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Churchill Accused of Sealing UFO Files, Fearing Public Panic 615

Posted by samzenpus
from the truth-is-out-there-in-that-filing-cabinet dept.
Newly released secret files show that Winston Churchill ordered a cover-up of an alleged encounter between a UFO and a RAF bomber because he feared public panic. From the article: "Mr Churchill is reported to have made a declaration to the effect of the following: 'This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one's belief in the Church.'"
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Churchill Accused of Sealing UFO Files, Fearing Public Panic

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  • blah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:38PM (#33152146) Homepage

    FTFS:

    This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic among the general population and destroy one's belief in the Church.

    One can take the bolded section in one of two ways:

    1. If you believe in god, why would the existence of aliens prove that god doesn't exist?

    Or

    2. Why would you deny evidence in front of you?

  • Re:blah (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:42PM (#33152204)

    Because religious bigot are usually stupid, with a hard belief of that shitty "BELIEVE WITHOUT SEEING" propagandha used by every cultist to force people onto their sect.

  • Re:blah (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:44PM (#33152224)

    Aliens would substantiate the theory of evolution, which uses as an implicit premise that God doesn't really exist, it was just all random chance, we're all just a bunch of molecules, blah blah blah.

    Never mind that evolution is a theory ...

  • by joeflies (529536) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:45PM (#33152228)
    The world is too caught up that the Earth is the one place for any type of life in the universe, we're not prepared to deal with other possibilities. I think that even the course that NASA is demonstrating now - proving that it's possible that there was water on Mars, opening up the possibility of a discovery of some type of life perhaps long extinct - is preparing the general public to slowly get ready to the idea that there's the existiance of extraterrestrial life. Tin foil hat time - Perhaps NASA already knows that this life exists, but they need to get the public ready for acceptance of it by slowly introducing more and more evidence so that society doesn't lose its marbles.
  • Well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ch-chuck (9622) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:46PM (#33152250) Homepage

    They told the London populace that German V-2 impacts were 'gas pipe' explosions to keep panic down.

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alen (225700) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:56PM (#33152376)

    and the germans had secret experimental jet and stealth aircraft at the time that were never produced in volume due to the allies bombing the germans' industrial capabilities. Northrop had test versions of what is now the B2 back before world war 2 but it had problems back then which is why it took so long to finally make a flying wing design.

  • Re:blah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ashkar (319969) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:58PM (#33152418)

    Admirable as it is that you chose not to retain your culture's superstitions and follow a more logical path, I'm sure that your ignorance shines through in many other areas. I'm just trying to suggest that you be a little less critical and quick to judge. Most people follow a faith because it provides them with direction and meaning, not because they necessarily believe everything they are taught. I generally support religion for this very reason. Nihilism in our lower classes leads to much worse situations than a little faith.

  • Re:blah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kalirion (728907) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:04PM (#33152478)

    One can take the bolded section in one of two ways:

    1. If you believe in god, why would the existence of aliens prove that god doesn't exist?

    Or

    2. Why would you deny evidence in front of you?

    "Belief in God" is quite different from "Belief in what the Church tells you."

  • Re:blah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rickb928 (945187) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:08PM (#33152540) Homepage Journal

    "Unfortunately, religion is not about evidence, it's about faith."

    True, but some come to faith by evidence.

    "Which is why religion has caused humanity so much suffering over the milleniums."

    Suffering is the human condition. Religion is merely one of the 'causes', and perhaps not the most common or greatest.

    And some believers find solace and comfort, even relief, from their religion.

  • Re:blah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rolandog (834340) <rolandog@gmail.com> on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:12PM (#33152606) Homepage Journal

    And in the part about Noah's Ark, it is never mentioned that Noah rounded up two aliens.

    Why would the aliens have needed to be inside Noah's Ark to survive? They were else-where, cruising through the Universe...

  • Re:blah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:13PM (#33152640)

    Because it might validate theories such as this [wikipedia.org], which scares the hell out of established religion. [wikipedia.org] Which all more or less ignores the fact that almost ALL regions before modern religions, had the same beliefs with only variations in back history and that these back histories clearly document both technology and aliens; aka gods of the stars.

  • Re:blah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rgviza (1303161) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:14PM (#33152662)

    Darwin's theory of evolution is a conclusion based on a collection of empirical observations. Darwin never theorized why or how it occurred. He never theorized about it beyond "evolution happens, here's what I've observed that makes me think so". Knowledge of DNA and mutations were still quite a way off in the future.

