|UFOs On TV! |
Green Murder, Rosetta Flyby,
Saturnian Dragon, New Raptor,
Haptic Cells, North Pole & More!
|UFOs On TV!|
Check out the latest NUFORC reports at http://www.nuforc.org
Jennings, who also executive produced the ABC special, managed to present various facets of UFO history in a straight forward manner and with a straight face (although he did visit Jon Stewart's Daily Show the night before for a few laughs.)
The history lesson was far better organized than previous TV attempts, notably recent shabby UFO specials on Sci Fi Channel and the continuous rehashing of old UFO documentaries on the History Channel.
There was no mention of reported ancient sightings (Ezekiel's wheel in the Bible, for example) and The X-Files began on Fox in 1993, not in 1995 as Jennings said.
UFO: Seeing is Believing also inexplicably re-assigned Project Blue Book to the late 1960s when it actually began in 1951.
There was no mention at all of Erich von Däniken's "Chariots of the Gods", admittedly a rather silly book that nevertheless once captured the best-seller list, exploded public interest in extraterrestrial visits and won the tweedy author an interview with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.
There was no mention of the much-reported 2004 Mexican Air Force sightings over Mexico.
Mr. Jennings interviewed lots of people. Some, like radio icon Art Bell, are familiar faces to the UFO crowd but ABC also corralled a number of lesser known scientists and professionals.
There was nothing new in the parade of believers and non-believers defending and doubting the existence of extraterrestrial flybys.
Jennings didn't ask Jimmy Carter, although he did allude to the former US president's UFO experience. There was no mention of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, towels or Vogon poetry. They didn't ask Bill Shatner what he thought either. (Denny Crane!)
ABC did present several earnest victims of alien abductions in sympathetic fashion but minus any illustrations of the abductors or their spacecraft. This was a clever workaround.
A similar group of abductees Sci Fi gave us during their Taken mini-series promotion was far less credible because of the wild range of such descriptions. All of the aliens in the Sci Fi report were notably unique, from the small big-eyed "grays" (everybody knows them now as the Asgard in Sci Fi's Stargate SG1) to big lurking tall guys with long fingers.
Variety is where UFO reports usually come apart, of course. A quick look at incoming NUFORC data for February 2005 reveals sightings of a green light, a cylindrical object with small white and red lights, a silver spinning football shaped object, a bight blue fireball object, a light orange object, a tiny reddish dot, a traditional cigar-shaped object, a Huge Black Triangle, a circle of pale green lights, a shiny chrome metallic craft and two diamonds flying in the sky.
Earth, it seems, has become a tourist attraction for visiting spaceships from all over the galaxy (and perhaps beyond!)
But the tone of Mr. Jennings' entirely non-conclusive report indicated that there is no reason to dismiss the UFO phenomenon as some sort of mass hallucination either.
As one scientist working on a Paul Allen-sponsored galactic search for life pointed out, although the chances of finding life out there by listening for it are slim, the chances of finding it without listening are zero.
Ah! I get it! The odds of seeing a flying saucer increase if you believe there could be flying saucers!
The chances of selling a UFO related product also follow a similar logic.
Some might wonder, given the success of ABC's Lost, if the network could be on a fishing expedition with UFO: Seeing is Believing?
Maybe if enough viewers in the right demographic Want To Believe, ABC will bank on a new generation of alien hunters next fall?
[eXoNews has lots of UFO stories available in our archives - some with neat fake pictures - Search eXoNews for more! Ed.]
|eXoNews Pix of the Week Dept.|
|Green Murder: 2nd Environmentalist Murdered!|
By Rodrigo Gaier
She was gunned down in a suspected contract killing by illegal loggers and ranchers encroaching on a federal peasant farming reserve she helped establish in the state of Para.
"This business of shutting up ecologists and environmentalists with violence, it's not going to stop," said Edson Bedin, head of Brazil's federal environmental agency IBAMA in Rio de Janeiro state, which operates the reserve. "Threats against agents, workers have become routine."
|Bush Ignores Science, Hurts Earth|
|By Paul Recer |
WASHINGTON February 23, 2005 (AP) — The voice of science is being stifled in the Bush administration, with fewer scientists heard in policy discussions and money for research and advanced training being cut, according to panelists at a national science meeting.
Speakers at the national meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science expressed concern Sunday that some scientists in key federal agencies are being ignored or even pressured to change study conclusions that don't support policy positions.
The speakers also said that Bush's proposed 2005 federal budget is slashing spending for basic research and reducing investments in education designed to produce the nation's future scientists.
And there also was concern that increased restrictions and requirements for obtaining visas is diminishing the flow to the U.S. of foreign-born science students who have long been a major part of the American research community.
Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, said the Bush administration has cut scientists out of some of the policy-making processes, particularly on environmental issues.
"In previous administrations, scientists were always at the table when regulations were being developed," she said. "Science never had the last voice, but it had a voice."
