to whom you want to believe.
Another recent article, in the decidedly mainstream science publication Scientific American, looked at the furore over alien artefacts and went to the extraordinary length of interviewing actual metallurgists. The author had the audacity to question why detailed information on the chemical composition of the artefacts.
One of the authors of the Times report, Ralph Blumenthal, had this to say on MSNBC about the alloys: “They have, as we reported in the paper, some material from these objects that is being studied so that scientists can find what accounts for their amazing properties, this technology of these objects, whatever they are.” When asked what the materials were, Blumenthal responded, “They don't know. They're studying it, but it's some kind of compound that they don't recognize.”
Here's the thing, though: The chemists and metallurgists Live Science spoke to - experts in identifying unusual alloys - don't buy it.
“There are databases of all known phases [of metal], including alloys,” May Nyman, a professor in the Oregon State University Department of Chemistry, told Live Science. Those databases include straightforward techniques for identifying metal alloys.
If an unknown alloy appeared, Nyman said it would be relatively simple to figure out what it was made of.
For crystalline alloys - those in which the mixture of atoms forms an ordered structure - researchers use a technique called X-ray diffraction, Nyman said.
“The X-ray's wavelength is about the same size as the distance between the atoms [of crystalline alloys],” Nyman said, “so that means when the X-rays go into a well-ordered material, they diffract [change shape and intensity] - and from that diffraction [pattern] you can get information that tells you the distance between the atoms, what the atoms are, and how well-ordered the atoms are. It tells you all about the arrangement of your atoms.”
With noncrystalline, amorphous alloys, the process is a bit different, but not by much.
“These are all very standard techniques in research labs, so if we had such mysterious metals, you could take it to any university where research is done, and they could tell you what are the elements and something about the crystalline phase within a few hours,” Nyman said.
What we keep hearing from the private labs testing the materials is that details can’t be released yet because of one reason or another. They want to publish the material, but in their own time.
Unfortunately, this coyness has resulted in increasing suspicion among both debunkers and pro-ufology pundits who find the whole thing rather curious. The slow release (or non-release) of good information about the alien artefacts is causing more disruption than positive expectation, except for some hardcore zealots who are completely devoted to the TTSA. The questioning of their method and plan is being frowned about, and there are many who urge impatient ufologists to “give TTSA a chance, because they must know what they are doing.”
The same old grind?
One of the alien artefacts being hotly debated is Bob White’s piece of feathered material that he picked up following his UFO sighting in 1985, near Grand Junction, Colorado, only about 100 miles away from (where else?) the infamous Skinwalker Ranch.
According to White’s account, he and a companion were driving late at night and had seen an odd light in the sky that seemed to be approaching their car.
We were a few hundred yards from it, when I reached over and shut off the lights on the car. It was a very clear night and there were no other cars on the highway, so it was not dangerous to do so. When we were a few hundred yards from it, I turned off the ignition and we coasted up close to it. It turned out to be on the left side of the highway instead of the right side. It was huge, the size of a very big barn…
I got out of the car on the passenger side and stepped in front of the car for a better look at this thing. For some unknown reason, Jan turned on the headlights, and this light went up in the sky as fast as my eyes could follow it. When it reached a great height, it either changed shape or connected to another light, which looked like two long, blue, tubular, neon lights, one on top of the other with a space in between them. Then I saw another small light, bright orange with a tinge of yellow, white, and blue falling from it. For a minute I thought it was the same light coming back down. It came back down almost to where it started from.
White and his companion thought that whatever had emerged from the object had impacted the ground.
I did not see it hit the ground, because where I was standing there was a small incline. I climbed the incline and went over to where I thought it might have hit. I found a groove in the ground about 18 inches deep and 9 inches wide. I followed the groove and there it lay. I watched it for a while and it was still glowing. I walked back to the car, took the keys from the ignition, and opened the trunk to look for some gloves. There was one brown cotton glove. I went back to the object and it was no longer glowing. I ran my hand over it and since I didn't feel any heat, I picked it up with the glove, carried it back to the car, and put it in the trunk.
White was quick to latch on to the ETH as an explanation.