    So in reality there's a lot of truth to it. He didn't make up his observations. They can still be observed today. Selective breeding artificially creates evolution every day. Has been for thousands of years since man domesticated the dog. Evolution can be demonstrated. If you own a dog you own a product of experimental evolution since without man that dog would still be a wolf.

    Why and how it occurs in nature is still relatively unknown.

  • Re:blah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by darien.train (1752510) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:22PM (#33152790) Journal
    It's not that he didn't want her to hear the word. He didn't want her pledging to a god neither he nor she believed in. Apparently the religious are extremely ignorant in legal matters (see it sounds stupid the other way around too.)
  • by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {etreufamla}> on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:35PM (#33152992)

    Except that never happened, at least not at that scale, at all. Just fantasy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worlds_(radio)#Public_reaction [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:blah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gothzilla (676407) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:48PM (#33153184)

    That's called a testimony, when you tell others about your own experiences, beliefs and faith. Are you suggesting that there's something wrong with sharing your own personal life experiences to others, regardless of what they are?

    To gain your own belief and faith you have to pray and experience it for yourself. In Christianity there is no such thing as faith through hearsay. It also helps if you actually study your own religion and understand it. So many don't.

    God gave us the freedom to make our own choices in life and some people make very poor ones, including the choice to use religion for their own purposes or try and force others to believe as they do. You can't judge a religion by looking at those who don't follow it's rules.

    I'm confronted with people who try and force their beliefs down my throat all the time. Vegetarians, vegans, gays, straights, liberals, libertarians, conservatives, and many others are far more guilty of it than Christians. It used to be the other way around but the last 10 years has changed that. I get harassed for eating meat by vegans 50 times for every one time I get harassed by a Christian.

  • Re:blah (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @02:50PM (#33153210)

    Or, a large majority of atheist and agnostics are those who have previously been steeped in religion, but have come to see the through the facade. I am one such individual, raised souther baptists (gasp) dated the preachers daughter, and can still to this day debate theology with the best of preachers. But then I saw the world, and determined that if there is a god, he is one fucked up individual who I dont want to serve anyway, and that as Christopher Hitchens puts it, religion poisins everything. The majority of this is my travelling of the world and fighting in Iraq, to determine that we as humans are despicable things, with good people being the exception and not the rule. See through the lies of the church you people who throw away logic and ration for faith and belief. The most convincing argument I hear, but one that is still flawed, is that someone religion is completely false, but it is an evolutionary outlet for us to cope and comprehend the unknown, which basically boils down to actively pursueing the old saying that ignorance is bliss.

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @03:10PM (#33153448)

    You clearly did not, "think about it". Not at all. Not in the least.

    Think about the technology required for interstellar travel. Think about the power required to do so. Think about the resources required to allow such a science.

    Space is not empty. It in itself is full of resources. If you have the energy for interstellar travel, you have access to unlimited resources. Concepts such as Terraforming and whatnot become easily within reach.

    Hell, if we simply had higher energy densities readily available, the entire solar system would become a HUGE resource pool over night. Afterwards, two planets immediately become available as Terraforming candidates (Mars and Venus) - and that's even before interstellar travel enters the equation.

    Seriously, actually think about the implications of a society not needing resources. Our entire society is built around the concepts of resource acquisition and trade. What happens after that is no longer an societal imperative? I'll tell you what; explorers, teachers, and observers.

    If you've managed interstellar travel and have not reached that level of societal maturity, then it suggestion interstellar travel is dramatically easier and less energy/resource intensive than we all currently believe it to be.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @03:14PM (#33153488) Homepage Journal

    I'll throw one simple belief into the fray:

    The sheer quantity of power required for interstellar flight is so tremendous that if members of a species have too much (How much is too much? I don't know, but I strongly suspect that we're well over the limit right now.) tendency to kill each other, that species will self-destruct before achieving interstellar flight.

    Therefore I suggest that any interstellar travelers that find us will be peaceful.

    One extra supposition is needed - that this is relatively independent of psychology. Some have proposed the rabidly xenophobic hive-mind as a way to be peaceful enough to achieve interstellar travel, yet remain warlike toward what they find out there. I would argue that before you achieve interstellar flight, you've got to get to interplanetary flight. Hive minds remain hive minds through close communication. The bigger supposition is that hive minds cannot remain intact at large (relative to C) distances - they lose the tight communication needed. You wind up with two hive minds talking to each other. What's more, you likely have two hive minds in radically different environments with attending radically different needs. At some point the xenophobia kicks in.

    This leads to a few more things...

    Once you have the technology for interstellar flight, you don't really need planets, or at least not habitable ones. You certainly need mass, and you certainly need metal, but those can come from comets, asteroids, and other uninhabitable places.