Issues on global warming, for instance, that achieved a firm scientific consensus in earlier years are now being questioned by Bush policy makers. Proven, widely accepted research is being ignored or disputed, she said.
Government policy papers issued prior to the Bush years moved beyond questioning the validity of global warming science and addressed ways of confronting or dealing with climate change.
Under Bush, said Bierbaum, the questioning of the proven science has become more important than finding ways to cope with climate change.
One result of such actions, said Neal Lane of Rice University, a former director of the National Science Foundation, is that "we don't really have a policy right now to deal with what everybody agrees is a serious problem."
Among scientists, said Lane, "there is quite a consensus in place that the Earth is warming and that humans are responsible for a considerable part of that" through the burning of fossil fuels.
And the science is clear, he said, that without action to control fossil fuel use, the warming will get worse and there will be climate events that "our species has not experienced before."
Asked for comment, White House spokesman Ken Lisaius said, "The president makes policy decisions based on what the best policies for the country are, not politics. People who suggest otherwise are ill-informed."
Kurt Gottfried of Cornell University and the Union of Concerned Scientists said a survey of scientists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that about 42 percent said they felt pressured to not report publicly any findings that do not agree with Bush policies on endangered species. He said almost a third of the Fish and Wildlife researchers said they were even pressured not to express within the agency any views in conflict with the Bush policies.
"This administration has distanced itself from scientific information," said Gottfried. He said this is part of a larger effort to let politics dominate pure science.
He said scientists in the Environmental Protection Agency have been pressured to change their research to keep it consistent with the Bush political position on environmental issues.
Because of such actions, he said, it has become more difficult for federal agencies to attract and retain top scientific talent. This becomes a critical issue, said Gottfried, because about 35 percent of EPA scientists will retire soon and the Bush administration can "mold the staff" of the agency through the hiring process.
Federal spending for research and development is significantly reduced under the proposed 2005 Bush budget, the speakers said.
"Overall the R&D budget is bad news," said Bierbaum.
She said the National Science Foundation funds for graduate students and for kindergarten through high school education has been slashed.
NASA has gotten a budget boost, but most of the new money will be going to the space shuttle, space station and Bush's plan to explore the moon and Mars. What is suffering is the space agency's scientific research efforts, she said.
"Moon and Mars is basically going to eat everybody's lunch," she said.
Lane said Bush's moon and Mars exploration effort has not excited the public and has no clear goals or plans.
He said Bush's moon-Mars initiative "was poorly carried out and the budget is not there to do the job so science (at NASA) will really get hurt."
|ESA's Rosetta Flies by Earth On the Way to Comet 67P|
European Space Agency News Release
Read on for details of ESA's 'Rosetta Up Close' photo contest.
On the evening of the closest approach, sky watchers in Europe will be favorably placed to follow this event using smaller telescopes or binoculars. Unfortunately, Rosetta is not expected to become visible to the naked eye from Europe as it will still be about 10 000 kilometers away until it disappears below the horizon.
Rosetta is scheduled to fly past two asteroids, Steins in September 2008 and Lutetia in July 2010, during which this tracking mode will be used to keep the spacecraft instruments centered on target.
|The Saturnian Dragon|
NASA News Release
|Mystery Tiger Shot and Killed in LA|
|LOS ANGELES February 24, 2005 (Reuters) — Wildlife officials shot and killed a tiger Wednesday that had been roaming loose for 10 days near homes in rugged terrain, north of Los Angeles. |
Prints left by a large wild cat had been spotted for more than a week near the hilly Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks residential areas.
California wildlife officials said they were called in early Wednesday morning when a homeowner saw the tiger on the edge of a housing development in Moor Park, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The tiger, thought to weigh between 400 and 600 pounds, was shot several hundred yards away from soccer and baseball fields.
"We had set traps and we were prepared to use tranquilizers. But unfortunately it was spotted in an area not far away from a shopping center, a highway and a residential area and we didn't feel we could risk having someone hurt," said Lorna Bernard, spokeswoman for the Department of Fish and Game.
Officials with the Department of Fish and Game said no one had reported losing a tiger and they have been unable so far to determine where it came from. Tigers and other exotic cats can be kept by permit in California if safety conditions are met.
|Patagonian Raptor Found!|
Ohio State University News Release
Because Neuquenraptor was found in Patagonia, it must have lived on Gondwana, Pol said. All other verified species of raptor have been found on land that was once Laurasia.
"That's what was most striking," Pol said. "Given the geographic location, you wouldn't expect to find a raptor there. So from the beginning we knew we had an interesting finding."
"And they all date to a time way after the splitting of the two land masses."
|Diesel Exhaust Kills 20,000 a Year|
By Devlin Barrett
|Haptic Cell Phones Can Slap You?|
By Celeste Biever
Welcome to the world of haptics - the technology of recreating touch and texture through artificial stimuli.