I have been told by Dr. Reiswick from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Materials, Science and Technology Division, who did the analyzation on it, this object is definitely extra-terrestrial.
The piece of metal is about eight inches in length and looks like a large, silver, “scaly” carrot.
It’s been looked at several times by various labs, but White has been very outspoken against those who say that it’s just a byproduct of metal grinding. His supporters, however, insist that it’s not of this Earth.
His proponents insist:
“This isn’t the smoking gun—this is the bullet!!!!”
Debunkers had a less enthusiastic response:
Production budgets of shows like the History Channel’s UFO Hunters, Unsolved Mysteries, and Jane Goldman Investigates (a series produced in the UK) allowed him to present the object to scientists for testing, with mixed results. While it was easily established to be made of aluminum, it had no apparent working parts. UFO enthusiasts focused on proving its extraterrestrial origin by suggesting the composition of the metal matched nothing on earth. They compared isotope ratios in the object to those of meteors, tried to establish that it emitted unusual radioactivity, or focused on inclusions and trace elements in the metal. No one seemed to wonder why a supposedly sophisticated piece of alien technology looked like it had been unceremoniously hacked off at one end.
The object in question is made of accreted grinding residue. It forms in a manner similar to a common stalagmite when metal castings are “cleaned” on large stationary grinders.
Not many large stalagmites exist as souvenirs anymore because the metal is now so valuable that it is collected and sold for scrap. There is also a concerted effort to keep the grinding guards clean and remove the stalagmites before they grow so large that they break off and destroy the grinder by becoming jammed between the guard and wheel. It is possible that Bob White’s artifact was not identified sooner because few old foundries remain which use the antiquated grinding equipment that produces them. Foundry work in the U.S. has been steadily outsourced to developing nations such as Mexico, China, and India.
White was so convinced that his alien artefact was legit that he gave the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) a small piece of it to test. After all, it was their mandate to look at possible alien evidence, and this should have been a slam dunk.
But alas, this was not to be. NIDS said it was terrestrial.
Results from the analysis of sample #2 are quite conclusive. The specimen is an aluminum-silicon alloy, with a substantial amount of variety of impurities, including iron, calcium, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, magnesium and others. The composition is one that could be used as an aluminum casting alloy… There are no anomalies in the results of this analysis.
White didn’t take that sitting down.
OPEN LETTER TO "NIDS"
National Institute for Discovery Science
FROM BOB WHITE.
Why is it so important for NIDS to debunk what is the smoking gun?
What is their agenda? Why are they so eager to debunk me on and inaccurate analasis? If they are not government funded debunkers shouldn't they want the truth? First person i dealt with at NIDS was Mr. Pete McDuff who tried to discourage me. So he was replaced by Col. John Alexander (retired) who also tried to discourage me but failed. Now Col. Alexander is replaced by Dr. Colm Kelleher who is trying to discourage me but will also fail. No one can discourage the truth.
On his website, he posited some alternative view to that of NIDS:
When Bob White found an object ejected from a UFO he recovered hard evidence of the existence of non-conventional aerial craft.
The object is a metal glob with an appearance of metal that was previously liquid and solidified as it cooled and fell to the ground.
Laboratory analysis has shown the object to be mostly aluminum but with unusual characteristics. The object also was reported to emit energy that intereferred with electronics.
However, the object has not been shown to be extraterrestrial nor has it been proven to be a from an alien space ship. It could be from a US military ship.
Nazi scientists brought to the US under Operation Paperclip and other secret programs continued their research on advanced aircraft and propulsion systems. One of those propulsion systems used liquid metal. Former US military intelligence officer John Alexander has privately claimed that US flying saucers use liquid metal as part of their propulsion system.
It is possible that Bob was the unwitting victim of a disinformation campaign designed to encourage belief in alien visitors.
The bottom line is that advocates of alien artefacts insist that such materials are bona fide and that any tests suggesting they are not are either in error or are misrepresenting the facts. And anyone who asks questions or doubts them are, therefore, debunkers. (And in the case of Bob White, such actions are proof of cover-up.)