    Chances are very good that you're no longer biological. The demands, hazards, and logistics of moving a body around our own solar system are tough enough. Interstellar flight is that much tougher. Assuming we reach Ray's Singularity, we'll simply send Turing images of ourselves. Much simpler, plus you can either turn yourself off or slow your time perception during the boring parts of the trip.

    I also think that planets like ours would remain interesting to interstellar travelers. You don't get our there without curiosity, and there would be a kind of historical interest in planetary life. At the same time, when you study something you try not to interfere with it - you try to minimize our effect on the system, unless you're doing a deliberate cause-effect experiment.

    Perhaps one of the greatest hazards would be some primitive species getting technology that it's not psychologically ready to have. If we were to find and reverse-engineer a functional starship, we might get out there before we've learned to behave ourselves. This bunks my whole argument - give/stolen, as opposed to self-developed interstellar travel.

    Put this together, and you're likely to see interstellar travelers being very careful to avoid contact - something like the Prime Directive. The "test" of developing a warp drive as a requisite for first contact also makes sense in this light. Perhaps the Vulcans had the Right Stuff in their cargo bay to turn the Earth into a cinder had they been too disappointed in us.

    Given that we've been detecting extrasolar planets for a number of years, getting better by the year, it's easy to believe that an interstellar species could detect the Earth and tell that it has life, if they have a suitably clear (not obscured by too much dust or other stars) view.

    So imagine a mission out there in the asteroid belt, a loose association of Turing images from planets around other stars, watching us. They used to be closer, but as our technology has advanced, they've had to move further out. Of course listening to our communications has given still more information perhaps, than they could get before. Imagine for a moment that after hours, they wear their virtual bodies, gather in a virtual bar, and talk about us, perhaps taking bets on how long it'll take us to either destroy ourselves or overcome our juvenile impulses. Maybe they liked "Star Wars", and the virtual bar is straight out of the Mos Eisley Cantina.

  • Re:blah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GooberToo (74388) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @03:25PM (#33153608)

    Here is a spoiler alert for all in cyber world and those that believe in tooth fairy like tales. I had complete electrical system heart failure a month & 1/2 ago. I died but kept alive through CPR and later revived. There is no light to "go to" as promoted through hollywood and hearsay. When the switch goes off, so do the lights. The dead know nothing. I know this for a fact, I went there ..

    It has to do with very specific stimulation of the brain. Some people experience it. Most do not. It can be readily created in the lab. Basically your testimony, in this regard, has no basis for commentary on anything as its scientifically proven the, "into the light", phenomenon exists. This is not to say you should believe one way or the other, but your experience proves nothing, one way or the other.

    P.S. Welcome back!

  • Re:blah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by adamstew (909658) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @03:40PM (#33153802)

    Non-religious and strict Atheists tend to have a strong aversion to anything that exists on "faith" and denies reason in strict scientific terms. These are the kinds of people that absolutely won't believe in the medicinal properties of herbs (really, how do you think medicine got invented? We noticed X + Y vegetable cures chronic pain, and 2000 years later some scientist isolated chemicals that he packaged into a pill as a pain killer...), won't believe that meditation helps reduce stress (non-scientific bullshit, you could just sleep...), etc; anything that doesn't sound like it came out of a lab coat is obvious bullshit.

    I identify myself as what you call a "Non-religious strict athiest" and I don't agree with your statement here.

    I do believe that herbs can provide limited healing powers, in the same way that other over-the-counter and prescription drugs can. As you said, herbs are where almost all drugs have their origins from. I, for one, find a hot cup of decaf tea to be very relaxing. What I don't believe in is snake-oil, miracle cures, and their like...

    It has also been proven that meditation can help with stress. The act of meditation causes your brain to release endorphins that cause your body to change. Meditation can also be healing in that the reduced stress levels help to boost your immune system.

    As an athiest, I do believe in spiritualism. Spiritualism in the sense that you can train your mind to have positive effects on your body, and train your mind to help achieve clarity of perception and understanding of your life, body and it's surroundings.

    As an athiest, I do NOT believe in a god(s), an afterlife, ghosts, or anything super natural. This includes: Faith healers, heaven/hell, vampires/werewolves, prayer, divine intervention, creationism, etc.

  • Re:blah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tixxit (1107127) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @03:56PM (#33154020)
    Yet I'm still more than just a complicated chemical reaction, billions of years in the making. Our "self awareness" is not something that can be explained away with current science. Yes, as an outside observer looking in at everyone else, it makes perfect sense; humans (and all animals) are just complicated machines, a bunch of inputs and outputs controlled by a lump of grey matter. But, there is still something there that disconnects you from everyone else; trapped in your head for your ~80 years. I'm not saying this is a soul, but calling people childish, who are merely trying to name something we clearly don't understand, is silly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @07:02PM (#33155820)

    I find your open-mindedness and unique perspectives refreshing.