These devices give you a sense of how good a virtual golfing shot was from the force feedback on the joystick, or let you feel how close you are to being run off the road in racing games.
|Bono and the Pope Among Nobel Prize Contenders|
OSLO February 24, 2005 (AFP) - A record 199 individuals and organizations have been nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Institute said, with Irish U2 rock star Bono, Pope John Paul II and Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko in the running.
|North Pole Mystery Solved!|
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona News Release
But the drop in average temperatures is not enough to explain why so much ice built up and has remained to this day. For many years, scientists have been speculating on what caused this accumulation of ice and have proposed many theories.
But what brought about this difference in temperatures? The researchers are the first to find evidence showing that this was caused by the stratification of ocean water, due to an increase in freshwater. This means that water mixed less than previously, forming layers of different densities in different strata and at different depths. When spring came, the layers closest to the surface began to heat up. Since the water did not mix, the temperature of those layers continued to rise, and increasing amounts of water evaporated. During the summer months, this effect intensified, as higher temperatures increase stratification; in winter, however, the water began mixing again, and temperatures dropped more than in previous years.
|Genre News: Joss Meets Wonder Woman, Trek Protests, Terry O'Quinn, Charmed, Battlestar & Simone Simon|
Hollywood February 26, 2005 (eXoNews) - The web is abuzz from reports on Dark Horizon and in The New York Post and TV Guide that Buffy / Angel creator Joss Whedon is being sought by producer Joel Silver for the big screen version of Wonder Woman.
Makes sense. Who in Tinseltown is better equipped to reinvent the comics' original empowered female? Got to wonder about Silver's rumored choices for leading lady being Jessica Biel (23) and Kim Basinger (52) though, as former Whedon co-star Charisma Carpenter (35 - can that be true?) previously announced her intention to kill for the part of the super Amazon queen if necessary.
Seems like Kim is a little too old (unless we're going for a Dark Wonder sort of thing here.)
If Joss needs someone to play Jessica or Charisma's mom he should just ask Lynda Carter. I know I would.
That's right, kids, WW has a secret identity! So who do you think looks best in glasses?
LOS ANGELES February 25, 2005 (Reuters) - "Star Trek" fans from around the world gathered at the gates of Paramount Studios in Hollywood on Friday to protest the impending cancellation of the television series "Star Trek: Enterprise."
The current series is something of a prequel, set in the earlier days of human space exploration and the "Star Trek" universe, well before those other series took place.
NEW YORK February 24, 2005 (AP) - As the mysterious Locke on ABC's suspenseful "Lost," Terry O'Quinn glories in his rich role. Locke, of course, was stranded on a tropical island with dozens of other passengers after their jetliner crashed in the opener.
Or is he just a nut job acting out a long Wild Man Weekend? Or a psycho ready to blow?
On "Lost," O'Quinn joined an enormous cast of featured regulars who also include Matthew Fox (as a sexy doctor), Evangeline Lilly (a dishy jailbird), Dominic Monaghan (a rock-star junkie), Jorge Garcia (a fat guy who says "Dude" a lot), Naveen Andrews (a terrorist?) and eight others. In all, there are supposedly 48 refugees trying to gain rescue and, in the meantime, forge some semblance of a civilized community.
The pilot was shot there a year ago. Then filming resumed July 15, which happened to be O'Quinn's 52nd birthday.
A native of a small town on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, O'Quinn fell into acting in his teens, then, as his college graduation neared, "I didn't want to look for a real job. So I decided to see if I could make it as an actor."
With a sudden need for riding lessons, he tracked down Lori, an instructor on her family's farm outside the city.
San Francisco February 24, 2005 (Sci Fi Wire) - Julian McMahon, who will reprise the role of Cole in an upcoming episode of The WB's Charmed, told SCI FI Wire that his reappearance bookends his involvement with the show.
JERUSALEM February 24, 2005 (AP) - Dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jewish worshippers confronted Natalie Portman and her co-star, objecting to the couple kissing during the filming of a scene beside Jerusalem's Western Wall.
Battlestar Officially Renewed
LOS ANGELES February 23, 2005 (Zap2it.com) Although regularly described in reviews as a science fiction show for people who hate science fiction, "Battlestar Galactica" is getting much love from the good people at the Sci Fi Channel. The NBC Universal Cable entity has ordered a second season of "Galactica," allowing the remake to already top the season run of its '70s predecessor.
The original series, which featured Richard Hatch (a guest star on the update), Dirk Benedict and Lorne Greene, premiered in 1978 and lasted for a single 24-episode season.
Dirty Harry - The Video Game?
PARIS February 24, 2005 (AP) - French screen star Simone Simon, best known for her delicate beauty and lead role in the 1942 thriller "Cat People," has died. She was 93.
Her first major role came in 1938 in Jean Renoir's "La bete humaine" (The Human Beast), a movie adaptation of the novel by Emile Zola. She starred opposite legendary French actor Jean Gabin, famously telling him: "Don't look at me that way, you're going to wear out your eyes."
She made her very last movie appearance in the 1973 film "La Femme en Bleu."
"We will keep in memory for a long time the trace of that indefinable something that made this very beautiful actress so endearing."
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