    However, about reincarnation, I would urge you to read this: http://www.amazon.com/Many-Lives-Masters-Prominent-Psychiatrist/dp/0671657860
    It may give some insight into what is so misunderstood, both by "believers" and by "deniers".

    In fact, the concept of reincarnation actually solves alot of puzzles about who we are, and why we experience what we do. Why some people have it "easy" and others seem to attract crisis, pain and depression, even murder or crimes. Why certain people are important to us in this lifetime while others aren't. Nothing else can explain things like that like reincarnation might, which is deeply linked with karma (a topic that could cover entire libraries of books in itself and is linked with all of life's most important topics).

    If mind and the body is energy. Why would it be impossible that the energy patterns (mind) can outlive the body (matter)? In fact, it is more probable than not, but I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to find the reasons for that.

    Let's find the truth in the calmness in between these agitated states of mind of "believing" and "denial", and discuss important matters with interest, enthusiasm and curiosity!

    Also, a book called "Lives between lives" I think, is also nice and elaborates on interviews with people having experienced death. There seems to be common traits to the death-process, across cultures, traditions and ages, even among so-called "atheists"..

  • Re:blah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @07:14PM (#33155948)

    > I get harassed for eating meat by vegans 50 times for every one time I get harassed by a Christian.

    The way to shut the Vegans up is to ask "Say, could you tell me what happens if a human baby isn't breastfed or doesn't have milk in the first few months?"

    Any time you take any ideology to its logical conclusion, you end up with fanaticism. Pity that the vocal Vegans are too blind to see this...

  • Re:blah (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AlamedaStone (114462) on Friday August 06, 2010 @04:42AM (#33158990)

    I have never seen any creditable study
    made up shit on pro gay sites
    but the truth is

    A plethora of credible studies are available literally at the touch of a button, many of them suggesting a biological component to homosexuality. I suppose your findings are dependent on your definition of credible, and since you declare that you know "the truth", you may not be open to contradictory evidence.

    Here are a few I found just now, but I'm sure you can let your fingers do their own walking if you are interested.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3008-homosexuality-is-biological-suggests-gay-sheep-study.html [newscientist.com]

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/scotts/ftp/bulgarians/nih-ngltf.html [cmu.edu]

    http://allpsych.com/journal/homosexuality.html [allpsych.com]

  • Re:blah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday August 06, 2010 @07:59AM (#33159722) Journal

    The vast majority of people find homosexuality objectionable

    Who does? You and your two redneck friends?

    Of people I personally know, none find homosexuality any more objectionable than porn.

    Oh, I guess you find porn objectionable, too. Poor guy.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Friday August 06, 2010 @08:29AM (#33159968) Homepage Journal

    There's still a big difference between interplanetary and interstellar travel. Assuming they've managed to leave their homeworld without destroying themselves, and have managed to remain somewhat warlike, they now have the opportunity to develop interplanetary warfare. For this the stakes become much higher and the weapons different. As you say, "probably not much use for other lifeforms," changes the stakes in warfare, because you don't have to live on the same hunk of planetary rock that your attacking, so your attacks can become carelessly devastating. So can theirs.

    There are levels of technological hurdles. We've gotten off of the Earth, and we've gotten some stuff out into the solar system. But we're still far from being an interplanetary scale civilization. We're not even really a spacefaring civilization yet, though we may finally be very close to it.

    I'll define spacefaring as being "planetary orbit commonly and readily available to many." That also means Earth-orbit kinetic energy commonly and readily available to many. Every bit of mass in Earth orbit is potentially a devastating weapon, given that kinetic energy. Extend the scope to the moon, and it means you have Earth-escape kinetic energy commonly and readily available to many. The moon is also a convenient source of rocks to throw. Think, "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress."

    Similarly for defining interplanetary, except the available kinetic energy starts at Earth-escape and ranges toward Solar-escape. There's also a much more diffuse, easy to hide, and hard to defend source of rocks available.

    Interstellar is a whole different thing entirely. You have to get past the hazards of having all of that kinetic energy commonly and readily available at the spacefaring and interplanetary scales for a suitable amount of time to develop interstellar technology. Plus I just focused on kinetic energy - you also have to have equivalent potential energy at hand to get yourself out of the local gravity well, be it Earth, moon, other planet, or solar. I think Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and the like have done us a bit of a disservice by trivializing interstellar travel, making us think it merely comparable to space travel.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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